Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Black Panther and The Crew review

When I first started reading Black Panther and the Crew: We are the Streets by Ta-Nehisi Coates (Writer), Yona Harvey (Writer), Butch Guice (Illustrator) I thought is was going to be a great superhero comic book series but it turned out to be a good superhero graphic novel story.  It was good book and I urge everyone to read it but it wasn’t what I thought it was going to be let me explain.
The first thing that caused me to raise an eyebrow  was how they drew Misty Knight.  She looked like a man on the cover of the first issue.  That is inexcusable.  Misty Knight is the hottest chick in superheroes stories.  How did they mess up Misty Knight?  Aren’t comics are for young men to fantasize about hot women in tight clothes?  How do they have the actress who plays Misty Knight look better than the comic book version?  That was unnecessary.
Now, I don’t mind stories that start slow to build up a real world connection and that is what Black Panther and the Crew had.  The background setting of Harlem and subject of gentrification was a good element but I found that it came at the sacrifice of superhero fighting and action.  Most superhero stories the superheroes use both their brains and their powers to solve their challenges.  In BP and the Crew the powers the heroes had seemed like background elements.  There were fight scenes don’t get me wrong but there was no concerted effort to strategize around the use of them.  BP and The Crew was a beautiful mixture of popular Black superheroes there was Luke Cage, Storm, Black Panther, Misty Knight and Manifold but there use of powers was a side issue.  A good example of superhero powers strategy is with the Fantastic Four.  When the Fantastic Four fight a villain or fight a battle there is a division of heroes based on what hero’s powers can address what area of the threat or which villain they will fight.  BP and The Crew also lacked a super villain.  This superhero team up fought a regular person which is sort of corny to me. 
                I hope this review was helpful.  I wrote this to help provide some feedback for Marvel editors.  I am a new to comic book reader, I started reading around 2008.  I was inspired to start reading comics again by the success and portrayal of more realistic superheroes in the movies.  That said my tastes reside with a superhero that are more like real people with regular human problems. So,

Hoodwinked about Space.

In this blog I will explain why Black people should not be scared of space but should be excited about it.  I don’t think Black people should be building weapons for space defense but should be sending up flares and welcome signals.  I was first introduced to space stories and space speculation at 11 years old when my father took me to see Star Wars but it wasn’t until I was introduced to Zuro a tale of Alien Avengers by William Simms in my mid-twenties did I understand the full power of space stories as speculative fiction. Zuro a tale of Alien Avengers is a story about Black aliens who come to earth to liberate all Black people on earth.  To this day it is my favorite fiction book.  Zuro planted seeds in my imagination that led me to believe that something fishy is going on with what people think about life in outer space.  In 1996 like half the country I saw Will Smith fight aliens in the blockbuster movie Independence Day.  I like most people bought into the narrative of aliens from space coming to get us but now I feel I like every Black person was hoodwinked about their interpretation of space.
                What are space stories? Well a space story is a story set in space or on another planet. Space is made of fact, fiction and legend. Space is the great sandbox for speculation because space is limitless.  Space can host just about any story from westerns to horror.  In the golden era of Science fiction more than half of the stories were set in space.  Most of the fantasies were like James Camron’s Avatar filled with humanoid animal people.  Space stories unlike stories set on earth have the luxury of still being mostly unknown.  Space stories can take place in the future like Star trek or in the past like Star Wars.
                Since the earliest science fiction movies space has been a popular setting.  However, the repeated theme of invaders and attackers from space is a dominant theme. This is what I call the poison of western space interpretation. Whether it was The Day the Earth Stood Still or War of the Worlds writers of European heritage have showcased this doomsday view.  Not only were the people from space white but their behaviors where similar to that of European sea faring explorers of the early 15th century. Just as Christopher Columbus wrote about his ability to conquer the natives the western space narrative is filled with life forms from outer space who want to do the same thing to humans.  So, when most American’s black or white close their eyes they share the popular theme of a threatening life coming from space and a space fill mostly with white people.  This is in contrast to earth being majority people of color.
                The history of humanity is important to this discussion about aliens and Black people.  Exhibit one: Egypt.  Egypt is not only the oldest civilization in human history Egypt’s, achievements are so advanced that they are beyond the ability of comprehension of today’s scientists. The Pyramids are considered one of the wonders of the world.  They are said that the technical design and size of the structures are beyond the ability of any human that has walked the earth implying that aliens to have built them.  Next, Egyptians preserved themselves and the oldest mummified bodies have had dark skin and were Black people. So if you put those two things together you have belief that Black aliens built the pyramids or aliens built pyramids for Black people.
                The next point in my position are the discoveries on the moon.  Like the belief of the builders of the pyramids there is a belief that the Apollo moon missions were not what NASA says. There is a belief that NASA started the story that the moon landings were a hoax to cover up evidence of aliens and high technology on the Moon that was found by Apollo mission astronauts.  They also believe there are pictures of a base on the moon and even a picture of a preserved alien body.  They believe the body of this alien is a wait for it yes, a person of color or a black person. So, true or false it is a belief that there are  Black humans in space and they have come as close to the earth as the moon.
                If you put all of my points together and accept all of what we know about space is pretty much nothing there is no reason to not connect these dots at least in a speculative sort of way.  If these dots are connected at least as a collections theories and hypothesises then you have one big theory that aliens are black.  Thinking this way then is opens the question as to why these theories have not been connected? That brings me to my theory.  I believe that Black people are in outer space and the government knows it and they are keeping that information from us.  I think they don’t want  people especially Black people believe that Black people on earth are the descendants of the Black people in space and that if these Black aliens come back to earth they see the position that Black people are in and then they will seek vengeance.  Now, I don’t believe that they will seek vengeance but I do believe that the government or controlling powers believe they aliens will. 
What does this mean for Science Fiction and fantasy? It means that there is a possible connection to my theory that explains why there is such a one sided view of space and aliens in science fiction.  If you factor in that art influences how people think then you can accept that this new military space division that VP Pence has commissioned is a logic progression of sci-fi pushing fear of aliens.  Now if you combine all of the above with a government which is capable of hiding the truth then you can see it is possible for sci-fi to push fear to people so they will support a military attack on any alien that comes to earth. Then apply American racism to that and you have a white government which is set to keep Black aliens from coming to earth.  Wow, I know that is far reaching but it does make sense in a conspiracy theorist sort of way.

