Friday, February 26, 2016

COUNSELOR Ep 1 "Ain't Sh*t Wrong With Me"

Check out this web series starring friend of the show Curtiss Cook.  This weekend we will interview the stars of the show and the creator/director. A great look at mental health and how often black people view and react to therapy and what can happen when the lines between patient and doctor get blurred. A fascinating and well acted series from start to finish!

The Producer

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Fallout from Deadpool Effect

Because Hollywood lacks originality and follows trends and runs them into the ground, the success of Deadpool is already having ripple effects that Hollywood will regret a few years from now.  It’s always easy to jump to conclusions early and people often will look at an outlier and think it’s the trend when really it’s an anomaly.  Let’s look at some of the early trends coming out of Deadpools success.

Fox doing Old Man Logan

Fox cannot help themselves- they really can’t.  They have been hoping, searching, and praying for a non Xmen film to be successful. Fantastic Four was a big NOPE and even tho the Wolverine movies are profitable, neither one of them is good.  But with Deadpool, they figure the way to make a great Wolverine movie is to make it rated R.

The Wolverine movies were not good because the stories sucked, not because they were PG-13.  There is plenty of violence in both of those movies, as well.  Having Wolverine decapitate someone or say, "Fuck" or have some titties in the movie is not going to make the movie any better. This is such a Fox Studio move and so predictable as well.  On top of that, news is Fox is gonna make the last Wolverine movie the story of Old Man Logan.  This future story line from the comic stars a bunch of heroes that Fox does not own the rights to so they would need to craft an entire new story for the character.  Do any of you trust Fox with that?  Deadpool worked because it was Deadpool.  The writers stuck true to the character and the tone of the books.  That worked for THAT movie and THAT character.  It won’t work for all characters and Fox is going to learn a costly financial lesson by forcing that R rating on Wolverine.

DC Overreacts

This was predictable too.  With Deadpool making so much money essentially being violent and a bunch of bad language, well DC want in on that too.  So news leaks this week that Superman V Batman will have an R rated home release version.  Werd?  Who was asking for this?  Um, it’s been established in the DC Cinematic that Batman does not kill.  Plus, we know all the shit DC caught from having Superman kill Zod in Man of Steel.  So what extra violence are we gonna see in this movie? Or maybe DC thinks we want to hear Batman and Superman say, "Fuck"!  Or maybe we are gonna see the Trinity get it on Biblical style. C'mon DC. Do not be victim to trends!  DC has staked their path of doing movies their way, but at what cost? Nobody is asking for or clamoring for an R rated version of Batman V Superman.  The timing of this reeks of desperation!  I feel DC knows it may have a stinker on its hands with BvS and they are doing what they can to hedge their bets to lower expectations.  Stating their is an R rated version to be released later creates an impression of a better, longer Directors Cut in case the PG version craps the bed.  If DC was gonna do an R rated comic book movie, it seems Suicide Squad would be more of a perfect fit with all the bad guys and the twisted, demented Joker.  But don't fool with Batman and Superman, DC.  Kids want to see the Trinity! Don't put end more senseless and pointless violence to justify the R rating.  

Hollywood Overreacts to Ryan Reynolds

If you have listened to our podcast, you know @brothascomics has no real love loss for Ryan Reynolds.  It’s not like he is a bad actor or not a great looking dude. But his ability to pick or appear in quality movie projects is incredible.  This is a guy who Hollywood has been trying to make an A list actor for close to 20 years and it still has not worked.  Each time he has been giving the ball to be the "star", he has dropped it.  And he has failed across many genre of film: Comedy, action, drama, comic book movies... It's unprecedented that he has been given so many chances to fail over the years. Now, Deadpool is a hit and he is a sought after actor again.  Please make it stop!  Stop trying to make Fetch a thing!  Deadpool worked for Ryan Reynolds because he and the character are so similar.  Nobody wants to see Ryan Reynolds outside of that suit.  NOBODY! Similar to Robert Downey Jr and Hugh Jackman, they are married ( for better or worse) to their comic book alter ego and when they attempt to step out of that, the results tend to be box office poison.  Well Ryan Reynolds was already box office poison but now Deadpool made him hot again and Hollywood is jizzing all over themselves to give him lead roles in movies again.  People never learn and Hollywood is even slower to learn. 

