I could summon a little more enthusiasm, I reckon, considering that it isn’t REALLY the return of the Fantastic Four we’re talking about. Not yet. It’s the return of Marvel-Two-In-One, a comic I used to love as a kid. It featured the Thing in a team-up with a different character every month or couple of months. It was fun and entertaining. It hits the old nostalgia button.

Can I just be honest? I was never that interested in Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman. The Thing and the Human Torch were the characters I cared about, so the fact that the new Marvel-Two-In-One series will focus exclusively on the two of them sits just fine with me. Whether it does, as promised, lead to the eventual return of the Fantastic Four to the Marvel Universe or whether it doesn’t, I don’t care. Johnny and Ben getting their own shared comic book excites me.

Is there any way Marvel could make the Fantastic Four viable again? Even before those three awful, awful, awful movies, the team had slipped way down on the list of prominence for comic-reading fans. The book had not been “The world’s greatest comic magazine!” in a long, long time.

The new Marvel-Two-In-One series debuts this December, with Chip Zdarsky writing and artwork by Jim Cheung.

I loved THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO. It came out when I was a little kid obsessed with comic books and superheroes–as opposed to being an adult who is obsessed with comic books and superheroes, but nowadays I’m a little more picky about my entertainment choices. Not that I wouldn’t love, or have loved, I guess I should say, THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO if it had first come out today. It’s hard to say for sure. So much of the charm of the series was its 80s aesthetic. (As a little bit of trivia, the name of the lead character was changed from “Hinckley” to “Hanley” after John Hinckley shot President Ronald Reagan in 1981.) I’ve wondered how long it would be before somebody decided to remake the series. Personally I’d hoped for a theatrical movie. Instead there’s going to be a new television series. I’d be more excited about this news than I am if I hadn’t also learned that the new series will feature a female lead character, of Indian descent. In other words, it’s going to be another case of PC anti-whitewashing.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t give a rip about the gender or the ethnicity of any given character. It’s continuity I care about. The GAH is a white male. That’s established continuity. Now if this series were to take place in the same universe as the original and constituted not a “reimagining” but a continuation, I’d be fine with it. A new hero taking over for the original. They could even get William Katt, star of the original series, to appear. I’d be down with that. As it is, the changing of the gender and race of the lead character smacks of tokenism, and that’s a shame.

I’m probably more concerned about this than I should be, as I doubt this news series will fly, anyway. But it wrecks the chances for a THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO movie. Not that, if a movie were to be made, it would possibly bear any resemblance to the show I loved as a kid, anyway.

Normally I hang my head in disgust when anything political becomes an issue in entertainment. PC Culture is toxic and vile, and we need a safe refuge from it. Alas, no such refuge exists. Some problems, though, are easily avoided, or would be, if people would just not be stupid. A perfect example of this stupidity was the decision to cast Ed Skrein of DEADPOOL fame in the upcoming HELLBOY reboot. The character assigned to Skrein, Ben Daimio, is of Asian descent. Skrein is not of Asian descent. What were they thinking? Remember how the PC wankers squealed like gutshot porcines after Tilda Swinton got cast in DR. STRANGE in a role that was, according to the comics that inpired the film, supposed to be Asian. (Ironically, this shitstorm came about because the director was actively TRYING to be PC sensitive, fearing that casting an elderly Asian in the role would have been stereotypical. I tell ya, there just ain’t no pleasin’ the PC wankers.)

The studio, Lionsgate, should have known better. Skrein, however, showed that he has integrity. When he found out about this issue, he voluntarily stepped down. “I must do what I feel is right,” he said. Good on you, boy! It would be wrong for the studio to change the ethnicity of the character, just as it is wrong when they change the ethnicity of any established character by casting a minority in a role that should be played by a Caucasian. There are a few cases where they got away with it and it worked–Heimdall in the THOR films, Jason Momoa as Aquaman–but it never works the other way around, casting somebody white in a role that should be played by a minority.

It shouldn’t fall to the actors to have to make such decisions, but they have to when the studios are too stupid to do it themselves. Skrein just did Lionsgate a big favor.

James Cameron said that WONDER WOMAN was a “step back” for feminism in movies. He said it nicely. But the director of WONDER WOMAN, Patty Jenkins, laid some serious smack down on him anyway. She did it nicely, too.

Here’s what HE had to say: “All of the self-congratulatory back-patting Hollywood’s been doing over Wonder Woman has been so misguided. She’s an objectified icon, and it’s just male Hollywood doing the same old thing! I’m not saying I didn’t like the movie but, to me, it’s a step backwards. Sarah Connor was not a beauty icon. She was strong, she was troubled, she was a terrible mother, and she earned the respect of the audience through pure grit…” Hmmm. I think plugging your own character, there, counts as “self-congratulatory back-patting” too, Jimmy.

Here’s what Patty Jenkins said in reply: “James Cameron’s inability to understand what Wonder Woman is, or stands for [is] unsurprising as…he is not a woman…if women have to always be hard, tough, and troubled to be strong, and we aren’t free to be multidimensional or celebrate an icon of women everywhere because she is attractive and loving, then we haven’t come very far…”

Yep. Owned. A woman can be sexy, physically beautiful, and still be strong, Jimmy. Maybe you are just intimidated by strong women?