Posts Tagged ‘Captain Marvel’

Michelle MacLaren Has Left The Wonder Woman Movie OR I Can’t Even

April 14, 2015


I’m trying very hard to retain some sort of enthusiasm for the Wonder Woman movie, but Warner Bros. isn’t making it easy on me. First, Man of Steel was an abomination, and then they brought back Zack Snyder and David Goyer to introduce Wonder Woman on the big screen for the first time in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Gal Gadot seems fine, but she’s mostly a big question mark at this point, and the costume is not great.   There was just nothing to be excited about until last November when Warner Bros. announced that Michelle MacLaren was going to direct the Wonder Woman movie. MacLaren is a fantastic director who’s worked on shows like Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones, and I was over the moon when I heard that she’d be helming Wonder Woman’s solo film.

Now, five months later, Michelle MacLaren is gone from the project. Citing “creative differences”, the official statement declares that “Warner Bros. and Michelle MacLaren have decided not to move forward with plans to develop and direct Wonder Woman together”, which is most likely Hollywood code for she got fired. This is a massive blow for the film; MacLaren was literally the only person involved in the movie that I had any faith in whatsoever. She’s an epic director and a great, smart storyteller, plus a woman directing Wonder Woman is just perfect. And too good to be true, it seems.

In the wake of her departure, there are reports that MacLaren and Warner Bros. were never really on the same page with Wonder Woman. Supposedly they couldn’t even agree on which time period to set the movie in. That’s sort of an important first step. Also, MacLaren reportedly wanted Diana to have a pet tiger for some reason. Whatever was going on behind the scenes sounds like a real mess.

So here’s where we stand with the Wonder Woman movie: It’s scheduled for release in 2017 and is rumoured to be start shooting in the fall, but now there’s no director and apparently no story. I’d expect a delay. And any rumour we’ve heard about the film so far? Probably scrap that, because it sounds like the movie is still a total blank slate.

Warner Bros. inability to get any sort of Wonder Woman project off the ground is astounding. They had Joss Whedon, who left his Wonder Woman adaptation and then made the biggest superhero movie in the history of the world. They had Michelle MacLaren, pretty much everyone’s top choice to direct Wonder Woman the second that it was announced. And now they have no one. I sincerely hope they don’t haphazardly hire someone in a mad rush to just get the movie made. But they’ve let two excellent directors walk out the door, so who knows what they’ll do next?

I really don’t understand what’s so hard about making a Wonder Woman film.  She’s a great character with a rich history; you pick an angle and you go with it, like they do with EVERY superhero film.  People like to say that Wonder Woman is a complicated, difficult character, but she’s no more complex than any other superhero.  Every superhero has various incarnations and origins.  There’s no set blueprint for any of them.  The writer, director, and studio work together and pick what elements of the character they like and then they make a movie.  It’s happened about a million times with male superheroes.  They keep churning out male-led movies with ease, so I don’t see why getting the world’s most famous female superhero onto the big screen is such a difficult task.  We’re about to have our SIXTH live action Batman, all of them very different.  And Warner Bros. can’t figure out one Wonder Woman film?  It’s ridiculous.

In happier news, Marvel keeps making good movie decisions at least. Captain Marvel is still very much in development, and they’re after Nicole Perlman, the co-writer of Guardians of the Galaxy and Meg LeFauve, the co-writer of Pixar’s upcoming Inside Out, to work on the script together. That’s a pretty great team, and it’s cool to see Marvel pursuing female writers for the film. And if they’re looking for a female director, one just became available! Captain Marvel might not have a pet tiger, but she’s got a flerken at least.


My Three Favourite Comic Book Panels From 2013, Up Now At Bleeding Cool

December 31, 2013

Bleeding Cool has compiled a list of the best comic book panels of 2013, based on the votes of their columnists and other writers.  And I’m a columnist!  So I’ve got three panels in the list.  It was fun to think back over the year and pick some of my favourite comic moments.  I considered a lot of different panels from a lot of different books, but finally I went with these three:




If you don’t recognize them, head over to Bleeding Cool for the full information and why I chose them as the best of the year.  There are lots of other great panels as well, including some of my almost favourites.

