Location: Vienna, Virginia, United States

A graduate of Dartmouth College (2005) and Washington and Lee University School of Law (2010). These are my personal blogs, and the musings expressed on them do not reflect the positions of my employer. They do reflect my readings, thoughts, and aspirations, which I figure is good enough.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Final Stretch

Neurobio - Milton - PRINCE NAMOR?

While most college students are still at school and will be until late this month, the fortunate sons and daughters of Dartmouth throw down the Doubleshots and the NoDoze and whatever else helps overacheiving Ivy Leaguers study these days as they lament their two day reading period before finals start. Actually, the last day of classes was Wednesday, so the first finals are tomorrow. My only real final is Neurobiology on Sunday, but I do still have my thesis to think about (next chapter that is). But on one of my numerous breaks from neurons and narcissism, I've stumbled across this deliciously inane fact: Marvel is making a movie out of their most homosexual superhero. And most of them are pretty homoerotic to begin with.

Yes, the one and only Submariner, also known as Prince Namor of Atlantis. It's apparently being helmed by Chris Columbus of "Home Alone" and "Harry Potter" fame. I can see it now: FADE IN: On The King of Atlantis and his Queen on the back of a Commercial Travel Whale "Honey, we've left LITTLE NAMOR at home . . . alone!! And Lord Voldemort is back along with overhyped, rehashed, fantasy standards!! CUT TO: NAMOR, floating in pool. He claps his hand to his cheeks and his mouth opens to yell but all we see are air bubbles. PAN OUT: oh yeah, he's got gills (he does, doesn't he?). and a tight speedo.

Starring: Jackie Chan in another attempt to transcend his action movie career and be funny as Prince Namor
Willem Dafoe as the colonialistic and slightly schizophrenic Sir Edwin Moreland
Kelly Hu as his cold, mute secretary, Rice-A-Roni (Mutant Power - Pressure Cooker) - if you don't know what I think of Kelly Hu (or her agent, perhaps) see 11/13 rant
AND introducing Zhang Ziyi as Namorita, the little sister that will be the subject of a spinoff movie

Why anyone would make a movie out of the Submariner, who is pretty much the same as Aquaman but with pointy ears and a speedo (wait, does Aquaman have pointy ears and a speedo too? I'm not a big aquatic superhero buff), is beyond me. He swims with Dolphins and is the heir to a large underwater realm. Yay? There might be some angst / class-conflict in there considering he's not quite human, but I don't know what they could do that X-Men couldn't. He's torn because he helps humans but his kingdom is a isolationist, xenophobic nation of utopians? Actually, I'm starting to see it in a little better light; little Dubya allegory, some border angst, and we have a statement. That would be too unintentionally funny though.

I suppose it shows that with the big superheroes movies being planned, as well as several second tier ones, producers and writers and Stan Lee's ego have decided to turn to tertiary heroes like Submariner. Yes, he has a long history. Dick Tracy has a long history too. I don't see Warren Beatty and Madonna clamoring for a second Dick Tracy.

Why not make a Silver Surfer movie? I like Silver Surfer. He was the man. Started his career as the Herald of the evil Galactus if I'm not mistaken. But then again he does just travel the universe on a surfboard. Yes, his board is silver and so is he, but that's a step more special than Daredevil being a blind lawyer that can see. And Joel Schmucker's Batman as a playboy in vinyl with some fancy gadgets and mesmerizing peepers.

I want a movie about a villain. All about a villain. Dr. Doom: Origins would be an especially easy one. Kingpin just got fat and killed some people. Doom is the dictator of a small Eastern European nation hidden behind a fortress and an iron mask.

Spiderman 2 would have been a good movie if Spiderman wasn't in it and it was called Alfred Molina is: Doc Ock, He might have been overweight and topless most of the movie, but he was a good Doc Ock. I remember watching the animated series and one of the best lines was given to Felicia Hardy (later to become the Black Cat), who said of Doc Ock "just like Flash (Thompson): all hands". I think they would have been fined for that nowadays.

I can see the Supervillain genre taking off in less than five years like the Superhero one really exploded with Spiderman. There's actually some potential there, although the problem would be that you could never write a movie all about a racist stereotype villain like . . . the sinister Mandarin for example.

Actually, considering Namor will probably have to have an asian male lead, I wonder how they're going to deal with that. Is a Rick Yune fronted Superhero movie as acceptable as a movie with Tobey McGuire or Ron Perlman or Christian Bale? Blade is a minority superhero, but he's also a bad superhero, in that he's supposed to be a bad-ass and in the overall bad quality of the movies themselves (first one was OK, second one kinda sucked, I hear this last one beats them all). But he is, like Namor, only half human (Blade is half vampire, Namor is half amphibian).

Can we have a minority superhero movie about a superhero that's completely human? It's not like all superheroes are half-human - Batman is all human. Superman is all Kryptonian, Spiderman is human. Hellboy is all demon. Interesting . . . I'd never considered the superhero movie genre that way, but it seems to make a lot of sense. The Crow and Spawn had minority leads, even though I don't think O'Barr made The Crow part-asian in the comic books, but neither of those two were all human either - they were both dead.

Has Marvel or DC ever made an all-human, ostensibly African American superhero that didn't have the word Panther in their name? Storm, yes, but she was also a West African Goddess in the comic books. Are there any hispanic superheroes? I always thought that Hellboy should have been hispanic.

I know Kevin Smith has made jokes about this in Chasing Amy, but it makes you wonder how Hollywood will treat what few minority superheroes there are. And there are a precious few. It seems to me that it's too difficult to make a superhero that wears a mask and then takes off the mask to reveal another mask. Bruce Wayne and his tortured past is one thing, but it's a more difficult task (one that most people aren't willing to try) to make, say an African American Batman that isn't Shaft or LeBron James under the suit.

Female superheroes have it bad too, in that most of them end up dead or mentally brutalized in the comic books. It's fairly vicious actually. Look it up sometime. A disturbing number of them end up dead, or raped and in a mental institute. No joke. Kind of freaky.


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