proxy battles

filbypott  asked:

Ever since Darkseid first appeared in the pages of Jack Kirby's SUPERMAN'S PAL, JIMMY OLSEN, the Man of Steel has been bound up with the Fourth World saga, to the point that Darkseid is often treated as one of Superman's rogues gallery and Supes himself replaces Orion as Darkseid's nemesis. What are your thoughts on Superman's relationship to the New Gods, and how closely do you think he should be tied to them?

He works exceedingly well, for all the reasons Chris Sims goes into here - as Final Crisis showed, the opposite of “Darkseid Is” is “Superman Can,” one of those perfect symmetries that evolves over time. Kirby may have planned Orion to be Darkseid’s opposite number - and Orion absolutely works in that capacity - but Darkseid’s role as a broader DC villain starts to get codified once he’s redesigned by Kirby for the Super Powers cartoon, and really gets in gear for the DCAU beginning with Superman TAS. You probably remember Superman and Darkseid’s slobberknocker fights better than you remember the times Orion fought Darkseid on those shows.

At the same time, reducing Darkseid to “I’m the guy that punches, plus I got Omega Beams” is as reductive as reducing Superman to Guy That Punches, and there is an apocryphal story that Dini & Timm wanted Darkseid as the big bad in Superman TAS because they wanted a more physical foe for Superman than Lex Luthor. So those big fights have probably been as much a hindrance as a help in the broader scheme of things, especially once you factor in Dark Knight Returns Syndrome where attempts to recreate those fights without establishing the context that made them work so well to begin with leads to diminished returns over time, to the point people are more hype about Baby Darkseid than they are about actual Darkseid, since at least Baby Darkseid is a new idea.

But we’re sliding back towards “Darkseid as that itch in the back of your skull that wants you to destroy everything, starting with yourself” thanks to books like the current Mister Miracle, and I think this is a better fit - Darkseid as someone out there somewhere, tempting people towards evil just as surely as Superman inspires them towards nobility. Entire proxy battles between people motivated by their relationship to either one could be fought without either knowing. It’s more subtle than Kirby’s take, but the whole point of Kirby was “come up with your own take.”

So tying it back to Superman: Darkseid works very well as a Superman villain but less so as a consistent villain, i.e. someone who shows up and gets beat down once every few months. Apokalips shouldn’t be a place Superman just swings by from time to time - it’s the final level, not the first level. He works better with a level of buildup to the revelation of “oh, shit, Darkseid’s behind this, things are really bad.” The character with a constant presence in Superman’s world who is a corrupting, controlling bastard is Lex Luthor, who can also suffer from overexposure but can rebound from it with more ease since there’s more variation in his interpretation and how sympathetic he should be.

But building up Darkseid takes time - over a year’s worth of comics, at the least - and that is difficult to reconcile with the modern take on Darkseid as Franchise Villain, where many hands are shaping the direction he’ll take. It’s difficult to quietly build to his latest scheme if he’s gotta show up in Justice League every six months.

One way out, again, would be Mister Miracle, which is relatively self-contained, has little to do with the current storyline with Darkseid, and uses the 4th World quite well. Not every book should be Mister Miracle but takes on the 4th World and its relationship to Superman could benefit from that approach of keeping it relatively constrained to one book and one team’s take.

One final note: I have heard that Highfather is dead and I feel this is an excellent idea, since Orion himself might be a better choice, for dramatic purposes, in the role of the leader of New Genesis. It gives him a different role than Superman that also plays to his essential struggle - a man who grew up in a version of Heaven that never lets him forget he was born in Hell, whose own personal Darkseid is his sense of failure every time he loses his temper - and lets Superman take to the front lines in the role of the hero dealing with Darkseid more directly, as befits a protagonist. It also gives the sense that New Genesis is on the back foot - and while the theme of the Fourth World is that good triumphs, it’s a moral you build up to, and the best way to do that is to show that good can triumph even when it looks like it’s been defeated.


Marshawn Lynch and Rob Gronkowski join Conan for an extreme Super Bowl proxy battle in “Mortal Kombat X.”

anonymous asked:

As Stony hard-core shipper I hate some fics in this fandom always write Tony as black sheep and he should take all the responsibility of betrayal and guilt for causing Steve's death. They also like to place Steve on a pedestal and how he's so worthy of Tony's sacrifice and love. The worst is they always DO IT FROM TONY'S ANGLE. I know Tony is self-deprecating but the fics make me feel Tony is so undervalued, miserable and Steve comes and graces him. It's not love, it's unrequited relationship

well. it’s….. complicated

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“… My experience was basically like this. I went to a thing with LP, I was nervous, and didn’t know anyone, and right after I started to talk to them, they found out I ship OQ and basically shut off from the rest of the people. It all was fast, so at first I didn’t think anything of it.

But then when the thing was happening, they kept yelling Swan Queen and Swen, which was fine, but it kept interrupting everything, and then there was an opportunity for everyone to meet Lana, get photos or autos. Well, these girls were loud and excited, which I understood, but they monopolized the entire time between the 5 of them, take loads of photos and getting a number of things signed, and everyone else was left out, and got like one group photo between us all. (hopefully these are sending

Now, I know this isn’t something typical of SQ, but these girls were definitely SQ and acting as gate keepers, as your post described. I felt very left out, and so did a few of the others I managed to talk to as we lamented taking our time off of our respect jobs to basically get shut out. I had been incredibly excited and left feeling very disheartened. I wasn’t trying to blame SQ for anything, but I do think that the gate keepers exist in all ships, and make all the rest look bad.”

