Graphic Novelty News – August 10th 2016

2 thoughts on “Graphic Novelty News – August 10th 2016”

  1. Hi, ladies and gents! This is my first time listening, and you can think Chris & Phil from the Misdirected Mark podcast for turning me your way.

    One point I wanted to make is with regards to John McTiernan. While I can’t agree with just about anything he said, I do have to admit that his words aren’t entirely inconsistent with his past actions. Predator specifically is a bit of a takedown of American machismo and colonialism. The early parts do indeed showcase the stars’ rippling biceps, but the rest of the movie demonstrates how ineffectual they are against the alien hunter. Also, CIA Agent Dillon (Carl Weathers) is revealed to be a bit duplicitous, having used the ruse of a rescue mission to get Dutch’s team to help him recover stolen intelligence. The alien itself is kind of like the ultimate comeuppance to the interloping Americans, giving them a bit of a taste of their own medicine (albeit a generation or two removed).

    That said, there’s denying that Predator or any of his other films that followed were corporate product, nor can I argue that Die Hard doesn’t embody some of that very things he decries about superhero films. (I’ve read very convincing arguments that Die Hard is pretty much a power fantasy about a man reclaiming his traditional masculinity.)

    On the subject of Rocketeers—as the sequel/reboot is to be called—I agree that there does seem to be a bit of a condescending “merit badge” attitude that some creators take toward diversity. At the same time, I’m also stricken by the fact that casting a young African-American woman in a superhero movie is so rare that people immediately draw comparisons between Rocketeers and the new Iron Man story. If Tony Stark and Cliff Secord’s respective successors had both been young white men, I have a suspicion we wouldn’t be hearing much in the way of comparison. We’re still at a point in time where young, black female heroes are treated as a novelty, and I’m not really okay with that. So I’m okay with putting up with the “merit badge” attitude if it eventually means no one bats an eye when characters in media become more diverse.

    BTW, everything I’ve read says the new Rocketeer will be set six years after the original, which puts it in 1944. I think this is especially important given the fact that some of the naysayers have mentioned that it’s historically inaccurate to have a young black woman as a mechanic in a period film. On the contrary, this was the height of World War II, so women would have been filling in on all kinds of jobs that traditionally would have been held by men. So there.

    1. Thanks for the commentary! Personally I, and I think the rest of the crew too, totally agree with you. It’s been a while since I’ve seen any of the Predator movies and I’m kind of ashamed to admit I’ve never seen more than a few clips from the first Die Hard movie. I’ll have to watch those now.

      I totally agree on having these merit badge moments until no one bats an eye. I know Joss Whedon has addressed this with his creation of strong female characters (though I’ll say that’s even debatable). Paraphrasing, when an excessive amount of interviewers asked him why he creates strong female characters, on the next one he answered something along the lines of, “because you all keep asking that question.” We need to be broken out of a habit, and the best way to break a habit is repetition.

      Also, since you’re coming from the RPG world (which admittedly is my stronger love than comics), check out my personal blog. I’ve been horrible about updating, but once and a while I’m inspired. Maybe I’ll start talking about the adventures and DMing book I’m writing. Check it out at http://www.elfword.com/blog.

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