AlRawabi

The Middle Geeks 30: ‘AlRawabi School for Girls’ Makes ‘Mean Girls’ Look Like Cotton Candy

Created by Jordanian creator Tima Shomali, AlRawabi School for Girls is a devastatingly excellent series on Netflix exploring the dynamics of a Jordanian high school. What causes these girls to escalate their psychological wars on each other? How does this series do at exploring some of the systemic patriarchal problems in Middle Eastern societies? We discuss all of that and why we love this series.

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Hard NOC Life 216: Marvel’s Fantastic Phase Four and ‘Venom’ Too

Dominic, Britney, and Keith break down Marvel’s Phase Four announcement video, as well as the trailer for Sony’s Venom sequel. Later, Keith talks to his Secret Identities partner Jerry Ma about his new Kickstarter project, The Monkey King.

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Hard NOC Life 215: How to Be ‘The Good Asian’ with Pornsak Pichetshote

For AAPI Heritage Month, Dominic and Keith are joined by writer Pornsak Pichetshote to talk about his new book, The Good Asian!

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Marvel Studios Sneakily Drops a TON of Movie Announcements

Kevin Feige, you sly dawg! Earlier today Marvel Studios dropped a very inspiring video commemorating our return to the movies. And as wonderful as it was to see footage from our favorite films within the MCU legacy, they rewarded everyone who watched it with a truckload of very cool updates about their slate coming between now and 2023. Before we break down what all of it means, watch the video first and get hyped:

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Director Lena Khan on Disney+’s ‘Flora & Ulysses’ and That Ms. Marvel Question We’ve Been Dying to Ask Her

Here’s my interview with Lena Khan, the director of the new Disney+ original movie, Flora & Ulysses. We talk about the movie and what she might have done with another upcoming Disney+ original, Ms. Marvel!

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Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel, and Mosul

The Middle Geeks Episode 20: Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel, and Mosul

We’re back with a LOT to discuss. Joining us is a prolific cosplayer, streamer, and friend, Jasmin! We discuss Jasmin’s cosplaying and how the cosplay community has been doing in quarantine. We also discuss the announcement of a queer Ramadan rom-com coming out next month, highlights of the MCU announcements from last week, and how MENA people are WINNING as directors for Ms. Marvel and Moon Knight, why we’re so excited for these series, and our thoughts on the castings (and on the ones that are controversial), and discuss Netflix’s Mosul as our movie of the month. Enjoy!

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A New Generation of Marvel Heroes is ‘Rising’

In an exclusive revealed by Buzzfeed, Marvel has announced a brand new multimedia animated project called Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors. Starting with a series of animated shorts, the plan is to have a full-length animated feature debut some time in 2018. Think of it as Marvel’s answer to the DC Super Hero Girls franchise.

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Asian American Superheroes Come Alive in Totally Awesome Hulk #15

A few weeks back, we posted about Greg Pak teasing the cover of Totally Awesome Hulk #15, in which Amadeus Cho — aka The Hulk — was joined by Ms. Marvel, Shang Chi, and Silk. Never before had so many Asian American superheroes been gathered on the cover of a mainstream comic book. I recently had a chance to preview the issue — which hits stands this Wednesday, January 25 — and I was actually moved to tears at how resonant it was to see these characters embody being unapologetically Asian American.

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Marvel’s Most Epic Asian American Superhero Team-Up Ever

by Phil Yu | Originally posted at Angry Asian Man

Ms. Marvel! Shang Chi! Silk! Amadeus Cho! Has there ever been such an awesome assemblage of Asian American superheroes under the banner of Marvel Comics? Possibly probably not… until now.

Writer Greg Pak recently teased the upcoming cover of Totally Awesome Hulk #15, suggesting that this is the most significant grouping of Asian American superheroes that has ever starred in a mainstream comic book.

In Totally Awesome Hulk #15, kid genius Amadeus Cho — aka The Hulk — is slowly learning how to become a team player, but has to learn fast when Ms. Marvel, Shang Chi, Silk and a host of other heroes come to town.

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AAPI Women are Awesome Action Figures

Originally published at NBC Asian America

I am an avid toy collector, and every few years I like to take stock of the number of action figures that feature Asian American and Pacific Islander characters. When I started doing this in 2009, it was difficult coming up with enough figures to fill out a Top Five list. Fortunately, it has become much easier to populate these lists since AAPI visibility in pop culture has dramatically increased in the intervening years. In fact, I actually had a difficult time winnowing down this year’s list since there are so many AAPI action figures from which to choose! Moreover, nearly every slot on the list is populated by female characters, which hopefully puts to rest the fallacy that girls don’t buy action figures.

