DC Eyeing Teamup Series at the CW

Deadline is reporting that the CW and Warner Bros. Television are in development of another spinoff in the Arrow and Flash universe. The idea behind the project seems to be a superhero team-up show in the vein of The Brave and the Bold (the comics version, not the awesome-but-silly Batman cartoon). Announced to star were series veterans Brandon Routh (The Atom), Victor Garber (Firestorm) Wentworth Miller (Captain Cold), and Caity Lotz (Black Canary).

Some thoughts, with major Arrow and Flash spoilers in them, after the jump.

The fact that they’ve announced this series with such an eclectic cast of characters including the villainous Captain Cold, the currently-combined-with-the-not-announced-Robbie-Armell Martin Stein, and the currently-very-dead Sara Lance, seems to imply that this will be a TV version of the traditional superhero team-up comics. The show may involve non-linear storytelling, giving us a tale of Sara Lance’s days with the League of Assassins, while Martin Stein helps The Atom with a problem in the modern day. And that could be very, very cool.

We’ll wait and see as more information develops.

Agent Carter, Gamer Gate, and the plight of the modern day woman.

So I finally caught up with Agent Carter, and I love every second of it.  It blends wonderful female characters with the challenges of being a woman in a man’s world.  I don’t consider myself a radical feminist, but I definitely believe in the equality of all human beings regardless of their skin color, sex, or orientation.

I’m really excited to see how the show deals with women’s issues after the war.  As horrible as it was, war was actually a great opportunity of equality for women because society as a whole had no choice but to accept women into the workforce to keep the country running.  When all the GIs came back, the women were pushed out and forced to go back to their previous lives as secretaries, phone operators, and homemakers.  Carter actually says at one point in the pilot, “during the war, I felt I had a purpose.”  There was a new hierarchy in the workplace: men, cripples, and then women.  The newly empowered women were instantly depowered, because who would begrudge their job to a returning GI when so many men didn’t make it back?

But that was the 50’s right?  Everything is different now right?

Blue seems to be a power color.

Mad Men, from AMC, is another dramatic portrayal of a time that was where men ruled and women were crushed under their feet.  While the treatment of women on show often makes me uncomfortable, the show itself is a very (well written) guilty pleasure.  There are some strong women in the show like Joan and Peggy, but they are still forced to fit into the roles that society has set for them.  But like Agent Carter, those women were stretching the boundaries of their society and laying the groundwork for me to be a strong independent woman.

But that was the 60’s and 70’s right?  Women are equal and guys have accepted that women are their equals?  I wish.  Women are still lacking in high level corporate positions, government, and science and engineering roles.   I majored in Physics and Math in college.  There were 6 people in my graduating class for physics and 3 of us were female.  A great ratio right?  Well, at my college it was 1 guy to every six girls, so technically we should have had only one guy in our class to really represent our schools gender ratio.  Look at the picture of the curiosity crew below and count the female faces.  Definitely not a 50% ratio.  There is no reason for it not to be 50:50, but for some reason, many women feel blocked when it comes to entering supposedly male-dominated fields like the sciences.

Picture of the Curiosity team.  I counted about 25 women, not a bad ratio, for Nasa.

In Agent Carter, Peggy Carter is the center of a man’s world.  She is essentially grandfathered into a special agent unit because of her work during the war, but the men around her treat her like a secretary.  She handles it all with grace and poise, and even uses their misogyny against them (quoting “lady problems” to take a day off work).  Like Joan and Peggy from Mad Men, Peggy uses her femininity to her advantage.  She is very much a woman, but is very capable without being a “bitch”.  She can take care of herself and is unapologetic about it.  I love how she is allowed to have vulnerable moments and she recognizes that she has support around her (Jarvis and Angie).  Often strong women in TV and film are strong all the time, a constant rock, but in reality, to be human means you feel, and you should be allowed to show those feelings.  I just remember all of those shows from the 80s and 90s showing working women with their huge shoulder pads to make them more powerful.  You never saw them cry, you never saw them flinch.  When they do break down, they are alone and they have a good cry, freshen up their face and go right back out there.

We have come a long way towards equality, but we are not there yet.  When you look at films and TV shows, there is still a derth of female characters carrying a movie or TV show.  At the recent Golden Globes, Maggie Gyllenhaal said thank you to Hollywood for allowing her and many other woman to play complicated women.  It is no longer all about being the strong woman who don’t need no man to be happy, but about being a real person with feelings and emotions and agency.

That’s great that Hollywood and TV Land are getting with the program, so when is society as a whole going to pick up on this?  The fact that GamerGate even happened makes me feel like we rocketed back to the 1950s gender norms.  It is another instance in which petty men felt threatened by their female counterparts.  It just reminds me of part of the lyrics form the Mob song from beauty and the Beast, “We don’t like / What we don’t understand / In fact it scares us / And this monster is mysterious at least.”  The GamerGaters just proved that those men were threatened by the female gamers, and so they lashed out in the only way they know how, rape and death threats.   Because nothing screams, ” I am Man” like the threat of someone physically overpowering you and taking away all of your agency and potentially your life.  Many of the women being targeted by the gamergaters were being labeled as milking the victim card and being attention whores.  If Peggy Carter were around for this, I know that she would have stood against them and kicked ass and taken names.  If fact thanks to the many women who exposed GamerGaters for who they truly are, scared little boys clutching at their toy, the movement is wasting away as we speak.

Bravo Marvel for taking the chance and giving us Agent Carter.  Bravo to the writers for giving us everything we wanted, action, nuance, and sass.  And kudos to Hailey Atwell for being a true role model to all girls, boys, women, and men out there.  You rock girl!

Mae Linh Fatum is a frequent guest on the Ace of Geeks Podcast, a teacher, cat-lover, and knitter. She found her love for geekdom when the first Harry Potter book was thrust into her hands.

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Season Finale – First hour: The Librarians and the City of Light recap

This episode turns out to be heavier than what I expected. The early dialogue is the usual, smart-assed, funny-filled fare, but it becomes rather serious towards the end of the episode. The kids are showings signs of growing up – and growing closer as a family. I was totally caught off-guard by the emotions that Zeke and Jake expressed, and it was awesome. The casts’ dialogue delivery is beginning to feel very natural, and I’m actually starting to feel that these people really do exist in the real world, and they are very much becoming people that I would want in my life.

