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Major Spoilers Podcast #697: Who will direct the Batman movie?

This week on the Major Spoilers Podcast: Big Trouble in Little China meets Escape From New York, Captain America Steve Rogers, Resident Alien: The Man With No Name #2, and Spell on Wheels #1. Plus, who would direct the greatest Batman stories of all time?

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NEWS
Wonder Woman is Bi and everyone is freaking out!

REVIEWS
STEPHEN
BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA/ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK #1
Writer: Greg Pak
Artist: Daniel Bayliss
Done with director John Carpenter’s complete blessing, witness this melee of the mullets as two cult-classic characters made famous by actor Kurt Russell crossover in an improbable adventure.
As lightning cascades around Jack and his good ol’ Pork-Chop Express, he finds himself transported and driving through the horrors of what seems to be the dystopian future of…Escape from New York?!
Snake Plissken catches wind of Jack and goes on the hunt to find who is trying to steal his identity.
Prepare for the road trip of a lifetime, with Jack and Snake rumblin’ down the streets of a dystopian future to find what craziness caused Jack to jump through worlds.

Rating: ★★★½☆

MATTHEW
CAPTAIN AMERICA STEVE ROGERS
(W) Nick Spencer
(A) Javier Pina (CA) Paul Renaud
CIVIL WAR II TIE-IN!
• As heroes choose sides and tragedy strikes, Steve takes steps to end the war.
• Guest-starring the Invincible Iron Man!

Rating: ★★½☆☆

RODRIGO
RESIDENT ALIEN: THE MAN WITH NO NAME #2
A fiery explosion and a sudden death in the small town of Patience, Washington—but is it an accident or a calculated murder? The stranded alien who’s known as Dr. Harry hunts for a dead drifter’s daughter, and the local police look into a possible drug ring! Peter Hogan (Tom Strong) and Steve Parkhouse (Doctor Who) continue their unique, acclaimed science-fiction/murder-mystery series!

Rating: ★★★☆☆

ASHLEY
SPELL ON WHEELS #1
Writer: Kate Leth
Artist: Megan Levens
Three young witches are robbed of their magical items, and they’ll have to hit the road to track down the mysterious thief before he does any damage to—or with—their possessions.

Rating: ★★★★½

MAJOR SPOILERS POLL OF THE WEEK

Major Spoilers Poll of the Week: Geek Rant King

If you want to suggest a trade paperback, you need to send an email to podcast@majorspoilers.com. That suggestion will go into the hopper and at least once a month, we’ll pick a number of suggestions for you to vote on, and at the end of the polling period, the book with the most votes will get the Major Spoilers Podcast treatment.

DISCUSSION
It’s a general topic kind of week, so anything goes!

CLOSE
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Closing music comes from Ookla the Mok.


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The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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7 Comments

  1. Plasmacaster
    October 8, 2016 at 8:02 am — Reply

    Hi Stephen,

    I listened to the discussion about the bisexuality of Wonder Woman and the outcry following it. You address a few possibilities for the reason for the outcry but you seem to have passed since over what I believe is one of the primary reasons for this.

    Currently there is an ever growing backlash against the rise of feminism and pc culture, with many people coming out firmly against those who consider themselves Social Justice Warriors (SJWs). People have seen the trends that have developed due to this being the dominant culture and the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction.

    I’ve tried to stay on the fence regarding the issue but I’m definitely not blind to it. As comics companies try to appeal to public pressure to include more special interest characters (lgbtq/Muslim/etc…) characters, a lot of people I know are reacting negatively to what they consider the shoehorning of irrelevant information into the story for the sake of satisfying the SJWs.

    Many may not be aware of Wonder Woman’s sexual history but many that I know see this as just another way of trying to satiate the SJW attitudes who pressure the companies. The problem is, that they have concerns that an enjoyable series will go the way of Angela: Queen of Hel where the introduction of a heavily feminist narrative essentially killed the comic.

    I’ve always appreciated the fact that you’ve never really had that aggressively SJW attitude in the show, but you stating that those who are upset about the issue are “white guys” made me really lose faith in that impartiality and made you come off as extremely ignorant. You’re a white guy, do you think like that? No? Then what makes you think you’re so much better than everyone else? What about black men or Asian men? Do you think they just don’t read comics? Or does the amount of melanin in your skin determine whether or not you’re offended by someone’s gender? Being able to say that I’m assuming you’ve read the mind of every female comic book reader and know they’re all happy with her sexuality as well?

