Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Geek Stuff

So much stuff to catch up on. First up, GEEKTRESS launched weeks ago and I never posted to mention it. I suck. Go read. It's cool. Dane and Brenda have excellent recaps of Star Trek: the Original Series and Sarah Connor Chronicles respectively, and I highly recommend them. Dane's ST:TOS recaps especially. They are probably my favorite thing about the site.

Of course, Brenda, Rania and I are still doing the podcast thing. You can get the most recent episodes through the site too. If you listen to the podcast, and you like it, I highly encourage you to let us know. We are desperate for feedback. If you are so inclined, you can do so at PodOMatic , by email at comments[at], or by calling the voicemail number that Brenda gives in the podcast.

Speaking of podcasts, I have been listening to a bunch of comics ones, and I have fallen in love with Comic Book Queers. They are awesome and hilarious. And when I listened to their Jean vs. Emma podcast, I totally came out of it liking Emma. It only lasted until the next time I opened a comic book with her in it, but I am definitely more tolerant of her now. Considering my desperation for feedback, I should probably email them to tell them how much I love their podcast. Hmm...I'll look into that.

Comic Thoughts:

Uncanny X-Men: Schmoopy Scott and Emma kind of make me want to vomit, but aside from that, I'm digging what Brubaker is doing here. The Kurt/Piotr/Logan stuff is a hoot and the next issue looks like it is going to be trippy...and that's not just me using outdated slang like I am known to do. The art is gorgeous as well. Everyone looks smokin' hot. I wish there was another female carachter on the team though. Brubaker said Storm would be popping up now and then, so I guess that's something. I am even more pissed at Whedon for maybe, possibly killing Kitty off. I was totally serious in the podcast about never forgiving him. Never.

Buffy, Season 8: Issue #10 was like a sucker punch to the kidneys, and this one was just totally wow. I didn't even know I cared who was under that mask until that fake out (a perfectly Whedon moment, I might add). Damn you, Joss! I also think that Whedon is really finding his stride as far as scripting these characters for comics. In the first couple of issues, there was a problem with them not really sounding distinctive, which I chalked up to Whedon not being used to no being able to rely on actors to provide a unique voice, since it is not a problem he has on other comics. That's not a problem any more at all. Next up is a werewolf arc scripted by Godard. So cool! And I bet Oz will be back. Even better!

Nightwing: I have never read this comic before in my life, but I 100% approve of the character's new direction. As a matter of fact, the whole being the curator at the Cloisters thing is why I picked it up. (Well, that and seeing how beautifully Rags Morales renders NYC.) It may seem a bit improbable, but rich people pulling strings is pretty much how people get those jobs. I heartily approve of the new love interest too, since she's a history geek who is also a Mets fan. That's good people right there. Tomasi is also telling a pretty cool story in his first arc, but it's Dick's interaction with various members of the DCU, particularly Bruce Wayne, that has been the real treat so far. I am so loving this.

Manhunter: I just read Volume 4 and it was great. When is DC going to start publishing this book again? I was pretty content reading the trades, but I would be willing to switch to floppies just to support it. It is so good. Everyone run out and get the trades so DC will get the hint.

Birds of Prey: I'm pretty happy that Bedard is going to be the new writer on this title. His fill ins were great. I didn't hate McKeever's issues, and I'm sure given time, he would have improved, but Ii think Bedard is the right man for the job.

Trinity: Damn you DC for announcing a weekly comic I actually want to read. Bastards! This is so not going to be good for my wallet.

Spider-Man Family: According to the latest Lying in the Gutters, this title is going to become the place for married Spider-Man. This makes me happy. Not because I'm getting my Spider-Man back. He's still the ass who passive agressively forced his wife into doing the decision making on the Mephisto deal and then didn't say a word while she made some sort of side deal so that he could have a chance at happiness (jerk!). I miss Mary Jane. She's still awesome. I just hope they do it right. I have an idea in my head about what I want them to do with it, and I know I will be disappointed if they don't do it. Uhg! I am so going to be disappointed.

Spectacular Spider-Man: We've got episode descriptions for the premier episodes airing March 8th. It's nice that someone remembers Liz Allan.

