Comics Review: March 4 and March 11

Thor #6:

Uh oh! Odinson crossed Jane Foster off the list for the shittiest of reasons and now I’m fucking sad: she has breast cancer. Poor Jane. Odin is still being as useless as a bag of dicks, Malekith and Dario are making shady deals and we hardly see Thor at all. Clearly a filler issue and despite the cover, we still don’t know who Thor is beneath the helm. Jerks. Points to Freyja for trying to slap the stupid out of Odin. Too bad it didn’t work.

Ms. Marvel #13:

Let’s see…Kamala is training with the Inhumans, but still living at home. Medusa and Lockjaw have a nice little conversation about how she’s worried that Kamala will make friends with Inhumans that are not exactly pure of heart. Kamala gets home and has breakfast with her family only to find out that she’s going to be stuck playing host to friends of the family who are visiting from out of town. You know how it is, just…ugh. Not them. That kid used to pick his nose and he’s gross and I’m going to have to deal with “wouldn’t they make such a cute couple?” comments and…whoa. He’s hot.

kamran

So….I was totally on the Bruno train, like whoa. He’s great and he likes Kamala.

But Kamran? Hot, smart, likes playing the same game Kamala does, and he’s another Inhuman. They’ve got a lot in common! He’s going to turn out bad, isn’t he? That damn foreshadowing…

Captain Marvel #13

Captain Marvel and her ship had a nice little snarkfest with each other and managed to escape the space envelope and attack a ship harvesting a space bear. Yes, those are words that I just strung together that actually make sense when describing this issue. What. The. Fuck?

Anyways, Chewie is safe. Tic has been set free and has her own spaceship right now. And Carol? I’m ready for her to return to Earth. The space stuff is wearing on me.

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #3:

It’s not a particularly deep book, but it is laugh out loud funny. I keep thinking that I’m going to stop reading it because it’s ridiculous, then I get a new issue and it’s hilarious.

Doreen is trying to get to the moon to stop Galactus, but things keep getting in the way. Whiplash sees the Iron Man suit that Doreen “borrowed” and decided to go after her. Whiplash ruined one of the nifty cards that Deadpool gave Doreen–harsh! Doreen then sets squirrels after Whiplash and defeats him easily.

You’d think that would be enough, but then there’s the tiny detail of a bank robbery and her roommate Nancy being one of the captives. Nancy gives the robbers a tongue-lashing, Doreen and squirrels save the day, and Nancy spies Tippy in the mass of squirrels. Not very top-secret to have your squirrel sidekick wearing a bow. Pro tip.

super hero neutralizers

Doreen gets to the moon and is possibly not in time to stop Galactus. Yikes.

Loki: Agent of Asgard #12

Eeeeeeeeeeeeh. Basically Loki gloating to Loki (trust me, you’d need a flow-chart to make sense of it). I think that maybe I’m done with Loki?

Black Widow #16:

We get a flashback to Natasha as a child. It’s a great little character-building arc that shows you at least part of what made her the Black Widow. interspersed with the the flashbacks are shots of a conversation that she’s having with her rescuer from the last issue–the Prophet, who leads Chaos. You know, the organization she’s been chasing? He says he serves the future and has an offer for her…

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10 #13

Buffy and Spike’s morning after is awkward for two reasons:

1. Buffy effortlessly wedged her foot in her mouth by asking Spike if he’d turned evil. Way to reference the ex-boyfriend that the current boyfriend has an adversarial relationship with.
2. Spike was concerned if he’d turned evil after having a dream about killing people for the fun of it.

So…then Spike was called to look at a murder scene and the dead people? From his dream. Spike goes to Xander and they both freak out a bit together. Xander distracts Buffy by going to Andrew to apologize for being over the top in his reaction to Andrew coming out. Spike goes to Willow and Giles for a magical review to see if they can figure out why he’s dreaming about killing.

