New Avengers: Endgame Trailer Sees the Team United Once More

 

The battle against Thanos begins once more.
GIF: Avengers: Endgame (Marvel Studios)
Trailer FrenzyA special place to find the newest trailers for movies and TV shows you’re craving.  

Earth’s mightiest heroes—what’s left of them, at least—stand united, for one last fight.

Marvel just dropped another surprise new Avengers: Endgame teaser out of nowhere, and it is packed with new footage, as the scattered heroes we left at the end of Infinity War find their way back together and formulate one last attempt to avenge what they lost.

(Here’s the tweet link in case this isn’t available internationally.)

Oh boy, this one’s going right for those feelings, isn’t it? That Tony/Pepper hug. The Tony/Steve handshake. It’s too much!

But it’s going to have to be too much until Avengers: Endgame hits theaters April 26.


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About the author

James Whitbrook

James is a staff writer for io9. He reads comics so you don’t have to—but sometimes you should anyway!

 

Source: New Avengers: Endgame Trailer Sees the Team United Once More

Marvel Tells Chelsea Cain To Stay Quiet About Vision Comic Cancellation

 

Marvel just canceled its new Vision comic months before its release date, provoking outcry from fans. This may also mark the end of Marvel‘s relationship with writer Chelsea Cain, after she tweeted that the publisher told her to stay “clean and quiet” about her book’s untimely cancellation.

Why comics get canceled before release

Pre-release cancellations aren’t a new phenomenon, but they never get any less frustrating. The usual reason is low pre-orders from comic book stores, which govern Marvel’s prediction of how well a comic will sell overall. Unfortunately, this metric doesn’t reflect reality. Pre-orders are shaped by readers who buy monthly issues from brick-and-mortar stores, and order comics months in advance. In other words, hardcore fans.

Most readers either don’t know the system or find it inaccessible. For instance, women who feel uncomfortable going into their local store, or new readers who find digital comics more convenient. This means that while splashy “event comics” and A-list superheroes rule the monthly sales charts, titles like Ms. Marvel often become bestsellers once the collected volume comes out. It’s completely possible for a comic to get canceled due to “low sales,” only for it to sell like hotcakes six months later because it appeals to the wrong kind of fans.

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This is especially relevant for Vision writer Chelsea Cain, who already experienced this situation before. A successful novelist in her own right, she was hired to write Marvel’s Mockingbird in 2016. The series got canceled after eight issues, and adding insult to injury, Cain faced misogynist harassment for the final issue’s feminist cover art (drawn by Joelle Jones). Mockingbird then reached #1 on Amazon’s superhero comics chart. Even after Mockingbird was nominated for two Eisner Awards, its creators still didn’t receive support from their publisher. Marvel didn’t share Cain’s contact details with the Eisner organizers or tell Cain how to attend the ceremony or get a Comic-Con pro pass, leaving her to ask her Twitter followers for help. Marvel expected insider knowledge from a newcomer to the industry, just like how the pre-order system expects insider knowledge from new readers.

With that in mind, you’d expect Marvel to think twice before canceling Cain’s next comic. Apparently not. Announced at Comic-Con this year, The Vision is a sequel to Marvel’s 2016 hit of the same name. Cain worked on the series with artist Aud Koch and co-writer Marc Mohan, and it was meant to last for six issues. Instead, it got canceled two months before release, with four issues completed behind the scenes. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the decision “came down to a shift in long-term publishing plans for both the superhero Vision and his daughter, Viv.”

Given that The Vision was announced just seven weeks ago, this is an odd reason for cancellation. But whatever the explanation, it’s a bad look for Marvel. Expressing pride for the first four issues and praising her editor Wil Moss, Cain tweeted that Marvel told her to keep the cancellation “clean and quiet.”

That second tweet makes an important point. As an established novelist, Cain has the power to criticize Marvel without tanking her career. An up-and-coming creator wouldn’t have the same freedom.

How Marvel fails new talent

The cancellation of Mockingbird and Vision ties into Marvel’s struggle to recruit women and people of color. In recent years, the publisher diversified its creative pool by hiring creators who didn’t follow a traditional route into comics. The reason for this is obvious: the “traditional route” repopulates a decades-old boys’ club of white male creatives, while everyone else falls by the wayside. Even those who do break the glass ceiling still have to contend with sexual harassment and bigotry from powerful figures in the industry.

From then on, there’s a kind of sink-or-swim attitude toward these new creators. Some titles, like Black Panther, are high-profile enough to warrant a publicity push, but many are left to flounder—and therefore risk early cancellation, because new readers aren’t familiar with the pre-order system. Combine this with the danger of Comicsgate-style harassment, and you don’t have a welcoming environment to retain new talent. The end result is that women and minority creators can thrive at Marvel if they already have a successful career elsewhere—for instance Black Panther‘s Ta-Nehisi Coates, or Runaways’ Rainbow Rowell—but it’s by no means a sure thing, and it’s much harder for true newcomers to break in.

 

Source: Marvel Tells Chelsea Cain To Stay Quiet About Vision Comic Cancellation

Captain Marvel 1st Look Has Finally Arrived, Meet Carol Danvers

We’ve had set photos. We’ve had space-beepers. We’ve had comic universe teases. Hell, we’ve had notepads. But finally, finally, hope for a battered and bruised post-Infinity War Marvel Cinematic Universe has arrived—in the form of the mighty Captain Marvel herself!

As revealed by the cover of the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, we finally have our first official look at Brie Larson in costume as Carol Danvers, a.k.a. Captain Marvel. Here she is, in all her high-flying glory:

Photo: Michael Muller/Marvel Studios (Entertainment Weekly)

The set photos we’d seen a while ago had already given us an idea of what to expect from Carol’s film look—or rather specifically looks, as the suit we saw was similar to this but in a very Kree-inspired green and blue, a callback to the origins of the Captain Marvel mantle as championed by the Kree warrior, Mar-Vell (purportedly played by Jude Law in the upcoming film). But at least now we can see it in the iconic red, blue, and gold we know as Carol’s iconic look since she first took on the mantle herself in 2012. And god damn does it look good.

