Doctor Who · Reading

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

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