Chromatic Casting: Remixing ‘Birds of Prey’

It was recently announced that Christopher Nolan’s 3rd Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises had cast one of the villains, Bane with British actor Tom Hardy. As this information hit Twitter, I saw fanboy comments that both praised and blasted the casting. One comment from a fellow comic book fan, Arturo R. Garcia,  made me think about the casting. Since I can’t find the exact quote I will say his comment just noted this casting being very white. Tom Hardy’s casting of Bane makes me wonder about his transition to film from comic. Art had his own ideas and wrote a great post about it.

I tweeted back and forth with Art about this. I made the comment about John Stewart being in Green Lantern. Maybe it was the way the words come across on the web but he’s wasn’t thrilled about this casting as if to satisfy the want and need for “people of color” in super hero films and TV.

I thought about this and emailed him. I thought it would be interesting to see a comic book property cast with nonwhite actors and actresses. He knocked one out of the park with the complete recasting of Nolan’s Batman films. So I took it upon myself to step up to the plate and try. I decided to go with ‘Birds of Prey’. If you don’t read ‘Birds of Prey’ the book follows Barbara Gordon, also known as Oracle, through adventures with a varied team roster that’s mainly woman. Since this roster changes so much, I stuck with what I felt were the core characters. I also went with Batman’s female villains, the Gotham Girls as the key nemesis of the group. I want to say the same thing Art said on his post, “Let me say up-front that this, ultimately, is an exercise in casting for fun”. Finally I saw this as an on-going TV series more than a film.

First up, Barbara Gordon, also known as Batgirl and Oracle.

I went with Tamala Jones for Barbara. I’m a fan of hers. Currently, she’s playing Dr. Lanie Parish on Castle. I’m hoping a show like this can do flashbacks to Babs days as Batgirl before becoming Oracle. Tamala can easily play Barbara in her 20’s. Oracle is the heart of this series and it’s no reach for an actress like to Tamala to carry.

Dinah Lance, also known as Black Canary.

Dania Ramirez has already been in the super hero genre by playing Callisto in X-Men 3 and Maya in the TV series Heroes. I had a tough time casting this one. Dinah means so much to the heart of Birds of Prey. I also considered Nia Long and Angela Bassett.

Helena Bertinelli, also know as Huntress.

I think this one is obvious. Grace Park has played a Cyclon and a cop and kicks ass as both. Huntress is the muscle of Birds of Prey.

Zinda Blake, also known as Lady Blackhawk.

I have never read a comic with Lady Blackhawk. I just started seeing her recently in the covers. I want ahead and had some fun with this one because I don’t see her as a regular in the series. I’ve watched a couple of episodes of Outsourced and it’s only worth watching to see Rebecca Hazlewood. I’m a Gail Simone fan so I’m going to hunt down some issues she wrote with Lady Blackhawk and see what this character is about.

Pamela Isley, also known as Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy is all about sexuality. Google Kelly Hu and look at just the images. Done deal.

Harleen Quinzel, also known as Harley Quinn

Harley is a wild card. I wasn’t sure what direction to go with her. She’s codependent on Poison Ivy. She’s also insane. I went with Jasika Nicole from Fringe because I feel we’re about to see her weird side. If you are currently following the show you see her from the “other side” and she’s not all there. The other thing was I wanted to go with someone young that Poison Ivy so that she appears to look up to her.

Selina Kyle, also known as Catwoman

The last of the Gotham Girl is the most dominate. She’s the leader of the Gotham bad girls. Gabrielle Union is Selina Kyle.

And finally I threw these 2 in for some dream casting. Yea, I’m already dream casting but anyhow.

Barbara Gordon isn’t the only Gordon in Gotham. GCPD needs great representation by Clarke Peters as Jim Gordon.

Birds of Prey takes place in Gotham. Gimme 1 cameo of Bruce Wayne played by Idris Elba and I’m happy.

Now to credit some of the artists I used. I wouldn’t have been possible to pull this together without their incredible work.

Gail Simone – Writer of my favorite Birds of Prey work. Follow her here and here.

Adam Hughes

Alex Ross

Bruce Timm

Ed Benes

Jim Lee

Phil Noto

DC Universe Online, Not Available

Reinstalled.
I got the exact same response.
Open.
Crash.
My entire time with Sony Online Entertainment Tech Support started 1/12 and went through 1/24 at which I had them cancel my subscription.
3 tickets with SOE.

1 ticket with Steam.

I had this same problem with SOE when Star Wars Galaxies came out. They are 0/2 with me and I may never play a game with them again.

