First and most importantly, before we go into petty commercial concerns, let’s remember the meaning of this day. Because friends, this is no ordinary day: this is Miracle Monday, the anniversary of Superman triumphing over no less than the biblical prince of darkness himself (or at least a respectable substitute), and it was so awesome that even though it was expunged from humanity’s collective consciousness, they still instinctively recognized the third Monday of May as a day of good cheer to be celebrated in Superman’s honor from now until the end of time.
I know I write plenty about Superman on here, but with as much as a pain as comics can be to get into, I’m sure at least some of those I’m lucky enough to have follow me haven’t been able to find an easy in for the character. Or maybe a follower-of-a-follower or friend-of-a-friend is looking for a reasonable place to start. So in the spirit of the season, I’ll toss on the (admittedly already pretty massive) pile of recommended starting points on Superman: ten stories in a recommended - but by no means strict - order that should, as a whole, give you a pretty decent idea of what Superman’s deal is and why you should care, all of which you should be able to find pretty easily on Comixology or a local bookstore/comic book shop. I’ll probably do a companion to this in September for Batman Day.
1. Superman: Birthright
What it’s about: It’s his origin. He gets rocketed to Earth from the doomed planet Krypton, he gets raised by farmers, he puts on tights to fight crime, he meets Lois Lane and Lex Luthor, he deals with Kryptonite, all the standard-issue Superman business.
Why you should read it: It does all that stuff better than anyone else. He’s had a few different takes on his origins over the years due to a series of reboots, another of those tellings is even further down the list, but the first major modern one pretty much hit the nail on the head first try. It toes the tricky line of humanizing him without making you forget that hey, he’s Superman, it’s high-action fun without skimping on the character, and if there’s any one story that does the best job of conveying why you should look at an invincible man-god all but beyond sin or death with no major inciting incident in his background as a likable, relatable character, this is it. Add in some of the best Lane and Luthor material out there, and it’s a no-brainer.
Further recommendations if you liked it: About a decade before writing Birthright, its author Mark Waid worked with Alex Ross on what ended up one of DC’s biggest comics ever, Kingdom Come, the story of a brutal near-future of out-of-control superheroes that ultimately narrowed down to being about Superman above all else, and one of his most popular and influential stories of all time at that. Years after Birthright he created Irredeemable, the story of a Superman pastiche named Plutonian gone murderously rogue and how he reached his breaking point, illustrating a lot of what makes Superman special by way of contrast.
(Since Superman’s had so many notable homage/analogue/pastiche/rip-off/whatever-you-want-to-call-it characters compared to other superheroes, often in very good stories, there’ll be a number of those stories on this list.)
2. Superman: Up, Up and Away
What: Ever seen Superman Returns? That, but good. Clark Kent’s been living and loving a normal life as a reporter and husband after a cosmic dust-up in one of DC’s event comics took Superman off the board for a year, but mounting threats demand his return to save Metropolis again, if he still can.
Why: If you’d rather skip the origin, this is as a good a place as you’ll find to jump onboard. Clark and Lois both get some solid characterization, a number of classic villains have solid screentime, there’s some interesting Kryptonian mythology sticking its head in without being too intrusive, a great overarching threat to Metropolis, and it captures how Superman’s powers work in a visceral sense better than almost anything else. If you just want a classic, pick-it-up-and-go Fun Superman Story, this is where to go.
Recommendations: If you liked this, you’ll probably be inclined to enjoy the rest of co-writer Geoff Johns’ run on Action Comics, including most popularly Legion of Superheroes and Brainiac, both with artist Gary Frank. Another series tapping into that classic Superman feeling pretty well - regardless of whether you enjoyed the original show or not - is Smallville: Season 11, showing the adventures of that series’ young Clark Kent once he finally becomes Superman. Currently, Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason’s run on the main Superman title under the banner of DC Rebirth is maintaining that feeling itself, properly introducing Jon Kent, Lois and Clark’s 10-year-old-son, as Superboy in what seems to be a permanent addition to the cast and mythology (though there’s some continuity hiccups there, even as they’re mostly kept to the background - for the first 20 issues Superman is a refugee from a previous continuity, don’t ask).
3. Superman: Secret Identity
What: He’s Clark Kent, an aspiring writer from a farm town in Kansas. Problem is he’s only named after the other guy, an ordinary teenager who’s put up with crap his whole life for being named after a comic book character in an ordinary world. But when he suddenly finds himself far closer to his namesake than he ever would have imagined, it becomes the journey of his life to find how to really be a Superman.
Why: The best ‘realistic’ Superman story by a long shot, this doesn’t sideline its heart in favor of pseudo-science justifications for what he can do, or the sociopolitical impact of his existence. He has the powers, he wears the costume to save people (though he never directly reveals himself to the world), and in-between he lives his life and learns what it means to be a good man. It’s quiet and sweet and deeply human, and probably one of the two or three best Superman comics period.
