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Meet Priya, the tiger-riding superhero who fights off the evil in our society

The world is changing. And so are our heroes. Meet Priya, a tiger-riding, evil vanquishing superheroine from India. No more of the cliched “knight in shining amour”. This comic crusader is someone girls from the subcontinent can look up to and feel empowered. The first launch of the series was in December of 2014, exactly 2 years after the gruesome gang-rape of a young woman in Delhi.

Priya: The Origin Story

The first edition, Priya’s Shakhti, shows the origin story of Priya. She is a humble girl from a quaint village in India. In a horrible turn of events, Priya gets raped by men of her village. When she informs her family of the ordeal, her family shuns and ostracizes her. Instead of serving justice, the village elders blame her for provoking the men. Scared and lost, Priya flees to the forest to end her life. The goddess Parvati sees her plight and offers her retribution. Together, they confront the rapists and put an end to sexual violence. Priya, with her newfound powers, goes on to stop sexual violence and battle the stigma around rape and rape victims.

Priya And The Lost Girls: The Plot

In the second edition, Priya’s Mirror, Priya joins forces with acid-attack victims to combat acid attack on women. The third edition picks off right after. Priya returns home and finds that there are no girls left in her village. They have been trapped by the powerful sex-trafficker Rahu, an evil demon who runs an underground brothel. Priya mounts her flying tiger, Sahas, and approaches Rahu’s den. Like all superheroes, she fights the evil demon and defeats him. All the women who were forced to work as sex-workers were freed.

What is interesting is the fact the writer and creator, Ram Devineni, portrays the real challenge that most superhero comics do not; the societal scorn and stigma against sex-workers. He effectively shows how the current society makes it difficult for victims of sex-trafficking to integrate back into normal life.

The Impact

Storytelling is a very powerful tool. A story can help to change people’s hearts and shape their minds. The Priya comic series effectively addresses how survivors of sexual assault and violence are treated in society, especially in the Indian subcontinent. The core message is, the shame belongs to the attacker and not the survivor.

Ant-Man and The Wasp: small heroes, big laughs

While the Marvelites are still recovering from their post-traumatic misery disorder after the monumental finale of Avengers Infinity War, Peyton Reed’s Ant-Man and The Wasp works as a potent antidote to all the doom-and-gloom. Be sure to be effortlessly entertained by a breezy “heist” sequel that never takes itself too seriously. While missing James Gunn’s heart wrenching depth or the Russos’ action sensibilities, this movie stands on its own with a strong cast, great size-shifting action elements and some endearing hilarity.

Thanks to his previous “heroism,” Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) finds himself under house arrest after the events of Captain America: Civil War. Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and his daughter Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) are on the run from similar prosecution. Neither parties have spoken in some time, but that’s until Scott dreams he’s inside Janet Van Dyne’s (Michelle Pfeiffer) body – aka Hank’s long-lost-to-the-Quantum Realm wife. Cue a rescue mission.

Ant-Man and The Wasp juggles a couple of story threads with moderate success. First off is using Hank’s quantum gateway to rescue Janet while thwarting black market dealer Sonny (Walton Goggins) from stealing their tech. A house-arrested Scott Lang also must ensure federal agent Jimmy Woo (Randall Park) doesn’t catch him outside his permitted area. But the movie’s tragic antagonist Ava (Hannah John-Kamen) aka Ghost gets the best story thread of glitching her way to stealing Janet’s essence for her own healing purpose. Marvel has created some truly memorable villains over the last couple of years and while Ghost doesn’t share the highest mantle with Thanos or Killmonger, she definitely gets close with John-Kamen’s tortured portrayal of the character.

Paul Rudd is also stellar as expected in portraying Ant-Man’s average Joe super heroism and fatherhood. His affable personality just works in all of the comedic sequences. But it is Michael Peña’s Luis who steals the funny train. He takes full advantage of the tighter comedy in the script and hyper-babbles to victory under “truth serum” influence. Peña’s that one-line jukebox which keeps cranking out the hits. May every movie feature his mini-voice shrieking with excitement. Evangeline Lilly just crushes it as well this time around fully kitted by the Wasp suit and makes up for her superheroine persona’s absence in the first movie. Wasp’s fight scenes revel in the graceful femininity and the sexy lethality of her comic book counterpart.

