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.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy - MCU Sexism still at play?

Here's an article you should all read.  Awhile back in praising Guardians of the Galaxy for its forward thinking, I hadn't realized how much infighting it took to even get that far, and how backhanded some of the comments internally and in interviews had been about it.

Further reason why I think an X-23 film with a full female behind the scenes crew could really rock the industry and again exactly why it's needed. (Fox, you've just been given a chance to one up Marvel and a moment to gain praise for having the X-Men licenses instead of them.)

This makes me ashamed of the Disney led Marvel cinematic universe outright.  Toss this in with previous questionable actions towards how they've mis-handled a female director that was originally attached to Thor 2, and there seems to be a growing misogyny trend here among their film division.  A trend that sadly if spoken up against could hinder careers which makes it all the more infuriating about Hollywood treatment between talent and those that cut the checks but-mostly-sit-on-their-behinds-doing-nothing while reaping the rewards and profits.  I wouldn't be voicing concern on this if it was something that only happened once or was a genuine fluke.  This seems to be repeated behavior.

There might be a further in-depth entry on this at a later point after some further information gathering pertaining to past and present women in the industry treatment from the Disney led MCU under Marvel's hand.

If Marvel wants to effect change, and I mean real change, maybe they should start within instead of pointing at the characters they put on screen.  I do love how they changed Jane Foster from what was a nurse or paramedic in the comics to a full on scientist in the films as a role model, but it's moot if their treatment of women behind the scenes is as bad if not worse than the villians they have onscreen.

The Art of Warren

Thank you Bendis.  I'd been wondering if I'd ever be able to use that word play pun.

So the newest relationship showing up in Laura's life right now is the from the past Warren Worthington III, aka Angel of the original 5.

Issue 30 shows their relationship budding after a quite confusing and mildly out of character build up out at a club, but it plays to Laura's recklessness so it's hard to fully dive into that as yet for where Laura's head is.  She's dealt with jealousy before, so under previous instances it seems out of character, but jealousy isn't an emotion that makes sense.  It can cause unique reactions to any instance besides of course other factors that could be at play like the innocence the original 5 display over what their contemporary selves have from the lives they've lived.  They still maintain that doe-eyed youth like innocence that their modern selves have long lost.  Something that in itself may be appealing to Laura as it's something she was never allowed to have.

Another for instance is Warren's wings themselves.  Laura witnessed his future self having them ripped off of him by Wolfsbane outright over in the X-Force v3 comic run.  It may make sense that she'd be more protective of them on his past self because of this and knowing the future in store with him during the Mutant Massacre as well(she did read the X-Men archived files as shown in the Academy X run, similar to what Finesse did with the files at the Avengers Academy, that one X-23 probably also did her due-diligence on reading).  It plays up to the spiritual end of Laura that's been a subtle undertone in previous comic runs as well because of what his namesake and wings symbolically represent.  She may become more infatuated with him because of her relatively recent travels and inner discoveries on her spiritual side.  She's a character that's grown a lot over the years so it's a hard call to make to really say what's out of character and what isn't as yet.  Especially when you factor in the psychology elements of her character and the various aspects she represents under those ordeals.  His displayed restraint, or willingness to stand up and keep her on the right path may also factor into her current infatuation with him.  The younger Warren doesn't have the same baggage and arrogance his contemporary counterpart built up over the years.  This works in his favor as a character and avoids such complications as we saw with his older self's usage towards Paige Guthrie a long while back.  Bendis is walking a fine line of showing these characters to not be as full of themselves as previous usages of the contemporary versions had displayed over the past 2 decades.

There are elements that come into question in her actions that can be considered out of character, but most of it has simple enough points that could push them aside for now.  The most troubling was the lack of her foot claws early on, and the ad-libbed "oops I forgot about those" author acknowledgement technique used in the trial of Jean Grey, but there are other aspects that he has been adding that are showing character growth as well.  So far it's been a trade off, and Bendis seems to be still getting his footing on X-23.  So most complaints may fade over time that could be pointed out.  This is of course besides the few that can be explained away.

And on this point of his usage of X-23, her night with Warren is really a point in favor of Bendis' writing.  Until further explored, it's not out of character but also carries hues of growth and finally feeling at home with her new team.  He seems to be channeling elements of Faith from Buffy for X-23's conveyance which is working in many ways but he adds his own twist to it that helps make X-23 stand as herself.  It really depends on where he takes it from here and it looks like issue 31 may explore this more in-depth as will later issues.

A big point I'm grateful on with his usages so far though is that he hasn't degraded her to a sexual object for the comic page.  He's carried her character story fine so far in her growth without resorting to being gratuitous or using her as a set piece to turn her essentially into porn for the comic to gain readers.  In balancing his usages, he's kept the majority of her character intent intact while still allowing her to grow and cater to wider audience appeal.  It's this balancing act that helps make his work stand on its own so far.  It would have been easy for him to have gone more towards debasing her to gain the typical male readership that revels in such art, and it's a testament to his push in maintaining the characters for what they represent while still allowing them to display the full human experience scope for readers to better identify with.  This in turn allows them all to grow.  He hasn't really shown if anything happened, but also subtly implies it was still intimate in other ways from how they talked.  This verbal intimacy displayed shows a deeper bond building overall, and I thank him for this more robust human touch than what in previous years would have been an excuse for the writer and artists to provide what's often been called fan service.  What they've done or haven't done is immaterial to the moment, but that verbal expressed intimacy of sharing themselves with each other on this emotional and mental level shows a maturity we haven't seen from X-23 since her Target X miniseries and Academy X run, and even those were mostly devoid of emotion on her end.  This shows her making a real emotional attachment, and it's quite refreshing.

I look forward to seeing where Bendis takes this character growth.

Black Widow Issue 11 to Feature X-23

X-23 potentially will be appearing in Black Widow's December 2014's issue 11.  At least she's shown to be on the cover of it.

So if All-New X-Men's characterization of X-23 doesn't feel accurate enough for you, here's potentially a throwback to an X-23 that may feel more in character.  It may even continue on to grow this friendship as previously shown in the pages of the Marjorie Liu run of X-23 v3 in the final issue.

Special thanks to Phil Noto for the heads up via his Tumblr with the cover he drew.

Girl Scouts and the Let's get her to Camp Campaign.