Recommendations: Superman: American Alien is probably as close as there’s been to taking this kind of approach to the ‘real’ Superman, showing seemingly minor and unconnected snippets from his life, from childhood to his early days in the costume, and how they unconsciously shaped him into the man he becomes. If you like the low-key, pastoral aesthetic, you might enjoy Superman for All Seasons, or the current title Supergirl: Being Super. If you’d like more of writer Kurt Busiek’s work, his much-beloved series Astro City - focusing on a different perspective in the superhero-stuffed metropolis in every story - opens with A Dream of Flying, set from the point of view of the Superman-like Samaritan, telling of his quiet sorrow of never being to fly simply for its own sake in a world of dangers demanding his attention.
4. Of Thee I Sing
What: Gotham hitman Tommy Monaghan heads to the roof of Noonan’s bar for a smoke. Superman happens to be there at the time. They talk.
Why: A lot of people call this the best Superman story of the 90s, and they’re not wrong. Writer Garth Ennis doesn’t make any bones about hating the superhero genre in general (as evidenced by their treatment in the rest of Hitman), but he has a sincere soft spot for Superman as an ideal of what we - and specifically Americans - are supposed to be, and he pours it all out here in a story of what it means for Superman to fail, and why he remains Superman regardless. It sells the idea that an unrepentant killer - even one only targeting ‘bad guys’ like Tommy - would unabashedly consider Superman his hero, and that’s no small feat.
Recommendations: If you read Hitman #34 and love it but don’t intend to check out the rest of the series (why? It’s amazing), go ahead and read JLA/Hitman, a coda to the book showing the one time Tommy got caught up in the Justice League’s orbit, and what happens when Superman learns the truth about his profession, culminating in a scene that sums up What Superman Is All About better than maybe any other story. If you appreciated the idea of a classically decent Superman in an indecent world, you might enjoy Al Ewing’s novel Gods of Manhattan (the middle of a loose pulp adventure trilogy with El Sombra and Pax Omega, which I’ve discussed in the past), starring Doc Savage and Superman analogue Doc Thunder warring with a fascistic new vigilante in a far different New York City.
5. Superman: Camelot Falls
What: On top of a number of other threats hitting Superman from all sides, he receives a prophecy from the wizard Arion, warning of a devastating future when mankind is faced with its ultimate threat; a threat it will be too weak to overcome due to Superman’s protection over the years, but will still only just barely survive without him. Will he abandon humanity to a new age of darkness, or try and fight fate to save them knowing it could lead to their ultimate extinction?
Why: From the writer of Secret Identity and co-writer of Up, Up and Away!, this is probably the best crack at the often-attempted “Would having Superman be around actually be a good thing for humanity in the long term?” story. Beyond having the courtesy of wrapping that idea up in a really solid adventure rather than having everyone solemnly ruminate for the better part of a year, it comes at it from an angle that doesn’t feel like cheating either logically or in terms of the characters, and it’s an extremely underrated gem.
Recommendations: For the same idea tackled in a very different way, there’s the much better-known Superman: Red Son, showing the hero he would have become growing up in the Soviet Union rather than the United States; going after similar ideas is the heartfelt Superman: Peace on Earth. The rest of Kurt Busiek’s time on the main Superman title was great too, even if this stood easily as the centerpiece; his other trades were Back In Action, Redemption, The Third Kryptonian, and Shadows Linger. Speaking of underrated gems, Gail Simone’s run on Action Comics from around the same time with John Byrne was also great, collected in Strange Attractors. And since the story opens with an excellent one-shot centered around his marriage to Lois, I have to recommend From Krypton With Love if you can track it down in Superman 80-Page Giant #2, and Thom Zahler’s fun Lois-and-Clark style webcomic Love and Capes.
6. Superman Adventures
What: A spinoff of Superman: The Animated Series, this quietly chugged along throughout the latter half of the 90s as the best of the Superman books at the time.
Why: Much as stories defining his character and world are important, the bread and butter of Superman is just regular old fun comics, and there’s no better place to go than here for fans of any and all ages. Almost all of its 66 issues were at least pretty fun, but by far most notable were two runs in particular - Scott McCloud, the guy who would go on to literally write the book on the entire medium in Understanding Comics, handled the first year, and Mark Millar prior to his breakout success wrote a number of incredibly charming and sincere Superman stories here, including arguably the best Luthor story in How Much Can One Man Hate?, and a full comic on every page in 22 Stories In A Single Bound.
Recommendations: Superman has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to runs of just plain fun comics. For the youngest in your family, Superman Family Adventures might just be what you’re looking for. Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the Eighth Grade would fit on your shelf very well next to Superman Adventures. Superman: Secret Origin, while not the absolute best take on his early days, has some real charm and would be an ideal introduction for younger readers that won’t talk down to them in the slightest, and that you’ll probably like yourself (especially since it seems to be the ‘canon’ Superman origin again). If you’re interested in something retro, The Superman Chronicles cover his earliest stories from the 30s and 40s, and Showcase Presents: Superman collects many of his most classic adventures from the height of his popularity in the 50s and 60s. Age of the Sentry and Alan Moore’s Supreme would also work well. For slightly older kids (i.e. middle school), they might get a kick out of Mark Millar and Lenil Yu’s Superior, or What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice, and the American Way? And finally, for just plain fun Superman runs, I can’t ignore the last year of Joe Casey’s much-overlooked time on The Adventures of Superman.
