Frost Fight!

Media Monday
Movie Review with minor spoilers
The Twelve Days of Christmas!!

First off: its for kids and its based on comics, so its gonna be super predictable, so I don’t mind sharing most of the plot with you. If that bothers you, I’ll see you later!


Frost Fight, for those of you not in the know, is a Marvel animated film – I believe it happens in the same universe as Avengers Assemble and The Ultimate Spiderman – about Loki trying to kidnap Santa Claus.

Yes, that Santa Claus.

I’ll let that sink in for a sec.

Now that its (hopefully) sunk in exactly what I’m talking about and how wild that is, I’ll let it get a bit more wild: Santa is like the most powerful dude ever and Loki wants his power to mess with spacetime (I think the ability to mess with space time basically makes him faster than Quicksilver). It gets weirder, too: While Captain America, Iron Man, Captain Marvel, and most of the Avengers are off trying to save the world from Loki, Thor and Hulk are trying to come up with a plan of action in case they can’t save Christmas. So of course, they get some fake reindeer, tie them to a sled, and tie Thor to the front. That should work.

I am not making any of this up.

Characters

The entire thing is basically a continuation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which means its got all the same characters. However, its not a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so it has more characters and seems to be closer to the comics in terms of costuming (except, oddly enough, Hawkeye).

Good Guys

  • Captain America
  • Iron Man
  • Hulk
    • He’s always the Hulk, hes never Bruce Banner for some reason.
  • Black Widow
  • Hawkeye
    • As I mentioned, Hawkeye is not wearing his cool purple costume from the comics, instead its much closer to the one in the movies which is sad.
  • Captain Marvel
  • Thor
    • Thor is just having way to much fun.
  • Reptil
    • Don’t even talk to me about this guy. His super power is literally turning random parts of his body into random dinosaurs. He did a T-Rex head at one point and then pterodactyl arms.

Bad Guys

  • Loki
  • Ymir
    • Its the Frost Giant dude who is like, the father of all Frost Giants in Norse Mythology. And he still lets Loki boss him around.

Others

  • Groot
  • Rocket Racoon
  • Jolnir/Santa
  • Mrs. Claus
  • Some random Light Elves

Overall

It was actually much better than I was expecting, and I liked it more than I thought I would. Yes it was unbelievably weird and pretty stupid, but it was also hilariously funny and had a moral without that taking over the focus of the movie. It was much less cheesy than most children’s movies with morals (particularly Christmas ones) and focused more on the story telling aspect.

I think anyone who likes Marvel comics could and would enjoy this if they would just let themselves.

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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!

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.

Happy Halloween

Holiday Post

That’s me in the featured image! Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme! I made the entire costume myself (although, its not complete in that image, I left one of the belts at home by mistake) and you can read more about it on my crafting blog.

Halloween is hands down one of the best holidays of the year, and I always have a great deal of fun creating my costume and going to parties. I don’t trick-or-treat very often, its not very popular in my neighborhood, but I do get into the rest of it, like scary(ish) books and movies and eating candy!

What are you doing for halloween this year? Have you read any good spooky stories?

Favorited Haunted Books

The Asylum Series by Madeleine Roux

This is actually a series, which I have not read all of because it was too scary for me!! Don’t get me wrong, it is a great book, I’m just easy to scare. My mother, an avid Stephen King fan, has read the entire series and loves them!!

The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde

This is possibly my all-time favorite ghost story, and if you want a good movie, there’s an adaptation where the ghost is played by none other than Sir Patrick Stewart!!

The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo

This is set in China, and is a fascinating look into spirit marriages, a real custom (though rarely practiced) of marrying a living person to a spirit.

Read my review

Gilda Joyce Series by Jennifer Allison

This is a series for young readers, which I first read in middle school, but I recently read some of the later books and it still holds up. Its not exactly scary, but there are paranormal events, so if you want a ghost story, but don’t want to be terrified, check this!

The Granny Curse and Other Ghosts and Legends from East Tennessee by Randy Russell & Janet Barnett

This is one of my books of real life ghost stories, because, yes I do believe in ghosts, I’ve seen them (more below). I got this while visiting Cades Cove, an area in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Its a really interesting book, if you’re into that kind of thing.

The Haunted Mysteries Series by Chris Grabenstein

Best haunted book series ever, hands down. Yes it is a bit scary – no where near as bad as Asylum, but more so than Gilda Joyce – and each book is progressively a bit more creepy than the last, but the humor and the writing style more than balances it out even for those who don’t like ghost stories.

Read my review of book one

The Secret of Laurel Oaks by Lois Ruby

This is loosely based on a true story of a haunted plantation house, so if real ghosts are your thing, you should totally check this out!!

We Hear the Dead by Dianne K. Salerni

This is based on the Fox Sisters, the two girls who single-handedly started Spiritualism (aka: visiting a medium to talk to the dead). Although they later admitted to faking it, many of the other mediums that they inspired have never been proven false. What do you think?

