Netflix and Marvel is there still a relationship?

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If you've been following the news over the last 10 months or so between Marvel and Netflix you've probably come across countless articles about Disney moving forward with their own on-line streaming service. The implication is that now that Disney owns, like 60% all IP in the marketplace that they would just take their ball and go home. Which would imply that Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Punisher, the Defenders and even the infamous Iron Fist would all revert back to Disney to be on their site. There are thankfully a few roadblocks to this particular plan. 

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For now it seems like Disney will not be able to actually bring the existing shows from Netflix to their streaming site because those were pre-existing deals. The other part of that is they may not really want to. First of all it's clear that Disney's streaming service is aimed solely at kids and it's doubtful they would put any films on their service that are Rated R which should provide relief for the Netflix Marvel shows as they are clearly Rated R. The next part of this conversation is whether or not they will be able to continue to create more Marvel content and that answer is also up in the air but there are some signs that it might be possible. I was encouraged a few days ago when Steven DeKnight (Daredevil, Pacific Rim & Spartacus) told an interviewer that he would love to take a crack at Moon Knight. This is a dark character that was, along with Daredevil, a part of the Marvel adult comic series Marvel Knights and would have a hard time staying PG-13 on the Disney site. This gives me some hope that not only will Netflix be able to retain the original Marvel programming they started with but may even be able to expand and add more like Moon Knight and possibly Ghost Rider, Blade and Shang-Chi. Marvel Ent. President Dan Buckley has expressed that any new projects they go for should fit the content for the networks and platforms and that includes the Disney branded service. 

I'm hoping that despite losing the other movies and TV shows on Netflix in 2019, Disney will still have a strong partnership with Netflix in the further development of more adult Marvel content. It's really a win-win for everybody. 

 

 

CASTING CALL: PART 3 - THE VILLAINS & THE DIRECTOR

Art by EW 

Jill and I wanted to really think the villains out a bit because as we all know a hero can only be as great as his/her villain. And other than some showstopper visuals these Thundercat villains are in need of a massive makeover. 

MUMM-RA:  Mumm-Ra is complicated for sure. He’s got to be a damn good actor, with an element of weird cause his name is Mumm-Ra, as he transforms from a sickly looking little mummy to a great big jacked one.  Garrett Dilahunt has made a career out of playing warped individuals with an air for the theatrics from Deadwood to Justified this guy plays a range of interesting people. And need I mention Javier Bardem who I think would capture the creepiness of Mumm-Ra and allow for some intriguing character development. He has also played his share of menace in big budget faire like No Country For Old Men, Skyfall and the latest Pirates of the Caribbean. And he would certainly chew the scenery well.  I put three on the list but I’m thinking that Jackman may be the best choice over all. In his pre-transformation you could CGI his body like Marvel did with Chris Evans in the first Captain America. Make him look weak and frail and wrapped in cloth. Then when he transforms we see Hugh Jackman in all his muscled glory. Paint him blue and call it a day. Of course you all saw him as Wolverine in X-Men Days of Future Past, I don't think I need to say more.  I really think he would bring some dimensions to Mumm-Ra as he is only a stock evil villain most of the time on the show. Let’s give him some motivation; why is he like this and what does he want? On the show he wants the Eye of Thundera (Lion-O’s sword) but later he’s just interested in killing them. Kind of boring. So let's stick with his desire for more power and The Eye of Thundera. He is already immortal thanks to the Ancient Spirits of Evil, but they also rot out his body as time goes by except when he calls forth all of their power to transform to Mumm-Ra, the ever living. The Eye of Thundera continues to give Mumm-Ra life but also restores his body. Perhaps he’s also lonely and an extreme racist and is looking to wipe out the Thundercats so he can build Third-Earth in his image, with shocker - Earth-like humans!  That would be an interesting twist.

Art by  blackzig

Art by blackzig

VULTUREMAN: He’s the brains behind the Mutants. He is a chemist creating potions to use to his advantage. He is also a mechanic and builds gadgets and vehicles for his team. And most importantly he is the least loyal of the Mutants as he constantly betrays his cohorts for his own gain. He’s lanky and thin and has that giant beak as well as the giant wings.  Zeljko Ivanek would be a somewhat older incarnation, but this guy embodies smart and creepy and something about Vultureman demands to be creepy. Whether his misogynist creep in Big Love to his creepy ass Magister on True Blood or his whack job in the Bourne Legacy. Ivanek would bring something terrifying to screen. Clifton Collins would bring a more affable kind of edge to Vultureman. He was great in Westworld as a smart ass smuggler/bandit type. He’s a solid, oftentimes colorful character actor, who’s played everything under the sun in movies and tv like Westworld, Alias, The Blacklist and Star Trek. However I like cocky Travis Fimmel from Vikings as the best choice for the clever Vultureman. He’s got charisma and he can sell the smarts and talk his way out of things which Vultureman seems to have to constantly do.

JACKALMAN: Jackalman is the jokester of the group and considered to be the thinnest and less warrior like. He is often called a coward mostly by Slithe who seems to disdain him. Jackalman also has a habit of switching loyalties whenever it suits him but not nearly to the extent of Vultureman. Domhnall Gleason has the right build and would make a very sadistic Jackalman due to his past villain playing in Star Wars Force Awakens, and clearly he’s no slouch to the big blockbuster.  Leto would also be able to bring some humor, albeit the sadistic kind, due to his run as the Joker in Suicide Squad. It's easy to see him creating some warped version of Jackalman. However, given his studious devotion to his craft he’d probably complain about screen time for his performance, which would be a fair point given that Jackalman is very much a bit player. Jay Baruchel would obviously make Jackalman more of the comic relief which could be a good thing as he would also look hilarious dressed up in Jackal fur and face. Baruchel would be the best choice honestly, he's a good actor but he can be funny. Check out Knocked Up, Tropic Thunder and This is the End for references if you need them. Also he works even better in smaller roles than lead ones. 

