Also, go back and read the full article. If there`s any character you can think of who is a transgender person that has appeared in the past, hit me up with a message.
That’s a pretty wild stab, I know. To ask that question, you may as well ask, are comics a little racist as well. And why don’t we lump all of that together.
Now, let me be clear on this. Comic book writers and artists themselves are not necessarily homophobic/transphobic/racist/sexist (though, in that last one, there’s been some questionable things that artists have done with female characters, example the latest Spider-woman cover).
The cover is reminiscent of a Catwoman cover that was all boobs and butt. Also, see Mary Jane’s famous pose that was imitated (with hilarious results). Needless to say, comic book artists and editors have a lot of work still ahead of them in not pulling the sexist card. A reminder, a pose that appears sexy doesn’t necessarily mean powerful and empowering. If you think to yourself “yeah, this pose is gonna be hot” then there’s a good chance that you shouldn’t do it.
Regarding the other aspects of phobias and racism, comics also still have a long way to go. There has been same sex marriages in Marvel Comics, but DC Comics is lagging behind. Image Comics seems to be further ahead in this regard. DC almost had one, but thanks to editorial, superheroes obviously can’t have happy lives (unless they’re Superman and they’re boning Wonder Woman… gah, that’s so stupid).
Case in point, fans of Batwoman have been waiting for Maggie and Kate to get married, but the idea of that happening was tossed out the window thanks to editorial.
There is an explanation for the lack of same sex marriages in books, and comics. Many publishers will make sure the content of the book is a good push for world wide publication. And often times, thanks to certain countries laws (I’m looking at you, Russia) same sex marriage is illegal and any publication, whether it’s factual or fictional, that seems to shed a positive light on gay and lesbian relationships, is seen as propaganda.
For books, like the Harry Potter series, that can be a problem. It was never revealed openly in the books that Dumbldore was gay, but it was something that J. K. Rowling knew was a part of the character. Still, writing it into the book may have had it banned outright in certain countries and even jurisdictions in Canada and the United States (possibly not Canada, but you never know). It would have given homophobic bigots something else to complain about instead of magic.
For comic books, it might be a little different. Comics don’t have the sales push that a best selling novel would have. Comic book companies aren’t worried about breaking ground in a nation (or continent) that they don’t have a chance of selling a book in. So they often don’t have to worry about countries and their laws about same sex marriage or same sex relationships. If you sell 50,000 copies of an issue in it’s first two months of release, then you did good. And between Canada and the United States, there’s way more than 50,000 comic book readers out there.
Still, comics aren’t doing that well with showcasing a transgender person in their pages. Gail Simone, former writer of Batgirl and current scribe for Tomb Raider and Red Sonya, did give us a trans-woman in the pages of Batgirl. And from what’s been said, that character will stay in those pages under a new creative team.
I’ve read through a list of other transgender characters who have appeared over the years, but as far as I can tell, Alysia Yeoh is the only one I can find that doesn’t have a magical transformation, is reincarnated as a man/woman, or is taking a fictitious drug to help her remain a woman (though Shvaughn Erin from the 1970s Legion of Superheroes run can count as she is the one taking the fictitious drug, also honourable mention to Comet during Peter David’s run on Supergirl). Sadly, none of these characters mentioned are the title character. There was only one I could find, Lord Fanny from the Invisibles, who was born male but becomes female in order to gain inheritance to her family’s witch abilities. That, however, was a Vertigo comic, and Vertigo had a lot more risk taking to it.
So, as of yet, there is no comic which has a main character or title character, currently running who happens to be a trans-woman or trans-man. At least not that I know of (if you know of one, let me know in the comments, or reblog this and add to it, or just hit me up with a message).
