Hello! I’ve got a nice digital stack of comics this week, so I’m going to hop right into it.
In Q & A, a weekly feature of Fantastic Fangirls, we ask our staff to tackle a simple question — then open the floor to comments.
Flashback: What comic-based television series would you like to see?
I thought so when I first saw it and I still think so:
DREDD would make a great television series. It didn’t work as a film for me, but as the pilot for a television series that wasn’t picked up so they said ‘screw it, let’s add a bunch of nonsensical 3D and call it a movie’. . . it worked too well. I just really wish my hypothetical network that passed on “Dredd the Series” actually existed so I could bang on their door and shout WHY!
Seriously, hypothetical television network, make this!
Well, one of my answers is already coming to life on the small screen.
As for the others, for a long while I wished Fables would become a TV show, but Once Upon a Time kind of ruined that. Not to say that OUaT isn’t good… it’s just not what I think Fables could have been. I’m also holding out hope for an Alias series, and it seems like the rumor mill agrees with me.
The TV show I would *most* like to see, though, is a Sandman series.
A series centered on the Endless siblings, it could also have an episodic quality. We could see, for example, Death interacting with various humans about to die, or Dream venture into people’s nightmares. I think there is a huge potential to exploit the sibling dynamics between the 7 Ds, and would love to see it unfold on my screen.
Superheroes are great and everything, but The Endless? They kind of rule.
My choice has technically already been a television show, but was unfortunately canceled during its prime. Greg Weisman’s Gargoyles was an animated series that debuted in the 90s and was one my favorite shows of all time growing up. The show aged pretty well too. Looking back through the DVDs, you could see that it had plots that were well-rendered, characters with deep inner-conflict, and great dialogue that could be enjoyed by both kids and adults.
Unfortunately, Weisman left the show during the third season due to internal conflicts. By then, the show had taken a completely different direction and most fans agreed that it was non-canonical. The comic series, however, picked up where the second season left off, and answered a lot of those burgeoning questions that the third season so clearly failed at handling.
Still, while I found the comics immensely satisfying I still wish that they had actually been animated. If not Gargoyles, then at least some of the spin-off comics that Weisman had also planned like Gargoyles: Pendragon and Gargoyles: Timedancer .
My runner-up choice? Runaways. Oh my Grod, Runaways.
Last summer I took a screenwriting workshop, and for my main project I wrote a loose adaptation of Kate Spencer/Manhunter as a sort of pilot episiode teleplay. I think a Manhunter series would be a perfect mix of procedural and ass kicking martial arts bad assery.
There are reasons I think Kate Spencer would make for good TV. Besides her day job as a criminal attorney (I think prosecutor works better than defense attorney, for drama), she’s a single parent with a precocious kid, has an ex-husband who’s still involved in her life, is an on-again-off-again smoker, and has some anger issues. Basically she’s complex and, in the hands of the right actress, that would be pretty great to watch.
Of course, I know it’ll never happen. It would have way too similar a feel to the already-popular, male-driven show Arrow (which I gave up on halfway through the season). And Manhunter is even less well known in the mainstream than Green Arrow and his rogues galleries. Plus we all know how well the Wonder Woman thing went… But in a perfect world, Kate Spencer would be kicking some ass on my TV every week.
So what about you? What comic-based television series would you like to see?
Chit chat is a dialogue between two or more of our contributors. It’s done online 99% of the time but you can imagine us discussing it over coffee. Or vodka, depending on the subject material.
Anika: Today we’re talking Iron Man 3. This conversation contains MANY SPOILERS for the film and franchise.
First, did you like it? How much? What grade might you give it?
Ali: I hate the grading system because… I just do. I always make up arbitraty numbers or letters. Like, I give Iron Man 3 a banana because it’s really good but it’s not my most favorite fruit.
Sara: I really, really enjoyed this movie. It exceeded my expectations and I spent such a long time after the movie ended remembering parts that made me happy or gasp out loud or really appreciate the genre that this movie is a part of. Iron Man was the first to kick off the Marvel Cinematic Universe and RDJ has shouldered a lot of weight since the beginning. He’s risen to the occasion and with Iron Man 3, he gave more depth to a Tony we all know well from the comics. I guess I give it an A- because I loved it, but there were weaknesses. And I am totally not as clever as Ali, forever sad about it.
Ali: Bananas aside, I agree with Sara. This installment gave Tony a LOT of depth. And I liked it for that.
Anika: I have to agree, this Tony Stark was my favourite Tony Stark other than the one that exists in my head … because he basically is the one that exists in my head. In every previous encounter, including Avengers, Pepper has been my favourite but in this one it was Tony. And it has a lot, if not everything, to do with his anxiety (you are not surprised) — what did you think of that arc?
Ali: I LOVED the panic attacks.
Sara: Tony was on top of the world at the beginning of the Avengers. He had the girl, the renewable energy source, the Iron Man suit, and a arc reactor that wasn’t turning his insides into sludge. He had nowhere to go but down. I really enjoyed his interactions with reality via the panic attacks.
Anika: Do you think that plotline reached a satisfactory conclusion?
