Diecast #104: Nvidia HairWorks, Star Trek 3, Marvel Movies, Supergirl

By Shamus
on May 25, 2015
Filed under:
Diecast

The bad news: No Spoiler Warning this week. The good news: Double Diecast. I don’t even know why, but later this week you’ll get another installment. So that’s nice.

Direct link to this episode.
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Podcast RSS feed.

Hosts: Shamus, Josh, Chris, Mumbles.

Show notes:
00:30 AMD: Nvidia “Completely Sabotaged”Witcher 3 Performance on Our Cards

Source. If these two companies put as much effort into hardware as they did into spoofing benchmarks and cock-blocking each other then we’d be in The Matrix by now. So it’s probably for the best.

14:00 Simon Pegg Told To Make Star Trek 3 Script “More Inclusive”.

This is probably a different interpretation of the phrase “more inclusive” than you’re used to.

27:00 Let’s talk about the upcoming Dr. Strange and Fantastic Four movies.

Basically, Hollywood needs to hire Mumbles so she can straighten them out on these horribad casting decisions. And if they ever make the story of Mumbles she should be played by James Franco.

37:40 Supergirl!

This is kind of a follow-up to the conversation we had last week. Later we sidetrack and talk about the New 52.

51:00 Marvel Unlimited Website continues to suck.

AKA Old Man Yells at Cloud.

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From the Archives:

  1. According to what I’ve read, Hairworks has the same 30fps “tank” on NVidia cards, too. So they’re just shitty, expensive systems.

    The thing that bothers me is that nobody seems to be yelling at CDProjekt who was whining that “oh we didn’t get the source code” . . . so WHY didn’t you just say “LET’S LEAVE THIS SHITTY FEATURE OUT OF THE GAME!!!”

    Nvidia didn’t “sabotage” AMD. CDProjekt sabotaged AMD.

    • Shamus says:

      Agreed. They made a ton of dumb mistakes:

      1) Don’t chase after esoteric graphical tricks that are still in the shakeout period.
      2) If you do, don’t use vendor-specific libraries.
      3) If you do, make sure you get the source.
      4) If you can’t get the source, don’t blindly accept last-minute changes from the hardware vendor.
      5) If you do, then you have sacrificed the stability and integrity of your game to aid the vendor in their ongoing pissing match with their rival. You have been punked, and you deserve all the backlash you get.

      • AileTheAlien says:

        This is part of the reason I like a lot of indie games – they’re behind the times on graphics by enough months/years, that they can make games that:
        1. Don’t require anything more than a generic desktop/laptop to run.
        2. Don’t require updating your graphics drivers.
        3. Still look great!

        For example, see:
        Teleglitch, which has actual line-of-sight stuff going on, plus the cool RGB-separation visual effect.
        Castle In The Darkness, which looks the same as any metroidvania game made on SNES/Genesis. (Not quite as fancy as the newer ones made for the DS or later Nintendo handhelds.)

        • MadTinkerer says:

          My laptop is from 2009. It can run all Valve games released so far (though not at max settings at max frame rate for some of the most recent), and pretty much every indie game I own. And almost all of the games that fall in-between indie and AAA but for some reason we don’t refer to as “A” or “B”.

          Only a few games come out each year that my laptop can’t run. Since these are usually also DRM infected pieces of garbage and/or Origin exclusives, and would cost the same as three (or more) games I could run, I just ignore them. So I have three (or more) times as many games occupying my limited entertainment time than I otherwise would have.

          EDIT: And that’s why I have just the tiniest sliver of sympathy for Konami and others deciding to give up AAA development and focus their energy elsewhere. Just the tiniest sliver.

      • Zak McKracken says:

        My best guess is that nVidia also gave the developers some more support with other things to help improve the overall graphics engine, under the condition that they put this thing in. I could see why a developer would strike that kind of deal.

        But really the only thing that could prevent these things from happening is if there were much more chip makers out there. Right now, it’s big nVidia against small AMD, and that’s not healthy and would only be marginally healthier if both were on equal footing.

    • Friend of Dragons says:

      To be fair, though, you can turn it off. Maybe it turned out something like “Huh, this thing doesn’t actually work well, be we already did the work to put it in the game. Might as well leave it in as an option for people with supercomputers. Maybe better drivers/optimization for it will come along later.”

      • Sleeping Dragon says:

        There is this delicate balance regarding performance. On the one hand we have developers shoving all the new, shiny and experimental effects into the game, often simply so they can say they are there, or downright ignoring optimization (Oblivion grass-never forget, never forgive), on the other there are people who seem to find the notion of playing the game on anything but the fantabulous settings offensive and will burn the devs at a stake for any stuttering even if it is the new triple A wonder and they are using a five year old laptop.

    • Humanoid says:

      It smells of the same underhanded tactic they used in Crysis 2, where completely unnecessary tessellation was performed on flat and/or invisible objects (including the ocean surface which was under the terrain). Why was it done? Because while it would tank the performance of both NVidia and AMD cards, NVidia cards were better at tessellation and therefore would tank less, making them look good by way of comparison. It’s like shooting yourself in one foot but shooting both of your opponent’s feet to come away with a net advantage.

      As for why game developers in general do this – GameWorks, Mantle, etc – it’s pretty simply money. Games are increasingly being effectively sponsored by hardware vendors in exchange for exclusive access during development. The end-game, one suspects, is that PC games become as proprietary (I know I’m misusing that word) as console games. If hardware vendors had their way, PC game boxes would have that little banner at the top of the box, only instead of saying “PS4” or “XBone” it’d say “NVidia” or “AMD”.

      P.S. I’d observe that NVidia tends to be at the centre of the more egregious examples of this kind of bad behaviour, but whether it’s due to their corporate culture or simply down to the fact that they’re in a market dominant position and therefore are more capable of dictating terms to game devs is something up for debate.

      P.P.S. Yes, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that CDPR accepted the dodgy deal. Same reason they accepted Microsoft’s money to include more swag in the XBone version of the game’s collector’s edition, and probably the same reason they continue to work with Namco Bandai despite their opposition to regional pricing for their first-party games.

    • Tsi says:

      Agree. It should also be noted that AMD releases sources for almost all their tools and API’s and push forward open technology while Nvidia closes everything and makes their own hardware solution for stuff that shouldn’t need any.

  2. Daemian Lucifer says:

    JOOOSH!!JOOOOSH!!!JOOOOOSH!!!!

  3. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Um,why is geralts hair flowy?He is spending days,weeks even,in the wild,sweating,rolling through dirt,never washing his hair.It should be glued to his head,not billowing in the wind.

