Top 10 Bad Ass Super-heroines

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I love that comics have become such a huge cultural fixation. Honestly they’ve always been, but with the introduction into the film world, they’ve found more followers than ever. Amidst ever-changing social acceptances and norms, comics are changing too. This means the comics that were once so white and male they’d have been lost in the snow and not have been able to see anyone to not ask directions from, are kind of getting a face lift. It’s about time.

These creations, though loved for years, were originally created in a culture that praised the racist, misogynistic, homophobic viewpoint. Thus they became white males by default. With the exception of a very few (that were created by Stan Lee who faced great opposition) minorities were pretty much shut out, though they enjoyed the comics just as much as their majority counterparts.

So now that comics have moved to film races are changing, genders are changing and that’s great because it’s a step towards fixing a tainted legacy and including all of those people who love and support this industry. Later I’ll do a list of the best comic book heroes who’s race or gender has been altered.

However today I’d like to salute those women that came before all of this, before Blade made it profitable to be a comic book hero on the big screen. This isn’t a ranking in order by the way, these women were selected because they are bad ass and in some cases, broke barriers. If they are “alternate dimension” versions or versions made primarily to capitalize off of a male hero’s popularity they aren’t on this list. So anything with “she” in their title ain’t on here.

This list was created in response to the lack of knowledge people have in regards to women super heroes and the desire to see a list about them that didn’t involve the words “hot”, “sexy”, or “boobs.”

#10 Wonder Woman

Wonder woman

 

Has to be on here of course so I just went ahead and put her first. First appearing in December of 1941, Wonder woman came on the heels of a new exciting interest in comic books.

With Superman and batman leading the way, detective comics wanted to find a way to really capitalize on the comic book medium. Diana was created by the already very successful psychologist William Moulton Marston and his wife Elizabeth. He’d already invented the polygraph (lasso of truth inspiration) and had been hired as an educational consultant. Though her past after his death was a bit rocky, she was quite objectified for a while and dumbed down. Each issue had a different “pin-up” poster of her.

Eventually though they got it together and she regained her bad ass status as a warrior of the Amazons. In addition to succesful comic books, she had her own very successful television show.

“Wonder Woman is psychological propaganda for the new type of woman who should, I believe, rule the world”, Marston wrote. With her bad ass attitude, fighting prowess, magic lasso, sword, armor, flight, and super strength, if she says she’s ruling the world. You’ll be fighting her, not me.

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Pictured, Batman agreeing with me.

#9 Storm

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Another one that HAD to make this list. First appearing in 1975 in the book Giant X-men, storm was originally supposed to be a male named Typhoon. However as they didn’t want an all male team, they combined two of the characters into one Storm Ororo Munroe. Born in Harlem to an African princess and a photojournalist, she didn’t have the cushy life one would expect of such noble birth. After moving to Egypt, her parents die leaving her an orphan.

Eventually she discovers her ability to control the weather and fly. She wanders through Cairo and the Serengeti using her powers to bring water to drought ravaged areas which eventually leads to her being praised as a goddess.

If that isn’t bad ass enough she eventually defeats Cyclops to become leader of the X-men, marries the black panther which literally makes her a queen of the most advanced civilization on the planet, she’s a diplomat, trained wolverine and most of the x-men in hand to hand combat, and is one of the most respected and widely known heroes ever created.

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#8 RocketScreenshot_2015-03-01-10-44-07

That’s Rocket. Flying through an attacking alien spaceship. In this issue she takes on a Gauntlet of 6 of the strongest alien warriors in the galaxy, and whoops all of them. Rocket has a pretty unique character arch. After discovering Agustus Freeman’s unique abilities, she is able to convince him to start helping people under the moniker of Icon.

There’s a whole arch where she gets pregnant and her best friend takes over as Rocket until she gives birth. When she comes back she’s stronger than before and a lot more willing to protect the planet. She’s teamed up with Static, Star chamber AND Shadow Cabinet, Super Boy, Static, and many more.

You probably got used to her on television’s Young Justice. Determined, Strong willed, and infinitely creative Rocket is one to follow with this new relaunch of Milestone.

Screenshot_2015-03-01-10-44-18Screenshot_2015-03-01-10-45-27Oh yeah Rocket “Never back down, Never Surrender.”

#7 Black Canary

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First appearing in 1941 she appeared to be a villain. Turns out she was infiltrating a criminal gang. She eventually became popular enough to take over the comic she originally was only a side character in! Dinah Lance is an extremely adept hand to hand combatant and in different incarnations can utilize an ultrasonic scream.

