Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Friday, July 18, 2014

Some Marvelous changes and a sad day in Archie's Riverdale

A lot of big changes being announced in the comic book world lately and two of them were introduced on very mainstream forums. The ladies of The View were privileged to reveal that this fall, Marvel would bring us a female Thor.

The new story line will debut in October and as the folks at Marvel put it, she is not "Thorita, Lady Thor or She-Thor", this warrior maiden will actually be the new incarnation of the Norse god(or goddess, in this case).

For those of you wondering how this is possible, it's important to remember that the power of Thor lies within the hammer Mjolnir that bears the inscription "whomever holds this hammer, if he be so worthy, shall possess the power of Thor."

 That caveat will now include women and there is a precedent for this as Wonder Woman herself was once able to wield the hammer during a Marvel/DC crossover a few years back. Much like Green Lantern's power ring or the sword Excalibur, the hammer of Thor is an object that reflects the inner nobility of a person and only then it will allow him or her to use that power for the good of others. Quite a change-up and one that definitely has people talking:

A few days later, a new Captain America was announced on The Colbert Report, as the current plot line has Steve Rodgers losing his super serum abilities and rapidly aging.

 Therefore, his partner in arms The Falcon(aka Sam Wilson, who many of us first met on screen in Captain America:The Winter Soldier this spring) will take up the "mighty shield."

As Sam is African American, this is another major switch-up and a welcome one. Much like Thor, someone else has had to take over for the original Cap(Bucky Barnes,aka The Winter Soldier) and it is a choice that makes sense.

The essence of Captain America is in his determination to protect the innocent and enforce justice for all and yes, the costume and weapons are easy to pass on,much like Batman. These new versions of Thor and Captain America won't be reflected in the current movie versions but hopefully some day, Hollywood will catch up to the comics.

 Diversity in such iconic pop culture figures as these are truly needed to reflect all segments of the audience and not just the stereotypical white male nerd out there. Nothing against those guys, but they are not the only paying customers waiting in line and pre-ordering tickets, media moguls. Wake up and smell the century,people!:

Speaking of keeping up with the times, a sorrowful event has occurred in all places, Archie comics. In the spin-off series, Life With Archie, the title character has been killed by taking a bullet for his friend Kevin Keller, a gun control advocate who was about to give a speech.

As the regular teen Archie series will continue, along with an Afterlife with Archie(yep, he's a zombie in that one), the character is still around but this act of self sacrifice is a sadly beautiful salute to why fictional folk matter.

By showing us the best as well as the worst in human nature, they can inspire their readership to strive for the better in real life. No doubt plenty of people are grousing about the "politics" of the situation(much as they did when Kevin Keller was introduced as gay and later married his life partner in a highly controversial issue) and grumbling that this isn't the same safe Riverdale High gang they grew up with.

Well, you know what? Any form of long term entertainment needs to reflect the reality outside of it's pages in order to hold anyone's interest, particularly new generations of readers and I for one applaud Archie comics for refusing to stay in the way back machine.

  And yes, Riverdale may not be the same sweet safe haven it once was but neither is our world, folks. This isn't the first time the comic book realm has talked about the consequences of gun violence*cough*Batman*cough* and maybe this story is only a drop in the bucket here, but with enough drops, that bucket can become overflowing mighty quick:

Change to any familiar form of pop culture can be hard to adjust to and yes, sometimes those changes are temporary in order to rack up sales and revive interest among old fans and new. However, the good that can come about from these transitions is all worth it,as new creative ideas are allowed to spring forth and take us in amazing directions that will lead to better adventures for us all.

 So,whether it's a new story arch, persona or simply a different actor taking over a role, the best way to deal with comic book changes is to embrace them sincerely. Singing the same old song can get boring and that's the last thing a comic book should be:

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