Deadpool, to me, is a good, not great movie. But we are going to be seeing the fallout of this movie for the next few years.  I hope I am wrong about all of this, but sadly, I know I'm right!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Marvel: Civil War Issue 1

As we did with Legion Quest to get you ready for Xmen: Apocalypse, @brothascomics is going to walk you down issue by issue to Captain America: Civil War, looking at the comics that inspired the movie( well, at least the title).

Civil War: Issue 1

Story by : Mark Millar
Pencils by: Steve McNiven

The book opens in the control room of a tv studio and flashes to a neighborhood in Stamford, Connecticut.  The New Warriors are the stars of a hero reality show and the shows is capturing their every move- including any potential battles with super villains.  The Warriors have rolled up on a list of villains on the FBI's most wanted and Speedball, the leader of the team, wants to take them on- against the protest of some of his teammates.  But the New Warriors need positive press for their reality show and against better judgement attack the villains.

It all seems to be going well but the main bad guy of the group, Nitro has escaped and the New Warriors are in hot pursuit.  Nitro, a being who can make himslef explode, is caught by Namorita in front of a local elementary school.  Nitro is not about to be taken down by the cousin of Sub Mariner and explodes himself in front of the school and on live television for everyone to see.  He kills Namorita and between 800-900 other people including most of the children at the school.

The book then shifts to the aftermath and the clean-up as heroes have come to the scene.  Xmen, Avengers, Fantastic Four, and others are all there and each of them has an opinion on what happened, why it happened and what the future holds.  The seeds of discontent are planted early between Iron Man and Captain America with each believing change is coming on how society views and deals with its heroes.

The public's reaction is swift and extreme.  People and the government want the heroes to be accountable for the damage they cause and the lives that are loss protecting them from evil doers.  A funeral affects Tony Stark/Iron Man the most and the movement for super heroes to be registered begins.

This leads to a huge, super hero pow-wow at the Baxter Building-home to the Fantastic Four.  In that meeting, there are large discussions on how to move forward with no real consensus. Some heroes believe in registration, while others are adamantly against it.

Meanwhile, SHIELD is pursuing registration under the watch of Maria Hill and she looks to get Captain America on her side.  Cap is totally against registration and he lets Maria Hill know it and she informs Cap that if he is not working for her, then he is against SHIELD and the US government and moves to have Captain America arrested. Captain America escapes and flees the SHIELD Hellicarrier!

When news gets back to Iron Man that Cap has gone rogue, he decides its his responsibility to bring Cap in!

That's the end of issue 1. Looking back, this series is almost 10 years old and it still holds up well. Even tho they undo much of it over time, when it came out originally, the story was fresh and different and all the side books with the battles between heroes was fun to watch and read.  Captain America taking the side of individual freedom has played out in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and I am curious to how they weave this story around Winter Soldier to pit Iron Man VS Captain America.
Join us back in two weeks as we review issue 2 and get you all ready for the movie Captain America: Civil War!

The Producer

The Force Awaken Soundtrack

I am not ashamed to say that I own all the Star Wars soundtracks and listen to them on long drives.  It makes me feel calm when dealing with crazy people on the road.

Interview with Moses J Moseley

While at the Middle Georgia Comic Con this past weekend, I was able to interview star of The Walking Dead- Moses J. Moseley.  Now you may now Moses as one of Michonne's pet zombies on the Walking Dead.  He was gracious enough to give us a couple of minutes to talk about the Walking Dead and how he got the part on the show.  Check out the interview below!

Moses was very nice to me and we left him with a brothascomics t-shirt for his time.  Hopefully he'll wear it!

The Producer

Prince & his Protege's 80's-90's

With the passing of Vanity, AKA Denise Matthews, I wanted to take a look at Prince and his female proteges over the years.  I was a pre-teen and teenager for the 80's and Prince always seemed to have a knack for finding young, attractive, and somewhat racially ambigous females to "mentor" with his Prince Effect.  The Prince Effect being his ability to write and produce songs for an artist to make them famous and in turn, probably hooking up with them in the process. Then once the Prince Effect is over, how famous do they stay or become without his influence.


