It’s that time of year again! No, not Halloween (though that is sneaking up on us faster that I realize). I’m talking about New York Comic Con time! Though not as prolific as San Diego Comic Con, NYCC is the East Coast’s biggest comic and media convention, boasting hundreds of exhibitors and tens of thousands of attendees.
Just like its West Coast counterpart, NYCC attracts countless collectors and, as such, has become a haven for exclusive merchandise. This is where Funko comes in. Over the summer we showed you all of Funko’s SDCC exclusives, the Pop!s, Dorbz, Rides and Vnyls that were only available at the con. Luckily, they’re bringing a pretty strong game to New York Comic Con as well.
Since they’re revealing all of their exclusives in waves so make sure to check back often as we update to see everything you can expect to find at NYCC.
BBC broke the internet when they announced this morning the casting news for the next season of Doctor Who. The Doctor, most previous played by Peter Capaldi, will now be represented by Jodie Whittaker, who is best known for her roles in Broadchurch and Attack the Block alongside current Star Wars actor John Boyega.
Of course, the news has polarized Doctor Who fans. Over the past few years, there has been a major online movement to cast a woman in the role of the Doctor. However, there are a number of Doctor Who purists who are disappointed by the casting, feeling that, in a show centered around a time-travelling alien who can regenerate into a new body once they die, the idea of a woman Doctor is unbelievable.
Unfortunately, much of the backlash isn’t all that civil, with many naysayers using outright misogyny to denounce the news. Which, in my opinion, is unfortunate as Whittaker is a talented actress and is sure to bring her own flair to the role.
Regardless of your feelings on the matter, the casting of Whittaker marks a new direction for the show, as not only will this season bring on a new Doctor, but also a new show-runner as well, with Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall taking over for Steven Moffat.
As has been the tradition, Whittaker will officially take over the role in the Christmas episode.
The news was announced in a promotional trailer that played after the Wimbledon men’s singles final. Watch the trailer below.
You can also read more about the announcement, including a short interview with Whittaker, on BBC’s website.
Will Jodie Whittaker’s take on the Doctor be as lovable as David Tennant’s, as memorable as Matt Smith’s, or as short lived as Christopher Eccleston’s? Only time will tell, but personally, I’m excited for the gender swap.
San Diego Comic Con is just about a month away and there’s a ton of stuff that we’re excited to see come out of the show, like the big announcements from all of the major movie and TV studios and comic book big (and little) shots. However, one of the major draws to the West Coast mecca for geek culture is the exclusive toys that are available at the show.
Over the last couple of weeks, Funko, the purveyor of fine Pop! vinyls, has announced their lineup of SDCC exclusive figures. We have compiled everything right here for you so you can decide before you go which ones you can’t live without (or salivate over the exclusives you’ll need to hunt down on eBay if you can’t make it to San Diego).
Doctor Who is back and a handful of us at Sub-Cultured are fans so with two episodes under our belts, we wanted to do a short general consensus. Is this better than Series 7? Are we on board for Capaldi? Where’s River (“dead” yes, but….)? Jen, Tushar, Sam and myself got together to discuss Series 8 thus far. The consensus? Cautiously if not generally optimistic.
MOFFAT & CAPALDI
General reactions to the past two episodes have been relatively positive, we already think it’s better than Series 7 thus far with, surprisingly enough only Jen (and not myself) being more of the outlier with a more frustrated and neither here nor there opinion on some things, most of her complaints having to do with Moffat as head writer and a desire to have a new person in charge for a fresher feel.
I agree with the sentiment to a degree, many of the “Moffat” problems are noticeable (and eye rolling) and the last two episodes had some pacing issues. I myself am not liking the new “control freak” characterization of Clara and being chastised by the Doctor and other characters for it which seemed to come out of nowhere. Unless I’ve been missing something.
