Loki: Agent of Asgard #3

This issue takes a break from the view of the new young (still kind of the old) Loki and follows the older (but possibly younger?) Loki. Loki is doing laps around the space/time continuum. We follow the aged trickster back in time to him greeting a young (and still prince) Odin. Loki gets the future king (and his adoptive father) into a heap of trouble after he takes out a shape changing man from a nearby town.

Side note: Odin’s all “That large beaver meant us no harm” but the both of them a clearly wearing leathers and eat meat. Both of these things involve killing animals that more than likely meant no one any harm. Loki just happened to kill a man in the form of a man-sized otter.

 

Jenny Frison cover = Old Man Loki +reflective riches Loki front and center conveying his self centeredness.

Jenny Frison cover = Old Man Loki +reflective riches Loki front and center conveying his self centeredness.

Anyway, they stop in to a pub and order some mead, but Odin picks up on that another patron is waiting for his son who was hunting supper. Dun dun… his son was the otter. One brother demands blood, the other demands retribution in the form of gold. Loki (the hardened old man Loki) shoots a fish with a bazooka to collect a treasure. Well, not exactly, he shoots a dwarf who can turn into a fish (his name is Andvari and this is a Norse folktale that is weaved in) The gold is cursed. And the character Regin behaves about the way he was written to traditionally. Andvari’ gold exemplifies the traits of each man who keeps it, Regin turns vengeful and Fafnir turns greedy (and into a dragon, he refused to leave the treasure and his body became deprived of food and water and survived off of spells and magic in the air and it transformed him… which is a very interesting idea). Sigurd, the first hero of Asgard, some years later, comes into the same tavern, he is served by Regin who has forged a mighty sword (Gram, the sword young Loki gets in Point NOW) to exact revenge, he gives it to Sigurd. IF Sigurd will slay (the now dragon) Fafnir and bring him his heart.

dragon

Sigurd, being a legendary hero, does this mightily and then returns to Regin (who tries to stab him in the back. Literally). Sigurd keeps Gram. And some years later discards it. King Bor dies later still, and the still prince Odin finds it. Old Loki arrives and tells Odin to hide the sword in a box with 5 keys and save it… for this young Loki…

What does that mean?!

And if that wasn’t crazy enough, Sigurd in the PRESENT goes in search of his sword, finds that Loki already got there and vows to steal it back.

This series is so utterly and consistently good. I can’t begin to imagine why the haggard old man Loki has set this all into motion, but when he looks in on his other self (with Verity!) and says, “What a precious little girl child I am.” it poked fun at the taunts that Loki looked like “he’s from Twilight” or whatever crazy crap my friends thought about this. It’s a great story, about wanting redeption but knowing that you don’t really deserve it, and that you won’t really get it. But striving on anyway. The older Loki still considers himself the God of Evil… so why has he lead this Loki that seeks redemption to the ultimate weapon? What’s the end game?!

Well, I’m unsure… but I am exorbitantly intrigued.

Lee Garbett’s drawing and Nolan Woodard’s art suit this tale perfectly shadowy but still crisp, undertones of red, gold and green illuminate the pages. The toothy dragon is larger than life, his heart is larger than a man. The fight scenes are detailed. Loki is hardened and wrinkled, a stark contrast next to the goofy young Odin.

And Sigurd: the first hero of Asgard is Black. I love Marvel.

Sigurd +(young appearing) Loki in #4!

Sigurd +(young appearing) Loki in #4!

Anime Review- Legend of the Legendary Heroes

This incredibly enjoyable series begins with the adventurers oh an unlikely duo, Ferris Eris and Ryner Lute. They are sent to collect Hero Artifacts by Sion, the King of Roland. The leaders of a neighboring country called Estabul are also on the hunt for artifacts. Ryner is cursed with “magic eyes” demonic powers that come forth in the form of red pentagrams through his eyes. Through their early missions they are confronted by magical knights from the neighboring territory ..and Milk Calloud, part of the taboo breaker squad who works for King Sion, but doesn’t know about the mission. Milk is the captain of her squad, she’s also got a big time crush on Ryner and thinks that ferris must be enticing him to break the rules. Milk is giddy and girlie. She is very capable, but has childish ways of getting herself out of trouble (usually yelling that she has to use the bathroom). From the beginning Ferris is fierce, great with a sword, constantly teasing Ryner and obsessed with food.