    I don’t care if Wonder Woman is bisexual. I don’t care if they cast a black or Asian actress in a film version as long as they have done it because she is the best actress for the role, not because of targets and skin colour and this is the issue. It’s not seen as a part of the character, it’s seen as a change to satisfy “progressive” targets.

    Tl;dr – Stephen, I like you and your show. I’ve listened for years but you offended me by making a sweeping judgement because of your apparent ignorance of the political climate. I’m just one listener and I still respect you all enough to continue listening but I hope you avoid incidents like this in future

    Regards

    Plasmacaster

    • October 8, 2016 at 9:09 pm — Reply

      Hey Plasmacaster (if that is your real name), thanks for your comments.

      I never said it “was” Single White Guys Living In Their Parents Basement, I said I “think” it is single white guys in general who are complaining the most. Think about that for a moment; I’m trying to make an educated guess based on what I have seen online, and presenting my view on that. I could be right, and I could be wrong. I’m willing to admit I am wrong if that is indeed the case.

      But…

      I did ask on the show, and I will ask you, “WHO IS RAISING SUCH A RUCKUS ABOUT THIS ISSUE!?” No one, who has come to me with “I have a problem with your political views, Stephen (Matthew, Ashely, Rodrigo)”, has offered up an alternative to who might be complaining. I guarantee you it isn’t a “wide and diverse readership from around the world.”

      You may not care that Wonder Woman is bisexual, but for a lot of people who read comics and look for someone that represents them, it does matter. The same when it comes to casting actors for parts. I have literally seen comments online from people who think there are too many black actors in Luke Cage! Representation matters. It matters a great deal to a lot of people, including me. It may not matter that much to you, but that is because you and I are in the majority.

      Here is another thing. I’m not telling you you have to agree with my opinion, or anyone else’s opinion on any of our shows. These shows are here to entertain, to educate, and hopefully make you think. And if part of that thinking is to be offended or put off by something we say, then good. It starts a dialogue, maybe it will get some people (not you of course) to do some inner thinking. The good news is, people can change over time. I guarantee you, 30 years ago I didn’t think too much about the color of my skin and how it affected my ability to get a job, get an education, or to live freely wherever I choose. In the last 20 years, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on it, to see where I’m making mistakes, and how I can be a better person.

      I hope more people are doing the same.

      Thanks again for your comments.

      • Plasmacaster
        October 9, 2016 at 1:07 am — Reply

        Hi Stephen,

        Thanks for taking the time to reply. I appreciate willingness to discuss the topic as from personal experience, I know there are those who would rather delete the comment rather than engage in a discussion over it. It’s a reason I choose to remain anonymous regarding the issue, being fully aware of how aggressive some people can be (not you) in defending SJW opinions.

        I’m sorry if I implied that you “knew” for certain who the demographic were who were causing the issue. Certainly drawing conclusion from your experience is rational and logical. I still believe that your experience in this matter is significantly different from my own however as I stated in my original post, I believe this is part of a backlash from people (many of whom may well be white and even male) who are dissatisfied with the culture that says it’s ok to change aspects of a character to be “more pc”. And this attitude is shared by many including a large number of men and women of differing skin tones.

        Representation does indeed matter, it’s nice for everyone to be represented. However when things are forced to change for no other reason than to satisfy a very loud group who in general don’t read comics (otherwise I’m sure Angela: Queen of Hel would still be going) then people are going to be upset. It’s doubly upsetting when the pervasive attitude is “everything has to change to satisfy me” but they’re not willing to make their own character and pitch it to the market.

        I respect your opinion Stephen, and your right for it to disagree with mine. For those who indeed are upset over WW being bi for the reasons suggested, I hope they do grow and change. I do feel that they are the minority however.

