48 – Amanda Waller

coverblackRecorded August 22nd.  “What are you really up to?”  The premise behind Task Force X as historically plausible.  Amanda Waller’s sales pitch and intentions.  FAQ run down.

You notice these are criminals?  They’re psychotic antisocial freaks.  It makes no sense . . . I mean, you need real soldiers.  Not these scumbags . . . What are you really up to?

Answers, insights, and commentary on:

  • Amazing Amanda Waller execution
  • The Voice of God
  • Sympathy for the Devil
  • Weird weapons of war
  • Project Habakkuk (ice ship) and Project X-Ray (bat bombs)
  • David and Goliath and military innovation
  • White House Situation Room
  • What was pitched and what was actually bought
  • People avoid uncertainty but actually like it
  • Military Mafia connection
  • Unethical human testing
  • Why not heroes or soldiers
  • Waller and Enchantress
  • History of WMD management
  • The Dirty Dozen and Filthy Thirteen
  • Roy Benavidez

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Can this Squad stop Superman?
  • What is the purpose of the rest of the Squad?
  • What use is Harley?  Boomerang?  Killer Croc?  Slip Knot?
  • What is Waller really up to?
  • Why is Katana on the Squad?
  • What is the Squad’s purpose generally?
  • Why aren’t elite soldiers satisfactory to Waller?
  • What is the Squad’s mission specifically?
  • Who shot down the first helicopter?
  • Why would you send another helicopter?
  • Why was GQ and his men on this mission?
  • Don’t they compromise the Squad’s covert status?
  • Isn’t this expending soldiers for the Squad?
  • Wouldn’t two squads of soldiers be better?
  • Why couldn’t conventional soldiers win if bombs are effective?
  • Why weren’t the supernatural siblings more effective?
  • How did Deadshot set off the C4?
  • Why did Bruce need Waller’s files?
  • Where was The Flash?
  • Why didn’t Waller destroy the heart immediately?
  • Why didn’t Waller guard Enchantress more carefully?

To learn more:
Fighting Fire With Fire | Wikipedia
Project X-Ray (bat bomb) | Wikipedia
Project Habakkuk (ice ship) | Wikipedia
War In Heaven | Wikipedia
Penal Military Units | Wikipedia
The Dirty Dozen (1967) | IMDb
White House Situation Room | Wikipedia
Lucky Luciano’s deal | Wikipedia
Unethical human experimentation | Wikipedia
Command & Control | Eric Schlosser
Filthy Thirteen | Wikipedia
MSgt. Roy Benavidez | Wikipedia

Web: ManOfSteelAnswers.com
Twitter: @mosanswers
Subscribe: iTunes / RSS / Stitcher / YouTube http://feeds.feedburner.com/ManOfSteelAnswers
Proud member of the Superman Podcast Network!

A special first-draft since I’m away for the next month!  So here’s the “assembly cut” in lieu of dividing it into three polished episodes.

47 – Suicide Squad

coverblackRecorded August 12th.  “Don’t worry, I still love you.”  Suicide Squad, love & hate, critics, demographics, and punk rock.

Answers, insights, and commentary on:

  • Suicide Squad art book the best yet
  • Expectations first viewing
  • Loving and not liking without contradiction
  • Kevin Smith’s commitment
  • “Anarchic punk rock art movie”
  • Audience demographics opening week
  • 81% of African Americans and Hispanics gave the film a positive score
  • 76% of audience members under age 35 gave the film a positive score
  • Batson Rule of jury selection applied to RT Top Critics
  • Gender demographics of critics
  • Giving critics appropriate weight
  • Punk rock history
    • Universal yearning
    • Punk vs. Prog Rock
    • Ayer’s punk-like courage
    • Sincerity and reality
    • Rebellion threatens establishment
    • Diversity
    • Improvisation and inspiration
    • Effort, blood, sweat, and tears
    • Commercialization
    • Ayer built a family
    • Recognition over time
  • Gladwell on Cézanne
  • Marjorie Lui on diversity in comics

…and much more!

Interview with David Ayer | Empire
5 Reasons Why Suicide Squad Stayed At The Box Office | Meriah Doty
Suicide Squad Is The Most Diverse Superhero Cast Yet | Graphiq
You Don’t Own Me ft. G-Eazy | Grace
Rock & Roll – Punk (1995) | PBS
Episode 7: Hallelujah | Revisionist History
Marjorie Liu’s Monstress Pushes the Boundaries | New Yorker
“Naughty” – Matilda The Musical | Tim Minchin

Web: ManOfSteelAnswers.com
Twitter: @mosanswers
Subscribe: iTunes / RSS / Stitcher / YouTube http://feeds.feedburner.com/ManOfSteelAnswers
Proud member of the Superman Podcast Network!

