Posts Tagged ‘comics’

I have a friend who is an extreme movie-goer.  Loves movies.  Loves reviewing them.  Does not have a blog.  One of his common complaints is that there’s just too many superhero movies, and too many of them are flops for the “genre” to still be considered legitimate and not beaten to a pulp.  He says, what gives?  Suicide Squad was maybe decent at best.  Batman VS Superman is something we don’t talk about (literally never going to review that movie), the X-Men movies are slowly deteriorating, etc.  Now, this is his argument – it is not mine.  The last few Spider-Man movies had split personalities, with some people adoring them and some others wanting to puncture their eardrums, although I don’t remember them getting particularly high reviews.  I fall into the latter category to the extent where I also wanted to gouge my eyes out.

So, why do we need so many of them? If you don’t like even a slight mention of politics, look away now.  Move your mouse, have it hover the X button, press it, and get up and walk away.  Don’t have No Chill.  Although I hate to tell you – superhero movies very often get political.  X-Men can be (mutant registry, hello?).  Captain America can be.  America as in *AMERICA* (THE COUNTRY, AMERICA).  Batman can be.  The comics can be even more so.

Image result for captain america punching hitler

Real subtle.

Superheroes show us that (^), even when it’s not deliberate.  Superheroes show us Captain America punching Hitler.  Superheroes show us the X-Men fighting to not be put on a “list of mutants” type deal.  Superheroes show us alien Superman isn’t all that different except he’s really buff.  In the current divisive political climate, regardless  of what you think, superheroes show us that their situations aren’t actually all that different from ours.  And you know what?  We need to see that.  We need to be reminded to be everyday heroes.  We need to be reminded how the struggles truly are similar in some respects, and what we can do about it.  Sure, we aren’t rich and have a personal butler, and we don’t have superhuman serum, but we have something.  We have the power to organize, to fight back, and to argue with those in power.  We have the power to resist, even if it ends without a success.

With American politics being so shitty, my advice is to take solace in the fictional who undoubtedly harbor more power than we do.  Each movie, each comic, each character – has a statement to bring to the table.  Comic books are also a medium that do not shy from political commentary.  That’s why we still need superhero movies.  They can say things to a mass group of people, masked in a playful cloth.  They can comment – hell, their actors can also comment – unapologetically and brutally, but just subtle enough to not alienate.  We need them because, despite all this, they still bring people together.  But, they make them talk, too.

But why superheroes?  Can’t we just make a CIA movie?

No.  Superheroes give people hope.  Superheroes are people we look up to.  Superheroes are something bigger than all of us and everything we know if they were real.  You can fire a CIA agent.  A cop.  An FBI agent.  A masked vigilante can’t be fired.  They’re controlled by their morals and their power.  Since when did you look at a CIA agent and feel a sense of hope?

My advice is to harness that power for what you believe in.

But, just like divisive superhero movies – another takeaway – don’t forget who your friends are, even if you disagree with them.  Speak softly and carry a big stick.

But now, more than ever, we should be looking to them.

I’m going to just make out with my screen now.

I have missed this blog more than you have missed your extended family at Christmas.  I have missed this blog more than *my* extended family at Christmas.

What gives?

Well, the truth is, I am dating somebody.  While you have no business in knowing anything else, just know that blogging was really hard between school, two jobs (one seasonal, but getting another), a significant other, a dying cat (my cat died), and a fish tank that needed weekly changes.

Some things have changed.  My desire to blog, however, has not.  I wrote that bitchy post because I needed to break facade on why I haven’t been here.

Now.  I’m going to go month by month like last time and go through the movies.  I’m going to primarily focus on Superhero movies, but I may do a separate post for other movies.

DEADPOOL

Marvel is basically kicking off 2016 with Deadpool.  So many people, myself included, have been pining for the release of this movie back before it was even considered to be made.  Now, here we are, perhaps a little more than a month away from seeing Deadpool on the big screen, complete with Ryan Reynolds, breaking the 4th wall, and all the not-so-lovely (but lovely) things associated with Deadpool.  I’m not sure if I ever put this on my blog, but I really happened to like that Deadpool starts off sickly, and becoming Deadpool is his trade off to stay alive.  As a person who is chronically (though not terminally) ill, I can really appreciate the sick humor in this film.  For example, Captain America, who is sickly and just wants a chance to prove himself, becomes a goodie-two shoes.  Deadpool makes disturbing jokes from the beginning – as I often do about myself.  He doesn’t become a goodie-two-shoes. He becomes an antihero.  He doesn’t suddenly start trying to do right in the world like Captain America.  Nope.  He’s still sarcastic, still snarky, and perhaps a bit more brutal after all the events, and doesn’t become a villain.  And I like that.  Because just as doctors have a dark sense of humor because of the amount of awful crap they see, often times people who have health problems can also have a really dark, sick sense of humor.  The way he becomes Deadpool really appeals to that sense of humor (I have a very dark sense of humor).  I did not have such a dark sense of humor prior to my diagnoses.  After I got them, though, sarcasm literally became a second language, and I didn’t exactly hate everyone (aka, not like a villain).

I’ve been excited for Deadpool since Day 1.   After all the hoopla it’s experienced with being rated R, having sex scenes, breaking the 4th wall, and plot possibilities, I’d say this is going to be in the top 3 superhero films of 2016.  He sounds so much like the comic Deadpool and the fight for Reynolds to renew being Deadpool was well worth it.  And now, after all this time, we aren’t that far away from this Deadpool being the Deadpool to remember – not the Wolverine one.  Everything looks great – the acting, the character of Deadpool, the CGI.  I think this movie will be one of those where there’s lines everyone remembers.

BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE

I want to apologize in advance.

I want to start by saying Wonder Woman has been horribly miscast.  I feel like the only reason they cast the person they did is because she was in the military and she’s skinny and cute.  Sorry – saying this from a perspective of a woman who works out quite a bit.  In fact, truthfully, I at one point had bigger biceps than the current actress.  I understand the rationale behind casting a woman who was in the military, but as someone who knows quite a bit about exercising and the human body, I can tell you being in the military five years ago might not mean much in terms of how fast someone deconditions.  Deconditioning is the gradual loss of muscle and ability of organs to perform (ie, running for 2 minutes or 20).  So while she may be disciplined to follow a rigorous exercise plan, that isn’t exactly the point of movies.  Movies don’t make men get buff, they just pick the muscles that make them look buff and exercise those, or just shape the muscles themselves without doing weight training (if anyone knows better than me, let me know, this is just what I know).  They exercise the biceps, the pectorals, and probably the trapezius on men.  Women don’t usually need to get buff for roles (let’s face it – Michael Bay is not doing women in action flicks any justice), so there might even be a lack of knowledge about how women gain muscle vs. how men gain muscle and how our physical anatomy might slightly differ.  This actress does not fit the role at all in my opinion, and her body type, in my opinion, does not match that of Wonder Woman’s.  And please do not say it’s because comics make people bigger than they realistically can be – which is true.  However:

 

 

The fact that I just posted three buff men on this blog is proving a bigger point than they’re all incredibly good looking.  Yes, the characters they portray are bigger than normal humans, but especially with Chris Evans in that photo, it wasn’t too hard for anybody to at least attempt getting as close as they could to an accurate physical representation.  Why am I arguing this?  Because I think Wonder Woman was cast for her looks, and not because she might resemble Wonder Woman.  There are physically better options out there, because Wonder Woman standing next to these three guys – she looks tiny and looks like she can’t hold her own.  Wonder Woman’s shoulders are broad, and her upper body torso is clearly toned by muscle/shape.  I’m sorry, but, the actress doesn’t have that.  And don’t tell me I’m being nitpicky or superficial or “just be happy a woman is involved”, because:

 

Unless you wanted Captain America to look like this the entire movie, too, you should stop talking.

Otherwise the movie looks very explosive, and I haven’t decided if that’s a good or bad thing.  Sometimes the CGI looks a little iffy, like a video game.  The plot looks like it’s two buff guys fighting to figure out who’s better than each other and the entire city is their schoolyard (ironically destroying things among the people who worship/hate them).  Maybe I am wrong.  Maybe I will be completely blown away (by everything other than Wonder Woman).  And please, don’t show us his parents dying again – please… please.

Because we already have enough characters in this.  Apparently, Cyborg, Aquaman, and of course Lex Luthor are all in this too.  It feels like they’re trying to plan for the Justice League while also trying to cash in on everyone who has ever said “What if Batman and Superman got into a fight?”.  I don’t particularly like Lex Luthor either, for many of the same reasons I don’t like Wonder Woman, but I’ll give him a pass on creative expression on part for the movie makers. For the record, I do like Affleck as a Batman (nobody will ever be Bale), I just think the circumstances he’s in isn’t ideal.  Also for the record I love Batman and somewhat prefer DC characters to Marvel characters, but just.. their movies.. someone fell asleep at the wheel…

Still one of the three in the top 3, though.

ONWARD!

CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR

At first, for this movie, I was concerned about it getting stuffed.  And it still is.  The problem is, it still has the Avengers 2.5 feel.

Give Cap his own movie.  You’ve managed to renew the love of Cap in the public sphere.  Why would you include that many people?  I mean, yes, it will make a good movie, and I’m going to say this is my second choice for the top 3 of 2016 of superhero movies.  But give Cap his own spotlight.  Bucky, Black Widow, Falcon, and even Iron Man all get a pass from me (although I don’t think BW is necessary).  But Cap should get his own movie without so many others stealing his spotlight.  I understand the plot mostly centers around what he refuses to do – hence it being a Cap movie – but what kind of screen time does he get?

If this were an Avengers movie, that complaint would not be there.  And that is a big complaint for such a little section.  A Captain America movie should be about Captain America.

Otherwise, everyone looks good.  The movie looks solid.

… And all like, 34 characters.  Still will be in the top 3.  I just think they will need to give us some Cap later on to compensate for this.

X-MEN: APOCALYPSE

 

What some might love about this movie – and some may hate – is Wolverine not being there.  I have to say this movie couldn’t have came at a better time as Hugh Jackman is getting ready to hang up his metal claws.  It’ll get us used to life without Wolverine for a little bit, because there’s no way he’s immediately going to be recasted right after Jackman retires.  It’ll spell it’s own failure, if they do, in my opinion, just because Jackman has become Wolverine.  He was even in a cameo in another movie as Wolverine (Believe it was a Night at the Museum).  When I see Hugh Jackman, I think Wolverine.  It’s going to take time and a good recasting to get me to think of another actor and see Wolverine in them.  That’s why this movie is such a breath of fresh air – we can reconnect with the other X-Men.  A lot of the X-Men movies have a heavy Wolverine presence.  Regardless if you love or hate it, Wolverine is going to go now.  It’s time for us to reconnect with the other X-Men.

And what better way to do that, is making them all young again without Wolverine?

I absolutely adore Michael Fassbender Magneto.  Ian McKellen is great, but Fassbender Magneto is a certain intensity I haven’t felt from a villain since The Joker in The Dark Knight.  He is electrifying.  Ian McKellen is very, very charismatic, while Fassbender makes you go “oh ****”.

I’m interested in seeing Cyclops and Jean Gray’s past as well as Magneto and Mystique if they touch on it, but I just hope it doesn’t overtake the film like another superhero movie I can recall…

This feels like the Civil War version of X-Men. But what I did like is that instead of hordes of armies like in Days of Future Past, we literally get natural disaster images that would, maybe, accompany the end of the world.  Apocalypse seems utterly terrifying, and evoking religious images or references would normally get a “guys, what the hell” sort of response.  But Egypt in itself is a nod to religion, and seeing him talk about religious references is a bit on the creepy side, as well as the dying worship he gets.  I don’t know too much about these characters otherwise, so this section might be short.  Either way I’m happy Apocalypse isn’t a big bumblefuck of CGI, and I’m happy they’re introducing us to different X-Men.  I’m also glad Magneto isn’t the main villain.

SUICIDE SQUAD

I, personally, am excited about this movie.  However, I know it’s going to receive flak for a lot of the characters looking a bit different than what we would consider traditional, especially since it has already.  What I originally said about this movie is coming true – the “villains” are technically the heroes, waiting to be the government’s scapegoat.  There isn’t totally too much to say about it other than I’m not yet impressed with the Joker, but I can’t judge yet because I haven’t seen him in action.  I remember somebody else by the name of Heath Ledger we wrote off, but I have a feeling about this guy that I won’t like him – and not because he’s not Heath Ledger. I understand people like the tattoos, but you don’t need tattoos to be a fucking maniac, so let’s see if they put as much detail into his personality as they have into his looks, regardless if you like it or not. Otherwise I’m excited for Harley probably the most.

 

Doctor Strange and Gambit will warrant their own post, I am slowly losing my sanity as I am trying to type this with two kittens who currently have the attention span of a squirrel.  No kittens were harmed in the making of this post, however, a cooling pad gave it’s life at the paws of kittens and my power adapter now is at 80% health.

Godspeed.

Sadly I applied to Marvel Comics for an internship multiple times, and I never was quite let in.  I constantly debated including my Psychology degree on my resume.  Little did I know the person who created Wonder Woman, was, in fact, a psychologist, and psychology plays a huge role in comic books and how we relate to them.  I was never quite let in to Marvel’s writing areas of the internship (or like, five other areas)… which sucked greatly, since I live in New York City and busted my fucking bum to get it in early.  But, now I can safely say I will include it if I ever apply again (sidenote: I don’t know.)

Holy Sigmund Freud, Batman.

A little story for you first, as I always did:  Psychologically analyzing people is fun.  It’s slightly addictive for the psychology nerds of the world, in my humble opinion.  Psychologically analyzing fictional people is probably even more fun. 

But in all seriousness, there is now a legitimate psychologically therapy called comic book therapy.  I am not lying.  Go to Wikipedia, type it in, and read it.  There are mounds of books published on this.  Literally everyone takes these things seriously.

Now, I’m sorry, S type fans (Superman type), I’m focusing on B-type heroes (which, if you don’t know what that is, it’s heroes without a super-power).  S-types are very much defined by their ability, not what they’ve been through.  Yes, what they’ve been through can be shaped by their circumstances, but I mean purely being affected by something that might have happened to them without a power inducing that situation.

Firstly, and this is pretty cool: They make us comfortable with uncomfortable topics.  They talk about all the taboo shit society avoids.  Death, mass killings, murders, sexual assault, disability (as a technically disabled person I can say society hates talking about it).  And it’s cool, because comic books/comic movies shove it in your face and you’re cool with it.  They shove so much uncomfortable shit at you.  Everything from discrimination to death to disability is in a comic book.  But it makes you wonder why we’re cool with, like, seeing Barbara Gordon be disabled by the Joker and not an actual physically disabled person.  I wouldn’t call it empowering, but I’d say once it seeps into a comic book it’s a step in the right direction.  It’s a way of talking about things we don’t want to talk about, and it’s a way of simply opening up dialogue about things we don’t want to talk about.  Hell, this is so true, that it can be used in therapy sessions to portray something that happened to someone.  If someone doesn’t want to talk about a particular traumatic event, according to Wikipedia, “Comic book therapy is a form of art therapy in which those undergoing rehabilitation express their experiences through personal narratives in a graphic novel/sequential art format that enables them to process their memories and emotions.”  It’s still a form of communication, and it’s still a form of talking about things.  According to another article (cited below), a psychologist used superheroes as a means of therapy for kids who had gone through traumatic events.  It got them to talk about things they didn’t want to talk about.  They are literally used to analyze their deepest fears and traumas – and I can’t help but get the feeling every time you watch a movie or pick up a book you are doing the same to yourself for free because that is what these things feature.  We face fears without talking about it.

Only furthering this, I see a lot of people who were relentlessly bullied who take to the haven of comic books. They usually feature a classic underdog story.  It’s like everyone and their mother has been in some situation that they can relate to because of these things.  Like, some guy’s parents did actually die and that’s why Batman is their go-to.  I always find people explaining why a superhero is their favorite is a major league, deeply personal question.  I’m not asking for your social security number, I’m asking why Superman is your man.  It’s almost as if they become woven into the cores of us much like they become woven into the core of pop culture (and as such, that’s why comic con is so fucking crowded).  And maybe our parents didn’t die in an alley because of a guy named Joe Chill, but, maybe they were absent for things.  Maybe they missed your graduation, shit, I don’t know.  We can relate to the psychology of superheroes.  We can relate to their psyche… and maybe that’s why we all have our personal favorites.  We’re emotionally similar to them.  I find The Flash annoying because he’s hyperactive – which I am not.

Now the really morbid part comes.

You know, almost all of them have some kind of thing they want to fix or escape.  And if you tell me you have no regrets in your life, tell me your secrets.

Oh, please.

We all regret something.  And most of the time, a superhero is working off of a regret, an event, or something they wish they could’ve changed.  Isn’t that like, half of the population’s motivation?  Make something better?  Improve something?  Like, people pick certain careers because they want to be better than their experience sometimes.  Sometimes they like what they see and want to make it better.  And we can feel an undying pain of guilt for things we might regret.  They’re super, sure, but they have regrets just like the rest of us.  And we want to run from them, but we’re not a genius billionaire playboy philanthropist.  Maybe we want to fix something that happened to us.  And you know what?  You’re completely fucking powerless to fix it most the time.  The guy who sexually harassed you is somewhere in the world, the dying 6 year old is still dying, you still suck at math (I needed to lighten this mood).  Sometimes you can fix it, but sometimes you can’t.  Things stay with us – and things stay with them.  It’s okay to be a little fucked up (coming from someone who is, decidedly, fucked up a little bit).  It’s taboo to admit these things, but in this world?  It’s all good.

