Connect with us


Interview: ‘The Other History of the DC Universe’ gives a ‘voice’ to diverse characters



Nov. 23 (UPI) — Writer John Ridley revisits signature moments from the DC Universe and re-examines them through a group of racially diverse characters in The Other History of the DC Universe, out Tuesday.

“This is less about changing the DC Universe. It’s really about embracing the DC Universe — embracing these characters,” Ridley said during an interview with UPI. “Giving a singular voice to these characters who oftentimes did not have very singular or particular voices.”

Black Lightning (Jefferson Pierce), his daughter, Anissa (Thunder), Mal Duncan (Herald), his wife, Karen Beecher (Bumblebee), Renee Montoya (The Question) and Katana (Tatsu Yamashiro) are the main characters in the bimonthly series, which will run for five issues.

Artists Giuseppe ‘Cammo’ Camuncoli and Andrea Cucchi and colorist José Villarrubia are working with Ridley on the series. Cammuncoli, Marco Mastrazzo and Jamal Campbell are handling the cover art.

Ridley said he chose these characters for the story because he grew up loving them and said he hopes The Other History of the DC Universe inspires a greater appreciation of them.

“These are stories of hope. This is not about victimization. This is not railing against the prevailing culture,” Ridley said.

Inspired by ‘History of the DC Universe’

Ridley is a fan of DC Comics’ History of the DC Universe, which was released in 1986, and said he was inspired by it.

“I thought it was a really interesting attempt to take lore and mythology and treat it like it was real — like it was an actual timeline,” he said. “I think it’s one of the great, interesting experiments in storytelling. It really did read like a brief Encyclopaedia Britannica.”

The Other History of the DC Universe looks back at big moments like the death of Superman, and Wonder Woman executing the villainous Maxwell Lord. Ridley teased other moments that may not have stuck with fans, but were important to the characters, and said he added more context to well-known stories.

“My desire was not to add things for the sake of adding things,” he said. “My desire was to try to, as much as possible, be beholden to things that did happen in the actual lore and actual cannon, and maybe excavating them a little bit more. Give a little bit more voice to these characters.”

The series also gives more time to characters who sometimes were lost in the background. Ridley discussed how Katana, a Japanese woman, was used in the 2016 Suicide Squad film.

“Katana, maybe she has three lines of dialogue. So here’s this character that is iconic enough to be included in the film, but not necessarily iconic enough to have any sense of who she was. She was a mother, she was a wife who lost her family in a horrific way,” the 55-year-old said.

He said comic book writers have worked decades to add more to the character.

“I just wanted to pull a little bit more out of that and say, ‘OK, if she lost her family, how would this really affect an individual? If she is a Japanese national arriving in America in the ’80s, how would she see this country? How would she fit in or not fit in?’ That’s what I wanted to do,” he said.

Ridley also expressed fondness for Renee Montoya, a Latinx gay woman who gives perspective on what police officers go through because she worked for the Gotham City Police Department. Montoya becomes Vic Savage’s successor as The Question, a character Ridley teased could be making a cameo appearance in the series.

The Other History of the DC Universe comes at a time where more women and characters of color are being used more frequently in comic books and beyond. Ridley said that things are getting better in terms of diversity, pointing to HBO’s Watchmen series as a standout example, but for things to continue improving, he said diversity behind-the-scenes is needed.

“It starts with the hiring. It starts with bringing in creators who are a little bit closer to the material in some ways. Also, remembering that if you are a Latinx, they, queer person, you can still write Superman,” Ridley said.

Ridley can’t predict how well The Other History of the DC Universe will do, but said recent comic books and other forms of media that are infused with real-life issues can be successful and make a real cultural impact.

Ridley says he has no expectation that every comic book or film has to contain commentary on race or gender, but the ones that do tend to be successful.

Ridley won an Academy Award as a screenwriter for 2013’s 12 Years a Slave. He has also penned DC Comics’ The American Way and its sequel, The American Way: Those Above and Those Below along with Batman: The Joker War Zone.

The future for DC and Ridley

Ridley’s next comic book is Future State: The Next Batman, which will feature a new character who takes on the Batman mantle from Bruce Wayne. The comic is a part of DC’s Future State line-wide event that will give a glimpse into what happens in the DC Universe in the near and far future.

