Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Mutant Bird People Are The New Abstinence Vampires

As discussed earlier, Twilight was such a success because it featured the perfect marriage of sexy/scary creature, parent-friendly trend, and copious amounts of disco glitter: The Abstinence Vampire. So what will be the next Abstinence Vampire? Unfortunately, it's not Straight Edge Mermen. It's mutant bird people.

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From MTV:

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke is in talks to direct “Maximum Ride”, a film based on James Patterson’s five volume fantasy series…

The series centers around five teens (Max, Fang, Iggy, Nudge, the Gasman, and Angel) known as the Flock, who are normal in most respects except that they’re genetically altered to be 2% bird. (Think wings, not beaks.) They grew up in a sinister lab called The Institute, learn to fly, and escape thanks to a kindly scientist.

In the outside world, they’re on their own, and they must evade a pack of creatures called The Erasers. Part human and part wolf, the Erasers are on a mission to eliminate the winged teens, who seek to learn just why they were genetically altered, and what they were meant for.

Hmm. I'm guessing that "The Flock" were genetically altered because someone wanted to see if they could make some bird people. Why else would someone make bird people? To engineer a race of really cumbersome carrier pigeons? The Institute probably just wanted to see if it would work, and then next thing they knew they had a flock of rebellious teengulls trying to escape their gilded cage. Kids: they're never satisfied.

Still, looks like someone doesn't understand the formula. Vampires, even glittery ones, seem inherently dangerous. The insistence on abstinence then undercuts that. There's nothing dangerous about a flock of teengulls, however. Howard the Duck was a bird-person, and teens don't want to buy Team Howard t-shirts at Hot Topic.

But even though this book series has a half-bird character called "The Gasman," let's give it the benefit of the doubt. Maybe these teengulls have chiseled torsos masking their hollow bones, and brooding demeanors that more than make up for the fact that they have to tilt their heads back to swallow water—They're still missing the parent-friendly twist. Maybe the teengulls could be literacy advocates: perching on top of television sets and encouraging kids to read. Or they could be anti-cyber-bullying bird people, soaring around with their gigantic mutant wings reminding teens that if you wouldn't say it in bird-person, don't say it online. Or they could be anti-drug teengulls: Why get high when you can fly? They need something. Without a purity ring tie-in, feathered friends fighting wolf-people sounds like a Saturday morning cartoon.