Usagi Tsukino, the crybaby, poor study, bad girl of movement in the clunker.
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Posts tagged "ryan sohmer"

Yeah, I enjoyed this one. Well, maybe Luke Cage didn’t need to channel his inner Rayne Summers, but what can you do?

Not that. But I digress.

The whole marriage between Storm and the Black Panther seemed… just wrong to me in the first place. Maybe because the apparently predestined marriage of a Kenyan woman from what was likely a Kikuya, Ameru or Maasai tribe that was actually still organized around traditional lines (save that they abandoned the rich religious spirituality that each tribe developed individually from common roots so they could worship a mutant who could make it rain — a function normally ascribed to a sangoma)to the tribal leader of a rival tribe that was actually the ruling clan of the most technologically advanced nation on Earth managed to completely ignore the incredibly complicated multi-ethnic and multi-national situation spread across the African continent in favor of simply making them “African.” Or, let’s be blunt, “black.”

Or maybe it was because they made an admitted editorial decision to target African American women with their comics — itself a good goal — and felt the best way to do that was to ramrod and retcon a relationship between their two African characters, ignoring decades of history for the characters, an incredible and diverse backstory and web of relationships for Storm, and pretty much all of the byzantine and politically nuanced development of the Black Panther in favor of popping a rating.

Or maybe it was because in 1980 a backstory was established where a 12 year old Ororo saves the Black Panther from racists, but in the run-up to this spontaneous marriage the Black Panther saves her from them instead, because… um… I guess because otherwise it wouldn’t appeal to their target market? Heh? Oh, and then they had sex.

Stop and be skeeved, my friends. Stop and be skeeved.

Or maybe it was the fact that all of the above is racist, sexist, and reductionist when put together.

So I don’t mind this development, and I dearly hope the plan is to spend the next thirty years not mentioning this marriage ever again.

On the other hand, I have to applaud the strange groundbreaking concept of annulment for the dissolving of a comic book marriage instead of a universal cosmic retcon/reboot, one of the two being horribly killed, or the pair making some kind of pact with the devil. It’s a shocking, risky move, I know.

After years of enduring Rayne’s sense of humor, self-centered demands, lack of attention span, and willingness to buy the two of them a house—

Hey, it’s not all bad.

—John’s heart has slowly ossified until all that remains is a calcified valve that barely allows blood to pass through. In asking John to listen to a heart that no longer speaks to him, he has reaped what he has sown. Sad eyes, Rayne. Sad eyes in-deed.

Rayne Summers is suddenly the only living thing in the universe.

I’m trying to figure out if that’s his worst nightmare or his greatest desire come true.

Holy Terror was never a particularly good idea, even in the shock of post 9/11 America. Today, it just seems… weird. But, I suppose they did Giant Nazi Robot stories straight into the 80’s, so….

More to the point, this particular Gutters page underscores something I’d love to see more comic books deal with — if necessary out of continuity. Having Superman or similar heroes absolutely changes the landscape in terms of retaliation. Naturally, he’d be able to root out Al-Qaeda or other such groups inside of a few seconds. Consider the massive shift in geopolitical strife when there’s someone out there who can do that.

Now, consider this. China has a billion people in it. India has a billion people in it. Pakistan’s population is just under half that of the United States. Iran has 75 million people in it.

If we assume that there is a specific percentage of the human population that develops superpowers in some form or other, there’s really no chance that North America’s going to have a majority of those superhumans. If one percent of all Superhumans is in, say, Captain Atom’s power range, there’s going to be a lot more Chinese powerhouses than American ones.

Even smaller countries with smaller populations will have a certain number of these superhumans. How many super powered individuals would North Korea need? For that matter, how could the United Nations or anyone else verify how many superhumans they even had?

Fans has been touching on this, but it extends further. I’d love to see a comic series address the geopolitical situation that relatively common superhumans implies — something that assumes the same sort of rise of heroes in WWII as the two big companies, without a unifying “white event” or “Pitt” of Marvel’s old New Universe. What would terrorism look like today if the Flash and the Green Lantern were part of the effort to fight the Axis in WWII? What would Seal Team 6 look like?

And in a world like that, what would Holy Terror look like in response?

This is a Least I Could Do from a few days back. In the last couple of years, Rayne’s… well, been getting worse. There is a fine line between cheerful guy humor and being self absorbed to the point of active dislike, and Rayne’s been crossing over that line now and again. It also gets harder to believe that Rayne’s personal mantra — “Consequence Free” — could actually happen the way it does. Sooner or later, people get fed up with you.

Interestingly, Sohmer and Desouza touched on all of this a few weeks ago, when Rayne had to explain to his niece why so many people on the internet despised him. It was a good little stretch, though perhaps not as introspective as it might be. Then again, Rayne throws hammers through walls at work and is essentially ignored for it. Introspection isn’t his strong point.

Today, though, was kind of illuminating on where consequence free comes from. Rayne has just been in an amateur porn video with three women. Now, you and I might think that an executive at a company that does… something… might not want a sex video making the rounds. It’s the kind of thing that drops stock prices and makes boards that normally ignore hammer throwing put you on “gardening leave.” But, his friend John — the butt of most of Rayne’s jokes — has bailed him out. Not that Rayne’s recognized this fact.

Why do I find this interesting? In part because it explains part of how Rayne gets away with outrageous behavior. His friends, coworkers, boss and the likewell, they like him. And so they cover for him. Constantly.

And in part, because it highlights something interesting about what Sohmer and Desouza are doing.

See, a few years ago, it was declared that the agelessness of the cast was going away — the cast would age in real time. And since then, it’s been happening that way. People have been growing up. His friends have started getting married and having children. Rayne and John, who have been roommates since college, got a house together. Issa got a real job and a real relationship. People around Rayne are….

…well, maturing.

Rayne’s antics are getting more frenetic. More self centered. More… well, immature. Some of it’s for the humor value, of course, but I have to wonder. How much of it is because whether he likes it or not, the world around him is changing.

Consequence Free also means Reward Free. Rayne’s not ready to face that, even though the world is beginning to push him that way.

I’m really interested to see where this goes in two years.