What I Learned: October 10

This week, I return to my comic book roots, get optimistic about text messages and try to not lose my head.

Last week was pretty busy and I’ve noticed that I’ve completely lost control

Previously:

After driving round in the rain yesterday and finding two action figures and buying two bluray movies at Target while hoping that Waffle would reconsider saying yes to me and a rainy joyride, I wind up at my brother’s house to deliver passes for NYCC. The college trip to Howard is cancelled thanks to the looming disaster that is Hurricane Joaquin and I’m allowed to sleep in a little bit, which, given how badly I’ve been sleeping is basically like being given a golden ticket.

Saturday:

I’m up early for no good reason other than I’m now waking up before my alarm clock. Either because I’m not sleeping right or because I know the sounds of shitty top 40 radio enrages me more than the braying sound the alarm makes so to avoid being cranky, I just wake up.

I’m feeling more and more tired as of late and it’s due to large part that my brain is screaming at me about the sleep thing and the fact that I’m just working nearly every day. The funny thing is that I’m also PAINFULLY aware of how close New York Comic Con is and all I want to do is spend time with Waffle in the confines of the smelly aisles of the Javitz Center because in my head I’ve made it my mission to win that heart back and I think that Stockholm Syndrome is a legitimate means of making someone fall back in love with you.

it worked for these two right?

I head to work and get in early enough to walk and watch something on Netflix before settling into an awkward work flow where we all want to be somewhere else and debate the merits of covering the Chik-Fil-A opening.

Mostly for science because supposedly it’s the greatest chicken ever but I feel a little weird wanting to try chicken as supplied by hyper religious bigots who would sooner throw said chicken at me for being bisexual.

I have fast hands and would catch it and eat it with joy but also that’s too much work.

Either way, we finish and walk over to see what the fuss is about and let me tell you, it’s a mile long line, no exaggeration.

I wind up getting Wendys.

BECAUSE THAT IS FUCKING DELICIOUS.

Sunday:

Sunday is much nicer weather wise than Saturday or Friday.

It might also be because I got an early morning text message from Waffle.

It’s sickening how my mood, my entire brain chemistry changes once I get a message from her; it’s almost as if I could take on the entire world with an arm strapped to my back, win and be home in time for Once Upon A Time with Waffle and chill. This kind of thing can kill me. In any case I enthusiastically answer the text with the kind of eagerness that basically is embarrassing.

Tramp Stamp

So we agree sorta to meet after work which mercifully goes by quickly.

Netflix and chill is not to be.

Waffle basically slept the entire day away.

I’m not crushed so much as I saw it coming because I’m pretty good at predicting that kind of thing. Either way, the little tingle still lingers.

I wind up doing laundry, eating a sandwich and watching last week’s Grey’s Anatomy On Demand. I wind up making gagging noises while Callie flexes on Arizona and her ‘new girlfriend’.

legit my OTP fight me

It’s like, c’mon man, fucking support the love and just…fix it.

FUCKKKKK.

They let all the other trash OTPs get atleast fifteen sporting shots before one of them dies or something Shondalandy happens. Callie goes through a fucking windshield, delivers her premie baby, survives heart failure and physical therapy, MARRIES Arizona who then loses her leg in a plane crash THEN cheats on Callie THEN buy a house together then…

the fuck man?!

Love works somehow in all of this and then they’re like, nah they’re good let them date other people.

My skin crawls.

it’s like no one knows what goes into being that open or vulnerable with humans. They’re awful. They’ll maim you. I believe that love works like a stronger friendship. I call you bro. My best friend. Not because I don’t respect you or don’t love you. You’re the best friend I have. Everyone else is trash.

Anyways. I continue with laundry and prepare myself to throw socks at the TV during Once Upon a Time.

Once Upon a Time and let me tell you…

If they’re not angling Regina and Emma together, they need to tell the production staff because for fuck’s sake, you don’t romcom zoom and light two people who are supposed to be plutonic bros. I mean if you casually cruise the Tumblr tags, it’s basically going to make you a believer.

also I just happen to think that chemistry is something you can’t fight.

PLUS.

They’re totally bros. They watch out for each other in ways that other people don’t.  It’s fuckin’ beautiful.

In anycase, I wind up watching that, getting caught in the feels and watching Fear the Walking Dead.

Then I get another text.

We wind up talking throughout the episode and I gotta say (I also have to admit that I know you’re probably reading this and if you are, well, hi.) it’s still a really nice feeling. I’m still optimistic as hell as evidenced by the most vivid dream I’ve had in a long time that only makes me feel like the universe is listening and for that, I’m thankful.