Speaking of Law’s character, according to EW the film will open with Carol already having gotten her cosmic powers—as she heads to space to join the Kree comic book superteam known as Starforce, which will be lead by Law’s “enigmatic commander.” After spending time with the team in the film, Carol returns to her homeworld, only to face a bold new threat: the infamous shapeshifting Marvel villains the Skrulls, who will be lead by Ben Mendelsohn’s villainous Talos.

We already know a few more familiar faces are in the movie—helping out Carol we’ve got younger versions of Nick Fury and Agent Coulson, still played by Samuel L. Jackson and Clark Gregg through the power of Marvel’s uncanny de-aging CG, and on the cosmic Kree-based side of things there’s Lee Pace and Djimon Honsou, reprising their Guardians of the Galaxy roles of Ronan the Accuser and Korath the Pursuer, respectively. Beyond that, there’s new characters like Kree scientist Dr. Minn-Erva, played by Gemma Chan, and mystery characters played by Annette Bening and Lashana Lynch (who we’re very much hoping could be bringing badass former Captain Marvel herself, Monica Rambeau, from the comics to the MCU).

It’s likely we’ll be seeing and learning a lot more of Captain Marvel this week—we’ll bring you more as we know it.

Source: Captain Marvel 1st Look Has Finally Arrived, Meet Carol Danvers

Marsha Cooke Guarantees Darwyn Thought “Comics Gate Idiots Were A Bunch Of Crybaby Losers Ruining Comics”

Marsha Cooke Guarantees Darwyn Thought

Darwyn Cooke’s widow isn’t letting anyone put words in his mouth.

Source: Twitter

Surprisingly, some members of ComicsGate have the belief that what they’re doing is benefiting the comics industry as a whole. Among their ranks they include comics professionals Ethan Van SciverJon Malin, and or so they thought, Darwyn Cooke.

Unsurprisingly, Marsha Cooke, Darwyn’s widow, shot that theory down, guaranteeing “he thought you comics gate idiots were a bunch of crybaby losers ruining comics. because you are.”

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This initial reaction led to Marsha defending herself against Comicsgaters.

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Van Sciver entered the conversation to express his condolences for the harassment. What’s that? Oh. He did? My apologies, it appears I misspoke. Van Sciver entered the conversation to tell the widow of Darwyn Cooke that she did not know Darwyn as well as he did.

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Unlike most of the attackers on Marsha, Van Sciver was aware of who she was, but still explained to her the kind of person Darwyn was.

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Marsha asked Van Sciver if he was going to ask anyone to apologize to her and he technically did, asking SJWs to apologize to Marsha for using her to attack Comicsgate instead of asking his supporters to apologize for harassing her. But if he did ask his supporters to apologize, who would fund Cyberfrog?

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Following the trolling and attacks from ComicsGaters, Marsha disabled her Twitter account for a short time. I believe the great Derf Backderf said it best, “Take a bow, babymen, you chased off a grieving widow. What a bunch of assholes.”

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Marsha then came back to Twitter to state that she can defend herself.Capture4_copy.PNG

In the end, Comicsgate supporters are mature individuals and surely won’t begin sending insults to me for this piece.

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Source: Marsha Cooke Guarantees Darwyn Thought “Comics Gate Idiots Were A Bunch Of Crybaby Losers Ruining Comics”

I Wish There Was a Spider-Man TV Show Like This Videogame Fan Trailer

He takes a selfie wherever a Spider can.
Image: Insomniac Games

With just the right song, and some good edits, this game footage looks like it stepped out of the Spider-Man cartoon of my dreams.

The song, of course, is the classic 1967 Spider-Man cartoon theme song, and the edits are made by Ascender, who transforms Insomniac’s upcoming Spider-Man videogame into a beautifully wrought homage to the retro history of Spider-Man television.

I see a lot of fan trailers and edits in my job, but this is easily one of the snazziest and most clever takes on the form I’ve ever seen. It looks professionaly. Marvel should seriously consider hiring these people.

And also making a TV show in this style. I mean, wouldn’t you watch that?

About the author

Julie Muncy

io9 Weekend Editor. Videogame writer at other places. Queer nerd girl.

 

Source: I Wish There Was a Spider-Man TV Show Like This Videogame Fan Trailer

What Is the Gayest Marvel Movie?

I’ve never quite understood Marvel’s reluctance to introduce a gay character in their movies, mostly because have you seen those movies? They are gay, honey. They are fully on the precipice of coming out. They are so gay that I found pictures of Tom Daley in their search history.

But which movie is the gayest? To find out, I decided to rank them, evaluating each of Marvel’s 19 films for their homoeroticism, star casting, best outfits, and other gay intangibles.

A few housekeeping notes before we start: This list only contains films set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so it doesn’t feature Deadpool(who is pretty heteroflexible) or anything from the X-Men series, which once spent an entire movie on Oscar Isaac giving people makeovers. The points earned or lost by these Marvel entries are based solely on whether they tickled my queer sensibility, and are awarded almost at random because people take rankings way too seriously these days.

Also, we have to start with the least gay movies, but just hold on tight. It gets a lot gayer, quickly.

Onwards!

19. Thor: The Dark World (2013) 

– A gay movie would never kill off Rene Russo. (-400)

18. The Incredible Hulk (2008) 

– Edward Norton simply doesn’t have queer appeal, and if dating Courtney Love can’t give that to you, nothing can! (-200)

– Casts Liv Tyler, who will always possess bisexual cred thanks to Aerosmith’s “Crazy” video. (+30)

– But let’s face it, Edward Norton is as heterosexual as waiting in a line or naming your child after a Twilight character. (-100)

17. Avengers: Infinity War (2018) 

– This movie labors so hard to give Thanos a motivation when they could have just gone with “I love jewels.” (-75)

– They never tell us who the president is in Infinity War but when Cap greets Bucky with just two back pats, I found myself screaming “Trump’s America.” (-100)

– If you asked me whether Scarlet Witch should kill Paul Bettany, the only moral quandary would be whether she should do it vertical for the ’gram. (-10)

16. Iron Man (2008) 

– Robert Downey Jr. woos Leslie Bibb and Gwyneth Paltrow, and you know what, at least they’re both Ryan Murphy muses. (+50)

15. Ant-Man (2015) 

– First MCU movie to star a Clueless cast member. (+110)

– Evangeline Lilly’s hair is styled like Edna Mode for some reason (+50 because it’s Edna Mode, but also -100 because why would you do that to poor, trusting Evangeline).