And now, here’s the recap:

Our story begins with one Mr. Victor Finch exploring a wooded area just outside of town. He’s looking for evidence of UFOs, and investigating reports of mysterious lights that have been seen in the area.  He’s making a video with his tablet, talking about his search in a town called Collins Falls. He says that he’s seen no signs of the lights himself. As we look over his shoulder at his image on the tablet, we see anomalies of golden lights flickering around him like static or plasma charges. Then his tablet goes on the fritz and finally shuts down.
He pulls his goggles down over his eyes, and keeps talking into his digital recorder. As he’s walking and looking around, through his goggles he sees what appear to be transparent humanoid forms. Surprised, he flips up the lenses on his goggles and sees nothing there. Flipping the lenses back down, he sees the forms again. One of them appears to point at him, and he takes off running. Back in town, he’s running through the streets in a panic, yelling “Run! They’re here! It’s an invasion!” A waitress at a cafe is watching him through the window. Several people on the street stop and look at him. He makes it back to his SUV, throws the digital recorder in through the open window and gets in. As he puts the keys into the ignition, the waitress reaches in and takes them. “Is there a problem… sweetheart?” He starts to tell her that there’s something in the woods. “It’s not an M-1 anymore, it’s a CE3… Close encounter of the third… kind – ” He realizes that there are several people approaching the SUV.
The waitress grabs him by the throat, and one of the other men puts his hands on the hood of the vehicle. Several other people have gathered, also touching the vehicle and making strange sounds. Their hands all emit a glowing golden energy, and it transfers to Victor Finch. The camera pans up, and we see that this is all going on under an advertisement for “Battery X.”
At the Annex, Zeke is arguing that it’s aliens. Jenkins says there’s no such things as UFOs. Eve snarks, “Minotaurs, haunted houses, Santa Claus, yes… but UFOs? Don’t be silly!” Zeke points to an article about Finch’s disappearance. Jenkins tells him not to be fooled by any physical manifestation he may encounter – “They’re absolutely not UFOs.” Jake says, “The only people I know who believe in UFOs think that Elvis was the shooter on the grassy knoll.”
Cassandra quotes statistics about how many possible habitable planets there are in our galaxy, and says that it’s highly unlikely that we are the only intelligent life in the known universe. Jenkins is about to say something when Eve cuts him off, raising her finger at him to shush him. “I tell you what – we’ll just fill in the crack you were about to make about us and intelligent life, and just skip right to the job.” Jenkins, in a disappointed tone, asks “Are you sure? It was very cutting.” With an apologetic tone, Eve says, “I promise to be properly offended – I mean, I probably wouldn’t have even understood it at first, but I’ll be offended later.” They stand waiting at the portal. As Jenkins spins the globe, he pouts and harrumphs. “Where’s the fun in that?”
As they turn a corner in the town, Zeke is going on about how interplanetary contact is measured. Cassie interrupts him, happily stating that he’s a UFO geek. He stares at her. “No, I’m sorry – it’s just that you’ve never really geeked out about anything before!” He shrugs. “I just think that if a super powerful alien race arrives, we should be prepared.” “You’re planning on selling out the human race, aren’t you?” Eve asks. “I will absolutely sell out the human race to our new alien overlords. Don’t fight them – they know what’s best for us,” he says with a smug grin. As they go past the cafe across the street, the waitress watches them from the sidewalk in front of the cafe.
They continue walking past a house with a “Home Sweet Home” shingle sign hanging in the front yard. Jake impatiently asks, “So what’s the plan, Baird?” Eve remarks that they don’t have a lot to go on. “Independent journalist Victor Finch went missing -” “Was abducted by aliens,” says Zeke. “I will break every bone in your body -” Eve threatens.
Jake is looking at the house. He asks when the town was founded. Cassie says it was in 1953. “Hunh.” Eve asks why. “9 out of 10 homes in the ’50s were ranch style architecture. These look like they’re Colonial revivals from the late 18, early 1900s.” Eve comments that maybe they wanted an old fashioned, nostalgic look. “That would explain the gaslamps,” remarks Cassie. Eve tells Jake to follow his instincts. “If you think something about the town is off, you and Cassandra see what you can learn about the town and its history.”
She takes Jones with her to check out the spot where Finch’s SUV was found, while Cassie and Jake go to the town hall, which doubles as the town’s library. As they come out of the Carnegie Hall, they see a woman on a ladder tinkering with one of the gas lamps. Stone says, “Excuse me, ma’am -” and she chuckles. “Don’t get a lot of ma’amming around here. Usually it’s just ‘Hey, Mabel.'” Jake remarks that her name is old-fashioned. She says she’s an old-fashioned girl. Cassie says it’s an old-fashioned town. Mabel talks about how she would love to see it all lit up. “That would be a sight to see, wouldn’t it?” Jake says it would look like Paris. “Oui,” says Mabel, “con Paris.” Jake responds in French, and Cassie has the “here we go again” look on her face. “Whee,” she whispers sarcastically.
Jake introduces himself and Cassie to Mabel, and she gives her full name as Mabel Collins. Jake tells her, “We’re the.. uh… We’re the Librarians. We’re doing research on town histories.” “Ah! Well, that makes sense.” “For once,” says Cassie with a wry smile. Jake asks if there’s someone they could talk to. Mabel recommends the town archivist.
“Family founded the place, so if they don’t know it, it ain’t worth knowin’.” Jake asks where they can find him. Mable stares at him. Jake finally gets it – “Mabel Collins. Collins Falls. You’re the archivist.” She smiles at him. “Hm. Brains too,” she cracks.
They follow her back into Carnegie Hall. “I’m the archivist, notary, volunteer fire chief, and Chancellor of the Exchequer – treasurer, technically, but since I order the town’s business cards too…” (I love that word! It’s so fun to say – “Exchequer.” Say it with me.) Jake and Mabel have a little back and forth in French and make flirty faces at each other while Cassie gets annoyed.
Eve and Zeke arrive at the spot where Finch’s SUV was found. Zeke was hoping for crop circles. Eve wonders out loud why a hiker would park there, out of the way where nobody would notice. She comes to the conclusion that either he didn’t want to be found or someone else moved the vehicle. They hear a noise, and Eve hauls Zeke by the collar over to hide behind a rock.
Zeke throws some hand gestures to Eve for her to investigate while he runs away. She gestures back to indicate that she will kill him if he runs off. She then gestures the direction that she wants him to take, and the direction that she will be going. They head off. After walking through the woods for a bit, Zeke finds the gas-lamp pole in a clearing. (Welcome to Narnia, kids! “Spare ‘oom,” anyone?)
Finch comes out of the trees behind Zeke as he wonders, “Who would put a gas-lamp in the middle of the woods?” Zeke turns around and recognizes him. Finch’s eyes glow, he points and makes a weird noise. He starts to attack Zeke, but Eve shows up just in time to pull Finch away from Zeke and slam him against the gas-lamp pole. The lamp post glows, and Eve gets caught in the aura. As Zeke watches helplessly, she disappears.
Back at the Annex, Jenkins admonishes them. “Only you people could lose a Guardian. A Librarian, yes, we go through them like tissue paper… but a Guardian?” The kids all start protesting at once, with Jake and Cassie placing the blame on Zeke. He says that he looks at it as Eve lost him. “I mean, one minute she’s all assault and battery, and the next she’s beamed up into space.” Jake accuses him of running away. “No one beamed her anywhere,” Jenkins says. “Says the guy with the teleporting door,” Zeke retorts. Jenkins repeats that “UFOs do not exist!” “Says the guy with the teleporting door!” repeats Zeke, starting to get annoyed that nobody appears to believe him about how Eve disappeared. Jenkins shows them a tracking device. “Ah! There – see? Col. Baird is still on the planet.” Cassie asks if she’s safe. “She’s… still… on the planet,” Jenkins replies.
Cassie reasons that whatever happened to Col. Baird must have happened to Victor Finch. “And now that we’ve found Mr. Finch -” Jake comes to the same conclusion. “We’ve got a witness.” They leave to go interview Victor Finch. They find him in a hospital day room, and ask him about what happened. He tells them he doesn’t remember much. “I feel like the whole last day’s just… gone.” Cassie looks confused and worried. “Mr. Finch, you’ve been missing for three weeks!”
The kids go back to the Annex with Finch’s UFO equipment, and turn it over to Jenkins. Zeke asks why he’s interested in that stuff. “I thought you said UFOs were a crock.” Examining Finch’s goggles, Jenkins nods. “They are. But the fools that chase them can sometimes come up with something interesting. ” As Cassie is watching the video on Finch’s tablet, Jenkins notices the electrical emissions behind Finch in the video. He talks about the goggles having some kind of aura filter, and points out the anomalies to the team. Zeke recognizes the clearing and tells them that is where Eve disappeared.
Cassie says that someone should go back and talk to the town archivist. “That would be me.” Jake interrupts Cassie, saying that he’ll go. He starts heading for the door. “Oh, you wanna take this? I can come and help,” she argues. “I’ll go. I’ll go.” “Alright. He’s got it.”