And wouldn’t we all like to live in a world where fixing the wrongs of the world was as simple as putting on a suit and knocking out a few teeth.

Citation:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/02/17/the-rise-of-superhero-therapy-comic-books-as-psychological-treatment.html

You heard me right.  Let’s talk about Christine.

Seriously, we are going to talk about Christine.  Christine needs to be talked about, here.  It is crucial.  Christine is a typical girl.  She does makeup, dyes her hair, and enjoys shopping. Travel and photography are a thing for her here.  Always doing that “posting pictures of her food” thing.  Obsessed with the arts and love stories.  Maybe she enjoys pets, too, always calling everything with two eyes cute.  Hangs out with guys.  This is Christine.  Maybe long, blonde hair if you want.

I know what you’re thinking: How could you do this to Christine?

Now, let me flesh out Christine a little bit more.

Christine does makeup and hair dye because she likes to cosplay comics and horror movies (her favorite kind of movies, mind), and her natural hair color isn’t blonde.  When she goes shopping, it’s for games, comic books, and sports supplies, because she rallied for her highschool to get a girl’s lacrosse team and ended up being the captain.  Her writing and arts interests lie in fantasy, like Lord of The Rings type fantasy, with a slight romantic and dramatic twist throughout.  Her favorite pet isn’t a cat – it’s a lizard, and she tends to think Skinks – yes, in all of their bug-eating glory – make the best beginner lizards, but her interests lie with the larger monitors.  She hangs out with guys, but hasn’t wanted to date.  And never has.  She’s not much of a cook either and is a blackbelt instead, so she didn’t cook that food she posted a photo of.

Right.. so that’s Christine.  What’s that?  Were you expecting Gucci bags? (Not that there is a problem with Gucci bags, but there is a larger point to this point.  She may buy Gucci every once in a while).

It was recently International Women’s Day, and while I am not usually a huge fan of Anything Day (reasons), I thought it would be an appropriate time to write this sort of post I have been planning quite a while.  Mind you, there is no real Christine, she does not exist.  If a Christine out there fits the description, you kick ass, except this is not intended to be you, or anyone you know, even if they are not named Christine.  Christine also has a birthday – she was born today at 8:00 PM, so unless you go through infancy to highschool in less than 20 minutes and happened to have physically come out of my head like something out of the Alien franchise are you the Christine I am referring to.  Sidenote:  I nor Christine hate men.  If I hated men, I certainly should not be involved in several male dominated fields (I am not referring to comics).

Regardless, I thought I’d take a look at the history of women in comics.  By the way, if you haven’t figured it out already, Christine becomes Christine the Comic Writer, much like Rosie the Riveter.  Rosie the Riveter has a better ring to it, though, I admit…

Christine is inspired by Nellie the Nurse, Millie the Model (good god, really?), and Tessie the Typist (aka a fancy secretary, not sexist at all).  Apparently, starting in the Golden Age Archie Comics geared comics toward women and women primarily read comics but I am not at all convinced the storylines were anything deeper than learning how to use the vacuum (of course, being taught by a man) or fighting over a guy.  .. Or both.  Considering Archie Comics made the comic known as, well, Archie, which features two ditzy women fighting over who gets to date one (gasp) tall blonde dude, I am probably not far off.

Another sidenote is that this isn’t some PR appeal or some awful attempt at being politically correct: this is not my motive, and considering I curse on my blog, that would be a very misguided assumption on your part because cursing isn’t politically correct.  I actually do have a post in the works (mentally) about something regarding men/boys/males.  Originally, I was going to merge those two together, but I’d like to go to bed sometime before tomorrow morning for once.  I’m giving up playing Civ V for you.  Appreciate the post (or else).

But after that Golden Age, Nellie, Millie, and Tessie were all born.  And I am making Christine be born.

Women were either “career oriented” (wtf does that even mean?), perky teenagers, or romance heroines.  The romance involved women could either be good or bad, and if they’re good, they were probably stuffed in the refrigerator.  I don’t really get the whole “bad” vs “good” distinction, just because we could have a gay superhero (I’m being 100% serious) being tempted by another gay man, or a strong superhero woman being tempted by a guy.. but.. ok. This is still around – I recently saw some kind of book regarding comics and it specifically mentioned “tempting women”.  Like as an entire section.  Are we career oriented in that our career is stalking a male superhero now in some sort of odd desperation to date or have sex with him?  I don’t understand…

Among the first female superheroes were Scarlet O’Neil and Black Fury.  Scarlet O’Neil aka the Invisible Woman was plain clothes and walked around doing things like saving little kids and getting kidnapped.  In general, it was not action packed (source: Wikipedia).  Then you had Miss Fury who was.. eventually turned into a dude, obviously?  Black Fury (aka Miss Fury) became John Perry and Rex King.  She then wasn’t revived until 1991 in which case I am not including it.  I’m strictly ’40s to late 50s right now.

Who knew one of them would maintain a blog in 75 years.

And I know I may get the crowd who is like “get over it” but I’m not like actively blaming society for doing this 75 years ago.  It’s really just retrospective out of my own curiosity.  And Christine’s.

Regardless, after the slight abomination that appears to be The Invisible Woman, we actually see Sheena, Queen of the Jungle.  Of course, she happens to be blonde, and tall, and wearing heels, and white, but probably the best of the bunch at the time.  From Wikipedia:

As Trina Robbins, in The Great Women Superheroes wrote:[5]

[M]ost of [Fiction House’s] pulp-style action stories either starred or featured strong, beautiful, competent heroines. They were war nurses, aviatrixes, girl detectives, counterspies, and animal skin-clad jungle queens, and they were in command. Guns blazing, daggers unsheathed, sword in hand, they leaped across the pages, ready to take on any villain. And they did not need rescuing.

Sheena seemed to be pretty successful, and seemed to have a fair amount of abilities.  She was able to turn into whatever animal she made contact with and ability to communicate with wild animals.  The first superhero though, who was a woman, was apparently Fantomah, a woman who never aged and turned into a skull-like creature to fight crime (nice, I like the morbidity; it’s not “lady like”).  In a time where saving children without any action was the norm, at least it’s a step in the right direction in a time when Peggy Carter was still Captain America’s damsel in distress (I fucking hate that term).  She had always been needing to be saved, and I admit as a Cap fan it was nice to see Peggy take the stage for another reason than needing Cap to come save her.. really.

Yes, we’re hopping over to the big guys. Particularly, the history of Wonder Woman.

Funny story.. Wonder Woman was the suggestion from a wife of a guy.  William Moulton Marston, a psychologist, thought comics had uncracked potential,and his wife insisted he create a superheroine.. so.. he explained it as Sigmund Freud would, while also believing women should rule the world?:

“Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength, and power. Not wanting to be girls, they don’t want to be tender, submissive, peace-loving as good women are. Women’s strong qualities have become despised because of their weakness. The obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman.”

If you’re unaware, Sigmund Freud had an R-Rated (is there something higher than R?) theory about women, that they didn’t want to actually be women, and they envied men because they were men, and they distanced themselves from their mothers for this reason and subsequently hung out with dad.  Frankly, I don’t want to be goddamn tender and submissive whether I am a woman or not.  But regardless, that was the mindset, I guess, of the time.  At least he listened to his wife and created the first widely recognized female superhero.  Really, I’m not delving too deep into this just because it’s blowing my mind a little bit.  That statement is clearly sexist but he also wanted women to rule the world, and was slightly sexist against men, believing women were more honest?  I’m supposing that is stereotype, therefore wanting us to the rule the world is also sort of sexist?  By the sounds of it, it’s meant in a stereotypical/sexist manner for both parties, with men elevated in importance, slightly?…

How I feel.

By now, though, we’re starting to realize women are people (now the Silver Age).  Lois Lane is created, Batwoman, Jean Loring, and Carol Ferris, all “career women”.  Iris West, Kathy Kane, and Vicki Vale have been thrown into the mix.  Still, though, sexism weaved some of their cores, as we all know Lois needed to be saved a few times, and Batwoman apparently used perfume and a hair net as weapons (god, at least make her use mace instead of perfume if you’re going to be sexist).  Unfortunately, I will not detail all of these, it’s 10 PM now, Christine is probably graduating high school, I feel like I am growing old writing this post, I’m eating peanut butter and jelly in mass quantities in an attempt to keep myself from starving.  Sort of like Tom Hanks in Cast Away.  But with a laptop, instead of a soccer ball.

Regardless of PBJ here, Marvel is playing catch up, and creates their first female superhero in the form of Invisible Woman…. several decades after Wonder Woman.. and Mr. Fantastic has had instances of.. abuse…

Come on.. you can do better than that…

Regardless, it is very interesting, considering Marvel’s movies/tv shows.  You know.. Black Widow.  Peggy.  Rogue.  Jean Grey.  All the superheroine Avengers. Wasp.  Regardless, originally, Marvel’s heroines (yes, we don’t need to say “female superheroes”) were treated as less than equal. It is almost as though they are quietly hiding away from their past mistakes.. and Not-So-Mr. Fantastic’s mistakes.. while creating all these strong women.  DC Comics was not a beacon of light, exactly, either, due to this policy:

[the] Editorial Policy Code regarding the portrayal of women, which stated, “The inclusion of females in stories is specifically discouraged. Women, when used in plot structure, should be secondary in importance, and should be drawn realistically, without exaggeration of feminine physical qualities”.