MONKIAN: Monkian is the dimbulb of the Mutants but ironically he’s also their best guy at collecting information. He’s also physically imposing and he has a network of spies all over Third-Earth. He too can be humorous but it’s not meant to be intentional due to his massive stupidity.  He’s also violent and dangerous. Someone imposing would be best for him. Now all three of these guys are physically imposing. John Cena has found a niche with comic timing from the WWE and perfected in various films like Trainwreck and Daddy’s Home, and he’s now the voice of Ferdinand in the animated movie. Bautista also has the build but he’s even funnier with his take on Drax from Guardians 1 and 2, and steals the show. In fact the more I think about it, he’s probably the best choice here as he would bring something more to the role than just a dumb Monkey Man henchman. It would be intriguing to see him as more of a smooth operator who is brilliant at fighting and a master at building a network of spies. The guy would have his hands on every piece of information imaginable except he’s not smart enough to know what to do with it himself. The guy just can’t play chess.

Art by  BeastboyJoe

SLITHE: Slithe, of all the mutants, is the least humanoid and more than likely will have to be a blend of CG and prosthetic. Slithe is the leader of the mutants.  He has a sarcastic personality and he enjoys shitting on his fellow mutants, especially Jackalman whom he calls a coward. He’s sadistic and extremely arrogant which gets him in trouble but he is also clever as he is usually the one devising the plan to kill the Thundercats. I think Slithe should be jealous of the Thundercats’ wealth and prestige and he covets it, and really is only interested in humiliating them and taking it. He’s kind of like Fredo  from the Godfather but with more smarts and a lot more darkness. Jackie Earle Haley is a character actor that makes slimy assholes and creeps interesting; from his fantastic turns in Little Children to Rorschach in Watchman, and his nasty heartless scrooge-like businessman character Quincannon on Preacher. However the big winner in my thinking is Andy Serkis he has made a career out of his motion capture characters from Gollum in Lord of the Rings to King Kong, and recently to Caesar from the Planet of the Apes movies. It may be too close to his Gollum character but I think he would be a fantastic choice for Slithe.

GRUNE THE DESTROYER: Grune is a Thundercat from the line of Kings like Lion-O but he tried to commit a Coup and Jaga had to bring him down. He sealed him away in a pod like Kirk did to Khan on Star Trek and blasted him into space. Only problem is Grune’s pod found it’s way to Third-Earth and created some problems for the Thundercats. So in our story, I think Mumm-Ra having his difficulties defeating the Thundercats on his own, decides to use his secret weapon and the one person who has been informing him about the Thundercats, Thundera and the Eye of Thundera - Grune. Mumm-Ra found the pod years before and now that the Thundercats are here and causing him trouble he uses the mind and body of Grune to do his dirty work. So the impression I’m getting from Grune is that he’s fucking crazy. He’s a mad despot that hates Jaga for locking him away in his pod and wants to exact his revenge on Lion-O since he can’t on Jaga anymore given that he’s dead. Grune might try to infiltrate the Thundercats at first, get them to turn on each other and create problems that way. Grune would have to be fairly unique and let’s not forget balls out crazy. Lance Reddick has always been a weird looking dude, he’s all mystery and he’s got that unique voice I could totally see him manipulating Lion-O and the Thundercats and then turning the fury on them when they least expect it. He played mystery man on Lost and his Broyles on Fringe was always strange and fascinating. He played another seemingly small role in John Wick as the hotel attendant but you wanted to know more about him. I’m really leaning more and more towards him for this role - He's not an imposing guy or a big guy but it would be different for sure. He would be a reverse bad guy Panthro, without the bulging pecs. Now Kristopher Hivju would be a different version than Reddick’s as he might embody more of the character from the show. He’s big and loud and doesn’t give a fuck about anybody and will lay waste to everything if he felt like it. Hivju played a similar role to perfection on Game of Thrones as Tormund Giantsbane. There is no mystery to this guy as he is pure beserker rage. But he’s intriguing and if you balance him out a bit he could be a bit more complex than just some angry jacked up Thundercat out for revenge. But my money is on Lance Reddick. 

ANCIENT SPIRITS OF EVIL: Ok this one could be considered a stretch but after extensive research in the lore of Thundercats the Ancients Spirits is actually a sentient entity separate from Mumm-Ra. I had no idea this was so. Therefore it may be a good idea to put a voice to the evil spirits that embody this decayed form to roid out into Mumm-Ra the EVER LIVING! Personally I think Keith David would kill this in his sleep. The actor is supreme in his live action roles already but that distinctive voice has given depth to animated and live action roles alike. Most recently his turn as the voice of Solivar on the Flash was distinctive, his bit roles on Justice League and various Spider-Man animated shows are always welcomed. Of course his biggest and best voice over was HBO’s Spawn which is precisely why if you are going to have the Ancient Spirits of Evil speak, it’s gotta be Keith David and no one else.