The first and certainly not the last to benefit from the Prince Effect.  Prince forms Vanity 6 just for her and he writes and produces their biggest hit Nasty Girl.  I was 12 years old when this came out and maybe call it bad parenting, but there is no way I should've been listening to that record at the time.  I am not sure how talented Vanity was as a singer, but I know she was hot and the other girls in Vanity 6 were also hot.  Under the Prince effect, even after she left Vanity 6, she starred in two Black led movies that are insanely popular, Action Jackson and Berry Gordy's The Last Dragon.  Stories of her descent into drug use and her conversion to Christianity were well documented at the time of her death, but Vanity was the first and possibly the best.


When Vanity left Vanity 6, Prince wanted to keep the group going but he needed a new lead for the group.  Enter: Appalonia.  Now in my world, Appalonia was muh hotter than Vanity.  MUCH!  She looked better and her body was ridiculous.  The funny thing tho, she is/was less talented than Vanity. She was a worse singer and even tho we all love the movie Purple Rain, she is a terrible actress.  But she did make me want to purify myself in the waters of Lake Minnatonka.  The Prince Effect for Appalonia continues for many years after. She landed roles on Falcon Crest and appeared in many low rent, B movies for many years.  She recently appeared on Oprah's "Where are they now?

Sheila E

Maybe Prince learned his lesson from taking attractive, but less talented women to put under the Prince Effect.  Enter Sheila E, who was attractive for sure, but also a talented musician and performer. Before she even met Prince, she had already been an accomplished musician from a very influential musical family. She had worked with Diana Ross, Lionel Ritchie, and Georgia Duke.  She then meets Prince and works with him before he puts her under the Prince Effect. Under the Prince Effect he writes and produces her biggest hit, The Glamorous Life and she becomes a huge star.  But Sheila E was/is a musician first and she did not need The Prince Effect in music and she had no dreams or aspirations of acting and focused entirely on her music and her brand.  Today she is still out touring without any assistance from the Purple One.  She has written and perforned songs for some of today's biggest singers, such as Beyonce.  Her post Prince Effect career outshines them all in my opinion.

*** There is a marked shift for Prince late 80''s and early 90's. He moves from helping racially neutral females to helping white females.

Sheena Easton

Sheena Easton had already been a mildly, succesful British pop singer.  Before the Prince Effect, she had recorded Morning Train and had hits with Luis Miguel and Kenny Rogers.  Under the Prince Effect, she records Sugar Walls( which I would argue is one of the dirtiest songs ever recorded) and appears in his concert movie Sign o' the Times.  This leads to multiple acting opportunities- the most prominent being Miami Vice in which she plays the wife of Crocket before she gets killed off.

Susanna Hoffs

Already the lead singer of the pop group, the Bangles, Prince steps in and writes one of their most succesful songs, Manic Monday.  The funny part of that is that song had been written by Prince years before and was actually recorded but not produced by Appalonia 6.  Under the Bangles it becomes a huge hit for the band.  Post Prince Effect, Hoff's broke off from the Bangles, made the absolutely horrible movie Up all Night and has been rarely heard from since.

Sinead O'connor

Sinead O'connor was already a UK recording artist of some fame before she records Nothing Compares 2 U.  Now Prince had already written this song and it had been recorded by his side group, The Family.  But, with Sinead's vocals and a haunting video it becomes a smash, international hit. Post Prince Effect... Well, lets just say it all went off the rails for Ms. O'connnor.  It began with the "fight the real enemy" line and tearing up the picture of the Pope on Saturday Night Live and even tho she is around, no one really cares anymore.

Carmen Electra

In the early 90's a young singer dancer from Cincinnati, Ohio moved to California to pursue her dreams and wound up meeting Prince.  Its like a fairy tale I guess, but it also shows you the strength and weakness of the Prince Effect in the 90's.  Carmen Electra signs with Paisley Park Records and records an album for Prince but to no real critical or commercial success.  However, the Prince Effect still works as she is able to turn that professional relationship into a succesful tv and movie career( I said nothing about the quality of her work).  Carmen Electra has worked in film and tv for close to 20 years now and even tho most of her work is bullshit, it all began by recording a terrible song with Prince.

