Tag Archives: Marvel

Secret Pleasures #22: Dolls

17 May

I pride myself on being a pretty tough person.  And nothing can discredit my toughness.  Not even my love for dolls.

Yes, DOLLS!

My inspiration for this post comes from a lovely trip to the Disney store where my friends and I fell in love with the Disney Animator’s Collection Dolls.

They are just so damn cute!  As a lover of all things Disney (except the corruption within the business and the fact that they’re taking over the world) I couldn’t help but fall in love.  My friends and I just stared at the dolls analyzing their expressions.

We’ve been doing a lot of ranting lately about which princess fits our personality (I’m Tiana, of course).  We wanted to buy our doll!

Dolls are pretty awesome.  Fun to play with and yet so beautiful inside a box.  Few little girls can claim they’ve never owned a Barbie. But, not all dolls are created equal.  Um, anyone remember Bratz?  They were encouraging children to become prissy shop-o-holic sluts.  Their movies were awful, too.  (I did not watch these of my own accord – babysitting)

Nonetheless, dolls are important because they require imagination and creativity.  They’re perfect for children (girls and boys: C’mon action figures are dolls, too).  Thus, my secret pleasure is…imagination.

 

***Side note: ever hear about the X-men debate? Marvel’s toy company tried to convince the US government that X-men characters were toys not dolls (aka: they weren’t human) so that they didn’t have to pay as much import tax.  It’s pretty screwed up.

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Free Comic Book Day 2011 – Reviews!

7 May

Today is Free Comic Book Day, and I just stood in line for an hour and a half with my companions (Selena and Lillian).  Sure, I also spent $44 (buy two graphic novels get one free) to get my precious hardcover of Stumptown and a Tiny Titans trade.  Anyway, I’m just going to bust through this stack in no particular order and rate the comics as they come!

Baltimore/Criminal Macabre:

This kicked things off really well.  Both stories are short but succinct and tell mini tales appropriate for the size of the comic.  Plus, it’s two stories in one comic (you get to flip the comic over to read the other story!  I love this).  Both of which deal with something rather supernatural.  Baltimore involves vampires and I really have no idea why it’s called Baltimore because it takes place in Europe, I believe.  Criminal Macabre deals with Frankenstein’s monster.  In both, the art and writing is spot on and really strong while the art is scratchy to match the mood of the stories.  Free Comic Book Day is about promoting comics and delivering short but sweet material that will get people to return to the comic store(s) later, and these two stories succeed splendidly.  I will probably look into both of these stories later.

Green Lantern Special Edition:

So, this is part one of Secret Origin for Green Lantern.  It’s alright, but I’ve already read it before.  So, for people who are new to the property and interested in the movie, this is decent.  But, to those old faithfuls, this is nothing new.  Plus, the preview to Flashpoint is kind of stupid.  I’m pretty confused to what is going on, and I really don’t care about The Flash.  Overall, this was a good old “meh.”

The Amazing Spiderman:

So, this issue really tried to be fun.  I suppose I had some fun in it.  I really like the look of a skinny superhero, but there were other parts of the art that had their problems.  Spiderwoman, for instance, probably should have broken in half with her tiny waist and gigantic breasts.  Plus, there one page when she’s fighting Spider-Man and it is near pornographic.  Nevertheless, the script tries to deliver it all: Spider-Man quips (including one about Fox News!), Action, Webs, Monkeys, and Kung Fu.  Although, Shang-Chi, the martial arts young guru, is wearing a Marvel Sash.  *sigh*

Atomic Robo:

Here’s another fun story.  I’ve always intended to give Atomic Robo a shot, and FCBD has given me the opportunity.  The story involves an ambitious youngster at a science fair where Atomic Robo is a guest judge.  Things take a turn for the worse when a crazed Dinosaur (who I believe is a recurring character) in suit, tie, and fedora comes to steal one of the young student’s projects.  Overall, the story provided a few laughs and is definitely children-friendly.  The art was fairly simple with a strong line and strong colors which worked well with the story.  Overall, it was entertaining and a joy.  I will definitely keep an eye out for Atomic Robo in the future.  However, the back-ups were not memorable in the least and sort of took away the magic from the feature.

