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Pull list for January 6 2016; Bisexual Kitty Pryde; Star Wars

January 5, 2016

My first pull list of the year. Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). I’ll try to get my reviews up tomorrow, but it may end up being Thursday. We’ll see. And this is going to be a loooong post.

I’ll go to the store for: A-Force #1, by G. Willow Wilson, Jorge Molina and I’m not sure who on colours; Bitch Planet #6, by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Taki Soma and I’m not sure of the colour artist; My Little Pony Friends Forever #24, by Georgia Ball and Jay Fosgitt; Spider-Man/Deadpool #1, by Joe Kelly, Ed McGuinness, and I’m not sure who on colours; Spider-Man 2099 #5, by Peter David, Will Sliney and Rachelle Rosenberg; Ultimates #3, by Al Ewing, Kenneth Rocafort and Dan Brown; Vision #3, by Tom King, Gabriel Walta and Jordie Bellaire; Weirdworld #2, by Sam Humphries, Mike Del Mundo and Marco D’Alfonso.

I’ll also review: Deadpool #5, by Gerry Duggan, Mike Hawthorne, Terry Pallot and Guru-eFX; Uncanny X-Men #1, by Cullen Bunn, Greg frigging Land and I’m not sure who on colours.

So that’s 8 comics I’m picking up, and 5 reviews I’ll do. So, a pretty heavy week. Way too heavy, really, given my hours at work seem to be getting cut back.

I’m most excited for Bitch Planet, Ultimates and A-Force. Bitch Planet is Bitch Planet. It’s always amazing, and it’s been too long since the last issue. The first two issues of Ultimates were great, and I’m excited for more of the big crazy ideas Ewing brings. I enjoyed the Secret Wars A-Force series pretty well, and I’m definitely interested in seeing where Wilson takes the book now. I’m also a little excited for Spider-Man/Deadpool, because it’s Kelly and McGuinness back on Deadpool. I loved the original Deadpool ongoing, by Kelly and McGuinness. It was my first Deadpool, a comic I grew up on – I was 13 when it started coming out. I loved it. It was funny, but it was also really dark and dramatic. Kelly wasn’t afraid to make Deadpool scary. So few Deadpool writers have ever been willing to do that. They always want to make him the lovable psycho. They don’t show just how scary his insanity can be.

My January pull list from Marvel: A-Force #1; Spider-Man/Deadpool #1; Spider-Man 2099 #5; Ultimates #3; Vision #3; Weirdworld #2; Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur #3; Angela #4; Captain Marvel #1; Silver Surfer #1; ANAD Avengers #3; New Avengers #5; Ms. Marvel #3; Silk #3; Hellcat #2; Squirrel Girl #4. 16 titles. I think.

Through the Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men site, I read an article recently, Kitty Queer, by Sigrid Ellis. The article is a personal examination of Ellis’ journey to realizing her sexuality, and she talks especially about Kitty’s lesbian subtext. Because, man, Claremont could really lay on the subtext with Kitty. No other writer’s really done that with her, which is a shame. And I’d like to see that explored again. More important, though, I really want a further exploration of the bond between Kitty and Illyana. They are literally Soulmates. That’s canon. I’m almost positive that term has actually been used to describe their relationship. And I’d like to see that brought back. What I want to see is a Kitty Pryde solo title, which would really be a Kitty and Illyana book. I want to see them on a road trip, having crazy adventures. And in the midst of this, we would get an exploration of their relationship. They would both confess to having had feelings for each other back when they were teens. And then they’d give dating a try. I think it’d be really cool to see. My choice would be Marguerite Bennett as writer. I loved her Years of Future Past mini during Secret Wars, she wrote good Kate and Chrissie Prydes in that book. Plus, she does write lesbian romances well. So I’d love to see her do a book where Kitty and Illyana go on a road trip, confess their love for each other, and have crazy adventures.

