Well before the wide release of Spider-Man: Homecoming, early preview reviews started rolling out and proclaiming the film to be fantastic. I was a little worried that much of the hype was overblown; that the reviewers were overlooking the movie’s flaws just because they were happy to have Spider-Man as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Granted, I had no reason to feel this way having not seen the movie, but that’s just the anxiety in me. After seeing Spider-Man: Homecoming, however, I realize just how silly this notion was.
For starters, Homecoming doesn’t get bogged down in an origin story. One of movie-goers’ biggest complaints is that the first film in every super hero series is an origin. Most often, it’s necessary to establish where the character comes from. Sometimes, a movie is directed well enough that the audience doesn’t realize they’re watching an origin. For Spider-Man: Homecoming, there’s a quick scene recapping Peter Parker’s (Tom Holland) experiences in Berlin prior to his debut in Captain America: Civil War and how Tony Stark (do I even need to put “Robert Downey Jr.” here?) gave him his suit but that’s it. They make references to the spider that bit him but we never see it happen. Thankfully Marvel and Sony understood that audiences know how Peter became Spider-Man.
As a character, Spider-Man has always been about dichotomy, and Homecoming recognized that. Peter Parker is the timid, nerdy, powerless kid but he’s also the strong super hero who can do amazing things. In the movie, though, we see this power divide almost everywhere. Spider-Man wants t do more and help people on a grander scale but Tony Stark limits his abilities and keeps him grounded. Adrian Toomes, the villainous Vulture played by Michael Keaton, is a hard-working, blue-collar salvage worker whose life is threatened when a powerful government organization comes in and claims authority over his jobsite. We can understand his fear and need to do whatever he has to in order to provide for his family. (This was also a nice way to tie Homecoming into the MCU and the events that transpired in Avengers.)
Spider-Man: Homecoming also places a lot of focus on Spidey’s supporting characters. Peter’s best friend, Ned (played by Jacob Batalon, who looks more like Ganke than Ned Leeds but I digress), gets almost as much screen time as Peter himself. School bully Flash Thompson (Tony Revolori) shows up often and is much more than a one-note trick than previous portrayed in the other movies. Even a character like Michelle has an abundance of screen time, but that’s to be expected when they put someone like Zendaya in that role.
All of this works to make Spider-Man: Homecoming feel like a true Spider-Man movie. Spider-Man has always been about the people around him. Seventy plus years of comics show us that Spider-Man became the hero he is because of his affection for his friends, and even his tormentors. Previous cinematic versions of Spidey never really got that ideal, or at least never expressed it as well as Homecoming did.
One of my biggest complaints about Homecoming is the way it handled Peter Parker. As the quiet, nerdy kid, Peter either gets picked on or ignored. He lives with his elderly Aunt May, who no doubt maintains her household while living on a fixed income. Peter feels that financial crisis and decides to help carry the burden. However, in Homecoming, Peter isn’t like that. Sure, he gets picked on by Flash Thompson, but overall he has a few close friendships. His peers find value in his intelligence and every time they’re disappointed by him it’s through his own actions. Even Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) is younger and prettier than her other incarnations (which the movie doesn’t hesitate to joke about), which allows her to continue to provide for herself and her teenage nephew. Peter’s life in Homecoming isn’t that bad.
Being Spider-Man, however, sure as hell seems like it. Homecoming manages to show audiences just how much it sucks to be Spider-Man. He gets yelled at by the public for making mistakes. His actions cause massive damage to the neighborhood he lives in. He puts his life on the line to take down a threat when no one else will listen to him. Why?
Clearly because “with great power comes great responsibility.” The beauty of Spider-Man: Homecoming is that we have a Spider-Man who understands Uncle Ben’s powerful message without having to beat audiences over the head with the phrase. Not once are those words uttered, but we see how much Peter values them. This all goes back to the lack of an origin story. Spider-Man knows when it’s time to do the right thing; whether it’s from the life lesson he learned off-screen from his Uncle Ben or from being mentored by Iron Man himself is irrelevant. It’s a notion that’s inherent in this version of Spider-Man.
