Captain Marvel #3

Tic, in Carol’s ship (with her cat) comes back to attack The Guardians (especially Quill to get back at the king of Spartax). The action takes a turn for the funny. Carol and Peter play off each other well, DeConnick paints them with the same sense of humor and it works really well. David Lopez is perfect for this, the way he displays Carol, Tic and Quill’s expressions is perfect.

After Carol decides to take Tic back to Torfa the Guardians go back to whatever they were doing. And Carol tries her hand at diplomacy. It doesn’t go smoothly. She’s aligned with the Galactic Alliance who have been moving these aliens from planet to planet, exposing them to toxins and are attempting to split up families. (Also, turns out Tic was looking for Secret Avenger Spider-Woman who recently got her first taste of outer space in Secret Avengers #2). Then we get serious. 

The people on Torfa are not amused. A white woman with good intentions but no understanding of the complex situation which she seeks to address: who has words rather than actions, thoughts rather than resources, who brings the lower level thinking “Why don’t they just leave there then?”  Perfect. Please read this article written by someone about the privilege and hypocrisy of “voluntourism” because it’s really a smart (and hard to hear) realisation that good intentions aren’t helpful, if people need resources they need resources, they don’t need a bunch of people “helping” (re: exploiting to make themselves feel/look influential and worldly) who have limited knowledge and insight. 

Eleanides drops the knowledge. They are not idiots, they’re looking for a cure. If Carol’s not there to help take care of the sick or find the source of the poison or protect them from the Galactic Alliance… she’s not their champion then, she’s a self righteous white woman unaware of her own privilege. And a comic book explains something beautifully that so many people do not even attempt to understand.

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Lopez’s cover is phenom. All of these covers so far have been really simplistic but BOLD. Loving the strictly Captain Marvel golden yellow, red and blue. Primary colors FTW. 

FREE COMIC BOOK DAY! Reviews

Teen Titans GO! #1 (DC Nation Super Sampler)

I loved the cartoon but never read the books. They’re just so super adorable that I couldn’t resist. Artist Ben Bates keeps the cooky, spunky bunch looking snazzy while writer Sholly Fisch puts them in far fetched roommate/BFFL situations involving demonic pizza, high stakes minigolf wagers and Raven manipulating a claw machine to achieve the ultimate prize!

All ages comics typically aren’t my thing. But the dynamics of Teen Titans, from the unlikely friendship between perky alien Starfire and underworld spooky girl Raven to Robin’s rivalry with Speedy I just dig it.

The New 52! FUTURES END #0

Central City 35 years from now: The supes are being “assimilated” into robot bugs. (Grown adults came up with this?) Captain Cold and the Flash are buddies, guess things changed after Forever Evil. “Frankenstein” (the monster) has Canary’s head sewn into his chest and he uses her to take out the Flash. This is all orchestrated by Brother Eye and old man Bruce Wayne convinces Terry (Batman Beyond) to go back in time and kill him. But Batman doesn’t kill people. Moral crisis. And Terry doesn’t quite make it to the right place. So we have a rogue Batman who is time displaced on a murder plot. It could actually be interesting. But, it could also be a hot mess. All new WEEKLY that will forever alter the direction of the New 52. Issue #1 is out May 7th. 

I don’t know if I know about enough of the characters. Forever Evil and the cancellation of The Movement is leaving me burned on DC. Maybe. Maybe I’ll try.

Street Fighter #0

A sampler of 3 stories. “Hong Kong Hustle” by Jim Zub, art by Hanzo Steinbach. The art is amazing, bright and large. Did I mention this book is huge? No? It’s huge. A new student of Ken’s is waiting when passerby’s start catcalling a woman on the street. The woman says not to trouble himself, but he says that he has to do what’s right: defending women against street harassment. The coolest. But the woman turns out to be none other than the Strongest Woman in the World. “Your Enemies Closer” gets harder lines and a completely opposite style courtesy of Takeshi Miyazawa. Ken Siu-Chong pens a tale of revenge. “This hammer was too good at smashing things to be locked away in a toolbox just because it had lost it’s nail.” But Juri might just get her chance after all. “Beyond the Hills” is the origin story of Akuma, which takes us into an underground fight club. The story by Chris Sarracini is darker and grittier and art and colors by Joe Ng/Rob Armstrong/Espen Grundetjern suit the mood effectively, but it was my least favorite of the 3.

Guardians of the Galaxy 

3 ministories: BMB wrote the first one. I dig it. Carol Danvers is there. That’s even better. The cover is a bit uninspiring. Tony Stark is discussing sending Corporal Thompson “off planet” (the dialogue is wonderful here) and Stark gives a quick run down of the soon to be cinematic team. The Guardians are surprised when Thompson is in a wheelchair, but more so when he transforms into Agent Venom.  Thanos: the Infinity Revelation previews a coming series. Then we get Spider-Man: Staging Ground by Dan Slott has Spider-man performing Shakespeare. Weird. Heyyyy Carol Danvers wasn’t in any of those stories. 

What did you pick up for #FCBD? 

Captain Marvel #2

Firstly, Kiss My Wonder Woman did a great write up of Captain Marvel’s return.