Art by  Wyattx

Art by Wyattx

LUNA, LEADER OF THE LUNATAKS: Ok so I’m going to go a different route with Luna as she is diminutive and looks sort of like an Orc with horns. I think we can keep the sadistic authoritarian personality but put her in a different body. Or we can say that she is using that fabulous magic belt of her Grandmother’s to make her bigger in stature and more alluring. She’s interesting as she is not really a fan of working with Mumm-Ra and in some ways she’s just as devious or more. She’s kind of like a female version of the Joker. Unpredictable and out to get what she wants for her fellow Lunataks. I chose two solid actresses for this and they both would bring different things to the role. Rooney Mara can play up the psychotic I believe. From her roles in Girl With a Dragon Tattoo to her dual identity role in Side Effects, she could really generate some crazy needed for this role. Natalie Dormer is beautiful and she can play master schemer just as well as anyone from her role in Game of Thrones. I really like her for this. Especially if you let her go crazy with it.

Directors for Thundercats: After all this wonderful casting for the Thundercats and the Mutants this whole thing won’t amount to a hill a beans if you don’t have a competent director who can balance the weird with the mainstream, the comedy with the drama, and make an effective sci-fi action fantasy film that would put all others to shame. Now to chose a few names here and I think they are all worthy in their own way but as they say in Highlander, “there can be only one!”  First up is Duncan Jones, the son of the late David Bowie. He has still a ways to go to build his portfolio but he’s got some solid hits in there. Source Code is one of my favorites. It keeps the intrigue going throughout as it feels like a darker version of Groundhog’s Day. He got good performances from his leads Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan and Vera Farmiga. He’s also got a fun little movie starring Sam Rockwell called Moon. His one wrinkle in all of this is Warcraft. Now I haven’t seen it so I can’t comment directly on it but it certainly tanked at the BO and probably put a dent in his rise. He may have some difficulties when the budget gets high which would prove difficult for a film like Thundercats, but he has an unswerving ability to get solid actors in weird situations where they shine. Up next is Peter Jackson, Mr. Lord of the Rings himself. What can I say, the guy would probably make the most realistic cat people on the planet with method actors in those roles. Buuut he did do those Hobbit movies which were not as good and he tends to make things overly long and overly serious. Could miss some of the fun. However we would need Freightners and Dead Alive Peter Jackson to inject some good old fashioned fun to it. Another solid get would be Patty Jenkins, who does fall into the Duncan Jones territory as she does not have a catalog of films to reference but she did just kick the summer’s ass with Wonder Woman. This proves she can handle character, story and a big budget in the heart of Summer and be successful which is honestly more than can be said about Duncan Jones. Now Matthew Vaughn, this guy is a stud, he hasn’t directed a bad movie in my book yet which is pretty stunning. Seriously from his first awesome film Layer Cake to Kingsman I’ve truly enjoyed all of his films. He can go hard R in Kingsman and Kick-Ass or he could make a solid actioner with the ability to world build in X-Men: First Class or a bit of romance and humor in Stardust. Seriously don’t knock the Stardust. Of anyone, he would probably be the most commercial, but he would also be able to knock out of the park the difficulties we discussed earlier. I’m going with Vaughn.

 

The Flash - Music to my ears - Alternate review

So I finally watched the musical episode of The Flash, and I do differ slightly from Jeff.  I mean, even though he's a professional tap dancer and singer, he was a bit harsh on this one.  Ha. Ok, so he's not really.  Where was I?  Oh right, my review of the ep.  Was it cheesy? Yes. But I kinda feel like it was meant to be.  I actually enjoyed it, cheesy and all.  But then again I love musicals and singing and dancing and Broadway.  I was a big fan of the tv show SMASH, and also GLEE.  And with some of these actors coming from GLEE, it was pretty cool to see them together again!  I personally loved all their voices, and the dancing number between Grant Gustin and Melissa Benoist was super cute.  I also liked the old timey dialogue and “accents.”  It was cheeky for sure, but a very cute episode for what it’s worth.   I think it was supposed to be a bit out there, because for a superhero show to suddenly pull a musical out, you kind of have to not take it too seriously.  Which I definitely did not.  I admit there really wasn’t a point to the show per se, and it didn’t even move the plot along, other than have a crossover with Supergirl, but I do love when they have crossover episodes.  The casts play well together and have some fun chemistry.  Was it amazing? No. Was it enjoyable and fun to watch?  For the most part, yes; in my opinion.  And of course that last scene where Barry sang to Iris and then proposed? Yes, it brought a tear to my eye.  I mean, c’mon, how cute and sweet was that!  - J. Solo

Flash -ep. 17 Duet - Musical thoughts

Ok, I know what you might be thinking. The Flash is on hiatus until April 25th and that musical episode was two weeks ago, so what gives? This is more about how this season is starting to run off the rails, and I worry that with failing ratings and inconsistent storylines it could happen faster than we might expect.  First and foremost, I’m a big fan of the Flash; Grant Gustin is fantastic, his supporting cast is funny and effusive, especially Cisco, as they bring a steady dose of character and heart to each episode. Unfortunately as Flash has progressed each season they have grown increasingly plotty, repetitious, predictable and at times overly schmaltzy. I get that it’s the CW and they have to, for whatever reason, contain varying degrees of smolder and teen drama for that phantom teen audience that ritualistically watches all of their shows, but this season they have taken it to new heights. The episode before the highly anticipated MUSICAL EPISODE featured Barry having to go get Kid Flash (Wally West) from his prison in the Speed Force, which he accomplishes after varying degrees of tests and the convenient arrival of the Flash from Earth 3, Jay Garrick, who willingly sacrifices himself to stay in order to free Wally. All of this was fine, great episode until the end when Barry decides to put his relationship with Iris on hold because he has to focus on…defeating Savitar? What? That whole conversation seemed really contrived and the whole reason Iris was mad at him from a previous episode was she learned that Barry only proposed to her because he was trying to change the future in which Savitar kills her, but he clearly still wants to marry her. So what is this all about? I’ve been confused by the manufactured anger from Iris on that one. Then I realized that this was just a giant set-up for the next episode 17, "Duet", a team-up with Supergirl who is, no surprise also having relationship issues. In my mind this was already off to a bad start. 