That's it for now. I'll see you when I see you. Don't forget to visit Geektress.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Geeky Stuff I Bought This Weekend

In addition to the usual haul of comic books, I also got this stuff:

Awesome movie. I've seen it already, so I listened to 2 of the audio commentaries first. The only thing geekier than the Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg commentary is the Edgar Wright and Quentin Tarantino commentary. The Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg commentary talks about how Wright would direct Pegg to "Marvelize" his performance by exaggerating his eyebrows like a Ditko drawing and references Norman Osborne's widow's peak. I now have a crush on Edgar Wright.

Can you believe I did not have a copy of this on DVD? Clearly, my life was incomplete and that needed to be rectified.
I mostly bought this for Ollie, but the Ultra Humanite was an added bonus. I love him on JLU. The Supergirl figure is kind of lame though.

Isn't that the cutest little Cyclops you ever did see? I seem to be building up a collection of Cyclops figures. When I was looking for this picture, I found that there's a set with Wolverine and Phoenix. I have no interest in owning a Wolverine figure, but since they never seem to make Marvel Girl figures, I need the Phoenix one. It would make the perfect mascot for my car.

This is my favorite though:

She's so pretty. It was right above the Buffy comics in the shop and I just couldn't resist. Sometimes I think the guys at the comic book shop do that to me on purpose. I haven't decided whether or not to take her out of the box yet. (Yes, I do do that on occasion.)

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Why "OMD" Makes No Fucking Sense

Apparently, the problem is that no one on the Marvel staff has seen the Gweneth Paltrow movie Sliding Doors:
Close to two years ago at one of our creative summits, the seeds of that idea began to blossom. Those ideas were then taken and a two week long e-mail chain began where we started to throw around ideas until we got the story kind of where we wanted it to be. The guys involved in all of this from the beginning were Joe, Bendis, Millar, Loeb, Tom Brevoort, Axel Alonso and myself. It then all carried over to the next summit, at which Ed Brubaker and Dan Slott also had some stuff to add. It was at one of these summits that JMS said the methodology we were using was more akin to the movie "Sliding Doors" than "Back to the Future." Rather than a single incident not happening that causes a huge domino effect across the timeline, he explained it was more like one door that wasn't taken or opened that only changed the subtlest of things.
That's just not how I remember the movie at all. I'm pretty sure that the movie was about how one subtle little change to the timeline, like making it on one train instead of having to wait for the next, can have huge implications on your life, like ending up getting hit by a bus and dying, or not. And aside from the whole dead thing, everything in the two timelines was completely different. Also, that movie made sense. Really, I never would have thought that a writer's understanding of a fairly mediocre, though far better than "OMD," romantic melodrama would have such a huge effect on my superhero comics. Trippy.

This interview, part 2 of 5 with Quesada over at CBR, also reveals that I was totally right about them wanting to bring Gwen back. In a way I wish they had. It would have ensured this whole thing would get undone sooner rather than later.

Actually, bringing Gwen back might have made more sense, now that I think about it. It would have been like saying that it was the only way to ensure that Peter and MJ never got together was if Gwen hadn't died. Had Gwen not been dropped off a bridge, MJ wouldn't have been there to help him get over Gwen's death, and therefore would never have seen that there was more to MJ than just the ditzy party girl. (This would have also neatly stuck a pin in the idea that had Gwen lived, she and Peter would have lived happily ever after, which would have made me pretty happy and a lot of other readers I know.) It also would have opened up the potential for Norman Osborn never dying, thereby making it so Harry never went nuts, becoming the second Green Goblin, and ultimately dying from the serum. That means that it would make some amount of sense for Harry to have continued his druggie lifestyle, never marrying and having a son.

Instead, we inexplicably have a Harry Osborn who is a lush and has no wife, and apparently no child, both of which he obtained before Peter's marriage to MJ, and a bunch of friends who don't care enough about him to not let him drink when he has just come out of rehab. (Peter Parker: worst best friend ever!) Peter's also living with Aunt May, which he hasn't done since the early college years (aside from some brief periods where he and MJ were lacking in funds) and has his original webshooters back, both of which are also changes that had nothing to do with his marriage. And I still fail to see how either version does anything but negate 30 years of comic book history. Now I know what it must be like to be a life long Superman reader after each Crisis. It makes my head hurt. A lot. How does Superman retain any readers this way?

Also, in the interview, Quesada keeps mentioning the "science" that JMS wanted to use (which is apparently what necessitated all the rewrites), and I just really don't think that word means what he thinks it means. I am, however, willing to bet that JMS's version made sense, because while he has written some startlingly bad Spider-Man stories during his run, he has always written them well. Some ideas are just crap.

