Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Smallville: Escape

Three couples:

Clark and Lois;
Ollie and Chloe;
Zod and Tess.

Clark, Lois, Ollie and Zod existed in the comics. Chloe is Lois' cousin and Tess is Lex's half-sister.

A post-Crisis comic books villain: the Silver Banshee. I don't think she possessed women before? Did she speak conversationally before? In the DC universe, legends of family ghosts come with a lot of detailed information about, e.g., how to open or close portals from the Underworld.

I already knew from Wiki info etc that Chloe would be married first to Jimmy Olsen, then to Oliver Queen. I never suspected that:

Chloe's Jimmy was not our Jimmy;
their marriage would end not in a split but in his death.

Does this mean that the Ollie and Dinah of this continuity never get together?

Addenda: How come Zod has Kryptonian powers now but not before?
This Clark-Lois relationship is different in every way from the one in the first Superman story. Then, Clark was acting klutzy and they wouldn't have shared a bed in any case.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Alan Moore-Related Posts

About Superman
Getting Superman Right
Comics And Science Fiction
Dead, Not Really
Different Takes On Superman
The Last Superman Of Earth-1 Comics
Superheroes
Fictions Within Fictions Within Reality
Life And Art II
Trilogies: Final Year?

About Miracleman

About Watchmen

About Jerusalem (also here, here and here)

About V For Vendetta

About The Killing Joke

an interview (also see here and here)

About Voice Of The Fire (and here)

About Swamp Thing (on Gotham City, see here and here)
(for the universe, see here)

About Halo Jones (also here

Between the Pedestals of Night and Morning

We have established that there is an affinity between:

James Elroy Flecker;
Poul Anderson;
SM Stirling;
Neil Gaiman -

- poetry, prose fiction and graphic fiction.

Gaiman quotes Flecker's "The Bridge of Fire" as being particularly appropriate, at the beginning of his The Sandman: The Wake. I reread this poem for help in meditation, then thought that readers of Anderson's and Stirling's works might also find it resonant.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Smallville: Persuasion

I do not understand why red sunlight will give the Kandorians superpowers.

Chloe tells Clark that the future they saw is changing. Surely what happened was that Lois visited a future with Chloe and Clark in it?

Clark destroys two city towers with heat vision. Surely this endangers lives?

A while back, the Kryptonian orb disappeared and was then anonymously mailed to Clark (I think to Clark). Who mailed it?

Smallville: Warrior

Smallville has:

a superhero story within the superhero story, Warrior Angel;

powerful magicians, Zatara and Zatanna.

Combining these two premises, the episode called Warrior has Zatara magically rewriting and cursing a valuable copy of Warrior Angel, no 1. The rewrite is that, when betrayed, Warrior Angel becomes a super-villain. The curse is that the first reader of the copy becomes Warrior Angel and, when betrayed, becomes a super-villain. But Zatanna counteracts the curse.

A cursed superhero comic has a strong resonance with DC Comics on Earth Real.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

DC Superhero Film Continuities

The First Continuity
Superman tetralogy.
Supergirl.
Batman tetralogy.
Superman Returns.

Second
Batman trilogy.

Third (so far)
Man Of Steel.
Batman versus Superman.
Suicide Squad.

Third (to come)
Wonder Woman.
Justice League.

In Smallville Season 9

We are told that Lois Lane visits the future and returns three weeks later with no memories of the future. The present is not a place that can be returned to three weeks later. It is the time from which she departed and she did not return to that time. She traveled three weeks into the future, which would explain why she had no memories from any further future.

Of course, we are later told that she did travel a year into the future. While she is in that future, Clark tells her to travel back into the past and prevent this future. He cannot coherently believe that the moment in which he is speaking and which therefore exists can be prevented from existing.

A Justice Society that was so low key that Daily Planet reporters had never heard of it? They are shown with perfect fidelity to the originals.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Mysterious Alternative Timelines

Sometimes sf writers make evocative use of the concept of altered timelines. Poul Anderson does this in his Time Patrol series. See here and here.

In DC Comics, the character called "Doomsday" was introduced to kill Superman - like Moriarty with Sherlock Holmes. Doomsday kills Superman in at least three continuities, on the third occasion in an altered timeline:

Superman and Doomsday fight to the death both in (i) post-Crisis comics continuity and in (ii) the Batman versus Superman film;

(iii) when, in the Smallville TV series, Rokk from the future tells Clark of an altered timeline in which Doomsday killed Clark, Clark, forewarned, is able to ensure that he is not living in that timeline.

Smallville: Doomsday

I watched Smallville: Doomsday, then had to read a summary to make sense of it but it does make sense.

Henry James Olsen dies but his younger brother, "Jimmie" Olsen, will become a Daily Planet photographer. This is a recognized alternative fictional form of the death and resurrection myth. Henry James Olsen dies knowing that Clark was the Red-Blue Blur but not knowing "Superman."

Time Travel Issues
Superman inspired the Legion in the 31st century;
Rokk, a Legionnaire, time travels to the 21st century to visit Clark Kent before he became Superman;
Rokk returns to a 31st century in which history records that Clark died early, on a particular date, and there was no Superman;
Rokk returns to the 21st century to warn Clark and to try to change history back.