Also, I’d want a return to St. Searle’s the boarding school Kitty attended during the “Girl’s School From Heck” arc of Excalibur. I always kinda wished a little more had been done with it. I found it a fun arc, I’d like to see it revisited a little. And, of course, it was preceded by one of the subtextiest scenes ever, with “Courtney Ross” (Sat-YR-9 in disguise) blatantly seducing Kitty, and Kitty being OK with it. Might be fun to make it canon that they did, in fact, sleep together before Kitty was sent to St. Searle’s.

On Sunday night, I went to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And it’s a really frigging good movie. I was a bit cautious. I didn’t like the prequels. And I hated the Abrams Star Trek movies. So TFA had two marks against it already. But I’d heard a lot of good things about it, so I went to see it. (A 10pm showing on a Sunday night. Because I don’t like crowds.) And man, it’s great. It’s roughly as good as everyone’s been saying. Rey, Finn and Poe are all great characters. They make for great leads. And I do love that the three leads are a woman, a black guy and a Latino guy. Diversity is always something I like to see. And all three are great characters, complex and compelling. Complaints about Rey being a “Mary Sue” are stupid, not just for the misogyny in ignoring similar traits in male characters, but also because it’s straight-up wrong. She’s a deep and flawed character. All her skills are justified, but she’s not perfect, and she’s just as capable of screwing up as any other character in the movie. She’s awesome. I can also definitely see where Finn/Poe shippers come from. I definitely got the impression of Poe having a thing for Finn, at the very least. It really was played as a romance more than a bromance. And it’s actually more fun that way. Oh! And speaking of diversity! Holy shit was this movie diverse! Just casual diversity. All sorts of extras and minor characters who were women or minorities, not because they had to be, but because, hey! Why not! That’s amazing. Abrams deserves huge credit for that. I mean, it would’ve been so easy to just fill the movie with white people. Every other movie does that. But we got a female Stormtrooper commander. We got an Asian woman as part of the Rebel flight squadron. Just all sorts of casual diversity like that.

Another good thing about the characters is that they’re very distinct. They’re not direct analogues of anyone from the original trilogy. Rey basically fills the Luke role, as the Chosen One, but she’s not looking for big adventure, and when given a choice, she rejects The Call. She’s also less whiny than Luke, and a more interesting character in general. Finn is arguably the Han role, as someone who doesn’t want to be a hero, who wants to be selfish and run away, but whose better nature ultimately gets the better of him. Except unlike Han, he’s not a scoundrel. He’s not a rogue who tries to cheat people. He’s a genuinely good guy who’s simply scared. And then Poe kinda fills the Leia role, funnily enough, as a character who’s dedicated to the Rebellion, and who initially needs to be rescued but then proves to be a badass. (They both even put important information inside a droid to get it to the Rebels!) Also, they’re both pretty clearly in love with the second lead. Leia was clearly in love with Han, Poe is clearly in love with Finn. So there are some similarities, but there are even more differences, which is really good. It would’ve been easy to make them analogues of the characters from the original trilogy, but it also would have been a mistake, and they’re very interesting and compelling as they are.

The Smarmy Commander Guy is maybe a little too smarmy. And I’m not sure how I feel about the Big Bad basically being Giant Gollum. But Kylo Ren was neat as a bad guy. He showed a lot of inner conflict, and the actor did a solid job in the role. There were some elements that were a little too predictable, where you could tell well in advance, “Oh, yeah, this is going to happen.” A major emotional beat lost some of its punch specifically because it was so predictable. The movie could get maybe a little fan-service-y at times, with little nods and winks to the original trilogy. But hell, I was fine with them. I’m not going to complain about Admiral Ackbar being there, and at least they didn’t go so far as to have him shout “It’s a trap!” (Well, it looked like Ackbar, anyway. Maybe it was another Rebel leader who belonged to the same race.)

So, yeah, I really enjoyed The Force Awakens. It has me excited for more Star Wars movies. Imagine that.