To answer one of our initial questions, between all of us we’re completely on board with Capaldi as the Doctor and enjoy the new “non-flirty” dynamic established between The Doctor and Clara with his return to a more mature personality and appearance. Tushar in particular noted he’s glad there’s no romance there. The Doctor’s dislike of soldiers seems to be a plot theme for this series, particularly with Danny Pink eventually joining the cast. Clara’s sympathy for soldiers, particularly Journey Blue (who I’m not quite sure we’ve seen the last of considering Jenna may be leaving and that look Jenna gave her) and her obvious attraction to Danny may mean some interesting developments to come regarding this thematic thread.
We discussed that the young, virile and “flirty” Casanova swashbuckler and Peter Pan Doctors of 10 and 11, The Man Who Regrets and the Man Who Forgets, were overall needed after the War Doctor and 9. They were reactionary coping mechanisms after 9 who was still war grizzled. The Doctor’s current dislike of soldiers in this body could be seen as stemming from his dislike of himself as The War Doctor, who was indeed a soldier. Does the Doctor actually remember that he didn’t actually destroy Galifrey?
THE GIRL IN THE FIREPLACE
Sam additionally discussed that Capaldi was supposedly the originally the first choice for 11 and asserted they changed direction and went with Matt Smith instead and thus the script apparently changed, so we wonder if all the narrative elements tying to the series 2 episode “The Girl In The Fireplace” that are suddenly cropping up are them trying to backpedal to a narrative they wanted to tell long ago.
“I think the better question maybe why does Moffat use “The Girl in the Fireplace” to establish the doctor’s humanity and then wait for a Doctor and half to use another story of the Clockwork people to call into question the Doctor’s Humanity. Moffat rarely lets plot points go to waste.”
Jen voiced her need for more consistent narrative threading, had some of this appeared in smaller doses earlier it wouldn’t have seen so strange to come back to it after all this time. We’re cautiously optimistic about Missy.
Clara was a subject of conversation; most of us agree they’re finally treating and writing her a bit better, now that her mystery is more or less answered and as Sam pointed out, she’s gone from plot device to an actual character. She’s been given some quite meaty monologues and a more gutsy presence. Jen still does not care for her much and that hurts her perception of the show:
“I don’t like the show right now because I want more talk of Trenzalore and because I don’t like Clara at all. And I feel like the companion is at least 40% of the show, so if I can’t like the companion, I can’t LOVE the show.”
We all saw some lost opportunity with the second episode with the dalek considering a future version of Clara actually became in a way, a good dalek, which was more or less the last time Jen liked the character.
When it comes to Clara I voiced I am disappointed that some elements they were making seem important regarding her character; Clara’s birthdays, her Atlas book, possibly her mother’s death have all seemingly been dropped, but I am glad she’s finally developing.
I posited much of her character being a mess could be owed to the Victorian Clara originally being the one to actually go with 11 and them then changing their minds, killing her and shoehorning in an additional new “modern” Clara. That may explain some of Clara’s vague writing in the past but still doesn’t excuse the bad writing that’s also occurred.
We all, however really liked Clara being more outspoken and contentious with the Doctor; the lines “You’re not my boss you’re one of my hobbies” and the big slap from Clara in “Into The Dalek” was a resounding hit with us (as was Clara getting pelted with the newspaper in ‘Deep Breath”, which should have been horrible).
“I want her to stand up to him way more often. I like that she slapped him and I like that she’s not his companion.”
We thought the phone call to Clara in “Deep Breath” was a nice touch, and 11 expressing dismay over getting old only further cements his Peter Pan-ness and was a good buffer for the fan base, particularly young fans who indeed, like Clara, may be having a hard time adjusting to an older man on screen again.
It’s all agreed we want a sole young male companion without any romance or coupling with a female companion to justify his going to change things up, but overall it looks like a good ride after series 7’s rather clunky delivery. Clara and Danny clearly mirror Barbara and Ian, fitting for the 50th, all we need now is our Susan. What do you think? Have you been enjoying Capaldi thus far? Let us know!
Last year we listed some of our favorite fictional couples. This year, we’re turning the spotlight on some of our favorite fictional ladies who manage to ride solo (and one who does that literally. OH SNAP.), and still succeed. In order to qualify for this list, these ladies don’t necessarily have to remain single til their dying day, but they did need to remain independent, and getting their man could not be one of their main goals.