Check it out.  It's a worthwhile cause, and the Girl Scouts Organization is an amazing group that does try to empower and uplift young girls.

Preview: All-New X-Men #31

CBR has the preview up for All-New X-Men issue 31.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

The ALS Association has started the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness for the disease.  If you'd like to know more, click on over to their site to read up on it and the challenge.

So I made the comment to a friend that I'd take the challenge if both Lucy Hale and Selena Gomez did.

Then this happened.  I laughed a little bit.

And then in less than 24 hours this happened.  Laughed some more.

Then was reminded of what I said.  Crap.
So I guess I'm starting today off with a cold shower.  Serves me right for laughing.

I nominate Marjorie Liu, Neil Gaiman, and Axel Alonso to take the challenge.  You have 24 hours to complete it.  The comic book scene and the Doctor Who crew should join in on the fun.

And remember people.  Don't laugh.  You could be next!
Or so I just learned.

Ah well, the cold never bothered me anyway.

Oh who am I kidding.  That was freaking COLD.
So much so, you think of something cool to say, and then bam! That cold water hits and you forget whatever it was.  Probably didn't help that I wasn't fully awake until that cold water hit.

Also, remember to donate, but if you aren't able to for whatever life reasons that might conflict, spread the awareness so that others may!

CBR is reporting that others of the Comic Book scene are finally jumping in and nearly anyone who is anyone from the MCU has joined in.  While many of the staff at Marvel have joined the cause to help raise awareness, it seems their current E-I-C has yet to.  Come on Axel Alonso!  You gotta lead by example!  Don't let your own employees out shine you!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

CBR Editorial Worth A Read.

There's a regular editorial over at CBR called "She has no head" where they lament over how women are treated in various media forays.  I love reading it when it's up.  It's always made some very interesting and valid points.

This time it's a little more entertaining for me.  Reading it, can you tell why?

There are some great points made, especially about Firestar's potential as a feature film which I entirely agree with.  Sony, if you do have the rights, look into updating and using her Spider-man and his Amazing Friends animated origin tale.  Of course with some tweaks to circumvent the mutant movie rights issue, but that shouldn't be too difficult with the right catalyst in place from the initial harassment that propels the rest of her animated origin tale.

The editorial gets a little off beat with some points.  Supergirl to many might be considered a success, but I'm biased.  Outside of Batman and Superman it was one of my first forays into the super hero world as a kid.  Thanks to TNT late night movies back in the 80s I managed to see it while impressionable where it influenced my preference for her as a character over Superman.  I've been hooked on it ever since and rewatch it every couple of years. (Might actually watch it again tonight now too!)  It's also thanks to those same late night TNT movies that I got my addiction to Godzilla movies and also how I saw the cult-hit film The Lost Boys.

It brings up a very valid point though in the form of femme-fatale stories.  This is something that an X-23 movie needs to combat against slightly.  Thankfully enough, her origin tale does just that.  It's more focused on personal growth and family than it is on the fact she's a killer.  In fact, it raises questions that should be asked about nature vs nurture.  It reflects aspects of broken homes.  It has elements of triumphing over the crappy circumstances life throws at you.  The symbolism it carries is quite deep and well rounded across the board to cover many of the societal ills that are prevalent across the world.  It's a loaded metaphor.  This is why you can't exactly shoe-horn her into a single trope or off beat phrase like "another assassin woman movie?"  She's more than that.  It's a story that deals in child abuse, refusal to become an abuser like them, hues of human trafficking, genetic science used for unethical actions, the turning point of enough is enough to save a child, and the list goes on.  It's a story of love, a sistah-mance if you will instead of a bromance.  It's a story of helping a family come together.  It's a story of not letting what's happened to you change who you are and preventing you from helping others.  It's a story that covers quite a lot of bases which is what makes it work on screen so beautifully.  Most of X-23's outings in the comic world carry these metaphors and more.  Metaphors of personal strength and self-discovery.  Even in NYX, where she's completely lost due to her grief from the origin tales, we see that spark of hope re-ignite in her as she protects her new friends.

X-23's story isn't one of being a femme-fatale, it's one of being a hero even without the colorful costume or the headlines from being overt in the press.  It's a tale of saving people and protecting your family.  It's a tale of escaping a toxic place.  It's a tale of helping others.  It's a story that's a universal constant in what it conveys and the messages it covers.

But I will concede that finding the best title could be difficult.  It's a fine line of walking the recognizability and allowing her to stand on her own two feet.  A good film is a good film, and by being tied into the X-Men franchise it does allow for that initial spark of interest.  It would be remiss not to dive into the Wolverine aspects though, as it does present another tangible metaphor.  That of a father who never knew he had a kid, and that does play well to audiences as we've seen in many dramedies over the years.  Like I said, X-23 is a loaded metaphor that covers a wide array of topics, and that's exactly what makes a proper adaptation that maintains the spirit of it and done well(cannot stress this enough, if you strip away the soul of her in the process, the movie will be garbage!) complete artwork of the likes that makes film an art form.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Preview: All-New X-Men Issue 30

CBR has the preview up for all-New X-Men issue 30.  It'll be available on August 12th.

Amazing artwork all around but does anyone else kind of getting the feeling that Marvel doesn't know how to write her character anymore?

Friday, August 8, 2014

Fox, It's Time For An X-23 Movie

Around the internet in geek circles of both comic and film fans, the pressure has been getting heavier and heavier.  We all want a solo female protagonist heroine film. Every. Single. One. Of. Us.

Sony is stepping up finally in 2016 it looks like with a spin-off from Spider-man.  Unknown yet as to which heroine it may be, but they have set some ground work for potentially it being a Black Cat film.  They could also go more left field and use Firestar as her story plays well to the modern world with its bully story catalysts.  Firestar's story has many influences from Carrie as well as the Drew Barrymore Firestarter and could play well to audiences potentially by being a new take on those concepts.  She is a mutant though, and may be in Fox's rights territory.  It's unknown her exact placement because of her initial animated appearance being with Spider-man and his Amazing Friends before turning up in the X-Men comics, then New Warriors, and much later becoming an Avenger.  Black Cat is possible because of their usage of Felicia in Amazing Spider-man 2, but with her cat burglar nature it may tread too closely to what looks like a series of heist movies across the board as the next trend in hero flicks.  Sinister Six looks to be a heist movie with the focus on the criminals from Spider-man.  Over at Marvel, Ant-man is set to be a heist movie too.  Black Cat in that mix may over-saturate that concept for movie-goers and possibly even bring up comparisons to Halle Berry's Eartha Kitt influenced Catwoman from DC.

