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mygif

I’m not really much of a DC reader, so the sum total of my comics experience with Hawkman is reading the Hawkworld miniseries years ago, when my parents picked all three issues up for me at a garage sale and I read them with no idea that it was supposed to tie into the DC universe at all. It was just an awesome science fiction story (with a decidedly non-“conservative” bent), and I would totally read more stories about that character.

So my question is….when a character has one super-awesome, defining story to their name…why mess with it? Does anyone really care about “Egyptian Hawkman”? Of course not, he sucks!

Supporting this is the only places I’ve see the Hawkman race (Thanagarians?) used to good effect are that Alan Moore Swamp Thing issue and that Grant Morrison Animal Man issue, both of which are great and both of which fit right in with Hawkworld. Are there a bunch of incredible stories about Egyptian Hawkman that are worth preserving? Because it seems pretty cut and dried.

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Conservatives fucking love Conan. They think he’s got moral clarity and is awesome (he DOES have moral clarity. They are BAD MORALS).

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Oh God, Big Hollywood. That guy might have a point if Big Hollywood, and the vast majority of other conservative cultural commentary sites, didn’t exist to cherry-pick stuff that “proves” our society is sliding into a nihilistic moral sewer because of secular humanism and blah blah blah.

But yes, holding up Conan and his ilk as exemplars of moral rectitude is just bizarre. I can agree with the vague idea that, as with a number of other nerdy genres and properties, the need to make everything grim ‘n’ gritty has gone overboard in some cases, but I’m not sure what “mythopoetic”ness has to do with anything. And I think a backlash to Tolkien’s stuffy class-ism and xenophobia, not to mention the airy pompousness and starry-eyed Hero’s Journey stuff of a lot of fantasy from the 60s onward, is entirely warranted. Heroism is something we all look for, but Pure Unsullied Heroic Good vs. Pure Unsullied Villainous Evil just isn’t that dramatically compelling, and doesn’t offer much for a reader to latch onto. Even LOTR, significantly, gives us the relatable, flawed, weak hobbits as protagonists; Aragorn and his ilk are pretty boring in the book. I’ve also got to wonder if this guy’s ever read The Silmarillion, which features a hell of a lot less heroism on the part of the “good” elves. But since this article seems to mostly have come out of a quick skimming of Amazon and Publisher’s Weekly reviews rather than actually reading most of the books in question, I doubt it.

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Haha. Check out the comment section of that Big Hollywood article. The author does bring up ASoIaF, which he proclaims to be “a dirty soap opera with no redeeming value” which is what HBO “specialize[s] in”. This comes shortly after a thread in which the readers praise the Gor books for being “un-PC”. (Though, to their credit, several of them are turned off by them as well.)

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Mitchell Hundred said on March 17th, 2011 at 1:01 pm

To be honest, I enjoy it when the narrative of a story is morally unclear, because it means that the writer trusts me to work out who’s right and who’s wrong for myself. Having a certain moral paradigm or point of view blatantly shoved down my throat by an author makes me feel kind of stupid. And I don’t read stories in order to feel stupid: we have Michael Bay for that.

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This obsession with the evils of “moral relativism” is one of the primary reasons modern conservativism has jumped the shark so badly. Applied to art, it just becomes nonsensical; black-and-white, unambiguous morality in storytelling is just boring and inhuman, as Ayn Rand proved. Applied to politics, it becomes ludicrously hypocritical, as conservatives engage in moral relativity ALL THE TIME. Exhibit A is the debate over torture.

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Joe Abercrombie did a blog post in response to the Big Hollywood thing: http://www.joeabercrombie.com/2011/02/15/bankrupt-nihilism/

Fairly fitting given he’s one of the darker of the new crop of Blood & Mud fantasy writers…

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mygif

Turning Hawkman’s weaknesses into strengths seems like the best way to handle the character. Rather than trying to claim his mace is somehow awesome, or he’s amazing with it, put him in a situation where being good with a melee weapon actually matters, and there is a clear reason people choose not to use guns.

For example, what if Hawkman was based in some kind of massive but somewhat decayed space station, where shooting a tiny hole in the hull could kill whole sections of the population? A ban on guns would be more practical than thematic, and the size of the station could justify why being able to fly would be an advantage, since it would allow him to move faster than most.