In the second part of “Higher, Further, Faster, More.” Carol Danvers is making friends with her ship’s AI. Her cat, the cat that Rhodey wouldn’t watch, is making himself comfy on the controls. This is a flash back to “Two weeks ago” and really, my main (albeit minor) issue with this series is the nonsensical time skips. Why are we doing this? 

Anyway, they’re on a medical transport to Torfa (to bring back the green female alien that Rhodey and Captain Marvel found in a vessel headed for Earth) -we already know this doesn’t happen. The route they’re on has been claimed by the Haffensye Consortium and they crack wise at Carol and tell her she can’t pass. Yeah, right. And they start launching missiles at each other with oddly teethed villains calling for her destruction. 

She busts out of the ship in costume and goes to face them head to head When the Guardians of the Galaxy (in their soon to be cinematic line up) back her up. They are victorious (but we knew THAT). And then they tried to work out why a “medical transport” was just attacked. They about get to the reason when Rocket tries to fire on Carol’s cat that he thinks is a Flerken. It’s hilarious. But the gunfire wakes up the previously unconscious alien transport.

Quill then informs carol that Torfa had been poisoned. 200 years prior all life was wiped out and then the Galactic Council relocated refugees there. The Council attempts to rectify the mistake after people start getting sick, but they don’t have enough ships to do it quickly and refugees won’t leave behind loved ones. The awoken alien watches on as this is explained, first with dismay and then with anguish. As Quill starts making light of his daddy issues, the alien grabs a gun and demands, “How could you?!” 

Gamora acts fast, but Carol stops her and tries to negotiate with Tic. Turns out the alien came in search of the Avengers but then she takes aim at Quill (presumably because he’s the Prince of Spartax) a fight breaks out and Tic makes off with Carol’s ship, Carol impulsively suits up and takes off into deep space after a vehicle that can outpace her. 

(but we know she’ll catch it. This is why I hate time skips)

Another great light hearted but not frivolous issue. 

David Lopez’s art is perfect again and Louthridge sticks to the bold red, blue and gold overtones. So much of Carol, Quill, Tic and Chewie the cat’s personality comes through the facial expressions and body language. It’s remarkable and suits the tone of DeConnick’s writing perfectly. The emotions are really palpable and once again this issue runs the gamut from silly to a little sad to action packed and witty. 

Ms. Marvel #2

Kamala is disoriented and still in a mist, she keeps flashing between looking like herself and looking like Carol Danvers. She hears 2 of her classmates drunkenly getting out of hand. Kamala hides and inadvertently makes herself small. But when self absorbed bully Zoe falls into the lake, Kamala thinks of a passage in the Qur’an and rushes in to help. She transforms into Captain Marvel and grows her arm large to scoop the girl up from the bottom of the lake (Zoe also says that she’ll never get wasted again). 

Kamala is still getting the hang of it. She runs off when she can’t figure out how to get her arm small and once she figures out that she can reverse the effects she runs for home. Where she gets busted. And her parents fuss that she is untrustworthy and they tell her that they are disappointed. Her brother offers to pray for her. She also finds out that her friend called them -broke the code and ratted her out! 

And she makes a decision. If they can’t understand why she wanted to go to a party, they aren’t going to understand that she has superpowers. 

G. Willow Wilson nails Kamala’s reactions, from confusion to panic… from being overwhelmed to solving a problem. Adrian Alphona brings these emotions to life, the scenes are vague and distorted by the mist which fits with the narrative that Kamala has no idea what is at play. She catches a glimpse of a person flying through the air. Is it a hero? An Avenger? ..or will it be a villain?

 What I enjoy is that this book is diverse. It deals directly with Kamala being bullied for being Pakistani and Muslim, Zoe comes by and says awful white-centric remarks.. Kamala is a first generation American, she has an identity that is not mine.. but much in the way that one can still listen to Against Me’s trans dysphoria blues without being trans… most can relate to a time when they felt like an outcast. In this case most people can remember when they did something that they weren’t sure was the right thing to impress their friends and had to live with the consequences. Most people can remember a time that they felt like their parents didn’t understand them. And it’s great to see this told from a perspective that I don’t have by an author who is drawing upon her own life experience.

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It’s wonderful. If you like teenage supes and/or appreciate diversity in your media you’ve got to grab this.

Captain Marvel #1

Captain Marvel gets front and center in this All-New Marvel NOW! title. Kelly Sue DeConnick writes in plenty of every-woman charm for Carol Danvers while still keeping her edge 

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The story begins at Maniaciano Outpost, Planet Ursor 4. Captain Marvel and 4 humanoids I’ve never seen before are doing some work for the Galactic Alliance when they are followed by Spartax police (You know, I only started reading comic books last year, but I’m really starting to know what all this still is) anyway, they get followed while trying to stop a… space terrorist? And Captain Marvel makes a Star Wars joke, it doesn’t fly so she chucks a fruit at them and starts swinging. The person they’re pursuing gets tackled by a green skinned female and they’ve got to get out of there before…

We flashback to 6 weeks ago.

