Rescue Adventure Time: Ms. Marvel #4

There were about seven layers of awesome in Ms. Marvel #4. After being shot by Bruno’s brother Vick, Kamala find out that she can heal, and shape shifts  back into herself, revealing herself to Bruno.

Ms Marvel 4

I think you can probably guess that I adored this scene. It was basically Kamala laying out her insecurities and Bruno telling her how awesome she is.

OMG! I loved it. I loved it so much. I wanted them to kiss, but it was absolutely in character that they didn’t. They also made her a quick mask to hide her face from the police, and what was probably my favorite part of the whole issue, Kamala has decided that she can be herself and still be Ms. Marvel. I was slightly disappointed that she needed to be convinced of this by Bruno. I’d rather she’d come to the realization on her own, but the moment is nice all the same.

So, Kamala decides that she’s going to go after Vick who is clearly in over his head, and we get our first mention of a Supervillain for Kamala, The Inventor. Don’t know who The Inventor is, but I’m looking forward to learning more about this person, who is manipulating young Garden Staters into committing crimes. Kamala decides to “break out the geek” and make her own costume, so that she’s no longer reliant on the Shape Shifting to hide her identity entirely, and this is where the “be yourself” theme becomes something pretty great.

At some point in her life, Kamala’s mother bought her a “burkini” which is a special kind of burka that can be worn as a bathing suit. I knew what it was from Reading Lolita In Tehran, and it was great to see another part of Kamala’s identity as a Muslim. Kamala converts the burkini into her new Ms. Marvel costume and goes after Vick. When she reaches the beat up house where he’s hanging out, it becomes clear quickly that she’s in over her head but she gets some great moments of showing off her powers and remembering to hide her identity. It’s fun.

I don’t think it’s surprising that “Identity” is the big, write a paper about it theme in this series. It’s generally the theme of superhero origin stories, and one that so prominently features a teenager from a minority, it was an absolute given. But the series has managed to do it well without feeling shoehorned or forced. As I said way back in issue one, Kamala herself is a really good and interesting character, and I’m into her world and story. But the exploration of identity is very clear in this issue, with Kamala realizing that now that she has these powers (so far shapeshifting and healing) she can be a hero on her own, she doesn’t have to hide behind Carol Danvers as pretty blonde with big boobs girl. (Several men make reference to Ms. Marvel’s chest in the issue, but they use the euphemism “powers,” it’s a cute joke, actually!)

It’s a nice little button. As usual the book is really funny, and the art is great and cartoony. I’m continually surprised by how much this book makes me laugh, but at it’s actual comedy, not at it’s complete absurdity. (You know, like how Amazing X-Men makes me laugh.)

Anyway, see you for write ups tomorrow and Sunday.

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Caged Birds and Inspiration: RIP Maya Angelou

There are certain touchstones for, well everyone, and I feel like Maya Angelou’s “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” is one of those. If you ask people about poetry, this, or Robert Frost will probably be the first thing that they quote back to you. It’s one of those transcendent pieces of art that has taken on a life of it’s own.

I’m a really big fan of Dr. Angelou’s, like most incredible poets she was able to speak to humanity in so few and undeniably beautiful words. Her words inspired hope, stirred anger, and gave breath and life to so many ideas for so many people.

That might be why when I heard about her death yesterday I spent the rest of the day in a sort of weird, contemplative, melancholy haze.

Her autobiography, I Know why The Caged Bird Sings, was one of the first pieces of literature that I remember reading and fully understanding how something could speak to you and still be so far outside of your own experience. I didn’t have anything in common with Maya Angelou’s life, but I felt like I could see into her heart, and it was a beautiful thing.

I went to an all girl’s high school, and there wasn’t a day that I walked down the halls that Dr. Angelou’s words weren’t on some bulletin board. When I began my women’s studies curriculum in earnest at 20, I was able to understand a great deal of my reading because of my early exposure to her work, her ideals and her unique ability to make the complicated and personal seem simple and universal.

Universal.

I’m glad that I’ve landed on that word, because I think it’s the right one to describe Dr. Angelou’s work. She was an exceptional woman, an incredible writer, and an inspiration to everyone who encountered her work, whether they studied it or simply let it touch their hearts.

Thank you, for everything, Dr. Angelou.