Buffy finds out that the Scoobies distracted her and pointed out to Spike that she tends not to be amused by lies. Willow then goes to Aluwyn and breaks up with her. You’d think immortals would be fairly chill about this considering how many people they come across through their lives, but Aluwyn was not amused. Looks like Willow may have a new enemy.

Divinity #1:

First off, the cover is what sucked me in–it’s eye-catching and the paper is heavier and more matte than is typically used for comic book covers.

divinity

The storyline is about Abram Adams, who grew up in the Soviet Union during the Cold War. They were getting antsy about the US’s space program and decided that if they US was going to aim for the moon, they were going to aim for the edge of the galaxy. He agreed to a 30 year mission–15 years there and 15 years back. The story then picks up in 2015 when he returns to earth and lands in Australia. He’s been forgotten by the Russians, but it does seem like he’s picked up a few new powers while he was gone.

Links Roundup – 3/20

Fashion is a way of expressing who you are and what you want to project to the world. It’s a way for you to showcase your personality without saying a word. So why do we take accomplished women who have dressed up to celebrate their successes and reduce them to “Who are you wearing?

As you may have noticed, I enjoy reading comics. While Poison Ivy (and indeed, most anything DC) is not one of my go-to favorite characters, I did like this piece exploring how the clothing choices made by the artists reflected her as a character and could be used as a test to determine if the story is feminist friendly. Upon reading the article, I realized that I already unconsciously do that–I’m drawn to comics with women in strong poses on the cover, not poses that can be spoofed by the Hawkeye Initiative.

I’m often hesitant to post strong opinions on the internet because I’m worried that someday I’m going to say something in front of the wrong person, and I’ll have to deal with shit like what Ashley Judd heard when she expressed an opinion about sports or when Anita Sarkeesian pointed out that gaming is not entirely friendly towards women. I’m trying to be better about it because I think it’s important for women to be able to speak up without having to worry about the consequences.

I identified strongly with the story that Katherine told earlier this week about how she was taken advantage of by her ex-mechanic. I’ve never been jerked around at the mechanic the way she has, but I’ve been afraid of finding myself in her position. Not just the part where she was charged thousands of dollars for things not even being fixed, but the terror of going to the mechanic and saying “What the hell?” Calling someone out on their bullshit like that is scary, especially when it’s for something you don’t even know that much about. I’d happily give up the space in my brain where high school wedged in Algebra II knowledge and replace it with basic car knowledge. I didn’t even know until my first car blew a rod that even if you’re putting a quart of oil in the car on a regular basis, you still need to get oil changes.

Switching to a cheerier topic, check out these great fabrics that Gertie has released through Joann Fabrics! I’ve admired her vintage-inspired patterns for quite some time and might have to pick up a few (dozen) yards of fabric so I can pretend to myself that I’ll sew something. A full skirt (with pockets!) might have to happen with the black with red and pink roses sateen.

New titles are coming to Netflix in April! We are losing a few good titles in April, unfortunately. Consider this your notice to go watch Sense and Sensibility, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and Mystic Pizza.

Comics Review: Week of 3/4

Rat Queens #9:

New artist! 100% less domestic violence! Hooray!

We open with some tragic Hannah backstory where we watch her mother be killed in front of her as a child. We then cut to battle (with a brief interlude for a sex daydream because why not?). Betty, Violet, Dee and Hannah are all in reasonably good health, considering they’ve gone up against a giant tentacled…thing.

Seems like everyone is having crazy dreams. Bluebird Dave dreamed of Redbirds of Wrath, which are even less cute than they sound.

If you’re not reading Rat Queens, you seriously need to start. It’s a swords and sorcery story that manages to evoke emotions and make you care about the characters, all while having lines like “Oh Brad. Brad, Brad, Brad, Brad. You are so fucking dumb.” All the characters are interesting in their own right and even Betty, who is definitely the comic relief of the group, makes you care about her and cheer for her.

We end on arrows raining down around Hannah. Here’s hoping that none of them make contact.

Saga #26:

Lying Cat is on the cover. I’m already hoping I’ll enjoy this issue more than the last.

