Monthly Archives: December 2013
I’m too fucking excited. Let’s just jump right in, shall we?
“All That Remains” opens up with a quick recap of Season 1, wherein it also reminds you of what the heck you decided through that festival of feels… I, unfortunately, played the game on a different platform and so the game generated random choices for me. Actually, all of them were the same, except that, when I played I had Lee chop his fucking arm off.
So, without much fanfaire, we catch up, now playing as Clementine. She is traveling with Omid and Christa, who apparently were the two people walking along the hill in the distance in the final shot of Season 1. Christa is significantly further along in her pregnancy now, and the trio are simply hitting a rest stop bathroom during their travels, the couple talking the whole way of what to name the baby.
Omid tells Clementine to go ahead into the bathroom, and to be sure that she checks the place out first and keeps track of her stuff. After inspecting the stalls and finding them clear, Clem washes up, putting her stuff out on the counter, but a sound at the door sends her scurrying to the only clean stall, trying to hide out from whoever the intruder is. It turns out to be a teenaged girl, and one who immediately turns Clem’s out gun, left out on the counter, onto Clem. She rifles through her pretty pink backpack and ultimately demands her trademark hat, but I chose to keep it, as it’s the only thing Clementine has left from her parents.
Unfortunately, as I get to make these life and death choices, Omid sneaks into the bathroom to see what’s taking Clem so long, sees the standoff, is for some reason unarmed, and makes the smallest of noises, causing the young girl to whirl and fire, hitting him in the chest. Christa rushes in with her rifle and wordlessly shoots the pleading girl. Omid dies in her arms.
Cut to “Sixteen Months Later,” where Clem and Christa are sitting on a log in the woods, trying to get a fire going to cook a rabbit despite a drizzling rain. You plead with her to speak to you, but she is closed off, tending to the fire and then instructing you to do it as she stalks off into the woods. You look in your bag to find your lighter, finding a torn picture of Lee and a crude drawing of Kenny and his family. This is to stab you in the feels zone as you might have to choose between burning one of them for kindling if you’re not thorough enough in your search to find the log on the right side of the scene. And right after you realise that that baby Christa was carrying..? Nowhere to be seen.
You soon hear a commotion in the woods where Christa went and sneak around to find her being interrogated by a bunch of guys who seem to be crooks, trying to force Christa to reveal the location of her “group.” You can choose to ditch her or distract the scavengers, giving her a chance to run. Being a softie, I chose the latter, and a chase ensues where you have to fight off not only one of the ruffians, but also all of the fucking walkers that the commotion has drawn out.
The dude ends up as walker food and you end up getting knocked off of a little cliff into a rushing river. Now, you wake up washed ashore (like always happens in real life) with nothing and no one, and you’re, like, 11 years old and have limited skills. You once again find yourself wandering through the woods, which really just seems like a terrible idea which everyone should recognize at this point, but you go on anyways, finding a collared dog still roaming around the campsite of his now-apparently-deceased owners. You look for food, and can even take a sec to play with the dog, eventually finding an unopened can of beans in the campsite’s garbage can. Upon opening it, you can decide whether or not to share with the dog. I did, but the damned thing attacks Clementine when she protests that he’s trying to take it all for himself. The dog bites the absolute fuck out of Clem’s arm, and she has to fight it off, kicking it into a set of broken tent poles and impaling it. You can them choose whether to mercy-kill the dog with the pocket knife you should have taken out of a not-quite-dead walker, or leave it to suffer. I chose the former, since it was a gonner anyways and it would’ve been crueller to leave it to be eaten alive by walkers.
Now, you’re still an 11 year old girl with limited skills and no one to watch out for you, but you have a pocket knife..! And a huge gaping wound across most of your left forearm. Awesome. Just as you sit to rest because of that pesky blood loss, you find yourself surreounded by walkers, and little badass Clem practically rolls her eyes at the scene.
You do try to run, but there are too many and… Random strangers in the woods find you and save your tiny little mixed race ass! Hooray! The elder Pete and a handsome younger Luke hoist you up and begin to take you back to their house to get checked out… And Luke totally throws you on the ground when he realises that you’ve got what looks to be a walker bite on your arm. Despite you protests that it was from a dog, they still don’t quite believe you, but they take you back to their place anyways. The group, including their in-house doctor, conclude that the only way to be certain that she’s not infected is to take your, again, 11 year old ass and lock your in the shed. If you’re feverish or have turned by the morning, then you’re a goner. Of course, Clem actually reasons with them that the wound needs to be cleaned because non-walker infection will also give her a fever and other symptoms, but the group is very guarded and unwilling to potentially squander resources on a person who might not even make it.
Being the enterprising little munchkin that you are, you are able to escape the shed, sneak into the house and snatch what supplies you need, even going so far and to kind of sarcastically befriend the doctor’s introverted and irresponsibly extremely sheltered daughter… Who is kind of weird and she immediately declares that the two of you are best friends and that’s coming on a little bit strong and you kind of just want to leave and you pretty much think that she’s either going to bite it, to cause others to bite it, or that she’ll somehow make a weird turn and become your fucking psychotic nemesis of the season.
