Support Shawn's writng with a donation

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Shawn’s Thoughts On The Wonder Woman Trailer

She's NOT in the Trailer!

Along with the Justice League Trailer, Warner Brothers debuted a Wonder Woman trailer at San Diego Comic Con. At least that’s who they want us to believe this female is. This isn’t the Princess Diana of Paradise Island. She’s Conan with a clitoris.

There’s a powerful Amazon on the screen of this so-called Wonder Woman Movie. And her story starts just like the story of Wonder Woman with a guy named Steve Trevor getting his plane shot down and crashing near a place called Paradise Island. There a girl named Diana finds him, hears his story and wants to go to man’s world to help him fight the war. 

It kind of sounds like Wonder Woman’s origin. But as you watch the trailer you soon realize something is wrong. The setting for this so-called Wonder Woman story is 1917, World War I, not the World War II the real Wonder Woman made her debut in. And Paradise Island isn’t a place of peace filled with a group of relaxed, happy-go-lucky women who have built an advanced society with technological wonders like the Purple Ray or the Invisible Jet. No, these women are aggressive females who live for violence and war.

Nor is this Princess Diana been granted powers by ALL the Greek Gods. In a butchering of the character’s history, Diana is now the daughter of Zeus, not a child made of clay and brought to life by the gods. What makes Wonder Woman distinct is that she gets her life and her power from all the Greek gods. The beauty of Aphrodite. The wisdom of Athena. The speed of Hermes. All the stuff that enables her to do all those feats and Wonders.

 And this Princess Diana strays from the mission of the Wonder Woman in the comics. She isn’t disguising herself as a Yeoman in the United States Navy who desires to be near Steve Trevor and the action so she can help men and women out during the war. Nor is she a diplomat who knows how to use her grace and social skills to facilitate amicable relationships with foreign powers as a representative of Paradise Island and the U.S Military. The kind of woman who tries to facilitate a peaceful resolution to conflict and only uses violence as a last resort.

 No, this woman needs to have a sword and shield to do most of her wonders. A magic lasso just isn’t enough for her to fight straw men and paper tigers.

Worse, this Princess Diana lacks the heart and compassion of the real Diana of Paradise Island. The woman onscreen expresses no love or caring for much of anyone. She’s colder than a block of ice in Antarctica. In most of the frames she’s an aggressive bully with an attitude. The kind of woman who overcompensates for her insecurities being around men by wearing her sword with an evening gown. The kind of woman who doesn’t value being a woman. The kind of woman who wants to be a man and take the place of a man in society. Basically, Conan with a clitoris.

What was in that trailer was what Social Justice Warriors and Third Wave Feminists imagine Wonder Woman as, but not who she truly is. There’s a lot more to Wonder Woman than the surface. Unfortunately Warner Brothers didn’t dig deep enough to show it in that trailer.

Yeah, Wonder Woman is a feminist concept created by William Moulton Marston. But what I saw in the trailer betrays the spirit of the character he designed. Marston wanted to create a female hero with the strength and power equal to male heroes like Superman, but knew inside and out she was a woman.  While we saw the wonder onscreen, we didn’t see what made her a woman.

And that’s what’s wrong with the new Wonder Woman movie. The woman onscreen is physically strong and powerful. But Wonder Woman’s greatest strength comes from being warm, caring, compassionate, and understanding. Yes, she can hold her own with the men while fighting the bad guys. But what makes her GREAT is how she is a friend to anyone who asks for her help. It’s hard to see the character Gal Gadot plays having any of Wonder Woman’s heart and love for humanity.

 Yes, Warner Brothers Wonder Woman looks like an entertaining action packed period film. However, it lacks any warmth, heart or personality. It’s a cold indifferent viewing experience that doesn’t capture the essence of who Wonder Woman truly is. What you see onscreen is Gal Gadot in a costume that kind of looks like Wonder Woman’s playing a character that acts like she’s a fusion of Conan and Xena. A woman we’re told is an Amazon. Unfortunately, she’s not the ambassador of peace and goodwill Wonder Woman is. For all the Wonder onscreen, Warner Brothers forgot all about what makes Diana a great woman.