Now, onto the last one. Comics really aren’t racist. Or are they. Comic titles will come out with people of colour, but often the title dies out quickly. When that happens, a lot of fanboys will cry out that there’s no market for PoC in comics (or women, if the title is one for a woman). Never, however, do they say anything of the sort if a title staring a straight, white, male fails. In that case it was due to poor writing, poor artwork, lack of availability at comic shops. And all of those can be true. They’re also true for titles staring women, and titles staring PoC that end up being cut well before their time. (I’ll do another write up on that double standard later)
But there’s also another reason why. Sadly, comics have an advertising budget, and they’ll lump a vast majority of their advertising dollars in their sure things. For DC, that’s Superman, Batman, Justice League, Green Lantern and Wonder Woman. For Marvel, that’s any X-Title or any Avengers tie in title (Captain America, Iron Man, Thor) or Spider-man titles. Now, you just can’t have a company say “We’re doing a Batman title, you should buy it” and expect it to become a hit. Consumers need a reason to buy said thing. Of course, most consumers will be interested it someone says there’s a new Batman title. But if DC pushes for a Black Lightning title, for example, they’d have to back it up with some advertising if they want it to sell. Marvel, on the other hand, really seems to be pouring their advertising budget into their new titles, such as recent ad campaigns with Miss Marvel. Marvel’s been taking a lot of risks and it shows that it’s paying off.
It’s also true that we, the consumer, also have to help support new titles. That can be difficult, thanks in part to an old stigma about comic book shops. Many comic book shops are changing and being more open and welcome to all genders and people of colour, but there’s still the stigma about how uninviting they can be. And there are shops that are like that, who scoff at women, don’t understand why a person of colour would be buying a comic, or being outright rude to someone who they may feel isn’t a comic’s demographic.
The onus of change isn’t on the consumer. It’s at both the retail level, and at the publishing level. Make it more accessible and inviting to go into a comic shop. And as far as publishers go, try to make your creative teams have more diversity. More women and more people of colour working on your titles. You are not losing out by doing this, you are in fact bringing new ideas along with new talent.
I will admit, comic publishers have taken some massive steps regarding inclusion for LGBT, and people of colour, but they’ve still got a long way to go.
Marvel Studios (as previously mentioned) is on a massive role with their movie properties. They’ve hammered out several movies, all within the same universe, all leading up to one massive story line. Why not get ready for a new set of heroes to come to the forefront.
Captain Marvel and Spider-woman.
You could even go so far as to just call the movie Captain Marvel, and have Spider-woman as the added hero as seems to be the trend in the Marvel movie franchise. So far it’s been a series of dudes as side kicks or appearances in the main movies (War Machine, Hawkeye, Bucky, Falcon), with even minor characters who play a very important role not even taking the center stage in the title. I mean, do you think we’re ever going to have a Nick Fury movie?
But Captain Marvel could set the stage for something new and different. Adding to the already new and different Ant-Man & Wasp I suggested earlier. This could be the Marvel movie that turns things on it’s head. In the comics, Captain Marvel becomes leader of the Avengers, so it’s a natural stepping point. Spider-woman could even be an agent of Hydra that Carol manages to convince to quit and join her in destroying a Hydra cell. Carol could even be a fighter pilot (as she’s depicted in the comics), could have gotten her powers at some point through the attack on New York in Avengers. Carol could see potential in Jessica Drew and instead of fighting to put Spider-woman behind bars, fights to free her from Hydra. All of this would fit neatly into the existing Marvel Studios movie series. It would also set it up nicely for a new cast of Avengers (Chris Evans has mentioned he doesn’t want to act for much longer).
Just think of it; a New Avengers team with Black Widow, Captain Marvel, Spider-woman, the aforementioned Wasp, and….
She-Hulk was created not to be the porn version of the Hulk (as Stan Lee himself pointed out by smashing David Goyer’s statement). She was Bruce Banner’s cousin, and received her powers from an emergency blood transfusion from Banner. So far, so good. Jennifer Walters also remains in her green skinned, kick ass self ALL THE TIME! The difference between the Hulk and She-Hulk is that Bruce is scared about his ability and it’s destructive nature, whereas She-Hulk finds it empowering. She loves it and accepts it. It also helps that she retains her mental capabilities while in She-Hulk form. So yes, she can revert back to her normal looking Jennifer Walters look. BUT SHE DOESN’T WANT TO!
This would be a good premise for a second (third) Hulk movie. Jennifer could be the secondary hero, who eventually joins the ranks of the Avengers, using her cousin as a role model in a way (and Jennifer could conversely be a role model for Bruce, as she’s able to coexist with the big green rage monster within her).
So there you go, Marvel. Two movie ideas to swing into a third Avengers movie. Now go do it.