Speaking of movies! I recently watched some Studio Ghibli movies. Last Tuesday, I watched The Secret World of Arrietty. I talked about it in my last review post on Wednesday. I found it a delightful, wonderful, magical movie. Very much a Miyazaki film. On Wednesday, I watched When Marnie Was There, and then on Thursday, I re-watched Spirited Away. It’s my third or fourth time watching it, and it’s as magical and wonderful and delightful as the first time. It really is such a brilliant, amazing movie, and definitely something worth watching. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

But I want to talk a little about When Marnie Was There. It’s not a Miyazaki movie, which means none of the whimsy and delight. But it’s a great movie. It has certain Gothic elements to it. I won’t spoil the big plot twist, though part of it is very obvious early on. Basically, the movie is about a young girl, a depressed loner, who’s sent out to the country and makes friends with another young girl. And there’s some definite weirdness. But more than that, there’s a whole lot of emotional stuff. This is a movie that gets ridiculously sad at times. It is full of emotional gut-punches. Like, it hits a part where it just gets sadder and sadder and sadder. And it’s really good. I loved it.

I don’t normally enjoy end credit songs in anime, at least when they have lyrics. Usually, they’re cheesy and cloying. But Marnie has an amazing end credits song: Fine On the Outside, by Priscilla Ahn.

It’s a really pretty song, very sad. And it hits me really hard. I relate to it so damn much. I’ve always been someone who never had many friends. And when you grow up feeling alone, you convince yourself that you like being alone. There’s a double meaning to the line of being fine on the outside. You tell yourself, and you tell other people, that you’re fine being outside of various social groups. But there’s also the second meaning, that you’re presenting a mask of being OK, while inside, you’re really not. And then that chorus. “Would you cry if I died? Would you remember my face?” That is bleak. But it’s the kind of thing you think about when you’re alone. Would anyone actually care if I wasn’t around any more? It’s a really, really bad thought. It’s a dangerous thought to have. It leads to depression, and to just giving up on life. And that is the kind of thing I continue to struggle with. Right now, I’m not sure how many people would notice if I disappeared. My mom, obviously. She’d be sad. My brother would be sad. I have a friend I almost never see, because she lives in Ottawa, but we do text, so I’m sure she’d be sad. Other than that? I don’t know. I’m not sure how many of the people at work would remember me. If my blog suddenly stopped updating, how many people would really notice?

When I get these thoughts, I do tell myself that, yes, there would be people who’d notice. I don’t have a lot of readers, but I do have a few regulars, and if I went a couple weeks without updating, I’m pretty sure they’d notice it, and would wonder what happened. If I stopped showing up at work, there’d be a few people who’d think, “Hey, I haven’t seen him in a while.” Then the depressed voice says those people would move on and not think about me again. Because the depressed voice is really good at being a jerk and telling me I’m worthless. There are times when it’s really hard to ignore that voice. (Fun side note: Being told you’re not worthless, that people care about you, that things are OK? Not actually helpful. I’m not actually fishing for sympathy with this rambling monologue. It just feels nice, once in a while, to confess to these feelings. Also, I was mostly just wanting to talk about how much I love that song, and I just kinda got onto a digression. Which I’m wont to do. So I appreciate in advance any words of kindness. Just know that they’re ultimately superfluous.)

Anyway! That’s what the song makes me think of. Every time I listen to it, it hits me so damn hard. It’s so perfect. It just perfectly captures a certain feeling. That feeling of familiar loneliness. It’s beautifully sad, and so beautifully layered. It’s also just a really pretty song. But this is one of my favourite songs right now. I love it so much. Admittedly, I love it in almost a bit of a self-loathing way, as one of those things that makes me feel really sad and makes me kinda want to cry. But still, I really, really love it.

My schedule for this week: 11:45-8:15 tomorrow, 5:45-10:15 Friday, 9:15-5:45 Sunday, 3:45-9:15 Monday, 10-6 Tuesday. Next pull list on Tuesday, posts on Thursday and Saturday.

And that’s all I’ve got to say this week.

  1. Jes permalink

    What a beautiful song. Thank you for sharing.

  2. I completely agree with you on Rey not being a Mary Sue. I even wrote a rather long blog post about it earlier this week. But what really makes her a great female character is that you could replace her with a man and not change anything about the story, yet at the same time, she feels like a young woman. I’m wondering if that scares some people.

    If you’re a man who can’t enjoy a competent and well-written female character, then, well … it suggests you have some insecurities.

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