Thursday, January 1, 2015

Coming Up in 2015 - What We're Pumped For This Year

Man. It's a fresh new year already, and it's promising to be a doozy in nerd stuff. Every old franchise is new again (Mad Max, Jurassic World, Fast and Furious 7, and so many more), some of my favorite projects are finally seeing the light of day, and there's just a bounty of amazing nerd stuff to look forward to this year.

But what am I in particular pumped for? Well, let me tell you...

1. Agent Carter - January 6th

This should come as no shock to anyone, since I've been hyping this show as long as I've known of its existence, but I'm really very excited for the premiere of Agent Carter next week. The show, which follows a post-war Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) as she tries to make her way in her chosen field of intelligence work as the men return from war and millions of women are quietly let go from their jobs, promises to examine sexism in the workplace, the way our foremothers fought for the right to work, and lots of other awesome stuff.

Also it features a subplot where Peggy, a brilliant agent by day, does her own James Bond thing by night, trying to clear Howard Stark's name (Dominic Cooper) after he's accused of treason. She gets to work with the original Jarvis, a lovely British butler, and try to save the world. Good times.

Not only does the show sound really awesome, it also has an impressive pedigree. It's run by a writing team of two women - Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas - and has the honor of being Marvel's first female lead project on the screen. Yes, they're coming out with Captain Marvel in 2018, and, yes, there is that Jessica Jones show starring Krysten Ritter coming up, but this is their first. And it looks great.

2. Spidergwen - February 25th

Spidergwen as a character - as in, a Gwen Stacy who was bitten by a radioactive spider and thus gained superpowers - was introduced in this fall's Edge of the Spiderverse crossover event, but she's quickly become a fan favorite and one of the most popular Spiderverse characters. So popular in fact that she's getting her own solo comic, simply called Spidergwen.

We don't know that many details about the comic yet, aside from the fact that Gwen will remain a spider superhero, will stay the drummer of her punk band, The MaryJanes, and will still have a contentious relationship with her father, Captain Stacy of the NYPD. But other than that we're a little less clear on the specifics of of the comic. And that's okay. Her oneshot back in September was freaking awesome, and I'm excited to see what Robbie Rodriguez and Jason Latour do with her character from here.

And just in general, it's nice to see Gwen Stacy getting some of the spotlight for something other than dying in order to further Peter Parker's emotional journey. Her fridging is still one of the most frustrating events in comics for me, and I hate that it's defined her character for so long. I mean, she's a brilliant scientist, a caring person, and seriously badass! Hell yes give her her own superpowers and comic! Please!

This is just tangentially related, but Cindy Moon, one of the other original characters from the Edge of the Spiderverse crossover will also be getting her own comic, Silk, which means that all three of the spider-powered women will be well-represented this year, and with the redesign of Spiderwoman's costume, there's a strong chance that the spider ladies might become some of the most representative and least sexualized female superhero comics on the shelves. Yay!

3. Orphan Black, Season 3 - April 18th

I'm so pumped for the new season of Orphan Black that I can taste it. Sure, part of that is because I spent a couple hours recapping the season two finale yesterday. But the rest is because I'm so curious about the developments that were teased at the end of the second season and that will be developed in this further season. 

Like, I'm really curious to see how Ari Millen holds up walking in Tatiana Maslany's ridiculous shoes, and I can only assume he'll do a good job, since I can't imagine this show settling for anything less. But I can't wait to see how it goes.

I'm really curious to see what happens with Charlotte and Marion's involvement in the clone family, and I have such a longing to see Gracie and Mark accepted into the fold. Basically I want more clone family. Lots more. I just want all these people protecting each other and fighting together and understanding that they're more powerful together than apart. I have a lot of feelings, you guys.

On a more serious note, though, this is a show that has done an excellent job in discussing issues of women's rights, bodily autonomy, and reproductive rights, in a way that is comprehensive and touching and very aware of power dynamics. I have every hope and confidence that it will continue to focus on the ways that women's bodies are commodified and sold in our culture. But I am really curious to see how they deal with adding a male perspective and I can't wait to see how the season turns out. It's a good freaking show.

4. Avengers: Age of Ultron - May 1st

I'd just be a big fat liar who lies if I didn't admit how excited I am for this movie. Of course I'm excited. Duh. But not just because it looks like another two hours of sheer nerding goodness. I'm very intrigued by the couple of shots we got of ballerinas in the trailer, and I'm hoping this means that in Age of Ultron the MCU will finally really delve into Natasha's backstory. I love her backstory. It's so interesting. Please make it so.

Also with the trailer showing that scene of everyone trying to pick up the hammer except Natasha, I hope that means they're going to include a scene where she does and can pick up the hammer, because that is a thing that happens in the comics and I would love to see Natasha casually pick up the hammer at some point and hand it back to Thor.

