Ms Marvel 2014

NaBloPoMo 2016 #14
Media Monday

Comic Review
No Spoilers

Ms. Marvel Vol. 1Ms. Marvel Vol. 1 by G. Willow Wilson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Series: Ms. Marvel 2014
Issues: 1-19

Presenting the international sensation: the all-new Ms. Marvel! Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City – until she’s suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm! When Kamala discovers the dangers of her newfound powers, she also unlocks a secret behind them. Is Kamala ready to wield these immense gifts? Or will the weight of the legacy before her prove too much to bear? Kamala has no idea, either. But she’s comin’ for you, Jersey! It’s history in the making from acclaimed writer G. Willow Wilson (Air, Cairo) and beloved artist Adrian Alphona (Runaways)!

This is a review for the entire Ms Marvel 2014 run, which is 19 total issues which I read over two days (praise the Lord for hours spent in doctor waiting rooms, I suppose) and yes, that sounds like a lot because it kind of was.

Move over Scarlet Witch, Kamala Khan might be my new second favorite super-her0 (behind Doctor Strange, of course) and she should be yours too. She’s funny, she’s energetic, and she’s just what the world needs. As much as I read, and as much as I try to read diversely, I’ve never had a Pakistani-American Muslim presented as a superhero who’s ready to save the day. (If you’ve seen this kind of character before, please tell me because I need to read it).

Kamala is funny, brave, and very relatable. She struggles to find a balance between her Muslim family and upbringing, the modern world she lives in, and the challenges of being a super hero. There are even a lot of Islamic phrases and terms used by the characters to provide an added layer of believability, but don’t worry about getting lost, whenever those terms are used they make sure to add in a definition.

The supporting characters are just as wonderful and diverse as Kamala, from her immigrant parents, to her hyper-religious brother (who is the kind of devout a Muslim should be, not an extremist which he, being a pacifist, is strongly against), her best friend Nakia, and her best friend and co-conspirator Bruno.

I don’t want to spoil any of the story line for you, but I will say that there are a few cameos from other famous marvel characters, but they never take the spotlight away from Kamala.

If comics are at all your thing, I suspect you’ll really love the new Ms. Marvel!

Advertisements

Doctor Strange: The Oath

NaNoBloMo 2016 #11
Comic Review
No Spoilers!

Doctor Strange: The OathDoctor Strange: The Oath by Brian K. Vaughan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Doctor Stephen Strange embarks on the most important paranormal investigation of his career, as he sets out to solve an attempted murder – his own! And with his most trusted friend also at death’s door, Strange turns to an unexpected corner of the Marvel Universe to recruit a new ally.

If you’re not familiar with The Oath and don’t want to read it, but you want to know what happens in it, Comic Pop has a great video that summarizes it pretty well. It may seem long at 54 minutes, but I promise that it’s completely worth it. I watched it after reading the comic and still learned from it (it is also hilarious and you will not be bored, I promise!).

I think this might be the single most famous Doctor Strange comic of all time, and thats even before Benedict Cumberbatch posed with it in a comic store (in costume!!) as you can see in the featured image. It’s technically a ‘limited run’ which means it was a planned series that was only five comics long, so its great to pick up and read in a day (which is what I did).

The Storyline

To elaborate on the synopsis without giving away any spoilers: Doctor Strange’s servant and best friend, Wong, has been diagnosed with an untreatable and inoperable brain tumor, which comes as a devastating blow to the doctor (its strongly suggested, that if it were not for the damage to his hands, he could have operated and saved Wong). Magic cannot directly be used to treat cancer, so Strange goes in search of a magical elixir that may hold the cure. Of course, once he possesses it, word gets out that he has it, and everyone wants to get their hands on the cure for cancer.

Strange is shot by one such person, a merc for hire by the name of Brigand (very original, I know) and Wong takes him to the practice of the Night Nurse, a woman by the name of Linda Carter who provides medical help to superheroes (since visiting a normal doctor would be a bad way to maintain a secret identity). When Doctor Strange still insists upon going after Brigand, despite his injury and Wong’s illness, the Night Nurse insists upon coming as well, because, “If you pop a stitch in the field, and Wong is too busy having a massive brain aneurysm to repair it, who do you think is going to help you finish your little mission?”

The three are a less than ideal team, and they are at constant odds with each other (although, more than anything it is Doctor Strange vs the Night Nurse and Wong thinking the entire matter is a waste of time and energy) and doubting in one another’s abilities. The villain is not who you, or Doctor Strange, is expecting, however his entire rogue’s gallery get a shoutout or a cameo.

