Tagged: Cloak and Dagger

Mike Gold: Good ‘Till The Next Drop?

I’ve heard quite few comics fans say (write, text, think out loud, bitch, moan, complain) that because of the large number of good comic book teevee shows they’ve found themselves having to cut back on their comics reading.

Let’s see. I think I sympathize. After all, we’ve got Legion, Arrow, Agents of SHIELD, Gotham, Marvel Netflix (hey, that’s the same as a series, isn’t it?), Flash, Legends, Riverdale, Supergirl, and Powerless. Soon we’ll have The Inhumans and The Punisher (part of the Netflix rotation) and The Defenders (another part of the Netflix rotation) and Cloak and Dagger and Black Lightning and The Runaways and maybe Ghost Rider and maybe still Damage Control and maybe The New Warriors (so long, Stamford!), and maybe Scarlett and maybe a Matt Nix-produced X-Men spin-off show. And I am certain there are other shows that I can’t remember right now.

I get the point. When I was born, there were two and one-half networks beaming to our black and white remote-controlless 16-inch round cathode ray tubes. Two and two-half if you count the DuMont network, a severely under-programed effort whose best-known show, The Honeymooners, didn’t even air on their own network (long, irrelevant story; Google it). Combined, they offered slightly more programming than the list of superhero shows I noted above.

Then again, at that same time there were dozens and dozens of comics publishers and many titles sold over a quarter-million copies. A few sold in the millions. Today, we’re ecstatic when we see a circulation of 40,000.

Of course this can’t last. I suspect we will have new comics-birthed programming as long as there are comics to birth them, but pop culture phenomena tend to roll in fads. Do you remember when there were about two dozen westerns on the tube 39 out of 52 weeks of the year? If so, then keep your eye on upcoming Medicare legislation.

In a couple hours Marvel Netflix will drop Iron Fist, the final introduction before The Defenders event. The advance word isn’t strong, and that may be so. However, it’s come to the point where a lot of people simply want to see a major superhero series fail. Yes, Iron Fist comes with some unfortunate whitewashing baggage, and a guy with a green costume, a tattoo instead of chest hair, and glowy knuckles isn’t as compelling as, say, an all-powerful mutant with severe memory and relationship issues. I’m not sure I care as much about the lead character as I do about Claire Temple (Marvel’s Netflix glue) and Colleen Wing, who has always been one of my favorite characters.

So, between all this television, a plethora of movies (which usually come in plethoras) and an infinite number of comic books, how much rock’em sock’em action can you fit into a single attention span?

Ask me again if and when somebody gets off his ass and gives us a GrimJack series.

Molly Jackson: What Am I?

DaggerWhen deciding what to write about this week, it was a tough call. There was a lot of good and bad news but in it all, a couple stories caught my eye.

Last week, it was revealed that the new Star Trek series will not take place in the JJ Abrams created universe. If you’re a fan of those movies, I’m sorry but every Trekkie released a sigh of relief at that news. We are returning to our roots!!! The shows format will actually be an anthology series, taking place over different times in Star Trek history.

Now that this has been announced, I can only wish that my hopes for this show can be realized. They have so many opportunities in front of them to showcase the best possible future and traditionally taken that path. With Rod Roddenberry on staff, I fully expect that the show will be steered with diversity in mind. This means we see women and minorities in roles of power, stories about social issues veiled by aliens, and genuine hope that humanity can be better.

On the other hand, last week we got tit windows. Yup, indie creator Kate Beaton went on a tirade about tit windows, in regards to Dagger’s outfit from Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger comic series. This series started getting renewed attention with the announcement that a TV show is in the works.

Beaton’s issues stem from the unnecessary openings in the chest area of the costume. Now, this is far from new for almost any female superhero. Female comic characters, especially in superhero books, tend to display more skin than practicality dictates. It’s long been a subject of contention but has sparked interesting debates and some change in comics.

On the surface, these two topics seem disjointed. However, both represent an idea for how the world works. Dagger’s costume shows that despite being a fully developed and interesting character, sometimes your physical assets are all people see. Beaton is fighting for change in the industry. Star Trek traditionally representing another opportunity for women to shine, with attention placed on their character more than their appearance.

Maybe I’m reaching for this connection. I know deep down that Hollywood, comics publishers and entertainment industry in general will always do what they want, despite calls for change. Still, I think there is hope for the future. I can’t help it. I’m a Trekkie.