So more or less, women in stories was discouraged, unless they happened to somehow supplement the superhero.  Which.. just about makes sense.  Obviously.  Though, everyone did this it seems – I guess DC just put it in writing?  Did Marvel do it too?

Regardless, I’m moving on, because I bit off more than I can chew.  To the Bronze Age! (sidenote:  If I seem like I’m rushing, I’m waiting for a larger point and I am about to hit one.  This is all pretty generic information).

The part we’ve been waiting for.. assuming I was alive.  The feminist era.  The part where all the women realized, there is something seriously wrong with Mollie the Model or whatever godforsaken terrible name they gave her.

Aside from the comic character “Man-killer” being made, this was overall not that bad of an era.

I just.. I don’t have a witty comment for this.

People start realizing women are just as capable of leadership as men, and Mrs. Fantastic becomes the leader of the Fantastic Four, and Wasp becomes a founding Avenger.  Jean Grey becomes Phoenix, Storm is created, and one man sets out to revamp some of them: Chris Claremont.  He revamps and helps settle Rogue, Psylocke, Storm, Jean Grey, and Kitty Pryde.  Suddenly, the teenagers become serious, and women are now a thing (as in popular).  Notice a lot of those or all of them have been in movies, now, or very famous at the least.  But the elephant in the room is not any of these: It’s Ms. Marvel.

Ms. Marvel isn’t in a movie.  She is getting her own movie.

Ms. Marvel, apparently, seems to embody Marvel’s troubles with representing women during that time due to her controversy.  She worked at a magazine obviously geared toward women, and her headline was “This Woman Fights Back!”.  It’s very possible Marvel picked Ms. Marvel to be their first female-led movie, well, because that is more or less what she was designed for in the first place.  She was a symbol of the push to get more female characters and not portraying women as damsels in distress – let’s only hope she lives up to that despite not being known to the general public.  But still, despite the apparent symbolism here, do you think someone like Black Widow would’ve been a better pick?  Is there any possibility there will eventually be a Black Widow movie?  Is that why they picked her and not some other random superheroine?

In between all of this, we get Barbara Gordon, who is injured by the Joker after the events of The Killing Joke, who takes things a step further – she is disabled, now, but became the leader of Birds of Prey.  She’s another example of the strong women blossoming now, and everyone collectively realizing women are people and not cooking machines.

Now, we hit the Modern Age.  Now.  Probably your childhood.

We start off the era with Tank Girl:

The eponymous character Tank Girl drives a tank, which is also her home. She undertakes a series of missions for a nebulous organization before making a serious mistake and being declared an outlaw for her sexual inclinations and her substance abuse. The comic centers on her misadventures with her boyfriend, Booga, a mutant kangaroo.

I’m sorry.. I’m sorry what? A mutant kangaroo?  What the hell?  I know nothing about this, so I’m not commenting, but, if you happen to know, do tell me, because mutant kangaroos?

Still, women were treated as sex stories.  Because sex sells.  As a result, the wonderful and amazing and my personal comic writer hero, Gail Simone (she retweeted me once!), started the Women in Refrigerators campaign after seeing a Green Lantern comic where GL finds his girlfriend dead because of a villain and stuffed in a refrigerator.  Ever since that, using women for the “sex sells” excuse and depowering or killing women has become less and less.  And that is where we are now, along with more LGBT diversity such as Batwoman.

Yeah.. more work to be done, here.

I understand that both sexes are inaccurately portrayed, but this is also the guy who made “Captain America” become “Captain Americhest” (seriously, that drawing has obliques everywhere).  Above is Ms. Brokeback, considering her back is anatomically broken because of the need to exaggerate her chest and butt.  There is still work to be done, but hopefully, if that trend means anything, we can get it done – without gender tension.

At least X-Men has shown it has strong female characters, and two female-led movies are on the way.  Now, finally, we are reaching some semblance of equalization.  Peggy Carter helped paved the way.  Wonder Woman got it started, and Ms. Marvel helped us out.  Black Widow kicks ass, and X-Men is chock full of X-Women.  Finally, women are having a bit of a foothold in comics because of the characters.  We aren’t all the same, and we don’t have the same interests – including the traditional ones.

When you read comics or create female characters, think of Christine the Comic Writer.

(Happy belated International Women’s Day).

So I haven’t been updating as much.  A lot of you are probably wondering why.  I have always put something out… whether it was a spotlight post, small review, comic book review, QA.. I always pulled something out of the sky.  What happened?  Did you just get lazy?  Did you just stop caring?  No.  None of the above.  I guess it’s time I came clean, and after a day where it’s appropriate.

Feb. 28th is Rare Disease Day.  Recently, yes, my pets got sick – but that’s largely over now and everyone is better!

If you’re not interested in anything remotely personal, I suggest you stop reading.  Don’t be an asshole, either, because that’s not cool.

Here’s some happy shit before we start.

So, what’s the problem?  Why did I figuratively and literally fall off the face of The Planet? Well it was Rare Disease Day.

(FYI: I’ll go back to full time.  The fact I’m even writing this is amazing enough, and means it’s slowly going back to normal.)

I fit into that category.  I have a rare disease, and that is why I haven’t updated.  While I’m not ready to reveal exactly what it is, I’m going to ask you to not foo-foo rare diseases.  There is a larger point to this post other than me telling you why I haven’t been here and why I haven’t been able to update.  Before you click off in an attempt to save yourself from a state of depression, I’m really actually pretty cool about it and I make it funny (I think?).  Think of it this way – you’ve been reading me this long without knowing a thing about it.  It’s only since it completely KO’d me have you found out anything.  And I didn’t want to tell you.  I didn’t want to tell you I had anything wrong with me.

It’s like I’m in a relationship with my blog.  Facebook status changed.

My pets ended up being okay a few weeks ago. But, the fact is, you know some things about the people you read/watch/hear/etc.  You know maybe they have kids or are in college.  You know circumstances of their lives that will affect their content in other words.  Unfortunately, this is my circumstance that makes a pile of dog shit more attractive than my life at times.  Long story short, I am a superhero.  Yes, you read that right.  I am a superhero.  I am an X-Men. I am the Batman.

Nevermind, I’m getting carried away.

Here’s the deal: I have superpeople powers (oddly, my own character is not superpowered).  I have a connective tissue disease.  I’m uber-flexible to the point where I could join the circus and probably become filthy rich and famous, and I could be on American Horror Story (technically). I can tell the temperature without even looking at a thermometer, and certain normal medication doesn’t work on me because of genetic resistance (in other words, taking Motrin is like eating Skittles).  In fact, I once needed local anesthetics and the doctor would have overdosed me if he gave me any more.  It does not work on me.  Yeah, I felt the entire procedure, because local anesthetics don’t work on me (I could see the look of horror on your face already).  It made for a very uncomfortable procedure and a very freaked out doctor. In all honesty it was hilarious.

I wish I could say I possess super-strength, but I’m working on it.  Yes, this is all a part of that “rare illness” thing I mentioned.  It affects everything. Eating, sleeping, blogging, fish tanks, what I can eat, college, what jobs I can get, etc.

So now that I’ve related it to something you clearly will be able to relate to as a comic book reader, you need to understand the other side of the coin.

For every superpower, there is a downside.  The uber-flexibility means I’m also in pain a lot without much rhyme or reason.  The pain also means I have the attention span of a squirrel when I am in pain. Normally people say attention span of a goldfish, but because I have fish as pets, fish have longer attention spans than you think so I will not diss them!

Most of the time, I’m fine.  But lately, it’s kicking my ass – it’s like as if Superman couldn’t control his super senses for a little bit.  In the process, you couldn’t tell that there is anything wrong with me.  I look completely normal, until I make giant claws come out of my han-… wrong power..

But you know, I’m also telling you because our heroes do have limitations.  Superman was bullied because he had super-senses.  Wolverine can’t go through metal detectors.  Cyclops needs those fancy ass glasses. Even Batman probably could be his own psychology case study, and forget about Captain America, who had a long list of illnesses in The First Avenger.  Granted he’s not sickly now, but they all had limitations.  If you ever wanted to know what being a real life superhero was like, you could interview me – because being uber-bendy has it’s perks.  I’ll probably never break a bone because I’m flexible.  I could prevent slipping better than any person in my immediate (and probably extended) family, possibly better than my cat.  It requires me to exercise a lot, so that also means I have some semblance of super strength involved here.  I could pinpoint the temperature inside or outside because of my hypersensitivity to it – I know if someone raised the heat 1 degree in my house. One.  Degree.