The show’s producer, Greg Berlanti, has been talking publicly about making this wonderful musical episode as far back as September of last year. Honestly though I had been hearing rumors about it even earlier than that. A good number of the cast have strong musical backgrounds especially Jesse L. Martin (Joe West), who has the most experience from his Broadway singing days on Rent and the Winter’s Tale (more recent), so I sort of get why this came up. But here’s the problem, I’ve heard more than one reference to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode “Once More With Feeling,” which is a tall order to live up to. That episode was written by Joss Whedon (Avengers, Buffy, Dr. Horrible) who not only wrote all of the songs which were then choreographed. The most important part of this accomplishment is that Whedon made a solid episode which addressed many of the over-arching plots of the season and put them out there for everyone to see but, you know, in song. He laid his cast’s hearts out on their sleeves and it worked. I will admit I don’t like musicals much but "Once More With Feeling" was a great episode that complimented the show by furthering the story and also brought a little light to a fairly dour and dark season 6. Flash’s episode "Duet" did none of those things.

For starters it is always a joy to watch Grant Gustin (Flash) and Melissa Benoit (Kara/Supergirl) ham it up on screen they clearly have a wonderful chemistry and I do want more of it, but I would prefer without song. So Music Meister (Darren Criss), a being from another universe, crashes the episode of Supergirl and traps her mind in a musical world forcing Kara’s boyfriend Mon-El and J’onn to bring her whammied body to Barry’s world for help.  Music Meister follows and then he does the same thing to Barry. MM then proceeds to leech their respective powers and go tramping about Central City. Um, ok? So Barry and Kara are now forced to sing their way through this musical world in order to get out of it. This is where I started to check out, somewhere between a pretty cool rendition of Moon River by Benoist and a mind-numbingly obnoxious song called Super-Friend. In the end it felt like a trivial push to get the heroes’ significant others to figure out it was them all along that could save them and they do, happy endings all around. Yay! Oh, and one more terrible song at the end of the episode when Barry proposes to Iris for real, again? I don’t know. This kind of shit drives me crazy it’s derivative and pointless and it sucks out any joy you can derive from it because it was so sloppy in its execution. So please Mr. Berlanti if you are listening if you want to make musicals, make them, but keep them away from my superheroes, unless you get Joss Whedon to write it. Then we’ll talk.        

Day in the life of an Outlander Fan - Outlander at ECCC - by J. Solo

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I had such an incredible experience at my first ever Comicon that I thought I should write a bit about it!  Let’s see how this goes.  I absolutely LOVE the tv show Outlander, and the two main stars, Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan were scheduled to be there.  So naturally, a badge was quickly purchased, as well as a flight to Seattle!  I met up with 7 amazing girlfriends, and the fun began.  On verra little sleep (how can we sleep when we were gonna see Sam and Cait the next morning!!), we arrived at the convention center at 7:15am. We mayyyy have gotten 4 hours of sleep the night before, and that’s being generous!  The doors were going to open around 10am, and we just HAD to get up close and personal at that panel.  We arrived so early we were super close to the front of the line.  It wasn’t so much a line as a….smush together and stand for 3.5 hours…  But heck, for them it was worth it, sore bodies and all.  They didn’t let us in until 10:30, so needless to say our legs were about to fall off.  When the time came to herd us thru, the organizers said…“no running”…. ummm…yeah good luck with that.  So we “walked super fast” and tried to get pretty close, but our squad of 8 kinda broke up in the shuffle and some of us grabbed seats in row 5, and the other girls a few rows behind.  Still great vantage points!  Cait came out first looking absolutely adorable.  And in that leather jacket she wears soooo well.  She looked beautiful in all black!  Then Sam came out IN A KILT!  Hallelujah!! It’s been so long, I was like…are my eyes deceiving me?? They were not.  And then he killed us with a wee kilt twirl.  Cait laughed!  They seriously make each other laugh, oh…about every 5 seconds. And they were both wearing black leather jackets.  The panel was great! They’re just SO giggly and adorable and happy together, you can’t help but feel the same!  I love how much Cait teases him. It’s the cutest thing ever to witness in person! They truly are just such bright lights and so engaging and caring and they love their fans so much.  It’s so evident when you watch them together.  There were tons of Q&A questions, and one of my girls asked one too!!  It was perfect.  Of course, after the fact, I now have tons of questions I’ll ask next time! The panel was about an hour or so, and after taking tons of pictures (most came out blurry….damn those low lights in the event room!), alas, the panel was over. 

