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Around the Tubes

We’re on our way to the airport for SDCC, so follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube to get all sorts of updates and interviews live from the show!

While you wait for that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

The Beat – Looking back at Martin Landau’s cartooning career – Some really cool history.

The Comichron – June 2017 comics estimates: Average comic offered tops $4 for first time; our 250th consecutive monthly report! – For those that enjoy the horse race.

CBR – Warner Bros. Schedules Two Additional DC Films for 2020 – Interesting….

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Comic Attack – Spider-Men II #1

But Tell Me More About This Doctor Poison

In the past year I’ve stumbled into a social circle that is primarily comprised of ferocious, thoughtful, hilarious females. A handful of these very ladies accompanied me to see Wonder Woman and shared their thoughts with me afterwards. I’d like to thank Athena, Pauline, Sonja, Angela, and Elena for contributing to this review.

Shortly after its release, GP’s Elana Levin hosted an episode of Graphic Policy Radio devoted to the film with a focus on race and sex, in which she stated, “I really liked the movie, but not unreservedly” and I can’t put it any better myself. Despite an outpouring of support from women on the Internet, friends and strangers alike, loving it with hesitation seemed to be the consensus amongst my little tribe. We had a hell of a time and there was a lot to celebrate, but the chinks in the armor didn’t go unnoticed.

Let me quickly disclaim that my friends and I are all limited in our exposure to Wonder Woman comics. We each know her primarily as a beloved pop culture icon, and have vague memories of the show. I would be hard-pressed to tell you I can remember anything about it beyond its spectacular theme song. But we’re also feminists, critical thinkers, and various flavors of badass; lawyer, veterinarian, fire dancer, pole dancer, performance artist, personal caregiver, writer, and cartoonist are all things that describe our combined professions and hobbies. Wonder Woman is a pop culture icon many women hold dear, readers of the comic or not.

We were all enamoured by the opening scenes on the island of Themyscira. Robin Wright killed it as Diana’s aunt, Amazonian warrior Antiope (aka Princess Fuckin’ Buttercup). Watching a passionate young Diana grow into an ass-kicking grown woman was powerful and refreshing. Unfortunately, we were all let down by how quickly Steve Trevor showed up and how fast Diana was to trust him. I do give the writers props, however, for keeping him out of mansplaining territory throughout the course of the film, despite the born sexy yesterday-ness of their relationship. (H/T to Athena, for introducing me to the trope!) Despite being a man with a lot to explain to her, he consistently managed to avoid condescension even when exasperated. The biggest problem with Steve wasn’t so much the character himself, but the role he played in motivating Diana to find her true powers. For a flick about feminine strength, the amount of influence given to a hetero-normative fling was a bitter disappointment.

But the biggest disservice, in my opinion, was the glossing-over of Isabel Maru, aka Doctor Poison. Again, I’m naive to what her actual background and development is in the comics universe, but from what I saw in the movie she’s someone all-too-relatable; an intelligent, capable woman whose personal traumas have left her wanting to burn the world. Tell me more women in any given audience won’t find that more relatable than Diana’s physical prowess and principle-fueled optimism. There was a shared disappointment amongst my friends and me regarding the good doctor’s position as a subordinate to General Ludendorff. While yes, it makes sense for a movie about fighting the patriarchy to pit Wonder Woman against a man, the stakes would have felt higher to me if Diana were up against a woman whose pain and anger matched the strength of Diana’s happiness and hope. It’s an internal struggle too many women carry, and playing it out as Diana vs. Maru would have been more meaningful than Diana vs. any man. And while we all smirked when Maru rebuffed an undercover Steve Trevor for shifting his attention away from her as soon as Diana entered the room, I don’t think any of us cared much for the overall implication that “beautiful = good, deformed = evil,” though it was suggested to me that this is a common device for DC. (And even if it is, it doesn’t make it any more forgivable.)

Again, there were a lot of good things happening throughout, and the impact the film has had on women has been largely positive; I don’t want to detract from that. I just hope that future installments continue to raise the bar to tell a compelling story about a powerful woman (or better yet, powerful women) without having to center around a romantic interest or minimize compelling adversaries.