Credit is due to the effects teams behind Ant-Man and The Wasp too. As technology increases, so does Hollywood’s ability to superimpose the faces of Douglas, Pfeiffer and Fishburne in flashback ages – which Marvel fashions nicely. Then you’ve got Scott and Hope’s constant ballooning or deflating, which never feels out of place in a visual sense. Cinematography doesn’t exactly break the mold, but it keeps us anchored in worlds of varying magnitudes even in Quantum Realm psychedelics. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids would be proud. Gigantic tomatoes, refrigerator-sized salt shakers, miniaturization scales of otherwise regular sized products and all.

Ant-Man and The Wasp is endearingly earnest, positively punderful and ant-tastic from start-to-finish. While there are weak links weakening the foundation, the final build is a solid romp. This flick may not be essential in the grand Marvel-ous scheme of things, but you’ll be glad it exists. Ant-Man has always been a tremendous supporting character, and that’s exactly what this origin sequel lets Scott Lang do best.

Also, DO NOT miss out on the post-credits scene.

Solo: a Star Wars review

If you’ve been following the behind-the-scenes drama that has been circling the production of the Star Wars movies after Disney’s acquisition of the property, you know it is no less intriguing than whatever has been on the cinema screen. The past few years have seen the abrupt departure of such directors as Josh Trank and Colin Trevorrow; hefty reshoots during the production of Rogue One saw Gareth Edwards joined by writer-director Tony Gilroy. Harrison Ford broke his leg on the set of The Force Awakens; Carrie Fisher tragically passed away not long after filming The Last Jedi.

Then comes Solo: A Star Wars Story, a space opera-western about the galaxy’s best pilot and a “stuck up, half-witted, scruffy-looking Nerfherder”. After the departure of the initial director duo Phil Lord and Chris Miller (21 Jump Street, The Lego Movie) due to “creative differences”, Ron Howard (Apollo 13, The Da Vinci Code) came onboard to reshoot as much as 70 percent of the movie. The result is as expected, a movie that is fighting itself but like the titular character, barely escapes a closing gap with a winning smile.

We first meet Han (Alden Ehrenreich) in the scuzzy, sewer-like underbelly of his home planet Correllia, trying to make enough money to get out and leave the gutters for good. Always an eye on the stars, Han’s journey in this movie is a simple one. Complemented by a host of supporting characters, Han moves from planet to planet and one set piece to another at a brisk pace. However- and I can’t pinpoint whether it’s because of the editing or not- the movie still feels like it drags on. It could easily shed about fifteen minutes worth of run time and consequently become a much tighter experience. Actually, this whole movie feels that it tries to great things but eventually falls short to just being fine. All the components seem to have the potential to mesh together to create a greater whole, but ultimately they fail to do so. Let me elaborate.

Alden Ehrenreich’s Han Solo is a competent one. Watching his portrayal of a character that is beaten yet seemingly unbowed by all the chaos thrown at him is cathartic to watch. But his character doesn’t have a clearly defined arc. He might be a bit more naive and younger than the Han we meet in A New Hope, but he basically is just the same. His overly cocky proclamation of his flying skills, taking one-in-a-million chances, the loner persona- all are evidently present at the start of this movie and aren’t added as layers throughout its course. While fun watching, the script doesn’t allow Ehrenreich’s portrayal to add anything new to the character.

The rest of the cast did their job effectively in moving the story forward and giving Han the chance to become what he was meant to be. But there are some squandered opportunities that fail to reach their true potential. Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke) and Beckett (Woody Harrelson) are set up as interesting characters who construct the motivation for Han’s actions. And for the most part, their dynamic works. But Clarke’s chemistry with the main character leaves much to be desired and their relationship never gets fleshed out. While Harrelson’s ability to work magic with whatever he is given is in full display, his character arc doesn’t have a satisfying resolution and is ultimately a slave of predictable story beats. Same goes with the droid L3. Her character tries to be the comic relief, much like Rogue One’s hilariously funny K-2SO, but the jokes involving her campaign for droid freedom never quite land. The one stark contrast is Donald Glover’s Lando Clarissian who steals any scene he is in and is just a delight to watch. I can’t wait to watch more of him in the possible sequels. Joonas Suotatomo is taking over from Peter Mayhew to play Chewbacca this time around, and expectedly has some fan-favorite moments. Both the first meeting of Han and Chewie and their first time piloting the Millennium Falcon together are just pure magic for the veteran fans.

