do u guys ever think about how Jason Todd was created in the early 80s, in the midst of the Reagan administration and the surge of conservative “war on crime” rhetoric and the wave of media attacks on inner city communities, and Jason was this little inner city kid that, coincidentally, was propped up in front of Moral Pillar and born billionaire Bruce Wayne and treated like he was somehow inherently more violent, like his anger was more threatening (even tho it was probably more justified), like ~something~ about him was deeply and inexorably wrong, dangerous, criminal. how he was a little boy who was degraded and demonized until the audience cried out for his blood and got it in buckets, until he was murdered by popular demand.
like. do u guys ever think of how uncomfortably reflective of the real world that is? to frame Jason Todd, our one major representation of the poor and marginalized, as Aggressor, as Criminal, as Not a Child, as Not Like Us - to amass a seething mob hatred for this boy and then to blame his subsequent death on his own recklessness and temper, like he’s somehow the guilty one in his own brutalization?
I don’t think it’s coincidental that in recent years Jason has started to resonate with the audience, to gain our sympathy, despite the endless efforts by the actual narrative to turn us against him, because his story is achingly familiar, whether we consciously recognize it or not. this rhetoric is familiar. this violence is familiar. this tragedy is familiar.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that now, in an age where the criminalization of poor urban communities - especially communities of color - is finally becoming widely recognized as artificial, when Jason starts to speak up and say ‘hey, I think something needs to be done, I think Bruce Wayne is out of touch, I think I’ve been subjected to innumerable injustices that people like Bruce will never understand because they’ll never experience them,’ he has a lot of the audience nodding along, even tho he’s still meant to be a villain, a Problem, a Threat, a Criminal. because I think some part of us recognizes that as a farce. I think some part of us recognizes that isn’t the whole story, and never has been, for Jason or for the real people he’s standing in for.
I just re-read HoH today when I come to this part. Is it just me, but I think Uncle Rick has already give us spoiler even before the book is published last May? I seriously think that Diocletian and Caligula are Nero’s possibly best villain buddy. Because as it mention in this book too, people are still not sure yet to where Diocletian is buried, maybe its because he is wandering around universe with Nero all this decades idk????
IF my speculation was true, according to this, i think the next Emperor that will show up in The Dark Prophecy is Diocletian. Leo said that he gonna meet his buddy Jason and Piper, and since this Diocletian guy is the emperor Jason and Reyna idolize, perhaps one or both of them will appear too and they start to realize just how villain the guy is and they will help Apollo, Leo and Calypso.
Of course this is just my speculation and I hope nobody will take this seriously. Theres still a long way to go before the story is revealed one by one and we cant be sure of anything until the book is released next year.
The Hateful 8 review that I promise was not intended to be some sort of history lesson
Quentin Tarantino’s script for The Hateful Eight notes an undetermined time period after the Civil War. 6 years, 8 years, or 12 years after the unconditional surrender of the Confederates to the Union Army. This is significant in the sense of America in this film is still being in the shadow of the civil war with Reconstruction, with Radical Republicans who wanted the South punished or versus those who wanted the South to get much more lenient treatment, as the Union was ultimately preserved, and a preserved Union needs some kind of ‘fairness’ for the defeated Southerners and Confederates. This was a clear tension in the country, as our characters in The Hateful Eight directly involved in the war have no feelings of togetherness or camaraderie, even if they were on the same side in the fight. But at the same time, this country that was quickly expanding out into territories that went far off the Mason-Dixon line, beyond the borders and alliances forged of North and South during this horrific war. Which brings us to Wyoming, the setting of this film. It didn’t become an official state in the United States until 1890, years after the Civil War and even years after the unclear time frame that Quentin Tarantino throws out there. It leaves the feeling of wide-openness and possibility in a place and space like that that seems so distant from that time and place in history. But there leaves a possibility for evil to creep in. The Hateful Eight is not just about the tensions of North and South but in the aftermath of that war, a war that involved so much bloodshed, sacrifice, alliances forged, grudges held, and certain degrees of betrayal, there may be something worse around the corner. After two consecutive films of alternative history used in the form of revenge by minority characters who were harmed and personally effected by the historical atrocities that Tarantino interrogates in both language and action, we get a film where it ends on one of the darkest notes in his whole filmography. The Hateful Eight is minor Tarantino for me, this is not to undersell its quality that is still quite good, but it seems reeled in, and in such a way that is purposeful. The flourishes in language and dialogue are mostly found in relation to the ruses and lies of these characters while the splattering gore in the violent acts committed in the film clearly take from horror, Italian horror and also the major horror touchstones in America with The Thing and The Exorcist, underlying the grotesquerie and the spectre of the evilness these certain characters confront if not embody themselves.
