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February 16, 2015

I’m off Wednesday. So I’ll do my reviews.

I’ll go to the store for: Bitch Planet #3, by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Robert Wilson IV; Captain America and the Mighty Avengers #5, by Al Ewing and Iban Soria; Loki Agent of Asgard #11, by Al Ewing and Lee Garbett; Ms. Marvel #12, by G. Willow Wilson and Elmo Bondac; My Little Pony Friends Forever #14, by Jeremy Whitley and Agnes Garbowska; Rocket Raccoon #8, by Skottie Young and Filipe Andrade; She-Hulk #12, by Charles Soule and Javier Pulido; Silk #1, by Robbie Thompson and Stacey Lee; Silver Surfer #9, by Dan Slott and Mike Allred; Uncanny X-Men #31, by Brian Bendis and Chris Bachalo.

I’ll also review: Legendary Star-Lord #9, by Sam Humphries and Paco Medina; Magneto #15, by Cullen Bunn and Gabriel Walta; Storm #8, by Greg Pak and Al Barrionuevo; Wolverines #7, by Ray Fawkes and Andy Clarke.

So that’s ten goddam comics I’m picking up, and 8 reviews. Holy hell. This is a heavy-ass week.

I’m most looking forward to Bitch Planet and Ms. Marvel. Obviously. I mean, come on. Bitch Planet’s awesome, and Ms. Marvel, as I’ve said so many times, is one of the most amazing comics I have ever read. But this week’s especially good! Bitch Planet is all about Penny Rolle, who is awesome, so that’s going to be great. And Ms. Marvel will be a Valentine’s Day issue that guest stars Loki and has Kamala developing a crush! So yay! I’m also excited for Silver Surfer, which never fails to be enjoyable. And She-Hulk comes to a close. I’m sad, but I’m also excited to see how Soule ends it. And I’m really hoping UXM finally ends the Malloy arc. This whole thing started as an Original Sin tie-in. Does anyone still remember Original Sin? Neither do I. Bleh. I decided to pick up Silk #1, because damn, Stacey Lee draws some pretty pictures. Plus, it’s a solo starring a woman of colour. Always nice to show some support for those.

So. Week-old news to get to. I said I’d talk about Spider-Man joining the MCU, and I’m going to. As I said, I’m not happy. This seems to be the minority opinion, but I don’t like this development. I was fine with Spider-Man not being in the MCU. Here’s the thing: Spider-Man is easy. He’s a popular character. Everyone knows who he is, and everyone loves him. So a Spider-Man movie has a fairly large automatic audience, regardless of its quality. The same situation applies to the X-Men, Batman and Superman: They have enough name recognition that people will go to watch their movies even if they suck. None of the characters Marvel Studios owns actually has that. They don’t have the name recognition. This forces Marvel to be smart about how their movies are made. They need to work very, very hard, and this hard work shows in their movies being consistently high-quality. Add in Spider-Man, and there’s a risk of them phoning it in (especially since Sony still has creative control).

I actually have another major objection: The new Spider-Man movie is pushing back four other movies. Thor 3, Black Panther, Captain Marvel and Inhumans have all been pushed back. It’s frustrating that Black Panther and Captain Marvel are being bumped for yet another white guy. (Also, if he’s in other MCU movies, will he be taking time away from those two?) This is some hardcore bullshit right there. The only way Marvel could get me excited about Spider-Man in the MCU is if they make it Miles Morales. That would be something to be really excited about. But it’s also something that won’t happen. Miles Morales will never get his own movie, because studios have made it pretty clear that they don’t like minority-led blockbusters. I mean, Black Panther is now going to be the 19th Marvel Studios film. They made 18 movies about white guys before they could get around to one movie about a black guy. That’s not a strong show of support for diverse leads. Going with Miles Morales as Spider-Man would actually be a strong show of support for diversity. It would also be more interesting a story. We’ve had five movies about Peter Parker. What more can be said with him, at this point? Why not try someone new? Someone different?

Hell, if we can’t get Miles Morales, how about at least making Peter Parker bisexual? It would at least be something. I get that the cowardice of movie studios means Spider-Man has to hook up with a woman, but that doesn’t mean he can’t have crushes on guys. Why not make it so he has a crush on Flash, and Flash finds out, and that’s what causes Flash to start bullying Peter? It’s interesting and topical! And bisexuals tend to suffer a lot of erasure in fiction, so having Spider-Man himself identify as bisexual in a movie would be a big deal to the bisexual community.

