McGinnis: 2014 Pop Culture Wish List, A few things I’d love to see happen in the New YearWritten by Jeff McGinnis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Now that 2013 is firmly in our rear-view mirror, it is time to look ahead to a new year, full of promise, hope, and a lot of 2013′s garbage to clean up. Kind of like my car, but without the “promise and hope” part. Here are a few of my wishes for what may happen in pop culture during 2014, as well as my guesses on what the odds are that they’ll actually happen.
I hope that Peter Parker is restored as Spider-Man. You must give the creative minds at Marvel Comics credit; they have been committed to this course of action for a year now. The company has insisted the whole time that the actual, honest-to-God status quo from now on is villain Doctor Octopus inside Parker’s body. And the series has continued to sell well and garner rave reviews from fans that can ignore the plot holes, contrived character choices and how it makes everyone not named “Octopus” look like utter morons. But, seriously, it’s time.
Odds: 2:1. This would be even money — a new “Spidey” movie is coming out this summer, and Marvel’s unstated policy has always been to restore titles to their status quo just in time for the mainstream to notice them again — but the series is selling well enough that it might convince the company to stretch out the concept even longer. But given all the “EVERYTHING WILL CHANGE! AGAIN!” proclamations centered around issue #30, most likely, Parker will be restored at that point.
I hope the wrestling company named CHIKARA returns. The imaginative group which I called the “Best Thing, Period” of 2010 has been MIA since last summer, where they portrayed a story where it was mysteriously “shut down” by its corporate overlords. Like Marvel, CHIKARA’s reps have played along ever since with the fiction that the company was truly done. A series of mini-movies online and bizarre “underground” events and scavenger hunts for dedicated fans indicated otherwise. I’m not sure what the point of this hiatus is, but all I can see is it’s brought the momentum of the company to a screeching halt. I hope the relaunch happens soon, so the company can get back to great, imaginative grappling at a time when the industry desperately needs the alternative.
Odds: Even. The endless videos and events prove CHIKARA isn’t really dead, and the increased frequency means that a resolution is coming sooner rather than later — probably before WrestleMania in April. (By the way, on a side note: WWE, I have never seen a company work so hard to waste the popularity of a wrestler as you have with Daniel Bryan. Well done.)
I hope we get the announcement of a solo Wonder Woman movie. Fans everywhere have been reacting with passion to the news of Gal Gadot’s casting as Diana in the upcoming “Batman vs. Superman” movie, whatever it is to be called. While any reaction to her potential performance as the character is quite premature, a legitimate criticism is that the character’s first big screen appearance will be wasted on playing a supporting role in a movie with DC Comics’ two biggest names. I hope Warner Bros. doesn’t think so little of the world’s most recognizable female superhero that the company’s only plan is to use her as a back-up player. She deserves a shot as a lead.
Odds: 10:1, at least. My gut says that DC will continue to follow the excuse that “female superheroes don’t sell,” citing the “Catwoman” and “Elektra” movies as proof. (This ignores the fact that those movies stunk on ice and wouldn’t have sold even with male leads.) I hold out hope that putting Wonder Woman in the new flick is being seen as a test to see how audiences respond to the character, which maybe means she’ll get a shot later on. But even if that’s true, chances are we won’t get an announcement on that until 2015 at the earliest.
I hope we get new content on HomestarRunner.com. This one is the longest of long shots, I admit. Recently I’ve been revisiting some of the classic cartoons posted on this seemingly long-abandoned website, reminding myself of how wonderfully offbeat and hilarious it was. Many afternoons in the mid-2000s were wasted by myself and countless others tooling around on the site, where characters like Strong Bad, Bubs, Coach Z, The Cheat and others held court. HomestarRunner.com hasn’t been regularly updated since 2009, with its primary creators the Chapman brothers moving on to other projects. But many — myself included — continue to hold out hope that the fun is not truly over for everybody, everybody.
Odds: 200:1. Honestly, these odds would be even longer if it weren’t for a few minor news bits from this past year: Strong Bad appearing at the geek music festival “W00tstock” last summer, news that the Brothers Chapman will be collaborating with musicians Paul and Storm on a flash cartoon. There’s still no word on a true relaunching of the siblings’ most famous creation, and it’s likely to stay that way. But one can look at a tweet posted by Matt Chapman on his now-defunct Twitter account and hold out hope: “Someday, when you least expect it…”
Tags: Batman vs Superman, Bubs, Catwoman, CHIKARA, Coach Z, DC Comics, Diana, Doctor Octopus, Elektra, Gal Gadot, homestarrunner.com, Marvel Comics, Peter Parker, Spiderman, Spidey, Strong Bad, The Cheat, Warner Bros., Wonder Woman, Wrestling, WWE