no, use my SPACE name!
06 September 2017
I lucked out recently with a couple of five-star reads all in a row. Finally caught up with Kelly Thompson's "Hawkeye" run, and it's better with every issue. I'm really looking forward to reading the "America" crossover. ("America" hasn't been quite what I wanted, but it's significant and I am definitely Not The Target Audience, just an appreciative bystander. I suspect Gabby Rivera and Margaret Stohl are both in the same boat right now - they have potential, but they're still feeling out the ways that comics are a different beast from noveling.)

After (finally! for the first time!) watching Practical Magic on Netflix, I picked up the book and was immediately... "charmed" is a little disingenuous, since parts of the story were melancholy or downright wild, but we'll go with that. The prequel book about the Aunts is releasing next month, so I apparently picked the right time to finally give Alice Hoffman a go.

What really blew me away, though, was Cixin Liu's The Three-Body Problem. I am several years late to this party, but oh gosh it was fantastic. At times it read more like a thought experiment or a simulation than a novel, but most of the core characters were genuinely rounded - Ye Wenjie, the scientist responsible for first contact, particularly struck me as a brilliantly-drawn figure. The technical portions were dense but still understandable; the bits I needed the most help understanding primarily concerned China's Cultural Revolution, although there were plenty of helpful footnotes. Two main takeaways: I cannot wait for the second book to arrive, and I really need to read more hard science fiction.

(On a fandom note, I've been turning over the thought of a Hickmanvengers retelling that lands somewhere between The Three-Body Problem and The Library at Mount Char, which was another wholly enjoyable book club pick that was equally haunting in a totally different way. It would have to be about Doom and Tony to hold my interest, but can there ever be enough cosmic horror with either one of those two? Survey says "no way.")
no, use my SPACE name!
1. I’m so excited that Marvel is building their next generation Brain Trust™ almost entirely out of women. I read the Moon Girl issue with Ironheart and then immediately followed that with Unstoppable Wasp #2, and it’s so so great, I love Brain Trust characters, I love that we’re finally seeing the emphasis pulled away from Traditional White Smart Dudes like Tony and Reed (Tony and Reed: still my actual favorites, but this is long overdue).

I do wish they’d pull in Lila Rhodes, though! And Valeria – Valeria is my great shining hope that the next-gen Brain Trust is going to have its own cabal of Bad Decisions Heroes. You know, that ones that have control issues and swing between wild arrogance and deep self-loathing. Those heroes. I’m not sure why Valeria pings my radar for carrying on the Bad Decisions tradition, but she does. When you consider that two out of her three parents ping that radar too, though…

2. I’m still so into the Science Wizard Doctor Doom aesthetic Infamous Iron Man has going for it. I mean, yes, Bendis, but a. the aesthetic, b. talk about Bad Decisions (Anti-)Heroes, c. I would read a million panels of Maria Hill interacting with the shitlord science wizard, d. the art is gorgeous.

3. Jeremy Whitley’s X-Men issue with Laura and Remy came out today! It’s maybe the first Whitley issue I’ve read where parts of the characterization didn’t seem 100% on-point, but I still really enjoyed it; Laura and Remy were my favorite mutants even before Marjorie Liu wrote them into the best mutant friendship ever, so I’ve been ready for them to reunite since All-New Wolverine was announced. I really, really like the dynamic now that Laura’s a little older and a little more confident in herself, someone please make Gambit a regular in Laura’s book.

Also, this:

Read more... )
no, use my SPACE name!
There must be other people out there excited for Infamous Iron Man, right? Right?? There is so much potential for hilarity there. Like, what if in every issue, Doom alters one more piece of his flashy new armor to look like like traditional Doom attire until by issue #15 he’s literally just this:

Read more... )
no, use my SPACE name!
08 September 2016
Here is my current list of demands for the hypothetical Invisible Woman series that Bleeding Cool suggests maybe could possibly be happening:

Read more... )
no, use my SPACE name!
08 July 2016
I’m excited to see what Margaret Stohl does with Captain Marvel, but I’m also a little concerned about how quickly the creative teams are cycling. I realize that’s a problem with Marvel as a whole right now (you get a relaunch! and you get a relaunch!), but there are plenty of books that seem to be retaining at least their writers through the new #1s.

On the other hand, I’m not surprised to see the series floundering after DeConnick’s departure. Marvel has an opportunity to let someone new shape Carol – but that requires not only a writer with the time to commit but also a willingness from Marvel to keep that writer on that book for the duration (with minimal disruptions from events, even!).

On the third hand, I am DISTRAUGHT TO SEE KRIS ANKA LEAVING. :((((
no, use my SPACE name!
07 July 2016
Six more books I would make happen as Marvel Editor-in-Chief:

Force Works
Jeremy Whitley & Ming Doyle

The next generation of Iron Men is here… or make that… Iron Women!? Join Riri Williams (a.k.a. IRON MAN), Toni Ho (a.k.a. IRON PATRIOT), and Lila Rhodes (a.k.a. WAR MACHINE) as they argue about the best distribution of Linux, ignore the advice of mentor Suzi Endo, and gear up to take on the world’s most wanted. And when Tony Stark returns from his relaxing vacation on Consistent Characterization Island, he has a problem only the newest incarnation of the Illuminati can solve… Guest starring Valeria Richards!