Particularly tea and dango

Image

Ferris is a really fun and interesting character. She’s not above violence, but she disdains killing, she’s a loyal warrior. Although she constantly picks at Ryner -calling him a pervert who corrupts virgins and their mothers with a wolfish grin although this is completely untrue- she teases him for his laziness and incompetence, but she is a true friend.

Ryner is incredibly lazy, in the beginning episodes we see him lounging his way through military school, even when tasked with the important mission retrieving artifacts he is unmotivated and unimpressed. He constantly takes naps and complains about any work to be done. He laments at the end of each episode about how everything sucks. It’s whiny and annoying. He’s “cursed” but as someone who consumes a lot of fantasy genre media, it’s heard demi-god power defined as a curse before. I’m not buying. However, as we get deeper into his history, learning that part of his memories are missing, that he was raised in an orphanage that his childhood friends were killed right in front of him (which was the first time the Alpha Stigma was truly unleashed). He killed many people and sees himself as a monster. Most Alpha Stigmas never reach their full potential because they go crazy young. This all reaches a head in episode 10, when he and Ferris meet up with two pink haired travellers who have already claimed 4 Hero Artifacts that are working for Sion’s enemy Gastark. They fight, Ferris is thrown by the smaller female wielding an ice scythe leaving Ryner to abandon his fight to catch her, she remarks, “Is my beauty so distracting to you?” and he says, “What the hell is your problem?” The male of the antagonist duo calls forth Ryner’s Alpha Stigma, the demon voice attempts to convince him that he should burn everything, that destruction would be more enjoyable than trying to fit in and play hero with humans who don’t accept him. He nearly loses himself and attacks Ferris. Ferris hurls insults at him and then tells him that there’s no way he could be a monster, she doesn’t believe he’s really trying to kill her. She overcomes his magic and he collapses in a heap in front of her. He thinks that now that she’s seen him for what he is that she’ll leave. He tells her he’s too dangerous. Ferris plainly says that there will be no telling her where to go and that besides that they had a date for tea. He starts to cry and she doesn’t coddle him, but makes it clear she won’t leave him. I’m a total sucker for scenes like that and to be honest I have no idea what to do with someone over the age of 12 who is crying, hugging and making sarcastic comments is likely. So I found Ferris’s actions endearing. But by now the audience understands that Ryner isn’t a lazy goofball, he’s clinically depressed and nothing seems worthwhile.

For the most part, nothing much changes in their relationship, although they both internally reflect back on that day. One act of acceptance does not cure Ryner of his depression. It’s a handful of episodes more before we get more backstory on Ferris who is nobility and well trained to be a warrior from a young age, her parents considered her a failure and decided she was only useful as a vessel to carry on her family’s bloodline so her father attacks her, her father is then killed by her very powerful and protective brother. The showing is brief and isn’t very graphic. It provides insight as to why she is so protective of her younger sister and why she sees Ryner as a pervert. It’s likely she sees all men as perverts. Her snarky attitude is cover for her sadness the way that Ryner’s laziness is cover for his.

Image

Throughout the series they encounter new enemies, either trying to beat them to the Hero Artifacts or just enemies set on vanquishing Alpha Stigma monsters. Ryner makes it his goal to save any Alpha Stigma kids before they kill and become corrupted. The story also follows Milk, and another love interest of Ryner’s, Kiefer, who belongs to Gastark’s kingdom. King Sion is a complex character himself, he abhors violence, believing that all life matters and people all have a place in this world but with those in his kingdom afraid of those bearing the Alpha Stigma he is forced to take precaution against Ryner. He’s also collecting artifacts that carry god-like powers which seems akin to political tactics like “peacekeeping through superior firepower”. He’s also harboring some big secrets. Towards the end Ryner meets others “cursed” like him and he sees that they are not all monstrous killing machines.. secret origins get revealed.. There’s a lot going on here.