As a guy who writes strong heroines like Isis, E’steem, Colleen Anderson, and Matilda Crowley, I was really disappointed by the Wonder Woman Trailer. Instead of Wonder Woman fans getting a story about Princess Diana a woman who displays the strength of character to do what’s right for others, we get a movie featuring a self-righteous hypermasculine female who does what’s right for herself. That’s not the kind of hero I believe William Moulton Marston envisioned Wonder Woman to be, and I don’t think it’s the kind of hero a girl should aspire to become.

It’s a shame that Warner Brothers won’t produce a movie that DC fans can’t get behind and get excited about. Maybe if Warner Brothers would let their characters be themselves and stop trying to change their characters to fit some director and some executive’s vision of them, fans might have a reason to spend money on a movie ticket at the box office.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Shawn’s Thoughts On The Justice League Trailer

I guess The Flash is wearing Fractal Techgear in the movie!

Warner Brothers debuted The Justice League Trailer at San Diego Comic Con last week. And while Shawn can’t afford a trip to SDCC, he can go to a Library and catch that same trailer on YouTube. And when I saw that trailer I wasn’t impressed.

I didn’t think it was possible to surpass the crappiness of Batman V. Superman, but here we are.

Warner Brothers’ executives fear was all over that screen. In a desperate attempt to copy Marvel Studios’ films we have Warner Brothers’ executives trying to turn the Justice League into The Avengers.

Unfortunately Justice League ain’t the gonna be in the…League of anything Marvel Studios has produced so far. Justice League is just AWFUL with a capital A. 

Here’s the plot: A big menace from Apokalips or somewhere in space is coming to Earth. And Batman and Wonder Woman are recruiting a team of heroes to take it on.

Really? A $400+ million budget and this is the best Warner Brothers’ screenwriters can come up with?

Damn. Just Damn.

I remember seeing this plot in about a dozen Saturday morning cartoons and lame Japanese Animes in the 1980s.


It’s embarrassing that Paul Dini and Bruce Timm can produce a Justice League movie that captures the heart and spirit of what DC’s heroes were all about for basic cable but a director like Zack Snyder can’t produce a quality film with Oscar winning screenwriters and a budget that’s three or four hundred million dollars.

With the tools Warner Brothers has and the money they spend they should be able to produce a fillm on the level of Marvel Studios The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Captain America: Civil War. But due to insecurity, a lack of creativity, and an adherence to an archaic approach to 1980s-1990’s filmmaking, 2016 DC Comics superhero films look like something the Salkinds made in the 1980s.

Seriously, everything about this film is just JUNK. I didn’t see the spirit or the heart of what DC heroes were in that film. In those jumbled frames I saw a bunch of people TELLING the world why they were heroes instead of SHOWING us why they are heroes. And that’s a big problem with Warner Brothers Superhero films. They TELL instead of SHOW.

We have people telling us Aquaman helps people by giving them fish. We have Aquaman standing in the hall looking tough. I’m sorry that’s NOT GOOD ENOUGH to get butts into seats. I want to see Aquaman in the water, standing on top of a whale cutting a look at Batman before asking him what he wants.

And those frames with Barry Allen? Ripped Straight from Captain America: Civil War. Everything in those sequences stolen straight from the scenes Tony Stark had with Peter Parker.

When a director has to imitate instead of creating his own frames, you know a film is in trouble creatively. With a film like Justice League Zack Snyder should be showing us how he tells a story. But with his back to the wall he decides to copy the Russos.

Good Gravy.

Here’s a thought: How about hiring The Russos to direct a Justice League movie? It’d probably be better than this.

Warner Brothers desperation shows in every frame of that trailer. Each scene of Justice League tries desperately to capture the energy and spirit of a Marvel Studios film. Warner Brothers knows it’s two going on three flops (Man of Steel, Batman V. Superman, Suicide Squad) and they need a hit.

It ain’t gonna be this movie. Justice League is just shit thrown at a wall.

Seriously, this is THE BEST Warner Brothers has to offer DC Comics fans? A warmed over 1980s Saturday morning plot, Bad acting and horrible CGI? Oh, and let me not forget that shittacular Flash costume. It’s embarrassing when CW’s own TV show can create a better costume than the production of a major motion picture with fifty times the budget.

Even this Total Justice action figure variant from a 2-pack looks better than that Flash Costume Warner Brothers made.

