Legends of Red Sonja #4

The Grey Riders continue on their mission to get revenge against Red Sonja. They head into a village where they ask around.

Subscription cover by Frank Thorne

Subscription cover by Frank Thorne

Jenny’s Story: Parallax by Mercedes Lackey is told by a young woman who recalls being taken by perverts. Nei Ruffino creates images that show both what happened: On one side, panels lined with glitzy metallic accents show the girl in a tiara accosted by men with demon horns, the panel on the right shows scrappy dirty thieves and a messy haired boyish kid. Them becoming “sisters in arms” vs Sonja making Jenny haul the dead bodies. Nei Ruffino killed it on this one, the glittering memory vs the gritty truth, the art perfectly conveys this in a unique way.

The town considers Red Sonja an ally. And the Grey Riders are not amused. They continue into a forest. But the forest is home to a powerful being.

We see that Sonja has met this creature, this GOD before. God of the green, forest god, she rescued him and they shared a night of passion, after which he created a child in her image (actually, she looks like Poison Ivy, but whatever).

Little Red and her dad.

Little Red and her dad.

 

Very cool sort of gender role reversal. Sonja’s all “what the heck, why not have sex with a god” and he’s all “I want to have her babies”

Very rad. Marjorie M Liu, author of (among other things) urban fantasy series Dirk and Steele as well as Marvel’s X-23 series, circa 2010-2012. (I have a thing for X-23 right now, so I might have to find these), Phil Noto -who also teamed up with Liu on X-23- provided the art here and we get a more sultry and stunning Sonja, light and shadows bounce off characters and lush backgrounds beautifully and provide an ethereal feel.

Next month’s issue is the conclusion of this 40th anniversary celebration on our favorite chainmail bikini clad ginger, Legends of Fiction’s Legends of Red Sonja. At the very end of this one we see Red Sonja protecting the forest still taking out the Riders one by one. Will her daughter help chew them up? Or something else? I think that’s the most fun part of this series, you really never knew what you were getting next. Something serious, something funny, cartoon-y or gritty, magical, a treasure hunt, a scorned lover, a story told through the lens of jealousy or admiration.

X-Men #9

Monet shows off what a powerhouse she is in this issue instead of just trading catty quips with Jubilee. Sublime is being interrogated by former fling Rachel Grey when Arkea becomes aware again. Uh-oh. Jubilee and Karima do some human style crime busting and the track Ana/Yuriko/Lady Deathstrike to Dubai. 

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Arkea, however is harder to pin down. She/they came to earth as bacteria on a meteor which broke into several pieces as it hit Earth’s atmosphere. Since alien bacteria have no care for political borders or alliances the X-Men get a little help from SHIELD to prevent this from starting WW3. 

Monet is the first on the scene in Dubai where Reiko has androids being built per Yuriko’s instructions. Amora is stunned, Typhoid Mary is impressed. Yuriko tries to tell her what John Sublime has warned but Reiko becomes possessed by Arkea. Arkea also senses that Sublime is alive (Yuriko believed she had killed him, but Psylocke made a last minute save) and with the X-Men. 

Yuriko asks Arkea for an upgrade. Odin’s curse is lifted from Amora and she gets her powers back. Monet crashes through the building at Mach 3 and messes up their Body Shoppe while Typhoid Mary makes off with Reiko/Arkea. Amora engages with Monet and Ana/Yuriko leaves her to deal with the lone X-Men. 

Reiko propagates the Arkea virus and 6 major alerts go off across the globe. Karima is at risk for repossession, Monet is left for dead AND Sentinels are rising out of the ocean. 

Well, that was quite an eventful story. Arkea was this team’s first major villain and caused a major rift between Rachel and Storm when there was a disagreement over how to handle Arkea (Storm said Psylocke should take out Karima and there has been a power struggle between Rachel and Storm since). Well, Arkea is back with a definite vengeance and now has some serious firepower in the form of these Sentinels. As if “The New Sisterhood” wasn’t enough of a threat! These villains will be along for the rest of this story arc and the next, so there is no easy resolution.

This series is just consistently awesome. Can’t wait for next month!

Movie Review#16- Thor: the Dark World

No major spoilers. Super hero movies, gotta love them, right? 

Welllll….

There’s nothing to not like. It’s gorgeous and fun and funny. There’s action and romance and Chris Hemsworth with no shirt on. There’s fake science, there’s drama, there is effing KAT DENNINGS.

Thor (Chris Hemsworth, Avengers, Star Trek, Cabin in the Woods) returns to do battle with Malekith (Christopher Eccleston, 28 Days Later, “Doctor Who”), the vengeful leader of an ancient race of dark elves that seeks to destroy the Nine Realms. I won’t spoiler this for you, but it involves something that Jane Foster -in a role reprised by Queen Amidala herself, geek goddess Natalie Portman- while inspecting an anomaly that defies physics and logic. 

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Odin (Anthony Hopkins, Hitchcock, Hannibal) doesn’t even know how to handle the dark elves (who have spaceships- that doesn’t really make sense. elves are supposed to be tree-people… and if the had been nearly obliterated wouldn’t someone have destroyed their tech?)

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When they attack Asgard they wreak havoc in ways that makes busting Loki (Tom Hiddleston) out of jail and committing treason seem reasonable. 

Loki is imprisoned after, you know, wreaking havoc on New York in the Avengers. I personally never really had a soft spot for Loki but this movie definitely won me over. You can’t trust him, but you can trust Loki to be Loki.

Kat Dennings, as per usual, plays a sassy, immature, bold, awesome chick as Darcy, Jane’s BFF and intern. She’s just there for the laughs. But she gets them, so there you go.

What’s unfortunate is that none of the characters has any real character development, everyone leaves pretty much the same way they came. It’s throw into discussion more than once that Thor is going to live 5,000 years longer than Jane. That human lives are a flash in the pan compared to Asgardians, but it is quickly disregarded. The villain in this picture, Malekith, the dark elf is completely unsympathetic, he wants to destroy all the nine realms. He’s evil. There’s nothing redeeming. Loki is the only complex character, which is probably why I fell for him. 

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Loki surpassed my expectations in his third pass as antagonist. While he won’t be back for the Avengers sequel, sources say there may be another chance for the God of Mischief to scheme against (or with?) our Marvel heros. 

 

You should definitely see Thor: the Dark World. The special effects are off the chain, and lets face it, the current stretch of Marvel movies is so good, there’s no point in acting like you are too cool for this one. But nothing ground-breaking happens here. One thing I was impressed with, all the women in this movie have their own unique strengths and weaknesses, it would have been really easy to make Jane into an action chick out of the blue, or make her helpless without Thor. Neither of which happens. Darcy is a one dimensional big mouth, but I like her. Sif… oh man, we needed more Sif (played by the wonderful Jaimie Alexander, who -please please please- may be Wonder Woman). 

I give in a 3.5 …it was formulaic, but flashy enough to make up for it.

Side note- In Norse mythology, dark elves were subterranean and would turn to stone if touched by sunlight. In some mythos they would sit on a sleeping person and whisper evil things to them to create nightmares (which has no relevance within the film) and in other myths, dark elves had more magical potency through causing death, they would absorb the life-force and it would make them more powerful (which would have explained why they wanted to destroy all nine realms in this film.