Guy Hamdon is an average twelve-year-old boy cartoon character with a skateboard, pesky siblings, and a superhero alter ego. That alter ego happens to be a female superhero named SheZow. On the Hub network's new cartoon series of the same name, Guy shouts the magic phrase "You go, girl!" and gleans superhuman strength and speed, plus a skirt, go-go boots, and a hot pink shapeshifting car.
Pepper Potts (Gwenyth Paltrow) and a conveniently sexy fire in Iron Man 3.
Shane Black's Iron Man 3 has rolled into theaters and conquered box office receipts. After the alien attack on New York during The Avengers, Tony Stark is not doing well. While suffering from insomnia and anxiety attacks, an Asian-played-by-white-guy terrorist named the Mandarin has stepped up to inflict damage on American civilians.
It's been an abnormally bad year for new shows—there are few I'm sticking with past one episode. But so far, I'm still watching No Ordinary Family, a little one-hour drama from ABC that will air its third episode tonight. The premise is fairly simple: distracted, over-committed modern nuclear family goes on family vacation. They get into a plane crash in the jungle, mingle with jet fuel, and voilà: superpowers. In other words, it's a sort of live-action version of The Incredibles. The show is pretty well cast—you'll recognize faces from Dexter, The Shield, and Weeds. (And, umm, Seventh Heaven, but I guess someone's trying to break away from typecasting so let's not rib him too much for that.) The dialogue is pedestrian, but not painfully so. In other words, it's not yet some kind of heir to Heroes or Lost—the pilot simply isn't as strong as either of those shows' was—but the rest could be.
Kick-Ass, the new R-rated movie based on the R-rated comic book, follows a few masked-and-caped citizens whose paths cross over mob dealings and misunderstandings. The Watchmen it's not, but the introduction of a pint-sized heroine who plays with butterfly knives instead of Barbies sets it apart from other superhero flicks. Watching the movie, I found that when I wasn't wincing at the violence, I was cringing at the gaping disparity of both skill and storyline between the title character--the green-wet-suit wearing Dave, aka Kick-Ass--and the foul-mouthed, truly ass-kicking, Mindy MacCready, aka Hit Girl.
There's a surprising gap of research, let alone feminist research, on female superheroes from comics. Trina Robbins has turned out some amazing books on women and comics, including one on female superheroes, but she can't do it alone (and good luck trying to find her work at your nearby Barnes & Noble). That's why I'm excited about Mike Madrid's new book The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines not to mention the fantastic online resource he put together to go along with the volume. Read on for more!
While I'm personally in no way rattled by the acquisition/merger, I do think that it provides some opportunities to discuss gender, entertainment and marketing.
Marvel has over 70 years of history, and Disney will have access to over 5,000 characters (though the ones that have been mentioned most in the past week are the most profitable: Spider-Man, Iron Man, and the X-Men. Hmmmmm . … what could be missing here?)
The deal has included lots of business speak about "brands," "vertical integration," "long-term growth," "value creation," and my favorite, "synergy," (mostly because it reminds me of 30 Rock's Jack Donaghy telling Liz Lemon to "never badmouth synergy"). There certainly will be many opportunities for profit, but I'm interested in how y'all respond to the fact that one of Disney's major motivating factors has been securing a young male demographic.