DC Comics fans deserve better than this half-assed attempt at movie making. For years they’ve been waiting for a film that’s on the level of a Marvel Studios film. And sadly all Warner Brothers executives does is throw shit at them and hope, wish and pray they’ll enjoy they’ll stick around and continue watching.

Oh, I’m not done. The Wonder Woman movie Trailer is gonna get ripped a new one in the next blog!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Isis Vs. Wonder Woman- How They Are Different

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Diversity At Marvel And DC…Where?

Asian Hulk
Female Thor
Black Captain America
Black/Latino Spider-Man
Black Female Iron Man
Latino Blue Beetle
Black Firestorm
Black Female Huntress

You would look at all these major characters at the Big two and think there would be a major step in diversifying both universes.

But that’s not the case at all. These characters are just tokens who will be discarded once the gimmick stops being popular.

On the surface it looks like Marvel and DC are making a serious effort at diversity. However, when one looks at who is on the payroll Marvel and DC today it’s still 95% White males.

And because the creators of these “diversity” heroes are STILL 95% White males no one can really take this attempt at “diversity” seriously.

If White Males creating these so called “diverse” heroes of different ethnicities, then where is the diversity?

If the big two were really serious about diversity they’d be serious about hiring more minorities behind the scenes to write and draw their comics. There are thousands of talented writers and artists of color like myself who would have been interested in working for them.

But instead of looking at our portfolios, the White Males at the Big Two would rather pretend to promote diversity in a passive aggressive way by oversaturating the market with poorly developed, poorly designed knock-offs of White characters. And then when these characters fail to catch on, blame the readers for not buying said characters.

Meanwhile, characters of color that have built a following like John Stewart, Steel, Mal Duncan, Battle Star, Pulsar, Vixen, Mr. Terrific, Icon, Static and countless others remain unused and ignored by the Big Two.

Perhaps if the big two made a serious effort towards hiring writers and artists of color they could be a bit more creative with the existing characters in their catalogs. Maybe they could build a bigger following for those well-known characters I mentioned.

But it seems the White Males at the Big Two don’t want any Black heroes overshadowing their icons the way Static was starting to back when Static Shock was on the air. The whole idea of a Black hero made by a Black man being as popular as Batman and Superman  scares the shit out of many comics creators.

Why? Because one of the last fiefdoms of White Supremacy would be dismantled. Superhero for some in the comic book business and some comic fans means White Males being superior to everyone. A Black creator working on White superheroes shatters that ideology of White males being superior. The whole idea of a Black man or woman controlling the fate of a White male hero is a scary concept for many in the comic book business.

And the whole idea of creators of color coming into their workspace and creating better stories and better characters makes them uneasy.

Instead of creating a Black version of a White hero, how about the Big two go out and hire talented Black writers and artists to work on their comics. That would be a serious step in the right direction towards diversifying the comic book industry.

Monday, July 18, 2016

RiRi Williams, Marvel's New Mary Sue

There’s a big controversy over RiRi Williams the Black female Iron Man. However, once a reader looks past the flash, they see there’s little substance. 

Structurally, RiRi Williams is a poorly designed character. Basically she’s a Mary Sue in an Iron Man suit. What’s a Mary Sue? A character who knows everything, can do anything and everything based on whatever situation the writers throw her into. Because that character is a cipher who represents the writer in a fantasy world like the Marvel Universe. 

Looking at the foundations for this so-called 15-year-old genius, she’s just too smart for her own good. And the foundations for her creation are virtually implausible even from a comic book perspective.  

Some will argue that 15-year-old Peter Parker made his own webshooters. Yeah, gifted and talented kids that age can create small simple devices like that. And the formula for Spider-Man’s webbing would be fairly simple to create with basic household chemicals and stuff like rubber cement. 

Others will argue that Reed Richards created all sorts of inventions when he was younger. But he didn’t become Mr. Fantastic until he got bombarded with those cosmic rays. And he didn’t refine his inventions until he got older. 

And a few will debate that Tony Stark was a brilliant inventor even when he was a child. But Tony Stark spent years inventing and creating and learning from his mistakes before he even came up with the Iron man armor in that VietCong camp with Professor Yinsen. And over the years he refined his tech improving it with each passing year going from cogs gears until it evolved into a micro-circuited mesh armor featuring advanced computers and weaponry such as repulsors and pulse bolts. 

