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The Complete History of Comic-Book Movies, Chapter 10: ‘Atom Man vs. Superman’

Atom Man vs Superman 1
Columbia

ScreenCrush editor, comic-book lover, and undiagnosed masochist Matt Singer is systematically watching every single (American) comic-book movie ever made in the order in which they were released. This week in The Complete History of Comic-Book Movies: Superman returns (but not Superman Returns).

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Smart, Nice and Sassy: ‘Good Girl’ Role Models Make Boring Heroes

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Girls need role models. This is an old canard, though it’s tempting to see its genesis in 1990s girl power — it’s just that it hasn’t always meant warmed-over Gloria Steinem quotes and the Spice Girls. June Cleaver was a Good Role Model for Girls. The Virgin Mary is a Good Role Model for Girls. Their ranks have swelled with Buffys, Lara Crofts, and Wonder Women, but they stand, toned of arm and glossed of lip, beneath the same banner.

In response to a dearth of women, mainstream comics now turns to the Good Role Model for Girls as a panacea. Spider-Gwen! Spider Woman! Batgirl! Hawkeye! Black Widow! All the women in X-Men! She-Hulk! Even Suzie in Sex Criminals! And oh, how the little girl marooned in 90s comic dungeons within me sang! It’s a new age, I thought; a turning point. The first issues fly by, and I purchase every single one.

And I am bored.

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The Complete History of Comic-Book Movies, Chapter 9: ‘Batman and Robin’ (1949)

Batman and Robin Serial 1
Columbia

ScreenCrush editor, comic-book lover, and undiagnosed masochist Matt Singer is systematically watching every single (American) comic-book movie ever made in the order in which they were released. This week in The Complete History of Comic-Book Movies: The Dynamic Duo return, in decidedly less than dynamic fashion.

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Marvel’s Faiza Hussain: ‘Better’ as Normal

newdefenders

Whatever Marvel is doing with Secret Wars, one established fact stands out to me: they’re bringing back British, hijabi superhero, and personal favorite, Faiza Hussain, to the printed page. My heart swells.

Faiza Hussain debuted in 2008, in Paul Cornell and Leonard Kirk’s Captain Britain & MI:13. I adored this book, and I immediately adored her; Faiza’s debut was both the introduction of a vibrant, individual human character and a tight superhero origin story. She's a necessary part of the Marvel Universe, not just because she represents modern Britain, but because there was already a seat laid for her at the Round Table.

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The 25 Best Superhero Movies of the Last 25 Years

Best Superhero Movies
Marvel/Warner Bros./Sony Pictures

After selecting the best sci-fi movies of the last 25 years and the best comedies of the last 25 years, ScreenCrush decided the only logical way to wrap up the #CountdownToUltron and Avengers 2 was to choose the best superhero movies of the last 25 years as well. Initially, this was just supposed to be a brief essay. But on an innocent field trip to the world’s most advanced genetics lab, this blog post was bitten by a radioactive list and transformed into the gargantuan piece you see before you. On that day, we all learned a valuable lesson: That with great power must come great listicles.

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‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ PR: Now with Slut-Shaming and Rape Jokes!

Marvel
Marvel

By now, it's the "slut" heard 'round the geek world: during their press tour for Avengers: Age of Ultron, actors Jeremy Renner and Chris Evans referred to Black Widow respectively as a "slut" and a "whore." They've since apologized - well, Evans apologized, Renner offered something else. Plus, a new clip from the movie reveals a rape joke - something proud feminist Joss Whedon should know better than doing. But is the fuss about these things worthwhile?

Well, yes. Words have meaning. And the words chosen by Renner, Evans, and Whedon in these situations happen to be words that demean women. When Black Widow is routinely left off of Age of Ultron merchandise, the fact that major players in the movie chose these words is extra uncomfortable.

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Ask Chris #237: What The Heck Happened In ‘Batman RIP’?

Ask Chris #237: Batman RIP

Q: Batman RIP: What's going on in this book? I like Morrison, but I do not follow the plot. -- @daingercomics

A: My friend, you have come to the right place. I generally think Grant Morrison gets a bad rap for writing superhero stories that are too complex --- a complaint that you see about almost everything he writes going all the way back to "Rock of Ages" in JLA, and probably back to Animal Man if you go looking for it --- but R.I.P. is a story with a whole lot of moving parts that can be pretty hard to keep track of unless you're the kind of person who has been obsessing over the details of 75 years of Batman comics for their entire life.

Fortunately for you, that's exactly what I am, which is one of the reasons that Batman R.I.P. is probably my favorite Batman story of all time.

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The Significance and Possibilities of the ‘DC Super Hero Girls’ Line

DC Super Hero Girls-feat

Yesterday, DC Entertainment announced a new consumer products line called DC Super Hero Girls, which will involve them teaming up with partners like Mattel, Random House, and Lego to create product for girls ages 6-12. This is a big deal not just in terms of comics, but in terms of licensed products for kids. But is this kind of gendered initiative what we need? Or is it, as some have stated, "pandering"? Unsurprisingly, I have a lot of thoughts on this matter.

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The Transformed Man, Act 2: Liars, A To D

Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye v.1

I’ve never liked the Transformers. The franchise never really got its hooks into me when I was a kid, and while I’ve tried to give it a shot as an adult, it’s never really clicked. But now, with the recommendations of almost everyone I know and a well-timed Humble Bundle sale, I’ve found myself in possession of three years worth (and counting) of IDW’s More Than Meets The Eye and Robots In Disguise comics. I’m working my way through a story arc every week, and if I have to read about these robots, you’re coming with me.

This week, the Transformers split into two groups, and Rodimus's crew encounters the ultimate in alien terror!

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From Kitty to Kamala: The Journey That Turned Ms Marvel into This Generation’s Hero

kitty-kamala

Kamala Khan is a superstar now. Introduced only a year ago by Marvel, she’s become a bona fide figurehead for the publisher. A young Muslim girl in America who develops powers and uses them to try and help people, her story has caught on with a mainstream audience and turned the Ms Marvel series into a real, actual hit, especially among the growing digital readership.

What’s fascinating about the character, though, is how clearly she’s embedded into the tradition of superhero comics, and how you can draw a direct line from her back through Marvel’s history, to some of the company's most popular female superheroes. Kamala broke through at just the right moment in time, in just the right way, for the readership to embrace her, but she owes a debt to several characters that came before her.

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