I was able to discover what was initially causing the crash. It was a USB connection that once removed allowed the game to start up fine. Then it would crashed in game. Any transition between actual game play and anything else just led to my PC locking up. I got to play up to level 6 but playing during level 1 play I had to hard reboot 3x.

I did enjoy the game. I enjoyed the character creation. I like the idea that you can pick hero or villain and that they “study” under a DC hero/villain. In game combat was more built for a console so I see why the PS3 would be a better choice for the game. RPG are really for the PC. FFVII was the only RPG I enjoyed on the console. I played as a villain under the Joker. I got through the first 6 levels and played alongside Catwoman and beat the shit out of Huntress. It was fun and that’s my .05 review.

It wasn’t fun enough to upgrade my system just to play. I shouldn’t have to do that when my video card is listed as approved by SOE.

[03:31:19 PM] ClayHarrison soe: explain my my card is listed here http://help.station.sony.com/cgi-bin/soe.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=27365
[03:32:13 PM] TSR Andy D.: Because the higher tier 2xxx series cards are supported, but yours is not.
[03:33:08 PM] ClayHarrison soe: then it should say 25** or higher not 2*** cause that’s my card
[03:33:46 PM] TSR Andy D.: While I tend to agree with you, it is not something I have control over.
[03:34:00 PM] TSR Andy D.: I do apologize for the misunderstanding, but there is unfortunately nothing else we can do.
[03:34:27 PM] ClayHarrison soe: But you obviously see the error
[03:35:03 PM] ClayHarrison soe: and the “misunderstanding” cost me 50 bucks and a weeks worth of troubleshooting when it NEVER WAS GOING TO WORK!
[03:36:53 PM] TSR Andy D.: If there isn’t anything else I can assist you with, I do need to help the next customer.
[03:37:05 PM] ClayHarrison soe: admit the error
[03:38:47 PM] TSR Andy D.: As already stated, the minimum requirements in both the main Knowledge Base article and Steam both state that an x1950 or better is required. Your card does not meet this, so it will not work.
[03:39:28 PM] ClayHarrison soe: As already stated, the link I provided did have my card listed.
[03:41:14 PM] TSR Andy D.: I have to assist the next customer now, Thanks again for contacting Sony Online, and have a great day!
[03:41:18 PM] ‘ClayHarrison soe’ disconnected (‘Concluded by Agent’).

I contacted Steam about a refund. They make it really simple. I felt if I explained myself then I had a chance. They asked for documentation of the attempts to resolve the problem with SOE. I did. I wasn’t given a refund but I was given store credit.  I really appreciate that Steam took the time and read what happened and did at least this. I’ve talked and spread the word about how awful my experience was with SOE and hope people don’t support them. I like their product but their documentation was shit and the didn’t help the customer at all.

DC Universe Online, Not Available on the Atari 2600

I’ve been waiting for this game. I tried City of Heroes but it was unstable on my machine at the time. I get more frustrated with PC games than anything.

Updates.

Patches.

Drivers.

I grew up with an Atari 2600. If the game didn’t work, we blew in the cartridge and tried it again.

Then I played WoW for a long time. Little to no issues. I stopped to save some cash and looked forward to DC Universe Online. The November launch was delayed and all of a sudden I see it’s going live 1/11/11. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to get it day one but Lori talked me into it. I stopped by Best Buy to pick up a copy.

Not one single copy was on the shelf. I would have asked someone in the PC department but they were all busy. I took a prepaid box to Customer Service and waited. I saw they have multiple copies behind the counter and of the Special Edition as well. So when I get there I say “You don’t have any copies of DC Universe Online out. I would like to buy a copy you have over there.”

“Those aren’t available. They are all on hold for customers.”

I must have given the biggest WTF look to him because he said “That’s all we got.” So cash in hand and they wouldn’t take it.

So I went home and bought it through Steam. 7 hour download. I just let it run overnight.

Today I get home hoping to play. 8.8 GB patch. Really?!?! The day after the release and you dump this on the user? I download that and kick off the game.

You need to create a logon at the site. And set up monthly billing. OK? Got it? Done? Kick off your game now.

Wait. System check needs to verify your install.

READY? Click OK to start. *click*

Nothing.

Well, it was a lot of changes. Reboot and let’s try.

NOTHING!

FUCK!

So I hit the support site and the forums. Little help from the forums and ZERO help from the Knowledge Base. The closet thing I find is a thread of ATI graphic card users that downgraded their driver to an older version and it worked with the game. I try it with rebooting. Nothing. I open an online ticket and call at the same time. 40 minutes later I’m told “I will send you a new installer. Uninstall the current version and use this.” I also had to uninstall Flash.

