Joe Manduke

Joe Manduke

Reviewer and critic of film, anime and comics. Feel free to check out my blog at http://merlinthemighty.blogspot.com/ or my YouTube channel as MerlinTheMighty.

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Latest Articles

Latest Topics

4

Monster: The Nature of Evil

Explore what makes Johan Liebert such a complex villain. In fact, is he truly evil?

  • A very good topic, to cover the personality and charisma of Johan Liebert in general. And on the true nature of evil and whether he was really a villain: a really good point to explore. Obviously, he wasn't the "evil" evil. Extend by discussing the various negative roles that actually have a double meaning, taking the example of Kira from Death Note -- another fan-loved "evil" character. Btw, I think this article has great potential but I don't understand why it's housed in the manga category? Why not anime? – Abhimanyu Shekhar 6 years ago
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  • Honestly, anything on Monster would be incredible. – Travis Cohen 6 years ago
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  • There's already an article in the anime section about this, so this topic may be a redundant. Maybe take a look to see if this one would be rehashing old ground. – Jordan 6 years ago
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  • I'll check for it. Maybe this could be restructured to focus on the moral questions of the series. Specifically Tenma's internal turmoil. – Joseph Manduke IV 6 years ago
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Joss Whedon: Strong Female Characters

Explore how Whedon created strong female characters in Buffy, Firefly, Dollhouse, Avengers ect.

  • I'd say Whedon is also good in creating well-rounded woman characters, as well as the 'strong female' character e.g. Buffy being a teenage girl and having emotions / flaws as well as being a kickass vampire slayer. – Camille Brouard 6 years ago
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  • Whedon's track record here is not what it necessarily could be though. If you look around the Internet you'll find a fair amount of criticism of his work from a feminist perspective, some of it a little out there, some of it right on the money. Just as an example, the fact that Buffy and Angel having sex nearly causes the end of the world is on the decidedly uncomfortable side. – Winter 6 years ago
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The influence of The Sopranos on Television Drama

Explore the Sopranos and the influence of Breaking Bad, Mad Men ect.

    3

    Spider-Man and Maturity

    Explore the character’s lack of development due to editors preventing him from growing up.

    • Would you looking for an article about his lack of development with added explanation about editorial interference or a history of the franchise that highlights instances and periods of when this editorial interference occurred? – Austin 6 years ago
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    • I should preface this with saying I absolutely love Spider-Man. I'm glad the topic came up, though, because it's good to look at instances where Marvel has stumbled in its treatment of an otherwise exceptional character. Austin raises a good point. Off the top of my head, I can think of a few instances of editorial interference that would be good for whoever writes this topic. "One More Day" is probably the greatest example in recent years, or even the character's history in general. That story portrayed Peter to be quite immature in coming to terms with his Aunt May's condition, and how he essentially wanted to save because he couldn't accept her dying to do something he did. Moreover, Peter being so much of a defeatist in that arc - something that he has never been, just look at stories like "If This Be My Destiny!" or "Spider-Man No More!" as evidence to how he always bounces back - to the point that he literally strikes a deal with the Devil? This is something a desperate pouting child would do to get a toy he wanted, not a good-hearted hero like Spider-Man. There was also the "Sins Past" arc that had Peter learn that Gwen Stacy fathered twins with Norman Osborn. You'd have to look into it more for confirmation, but I do remember reading that apparently the editors vetoed writer J. Michael Straczynski's pitch for Peter to be the father of Gwen's children. Reason being, the editors supposedly thought that Peter being a father would "age him too much." They eventually agreed on Norman Osborn being the father instead, a very creepy and totally out of character decision for Gwen. Funny enough, both of these stories happened during Straczynski's eight-year run. Which is noteworthy because he brought a great sense of nuance and maturity to the character; rather, it was these editorial decisions that put blemishes in his otherwise excellent – BradShankar 6 years ago
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    • In some ways I feel like they're trying to keep him young for new generations, every generation should experience Spider-Man and in order for that to be, they have to adapt to each generation; so, they can relate and so thus keeping him young let's that happen. Then again, I don't know who would want to see a 28 year old Peter Parker flying through the sky, so there's pros and cons. – scoleman 6 years ago
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    27

    Nihilism and Destiny in Berserk.

