Goddess of Thunder: Is It Time for a Lady Thor Movie?

 

Jane Foster aka Lady Thor

The first reviews of Thor: Ragnarok hit the net hours ago, and they are phenomenal. With an impressive score of 98%, the folks at Rotten Tomatoes cannot help but suggest the MCU has reached its peak. Such positivity has many fans reaching back to an interesting statement Marvel President, Kevin Feige made during an interview with Movies.com on Wednesday. When asked about the possibility of a Lady Thor movie Feige replied:

“We always look back to the comics to get those ideas … sometimes very specific storylines like “Civil War,” sometimes just nuggets or characters like “Planet Hulk.”  So anything that’s happened in the comics, even a female Thor, become great potentials and the ideas from which future movies can be born.”

While no one is arguing that the MCU needs to improve on female representation in its films, is a Lady Thor film the way to go?

My answer, in short, is no. At least, not yet.

With Thor: Ragnarok just days away from theatres, the buzz surrounding the character is understandable—especially when coupled with the arrival of Cate Blanchett as Hella, and Karl Urban as Skurge.  Early reviews for Ragnarok aside, public reception for Thor’s solo films has remained consistently tepid when compared to other Marvel mainstays. Theories for this lag span the nine worlds. However,  dragging plots, and inconsistent character development remain common complaints.  (Darcy played a better leading lady than Jane in The Dark World, just saying.)

Some go so far as to blame Thor himself. They claim that Odinson’s tendency to be aloof and distant doomed the character long before Hemsworth donned the helmet. All of this seems to support the notion that Mjǫllnir may fair better with a which begs the question; who is the goddess of thunder?

The answer has been ours to discover since 2014. In Vol. 4 issue one of Thor, we learn that she is none other than Dr. Blake’s on again off again girlfriend, Jane Foster. The problems with translating this onto the big screen should become apparent immediately.  

Problem one: Natalie Portman. The actress has stated, rather emphatically, that she finished with Marvel studios for the foreseeable future. Assuming a Lady Thor movie got the green light, it is unlikely that she would be willing to reprise the role. Moreover, you should not need the eye of a skilled critic to see that she lacked interest in her character. While I respect Mrs. Portman and her work, she would not do the character justice; which brings me to my second point.

Problem two: Jane Foster is a relative unknown outside of the comics. I get it. Solo movies are intended to introduce a character to a broader audience. In this case, Jane Foster’s movie persona would require a total rewrite, or as is more likely the case with the MCU, her adventures as Thor would go to another woman. Offhand, the most logical choice for this mer

Tessa Thompson is Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok.

ging would be Valkyrie who just so happens to be making her MCU debut in Ragnarok. (Coincidence? Maybe not).

 

Captain Marvel

Solution: While I am in no place to tell Kevin Feige how to run his company, I can urge Patience among the fans. Remember, Captain Marvel is slated and confirmed for 2019.

In the meantime, Mr. Feige, I can think of another Marvel woman who deserves her own film. Bethany Killian

Tabletop Review: Paranoia – Trust your friend the Computer

As a follow up to my wonderful time at Regncon, I will regal you with a tale of Paranoia. A table top game I played for several hours with a random gang of fantastic fellows. With a very fun and good game master.

But before you can continue with the article make sure you have ultra violet clearance. Anyone without the proper clearance will is considered a terrorist and will receive a summary execution.

Always follow the rules if alpha complex and the computer is your friend. Happiness is mandatory.

*Spoilers* ultra violet clearance reading this is considered treachery. You won’t disappoint friend computer will you?

I started of by exiting a cloning chamber, putting my feet on the cold floor. As a TOS pops up in front of my face. Introducing me to the wonders of friend computer and the joys of working in alpha complex. Quite outrageous really. I had to click yes on a pop-up window in front of my eyes. This annoyed me a lot, so I opted to poke the guy next to me in the ear instead. He was very distraught about that, so I did it again instead of ticking of yes. There system did not like this one bit and a pesky terrorist star popped up over my name. Apparently five turns you into an enemy of friend computer. As we wetter getting out bearings, a horrible rumble shock the foundation. So I headed for the door, but before I could exit a very rude lady in red came offside inside and demanded that I put on a black jumpsuit. seems like being dressed in mosaic bars is not acceptable. Since I’m infrared and all. We were also handed a standard issue mop. Which I was explicitly told had to be taken good care of it.

Outside I came into a long corridor, where a slightly inoperative cleaning bot sat and whined, barley moving. As a gang of reliable trouble shooters, we decided to do the best we could go help the poor thing. I kicked it very hard, twice. Only to be greeted with a horrid sound. One of the other fellows decided to talk to it, hoping that the poor sod could tell us. It simply replied with another whine. At this point another fellow pushed his hands in under the machine. To see if he could wriggle out the thing that was stuck. The bloody machine nearly took his hands off instead. We decided to push it towards maintenance instead after a friendly suggestion from friend computer. Suddenly a wild terrorist appeared running towards us. Which caused one of the others to squeeze his ever wet sponge, pooling up a puddle on the floor. Which caused the five star terrorist to take a nasty stumble. Followed by a nasty beat-down until he died. For the good deed he got rewarded with exp. Whatever that is.

Paranoia is the latest iteration of the game. Which does the best it can to combine witty dark humor and the everyone is out to get you mentality. Backstabbing is to be expected followed by brutal murders, no matter how inconsequential the task. 