Recently there's been undertones of a race going on.  Who will get there first.  Well, let's toss that race out the window for a minute.  There is no race.  DC has already been the first with their 80s Supergirl movie if you're referring to popular mainstream comic mainstays.  DC also has set their sights on a solo Wonder Woman movie coming up possibly in 2017 or 2018 starring Gal Gadot.  Hopefully the amazons of Themyscira will also highlight many of the other amazing women from DC.  They have ample room in such a feature to cameo a young orphaned Donna Troy with how she got to the island to show how any woman can become an Amazon, Artemis with how she helped train Diana, and if they'd be so bold they could even add Empress from Young Justice as another young amazon to help showcase the character diversity on this island that could lead to bringing Cassie Sandsmark into this world as the young girl next door to Diana who became Wonder Girl after Donna Troy.  Themyscira itself has a rich history and contains some fantastic female empowerment elements to allow a wide array of cameos to help build & prep this new cinematic world they're creating.

The race many speak of isn't of who will be there first.  The race they mean to speak of is who of the modern film industry will be successful at the box office in this new age of cinema and effects.  An age that's starting to show that even clear outright unknowns from nowhere can be successful at the box office if the movie itself is good.  Hanna, Hunger Games, Gravity, Lucy, and more have all shown there is an appetite among audiences for strong female roles on the big screen alongside what defines their strength.  Both Hanna and Lucy were original property films that proved successful with their box office takes.  Coming in at above 40 million for each, their box office takes were entirely done without any kind of comic book tie or the much acclaimed Marvel touch.  They were entirely independent unto themselves.  Now if they managed to be profitable and even provide a decent box office, just imagine what a property that has an installed comic fan base could do.  That extra little touch of being part of a larger world as well as having a pre-established audience could in theory double if not triple those box office numbers.  It has the potential to even outdo what they're getting now from their super hero movies.(Yes that's right.  I'm saying an X-23 solo film could outshine The Wolverine, First Class, and even Days Of Future Past!)  Looking at Guardians of the Galaxy(oh and hey, did you know it was written by a female rocket scientist?), a relatively completely unknown property except to comic fans, that might even be a low balled estimate of the box office returns on such an expenditure.  Seriously, look at Guardians of the Galaxy.  It's a bromance between a raccoon and a twig that sold many people on checking it out.  Heck, that's what's got me hooked, but again I'm a comic fan so I'm already a fan of Rocket Raccoon and Groot.  Continuing on about them though, the largest exposure they have is via animation and the Marvel vs Capcom 3 video game.  A game I might add that also features X-23!

Right now, as it stands, it doesn't look like it'll be Marvel under Disney's label.  Sadly the MCU has given excuse after excuse on why not.  All of which have been proven to be false repeatedly.  Considering how wide-spread the love for Black Widow has been, and their still adamant refusal for a film as yet for her, it's unknown who their first solo heroine will be.  They pushed Natasha to a supporting role, which while she's been fantastic in, perpetuates the false belief that she couldn't sustain her own film now.  The film Lucy has proven that wrong outright by showing that Scarlett Johansson in action roles even on a completely unknown property that's more thought provoking than even the Matrix(review coming soon!) can be a pretty decent ticket draw.  There are still other possibilities though.  We could see them push Hawkeye out into his own film, and surprise audiences with it instead featuring more heavily on Kate Bishop's story as opposed to Clint Barton's.  This would be an interesting approach as not only would it allow them to explore where Clint has been since his Avengers appearance, it could also further grow this cinematic world and the people in it.  By using Clint Barton in place of the original Young Avengers in that first adventure that led to Kate Bishop being on that team, they could start to further build the legacy of the heroes they use over in the team focused Avengers movie.  Establishing these legacy lines is a must for the cinematic world as it allows the films to naturally grow with the times as well as furthers their own characters exposure to the world at large outside of comic book fans.

Fox has stayed marginally silent on this front of solo super heroine films, seemingly watching the market and mulling over their choices for what to do.  The majority of those they've approached about the X-Franchise have repeatedly told them to stick with team dynamic films.  For the most part this is true about the X-Men.  Most of the best stories are because of the team dynamics and how they come across united as family even with their differences.  There are other stories that play up to these concepts.  Gambit for example is a story that plays up to many of the same facets because of his history but also fits into the upcoming trend of superhero heist movies.  A trend that may burn itself out rather quickly as the rapid fire of this type of film is becoming overtly abundant after the success of the TV show Leverage.  While at first I was adamantly against Channing Tatum in the role of Remy, after some recent interviews with him where he's talked about his passion for the character and even in some cases started using his style choices to reflect how he could look in the role, he has won me over for wanting to see his take on the character.  Hopefully they'll start a slow build with his character to first appear in a team film to build on this concept now that they have a clean slate for the X-Franchise in the 80s thanks to Days of Future Past.  So Fox is possibly ready to dive into this heist super hero film trend if they so choose and it proves successful.  That still leaves a solo female led film slot open though.

They could potentially surprise folks with a contender.  There are many among the X-Franchise that could do extremely well at the box office as stand alone features.  Obviously there's X-23 with her origin tale that still reflects the familial bonds the X-Franchise is known for as well as the triumphing over adversity alongside the sub-tones of combating prejudicial hate.  It carries elements of what being a teenage girl is like with the interactions of Megan and Laura.  It has elements of high school, shopping with friends, going to concerts, looking cute in outfits, kicking ass, and even possibly learning how to flirt and much much more.  X-23 is a character that's entirely new to normal everyday life.  There are a lot of elements that could be explored in what the comic used as a brief montage to show X-23 experiencing the normalcy of life that counterbalances how she was raised.  There's also Domino that has similar undertones to her story.  Both of these characters have strong potential visuals, thought provoking story, and an empowerment angle that not only benefits audiences, but could keep them coming back for more in the way of sequels.  While they are building the history of the X-Men with their prequels, they have left a window open to explore this new future world they've created.  The talk of X-Force with how it may play to this is one possibility if they stick to the more modern teams, though they could also do the 90s team and continue on the history building instead.

