Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Red wine!

K. We all have problems. Me, I got more than most.

I gotta tell you guys about Melvin's Naxx 10 run.

Problem is, I can't. I don't know how to. So, I'm trying to get Melvin to do it for me. He is, to put it mildly, reticent.

See... he didn't suck. Much. He was even above two of the other dps in the charts... (on trash, he was only above one of them on bosses...)

His preliminary statement... "Ret pallies are simply too easy."

Oh, and the bottom DPS was a mage posting about 800 dps through the run. Melvin was about 1900 overall, 1300 on bosses like grob, 2k on bosses like patch. He really shined on trash. So look... Ima gonna need you guys to leave a few comments to help me convince him to "guest post" as it were...

In the meantime... me and superheroes...

See, us geeks, otaku, nerds, whatever term of contempt you choose, get a little obsessed. And obsession is nothing without meticulous attention to both detail and classification.

A while back the now defunct Arms N Fury and I had a thing on superman vs batman.

All things considered... well, I'm a lot freaky. I've had several nervous breakdowns, etc etc. At one point in my life, I was writing a 12-20 page research paper every week for three years. That changes you. So, when I get goin on what makes a superhero... don't make the mistake of thinking I'm obessed with superheroes per se... I was listening to The Fame by Lady Gaga... (don't ask) and all I could think about was which paper I would write about it if I had to... "A Loaded Gun: S&M imagery in The Fame" or "What is wrong with this picture? Eurofetish costuming in Lady Gaga's Music Videos."

I'm obsessed with a lot of stuff.

Anyway, Watchmen is out, and Kimmu sempai and I will probably go see it soon. I dread the outcome. The graphic novel is so amazing, and hollywood has a history of misunderstanding the fundamental points of Alan Moore's work. Still, one thing is driving me crazy. Movie critics making the following observation, in one form or another....

"Dr. Manhattan, who is the only one of the Watchmen with real superpowers..."

Now see... there is this thread running through American literature... the self made man. This thread leads directly to superheroes. Normal heroes aren't enough for americans... we need freaks. It is therefore, highly ironic that the greatest superhero writer... Alan Moore, was british. And there is a wonderful explanation of this in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. (which, if you translate into american, well, you get the picture...)

The point of the superhero isn't the superpower. Manhattan is not greater than the rest of the Minutemen. He is simply more powerful. The other characters... one can predict the future, one can build amazing armor and weapons, one is the greatest warrior of the human race, and then there's the silk spectre, who really doesn't belong in the picture. (one of Moore's more subtle points, and one which gets him accused of misogyny from time to time.)

The point of the novel is that none of them are human, and yet, they are forced to cohabit with humans and human foibles. One of the more poignant plotlines was Nite Owl's decision and resultant failure to become, in effect, mortal.

So when critics start talking about superpowers... they reveal not only a misunderstanding of the work, but of the genre as a whole.

Batman is not less than Superman, for all his lack of powers. Superman is boring... not Aquaman boring, but boring none the less. As a friend (who was a big superman fan) put it... every episode, Lex Luthor steals Lois Lane and flies to the moon with her... and Superman has to fly there to get her back.

Batman is no more human or mortal than Superman. Just different. Crazy in a way that human psychology can't cover. (Hence the Rorshach going through therapy plot line.) God are not different from mortals because of power... they are different becuase of perspective. And Batman, eminently mortal in flesh, is the way he is because with his skewed vision, he could chose no other path. (Or as R put it... We do not choose this... we are compelled...)

Of course there are all kinda similarities that we could talk about with the hero archetype, the nietzchean overman, or the asian hidden master.

Maybe later...

7 comments:

Stupid Mage said...

I would really like to read Melvin's take on the run. It is always good to get the first hand account of a story.

Merckx said...

I agree let's1 hear from Melvin.

By the way your superhero posts are the best, thanks for another.

Papersmith said...

Gotta ditto the Melvin guest post...I would love to hear his perspective.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't not leave a comment today. The stuff about the superheros, please, continue it.

Busket said...

I dunno, in some respects I kind of take the side of the newspapers here. I mostly agree with what you're saying though--Batman not having "superpowers" is missing the point, he's as improbable and as much of a superhero as Superman. You can say much the same thing about most of the 2nd gen of heroes in Watchmen.

But the arrival of Doc Manhattan in the Watchmen world is pretty much what enables the appearance of those other supers (super in the Batman sense above). The first generation of "heroes" (I use quotation marks because I think there's only one hero in Watchmen, and that's Hollis Mason...that's another topic though) in Watchmen are truly normal human beings. Not all right in the head, but not super in any sense. Manhattan changes things.

His ability to manipulate matter advances technology to a ridiculous degree such that someone like the 2nd Nite Owl can become what he is. It also helps Veidt become rich and in a position to use his intelligence (which, bullet catching aside, is not all that as his idiotic master plan proves). The absurdity of Doc's existence drives the Comedian past anything the Cold War was doing to his view of existence as a joke. I'd say something similar is at work with Rorschach.

In this sense I lay all the superheroic aspects of Watchmen at his feet. He is the first, and without him I don't think you get the others.

BM said...

Melvins post would be greatly appreciated. I would love to see his view on the Naxx run.

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