 The free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

Super Tubes

There was a time when I didn’t think that this blog was going to be all about superheroes. There was going to be more fantasy and just general nerdiness. The thing is, I do still consume a lot of that kind of thing. I mean, Doctor Who is coming back and I’m thinking something about that will replace the Game of Thrones Character winner when that happens. But, with my recent foray into weekly comic book reading and of course how many comic book movies are coming out these days, it takes up a lot of my time and bandwith.

But that’s nothing compared to what’s going to be happening with TV this coming season.

Wow! Oh my God, it’s like my television has become more obsessed with comics than I have for this coming year.

Here’s a little peak at what’s going to be happening!

RETURNING:

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D – ABC Season 2

marvels-agents-of-shield

Obviously this is where I’m starting. I kept up with and defended this show from it’s inception. I was rewarded for my faith with Agent John Garrett and the last 7 episodes of the show. I can’t wait to see where this goes in season 2. There’s a lot of roads that could be travelled down, with Director Coulson and Skye is totally a Kree, and Reyna with Skye’s parent. The show is being moved up to Tuesdays at 9, instead of 8, which probably means more violence and sex, although, after Ward got raped by Lorelei I don’t see how the sex could be turned up any further. Also, I think that we’re going to Spike Reyna, and Spike her hard. (By that I mean, transfer her over from bad guy to good guy, a la Spike in Buffy)

Arrow – The CW Season 3

I picked up Arrow Season 1 again. I will get through this show. But I cannot watch more than 1 or 2 episodes at a time. God, it’s so boring. Even Barrowman can’t wake me up from my stupor when it comes to watching this show. It’s a shame because Oliver Queen is quickly becoming one of my favorite characters in comics…anyway, I am going to get through seasons 1 and 2 at some point. But you should also know that I’m pretty much only doing it so that I can really enjoy The Flash. We’ll get there though.

Heroes: Reborn – NBC, 15 Episode Single Series (Sometime in 2015, I think)

I have not met a single person who thought that this would happen or even wanted it to happen. We have 0 news about this, how it’s going to work, who, if any, of the cast will be returning, and every time I think about it I just get confused and a little bit sad.

NEW:

Agent Carter – ABC Season 1 (During Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D Hiatus)

Dear Marvel,

Thank you, thank you, thank you! While it’s not quite at the level of a green lit Black Widow movie, seeing an Agent Carter TV show is a really good step in the right direction to getting our act together with female heroes being represented on screen. Peggy’s a really great character, and I kind love the idea of an MCU version of Mad Men. If it’s anything like the One-Shot, Agent Carter, we’ll be dealing with fun action and some really cool gender politics stuff. I will certainly be looking at it through that lens.

Love,

Reenie

Constantine – NBC Season 1

I’m not a huge fan of Constantine, but I’ll give this a show a fair shot. (In my world a “fair shot means watching the pilot, and maybe two or three more episodes until I get bored.) It looks well cast, and interesting. We’ll see. I watch a lot of NBC anyway, and as long as this doesn’t interfere with anything else on my rapidly less crowded TV viewing schedule I’ll watch it. Might DVR it and watch it on Saturday mornings. I don’t know! It’s months away!

The Flash – The CW Season 1

Oh My GOD! Did you guys watch that extended trailer? I mean, seriously whoa! I didn’t know that Annalise Vanderpol (my second favorite Disney Girl after Brenda Song) was going to be on this show! Or Tom Cavanaugh (Give us Ed on DVD damn you! #Stuckeybowllives!) Also Jesse L. Martin, which, I mean, come on, Jesse L. Martin, and he’s playing a Detective again. Let’s just agree that it’s the greatest thing ever, and we can all move on. I’m really, really excited about this show, if you didn’t know. I think we’re going to have some fun now.

Gotham – Fox Season 1: Monday  9 PM

Gotham Logo

I think I’ve managed to cover how excited I am for this show. Extensively. I don’t think that we need to go into more, but here are bullet points: TV show about Jim Gordon as a young man. Meh. Ben McKenzie as Jim Gordon. SQUEE! Young Penguin? HOORAY! Jada Pinkett-Smith! WHAAT? Donal Logue as Harvey Bullock. Perfect! 12 year old Bruce Wayne. OK, cool! 12 year old Selina Kyle. NEW FAVORITE SHOW (Probably). Gotham trailer. WOW THIS LOOKS AMAZING, can’t wait to watch it.