Her name is Sarah and she helps you get one of the three things you need to get from the house. In one of the bedrooms, you have the option to steal a gold watch, but I didn’t think that Clementine needed any more drama in her life, so I let it be. Upstairs in the bathroom, you find a needle in a pincushion and, just as you are about to leave, you have to hide because Rebecca, the pregnant light-skinned chick of undiscernable race who is openly hostile towards you, comes in to compose herself… Because she’s not sure the baby belongs to the guy who thinks it’s his… This bit of information can come into play later, if you let it.
Once you’ve got everything, Clem goes back to the shed to stitch herself up. It’s a long process with a lot of crying on her part due to the pain. It is realistic, but I highly recommend not playing it on your iPad around other people who might be concerned as to why you’re so intently focused on the cries of a young girl…
Once finished, you find yourself caught by a walker who has squished himself into the small hole through which you escaped earlier because NOBODY EVER CLOSES DOORS OR OPENINGS BEHIND THEMSELVES WHEN THERE ARE ZOMBIES. And really, shouldn’t that be the first rule?
The folks up at the house somehow hear the commotion and come out to investigate. They see that Clem has taken out the walker and I chose the option of having her defiantly point out that she still isn’t bitten because, dammit, she’s a survivor and a little firecracker to boot.
They see that she’s managed to stich herself up well enough and realise that she was able to steal supplies from them. You can choose to defend yourself or lie or plead, and I had Clem simply admit it and apologize. They argue some more but eventually let you into the house, where doctor Carlos looks you over and says that you ought to be fine… But to stay away from his special little snowflake of a daughter, further cementing the idea that some bad shit’s going to go down later and that it’s all going to revolve around her.
You’re given something to eat and Luke comes in to have a little chat with you, handsomely asking if you’re alright and being all good-looking about it. You can choose to let him sit in silence, but I had Clem talk to him, opening up a bit, since these folks might be kinda dickish but they at least didn’t look like happy-go-lucky cannibals this time around. While you’re talking, though, in comes Nick, one of the characters who gave you a ton of shit earlier and who, in fact, almost accidentally shot you when you came to at the house.
He apologizes and discloses that they’ve been very cautious of strangers with bite marks since they tries to help a woman who had a bite and it ended up costing his mother her life. Again, you can choose whether or not to accept his apology and, again, I did. When that’s over, Pete comes in and declares that it’s time to turn in, since they’ve got to save the candles they’ve got especially since the light in the house could attract unwanted visitors.
Clem is left to finish her meal in peace… Until Rebecca comes back in. She is, again, hostile to you, despite Luke’s offer that you stay. Here, you can choose to reason with her, to defend yourself, or, as I decided to do in Clementine’s first misstep into womanhood, have her ask who the baby’s father is, if for not other reason than to show this CUNextThursday that she shouldn’t start some shit she can’t finish.
The next day, Pete and Nick, his nephew by the way, take Clem towards their fishing grounds, hoping to catch some fresh fish for dinner for the group. As they’re walking, Pete tells an embarrassing story about Nick when he was thirteen and chickened out of shooting a buck, almost getting Pete in the process, and this pisses of Nick, who always feels like his uncle is riding him. Their argument is cut short, though, when they come across the pond… And a slaughter.
While checking for clues, survivors, and supplies, and while the guys discuss whether this could be the work of a nefarious character referred to only as Carver, Clementine spots her pink and flowery backpack and realizes that at least one of the men, a still-living but in bad shape dude with short dreadlocks, must have been part of the party in the forest when she was separated from Christa.
She demands to know what happened to her friend, but the moment is, as always, interrupted by more fucking walkers! Nick and Pete try to fend them off but Pete runs out of ammo. Nick is supposedly a crap shot, though, and prone to panic, and in this moment, Clem has to choose which of the guys to head towards.
Now, I totally misunderstood this moment. I thought that I was meant to think as an 11 year old girl, outnumbered a bajillion to one, with people who still didn’t fully trust me, armed only with the hammer I/she swiped from the shed these same people had locked me in earlier, I was supposed to head towards whoever I had the better chance of surviving with. I chose Nick. He still had bullets and, because of his supposed ineptitude, he might also actually need my help. Unfortunately, this leads to Pete getting mauled by walkers. If I had gone over to Pete’s side instead, Clem would have taken out a walker that was already on him, and we would see that he’d been bit anyways, but the preview for the next chapter implies that Pete would attempt an amputation since he’d heard that a cousin of his had survived being bitten that way.
But, since I went with Nick, Pete’s a goner in my story. And so we continue. Or, actually, we don’t. In fact, now all that we see after Clem and whoever she went with fleeing into the woods (if you pick Pete, then you and he go into the woods and Nick is seen retreating on his own) is the aforementioned trailer for the second chapter. In mine, Nick is a mess, drinking himself into a stupor, the rest of the group still is wary of Clem, more information is discussed about the mysterious Carver, and perhaps most intriguing, we see a final shot of Clementine, shocked, saying “I thought you were dead” to someone off-camera.
I’m certain that the creators are trying to guide players towards the notion that this will be Christa’s return, but I’m also fairly certain that this is a red herring. I think that this might be the much anticipated and rationalized by fans return of Kenny! Remember, from Season 1, the only person not to have definitively been declared dead was Kenny; he was simply marked as “lost” to the hoard. Ever since the end of that game, the Interwebs has been buzzing with survival theories for the former family man… And could we not all see him coming back as a harsher, more intense character? Almost a kind of Governor-esque nemesis for our young heroine… We’ll soon learn more about him, how he was a former member of this new group before going rogue, in the second chapter, “A House Divided.”