There's a little part of me that's holding out hope that this film will explore more of comics canon Hawkeye as well, since, you know, he's deaf in the comics and that's a really big deal to me. I would love it if the movie actually brought that up, since it seems like we're going to go a little deeper on Clint Barton as a character - case in point, apparently he owns a farm? 

Oh, and I'm super pumped to see Maria Hill and Rhodey included in happy Avengers bonding time, and I want more of those characters please.

5. Pitch Perfect 2 - May 15th

Right, so it's a franchise that was apparently so much fun to make that they got all of the stars to agree to do a sequel, even though two of them have become significantly more famous in the past two years - Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson, obvi - and it looks hilarious and wonderful and ridiculous. Who isn't excited for Pitch Perfect 2? Like, seriously, who?

And there is something so wonderful and happy about this being a female lead ensemble comedy that was so successful and beloved that there was really no question on whether or not they should make a sequel. That makes me very happy, because I can remember that just a few years ago the media was arguing over whether or not women were even capable of being funny, and here's a sequel to the movie that made them shut the hell up.

They're back, pitches!

6. Gamora - Spring

Gamora might have been a little underplayed in this summer's Guardians of the Galaxy movie, although Zoe Saldana did a great job with what she had to work with, but now she's finally getting her own solo comic! This spring, Nicole Perlman, who wrote Guardians and also has a Black Widow script kicking around somewhere, is writing a Gamora solo comic. The artist has yet to be announced, but I'm pretty stoked. Marvel's strength remains in their comics, for all that the movies are super successful and popular, and I am happy to see them adding Gamora to their collection of awesome leading ladies.

Word to the wise, though - you can't request this at your local comic book shop yet, not even to put it on order. I'll let you know when they release an official date for the first issue, but until then you sadly cannot order it.

7. Terminator: Genisys - July 1st

I'll admit that I really don't know a whole lot about this project, since I have been studiously avoiding any kind of news about it and just praying really hard, but I like the very little I do know. Emilia Clarke, who I love in Game of Thrones, is going to play Sarah Connor, my childhood hero, and Jai Courtney is playing Kyle Reese, my childhood crush. So, you know, I'm a little excited.

Not only is it nice to see another interpretation of the Sarah Connor character (I love both the Linda Hamilton and Lena Heady versions), it's pretty cool to see a movie that's making her the focal point again. To my mind, Terminator 2: Judgment Day is the best of the films precisely because it focuses so closely on Sarah Connor. I trust Clarke as an actress, and so I'm pretty jazzed to see where this ends up.

Oh, and on a completely childish and lame level, I am squeeing so hard inside about the opportunity to see my childhood OTP on the big screen, you have no idea. Time-crossed lovers for the win!

8. Oracle - April

Gail Simone is writing a miniseries about a Pre-52 Oracle and I'm very happy! The decision to erase Barbara Gordon's paralyzation and transition into Oracle and keep her as Batgirl was one of my least favorite parts of the New 52, so I'm super glad to see someone going back and telling us a new Oracle story. That's not to say that Batgirl isn't turning into a really interesting comic these days, now that it's under new management and artistic staff. But there's something to be said for the old classics, and Oracle is one of my faves.

9. Star Wars: The Force Awakens - December 18th

I'm not the world's biggest Star Wars fan, nor am I a JJ Abrams fan really at all, but I am cautiously optimistic about this film, which promises at the very least to include more female characters in one film than the original trilogy did in all three. 

So that's good. I love Gwendoline Christie, and I suspect she's playing a Sith which is awesome. Lupita N'yongo is rad, but I have no idea what role she has. I like the Princess Leia is back and we get more Carrie Fisher goodness, and that girl on the speeder looks awfully intriguing.

So while I'm not ready to start camping out in front of the theater in anticipation for this one, it looks like it has the potential to be really good, and that's something we haven't been able to say about a Star Wars movie in a while.

10. Returning Shows: Hannibal, The Musketeers, Outlander, etc.

Just to name a few, there are a lot of shows coming back this year that I'm pretty pumped for. Hannibal had a freaking revelatory season finale last year, and it looks like this year we're going to be spending some time in Europe while we hunt cannibals, so that all looks amazing. The Musketeers might be having to make do without Cardinal Richeleu for a while (since Peter Capaldi is busy making Doctor Who), but it looks like they'll manage. It's a super fun show and I just want more! 

And while Outlander really disappointed me with the last ten minutes of their midseason finale this fall, seeming to go back on all the amazing progress they made for representation of women in the rest of the show so far, I have a lingering hope that they'll make up for it when the show returns. Please please please be good.

11. New Shows: iZombie, Galavant, Fresh Off the Boat, 12 Monkeys, Netflix's Daredevil, etc.

There are a lot of really awesome new shows coming out, but these are the ones I'm most tempted by. Galavant promises to be ridiculous fun, a raunchy musical miniseries about the middle ages, and it has a princess of color, a stinky anti-hero for the lead, and Weird Al popping up every once in a while. What's not to love?