We all had autograph tickets for Sam and/or Cait for that day after the panel but the room was already full so we were told we can go back for the 2nd shift around 4pm. So instead, we grabbed lunch and then headed to the hotel where they were doing the group photos! Omg, soon enough I would get my samcait sandwich!!! Kind of a dream! Long lines were completely fine bc it gave us time to catch our breath. Although, the nerves were definitely rampant! I mean, these two beautiful humans would be NEXT TO US in a matter of minutes. Never having a con experience before I didn’t know what to expect regarding the photos . People around us who had already taken their solo pic with Sam said it’s super quick and u barely have enough time to say hi! I wore my Unusual Lady tshirt (purchased for Cait's charity), and under it I had my MPC shirt (relating to Sam's charity and fitness and health program). Yes, my plan was to flash Sam the MPC shirt after Cait saw my Unusual Lady shirt. I also recently got into knitting so I knitted them both hats! Granted they’ll be in 80 degree temps in South Africa, but eventually they’ll be back in cold Scotland!  Hearing that the photos would be super fast, I had no clue how I would say hi (or ramble incoherently), give them their hats, flash Sam (uhh the MPC shirt, that is), AND take a pic w them in the minimal time allotted!  I was on line to take my pic, and after dropping off my jacket and bags on the nearby table, I heard NEXT! I saw them standing there and omg are they tall and gorgeous, and as I walked up to them I THINK I held out my arms and said Hiiiiii! I heard Cait scream and point to my shirt and smile! My unusual lady shirt!! I quickly pulled up my shirt to show Sam the MPC one underneath. And omg thank goodness I held down the shirt so there was no actual flashing .. and he pointed and smiled and said that’s great! I then mumbled…I knitted you both hats!  Mind u, as I walked up, someone literally snatched my bag with the hats from me and put them into a box with other gifts. So after I said I knitted u two hats, I remember Sam saying oh great! In the blink of an eye I was between the two of them, and both of their arms were around me, and mine around them. Hello out of body experience.

Oh wait…let’s back up slightly. So the day of the Con, I said to the girls..ok so I want to show Sam my MPC shirt after Cait sees the unusual lady shirt , and I said my fear is that I’ll forget to pull my shirt down for the pic. Well, lo and behold half of my shirt was up for the pic.   As I was flashing Sam, I heard the organizer go MOVE. Umm gee, thanks for the time. So I ran between them for the pic and I remember pulling my shirt down, but I guess not all the way! When the pic was printed I was like oh nooooo .  But heck, it gives the pic more of a pop of color, and to be honest, no one is even looking at me when those two stunning humans are in that pic!  Ok so back to being in between them… they both really squeeze tight and I remember that feeling so well! The photographer said.. READYYYY … and then there was the FLASH. Then he yelled NEXT !  I said thanks and ran off. Problem was I ran the wrong way bc I was so flustered and then I hear someone say..wrong way! And I ran back to the correct exit side like a chicken with my head cut off. Thankfully there was no video of this! I tried to wait for my friends bc I was the first to go, but we had to move it along. After we were all done, there was a lot of screaming and squee'ing!! It really felt so rushed and I wish they gave us more time, but omg it was still so amazing taking a pic w them! They really are so tall in person! And so gorgeous and so kind!! Sam’s leather jacket was so soft! And I remember putting my arm around Cait and it ended up on her arm! And Sam’s hand ended up on my side and his fingers were pressed down. *faints*.  So after we picked up our hard copy pics, we had a little time before the autographs. We composed ourselves. Ok, who am I kidding, there was zero composure as we all rehashed our picture experience with one another! We were freaking out!

 Next stop…the autographs! We lined up rather early but neither Sam nor Cait were in the room as of yet. It was so intimate! Didn’t realize the room would be so small and cozy. They each had their own table next to one another but they were somewhat on opposite ends. After about 10min or so, Sam came in!  So he walked in to all of us hootin and hollerin. I can’t believe I just used the phrase hootin & hollerin. Does anyone say that anymore? Anyway…. when he walked in he did his cute schoolboy smile and wave. Granted I was just next to him for a photo but he was so close again! Cait was gonna be another few minutes bc she was still taking individual photos with fans.  Because of this, they allowed the people who only had Sam autographs to move up in line while the others (I only had Cait bc Sam was already sold out) waited on Cait.  I actually thought that half of the room would start to move up in the line, but it was only maybe 10 people or so.  The others had both Sam and Cait, or just Cait.  After a few min Cait arrived to a raucous applause. Not to mention a banging on the table by Sam when she walked in, and his big smile at her as she sat down. Such an adorable goober! Ok where was I… so we were waiting for the line to move and all of a sudden the lights went out! Then u hear Cait go… ladies, this is not the way to get to Sam!   To which everyone laughed.

When the lights came back up, both Sam and Cait were leaning back in their chair looking at each other and smiling. They continue to kill us.  Sam was just sitting there alone, cause at the time no one was lined up at his table.  So he made a funny comment like, where is everyone? I was standing so close and decided to talk to him.  Cause I mean…why not, right?  So I said yeah what’s the deal.  I said something like I’ll keep you company.  So he looks at me and goes (with a hand waving gesture) come on over.  And then he winked.  And then I died.  I of course wasn’t allowed to hop over the rope (darn), but that wink and smile was everything.  A few minutes later Sam walked over to Cait, put his arm around her and scrunched down to her, whispered something, and then stood up and hand gestured that she talks too much, basically saying that’s why he has no one in his line. Haha!  He’s the cutest, and he can never stay away from her!  She laughed.  We all swooned. So I had brought with me the main promo card picture of Jamie and Claire from S1. I had the creator of the show sign it while ago and thought it would be great for Cait to sign it too. I was so sad I wasn’t able to buy Sam’s autograph ticket bc he was sold out. Cait is seriously so stunning. She just radiates joy. She is so genuine and so warm and friendly. You could truly tell she was having such a great time! She needs to go to cons more often! She’s just so real,  you can’t help but smile in her presence. I was so thrilled to see how much love she was getting at this con. I mean…we all love Sam, that goes without saying! But Cait never attends these events, so to see all the attention and admiration from the fans, it was really a sight to behold.  Both she and Sam are legit mesmerizing in person! They are just so beautiful, with such beautiful hearts.