Jake meets Mabel in the archive warehouse. He asks her for help with the case. They start talking about traveling. She mentions that she has never left town, and asks him if he’s ever traveled. He says that he’s never been farther from home than a tank of gas. She says it would be nice to have just one wall with memories of somewhere else – anything else but the town. Jake agrees. “I know what you mean – like, having a story that doesn’t start out ‘You ‘member the night at Jimmy’s bar?” “Or, you remember that waitress at the diner? Oh – of course you remember… ‘Cause we go to that diner every weekend!” Jake continues, “you remember what happened at the town bar-b-que? Oh which one – that one? No, the other one. Oh, that one? No, the other one…”
Eve gets melancholy and starts talking about wanting to have memories from travels in Moscow… or Athens… and then she gets romantic and starts talking about the view from the Eiffel tower in the rain. She stands very close to Jake. He steps back, and tries to explain why he can’t get involved with her, but never really quite gets it all out. He tells her instead that the reason he came is because some of their surveying equipment picked up readings from one of her gas-lamps in the forest. She wants Jake to show her. He asks her if he can just see some plans. “My town, my archives. Show me.” She walks off, and Jake follows her.
 He takes her to the clearing, where Jenkins and the rest of the team is investigating the lamp post. He makes the introductions. Cassie is huffy – ” you brought… someone who is not a Librarian… to here? Yay!” Jenkins asks Zeke if this was how he found it. “Baird slammed the bloke into it, then… poof.” Mabel looks confused. “Poof? Someone went poof?” Jake nervously chuckles, saying that it’s just a figure of speech. ” He’s Australian. We don’t even know what he’s sayin’ half the time.”
Jenkins touches the lamp post, and there’s a charge of electricity. Baird appears, flickering briefly. Mabel freaks. “What the hell…?” Cassie says it was an optical illusion. Zeke says, “No – that was Col. Baird. Jenkins raises the goggles and shoots Zeke a warning glance. Zeke tries to cover his tracks by saying that it really was an optical illusion, and they call them Col. Baird’s in Australia. Mabel demands to know what’s going on. Stone tells her he needs her to trust him. He promises full disclosure, but he needs her to dig up everything about the gas-lamps. She goes off, and the waitress from the cafe steps out from behind a tree, watching the group. She turns to follow Mabel back into town.
At the Annex, the group is having a meeting in Jenkin’s lab. Jake asks if Eve is a ghost. Jenkins explains that ghosts are ectoplasmic entities. “Col. Baird is caught in some kind of energy discharge…” They need more data , and Jenkins has tweaked Finch’s goggles to allow the wearer to see a range of energies in sharper focus. They will be able to track it to the source and figure out what happened, and hopefully reverse it. He says that Zeke will be the one to wear them. Zeke tries to refuse, saying that magic energy is more Cassandra’s thing. Cassie says that she sees enough psychedelic images as it is, “so no thank you.” Jenkins hands the goggles to Zeke. “You’re the one that lost her.”
Jake goes to the archive warehouse to look for more information about the gas-lamps. He breaks in, and starts looking around with a flashlight. The overhead lights go on, and a voice asks, “Is there a problem, sweetheart?” Mabel walks over to him. He says it isn’t what it looks like. She tells him it looks like he broke in to the archives. “Hope you didn’t break the lock, because I’m also the maintenance department.” Jake tells her that whatever is going on with the gas-lamps could be dangerous. She says that since she can’t stop him, they can work together. She points him to the early town records.
Zeke and Cassie are walking in the woods.  Wearing the goggles, Zeke finds the energy flow, which runs along the ground like the yellow brick road from “The Wizard of Oz.” They follow it, and Cassie starts calculating – “Energy differentials… positives… growing…”. She sees flowers – tulips, roses and pansies. She sees a definite pattern, and figures out that it’s a circuit. Zeke turns to pay attention to Cassie, but when he turns back to look down the trail, he sees Eve gesturing wildly to get his attention. He lets out a startled scream, and Cassie makes a remark about screaming whenever the mood takes them. He tells her that he can see Eve.
Cassie asks if Eve is ok. “She’s… annoyed at me, so yeah. She’s fine.” Eve is gesturing for them to go back the way they came. Zeke relays that to Cassie, who says to Eve that the source is the other way, and that if they can get to the source they can find out what’s causing this. Eve gestures some more, and Zeke translates to Cassie. “I think she wants you to go on ahead, and for me to follow her this way.” Cassie snarks, “Fine. I can take care of myself.” Zeke is mildly offended. “Are you implying that I can’t?” “No, Baird is.” Cassie goes off. Eve is gesturing for Zeke to hurry and follow her. “Yeah, yeah,” He grumps. “Right behind you. This isn’t weird at all.”
Back at the archives, Jake and Mabel are going over the plans for the gas-lamps. They were originally planned for different positions, but the plan was changed. Jake wonders why. They speculate a little and Mable backs up, bumping a file box. It makes a clinking sound. “What kind of files clink?” Jake asks as he starts to open the box. Mabel tries to stop him, but he pulls out a bulb and a copper coil – parts for a gas-lamp.
Cassie finds her way to the dam and goes into the dam operations office. She sees a sign that says Wardencliffe Falls. “I thought this was Collins Falls?” Meanwhile, Baird leads Zeke back into town. He sees transparent people walking around in old-fashioned clothing. “That’s not good…”
In the archives, Mabel is handing Jake a file folder. She tells him that if she shows him this, that he has to promise to help. He promises her that he will “do the right thing.” Jake takes the file, and reads through it. “The gas-lamps were already here… because there was another town already here?! Built by – “
At the dam, Cassie finds an old picture of some townsfolk – with Nikola Tesla.
In town, Zeke follows Eve to the cafe, and comes to a realization – “They’re possessing people… They’re body-snatching!” He sees a woman in front of him, pointing at him making a weird noise, with her mouth agape. He looks around, and sees that others have noticed him. He runs, and three men follow him. He has an idea about the lamp posts and snatches a picket from a fence. He whacks the lamp post, and the surge of electricity causes the people to become dispossessed.
Still at the dam, Cassie recognizes Finch as he walks in to the office. She then realizes that it’s not really Finch. He moves aggressively towards her, so she grabs a huge pipe wrench to defend herself. After smacking him upside the head with it, she runs out.
Jake and Mabel are still researching when Zeke runs in to the archives. “Oh – hey guys. Up for a barricade? A pack of body-snatchers coming in hot…” Jake tells him he knows what’s going on, and tells him about Wardencliffe Falls. Zeke is rather distracted. “Oh! Ok, I’ll just be over here by myself, then…” He goes back and forth between paying attention to Jake and checking the door. Jake says that Wardencliffe Falls was built a hundred years ago as a test site. “And you’ll never guess who built it! It was -” “Nikola Tesla!” Cassie yells as she runs into the archives. With a “Goddamit, I wanted to say it” look on his face, Jake slaps down the papers he was holding. Cassie goes on. “Genius inventor, rival of Edison, and pretty much the reason we have electricity in our homes. Also… Get the hell away from her.”
Jake says that Mabel’s just trying to help, as Cassie pulls him away from her. With attitude, Cassie asks Mabel, “are you?” Zeke looks at Mabel through the filtered goggles. “She’s not body-snatched.” Cassie is confused. “Body- What?” “But they definitely are,” says Zeke as other people begin filing in. Finch starts after Cassie, but Mable stops him – calling him “Norman.” “I thought your name was Victor?” asks Jake. “Well, why don’t we start with her? ‘Cause this photo is dated 1915.” Mabel says, “I told you I had family commitments…”
Now inside the cafe, Mabel explains that in 1915 Tesla was doing experiments with wireless power transmission. Cassie explains that the project was sort of like Wi-Fi for electricity, and she figures out that the lamps are transmitters. Mabel says that they are prototypes, and something went wrong. They activated the system and everyone got… “zapped.”  The electricity discharge knocked the townspeople out of sync with the universe. They could see the world, but they couldn’t interact with it. Jake comments, “That’s what happened to Baird.”  Eighty seven souls were trapped in an inter-dimensional border. Jenkins asks, “If the flux is inherently unstable, how has it lasted this long?” Mabel explains that when Tesla realized what happened, “He modified the gas-lamps – the transmitters – to create an energy field that would keep us stable. Without it, we would cease to exist.”
Cassie asks Mabel why she is still in her original body. Mabel tells her, “I was in the main control room when it happened – insulated.” She goes on to say that most of the people were knocked completely out of phase, but she was winking in and out. “Tesla was able to anchor me in my body by turning me into sort of a grounding wire…” Pulling her hair up, she shows them the copper bolt in her neck. Jones asks about the body-snatching. Norman gets offended. “It’s necessary!” Mabel starts to explain how it’s possible for them to interact with the world by doing that. Zeke interrupts her, saying that he’s not so concerned with how they do it, but how the owners of the bodies feel about it.