Kathryn Immonen & Aaron Lopresti

Quaint term your mom uses for her college buddies or indicator of two women in a romantic relationship? It’s up to you to decide as life partners Carol Danvers and Jessica Drew take on the world hand-in-hand. Join Captain Marvel and Spider-Woman as they (platonically?) plan a life, raise a kid, and assemble Ikea furniture together – and somehow find time for coffee dates in between thwarting Earth’s biggest threats!

Galactus, Herald of Franklin
Matt Fraction & Kenneth Rocafort

Universal scourge Galactus is getting by with a little help from his friends – Franklin Richards and Franklin Richards! When Franklin Richards travels back to the past to spend time with his younger self, he doesn’t expect his future partner-in-crime to follow him, but Galactus isn’t about to let Franklin and Franklin have all the fun! And when Franklin and Franklin accidentally create a pocket universe populated entirely by shrimp, Galactus’s hunger might be the only solution…

Val ‘n’ Victor
Jonathan Hickman & Stephanie Hans

Valeria Richards and Uncle Doom are up to no good… or are they? Even supergeniuses need time to relax, and that’s why Val ‘n’ Victor start their quest to sample ice cream from all fifty of NOW Magazine’s top ice creameries. Follow Marvel’s most strangely charming avuncular duo as they ponder the mysteries of life, the universe, and everything over two scoops of their favorite flavor in this comic guaranteed to be short on action and long on dialogue!

Honey, I Corrupted the Kids
Marguerite Bennett & David Lopez

Why do the Richards children keep adopting supervillains? Marvel powerhouse Sue Storm and her husband Noodle Husband are on the case! Plus, join Sue as she investigates why Noodle Husband’s hugs are the best and also the creepiest. You won’t want to miss the book called “face-slappingly satisfying” by Readers Against Namor and “kind of okay” by critics everywhere!

Luke Cage: Baby Holder
Al Ewing & Brittney Williams

It’s tough work, but someone has to appear in the background panels of Jessica Jones’s comic to hold the baby, and Power Man is the man for the job! When he isn’t fighting crime with his BFF, Luke Cage is looking to be the best dad out there – and he knows that means keeping Danielle out-of-the-way but still visible lest readers forget case-crackin’ P.I. Jessica Jones also has a husband and kid. Hailed as “Marvel’s most sedentary series”, this is the ground-breaking run that dares to revolve around handsome men cuddling cute babies!
no, use my SPACE name!
12 June 2016
Here are six books I would make happen if I supplanted Axel Alonso at Marvel.

Tony Stark: Iron Man
Kelly Sue DeConnick & David Marquez

You asked for it and we answered – here’s an intense study of Tony Stark as he tinkers with his armor, banters with his A.I., and engineers a better filing system! Noted for its close attention to character continuity, this is the book that dares to put Tony’s demons to rest so he can finally get a good night’s sleep and I can stop worrying about him. Features a mysterious girlfriend who may or may not be a resurrected Rumiko Fujikawa and introduces Lila Rhodes as Tony’s protégé. James Rhodes appears in alternating issues!

Gambit and Storm vs. the World
Marjorie Liu & Kris Anka

In an effort to reconnect with an old friend, Ororo Munroe takes some time off from the X-Men to help Remy Lebeau with the start-up cat shelter he runs out of an abandoned Catholic church. When one of the cats goes missing, it’s up to Ororo, Remy, and guest-star Laura Kinney to track the feline to a sinister location… (Spoiler alert: the cat is unharmed!)

Captain Marvel Team-Up
Greg Rucka & Valerio Schiti

Carol Danvers is traveling the country to revisit her past and reclaim her lost memories – and it looks like she’s going to need some help! Watch as she works with Ms. Marvel, Wolverine, War Machine, Hulkling, and more to stop evil, do good, and break every speed record on the books. Did we mention that each issue ends with Carol splitting a tub of ice cream with her guest-star as they celebrate how great it feels to heal from emotional trauma? You better believe it!

Foggy Nelson, Avocado at Law
Mark Waid & Fiona Staples

Join Foggy Nelson, Marvel’s most decent attorney, as he takes on the biggest case of his life: convincing his best friend to listen to him! It’s an uphill battle, but someone’s gotta persuade Matt Murdock that his office doesn’t have to be at the bottom of an abandoned elevator shaft – and Foggy, armed with forgiveness, self-care packages, and the number of a good therapist, is just the guy to do it!

War Machine Rox
Ales Kot & Marcio Takara

Jim Rhodes, a.k.a. WAR MACHINE, is finally taking back the respect he deserves! This ground-breaking series challenges Rhodey to outfly and outgun Earth’s biggest threats while still making enough time to give the Young Avengers flight lessons and bake his niece a birthday cake. And is that the president asking Rhodey to put together his own hand-picked task force? You’ll find out in one of the next eighty issues!