  4. Wide And Nerdy says:

    More inclusive? Yeah I saw the link and thats a strange definition of inclusive. I agree that cinema is dumb but I don’t think the cure is going back to real world issues. There’s a reason I only watch superhero movies in the theater anymore and its because I get tired of Hollywood leftist preaching, straw manning, poking at everything I hold dear. Its easily refuted but I’m tired of it and I hate being preached at by someone I can’t respond to*. Say what you will about church but if I have an issue with what the pastor said, I can find him after the service and tell him, or email him. Hollywood is too arrogant and inaccessible for that and it lives in its own little version of reality. And if the dumb popcorn flicks have one virtue its that they’re typically blissfully free of this BS.

    I get a certain perverse joy from listening to leftist cinephiles lament how their leftist teaching aids aren’t the box office gold they once were. I think there’s a certain beauty in us being able to get together and agree that the flying cyberwhales coming out of that portal in the sky are bad and should be stopped. It brings us together in a way that leftist Hollywood preaching about tolerance (defined as “redirecting the intolerance and hate to our preferred targets”) never will.

    The real cure to dumb cinema is smarter writing, not thinly veiled allegory.

    *”So that must mean you don’t like-”
    Whatever you were going to say, yes, I consume almost no traditional media anymore. I like the internet where you can respond to preaching.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      And the whole “only real world settings can explore real world issues” thinking is just so close minded and wrong.Same goes for “only adults can grasp these issues”.You want some real life issues?Go watch the land before time,wall-e,madoka magica or avatar the last airbender.These will tell you so much more about love,friendship,sacrifice,war,suffering,death and grief than plethora of the so called serious live action movies set in “real world”.

    • Shamus says:

      Okay, this really crossed the line into politics, and I’m only letting it stand because Damien replied to it before I could remove it. (And I didn’t want to have to nuke his comments as well.)

      But let’s just drop the politics here.

  5. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Oh boy,the whole “comics are for kids” thing again.The stupid coming from both sides is just overwhelming.

    • mhoff12358 says:

      I think the point is less that comics are inherently for kids and this simple, but instead that comics can be simple and get away with it. If you decide to make a superhero movie and get publisher funding, they’re going to advertise or based on how flashy the fight scenes are even if you write a script with lots of narrative and thematic depth, so when cuts are inevitably made the people with the money are exerting pressure to include just the stuff they want. If you bill your movie as a “grown up” movie, there won’t be as much push back to including stronger themes or whatever.
      It’s sad that the current culture tries to push movies into camps, but that’s the accepted reality of marketing and it’s more productive for actors to play the game than it is to try to buck the system.

    • tzeneth says:

      That was the line that made me look at it and go “what?” To say superheroes or comic books are “for kids” feels like saying that video games are “for kids” or any other kind of blanket statement of the type. Most items depend on how you use it rather than being inherently for a specific age group. (Except for animated things, those are definitely for kids. Jk :P )

      • Sleeping Dragon says:

        Yeah, this was pretty heavy with quotes rubbing me the wrong way. I’m almost sure there will be a lot of “didn’t mean it that way” and “taken out context” regarding that interview. My personal favourite “Now we’re essentially all consuming very childish things – comic books, superheroes. Adults are watching this stuff, and taking it seriously.”

        Blah blah blah Maus, yada yaya Watchmen. Seriously, this whole interview is just so clumsy in this department I don’t even feel like arguing the point.

        • Otters34 says:

          Superhero movies being released and receiving astounding success and breeding a thriving online and real-world obsession around them, their minutia, and the arcane lore of their imaginary universes is a very different beast from the likes of Maus or Watchmen.

          Maus has a lot to say about how experiences can change people, how even in the midst of overwhelming evil, in the depths of horrors there can glimmer hope and kindness. Its Nazis were human beings, some of whom showed feeling and thought beyond the iron Party doctrine, but were mostly too weak or blind to resist the tide of their fellows. Its author questioned in its pages the very right for his book to exist, picturing himself atop a mountain of the dead millions, the borrowed memory of his father alone making the prospect of profiting off them seem downright ugly and obscene.

          The money-bags don’t make movies out of Maus. They don’t even make movies out of Squadron Supreme (though that’s more miniseries-suited) or Astro City storylines or the dead-simple premise of Icon.

          But we do get formulaic action movies every year that creative people managed to breathe half-life into, and that’s basically the same thing.

          EDIT: The MCU is not “bad”. But between it and “good” lies a gulf vast as the Atlantic.

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            Because ptsd,morality,the reach a government should have,etc are not smart enough topics to be covered?Because mcu does cover a bunch of those.

            • Otters34 says:

              I will readily grant that those were thoughtfully-portrayed and integral themes of those movies, yes. However…those are the ONLY movies that gave much concern to “real stuff”. From pretty much end to end, the thing the MARVEL Studios Cinematic Universe is concerned with is selling itself, and broadening the horizons of what it can sell about itself. The artistic merits of its movies, as a result, have grossly and pointlessly suffered. It’s like the triple-A games industry, collapsed into one film studio, tons of resources and creative talent bent on maintaining a brand.

              Age of Ultron has robots in it, but it isn’t really concerned with the idea of artificial life mimicking our own to a dangerous extreme or the dichotomy of nature vs. nurture, it IS concerned with establishing the new status quo, introducing three new Avengers, the Black Panther movie coming up and the Infinity Stones metaplot.

              • Daemian Lucifer says:

                I wont go into another ultron defendarant.I wont go deeper into what the movies do with regards to real world issues.I will however go into this:

                The artistic merits of its movies, as a result, have grossly and pointlessly suffered.

                I disagree strongly with that.The story,themes and messages of a movie are important,yes.And marvel movies are varying when it comes to those,with some being bellow average,some being above average.

                BUT,those arent the only things in a movie.The art of a movie is reflected in all of its aspects,and seeing how these are actions movies first,their art in presenting and pacing the action has been constantly brilliant.

                The scenes are clear,well shot,and spaced enough not to overcrowd one another.Which is not something that can be seen often in action movies,especially these days.

                Also,the messages of the movie are still clearly presented even through the action(as can be seen through the hulk fight and the ending fight in ultron).And that too is not something that can be seen often in action movies,especially these days.

          • Sleeping Dragon says:

            Putting the, interesting, discussion you and Damien had in the thread aside that was largely my point when I used the word “clumsy” in my post. I think there are points to discuss in what was said but the statements as quoted are just so broad that they don’t really provide a ground for that, they sound like something from a fight that was fought in the last decade or so.

        • MichaelGC says:

          I’m almost sure there will be a lot of “didn’t mean it that way” and “taken out context” regarding that interview.

          And you are not wrong!:

          The ‘dumbing down’ comment came off as a huge generalisation by an A-grade asshorn.