Image

An amazing story, great animation, masterfully executed, humorous, full of action and high fantasy. It’s lush and gorgeous. It’s funny and sweet and exciting. 

Based on light novels by Takaya Kagami originally illustrated by Saori Toyota.

Comicbook Catch-up Extravaganza!

Featuring: Guardians of The Galaxy 11, PrinceLess #2 & Deadpool: The Gauntlet

Guardians of the Galaxy #11 AKA the Trial of Jean Grey #1

(even though the last issue of All-New X-Men was also the Trial of Jean Grey #1) 

I have never read Guardians of the Galaxy and I’m not usually a bandwagon jumper, even when there’s a movie, but this is a crossover with my 2nd favorite X-Men title, so there you go. Also by Brian Michael Bendis. Art by Sara Pichelli. Quill and Gamora have a chance run in at a bar, they’re both Wanted, yet Quill is at his usual spot and he cleverly quips; “Because it’s the first place anyone would look for me. So they probably already looked for me here and moved on.” But the woman is not Gamora! They’re a really a bounty hunting Skrull! Ohh snap. I really dig it, it reminds me of all the Space Western Anime that I like. Gladiator of Shi’ar attempts to explain Jean Grey’s very complicated history in 140 characters or less. There’s argument about whether Jeannie should face trial for crimes she TECHNICALLY hasn’t committed yet (also, she already helped kill that version of herself). The real Gamora and Angela are having a girls day shopping trip -for weapons- when they run into imposter Gamora and Quill. Gamora tries to figure out what the heck is going on, but Angela decapitates her. Angela loots the body and Quill wakes up in one piece. All together all the Guardians find out what the Shi’ar are planning with Jean Grey and they decide to interfere. The last page makes it.

The space-time continuum tremor doesn’t explain why the original X-Men can’t go home, does it explain Marvels funky numbering?

Also, I hate Groot. I hate any character that only says their name!

PrinceLess #2

Princess Adrienne’s brother is getting his lesson on how to be a proper man and swing his sword around. His father makes all manner of emasculating comments to him because he’s the sole air to the throne. None of his sisters have been rescued yet. All of a sudden someone brings news about one of the girls! But it’s not good news, the tower was burned to the ground. No sign of Adrienne. The King swears vengeance! Just then they see her dragon flying around the castle, the King tells everyone to get armed. It’s Devin who notices the rider on the dragon, and sees that they are going for Appalonia’s balcony. Devin fears for her safety and sets out to prove himself a dragonslayer. Adrienne and Devin predictably swordfight, after Devin relocates Appalonia. Adrienne easily wins and reveals herself. They have a heart to heart and Devin reveals that he left the sword in her room. Devin said he wouldn’t let Appalonia be locked away so his father hid her far away with the meanest guards so she’s not there anymore.

Image

 

First mission didn’t go smoothly, but Adrienne stays true to her quest to save her sisters!

The art is a little plain in this one, light on background details but the cover is fierce!

Image

Deadpool: The Gauntlet #1

This is part one of a thirteen part comic that comes out every week until the end of April?! Whaaat? So I’m already super behind. Greaat. And it’s only being further released digitally. It’s out right now up to issue 6 (can be purchased here). Get with the times and save trees.Deadpool is England fighting a man over a girl. He gets shot, expels the bullet which ricochets of the other man’s jet pack and turns it on, sending him off of the airplane they were fighting on. Epic entrance. Then he realizes his katana is in the pilot’s head, and like all cartoons it doesn’t take effect til you see it. He saves the girl from drowning, gives her CPR, she sees what’s under the hood and runs away. 70s style art interlude with theme song and chimichangas. He gets shot in the head and wakes up on a park bench to a vampire! “At least you’re not twinkling and have a shirt on!” Vampire makes a dash, and Deadpool proves we’re soul mates by saying “Don’t make me run! You wouldn’t like me after you make me run!” The encounter gets physical, and the vamp disappears, Deadpool doesn’t know what the vampire rules are here and asks if british Vampires can turn invisible. He catches the vamps trail and follows him back to his master: Dracula. 