Monday:

The world is a blur and I’m told I have an insane task to pull off. Plan a massive field trip, plan an NBA interview, chase after Jack Hanna and his people for paperwork and keep my wits about me while balancing multiple shoots on one day.

It all falls into place somehow.

Tuesday:

I honestly don’t remember what happened but there was candy and everyone was happy about that.

Wednesday:

I’m in Brooklyn working on this project and I’m wandering the halls of the a government building and I can’t help but wonder if in another life, could I have actually gone into politics.

Nah.

I live in my head.

We have a great conversation about art and gentrification and I hope that I can find the brain power to really put together something dynamic.

In the meantime, two other shoots go off and I have to pat myself on the back for not completely melting down while exchanging confusing text messages about the status of comic con passes that have suddenly come up as available.

I’m good at multitasking I really am, I may be short circuiting a little because I can’t even come up with a good enough logical answer so I tuck my phone in my pocket and work work work.

I leave at 9.

I get home and watch TV and color. Yes. An adult coloring book works wonders. I have a decent talk with Waffle and for some reason, all the ghosts of the past drift into my mind and I’m immediately reminded that despite the petty arguments and sniping, we’re two people overworked, decently paid and sexless. I wonder if trying to diffuse the tension would help or only throw gasoline onto an already raging nuclear aftermath that is our lives. At this point, given my ranting on Sunday about OUAT all I want to do is find a goddamned happy ending.

Thursday:

Emergency packing and lunching for what will be the best weekend ever.

BUT FIRST.

Jack Hanna planning.

Friday:

Special edition.

What I Learned: August 14

This week, I spend time in Tarrytown in a rental car listening to trap music, complete the lap that made me almost weep, learn that technology is not your friend and that being a workaholic is a better substitute for alcohol.

Saturday:

I’m up with the birds and armed with Apple Maps (which, fuck you by the way) I climb into rented Ford Focus and feel like I’m in a jet because I’m doing checks like a pilot. I have about 120,000 songs on an iPod and wind up listening to of all things…Fall Out Boy. Don’t judge me, it beat the radio at 7am.

It’s true what they say about driving, your mind completely blanks out and you focus more on piloting a massive machine through highways built years before you were a thought by people who didn’t think those roads would even be traveled for as long as they have been.

You get super philosophical.

I find parking relatively easy at 7:30am (I was in traffic to boot and DIDN’T drag race once it cleared up…) and run upstairs to make sure that everything is where it’s supposed to be. Again. My personal life, total shitshow, professional life sorta put together.

The team shows up and we load in for our epic journey to the most magical place on earth: the MSG Training Center in Tarrytown NY. While on the way, we encounter the fail that is Apple Maps.

Have you ever driven in near circles in the middle of a scenic part of a town and immediately think, we’re a car full of minorities, isn’t this is how horror movies start?

drive faster

I watch too many movies.

Anyways. We make a few turns and wind up where we’re supposed to be…fuck you Apple Maps…sincerely.

I’m about 5’7 which in the WNBA makes me a guard and probably a decent prospect; in the NBA that makes me the water girl. We arrive and check in and walk into the Liberty side of the basketball court.

I’m not gonna lie, I’ve been there before but I still kinda swoon because that’s what I do.

We land some hilarious interviews and shoot what could be the hit of our mini summer vacation.

We climb back into the car, strangely inspired by the entire day (it was two hours that felt like less than that which is saying something) get 5 Napkin Burgers (which is a miracle) and pile into the office for a late shift.

Sunday:

Even if you want to play a game of treat yo self, you still wind up being incredibly responsible and climb into the fray super early and with a box of bagels for your mom. You also want nothing more than to get another win in terms of getting that date to happen.

The date doesn’t happen.

The sobbing continues.

On the upside, we get two great videos lined up and good to go and I land another byline for work.

I learned that I have to master the art of multitasking.

Also. John Wick is awesome.

Adrienne Palicki, Bridget Reagan and Keanu Reeves carrying guns and being complete assholes. this is basically porn.

Monday:

Screaming matches over stupid things are always fun.

Driving around late at night is even more fun.

I tackled the FDR to the West Side Highway and like a superhero, sat and listened to Kid Cudi wondering about what the hell life is doing with me and my fate these days. I miss the opportunity to get Waffle for a drive around because Waffle being Waffle kept being Waffle and wiffled on me. I was tempted to be a creeper and sit in the car outside waiting but decided that I can’t keep reeking of desperation. The fact that Waffle would’ve gotten in the car with me for fun while I said nothing and blasted music and driven around until drop off at work. These are the things that make me feel all kinds of funny to be honest. I learned that I should just trust my lack of impulse control when it comes to these kinds of situations. Especially when I want to share views like this. IMG_2932

My drive looked nothing like this but I did in fact blast Steve Aoki, so I guess you could say, we were on track.