Sorry, got distracted there for a minute…ok, so it was finally time to walk up to Cait. I had my season 1 promo pic for her to sign, as well as a gorgeous pic of Cait that a couple of my friends & I had printed out to surprise one of our girls who couldn’t be here.  You really do lose all sense of speech when looking right at her!  She signed both pictures and then i rambled.  Earlier on, when I took my pic with her and Sam, I had brought them hats that I knitted, but someone snagged them from me so fast and put them into a box, so I asked Cait about it! *burrows head in sand*.   I was like…hi!  Question for you!  So when we took our pic, someone took these hats I had knitted for you and Sam, and I was was wondering if you’ll get them?  So she goes, oh yes, they put everything in a big box for us and we’ll definitely get it!  She thanked me!  Then she looked at my unusual lady shirt and said, with a big smile, thank you so much for supporting.  I said oh of course, I’m so happy to.  It’s such a great charity and you do amazing work.  She thanked me again, and I floated away.  So, as I mentioned earlier, I didn’t have a Sam autograph, but after leaving Cait’s table you end up walking right past Sam to head out of the room.  No one was in front of him at the time, so I verrrrry slowly walked by, while holding my picture that Cait just signed.  His handler (not sure if that’s the correct name) holds out his hand (to take my autograph ticket), but I said…I don’t have one *sad face*, he was sold out.  He felt so bad that he handed me (also with a sad face), one of Sam’s headshots that was sitting there, unsigned.  So I said thank you and then Sam looked up at me.  He also held his hand out for my pictures, and I said….you were sold out, so you won’t be able to sign my picture.  I still had my sad face on, which was valid! He looked sad too and said oh noooo.  He then put out his hand and goes..I’ll sign it!  Then he takes the picture from me. His handler lady says, did u buy an autograph? I was lost in the moment & I didn’t say anything, so she gives Sam a dirty look, he looks at her, continues to sign and goes…I’ll pay for this one.  DEATH. DEAD. GONE.  He’s the sweetest person in the world!! I cannot believe he did that!  Then I proceeded to say thank you and blurted out…I’M A PEAKER TOO! I DID A 5K LAST WEEKEND.  Yes, I blurted! He goes oh that’s great! So good, way to do it. 

Then I left….walked into the hallway, and screamed with my girl Katie, because she was standing there next to me basically the entire time while waiting to have him sign her picture.  So yeah…that moment was kind of everything. Sam and Cait are just incredibly generous and genuine. Such good people. The OL fans at this con were so respectful and gracious and I enjoyed meeting other twitter and tumblr fans, as well!  It was just the thrill of a lifetime seeing Sam and Cait together at the con.  And what made it even better was getting to spend it with 7 of the best girlfriends, and going thru this experience together. Fingers crossed they go back again next year, because we’re all currently saving up money for ECCC2018 :).  It was such a whirlwind we didn't get a chance to walk around the Con too much to see what else was happening, but there was lots of cosplay, which was cool to see! Maybe next time we'll do some more exploring and check out the main floor.  Such an amazing first experience, and hope to attend more in the future!  Ok well, that’s about all!  Thanks for reading my ramblings!  - J. Solo

Politics over Feminism: Jessica Jones Season 2

I loved the first season of "Jessica Jones" and I didn't know if it was written by all women. While the fact that it was (or wasn't) is important, it is, in my view, more powerful and meaningful not to frame the season through that fact. By simply presenting the superb product of an all-women directorial team, that team can change the standards of what is considered normal business practice in an authentic way.

That's why, while on the surface a good thing, the newly announced women-centered production for the second season of "Jessica Jones" feels more like a gimmick than substantive change to me. It is imperative in comics, Hollywood, and gaming culture that women have more of a voice. Hiring more women in all fields of production is not only the right thing to do, but allows for a cultural shift to a POV richer and truer than the current, predominantly male perspective. The gimmick part for me in this is the adoption of a "tell" rather than "show" maneuver. The producers of "Jessica Jones" are putting more emphasis on this product being a political act rather than business as usual and letting the work speak for itself.

Will we see a Dr. Strange Villain on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D?

It looks like Agent's of S.H.I.E.L.D. is putting the Inhumans on the backburner for a bit and getting into the mystical arts for the fourth season of the show. So far, after three episodes we've been treated to Robbie Reyes' (Gabriel Luna) Ghost Rider who, I think everyone can agree, has restored the faith in the Spirit of Vengeance after Nicholas Cage. And now it seems they are taking it a step further and delving into Dr. Strange territory by introducing an ancient book of magic called the Darkhold. This book according to the comics is also called the Book of Sins written over a billion years ago by what they call an Elder God named Chthon. Apparently the book is so powerful it took the combined magic of Merlin and St. Brendan to contain it. The Book is supposed to channel the influence of Cthon himself. It is a conduit of black magic that gives the user very dark dimensional powers. Clearly writer Gerry Conway and artist Mike Ploog were sowing their Lovecraft oats with this character. Anyway this book has crossed over to many other Marvel characters including Red Sonja, Conan, Mordred and King Arthur, Blade the Marvel Zombies, Dr. Doom, Dracula and of course Dr. Strange, who according to the good book of Marvel, obtained the Darkhold at a certain point as part of his massive library. I feel fairly confident that we won't actually see Cumberbatch show up on the show as Strange but the book may come into his possession in the movie as a tie in from the show. 