7. Superman vs. Lex Luthor
What: Exactly what it says on the tin: a collection of 12 Luthor stories from his first appearance to the early 21st century.
Why: Well, he’s Superman’s biggest enemy, that’s why, and even on his own is one of the best villains of all time. Thankfully, this is an exceptionally well-curated collection of his greatest hits; pouring through this should give you more than a good idea of what makes him tick.
Recommendations: While he has a number of great showings in Superman-centric comics, his two biggest solo acts outside of this would be Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo’s Luthor (originally titled Lex Luthor: Man of Steel) and Paul Cornell’s run on Action Comics, where Lex took over the book for about a year. Also, one of Superman’s best writers, Elliot S! Maggin, contributed a few stories here - he’s best known for his brilliant Superman novels Last Son of Krypton and the aforementioned Miracle Monday, and he wrote a number of other great tales I picked some highlights from in another article.
8. Grant Morrison’s Action Comics
What: Spanning years, it begins in a different version of Superman’s early days, where an as-yet-flightless Clark Kent in a t-shirt and jeans challenged corrupt politicians, grappling with the public’s reaction to its first superhero even as his first true menace approaches from the stars. Showing his growth over time into the hero he becomes, he slowly realizes that his life has been subtly influenced by an unseen but all-powerful threat, one that in the climax will set Superman’s greatest enemies’ against him in a battle not just for his life, but for all of reality.
Why: The New 52 period for Superman was a controversial one at best, and I’d be the last to deny it went down ill-advised roads and made outright bone-stupid decisions. But I hope if nothing else this run is evaluated in the long run the way it deserves; while the first arc is framed as something of a Superman origin story, it becomes clear quickly that this is about his life as a whole, and his journey from a cocksure young champion of the oppressed in way over his head, to a self-questioning godling unsure of the limits of his responsibilities as his powers increase, and finally an assured, unstoppable Superman fighting on the grandest cosmic scale possible against the same old bullies. It gives him a true character arc without undermining his essential Superman-ness, and by the end it’s a contender for the title of the biggest Superman story of all.
Recommendations: Outside of this, Greg Pak’s runs on Action Comics and Batman/Superman, and Tom Taylor/Robson Rocha’s 3-issue Batman/Superman stint, as well as Scott Snyder, Jim Lee and Dustin Nguyen’s blockbuster mini Superman Unchained, are the best of the New 52 era. If you’re looking for more wild cosmic Superman adventure stories, Grant Morrison’s Superman Beyond is a beautiful two-part adventure (it ties in to his event comic Final Crisis but largely works standalone), and Joe Casey’s Mr. Majestic was a largely great set of often trippy cosmic-scale adventure comics with its Superman-esque lead. For something a little more gonzo, maybe try the hilariously bizarre Coming of the Supermen by Neal Adams. And while his role in it is relatively minor, if we’re talking cosmic Superman-related epics, Jack Kirby’s Fourth World has to be mentioned - it’ll soon be reissued in omnibus format to coincide with the Justice League movie, since many of its concepts made it in there.
9. Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?
What: More than just the title story, DC issued a collection of all three of Watchmen writer Alan Moore’s Superman stories: For The Man Who Has Everything, where Superman finds himself trapped in his idea of his ideal life while Batman, Wonder Woman and Robin are in deadly danger in the real world, Jungle Line, where a deliriously ill and seemingly terminal Superman finds help in the most unexpected place, and Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?, Moore’s version of the final Superman story.
Why: Dark Superman stories are a tricky tightrope to walk - go too far and you invalidate the core his world is built around - but Moore’s pretty dang good at his job. Whatever Happened you should wait to read until you’ve checked out some Superman stories from the 1960s first since it’s very much meant as a contrast to those, but For The Man Who Has Everything is an interesting look at Superman’s basic alienation (especially in regards to his characterization in that period of his publication history) with a gangbuster final fight, and Jungle Line is a phenomenal Superman horror story that uncovers some of his rawest, most deeply buried fears.
Recommendations: There are precious few other dark Superman stories that can be considered any real successes outside a few mentioned among other recommendations; the closest I can think of is Superman: For Tomorrow, which poses some interesting questions framed by gorgeous art, but has a reach tremendously exceeding its grasp. Among similar characters though, there are some real winners; Moore’s own time on Miracleman was one of the first and still one of the most effective looks at what it would mean for a Superman-like being to exist in the real world, and the seminal novel Superfolks, while in many ways of its time, was tremendously and deservedly influential on generations of creators. Moore had another crack at the end of a Superman-like figure in his Majestic one-shot, and the Change or Die arc of Warren Ellis’ run on Stormwatch (all of which is worth reading) presented a powerful, bittersweet look at a superman’s attempt at truly changing the world for the better.
10. All-Star Superman
What: Superman rescues the first manned mission to the sun, sabotaged by Lex Luthor. His powers have reached greater heights than ever from the solar overexposure, but it’s more than his cells can handle: he’s dying, and Lex has won at last. This is what Superman does with his last year of life.