Tuesday:

So I had rum and cokes.

Wednesday:

Multitasking is multi-taxing but it’s done and honestly, I keep telling myself, I was unemployed last year. Stop bitching so fucking much.

I mean it’s one thing to be overwhelmed and completely burned out but it’s a whole other level if you’re completely like…miserable.

I can’t be miserable.

My brain can’t process that correctly.

My brain shorts out actually.

I know I’m due for a meltdown but I’m also due for an upgrade so I guess you have to burn things down to build something new from it.

I wind up in Jim Hanley’s Universe and have rather interesting conversations about some of the plot fuck ups in X-Factor (which I have admittedly not been keeping up with) but apparently, it’s a big nasty soap opera. I love the fact that out of many of the shops that I’ve been to, this is the only one that actively keeps you in the store with shit talk and comic gossip rather than aisle after aisle of things to look at and maybe consider buying. There’s a strange comfort in the nerd herd. Unsurprisingly, I pick up a bunch of titles that will take me until NEXT WEEK, to read but fuck it, I mean it’s what happens when you work; you get to do things you love.

One day I will write and work for Marvel.

It’s on the list of things to do before I die.

So’s a trip to London.

Fuck it, let’s do both.

Thursday:

Accomplished many a thing, including successfully feeding myself at a decent hour, addressing stuff and things and planning planning planning.

I wound up getting a preview screening pass to see Straight Outta Compton through work which was sweet. It’s insane that all this happened in my lifetime and I’ve basically grown up with this music; I lived through the of many anti-establishment movements fueled by music and made by people who just wanted their voices heard and the vision to just make shit happen. That doesn’t work anymore does it? That unyielding sense of success and self confidence that is needed to take what sounds like a failing idea or a longshot and make it actually happen. Think about it. Ice Cube was the hardest rapper in the game (still is) at the time and just transitioned because he just wanted to do it. Dre just wanted to make music that didn’t suck and E just had the momentum to bring everyone together. It’s probably one of the best made music biopics and some of the moments that happen made me oddly nostalgic for the time where my mom said I couldn’t listen to Metallica, NWA, Public Enemy and when she caught on, The Beastie Boys. Kids aren’t told ‘that’s bad for you’ and if they are, they don’t give a flying fuck. Go see it, it’s worth it.

It’s also creepy how damn near EXACT O’Shea Jackson Jr. resembles his father.

Best cosplay ever.

Friday:

For Whom The Bell Tolls indeed.

In on time despite a late start, doing a bunch of things for the next three days and eagerly anticipating…I dunno…a small moment to think, read a comic book and do more writing because I owe some people some of my letters rearranged into words.

Friday:

I had a salad. That’s not interesting until you realize and understand that my fat ass wants a burger and booze and to be left alone with Waffle on a romantic dinner date where all we do is talk shit and laugh at things.

I’m seeking a gal pal at this point.

An Angie to my  Peggy.

A Sandy to my Danny.

A Laura to my Carmilla.

Basically I’m just rehashing old feelings.

The weekend should be spectacular. Stay tuned.

Dear DC: Don’t Get Cocky with Suicide Squad or Batman vs Superman Just Yet

After last night’s insane Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer was released, I kinda had to wonder if DC might be making the wise move with their whole grimdark thing.

I mean.

You showed me Wonder Woman and my face basically did this:
Let's Put a Smile on That Face

Then, later on in the evening’s festivities came a sweet little clip which the screengrab is from. David Ayer, writer director of Suicide Squad said, fuck it, here it is. Unlike it’s DCU counterpart, this one, which gives you the first look at Harley, Quinn, Kitana, Boomerang, Slipknot and of course The Joker, doesn’t have a full HD approved trailer so basically, this grainy cell phone footage is all we’ve got for now. So far DC is two for two with their offerings while Marvel and quietly unveiled the incredibly appropriate NSFW Deadpool trailer (which was also leaked) ultimately making Saturday night in San Diego the best night of the convention. Friday, the House That Owns Your Childhood essentially threw down the gauntlet with a star studded Star Wars behind the scenes featurette promising there is more to explore in the galaxy far far away.

But Circus, aren’t you here to talk about how DC shouldn’t get cocky with their new trailers?

Well yeah I am.