It’s fun to close out the year remembering some of my favourite moments.  It was a great year for comics, with lots of cool, new books and returning gems.  Happy New Year to all of you, and best wishes for a fantastic 2014!

Homemade Superhero Christmas Tree Ornaments

December 23, 2013

It’s very nearly Christmas, so things will be pretty quiet around here this week, but before I get too wrapped up in festive fun I thought I’d post these Christmas tree ornaments I made.  I went to Target a couple weeks back to try to buy some, but a) they were out of Wonder Woman, and b) the remaining ornaments they had looked really cheap.  So I made my own!  I used a cool paper rolling technique I found online and added some of my favourite art from my favourite comics, and here’s what I came up with:

A Hawkeye ornament, with David Aja cover art:

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Some Jim Lee Batman, from All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder, I think:

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Felipe Andrade’s Captain Marvel:

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An Ed McGuinness Superman:

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A Cliff Chiang Wonder Woman, of course:

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A New 52 Batgirl from an Adam Hughes cover:

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Lois Lane and Superman, by Gary Frank:

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A really cool Superman and Batman piece by Michael Cho:

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A pink Wonder Woman for my mom:

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More Cliff Chiang Wonder Woman:

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Fiona Staples’ The Will and Lying Cat from Saga:


They were fun and easy to make, and now my tree is way cooler and nerdier.  And sort of exclusive; I doubt there are many Christmas trees out there rocking a Lying Cat ornament.

So happy holidays everyone!  Enjoy your various celebrations.  If you’re still looking for some last minute gifts, I know a good book you can pre-order.  Just make them a nice gift certificate.  Heck, if you actually pre-order my book for someone this Christmas, I’LL make you a gift certificate you can print out.  Just tell me in the comments and I’ll get on it right away.  Happy holidays!

My 10 Favourite Comic Book Things Of 2012

December 27, 2012

“Things” is rather vague, I know, but this isn’t a list of my favourite books or creators or moments of the year.  It’s all of those things at once!!  I could do a Top Five of various categories, but the overlap would be huge, so I’m just going to pile it all together into one big Top Ten list.

It was an odd year for comics, with a lot of big events you’re not going to see on this list, but there were a bunch of cool things too.  Let’s get to listing:

10) Gail Simone’s Rehiring on Batgirl


I’m not naïve enough to think that Gail Simone’s rehiring on Batgirl signals some kind of big change at DC Comics where they suddenly care about fan reactions and female creators, but it was still a great moment.  Firing Simone was just absolutely ludicrous, and the reaction was strong, to say the least.  I can’t think of another creator who has as much of an association with a company owned character as Simone does with Barbara Gordon.  Simone doesn’t own Barbara, but Barbara IS Simone’s character, really.  And even more so now.  Her return to the book after her inauspicious firing was one of my very favourite moments of the year.

9) Marco Checchetto


I honestly couldn’t care less about the Punisher, but I checked out the first collection of new series because Greg Rucka is pretty great.  I might have come for Rucka, but I stayed for Marco Checchetto.  While his art is gritty, as befits a Punisher book, it doesn’t have that muddled sort of effect that a lot of gritty, noir style artists have.  Checchetto is a cool hybrid of grit and crisp detail, and I absolutely love it.  I think this dude is going to be big.

8) Noelle Stevenson


Noelle Stevenson, aka. Gingerhaze, is a ridiculously good time.  Her webcomic, Nimona, is fantastic, and her “Broship of the Ring” is an internet classic.  My absolute favourite thing she does, though, is her mini-strips after she watches a movie or TV show she’s particularly enthused about.  Right now, I’m loving her Hobbit-inspired Thranduil as an elk-riding dad embarrassing Legolas strips.  Noelle is hilarious and great.

7) Goliath by Tom Gauld


Sometimes you randomly check out a book from the library and it turns into one of your favourite things of the year.  I ADORED Tom Gauld’s Goliath.  I’m always up for a good riff on a Bible story, and Goliath is both super clever and well drawn.  Gauld’s art style fits the tone of the book perfectly.  I usually talk about the Big Two on this site, but do yourself a favour and go grab a copy of this book.