There’s lots of things to enjoy about Spider-Man: Homecoming; all of the excellent performances of the cast, most notably by Holland and Keaton, the return of Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan in a true supporting role, and all of the small throwbacks and references the filmmakers added. Overall, what I liked about Homecoming is that this is the closest a movie version of Spider-Man has ever gotten to its comic book roots. The young Peter Parker/Spider-Man has a lot to learn, not just about being a hero but about life in general. They’re not fast forwarding through his growth but allowing audiences to experience it first-hand, which is the most exciting part of the story.
The first trailer guarantees that Doctor Strange will be visually and cinematically unlike any other Marvel movie. You sense that Marvel Studios‘ latest will give basically Inception on steroids. While Strange‘s unique architecture was never in doubt, “will it have the typical Marvel charm?” was the question on everyone’s lips. Fortunately, likely thanks to renowned comedy writer Dan Harmon‘s rewrites, the most recent Marvel Cinematic Universe entry delivers in almost every regard.
We’ll definitely arrive at why I said “almost,” but first, many movie-only fans likely need some background. Doctor Strange follows the appropriately-named Dr. Steven Strange, a very stubborn, hot-shot neurosurgeon. He’s not a very likable or charming individual; traits that leading man Benedict Cumberbatch has fun with on-screen. However, as with most every origin story, his fortunes don’t last after a devastating car accident badly damages his skilled hands.
Desperate to reattain his status for his damaged ego’s sake, he treks out to a temple in Nepal to learn the mystical arts. As expected, the pompous Strange laughs off the very idea of “magic,” but the Ancient One quickly resolves his skepticism, otherwise, there wouldn’t be much of a movie. As Strange hones his otherworldly skills, he discovers the massive responsibility his newfound friends carry on their shoulders. This leads Strange to an intriguing moral dilemma of choosing to fight for others or only himself.
As with all reviews, I aim to remain spoiler-free. Unfortunately, many things I adore from Doctor Strange involve spoilers, but I’ll tread carefully. Firstly, director Scott Derrickson and the writers utilize the cast to perfection. Cumberbatch carries the film effortlessly, but you also have supporting players turning in memorable performances. Understandable controversies aside, Tilda Swinton brings an elegance, mystique, and toughness as the Ancient One. Chiwetel Ejiofor surprises as Karl Mordo with a few impassioned speeches. Benedict Wong shines as the hilariously stone-faced (and coincidentally-named) Wong. Although not exploited to her full potential, Rachel McAdams as Christine Palmer is a fantastic addition as well.
To accompany the acting gravitas, Derrickson constructs the most impressive, innovative visuals from any Marvel title on any medium. The thrilling opening sequence whets the appetite, and the movie efficiently builds upon that. We’re shown a psychedelic sequence that could be this generation’s 2001: A Space Odyssey stargate scene. As seen in the trailers, there’s also a mind-bending foot chase where buildings and roads are upside down or sideways or inside each other. With the mystical rules having been thoroughly explained throughout the film, these set pieces are immensely gratifying.
As for these aforementioned “rules” of Doctor Strange‘s universe, I truly appreciated how fresh Marvel’s introduction to magic felt. You’ll see lived-in dimensions, ancient artifacts with a rich history, and an expansive library. There may be times where the audience will want to ask the movie to “slow down.” The filmmaker throws a potential overload of information at you. However, hearing the Ancient One’s musings such as “not everything makes sense; not everything has to,” the film successfully reminds you to turn off your brain, forget about the science behind the magic, and enjoy the ride.
Now I disclose why I earlier claimed Doctor Strange to “almost” deliver in every regard. Unfortunately, the Marvel villain conundrum continues. Mads Mikkelsen plays Kaecilius, and turns in a portrayal that’s nothing or less than “fine.” The most frustrating part is his lack of clear motivations. He monologues to Strange about his devious intentions (which don’t really seem that devious), but the “why” is entirely avoided. There are effective efforts to tease future villains that do have more depth, but it’s at the sacrifice of the current villain’s arc.
Also, I’ve spotted a few articles mentioning how Marvel movies not named The Avengers have forgettable musical scores. After hearing the Michael Giacchino presided over the musical arrangement, I was ready to lay those sentiments to rest. I gained confidence after listening to the end credits music released a few weeks ago. Yet throughout the film, I didn’t even notice the music as anything more than ambient noise. Yes, you don’t want the melodies to distract from the motion picture, but the musician in me clamored for something of literal and figurative note.