We all know that the juggernaut that is Marvel Studios is releasing an Ant-Man film. Who’s Ant-Man? Well…
Ant-Man is the name of several fictional characters appearing in books published by Marvel Comics. Ant-Man was originally the superhero persona of Henry Pym, a brilliant scientist who invented a substance that allowed him to change his size. Henry Pym was created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby and first appeared in Tales to Astonish #27 (Jan. 1962); his first appearance as Ant-Man was in Tales to Astonish #35 (Sept. 1962).
The film is slated to have Michael Douglas as Henry Pym with Paul Rudd playing the role of Scott Lang. Already even before it gets out the gate, Ant-Man has had some problems. Edgar Wright wrote the script along with Joe Cornish and was slated to direct but left in May of this year siting creative differences.
There was a way to save the film, though I don’t know if that could be done now. The first is merely with the title. Ant-Man is pretty meh. He’s a scientist who can shrink to the size of an ant.
Now, in the comics, Ant-Man, or Hank Pym, is married. He’s got a girlfriend. Janet Van Dyne. This can eliminate all of the romance aspects that Hollywood seems to like to inject into films. Hank and Janet are dating (or hell, even have them married). For those who don’t know, Janet Van Dyne is a superhero who is called the Wasp. Wasp is much more fierce sounding than “ant” (because, let’s face it, wasps are vindictive assholes). I know, in the comics Janet Van Dyne was killed (there was some comic where it showed a cannibalistic Blob eating her intestines, which was horrible and not really needed) but here’s where you can shelve all of that bullshit and set things right.
Call the movie Ant-Man & Wasp, because how many Marvel movies have a female character in the title? I’ll wait. You can list them off. And I’m talking the current Marvel franchise of movies. You can’t, can you. None. There is not one. And Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy don’t count.
Okay, so we’ve set up a duo instead of a singular individual (Iron Man, Captain America, Thor), and while the previous movies did have other heroes in the plot (War Machine, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Falcon) none of those characters shared title time with the main character (it was Captain America: Winter Soldier, not Captain America & Falcon: Winter Soldier, after all). This could be a small, positive change, and it would be a progressive step. Plus, married couple! That’s different thus far.
Oh, but there’s more differences!
Make them a black couple!
Comics continuity be damned! Nick Fury was made black, so why not make Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne black, too. And for the record, a black woman could totally have a Dutch last name. It’s called fucking marriage! Her parents could very well have been mixed. Or her grand parents. Use your fucking imagination! You could even take it a step further and have a Latina actress play the role. And even mention that she’s Latina! But don’t carry over the stereotypical baggage! A black, Latina-Dutch woman. It’s fucking possible!
“Oh, but there’s just not enough black actors to play the role.”
Shut up whiney fanboys. First, take a step into the 21st Century, you useless douchenozzles! There is literally over 1000 black actors in Hollywood. And thousands more world wide. And they are not all named Will Smith or Denzel Washington! We’ve had black actors portrayed thus far in the Marvel movie franchises, War Machine, Falcon, Nick Fury, but they’ve all been the secondary characters to the lives of the main character. And hold the phone! What’s this? Not a single female character has been portrayed as a woman of colour! And I’m not counting Zoe Saldana because she’s portrayed as a green skinned alien.
There has been a lot of kick ass female characters that have come up in the Marvel movie universe. Peggy Carter, Pepper Potts, Jane Foster, Black Widow, Maria Hill, Lady Siff, and a few others (that I can’t name at the moment). Add Janet Van Dyne to that list, and make her a woman of colour. We’re already looking at the next Avengers movie adding Scarlet Witch to the fold, so that’s another woman. And there’s two more dudes (well, okay one dude and a robot).
Why not take this step, Marvel? Why not do this? Be bold! Be different! Right now, you are at a place where you can do no wrong. Yeah, you had a throng of sniveling fanboys bitching about Idris Elba as Heimdahl, but you gave them the (figurative) middle finger and stayed the course. Do this with Ant-Man, and you could have something amazing, just by taking a big risk. A big risk in a positive direction.