6) Scott Pilgrim IN COLOUR!!


The first two volumes of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim series came out in bigger, coloured editions this year, and they’re just amazing.  The Scott Pilgrim books were already one of the absolute best books of the past decade, and they’re even better oversized and in colour.  Nathan Fairbairn, in close consultation with O’Malley, really takes the books to a whole new level of awesome with his colouring, and they’re an absolute pleasure to read even if, like me, you’ve already read the first editions like fifty times.

5) Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers


This book just launched a few weeks ago, and when I read the first issue I thought “Wow, I REALLY dig this… this might even sneak in at tenth in my Top Ten list!”  The second issue is out now, and here it is at fifth.  Avengers is great storytelling, but even more than that it feels SO epic.  You can tell that Hickman is building something massive and cool and I’m ridiculously excited to get in on the ground floor of what will be years of crazy stories.  Jerome Opena’s art is great, and Marvel’s got lots of other cool artists lined up to meet the book’s bi-monthly schedule.  It’s loads of fun already, and it feels like it’s just going to keep getting better.

4) Diana’s Coat in Wonder Woman #11


I liked this so much that I now own this page!!  While I’ve had my share of problems with Wonder Woman in 2012 (the Amazons as rapists and murderers, in particular), Cliff Chiang is still killing it on every level with his art.  I spent a full third of my Wonder Woman #11 review going on about this coat and how it represents everything good about this new take on Wonder Woman in terms of modernizing the character with respect for what came before.  This may not have always held true for me with the story, but it absolutely does with the art.

3) Captain Marvel, the Book and the Reaction

2012captain marvel

I’ve been following comics for a long time, and I’ve never seen such an enthusiastic reaction to a redesign of a character.  There was tons of fan art and various custom items months before the first issue even hit the newsstands!!  And when the first issue did hit, it was fantastic.  Kelly Sue DeConnick had a HUGE year, and has done an excellent job relaunching Captain Marvel, while artists Dexter Soy and Emma Rios make the book look great and distinct from the usual superhero stylings.  While a year ago I knew barely anything about Carol Danvers, I’m very glad that she’s now one of my favourite characters starring in one of my favourite books.

2) Saga


I was over the moon excited for a new Brian K. Vaughan book, and then even more excited that Fiona Staples would be drawing it.  As a huge fan of BKV, I had a rough idea in my head of what the book might be like, and then I got the first issue.  Saga was NOTHING like what I expected, in the absolute best way possible.  It was bigger and more bizarre and more interesting and enjoyable than I ever imagined.  I think it’s the best thing BKV’s ever written, and Staples’ art is a perfect match for the story.  Even the letter column is fun.  Saga is an absolute blast to read each month.

1) Hawkeye


When Marvel announced that Matt Fraction and David Aja were teaming up to do a Hawkeye book, I was kind of upset.  They’re two of my favourite creators so I HAD to pick up the first issue, but I didn’t give a hoot about Hawkeye.  At all.  There were SO many characters I’d rather have seen them work on.  So I begrudgingly bought the first issue, and it was AMAZING.  Far and away the most enjoyable, amusing, kick ass superhero story I’d read all year.  Then Hawkeye #2 was even better, as was the next issue after that.  It just keeps getting more fun every month, and I’m astounded to love a book about Hawkeye as much as I do.  It’s unequivocally the best comic out there right now, and I can’t recommend it enough.