In elementary school – and high school – I was probably the fastest or in the top three of fastest people in the classes because of my flexible legs, and I never have an itch on my back I can’t get to.

^ you.  Itches you can’t get to suck.  Sucker.

So, everyone has their bad times.  Superman, Wolverine, Cyclops, Professor X (seriously I reacted the same way he did almost), Captain America, Magneto… and every other super powered person you could imagine.  The concepts of illnesses isn’t new to comic books and Barbara Gordon brought it even more into the spotlight.  Hell, even Hulk qualifies a little bit, and if you consider Iron Man to be unhealthily conceited, he does too.  You can’t “fix” me just like you can’t “fix” them.

Don’t define my blog by the one reason that I can’t write for a few days.  If it must be in the equation, define it by letting it drive my interest in comic books.  Define it by  “she’s a real superhero” (yep, I’m a she, people). She could be an X-Men.  But know that’s why I haven’t been here – been out saving the world, you know?  Busy…

I will be back full time within the next week or so, and I don’t let it keep me down – if I did, I’d be writing about how much my life sucks.  If I did, I wouldn’t write here or take care of big fish tanks or dogs or cats or cooking my own meals.  If I did, I wouldn’t go to a gym or go to college or do everything else everyone else does.  If I did, I wouldn’t still want to be writing comics or have another job I do now, whether it’s mine or someone else’s character (yeah, I want to write comics, and I am working on my own character book).

Just remember, I’m not any different than the people you read about. I identify with them because people think I’m weird when they hear I’m so stretchy. People have asked what is wrong with me and then stopped me halfway saying they didn’t want to know. People have outwardly asked me if it will kill me in very insensitive ways. An ex-boyfriend left me over it via text message while I was in a doctor’s office trying to figure out what exactly was wrong. The fact is, people have been prejudiced against me because I’m bendy and need some small but significant accommodations sometimes – like being able to move around if I need to. It really is nothing graphic or strange – but people don’t like it. I scare people but I am not scary. Just like the X-Men.

I’ve always identified with Barbara Gordon and the X-Men since my diagnosis, and that’s why we need more characters like her. We need more disabled people talking regardless if you can see their disability or not. My disability is genetic so it was always there even before I knew it was – and I always felt out of place or as if something was wrong with me. Then I found out and I had doctors sitting around debating the course of my illness/life and when I’d need a wheelchair, if I ever did – and if that were to happen, I’d like to think I’d be the real version of Barbara Gordon.
But the comic characters get it.

Do you?

(This post was also meant to raise awareness for Rare Disease Day 2015).

Sorry I didn’t do this sooner.  I was also supposed to do the Ant-Man trailer, but I’m just not excited for Ant-Man.  I didn’t do the Ultron trailer because I’m going to do a big post just before the movie comes out, so stay tuned.

So Agent Carter’s next episode grounded the series further.  Not only do we get serious but funny situations (The beginning of the show, where the man is looking for his girlfriend), but we see the chemistry between Peggy and Jarvis deepen.  As the story goes on, Jarvis – still very serious about miniscule things – and Peggy begin to clash a bit, until they realize just how much they do need each other when Jarvis is taken in for interrogation, and Peggy picks a crappy hiding spot.  Peggy realizes Jarvis is hiding something, and then the SSR shows up at Jarvis’ (or Howard’s) door.  After this, we see the two clashing personalities finally come together a bit.

Jarvis is finally forced to reveal a part of himself to Peggy.  After the interrogation – which did his character some justice – he and Peggy talk about his past.  The interrogation showed Jarvis is more than a bumbling yet sophisticated butler.  It showed how fiercely loyal he is, and possibly how fiercely loyal he may become to Peggy.  He, too, is also a bit capable of getting snarky.  Finally, though, those men get fleshed out a bit.  We learn Peggy thinks Souza is a just barely decent person.  Dooley and Thompson get angry at Peggy for compromising the earlier interrogation with Jarvis, and we start to see that “small feeling”.  I will elaborate on that – I am a woman, and I almost felt what Peggy felt like as she was getting yelled at.  I swear, I could relate to that moment so much it hurt.

In the beginning, though, it seemed as though he was just doing it for Stark, but now, we do really see them work as a team, and the chemistry finally melds.  As I said before, Jarvis makes himself feel vulnerable to Peggy by telling her about his wife and how they met.  It’s pretty apparent during this scene that it is almost as if they are equals in a time where women were not equals – Peggy is listening to Jarvis speak, and it’s pretty clear she is blatantly in control of the situation.  It is at this moment, for me, Peggy really seems like a 21st century woman stuck in a time when women were not equals.  All that “girl power” assertion people complained about paid off, and it manifested in this moment.  Jarvis is the one making himself vulnerable to Peggy by telling her about he and his wife and their marriages’ genesis.  She is not pining over her love for Captain America – Jarvis, though, is pining over his love for his wife.

But then, my point about them working together really came together at this moment.  They realize Stark’s technology was stolen, and found the ship.

A thug shows up, though, compromising everything just a bit.

SHE’S WEARING PANTS. THIS IS A BIG DEAL.

I have to say, after learning about the Hawkeye Initiative, I realize her attire was not entirely appropriate for fighting big thugs, but the general comic book alternative (aka basically not having clothes on) is not terribly appropriate either.

But Jarvis and Peggy really work as a team now, and Peggy does most of the fighting – Not Jarvis.  After Jarvis taps into his inner spy and calls the SSR (Peggy is rubbing off, I see) they flee as the men are on the way while the thug is on the floor after Peggy uses one of Stark’s gadgets.  Finally, that “small” feeling has left me as Peggy kicks ass once again. The men are becoming suspicious, and you’re on the edge of your seat – you don’t want Peggy to be found out.  You just don’t.  She’s so likeable much like Captain America.  I want to elaborate on that.

All the people currently saying she is flawless: While her flaws may not be glaring at you – she does have them.  Not only that, though, but I thought about that more.  Peggy and Captain America are like the perfect couple.  She’s a badass, and he’s honorable.  Captain America doesn’t exactly have glaring consistent flaws.  They both have their moments (like kissing another girl in TFA… for shame, Cap), but nothing is relatively consistent.  They are both like perfect people – not just Peggy.  Considering Captain America is practically America’s superhero rep, and Peggy seems to be America’s spy and woman rep, it’s hard to hate on them for that.  They’re also both so much in the public spotlight that they must know by now to try to be as flawless as possible.  (imagine seeing the headline:  Captain America, arrested for driving drunk, speeding, on freeway.. yeah, I don’t think so).

The threats finally hit home, though, as one of the SSR workers (Krzeminski) is taken out by Leviathan.  This is a good touch, though.  It finally makes you feel some remorse for the incredibly-sexist-men.  It’s easy to hate them, but we need to remember they’re also products of their time.  They do feel emotions like the rest of us and like Peggy, who shows her soft side after learning of the death.  This is also a good time to put another rumor to rest: Peggy is not a man hater.  She is sad for a man who objectified her.  She cries.  (Sidenote:  I wasn’t terribly surprised he was the one, because of how awful of a character he was).  It reminds us the threat is growing. She speaks about it to Angie, who, for some reason, I inherently don’t trust.  I’m suspicious of her or Dottie – I feel one of them is going to betray Peggy, and I don’t know why.

Overall, Peggy is very well rounded out, and I expect the crotch kicking to go up in the next episode ten fold.  I think next episode we’re going to see the true wrath of Peggy.  I think instead of Captain America protecting her as would be stereotype – we are going to see how deeply they love each other and how pissed off Peggy is capable of becoming, even toward the people she works with.

No longer feeling so small.

But regarding my earlier “small feeling” comment.  Maybe it’s just my terrible experiences kicking in (not all of my experiences are bad, so do not label me a man hater), but when Peggy was getting yelled at, I had that small feeling coming back.  I hope it was present for everyone, and not just me.  How a strong woman was reduced to seeming child like.  How an adult woman was standing there, virtually unable to defend herself, listening to a man run his mouth on how what she did was so awful.  I hope you felt how small Peggy felt during that moment, because that scene really spoke to me.  It brought me down from the high that was Peggy being able to do things a woman in the 40s could not do.  Boys have done that to me, even now, in 2015 (because I’m not fucking calling them men).  I have been Peggy.  I have felt small because of a man speaking to me as they spoke to Peggy. That small feeling I felt during the scene – I hope you felt it, too.  I hope it gave you a window into some of the issues of sexism on both sides (as in MEN and WOMEN stereotype) going on right now.  I hope it gave you a window into how to treat people of any gender.

Like an equal.

Don’t be small.  Be Peggy Carter.

Where do I start?

I’m a woman in comics.

It doesn’t get much better than this.

Let me start by saying it is wonderful that girls have something to relate to.  I love male characters as much as the next guy (or girl).  But really, the fact is, its so different when the lead is a female – at least for me.  It’s different when it’s set in a time when sexism is glaring – Because you and I both know comics and traditionally male topics went through that stage.  I refuse to air my opinion on if it still has a hint of sexist, but man, Peggy took some major steps in the right direction.

