“The titular superhero characters of CW’s The Flash and Freeform’s new Marvel series Cloak & Dagger came from the comics world and got their powers from exploding science experiments, but that’s where the similarities stop. It would have been easy for Cloak & Dagger to follow The Flash’s highly successful formula and have the initial power-granting incident produce a bounty of supervillains, which the protagonists would have to use their new powers to stop. But in its first four episodes, at least, Cloak & Dagger goes a different route by having them focus on real-world injustices.
The approach aligns with the characters’ comics roots. First introduced in the 1980s, Cloak and Dagger primarily focused on fighting the war on drugs, rather than doing battle with costumed supervillains….”
“We’ve seen queer characters in video games before, but The Last of Us 2‘s Ellie is probably the first openly LGBT+ protagonist in a triple-A game. In the new trailer that opened the Sony E3 conference, Ellie is seen in a romantic relationship with a character named Dina, and the two share a kiss.
Ellie being LGBT+ was revealed in the first The Last of Us DLC Left Behind, where she serves as the player character and forms an intimate romantic relationship with the character Riley. But with Ellie being the protagonist of the entirety of The Last of Us 2 and the trailer showing a big gay kiss, we’re finally seeing some queer representation with a protagonist in the mainline story of a triple-A game, something that hasn’t occurred outside of the indie sphere or in supplementary media, not in the actual game…”
“Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther exceeded expectations by absolutely crushing the domestic box office. At nearly $700 million, Black Panther is the highest-grossing movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For that matter, it’s the third highest grossing movie to ever hit the box office in the United States.
On the small screen, Black Lightning took The CW by storm in it’s first season on the network. It quickly rose to top of the review-aggregating site Rotten Tomatoes with a 97% rating and it garnered over 30 million viewers.
Cheo Hodari Coker — the showrunner behind Marvel’s Luke Cage — recently sat down with /FILM to talk about the increasing popularity of superhero properties with African-American leads.
“It’s just honestly just pure joy and adulation. I’m just rejoicing the fact that film and television finally has the diversity of thought that hip hop music has always had,” Coker said….”
“Sony and producer Amy Pascal are in early development on a movie adaptation of the Marvel comic Silk, about Korean-American superheroine Cindy Moon, which was created by Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos.
In the comics, Cindy is a student in Peter Parker’s class who also is bitten by a radioactive spider around the same time as Peter. She gains abilities similar to his, though she is able to shoot webs out of her fingertips, possesses an eidetic memory, and has advanced Spider-Sense (known as Silk Sense) far stronger than Peter’s. She also has less superhuman strength than him but is faster.
While this project will mark the first stand-alone feature for Cindy Moon, it wouldn’t be the first time she appears in the MCU. The character was seen in Pascal-produced Spider-Man: Homecoming (played by Tiffany Espensen) as a member of the decathlon team along with Tom Holland’s Peter Parker. In Avengers: Infinity War, Espensen reprises her role briefly when Cindy is shown on the bus with Peter when he plants a distraction in order to get into costume….”
“When Hawaii Five-0 returns this fall for its eighth season, it will do so without two of its veteran stars. Daniel Dae Kim (who plays Chin Ho Kelly) and Grace Park (Kono Kalakaua) both decided to exit the series after CBS Television Studios reportedly refused to raise their salaries to match those of their white co-stars, Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan. The news is bound to hit fans hard; these two characters have been with the 2010 series since the beginning, and have also been a part of the franchise since the original procedural debuted in 1968. The departures will be addressed on screen in the season to come, but in the meantime, Kim has opened up in a lengthy Facebook post about his decision to leave.
“Though I made myself available to come back,” the actor wrote, “CBS and I weren’t able to agree to terms on a new contract, so I made the difficult choice not to continue.” The writer thanked the cast and crew on the show, wishing them nothing but the best going forward.
He also thanked CBS and the show’s fans, writing, “I will always be grateful for their faith in me to bring Chin Ho Kelly to life. As an Asian American actor, I know first-hand how difficult it is to find opportunities at all, let alone play a well developed, three dimensional character like Chin Ho. I will miss him sincerely.”
As Kim ended his note, however, he added one more subtle nod toward his reason for leaving: “I’ll end by saying that though transitions can be difficult, I encourage us all to look beyond the disappointment of this moment to the bigger picture. The path to equality is rarely easy. But I hope you can be excited for the future. I am…”
“Have you ever noticed we trip over ourselves talking about the importance of Oscar films but tilt our heads at someone who says a superhero is important to them? We pick and choose when fiction is supposed to mean something, when it’s supposed to have an impact, and when it’s supposed to be fluff. It’s funny when you think about it. If you talk to any writer or artist, they’d tell you they’re creating to make people feel something. It may have taken me a long time to freely admit it but I’m a 34-year-old woman and superheroes make me feel a lot. And I’d like everyone else to have the opportunity to feel the same way.
As a redhead with curly hair and freckles in the 80s, I rebuked Annie comparisons (Why did people have to touch my hair?) but adored Pippi Longstocking. I had She-Ra’s sword to play with at home and my eyes widened at Willow’s Sorsha. These characters are some of my earliest memories of media I latched on to, but it wasn’t until Supergirl came along that I found a character who made me feel like I could do anything…”
“When “Luke Cage” exec producer Cheo Hodari Coker declared at his show’s San Diego Comic-Con panel last year, “The world is ready for a bulletproof black man,” the crowd erupted in cheers. So did the internet.
“Right before I said it, I knew what I was feeling,” Coker later told Variety. “I had said variations of it during the day. It was coming from an emotional place, but I didn’t think it was going to reverberate the way that it did. But I’m glad that it did.”
The “Luke Cage” panel came in July on the heels of widespread protests sparked by the killings of unarmed black men by white police officers in Louisiana and Minnesota. When the show premiered in September, it became the first live-action series about a black superhero since 1994’s “MANTIS.”
Now it’s getting some company. Next season the CW will premiere “Black Lightning,” based on the DC Comics superhero. And next year Marvel will debut “Black Panther,” the studio’s first feature with a black hero in the lead. Social, political and business trends have converged to put black superheroes at the centers of burgeoning television and film franchises after years of being relegated to supporting status.
Dan Evans, VP of creative affairs at DC Entertainment, cites the emergence of black superheroes on-screen as part of a larger trend in television and film.
“There’s so many examples now, from ‘24’ to ‘The Fast and the Furious’ to ‘Creed,’” says Evans, whose office door features an oversize image of Cyborg, the black teen hero who will play a key role in the upcoming “Justice League” movie. “We’ve seen again and again that if you tell a good story with these characters, people will come…”