How Telltale Games Plays with Expectations in Their Superhero Series


*80s pop music playing in the distance* (via Den of Geek)

I don’t have to tell anyone reading this site that we’re living in a world saturated by superhero media. Between the hundreds of movies, TV shows, Netflix originals, video games, and of course comics, how does one stand out from the crowd? Especially when you’re one of many adapting/rebooting something as ridiculously overdone as Batman? Well, you do what Telltale Games does: you acknowledge that media saturation and the fact that your title character is a pop culture icon, and you decide to use that to do something different. You accept that your players will be bringing some knowledge of the superhero franchise—be it Batman or, more recently, Guardians of the Galaxy—you’re adapting to the table. And you use that knowledge as a foundation to play on audience expectations and take the opportunity to toy, fanfiction-style, with some “what if?” scenarios to create innovative and intriguing new takes on the familiar stories. And you do it all while exploring and giving agency to sidelined women characters, too!

Spoilers (mostly minor, but major ones are tagged) for both Batman: The Telltale Series and Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series beyond the jump! Continue reading

Rebirth, Rucka, and Redemption: Why You Should Be Reading the New Wonder Woman

For better or worse (mostly for better, from what I can tell), DC has finally laid the grim, poorly structured, and laughably undiverse New 52 to rest, and has started over under the header Rebirth. This sort of reboot to continuity is often a boon for readers looking for a convenient jumping on point, and Rebirth was no exception for me. When I heard that Wonder Woman would be starting over at #1, and more, that Greg Rucka, author of the iconic modern Batwoman story Batwoman: Elegy, would be writing her, I was super hyped. Wonder Woman has suffered any number of woes during the New 52, not least of all a writer/artist duo who didn’t seem to understand that feminism was not a dirty word.

I read the first issue of Wonder Woman Rebirth when it was released in June, before I got a new brickspace job and moved to a different state. Once I finally got settled, priority number one was catching up on the comics I missed during the whole process, and the first point of order of that mission was to acquire the Wonder Women I’d missed in the interim.

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Trailer Tuesdays: DC’s Legends of Tomorrow

The Flash’s second season is only three episodes in, and already it’s just about everything I’ve hoped it would be. The Arrowverse is something I’ve most definitely grown to adore. Not only is it expansive, it provides us with some much needed representation. And now, it’s getting yet another spin off show, Legends of Tomorrow, and well, take a look:

Be still my heart, I think I may be in love.

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Ethnic Superhero Season, or What Michelle Rodriguez Can Teach Us About Believability

Virtually any time that something happens at the intersection of Black people and comics, I get a message on Facebook. That’s because my friends love me, I’m sure, but it occasionally leads me to be inundated with eight or nine messages about the same thing. Take, for example, this video of Michelle Rodriguez, which was sent to me by about twelve people a month ago:

In the video, Michelle offers a few choice words on diversity in casting: “Stop stealing white superheroes.” It caused a bit of an uproar in some circles, and Michelle made a video clarifying her statements. But first, let’s address the premise itself. Are all of these superheroes, “originally” white, whose races are being changed, being stolen? First, a superhero is functionally a mythological entity (yes, they are—I will fight you), and cannot be stolen. They can, however, be appropriated, and this may be closer to what Rodriguez meant. My initial reaction was confusion, both personal and academic. As an individual, I was confused at why another person of color objects to the practice of diversifying white characters, especially Green Lantern who has already seen a Latino character—Kyle Rayner—in a print run.

Academically, I was confused because the notion that white characters can be “stolen” or “appropriated” when they are primarily what’s made available to young people of all races, while even our fantasies are “regulated by white believability” is troubling. Even more than that, myths are shaped, stolen, borrowed, passed around, and stripped for parts regularly. That’s their nature and cannot be separated from their purpose. It’s what they do. If you don’t believe me, on the left is a picture of Chinese Jesus.

There’s no universe in which I’m sad that Thor is a woman in the newest print run, and I don’t feel that men have lost anything; Thor was a man for all comic print runs beforehand (except for that time he was a frog). A little turnabout is fair play. Similarly, I’m not upset that Heimdall was played by Idris Elba or that Johnny Storm is being played Michael B. Jordan. I’m not even upset that Donald Glover keeps teasing us with this Spider-Man thing, or that Tyrese Gibson keeps telling us how ready he is to play Green Lantern (although I wish they’d stop teasing us, I’m getting chafed over here).

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Marvel’s Diversifying and It Feels So Good

So if you haven’t heard, Thor is now a woman and Captain America is Black! In the comics, at least, so these developments are not in the cinematic universe. While bringing these changes to the big screen would be great, seeing these new representations in comic form is very nice. But besides being really cool, these changes are also important and carry some significant weight.

Representation of minority groups is important both from a societal standpoint and a financial one. As the popularity of geeky media grows, more people want to see themselves represented in the preferred media. As evidenced by the outrage at Ubisoft for not including female assassins in their latest game, or the ongoing “facepalming” at DC Comics, it is apparent that representation is important to a vocal part of the audience. Many fans, especially fans who don’t see themselves represented in today’s media, want to see other stories told as well. From either perspective, these are opportunities for more products sold for the companies. It’s a win for everyone involved. This can’t be stressed enough.

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Young Justice Finale

Young Justice Destiny Calling allFor once I was planning on showering something with praise, but that’s not going to happen. You see, Young Justice has a lot of strong points, but it doesn’t cover so much as it touches on as many characters in the DCU as possible. In fact, it’s a little upsetting that there haven’t been more episodes delving further into some of these characters. Young Justice is the show that helped me get into DC comics. It’s well made, it’s got some great characters, and it gives some neat insight into the world. It’s a show with a lot of personality. But I do wish that it would spend more time with certain characters. It has a lot of interesting people and relationships that should be further explored.