The real question is will we see some Dr. Strange villains on the show this year? Robbie Reyes has already alluded a few times to the demon that he sold his soul to. He didn't mention a name but it has to be Mephisto who has tangled with Strange from time to time. Frankly it would be awesome to see some Mindless Ones come about beacause of misuse of the book which would tie in nicely to Dormammu. But even I can acknowledge that would be an insane tie-in given that Dormammu is Dr. Strange's big bad. But I really have enjoyed this turn to the dark mystical side and I've seen a vast improvement in the script and tone of the show since moving it to the 10 pm slot on Tuesday. So if you haven't started watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. you can catch up on the past 3 seasons Netflix and the current 4th season on ABC.  

Are Super Hero Movies/TV DOA?

This is a question that has come up frequently over the last few years as the Super Hero genre has grown considerably from one or two a year, if you were lucky, to an amazing six this year. Complaints about the strength and fortitude of this genre has been scrutinized as a passing fad like the Western or too dumb and silly for the norms because they wear costumes and do magic. From big time respected Hollywood directors like Steven Spielberg to the show runner of Gotham, Bruno Heller on Fox. This criticism has not abated. My question is why all the hate? Like most things I think that the peak of Super Hero movies might have met it's zenith this year but it doesn't mean that studios are going to slow down or stop altogether any time soon. Why should they even at their worst the mainstream blockbusters have always found a way to make comfortably over 100 million dollars at the least and at most over a billion dollars or more world wide. Would you stop making these types of movies with that kind of money? 

I get it, there are some people who love superheroes and others who do not but what I want to focus on, the question people keep asking, are Comic Book movies ruining the industry? The answer to this question is simple, no. In fact it has streamlined the movie industry in a way that it will never be the same again whether you love these movies or not. Studios from Sony, Warner Brothers, Paramount, Disney, Universal and even some of the mid-majors like Lionsgate are all interested in franchises with their own universe so they can create more movies, video games, tv shows and the list goes on and on. They started this process with mostly just comic book properties, Marvel/Disney doing it the best and now every studio is trying to do this at some level or another and now it's not just comic book characters it's with everything. So in a sense the comic book industry has left a permanent mark on film whether you love them or not. You are always going to have bad movies whether it be an unnecessary sequel, a shitty remake, a terrible book/comic/game adaptation. Personally I would love it if all the studios got back to the art of making movies for profit rather than only looking at profit for movies. There is a distinction. 

Also just a note in closing to Bruno Heller, it's your right to call Super Heroes silly and stupid but you look like a horses ass when you say these things while working on a Super Hero show. Gotham, the show you created, is dumb and silly and doesn't feel remotely realistic and I stopped watching it mostly because you are teasing Batman on a Batman show without actually showing Batman and that just doesn't work for me. No matter how many of his villains origins you want to show. The reason comic book movies and TV work is they are faithful in spirit to their original design. It doesn't have to be paint by numbers but it has to make sense. It's that simple. 

Casting Call: The Boys

It looks like Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Neal Moritz are set to tackle the comic adaptation of the Boys for Cinemax sometime over the next few years. I assume they are deep into the scripting stage of the show which gives us a chance to break down our top choices for the 5 leads a villain and a supporting cast member for good measure. I guess they are feeling confident after team Rogen successfully adapted the first season of Preacher for AMC. 

The Boys was written by Garth Ennis (Preacher) and drawn by Darick Robertson (Space Beaver) it ran for 72 issues between 2008 - 2012 it started at Wildstorm and switched over to Dynamite comics. The Boys is a very adult, subversive satire of the Super Hero genre. It follows the tough Brit Butcher and his team of nobodies to take down the well protected Super Hero class that is beholden to a corporate system that markets and cashes in on their fame while cleaning up their very deadly mistakes. No Superhero that you have read or heard of between Marvel and DC are spared in this series. They don't have the same names but you know exactly who Ennis is parodying.  He is not a fan of the capes and this series is proof of that. It's fun it's dark and it's not at all ready for prime time which makes perfect sense that it will now be on Cinemax.

BUTCHER is the leader of the team, he's tough, he's ruthless and he really hates super heroes. Whoever Rogen and Goldberg chooses has a very difficult job ahead he needs to have a strong presence but he also shouldn't overshadow the other team members too much. So for starters this guy needs to be British or at least can pull off street level Cockney otherwise this doesn't work at all. A Tom Hardy or an Idris Elba would kill this role in a movie but you aren't going to get them for Cinemax so we have to dig a little bit deeper. Ray Stevenson would also crush this role as he brought strong turns to his roles in Rome as Titus Pullo and he's played a Garth Ennis favorite already, the Punisher in Punisher: War Zone, but he may be a bit old to play Butcher now. Now I'm going to start with one that may get some push back but you need to really think about this choice first. Nickolaj Coster-Waldau, Jamie Lannister from Game of ThronesYes I know he is already on a show he is a blonde pretty boy, but darken his hair and allow him to grit it out he could be a very good and formidable Butcher. He certainly has the chops and he can easily play a character that does deeply terrible things and still have the audience eating out of his hand which a good Butcher would need. Although a better choice may be another Game of Thrones alum Rory McCann who played the Hound. This guy certainly has the look and the physical build right out of the gate to be Butcher and he is equally as good as a character who does terrible things but the audience loves him anyway. I think in the end he may be the best choice. 

WEE HUGHIE is the  soul of the Boys and he's Simon Pegg, I mean seriously that's who he was modeled after and who he kind of acts like so it would be important for team Rogen to get him on board as the character. Hughie is innocent and joins the Boys after a tragedy when a Flash like Superhero kills his girlfriend, literally traumatizing him. 