The gameplay is seemless. The decision-making system is still in place, where much of the story depends on how you interact with the other characters, but nothing is lost by having to play as Clementine this time instead of Lee. In fact, this lends itself to more opportunities for action as you’ve really got to be on the ball with your reflexes to avoid walkers and escape from hostile humans and animals. One wrong swipe or just a moment too late, and you’re sent back to the last saved checkpoint to try again. Clementine’s more moderate strength is a foil as you sometimes have to button mash to escape a situation, and you’re caught in this pre-teen mix of independence and still needing adult guidance and protection. Lee prepared you well, but you’ve still got a lot to learn, and it’s very cool to see Clementine learning and adapting both before your eyes and because of the decisions you make as the player. I understand some people’s complaints that the game just won’t be the same without Lee, but I think that wanting a game to be the same the next time you play it makes for a very dull experience indeed, especially when it comes down to a genre like the Zombie Apocalypse and survival one, where things can become very repetitive very quickly.
Well, either way, the next chapter is “TBD 2014,” so whenever the fuck that is, I’ve already got my season pass and the next review will be up soon after!
If, for some ridiculous you haven’t gone and seen “Frozen” yet, leave the website and go see the movie! …Then come back.
About a week ago, fellow Fangirl Kizer (kizerezik) and I went to go see “Frozen.” We both enjoyed it quite a bit, Kizer even commenting on getting chills during the song “Let it Go.” (Yeah, it was that good.) Then, almost two weeks later, we done seen it again, this time watching for technical details and listening more closely to the vocals, to see if Idina Menzel’s singing was as top-notch as I remember. It was… Almost. But the song and the performance were still moving and this isn’t a music blog.
SO! If I’m satisfied with the film, with the songs, with the characterization and the impressive resolution to the main conflict of the story, why am I writing a post about a movie which has been in theaters for over a month?
Well, this is why:
…Really? We’re gonna obsess over eyes and wrists, now? I mean, complain about her waist being unrealistically tiny, or the size of her head proportionate to her shoulders, something that better portrays the actual problem of too-thin depictions of women in the media, especially when geared towards younger and more impressionable girls, but… Wrists and eyes?
I mean, okay, there are some girls out there who really want scary big eyes, there are some girls in Japan and S. Korea (and, I’m sure, other places) who undergo surgeries to widen their eyes, that’s all very sad, yes, but is it really so pervasive a problem that we need to nitpick the matter with respect to a movie which has so much more gong for it when it comes to lessons learned and positive examples?
And, yeah, it’s true that the animators and designers work to exaggerate the differences between the sexes… But everything is exaggerated in cartoons. Exaggeration, squash and stretch, reactions, character design, all of this is kind of the foundation of the medium. Plus, do we not realise that not only do children see things more simply, but that they actually need things to be simplified much of the time? And, also… I mean, it is ultimately a movie made for children.
Instead, why don’t we ever focus on the positive?
In “Frozen,” completely contradictory to the classic Disney style, tertiary characters sing a song referring to the budding love interest and their characters as “fixer-uppers,” saying that everyone has their flaws, but those flaws are endearing, make us special, we shouldn’t let them blind us to what makes a person special, and that love is the most important thing in a relationship… And all of this after an initial musical number which is still entertaining and which pokes fun at the notion of love at first sight and instantaneous wedding proposals.
Before this, Elsa, the older of the two sisters, sings a song about how she’s much happier being herself, not limiting herself, and no longer letting fear of self-expression hinder her…
And she still ends up single at the end of the movie! Gasp! A strong female role model who, yes, has her issues, but strives to overcome them and returns to rule her kingdom, sans a bro at her side. And she’s a bad bitch when she’s got to defend herself!
Also, Holy Architecture, Batman! That castle?
And the end of the movie? Don’t even get me started! Long story short, some bad shit goes down and Anna is going to freeze solid (and, y’kmow, die) unless an act of true love saves her… And despite the presence of TWO love interests for her, she saves HERSELF!
And her sister! The love that saves the day isn’t the love at first sight she has with Hans or the budding love of Kristoff, not physical love, not even heterosexual love (so fuck taking animators exaggerating the differences between the senses personally)… None of those, but the love of her family, her love for her sister, and that is someone which we very rarely see in movies made for girls, especially Disney princess films.
Or how about the fact that the main villain is handsome? That we learn that not all villains are ugly and not all good looking people are nice. That sometimes relationships fall apart and that things aren’t always as they appear to be.
Oh, but the body issues! Let’s fixate on them! I mean, everybody in this movie is a model! Except for… Oh, well, these guys.
And this dude.
And, oh, look! Despite the fact that African noblewoman would be totally anachronistic, there are a handful of black guests at the coronation ball!
But damn, those wrists…
And not to sound like I’m defending a movie that’s flawless. There are things that one could legitimately complain about, like the fact that Anna and Elsa’s parents royally (pun not intended, but totally intended once I realised it was done) fucked up with separating the girls as children and isolating Elsa and scaring the absolute shit out oh her, even knowing that “Fear only makes it worse” and “Fear will be your enemy.” Or how about how Anna never gets those memories back?! That bothered the shit out of me! But people make mistakes! So, it’s totally believable that parents wouldn’t know what to do with one daughter who is freakishly powerful and has already proven herself a danger to the other daughter. And sometimes shit doesn’t get resolved, so Anna not getting those memories back? I guess it adds a little realism to a movie where big eyes and tiny wrists are apparently a big fucking deal.
