spideymark

University-Style Notions of Race Creep Further into Popular Culture

In this modern collegiate age where every possible sub-division of the human race has to have a “safe space” in which to properly commiserate with those of like hue, various arenas of popular culture are following suit.

This past week, for example, it was announced that the new comic book version of Marvel’s Spider-Man will be a biracial — black Hispanic — teenager.

This isn’t all that big an announcement by itself, of course (the character, Miles Morales, was established already as an alternate reality version of everyone’s favorite wall-crawler); what was most interesting were the comments of his co-creator, Brian Michael Bendis:

The enormity of Miles Morales’ place in comic book history didn’t really hit Bendis, a father who has two kids of color among his four children, until recently. His 4-year-old adopted African-American daughter found a Miles Morales Spidey mask in the toy aisle of a department store, put it on and said, “Look daddy, I’m Spider-Man!” he recalls.

“I started crying in the middle of the aisle,” says Bendis. “I realized my kids are going to grow up in a world that has a multi-racial Spider-Man, and an African American Captain America and a female Thor.”

Many kids of color who when they were playing superheroes with their friends, their friends wouldn’t let them be Batman or Superman because they don’t look like those heroes but they could be Spider-Man because anyone could be under that mask.

“Our message has to be it’s not Spider-Man with an asterisk, it’s the real Spider-Man for kids of color, for adults of color and everybody else.”

This is very intriguing for two main reasons.

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Joe Haldeman’s ‘The Forever War’ Ready for the Big Screen?

(Warning: Minor spoilers ahead.)

It looks like Warner Brothers has outbid everyone else to bring Joe Haldeman’s classic The Forever War to movie theaters hopefully within a reasonable time-frame.

The Hollywood Reporter notes:

Making the package go supernova was the involvement of Prometheus and Passengers screenwriter Jon Spaihts and producer Roy Lee. Producing with Lee are Tatum and his Free Association execs as well as Film 360.

The package started to heat up last week but went fiery Thursday when Warners, Sony and another studio were all ready to write hefty checks. Warners won the project late afternoon paying low six figures against seven for the movie rights. Spaihts’ deal to write the script topped seven figures.

Haldeman’s 1974 novel offers a perspective on his experience as a Vietnam veteran. In it, humans have discovered how to use collapsars (mini-black holes) to travel instantaneously to other parts of the galaxy and beyond. However, the time spent traveling to various destinations (excluding collapsar-to-collapsar), most especially that at, and around. the black holes, makes our protagonist, William Mandella, a “man out of time” as a member of Earth’s fighting forces via the Elite Conscription Act.

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Everything about the ‘new’ you need to know about ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’

With the second installment of The Avengers less than a month away, and with it clearly the favorite to be the summer blockbuster of 2015, it behooves us to be aware of that which came before — or, at least, from where the new characters to which we’ll be introduced come, as well as various needed plot elements.

Print comics is a dying medium, yes, but naturally, without ’em, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy our heroes on the silver screen.

THE VILLAIN
Ultron was created by Hank Pym, aka Giant Man as shown in Avengers #58. The robot quickly “evolves,” going from monosyllabic to complex speech in mere moments. He quickly frees himself from any concept of robotic servitude, immobilizing and then brain-wiping Pym, and escaping into the night.

Soon disguised as the Crimson Cowl, Ultron recruits a new Masters of Evil to assist him against the Avengers, and follows this with the creation of the Vision (Avengers #57), whom he also sends against Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

The Vision, however, betrays Ultron and helps the Avengers to defeat the mechanoid. But unknown to all, the robot’s “braincase” remains intact.

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starsmovie

“The Stars My Destination” is Unfilmable? Not in the 2010s, It’s Not

Word came a couple weeks back that the classic scifi novel The Stars My Destination is set to be directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts at Paramount. Vogt-Roberts has previously directed The Kings of Summer and the upcoming Skull Island.

Writer John Podhoretz tweeted back on March 13 that Stars is “unfilmable.” It is? Why?

Here’s my standard by which a film is “(un)filmable”: If Dune and Watchmen can be turned into major motion pictures, just about any story can. (Granted, the latter example is a much better film than the former, but you get the point. I hope.)

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A Breath of Fresh Air on the Comicbook and Movie Diversity Craze

The openly bisexual actress Michelle Rodriguez was asked recently about possibly being cast as the Green Lantern for a future film.

Her answer was epic:

I think it’s so stupid because of this whole minorities in Hollywood thing. It’s so stupid. Stop stealing all the white people’s superheroes. Make up your own. You know what I am saying? What’s up with that?

While this may be a bit harsh (Rodriguez indeed backpedaled a bit on her Facebook page after her comment), it speaks to the current craze within, if not yet so much the comicbook movie industry, certainly the print comicbook biz.

The “Big Two” companies, Marvel and DC, over recent years have “re-imagined” many of their popular heroes by

  • turning Thor into a woman
  • having Sam Wilson, the Falcon and an African-American, assume the role of Captain America
  • making Ms. Marvel a teenaged Muslim female
  • making Green Lantern a Muslim male
  • making the original Green Lantern gay
  • creating an Hispanic-black Spider-Man
  • turning Nick Fury into a black man
  • transforming Johnny Storm, the Human Torch, into a black guy
  • making Asgard’s Heimdall a black guy
  • officially making Catwoman bisexual

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