I’ve started a new video series called Diversionarium, all about the stuff I fill my free time with. From video games to anime, movies to programming, I’ll be posting monthlyish videos about it all. And to start it off, I figured I’d start with a hobby I’m just now getting in to – comics.
So, Variety announced today that Gal Gadot has been cast as Wonder Woman in the upcoming “Man of Steel” sequel, that will also feature Ben Affleck’s debut as Batman.
This has been confirmed by director Zack Snyder, who said “Not only is Gal an amazing actress, but she also has that magical quality that makes her perfect for the role.”
Look, I’m just gonna jump right into my reactions, if you don’t mind.
Well, obviously, WONDER WOMAN IS GOING TO APPEAR ON THE BIG SCREEN, FINALLY. And, the casting of an Israeli actress is pretty awesome, it’s great to see a non-white woman get to show some Wonder.
I know a lot of people were reacting with “WHO?” when Gal’s name came up, but I think that’s a plus. Even Lynda Carter herself once advised Hollywood to “cast an unknown.” I like having an actress without anything iconic to compare her role as Wonder Woman to.
Wonder Woman is making it on screen, yes, but as a supporting role in a movie primarily focused on Superman and Batman. She’s not even being mentioned in the tentative title while the two boys are. It reeks of sticking her in the movie to appease audiences without having to do the “risky” thing and give her a solo origin movie because, everyone knows, female-fronted action movies with well-established characters are doomed to fail.
Oh, by the way, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” has made $297 million in two weeks and broke a Thanksgiving weekend record previously held by “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.”
Also, there’s the big question of Zack Snyder being at the helm again. Snyder’s record with female characters isn’t necessarily great. The man made “Sucker Punch” for crying out loud and defended it as “empowering,” proving that he has the most tenuous, superficial, male-gaze friendly grasp on the concept of female empowerment possible.
THE EH, MAYBE:
While I’m all about Gadot’s casting, I’m seriously hoping she plans to put on some muscle before filming begins. I don’t think it’s impossible, look at the transformations of Seth Rogen and Chris Pratt for roles in action movies. Wonder Woman is first and foremost a warrior, and I don’t care what nationality or color your actress for the role is, if she doesn’t have notable muscle tone, I can’t buy her as an Amazon.
Really, this is just all knee-jerk reactions to the news. We won’t know anything for awhile, and I’m waiting until we see the first leaked set pictures, promo images and trailers before I really decide on anything. And the truth is, I’m probably not going to flock to theaters for this, no matter how much I want my Wonder Woman fix. I still want her in a solo film, giving her the spotlight and letting her show the world the wonder that she truly is.
Ashly is an IHO Geek writer and is trying to be rational about this casting news. You can try to ruffle her feathers on Twitter @newageamazon.
Ever since Carol Danvers took the Captain Marvel mantle, the Ms. Marvel mantle she left behind has been empty. But no more, as part of Marvel’s “All-New Marvel NOW!” promotional and editorial initiative (more or less a prolonged soft reboot to their main universe) the Ms. Marvel mantle will be filled next shortly into the new year with the debut of a new Ms. Marvel title book. The titular heroine taking up the mantle will be new superhero Kamala Khan, a teenage Muslim Pakistani-American shape-shifter from Jew Jersey.
Coming February 2014 it will be written by G. Willow Wilson, (Air, Mystic, Vixen: Return of The Lion, Alif the Unseen) and illustrated by Adrian Alphona (Runaways, Uncanny X-Force).
Wilson is notable for being of the Muslim faith and is one of if not the most prominent Muslimah writer in monthly comics. She too, hails from New Jersey. The appointment of Wilson to the title is more or less a marriage made in heaven and follows a pattern Marvel seems to be making by appointing writers with the actual experience and know-how that correlate to the characters they are writing. This follows in the steps of appointing writer Charles Soule (Swamp Thing, Thunderbolts, Strongman) a comic writer and attorney (whodathunk) to write Jennifer Walters, the green powerhouse also known as She-Hulk who also is an active lawyer for a new solo title also returning next year.
