he is most certainly one of my favourite characters

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30 Day Mass Effect Challenge

↬ 12. Favourite NPC

Steve Cortez! Honest to God I adore this man. He is sweet, loveable, and his story about his husband breaks my heart and I always make sure to go down to talk to him after every mission. He’s one of those characters that I wish got more screen time, just due to the fact that I loved having him around and if I could stand playing as MaleShep, I would most certainly romance Steve.

Also he is the only one not to make fun of Shep’s dancing so A++ my guy. I love you. 

anonymous asked:

Hello, I'm just wondering with your knowledge of Damian, how do you think Talia feels about him and vice versa? I mean with the latest R:sob it's evident Talia loves him, but then..? Wasn't she responsible for Damian's disownment and death? And how she created him as a weapon and to distract bruce or something? I'm sorry, I'm not familiar yet with him, but I've always wondered how I should interpret their relationship. Thank you

Excellent question! (And it sounds like you ARE pretty familiar with the story!) I don’t think there is really a definitive answer. People can interpret their relationship in vastly different ways, and I don’t think either is right or wrong. This is the problem sometimes with comics- there are different writers who write characters a different way, or have different agendas, or simply different views on relationships and different stories to tell. They may write characters in completely different voices even. But we as readers try to streamline this into a single continuity of character, which a lot of times doesn’t always add up. (Especially with DC’s constant need to change, erase, or ignore its own established continuity.) From what we know of Damian and Talia’s relationship, we have mostly Grant Morrison’s vision of what that was like. And what we saw from these stories, whether she truly cared for him or not, is that Talia was not exactly a super terrific mother. This is an interaction that always sticks in my mind, and whether it’s “official continuity” anymore or not, it’s one of the scenes that really made me love Damian and feel for him:

They do love each other, but it’s a bit more of an adversarial love; more akin to respect than anything. True, the Damian we have today is an amazing young man who was forged in the fires of Talia’s harsh love, but what she put him through, especially at such a young age, can only be described as extreme mental and physical abuse. Some could argue it was tough love, I think that’s a bit of a stretch. Even in Tomasi and Gleason’s flashbacks, her words are sweet, but her actions are a bit less so:

This is a driven woman, and she cares for her son without question, but she’s also &%$#ing insane. She would rather fight Damian than comfort him; all to mold him into her darling world-conquering warlord. And yes, she even disowns him and eventually puts out a hit on his head, and whether she intended for him to actually die or not, it still results in his death. Many people seem to have a problem with this because it does not match their view of the character Talia Al Ghul. I can certainly sympathize- Dr. Doom is one of my favourite characters and I have read a LOT of Dr. Doom stories that make me cringe because he seems so out of character from how I view him. Again, most of what we have to go on is Grant Morrison’s version of Talia Al Ghul, and Grant Morrison’s story. And in the stories we have to ponder their relationship, she certainly seemed to view him as more of a tool (or even weapon) than a person. Other writers may want to explore the relationship a different way, and it seems like Patrick Gleason is keen on exploring their mother/son dynamic a bit more. I think this is a good thing, and it seems like he’s doing it in a way that doesn’t completely ignore what Grant Morrison did, but is also going to add more layers to it and perhaps even explain why she may have acted as bizarrely as she did:

This scene was really a great one I think, because it shows that there is a part of Talia that has always loved Damian, but that love was twisted by hate, confusion, fear, and madness. Now, with those “impurities” removed, we are likely to see much more of a mothering hen kind of Talia that I think a lot of fans have been hoping for. But as exciting as it is to see Talia come back and find out what kind of relationship she may be able to salvage with Damian, let’s not forget that this entire story arc so far is about Damian trying to undo the damage that Talia has done to his life and his soul. From Damian’s perspective, I think he has had no choice but to feel rejected and hurt by his mother (again: she did disown him and have him killed). We see this through his repeated nightmares, where Talia oftentimes appears as monstrous or demonic, and suffocates Damian.

I mean… no matter how you feel about Talia, she messed this poor boy up pretty badly. This is not how a child should feel about their mother. I think we’ve seen him be a bit more conflicted though too, and trying to work through how he feels about his mother and all he’s been through, like when he first got his powers and visited Talia’s grave.

I think he’s trying to act strong and emotionless, but he obviously feels something here, even if it’s a mixed sense of triumph and regret over someone who never should have been his adversary in the first place. I hope through this current story in Robin: Son Of Batman we’ll get to see Damian forgive himself for the person he was when he was Damian Al Ghul. But will we see him forgive Talia for turning him into that monster? That’s an interesting question, but I could totally see him having a full on gross-sobbing breakdown of “WHY DIDN’T YOU LOVE MEE??”

I’ve always seen Talia as the scarred side to Damian’s Two-Face coin. I think her motives were always a bit too clouded and selfish to do right by Damian. You can talk sweetly to someone and call them “Beloved” and “my darling” all you want, but it’s how you treat them that really matters. We can love people, and still hurt them and not necessarily be good for them. I’m sure if someone removed the propensity for hate and madness from anyone, they’re pretty likely to treat their loved ones better, but that doesn’t mean they should be absolved of all the harm they did in the first place. Only time will tell, but it seems like the path Gleason is setting Talia on may mirror Damian’s own quest for redemption. (I doubt we’ll see a big ol’ family Christmas at the mansion come December, but who knows!) I know people may have different opinions than me on this though, and that’s okay. The one thing I think everyone can agree on though- we could definitely stand to see more of Damian and Talia interacting.

Thanks for the message, anon! :D

26th & 28th/29th December Show Reports

Okay, I’m going to have to come clean at the start. This is another recap of two performances. One was with the full original cast (which I’ll talk less about, but I will cover the mistakes in it which were plentiful and glorious), which I will refer to as the Boxing Day show when I mention it, and the other was with James Howard as Draco and Morag Cross as McGonagall. The latter is the one for which I was sitting near the front of the stalls, and that’s the one I’ll focus on, because it was better and more interesting. 

(You’ll all be pleased to know I wrote over 2000 words less in this recap than I did my last one. It’s still almost long enough to be a dissertation though so… Sorry about that! I hope you enjoy.)

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