The second season has finally come to a close. Unfortunately, one thing I noticed right away with the season finale is that it seemed a little rushed. It was in a hurry to tie up as many dangling plot threads as possible, while leaving others open for the next season. And I’m all for leaving dangling plot threads as long as they’re eventually taken care of. And from this last episode “Endgame”, I can say that the show was definitely building toward a third season.

I say ‘was’ because Young Justice will not be renewed.

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LGG&F’s Best of New York Comic Con Cosplay

I am bad at doing stuff at conventions. I love the atmosphere, and the opportunity to people-watch and hang out with like-minded nerds, and most of the time things like panels, screenings, and celebrity guests are just icing. I can probably count on two hands all the panels I’ve been to in my con-going life, and that’s out of sixteen conventions.

This lead-up is all an excuse to explain why I don’t have any first-hand news from any NYCC panels or photos of myself with famous guests—we didn’t bother seeking any out.  There were only a few panels that sounded interesting to us, (Marvel in Television, the Firefly panel) but we have tremendously short patience for lines, and in the latter case, only part of our group had seen Firefly and we weren’t going to force them to wait for it without even an interest in it.

There were approximately 116,000 people at NYCC, and we had enough trouble just getting from one place to another in the Javits Center without drowning in Homestucks, let alone finding the rooms where actual panels were happening.

So, rather than a roundup of all the cool nerd news that came out of our gripping journalistic coverage of New York Comic Con, this is going to be a Best Of Cosplay roundup instead. Check out the slideshow or hit the jump for the gallery of our highlights!

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So You Want to Read Comic Books 2.0: The Essentials

Now that Lady Geek Girl has gotten all you up to speed on some ways to introduce yourself to comics, I’m hijacking this series to talk about some comics you can start off with. Throughout your life, or at the very least, through reading our posts, you’ve probably heard of Marvel and DC, two rival comic industries forever competing to see who can piss their audiences off more. But it goes without saying that they have produced some great stories with some of the world’s most iconic characters. So sometimes it’s best to not pay attention to what the industries do, or what the writers say, and just sit down to read their comics without the fear of it being forever tainted by evil marketing strategies implanted in your mind.

There are more comic producers besides DC and Marvel, and many universes that are less confusing to get into, but we’re not going to talk about them in this post.

But now you face a problem of which comic you should start with. And which character. Well, that’s easy; go back to all those movies and TV shows Lady Geek Girl made you watch, even the painful ones. Which character do you like? Once you have that character, you have a vital clue into picking out your first comic.

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Holy Movie Reviews Batman It’s The Dark Knight Rises

MadameAce: So this movie is okay. I like it. I certainly like it more than other movies for DC. But I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as I thought I would. Maybe that’s because I built it up so much in my head before watching it that it couldn’t possibly live up to my expectations. Or maybe it’s because the conflict is the exact same conflict in the previous films, only with an even drearier tone. Or it might just be the fact that I couldn’t understand Bane’s character at all. Among other things, of course. And that’s Bane, not Bain, dear Rush.

Lady Geek Girl: I was actually fairly pleased, probably because I didn’t build the movie up in my head. So it actually went beyond my expectations. Here’s the thing, if you were expecting the movie to be just as good or better than The Dark Knight then you were probably disappointed. I was so worried about being disappointed that I ended up liking it instead. That’s not to say that this movie isn’t without flaws though, because there are probably more flaws in this movie than in Batman Begins or in The Dark Knight.

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In Brightest Day: A Brief Introduction on Disability Studies


Before I dive head-first into the world that is fandom, I need to lay down a couple ground rules.

For starters, everything I write is up for interpretation, and I would love to have a good back-and-forth going with the readers and fellow writers.

The other thing I need to disclose is this: I am Aspergers. While I function normally in the day-to-day, this is something that I have worked hard to overcome. As such, things in my life have shaped my opinion. This is really just one small opinion of one small writer with a small Green Lantern plush as his avatar. I love feedback.

The concept of Disability Studies comes from lengthy debates about how “disability” should be defined. The theoretical roots for these debates reside in the medical, structural, and minority models. The medical model views disability as equivalent to a functional impairment; the minority model sees a lack of equal rights as a primary impediment to equality between able and disabled populations; and the structural model looks to environmental factors as the cause of disability.

This is all extremely new, mind you. Disability Studies took serious form in the early to mid-90s. Sabrina was still Clarissa, Ghostwriter was still on PBS, and Benjamin Sisko was still working on hitting every member of the Alpha Quadrant in the mouth. I’m barely older than the theory, and I’m twenty-two. Compared to Marxism, Disability Theory is a baby.

However, I believe that Disability Studies holds extreme weight for the superhero, science fiction, and fantasy genre, especially concerning supernatural abilities. It’s important to break down the abilities as a disorder to understand the deeper meaning of characters. A brief example of this, of which I will jump head first in eventually, is Clark Kent. While he is “Superman” on Earth, on Krypton, he would be an Average Joe. Superman’s powers are, by definition, a structural disability.

There are tons of examples like this, but the first one I’m going to tackle is the paralysis of Barbara Gordon, and how her reboot into Batgirl is viewed by the lens of Disability Studies. I’m aiming to finish up that by the beginning of February, so stay tuned into In Brightest Day for more info.

Until next time, please keep in touch with thoughts.