          He does elaborate, though, and I find the vastly-more-nuanced version fairly interesting:

          The children of the 70s and 80s were the first generation, for whom it wasn’t imperative to ‘grow up’ immediately after leaving school. [… T]his extended adolescence has been cannily co-opted by market forces, who have identified this relatively new demographic as an incredibly lucrative wellspring of consumerist potential…

          I guess what I meant was, the more spectacle becomes the driving creative priority, the less thoughtful or challenging the films can become.

          http://simonpegg.net/2015/05/19/big-mouth-strikes-again/

    • ehlijen says:

      (continuing with a reply to what you posted above, so as to stay off bad topics)

      My english teacher used to say ‘what’s the point of scifi, there are so many real stories to be told?’. Ugh. I’m fine with the second part, but the first is just so much imaginative bankruptcy.

      Classical Greek (and later Roman) theatre, fairy tales and heroic legends were all made up and stuck with us to today. What’s the more famous story? A man making a deal with the devil, or a man committing suicide because his crush married another bloke? (Goethe tackled both).

      Not saying realistic stories are worse in general. But story telling is the trade of imagination. If you don’t use it, how good can you be at that trade?
      (Though, admittedly, you can go too far, eg the movie Yellow Submarine. Very fun, but WTV did I just watch?)

      Sorry, rant over.

    • Zak McKracken says:

      I think Simon Pegg has a point, and when given enough space, he can make it, too:
      http://simonpegg.net/2015/05/19/big-mouth-strikes-again/

  6. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Ummm,this whole “we will give you a bunch of money to make it more actiony”,isnt that what made most of the bad star trek movies bad?In fact,didnt 2 have the smallest budget of them all?Yet is still considered the best.And whats most memorable about it are the endless book quotations,not special effects.

    • PeteTimesSix says:

      Yeah. To quote:

      He added: “People don’t see it being a fun, brightly coloured, Saturday night entertainment like the Avengers,” adding that the solution was to “make a western or a thriller or a heist movie, then populate that with Star Trek characters so it’s more inclusive to an audience that might be a little bit reticent”

      This is amazing. Its like the idea that people watched the Avengers because they were doing Avenger things in that movie and thus might watch Star Trek if you’d do Star Trek things in a Star Trek movie never even crossed his mind.

      • ehlijen says:

        Don’t be silly, if people’d wanted to watch people doing star treky things, they’d have gone and watched Nemesis and Enterprise, no?

        *cries*

        • Nemesis was just plain awful. Enterprise was awful until the final season, when the writing became awesome. The problems with the final season were (1) the cast was terrible and no writing could salvage that, and (2) they let Berman & Braga ruin what the season built by making the finale a tie-in to TNG where the end of the series was a lame holodeck program to help Ryker make a decision we’d seen him make years before.

      • Zak McKracken says:

        I think you’re misunderstanding what he says. Pegg has been complaining about lack of serious thought in geek culture for a while, and so when I read the article linked by Shamus (before listening to the podcast), I unambuiguously understood it as Pegg complaining that the studio put pressure on him to make the next Star Trek movie even more generic. And I think he’s someone who has enough deep thoughts on the topic and enough talent to put them into very non-serious-looking media that we may get a movie out of this that will have mass appeal but will not require anyone to turn off their brains. And may actually contain some serious ideas at the core. Well, that’ll depend on the director too, of course. We’ll see.

        My impression is that Pegg has a good idea of what is going wrong with Trek, and if allowed to do so, might just get it right. That’s a big “if”, of course.

  7. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Um,the 2005 fantastic four reed richards is a douchebag.He still sucked.

    And technically that wasnt the first fantastic four movie.1994 unreleased one was the first.

    • Bropocalypse says:

      EVERYONE in that movie sucked.

    • Hitch says:

      So my take on this is we want a Reed Richards that Robert Downey Stark would look at and say, “He’s a bit of a jerkface egomaniac.”(?)

      • 4th Dimension says:

        If he really is so an annoying jerk, I do wonder where would he fit in MCU, next to the RDJ’s Stark. Allthough bringing fantastic four would probably be worth it simply fo DR DOOM, because MCU right now kind of lacks good interesting villans if we exclude Loki.

    • Tizzy says:

      By the way, I think Colbert would be great in any Fantastic Four movie. Or whatever, really. Not only because he is a huge nerd and would take the project very seriously, but also because he is one of the few Daily Show alums who is an actor first and foremost. Not a comic, not a political commentator, not a one-note character, but a bona fide actor. The only other one that readily springs to mind is Steve Carrell.

      So no one should worry about whether he would be able to shed his show’s persona to act in a movie. He was born for this.

      • SlothfulCobra says:

        The only thing is, I don’t think he’s in-shape enough to fit comic book movie standards. Everybody has to be ripped for those.

        • Otters34 says:

          Get ripped people to do the stuff, paste the “real” actors’ faces onto their heads with digital magickery. Now all your performers can act in the comfort and controlled environment of a soundstage, without needing to leave! Ever.

  8. DeadlyDark says:

    I heard (and may be I’m wrong) that JJ leaves ST3 because he can’t ensure total creative control and TV-show, but because of CBS and Paramaunt split rights he chose to leave. AFAIR, Star Wars people promised him creative control. So, yeah, split rights to universe definitely creates all kind of problems.

    P.S. DC is pretty good on TV-show front though. May be not everything (Gotham), but Arrow, Flash, I Zombie and now Legends of Tomorrow. And what I like about these shows (especially Arrow in season one, that they brave enough to change status quo, so Supergirl thing wouldn’t be static).

    • Mike S. says:

      Unified rights also causes problems, though: Agents of SHIELD’s first season dragged because it was beholden to Winter Soldier, and if DC’s live-action media were all one world we’d be stuck with the TV series all being in the grimdarkverse. I much prefer seeing the flexibility to have diverse approaches to even the same concepts (League of Shadows in the Nolan movies vs. League of Assassins in Arrow; Arrow’s Suicide Squad coexisting with whatever take they use in the movies; etc.)

      • DeadlyDark says:

        Anything can cause problems )
        Come to think of it, about Suicide Squads. Deadshot in Arrow was removed from the show because of Will Smith playing him in the movie. And there was Bat-embargo that limited things in Justice League Unlimited (like no use of Joker in later seasons, etc.).
        But I agree, different universes within single company much more fun for viewers (at least like me).

  9. straymute says:

    TressFX is actually open source, it’s not really comparable to Hairworks. I don’t think there really is an AMD equivalent of what Nividia has done to PhysX and with Hairwoks because AMD can’t really afford to be that shady.

    I mean at the end of the day corporations are corporations, but I have to give AMD credit here. There isn’t really a hypocrisy to what they’re saying because they took the high road and let Nvidia optimize for their tech.