She helped found the birds of prey(if you get a chance check out the birds of prey episode of Batman Brave and the Bold). A time endearing hero, she’s been featured in almost all of the incarnations of the DC universe from Justice League cartoons to the Arrow live action television show.

Black canary is one powerful hero.

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Just stay out of her way.

 

#6 Amanda Waller

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I want you to look at that cover. I mean REALLY look at it. Joker doesn’t even talk to Batman like that. You know who does? Amanda “The Wall” Waller Ph.D. First appearing November 1986 shes been a “good guy” sometimes and a “bad guy other times.” But her motives are never selfish. What she does she does because of her un-matchable ability to see the big picture. Always calm and collected she’s got a plan for everything. No super powers but hangs with the biggest and baddest of the DC universe from Brainiac to Darkseid. She started the suicide squad and has been a government agent for years. She’s basically the Nick Fury of the DC universe. She’s been played by Pam Grier, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, and now Viola Davis.

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Don’t mess with the U.S or anybody under Waller’s protection.

 

#5 Iron ButterFly

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That’s Iron Butterfly liberating a refugee camp from the evil soldiers that had taken over. She’s a Palestinian Muslim and has ferrokinetic control of any and all metallic substances. As a young girl she had to flee from persecution in her home town. Eventually her family ends up in a refugee camp that begins testing gas chemicals on them. As she watched her family die in front of her, she was gifted with her powers. At least that’s the story she tells people. A founding member of the Shadow Cabinet, she’s saved the world more times than we’ll probably ever know. Completely militaristic in her dedication to her task, she is no-nonsense and fights with great intelligence and perfect utilization of her powers.

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She never backs down from a fight and has the strength, tenacity, and strategic skills to walk away a winner.

#4 Donner & Blitzen

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Yes I know it’s a “two-fer” but these two are truly a pair. Donner is the super strong, bullet resistant, stoic one and Blitzen is the super fast, super smart, wise cracking one. After becoming unsatisfied with the Shadow Cabinet, they start their own faction called Heroes including Iota, Payback, Starlight, and the one and only Static Shock. They move to New York and immediately stop an alien invasion. Oh and they are lesbians, openly, which is kind of a big deal in comics, especially 90s comics.

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Always ready to go fight at the drop of a dime, these two teammates work together splendidly.

#3 Invisible Woman Susan Richards

Susan Richards had somewhat of a rocky start. When she first appeared in 1961 she was completely utilized as the damsel in distress. Being captured, running away to hide, or waiting for her husband to come save her was her M.O. But with the advent of her Force field projection powers she’s become widely recognized as the strongest member of the team. This is witnessed several times in the Civil War arch. She is strong and no longer defined by her husband.

Especially in Civil War she actually leaves him due to differences in opinion on the registration act and how things were being handled. From the comics, to the television shows old and new, to the films, this character’s growth has turned her into the heart and soul of one of the greatest superhero teams ever created.

#2 Vixen

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Vixen was supposed to be the first African woman super hero for DC. Unfortunately they canceled her series before it was made. But that hasn’t stopped her from becoming one of the most recognizable woman superheroes of all time.

In ancient Africa, the warrior Tantu asked Anansi the Spider to create a totem that would give the wearer all of the powers of the animal kingdom, only if they would use the power to protect the innocent. Tantu used the totem to become Africa’s first legendary hero. The totem was later passed down to Tantu’s descendants until it reached the McCabes.

Growing up in a small African village in the fictional nation of Zambesi, M’Changa province, Mari Jiwe McCabe heard the legend of the “Tantu Totem” from her mother. Sometime later, Mari’s mother was killed by poachers and she was raised by her father Reverend Richard Jiwe, the village priest. Reverend Jiwe himself was killed by his half-brother (Mari’s uncle) General Maksai. Maksai wanted the Tantu Totem, which Jiwe had possessed. Mari ultimately moved to America, where she established an identity as Mari McCabe and got a job as a model in New York City. She used her newfound wealth to travel the world. On a trip back to Africa, she came across her uncle and took back the Tantu Totem, using its power to become the costumed superhero Vixen.

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Vixen subsequently has had her own limited series and has been featured in a wide variety of DC properties from television to video games.

