Well, friends, it happened. The Marvel Machine, which kicked off in 2008, has finally made a female lead superhero film with Captain Marvel. James starts off with a history of the character, Carol Danvers, and Captain Marvel’s roots as a character created for trademark reasons. He goes on to describe the highs and lows of Carol Danvers portrayals. Claire kicks off her production segment with a look at why it has taken so long for the highly successful Marvel Studios to make a film about a female superhero. She continues by asking (and answering) the question of “why Captain Marvel?” and how that ties back to comic book writer Kelly Sue DeConnick and her recent run with the character. The hosts rap up with their opinions on the film and how this episode connects with the previous Ms. Marvel/Kamala Khan episode.
Our new episode pairing will be Kamala Khan’s Ms. Marvel with Carol Danver’s Captain Marvel. And Kamala’s up first! Joining us are the critically charming Merri and Missy from the Fake Geek Girls podcast. Claire begins by discussing the involvement of women in comics as fans and creatives, and explains the factors that have both welcomed and shunned them from the industry. Kyle continues the theme by talking about Marvel’s diversity initiative in 2011. The Fake Geek Girls help us tie it into the creation of Kamala Khan and what characters like her mean for our culture. Our hosts and guests wrap up with their thoughts on the initial run of Samana Amanat, G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona, and Jamie Mckelvie’s Ms. Marvel.
The time has come… for The Journey to the West! James has been waiting years for us to cover this classic tale of heroes, demons, and the search for enlightenment. He discusses Daoism, Buddhism and Confucianism and how the story brilliantly manages to espouse all three. Claire talks about the evolution of the story by walking through the original historic journey taken by the monk Xuanzang in 596 and examines how it became the phenomenon it is today. Our hosts conclude with their thoughts on the Anthony C. Yu translation, why they chose to cover this book, and how well they believe it will pair up with our next topic, Dragon Ball Z.
Outlander is Diana Gabaldon’s beloved fantasy and historical fiction book series and a TV show on STARZ. Claire starts out with a look at early historical fictions, what defines the genre, and how it became known as “feminine”. Kyle jumps into Diana Gabaldon’s process, how she came to write some of the most successful historical fiction novels ever, and why show runner, Ronald Moore decided to adapt the series for television. The duo wraps up the episode with their thoughts on the first book, the success of an oft maligned genre, Outlander’s connections to C.L. Moore’s Jirel of Joiry and the legacy of women writing women for women.
It’s time for Claire and Kyle to begin our next pairing: Jirel of Joiry by C.L. Moore and Outlander by Diana Gabaldon! This week we focus on the sword and sorcery heroine of pulp magazines, Jirel, one of fantasy’s first female protagonists written by a female author. In our history segment, Kyle walks us through some of the first female fantasy authors including 17th century aristocrat, Margaret Cavendish, and beloved Little Women author, Louisa May Alcott (!!). Claire’s production segment picks up from there, describing the life and career of C.L. Moore before getting into the origin and growth of pulp fiction, and Weird Tales, the magazine that launched Moore’s career. Our hosts conclude with a discussion of why they paired Jirel of Joiry with Outlander, their reaction to Jirel, and the audience for her 85 year old pulp stories today.