In the altered 31st century, was there:

no Legion?
no Rokk?
or a different version of Rokk who never joined a Legion and never time traveled to the 21st century?

Will Rokk get his original 31st century back or a third version?
Will he have duplicated himself by changing events?

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Smallville: Season 8, Concluding Episodes

Jimmy Olsen working in a bar owned by Mannheim, taking drugs, then working for Ollie. That gives us a whole new perspective on life, doesn't it?

Two Hamiltons, unrelated, different from each other and from the original! When the Hamilton based in Smallville died, I wondered if there would have to be another one in Metropolis.

Chloe on the run with Doomsday, then running from him. I am not sure what changed her mind but will re-watch the relevant section. It builds to a climax but I really hope that Doomsday is killed and stays dead this time. We can't have a Death of Superman because we haven't got a Superman yet.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Any Schmendrick

"Former Lord of Hell - - which is something any schmendrick can add to his resume these days." (1)
-copied from here.

In Kick-Ass, and maybe also in Smallville, it is like "former superhero" is something any schmendrick can add to his resume:

Lana Lang has become super-strong and super-fast;

Lois Lane has a very brief costumed career as Stiletto;

even Doomsday acts like a vigilante!

It looks like even the showdown with Doomsday is to happen before Clark becomes costumed. How will various people who know Clark not recognize him as Superman?

Current Reading And Viewing

Reading: Jerusalem, a prose novel by comics writer, Alan Moore, with a comic strip like cover. Some of the characters read comics. Three stages of Batman continuity are referenced:

a cinema serial;
a Superman-Batman team-up comic;
the films.

Viewing: Smallville dvds. I do not like the whole Doomsday theme. Doomsday was introduced in post-Crisis comics continuity merely to kill Superman. He does not need to be transferred to another continuity, especially not the way they do it here. Enough of a story could be generated just from Clark's adventures in Metropolis and his interactions with other characters.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Smallville: Hex II

See here.

Tim Hunter and Doctor Occult watch Zatara in Neil Gaiman's Books Of Magic.

Zatanna trying to get her father back is an old idea because, in her earliest appearances, she was looking for Zatara - who had disappeared - with help from several superheroes before she assisted, then joined, the JLA.

In Smallville: Hex, Zatanna gives Ollie, who is building the JLA, her phone number. In the course of the episode, she has interacted with Ollie and Clark although not with any other superheroes as yet.

The basis of magic needs to be clarified. Do magicians deal with gods, demons or energy? Speaking the spells backwards does not seem to have been carried over into Smallville.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Smallville: Hex

Chloe and Zatanna! ("Zatanna" rhymes with "Satan-ah.")

I knew that the Jimmy-Chloe marriage would not last but I thought that it would last longer than a couple of episodes. Jimmy behaves abominably. He has just married Chloe and has said that nothing can come between them. She wants to address their problems so he should at least try. Chloe's and Ollie's joint involvement in the proto-JLA can now bring them together although is there anything between Ollie and Dinah in this continuity?

Zatanna tries to resurrect her father, John Zatara, who first appeared in Action Comics, no 1, as did Superman, and died in Swamp Thing, no 50, by Alan Moore, although the circumstances of Zatara's death must be different in the Smallville continuity.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Crisis

Copied from here.

We referred to DC Comics Crisis on Infinite Earths here while discussing the Smallville TV series. Now we should refer to it again while discussing Alan Moore's Jerusalem.

"A jackboxer from the Manhattan saltbogs of 5070 had managed to bring down a young ichthyosaurus with his whorpoon..."
-Alan Moore, Swamp Thing: A Murder Of Crows (New York, 2001), p. 85.

"...barbed and ornate wolf-killing 'vulpoons'..."
-Alaon Moore, Jerusalem (New York, 2016), p. 970.

A "vulpoon" is not the same as a "whorpoon" but the coinage was sufficiently similar to make me reread Swamp Thing. Both are future weapons. Jerusalem, astonishingly, moves into what we call the future although ghosts can walk there.

Continuity Cops

The Legion had not heard of Chloe Sullivan (see here) and also were surprised to find Clark without tights, flights or glasses. Rokk thought that maybe the real Clark differed from his legend but the explanation was that Clark had not yet become the costumed superhero with a secret identity.

In post-Crisis continuity, the "Superboy" period of Clark's career was a legend so the Legion looking for Superboy would not have found him but the Time Trapper, for mysterious reasons, created a pocket universe with a Superboy and directed the time traveling Legionnaires into it. This is called "saving the appearances." There were several other instances of this post-Crisis:

multiple Earths existed until everything changed in the Crisis (that sounds like a fantastic reflection of Earth Real - "everything changed after the War");

Power Girl was not Kryptonian and Kal-El's cousin but Atlantean and Arion's granddaughter;

even J'onn J'onnz's green humanoid form was one of his metamorphoses;

Black Canary, not Wonder Woman, was a founding member of the JLA (later they changed continuity back again!);

the energy displaced in the Golden Age became the Young All-Stars, including the son of Hugo Danner and a new mother for Fury literally possessed by the Furies;

a new origin had to be found for Wonder Girl who had been a continuity anomaly in the first place.

DC are about to commit the biggest continuity crime of all with the Batman finding the Smiley button in the Cave! Who watches the watchmen?