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Kid Kyoto said on March 17th, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Hawkworld the miniseries and then the book by Ostrander was AWESOME. The only time I cared about Hawkman.

For me he’ll always be a cut below the other winged heroes for a simple reason, his wings are CLIP ONS! He doesn’t even have wings!

The first time I saw his awesome hawk wings came off I lost all respect for the character.

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So basically everything about Hawkman sucks.

He doesn’t wear a shirt and smacks people with a mace. What else do you need?

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Cookie McCool said on March 17th, 2011 at 5:59 pm

With a bear, Aquaman looks like the kind of guy who would cut his own hand off for something to do. Kind of a creepy date. But I guess on the upside you could work in some beard-tugging as a consolation prize for hooking up with crazed water-breathing self-mutilating colorblind royalty.

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Cookie McCool said on March 17th, 2011 at 6:31 pm

Um, with a beard, I meant. With a bear, Aquaman is just balls out awesome, as long as the bear can also breathe water. Otherwise, I can’t think of anything even creepier than hanging out with a drowned bear.

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I had the same reaction to SG-1. Loved the movie, pretty “meh” about the shows (although it’s kind of annoying when it’s the only damned thing on scifi for six straight hours).

I am also a self-proclaimed Martin fanboy and I am not ashamed.

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I kinda thought Ostrander’s Hawkworld stuff was really good, up to and including the Hawkman series that soon got messed up by Zero Hour and the persistent, obsessive belief that Hawkman must never, ever, wear a shirt or be in any way, shape or form interesting.

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Tim O'Neil said on March 17th, 2011 at 8:27 pm

I used to work with a guy who had all of Stargate on DVD and would watch all – what, 12 seasons? one after the other, and then repeat and start from the beginning. (We were on the night shift and watched A LOT of television.) Even he drew the line at Atlantis, though.

Open question: has anyone read Donaldson’s new Covenant books? It’s been so long since I read the originals I need to do a reread before I can do the new series, so I’ve been waiting until they were all out in paperback, but I have such fond memories of all the originals I do plan on getting around to that as soon as the new series is done.

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Regarding Dresden Files…I recently started reading it in January (I love my local library. They have everything people say I need to read).

It’s worth it. The first book is … Mostly standard really. The second book is somewhat inventive, and after that it really takes off. And the side characters are great as well.

It’s not like a big piece of innovation or anything that deserves to get hyped up as The Next Big Thing. But it is greatly entertaining, and that’s all I seek out in books.

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I agree about Conan. He is to me the greatest anti-hero in fantasy literature and I am keeping my fingers crossed in regards to the new movie. Please don’t screw this up, Hollywood. Momoa is a decent choice to play the man.

As for Dresden, I gave the series three and a half books and was not really impressed, which is a bummer because I think Butcher’s Codex Valera series is outstanding. If you are looking for good epic fantasy stuff, the six book series is for you. I mean, I found book three to have some major holes in it and book four has a massive hole right in the first fifty pages I simply could not get past. And people have told me “Keep reading, Butcher makes everything clear later on.” Sorry, doesn’t wash with me.

Aquaman? Yes, he was much, much cooler with the hook hand and a beard. He looked different from your standard cookie-cutter spandex clad hero, a grizzled warrior. Returning him to his clean cut image did him no favors.

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Danbu-Sama said on March 17th, 2011 at 10:05 pm

Conservatives fucking love Conan. They think he’s got moral clarity and is awesome (he DOES have moral clarity. They are BAD MORALS).

Nailed it. Someone like Pratchett doesn’t qualify as ‘moral’ in the Big Hollywood guy’s view because he trucks in actual morality, not juvenile power fantasies wherein the narrative continually assures you that the ‘hero’ was RIGHT to butcher all those weird foreigners.

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Conservatives love Conan? Really? I’m fairly conservative…and I don’t really understand this.Sure,he’s kinda fun in a brain dead sort of way,but I never got any political message with him.

I mean,Tolkien and C.S.Lewis I understand.But Conan? Really guys,Conan?

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I think a LOT of the Essentials looks better than the color originals. The four-color process turned the best coloring job into something garish and ugly, but those pencils and inks are amazing.