So those are my favourite things from this year, but let’s take a peek into the crystal ball and see what I’m looking forward to in 2013:

  • Lazarus by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark.  A dystopian response to the Occupy movement?  Sign me up.
  • Pretty Deadly by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios.  Anytime DeConnick and Rios get together, it’s a good time.  I’m very excited they’re doing a Western.
  • Man of Steel by Scott Snyder and Jim Lee.  Snyder is doing a great job with Batman, and Jim Lee is always a good time.  I’m jazzed to see what they come up with for Superman.
  • New Avengers by Jonathan Hickman and Steve Epting. As I mentioned above, I LOVED Avengers, and New Avengers is poised to be a sort of companion book more than a direct tie-in.  I’m going to be all over it.
  • Movies!!  Iron Man 3!!  Thor 2!!  Man of Steel!!  It’s going to be another big year for cinematic superheroes, and all of these movies look great.
  • Amazon, Allan Heinberg’s Smallville-esque Wonder Woman show for the CW.  It’s still in the early stages, but it would be really fun if this ended up happening, and doubly so if it was good too.  Arrow’s been pretty enjoyable, and Heinberg has skills.  It could be really great, if it happens.

A Dig At Wonder Woman In Ms. Marvel #1 From 1977

October 29, 2012

I’ve been enjoying Kelly Sue DeConnick and Dexter Soy’s new Captain Marvel series so much that I recently picked up Essential Ms. Marvel Volume 1 at my local comic shop.  It collects the Ms. Marvel run from the late 1970s, when Carol Danvers was the editor of Woman magazine and turned into Ms. Marvel to bust up bad guys.  So really, she was Gloria Steinem with superpowers.  That’s right up my alley.

The stories are a good time, in that Bronze Age kind of way, but one panel in particular really amused me.  It’s from the first issue, just after Ms. Marvel took down a bad guy:

That dude rocking the sunglasses is saying:

That little lady makes Lynda Carter look like Olive Oyl!

Ms. Marvel #1 came out in 1977, so the Wonder Woman TV show would have been on the air at the time.  So:

a) Burn!!  They’re basically saying that Ms. Marvel is way awesomer than Wonder Woman.  A little bit of the DC/Marvel rivalry was coming out there.


b) Apparently the Wonder Woman TV show existed in the Marvel universe, so presumably you can buy DC comics in the Marvel universe too.  And not Marvel comics, since their heroes are just real people in the Marvel universe.  I wonder if DC has a rival publisher there?  Maybe Fawcett survived?  Or Charlton?

Anyway, I was amused.  And I recommend checking out the old Ms. Marvel comics.  They’re a good time.  Plus Mary Jane Watson is in a bunch of them, and she’s always fun.  It would be cool if she showed up in the new Captain Marvel series.  The new series does seem to reference the old one sporadically, from female astronauts to the more Marvelly costume to Carol having a bad time of it underwater on both of their eighth covers:

The new series hasn’t had a date on the beach between Carol and her therapist though.  Maybe next month.

So yeah, that was an amusing dig at Wonder Woman in Ms. Marvel #1.  Way to make it clear that there’s a new female hero in town!!

A Classic Wonder Woman Underoos Ad From 1978

October 11, 2012

I saw this tweet from famed Wonder Woman artist and all around good dude Phil Jimenez the other day:

And I thought the video should definitely be shared.  It’s a 1978 ad for superhero Underoos, including a tall Wonder Woman and some classy dance moves (EDIT: Dangit, embedding has been disabled for this video. You’ll have to click twice, gang… it’s arduous, I know):

If I was a kid in 1978, I’d have been all about getting those Underoos!!  Hell, I’m a grown man in 2012 and I’d totally wear a Superman set in my size.  Underoos are classic.

I like the Shazam set too.  It’s super fun.  How many kids woke up to a depressing Christmas in 1978 with that Aquaman set in their stocking, though?  It’s just green briefs and an orange t-shirt with an “A” slapped on it.  Not cool.

Underoos were also very ahead of their time!!  More than 30 years before Miles Morales, they had had a black Spider-Man.  That’s pretty impressive foresight.

The best part, though, is animated Wonder Woman half assedly dancing along while kid Wonder Woman just goes for it.  That, and the spin change.  I love that they went with the spin change.