Why: I put this at the bottom since it works better the more you like Superman, but if you’re only going to read one story on this list, this one has to be it. It’s one of the best superhero stories period, and it’s everything that’s wistful and playful and sad and magical and wonderful about Superman in one book.
Recommendations: If you’re interested in the other great “Death of Superman” story, skip the 90s book and go to co-creator Jerry Siegel and Curt Swan’s 60s ‘Imaginary Story’, also one of the best Superman stories ever, and particularly one of Luthor’s best showings. If you got a kick out of the utopian ‘Superman fixes everything’ feel of a lot of it, try The Amazing Story of Superman-Red and Superman-Blue! The current Supergirl title by Steve Orlando seems to be trying to operate on a pretty similar wavelength, and is definitely the best thing coming out of the Superman family of books right now. The recent Adventures of Superman anthology series has a number of creators try and do their own ‘definitive’ Superman stories, often to great results. And Avengers 34.1 starring Hyperion by Al Ewing and Dale Keown taps into All-Star’s sense of an elevated alien perspective paired with a deep well of humanity to different but still moving results.
honestly i feel like ra-ra is one of the most underrated characters cause like, he gives advice to zeke and shao, and he’s the one who decides to tell his parents the truth like, he’s a good kid and wise beyond his years in some ways
Look The Mara Dyer trilogy is so underrated. A WOC (Indian descent) who deals with PTSD, anxiety, and fights back against her abuser. Noah Shaw, a character that deals with depression, self hate, and suicide attempts. Also, great side characters like, Jamie Roth who is a Black Jewish bisexual man who will literally have you in stitches at every single line he has. Mara’s Indian background is a huge part of the plot. She is one of the most morally grey female protagonists I’ve encountered in YA and has such an interesting story with gorgeous writing w/ psychological thriller twists. The books honestly have one of the best characterizations of PTSD I’ve seen in a YA series.
Sidney Freedman is completely amazing. Psychiatric care during the time period when M*A*S*H was set was EXTREMELY limited and the idea of mental illness was shrouded in stigma. But Sidney always took care of everyone and never judged and always made everyone feel safe. His patients saw horrible things but he understood that recovery takes time. Not to mention he has a great sense of humor and can drink and gamble like nobody’s business.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST WAS AWESOME (some spoilers ahead)
Best live action remake so far!
Awesome new songs! And oh so nostalgic score!
I loved seeing how really underrated and disliked Belle is in the town
I loved Belle and the Beast’s backstories
Le fou is a great gay character and people who are bitter about him being “a villain” should give him a second chance because (SPOILERS) he actually changes his way of thinking, sees Gaston for the worthless fucker he is and gets to dance with the crossdressing man (the crossdressing scene happens went the wardrobe dresses 3 men, 2 run shouting but 1 leaves smiling cause he likes his dress and that scene was really cute!)
I loved the credits scene with each character appearing one at the time
I prefer the animated movie and the animated characters but this movie adds important and awesome details and you should all see it
So in many Zutara fics Zuko is afraid of being like his father and especially when he has his first child with Katara in the fics they show him being really worried that he might turn out like Ozai, to me this is totally fine but you see these antis they say Zuko is a "pussy" or an "emotional ass bitch" acting like this and it's very ooc of him, I totally disagree, I just wanted to ask what are your thoughts on this since you write as Zuko and are prolly one of the best at it.
First of all, thank you so much for the compliment! That means a lot as I try to portray Zuko as accurately as possible, sometimes in line with more Ehasz’s material and writing. Thank you!
Now to address this– that disappoints, but does not surprise me. This is a horrible way of thinking. It’s incredibly sexist and horrible. To call a man a “pussy” for showing emotion is so sexist and wrong. This is the reason why men feel they can’t be vulnerable or express themselves ever, and a great deal as to why the rate for suicide among males is so high. I know Zuko is just a character, but the claims being made carry over into real life. As they say, art imitates life.
Zuko was severely abused, neglected, and berated to feel like nothing as a child. He was emotionally abused, belittled, called names, put down, insulted, and also starved of love intentionally. He was also physically abused extremely. Zuko’s trauma is very severe and I think people underrate what he went through. From the time he was born, his father was grooming him to believe he was worthless and inherently a failure. That fucks with a person’s head so much. Nothing he did was good enough, he was never given love by his father, and it was intentional. When Ursa left, he had no one for years until Iroh came back. He was alone, with no one as a little boy, not only unloved, put abused. He was so severely physically abused as well. Then, he was kicked out from his own as a seventh grader. It’s so sick and disturbing what happened to Zuko.
He is an incredibly strong person and character to withstand all of that hardship at such a young age, yet still come full circle, stand up to his abuser, and take on a crown all by age seventeen. He is anything but weak or a “pussy”. The fact that he grows to let some people into his fortress, and put his walls down shows even more strength. That’s so hard, and he does it for those he trusts. How could he not show emotion? Any human being would show emotion being put through what Zuko was. Every human being, regardless of gender, has emotions. I don’t know why people assume that men are this alien creature devoid of feeling.
