Fangirl Friday: DC, why are you doing this to me?

Hi, peeps!

Happy Friday and welcome to even MOAR of my fangirling. Except this time, I’m not really fangirling. I’m fanGRILLing instead.

Okay, so last Friday I went to see the movie Suicide Squad.

Yes, I Tweeted that it “kicked ass.” That’s because visually, some of it is gorgeous. Some of the fights are amazing. Some of the characters really capture me a few times. As nothing but pure unadulterated fluff that requires no thought, it does some kick-ass things as a summer movie.

But if you scratch the surface, that’s where shit gets real. I left the theater thinking about it, and why I was pissed about parts of it: the disjointed subplots; weak writing; plot holes; WTF WITH JARED LETO’S JOKER ARE YOU KIDDING ME; and the damn tropes in which POC are marginalized, stereotyped, and SPOILER killed.

But let’s back up a bit.

Suicide Squad, movie, 2016. Members, from left: Diablo, Boomerang, Killer Croc, Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Col. Rick Flag, Katana
Suicide Squad, movie, 2016. Members, from left: Diablo, Boomerang, Killer Croc, Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Col. Rick Flag, Katana

For those not in the know, the first version of the Suicide Squad debuted in DC Comics in 1959, then rose from the dead (like comics stories often do) in 1987 as a different version. It’s been a thing since.

The Suicide Squad is basically a work release program for supervillains, in which they’re used by the government for black ops. The modern incarnation is a squad of misfit antiheros and they’re roped into these undercover ops in exchange for commuted prison sentences. Of course, the government will deny any association with them should their mission be revealed or anything goes wrong.

Suicide Squad debut in Brave and the Bold, #25 (DC Comics), 1959. source
Suicide Squad debut in Brave and the Bold, #25 (DC Comics), 1959. source

Peeps, I love me some good antihero stories. So I’ve had kind of a soft spot in my heart for the Suicide Squad, because it’s kind of cool to explore a darker side of motivation and motive. The Squad doesn’t necessarily care about the mission for the mission’s sake, but they see the value in getting prison sentences decreased and in being out of prison and you end up rooting for them, which is why it’s interesting to explore antiheroes. Anyway, they form alliances with each other (sometimes behind other Squad members’ backs like in Survivor) to either complete the mission or get a chance at escape.

So let’s review.

Supervillains as antiheros. Black ops. Snarky one-liners. Dark pasts. Epic fight scenes. This should be a damn no-brainer for awesome, right?

The larger question for me here should probably be this: Why the hell do I keep thinking that DC (and this time in combo with Warner Bros.) is going to finally do a comics movie right? ::picks up Suicide Squad comic in frustration and flings it across the room screaming WHY DC WHY::

I will say this in the movie’s favor, however.

There were some parts that I thoroughly enjoyed and that I considered kick-ass. Some of the fights and effects were truly epic, and some of the one-liners were good, too.

I’m also a Katana fan, though I’m uncertain why the hell she was in this movie, because she was so thoroughly marginalized (see link to Lady Geek Girl below). And don’t EVEN get me started on what happened to Slipknot (he’s not pictured above because…well, you’ll find out if you see the movie and/or read the Lady Geek Girl review that I link to below).

Viola Davis as Amanda Waller (the Squad’s behind-the-scenes almost sociopathic coordinator) was…DAMN. I mean, seriously, Viola Davis could just sit on a damn stage and stare at a blank spot on the wall and it would be amazing. And I love me some Will Smith all day every day; he did what he could with this script and I’m now ready for a film about Deadshot with him playing the role. And Margot Robbie, I thought, gave a great performance as Harley Quinn, the sometime-girlfriend of the Joker (she was his GF in this movie). Visually, one of the final fight scenes between El Diablo, the human flame, and the bad(der?) guy Incubus was stunning and left me totally enthralled. I will also say that I really liked El Diablo’s character (played by Jon Hernandez), including his tortured backstory. THAT guy should have his own movie, too.

Anyway, if you don’t think about this movie as you’re watching it, you will probably enjoy parts of it. If, however, you’re a comics geek and also someone engaged in the world around you and you notice shit, this movie will piss you off. I’m not going to list my grievances, because the fine folks over at Lady Geek Girl said everything that I felt in this discussion they held about it aptly titled, “Fuck: A Suicide Squad Review.” SPOILERS in that review, friends, so if you’re planning on watching the movie, avoid the review.

Anyway, aside from all of that, I keep wondering WTF, DC?

Suicide Squad has over 60 years of some great material. You could’ve done some cool shit with this. Some ULTRA-COOL shit. But you’ve been letting me down for a few years, now. I still haven’t forgiven you for dissing Batwoman, who you so awesomely made a lesbian and then you apparently refused to allow Batwoman to marry her partner so the amazing J.H. Williams III and another writer bailed.