With these two trailers, DC like Batman in his Iron Suit is preparing for war and based on the fan response, it seems to be working. So far, the DC camp has taken a very smacktalk stance in the battle for your wallet and dominance in the cinematic world.

CEO Kevin Tsujihara has said, “The worlds of DC are very different. They’re steeped in realism, and they’re a little bit edgier than Marvel’s movies,” and Warner Bros. President Greg Silverman offered his take on DC (vs Marvel): “The filmmakers who are tackling these properties are making great movies about superheroes; they aren’t making superhero movies. And when you are trying to make a good movie, you tackle interesting philosophies and character development.” But, just in case we haven’t gotten the very serious message, Ben has his own take on the differences between the two film universes:

“It is more mythic, it is more grand in that way, and it is a little more realistic. Just by their nature, these films can’t be as funny or as quick or as glib as Marvel movies.”

Sure, Ben and Greg we want to have a deep psychological thriller about how being a hero has taken a toll on the mind body and spirit of a character grounded in the reality of the time with just a hint of the mystical but you’d just shit all over that too.

While it’s WAY too early to say that DC wins 2016, it’s also too soon to say that they’re finally understanding how to wrangle in their various properties under one single banner in the way Marvel has. They have actively stated, during the casting process for Justice League, that their CW/TV properties (Arrow, The Flash, soon to be released Legends of Tomorrow and The Atom) won’t ever appear in their DC cinematic universe. So. You’re saying for the past four years I’ve been looking at Steven Amell but I won’t ACTUALLY get to see him in the context of being a member of JLA because you’ve got someone else who’ll be taking the role? Same with Grant Gustin’s Barry Allen being subbed out for Ezra Miller’s Wally West? Okay so you just made me rot my brain with mellowdrama, GLIB FUNNY MELLOWDRAMA to then make me look at a whole new cast of characters who are essentially more expensive versions of the people whom you’ve grown a fanbase with.

Grant Gustin

Ezra Miller

vs

What DC is doing is splintering their own universe, ruining the cohesive bonds between their own properties just to make them all work in one world on the big screen.

So basically just like Convergence.

Imagine that you’re still learning about these comic characters, getting immersed in their worlds and diving into their years of history being retold on tv. You have embraced these TV actors and their stories as your new visual canon truth, dedicated fanfiction and Tumblr gifs to these people and then you’re told that world is a lie.

DC can’t get cocky or arrogant about any of their films because they continue to commit the same sin as their comic books; they accept one canon one truth only reject it in favor of the one that sounds more plausable. They want to continue to be the Anti-Marvel with grounded realism and real world consequences, frequently relying on comments like the ones quoted earlier for their basis in their logic. It’s worth pointing out that the events in the first The Avengers movie and Captain America: The Winter Soldier all had consequences that impacted both their MCU and blossoming TV titles in Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D and in Netflix’ series Daredevil without needing to be glib about the entire thing. DC while throwing their shade should be checking the playbook and developing their properties in a far more skilled manner.

That’s not to say that Marvel’s current success was straight out of the box; the company had suffered many a film fumble. Two Hulk movies within years of one another, the wildly varied Blade trilogy, Daredevil (thanks again Ben) the two vastly different Punisher films (fan favorite Thomas Jane vs the very gruff and more Frank Castle-esque Ray Stevenson). Their licensing agreements left them without the X-Men, Spider-Man and The Fantastic Four as they worked towards becoming a film studio; some of these ‘rebooted’ movies would be launched from Marvel Studios and slowly they began laying the groundwork for the multi-tier Marvel MCU phases we’ve seen. The blockbuster purchase of the company by Disney, didn’t hurt either. All of the mis-steps, retooling, ret-conning and ultimately accepting of their fates allowed for Marvel to take truly unique risks in their cinematic storytelling giving the world talking raccoons and one line trees. While still acquiring their properties, they’ve managed to tap into the TV market, which I will admit DC was dominating from Smallville straight on through to to their DC Direct animated movies, and have seen how DC failed to connect their visual dots. Marvel is working on retooling their animated series, canceling various shows and rebooting them to meet with current published issues as well as link with the films being released. DC cranked out multiple versions of the same characters with different stories and actors, banking on the name alone and hoping that they could continue to work behind the scenes to present a unified product.

Marvel launched solo film franchises for a majority of the Avengers. Except Black Widow but I don’t wanna talk about that.

even Coulson got a one shot for fuck’s sake.

and I like him.

Anyway, Marvel LAUNCHES solo films, introducing each character with the love and support that comes from a proud house, making sure the right people are in place and involved in the creation of each project and then forms the first of three Avengers movies. They break apart and come back together, it’s beautiful really.