    Explore the darker themes within the series.

    • This isn't a helpful comment but man do i feel the need to chime in. Berserk is bloody dark. – wolfkin 6 years ago
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    2

    The Best of David Lynch

    Perhaps an article about the primary aspects of Lynch’s work. Maybe exploring Twin Peaks and his most essential films?

    • This would be very interesting given the new interest in Twin Peaks. Maybe a focus on that and then a run-down of how his other work links in/is similar for those who don't know it. – Francesca Turauskis 6 years ago
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    • Mr. Lynch is my favorite film director, and thus I'm very tempted to go ahead and grab this topic. But yes, it might make more sense to write this article once the new Twin Peaks series starts becoming more of a reality. It would also be interesting to go through a series of tropes that Lynch uses consistently in his films and in Twin Peaks, and even how other directors have been inspired by these same Lynchian tropes. There's so much that could be written on about Lynch! He's a fantastic rabbit hole of ideas for posts. – Rachel Watson 6 years ago
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    Published

    Mad Max: The Power of Practical Effects

    Due to the recent release of Mad Max: Fury Road and it’s success, it seems relevant to discuss the fact the film is primarily fueled by practical effects. This article to could explore the importance of not utilizing CGI. Sadly, this is an larger tendency for film makers the past few decades.

    • Also, JJ Abrams has already demonstrated that he will be utilizing practical effects for the upcoming Star Wars film. – G Anderson Lake 7 years ago
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    • CGI pales in comparison with stunts done for real. There is that awe-factor which is leagues ahead of what we get from CGI. – Akilan 7 years ago
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    • A good film to watch or mention in your article would be Jurassic Park, I rewatched the film recently and they had a number of practical effects rather than CGI and I think it still holds up today. Mad Max: Fury Road has demonstrated that practical effects have a more visceral impact with viewers. The recent Evil Dead remake, while not a great film, incorporated practical effects to make the sickening gore more effective. – Nathan 7 years ago
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    literature
    Write this topic

    Tolkien and Christianity: Religious Symbolism in Lord of the Rings

    One of the more interesting aspects of Tolkien and his work are the subtle and not so subtle commentaries of various topics. Some parallels could between with his work and Christian lore and doctrine.

    • Tolkien and C.S. Lewis were good friends, and Lewis certainly wrote with a ton of religious themes. I know there is some documentation of their discussions about religion somewhere, which would certainly be worth looking up. – G Anderson Lake 7 years ago
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    • Tolkien himself always claimed his stories were not allegorical. – Kristian Wilson 7 years ago
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    • Sauron would be parallel to the devil, Saruman to Judas... but where do characters like Grima and Gandalf fit? – SpectreWriter 6 years ago
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    Latest Comments

    Joe Manduke

    I disagree that the original FMA is now “obsolete”. I think it’s clear as an adaptation but the original still has much to offer.

    Anime for Dummies: What Starters Should Watch
    Joe Manduke

    After Constantine, I think Etrigan would make a great addition to a television series.

    Comics That Deserve Their Own Show/Film
    Joe Manduke

    The Academy seems to generally focus on their own preferences or what its so popular that they cannot ignore it.

    The Academy Awards: A Popularity Contest or a Reward for Serious Artistry?
    Joe Manduke

    Anime is growing in popularity every year. It’s been with us for a long time. Many people may not realize this. It has broken into the mainstream several times.

    Perceptions of Maturity in Anime
    Joe Manduke

    Glad someone took this topic. Very well done!

    Mad Max: Practically CGI
    Joe Manduke

    I’m honored. Glad it was helpful!

    Full Metal Alchemist: Science vs Religion
    Full Metal Alchemist: Science vs Religion
    Joe Manduke

    I’m a bit more wary myself.

    Frank Miller's Return To Batman Comics