REMEMBER THIS, PEOPLE? Yeah. That was shit-canned.
Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 8.00.45 PM
And don’t even get me started on how you booted the uber-talented writer Gail Simone for…wait for it…commenting on sexism in the industry (she came back, but ended up leaving 2 years later over “creative differences”). Simone was writing Batgirl. And THEN. AND THEN DC tried to bring on notorious homophobe Orson Scott Card. Outcry over that resulted in the artist stepping away from the project, which was mothballed.

Which brings me to this.

DC is slated to release a Wonder Woman movie in 2017. Yeah, the trailer is freaking bad-ass. Don’t believe me? LOOK. <–SERIOUSLY! LOOK!

Prepare...to have your ass thoroughly kicked...
Prepare…to have your ass thoroughly kicked…

I face this with some serious trepidation. Because so help me Athena, in the hands of DC/Warner Bros., this movie could go seriously wrong, given the track record. And Wonder Woman deserves SO MUCH BETTER. OMG. But that, my friends, is a discussion for another time. At least we have the trailer.

I had high hopes for Suicide Squad. But again, DC/Warner Bros. (BROS for sure, y’all) let me down. And now I worry for the future of one of the all-time most iconic superwomen in modern history at their hands.

But let’s try not to think about that now. Instead,

Happy Friday, happy fandom, and may the odds be ever in your favor!

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6 thoughts on “Fangirl Friday: DC, why are you doing this to me?

  1. Hi, there! Well, Batwoman as a lesbian was part of DC’s 52 series and it was discontinued a couple years ago because DAMMIT! DAMMIT! DC decided to suck. Wait. Let me give you a rundown.

    Batwoman as a lesbian in the DC universe first appeared in June, 2006, in 52 #7. In that permutation, she had been involved with police detective Renee Montoya, who went on to become The Question. That series didn’t have a very long run, with Batwoman in her first lesbian incarnation.

    Then she was the lead in Detective comics in June 2009. Check it. A character was needed to fill in some spots while Batman was “dead” in that run. You can find all the issues to that 2009 run bound in a volume called “Elegy.”

    THEN the New 52 launched Batwoman (aka Kate Kane) again in September 2011, again as a full-on superhero of the lesbian variety. I am a huge J.H. Williams III fan (he worked on the Detective Comics run with Greg Rucka) and I think his art is beyond awesome, so when he left Batwoman, I knew it was probably doomed. He was clear to note that it wasn’t that the DC people were trying to be anti-LGBT (though the Orson Scott Card decision makes one wonder); they were just not going to include marriage in Batwoman’s character arc. I kind of get it BUT. BUT BUT BUT! You need to deal with that aspect of a relationship if a character asks another to marry her, right? So though it may not have been overtly motivated by anti-LGBT sentiment, it still was a decision that felt clunky and was not seamlessly integrated into the storyline, I think.

    HIT THIS LINK to take you to the Amazon page for the first 5 volumes (each includes several issues of the comic) of this Batwoman series, bound up all pretty. I think it’s a total of 24 issues in those bound volumes.

    The series went 44 issues, I think, and the cancellation was announced in December, 2014. I’d have to check my collection. LOL Comic Vine notes 42 and pictures 40, HERE. If you click on the “expanded” button on that link, it’ll show you the list of collected issues in bound volumes.

    And look. You can buy every issue digitally at Comixology. HERE.

    Earlier this year, Kate Kane as our fave lesbian superhero makes her animated debut in the film “Batman: Bad Blood” (part of the DC Universe Animated Original Movies, or DCUAOM). Her sexual orientation is treated as “no big deal” which is super refreshing. Autostraddle has the deets HERE.

    Lordie. Here I go, fangirling again! Thanks for stopping by and hope some of that is helpful.

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  2. Amazing writeup! Fantastic stuff. I reaaaally hope they do Wonder Woman justice (mind the pun). Do you feature your writing on any other websites at all?

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  3. Howdy! Thanks for stopping by.

    #willwriteforwhomever 😀

    So if you’re asking if I do geekly writing on other blogs besides this one and my own website, no. But if you’re offering…heh…

    Otherwise, I do a lot of writing of the short story, novel, and novella variety (you can see the crap I’m up to at my website; my latest release drops tomorrow, I believe. Yeah, I know. My days are all running together like chocolate syrup and melted ice cream! LOL

    I’m also out of control on Twitter (@andimarquette) where I’m fangirling incessantly, it seems. If you go over there, you’ll no doubt find out that I’m writing a Clexa fanfic at Archive of Our Own and I’ll be covering the March, 2017 ClexaCon for this here blog thingie, Women and Words (you’ll also discover my obsession with all things Wynonna Earp).

    I’ve decided to let my fangirl flag fly and I’ll be doing a whole hell of a lot more of that in terms of comics, movies, TV shows, books, and whatever else grabs me (usually of the sci fi/spec fic variety).

    Thanks again for stopping by. Really appreciate it and feel free to hit me up offsite if you want at the “Contact” link above.

    Cheers!

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