In news seemingly designed to one up David Cameron's female focused cabinet reshuffle Marvel today announced thatThor is to become a woman. From October Thor's comic will restart from issue 1 and feature a new female lead who has inherited the magical hammer Mjolnir and the associated powers that come with it. This has brought the same tired old troglodytes out of the woodwork who protested when the amazing Idris Elba was cast as Heimdall and they got upset that it was unrealistic for a black man to play the role of a magical space god (extremely) loosely based on a Norse myth.
There are a few things that I love, that I'm very enthusiastic about. Riot Grrrl, feminism, comedy, Monkey Island. But I would never dare call myself a 'fangirl' of anything. Not because I think it's derogatory (fan woman sounds kind of silly) but because a fangirl is, to me, a very specific person that - while I might 'fangirl out' over something - I don't qualify as. She is a woman (or girl) who has great knowledge of something - usually comic based - which she can discuss enthusiastically and will travel great lengths to feed this passion. It might seem extreme to some people who have other passions - but while we might smirk at men who attend Comic Cons and spend huge amounts of money on toys (ACTION FIGURES) and assume they have difficulty meeting women (see Big Bang Theory) we don't hate them.
After the open auditions in November the cast of the latest Star Wars film is still a mystery, even though it is due to start filming soon. Hints have been dropped abut "familiar faces" but that could just mean the film is going to be overrun with ewoks and storm troopers. Yeah they're tricky those casting directors. Lena Dunham recently let slip that Girls cast member Adam Driver was in the running as a villain of the new Star Wars but we have put our heads together and decided on the cast we'd like to see in the new Star Wars film.
Girls born today in affluent areas can expect to live to the age of 105. Their boy peers in poorer areas will be lucky to see 67, even those born in fancy places are predicted only to make a paltry 98 years. However the extra years girls have on boys might simply be filled with too many emotions and manipulative actions while listening to popular music and donning new fashions. Which sounds kind of fun but also not very self-sufficient. These women will have to rely on the whippersnapper men a generation or so below who have grown up from activity and task focused boys who enjoy achieving goals and completing physical challenges. Like changing light bulbs I expect.
I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the TV show, and I'm not going to apologise for that. Just as I don't think anyone who hated it should need to. I was the right demographic to find Buffy's adventures slaying demons (that were essentially metaphors for Teenage Issues) engrossing. I was never a massive fan of the eponymous heroine - more of a Faith girl myself even if her moral compass was a bit shakier. But it was all about the writing and the characters and, let's be honest, the pretty. I had a similar love affair years later with the cruelly-mistreated Firefly.
Why would I be apologising for my appreciation of these TV shows? Well, because earlier this week I made the dispiriting discovery that their creator and lead writer Joss Whedon is...a bit of an asshat.
So, after 3 years in charge of the TARDIS Matt Smith is handing in the keys at the end of the year. And with this news the inevitable tabloid speculation over who will be next begins.
Although I'd rather have discovered it while watching the episode in question, Squeamish Kate accidentally provided a spoiler and the defence I'd have found out through the media anyway... The BBC has perfectly timed for newspaper silly season. By letting us know know they've ensured that its flagship science fiction/fantasy show will get plenty of free press in the run up to its 50th anniversary.
For years, even after MySpace, Facebook and Twitter had really got going, we yearned for a way to tell our friends we loved science. No not love science, fucking love science. Oh sure on occasion we'd happily stumble upon a little fact about the platypus poisonous skin but until we truly took the time to read New Scientist properly – instead 'saving it for later' and allowing it to pile up in the bathroom, using the same logic (logic! Sciencey) as the award winning actor 'oh these old Oscars, Ijust use them to prop open the door' so visitors know you are a person that can both understand science and can defecate at the same time.
Then one day a page popped us for Facebookers to like. A page destined to become more popular than previous favourite Yes I will go out of my way to step on that crunchy leaf page. A page that read New Scientist for us and picked out all the science news we cared about. Which is cute animals, but in a slightly more edgy way than Cute Overload.
Mighty Princess Leia Image:GuiltyX
If you hang around the same bits of the internet as me you can't help but have heard that Dark Horse have rebooted their Star Wars comic book and begun a new series starting right after the first Star Wars film (that's A New Hope, not any of those prequel nonsense).
Star Wars #1, as they've somewhat uninspiringly called it, has caused somewhat of a meltdown on the internet and not for the usual reasons - you know, someone having the wrong colour light saber or contradicting a minor plot point from a largely forgotten Expanded Universe book. No, this is far far worse. They've made Leia an X-wing pilot. Not just that – a crack-shot ace who leads her own squadron of fighters during undercover missions.
How dare they! A woman flying a space ship? What a ridiculous concept! I mean WW2 era dog fights in space (complete with sound in the vacuum of space) is perfectly believable; but a woman flying? Never! And anyway how would she fit a helmet over those hair buns?
Image: Spielbrick Films
Unless you’ve been living in a cave these last few weeks you will have heard that there will be a new companion in the next series of Doctor Who.
Leaving aside whether knowing this is a good thing or not (personally I preferred it when you didn’t know someone, even The Doctor, was leaving until the episode where it happened rather than the current soap-like situation where practically every major storyline is leaked by the BBC months in advance), let’s cover what we know about them.
AAAH! Birthday Dalek! Flee!
So Doctor Who has just turned 48 (yes, yes I know it was 23rd November but I don’t think I’ve ever got anyone a card on time). If the show was a person it’d be worrying about the upcoming Big Five-Oh, eyeing up sports cars and reminiscing about its life so far. Which is exactly what I’m going to do…
The show is now part of the family (although based on the number of children it has traumatised it’d probably be the creepy uncle that nobody likes to talk about) – you’d be hard pushed to find anyone in the UK who wasn’t aware of the basic premise even if you managed to find someone who’d never seen an episode. The characters are burnt into the public consciousness, even if they are slightly out of date (the Doctor hasn’t worn a long scarf in 30 years. He wears bowties now. Bowties are cool), so much so that the police force recently lost a court case to the BBC over the image rights for police boxes.