2014: A Year In Fangirling

It’s kind of hard to believe how much happened this year, in particular with this blog and The Fangirl’s Dilemma in general. Basically, I’m going to check in with the various areas of fandom that I’m into.

Books:

Not my best year in books. I’ll get into why in a second, but I really, just, didn’t read many. (Of course “many” by my standards is still more than most people.) However, we said good bye to Percy and the gang with Blood of Olympus, and also closed out The Mortal Instruments with City of Heavenly Fire. I’m going to miss both of these series, but luckily, both getting sequels, so these worlds aren’t going anywhere.

In new stuff, there was Outlander. I will probably read Dragonfly In Amber this week, actually, depending on how much time I actually spend reading while I’m away. (I’ll get into that.) And of course there were my adventures in non fiction, which included Danielle Fishel’s Normally This Would Be Cause For Concern. I will basically never get over reading fluffy memoirs written by D-Listers. In more substantial reading, there’s Bad Feminist and Not That Kind Of Girl, which I only read a week ago, and makes me love/hate Lena Dunham even more than I already did. (She’s SO TALENTED, but also SO INFURIATING! GAH!) and Neverwhere, which I think may have displaced Stardust as my favorite Neil Gaiman book, and Anansi Boys and The Ocean At The End of The Lane…It was a big year for Gaiman. I’m bring Good Omens on my trip.

Comics:

Wow, Comics, right? It was a big year for me and comics. Obviously, weekly reading of comics (and a lack of a public transportation commute) are a big part of why I didn’t read as many books…but it’s been an incredibly rewarding experience. After figuring out what it is that I like. DC Cosmic = Not so much. DC Street Level = ALL THE BOOKS! Marvel Cosmic = Is Bendis writing it? Or is there Star-Lord? X-Men = Probably not for me. (Exception for Bendis…) I also dipped my toe into the indie world. Lumberjanes proved to be the kind of joyful revelation I’d heard it was. Translucid revealed a new level of storytelling from two of my favorite writers. Wytches scared the Bejesus out of me. Edward Scissorhands and Fraggle Rock gave me plenty of nostalgic joy, and Bitch Planet, even with just one issue challenged me in ways I never expected a comic to. I’m bringing the first volume of Saga on my trip, and it better live up to the hype.

In mainstream, I rejoiced at Batgirl’s new look, even though I’m not sure about her new story. Kamal Khan became my own personal hero, and Carol Danvers reminded me what we’re all capable of flying if we want to. I was reminded of all the reasons I love Batman, and all the things I love about Superman. I fell head over heels for Daredevil and jumped right on that Deadpool bandwagon and had many of my more fangirly needs and impulses fulfilled by All New X-Men and Batman Beyond Universe.

Movies

Movie season will get it’s own write up when I finally get a chance to see Into The Woods and Annie. So, not this week. But in general, hey, who knew this Guardians of The Galaxy thing was going to work out as well as it did?

TV

We have a new Doctor. Everybody loves him! I wish I could say that this was the most important thing to me, but even as much as I love Doctor Who, the arrival of 12 still feels like a blip, because this was a big TV year for me. Agents Of SHIELD got unbelievably good, The Flash is like, the best show The CW has ever made. (With all apologies to my beloved Gossip Girl and Hart of Dixie.) The Newsroom went out with a very un-Sorkin-like whimper, although he probably thought it was a shout. Game of Thrones is about to head into my favorite part of the story. (Arya Badass Time!!!!) Comedy has started to wane out of my life, just because all of my comedies are ending and the new stuff isn’t great. But I started watching a lot of Seinfeld reruns again, so that was pretty great.

Animation

It gets it’s own category because between Sailor Moon and Avatar: The Last Airbender/The Legend of Korra, it took up a lot of my time and bandwith. I am incredibly glad that I decided to watch these. I’m going to miss Korra like crazy now that it’s finished, but it had such a wonderful ending. As for Sailor Moon, the journey will continue weekly, bi-weekly, until I consume everything! I WILL HAVE ALL OF THE SAILOR MOON! Anyway, both (all four of?) of these shows have given me more in the last half of this year (or last third, actually) than a lot of the other media I’ve had on my list for years. I fell in love with characters, ships and two very different worlds that I never expected.

