Villainesses Required: Why the Dark Side Needs More Women

I love villains. I really, really do. In all of their sneering, cackling, impeccably dressed glory.

I’m lucky to be a fan of genre fiction, the home of some of the best villains in popular culture. The ultimate villains—supervillains—are the children of genre fiction. The archetypal Dark Lord is most at home glowering down from spectacular towers in blasted fantasy landscapes. An all-powerful emperor of a single country is one thing—but what about an all-powerful emperor of an entire galaxy?

For all this surfeit of excellent antagonists, however, there is a problem with the state of villainy in the year 2018: namely, the gender imbalance on the Dark Side. Evil ought to be an equal opportunity employer, and yet our media is severely lacking in truly memorable female villains. The most iconic—and best—villains are almost entirely men: Darth Vader, Loki, John Milton’s Lucifer, Saruman. When female villains do appear, they ...

The Shape of Water Frames Communication as a Revolutionary Act

The Shape of Water, 2017

Watch a Guillermo del Toro film, and chances are you’re watching a story about communication. Some of his stories are fairy tales, some are epics, some are horror, but they all revolve around this central theme—who gets to communicate, who doesn’t, how important it is, and what it costs when you’re denied that ability to connect with others. But The Shape of Water takes this theme farther than any of del Toro’s previous works. In fact, this homage to Creature From the Black Lagoon makes it clear that communication is a matter of life and death.

[Contain spoilers for The Shape of Water]

The particular oeuvre of Guillermo del Toro turns on many themes, but communication is often the spoke of his wheel. Pan’s Labyrinth is the story of a little girl whose inability to communicate her feelings amid worldly horrors leads to her retreating into a different realm. ...

The Shape of Water, 2017
The Shape of Water, 2017
The Shape of Water, 2017
The Shape of Water, 2017
The Shape of Water, 2017

Holy Rewatch Batman! “Nora Clavicle and the Ladies’ Crime Club”

Holy Rewatch Batman "Nora Clavicle" “Nora Clavicle and the Ladies’ Crime Club”
Written by Stanford Sherman
Directed by Oscar Rudolph
Season 3, Episode 19
Production code 1719
Original air date: January 18, 1968 The Bat-signal: Gordon is being rewarded for his twenty-five years of service to Gotham at a luncheon at the Gotham Astoria. Gordon sits at the head table along with Barbara, O’Hara, Bruce, and Dick—and there are seats for Mayor Linseed and his wife, who arrive late. When they do show up, they’re arguing. The argument ends, and Linseed presents Gordon with a 24-carat gold watch—and then discharges him, replacing him as commissioner with Nora Clavicle, a staunch advocate of women’s rights. Clavicle then enters with a woman beating a drum that says “WOMAN POWER,” and she then discharges O’Hara and appoints Mrs. Linseed to be the new chief of police. Linseed later explains to Bruce that his wife refused to cook or ...
Holy Rewatch Batman "Nora Clavicle"
Holy Rewatch Batman "Nora Clavicle"
Holy Rewatch Batman "Nora Clavicle"
Holy Rewatch Batman "Nora Clavicle"
Holy Rewatch Batman "Nora Clavicle"
Holy Rewatch Batman "Nora Clavicle"
Holy Rewatch Batman "Nora Clavicle"
Holy Rewatch Batman "Nora Clavicle"

Holy Rewatch Batman! “Nora Clavicle and the Ladies’ Crime Club”

Holy Rewatch Batman "Nora Clavicle" “Nora Clavicle and the Ladies’ Crime Club”
Written by Stanford Sherman
Directed by Oscar Rudolph
Season 3, Episode 19
Production code 1719
Original air date: January 18, 1968 The Bat-signal: Gordon is being rewarded for his twenty-five years of service to Gotham at a luncheon at the Gotham Astoria. Gordon sits at the head table along with Barbara, O’Hara, Bruce, and Dick—and there are seats for Mayor Linseed and his wife, who arrive late. When they do show up, they’re arguing. The argument ends, and Linseed presents Gordon with a 24-carat gold watch—and then discharges him, replacing him as commissioner with Nora Clavicle, a staunch advocate of women’s rights. Clavicle then enters with a woman beating a drum that says “WOMAN POWER,” and she then discharges O’Hara and appoints Mrs. Linseed to be the new chief of police. Linseed later explains to Bruce that his wife refused to cook or ...
Holy Rewatch Batman "Nora Clavicle"
Holy Rewatch Batman "Nora Clavicle"
Holy Rewatch Batman "Nora Clavicle"
Holy Rewatch Batman "Nora Clavicle"
Holy Rewatch Batman "Nora Clavicle"
Holy Rewatch Batman "Nora Clavicle"
Holy Rewatch Batman "Nora Clavicle"
Holy Rewatch Batman "Nora Clavicle"

Holy Rewatch Batman! “Nora Clavicle and the Ladies’ Crime Club”

Holy Rewatch Batman "Nora Clavicle" “Nora Clavicle and the Ladies’ Crime Club”
Written by Stanford Sherman
Directed by Oscar Rudolph
Season 3, Episode 19
Production code 1719
Original air date: January 18, 1968 The Bat-signal: Gordon is being rewarded for his twenty-five years of service to Gotham at a luncheon at the Gotham Astoria. Gordon sits at the head table along with Barbara, O’Hara, Bruce, and Dick—and there are seats for Mayor Linseed and his wife, who arrive late. When they do show up, they’re arguing. The argument ends, and Linseed presents Gordon with a 24-carat gold watch—and then discharges him, replacing him as commissioner with Nora Clavicle, a staunch advocate of women’s rights. Clavicle then enters with a woman beating a drum that says “WOMAN POWER,” and she then discharges O’Hara and appoints Mrs. Linseed to be the new chief of police. Linseed later explains to Bruce that his wife refused to cook or ...
Holy Rewatch Batman "Nora Clavicle"
Holy Rewatch Batman "Nora Clavicle"
Holy Rewatch Batman "Nora Clavicle"
Holy Rewatch Batman "Nora Clavicle"
Holy Rewatch Batman "Nora Clavicle"
Holy Rewatch Batman "Nora Clavicle"
Holy Rewatch Batman "Nora Clavicle"
Holy Rewatch Batman "Nora Clavicle"

Do Not Read the Empire Strikes Back Novelization, It Will Only Make You Sad

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back cover novel

I had forgotten most of this novelization, and I initially put that down to reading it when I was quite young.

That’s not the reason I forgot it. Turns out, I actively blocked this book from my mind.

The Episode V novelization was written by Donald F. Glut, who was known for amateur films he made in his teens and early 20s, and a slew of random comics titles. He would later go on to direct movies such as The Erotic Rites of Countess Dracula, Blood Scarab, and Countess Dracula’s Orgy of Blood.

That fills everyone with confidence, right? Right?

Part of the problem is, the book just isn’t very well written. We change perspectives constantly in middle of single scenes, jumping needlessly from one character’s POV to another every time a person speaks. The pacing of the book overall is fine, but the lack of consistent narration ...