Luckily, none of these criticisms ruined how tremendous Doctor Strange was as a whole. I’ll never forget feeling that ultimate high after leaving the theater, having seen Marvel’s most inventive, creative entry yet. There are enough Easter eggs and name-drops peppered throughout to justify revisiting the movie often. As a bonus, this movie’s mid and end credits scenes possess heavy implications to Marvel’s future titles too. Most importantly, Strange has the familiar well-timed humor and joyous fun you’re looking for. The Doctor is in.
The basic story is that Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), the original Ant-Man, has grown old and has discovered that his former pupil, Darren Cross (Corey Stoll), is very close to replicating his secret shrinking technology. Pym then recruits former criminal Scott Lang, masterfully played by the unaging Paul Rudd, to use the Ant-Man suit to thwart Cross with the help of his estranged daughter, Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly).
Read on to see how four members of the Sub-Cultured team break down the film as well as their feelings on how this stands against previous films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.Please enter the url to a YouTube video.
To say I entered Ant-Man with minimal expectations is putting it lightly. I wasn’t quite sure how the whole Hank Pym/Scott Lang story was going to fit in the MCU. Since announcements that Ultron would be Iron Man-created instead of the brain child of Pym, I had been feeling bitter; production issues added to the sour taste in my mouth. Luckily, Marvel has churned out another hit with the charmingly handsome Paul Rudd in the title role. Although the villain is laughably cheesy (seriously, Marvel, write your villains better), and the one female lead is frustratingly sidelined (but there’s Hope for the future), there’s still a lot of really good heart in the film.
Toss in a few cameos, and a scene stealing side character, and I was entertained enough to leave the theater grinning. Also, minus the handful of swear words, Ant-Man is definitely friendly for the whole family. But be warned, all viewers may leave with a soft spot for the ants themselves!
There were quite a few things I enjoyed about Ant-Man. The biggest feature is the focus on humor, perhaps borrowing a note from Guardians of the Galaxy and moving away from the intensity of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. While I can appreciate the darker nature of Winter Soldier, I don’t believe it would’ve been a good fit for Ant-Man. I am a firm believer that humor is a better way to attract audiences and since we’re so unfamiliar with Scott Lang, it’s a wise approach to get us invested because Lang is so new to viewers.
The second most prominent feature would is been the fight scene with the Falcon. It sort of felt stuck in, but it was used quite effectively when Hydra became involved in the story and of course in the second post credits scene showing how Ant-Man is going to be drawn into Captain America: Civil War. Not only did that fight give Ant-Man an informal introduction to the rest of the Marvel franchise, it was a great demonstration for how powerful the Ant-Man suit is and helped develop another point in the plot: Hydra is coming back.
There were two things that did annoy me in Ant-Man, not that I’d refuse to see it again, but are big enough for me to mention them as problem areas. The first would be that the humor I appreciated so much during the film sometimes made characters into unflattering caricatures. I am talking mostly about the side characters Lang works with for the heist scenes and to a lesser degree Darren Cross as a villain. It’s tough to create minor or opposing characters that aren’t punch lines in some way, but it might have been nice to give them some depth beyond their respective skill sets and roles. The other, which is more pressing, is a huge lack of Hope. Aside from the generic training montage, we don’t actually get to see much of her in action and that’s disappointing. Throughout the movie we are given a first rate education on how she’s so much better at controlling ants and being in charge of the suit than Lang. It’s even a huge part in the dialogue that she’s more qualified in every way to stop Cross than Lang, but the plot and Hank Pym prevent Hope from doing so. Alas all we get is a post credits scene and the vague promise she’ll be in a future film; not even her own film.
I liked Ant-Man. I liked Paul Rudd, especially when he was wearing his hoodie. I think the cinematography was the best part of the movie. I haven’t read any Ant-Man books, but I thought that this fit well into the MCU. I wish that there had been more for Hope to do, or that she had actually been trained after her fight with Hank, instead of just agreeing to train Scott. It felt like a strong attempt for a feminist hero, but ultimately a failed one. I hope that the final scene means that the next movie will be called “Wasp” –but realistically that’s not going to happen.
