John Cena’s Suicide Squad Character is Getting an HBO Max Spinoff

It looks like Warner Bros. is eyeing the Marvel Cinematic Universe strategy with new eyes now that it has its own streaming service. The studio announced that it’s greenlit a tie-in series for James Gunn’s upcoming film, The Suicide Squad, which will follow John Cena’s character, Peacemaker.

The series will run for eight episodes on HBO Max, and is scheduled to go into production sometime early next year.

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Powerful Siblings Face Their Demons in Horrifying Helstrom Trailer

A new trailer has dropped for Hulu’s Helstrom, a brand new series that is subtly set in a darker corner of the Marvel universe.

When demons threaten the world of Helstrom, guardians like Caretaker and psychiatric professionals like Louise Hastings step up to protect innocent lives. When their skills aren’t enough, they need the combined might of Daimon and Ana Helstrom. But before the siblings can help they’ll have to wrestle with the demons in their own past—one of which is their own mother.

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Black Widow Will Have to Complete Her Mission in 2021

Fans of the MCU are going to have to wait a little longer to see Black Widow‘s solo movie. According to Variety, Disney will be moving the debut of Scarlett Johansson’s film from November 6th, 2020 to May 7th, 2021. Unfortunately, the delay of Black Widow will also result in several other MCU properties being pushed back.

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Good Ghost-Hunters are Hard to Find: Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House (Part 1)

Welcome back to Reading the Weird, in which we get girl cooties all over weird fiction, cosmic horror, and Lovecraftiana—from its historical roots through its most recent branches.

This week, we’re starting on Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, first published in 1959. Today we’re covering Chapter 1, Parts 1 and 2. Spoilers ahead.

[“No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality…”]

Series: Reading the Weird

Old Money, New Gods: Revealing The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo

The Great Gatsby reimagined with a queer Jordan Baker at its center? Yes please! We’re thrilled to share the cover for Nghi Vo’s The Chosen and the Beautiful, a debut novel that reinvents the American classic. The Chosen and the Beautiful will be available in hardcover and ebook from Tordotcom Publishing on June 1, 2021.

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If Doctor Doom Were Your Boyfriend…

No one actually wants to date a superhero.

Sure, it might seem appealing at first: they’re professionally good at being charming, and promise romance, thrills and adventure. You picture Lois Lane in Superman’s arms, in full flight, framed by the night sky—what could be more breathtaking?

Once the initial glamour wears off, though, the cons of dating a hero become immediately apparent. Let’s put aside, for a moment, that it drastically shrinks your potential lifespan, and you’re going to spend the entire duration of the relationship (and beyond) getting kidnapped once a fortnight. You’ll never be first in their life or heart; instead, some concept like Saving The World or Justice will always be their top priority. No event the two of you have will be pivotal enough that they won’t bail on you for some emergency or another. Forget time alone; you’ll either be surrounded by the rest of the heroic team, support staff, or adoring fans for the rest of your (shortened) natural life.

If you’re looking to settle down, the real long-term material is on the other side of the cape.

If brilliance, obsession, and a willingness to blow anyone who wrongs you off the face of the planet is your jam, there can really only be one choice: Victor Von Doom.

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Cupcakes and Cacti, Meteors and Magic: Miss Meteor by Tehlor Kay Mejia and Anna-Marie McLemore

Chicky Quintanilla is a gawky, gangly girl with one friend and a major lack of confidence. Lita Perez is a glittering ball of sunshine who no one really appreciates. Once upon a time, they were best friends who shared their love of old-timey movies and goofing off in the desert. Now they barely speak and move through high school secretly pining for each other but unable to breach the divide. Desperate to keep a huge secret from Lita, Chicky pushed her away so much that eventually Lita stopped trying. But Lita has a secret of her own: she and Bruja Lupe, the woman who raised her as a daughter, are made of stardust.

With the annual Meteor Regional Pageant and Talent Competition Showcase coming up fast, Chicky hatches a plan to get back at Kendra Kendall—a local Mean Girl who has made Chicky’s life a living nightmare—by sabotaging her run for the pageant crown. At the same time, Lita decides to enter the pageant hoping to do one last fun thing before her body turns back into stardust. With the help of Chicky’s brash older sisters, Junior, their school’s resident artist, and Cole Kendall, a trans boy who uses his privilege to protect those without any, Lita and Chicky take on queer- and transphobia, white supremacy, and the patriarchy.

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On Reading Book Series in the Wrong Order

We live in a glorious age when books are a click away. It may now seem incomprehensible that one might be forced to read a series of books out of order. Yet, in a dark age not so long ago, when we (and by we, I mean me) were dependent on the vagaries of book store and library orders, it was very easy to find oneself in a place where the choice was (a) read an intermediate book or (b) read nothing new.

By way of example, here are five F&SF series I began in what most people would say is the wrong place.

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The Perfection of Theresa Watkins

Justin C. Key’s “The Perfection of Theresa Watkins” is a skillful speculative exploration of the intersection of race, mental illness, and the American prison system.

Darius and Theresa Watkins confronted death once as fellow cancer survivors. Their lives are full and productive, their love a shield against Darius’s bouts of anxiety and Theresa’s occasional flare-ups. Yet when tragedy strikes, Darius will try everything to save his wife…even against his fears that she may have transformed into an entirely different person—literally.

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Supergirl Will Hang Up Her Cape After Season 6

CW will be saying farewell to the last daughter of Krypton next year. According to Deadline, the long-running Supergirl will come to an end after its sixth season. When Kara Danvers flies off into the sunset, she’ll be leaving behind a show that overcame huge obstacles and went on to break new ground in the genre.

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Black Mirror: U.S.S. Callister Director Will Take Over Directing Duties For Rogue One Prequel Series

Lucasfilm’s as-of-yet-untitled prequel to Rogue One hit a minor bump in the road: showrunner Tony Gilroy has turned over directing duties to Toby Haynes, who’s best known for work on the Black Mirror episode “U.S.S. Callister.”

The reasons for the switch aren’t quite as dramatic as the production turmoil that Rogue One itself experienced—it’s simply that Gilroy is based in the US, and with the COVID-19 pandemic still a thing, opted to hand off directing duties to Haynes, who’s based in the UK, according to Deadline

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