But beyond having a great cast of characters, a lot of references to other comics, and a compelling storyline, the Oath also deals with a lot of difficult topics, including cancer, a doctor’s Hippocratic Oath (hence the title), and the debate of the good of the many versus the good of the few.

Overall

It one of my favorite Doctor Strange stories of all time, and one of the most popular. This is for good reason. The art is fantastic and consistent throughout, and the narrative is easy to follow and you don’t need any knowledge of Doctor Strange or the Marvel Comic Universe in order to follow along.

Without spoiling the Doctor Strange movie, I can say that there are several nods to this comic. You won’t be lost if you haven’t read it and go to see the movie of course, but I really loved finding all the little references and nods throughout the film.

Collector Corps November 2016 Unboxing

**** Don’t watch the video if you don’t want the contents spoiled!!!!!

I ordered a Marvel Collector Corps box for the first time so I thought I would film an unboxing video for the occasion!!!

This month’s theme was Doctor Strange in celebration of the upcoming film. I won’t go into specifics here on what was included, but I will say I loved all of it.

Did you order the box and did you like it as much as I did?

Thor: The World Eaters

Comic Review
Spoilers under a readmore

Thor: The World EatersThor: The World Eaters by Matt Fraction

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Genre: Comic Book
Publisher: Marvel
Series: Thor #615-621

One of my friends has been pestering me for months to get into reading comics, so I finally did, but, against her wishes, its not the X-Men that I read first. It was Thor.

I apologize X-Friend, but this was good.

A different friend of mine – you may have noticed, but all my friends are nerds – convinced me to read the kid Loki comics, and this is where he’s introduced, so this is where I started. I know very little about comics, I’ve only read a small handful of them, and most of them are by Matt Fraction (his Hawkeye is the best) and so I was pretty excited to read this.

This also takes place just after the infamous Lady Loki that everyone talks about (and let me tell you, she deserves to be talked about!) and its really quite great, and also after Ragnarok (I’m not sure if its related in any way to the upcoming movie).

Spoilers

Continue reading “Thor: The World Eaters”

Astonishing X-Men: Gifted Novelization

Astonishing X-Men: Gifted Prose NovelAstonishing X-Men: Gifted Prose Novel by Peter David

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Genre:
Publisher:
Series:

This Review does have spoilers because comics are pretty dang predictable and this is a really old one, so anyone who cares about spoilers has probably read it.

Also, Spoiler Alert: No one stays dead in comics.

The X-Men have evolved. Cyclops and Emma Frost re-form the team with the express purpose of “astonishing” the world. But when breaking news regarding the mutant gene unexpectedly hits the airwaves, will it derail their new plans before they even get started? As demand for the “mutant cure” reaches near-riot levels, the X-Men go head-to-head with the enigmatic Ord, with an unexpected ally – and some unexpected adversaries – tipping the scales Experience the blockbuster re-imagining of the X-Men like never before in this new adaptation.

My friend convinced me to get this because she wants me to get into X-Men and I have a hard time reading comics, so she decided that a novelization would be a good stepping ground. Well, it worked, and I ended up having to buy some actual comics because the sequel(s) to this are not available in book format.

Parts of it were a little predictable, but I think that might just be because my friend has told me so much about the X-Men that I knew where it was going.

Characters

Kitty Pryde aka Shadowcat

Kitty was the main character and narrator of most of the book, which made me want to strangle her. As you’ll see in my Reading Progress section down below, I put the book down for almost a month, and thats because I couldn’t get over her whining in the first chapter.

“I hate Emma Frost” “Colossus is dead” “I love Colossus” “My life was ruined by the X-Men” “Emma Frost sucks” “I want to rejoin the X-Men, but I also don’t” “My parents don’t understand” “I’m a jew” “I hate my hair” “Emma Frost doesn’t wear enough clothes and also she sucks” “I always have to save everyone” etc,etc. It felt like a lot more than one chapter.

On the bright side, she has a pet dragon – Lockheed – who does make a few appearances. And once she stopped complaining about Emma she was actually pretty interesting.

Scott Summers aka Cyclops

Jean was dead at this point, she died before it even started (I think she holds the record for most deaths of a comic character, although, don’t quote me on that), so Scott did what he does best: find either someone who looks like Jean Grey or another Telepath to bang (because, you know, telepaths can make you think they look like Jean).

Emma Frost aka White Queen

She was a good guy in this, or, at least, hanging out with the good guys. She’s still a jerk and more or less amoral, she just wants to bang Scott.

Logan Howlett aka Wolverine

His very first scene is talking about trying to get drunk and how hard it is for him, because of how distressed he was over Jean’s death. He took it worse than Scott, apparently.