 

#1 Lady Death Wish

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If you haven’t noticed this list has a lot of Milestone characters. Well trust they deserve to be on here, see that’s what happens when you make characters actually like people and not some stereotypical nonsense that fulfills your fantasy of what you want them to be. Take Deathwish for instance.

Now the original Deathwish has a terrifying backstory but Lady Deathwish (I know I said I wouldn’t have people like that but hear me out on one this one) has a pretty interesting tale and the entire series is told from his/her point of view.

Let me explain.

Deathwish starts off as male cop LT. Martin Rahm, but even then he knew deep down, this wasn’t who he really was (he still identified as male though). On a case he meets the original Death wish who shoves a gun in his face before realizing that Rahm was a cop searching the murder scene alone.

They fast forward four years and Martin Rahm is now Marisa, spoiler alert sex changes don’t make people any less bad ass. Marisa goes on a hunt for a sicko and ends up taking up the Moniker of DeathWish. Unfortunately only a limited series but there was plenty in there to solidify her standing as one of the biggest bad ass women in comic book history.

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Well that’s my list, hope you guys enjoyed it. Are there other’s you’d like to see? Agree or Disagree? Go ahead and leave a comment I’d love to hear your ideas!

Thanks for reading!

Sincerely,

Wiseguy Industries.

Why Diversity in films Matters for everyone. AKA BOYCOTTEXODUS

Before I get into why it matters for EVERYONE (especially you money makers) I’d like to start with a tweet.

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I know I’ve briefly touched on diversity in films in the past but this development has me diving back into the subject.

So a few days ago Rupert Murdoch decided to tweet something. I assume when his old wrinkly thumbs were moving across his blackberry screen he was clear-headed and not at all inebriated. But the tweet he sent out was ridiculous nonetheless. A tweet claiming that all the Egyptians he knew were white so whats the big deal about having an all white cast……for a movie filmed….. in Africa. While I don’t doubt uncle money bags only knows white people in Egypt. Your tiny little club of people you know in Egypt clearly doesn’t represent the entire country. And oh I’m sorry it’s not an all white cast, How silly of me. Here let’s see the cast.

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So…the main characters, the kings and queens. Those can be white, but for the slaves and assassins, now we have to be realistic. If all of the Egyptians Murdoch knows are white, why isn’t he complaining that the servants aren’t white as well? Blatant racism and whitewashing is why this film has been facing a boycott since its inception. #Boycottexodus is a pretty huge movement as minorities are tired of getting the old “heave-ho” whenever big productions feel like it. Which leads us to some very interesting statistics about diversity in film. Here are a few stats about Race and Hollywood based on a study done at UCLA.

Graph creater race Graph Creator graph leadThe lack of minority representation has always been known, but sometimes it’s good to actually see it. It’s actually sickening.  But here’s the GOOD news. Because of things like boycotts and people in general just being tired of this mess. There seems to be an upswing in people going to see films and tv shows with higher minority representation. This comes through in data obtained by

Movies with higher minority representation(21-30%) posted $160.1 million in global box office receipts in 2011. Films with lower Minority involvement(less than 10%) made just $68.5 million. That’s 91.6 million dollars MORE just for doing something you should be doing ANYWAY. I mean asinine, archaic Hollywood casting practices aside, the data is very clear. By being bigoted you are losing money Hollywood. Here’s the full report. See that’s why it matters for everyone, everyone makes more money, A LOT more money in the end. So do the right thing. Diversify your talent, your creators, your directors, hell diversify the agents at the agencies that represent these people. Watch your profits (which have been steadily dropping) soar.

 

Thanks for reading!

 

Sincerely,

 

Brian Bell

 

 

 

 

 

Live Action Static Shock!

static shock heroIt’s been ten years since the last episode of Static Shock aired, and unfortunately because of massive incompetence handling such a prime comic book character, he’s been flying somewhat under the radar ever since. After the new 52 line of comics crashed, Static was going to be on the phenomenal show Young Justice, but Cartoon Network pulled the plug on the whole show. So for ten years the character that’s tied for first place with Batman in terms of favorite comic book heroes, has not been highly celebrated. This is extremely unfair especially since at least in the animated universe he goes on to become the most powerful hero in the DC universe. I mean he took down the entire Justice League single-handed at the age of 14(granted they were under mind control but they still had their powers).

But apparently this strange Static banishment is changing! Yesterday Warner Brothers announced a new digital production unit called Blue Ribbon, that has immediately announced three series.

