Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Preview: The Logan Legacy #1

CBR has the preview up for the first issue of The Logan Legacy.  It'll be on shelves October 15th.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Preview: All-New X-Men #32

CBR has the preview up for All-New X-Men issue 32.  It'll be available at comic shops on September 17th!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

X-23 to Have Bigger Role At Marvel In Post "Death of Wolverine" World.

The first issue of the Death of Wolverine mini-series has hit shelves.  Articles and interviews are widespread on the coverage.

One of the highlights during an interview over at CBR is that X-23 will be taking on a larger presence in the Marvel world after his passing.  She'll be featured in the follow up mini-series that deals with his death, but also may cameo in the main mini-series itself too.  It's been said that Marvel has very big plans for her in this new world without Wolverine.  Here's hoping those plans include keeping her in character and not further diluting her into simply being a female Wolverine as was never the case in her creation.  She was created to be his opposite.  He's more nature while she's more science.  He's old, she's youth.  The list of differences in their natural but not opposing polar natures goes even deeper than that.  This is why much of their moral structure does align, but also has its differences from their experiences and personal character narratives.

Rather fitting for her to carry on his legacy.  Laura always has been a more interesting character than he in recent years, and has shown time and time again that she's also better trained and more strategic while still dealing with all the problems, discoveries, and nuances that youth brings to the table.  In her short time she's been a character that has gone through a lot, and has learned much of the world and its moral ambiguity, but hasn't let it dissuade her from doing what's right when she can.

So where will Marvel be taking X-23 in the coming years?  Could she become the new Wolverine?  What exactly are their plans?  Will this broader exposure lead to real cinematic exposure or even her own film or TV franchise?  Only time will tell what comes next for this mutant gene genetic twin test tube daughter of Wolverine!  (Wow that's a mouthful.  No wonder everyone uses the not as accurate clone description instead.)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

#WhyIstayed Trends on Twitter

For the last two or three hours, I've been watching this twitter trend grow as more come forward with their stories.

Both men and women are talking about domestic violence and the various forms of abuse under the hashtag #whyIstayed.  Please read it.  It's as eye opening of a read as the #yesallwomen hashtag that trended awhile back was.

It doesn't end there though.  Articles are showing up that are highlighting exactly how dangerous this is and the sickening societal conscience towards it.

Over on UT San Diego, there's an article that highlights and dives into this notion of how it's only condemned when it's visually in front of us.  It dives into the sports figures as examples, but then also brings up the mainstream media examples like Chris Brown and Rihanna.  It continues on to point out the alarming statistics.  In sadder news, it's so prevalent and media outlets themselves turn such a blind eye, there's even editorials over on Hollywood Life (link not added because I personally refuse to support this outlet in any form whatsoever) pertaining to Chris Brown and Rihanna that are saying they should rekindle their romance.  Stop and think about that for a second.  A tabloid that impressionable people read outright listed reasons and told a domestic abuse survivor to go back to her abuser.  Not a single peep was made about that disgusting editorial across any other news outlet or gossip site.  Only a select few comments on the editorial itself even condemned it.  That's frightening.

This is a very prevalent topic.  Abusers are praised and their crimes are dismissed while the victim is shamed.  The allegations against actor Michael Fassbender were swept under the rug and ignored even though they were never refuted.  The woman he struck only stated she did not want to hinder his career by making these public knowledge.  She never stated they never happened.  Her reasons mirrored much of what many survivors of domestic abuse go through.  They want to rationalize the abuse, claim themselves the reason it happened or want to protect the person that abused them.  They live in shame for what was perpetrated against them.  R. Kelly himself has allegation after allegation thrown at him repeatedly, but they all magically disappear so the abuse continues unhindered and unchallenged.  Even when challenged, the media and societal conscious forgets within a couple of years or less.  Acts of this nature should never be forgotten.

It's even in the pop industry where sexual, emotional, and verbal abuse runs rampant not only in music but in lives that are ruined.  For one, these actions continue on to all those he is with.  The laundry list of abuse goes unnoticed due to payoffs and blackmail.  Going so far as to blackmail the mother of his own child into keeping silent that he has a kid.  Essentially disowning and abandoning the child(unless he's supporting the kid in private, though that seems unlikely with the reports having stated she sought no money and how his team blackmailed her into silence with legal action due to their age difference at the time she got pregnant).  Essentially a multi-millionaire deadbeat dad that can take no responsibility for his own actions.  It's carried on into harming others that were once beloved by the media and now have fallen into a cycle of abuse few want to see, instead rationalizing it or claiming she deserves it(no one does!).  Even those she cared about weren't spared from his mockery, and the people that they care about too.  Hidden behind indirect attacks and other kinds of mockery so that no one else would see it except his intended targets to trigger them into reactions.  Dancers of his that were impregnated from his refusal to use condoms his management team blackmailed into tears and verbally assaulted until they agree to abortions.  Lives are tortured and ruined on a regular basis in the media world solely to protect the abusers and shame the victims.  Even when the abuse is apparent in the music by repeatedly calling women derogatory words or other such inflammatory actions and theatrics, it's dismissed with ease called "creative expression" or blamed on "boys will be boys" among other such dismissive attitudes that hinder maturity and real growth from happening.  Some music even going so far as to demean a woman for her first time by calling her a "whore" indirectly by suggesting she lied about that because she was over enthusiastic to experience a natural beautiful part of life.  Yet impressionable mentalities eat this up as okay behavior when it's not.  The signs are all there, but fall on deaf ears that refuse to see it or are blinded by greed like money or popularity determines any form of actual value whatsoever. (News flash: it doesn't.)  Instead they opt to make excuses for it and fall into condoning the behavior.  Even such violent acts as assault with a deadly weapon are dismissed as the fault of the one attacked.  Hidden behind claims of wanting privacy, but then inviting the very thing complained about to private property or making a scene in public places solely for the attention it gives after going on such verbal tirades that show the hypocrisy in plain view.  The cognitive dissonance is so apparent my only reaction is they must be paying shills to support the behavior so that others will too.