Locke & Key:

I found it interesting that the series is advertising on FCBD in a kid-friendly format even though it admits on the first page that it’s not really meant for kids.  Just a bit confusing.  I felt a little lost while reading coming midway through the series (this portion comes from section three of the normal series).  There’s a strong sense of line that matches the tone of the series, but the splash pages at the end were a bit excessive.  Overall, I might look more into the series once the television show comes out.

Mickey Mouse:

This collection of Mickey Mouse strips from 1935 were definitely rather interesting.  I found them to be entertaining and light-hearted but nothing fabulous.  Then again, I read them really fast.  So, I can admit that I did not take as much time as I could have enjoying them.  Nevertheless, I had two key points that bothered me: 1) This is a dog race that Pluto is entered into by Mickey, but most of the characters in the strip were dogs!  So, dogs own dogs and race the dogs and bet on the dogs while they’re dogs? 2) Mr. Shoebuckle has to deal with paying off his mortgage which is interesting considering the time frame this is from and trying to make it relevant, but it’s still kind of weird.  I did really like how they had a bunch of cool vernacular(s).  Looking more into Floyd Gottfredson’s Mickey strip, it really gets a lot better from here.

Civil War Adventure:

So, I read something while previewing FCBD that this secretly had zombies in it.  “Zombies during the Civil War,” I thought, “perfect!”  Turns out, there were no zombies, but there were a full two pages devoted to how limbs were amputated!  The first story was kind of fun with a bunch of cool looking ‘gators and lots of moonshine.  Otherwise, it was pretty ridiculous and Chuck Dixon kind of rubs me the wrong way sometimes (it’s hard going back and rereading those old issues of Robin and Nightwing that he wrote and putting them into his conservative ideology).

Top Shelf Kids Club:

The obvious stand out of this issue was Johnny Boo, but I really enjoyed Owly (I am a big fan of Owly) and Korgi (which I had never heard of/seen before).  I love kids comics.  They’re just so fun, simple, and often times hilarious.  The joke after joke in Johnny Boo had me laughing aloud for a good number of frames.  I liked Pirate Penguin vs Ninja Chicken (the moose’s changing t-shirt provided some laughs even with the suggested naughty word at the end) and Okie Dokie Donuts, but they were a little chaotic in the art department.  Nonetheless, comics should be accessible to everyone, and this preview definitely provided that.

Pep Comics:

You know, more and more, I have gotten into Archie comics.  I used to look at them in disgust, but they’re not actually that bad.  Unfortunately, they seem too preachy rather than fun sometimes.  Nonetheless, this comic has a great bit with Jughead, autotuning, and ringtones at Veronica’s expense that is super funny.  Overall, it’s something you come to expect from an Archie comic, but nothing more than that.

Sonic The Hedgehog:

I have a lot of Sonic The Hedgehog comics back at my parent’s house.  I used to be really into him.  Alas, it stopped happening due to Tracy Yardley taking over the penciling duties and me not really caring for his artwork.  So, I dropped the book.  Apparently, the very talented artist “Spaz” is going to return to do a couple of issues.  So, I might check that out.  Anyway, Steven Butler’s pencils in this FCBD special is actually pretty good.  The story’s energetic which is nice.  Though, the main villain is one that people who know Sonic through his videogames wouldn’t recognize, but there’s still a lot of fun to be had to see how Sonic outsmarts him.  Overall, it was fairly decent.

Super Dinosaur:

So here we go with another Robert Kirkman book (writer of The Walking Dead and Invincible), but this time it’s for kids.  This kids book is more geared towards 10 and up’ers, though.  I thought I was really going to like it, but I feel like Kirkman just does not have the knack yet for writing to a younger audience.  He still has cool ideas, but it seems like his version of writing for kids is dumbing down his language rather than writing in a completely different way to appeal to the younger audience.  For instance, within a span of two pages he has Derek – the young protagonist – narrate the story of Max Maximus’s betrayal saying “But Maximus had other ideas” and then saying “But Max Maximus had other plans for my new pal.”  They’re super similar sentences.  I understand that this is coming from Derek’s point of view, but he’s supposed to be some sort of child-prodigy.  Unfortunately, this sort of writing plagues the rest of the comic.  The art’s good, though.

