“Yes, Commissioner…?!”

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Wednesday – 23 July 2014 It’s Batman Day.

Batman75

(c) DC Comics

In celebration of Batman’s 75th anniversary, DC Entertainment is partnering with thousands of comic book retailers and bookstores across the nation to celebrate “Batman Day” on Wednesday, July 23. As part of the festivities, fans who visit participating retailers receive a free, special edition of DETECTIVE COMICS #27, featuring a reimagining of Batman’s 1939 comic book debut, designed by Chip Kidd with a script by The New York Times #1 bestselling author Brad Meltzer.

In addition to the comic book, DC Entertainment is providing retailers access to an assortment of other collectibles to help in the celebration of “Batman Day” including a Batman 75thanniversary cape, bookmarks featuring essential Batman graphic novels and four Batman masks designed by comic book artist Ryan Sook spotlighting a variety of the character’s iconic looks from his 75-year history.

For more information, click here.

Passing the torch…

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Monday – 21 July 2014
Last week, after announcing that “Thor == woman,” Marvel dropped another bombshell: Sam Wilson, known in the Marvel Universe as costumed adventurer The Falcon, would be the next Captain America.

Sam Wilson as Captain America (© Marvel Comics)

Falcon and Cap have been allies and partners for many years, so it’s not completely unheard of… you know, other than the whole “Black Captain America” thing.

Wait? What’s that? You say that there was another Captain America who was Black…?! He must have been a bad mother… Shut yo’ mouth!

The Captains America (Isaiah Bradley and Steve Rogers) and Patriot (Elijah Bradley)

I’m just talking ’bout Cap.
We can dig it.

In a recent interview, Marvel Senior Vice President of Publishing, Tom Brevoort, discussed the upcoming changes and how Sam Wilson will not be the same kind of Captain America that Steve Rogers was.

So now, after the recent adventure with the Iron Nail in Captain America in which the Super-Soldier Serum that’s kept Steve young and virile for so long is now neutralized, shut down and sucked out, Steve has now been restored to sort of the state he would naturally be in had he lived on all those years. The reality is that now he’s got to pass that mantle onto someone else. While he still as mentally acute and just as sharp and battle savvy as he ever was, he’s no longer physically in the condition where he can live up to the demands and duties of being Captain America. That being the case, the person he decides to pass the mantle onto – which, in previous occasions Steve didn’t get to decide – is Sam Wilson, the Falcon.

I think it’s something of a no-brainer of a decision on his part; Steve and Sam go back many years at this point. They’ve fought shoulder to shoulder, and are true comrades and brothers in arms as only guys who have gone out so often and risked their lives and shared dangerous moments can have. Steve realizes that Sam might not have the same approach in every situation, but he is honest, trustworthy, valiant, loyal and worthy to carry the shield and take on the name and position of being Captain America.

Truthfully, I am intrigued by the idea of making Sam the new Cap, but I find myself more looking forward to juxtaposing Sam’s style against that of Bucky (The Winter Soldier) Barnes’ tenure as Captain America, rather than that of Steve Rogers’ time as Cap. It will also be interesting to see how Bucky reacts to the news that Sam will be the new Cap, as Bucky is now dead. (Secret spy dead, anyway.)

I also remembered something I’d read in another article while reading this interview: Apparently, Steve will be acting as Sam’s “silent partner,” assisting in missions from a distance. This reminded me of Bruce Wayne’s roll in relation to Terry McGinnis on Batman Beyond. But, maybe it’s just me. (Maybe it’s Maybelline.)

There appear to be many changes afoot at Marvel. We can only hope that they will use these changes to introduce some fresh concepts – and lasting ramifications, if not permanent changes – into the House of Ideas.

Thor… and the Internet

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Wednesday – 16 July 2014
Yesterday, Marvel made waves on the Internet by announcing that Thor would be a woman.

Thor.

Thor.

Naturally, the Internet went full-blown, bat-shit crazy. One article that I found to be particularly amusing asked “What does this mean for Chris Hemsworth?” Let’s be honest: It doesn’t mean a damn thing. Do people seriously think that Disney/Marvel is going to go that far afield with one of their biggest properties? I think not.

