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. 

Male Objectification Monday: Chris Pratt

I don’t know how well this will go over, I’m not sure how much of my readership is into some Man Candy. BUT: In a giant step for gender equality, Time Wants A Skeleton has decided to celebrate beauty and “compliment” the male physical form.

Today’s lucky dude? Chris Pratt

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My jaw dropped when I saw the recently released trailer. I was already excited for it but Chris Pratt’s abs got me more hyped. Chris Pratt has waffled between being super-fit (also in Zero Dark Thirty) and adorably chubby (Andy Dwyer on Parks and Recreation) and either is fine, but he’d probably make more than $40 stripping right now.

And check out this video where he shows off his dance moves and shares his fitness secrets:

Chris Pratt is a hip-hop abs maniac

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Chris Pratt is rumored to be hitting the screen for Jurassic World (the 4th installation of the Jurassic Park franchise) and the film reboot of Knight Rider.

Check out Pratt suited up at a pre-Oscar Party with wife Anna Faris

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Bonus Content: Speaking of the Oscars (and photos) Lupita Nyong’o’s little brother got right up in the A-Listers selfie. And he looked good there. Dude’s an 11, someone put him in a movie.

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Cruise his instagram for more Oscars awesomeness and proof he’s the best little brother ever. He’s just dashing.

Guardians of the Galaxy #12

Or: Trial of Jean Grey part 4 of 6

Honestly, this issue didn’t really get anywhere plot wise. Somehow Brian Michael Bendis makes that work.

In the last issue of All-New X-Men, Kitty Pryde and her team met up with Guardians of the Galaxy and they blasted off. She’s crushing on Quill, too, which is very cute. In their travels, they were attacked by a Shi’ar ship and then saved… my Starjammer leader …Christopher Summers. Scott hasn’t seen his father since his mother saved him from certain death my tossing him out of a plane. His father figured that both Scott and his brother died, by the time he got back to Earth, Scott was old and lived around it. For Young Scott, back from the past and in a spaceship with a talking tree and raccoon after his girlfriend got kidnapped by aliens for crimes she will commit in the future… It’s all too much.

Quill’s father, the King of Spartax, finds out that the Guardians have inserted themselves into the Jean Grey situation. Oracle tells the Shi’ar that they may as well have declared war on the X-Men. They kidnapped a founding member, the mutant population of Earth isn’t going to take this lying down. 

Just outside of the Shi’ar empire, Young Scott summers starts losing it. Everyone watches as he falls apart. he’s comforted by X-23. X-23 who is confused by hugging checks on him and lets him cry on her shoulder. I like them together. If they go ‘friends forever’, I’ll still like that too. But I’m thinking of all the interesting timeline disruptions that could happen if a less cocky version of Cyclops and Wolverine’s genetic clone fell in love.

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Look! a picture I took with my phone in my den with bad lighting! But I wanted you to see this part that made me have so many feelings.

 

And no one is there for Jean Grey, Oracle will be her council. But Jeannie can’t control her temper, The tribunal begins, and Jean Grey sees the final broadcast from a battle cruiser and she finally sees what she will do/has done. And she’s horrified. Will she sacrifice herself for the fate of the universe? Even if she could, would it do anything? She can’t go home but the timeline is intact.

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Pichelli’s art is magnificent. The facial expressions are just perfect, raw angst, concern, sadness, the body language just multiplies the emotion involved. It’s beautiful. 

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Nerd News-day Tuesday

Daily Beast ran an article about therapists using comic books to help children through difficult times. Losing loved ones, bullying, facing fear. Notably; recommending the Bruce Wayne/Dick Grayson dynamic for foster children. It’s gaining legitimacy, but actually began in 1941, right after the very first Superman comic hit stands, Dr. Lauretta Bender touted the benefits of using superhero stories to treat adolescent patients. At a time when superheros were being accused of corrupting youth and causing them to commit crimes, Bender was speaking out about the importance of these tales. Comic books are still somewhat touted as a waste of time, applying important academic/therapeutic uses stands to further legitimize this form of storytelling. Read more about the history and research here.

In the world of real life heros; Ellen Page reveals she is gay. Kitty Pryde came out and proud at an HRC event on Valentine’s Day. In other X-Men news; This one is so late to the game, but I just read it. Chris Claremont’s reaction to The Wolverine. KP is playing less of a role in the upcoming film than she did in the comic storyline. I wonder what Claremont will think of Days of Future Past?

