CAPELESS: My latest interview with Steve Orlando

I’m a huge nerd for Midnighter & Apollo by Steve Orlando, Fernando Blanco, and Romulo Fajardo Jr, and everyone knows it.  So I was really excited to chill with Steve at NYCC 2017 and ask him a few questions about that book and also his new book, The Unexpected.  You can check out my write-up here at Capeless Crusader.

So Bendis is at DC Now…

…And I’m not feeling it.  Like, I get he’s got major star power, and a reputation for diverse writing, but, like.  He’s still the guy who’s responsible for Wanda Maximoff getting nothing but shitty stories about her mental health for the last decade.  He outed Bobby by throwing bi folks under the bus.  

He also profits off of writing diverse stories that could’ve been told better by POC & queer writers.  There’s a tangible difference between a white guy writing diversity and someone writing #ownvoices; for example, Sina Grace’s Bobby feels distinctly more natural than Bendis’s or Hopeless’s, because Grace is gay and knows the score.

It’s good, I guess, that Bendis wants to write diverse stories, but his star power means that writers who could be doing #ownvoices books wind up shut out, because the big companies want to attract old readers with a writer they’re familiar with, rather than taking a risk and actually advertising and marketing for a new writer or #ownvoices book.  Black Panther & the Crew, the first time Storm’s ever been written by a black woman, got no marketing or press attention, and got cancelled after two issues.  You know Marvel wouldn’t gave treated a Bendis book that way.

It’s a systemic problem with the industry, and I feel like there’s not a lot we can do about it besides supporting writers and titles that are #ownvoices specifically, and talking about this stuff online.  As a result, Here’s a screenshot of my tweet thread of recs; all are #ownvoices, and all are fantastic:

So, to reiterate, it just means that if Bendis winds up on Action Comics, I won’t read that book anymore until he leaves.  I hope he doesn’t get the book, but I admit I’m a little nervous about it.  I don’t want to see him write my trashcan favorite, frankly, and don’t trust BMB in general.  

Overall, I’m concerned, but I’m not gonna waste much time getting angry about it.  Instead, buy #ownvoices books and write your own!  Make art, and support art you love and see yourself in.

Throwback Thursday: Trip to Six Flags Recap!

So I went to Six Flags with my parents and brother.  Now, the last time I was there, I wasn’t yet a DC fan.  I also chickened out of Superman: Ultimate Flight, so, in accordance with my personal code of honor re: roller coasters, I obviously needed to ride it this time, and hopefully, I’d be in a better place to appreciate it.

Now, I’m sort of a huge weenie, and that means this was going to be my first roller coaster with a loop in it.  I was terrified while on the line, but I kept telling myself, “Lois Lane does this all the time,” and that definitely helped.  

(For those not familiar with the coaster, it restrains you in such a way that when it starts, you wind up on your stomach, as though you’re flying like Superman.)

Now, I may have been terrified on line, but once things got going, it was honest to God one of the most incredible sensory experiences of my life.  It felt as close to unassisted flight as I’ll probably ever get, and I was so filled with joy that I couldn’t stop laughing basically for the whole ride.
I’ve always chased that feeling of flying, my whole life, I think, and this was almost perfect — it just isn’t long enough!

After that, we went on the Green Lantern coaster, which was terrible.  It was so jerky, and I’m short enough that my head kept slamming into the shoulder restraints.  I got terribly nauseous and the worst headache.  Never doing that again.

To make myself feel better while my brother smoked the basketball carnival game, I played one of those “everyone wins” type games.  You pick a box, then pick a token out of the box with your eyes closed, and that determines the nature of your prize.  I picked a box with Bizarro’s name on it and picked a blue token, which meant I could pick any prize in the pavilion.  

This is Clark, and he is my son now.  He made me feel a lot better after Green Lantern, and I love him so much.  

My brother won a giant raccoon for my mom, but he was so big that we had to check him and Clark in a sort of prize coat check until the end of the day.  

After that, we went on the log flume, but then I got hit pretty hard by the heat, my empty stomach, dehydration, and the Green Lantern headache, and I wound up sitting on a bench toward the middle of the park in the shade for a couple of hours, had lunch, and drank water.  Once I felt better, I met up with my family, and decided I still wasn’t super up for rides, still being hot and headachey.

I checked out the gift shops, though, and wound up buying a dress to change out of my long pants & t-shirt into.  

Yeah, I might’ve gone a little overboard on Superman, but he’s one of my faves, so I’m not mad about it.

When my parents met back up with me, me and Dad headed off to the Hall of Justice to ride the Justice League: Battle for Metropolis — a ride I wanted to go on solely because Lex Luthor featured in it, and I love basically every iteration of Lex.

In order to get there, though, you have to pass Gotham, where most of the Batman rides reside, and cross the Metro-Narrows Bridge.  Once you cross the bridge, you’re met with the Metro Grill and Munchopolis, which I took pictures of, but the biggest, most exciting part of this was definitely the Hall of Justice itself.

I think I understand, now, why Cinderella fans get so worked up over the castle at Disney World.

Anyway, the Hall was almost mind-blowingly gorgeous on the outside, and inside, we used our Flash Passes to get to the front of the line, which was pretty awesome.  The ride starts with this little video game cutscene of Lex and the Joker laying out their Evil Plan, and lets you know that in this ride, you’ll be helping the League defeat them and save Metropolis.

You do this using 3D glasses and arcade laser guns, riding the coaster and trying to shoot the bad guys — mostly escaped convicts and Lexbots — along the way.

Of course, you and the Justice League win, after Superman neutralizes Lex and someone — I don’t know who — deals with Joker.  At the end of the ride, the League thanks you and tells you who on the ride had the highest score.  I didn’t do so great, but it is what it is, you know?  And it was so fun to see Lex brought to his literal knees before Superman, because, well, y’know…

I got that pic later, on my second ride of the coaster, but just.  Look at that.  Enjoy that, for a second.  He’s on his knees for Superman, and I’ve always been into that super-nemeses ball game — I came from the X-Men Fandom, after all.

Anyway, after that, I got to hang out by the Batmobile for a while, and then my family went on the Congo Rapids ride three times in a row.  After that, Dad joined me for another ride on the Justice League ride.  This time, I realized that the building includes a nod to Lena Luthor:

It’s so cool to be at a theme park that aligns so closely with my interests, you know?

Anyway, after that we picked up our prizes and went back to the car.  It took a bit of doing to get the raccoon into the trunk — for a while, before we left, he was just chilling in my seat.  I made some jokes about them leaving me behind, but eventually we managed to all for in the car.

Over all, I have to say, Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey is like a heaven for weird DC nerds like me, and I can’t wait to go back and ride the Superman coaster again.