Wonder Woman – A Comic Book Icon

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The new Wonder Woman trailer just dropped on us and I have to say that beyond those weird accents it looks awesome. I have to come clean, in terms of comics I have never been too much of a fan of DC. While I do enjoy some of their comics’ especially great ones such as “The Dark Knight Returns” or “Kingdom Come”, I have always had difficulty relating to their heroes. DC characters tend to be similar to Greek gods, flawed but incredibly powerful or intelligent and for some reason that has made it difficult for me to enjoy the comics. However if there is one character that I have generally always enjoyed that has been Wonder Woman, especially her run in last 15 years.

Wonder Woman is without a doubt a comic icon and a feminist icon. She is without a doubt the most famous heroine in comics and a famous pop culture figure. Wonder Woman, at least in her most recent origin, is the daughter of Amazonian queen Hippolyta and Greek god Zeus. She was raised in Themyscira alongside the other amazonians and became an incredible powerful warrior capable of going toe to toe with Superman. She wields mighty weapons including the famous Lasso of Truth and just as Superman represents, or used to, the “America Way, she is a compassionate warrior with-god-like strength, Wonder Woman prefers peace and love to war and violence despite her incredible abilities, a contradiction that has long made her a symbol of female empowerment.

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Lately she has also become an icon for LGBT as in her stories in 2016 she has officiated a same-sex wedding and has been revealed in DC Rebirth to be bisexual. Through all of this information that I have written I am trying to convey the idea that she is a character that has gone beyond the comic book media. As such it has always been a tragedy that there has been no good portrayals about her in film or TV. The arrival of her movie is in my opinion a very welcome and needed action and I have really high hopes for this movie.

Let’s all be honest, the DCEU has not been great so far. The movies have not resonated with the audience and have not enjoyed the critical success that Marvel movies have had. Whilst I do not think they are as bad as people make them to be, especially “Batman v Superman” they are still very flawed movie that in my opinion, have not been able to fully capture the magic of the characters. However with that said I believe Wonder Woman was the brightest and best part of BvS. Whenever she was on screen, she stole the scene and her role during the fight against Doomsday she was portrayed perfectly, her smiles, her joy at fighting whilst also being worried about other and being a heroine, was the essence of what has made this character so great.

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It is high time we get a movie with Wonder Woman. She is a member of the Justice League and alongside Batman and Superman forms the Trinity of DC, with the three of them being the most famous characters in DC and probably all of comics. I can’t wait for this movie and I truly hope it is a good one that finally becomes the critical success the DCEU has been waiting for. On June 2nd we will find out if her character has been done justice in film.

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Emma Frost – How to kill a character

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So cards on the table today I was not expecting to write on the blog. I have been very busy with work lately and today I was exhausted and thought about going to bed earlier. Before going to bed I decided to read the last issue of Inhumans vs X-Men wondering how Marvel was going to end this crossover (the latest in a series of many, many crossovers) and after reading it I have felt compelled to write about it. I am, generally, a very positive reader of comics. I accept almost all changes as long as they make sense and I tend to go along with almost all stories as long as they respect the characters and remain true to them.

Recently in my post about Logan I mentioned how thankful I was to that movie for reminding me how much I love the X-Men. However reading the ending of this story has really made me angry and upset and feeling bleak about the X-Men. Now before I go into details let me warn you that there will be plenty of spoilers on this post so read at your own peril. That said…WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK MARVEL? The ending has completely destroyed one of the greatest X-Men characters of all time and all of the character development that they did with Emma Frost since she joined the X-Men in the 2000s has been thrown down the drain. At the end of this crossover we see an Emma Frost who once she actually accomplishes her goal of ending the terrigen mists decides to kill all the Inhumans using sentinels…and in that way the authors of this series completely destroyed all of the character development that they have done with this character. Emma Frost, the survivor of Genosha, a place where she saw her students be killed by sentinels, decided to use those machines to kill the Inhumans…it makes no sense whatsoever.

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I am really sad about this decision. Marvel has lately not been able to capture the magic of the X-Men, struggling to give us good stories as they attempt to give a bigger focus on the Inhumans. However this has reached a new level. They have resorted to making Emma Frost, one of the strongest, iconic and inspiring mutant leaders into a woman who is not able to get over the death of her lover and becomes crazy about it. A feminist strong character reduced to the trope of just another crazy woman.

The great X-Men runs that we had in the 2000s by Wheedon and company in which we got awesome characters and great development both of Cyclops and of Emma Frost are slowly being deleted by Marvel. We first had to suffer through Marvel completely destroying Cyclops as a character and we now seem to be heading towards a similar fate for Emma. I loved both of this characters and their relationship as I felt that it made them stronger individually and helped them grow as a character and I won’t lie that I am saddened by how Marvel has developed things.

If things keep going this way I might have to stop reading X-Men, my favourite series, for some time and hope for the return of good stories that do not spit on the face of the characters and their development throughout the years. Whilst that day comes I will be at my home rereading some of the greatest X-Men stories and enjoying Cyclops and Emma Frost, all the time thinking to myself that Cyclops and Emma Frost were right.

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Galadriel – A Feminist Queen

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Today is International Women’s Day and I have decided that it would be appropriate to talk about one of the most awesome characters in all of high fantasy, a character that fascinated me as a kid and still continues to do to this day; Galadriel. Since the age of 11 when I first saw Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, I was immediately drawn to Galadriel who was beautifully played by the elegant Cate Blanchett. She was this mysterious, powerful elf who somehow was able to resist against Sauron. I would later start reading more about her and after reading The Silmarillion I realized that she had become one of my favourite’s characters of all time.

Galadriel, and prepare for me to go full on nerd here, is a royal Elf of both Noldor and Teleri descent. She was the grandchild of King Ingwë of the Vanyar and for some time she lived under the light of the Trees of Valinor before becoming one of the leaders of the Noldor during the rebellion and joining them in their flight to Valinor. Though she was an eager participant and leader in the rebellion, even stated by Tolkien as being the “only female to stand tall in those days” during the wars against Morgoth she would stop associating herself with the sons of Fëanor, marry Celeborn and eventually after the fall of Morgoth become the leader of the land of Lothlorien. During the Third Age she would be chosen to wear the Nenya ring and would join the struggle against Sauron. With the death of Gil-Galad she would become as Tolkien described “the mightiest and fairest of all the Elves that remained in Middle-earth” and would aid the Fellowship on their quest to Mordor. Before departing to Valinor as a reward for not giving into temptation with the One Ring, she would destroy Dol Goldur. At the end she would take to the Grey Havens and would be the only one of the leaders of the Noldorin exiles to return at a grand age of 7,000. (nerd moment over)

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This is of course a very quick summary of Galadriel, but the fairest of all the elven woman, had a great impact on me as a child. I was fascinated, as Frodo and Gimli were, by this wise and powerful woman. She was capable of seeing the future and to resist Sauron but most importantly was able to resist the call from the One Ring. That scene in the book and in the movie remains forever in my heart and I always recall it fondly. At age eleven I had not been exposed to many strong women in literature, sadly, and seeing this majestic queen who was respected by all and was incredibly powerful was very impactful.

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I was drawn to her as a character and the more I learned of her the more I thought she was a great character. Representing women in books is essential, as we grow up, if we are able to read characters like this on books it will go a long way towards helping feminism. We need to normalize women in power and as strong, wise leaders. I have been thankfully raised in a house where feminism is taught to us, however to those who have not, characters like Galadriel help a lot.

Next time you watch those great movies or read the astonishing books I invite you to take a second and bask in how glorious Galadriel is.