Tag: comics and graphic novels

Let’s Talk FATE: The Winx Saga PROBLEMS

This one is gonna be a bit rant-y so be prepared.

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If you don’t know, let me catch you up! The ‘Winx Club’ was an Italian television animated series as well as comics created by Iginio Straffi all the way back in 2004. If you are original fans of the show you might remember the english dub being aired on the 4Kids network which sadly went bankrupt. It was given new life by Nickelodeon in 2011 which aired a few of the remaining seasons. In 2016, a Winx spin off called ‘World of Winx’ was put on Netflix for it’s only two season run.

Now, that you know some history, let’s get into what the story is about. Our main character is Bloom (Abigail Cowen), who discovers that she is a fairy when after getting into an altercation with another fairy named Stella. Bloom is secretly from a devastated planet called Domino or Sparks (if you remember the 4Kids dub) and is the wielder of the Dragon flame, the strongest fairy magic there is. Stella ( Hannah van der Westhuysen) then introduces Bloom to the magical world and she decided to go study her magic at Alfea, a school for fairies where they learn how to master their magic to eventually graduate and become guardian fairies of their home planets. At the school we meet the rest of the club, Musa (Elisha Applebaum) who is fairy of music, Tecna, the fairy of technology, and Flora, the fairy of nature. In the second season we get our final member of the group, Aisha (Precious Mustapha) who is the fairy of waves.

 

Image via Star Point Mansion

The world is filled with other magical creatures and other magical schools. Red Fountain is an all boys school where the students study to become Specialists. They learn how to fight, use cool weapons, tame/ catch wild magical creatures who got loose and work to become warriors. But the biggest adversaries for the Winx are the witches who attend Cloud Tower. The main antagonists of the show are a trio of witches, Icy, Darcy and Stormy. They are involved in pretty much every plot to destroy the fairies and take over the magical universe. Along side evil wizards, evil fairies, evil old witches and so on.

So, Netflix decided hey, let’s do that but not really. Let’s get into the biggest changes the new live action adaptation has made. Let me preface this by saying, I am not against changes or shortening things for the sake of an adaptation if it makes sense for the story you are telling. But some of these changes…..

 

 

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Here is a list for your convenience.

 

#1 Flora doesn’t Matter I guess

One of the core characters, Flora was replaced in the show with a character named Terra who is played by Eliot Salt. Terra is a fairy of nature just like Flora and the gag is….she’s supposedly Flora’s cousin. Also, Terra has a brother who goes to school with them. So you’re really telling me you thought it be fine to bring back most of the other original characters but decided to create cousins for Flora, instead of I don’t know, just hiring a Latinx woman to play her? The original Winx Club was praised for it’s inclusivity and writing out one of the only other brown girls in the main group makes no sense to me.

 

 

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#2 Tecna who?

Along with Flora not being in the show proper, another core member of the club Tecna just doesn’t exist now. She specialized in techno-magic, was undoubtedly was the smartest in the group and did most of the leg work for the show. In the original series, the girls would’ve been lost without her and her exclusion can’t help but make me think that there will be a major dynamic shift in the group for the live action. Cartoons and shows have thrived using different types of people in groups to see how they fair. You have the ditzy, fun living one which is Stella. Tecna, is the studious and collected one, Musa is the emotional, musical one, Bloom is the sweet generic one, Aisha is ambitious and sporty and Flora is literally the mom of the group.

I truly do hope it’s not blatant obvious that Tecna isn’t there.

 

via GIPHY

 

 

#3 The Trix don’t exist but Be-a-trix does

You get it? Her name’s a pun! Hilarious. Like I said previously, Icy, Darcy and Stormy are the biggest foil to our group. They are the big bad the first season then go one to being seconds to the main villains in others. For the live action, we are getting a single character who is a fairy who goes to Alfea with the other girls named Beatrix (Sadie Soverall).  She’s supposedly a “troublemaker” and there is no real indication yet on whether she will be the main villain of the show. But my problem is, is that I’m not scared of her! I’m not even a little bit intimidated. All I’ve seen of her do is ask for a room temperature water like a mean girl in high school you can’t take seriously. The original witches had a great sense of presence, from their wardrobe to how severe they were they threw their spells. Beatrix gives me nothing. Like, girl, just sit down somewhere, sip on you room temp water while you wait until your rich parents to send the limo round for you.

