How Telltale Games Plays with Expectations in Their Superhero Series

guardians_of_the_galaxy_telltale

*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.

wonder-woman-rebirth-origin-gun Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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).

Continue reading

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.

Female_Thor_Cover Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Continue reading