  10. Daemian Lucifer says:

    There’s a big, big difference between having an opinion and taking a shit on something. Witcher is too manly for me, but you don’t see me taking a shit on it.

    And then goes on to take a huge shit on Benedict Cumberbatch.A real person,not a fictional one,which makes it worse.Not cool Mumbles.

    • JakeyKakey says:

      On the other hand, I understand the frustration because I do think it’s incredibly annoying Marvel went from giving those relatively obscure actors their spotlight to shine in and make characters their own to just going all out with high-profile casts to pull in the Tumblr crowd.

      Cumberbatch has no range as far as his mainstream movies are concerned. He’s just Sherlock.

      Into The Darkness is him as an Evil Sherlock. Imitation Game is him as a good, even more autistic Sherlock (and don’t get me started on that awful film). Even playing the fucking dragon in The Hobbit he was Sherlock. I’ve not seen Tinker Tailor, but I can only assume he plays a Spy Sherlock in that one.

      And now he’s going to play a magical space wizard Sherlock.

      It was probably the laziest cast they could come up with.

      • Henson says:

        Sher Khan is now Sherlock?

        Solves mysteries and eats Mowgli.

      • Wide And Nerdy says:

        But he plays a good Sherlock. I like him better than Robert Downey Jr’s Sherlock, and I like Downey’s Sherlock.

        But the thing I think we can all agree on is Martin Freeman rocks in everything.

        • JakeyKakey says:

          I’ll give you that.

          It’s annoying when his every other role ends up being a riff on Sherlock though and Doctor Strange feels as though it won’t be any different.

      • ehlijen says:

        Are you sure you’re not projecting the general poor quality of those appearances onto him? (I’m not an acting critic, so I don’t know.)

        I’ve only seen him in the hobbit and trek movies. I’m told he was great in Sherlock.

        Given everything wrong with those movies and their use of his characters in particular, I’m fine with assuming he got given poor directions and nothing to work with other than ‘do your thing’.

        I don’t like him very much, but I suspect that may be because both Kahn and Smaug were terribly written. True, great actors have saved poor characters or scripts in the past (Q in TNG and Matt Smith in Mofffat’s Dr Who Seasons, for me at least), but that just means he may not be great, not that he’s bad.

        Or it could mean that he was deliberately told to do what he did (again, given the many poor decisions the movies made it wouldn’t surprise me).

        But if he didn’t do well in the imitation game, that is a bad sign (haven’t seen it) :(

        • JakeyKakey says:

          The problem with Imitation Game is that the premise itself is arguably one of the coolest stories in WW2 and would’ve made for an excellent historical thriller or at least a movie that’s magnitudes smarter than what we got.

          I’m not sure if they knew they were going to get Cumberbatch or the script was re-written during production, but they basically pissed away Alan Turing’s actual drastically different personality in exchange for an autistic arrogant genius who alienates his peers due to his inability to understand basic social cues. Remind you of anyone?

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Imitation_Game#Accuracy

          • mwchase says:

            Whew, thanks for saying that! I complained to my friends about that, and it seemed like the complaints just rolled over them. Thought I might have been crazy or something, you know.

            (“Oh boy, it’s Benedict Cumberbatch, time for some Hollywood Autistic [random, incoherent mumbling].”)

            I think I preferred Cumberbatch in Four Lions, where his role was basically “accidentally make things worse, through no fault of his own”. Also, he wasn’t in the movie much.

    • Mumbles says:

      i hate him and he’s stupid

  11. Daemian Lucifer says:

    You guys should really watch the leaked supergirl pilot(Campster in particular).Aside from superman,kara does not compare herself to powerful men.But she does compare herself to powerful women,ie her step sister,her boss and her mother.Which is cool.

    • Wide And Nerdy says:

      And I’m not keen on the be more arrogant angle. We want to rebalance this thing but to me, if they’re correct about the imbalance then its women who have it right by being humble and helpful and not thinking they’re hot stuff. Its the supposed male attitude of being arrogant and pushy and thinking you’re hot stuff that’s wrong.

      Its like you have mud spilled on the floor and the answer we’ve come up with is to get out more mud and make sure the entire floor is coated in mud. I don’t want to be around when this all takes hold.

      • Thomas says:

        That was a lot of the discussion around the Cinderella film. There’s been a huge pushback on the princess stories, for pretty obvious reasons because it was an incredibly limiting and undiverse pigeon hole. But cinderella in Cinderella is a really admirable person, just not in ways that are very masculine. She’s kind, hardworking, loving and self-sacrificing but she doesn’t stand up for herself and she 100% avoids conflict with anyone.

        So the conversation was kind of “have we reached the point where there are enough women in other roles with other attitudes that we can value those kind of qualities in a person, or does it come with too much cultural baggage still?”

    • Mike S. says:

      Also (spoilers) the top villain, in a nice callback/reversal of the second Superman movie.

  12. Mike S. says:

    Re Supergirl, a few non-spoiler responses to Diecast observations based on the leaked pilot:

    The First Look trailer bits are all from the first episode, not spread over the first half of the season. (So the whole should I?/can I?/you shouldn’t!/I must! thing doesn’t look to be as dominating a factor as it might if it’s assumed to be a season-long arc.)

    They actually do a better job (via “show, don’t tell”) of justifying why a bunch of puny humans think they can and should tell a Kryptonian that she’s not up to the task. Obviously they’re not right in the end. (I’m assuming it’s not a spoiler that the remainder of the series is not “woman with the powers of a demigod goes back to getting coffee and never considers using her abilities again”.) But they do have a point to make.

    Most of the top authority figures shown in her life and background are women. The DEO head is an exception. (And I guess Superman, but he stays offstage for reasons that I hope will be better-justified as the show develops.)

    I don’t think the reasons Kara has eschewed her powers up till now are entirely well-justified. (There’s something of an explanation, but at this point I don’t really buy it.) That said, I’m inferring a decided “Frozen” influence on the shape of the backstory, which may detract from plausibility but probably is a good marketing choice for its central target audience.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      The First Look trailer bits are all from the first episode, not spread over the first half of the season.

      The pilot isnt really just the first episode.Its usually a few episodes merged into one.It can end up being the first episode with a few tweaks in some cases.

      • Mike S. says:

        Then I may be wrong. I sort of hope they don’t drag that bit of the story out significantly longer.

        (Though there is one character reversal in there that could use a scene explaining it.)

        • Tizzy says:

          In any case, I thought that the cast’s criticism around the “status-quo is king” property of TV series (that would indeed prevent Supergirl from coming into her own) was disingenuous at best.