The Gene Colan stuff in Tomb of Dracula and, yes, Doctor Strange is gorgeous in B&W.

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I definitely think it should be qualified with “SOME conservatives love Conan”. He’s definitely in keeping with quasi-objectivist, rugged individualist, anarcho-capitalist philosophy. He defies big government! He takes what he wants with the strength of his own rugged awesomeness! He’s a manly man man man!

The ironic thing being that his own creator had doubts about the morality of this worldview. He referred to Conan as “bastardly” and definitely implied (especially in the early going) that Conan wasn’t necessarily to be seen as a hero to be emulated.

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I remember a series where Dr. Strange and Cloak and Dagger split each issue. I thought it was pretty awesome, but I was also maybe 12.

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Hawkman’s appeal isn’t that he’s tough in combat. In the sixties, it was that he combined super-heroics, SF and assorted cool ancient weapons (because I do find ancient weapons cool, esp. when jazzed up with alien gadgets). The Egyptian version works well when the reincarnation aspect is well handled. And Hawkwoman works in the animated version because she’s just so kickass.
The Murphy Anderson Silver Age art also worked for me.

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On reflecting on my comment, it’s also that my first Hawkman issue back in the sixties was his encounter with the Shadow Thief. It was my first exposure to a “you can’t touch me but I can hit you” villain and it struck me as a really awesome idea, as first exposures often do.

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Edgar Allan Poe said on March 18th, 2011 at 12:27 pm

I mean, I found book three to have some major holes in it and book four has a massive hole right in the first fifty pages I simply could not get past.

Out of curiosity, Tom, to what plot holes do you refer? It’s been a while since I read those volumes, but I don’t recall anything jumping out at me at the time.

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Brian T. said on March 18th, 2011 at 2:55 pm

I agree completely with Dave and Kid Kyoto about Hawkman.

I kind of liked the Silver Age Katar Hol version as a kid, but for some reason it was really disappointing to find out that his wings weren’t part of his body. But yeah… By that point in the early Eighties, Hawkman wasn’t really good for much other than using his Absorbascon power to conveniently remember plot-specific stuff and argue with Green Arrow in JLA stories. I remember thinking Hawkwoman was much cooler.

Hawkworld blew my mind. I fell completely in love with the grittier version of Thanagar and the new take on Katar Hol. I loved that the cops wore stuff that looked more like SWAT gear instead of green and red tights. I thought everything about that reboot was awesome except for maybe the female Manhawks looking like human women from the waist up, like sexier harpies.

It caused a couple of minor continuity problems, but so what? A team-up with Superman didn’t make sense any more. Big deal. That story wasn’t that great anyway.

Unfortunately, James Robinson and Geoff Johns prefer the Golden Age version. And Mark Waid kept obsessing about how Hawkworld should have been a prequel so they could at least keep more continuity intact. So, you get people trying to “fix” something that wasn’t broken.

Waid may have had a point. As far as the Johns reboot, which tried to merge Carter Hall with later stuff involving the alien guy, as far as I can tell that’s only better to a few die-hards who grew up on Roy Thomas comics and prefer the Golden Age version.

One of the problems with the Johns version is that while supposedly “respecting” continuity, he played really fast and loose with Katar Hol’s backstory. Sometimes, this resulted in extremely lame justifications for giving his Hawkman power upgrades. Sometimes, it ruined old stories for no particular reason.

And giving Hawkman a bunch of power-up items so that he’s a more legitimate threat if he brings the right gear didn’t do anything to address my problems with the character. Which mostly boil down to things like, “He doesn’t fly that fast and his chest is exposed. Why doesn’t somebody just shoot him?” Or, “How can he use a studded mace without killing people or at least inducing severe head trauma? That’s not how a studded mace works.”

When handled well, the weird mixture of SF elements and cool ancient weapons can be a lot of fun. But making Hawkman more “bad ass” doesn’t really work unless you’re going to go full-on Golden Age and let him kill people with spears and flails and other things that don’t have a stun setting.

… and “bad ass” Hawkman just isn’t as interesting to me as the sensitive ex-junkie who got inspired by Thomas Jefferson to help a slave rebellion succeed and free a bunch of people who were being oppressed on his home world. Who at least had enough sense to carry a gun and wear a shirt.