Sam Wilson’s extended cameo was fan-fucking-tastic. The post-end credits scene certainly wasn’t long enough–I miss me some Bucky on the big screen. In conclusion, Bucky.
While Ant-Man was an enjoyable movie, in my opinion it was the worst Marvel movie to date. Hank Pym was a weaker character and not at all like the Hank Pym from the comics that I know. I would have like to see them push the envelope and show a bit more of his aggression/ego issues. Especially since he isn’t the main character. Darren Cross was incredibly flat as a character, which made him a super one dimensional villain which annoyed me and felt he could have been done significantly better.
Images and video courtesy of Marvel.com
Marvel films are an interesting phenomenon I enjoy taking apart and looking at closer. Many people may say “This is fun, this movie is not supposed to be a paragon of progress, it’s a summer blockbuster! Why are you so critical?!” and to that I say “Why not?” We as a nation feed off of the images we are given and I think we deserve great work. I loved Captain America. The original Avengers was fun enough. Winter Soldier is a totally different beast but boasts some of the most solid work Marvel’s done yet. How does Avengers: Age of Ultron fare?
First, it must be said upfront that opinions on Joss Whedon as a writer and as a director right now especially in regards to Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) are obviously a hot topic and hard to avoid. I have my opinions. I’ve seen a bulk of his body of work. Binge watching Dollhouse does things to you. And yes, Age of Ultron definitely fits into his established canon style, along with all the associated pluses and minuses therein. Yes he can do good stylish action and funny banter. He can write nuanced women. But he is also a longstanding problematic writer too, documented, often in cases regarding those same women. He is both simultaneously. Is he responsible for all of Marvel’s shortcomings regarding Natasha? Well not all, some are systemic to Marvel Studios in general as revealed by Wikileaks and the Sony hacks, and their personal choices and stances, but that doesn’t wash his hands clean either considering he was both writer and director (I’m well aware he and Marvel fought over certain scenes, especially the farm scenes and Thor’s prophetic water-dip) on this film.
So yes, hold him and the studio (and merch companies) accountable for things. Open up discussion. As for Black Widow I have read up on the arguments for both sides regarding her treatment and can interpret the film both ways. Both Bruce Banner and Black Widow aspiring for normalcy of some kind (more-so the choice to have it or not) when it is nearly impossible for them due to their own individual circumstances is a very valid plot thread. For Natasha it’s clear that her being a hero, being heroic, is atonement. She’s like a Lady Macbeth, a person who can never get her hands clean of the blood from her past in her own mind (meanwhile for others the water has already has run clean) and so she continues to do right in the chance it may wash off for herself. Did they convey this the best way they could have? Probably not. Was “I’m a monster” awkward and open to be misunderstood if it wasn’t about her inability to have children naturally and was instead intended as a blanket phrase regarding her past? Very. Would Joss have benefited from a co-writer? Yes. Did I like the romance? Sort of? Does Black Widow need her own film and should have had one by now? Yes. And that’s where I’ll end that.
As for the rest of the film itself; how well does Avengers Age of Ultron stand structurally as a film?
Fun at times, but flawed from an editing and directing standpoint. It hits a lot of sweet spots for what you’d want from a summer action film and its plentiful Marvel Easter eggs kept people, even myself, wriggling a little in seats. In that sense it’s not a dud. The film crackles with a degree of energy and puckishness, which, juxtaposed with the superhero-brand violence and physics continues a distinct calling card tonally for the Avengers and by extension the MCU franchise. Said tone was a bit all over the place here, but if properly balanced as it has been in other films, it will be useful in differentiating Marvel’s films from DC’s forthcoming grey and rain-drenched cinematic world which I believe will have much less room for “fun”.
Avengers Age of Ultron‘s opening in particular was a fun, verging on camp romp with it’s over the top action and choreography. The Hulk take-down was properly bonkers. But, ultimately after leaving the movie I found myself perplexed regarding if I really liked the film as a whole.
