Resisting Self-Gratification? A 2013 Comic Book Movie Preview

4 Mar

An odd thing about watching some of Hollywood genres where male psychology figure prominently, is you get to witness many of the very worst contemporary male faults. Strangely, attributions like “Does not play well with others,” is almost a call to arms for many of our contemporary brethren.  Self-gratification is defined as the “the act of giving oneself pleasure or of satisfying one’s own desires [1].” But why is this bad, because many adults agree that civil social interaction actually requires a degree of willful collaboration, sympathetic sharing, and mutual respect and possibly some selflessness?  So the question has to be asked what can be done about this trend?  First I would say stop the Hollywood promotion of these anti-social attributes and stop it while things are still (relatively) manageable.  Raging self-absorbed testosterone of the past, (sometime defined as narcissism) led to some of our worst historical incidents.  No, this trend in entertainment isn’t new but it’s a sad turn of affairs just the same.  As in the past, what can start as conventional dramatic presentation can become a kind of social etiquette for the easily influenced.

Before we go too far off field culturally, let’s explore the genre that has so brilliantly put this trend in the spotlight.  Yeah comic books and their movies are fantasy, but some may also be a kind of wish fulfillment for the emotionally stunted.  Let’s explore how future predictions, in the form of trailers, may fulfill the worst of past suggestions about familiar characters.

Ironman 3

Opens May 3rd 2013

In terms of narcissism you might remember this outrageous act of selfishness from the critically dismissed Ironman 2.  Ignoring technological giants of our culture (the Wright brothers, Jonas Salk, WordPress’ open source programming (or the website your reading from) whom nearly gave their innovations away for free, Tony Stark refused to part with his ironman suit when he was asked for it by the US government.

Suggesting some civil rights complications, Stark chose to withhold the suit and it’s unique power source during a period of global hysteria regarding the shortage of available energy resources.  As if to erase this fit of egotism, two movies later, as apparent in the trailer, Tony Stark will in fact donate the Ironman armor. We might find it easier to forget Stark’s transgressions, if we weren’t being treated to yet another walk into the kind of ethnic vilification [2] that earned the first movie protests from the Hollywood weary Islamic community.

Man of Steel

Opens June 14th 2013

For anyone who thinks, this movie is a sequel to “Superman Returns” it is not and instead is a complete reboot of the franchise. Scanning the trailer one might notice the conspicuous absence of vision challenged Clark Kent.  If you have been keeping up with recent Superman fashion you may have noticed how much the expression of the traditional Clark Kent character has been minimized in current years.  One probably saw this presentation most in the Smallville TV show.  Different from the Clark Kent immortalized by Christopher Reeves in the Superman movies of the 7O’s, today’s Clark Kent is a frequent ladies man, was a high school jock, and as a rule avoids the tights in any expression of his super-self.  The Clark Kent identity used to he an expression of the character’s humility, modesty, and was a an effort to blend in with the human race in ways his hero identity made completely impossible.  An option to repress as well as respect the world around him, one could interpret Kent as an expression of mutual affection.  I’m not claiming the older character has been eliminated entirely but I wonder whether the “Type A” Superman will continue to be as engaging as the one we grew to know [3].

The Wolverine

Opens July 26th 2013

Another reboot pursued after another less than persuasive studio adaptation. Actor Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine has been given another chance to attract audiences with the same character appeal he provided for the character displayed in 20th Century Foxes X-men movies.  And like the previous character discussed, just because the studio hasn’t found the golden approach for featuring the character, it doesn’t mean we won’t see the best portrayal this time.  Taking cues from his comic book series it seems the 2013 presentation of the character will explore some samurai or martial arts themes and he will be pursuing a new love interest in Asia [4].   Even if relocating to “chase tail” in Asia wasn’t a fairly clichéd international macho pursuit, we might still find endearing motivations that might still help us understand him better.  Honesty I’m still curious about some things about the character that were never adequately explained before.  Given the body’s tendency to reject things that are foreign to it, I wish someone could explain how the character can sustain his metal plated bones or claws.  Or maybe we’re being silly, who needs an understanding of conventional biology to make a larger-than-life sci-fi character seem plausible?

