Judging by the internet, I’m not alone in saying that Wonder Woman has restored my faith in DC. As a fan of their animated features, especially the earlier version of the film made in 2009, I was pleasantly surprised by Gal Gadot’s portrayal of the Princess of the Amazons.
But with the film doing as well as it is, I couldn’t help but mull over how many other superheroines deserve more screentime. Too often are such characters left less fleshed out, pushed to the side, or tokenized in lieu of their male counterparts. While full-length movies and spinoffs aren’t for everyone, the following five characters definitely deserve more love. I did my best to pick a variety of girls and women who are beloved in their own right – if only a bit underused.
The Ruby in the Smoke, Book One of Philip Pullman’s Sally Lockhart series, never gained the same fame as The Golden Compass and the rest of Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, perhaps for good reason. It’s a cute story but doesn’t have quite the magical draw of epic world-building that bolsters his other works. From a feminist perspective, I appreciated the feisty female protagonist who demonstrates math skills and business acumen, but on an intersectional level, the book fails. The novel is meant to be a treatise against opium and the role England played in encouraging the opium industry, but it is rife with simplistic or downright racist depictions of Asians and the East. Continue reading Book Review: Philip Pullman’s The Ruby in the Smoke→
If you’re looking for a good YA series with bisexual, Hispanic, or autistic representation, it might be time to hop on the Dark Artifices train, as the second book was just released last Tuesday, May 23. From the author who brought us our first Jewish vampire and an immensely powerful gay warlock comes a new spin-off series from her original The Mortal Instruments world. Today I will review Lady Midnight (Book 1 of The Dark Artifices) by Cassandra Clare, particularly focusing on the minority characters Mark, Christina, and Ty. Continue reading Diversity Among Shadowhunters: Cassandra Clare’s Lady Midnight→
A whole episode about Laura Moon! Whether you read the book or not, you probably have conflicting feelings about Laura. She’s the love of Shadow’s life, but she is no saint, which this episode reaffirms.
With the vaguest of titles, Everything, Everything doesn’t offer a lot of promise by name alone. But is there ever going to be one that can explain the story of a teenager with an immune disorder, falling for the boy next door? Not really, but this very distant Little Prince reference will have to do. And with its mix of basic posters yet heavy load of trailers, this YA adaptation has quite the hill to climb – especially since its lead character can’t even go outside. But does all of that mean this film is a failure from the start? Well no, the case is quite the most lovely (though flawed) of opposites.
Recently, I’ve been reading Literary Wonderlands: A Journey through the Greatest Fictional Worlds Ever Created by Laura Miller. It outlines literary works with the best world-building across history, from early myths to modern sci-fi/fantasy franchises. Inspired by this, I’d like to share with you some of the books with the most immersive settings I’ve ever read, books that had me walking their worlds long after I closed the pages. (I skipped the obvious ones like Harry Potter, which were of course featured in Literary Wonderlands.) Continue reading Best Worlds and Settings in Modern Sci-fi/Fantasy→
It’s a double-post for American Gods! Episode 2’s Coming to America story introduced Anansi in a manner that doesn’t just strike a chord for black America, it’s the start of a symphony. It was raw, powerful, and true. The rest of the episode moved rather slowly, while Episode 3 had a bit more plot advancement and brought us deeper into the backstage world of the Gods.
Guy Ritchie is a man with a particular set of filmmaking skills. With his smart dialogue, high energy action and distinct visuals, he’s one of those directors that stands out. You know a Guy Ritchie movie when you see it. Sometimes this unique perspective works, while more recently it has resulted in some interesting flops. But do Ritchie’s sensibilities mix well with Camelot’s greatest hero? This is the question many a viewer will ponder while watching King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, as it seems neither Guy Ritchie nor his fellow producers have such an answer.
The first Guardians of the Galaxy was a surprise that no one saw coming. A franchise built upon the shoulders of a talking raccoon, a giant tree alien, and other outer space ragamuffins wasn’t exactly the typical Marvel package at the time. But in the summer of 2014, the world was introduced to this crew, and audiences grew to love them, making the obvious sequel one of the most anticipated of Marvel’s quite action-packed release schedule. So does Vol. 2 of Star-Lord and company’s adventures hold up to Vol. 1? Well, if we’re talking mix tapes, this definitely seems like the kind made by a mature college student than a high schooler.
I’ve mentioned the Shannara Chronicles by Terry Brooks several times before, and now with season two of the TV show tentatively predicted for Summer 2017, I decided it was time for a re-read. I chose to start with book 2 of the series, The Elfstones of Shannara, because that is where the TV show starts from. Published in the 1980s, Elfstones stands apart from many high fantasy epics by featuring two prominent female characters. Amberle and Eretria, while both involved in a love triangle with protagonist Wil Ohmsford, present two very different notions of femininity in a genre that often lacks any representation at all. But can they be said to be feminist characters? Continue reading Women of Shannara: A Feminist Look at Amberle and Eretria→