Luke Cage History: From Hero for Hire to Hollywood
TV, Comic Books
Thanks to the awesome success of the Kickstarter for my new book (and thanks to those of you that helped with that) I find myself with even less time than usual (or believable), but I didn’t want to leave you all hanging a second week in a row, so I thought another Random Thoughts Mash-up might be in order. Besides, the way my thoughts are colliding this is probably the most natural way to get them out there anyway.
Random She Thought: It’s She Has Random Thoughts Time! Get Excited!
Link Thought: 79semifinalist for twitter-y comics stuff, Kelly Thompson on CBR for review-y comics stuff and 1979 Semi-Finalist for everything else. And as always, thanks to Chad Nevett for the column.
Random She Thought: True Detective remains incredible. One of the best TV shows I’ve ever seen. But Emily Nussbaum’s New Yorker piece last week definitely got me thinking about it in a different light. Kind of an odd piece for a review, definitely felt more like an op-ed, but whatever. Her piece probably hit me especially hard because I could really relate to her concerns thanks to my similar issues with the portrayal of women in comics. Planning to write a much more in-depth discussion of her criticism and how it makes sense to me thanks to my experiences with comics, even though I don’t really entirely agree…but I didn’t have the time or mental stamina to get it done this week. Stay tuned I guess?
Random She Thought: I had a dream that a comic book came out that was exactly my idea for a comic I’m working on. Not just like “the same/similar concept executed differently” but like, exactly the same book. Jeez was it depressing. At least people liked the comic…silver lining…I guess?
Random She Thought: I finally, in preparation for Captain America 2, saw the first one. It was pretty good. Not really my cup of tea and there were some things about it that irked me, but it was really capable and it executed what it was aiming for very well. I mean, it was WAY more capable and engaging and enjoyable than something like Man of Steel, and Hayley Atwell did indeed kill it, as everyone had suggested. That said, it was the least interesting to me of the Marvel-based comic book movies I’ve seen in the last half a dozen years or so. I am a bit iffy on military-based/war-based stuff. There are definitely examples of it being done in ways that intrigue me and there are plenty of war films/shows/books/what have you that I’ve ended up loving, but it’s not material that I naturally gravitate toward.
Random She Thought: Some of my lack of passion is also a general lack of interest in Captain America (as compared to Iron Man, Thor, Spider-man, X-Men, etc.) Especially as he was presented here – SOOOO earnest – and not that that was the wrong approach. Cap is kind of like the definition of a Mary Sue/Marty Stu character for me. I don’t read much of him in comics, but in the movie at least that perfection and overly earnest approach was present hardcore and was a mild turn off to me. Which is weird because I have this thing for “good guys” especially in movies and television (think Jake Gyllenhaal’s Robert Graysmith in Zodiac, or Mark Walberg’s Tommy in I Heart Huckabees). Strange. Anyyyyyway.
Random She Thought: With that said, Cap as super earnest and good worked really well for me (and for the movie) in The Avengers. He presents as a good alternative to other more sarcastic/world weary/conflicted/meta/self-aware characters, AND there was room for him to not be perfect as he came up against other “equals” in the form of other superheroes…all with their own strengths and weaknesses, some of which exposed his own nicely.
Random She Thought: And who can deny that Chris Evans is pretty much a perfect cast as Cap? Nobody, that’s who.
Random She Thought: The most distracting thing in the movie was the special effect that put Evans head on the “tiny before” body. It was not that well done. I mean, it was, considering what they were doing was very tough, but I don’t think it looked as good as it should have. It should have looked flawless enough that I eventually forgot about it. But I could never forget about it because the effects were not clean enough for me to stop noticing it. I noticed it for every second that it was on screen. It drew my attention from every single scene. And they relied too much on it. They relied on it as if it looked flawless (the way a similar effect looked in Fincher’s The Social Network – where I forget about it even when I’m LOOKING for it).
Random She Thought: I got an advance copy of Mariko and Jillian Tamaki’s This One Summer from First Second and it is GORGEOUS. I’m still reading but so far it’s wonderful.
Random She Thought: So last night was the Oscars and I didn’t get to ANY of the movies I mentioned last time (Wolf of Wall Street, American Hustle, or Her). I fail at life. Also, the Oscars are full of movies I’ve heard of but never seen this year. So depressing. That said, I have a screener here of American Hustle and after I put this column to bed I plan to watch it, so that’s almost like sort of seeing in the theater (not at all).
Random She Thought: It’s funny, I mentioned Prisoners in the last random thoughts column, and now I find myself mentioning the director, David Villeneuve’s, newest movie, Enemy (which was actually shot before Prisoners). I saw it at the Film Comment Selects Film Festival last week and it was bonkers. Very good, very interesting, but definitely… confusing and upsetting maybe? But my boyfriend talked animatedly about it a lot in the subsequent days, and that’s always the mark of something worth your time, right? Even if you can’t quite figure it out. Here’s a tip though. If you got a problem with spiders, go ahead and skip this film.