          It’s true that TV series have been written like this for a very long time, but many have grown out of it, and I can’t imagine this one will be any different. Viewers expectations have changed a lot in the past 10 years or so.

          • Shamus says:

            “disingenuous at best.”

            Disingenuous would imply that we claimed the show would be one way when we KNEW it would be otherwise, in order to deceive everyone. Is that really the BEST POSSIBLE take on what we had to say? Isn’t it possible that we saw the same trailer, and simply came to a different conclusion?

            • Tizzy says:

              What do you want to call it, forgetful?

              And please do not mistake my intention: I was never talking about Supergirl at all. My point was that, in 2015, saying that any TV series is doomed to revert to status quo at the end of the episode is… bizarre?… quaint?… Just not keeping with the trends, at any rate.

              • ehlijen says:

                It is still common, just not in some genres. Yet more still have purely episodic plots with a slowly moving overarching theme.

                And even those that are constantly moving forward like a miniseries do on occasion dwell or certain subplots too long or revisit them too often.

                The days of purely episodic, monster of the week action TV are likely gone, but even brilliant shows like Community are (justifiedly) accused of retreading the same topics a bit too often after supposedly having moved on.

                Supergirl might mess all of that up, or it might not.

                • Tizzy says:

                  Yes, that was what I meant to say. It migt, it might not. It’s too early to tell, really.

                • Peter H. Coffin says:

                  In the US, at least, whether a show is permitted character development and story arc is largely along the lines of how long the show runs, somewhat in the sense of “how many episodes” but mostly in “is it a 24 or a 48 minute show?” (roughly, half-hour and hour-long shows).

                  Half hour shows almost never make any money until they’ve got about 120 episodes in the can. Their money comes from syndication and reruns, and occasional DVD sales. They’re self-contained episodes that people watch for a quick laugh mostly.

                  Hour shows are expected to have recurring audiences. People that watch, episode after episode. They get better ad revenues up front, because they’re expected to be leading one show to another. Some viewers won’t stay engaged and drop off, but once that audience shows itself, it’s there for the duration and the only question is whether that core is large enough to sustain the budget. So production can include story arc, there can be a specific ordering to the episodes that isn’t tampered with, and while some shows may only take advantage of the sequential nature lightly (which is espeically common among those layered around the usual “professional” (doctor/lawyer/cop triad) programs), they at least still CAN, and characters can grow, form relationships over time, and don’t have to return ENTIRELY to status quo at the end of the show.

                  (Disclaim: Yes, some 30 minute shows do show shreds of character development over YEARS of time, or characters may be killed off, and new ones appear. But those changes aren’t really … willed ones, if you get what I mean. They come about as audience tests show gaps in reaching particular demographics and on talent availablility. When Larry Linville gets tired of playing Frank Burns, you can either replace the actor (and end up with a Two Darrens situation) or you can replace the character. Unless the talent DIES, however, those changes usually come at a series break.)

              • Wide And Nerdy says:

                They entertained both possibilities. One of them suggested that this was setting up Supergirl for an arc, some of the others worried about it being status quo.

                And even in 2015 television while things do change and grow week to week not everything is dynamic. Some things don’t change. So the question is, will this be something that does.

                It seems likely that it will but its not wrong of them to express this concern. And calling it disingenuous is just ridiculous.

                • Tizzy says:

                  Don’t get me wrong, it is a fair concern. But if you actually read what I wrote, what I objected to was not the concern, it was that, to me, it sounded like they were saying that it was bound to happen. Twenty years ago, it might have been a fair reaction. Today, I don’t think so. Leave it time to see how it shakes out.

              • Shamus says:

                Ever watch Archer? Stuff changes all the time. People get married, have babies, get killed, come back as cyborgs, become billionaires, etc.

                But the dynamic between Archer and his mother never changes. It’s a foundational element of the show. The two of them will always be deeply dysfunctional, selfish, cruel, yet emotionally needy with each other, and that dynamic is the source of a lot of the humor in the show. Archer is still a man-whore, Sherlock is still borderline abusive to Watson, and Rick Grimes has to watch out for ninja zombies.

                So some people see the trailer and think people treating her like a doormat will be foundational and other people think it will be a mutable plot element.

                So no, it’s not bizarre, quaint, or out-of-touch. It’s just a different assumption about what things will be foundational elements in the show.

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            Actually,most tv shows still revolve around status quo.The few that have grown out of it are the exception,not the norm.

  13. Mike S. says:

    Re Supergirl more generally: this creative team are pretty much the only ones in any medium (other than the allied one of TV animation) who have a recent track record of doing DC stuff right. Flash is great, Arrow’s third season was kind of a mess, but it still averages very good. Legends of Tomorrow’s trailer is, at the very least, catnip for a DC fan of a certain age. (I really appreciate DC making an individual TV show just for me, and I hope they get you something equally nice.)

    That sets them apart from the DC movie folks (who haven’t managed to do Superman– or any character other than Batman, really– well since 1980) or the comics (which have been in the weeds for so long it’s hard to remember how successfully ambitious they were a generation ago).

    So I really think they’ve earned the benefit of the doubt. What I’ve seen makes me very optimistic that this will be a show that distills what’s potentially great about Supergirl, the way the Flash TV show did with what’s central to that character. Perfect? Almost certainly not. But a solid, unapologetic superhero show that loves but is not enslaved to its source material– which alone puts it on course to be better than 99% of the attempts in the history of the medium.

    (That it’s trying to reclaim demographics and interest groups that were once part of the superhero audience– Supergirl’s original stories included contests to vote on her hairstyle, and submit reader-designed outfits to be used in the comic– but have long been lost, is just a further bonus.)

    • DeadlyDark says:

      “Arrow’s third season was kind of a mess, but it still averages very good. ”
      Yeah, first two seasons were consistent (more or less). I think it’s a result of transition from “Nolan-realism” of first season to more open comic-booky style that worked so well in the Flash*. As I’ve heard, 4th season will be more “fun” like Flash and hopefully Arrow returns being consistent in what it shows. I am not sure it’s a good shift (I really like first season, more than second), but if they want to explore that side if the character, why not? I’m open to changes.

      *I must add. Just must. Crossover between Arrow and Flash is great and it’s just right. That’s how Superman and Batman should interact with each over.

    • Muspel says:

      My personal feeling is that DC has generally had a really solid track record for TV shows (especially animated shows), and a terrible track record for movies, so I’m more inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt on television projects than I am for movies.

      I do think that Marvel needs to step up when it comes to animated shows, though. Their stuff tends to top out at mediocre, as opposed to DC which has had awesome animated shows like Teen Titans and Young Justice.