Meanwhile, iZombie looks like it's going to be just sheer crack. It's about a zombie who hides out as a medical examiner so that she can humanely eat brains, but eating the brains of murder victims means she gets their memories and thus knows who killed them, causing her to become a reluctant detective and murder solver. All I can say is yessssssssss.

Fresh Off the Boat might have a title that's actually a racial insult, and that's kind of a problem, but it looks super duper funny. Based on chef Eddie Huang's actual childhood, the show follows an East-Asian immigrant family who moves to Florida and takes over a steakhouse. It looks so funny, and I hope it can live up to the hype.

I know very little about the new 12 Monkeys adaptation but I want it. That is all. Oh, and Netflix's Daredevil looks, at the very least, much better than the terrible film version. So that's good.

12. The Supernatural Series Finale

Finally, what I really really really want this year is for Supernatural to just end already. Ideally with grace and dignity, but I'll just take it ending at all. Please. Please please please. I know the ending I have mapped out for the show (Dean as King of Hell, Cas as leader of Heaven, Sam locking the doors to both and stranding himself alone on Earth to live the rest of his days in peace), but right now all I want is for the show to freaking end so that I can move on with my life.

...And on that note, happy new year!


  1. I hope that means they're going to include a scene where [Natasha] does and can pick up the hammer, because that is a thing that happens in the comics

    She does? I didn't know that. I'm assuming it'll be Steve who does, even if he's among the last people I'd want it to be.

    To my mind, Terminator 2: Judgment Day is the best of the films precisely because it focuses so closely on Sarah Connor.

    And when Terminator 3 didn't do as well, Hollywood considered every possible reason for it *except* the lack of Sarah Connor.

    Meanwhile, iZombie looks like it's going to be just sheer crack.

    If it's anything like the comic, yes. You'll suspect someone is putting hallucinogens in your food. (Although in the comics she's a gravedigger rather than a medical examiner).

    1. Yup. There's a scene where Natasha picks up the hammer. I don't think it'll be Steve, if only because it doesn't fit with his narrative arc, and as we see in that scene, we already know he can make it wobble at least. Natasha's response when asked if she wants to try ("That's not a question I need answered.") is the most intriguing.

      I know, right? Hollywood really needs to get its head out of its butt about the appeal of Sarah Connor. No one really cares about John. Stop trying to make John happen.

      Gravedigger makes sense too. It just looks so fun!

    2. Yeah, even season 2 of the Sarah Connor flippin' Chronicles tried to demote her in favour of John and Kyle's brother.

      I mostly took Natasha's answer to mean her assuming she couldn't possibly be worthy. But I'd argue she's shown as much heroism as the rest of them, and her lifting Mjollnir would essentially be a statement that true heroism can exist even in the shadows where she lives (which would be in keeping with Odin, frankly). Other than that, I'd go for promoting a supporting character the first division, or a needs-must of someone who can wield it in a way Thor can't, like flying independently (both counts would suit Sam).

    3. The problem with Sarah Connor Chronicles was definitely that they didn't realize no one cared about John. No one. Give us more Sarah and Summer Glau please, because that's all we actually want.

      I 100% believe that Sam can lift it.

  2. I'm really very excited for the premiere of Agent Carter next week.

    Me too. I do find myself wondering how they'll get round the fact that by definition, Hydra has to infiltrate SHIELD under her watch without her knowing, but she still has to be awesome. But I assume they have a plan for that - maybe some other long-term menace that Hydra hides behind, and/or Peggy Carter being the reason there's enough of the real SHIELD left to put up a fight in Winter Soldier.

    This spring, Nicole Perlman, who wrote Guardians and also has a Black Widow script kicking around somewhere, is writing a Gamora solo comic.

    That is good, though I would also like "to see them adding Gamora to their collection of" solo films. There's a lot of heartwrench you could get between her and Nebula that wouldn't fit into the tone of a Guardians film.

    1. I'd guess that it's the latter - the stuff Peggy brought in is great, but she was overruled when it came to bringing in Zola and so on. The hubris of old white men who think they know her business better than she does. Actually, that's already come up on Agents of SHIELD. How HYDRA got a Nazi scientist into SHIELD against Peggy's wishes.

      I would watch the hell out of a Gamora/Nebula movie.

    2. I've seen the snippet on the Winter Soldier (I think it was Winter Soldier) Blu-Ray, where the theme of white men hubrising looms large. Howard Stark knew better, but from what you say up top he's out of the decision-making process.

    3. Very much so. And it's interesting to see this play out in Agent Carter, the idea that the people who were useful in wartime, like Peggy and Howard, are shunted out of the process in peace. Which I think is pretty true to history.