Yo, Put Your Mask Back On
I said it before and I’ll say it again; I didn’t read Spider-Man comics for Aunt May, I read them for Spider-Man. And I want to see Spider-Man kicking the grains outta Sandman, not having a bad day at work or marrying Mary Jane Watson. This comic cost me sixty-five cents, put your mask on and go fight Mysterio. Also, it’s 1985.
I’d say a lot of it is ego.
Movies are a whole different animal, and there are plenty of reasons why your favorite hero ain’t wearing their mask. If I had to guess, I’d say a lot of it is ego. Just look at this recent poster for Avengers : Infinity War. With few exceptions, it’s a buncha human heads stuck on superhero bodies. Worse, it’s a bunch of narcissistic actor heads.
Bruce Wayne wasn’t on a cover of Batman until issue 101.
Unfortunately, it makes some sense that movies would shift the focus away from secret identities to super-recognizable celebrities. A lot of these actors are box-office draws in a time when less folks go to the actual movies. And it’s definitely cheaper to have a human talk to you out of their actual face than to CGI a complicated fight scene, I get it. Still, at some point it calls way too much attention to itself.
It used to be a real rarity to see a superhero without their mask on, especially on the cover of a comic book. Bruce Wayne wasn’t on a cover of Batman until issue 101. In the first 200 issues of Amazing Spider-Man (roughly 17 years) Peter was on the cover about five times. Yet you barely see a clip of this movie where Tom Holland isn’t letting it all hang out. Jeez, even Vision has Paul Bettany’s head in this movie. These guys must have better agents than James Spader did.
And while I’m fake-angry about something totally inconsequential, what is up with costumes that appear out of nowhere? Yeah, I know the nano-technology Tony Stark employs in Infinity War has a basis in the comics, but how much am I supposed to suspend my disbelief exactly? You want me to believe Stark keeps a whole Iron Man suit up his butt? Are there really no more phone-booths?
Also, I can’t wait for this movie.
Review: Godzilla vs. Kong
Godzilla vs. Kong reminds me that I was an idiot as a child. I allowed the 4:30 Movie too significant a piece of my brain pie. I existed in a headspace where The Planet of the Apes and Gamera were more science than fiction. I was certain skyscraper-sized monsters lived in the woods a few blocks away, and that ghosts were under my bed. Somewhere in possibility-land, a black and white Lon Chaney slowly becomes a werewolf in a handful of dissolving frames.
Cut to my final form, and I can’t help but think these movies are just a total waste of time and resources. Sure, the effects can be impressive but often they have as much weight as a video game. Buildings smash into dust, an actor says a line against a green screen, then Kong sits on a throne like a stereotypical king. Ah doi!
Sure, the hollow Earth with upside-down mountains in the sky is cool – but where’s that sun coming from? The MechaGodzilla fight has some great effects, but you can watch those on Youtube without having to sit through a bunch of lines like “Kong bows to no one.”
Maybe I just can’t enjoy normal human things anymore.
Now that Captain America is Black…
Now that Captain America is Black
- Bucky Barnes will change his name to Summer Soldier Buckquan because “Nah son! we ain’t doing sh*t in the winter!”
- Fearing for their lives, Police officers will fire 751 shots at Cap in the 4th of many incidents to come.
- In a new altered timeline, Thanos will win due to Cap being detained by a routine traffic stop. “How can you afford Vibraniun on a government salary? Please step out of the vehicle sir.”
- Captain America will form a Rap group with Black Panther called “Black-America.” The group will not be received well but will eventually have all their intellectual property stolen for decades to come without any due repar… I mean royalties. #MESSAGE
- Racists will be utterly confused when they tell Captain America to “Go back to where you came from.” Equally confused, Cap will pack up all his belongings and stay put.
- Cap will be accused of stealing Thor’s hammer the next time he picks it up.
- Cap’s shield will be replaced with a Vibraniun PlayStation Controller since black men are more comfortable throwing that.
- The battle decree will officially be changed from “Avengers Assemble” to “Yerrrrr! It’s on sight!”
- After 40 years of service, Cap will travel back in time to 1998 to finally get that last dance with his true love, Laura Winslow. They will Cha Cha Slide to “Before I let Go” as the credits role.
- Upon retirement, those jaded with having an Af-Am do such an amazing job will appoint a failed real estate charlatan to take up the mantle. The New Cap will immediately try and grab Scarlet by her “Johansson” and declare himself the best Captain America that ever did it during his inauguration.
Chadwick Boseman Forever!!
It is clear that Chadwick Boseman chose iconic roles like Thurgood Marshall, James Brown, Jackie Robinson and Black Panther with deliberate intent and for a specific purpose. In an age where positive roles for Black actors is often sparse, Chadwick managed to land and portray historical figures that made most respect his talents if not revel in his ability to transition effortlessly for one character to another. Even I had to give his African accent a solid B+ (It’s the highest grade the Nigerian Standards Bureau can give for an African accent to a non African FYI.)
Holding out and preparing for these dynamic roles came with both great frustration and incredible resolve I’m certain. Not to mention the taxing ordeal of battling Colon Cancer as the grueling scheduling of filming and increasing responsibility for positive representation loomed. Even under extreme duress, Chadwick’s commitment to others appeared to outweigh his own tribulations, unbeknownst to us all.
Black Panther may have been just a movie to some and that may be because some can easily rattle off 10 movies with a king of non Af-Am origin. It represented a lot more to others. Albeit imagined, imagery on cinema often accomplishes more to augment the social narrative and society itself than actual reality. If negative stereotypes influence perception then positive ones absolutely have the same converse effect.
Even in jest, the cultural misappropriation of raisins in potato salad on SNL skits directly spoke to the tampering of black culture to which T’challa championed, represented and aptly responded “Oh hell Nah Karen!”
If you don’t understand the relevance of representation, it’s probably because you are thoroughly represented. After all, no one is ever grateful for every breath they take until they are gasping for air.
R.I.P Chadwick Boseman. Thank you for breathing life into the possibility of Black excellence.