". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Netflix's 2017 Marvel "Defenders" Mini Series

     . . . . QUESTION:  Was Netflix's 2017 Marvel Comix Defenders mini series a bottle series?

     . . . . Jessica Jones returns Thursday for her second season, as we all know (YAY!). 

What I didn't know is that Luke Cage is coming back for a second season too, June 2 -- currently the most handsome man on tv! Nobody wears a hoodie with the perfection that Luke wears one.

Not being a comix fan of any sort, following them not at all, reading them never, don't go to their movie versions, when these two series arrived on Netflix, this watcher was unaware that both Jones and Cage were ancient Marvel comix superheroes. Generally, this means they come with an enormous amount of superhero history and superhero relationship baggage. But in their Netflix incarnations,  if they displayed the baggage, I saw none of it -- and it didn't matter!  I didn't notice I was missing anything. I enjoyed the characters, found them interesting, felt badly for their struggles, and sympathized with them. 

However, there were aspects that I didn't enjoy so much -- because they were comic bookishly unreal -- guess what, they were comic book ridiculous. For example, as a person who lives in the locale of their shows, I know these neighborhoods since young adulthood. These and the city generally are nothing like what the series tell us they are: gritty, crime-ridden, drug-sodden, filled with cheap dives, cheap diners, and cheap apartments. And Cottonmouth, villain of Luke Cage, why yes he did behave like a comic book supervillain, so I lost interest in all that. 

Claire Temple, Luke Cage's love interest, though there have been hints, alas, that she's also a super something.

I could listen to Detective Misty Knight talk all day.  Alas I hear she's also a super something in season 2 of Luke Cage.  O. Dear.

It was Cage himself and his relationships with the people in his life who weren't super comic cut-outs, but there got to be less and less of that, in terms of anything but action.  It was Pops, Nurse Claire and Detective Misty Knight and how they related to Luke that I found fascinating.

Having discovered by chance yesterday that the Netflix Defenders (2017) included Jones and Cage, I watched the first four eps -- it moved well enough to do that. Plus, you know, Jones and Cage! plus Sigourney Weaver.

But what the eff?  This Daredevil -- huh?  No self-respecting man, blind or not, would ever run around the image-conscious streets of NYC dressed like like a dork. And this childish Iron Fist, comes from what sort of mysterious oriental city [sic -- coz that's how its presented -- not Asia or Asian, but some inscrutable oriental sorcerous hidden location from white folks' fantasies of the 1920's] complete with ninja Asian girly side-kick -- and, Lordessa, is he really Batman, with all his vast inherited wealth? He can't be Iron Man, since Iron Man actually works . . . .  And why does Sigourney Weaver care?  And what is this timeline of 1991 or something and then "TODAY"?  Not to mention how obvious the choreography of the fight and action scenes were, how obviously edited and body doubled.  (I have enjoyed seeing Justified's Raylon Given's dad on screen again though -- Stick.  I guess he's a superhero too? Justified consistently had some of the best actors matched with the most perfect roles -- one of my all time favorite series.)

There was so much baggage in our faces, about which I knew and cared nothing.  Especially the relationships. I kept getting thrown out of episodes in utter disbelief of anything that was going on -- except for Cage and Jones.  I loved them!

Except -- they were merely cool with each other, not even sending a Valentine text, since 2015, so to speak. Which maybe them not even having a coffee catch-up  since 2015 barely made sense since Cage had gone to prison in 2016. But what was Jones doing for three years? [Perhaps though, we'll learn the answer to that starting tomorrow!] And suddenly this this quest to save the city with a ridiculous beyond speaking Iron Fist -- what's his name anyway? and Daredevil -- what's his name anyway?

In other words having two action figures who are real people with real names, sans silly costumed superhero secret identities of vast wealth or connections, works a whole lot better.  It makes for better characters with whom one can invest feelings. 

   . . . Whereas, how in the world could anyone invest in anything looking so foolish? No man with any self-regard would venture on the streets of self-consciously stylish NYC looking like this!  

Defenders was in 2017, the first season of Luke Cage was 2016, and the first season of Jessica Jones in 2105. Both Cage and Jones get their second Netflix seasons this year -- so -- was last year's mini series, Defenders a bottle season?

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