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Ms. Marvel Wants You to Go Vote Today!

Today is Election Day in the United States. And the choice couldn’t be clearer for the millions of voters heading out to the polls. We’re either going to wake up tomorrow playing R.E.M. or Beyoncé. Later this month, Marvel Comics will be releasing Ms. Marvel #13 in which the book’s titular hero will be urging the citizens of the Marvel Universe to similarly exercise their inalienable rights to vote.

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The ‘Asian Superhero’ is Not an Oxymoron

Originally published at NBC News Asian America

In a New York Times op-ed over the weekend, Malaysian talk radio host Umapagan Ampikaipakan called into question the entire concept of an “Asian superhero.” As an Asian person who has invested quite a lot in the idea of Asian superheroes, you can imagine seeing such a piece in the paper of record left me a bit bewildered — especially because this was the year that comics featuring Asian and Asian-American heroes had finally broken through.

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Race, Politics, and the Third Self: Why We Need Iron Fist and Ms. Marvel to be Asian American

It’s been quite a while since I’ve contributed anything, but with the news that Iron Fist has a showrunner and also with Donald Trump wasting our time and being overtly bigoted, I thought it was an opportunity to look at the importance of introducing more POC characters in our fiction, and the importance of identity, on a wide range of levels.

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All of Our Tomorrow: Ending “Racial Apologia”

by Jules

Comic books, throughout their long history, have often existed as a playground for subversive and counter-cultural concepts. Famously, “Judgement Day” — the last story published by EC Comics — featured a socially stratified world of blue and orange robots set in the far future vying for entry into the “Great Galactic Republic.” Their inspector, an astronaut from Earth, tells them that their planet isn’t ready but that one day it might be. In the last panel he’s revealed to be a black man, something scandalous enough that the Comics Code Authority demanded he be changed to white or the comic couldn’t go to print. This was 1953.

Since then comics, specifically superhero comics, have continued to make attempts to grapple with social issues.

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Remember Comic Books?

Remember comic books? Those flimsy sheets of paper emblazoned with colorful superheroes battling diabolical supervillains in space, in an underground lair, in a bunker, under the sea, or in parallel dimensions? Those passports to wonder that are the progenitors of the DC and Marvel Cinematic Universes and their respective television properties? Yeah, they’ve been completely overshadowed by their on-screen interpretations. Most people enjoying super heroics on the big and small screens aren’t comic fans. This isn’t a bad thing. I know tons of people who loved the Harry Potter films, but have yet to read word one of J.K. Rowling’s epic texts. There are still some of us who are huge comic book fans, and have been feeling a little cheated by the Big Two.

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The Future of Comics Belongs to Women

Originally posted at Black Nerd Problems

When you read the guest list of a comic convention, what do you see? Usually I notice the big names first, maybe a few iconic, and then a spatter of new faces whose work drew my attention in the past year. I skim the headshots and begin to add unrecognizable faces to their recognizable names, and as I browse through the photos and my eyes begin to blur, something strange happens: it begins to look like a Magic Eye puzzle we used to play with in 3rd grade. The pictures merge to show a single representation. That’s when I look away, shake it off, and start looking for my favorite women.

And lately, that’s becoming easier to find.

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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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Sana Amanat’s TED Talk: Myths, Misfits, & Masks

As you know, we’re pretty big fans of Kamala Khan’s turn as Ms. Marvel around here. And last week, the original inspiration for the character — Marvel editor Sana Amanat — became the inspiration for even more people when she addressed a TEDxTeen 2014 in New York.

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Welcome to the Marvel Universe, Kamala Khan

MsMarvel_Metamorphosis_HiWildflower The 16-year-old superhero has hit #1 on the digital comics charts, proving that readers around the globe want to see comic book heroes reflect the world we live in. We begin with Kamala’s origin story, Metamorphosis, the first of five tales of her superhero beginnings.

(BTW — hard copies are dope, but digital joints are $2.99! And the artwork by Adrian Alphona and coloring by Ian Herring are top notch, and it’s nice to see Marvel has gone all out to honor writer G. Willow Wilson’s vision for the series.)

The opening scene is one that’s close to my heart. We’re at a deli in Jersey City, where Kamala and her friend, the proud, beautiful Nakia, stop by their friend Bruno’s shift to smell the forbidden BLTs just within Kamala’s reach. I remember staring at pepperoni pizzas as a kid and being jealous as hell of my pork eater friends. And, any vegetarian will tell you — often the thing that breaks ’em down is bacon.

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