X-Force: Not Forgotten in particular is a story they should look to, but to do that, they must lay the groundwork on X-23's origin first.  Not Forgotten could potentially play better to audiences than what any of the other studios could do because of it's focus on a one armed X-23 taking on her captors.  Not only does it highlight a strong solo heroine that can hold her own alongside a decent female led supporting cast focus, it presents an angle of a disabled, albeit temporarily, superhero.  At the beginning of the story, Kimura literally cuts off one of X-23's arms with a chainsaw.  Yet Laura still manages to use ingenuity and strategic prowess to best her captors, of course with a little help from another woman too.  There's no men storming in to save the day.  These women do it themselves.  In fact, Not Forgotten pokes fun at this trope with the men coming to save the day after the action has already happened and they've escaped.  They come late to the party when the dust has already settled.

It is possible to intermingle Not Forgotten with elements of the origin via flashbacks, but with as much content as both contain, it may be best suited for them to be two back to back features outright.  The draw to both Domino and X-23 as features, is not only do the reflect femininity but they also easily pass the Bechdel test with their female characters and stories.  Under a skilled writer, there's nothing in either that would warrant complaints from audience goers.  The only complaints would be from the typical internet misogynists that don't know how to use their brain and don't pay for movie tickets anyway!  So no loss there.

The other complication that has been spoken much about is the aspect of an unknown.  Well, this is a silly thing to even talk about.  Unknowns are what have made the film industry what it is.  Everything's unknown until it's on the screen and audiences see it.  That's how things enter the mainstream consciousness to not be an unknown!  That being said though, X-23 has had ample animation appearances to bolster audience retention.  She's appeared in Super Hero Squad twice, was the focus of at least two sub plots in the NickToon Wolverine and The X-Men, and made her debut originally on the much beloved KidsWB X-Men Evolution.  She even managed to cameo in the Marvel direct to DVD Wolverine Vs. animated features!  That's more separate series animation appearances than Domino has had or even the much audience loved Rogue and Kitty Pryde who did appear in the X-Men films! (This does not count consecutive same series appearances.)

Continuing on this trend about unknowns.  Let's look at Wolverine.  Okay, he himself isn't an unknown, but Hugh Jackman mostly was stateside until he portrayed the character.  Now look at him.  Top tier beloved A-list star, and it all started because of his portrayal of Wolverine.  A role that even led to him hosting the Academy Awards.  Yes that's right, he went from unknown to host of the Academy Awards thanks to a super hero movie.  People talk of "unknown" like it's a deterrent, but really it's a boon.  It works in favor of the properties and the stars involved because there are no expectations.  While okay, a character like X-23 would need to be cast to accommodate some recognition, that can be solved easily enough with one of two choices for the lead in an origin feature.

By casting Selena Gomez in the role, you present the chance to highlight a Latina in the role of a heroine.  With it also brings her charity work, music, clothing lines, and recognition.  By casting Lucy Hale, you provide the character with her country flair, as well as her music, recognition, clothing lines, charity work, and fan following.(She also supports the girl scouts which makes for fun X-23 cross marketing even!)  Heck she could even call her Halers who are fans of her portrayal of this character Kalers.  Essentially it'd mean Laura Kinney Halers!  Either of these actresses bring unique qualities to the table and audience draws.  While Ms. Hale has the natural look and even matches the eye color of the character to easily portray the role as if it we straight off the comic page, Ms. Gomez also brings qualities to the character that helps further diversify the potential(if only there was a way for both to portray the character!).

Recently I've grown more fond of the idea of Ms. Gomez in the role of Agent Morales instead of Michelle Rodriguez.  Though I'm also still leaning on the potential of Cote de Pablo behind that role too.  It's a tough decision there because of the story behind the character and how she may appear over in the MCU.  If they approach the character as a fresh out of S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy agent when Hydra was exposed, Ms. Gomez would be better suited for the role.  If they approach the character as an experienced veteran agent that's trying to figure out what to do next because of the Hydra reveal, Cote de Pablo would be better suited.  This isn't a commentary on Michelle Rodriguez as an actress though, quite the contrary.  She's already in so many roles of badass women from Fast and the Furious to Resident Evil and more, I personally feel she's better suited to be included in the GI Joe franchise instead in some manner like some of her other costars from those movies have done.

The agent Morales question hinders Ms. Gomez in the portrayal of either X-23 or Kimura.  There's a unique potential with X-23 to allow Marvel to provide the scenes that would have to be changed for rights issues with one simple casting of Ms. Hale as Kate Bishop of Hawkeye and Young Avengers fame(which again helps add to that Kalers moniker fandom).  This would essentially allow them to be the first to do a new modern cinema spin on the infamous Pink Floyd Darkside of the Moon and Wizard of Oz combination.  It'd allow both them and Fox to become film culture icons that'd make landmark history unlike any have done before.  The experience Cote de Pablo brings to such a role with her NCIS history works wonders for the character and how well trained she is, but the doe-eyed youth that Ms. Gomez brings alongside the academy training presents an earnest case handling and story angle to allow for more story diversity.  This includes how she becomes aware her team is Hydra and not S.H.I.E.L.D. if they are rounding up such potential heroes as Kate Bishop among others.  It presents a story angle of why she would rebel from what could be this S.H.I.E.L.D. splinter group that she finds out is trying to experiment on who they capture that would lead her and Kate Bishop to Coulson's team.  A more veteran agent falling for that same story premise would raise too many questions about the capabilities of the character and could fracture the suspension of belief shows and films like this are dependent upon.

Ms. Hale as Laura Kinney though starts to create those same audience responses that Chris Evans as Captain Rogers or Chris Hemsworth as Thor have.  That subtle fan joke of "is Marvel simply growing these actors and actresses that look and portray these characters perfectly on screen?"  With both Kate Bishop and X-23, she causes that same response.  Many tumblr blogs have already turned to using scenes of hers from the show Pretty Little Liars and other movies she's been in to do just that.  One fun one in particular has been showcasing her scope and perfection as Kate Bishop in a fan fiction narrative that's been quite enthralling.  Another has been doing the same with her as X-23 to quite extraordinary results.

