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.

Agents of SHIELD- episode 11

The team is now being led by Agent Hand since Coulson was kidnapped. And they are in pursuit of someone, but not just to lock him up. They need him to get closer to Coulson

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Hand kicks Skye off the op. “You’re a distraction and you’re gone.”

Ward steps up. May says Skye will be of no use. 

Coulson is still dreaming of Tahiti. But he starts telling his kidnappers that we was dreaming of Michael Jordan and a game winning dunk. The man holding him says that he knows that Coulson went cold. A telepathic associate told him so. But now he is different. He can’t get a read on him anymore. 

Skye tries to hack in from a cafe. No luck. So she steals an SUV and crashes it. Mr. Rafman comes home where Skye has had the car towed. As an intimidation: she impersonates Agent May. Sweet. After reading a headline 

Hand gets suspicious about why SHIELD is using so many resources on Coulson. “Why is he so important?” she wonders…

And Ward is mad about Skye and says to May: “Why didn’t you stick up for her?”

May: “Excuse me?”

But it turns out that May snubs her so Skye could work how she works best. Not under anyone’s thumb, without attention from other agents. May scolds Ward for thinking the worst of her.

Skye is doing well on her own. She takes her new role as badass agent seriously. She orders Rafman to type his corporate ID into a secure swiss bank account. Security shows up and they get easily disarmed.

Meanwhile: Coulson’s original handler gets his face electrocuted by Raina’s employer. The Clairvoyant. Coulson tries to ask her what the point is. Why she’s doing this. She reminds him that the government, SHIELD, et al., have been creating super soldiers for years. She’s just trying to level the playing field. She wants to know what happened to him… and he does, too, right?

Skye gets the transaction records that she needs and takes off in Millionaire Dude’s Lamborghini. $BLSYALL

Raina plays more headgames with Coulson and he blurts out “It’s a magical plane,” then, “I keep saying that.” Raina: “Don’t you want to know why?” and then he gets back in the machine.

Skye calls Simmons. Simmons is the worst liar ever so May kicks out any interlopers to check on what she has found. Then they confront Hand, tell her about Skye’s tip. Hand says there is activity at the lab. May says they can split up. The team is following Skye’s tip. Hand is caught off guard that May is going against direction to team up with Skye, Hand reminds May that she backed the decision to kick Skye off the plane.

May: “Seems like it worked out.”

Hand: “Seems like you played me.”

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 Skye finds the houses in the desert and starts looking around. She’s spotted, but the Calvary and company show up in time.Skye hears Coulson scream and rushes to find him. Raina tries to stop her saying that “it’s for his own good.” His flash back is of two doctors and a robot with many fingers electrocuting his brain. He kept screaming “Let me die! Just let me die!” one doctor says, “Listen to him! Who ordered this?!” Nick Fury himself. The damage was catastrophic. What he’s remembering turns out to be the 7th operation. He gets to confront the doctor at the end of the episode (and removes Skye’s tracker).

Too bad “The Clairvoyant” isn’t really Public Domain Superhero Claire Voyant. Would be interesting, just a thought. 

J. August Richards is ALIVE. But badly burned, missing a leg and has one of those killswitch cameras in his eye. Oh man. Mike Peterson, that’s a tight spot. Are they setting him up to be rescued, take out the SHIELD team, become a villain?! That was probably the most suspenseful ending yet. Can’t wait til next week! Welcome back Agents of SHIELD!!

Agents of SHIELD- Episode 3

SHIELD transport (transporting Canadian Physicist Franklin Hall) is hijacked by… something invisible and then excavated.

At the scene Coulson find a ball of gravitonium that long and short will rip the universe into pieces. Hall didn’t have the resources but has the know how to control the energy fields that “evil guy” Quinn does not.

Genius-everygirl/high -school dropout who doesn’t understand gravitonium but can somehow hack the world, Skye, gets an invite to the tech conference to meet Quinn. Skye decides to go in undercover, Ward and Coulson are the extraction team.

Quote of the Night:

Agent Coulson: “I saw plenty of action with the Avengers”

Agent May: “And you died.”

Quinn invited her because she’s a Rising Tide hackivist and he offers her a job. Quinn sees SHIELD as hoarding new technology for themselves. Quinn catches Skye breaking into a locked room and she divulges that SHIELD is listening. Who’s side are you on???

She has a talk with him and does her best double agent impression. Or is really a double agent. Still not too clear.

Ward and Coulson swoop in. Coulson goes to grab Hall… but he won’t leave. Quinn offered a chance for him to finish his life’s work. Why would he want to go? He says he’s going to sink it, but it will destroy the compound. Coulson gets KO’d and when he awakes… things get weird. 

The kicker: Hall leaked his location purposely for Quinn. 