Click here to view

THOR: The Dark World

Opens November 8th 2013

There’s probably nothing wrong with the fact that people tend to confuse you with being a god, but there might be a problem if you encouraged people to come to that assumption. Not presented as omniscient, Omni-present, or even aware of weather in other parts of the globe, we might wonder what is going on in the head of this supposed Thunder God.  Presented in his third movie, the character Thor is supposed to take us on a trip that presents more regarding his unique origin and the environment of his birth [5].  In terms of genre, he’s probably more “Lord of the Rings’ like than say “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”, so I imagine the story will veer away from exploring more practical descriptive topics like; why not circulate in an environment like Northern Europe where people actually worshipped you or instead of English, why doesn’t he speak in the Norse languages that mythologized him, and why doesn’t his appearance inspire the interest of the journalistic, historic, or anthropological communities?  Any form of self-discovery might be a trivial pursuit when you’re a character who is preoccupied with expressing his immense potential.

Click here to view

Self-gratification as a contemporary past time must interest us because it highlights passions we want to fully explore in ourselves.  Expressed effectively in CGI technology, this year will our on-screen heroes continue to satisfy these gratifications or will we continue to look for bigger or bolder explorations of this trend?

—————————————-

Essential references:

[1] http://www.thefreedictionary.com/self-gratification

[2] http://screenrant.com/iron-man-3-jon-favreau-ashley-hamilton-firepower-contr-174547/

[3] http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0770828/

[4] http://www.thewolverinemovie.com/us/

[5] http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/GraphicCity/news/?a=72933

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109 Responses to “Resisting Self-Gratification? A 2013 Comic Book Movie Preview”

  1. Open Book March 4, 2013 at 11:35 AM #

    CR- I love this article. The trailers for “Man of Steel” looks pretty good I like the dark realistic look, the new Superman costume and the facial hair. Although, what does the “Man of Steel” use to shave? I hope they work out those logistics. However, given its a Nolan production I’m sure they will.

    Anyway getting back to your fantastic article. U stated:”I wonder whether the “Type A” Superman will continue to be as engaging as the one we grew to know.”

    Me: Yeah, this new Clark Kent looks like he has a lot of baggage. I like that. Simply because he appears more 3 dimensional.

    Of the Super Hero films u mentioned above. Which one do u think is more progressive and different from the “self-absorbed testosterone” super hero we know today?

    • Comic Relief March 4, 2013 at 5:00 PM #

      I have no Idea how it will be handled in the movie but in the comics and cartoons he tended to shave by using a mirror and his heat vision to shave. See the video example provided featuring former TV Superman Dean Cain or the cartoon example.

      Thanks for the compliment. Sorry, I did not spend more time on this aspect of the upcoming movies, but there is a word limit. Each of the creative teams for each movie has at least one major asset in the story telling or dramatic presentation department. Yet I would place my money on “Man of Steel” because Christopher Nolan produced it.

      • Open Book March 4, 2013 at 8:52 PM #

        Ahh! So he burns the hair off his face. Hmm! I will let it go. One of the things I have to say I’m impressed by is the costume. Is it all CGI? If so the cape is the best digital rendering of a cape I’ve seen. Its very realistic with weight, volume and drape that moves with the character.

        • Comic Relief March 5, 2013 at 9:55 AM #

          Thanks for letting it go.

  2. Comic Relief March 5, 2013 at 5:58 PM #

    I think the cape is digitized; not the whole suit.

    • Open Book March 5, 2013 at 6:31 PM #

      Ah! Thank u.

    • Open Book March 5, 2013 at 6:32 PM #

      Who designed the costume?

      • Comic Relief March 5, 2013 at 7:07 PM #

        Oh no, you WOULD ask this. Give me a minute, I will find out.