14. Iron Man 2 (2010) 

– The villain has a pet bird. (+72)

– Briefly features a Mara sister (+40 but no offense to Kate, it would be more points if they got Rooney).

– Features extremely heterosexual cameos from Bill O’Reilly, DJ AM, and Elon Musk (-100).

– Mickey Rourke is essentially playing Chaz Dean (+25).

– I apologize if that reference was too niche, but the polite thing to do when a gay man makes an obscure joke is to simply quote-tweet him and say, “OMGGGG.” (+25)

13. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) 

– Tony and Peter’s whole thing is the weirdest case of a billionaire exploiting a twink since [Peter Thiel joke redacted] (+0, don’t wanna get sued).

– The second character introduced in the film is Tyne Daly (+175, and I’m willing to add points if the sequel finds a role for Sharon Gless).

– Throws one gay-ish line to Champions star J.J. Totah. (+70)

– When Marisa Tomei discovers Peter shirtless with another boy, she just grins like, “I’ve done an Ira Sachs movie, I got this.” (+44)

12. The Avengers (2012) 

– I will never forget that even straight men gasped when the movie introduced Captain America butt-first. (+200)

– Jeremy Renner dresses like trade throughout. (+10)

– Features the least egregious ScarJo hair. (+100)

11. Iron Man 3 (2013) 

– The rare Shane Black movie with no gay jokes. (+40, proving it can be done)

– Literally the last movie Joan Rivers appeared in before her death! (+50)

– Guy Pearce consistently wears no-show socks. (+70)

– In the third act, Gwyneth Paltrow transforms into the sort of powerful female superhero I would pick in a Super Nintendo fighting game. (+175)

10. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) 

– Captain America plunges his plane into an Arctic shelf of ice instead of going on even one date with a woman. (+122)

– The first MCU film to feature a cast member from The Devil Wears Prada. (+100 for Stanley Tucci)

– There’s a goddamn Alan Menken song, you gays. (+24)

– It co-stars Hayley Atwell (+200 because the letters in LGBTQIA all stand for Hayley Atwell).

– Real talk, though: Shouldn’t it be illegal to shave Chris Evans’s chest? Y’all flipped out about his Infinity War beard but let this happen? (-100)

9. Thor (2011) 

– First Marvel film to codify the gratuitous shirtless scene. (+300)

– Dutch angles are inherently gay. (+75)

– Co-starred Kat Dennings when she was still unsullied by 2 Broke Girls fame. (+10)

– Not only is there a rainbow bridge, but it’s called the Bifrost … representation matters! (+30)

8. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) 

– Stars a bitchy gay robot. (+200 for Ultron)

– There’s also a second gay robot! (+100 for Vision)

– Are all robots gay? (0 points, just wondering out loud)

– Elizabeth Olsen is forced to recite her lines like Isabella Rossellini on quaaludes. (+50, you heard me)

– Aaron Taylor-Johnson tries his best to sell a questionable dye job and truly, what gay man hasn’t? (+75 for a relatability that mitigates the wonderful, infuriating flash of his abs)

7. Doctor Strange (2016) 

– Doctor Strange bails on Rachel McAdams in order to better worship Tilda Swinton, and that’s the kind of man who doesn’t watch too many Guy Fieri shows, if you get my drift. (+122)

– Assumes we want to see Benedict Cumberbatch shirtless and sometimes it’s nice to be invited to the party even if you don’t actually want to go. (+11)

– The film’s breakout character is a fancy cloak that likes to maul evil hunks. (+100)

– At one point, Tilda Swinton conjures a spell by snapping and voguing (+200)

– This is the only MCU entry to canonically address the existence of the world’s most powerful superhero, Beyoncé. (+300)

6. Black Panther (2018) 

– Winston Duke choking Chadwick Boseman with his thighs … it is the scene I never had, the scene everybody would want, the scene that everybody deserves. I don’t know a better scene. I don’t know a better scene! (+500)

– Somehow, this movie has more shirtless wrestling than Riverdale and more tear-stained cheeks than a Julianne Moore clip reel. (+200)

– I believe that people are born gay but I also believe homosexuality can be traced to Angela Bassett wearing that one hat in Black Panther.(+100)

– I understand why you would make Erik and T’Challa cousins but it really inhibits our ability to ship them. (-200 because did you even seethose homoerotic stare downs?)

5. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) 

– Features so many subplots about coping with repressed trauma that this may be the A Little Life of superhero movies. (+250)

– Elizabeth Debicki is painted in gold and runs an evil space gym. (+125 because Equinox could never)

– Crucial exposition about an alien fuckfest is delivered via ceramic figurines. (+100 because this is the gayest way to portray heterosexual encounters)

– The rare superhero movie that takes time for two sisters to truly work through their issues. (+250 because my gay ass lives for Gamora/Nebula scenes, to be quite honest!)

4. Captain America: Civil War (2016) 

– At one point, the film cuts from an explosion to Hope Davis playing piano in pearls. (+500)

– Later, the film cuts from a different action sequence to Vision standing in his kitchen, queening out about paprika. (+400)

– I’m not saying Vision reminds me of a lot of gay men I know, but he does love cashmere sweaters and Elizabeth Olsen. (+100)

– I got turned on when Daniel Brühl called Chadwick Boseman “beautiful” and then I realized he said “dutiful.” (+35)

– Somehow, this film has no shirtless scenes, which is the meanest thing Marvel has done since firing Edgar Wright. (-200)

3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

– Cap and Bucky pound each other into submission in a homoerotic arc that involves back-from-the-dead reveals, hugs disguised as grapples, and Bucky dramatically wearing a mask over his mouth like he’s Valentina on Drag Race. (+800)

– Features the worst ScarJo hair, even though it is admittedly very editorial. (-40)