Captain America & Thor: The Mighty Fighting Avengers:

Here’s another fun comic to end upon.  The comic transports Thor and Captain America to King Arthur’s time in order to stop Loki from getting the Holy Grail.  The writing is spot on, and the art is really creative with it’s inking and colors.  Overall, it was a great read and open for all readers.  I just cannot see how someone cannot enjoy it.  You can see the same writer and artist in the critically-acclaimed yet cancelled “Thor: The Mighty Avenger.”

Well, there was a a great deal of mediocre books, but 3-4 pulled through.  I got some others, too.  But, I’ve been at this for nearly 4 hours… so, I think reviewing such a large stack of comics is good enough.

Comic Book Cache – The Master List

31 Jan

Now, it’s no novel idea, and recently Kelly Thompson has utilized it for women, but I really want to see some of my friends and family read comic books and understand my strange addiction to them.

So, here’s the deal.  I will provide a master list of comics to choose from.  My friends who read this (who are in Tacoma) can then borrow the book (yes, this is me actually sacrificing my precious books – It’s a requirement to give it back to me, otherwise I charge you for it) and send me a review of it through e-mail or over a message in facebook.  People who are not in Tacoma can purchase the book or find it in a library (I’m open to suggestions to things that I may have read but don’t have a copy of) in order to participate.  Only one person can choose one book, and I’m more than open to suggesting books for people.  Sure, I know this is a stretch for time management, but I feel like it will be a wonderful process to get comics into the hands of people who wouldn’t normally view them.

The comics range from memoir to superhero to indie and everything in between allowing for something anyone can enjoy.  I highly suggest looking these books up on Amazon to see if you’re interested in them or not.

After reading the comic, it would be great to know your age, what you do, and your reactions to the book in a short, maybe around 200-500 word review.  That’s all I really ask.

The write-up can include:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Occupation
  • Do you have any prior experience reading comics?
  • Why did you pick this book?
  • What did you like/didn’t like?
  • What stood out (writing, art, themes)?
  • How difficult was it to read a comic?
  • Did you respond more to the words or the artwork?
  • Do you feel like you would read some more comics after this experience?

We can include your picture, too.

I’m going to be posting these in sets of threes or fours depending on how many responses there are.  So, keep your eyes out for those.  I’m going to try to get these all within one to two months.  So, keep that time frame in mind while reading.

So, after that, here is the master list:

The Alcoholic

Fun Home

Something To Pet The Cat About

I Am Going To Be Small

Bizarro Comics

Marvels

The Lagoon

Tales of Woodsman Pete with Full Particulars

Nine Ways to Disappear

Parker: The Hunter

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Challenges

TMNT: First Graphic Novel

Planetary: Volume 1

Phonogram: Rue Britania

Phonogram: The Singles Club

The Birthday Riots

Toxic Avenger and Other Tromatic Tales

True Swamp: The Memoirs of Lenny the Frog

Asterios Polyp

Zot!

Suburban Glamour

Identity Crisis

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns

Promethea: Book One

Capote in Kansas

Blue Pills: A Positive Love Story

Whiteout Volumes 1 or 2 (They are fairly self-contained)

Queen & Country Volumes 1-4 (stories self-contained)

Usagi Yojimbo: Yokai

Persepolis I

It's a Bird...

Maus I

Long Hot Summer

Trinity: Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman

The Brave and the Bold: Demons and Dragons

Kingdom Come

Air: Letters from Lost Countries

American Born Chinese

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Soul's Winter

Well, that’s it for what I own.  If you have a suggestion or something else that you may be interested in that you just haven’t given the time to, let me know!

Adam Hughes’ Remarks on Women in Comics

30 Sep

After reading this, I was slightly offended… but let me post it and then explain myself (it’s from a recent interview on Comic Book Resources):

His new book of cover art

What’s the specific challenge of working on female characters? There are some artists who draw women who are anatomically impossible, who overemphasize sexuality or go to absurd lengths to tone it down. What’s the key for you as far as balancing these elements and do you think that’s more complex than balancing elements with male superheroes?