Sara: Um, no. But I don’t think it was supposed to. I think that is best left up to Avengers 2, where Tony is going to have to make the concious decision to join up with the people that put him in the position of being lost in space. (I know nothing for sure, this is my guesstimation about what will happen in that movie)
Ali: I mean, it’s a bit tidy at the end because it’s a movie and it has to be. But I like that he’s having a panic attack on his way to fighting the bad guys. And I like that they show him learning to pull himself out of it.
Anika: I agree with both these points. (1) It has to be tied up for the movie but (2) the MCU is an ongoing drama . . . Just like the comic books it’s based on! Imagine that!
Ali: I like that while he’s having he first attack, he refuses to believe that’s what’s happening to him. I love Tony for his confidence and his brashness–he permantently has that youthful “I’m invincibleness”. And in this movie, he’s learning that that’s SO not the case anymore. It’s a very basic and very real lesson of growing up. And that’s really what Tony starts to do in this movie.
Anika: Which is interesting because it’s what he thought he was doing in the first movie but “coming of age” is a long journey.
Ali: It’s like Iron Man is “look at me being responsible and shit! I AM AN ADULT”, Iron Man 2 is “I AM AN ADULT YOU GUYS! I DRINK AND BLOW THINGS UP” and Avengers is “fine, I will work with you because I AM A GROWN UP NOW.” and then Iron Man 3 is “holy shit I’m an adult… this sucks.”
Sara: Yes. This movie was Tony in his late twenties.
Ali: Which I love because he should be well beyond that at this point!
Sara: I feel like Tony was in his “college years” for most of his life.
Anika: That’s what happens when you live without boundaries. Which is a great segue into Tony’s boundaries: Pepper and Rhodey. I want to start with Rhodey because I cannot say enough great things about him.
Ali: I love Rhodey. And I love Don Cheadle. But it’s like when Jim Henson passed away and the Muppets all sounded wrong.
Anika: I sort of felt that way in 2, but not here. Here he owned it.
Sara: What? Why?! I vastly prefer Don Cheadle to Terrence Howard!
Ali: I keep expecting Terrance Howard and Don Cheadle seems to be doig a psuedo impersonation of Howard and it’s weird to me.
Sara: I think Don Cheadle really pulled off the wry and dry comedy that is needed for the role of Rhodey. And the scene with Rhodey and Tony in the resteraunt was everything I ever wanted for a post-Avengers Tony.
Ali: That restuarant scene was perfect.
Anika: I don’t have a preference for Howard or Cheadle — I wasn’t really invested in the character in the first two films. Only in his relationship to Tony. But in this film, well, Rhodey Rox!
Sara: I love how, like Cap, his patriotism and some what old school brand of heroism comes off as sincere and admirable, rather than douchey and two dimensional.
Sara: He’s a perfect foil for the flashy and grandstanding rebel that is Tony and it’s why he works so well in this movie. This narrative was about Tony falling to pieces and needing something to hold onto. Rhodey (and Pepper) is that stability. He is steadfast and true and so very necessary to Tony’s development.
Anika: Now Pepper.
Ali: PEPPER FREAKING POTTS
Sara: Bless GP, that woman is flaw-free.
Ali: At the end? With the fire ninja stuff? She’s just the best ever.
Sara: My precious, kickass Pepperpot.
Anika: Y’all know I love Pepper. Pepper has been my girl since the first movie. But…
Ali: I love how at the start of the movie Tony’s all “I have to protect you because I can’t lose you.” And Pepper’s freaking Pepper. She’s capable and can take care of herself AND Tony. And I love, love, LOVE that they let her save him, in a very physical way, not once but TWICE.
Sara: “Got you.” I think that broke me so many times.
Ali: She is the very opposite of a damsel in distress.
Anika: But but but…. she was already. She was that in the first movie. In both the first and second films she literally runs INTO distress to save the day. Everybody loves kickass fire ninja hardcore Pepper and I’m over here all SHE WAS ALREADY PERFECT.
Sara: That’s the thing. Whether she’s in 4 inch Louboutins or overheating in spandex and sports bras, Pepper has always been HBIC. Because, so unlike Tony, she knows that her emotions (her worries, her grasp of reality) are not something to be avoided or buried. They are there to make you strong and that’s why she’s always been a HBIC and she’s always been Tony’s rock, even while she is tearing up or teetoring over the edge of some building. Pepper Potts is a woman that won’t let anything stop her from doing what needs to be done.
Ali: She was and she did. But I think with the other movies, it’s not as apparent to Tony.
Anika: I disagree, in the first she’s the one he counts on and in the second he gives her his company.
Ali: Like she’s saving the day and putting herself in danger, but she’s helping Tony. In this movie, she’s saving Tony.
Sara: Physically, maybe. But I think Pepper is a huge reason why Tony hasn’t expired in a pool of his own vomit. Or why he got up in the morning and did real people things. Pepper has been saving Tony ever since he met her.
Anika: I do love the ‘Got you’ scene but I didn’t love the end as much. “That was really violent” was maybe my favourite line reading in the whole movie but it WAS really violent which felt kinda off.
Sara: It was terrifying.
