Brain Food – Episode 34

Hello everyone and welcome to the latest episode of Brain Food, wherein I discuss the latest series from Marvel written by G Willow Wilson, Ms Marvel!

And wouldn’t you know it? It’s a top seller at Comixology, actually beating out one Batman title as of the time of the release of its 4th issue!

Not bad for a new legacy character.

Equinox – Cautiously Cautious… With A Side Of Caution

Hello everyone, and in this video I discuss my concerns about DC Comics’ newest character, the Canadian Cree teen superheroine, Equinox.

My main concern boils down to DC Comics’ past racial failures, so anything like this just makes me awfully damned cautious.

For added context, here is an article from the CBC talking about Equinox.

Brain Food – Episode 26

Hello everyone, and welcome to the 26th episode of Brain Food!

In this episode, I am waylaid by a bad cold and sore throat, and unable to talk.

So what’s a book reviewer to do?

Crank up the music and use a montage of pictures and words, of course! So sit back, relax, and enjoy my review of Adilifu Nama!

Here it is on Blip TV:

And here it is on Youtube!

Voices of Dissent – Episode 1

Hello everyone and welcome to the first episode of Voices of Dissent!

Episode 1 – What does THIS button do? Oh dear…

It’s very rough, as I am new to using audacity, but I feel it would make for a great new tool in our war against bullshit in our media.

If you have any advice or have had any experience with using audacity, then please let me know by leaving a comment or contacting me through my e-mail.

Here are a list of links to the material used in the show:

Gail Simone Dismissed from writing Batgirl

 

Gail Simone’s twitter reply to Mike Nelson

Leaving Megatropolis

Tropes Vs Women in Video Games

Superblack by Adilifu Nama

 

James Gunn is a sexist, racist, homophobic asshole…

… and he’s also slated to be the director and co-writer of next year’s Marvel movie, Guardians of the Galaxy.

But why is he such an asshole? Well, because he wrote a darling piece on his own website, the second poll release of the top 50 superheroes you most want to have sex with, and it’s everybit as classy and tasteful as it is.

Which is to say it isn’t.

Now that it’s gotten some buzz, James took it down but this is the internet, asshole! You may TRY and take it down, but it remains up there forever and ever, digital bits and bytes showcasing your shitty behaviour towards everyone who doesn’t fall into your neat, strict little category of what’s normal.

Kudoes  to The Mary Sue for linking me to the Google Cache of that garbage article.

Here are some of the highlights:

32. Batwoman

This lesbian character was voted for almost exclusively by men. I don’t know exactly what that means.  But I’m hoping for a Marvel-DC crossover so that Tony Stark can “turn” her.  She could also have sex with Nightwing and probably still be technically considered a lesbian.

I don’t want to post anymore than that, but leave the link for you to follow and read. And of course, nearly ALL the pictures used for the women are the most cheesecake, pinup girl-ish that he could find from the more porntastic of the industry’s finest, such as Adam Hughs and Al Rio.

Once more, it’s the same old song and dance, the same old garbage of the Old Boys Club being as insulting and as exclusionary and as homophobic as usual because god forbid that anyone who isn’t straight, white, and male enjoy what they enjoy or maybe even point out that something, SOMETHING, is off, or wrong, oroffensive.

I am SO sick of this garbage, because this is what they view as normal. Reduce Wonder Woman to a bondage kink S&M sex doll? Normal, because it’s not like she’s a deep and complex character with a long history-

Oh wait, she isn’t because DC Comics erased it. >_<

But again, this is the norm, this kind of thoughtlessness hidden behind ‘humour’ and a shitty attitude towards women and people of colour and LGBT and those who intersect across all those areas. Yeah, I’m not seeing this movie, and it might not matter all that much to a company like Marvel that they don’t get my 12 dollars, but it sure as hell matters to me.

Plus, one other area of concern is one of the members of the Guardians of the Galaxy, Gamora, who was written as a lesbian in recent years, having, from all accounts, a deep and complex relationship with the new Quasar, a woman. How many wanna bet her orientation will be erased or ignored?