        • Comic Relief March 5, 2013 at 7:11 PM #

          Two guys are responsible for removing Superman’s red trunks. They’re names are James Acheson Michael Wilkinson.

          Is there another reason you like this costume so much.

          • Open Book March 5, 2013 at 7:14 PM #

            I like the texture and dark colors and because the trunks are gone. THANK U!!!.

          • Comic Relief March 5, 2013 at 7:41 PM #

            Sorry that did not sound right.

            • Open Book March 5, 2013 at 7:51 PM #

              Hahaha! U mean the no trunks comment? Well let me explain. I think the trunks has always been a distraction IMO. Plus it looks to much like a codpiece. Like he’s trying to become a chippendale dancer instead of a public servant. Without the RED trunks its clear where his priorities are. Does that make sense?

              • Comic Relief March 5, 2013 at 8:06 PM #

                I think the subject makes me uncomfortable. If you want to drop it, I’m fine with that.

                • Open Book March 5, 2013 at 8:13 PM #

                  All I’m saying CR. The trunks are in contradiction to what the character is suppose to really care about which is saving people not saving his ***** well u get the picture. I will close the case!

        • Open Book March 5, 2013 at 7:12 PM #

          No problem! Tick! Tock!

  3. Open Book March 5, 2013 at 6:39 PM #

    CR- Usually art is seen as a social commentary on what is happening today. How can artist report on what they see and not be accused of pushing their own agenda? Does that make sense?

    • Comic Relief March 5, 2013 at 7:12 PM #

      I’m not sure I understand you, will you restate the question?

      • Open Book March 5, 2013 at 7:17 PM #

        Meaning how can one stay fairly removed and stay unbiased so the social commentary is not your personal opinion.

        • Comic Relief March 5, 2013 at 7:43 PM #

          Sorry still wrapping my head around that…. expect an answer soon.

          • Comic Relief March 5, 2013 at 7:49 PM #

            I’m sorry I don’t know where to start answering this question. Maybe I should give this more time.

            • Open Book March 5, 2013 at 7:52 PM #

              Forget the Q. I will let it go.

              • Comic Relief March 5, 2013 at 8:04 PM #

                thanks for letting it go. I will try again later.

  4. Open Book March 5, 2013 at 6:51 PM #

    O.k. Ironman 3 is looking pretty cool with Guy Pearce as the villain? THAT IS AWESOME!!!! I’m in, I can’t wait to see it.

    • Open Book March 5, 2013 at 7:07 PM #

      Let me come clean. I will see anything Guy Pearce is in and have. Hahaha! So the Iron Man 3 trailer had me at hello.

    • Comic Relief March 5, 2013 at 7:21 PM #

      Is it the new one you like? I understood you did no like the last one. Here’s the brand new one.

      • Open Book March 5, 2013 at 7:26 PM #

        I need to get me one of those suits. Hahaha! Yes, I like this trailer much better. Thank u!!

        • ozzie20 March 5, 2013 at 8:05 PM #

          I did not know Guy Pearce was in Ironman 3!

  5. Open Book March 5, 2013 at 6:52 PM #

    CR- What inspired u to write and focus on this topic?

    • Comic Relief March 5, 2013 at 7:24 PM #

      Before the rise of the television, comic books were one of the most widespread forms of entertainment. Between 1945 and 1954, distribution and readership soared; in particular, the horror, crime, violence, and sadism genres became widely popular.

      ….they worried parents, politicians, and doctors, who felt that exposure to these gory topics was a cause of juvenile delinquency.

      “….psychiatrist Frederic Wertham, who attacked comics in the book Seduction of the Innocent. Based on his work (and public opposition), in the early 1950s, the Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency accused the comic book industry of negatively influencing youth.”

      I wondered if comics could have this influence again.

      • Open Book March 5, 2013 at 7:29 PM #

        Ahh! U said: “I wondered if comics could have this influence again.”