Solo might not be reveling in the strength of its characters, but Bradford Young’s moody, low-lit cinematography and John Powell’s music makes it a gorgeous amalgamation of high-octane action and an inside look at the seedy criminal underworld of the Star Wars fiction. A haphazard pacing may lengthen the run time, but it is made sure whatever you are looking at is downright beautiful in this movie. It’s all so slickly done, in fact, that it’s not immediately easy to pin down why Solo feels like a fun yet merely passable Star Wars movie rather than one of the franchise’s true greats. But then you look closer and the cracks in that shiny wall become very apparent.

Solo: A Star Wars Story, ultimately, is the product of a studio hedging its bets in order to please the fans and creating easygoing entertainment. But a daredevil character like Han maybe deserved some gonzo storytelling risks and a true deep dive in his psyche. The movie is a lavish and fun romp that escapes mediocrity, and sadly does nothing more.

5 Bangladeshi superheroes you should know about

The age of superheroes is upon us. The last decade or so has seen almost as many comic book adaptations as the last century. Bangladeshi artists and storytellers may not be creating as much content as their western counterparts, but we can boast a couple of superheroes with roots in Bangladesh:

Shabash

Shabash, a parodycreated by Samir Rahman and Fahim Anzoom Rumman, satirizes superhero culture but uses its tropes against it. The atomic mango powered hero is often lazy and unmotivated. Shabash is more likely to take selfies, go on rickshaw rides than fight supervillains. Its sister title is more well known and deals with fighting social stigma.

Ms Shabash

The Magnum Opus of the duo, Ms Shabash is a world apart from the lazy Shabash. Shabnam, the investigative journalist, moonlights as the atomic mango powered superheroine who faces societal issues head on. Her alter ego rejects marriage proposals sternly, yet respectfully.

She battles villains like Whitewash, who gives herself superpowers through a lab accident. This is a nod to the struggle and stigma of being dark skinned in many Asian cultures such as Bangladesh.  Her fight with a battalion of robo-aunties via a dance-off was among the many memorable story lines and characteristic of the quirky but socially aware tone of the series.

Rishad

Created by HiFI Public’s very own Navid Hossain, and pencilled by Mehedi Haque, a legend of the Bangladeshi art scene. Rishad, 21, tries to leave home and make it on his own, but is stopped by destiny as he wakes up with a metal arm and a robotic eye. An epic tale of heroic-ism and deception follows. Hopefully a sequel is in the works, so we can see more of the gorgeous panels  

Enigma

Enigma is a character created by Paul Jenkins and Mark Buckingham, first appearing in Peter Parker: Spider-Man (vol. 2) issue #48.

Yes, THAT Spider-Man.

The young Tara Virango lived in the Bangladeshi village of Malpura when AGK inc. massacres the village by exposing it to a nano-virus that they were commissioned to make by the CIA. Tara survives the nano-virus, but lives with superhuman abilities. She moves to New York and adopts the alias Enigma, emulating a Buddhist goddess. Long story short, she and Spider-Man teams up and fights the evil AGK inc.

Even though she does not have her own comic, we hope that she is part of the wave of Marvel giving lesser known superheroes screen time (we can forsee a Netflix one-off appearance soon).

Read more: How to destroy your cinematic universe

Kali

Set in Dhaka, Kali is portrayed as a common woman with a vigilante alter-ego, roaming the streets fighting bad guys. Model-actress Azra Mahmood plays the titular role in the web series, which is directed by Amit Ashraf and released on the web platform Bioscope Live. By day, Amaya is a niqab wearing NGO worker, by night, an unmasked vigilante going by the name of Kali. Her commitment to fighting social injustice is motivated by her experience as a victim of an acid attack.

Special mention: Bizli

Bizli is a superhero that debuted in a movie of the same name this year in April. This was marketed as the first original superhero film written and produced in the country. Bizli, played by producer Bobby, is born with super powers like flight, super speed and lightning. Illiyas Kanchan plays her protective father, Dr. Alam. An evil scientist named Dr. Jerina, played by Shatabdi Roy, wants her powers for her own gains. While clichéd, the film is still the first big budget superhero movie made by a Bangladeshi, and so the efforts are applauded.

