Casting Idris Elba as James Bond Would Change the Character in the Best Way

It’s been over ten years since Casino Royale and the debut of Daniel Craig as James Bond, which means we’re overdue for a new 007. The British tabloid the Daily Star published a rumor that Bond producer Barbara Broccoli thought it was time some diversity was brought to the role and director Antoine Fuqua suggested that Idris Elba was his top choice.

Elba himself has publicly campaigned for the role for years, in 2011 saying “I’d not only get in the cab, but I’d take the taxi driver out of the car, hostage. The taxi, jump out while it was moving, jump onto a pedal bike that was just past the door as I got on it, and then get onto a plane—on the wing—land on top of Sony Studios, slide through the air conditioning, and land in the office.” And he further added fuel to the ...

For the First Time in 15 years, Star Trek Moves the Story Where No One Has Gone Before

With the announcement that Sir Patrick Stewart will be reprising his signature role of Jean-Luc Picard for a planned Star Trek television series on the CBS AllAccess streaming service, speculation has run rampant about what that series could possibly be. Will he return to the Enterprise, or will the series be set planet-side? Will Picard join the admiralty, or will he be retired to his vineyard? Will he lead Star Fleet Academy—a series idea I’ve seen suggested for twenty years—or lead Picard’s 11, where Jean-Luc gets the gang back together to rob the heck out of the Ferengi?

There’s so much speculation because we know so little about the show at this point, just that Stewart is playing Picard and that it’s set 20 years after Nemesis. And yet, that’s enough to get me excited because it means the franchise is doing something it hasn’t done in 15 years: ...

Paper Girls is Good and You Should Read It

When Paper Girls debuted in the halcyon days of 2015, it was justly well received, earning high praise from reviewers, a Hugo nomination for best Graphic Story, and a couple of Eisner awards. However, a lot of the praise for the first volume was based on promise. The story of four 12-year-old paper delivery girls in 1988 caught in the crossfire of a temporal war threw a lot of balls into the air—enough that it made sense to question whether writer Brian K. Vaughan, illustrator Cliff Chiang, colorist Matthew Wilson, and letterer and designer Jared K. Fletcher would be able to catch them all.

Three years, twenty-two issues, and four volumes later, I’m happy to report that they caught them with aplomb, while deftly throwing in two more balls, an apple, and a chainsaw. (End juggling metaphor.)

Because of its mystery box nature, where weird shit happens with only ...

Titans Exposes Everything Wrong with DC’s Gritty, Boring Approach to Live Action

The trailer for Titans, the first series exclusively on the new DC Universe streaming service, dropped last week to… less than positive reviews. Nothing about the trailer—not lead Raven, not Senegalese Starfire, not the Dove cameo, not the conspicuous lack of Cyborg—made more noise than ten seconds of Robin saying “F**k Batman” and killing a bunch of dudes. It’s intentionally shocking, a bold declaration that this is something new and edgy, nothing like the Teen Titans you grew up with. These are superheroes for adults.

The problem is, it’s exactly like the Teen Titans I grew up with. It’s not that “a gritty take,” as the official synopsis describes the series, isn’t faithful to the comics. It’s that it’s faithful to New Teen Titans and The Dark Knight Returns, comics that are over 30 years old, literally older than most of the cast. The new series looks dated. The ...

How iZombie Became a Show About the Birth of a Minority Subculture

Zombie stories are about dehumanization, about what makes an entire population less than human and a threat to civilization itself, whether that’s racism (Night of the Living Dead) or consumerism (Dawn of the Dead), apathy (Shaun of the Dead) or rage (28 Days Later). The CW’s iZombie, on the other hand, is more interested in how zombies get their humanity back.

The show is very clear on the cause of zombification: trauma. Like her predecessor Veronica Mars—the titular protagonist of another mystery show by series creator Rob Thomas—Liv Moore (yes, that’s her name, the show loves puns) survives a violent assault and finds herself disconnected and numb afterwards, withdrawing from her family and friends and subject to mood swings and violent outbursts: all classic symptoms of trauma. She also turns chalk white and needs to eat a brain a week ...

How Daddy Issues Drive the Marvel Cinematic Universe

From the moment Tony Stark put on power armor to slug it out with Obadiah Stane for control of Arc Reactor technology, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been about a generational struggle against Bad Dads for the fate of the world.

Each movie is the story of men (mostly) realizing that they can no longer rely on their fathers (or uncles, or other surrogate father figures) to fix their problems for them, and now must use their own sense of morality and ethics to decide what to do with the great power they possess.

This theme of growing up and becoming an adult comes directly from the Marvel comics of the ‘60s, where many of the characters and most of the target audience were teenagers. It’s a little weird in the films, considering the three main Marvel men are 53, 100, and 1500 years old. However, Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, ...