Skye disarms Quinn and makes a break for it by jumping off the balcony into a pool and running for her life. She almost gets caught when Agent Ward comes into save her. 

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Coulson kicks professor Hall into the gravitron and he disappears into the void. 

Skye was  in foster care. Ward is from Massachusetts…. yeah Massachusetts. In the end, she sees the evil and money making that the villains are out to do and aligns herself with SHIELD and her hero, Agent Ward. 

credits: SHIELD locks the gravitonium in a vault and a hand reaches out!

Will Hall come back as a supervillain? 

Do you guys think Fitz and Simmons are funny? …I’m not really feeling it. Haha

Also, I think Skye is the most unbelievable character on the planet, there are ways to play what they are trying to do… and I feel like they aren’t doing them. I like how everyone and Coulson himself are hovering around the fact that he is actually dead. Is he? Isn’t he? LMD? clone? ghost? Oh, man… the theories. 

Also, hacktivists, people advocating for transparency, etc. being the consistent bad guy is a little “Rah Rah America! The government is great!” for my taste. 

Battle of the Atom Chapter 6

Or All New X-Men # 17

Waaaaay wayyyy in the future, Disco Dazzler is elected first mutant president. Disco made a comeback and future trio of  Beast, Kitty and Jean have orchestrated her candidacy.

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and then monsters come out of the sky and fling fireballs at her.

Even further in the future; Magic, young Iceman, and young Beast show up. Magic sees her brother (he has her sword… so she’s probably dead… which she probably shouldn’t know about.

Of course, the X-Men that they have run into are not amused at them being there. “We understand why you are here and I understand how frustrating it must be… but you are making it worse!” (One of these way future X-Men is Jubilee… who is calling herself ‘Wolverine’? Wowzers.)

Phoenix: “But that’s what we do, We’re the X-Men! We make things worse!”

Truer words have never been spoken. X-Men are all over the place right now. 

Beast, so disheartened by the execution of Disco Dazzler and constantly fighting for a society that hates mutants… leaves the X-Men. Beast, Kitty Pryde and Xorn/Jean are no longer X-Men.

Bobby is a wizard in the future… everyone is confused. How is he a Wizard in the future and an Ice Hulk walking around in the past?

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“I need someone to sit down with me and draw a flow chart explaining exactly what’s happening here.”

-The new X-Men at the Xavier Secret School know my pain.

HAHAHAHAHA OMG the ending on this one killed me. I seriously hate crossovers, and the last couple issues bugged me… but this one was great. Hair pullingly ridiculous and amazing.

Cyclops and Emma Frost are licking their wounds after the battle with Xorn/Jean and Wolverine… and more. They think that THOSE X-Men have followed them… but instead they get some more interesting visitors.

Battle of the Atom (Chapters 1&2)

AKA X-Men Battle of the Atom #1 AND All-New X-Men #16

Oh man… do I hate crossovers. Damn you, Marvel comics. Just take my wallet. Bleed me dry, you goons. But i’m down… and now subscribed to 5 different X-Men series. If you haven’t been subscribing to the 73,863 X-Men books: here’s a primer for Battle of the Atom that the wonderful nerds and nerdistas at IGN put together. Can I also add, I also hate time travel. Crossovers involving time travel and two cyclops existing in the same place. THAT’S SO ANNOYING.

(And Beast bringing Jean Grey to the future… of course she doesn’t deal well with her own death… what’s wrong with you??)

Regardless, it’s ten issues and I’m reading it (because if I don’t the X-Men book I usually read probably won’t make sense and I’ll go batshit)

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#1 begins with cerebro alerting the X-men, (specifically Kitty Pryde, young Cyclops, young Jean Grey, young Iceman and you Beast) that there is a new mutant discovered that is creating havoc in Phoenix, AZ. Animax, she makes dragons and basilisk looking things… she’s also a career criminal with a serious grudge. Right when Jeannie is about to get the upper hand… dun dun dun Sentinels show up. Kidlet Cyclops doesn’t want to follow Kitty’s plan because showing off is clearly more important than survival. He almost gets his head blown off and then suddenly they are saved… by Cyclops… the other one (and Emma Frost, Angel and a whole bunch of others). He and Kitty have a less than friendly exchange and then join forces to beat some robot tuchas!

They do, obvi. Animax surrenders. Cyclops gets zapped by a Sentinel and the world blurs as both Cyclopses are nearly erased from existence. It’s actually really cool. And then of course, everyone wants to send them back to their own time… you know space-time ramifications. And young Cyclops says “you’re not letting us choose our own destiny, you’re damning us to our predetermined fates” which is understandable, since he ends up at odds with wolverine’s X-Men and Jean Grey ends up dead and Charles Xavier is going to erase their memories. 

