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Batgirl Creative Team Issues Apology For Transphobic Villain

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Cameron Stewart, Brendan Fletcher, and Babs Tarr - the team behind DC’s most recent run of Batgirl - have issued a formal apology to their fans following swift backlash to a recently introduced queer character. Issue #35 of Batgirl made waves earlier this year for its distinctive shift away from some of DC’s other bat-titles.  Stewart, Fletcher, and Tarr took the title in a new art direction, focusing on stories appealing to a broader female audience, and bringing a much more playful tone to the previously grim series.

Alysia Yeoh, Barbara Gordon’s roommate was revealed to be transgender, and many readers commended the new Batgirl’s team for broadening Gotham’s portrayals of queer characters as being members of everyday life.

BatgirlIssue #37 of Batgirl introduced a sequin-encrusted version of the titular hero who was revealed, after a public fight with the original Batgirl, revealed to be the cross-dressing villain Dagger Type. Many fans of the series interpreted Dagger Type’s outing as being transphobic; after Dagger Type’s biological sex is revealed, they are laughed at and booed by an onlooking crowd. Batgirl’s decision to portray Dagger Type as a mentally unhinged man experimenting with gender presentation is part of a long line of stories that play on the idea of gender non-conformity being evidence of madness.

“Murderous or deceptive men disguising themselves as women has been a trope in fiction long before the creation of cinema, and it’s shown up too many times to list or even count,’ wrote Rachel Stevens of Women Write About Comics. “The trope isn’t even subverted here, which is the hell of it.”

Brendan Fletcher took to Twitter to post a letter from himself and the rest of the team expressing their regret the story’s impact.

“We could go on all day about our intentions for the issue and the character of Dagger Type, and what our goals were and weren’t,” the letter reads. “But our intentions to not invalidate the legitimate reactions that some have had to this story. Those reactions are honest and heartfelt, and exist regardless of our creative intentions, and we don’t wish to dismiss them.”

"Instead, we want to acknowledge the hurt and offense that we’ve caused, and express our sincerest apologies. We’re all deeply troubled by the reaction to this issue and have made it a point of serious discussion amongst ourselves. While we expected a degree of controversy in regard to the issues of identity and the artistic process that this story was meant to evoke, we do now realize that our presentation of this character was flaw., for any elements whatsoever of the story to have reminded readers of the sordid and misguided tropes that associate both drag and gender expression with duplicity."

"We deeply regret upsetting readers who placed their trust in us. But were indebted to those who stand up to speak out about their perspective on stories like this their commentary leads to universally better storytelling, from both ourselves and others, and we hope to live up to that standard in the future."


Andy Mientus Joining 'The Flash' As Gay Supervillain Pied Piper: VIDEO

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This January as a part of its return from a midseason break, the CW’s 'The Flash' will introduce Hartley Rathaway, best known as the supervillain Pied Piper. Rathaway, who’s to be played by Broadway actor Andy Mientus, will be portrayed as being openly gay. Mientus, who is bi, spoke with Vanity Fair about his excitement and nervousness at bringing the Silver Age comic book villain to the small screen:

“The universe of ‘The Flash’ has such an intense, passionate fanbase, which has existed since the ’60s,” he said. “This is the first time he’s been in a live-action, on-camera interpretation, so I hope I pulled it off.”

Technically, the Pied Piper will be the third queer character to be prominently featured in DC's televsion universe. Nyssa al Ghul of the Leage of Assasins was first introduced in 'Arrow' and crime lab director David Singh, who is the Piper’s lover in his most recent dpiction in the comics.

Piper1“With the gay thing, I feel like I’m representing a whole community,” Mientus said. “People are excited to see this character, so it is a lot of pressure. But I’m glad they are introducing the character to the show. It’s a huge step forward, and I’m thrilled to help make that happen. It’s awesome.”

'The Flash' returns January 20. 

You can also check out Pied Piper's appearance on the 1970s live action television series 'Wonder Woman' and his brief cameo on 'Justice League Unlimited,' AFTER THE JUMP...

[top photo via Instagram]

Continue reading "Andy Mientus Joining 'The Flash' As Gay Supervillain Pied Piper: VIDEO" »


'Applications', The Tale of a Guy, a Phone, and a Dating App: FINALE

Here's the finale of our weekly comic Applications, by Josh Trujillo and Dave Valeza. We hope you liked this series. If you did, please let us know!

Click panes to enlarge.

To start from the beginning of the series, click HERE.

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The third issue of Josh Trujillo's Love Machines is in print, so now people can have the complete "Applications" along with "Lung" with artist Patrick Hovarth. Get it HERE. (A digital copy will be available in Comixology in the coming weeks).

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'Applications', The Tale of a Guy, a Phone, and a Dating App: Part 6

Here's Part 6 of our weekly comic Applications, by Josh Trujillo and Dave Valeza.

Click panes to enlarge.

To start from the beginning of the series, click HERE.

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For the Finale, click HERE.


Latest 'Avengers' Trailer Features Samsung Product Placement, Easter Egg Clues to Future Films: VIDEO

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Yesterday Afternoon Samsung dropped a slightly recut version of Marvel’s upcoming superhero movie Avengers: Age of Ultron. For the most part, the content of the trailer is just a slight reshuffling of scenes that were revealed last month in a leaked promotional ad. There are, however, a few key differences in Samsung’s version of the trailer. Earlier this summer Samsung and Marvel announced that they would be partnering with one another to “bring [Samsung’s] industry-leading mobile display technology to life.” That sponsorship is clear all throughout the trailer that, if you look closely, is filled with Samsung Galaxy phones, tablets, and even a conveniently placed Samsung store.

Black pantherIn terms of actual superhero reveals, the most interesting things to se are actually in the blink-and-you’ll miss it flip animation that Marvel uses as its title cards. Still shots of the animation depict Captain Marvel, Dr. Strange, and a missile emblazoned with the Black Panther’s signature logo.

Last month Marvel CEO Kevin Feige announced Marvel’s roster of films for its Phase 3 rollout of superhero flicks to be released in the coming years. While it’s unlikely that these will make appearance in Age of Ultron, these could very well be hints of what the movie’s easter-egg post credit scene could have in store for fans.

Check out the latest extended trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron AFTER THE JUMP...

 

Continue reading "Latest 'Avengers' Trailer Features Samsung Product Placement, Easter Egg Clues to Future Films: VIDEO" »


'Applications', The Tale of a Guy, a Phone, and a Dating App: Part 5

Here's Part 5 of our weekly comic Applications, by Josh Trujillo and Dave Valeza.

Click panes to enlarge.

To start from the beginning of the series, click HERE.

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For Part 6, click HERE.


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