In Spider-Gwen on Earth 65 (an alternate universe) things are different. Gwendolyne Stacy is the web slinging hero we all know and love. And Samantha Wilson is the black woman Captain America (which is lit). But that was just for set up. What's most important is that in this universe Donald Trump isn't the Republican presidential nominee.
On Earth 65, Trump is a super villain instead.
Obviously, it's not really Trump (but it is). Instead, the story writer Jason Latour went with the acronym M.O.D.A.A.K (a hilarious take on the classic villain M.O.D.O.K). What does it stand for, you ask? M.O.D.A.A.K means Mental Organism Designed As America's King. You really can't get more nudge-and-a-wink than that, can you?
The Trump stump's goal isn't very different from real life, but luckily Samantha Wilson is there to to deliver his fade. I would show you, but that would pretty much defeat the purpose of comics being for sale. If you're the homie, I'll let you borrow it sometime.
Here's a gif in place of my reaction to Donald Trump getting whooped.
This issue also features the band Gwen is in, The Mary Janes, as well appearances from the villain known as Spider-Ham (you read that right) and She-Hulk. It's very lit. Not to mention that the team working on this book paid an homage to Beyoncé's Lemonade (a bat is involved). There's enough exciting pop culture references in this thing to go around.
Spider-Gwen Annual #1 did us all a giant favor, and Samantha Wilson really came through in the clutch – because black women are magic. What more could you really ask for from a Marvel comic? In my opinion, not much.
Leave a comment, I read and reply to all of them. Hit that share button and tag a friend who needs to see this.
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So what happens when the wizard world crosses the land of Beyhivery (which is not a word)? Pure magic happens. Dominique of The Storyscape, dedicates her videos to music and literature. Her latest inspiration casts a Bey-themed spell on Harry Potter's homeboy Ron Weasley using his main squeeze, Hermione Granger.
(It's totally a Hogwarts thing, but you get the gist of the tale.)
Like Bey, Hermione had no desire to look "jealous or crazy" but she had to pump the brakes and let Ron know it's time to stop playing games. The magical world of Hogwarts is obviously told through the eyes of Harry Potter. Once he hit year six, the love games between Ron and Hermione reached an all-time high. Dominique gave us another viewpoint at the budding romance with her tune, "Wand Up".
Where did the idea come about?
"Well, I obviously love Beyoncé and Hermione Granger and they're both examples of the kind of woman I hope to be. The lyrics just sort of popped into my head when I was practicing 'Hold Up' on the guitar," Dominique told me. "I think the first thing that came to me was 'I'ma crucio a witch'."
Dominique is a huge aficionado of storytelling, so naturally the creator of Harry Potter has contributed to her interests over the year.
"I really love stories and words. Like the OG J.K. Rowling says, 'Words are our most inexhaustible source of magic.' My overall mission of The Storyscape is to have a show that's like a Reading Rainbow but for adults. Think Mr. Rogers meets Dave Chappelle meets Erykah Badu."
She's no stranger to parodies. About a month ago she took on the "Readhanna" persona for a "Work" parody about her love of loving books with bae.
The most important question here, if the Harry Potter squad were all Muggles, who would be the biggest Queen Bey stan?
"Ironically, I think Lavender Brown would be the biggest Bey fan, and I low key think Neville Longbottom is in the Beyhive too."
Dominique totally nailed it! Keep the #BlackGirlMagic going and share this video with your friends.
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For introverts, the social side of adulting can be pretty tough. Whether you rushed off to another city to follow your dreams or your employer shipped you across the country to open a new office, it can easily start to sink in that somewhere along the way you forgot how to make friends.
Here is a list of Meetups around the country for introverts, extroverts and unicorns of color:
Forest Park, GA
Founded in September 2015, this group already has 1,173 members. If you’re in the Atlanta area and want to connect with other artists, musicians and creatives, stop by one of their jam sessions or poetry meetings to get involved.
The Tampa SECRET Society of Nerdy Black Chicks
If you’re a nerdy black chick in Tampa, you’re in good company. This group capped at 50 members on Meetup, but you can still join the Facebook Group. If you dig gaming, graphic novels or samurai words, there’s a group of nerdy soul sisters waiting to greet you in Klingon.