Character Versus Narrative: Arrow’s Diggle

(spoilers for the CW’s Arrow ahead)

I’ve been watching and enjoying Arrow lately.  And one character, Green Arrow’s bodyguard / partner / sidekick John Diggle, has made me think a lot about the way characters are presented in-universe versus their actual role in the narrative.  Specifically, I started thinking about this in regard to race.

And getting mad.

In a lot of ways, I love how they present Diggle.  But then I look at that presentation from outside the show, and I hesitate:

How the show presents him: He’s black and Oliver Queen / Green Arrow’s not only white, but a white rich kid son of a billinaire whom Diggle is initially hired to protect . . . and this doesn’t go unmentioned.  Diggle’s sister-in-law specifically asks him about following a couple of rich white boys around, in a conversation that clearly places these people as central to their own lives, and not characters who look for white employers to attach themselves to.  Which I like!
Except: In the show, his character does work for the Queens, and he is a secondary, supporting character to the rich, white Oliver Queen, who is the protagonist of the show.

How the show presents him: He’s a military veteran who cares deeply about his country.  When Oliver compares the two of them, Diggle has nothing but contempt: he tells Oliver that no matter what happened when Oliver was shipwrecked, he’s NOT a soldier, and will NEVER know what it means to be one.
Except: Oliver’s the one who starts the social crusade first, and is portrayed as the one who figured out how to make a difference and from whom Diggle needed guidance to do the same.  After his initial resistance, Diggle joins Oliver on his crusade, implicitly granting credence to the idea that Oliver has found the right way to make the world better.

How the show presents him: Diggle explicitly tells Oliver when he joins him that he’s not there to be a sidekick.
Except: On the show, Oliver is, again, the protagonist, and Diggle is supporting, so his role in the show is as sidekick.  Oliver’s the one who founded the whole operation and has been the one spearheading the plans and dictating the way they operate.  He invites Diggle to join him like he’s favorably rewarding a good puppy, and shuts down his suggestions because this is “his” operation.  Also, Oliver’s the one who kills the man who murdered Diggle’s brother (without any acknowledgement thereof), taking a good chunk of Diggle’s agency away from one of his own storylines.

How the show presents him: Diggle emphasized again in the latest episode that he’s there to work with Oliver, not for him.
Except: Diggle doesn’t actually join Oliver for any of the action in the episode; Green Arrow always goes in alone.  Also, Diggle has to push and manipulate Oliver into taking the case, which Oliver only starts to care about after it intersects with his own goals . . . and only then does he become invested.  As always, the narrative does not punish Oliver for this behavior.

How the show presents him: Diggle served in Iraq, is a personal bodyguard, and can kick every type of motherlovin’ ass.
Except: Because he’s the hero, Oliver always has to be shown as being better at kicking ass.  Not only does Green Arrow get more amazing action sequences, but Oliver beats up Diggle every time they go head to head (before they team up, and later while sparring) with a physical superiority that borders on humiliating.

I feel like I see this a lot in media.  The female character is vocal about being able to take care of herself, but the narrative still puts her in a position from which she needs to be rescued.  The minority characters might be shown to be just as competent as the white characters, but they still somehow end up dying first.  The character of color calls the white lead out on being selfish and thinking the world is All About Him, but because he’s the lead, the show is All About Him.

Just look at the African-American Police Chief trope—in all of those shows, the black guy/gal has done better and advanced farther than the white protagonist in universe, but still isn’t allowed to be the hero.  Gah!

As much as I do want writers to make women and characters of color equal through characterization, it’s lip service when the plot and narrative still put those characters in second place to the white men.

White Guys – The ONLY Superheroes

Hello everyone and welcome to a comic book movie rant, specifically about the stream of vanilla superheroes coming out of Marvel Studios for the next two years.

This was influenced heavily by a discussion on Ars Marginal, specifically this post, which was, in turn, influenced by a picture someone made on tumblr.

This one, to be exact:

The website I pulled the quote from was twitchfilm.com and the article in question can be found here.

The movie I forgot to mention that was the Another White Guy was Marvel’s announcement that they would be making an Ant-Man movie… Ant-Man.

Ant-Man?! What’s next? DC is going to make an Aquaman movie?