Links Roundup – 2/18/15

Singin’ in the Rain is one of my favorite movies, at least in part due to Lina Lamont, who is one of the greatest underrated comic characters I’ve seen on film. Every once in a while, you realize something awful about a book, movie, or song that you’ve loved since you were an uncritical child: this is actually kind of shitty to women. Upon reflection, the treatment of Lina Lamont, which is played for laughs, is pretty damn shitty. Will this stop me from ever watching Singin’ in the Rain again? No. Will this make me a little sad when I do watch it again? Probably.

If you’ve ever been by my Pinterest, you may have noticed that I enjoy Mid-Century Modern decorating. I want this kitchen so much, it almost makes me overlook that whole detail of not wanting to own a house.

If you got all the way through the GeekVice podcast that I was on, you may have heard me suggest reading Pretty Deadly. If you’ve already read Pretty Deadly, good for you! If you haven’t, go read it now! The artwork is gorgeous and the story is compelling. Why am I bringing this up? Pretty Deadly is coming back in September! You’ll want to be all the way caught up before it returns, won’t you?

If you want to see all the stories I like and find worth sharing, please visit my Newsblur.

Comics Review Pt. 3: Time to visit the Whedonverse

Angel & Faith #7-11:

Faith is out of the jungle! Literally. I’m glad that story arc is wrapped up because while some Riley and Sam time is always…um, thrilling, I can only handle it for so long. I feel bad for Faith, because it seems like she’s always trapped in her head and is weighed down by regrets and remorse. Hopefully Nadira’s talk will help her feel better. High points: Fred! Angel and Faith hug! Amy is a rat! Low point: I spent way more time than I wanted to spend contemplating a jar of Warren. Ew.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer #8-11:

A random in a crowd criticizing Spike’s poetry might just be the funniest thing ever. Andrew was going to try to resurrect Tara? Good thing Willow talked him out of it–imagine what it would have been like for her to come back after all that time in heaven. Enjoyably snarky moment talking about the Bechdel Test in #10. As always: Damn it, Harmony. At least unicorns are totally real now. High points: Andrew finally came out! Spuffy kiss! Low point: What in the everloving fuck did you just do to yourself, Andrew? Dumbass.

Comics Review Pt. 2: Bet you thought I was done with Marvel

Star Wars #2:

The artwork is still wonderful, but I think this segment really highlights to me how much better Star Wars is on the screen than on the page. There’s a lot of action going on and it kind of jumped around a bit, which I know is a totally normal thing but damn. Bonus points for Han/Leia banter.

Ms. Marvel #11:

Hooray! Kamala, a bunch of lost teenagers and Lockjaw have come out on top. Bonus awesome points to Kamala calling the Inventor a bird, reaching out for help, and gyros for heroes! Seriously though, Ms. Marvel has been consistently great–I find myself laughing out loud, cheering, and saying “Fuck yeah, Kamala!” at least once an issue.

Hawkeye #21:

Oh, Clint. Way to put your foot in your mouth before the first page is even half over. Nice brotherly talk there. The fight scene was great (pay attention, Star Wars!), but the ending. Not futzing cool, bro. Speaking of ending, I’m so sad that there’s only one issue left of the Fraction/Aja/Hollingsworth run because everything about this series has been perfection.

Thor #4:

Thor and Odinson fight! And then Thor kisses Odinson–so I’m thinking Thor is definitely not Odinson’s mother. Otherwise…awkward. Epically awkward. Odinson did graciously hand over the title of Thor and agreed that she is worthy of Mjölnir, so hopefully that’s the end to that particular bit of friction.

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1-2:

What the hell? So that was interesting. It’s cute, the artwork is adorable, and there’s at least one pun a page. If that’s your thing, you need to check out Squirrel Girl. So far I am digging the tiny text at the bottom of each page, the starring section and the enemy cards from Deadpool. I’ll probably pick up #3 to see if it’ll hook me, but this isn’t going to be added to the pull list just yet.

Comics Review Pt. 1: Holy Crap, There’s a Lot of Marvel

I have a giant pile of comics and I’m going to try to get through them all and include a brief review.  Let’s go!

Star Wars #1:

I wasn’t sure about this one because I’m not a huge Star Wars fan and I don’t know all the backstory. I’ve seen the movies (the original trilogy multiple times) and that’s it. No secondary media for me, until now. It was actually pretty good. I didn’t feel lost and the artwork was fantastic. I hate it when I get a comic that’s an adaptation from a TV show or movie and I can’t recognize characters. Everyone was very clearly identifiable and felt familiar. It’s not made my pull list yet, but I’ll probably pick up #2 to continue evaluating and I see there will be a Leia specific book which intrigues me. Fun fact: the writer (Jason Aaron) is a Kansas City native!

Rocket Raccoon #5:

The artwork is great. The writing and cover art is done by Skottie Young (who will be at Planet Comicon this year!) and Jake Parker did the brilliant interior art. The story is a cute conceit–Rocket and Groot are telling stories around a campfire and it’s Groot’s turn. Which means that the dialogue for 17 pages is “I am Groot.” Um. I love Groot and all, but damn. So anyways, the story is still easy to follow thanks to the great art and it ends in a party. Who doesn’t love a party?

Axix: Hobgoblin #1 and #2, Marvel:

So…Funny. I laughed out loud at least once. I have no plans to continue with the series. I have no prior attachment to Hobgoblin and while the constant shilling was hilarious, it would get old fast.