How is this different for Black Widow for me?
If you read my blog you know I love Black Widow.  Black Widow was different because Captain America and Falcon were involved (mostly cap).  And there were a good few moments she didn’t feel like an equal or she didn’t quite come off as the same caliber as Captain.  And that’s okay to some extent – I mean, the name of the film is Captain America.  She shouldn’t be the main star of the show.

So why do I love Agent Carter?

Simply put, sexism is glaring and she’s the only one who is being put down.  Also, truthfully, originally I had the notion in my head that there was a significant chance that Agent Carter would just be touting a constant “girl power” schtick.  But then, I realized a few things – significant things (I’m just laying some groundwork for a larger point):

(Spoilers)

– Peggy Carter is, quite literally, a woman in a man’s land.  It’s easy to say her constantly punching people and throwing people out of windows is really just making the girl power schtick go too far.  But the fact is, back in the ’40s, a woman probably couldn’t punch a man without getting the crap beat out of her herself.  I totally understand the notion that it’s too much or too far, but she couldn’t casually walk into the room asking for a meeting when she wanted to find the bomb (the glowing orange thing – the name evades me).  He would’ve told her go home sweetheart, this work is for a man.

–  At first, I understood it when people said, “All the males are sexist”.  Google 1940s advertisements.  Have you seen that shit?  Also, like I said before, it might also be done to highlight Steve Rogers and his qualities, putting emphasis on their relationship – he is decidedly not sexist.  If a Good Not Sexist Guy shows up, we might be rooting for Peggy to date him, who knows.

– I’ve seen the argument be used that she makes men out to be stupid (not true), and I’ve seen the argument be used that it takes away from the overall message for the makers to use her as a sexy blonde and using lipstick to get someone to pass out.  Herein lies the problem: While today we don’t need to do that and we *can* ask for a meeting or just kick ass to begin with like Black Widow does, odds are the men consider her to be too stupid to pull off that kind of thing.  They blatantly call her stupid more than once.  They don’t expect her to use her brain and con them out of things via their own sexist desires – it’s not that they’re stupid.  It’s their blatant underestimation and own expectations that lead to that result.  You wouldn’t at all be puzzled over a blonde woman in a low cut dress suddenly appearing in your office?  Well, you would be – turns out they’re not puzzled by it.  They’re that good.  That desirable (Yuck).

– People are saying if it’s a powerful tv show for women – there should be more women.  Except, it’s the 1940s, and they call her a secretary.  It’s hard enough for her to be there and it’d take away from her character.  Also, maybe how this is received will pave the way for other non-ridiculous public relations pitches.  Maybe we can get a Black Widow movie out of this. Maybe we can get Poison Ivy her own comics.  Peggy Carter is, in a way, paving a way, even if she’s in such a sexist 1940s land.

So I still haven’t answered the question:  How has Agent Carter changed things for me?

Focusing on her gender might have a good result in the end.  It might eventually result in us having more female-led comics.  More female-led movies.  More female led anything (sidenote:  exactly 1 grown woman in Ant Man’s trailer if I remember correctly). Things like that are a problem.  I thoroughly enjoy the male leads.  I thoroughly enjoy their acting ability.  But I can only relate to them so much – it reaches a point where I can’t relate to them because they’re guys aside from being superheroes.  It’s hard enough to relate to super soldiers and giant green people, but now you’re changing the gender on me. Agent Carter nips that in the butt for me.  I can relate to her.  I can say I want to be like Peggy Carter.  I can say I want to be Peggy Carter for Halloween (and if I were 12, I would be).  It also appears the next episode is going to let her personality blossom, and yes, she does have flaws (she forgot leaving her tracks behind?).

Not only is she not a superhero, but she’s also one of the characters who used to be put in refrigerators – the killed love interests to rile up the superheroes, or to get revenge.  She is a love interest, but I don’t suggest you try to fridge her – she shot at him, and she’ll shoot at you, too.

Overall,  Agent Carter took one big step in the right direction – in a big, red, high heel.

So I love this show..

Um..

End of review.

Not really, but you should know where this is going.  I will be doing episode 1 and 2 together.  FYI: I knew I would love this show.  I love Peggy.  I loved Peggy in The First Avenger.  Girl is kick ass.

First of all, and probably the best thing about it was the tie ins with Captain America, but not to the point where it feels like all we’re doing is learning about Captain America and Peggy can’t hold her own.  It’s made pretty apparent that Peggy is not a damsel in distress despite her love for America’s hero and we are reminded of that through parts shown of the movie itself.  She moves on but doesn’t forget.  She is a woman who is strong, but is so overlooked nonetheless.  Part of that is because of the Captain himself, but we can’t forget that’s why we know Peggy.  It let’s us know we are smack dab in between the two movies, and sort of forget The Winter Soldier even ever happened yet because it is so immersive.  The time frame is done amazingly – we are reminded she is a woman in a time where man literally thought this about women:

Nope, this isn’t a prop.

The time frame works amazingly, and it lets Peggy shine.  The amount of sexism could get anyone cringing, but the fact is it’s almost necessary for Peggy to ram people with staplers (by the way, that was awesome).  It’d be hard to justify the amount of punching and epic moments she has if she were not in that time frame. Without that time frame, she wouldn’t be able to do some of what she does either – because she’s a woman, they assume she’s innocent and cutesy, but then she’s casually breaking into a drawer.  And that is decidedly awesome.  The time frame and the sexism does something else, though: Everyone else who’s sexist highlight why Peggy won’t date anyone else – good guy Cap doesn’t quite act that way, now does he?  In addition to basically being necessary, it highlights the qualities of not only Peggy, but Captain America, too.

You know what else is awesome?

The dynamic between Jarvis and Peggy.  You know, with Howard Stark basically being why this is happening, I actually wondered where he’d run off to… and then he ran off, literally, and we are stuck with two people with the same accent might I add (good touch!) that defy each other.  They work well together but only because they clash to the point where its hard for them to understand each other’s motives in the beginning.  Jarvis doesn’t get it – why the urgency?  He uses fancy words, talks calm even when it’s appropriate to be cursing like a trucker, and then you have Peggy who is casually throwing people out of windows in the kitchen.  If Peggy needed to have a partner in crime, nobody works better than Jarvis, simply because of how oddly detached he is from it.  I mean, he is Stark’s butler, you would think he’d be a little bit more… fired up over this.  But no, he casually asks where to drive as everything is going to blow up.  The humor between them seems to be perfect – a good balance between serious and joking, enough to get something done but make you wonder how they will do it in the process.  Probably what I love about Jarvis, though, is that he’s not overtly sexist.  He does have sexist qualities, though: some of his comments really come off terribly sexist.  He highlights a problem even in present society:  Sexism without even realizing it.

Probably what’s best about Howard Stark, though, is that it does tie into the Iron Man movies with the mention of Roxxon and also (apparently) the showing of Doctor Vanko.  It appears everything that isn’t Captain America is subtle – but it’s there.  Personally, I view those a bit like eggs.  Like, you know, you don’t fundamentally need it to understand the show, but if you understand it it just makes everything a little more awesome.  And, if you learn, you can always re-watch and find out something new.  Finding out something new during a re-watch is just about as good as it gets, for me, because I find very little reason to rewatch basically anything.

But… the villains might have me re-watching it.

I was frequently getting confused on who was who in the beginning.  Who was Peggy’s company, who was the rival agents, etc.  Society is overall something Peggy needs to overcome – it’s a villain in and of itself.  Sometimes they do come off a bit unclear, though, as to who’s who and who’s doing what – but I can imagine that’s because it’s the first two episodes, and if they told you, well, it’d be that they told you too quickly.  There’s just a lot of names to catch and a lot of faces to remember – some without names.  They should develop her co-workers more – not just the necessary ones.  Why is Sousa so nice to her, for one?  Do any of them have ulterior motives? I’m sure that’s next.

The other thing I loved, though, was the radio show.  It was a nice touch, once again making us feel immersed in the time without making us feel like we were bored without the glam of the 21st century.  It seemed to directly contradict events and Peggy’s personality itself – it also makes me wonder how well she can handle constant reminders of her lover, especially as she finds things of his or reminiscences occasionally – things like his file, or things like at the end of the second episode.  Despite her love for Steve Rogers, it doesn’t make her vulnerable.  Her mission itself makes her vulnerable – leaving some tracks behind remind us she is not infallible – they have the license plate.  They saw her foot tracks.  Even the best agent can’t think of everything – and it leads us to root for her.

The teaser for the next episode leads us to question everyone – and clutch our pom poms in anxiety.

Also, kids, when I grow up, I want to be like Peggy Carter.

What do I look forward to in 2015?

Simply put.  Sorry I’ve been a little irregular lately, and also not terribly active on Twitter.  I’m sick (again, but different type of sickness this time). However, I went places and did things… probably too much so, resulting in my head cold that I am trying to get rid of.