That guy was compelling and they could kind of get away with the whole “he’s quirky enough to carry exotic melee weapons even though he tries to avoid killing people” thing since he wasn’t basically Wolverine with wings.

The only reason to not bring that guy back from limbo is that Johns was fully into “if it happened after Crisis on Infinite Earths, I’m going to try to remove it from continuity” mode by that point in his career.

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Brian T. said on March 18th, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Wow. That was really long. I’m sorry.

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Okay, in regards to The Dresden Files, there are going to be some spoilers here, so I just wanted to warn anyone interested in reading the series they are coming.

In book three they introduce Harry’s buddy, a modern day knight, a holy warrior carrying a magic sword. He is the Hawk to Dresden’s Spencer. So, where was he in the first two books when he would have been very handy have around? He is not even mentioned. The guy lives in Chicago yet there is no mention of Harry even considering going to him for help when he is fighting a rogue sorcerer, his demon minions, and werewolves. Especially when he loses the support of the police in book two.

Setting that aside, Harry is fighting ghosts in book three. His chief ally is a cop who is now in a coma and another cop is willing to risk his career to give Dresden the journal of a sorcerer the pair had taken down before because Harry thinks it might provide a clue to the identity of the ghost in question. And yet, even though the cop is willing to give Harry the book from the property room it never occurs to the cop to mention to Harry that the guy who used to own the book committed suicide recently? Of course not, because if he had then Harry would have figured out the guy was the ghost!

Harry’s girlfriend is an idiot. She is almost killed by a demon in the first book and if memory serves is almost eaten by werewolves in book two. What does she do in book three? Crashes a vampire party with a fake invitation.

Harry’s knight’s wife is an idiot. She hates Harry for getting her husband in trouble. Her husband, the holy warrior who runs around looking for trouble all on his own (Her reasons for disliking Harry are revealed in a later book but I find her to be tremendously and irrationally shrewish against a guy who repeatedly puts his life on the line to combat Evil).

The final straw for me regarding the series is Harry’s girlfriend is semi-vampiric by book three’s end and Harry struggles to find a cure, which is what he is doing through the beginning of book four. During this time the vampire war has begun (which Harry is responsible for, but to be fair The White Council allowing vampires to become so powerful in the first place without confronting them was moronic) and the foremost expert on vampirism has been killed…

Wait. There was a wizard who was a foremost expert on vampirism…and Harry did not consult the guy to find a cure for his girlfriend? Really?

And that was when I gave up on the series.

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1) It’s implied that Harry first meets and partners up with Michael in the time period between books 2 and 3. Every book in the series takes place over a period of just a few days, with the series chronology running in real time, so we don’t actually see what Dresden’s doing about 360 days out of a year.

2) Fair point.

3) Lois Lane Syndrome. It’s a well-established pulp trope with a long and prestigious history.

4) This one, in particular, gets addressed in later books. When Michael’s smiting evil on direct orders from the Almighty, he seems to have some measure of protection, but the side jobs he does with Dresden don’t seem to fall under his mandate, and he’s vulnerable while doing them. Every time he gets hurt, it’s while teaming with Dresden. There are also, as revealed somewhat later in the series, some very significant personal reasons for Charity Carpenter to dislike and distrust magic and wizards.

5) Been a while since I read Summer Knight, so I don’t recall the specifics as stated in the book, but probably a fair point. Not one that has any impact on the main plot.

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I don’t deny that there are elements regarding the Dresden Files series, like just about any long running series, that a fan can let slide because they enjoy the material overall. I was never a fan of the Lois Lane trope myself, but at least Lois Lane comes across as being far more competent than Harry’s girlfriend. As for the knight, I missed that implication when I read book three. And I know why his wife dislikes Harry so much for the other reasons, it is just that in the book she comes across as very grating. All in all I just felt book three comes up very short and book four’s start is very weak.