“Batman and Harley Quinn” set for 8/14/17 one-night nationwide Fathom Events screening

Following successful big screen presentations of Batman: The Killing Joke and Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders in 2016, Warner Bros. Studios, DC Entertainment and Fathom Events are having a special, one-night cinema event for the latest DC Universe Original Movie, Batman and Harley Quinn, on August 14, 2017 in movie theaters nationwide.

One night prior to the Digital release and 15 days in advance of its arrival on Blu-ray™ and DVD, Batman and Harley Quinn will screen Monday, August 14 at 7:30 p.m. local time. In addition to seeing the film, audiences at the one-night screening will be the first to experience an exclusive featurette spotlighting the film’s star character, Harley Quinn.

Tickets for Batman and Harley Quinn can be purchased beginning Friday, June 30, 2017 online or at participating theater box offices. Fans throughout the U.S. will be able to enjoy the event in select movie theaters through Fathom’s Digital Broadcast Network (DBN). A complete list of theater locations will be available June 30 on the Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).

Batman and Harley Quinn finds Poison Ivy and Jason Woodrue (a.k.a. The Floronic Man) embarking on an ecological quest to save the planet – and, unfortunately, eliminate most of humankind along the way. To save humanity, Batman and Nightwing are forced to enlist Harley Quinn to catch Poison Ivy, Harley’s BFF and frequent partner-in-crime. But Batman’s patience is put to the test by the unpredictable and untrustworthy Harley during the twists and turns the reluctant companions face during their bumpy road trip. The result is a thrill ride of action, adventure and comedy no Batman fan has seen before.

The Wonder Woman Movie: Sex, Race and Walking Away From Explosions Like a Badass. Listen on Demand.

On demand: iTunes ¦ Sound Cloud ¦ Stitcher ¦ BlogTalkRadio ¦ Listed on podcastdirectory.com

The Wonder Woman movie smashed expectations to become a huge hit. Graphic Policy discusses the blockbuster including it’s portrayal of sexuality, race, world history and badass swords.

Our guests:

Keidra Chaney is the co-founder and publisher of The Learned Fangirl a website that amplifies marginalized voices in media criticism and fandom scholarship. Keidra is currently a strategist for the Culture Lab’s Cultural Pulse Project, which connects organizers and progressive changemakers with online pop culture communities. She’s been published in Chicago Sun-Times, Time Out Chicago, Bitch Magazine Keidra has had a varied career in independent publishing, digital strategy and social media community management for non-profit organizations.

Desiree Rodriguez is a pop culture critic who has written for Women Write About Comics, The Nerds of Color, is the co-host for the DC TV Classics podcast, and editorial assistant for Lion Forge’s Catalyst Prime initiative.

The Wonder Woman Movie: Sex, Race & Walking Away From Explosions Like a Badass LIVE this Monday

The Wonder Woman movie smashed expectations to become a huge hit. Graphic Policy Radio discusses the blockbuster including it’s portrayal of sexuality, race, world history and badass swords.

Listen in to the show when it airs LIVE this Monday at 10pm ET.

Our guests:

Keidra Chaney is the co-founder and publisher of The Learned Fangirl a website that amplifies marginalized voices in media criticism and fandom scholarship. Keidra is currently a strategist for the Culture Lab’s Cultural Pulse Project, which connects organizers and progressive changemakers with online pop culture communities. She’s been published in Chicago Sun-Times, Time Out Chicago, Bitch Magazine Keidra has had a varied career in independent publishing, digital strategy and social media community management for non-profit organizations.

Desiree Rodriguez is a pop culture critic who has written for Women Write About Comics, The Nerds of Color, is the co-host for the DC TV Classics podcast, and editorial assistant for Lion Forge’s Catalyst Prime initiative.

Tweet us your thoughts to @graphicpolicy and listen in LIVE.

The Flash: The Complete Third Season speeding to Blu-ray & DVD on September 5, 2017

Just in time for the fourth season premiere of the #1 show on The CW, catch the fastest man alive as he zigzags through the action-packed release of The Flash: The Complete Third Season from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Blu-ray and DVD on September 5, 2017. Fans will be able to revisit all 23 electrifying episodes from the third season, including the DC-crossover episode, plus over two hours of extra content, including behind-the-scenes featurettes on the “Invasion!” cross over episode and the “Duets” musical episode, a conversation with Andrew Kreisberg and Kevin Smith, deleted scenes, and more. The Flash: The Complete Third Season is priced at $49.99 SRP for the DVD and $54.97 SRP for the Blu-ray which includes a Digital Copy. The Flash: The Complete Third Season is also available to own on Digital HD via purchase from digital retailers.