So I’m heading off to Las Vegas for a few days tomorrow! I’m starting off my year with some fun. I’ll still have posts go up, but I just wanted to thank everyone who’s been reading for the past year. It’s been a lot of fun, and I’m looking forward to more fun in 2015!

Batman Eternal 34-38

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Another 5 issue month. (Eep! So Many! And also, SO BEHIND, but I’m going to be a plane this week, so I’ll get caught up!) So here we go.

First of all, the kids are back! Well, kind of. Tim and Harper had some stuff to do again, Harper even went to visit Cullen in the hospital, and tell him about seeing Tim get out of the shower. Sadly nothing R rated. I also, want it noted that I’m currently triple shipping Tim. Tim/Harper and Tim/Steph here (although really, I’d just like Tim to like, MEET Steph…or for Steph to BE IN THE BOOK AGAIN), and Tim/Cassie over in Teen Titans. Anyway, Harper had to call Jason and Barbara because, Tim is really serious about not talking on the phone while riding his motorcycle I guess?

But why are they calling Jason and Barbara? Well, see, Jason Bard (idiot) blackmailed Lucius Fox into blowing up all of Batman’s weapon’s caches and then the Batmobile, but luckily Julia and Bruce had a contingency plan because of course they did. Then Tim, Jason and Barbara had to help Bruce threaten Bard, because I guess that time that Barbara and Jason dangled him off a building wasn’t good enough? Or whatever?

Oh, they also captured Hush and he’s locked in a glass tube in the Batcave, which is ridiculous and awesome and SOOOO Snyder.

And Riddler is the real badguy.

Probably. I feel like, “the real badguy” has been revealed like six times here. I bet it’s actually Two Face. Or possibly R’as. We haven’t seen them yet.

Anyway Jason then made fun of Barbara’s new look and called her a copycat because Barbara/Jason might be the ship I never knew I always wanted?

Anyhoodle, all of the villains are getting together to drive Batman insane, because that always works out well for them.

But Selina catches wind of that, and it would get in the way of her new crime empire so she puts a stop by it by also involving Poison Ivy and Killer Croc and I didn’t really track this plot because of that thing in the last paragraph about Jason making fun of Barbara’s jacket. But there’s a very cool fight between Croc and Bane, and also Joker’s Daughter seems to be out of commission, so that’s pretty good.

Vicki went to Detroit to dig up dirt on Bard, and it turns out he really hates Batman because a Batman impostor got his partner/girlfriend killed in a drug raid or something. Bard is finally repentant and goes to Gordon for advice and Gordon tells him to get him out of there.

Also a ghost is probably haunting Batwing’s suit because of The Spectre and Maggie Sawyer was in this month a lot which made me sad, because Batwoman is ending and also, Batwoman has been pretty terrible since they didn’t let Kate and Maggie get married.

See everyone next year!

Here’s The Sitch: Kim Possible Season 1: Episodes 9 & 10

This is coming a day early since it’s the last week of the month and Tuesday belongs to the Batman Eternal check in, but I still wanted to get this one in, so here we are.

Kim Ron Rufus

Episode 9: “Attack of The Killer Bebes”

I’m not a big fan of the Bebes, although I do love how they came to be, and it’s a key and fun part of the KP mythology.

While in College, Dr. James Possible, then just a young nerd, had a gang of friends, Professor Ramesh, Bob Chen, and one Drew Lipsky. Getting ready to attend a party, they left it to Drew to find dates and he came back with a malfunctioning fem bot who would never reject them. They mocked him so much he left school.

It’s later revealed (though obvious in the flashback,) that Drew is in fact Dr. Drakken. The idea that Kim’s father cluelessly created her arch foe is a fun one. Anyway, as the gang’s college reunion approaches a bunch of robots (obviously the now full functioning Bebes) begin snatching the guys, and it’s up to Kim to save them.

Meanwhile, at Middleton High, Ron has been chastised for not participating in extracurricular activities. After less than careful consideration he decides to go out for the cheerleading squad. In fact he creates the “Maddog” who, having appeared in previous episodes, should probably already be in the knowledge, but whatever. Kim is less than supportive, prompting the Mr. Dr. P/Drakken story and in the end they make up and Ron’s Mad Dog is actually a hit.

