Pull list for May 11 2016
I’ll go to the store for: All-New All Different Avengers #9, by Mark Waid, Adam Kubert and Dave McCaig; Black Panther #2, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Brian Stelfreeze and Laura Martin; My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic #42, by Katie Cook and Andy Price; Silk #8, by Robbie Thompson, Tana Ford and Ian Herring; Ultimates #7, by Al Ewing, Kenneth Rocafort and Dan Brown; Vision #7, by Tom King, Michael Walsh and Jordie Bellaire.
I’ll also review: All-New X-Men #9, by Dennis Hopeless, Mark Bagley, Andrew Hennessy and Nolan Woodard; Deadpool #11, by Gerry Duggan, Matteo Lolli and Ruth Redmond.
So that’s 6 comics I’m picking up, and at least two reviews.
I’m excited for Black Panther, Ultimates and Vision. Black Panther got off to a fantastic start, with its debut issue, and I’m really eager to see where Coates and Stelfreeze take the story. Ultimates is an awesome high-concept series, and it’s going to be great seeing what insanity Ewing and Rocafort throw at us next. It’s bound to be crazy and great. And Vision is just a brilliant series and if you’re not reading it, you’re wrong. And this next issue is all about the romance between Vision and Scarlet Witch, so it should be really interesting and heartbreaking.
I haven’t seen Civil War yet. Not sure when I’ll be able to get around to it. I always dislike going to the theatre, to be honest. It’s so expensive. I might be going with a friend later in the month. We’ll see. It’ll probably be one of only two movies I go to this year. I’m boycotting Dr. Strange, of course, because whitewashing the Ancient One was bullshit, no matter what excuse anyone wants to toss around for it. None of the X-Men films have impressed me enough for me to want to go the theatre for Apocalypse. There’s no frigging way I’m paying theatre prices for the new Star Trek movie. I hate that goddamn reboot universe. I don’t really care much about the new Ghostbusters. I might go to Rogue One, though. The Force Awakens was fantastic, and this new one, while not directed by Abrams, looks like it might still have some of the elements that made that movie so great. Things like a female protagonist, and pretty good diversity. And, you know, being a well-made movie with good dialogue and exciting action.
I wish I had someone I could watch Studio Ghibli movies with. I’d love to re-watch them all, but I don’t want to watch them by myself. They’re just a more enjoyable experience with someone, I feel.
I got my X-Plain the X-Men t-shirt today. I doubt I’ll wear it very often. I seldom wear shirts with anything on them. Speaking of X-Plain the X-Men, they’ve been doing Inferno lately. And I mentioned that, when I see Goblin Queen, I always read it to the tune of “Dancing Queen.” Which means that everyone who reads me say this now also hears it like that.
So, I should talk a bit about the FCBD Civil War II comic. I was . . . not impressed. For one thing, why does Thanos have guns? Since when has Thanos used guns? I do like that Dazzler was one of the heavy hitters brought to fight him, though given he’s Thanos, I would’ve expected a much bigger team. In general, the story wasn’t good. Some bad dialogue, some stupid choices. The event itself might still be good. But this kick-off was, frankly, crap.
So, the other day, Kevin Feige gave an interview where he said Marvel was “creatively and emotionally committed” to a Black Widow solo movie. People got excited about this, taking it as proof that Marvel is going to do a Black Widow movie. But the thing is, he hasn’t said anything he hasn’t said before. Marvel’s been talking for years about thinking a Black Widow movie would be great. This is more of that. It’s more of the same “we want to but timing!” crap they’ve used for so long. “Oh, we want to have female-led movies, but it’s a timing thing!” “Oh, we want to have minority-led movies, but it’s a timing thing!” As though they’re not the ones who decide the frigging timing in the first place! If they really wanted a Black Widow movie, if it was something that was a top priority for them, it would’ve happened already. The reason it hasn’t is because she wasn’t a top priority. A whole lot of white dudes were higher priorities. So let’s not pretend that Feige’s comments are some kind of big game-changer. They’re still doing an absolute shit job at putting women in leading roles, and they’re going to have to do a lot more work to prove their supposed dedication to diversity. Also, they really have to get better at including women of colour. Civil War is, apparently, the first Marvel movie to have a black woman in a notable speaking role. That is pathetic. Their movies have done a shit job when it comes to women of colour, and that needs to change. So while I wouldn’t object to a Black Widow movie, I’d much rather they do Monica Rambeau, instead. Or Miss America. Or another woman of colour. Let’s see them in leading roles.
