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Secret Pleasures #19: Fanfiction

4 Jun

Yes, I am a geek.  A nerd.  A dork.  Whatever you want to call it.  And I like fanfiction.  Deal with it.

I started reading Sailor Moon fanfiction on a now discontinued site called moonromance.net when I was a freshman in high school.  Some authors sucked, other were great and I quickly found myself addicted.

I’m addicted, but it’s a secret. Hell no would I wear this shirt.

It took me over a year before I started exploring other types of fanfiction.  I quickly found that some authors completely dirtied an already perfect storyline while others embellished it.  Now, I have set of rules in order to sort these apart.

A lot of people completely ruin a story.  Ewww, the grammar and misspelling burns my eyes (see below).

First, if it’s a book/movie/anime that I’m completely happy with I will not read any fanfiction on it.  In my opinion fanfiction will simply ruin it.

Second, if you say in the summary you suck at summaries you probably suck at writing, too.

Third, I’m not going to reading any OC (out of character) stories.  When you start changing the characters’ personalities you’re changing the story.  I didn’t come here to read your pathetic parody.  Similarly, if I can tell you’re going to ignore the facts of the original story I’m not going to read it.  Facts are facts, don’t screw with them.

Fourth and most importantly, I’m not going to read your story if you can’t use proper english.  For example:

(I don’t need to live) a yonuy boy thout to him self he held out a knife nere his rist suinley he herd a beutaful voice say ?

Yes, this is the first sentence to an actual story that I found randomly on fanfiction.net.  Not only is it depressing, but everything about it is wrong.  Parenthesis instead of quotes.  Horrible spelling.  Misused question mark.  I get chills just looking at it.

“Where is Aizen getting these asshols?” Ichigo thought.

This is better and forgivable because everyone makes mistakes.

So, why is fanfiction so appealing?  The answer is simple: authors leave things unfinished or finish things improperly.  Reading someone’s twist or expansion on a story is fun.  Countless times I’ve finished a series (either of books or TV) and wished for more.  Luckily, there is more.

Fanfiction even has it’s own type of culture.  There’s the classic acronyms OC (out of character), R&R (rate and review),  and AU (alternate universe).  There’s the words “lemon” and “lime” which relate to sex, and “yuri”and “yoai” which is lesbian and gay stories respectively.  There’s also “x-over” for cross over stories (combing characters from two completely different stories; I’m not a fan).  But, my favorite part of fanfiction culture is the shortening and combining of names/pairings.  For example, Takari is a romantic pairing between Takeru and Hikari from digimon and Harmony is for Harry Potter and Hermione.

Can you imagine the disgusted look on my face?

While searching for fanfiction pictures I discovered Twifiction.  Twilight fiction.  I think I just puked a little.

Nevertheless, fanfiction is something that’s fun to read.  At college, I discovered that I wasn’t the only one with this secret pleasure.  Many of my friends actually admitted that they dabble in reading and writing fanfiction (I later found out that dabble meant religiously follow).  It’s embarrassing but who cares.

Above I mentioned another part of fanfiction–writing it.  Do I write fanfiction? Let’s not talk about that.  I will say that everyone has expectations for a story and when they’re not met it’s fun to write about what could have happened or in your opinion what should have happened.

So, whether it’s reading or writing, fanfiction is a great source of entertainment.

My Secret Pleasure: reading and writing twists on a good story–sometimes to make it better.

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Super HeroiHOT #20: Elektra

4 Jun

My hips must meditate as much as I do

Alright, I’ll admit that I’ve been at the computer for most of the day.  I finally got to read most of Secret Invasion, though.  I was disappointed.  Although, after writing about Raven and her tunic, fabric, hip-and-ass show off thing between her legs, I realized that the phenomenon also applies to Elektra… Except, I have greater beefs with this character.  So, please enjoy.

APPEARANCE:

Amped up and ready to kick/kill some ass

Elektra’s costume has remained fairly stable throughout her entire career as a character.  Red, White, or Black garments.  Only does the black hint at any sort of Ninja connotations:

Oh yeah... you can still see all of my skin can't you?

Her costume’s completely impractical for a ninja.  Apparently, wrapping a bunch of shit around your body parts and holding sai somehow makes you a ninja.  I’m all about practicality of costumes (for a good example of how Ninja costumes should be done check out the post about Karai from TMNT), and this really is a shitty costume.  Granted, the costume in white somehow makes it even worse:

What is the purpose for strands of fabric wrapped around thighs!? Is it the secret to unlocking the mysteries of the universe!?