In 1989 the world saw one of the first comic book movies to hit screens that sort of changed the world of comic books (and movies). Sure, we had Superman, and that was awesome, but Tim Burton’s Batman was a huge leap forward. At the time, DC Comics could do no wrong (as opposed to now, which it seems to do wrong on a consistent basis) and they were backed by Warner Bros. They still are, but they still seem to have absolutely no grasp of their own characters.
Batman came out in 1989 to really good reviews and acceptance. It appeared that comic books might translate very well into movies and for many fanboys, their medium would gain main stream acceptance (double edged sword because those same fanboys would later bitch and moan that “fake fans”, ie; “fake geek girls”, would “steal their stuff”).
But this isn’t about fanboy cry babies (another post for another time). This is about the Tim Burton Batman franchise that could have been.
Don’t change the first one, Batman and Joker was well done. I’d change Batman Returns. Ditch the Penguin, focus everything on Batman and Catwoman. But set things up so that Batman and Catwoman would end up having a relationship (this set up comes in the third movie). It’ll be a cat and mouse (flying mouse) chase with Catwoman always be one step ahead of Batman. In the end, Catwoman eventually lets Batman catch her, but she reminds him always that she let him catch her.
Set up the third movie. Batman and Catwoman go up against the Riddler. Ditch the Tommy Lee Jones Two-Face. Keep Billy Dee Williams as Harvey Dent, but the Two Face set up comes later. Keep Jim Carey as the Riddler (he was actually really good in that role). By the end of the third movie, Batman and Catwoman get married.
Fourth movie, time has moved on. Bruce and Selina have a daughter. They manage to juggle being superheroes and raising their daughter Helena. But now they have to deal with a villain who has learned their secret and kidnaps Helena. The Penguin. The Penguin learns their identities from someone who he was a cellmate with in Arkham. Edward Nigma. Lots of chase scenes, lots of fights, eventually Helena is rescued, Penguin is put behind bars. Something tragic happens at the end, in order to set up the fifth movie. The movie ends with Harvey Dent flipping a coin in a court room. End credits.
A few years pass, Helena has grown to a teenager, and with some reluctance, Bruce and Selina agree that Helena can join them in their nightly rounds of Gotham. Helena takes the moniker of Robin. But now, they have to go up against a new villain who also was an old friend; Harvey Dent. Two Face has decided to put all of Gotham on trail, with only a flip of the coin to determine the city’s fate. In the ensuing fight, Batman and Catwoman rescue an orphaned boy, and by the end of the movie, they take him in. His name is Dick Grayson. Helena will also play a huge role showcasing her smarts and her skills with what she’s learned by watching her parents. Robin makes a name for herself.
Dick Grayson in the sixth movie learns of the secret of Bruce and Selina, and even trains to assist the superhero family. Avoid any romance between Dick and Helena. They’d see themselves as siblings, not lovers. Dick takes on the moniker of Nightwing to help out the other three. This time, though, they face Mr. Freeze. Use the tragic backstory of Mr. Freeze, and make him somewhat sympathetic. At the end of the movie, make it known that Freeze was just as much a victim as anything.
That’s six movies, using one villain per movie (save for the second because there’s no real villain, it could be almost classes as a romance adventure). Keep Tim Burton on the helm, introduce a Robin and a Nightwing. Make it a step forward for progressiveness by making Robin a girl.
Throughout comic book history, superheroes have had a strict rule. That rule being “thou shalt not kill” which of course takes a look into the Biblical aspects of the creators that they were interjecting into the storylines (the exception may be Wonder Woman seeing how her story was based off of Greek Myth with a whole lot of feminism added for flavour… which DC has royally fucked over in recent months).
Superman and Captain America have the biggest Biblical connections. Stealing, killing, lying, being disrespectful, all of which are big no nos for them and all of which are based on the Ten Commandments from the Bible. But! They in fact do a bunch of killing, because they kill the right people (in the minds of the creators and the audience they are attempting to attract). Captain America can be somewhat discounted because of the fact he is an American soldier, so part of his job is infiltrating enemy lines by whatever means necessary and forcing an army force to surrender. Often that involves shooting a lot of bullets and killing people.