So everyone is about to get thrown in the “time cube” and then it goes all purple and wonky… And then it gets really weird…

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The X-Men from the future arrive to STOP EVERYTHING and tell them they are about to make a dangerous mistake. 

Hey, where are those Sentinels coming from? Is it S.H.I.E.L.D.? Celeste thinks it is. 

Christopher, who saved Cyclops in the last chapter is incredibly freaked out. He exclaims “I think that you X-Men are so used to the space and time and life and death craziness in your lives that you don’t even notice how crazy it is anymore.”

Which is a great segue into THE X-MEN FROM THE FUTURE CONFRONTING PRESENT DAY X-MEN AS THEY ATTEMPT TO SEND THE FROM THE PAST X-MEN BACK.

“Your worst fears have been realized, you DID screw everything up.”

Wolverine: “and which of our numerous, terrible mistakes are you referring to?”

Future Iceman is huge. There are three Icemans, three The Beasts, Charles Xavier’s grandson, super old Deadpool, old Kitty Pryde and Molly Hayes… so uh, yeah. 

Wolverine is pissed, claws, drool, whole nine. A fight breaks out. Especially irrational in close quarters where someone might kill their former self and thus their present self.

…so what happened.

Oh damn it’s good. You know what? Just go buy it. 

I know, I hate crossovers, too. 

but it’s gong to be worth it.

I’m not even going to tell you anymore.

Okay I am, serious, you brought Jean Grey to the future and her powers started increasing ahead of time (the powers that she uses to eat planets… those powers?) and she knows that if her life follows the course she’s been shown SHE WILL BE DEAD… and Cyclops, who loves her obviously doesn’t want this either… DUH. Wolverine figures out what went wrong… sort of and time travel and alternate timelines kill me, the cliffhangers in this are already enraging. 

Get it!

X-Men #3

When we last left our heroes, Kitty Pryde and the X-kids had stumbled on what they reckoned to be some sort of explosive. Storm, Rogue, Psylocke, Rachel, Jubilee, baby Shogo and Sublime were in pursuit of Arkea, who is still inhabiting Karima and still hellbent on taking the planet back from humans. 

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The timer ticks down to zero and it appears that nothing has happened to the Jean Grey School for higher learning. Yeah… no such luck. And everybody else lands in Budapest (where Jubilee “adopted” Shogo). Arkea has taken over the bodies of many hospital patients. (It appears that’s her thing, although I might have missed why going to Budapest was necessary). Things get tense as Storm orders everyone to stop at nothing to destroy Arkea, even if it means destroying Karima. 

Back at school, the kids show their stuff against Arkea/Karima danger room drones, crushing atmospheric pressure, explosions and lots and lots of very expensive damage.

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Bling got to show off what she could do. And it was a good thing she was there. 

And everyone made it through their first mission as a team, however with the heated dispute about how to handle Arkea in Karima’s body there’s foreshadowing for future conflicts. Tons of action in this issue on all fronts. The Arkea inhabited coma patients were especially freaky. 

xmenxpert said it best, “If you’re not reading this, you’re wrong.”

I can’t even recommend it enough. Go get it.

Movie review #5- The Wolverine

Alright, I’m going to not say too much because I don’t want to be too spoilerific. 

“In modern day Japan, Wolverine is out of his depth in an unknown world as he faces his ultimate nemesis in a life-or-death battle that will leave him forever changed. Vulnerable for the first time and pushed to his physical and emotional limits, he confronts not only lethal samurai steel but also his inner struggle against his own immortality, emerging more powerful than we have ever seen him before.” (twenieth century fox wrote that blurb). It explains not much. Also pretty much every promo shot never even remotely happened.

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That didn’t happen.

This happened:

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This movie picks up after X-Men the Last Stand. Based on (but not an exact replica of) the Frank Miller/Chris Claremont 1982 comics. Logan’s the man on the mountain haunted by a long life full of death. Some red-necks bring him off the mountain where he is propositioned about meeting an ‘old friend’. There’s some great thoughts about immortality and Logan starts (not by choice) to consider what it would be like to be a human. Doing normal man things (like chopping trees) and having someone you like cook for you, live, die. That sort of thing. It’s subtle.

There’s girl power. Yukio, Mariko. Mariko is the damsel, by the way. And yes, I’m counting her in the bad ass girls club. 

There’s a lot of WTF Science? And plot points that were held together with special effects and bubblegum. The foes could have been explained more. But the movie was what it intended to be. A story about Wolverine. A story about scraping yourself up and finding something to fight for. Finding a purpose. (It was also a story about family legacies, corporate espionage, science run amok, the Yakuza show up, samurai type stuff, war, there is a lot going on). 

But really, I should also talk about the jumping in this movie. It was ridiculous. You’ll just have to watch it. I can’t even explain it to you.