I think portraying female superheroes well carries more challenges, surely. No one complains that Superman’s impossible physique distorts the self-image of young boys. And yet, young girls are apparently very, very fragile, I’m told. If you glamorize female characters the same way male ones are glamorized, you (along with Madison Avenue) are apparently driving little women into boob jobs they shouldn’t get. Is this true? I don’t know. All the women I know are pretty tough characters, and any self-consciousness they have about their personal appearances is their own hand-crafted baggage – they don’t blame Barbie for their insecurities. Blaming society or big business for an individual’s personal peccadilloes is an easy attack, and its over-use as a rhetorical tactic has weakened the argument (and hurt the case of the few who actually have been so affected). Most women are stronger than society gives them credit for, and what does it say about an individual who’s emotionally threatened by a cartoon drawing? I’m not built like Batman, but I don’t bitch about it. Life’s rough – get a helmet.

That being said, the challenge for me, personally, is making sure there’s an actual character under the breasts and behind the eyes. Yes, I draw women as pretty as I possibly can, but I try to make sure there’s the sense of a real person floating around in there somewhere. Selina Kyle is far more interesting to me because of her character traits than her looks. “Then why don’t you draw real looking women, Adam?” I get asked, usually by real-looking women who don’t actually buy comics. The answer is: things sell better when they are wrapped in pretty packages. We buy the cars that look nice, we listen to ideas that worded and presented interestingly, and we like our icons to be attractive. 4 out of 5 times, that attraction is physical beauty and/or handsomeness.

My response to the last part.  I suppose that it’s true that things sell better when the women portrayed on the cover are not “real women.”  They are women of fantasy and objection.  When I think of male superheroes the first three adjectives I think of are: Strong, Power, Honor.  The first three I think of for female superheroes are: sexy, slim, pretty.  Now, I know this is personal, and it could very well be for just me, but I find it rather upsetting that those are my three adjectives for women in superhero comics.

The issue that there isn’t a problem with male superheroes is because their defining features, although out of proportion and extremely muscle-y, build the ego of men.  It’s a power fantasy that male readers buy into.  But, how can female readers buy into a comic with a female heroine when the fantasy is purely sexual.  And, for that, I find it to be demeaning.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Adam Hughe’s artwork about 75% of the time.  But, I find his views expressed in this one interview upsetting because it reflects the norm.  He’s right, you can’t sell comics unless they’re glossed over, ideal, and often selling sex symbolism.  And, for that, I get sad.  But, I also know that in my work, I have to combat that in order for there to be change.

I would spend more time analyzing this, but I have a study date with a friend that I’m late for.

A whole new slew of comic reevus

9 Jun

Well, I didn’t get comics for a month or so… There was a lot waiting for me.

Unfortunately, I forgot to pick up Grizzly Shark and Sea Bear, Return of Bruce Wayne #2, and my LCS still hasn’t received Tales of the TMNT #69.

Overall, I was fairly pleased with my pulls, and I even went out on a limb and bought some Marvel which was, surprisingly, really good.

So, let’s start it off with the bad and move towards the awesome:

Green Lantern #54:

It’s really unfortunate that most of these scenes in this book were sort of seen in others (mostly Brightest Day), and I’m a little tired of Green Lantern.  Honestly, this book is testing my patience.  It looks pretty and Doug Mahnke does his best with trying to make the Star Sapphire costume look not so slutty, but I feel like Geoff Johns is just trying to outdo himself with the next big, cosmic event.  Therefore, character studies are shot down for a rather boring plot.  And Lobo, seriously?  I’m giving this comic three more tries.  If it fails twice in those three times, then it’s out.

The best part of this comic, though, was Dex-Star (the Red Lantern Cat) kicking some ass.

Batgirl #11:

I’ll begin this by mentioning that there isn’t anything inherently wrong with this issue.  I feel like Bryan Q. Miller is doing a knockout job developing a voice for Stephanie.  Sure, Lee Garbett & Pere Perez’s pencils sort of make Stephanie’s boobs fluctuate size on a nearly frame by frame basis, but the art’s overall good.  Everyone’s doing a good job.  My problem is that the comic is doing things that have been done before.  Sure, these are all sort of training exercises for Stephanie, but the stakes are obvious and I don’t feel like there’s any real big threat.  The Calculator is nice, but that’s more so Barbara’s villain.  Is Stephanie going to get any of her own.

As far as dream sequences go, this was one of the more interesting ones out of the thousands out there in comic land.