So, yeah, bummer that the girls are super slender with big eyes and tiny wrists. Fine. But to slander (libel?) a film which has so much more going on that’s actually tremendously good for girls and women (and dudes, too) everywhere…
Well, I guess you just can’t please everyone.
Just most people without sticks up their respective asses.
Until next time, whether you enjoyed the movie or not, or even if you’re too caught up on the aesthetics to give the story a chance, I’m leaving you with the words of one of the wisest thinkers of any generation:
Until next time, nerds.
SEASONS GREETINGS, NERDS!
All of the Fangirls want to wish you a very Merry Christmas, filled with heroes and timelords and hobbits! We hope your stockings are stuffed with capes, magic rings, lightsabres, and, of course, CANDY!
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Howdy, kids, and a Merry Christmas Eve!
Let’s get to it…
This issue picks up pretty seamlessly from the last one, with Diana’s blind, demi-god, half-brother Milan in this broad Cassandra’s apparently evil clutches. As her talking Hyena men threaten their captive, a little bit of dialogue reveals that this bitch is yet another sibling of the Olympians, a plotline I’m getting a little tired of. Really? Every single Ancient Greek diety is going to make an appearance? Every one of the is going to be a foil to Diana in some way. These motherfuckers are everywhere and they’re disfigured and no mortals question them or still believe in the Pantheon? On the one hand, it’s good that Wonder Woman’s series is something different than the rest of the string of hero books, but it’s not really such a departure. Instead of a rogues gallery, we’re just going to be witness to the terribleness of the Greek gods. Okay. Fine. As long as she’s not poorly written here like she is in fuckin’ Superman/Wonder Woman…
Your crazy family will FOREVER be a burden. Actually… At least they got that part about life as a young Greek woman right. Hmmm…
ANYWHO. Back to the story, Cassandra’s trying to squeeze water from a stone, asking a blind dumpster diver where to First Born is, like he’s gonna know!
He’s “saved” from further empty threats, though, but the opening of a BOOM tube, heralding the entrance of Orion. Unfortunately for him and all of his bravado, thought, he’s halted by the classic Villain-Holding-A-Gun-To-Their-Prisoner’s-Head routine.
Wonder Woman, Hermes, and… the chick from “The Ring?” Well, they show up at Chernobyl, ready to rescue Milan, but are promptly attacked by Hyena Men…
Aaaaaand, back at the apartment, Strife is using her HUGELY misplaced powers as babysitter to torment Zola, that fucking little needle she had Hephaestus make held behind her back the whole time. She insists that she’s here to help as she cradles her brother’s severed head which they STILL have on the mantle, and Zola dismisses her… Until a comment about how several people have already had to die for her and Zeke finally hits home.
Back in the Chernobyl underground, Cassandra continues to make threats and posture and monologue, forcing Milan to tell her something of a vision– even as Diana and Hermes burst through the ceiling (y’know, like ya do).
He rambles about joyrides and rainbow and sparkly colours and shit, no doubt foreshadowing some future storyline, and she could give a shit. He refuses to tell her where the First Born is, even as he clearly just had a vision of him (being covered in milk and honey… and then flies by Apollo), refusing her despite her threats to Orion, Diana, Hermes, and even himself. Dude is ready to fucking die if he has to. Admirable… In a ridiculous kind of way. I mean, I thought this First Born guy was unbelievably powerful. You think he’s not going to get free eventually/let this bitch control him? I doubt it.
Disgusted, Cassandra kicks him out of her plane thing, with…
A BOMB ON HIS CHEST.
Orion can’t remove the bomb, which has a timer set for one minute, and he won’t even let Diana try, so he slaps Milan onto his little robo scooter thing and rides through a BOOM Tube with him into New Genesis, and I don’t know how that’s supposed to help since he says himself there’s a chance they’ll just blow up in the Tube.
And then Milan gotta get an attitude…
So, a whopping THREE non-slapping moments later, she’s stuck back at her place, telling Hermes that she thinks she’s made a mistake in telling Cassandra the First Born’s location… Because… IDK, feelings? Whatever. And THEN, Strife is good enough to give her the news that Zola up and left with little Zeke.
As Diana reads Zola’s goodbye/apology letter, asking her not to look for them (which we know obviously isn’t going to be listened to), we see Zola chilling at a Metro station, met by yet another deity.
So, now Zola is sitting in wait of a train to France (because the preview tagline was “The French Connection,” so…) with the fanged Dio with her. Now, I’m at a loss. Is Dio short for Dionysus? Or is this another character that DC invented to be a friend to their protagonists? Because they’re terrible with coming up with original ethnic-sounding names (as per my review of Superman/Wonder Woman #3).
Altogether, the issue wasn’t terrible, and I’m on the fence about the fact that we went straight from hating Hermes’ guts to a buddy-cop moment in one issue, and I’m not in the mood for an infinite series of “Ooh, more Greek gods starting shit they can’t finish” storylines. It makes me think of the first several seasons of “Smallville,” where every-fucking-thing was “meteor rocks.” Barf.
I hope that, in France, at least, the story progresses at least a little faster and we actually see what the big deal about the First Born and Zeke (the last born, by the way) is/are.