At least, in the red and black costumes cover up her torso, but now we need to see some cleavage folks!  Apparently, I heard this rumor that there isn’t enough cleavage in comics!  So now every character gets some! (Superman, eat your heart out, babe)

The crotch, hip thing is so upsetting (also consider how the fabric is fucking see-through in the white costume!), and then you throw in the impracticality of the exposed torso.  Sirs and Ladies and everything in between!  This is a terrible costume.

At least the goddamn terrible Jennifer Garner movie had pants!

YAY Pants! BOO Bad movie!

Oh, she may be Greek, but one can never tell.

Appearance: 0/10


PERSONALITY:

What darlings!

After Frank Miller introduced the character, built her up, and then killed her (for a good purpose at expanding Matt Murdock’s character), Elektra’s personality became a joke.  Apparently, she’s sort of friends with Wolverine (isn’t everyone!?  He’s such a dick… I don’t understand), but… other than that, she doesn’t really have much of anything.

She sort of reminds me of when you order Clam Chowder and you get little saltines with it and you crumble them up into your soup but they were stale beforehand and your Clam Chowder’s bad anyway… like 5 days too old.

AKA – Elektra has been an expended character since Frank Miller first killed her off.  She has served absolutely no greater purpose since then.  Some may counter that with her Skrull impersonator being the first body discovered for Secret Invasion… well, it wasn’t fucking her!  It was a goddamn alien and she shouldn’t have been on that ship with all of the replaced heroes coming back.  She should be dead! (more on this later)

Personality: 1/10


SUPER POWERS:

We're so dead... like she should be

I heard another rumor about Elektra being the Marvel world’s most dangerous assassin.  Actually, I’ve heard this quite a few times to the point that the label “World’s Most Dangerous Assassin” no longer has the same ring to it.

So, she’s good at killing.  That’s nice.  I’m kinda bored about it, though.

So, her powers are nothing special, but she does it cred for not actually having powers.  Nevertheless, this does not make up for all of the damage that the typical powerset bestows upon her.

Super Powers: 3/10


SECRET IDENTITY:

They're goin for my eyes!

Full-time Assassin.

Part-time Dead.

Full-time Useless.

She sort of tried having a secret identity once… it didn’t get her really anywhere.

Secret Identity: 2/10


ADDITIONAL ITEMS:

Why can't the viewer be positioned from the point of view of the people she's facing?

Oh yeah, I forgot. Looking up from the position at about four inches off the ground is so much more thrilling!

Much like Psylocke (having almost identical costumes, too!), Elektra now serves no further purpose other than being eye candy and a jerk off session instigator.  It’s really upsetting that the reader is always positioned to exploit the character rather than be in awe of her physique.  She does not really embody her physical features.  Meaning that she could easily be wearing a parka and doing the same things as she does in this stripper’s outfit.  If there was a reason for her dressing this way, I’m listening.

-5

OUCHIES!

Once upon a time, Elektra died.  It promoted growth for the lead character in Daredevil.  It was surprising but well calculated.

Then she was resurrected… then she turned out to be a Skrull but still alive.
This should be considered pissing on her original function as a strong character who was a plot device.

Overall, she should have stayed dead because the path was well orchestrated to her dying.  Then and now, she truly has no chance of getting past her stale characterization or terrible costume to become a powerful female character.

-3

FINAL TOTAL:

-2/40

Let’s just mark this up as a giant failure over at Marvel.

Her sole purpose as a character

Super HeroiHOT #19: Raven

4 Jun

Raven has the ability to keep the blood flowing in her arms with them outstretched all the time.

I’ve been reading a lot of Teen Titans comics lately.  So, I decided to take a stab at one of my sister’s favorite comic book characters.  I hope I please her…

APPEARANCE:

Side Ass: A common trait amongst female heroes

I’m pretty divided on Raven’s costume.  At times, I think it’s really neat, but other times I think it’s kinda bleh.  Let’s start out with my major problem with it: the tunic fabric sheets hanging between her legs.