      • Steve C says:

        DC animated movies are good. Across the board they are good and better than Marvel’s animated movies. DC animated TV shows are really hit or miss. Big hits, big misses. Thankfully the misses are forgettable. The recent DC TV shows are Ok-ish. They are much more in the middle of the bell curve. The live action movies are not good. There’s a couple of Batman movies that are good and everything else is just no.

        Marvel live action TV and movies- both are great. Animated stuff- not good. It’s interesting how DC vs Marvel are dominating different media types.

    • Wide And Nerdy says:

      I was completely unimpressed with The Flash. When so much of the cast is supermodel geniuses with improbable levels of education relative to how old they look, they look like they’re kids playing dress up.

  14. Wulfgar says:

    TressFX is open source. So sorry, this isn’t same situation.

    • MichaelGC says:

      Was it open source at the time of the Tom Braider release? (Genuine question to which I haven’t been able to find the answer.) I seem to recall the broad FancyFur™ outlines being very similar each time – i.e. either way your framerate is going to tank, but if you have the ‘wrong’ kind of card it’s also going to battleship if not aircraft carrier.

      Anyhoo – what seems worse to me is these ‘optimising in the driver layer’ shenanigans, if those go on: those would be far less obvious, and hence more insidious – and unlike WhizzyWigs™ they’d be non-optional.

  15. Muspel says:

    For what it’s worth, the new Fantastic Four movie is based on the Ultimate version of the Fantastic Four, where they’re in their twenties.

    And where Reed Richards eventually jumps off the deep end and becomes a supervillain who is sort of like Kang the Conqueror.

    • Otters34 says:

      As opposed to the regular Kang, who is just Mr. Fantastic’s all-powerful son.

      That’s one of the things I ironically love about comics, the ways they become weirdly classist and elitist over time, everyone who’s anyone has to have something to do with the established super-set.

      • Wide And Nerdy says:

        Its more about the issue both of the big two have with getting new characters to catch on. If they want the fans to care, they usually have to make the new characters related to the ones the fans care about.

  16. Hitch says:

    As one old man to another, let’s see if I can explain this for Shamus. Paul Blart Mall Cop is the twenty-teens answer to Chuck Norris.

    • RedSun says:

      Paul Blart is beloved for the same reason that Sharknado is beloved; it takes something tons of people will watch, but know they should hate(and lots of people do really, really hate), and does nothing to change it’s own formula except to be aware that it’s shit and hate itself.

      Paul Blart is a loser. He is just as much a loser as every protagonist in a Happy Madison movie, but this time, they know that and this time, the world hates the protagonist as much as the audience does. The artifice of him “becoming a hero and proving himself” is insulting and sarcastic.

      So we love it. We join in the sarcasm that the movie creates. We hate it by loving it; we erect bleak ironic monuments to it’s vile, all-encompassing glory. (Please note I’m not saying the films are in any way better, smarter, or more enjoyable than other Happy Madison fare. They just have a thin veneer of dark irony attached. They do nothing to actually improve anything.)

      HAIL TO THE BLART, BABY.

  17. Phantom Renegade says:

    But Shamus maybe if Nvidea wins the problems with drivers being overcomplicated will go down, since once Nvidea wins i’m sure they’ll be all “Yeah game developers you’re gonna have to fix your own games from now on since we don’t have to compete with AMD anymore”.

    I say that but this seems awful.

    • straymute says:

      I’d think developers would also be worried because AMD makes most of the budget cards for PC gaming. If they go under Nvidia could raise prices even further and potentially price a lot of people out of pc gaming. I worry about the same thing with AMD/Intel, whenever tech sites do those $500 console vs $500 pc comparisons you almost have to default to AMD to get the same power without overspending.

      • Wide And Nerdy says:

        This is making me feel a bit guilty. I felt so smart waiting and then buying a gtx970 to get Witcher 3 and Batman Arkham Knight, two games I would have bought anyway, free. But now I’m helping Nvidia tank AMD and ruin PC Gaming forever?

        I may be a member of the PC Master Race but today I don’t feel so glorious . . .

      • Supahewok says:

        If Nvidia’s smart enough to run their main competitor out of business, they’re smart enough to know to take over their competitor’s audience. Its pretty basic micro-economics to not price your products outside of a significant chunk of your consumer base. If AMD goes under, Nvidia will be pretty quick to release a few budget cards.

        • Trix2000 says:

          Also I suspect if they raised prices too much on the whole, a lot more people who stick with the cards they have rather than upgrading… since more and more of late there isn’t a strict need to upgrade the GFX card in order to play the latest games at a decent level.

  18. boz says:

    There was this interview with Sienna Guillory about Resident Evil: Apocalypse back then. One thing she said stuck with me. https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=qznyGO76gRU#t=285

    I’d rather watch Resident Evil: Apocalypse (A rather meh but entertaining movie) in a theater rather than watch Godfather or Taxi Driver. Yeah they are better movies but But I want to feel better, or get entertained or at least get some sort of catharsis from my investment in time and money. I don’t want real world seeping into my hobby time and escapist entertainment.

  19. Ed says:

    On marvel unlimited: yes, the website sucks. You might have better luck with the iPhone or android app, which I find is more stable.

    I can only speak towards marvels big event now: secret wars. We are only two issues in, but so far I love it. It’s the marvel universe reformed into a high fantasy game of thrones riff. But it’s also the conclusion to a massive 83 issue long avengers/new avengers run. It is a fantastic story, massive in both thematic and literal scope and scale. But it requires a lot of reader effort. It’s worth it, easily, but it is not for anyone except for marvel die hards

  20. Jokerman says:

    Haven’t listened to the Podcast yet, but it makes me wonder if the poor performance of the Witcher on AMD cards is the reason all of the pre release review copies were PS4, both PC and Xbox seem to have issues. PS4 does too, but significantly less.

    • Humanoid says:

      It performs as expected on AMD cards really, HairWorks aside (and even that can be mostly fixed by using the control panel to reduce the absurdly high tessellation factor that the HairWorks option sets by default, which is an insane 64x). I have a three year old AMD GPU (albeit one that’s still sold today) and a 5 year old Intel CPU and get acceptable performance even at 1440p (customised medium settings). No complaints at getting mid-30s framerates considering.

      Indeed the actual outlier is actually Kepler, NVidia’s previous generation GPU, which has been all-but-abandoned in terms of continuing driver development. If you have a non 9xx series NVidia CPU, you’re further up the creek than any AMD owner.

      Again though, still plenty playable, but indicative of what happens with older products – a year ago the 780/780Ti were considered the overall faster cards compared to the AMD equivalents, the 290/290X. But because the former is discontinued, performance has stood still with them, whereas continuing improvements to the latter mean they are now generally the faster card. Cynically one could say it’s in NVidia’s interest to sabotage their own legacy products as much as they sabotage AMD’s, because what matters is convincing people to buy their shiny new cards.