Norman says they only use them for a couple of hours at a time, that their energy field just interferes with their memories. “They lose a couple of hours here and there, like everyone does.” Zeke starts to go off. “How about that body you’re in right now? You’ve been in there three weeks! How much time is he losing?” Jake tries to calm him down. “Alright… easy…” “Easy?! I made a good living walking the line between snatching and borrowing, but these people have gone too far!”  Norman again says it’s necessary. Mabel asks them for their help. Jake asks her, “so… you gonna tells us what’s going on?” Mabel says that they needed a body that they could use for a longer period of time. Someone who wouldn’t be missed. She says that it was the only way they could fix things, and “we are so close to fixing things!” Jenkins asks her if she has a plan. “Let me show you.”
The team follows her to the dam. She tells them that Tesla made a deal with the government – they took over all his patents and wiped all his records. But they had to leave the dam. “The turbines have been charging the capacitor for a hundred years. He spent the rest of his life trying to find a way to bring us back, but was never able to in his lifetime.” Jenkins agrees. “How could he? Dimensional re-integration takes a tremendous amount of energy, particularly for people who have been in flux for as long as you have.”
Mabel shows them the turbine housings. They are rusted, and just about shot. She says they need everything to be ready fast. The capacitor is old and failing. They need to get it done in the next couple of days. “Now that you know, will you help us? You said you’d do the right thing.”
The somber team goes back to the town hall to discuss the issue. Zeke is adamant that they don’t do this. “They’ve taken over bodies instead of asking for help! You just don’t do that!” Cassie points out that they’re asking for help now. “Yeah, only ’cause they got caught!” Jake says, “they’re people. And they’re trapped. Can you imagine being stuck for a hundred years…?” Cassie gives it a 50-50 chance. Jake asks what happens if it doesn’t work. Cassie says that the excess energy will be disbursed through the lamps and destroy them. The lamps are the only thing keeping those people stable. “So if the lamps go, they go.” “That’s if they’re telling the truth,” says Zeke, angrily. Jenkins says it’s not about choice. “Right-wrong, true-false… Like it or not, it’s the only way to rescue Col. Baird.” Jake says that he promised to do the right thing. Cassie says they’ll need someone at the controls who can do the math. Zeke reluctantly agrees. “At least Col. Baird’ll owe me one.”
Back at the dam, they start putting their plan into action. They need to rebuild the relay point on the roof. Cassie says that carbon composite wiring will handle the voltage better than the copper wiring that Tesla’s blueprints called for. Jake and Mabel take care of that. Cassie also explains that since the capacitor is old and falling apart, “its harmonic resonance may fluctuate unpredictably, which means bigger is better, and we need all the lamps refurbished and cleaned – spit shined, like fresh from the factory. We only get one shot at this. Let’s not take chances.”
In the archives, Jake and Mabel are working together. Jake asks her why she never left, since she’s in her own body. She tells him that the gas lamps stabilize her too. If she had crossed the border of the circuit, she’d be as lost as anyone. She asks, “what’s your excuse?” He tells her about his great grandfather’s oil rig outfit in the 1800’s. His father ran the company. When the company started going under, his father was in no condition to run it. The longer he stayed, the harder it was to leave. “You spend time with people who won’t do somethin’, you start feeling like you can’t do it.” She laughs. “And now that you know better?” Jake kisses her gently, capturing a precious moment.
The lamps are ready. Jenkins tells Jake over the radio that if everything works correctly, Col. Baird can be restored. “She’s not been in flux very long, so it won’t take as much energy to re-integrate her…” “Last in, first out, huh?” Jenkins agrees. “That’s if Miss Cillian and I have successfully implemented the theoretical scribblings of a mad genius, using abandoned equipment that’s been in water for the last hundred years.” “Good pep talk!”
Mabel tells Norman they’re ready. He and Cassie are in the control room. Cassie flips the switch, and the turbines kick in. The lamps start to glow. There’s a power surge, and Cassie gets worried. “The capacitor… it’s amplifying the harmonics exponentially!” Norman asks if it will still work. Cassie doesn’t know. She starts calculating. She realizes that the energy won’t just blow out the gas lamps. It will cause much more destruction than they originally thought. She tells Norman that they have to shut it down. Norman asks if it will still blow up of this works. Cassie says no, but there’s only a 50-50 chance of it working.
Norman is concerned with the 87 lives at stake on his end. Cassie is concerned with the bigger picture – there are more lives at stake than just the people trapped in flux. “We did not factor that into the risk,” says Cassie. Norman is willing to take that risk. Cassie says she won’t. Norman breaks off the switch handle, takes the radio and locks Cassie in the control room. The power continues to increase. Cassie tries to find a way to signal for help. She looks at a bunch of wires, and starts to think about how music is layered, and she realizes that the answer to her problem is a key change. She goes to the control panel and manipulates a dial.
Outside, Zeke asks if anyone else hears the high-pitched noise. Nobody else hears it. He describes it, and Jenkins and Jake realizes it’s Morse code – “L for Librarians!” They go to the control room, and Jake kicks the door in. Cassie is relieved that they heard her. Zeke says, “I did. What was that?” “Mosquito tone,” says Cassie. “A high-pitched sound that only young people can hear.” Jake and Jenkins look at her funny. “No offense… I adjusted the frequencies of the turbines to send you a message.”
Mabel asks, “What’s wrong?” Cassie says, “we were. If this doesn’t work, it’s gonna blow. Big. Tunguska big,” Mabel still believes that it will work. Cassie says that she’s sorry, but she cannot take that risk. Jenkins points out that if they stop now, Col. Baird will remain trapped. Zeke says that Baird would be the first to make that call.
Mabel says that there’s a manual override switch on the roof. Jenkins tells them to go, saying that he will stay with Cassie in the control room to try and stabilize it there. The guys leave with Mabel, and get up to the roof. The lamps are starting to overload. The fence is charged, and Zeke gets a good hard jolt when he tries to open the gate. Mabel says that she’s the best one to do this – she’s grounded. Jake points out that with that much electricity, even a grounding wire can burn out. “You have a better idea?” Jake asks if holding on to her will ground him too. She doesn’t know, but he’s unwilling to let her go alone so he takes her hand and goes with her.
As they close the gate behind him, Jake sees Norman coming. He yells, “guys! Company!” Jake yells back for him to handle it. He and Mabel continue towards the override switch. Zeke attempts to “handle” Norman, and gets himself knocked out.  Baird flickers in, and jumps into Zeke’s body. “Short legs – good to know.” She proceeds to knock the crap out of Norman while Jake and Mabel continue to the override switch.
Mabel is starting to overload from all the power discharging through her. She gets to a point where she can’t walk. Jake carries her. He asks her, “What’s the name of that waiter… ” They start making up memories about travelling together, and sharing them. The conversation is melancholy, and rather poignant.
Once Eve knocks out Norman, she gets knocked back into reality. Zeke yells to Mabel and Jake that it’ts working. The can’t hear him. By the time they get to the switch, Mabel is very weak. She says her “au revoir” to Jake, and throws the switch. The power cuts out, and the lamps all go out. Mabel dies in Jake’s arms, and he is deeply saddened by the loss.
Back at the Annex, Zeke is still angry that they gave up on it. “It was working. It was gonna work!” Obviously upset as well, Cassie tells him, “We don’t know that. Col. Baird was in there for a day. The rest of them were trapped for a century. We just don’t know that it would have held together long enough to help them.”  Eve asks if it will really take another hundred years to charge the capacitor and try again. Cassie tells her that there’s no capacitor – “the discharge fried it. The only thing that still works are the gas-lamps.” “Which means they’re all still trapped,” adds Zeke.
Eve tells them that it wasn’t their fault. “Sometimes you just lose. You did good – all of you! But sometimes… you just lose.” “This bites!” Zeke says as he walks out of the room. Cassie follows him out as Jenkins enters. He gives Eve a book, saying that it’s time she had that. She asks what it is. “The appointment book.” He goes on to explain that the Library works on timescales beyond the normal human life span. “If a Librarian, for example, built a new capacitor in a dam, with a few stabilizing design features… and let it charge for a century or so – ” Eve gets the idea. “They’d want to make a note of it, so future librarians know there’s an appointment to keep!” “Chop-chop,” says Jenkins with a smile.
Cassie and Zeke are heading out for a drink. They pass Jake in the hall, and invite him to go with them. He declines, saying there’s someplace he has to be. They go in their way, and Jake goes to the portal. The globe spins, and when it stops, Jake opens the door. He looks through some old postcards, and stops at the one of the Eiffel tower. Looking out the door, Paris awaits – and at the end of the long avenue,, so does the tower. He pulls his collar up, and steps through the door into the rain.
Raven is an avid cosplayer and television fan.Did you enjoy this article? Follow us on Facebook to get more great content! We have a weekly podcast you can find on our main site. Also follow us on Twitter and Tumblr!

