Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Hasbro vs DC The Fight of the Bumblebee

Hasbro is suing DC over the use of the name Bumblebee, leaving comic fans and the rest of the world puzzled and collectively scratching their heads. The toy company Hasbro has filed a lawsuit to block the sales of toys featuring the DC super hero Bumblebee who is currently a prominently featured character on DC's Superhero Girls animated series. On the surface it seems as if the case revolved solely around money but there may be other factors driving the lawsuit. The Transformers franchise has soared thanks a successful movie line prominently featuring Optimus Prime as the central character. However, as DreamWorks and Paramount Pictures prepare for the release of a spin-off series featuring Bumblebee as the protagonist conflict arises over usage of the moniker.

Aside from the name being most commonly being associated with an animal/insect, the lawsuit is highly peculiar being that the DC universe version debuted in 1976, as DC's first female African American hero.
 In contrast to Hasbro's Bumblebee which first appeared in 1986 being published by none other than Marvel Comics. In the DC universe Bumblebee is a character who has severed as a notable member of the Teen Titans. She has the ability of flight thanks to a solar powered suit, and can shrink to a microscopic size. The character was brought to life onscreen in the animated version of Teen Titans, eventually becoming leader of a second branch of the team. Currently the character can be seen in the animated Super hero girls (which success has branched into various spinoffs).

Maybe the lawsuit is all about money instead of trying to eliminate competition. After all, aside from the Bumblebee spin-off Marvel will also soon release Ant-Man and Wasp the sequel to 2015s Ant-Man featuring the shrinking, flying female version of Ant-Man ( sorry Wasp, but basically). Surely Marvel isn't thinking ahead and wants to their Wasp to be the lone size altering female. It's not like there is a live action Teen Titans being developed with chances of Bumblebee appearing on the small screen (oh wait there is).

While on the surface the lawsuit reflects the greed many companies exhibit when it comes to sales and profits, there is a bigger price at stake, and that is the erasure of one of the few prominent African American comic heroes that exists. While comic inspired movies and live action television shows continue to rise in number little of the characters are African American let alone women of color. Here's hoping that Hasbro drops the lawsuit, before losing on the grounds that either they can't patent the name Bumblebee, their character is younger, or for simply being a silly case. Until we know the verdict, fingers crossed that Bumblebee makes her live action debut sooner than later and that this  unreasonable lawsuit vanishes never to be heard of again.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Diversity Strikes Again: CN to Reveal New Powerpuff Girl

On September 17th Cartoon Network will officially debut the newest member of the Powerpuff Girls and not everyone is happy about it. As the world evolves and acknowledges the importance of diversity, there remains those who refuse to accept that change is inevitable. There are some who are simply angry at the addition of a fourth member of the super heroine squad, which breaks away from the 1996 original series, while others are angered more by the new characters ethnicity. This post isn't about said racist, this post is to celebrate diversity which remains a center piece of conversations today. After all, for every Ed Skrein there's a Billy Magnusson.

Captured from a video online, ahead of the network premier, fans caught a glimpse of the soon to be member and it's easy to see she looks very different from her sisters (if she's a Powerpuff she must be a sister). The character is clearly African American with blue hair, a contrast that brought out the inner racist of many commenters online. Small criticism aside, there's high anticipation for the character to debut as her name and powers remain a mystery.

Needless to say, since their creation there has been a longing for an African American Powerpuff, with Buttercup coming to serve as a stand in with her tough talking and vernacular. 

One can only hope that the addition of this new character isn't only a special instance or one shot and that she will remain a mainstay in the series. Not only will this help the show teach and promote diversity but it will help to bandage a long time wound for African American fans of the show. We no longer have to imagine Buttercup as the "black" PPG, now we actually have one.

Tune in September 17th to find out all about the newest Powerpuff Girl.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Gotham: Will Bruce Become the 1st Robin

With Gotham scheduled to return from hiatus April 24 fans are left sitting on the edge of their seats in anticipation for the rest of the season. While many arcs come to a close, one in particular feels to finally be picking up the steam it has been longing for.

The season so far has seen Bruce delve further into the investigation of the Court of Owls, while showcasing his somewhat effective training from Alfred. Young Bruce is definitely being mold accordingly. All that was missing was an adversary and code, which were both ushered in by way of Jerome. After an inevitable climax Bruce is left reevaluating his mission and purpose leading Alfred to ask, "But what's all this training for? What are you gonna do with it?" I think we all know the answer.

As the show continues to establish its own Batman mythos, one has to wonder if we will see young Bruce take up the cape. All evidence seems to point to the likelihood of a young masked vigilante taking to the streets of Gotham very soon. While he may not technically assume the mantle of Robin, or take a name at all, Bruce as the first teenage masked vigilante fits perfectly with why Batman himself would be comfortable utilizing adolescent partners.

Only time will tell if young Bruce will transition into a vigilante by night. Gotham returns April 24, until then obsess over the spring promo below.