        Do u think they can or have this influence today?

        • Comic Relief March 5, 2013 at 7:37 PM #

          Only in as much as my article stated, young people are a lot more media savvy than back then.

          • Open Book March 5, 2013 at 7:57 PM #

            Ah! Gotcha!

            • Comic Relief March 6, 2013 at 5:43 AM #

              The statement (from me) above about Wertham that appears to come from a quote actually did come an article. Unfortunately I can’t find it now. But maybe this substitute will be just as good.

              http://www.nbcnews.com/id/25085248/

  6. Open Book March 5, 2013 at 6:54 PM #

    CR- How have FanBoys responded to the “Man of Steel” & “Ironman 3″ trailers?

    • Comic Relief March 5, 2013 at 7:24 PM #

      Very favorably to both.

  7. Open Book March 5, 2013 at 7:04 PM #

    This Q is for everyone. Why do we like the not so perfect super hero? Is it something we have come to expect to build our self esteem or do we like to see them with baggage and faults etc… because it makes them more like us?

    • parisienne March 5, 2013 at 7:16 PM #

      CR,

      Great article!

      OB,

      Its not that we don’t want to see them more like us, IMO. Writers are running out of ideas with how to handle a superhero. Pretty much all that can be said and done with Superman has been. What’s the next move? Make some aspect of him human.

      • Open Book March 5, 2013 at 7:21 PM #

        Hi Paris,

        I love u!!! Ah! Great observation. What do u think of this new re-vamped Superman? Do u think this will be or should be the last Superman?

        • parisienne March 5, 2013 at 7:30 PM #

          I love you too! I think they really should let Superman go after this one. He’s been re-hashed to death.

          • Open Book March 5, 2013 at 7:34 PM #

            Hahaha! ITA. Besides who would want to take over after C. Nolan anyway?

            • ozzie20 March 5, 2013 at 8:13 PM #

              I’m going with the former too. Having flaws is what makes the character relatable and easier to connect with.

              • Open Book March 5, 2013 at 8:19 PM #

                Me too Oz! It makes the character more 3 dimensional and complex.

      • Comic Relief March 5, 2013 at 7:25 PM #

        Hi Paris.

        • parisienne March 5, 2013 at 7:31 PM #

          Hi CR and LB

        • Comic Relief March 5, 2013 at 7:35 PM #

          Paris,

          Christopher Nolan MIGHT disagree with you. Please heck out the clip and video.

          http://www.ksl.com/?sid=24292435&nid=1205

          • Open Book March 5, 2013 at 7:43 PM #

            LBBBBBBB! Do u know what this means???? Nolan will be responsible for developing Wonder Woman for the Justice League? Is that correct CR?

            • Comic Relief March 5, 2013 at 7:46 PM #

              That would be correct.

              • littlebells March 5, 2013 at 7:51 PM #

                AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHBH!!!! I’m gonna start hyperventilating!

                • Open Book March 5, 2013 at 7:54 PM #

                  I know. hahaha! I already did my happy dance yesterday!

          • littlebells March 5, 2013 at 7:50 PM #

            I think if Superman can be “reborn” it’s gonna be Nolan. Look what he did for Batman!!!

          • parisienne March 5, 2013 at 7:57 PM #

            CR,

            Anything that Nolan directs I will see. :-)

    • littlebells March 5, 2013 at 7:28 PM #

      I remember we kind of talked about this before. I think it’s because it makes them more human. It makes us think that we too could be a super hero. You don’t have to be perfect to do good.

      • Open Book March 5, 2013 at 7:32 PM #

        So do u think its a way to live vicariously through these characters and imagine overcoming your own obstacles? Are u saying it gives people hope?

        • littlebells March 5, 2013 at 7:37 PM #

          Perhaps. I personally just like not seeing perfect people. :) it makes them more likeable.

          • Open Book March 5, 2013 at 7:41 PM #

            Do u like to see the not so perfect person grow or stay faulty as a character? Meaning do u like to see them evolve?