DC is tossing all the kids into the pool with BvS: unveiling my beloved Wonder Woman, teasing Aquaman and possibly hinting at the rest of the JLA team when the second half of the gargantuan film launches the following year. They’ve gotten you hyped for a movie that will more than likely tax your brain with the information overload; they don’t trust you to get to know these characters and instead chose to use familiar faces to introduce you to their new friends.

It’s like going to a party and not knowing anyone but you’re like, okay I’m fine with this…while texting your real friends

unless this guy is there, then, bye friends

It feels like you’re going to sit in a theater with a numb ass and a bladder full of soda trying to find a reason to care because from their previous track record, cinematically, DC doesn’t care enough to try again. Maybe it’s the curse of Hal Jordan or maybe they think this version of events will be the canonical moment that truly does bring their movies together. I can see the logic in introducing them into Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice but it’s also at the risk of telling a story; it’s Bats, it’s Supes, its Diana it’s a roll call of heroes you’re not sure you should care about and for the next two hours you’re going to try your best to do so.

It could even happen with Suicide Squad. The only characters a neophyte would know or recognize are The Joker and potentially Harley Quinn; the success banks heavily on making them either likable or believable enough to engage a non-reader while entertaining a hardcore fan. That’s a lot to do.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m seeing it as a long time Marvel fan who’s basically been through some of the best, worst, misguided points in the company’s history and I fangirl super hard for them but I’ve also done the same for DC and it’s difficult to cheer for a company that hides behind the same two characters.  maybe it will actually work out and the fans will be glad they suffered so long with the errors in continuity, retconning, rebooting and Batfleck but it’s the fact that DC is so transparent in their dislike for Marvel’s success that it makes it hard to not want to make a cheap comment. Maybe they can pop their collar this year; Marvel said they were going to scale back on their promotional work at the con. The things that stood out from this weekend are things that would’ve popped if both houses were pumping out hits (Heroes Reborn, Fear The Walking Dead) so it’s hard to gauge the success of the presentations at this point. The biggest miss for WB/DC is not releasing the official HD version of the same trailer; the reps are all very pissed the video even leaked and have been going on a takedown spree in an attempt to erase what’s been seen. The official word is that they wanted it to be just for the people in Hall H. I wonder if they would’ve flashy thinged everyone to ensure that nothing leaked.

It can’t be unseen.

This is the digital age. Don’t be so arrogant as to think that Hall H is some sacred Fortress of Solitude where nothing gets out. If anything, thank whoever uploaded the video for you because it’s burned up the internet just as quickly as the BvS clip has, going viral in a matter of hours. Marvel says they will release the clean (and dirty) versions of their Deadpool trailer in the next few weeks and that trailer was also leaked overnight.

So just release it you clownshoes, you need the help love and over analysis of the nerd community to ensure that our ADHD addled brains remember that both Batman vs Superman and Suicide Squad are released NEXT YEAR.

Do you see why DC can’t get cocky just yet?

Agent Carter: The Best Show You’re Not Watching

Despite having been a key player in the creation of a covert government agency that easily recruits an all star superhero roster, there are no superheroes in the eight episode mid-season series Agent Carter because SHE is the superhero.

my baby shot me dead

Taking place a year after the events of Captain America: The First Avenger, and following the Iron-Man 3 one shot, ABC’s Agent Carter follows Peggy as she navigates a post World War II work force, continuing her work with the SSR but at a smaller capacity.

Like getting lunch orders.

She’s a really athletically gifted coffee girl.

Taking a page from the world built by Mad Men (predating it by a decade) this world explores how difficult it has been for women to have given their all in the war effort only to be asked to return to their proper stations as homemakers. Peggy, in continuing her work, challenges the leadership at every turn, cracking cases before her fellow agents can even open up a notepad to jot a few leads down. Episode one has her contacted by Howard Stark (Tony Stark’s father. Yes. Iron-Man’s dad) to assist with getting to the bottom of a mysterious grand theft of some of his dangerous inventions. Peggy hesitantly agrees to help, seeing as she’s pretty much over being ignored in the work place and she becomes a double agent.