In another area of the pop industry, it has been pointed out that some management teams that promote role model positive images are behind the scenes throwing girls and drugs at essentially what is their charges.   One notable artist outed these actions near his career swan song and it's frightening at how the misogyny and even recklessness was summarily ignored.  (The infamous Jonas brother letter.)  These are children having other children thrown at them to use as sexual toys while underage.  Drugs introduced into their lives because no one is genuinely looking out for their well-being.  These management teams that are supposed to be looking out for them are feeding into the baser needs to create spoiled attitudes and out of control youths.  We're not talking your typical high school rambunctiousness.  This is clear above and beyond what any impressionable youth should be given access to.  Humanity can't truly be that twisted can it?

(All above information is readily available and verifiable through various media outlets.  Though much of it is also covered up by payoffs or blackmail.)

Headlines carry on about other perverse and demeaning actions, yet it's all swallowed as "so what" simply because it's not seen first hand or experienced by anyone other than the one abused.

This. Is. Wrong.

Victims are shamed and told to be quiet about it with claims the abuser is more important than they.

This. Is. Wrong.

Abuse is abuse.  Be it emotional, verbal, sexual, or physical.  This abuse runs rampant, and then we wonder why the victims of it are scared to be touched or become hesitant at odd moments.  Abuse isn't love.  Much like rape, it's claiming power over their victim.  Usually by any means they can.  Whether it's money thrown at them to buy them off, threats, or even belittling side commentary to make them feel bad, it's all abuse.  A common theme among abusers is "unconditional love" or other such excuses to hide it like invoking religion to dissuade you from thinking of their transgressions.  Neither of which is an excuse.  In fact, in the christian bible, Jesus himself preached about self-preservation and removing yourself from harm's way for your own safety.  For the Lord so loves you that God wants you to be safe and healthy to continue on your mission in life whatever that may be.  Unconditional love means the abuser wouldn't be abusing you if they truly loved you.  They'd respect you and look out for your safety.  They'd listen to your concerns and not repeat or do the actions that bothered you if they wanted to show you how much you mean to them.  Love isn't jealous.  It's kind, loyal, and supportive.  Someone that loved you would use protection and look out for your safety, not try and talk you into unsafe actions.  Even guide dogs who must follow orders look out for those they guide and know to disobey an order that would give who they are guiding harm.  Dogs and cats often show humanity what true love, compassion, and caring is while humanity rationalizes what it isn't or attempts to hide these actions by any means they can to dissuade you from seeing it.

The list of examples can go on for days, but it's time all of us, all of humanity, stopped perpetuating that it's okay and praising the abusers.  Listen to the victims.  Give them attention, not the abusers.  Stop shaming the victims.  Stop praising the perpetrators of the abuse.

Abuse isn't as simple as physical violence either.  It's in everyday word choices.  Actions that intentionally try to cause reactions to make others jealous, belittling and mocking those that are going through rough moments the abuser themselves have caused or are causing.  Threats tossed blindly at people to force them to stay.  The list goes on and on as you can see with the twitter hashtag if you take the time to read it, and I urge you to read it, it's highly enlightening.

It's a disturbing topic, but it's time for people to listen alongside the shaming & condemning of victims to stop.  It is not their fault they were abused.  This is a topic that may come back up again at a later date.  I hope more come forward with their stories though and don't let it stay hidden no matter who the perpetrator is.  Speak up.  Speak loudly.  Yell if you have to.  Abuse should never be tolerated.  An abuser does not abuse one person, it's repeated behavior and not isolated.  If you don't want to speak up for yourself, do it so that others won't have to experience what you've gone through.  Get loud so that kids involved won't be influenced by it and think this is what love is.  Get loud so that people listen even if they don't want to.  Don't let the status of the person involved make you stay silent and haunt you or further demean you and take away your self-worth.  You are beautiful.  You are human.  You deserve dignity and respect.  You deserve to be heard.  You deserve to be genuinely loved.  The one that's not humane is the one that could abuse another without caring.  There is never an excuse or reason for it other than their own ego to feel powerful over you.  It's an ego trip that should never be tolerated.