Tom Hanks, anyone?

Tom Hanks, anyone?

Yes:  I went to FAO Schwarz.  However, my Manhattan excursions for this year are now over, and if I didn’t decide that, I’m sick, so I’m forced to decide that.  Tom Hanks, though.  I want to watch Big so terribly bad, now.  yes, I bought a stuffed animal.  It was obligatory.  Everyone thought I was a tourist, anyway (sidenote:  New Yorkers normally hate being mistaken for tourists in the city they live in).

So in terms of movies, what do I look forward to?  Looking over a list, I’m going to tell you.  Right now.

January:

I keep seeing commercials for Blackhat, and I sort of want to see it if I don’t even know what it’s about.  I can’t tell you much more than that because I don’t actually know about it.  I’ve just gotten bombarded with commercials.

Another movie on the list is Selma.  I have a particular fascination with history-related movies, particularly semi-modern history movies.

Perhaps my guilty pleasure will be Taken 3, though.  Yes, I realize critically they bomb.  I realize it has a cult following.  I see the flaws with the Taken franchise, but I still love it nonetheless.  The characters are the epitome of stereotype, but that’s okay, because we get to see Liam Neeson kick ass.  And who doesn’t like a good Liam Neeson ass kicking?  To be fair, if someone was going to kick my ass who is famous, I’d want Neeson to hands down.  He’s good at a nice ass kicking if you need one.  Therefore, while I fully understand why the Taken franchise is nothing but a cult following, I understand why the followers follow it.

You see this? This is why I’m rambling.

I want to see Agent Carter in January as well.

February:

In this month, I will probably find a way to see Kingsman: The Secret Service, even if it’s another movie I don’t know that much about.  I know it’s comic related, so why not?  (I also know Samuel L. Jackson is in it).

Nothing in February really jumps out at me.  Spongebob movie, maybe?  Jupiter Ascending, perhaps?  Probably Jupiter Ascending.  I’m telling you right now, though: I don’t look forward to Fifty Shades of Grey.

Will I review it?  I don’t know yet.

… I mean, maybe if it’s wildly popular or really good, but I really just don’t want to.  I will if it’s popular, in the end, which it probably would be.

March and April:

Nothing really pops out here.  I see Mall Cop 2 listed, another Paranomal Activity, and Cinderella.  Sidenote:  I am not seeing Chappie.

May:

Now the big kahunas are starting.  Yes, no duh I am excited for Age of Ultron.  I’d say most comic fans are. They’ve built the hype enough for it.  I think it’s safe to say this movie is shaping up to be a good one.  I mean, I sort of already gave my thoughts for Ultron in my Avengers review, so if it’s a bit lacking, that would explain it.  I look forward to Ultron, I look forward to building our Cap VS. Iron Man feud, I look forward to seeing a not-so-lighthearted Avengers film.

June:

Perhaps the most controversial of all.

Jurassic World.

I guess I’m excited, but not really because I have hope it’ll be a good movie.  I’m excited mainly because I’m finally seeing a JP movie in a theater, even if it doesn’t feature Sam Neill.  From a critical standpoint, I’m really pretty hesitant because of stuff like this:

Yeah….

The fact is, they’re going to have a hard sell with this and with the D. rex.  I get where they’re going, but they’re going to need to juggle corny and story and making statements, which is generally a hard balance to get.  I understand they want to make a statement that humans are bored of the natural world and no matter how much we get, we just keep on taking – but the fact is, they’re going to need to effectively juggle that efficiently.

Also, Ted 2 comes out here.  Seth McFarlane, so I’d expect it to be a comedy.  Again, don’t know very much.

July:

Terminator: Genisys comes out, which as far as I can tell is a gimmick considering they purposely spelled Genisys wrong.  From what I know, this movie is just going to piss off a lot of people.  The movie Minions comes out, which are from Despicable Me.  I’ll definitely be watching this, and considering the internet’s mild obsession with minions, I don’t expect this to have too many problems with drawing people.  Another movie on the slate is Ant Man, which I don’t actually know the general consensus for.  It seems split, last I checked.  Honestly, I’m a comic fan who doesn’t know that much about Ant Man.

August:

Goosebumps and The Fantastic Four.  I’m having an incredibly difficult time taking F4 seriously, and Goosebumps is a long-running book series turned movie, so I’m presuming this is going to be geared toward children.

September and October:

The Intern, which I’ve heard a lot about, comes out.  Myself personally I am not terribly excited for this movie, but it might show me otherwise.  The Jungle Book comes out in October, along with an untitled Tom Hanks movie focusing on the Cold War.  The second movie, of course, has peaked my interest.

November and December:

The Peanuts movie!  Yes, perhaps a bit childish, but I do want to see it.  I remember being a kid and always watching the Peanuts around holidays so excuse me if I consider this a must.  The Good Dinosaur seems kiddish but cute, and of course The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2 is in this.

December is probably what everyone is waiting for with the release of Star Wars The Force Awakens.  I had someone else write my Trailer SW post, so I’ll let you know in 12 months… I have some catching up to do..

Not going to watch Star Wars movies, or anything.

I’m sorry this is short and sweet, but..

I’m sleeping.

So I’ve been planning on coming here for months on end. I never got around to it because of schoolwork, life, and well, everything else.  Let me tell you I was so excited for this I could barely see straight.  When I first found it out, I pretty much said I’m getting tickets it and going, crawling if I need to.  So upon entrance, I was so happy to be there, it was crazy.  I felt confident in the exhibit. Well, um.  That wasn’t the case…  Fun fact:  I usually listen to superhero music during these posts.  I am listening to something completely unrelated to superheroes.  It was actually that bad.  I thought for sure, it’d be something to rave about..

That was not the case.

Like, at all.  I’m actually wondering if someone blindfolded the media when they wrote their reviews of it back in July, because I just can’t see how it was so utterly amazing.  (Sidenote:  Any civilian reviews of this is almost overwhelmingly negative).  That, or they were offered a shitload of money.

Upon entering – the entrance sets a really high bar.   First of all, the Discovery Center in NYC does not allow photography, as such, that includes the Marvel exhibit.  Which to me, already, you are setting a really high bar for yourself.  You need to make this exhibit so unforgettable, so amazing, that you don’t need a selfie with the Iron Man suit to remember you went in 2 years.  The fact is, people are surgically attached to their devices.  I’m not saying that’s right, or even that should be the case – it just is.  We also live in a world of complete documentation – our phones document what we see.  To deny people to document is a pretty big deal nowadays, really, and I am not the only one with this sentiment because I looked at reviews of this place, and everyone apparently hated you couldn’t take pictures.  Well, if you are one of those people:  That wasn’t Marvel.  That was Discovery Center, which seems to have a business model of “No pictures +  cool exhibit idea + ???? = profit”.  I have been near or in Discovery Center a few times (I live in NYC), and I have to tell you it’s really more of a tourist trap half the time in my opinion, aside from the fact that if the exhibit is actually good, you can’t take pictures – which to me is a boatload of bullshit.

But let’s get started on the actual exhibits… if you really want to call them that.

You walk in, and they make you make out a SHIELD Agent card.  At first, I thought this was just a cute gimmick.  No. That card ended up being the entire exhibit.  Literally.  I asked to confirm the no photography about a million times, but a Discovery Center employee (not Marvel-specific employee) informed me that they just throw out whoever tries to take any pictures, but told me if you can sneak it do it, because “I love them too”.  She/He told me the employees (Marvel) are a special type of asshole when it comes to any device that could take a picture, no less actually doing it.  Like, if you just take out your phone, more than likely a shitload of employees are just going to turn into some SHIELD police gimmick and take you down for real.  Not to sound nitpicky (although once I hate something, I’ll nitpick it down to the color of it), but, like, maybe people have legitimate reasons to use their phones.  I don’t know.  I went on a vacation about a decade ago, and everything went to hell.  If I was a tourist, and I went into Marvel on that vacation, there was no way I wouldn’t use my phone or at least check it. It was legitimate emergency level stuff, such as emergency sick family members and the like (yes, while on vacation, thousands of miles away).  It’s really not that hard for a vacation to slowly take a really shitty turn, since I know someone probably thinks I’m doing it to be nitpicky – but trust me, I was on that vacation where it just went really bad, and we all relied on our cell phones, and kept them available at all times.

But I made it through making a card.  Yay.

Now I go into another room, where there is a guy with a camera and a green screen.  I’m not getting much of an explanation as to why I am standing in front of a green screen, why this person is telling me to “pose like a superhero”, or why he is here at all.  I already made the card, what are you possibly using my picture for?  The lack of explanation was really quite confusing, so I took one serious one and one not serious one.  Still, I had no explanation as to why I am standing in front of a green screen.