“Blue Ribbon has already given series orders to three shows, including an untitled Mortal Kombat series produced in partnership with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment that is tied to the upcoming Mortal Kombat X video game release in April 2015,” they write. “The action series include Static Shock, an adaptation of the Static comic from writer-producer-director Reginald Hudlin (Django Unchained). Also in development are Ouroboros from Akiva Goldsman (Paranormal Activity) and Damon Santostefano, which follows two police officers over one night in a remote part of Wisconsin.”

Static has so many rich story lines they can pull from, I really can’t wait to see what they are going to go with for the first major story arch. I’m sure Francis the hot head will come to play soon enough, but right after him I’d love to see Holocaust and the blood syndicate. I mean how much more evil can you get than calling yourself Holocaust?

All in all this is pretty cool and hopefully this is just the beginning. I would love to see Static have his own show on the CW like Arrow and Flash.

Thanks for reading! Any comments leave below!

Sincerely,

Brian Bell

Spoiler Free Review(Netflix!): Iron Man and Captain America – Heroes united

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Back to the spoiler free reviews! Today I will cover a new addition to the Netflix library. “Iron man and Captain America: Heroes United.” Since this movie goes downhill quickly I’ll be just as succinct. First off the animation style is extremely off-putting. The 3D animation has been done well with shows like Star wars the clone wars and Green lantern…but this seemed shoddily done and or rushed. The plot line is extremely generic and the dialogue was clearly crafted to get everyone’s little catch phrases in there. Also in terms of dialogue and character development they hit you over the head with every little character change that happens. Frankly it’s insulting, even if I were five…which I’m not.

I'm obviously a new born.
I’m obviously a new born.

 

 

So staggeringly generic plot lines and dumb dialogue aside, there are enough hand cannon blasts, shield tosses, and other destructive attacks to keep the eye flickering between the screen and whatever else you’re doing. However if you’re looking for something good to watch, avoid this at all costs. Sorry Marvel live action’s kicking butt but DC so far has got you on this direct to DVD thing.
one star
One out of five stars. Do yourself a favor and take this one out of your Netflix queue.

Thanks for reading!
Sincerely,

Brian Bell

How DC can optimize their upcoming film list easy as 123

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This past week DC released their list of upcoming movies.

2016: Suicide Squad (directed by David Ayer)
2017: Wonder Woman (starring Gal Gadot)
2017: Justice League Part One (directed by Zack Snyder)
2018 The Flash (starring Ezra Miller)
2018: Aquaman (starring Jason Momoa)
2019: Shazam
2019: Justice League Part Two (directed by Zack Snyder)
2020: Cyborg (starring Ray Fisher)
2020: Green Lantern

That’s a pretty intense list. I mean I’m geeking out about Suicide squad, that’s going to be quite the gritty action movie. Let’s take a look at the lessons they should learn from their OLD films and see how they can apply these hard learned lessons to their future releases.

3. Steel – Casting

Steel

Several things were wrong with this film(obviously). But for the sake of this article, let’s go with casting. Now it’s 2014 so I’m pretty sure they wont be casting any pro ball players in major roles, HOWEVER the lesson to be learned here is not to cast purely on numbers. See what Hollywood loves to do is test an actor’s name with audiences. The actor with the most positive response likely gets the role. This doesn’t always work, sometimes it’s best to look at someone with little or no name. If they need a refresher course for that they can look at that last green lantern movie.

2. Diversify

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Tell me this doesn’t aggravate your soul

Yes, diversify.  John Stewart is the tough as nails Ex-Marine and sometimes ladies man Green Lantern. If you were born in the late 80s early 90s that was your first Green Lantern. The animated series have a LOT of weight regardless of what the “purist comic book fans” would have you believe. Most people are introduced to the comics via the animated series, and according to the animated series, John Stewart was the Green Lantern who helped found the Justice League.

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*Backstory From 2001-2006 he was showcased on television with the justice league show, justice league unlimited, static shock, and appearances in video games. At one point Common was even cast to play him in a film adaptation but the WGA strike pushed it back and they switched it to Hal Jordan for unknown reasons. *Backstory ends

Why go with a character that your target demographic doesn’t know? Especially when diversifying your film actually makes you money and you ALREADY EXPOSED EVERYONE TO THAT CHARACTER. Anyway DC fix this mess.

1. Writing

I will never let this go.
I will never let this go.