In Future State, Batman has been killed and Gotham City is placed under control by the Magistrate, a villainous regime. An all-new Batman will rise along with a new group of Gotham heroes to fight back.

Ridley teased that Future State: The Next Batman will have new characters and relationships that reset and contain a focus on family.

“It’s about family and what we would do for family, what we have to do for family, what we consider to be family. As a father, as a husband at my age, it’s just really great to be able to take these fantastic stories and ground them in something that I relate to,” he said.

Source link


Watch: Justin Bieber wants ‘tribe’ of kids with Hailey Baldwin



Dec. 1 (UPI) — Justin Bieber hopes to have “a little tribe” of kids with his wife, Hailey Baldwin.

The 26-year-old singer discussed his plans to have children with Baldwin, 24, during Tuesday’s episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Bieber said he wants to have as many kids as possible with Baldwin, a model.

“I’m going to have as many as Hailey is wishing to push out,” the star said. “I’d love to have myself a little tribe, but yeah, it’s her body and whatever she wants to do.”

“I think she wants to have a few, at least two or three,” he added.

Bieber said he and Baldwin are waiting to have children until Baldwin accomplishes more of her goals.

“There’s not really an issue, but I think Hailey still has some things she wants to accomplish as a woman,” he said. “I think she’s just not ready yet, and I think that’s okay.”

Bieber also discussed the road trip he and Baldwin took during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We definitely enjoyed ourselves. Got to travel across North America. We went all the way home to Canada on the bus,” he said. “It was a good time.”

During the trip, Bieber had a scary experience where his jet ski broke and the boat sent to retrieve him also broke down. Bieber had to swim to safety in freezing cold water.

“It was dangerous,” he said.

Bieber and Baldwin married in September 2018 and had a second wedding with family and friends in October 2019. The couple danced together in Baldwin’s first TikTok video in March.

Bieber released the song “Monster” with Shawn Mendes in November.

Source link

Continue Reading


Look: Gigi Hadid, Zayn Malik share moment in throwback pregnancy photos



Dec. 1 (UPI) — Celebrity couple Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik share a sweet moment in throwback photos from Hadid’s pregnancy.

The 25-year-old model posted unseen pictures from her pregnancy Monday on Instagram.

The photos show a pregnant Hadid posing outside in a formfitting dress. One of the pictures shows Malik, 27, resting his head on Hadid’s baby bump.

Hadid and Malik welcomed their first child, a baby girl, in September.

“Our girl joined us earth-side this weekend and she’s already changed our world. So in love,” Hadid said on Instagram at the time.

“To try to put into words how i am feeling right now would be an impossible task,” Malik added on Twitter. “The love i feel for this tiny human is beyond my understanding. Grateful to know her, proud to call her mine, & thankful for the life we will have together.”

Hadid called her daughter her “bestie” in an Instagram post last week. She later gave a glimpse of her baby girl’s head in a new photo. Hadid and Malik’s daughter has blonde hair.

Hadid had confirmed her pregnancy on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon in May after reports surfaced.

“Obviously, you know, we wish we could have announced it on our own terms, but we’re very excited and happy and grateful for everyone’s well-wishes and support,” she said.

Hadid and Malik have had an on-again, off-again relationship since 2015. Hadid is known for her modeling work with Guess and Victoria’s Secret, while Malik is a singer and a former member of One Direction.

Source link

Continue Reading


Awkwafina, Rashida Jones to be honored at 2020 Muse Awards



Dec. 1 (UPI) — Awkwafina, Rashida Jones, Rachel Brosnahan and more are set to be honored at the 2020 Muse Awards, presented by New York Women in Film and Television.

The 41st annual ceremony will take place virtually on Dec. 17 at 1 p.m. EST. New York Women in Film and Television are offering tickets to watch the event with viewers allowed to pay what they can.

The Muse Awards honors women in front of and behind the camera across film, television, music and digital media.

Awkwafina will be receiving the Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment Made in N.Y. Award. Director, writer and producer Gina Prince-Bythewood will receive the Nancy Malone Directing Award, while actress Ali Stroker will receive the Loreen Arbus Changemaker Award.

Journalists Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey and President of Orion Pictures Alana Mayo will also be honored at the event along with Jones and Brosnahan.

Source link

Continue Reading