Then he went to the Xavier School and beat the crap out of Cyclops (and threatened to beat up Kitty for getting in the way, but she didn’t take any of his crap).

Piotr Rasputin aka Colossus

My favorite X-Man who was dead when it all started (he and his sister had both died a little while earlier to create a cure for the “Legacy Virus” which for some reason meant people had to die to create a cure). The good news is he didn’t stay dead for long.

Beast aka Hank McCoy

I really like Hank. He made a bunch of great references, and at one point he was moping in a park and this little girl ran up to him all excited because she thought he was Sully from Monster’s Inc and he played along!

Charles Xavier aka Professor X

He wasn’t in this at all, because he was “on sabbatical”

Reading Progress

  • 05/11
    • marked as: currently-reading
    • page 5
      • 1.0%
      • Kitty just made a Harry Potter reference and now I love her.
    • page 6
      •  1.0%
      • Nope. I did not give Colossus permission to die before this even started
  • 05/29
    • page 24
      • 7.0%
      • “Scott Summers was dying” is a great way to start a chapter.
    • page 28
      • 9.0%
      • So he wasn’t actually dying, unfortunately.
    • page 39
      • 12.0%
      • Kitty’s Harry Potter joke makes her slightly less annoying. Slightly.
    • page 55
      • 18.0%
      • So how many times has Scott “loved, married, and lost” Jean now?
    • page 62
      • 20.0%
      • Hank, if Scott was ready to “pull his cranium out of his nether regions” he wouldn’t be Scott.
      • Yes that quote is exactly what Hank told Scott to do.
    • page 102 33.0%
      • “Perry the Platypus” Really Hank!?
    • page 125
      • 41.0%
      • And now a Titanic reference. Beast really must love television.
    • page 136
      • 44.0%
      • And Kitty quotes Indiana Jones!
    • page 196
      • 64.0%
      • YESSSSSSS. HES BACK.
    • page 239
      • 78.0%
      • Colossus and Nick Fury have the best banter.
      • Colossus kept making fun of Fury for being a “capitalist” and Fury kept calling him a “commie” and they both were having a blast. (Fury ended the banner by saying “man I miss the Cold War”)
    • page 255
      • 83.0%
        • FASTBALL SPECIAL
    • page 255
      • 83.0%
      • “As for Wolverine, there were many rules that he was capable of ignoring, but the laws of physics were not among them”
    • page 264
      • 86.0%
      • Another Fastball Special. Don’t the Xmen have any other tricks?
    • page 270
      • 88.0%
      • “Boy’s named ‘Rasputin,’ should have known he wouldn’t be that easy to kill.” The history nerd in me is happy. Very happy.
      • Also: can we respect the time that Illyana Rasputin (Colossus’ sister) got into a fight with Natasha Romanov. If you know Russian history you’ll know who won.
    • marked as: read

Fanboy Expo 2016

img_4364Fanboy Expo was in Knoxville from June 24-26th, so of course my best friend and I (being the huge nerds that we are) decided that we needed to get over there ourselves and check it out. For, you know, reasons.

My goal (as of Tuesday night) was to throw together a Scarlet Witch Age of Ultron cosplay from various thrift store finds (plus my own closet). I more or less succeeded. I have an entire post up detailing how I did the cosplay that I’d love for you to check out on my craft blog.img_4401

Oh, and if you’re bored and want a good laugh, check out their Costume Contest Rules, it includes gems such as “anything overly stabby” and “DO NOT BRING SILLY STRING. Period. Ever. It makes a giant mess.”

I had a lot of fun, there were so many people that I kept seeing things and getting distracted, and, to make a long story short, I know I missed a lot. The cosplays ranged from the dozens of Ghostbusters and Captain Amercias, to a handful of Legend of Zelda people, and even some X-Men!

Everyone’s reaction to my cosplay was amazing, and I saw a lot of people pointing and taking photos which absolutely made my day. There was only one strange experience (I was too confused to call it ‘bad’) where I was looking an action figure of Scarlet Witch in the comics and a man commented that I “had almost the right outfit.” I couldn’t decide if he was messing with me, a comic purist, or wanted to see more of my butt. The one downfall of my costume, was that every time I bent over I felt like it exposed a lot of skin.

Merch & Booths

You can’t go to a convention without picking up at least some merchandise.

img_4356One of the people I met was at a booth for the artist Strong Style ArtStrong Style Art, and I purchased their Vision and Scarlet Witch piece, so they took a photo of me in my cosplay with the art.You can see their Instagram post of me with the art down below in the Social Media posts.

img_4429My mother had been complaining about not having any coasters in the living room, so I bought her some while I was there: A Lord of the Rings one (the Doors of Durin), a Harry Potter one (Ravenclaw!), an X-Man one with Rogue (it says “you can’t touch this”), and Scarlet Witch (it says “witches be like”). When I bought the Scarlet Witch one I didn’t read it, I just thought it was pretty, so once I got home and read it I had a tiny heart attack because for a moment I thought it said “bitches” instead of “witches.”