The end!

So we’ll see what sticks. I’m looking forward to seeing what the new season brings.

Batman Eternal 4-7

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Alright, we’re into month 2 of Batman Eternal. And I’m really enjoying the ride, because its Scott Snyder, you guys, I don’t think I can stress enough how really really good at writing Batman Snyder is.

This month was pretty much, Batman’s friends came to play. But not Jason, for some reason. (I know the reason. Jason is in space, probably. He seems to be in space a whole heck of a lot lately.)”

Issue 4 gave us Batgirl fighting to prove her father’s innocence. I love Barabara so much, and her sheer righteous anger at her father’s incarceration. She’s pissed about this, but not nearly as pissed as she is that Bruce isn’t willing to focus on it. As we move through the year, I’m going to assume that she’s going to be the point person on the Gordon case moving forward, because I mean, like she’s going to focus on Carmine Falcone fighting the penguin while her father is falsely accused of multiple murders and obstruction of justice? Please, that’s not who Barbara Gordon is.

Issue 5? Why it’s Tim Drake you guys! I expected Tim to show up and immediately start have awkward longing glances with Stephanie. (They are so good at awkward longing glances, guys, so good.) Instead he did the other thing Tim is really good at, hit people with a bow staff, and make Bruce feel guilty for not connecting with the people in his life. There was a long speech about how difficult losing Damian and Dick has been. By Tim, obviously. No one wants to watch Bruce talk about his feelings. That’s ridiculous. Also Vicki Vale and Harper showed up here, which was super fun. Especially when they got in trouble and Tim showed up, because I love Cullen’s crush on Tim.

Issue 6 shows up and The Spectre and Batwing took center stage, having to go to Arkham and fight a ghost. That’s all, I mean, the thing about a 52 issue story is that not every issue is going to be a huge deal, some of them are just going to be a whole lot of fun.

7 was Catwoman time. While Batman fought Professor Pyg (sigh, Pyg makes me miss Dick and Damian, you guys, like a whole lot.) Selina infultrated the Iceberg Casino and had a chat with Penguin about the upcoming gang war. Both Pyg and Penguin wound up getting their headquarters blown up, Batman and Catwoman flirted and we still don’t know exactly what Falcone wants, besides the destruction of Batman and mob control of Gotham City again. Which should be enough of a goal, frankly, but this is Snyder, so I expect some kind of twist down the line!

Also, I realize that this is a very heavy week, comic book wise. Going to keep being so. Tomorrow and Thursday will probably not be about comics, but Friday (and obviously Saturday and Sunday) will be. Just so happened that this month’s Eternal post hit the same week as Translucid, and Ms. Marvel. So, thanks for bearing with me!

Two Giants Coming Head To Head For The First Time: Translucid #2

It was a good week for Game of Thrones to be on a break, because it’s Translucid week! There’s space in the schedule for the write up.

Yay!

Yay!

Despite my best efforts to evaluate this like any other story or GN, Translucid is always going to feel like a concept album to me. Probably, because as songwriters, Claudio and Chondra are just going to write more lyrically. But, Claudio also just creates really great characters and the two boys who are at the center of “Brother’s in Arms,” Cornelius and Drake Kinderland definitely belong in that pantheon. The sons of an abusive father and mother in denial, Cornelius is something of a genius (and probably the Horse, right? I got that right?) and Drake is a football star who wears a compass around his neck. (Is he Navigator? Or is Cornelius? I can’t wait to find out.)

This issue felt a good deal more like Batman than #1, with The Navigator finding The Horse’s calling card and talking with a police officer at the scene of a crime. We also saw the first confrontation between hero and villain, a blown bridge, a choice between catching the bad guy and saving innocents? This is a theme that I think we all can get behind.

Daniel Bayliss’s art is continuing to captivate me and I’m obsessed with the colors here. The characters are also beautiful drawn, and the boys in particular jump off the page.

It’s another pretty great entry from this story.

This month in lines that could be lyrics:

“The intersection of power and devotion is powerful stuff”

“Greatness in others is intimidating, but some see it as bar that been set high. They tilt their own eyes skyward.”

