Hot pants in the tundra? As Tomb Raider hits cinemas, Lara Croft’s writers and developers explain her evolution from pneumatic bait for teenage boys to global sensation – and reveal why motherhood may be next
Lara Croft is one of the few video-game characters to have crossed over into real-world celebrity. As with James Bond, her various iterations have reflected the times. When the first Tomb Raider game was released in 1996, she was a sex symbol in sunglasses and a tank top, later featuring in Playboy and on the cover of style magazine the Face.
Embodied by Angelina Jolie in the 2001 film, she is curvy and capable, kicking the collective ass of the Illuminati. In 2013, she was a shipwrecked student in torn cargo pants – an accidental metaphor for graduates struggling through the economic recession. Now, in a Tomb Raider movie out this week, Alicia Vikander plays a tearaway Croft dossing around in London.
From Harlem to Peckham, the Black Panther Challenge has blossomed into a worldwide celebration of race, identity and empowerment
It seems like only yesterday that Marvel released the official trailer for what can now be described as the franchise’s most anticipated film to date, Black Panther. Fans have been waiting for the moment when they’ll finally experience the nation of Wakanda and now it is almost here: in less than a week, everyone will be able to watch the latest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Black Panther is proving to be more than just a hashtag trend: it is a film of considerable cultural significance for black communities around the world. So high in fact, that it inspired Frederick Joseph, a marketing consultant and activist from New York to set up a GoFundMe campaign called “Help Children See Black Panther”.
From Infinite Jest’s antsy prodigy to Brighton Rock’s haunted antihero, debut novelist Danny Denton picks the best bad girls and boys in books
A few years back, I started teaching secondary school and was suddenly reintroduced to the hysterical world of the teenager. Returned to me was their constant turmoil, bubbling beneath the surface, bursting to be heard, screaming to be left alone. Reading their essays (I taught English), I was struck by the fact that, as a teenager, everything feels at stake, every day. These essays featured stabbings, murders, suicides, love, zombies, global disasters … These were the tropes of the adolescent (though in some cases these were lived realities too – it was a neglected borough of London), and by extension perhaps the most suitable creative expressions for raging hormones.
The teenager endures an awful state in which innocence is daily lost but the mystery of selfhood remains unsolved. The world is increasingly known, but the emotional capacity, vocabulary and maturity to process it haven’t yet been fully acquired. Or perhaps the teen’s particular brand of indignation is the appropriate response to this fraying world. Either way, it is no wonder so many teens err en route to adulthood. In writing The Earlie King & the Kid in Yellow – a novel that would be about a heroic act in a fallen society – it seemed to me that only a teenager would possess enough love, hope, hate, fear, outrage, naivety and bravery to take the action required of the myth.
A single-parent Tokyo dad opens his door to an unexpected visitor in this touching, complex tale from award-winning Manga artist Gengoroh Tagame
When a young Tokyo couple called Yaichi and Natsuki got divorced, it was agreed that Yaichi would bring up their daughter, Kana – a decision that makes Yaichi seem like a more than usually modern and sophisticated Japanese man. But this isn’t the whole story. Yaichi has his share of cultural prejudices, or so it seems when a smiling, bear-like Canadian arrives at his door and announces that he, Mike Flanagan, is the widower of Yaichi’s estranged gay twin, Ryoji.
Yaichi hesitates unaccountably before inviting Mike to stay (Mike is in Japan because he wants to see all the places Ryoji told him about before he died). Then he worries that the stranger now sharing his bathroom is about to hit on him: after all, he looks just like his dead brother. How, he wonders, will he explain to little Kana that in Canada men may fall in love and even marry? How, in other words, can he hope to keep the disgust from his voice?