Sunday, May 21, 2006

Like a Housewife Scorned

Desperate Housewives has been hit-and-miss with its second season, and some have even accused the show of shark-jumping, or that it’s performing forced stunts in a bid to recapture its former glory. But regardless if it has succeeded in keeping viewers riveted or not, the individual stories of the women characters have always been based on different levels of stranger-than-fiction drama, and relatable, er, desperation.

It’s still good, and throughout the second season, everything that’s happened to the characters proceeded rather speedily. Four or five separate arcs are concurrently running, but it’s good that they didn’t dwell too much on specific topics (like Bree’s alcoholism, Susan’s discovery of her real father, etc.). There have been many changes, but in the last two episodes (21 and 22), things have been turned upside down; enmities have escalated; nothing is as it was.

It’s good to see that a plot point regarding Tom's secret, which was mentioned and forgotten some time last season, is now being addressed. Also, Felicia’s vendetta against Paul expectedly worsens. And Andrew’s climactic standoff with Bree… well, that was damn fantastic, and heartbreaking.

It’s sad that some fears get validated, that some characters now seem irreparably irredeemable. But that’s the magic of TV; they build ‘em up, just to break ‘em down. And it’ll be status quo again, or something close to it, once the new season starts.

There are only two episodes left of season two, and I expect more shakeups to come.

Magneto + Prof. X = Onslaught!

The new Marvel Legends set is finely sculpted. Dreadfully dull characters, like Green Goblin (who’s now a masterminding but boring super-fiend in the comics), and Blackheart (the comic book that came with the figure attests to that) make okay action figures. I especially like the bonus Onslaught figure, which is only about ten inches tall (only slightly taller than Sasquatch), but he’s wide and has great hand poseability. His fingers look like crab legs.

My gripes with the set? (1) Lady Deathstrike’s hands only have knuckle articulation instead of individual, poseable talons. (2) Pyro doesn’t have a fire creature accessory with him. (3) There are no VS cards included. Apparently, the ones I saw in a specialty shop are super-special, special editions. (4) The variant figures look boring, and (5) Each figure costs P20 more now!

But again, they look mighty rad and imposing. I hope to get their picture taken with the other villains soon. That’s seven new kickass baddies to be added in the group shot.

Raising Hellions

Since Mr. Macapobre asked, here’s a short list of DC and Marvel superheroes, and some villains, who have children. I’m sure it’s far from complete, but these are the ones I can remember off the bat. Very few of these offspring were raised properly, if at all, by their superhero parents, who still actively risk their lives.

Professor X + Danielle Haller = David Haller (Legion)

Cyclops + Madelyne Pryor = Nathan Summers (Cable)

Mr. Fantastic + Invisible Woman = Franklin and Valeria Richards

Spider-Man + Mary Jane Parker = May Parker

Batman + Talia Al Ghul = they have a son, hidden away

Wolverine + tribeswoman (can’t remember her name) = baby mutant

Vision + Scarlet Witch = Tommy and Billy Maximoff

Captain Mar-Vell + Elysius = Genis-Vell and Phyla-Vell

Captain Mar-Vell + a Skrull princess = Hulkling

Green Arrow + some lady = Connor Hawke (Green Arrow II)

Mantis + Cotati Swordsman = “Q” the Celestial Messiah

Plastic Man + a blonde civilian = boy meta that shapeshifts

Vril Dox + Stealth = Lyrl Dox

Aquaman + Queen Mera = a son

Antman (Scott Lang) + his non-powered wife = Stature

Ultra Boy + Apparition = some super-baby

Arsenal + Cheshire = Lian Harper

Colossus + Nereel (I think) = Peter Jr.

Quicksilver + Crystal = Luna Maximoff

Luke Cage + Jessica Jones (Jewel) = baby daughter

Romantic relationships are a different matter; that’d be a long, long list. It’d be like listing down the characters of Melrose Place, and the people they slept with. Well, heroes have sex lives too. But no, their intimacies and dalliances make way, way more sense than that of MP’s bed-hoppers. Speaking of sexually active heroes…


Spoilers ahead, fellow geeks:

The latest She-Hulk issue is, no hyperbole, shocking. The two-issue arc has Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk defending Eros, a.k.a. Starfox, against accusations that he used his psionic pleasure-center powers to seduce a housewife.

I always thought that Starfox was underused; I’ve only seen him written nicely but briefly by Roger Stern, Peter David, and Jim Starlin. And he and She-Hulk had a one-night stand many years ago, so that just made him automatically cool for me.

Writer Dan Slott explores a side of Eros’ powers we haven't seen or fully understood before. Apparently, the power’s effects include behavior-altering sexual attraction to Eros that can last for years (poor jailed Hydra agent!), or just during the course of a night, it seems, in the case of the housewife. It makes anyone think irrationally, and give in to their impulses. It’s like a “date rape drug”, according to one of the super-law firm’s employees.

This, of course, leads back to the two erstwhile Avengers’ sexual history. Did Eros use his powers on She-Hulk? How far can it influence people? Can he turn it off, or does it tug at those with a prior attraction to him? Has he shown remorse over his past actions? Some of these questions are answered, forcing a fuming-mad She-Hulk to confront Eros in a way he’ll never forget. Wow, I’ll never look at that Avengers issue where they did it off-panel, and Starfox, the same way again.


Economics 101 said...

This is a great analysis - well done!

Can I bring to your attention AK Comics of Egypt who produce 'Middle East Heroes' which has just started being distributed through Diamond.

AK Comics is the only comic book company that has a written equal opportunities policy for its heroes and villains (it's true!)

Also, you might be interested to know that we watch the Phillippine comic industry closely (Darna - yay!) because we think we are at a similar stage of development

Win a year's subscription by designing a new team of Middle East Heroes and sending your entry to

Remember that half the team must be female.

oliver said...

Hi Mr. Stephenson,

Thanks for visiting. Hmm, interesting comic book concept. Will check out your website.