In each of those cases we saw a natural and organic progression to these characters development and growth over their character transformation arcs. But you’re gonna tell me RiRi Williams at 15 is so smart she’s gonna be able to hack Abe Zimmer’s tapeworm, hack Stark Enterprises’ private security files and find the specs for Iron Man’s Armor and start building her own suit? 

I’m sorry that’s Mary Sue Territory. 

Even 15-year-old Tim Drake in A Lonely Place of Dying wasn’t this smart. Yes, Tim deduced Bruce Wayne was Batman in that classic story. And he figured out Dick Grayson was Robin and there had to be some sort of tragedy that led to Batman being solo. But after he put on the Robin suit to take on Two-Face in that junkyard it still took him two YEARS of training before he was ready to put on his own Robin costume. 

And in that time he had to prove himself against Bat rogues like KGBEAST, King Snake, Lady Shiva and the Joker. The big problem with RiRi Williams is that she isn’t a well thought out character. I just can’t believe a teenager, even a genius who goes to MIT can build an entire suit of Iron Man armor. Having been on a college campus, I know most dorm Singles are the size of a walk-in closet. If Tony Stark needs a lab at his corporation to build his armors, where would she have the room to keep the equipment and tools and computers to keep that kind of equipment?

Moreover, where would she get the money to make this suit? Iron Man suits must cost millions of dollars. Even crude knock-offs are gonna cost a couple of thousand bucks. Even with Workstudy this kid ain’t got that kind of cash. And she wouldn’t find these kinds of tools to make an Iron Man Suit at the MIT Bookstore. 

And when would she even have the time to even build this armor? Even geniuses need time to sleep and eat. Not to mention going to class. Yeah, Tony has time to tinker with the Iron Man suit he built. But he owns Stark Enterprises. He has other employees working for him running things so he can focus on bigger stuff like building Iron Man suits and saving the world. 

 Like Wesley Crusher in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens RiRi Wiillams just knows too much and can do too much. She’s underdeveloped and poorly thought out. Who needs Tony Stark to be Iron man When RiRi Williams is just as smart as he is? Who would need Reed Richards in a couple of years? With the direction this character is headed she could be the next Wesley Crusher building her own starship. 

When I look at RiRi Williams she shows me how little Brian Michael Bendis knows about Iron Man. Instead of crafting stories utilizing Tony’s rogues and supporting cast, he creates this Mary Sue to overcompensate. Yes, she’s a black Female. And she’s got on an Iron man suit. That’s the flash that gets people’s attention.

But she lacks the foundation for a solid character transformation arc. Good characters have strengths and weaknesses that can be fleshed out during their character transformation arcs. It’s their flaws and imperfections that allow us to connect with them and identify and relate with them. If a character knows too much and can do too much early on there’s no room for them to learn and to grow.

That prevents the reader from learning and growing with them. Taking away from the reading experience. And giving the reader no incentive to care about their adventures. 

I know Marvel is desperate to add some diversity to their ranks.  And Black readers are desperate to see characters of color in Mainstream comics. But poorly thought out poorly designed characters don’t help diversify the marvel Universe. In most cases these “Colored” versions of White characters just get lost in the shuffle like Battle Star did in the 1990’s. If Marvel wants to diversify their universe, then create an original Black female character with tech-based powers. That’d sell more comics in the long run than creating another Iron man knock-off that’ll be forgotten in three to five years. 

Friday, July 15, 2016


Okay, I’ve been really busy. Right now I’m working on two projects: The Spinsterella prequel Spellbound, and a nonfiction project inspired by a series of YouTube Videos I did called Why You shouldn’t Hire a Mangina. When I did those videos I realized there were a lot of Simps in the workplace. And I wanted to teach men why they should STOP SIMPIN in the workplace.

Every year men put their careers at risk Simpin and trickin on the job. And they cost their companies billions of dollars in sexual harassment lawsuits and losses from crimes like embezzlement and fraud in their quest to chase the panties of some female on the job. I’m hoping the STOP SIMPIN in the workplace book will help men understand why they need to put themselves FIRST on the job. Because the only person looking out for a man on the job is himself

Anyway, here’s a sample chapter of the book I’m hoping to have out by either the holiday season or early 2017.

