Conflict Of Ideas: Black Panther vs. White Knight

Mind-control. The only thing you need to win a war of words.

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In this corner, the ideas of the characters we’re supposed to root for! It’s what they stand for! It’s clearly the solution to the current problem!

In the other corner, the ideas opposed to them! Reasons and justifications for OTHER things!

What’s the handicap? Is it an even match? And IS THE REF LINING THEIR GLOVES WITH WEIGHTS? Or SLOW COUNTING WHEN THEY’RE KNOCKED DOWN?

When two ideas clash in a story, is it a REAL MATCH? Or a bout of PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING?

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Story Patriotism: The Patriot Act…ors

So Major USA is defined by his love of freedom and refusal to use the metric system, while Captain Canada is unfailingly polite and considerate.

NAAAAAME-OF-COUNTRY!

EXPLETIIIIIIIIIVE!

TOTALLY UNJUSTIFIED PRIDE IN MY HOMELAND!

But what happens when you make a CHARACTER like that? What’s the deal with the guys who actually chant “U! S! A! U! S! A! U! S! A!”?

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Complex Villains: Apathy For The Devil

Unlike two-dimensional villains who can become UNINTENTIONALLY beloved, these guys are a DELIBERATE bet.

I’ve talked about empires and gods as villains. And I’ve talked about villains that you love to hate or love despite the fact that you should hate them.

But what about when loving them is EXACTLY what the writer is asking you to do?

What happens when they are given something that is OBVIOUSLY, UNAMBIGUOUSLY, meant to be ADMIRED? A story that is meant to be PITIED? Where sometimes you DON’T want them to pay?

That’s where sympathetic villains come in.

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Comic Relationships: Happily After Ever

You CAN, in fact, tell a good story that has…HAPPY RELATIONSHIPS.

Once upon a time, there were two fictional characters who were born under an unlucky star. For the fates known as The Executive Studio and their very own Creator had decreed that their lives would be intertwined in the most horrific of fates: To be locked into a romantic subplot.

After many a travail, first struggling to come to terms with it, then finally confessing it, then surviving the Extragalactic War and the resulting Time Disjunction, then crossing the boundaries of mind, body, and spirit, then splitting up over The Hoagie Incident, they found their way back to each other and lived happily ever after.

…WHAT?! HAPPILY EVER AFTER?!

NO! THIS CANNOT BE! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh-

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Ret’s Review: Black Panther

So after all that, now we’ve got the movie, which essentially acknowledges “Hey, I’ve got a life and a country to run outside of your weekly superhero slapfights.”

So I’m an Asian dude reviewing a movie about fictional Africans originally created by a white guy. Nope, don’t see how this could possibly go wrong!

But yeah, Black Panther was pretty good. And let’s tell the internet and Social Justice to shut up and listen for a minute: Yeah, it was good because it was good.

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Sidekicks: Kids Stop The Darnedest Crimes

In other words, Robin goes where Lois Lane can’t.

Holy Marketing Scheme, Batman! Looks like we’re trying to appeal to the youth demographic!

But wait, that can’t be right! Everyone knows comics are made for 20-to-30 somethings with massive feelings of entitlement about their theories and perceptions!

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Speculative Fiction: Alternate Universe Time Travel

After all, it’s kind of hard to sustain a villain of the week when your victory could accidentally erase a country.

Leeeeet’s do the tiiiiiime waaaaaaarp agaaaaaaiiiiiiiin!

Fun fact: This post will be written and posted at a point that will be in your past!

Fun fact: That fact was not fun at all.

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