LeBron James is Captain America

Originally posted on Black Nerd Problems

I want you to imagine superheroes exist. Put an image in your head. What they would look like, what they would wear, what their powers would be. Are you there? Did you envision Superman flying, maybe Cyclops’ lasers? Did you imagine Flash’s speed or Oracle’s intelligence? I can’t blame you if you did, because that’s where we go when we envision the “super” in super-powered. But for those that went a little simpler in their criteria, they might’ve imagined a skilled tactician whose powers are superior strength, speed, intelligence, and healing compared to that of the average human, whose government-sanctioned enhancements came from a secret program decades in the past.

Not 1940, but 1984… because LeBron James is Captain America.

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Awesome Con 2015 Cosplay Gallery

Originally posted on WilliamBruceWest.com

This past Saturday, I attended the 3rd annual Awesome Con in Washington, DC. I’d actually never been to the show in previous years, though I was aware of it. I kinda hated the name, plus I felt like Baltimore and New York Comic-Con were superior to it, so I spent my time and money going to them instead. This year, however, I’m going to be missing both of those shows due to weddings, so I figured it was time to see what Awesome Con was all about. My verdict? It’s a pretty good show.

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Captain America: Civil War is the Avengers Sequel I Wanted in the First Place

Marvel Studios has just announced it is starting production on Captain America: Civil War, the first installment of “Phase 3” of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Filming is currently commencing in Atlanta, but the production will span the globe with filming to take place in Germany, Puerto Rico, and Iceland. Since it’s also the third film in the Captain America saga — with the Russo brothers returning to direct — you would think that the film would be following up on the events of The Winter Soldier. However, the official plot synopsis and cast list make it sound more like Avengers 2.5.

This is not a complaint by the way.

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Some Thoughts on Avengers: Age of Ultron

It’s been a few hours, but I’m still processing what I thought about the latest entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Avengers: Age of Ultron. I know that my feelings and recommendations will have no bearing on whether you will go out to see this movie. It’s guaranteed to generate a couple billion dollars in box office — and that’s probably just for this weekend alone! And while I had a great time watching the thing, I couldn’t help but feel a little underwhelmed by the whole enterprise.

Needless to say, there will be spoilers ahead.

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There’s a Teaser for the Batman v Superman Trailer: This Bullshit Has to Stop

by Marc Bernardin | Originally posted at Playboy.com

We have entered a brave new world of advertising, where the marketing material needs its own marketing. Late yesterday, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice director Zack Snyder tweeted this:

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With Great Power Comes Great Cynicism

by Jamie Noguchi | Originally posted at Angry Zen Master

I take super heroes and the media surrounding them entirely too seriously. This is why I get so worked up over comics and movies. It doesn’t take much for me to launch into an hours-long tirade over the finer points of caped continuity. However, there is some method to my fanboy madness.

The super powered stories we see played out on movie screens and comic book pages represent our modern mythology. And like the legends of old, these tales reflect the values that our society holds most dear.

Truth. Justice. The American Way.

Truth and justice are fairly universal in the super hero genre. But what exactly is the “American Way?” What are the values that we as Americans hold most dear? There are two characters that come instantly to mind when I hear those words, Superman and Captain America.

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Everyone is Losing Their Minds Over The Avengers

You wouldn’t know it by all the snow and freezing temperatures outside, but summer is just around the corner. And everyone knows summer starts in May nowadays because that’s when the comic book blockbusters start bringing in the butts to fill up the stadium seating at your local multiplex. And it’s safe to say that there is no movie more hotly anticipated than Avengers: Age of Ultron. So the studio obliged by dropping this beast of a trailer on the internet today and all productivity around the country came to a screeching halt for two minutes and eighteen seconds.

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Sikh Captain America: The Man Behind the Shield

Is America ready for a Sikh Captain America — a superhero fighting hate crimes and intolerance? In the wake of 9/11, the massacre of Sikh Americans in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, and America post-Ferguson, my answer is a resounding yes! If superheroes can battle aliens, cyborgs, and fellow villainous superheroes, why can’t there be one that fights for social and racial justice?

In 2013, cartoonist Vishavjit Singh wore a Captain America costume for the first time with a royal blue turban to match his ensemble. The short documentary Red, White, and Beard is a quirky, lighthearted glance into Sikh Captain America and the man behind this growing phenomenon.