– Sebastian Stan bravely works a look that can only be described as “What if Norman Reedus showered?” (+10)

– Wow, a whole lotta compression garments. (+60)

2. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

– In the first four minutes, young Peter falls down sobbing and cries out, “Mom!” So, basically my childhood. (+90)

– Look, we were all hot for Chris Pratt back then and there’s no sense in pretending we weren’t! (+225)

– The concept of a found family is very queer. (+100)

– The film’s visual aesthetic incorporates every Crayola crayon I was afraid to be seen using as a child. (+200)

– Benicio del Toro is basically playing a Julio Torres character. (+45)

– The villain is defeated through the power of friendship. (+110)

– Remember Glenn Close in the lipstick and that wig? (+95)

– Peter is Carrie, Gamora is Miranda, Drax is Charlotte, and Rocket is somehow Berger. (+30, but don’t ask me to explain it)

1. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

– I once saw Taika Waititi at a party and he was wearing a see-through mesh shirt. (+200)

– When I was thinking about which pictures I wanted for this article, my first instinct was “Shirtless Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, and Cate Blanchett,” and then I remembered those were all from the same movie (+500)

– Confirms that Cate Blanchett is using her late 40s in the same way Kristen Stewart has been using her late 20s: to turn everybody lesbian. (+300)

– Since Tessa Thompson is in it, we can safely assume this is Janelle Monáe’s favorite Marvel movie. (+200 but also -150 for not letting Valkyrie be bi like Tessa wanted)

– There’s a Hulk nude scene, if you’re into that. (+66)

– Mark Ruffalo and Chris Hemsworth strategize about “safe passage through the anus.” (+100)

– Thor’s haircut. (+100)

– Jeff Goldblum with that blue pop of color on his lips. (+50)

– Taika Waititi is married to a woman but I fully believe he would at least make out with himself. (+100)

– #TaikaWaititiMakeOutWithYourselfChallenge (+100 if he finds a way to do it)

So, there you have it. While Captain America and Guardians of the Galaxy are the two gayest Marvel franchises, the single gayest movie is definitely Thor: Ragnarok. I don’t make the rules, even though I just made the rules. Happy Pride!

Source: What Is the Gayest Marvel Movie?

TV Review: ‘Marvel’s Jessica Jones,’ Season 2 – Variety

Strangely, in the almost three years since “Marvel’s Jessica Jones” debuted, the number of leading Marvel frontwomen has shrunk, not grown. ABC’s “Agent Carter,” which was airing when “Jessica Jones” debuted in 2015, was canceled in 2016 after two seasons; the rumored Black Widow movie, which was overdue even back then, has only now been assigned a writer. The Captain Marvel movie, which was ostensibly the reason that the show doesn’t feature Carol Danvers from the comic books, is slated to debut almost exactly a year from now, and Evangeline Lilly’s the Wasp, the first female Marvel hero to get her name in the title of a Marvel film, comes secondary to Paul Rudd’s hero in this summer’s forthcoming “The Ant-Man and the Wasp.”

Perhaps it is no surprise that leather-jacket-clad Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) is still angry, with a smoldering rage that expresses itself both through her fists — capable of punching a hole through a car hood — and her look, which marries a sultry, smoky eye and berry-stained pout with ripped jeans, a wifebeater, and combat boots. That her anger is part of her aesthetic is not an observation I make to trivialize Jessica, but rather to underscore how fully it is a part of her persona; her superhero costume is like some combination of heartbreakingly vulnerable, fiercely defiant, half-asleep and pissed-off. She’s like a punk valkyrie with a drinking problem.

 

Jessica Jones is not just Marvel’s only female frontwoman, but the franchise’s personification of female rage — a force that has become so potent, in the years since her first appearance, that half a million people marched on Washington, Oprah flirted with running for president, and rapists, abusers, and harassers have been dragged out of the highest halls of power and privilege, practically kicking and screaming as they go. Creator Melissa Rosenberg’s interpretation of Brian Michael Bendis’ comic-book heroine could not have been more prescient, given that the first season laid out one stubborn, damaged woman’s journey to confronting and finally neutralizing a man whom she both loved and was victimized by, Kilgrave (David Tennant). Jessica’s arc required a reflexive reckoning with her own self-loathing, including an attempt to grapple with consent that went far beyond what was outlined in the graphic novels. Part of the series’ timeliness is in locating how Jessica — who, like many women today, is powerful, independent, and doesn’t take any s–t — could still be violated.

Season 2 of “Marvel’s Jessica Jones” does all it needs to — which is to say, it brings Ritter’s fantastic interpretation of Jessica Jones back to TV, with every ounce of shadowed malice and explosive desire on display. Ritter’s Jessica is a gender-bending mishmash of noir character traits — femme fatale and hardboiled detective rolled into one, with the dank P.I. office and effortless smudged eyeliner to prove it. Reinterpreting these roles — and making them undeniably romantic, as befits the jazzy theme music that wafts into each episode — is not particularly easy; with each scene, Ritter has to sell a character that is an inherent ball of contradictions as a recognizable, appealing whole. She makes it a breeze, playing Jessica with a contained, slouching energy that belies her readiness to snap.

 

In the second season, Jessica is not quite as close to the breaking point as she was in the first; instead, she’s exhausted, in a way that draws down every feature of her face. On the whole, things are fine: Destabilizing ex Luke Cage (Mike Colter) is out of her life, neighbor Malcolm (Eka Darville) is an assistant she can rely on, and the worst, arguably, is behind her. But on the other side of Kilgrave’s hold on her, Jessica finds herself struggling. She’s still drinking, still afraid of what intimacy might bring into her life, still traumatized. In the first scene, back to hustling for private clients, she learns a woman’s boyfriend is cheating on her. The woman sobs. Jessica waits, embarrassed and impassive, as if the notion of crying over the untrustworthiness of a man has never entered her mind. She looks utterly worn out by the world, nearly crushed by its petty grievances. So when the woman asks her to kill the cheater, Jessica’s response is quick but confused, as if she has no idea who she’s convincing: “I don’t kill people. Because I’m not a murderer.”