I can't fathom it would be that hard for Pegg unless his schedule doesn't work out. If that is the case there are a few others that might be able to play the character behind him. Hughie isn't a fighter so he shouldn't be imposing and he's also the comic relief. Which in my mind leaves someone interesting Daniel Radcliffe. Yes Harry Potter, the guy can actually act and he is surprisingly funny and I think he could bring something interesting to the role. I still think that Simon Pegg will ultimately do it but if he doesn't Radcliffe would work in a pinch.

THE FRENCHMAN is certifiable, he is the Murdock to this A-Team. He also may not actually be French but he is extremely violent and unpredictable. This one is going to be difficult, this is the time for a breakout star probably someone unknown.

Vincent Cassel could do this role in his sleep but he may be a bit old for it although he looked very spry for the recent Jason Bourne film. He's 49 which is skirting it just a bit I think I'm going to go with Jean Dujardin he was the star of the silent film the Artist and brought something truly interesting to the screen. He seems to be able to bring a wide spectrum to the table not to mention this guy was a stand up comic in Paris so he knows how to be funny and I think he could bring something fresh to the role. It may be tough getting him out of Paris but it's worth a shot.

MOTHER'S MILK is one of the first members of the Boys and friend of Butcher's. He's tough but he's got a good heart, a pure soul, hence the name. He is raising his daughter on his own away from an unfit mother. Initially he has reservations about re-joining the Boys but eventually comes back in. He is a pretty big guy very imposing, meticulous, but has a dry sense of humor.

There are a couple people that could pull off this character maybe Boris Kodjoe, he's not a bad actor he could pull off the look but is he imposing enough? I always think of Mother's Milk as a gentle giant. There is also Common who could be interesting or even Mike Colter who is killing it as Luke Cage right now. No, I think someone who can be apart of the absurdity that is the Boys while keeping his smarts and looking damn imposing is Terry Crews. He's one of the best parts of Brooklyn 99  and the Expendables series he can play silly he can play serious and he is almost always a lot of fun. I think he could bring a lot to the role.

 

THE FEMALE is an interesting one, she is mute but obviously she can be expressive in other ways. She is also incredibly violent and extremely gifted fighter. She has a lot of emotional issues as her violence is triggered by touch due to a past trauma. The only one she seems to have a connection with is the Frenchman and with Butcher's dog Terror. 

Rinko Kikuchi has played her part in a few fanboy-centric films like Pacific Rim and 47 Ronin.  Bingbing Fan has a unique look and could probably take the role somewhere she also has shown up in a few comic book movies as Blink in X-Men Days of Future Past and she showed up as a doctor in the Chinese version of Iron Man 3. Honestly though the best choice here who can be expressive, playful, dangerous and clearly posesses the fighting ability is Rila Fukushima. She played kick ass warrior Yukio in the Wolverine. She originated the role of Tatsu/Katana on Arrow which she nailed, and frankly it's a shame she didn't get more airtime. She's got the perfect screen presence for the Female and she would be damn good on this bloody violent TV show on Cinemax.

There are a few of the supers we can take a look at that make sense as a protagonist but I'm going solely with HOMELANDER. This guy is the leader of the 7, a group of Super Heroes with a pristine public record but deeply troubled real life. Homelander is a real dick he is a cross between Superman and Captain America and publicly he is seen as morally righteous. Behind the scenes however he's a rapist scumbag who thinks he's untouchable. 

So whoever plays this guy has to look like your typical superhero, square jaw nice face, built like a tank. He also has to be able to play a calm but terrifying tyrant, almost as an alter ego. An interesting choice could be Brandon Routh. He is clearly no stranger to superheroes as he's played Superman on the big screen and Ray Palmer's the Atom on Arrow. He's clearly got the physicality and the ability to play to the appearance of a white hat super hero. What makes him interesting is his psycho turn in Chuck and Scott Pilgrim vs the World. Honestly the more I type the more I like this choice as he can truly represent the ascetic that Garth Ennis is going for with the character. 

I thought I would end it with another Superhero, but one who has a different view from Homlander, ANNIE JANUARY AKA STARLIGHT. She's innocent and very naive she's been under the impression that the heroes of the 7 along with all of the prime superheroes are righteous and moral and share her conservative religious values. She learns rather quickly that none of that is the case. Annie can fly and project a blinding light. Her character may be the toughest to cast yet as she probably has the most growth of any of the characters in the books. She starts out as a wide-eyed young woman looking to do good and as her morals are constantly challenged, as she is exposed to overt misogyny and sexism she becomes a very strong capable character, albeit a bit more cynical. She also has an on again off again relationship with Hughie.

Now finding the right actress will be difficult, .but I assume it'll be only 10 or 13 episodes a season so it should be doable for some of Hollywood's top actors and actresses.  Keeping that in mind I have a couple of women that might fit the bill nicely. Emmy Rossum can play both sweet and innocent and balls out tough given her role on Showtimes Shameless. There is also Alexandra Daddario who has played a super heroine in the Percy Jackson movies and has also worked on the seedy darker side in the first season of True Detective on HBO. In the end I want someone who could be an every woman but has the ability to grow into her superhero role and eventually embrace her darker urges. Ultimately as the story goes she evolves through this and comes out clean on the other side, I'm thinking of Emily VanCamp. She has played hero on the big screen as Sharon Carter in the Captain America movies and she played up her dark manipulative and rather destructive side on the show Revenge for four seasons. It also helps that she actually looks the closest to Annie of any actress on my list. 

So these are my picks, if you are reading Seth Rogen, I hope that helps you pick the best cast available. I have to admit I don't envy you this is going to be a much harder production to pull off than Preacher and it is far sillier, raunchier and downright disturbing and that is if you do it right.