Hawkeye Does America
Chelsea Cain & Annie Wu

Kate Bishop (Hawkeye, not Hawkguy) roams the country in her convertible while righting wrongs, sampling regional cocktails, and flirting aggressively with Miss America (Chavez, that is). Guest-stars Clint Barton (Hawkguy, not Hawkeye) and Pizza Dog in a sporadic backup feature where they call Kate for advice on how to complete basic household tasks!
no, use my SPACE name!
05 February 2016
There's some weirdness in the current Marvel Star Wars comic, but my favorite part so far is the extremely realistic moment when, after Luke and his friends infiltrate an Imperial munitions factory, he gets distracted and runs off to liberate a jail full of slaves.

My second favorite moment is Leia clocking one of the Imperial soldiers in the face with her helmet.
no, use my SPACE name!
Iron Man: Execute Program: I really like this arc. It does a better job of exploring Tony's motivation than a lot of the other Civil War stuff does, the pacing is decent, and I'm happy any time Maya or Sal show up. (The part where Tony grumpily interrupts a conference on how to take him out while he's wearing a bathrobe is also pretty great.) I also like that almost immediately after Extremis is introduced, it gets turned on its head and pulled apart. Still not sure how I feel about the idea that Yinsen implanted a device in Tony's brain, but, y'know, there's also the part where Tony stops his heart to save Steve, which is fuel for at least two dozen hurt/comfort stories, so there's that.

Avenging Spider-Man #9-10: When these first came out, I took the issue to my hairdresser, pointed at Carol, and asked to have my hair cut like that. In retrospect, what a great choice -- Dodson's Carol is adorable. DeConnick also does such a snappy job of writing Peter that I'd like to see her try her hand at a Spider-Man book. This wouldn't have been the place to explore Carol's relationship with her family, but I wouldn't mind a little more of that; it's hard to imagine she was flying up to Boston for any other reason.

Captain Marvel (1989) #1: This is a oneshot starring Monica Rambeau, and it's AMAZING. Whenever I see the argument on Tumblr about Monica Rambeau and the upcoming Captain Marvel movie (one side of which is always, "Why is this movie about Carol and not Monica?" and the other of which goes, "Monica had no real connection to the name and hasn't used it for years"), I can't help but think that sure, maybe Monica didn't have the same link to Mar-Vell as Carol, but it wouldn't have been all that hard to work something in. Anyway, the real point here is that Hollywood has failed by not moving forward with movies about both Monica and Carol or possibly that this issue is the greatest thing. I was totally won over by, like, panel three, just because Monica's characterization is that wonderful, but THEN Monica goes back aboard an exploding ship to rescue Villain #1, and THEN Moonstone arrives on the scene, and THEN Villain #3 is an ARMORED WOMAN, and -- this was my favorite part -- THEN Rhodey shows up out of nowhere wearing a purple sweater to hand Monica a device that magically helps her win the day. 5/5 stars. Also, I'm terribly glad that comics switched to glossy pages over newsprint.

Iron Man 2.0: Speaking of Rhodey! My first purchase from In Stock Trades was this run, so the series is totally new to me. It gets off to a strong start, but then, like many of Rhodey's books, it's derailed by an event (in this case, Fear Itself) and has to rush through the rest of the plot because of a premature cancellation. I learned that Suzi Endo is underused, that no creator can stifle the come-hither looks Tony shoots Rhodey, and that Marine service uniforms are a weird olivey-brown color. What would happen if Suzi met Lila Rhodes? I don't know, but I desperately want to find out.
no, use my SPACE name!
  • Won't accidentally write Tony as a womanizing dick in the process of attempting to write him like someone who isn't a womanizing dick
  • Unafraid to embrace homoerotic subtext
  • Guaranteed to remember that Rhodey exists 100% of the time
  • Care about continuity
  • Two words: bisexual representation
  • Three words: resurrect Happy Hogan
  • Deep and abiding interest in armor minutiae
  • Let's face it, not enough women have written Iron Man
no, use my SPACE name!
21 May 2012
On a scale of yearning from one to one hundred, where forty is a Gambit movie, sixty is a Cable and Deadpool movie, ninety is the rights for Spider-Man reverting to Marvel Studios, and three hundred is a Captain America / Iron Man Wedding Spectacular miniseries, my desperation for a Carol Danvers film is approximately nine thousand.

Via DC Women Kicking Ass: Quesada reports that the script for a Ms. Marvel movie is ready to go.

no, use my SPACE name!
17 May 2012
New Gambit solo title coming this August! I am just on a role for wish fulfillment this year, between the Captain Marvel promotion, Kelly Sue DeConnick's role in her new series, and Joss Whedon's take on the Avengers. At this rate OMD will be reversed by December and I can start reading about Mrs. and Mr. Mary Jane Watson-Parker again.

The new series is being written by James Asmus, with whom I am not familiar. I've been so delighted with how Marjorie Liu's been handling Gambit that I'm not sure anyone can live up to the precedent; further research required. Haven't followed the Legacy storylines in years, since I'm not a fan of Mike Carey, but I get the impression they're finally moving away from Gambit/Rogue and I'm...reluctantly okay with that. Maybe there will be Remy/Ororo hijinks? And Laura, they have to at least have Laura as a guest star.