“Hold your horses. Lawmakers don’t cross this line.”

“When will you learn that you’re not exempt from following orders simply because you create laws.”

Marvel Comics Wrap-Up: 5/21/2014

Hey guys! I’m starting to cull down. I mean, not really, but we’re getting there. I think.

After Days of Future Past I was kind of in a Marvel state of mind this week. So let’s get started shall me.

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Amazing X-Men #7: “No Goats, No Glory”

So, remember how I said, “no more X-Men?” I lied, because I am going to keep reading, Amazing, as long as it keeps me laughing. In today’s issue, Ice Man and Spider-Man and a Fire Girl X-Man who I don’t know fight over an alien baby who was left in place of a goat that Spider-Man was babysitting. (It’s a long story, apparently. I don’t care, I just love that sentence.) Anyway, they eventually retrieve the goat and return the baby. But along the way Peter shouts, “Don’t open that space diaper.” So that wins.

The Amazing Spider-Man #2

Poor Peter, he spent a lot of time this week cleaning up after Doc Ock and being confused. Luckily, now Anna knows that Peter is Peter again and they’ve broken up? Maybe? I don’t know. But, Peter did punch Captain America in the face after learning that Flash is now venom. Also he made a joke about Smash, because sometimes the universe really really loves me.

Daredevil #3

I’m really into Daredevil lately, I’m really enjoying him when he pops up in different stories, and I like this one. Plot wise, I don’t remember much, I think Matt was fighting The Owl, who is a reclusive crazy billionaire type. I just really liked the feel of this book, and I love the 60’s pop art style that Javier Rodriguez does, and I think I was laughing some more. I just really enjoyed the book.

Hulk #3: “Who Shot The Hulk?”

OK, this time I read the “previously on” blurb at the beginning of the issue, so I think I get what’s happening here. Bruce Banner was shot in the head, and that’s why he’s acting like a stupid child. His brain has to heal, so he can’t hulk out, but he keeps doing it anyway and it’s causing problems, especially now that The Abomination is around. But, Captain Marvel, Captain America and Iron Man show up, yell at Maria Hill for a while and fight The Abomination. Sadly, Banner does not recognize his friends. What happens next?

Nova #17: “Home Alone”

Poor Sam, nothing can go right for him. After learning that his family is going to be evicted from their house, Sam brings a giant block of gold home, but it’s radioactive and his mom yells at him about it. So he throws it into the sun. Then while babysitting his sister, he falls asleep and she puts the Nova helmet on and blasts a hole in their kitchen wall. This book was a fun little diversion before Sam gets thrown headlong into Original Sin, and I really enjoyed it. You know I love my teen superheroes.

Original Sin #2: “Bomb Full of Secrets”

As the main cast tries to figure out who is behind the death of the watcher, all the superheroes in New York are fighting the guy who actually pulled the trigger. Also, Emma Frost and Black Panther are underground looking at weird half animal skeletons and Tony Stark is doing computer analysis in his helmet but a bathrobe. Look, I’m barely tracking the plot here, but what I’m loving are the character descriptions in this series, “Bruce Banner: Not To Be Made Angry” and “The Orb: Z-List Supervillain With An Eyeball For A Head.”

DC Comics Wrap Up: 5/21/2014

I got ahead of it this week you guys! I read the books on Wednesday night! Of course it was still a scramble before going out last night to get this written up, but the actual reading didn’t feel forced this week. I’m getting into the groove here! (Also, none of this week’s books felt obligatory. I really wanted to read all of them.)

So here we go!

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Future’s End #3

The complete and total lack of Terry in this week’s issue was made up for by a beardy Tim Drake throwing jerk offs who won money off of Green Arrow’s death out of the bar where he works. Lois Lane is there, she was sent by Roy Harper, which, I mean, again, Roy? Why does Roy all of a sudden have all of this information. He knows where Tim is hiding out after faking his own death? I don’t quite buy it. Even though, as we shall see presently, Roy was pretty bad ass this week. Also Frankenstein was in China. Firestorm continued to be a massive tool, and Grifter kept looking for those aliens of his, and Mr. Terrific and team kept watching video of Terry. But mostly, Tim! With a beard! Beating up drunk bar jerks! This is great stuff people!