We start out with Marko taking down a robber in a convenience store and then bickering with Prince Robot IV over the merits of killing the robber. Marko votes for no killing, which Prince Robot IV considers to be “fucking asinine.” As they’re on the lam, I do rather see the Prince’s point.

Let’s see…bickering between Alana and Dengo. Gwendolyn and Brand bickering until they talk to dragons, where (guess what?!) there is more bickering. I was beginning to think that there would be nothing but bickering all fucking issue and then what do I find on the last page? Marko (hopefully just) passed out with drug wrappers all around him. Oh…so very not good. Fine, you’ve got my attention for the next issue.

Hawkeye #1:

Of course Hawkeye #1 is out before the last issue of the Fraction/Aja/Hollingsworth/Wu Hawkeye is out. Of course.

Interesting style. Flashbacks to Clint and Barney as kids is a pretty sketch/watercolor combination in various shades of (shocker!) purple. Scenes in the present are a more typical comic style similar to what Aja used, but with a much more varied and saturated color palette.

Hm. Funny how much more entertaining Kate and Clint bickering is than any bickering in Saga.

Oooh…red in flashbacks is bad. Good to know. Papa Barton sure was a dick.

Kate found something that looks an awful lot like kids hooked up to a machine in a Hydra base. Not cool, bro.

Worse, I just had a sad realization that the bro joke in Hawkeye is probably over. Bro, tell me it isn’t so! Bro? Bro?

There’s a mention of the awesome hearing aids that Stark made Clint which is neat in that it acknowledges that Clint is deaf, but it also makes me sad because one of the things I loved about the (not quite yet completed) previous Hawkeye story is that they focused on Clint’s deafness. There was an entire episode devoted to sign and even after that episode, they did a good job showing dialogue according to Clint’s perspective. Most things said to his face were heard, but with a word or two left out and if the speaker faced away from him so he couldn’t read their lips, the dialogue bubble was blank because fuck you–if Clint can’t hear it, you the reader can’t hear it either.

Angel & Faith #12:

Fred! Did I mention that Fred is back? Unfortunately, Illyria is still in there, too. Eldre Koh wants Illyria to come out to play, despite Fred’s protests. We then get a flashback scene as Eldre Koh shares why he is not delighted with Fred’s presence (which is ridiculous, BTW. Fred is the best.)

Giant scary monsters! Joining a bloodthirsty cult! Going on a walkabout! Returning and being accused of murdering an entire town! OK, that last one is maybe a bit too far. What the fuck, Eldre Koh?

He goes off to pout because Fred isn’t giving up the goods. Faith gives Angel a Hi-Bye-See-you-at-the-bar-later. Fred and Angel are left to talk and she reveals that she actually knows who killed Eldre Koh’s family and had him put in jail: her. Dun dun DUN!

Well, Illyria. Of course. Story time: Illyria likes to be worshipped,as gods do. She bribed an overseer with a fancy position if he’d turn over Eldre Koh as a scapegoat and she then took over his entire race.

Fred and Illyria are fighting for the body. This is probably not going to end well for Fred. Again.

Eldre Koh starts a bar fight, which is promptly finished by Angel. Can I have next month’s comic now?

Doctor Who: New Adventures With the Tenth Doctor #5-6, 8:

#5: Gabby and the Doctor separately help save the day–Gabby by the power of being interested in learning and the Doctor through telepathy. Well, everyone has their strengths. I think Gabby really did the most when she spoke with one of the entities and got it to see her as a person and a fellow artist.

Gabby gets a flattering offer from Zhe to come back and be her apprentice, but first the Doctor is going to whisk her away to see more sights. Now they’re going to the past! (I bet I know where, thanks to my idiotic buying practices.)

#6: Why golly gee willikers, it’s World War I! However did I guess?

Soldier 1 is asking Soldier 2 if he thinks he should marry Soldier 2’s sister when they get back to Scotland. I suspect nobody is going to be involved in a marriage anytime soon, seeing as how there’s a weeping angel on the scene.