It’s been nearly ten years since the last female led spy series aired on ABC (Alias) and about two years since the last episode of the Maggie Q lead spy series reboot Nikita (which also starred Lyndsy Fonseca currently playing Angie Martinelli) and while shows like Scandal and The Good Wife give us kick ass, cerebral women, it also bogs them down with the trappings of romance as a plot device. The leads are buried by their romantic triangle of the season more often than the crime of the week. For example, in one episode of Scandal Kerry Washington’s Olivia Pope will have traded more barbs with an ex faster than she would trade blows; she verbosely batters her foes with whip smart dialogue, you immediately wish you’d paid more attention in English class. It’s wonderful, really, but sometimes viewers just want a girl who’ll happily bludgeon you with her heel instead of speaking to you because you’re stupid. A character like Pope can work in a world like Peggy’s easily; honestly, I WANT them to have some insane crossover where Olivia uncovers old SSR documents and…wait…back off, that’s my script.

Hey girl, you’re strong and powerful up until a dude charms you a little bit by saying he’s not intimated by how powerful you are.

 

While it’s great to have smart, sexually confident women on television, it’s much better to have a woman who isn’t trapped within the confines of a relationship that potentially defines her almost every week. Watching someone like Peggy punch a man into unconsciousness is pleasing. Watching her use objects around her for the same effect is also pleasing. This show is pleasing. Hayley Atwell is pleasing.

Bye Felipe

 

Atwell shines as the title character, dropping dudes as easily as she drops one-liners. Debuting in the aforementioned Captain America: The First Avenger, Peggy Carter was that girl; the one  you immediately wanted to be friends with, the one who took no shit and the one with flawless lipstick game. Peggy, despite the smaller piece of the larger puzzle, has a knack for seeing the things that ultimately shape her destiny. She saw the potential for Steve Rodgers’ candidacy before the rest of the scientists did; she saw in him something, because of her gender, made him a bigger asset than she was to the cause. Just imagine if the team saw in her what everyone saw in Steve and she became a super soldier. HEY GET AWAY FROM MY SCRIPT.

While Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (that’s a pain in the ass to type) struggled in the first half of the series to establish characters worth caring about (I care mightily for Agent May and Agent Coulson) and to find it’s footing as it launched in the wake of The Avengers and Captain America, Agent Carter immediately gave viewers a reason for investment; it was the backstory TO AoS that was designed to use Carter and her Amanda Waller type of influence in the creation of the Marvelverse as a whole.

If Marvel does this right, Agent Peggy Carter could be the backdrop introduction (albeit limited considering) to the early negotiations for more Vibranium with Wakanda (Black Panther) the research into cosmic defense with Dr. Steven Strange, ultimately recruiting a young Natasha Romanov  from the KGB once the Cold War is over. Peggy makes up for over 70 years of easy to cover story lines to bridge the comics, movies, Netflix series….she’s the Highlander. The One. Her work could be the nexus for everything in the Marvelspace and when you step back and look at the bigger picture, Marvel and ABC has to have the one nerd screaming in the halls about this very concept. We see her in The Winter Soldier and there are things said, things that make you have feelings.

Operation S.I.N, a mini series launched by Marvel January this year follows the further adventuring hijinks of Peggy Carter and science bro Howard Stark set in Europe. There are aliens.

And a bear getting punched.

What it looks like in my head all the time

 

Peggy, for the Marvelverse, is who Wonder Woman SHOULD be for DC. The nexus for good, a beacon of hope and the absolute measure by which the women who wind up in the various organizations hold themselves up to. Imagine young Jean Grey (I’m thinking silver age Marvel here but it also works for the Ultimate X-Men and various reboots etc) finding an old article about Peggy Carter while cleaning out a space in Xavier’s mansion. America Chavez (Young Avengers) wanting to be every bit the hero Peggy would’ve been had she been Captain America. I’m picturing Maria Hill’s goal in life was to helm a team as prolific as the Howling Commandos. Before she met lousy Ted Mosby.

Kids, in the summer of 2012 I met your mother

Kids, in the summer of 2012 I met your mother

Mockingbird on AoS

Mockingbird on AoS

Agent May on AoS

 

There’s a world of female heroes that can trace their ability to work in the comic book world back to Agent Carter.

Or Lady Sif.

Because you can’t pretend Sif wasn’t first.

Lady Sif in Thor: The Dark World

 

 

It’s also important to note that Agent Thirteen, Sharon Carter is……I can’t tell you that.

 

Sharon Carter in Captain America: The Winter Soldier

 

As the show closed out it’s first season run, there was a bit of a glimmer of hope for it’s fate. With any good Marvel title, there is always that closing credits scene and (SPOILER KIDS)

 

 

Dr. Zola welcomes Dr. Faust to a jailhouse Hydra party.

 

 

SO.