Black Geek Society & Nerds of Color
New York, NY
New Yorkers can also now fellowship over comic books and sci-fi movies. This meetup just started a few weeks ago, and already seems to have a group of excited “Blerds” prepping for a "Captain America Black Panther Party" in May.
Silver Spring, MD
This group is for women who have felt like outcasts, only to find out that they’re really unique, one-of-a-kind, beautiful black unicorns. This group meets often for food, fun and friendship.
Suga Puddin Guild: Creative Subsistence & Crafty Tomfoolery
This Meetup is the embodiment of "Why Be the Black Martha Stewart When You Can Be Yourself?" These Oakland ladies get together to share tips on all things DIY, homemaking and crafting for fun. Join them to get in on their next sewing workshop or fabric store scavenger hunt.
If you're looking for cool people to connect with for miscellaneous fun, link up with D.C.'s Afro-Hipsters. This trendy group of friends is down to talk about anything from dating to politics. You can catch them anywhere between a black art gallery and a #BlackLivesMatter rally.
Nappy Roots Beauty
If you find yourself on the other side of the northern border, you might drop in on Alberta's group of obsessed naturalistas. Although most meetups like this just eat brunch and swap products, Nappy Roots Beauty offers much more. If you want to engage in fun discussions about natural hair and practice unique styles with a few friends, sign up for one of their upcoming summer meetups.
Writers Evoking Buzz (WEB) Society
These Maverick City professionals are joining forces to make a difference in the community. This Meetup includes not only writers, but also publishers, editors, agents and academics. They have regular meetings to showcase their writing and support each other through new writing projects and publishing. They even get together to discuss literacy and mentor other writers.
Lipstick & Laughter
Falls River, MA
If you can talk makeup for hours, you'll want to check out this Massachusetts meetup for flawless makeup mavens. There's no need to sit at home bored with YouTube tutorials when you can join this group of face-beating fanatics for discussions on skincare, beauty on a budget and the ever-popular product swap.
Black Vegan Meetup
Healthy eating is only half as hard when you have a support group. If you're a vegan or are thinking about making that lifestyle change, Atlanta's Black Vegan Meetup has over 1200 members for you to connect with. Check them out for awesome physical activities, dining at unique vegan restaurants and even their book club!
Phoenix Black Photographers
If you're trying to capture some dope shots out there in the desert metro, the PBP meetup is a fine place to connect with others and hone your photography skills. The very consistent group has been around since 2010 and already has meetings scheduled through April 2017.
On Saturday, May 21st, we’re hosting our inaugural conference about how creativity and technology are changing our daily lives, from our hobbies to our work. Will you be joining us? Tickets here.
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March is Women’s History Month and after what was arguably the best Black History Month the party cannot stop after Feb 29th.
In honor of the hashtag #BlackWomenHistoryMonth, we will be celebrating our favorite black heroines and villains, continuing with Monica Rambeau. This is a space in which I often preach about representation for PoC and women in an industry that is predominantly run by white men. Because of the importance of this month for Black women and the necessity that they be seen, heard, and uplifted in comic books, film, and television, it is a personal honor to me that my Blavity fam, Kyndal, is taking over the column to tell you about this Black woman hero, and what she means to her. - Ira
Let’s just get this out of the way. Monica Rambeau exemplifies Black Girl Badassery, but growing up I’d never heard of her before. Honestly, I’d only heard of her a couple of years ago, and even then I still didn’t know anything about her outside of a name.
When I was approached with the opportunity to write a guest post on this column in honor of Women's History Month, it struck me how when it came to Black female comic book characters, I--like most of my friends--was only familiar with Storm and knew only a little bit about Misty Knight.
Admittedly, my exposure to comic books as a child was heavily centered around the X-men, so there's that. But even in the realm of pop culture or from my always-in-the-know-about-comics cousin, the name Monica Rambeau never surfaced. Could I write about a character I had barely even heard of before? A character I knew next to nothing about? The answer to those questions is yes, and I'm so glad I did because I found a new favorite!
For those of you who have never heard of Monica Rambeau, be prepared to get schooled like I was, and for those of you who are already stans, then I hope I do her justice.