Chapter 18 (Tentative)
The Dangers Of He Said, She Said Situations

One of the most dangerous places for a man on the job is working alone in an office or part of an office space with a woman. In those situations a man doesn’t have anyone around to witness what goes on between them. If there’s some sort of workplace issue or personal issue between them, a man can find himself in between a rock and a hard place.
Simps think being alone with a woman in the office is actually a good thing. They believe if they’re alone with a woman they’ll have an opportunity to make a powerful first impression on her. And if an innocent conversation that turns sexual or happens to escalate into horseplay between him and a woman he’s getting brownie points with her.
He has no idea that he may have possibly signed his own pink slip. In some cases he may have even have signed his own arrest warrant. What most Simps don’t know is that being alone with a woman in an office creates a he said she said situation. And in that situation it’s his word against hers.
And usually in the workplace Human Resource managers are going to take her word over his.
Simps don’t understand that predatory women love situations where they are alone with men. Because they know they can turn them to their advantage. Predatory women love getting people’s emotions riled up. And they use people’s emotions to turn herself into a victim and him into a villain. And because most workplaces are gynocentric and most HR people will favor the female, she knows he doesn’t have a leg to stand on in a he said, she said situation on the job.
Predatory women will use he said she said situations to set themselves up for a sexual harassment lawsuit or civil lawsuit. And with only two witnesses they usually win. Because it’s hard for a company to argue against a sobbing woman on the witness stand.
Smart men make sure they keep their professional interactions with women public. And they make sure there are always witnesses around when they are working with women. If they have to work in private with a female they always bring another female employee with them to witness their interaction. Some men make sure to have some sort of recording device on like a Smartphone to have a visual and audible record of their communications. The more evidence a man has to protect himself from a he said, she said situation, the safer he’ll be in the workplace.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Could Comics have Broken Shawn’s Heart?

Jack Kirby once said that Comics will break your heart. I have to wonder if I dodged a bullet back in the 1990’s.

Ever since I was a kid I always wanted to write comics. But looking at the state of the industry these days I’m starting to think I dodged a bullet.

These days the comic book business is in turmoil. Practically every year there’s a reboot at the big two. Books barely last six or eight issues before they’re cancelled. Creative teams change at the drop of a hat and there’s no real direction or even continuity between titles. Everything is so unstable that heroes don’t even keep the same secret identity or even the same gender anymore.

Comics are more confusing today than when I was a kid. Back then you saw your favorite characters in those brightly colored costumes and bought your favorite comics. The stories were easy to follow. Anyone and everyone could figure things out.

But looking at the mess the Big Two has become I wouldn’t want to write comics these days. Having to deal with the jumble that is today’s continuity would be a NIGHTMARE. Thanks to all the reboots, retcons and relaunches it’d be a headache just to plot a story arc.  Who’s dead? Who’s alive? Who is even the main character supposed to be? And what universe are they in again?

It’d be heartbreaking for me to be in the middle of writing a story arc and be told by an editor that the series was cancelled. And it’d be a real insult to injury to find out that all that hard work I put in wound up being erased from continuity in a reboot six months later. 

I’m starting to think I’m better off writing novels, screenplays fantasy and YA fiction. Yeah, the road is pretty rough on this side of the street. But the publishing business has always been a rough game. But when I look over at the comic side of publishing and see how brutal it is to creators, I’m starting to realize things are better over here than over there.

At least we authors on the trade publishing side get to keep the rights to our characters. And we have a say over how they’re adapted on those rare chances they’re brought to TV and movies. And when we self-publish, we control what direction our characters go in.

In the trade publishing world there are no reboots, no retcons, and no restarts. Every story is an entry point, and stories are still easy to follow. If someone even proposed a reboot in the trade publishing world they’d be shot down not only by editors but by readers as well. Readers of romance and genre fiction like sci-fi just wouldn’t put up with that bullshit.

Yeah, I’d still love to write comics. But looking at the business these days, I’m starting to count my blessings. As stressful as the world of trade publishing is, it’s not as soul crushing as working in the comic book business.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Are Some Comic Book Characters Better Off DEAD?

Jason Todd.
Damian Wayne.
Barry Allen.
Norman Osborn.
Gwen Stacy.
Hal Jordan.

That’s just part of a short list of characters I believe who would be better off staying dead.

But unfortunately they’re walking around the land of the living right now.

I’m not a fan of killing characters. I’ve often expressed my regrets about killing of E’steem in 2002. So I’m very hesitant to kill a character off unless it’s absolutely necessary.