The Doctor and the TARDIS were hit by an explosion. I sure hope Gabby is as plucky as she seems, because she’s going to have to carry things along for a bit.

There’s some well-done artwork of battle scenes that do a better job of illustrating how fucked up WWI was than any lessons I was taught in school.

The Doctor wakes up to discover that he and Gabby are being held under suspicion of being spies. There’s a German prisoner in the ward with them who has sewn his eyes open and is screaming “Don’t blink!” That was…gross. I’m going to add sewn open eyes to the list of things I’d like to never see again.

#8: We see a montage of one of the soldiers who were sent back in time in issue #7 save a woman who was being accosted on the street, marry her, have kids and then die when he sees a paper about WWI. Those damn angels.

Gabby and then soldier Jamie face off a weeping angel and then Jamie does something I have wanted to see done ever since the first weeping angel episode: he blows the angel up with a grenade. Well, he tries. Points to him for that.

The Doctor then has an existential crisis about taking Gabby with him and really, Doctor? It seems like we get this “why did I drag you around with me, I’m going to get you killed!” speech with every companion. It gets old.

Once again, weeping angels have the TARDIS. Hello, writers of Doctor Who and specifically relating to weeping angels. For fuck’s sake, have them do something new or stop using them.

Comics Review Pt. 5: Another Marvel Blitz

Spider-Gwen #1:

Um. No. Just…no. I don’t know any teenage girls who talk like Gwen Stacy does in this book. I took a pause in reviewing to make sure that it was removed from my pull list. Eurgh.

Ms. Marvel #12:

Oh hey, an actual teenage girl. Written by a woman. Hm. Seems to be making a difference. Sheesh.

Loki! Loki is in this one! I love how Ms. Marvel gets so many crossovers and visiting characters. Loki gets mistaken for a Brooklyn hipster. This is fucking precious in the best possible way.

Bruno, you are awesome:

ms marvel bruno friend zone

Loki spiked the punch at the school dance with truth serum and some of the truths are fucking gold, including some of the truths Loki ends up spilling at the end after being doused with punch.

There’s not a lot of action in the story, beyond a brief fight between Kamala and Loki. It’s mostly enriching some of the emotional arcs–Bruno’s crush on Kamala, her desire to do normal teenage things like go to a dance and flirt with boys, and Loki’s desire to resolve issues with brains and not fighting.

Captain Marvel #12:

Carol returns to her ship to find that Tic and Chewie are gone and her ship is about to be attacked. So, not the best day ever. Unfortunately, she makes a tactical mistake and flies her ship into a funky bit of space that is going to slow her down by a lot. In the meantime, Chewie’s captors are planning to use her as the ultimate weapon and then kill her when they’re done. I suspect that won’t end well–for them.

Black Widow #15:

Oh, Phil Noto. Your artwork is magical and I look forward to getting something signed by you at Planet Comicon. Hopefully my friends will prevent me from babbling like an ass.

Starts out with Nat getting her ass kicked by Chaos, but the Winter Soldier comes in and saves her! Nat and Bucky then chase down a falling helicopter full of bad guys. She then gets captured by one of the bad guys. She’s not having a good time this issue and frankly, I’m kind of annoyed that the writer has her agency so affected by men in this issue. She’s saved by Bucky. She’s captured by a mystery man. One of the things I like about Black Widow is she does things, so it’s frustrating to me that this issue is all about things happening to her. Hopefully the next issue picks up.

Loki: Agent of Asgard? #11:

Ehh….Asgardian bullshit. Um, let’s see. Loki is exposed as the echo/killer of kid Loki (I would explain, but frankly, that’s a headache I don’t feel like experiencing). Freyja exiles him from Asgard. Sif thinks he might not be so bad after all. Loki goes on a navel-gazing journey in a space between the Realms and has a chat with Odin.