 

My theory and hope is that Season 2 will revolve around Peggy’s growing ability to be taken seriously in the office (I mean, as serious as someone will take a woman in the office who punches like thunder) and the discovery of the Winter Soldier program. Consider that Peggy’s era for change would be at the height of the Cold War, during which time the shocking discovery of Bucky Barnes’ MIA status being upgraded to that of WE HAVE BUCKY WE’RE GONNA TURN HIM INTO A SUPER SOLDIER HAHAHA would more than likely be at the forefront of any engaging story. You can easily introduce a cadre of scientists that have actively shaped the Marvelverse being thwarted by Peggy, or even causing waves in other properties linked to their respective histories. I can see Peggy rolling her eyes at Dr. Strange all the while, hoping he can protect their current dimension. I can see Peggy watching the space program develop (completely, unfortunately, ignoring the Fantastic Four because..yeah…) but still being mindful of the ramifications of space exploration; she could have an entire research division that ultimately taps into Rhodes and Danvers’ space pilot program….

If given the chance to grow, Agent Carter could be one of the few shows on television with the foresight (and money) to successfully mine from their comic book resources, connect the MCU to the books and vice versa; Peggy as the earliest Director of SHIELD essentially creates the world we love now.

Don’t you see kids?!

Peggy motherfuckin Carter is comic books badass grandma.

I’m sorry Aunt May…

 

Nobody fresher than my clique

 

 

 

Does a T Shirt Make A Fan?

The above photo was Tweeted out earlier this week when a Aimée Morrison (@digiwoonk) while shopping in Target Canada shopper found this delightfully idiotic baby pj set. Morrison is an asspciate Profressor working in digital humanities and new project media design and theory. Which sounds super badass.

In any case, Aimée shared her disappointment with the pj options as they appeared to encourage gender conformity in BABIES, particularly that girls were only going to date superheroes while the boys would grow up to be the heroes the girls would eventually date because yay adult behavior in INFANTS. First of all, the color scheme for the girls pj set is hideous; whoever approved that slate heather gray and bright pink obviously hates babies and decent color pallets. It doesn’t stop there, Wal-Mart’s junior section boasts a particularly disheartening t shirt on their website as well as in stores:

Alfred will have something to say about that

So what you’re telling me is that as a woman I’m only as good as the idiot boyfriend I snag in spandex?

Besides fueling obviously dated and tired tropes about where women land in the hero spectrum, it again pairs HIDEOUS pink and gray tones as if to say, hey ladies, you like them dudes doing dude things and you also like pink because we’re guessing that’s what you ladies like.

C’mon.

Maybe if you had that on a black tee with yellow lettering like classic Batman colors, or even the vintage blue and gold coloring I’d be sold on it because then it would match the pairs of converse your average nerdy lady owns and that  is really the fashion that matters. (not really, Batman is pretty much over for me)

Does a t-shirt really make the fan? What is the message that DC is sending to female readers? Marvel isn’t exempt.

It’s not gray and pink but I don’t need a hero.

boys get to be heroes and adorable color combinations

In the long list of things DC keeps failing at, t-shirts seems to be the next notch against them. The Batman’s wife in training shirt is an Officially Licensed product, meaning that someone in their merchandise and branding department had to approve this message before sending it into production, the same with the Marvel shirts. Essentially, the top brass approved it thinking nothing of it and we, the internet denizens were appalled and rightfully so. These major corporations, whether they want to really be responsible for it or not, do shape some of the basic understanding that young boys and girls have when it comes to gender equality. By green lighting these shirts, DC and Marvel effectively say, yeah, girls and women know who these guys are but we’re pretty sure they don’t really want to BE them. They’re throwing women a fashion bone by even thinking of them. When kids get a new shirt to show off, you know they’re comparing their designs and the boys are really buying the slogans on the girls shirts while the girls are staring longingly at a Thor shirt that comes with a cape. They slowly accept the burden of being the lesser because a cartoon character on 100% cotton said so; the company responsible reminded them that this is a boys world and you’ll never really get to have all of it. Is it really the case? Hopefully not but those lessons come from parents who are ideally teaching them that everyone is equal and we’re all capable of extraordinary things. The shirts are exterior expressions of their internal values and in essence, who they are as people. If you tell a girl she’s only as good as the boy she snags, she won’t want anything else.

Some women in comics only serve to advance the hero’s journey and have a short lifespan.

Sorry Gwen, you always deserved more.

Other women in comics advance it to the point where you want more from them they you do the male protagonists like Natasha Romanov and Laura Kinney better known as Black Widow and X-23.