MORE SPOILERS

Harry Dresden is an asshole. The White Council convenes to discuss the vampire war-the war Harry is responsible for starting-and he shows up in a bath robe. Yes, customary dress for these things is a robe but I would think the thing to do is to don the bad ass duster his girlfriend got him in book two. Better to dress a bit inappropriately in something not precisely fitting the rules rather than following the letter of said rules and looking like a complete idiot who has no respect for the organization that largely dislikes you. The chapter where the guy suggests giving Harry up to the vampires to end the war? That was the one I ended at largely because at that point I could not think of a good reason not to give up Harry Dresden, seeing as he is a giant douche who did not have the good sense to go to someone else for help to cure his vampiric girlfriend.

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I’ll give the reason why Harry didn’t go to another wizard.

No one really *likes* Harry. Most of the White Council believes he should’ve been killed at 16. So Harry tends to avoid other wizards. Is it the smart thing? Not really, but Harry *isn’t* smart.

Also, based on what I’ve seen of the White Council. Odds are The guy would’ve been “Oh your girlfriend’s being turned and you want her cured. How quaint. I’ll go kill her for you.”

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Look, I could go back and forth on why I don’t like Harry Dresden with fans of the series all day long, but at the end of the day nothing anyone says to me is going to get me to give the series a second chance. I just don’t like the character and I feel he has done some tremendously idiotic things.

If my girlfriend was dying from a disease and I knew someone who might be able to cure her, then regardless of how that person felt I would seek out their help. Barring that, why didn’t Harry go to the guy who raised him for help? This whole Lone Wolf crap doesn’t work to me when Butcher introduces two allies in the space of two books.

Yeah, the White Council doesn’t like him. Why aggravate them? “Look, I’m Harry Dresden, the guy you despise. Let me give you yet another reason to make you hate me!”

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Edgar Allan Poe said on March 19th, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Harry Dresden is an asshole.

Fair cop. I found him more likeable than you did, and he does mature a lot as the series progresses (Butcher also improves a good deal as a writer; the first few volumes are definitely freshman work, and he’s gotten better at the craft with each book), but Harry at the outset is a tool in a lot of ways (chauvinism, authority issues,awe-inspiringly bad dress sense, and a gratingly juvenile sense of humor).

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Edgar Allan Poe said on March 19th, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Look, I could go back and forth on why I don’t like Harry Dresden with fans of the series all day long, but at the end of the day nothing anyone says to me is going to get me to give the series a second chance. I just don’t like the character and I feel he has done some tremendously idiotic things.

Fair enough. 3+ volumes of the series is more of a fair shot than I’ve given to a lot of authors, and if it’s not your thing, it’s not your thing. I agree with you, as well, on the superiority of the Codex Alera books (and, incidentally, on the subjects of Conan and Aquaman’s beard).

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Well, I see your point regarding Butcher’s writing talents. I am not precisely certain when he began writing it in regards to The Dresden Files but the books read much better to me.

I gave the series three and a bit because a friend of mine swore by ’em, he also loaned me the first five Alera books as well. I appreciated his persistence because I was not crazy about reading book one of that series so I am happy he twisted my arm on the issue.

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Oh I can agree with you about Harry. While I like the books, and even the character, there are times where he really got on my nerves. Where he acted a certain way because plot demanded it. And a lot of assholish behavior. Personally I like a lot of the side characters more.

I’ve so far only read the first volume of Codex Alera, and I was quite impressed. I half expected it to end with a huge cliffhanger and it was mostly a self contained volume. The characters, I felt, need some growth but I’m sure it’ll come.

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Brian T. said on March 20th, 2011 at 1:09 am

One thing to keep in mind is that Butcher wrote the first three books in the series before he even had a book deal. So, to a certain point, they were just practice.

A lot of stuff from the first couple of books kind of gets swept under the rug later in the series. It’s still in continuity, but it doesn’t come up very often. So, Tom might like some of the later books if he actually gave them a chance.

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The nice thing about book one in the codex is the fact that it largely stands alone. It’s like David Weber’s first Honor Harrington novel, On Basilisk Station that way. So if the book did not catch on the reader does not feel robbed. It reminds me a bit of the first Star Wars movie, too.

I dunno, right now I have a lot of books on my plate to go back to Dresden. I’m reading Phillip K. Dick’s short stories, after that Kim Stanley Robinson’s. Hopefully by then another Weber book will be out.

