I Want Off This Culture of Hype


Last week, I saw Mad Max: Fury Road, and I really enjoyed it. Yes, I found the film refreshing for all the much-discussed feminist reasons — although consider for a minute what it says about us as a society that we think a film with a strong female lead who is on equal footing with her male counterpart is unusual and refreshing — but I also found the movie refreshing for another completely unexpected reason: for the first time in a very long time, I had a chance to just fall in love with a movie and its franchise.

I’m a child of the 80’s, but I never saw the Mad Max movies. When the decision was made to reboot the franchise, I knew nothing about it. The first time I saw the Mad Max: Fury Road trailer was in a movie theatre. I was ignorant of any online spoilers or speculation. I knew nothing about the premise or the formula of Mad Max movies. My introduction to the Mad Max character was in the opening scene of Fury Road. As the film unfolded, I was able to discover the Mad Max world and its characters — and the story of the movie (such as it is) — how George Miller intended for me to learn about them: as finished products.

It was incredible. It was amazing. I didn’t even realize how much I had missed that feeling.

And, that’s when I realized how much of what passes for fandom today has spoiled so much of what I love about being a fan.

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Why I’m glad Jubilee wasn’t in X-Men: Days of Future Past

Jubilee concept art for X-Men: Days of Future Past, as designed by Louise Mingenbach and illustrated by Phillip Bouette Jr.
Jubilee concept art for X-Men: Days of Future Past, as designed by Louise Mingenbach and illustrated by Phillip Bouette Jr.

Earlier last week, Phillip Bouette Jr. — costume concept illustrator for several major blockbuster films including X-Men: Days of Future Past — set the fandom into a tizzy when he released early concept art for the latest X-Men film, which included unused concept designs for Jubilee. That’s right, Jubilee.

adore Jubilee. Jubilee is my girl. Obviously.

So you’d think I’d be delighted at the notion of Jubilee showing up (wearing Jaime Chung’s face, perhaps?) in the latest X-men movie, right? You’d think I’d be furious that she got cut from the slate of future mutants, right? Wrong.

I gotta say, folks — this concept art left me decidedly underwhelmed. My whole reaction to the concept art was a blase “meh”. I’m actually really glad that my girl Jubes never showed up in X-Men: Days of Future Past, and here’s why.

This post contains spoilers of X-Men: Days of Future Past. Read on with care.

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X-Men #10 kitty-cat variant cover is adorable, but why do the Asian X-men have to be Siamese Cats?

Why you gotta make the Asian X-men Siamese cats, Marvel?
Why you gotta make the Asian X-men Siamese cats, Marvel?

H/T @loudlysilent

Because variant covers make beaucoup bucks, both DC and Marvel have been releasing stupid amounts of universe-spanning themed variant covers recently. This past month was DC’s “Steampunk” month, featuring a bunch of covers that were seemingly drawn by artists who had to Wikipedia the word “steampunk” first.

Not to be out-done and consistent with the Disney/Marvel let’s-make-everything-cute parternship, Marvel decided to rechristen January as Animal Variant month. They’ve got some truly outstanding covers, but one of the best is for X-Men #10: it’s an adorable (if a little NSFW-ly meta to the cynical guttermind) re-imagining of the all-female  X-men team as cute and bad-ass kitty-cats.

But, I gotta ask: why do all the Asian characters — Jubilee (on the far right), Psylocke (the purple one to the left of Storm), and Jubilee’s baby (the kitten) — have the markings of Siamese cats? Does Storm have to be a Black cat?

I mean, come on, cats don’t have races. Rogue is a Persian angora. Kitty Pryde Rachel Grey is an orange tabby. They get to be fun animal colours. What — cats are default White unless they’re Black or Siamese? Come on, Marvel. What the heck?

Check out all the animal variants — many of which are not racially questionable — here via Wired.

NOC: How “The Avengers” is ruining the superhero movie


Originally posted at The Nerds of Color

As of April 2013, The Avengers had grossed more than $600 million dollars in the US, a box office performance that has nearly tripled its (already bloated) production budget. It would be fair to say that if you’re a Hollywood movie producer, The Avengers makes you very, very, very happy. In fact, you’re hoping to make as many Avengers franchises as you possibly can.

Against this backdrop of undeniable success, it seems major Hollywood production companies are hoping to do just that. For the last few months, the Internet has been a-buzz with casting rumours for Man of Steel 2: first with news that Ben Affleck was being tapped to play an aging Batman, and last week with the announcement that virtually unknown actress Gal Gadot (of Fast and Furious franchise fame) was assuming the mantle of Wonder Woman. Although fans have long clamoured for a live-action Justice League adaptation, the fact that all three members of the heralded DC Trinity will be making an appearance in Man of Steel 2 — a movie that we all expected would be just another Superman solo vehicle — is clear indication that WB/DC has drawn inspiration from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and is looking to fast-track the Justice League movie by rapidly introducing other characters to the silver screen. Fans have since speculated that while Gadot might make a minimal cameo in Man of Steel 2, it’s likely that she will subsequently headline her own Wonder Woman movie that would further stoke the fires for a full Justice League film.

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