“If This Be My Last Scheduling Matrix…!”
I’m actually going to start off talking about comics, and the art, and then meander my way back to what I’m speaking about in the caption. DC Comics has been doing a whole lot of Big Things to get back not just my readership, but a whole lot of the marketshare. They haven’t really gotten back very much of my readership at all, despite the “Rebirth” event, which returns the setting to its original continuity.
In current continuity and story line, Lex Luthor is a Good Guy. A distrusted Good Guy, because he used to be a Bad Guy, but a Good Guy nonetheless. His Lexorian Warsuit (I will STILL call it that) even has a big ol’ S riveted on the front of it, even though he still does have a major (non baldness related) hatred toward Superman. The storytelling on that is a bit sketchy to me, but to be fair, I have only skimmed the Superman books. The ploy gyrations to make New 52 Superman a separate guy, and then resolve the plot problems of the end of New 52 are byzantine, to say the least.
I’m not on that firm an intellectual ground with a Good Guy Lex Luthor. As a result, we have cap punching out Lena Thorul, who is wearing an even bigger, badder Lexorian Warsuit. I fell like that’s more solid footing, even though any discussion of Lena Thorul is a bit bewildering. She is very much a high Silver Age character. Lex’s sister, in fact…her name being an anagram of Luthor, changed so that the family could hide from Lex and deny their relationship to him after he became evil.
She was introduced in “Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane” No. 23, and was pretty much a friendly part of the ensemble cast, hanging out with Lois, Lana, Jimmy and Perry. She also had ESP powers (loosely defined) as the result of a pre-evil Lex’s doing Science in the house. After “Crisis,” DC, didn’t really use the character for some time…but now, she is back in “Rebirth” as a card carrying Bad Guy herself.
A Bad Guy that Cap is seriously smacking around. That’s some A-list frustration we are seeing there.
So….what’s going on here? What’s the metaphor? Glad you asked.
It’s pretty heavy handed, like most things here at Adequacy. First off, you might have noticed the lack of a Monday post. That happens occasionally, as a result of:
- Time restrictions, given the increasing quality of the average sketch.
- Lack of decision on content (that can be hard to do)
- …and time restrictions, based on when I can actually get time to draw.
- Oh, and migraines, too. They can kill a day of drawing.
We are in my “Busy Season,” where grades are due, major assignments are going back and forth, and the maximum number of failing students must be turned into passing students. All of that is a pretty big deal, but is the normal activity of the time period. In an academic sense, as a school teacher, these are very much Silver Age Problems. The kind of thing that is time consuming, but you have to get done. Kind of like fighting someone named Luthor.
In addition, we have the whole “Scheduling Matrix” thing coming this week. That’s where teachers, in order of seniority, ritualistically meet with Administration to select the classes that they will be teaching next year. Given my Mega-Seniority, you’d think this process would be simple…I just come in (first) and choose the classes that I have taught for the past two years.
Wrong. The whole system is laden with “behind the scenes” deals, which in turn have more double crosses than the average Luthor-Brainiac Team Up. It’s specifically that which had Lex Luthor in my mind set as I sat down to draw…Lex may be a Good Guy now, but I EXPECT double crosses from him. Or to simply stand around in a montage background, doing nothing, like above. That’s pretty much the modus operandi of both teachers and administration in this process…kind of stand around looking out for yourself, and not really to have any concern about the greater schedule, or having things work out for team mates and colleagues.
Precisely that kind of Matrix Scheduling Deal has really alienated one of my closest friends at school, motivating her to attempt a transfer. She has simply been set up to teach classes that she doesn’t want to…and will transfer to avoid the situation. That sucks completely, because she is VERY good at her job, but it’s that kind of Lex Luthor dealing that we have here.
That makes another one of my few teacher friends at the Edu-Mountain that the Edu-Lords have basically alienated into transferring. The first one is a Done Deal, this is just starting off….but it is what it is.
That’s kind of why Lena Thorul in the insano-Lexorian battlesuit is there. Lena is supposed to be a friend of the ensemble cast (and used to not be bald, either). Since the early eighties…DC Comics hasn’t really known what to do with her as a character. They leaned away from likeable ensemble casts, and wackiness. Instead, she has been a baby, a villain, and a villain again, of a different sort. Currently, she’s actually a very traditional Silver Age Villain, but more importantly, is not around the characters that were her friends. At all.
See the metaphor, people? Editorial decisions separating a character from her ensemble cast, changing roles arbitrarily? Kind of like administrative decisions triggering transfer papers, in turn diminishing the staff of the school? I was pretty sure you’d see it.
So…yeah…all of that stuff was going on when I sat down to draw this. I was also thinking that Cap’s uniform is irking me. I like the jacket, sure…but I haven’t been comfortable with her super hero gear all year. Just saying.