Lest we forget the original Justice League of America made for tv movie. Pretty much terrible in every way possible when it comes to writing.

Now on the other hand they are using a great writer to headline most of these films. But as great as David Goyer has been for you guys, can he get a break? I mean…seriously he’s done all the Batman films, Man of steel AND signed on for the next one. He’s doing the Justice League movie…He’s going to be completely tapped out!
This time let’s try not to make these soooo “kid friendly” I mean, granted DC can be the boy scouts of the comic world at times…but suicide squad NEEDS to be rated R.

Well that’s the 123 of it, here’s hoping for great releases for all of the films. Really looking forward to Cyborg, Wonder Woman, and of COURSE Batman Vs Superman (still salty about Affleck)

Thanks for reading!

Sincerely

Wiseguy Industries.

Spoiler Free Review Presents: This Is The End

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I just “binge watched” every DVD I could get my hands on. So here we go with the spoiler free reviews! Feel free to leave your own comments below!

Plot

Jay Baruchel flies to LA to hang out with his buddy Seth Rogan. After an afternoon of fun with just the two of them, Seth suggests they go over to James Franco’s house for his house-warming party. Jay reluctantly agrees and while they are there all hell breaks loose, literally. Now the remaining party members must figure out what is going on and try to survive.

EXECUTION

The movie is unique in that everybody in it plays fictionalized versions of themselves. I’m not sure how they got so many celebrities to do cameos (Kevin Hart, Rhianna, Michael Cera, that guy from How I met your mother) but they were all pretty funny. The movie just gets funnier as time goes by, albeit quite dark. The way it’s presented however I doubt most would realize how dark it really is. The direction, acting, and comedic timing of this film were really on point.

Music

Backstreet’s back ALRIGHT! There are several popular songs used throughout the film including that backstreet boys hit, gangnam style, Spirit in the sky, and more. Also Henry Jackman created a great moody score for the film. The music is placed well and really adds to the overall mood of the film.

CAST

Directed by

Seth Rogen
Evan Goldberg
Produced by
Seth Rogen
Evan Goldberg
James Weaver

Screenplay by

Seth Rogen
Evan Goldberg
Story by
Seth Rogen
Evan Goldberg

Starring

Seth Rogen
Jay Baruchel
James Franco
Jonah Hill
Danny McBride
Craig Robinson
Michael Cera
Emma Watson

RATING

5-Stars

Five stars! Definitely do not pass this one up on your next trip to the…Blockbuster?

Lord I'm old...PurpleBox?
Lord I’m old…PurpleBox?

Well however you get your DVDs definitely pick this one up! It’s funny, well-directed, and best of all, completely different from the legions of terrible films that come out every day.

Well thanks for reading! Hope this helps!

Sincerely

Brian Bell-Wiseguy Industries

Spoiler Free Review Presents: Captain Phillips

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Plot

Captain Phillips, played by Tom Hanks, boards a ship to take food and water to Mombasa. The trip will take them around Somalia. Wary of heightened pirate activity in the area, Captain Phillips is putting his crew through test emergency drills to help them prepare when the attack happens. The rest of the movie basically centers around the Captain attempting to save his crew and cargo with little, to no regard for his own safety.

EXECUTION

The beginning established the characters on both sides. I really respected the fact that they at least tried to show how poverty-stricken Somalia really is. It gave the pirates a more realistic feel. However after that opening sequence we don’t get much of that and it frequently delves into the “corny” realm. The acting and direction were superb, it’s just the lines were a tad banal.

Music

A few popular tunes here and there such as Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight.” Mostly silence or a nice film score composed by Henry Jackman(Kick-ass,Xmen first class,This is the end). While the music did help create a nice suspenseful mood, it wasn’t intrusive.

Cast

Directed by

Paul Greengrass

Produced by

Michael De Luca
Dana Brunetti
Scott Rudin
Kevin Spacey
Written by Billy Ray

Starring

Tom Hanks
Barkhad Abdi
Music by Henry Jackman

Cinematography Barry Ackroyd

Editing by Christopher Rouse

Rating

3-stars-out-of-5

While the acting and direction were great, the movie is undeniably boring and a little corny. Tom Hanks’ performance was great but it was like watching CNN for 2 hours, yes it’s entertaining, but it gets real old, real quick. All in all I’d say catch this on DVD but there are other movies out there that I wish I’d spent my money on.

Thanks for reading!

Sincerely,

Brian Bell-Wiseguy Industries