I’m aware that “anarchic punk rock” is its own sub-genre within punk.  😛

46 – Monument

coverblackSegments originally recorded March 29th, April 30th, and July 19th.  Heroes Park monument, memorial, and the Superman statue.

Answers, insights, and commentary on:

  • Motif of monuments, memorials, and memory throughout the film
  • The Superman statue as political expedience
  • A scar on the city
  • National September 11 Memorial parallels
  • Remember the city as it was, incorporating the city
  • Impact of Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  • Maya Lin’s design, intention, and overcoming criticism
  • The certainty of youth
  • Chronological listing of names
  • Names as a meaningful abstraction
  • Symbols of the Wall
  • Criticism over abstraction and ambiguity
  • Critics can turn anything into a controversy
  • Critics upset over the unexpected and unconventional
  • Public grieving changed by Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  • Accessibility of art beyond the directly connected and invested
  • Interpretation and understanding increasing appreciation of art
  • Benefits of wonder and awe
  • The pose, humility, and abstraction of the statue
  • Do heroes have to be known or perfect to get a monument?
  • Wallace Keefe’s objections to the statue
  • Monuments versus the fluidity of history
  • Keefe’s arrest as the central statement
  • Superman’s feelings about the statue, being put on a pedestal

…and much more!

Sorry, I don’t have access to Doc’s notes.  He’ll update the show notes with links after Suicide Squad.

Time Out Shortlist Metropolis & Gotham | Dan Wallace (editor)
Dawn of Justice: The Art of the Film | Peter Aperlo
Maya Lin, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, 1982 | Smarthistory
American Icons: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial | Studio 360
Maya Lin and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial | Rear Window
Hidden Brain: Great Vacations and Awe | NPR
Heroes are good – let’s make statues of them | Nikolas Lloyd
ISIS destroys ancient artifacts in Mosul | CBS
A History of Controversial Monuments | Eveline van Rijswijk

Web: ManOfSteelAnswers.com
Twitter: @mosanswers
Subscribe: iTunes / RSS / Stitcher / YouTube http://feeds.feedburner.com/ManOfSteelAnswers
Proud member of the Superman Podcast Network!

8/8 – Thanks to H.H. for publishing the episode and moderating the site!

45 – Ultimate Edition

coverblackRecorded July 9th, less than 12 hours after viewing.  First impressions to the Ultimate Edition of Batman v. Superman (via VUDU) after one continuous play through, skimming some extras, and going back to pause at select points.

Apologies in advance for the rambling sure to come!  Answers, insights, and commentary on:

  • Overall Impressions
  • Subtlety and symbolism of drinks as delusion
  • Repetition, parallels, references, homage, call-backs, continuity
  • Jimmy Olsen’s death and Clark Kent’s return
  • Approaching BvS with mass resurrection in mind
  • New rules for reality
  • Justice League set visit excitement
  • Recruitment reflecting negotiating with audience
  • Realism reinvigorating comics in every era
  • Heavy Metal magazine influence
  • Smoother transitions
  • Function of flamethrower in Nairomi
  • New line says Lex Senior was a liar
  • Perry White’s tragic story arcs
  • Colorado flood rescue dilemma
  • Superman’s public powers and limitations
  • Lex’s kinship with Doomsday
  • Knowing lets you go dark for the coming light

…and much more ramblings!

Secret Origin clip features Ryan Reynolds, Dwayne McDuffie, Paul Levitz, Geoff Johns, Dan Didio, Denny O’Neil, Mark Waid, and Neil Gaiman.

7/22/16 Update: I figured out the logic of planning for the flamethrower.  Not for the locals, the CIA, the press, for witnesses, or eliminating evidence.  The burnt bodies gave Kahina the cover-story to excuse your lie in the eyes of Lois and Clark.  Yes, Lex could have had Kahina lie about fire even if Anatoli didn’t burn bodies but then Lois and Clark would be on to Kahina immediately.  They’d know she was lying.  L&C might not be able to prove it, but it would get them investigating rather than doubting themselves.  Lex ordered Anatoli to burn bodies because while L&C know Superman didn’t use heat-vision, they could still believe that Kahina would come to that conclusion and testify about it.