Luck be a pair of bad bad ladies

Today Thor # 1 launched and people are lining up to pick up the comic despite mantle of Thor going to a woman Expect the numbers for such a title to be massive, given the controversy behind the entire thing to begin with. How is it possible that we are still living in a world where even our t-shirts are dictated by tropes and dated concepts? A solid majority of passing comic book movie watchers, delighted that they’ll have something cute to wear with something, will no doubt buy it not realizing they’re continuing to fuel a disparity between the sexes when it comes to t-shirts and fandoms. Someone is fueling the demand for idiotic shirts with poor slogans and we, the people aware of the entire thing will be standing in the streets asking why.

A t shirt does not make a fan, a slogan does not define the wearer but they do make statements about who you are and the values that you have. If you don’t like something, do something about it. You should protest it, make a scene about it, make other people aware of what it is that bothers you so much about the object in question. In fact, it’s encouraged. Voice your opinion on why this is wrong and like the old saying goes, money talks. Don’t spend your money on it. Force the brands and companies at large that you are not interested in this type of message and instead voice that there are other ways to tell a comic book shirt than by relying on the same old thing. Yes, there are some girls who just want to be the girlfriend to the tough guy super hero (or super villain). There are even BOYS who want to be the bad girl’s boyfriend but they are always told that no woman is out of their reach while girls are told there are types for them; a lid for every pot as it were. It’s sad that Target and WalMart will continue accepting these shirts, lunch boxes, outfits, toys and other questionable things from Marvel and DC, despite their approval; a buyer from each respective retailer has final say on the things that eventually adorn the shelves. It’s worse because it seems that the majors don’t care about the FAN; they’re still stuck in data that dissects gender, age and income rather than whether it’s a good product to begin with. I’m still super pissed off that there aren’t any Gamora toys in the BOYS or GIRLS toy section and that Black Widow is part of a Legends series that has more Winter Soldiers and more variant Captain Americas than it does BW or Falcon. It’s upsetting to think that you feel like the tangible things that make you a fan aren’t aimed towards you as a consumer because the entities involved don’t consider you to be important enough to be listened to.

The sexism in comics at large isn’t shocking, it’s the fact that the companies themselves continue to feed into the stereotype as though women in the space are tainting and destroying their sacred area with their lady essence. If anything, women in comics have made things so much better, ushering in a new wave of diversity, new ways of telling the same old stories and bringing some of the most talented artists to the medium front and center. So many men seem upset that women are even in shops and if they are, there’s a massive test that they need to pass in order to be taken seriously. Dude. You barely speak english correctly, who the hell are you to quiz me on who’s stronger Thanos or Galactus ? (Answer: Brainiac, watch them keel over in sheer horror) You can ask me where the latest book is and I’ll point your mouth breathing self in that direction, don’t assume that I don’t know what I’m talking about and if I don’t, please believe I will educate myself, I don’t need you.

BRONIES TOOK MY LITTLE PONY FROM LITTLE GIRLS AND TURNED IT INTO THIS GROSS ICKY THING.

While I am a Marvel fan with passing interest in DC, I’ve come to adore the work coming out of Dark Horse and Image, especially when it comes to how female centric their titles and creative teams are. They are interested in storytelling, the hell with who’s at the focus of them. As New York Comic Con fast approaches, it will be interesting to see how things play out when I’m elbow to elbow with some of the shitbrains who are more and more frequently being called out on their shitbrainness.

This is bigger than t-shirts and what they say. This is about being treated fairly and equally because you also like a thing. This is about being able to buy a Thor t-shirt with a detachable cape knowing full fucking well that you shouldn’t be wearing them but dammit if it isn’t good looking! 

This is about being able to wear a shirt that isn’t pink and adorned with some glitter that proclaims you as Batman’s Wife or Captain America’s Best Gal. This is about being able to wear a shirt that says You Kicked Creel’s Ass and All You Got Was A Lousy T-Shirt or I’m The One Coulson Calls. This is about being able to tell the world that while comic books are fairly geeky and cater to a strange and wonderful section of our population, you are someone who loves to live in the world where everyone looks good in spandex, kicks a little ass and works as a team.

It’s about being a hero even when you feel like you can’t go on, it’s about being able to wear something that says you’re more than the sum of your parts and as long as fashion continues to promote otherwise, it’s about fighting until we’re all allowed to wear a shirt that says Training to Be Batwoman.

Check out t-shirts from We Heart Fine because they’re user created and take the high road when it comes to flirting with gender as well as visiting Her Universe because it’s only fair that we support creators seeking to reach a consistently disenfranchised and marginalized group.

I’d rather be a hero than training to be their sidekick.