When I portray Zuko on the brink of fatherhood, expecting a child, I always like to delve into the natural fear that he would become Ozai. In the comics, we see this fear fleshed out. He’s scared of politically becoming Ozai. He’s seen the hell and havoc his father has wreaked upon the world, and it’s a nightmare scenario to him to come close to the tyrant Ozai was. Now, put this into fatherhood, something that has so deeply wounded Zuko even worse than politics and war. Of course– of course– he is going to be fucking terrified. It’s natural.
We see Zuko with children as early on as Zuko Alone. He’s great with them. He’s sweet, patient, understanding, loving, and kind– intrinsically– even before his redemption. We see him with Kiyi, he’s sweet as pie. He’s a natural with kids, he loves them, and fatherhood would clear be a dream come true to him, so it seems silly to an outsider, or someone who knows and loves Zuko especially that he could even think he would be like Ozai, particularly in that regard, but Zuko was heavily abused and conditioned. He’s insecure from this already on all angles. He was conditioned to think he was inferior and useless. So take into account his greatest doubt? No question he would be mortified of being a bad father, and also horrified to be a bad husband.
Of course, time would prove this wrong. Zuko would struggle with some things. He would struggle with punishment a lot. He would know that it is necessary, but he would be scared to inflict it. He would be adamantly against corporal punishment, but even grounding his kids would make his stomach go sour. With encouragement from Katara, he would ease into it gradually, but I think he’d always be uneasy about it. Fights would seem bigger, make him more anxious, despite knowing logically that everyone fights. Things can get warped and anxiety is fickle. You know it’s illogical, but your gut and heart can scream for reassurance amidst some trivial doubts.
Zuko would be horrified to be like Ozai. This is canon. This is so obvious, as well. Antis always say Zutarians didn’t watch the show, but the things they say really make me wonder whether or not they ever have seen it, or if they paid any attention.
My favorite thing is when people in this fandom go "we all know why Alec is popular" like yes, I agree. He's popular because he's relatable and realistic, because we can see ourselves in him and his struggles. And because oh my god try to get this, because he's actually a very well written character who's journey is interesting and makes you want to root for him.
yay back to talking about alec! i’m so glad.
and yeah, look, i’m not going to say that a dimension of alec’s popularity doesn’t have to do with the fact that there’s a lot of young girls in the fandom, and matt is very very conventionally attractive and very tall and beautiful and all of that. plus, alec is the popular type of brooding miserable sarcastic kinda hero that people tend to like.
but like?? everything you said is right. he’s a good character - he’s got one of the most relatable journeys and problems and issues in the show - but not only that, like, it’s interesting. because so often esp. in YA-fantasy fiction, the problems a character has are extrinsic, i.e. coming from the outside, e.g. “valentine kidnapped my mom”, whereas a great, great deal of alec’s issues especially in his s1 arc come from within himself, and it’s a really interesting struggle in this genre that doesn’t deal with that all too much, or when it does, it deals with it in very rudimentary ways, or it’s somehow combined with something that happened to them (like, say, simon - who struggles with his vampiric identity, but it stems from an extrinsic occurrence), whereas alec just is conflicted in a way that’s quite refreshing that the genre doesn’t do too often. characters at war with other characters are great too, but i find characters at war with themselves extremely compelling personally. (s2 shakes this up a bit with alec, and i feel jace has the bigger internal conflict, which is probably why i’m so warmed up to jace in s2)
and finally, let’s talk about my dear matthew, who is so underrated when it comes to his performance because even his fans (i love y’all but come on) can only ever talk about how hot he is or how good he looks shirtless. i think he deserves a lot of credit for his performance which is generally stellar, which also contributes a lot to why people like alec so much.
so yeah. we all know why alec is popular - cause he’s an interesting, well-written/acted character whose struggles are relatable yet compelling. of course.
The “Big Three” of the couples in Heroes of Olympus that I doodled from very early in the morning to this afternoon. I wanted to focus on all of my other favorite characters besides Leo, because let’s face it: Hazel, Frank, and Piper are the bomb.
I love, love, LOVE, everyone to bits and I think about their relationships a lot, so just some of my thoughts are below the cut!
How can anyone watch this movie and not have their heart break for Gwynplaine? The role was originally supposed to go to Lon Chaney, but I think Conrad Veidt is more suited for the role. He has a more romantic appeal without appearing classically matinee idol handsome. If ever a performance showcased how much silent film acting was reliant upon the eyes, then this is it.
2. The Thief of Bagdad
Oh Jaffar. I think only Norman Bates has more fangirls than you when it comes to classic movie villaindom. Veidt takes a power-hungry bad guy and turns him into one of the most desirable beings on the silver screen. He becomes more appealing than the hero even!
3. The Spy in Black
Veidt’s character is a WWI-era German U-boat commander who falls in love with a British double agent. Though this was made during WWII, Veidt’s character is allowed to be human and even heroic. Though no one ever talks about this movie, I think it is so underrated and Veidt is great in it.
4. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
Veidt is Cesare, one of the most iconic, creepy, and yet endearing characters in horror movies.
5. The Beloved Rogue
[unfortunately could not find a gif– drat!]