Captain America: Peggy Carter, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.:

Didn’t finish it. I love the MCU Peggy Carter and the beginning story was interesting. Unfortunately, we then went into comics past and the writing is sexist, the storyline is overwrought, and I just can’t get with the older artwork. Let’s just say I really appreciate the advances in printing which made better coloring more accessible.

Loki: Agent of Asgard #6 – #10 (Marvel):

Welp. I saw Loki as a unicorn, he was judged worthy to hold Mjölnir, ditched his BFF, visited Latveria and won a fight with Thor. Not all in the same issue or in that order. I’ve enjoyed watching Loki try to recreate himself, it’s been interesting. As a trickster, Loki is ever-changing and that always gives the writers room to move with him. I hope this series sticks around for a while longer. There was a crossover sequence or three in there which…eh. And then Thor–excuse me, now he’s Odinson–came in to apologize for being a dick. I was thrown off for a whole two pages until Odinson reverted to dick mode. All is well.

Thor #2 and #3:

More from Jason Aaron! A woman now has Mjölnir and is the Goddess of Thunder. There’s some enjoyable bits in here where she’s learning how to wield the hammer and I’m loving her internal dialogue. I’m looking forward to the next issue when the previous Thor (big burly blond dude who constantly makes bad decisions) tries to take Mjölnir back from the current Thor (badass Goddess of Thunder). I remember when it was announced that a new Thor was going to take up the hammer and it would be a woman. I was standing in the comic book shop that week, waiting in line to purchase my comics and had to listen to guys whine because Thor was going to become a woman. In front of me. A woman. The world of comics has a long way to go, but hopefully characters like Thor will help.

Ms. Marvel #9 and #10:

Fuck yeah, Kamala Khan! If there’s not a blog out there with that theme, I’ll be making one this weekend because hell yes. Favorite line: “Okay, explain this to me like I’m dumb.” Here, this has some preview pages so you can get a glimpse of why I love this series so very much. She’s an Inhuman, which ties in with what Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D. is up to and the upcoming Inhumans movie. Considering that the Captain Marvel movie comes out July 6, 2018 and Inhumans is slated for 11/2/18, I’m hoping that Ms. Marvel will be introduced in the Captain Marvel movie and is then featured in Inhumans.

Captain Marvel #9 – #11:

Speaking of Captain Marvel, it’s time to check in on Carol Danvers! So…there was a rhyming issue. Next. Someone tries to take over NYC with rats and the tale is told in a series of letters. Cute, but rats are awesome. Make it cockroaches and I’ll be horrified, I promise. And then there was Santa? Oooook. All three issues were fairly kooky. Enjoyable, but definitely kooky.

She-Hulk #9 – #11:

I am going to miss Jennifer Walters so much when this series wraps up with the next issue. The art is amazing and I’ve really enjoyed the focus on her law career and how she’s been portrayed as a well-rounded person with principles who occasionally turns green and fights things. Bonus awesome points for the trial that was the focus of these issues–Jennifer defending Steve Rogers (Captain Marvel) in a civil case for wrongful death. Her opponent? Matt Murdock, AKA Daredevil.

Black Widow #12 – #14:

Phil Noto’s artwork is so good I go back and stare at pages just to enjoy it. Things are starting to pick up. Isaiah’s been shot and I’ve learned enough about Natasha to know that’s not going to fly. She’s on the warpath now, in a way she wasn’t before. I was pleasantly surprised to see Clint Barton (Hawkeye) show up because he’s one of my favorites. Bonus points for Tony Stark being a dick in #12. I’m happy to note that Natasha has gone from indifference towards Liho at the beginning to making sure that someone grabs her so she can hide her in a safehouse. Pretty sure that means Natasha is officially owned by a cat.

Hawkeye vs Deadpool #2 – 4:

Human Disaster Clint Barton vs. Merc with the Mouth Wade Wilson. Snarky idiots being stupid together. What’s not to love?

Dear Mr. Knightley

Some people don’t like to let the day end with an argument running.

I don’t like to let the day end with a book unfinished.

I’d started Dear Mr. Knightley yesterday afternoon with middling hopes for it and it met my expectations.

The book has many things going for it that I like–strong Jane Austen ties, a heroine trying to find herself, writers, Chicago and an epistolary format. I enjoyed watching the heroine, Sam, develop relationships with friends, another kid in the foster care system, learn how to be a better writer and find a new family. I liked watching her bounce around Chicago with Alex, her overly perfect male friend who you can tell wants to be something more. There were several fun moments in the book, including a moment when Sam wins a literary quote-off.

Unfortunately, it also contained a protagonist who is flawed in a non-charming manner, a golly gee perfect male lead, an obviously smarmy Wickham-type, a mystery that is obvious halfway through the book and no real tension. Many of the issues that crop up for Sam seem especially unbelievable because I expect her to be more street smart than she is. I can accept that she’s emotionally delayed due to her past, but I have a hard time believing that she’s not developed more common sense and street smarts.

Furthermore, it’s Christian Romance, a category I noticed about three seconds after clicking the Buy Now button. If you want an inexplicably chaste heroine who can’t tell that a guy is dating her in the hopes of getting laid, hasn’t been kissed until 23 and suddenly starts praying and thinking about God when her adopted family starts praying, you’ll be thrilled. If you’re looking for overt Christian themes, you’ll be disappointed. If you’re a godless heathen, you’ll be annoyed.

I wouldn’t hit the book out of someone’s hands if I saw them pick it up at the bookstore, but this review is probably the last I’ll think about it because…eh.