Episode 10: “Royal Pain”

The Knights of Rodeghan! This is actually one of my all time favorite episodes. Kim is called away from her class presidential campaign, to help guard Prince Wally, the spoiled scion of a teensy European country. A group of Knights who swore hundreds of years ago to end the monarchy, an ancient prophecy puts it as the right time to strike.

Wally proves to be difficult, commandeering the Possible homestead and giving Mrs. Dr. P a LOT of trouble. He also starts running against Kim, causing Ron to switch sides and become Wally’s campaign manager. Despite Wally being a massive pain in her rear, Kim saves his life, but still loses the race. Wally, of course, does learn his lesson and then decides to end the monarchy anyway and instead run for president of his country.

Yay Democracy!

Boo-Yas & Nacos

  • Bonnie’s assurance that everyone will laugh at Ron, “loudly and cruelly” is one of the best exchanges between these two.
  • A lot of Ron’s story in “Attack” hinges on his bizarre and sudden ability to create realistic masks. He disguises himself as Mr. Dr. P. in order to be helpful. Rufus also puts a Kim mask on and says, “What’s The Sitch?” Because adorbs.
  • Ron also makes Drakken look up “Possible” in the phone book to prove it isn’t really a common name.
  • Kim: Wade, can you give me a trace on Ron?
    Wade: Do you think I have him microchipped?
    Kim: Well do you?
    Wade: …Yeah
  • “Royal Pain” introduces us to Brick Flagg, the dimwitted quarterback, who Kim will date through misunderstandings at one point and who is on again off again with Bonnie. He’s also voiced by Rider Strong. Which is a lot of fun.
  • John O’Hurley voices King Wallace II, Wally’s father. Like I said, this is a fun game.
  • The Wisdom of Coach Barkin; “The Cheerleader vs The Quarterback, classic.”
  • These are neither of them earth shattering episodes, and the lack of Monique is wierding me out. I can’t believe she hasn’t shown up yet.

The Gift of The TARDIS

Doctor Who

I woke up in time to watch “Last Christmas” the Doctor Who Christmas special this morning and get it written up, which makes me infinitely happy. (Did everyone have a nice Christmas? I did. If you follow along, Tommy and I talked mostly about the joys of Korrasami.)

Anyway, the monster was the truly creepy “dream crabs,” who attach themselves to your face, and eat you, all while lulling you with soothing dreams. This caused, the Doctor, Clara and a team of scientists to dream about each other and Santa (and a super touching sequence where Clara dreams about Danny, because it wouldn’t be a Moffat Christmas special without a whole MESS of feels.)

But what stood out to me, more than anything else, in what was actually a really lovely episode was a very small scene between Clara and The Doctor. When he was trying to distract her by suggesting that Danny was cheating on her, she slapped him and revealed that Danny was dead, he revealed that he lied to her about finding Gallifrey.

They “Gift Of The Magi’d” each other, and it’s kind of perfect. He said that he found Gallifrey so she would stay with Danny, she said that Danny was alive so that he would go to Gallifrey.

“My hair grows ever so fast.”

I just thought it was nice, and also, I guess, Clara isn’t going anywhere? Thank God.

I was going to miss her.

A Merry Christmas From The Fangirl and The DCAU

Christmas is a very special (and busy) time of the year for me. My large and celebration happy family leads to me spending the 4 days around the day itself, eating, drinking and opening gifts. It’s pretty wonderful.

Which means that nerdy Christmas stuff for me is reserved to the couple of hours before everyone else in my house wakes up, and whatever tangent Bobby, Tommy and I go off on before dinner tonight.

But that’s no reason why you shouldn’t all enjoy some Christmas nerdness brought to you by the fine folks at DC animation! Seriously, some of the best episodes of the shows are also Christmas specials and you should watch them again, or at all if you haven’t.

Batman The Animated Series: “Christmas With The Joker”

There is an extended scene in this where Dick tries to convince Bruce that they should pack it in for the night and go home and watch It’s A Wonderful Life. You know, because that’s the single most adorable thing to ever happen. Also Mark Hamill’s Joker sings, “Jingle Bells, Batman Smells,” because back before the Joker was an immortal fear demon. (What? I mean, really, Snyder?) he was a chaos loving psychopath who sang parody Christmas Carols. Anyway, it’s a delightful episode. And in the end Dick gets to watch It’s A Wonderful Life after all, which I think is the most important point.

