Mighty Marvel Monday: Post-SDCC Edition…which was supposed to be last week’s Mighty Marvel Monday, but I was traveling back from SDCC at the time, so here we are.
Although I missed many Marvel-related things that were happening, I did get a chance to meet two of my favorite Marvel writers, Robbie Thompson and G. Willow Wilson.
I also just happened to be where James McAvoy, Mr. Charles Xavier himself, was walking by and managed to catch him for a selfie.
He winked at me, and I’m not ashamed to say I got a little melty at that, combined with his accent.
Three Marvel fangirl dreams accomplished, but so many more yet to be fulfilled. Life is hard when you’re a comics journalist from a small site and don’t get invited to the 20th Century Fox and Marvel press rooms. (Forever sad about not getting to meet Michael B. Jordan).
Also, this was my second SDCC, but my first SDCC where I stayed the whole time and went as press, and the thing about going to SDCC is that there is so much happening that you often miss things that are also happening due to scheduling conflicts or simply not being willing to camp out overnight for a guaranteed seat. I, just like those of you who didn’t get to go, am reading the same news reports and links, and watching the same bootlegged videos. Honestly, you probably have a better idea of what’s happening at SDCC by staying home.
So! What is happening in the world of Marvel? Let’s start with the MCU.
Ant-Man has finally been released, and I have yet to see it, although I plan to. Sometime. I also will not be reviewing it, but our review, I’m told, will be out on Tuesday. In the meantime, enjoy making our version of Pym’s Cup (get it? Like a Pimm’s Cup!) in this very special edition of Drink Your Comics.
Three important castings were announced. Tilda Swinton was officially announced as being The Ancient One in the upcoming Doctor Strange. My thoughts on why I don’t support this, even though I adore Tilda Swinton, can be found in this backissue of MMM, but because it needs saying again:
It is a tenet of intersectional feminism that progress made at the expense of less privileged groups should not be considered progress, so no matter how cool I think Tilda Swinton is, I cannot support her casting.
I do, however, support the other ladies cast this past week wholeheartedly.
First, the really good news: Elodie Yung has been cast as Elektra, and I think it’s fantastic–especially if they keep her as Greek, since that Greek identity is so central to Elektra as a character, rather than going for some kind of reboot where she’s a ninja. Elodie, for those curious, is of French and Cambodian descent, has a black belt in karate, a law degree, and probably an incredibly gorgeous accent. She might actually induce me to watch Daredevil.
I (and everyone) made no secret about be bored by the casting of Spider-Man, but the surprisingly controversial casting of Marisa Tomei as Aunt May actually has me interested, in the film, partly because it was controversial. Marisa Tomei is 50, and apparently fanboys are all upset saying she’s too young and sexy for the part. While 50 is the new 40 (and 40 is the new 30, etc.) thanks to better living through moisturizers, it feels to me as though fanboys are rejecting this casting not due to any desire to be part of the progressive movement to fight ageism in Hollywood, but due to the outdated idea that once women reach a certain age (or status, like “aunt,” apparently) they should no longer be attractive. Bottom line: Marisa Tomei is awesome, old enough to be the aunt of a 16 year-old boy, and her age and/or sexyiness should have no bearing on the narrative.
And now, for Marvel Comics.
Things are relatively quiet in comics land, based on the number of press releases that I’ve received. Despite the fact that Marvel revealed that the new Blade comic debuting this fall will include a new (hopefully) kickass character, Blade’s daughter Fallon Grey, most people have been focused on this announcement of hip-hop variant covers, and understandably so.
This article, by our very own J.A. Micheline, is an important critique that should not be ignored on the problem with cultural appropriation, and she will school you (and me) on exactly why that’s what this is.
That said, there is one cover that I believe embodies what this hip-hop variant should have been, and it’s no surprise that it’s the cover featuring Sam Wilson, Captain America.
All the credit to Mahmud Asrar. Unlike the silly, even callous homages (Howard the Duck and Ol’ Dirty Bastard? Really?), this cover is sincere–a tribute, not a mockery. If Marvel had simply released this cover on its own, or had created others in the same spirit of authenticity, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.
Kudos of The Week
Sometimes I feel the good gets overshadowed by the bad, or that it invalidates it somehow, so this week, I wanted to give a special shoutout of appreciate to Bill Rosemann, the Creative Director for Marvel Games, who reacted the way you are supposed to react when fans tell you that their favorite Latina superhero looks whitewashed in your new Lego Avengers game:
— Bill Rosemann (@BillRosemann) July 15, 2015
In addition to this weekly news column, I also just started doing a monthly column, Knit Your Comics, and this month’s projects were inspired by Captain America and the Winter Soldier.
Who doesn’t need a Captain America doily (or two) in their house?