And I really mean it.
Angela Bassett is absolutely gorgeous. Riveting even. If you haven’t seen last season’s American Horror Story: Coven, you’re cheating yourself.
But, see, the folks at Warner Brothers had to go and cast her in the regrettable Green Lantern movie a few years ago as Amanda Waller.
Amanda Waller, who, in the comics, looked like a lot like this:
OK, that’s Hollywood. You wanna get Angela Bassett? Get Angela Bassett. (Though I gotta note: In the show Smallville she was played by the zaftig (and sexy) Pam Grier.)
But then DC made Amanda Waller all skinny in the New 52. I didn’t like it. And then the TV show Arrow went and kept her skinny — to the point where they almost always introduce her by her stiletto heels. I didn’t like that either.
So why do I bring this up now? Because I’m hardly the first to address any of this.
Well, earlier this week, Warner Home Video put out this clip from the forthcoming Batman: Assault on Arkham:
Lo and behold, there she was: The original Amanda Waller, in all her big glory, voiced by the great CCH Pounder.
And I had this unexpected rush of good feeling.
Because Amanda Waller should be big. Because she’s all about her intelligence and her fearlessness and for once in our lives a character like that shouldn’t be wasp-waisted and gymnastically inclined. She doesn’t HAVE to look like this:
I mean, one of the best characters the DC animated universe gave us was the Amanda Waller of Justice League Unlimited (also voiced by Pounder). This is a woman who could go toe-to-toe with Batman — in her bathrobe.
Look, I know I’m not necessarily the best spokesman for this. I’m just a guy with a website. A fat guy. A fat guy with a website who really doesn’t give a shit about taking his shirt off outside. But so many women I’ve known have body-image issues. It’s painfully universal.
Now, gender politics are so complicated that I fear anything I write on the subject is going to bite me in the ass, regardless of my good intentions. And I’m not inclined argue about health issues because that’s not what this is about and you know it.
I’m just so glad that the real Amanda Waller is back, even in a limited way.
All I want now is for the Amanda Waller of the New Suicide Squad comic to start eating her feelings because her job is stressing her out.
Because if comics want to be realistic, that’s one helluva way to do it.