Tag Archives: dc

Geek before it was mainstream

So, this weeks show is all about box sets and I wasn’t quite sure how to tackle the question from my gaze. What am I going to watch maybe, or cosplaying from popular shows (like GoT) but with a modern twist. Which I did respond to my co-presented with a rather over enthusiastic essay about cosplay which I don’t think was deserved and would probably would have served better as a blog. Then I got thinking about how both Marvel and DC are releasing films and television series which are very much mainstream.

I came up with the second idea this morning, but having given it some thought over the day, I think I can combine both topic ideas.


My love of cosplay is well documented and so it is obvious for me to look at this side of things. However, when looking at updating a character like Dany from GoT, it really depends on where you fall in cosplay. There are those that will copy a costume exactly, those who will cross play, do casual looks based on a favourite character, armoured Disney princesses are popular at the moment, and to stay with a theme for a moment, apparel like Twisted Disney. But the one thing that remains constant in these is that you are instantly able to recognise the character. It is very much a visible acknowledgement of the character you are portraying. We work in visuals when we cosplay, often we are sharing on social media, or building portfolios, modelling our handiwork. So the costume we design needs to be visually identifiable.


Which leads me to the observation (that I am not alone in making) that I am winding my way around to slowly. That pre millennium, every show was cleanly costumed. Let us take a quick look at the X Men – leading the way for comic to film cross over. If you didn’t ever pick up a comic, you may have come accross the X Men as a cartoon. And remember all those individual and interesting costume designs ? Each one designed for the personality of the wearer. This goes back to what I was saying about a visual representation of the character. Because comics are primarily a visual medium in the same way films are, with dialogue being secondary (and that is an argument we can have on another day). But if you put the X Men films alongside either comic or cartoon that you remember, there is a marked difference.


The costume is identical for each member, the individuality is left at school. Once you become a full member of the team you dress, like a member of the team. If you look at shows like Agents of Shield, even shows like The Flash, Arrow, hell let’s throw Super Girl and Jessica Jones in there. The body of the story, the content for the majority of the episode is conducted out of costume. The segments of the show that see our hero, or anti hero in costume (if in fact there is one) is very small and tends to be there to underpin rather than highlight the entire show.


It is easy to point out that tastes change, and that what was fashionable in the 70/80 and early 90’s certainly isn’t what is attractive to people any more. That we like things to have a sleeker design, just look at our phones, our cars, our lives. I could talk about how the uniformity indicates an end of childhood, and that even while different you are part of a controlled group. But again, a topic for another group. The fact is that superheroes have always worn a uniform but recently the uniforms have changed direction.


And that, that is what makes these shows more accessible. The fact that we are not made uncomfortable by people dressing up, making fools of themselves, that for the most part they dress like ‘normal’ people. Even in films like The Avengers, they spend as much time in ‘civvies’ as they do ‘in costume’. If you look at shows like Batman (yes, I mean the one with Adam Weston) then you notice that there is a distinct flip between the amount of time that was spent in costume and the amount of time in say, the more recent spate of Batman movies.


It is about accessibility, you can relate and understand and it makes the shows, and films more palatable to a wider audience. It means that the shows will be watched by people who have no interest or understanding of the background of the film of show – as can be seen by the popularity of the films spawns by the Marvel Universe. This is a genre that has bought the Geek culture into the mainstream. super heros previously resigned to only serious collectors or fans, banished to childhood are now being enjoyed by entirely new audiences because now, being interested in Geek Culture isn’t seen as bad as it once was.And let us not forget, the Avenger that most people want to laugh at Aquaman …. he is had a total make over, and I really cannot wait for that movie 😉


As for box sets that you might want to check out – Netflix has an abundance, there is my personal favourite – Gotham, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Daredevil. Available on Sky – we have The Flash, Arrow, Agent Carter and Agents of Shield with more being planned.


Women … well written

Okay, bit of a ranty one, sorry in advance.

Women. Why are they still sidelined? I am going to just concentrate on books and films here but obviously it has wider meanings.


I am working my way through a zombie lit anthology (judge away) and in most of the books I have read so far, no matter the sex of the character, there seems to be a doctor/nurse somewhere either parents, friends, neighbours etc. The husband/father figure is a doctor and the wife/mother figure the nurse. It doesn’t seem to matter whether the author is male or female.

Then we have the ‘all female’ ghostbusters, allegedly an ‘all female’ Oceans 11.Ghostbusters_1

WHY IS THIS EVEN REQUIRED? What happened to strong female characters being unapologetic about their strength. and of course showing my age but I remember shows like     Thunder Cats and She Rah. There was never any question of being forced to like a character because of her gender. Nor was the fact a character is female an issue that ever seemed forced. Of course, reflecting on something from my childhood is going to be coloured by my rose tinted glasses.


Then we have SuperGirl, which was eagerly awaited by many. I have for the most part checked out of the Marvel & DC offerings on screen (small or silver) as they are just not matching my expectations. Which is always going to be a risk when you are using a medium that requires a degree of imagination. The same can easily be said for many book to screen offerings. But SuperGirl – this was going to be something special, this is A GIRL cast in the leading role, not ANY role but a SUPER HERO. (yes it does hurt when I roll my eyes so hard)

Again she is supported by male characters, and while some of her dialogue is okay, she is blown out of the water by Calista Flockhart’s character. And I will stop picking apart SuperGirl because I have watched one episode and it is dulling my point 🙂

Women are complicit in their own positions, when a female writer feels that it would only be believable if a female character is a nurse, but a male character can be a doctor. Or am I missing a point .. are they passing their own ironic comment on the entire situation.


Why can’t women just be strong, unapologetic characters which out coming up with some excuse, being embarrassed. Love her, or hate her, Joss Whedon created a great character with Buffy. Actually, I never actually felt any of the characters were held back because of their sex. And that is what is the thing that has got under my skin. Why should it matter sex a character (in whatever format) is to begin with, can we not just have strong characters without an agenda?

Is that too much to ask for, characters that avoid stereotyping without making a song and dance about it. Female characters that you can relate to for just getting shit done without spouting feminist agenda bullshit. Female characters that are strong, and relatable and that actually don’t need to have boys sitting around as support.