Conrad Veidt and John Barrymore duel for who is the biggest ham in tights. It is marvelous! He’s gross and spider-like and part of the campy fun of this little swashbuckler.
I’m still very upset about what happened to Brett at the end of last night’s episode. I was really hoping that he would make it out at the end, but at the same time, i had a lingering bad vibe that something would happen to him and i hope that it wouldn’t. Brett is a huge loss IMO, because he was such a great underrated character, whose potential isn’t realized due to his infrequent appearances. Brett was more than just his good looks. His past was just as tragic as Derek’s and his strong bond with his sister along with his tough encouragement of Liam showed what a standoff guy he was. I really wish that we had gotten to see more of Brett’s relationship with Lori explored.That there is a perfect illustration of how much potential great stuff that was sadly wasted.
Also his death scene was one of the saddest and toughest to watch since Allison’s. It was so heartbreaking to see Lori and Liam having to watch him die and being unable to save him. Liam’s anguished howl is the perfect illustration of what most of the fandom did in that moment.
I really don’t know what else is there to say other than Brett Talbot deserved so much better. He deserved to be fully explored as a character and a chance to live at the end. Screw You, Jeff Davis.
I fking admire how ayato is so good at hyping himself up. like, no, he's not gonna sit in his room all day and feel shitty about himself cause his mom tried to selfishly use him to get karl's attention. if no one's gonna tell him he's great, he'll do it himself. how many people who can't leave their house these days can say that? he's so underrated.
GOD YES you’re so right!!! it is not very often that I can say that you should take coping habit advice from a dialovers character but good god BE UR OWN HYPE MAN!!! love yourself like ayato loves himself! and if u dont love yourself yet then FAKE IT TILL U MAKE IT
In light of the Studio’s not closing (and my boundless boredom) I made a top 10 list of their films in accordance to how I feel about them, so I’m only including ones that I’ve actually seen…and I haven’t seen some pretty important ones so there.
Ponyo! Everybody loves this movie because it’s ridiculously loveable, and I love it too! I just don’t think it’s that great. The thing I like most about this movie is the animation because I really love the way Hayao Miyazaki animates water. It’s just so damn cool! I really like the setting as well. It’s pretty standard Miyazaki fair, y'know it’s about the environment and stuff. But it’s very pretty and very fun!
9) My Neighbor Totoro
Another movie we all love! And only at number 9. Don’t get me wrong, this movie is great and iconic and is a great, safe way to introduce the concept of death and tragedy to young children, as I know many have. But, I just don’t think there’s that much here for an older audience. Which is fine, but yeah, it doesn’t do all that much for me. Most of the movie is the main characters going about their lives while occasionally running into Totoro. Which, for the record, is the best part. The animation on Totoro is great and you get a real sense of texture and weight. HE JUST LOOKS SO FUZZY.
8) Nausicca of the Valley of the Wind
Okay technically not a Ghibli movie but it has pretty much the exact same creative team so shut up. This movie is epic. I just really love the world here. Post apocalyptic but also really medieval but futuristic with a little steampunk thrown in, it’s great. And the creature animation is fantastic. For me, I don’t personally find it that engaging, but I think the word I would use to describe this movie is interesting. It’s just a really interesting movie. And I like it a lot.
7) Kiki’s Delivery Service
Okay, this movie is so important. I cannot think of a single better movie to show a kid who’s growing up. You know why? Because this movie teaches that feeling sad is okay. When’s the last time you saw that in a movie (it was probably in another Ghibli movie tbh)? Kiki is awesome, she’s determined and mature but is still a kid. And Jiji is just THE BEST SIDE CHARACTER, it’s a really pleasant movie. It’s a good one to watch when your down. I love this movie. It’s great.
6) From up on Poppy Hill
I like this movie for a lot of the same reasons I like Kiki’s Delivery Service. It’s a really quiet, comforting movie. The film takes place just before the Tokyo Olympics, Japan is still recovering from World War II and everyone is ready to throw out the old and bring in the new. So when a historic clubhouse at Umi’s private school is going to be torn down, our heroes band together to stop it. The movie is really simple and straightforward and noticeably devoid of supernatural elements, but it really gives you a sense of place. You really get a feel for what Japan was like in the early 60s. And the movie has a very pretty Japanese pop soundtrack that’s really nice, and there’s a really intimate romance (that’s imo the best one in all of Ghibli). Love it.
5) The Wind Rises
This film is a masterpiece (AND IT SHOULD HAVE BEAT OUT FROZEN FOR BEST ANIMATED PICTURE BUT THAT’S ANOTHER STORY). This is Hayao Miyazaki’s last movie, for real this time. And boy does it show. By telling the tale of a real life genius aviator who is forced to use his creations for evil, Miyazaki ultimately shows us creativity is fleeting. That you can only be a genius for so long, commenting on his own career in the process. Miyazaki felt like he just didn’t have much more creativity left in him. Whether or not he was right, we’ll never know. But at least we know why he retired. It’s kind of like The Tempest of Miyazaki films, and it’s amazing.