 

We Already Have a Great Wonder Woman Show – It’s Called Agent Carter.

Agent Carter promotional television show poster

During Maggie Gyllenhaal’s acceptance speech at the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards last Sunday, she mentioned how proud she was to see that women were gaining a voice and being represented, multi-dimensionally, in entertainment. On a recent commercial, ABC made claims to being a leader in representing women by showing a span of a few of their television shows over the last decade, including ALIAS, Scandal, and now, Agent Carter. To me, (and many others out there) one character comes to mind with whom most identify women’s equality, and that’s Wonder Woman. Agent Carter, now three episodes in, has surprised me. Because Marvel comics has accomplished something that the owners of Wonder Woman haven’t been able to do in almost 40 years. They’ve brought Wonder Woman’s essence back, and done it better than the company that owns the rights to the character.

Wonder Woman 1st appearance cover
 

Wonder Woman debuted back in 1941, and was created by industrial psychologist Dr. William Moulton Marston III, who is also credited for being the creator of the industrial psychological tool called the DISC profile (used by many Fortune 500 companies), and also the systolic pressure test, which was the precursor to the lie detector test. When Moulton created Wonder Woman under the pseudonym Charles Moulton, he mentioned that, “Women’s strong qualities have become despised because of their weakness. The obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all he allure of a good and beautiful woman.” In essence, DC Comics’ Wonder Woman is a character of supreme balance. She may be strong and powerful, but she knows the time and place to use said power because it is tempered by truth, love, and compassion.  Since 1979’s Wonder Woman TV show starring Lynda Carter, DC has not been able to put out a successful live action Wonder Woman in either film or television format. They’ve had nearly 40 years to reintroduce the world to the most iconic female superhero ever created but it seems that Marvel has beaten them to the punch with Agent Carter. Here are the six reasons why I feel Agent Carter has given us a reinvented take on Wonder Woman:

The Time Period

Wonder Woman was a product of World War II. It is a time when women were not afforded the same rights as men, and were just beginning to find their voice. During our current er,a where there is growing awareness of women not being depicted in entertainment as well as they could be, the post World War era seems to be a perfect time upon which to hearken back and show a woman overcoming overwhelming adversity and showing their ability to do whatever a man can do.

Agent Carter poster by Marvel
The Look

Although Hayley Atwell who plays Peggy Carter is missing the crystalline signature blue eyes, one can’t help but notice the unmistakable ‘beauty of Aphrodite’ which she embodies. Not to mention the traditional Wonder Woman statuesque-ness and dark tresses.

Screen capture from Agent Carter working in office.
The Dual Identity

This is where we really start to come around full circle. In the 1979 Lynda Carter television show Wonder Woman, she utilized her secret identity of Diana Prince to do reconnaissance work under cover, while fighting crime with a much stronger arm later as Wonder Woman. Showing the ability of the character to balance both raw power and grace, Agent Carter does nearly the same exact thing through her mild mannered secretarial endeavors in the office.

Screen capture from Agent Carter
The Strength and Power

As stated before Marston believed that womens’ power was being dismissed in society. Wonder Woman showed that women can be just as strong as the most powerful of men. Agent Carter does the same thing. However, there is one thing that makes this show and character special…Carter shows her physical and mental prowess WITHOUT SUPERPOWERS! Hereby making her more relate-able to modern day audiences, and basically saying that women can kick ass and take names regardless of genetics.