Honorable mention to the DC superhero Montpellier, appearing in three issues of The Shade, who was born in Bangladesh and later moved to Spain to become a superhero.

5 Bangladeshi superheroes you should know about 9

We hope to see so many more in the coming years!

Deadpool 2 review: sun’s out, puns out

Deadpool’s tenure as the Merc with a Mouth in comic books isn’t as long as the most iconic and revered characters from both DC and Marvel. But it is safe to say that he has cemented his legacy in his own wisecracking way in the hearts of comic readers all over the globe. And while Ryan Reynold’s first live-action attempt in playing the character didn’t bear great results in X-Men Origins, he basically redeemed both himself and the character in 2016’s Deadpool. Just like the creation of the character injected a timely flavor of edginess and attitude to the 90’s era Marvel Comics, the movie performed a similar feat by being a palate cleanser for comic book movies. It was a fresh take of R-rated superhero fun in a genre that is believed to be reaching its saturation point. It also became the highest grossing R-rated movie of all time ensuring its emergence as a franchise.

And now we have gotten a sequel. Having reunited with fiancée Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) in the first movie, Wade Wilson/Deadpool continues with his own brand of superhero crime-fighting in this one. But when fellow mutant Cable (Josh Brolin) travels from the future to kill a super-powered child, Deadpool forms team X-Force to take him on. The live-action debut of both Cable and X-Force has been a matter of much yearning for the comic book fans. So does it live up to the hype the amazing marketing team for this movie has generated over the last couple of months?

In short, yes. Deadpool 2 is funnier, crasser and gorier than the first movie. A bigger budget allows for some amazing action scenes that have been scaled up considerably, helped by the apt direction of John Wick’s David Leitch. It also reintroduces one of my favorite Marvel villains and has some amazing cameos. Wade Wilson’s usual Fourth Wall breaking has been taken up a notch, to a fantastic degree. All in all, if you liked what the first Deadpool had to offer, you’re going to love this one. Its takes everything great about the first one and dials it up to eleven.

One of the most understated moments in the first Deadpool was Reynold and Bacaarin’s capable handling of the poignant emotional scenes. The sequel has this as well in spades. The journey this weirdly sweet couple treads on is emotionally engaging and warrants your attention and care. That doesn’t mean there’s any lack of Deadpool’s trademark filthy humor either. The sequel flexes its muscles in that department quite vigorously as well. Somehow, Deadpool proficiently manages to mix up these somber moments with the ridiculous ones. And trust me; there are loads of them on both fronts. The ramped up action scenes are enjoyable on their own, but Deadpool’s own brand of humor injected in all of them just makes it even better.

If you liked what the first Deadpool had to offer, you’re going to love this one. Its takes everything great about the first one and dials it up to eleven.

The supporting cast is great as well. After hitting a home-run with Thanos in Avengers Infinity War, Josh Brolin proves his action chops again with his tortured portrayal of Cable. He is brash, brazenly unapologetic and is a perfect antithesis to Deadpool. Zazie Beets as Domino steals any scene she’s in. Her superpower “being lucky” leads to some hilarious moments and are a hoot to watch. Deadpool 2 also one-ups its predecessor in the villains department, fixing the first one’s mostly flat antagonist and giving us a more layered narrative in that area this time around.

The one big complain I have against this movie is a lack of cohesiveness. Deadpool 2 tries to tackle multiple story threads including a big status quo shift in Wade and Vanessa’s relationship, Cable’s time traveling tale and the creation of the X-Force. While all the segments are separately confident and capable of running their course, the overall pacing is hurt when they are all jumbled up together in trying to tell a single narrative. Deadpool 2 lacks the singular focus of its predecessor trying to put its mouth in too many plates. And Cable’s backstory might be the biggest victim of this. The future that Cable comes from and his motivations weren’t explored enough to keep me committed in his story, making it feel like an afterthought. It would have been great if his character was a bit more fleshed out. Maybe in the upcoming X-Force movie, eh?

Overall, this movie had some lofty expectations to live up to. I am glad to inform you that it comfortably satisfies them. There is an unexpected warmth to be found in the titular hero’s journey, along with more muscular action and a barrage of pop culture jabs that you’ll miss if you blink. This one deserves your time and money. Because it will throw everything it has towards you until you raise your arms in happy surrender.