Fox has tried previously with the Elektra Daredevil spin-off, but that was hindered by many factors that included the lack of her having audience relatability.  That film also lacked having the current market and demand surrounding her that's present today.  Times have shifted.  Movie-goers and ticket sales are now more female driven than they've ever been before.  So maybe it's time to try again with a property that has more retention, loyalty, and a larger installed fan base than Daredevil does.  It made for a decent water testing movie, but now the waters are perfect and calm.  Open seas are ready to be sailed.  It's more than time to strike while the iron is hot.

The first successful Marvel solo heroine feature is only a matter of when.  Among the companies that have the rights though, now we can ask that question of who will be successful at it first.  Which of the big three will bring a solo Marvel female heroine successfully to the big screen first?  Will it be Sony with their announced female led Amazing Spider-man spin-off movie?  Will it be the Disney owned Marvel MCU with Black Widow, or the Carol Danvers Captain Marvel, or even the more earth and human storied Kate Bishop Hawkeye?  Will Fox step up and surprise everyone by furthering the Wolverine legacy by bringing X-23 to the big screen?

It'd be rather fitting if it were X-23(not counting the myriad of directions it could take!).  Wolverine with his appearance in X-Men was one of the major properties that started the super hero movie trend altogether.  X-Men and Spider-man opened the door for all that followed.  It'd seem rather poignant that X-23 would be the one from Marvel's library of characters that helped bring that full circle by showing she's just as capable of creating a new film trend with Marvel female characters.  The same could be said of Sony as it was their initial Spider-man trilogy that also helped pave the way for all the Marvel films that followed.  Originally it was Spider-man and the X-Men that showed superheroes can work on the big screen.  It's rather poetic that it'd be Sony and Fox again that showed Marvel and audiences world wide that the female heroines from their character library are just as profitable if not even more so!  It brings a crescendo to this male dominated scene and strikes a chord that could reverberate throughout so that we're all singing along to the same tune of anyone can be a hero no matter who they are or what they've gone through.  And isn't that the music we all want to hear?  I know it sounds good to me.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Could X-23 be Portrayed by Anyone that's not White?

Simple answer.  Yes.

The longer answer to this.  Any changes would have to be also appended to who is cast as the mother or if a different surrogate was used.  With this story being heavily about genetics with a dash of nature vs nurture, the mother's role would have to reflect any such changes made to Laura herself for it to make sense.

A long time ago, when I had first suggested Selena Gomez in the role, I was hit with some flack right off the bat.  The exact reaction from the bowels of the internet was "X-23 isn't a spic!"  Which by the racial remarks itself reflects racism outside of genuine thought being the reason they were against it.  Wolverine himself isn't an Aussie, yet Hugh Jackman is the man everyone thinks of for live action Wolverine.  Blink/Clarice Ferguson isn't Asian in the comics, yet the portrayal in Days of Future Past is amazing and works marvelously.

Race bending the character isn't a bad thing.  It depends on the direction that's decided to be taken.  The fact of the matter is though, Marvel(across all studios) does need to step up their game on diversity for women.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a Latina X-23, or for that matter, an African American one or Asian one either.  Marvel does have characters though that could fill these spots too that also deserve appropriate representation on the big screen.  So it's really left to what the director feels is best or the direction that's decided to be taken that still maintains the heart and soul of the property.

Within X-23's stories, we have Agent Morales herself who is a Latina that helps counterbalance the sub tones of what could be perceived as Hispanic on white crime because of Kimura's origins.  Kimura's history being another element that can be changed easily though to any ethnic background.  This could also bolster her film origins to be more traumatic and believable.  Would Zander Rice resort to human trafficking for a girl to become Kimura?  One he could make sure would harbor the hate that he does?  It adds more layers to why she wouldn't turn against the Facility with the abilities they gave her.  Creating a stronger vengence driven point to the end of act two because of X-23 having blown up the only place Kimura has ever called home and killed the man that "saved" her.  The place and person that also made her feel powerful and taught her to take out her aggression on X-23.

In recent years I've gravitated more towards Lucy Hale portraying Laura Kinney herself.  This has more to do with the fact that her portrayal feels like it could be straight from the comic page to visually match in a borderline 1 to 1 ratio to appease both comic fans and not falsely present a character that has regular appearances to an audience that may be expecting something different if they check out the comics, but that doesn't mean there aren't other options and directions that could be taken.  That doesn't also mean that Marvel themselves couldn't help balance this out by providing an outlet via their other imprints like the Ultimate line of comics where X-23 has yet to appear.  I personally feel that Lucy Hale is the right choice for the role of Laura Kinney as well as Kate Bishop, and thankfully with the only method for the same actor or actress to portray two Marvel characters is by doing it cross studio, we're in luck that Fox has the X-Franchise and Disney has the MCU.  So that could happen.  Just like Chris Evans was the Human Torch for Fox previously, and is now Captain America himself over in the MCU.  So it's not unheard of that an actor or actress could portray two Marvel characters if the rights are at two different places.  It even works in the favor of fans, as doing such provides them ample material to make gifs from for either one or even append scenes to create a longer fan edited version of either character's story.  This in turn works for the audience perpetuating its own marketing on themselves and further spreads the word of mouth for others to go check it out.

Unlike X-23, heroes like Spider-man have precedent with changes like this.  Spider-man himself with his full body suit has always represented it could be any kid/underdog under that mask.  Spider-man has never been about the little white boy that goes to save the world.  It's about a boy that's been bullied that's been given great power and with great power comes great responsibility.  At his core, spider-man is about doing what's right because it's right no matter who you are.

For X-23, this is true in a different way.  Laura's story initially is a large chunk her mother's story.  Those changes would have to be reflected as such, but once they are, could fit seamlessly into the story because of the overall gender symbolism at work.  X-23's story isn't one of race baiting, it's one of the mistreatment of women and fighting back.  This is something that no single race has a monopoly on.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

X-23 11th Anniversary Fan Casting

With today being X-23's 11th Anniversary/Birthday since her debut in X-Men Evolution, I thought it might be time to go over the fan casting/potential within a film portrayal of the origin miniseries again.  This includes some mild character swaps to stay within the rights boundaries that Fox has in their camp.