There are four characters in The Hateful Eight that directly share a history in the Civil War, a split of two on each side in the Union and Confederacy, North and South. For the North there is the lawman John Ruth, as played by Kurt Russell, who we can describe as both the stand-in for the trying to be upstanding white liberal who while trying to maintain the carry out of law and order in the still underdeveloped West is showing cracks. Russell’s performance plays on John Wayne, something he is certainly not unfamiliar with, but particularly in the manor of certain John Wayne performances fighting each other out (certain John Wayne performances that immediately sprung to mind was his roles in Fort Apache and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, particularly when Russell puts on his glasses to get misty-eyed reading Major Warren’s Lincoln Letter). Tarantino is known John Ford skeptic if not critic (and how I hate when a director I admire hates…. another director I admire), and his shades to Ruth are on one hand a man who prefers the hard way, law and order as far as carrying out hangings rather than shooting a known criminal because that would be easier, and on another hand has such reactionary, physical cartoonish impulses that turn violent in attacking his current bounty, Daisy Domergue. Much can be made of the ways the assaults of Domergue play out. At first it is so shocking that you definitely cannot help but let out a laugh, and you may even still laugh when Major Warren himself gets involved, but then it becomes something that is wearing down. Daisy is not letting up despite this abuse (we soon know why and we’ll get to that later) and at some point, for me at least, the assaults turn directly on John Ruth. It begins to show his weakness. He, who interrogates every man he has ever come across in this film as to maintain a certain stability, shows incredible instability in these violent acts. There is something about Domergue that makes it seem he cannot keep his bearings despite being not just on the right side of the law but on the right side of history. So when in the first 10 or so minutes of this feature we have Kurt Russell’s Ruth striking Jennifer Jason Leigh’s Domergue, we are already seeing a decaying sense of law and order in a grotesque and cartoonish fashion. Domergue becomes this rapidly mutating virus toward Ruth- and soon enough personifies that virus meets host.
On John Ruth’s side of the Union is Major Marquis Warren, as played splendidly by Samuel L. Jackson. This is a man we can say has certain grudges and grievances about what happened during the war. He survived and escaped being a POW by burning the whole camp down to be free, and yet, it seems he does still have to be in the mindset of mentally disarming people, even those who shared his views, by associating with the late President Lincoln, the 16th American President continues his presence in American cinema as a God-like figure (we will get to that later). His forge of the Lincoln letter to impress the likes of John Ruth is meant to disarm, to suddenly be seen as a charming black folk who has the approval from Honest Abe to be considered all right to fraternize with other white folk. When Chris Mannix mentions he heard something from the Union side that they thought Warren was too dangerous and radical for the cause, you tend to believe it not because you think Warren went too far, but that you believe that there are more than likely white folks who are scared of Warren for exactly the reasons he laid out, that white people are only comfortable around him unarmed. But in the way Warren uses the Lincoln letter to disarm even the most sympathetic white folks, he raises his own spectre of the most grotesque things imaginable used to dehumanized black men like himself to pretty much rub it in the face of Bruce Dern’s Confederate General Sandy Smithers. There is a direct war connection between these two people in the Battle of Baton Rouge where Warren’s central grievances lie on the fact how the captured black soldiers by the Confederates were treated the equivalent of extra cargo and horses, and murdered. Smithers still defends this act, a man who will never learn or be rehabilitated in his ways. So, and this is my interpretation of the events that lead up to what closes out the chapter (and the first half of the 70mm roadshow), Warren tells Smithers a story of what became of Smithers’ lost son and that he stripped the son naked to only sexually assault him through oral sex in graphic detail. But let us note the detail belongs in words and that the cross-fade of the image of this son at the mercy of Warren is with an image of Smithers, as to point to this image being in Smithers’ head. ‘You seeing pictures now?’ We cannot be sure these events had happened, but we do know that Warren then kills Smithers and instead of Warren just killing Smithers right there at first sight, he instead gives him a parting shot of the worst possible thing Smithers could ever imagine having happened to his son due, in part, to what he had done during the war. I, again, do not actually think the events and actions took place, but that Warren is showing the split dualities of his place in the world, not unsimilar to Ruth, that have been essential to his survival. But that does not necessarily mean he has clear control of these dualities, much like Ruth seems to not have control.
