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Monday, March 22, 2021 

CW network adapting Bendis and Walker's Naomi

The Hollywood Reporter says Tinseltown is heaping more undeserved awards upon Brian Bendis, adapting the character he created a few years ago, though this article curiously makes no mention of him:
Naomi has cast 16-year-old Kaci Walfall (Army Wives) in the show's titular role, about "a teen girl’s journey from her small northwestern town to the heights of the multiverse. When a supernatural event shakes her hometown to the core, Naomi sets out to uncover its origins, and what she discovers will challenge everything we believe about our heroes."

Also joining the cast are Alexander Wraith (Orange Is the New Black) as Dee, Cranston Johnson (Euphoria) as Zumbado and newcomer Camila Moreno as Lourdes.

The project is based on the 2019 Naomi comic book series and is from showrunners Ava DuVernay (Selma) and Jill Blankenship (Arrow).
But again, why no mention of creators Bendis, and David Walker? Why does a man responsible for leading to a situation where Scarlet Witch has become one of the most artistically abused characters in Marvel history - risking a situation where she's viewed in terms even more negative than those Hal Jordan was during the 90s - get the priviledge of having his ideas adapted to screen? And why is even a writer who made reprehensible comments on social media in the past being overlooked? On that note, I found an interview from Gizmodo they did 2 years ago where they discuss how the twosome came together to work on Naomi. Some of the dialogue includes:
io9: You’re saying “we,” which reminds me that I don’t think I know how you and David met and became friends, so let me hear your side of that.

Bendis: My side of that is, we were in Portland. I think it was the first show that I did here, and Kurt Busiek and Gail Simone were there. It was a lot of comic creators. There was a scene that had been going on for many years before I got here, and in that scene was a local film critic and expert on all things blaxploitation—and the publisher and head writer of Badass Mofo Magazine, David Walker. We met at this basement show and I got some copies of his magazine, one of which I had already gotten in Cleveland, so, I was pretty excited to meet him. And also, he’s a film critic, I’m a big film nerd, I was like, “Oh, we’re going to be best friends.”
Oh, of course they're going to friends. What mainly bonds them is their leftist leanings, and in Oregon, such politics have long been an influence.
io9: Okay, now, David—your side of that? Nighthawk was filled with frustration and anger at the facts of what black people have to live through in America. In Bitter Root, you’re dealing with similar themes in a more metaphorical and fantastical way. Occupy Avengers was about how we all find our different modes of heroism. How is Naomi different from the stuff you’ve written before?

Walker: Well, one of the things that’s different is, this is me getting a little bit closer to doing something for a different kind of audience. I don’t want to say “younger readers” because then it sounds like an all-ages book, or whatever. But one of the things Brian and I have talked about at length is that so many new comics that come out aren’t necessarily that accessible to younger people. Or new readers, I should say.

I wanted to be involved in something that would appeal to someone who maybe has never read a comic before or only read a few comics. Then, to take that one step further, a huge part of the motivation was, “Well, I’d like to try to have a hand in creating a character that also speaks to people who haven’t had characters that they can relate to.” We’ve reached a point with superheroes and superhero mythology where it’s like, “Well, it’s everywhere.” There’s the movies and the TV shows and the video games. Superheroes have become so accepted within the mainstream culture just within the last 5-10 years. So, now it’s about getting superheroes in there that aren’t just the same old soup, reheated.

When we got really serious with this particular project, Brian definitely had to reel me back in because I was saying things like, “Do we even really want to follow the traditional hero’s journey? It’s been done a million times.” And then Brian said, “Yeah, but, we might feel like its old and tired to us, but we’re writing this for a generation that have never heard of it. That’s never heard of Joseph Campbell. That maybe have never seen the original Star Wars movie or maybe they haven’t seen Wizard of Oz.” And we were talking about that. As much as him and I love Raiders of the Lost Ark, most of our students haven’t seen it. Because that movie is pushing on 40 years old. And so, a lot of it was about getting back in touch with the thing I love about comics and the medium and the sort of folklore we’re creating but then also reinvigorating it in a way that seems new and fresh. Not just for myself, as a creator, but for anybody that’s going to pick it up and read it.
A comic aimed at people who never read one before? Here's the problem: chances are that's the only comic they'll read, if at all. It could even be they'll read it based solely on the authors involved, as seems to be the case when J. Michael Straczynski was helming Spider-Man 2 decades ago. And some of the dialect in the news report and the interview suggests this could employ SJW themes and even "critical race theory" in its narrative. Something vaguely hinted at when they allude to Walker's run on "Occupy Avengers". Besides, when haven't their been characters anybody could relate to in past history? It's all just a smokescreen for pushing politically themed narratives, and as always, it obscures the crucial need for merit-based writing, without which, readers won't be able to identify with the characters in focus, let alone find them enjoyable.

Anyway, I'm not tuning in to see this new CW drama in production, as I'd rather not waste any time on something adapted from the works of sleazebags and ideologues. The chances it'll turn out to be as politically themed as the Supergirl TV show regrettably was are high, unfortunately. This is why, if they're trying to make their mark in the DCU with a new creation, it just fails.

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