Thursday, December 28, 2017

Why We Can’t Have Nice Things…and Why Sometimes, We Can

I was putting off Last Jedi spoiler talk because Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency didn't get renewed for a third season.

I'm truly going to miss this show. It was a rare case of a series that kept me completely guessing and constantly surprised in every episode.

I'm a huge fan of the books and it amazed me how they basically ignored the plot, characters and setting of them, yet still perfectly recreated the feel of those stories.

I’ll try to sum up without spoilers, because even little bit of one would reveal too much and reduce one of the coolest parts of it, as the stories excelled at the “Fundamental interconnectedness of all things.”

Basically, a bunch of extremely weird and seemingly impossible things happen to some very cool and engaging characters.  Strangeness continues in a way that usually made me shout, “HOLY S***!” out loud several times an episode. By the end of the season, everything made sense and was truly connected in some extremely groovy ways.

Outside of Dirk Gently being a Holistic Detective, the nods to the source material were subtle.  The general mechanisms of the extremely weird and seemingly impossible things for season one matched those of the first novel, which the series shares a name with. Subsequently, the general mechanisms of the extremely weird and seemingly impossible things for season two, using very broad strokes, matched those of the second book, The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul.

Talking about those extremely weird and seemingly impossible things would spoil too much goodness; leaving me to end with saying I am extremely sad at the loss of this intelligent and strange show.  Especially when the second season opened the floodgates well beyond the already extreme weirdness of the first. I’ll also miss the many and varied entertainingly insane characters in it.

Particularly Bart, Mona and the Beast, who were all completely different kinds of awesome insanity.

Speaking of:
1) Me being upset.
2) Unusual fandom.
3) Insane people.

A small but extremely loud portion of the viewers of The Last Jedi started an actual petition to get Disney to drop the film from Star Wars cannon and basically have a “do over.”

I was well and truly hyped up to start my spoiler filled thoughts about this development with a full on rant…

Especially since many of the complainers are the Prequel/ Clone Wars cartoon generation that I stood up for when my generation complained that Star Wars was being made for kids and not them anymore.

Now that group has grown up and is not only making that same complaint, but adding on moaning about a lack of background detail and answered questions about every single character.

I would have loved to see how they would have handled being alive in 1978 when all we had were:
The original film that could only be seen in theaters.
It’s novelization that contradicted the film in multiple ways.
The novel Splinter in the Mind’s Eye that focused on Luke and Leia’s budding romance.
And the Holiday Special that got astonishingly worse with each segment.

After work, but before I could ratchet up to typing out a full on rant, I decided to read my new comics.  Thanks to the release of the last couple trades, I was caught up to “now” on Batman and DetectiveRebirth already proved to be “my” kind of DC comics to the point that I'm reading Batman and Superman titles in individual issues for the first time in over five years.

Last week’s Batman number 37 may be my favorite single issue comic book story ever.

It showed one of the main reasons I read comics. It’s not all about big fights (though those are fun) it's the character moments.

“Double Date” is the story of the newly engaged Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle spending their first evening together with Clark Kent and Lois Lane…

At Superhero night at the Gotham County Fair…

So they swap costumes to attend without being recognized.

It was awesome, heartwarming and funny.
Yes, Clark is wearing his glasses over the bat-cowl, because he's adorable.
Yes, Bruce is hysterical because he's tied with Spock and Bert as the greatest straight man ever conceived. 

Tom King’s story highlighted the relationships between everyone and showed why they work.

The issue, like most of Rebirth, reminds us why Batman and Superman were best friends for much of their history- the important similarities in what they believe outweigh their differences in methodology.

The “show don’t tell” execution continued in presenting what makes Lois and Clark, as well as Selina and Bruce, natural and obvious couples with strong chemistry, who obviously complement each other.

It is the strength of those already established relationships that allowed Selina and Lois immediately hitting it off to become organically and effortlessly accepted.

The issue met Stan Lee’s criteria about, “Every comic book is somebody’s first.”

It was a self-contained story but:
It enticed readers to learn about what happened before.  (When did Batman get engaged?  Superman has a son? How did they set up the date?  That last one was covered in the previous issue which was almost as good as this one.)
It enticed readers to find out what happens next. (Lois insisting Selina is having a “Wedding thing” because she’s coming.)

I read the story, smiled a lot, laughed out loud a few times, and felt the need to rant and rave about Star Wars, as well as the general stress of the work day slip away.

And THAT is why I read comic books.

Just in case there are any fans complaining about the resolution of the "rivalry" in that issue.
Remember, it's Batman's book.

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