In that same interview, Feige denied that whitewashing the Ancient One had anything to do with worries over the Chinese market. He says it was entirely a creative decision. I guess my question to him would be: How the helldo you justify whitewashing as a creative decision? You know how you avoid stereotypes, Feige? With good fucking writing, you asshole. Not by just shrugging and saying, “Screw it, let’s just cast a white person.” And honestly, even if they were concerned about the Chinese market, there were ways around it other than whitewashing. Make the Ancient One Chinese, no one would care. Or go with Vietname. Cambodian. Hell, make the Ancient One Indian. But not fucking white. That is just offensive and insulting. I sincerely hope Dr. Strange is the least successful of any of Marvel’s movies.
I finished Steampunk World. My review:
Some anthologies can be hit or miss. This one was all hit. The stories are all stellar. They provide insight into cultures from around the world, while also being compelling stories. The steampunk elements are prominent to varying degrees, but the primary focus in all stories is on characterization and narrative. I can’t really pick any standout stories, because they’re almost all standouts, and the ones that aren’t are still great. One thing that’s interesting: In addition to all the racial and cultural diversity, most of the stories also have female protagonists. Which is nice. Of course, a lot also had female writers, which is even better, and the writers do all come from around the world, which is the whole point of this anthology.
If you’re interested at all in steampunk, you should really read this. If you’re interested in diversity in fiction, you should read this. If you’re interested in well-written and compelling short stories, you should read this. Really, you should just read this.
This really was a great book. I highly recommend it. That puts me now at 20 books read this year. Up next: One of the Cautionary Fables & Fairy Tales, I’m thinking. Probably the most recent version, Asia, which has some creators I love. Randy Milholland of Something Positive, Molly “Jakface” Němeček, Gene Luen Yang, and most important, Meredith McClaren. Who I will gush over every chance I get, because she is so amazing you guys. Actually, wait! Africa has McClaren, as well as Carla Speed McNeil and the awesome Faith Erin Hicks! Agh! No, I’m going with Asia first. It’s the most recent, and it’s the one I backed on Kickstarter, so it’s the one I’ll read. And I’ll probably still read the other two this month, as well. I might also try to read Laura, by Guillem March. I just received that one a few days ago, so it’d be nice if I could read it this month.
Random note! I talked about this on Twitter yesterday. You know the song “You Are My Sunshine.” You’ve heard the chorus. You probably haven’t heard anything beyond the chorus, though. For example: “I dreamed I held you/In my arms/When I awoke dear/I was mistaken and I hung my head and cried.” Or how about: “But now you’ve left me and love another/You have shattered all of my dreams.” Yeah. It’s not quite the love song we all thought it was. Turns out it’s actually kind of a heartbreak song. Which is mind-blowing, isn’t it? It’s weird, discovering that such an omnipresent song doesn’t mean what we think it does. I figured it out when I listened to this version of the song by Bent Knee:
It’s a take that’s different from any I’d ever heard, which grabbed my attention, and got me to actually listen. And yeah. Way less upbeat than I thought.
My schedule for the week: 3:45-9:30 tomorrow, 2:45-11:15 Friday, 1:15-9:45 Sunday, 4:30-11:15 Monday. And 10:30-7 next Wednesday. So I’ll have posts Thursday, Saturday and Tuesday. Thursday will finish off Fall of the Mutants! Woot! I’ll also talk about several Fall of the Mutant tie-ins.
And that’s all I’ve got for this week.