The New Batman Adventures: “Holiday Knights”

Cutest title award. This is a series of three shorts.

The first: Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy kidnap and mind control Bruce, and make him…take them on a shopping spree. Ugh. I hate this trope with these two. I hate it so much. I mean, they don’t know he’s Batman, but he’s still a powerful dude. Do OTHER THINGS. Frustrating. Still, there’s some fun art in this one and when Batman takes the girls down it’s pretty fantastic.

The Second, (so much better). Barbara is shopping, about to buy a tie for her dad (awwww….) and notices that Harvey Bullock and Renee Montoya are on a stake out, posing as Santa and an elf. (Hiliarious) Turns out Clayface has been robbing department stores. Luckily Batgirl is on the case! Seeing Babs interact with the cops is a lot of fun. And this is the first time we saw her redesign, which is just plain amazing.

The third, The Joker plants a bomb to go off at midnight on New Year’s. Batman and Robin, stop him. First time we see Tim. (DCAU Tim…*sniffle*)

Justice League: “Comfort And Joy”

There’s so much to love about “Comfort and Joy” it’s hard for me to even think about.

The first is the truly precious Flash story, which puts Wally and The Ultra-humanoid together to find an impossible to find Christmas toy for a bunch of kids. Seriously, that’s the story and it’s perfect and lovely and wonderful. Especially because the notion of Flash as Santa is too good to resist.

Then there’s the John/Shayera story. This is probably my favorite DCAU love story, because it’s so much fun, and also, leads to Warhawk, but anyway, John wants Shayera to appreciate Christmas and she’s kind of “meh” about it. But they do make snow angels and it’s really cute. Then they go to another planet and get in a bar fight, and it’s special.

Get ready to cry or whatever you do when you’re extremely touched, when you get to the Superman/Martian Manhunter story. Clark brings J’onn home to Smallville for the Holidays. (It’s noted that Kara is skiing with Barbara because YES!) After first being moved by the Kent’s incredible hospitality and generosity, he goes for a walk in the snow, and comes across a church and hears the choir singing. Then he goes back to the farm and sings. Clark smiles, happy to have given his isolated friend some comfort.

This episode is the best.

Young Justice: “Auld Acquaintance”

OK, not Christmas, and not in continuity with the others but still, New Year’s is a holiday and I’m not ignoring my favorite show. I won’t!

The team finally finds out that Roy is a clone and a mole, (they already knew he was sort of a douche bag. Ugh, I hate Young Justice Roy SO MUCH…anyway) They fight the agents of The Light on the Watchtower and at the end everyone kisses their sweetie. (Except Kaldur. Because nobody loves Kaldur). It’s hard to beat Wally and Artemis finally getting their act together here, but Zatanna just grabbing Dick and going for it might be one of my favorite moments in the whole show.

So a very Merry Christmas to you all! May vision of Superheroes dance in your head!

Sailor Moon Check In: Chibis & Magic Swords

Merry Christmas! I kind of can’t believe that it’s Christmas Eve already. This has been an exceptionally eventful year. (I’ll break all of that down next week, in my New Year’s Eve Post.) One of the big things that happened was I became a part of two really big, really wonderful new fandoms. (Again all coming.) Which is why I decided to do this check in even though it’s not particularly Christmasy…

Sailor MoonManga:

Whole world full of no, on this one.

Original Anime:

I got all caught up because I called in sick on Monday. (I mean, I was actually sick, I didn’t call in just to watch Sailor Moon, that was simply a perk.) That damn Chibi-Usa man. She vacillates between creepy and cute, real quick. Plot wise, I’m missing the manga’s touches in this arc. The circus doesn’t have it’s creepy cool vibe, or it’s direct action. And Usagi is starting to realize that she has some kind of connection to Chibi-Usa, even if they are still at each other’s throats all the time. And Chibi-Usa’s crush on Mamoru is always weird and creepy. It’s something I recall from my occasional watches as a kid that always put me off. (That and the whole Rini thing, which I’ve gone into.) I was sad and happy that Ami decided not to go to Germany, to learn to be a doctor (it is apparently the only place to go.) I love Makoto and Minako being totally misguided romantics. I understand that this is a lot of people’s favorite arc, and it was definitely up there for me in the manga, but the stuff I like (TIME TRAVEL!!!) hasn’t really happened yet. Although we did see Pluto…kind of, as the blurry picture on Luna P that Chibi-Usa cried to. So there’s that.