            • littlebells March 5, 2013 at 7:55 PM #

              I think it’s important they evolve. When people don’t they stay stagnant and then it’s just ridiculous to watch their storyline. The more a person/character progresses the more interesting g and exciting they become.

              We teach “learn from your mistakes and weaknesses.” Characters should do the same. :)

              • Open Book March 5, 2013 at 7:59 PM #

                Great lesson to teach. I LOVE IT!!!

              • parisienne March 5, 2013 at 8:08 PM #

                I know of one person who doesn’t do learn from anything and that person’s name shall not be uttered here but you know who i’m talking about.

                • Open Book March 5, 2013 at 8:16 PM #

                  When a person don’t learn and keep making the same mistakes they are called a fool.

                • ozzie20 March 5, 2013 at 8:18 PM #

                  Oh yeah! “Mary Sue” who ends up with everything without any sacrifice or flaws…. Urgh, it’s so boring. I’ve seen that advert 9 time now. 9 TIMES! If I hear ” I was born to be …” one more time, I will scream!

                  Don’t get me started on real life “Mary Sue”!

                  • Open Book March 5, 2013 at 8:21 PM #

                    hahaha! Do u have a video Oz? I would love to see it but I don’t want to make u scream.

                    • ozzie20 March 5, 2013 at 8:28 PM #

                      What? Me screaming? Unfortunately I don’t have that but you will probably see the mushroom cloud when I finally snap and explode with rage, lol! :)

                      If it’s the advert you want, I could find it for you! I don’t mind sharing the madness!

                    • Open Book March 5, 2013 at 8:43 PM #

                      This is hilarious Oz. Yes, I would like to see the advert but if its hard to find forget it.

    • Comic Relief March 5, 2013 at 7:58 PM #

      I think superhero’s are a front for other topics. You might notice ( in sports) that a discussion of a football game is actually a discussion about the ailing economy, fear of the american medical association, or pedagogical hypocrasy in the public schools.

      Without this metaphorical play, (which fan’s intuitively understand) comics would be nothing.

      • parisienne March 5, 2013 at 8:09 PM #

        CR,

        I know nothing of football. Explain to me please how a discussion of a football game delves into deeper issues.

        • Comic Relief March 5, 2013 at 8:22 PM #

          Essentially the discussion is not about football but forces that resemble the kinds of collisions you see in football. That could easily not challenge sense making; I almost never make football analogies.

          • Open Book March 5, 2013 at 8:31 PM #

            Coming from a sports fanatic family. A topic about economics will center around the players salary, if they should or will be traded etc… Then it can go into the price of season tickets. What’s their average. I hope that helps CR!

            • Comic Relief March 5, 2013 at 8:34 PM #

              It helps.

              • parisienne March 5, 2013 at 8:36 PM #

                Thanks for the explanation.

                • Open Book March 5, 2013 at 8:57 PM #

                  No problem! The real fun are the tailgating parties. U must go to one of those.

                  • ozzie20 March 6, 2013 at 8:00 PM #

                    I’ve always wanted to go to one of those!

              • Open Book March 5, 2013 at 8:41 PM #

                Well I did leave out the cursing if they disagree. Then we get into wrestling matches a real testosterone extravaganza.

  8. littlebells March 5, 2013 at 7:23 PM #

    Hi everyone! Gonna go get caught up!

    • Comic Relief March 5, 2013 at 7:25 PM #

      Hi LB.

      • littlebells March 5, 2013 at 7:32 PM #

        Hi everyone! Great article CR. from this article would you say that men get pigeon holed just like women when it comes to entertainment?

        • Open Book March 5, 2013 at 7:35 PM #

          Oooo! Good Q. LB

          • Comic Relief March 5, 2013 at 7:39 PM #

            yes.

            • littlebells March 5, 2013 at 7:56 PM #

              Is that a good or bad thing? And what other characteristics besides self gratification, are men portrayed?