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Red, White, and Beard Documentary Launches

Back in 2013, cartoonist Vishavjit Singh made a splash on the internet when he took to the streets of New York in a customized turbaned Captain America uniform. A year later, a team of filmmakers followed Singh on one of his Captain America runs and the result of that journey, a short documentary feature called Red, White, and Beard, debuts in one week at its eponymous website.

Also, come back later in the week for Alice’s review of the film. In the meantime, check out its trailer and description after the cut.

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Where Does He Get Those Wonderful Hot Toys?

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. It is the holidays after all. Speaking of which, I Just happen to be abroad at the moment and just had to share some pics from a recent pilgrimage to the Hot Toys Secret Base in Hong Kong. Check out the photos after the break.

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The Marvel Studios Empire Strikes Back

About a week and a half ago, Marvel Studios (owned by Disney) and DC Entertainment (owned by Warner Brothers) got into a bit of a pissing contest. Marvel struck first by announcing Robert Downey Jr. would be bringing Iron Man to the Captain America sequel, setting up a “Civil War” story line in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and making it the highest profile superhero vs. superhero showdown of 2016 (sorry, Batman v Superman).

The next day, Warner Brothers unveiled its long-gestating slate of DC Comics-based films that was supposed to satiate fanboys’ appetites through 2020. While a lot of folks found some of the choices in Warner’s ambitious schedule confounding — including yours truly — the one area where DC had a leg up on Marvel was in the diversity of its lineup. In addition to the inclusion of solo movies for Wonder Woman (finally!) and Cyborg (huh?), you also had people of color top-lining two more films — Jason Momoa in Aquaman and Dwayne Johnson in Shazam. As groundbreaking as the Marvel Cinematic Universe is, it’s also overwhelmingly white and male. At least until today.

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Captain America vs. Iron Man vs. Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of OMG, is This Really Happening?!

That screeching sound you heard last night was the internet grinding to a halt when Variety broke the news: Robert Downey, Jr. was in final negotiations to star in Captain America 3, aka the movie that made the Justice League blink. Now you might be wondering, why is it still a Captain America movie if Robert Downey, Jr. is in it and not, say, Avengers 2.5? Well, I’m glad you asked!

If all the rumors turn out to be true, the casting of Downey essentially confirms that the popular “Civil War” storyline from the comics is coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe — a move that fans have been clamoring for ever since Stark and Cap almost came to blows in the first Avengers flick.

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John Shaft vs. Sam Wilson: Rewriting the History of Black Comic Characters

Originally posted at BadAzz MoFo

I’m about to stir it up. I’m about to talk some shit, ruffle some feathers, and remind those that know me, how I break it down. Some of you will get pissed off, and that’s okay. Righteous indignation is a wonderful American tradition. Run with it, my friends.

As many of you know, in the world of comics, Sam Wilson, better known as Falcon, has assumed the mantle of Captain America over at Marvel/Disney. This has been a much-hyped story, that I have weighed in on (read HERE and HERE), but couldn’t go into as deep as I wanted because of a secret that I needed to keep. That secret was made public last week, when Dynamite Entertainment announced that I was writing their upcoming Shaft comic book.

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S.H.I.E.L.D. Season Two: Agents of C.H.A.N.G.E.

I don’t live-tweet very often. I usually leave that job to the professionals here. But last night, I found myself watching the second season premiere of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC, and I happened to have my phone with me at the time.

It’s no secret that I’m not the biggest fan of the series. From the jump last season, the show reminded me of everything that I usually hate from a Joss Whedon production. That said, I continued to watch it out of some sort of nerd obligation. And while the post-Winter Soldier episodes did get relatively better, the second season premiere wasn’t really on my radar all summer.

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My Chance Encounter as Captain America with a 9/11 Responder

by Vishavjit Singh | Originally posted at Medium.com

On a hot July summer day in New York City, I was working with a film crew hopping in and out of the subway in my costume as Captain America. We stepped out on one of the stops and after shooting for a few hours in Washington Square Park hopped back on the subway. That is when a couple spotted me and appeared amazed at having seen me a second time on the subway that day. The wife initiated the encounter and I sat down next to them for a few brief moments. The couple was from Arizona, and they were in town primarily to tick an item off the husband’s bucket list. To attend an Arsenal soccer match. They asked me what I doing, and I summarized the motivation of my social experiment. I stepped out on my next stop.

