If I want to be honest with all of you, which I do, the fact is that comic book characters don’t change all that much. That’s a gross overgeneralization, so let me backtrack a little: comics don’t change quickly. Sure, between 2010-2011 Spider-Man had this whole “no one dies” thing that strongly affected the way he behaved in situations for comics to come, but it took like three issues. We’re just past the half-dozen mark with this comic, and Kamala’s already learning things that are going to stick with her for years [yeah, this title's not going anywhere] to come.
When we last left our plucky New Jerseyite she was facing off against the mother [or father] of all alligators alongside a short, hairy Canadian who also happens to have metal blades sticking out from his hands. Whereas the last issue revolved pretty heavily around her gushing over one of her idols, this one focuses more on the dichotomy between the two [newly-powered Inhuman and world-weary mutant] and what they can learn from one another.
To be more accurate, what Kamala Khan can learn from James “Logan” Howlett. Though it’s not like she doesn’t help him out at all.
Now I could give you all a blow-by-blow of what they do in these twenty-some pages [fight a giant crocodilian beast, obviously], but I think what’s far more important is the near encyclopedia of knowledge that Wolverine imparts. G. Willow Wilson can write teenage girls, but she tackles the voice of Everyone’s Favourite Hirsute Eviscerator™ just as well. Continue reading
Posted in art, comics, review, writing, Youth
Tagged #7, adorable, Adrian Alphona, art, change, character, comics, costume, cute, diversity, G. Willow Wilson, Hurt, Ian Herring, immigrant literature, Inhuman, Jake Wyatt, James "Logan" Howlett, Jersey City, Joe Caramagna, Kamala Khan, learning, lesson, Lockjaw, Marvel, minority, Mosque, Ms. Marvel, Muslim, pain, Pakistani, review, Sana Amanat, Teaching, teenager, the Inventor, Thomas Edison, Wolverine, writing
I think it only fair, given the current situation in the Gaza Strip, to shout-out the West’s general view of the Middle East today as having honorary Shame Day status [you can check out yesterday's post for what that's all about]. Cue my flawless segue into today’s actual topic, which is in regards to the West’s general view of the historical Middle East.
This retreads some pretty well-worn ground for me, because it’s about Hollywood and race. I’ve spotlit problems with the “one size fits all” approach to casting minorities, heavily criticized Hollywood’s attempts to whitewash their remakes of groundbreaking animated films, and outright condemned producers who cite the inevitable change in the industry while stolidly refusing to have any part of it. The difference here is that this time it’s heavily tied into Western Christianity.
It’s been almost 60 years since The Ten Commandments, and I want to say we’ve come a very long way since then. Again note that that’s something I want to say. To be truly and completely honest there is almost nothing I want more than to be able to write to you all and tell you that in six decades we are so, so far from the time when Charles Heston and Anne Baxter were cast as Moses and Nefertiti, respectively. You know what they say, though, you can’t always get what you want. Continue reading
Posted in Christianity, film, morality, race, Shame Day
Tagged Anne Baxter, Ari Handel, Bible, casting, Charles Heston, Christian Bale, Christianity, diversity, Egypt, Egyptian, everyman, Joel Edgerton, middle-east, minorities, Moses, race, racism, Ramses, responsibility, Ridley Scott, shame day, Sigourney Weaver, Sphinx, The Ten Commandments, white, whitewashing
Not only is this the first full issue of no holds barred genuine superhero-ing as we all expect it, it’s also the first team-up the all-new Ms. Marvel has ever had and the first installment sans series regular artist Adrian Alphona. And man, is it good.
That’s not to deride the man’s work, and really I promise to stop bringing this up, but Jake Wyatt can draw himself some superhero goings-on. He’s on board for #6 and #7 before heading back to work on his creator-owned Necropolis. I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts.