We then move to Chris Mannix (for what should be Walton Goggins’ breakout from television) who has declared he is the future Sheriff of Red Rock, but we cannot be certain for it to have been true. Mannix is from the South and part of a group of Southern bandits who tried to fight back for the Confederacy. He holds a grudge for Warren’s actions during the war and even seems to have these urges of contemplating the ways the South could have maintained their old order. But Mannix still feels out of depth against the likes of Warren and Ruth. Heck, Mannix seems to be more on equal footing with O.B., who drives the stagecoach. But we soon find that him and Warren, and to a certain degree Smithers, are all caught in the web of deceit at Minnie’s Haberdashery that didn’t even involve them.
In a way the first and second halves of the film are about how the first half is about the North and South tensions while the second half reveals a third party, both figurative and literal, that reveals something more evil and worse. It makes sense why this specific story is in the West and a remote location of Wyoming. The American frontier opened up for possibilities of a new life and yet, these second lives of people from the war, that they are holding onto are confronted by something by people without borders, without a real past, not quite tangible. This first comes in the form of Daisy Domergue, who begins the film so feral and so not human-like. She can take these beatings, increasingly looking beyond recognition of a person, let alone a woman. But once you realize what plans were taken on her behalf at Minnie’s Haberdashery, you sense a jocularity to Jennifer Jason Leigh’s performance, such as the over the top hanging gesture, and that she continues to grin in her increasingly toothless (due to increased beatings from John Ruth) smile. The character Daisy Domergue grows in grotesquerie and monstrosity, on the receiving end of one last beating from a poisoned John Ruth, only to have him puke blood in her face that makes her look like the diabolic Carrie White (by the way, Kurt Russell is now in the second grossest Western of the year in addition to being in the first, Bone Tomahawk). She wears his blood almost in pride. We see that the setting of the Haberdashery had been in her favor. Everybody at Minnie’s Haberdashery are of the Domergue gang plus Dern’s Confederate General and have been waiting for Ruth to be there to kill him and take Daisy. They are without borders, without a real back story beyond killing, and can build ruses and charm folks but turn on a dime to kill if it means taking care of their own. The poisoning of John Ruth was a success for Daisy and the Domergue Gang but what was never taken into account was that Mannix and Warren would be involved due to pure happenstance. Daisy’s racist as all can be and would seem sympathetic to the South’s view of blacks, but she nor the Domergue gang take any real stance on the war. They seem to look at the past with a distance, like Oswaldo Mobray declaring the Haberdashery be divided by North and South for the characters involved in the war, something that does not appear to involve any of the Domergue gang. This could be just the case of geography, on the periphery of the war (such as that scene of Blondie and Tuco seeing the Civil War spillover into the New Mexico campaign in Sergio Leone’s The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly that feels so out of their world), but also in time.
Note how in the flashback to Minnie’s Haberdashery that Minnie herself describes Bruce Dern’s Confederate General as an old man in a 'foreign’ uniform. It is an interesting choice of words and given that this is a Tarantino film, it seems on purpose. Minnie, a black woman, seems young enough where she was at most a child during the War and it begs the question of whether or not she was born a free woman due to time or geography. So foreign uniform as the Confederate uniform could represent a type of country that ceased to exist but also just a ‘foreign’ concept to a woman from a different time and place. Again, it shows the possibilities of a growing country that is not specifically tied to a dark past. It is the idea that you can make the rest of America anything you want, and while Minnie’s Haberdashery shows the harmonious side to that oh so very American idea of a post-Civil War inter-racial harmony, Tarantino quickly destroys it by making the Domergue gang the embodiment of evil. The Domergue gang sacking this place by unmercilessly killing everybody in it but one that represent a certain odiousness where it ties back to John Ruth and Major Warren’s debate on frontier justice versus law and order. The Domergue gang know of Ruth’s reputation and prepare accordingly by killing him and any collateral that stands in their way of freeing Daisy.