Superman, Captain America, Human Torch (who was a robot in the Second World War), Namor, The Howling Commandos, Sgt. Rock, they all managed to kill a bunch of people, yet we give a hand wave to that because those people fit into neat, little categories. Category one: Nazis. Category two: Japanese. The two main factions that the Allied Armies were fighting during the Second World War. So that brand of killing was A-OKAY. At the time, comics were a way of bolstering support for the war effort. It was a massive propaganda machine to help with public support to “Support Our Troops” and “Defeat The Nazis”. Because Nazism was evil (even though the founder happened to be a devout Christian).
During the Second World War, there was also a third group that was okay to kill, but that didn’t happen as often as did “take them into custody”. That group specifically happened to be anyone who was brown skinned. Indian “Fakirs” were either wise sages who gave the mainly white, male protagonist a wise clue at just the right time, or they were deceiving evil doers who were plotting to destroy the West (the latter happened just as often as the fight against Nazism and later Communism). Or, brown skinned people were seen as the group who needed to be saved from Nazism (and later Communism) because the West (ie; America) needs to have a group to fight, and a group to save. Often, the group needing saving happened to be a bunch of brown skinned people (rarely were those people yellow skinned, ie; Japanese or Chinese, or red skinned people, ie; First Nations or Native Americans).
“But Tim, you’re describing an aspect of racism not how the killing rule is bullshit.”
Yes, I hear you, and yes I did get a bit sidetracked.
During the era of the Second World War, there were other superheroes who came to the fore. Most who either fought Nazis oppression on American soil (almost always American soil because in comic book universes, this shit obviously didn’t happen in Mexico or Canada), or fought straight up crime with the weirdest of villains. In both cases, the minions of the said target seemed to always be disposable. Look at Joker’s henchmen. Only a few were actually named. Most were never seen again. That doesn’t mean Batman himself killed them, but he didn’t not stop their eventual death. Batman himself during his early years was shown wielding a pistol and using it. Others who were similar were the Shadow, and the Phantom. They had guns, they shot and killed people.
Fast forward to the Silver Age of comics. Things seemed much happier and brighter. But not really. The age of reason and enlightenment was coming and this time there were very different groups with which to showcase. The first was the eventual enemy that many superheroes fought: Communism. Communism had replaced Nazism. But while the label changed, there wasn’t much difference between them (in reality, Communism is a left wing ideology, whereas Nazism is a right wing ideology, also Hitler, who founded Nazism, hated Communism). The other group wasn’t a group to fight, but it was a group which could showcase was a mirror image of the Civil Rights Movement. Thus, the X-Men were born (heaven help us though, if the X-Men can’t actually be black skinned). But this didn’t stop the killing, so much as slow it down. There was still killing, because the superheroes were killing the “right people”. Again, the right people were the groups targeted as enemies of the West (or America because obviously nothing happens in Canada or Mexico).
This stuck well into the Bronze Age of comics, and even into the edge of the grim and gritty Modern Age of comics. The Modern Age did bring something with it, however. More guns, and more ways to kill people. The Modern Age gave us guns, belt pouches, jackets (with the sleeves rolled up), muscle bound steroid freaks and women with waists so tiny that you’d wonder how their vital organs would fit. But most importantly, it brought loads of killing. Punisher, Cabel, Spawn, Wildstorm, Gen 13, X-Factor, darker versions of Sandman, John Constantine, Swamp Thing, the Hawkworld, Green Arrow, the Dark Knight. Even killing off superheroes became a thing. Superman died (which became completely irrelevant when he was brought back, same with Green Arrow, and also see Batman having his back broken, and then later being killed… none of that seemed to matter at all). The heroes never die. They either come back with a renewed purpose, or come back with dark intent, blaming society and their partners for not being there to help them (see Jason Todd and Bucky Barnes).
Now comic books have evolved into movie franchises which tell an over arching story through the course of several movies (thus far Iron Man, Iron Man II, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, The Avengers, Iron Man III, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: Winter Solder, and Guardians of the Galaxy). But the killing doesn’t stop! And the target has somewhat changed. But this time, the target has definite brown skin (though, anyone from that ethnic group who is on the side of the good guys has decidedly lighter skin than their brown skin “haters of freedom”). And there’s also aliens. Because aliens is an expendable enemy.
