The Good and Bad of 2014 – AoG’s Year End Review
THE BEST MOMENTS OF 2014
All of the screaming and fainting Beatles fans of the 60s would have a run for their money if you put them next to today’s squeeing geeks. There were a lot of movie announcements this year that have fans frothing at the mouth. Yes, they’re all part of big movie franchises, but that’s okay. This just means more superheroes, more Jurassic Park, more Terminator, more Mad Max and more Star Wars. What year is it???
Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios held a secret event earlier this year where they announced the entire Phase 3 lineup. It’s all pretty damn cool. The biggest movies to stand out are Black Panther and Captain Marvel. It may have taken up until now to throw in the diversity card with their first black male lead and their first major female lead, but better late than never, right? Marvel still has more diversity in the Marvel Cinematic Universe now than any superhero movie DC/WB has released so far. Lawrence Fishburne does not an entire racial community make, Man of Steel.
Speaking of Marvel… Holy chimichangas, Batman, Deadpool got green lit! Back in July, someone leaked computer animated test footage featuring the Merc with a Mouth in all his glory. Ryan Reynolds reprised his role in both voice and in motion capture. There was so much buzz and excitement over this footage alone that Twentieth Century Fox wised up and gave the project a go. Maybe this time we’ll see Deadpool the way we were meant to see him from the very start, especially now that X-Men Origins: Wolverine no longer exists in Fox’s current timeline. Hallelujah!
The release of the first trailer for Jurassic World made me feel something I hadn’t felt since Jurassic Park first stomped its way onto the silver screen in 1993 (and again when it returned to theaters in 2013). I got goosebumps, chills! I was suddenly a little kid again.
The first trailer for Terminator: Genysis dropped too. I’ll admit that I sighed a little when they said that the timeline changed (again), but after seeing all that action, one can’t help but feel excited, optimistic, and ready to forget about the last two installments. Emilia Clarke saying “Come with me if you want to live. NOW, soldier!” just gets me pumped to fall in line.
Then there’s Mad Max: Fury Road. I never saw the original films starring Mel Gibson, but I’m aware of its appeal. From what we’ve seen from the first two trailers, the set-up looks unforgiving, brutal, and downright, frakking awesome. Explosions!
The meat and potatoes of all movie announcements comes in the form of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser. All skepticism we’ve had up until then suddenly turned into fevered anticipation. I and every other Star Wars fan shook with delight when the teaser dropped online. I caught that feeling again when I saw it in IMAX 3D before The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies. One can safely assume that the only cure for this rising anticipation is to have the movie out in theaters, but that won’t happen until December 18, 2015. The struggle of waiting is real…
And I just now realized that all of these awesome moments are merely announcements for movies premiering next year and beyond.
I know I said that 2014 was a crummy year for women, but that’s not altogether true. There were so many great moments for women and female characters in comic books, TV, movies, and video games.
In comic books, many changes are happening for the better to appeal to the growing female readership. Marvel is making Thor Odinson step aside and giving a woman the opportunity to possess Mjolnir and take his place. They also debuted a new Ms. Marvel — a young Pakistani American girl, Kamala Khan. Just recently, the major comic book company also revealed Spider-Woman’s new practical costume to replace the dated, skin-tight leotard she wears today. We can already hear cosplayers’ sewing machines warming up.
DC’s most positive moments come in the form of updating Batgirl’s cape and cowl to reflect today’s Millennial audience, which we adore to no end. DC and Warner Bros. also found their Wonder Woman in actor Gal Gadot as well as the movie’s female director, Michelle MacLaren.
Indie comics also had a good year where female characters were concerned. Lumberjanes, The Wicked + The Divine, Sex Criminals, Bitch Planet, and Rat Queens (which won an Eisner Award this year) all feature women in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and levels of crass. Y’know, like real people.
Before we were jaded by Gamergate, video games started off 2014 in a positive direction with The Last of Us: Left Behind, which put a spotlight on young love between two teenage girls, with Child of Light and Transistor. All three games not only featured compelling female protagonists respectively, but they also made us tear up in the end. Maybe even curl up in a little ball of feels.
Finally, TV may have had the best year ever. More and more shows feature female leads taking charge, kicking ass, and taking names. From How to Get Away with Murder, to Scandal, to Fargo, to The Legend of Korra. The last one in particular showcased strong-willed women on both sides of the spectrum fighting for what they believe in. In The Legend of Korra, you have the titular character fighting her demons while trying to prevent an all-out world war against Kuvira, an Oda Nobunaga figure hell-bent on reuniting the Earth Kingdom as one country. Korra prevailed, of course, but that’s not what made this show’s series finale so memorable. [SPOILER ALERT] Through the course of this last season, there was a subtle attraction between Korra and another female member of Team Avatar, Asami. Their long friendship slowly turned into a romance, which finally revealed itself in the last seconds of the series.
This was a huge moment since it’s still unthinkable to have an openly gay character in an animated TV show that’s geared towards a young American audience. The only other ambiguous moment that hinted toward a gay relationship between two characters was in Adventure Time’s “What Was Missing.”
Finally, the biggest thing to happen to TV this year has nothing to do with feminism. The premiere of The Flash on CW. It hit the ground running with awesome storytelling and spot-on character portrayals, and there are no signs of slowing down. It’s just great TV all around!
What are your best and worst geeky moments of 2014? Let us know in the comments below!