‘Til next time, thanks for reading and Merry Christmas!
We know you’ll be as thrilled as we are to check out the first episode of The Fangirl Perspective Podcast! Listen to us discuss the women of “Thor: the Dark World” HERE!
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We’ll start this week’s reviews with Supergirl #26 and the introduction of the New 52 version of that crazy Czarnian Lobo!
The issue opens with the newly Wolverine’d Lobo. That is, a character who used to be burly and squat yet massive, snarling and grotesque and truly formidable, is now a slimmer, cleaner cut, practical male model. I’m not outright complaining, but I do think that maintaining a little bit of variety wouldn’t have killed DC. Actually, at this point, that would explain the majority of the New 52, but I digress. Good looking Lobo is on the hunt for an imposter, apparently the old crass Lobo we knew and loved to hate way back in the day.
His intimidation and outsourced murder of a nightclub owner gets him nowehere, though, so he contacts an alien named Rhialla to ask about his sources…
Deep below the surface of the Earth, in a super high tech research facility called “The Block,” a massive particle accelerator is halted in the middle of an experiment which makes very little physical sense if one goes by the dialogue of tertiary characters in the scene… The interruption, though? The arrival of one Kara Zor-El, needing desperately to speak to Shay Veritas, the ridiculously named scientist (because Veritas means Truth and scientists are always searching for Truth and la-dee-fucking-da) introduced in Superman to give him a place to bro out at the gym every once in a while.
Basically, it’s Star Labs back when he was buddies with Emil Hamilton and I don’t understand why we just couldn’t have Star Labs and Emil Hamilton…
Anywho, check out the above panel. Ugh, amiright? I mean, Jeebus, Kara, maybe stop being so clingy and you might make a friend. For that matter, don’t ditch your only friend on Earth for weeks and then be hurt when a girl you didn’t even know all that well moves on. Oh, and maybe change out of those clothes that you’ve been wearing NON-STOP since you’ve ARRIVED on the PLANET. You canNOT still smell even remotely decent. I don’t even care if you’ve been in the ocean… No. Wait. You’ve been in the OCEAN. You smell like BO and FISH.
So, their heart-to-heart is interrupted by a call, which Shay takes without even excusing herself because she’s so relieved to be out of that crazy child’s super-grip. Rhialla and his high collar are warning her that an assassin named Lobo is on his way to whup some information out of her. Kara says that she’s going to try talking to him, you know, “extinct alien to extinct alien.” Y’know, like she never just rushes into conflicts fist first…
As Lobo arrives at the transporter (which I won’t get started on my whole thing with how transporters are terrible) to The Block, Kara zaps in front of him with a “Stop Right There!”
He takes a photo of her boobs with his smartphone or something and Kara flies towards him, coming of waaaay too strong and trying to relate to him on the basis of their planets have both gone kablooey (and to be fair, her cousin’s relationship with Wonder Woman is based on less, so it was worth a shot, I guess), but he shushes her with a single, extremely manicured fingernail.
He launches an attack at her– ! Actually, he throws a net. Some “assassin.” She EASILY breaks free because “duh” and slams into him at super speed, sending them both outside of The Block’s arctic cave entrance. Understandably upset, he kicks her in the head and she, shouting about how she’s on her period or something (yeah, I said it) hauls off and knocks his metaphorical block off.
As she flies to catch up to where she knocked his whole fucking body by just his head, she sees him sprawled in the snow, neck twisted at an angle that looks… Pretty bad. Kara’s all choked up now because she thinks she’s killed him. However, as we know in comics, nobody ever really dies. You’d think that they’d have at least cottoned off enough by now themselves to poke their victims with a stick or something before writing them off completely, but then that would show a recognition of continuity and possible character growth and we can’t have that (any more). Le sigh.
Now, we all know that Lobo isn’t dead. Or, if this one is, it was a decoy. Or, if this one is, then he was the impostor. Either way, we’ve still got more Lobo incoming. As for this issue, I really still dislike Kara’s characterisation. I mean, it wasn’t bad, it wasn’t great, it certainly wasn’t a thinker, and that’s really all that I’ve got to say on it. She’s either hotheaded and ridiculous or mopey and ridiculous, and I’m not having either combination for too much longer. I’m fairly certain that the Red Lanterns crossover in a few months’ time is going to be a temporary thing which is going to at least try and set Kara back on more of a heroic path blah blah blah… But I really just don’t trust the editorial staff at DC to allow any positive changes to their characters to really stick for too terribly long.
I’ll see you all in a day or two for another lovely comic review.
Last month Marvel started the Amazing X-Men comic, which is a new ongoing series. It is replacing Astonishing X-Men, which just ended in October of this year. It is suppose to be the continuation of the Battle of the Atom series. Amazing X-Men will deal with the aftermath of that series. The series starts with the search for Nightcrawler who died in the X-Men Second Coming series in 2010.
The series starts with Nightcrawler quickly reminiscing about his former life as he sits up in heaven. Surprisingly Nightcrawler is unhappy with his life in heaven. The peacefulness and serenity of heaven just is not for the warrior soul. He smells that something is out of place, which is true, there are evil monsters that do not belong in heaven. Nightcrawler is excited to fight them since he has not been able to fight with anyone in a long time. During the fight Nightcrawler smells brimstone – that is not his. That could only mean one thing, his father Azazel is in heaven. Azazel in heaven could only mean trouble, so Nightcrawler fights with his father.
