With films such as Wonder Woman, Suicide Squad, and Black Panther causing a stir on social media, are comic book films finally getting the message?
There’s been a lot of talk on social media about various minority messages. The #TooFemale hashtag, spawned stupendously quickly by CBS’ dire wording in regards to Sarah Shahi’s pilot of ‘Nancy Drew’ was among many controversial conversations this year. But Marvel’s huge hit ‘Jessica Jones‘ may have been a solid turning point. However, here’s a long road ahead. For now, let’s bask in the glory of Gal Gadot’s ‘Wonder Woman‘ and the rapturous reception she achieved for this epic trailer:
Why, truly, has it taken so long to make a film quite as exciting as this one? Why’s it taken so long for DC to realize that films led by women—namely Wonder Woman—is going to be an absolute hit? We’ve already got insane levels of excitement brewing for the all-female remake of ‘Ghostbusters’, to rave reviews! So really, is it simply just about time we got a film centered on Wonder Woman? Everything fell into place like Cinderella. If you just type in ‘Wonder Woman’ or ‘Gal Gadot’ into your Twitter search-bar, you’ll see the masses of fawning over her.
Suicide Squad and the magic of Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn.
From what we’ve heard so far from the reviews, Margot Robbie’s performance as Harley Quinn has been one of the standouts in David Ayer’s ‘Suicide Squad‘. Harley Quinn was a young girl, bullied and ostracised—and as the film will depict, tangled in a sick relationship with The Joker (Jared Leto).
But as this tweet sums it up, if you’re looking for ‘#RelationshipGoals’ then Harley Quinn and The Joker’s relationship is not one to be romanticized. ‘Suicide Squad’ might be a good old, fun rollercoaster super-villain ride, but special focus has to be drawn to this. With speculation that a Harley Quinn film may be in development, Margot Robbie admitted she wasn’t entirely sure.
I’m so not done playing that character yet and there’s so much more to do with her I think – and as anyone who’s read the comics knows, there’s a million different storylines to explore. There’s just so much you can do in the DC Universe, so I think it would be cool.
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If anyone thought that the abusive relationship between The Joker and Harley Quinn would be downplayed, we’d hope they’re sincerely wrong. Viewers would hope they’re not romanticised—because abuse shouldn’t be. But what’s even more interesting is the ability for a not-completely neurotypical, kickass anti-hero to take the spotlight. In any sense, isn’t that just plain fun?
We don’t need Harley Quinn on some unnecessary redemption arc because she can’t be an ass-kicking mischief-maker. Viewers don’t need Harley Quinn as anything other than herself. We just want Harley Quinn to take over our silver-screens (and our lives).
Minorities are on full-display in ‘Suicide Squad’.
This isn’t to say the casting of ‘Suicide Squad’ isn’t without its problems, but it does boast a wealth of diverse casting. Most notably, the casting of Jay Hernandez as El Diablo. Hernandez noted his gratitude because Latinos aren’t often represented in the media—and he couldn’t be more correct in that statement.
It isn’t just ‘Suicide Squad’ taking over this article. The gradual blossoming of increasingly diverse casts and their appeal is slowly but surely making its way across Hollywood. It’s a long way from perfection, but with comic book film adaptations being a guaranteed blockbuster, that may be the first stepping stone Hollywood needs to take.
On the comic-book level, progression is beginning to happen. Again, it’s not a mistake to approach this with some cynicism but we’re getting a new Iron Man. And she’s female. And she’s black. She’s Riri Williams.
We’re even getting Maggie Sawyer on The CW’s ‘Supergirl’.
It isn’t a revolution. But it’s a start, isn’t it?
It’s way off in 2018…
But we’re getting a ‘Black Panther’ movie, too. At this point, we sound like thirsty individuals craving for diversity and representation of minorities in comic-book films. Often strictly tailored to white males. And that wouldn’t be inaccurate. This article isn’t to heap praise on the evolving comic-book world but any evolution towards increasing diversity is surely something notable.
You may not be a fan of everything in this article. Or anything in this article. But if there’s anything TV and film have taught us over the past few years, is that female-led films won’t tank. (Hey, Katniss Everdeen?) Neuroatypical characters aren’t something to be laughed at or mocked. Just ask Sameen Shaw. And diverse casts that represent us for who we are—that’s a world of diversity, riddled with ‘minorities’—is what we want to see. Will it be dismissed as a failure? Ask the cast of ‘Ghostbusters’.
It’s truly wonderful Hollywood is embracing this, seemingly. Even better that the comic-book world is—because there seems to be a cliché that needs to be broken: that comic-books are read only by straight, white males. And that simply isn’t the case. It isn’t the scene with gaming; it’s not with comic-books; it isn’t the case with audiences who’ll queue up for films like ‘Suicide Squad’.
Perhaps it’s too early to pop out the champagne in celebration. But is the film-industry, notably the comic-book industry, taking a step in the right direction? We’d cautiously say so!
What film or comic has you excited? Let TV After Dark know!