Also, I miss Ail & An. I know, I know. I just really liked them. They were fun.

Crystal

Oh Sailor Moon: Crystal, what am I going to do with you? So much crying. Seriously, I feel like half of every episode is either Usagi or one of the other girls (or in this week’s case, all of them…) crying for like minutes at a time. I mean, I love that all feelings are totally OK and even a source of strength in Sailor Moon, there comes a point where you have to woman-up, and stab your once dead, reincarnated, dead again, resurrected as a puppet for an evil smoke monster queen boyfriend in the heart with a magic sword.

Oh, wait, that totally happened. OK. But there was still just a touch too much crying for my taste.

The next time we do this will be 2015! Wow.

Here’s The Sitch: Kim Possible Season 1 Episodes 7 & 8

So with Korra over, the Kim Possible rewatch project is going to be more important to me than ever. Since it was Korra (Well, Bolin) that inspired it in the first place.

So let’s talk about this week.

Kim Ron Rufus

Episode 7: Number One

I did not know that Global Justice (KP’s answer to SHIELD, complete with eyepatched leader, Dr. Betty Director) came into the game this early. Anyway, Kim is recruited by this global peacekeeping force in order to help them track down a kidnapped scientist. GJ is convinced that he’s been held for his weapon’s knowledge, but Kim, who does a basic web search and find out everything she needs to know about the Doctor, realizes that there might be more to it. She’s partnered with Will Du, Global Justice’s top agent.

Will is arrogant and stuffy and refers to Kim and Ron as “amateurs,” and refuses to engage with any of Ron and Rufus’s shenanigans. Although the scene where he paralyzes them with his stop watch is particularly awesome.

Turns out the good Doctor was kidnapped by a Rogue Golfer, named Duff Killigan, who wanted his hobby, a scientifically superior and fast growing grass to turn the entire world into a giant golf course. They stop him, by learning that both of their world saving ways are valid and that teamwork is great. (Kim is still very bad at team work.)

Meanwhile, back in Middleton, Bonnie is making a move to take cheer captain from Kim. She does so, by raising money for new uniforms and coming up with a cool new cheer. Even Kim gives her props. Of course, when Bonnie realizes that being cheer captain is going to be more work, Kim is sure that she’ll have the spot back in two weeks, a month tops.

Episode 8: Mind Games

It’s the body switch episode!

Drakken (Every other episode) has built a brain switching machine and traded brains with a young army private in charge of a top secret weapon. Kim saves the private (in Drakken’s body) from Shego’s clutches, but during the mission she and Ron get brain switched.

It’s also the cheer-leading regionals, so Kim has to teach Ron as her to do their important routine, and he just can’t get it. Also, Ron has trouble dealing with Kim’s many overachiever commitments, and Kim never realized quite how badly her best friend was bullied.

The big show down with Drakken is a lot of fun, and there’s a sweet beat where Kim gets her brain back, and Ron gets stuck in Rufus’s body. They all save the day.

Nacos & Boo Ya’s

  • Dr. Director is voiced by Felicity Huffman, and Will Du by BD Wong. This is fun for me.
  • Global Justice gives all of their top agents fun gadgets. Also, Will thinks Ron’s burrito eating style is disgusting.
  • These are low Rufus episodes.
  • At the Middleton cafeteria, Ron mentions he requested a kosher meal. This is the first noting of Ron’s being Jewish.
  • Tara Strong is the voice of Tara. I didn’t realize that before, but I’m not surprised. It also adds a level of meta-wierdness, what with her being Batgirl and Will Friedle…well, you know…Anyway, Tara refers to the squad’s new uniforms as “baddical” which might be the only instance of catch phrase in these episodes.
  • Mrs. Dr. P like Will, as he is polite, and has read her research. Kim is unimpressed. Also, I think I ship Kim/Will a little…
  • Shego cannot contain the hilarity of Kim and Ron switching brains. It’s a beautiful thing.
  • Drakken and Shego have to Time Share a new lair…for reasons? It’s a good joke even if not spectacularly well thought out.

So that’s where we are for this week! It wasn’t a super commentable one, huh?