Image

People really either love or hate Deadpool, I’m gonna say it… I love Deadpool. 

PrinceLESS #1

I was light on comics to pick up, so I decided to just grab some stuff. And I was sifting through NES cartridges when out of the corner of my eye I see this bright pink comic on the All-Ages shelf. I don’t usually read “all ages comics”, or “girl comics” or “fairytale comics.” 

Image

 

So in this story we have a Fairytale Princess. And this fairytale princess is of color. Unfortunately this is so notable because of representations of Princesses including but not limited to those by Disney whose single foray into having a black/African American princess left the heroine as a swamp animal for most of the movie without any princess privileges. And spare me the “but Tiana worked hard” or “it was realistic” because No. It wasn’t. And frankly it doesn’t matter: There were so many discussions about whether or not Disney could have used an African folktale for the story or if they made the right move by setting it this way and the correct answer is that they could have done both or neither: EverAfter/StoryLand worlds are make believe and everyone should be included. No one living in 2014 America recognizes themselves culturally with dragons or castles or birthright. And yet for some reason these movies repeatedly come out with white characters as if this is something logical because it’s realistic or historical because it has an origin in some Northern European country. And writers, artists, animators, marketing execs and whoever else can handle that movie/comic/TV fans can suspend disbelief for talking snowmen, fairy godmothers, magic spells, etc., but do not think the masses can handle a princess being a different race than the one in the original literature written hundreds of years ago? OH Spare me. People who actually have a problem with it should be banished to 1280 AD. 

Plotwise: We start off with a story within a story: a fair maiden with arms like pipecleaners getting saved from a tall tower guarded by a dragon by her one true prince. And they live happily ever after. Oh Joy! Princess Adrienne doesn’t buy it. And she tells her mother so. Her mother is nonplussed. The practice of locking Princesses in towers to be saved by the most valiant of knights who will prove himself brave and worthy enough to rule is accepted. She figures Adrienne will get over it (she doesn’t) and she gets locked in a tower when she turns 16 (after being drugged by her parents). 

While stuck in her tower, she writes so she doesn’t “go stupid” and scolds both the dragon and princes below. One such prince shows up and says he seeks a “fair maiden.” She tells him that “fair” means “white.” She calls him a moron, then says, “You’re so anxious to take a wife! Why don’t you take a book first? Work your way up.” 

Through a series of events she ends up teaming up with the dragon that ‘s guarding her tower (by telling him that he’s part of a system that is detrimental to him!), gearing up, and setting out to free princess from towers! 

The real gem in this feminist dream? 

The end of the comic has a mini story that features a Prince, forced to go through Charm School to learn how to save princesses who finds out that it’s not all he hoped it would be. 

Because patriarchy is bad for everyone. HOLY GUACAMOLE!

I picked up the $1 reissue of this and I cannot wait to find the rest because it is both fun and insightful. And Adrienne is dressed like Princess Peach which has nothing to do with anything really, I just thought that was cool. I know I focussed in on all the social justice stuff. But really the overall plot is a spunky action-chick who teams up with a dragon (to rebel against society). Come on. that is so rad.

I don’t even give stars for comicbooks and this gets 5 Stars

Book Review #25- Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

Oh man, this book was so good. It’s one of those series that every one recommends and I’m all “Yeah, yeah, I know the type.” Powerful girl working for magical law enforcement type establishment meets handsome and vicious shapeshifter dude and they both do and don’t hit it off and meanwhile a bunch of absurdly fucked up shit goes on and she tries to juggle her life as a badass with wanting a normal human life…

Image

Ummm…. the thing is, it’s actually really good. The world in which this takes place is in the future, but magic was unleashed so there’s no advances in technology that would make it seem futuristic, but it’s far enough in the future that all magical things are accepted as reality. Technology and magic alternate so everyone drives weird cars (like Kate’s Karmelion) or rides horses, because machines don’t work when the magic hits. Vampires are ugly and disgusting and have to be controlled by a navigator, Masters of the Dead. Shapeshifters are gross and horrible and drool and smell (and of course they are paranoid and territorial, blah blah woof woof). There are many unique elements. 