Distilled down into moments it was certainly entertaining. Most of anything Pietro (Aaron Taylor-Johnsohn) did made me laugh. The Mjolnir fly-by ponder and grab? Funny. Hulk Buster satellite and gear named Veronica (oh poor put-on-a-bus Betty Ross)? Perfect. Ultron targeting Thor because he’s a powerhouse and “annoying”? Gold. Ultron himself? I’m split. When looked at as a larger piece it is not as seamless as the other films as pacing is somewhat…off. The last quarter of the film in particular suffered a sense of discord all over. To hear that there is likely nearly an hour or more worth of scenes on the cutting room floor is not surprising; it felt like it. Additionally, at least in my full theater, there were scenes that were meant to be serious or dynamic but instead the audience laughed, clues to perhaps some misguided writing or directing (or maybe even a bit of both).
It’s not life changing cinema. It’s dynamic, it’s popcorn munching, but Avengers Age of Ultron ultimately got lost in itself.
However, it has a lot of good thematic nuggets in there. Perhaps a “director’s cut” version of the film could remedy a lot of the pacing and meat-y bits that I’m missing.
How could it have improved? Here are 5 tweaks and suggestions that could have made the film even greater.
1. Have a Black Panther Cameo
You have Hulk wreck havoc in Africa in proximity to what we can assume is near Wakanda (but is not in fact Wakanda). Damage is equivalent to a major terrorist attack if not more. A brief video of T’Challa appearing on a screen post Hulk-bust having a news conference angrily berating The Avengers and Tony Stark for leaving so soon and handing everything off (not knowing of the Ultron situation) would have been a nice surprise and also set up any possible tensions that could later blossom during his official “cape” debut.
2. More “Hulk-bust” fall-out // Up Ultron’s Scare Factor.
Spinning off of the above, a more visible global response to the Hulk and Iron-Man battle with faux news (har har har) reports, etc would have been good. More tangible backlash against them as a group might have been interesting as they try to hide from Ultron which could be a good foundation for the Civil War atmosphere. Ultron doing his part by further manipulating the media and people to turn against them would have been compelling.
Ultron in general was surprisingly limited and small scale considering he was literally able to infiltrate the internet. He didn’t mess things up enough. While his giant rock pummeling into the earth causing mass extinction is insidious and mega-bad, he felt a lot smaller of a threat than the alien hoard flying out of a portal in the sky or an entire secret government task force being revealed as corrupt Neo-Nazis with killer big brother satellite intentions. Once the rock started to fly, yes that’s scary, but there wasn’t any other sense of pomp or chaos. Ultron’s constant quipping, which made great use of James Spader wasn’t given enough of an outlet. There are hints of Frankenstein’s monster and of course, Pinocchio in his desire to get a new body, to be “real”, but the torment of the former eloquent but murderous literary figure who is alone and aware of his unnatural-ness and alone-ness isn’t fully realized. We get a shade of that, when he tells Natasha he’s lonely, but it’s never quite fully explored from there outside of Vision confronting the last Ultron-bot.
3. More Ladies, More Representation
The lampshade joke regarding the lack of women and way too many men at Tony Stark’s party as quipped by Maria Hill in my theater was met with half laughter and half groans. It comes off as “Oh hey we know it’s really bad demographics wise, see we’re self aware!” and think that’s enough to skid by. It would be different had they had then solved that problem later in the film and perhaps revisited the comment to essentially render it moot.
It’s bad enough Betty Ross was seemingly wiped from Hulk’s canon. I know Hulk is not as popular (I certainly haven’t seen his film) but the glaring omission of her character as an established love interest and a connection to Bruce as someone emotionally invested is a lost opportunity on multiple levels considering her role in the comics. Small cameos from Pepper Pots (Gwyneth Paltrow) and or Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) would have been appreciated as their absences were unnatural given the circumstances (no angry video calls from Pepper?) and further lamp-shaded with awkward banter from their respective boyfriends.