Who is Monica Rambeau?
Monica Rambeau, a.k.a. Captain Marvel (more on that in a bit), Pulsar, Photon, and more, first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #16 (1982). Born to Frank and Maria Rambeau in New Orleans, she joined the New Orleans Harbor Patrol after leaving college where she served as a cargo ship captain. One day, she stumbled onto the creation of dangerous weapons and was bombarded by extra dimensional energy when she tried to destroy these weapons in an effort to save innocent lives. An explosion ensued, and she was granted superhuman powers, deciding that she could use her new powers to fight crime.
What makes her super?
Just let me delineate the scope of Monica’s abilities:
Intangibility (she can phase through solid matter and certain energy fields depending on their wavelengths)
I mean, the woman is practically just pure light and energy. I really could’ve made that the whole post, and it would’ve been enough. And yet, there’s more.
Monica then becomes known as Captain Marvel.
But see here’s the thing: I knew all about Carol Danvers being Captain Marvel, but never did I ever hear anything about Monica having that title BEFORE her. Nope. Not a doggone thing. I sweatuhgod I looked at my computer like…
Monica then becomes the first Black heroine of the Avengers and becomes their leader after getting nominated for the position by Captain America.
Monica proves to be a great leader and leads the Avengers against the X-Men (Avengers vs. X-men #1-4) and then the Olympian gods (Avengers 281-285). During a battle, she accidentally makes contact with the ocean while in her electrical form (ouch) which causes her to be severely injured and depowered. This forces her to retire as a superhero (temporarily), and she steps down as the leader of the team. However, she eventually recovers, and through a series of various adventures, she continues to take on different leadership roles, and fights alongside Black Panther, Luke Cage, Blue Marvel, and many more.
One of things that impresses me the most about Monica Rambeau is how relatable she is. She has a no-nonsense perspective and an independent spirit that shows me just how much she’s like me and my friends. She’s really the type of woman you go to happy hour with and dish about your secrets over Manhattans and martinis -- but she just so happens to have superpowers.
Another fact that makes Monica my new favorite is her confidence and the way she constantly exhibits leadership qualities. She knows who she is, what she deserves, and no one is gonna talk to her any kind of way. She keeps it real.
And I love all of it. Learning about Monica over the last couple of weeks has been an absolute pleasure. The more I found out about her, the more I felt she and I were so much alike. I have my fair share of favorite characters and characters I love, but this was the first time that I could actually see myself in a superhero -- not as the person that I want to be but as the person that I am. My only regret is that I didn’t know about her sooner! But that’s ok. What matters is that I know about her now, and I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed that eventually her character will reach a wider audience. In the meantime, I’m going to purchase my own comic books so I can get to know her even better.
I’d like to give a HUGE shout out to Black Nerd Problems for their in depth portrayal of Monica and her unapologetic blackness. There may be similar articles out there, but theirs was the first article I came across that really represented the essence of who she is as a character outside of her powers and captured just how much I could relate to her. Her sharp wit. Her natural hair. Her leadership abilities. Her penchant for black and white outfits (I love black and white outfits). Her everything.
I began my research excited to learn something new about a character who has touched the hearts of many, and now I can add my heart to the list. Listen. I’ve never cosplayed before, but if I ever do, you betta believe my first character will be Monica Rambeau.
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March is Women’s History Month and after what was arguably the best Black History Month the party cannot stop after Feb 29th.
In honor of Women's History Month, we will be celebrating our favorite heroines and villains, starting with Ms. Misty Knight. This is a space in which I often preach about representation for PoC and women in an industry that is predominantly run by white men. Because of the importance of this month for Black women and the necessity that they be seen, heard, and uplifted in comic books, film, and television, it is a personal honor to me that my Blavity fam, Joi, is taking over the column to tell you about this Black woman hero, and what she means to her. - Ira
Who is Misty Knight?
Misty Knight, born Mercedes Knight, is a former NY police officer turned private investigator, bounty hunter and Hero for Hire. She first appears in 1972’s Marvel Team-Up #1 as an unnamed woman and is mentioned by name in 1975’s Marvel Premiere #20. It isn’t until Marvel Premiere #21 that the Misty Knight that we know and love appears, attacking Iron Fist in Colleen Wing's (her father) home. Misty’s depiction, created by Tony Isabella and Arvell Jones, was a result of inspiration from the blaxploitation craze of the 1970s. Her flawless fro has been and still is her signature hairstyle.
