This week on Fictional Frontiers - House of Penance
and Superman writer Peter Tomasi!



Brie Larson is Captain Much Acclaim and Excitement!




(Courtesy of:




The writer who helped usher in a new era for Captain Marvel in the comics has some thoughts on the screen version of the character.  Kelly Sue DeConnick wrote the ongoing saga of the former Ms. Marvel for three years after she was upgraded to Captain Marvel and a less embarrassing costume in a successful book launched by Marvel Comics in 2012, and it was that designation that Marvel Studios used when announcing a Captain Marvel movie as part of its Phase 3 slate of movies. Now that Brie Larson has been announced for the role of Carol Danvers, DeConnick was asked by Vanity Fair (via Comic Book Resources) what she thought of the choice after staying mum about the casting process ever since the movie was announced two years ago:

"I was very careful about not wanting to cheer for anyone in particular. I’m in a position where so many of the fans will look to me for a cue. I didn’t want anyone who was cast to feel unsupported or second choice...(Brie) has a gravitas and she has a power to her. But you can see she also has a sense of humor and playfulness there. I’m psyched.”

While Larson's casting was met with largely positive buzz online, there were some criticisms. Some fans felt that Larson, at 26, was too young to play the somewhat older and more experienced Danvers, while others noted that Danvers is 5'11" in the comics and Larson is only 5'7". DeConnick agreed that her version of the character was older, since she was already a colonel in the Air Force, and was hoping for a tall version onscreen as well. Nevertheless, DeConnick added that despite any differences between the version she wrote and the one in the movie, she is throwing her complete support behind Larson:

"I don’t want that to undermine my support of a young woman who has a billion-dollar franchise on her shoulders. I am emphatically on her team no matter how old she is, because she’s the one who got it. She’s publicly had this role for 24 hours. I have a lot people following my lead, and I’m not going to tell the choir that she’s not right."  Fan criticism of the actors cast in popular comic book parts for the movies is nothing new: Michael Keaton (Batman), Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Heath Ledger (The Joker) and Ben Affleck (Batman again) were all at the receiving end of it, and look how those turned out. But women often fall under more intense scrutiny and DeConnick emphasized the importance of supporting a female-led superhero film in an industry that has been leery of them:


"When we cast women as leads in an action film we saddle them with a responsibility of representing the possible success or failure of all women-led films for the next five years. When a man leads a film that fails, that film fails. We don’t say, ‘Well, clearly men can’t carry a genre feature.'"  Captain Marvel opens on July 6, 2018 -- but don't be surprised if we meet Carol in a Marvel movie before then.







Fictional Frontiers is the nation's only weekly radio program dedicated to a serious discussion of and about popular culture. Broadcasting each Thursday from 2:00 to 2:30 PM EST as part of Beasley Broadcast Group's 610/860-AM family (, Fictional Frontiers taps into its reservoir of experts, contributors, and insiders...bringing you the best from film, television, comic books, literature, and other entertainment mediums.


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July 27, 2016


Winners and Loser at 2016's San Diego Comic-Con!


(Courtesy of: The Hollywood Reporter)


After four dizzying days of film and TV news, San Diego Comic-Con 2016 is officially in the books. As cosplayers put their Stormtrooper and Harley Quinn costumes back into storage, fanboys everywhere begin to dissect the scores of new footage released over the four-day geekfest. THR's ace film and TV teams were on the ground in San Diego and covered all the biggest panels.


Who were the winners and losers.  Below, THR makes sense of the overwhelming amount of news to digest from the confab.


Loser: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword | Amid Warner Bros.' packed presentation featuring DC heroes, a Harry Potter prequel and Kong: Skull Island, the Guy Ritchie project got lost in the shuffle. It didn't help that star Charlie Hunnam was the only talent there to carry the water, and the footage was not a clear hit, either. Ritchie's take on the 1,000-year old legend was filled with quick cuts, GoPro camera work and time-shifted storytelling. Some liked it, some didn't. But then again, Ritchie did a similar thing with 2009's Sherlock Holmes and that was a big hit.


Winner: Marvel Studios | The film studio closed out Comic-Con Saturday night with a snappy, entertaining presentation that was crammed with news and reveals that whipped fans into a frenzy. It's the Church of Marvel and a Vegas show all rolled into one. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2's Michael Rooker and his crew of Ravagers coming out in costumes? A big Black Panther casting? A day in the life of Peter Parker? The hilarious mockumentary on what Thor was doing during Captain America: Civil War? Marvel delivered material to fans even when there was no material to give. And they closed out with a bang: Brie Larson as Captain Marvel. Mic drop.


Winner: Marvel TV | The TV side's first panel at San Diego Comic-Con with streaming giant Netflix earned a standing ovation after news of Daredevil's renewal and well-received promos for Luke Cage, Iron Fist and The Defenders. A day later, ABC's own Marvel drama, Agents of SHIELD, tapped Gabriel Luna to play famed antihero Ghost Rider. And a day after that, FX unexpectedly dropped the trailer for Fargo creator Noah Hawley's X-Men take Legion. So. Much. Yes.