I would also like to point out that Quesada, for all the "the buck stops here" talk about the delays, spreads the blame for this story pretty widely around the Marvel offices, and I have subsequently lost some respect for Brubaker. I'm sure that will last until I read the issue of Captain America that came out on Friday. (Damn you, Brubaker, and your scary talent making it impossible to hold a grudge!) The fact that so many creators, albeit of varying levels of talent, talked about this for so long and it didn't occur to them that maybe the hero shouldn't be making deals with the devil just so he doesn't have to feel guilty, especially ones that amount to a mystical abortion, boggles the mind. I guess Marvel heroes can get by being good role models as long as they don't smoke. That's the important thing.

I wasn't going to post any more about "OMD," but now that I have opened the flood gates, more posts are sure to follow.

Thursday, December 27, 2007


Remember back when I said they should bring back Harry Osborne? I was joking. It was a joke. I was throwing out some ridiculous thing. I love Harry. I would love to have him back. That doesn't mean that I thought bringing him back was actually a good idea. Marvel already brought back Norman.

Anyway, do I tell the guy at the comic book shop that I'm dropping Amazing Spider-Man from my pull list tomorrow, or should I wait until the first issue of "Brand New Day"?

Monday, December 03, 2007

I <3 Jeff Parker

Jeff Parker is awesome, and there is an interview with him up at Newsarama. Here's an excerpt:

JP: Because the suggested line-up I was originally given mentioned only one woman (I think I suggested Storm) and assumed Giant-Man would be in there. I knew the Wasp had gone gigantic before, so I originally suggested her as being able to go tiny or giant. The editors and VPs thought it might be too confusing, so we opted for her as Giant-Girl only. My thinking was, if I only have two women on this team, then I'm going to make one of them really hard to miss. I'd still rather it be three women. Just like if I were magically in the Marvel offices in the 60's I would beg Stan and Jack to make Angel a girl so the X-Men would have had a different dynamic from the beginning.

I love Giant-Girl, so I am really glad she's there, but I do not understand why having her be able to go tiny or gigantic would be too confusing. That's just dumb. I also love Jeff Parker for wanting to put three girls on the team. That would have been awesome. I wonder who he would have wanted them to be. Good for him for making her stand out as much as possible too. I don't know about making Angel a girl though. (When I was a little girl, I had a crush on him. He was blue then, and I thought the whole blond hair, blue skin and wings combo was really pretty.) That explains the X-Men First Class, vol.2 #1 story with Marvel Girl and the Invisible Girl though, as well as the friendship between Jean and Wanda, both of which I am so grateful for. It's so rare to see girls bond in comic books. It's even more rare to see a mentor relationship between two female characters. As a matter of fact, I don't know that I had ever seen that before. What he did there was so fresh and awesome, and yeah, it really is a very different dynamic.

Anyway, so much love for this man. Go read all his stuff, especially the Spider-Man/Fantastic Four story he did with Mike Wieringo, because it's a totally fun Spider-Man and Fantastic Four story drawn by Mike Wieringo. I can't wait for all his upcoming stuff too. I didn't read any of the 1602 stuff after the first miniseries, even though I liked it a lot, but I am all over this one.

Oh, and the Hulk screaming "Earth just want to be friend!" is my favorite part of "Ego the Loving Planet" too.

Also, 150th post! Woo Hoo! And it was about something positive. Yay for unintentional celebration.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Scout Attacks! Sensational Spider-Man #41

Uhg. I have responsibilities now. There are more important things that need writing, but "One More Day" is so bad that things just need to be said. So, let's just start at the beginning.

The one good thing I have to say about part 3 of "One More Day" is that the art has gotten a lot better. Quesada's got his weird noses under control. However, the covers are still the same covers.

That red haired troll looking thing sandwiched between the "Who are they?" and "What deadly secret do they share?" That's supposed to be the little girl from the story, who is actually kind of cute, if creepy. That thing is just stringy haired and ugly.

Speaking of the little girl, there is some alternate version on Peter and Mary Jane that are terrible parents.
First of all, they let her go off by herself just because she's smart? Yeah, being smart is totally enough to save her from predators. Also, she's smart, but she'd rather be pretty like her mother? Whatever. Stupid comic book.

Let me just say this, I have a hard time believing that any daughter of Peter's wouldn't take at least some pride in being smart. I also have a hard time believing that any daughter of Mary Jane's would be self-conscious about her looks. Also, Peter, if a little girl expresses insecurity about her looks, you assure her of how beautiful she is. You do not tell her she will grow up to be beautiful. I am not surprised that some alternate version of you is an awful parent. You obviously suck at dealing with kids.