Welcome to Boss Lady’s Planet is my first space story and it is a Black space story that shows black people living in space.  There is no mention of earth or racism.  I wrote the story to allow Black people to imagine themselves in space.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Top Ten Movies of 2016

                This was another good year for movies.  My beloved Star Wars franchise answered naysayers with Rogue One which Star Trek, X Men and James Bond had weak movies.   2016 also includes the largest release of mainstream Black films.  Over 15 films were written, directed or featuring black characters last year.  These films all enjoyed some sort of nationwide release.  Mostly importantly, 2016 saw the release of Luke Cage, a Netflix show which broke the server.  This wasn’t a regular Marvel superhero story.  Luke Cage felt like a Black film.  It was about a Black superhero who wasn’t saving the USA but the Black community of Harlem.  This broke all of the myths of Black sci-fi stories.  Now, the excuse that Black characters on the cover of sci-fi is no longer an excuse.  This should pave the way for more diversity in sci-fi.  Thank God.  Let’s go.
                Now, here is my family’s coveted list of top movies for the year of 2016.
This is my list.
  1.  Hidden Figures
  2. Rogue One
  3. Deadpool
  4. The Boy
  5. Captain America  Civil War
  6. Birth of a Nation
  7. Pride Prejudice and Zombies
  8. Don’t Breathe
  9. Doctor Strange
  10. Keanu

For the first time I am able to list my top ten Black movies of the year.
  1. Hidden Figures
  2. Birth of a Nation
  3. Keanu
  4. Barbershop Next cut.
  5. Almost Christmas
  6. The Magnificent Seven.
  7. Ride Along 2
  8. Fences.
  9. Boo Madea
  10. Meet the Blacks
  11. Kevin Hart What Now?
  12. Moonlight
  13. Race
  14. Miles Ahead
  15. Central Intelligence.
  16. Fifty Shades of Black.

My son, Malcolm’s list
  1. Rogue One
  2. Meet the Blacks
  3. Captain America Civil War
  4. The Boy
  5. Deadpool
  6. Don’t Breathe
  7. Hidden Figures
  8. Keanu
  9. Doctor Strange
  10.  Lights out.

My wife’s Nivia’s list.
  1. Hidden Figures
  2. Deadpool
  3. Captain America Civil War
  4. Almost Christmas
  5. Rogue One
  6. Barbershop Next Cut
  7. Pride Prejudice and Zombies
  8. Warcraft
  9. Dr. Strange
  10. Magnificent 7