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To me, Golden Age Hawkman has the best set-up, and the most thematically-appropriate milieu for his outfit/weapons. After all, Silver Age Hawkman is an alien just because that’s how Julie Schwartz rolled back then, and the “flying barbarian” aesthetic doesn’t fit the space action environment.

Of course, what’s worse is trying to mash it all together.

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I’m sorry, but if you bothered to give the Dresden books an even slightly careful read? There is no known cure of vampirism, so Simon Petrovich wouldn’t be of help. Simon was also the vampire liaison, so his position would be to either kill Susan or give her to the Red Court. Harry is not liked or trusted on the Senior Council and isn’t going to see help from a guy he knows is no help at all, no friend of his and might have been arguing for him to lose his head once upon a time.

And given the sudden nature of his summons to the Council and the fact he’d just been roped into servitude by a fairy queen, I can totally see why he’d change from bathrobe, sure

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I gave the series three books and change, how many more books was I supposed to give it? Like someone else here said, that is more than a lot of people would have given a series. Based on what I read up through the first part of book four I found the series lacking.

And no, there is no excuse for Dresden to show up in the bath robe. It was not like he just got out of the shower or something. Dresden showed up in the bath robe to be a tool, like he always is.

You know more about Dresden’s universe than I do, that’s because you liked the series more than I did. Petrovich being the liason did not stop him from being killed, now did it? Which means at the time of the war perhaps he would have been reluctant to do the vampires a favor and turn a half-turned human over to them. The point is, the point I was making, is that a guy like Dresden who is supposed to love his girlfriend so much should have been doing a lot more than playing Lone Wolf and trying to come up with a cure on his own. It was arrogance on his part, pure and simple. “If I can’t find a cure, no one can! I’m going to save my girlfriend, no one else can help me!”

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Candlejack said on March 21st, 2011 at 12:50 pm

My impression was that Harry didn’t ask anybody for help because he didn’t want to hear the answer: “There’s no cure, you idiot.”

And…speaking solely for myself…I wouldn’t have any interest in reading about Harry if he did the bowing and scraping that would be necessary to get close to the good graces of the Council. They gave him a raw deal; if he sucked up to try to make them like him more, he would come off as kind of spineless.

That said, hell yes, three books is more of a chance than you had to give the series–far more of a chance than I ever would give a series with a protagonist I hated–and people trying to get you to read more should give up. The later books are better, writing-wise, but Harry is still Harry. And he doesn’t get any less prone to carrying the idiot ball. So if you haven’t warmed to him after three books, you aren’t going to.

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Considering how many years Dresden spent with the threat of being killed for so much as sneezing at the wrong time, him not exactly falling over himself to like and show respect to the people that were holding the Sword of Damocles over his head isn’t exactly a huge shock.

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I gave the series three books and change, how many more books was I supposed to give it? Like someone else here said, that is more than a lot of people would have given a series. Based on what I read up through the first part of book four I found the series lacking.
And no, there is no excuse for Dresden to show up in the bath robe. It was not like he just got out of the shower or something. Dresden showed up in the bath robe to be a tool, like he always is.”

Being rushed there right off, being in a real bad way and him not really, y’know, caring to trip over himself to bow and scrape to a bunch of people who would’ve killed him for self defense? When they’ve spent years relentlessly hounding him via Morgan, who was ready to kill him on any base technicality he could find?

“You know more about Dresden’s universe than I do, that’s because you liked the series more than I did. Petrovich being the liason did not stop him from being killed, now did it? Which means at the time of the war perhaps he would have been reluctant to do the vampires a favor and turn a half-turned human over to them.”

No, you don’t get it at all. The vampires were not interested in a legitimate trade (the wizards don’t know this). It’s deduced later the vampires had been preparing for war for a long time and jumped on the first excuse they got. The first genuine strike of the war (besides Harry killing Bianca) was an unexpected invasion of Archangel that saw Simon dead. There was a reason that was so shocking.

“The point is, the point I was making, is that a guy like Dresden who is supposed to love his girlfriend so much should have been doing a lot more than playing Lone Wolf and trying to come up with a cure on his own. It was arrogance on his part, pure and simple. “If I can’t find a cure, no one can! I’m going to save my girlfriend, no one else can help me!”

