If you watch much YouTube, you probably have heard of or seen stuff by the Fine Bros. They are best known for making “React” videos where they show, say, an original Nintendo to teenagers and tape them reacting to it. It’s slickly produced and frequently entertaining. They have a massive subscriber base and have become very rich from making these. This week, they seem to have gone too far by proposing “React World” and telling people they could license the right to make reaction videos from them. As in, people could take their time and effort to record and edit someone reacting to something and then pay the Fine Bros. for the privilege of doing so. They also tried to trademark the word “react.” Um, what? While they own their format, how in the world can they claim to own an entire genre of people reacting to things? This went down very very very poorly. Attorney Ryan Morrison, also known as VideoGameAttorney, is actively working to fight the trademark.
That wasn’t the only controversy this week. France’s annual week-long comics festival, Angoulême, had its fair share of problems. And the Power Rangers movie cast a white actress in a role previously played by an Asian. But is it a big deal? We also have a ton of fun stuff from Twin Peaks to X-Files to superhero crossovers. And also the return of a popular Star Wars character thought to be gone!
Angoulême is the massive comics festival in France where creators from all over the world meet with fans, publishers and one another. It’s huge. It’s amazing. And this year, it was not executed well. The awards ceremony, always a highlight, were a disaster. The festival was already dealing with bad press because it excluded female creators from the list of 40 to be nominated as Grand Marshall for 2017’s festival. That’s their big BIG award. And not one female? This year’s winner was Katsuhiro Otomo, creator of Akira. Anyway, the guy who runs the festival, Franck Bondoux, got super defensive when the nominations were questions and issued a statement that there were NO deserving women. WHAT?! That was so offensive, the 40 nominees all pulled their name from consideration so there will be no Grand Marshall next year. Sad. But it gets worse.
The big finale to the show is their awards ceremony. It’s held in a huge theater, it’s streamed live in French media. It’s a very big deal. A band. A celebrity host. But the host this year, French comedian Richard Gaitet, pulled a real asshole move. He started things off by announcing a bunch of winners all at once. The excited artists and writers came to the stage, excited. Then he announced that, har har, that was a joke! And he gave them prizes of candy and told them to get off the stage so that the real winners could come up. And the creators were not told about this joke beforehand. They were devastated. Embarrassed. One person left in tears. Publishers were excitedly tweeting creators who weren’t able to attend, like Brian K. Vaughan for Saga, and then they had to reverse it.
“We were all happy, we had tears in our eyes, and then we were humiliated,” said publisher Sam Soubigui. The audience was silent because they were confused. They no longer knew what was real or fake. So the show was a flop. Gaitet apologized, saying he didn’t understand how important the awards were to people. So why was he the host? Showrunner Bondoux took no responsibility and blamed Twitter, saying: “The problem is the dictatorship of the tweet.” What is he talking about?!
The Power Rangers movie, set for 2017, has cast its first big-name actor. Elizabeth Banks will play villain Rita Repulsa. Some fans are wondering if this is a case of whitewashing since the original character was played by a Japanese actress. But others argue that Rita herself wasn’t supposed to be Japanese, just a space witch. I mean, her father was a gigantic monster and her brother was a skeleton. So it probably doesn’t matter, right?
Archer is back for its 7th season soon. And apparently its rebooting its premise (again). The failed spies will now open up a detective agency. How better to promote the idea than this shot for shot recreation of Magnum, P.I.?
It’s happening. The Flash will crossover and appear on an episode of Supergirl this March. Two separate networks but the same executive producers made it possible. Grant Gustin will appear in an episode titled “Worlds Finest.” That’s a play on the famous DC team-up book World’s Finest. But note that the episode title does not have an apostrophe. That implies, to me, that Flash will visit Supergirl in a parallel world (the current season of Flash deals with breaches to 52 parallel worlds). A uniquely DC way to allow these characters to interact yet not have the Arrowverse need to explain why Superman hasn’t shown any interest in dealing with people like Deathstroke or R’as al Ghul or Reverse Flash so far. In related DC superhero news, Legends of Tomorrow has confirmed that they will meet characters such as Western anti-hero Jonah Hex, WW2’s Sgt. Rock and original Red Tornado Ma Hunkel. As in Ma was a lady who put a pot on her head and called herself Red Tornado. Long before the robot one. Oh, and Stephen Amell will appear as Green Arrow in the future on the show. So he’ll be old and look like he does in certain comics.
A few actors have been confirmed for Twin Peaks‘ revival on Showtime. Star Kyle MacLachlan has thus far been the only CONFIRMED original TV show actor to appear. But now comes word, by Deadline, that Naomi Watts and Tom Sizemore are joining the show. Watts got her big break in director David Lynch’s movie Mulholland Drive. Lynch himself is rumored to appear on the show as his character FBI Bureau Chief Gordon Cole. Other confirmed actors include Laura Dern, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Amanda Seyfried. Former-cast members Sherilyn Fenn, Miguel Ferrer and Sheryl Lee are rumored to appear as well.
This past week’s X-Files episode was easily the best since its return and no surprise, it was written by Darin Morgan, who four episodes for the original show, all considered some of its best. What’s interesting, though, and what I haven’t seen anyone else comment on is that the script was originally written for the 2005 reboot of Kolchak: The Night Stalker. It went unproduced since that show was cancelled halfway through its run. The original Kolchak was a huge inspiration for X-Files and it may explain why the episode’s lizard monster, Guy Man, was wearing a suit just like Carl Kolchak wore. Personally, I’m just impressed that a story from a decade ago for another show ended up working SO well for X-Files. Definitely worth catching and congrats to Kumail Nanjiani, a fantastic stand-up and actor who hosts an X-Files podcast, The X-Files Files and then got to be a guest star on the show. Living the dream!
Here’s an exciting rumor for fans of the Star Wars expanded universe. The books that kicked it all off, Timothy Zahn’s “Thrawn Trilogy” introduced a tactical genius who ruled the Imperial remnants – Grand Admiral Thrawn. But when the new Force Awakens movie came out, all the old book/comic/toy continuity got revised so he’s no longer considered “canon.” But according to Making Star Wars in season 3 of Star Wars: Rebels, the show would reintroduce Grand Admiral Thrawn and he would be tasked with hunting down the rebel heroes. He’s a fantastic character. Ruthless but wise and fair. Cunning. I really hope the rumor is true.
At Toy Fair, Marvel showed some of its upcoming 6″ Marvel Legends figures based around Captain America: Civil War. The one that interests me is the above figure for (comics) Nick Fury. Why? Because he comes with an alternate head that would turn the character into Dirk Anger, a satirical version of Fury who in Marvel Comics is the leader of Highest Anti Terror Effort (H.A.T.E.) and is ravaged with multiple psychological issues. If you haven’t read Warren Ellis’ book Nextwave, I recommend it.