4) Princess Mononoke
Oh yeah. Now we’re getting down to it. This movie is epic. In fact, this movie so epic, it gives Lord of the Rings a run for its money. I mean DAMN this movie is huge. Our heroes travel over vast mountains and fields and engage in huge, epic battles, which by the way, are so brutal that the violence is never glorified. It’s definitely the most violent animated film I’ve seen, and the creature animation is GLORIOUS, and Ancient Japan is just as great a setting as you’d expect it to be. So good.
3) Porco Rosso
God I love this movie. Miyazaki knew exactly what kind of film he wanted to make, and boy did he make it. In it we have Porco, our Humphrey Bogart-esque loner who’s best friend is his plane, and he’s being hunted down by Bounty Hunters and the newly Fascist Italian Government. And he’s a pig. For some reason (well it’s probably a metaphor). And did I mention that this takes place in an alternate history on the Mediterranean Coast after WWI where fighter pilots use militarized sea planes to fight? Oh yeah. There’s that. This movie has great character development, a host of entertaining side characters, and it’s actually really funny, and has some great action scenes. It’s criminally underrated and I enjoy it immensely. Go watch it.
2) Howl’s Moving Castle
I’m a sucker for a few things, and a few of those things happen to be French things, Steampunk things, and WWI history. AND HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE HAS ALL OF THAT in one way or another, so it’s no surprise that I like this movie. A lot. I also really like Sophie’s character arch. For those of you who don’t know, Sophie has never believed that she’s beautiful, and is cursed to be old, but the curse deteriorates the more confident she gets. It’s just really empowering and amazing.
1) Spirited Away
(Okay I know original right) but SERIOUSLY this movie is insane I don’t even know where to begin. The movie starts of with Chihiro in the process of moving, and she’s terrified, and then she gets trapped in the spirit world and her parents are cursed. From there on, this movie, is unbelievable. One thing I love about this movie is that Chihiro gets scared. She gets so scared. But she keeps going. It teaches kids it’s okay to be scared. And I just love that this movie feels so lonely. Which might sound like a weird way to describe a movie but I think it fits. The scene on the train (gifed above) is maybe my favorite scene ever in a movie. You just get this feeling. Like you’ve been there. Like you’ve sat there quietly in a scary situation having no idea what’s coming next. It’s almost indescribable but it really speaks to me. And I just keep coming back to loneliness. I feel like every character here is afraid and lonely (except for a few). It’s just so different, and I find that oddly comforting. Because we feel lonely all the time don’t we? But media never seems to show that! We have our character and their group of friends. But here, we have our character, and a few outcasts, who I can’t say are friends. They’re just sort of brought together by their common alienation. And when Chihrio returns home, she’s not afraid of moving anymore. And if that’s not comforting as fuck, then I don’t know what is.
sophie: 140% sure she’s a slytherin her ambition to get what she wants is amaze and scary and she’s extremely cunning (like that scene in book three when she convinced agatha to let go of tedros so sophie herself would get a chance with him yikes!) whoo what a queen agatha: def hufflepuff (although i can imagine her in ravenclaw too) she’s excellent at finding things (remember in the last ever after when she was tasked to find excalibur ?? yea ;•)) and her loyalty to her friends is heartwarming and like a hufflepuff, she will always do the right thing :•) tedros: i can’t see tedros being anything but a gryffindor like he’s brave to the point of being reckless and his chivalry is admirable and his self-arrogance is a plus lolol hort: after a great deal of thought, i’ve placed him in hufflepuff which honestly surprised me but i’m nodding at my own thoughts bc at the end of the day, hort does what’s right even if it’s not the easy thing and he’s loyal to what he believes and he’s good at finding things too (wish fish in the moors ;•)) that probably explains why he and agatha naturally go along so well! hester: definitely a gryffindor she’s brave and loud and has a heart of gold i remember in the second book when aric was going to attack the girls under the bridge during the trial of tale and she let her demon out - she’s basically risking one of her lifelines - to get beatrix and the other girls out of the blue forest and then she continued to fight aric and his boys until she was literally unable to fight anymore :•) anadil: i don’t really know anadil that much (i felt that she didn’t get much screen time like she was just there helping but i’m trying to reread anadil parts to get a firmer grasp on her character) but ultimately i’ve placed her in ravenclaw because even though i don’t truly understand her she has a presence that’s hard to ignore, she has originality and i know she’s vv intelligent dot: in my mind, she’s a split between hufflepuff for her loyalty and easygoing nature and ravenclaw for her originality and her ability to easily accept quirks, but i think that she would ask to be placed in hufflepuff because she believes that the common rooms sound “plenty comfortable” and she didn’t want to climb all those “insufferable” stairs to the ravenclaw common room and then be asked to solve a riddle bc not only would that be physically exhausting but mentally xD rafal: snake snakey snake snake u know how woody from toy story says “there’s a snake in my boot!” ?? rafal is the snake in woody’s boot lady lesso: definitely a slytherin she displays the best and worst traits of that house and i’m so proud of her why u think my username is the queen ?? she’s clever and cunning (remember when she