        I don’t live in America. Maybe things are really that different for you than over here in the UK. We have a fairy large population of Caribbean, Indian, and Chinese immigrants with Islam being the second biggest religion in the country. I have work colleagues and friends of both genders with a wide representation of skin colour. I’ve run D&D campaigns and played MTG with my geeky mates and Mo has never complained when John has had his mum’s jerked pork, and all the guys know Wingshan already has a boyfriend so no-one tries to hit on her. However we all agree that PC culture is going overboard and the whole WW thing genuinely seems a part of it. By all means, if you have only seen the issue from white guys who think they can put themselves in the role of Diana’s lover then I can understand the statement, however I can only imagine your exposure to the issue has been incredibly limited.

        It’s great you’re trying to entertain and educate. I love that about you and the whole major spoilers crew. If anything, my comment was also to try and educate. There’s a whole massive backlash going on against the current culture you don’t seem to be aware of and I’m trying to help you see it. People like John are fed up with white people telling him he’s oppressed as a black person or that he’ll always be at a disadvantage because of his skin colour.

        For a lot of people there’s actual equality, I don’t want you to lose sight of that when you look back over how unequal things USED to be.

  2. October 9, 2016 at 1:36 pm — Reply

    I have been trying to stay quiet, but I just can’t. I am increasingly distressed about the SJW direction the site is taking on the main feed. I am a white male. I have worked my way up from nothing to be in the job and lifestyle I am at now. I absolutely refuse to feel bad about that. I refuse to continue to be on the receiving end of the continued condemnation of people who insist that the problem is there are too many white males out there. I am not the only one, and as Plasma pointed out people are not going to continue to just quietly get beat down for things they had nothing to do with.

    As for WW, my proverbial field of #$@!s is empty about her orientation. I think half of the supposed outrage is from the comic makers themselves, who are looking to get controversy to sell copies. I love the site, but between the constant drumbeat of “let me explain how the USA is messed up”, to, in my opinion over-hyped gender studies controversy, I find myself listening less and less.

    I have been (and will continue to be ) a long time supporter of the show, but other than Critical Hit, I am finding less and less that I can listen to without fast forwarding and I am up to here with social issue proselytizing. I don’t expect you to change , but I did feel that I needed to respond after this weeks cast.

    • October 9, 2016 at 1:46 pm — Reply

      Thanks for the feedback. I do want to point out that I don’t recall anyone on the MSP opining that sociopolitical problems boil down to “too many white males out there.” Half of the podcast crew are white males, myself included, and it’s pure hysterical conjecture to imply that having a superhero identify as bisexual or a Captain America who is a person of color or having the hammer of Thor wielded by a woman means some sort of “war on white guys.”

      I do think that the perspectives of our pop culture have been and continue to be OVERWHLEMINGLY filtered by, for and to the viewpoint of white maleness, which is both an imbalance and an injustice. There is a difference between “Let’s have characters, creators and stories from other perspectives” and “Your perspective is wrong and bad.” I see the increasing presence of “social justice” issues in our fiction as a reflection of pop culture FINALLY becoming more representative of the diverse reality we live in. Mileage, as always, may vary…

  3. October 9, 2016 at 2:01 pm — Reply

    Sorry if I was confusing. I don’t think that the comic character change is a war on white guys. I think the reactions to them are almost always that “white guys must be upset”. THAT is a war on white guys, because the implication is that all white males must be homophobes or racists, unless they happen to be the chosen enlightened ones. I don’t care what the comic characters color or sexual orientations are or have been. If the story is interesting I am in. If the story is that “oh look we made the character a different color or orientation aren’t we cool now”, then no, I am out.

    • Plasmacaster
      October 9, 2016 at 2:55 pm — Reply

      Hi,

      Just to clarify to any and all, I don’t believe that there is a “war on white guys”. I’m absolutely for equality and have no issue with more representation of minority characters. There should be more so everyone can enjoy the medium.

      The issue rises when suddenly Wolverine has spoon-claws because people with spoons for fingers have been under-represented. Is there any valid reason for Wolverine to suddenly have spoon-claws? No, it’s done to appease the spoon crusaders. And when non-spoon fingered people say that it’s a bad idea, they get shouted at by everyone else for being spoonist.

      Let ideas be created in the free market. If an idea has appeal, let it stand on its own merit, don’t take over a popular concept and make changes to it in order to appease a particular demographic. That happens less often however because it’s easier to criticise and demand change than create something yourself.

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