While Agents of Shield features the first leading and supporting Asian women in the MCU universe, Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen) and Skye (Chloe Bennet), Helen Cho marks the first entry of an Asian supporting lead in the films. She’s pretty important. Not only does she bear the name of Amadeus Cho’s mom from the comics, but she’s also instrumental (albeit while brainwashed)
in the creation of Vision ( (Paul Bettany). However, I wish she had been given a few more scenes. I also wish, and this is entirely self-serving, that she was the MCU’s Wasp, following the “Ultimate” universe version, adding two possible women of color to the roster of Avengers caped main players in this film (Wanda and Helen).
The problem with Helen Cho in Age of Ultron is that she just…vanishes. The last we see of her is after she was throttled for sabotaging things post-mind control. The Avengers come to her aid, she tells them where to go, and she is just gone from thereon out. Helen is, from what I can recall, not shown again until the end, when all is well and she’s working at the new Avengers headquarters. One of the people I went with, in which our screening was her second viewing, was flabbergasted after noticing Cho at the end and realized she had actually survived the film; she thought she died the first time she saw it. Where did she go from there? She helped create Vision. She’s just like Tony Stark in that she had a hand in creating an entity unique to itself.How did she feel about that? It’s a Dr. Frankenstein moment fueled by Thor thunder. Shouldn’t that have been explored more?
4. Make the small stone church featured a small synagogue.
Marvel has gotten a lot of flack for not casting a Jewish, Roma, or Jewish-Roma actress for Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) nor making mention of the twins ethnoreligious backgrounds in the movie. Since Quicksilver’s actor Aaron Taylor-Johnsohn is Jewish (many reviewers are scathingly erasing this fact and calling him gentile) an easy fix aside from actually casting an Eastern European Jewish, Roma, or Jewish-Roma actress for Wanda, they could have, at the least, made the church featured in Age of Ultron to be an old small synagogue instead. A simple comment from one of the twins while inside the building for the first time could then infer their backgrounds. It would have been an easy swap and a subtle way to add diversity to the roster even without access to Magneto.
5. Give the big finale (hey, how about the whole movie) to Scarlet Witch
Ultron states he has no strings to hold him down, but the real plot of the film are the strings that bind the Maximoff twins becoming undone. I think they should have opened AoU showing Wanda and Pietro’s experience in the war in their country and seeing STARK on the weapons. Then cut to the Avengers’ siege on the stronghold during the current day as they had it.
Tony also shouldn’t have been the one to deliver the final blow to the giant rock/city. Sure they gave Scarlet Witch the big “heart” ripping out scene, but the film would have reached a pretty iconic moment had they given her the ending entirely. They did a mini-outburst showing what she can do powers-wise when upset, but that wasn’t enough.
Scarlet Witch is supposed to be powerful. Very. Powerful. Imagine, Tony’s beam fails and all seems lost, but then Wanda, in a fit of rage and emotion (in response to what occurs towards the end) finally shows the extent of her abilities and wanting so bad to find justice, engulfs the entire city with her powers. She then literally STOPS the city from impact and sets it down back to where it was, or crumbles and tears it apart herself. Given Ultron’s Pinocchio obsession, the theme of puppets is also fitting for Wanda. She had been used as a puppet for so long first by Hydra as a guinea pig and then by Ultron and for her to have a “There are no strings on me” moment would have been such a great counter to Ultron’s own assertions of the line (which are in my opinion a false one, as he is following Tony’s zealous but flawed programming thus indeed has a string), since Wanda would in comparison truly have been string-free at that point, and then saves the city by controlling it herself, the way a puppeteer controls a marionette; the puppet becomes the puppeteer.
The film is an ambitious one and juggles a lot of characters so it’s not surprising things got pushed to the side and it got disorganized and tripped over itself in the process. However, it sets up some good things; the new Avengers roster consisting of Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, War Machine (Don Cheadle), Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Captain America (Chris Evans) and the cyborg Vision is more diverse than the prior team.I think ultimately the best thing about Age of Ultron is the discussion it’s causing. Its making people talk, and talk a lot. Our pop-culture won’t change otherwise. I think that in itself is pretty…super. Talk with us. What did you think?
