The first season of Stranger Things has been released on Netflix, and most viewers have devoured all eight episodes in less time than it takes to travel to the Upside Down. While a second season has been announced, those anxious for more supernatural tales set amid a believable and detailed setting need look no further than one of the primary inspirations for the show – the master of horror himself, Stephen King.
Wanda Maximoff, better known as the Scarlet Witch, is near the epicenter of the event that serves as the catalyst for the MCU’s Civil War: during a botched heist in Lagos, Wanda manages to save Captain America from death by suicide bomber, but deflects the explosion rather than diffuse it, resulting in the death of a dozen innocent Nigerian citizens. While the resulting media outrage largely places responsibility for the tragedy on Wanda, the reactions of her fellow Avengers are more varied, and reveal a full spectrum of responses to Wanda’s unprecedented demonstration of power.
For all the impressive acrobatics at work throughout the second season of Netflix & Marvel’s Daredevil – and there are many, from a one-shot scene that serves as a satisfactory sequel to the first season’s hallway fight, to engaging character perspectives and arcs – one of the most impressive is the deft adaptation of traditional comic narrative structures to the small screen. Mild spoilers for the second season of Daredevil begin after the jump.
This was written in response to Asher Elbein’s Atlantic article, “Enough with the Canon.” I agree with what I believe to be the essence of his argument – namely, that trying to assert an authoritative version of a fictional story in order to marginalize alternate perspectives is wrong. However, the article fails to consider both the functional aspects of canon, and the way it allows for a particular type of storytelling that would otherwise prove impossible.
Unsolicited Advice is the column where I tell you to check something out, although though you didn’t ask for recommendations and who am I to give you advice? This week, I’m strongly advising you check out the first season of Ash vs Evil Dead, even though who asked me, anyway? This is a spoiler-free review.
Medium almost certainly qualifies as one of the more overlooked aspects of storytelling. When it comes to pop culture, stories are regularly told once on paper and, should they prove popular enough through that medium, they are told again on screen; those that prove exceptionally profitable on screen might even be retold again. When it comes to extended universes, however, different chapters of the same story might be told through several different mediums. In some cases, this may lead to one branch of the story controlling the rest; in other instances, the variety of mediums only serves to strengthen the story as a whole. We’ll look into the many mediums of Star Wars and Harry Potter to see how their multiple methods of storytelling affect their respective extended universes.
When attempting to create a cohesive extended universe, what qualifies as part of the story is often just as important as what is excluded. Enter the notion of canon: the portion of the narrative that is considered official and definitive. By properly employing canon, a storyteller can provide parameters for what will be included within the narrative – an essential element of extended universe building. Let’s look at Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote and George Lucas’ Star Wars to see how delineating what qualifies as canon creates the boundaries of an extended universe. Continue reading “Other Worlds Than These: Extended Universes 201”