              • Comic Relief March 5, 2013 at 8:00 PM #

                Probably bad, it will take me a little more time for the rest of your question.

    • Open Book March 5, 2013 at 7:26 PM #

      LBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBB!!! Nice to see u.

  9. ozzie20 March 5, 2013 at 7:52 PM #

    Hello everyone!

    Cool article CR! I love exploring the comic world. :)

    • Open Book March 5, 2013 at 7:55 PM #

      Hi Ozzie!!

      How are u?

    • parisienne March 5, 2013 at 7:58 PM #

      Hi Ozzie!

    • Comic Relief March 5, 2013 at 7:59 PM #

      Hi Ozzie.

      • ozzie20 March 5, 2013 at 8:23 PM #

        Hi OB, Paris and CR!

        Stressed and in pain due to pulling my muscles while packing and moving boxes! So I’m very glad to have a discussion tonight to distract me from it all for a couple of hours!

        • Comic Relief March 5, 2013 at 8:32 PM #

          Did you move?

          • ozzie20 March 5, 2013 at 8:50 PM #

            Ooops, I had rewrote many times what I put because to me it looked like it didn’t make sense and then forgot to add the last bit so the whole post would not be confusing! And I confused you with that last sentense, lol!

            I’ll try and keep it short, lol! The house is being rewired and the kitchen and bathroom remodelled. To rewire they want everything upstairs packed away and as little furniture as possible so they can get under the floor boards. Then for the living room and dining room, everything moved away from the electrical sockets. And of course everything removed from the kitchen and bathroom. So basically it’s like moving house but then only moving it to a tiny area of the house where it will be safe! And finally after 4 or 5 weeks of it being put back, it’s starting on Thursday/Friday!

        • Open Book March 5, 2013 at 8:33 PM #

          Yuck! I hate moving. Here’s a big hug Oz!

          • ozzie20 March 5, 2013 at 8:52 PM #

            Thank you! The only fun part is playing real life 3d tetris…. :( Hopfully it’ll be done by the end of march.

            • Comic Relief March 6, 2013 at 5:31 AM #

              “….playing real life 3d tetris”. ,,,Sounds intense.

              • ozzie20 March 6, 2013 at 8:01 PM #

                It is right now. We’ve ran out of room, eek! :)

    • littlebells March 5, 2013 at 8:25 PM #

      Hi Ozzie!

      • ozzie20 March 5, 2013 at 8:52 PM #

        Hi LB! :)

  10. parisienne March 5, 2013 at 8:40 PM #

    Everyone I’m going to go for the evening. I’ll ttys!

    • Open Book March 5, 2013 at 8:44 PM #

      Goobye Paris. Have a nice evening.

      • ozzie20 March 5, 2013 at 8:53 PM #

        Bye Paris!

  11. Comic Relief March 5, 2013 at 8:42 PM #

    Thanks everone for coming.

    • Comic Relief March 5, 2013 at 8:44 PM #

      Thanks EVERYONE for coming and thanks for the great questions.

      • Open Book March 5, 2013 at 8:45 PM #

        Goodnight CR. Great article and discussion.

        • ozzie20 March 5, 2013 at 9:01 PM #

          I think I better go too. It seems the pain and the painkiller I took are causing my muddled brain to spill out even more befuddled mess than I usually write, that neither I or anyone else can make too much sense of, lol! I’ll be back tomorrow! :)

          • Open Book March 6, 2013 at 10:24 AM #

            Ozzie- U need an Iron Woman suit. Problem solved….:0)

            • ozzie20 March 6, 2013 at 8:03 PM #

              If I had one of those, I’d do the whole house myself, lol!

  12. Open Book March 5, 2013 at 8:58 PM #

    Everyone! I have to go. Take Care!

  13. Open Book March 6, 2013 at 10:20 AM #

    LB- What would u do if u had an Iron Woman suit? Talk about multi-tasking, I could get a lot of work done. Hahaha!

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