Last week, we discussed if Marvel Studios was finally doing something wrong. This week, we discuss if DC Comics is about to do something very right. The end times are truly approaching, my friends! Also, I answer a GamerGate question in a discussion that hopefully won't want to make you kill yourself.
Do you have questions about anything scifi, fantasy, superhero, or nerd-related? Email the email@example.com! No question too difficult, no question too dumb! Obviously!
I was reading Supermna:Doomed when my jaw dropped. I don't know if you've seen the last page, but it's full of crystals, and the crystals are full of old DC universes. And not the regular multiverse stuff like Grant Morrison is doing right now — there the Batman:Animated Series universe and Flashpoint and the '80s Teen Titans! But the biggest shard is of Superman from before the New 52!!!!!!
Between this and all the Multiverse stuff happening clearly there's something going on here. But if Flashpoint is still in play, and regular Superman and the rest of the normal (BETTER) DC universe out there, could DC be taking back the New 52? Will the New 52 get retconned? Was this always their plan? To give us the New 52 for a while to boost sales and then bring the REAL DC universe back like next year?
I do know what you're talking about; for those who don't here's the page from Superman: Doomed #2 with the universe shards is just below, helpfully labeled by CBR. I wish I could tell you what DC is doing here, but I can't. It's beyond this fake mailman's ken. DC could have judged the New 52 a fun experiment that it's time to end. They could have cynically started the New 52 to jump sales, and are planning to bring the pre-New 52 (but post-Crisis) DC universe back in a bit for the same type of sales jump. Or DC could be completely committed to the New 52 and this is just another weird-ass multiverse story that will amount to nothing.
But I can tell you one thing with 100% fake mailman certainty — whatever DC does with this stuff, THEY DID NOT HAVE IT PLANNED.
Seriously, DC is not good at planning ahead, especially several years out in the future. Relaunching the entire DC universe as the New 52 was practically a snap decision that everyone had to rush to make happen, without any kind of pre-planning or thought about how to coordinate it. This is why some characters were totally reset, some characters continued exactly as they had been before the changeover, and how no one knew if Ma and Pa Kent were alive until months after the relaunch because no one had actually sat down to figure out what part of the Superman mythos to keep.
The idea that DC has been planning a return to the classic DC universe all along is compelling, but it's only wishful thinking. Whether or not they do return to the old DC universe in the future (which would in all honesty be kind of awesome) they went in to the New 52 assuming it would be permanent. Now, DC may claim otherwise in the future, but don't believe. Again, if they were unable to plan ahead for something as easy and small as Superman's parents, how in the hell could they have coordinated the return of the multiverse/Multiversity/a major comic event four years in the future? I don't think they could have.
The Evil Within
Dear temporally displaced postal worker,
I've played video games all of my life. I've identified as a 'gamer' for most of my life as a result. Until recently this hasn't been a problem, but as I'm sure you're aware a certain small sect of assholes have decided to ruin everything for everyone with this 'gamergate' bullcrap. Now, I'm embarrassed to use the term 'gamer'... "well, I play video games, but I'm not one of THOSE misogynist asshats," etc. The same thing kinda goes for identifying as atheist when the image of the fedora "men's rights" guy gets conjured up. I imagine a lot of My Little Pony fans must feel the same way about their fandom, too. I totally get that all of these communities are also filled with awesome (not-misogynist!) people who aren't like this annoyingly vocal minority, but do you see where I'm coming from in general?
BASICALLY, how do I reconcile my love of this thing I've loved forever with the seemingly endless assholery of some of its wider community? At what point do I give up on the label 'gamer' for myself? Happy mailing!
I do see where you're coming from in general. Actually, I see it in specific; I really enjoy videogames, and although I never really labeled myself a gamer in my head, I never would have argued with it if someone else called me one (I did, after all, write a bigass college thesis on Final Fantasy VII).
Of course, my feelings have recently changed. The horrible, genuinely evil dregs of Gamergate have not only poisoned the name of their own movement, but the awful people in there are so awful that they are actually destroying the term "gamer" for people who don't want to be confused with psychotic misogynist assholes. Seriously, that's how bad they are — they are so terrible that I don't even want people to know we share a hobby in common. It's not fair, but it's hardly the greatest of the injustices perpetrated by these willfully malicious lunatics.
If someone asks you if you are a gamer, here's a couple of suggestions on how to reply:
• "I enjoy videogames, but I wouldn't consider myself a gamer."
• "Yes, I do play videogames, but I also believe threatening women is a bad thing."
• "I have many hobbies, one of which is videogames, but not only am I not threatened if a woman happens to make a videogame, I also understand that such a game would not imperil a industry overwhelmingly targeted primarily to young white males in the slightest."
• "I used to like videogames, but those assholes in Gamergate literally ruined the entire medium for me. Want to go catch a movie?"
I won't do any big think pieces on Gamergate, because many other people have done wonderful pieces that exposes them for the awful, insane villains they are. I will say the one thing that boggles me is the people who cling to the Gamergate name because "it stands for ethics in journalism." Although these people are also sadly ignorant (believe me, if there's an ethics problems in videogame journalism it's the big publishers trying to get favorable reviews to sell more copies of their multi-million dollar titles, and has nothing with independent games or female programmers), it baffles me that they don't understand the name of the movement has been taken over by the ones threatening Anita Sarkeesian, Brianna Wu and Zoe Quinn, and then when people publish said threats, claim these women are somehow making them up for attention.