With alacrity, Season 2 drops Jessica into her next plot arc: figuring out what happened to her after the accident, when she was in a coma and the shadowy group named IGH had a grip on her. She’s egged on by her best friend Trish (Rachael Taylor), a media personality with a growing fanbase, who is more interesting as a stand-in for feminist media narratives than as a character in her own right. In Season 1, Trish often felt superfluous; here, as a radio journalist striving for a big scoop, she’s both more central and more uniquely frustrating to the infinitely secretive Jessica. The friendship between the two is real, even if the gulf between their personalities sometimes challenges reality.

And though Season 2 starts off most of its storytelling rather ungracefully — a spate of murders, Trish’s ambitions, and Jessica’s court-ordered anger management class set the plot spinning before the audience has time to reacquaint itself with the characters — its thematics are on point. Jessica is still a case study in trauma, and as the story widens beyond the first season’s offering of how she experienced that trauma, it touches on many different women and the way they carry their fury in their own lives. Viewers learn more about Trish’s backstory, discover another side to Jeri Hogarth (Carrie-Anne Moss), and find more people affected by IGH’s experimentation, including a new character played by the great Janet McTeer. Without quite ever saying “Me too,” the series mouths it. “Marvel’s Jessica Jones” also expands to explore addiction and dysfunction as side effects of superpowers. Quips one character not long for this world, “With great power comes great mental illness.”

 

“Marvel’s Jessica Jones” is never not a Marvel TV show, with all of what that implies — mushy plotting, convenient characterization, a slew of side characters with bizarrely complex biographies, and a preponderance of mysteriously vast and endlessly complex science-y conspiracies. Often, Jessica’s sardonic voiceover is a bit too pat — just as her style is a little too chic, and her skin a little too flawless (especially for a brown-liquor alcoholic plagued by nightmares); for all of its purported grit, the series has the gloss of TV. And yet within this otherwise standard construction are so many hidden gems of scenes that offer a superhero’s meditation — on vulnerability and power, on frailty and mortality, on the relationship of the powerful to the powerless, and yes, of course, on the inherited trauma of women — simply because the subject matter is so, so much more than the rest of the Marvel universe cares to be.

Source: TV Review: ‘Marvel’s Jessica Jones,’ Season 2 – Variety

An Open Letter to White People Who Are Upset Because Black Panther Is So Racist

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Dear Chads and Beckys,

I admit that I have been reluctant to write this letter. It has nothing to do with my dislike for you or your people. In fact, some of my best friends are white. Well … one of my best friends is white. OK, I’ll be honest, all of my best friends are black, but one of them is kinda light-skinned, and when I was in the 11th grade, I went to a New Edition concert with three Caucasian classmates, so that should count for something.

But my hesitancy in penning this correspondence is based on another fact: I didn’t believe you were real. I didn’t discount your existence the way I don’t believe in unicorns, good cops or Rihanna. (Yeah, I said it. I believe Rih Rih is a highly advanced, computer-generated image based on our collective fantasies. You might think it’s crazy, but I stand by my research.)

When people told me that there were actual individuals upset about the upcoming Marvel movie Black Panther, I thought they were exaggerating or overestimating the number. I suspect there are always a few fringe kooks who share an idiotic ideology.

Kyrie Irving and B.o.B think the Earth is flat. Some people believe that Donald Trump is both stable and a genius. And once, on the dance floor of a crowded nightclub, a woman told me I was handsome and cute. (At least that’s what I think she said, although she may have said, “You’re standing on my foot.” It was pretty crowded and I’d consumed a few beverages. But for the sake of this argument, let’s just say it was the cute thing.) My point here is, sometimes people have wildly diverging opinions.

Just as I was ready to dismiss the notion that there might be more than a handful of people who disliked the notion of a Black Panther movie before they even saw it, someone sent me a transcript of Rush Limbaugh ranting about liberals embracing Black Panther.

I honestly get why Limbaugh was upset. If I were a half-deaf, impotent walrus who had to sit in front of a microphone yelling to white senior citizens who still listen to A.M. radio while popping Oxycontin like Tic Tacs during commercial breaks, I’d probably be a little jealous of T’Challa, too. Plus, Limbaugh is racist, and the film does have the words “Black” and “Pantherin it, so …. there’s that.

But people kept sending me things. There was a story calling Black Panther “obviously racist,” a Breitbart article that called the comic book “Black Lives Matter-themed,” and that piece where Ben Shapiro crumpled into a rice-paper-thin ball of fuckboy fragility in a nonsensical monologue about how this is the fault of black people, leftists and, of course, Barack Obama.

Still, that’s only three racists people.

And then, like a fool, I ventured into the land of white nonsense where coffee machines and Bluetooth speakers somehow have all colluded to form a plot to eradicate the great arrhythmic race: Twitter.

“But it’s Twitter,” I reasoned. White people on Twitter are like the Incredible Hulk when he’s off his meds: They’ll get mad at anything. Then I happened upon this well-reasoned discourse between writer Zack Linly and a random Facebooker:

I can understand why some white people are upset. After all, I distinctly recall how upset black people were about Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, When Harry Met Sally, Twilight, Terminator and The Passion of the Christ (yes, they literally made a movie about Jesus with no black people!).

To be fair, the above-mentioned movies were not comic book movies. Making a film about a superhero from an all-black place is an egregious offense. Especially since Marvel put so much detail into making sure its other superhero movies had diverse casts.

I recall how the white outrage forced Hollywood into casting a South American actress to play Wonder Woman, since she was from a fictional race of Amazonian warriors. (I didn’t Google it, but I’m pretty sure Gal Gadot is from Brazil or somewhere. Otherwise, white people would look really stupid making this argument.) We really thank you for making sure they include black actors every time they flash back to Superman’s home planet of Krypton.

Plus, I’m probably making up the white outcry when someone floated the idea that Donald Glover might be the next Superman, or Idris Elba could play James Bond. I probably imagined that wypipo were upset about John Boyega playing a Stormtrooper, just like I dreamed about Rihanna or that woman who thought I was handsome. (I’m pretty sure she said “handsome and cute,” not “standing on my foot.” I mean … I was actually standing on her foot, but that’s neither here nor there.)