Perhaps it’s surprising that one half of my OTP is at the top of this list. But that’s exactly my point here–does Hermione really NEED a man to tell her what to do or how to do it? No. No she does not. And that’s the great part about being on this list, and being a modern lady. You can have a dude in your life but he shouldn’t be a crutch. He should just be a lovely red haired man who is particularly fond of pets and also whose parents are pretty much the best people on the planet. I’m digressing. The point here is that Hermione is smart, she’s resourceful, she knows how to make fire in a jar. Bam. Independent woman.
Runners up in the Harry Potter universe:
Luna Lovegood, who became a herione despite starting off as that crazy chick in the corner, and book!
Ginny Weasley, who is way cooler and more interesting than her wet-noodle movie counterpart.
Merida is the best. When that movie ended and (spoiler alert) she was still chillin’ as a Princess with no Prince, it was like a breath of fresh air. Some people reacted by accusing her of being a lesbian. To which every feminist and most reasonable people on the planet responded, “And so what if she is?”. However, that’s not really the point. The point is, she can ride a gigantic horse, climb mountains without equipment, and quiet a castle mess hall full of rowdy drunk Scotsmen. Trust me–that is no easy feat. Merida doesn’t even care about all the guys trying for her hand, and what’s more, she points out that they shouldn’t be forced to love HER, either. That’s called equality.
That goes to Queen Elinor DunBroch, who kicks ass in spite of her bumbling husband and defiant children. She’s a mom and a Queen and a fairly modern woman. For living in medieval Scotland, of course.
Leia and Hermione have a lot in common in the man category, except that Han is just as independent on his own as Leia is on hers. Their courtship is nothing short of adorable, but Leia knows inter-planetary warfare isn’t the time to let her feelings get in the way of… inter-planetary warfare. Not to mention she essentially frees herself from Jabba and manages to kill him before taking off. Okay, so the first time we see her she’s in jail and the guys actually open her cell, but who has the best aim among them? Who gets the message to Obi-Wan in the first place? It’s Leia. Take the men out of the movie and she might have had a harder time getting out of these situations, but without jerks like her overbearing dad (sorry, Vader), maybe there wouldn’t have been the Star Wars to begin with.
On second thought, that would be a terrible idea. Let the men fuck things up so Leia can fix them.
Runners up all come from the Extended Universe:
Jaina Solo, Mara Jade, and Ahsoka Tano all squeak in behind Leia. That doesn’t mean they’re less heroic or independent. Ahsoka might still be a Padawan but she’s a heroine in her own right, and Jaina manages to save the entire universe from (surprise) her jerk of a brother. What is it with the Skywalkers and their descendants?
While each of the sailor scouts kind of split the heroic action, they also split their time fairly equally between being heroic and drooling over boys. In the early seasons, it feels like Serena can’t do shit without fighting over Andrew, Darien, that Fish-eye guy, or (good looks, Usagi…) Amara. Ami, or Sailor Mercury, is the exception that proves the rule in this case. When she isn’t fighting evil by moonlight, she’s studying or helping Rini out with things, or just generally being a fine upstanding citizen. She’s like that friend who you a little bit hated because after they left your mom was always like, “Why can’t you be more like her?”. Not to mention, Ami is always way more on top of the whole fighting evil thing than probably any of the other scouts care to be. She takes everything very seriously. It’s like a pain in the ass to get her to come to the beach. Even in the summer. But all that focus pays off, and Ami frequently stays one step ahead of whatever suddenly anthropomorphic plant the girls wind up fighting.
Runner up in the Sailor Moon universe is Sailor Pluto.
She’s cool, and she doesn’t give a crap about Darien.
