In 1993 a Batman movie came out called Batman: Mask of the Phantasm that was based on the 1990s Batman Animated Series. The show was wildly successful, so it is no surprise that a movie came out of the series. Since the release of Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, it has been hailed as one of the best Batman movies and is often put at the same level as many of the great live-action Batman films. It is certainly one of my favorite Batman movies: it introduces one of my favorite female characters, delves more deeply into Batman’s psyche, and gives us some of the most hilarious and terrifying Joker moments.
This post is essentially an off-shoot of my last post, about Hispanic representation in media. There I focused on how pop culture writers create Latin@ characters by coding with things like skin color, accents, names, et al, “defining” these identities by somewhat narrow parameters. I briefly mentioned how culture is an important part of Latino identity, not just superficial physical appearances, which leads me to this post—culture does not exist in a vacuum, it is by its very nature a fundamentally shared phenomenon. Sometimes the cultural unit is as small as a family (which can be as small as two people), but it can be as large as a whole community. Where are these communities on our screens?
Hollywood has recently gotten a lot of attention for its diversity problem—only about 14% of TV directors are female, and that number gets worse (9%) when we go to the silver screen. That doesn’t even get into Hollywood’s problems with age, race, and sexuality, nor does it discuss the many respected actors (Matt Damon) who try their best to shout loudly over anyone who might attempt to explain or educate on these issues. But just having the statistics on this demographic breakdown doesn’t explain how these numbers came to be. Fortunately, a site launched this year to highlight the rampant sexism and misogyny faced by women in the movie- and TV-making fields.
Between late 2012 and early 2014, in what was undoubtedly one of the best ideas ever (right up there with Kinder Surprise Eggs and the bendy straw), the Bioware gods saw fit to create an original Dragon Age comic series. The three-part comic miniseries stars characters from Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II, as well as several original supporting characters, and follows King Alistair of Ferelden and a few new friends of hison a quest to find his father, who is missing and had been presumed dead.
Accompanying Alistair (who featured prominently in Origins) are Varric Tethras and Isabela, who were companions/party members in Dragon Age II. The trio follows a trail of clues through Thedas to help Alistair in his quest, becoming caught up in the centuries-old Tevinter-Qunari conflict and getting trapped in the magical limbo known as the Fade. In addition to the familiar characters and settings, the series introduces several new people and places and expands on the world already established in the games. While the plot and characters are definitely more appealing to someone who is already at least somewhat familiar with Dragon Age, the storytelling and art are solid, and it is not strictly necessary to have played all the games or played all of them in their entirety to follow the plot.
Spoilers for the whole Dragon Age comic series under the jump!
Well, September is finally ending and October is nearly here. That means all our favorite shows are about to start up again. Sleepy Hollow returns later this week. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is coming back for its third season tonight, and we’ve also got The Flash and Arrow on the CW arriving early next month. Out of all our returning superhero shows, I’m not sure which one I’m most excited for. I adore Arrow and The Flash, especially The Flash. At only one season in, The Flash was all kinds of fun. It was upbeat, had good humor, but it also managed to balance that with some more serious issues. While I didn’t enjoy that the story was essentially about Barry’s revenge for his fridged mother and the ableist undertones with Wells’s character, The Flash did well in other fronts. Like Arrow, it has some great female characters, introduced the Pied Piper for some much needed LGBTQ+ representation as well, and it wasn’t filled with nothing but white people.
Now that Season 2 is almost here, let’s take a look:
When The Sleeper and the Spindle was first announced, I was excited. A gorgeously illustrated fairy tale retelling by Neil Gaiman, featuring Snow White as the warrior who saves Sleeping Beauty from her tower? Sign me up! It only just came out in the US last week, and I snapped it up when I saw it in my comic book shop. However, while the story is excellently told, and the pictures are beautifully drawn, it left me with mixed feelings in the end.
We have talked about the poorworldbuildingin Teen Wolfbefore, but this problem really takes the cake. Recently on Tumblr I saw a transcription one fan did at a Teen Wolf convention called Wolfsbane 3, during a panel featuring Ian Bohen, who plays Peter Hale. I’m not always the biggest fan of Peter, but Ian Bohen tends to be hilarious. And his opinions on Peter often make the character seem more interesting than he actually is on the show. But it was one comment Bohen apparently made about Alphas that really threw me for a loop. Basically he pointed out that Laura Hale, Derek’s sister and Peter’s niece, who is killed by Peter at the beginning of Season 1, might have killed her mother, Talia Hale, in order to become Alpha. Since she isn’t a True Alpha like Scott, she would have had to have killed Talia, or at least some other random Alpha.
pic via neurowolf Seriously Ian Bohen is hilarious!
Because I can’t find the actual video of this panel, I am uncertain if Ian Bohen actually said this. But whether or not he did, on closer reflection I realized this has to be correct. In meta and fanfiction, the Teen Wolf fandom has always explained Laura becoming an Alpha as a hereditary thing. Talia died, and her eldest child, Laura, inherited her alpha powers. However, Bohen’s comment made me realize that this fandom theory has never been confirmed in Teen Wolf canon. You either can be a True Alpha, which is so rare in the show that most Teen Wolf characters didn’t think it was possible until Scott became one, or you kill another Alpha to take their powers. The show constantly tells us that lone werewolves and packs without an Alpha are not likely to survive. This would mean a whole society that is based on murdering your successor in order to keep a pack going and if most werewolf packs are like the Hales, then that would mean that they would comprise mostly of family members. So if you wanna be Alpha, then you have to kill grandma. …Suddenly everything in Teen Wolf gets a lot darker and more uncomfortable. It also sets up several issues in the storytelling, particularly in regards to which characters we are supposed to view as villains.