To call yourself a Gamergater, but to disavow the misogynistic pricks who have become the primary voice of the movement is useless. You share the name, and at this point society assumes if you accept the name you by proxy condone the genuinely evil acts the worst of the movement espouses. I doubt care how worried about "ethics in journalism" you are, if you find these people reprehensible, as any person with a conscience should, you should abandon the Gamergate name and then go start a new movement to worry about videogame journalism, and/or how paying more attention to videogames created by women is going to somehow destroy the entire industry dominated by sports games and first-person shooters.
Seriously, guys, the GamerGate name has become synonymous with the vilest forms of intolerance on the internet. This is reality now. So if you don't agree with what they're doing, you need to get a new name. Otherwise, you're like Nazis who say: "Oh. The Nazis who are murdering all those Jews aren't the real Nazis. I don't condone that. I'm part of the real Nazis — the ones who keep the trains running on time." YOU'RE STILL A GODDAMN NAZI. It's the first truly accurate application of Godwin's Law I've ever seen.
Down for the Count
J. Keith Hurson:
This past Sunday morning, I joined a couple of pals at the cinema, for a showing of Dracula Untold. While I would have preferred the movie skew more heavily towards horror, rather than action, I don't regret my friend purchasing a ticket for me. As I understand it, Dracula Untold is kind of, sort of, maybe, could be the start of a shared Universal Monsters cinematic universe. That naturally put me in mind of Marvel's cinematic universe, and the excellent Tomb of Dracula series the company once published.
Since Dracula is a public domain character, what do you think the chances are that Marvel would introduce the Count into their cinematic universe? With Magneto, Doctor Doom, the Green Goblin, and Doctor Octopus stuck with other studios, seems to me Marvel could use a villain of Dracula's stature, lurking about the darker corners of their movies.
Pretty good, since Marvel Studios has the rights to Blade back. But I assume you're asking if he'll ever share the screen with another Marvel hero or villain; it's possible, maybe eventually, but I don't think it's particularly likely. Dracula has to begin as a Blade foe, and if a lesser-tier hero like Blade can defeat him, then he won't seem threatening enough to take on, say, Iron Man. But ever since Marvel announced Cap 3 as basically being Civil War, I have no idea what they're doing. Dracula could be one of Iron Man's new Avengers for all I know.
Be Ghoul, Dude
Dear Mr. Postman,
So I was tutoring my eight year old daughter in the distinguishing characteristics of the undead (because she needs to know these things), and I pointed out that one of the differences between ghouls and zombies was that ghouls eat dead people, while zombies eat live ones. Her first observation was that ghouls weren't that scary, then. I mean if they're just eating dead people, they're not that big a threat, right? But her second question kind of stumped me. Do ghouls eat zombies? Zombies are dead, right? So they should be the perfect buffet for a pack of hungry ghouls. This made me wonder. Are ghouls the perfect solution to the zombie apocalypse?
I assume ghouls would happily eat zombies, but you'd need to avoid them just as much as zombies. Sure, they eat dead flesh, but all they have to do is kill you, and voila. To ghouls, living humans are just meals that haven't been taken out of the wrapper yet.
Earth-2 Be or Not Earth-2 Be
I hope that your mail delivery route is ever free of giant radscorpions.
I know most people are unhappy that DC is using different people to play Arrow (if they have one) and The Flash, but to me it makes perfect sense since both the TV people and the movie people can do whatever they want. However, I was thinking it would be super cool if they just made the TV shows (the CW ones anyway) Earth 2. That way if they ever wanted to do a crossover they could, and it would make DC fans like myself very happy since Earth 2 is very DC thing.
Also since they are introducing a new hero and/or villain in to the DC shows like every other week, it would be fun if they renamed both Arrow and The Flash to The Justice Society of America then aired it twice a week or better yet once a week all year around.
You will have to let me know if either of those things come true or not.
It doesn't! But that would be awesome!
It also makes a ton of sense and offers WB/DC a ton of amazing entertainment opportunities for both their shows and their movies. It's a brilliant idea. And it's never going to happen.
This is because the movie division runs the show at the DC division of Warner Bros., and they get to do whatever they want. They're thinking about making a Batman movie? Well, then Batman can't appear on any TV series even though it would be a huge hit. The TV division managed to make a Flash show while the movie execs were knee-deep in cocaine? Well, fuck them, we'll make our movie and the TV show can just stay out of our way.
Even discussing synergy between the DC movie and TV divisions is to pretend that they're on the same level, and the movie executives will never allow that — they won't want to be beholden to the TV shows in any way, for any reason, and because the DC movies make $500 million dollars or much, much more, they'll always get their way. They will let nothing interfere, even potentially, with their main moneymakers. Even good ideas like this one.
Maybe someday some WB exec will actually manage to break through the decades of entrenched hierarchy at Warner Bros., but I doubt it happens before my vague apocalypse.
The Nasty in the Pasty
This might be a bit of a freaky, awkward question, but please answer to the best of your ability.
If you can time travel to the past, will you have sex with your younger self? If yes, at what age will you prefer your younger self to be? Will that count as masturbation?
Freaky, awkward questions are my bread and butter, Jane. As for to whether having sex with another you is masturbation, the answer is semantically yes, but common sense dictates no. Masturbation is sex with one's self, but more specifically it means sex without any other partners, including your time-travelling self. Eventually we'll have to come up with a new term for having self with another incarnation of one's self to differentiate the two — I vote for "blasterbation," personally.
And if you're asking me whether I personally would have sex with myself if I went back in time, the answer is no. You can blame the weird, incestuous aspect of it, my sexual orientation, or my crippling self-esteem which gives me no desire to ever see what I look like during sexy times. But if other time travelers are interested in having sex with me, my personal peaches were ripest when I was 23, circa late 2000. Just FYI!