Moving on to the less trivial and nit picky complaints and getting on to the more serious reasons to hate this issue:

I hate the fact that everything this little girl is saying is true. That is exactly how JMS and Quesada have been characterizing him since "Civil War." It's like they are saying "Look! This is what Spider-Man has become. Don't you want us to change that? Oh, and by the way, he's only acting this way because he's married. It's all the marriage's fault."

But that is not what Spider-Man has become. That is how they are currently portraying him in order to justify this crappy story arc. This is the worst kind of writing - making your characters fit your stories instead of your stories fit your characters. It is everything a writer is not supposed to do.

I am not even going into those alternate versions of a powerless Peter that he runs into, because they are just too dumb and insulting. I just want to point out the naked girl in the champaign glass.
I'm probably reading too much into this, but I'm just getting this vibe. This vibe of them retconning the Lee/Ditko era to make it more like the freaking movie. I have no words for this, if my suspicions are true.

Back to the bad writing:

I was trying to think of what could make this worse. What could possibly be more random than JMS pulling Mephisto out of his ass as a deus ex machina in the penultimate issue of this arc? All I could come up with is if JMS had actually written the Marvel editorial staff into the comic book. But then, at least, that would be honest. Mostly, this is just stupid because Mephisto's whole motivation for caring is literally that he is the devil. That's it. How does this even count as a story anymore? Also, on the final page, Mephisto says there's a part of their soul that will remember and scream out in pain for what they have lost. What's stopping them from meeting again, and getting married again? So dumb.

I was going to post the last two pages too, but it doesn't matter. The whole "I want your marriage" thing is so ridiculous that it seems pointless to go on. I will say this, though. What they did by having MJ be the one to want to hear Mephisto out is significant. JMS did the same thing when Peter was deciding whether or not to unmask. Both times Peter has dismissed the huge status quo changing decision out of hand, while Mary Jane has been the one to think it over. Basically, JMS is laying the blame at here feet, while simultaneously writing her as if she's the reasonable one so that the reader will be duped into thinking that the decision that is made is well thought out, and ultimately the right one. Well, not wanting her husband to abandon her and Aunt May to become a fugitive does not make her a villain. Neither does wanting to do anything to save Aunt May. It also doesn't mean that the decisions that are made are the right ones, especially when the writer fails to have the characters thoroughly explore all the reasons why the characters shouldn't make the decisions that they ultimately end up making. (I will, however, point out that during JMS's run, he has had Aunt May learn that Peter is Spider-Man and retconned Gwen Stacy's death so that it is the result of her own actions rather than Peter's, thereby removing two of the biggest reasons for Peter keeping his identity a secret. That doesn't really change the fact that Gwen Stacy's death should have at least been brought up in that particular conversation.) But, while none of this makes Mary Jane a villain, it does make Peter a coward for never really being an active participant in his own life. As long as he's not at fault though, right? Because that is what would ruin the character.

I've written all this without even going into the fact that all this magical, mystical crap is completely inappropriate for a Spider-Man story. After six years, that's kind of a moot point.

On a final note, if the next issue doesn't have Peter and Mary Jane giving it some thought, and coming to the conclusion that taking Mephisto's deal is the last thing that Aunt May would want them to do, it will just prove everything I have had to say about this story, and about the whole "Back in Black" story. For once, it would be nice if Peter would actually consider what she would think of everything he is doing.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


I haven't mentioned this before, but one of the reasons for the increasing lack of posting is that my time has been occupied by another project. Some friends and I have decided to start a website. It hasn't officially launched yet, but it should be soon. It's called Geektress and the whole point is that it's just a bunch of girls writing about geek stuff, and it's only girls, just because we thought that might be cool. Anyway, the site may not be launched yet, but we decided kick things off with our very own podcast.

We're still getting the hang of all this, so if you listen, be kind. We're beginners. In the first episode, we mostly talk about Wonder Woman #14, with a little bit of discussion about James Marsters in Dragon Ball Z and In Like Flint. Brenda, Rania and myself had a lot of fun, so we hope that others have fun listening to us, and if anyone's got any helpful advice or constructive criticism, we're open to it. (Yes, we have already discover that we say "like" a lot and just generally sound like 1980s Valley Girls.)

Click here to get your own player.