I know Prince has worked and mentored many other ladies since then, but I am not as familiar with their work.  Prince is a powerful singer and songwriter and his influence can be felt throughout all of pop music- even today.

So RIP Vanity! You gave me many wonderful moments that I wont share on this blog- as did Appalonia and all these other ladies. And thank you Prince for highlighting these ladies in a way that I totally appreciated.

The Producer

Monday, February 22, 2016

Deadpool puts DC on notice

@brothascomics was blown away by the success of Deadpool at the box office.  I am sure Marvel and Fox, in their most truthful moments, never expected the movie to do so well.  And lastly, I am certain executives over at DC had no inkling that Deadpool would become this huge monetary and critical success.

The success of Deadpool now places an enormous amount of pressure on Batman V Superman.  Granted, there was already pressure.  The pressure to make a good movie, coupled with box office expectations, in addition to the movie being the tentpole for DC Cinematic moving forward.  The pressure was already there.  But by Deadpool getting out first AND making such a huge box office splash, it now ramps up the expectations for BvS.  Deadpool is well on its way to making close to $300 million on a budget of about $60 million.  Fox/Marvel took a character, who is not a well know house hold name, and turned him into a superstar.  BvS stars the holy Trinity for DC and has more guest stars than a Pete Rock CD.  The alleged production budget on the movie is well over $200 million- making it the most exspensive comic book movie ever made.  DC needs the movie to be profitable for many reasons but it also cannot make less domestic than Deadpool at the box office.  That would be an epic fail for DC Cinematic and quite embarrassing moving forward with their properties.

There is already news out there that DC is nervous about the movie.  Executive speaking on conditions of anonymity are saying the movie response interanlly "has not been what they wanted" This could mean many things, but if comic book movies have taught us anything, nervous executives will  tinker with movies and take away the vision the writers and directors had for the movie. Movie executives only think about money and have no vision and they will meddle in the filmaking process with only money in mind. We learned this on Age of Ultron and on Fantastic Four. And from the outside looking in, BvS looks to have a lot of chefs in the kitchen which is why the movie looks overfull of characters and action, with a very small hint of the story surrounding it all.

So what happens if BvS shits the bed? And by shit the bed, I mean it does $200-300 million domestic.  Suicide Squad is already in the can and Wonder Woman is in production.  If the movie under performs, will we even see a Justice League movie? Aquaman? Cyborg? Green Lantern Corps? How much does BvS need to make to justify DC Cinematic moving forward?  Its a great question and one DC was thinking they would never have to ask.  Deadpool has changed everything moving forward!

I have been on the record for months that I am scared of this movie. I do not trust DC. I do not trust the director. And I do not trust their vision.  The movie has seemed rushed from the beginning and nothing I have seen from the trailers leads me to think otherwise.  But I have also said that I hope that I am wrong.  I want to be wrong here.  I want DC to make a great BvS movie! As fans, we all win when studios put out great movies.  Plus it will force Marvel to step up their game if they view DC as a legitimate threat to their movie empire.  But I am a firm believer of where there is smoke, there is fire. If these leaks from executives are real, this movie is in trouble and in turn the whole DC Cinematic Universe is in trouble.  And who knew the Merc with a Mouth would be to blame!

The Producer

Spider-Man #1 Review

A little insight into The Producer.... My son is ten years old and he is half black and half Puerto Rican so the character of Miles Morales has always spoken to me in a way other characters do not.  My son, looks up to Miles because he sees himself literally in the character so I am very protective of Miles and worry often about his portrayal in comics.  When I heard Miles was going to be "THE" Spider-Man of the Marvel universe I was more excited than my son!  Of course Marvel, being Marvel, did not allow that to actually happen and now I have some concerns again about the character( I will share that at the end). For now, off to the review of Spider-Man #1....