Stand up and be heard.  Someone will listen, and it could save lives.
One form of abuse often leads to other forms.  If they are quick to use verbal abuse, physical abuse isn't far behind.  If they are a sexual abuser, they will abuse you in other ways too.  Speak to protect yourself, and it could even save others too from having to go through what you experienced.  It will save lives.  Your own and more.  The toxic behavior of abusers is infectious if not stopped.  Abuse isn't love.  It doesn't show love.  It destroys love because it's exerting power over another.  Love is mutual, kind, supportive and listens.  Abusers do none of those things and will try to make you believe you are the one abusing them.  It's a common tactic among abusers as you'll see with the hashtag.  Love is considerate.  Abusers are not.  It's not easy, but hopefully in reading these tweets and starting to understand the problem, people will be more accepting when others try to talk of their issues.  Instead of asking 'why do you stay?' maybe more will ask 'how can I help?'

There's so much more to this topic than I am knowledgeable on.  I urge you to listen to the stories and read up on it.  Growing and maturing to be capable of handling these topics with fairness and equality is the only way to stomp it out.  Abuse harms everyone.  Anyone of any gender, creed, orientation, or nationality can become a victim of abuse or domestic violence of any sort.  This is an issue all of humanity of any walk of life can face.  Refuse to be silent about it.  Offer to help those that need it, not those that cause it.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Young Hollywood Outshining Hollywood Greed

Last night at the MTV video music awards, Miley Cyrus pulled another stunt...

This one, since all eyes were on her, was one of using her platform as a chance to speak to and reach out to youths around the nation about a very serious problem.  That of homeless youths.

Many are calling this a publicity stunt.
Well, they aren't wrong.  It is a publicity stunt.  One to draw attention to a very real problem and trying to help make it better using the platform she's been given to speak with.  The award acceptance was a podium where kids and young adults around the world were watching.  This was a moment where she could reach beyond even her fans.  It was a moment where fans of all music performers and more were paying attention that allowed a reach far wider so that even people who aren't fans of hers would see and listen.

I wish more publicity stunts were as well thought out and researched as this was.  It showed genuine forethought and research attached to present the actual statistics.  This wasn't some media fueled "forgive me for last year."  This came across and was delivered beautifully as a "now that I have your attention and you're listening, here is a very real problem we need to work on."

It showed respect to how it was handled.  She took the time to hear his story and talk to him.  She didn't pick some random homeless person off the street and drag them to the show last minute.  She took someone to the show that she had taken the time to get to know and hear their plight.  She showed respect and allowed them to have their dignity while sharing a very special night that person may not have had otherwise.  She didn't use this as a set piece prop.  This was respectful and moving.  Those that want to berate her for it, well, I'm not sure what they were expecting would be the proper way.  She did this in the most humane and human way possible that both reached out to the problem and did so with dignity while also allowing an undertone of surprise.  This surprise was well-warranted as it shows directly that we are all human.  What you see on the outside doesn't tell you the story of who they are or what they've been through.  It relates back to perception of how people see the world.  Most of all, she did this with showing him respect and treating him like a person.  This is a historic VMA moment, and it's one that I hope is remembered for decades.

Honestly, between this year and last year.  I almost want to call her outright a mad genius.  She's saying this is only the start, and I look forward to seeing where she takes this from here in trying to cause real change.

In other celeb related news, it seems more are drawing attention to the societal ills that awareness needs to be on to try and help fix.

Human trafficking is another very real concern among youths around the world.  Shay Mitchell from Pretty Little Liars has long been an advocate in the fight against it, and it's nice to see one of her co-stars, Lucy Hale, helping join the fight in the ways she can help draw attention to it too.

This independent film she highlighted this morning looks like it could be highly interesting with the message it carries and their goal.  It's one I look forward to seeing, and for the time being may be the closest we get to a NYX feature film as well.

NYX you may remember is the Marvel comic miniseries that dove into these topics back in 2003-2004.  While it featured the first comic appearance of X-23, it also was a quite emotional and disturbing read because of the topics it entailed about suicide, homelessness, school violence, human trafficking, prostitution, and more.

It's amazing to see so many of the youths of Hollywood using their platforms to help make a difference with the reach they have.  It'd be even nicer to see the big studios helping to join the fight.  These young women are leading the charge for change, and the big studio support with the larger intellectual properties could very well make a big difference too.  These young women are bringing awareness to very real topics, and maybe it's time the big studios joined to do so too.  The music and movie industry makes billions each year, and while to them it'd only be a drop in the bucket, their help could change lives and generate positive momentum to begin to make lasting and historic change.

Independent features and fandoms can do a lot for these causes, but alongside those, imagine what a large intellectual property like one from Marvel, or Sony, or Fox could do to help raise awareness and provide ways to help those that need it most.  They could show they stand with their heroes that are on the screen and want to help make change that could save lives.