We finished the film shooting the next day. Two days later I received an email titled “Our chance encounter” from a sergeant in an Arizona police department. It was one of the most touching mails I have ever received.

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If Captain America Were in Ferguson…

One of the biggest stories in comics and pop culture over the summer was from Marvel Comics showing their efforts in creating diverse characters. Much to a lot of fans’ dismay, they made Thor a woman and Captain America a black man. Sam Wilson (aka The Falcon) is now officially Captain America.

While working today through my anger at the Ferguson, MO story — which is still unfolding — I wondered what Sam would do if he were a real person.

So, I did this image to deal with the madness.

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Everything Wrong with Christian Bale as Moses

by Dion Beary

I’m throwing a temper tantrum over this one. Christian Bale cannot play Moses. No. I know arguing against the whitewashing of a Biblical character is a lost cause, and wandering into any mainstream Christian church decked out with portraits of a blue-eyed Jesus Christ should indicate that the tide isn’t changing anytime soon, but I still find myself just a little more perturbed than average to see Batman play the savior of the Hebrews.

Maybe it’s because in recent years we’ve seen a new wave of white outrage against racebending traditionally white characters. Racebending refers to altering the canonical race of a character. Whitewashing is a type of racebending wherein non-white characters become white or are not included whatsoever. For simplicity’s sake, this piece will use the term whitewashing to refer to that absence of colored folks, while racebending will be used to refer to white characters becoming non-white. Those aren’t exact definitions, but hey, if Christian Bale can play Moses, then I can bend a couple of rules too.

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The Nerds of Cosplay

With San Diego Comic-Con fast approaching — and shows like HeroesCon and Anime Expo in the rear view — we are definitely in the thick of con season. One of the pillars of con-going is dressing up as your favorite character and hitting the floor in costume. So Hard N.O.C. Life returns with an episode dedicated to the art of cosplay!

Joining Keith on the panel is newest NOC contributor — and host of Comics and Cosplay on YouTube — Ian (@ComixNCosplay), NYC-based comics collector and enthusiast Jay Justice (@MsJayJustice), cosplayer and costuming tutor on Saturday Morning Cosplay Nel (@NelsRandomLife), and ComicsAlliance’s superhero sartorialist Betty Felon (@BettyFelon).

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Black Captain America vs. Black Jesus

Originally posted at BadAzz MoFo

Once again, I find myself on the slippery slope of pop culture commentary, in a position that requires full disclosure. Recently, I wrote a piece about Marvel’s announcement that Sam Wilson, a black man better known as Falcon, will be taking over as the new Captain America. I also admitted that I know writer Rick Remender, who will be chronicling the adventures of Black Captain America. With that in mind, it is only fair that I admit to knowing Aaron McGruder, creator of The Boondocks, as well as a new television series that is about to debut, Black Jesus.

My relationship with McGruder is far more complex than my relationship with Remender, to the extent that I’d say at one point Aaron and I could’ve been considered friends. We haven’t spoken in a long time, and based on his work as of late, I’d say that we exist in differing ideological universes. If that’s not the case, he is more than welcome to get in touch with me, as I’m sure he still has my number, and we can talk about how his work often makes me want to vomit in the corner.

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Marvel & Diversity: Don’t Piss on My Head and Tell Me It’s Raining

Originally posted at BadAzz MoFo

Let me start by saying a few things. First, I’m trying to write less about companies like Marvel (Disney) and DC (Warner Brothers), because I’m not paid to do publicity for them. Second, although we are not close friends, I have known Rick Remender for more than a decade, and where I’m about to go is not meant to be an attack on him personally. Finally, it is no secret that if Marvel (or DC for that matter) called me tomorrow, I’d jump at the opportunity to work for them — which might make some of you view me as a hypocrite, and that’s fine with me.

All of that said, my undying childhood desire to write comics, my acquaintance with anyone who works for Marvel or DC, and my belief that both of these corporate-owned companies don’t need another bit of free publicity, does not change what I need to get off my chest.

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