BEFORE YOU GET UPSET – Yes I know that in her first episode her storyline revolves around getting and keeping a man. However. Compared to the rest of the Doctor’s companions, Donna is easily the most independent. She likes traveling with the Doctor because it makes her life more interesting, not because she feels bad for and eventually loves him, not because she’s in love with him from the get-go, and not because he promised her he’d be back when she was six and now she’s completely fixated on him. Donna is with the Doctor on her terms, and she gives him shit for being… the Doctor. I’d argue that most of the companions in new!Who are heroines in their own right, but they have at the very least romantically fond feelings towards the Doctor, and spend their time with him like some strange alien-human version of Hugh Hefner and every girlfriend he hasn’t married. They want to make him THEIR Doctor, but Donna just wants to hang out and be bros.
Runner up goes begrudgingly to Martha Jones.
Look, I don’t like her, but I get why people do. She’s in love with the Doctor and he’s a butthole to her, and she leaves. It takes her way longer than I would have liked to figure out he doesn’t feel the same way she does, but I guess she’s better than Clara, whose literal entire storyline revolves around saving the Doctor.
If you’ve been with us since the beginning, you know we feel some kind of way about the women in Dragon Ball, Z, and GT, and this may be partially personal preference speaking, but Bulma is just the greatest. Again, she marries Vegeta, but I’m pretty sure that went something like, “OH OKAY WE’RE GETTING MARRIED TODAY HERE’S YOUR SUIT HERE’S MY DRESS ANNNND WE’RE DONE.” Bulma is ultra smart, and goes out on her own to find the Dragon Balls. Her independence has been hotly contested, but I remember Bulma, especially in Dragonball, as a strong woman who will pretty much take a sledge hammer to any man’s head if he disrespects her.
Runners up include Videl and Chi-Chi
Both of whom could beat the crap out of all of us, and without whom their husbands would have died early deaths from gluttony and stupidity. (Although I love them both very much.)
Elphaba is probably more commonly known to most of you as the Wicked Witch of the West. She’s the main character in the novel Wicked, and in the musical based on the novel. Elphaba’s gotten the shaft from every last man in her life, and from some of the women, too. That doesn’t stop her from honing her skills in magic, heading off to University, befriending people who only started chilling with her to make fun of her, and unmasking a major government cover-up. Elphaba wants to become the Wizard’s right-hand woman, but when she finds out what he’s really up to she risks her life to set things right. Even when she does get a man, she doesn’t let him change her direction or slow her down in her ultimate goal.
Runner up is, of course, Galinda the good. (No, I didn’t spell that wrong.)
Galinda is a little too focused on the men around her for my liking, and of course the whole point of Wicked is to reverse our expectations. But in the end it’s not about her relationships with men – not even the Wizard. The story is truly about how Elphaba and Galinda balance each other out and turn each other from caricatures into “real” people. Without one, the other wouldn’t be nearly as complex.
Sarabi from The Lion King
HAVE YOU SEEN THE LION KING? ALSO, DO LIONS HAVE LAST NAMES?
Sarabi. Gives. No. Fucks.
Runner up: Nala.
She tells Simba like it is and drags his ass back to pride rock.
Again, if I need to back this one up, I don’t know where you’ve been living. Lara Croft is still one of the only female character in video games who has single-handedly headed up a massive franchise for the last 22 years. She’s gotta be smart and in good shape to do the kind of tomb raiding she’s been doing for decades, and you know you’ve made it when Angelina Jolie plays you in a film. Plus, she’s become more realistically proportioned as the years have passed. Go ahead. Name one man that Lara has had to lean on, for anything, ever. Okay?
That’s what I thought.
Tiana has one goal and one goal only: to open her own restaurant. She works hard to save up money to buy her restaurant. She makes lots of food because she wants to get better when she owns her own restaurant. She has the opportunity to cater a big party to get better exposure for her eventual restaurant. See the pattern here? Arguably, Naveen teaches her to love or something, but when they do get married, guess what he does? Goes to work in her restaurant. And guess who told her she needed other people in order to be happy with that restaurant? Mama Odie. Yeah. Tiana don’t need no man.
Runner up: Mulan.
Mulan came before Tiana, and she definitely busted through lady stereotypes and hated being all dolled up by the Matchmaker. However, she makes her sacrifice on behalf of her father, and takes part in the fighting… but doesn’t have her own “restaurant”.
Got any other super ultra badass babes you can think of? Let us know in the comments below!