Girl Comics #2:

I feel like this comic should be longer than it is.  I feel like there should be more stories in it.  Hell, I’m being charged $5 goddamn dollars for it, I might as well get some more stories.  Plus, what’s up with the shipping delay?

Alright, refocus on what’s actually here in the comic.  Unfortunately, it was hit and miss.  I enjoyed the intro again even if it felt like I was rereading the intro from before (I really liked the variation of She-Hulk’s costume).  The Inhumans was kinda bleh.  However, I really liked the hairdressing story because it didn’t really feel like it was shoving the issue of “hey, girls like to get their hair done!” but more so a thing that they do that shows a different aspect of their lives.  I liked the art and coloring on the “Do You Ever?” story even if the script was a bit lacking.  The two page spread of MJ searching for another superhero boyfriend was delightfully taking stabs at the machismo behind many male superheroes which made me pretty giddy.  The Dr. Strange story was a major disappointment.  I just did not understand what was going on.

So, overall, okay, but nothing major.

Batman #700(!):

Alright, I had to dish out the $5 on this landmark issue.  I figured it would probably not be that great, but, strangely, I found it to be pretty gosh darn good.  Now, let me preface it with me walking home 3 and a half miles in the rain worrying about my comics getting wet.  Then, it began pouring – like Puget Sound every day in February pouring – and I sought refuge.  Enter coffee shop and a warm chai.

I opened it up, and found this time-spanning narrative not confusing but, despite being defined by time periods, timeless.  Grant Morrison hit the mark on portraying that, no matter what, there will always be a need for a Batman in comics/the comic world.  Naturally, Frank Quitely’s frenetic energy in his section made a major impression.  It was unfortunate that he couldn’t finish the whole “Today” section.  I feel like they could have simply put a “Tonight” label after the switch to slightly differentiate between the artists and acknowledge the change up.

Now, I’m not a fan of Damien becoming Batman in the future.  Particularly because I think the transition would be too easy for the character… and I don’t like his batsuit.  So, that part was kinda “hmm meh” for me.  However, 2-Face-2 was hilarious as was the final joke.

The “And Tomorrow” section was genius showing off all the different Batmen that have come, gone, or will pass.  I really like the Full masked, silver-emblazoned one.

Overall, this is a pretty good story for a Batman fan with a little bit for everyone.  Sometimes, it didn’t hit the mark.  When it did, though, it was lovely.

Heralds #s 1 & 2:

After reading Kelly Thompson’s review of Her-alds, I decided to give it a try.  And, honestly, I am so glad I did.

Some Superheroes who just all happen to be women get together through an interesting means, and then, all of a sudden, a clones (of scientists and historical figures creating some funny moments with Einstein and later Hitler), Dinosaur, chaotic thing happens.  They bond together over fighting and then come together in the second issue over Frankie Raye and how she plays in the overall importance of recent events.

The art on these issues is amazing.  Some commentators (anonymous comments on other people’s reviews) have said that the art style is too indie or doesn’t differentiate between the women.  I would have to counter this by stating that I am not familiar in any depth with the majority of these characters, and I could tell them apart through facial differences.  Plus, I really like the slim, short-haired She-Hulk.  I mean, she’s lean but with lots of muscle.  Who’s to say the Gamma radiation has to make her bulky just to give her immense strength?

At times, the plot can be a little overwhelming and the dialogue quick, but another read through brings along more enjoyment.  Trust me, the first read is still just as good as you’re briskly trying to read what’s next.  This got me to chuckle aloud, which, as said numerous times before, is a hard thing to do.  Check out the Thompson review to see some pages from the actual book to see the interior art.

Red Robin #13:

Tim Drake-Wayne.  Marriage fake.  Identity.  New duds.  Checklists.  Hard Decisions.  Worth it?

I know that this comic is worth it.  You barely have to be knowledgeable about Tim Drake or this series to still really enjoy it, and the twist is wonderful.  God, I love this comic (and the writer switch – Fabian Nicieza who’s written Tim Drake before – hardly altered anything; a nice transition).

Invincible #72:

Within the Invincible Universe, I feel like Kirkman is at his best with writing violence.  I believe this also probably gives Ryan Ottley much more to play around with.  Anyone noticed the similar attacks Conquest utilizes?  Come on, the frames are nearly the same.

This issue completely surprised me in a good way.  The melodrama’s out of the way, and now it’s just super hard hitting and awesome.  I never knew breathing could be so great!