In the DC Universe, Gail Simone’s The Movement gets axed. What a shame. I love that series, but only 3 more issues.. hopefully they can round out some of what they started up. Which is crazy. The hacktivists at Channel M are about to unmask Batgirl for crying out loud! Gail “doesn’t blame DC,” so I’ll refrain my ranting and just say that it was cool they gave something so different a shot. Coral City was to Gotham was Worcester, MA is to Boston. Only my Central Mass readers will get that, but whatevs. I hope to see Virtue, Katharsis and Vengeance Moth make appearances in the DC-U in the future! It was great to have a series that focussed on activists being their own heroes and helping each other even with meager resources. Diverse cast, awesome origin stories. I’M SO BUMMED.

But, nerd news-day comes full circle. Gail Simone is penning Savage Wolverine which we should see out in May!

ISSUE #19 –

• He’s the best there is at what he does – but what if he has a bad day?
• Logan collides head first with some bad luck on the worst possible day. Can Jubilee lend a hand?
• It’s Wolverine’s no good, very bad, extremely awful day by Gail Simone (Batgirl) and Somebody!

Hold the fucking phone! I hope Jubes does some vampire stuff!!!!!!!!!!!!1

And… a teaser trailer for the Guardians of the Galaxy

All-New X-Men #23

In which everyone’s favorite Omega-Level Ginger has an intergalactic existential crisis. 

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Jean Grey is one of the most important X-Men characters. IGN voted her #13 in Top 100 Superheros. She’s brought back from the dead a few times, plotlines of decades worth of books and many of the films have revolved around other character’s relationships with her. She’s been Marvel Girl, the Phoenix and the Dark Phoenix- which of course is when she went “planet eater” and genocidal. She’s was copied. She was cloned. Her child from an alternate timeline came to Earth. And recently she was brought back from the past in her younger form where she faced her future self (who appeared as Xorna) from an alternate timeline.

But even with all this revolving around her… she’s just one being… and in the scheme of the universe… How important is Jean Grey? 

To the Shi’ar she is very important. But they don’t care about her relationships, they don’t care what a special snowflake she is. They only care about one thing: that she murdered a planet. Anything else that she accomplishes is overshadowed by the acts committed by the Dark Phoenix.

The Shi’ar want her to answer for her crimes. 

But it’s complicated: technically she hasn’t committed them. She’s aware of what will happen. If she goes back to her time, Xavier will wipe her mind and it will all re-happen. 

So, I’m wondering what the Shi’ar’s plan is here.

Option 1: 

Kill her.

The Shi’ar would introduce a whole new timeline where she did not become the Dark Phoenix, but no one can really be sure what would happen. That seems unreliable. And, right now the time space continuum is so disrupted that the timeline is permanently altered and Jeannie and co. are still in the future without it having any repercussions. Well… yet, anyway. But they are tampering with things with no guarantee. 

Option 2:

Imprison her? Same deal for the Shi’ar above but with the added heat of X-Men raining fury on them for taking one of their own.

Is there an Option 3? What is the End Game here?

This issue doesn’t provide much info in that aspect. What we get is Scott Summers waking up on the Guardians of the Galaxy’s ship after having a dream where he confessed his love to Jean (even though he’s recently been getting closer to X-23, I wouldn’t mind if Young Cyclops and Wolverine’s genetic clone went the “friends forever” route). Even to a groups of mutants who, collectively, can pass through walls, shoot lasers from their eyes, are made of ice, can fly, pass through walls and heal a bullet wound in a moments notice- a talking Racoon, 2 murder girls, a (sort of) talking tree + more are still really weird. 

Jean Grey is imprisoned in a Bubble by Kallark (Gladiator), her telekinesis and telepathy doesn’t work there. This version of Jean Grey has this out of control Sookie Stackhouse thing happening and she relies heavily on reading the thoughts of others. Not being able to causes her to bug out. And they drop her into… the ocean? still in her containment bubble.