– [3 piece ask submitted off anon]

Ok, there’s bad news and there’s good news. Bad news first:

What you’re describing doesn’t sound like deliberate gate-keeping. What you’re describing is swen existing, and not being quiet while existing - being very noisy. It’s fangirls collectively going wild because Lana is within squealing distance.

The short answer is, it wasn’t about you. The long answer is - firstly, I sympathise regarding the decibel level. When people are very loud with their excitement it makes my teeth ache. (I just tried to watch a youtube of a game designer presenting his work so far to a sit-down audience, and I didn’t get half way through because his fans were screaming every time he paused for breath and I’m like… calm down). But that’s just me; a combination of my age, culture, and personal quirks, probably.

But ask these questions: did this little group of excited fan girls:

  • tell you you’re not welcome?
  • tell you to go away?
  • tell you you’re deluded/sick/disgusting?
  • tell you to kill yourself?
  • threaten to cut you?
  • threaten to rape you?

I’m guessing no, because if they had you would have mentioned it already. I get the impression that they were just being inconsiderately noisy because their excitement got the better of them.

Are they sending you profanity-laden abuse? Trying to hack your social media accounts, making up malicious lies about you, faking on-line posts to attribute to you to tarnish your reputation? Do they send you stuff like this when you post a polite discussion about gate-keeping and tag it with the relevant fandoms:

Note: this is evidence that bigots spam abuse at swen because the “vow to leave if SM regular” bit is generic nonsense that goes round and round:

I think Sean would be mortifed to see what they’re doing in his name.

Do you get messages like this one I got when I defended JMo for fixing Xivents’ badly planned photo-op schedule:

Because that’s the kind of thing bigots from the CS/OQ fandoms are sending to SQ shippers every day, and I receive a lot fewer than some. And if these girls you describe were doing anything like that to you, that would be about you. That would be trolling and bigoted gate-keeping.

You say you were nervous about attending and didn’t know anyone. That’s very common. Now add to that the knowledge that you might encounter people who have done any or all of the above to you when you get there. How are you feeling now? Afraid too? Are you still going?

You say there was a group of them (five). Perhaps five loud excited girls together can feel intimidating if you’re on your own. Are you aware that swen have had to organise a buddy system for attending events because some have received threats of violence? And it has been serious enough to involve the police recently.

You say they “shut off” when you said you ship OQ. Well, disinterest is not the same as trying to chase you away; but let’s suppose for the sake of argument that they deliberately sidelined you (and I’m not saying they did) - given the horrible attention swen get from some CS/OQ shippers online, is it possible they retreated from you because they don’t know if you’re that kind? I mean, it’s a small chance, but still… Want to know something sad? My daughter (just turned twelve) is a SQ shipper and desperate to meet the actors, especially Lana. If she ever gets to, it’s very unlikely to be at a OUaT event, because we don’t want to risk her coming face-to-face with the fans who sent her rape threats last year.

And such a reaction from people banding together and trying to protect themselves probably feels unfair to you when you’ve done no such thing. But have you spoken up against such behaviour?

Which brings us to the good news: you can do something to make it better. Write a post about how shameful the bigots’ behaviour is; how it brings your fandom into disrepute. I’ll give you a recent example to start with – Lana just got back from honeymoon, but bigots used her absence to spread the malicious rumour that “SQ bullies drove her from Twitter”. I got wind of it from gems like this in response to some humour pieces:

So you could write about how embarrassing it is to be associated with such liars who use your OQ fandom as a vehicle for their bigotry. Keep it up, and the next time you go to an event and introduce yourself to some swen you’ll probably have more love than you know what to do with.

When I went to my first Stargate SG-1 con I didn’t know anyone. The first people I encountered were a gang (they felt like a gang!) of about ten Jack O’Neill/Samantha Carter shippers. Man I couldn’t stand that ship; but those shippers who shipped a ship I can’t stand became my crowd. For SG-1 I wrote fanfic for ships I disliked, didn’t care for, or wasn’t really into because I wrote it for my fellow fans. I still hang out with some - the real world hanging out over beers kind - because while the fandom had the odd troll, it had not been co-opted by bigots with their own agenda. Once Upon a Time’s CS/OQ fandoms have been co-opted for what angstbotfic succinctly identifies as proxy battles. That’s what’s going on here.

…I think, that this is where it becomes a bit … not disingenuous. It’s like with the Silk Road. It’s easy to accuse hobbyists of unleashing all hell on earth, right? But we literally live now – maybe I’ll just refer to the US – but there are people pulling the levers that operate the greatest terrorist program in the history of the world. And I don’t just mean the surveillance thing, or warfare. But they are running arms into proxy battles all over the earth that are killing people every day. It’s not something that should be left out of the discussion. Like, ‘Oh Cody Wilson, you hobbyists in your garages, look at what you’re doing.’ But, I think that has to be in the discussion. The attorney general who has been so good about pushing this ban on my guns is accused of covering up the running of actual military grade assault rifles into Mexico. I’m sure he’d say, 'Well, white man’s burden. We’ve got to make the world safe for democracy.’ But they are killing millions of people.
—  Cody Wilson
#GamerGate has changed...

It’s no longer about ethics or journalistic integrity. It’s an endless series of proxy battles, fought by SJs and Anti-SJs. #GamerGate, and its consumption drama, has become a well-oiled machine. #GamerGate has changed. SJ tagged warriors carry SJ tagged weapons, use SJ tagged gear. Ad hominems inside their bodies deminish their reason.
Privilege control. Information control. Emotion control. Battlefield control. Everything is monitored, and kept under control. #GamerGate has changed. The age of free will has become the age of control. All in the name of averting criticism from concerned gamers.

And he who controls the media, controls history. #GamerGate has changed. When the media is under total control, #GamerGate… becomes routine.