Misty Knight 1975 vs. 2015. Source: Marvel Comics
What makes her super?
Misty is a skilled martial artist, marksman, and fighter. One of her distinctive features is her genetically enhanced bionic arm, created by Tony Stark himself. But what truly makes Misty so special is her quick thinking, strong will and her inability to back down from a challenge. Misty’s ability to maneuver around the superhero circle has always been a key strength of hers. Whether she is bounty-hunting with her fellow Daughter of The Dragon (and best friend) Colleen Wing, aiding in cases with Heroes for Hire founders Luke Cage and Iron Fist or leading her own Heroes for Hire team for Iron Man during the Civil War-era, Misty has been on the ground doing the work. Despite playing support for majority of her time on the comic book pages, she stands iconic as one of the first Black female superheroes to grace the pages at Marvel comics.
Where is she now?
Misty can be in found in the Captain America: Sam Wilson comic book series, providing #blackgirlmagic and #blackgirlbadassery every time she is on the page. Misty will also be making her on-screen debut in Netflix’s Luge Cage and will be played by Simone Missick. If all goes well with Luke’s series, could we be looking at a Misty-led Netflix series within the next few years? Only time will tell, but we will be crossing our (bionic) fingers until then.
It was only a few years ago that I learned about Misty Knight. I feel ashamed to say this now that nerdom has been popularized and really permeates through Black culture. But, in hindsight Storm is the only Black female superhero who gets “top-billing” status in the minds of the general comic fan. My research on Misty was inspired by my epiphany that I clung so hard to Storm and tried to make her my go-to for anything comic book related. It was time for me to not make Storm my token. It was time to learn the stories of other Black female superheroes (big or small) and find myself in as many characters as I could. Thus began my research.
What I love most about Misty is her consistency throughout her comic history. This can be due to any number of reasons: playing mostly support, few lead comic opportunities, usually known as a “B-Level” superhero. But from her characterization to her appearance, Misty has not changed since the 70s.
Now some may believe that this is a bad thing, especially due to the background of her origin inspiration. Misty is clearly a character created with blaxploitation films in mind. She is Pam Greer if Foxy had a bionic arm. But with keeping that look, I have concluded that her importance in the comics world is her stance of defiance.
Her fro has not diminished. Her suit is still as sexy as it has been. There is a reliability to her that no matter what era or what time, Misty will always be Misty. And that’s bold, considering that the usual Black heroes have an origin story seeped in stereotypes that were prominent in the era that it was created in -- Misty included. She has superseded these stereotypes and they've formed into her identity, without being dated. And within that identity there is an underlying pride that I feel when I see her in the comics. I see someone who is often under-estimated but still excels despite that. But above all, I see someone excelling while simultaneously being unapologetically herself.
I believe that is the core of Misty Knight -- large comic presence or not. This is what resonates with me the most. This is what I hope to grow into in my professional career, particularly. I’ve heard the HR phrase “bringing your whole self to work everyday” too many times to count. But the pessimist in me has told me that this is not realistic. That my “whole self” won’t help me achieve the career I want. Underneath that pessimist is the optimist, however. She is smaller but she is growing daily. The optimist in me has been encouraging, telling me to work on finding what parts of my personality or my blackness I will not hide for the sake of a career. From how bright I like to wear some of my clothes to wearing my fro to work when it’s time to take a break from my protective styles. This has been a steady work-in-progress but I have found myself happier than I’ve been in my professional life.
Researching Misty has led to me diving more into the Black female superhero and villain world. I’ve gathered that my knowledge of these ladies is sorely lacking. But I eagerly tackle the task to learn as much as I can about these women.
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Queen mother Angela Bassett is a collective community favorite on the small and silver screens, playing some of our all-time favorite characters. Thanks to Bryan Fuller's announcement as show runner for the new Star Trek television series reboot, the esteemed actress might be the franchise's second black woman to play a Starfleet captain. Madge Sinclair was the first woman and black actor on screen as captain of the USS Saratoga. The show will be available on CBS All Access, the network's online streaming service, in 2017.