Odin sets Loki on fire (he’s a great father, I tell you) and sends him back to Midgard. Where…another Loki is waiting for him. King Loki. He’s an ass who drives off Verity and then promises to tell Loki all about how he fucks everything up and becomes King Loki. I hope I can survive this arc without removing Loki from my pull list due to sheer boredom.

Thor #5:

Oh fucking hell, more Asgard. Apparently Odin’s all butt-hurt because Thor now wields Mj√∂lnir and the hammer and title no longer belong to Odinson.

There’s a two page spread of Thor fighting Absorbing Man that appears to be written for the guys who whined about Thor being a woman. Fucking magical. Thank you for that, Jason Aaron. I think I need your signature now, too.

Odinson talks to Odin and tells him that yes, he gave Thor the hammer and the title and no, his father does not need to go and snatch it back. It does appear that Odin may be slightly loony tunes at the moment. Not only is he butting heads with Odinson about Thor, but he’s also brought his murdering brother back and named him Royal Inquisitor and Minister of Justice. Odinson is not on board with this decision, seeing as how Cul tried to kill him.

Odinson and Sif have a heart to heart, that ends with her threatening to fight him the next time they see each other. He appears to have a special talent for saying the exact wrong thing.

Next we see Thor on the moon, where she’s warned by Freyja that Odin is somewhat put out and will be throwing a temper tantrum in her direction sometime soon.

She-Hulk #12:

It’s the end of this wonderful book. I’m going to take a moment to pout.

Now that’s done, time to recap! We find out what the Blue File is all about–apparently Nightwatch killed off an entire town to convince the world he was a good guy. Might have had a bit more emotional depth for me if I knew who the hell Nightwatch was.

So, there’s a fight. He puts a whammy on Jennifer and she beats up Patsy on his command. Angie Huang (paralegal extraordinaire) breaks the hold he has on Jennifer so she can then capture and subdue Nightwatch. The action scenes are clearly illustrated and I am going to miss the artwork in this series so very much.

Angie tries to quit, but Jennifer talks her out of it because they’re got a big case coming up against Jennifer’s old firm. The next mission? Defending the Inhumans in a lawsuit. I hope that She-Hulk gets her own series again soon.

Cameo: Howard the Duck. Because his #1 issue will be coming out next week. Yeah, no. You probably won’t see me reviewing that one.

Comics Review Pt. 4: Everything But Marvel

Doctor Who: New Adventures with the Tenth Doctor #3, 4, and 7:

Awww….cute reaction by Gabby when she saw the TARDIS. I always love seeing people’s reactions to the TARDIS. And she gets to go on a trip! She keeps this up, and Gabby is going to jump the favorite companion rankings above Martha, Clara and possibly Amy.

New TARDIS definition: Threshold And Ridiculous Domain of Insanity and Supercool. Also? It makes a noise like an elephant and a piano bringing sexy back!

Issue #4 is told as a letter/journal entry from Gabby’s perspective and I really like the style. It’s mostly sketches and notes about the Doctor and the TARDIS, with storytelling panels mixed in.

And then apparently I missed a few issues? Next in my stack is #7, which has changed stories. Um. But hey! Weeping Angels! World War 1! This promises to be interesting. I’ll have to go dig through the back issues at the shop to get #5-6.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10 #12:

Starting out with a heavy-duty Spike + Buffy (Spuffy! I’m a shipper and admit to it) conversation in which she declares her interest and he shuts her down. He then goes to moan to Xander about acting like a wanker (yep!) when a muscle-bound Andrew busts in the window. Um, back the truck up? Brief break for a fight with a meat golem (they are definitely getting the hang of writing for comics!) and Andrew kissing a dude. Go Andrew!

Awww….the empowerment potion that gave Andrew all the muscles and brawn was fulfilled by him finally kissing a guy and he’s back to being tiny Andrew again. So cute. Unfortunately, Xander agrees and supported Andrew so very much that Andrew freaked out and ran out of the building.