Read my review

The World’s Most Haunted Places: From the Secret Files of Ghostvillage.com by Jeff Belanger

Yes I really love real-life hauntings. This one covers the most haunted places in the world, and its wonderful if you love wacky things. If you like sleeping at night, maybe not so much.

You believe in ghosts?

Yes, I’ve seen/interacted with three to date.

I saw a black woman dressed in civil war era clothes, holding a baby walking through a local cemetery, I thought she was a reenacting something at first, so I looked around to see if there were other people in costumes. When I realized she was the only one I looked back and she was gone.

I attended forensics class that used real

I saw my grandmother not long after she died. It was dark and we were at a playground; I was on the swing set and my mother was walking laps on the track. My grandmother used to walk with us sometimes, so when I looked over and saw a glowing, white figure walking with my mother I didn’t think twice. I’m not sure why I knew it was my grandmother, other than it was the right height, but I’ve never doubted it was her. I didn’t tell my mother about the event until months later, she was understandably a little freaked out that I saw something following her and didn’t tell her. My responce was that, why should I worry? It was just grandma.

I’m not sure what this counts as, so I didn’t count it in my total, but a friend of mine’s younger sister (she was three at the time) took a photo of a ghost that can only been seen on the preview of the image. If you open it to full size, the apparition vanishes. To make the story even stranger, the phone was locked and out of the toddler’s reach, but she still managed to get it and take the photo.

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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?

Doctor Strange Animated Movie

Media Monday
Movie Review
Spoilers?

I’m going to start this review by saying, if you know nothing at all about Doctor Strange and you want to go into the upcoming MCU movie that way, you probably shouldn’t read this review. Most notably, his arch-nemesis is mentioned in this, and he is scheduled to be in the upcoming movie, however, they’ve not addressed that in the trailers.

Other than that note, this shouldn’t have any spoilers, because the storyline seems to be completely different.


I really love Doctor Strange, he’s probably (okay, definitely) my favorite Marvel Super Hero and I’ve been reading a lot of his comics lately. This movie is, if you’re looking for a way to get into the character, the best place to start.

The Pros

Possibly the best thing about this movie, was their interpretation of Doctor Strange’s best friend Wong. In the comics, Wong is little more than Doctor Strange’s servant (although, more recent comics, The Oath and Doctor Strange 2015 in particular have developed their friendship and given Wong a bit of spotlight), however, this movie is one of the first to expand upon that. The character in the MCU is supposed to be heavily influenced by that.

Mordo, Strange’s nemesis is also pretty well done, and while cliche, isn’t as cliche as he is in most of the comics. Dormammu, the main villain of the movie who is probably one of the most dangerous Marvel villains ever, is also well done and surprisingly frightening for a kid’s movie.

The animation itself is great, and reminds me of anime, although, with its own distinct style. Doctor Strange looks fantastic (I really love his hair, okay?), in fact, all of the characters do as well as the scenery. The magic is not only well animated, but also well explained and seems to have believable limits.

The Cons

I rarely have an entire section of a review of things I didn’t like, but this one really needed that, because there is one thing that this movie got horribly, horribly wrong.

Doctor Strange heals his hands.

I know that seems like a strange (see what I did there) thing to get hung up over, but I’ll explain why its such a big deal. Doctor Strange has never healed his hands in the comics. Never. Not once. It’s actually a huge part of his character and one of the reasons I love him so much. He’s not perfect, in fact, he’s proof that you don’t have to be a perfect, healthy person in order to make a difference.

Alright, its technically a lie to say he never heals his hands, but the comic that he did that in is considered non-canon so it doesn’t count.

He also, fun fact, suffers from PTSD (which wasn’t covered at all in this movie, but because its a kid’s movie, I’ll give it a pass) and I really hope that they’ll cover that in the MCU. As someone who has recently been told may be suffering from PTSD this means a great deal to be.

The Cloak of Levitation (the red one that he’s always shown as wearing) is never once shown to be sentient. It very much has a personality in the comics and it looks as though it will in the movie, so its a bit sad that the kid’s movie didn’t take the time to add in the character.

Overall

I do love this movie, and I will almost definitely watch it again before I go see the movie in November (and yes, I promise I will be reviewing that and I will be in costume). If you’re interested in Doctor Strange, and, if you read this far into the review I presume you are, you should consider watching it. Or if you’re afraid you’ll be completely lost in what is shaping up to be the trippiest movie in the MCU this will teach you the main players.

Thor

 Media Monday:
Movie Review
Movie was live tweeted

Up until now, I’d only seen Thor once (way back when Netflix had it) and only because it had Natalie Portman in it and I loved her from Star Wars (I mean, I watched The Avengers for the Lord of the Rings joke, sooo). So I decided to watch it again – after seeing Sif in the first season of Agents of Shield and remembering why I loved her so much – so I grabbed it on iTunes and watched it one evening when I didn’t have to go to work when their power was out.

There are two kinds of people out there I suppose: those who watch this movie for the men (Thor or Loki) and those who watch it for the women. I’m in the later group, what about you?

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