Fuller is no stranger to the Star Trek universe. At the beginning of his TV career, one of his first gigs was writing episodes for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. He then moved on to the Voyagerseries. A true fan of the show growing up, Fuller told EW, "My very first experience of Star Trek is my oldest brother turning off all the lights in the house and flying his model of a D7 Class Klingon Battle Cruiser through the darkened halls...It is without exaggeration a dream come true to be crafting a brand-new iteration of Star Trek with fellow franchise alum Alex Kurtzman and boldly going where no Star Trek series has gone before.”
Fuller, creator of Hannibal and Pushing Daisies, is a hire that the Trekkie community is excited about because of his passion for the show and it's possibilities. Casting for Star Trek has not been announced, although he says Bassett would be his pick.
During an interview in 2013 he shared his idea of a dream cast for a Star Trek show. "I want Angela Bassett to be the captain, that’s who I would love to have, you know Captain Angela Bassett and First Officer Rosario Dawson. I would love to do that version of the show but that’s in the future to be told."
The blerd Trekkie community is crossing their fingers that Fuller hasn't forgotten his dream now that he's landed the position, starting the hashtag #CaptainAngelaBassett.
#CaptainAngelaBassett #StarTrek pic.twitter.com/wBnIkUlp0B— We Are Wakanda (@WeAreWakanda) February 9, 2016
Time will only tell whether Bassett will be recording captain's logs on her own starship in 2017. It never hurts to dream, and "fancasts" are making more of an impact than ever in the age of social media.
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*There are a few spoilers in this, but nothing major.*
If Samuel Thomas Wilson aka the Falcon aka the Black Captain America, dies he’s a legend. But in this 5th issue of Captain America: Sam Wilson and the upcoming Captain America: Civil War, he seems to be alive and kicking. Introduced to the world in Captain America #117 on Sept. 10, 1969, he’s considered the first mainstream African American superhero – the OG of OGs. From the home of The Diplomats, it’s extremely apropos that Wilson’s first power as the Falcon was a telepathic link with birds, allowing him to see through their eyes and, in some cases, control them.
In today's comic book universe, Sam is on the payroll as Captain America and the leader of the All-New, All Different Avengers. The gig came with perks like Cap’s shield and a fly new colorway for his gear, gifted from the homie Black Panther.
In the newest issue #5, we will be introduced to the new Falcon, a teenage Latino boy named Joaquin Torres. Based on the preview pages I’ve seen, and the previous issues, this one is gonna be lit. Go pick up your copy this Wednesday the 13th.
Captain America: Sam Wilson #5 was written by Nick Spencer, drawn by Paul Renaud and colored by Romulo Fajardo. Daniel Acuna did the cover art.
Here are some other titles dropping this Wednesday that you might want to check into:
Secret Wars #9
All-New X-Men #3
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (2016) #1
All-New, All Different Avengers #3
And here are two you should grab at the shop, or online, that dropped last week:
The Ultimates #3
Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Five...
Gambit is coming to the big screen on October 7th with Channing Tatum starring as the card slinging, slick talking, young Cajun mutant.
This explains Sunday night's hair choice at the Golden Globes.
Channing Tatum's Gambit haircut. Hmm. Looks like he lost a Gam-BET. pic.twitter.com/UOEgss1UDe
— Jesse David Fox (@JesseDavidFox) January 11, 2016
When Tatum officially signed on to play the original Remy boy, some comic book fans were skeptical to say the least. Early production hit a snag when director Rupert Wyatt, also behind the lens for Rise of the Planet of the Apes, backed out deciding the project wasn't a fit for him.
The Marvel film is now back on track with Doug Liman, director of Bourne Identity, at the helm. Gambit is scheduled to begin shooting in Remy's hometown of New Orleans, this March. Some of us blerds are still warming up to the idea of "Magic Mike" dipping into southern gentleman swag with his best NOLA accent. Only time will tell if 20th Century Fox made the right casting choice for this X-Men spinoff.
One thing Tatum and Remy do have in common, is their smooth ways with the...