Dads get too good a rap.
There are wicked stepmothers, stage mothers, not to mention those moms in Toddlers & Tiaras, but dads are almost always portrayed as kindly givers of treats, whose biggest crime is wanting to put their feet up and read the paper before dispensing top-flight parental advice.
Now, most dads are just fine, but let’s not kid ourselves that all dads are paragons of virtue. Searching the pop-culture landscape, we’ve found a few examples that prove it’s not all Cliff Huxtables out there, so maybe this Father’s Day, spring for a slightly nicer tie to thank Dad for being one of the good ones.
Scarlett Johansson’s Agent Romanov, a.k.a. Black Widow, in this summer’s big budget block-busting behemoth The Avengers may not seem like much next to guys who control lightning, fly around in impenetrable armor, or transform into a big green rage monsters, but she still kicks some serious ass. Plus, she looks damn good doing it.
However, some of the higher-ups at Disney and Marvel questioned whether this butt-whooping beauty should even be included in the assembly. The fact that she made it onto the team is largely thanks to the man they call Joss and his penchant for strong, sexy, ass-kicking chicks. From Buffy the Vampire Slayer to River from Firefly to Echo from Dollhouse, Mr. Whedon’s work has been practically defined by the badass broads it features.
I’d be lying if I said I never imagined doing some cruel, heartless things to useless celebrities who don’t deserve their fame. Like most satirical writers, I write about it instead, taking verbal and visual potshots at whoever has annoyed me.
Someone with a much larger platform seemed to have the same idea: comedian turned writer/director Bobcat Goldthwait. Many remember Goldthwait’s stage persona as a mentally incapacitated screecher who starred in such movies as One Crazy Summer, the Police Academy series, and Scrooged. What many do not remember is the volatile dark comedy he wrote and directed, Shakes the Clown, about an alcoholic birthday clown, which became a cult hit.
A little over ten years later, Bobcat started shaking society’s tree with such films as Sleeping Dogs Lie and World’s Greatest Dad. Now, he has uprooted that tree with his latest film, God Bless America, a “violent film about kindness.”
I attended a screening of the film and later had the chance to sit down with Goldthwait and star Joel Murray.
Alien is an iconic franchise, but it’s not the most suitable for crossovers. If director Ridley Scott and designer H.R. Giger had made the sexual themes any clearer the audio would have been non-stop rape-whistle. Superhero comics are the least suitable place for Aliens outside of an obstetrician’s waiting room, which didn’t stop several publishers from injecting their superheroes with bizarre penis-themed intrusions…pre-empting both the internet and Japan by several years.
Here we shamefully present four comics that crossed into Alien territory decades before Prometheus, and hopefully made all the mistakes so that tomorrow’s debuting blockbuster won’t have to.