The Visitor

Wonder Woman was a stranger from a strange land. Agent Carter although in America, is obviously not American due to her accent. While this has yet to be addressed, there are some clues which elude to her not being a native as she navigates her way around the countryside. I’m sure more will be revealed soon.

Compassionate moment: Screenshot from Agent Carter
The Compassion

To me, this is where it all comes together. This is the huge blaring pink elephant that has been in the room, and no one’s wanted to mention it. It is that DC Comics has missed the compassion that makes Wonder Woman, well…Wonder Woman! In the Justice League cartoon she was hyper aggressive. In the Adrianne Palicki version she was an absolute bitch. In Justice League: War animated film she was basically a jock who was obsessed with fighting. In the previous Azarello run of the comic book, the Amazons were turned into butchers. The current New 52 run by the Finches have her depicted as a pissed off “…punch-first, ask-questions later” type. Last but not least, the upcoming Zack Snyder film has her donning a Xena: Warrior Princess-esque like battle armor. With all that being said, DC Comics seems to have missed the memo: Compassion and Kindness is what makes Wonder Woman special and unique. Remember what Marston said? The obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman, plus the allure of a good and beautiful woman.” I’m proud to say that this sixth and final point, Agent Carter has absolutely mastered. We have seen her ask questions and then kick ass. We have seen Peggy’s compassion for human loss. We have seen Carter’s ability to be vulnerable. We have even already begun to see Agent Carter’s compassion for others. To me this is the icing on the cake and the proof that DC is missing the huge mark that Marvel is hitting dead on.

Marvel’s promotional photo of Hayley Atwell as Agent Peggy Carter

As you can see, Marvel has already created a Wonder Woman-like character for the modern era. However, the question is this: Will DC, the actual owners of Wonder Woman, rise to the occasion with the new Gal Gadot character, or will they just allow another angry woman to be presented by Zack Snyder? I guess only time will tell.

Brian J. Patterson is an actor, writer and producer that splits his time between San Francisco and Los Angeles. His home is a shrine to comic books…but mostly Wonder Woman.

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The Best Everything of 2014

This is it, folks. The last day of 2014. A day when we sit back and reflect on all of the awesome things we saw and did this year. We hope it was as awesome for you as it was for us, and thanks for tuning in each and every day to the Ace of Geeks. We couldn’t be doing this without you, and we appreciate every since one of you guys. Next year, look for brand new content, new shows, more articles, and more coverage of conventions around the world. But for now, let’s look back and reflect on the best of this year. Here, by popular vote, are our staff’s picks for the best of 2014:

BEST MOVIE
 
Guardians of the Galaxy
As if anyone was surprised by this choice. The number one grossing movie in America is also our number one pick for the best movie this year. James Gunn took the film that everyone was convinced would be Marvel’s first big failure, and instead turned out an space opera adventure filled with heart and soul. He made you care about a talking raccoon, and weep for a walking tree. Stellar performances by a breakout cast including Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista and Zoe Saldana made us believe in a world that included the floating head of a Celestial and a Infinity Gem. With this film, Marvel proved they could make a blockbuster as nerdy as they wanted, and still have a massive hit.
Close Runners Up: Big Hero 6, How to Train Your Dragon 2
Other Staff Favorites: The Lego Movie, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Raid 2, Gone Girl, Maleficent
BEST BOOK
 
SKIN GAME, BY JIM BUTCHER
Our favorite series about Chicago’s own private eye/wizard came back strong this year, with a heist story that’s not to be missed. Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden is (as always) in over his head as the new Winter Knight, and Queen Mab forces him to join with one of his worst enemies to steal from a god. What follows is a roaringly fun story with tons of twists and turns, and one or two final surprises that will have fans of the series jumping out of their seats for joy. If you haven’t checked out this series yet, now’s the right time to go grab a copy of the first book and read them all.
BEST LIVE ACTION TELEVISION SHOW
AGENTS OF SHIELD
If there was an award for “most improved”, Agents of Shield would win that, too. After a tepid first season, struggling to find filler material, Agents of Shield finally hit its stride with the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the destruction of the very organization that’s in the show’s title. The formerly unbearable Grant Ward turned evil in a spectacular fashion, and the team developed tons of new problems that turned them from cookie cutter characters into a real, breathing group of human beings. This season has been non-stop full of blows to each of the characters, while tying in yet another super-nerdy part of the Marvel Universe. If you gave up on Shield, go catch up. It finally feels like a Whedon show.
Close Runners Up: Game of Thrones, Sleepy Hollow, Flash, Selfie
Other Staff Favorites: Person of Interest, The Librarians
BEST ANIMATED TV SHOW
THE LEGEND OF KORRA
I promised myself I wouldn’t cry. Because this is an Avatar show, I of course failed. Korra went out in one of the best finales in cartoon history this year, building their characters and giving each of them one final moment of utter badassery. We never knew we’d miss this show as much as we already do, but we spend every day wishing there’d be just one more season. Bryan Konietzko and Dante Demartino, we tip our hats to you, thank you for the eight wonderful seasons of the best cartoon storytelling we could ask for. We cannot wait to see what you do next.
Close Runner Ups: Star Wars Rebels, Sword Art Online 2, Over the Garden Wall
Other Staff Favorites: Young Justice (ok, it’s old, but it hit Netflix this year), Bojack Horseman, Hajime no Ippo: Fighting, Bee and Puppycat
BEST COMIC BOOK
 
THE CROW: CURARE

The Crow: Curare is an amazing and triumphant return from series creator James O’Barr, and represents so much about what we loved about the original comic. The story, loosely based on a true Detroit murder case, follows retired police officer Joe Stalk. After years of obsessing over an unsolved murder of an unidentifiable little girl, his life is ruined. His wife left him, he lives off his meager pension and tries to drown his obsession with alcohol. But when the spirit of the little girl finally catches up with him, accompanied by The Crow, they endeavor to solve her murder together to get the closure they both so desperately need.

O’barr, true to his form, makes you feel the pain of his protagonists, while the art work and color pallet of Antoine Dode, though cartoony, bring an extreme sense of unease and sorrow with every frame. An excellent work if you are a fan of the series or not.

Other Staff Favorites: Loki: Agent of Asgard, Vattu, Original Sin, TMNT: City Fall, Rat Queens, Earth 2: World’s End, Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Rift, Tooth and Claw
BEST VIDEO GAME
 
SUPER SMASH BROS. FOR WII U
After the disappointment to many fans of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, anticipation was high for a return to form in the newest Super Smash Bros. game. And boy did Sakurai and co. deliver. One of the best rosters in years, and the best mechanics since Melee make for a game that’s a ton of fun at parties and at tournaments. The joy of having Link beat up Samus, or using anyone to beat up that damned Dog from Duck Hunt never gets old. The game’s suffering from a little over-use of Diddy Kong right now, but we’re confident players will find a way to defeat the banana throwing pest and find a whole new character to call broken.
Closer Runner Up: Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
Other Staff Favorites: Dragon Age: Inquisition, Transistor, Five Nights at Freddie’s, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, Dark Souls 2, Persona Q, Monument Valley, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD Remix
BEST BOARD GAME
 