Being Spider-Man ain't easy.. That could be the start of lyrics by Miles Morales with back up vocals by Peter Parker.  In the aftermath of Secret Wars, Miles Morales is now the domestic Spider-Man, while Peter Parker is International Spider-Man.  Miles has to hold it down in NYC, but he is still a teenager, infected with teenage problems and issues like school, girls, and parents who just don't

Spiderman #1 is written by Brian Bendis, with art work by Sara Pichelli.  The book opens in the aftermath of a huge battle in the city and in the wreckage are the remains of the Avengers who have been layed waste by Blackheart, son of Mephisto.  Now, Spider- Man must face off against the villain who just took out the Avengers.

But before we get to that, we flash back to high school where Miles is not having any luck with a lady friend who he had to stand up to fight crime.  He had an excuse about traffic and he thought she would be understanding, but she was not having any of it and puts him on blast in front of other students and more importantly in front of Miles' best friend, Ganke.

Ganke knows Miles' secret and has suggestions that he should really be dating someone like not half black and half Puerto Rican... No, someone who has powers. Miles is not having any of it and laments the fact that he really just wanted to make out with the girl that just dumped him.  Side note... I really like the writing in this scene and the humanization of Miles.  Often times writers will make teenagers seem more worldly and sophisticated than they actually are.  Most of the times they are just horny little creatures and being Spider-Man ain't gonna change that!

If girls were his only problem, maybe he could deal, but he also has a mom who just got a copy of his grades and she is not happy.  And when mama calls to let him know, he tries to lie and wiggle his way out but mom ain't having it either.  She gets so frustrated she puts him on the phone with his dad who is much calmer about the situation( bc he knows his son is Spider-Man).

And if that was not bad enough, Miles still has to go to class and get berated by that one teacher who seems to have it in for him.  I think we can all relate to that one teacher who disliked us- no matter what we did.  Well, Miles has not done his work and when his Spider Sense starts tingling, he feels the need to help and even walks out of class- knowing he will have hell to pay later for his insubordination.

When he gets to the scene of the disturbance, he begins to help the innocent caught in the collateral damage of the battle.  Then, as he gets closer to the epicenter of the event, he sees the Avengers fighting their hardest against Blackheart.  Spider-Man joins the battle to assist but once Captain America goes down, he is on his own against Blackheart!

The usual Spidey-banter with villains is there, but Miles is not Peter Parker in that way.  He has way more internal dialogue with himself about the battle than jokes and is looking for a way to defeat Blackheart. He even uses Captain America's shield for a time. When he finally uses a Venom Blast( TM), Blackheart retreats the scene leaving Miles in the aftermath, but also with a disapproving big brother wondering what he did to cause this.

That's the end of issue 1.  I thought it was an okay debut.  The artwork is superb and even tho I don't like the idea of Spider-Man being able to defeat a villain by himself that took out the Avengers, I can look past that part.  My overall concern is with Peter Parker still being around.  Look, I know that Peter Parker as Spider-Man is a staple of comic book history. I get it!  But, to have 2 Spider-Men(?) makes no sense either.  By making Miles Spidey, Jr, you weaken him as a character, no matter how many villains he defeats.  And as long as Peter is around, we are all just waiting for the shoe to drop on Miles. What are you going to kill Miles? Or send him back to the multiverse? I am not understanding what the end game is and just like Steve Rogers coming back to be Captain America, it takes a previously strong character of color( Sam Wilson) and makes them a sidekick either in reality or perception.

So nice debut issue. I am in for the long run, but I do questions moving forward.

The Producer

Middle GA Comic-Con

Blerd Dad here.  I wanted to drop this post in about the con I attended this past weekend.  It was the Middle Georgia Comic Con located in Macon, Georgia.  Now I live outside of Atlanta and making a trip down to Macon is about a 90 minute drive so me and the kids piled into my bucket of bolts and headed down for Saturday.  I had never been to Macon or to Middle Ga Con so I wanted to leave you with my impressions.  Maybe you saw me there! I was the guy in the brothascomics t-shirt!

First, people were very nice.  The registration and badge process was very easy and did not have the huge delays that can often happen to people who do not pick up their badges early or who are only attending the con for one day.  Plus, kids got in for free and economics blerd dad appreciated that greatly. This is not a large con, its a much smaller con and for someone with smaller/younger kids, it was very easy to get around.