These sheets hanging from behind and in front function mostly for artists to have more fabric to blow around in the wind with and to give viewers the occasional “upskirt” phenomenon.  Comic artists love drawing asses, it seems, and Raven is full of the side ass and almost crotch.  The rest of the costume isn’t that exploitative, but this one kinda ruins treating her with a fair amount of respect.  If there was a reason for all of the side ass like mobility or something, then it would makes sense… but there isn’t.  I believe that they could turn the bottom into more of the one piece swimsuit thing because, frankly, there’s plenty of fabric to already work with in her hooded cape.

Now, onto that hooded cape thing.  It’s pretty badass, and I really enjoy how the hood comes to a point (like a raven, Ha!).  Sometimes this may be a little ridiculous like in the above image because it seems entirely impractical with something blocking your forward vision.  Nevertheless, it looks good.

The cape in and of itself seems to be of no defined length.  In some frames it may extend to extreme lengths, while others it may be just down to her ankles or so.  Nevertheless, the effect is neat.

In other images, there is sometimes a raven embellishment on the chest, and I don’t really like this because I enjoy the sleek version of the costume.  I do enjoy the round button, clasp things that attach the cape to the regular costume when they have little raven symbols on them.

Oh, and the white costume is pretty neat.

Nevertheless, with all of the good going on, the side ass holds this costume up from being really wonderful.

Appearance: 7/10


PERSONALITY:

Contemplative and deep, Raven is always searching for her purpose and direction that separates her from her father... Trigon... a demon.

Raven was raised to suppress her emotions so that her evil father could not discover her and warp her to his purposes.  Therefore, Raven can often come off as chilling.  However, some writers (surprisingly Geoff Johns since he isn’t too great with female characters) have managed to give Raven layers of personality utilizing her constant deaths, resurrections, and/or soul self wanderings to form her as a tragic character.

However, she’s in pain a lot and constantly worrying about fitting in.  For being an empath and having emotions define her powers, she does not have any emotional grounding of her own.  Her voice, as often shown by a shaky speech bubble and/or different text, is pretty deadpan and direct.  If she senses a teammate feeling terrible, she has no problem mentioning it aloud in front of everyone.

Raven's deadpan and shaky voice often provides just a little bit of comic relief when she's being serious about humorous things

Raven constantly battles between her good nature and the underlying antagonistic qualities she’s inherited from her devil father.

Overall, her social skills are fairly vacant.  Sure, she has a pretty big excuse, but it doesn’t completely save her.

Personality: 6


SUPER POWERS:

Oh, alright...

For a DC character, Raven has pretty unique powers which would naturally could make her a bigger player in the DC Universe.  However, she has never gone past her Teen Titan/Titans allegiances despite having the skills to be a second-string Justice League-er.

I suppose the issue is that she often does not have complete control over her powers since she’s constantly battling between her good and evil selves.

Nevertheless, Raven is an empath that can feed off of other people’s emotions in order to soothe or hurt them.  Therefore, she can take a person’s hate and use it against them.  Her soul-self is also a projection that allows her to incapacitate others.

She is also utilized heavily by her team for her ability to teleport with her cloak.

Overall, she has some pretty great qualities, but DC’s missing out by fully utilizing them.

Super Powers: 7/10


SECRET IDENTITY:

Oh my god, I'm wearing earings!

After Raven has been resurrected, once again, she creates the identity of Rachel Roth so she can go… to high school!  She totally rides the emo wave because apparently being emotionally dead is what emo is all about.

This is the first life (of 3-ish) that Raven dons a normal identity to have a life outside of the Teen Titans/Titans.  It just sort of seems like the writers weren’t sure what to do with her on the weekdays and tossed her into high school.

Oh well…

Secret Identity: 6/10


ADDITIONAL ITEMS:

Here we go again........

I cannot even begin to tell you how many times “The Search for Raven” or “Raven Resurrected” or “Oh my god, Trigon’s back.  We need Raven!” has happened in the comics.  This storyline has become so stale that it is really the only one associated with Raven (sort of how old it’s become to watch Deathstroke fight the Teen Titans).  Once again, this is another failed opportunity by creators to use a fairly well-conceived character in any original way.  It’s just tiring for her to be the ultimate deux ex machina to solve these crises (and to teleport).

-5


FINAL TOTAL:

Time for my epic, Batman-esque Pose!

21/40 or 52.5%

Personally, I really like the character of Raven, but how she’s used for the same ol’ thing is a pretty big joke.  She has the abilities and interest to hold her own title, but the creators really don’t know how to use her in any new way.

Raven has potential, just stop squandering it creators.