On best friends, Keanu Reeves, and why I was triggered by Captain Marvel (but still loved it)

Content Note: 

Death of a loved one



Hey little buddy.

Long time no see.

Or hear.

Or hang out with.

Or read new comic books with in the wee hours of Thursday morning.

So much has happened in the last decade (it’s hard to believe it has been nearly that long since I last saw you). A lot of it has been 31 flavors of awful, but not everything. There have been some bright spots. One of brightest of them has been the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  It really sucks that you only got to see the big screen debut of Iron Man, back in 2008. Since then, wow, I really think you’d have been as excited as I have been, your inner comic book fan bursting at the seams. Scratch that. Your inner fan would have completely burst out of the seams and gone full scale cosplay (like you did for Where the Wild Things Are). I can easily picture you cosplaying as one of the Guardians of the Galaxy (a movie you probably would never have thought would get made, let alone be a financial and critical success) or even the Winter Soldier. Yeah, they made a GotG movie and incorporated Bucky Barnes into the MCU. They also made 3 Thor movies, 3 Captain America’s, 3 Iron Man’s, and multiple Avengers films. Hell, they even made a film about Ant-Man, which did well enough to get a sequel, Ant-Man & the Wasp. And that’s not all. Marvel got Spider-Man back (not completely, but enough so Marvel can use him in their movies). So he’s gotten incorporated into their fictional universe, with Tom Holland taking up the mantle of everyone’s favorite web-slinger in one movie thus far, with another coming this summer (in related news, following Disney’s acquisition of Fox Studios, the X-Men and Fantastic Four are back under the same house as the Avengers, though its gonna be a while before we see anything with them, according to Kevin Feige).

There are so many more surprises that you almost certainly would have loved. As a fan of animation, I think you’d have loved Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. You weren’t around to read about the debut of Miles Morales following the death of Spider-Man in the Ultimate Universe.  Let’s just say he gained a sizable following and eventually made the transition from the comic book page to the big screen (albeit in animated form, which I grumbled about at first, bc HEY LIVE ACTION, but after seeing it, I’m glad they went with animated, bc that shit looked amazing). Perhaps even more surprising, not only did the Black Panther make it to the big screen in his own movie, but it became a critical and financial juggernaut that went on to make over a billion dollars. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought a Black Panther film would get made, let alone be top notch, and be such a successful movie. I could copy that last sentence almost verbatim to describe my thoughts on another movie that recently came out.

Can you believe Marvel made a movie with Carol Danvers aka the first Ms Marvel aka Binary aka Warbird aka Captain Marvel? Oh crap. I forgot you weren’t around for Carol stepping up to take the title. Well, she did, and she’s done the legacy of Mar-Vell proud. And that film she starred in? Like Black Panther, Captain Marvel broke a billion dollars (and counting). And just as Black Panther shattered long held beliefs about the viability of a movie with a Black lead (to say nothing of a virtually all Black cast), Captain Marvel showed Hollywood and the world that a movie with a woman as the lead character–a superhero movie at that–can be box office smash and receive acclaim around the world.

Living where I do now, it’s not easy to get out to see any movies. After wrecking my car back in 2013, I haven’t been in the financial position to get another one. I moved from Pensacola to a small town outside of Panama City, Florida. It’s one of those “wonderful” Southern cities that plasters confederate flags everywhere (as if a bunch of white supremacist, anti-American traitors deserve to be honored). I moved out here with my aunt and cousin (great aunt, technically) to get my bearings and try to get back on my feet. Thankfully, my cousin allows me to use her car on occasion, so I’m not stuck in this house. This city is verrrry small. There’s something like 3000+ people living here. We have 2 convenience stores (one just opened up a few weeks back), 2 dollar stores, and 2 small town supermarkets.  Buncha churches too. No gym. No swimming pool. One small bar with weird hours and a dart machine that doesn’t work. There’s just really not much here. For the first few years, I worked in Panama City, driving 45 minutes to and from work 5-6 days a week. Things were on their way to stabilizing when BAM, last July, the restaurant I’d been bartending and managing at (Bennigans) closed down. We had a feeling it was coming, but it still sucked. As if to add to the suckery, the vehicle my cousin was letting me use–a 2003 Dodge Ram (with a HEMI)–started acting up and becoming unreliable, so using it to travel back and forth to Panama City on a regular basis became untenable. That left me struggling to figure out what to do for work in this town that has precious little available.