“Thank you, Marvel” – a fan looks back on 10 years of the MCU

I still remember the time when the first Iron Man movie came out in 2008, starring Robert Downey Jr. playing a whip-smart, wise cracking Tony Stark. I didn’t know back then that it would spin off an entire universe that would take me on a roller coaster ride for the next 10 years. No, literally. I didn’t know the first thing about MCU. I even missed the post credits scene.

To me, it was just another attempt to make a childhood favourite superhero come alive on the big screens. I was sceptical. Iron Man has been an idol as I grew up reading the comics and watching the old Iron Man animated series. And with much of that fear, I brought home the DVD of the newly released movie. And boy, did I love it! I watched it over and over again. I played the game. Drew sketches of Iron Man all over my school notes.

Later that year, The Incredible Hulk came out starring Edward Norton. I used to love both Norton and Hulk. What could possibly go wrong?

It did. The movie wasn’t much. But to me, watching the Hulk smashing the big screens was more than what I could have asked for. It was at the end of the Incredible Hulk, I saw Tony Stark’s cameo and I began to ask if the two of these movies are connected. No, I wasn’t much into researching on the internet and decided to leave it out and move on.

It was not until Iron Man 2 came out in 2010 and the post credit scene showed Thor’s hammer, that I finally realised that all of these movies were taking place in the same universe. It was the moment of truth for me. I looked it up on the internet. I discovered MCU. I went back and started watching Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2 chronologically as they came out without missing a single detail, a single post credit scene. And I couldn’t wait for Thor to come out in 2011. My journey as a devoted MCU fan began.

As the MCU spun out Captain America: The First Avenger later in 2011, combining two of my most favourite topics, the World War and Captain America, and later in 2012, The Avengers, the culmination of the events taking place in the solo movies so far, it marked the end of phase one for MCU. By this time, I was well hooked into the MCU and keeping tabs on all that was happening, eagerly waiting for the next instalments.

Throughout the phase one, MCU spent 6 movies, slowly introducing its characters to the audience, spanning and expanding the universe, building up the stage and informing me about infinity stones.

And then phase two started with Iron Man 3 coming out in 2013, followed by Thor: The Dark World later that year. Each movie progressing the timeline of the universe a little bit more, giving me enough time to delve into the details, to familiarise the audience with its lesser known characters, form an attachment with MCU.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier came out in 2014, and it was perhaps the defining moment for MCU. To be absolutely honest, all the movies after Iron Man felt a bit short on appeal to me. They were, well, too light for my taste. I started noticing the disturbing trend in the MCU movies that felt most irritating. Serious moments ruined by misplaced jokes. That changed when Russo brothers gifted me The Winter Soldier. I felt like I watched a well-balanced, well-structed MCU movie after 6 years. The events within the MCU started taking a somewhat serious turn after this movie.

Guardians of the Galaxy came out later that year and I best not say much about this one because I never really like the tone of this movie, and I still don’t. But the details were important to closely follow the ascension of the massive inter-connected storyline MCU was weaving through the movies. Also, the mixtape. The mixtape is very important if you want to experience good music in life. I certainly did.

I loved Avengers: Age of Ultron in 2015, despite its weak storyline and to my absolute surprise and wonder, I fell head over heels in love with Ant Man when it came out at the end of 2015. Ant Man marked the end of phase two for MCU. By this time, the MCU was like an open book to me, waiting to finish the next chapter. The context was well-set. The big bad Thanos was introduced in detail in Guardians of the Galaxy and I couldn’t wait to see what’d happen next.

Phase three started with Captain America: Civil War coming out in 2016 that set the stage for bigger things to happen as Captain America and Tony Stark faced each other. This was a special movie for Captain America fans like me because this marked the end of the Captain America trilogy and Steve Rogers had finally dropped the shield for good. Doctor Strange came out later in 2016 introducing Hollywood’s beloved Brit Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange. It was followed by Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Spiderman: Homecoming and Thor: Ragnarok, all of which came out last year in 2017. In Spiderman: Homecoming I got to see an entirely new take on the friendly neighbourhood Spiderman who was more comic accurate that his predecessors.

Black Panther came out in 2018 and made history. It also made sure that MCU, in a long time, had a villain who was not a terrible joke. Needless to say, I enjoyed every moment of Black Panther.

