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The Week in Geek: Psylocke is back. Tran strikes back. Big Bang Theory? Bazinga!

Contributed by
Aug 24, 2018

August is nearly over. This week is definitely over. At least for some of you. Me? I'm on a plane to Mexico for a screening and some interviews because there's no rest for the weary.

As you look forward to another weekend, take a look back with me on the week that was. You know the drill. Here they are: the five biggest stories from... The Week in Geek!

PSYLOCKE'S WHITE (AGAIN)

Mystery in Madriopoor #4 was released by Marvel this week. It's a story by Jim Zub that started as a journey to discover the lost (stolen) body of Wolverine. But the journey took an unexpected detour for one specific character: Betsy Braddock, aka Psylocke.

For those unaware of the X-Man's history, Psylocke didn't always look the way she does now. Originally, Betsy was a rich British white woman before she body-swapped with Kwannon, a Japanese mutant ninja. Betsy's former body contracted the Legacy virus (think HIV but for mutants) and then died with Kwannon in it.

So, basically, a white woman has been living inside the body of a Japanese woman in the pages of Marvel comics for two decades. It's a thorny issue that tends to go ignored. It's an altered Altered Carbon situation.

But in Mystery in Madripoor #4, Zub made a drastic move: he let Betsy psychically rebuild and inhabit a new version of her original, white body. And, in the very last page of the comic, revealed that someone is still occupying Kwannon's body, maybe even Kwannon herself.

We have no idea what will happen next, so it's very difficult to know how to feel about this decision. Is it a progressive move? It certainly seems like Marvel wants its readers to read it that way. But without knowing how the story (and especially Kwannon's story) will be executed, it's hard to make a judgment.

Regardless, the return of the original Betsy Braddock and the potential return of Kwannon is a big moment for Marvel comics.

Screen Shot 2018-08-22 at 2.52.03 PM

Credit: CBS

THE BIG BANG THEORY IS ENDING

For some, CBS's The Big Bang Theory is a long-running half-hour distraction about nerds. For others, it's the worst show in television history.

However you feel about it, after 12 seasons and 279 episodes, The Big Bang Theory is coming to an end. And, considering that it is, arguably, one of the most visible representations of nerd culture in media, that's a passing worth remarking upon.

It's one thing to have shows about comic book heroes, and those have become almost a dime a dozen; but The Big Bang Theory, at least in theory, supposed to be about the people who read comics themselves.

Over the years geeks have argued over whether it's an honest representation of nerd culture (as though that's even possible) or if it somehow has appropriated that culture. It hasn't. But some people think it has.

My father loves The Big Bang Theory and tried to get me to watch it for years. I caught a few episodes and was personally unimpressed by what read to me as sexism and racism trussed up in a Green Lantern T-shirt. But, then again, much like so many spaces, nerd communities frequently find themselves clouded by misogyny, racism, and other forms of bigotry. So perhaps by accident, The Big Bang Theory may have actually held up a reflection that geeks didn't like seeing because it wasn't as far from the truth as they'd like.

Regardless, it is likely that, years from now, people will look back on The Big Bang Theory as a cultural touchstone for how we perceived geeks in the early 21st century. And, if nothing else, "Bazinga!" will probably go down in history as one of the most irritating exclamations in recorded human language.

Rose Tico Last Jedi

KELLY MARIE TRAN STRIKES BACK

Earlier in the summer, actress, Kelly Marie Tran, who plays Rose Tico in the current trilogy of Star Wars films, exited social media after months and months of sustained harassment. In case you forgot, some Star Wars "fans" believe that they are being forced to embrace diversity in a galaxy far, far away just like they expected to embrace diversity here on Earth.

But Tran knows that the violent words lobbed at her over her existence in Star Wars are a symptom of a much larger problem. And she wrote all about it in a guest op for the The New York Times.

"I had been brainwashed into believing that my existence was limited to the boundaries of another person’s approval,” writes Tran. “I had been tricked into thinking that my body was not my own, that I was beautiful only if someone else believed it, regardless of my own opinion. I had been told and retold this by everyone: by the media, by Hollywood, by companies that profited from my insecurities, manipulating me so that I would buy their clothes, their makeup, their shoes, in order to fill a void that was perpetuated by them in the first place."

Yes, #TicoGate (or whatever people wound up calling this) has legs, but not because a bunch of racist crybabies on the internet succeeded in getting noticed for once in their lives. The reason this resonates is because it provides a view into how successful systemic racism can impact individuals oppressed by it.

Looking at her footprint, though, and seeing how important Rose Tico can be to fans of Star Wars, Tran concluded, "I know how important that is. And I am not giving up." And good for her.

Superman and Lois Lane

LOIS LANE COMES TO SUPERGIRL

The third Arrowverse crossover event keeps getting bigger and bigger. We already knew it would introduce Batwoman. We know that Ruby Rose has been cast as Batwoman.

But now we've heard that not only will Tyler Hoechlin's take on Superman be appearing, but he'll be bringing someone else along with him: Lois Lane.

Just like with Batwoman, this announcement comes prior to the official casting, but the idea of Lois Lane popping up on Supergirl is exciting nevertheless.

And, frankly, it makes us wonder if, considering Hoechlin's success on Supergirl, there might be some chance of his version of Superman getting a show of his own now that Lane's appearence is imminent. Considering the DCEU has said nothing about a new Superman movie, it would nice to get our Man of Steel fix somewhere.

Blade Hero Image

BLADE TURNS 20

Way, way back in 1998, before superhero movies were a known quantity, Marvel and David Goyer took a shot on Wesley Snipes and Blade. As you may know, Snipes originally wanted to make a Black Panther movie (good idea) and didn't really know anything about Blade. But Goyer had a good feeling about Snipes (you know, before they grew to hate each other) and wrote a script for a half-vampire hunter of the undead that would be Marvel's first true success on the big screen.

Two decades later, the superhero genre is basically the most successful one on planet Earth and Blade and Snipes are, effectively who we have to thank. SYFY WIRE spoke with the cinematographer this week to hear all about his process. You do want to know about that time a room rained blood, right? Of course you do!

And, of course, since it's been 20 years and this is the age where everything old is new again, people are asking whether or not the Blade movies should be a part of the MCU and if Wesley Snipes should be given the chance to reprise the role.

And that's it, friends! Your Week in Geek is now over. Go in peace and try not to get bit by any vampires. They wear sunblock now, you know?


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