Then Mother Nature decided the least of my worries was finding a job. On October 10, Hurricane Michael hit.  It was a catastrophic hurricane that straddled the line between a Category 4 and 5. We live 24 miles from Mexico Beach, which was ground zero. The hurricane decimated this region.  By January of this year, the death toll in Florida was 47. The damage of course was in the billions. There were no deaths as far as I know in this town, but there was a metric fuckton of damage. We sustained surprisingly little damage. My aunt’s home lost some shingles off the roof and some vinyl siding. And some trees were uprooted, while others were nearly snapped in half by winds over 150 mph. But the structure of the home was fine. There were no leaks and no substantial damage. Of course the power was out. 17 days with no power really is not fun. Relief efforts came quickly, supplying food and water for the community. We had two generators so we could charge laptops and cell phones (though no carriers were up and running in the days immediately following the hurricane so we had no way to tell people were ok and vice versa). More importantly, we could keep our refrigerators cold. By the beginning of November, things slowly returned to normal, but the job situation hasn’t. There’s just not enough opportunities for anything in this town and without a reliable vehicle, I’m pretty much stuck.

But enough of that.

Last week, I had the opportunity to see Captain Marvel. The only movie theater left after the hurricane is almost exactly an hour and a half away from us (which is one reason I don’t go to the movies very often). I know this bc–and if you were here, you’d laugh, bc you know how I am–the movie played at 3:30 and I left the house at 2:05. I arrived at the ticket stand at 3:24. Of course, having been a manager in a movie theater, you know that I wouldn’t have missed the movie, since previews go for like 20 minutes. I grabbed my popcorn, a hot dog, and drink ($24–geez; but you always told me that theaters make their money on the concession stand items), found the seat I’d picked out (it’s still weird to me that we get to select our seats) and settled in. And by settled in, I mean, got reeeeeeeeeally comfortable. These weren’t the old school theater seats. They were the luxury seats. Very comfortable. Soft. Wide. No cramped spaces. Quite nice.

A few hours later, the movie finished and I rushed to my car. I had to get there before the waterworks came. I held them back during the movie with ease bc I was distracted by the film. With it over, the emotional turmoil that I’d kept a lid on was boiling over and I didn’t want to be a crying mess as I walked out of the theater. The walk to the car seemed to take forever. When I finally got there, the dam burst. In a million years, I never would have thought a Marvel movie would trigger me, but Captain Marvel certainly did.

Continue reading “On best friends, Keanu Reeves, and why I was triggered by Captain Marvel (but still loved it)”

On best friends, Keanu Reeves, and why I was triggered by Captain Marvel (but still loved it)

The Great Big Pop Culture Link Round Up

Guess who’s playing this ↓ guy?

This ↓ guy:

The long-discussed “Gambit” film starring Channing Tatum in the lead role is officially a go at 20th Century Fox, Deadline reports Friday.

Tatum will also be a producer on the film, along with Reid Carolin (his partner in production company Free Association) plus long-time X-Men movie producer Lauren Shuler Donner and genre veteran Simon Kinberg. Josh Zetumer, who wrote this year’s “Robocop” reboot, has been hired to write the screenplay. In an unexpected move, Zetumer’s script is reportedly based on a treatment by prolific X-Men writer Chris Claremont, the character’s co-creator.

As one of the most popular (and polarizing) X-Men characters, a solo “Gambit” movie has been a source of speculation for years. Tatum has long publicly expressed his appreciation of the character and desire to play Gambit on screen, and Donner discussed wanting to make the film happen on the promotional trail for this year’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” For months, reports have surfaced that Tatum as Gambit was virtually a done deal, but Friday’s report is the first that states the film is officially in motion at Fox.


 * * * *

Carol Danvers is *the* Captain Marvel. Deal with it.