But, of course, it won’t happen. Neither Marvel Studios nor Sony would ever have the courage to do something like that. They are cowards. Straight-up cowards. We’re talking about people who are taking ten years to get one minority-led movie and one female-led movie. Out of the first 20 Marvel movies, only two of them don’t have white male leads. That, to be blunt, is pathetic. So I have absolutely no reason to believe they’re going to do anything the least bit different with Spider-Man. Frankly, I’m thinking we’ll be lucky if we get a love interest that passes the Sexy Lamp Test. The Sexy Lamp Test, if you’ve never heard of it, was something Kelly Sue DeConnick came up with. It’s this: “If you can take out a female character and replace her with a sexy lamp, you’re a fucking hack.” The Raimi Spider-Man trilogy failed this test horribly. Mary Jane, in those movies, was just insulting. She had no agency, no real personality, she was only there for Spider-Man to pine over and rescue every few minutes. (He had to rescue her three times in the first movie. Three times in one movie. Stupid.) Gwen Stacy, in the Amazing movies, was a fantastic character, and is arguably the reason there’s a Spider-Gwen series coming up. In the first one, at least, she had real agency, helped to save the day, and at no point did she actually need to be rescued. (I haven’t seen the second one yet, so I can’t really comment on how she came across there.) The MCU has a somewhat mixed record with love interest characters, so it’s impossible to tell what direction they’ll go with Spider-Man’s love interest in the new movie. Yet another thing that should blunt some of the enthusiasm for it.

I finished reading the Marvel 75 Years of Cover Art book I got for Christmas. It’s OK. Kinda cool. There are some obvious choices. There are some really cool covers. There’s also a few that I found questionable, where I wasn’t sure why they were included, since they didn’t actually look all that great. There were some that, while I understood why they were included, I was still annoyed, because ugh. Some Greg Land covers, for instance, or a few ’90s covers with anatomically impossible women (Jim Lee!). So, yeah, some choices I didn’t like. There were also some glaring omissions – the lack of any covers from the previous volume of Captain Marvel annoyed me. There were a few covers that deserved to be in there. Interestingly, Rob Liefeld didn’t have any covers included, despite having been a hugely important artist in the ’90s. I’m not saying I mind – his work was hideous, and I have no idea how anyone ever actually thought it was great – I just find it interesting. Also, a couple of the covers were actually misattributed. For example, the famous Phoenix Endsong cover that Greg Land traced from a Pamela Anderson photo, was attributed to Greg Horn. Now, Greg Horn is another artist whose work I generally find sexualizes women to an annoying degree, so hey, confusing one crap artist with another is understandable, but just the same, Greg Land’s name was on the damned cover. I don’t like when books like this have errors in them. Regardless, overall, I found it an OK book. It does now put me at 5 books finished so far this year, so I’m ahead of my schedule of 24 books for the year. I’m most of the way through Nanowhere, so I’ll easily finish that this month, and then I’ll read Ages of the X-Men, because come on, it’s essays about the X-Men, of course I’m going to read it.

My work schedule this week is 6-10 Friday, 10:30-3 Sunday, 7-11:30 Tuesday. Yeah, not a lot of hours. They’ve cut just about everyone’s hours. Which means, of course, that there’s actually pretty much always too few cashes open, leading to long lines all day long. In regards to this blog, however, it means I’ll do posts Thursday, Saturday and Monday, definitely. I may or may not do posts on other days. My next pull list will probably be Tuesday. I’ll have May’s solicits to talk about then, which will mostly be Secret Wars stuff. So that should be not the least bit exciting to me. Oh well.

On Valentine’s Day, I ate Easter chocolate. I worked from 10-2, and it was crazy busy. Just ridiculously busy. Wal-Mart started putting out some of the Easter chocolate on Friday, and even more on Saturday, so I bought some and ate some, because hey, if it’s there, I’ll eat it. I’m probably going to eat so damned much chocolate over the next couple months. It’s going to be bad. I’m going to love it.

I should try to watch some movies soon. I need to watch My Little Pony Rainbow Rocks, of course. I also need to watch Big Hero Six. And I should watch Amazing Spider-Man 2. I’ll try to watch at least one of those this week.

That’s all I’ve got.

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One Comment
  1. It seems crazy to me that last week was pretty light new-book-wise and this week is so heavy; just one of those weird publishing quirks I guess!

    I’m with you on the Spider-Man news; it is cool, but it bums me out a lot that Black Panther and Captain Marvel are getting kicked down the road. I doubt that we’ll get to see a Miles Morales Spidey, but I’m still hoping that we might get a black Peter Parker. Unlikely, but possible.

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