That left the stage for the last and final act of phase three, Avengers: Infinity War which is now running in theatres. All of the movies from Iron Man in 2008 to Black Panther in 2018, had been building a universe, all leading to this one movie, Infinity War. In these 10 years, I saw my favourite characters being introduced, coming together, having shawarma together, fighting each other, breaking apart, living, dying, running away, protecting each other and so much more. The moments that were being built up for 10 years will finally unfold in the events of Infinity War and I don’t know what will happen in the movie, or what to expect. I am waiting for the buzz to die down a little bit so that I can go to the theatre and watch this movie in peace without overhyped kids shouting at every single frame, meanwhile dodging all the spoilers that are out there.

It took Marvel 10 years to build up this moment. 10 long years of an emotional journey filled with ups and downs. A journey of a little boy growing up with his favourite characters around him. This is the not the story of MCU only, this is the story of me as well. The story of how I grew up. The story of how the boy that sat in front of the television one fine day in 2008 to watch Iron Man will in a few days sit in the movies to watch Infinity War. This is the story of Marvel, and me.

Thank you, Marvel.

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Superman!

The world’s most beloved superhero turns 80 this year with Action comics reaching its 1000th issue. Superman is one of the most recognisable mainstays of American pop culture. With the signature S chest symbol and flowing red cape, Superman is more than just a superhero – he is a symbol of hope and an ideal for justice. Not to mention Superman most definitely paved the way for later iconic superheroes like Batman, Wonder Woman, Captain America (although that was Marvel) and so on, heroes that we love and worship today. Superman has grown so popular that a life sized Superman statue stands tall in Metropolis, Illinois, the namesake of Superman’s fictional city in the comics.

Superman was created by Jerry Siegel and Joseph Shuster in Cleveland, Ohio. Debuted in Action comics #1 in 1938, Superman quickly gained popularity among comic readers back then. Superman wasn’t always a hero though. In 1933 in a short story by Jerry Siegel, titled “The reign of Superman”, Superman was portrayed as a villain. However, that changed in 1938 when Superman was introduced as the doomed immigrant infant from the destroying planet Krypton, raised on a firm by Jonathan and Martha Kent, who grows up to be the Daily Planet journalist Clark Kent and in times of need, Superman. Lord and Saviour.

Superman is more than just a superhero. He is a symbol of hope and an ideal for justice.

Since then the story of Superman has seen a lot of ups and downs. Characters like Jimmy Olsen, Lex Luthor and Lois Lane were introduced. His adversaries grew stronger and more in-depth story arcs exploring the world of Superman were introduced. More superheroes followed. Marvel followed suit. The comics universe has constantly grown since then, thanks to Superman.

Superman entered the golden age of television with George Reeves playing the iconic hero in the 1950s TV series, “The Adventures of Superman”. Later in 1978, Superman the movie came out, starring Christopher Reeve in the lead role. It even made a run for the Oscars.

Besides that, an animated series aired in 1996 and continued till the 2000s. It was the defining series which introduced Superman to most millennials. For many of us, the animated Superman series was our first gateway to the world of comics and comic book shows. Superman holds a special seat in our heart just like that. The opening theme song still gives us goosebumps.

There have been many attempts to revive Superman on the big screen after 1978’s Christopher Reeve performance. Unfortunately, none of them quite took off. The TV series Smallville gained some popularity in the 2000s and basically generated a cult following. And Superman Returns starring Brandon Routh and directed by Bryan Singer showed great potential in 2006, trying to pick up where George Reeves left off.

Movie Superman finally took the flight in 2013, with a completely different approach to the character. Man of Steel introduced Henry Cavill as Superman. Directed by Zack Snyder, Man of Steel completely restructured Superman for a newer generation with notable changes to the costume and a darker overall tone in the movie. It had mixed reviews in the box office but fans loved Henry Cavill as Superman. Man of steel initiated the DC Extended Universe and we last saw Superman in the Movie Justice League, in 2017. Man of steel 2 is in the works and Henry Cavill is set to make appearances in future DCEU movies as well. Looks like we’re not losing our Superman on the big screen anytime soon.