But there are some characters whose deaths had an impact on a character. And were significant in their histories. A few had an impact on the universe they were in. And I have no problem with those characters staying dead.

When I look at the deaths of characters like Bucky, Barry Allen, Jason Todd, Norman Osborn, Gwen Stacy and even Hal Jordan they had a lasting impact on the characters in the titles they were featured in and even the universe they participated in. Some of these deaths like those of Norman Osborn and Gwen Stacy were so iconic they became part of the Spider-Man legend. Others like the death of Barry Allen they resonated for decades throughout the DC Universe. And a few like Jason Todd’s death and Bucky’s death led to characters like Batman and Captain America growing and changing for the better.

The way I see it there are some characters who are better off dead. Their deaths are a major part of a characters’ backstory and a major part of their history. And to undo them would be sacrilege.

Unfortunately, writers desperate for sales in today’s comic book business have undone most of these significant deaths to shock readers into buying more comics. And while many do buy them, in the short-term, the legacy of the characters gets tarnished in the long term.

With each resurrection of major character in a historically significant story, the impact of death in comics has no sting these days. Readers no longer feel the emotional impact of a character’s death the way they did when Amazing Spider-Man #120-121 came out and Gwen Stacy and Norman Osborn died. Nor do they feel the impact of a heroic death like Barry Allen’s death during the Crisis of Infinite Earths. These days most comic readers are so indifferent to the announcement of a death of a major character they’re just counting down the hours before they’ll be brought back.

I never thought I’d see the day when Superhero comic books would become Looney Tunes. But here we are. The death of any superhero these days has as much meaning as Daffy Duck or Wile E. Coyote.

If there are no historically significant deaths in a characters’ universe or a comic book universe then where is the readers’ incentive to buy into the stories. Why should the reader care about buying comics if writers can’t leave any part of the backstory or the character’s history intact?

With nothing to connect readers to the past many characters are becoming lost and directionless today. One of the main reasons comics feel so jumbled and confusing today is because writers keep trying to undo the past instead of moving forward with the future. Bringing back dead characters whose story arcs were finished decades ago. Many because they’re looking for a stunt to grab readers’ attention.

When what would really grab readers’ attention is a great story. I’d like to see a comic book writer craft a great story without killing any major characters like I did with TheMan Who Rules The World.

There are some characters are better off dead. And a smart creator will leave those characters dead so that other characters and readers can learn and grow from their loss. From those deaths a writer can teach lessons about life to the reader that will help them appreciate reading the adventures of the heroes they enjoy today. Sometimes the greatest comic stories aren’t about superheroes saving the world, but about the people who help readers deal with something every human being has to do like coping with the loss of a loved one. 

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Why Jason Todd Should Have Stayed DEAD.

Some will argue the gimmick to kill Jason Todd was in poor taste. I’ll agree with that on principle. But when you look at the death of Jason Todd it had such profound impact on Batman and his mythology it should have never been undone by HUSH.

One of the best things about the death of Jason Todd showed Batman was fallible and could make mistakes. In today’s Comic book world Batman has become a Cipher for whatever writer wants him to be. But when Batman was his own character with his own personality and “voice” the death of Jason Todd humanized him and showed the world that there was a man behind the mask who could actually be wrong.

The decision to make Jason Todd Robin was based on Batman’s emotions, not his logic. Yes, Jason was similar to Dick in that he was an orphaned kid. But whereas Dick had structure from their Two-parent household and the Circus he traveled with, Jason grew up in a dysfunctional household with an unstable father and a sickly mother. So his core values were off from day one.

But because Bruce was emotionally vulnerable after Dick Grayson left to become Nightwing and his own man, he made Jason Robin to fill the void in his life. And while he struggled with his feelings he tried working with a partner with a bad fit from day one. Yes, Jason Todd could be physically trained for the role of Robin. But he was never mentally ready to take on the job of being Batman’s partner.

Jason started out following Batman’s lead. But whereas Dick grew into a detective the equal of Bruce and a leader capable of handling tough situations in The Titans, Jason’s emotional issues made him more violent and out of control. When he let the rapist fall to his death it was clear he had no understanding of Batman’s mission. Batman is about Justice, not vengeance.