Then this is where they set the bar really high.  You go into this chrome-looking square (as a miserable looking employee escorts you – dude looked like someone told him his pet hamster died), and Agent Felix Blake comes on.  I’m Agent Felix Blake, and this is top secret blah blah blah.  The walls in front of you literally become the screen you are watching, which is really cool tech.  So then that’s all over, and you go into another room, and another series of small TVs tell you the same exact explanation the other guy just did.  It was literally almost verbatim, and you are wondering why you are hearing this again, why your neck needs to fucking crane out like a giraffe over this thing (if you happened to stand relatively normal, it looked like a laptop/flat screen on a bad angle), and when you are actually going to see something.  It was cool technology, please don’t get me wrong, but I just thought they could show something different.

It only looks cool.

(photocred: Timeout.com)
Finally, the meat and potatoes, or the very little meat and potatoes, of the exhibit are after this explanation.  You walk forward, and there are costumes.  Namely, Black Widow, Coulson, Nick Fury, Hawkeye, and that should be it (Also, really, no Peggy costume from TFA either there or in the Captain America exhibit?  Hello? marketing committee, are you sleeping?  She is getting her own show?).  And to accompany these props – which initially really left me in awe, despite the fact I couldn’t take photos – were none other than touch screens giving a brief explanation of the heroes.  I didn’t actually play any of them because I played one and lost interest in about .5 seconds, because all it showed was scenes from The Avengers.  I don’t believe it actually went into the character’s history very much other than perhaps their role in Avengers, but I could be wrong considering my interest instantaneously was lost.

The next exhibit was probably the only reason I went: Captain America.  I am a huge Captain America fan.  I saw pictures of his exhibit and knew I needed to go.  Honestly, for how ridiculously famous he is now, you would’ve really expected more.  There were the cards, his shields, costume, various other props, and that was basically it in props.  Honestly, if you want to see his props, save your money and just Google “Marvel Avengers STATION Captain America”.  You’ll see almost everything if you look hard enough.  Aside from the props, there were “testing” yourself against Captain America machines… Which, really, if you have any interest in actual comic books or are over the age of 5, that isn’t going to be your big thrill.  I don’t know.. considering how famous he is now, a little history in the character would’ve been better than these machines.  Wow! Captain America is stronger than you (spoiler alert).  The machines were also corny enough to tell everyone who used it they made it to the high scores. One machine even told you your height and weight, and Cap’s height and weight, and the differences in both.  You don’t need to pay 30-50 dollars to be told that, and you can just Google Captain America’s height and weight and do basic math without uber-engineering getting involved.

Whatever machines weren’t “tests” against Captain America, it went into the science of Captain America.  Except.. Captain America isn’t science.  I don’t care if he has different hemoglobin oxygen levels.  I don’t care about his liver working overtime – really, I don’t.  They should have had more on Captain America, than literally a room full of “test yourself against Captain America”.  I don’t know…. the fact his debut comic was punching Adolf Hitler?  His past movies?  His past anything?  But, at least I got to see his costume, which somehow got me a dirty look from the employee.  I did not have a phone out, nor did I have a camera (like, with me, at all).  Why enthusiasm warranted a dirty look, I do not know, but, the Discovery Center person wasn’t wrong.

And it only gets worse from here.

Next exhibit is the Hulk.  As you can imagine, unless they custom-make giant shorts, I don’t see what props they could include in Hulk’s exhibit.

Bingo.

It was the biggest, and also probably one of the most irrelevant, exhibits.  The exhibit had nothing to do with the Hulk and everything to do with random scientific information.  The Hulk’s exhibit featured everything from learning about gamma ray radiation in really god damn scientific terms (like, I’m talking words that would not generally appear in the Avengers, a history of the Hulk, or even Bruce Banner; they would appear in your local “radiation” college course).  You quite literally have no idea what you are reading, or why the hell you should read it at all, considering Bruce Banner or Hulk is barely mentioned in one of the machines’ descriptions.  Not to mention, before, on Captain America’s machines, there wasn’t really anything inherently scientific aside from the one prop that explained how he lived though being frozen (once again, in really complicated terms about hemoglobin, liver activity, and thyroid activity).  It was really just corny, so you didn’t need to re-read anything.  Well, the problem is, for all of these machines I’m mentioning, you are using that card.  You scan the card, and then you do the machine.

Seems simple, right?

Except for the fact that the makers of the exhibit expected you to be the Usain Bolt of reading and have a PhD in “Everything Science Related” so therefore you obviously know EXACTLY what they are talking about.

I needed to re-do one like 3 times because 1.  It was too fast and I couldn’t actually fucking read it, 2. it wasn’t explained properly what to do, 3. it went too fast and I couldn’t actually fucking read it.  Did I mention it was too fast?  Captain America’s information/machines were at least a little relevant (but corny), everyone knows he is a super soldier.  But tell me:  Why do we give a shit about the size of Hulk’s temporal lobe?  How about his Frontal lobe and Prefrontal cortex?  Amygdala?  Do you even know what any of those are?  Do you care what any of those are? If you do, don’t go to a Marvel exhibit.  Take a psychology course.

Yes, there was an exhibit on the human brain within Hulk’s exhibit (if you call it that), explaining all of the human brain and what it does.  Except for the fact that this is an Avengers exhibit, not a neuropsychology exhibit.  Tell us how Banner got the radiation.  Tell us his first comic debut. Now we’re really getting desperate: even mention the man who made him, Stan Lee.

And as you went on, it just delved deeper into gamma radiation, and kept ignoring Hulk.  There was an unidentified movie prop – once again, no explanation – along with more explanations about gamma rays.  I didn’t actually bother reading them, and I just kept going.  Next I found Chitaur props and Loki, which were cool.

…And then things hit a new low.  A really new low.

You know how people say Thor is ignored?  Well, Marvel definitely confirmed they ignore him too.

Literally, the exhibit consisted of a black room with Thor’s costume, and a hologram of his hammer.  It’s supposedly like, the world’s biggest hologram or something.  Why that would really matter to a comic book fan, I couldn’t actually tell you.  But it get’s worse.  Thor’s exhibit happened to be his suit, a hologram hammer, and… NASA.  That’s right.  Hubble Space Telescope, Kevlar, Wasp-2b planet, Constellations, Northern Lights.  How is that relevant to Thor?

Not explained either.

Yeah, I get it that he’s from Asgard and space and references, but literally, the entire screen had NASA information as if you just went to a space museum.  Thor’s costume had two screens that didn’t work next to him.  I normally love astronomy, but the fact is, I wasn’t there for astronomy.  They kept up the Avengers movie gimmick, but didn’t actually mention anywhere that Loki is the brother of Thor.  Bringing their A-Game, in other words.

Then you went around the back, and there is another giant screen explaining more astronomy, and suddenly something Thor related actually gets a mention – mind you, the screen is blocked by the NASA exhibit, so it’s not even near Thor’s costume.  Jane Foster is mentioned, as well as more scientific jargon.  I don’t have a lot to say… partly because there isn’t a lot to say.  There wasn’t much to see, therefore, there is very little to talk about.

Next, is Iron Man.

Iron Man gave me the finger.

I knew he was rough, but… wow.. Really..

Iron Man didn’t actually give me the finger.  They just had more gimmicky machines, and one of those machines was an Iron Man arm.  Except, the middle finger must have stopped working, and the ring finger only worked on the top (otherwise known as the phalanges, because apparently this is about anatomy and not comic books).  So you put your hand inside a sensor, and begin making hand movements… except for the fact the middle finger didn’t move.. And as such, Iron Man gave me the middle finger.

But it gets worse.  There was one machine that was so bad, I just stopped using it.  It was about how Howard Stark did engineering or something.  There were typos in each of these machines, somewhere, but this just topped it all.  It didn’t just have typos, but it didn’t explain Howard Stark.  It explained… types of rocks.

Gold is a soft metal.  Iron is a hard metal.  Titanium is found here.  Agent is bored to tears. Abort mission.

If I wanted to learn about metals, I’d take a geology course.  Ideally, if you want to know about Iron Man, you go to a Marvel exhibit… apparently, that is not the case, here.  His costume looked gorgeous, but really, more gimmick machines.  It was supposed to be “being Iron Man”, but like I said, if you actually like comic books, this is not the place to go.  I actually didn’t even bother finish looking at everything, just because I just wanted to leave.

But then, it abruptly ends.  And there is a gift shop…

… with items almost exclusively for children.

For adults, there’s a gray metal water bottle (Iron Man taught you about that.. Pop Quiz time), and really expensive shit.  For example?  There were canvas’.  They were nice.

They were over a thousand dollars.

There were child banks.  Child t shirts.  Child everything else. Thor’s hammer and Captain America’s other shield was in the gift shop, and those two things were literally the only things you could get a picture of.  (I took a Shield Selfie (TM)).  The only mention of comic books was the gift shop… with exactly two story arcs being there.

Everything else sucked, simply put.

Oh?  Remember that green screen?  Well, at the end, they put a picture of the Avengers behind you, and you could buy the pictures for a ridiculously overpriced amount and have them e-mailed to you (yet again for a price).

Turns out, still no pictures in my inbox.

Way to go, Marvel.