Meanwhile Superman has been making constant appearances in the comics under various titles. Some notable reads are Crisis on Infinite Earths, Flashpoint, Death of Superman, Whatever happened to the Man of tomorrow, Lois and Clark: New Adventures of Superman and most recently the DC rebirth Series which re-imagines Superman, now married to Lois Lane and father to a Jonathan Kent. And of course, most recently, Action Comics #1000, which features an interesting story arc that suggests the end of Krypton was not what we thought it was. But don’t worry, we are not going to spoil it here. If you’re interested, we’re compiling a list of Superman must-reads elsewhere – check back soon.

So, with a number of changes and takes on the character over the years since its inception, what does the future look like for our beloved Superhero donning the symbol of hope? Keep following HiFi for our next article as we explore the future of the DCEU movie universe.

Batcat is happening and we couldn’t be more excited!

Batman and Catwoman’s wedding cover is out now and the internet cannot stop talking about it. That’d be the cover of Batman #50, where the previous events finally culminate to Batman and Catwoman’s wedding.

The cover, drawn by artist Mikel Janin, features Batman and Catwoman kissing under a portico where Batman proudly dons his full costume and Catwoman is wearing a stunning black dress along with her cowl, of course.

Batman’s wedding story arc was started by Tom King in #24 where Batman proposed to Catwoman and it’s finally leading to their wedding in #50. Of course it’s Batman and Gotham so you can’t expect things to go down smoothly and not expect Joker to create chaos, but we’re pretty sure it’s nothing Batman can’t handle.

In the previous issue, “Something borrowed, something blue” we see Batman and Catwoman on their separate parallel paths to their wedding days, as Catwoman sneaks out in the dead of night to pick up her wedding dress while Batman makes arrangements to start their new life together. Brought to life beautifully by the talented art of Mikel Janin and Joelle Jones, the panels also depict the complicated relationship Batman and Catwoman has had in the past, their confrontations and romances. It’s a must read if you’re even a little bit excited about the long anticipated moment.

Batman’s history with Catwoman has always been flirtatiously complicated, with Catwoman making several approaches over the years and Batman being, well, Batman. And years of anticipation finally cannot keep the fans calm.

The wedding edition #50 comes out in July. Keep an eye out and till then take a look at 10 of the most highly anticipated weddings we’ve had in pop-culture, coming soon on HiFi.

5 times pop-culture fan theories were a huge let down

The Internet is dark and full of terrors when it comes to ruining your favourite TV shows and movies.

The urge to research snippets of the plot of the TV shows or movies, either in anticipation or in awe or confusion is something every binge junkie is familiar with. And fanfictions or fan theories keep filling us on these gaps and feed our over nurtured sense of connectedness with these TV shows or movies. These fanfictions range from being absolute bonkers to crazy but mind-blowing legit ones. Now, nothing is sweeter than a well-crafted, researched and thought-provoking fan theory that holds every chance of coming true. But then there are those other kinds, often greater in number, which are so ridiculous that they either make you go “Enough internet for the day!” or keep you up at night pondering over the ridiculous possibilities of them actually coming true.

Here are five of the most ridiculous fan theories out there on the internet that you should absolutely be warned about:

Alfred killed the Waynes (Batman’s parents)

(Yes, this happened too)

Whether it is because being a Batman fan is cool these days or you actually are a batman fan, this theory is enough to lose your faith on internet rants.  Back in 2014, one particular Reddit user put forward the theory that it was Alfred, the trusted old butler of the Wayne family who got Thomas and Martha Wayne killed that fateful night in a twisted plot to inherit all the Wayne riches. The defence for the theory was that Alfred plotted to kill all three of the Waynes and would inherit all the Wayne riches with no living Wayne heir. But Joe Chill did not have the heart to kill young Bruce and spared him who later went on to become the Caped Crusader of Gotham, which was also Alfred’s plot to get him into a dangerous lifestyle and get him killed eventually (I mean, come on!). Well, fair enough, random Reddit user. But why would Alfred not just get young Bruce killed later at some point and rather wait and actually train him (Earth 1) to become Batman? Why all that time and effort wasted when he could have just staged any accident and get the job done?

This theory has never been confirmed, obviously. Although in one story arc, (Neil Gaiman, Whatever happened to the Caped Crusader), Alfred is revealed to be the joker himself, whom he created to instil Batman’s life with some kind of a purpose. But that is a story for another time.