Ms. Marvel and She-Hulk will be additionally joined by brand new female lead solo books new year for Black Widow, and Elektra. This added with the ongoing success of Brain Wood’s starring all female X-Men flagship title and a “second season” of Captain Marvel seems to reiterate that Marvel is truly making the effort to diversify and push their female heroes as well as taking risks. Their adoption or experiment with “seasons” for titles such as Young Avengers is a curious invention that is something to be watched. It is possibly a great way to keep titles fresh especially in the highly unstable and fickle comic buying market which will no doubt be changing greatly in the next five to ten years anyway. Additionally the appointment of more and more modern and stylized artists (who thankfully know how teenagers dress or just know fashion period) and a more sophisticated mod “house” aesthetic ushered in by the popular Hawkeye title have additionally made many of Marvel’s new offerings and cover art in particular very fresh, hip, and surprisingly experimental.
Marvel’s not perfect, but with their certain choices they seem to be at the least, aware of criticism of the medium and are making strides to rectify it. You’d think DC would notice by now what they’re doing (an Hourman TV show? Really?) is exactly the opposite of what they should be doing.
Now about Marvel’s 10000 Tony Stark and Wolverine books….
Staff Writer/The Doctor
I was excited to tune in to this week’s Fangasm, but would the impending drama stop me and others from continuing with the show? I thoroughly enjoyed the premiere, but in case you missed it, the show revolves around seven super fans who move to LA and intern for Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo. One of the best things about the show is that it’s non-elimination, so these seven are here to stay:
Molly McIsaac: Red-headed cosplayer with a husky voice
Paul Perkins: Adorable dude that lives in parent’s basement
Sal Fringo: Curly haired comic book enthusiast
Andrew Duvall: Tall, lanky guy who just wants to captain the Enterprise
Kristen Hackett: Blonde fashion designer from New York
Mike Reed: Relatively normal looking guy who digs everything
Dani Bullis: Petite red-head and special effects make-up artist
The goofy interns return this week and their challenge is one that would make me freak out: create a series of 30-60 second promotional videos for Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo. Andrew is also sent on a coffee run and I can’t help but feel for the guy, as his nervousness definitely strikes a chord within me. As the group reconvenes, and comes up with some solid ideas, Sal and Andrew quickly decide to break off and film several videos, ditching the others to complete the more ambitious ones in favor of a trip to the comic store. As expected, Regina was not entertained by their videos and instead dug the hilarious ones from Paul.
Back at the house, everyone feels like unwinding so Molly suggest going clubbing. The first notes of romantic interest are shown here between several of the housemates and after a bit of back and forth, a very reluctant Andrew and Sal agree to go out. Mike seems to be in his element and wastes no time in hitting the dance floor. Hilarity ensues when a glowstick/lightsaber battle breaks out and Kristen watches Paul flounder at hitting on the ladies. There is a very noticeable tension between Molly and Mike and even after he is upfront with his like for her, she seems to disregard it completely, sending him a bit of mixed signal. Morning comes and with it…a healthy dose of awkwardness. The girls are preparing for their mini podcast interview with Adrianne Curry and Molly suggests discussing how cosplay does not equal consent. Mike begins to speak up about his experiences with the topic in general as well as a male cosplayer, but Molly shuts him down quickly, even though the issue is one that effects all genders. An argument quickly breaks out, but Mike maturely apologizes.
Adrianne’s arrival has the interns nervous, except for Molly who has met the celebrity several times, yet the boys don’t believe that she knows her for some asinine reason. This idea is quickly shattered when Adrianne warmly greets Molly and the podcast gets under way. Among the cosplay questions, the girls ask Adrianne to give tips to the boys about dating and she invites Sal and Paul out on the town so she can see them in action. Her coaching encourages Sal to ‘fess up to Dani and he successfully asks her on a date.