Iron Patriot and CM are intercepting… a bomb? nope, a capsule with that green skinned female inside. Wowzers. Later, Carol is at home (in the statue of liberty) her friend is staying with her and her friend’s daughter (who wants to be a super hero- who Carol affectionately calls Lieutenant Trouble) catches her and has a heart to heart before Iron Man shows up. 

Iron Man gives her the updates on the alien that she found. And they stop and casually thwart some street thugs. The alien woman’s home planet was destroyed. Iron Man brings up the idea of “a formal Avengers presence in space” a rotating gig between space (hanging with the Guardians of the Galaxy) and Earth. Stark baits her into thinking that he wants Rhodey for the job. It’s very playful and funny.

But Carol wants it. And so she gives Rhodey the “it’s not you, it’s me” talk he says he won’t hold her back… and then she asks him if he’ll feed her cat -and I actually snorted reading that. 

And then Captain Marvel heads for space (but we already knew that) .

I loved this. LOVE LOVED this. 

The art’s by David Lopez -whose work I saw previously during the second story arc of Brian wood’s X-Men, and truth be told. I didn’t love it then. But it looks great here. It really embodies DeConnick’s writing style as well. Carol Danvers is very human (with god powers) and every spunky facial expression, every nuance between her and Rhodey is just superbly illustrated. The colors are more muted and Lee Loughridge adds amazing gold, red and blue overtones to everything, it looks very unique. This is wonderful. 

Comicbook Catch-up Extravaganza! Numero Dos!

Featuring Army of Darkness vs. Hack/Slash #5, Lazarus #6, Ms. Marvel #1

Army of Darkness vs Hack/Slash #5

I’ve really enjoyed this series. Despite the chronic late release of the issues it really maintained momentum for me because I loved LOVED seeing Ash and Cassie play off of eachother. The 2 badasses breaking heads with their unconventional weapons, enemies and friends from each series. Fun. Good. This one flew in the frigging face of all of that. The end of last issue featured their hook-up. Cassie’s in a committed relationship with Margaret- so one of two things spring to mind for me: 1) she’s trying to confuse Ash or 2) the writer is a shallow idiot who thinks bisexuals are all sluts. Either way she’s deceitful. 

The duo get to Ancient Greece, turns out Britt the cult leader went back in time and met with Akakios who was an alchemist and “created the principals that the cult followed” and icing on the cherry hate cake? He killed Cassie’s old partner Vlad. They throw a wild party in Ancient Greece to attract Akakios and his cult and deadites and they burn ’em to a crisp. Cassie goes berserker and beelines for Akakios himself, “Changing the past is bad” Ash says, Cassie KO’s him and he knows he’s been played. But not only did she play Ash…she played Margaret. To “Bring back the only thing she ever loved. Vlad.” 

WHAT THEE FUCK?

Thankfully, issue 6 is the last. Because fuck all that shit. Ash and Cassie are now enemies at odds for possession of the Necronomicon.

Ms. Marvel #1

Kamala Khan, teenage supe, writer of Avengers fanfic, shapeshifter and Muslim. Her family is varying degrees of assimilating and she just wants to be a “regular teen” like her classmates and go to parties. So she sneaks out to a party with boys and booze on the waterfront. Her BFF Bruno tries to get her out of there, and she’s all “MYOB” and storms off.. then a crazy for starts to permeate the area. Kamala Khan gets KO’d and has a drugged out dream about the Avengers, and her homegirl, Captain Marvel. And she wishes, “I want to be beautiful and awesome and butt kicking and less complicated. I want to be you.” And Carol Danvers says, “All right, kid. As fate would have it, you’re about to get the kind of total reboot most people only dream about.”

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Epic debut. Kudos to G. Willow Wilson for calling out concern trolls and stereotypes. So pumped to find out what’s up with the fog, or what’s up with Captain Marvel being her fairy godmother. I repurposed that photo from Jeremy Roberts’s deviantart. http://jprart.deviantart.com/art/All-New-Ms-Marvel-412376037

Lazarus #6

Flashback again, to mini-Forever doing pushups on her thumbs and conjugating Latin verbs, she’s taking her training with Marisol too far.

In the present she wakes up to an alarm, takes her regimen and then she receives the text again. “He is not your father, this is not your family.” Joanna is still sporting a black eye and playing innocent. Flash to Montana, we see the family whose home was destroyed. The cost to rebuild will have them taxed out for the foreseeable future. Back in LA, a woman propositions the guards in exchange for food and others break in and set up a device to hack the keypad. They steal canisters of acetylene. Forever catches them in the act, but she directs her wrath at the guards taking advantage of a hungry woman. Forever asks her where the others have taken the canisters. And the Barrets leave Montana for Denver in hopes that their children can work for the Carlyles. Will this play an integral role? Will they start an uprising? Will Forever discover what’s really happening outside of her family? So many questions. 

Rucka has built this insane world. It’s bleak, it’s dark… and sadly, it’s very very real. Carlyles have infinite wealth and resources and meanwhile we see families giving up all they’ve got, their time, their dignity, their land, their children, they sell themselves out. It’s very blood and guts, but no major revelations this issue.