Struck by the supercharged fallout of a particle accelerator explosion, forensic scientist Barry Allen becomes the fastest man alive: The Flash!  With his newfound time-warping speed and help from the S.T.A.R. Labs team – Caitlin Snow, Cisco Ramon and Harrison Wells – and his adoptive family, Detective Joe West and Joe’s daughter Iris, the Scarlet Speedster runs circles around other metahumans set on wreaking havoc in Central City, while traveling between alternate universes and protecting our world from otherworldly threats.  Last season, new dangers arrived from a parallel earth known as Earth-2, under the direction of an evil speedster named Zoom.  In Season Three, Barry faces the unknown – as he irrevocably alters the timeline by saving his mother from the clutches of the Reverse-Flash.   The only question now is – as he wrestles with the consequences of his own Flashpoint Paradox, including the wrathful Speed God Savitar – will he be able to find a way out?

With Blu-ray’s unsurpassed picture and sound, The Flash: The Complete Third Season Blu-ray release will include 1080p Full HD Video with DTS-HD Master Audio for English 5.1. The 4-disc Blu-ray will feature a high-definition Blu-ray and a Digital Copy of all 23 episodes from season three.

The Flash stars Grant Gustin (Arrow, Glee), Candice Patton (The Game), Danielle Panabaker (Justified, Necessary Roughness), Carlos Valdes (Once), Keiynan Lonsdale (Insurgent), Tom Felton (Harry Potter films), with Tom Cavanagh (Ed, The Following), and Jesse L. Martin (Law & Order). Based on the characters from DC, The Flash is produced by Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Berlanti Productions and Warner Bros. Television, with executive producers Greg Berlanti (Arrow, Supergirl, Blindspot, Riverdale), Andrew Kreisberg (Arrow, Supergirl, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow), Aaron Helbing (Spartacus, Black Sails), Todd Helbing (Spartacus, Black Sails) and Sarah Schechter (Arrow, Riverdale, Supergirl).

BLU-RAY & DVD FEATURES

  • The Flash: 2016 Comic-Con Panel
  • A Flash in Time: Time Travel in the Flash Universe
  • Villain School: The Flash Rogues
  • Allied: The Invasion Complex (The Flash)
  • Rise of Gorilla City
  • The Flash: I’m Your Super Friend
  • The Flash: Hitting the Fast Note
    • Harmony in a Flash
    • Synchronicity in a Flash
  • Deleted Scenes
    • Gag Reel

23 ONE-HOUR EPISODES

  1. Flashpoint
  2. Paradox
  3. Magenta
  4. The New Rogues
  5. Monster
  6. Shade
  7. Killer Frost
  8. Invasion!
  9. The Present
  10. Borrowing Problems from the Future
  11. Dead or Alive
  12. Untouchable
  13. Attack on Gorilla City
  14. Attack on Central City
  15. The Wrath of Savitar
  16. Into the Speed Force
  17. Duet
  18. Abra Kadabra
  19. The Once and Future Flash
  20. I Know Who You Are
  21. Cause and Effect
  22. Infantino Street
  23. Finish Line

Movie Review: Wonder Woman

“You can save the world.” Those words are spoken by Chris Pine who plays Steve Trevor in Wonder Woman, the latest superhero comic adaptation film that debuts in theaters this week and has all eyes on it for a long list of reasons. While those words focus on Wonder Woman’s role in the film it can also be taken as a statement about the movie as a whole which has the potential to transform cinema or become an excuse that’ll damn it for decades to come. I can’t think of a movie that has more pressure on it and has the potential to shape cinema like this film does.

Played by Gal Gadot, Wonder Woman is the film that many are looking towards to see if DC Comics and Warner Bros. can right their cinematic universe, whether a woman can headline such film and turn it into a blockbuster, and if so how much of a blockbuster can it be. It has the potential to shatter a ceiling that has plagued women led action films and especially comic films which have been dominated by testosterone. And, much like the rocks on the side of a tower as she climbs it, Gadot, director Patty Jenkins, and everyone involved crushes it delivering a film that while not super, delivers consistent entertainment that is one of the best origin story comic adaptations released by any company.