The Walking Dead #72:

God, does Kirkman know how to nail that final page for every issue.  I mean, it also works really fluidly during the trades, too.  Still, I just love it.

This issue focuses pretty heavy on the adjustment process with emphasis on Michonne, Andrea, and Glenn.  Um, yeah… mostly my favorite characters.  It’s nice to not see any zombies for a bit; although, I’m sure that will change next issue.  This is just such a consistently great comic.

Super HeroiHOT #18: Black Widow

2 Jun

I am the paper burning right now, you make me hot.

Alright, I recognize that I’m a little late to ride the “OMG! Scarlett Johansson is so hot in Iron Man 2!!!” craze.  I’m sorry to not provide more information to little boyz searching for pics of their new favorite superhero to objectify directly out of the movie theater.

Oh yes!

However, that doesn’t mean I’m not preparing for when it’s released on DVD!!! HAHAHAHHH!!!

APPEARANCE:

Streamlined and stylish... sort of

Similar to Catwoman’s latest costume (however, I believe Natasha’s came first), Black Widow is superglued into an incredibly tight, camel-toe inducing affair. Not to mention the occasional “oh my god how does her cleavage not burst out” halfway unzipped top… yeah…

Putting this aside, the costume’s actually pretty good.  It’s streamlined and functional for what she does (hint hint – spy).  I like how the Retcon has it that she was trained in the Black Widow Russian Ops program, and that’s where her name stems from.  So, the tiny embellishment of the red hourglass on the belt (and occasionally wrists) is just enough to add some character to the costume.

Perhaps the most iconic part of the costume is the wrist things.  As shown later, these have guns in them!  Or… well… something of the ilk.  She also puts condensed spy gear in them.  So, it’s like a bat-utility belt but on your wrists.

I wonder if that weighs down her arms to make her punches hurt worse?

Strangely, the red hair and crazy hourglass figure somehow don’t come off as Russian… weird.

Appearance: 8/10


PERSONALITY:

Uh... just a little sadistic

Natasha is pretty cold and manipulative (AKA Russian… oh silly American writers), but she’s been pretty open and warm in her relationship with Bucky Barnes.  I feel like a lot of her problems with her personality stem from being conditioned and brainwashed as a child… just maybe.

Actually, she gets brainwashed a lot… and often turns on allies or gets them to turn on other allies for her.  That’s a little much.

She’s besties with Wolverine (if that implies anything), and hasn’t really aged since the 50s…

Marvel: give her some more personality, flesh out her character some more, and move past the typical narrative/voiced over “I’m a spy, read me thinking to myself and how cool and calculating I am.”  There’s potential for the character as a strong female lead, but she’s sort of trapped at the moment.

So, to tell you the truth, I’m not sure how to tack this one up there.  I suppose that she’s becoming more open.  So, I’ll be kinda fair.

Okay, on second thought, no.  She only gets halfsies.

Personality: 5/10


SUPER POWERS:

Kickin' some face with Bucky Barnes and his skinny ankles

So, Natasha -mentioned before – was conditioned in a Russian Program that was meant to create America’s response to the Super Soldier Serum that created Steve Rogers… or something like that.  Really, it’s kinda convoluted.

Anyway, she kicks ass.  She’s a super spy, soldier, intelligent person, and pretty neat.

Nevertheless, her powers aren’t that imaginative and sort of just makes her Female Captain America (Russia).

Nearly shot out the lamp, but at least these heavenly rays are on me

One negative thing: she uses guns.  To me, when you’re a superhero character in a superhero world, using guns is just unnecessary.  Now, guns in comics such as The Walking Dead or Punisher makes more sense because these characters have no powers, but, with Black Widow, it just seems a little excessive.

Woops! Forgot there wasn't just lipstick in these things...

However… she does have guns/stunners/the “Widow’s Bite” on her wrists!

Super Powers: 7/10


SECRET IDENTITY:

Interesting librarian-esque style

Natasha doesn’t have much of a Secret Identity because she’s a spy.  She’s often changing identities.  But, she does ground herself with the relationships she creates with others.  Her and Wolverine are friends and she’s had a good thing going with Bucky Barnes for a bit.

