A Seattle-based podcast about games, comics, superheroes, zombies, robots, wizards, dinosaurs, and other things relevant to your interests. We're SJW FTW, and we’ve been nerding out about nerd stuff since way before everybody was a nerd.
So Marvel and Netflix just announced the casting of Finn Jones (Loras Tyrell on Game of Thrones) as Iron Fist in the upcoming series rounding out The Defenders. We think Jones is great–but we’re sympathetic to the growing chorus of voices arguing that the role should go to an Asian actor.
There are two main thrusts to the arguments we’ve seen: We need more Asian leads across the board, and the Iron Fist character in particular is a troubling example of the lame old trope of the white guy being a natural at the other guy’s cultural heritage–and is therefore in dire need of revision. Agreed! With that in mind, and knowing full well that the casting is locked and loaded, here are our suggestions for any alternate universes still in need of advice:
We’ve been warned that we’re reaching Peak TV: the time when it becomes impossible to keep up with all the shows we want to watch–or even all the good shows we want to watch. Lord knows there’s a delicious glut of comics-inspired TV with plenty more on the way; we’ve discussed it atsomelengthonthepodcast and hereontheblog.
We’ve seen characters we love come to life–hello, John Constantine–as well as characters we could do without (sorry, Amanda Waller, check back with us when you get a second dimension). But there are thousands more waiting in the wings, hoping for some bright young writer (and grizzled old casting director) to help them make the jump from page to screen. Here’s our shortlist for showrunners:
1. Ms. Marvel: Kamala Khan is one of our all-time faves, though her book has only been around for a year and a half. She’s smart, she’s conflicted, she’s excited about her newfound powers, and she sidesteps stereotypes of Muslims, women, and teenagers. As an Inhuman, she’d be a great match for Agents of SHIELD, though showing her powers might blow through their special effects budget unless they cut to animation whenever she’s onscreen. Show: Agents of SHIELD Actor: Sarayu Blue, though she’s already been on Agents of SHIELD, so maybe…Archie Panjabi?
2. Squirrel Girl: She effortlessly defeats the biggest of the big bads; even Galactus finds another planet to eat after meeting her. Despite this, her down-to-earth charm and easy-on-the-budget powers make her a great guest-spot match for any show that needs a lighthearted change of pace. Unfortunately, Marvel has gone all-in on Serious Drama, though SG was nanny for Luke Cage and Jessica Jones’ kid, so we’ll just slot her in there and hope for the best. Show: Jessica Jones and Luke Cage Actor: Shailene Woodley
3-4. Dream and Death: Sure, they’re faintly ridiculous, grubby, deus-ex-machina characters who are relevant only in our 90s-addled minds, but come on! How awesome would it be for the Endless to start showing up in our favorite shows? They would have been perfect for one-shots or recurring roles on Constantine, but it’s now dead beyond hope, so we’ll have to make do. Gotham’s too gritty, The Flash is too flashy, and Legends of Tomorrow is probably too sci-fi-oriented, so it’s up to Arrow to make this happen. Show: Arrow Actors: Adrien Brody and Emma Stone
5. Midnighter: Warren Ellis’ take on the Batman archetype added superhuman fighting instincts and a license to kill to the dark vigilante myth, and Midnighter is one of the fiercest gay superheroes we’ve ever seen. He’d be interesting on Gotham if he powered down a little, if only to give Baby Bruce something to think about. But he’d be perfect as an adversary on The Flash–his overclocked tactical mind could challenge Barry like nobody else, and his status as permanent antihero would be a nice splash of darkness in Central City. Show: The Flash Actor: Taye Diggs
6. The Question: Yes, he started as a ridiculous mouthpiece for ridiculous political ideas, but the dude had style. Wearing a featureless mask was perfectly creepy, and his Justice League Unlimited incarnation is the perfect launch point for live action. He’s an ecumenical conspiracy theorist who’s always right (at least when the plot needs him to be), and that makes him a perfect quirky quest-giver for a show like Supergirl–or we hope so, as all we’ve seen is the trailer. Bonus points: There will be nerds who accuse the show of ripping off Watchmen‘s Rorschach. Show: Supergirl Actor: Kevin Corrigan
7. Sub-Mariner: Ah, Prince Namor. Marvel’s go-to asshole always tells the truth the heroes don’t want to hear while sounding like the rich villain in a summer camp movie. He’s got a longer history than most, so he could plausibly pop up in our favorite post-war comics adaptation, Agent Carter. No doubt he’d simultaneously recognize Peggy’s ultra-competence while still giving the SSR boys a master class in casual sexism. He’s just weird enough to fit into Carter’s world without delivering an “everything you know is wrong” vibe. Show: Agent Carter Actor: Harry Shum, Jr.
Once we take over Hollywood, we’ll make sure these folks get the love they deserve. Which characters do you want to see on screen? And hey, since there’s not a chance that every one of these casting choices is okay with you, let us know who should really play them in the comments.
You may have heard that I love all shitty vampire things. Because of this I tend to hear vampiric themes where none were intended, and this happened even more frequently back when I was a young goth. In the mid-’90s I briefly played Vampire: The Masquerade and my friends and I would curate playlists of mood music for our sessions. (Actually, curating mood music and writing backstories for our characters constituted pretty much the entirety of our V:tM time—I think we only played twice.) Anyway, here’s a partial list of songs from those playlists:
After The Flesh by My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult
sample lyric: “We’ll infect your carnal mind after the flesh…”
The Killing Moon by Echo and the Bunnymen
sample lyric: “So soon you’ll take me up in your arms / Too late to beg you or cancel it though I know it must be / the killing time”
Dead Souls by Joy Division
sample lyric: “Someone take these dreams away / That point me to another day / A duel of personalities / They stretch all true realities”
Bloodletting by Concrete Blonde
sample lyric: “O you where a vampire and now I am nothing at all”
Devil Inside by INXS
sample lyric: “Here comes the woman with the look in her eye / Raised on leather with flesh on her mind”
Cry Little Sister by Gerard McMann
sample lyric: “Temptation heat beats like a drum / Deep in your veins, I will not lie…”
Lullaby by The Cure
sample lyric: “Quietly he laughs and shaking his head / Creeps closer now / Closer to the foot of the bed”
One Caress by Depeche Mode
sample lyric: “I’m shying from the light / I always loved the night / And now you offer me eternal darkness”
Paint It Black by The Rolling Stones
sample lyric: “I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes / I have to turn my head until my darkness goes”
Moon Over Bourbon Street by Sting
sample lyric: “It was many years ago that I became what I am / I was trapped in this life like an innocent lamb”
What songs would you add to this list? Put your suggestions in the comments!