Yes, and your point fails utterly because he is not going to ask someone who is not going to be of any help, does not want to help and will only be an impediment, and might even turn Harry over to the council for screwing around with his probation. The one guy he had was Eb, who made it clear he couldn’t do anything. Harry wasn’t playing lone wolf because he wanted to, he’s always shown he’ll go to people if he can. It’s meant to be a character flaw he’s occasionally thick headed with that, but this is not one of those scenarios. You might as well blame him for not mouthing off to the Fairy Queens to do it. It’d end with just as much pain and get him just as far.

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And again, like I said, you are working off material gleaned from later books.

Your arguments and the arguments of others simply fail to convince me. I do not find Dresden to be a compelling character. I do not think further back-and-forth here is going to be very productive for both sides.

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“And again, like I said, you are working off material gleaned from later books.

Your arguments and the arguments of others simply fail to convince me. I do not find Dresden to be a compelling character. I do not think further back-and-forth here is going to be very productive for both sides.”

No, I’m not. I’m going off information contained in the first four. Which, frankly, I don’t think you bothered to read very well going by your complaints. You were wrong on nigh every count you made and now you’re giving a huffy “Good DAY, sir!” and going off.

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No, I’m not. I’m going off information contained in the first four. Which, frankly, I don’t think you bothered to read very well going by your complaints. You were wrong on nigh every count you made and now you’re giving a huffy “Good DAY, sir!” and going off.

Right or wrong, your persuasive tactics seem unlikely to sway him to your point of view, and keeping the argument going seems not only futile, but a little discourteous. A guy on the internet doesn’t like something that you like; sometimes you just have to live with that.

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“Right or wrong, your persuasive tactics seem unlikely to sway him to your point of view, and keeping the argument going seems not only futile, but a little discourteous. A guy on the internet doesn’t like something that you like; sometimes you just have to live with that.”

Thank you. Like I said-repeatedly-I did not finish the fourth book because the Council meeting made me roll my eyes and that was it for me. Any information after that I was not privy to.

I was trying to end the argument politely.

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On that note… The Codex Alera series is a lot of fun. Things get darker and more serious by book three, so those books may appeal to you more.

Butcher does some really interesting things with his nonhuman characters and the funky elemental magic system he created. Plus, there is some nice military tactics stuff that is probably more your speed since you’re into David Weber.

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I don’t particular care to change his mind. I do object to an assertion made on false information. He didn’t like it? Great. But don’t use things that are explained within the books you’ve read as supposed plot holes or glaring omissions. Then going “you’ve failed to convince me” like that and skipping out isn’t something I like. You’re allowed to have an opinion. It does not free you from criticism. If you’re wrong, just admit it. It’s still alright not to like the books.

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Look, I read the first three books a couple years back, it’s not like I have them in front of me nor am I going to check the books out of the library or borrow them from my friend again to see where the glaring omissions in my opinions lie. I remember generalizations regarding the plots, the biggest points that stuck with me were the ones that I viewed as plot holes, the ones I mentioned earlier. If there was a mention of there being no cure for vampirism in book three I do not recall it. I recall book three ending with Dresden all but sealing himself in his work shop trying to find a cure for his girlfriend. If it was mentioned there was no cure for vampirism in book four I did not get to that part of the book before I stopped reading.

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I should have followed this argument a little more carefully. Tom, you said a long time ago that he liked the Codex Alera series. I’m sorry. I could have just scrolled up…

We need to let this die, but I can kind of see where Zach is coming from. Jim Butcher has a web site where you can find a synopsis for each book in the Dresden Files series and you can find summaries on Wikipedia. If you’re on the Internet already, it’s not that much trouble to do a quick Google search to refresh your memory. IIRC, a couple of the things you mentioned were addressed in Wikipedia’s entry for book three. Just sayin’…

I just got done rereading Storm Front, and Harry says several times that he can’t get help from anybody because he doesn’t have time and/or the people he describes as his “usual allies” are unavailable. So, that would kind of explain why Michael Carpenter wasn’t around for book one… even if it hadn’t been established in book three that they met for the first time “off panel” at some point after book two.

I understand not liking Michael’s wife, but her character being mean to Harry isn’t really a plot hole.

… especially when you consider that the Carpenters are devout Catholics and both of them object to Harry using magic for religious reasons. Michael is just nicer about it.