Azazel reminds Nightcrawler that he is dead which means Nightcrawler cannot follow his father. That information is not accurate, all Nightcrawler has to do is jump.
At the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning (which is what it was renamed after Wolverine reopened the school), Angela Jones aka Firestar is reporting for her first day as a teacher. The school is always in motion, teachers and students with classes to be. Or course everyone has their own personal issues to deal with. Unfortunately, Firestar cannot get anyone’s attention to help her out. In the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning you need to be assertive. Firestar gets lucky when she comes across Beast who is trying to find the location of the Bamfs since they stole his coffee maker Eleanor. (I hear Eleanor and automatically think of Gone in 60 Seconds). Bamfs are creatures that resemble Nightcrawler or his father, with similar powers – they come from an alternate dimension. When Firestar and Beast find the missing coffee maker, they also discover a gateway device that the Bamfs have built in the mansion. Those cleaver little creatures, building a gateway device under everyone’s nose, while still having time to stealing Wolverine’s whiskey.
The head X-Men all decide to check out the gateway device that the Bamf’s built. Naturally they have to assess the situation that they caused when they did not get rid of the creatures months ago. Marvel needed a plot device to introduce Nightcrawler again, so the Bamfs had to have free reign of the mansion.
Breast thought that he had cut off its power supply to the gateway device but the Bamf’s had tapped into another power source. Apparently the Bamf’s are actually smarter then Beast and know the mansion better then him, which is scary since Beast is a genius and he built the mansion. Something activates the gateway device causing red Bamf’s to come out (much like the ones that came with Azazel earlier), the red ones are mean. (The Bamfs that are running around the mansion are blue and much nicer, they remind me of Gizmo.) The red Bamf’s were trying to keep the X-Men away from the gateway machine. Somehow, the gateway pulled in Wolverine and Northstar into it, sending them to an unknown place.
While Wolverine and Northstar are investigating their new location they come across a floating ship.
For the second issue we find that Storm, Iceman and Firestar have also been pulled through the gateway. Unfortunately, they were not transported to the same place as Wolverine and Northstar – they were transported to hell instead. In hell; Storm’s powers do not work, Iceman is melting, and it Firestar is freaking out. It is Firestar’s first day with the X-Men and she has already be sent to hell. Not to mention when she was with the Avengers they had a butler that made them pancakes. From what Firestar has seen the X-Men do not.
They also run across a different floating ship before they are attacked by hell monsters.
As Northstar attacks the ship it is discovered that Northstar and Wolverine are in heaven. That Azazel is stealing souls and it is the job of the pirates to fill the ship with souls. Wolverine saves one person’s soul only to be captured onto the boat. Wolverine begins a fight with the captain of the ship.
Back in hell, Storm is fighting the demons only to be captured onto the second ship by its captain – Captain Kid. Firestar goes to save Storm only to be stopped by one of the monsters of hell. Iceman then freezes over all of hell (if you ever said that something will happen when hell freezes over – guess what it happened), unfortunately that took a lot of energy from Iceman causing him to collapse and the ice starts melting. Captain Kid floats away with Storm on his ship.
Captain Jack of other ship has managed to get Wolverine onto the plank, which Wolverine falls off but manages to catch himself at the last second. A voice in Wolverine’s head tells him to hold on and not to fall down. Wolverine is at first confused as to who the voice is until he sees Professor X. The Professor tells Wolverine that he is in heaven and that he has to find Nightcrawler before his father does.
Unfortunately, while the Professor is communicating with Wolverine Captain Jack pushes him off the plank. Like a true man, Wolverine cannot multitask so trying to fight and have a mental conversation was too much. I blame that on Professor X, he really should have known that would be an issue.
It the last panels we see Northstar trying to save Wolverine, Storm tied up on the ship and Firestar doing what she can to protect Iceman. Nightcrawler is finally seen again even though he was giving background on the X-Men throughout the issue. Nightcrawler plans to do whatever needs to be done to save his friends souls.
What I liked about the first issue is that we see some contradiction in Nightcrawler, he admits to being a man of faith and that heaven is everything he imagined but that he is not content with being there. His found his life to be exciting while he was alive, he fought for good and in some ways that gave him a warriors soul.
I also really enjoyed the mention of Storm and Wolverine hooking up (which happened in Wolverine and the X-Men #24). I have been a RoLo shipper since I was 10, so I super excited that they kinda together in the comics and I am looking forward to more instances of them together. I also like the dynamic of both of them being Headmaster and Headmistress of the school. Storm has been a team leader in the past, thus the authority figure, so this put Wolverine on an even playing field.
I did find this issue to be a bit slow but it was the set up issue so that is to be expected.
I have to say I enjoyed the second issue much better, there was more action but I also felt that I could also understand where the story was going better. I am enjoying the fact that the group was teleported to different areas, one to heaven and the other to hell. Since Storm is one of my favorite comic book characters, it makes happy to see to that they showed that she is still tough even without her powers. Especially after the X-Men movies with really down played her a lot.
I also enjoyed the play on when hell freezes over. With that being said it was great to see that display of power from Iceman since he is an Omega Level Mutant. Being in hell is bad for Iceman and in some ways killing him, it was great to see even with that he could still do amazing things with his powers.