So I remove the game and launch the new installer. 12 GB download.

So 1 day after I bought the game I am still waiting to play. The insulting part is the interface for it tells me I’ve been playing for 101 minutes.

I have 30 days before I’m charged for the 1st monthly fee. I’m not even sure I’ll make it that far. I wish I just had a cartridge instead.

Backpack Inventory – GTD

Why inventory all your junk?

It’s the art of “GTD”. Getting Things Done.

Cause all the clutter just slows you down. Declutter your life with this little tip I got from Lifehacker.

1. Flashlight – Since I got a Jeep, I have to keep everything in my backpack. This is the most necessary item.

2. Flip video camera – I may not use it a lot but it’s small.

3. Film Journal Moleskin – My new addition for 2011.

4. Small Moleskin – for notes and quick “To-Do” list.

5. Large Moleskin – Thicker for writing. Notes on stories and dialogue.

6. iPhone USB charger and plug.

7. Charlie Brown Moleskin – for drawing. I wanted to start drawing again so I got this for that reason.

8. Book of choice – Usually a graphic novel but trying to read more traditional books.

9. 320 GB Western Digital and USB cord. I haven’t completely moved to the cloud but like having my data with me.

1. Flint for the Zippo.

2. Zippo – I don’t smoke but carry this.

3. Swiss Army Knife.

4. Floss.

5. Purell – Because I know where my hands have been.

6. Cough Suppressants – Usually carrying them in the Winter.

7. PENS! PENCILS! and 1 Sharpie – uni-ball Signo Gel 207 Retractable Roller Ball Pen, Medium Point, Translucent Barrel, Black Ink. Mechanical pencils. 1 Red Sharpie.

8. and 9. Stanley Tools Mini Multi Tool Gift Set with Socket Set. Just got this for X-Mas as my Leatherman broke. I’ve been through 2 of them.

10. Extra headphones.

11. Lip balm.

12. Nail clippers.

13. Lotion. Hey, I get dry skin.

14. More extra headphones.

15. MEDS! I usually carry something for anything that ails me. Rx are usually kept in their bottles. These are OTC.

16. Altoids – Lori hates them cause of the sugar but when you need them,you need them. Also people around you may NEED them.

17. Eye glass cleaner.

18. My puffer. Yes, I have asthma.

So in doing this inventory, it forced me to get rid of junk in there I didn’t use. Extra books I wasn’t reading. Old meds. Clutter. I also didn’t list my wallet, iPhone or Zen cause I usually have those on me. Hopefully next year I can reevaluate this and see if I need something or drop what I haven’t used.

A Day in the Life Part 2

I head home a little after 3. This is the other nice about my job. Leave early. Home early. Little to no traffic at this time too.
At this point I get home and take care of the dogs and this blog experiment falls apart.
I attempted to take a picture every hour but that failed cause work got crazy.
I let other people frustrate me so then this project got harder. Also I actually had plans that night so it was going to get harder. I got home and got busy and lost it.
I couldn’t finish.
I had to meet Terry for dinner and then get in line an hour ahead of it’s start. Oh, I had passes for Green Hornet which didn’t open until Jan 2011. We met at Gloria’s for Mexican and drinks.
Lots of drinks.
So many drinks that we were late to our own deadline. Too late to get into the movie.
I want to see this movie. I’m kinda excited. I’ve only heard bad things so my expectations are pretty low. I only knew Green Hornet from the show. I recently started reading the Kevin Smith run, from his unused script. Damn shame because I’ve lost a little respect for Kevin lately but really enjoyed his take.
We get in line. They count off the people and we are so late and so far back at the end of the line it seemed pointless.
Terry wants to leave.
I want to stay.
He took off to go watch something at home and I’m sure I can get in and just sit in the isle.
No fucking way. As little regard as most theaters have for what customers do in the theater, the companies that put them out had tough security. Guards were at the end of the line and at the door. Your phone was taken and bagged and tagged. I gave up quickly.
Since I had spent so much time and was in already I ducked into Black Swan.
Wow, not a movie you want to see all fucked up but great flick.
Anyhow, I hope to follow this up again at some point and just note what I do the remained of the day. Not that it’s exciting or anything. All in all it’s pretty boring but it forces me to look at things and that’s the interesting part.
I see that I let other people bother me. I bet it’s just a blip in their day but I let it get to me. Also, I tend to let my stuff slide to the back instead of finishing it. This being a part of it but also this follow up post to explain it. It’s forced me to write so I like the exercise of writing a day down.