If you look at other underoos ads (which I don’t really recommend… watching one is fine, but when you watch a bunch, even for researching a point on a change in gender dynamics in the ads, it just starts to feel creepy), Underoos ads soon became separated by gender.  Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, the Hulk, and the Flash were in one ad with all boys, while Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl, Spider-Woman, and Betty and Veronica were in another with all girls.  Maybe someone at Underoos thought it was sort of weird to have boys and girls dancing around in their underwear together, and fair point.  But I kind of like that Wonder Woman got teamed-up with the boys AND, like Phil said, she was taller than all of them.  Separating the genders and then lumping the female heroes with the perpetual love interests that are Betty and Veronica is sort of less cool.

Anyway, go try to find yourselves some superhero underwear and learn that classy dance.  You’ll be super cool, and you can team up with your friends and do it together!!

Women At Marvel Comics Watch – December 2012 Solicits

September 24, 2012

Ever since DC Comics promised to include more female creators and characters in their comics, we’ve been holding them to it and checking the solicits every month to see how they’re doing.  Now, with Marvel in the midst of their Marvel Now! not-a-relaunch, I thought it would be fun to start a monthly check-in with Marvel too.  They’re not beholden to any promises like DC is, but it’s nice to have a snapshot of where each company is at and what’s coming up, and it lets me be more specific about who’s doing what and where than we get in our full women in comics stats each month.

We’ve never gone through Marvel’s solicits before, so this first month will set the benchmark for what we can expect.  Let’s take a look:

  • For writing duties, Kelly Sue DeConnick is on Captain Marvel #8 and Avengers Assemble #10, Kathryn Immonen is penning Journey Into Mystery #647, and Marjorie Liu is on Astonishing X-Men #57.
  • In terms of art on the mainline Marvel superhero books, this month it’s only the fantastic Stephanie Hans doing a cover for X-Treme X-Men #7.1.
  • In the kid’s line, Louise Simonson and Jen van Meter are writing Marvel Universe Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Avengers #9.
  • Also in the kid’s line, Monsters Inc. #1 features Italian artists Elisabetta Melaranci, Anna Merli, Sonia Matrone, Mara Damiani, and Elena M. Naggi.
  • On the female character front, several new team books have female members.  Elektra is in Thunderbolts #1; Captain Marvel, Black Widow, and Spider-Woman are part of the team in Avengers #1; Domino is in Cable and X-Force #1; and so many female characters are in Avengers Arena #1 that I can’t even name them all… there are seven ladies on Dave Johnson’s cover to the first issue.

Altogether, in December Marvel has solicited 11 female creators on 7 books.  These are better numbers than we’re used to seeing with our regular DC check-in, but at the same time we should note how these numbers break down.  Only 3 of these women have regular gigs: DeConnick, Immonen, and Liu.  Hans is usually doing covers somewhere at Marvel, but she’s only solicited on the special Point One issue for X-Treme X-Men, and isn’t on the next issue (it double ships).  The Avengers kid’s book tends to cycle through creators, so we don’t know how long Simonson and Van Meter will be around.  They’re new to the book this month, and we’ll have to see if they’re back in January.  Finally, 5 of the 11 women are on the art team for the two issue Monsters Inc. comic.  They’ll probably be back next month, but then they’re done.

Now, this is neither good nor bad.  More regular gigs would be better, I suppose, but we’ve never looked at Marvel’s solicits before.  If several of these short-term gigs disappear next month but are replaced by ladies in new short or long-term gigs, that wouldn’t be so bad.  Regularly featuring different female creators in different books could be cool.  We’ll see how it all shakes out in the next few months, but for now we’ve got a good baseline for what to expect from Marvel.

As for female characters, there seem to be a lot of them.  Just skimming the rest of the solicits and the established books I didn’t mention (because we focus on new stuff here), there were a surprising number of female characters.  And all of the new Marvel Now! books in December have one, if not several, ladies.  This is really nice to see.

Overall, since this is our first go at Marvel I don’t have any grandiose conclusions.  We’ve got a sense of how Marvel rolls, and it looks pretty decent for real and fictional women, but we’ve got nothing to compare it to yet.  Except DC, and that’s not a great bar.  Next month, we’ll have an even better sense of things, but I’m cautiously optimistic.  It feels like a reasonable start, and hopefully we’ll see some growth as the months pass!!

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