Kate Daniels has a magic sword, Slayer, that can cut through undead flesh like buttah, she goes out in search of her guardian’s killer and confronts all manner of weirdness with confidence. She’s not perfect, but she’s pretty awesome. She’s bored by ceremonial pretenses, doesn’t care about looking hot at the cost of being a bad ass (except she keeps her hair long, her concession to conventional beauty standards). She meets a handsome doctor on her quest and that goes as it usually does. Everyone thinks a crazy vampire controlling lady, Olathe, is responsible and that goes about the same as you’d expect. Everyone resumes business as usual thinking the big bad whatever is gone… But then stuff gets really crazy. I won’t spoil it, but there’s a zombie dragon. I mean, that’s just wonderful.

It’s slightly more high fantasy than most urban fantasy type stuff. I’m glad Kate doesn’t appear to be clinging to this “What would it be like to come home from a normal job and have my husband waiting for me and drink a cup of tea?” blah blah (you’d be bored, that’s why we’re all here reading books about YOUR life, Kate) because that’s boring as all hell. Ditch that crap and hang out with the Beast Lord.

I definitely recommend. I will be reading more of this series for sure!

5 bottles of Boone’s Farm

Image

PS I was going to count this as Team Vampire, but the a Zombie Dragon showed up. That’s both for the Vamps Vs Zombies challenge/bloghop! Oh snap! 

My blog is 2 Months old!

Oh snap! So, let’s take a look back at the month. Time Wants A Skeleton reviewed Under The Dome, more comic books, a couple movies and TEN books (and one of those books was Game of Thrones, that should count as 3.5 books). I started hosting a radio show and discovered netgalley! Wowzers!

Image

 

The not-so-good and the awesome of this month

Who fell in insta-love? 

Glory in Deviants, Sha in Breaking the Nexus, Saia in Warrior Unleashed, and Sansa in Game of Thrones. 

What would I recommend?

Born by Tara Brown- It’s YA kinda dystopia thing with infected zombies and evil government plots to breed people like farm animals (which you shouldn’t even do to them!), there’s a love triangle but the main character is actually pretty cool. And has friends who are girls. I’ve got to check out book 2 this month! I’m going to be totally honest, there’s poor editing and it’s not great writing, but it is a great story.

Game of Thrones by George RR Martin- I feel like I’m recommending this because I really want to brag that I read it. It was intimidating and overwhelming. It’s great writing. It’s a great world. Reading about treacherous plots, murders, seeking power, protecting family through the eyes of so many different characters was amazing, the men, women and children of Westeros all have their own unique perspectives and motivations. It’s just really fucking good.

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs- I liked Mercy Thompson’s debut and her weird werewolf world.BUT: I wish all the other women weren’t cuckoo for cocoa puffs, though. It’s unnecessary to have your female main character hate all other females.

Image

 Also, in the comic book world:  Army of Darkness vs. Hack/Slash, and Lazarus had really awesome debuts. Brian Wood’s X-Men is still going strong. Get it!

Boston Comic-Con is this weekend so I will have many awesome things to share with you, my loyal fans! I’m participating in a vampire/zombie read-a-thon and I’m planning a fairytale week for the last week of August. <3<3<3

New Obsession

As much as I paint myself as a book junkie, I am really a TV addict.

I’ve been on a Merlin binge the past few days. 

Image

Check out Morgana. She’s beauuuuuutiful, always stands up for what’s right and shows up Arthur of Camelot himself with a sword. 

Season 1 episode 10 Arthur tells the women that it’s too dangerous for them to stay and fight, that this is the business for men. Morgana and Guinevere will hear none of it. The ladies always come through in a pinch. Heroic knights vanquishing foes may be a boys club, Arthur and Merlin would be lost without these two.

Image

 

Arthur is so cute, but he’s such a knucklehead. These ladies are the whole package. No seriously, he’s always getting cursed or poisoned or acting like a braggart and an ass and everyone has to bail him out it’s insufferable.

Have a Netflix marathon of your own &/or check out some behind the scenes footage.