What I am looking forward to in the next issue to of course seeing more of Nightcrawler. I am hoping that we will get to see more of what Azazel is up to; it really feels like he is the devil right now. A part of me wants Wolverine to fall into hell so that the team can be reunited but at the same time, I do want Northstar to save him. I am not sure if I am ready for the team to reunite yet, that might be more fun to see in the 4th issue. I hope that Nightcrawler does not run into his father again until one of the later issues. With any luck they will play up the father son relationship a bit more since I know that Azazel and Nightcrawler do not see eye to eye.
Until next month when I review the 3rd issue.
- 4 Reasons to Read Amazing X-Men #2 (and 4 to skip it) (comicbooked.com)
- Amazing X-Men #1 Review (themarvelousrealm.wordpress.com)
- Amazing X-Men Volume Two Issue 1 (shadowandflamewithmagik.com)
- SDCC ’13: Nightcrawler Returns with a Bamf! (comicbooked.com)
- SDCC’13: Nightcrawler Returns in Amazing X-Men #1 from Aaron and McGuinness (comicsbeat.com)
- Amazing X-Men #2 – Review (weeklycomicbookreview.com)
- Review: Amazing X-Men #1 (forthebl0g.wordpress.com)
- Amazing X-Men 1 (retcon-punch.com)
Welcome to the first chapter of Costume Dynamics. As most of you are well aware, female superheros tend to get the short end of the skirt when it comes to costumes. Apparently the majority of protective gear or fabric in general went to their male counterparts. This first chapter will focus on a superhero who doesn’t need to fear even really getting hurt, so her costume should be pretty simple, whatever the hell she feels like. Yet… it still doesn’t work. Ladies and Gents, I give you Supergirl!
Alter Ego: Kara Zor-El/Linda Danvers
- super strength
- super speed
- heat vision
- heightened sensory
Train-wreck time! This fuckin’ book, I swear…
On the first page, Cat Grant receives a manila envelope with a USB drive inside. Whatever she sees is supposedly “Whoa”-worthy. But that’s all that we’re going to see about that…
Cut to the moon, specifically its dark side, where Superman is supersulking because now he’s too powerful (oh, boo-fucking-hoo) and he can’t let Diana see him like this!
Lucky for him, Bruce is at the Watchtower, comms on and all, ready to bro out with his homie. Batman reassures him, telling him that the reason they’re such best buds is because Clark was raised human, so he’s still that “dumb farmboy,” and that that’s probably why he’s freaking out about his relationship with Diana, since she’s been a super special princess since birth…
Meanwhile, Diana is out shopping with the VERY unfortunately named Hessia (her name means poo in Greek, and they’re fucking AMAZONS AND THEY SHOULD KNOW BETTER. DC YOU OFFICIALLY NEED MY APPROVAL BEFORE DOING THINGS. ALL THINGS). She’s asking for girlfriendy advice on what to get her boyfriend for their first Christmas together. Her friend whose name I refuse to repeat because of ALL of the reasons suggests that the gift needs to be thoughtful, not flashy, and it needs to show him that she knows who is really is.
Bruce alerts Clark of some bidness developing in North Africa (because being specific would be RIDICULOUS), and the Man of Steel is off. We see Zod where he was last issue, covered in blood and surrounded by the mangled bodies of a slew of unfortunate brown people, just caught in his crazy ass way. One of the men is still alive and able to say “Min Fadlak,” which is “Please” or “If you please” in Arabic, so Zod naturally comes to the conclusion that stomping this man’s face into an unrecognizable slurry is the appropriate response.
Zod unreasonably quickly learns to fly and heads for the nearest populated area, only to be intercepted by the Martian Manhunter. J’onn asks if he needs help, and Zod, ever friendly, decides to sock him in the face.
Manhunter isn’t alone, though, and Hawkman, Steve Trevor, and some dude named Vibe are all there for whatever reason. But all of their fighting and all of Zod’s “Rhar” sounds don’t matter, because Diana and Clark show up to restrain Zod anyways. Because it’s THEY’RE book, dammit. The various group members argue over who gets custody of the threat. Dianna claims him as her prisoner since she was able to tie him up with the magic lasso and they end up putting him in Clark’s care because Superman doesn’t trust Earth, New 52 style… Steve tries to play the ex card, but she tells him it’s nothing personal and the two fly away to the Fortress of Solitude because it’s TOTALLY personal if she’s gonna tell them Zod’s her prisoner and then she’s going to just hand him over to Clark.
During this time, Zod apologizes for his actions, speaking perfect English because I guess they get cable in the Phantom Zone. He also tempts Clark with the fact that he knew Jor-El… So Clark locks him in his menagerie.
Content to leave their captive unsupervised like so many Bond villains before them, Diana and Clark saunter out and she’s just itching to give him his Christmas present early, saying they’re probably not going to have another perfect moment like locking a dude in a glass box.
So, Diana’s idea for a Christmas gift is yuletide sex, but… Shouldn’t that be a given? On holidays and birthdays? Greek bitch is just being cheap about it. But before they can get past a little bit of tongue, they are interrupted by the scourge of Super-Hearing.