Second, the vendors and space were nice.  My kids were able to get some toys that were priced properly and we did not feel like we were getting gouged for merchandise.  There was a way overpriced Nintendo, buy beyond that, we were able to find the toys we were looking for and for decent prices.

There were quite a few artists and creators throughout the con.  I was able to meet the creator of Battle of Ozellberg, Deon Brown and interview him.  I purchased his book and its great and it was very nice of him to talk with us.

I was also able to meet and chat with Moses J Moseley from the Walking Dead about his role on the show.  Moses was also very nice and was very easy to talk to.  Often times at cons, creators and guests have an attitude about being there.  Both Moses and Deon were great to us!

Lastly, they had a screening room showing Marvel movies!  The kids and I stopped in to watch a little bit of Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, and Captain America: Winter Soldier.  Even tho we have seen those movies multiple times, to watch it with fans and get their reactions makes the experience more enjoyable.

If I had any real complaints, there was not a lot of cosplay and the gaming portions were strictly RPG's and Smash Brothers- which my kids do not play.  But those who do play were having a great time!

Overall, a very enjoyable experience for me and my kids.  If you live in the Southeast, this is a fun, annual con to check out.  Very family friendly and not so large that it overwhelms you!  We will definitely be coming back next year!

The Producer

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Deadpool Review

I have to say from the jump that the box office success of Deadpool was a huge surprise to me and the rest of the members of brothascomics.  I had read the projections of a 65 million dollar opening and I thought that was very optimistic for a couple of reasons: 1- The character Deadpool, while beloved by comic fans, is not a very well known comic book property to outsiders. 2-  The actor/star Ryan Reynolds has a shaky box office history with comic book properties( Blade 3, Wolverine: Origins, Green Lantern, RIPD) and a shaky box office record all around.  It seemed like a potential disaster waiting to happen at the box office.

But, I think what I failed to see, and what many others failed to see, is that the character Deadpool and the actor Ryan Reynolds are perfectly matched.  His acting, style, and humor fit the character like a glove or a tight, red spandex suit.  His personality makes the movie work and even when its not working, there is enough good will built up through the movie to make you forget about the bad parts.  He is so intertwined with the part/character, I think, very similar to RDJ with Iron Man and Hugh Jackman with Wolverine,  he may have a hard time finding success in roles where he is not playing Deadpool.

Overall, the movie does not have many bad parts and let downs.  The movie is told in flashback mode and opens essentially on the leaked animated footage that made this movie happen to begin with. Deadpool is looking for Ajax, the man/Dr who turned Wade Wilson into Deadpool with a series of freakish experiments to activate his latent mutant powers after Wade Wilson had contracted incurable cancer.  To give himself a chance to be with the woman he loves( Vanessa), he agrees to the experiments whose final results turn handsome, scoundrel Wade Wilson into hideous looking Wade Wilson.  And now Deadpool is looking to get revenge on the person who turned him into a freak.  Of course the bad guy kidnaps his girl which leads to our culminating fight scene with Deadpool, Colossus, and Negasonic Teenage Warhead versus Ajax, Angel Dust, and a group of goons.

The movie makes all the standard comic tropes in terms of action scenes and battles.  The only real difference being the constant dialogue by the "hero" and his penchant for breaking the 4th wall and addressing the audience and often making references to other comic book properties and actors by name.  Its a risky strategy and it pays off because its done with fun and its not over done. Yes, the jokes are a bit sophomoric at times, but so is the character.  There are some genuine heartfelt moments, but the character is really just playing out on the screen as he does in the comics- and that's a good thing.

Bottom line, I am 3 days from seeing the movie and reading formal and twitter reviews and overall, in my opinion, the movie is good, not great.  People were mad hype for it in the movie theater and some dude was laughing so hard over the faux credits at the beginning I thought he may have been having a seizure.  The movie is fun and it works for THIS character.  There are way too many think pieces out there stating that THIS is what comic fans have been looking for and R rated is the way to go.  And now there is talk that X-Force should/could be R rated.

Just stop! Like for real stop. Let's enjoy this character and this move for what it is.  A fun, romp and spoof of the genre.  Overdoing that or assuming that other, even lesser known characters, will have the same type of success is foolish thinking to say the least.