Professor Kitty Pryde blames herself for not seeing this coming. which is a duality. I don’t think she should have seen it coming, but she shouldn’t have been confused about WHY the Shi’ar showed up in Part 1. While they debate X-Men saying repeatedly that Jeannie didn’t actually DO it… and Rocket reminding them, “Yet.” Then the Shi’ar attack their ship. Angela wants to board the ship and take them down, Groot goes along as back-up. 

Jean Grey meets with Oracle who explains what’s happening here. She’s under arrest and getting ready to be brought before tribunal. Oracle sees that she has no first hand knowledge of being the Phoenix (How would she? She hasn’t been the Phoenix?) somehow she’s perplexed by this. Jean lashes out and acts threateningly towards Oracle. And… she goes back in the bubble.

After being struck by the Shi’ar, the Guardians’ ship is on fire. Gamora and X-23 make friends. Rocket says he’s going to propose to Angela. Gamora starts to head out. Suddenly, there’s another ship! They get blasted with purple lasers and it’s revealed that the pilot of THAT ship is… Summers. No, not that Summers, Major Christopher Summers, USAF.  

There are things Immonen does very well, which corresponds heavily with what Bendis does well. Bendis writes great characters, great reactions. Immonen draws great expressions and great body language. On these pages we see an off his game and defeated Scott Summers hunched over, sullen and it correspond to the voice we should hear perfectly.. Jean is questioned by another “minder” (telepath) and we see her demeanor change for outraged to regretful. But for me these fight scenes are disjointed, weird lighting and coloring obscures what’s happening to who. 

Speaking of “What is happening?!” Christopher Summers firstly is Scott’s father, the alias Corsair was supposedly dead (at the hands of his son Vulcan, who was not raised on earth and slaughtered Shi’ar’s after being incubated and sold into slavery). So… what is going on here? He’s also the leader of Starjammers, who pillage and pirate Shi’ar ships.

“I hate space” I’ve had very bad luck in space!” -KP

One of my favorites, Greg Rucka, is writer of the (SOME SPOILERS LIVE HERE–>) upcoming Cyclops series that spins off the events in Trial of Jean Grey. Honestly, the spoilers keep me more confused about what will happen to Jean Grey.

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.

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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!

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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. 

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

All-New X-Men 22.NOW

or The Trial of Jean Grey #1:

After an anticlimactic previous issue this story arc *promises* to be much more. And will also con me into reading Guardians of the Galaxy… ergh CROSSOVERS.

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The original X-Men +KP +X-23 are back at the New Xavier School. X-23 is working on her combat skills, Beast is doing some heavy duty theoretical mathematics, Iceman’s making snow angels… and Angel’s just trying to eat a burger when Jean Grey comes and starts a shouting match with Scott (who’s mind she’s reading without permission… again. And she keeps doing it. But in all fairness, he’s not really giving her a chance and is judging her for being herself after all the incredibly weird shit she’s been through, including; knowing how she dies, seeing her future self has joined the Brotherhood, watching her future self die, knowing Scott ends up with Emma Frost etc.) While she gets in touch she freaks out and levitates Angel’s burger. Control is not what she is in. 

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For the record: Iceman and Angel would totally eat these

Outside: some explosions from the sky, Bobby tries to build an ice wall but there’s Shi’ar, in fact. The Shi’ar have been mingling with the X-Men since 1977! They are an alien humanoid/avian race that has hyper-advanced technology. Their homeworld was put in SERIOUS peril by Jean Grey during her the Phoenix heyday and they killed her family in case the Phoenix was attracted to her genetics… yeah: They figured out she’s back in some version. 

X-Men rush into action to protect the school. Kitty tries to disable their tech while X-23 gets wicked pissed. Jean Grey tries to throw off their attacks using telekinesis and everyone goes full force… to no avail. They get trapped in bubbles. Bobby tries last minute heroics, but they take Jean Grey. 

But then… it looks as if the Shi’ar are coming back… but they aren’t… it was the Guardians. It was actually pretty damn funny. But as a whole this issue didn’t do it for me. It’s definitely the art. Stuart Immonen: I cannot understand what was happening in those fight sequences. Maybe it was BMB’s fault, he seems great at writing dialogue and angst… but not much else. I know that it was just the set up but if you want me interested in a 6 issue crossover with a book I don’t read and a team I don’t care about (I don’t bandwagon jump because there’s a movie, kids) you’re going to have to give me more… Bobby’s action hero antics were awesome but they couldn’t carry the issue.