Because white people have repeatedly stood up for inclusion and diversity in casting, we would like to admit that this is our fault. Forgive us for being excited that there is finally a movie that caters to our sensibilities without kowtowing to the notion of a white savior.

I tell you what we’ll do. To make this up to you, we promise that we will remain marginalized, mostly ancillary characters in most of the Hollywood blockbusters for the rest of the year. We also swear that we will allow you to win and be nominated for the bulk of Oscars, Golden Globes, Emmys, Tony Awards, Peabody Awards, Billboard Awards, MTV Awards, America’s Got Talent, spelling bees, luge races, school shootings, mass murders, police-shooting trials, Senate races and rose ceremonies on The Bachelor.

I don’t want there to be any hard feelings. I know that white people have so little to celebrate in America that seeing black people smile, if only for one second, could just be the thing that breaks your brittle little racist hearts.

Sincerely,

Your handsome and cute black friend

About the author

Michael Harriot

Michael Harriot is a staff writer at The Root, host of “The Black One” podcast and editor-in-chief of the digital magazine NegusWhoRead. He always has the big joker and the double five.

 

Source: An Open Letter to White People Who Are Upset Because Black Panther Is So Racist

Analyzing the Gender Representation of 34,476 Comic Book Characters

Female characters appear in superhero comics less often than males — but when they are included, how are they depicted?

The recent theatrical release of Wonder Woman briefly catapulted the question of female superhero representation into the mainstream. For some, the character is a feminist icon — even Gloria Steinem wrote about her — and many fans (though not all) felt this wasn’t just another superhero movie, but rather a pivotal moment in the portrayal of women in popular culture.

Why all the fuss? Well, the truth is that the comics industry has had a complicated relationship with female characters. They are often hyper-sexualizedunnecessarily brutalizedstereotyped, and used as tokens. They’re also rare. Only 26.7 percent of all DC and Marvel characters are female, and only 12 percent of mainstream superhero comics have female protagonists.

I decided to look beyond the gender ratio to see if we could learn more about how females are represented. Using characters from DC and Marvel in the ComicVine database, I analyzed naming conventions, types of superpowers, and the composition of teams to see how male and female genders are portrayed.

Strong men; thoughtful women

Three out of five comic book characters have at least one superpower, regardless of gender. When we categorize these powers, we find that there are some clear gender imbalances.

The difference in male and female powers

CHANGE IN % PTS

← MORE FEMALE

MORE MALE →

864202468ENHANCED PHYSICAL ABILITIESOBJECTSSUPERNATURAL PHYSICAL ABILITIESENHANCED SKILLSENERGY MANIPULATIONMENTAL POWERSSHAPESHIFTINGDIVINEPHYSICS OR REALITY MANIPULATIONELEMENTAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL POWERSThough Wonder Woman hasher lasso, and Stargirl has acosmic staff, it’s generally themale characters that like theirstuff. Think Thor and hishammer, or Iron Man and hissuit.Object—ifiedThere is a clear trendhere: Femalecharacters are moreoften givennon-physical,thought-inducedabilities.Mind your powersSTRENGTHSTRENGTHAGILITYAGILITYSTAMINASTAMINABERSERKER STRENGTHBERSERKER STRENGTHSUPER EATINGSUPER EATINGSIPHON ABILITIESSIPHON ABILITIESLONGEVITYLONGEVITYGADGETSGADGETSPOWER SUITPOWER SUITPOWER ITEMPOWER ITEMIMPLANTSIMPLANTSINSANELY RICHINSANELY RICHINVULNERABILITYINVULNERABILITYFLIGHTFLIGHTFERALFERALADAPTIVEADAPTIVEPHEROMONE CONTROLPHEROMONE CONTROLMATTER ABSORPTIONMATTER ABSORPTIONSONIC SCREAMSONIC SCREAMENHANCE MUTATIONENHANCE MUTATIONDUPLICATIONDUPLICATIONFLAME BREATHFLAME BREATHHEAT VISIONHEAT VISIONGENETIC MANIPULATIONGENETIC MANIPULATIONPREHENSILE HAIRPREHENSILE HAIRMAGNETISMMAGNETISMLEADERSHIPLEADERSHIPINTELLECTINTELLECTUNARMED COMBATUNARMED COMBATTRACKINGTRACKINGSWORDSMANSHIPSWORDSMANSHIPOMNI-LINGUALOMNI-LINGUALESCAPE ARTISTESCAPE ARTISTMARKSMANSHIPMARKSMANSHIPBLAST POWERBLAST POWERENERGY ABSORPTIONENERGY ABSORPTIONRADIATIONRADIATIONFORCE FIELDFORCE FIELDENERGY-ENHANCED STRIKEENERGY-ENHANCED STRIKELIGHT PROJECTIONLIGHT PROJECTIONELECTRICITY CONTROLELECTRICITY CONTROLVIBRATION WAVEVIBRATION WAVEEMPATHYEMPATHYTELEPATHYTELEPATHYPSYCHICPSYCHICPSIONICPSIONICMESMERIZEMESMERIZEPRECOGNITIONPRECOGNITIONEMOTION CONTROLEMOTION CONTROLILLUSION CASTINGILLUSION CASTINGSIZE MANIPULATIONSIZE MANIPULATIONSHAPE SHIFTERSHAPE SHIFTERDIVINE POWERSDIVINE POWERSMAGICMAGICCOSMIC AWARENESSCOSMIC AWARENESSSIPHON LIFEFORCESIPHON LIFEFORCESOUL ABSORPTIONSOUL ABSORPTIONTIME TRAVELTIME TRAVELDIMENSIONAL MANIPULATIONDIMENSIONAL MANIPULATIONDARKNESS MANIPULATIONDARKNESS MANIPULATIONWATER CONTROLWATER CONTROLPLANT CONTROLPLANT CONTROL
WHAT‘S THAT? 
Click on a bar and I‘ll explain the power!

TAKING NAMES?
Click on a circle and I‘ll list gender-titled characters!

NOTES: Percentages are determined only from characters with powers. In DC and Marvel, 62.4 percent of all male characters have powers, and 62.8 percent of female characters have powers.