Loser: DC TV | While The Flash's Flashpoint-themed season three trailer was enthusiastically received during The CW's four-panel superhero marathon, it's becoming increasingly hard to keep track of the musical chairs in the DC TV universe. Stephen Amell to Legends of Tomorrow; Katie Cassidy — killed off last season on Arrow! — is not only returning but she's joining Wentworth Miller and John Barrowman as players who appear on multiple DC TV shows. And then there's Supergirl, where not even the arrival of Superman could save this panel from being a total dud. At least it wasn't Fox's Gotham, which was exiled out of the block and into a competing panel at the neighboring Hilton Bayfront.


Loser: NBC's Powerless | Two days after DC Comics' first half-hour comedy had its world premiere during Wednesday's Preview Night, NBC opted to screen the pilot a second time during Friday's panel. While the series — which boasts Comic-Con favorites Danny Pudi and Alan Tudyk — was well-received by the crowd, the fine folks running the shindig wound up turning off the power to the microphones onstage after the half-hour panel ran out of time and the room needed to be cleared for Starz's American Gods. Memo to networks: Don't screen a half-hour show and try to hold a Q&A in only 30 minutes.


Loser: MacGyver | Following a season of reboot swings and misses, the CBS remake hopes to bring original MacGyver Richard Dean Anderson on the series, which producers say will "honor the original show." Only there isn't a show to speak of yet as the drama is undergoing major recasting and is on its third writer ahead of a total pilot reshoot with a new director. This show is already in need of a MacGyver-level fix.


Winner: Justice League | In the wake of Batman v. Superman, Warner Bros. had one message to convey to fans: We are listening. And the Justice League footage the studio showed, with its quippy tone and one-liners, was meant to convince fans that Zack Snyder's follow-up will be different from BvS. Whether the movie itself is indeed different is another story entirely and will be revealed only when the film opens next year.


Loser: Batman: The Killing Joke | The R-rated, animated adaptation of the landmark graphic novel became mired in controversy when the team added a backstory featuring a sexual relationship between Batman and Batgirl. Following the world premiere, the audience Q&A portion became contentious, at one point devolving into a shouting match between creators and fans and seeing screenwriter Brian Azzarello call a fan who questioned the sex scene a vulgar word.  The subsequent news coverage focused on the controversy, rather than Mark Hamill's well-received performance as the Joker, which added layers of humanity to the character never before portrayed onscreen.


Winner: MST3K | Eight months after launching a Kickstarter to revive cult favorite Mystery Science Theater 3000, the rebooted series is headed to Netflix, with the announcement revealed Saturday night to a packed ballroom of backers. In fact, the demand was so high for the revival that hundreds of fans waiting in line for hours Saturday to get into the tiny ballroom were turned away. There's always at least one panel where SDCC underestimates the demand, and MST3K was it this year.


Winner: Sherlock | The BBC America cult drama returned to Hall H on Sunday with a special guest. Star Benedict Cumberbatch made his first appearance at the Con for the show and helped unspool a crowd-pleasing season four trailer. What's more, Cumberbatch — already in town for Marvel's Doctor Strange — went out Saturday night to personally greet many of the hundreds of people sleeping in line for the Sherlock panel. The crowd — both in line and inside Hall H — went nuts. For a show that hasn't had new footage since 2014, that's certainly one way to reward loyal fans.


Loser: The MIA film studios | This year featured the smallest selection of film studio presentations in recent memory. But does that mean the studios who sat out made a mistake? Even perennial favorite Marvel skipped last year and went on to win big with Civil War 10 months later. This year, Fox cited piracy as a concern for sitting this one out, but it missed key opportunities to connect with fans on its September Tim Burton movie Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Burton at Comic-Con? Heaven!) and December's Assassin's Creed. And it could have also plugged the June sequel to its surprisingly popular movie Kingsman: The Secret Service. Sony held events for Seth Rogen's Sausage Party, while Spider-Man: Homecoming was featured during the Marvel panel. But a look at Magnificent Seven could have gone a long way (star Chris Pratt was already in town for Guardians of the Galaxy). The studio also missed an opportunity to offer a sneak peek at Comic-Con favorite Edgar Wright's Baby Driver. Lionsgate, meanwhile, plugged its upcoming Power Rangers reboot around town, but did not deliver a panel or footage.


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Show Schedule
28 July 2016 - 02:00


Peter Tomasi, Creator of Dark Horse Comics' House of Penance, returns to Fictional Frontiers. The critical creator-owned smash delves into the mystery of the Winchester House, and Peter contrasts his work here with his work on DC Comics' Superman.






Celebrating our 350th episode on January 7th, 2016, Fictional Frontiers wants to thank our worldwide audience!