  21. Otters34 says:

    I love the early iteration of the Fantastic Four, where they were basically bad or frustrated people who were struggling against the expectations and restrictions of their age. Them just being super-celebrities who have stereotypical “family spats” but at heart are all chummy and lovey makes them so…boring. And I despise dysfunctional families in fiction, for the most part, because it always seems like a labored way to create drama, but in the case of the Four it’s part of a really subversive and interesting point about how 20th century life was really mean to ANY differences.

  22. Joe Informatico says:

    The new Fantastic Four movie is based on the Ultimate Universe version of the Fantastic Four. That’s why none of them are older than, like, 20, the experiment is some kind of dimensional gateway instead of a rocket ship, and Sue’s a scientist instead of a 1960s housewife-in-training. And maybe Reed’s less of an asshole in that version? I only read the first three and it was years ago, so I don’t remember.

    • Otters34 says:

      The Ultimate MARVEL Universe is like the Star Trek reboot. Streamlined characters reduced to their base elements, recognizable names given to things that are radically different.

      In the Four’s case, they’re basically the first things you think of when you think of them, stretched into character form. Mr. Fantastic is all Science, all the time, a caricature of a futurist who puts his faith in things over people.

      • Muspel says:

        Well, since one of the main points of the Ultimate Universe was to take things in a different direction, I wouldn’t call it a caricature. It’s more of a re-imagining.

        Also, it’s not like the Ultimate Universe was replacing the existing universe.

      • The Ultimate universe is nothing like the rebooted Star Trek universe. The Ultimates was written by someone who was a fan of and actually liked the source material, as opposed to JJ Abrams, who watched the Star Trek original series but didn’t exactly get what made it good.

    • All of the Fantastic Four movies have been to hold onto the movie rights. That’s it. Anything else is mere details.

  23. Joe Informatico says:

    Josh, there’s basically three options for older (i.e. over 40 or so) male action stars these days:

    1) “Dad” movies, like the Taken series, Denzel Washington’s Equalizer, and the most recent Kevin Costner and Pierce Brosnan output: Older male, patriarchal figure has to kick ass to protect the ladies in his life/bitch that kids today have no respect.

    2) Direct-to-video low-budget action films, many of which are released by the WWE’s film studio.

    3) A couple guys like Tom Cruise and Keanu Reeves, despite being over 50(!), can still keep up as if they’re 15-20 years younger so they get to keep making standard young-dude action films.

  24. Warclam says:

    I’ve never read Fantastic Four, so I didn’t realize that Richards is a total dickhead. That actually explains a lot. Super-scientists bother me as a concept, because why aren’t they selling this stuff to become incredibly rich and famous for solving all the world’s problems, instead of inventing things to use once then throwing them in a closet for 80 years? Apparently F4 solved that: he’s an asshole who doesn’t think anyone deserves to have his cool toys. OK then.

    • Mike S. says:

      That’s the problem with scrutinizing a stylized genre with conventions: the inevitable obvious solution to making superheroes more realistic is to make them no longer superheroes.

      That has produced a few works of genius, and a *lot* of unnecessary proofs that the genre is fundamentally a fantasy. Which we already (one hopes) knew.

    • Otters34 says:

      Reed Richards doesn’t want to solve problems, he wants to FIX them. That’s the difference between a regular mathematician toiling for years over an obscure idea about how numbers work, and Reed smashing open a hole into the Negative Zone. He’s frustrated by a world that doesn’t work how he wants, so when he comes across something dangerous or difficult he just slaps a far-reaching and heavy-handed ‘solution’ over it as he charges on ahead. I don’t think he’d even sell any of his inventions if not for the real shame and guilt he has over the ill-considered rocket launch, and the life of wealth and comfort and acclaim he wants for his friends as a way to make it up to them.

      • purf says:

        I don’t know jack shit about all of this current comic stuff (instead, babysitter in spe, when do I get to see Mad Max???) but this ^ right here is so totally a guy I know in real life!

      • Wooji says:

        So the Bergholt Stuttley “Bloody Stupid” Johnson method of science? “Lets design a wheel with a Pi of exactly 3 because 3.14-mumble-mumble-and-a-bit isn’t tidy enough.”

      • A highly relevant quote from the animated version of “The Tick” from the episode, “Grandpa Wore Tights”:

        “Science in those days worked in broad strokes! They got right to the point! Nowadays it’s all just ‘molecule, molecule, molecule.’ Nothing ever happens BIG!”

        Reed Richards is a Jack Kirby-fueled Id. His ability to create inventions from crazy-science (along with the problems associated with them) is as inevitable as the Hulk going on a rampage. Reed’s just has more hardware involved.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Umm,that sounds very close to villain thinking.Im not surprised that he actually is a villain in that story theyve mentioned.

    • Muspel says:

      Part of it that in the past, when Reed has used one of his inventions to try to improve the world, it has backfired badly.

      And a common thread for alternate universe versions of him is that when he starts to focus too heavily on his work, he starts to neglect his family, and without them to anchor him, he jumps off the deep end almost instantly and becomes a terrifying threat to pretty much the entire universe. (The same thing happens if his family dies.)

    • He’s also a jerk by necessity, which shows off why the Fantastic Four needs the rest of the Marvel U to not come off as silly.

      If you have a stand-alone FF movie, the only place threats are really going to come from for the team to fix are ones they create themselves (see the 2005 movie). So unless they have the rights to an outside threat like Galactus (which they mishandled), Reed tinkering with something is going to be where the source of conflict is going to arise.

  25. stratigo says:

    joyful DC media? There’s the flash! The flash is joyful and fun! Watch the flash. It’s a great show.

    • Blake says:

      Super this.
      The Flash is a hero. He respects his darker vigilante friend The Arrow, but that’s not who he is. He’s a man who will try to save everyone, no matter the cost.

      Also, he was better for Felicity than Olly or Ray ever could be. Balicity 4 Lyf.

  26. I wanted to SCREAM at you Mumbles! My God, I literally yelled at my monitor, “Why are you doing this to my dash!?!?”

  27. cassander says:

    I like to point out that every single star trek film since 6 has ended with the captain physically punching the bad guy in the face. Yes, every one. Yes, that’s depressing.

  28. Toasty Virus says:

    I think the cast need to realise that the Marvel Cinematic Universe ISN’T the comics, and hasn’t been for some time, need to get over that and talk about it for what it is, not what it isn’t.