Over the course of this film is a slow decay of the idea of law and order in the face of frontier justice. For one thing, one of the upholders of the idea of law and order dies, while the others who respect him are splintered against a group of people who forged bonds to save their own fellow outlaw. This situation forces Mannix and Warren into a bind that ultimately does become a bond. Mannix and Warren are facing monsters and shape-shifters of what may or may not be surrounding them in snowy mountains of Wyoming. Mannix chooses Warren’s side when told by Daisy he can be considered 'an innocent’ as opposed to Warren, who shot her brother dead. When I think about why there is so little backstory on the Domergue gang in that we know equally little about their ruses as much as their real identities not to mention the most prominent ones in Jody and Daisy hardly have any calling card beyond their sadistic and masochistic streaks, I truly do think Tarantino has them standing in for spectres and monsters. They are the sickness, the source of rot and decay in America, an infection, a disease that hits whoever touches them. They are more the future of what evil is to hit the rest of the country as opposed to the already damned North and South from the past. So when Mannix and Warren agree to treat Daisy with some frontier justice, they kill what lied there in the Haberdashery, but who knows if those 15 or so gang members are not going to kill them once the credits roll. Or if those 15 or so members exist at all. Mannix and Warren are screwed anyway due to the amount of blood they lost. In this forged bond they take comfort into Warren’s major lie of the Lincoln letter that Warren reads aloud, as though Lincoln is the deity they must face together as much as Jesus Christ. Lincoln himself wanted reunification and the Union preserved in ways that were not appeasing to his Radical Republican counterparts. Ultimately, Mannix and Warren do achieve what Honest Abe wants before their possible last breaths, but North and South seem out of sorts if not prepared for this growing nation that as much as it is haunted by its past, it also has its other forms of evil hiding, shape-shifting, dropping in, or somewhere else in the distance, unclear. The film The Hateful Eight ends with Roy Orbison’s song 'There Won’t Be Many Coming Home’ that seems to invoke the war, after this scene of two characters achieving inter-racial harmony and North/South Harmony. The lyrics are notably anti-war in the sense of that the man you are killing might as well be your brother and a loss is a loss, equal is equal. These two have accepted their equality but right as they are facing their impending death. The sides they opposed each other on were so much cleaner and clearer for them than what they had just faced and could be facing again. American history is messy and I do think the purposeful lack of clarity in the shadow of the Civil War is the exact point of The Hateful Eight. Even if we did get out of the shadow of the Civil War as a country that expanded and grew, what we became as a growing country was a huge mess with its own darkness.
“This here is Daisy Domergue. She’s wanted dead or alive for murder. When that sun comes out, I’m taking this woman to hang! There anybody here committed to stopping me from doing that?” | The Hateful Eight (2015)
Their first kiss happens by accident, and it isn’t really a first kiss, not by most people’s standards.
It happens in the infirmary, which is full, as usual, with a fresh batch of idiots. Will twirls his stethoscope around his finger as he examines his latest patients leg.
“I still think the climbing wall should have fake lava on it, not the real stuff,” Will says grumpily, storming over to where Nico is organising bandages just to have something to do. “I like a challenge as much as the next Demi-god, but we all get hurt enough as it is without falling into molten liquid and getting dismembered in a place where we’re supposed to be safe. Besides, where do they even get lava from?”
“You’ve told me this a thousand times,” Nico tells him, stacking up several boxes of plasters. Truthfully, he never minds listening to Will rant. “Besides, this place isn’t exactly what I’d call safe. We’ve had countless battles, several spies and traitors, and hundreds of invading monsters that mostly want to kill Percy.”
Wills face does something odd, the way it always does when Nico so much as mentions Percy Jackson. He doesn’t quite understand it, but it gives him butterflies every time. Will huffs and inches closer, leaning over Nico to grab at a swathe of fresh bandages. He dislodges Nico’s neat pile, sending medical equipment cascading all over the counter. Nico shoots him a glare.
