Extant- episode 1

I’m a little wary of this show. Mostly because the overall premise is that a woman gets impregnated without consenting.

But there are things I immediately like. Halle Berry on primetime network, interracial marriage on prime time network, a mother with a high profile job, a black mother with a high profile STEM job on prime time network. 

Halle Berry’s character, Molly has just returned from space. 13 months alone. When she returns home she’s feeling ill while getting ready for her son’s party. She assumes that she’s just readjusting to earth. Her son’s party goes well, but the child pushes another and his father scolds him (no “boys will be boys” attitude? nice!). Molly’s female friends ask her how her family manages so well, her being away for so long, missing her family, her family doing family things without a matriarch and she is nonplussed. As the father tucks in the child in we see that he is an android.

The son was created, designed and programmed by the father.

Molly wakes up and looks through old news articles, photos of her and Marcus. A former romantic partner who passed away. 

Her friend and doctor, Sam calls her in. Molly’s tests have returned. She’s pregnant. Not only was she alone in space, but she wasn’t able to conceive with her husband. This is what lead her husband to “create”/program Ethan. 

Molly flashes back to an issue on the spaceship when they passed by a solar flare. She lost power and saw Marcus on the ship.13 hours missing from the log, when she meets with the panel she says she accidentally deleted the security footage instead of copying it. They don’t believe her, because she doesn’t make mistakes like that.

Ethan’s father presents his research to Yasimoto Corp, but Humantix is denied funding after he wiles out on a woman for saying his son is not equal to her daughter because Ethan doesn’t have a “soul.” He replies that Ethan has what all children have, synapses, shared experiences. Life.

Molly’s bosses contact Yasimoto and tell him that funding was denied, so Yasimoto reaches out and backs Humantix as a private citizen to get closer to the family.

Molly takes Ethan to the park for icecream, after getting a balloon with a note, Molly tells Ethan that it is time to go. He drops his icecream and lashes out and runs off, Molly chases him and finds him with a dead bird. Ethan says it was like that when he got there.

Molly is creeped out. She relays such to her husband so says Ethan is just adjusting to her return and ends with a hostile “that kid is the closest we will come to having a child!” Which, since Molly is hiding a pregnancy is not true at all.

They make up the next day. Tensions are high and no one said anything that wasn’t true. Molly is scheduled to see a psychiatrist, a previous astronaut committed suicide and now the psych evals are required. She has more flashbacks. She hallucinated Marcus coming to her on the spacecraft, she freaked out and deleted the tapes, on the footage Marcus wasn’t visible, but you could see her reaching out to him.

Then, back at home, the astronaut wo supposedly had killed himself shows up in her yard, he tells her that he is not a hallucination (so he knows about the hallucinations) and tells her not to trust anyone as her husband calls her in for dinner.

So there is a lot going on. How would a hallucination cause her to become pregnant? How would her employers have impregnate her? If that was the goal, why would they send a man first? Is her son really a creep, or did he just find a dead bird? 

Great first episode for something that seemed convoluted.

I enjoyed the next level future science: the synthetic soul (to steal the term from “Almost Human”), private sector space travel. And the it was coupled with societal standards that may never match society’s progress with science no matter how much we know: gender roles (Molly’s friends asking her how she manages to have her career) and the concept of intangible humanity that keeps us separate from other creature (and in this case:robots).

extant2

And that’s just a fabulous haircut that Halle has.

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!

X-Men #7

Brian Wood’s book is back! post-Battle of the Atom, post-some weird scandal/accusations against Brian Wood, post-Kitty Pryde leaving the “team”

We begin in Bogota, Colombia. The just-eighteen Ana Cortez inherited a fortune from her father, a tycoon with diversifications in oil, real estate and weapons. Travelling with Reiko, she takes an injection and Reiko calls her Yuriko… then she leaves. Ana says that an Angel of Vengeance is inside of her. 

My name is Ana Cortes/My name is Yuriko Oyama

Ana is purchasing The Yuriko Consciousness and providing her with what she needs to resume life as Lady Deathstrike. It involves nanites. 

At the Jean Grey School: Jubes gets great news (which she kind of already knew from the time travel fiasco) her adoption of Shogo is being processed! She’s going to be his legal mom! Monet (who?) busts in on Jubilee getting this great news from Storm. Which is rude, granted. But Jubilee snarkingly calls her “Princess Perfect” in overwhelmingly immature and jealous and out of character fashion. 

Karima is getting back into shape after her coma (that she was in until the Arkea incident where she was almost killed by Psylocke under Storm’s orders, after being overtaken by an alien bacteria hellbent on conquering Earth that could control anything mechanical). Beast is monitoring her on a treadmill and tracking her vitals. Monet pops in and then invites Karima for a run. A real run. Outside.

Lady Deathstrike (in day of the dead make-up) is headed for the Jean Grey School, and specifically… she’s looking for comatose Karima. Upon seeing Karima Shapandar, Lady Deathstrike calls the convoy to a halt and Monet and Karima know they are in trouble. Karima takes a bullet to the shoulder. Monet makes some shock waves. Lady Deathstrike tries to lie to the telepathic mutant. But she knows. And so she makes an escape.

Storm asks for Monet’s help figuring out how Lady Deathstrike has returned. Monet says that she’s supposed to be taking some down time and that she’s not looking to be the team bruiser. And Jubilee replies, “No one asked you to. God.” (ummm.. Storm asked for her help… why are there more juvenile quips here?) Rachel makes some snide comments to Storm about the state of their “team.”

Then the issue rounds itself out with Ana getting decent intel on the X-Men, she decides the target is Arkea and team up with Typhoid Mary to steal it.

(Also this very Degrassi tidbit where Bling! confesses to Jubilee that she had a crush on Mercury and asked her out on a date, Mercury punched her in front of everyone and she was mortified. Jubilee rightly says that no one has a right to treat her that way! Yay, LGBT characters… but also… incredibly random, this has been on the sidelines since the first issue and we just now get the ‘why’)

While I was glad to see Ana Cortes, Karima Shapandar and… sort of Yuriko Oyama adding more diversity to the cast… why are my girls suddenly acting like tweens? Jubilee has been playing momma and getting more mature and clear headed, so why is she quabbling with “Princess Perfect”? especially with the team all up ended after the recent disagreements and the departure of Kitty Pryde. WHICH NO ONE BRINGS UP.

KP gets no respect. In the books or the movies. In this completely silly statement, writer of X-Men: Days of Future Past Simon Kinberg says that Wolverine is sent back in the movie version, even though it was Kitty Pryde in the comics because, “…when we started thinking about the logistical realities of Kitty’s consciousness being sent back in time, to her younger self, as opposed to her physical body being sent back..it was impossible. Obviously in the book it’s Kitty..but you’re talking about an actress (Ellen Page) who, in the age of Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy, would have been negative 20 years old.” I’m just going to say it: So write it different. Wolverine has had his movies. Origins was terrible and The Wolverine was sub-par. Move on. Read more here.

Ummm.. And Jubes can go back to acting like a grown woman. Rachel, too. And Storm can stop ignoring valid issues any-time-now.