So well done, Deadpool. You took the world by surprise and raised the bar for superhero movies moving forward.  The ball is in your court Batman V Superman... dont blow it!

The Producer

Friday, February 5, 2016

No diversity in the room: Secret Wars

@brothascomics has been walking issue by issue through the original Secret Wars as a throwback to an iconic series from the 80's.  You can find the first two issues reviews here:

OG Secret Wars Review Pt 1
OG Secret Wars Review Pt 2

On top of that, we have been podcasting our reviews of the issues and having a funny look back at the writing of comics in the 80's and how many of our beloved heroes have evolved since then.  You can find links to the podcasts here:

OG Secret Wars Podcast Part 1
OG Secret Wars Podcast Pt 2

The podcasts, however, have exposed a wide open secret in the comic industry about the clear lack of diversity in the creative and writing process.  This lack of diversity leads to comics which; although entertaining still 30 some odd years later, also make you cringe when you read the dialogue and the culture behind that dialogue.  When there is a lack of other voices in the room, people will make up what they perceive or believe on how women and people of color speak.  And often its totally wrong, lacks empathy, and it borderline offensive.

Look we are big comic fans here, but we'd be wrong if we don't point out this nonsense and have a little bit of fun doing it.  So lets check out some cringe worthy dialogue with a few of our heroes.

Iron-Man: Soul Brother #1

At the time, Tony Stark is not Iron-Man. James Rhodes is in the suit.  Now "Rhodey" is from South Philly, but he is also a military man, whose foundation is based on orders. In Secret Wars, Rhodey's dialogue is very stereotypical and often ends sentences with "man or "my man". Please remember this is 1984.    And he is incredibly sexist- referring to Captain Marvel as "woman" and "babe".   He also refers to her as, "talent" and overall in the series is a sexist jerk to her. You have to think that is how the writers thought black men talked to black women and it would be ok.  Hint:  Its not ok!  Plus, in a stereotypical move, they put Iron Man on roller skates- even tho he has the ability to fly. And he even drops a Rudy from Fat Albert and tells the Human Torch he has "No class, man"! And when it was time to shine and battle the villains, somehow Iron Man was not even ready for battle and was pulling his suit on while everyone else fought on.  Well everyone except...

Captain Marvel

Monica Rambeau's history with Marvel is much better now than it was in 1984. In 1984, she was designed and given the look of Pam Grier by the creators.  Yet in 1984, they have her rocking a natural afro. In 1984.  What is she doing when the big battle of issue 2 breaks out?  Taking a bath! A bath?! Not a shower- a bath.  Werd?   Then she gets taken out by a C level villain in Dr. Octopus after she gets out of the bathtub. The bathtub.  So two of the three black heroes in the entire Secret Wars are: both late to the battle and unprepared to fight because they can't get they shoes on and are just getting out of the tub.


I dislike the character of the Wasp and in Secret Wars she is even more annoying than normal to me. However, early in the series, after she is kidnapped by Magneto for... well its never really explained. But as part of that scene, there is a very uncomfortable scene where Magneto pushes up on her and she says "no, no, no" yet he still assaults her and eventually she gives in.  You have to imagine, no women were in the room when this was written or story boarded.  Having the leader of the Avengers being assaulted and then giving in and later, washing it over like it never happened, is such disrespect for a woman.

If you have listened to the podcast, we make fun of these situations and have a good laugh based on the audacity of the writers in the room.  Its such a prime example of a series that is iconic for sure, but upon further review did nothing to help advance the cause of heroes of color or females.  Marvel gets props for its diversity and currently being hailed for its hip hop variant covers,  but they still lag far behind on diversity in the writing room and artists. This matters. It does. People of color and women can offer point and counter point on how it feels to be in a given situation to make it seem more real and authentic.  Not some dude pretending to know what a woman would think or feel in that situation.  Its privilege run wild and its not totally harmless because its in a comic book.

So Marvel we gonna call statue of limitations on this one. I think the 32 years since this came out is too long to run you over the coals for it.  But, this same culture still exists in your writing rooms and how you pick artists for your books.  Its been long enough.  You can do better!

The Producer