A Death in the Family was a story designed to show readers why Jason Todd was a bad fit in the Batman family. And it was designed to correct the mistake Bruce made. Jason’s rebellion and defiance led to that confrontation with the Joker that eventually led to his demise. He died a hero and readers learned that sometimes even Batman can be wrong. Not everyone is cut out for a life of crimefighting.

Second it showed he was human and had to deal with things like grief. Those two things allowed the Batman character to grow and become more relatable to readers. Death came to the Batman family and Batman had to deal with a loss like every other family out there.

Moreover, it helped readers appreciate Tim Drake’s role as Robin and the significance to Robin’s role at Batman’s side. Many thought Batman didn’t need a Robin after Jason Todd’s death. But the subsequent solo stories where Bruce was on his own showed readers the limitations he had working alone.

Batman having Robin at his side connects him to people. And it allows him to focus on his primary reason for being Batman. So that no other child will go through what he went through losing his parents. It takes the right person to keep Batman focused on his mission.

And Jason Todd just wasn’t the right person for the job. He was too emotionally and mentally unstable to be a hero. He should have stayed dead.

Unfortunately, Jeph Loeb decided to bring him back to the land of the living during HUSH. And other writers turned him into the Red Hood, a stain on the Batman Mythos.

The fact that he carries GUNS is a slap in the face to his mentor and his mission. The Gun killed Bruce’s parents. And Bruce swore never to use one. Every time Jason suits up with his pistols he spits in Batman’s face.

And the Red Hood character spits in comic fans’ face. By disrespecting the legend of one of DC’s Icons. Making a mockery of his mission and his core values.  Sure some comic fans like him. But the way I see it Jason Todd should have stayed dead.

Some see Jason Todd as edgy and angry antithesis to Batman. But the way I see it he’s a character who better serves the Batman mythos six feet under. A dead Jason Todd shows the world that Batman’s work is dangerous. That it requires a person to have the right mental faculties and core values. And not everyone is cut out to for the job being at the side of the Dark Knight. That’s a lesson I believe readers, writers and comic creators could have benefited from having remained canon. And it’s the main reason why I believe Jason Todd should have remained dead. 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Iron Man is a Black Woman…WTF?

Just when you thought DC had the monopoly on STUPID Marvel does them one better.

Iron Man will soon be a Black woman.

Let me run that by you again. Iron Man will be a Black Woman.

Good Gravy.

Over at Marvel, Tony Stark is Out as Iron Man after Civil War II. And replacing him will be RiRi Williams a 15-year old prodigy who built her own suit of Iron Man armor.

Mary Sue anyone?

I know there’s a need for diversity, but this is ridiculous. How does a kid get access to the specs to make her own Iron man Armor?

Oh wait, BENDIS.  

Does anyone do research on continuity anymore? Back in the First Armor Wars of the late 1980s Tony Stark had Abe Zimmer create a tapeworm go around the world which took his tech off the grid. So how did this kid get the specs for the Iron Man armor?

Oh wait, she’s a Mary Sue, the distant cousin of Wesley Crusher, the kid who could practically do anything the Enterprise crew could despite being a teenager who never trained  a day at Starfleet Academy.

Clearly Bendis hasn’t read the past runs from David Michieline and Bob Layton or Len Kaminiski and Kevin Hopgood. If they read those runs they’d understand the foundations for this RiRi Williams character are RIDICULOUS.

First Jim Rhodes gets killed off in Civil War II doing something as dumb as trying to fight Thanos. Then we get this Affirmative action hire put in his place.

Damn. Just Damn.

Yeah, I know War Machine is a LAME. But putting this diversity hire Mary Sue in his place doesn’t help Marvel long-term. All they’re doing is replacing one LAME character with another. 

Natasha Irons this ain’t. At least she worked right alongside John Henry Irons when he was designing the Steel armor and learned from him. This chick? She’s so smart she can make her own Iron man suit in her dorm room. Seriously, most dorm rooms at college are the size of a walk-in closet.  How would she have space for the suit and the tools to make it in a dorm room?

When I look at this RiRi Williams I see every mistake DC Comics made with Damian Wayne all over again. A know it all who has all the knowledge and skills of Tony Stark but none of the characterization and development. Not to mention life experience. A cipher for Brian Michael Bendis to project his views of the Marvel Universe.