X-23's story is one of mad science, human rights, what it means to be human, the bond of family, and how friendship can conquer even the harshest of instincts life can inflict upon us.  The story itself is a borderline modern comic spin on Pinocchio using a female lead to establish the point.  In doing so, it also helps create an empowerment piece that's based around familial strength and growth over the average tropes of romantic entanglement.  It is a love story, but it's one of familial love and supporting each other by listening and growing from mistakes in the past.  The story also includes elements of human trafficking, and elements of what survivors of such traumatic events have to deal with.  There's also elements of girl on girl violence but with that having been caused by the men in charge.

Dr. Martin Sutter - Bryan Cranston or Anthony Head

Trying to think of someone that can evoke that perfect corrupt evil business man Sir Patrick Stewart/Picard is a tough one outright.  This was a character I couldn't figure out who would fit for this.  I dabbled into considering Anthony Head.(He's still on that list too for this role per his appearance in Doctor Who and Warehouse 13!)  That is until one day a pure petite yet powerfully creative genius pointed out Breaking Bad.  Then it clicked.  Bryan Cranston could really fit for this role.  I'm torn between him or Anthony Head for this character now.  They both bring unique aspects to the role that make the conveyances uniquely different yet still powerful.

Rachel Sutter - Kristen Bell

Rachel Sutter is another one of those characters that's hard to cast.  Right now at least, I'm leaning on Kristen Bell maybe, because it presents a unique geek "oh my god!" moment.  Not sure entirely.  The role is one that needs to pair up well to the Sarah Kinney role in age conveyance.  There is a unique opportunity here though to present an offbeat internal fan nod with whoever is cast for this role.  Pairing it up with whoever is cast to Dr. Zander Rice because of the brief adultery subplot that causes the finale of the first act to the story.

Dr. Zander Rice - Jason Dohring

Trying to find someone that can convey the right attitude and presence for this role is rough.  There are many actors that could do it, but it needs to be paired up well to whoever is cast for Rachel Sutter.  Jason Dohring has that range diversity as well as geek filmography that helps play up to this.  His character Logan over in Veronica Mars helps give a small pop culture nod when paired up to Kristen Bell as Rachel Sutter, but it's his range that cements it.  Whether it's Logan in Veronica Mars or Josef in Moonlight, he's displayed an aptitude for line delivery that could carry this type of character to unexpected heights.  Oh, and he's also the voice of Terra in Kingdom Hearts.  That adds all kinds of awesome and internal fun to him being included in the cast, especially as this character.

Dr. Sarah Kinney - Eliza Dushku

Ms. Dushku is an actress that helped set the bar on what bad ass women can be on screen.  It's rather fitting for her to pick up the mantle of X-23's mother in the film as it presents a unique passing of the torch symbolism for a new generation.  Her acting capabilities are varied and as displayed over in Dollhouse, she's capable of any role thrown her way.  Dollhouse itself being a show that allowed for a myriad of personality types to be displayed all within the same episode.  Her work over in Buffy: The Vampire Slayer as Faith brought her to the attention of many, but it's her work afterwards that helps cement the point that she is far from being a one trick pony.  She's portrayed a full spectrum of empowered females, including even the self-parody roles that deconstructed or mocked the trope.  She's also currently voicing She-Hulk over in Marvel's Agents of S.M.A.S.H. and routinely displays the narrative capabilities that would be needed for using Sarah Kinney's letter to Laura as a framing point in how the first half of the origin story is told.

X-23/Laura Kinney - Lucy Hale

Look at that cute little angry face.  Doesn't it just scream Laura Kinney?  Can't you just feel that "I'm going to hurt you for this" wave of energy that wafts off her ever so lovely little frame?  Oh, I'm so going to be murdered in my sleep for this.  Fitting way to go at least.  Would not complain.  I should probably worry about that and the fact that one of my favorite pictures of her is the one she looks like she's plotting murder from being annoyed.  Might need to get my head examined for that, but it does prove the point that she is X-23/Laura Kinney.

Erm, anyway!  I've extolled her virtues many times over already, but let's cover them one more time!
She's done many movies and TV series.  Many of which have internal 1023 references like the Bionic Woman remake did(which also had Supernatural's own Mark Sheppard speaking the reference!).  On Pretty Little Liars itself, she portrays Aria Montgomery who is the daughter of Ella Montgomery as portrayed by Holly Maria Combs.  Ms. Combs you may remember from a show called Charmed.  She portrayed Piper on the hit then-WB-now-CW show.  So already in geek cred, not only has Ms. Hale guest appeared in various cult-classics like Scream 4, but she's also been portraying the daughter to an actress who was one of the original Charmed ones!  She's building up quite the geek credit list already, and she's yet to even play a comic superhero!  I say superhero because, already she has portrayed characters that are heroes to many.  If Bionic Woman were to have been renewed, I'm sure her character there as the leads little sister would have blossomed into some equally fantastic screen time as her character was a hacker that was banned from computers(though the character still kept getting on them in secret).  With how that show was building to the lead character's internal hacking of the bionics, it was sure to lead to something interesting with what could have been her sister's eventual help in that process.  Sadly, the show was cancelled before they were able to approach what they foreshadowed.

Ms. Hale routinely does charity work and donations without any expected recognition for them.  It's genuinely to help.  Like Laura Kinney herself, she didn't have the prototypical high school life.  She doesn't have any high school reunions to go to, yet she's also world traveled, quick witted, and can surprise you with her creativity & ingenuity.  She's a petite yet powerfully creative genius through and through.  Her mother worked two jobs to support her while she pursued her dreams.  Her story isn't one of discovery or pampering, it's one of hard work and determination.  A work ethic her mother taught her well by both raising her right and being an example of never giving up.  Ms. Hale wasn't coddled nor corrupted by the mainline Disney franchises, yet she still worked her way to the top by her own hand and the help of her mother.  She's one of the sweetest girls you'll ever meet, as I found out in Memphis not only through meeting her(at an impromptu meet and greet after a show at the Memphis Hard Rock Cafe, like roughly 23 seconds because I still had to drive home for Easter breakfast and was in a hurry), but through hearing stories from people that knew her in her home town and were constantly praising her.  Every person that talked about what she was like before she left for LA were beaming with pride about all she's accomplished and the type of person she is(so much so they had to come to the concert to see her and her family!).  They genuinely spoke highly of her as if she's the type of neighbor that'd do anything to help, and check up on you if she hadn't heard how you'd been in awhile.  A trait she displays routinely in how she talks to and listens to her Halers.  Of course they also told a few stories of some of the high jinks she'd get into, but nothing that's not expected from any kid at that age that's also smart enough & mature enough to keep themselves safe and act responsibly.  Speaking of Memphis though, it has got to be one of the friendliest towns I've ever visited!  (Haven't been to Nashville, so it may very well be a Tennessee thing in general.)