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (4K Ultra HD) | Director: Zack Snyder
Justice League Set Visit Recap | Collider
Alexander The Great vs Ivan The Terrible | Epic Rap Battle
Diana’s treasure. Action 1, Detective 31, Detective 27, and Superman 1! | MOSanswers
Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics (2009) | Narrator: Ryan Reynolds
What Is An Existential Crisis? | The School of Life
The Suicide Squadcast | Tim, Scott, and Brent
Justice League Universe Podcast | Sam and Alessandro

Web: ManOfSteelAnswers.com
Twitter: @mosanswers
Subscribe: iTunes / RSS / Stitcher / YouTube http://feeds.feedburner.com/ManOfSteelAnswers
Proud member of the Superman Podcast Network!

Randomly Related Slightly Salient Stuff 14

It may be a while until I have time to prepare an episode or record next.  I’ll be traveling for work, I have new additions for a new edition due, vacation plans, etc.  I’d like to do a Flash focused episode or Suicide Squad spotlight.  Maybe.  The courts get busy before people start disappearing on their Summer breaks, so my attention is a bit split.  There’s a ton of stuff to enjoy from the Ultimate Edition trailer, Rebirth, to Suicide Squad spots and merchandise, to Rick Famuyiwa filmography, etc. so you’re spoiled for choice!

Please support the DC TV Podcasts: Spinal Cort Research Fundraiser, this Saturday, June 11th.This is a great cause and a fun podcast event!

Here’s some RRSSS:

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44 – Kryptonite Spear

coverblackOur introduction to Kryptonite in Batman v. Superman, its properties and use.

Getting into the science of minerals, materials, radiation, and projectiles.  Why make a Kryptonite spear?  Why not Kryptonite bullets, blades, or bludgeons?

Something more meaningful than the gift of a Kryptonite ring.

Answers, insights, and commentary on:

  • Properties of a mineral
  • Properties of Kryptonite
  • Weaponizing Kryptonite
  • Why Kryptonite glows
  • Kryptonian bio-interactions
  • Wisps of smoke during scalpel cut
  • Radioactive half-life
  • Biological half-life
  • Ballistic penetration
  • Lightsaber design language
  • In praise of production design
  • Pathology of Kryptonite gas
  • Entrusting Kryptonite
  • How to give hope

…and a bonus round of random topics:

  • What altitude did Superman?
  • Super-speed stories
  • Bringing Clark back
  • DC Rebirth
  • Allegory
  • Allergy

Kryptonite Spear ManOfSteelAnswers.com
Note: Lightsaber design language, form follows function, and spearhead geometry | Various

Minerals and Blades
Botryoidal mineral texture | Wiki
BvS Spoiler Special with Zack Snyder | Empire Podcast
Stone Blade Surgery | PBS
Obsidian Surgery Scalpels | CNN
Glass Knife | Wiki
Diamond Knife | Wiki
Diamond LaserKnife | ASDS

Radiation
The Batman Superman Movie | WB Animation
Silver Bullet | Wiki
Radioactivity: Expect the unexpected – Steve Weatherall | TED-Ed
Is radiation dangerous? – Matt Anticole | TED-Ed
How does radiation sickness work? | BrainStuff
The Radium Girls | SciShow

Bullets
Army Special Forces: “Silent Warriors” (1961) | US Army
Modern Crossbow vs. Modern Body Armor | twangNbang
Momentum, Kinetic Energy, & Arrow Penetration | Dr. Ashby
Tungsten: The perfect metal for bullets | BBC
Firewalking | Wiki
Discoveries from the Inside – Designing the Lightsaber | Star Wars
Return of the Jedi Fake Script Story| Howard Kazanjian
FN SCAR® Mk 13 EGLM | FN
Alpha Particle | Wiki

Extras
Everything is a Remix: The Force Awakens | Kirby Ferguson
Justice League: The New Frontier | Darwyn Cooke
Radioactive (Cover) – Happy Sad Songs | Gregory Brothers

Web: ManOfSteelAnswers.com
Twitter: @mosanswers
Subscribe: iTunes / RSS / Stitcher / YouTube http://feeds.feedburner.com/ManOfSteelAnswers
Proud member of the Superman Podcast Network!

Remember #memorialday

Randomly Related Slightly Salient Stuff 13

Not sure when I’ll have time to record next.  It would be thematic to do a Martha episode for Mother’s Day but I’ve other commitments the next few weeks.  I have a bunch of notes about Lara and Martha but not compiled enough for an episode yet.

Though Lara is only in the Krypton sequence, she’s given more to do with more significance than you might initially think.  Even as she expresses doubt and fear, she’s ultimately the one who makes the active decision to launch Kal-El after bravely completing the first natural birth on Krypton in centuries.  Lara is the one that faces her husband’s killer and his threats at sentencing and has to face the end of Krypton a widow and without her child.  Some interesting stuff in that before and after when you unpack it.  Martha, meanwhile, is a strong and nurturing mother who eventually needs an episode because there’s so much to say.  For now, simply:

Happy Mother’s Day!