On the issue/non-issue of Thor’s change in status quo, my brother-in-law, John, and I had this conversation:

John: ok, my FB feed is exploding with bitching that the new Thor will be a woman (or something to that effect…). I *think* I saw you either commented or posted a link showing that this was already in the comic/legend storyline. Am I imagining this?
Rob: Nope, you’re not.
Rob: It’s happened before.
Rob: Not so much “Thor as a woman,” but he has been a frog.
Rob: And he has been replaced by at least two other people
Rob: My take on this is people are getting their panties twisted over semantics.
Rob: My thought: Thor Odinson will be deemed no longer worthy to bear Mjolnir.
Rob: Someone else will be given the power of Thor.
Rob: That “someone” will be a woman.
Rob: .eof
John: Feh. I’m amazed at the things over which people freak out

John: HOLY SHIT A FICTIONAL CHARACTER IS DOING SOMETHING DIFFERENT FICTIONALLY
Rob: Wait. You’re surprised by geek/nerd responses on the Interwebs!?
John: No, but I am slightly surprised by the vitriol
John: Sometimes the misogyny shocks me a bit
John: I blame Obama.
This is just another in a long list of reasons why I love and appreciate John.
But, as he correctly pointed out: Fictional character. In a fictional story. Based (loosely) on mythology.
On the flip side, some people are seeing this as part of Marvel’s way to bring in more female readers.  “See!? More female characters! Not only that, we made one of our big guns female! Isn’t that awesome?!” I understand wanting to: A) Increase readership and B) appeal to different demographics, but if “simply” making Thor a woman is one of their ways of achieving that, it just comes off as pandering.
Why not point them, instead, to some of their titles with female leads:
  • Captain Marvel (1, 2),
  • Ms. Marvel (1, 2), and
  • She-Hulk (1, 2), for example.

All of these books are early in their runs, which makes it easy for new readers to get in on the ground floor, so to speak. And, to be honest, they are great books

This has been a long-winded way of saying: “Don’t believe everything you read” and “Hey, Marvel, if you want more readers – and more female readers, to boot – why not introduce people to some of the great female characters already in your stable and/or create new ones who aren’t caricatures, but are fully-developed characters?”
And that’s my 2¢ worth.

“Slingshot Across America,” an evening with Danielle Corsetto

comics, creators, illustration No Comments

Tuesday – 15 July 2014
Danielle Corsetto (@dcorsetto), creator of the Girls With Slingshots webcomic,  stopped in Salt Lake City last night as part of her “Slingshot Across America” tour.

Artwork © Danielle Corsetto

The event was held at the Millcreek Community Library. Ms. Corsetto did a signing – two, actually – and a Q&A panel with the audience. She addressed attendees from a bar-height chair at the front of the room. Her manner was relaxed, candid, and occasionally self-deprecating; it was easy to see that she enjoyed the interaction. The question-and-answer session was light-hearted and fun; people posed questions that ranged from:

  • What were some of her work methods?
  • How did she choose which personalities and traits to give specific characters?
  • Where were some characters who haven’t been seen in some time?
  • What was her advice on selling non-book merchandise, such as t-shirts?
  • When do you listen to – and not listen to – what your readers say?

down to:

Attendee:  How many Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters could Hazel drink?

Danielle Corsetto: Probably only about a shot of one, but she’d tell everyone that she drank many.

NOTE: Before answering the question, Ms. Corsetto had to stop and ask what a Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster was. She admitted to having started reading The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, but stopping after the first chapter.

When the Q&A was done, Ms. Corsetto stopped to take pictures with attendees…

rob_danielle

…before taking a short break and setting up for the second round of book signing. I picked up a copy of the first volume of GWS comics:

As an added bonus, attendees who brought – and showed – their library cards were given a copy of the print below:

IMG_0132

I realized that I had left the library card at home while I was standing in line.

Of course.

I sent a hurried text message to Sara!, who replied with a picture of the card in the proverbial nick of time! As the Millcreek Library is the one we frequent most often with the girls AND as we are trying to cultivate their love of reading/being read to, it seemed fitting to have Ms. Corsetto sign it to them.