 

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#4 The aesthetic is giving me witchy not fairy

Another problem is the feel of the show. It feels like the ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’, just minus the devil and orgies. From the shots we’ve seen in the trailer and teaser screams more dark academia than Tinkerbell, you know? With the witches not being in show it takes away one of the core dynamics in the show, the clear difference between fairies and witches. The fairies rarely wear dark colors, they are all about pastels, and flowing tops and skirts, hearts; think cottage core circa Britney Spears in the early 2000’s. And the witches pretty much one wear dark clothes, if not they accessories with fish nests, long nails, etc; think e-girl circa Christina Aguilera/Avril Lavigne in the early 2000’s. These choices were made to not only diversfy the fashions but to make it clear on who the fairies are and who the witches are. Clothing, hair and costuming  are a huge part of story telling, an IMPORTANT part and the fashion they gave these girls were less than disappointing.

I mean, look at the material!

 

Image via Puzzle Factory

 

Image via Puzzle Factory

 

But this is what we got.

Image via Netflix

Alfea doesn’t look magical in the way Hogwarts did. There is nothing special about it and it doesn’t look inviting. With other magical schools, you can just tell that magic runs through the very foundation of it but it looks a bit boring to me.

 

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#5 Everything else!

Let’s go rapid fire on this one folks. None of the iconic teachers are present from what we’ve seen, which is really unfortunate. Red Fountain doesn’t exist anymore and everyone goes to the same school which will help lead to romance drama and love triangles. It’s 2021 people, have we not evolved pass the need for love triangles?  Stella seems completely different from her animated counterpart. For some reason everyone is from the UK. There were no other UK brown girls who could be Flora though? Still wondering why and still waiting for an explanation. Musa’s actress is very white passing which again removes a lot of the diversity that was in the original show. She’s also no longer the fairy of music but she is now an empath. Empathy was a part of her power but it wasn’t her main power. How is she supposed to defend herself?

The girls no longer have, at least from what we’ve seen, anime-esque magical girl fairy transformations. There are creatures called the Burned ones who attack the girls. Okay? A lot of the Specialists that we know and love don’t seem to be present except for Sky (Danny Griffin)  because of course and Riven (Freddie Thorp). You don’t bring back Sky’s best boy Brandon but keep Riven who no one likes?! Again, CHOICES! The show looks  super dark not theme wise, I’m fine with it being dark and sort of scary because the original was but actually dark. Am I the only one who’ve noticed that a lot of Netflix originals have horrible lighting?

 

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Okay, I think that’s everything for now. ‘FATE: The Winx Saga’ will become available on Netflix tomorrow Friday, January 22. Check out the trailer if you want and I will be back and bright on Saturday morning for a run down for ya’ll. I will also be live tweeting my reactions so make sure you are following Bookstr on Twitter! All of these opinions come from me as a genuine fan and what Netflix has provided but I will try to keep an open mind. Let me know if you are excited or terrified or just intrigued by this show. And are going to watch because you are excited, terrified or intrigued?

featured image via Jewish news

‘WandaVision’ Episode 1 and 2 Explained

The first two episodes of ‘WandaVision’ just hit Disney + and we’ve got some things to unpack! SPOILERS abound! You’ve been warned, so let’s get into it!

 

 

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Episode 1: Episode 1

Girl, where you been?!

We are re-introduced to Wanda and Vision who are just happily married and have moved to a new town. Just like the promos showed it’s black and white and the couple appear to be in the fifties on a “I Love Lucy”, ‘Bewitched”-esque show, with a laugh track to boot. It’s quite silly and sweet as they settle in and we meet their neighbor named Agnes.

 

 

It turns out that today is a special day but neither of them remember why. Wanda thinks its their anniversary while at work for some company that does something, Vision realizes the boss and his wife are supposed to come over dinner. A misunderstanding ensues like all great sitcoms and dinner is a mess. As both pairs finally sit down to dinner, the boss’ wife, Mrs. Hart, ask the couple normal questions any “regular” couple should know. Where did they move from? When did they get married? Why don’t they have children?  Neither of them can answer anything.

Then Vision’s boss being to choke and no one does anything and just watches him choke and all his wife can do is to tell him to stop it, like she thinks he is joking around. It got real awkward then.

 

 

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Vision eventually saves him by phasing his hand into him and getting the piece of food that was stuck in his throat. The couple then perks up and leaves. Wanda and Vision end the episode in front of the television, they pick out a song, Wanda makes them wedding rings, they smile and kiss, then roll credits.

So let’s discuss big reveals.

 

 

#1 Stark Industries is alive and well, honey!

In the middle of the episode while Vision is at his office, we see a short commercial for a Stark industries toaster. It’s quite fancy and will help your wife not burn your toast. (the commercials words, not mine). This tells us two things, again Stark industries is giving the home appliance sector a run for their money and it was clear that this commercial was supposed to mimic a commercial break while the show is on but these “commercials” seem a lot more important they let on but we’ll get to that in the next episode.