ComicVine lists over 100 possible powers; however, we removed all powers for which the difference between genders is not significant at a 95 percent confidence level when performing a t-test. Definitions are from both Comic Vine and Superpower Wiki.

The data suggest that less-physical powers — such as empathy, intellect, and telepathy — tend to be more represented among female characters. Men however, often have highly physical powers, as well as those that involve gadgets. Female characters dominate in relatively few physical abilities; and those where they do are often tied to gender stereotypes. Pheromone control — the ability to generate and control pheromones that affect emotional and physical states, such as sleep, fear, and pleasure — occurs five times as often in a female character. Sonic scream appears in twice as many female characters as male; and prehensile hair — the ability to control one’s own hair — appears in female characters seven times more often.

Token teams and team members

There are over 2,500 teams in DC and Marvel combined. Roughly half of all characters — male and female — are members of at least one team. The number of females on teams is what you would expect given the relatively low number of female characters. That doesn’t mean, though, that female characters are evenly distributed. In fact, 30 percent of all teams have no women, and only 12 percent have more female team members than male. The majority of those 12 percent, however, are exclusively female teams. This means that in actuality, only 4.8 percent of all teams have both male and female characters and have more women than men.

Female percentage of every team

Each dot represents one of 2,862 teams in DC and Marvel.

Particularly interesting are the names of the exclusively female teams — Femizons, Lady Liberators, Female Furies, Holiday Girls, Doom Maidens. A third of all exclusively female team names reference their femininity in some way, and if we look at the all-female teams that are five or more members, that number jumps to half. These groups have gendered names in the way that the male teams generally do not. Only seven percent of their male counterparts with five or more members have a masculine naming reference. Given this highly gendered naming pattern, it seems that exclusively female teams are often specifically defined by their femininity.

Comparing the balance of gendered names

Let‘s look at the percent of female and male characters with equivalent gendered names. For example, we have paired “man” and “woman” as equivalent. Their usage, however, is not balanced: male characters are given “man” far more often than female characters are given “woman”.

5.7% of femalecharacters withgendered nameshave ‘woman’ intheir name.30% of malecharacters withgendered nameshave ‘man’ intheir name.WOMANMAN0%

Interesting imbalances are found between many gendered naming pairs. Diminutive names — those that may infantilize or denote the younger version of a title — are highlighted.

SORT BY

 

PERCENT FEMALE

PERCENT MALE

‘Girl’ is thethird-most commongendered name for afemale character.’Boy’ only shows upsixth for males.Girls, not womenA full 30% of malecharacters withgendered names get’man’ in their name.That number is only6% for ‘woman’.Men, not boys30%20%10%0%10%20%30%LADYMRS.GIRLQUEENMISSSISTERWOMANMADAMPRINCESSMOTHERMS.MAIDLASSDOLLBARONESSSHE-COUNTESSEMPRESSDAUGHTERDUCHESSGALMOMHE-GUYDADSENIORSONDUKEEMPERORCOUNTDONLADSIRFATHERBROTHERPRINCEBARONJUNIORBOYMASTERLORDKINGMR.MAN

NOTES: Percentages are determined only from characters with gendered names. i.e. 13 percent of women with gendered names have “girl” in their name.

The names considered “diminutive” are those in red text on the chart. They were chosen by the author, and there are good arguments for both keeping and removing many of these terms. However, the point remains: If we only consider “girl” and “boy” there is still a significant difference: 13 percent for females, 5 percent for males.

In some cases, a character with a gendered name will be listed in the Comic Vine database under their secret identity. For example, there is no Ms. Marvel or Batgirl in the chart above. They are listed in the data as Carol Danvers (and Kamala Khan, etc.) and Barbara Gordon.

Marvel and DC are no longer simply convenience-store singles. Today, they’re blockbuster movies, fast-selling merchandise, drama-filled tv shows, and popular video games. The more we see these characters appear in pop culture, the more their representation matters — especially because female characters form such a small fraction of the whole.

Carolyn Cocca, academic and author of the Eisner-nominated book “Superwomen: Gender, Power, and Representation”, expresses clearly why this is such an important concern. She writes: “If the constantly repeated story is that women and girls are not leaders, are not working in professional settings, are not agents of their own lives but merely adjuncts to others, and are sometimes not even present at all, it can reinforce or foster societal undervaluing of women and girls… As there are fewer female characters to begin with, each is overburdened with representing women as a group.”

To be fair, this problem does not affect comics alone: media in general — includingchildren’s literaturecartoonscomputer games and even coloring books — have a history of poor female representation and gender imbalance. And often media reflect our world back to us: while only 27% of Marvel and DC characters are female, that number is only 19% for the United States Congress.

The good news is that things may be changing. Both DC and Marvel have slowly begun to increase the number of female characters in their output. Our analysis did not consider time-series data (we didn’t have it), and characters change over time — Wonder Woman herself has been a feminist activist, a house-wife, a sexualized pin-up, and a kick-ass hero in her 76 years. However, while some features may be altered, established and traditional characters tend to maintain their names and powers. They continue to carry the representative baggage of their past.

Data and methodology

Using the ComicVine database, which is fan-edited, information was downloaded for all 34,476 characters in Marvel and DC. The choice of the “big two” was made to cover the greatest breadth and history of characters; these companies have both been around since the 1930s and together they are responsible for approximately 70 percent of the retail market (depending on the month). Data were gathered at the end of April, 2017.

This piece is, unfortunately, only focused on male and female gender. In the database there are designations for “female”, “male” and “other”; however, the decision was made to remove characters that appeared in the “other” category. I had hoped this data would provide insight into non-binary or gender fluid characters in Marvel and DC. Upon closer inspection, however, it was clear that the category is not often used in a gender-inclusive way. Instead, it is primarily used as a label for non-human characters like robots, auras and spirits. Here’s a brief, interesting read about battling this binary model in superhero comics.

