Netflix is 3% Closer, but Still Fighting White Supremacy Saviors

At this point, it’s damn near impossible to keep up with the onslaught of Netflix original programming. Along with all of the film and series content, the tentacles of the entertainment Kraken inevitably started reaching out for more international collaborations. Around Thanksgiving we were treated to the Brazilian series 3%. In terms of originality, it doesn’t score high: another variation on the theme of a future world where young adults do what they have to do to survive.

It does have its points of deviation though from say The Hunger Games and Divergent with a touch of Elysium. Brazil has had a long and appalling history of income inequality, which I’m sure is where the idea of the tagline came from: “In a dystopian future there is a clear divide between the rich and poor, but when a person turns 20, they have the opportunity to cross the divide.” As implied, by free will all the candidates get to try to make it from the miserable mainland to the utopian island Mar Alto; that looks kind of like Recife to Fernando de Noronha on the map. The tests they undergo are less physical and more psychological until they are whittled down to the fabled 3%. The setting, albeit futuristic, feels closer to present as we undergo our own survival in the collapse.

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Captain America is HYDRA and Everything Wrong with Big Two Comics

Captain America has been revealed to be a HYDRA agent all along and doesn’t this emphasize everything wrong with superhero comics today?

When The Outhousers released the spoilers for Captain America: Steve Rogers #1 the night before its release last week, fans clamored to discredit the website citing it as “unreliable,” “the comic version of The Onion,” and “satire” in an effort to brush aside the original spoiler panel of Steve in full Captain American uniform saying, “Hail HYDRA.” Understandable, this is a huge retcon of Steve Roger’s overall character and the name of Captain America. A legacy of a name built up over 75 years — in fact, Captain America just celebrated his 75th anniversary recently — and fans feel rightly protective.

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Making Monstress: An Exclusive Conversation with Marjorie Liu

I spent this past weekend at New York Comic-Con. When I wasn’t manning the Epic Proportions booth, I was able to sneak away and meet with writer Marjorie Liu. She makes her long-awaited return to comics with Image Comics’ Monstress, reuniting her with X-23 artist Sana Takeda.

In the first part of this exclusive, wide-ranging interview, Marjorie and I discuss the origins of the book, her childhood obsession with the apocalypse, the influence of pre-World War II China, and what it was like reuniting with artist Sana Takeda.

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We’re Giving Away Captain America & Wolverine Toys

Last week, we crossed 1,000 “likes” on Facebook and 1,000 followers on Twitter. I mentioned that to thank you all for upping our numbers on both social media platforms, we would be giving away some toys. So, that’s what we’re going to do!

I mention in that tweet that we’ll be giving away Wolverine Mini-Mates, and we are, but since it’s Cap Week, I’m going to throw in a Marvel Legends Infinite Series Captain America figure too.  Click through to find our how to win the toys.

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Valiant Comics Responds to War Flag Controversy

Over the weekend, the social media team at Valiant Entertainment took to twitter and responded to this post that we first brought to you back in February. If you recall, superstar artist — and former Valiant creator — Bernard Chang expressed his reservations about the redesign of Valiant’s signature Asian superhero, Rai. Specifically, the artist criticized the publisher’s decision to integrate the motif of Japan’s World War II-era military flag into the hero’s look.

Thanks to this tweet by @feministallies, someone at Valiant Comics has responded to the controversy that has also been reported across the comics blogosphere, including at sites such as Bleeding Cool and Inside Pulse.

The rest of the twitter exchange can be found after the jump.

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The World with Pyramids

In a conversation with an acquaintance about The Wind Rises, I told her I was already inclined to love it (and I did) because I was already a big fan of Porco Rosso. Miyazaki is a man in love with airplanes and through both movies he imparts that love to his viewers. Both films are reminders that the real magic (and really all Miyazaki movies do this) is not in the world but in your choices and in your will.

(Contains spoilers for The Wind Rises).

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Internment/Service by Bernard Chang

Last September, I mentioned how I was honored to coordinate and edit a digital comic in conjunction with the Smithsonian‘s touring “I Want the Wide American Earth” Asian American history exhibit.

(And once again, many thanks to Lawrence-Minh Bui Davis and Konrad Ng for allowing me to be part of such an honor).

Since today is the 72nd anniversary of Executive Order 9066, and a Day of Remembrance for the 120,000 Japanese Americans who were interned during World War II, I wanted to share Bernard Chang‘s contribution to the Smithsonian project. Titled “Internment/Service,” Bernard‘s illustration honors the Japanese Americans who fought for justice abroad while their families suffered from injustice at home.

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Japanese War Flags and Comics’ Lack of Creativity

Earlier this week, Valiant Entertainment unveiled the long-awaited lineup for their Valiant First roster of rebooted and revamped characters. After re-introducing a gender-swapped version of Dr. Mirage last year, this time they’re bringing back another of the publisher’s standout Asian characters: the Japanese superhero Rai, in addition to giving Dr. Mirage her own book as well. (Both Mirage and Rai were Asians that served as foundational characters when Valiant first launched two decades ago). As one of the creators behind Secret Identities, I was very excited. Then I saw the way they redesigned Rai’s look:

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Kaze Tachinu (aka The Wind Rises): Miyazaki’s Supposed Last Hurrah

The Los Angeles movie screening scene has been in quite a frenzy as movies are trying to qualify for the Oscar rat-race. This meant that Kaze Tachinu (風立ちぬ) was going to be on the big screen. Just as a disclaimer, I’m Japanese/English bilingual, so I did ignore all the English subtitles and can’t say much about the English content.

Kaze Tachinu, known as The Wind Rises in the States, is an ode to the generation who grew up with Miyazaki since the 1970s. It’s not filled with magic and intrigue, but brings forth Miyazaki’s never ending love for airplanes (you see cameo appearances of past planes including Gina’s private plane from Porco Rosso), the experience of flying, and the human spirit.

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