This is probably what Cat saw on that first page. She likely uploaded it herself to her clarkcatropolis.com monstrosity of a domain. Why this would stop them mid-make-out doesn’t make any sense to me… It’s like, hey, no crime-stopping? Awesome. But, oh, people know we’re together, so now we should stop even though there’s nothing we can do about it. Actually, why were they even keeping it a secret? Y’know what this reminds me of..?
Although who the fuck would call Wonder Woman a moped is beyond me… Actually, considering how douchey this incarnation of Superman is, he’s probably the one you’d be embarrassed to be seen with. Like, “I know he’s dumb, but he’s so good looking,” and your friends just can’t get past how shallow you are… Meanwhile, Diana’s friend’s advice of “give him a gift that shows you know who he is inside” culminates in her being like, “Sex ’cause you’re a dude end of story.” So, a lot of that lack of depth going around…
Even though I take exception to DC calling Clark and Diana “Our Super-Couple,” (they ain’t MINE) I do love that they’re going to have an unhappy New Years because they’re creating their own White People Problems. Seems about right for them considering how ridiculous they’re being.
This fucking series, I swear to Bob… So, what’s the more imminent threat here? A superpowered escapee from the Phantom Zone, which you know is the place they send the most vile of Kryptonian offenders, or your super celebrity relationship coming out on TMZ? Doing the covers of magazines and shit…
Le sigh. I can’t even with this.
See y’all for a review of their Crappy New Years!
This issue wraps up the “Batgirl: Wanted” arc. Going in, I was anxious, hoping that Commissioner Gordon would finally find out his daughter’s secret. The mixture of emotions should be powerful, between pride and anger and confusion and sorrow, since his daughter was a hero to all of Gotham… At least until she seemingly killed James Gordon Jr. Of course, in comics, we know that a body unrecovered is a character still alive, but I digress…
The minions of
Bitchface McGee Knightfall are still mid-murder of Commissioner Gordon. They’ve got Meta-Humans in their ranks and Grotesque has a pair of bolt cutters hovering around Jim’s pinky finger. But just as they’re about to start a-choppin’, Batgirl bursts through the front window on her motor cycle.
Babs crashes her bike into Bonebreaker, chucks some Batarangs at Gretel, and makes to escape with the Commish, when this Mirror shows up, claiming that they’re “on the list” because they’ve “both cheated death.” Whatevs. Batgirl chucks another Batarang at his face (because she didn’t learn a lesson the last time she threw a Batarang at some bitch), knocking him off kilter and giving her and Gordon Sr. the time they need to literally trap themselves in the fucking basement. While they, argue, though, Bonebreaker calls Knightfall to tattle on Batgirl…
This is actually a pretty good idea. Too bad it doesn’t seem likely to happen, especially as Knightfall tells the terrifyingly named “Michael” to burn the whole house down with everyone (EVERYONE) inside if her thugs screw up the hit. Waiting in the lamest ambush ever, at the top of the stairs to the basement, Bonebreaker and the others try to coax Batgirl out of hiding, promising not to fight and to give her hugs and candies and a nice cup of hot cocoa, maybe a blanket while they just go on ahead and murder her father. She, of course, is not terribly fond of this idea.
Batgirl is able to fight off the Knightfall minions by using their numbers and strength against them by fighting them in a tiny little hallway which didn’t look all that tiny when she and her dad walked through it a few pages earlier. Downstairs, the Commissioner takes out Michael as he tries to sneak in (BY TALKING LOUDLY ON HIS CELL PHONE) and start burning shit up.
Gordon passes up his gun in favour of activating an adorable little small scale Bat Signal. Seeing that half of their crew is no loonger in fighting shape, plus given that Gotham PD and the Bat Family are all likely on their way, Bonebreaker and Company sluggishly pick themselves up and head out through that gaping hole that Babs put in the house, and… Batgirl just lets them go. Like, seriously, she actually just lets them walk away.
It is at this point, after the imminent threat has past, Jim Gordon pulls out his service pistol and points it at the back of her head. She challenges him as a police officer, saying that she acted the only way that she could, and he admits that he knew what kind of actual fucking psycho
And here comes the moment that I’ve been waiting for– !
Mother. FUCKER. She resigns herself to revealing her secret and he LOOKS AWAY. Not even catching shit in his peripherals. I mean, should I really be surprised? He hasn’t been able to identify his own daughter for years despite the fact that most of her face is actually visible, her distinguishing and highly recessive trait red hair has been showing for all of this time, and, y’know, he has actually met his daughter before… But I was really hoping that this was going to be the moment. An arc that spanned several issues, culminating in very little, especially as Ricky even survives his ordeal and wakes back up by the end of this issue.
Of course, none of this is the big reveal of this issue…
BIG FUCKING SURPRISE. Did I call it? Because, yes, I called the fuck out of it. In fact, the panel is so understated and the moment so fleeting, I’d think that writer Gail Simone just fucking expected us all to come to this conclusion readily.
Yes, James Gordon Jr. is back to be a psychopathic murderer another day, this time with an eyepatch! THIS is most likely why Jim Sr. couldn’t find out about his daughter’s secret identity right now; they’ve got to have more family drama to play up when James Jr. comes back into the light and they realize that he’s alive… Likely after he manipulates a bunch of crap in the shadows to ruin Jim Sr. and Barbara’s lives as much as possible in the meantime.
Next issue ties into “Gothtopia” and what the fuck is that?! Find out with us when I review Batgirl #27 in a month!
Thanks for reading!