I also got a ton of pins and patches (thats my weakness, pins and patches) and some other assorted jewelry (I got a necklace of Ravenclaw’s Diadem. It is lost no more!). And two beautiful, tin bookmarks that they promised me would hold up to basically anything (because we all know that pretty bookmarks are the first to go).

What to Expect at a Convention

  • Cosplayers
    • This should probably go without saying.
    • There will be people who put your costume to shame.
      • Don’t feel bad because your cosplay isn’t as ‘fancy’ as the others. Mine cost less than thirty dollars, it does not get better than that.
      • Some of them will be kids. Yes, kids decked out in super fancy cosplays.
    • Don’t be afraid to ask to photograph them or ask to get photos with them.
      • I wish I’d asked for a photo with the Professor X that I saw, or one of the Captain Americas.
    • Duplicates
      • I got lucky and was the only Scarlet Witch that I saw, but I did see several Stormtroopers, a platoon of Ghostbusters, and a whole army of Captain Americas.
        • Seriously guys, if Civil War had broken out at the convention, Team Iron Man would have been flattened, because I saw 1 Iron Man, 3 or 4 Spidermans, and then like 50 Captain Americas (and me, Scarlet Witch).
      • That doesn’t mean that one is ‘better’ than the other.
      • If you see someone cosplaying the same person as you, play cool. Ask to take a photo together. You will probably make their day.
        • Similarly, if you see someone who is dressed as someone important to your character (family, friend, love interest, etc) get a picture together. I was so hoping to see a Quicksilver or a Vision (or even Hawkeye because he and Wanda are the ultimate BrOTP).
    • Comments
      • Many of them will be supportive. Some will not. Some you won’t know what its mean to be (like the comment I got that could have been either a joke, meant to be friendly, meant to insult me for not reading comics, or been flat out inappropriate).
      • Don’t let them get to you.
    • Butts-n-Boobs
      • Some cosplays show a lot of skin. Some cover you from head to toe.
      • If something bothers you don’t look.
  • Stuff
    • I could not be more shocked by the sheer amount of stuff.
    • Ask for buisness cards. It doesn’t matter if you bought something from the person or not: it makes them happy and that way if you wish you’d bought something you can look them up.
    • Don’t expect to see the X-Men very often. I’m not sure why, but its rare (trust me I was forced to search every booth).
  • Celebrities & Guest Stars
    • Actors you thought were dead
      • Seriously. Most of the people who go to conventions like this go because their acting days are over and they have no other way to make money.
    • Actors you had forgotten about
      • Remember Pyro from the old X-Men movies? Yeah, I wish I didn’t either.
    • Voice Actors and Motion Captures
      • Theres a weird divide between “actors” (who rank first), “voice actors” (who rank second), and “motion captures” (who rank last).
        • Actors: Normal actors.
        • Voice Actor: Anyone who’s ever been the voice of a cartoon character is a voice actor. You hear them but don’t see them.
        • Motion Captures: The lady who voiced Maz Katana in Star Wars was not present, but the lady who provided the motion capture was. That means she’s the lady who put on a suit and made faces that they then turned into Maz’s expressions and gestures.
    • William Shatner
      • I think he’ll go to anything, to be completely honest.
    • Pro Wrestlers
      • Not sure why they were there, but they were.
      • They usually have skinny, blonde women with them.
    • Gymnasts and Dancers
      • I’m also not sure why they were there, but they seemed to be having fun.
  • Fan Wars
    • You thought Captain America: Civil War was brutal? Wait until you see Marvel: Comics Elitists vs Casual Fans or Comics: DC vs Marvel.
      • Don’t be the person who starts either of these wars, please. Also don’t start “the book was better than the movie” or any of that nonsense.
    • Some people who read the comics think they’re better than people who watch the movies. Some don’t. Guess which one makes the most noise?

I can’t even begin to list all the things that you’ll see at a convention. Its absurd and its so much fun. You will wish you had eyes on every side of your head so that you could keep track of everything.

Continue reading “Fanboy Expo 2016”

X-Men: Apocalypse

Media Monday:
Movie Review
Contains Spoilers

I was – unfortunately – out of town when Apocalypse first premiered (or I would have seen it much sooner!). There aren’t any spoilers in the first part of the review, and I will warn you before they are present.

Continue reading “X-Men: Apocalypse”