Wonder Woman is fun. Wonder Woman will have you cheering. Wonder Woman will put a smile on your face. Wonder Woman delivers the summer experience and leaves you wanting more and wondering why we’ve waited so long.

Much like Batman v Superman, Wonder Woman is framed through Bruce Wayne picking up from that film and the mysterious photo from World War I. Through that narrative we’re taken through an adventure that begins with Diana at a young age and her growing up until a mysterious individual crash lands in the waters off the shore of their island. Man has found their land of Themyscira the magical and hidden land of the Amazons. With war looming we learn of the mission of the Amazons, to protect the world from Ares who may or may not be behind the “War to End All Wars.”

The use of World War I as the setting, as opposed to World War II like some suggest, shows some of the intelligence that went into the film as the details, no matter how subtle, that create a film that soars. World War I provides the setting and helps with the theme of the birth of technology on many levels as technology is part of the enemy here embodied in Dr. Maru played by Elena Anaya. That extends to the world of the Amazons being shaken by the introduction of man and their technology easily represented by the bows versus guns battle that really kicks the film up a notch and Diana having to enter that new world to save it and defeat Ares.

Again, it’s the details that makes this film soar with its feminism firmly in place. Diana, as she’s introduced to the world of man, questions its norms through her actions, her words, the looks on her face. This is a warrior who fights for equality and freedom and has a pure innocence that radiates. She questions why a woman is a secretary. She questions why a room is just of men. She questions why she’s not allowed to speak up. She’s a stranger in a strange land and through her we’re shown that all of mankind is corrupted in different ways. She’s similar to Leeloo in the Fifth Element in a way. Innocence as a warrior who will save the world from a god.

But, what might have surprised me most is the film’s comedic tones to it all. While it could easily have taken a serious tone in lecturing the evils of man, instead, much of that is addressed through comedy. Much of that is just through Gadot’s actions and facial expressions showing this actress can do more than kick ass. She was surprisingly funny, not something I’ve ever seen in the previous action films I’ve seen her in. She’s helped by Pine who brings his usual charm but Gadot also plays off the brilliants cast including Lucy Davis, Ewen Bremner, Saïd Taghmaoui, and Eugene Brave Rock, with whom the film turns into a version of the Dirty Dozen.

Visually the film is engrossing from the varied Amazonians to a diverse cast, here the use of colors is deliberate taking place mostly in the drab mechanical world contrasted with the beauty of Diana’s homeland. While some have complained of the pallette choices of previous DC films, this one it adds depth and to the story.

Not everything is perfect though, the film falls a little flat in the final boss battle, though almost all comic adaptations have fallen flat in similar ways. The genre hasn’t overcome that villain in storytelling, yet. The story also has a little too much Steve Trevor who acts as Diana’s guide throughout the film and while their missions are on similar paths, at least aren’t one and the same.

95% of the film is fantastic and while it doesn’t do anything superb, it does everything to such a level I left entertained in a way I haven’t been at a film in a long time. This is one of the best comic origin stories to have been released and one of the best comic films to be released hands down from any company. The crowd cheered at the end with smiles, laughter, and energy buzzing about. Wonder Woman defeats the villain in the end but also feels like it will shatter the box office in many ways.

Overall Rating: 9.5

Joss Whedon to Write and Direct Batgirl?

Variety is reporting that director/writer Joss Whedon will direct a standalone Batgirl film. Whedon and Warner Bros. are “nearing a deal” and he’ll write, direct, and produce the film as part of a “DC Extended Universe.”

Also reported is that Toby Emmerich, Job Berg, and Geoff Johns are overseeing the production and it originated last month.

Generally, Batgirl is Barbara Gordon, the daughter of Gotham City police commissioner Jim Gordon and first appeared in 1967 in “The Million Dollar Debut of Batgirl!” by writer Gardner Fox and artist Carmine Infantino.

This isn’t the first time Whedon has dipped into comic based films. He has been integral in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and writer and directed The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron. He also was involved with Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. He was rumored at one point to be working on a Wonder Woman film.

DC has a lot of films in the works are coming out soon including Wonder Woman and Justice League this year, Aquaman, a Suicide Squad sequel, Gotham City Sirens (spinning off from Suicide Squad), The Batman, Shazam, Black Adam, The Flash, and Cyborg. Expect a big push at this year’s San Diego Comic Con.

Art by Christian Wildgoose

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