Because I gathered every single character from both publishers, there are occasionally duplicates of characters. There’s a good argument for removing them: They over-weight some of the big characters, because it’s usually only the more common, popular characters that are replaced, reborn, or duplicated. However, there’s a good argument for keeping them as well. They can be considered different characters (Batman-X is not the same as Batman, for example), and as such, they have distinct genders. Removing duplicates would mean missing out if the character changes gender. For example: There are many iterations of Robin, and not all of them are male.

Thank you to Tyler Shendruk, who provided invaluable assitance during the data analysis stage, and to Nicole Derksen, who created the illustrations and gifs used in this article.

Source: Analyzing the Gender Representation of 34,476 Comic Book Characters

Your Guide to Steve Rogers’ Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Evil Year

If you’re reading Marvel comics right now, then you’re probably aware that while Steve Rogers has taken up the Captain America mantle once more, something is… very off. Like, “he’s secretly a fascist agent of Hydra planning to get space aliens to invade the world” off. Confused? We’re here to get you caught up on “Stevil” Rogers.

To understand the heel-turn of Steve Rogers from First Avenger to Agent of Hydra, we actually have to go back a few years before the infamous first issue of Steve Rogers: Captain America from May last year. In 2014’s Captain America #21, Steve faced one of the biggest events in his long career as Captain America: a mysterious villain called the Iron Nail drained Steve of the Super Soldier Serum that had imbued him with his powers all the way back in World War II. The horrifying attack didn’t kill Steve—the loss of the serum simply robbed him of his powers, and returned him to his natural age. But Captain America was at an end—until a few issues later, in which Steve decided that not only did the world need a new Captain America, only his long time comrade Sam Wilson (better known as the Falcon) should take on the mantle.

For a few years, that status quo was maintained. Sam went on his own adventures as Cap, and the elderly Steve, still a respected member of the superhero community, continued to serve from administrative and off-field positions, whether through SHIELD or with leading initiatives like the Avengers Unity squad. Then, during last year’s Avengers: Standoff mini-event, we got a big step forward to bringing Steve Rogers back into the superhero fold.

Standoff revolved around SHIELD, as it always does, being full of itself only to have its confidence promptly blow up in its face. After a series of whistleblowing leaks outed a Maria-Hill-approved plan to use reality-altering Cosmic Cubes to tweak the fabric of existence, SHIELD is forced to dispose of whatever fragments of cosmic cubes they have… except they don’t, because they’re SHIELD. They’re reckless idiots.

The fragments SHIELD kept ended up forming into an entirely new being: Kobik, a young girl unaware of many her vast powers as a creation born from the Cosmic Cubes.. SHIELD suddenly couldn’t get rid of Kobik, so they decided the best use of her was to essentially lock her up and use her powers to create a bizarre new supervillain prison called Pleasant Hill, a quaint little slice of Americana that wipes the mind of its prisoners and reforged them as humble citizens of the town. Naturally, things went very wrong, very fast, leading to Steve and the various teams of Avengers stepping in to shut the facility down.

During that fight, Old Man Rogers found himself near death at the hands of his long-time foe Crossbones—but before Crossbones could kill him, Kobik intervened, not just saving Steve but altering reality enough to return him to the young, superpowered Captain America once more. All’s well that ends well, right?

Well, wrong. As it would be eventually revealed, during her time in Pleasant hill, the young Kobik was being influenced by the real master behind everything: the Red Skull. Through fellow Hydra agent Erik Selvig, it was Skull who planted the seeds of Pleasant Hill within SHIELD’s minds (although they agreed it without any knowledge of Red Skull’s plans, obviously). Kobik grew attached to Red Skull, who told her of the glory days of Hydra, and then gave her a mission: use her powers not just to restore Steve Rogers to glory, but to alter his past to make him a lifelong Hydra sleeper agent just waiting to be activated.

All the memories we saw in Steve Rogers: Captain America #1 aren’t exactly real: they were the memories Kobik created for Steve. But for all intents and purposes, they’re real to him. Steve Rogers isn’t brainwashed. His memory isn’t wiped. As far as he knows, as far as he ever knows, he’s been a member of Hydra ever since he was a little kid, recruited into the agency through a mysterious woman who befriended Steve’s mother back before the Second World War.

But while Red Skull has got his wish to turn his biggest foe into his greatest ally, not everything is that simple. While Red Skull has been reforging Hydra for the modern age, Steve sees himself as the banner-holder for an even purer version of the organization, secretly working with Selvig behind the Red Skull’s back to replace—perhaps even kill—him and bring Hydra into the light as the true rulers of the world.

The way Steve has been working towards that goal has pretty much brought him into the realm of full-on supervillainy. Although still actively part of the superhero community for now, Steve began undermining his heroic colleagues—stoking the dissent between Carol Danvers and Tony Stark that would eventually lead to the events of Civil War II, demoralizing the hero community and leaving public faith in superheroes at an all time low. The aftermath of the event saw Steve drafted in as the defacto head of SHIELD, and in an unprecedented move, given the ability to use the organization for far-reaching, dystopian levels of surveillance and control.

Which is pretty handy, as in his free time as a Hydra agent, Steve is currently planning an invasion of Earth. By aliens. Specifically, the Chitauri, by growing one of their queens on Earth in an attempt to attract the alien’s hive minds to her location. His plan is to eradicate a good chunk of the Earth’s population, allowing him and Hydra to swoop in, rebuild, and reforge the world as willing slaves to Steve’s new vision.

It’s pretty messed up stuff for a figure that is moral bedrock of the Marvel universe—and at a time when the symbol Steve Rogers represents is needed desperately, the portrayal of him as a fascist figure has been an enduring source of controversy. But everything is going to come to a head soon enough—Marvel has confirmed its next major event, Secret Empire, will expose Steve as Hydra’s mastermind and his dastardly plans will be enacted. Whether he’ll succeed, or be stopped and reverted to his former self, we’ve yet to see. Civil War II’s prophetic Inhuman Ulysses even teased that Steve could face death (again), at the hands of Ultimate Spider-Man Miles Morales, during the event. But either way it’s been a long, weird journey for Steve Rogers this past year—a journey that is far from over.

James is a staff writer for io9. He reads comics so you don’t have to—but sometimes you should anyway!

Source: Your Guide to Steve Rogers’ Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Evil Year