In short, this issue is all about Kamala Khan embracing her crimefighting
identity in full as well as rubbing shoulders with the world’s most famous fictional Canadian [sorry, Dudley Do-Right]. On closer inspection, though, there are so many facets of her character that allows hers to be a unique story unlike anyone else’s. Continue reading
Posted in art, comics, Islam, religion, review, writing, Youth
Tagged 6, adorable, Adrian Alphona, art, cockatiel, comics, costume, cute, diversity, G. Willow Wilson, Ian Herring, immigrant literature, Islam, Islamic Masjid of Jersey City, Jake Wyatt, Joe Caramagna, Kamala Khan, Marvel, minority, Mosque, Ms. Marvel, Muslim, Pakistani, Quran, review, Sana Amanat, Saturday youth lecture, Sheikh Abdullah, support, teenager, the Inventor, Thomas Edison, Wolverine, writing
This is it, the final installment of this book’s first five-part story arc, and it does not disappoint. After some mild throwdowns in the last issue [a review I missed due to being abroad, and that I will get to] this cover opens up to unabashed in-your-face superheroics, and doesn’t stop there.
We begin smack dab in the middle of a botched rescue attempt, and while the events do finally lead to her donning her costume it’s her confidence that’s the true focus. Issue #4 had her finally adopting the moniker of Ms. Marvel, and while smashing robots is a pretty great ego boost being shot a second time appears to drain that tout suite. Her decision to run away begins with the realization that she is “losing this fight,” and culminates in words we can all relate to:
“I can feel the failure coming on– that awful syrupy sweet feeling you get in your stomach when you’ve really screwed up.”
Posted in comics, family, Islam, race, Youth
Tagged 5, Adrian Alphona, art, comics, costume, diversity, emotions, family, father, G. Willow Wilson, GM-O's, Ian Herring, immigrant literature, Islam, Jake Wyatt, Joe Caramagna, Kamala Khan, Marvel, minority, Mosque, Ms. Marvel, Muslim, Pakistani, review, Sana Amanat, Sheikh Abdullah, support, teenager, THE BIRDMAN COMETH, the Inventor, Vick, villain, visual gag, writing
It happened in an instant.
One moment film producer Avi Arad was sleeping peacefully in his bed, the second a chilling sensation ran the course of his entire body, forcing his eyes open. He could feel it in his gut, the dreadful realization that this was it. There was no going back to the way things were before.
Standing up, he wearily made his way over to the bedroom window. He looked out upon a world that continued to doze, blissfully unaware. They had no idea what had just taken place, how everything had changed.
Inwardly he took some small solace in the fact that he had expected this. Those who can foresee what is to come, even if powerless to stop it, can revel in making the choices that will one day become unavailable to them.
Everything was different now, and he knew that. This was a brand new world, one he had no part in creating.
Posted in film, morality, race
Tagged Amazing Spider-Man 2, Avi Arad, black, cinematic universe, diversity, inevitable, Latino, Marvel, Matt Tolmach, Miles Morales, race, Spider-Man, Susana Polo, The Mary Sue, Ultimate Spider-Man, white
This is the second cover in a row to show Kamala Khan decked out in her superhero getup, and it’s nothing like the silhouette that was #2. This is Ms. Marvel bold and heroic, an image fully supporting my assertion that this issue we’d see her don her crimefighting costume.
Why do you make a liar out of me, G. Willow Wilson et al.?
So no, we do not in fact get to see Kamala don the beautiful McKelvie-designed outfit, but we do get yet another rock solid issue. At this point I honestly don’t see this falling flat on its face any time soon [much like the little boy running on the 15th comic page]. It’s storytelling that’s in absolutely no rush, and it’s hard to complain when the view is so gorgeous. Continue reading
Posted in comics, Islam, religion, review
Tagged 3, Aamir, Adrian Alphona, art, Bruno, comics, costume, diversity, G. Willow Wilson, hypocrisy, Ian Herring, immigrant literature, Islam, Islamic Masjid of Jersey City, Joe Caramagna, Kamala Khan, Marvel, minority, Mosque, Ms. Marvel, Muslim, Pakistani, Quran, review, Sana Amanat, Saturday youth lecture, Sheikh Abdullah, support, teenager, the Inventor, Vick, villain, visual gag, writing
As I was walking around doing errands yesterday I began to muse on one of my favourite topics: diversity in media. While this could’ve been a very pleasant stroll on an afternoon that felt much more like spring than winter, my mind felt the need to challenge itself with a question I’m sure often leaves the lips of those who are sick of “having diversity crammed down their throats”: Why is the US held responsible for all of this? Continue reading
Posted in America, comics, feminism, film, lgbt, media, race, television, writing
Tagged America, Andrew Wheeler, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, cisgendered, Comics Alliance, diversity, film, media, race, Renee/Harvey Index, representation, responsibility, straight, television, TV, White men