“That took me ten minutes,” Nico says darkly. He swipes at Will, who ducks out of the way with a grin.
“Well then, I’ve just given you an extra ten minutes in my company,” Will says cheekily. “You should be thanking me.”
“Thank you,” Nico says dryly, and then kicks Will in the shin, hard.
“I can see that I’ve arrived in an extremely professional moment of the conversation,” Jason announces magnanimously, appearing out of thin air to drape an arm around Nico’s shoulders. Ever since Nico allowed him one hug, Jason has taken it as permission to constantly invade his space. It doesn’t annoy Nico even half as much as he pretend it does.
“I’m always very professional, I’ll have you know,” Will says, wiggling a bandage in Jason’s face. Jason cups a hand around his ear and frowns dramatically.
“What was that?” Jason half-shouts. “I couldn’t hear you over the cries of pain filling the infirmary.”
Will rolls his eyes and heads towards his patient, flapping a dismissive hand at them both.
“You’re blind, not deaf,” Nico says, reaching back to tap Jason’s glasses. Jason pulls them down his nose and frowns at Nico over them, heaving a theatrical sigh.
“My my, Nico,” Jason says, placing a hand to his temple. “Do I need to explain short-sightedness to you again? Obviously you’re very behind in your definitions, aren’t you? Let Professor Jason help you out.”
Nico shoves Jason’s glasses back up his nose and watches impassively as the other boy stumbles back.
“Rude,” Jason says cheerfully. “Anyway, it’s time for lunch. I came to drag you up there, since that’s the only way to get you to eat anything.”
Nico rolls his eyes. “I’m not a child. I can eat later, anyway, I’m busy.”
“No you’re not,” Will says, storming back towards him with a hard look in his eyes. “You’re going with Jason. You can bring the food back here, if you like, just as long as you eat something.”
Nico glares half-heartedly, glancing from Will to Jason and then back to the pile of bandages. Truthfully, he’s not particularly interested in tidying up, but he likes being in the infirmary. It’s comfortable, and quiet, and he gets to spend time with Will.
“I’ll bring it back here,” Nico says hesitantly, leaning a little closer to Will. “You want anything?”
Jason makes a small noise of triumph.
“Yeah, grab me a sandwich?” Will asks, the hard look melting into a smile.
“Sure,” Nico says, nodding. “No tomato, right?”
Will beams. “You know me so well. Thanks,” and then he leans down and kisses Nico clumsily on the cheek.
It isn’t until he pulls away that Nico even registers the kiss. They both freeze. Jason begins to choke on air and Nico watches the sudden realisation dawn on Will, watches the panic make his eyes go wide. It’s strange, because Will’s normally so sure of himself, so confidently invading Nico’s space, making himself at home there.
“Oh my gods,” Jason says, sounding gleeful.
Nico is barely resisting the urge to shadow-travel away when Jason grabs his arm and starts hauling him towards the door. Will watches them to, looking as stunned as Nico feels.
“We’ll be back, with food!” Jason yells, and then yanks Nico out of the infirmary, but not before Nico sees the beginnings of a smile light up Will’s face.
They’re halfway up the hill before Jason stops and puts his hands on Nico’s shoulders, wheeling them around.
“I’m guessing from the poleaxed expression on your face, that that’s the first time he’s kissed you,” Jason says, raising an eyebrow.
“The glasses aren’t just for show, then,” Nico says, a little slowly. “You do have a brain in there. And did you swallow a dictionary? Who says poleaxed?”
“English Majors,” Jason says, not missing a beat. “Or potential ones, anyway. I can see you’re still your usual charming self.”
Nico raises his fingers to touch his cheek. He can still feel the ghost of Wills lips there, soft and swift. Then he hurriedly drops his hand and fixes Jason with a defensive look.
“Why wouldn’t I be?”
“I honestly thought your brain had fallen out of your ear and onto the floor, which wouldn’t be sanitary, for one thing, especially not in an infirmary.” Jason shrugs. “Plus, you’ve had the biggest crush on him for the better part of three months, and he just kissed you.”
“On the cheek,” Nico emphasises. “He kissed me on the cheek. And it was an accident, you saw his face, he probably does it all the time to other people and accidentally did it to me.”