Seriously, does anyone know how to write characters anymore?  A good character with strengths, weaknesses, a personality, a “Voice”. Not to mention a plausible background that makes sense.

First we had Female Thor. Teen Nova. Black Captain America/Falcon. Female Wolverine. Asian Hulk. And Now Black Female Iron Man. And Spider Gwen/Deadpool/whatever character she wants to be at the moment. 

Yeah, it’s time to stop buying Marvel comics. The publishing division is doing a wonderful job of squandering all that goodwill from the box-office success of Captain America: Civil War. In between Nazi Cap and Black Female Iron Man, you just wonder WTF are they smoking at the house of STUPID ideas.

I’m really getting tired of these gender bent Affirmative action diversity characters. Yeah, I know we need more characters of color in comics, but the way Marvel and DC are doing things aren’t helping. Knock-offs of White heroes in a different color and ethnicity isn’t diversity. It’s just tokenism in a brand new box.

In some ways I think these pitiful attempts at diversity at Marvel and DC are passive aggressive attempts at sabotaging any serious efforts at adding characters of color at the big two. They take the absolute WORST ideas for characters of color and publish them as stories. Then when fans complain they say “we tried to create diversity in comics but no one wanted it.”

When in actuality they were FULL OF SHIT.

You know what would really promote diversity at Marvel NEW ORIGINAL HEROES OF COLOR. Characters with their own powers, their own backstories, and their own rogues galleries. But no one in comics today has the backbone or the stones to risk launching a new character.

As a writer who creates Black heroines I’m really offended by this latest genderbent hero over at Marvel. It’s an insult to make a Black woman Iron Man. Black women are constantly presented as masculine in media like Leslie Jones in Ghostbusters 2016. And to call RiRi Wiliams Iron Man just perpetuates the stereotypes like the about masculine Black women even further.

 If Marvel wanted to make a tech based Black female heroine, just create a tech based heroine with her own name, her own backstory, and build up her own rogues gallery. Don’t cop out and give a woman the title of a man.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Why Damian Wayne Gets So much HATE

Damian Wayne is a character that many readers love or they hate. Me, I can’t stand him.

As I see it the whole concept behind Damian Wayne is fine in a DC Elseworld as Robin. But he just doesn’t fit organically in the main DC Universe.

Ever since his introduction, Damian Wayne hasn’t meshed well into the Batman mythology. Like the resurrected Jason Todd, he just feels awkward and out of place. Throwing the entire Legend of Batman out of sync.

Why? The whole concept of a superhero sidekick is designed so that the reader can participate in the adventure. Sidekicks are supposed to be everykids that readers can identify with and relate to. When the sidekick has no biological connection to the hero like Dick Grayson, or Tim Drake, readers can see themselves in the role of being at Batman’s side.

However, when a biological familial relationship is established, the reader’s personal connection to the hero is severed. It’s hard for a reader to see himself or herself as Robin when he has a biological son. And they can’t see themselves in the role of being Batman’s sidekick when there’s a son there in their place.

The main reason why so many comic fans hate Damian Wayne is because he’s taking their place in Batman’s adventures. Many comic fans feel like they’re being replaced in Batman’s stories and that he’s getting all the attention they want to get from their favorite hero.

And they hate him even more because he acts like a pretentious snit. Like Wesley Crusher before him, Damian Wayne is the Gary Stu who knows everything and can do anything. It’s really hard to enjoy a Batman comic when a 10-year-old can do everything Batman can do.

With Dick Grayson and Tim Drake readers saw these characters learn from Batman. And as they grew into their roles as heroes, readers grew with them on their journeys. Damian Wayne robs readers of that growing and learning experience. He prevents them from being a part of the adventure and sharing in the fun of being Batman’s sidekick.  

This is why many readers hate him.

From a business perspective, when a character is 50/50 with readers, meaning half love him and half hate them, it’s time to get rid of them and move on. Because that means half the readers who would buy a characters’ adventures are buying comics and the other half are staying home. Sure Batman sells 100,000 copies. But he could’ve sold 250,000 copies if they got rid of this character once and for all.

The way I see it, Batman doesn’t need a son. What he needs is a writer who can focus on creating a more balanced vision of the Dark Knight for the 21st Century. Damian Wayne is systemic of a big problem with the Batman Mythos where the heroes have become ciphers for readers instead of their own characters.