Notes from the Kraken: May 22nd 2016

In All, Notes by David

Welcome again to We Have Always Lived in the Kraken, a pop culture blog transmitted directly to you from the belly of the beast. Here in the Notes we’ll show you this week’s posting schedule, but first, a little Seafood for Thought.

The world be a-changing again.

This week DC Comics is going through another change. Five years after making the controversial decision to reboot the DC Universe, the company is taking a step back with its Rebirth event. The some of the exact details of Rebirth are still a bit murky, but what we do know is that the comics giant is going to embarking on a course correction in order to fix some of the problems brought about in the post-Flashpoint New 52 universe. This is a good thing, and shows that DC is listening to its fans; but I’m also glad that DC is making it clear that they are not entirely undoing the changes made in the New 52 universe. The reason I say this is that one thing the New 52 experiment showed is that a reboot offers a chance for creativity that an otherwise canon-locked world cannot have. This is especially important in the realm of comics, where years upon years of convoluted history stack on other to create an almost insurmountably incomprehensible universe.

This isn’t necessarily a new concept. The Ultimate Marvel universe has proven that being able to start over can allow for new stories and new directions for characters. It’s that willingness to shake things up that mainstream comics needs to have if it hopes to remain relevant, as more of their properties become more popular on the small and silver screens. The problem with New 52 weren’t simply that it started everything over, but that DC allowed so many of their lines to be mishandled, to the point where it damaged the good that was done by people like Scott Snyder (in his Batman run). So DC was smart to realize that a lot of the New 52 simply was not working, and to be willing to attempt to make the changes necessary to fix what has been wrong with the DC Universe for some time. Many will probably mock DC for once again changing the universe, but whatever. Keeping a broken thing around simply because it would be embarrassing to admit your error is silly, and I applaud DC for being willing to make a change. Just don’t fuck up the execution this time, DC.

David Robertson

From the depths of the Kraken, here is what we are bringing you this week.

Monday: Nothing new today, but consider this: if a Kraken destroys an island and no one is around to hear it, will anyone notice? Seriously, the Kraken just ate Malta, and we really really hope nobody saw it.

Tuesday: The Loaded Die returns with three new games, and for the first time ever, Kyu fails at finding a common element. Take pity on him and check out these reviews anyway, will you?

Wednesday: Nothing new today, but according to Shakespeare, that’s okay! There’s nothing new under the sun anyway. Of course, trapped inside the Kraken, we barely remember sunlight…

Thursday: At one time there might have been something new here, but then the Kraken figured out time travel, and well, he keeps undoing anything that gets done, so why don’t you peruse our archives before the Kraken changes those as well?

Friday: Can you believe it? Game of Thrones‘ season is halfway over, and that means so is our Life in the Kraken Podcast: Westeros Edition. Join David, Kyu, and special guest Matt Morris as they discuss Season 6, Episode 5, “The Door.” Also, stay tuned for this week’s special tag, where the Game of Thrones Comedy Power Hour Players perform their new skit, “Who’s On Throne?”

Saturday: Another week, another Baturday. 1940 marches on with Detective Comics #46, which brings us the return of another of Batman’s nascent rogues gallery, Dr. Hugo Strange. Warning: Kyu is not taking this one seriously.

Catch of the Week:

Each and every week the residents here in the Kraken will offer one recommendation for the week that we think you all would enjoy. It might be a movie. It might be a book. Who knows? This is your… Catch of the Week.

Kyu: Can I keep coming up with great musical soundtracks? I can this week! It’s become a little passe for TV shows to do a gimmicky musical episode, but arguably nobody’s done it better than Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 7: “Once More With Feeling.” Season 6 in general is maligned, but it’s one of my favorites, partly for some very rich character work, partly because it’s the height of the series putting its instinct for meta to good use. Both trends align in one of the entire show’s best episodes, a tour de force where a demon forces everyone in Sunnydale to sing what they’re feeling–even if those feelings are secret. The episode is a great watch, but we’re talking just soundtracks here, and this one is a full story, featuring a turning point in just about every major character’s current plotline through a series of funny, clever, and all-around excellent songs in a bevy of styles. It’s typical of Whedon that these jaunty tunes belie the emotional devastation they’re expressing (or causing), and also that one of my favorite songs (“Under Your Spell,” a song by Tara about her girlfriend, Willow) features some sly (and sweet) sexual innuendo–pretty daring for the time. If you haven’t listened to this, give it a shot, and if you have, try it again at San Diego Comic-Con’s unofficial closing ceremonies, where fans traditionally sing along.

David: With time travel looking to be one of the key themes in the next primetime television season, it seems like the right moment to recommend a current time travel offering on SyFy, 12 Monkeys. This television adaptation of the movie adaptation of the short film La Jetée (yeah, that is a bit of a mouthful) should never have worked, but the show has fully embraced its concept and is willing to dive headfirst into its moral gray areas. This show is a lot of fun, and its first season got better and better as it went along. Now in its second season, 12 Monkeys is definitely worth a watch.

Keskel: This week I recommend He Never Died, a violent revenge film reworking The Man From Earth. It’s one clever idea executed well for two hours.

That’s it for this week. Please try not to mess with the nets too much. We are in the middle of a spirited game of Krakenball, and any interference will throw off our entire tournament rankings.