A lot has been going on in Marvel Comics news and many of us have spent a lot of time in some intensely obsessive discussions since the announcement of Secret Wars and the end of the Marvel Universe as we know it. Big things, long conversations…and we’re kinda just exhausted from talking about it. In fact, the idea of having to reassess and debate Mavel’s decisions from today until December sounds about as fun as a long trudge over hot asphalt. So, in order to give ourselves and everyone else a break: in MCU news, a Civil War inspired meme has popped up all over the internet and we’re kind of in love because it poke’s much needed fun at fan speculation. Here are some of our favorite iterations.
Dear DC Comics and Warner Brothers,
Allow me to begin my letter with a fact: You guys are missing the point.
What caused this random letter to be penned in the first place? My reading of Catwoman #0 and the constant “news” of your Justice League feature film endeavors. I’ll begin with Catwoman.
DC, I am one of your few female fans of the recently rebooted leather clad anti-hero after you bravely (some say stupidly) went where only fanfictions went. Selina was slowly becoming a character one could relate to, a vulnerable woman inside of a tough shell, and then Catwoman #0 happened. I don’t pretend to know what goes on in your offices, so I don’t know how much of that story was written when handed over to the all female creative team. I also don’t know who the hell told you the tentative cover art was wonderful enough to release to the public, or that the subsequent attempt at righting the wrongs was better.
Catwoman is an overtly sexual character. We know this. She is already in a body hugging leather suit so there is NO NEED for her to pose in a way that is not only physically impossible, but in a position that prominently displays her chest and ass. To be fair, you guys attempted to rectify these anatomical issues so the pose was more believable, but kept the idiotic pose. My question is why couldn’t she be leaning against a building without a care in the world? Was it such an outrageous idea that she pet a black cat, or held a jewel, or even whirled her whip overhead?
Ripped to shreds by the internet, several prominent artists rendered their own versions of the cover to the point where it got mass media coverage, most notably from Comics Alliance.
Kudos for listening to only part of the outrage, DC!
Again, to be fair, you guys tried to go one step further and allowed women to write the book, starting with the offending issue. As stated earlier, I have no idea how much of the story was written prior to this, and while a lot of the comic community cheered at this development, I felt alone in my disdain for it, for the writing was truly abysmal. I’ve never been invested in a character less and that says a lot, seeing as I read almost half of the DC52. I felt a sense of kinship with the writer of this tumblr post, who put their thoughts far more eloquently than I did here in this letter that will not come to your attention, for I am but a girl on the internet.
I get that the run is not on Brubaker’s level or some other creators, but just because you get a woman to write a female character does not automatically mean you’re going to have an improvement. Bad writing is bad writing, no matter what gender, race, politics, etc.
– Tumblr user comicbookwomen
Comics aside, I wearily turn my attention to the other offenders, to whom this letter is also addressed.
Warner Brothers…I honestly don’t know where to begin with you.
I understand COMPLETELY that you guys feel the need to compete with Marvel Studio and understand that the time is right to begin welcoming viewers into this wonderful universe with films that interconnect.
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DO NOT MAKE THESE MOVIES JUST FOR THE SAKE OF GIVING MARVEL COMPETITION.
I cannot stress how much we the fans (while, admittedly, more than half of which would see any movie put out by you guys) would love some quality in your films. There is so much story material out there, ripe for the adapting in which viewers (both fans and newcomers) could get on board with. Following Marvel’s lead is not a bad thing and if the internet rips you a new one for it, so what? It’ll quickly dissipate once you blow our mind holes with a flick leaving us begging for more. Nolan’s trilogy had its flaws, as did Green Lantern and Superman Returns. I wish I could say optimism was high for Man of Steel, but I ask…who the hell told you Henry Cavill can act well enough to be Superman? Did no one see The Immortals? Sure, he’s aesthetically pleasing, but that is not everything. I urge you all to choose directors who are fans of the source material, much as Jon Favreau was for the Iron Man series.
Aggressive Comix’s Geekgasm series echoed our feelings about impending movies as well.
Please, hear the cries of many and do not rush into starting a Justice League movie.
I don’t doubt for a second that another Batman story is in the works and you know what? I’ll even help you with that in my next article. I’m going to dream cast a new Batman movie and pick a story that could be wonderfully adapted and segued into a Justice League ensemble.
I feel better now that some of this is off my chest…I only hope that someone will bring you guys to your senses before fans become alienated further.