 Ms. Hale's country aspirations and music are uplifting and genuinely help people cope and grow.  "Nervous Girls" itself being a one of a kind song that both uplifts and says "you're not alone, we all feel this way at different times."  "Goodbye Gone" is a double standard dancing anthem that touts women are capable of mending their hearts and moving on anyway they see fit.  Every track on her recently released album has a universal truth and is lyrically sound in the messages they convey that are both heartwarming and also so unique they stick with you like any songs from the country greats that have inspired her.  She treats her Halers as genuine friends.  She treats them as people, listens, and even communicates with them regularly.  Heck, she even chimes in with happy birthdays to them!  She doesn't make excuses or rationalize things.  She's earnest and when a topic comes up that she's unsure of how to handle or what she wants to say about, she politely recuses herself, not in ignorance or arrogance but with a gentle "I'm not well versed enough in this topic to speak of it in depth."  Of course, she does it more charismatic and with her own natural being herself flair.  Her fans aren't a meal ticket to her, or an audience to placate and feed lies to for image control.  She is what she presents herself as.  She's a normal girl who put her entire life on the line to go to Hollywood to make music and became an actress along the way.  She didn't seek fame or fortune.  She sought to do what she loves.  She's been quoted as saying the fans who support her she never expected nor even looked for, but the love they've given her has warmed her and helped her along the way.  She doesn't seek tabloid headlines.  Instead she opts to keep the focus on her career and letting her various talents speak for her when it comes to the headlines.  Of course she still has fun and interesting things to say along the way from all she's learned and experienced growing up.  She's a Tennessee woman through and through, heart and soul.  So much so, it's an absolute joy recounting how amazing she is any and every chance I get.

Speaking of her Halers, they have got to be one of if not the nicest fandom on the planet.  They are genuinely supportive and love her unconditionally.  They genuinely enjoy her work and praise her for being herself.  They see her for what she is, a kind gentle soul that helps when she can and wants to do what she loves.  Unlike pretty much every other fandom out there, there's zero drama, only good people.  Okay, sure there are your prototypical misogyny and sexist anons that try to sexualize and compare her to other celebs, but after some blocking/reporting that disappears pretty fast among her pages.  (Which by the way, Facebook tends to ignore sexual harassment reports, and twitter makes their reporting system so complicated it deters reporting it.  That needs to be corrected!)  If you used fandoms as a gauge of a celebs personality, Ms. Hale must truly be an angel.  Zero gossip mongering.  No fake headlines.  No death threats.  Only direct honesty and celebration. The only bit of gossip that ever seemed even remotely bad?  She got slightly distracted about something once at Starbucks and forgot what she ordered because of it.  She started to complain her order was wrong, but instead ended up apologizing profusely realizing the mistake.  That's it.  That's the worst gossip that's ever been reported.  It's not even bad.  It makes her sound like any normal nice person that may have been distracted by something that they were concerned about.

Lucy and her father, Preston Hale, at the Grand Ole Opry.

Oh, and in other news about this actress, she has even performed at the Grand Ole Opry! Yup, that's right! On June 21st of 2014, Lucy Hale officially sang on one of the greatest musical arts stages in existence! (Hey, I'll shill for who I want to shill for!)

Ms. Hale singing at the Opry.

Now I don't know about you, but accomplished Opry singer, iconic actress, down to earth naturally kind human being that hasn't let the stardom go to her head nor let it raise her onto a pedestal.  A woman that's a natural girl next door type by not letting her ego inflate from it all, yet still beams with confidence from all she's accomplished and is capable of?  That sounds good to me for X-23.  The perfect Laura Kinney.  Oh, and she likes archery?  Well, ladies and gentlemen, I think we just found Kate Bishop for the MCU too.

Ms. Hale also has a limited run clothing line coming from the Hollister Co. on August 8th.  A line that boasts her personal touch, and could very well help speak to the full range of her talents as a woman that could take over Hollywood itself.  The line has been quoted as being both sophisticated yet casual and comfy.  She's a multi-talented woman that speaks volumes on living your dreams and being what you want to be or doing what you want to do.  She sets an example of being free to be yourself.  That you can be supportive and kind while still pursuing your dreams.  Whether that dream be singing, dancing, designing a clothing line, or even acting, she routinely displays she's capable of anything she sets her mind to and succeeds.  Heck, she's even been a weather girl and brief co-news anchor.  It seems any opportunity she's given, she spins into a new foray to have at least tried at.  Something we've grown accustomed to seeing from X-23 herself.

If popularity is an issue, and I'd almost call this one a sign outright that maybe Fox might want to get on this movie like now, trending worldwide right now is Gay for Lucy.  Where both men and women are espousing their affection for this amazing actress and country singer.  Not surprising as Lucy Hale tends to be a quite regular trend setter.  Not just on twitter, but in all facets of life. So much so that she's been the cover girl for Cosmopolitan magazine twice!

Megan Kinney - Ashley Benson

Thanks to Pretty Little Liars, we've seen a wide range from Ms. Benson.  She's a highly capable actress that has routinely displayed that onscreen friend/familial type bond with her co-stars.  One of which being Lucy Hale herself.  There are many elements of her character Hanna's story arcs that help further suggest her capabilities in the role of this character.  Megan herself has a growth arc within the story from rebellious to supportive and understanding of her mother.  There are many character elements of Megan that are routinely displayed in Hanna's personality on the show.  The 5th season in particular with Hanna's change in hairstyle helps support this and presents a unique change to the character Megan that could equally work as well on screen as her drawn pixie cut.  If you were editing together a fan trailer for X-23, Pretty Little Liars with Hanna would be a good drawing on point for clips of Megan Kinney.