 

#2 Wanda and Vision are being watched and not just by us!

At the end of the episode, while the camera holds on Wanda and Vision in a loving a embrace, the camera pulls back out of a television screen into an office of some sort. Someone closes a notebook as if they had just finished writing. This tells us a lot! It doesn’t tell us where the two are exactly, but they are being monitored. By who? No idea. Maybe Sheild, Hydra or it could be the Time Variance Authority (TVA) who we learned about when discussing the ‘Loki’ Disney + show. The organization surveys the entire multiverse so it wouldn’t surprise me that they have a hand in keeping watch over Wanda and Vision in this predicament that they have found themselves in. And if the TVA are involved it will help make a connection between the shows and can even run a thread through the other Disney + exclusives.

 

 

Episode 2: Episode 2

For the Children

Episode two starts with a cartoon ‘Bewitched’ style opening title sequence. While in bed the couple here a clattering at the window and they are worried about what it could be, maybe some unsavory characters who had moved in but it turned out to be the tree outside of their bedroom window.  The main conflict of the show is that Wanda and Vision are going to be participating in the town’s talent show benefit for the local elementary school. For the children! They are doing, shocker, a magic act. While at home Wanda hears a noise outside and goes to check it out, in her hedges is a child’s toy, a red airplane. The problem with that, is that plane is red while everything is in black and white! Something is clearly wrong here!

Instead of dealing with that, she and Agnes have to go and meet the organizer of the event and the town’s resident PTA mother of the year, Dottie. While at her meeting, Wanda meets Geraldine, the grown up Monica Rambeau from ‘Captain Marvel’ and they hit it off.

 

 

Vision meets with some men from the neighborhood at the library for a neighborhood watch meeting. There he takes a chance to fit in and eats gum, he swallows it which then gums up in internal mechanics. Back with Wanda, she tries to make amends with Dottie but the music on the radio disrupts because someone is calling to Wanda through it. The seemingly male voice calls to her and asks who’s doing this to her. The radio blows up and the glass that Dottie was holding breaks, causing her to bleed. Again we see the color red.

 

 

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So, Wanda is understandably freaked out, but they have to perform. With Vision going haywire, hijinks ensue as they finish their performance and actual win the comedy award. Back home they wrap up the episode on the couch like the first but Wanda stands up and suddenly she is pregnant?! The two are happy but they hear something outside. They go to see what’s up, and a person crawls out of the man hole on the street, in a bee keepers uniform. Wanda literally nopes the f*** out and the scene rewinds itself back to when they found out that they were expecting. They are happy again and suddenly everything gains color. Roll credits!

Let’s discuss the BIGGEST reveals!

 

 

#1 Wanda causally rewound time; No big deal!

Ummm…. what?! Wanda has some serious explaining to do! This tells us a lot! First, Wanda has control over this world, realm, reality, wherever they are! She’s extremely strong and one of the most powerful things we’ve seen her do before this was destroying the mind stone in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’. All that said, her powers are still mostly a mystery where the movies are concerned and now she can rewind time?! If she can rewind and manipulate things, this proves that she has to be involved in creating this reality they are in, knowingly or unknowingly.

 

#2 Hydra has a watch company?!

We got another commercial this episode with the same male and female actors from the first one but this time they are promoting a watch. A Strucker watch to be precise, that has the Hydra symbol on the face of it. For those who forgot, Strucker was the evil scientist who had a major hand in developing Wanda’s abilities. If we are going with the theory that Wanda created this place for herself and Vision, then maybe these commercials are mad up as well? Since she knows Stark and Hydra they could just be fun and interesting easter eggs but something tells me they might not be.

 

 

#3 Is Vision really a man?

Wanda is pregnant. But can Vision, from a biological stand point, give Wanda children? He was once Jarvis, Tony’s AI in most of the movies and then in ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’, Tony created a body for him using the mind stone. So he’s not exactly human right? But again if we are going with this theory that this is all Wanda’s creation maybe her being pregnant is something she had always wanted with Vision whom she loves very much. Which also explains the marriage, the idyllic little suburb, trying to fit in. She wanted a place where she and Vision can be together without the threat of the world ending but that was shattered because of Thanos who destroyed Vision.

 

Image via Junkee

That’s the first two episodes of ‘WandaVision’ down. My theory as you can tell is that a lot of this is in Wanda’s head. She used her powers to escape in a way. We have no idea how she coped after the last big battle with Thanos and Tony’s funeral. But we’ll see how the season unfolds.

Make sure to tell me what you thought. And share your theories!

Featured image via The Good In Comics

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