“Well that’s total crap,” Jason says cheerily. “He kissed you.”
“On the cheek,” Nico says again, although he can’t help the small flutter of hope that springs to life inside of him.
“He kissed you,” Jason says, sing song.
“Who kissed you?” Piper asks, strolling towards them with a delighted expression.
Nico groans and puts his head in his hands, mostly to hide his grin. One thing’s for sure, Will is so getting tomato in his sandwich.
Haya what do you think about talia's character in the new TT#2 acting all mothery to Dami and remembering his B-day unlike Bruce being a douche who forget his son's Bday
She might have been only in a few panels but honestly aside from coming of as a little begging I actually really liked what I saw and contrary to popular belief, Talia isn’t a bad mother nor is it in character for her to be one, the reasons behind her doing all of these extremely horrible things including killing Damian and raping Jason & Bruce was simply the fault of unprofessional writers (mostly Grant Morrison) and any knowledgable Talia experts would tell you the same, so yeah I really liked her in TT although I don’t like how it was Bruce who got the short stick this time when it come to being portraying as a parent. Honestly I just don’t understand why there should be a bad parent & good parent thing going on both Talia and Bruce have issues but in the end of the day they both love Damian and that is how they both should to be portrayed.
Also, I think she can rock the Al-Ghul cape better than Ra’s himself:
So I’m watching Arrow and the fact that Roy Harper uses the alias Jason is giving me major Jayroy feels despite there being no evidence of Batman let alone the Batfamily in the Arrowverse from what I’ve seen at this point. I heard Nightwing is going to be in the live action Titans though so…
I don’t know if it’s because I’m a history major (and total dork) but is it just me or are powdered wigs like the actual sexiest thing on this planet?
Like, seriously though. Look at what happens to Jack Davenport, who plays James Norrington in PoTC. I mean he’s already gorgeous.
But add a powdered fucking wig and…
UMF. I don’t even. Like Commodore, you can command my ship any fucking day of the week.
And okay, Benedict Cumberbatch. I mean…
Also, let’s talk about Marie Antoinette starring Kristin Dunst and Jason Schwartzman. Louis XVI was a total dork who was not in the least bit attractive. So, obviously once again, Hollywood fucked up the historical accuracy because like
Seriously, a historical inaccuracy of this kind should be illegal. Because I wouldn’t be complaining if I were married to him.
And then there’s Count Fersen, Marie Antoinette’s secret lover.
If I were Marie I would literally require him to keep that wig on the entire time we were together. Seriously.
AND DO NOT EVEN GET ME STARTED ON THE FRENCH MUSICAL 1789: LES AMANTS DE LA BASTILLE.
These guys already have insane vocals, which is already a turn on for me. BUT THEN IT’S LIKE
they don’t even need to be motherfucking powdered wigs, it can just be long hair pulled back with the period clothing.
I mean maybe this is just me, but powdered wigs are da bomb. If a man came up to me wearing the period clothing and the wig I think my underwear would actually fly off of me and into outer space.
I’m clearly way to big of a history nerd. I shouldn’t even be real.
hii!!!! i still think about the fact that you gave jason a major with english and theater 🎭 i dont recall what you called it. but i often find myself thinking about that. what made you do that? and what kind of ppl would jason be hanging around in lectures? it sounds lile such an interesting major....loved that idea !!
Aw thanks! I don’t know if something is actually offered like that at Wichita (creative liberties!) but I thought it would be a good blend of his semi-canon/partly fanon love of literature and his dramatic nature. I think he ends up moving more into social work/teaching drama and lit in Gotham schools, but the major he starts with is a real one at some schools. It’s called Dramatic Literature and usually offered through an English department.
It’s the study of written plays (scripts and screen plays), the history of drama and theater, and dramatic or narrative devices. So, whole classes on Shakespeare, morality plays of the Middle Ages, Japanese opera (noh), the Harlem renaissance scripts. Some poetry, since a lot of poetry is written to be performed or recited.
He probably would have been surrounded by lit and theater nerds and I actually sort of think with his background he might have found some of them with their disconnect from “reality” that can seem to be present in dense lit academia a little annoying, but he probably also found some friends.