KING OF TOKYO
Allright, we know, King of Tokyo came out in 2012. But board games are a little different than movies and TV – sometimes, you discover them at just the right time. And nothing has dominated our play sessions like this game right here. On the surface, it’s a simple, Yahtzee style game of press your luck dice rolling. But the addition of wonderfully designed Kaiju characters battling for control of the city of Tokyo really draws everyone in, and the consequences of each turn of the dice make what would be a simple party game a real nailbiter. The sequel, King of New York, is out now and we can’t wait to try it.
Other Staff Favorites: Betrayal at the House on the Hill, Tokaido, Sentinels of the Multiverse, Slash
BEST TABLETOP GAME
DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS: FIFTH EDITION
It’s been the year of Dungeons and Dragons. We admit, we were a little concerned by the first beta tests of the game over the last few years – the game seemed like it was throwing out too many of the lessons learned by modern gaming to please the hardcore Pathfinder set. But when the final edition was in our hands, all of that was gone. In it’s place was a game that magically managed to balance the crunchiness of 3.5, the fun of battles in 4th, and the roleplaying innovations of modern games like Fate. While it doesn’t get all of it perfect, it’s the best version of D&D we’ve played in a long, long time. And even more importantly, the book took the time to make sure everyone felt included, with sections on gender inclusiveness and art that heavily featured minority characters. Bravo, Wizards.
Other Staff Favorites: Robotech RPG Tactics, Magic: the Gathering 2014
So that’s our list for the year. What about you folks – what were your favorite things or 2014, and what did you think we missed? Sound off in the comments.
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Could Krypton be DC’s gate to a Larger Universe?

There is no denying it; Marvel is winning the blockbuster movie wars.  Even with two to three studios working on Marvel titles, which range from pretty good to amazing, Marvel’s commitment to quality is keeping it ahead of the curve. DC is still a new challenger with lots of potential.

However, in terms of live-action TV, DC seems to have the lead.  Arrow and Flash have legions of fans and amazing ratings.  Gotham, for all it’s non-Batman-ness, gets a good amount of ratings and fans as well.  Constantine, surprisingly true to its main character, is not dead yet.

Marvel has Agents of SHIELD, which at its best is an above-average high tech procedural, since it seems to (unlike the movies) embrace the very large universe it belongs to.  The Arrow and Flash-verse embraces that.  Even Gotham, in its isolated universe, seems to revel or play around with it.  Sure, the Netflix miniseries dedicated to the Marvel denzines of Hell’s Kitchen seems promising, but for now, like Marvel is in the movie game, DC’s doing pretty well.

Then, the announcement for Krypton came out.

I first thought it was a joke, like that YouTube video that parodies “Before Gotham” and “Before ‘Before Gotham.'”  I mean, Smallville, was the prototypical series at the start of the hero’s journey.  There was even an Arthurian and Robin Hood BBC shows that followed that premise.  How do you out-prequel Smallville?  Essentially, it’s like that “Before Gotham” joke.  It could even be the “Before ‘Before Gotham'” joke, since the press release said it was not even about Jor-El, but about “The Man of Steel’s Grandfather,” Seyg-El, if it is Jor-El Father (Starman #50-51).

Then, a rare moment happened, and I started thinking.

Having Krypton occur so far from Earth and so many years apart from some “Age of Heroes,” could be one of two things.  First, it could be an amazing way for writer and creators to play around the universe, without touching DC’s crown jewel, which is Superman.  Second, it could introduce the audience to an amazing cosmic opera that links DC’s space-based properties together.

Here’s a list of potential things that could very well be amazing contents that Krypton carry.

1) The usual suspects, in a Smallville-like setting.  We get younger Jor-El, Zod, Zod’s cronies, and possibly Kara (since she came to Earth already a teen or adult, right?).  They could be the focus or supporting case to Superman’s grandfather.

2) Brainiac, as a recurring threat.  We see Brainiac be nigh-impossible to completely stop or kill during Superman’s lifetime.  We even see hints that there is Brainiac in some form or another during the Legion of Super Heroes future, in the form of the organic Brainiac 5.

3) John Byrne-esque’s Cold, Sterile Krypton.  Since images and ideas form the movies seem to copy and replicate itself in small screen versions.  The Man of Steel‘s Krypton is very similar to John Bryne’s late 80s Superman reboot as a cold, sterile Krypton where emotions are almost absent.

4) Daxamites, an off-shoot race of Kryptonians, have been an interesting notion that has yielded interesting results in the pages of Superman, Green Lantern, and the Legion of Super Heroes.  Basically, depending on the version you look at, Daxamites are former Kryptonians who have been away from their home planet long enough (or through birth chambers) to be different from Kryptonians in key ways, such as gaining powers from red stars instead of yellow, and a vulnerability to lead instead of Kryptonite, but very similar to Kryptonians when manifesting their “powers.”  These people can be written in various roles as they are related to Krypton.  Perhaps, an iteration of Daxamites gain powers from being exposed to the Krypton’s Red sun.  It could very well be that Krypton can have its own heroes, and the writers would have carte blanche to make these their own.

5) Nightwing and Flamebird.  If Krypton can have their own superheroes in the form of alien Daxamites, maybe another set of heroes that can be explored are the Nightwing and Flamebird legacies.  Of course, these are not the ones from Kandor that we have seen in the comics, but perhaps, they could be part of a longer, older legacy of Kryptonian heroes.

6) The Green Lantern Corps. Sodan Yat is a Daxamite and a Green Lantern.  Details can be change and rewritten, like how much of the Galaxy/Universe the GL Corps has Jurisdiction over, or whether or not the Daxamites are hungry for conquest or are xenophobic.  Either way, Sodam Yat serves as a continuity link, or creative spark to create this facet of DC’s cosmic opera.

7) The Anti-Matter Universe and/or Earth 3’s dimension.  The Phantom Zone technology is already something with which the Krptonians are associated.  How about that technology leading to other parallel dimensions?  I know Earth 3’s Ultraman is not someone from their version of Krypton, but that just  gives their version of Krpton more potential for amazing creative breakthroughs.

8) Thanagarians, Rannians, Czarnians, etc.  I know it’s cheap and crass, but DC could very well be just following Guardians of the Galaxy in this regard: it will expose the audience to a sampling of the much larger cosmic universe in one show and DROP AS MANY COSMIC LOCALES AS POSSIBLE.  There could be these warrior people with wings, or these Zeta tubes being used to transport, or these people called the Czarnians who have each citizen do for the whole planet what they do best (geez, how ever could that backfire?!).  perhaps a less obvious idea would be a comparison to  the cosmic-related-everything DC crossover, the Rann-Thanagar War, which personally got me interested in a lot of DC’s cosmic storylines.

9)  The New Gods.  DC’s The Fourth World, or as some people will recognize it Darkseid, Orion, Apokolips, New Genesis, Anti-Life Equation, etc. etc…. it is a very special and albeit isolated part of the DC Universe.  When it has appeared in other shows, there’s some serious extra-spacial or extra-dimensional hap-nin’ going on, but in a Krypton show, where New Genesis and Apokolips could be relevant enough to make them regular or semi-regular parts of the series, a new generation of fans will see how awesome these characters are or, I suppose, will see a younger Highfather, Darkseid, and other New Gods and Darkseid’s Elite.  Besides, the Third Season of Young Justice was going to have a Fourth World Saga, maybe those fans are eager to explore that world!