This was a delightful way to spend the evening. Should you find that the Slingshot Across America tour is heading to your town (or a nearby one), I would highly encourage you to take the time to attend.

“Hooked on a Feeling”

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Monday – 07 July 2014
A few days ago, there was a notification on Facebook that people could attend a screening for Guardians of the Galaxy:

GotG

#GuardiansOfTheGalaxy

Anyone who’s known me for more than eleven minutes knows that I’m a comic book fan. It’s something of a given. And I am also a fan of well-done comic book movies. And maybe a few not-quite-as-well-done ones, too. As this movie is squarely rooted in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I’ve been looking forward to it for “a while now.” So I clicked the link and decided to roll the bones (Ha! I worked a Rush reference! Go, me!) and see if I could get to a theatre in time to catch it.

What I neglected to pick up on, thanks in equal parts to not reading the notification past “YOU CAN SEE THIS ON MONDAY!!!!!!!!” and what I’ll attribute to some clever marketing/writing on the part of the company who sent out the invitations, was one key piece:

It was only 17 minutes of the movie.

Yep, didn’t suss this out until I reached the theatre. *sigh* But, I was there. I will admit that the whole “Bag it, I’m going home” thing did cross my mind. More than once…

I decided to stick it out and see what they had to offer. I’m glad that I did. The seventeen minutes that they showed were fun, witty, well-written and definitely well-cast. This last part might give people more ammunition to say that Vin Diesel is a “wooden actor.” I don’t have beef with the man’s chops, after all: He’s the one on-screen and I’m in the seat watching. It was nice to see a little more of what’s going on with some of the characters and how they interact.

There’s been a lot of talk that Bradley Cooper’s Rocket is going to steal the show. That speculation might not be too far off base. He might also have some competition from Diesel’s Groot.

It was good to hear Dave Bautista’s Drax have some dialogue – even if it differs quite a bit from his speech patterns in comics. His origin seems to be different, as well, but that’s something we can just set aside for now.

Zoe Saldana’s Gamora was also given a bit of screen time and showed herself to be a formidable woman. That’s a “good thing” since she’s known as “the most dangerous woman in the universe.”

And there’s Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord. He’s already been the “face” of trailers and other media, so it didn’t feel like he was given quite as much time as the other Guardians, although tonight’s  footage did expand on the headphones scene in the prison. It plays out even more amusingly than it does in the trailer.

So, what did I think of what I saw? I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t disappointed that we didn’t get to see the full movie. On the other hand, it was great fun – the seventeen minutes went by far too quickly. If the rest of the movie is as tight as what we got to see this evening, Marvel/Disney has another hit on their hands and has added a fantastic new area for expansion and exploration to their growing Cinematic Universe.

Now all I have to do is wait for another three weeks…

#GuardiansOfTheGalaxy

The ‘F’ Word: Wonder Woman’s Feminism Shouldn’t Be Covered Up

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Wednesday – 02 July 2014
Janelle Asselin, from Comics Alliance, takes a stab at commenting on Wonder Woman’s place as a feminist in the world of comics. What’s probably the best feature of her article is that she doesn’t think that being a feminist should be shied away from… especially not by her incoming writing and art team:

DC has a Wonder Woman problem. Or perhaps more accurately, Wonder Woman has a DC problem. The idea of Wonder Woman as a feminist icon is so imprinted in her history, and in analysis of the character, that separating her from feminism should be near impossible. But that hasn’t stopped people trying.

Much has been written over the years about the ebb and flow of feminism in the Wonder Woman comics, the relative feminism of her appearances on the small screen, and her role as an icon for the movement. A recent interview with the new Wonder Woman creative team of Meredith Finch and David Finch has brought the topic back into focus.

It’s a solid article and well worth the time to read.

Read More: The ‘F’ Word: Wonder Woman’s Feminism Shouldn’t Be Covered Up | http://comicsalliance.com/wonder-woman-feminism-meredith-finch-david-finch-dc/?trackback=tsmclip

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