Superheroes II

Maddd Science

Marvel Is Still Trying To Solve Its Villain Problem In ‘Avengers: Infinity War’
Vince Mancini, Uproxx

The age of the franchise film has turned moviegoing into a sort of Fantasy Movie Exec game, where we discuss each installment mostly in terms of what it means for that franchise. How are this brand’s optics? Love it or hate it, it’s largely an inescapable rubric if you want to discuss the state of cinema in 2018. Never is that more true than in Marvel’s latest, The Avengers: Infinity War, a triumph of continuity, which makes little pretense of being anything but a bullet point on Marvel’s grand outline. Who is the real star of this film? Josh Brolin? The Russo Brothers? The 17 guys named Chris? Clearly, it’s Marvel.

What Deadpool 2’s fridging controversy says about comics culture’s gender gap
Aja Romano, Vox

But the point in this case isn’t that Reese and Wernick, writers of a film awash in references to comics culture, somehow managed to be ignorant of that culture’s most toxic trope. It’s what their ignorance reveals about the drastically different way men and women are able experience the same cultural narratives.

Westworld Is More Than a Puzzle. It’s About Life After Death.
Lili Loffbourow, Slate

Welcome to Resurrection TV, where death, bizarrely, stops mattering, and everyone involved, including the viewers, must sort out what does. Plot suffers in Resurrection TV, which tends to avoid linear cause and effect in favor of unreliable narrators, sly edits, and shifty camerawork. But other narrative approaches become possible as a result, and while the list of failures is long, the successes are gloriously inventive. Shows carving excellence out of this wobbly premise include abduction-drama The Leftovers and afterlife-comedy The Good Place, with Westworld emerging as a brilliant contender.

Paperback Portals: the Legacy of Lesbian Pulp Fiction
filthy light thief, Metafilter

Ann Bannon provides a lot of fantastic history of lesbian pulp fiction in a discussion with Lucy Jane Bledsoe and Juliana Delgado Lopera at the San Francisco Public Library titled "From Sleaze to Classics," named because the fact that "anything about homosexual romance in those days was sleaze, no matter how beautifully written, no matter how heart-felt, no matter how well-intentioned or well-styled, it was ... dangerous literature."

For “Weird Al” Yankovic, “Eat It” was both a hit song and a creative mantra
Will Hodge, The Takeout

Yankovic should certainly be applauded—and studied—for building such a long and illustrious artistic career on a foundation that is heavily comprised of food-based song parodies. However, as Yankovic himself has suggested in where those song lie on his song-catalog spectrum, they should be the relatable (and dare I say, easily digestible) entry points into the weird, wide world of Al, and should not be seen as the pinnacle of his creative abilities and achievements.

The Most Ridiculous Moon Landings in Science Fiction History
Me, SF Signal

The French journalist Paschal Grousset was like a crazier Jules Verne. His stories have depicted an ancient super-intelligent race, a glass-domed Atlantis, and a steam-powered flying island, but his weirdest one by far is Les Exilés de la Terre, his 1887 tale about a voyage to the moon.

In it, a company hoping to mine moon minerals realizes that they simply can’t travel from the earth to the moon. Instead, they decide to bring the earth to the moon. They build a station on the top of a mountain in Sudan that it notable for being composed of pure iron ore. They wrap cables around it, use solar energy to power it, and ride the resulting enormous electromagnet to the moon! Insanely, the same process can be used to fling them home again.

Next Week on Maddd Science: Solo

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Header image: "First Contact," by Daniel Williams.

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