I found the episode equally interesting as the first, and again, appreciate the attention the show gives to topics that are hot in the geek community. The fact that differing viewpoints are explored is a breath of fresh air, especially since Fangasm is technically reality television. I do wish there was less focus on the awkward and more focus on the convention and interning, but we can’t have everything can we?
What did you think about the second episode? Tweet me your thoughts @ladyvader99 and you know what, you can tweet them to Regina herself @dialrforreggie AND at Comikaze too @stanleecomikaze.
For readers of “big two” comics, I have one plea for you come this February: Buy She-Hulk. Buy She-Hulk. Buy She-Hulk. Is that clear? Because you really need to be buying She-Hulk when it lands this February. Okay, for those that need help we’re gonna break it down:
- She-Hulk is relaunching in February.
-You are going to buy it.
- End of story.
No really, the return of Jennifer Walters to a solo series is more than just awesome: it’s direly needed. Why? Because in the world of comics she is different. In the world of dark and gritty narratives at Marvel and all over DC; Jen’s forthcoming title may be a becon amongst the dark, one of the ever decreasing number of titles about heroes that are witty, bombastic and above all; fun.
Spider-Man? Eh not Peter…not funny? Batgirl? Gritty moody and she cries nearly every issue or something happens that may as well make her cry and add additional trauma to the poor girl. Nightwing? Whoops…
Jennifer Walters, cousin of Bruce Banner and the lawyer turned giant green muscle-house as She-Hulk has always served as a genre-savvy entity. A tour de force in brawn, brains and wit Jen has outright shouted at her own editors, threatened readers and in all have broken the fourth wall Bugs Bunny style enough times on her covers and in -comic to give modern day Deadpool a run for his money. She did it first; she does it the best. She’ll be doing it again. (Bad girls do it well.)
Her forthcoming series, can and will be the female solo to read. And you will be picking it up. Because Jen will be coming with heavy guns (in more ways than her own two arms). Covers will be done by Kevin Wada known for his artful and edgy fashion reinterpretations of mostly X-Men ladies. Interiors will be done by Javier Pulido (Catwoman, Black Cat, Hawkeye). If that’s not enough to get excited, then get out like come on. They are wanting her to be A-list. And they’re certainly not skimping on talent.
Above all in a world of dark and gritty narratives, writer Charles Soule (Thunderbolts, Swamp Thing) understands the character and the need for a balanced approach to superherodom and above all; tone:
“One of the things I want to work hard to do in this new series is treat her as a real person. She absolutely has problems, just like most of the heroes of the Marvel U, but she chooses to approach them with optimism and good spirit rather than surrendering to the grim and gritty. It takes a lot to bring She-Hulk down, although we’ll throw a lot at her.”
For me, this is amazing as it stands in complete opposition to the current attitudes in a lot of comics particularly DC right now and overall seems to be what many, many, many people online are wishing from a “mainstream” comic let alone a female-led title. The top selling female solo-book last month was Gail Simone’s chronically dark and grim Batgirl reboot title who has been bleeding thousands of readers each month and has put Barbara Gordon so far in a twenty-four month spiral of non-winning wins and a stream of constant angst and little to no character growth. I am biased; I like my heroes being able to take things in stride and overcoming them with optimism no matter how dire. I also appreciate writers that know the difference between dark and dramatic narratives versus grim and gritty and that writing gritty does not mean your story is dramatic or that your story has to be gritty for it to be dark.
I hope the more positive and energetic approach She-Hulk will bring this February will rocket her title as the top-selling female book. It would send a very clear message: “We want more things like this”. I implore those that buy comics: get She-Hulk. Make her book the top selling female solo title. Because she’ll come tear up all your X-Men and Avengers comics if you don’t. Like really you just don’t want to risk it.
It can change things for the better if you do.
Staff Writer/The Doctor