    • Except the cinematic universe owes a ton of its genesis to The Ultimates (or the Ultimate Universe). It’s kind of a refinement of the characters, where the primary Marvel U is more or less evolved from its 1960’s roots with all the silliness that entails. Ultimate Marvel U is a more matured retelling of some of these stories and characters (i.e. concentrating on Steve Rogers being a man out of time, making the Hulk more of a walking Id, Hawkeye isn’t some doof in a purple costume, etc.) without getting too deep in the “dark ‘n’ gritty.”

      Where it’s interesting to see the evolution of the cinematic universe is where the Marvel characters and stories are running into the realities of cinema: The mutants are right out because Marvel doesn’t have the rights to them, so the Inhumans come in to fill the void, and do so more believably (at least to my way of thinking. Alien DNA and tampering = superpowers is slightly more belief-suspending than random mutation = superpowers). Secret identities really haven’t been much of a thing because by and large they don’t make a whole lot of sense unless that’s somehow part of the character as opposed to it being standard for every superhero.

      It’s different, yes, but it’s going to be drawing from the comic books for a long, long time. So perhaps it’s a retelling, if not a parallel universe.

  29. When I hear that a Star Trek script needs to be “more inclusive,” they’re no longer talking about race/gender or anything like that.

    They mean “make it dumber, with more action and/or explosions.” They don’t want a mystery to figure out or some high concept to challenge or wow the audience, they want someone doing something to make something blow up.

  30. Toasty Virus says:

    I’d nominate George Clooney for Mr.Fantastic, but I think he also summers from overbearing charm.

  31. On the FF movie: Let’s not forget it’s just a movie made to hold onto the rights. That’s it. If it’s good, that’s incidental. That said, going for a more “cosmic horror” angle, which it seems to be doing, is a good idea.

    On Supergirl: I just want it to be good. I grew up watching the syndicated Superboy TV show, which with one or two rare exceptions, was GOD-awful. If the dialog doesn’t make my head hurt and it has some clever bits here and there, that’s miles beyond live-action DC TV’s usual par. I include The Flash in that, which seems to have a contest among the writers where they want to cram as many “hip fresh teen one-liners” into the script as opposed to relevant dialog.

    Okay, I have to say what the shining spot for the Superboy TV show was: The “villain” called “Casanova.” Basically, you had a hunky looking guy who couldn’t get a date because he’d stumble all over himself around women. Desperate, he got a hold of a kind of Jeckyl/Hyde formula that was supposed to turn him into a (what else?) Casanova type that would be able to charm women instantly. What was hilarious was that it turned him into a kind of young Dennis Quaid-looking guy who was basically a disgusting troll… but it worked! Everyone swooned over him when he was in this form to the point of forgetting self-preservation in some cases. It was a refreshing twist on an old idea that I don’t think ever showed up in the series again.

  32. Daemian Lucifer says:

    The cloud has taken a new(old)meaning recently.

  33. Christopher says:

    My second favorite video games podcast about video games after the Bombcast! If only Shamus could be persuaded to swap boring old graphics card talk for exciting new anime talk.

    Don’t really have an opinion on Marvel heroes I hardly know anything about, like Reed Richards and Dr. Strange. So instead I’ll give a warning related to the differences between the movie universe and the other canons, since that came up in the comments.

    If you’re starved for Marvel and spend the time between Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers 2 by, say, reading Walt Simonson’s old Thor comics and watching the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes cartoon, then the whiplash you get from finally watching Avengers 2 is pretty overwhelming. Do not. I wasn’t aware of how “Hollywood” the movie versions were before, and now I’m retroactively pissed off about movies I love. I’m gonna watch Thor 2 again and be angry that Malekith is a lifeless alien dude instead of an elven bishonen in a Harley Quinn armor.

  34. SlothfulCobra says:

    I will never understand DC’s obsession with trying to clean up excessive continuity. Even if they do reboots and remove a bunch of junk from the canon, it’s still going to be “there” in the sense that it’s already written and is part of the overall public image of the character. They can’t unwrite the stories no matter how much they try.

    Sure it gets complicated to have characters with a million things in their backstories, but that’s only a bad thing if the writers expect the reader to know everything and they neglect to explain what’s going on. Writers don’t even need to lean to heavily on continuity if they don’t want to; it’s not like anybody’s forcing them to consolidate Batman’s latest adventures with that one time he fired a harpoon at a shark. Big huge events to reboot/rewrite/clean up continuity will just confuse new readers more by being weird and complicated. They make continuity more complicated by dwelling too much on continuity, and with the added complication, there’s more call to try to stem the tide of continuity by dwelling more on continuity, and it just snowballs from there down a slippery slope.

    There’s been a lot of hype with Marvel’s latest crossover event threatening to be a DC-style crisis that reboots the whole Marvel continuity, but I’m really hoping that it’s mostly exaggerated, because I can’t stand the idea Marvel getting stuck down the same rabbit hole DC’s been in. I don’t want characters and storylines to be stuck in an endless cycle of re-establishing what the current canon is.

    • I’m hoping it’s less of a reboot and more of a “you go to this universe here, and you go to this universe there.” Sort of like what they did when they bought the Malibu Comics universe.

      And the thing is that they almost did the best possible thing which was/is to embrace a multiverse. The best example of this was the Wildstorm multiverse before DC screwed that up as well. With the stories from Planetary and The Authority often involving alternate universes and characters from them, it seemed far less silly if a new universe collapsed or got rebooted somehow (though I don’t think any ever got the reboot treatment).

      • Ed says:

        Its weird, is what secret wars is. There will very much be some status Que changes coming out of secret wars, but it does seem like most characters will make it out with their memory of previous events intact. Hopefully it’ll lead to a soft reboot, rather than dc style hard reboot

  35. Trix2000 says:

    I find it interesting how the discussion involving Marvel comes up right about the time I decide to binge on all their movies this past weekend.

    …Clearly they’re spying on me.

  36. Halceon says:

    Old Man Yells at Cloud Service

  37. Zak McKracken says:

    With regards to supergirl, I think I had two things going on: The first reaction was probably the typical thing someone gets when they realize that something isn’t targeted at them (but they expected it to be). Fortunately, that blew over somewhere half-way through my first post on the matter…
    The second: “Why would she be such a stereotypical mouse”? I don’t like women being portrayed that way. This should be about empowerment, and it didn’t seem to match. It looked more like “yeah, ladies get a superhero, too, but only as long as they do what they’re told”.

    … but I actually buy Mumbles’ explanation, if there’s a character development arc where she stops depending on others’ validation, that would actually be way better than the version I’d had in mind. Hope they actually make that happen. (But I’m still not going to watch — it’s really not made for me)

    It’s interesting, by the way, that this is all about making Supergirl more inclusive, and it seems to be a good thing. Star Trek trying to become more inclusive doesn’t seem to be received as well.

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