From Fawcett’s creation of the original Captain Marvel in 1939 to the various heroes who have held that name, Brett White lays out the reasons readers need to accept Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel.


I mentioned before that these attempts to lionize the male Captain Marvel while diminishing the female one are dangerous. Here’s why: it’s casual misogyny. I will givesome Cap Trolls the benefit of the doubt, because they could have just had a slip of the Twitter tongue, be genuinely confused, or have an old habit they’ve yet to break. But in other cases, yes, it’s casual — or straight up intentional — misogyny. It shows an unwillingness to progress past the era when all female heroes had to have gendered codenames. It shows a preference towards female heroes that are obvious analogues of male heroes. It completely overlooks the fact that a surprising number of female heroes already have a tenuous grasp on their codenames as it is.

In his excellent essay over at Comics Alliance, “Lady She-Woman: Female Superhero Codenames And Identity,” Andrew Wheeler broke down the facts behind female hero code names. Most women either have gendered codenames (Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, Huntress), codenames tied to male heroes (She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel, Batgirl, Supergirl), or don’t go by a codename at all (Kitty Pryde, Emma Frost, Danielle Moonstar, Misty Knight). Men, on the other hand, get to have gender-neutral codenames (Hawkeye, Quicksilver, Nightwing), they get to originate codenames (Hulk, Captain Marvel, Batman, Superman), and the majority of them have codenames.

When Cap Trolls argue that Captain Marvel will be reduced back to Ms. Marvel, they are touching on a very real — and dangerous — trend in comics that treats female hero codenames as interchangeable. The two previous female Captain Marvels, Monica Rambeau and Phyla-Vell, know this all too well. Rambeau debuted as Captain Marvel but lost the codename when Genis-Vell took it. That pattern repeated itself when Rambeau had her new codename, Photon, stolen by Genis-Vell. Phyla-Vell took on the codename Quasar after ditching the Marvel moniker, but she had to give it up just as soon as the original Quasar, Wendell Vaughn, returned from the dead. She then took on the name Martyr and, well, died. The same really can’t be said for male heroes; even when Peter Parker is no longer Spider-Man, there’s no uncertainty that he’s going to be back in the webs again. The same has also proven true for Thor and Captain America in the past, and will definitely prove true again when their current replacements — one of whom is a woman — run their course. Yes, there’s a history of women having their codenames taken away from them, but that doesn’t mean that history should keep repeating itself. The Captain Marvel codename needs to stop with Carol Danvers because this trend needs to be broken.

* * * *

 Lemony Snicket adaptation coming to Netflix

On the heels of picking up AwesomenessTV’s live-action comedy Richie Rich, the streaming company has acquired rights to the best-selling series of books A Series Of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, with plans to adapt them as a live-action series. Search is underway for a director to help re-create Snicket’s visual world on TV. Netflix is producing the project, which is being fast-tracked, with Paramount Television. Paramount was behind the 2004 movie starring Jim Carrey, which grossed $209 million worldwide.

* * * *

 Portraits painted on film negatives by Nick Gentry

As part of an effort to repurpose obsolete media, London-based artist Nick Gentry paints on cut film negatives to create works of art.

Here is Gentry’s website.

* * * *

Just say no to Pepsi True?

I would have anyways because I think Pepsi is awful–it’s far too sweet (I love Coke though). Rebecca Fishbein tried Pepsi True and I’m not sure, but I think she didn’t like it:

Here’s a little food-related rage for your Friday. We were offered free samples of Pepsi True, a new stevia-sweetened soda from PepsiCo that purports to have “Real Cola Taste. True Pepsi Fun.” It’s made without artificial sweeteners and high fructose corn syrup, and it has only 16 grams of sugar. And guess what—it’s disgusting.

It is as lethally saccharine as the faux-stevia poison that killed a bad lady on that TV show I won’t name-drop for the sake of spoiler preservation. It tastes like food coloring that’s been soaked in a noxious chemical and the chalky caramel they use in calcium chews. It does not taste like Pepsi, and it does not taste like Diet Pepsi. It does not taste good.

She ought to stop beating around the bush and say how she truly feels.

The Great Big Pop Culture Link Round Up