So until next time, an extra helping of RRSSS to help tide you over.  (Also be sure to check out all the other great DC podcasts out there!)

Superman – Character Development, Approach, Psychology, etc.

Appreciating DC Films through Science, History, Philosophy, Film, etc.

Miscellaneous

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43 – A Beautiful Truth – You Are Not Alone

coverblackA sentimental essay and subjective exploration of Clark’s character arc and the birth of the superhero.

Briefly revisiting Man of Steel to find a beautiful truth in Batman v. Superman we can all apply.

Understanding and empathizing with Clark’s burden beyond just bearing the weight of criticism.  Refusing to take Superman the symbol for granted.

Answers, insights, and commentary on:

  • A beautiful lie, the ugly truth, an ugly lie, a beautiful truth
  • The beautiful truth beheld by Martha and Jonathan
  • Jonathan always dreamed of the Superman
  • What is the Superman? = What is the superhero?
  • Erring on psychology rather than unerring icon
  • Not taking “good is a conversation” for granted
  • How dialogue (lines) sacrifices dialogue (conversation)
  • Lois possibly picking the Superman over Clark
  • Clark feeds, Darkseid hungers, Superman teaches all to feed themselves
  • Clark counting the cost of the Superman, an uncertain symbol, with Martha
  • Batman is not a superhero until Superman shows him
  • Not a misunderstanding of Superman, pursuing an understanding of Superman
  • Clark’s consistent characterization on the hotel balcony
  • Paradox of hope and protection challenges Clark’s faith
  • Showing how Clark works out his values, ethics, and morals
  • Twice Lois says, “You came back.”
  • Lex knows he seeks to spread a lie
  • Superman is one… Superman dies… the superhero is born
  • Death protects Superman while expanding the superhero for his return
  • The Justice League works out the logistics and expands the definition
  • Superman was inspired by us
  • You are not alone

…and more.

How deterrence is changing, explained by Defense Secretary Ash Carter | Vox
The Irony of Cheese | Zack Snyder
Zack Snyder Loves Superman and BvS Proves It | Mark Hughes
BvS: How I surprised myself and fell in love with this film | Brett Culp
Look to the Sky (2016) #SupermanIsReal | The Rising Heroes Project
Superhero Psychology | Huffington Post

Web: ManOfSteelAnswers.com
Twitter: @mosanswers
Subscribe: iTunes / RSS / Stitcher / YouTube http://feeds.feedburner.com/ManOfSteelAnswers
Proud member of the Superman Podcast Network!

Randomly Related Slightly Salient Stuff 12

Have an episode on Superman’s characterization ready to record, but didn’t have time to this weekend (we got to see Hamilton).

While I’m eagerly anticipating Suicide Squad, I’m not intending to do marketing material breakdowns like with Batman v. Superman.  I’ve got my hands full already with BvS for now.  I’ll probably do at least one related episode before it comes out though.

Anyways, in the meantime, here’s some RRSSS:

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Lex Luthor Explained

Lex Luthor leaves many confused.  What follows is an explanation of Lex’s motives and machinations, then exploded and examined with in-story support.  Inspired by episode 42 of MOSAIC.

We’ll largely stick to in-story sources, although everything discussed is supported by second-tier continuity like the Forbes feature, Wired interview, World of Batman v. Superman promotional comics, TimeOut travel guides, etc.  For example, it’s fun trivia that Clark and Lex share the middle-name Joseph, but not vital for any deduction or conclusion.

First we’ll outline everything in the affirmative, Lex’s motive, machinations, and moves:

Motive

  • Expose “power can be innocent” as a lie.

That’s it.  Everything essentially comes from this multi-layered motive.  Lex means to enact this motive through several big-picture plans.

Machinations

  • Demonize Superman
  • Manipulate Batman to Beat Superman
  • Gain Exclusive Entrance to Ship
  • Develop Doomsday

The first plan is the main plan.  The second plan arises after it is clear Senator Finch won’t publicly legitimize his position.  The third plan ties everything together and creates the fourth plan.  The first three big-picture plans encompass the Lex’s moves until he learns from the ship, when he calls the fourth as an audible.  The final plan covers his moves in the second half of the film.

Moves

  • Preparation & Planning
  • Africa
  • Import License
  • Fundraiser
  • Bombing
  • Entering Ship
  • Develop Doomsday
  • Distract Superman

These big events encompass the main moves Lex makes in order to accomplish his machinations for his motive.  Let’s break it down as a sequence of events expressed in the affirmative for Lex. read more