Batman Beyond Universe #10: Justice Lords Beyond Truth and Justice

So the lack of Terry in Future’s End this week, must have been because we had two Terry’s this time around. Granted, because Terry’s busy with 3 timelines right now (oy!) that’s not too hard to figure. We learned more about The Justice Lord’s timeline this time around. Turns out that while AU Wonder Woman and Lord Batman were living happily ever after. (Still, so much ugh!) Lord Superman and Lord Wonder Woman were together. But then Lord Wonder Woman and Lord Batman killed each other and then AU Wonder Woman and Lord Superman got married and had a kid named Zod, and he’s in the mainline universe. The JLU fought their mirror versions. Meanwhile, in much more important news, in the Justice Lord timeline DICK AND BARBARA ARE MARRIED! This is now my favorite DC Universe. The end. Forever.

Red Hood And The Outlaws #31: The Big Picture

Guys, I love Red Hood And The Outlaws, I shouldn’t, it’s like, the dumbest book in the world, and they ruined Starfire, and blah, blah, blah, feminist conscience, etc. But then, I mean, there’s an issue like this one, where Roy tricks Lobo into teleporting off of their ship and Jason and Kori are all impressed because he did something right. I love the New 52 version of Roy, as this sort of off kilter smart ass who sort of knows how to do stuff, and everyone’s always surprised. I don’t know, I dig it. Also, apparently I’m surprised, as I don’t buy his incarnation in Future’s End. Also, I hope we find out what happened to Jason there. And I hope Jason shows up in Eternal soon too. I mean, jeez.

Wonder Woman #31: “This Monster’s Gone Eleven”

I really love the “Diana as The New God Of War” thing. I mean, I really do. Also, so much of the Wonder Woman stuff I’ve been reading lately has been here with the rest of the group, (Superman, Batman, the rest of the league), that I forgot how much I do really like her stories on their own. Diana, now Queen and Goddess of War is trying to rule Paradise Island and make it more male friendly. I don’t love that, but I get it. She’s still sheltering Zola and her son Zeke, and she’s brought the sons of Paradise Island home. We’ll see how that goes. But I liked the book. My favorite thing about Wonder Woman as a series is the unbridled violence. (Really, I mean that! It works best that way.) And there was plenty of that. So keep it going. Also the Greek stuff. More Greek stuff.

Trinity of Sin: Pandora #11: “Choices”

I really liked the issues of this book that were included in Trinity War, but this book, eh, less so. But also Vandal Savage is the main villain, (it would appear) so I’ll probably at least pick up one more issue before giving up on it. Also, I love any book that sets up two female heroes at odds with one another (Pandora and S.H.A.D.E. Agent Kincaid), so we’ll see how that goes. But it was also a pretty boring, so there’s that.

Batman/Superman #11: “Danger Zone”

In order to try to cure Superman from his infection by Doomsday, Batman, Wonder Woman and Steel go to the Phantom Zone for, some reason. I didn’t really understand why, but Bruce did a hell of a lot of brooding and I greatly enjoyed it. Also Diana kicked some asses. Kind of like how Roy was the shit this week, Diana kicked lots of ass. But she always does. Also, the whole issue was about the three heroes deciding “What would Superman do?” This makes sense to me, except that I’ve always kind of loved the idea that Bruce doesn’t much care whatB Clark would do. But it makes for a cool exercise none the less. 

Batman & Robin #31: “Batman And Frankenstein”

Batman and Frankenstein talk abou why resurrecting Damian is disrespectful and bad idea. They decide to find R’as and Damian and Talia’s bodies. I disagree with them, because obviously, resurrecting Damian is the best idea ever.

Supergirl #31: “Red Daughter Part 3: Judgement Day”

I love the idea of Kara as a Red Lantern. She’s always had a lot of anger. And I like that she’s trying to teach other new Red Lanterns to control their anger and focus it, as she learned how to. But in other news, I like it better when Kara is in New York with her friends saving humans and accidentally knocking down buildings than when she runs around with Guy Gardner as a red lantern saving planets from her renegade brethren…but I am also already thinking about how to make a Kara Red Lantern Cosplay for New York Comic Con this year…so there’s that…

See you guys tomorrow for Marvel!