Every time Charity got mad at Harry, it made sense to me. But what do I know, right? I thought that bathrobe thing that bothered you so much was funny. I understand that “mileage may vary” applies here.

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On the one hand you say we should let this die, then on the other you take a parting shot at me. Nice. I am not so involved with the argument where I am going to suddenly research each and every nuance of the series to defend myself. As I keep repeating I am going by what I remember, why should I suddenly start doing homework for a series I have no love for?

God, people. It’s not like I said Jim Butcher eats cats or something. I simply said I am not a fan of his better known series and explained why and I am attacked when I tried to end the argument amicably. I guess being polite on the internet is a sign of weakness or something.

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Look, I read the first three books a couple years back, it’s not like I have them in front of me nor am I going to check the books out of the library or borrow them from my friend again to see where the glaring omissions in my opinions lie. I remember generalizations regarding the plots, the biggest points that stuck with me were the ones that I viewed as plot holes, the ones I mentioned earlier. If there was a mention of there being no cure for vampirism in book three I do not recall it.”

Then that’s your fault and you shouldn’t get so defensive when you are blatantly told you are wrong by people who read the books. Also, just FYI, Michael’s wife has an actual reason for disliking Harry (and for some reason, disliking the guy who takes your husband out on jobs from which he comes back with numerous injuries makes you a tool, oh, and she changes in later books in regards to Harry).

“I recall book three ending with Dresden all but sealing himself in his work shop trying to find a cure for his girlfriend. If it was mentioned there was no cure for vampirism in book four I did not get to that part of the book before I stopped reading.”

Then again. Your fault. Quit being so defensive. If you don’t like them? Great. Your reasoning, frankly? Sucks. You’re wrong, factually, on multiple counts.
And shouldn’t trying to discover a cure be a good sign there is no cure?

Stop taking this poor little wounded martyr act, admit you were wrong and move on.

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Candlejack said on March 22nd, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Unless you believe Tom is lying about how he remembers the books, you’re laying it on pretty thick, Zach. In fact, the line between making your point and being an asshole may be in your rearview mirror. Just let it go, man. Let’s all just let it go.

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Silver Age Hawkman was awesome, back when he was Katar Hol and back before they decided to make him the right-wing asshole to counter Green Arrow’s preachy earnestness. The character as seen in “Showcase Presents Hawkman” is great, and I deal with the rest of it by pretending that those are the only real DC canon. :)

And I read the first Dresden novel, didn’t like the character enough to read a second. Same with Anita Blake, really. I’m sure they have their fans, but I’m never going to be one of them. Not much more to say than that, really. :)

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@Tom: No parting shot intended. I’m sorry. Peace?

@John Seavey: Thanks for mentioning Anita Blake. After remembering how strong my irrational hatred of that series is, it forced me to admit that I’ve been more strident than I should have been in my “defense” of The Dresden Files.

I’m not as familiar as I should be with the good Silver Age Hawkman stuff.

There are things about that version of the character that strike me as being too darn whimsical. Like… why would Thanagar even need cops if Byth was their first criminal? And why would an alien civilization decide that their police needed to dress like the Hawkmen from old Flash Gordon serials?

I suspect the genius lies in the execution. An attempt to write a Silver Age homage in an anthology from a few years back mostly just made me yearn for the Hawkworld version. But I can see how a better writer could make the Fifties version work.

All I know is that just about anything seems better to me than the original Golden Age version. “I think I’m a reincarnated Egyptian prince and I go around killing criminals with my collection of priceless antique weapons” doesn’t work for me as a premise.

On the one hand it’s kind of cool that this Indiana Jones-type adventurer was able to invent working wings and discover how to use Nth metal. But on the other hand… why not just use a gun instead of risking damage to the weapons he collected? For that matter, why not use battle ready replicas instead of expecting us to accept that his antiques are unusually well-preserved? And how fast could he fly anyway? Maybe 90 miles per hour?

The more I think about the original version, the more I wonder why some bank robber didn’t just shoot him. He’s one of those characters who doesn’t really have much going for him other than a good look.

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Rebooting Hawkman is like playing Jenga with an infinite tower: no matter what you do, something is going to break, and the guy who comes after you isn’t gonna be helpful.

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