Cut to Buffy and Spike picking up their earlier conversation. Buffy says it’s okay to just be friends and then Spike! tells! her! that! he! loves! her!!! Cue the apartment-shattering sex that has Xander worried for his maquettes, Giles pissy because he’s been de-aged to childhood and can’t legally have sex for years, a cute scene between Xander and Dawn and then a scene with a post-coital Spike so happy he’s terrified.

Wytches #1:

Eeeeeh. I like Scott Snyder’s writing, but this just didn’t do too much for me. I prefer a cleaner art style and frankly, I’m a wimp. Scary stuff does nothing but make me stay up way too late and jump at noises. I probably will give this whole series a pass. One could argue I’ve already done that, since I’ve missed three issues.

Velvet #8 and 9:

Normally, I don’t get into spy stuff. Bond, Bourne, bah. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is OK because, the spy stuff is mostly incidental. Black Widow is cool because it’s more about her journey than her spying.

But Velvet? There’s a lot of spy work in here and I love it. Maybe it’s because the reader is privy to her decision-making process. Her spy suit is awesome–in #8 she was able to use it to glide into an open window and discovered it’s bulletproof.

Issue #9 is starting to set up the next step in Velvet’s story. She’s set an ex-spy turned nutcase free and is trying to get him to tell her who is behind her husband’s death. As it turns out, he’s even more slippery than she is and manages to escape. She has a bit more information now, but it’s not entirely correct and there’s a cop pointing a gun at her. I’m ready for the next issue already!

Rat Queens Special: Braga #1:

This issue has a guest artist, which I’m assuming is in preparation for the switch to a new artist due to the previous artist’s arrest for domestic violence.

The issue focuses on Braga’s backstory, where we find that she used to be Broog, the prince of the Orcs. While she enjoyed the fighting and the killing (like you do, when you’re an Orc), she didn’t enjoy the pressures of being the prince or being at war for the sake of being at war.

So yeah, Braga is a transgender character. The artist and writer did a great job framing the story by having Braga talk to her guest and tell him about where she came from (cue the flashback pages!). Geeked Out Nation does a much better job recapping the issue than I ever will.

Bitch Planet #1-3:

I think it’s been documented by now that I love Kelly Sue DeConnick. Pretty Deadly is an amazing series and Captain Marvel pretty much defines kickass.

Issue #1 introduces us to Bitch Planet. Excuse me, the Auxilary Compliance Outpost. In this world, when women step outside of bounds and are non-compliant, they get sent to jail on another planet. If, say, a guy wants to get rid of his first wife so he can marry a younger, hotter woman, he can pay a fee to get his first wife sent to Bitch Planet.

Issue #2 starts the thread of the story. After watching a fellow prisoner be killed and blamed for the death, Kamau Kogo is presented with an offer by the prison: Create a team that will compete on the feed. She declines the offer, saying that she doesn’t want to have her dignity stripped away. The other inmates talk her into taking the offer and tell her that they’ll be in a position where they may be able to strike a blow against the Council.

Issue #3 focuses on a specific prisoner: Penny Rolle. Her crimes? Insubordination, assault, assault, assault, repeated citations for aesthetic offenses, capillary disfigurement and wanton obesity. It starts out with Penny in a creepy room of monitors, filled with a bunch of men staring at her and telling her that there’s something wrong with her, they just want her to be happy, why is she so angry? Emotional abuse 101. We learn about Penny’s background–taken away from her non-compliant grandmother at a young age, told she doesn’t look right in the orphanage, listening to men threatening women for rolling their eyes, and women being excited at the idea of getting an intestinal parasite so they can lose weight. After Penny is arrested for beating the crap out of a guy, she’s forced to hook up to a mirror that will show her what she truly sees as her ideal self. The awesome part: the mirror ends up showing Penny as she already is. She’s fat, she’s black, she’s unapologetic about it and she truly likes who she is and what she looks like. Sadly, in the world of Bitch Planet, this is what gets her sent to jail.

At the end of each issue, they have a two-page article about feminism. On the back cover they have an ads page, like you can find in the back of magazines. Bonus points for the note to Leelah on the back of issue #2.

bitch planet 2 back page