was going behind sophie’s back in the third book to teach the students to fight on good’s side?? yEA QUEEN) and not to mention that she has a great deal of self-preservation that evelyn sader points out in the second book when agatha looks into evelyn’s memories and evelyn talks to lesso about her son and rhetorically asks lesso which person she would pick if it came down to it which evelyn knows that lesso would pick herself ;•) professor dovey: the mcgonagall! of the sge universe! def gryffindor vv brave and stands for what’s morally right and speaks her mind like in book two when evelyn hurls her out of the room when dovey ranted about how boys don’t deserve to be treated as lesser human beings and that boys are flawed and human such a queen ahh yes august sader: ravenclaw at heart tbh he’s vv informative and knows the way to the best ending of the tale of sophie and agatha and he’s super brave and accepting that he’s willing to give up his life to help ensure that the students live at the end of book one (fAV) evelyn sader: s l y t h e r i n what a snake what a snake what a cunning ambitious snake that had tunnel vision only for her goals like honestly she is the Extreme Slytherin™ every evil slytherin should look up to her she’s terrible and awe and striking tristan: (my heart hurts my red-headed bby hold on give me a moment) ahh okay okay so my bby is definitely a hufflepuff like my bby omg all he wanted was to feel accepted and he switched schools and genders (;•)) to do so just because the boys at the other school were bullying him except for cinnamon roll tedros and aHHHHHH HHHH kiko: hufflepuff h u f f l e p u f f hufflepuff need i say more ?? ?????? beatrix: this strong-willed girl def a gryffindor vv outspoken and knows how to defend herself and others (found black magic spells to protect herself and her classmates in book three ;•)) and fights and heals to the end beatrix is so underrated she’s such a proud moral queen that went through such a successful character development so proud of my bby merlin: [SCREAMING AT THE BACK] ravenclaw!!!!! has a lot of funny character quirks (like his preference to sleeping in trees) and is a really well-rounded character and a really Great Magical Grandpa™ aric: he doesn’t deserve a house (though tbh he’d be placed in slytherin of course) but he’s so unworthy of a house that he’s labeled as a muggle callis: this goddess is a mixture between all the four houses but i feel like she’d definitely pick ravenclaw bc she’d want to learn more about potions and hexes (in book two she asked agatha so much about what she learned during her school days haha what a cute mother haha so dedicated and so kind haha so brave and self-preserved haha no im not crying what) castor: what a gryffindor pup pollux: def a slytherin no doubt about it he only looks out for himself from what i’ve read in the series and he’d probably only risk his own skin for his brother but even then i think that he’d do that if it were in the most dire of situations vanessa: slytherin what else so ambitious and has no regard for other people’s needs and wants like mother like daughter amiright stefan: gryffindor at heart he committed so many moral acts (despite slipping into honora’s house yikes!) but he does the right thing and cares for people that he’s protective about honora: one of those sweet hufflepuffs who don’t want to bother anybody and want to live a peaceful live and vv friendly arthur: he definitely has qualities of a slytherin (aHEM PRESSURING GUINEVERE INTO MARRYING HIM FOR THE ‘GOOD OF CAMELOT’ AHEM EXCUSE U U NASTY MANBEAR NEVER PRESSURE A NOBLE HONORABLE WOMAN TO DO ANYTHING ESPECIALLY IF YOU WANNA WOO HER) but he would 100% pick gryffindor u feel? like people would ask and he would just reason it by pointing at his side at excalibur and then he’d be sauntering off to the groom room guinevere: hufflepuff material over here she’s extremely loyal and knows to trust those around her like merlin and she does what’s right for herself and the future lancelot: this swashbuckling top-notch swordsman would be in gryffindor vv valiant and chivalrous there’s a reason why he and arthur were best friends
bonus! reaper: [lets u pet him] u know what this is? you: what me: ravenclaw material [winks] bUT LIKE HONESTLY this brilliant cat knows how to read and how to pass on the message he has his own presence and aura of being a vv smart cat that u need to be at least 10 feet away from unless you’re callis or agatha or else you’ll get your eyes clawed out and a finger sliced off!!
I love Shidge but you have definitely got me hooked on Kidge!! And I love Allurance too! <3 Can you tell me when you started shipping them/why?? I like to see how these ships attracted people and if we saw the same thing!
Yes, good! Welcome to kidge side of the fandom!
Well, tbh at first i was only a shidge shipper, i was seeing them as two teenagers and that didn’t change, although I’m not posting shidge much bcvi do not want any ants in my dash, so I’m just silently enjoing my toll x smoll ship. I started to ship shidge in season 1, when Pidge was revealed as Katie and the fact that they care so much about each other melts my heart. As for allurance & kidge it’s more to possibilities than what we have in canon. Allurance would be even more cool if Lance realises he treats Allura like a friend, and stops flirting with her so aggressively, then they both become from friends to lovers characters. They already have a blue lion in common “MR & MISS BLUE LION” and both know how important the family is. And they just looks good together lol. Kidge was something i would never guessed that i would ship after rewatching VLD. They just intrigue me, how many similarities they share, how underrated their interactions are… They just are so balanced cooperating in missions and there are clearly possibilities to turn it in a romantic or platonic relationship, it would be great if they would have more screen time together👀