Aladdin is set in a post-apocalyptic future

This one is as old as time itself. Remember how the genie keeps referencing 20th-century pop icons, baseball, reality shows and jazz music shows etc.? Also, at one-point genie calls Aladdin’s outfit as “much too 3rd century”. All these shenanigans by genie led some fans to the theorize that Disney’s animated Aladdin is actually set in a distant post-apocalyptic world where civilisation is destroyed by nuclear war and things have essentially gone back to starting from scratch. Iago and Abu are mutant bird and monkey, results of the nuclear war and genetic experimentation, the magic carpet is a remnant of the old hover technology and it goes on and on.

Now, nothing is sweeter than a well-crafted, researched and thought-provoking fan theory that holds every chance of coming true. But then there are those other kinds, often greater in number, which are so ridiculous that they either make you go “Enough internet for the day!”

As tempting as that may sound, it was never actually confirmed by Disney. And they usually do address fan theories for a nod of confirmation as a playful gesture for the very least. (Yes, I’m talking about the infamous Frozen and Tarzan tie-in) So, it probably went like this, Robin Williams came down to the studio, made some insane jokes about random things, made everyone laugh and the animators decided to keep them because they were funny. Aladdin is a children’s movie with magic elements in it. Let’s not try and turn it into Mad Max.

007 is a codename passed on from secret agent to agent

Seems fair. I mean, if you consider the number of different actors who have played James bond since the very beginning of the franchise. Sean Connery to Daniel Craig, the torch of Bond has been passed on to several actors with different and unique characteristics. It seems logical to concur that James Bond and 007 are code names adopted by different agents and that is how the timeless MI7 hero has been living forever. Just like Q or M or Moneypenny. That is, if you don’t want your fan bubble to burst and accept the fact the different actors adopt the same character over time just to keep the timeless classic alive, not to maintain realistic continuity of agents.

If you follow the personal story arc of James Bond, his history with the infamous intelligence agency SPECTRE, and his earning of 007 title in Casino Royale, then it is clearly understood that all the James Bond actors were portraying the same character. James Bond was first portrayed by Sean Connery in Dr. No (1962) and is still going strong with now Daniel Craig playing the handsome but deadly MI6 agent.

Rey is Luke Skywalker’s clone

Boy, where do I begin! Star Wars loses it when it comes to clones. And should this theory keep you up at night, you shall not be blamed. Star Wars has fed you that anything that has the word clone in it is worth drooling over. Not your fault, snowflake.

So, here is the thing, speculating long and hard since the first synopsis for The Force Awakens came out, fans have not gotten any confirmation yet to whether Rey indeed was Luke’s daughter or not. The internet flooded with Rey theories. Starting from Rey was Anakin reincarnated to Rey was Jar Jar Binks’s spirit (What?) And one YouTube fan theorist before the release of The Last Jedi, came up with a ridiculous theory that Rey might actually be Luke’s female clone. Created by Knights of Ren, from the severed hand of Luke Skywalker.

An interesting theory. And the absence of clones in the new movies (no, Finn was not a clone) and the unexplained relationship between Luke and Rey leaves plenty of room for this theory to be honest. But clones are essentially supposed to be of the same sex and it doesn’t make sense to create a Luke Skywalker clone when Kylo Ren was himself full of enough pride that he was Luke’s best disciple.

Rest assured, like all other Star Wars fan theories, this too is never likely to come true.

Sherlock’s whole life was a lie

Now, this is an interesting one. We’re talking about BBC’s Sherlock here, which fans hold to be the one true Sherlock. We all know how the irritating but brilliant Sherlock is able to solve crimes using his mad deductive skills and essentially gets ‘high’ on good cases that takes a load of brain-work. Sherlock who is not a psychopath but a high functioning sociopath. And how without a good mystery to solve, he gets, “Bored, Bored, BORED”. Clearly, this guy is not normal.

Do you also remember about the other brilliant Holmes who is basically the “British Government himself”? Mycroft Holmes is equally brilliant and deductive as his younger brother but perhaps a saner one. So, what if all of Sherlock’s cases, his shenanigans with Moriarty, John Watson, all of it were brilliantly staged by Mycroft to keep his mystery junkie brother off the drugs and keep him alive and busy?

You can’t rule out the possibility of it, given the dramatic relationship that these two brothers share and also the near impossible infamous ways Sherlock solves his cases. So, is this theory ridiculous enough to be discarded or twistedly brilliant to actually be true? This one, I’ll leave for you to decide.