I suppose the thing to take away from her identity is that she’s always changing it when on mission.  So, it’s hard to pin it down.  That’s got to have some consequences on the psyche, one would presume.  However, I’ll be fair and give it a decent score.

Secret Identity: 8/10


ADDITIONAL ITEMS:

Strangely, there are no Additional Items this time around!

FINAL TOTAL:

28/40 or an admirable 70%

Her powers aren’t anything extraordinary and her personality is a little stale… and, she’s often used as the deux ex machina/plot device to many situations with not many other redeeming qualites…  BUT! She sure looks good.

The character is well-conceived and fairly (considering other portrayals of women) female-friendly, but I believe all of her stories have nearly been expended.

The worst point at which to recall your childhood fear of heights

Girl Comics #1

15 Mar

Alright, so it’s been out for a couple weeks, but I just finally got around to reading the whole thing.  I hate to say it, but the cover to the comic and Lucy Knisley’s wonderful Doc Ock story are probably the best parts of this comic with everything else hitting a rather flat note.

The cover by Amanda Conner really hits all the right notes with the facial expressions even if Sue Storm looks a bit Japanese.  I enjoy that Conner still has the ridiculous boobs on She-Hulk with them somehow fitting in with that zipper.  Conner’s She-Hulk really actually boosts the appearance of the character (this image alone would probably bump She-Hulk’s Super HeroiHOT score up a couple points) by being both muscular and feminine… although, I’m really not sure how to interpret the energy drink that is on She-Hulk’s side.

Okay, for those who haven’t heard (mostly my friends), Girl Comics is a 3 issue miniseries promoting the work of women in comics with every position from editor to letterer to inker to penciler, etc., is held by a woman.

The comic boosts itself by saying that these stories aren’t just in here because they’re from women, but because they exemplify great skill as stand alone stories.

Unfortunately, I have a problem with this.  These stories are just too short to really show off the skills of the women creators.  Like many other critics out there, I would have enjoyed for at least one or two of these stories to continue on to the other comics so they could get 10 pages instead of 2-4.  Sure, the stories are all halfway-decent, but they just don’t have the room to flesh them out making them just not memorable.  When these creators are used to working on projects bigger than this, it’s hard for them to constrict their size.  When, a creator like Lucy Knisley, is used to the web-comic format, she is completely capable of doing a quick, light-hearted story.

The Venus story was a big downer for me.  I enjoyed the artwork a lot on it, I just can’t believe they allotted so much space for this one instead of some of the others.  Plus, I just couldn’t understand how all of the characters in the story were basically just giant cliches.

I enjoyed the quiet moments in the Punisher story, and I appreciated a non-super muscle-y Punisher.  So, I feel like that one worked.

I had a real problem with the pin-up.  I’ll echo Kelly Thompson with my statement that I feel that putting a pin-up in here seems sort of like Marvel’s way of justifying pin-ups if women draw them, too.  When the original image has a naked She-Hulk stating “Can you BELIEVE this…??” I find myself thinking “No, I can’t believe that original image, nor can I believe that they would further it with a second one.”  The original is almost mocking the exploitation of women while the newer one is making it seem okay.  Really, She-Hulk is incapable of Jump Roping now?  Seriously?  And when she falls over, she just happens to create a giant mark in the pavement and have the jump rope hog tie her while seductively falling off her fingers?  Then, she confusedly pumps her massive hair with a look stating, “uh! How could this happen to me again!”  Opposed to She-Hulk on the cover, this image really counters the whole point of the book.

The Lucy Knisley story, as mentioned before, is perfect.

I enjoyed the visuals and the creative mix of organic with machine in the Richards kids story,but it all seemed a bit text heavy.

I was super confused by the Jean-Scott-Logan love triangle story until the end which worked, but it could have easily been expanded which I would have liked.

Final verdict:
– This comic is not worth the $5, and I feel like if it fails commercially Marvel will just have an excuse to point fingers at when we feminist-rousers raise our angry voices at the depiction of women by saying, “well, why didn’t you buy the thing that we targeted towards you.”  They don’t understand that the thing they target at us has to be good.

– So, please Marvel, put some women on some ongoing series.  Create some strong female characters who aren’t just meant to be there for people to exploit.  Because, quite frankly, DC is outpacing you with great, strong, female characters about 4:1.