Debra Kinney - Ginnifer Goodwin

Debra Kinney really only has one actress that sticks out as the obvious casting choice.  Ginnifer Goodwin has that perfect onscreen presence and it provides another internal fun geek nod.  Her role as Mary Margaret/Snow White over in Once Upon A Time(not to mention her vast filmography that displays even more acting skill than that!) allows for some unique shock factor fun in the casting of Desmond.  Her line delivery and acting skill is well rounded and capable of much, and even before this idea came to mind she was already the sole candidate I could think of for this role, but there's definitely an interesting chemistry and audience reaction created to how it's paired against who could be cast as Desmond. Desmond being Debra Kinney's live in boyfriend and the catalyst for the end of act two in the story.  There's also a fun sub tone to the casting with her being a Tennessee native like Ms. Hale is.

Desmond - Josh Dallas

Desmond has been one of those characters I've had a hard time trying to think of who could fit.  It has to be someone that can convey pleasantness and yet also shock audiences when his little secret is revealed about who employs him.  In the origin miniseries the character is kind  of generic really and mostly background until that story point is revealed right before the action set piece finale of the second act.  Josh Dallas presents an interesting internal geek reference paired up to Ginnifer Goodwin, and they obviously have on (and off!) screen chemistry that helps sell the suspension of belief for this role, but it also presents a kind of geek shock moment.  He's an actor with a wide range and many capabilities, but the pop culture nod to Once Upon A Time helps further the chord his character's subplot strikes.  It creates a bigger wide-eyed response to his actions and also starts getting the audience on the edge of their seat right before the major action set piece at the end of act two really kicks off.  While in many ways it could be assumed this hinges on the audience having watched Once Upon A Time, his natural chemistry with Goodwin alongside his acting range still sells the surprise and shock factor needed for that turning point in the story.

Kimura - Naya Rivera or Shay Mitchell

Naya Rivera has always been my lead choice for this role.  Her acting range as displayed in all her work shows her more than capable enough to handle it.  In particular, her outstanding work on Glee as Santana(truly one of the only interesting highlights from the show is her character's growth!) has cemented the point outright.  Ms. Rivera brings a tangible bite to the role that a character such as Kimura would need.  She's also an avid speaker on being true to yourself, and helping others.  Her acting range is of such caliber that it's easy for people to forget that she isn't her characters that she portrays.  While her range displays the much needed sarcastic bite, if you've ever heard her in an interview, she's a soft spoken sweetheart that always has a kind word to say about anyone that's genuinely nice in Hollywood.

At one time, I've also considered that maybe Selena Gomez would make for an interesting portrayal of Kimura on the big screen, and it would allow her to extend her range as well, but then other ideas came to mind that might be better suited for her.  It is an option to keep in mind though, but creates a potential problem with what may be the only way to get a pure comic book accurate version of Laura's stories on film.

Also who should be up for consideration in the role is Shay Mitchell of Pretty Little Liars fame too.  Her line delivery and acting range brings an extremely tangible scariness to the role.  She's also a strong advocate for charities that fight against human trafficking and this role could very well help give her a platform to be heard on these topics.  There is a little bit of a drawback though having 3 of the main 5 from PLL though.  Already wanting Lucy Hale and Ashley Benson in the lead roles starts to make the film almost a PLL episode itself.  Though Ms. Mitchell does have the skill to handle the role to be extremely haunting if she's included, at this point may as well find a spot for Troian Bellisario to cameo somewhere in it too.  Makes a fun film Easter egg entirely this route because of their joint show.  On that token, may as well find spots for all of them to cameo somewhere somehow to keep that giggle going.  They could even in theory play a little bit of "Where's Waldo" using this PLL Easter egg. "Did you spot them all in the movie? No? Better go back to the theater and look again!"

Douglas "Cypher" Ramsay (Mutant Rights Lawyer/Mutant MRD Liason)

Due to rights and other adaptation reasons, changing Matt Murdock's role as lie detector or counsel seems the best route.  An adult Cypher also sets a time frame.  This mutant's ability is to read languages, including body language.  He can detect when X-23 gives false testimony.  Having him also be a mutant rights lawyer establishes the growing world but still the struggle underneath.  It has the added benefit of highlighting the newly rapidly integrated societal norms.  It should create potential for addition within the Prequel-ish movies by portraying younger if even solely by cameo in them.  So who to cast as Cypher?

Neena "Domino" Thurman (Special Agent)

Per adaptations sake and rights reasons, Captain America's role in the miniseries would have to be changed. The easiest method for this would be to use Agent Morales, but she's within Marvel territory too being an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.  This leaves her within the areas of where the TV show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. could and should tread.  So now it's time to think outside the box.  Domino seems the best choice for a highly trained agent that's a specialist in mutant affairs.  It makes for a great bridge gap to an X-Force feature on how she knows Wolverine too, or potentially any other mutants within that story including Wade Wilson.  How do you cast Domino though?  Is she all make up or should it be changed?  Blink transitioned well to the big screen though so maybe hers could too.  This could potentially establish a Mutant Response Division government subsection with an integrated aspect in the spirit of cooperation.

Story-wise, for the finale it also creates greater impact because of the character history parallels.  It potentially fills in other possible plot holes too.  Like how she managed to capture X-23.  

Something to keep in mind with the changes presented is that it's possible for fan created versions to alter the few changes back to comic accuracy if Marvel Studios provides some key scenes that can be spliced in.  For example, if Kate Bishop were added to the MCU under Ms. Hale's portrayal, they could do a scene of Matt Murdock and Captain Rogers vetting her for the recently newly formed S.H.I.E.L.D.  This could mirror the original scenes as depicted in the miniseries Target X and would allow fans a way to create their own self-edited version of the film that's accurate to the original comic story.  The same could be done with the story Not Forgotten as well.  If Selena Gomez were cast as a young Agent Morales fresh out of S.H.I.E.L.D. academy when things went topsy-turvy with Hydra(and here is why I changed my mind on her portrayal of Kimura as it would conflict then), a Morales and Kate Bishop story could mirror the elements needed to splice those scenes in place of what changes were presented to make that story work under Fox's rights.

While as things currently stand we cannot get an entirely accurate version of the story to the screen, there are ways to nod it and even enhance whatever version we do get.  Marvel themselves have made many changes to the films over the comics, and it's true, many comics can't go to the big screen in a 1 to 1 ratio.  X-23 is unique in the fact that outside of the rights conflicts, her story only needs minimal alterations.

X-23 to be added as Playable Character in Marvel Heroes 2015

In the Gazillion Entertainment made game formerly known as Marvel Heroes now known as Marvel Heroes 2015, Laura Kinney is becoming a playable character!