Sure, aliens die and it’s superheroes doing the killing (don’t try and say that’s not what’s happening). But there’s also collateral damage. Sure, Batman doesn’t directly kill anyone, and the Joker does actually kill people in devious plots and schemes. But Batman also doesn’t prevent people from dying. In Dark Knight Rises, Batman goes away (to have a self loathing whimper fest) and basically lets Bane walk into town. When Batman confronts him, Bane kicks his ass and sends him to a prison. Even in the Tim Burton Batman movies, people die indirectly because of Batman’s actions (and conversely Joker, Catwoman and the Penguin).
Side note: I have an idea for how Burton’s Batman would have been better and ultimately more awesome, but more on that later.
The same is true with the X-Men universe. Same with Spider-man. Same with Superman.
Superheroes kill. And those that supposedly don’t, well, they don’t really prevent killing from happening as a result of their actions. Also, it should be noted, killing and racism go neatly hand in hand.
I just recently watched Star Trek Into Darkness. It had the usual blockbuster feel to it, but as a long time fan of Star Trek, there was a lot of things that J. J. Abrams did wrong. Here’s the list.
9: Those are Caitians? No they’re not!
This scene gets the distinction of two nods on the wrong list, the first is more a technical aspect. Abrams is trying to put his own stamp on things, but sorry, Star Trek has been around longer than you have. Those twins on the screen shown to be having a trist with Kirk, those aren’t Caitians.
Even the fact they were made to look more exotic by making them look “oriental” is kind of a slap in the face. Adding a tail to something doesn’t make it the thing you want it to be. This strikes as being incredibly lazy, because Caitians look like this:
Naturally, the above image is from Star Trek: The Animated Series and pictures M’Ress, the very first character in the Star Trek universe to be identified as Caitian. The second image is from Star Trek: The Voyage Home and is an Admiral talking with an Andorian while at James T. Kirk’s court martial. Caitians have fur, they have ears elevated closer to the top of their head. Star Trek Online actually made a great representation when adding Caitians to the playable race list.
8: Kirk is not a massive sex machine.
So far in both Abrams’ attempts at reboot the original series, he’s made Kirk out to be a massive creepy letch who wants nothing more than to sleep with anyone who has boobs and a vagina. See above, where Kiirk is in bed with two “Caitians”. Also, see the previous movie when Kirk is sleeping with an Orion (that’s coming up in the list). Kirk sleeping with women is a trope that is used way too much, and downplays the other qualities he has. Kirk didn’t have this kind of libido in the original series, but it gets used as one of the (if not THE) main characteristic. This version of Kirk is the kind of man who would have been ushered out of Starfleet thanks to numerous sexual harassment suits.
7: Use what’s been done before.
There was a lot of unnecessary stuff added to the reboot. The Klingons are a big example. From the way they look to the way their ships are designed. The “new” Klingons look completely different than what has appeared in past incarnations. We even got a big explanation for why they lost their cranial ridges in Star Trek Enterprise. If this is to be a reboot of the original series, then lose the cranial ridges to follow cannon. The ships chasing the Enterprise shuttle pod (really, that was a shuttle pod?) didn’t really look like Klingon cruisers. Even the bat’leth’s looked weird. Bottom line, there’s been stuff done before for over 40 years. Use the cannon that’s been made, don’t reinvent the wheel.
6: Orions are NOT members of the Federation.
While Orions exist in the Star Trek universe, and yes, there might even be an Orion who might join Star Fleet, it’s incredibly rare. Orions are members of the Orion Syndicate. And if that sounds like the title of a criminal organization, you’re not wrong. The Orions are basically charming and efficient space pirates (as opposed to brutal and destructive Nausicans). And it may not be very well known, but Orion is basically a highly deceptive matriarchal society. While Orion women are often sold in slave auctions (another very telling aspect of Orions) and seem incredibly seductive and somewhat willing to pleasure their new “masters”, Orion women are incredibly deceptive. They give off pheromones which affect both male and female members of a ship, and create chaos (as seen in Star Trek Enterprise). The goal is for Orion pirates to take over the ship much more easily, strip it down and take the crew to be sold at auction. Even Orion males are lulled into a very suggestive state by Orion women. The entire system of the Syndicate was completely developed by the women of the Orion homeworld.