Random She Thought: It’s definitely intriguing enough that I want to read the book, The Double by Jose Saramago. Oh yeah, books. We’re supposed to be talking about COMIC books. Sorry.
Random She Thought: So glad to have The Wake back. This was a really strong start to the second half of the series an it was one of my favorite books from last year, so I’m pumped it’s back. I wrote about it for CBR last week.
Random She Thought: This month also sees the return of Buffy Season 10, with Christos Gage writing and Rebekah Isaacs drawing, so I’m pretty pumped about that as well.
Random She Thought: This week alone we’ve got Greg Rucka’s Veil from Dark Horse, the second issue of Marvel’s so far very cool She-Hulk, and Velvet #4. And those are just the clearly female-led/titled books (assuming Veil counts, which it seems like it should). Not bad at all.
Random She Thought: Honestly, the women in comics front is looking pretty damn good of late, well, at least female characters in all comics. It’ll be interesting to see how the land looks in a year (or even six months) I hope at least some of this holds. If it can I will feel really positive that we have changed the landscape in a more permanent way. It will always be in flux, but this year feels important.
Random She Thought: On the female creators side we’ve still got a long way to go – well, at least when it comes to mainstream comics. Ladies are kind of killing it on the independent side, and have been for a while. But in mainstream “big two” comics, while we’ve got some really strong women writing, drawing, and editing, the numbers are pretty sad, especially on the writing and art fronts. Speaking of, former editor Janelle Asselin has a cool recurring column she’s been running over at Comics Alliance (I think she’s headed toward 20 pieces so far – so it’s been going for a while now) called Hire This Woman…great idea, and execution. She features a broad range of creators both in style and experience to what they do – featuring everything from letterers and editors to artists and writers. She also does a good job of spotlighting the less well known, so check if out if you find yourself looking for more lady creators.
Random She Thought: Speaking of Comics Alliance, this reader photo from their most recent “Cool Stuff We Got This Week” piece has finally convinced me that it’s the right decision to take my Super Best Friends Forever figures out of their packaging. I’m not much of a collector any way but some part of me balks at taking things out of packaging – my very inner super hardcore nerd? – anyway, clearly that hardcore inner nerd is wrong, those figures look EVEN BETTER out of the package. As soon as I have somewhere cool to put them, they’re coming out!
Random She Thought: What do you guys collect figures/toys-wise? Do you take it out of its packaging? What figure got you into it?
Random She Thought: I’ve grabbed up a couple things over the last few years, even though I have the room to display none of it properly. My interest in figures/toys has been pretty low for my entire collecting life (and let’s face it, figures are an even worse bear trap when it comes to how superheroines are portrayed than comics, so it’s no surprise that it’s something I’ve not been terribly interested in). Collecting at all as an adult was actually kicked off by picking up the incredible Venture Bros statues of Brock Samson and Moltov Cocktease from Sideshow. They are utterly magnificent. Technically ownership is 50/50 I guess with my boyfriend (which will prove to be a terrible mistake if we ever break up, as they are definitely fight worthy). From there we ended up getting the Venture Bros bobble-heads, which are awesome. I bought some of the “action figures” for my boyfriend. I wish we could afford to complete the set for his sake (he loves them) but I don’t care much for the action figures. When it comes to toys and figures there’s just not THAT much that gets me excited. I guess that’s good for my credit card. I always wished they’d make figures with the fantastic Gotham Girls design from this short lived series. Those would make awesome figures.
Random She Thought: I did grab an adorable Funko Rainbow Dash My Little Pony as it was just too cute to pass up and was given a hilarious Funko Lemongrab (best villain ever) for Christmas. But other than that I’ve remained pretty toy free. Every once in a while though, comics puts out something I really want – like this Harley Quinn Li’l Gotham figure (also pictured at the top of this post) – please the hyenas and Mr. J. doll alone make it a must have. So I guess I can never say I’m just not a toy person…it just has to be the right toy. I also totally regret getting rid of all the awesome 80’s toys I had. We had plenty of boxes and basements over the years, why didn’t I just keep them!?! Too many garage sales I guess, and I was too greedy. As a result I didn’t hang on to any of my great My Little Pony stuff, cool She-ra stuff, and See Wees and Shimmers and all that shit…so much cool stuff lost to time! Damn nostalgia!
Random She Thought! Oh! Speaking of collecting, I’ve been meaning to show you all this incredible photo sent in to me by a The Girl Who Would Be King fan. He collected everything that was made in connection with the book – all the prints, the magnets, the postcards, bookmarks, everything – and then had it all framed, with identifying nameplates and everything. It turned out stunning. He sent me a photo (see below) it’s incredibly cool (and massive):
Alright, gotta wrap this up and go watch American Hustle. Have a good week everyone!
Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.