The character creation is an interesting affair. Pick a skill your good at, such as athletics +2, which will then cause the one left of you to have -1 to that stat. Until at least 5 skills have been picked. Then pick three adjectives to describe your character. Which you then pass over to the person on the left hand side, so he can reverse one of the adjectives. Such as nice is turned into mean instead. 

Meanwhile skill checks are done with six sided dices, where one is friend computer. Take the skill, combine it with a stat above and roll the combined sum worth of dices. To dodge, you can use athletic and violence. Every time a five hits five our six, it counts as a success. Even if the computer notice you. Being seen is bad and removes a point of moxie. Lose eight and you’ll go of on the deep end.

Eventually mutant powers manifest as well. Which is handed out by the GM and is represented with cards. Doing good and positive things brings exp, which can increase skills or number of clones. You’ll be number one in no time. It’s not like the other people in the party will put a knife in your back and take the glory for your accomplishments.

Gear, mutant powers and the rest of the goodies comes in a pack of cards. We never really touched on combat, and ran a simplified version. Apparently the game box comes with a GM screen, a funny clones introduction manual to alpha complex and a booklet with a very tongue in cheek adventure, which I roughly introduced above, and a stack of character sheets. After all I can’t spoil all the fun. Unless you want to.

Njål Sand

The New Time Lady: Observations on a Legacy

Jodie Whittaker is The Doctor

July 16th, 2017 proved a momentous day for Whovians the world over. Not only were we introduced to the thirteenth Doctor, but it was the day we learned that everyone’s favorite Time Lord had, indeed, become a Time Lady. However, amidst the shock and excitement, Jodie Whittaker’s reveal prompted the posting of countless posts and videos with content ranging from rude to outright sexist. This post is for those fans as well as any fans who find themselves concerned with what a female lead could do to the show.

It pays to remember that sci-fi has a long and proud history of challenging social norms in ways that, plainly, would not work in other genres. Be it with diversity in the casting of lead roles, (Uhura and Sulu, Star Trek) or broader commentary on society in general as explored in Orwell’s 1984. As one of the BBC’s longest-running shows Dr. Who is no different.

Although, even some hardcore Whovians may be surprised to learn that Sydney Newman, C.E. Webber, and others, dreamt up the BBC classic as a purely educational program. The Doctor would use his phone box time machine to travel through the past and teach young viewers about history. This idea got scrapped after the show aired in 1963 in favor of a science fiction adventure. However, Dr. Who has never abandoned its educational mission.

Classic Who, (1963-1989), is beloved by many for its campy nature. But, hidden beneath the comically simple props and delightfully over the top characters, are some rather weighty truths concerning human nature, equality and the importance of not taking oneself so seriously. It is within Classic Who that we also meet the show’s first Time Lady. Susan. The Doctor’s granddaughter. She traveled with him regularly from episode one (An Unearthly Child) until she was left in the 22nd century at the denouement of The Dalek Invasion of Earth (1964). Susan paved the way for many more Time Ladies within the original series and set a precedent for their roles in the reboot.

Susan Foreman: The Original Time Lady

The 2005 reboot introduced legions of would-be fans to the Whoverse turning the beloved British institution into a worldwide phenomenon. With this new audience came, better graphics, more laughably absurd villains, and a renewed willingness to confront the issues of today. Doctor’s nine through twelve carried on a long tradition of boldness, when they championed the sanctity of all life, regardless of race, creed or culture. Why? Because that is what doctors do, they educate, and they heal.

Anyone who chooses to regard Ms. Whittaker’s casting as little more than ‘bending the knee’ to feminism betrays their ignorance regarding the show. Setting aside the fact that The Doctor is a fictional character and that the transition to a female Doctor has been in the works since Tennant, I assert that Thirteen is a woman because she needs to be. Unless you have been living under a rock for the past several decades, or more recently 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, you will have noticed the rising tide of people who refuse to remain marginalized. A show as beloved as Dr. Who has the responsibility to take a stand on the issues and let the world know: ‘We hear you; you are not alone.’ Don’t like that? Well, don’t let the T.A.R.D.I.S. door hit you on the way out.

To the fans who worry Thirteen will become a license for clique and misandry, I encourage you to be like the Doctor and choose hope. Give the new kids a chance. Adjusting to both a new lead and a new producer, (Chris Chibnall), is undoubtedly a tall order. However, if we can withstand the mistreated characters, convoluted plot lines, and abandoned story arcs hurled at us during Moffet’s reign of terror, we can survive anything.

Moreover, Chibnall and the BBC announced plans, back in November of 2016, to bring in all new writers. The goal is clear, a new show with a strong revival of the Tennant era format.[i] Season eleven is a fresh start, not abandonment. If you are someone who prefers more concrete evidence, take a stroll through the plethora of praise and well wishes offered to Chibnall and Whittaker by Dr. Who alums. Or better yet, rewatch reaction videos from reveal day. The sheer joy is contagious.

And while she will likely never see it, I would like to decorate the closing of this piece to Ms. Whittaker herself. Thank you for choosing to take up the mantle and guide the show into a new era. Whether you realize it or not, you are already fulfilling your role by offering us something we desperately need. Hope. Hope that our show can return to its roots; but most of all, hope that one day the adage ‘you can be anything you want to be’ will ring true for us all.

Allons-y!

Bethany Killian

[i] http://www.gallifreyannewsroom.com/?p=4723

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