So while it’s not so odd to see an Orion in Starfleet, by this time Starfleet would have ensured that she would not have had a roommate (in order to ensure that Uhuru didn’t go nuts around her), or would have developed a medical treatment to make sure that the Orion woman’s pheromones didn’t cause mass chaos. We even see an Orion woman walking calmly down the street just before the crash landing in San Francisco. This suggests a common occurrence of Orions visiting Earth, which in reality is incorrect.
5: Stop using overused tropes.
This one is more about Abrams reboot attempt as a whole. Stop glorifying the tropes and showcasing them. So far, in four hours of movie, that`s exactly what has been showcased. The original series was so much more than just the overused tropes. If you actually took the time to watch them, that is. Or even read any of the technical history. Abrams’ Star Trek strikes me as though Abrams and a team just looked on Tumblr and took all of the memes as what came before. Admittedly, if that was the case, then we`d most likely see a more homoerotic relationship between Kirk and Spock.
From Kirk’s sexual libido, to Chekov’s appearance only so he can speak with a “Russian” accent, to Scotty’s love of whiskey. Each and every one is an over used trope, and if that’s your movie then it’s nothing but a trope.
4: Get the spelling right!
Obviously someone decided that spelling things in the Star Trek universe was the last thing needed, or that no one would know how to pronounce things. Abrams, here`s the thing; you`re making a Star Trek movie. Trekkies will know, and those who don`t, they`ll be going to the theatre with a Trekkie so the Trekkie will inform them. Don`t play the audience like their stupid. What am I referring to? The title shot of the Enterprise shuttle pod flying down to a planet. The title shot says “Kronos” at the top. Any Trekkie worth their salt would spell it like “Qo’nos”, which is how it was originally spelled.
3: Was this really necessary?
Remember the scene where Marcus and Kirk got into a shuttle to… do something. And Marcus tells Kirk to turn around? Was that scene even necessary? Did we really need to see that scene? Why does that scene exist? Who thought “this would be really cool, ’cause BOOBS”? Because that’s all that scene was about (and adding to the trope of Kirk’s over inflated sexual libido that seems to be the only thing about this version of Kirk, Hey Abrams, did you even watch the original series).
2: Misuse of the Prime Directive.
While captains of different Enterprises have indeed bent the rules of the Prime Directive, they never did it as flagrantly as in Star Trek Into Darkness. And those who have, usually get shuttled out of Starfleet never to return. Oh, Kirk has bent the Prime Directive in the past (ST: Voyage Home), but he did it in order to save the planet, thereby saving the United Federation of Planets. And the idea of dropping the Enterprise into the ocean to hide… really? There’s already a place where the ship could hide. It’s called IN ORBIT! If this is a pre-warp civilization, then it’s doubtful they have space-faring technology, so hiding in orbit would probably be for the best. This version of Kirk would have been shuttled out of Star Fleet because the risks he and his crew take are beyond unacceptable.
1: All About Khan.
So, I understand that Abrams wanted a throw back to the original series by retelling one of the most important episodes in Trek, which revealed the character of Khan Noonien Singh. If that name sounds odd attached to the face of Benedict Cumberbatch, then you’re not wrong. The name is very Indian or Punjab sounding (Punjab considering the last name Singh is very similar to names taken by those who are followers of the Sihk religion). The original actor was Ricardo Montalban, a Mexican actor (and a person of colour). Recasting Khan as Benedict Cumberbatch is really a slap in the face to what has been shown before. In all seriousness, the Eugenics Wars and the awakening of Khan could have been saved for something else (as Into Darkness takes place ten years before Space Seed in the original series). Cumberbatch’s character could have been an Augment with the name John Harrison and you still would have had the same feel for it. You could have even avoided the calling to New Vulcan and getting Old Spock to fill in the blanks. Khan and this entire series of events could have been avoided completely to tell an original story while at the same time calling back and giving a nod to Space Seed and Wrath of Khan. The aspect of having Kirk die in the same manner as having Spock die in Wrath of Khan (right down to Kirk decking Scotty whereas Spock gave Scotty a Vulcan nerve pinch) was incredibly lazy. If you wanted to rewrite Space Seed or Wrath of Khan, why didn’t you do that. Or even better, just don’t because those two original pieces held up way better.