10) The Starman story “Midnight at the House of El.”  And then, there is that snake-eating-its-tail story.  In the pages of Starman #51, various characters from the Jack Knight Starman title are looking for someone, travelling through time and space, only to stop by Krypton and meet a young Jor-El and his father.  Yes, we have seen the character who is going to be in Krypton in comics before (if it’s from the father side, the El side).  In the end of the story, what do ya know, Starman suggested a star and a planet for them to point their little rocket with a baby Kryptonian to.  I know it’s a longshot, but maybe this can be a series or a season ender, or some sort of bookend deal to close the series.  After all, Seyg-El (if they’re using him) would be older as Jor-El would be an adult at that point.

John Garcia is a Professor of English, specializing in popular culture, comparative literature, and postcolonial studies. He is also an artist and character designer for Smorgasbord Productions.

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The Supernatural Rick Worthy Talks Diversity in Hollywood

It was a gorgeous day, like so many in Los Angeles. However, this past September 23rd was extra special for me. Because I had the honor to have an afternoon coffee at a local West Hollywood Starbucks with the incomparable and immensely talented Rick Worthy. You’ve seen him on shows like: Star Trek: Enterprise, Star Trek: Voyager, Castle, Fallen, Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries, & Grey’s Anatomy just to name a few. When you see him on screen, you can’t help but be drawn in to his every word. Everything he does seems fluid, instinctual, and is delivered by a tidal wave of emotions. I guess it also doesn’t hurt that he is tall, has piercing eyes, and a very “James Earl Jones-like” warm resonating dulcet toned voice. Many would find this intimidating. However, when you meet and speak with him, it’s like speaking with one of your most trusted confidants. Because his energy is so comforting and familial, your guard is immediately down, and you trust him as if you do your best friend. All this wrapped up in a package of one of the most talented actors that television has seen. It’s no mistake that he has been awarded some of the most diverse range of characters, and continues to snag them to this day. And yes, I got to have a one on one chat with him. Check it out…

Rick as Crewman Noah Lessing in a scene from Star Trek:Voyager with Kate Mulgrew

How long have you been acting? 
27 years. I was a dancer before I was an actor. I don’t know if you remember a show called Dance Fever. But I was on the show with my brother around 1986 or 1985. We finished and I went into the theatre, and my brother went into music. He became a DJ.

Your start was in theatre? 
Yes, in Detroit, at the University of Michigan where I graduated. I was basically a theatre and film major, and that was the beginning of everything.

 

Rick in a scene from Battlestar Galactica

I’m curious, was your family supportive of this choice of occupation?
No. Absolutely not. Ha Ha. I’ll never forget. My mom was, but my dad was like most parents. He’s old-school from the south. So, when I finally had the confidence to tell him, he wanted to protect me of course, as all parents do…which manifested in the form of a 10 minute or so rant. After he left the room, I’ll never forget…I’m almost in tears just thinking about it. Anyway, he left and my mother came back into the room and said, “follow your dreams.”

Whoa. Who would you say are some of your big influences?
Great question. I’ve always had sort of a top ten list of actors (male and female) that I love. When I was getting started…you remember that movie Ragtime? Well, when I saw Howard E. Rollins Jr., I said to myself, ‘I want to do that!’ It was him that made me want to become an actor. To this day, he’s been one of my all time favorites!

Rick as the Alpha Vampire in a scene from Supernatural

Nice! Have you ever had a chance to work with him?
No, he passed away before I met him. I knew someone who knew him, and she was going to introduce me to him. But then he died.

Wow. Who else? 
Well, there’s a list: Ed Harris, Morgan Freeman, Will Paxton, Denzel Washington, and I’m a massive Marlon Brando and James Dean fan. These actors have taken what we do and raised the bar, you know? And it’s like, I can die poor living in a small apartment somewhere. But if I can die given a chance to have that caliber of work, then I can die happy. For me, the most important thing is the respect of my peers and respect for my work. We all want to live well, but you can’t take it with you when you die.

Are you a comic book or sci-fi fan at all? 
When I was a kid, I would hold up a piece of paper to the television and try to trace Batman. My mom was like, “You’re not going to get him that way, honey. You’re going to have to draw him.” My mom would draw me a stick figure of Batman, and I thought it was the coolest thing ever! So, I would draw him as well. I would draw and draw and I always said that I’d be an artist for DC or Marvel comics…I never did. I still draw. Not super great, but I can still do a good Superman or Batman. I used to collect X-Men. I had the first 12 original issues of X-Men. I used to collect Silver Surfer, Fantastic Four…for a while it was my life.

Rick as the Alpha Vampire in a scene from Supernatural

Do you have any other skills that are underused, or that people don’t know about?
Before I was a dancer in Detroit, I was fascinated with Bruce Lee. So I started Tae Kwan Do. Almost got my black belt. I’d love to be able to do some of that in a show.

What is your favorite Martial Arts film?
Enter The Dragon.

Rick as Mayor Rudy Hopkins in a scene from The Vampire Diaries
 

As an actor, what is something that you don’t get to do very often?
Be number one on the call sheet…nuff said,

Hahaha. I know EXACTLY what you mean! Do you have a problem with typecasting?
When I was just starting out, I was a young black man and I was very afraid of being typecast as a criminal, a basketball player, etc. But thankfully, due to science fiction, I have not fallen into those categories of typecasting. Science-Fiction has broadened our horizons where that is concerned. Star Trek in 1966 brought us the first interracial kiss on screen. Gene Roddenberry was amazing and we owe him much. I’m happy to say that I wasn’t typecast as the thug, or even the jock. I have played these roles, but now I play more of the bad type….or even the mayor of a small town. *smile*

How do you see diversity in Hollywood changing? What do you think needs to happen?
Well, number one, we need to write our own stuff and market that content. Secondly, we also need to make a show and sell it to those who are in power. Very much like Shonda Rhimes. We go to the people who are in power so that they will give us a chance. Then lastly, we need to be able to not go to them. That is how we truly know change has been made.

Rick with Paul Westley during an ABC promotion for Fallen
 

Are you working on anything right now that we can look out for?
I’ve actually been working on this show with David Duchovny called Aquarius. It’s about the hunt for Charles Manson in the 1960s. I have a small, really well written, recurring role as the owner of an all black diner. I have this 50’s kind of process. I sent pics to my dad who is 75, and he said, “that looks just like me back in the 60s!” My character is friends with Duchovny’s character, who is one of the very few white people who frequent the diner which is in an all black neighborhood. and I’m his buddy. So he has his ear to the black community, and he also has his ear to the white community.

How was it working with David? 
He’s great. I’ve found him to be nothing but a really nice guy.

Rick in Battlestar Galactica



Thank you very much for your time, Rick. It’s been nothing short of an honor to speak with you. 

As you can see, Rick’s resume doesn’t lack in any area. He has production companies, studios, and has worked with some of the biggest names in television. When you watch any reel of him, you can’t help but be pulled into his scenes, and his range is beyond wide. Earlier in the interview he made mention of being influenced by Howard E. Rollins and some of the other greats. One can’t help but see him as an influence for the next generation of actors (and yours truly), and a trailblazer who is paving the way for further diversity in Hollywood. Something tells me that the best is yet to come for Rick.

Brian J. Patterson is a writer, actor and producer who splits his time between San Francisco and Los Angeles. His house is a shrine to Wonder Woman and Xena.

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