Anika: Though it may be all tied up in my general dislike of Killian as a villain. For me, the scene plays better in the rewrite in my head…
Ali: Did anyone notice his dragon tattoos? I was totally distracted by them.
Anika: Yeah, they popped out at the end there. I guess because he’s the real Mandarin??
Sara: Ooooooh, I didn’t get that from before.
Ali: Like, were they there the whole time? Why don’t they blend in with the general fireness of his skin? Do you think he got them when he was still all pimply? Or did he get them because he got all bad ass?
Sara: I’d guess the latter.
Ali: I think he got them right after the roof-top incident. “I’ll show you Tony Stark! Look at my bad-ass dragons!”
Anika: Ahahaha, that is my headcanon now.
Anika: So, how strong did you find the villains? Killian, Maya, “Mandarin”?
Ali: I loved the twist with the Mandarin. I thought it was brilliant. Well, I thought Ben Kingsley as Trevor was brilliant.
Anika: I started to suspect something when they were discussing “the Master” but I really enjoyed that, yes.
Sara: This is just the most brillant of analyses and everyone needs to read this at some point. It says anything I want to say about it.
Ali: I was kinda bummed Maya ended up being Team Bad Guy.
Anika: That’s in my rewrite-the-ending too! There is no reason for her to be dead. And she cared about Tony AND Pepper. I wanted and expected her to come back for the final battle.
Ali: I mean, she wasn’t a bad guy-bad guy. And I can see how she ended up there. But still. I had a sad. I think her getting killed goes back to the “really violent” thing. Killian is REALLY violent. Just insanely so. So I guess that went into establishing that?
Anika: I didn’t get Killian. Or I wanted him to be better I guess. I think the drama was that even Killian 2.0 was not a good enough foil for Tony Stark… But I wish that was more explicit or they played with it more or Tony realized it?
Sara: Charisma is a poor substitute for genius and that is what Killian tried to pull over on everyone.
Ali: I’m kind of glad he wasn’t that great a foil. Because I think we got to see and appreciate more of Tony’s struggle with Tony. I think if they developed Killian and Mandarin more it would have competed too much.
Anika: I don’t think I want more development, I just thought the themes that I was drawn to were too vague? So I don’t know if they were intentional? Which usually doesn’t bother me, but it does here.
Sara: I agree. I kept waiting for a bigger plot or bigger bad, I guess. As it was, I never understood what Killian was getting at.
Anika: Yeah, what was he even trying to do?
Ali: He was evil and trying to take over the world, duh.
Anika: I must assume the VP plot is on the cutting room floor somewhere because it was super random. Also, unrelated, why did this movie come out in May and not for Christmas?
Sara: To sell the DVD for Christmas?
Ali: Ha! I was thinking the same thing – with all the holiday stuff.
Sara: Yeah, Aldrich even kind of rhymes with the Grinch. If I were more clever, I would rewrite the song with appropriate and funny lyrics. But, alas.
Ali: Look, every bad guy can’t be Loki.
Anika: Hey, I’d settle for Justin Hammer.
Sara: Marvel villians aren’t good enough for me.
Anika: There are two more supporting characters to discuss, Happy and Harley. Aside: Everyone in this movie has a crazy name.
Sara: It’s hilarious to me that with Jon Favereau’s demotion from director also had Happy demoted to even less screentime.
Anika: He had more to do though.
Ali: I was gonna say, Happy actually did stuff in this one!
Anika: He was pretty lovable.
Sara: Happy is always lovable and Tony described him as his best friend. Adorbs and totally insulting to Rhodey. Just what Tony strives in life to do.
Anika: And I liked the kid. I liked that Tony basically treated him like one of his robots, which really is more affection than he affords the average person.
Ali: Ha! He did! The kid took the place of the robot!
Sara: I loved that comic relief. So needed!
Ali: I love how genius that kid was.
Anika: I liked how normal the town was, too. Like it wasn’t dumbed down or full of freaks just because it was small town Tennessee instead of New York or Malibu. I think the crux of it is I really loved all the details in this movie, but the big picture not as much.
How about we wrap up with favourite moments?
Ali: Pepper and Maya being all serious talking about life and real stuff. I saw it and I was like OMG BECHDEL TEST!
Ali: I was so excited!
Sara: It’s sad how excited we get because it almost never happens.
Ali: I think that’s why I was so upset she ended up being a villain because she had this really great moment with Pepper.
Anika: I am convinced she had a change of heart because of Pepper.
Sara: Her death was just so stupid.
Ali: Joss Whedon TOTES would have killed her.
Sara: Yeah, but in a better way!
Ali: I think Maya was totally honest and real in that conversation. She wasn’t just trying to manipulate Pepper.
Anika: Right! And Pepper surprised her by understanding. And then she sees Killian hurting Pepper and using her… it’s not faith in Tony that changes her mind, it’s Pepper.
Anika: Also, I ship it.
Sara: Lol, of course.
Anika: I think the rest of her story was cut too. But she can come back. I will start a petition to put her in an Avengers film.
Sara: Where do I sign?
Anika: Other favourite moments:
Ali: Ummmmmmm……giant bunny?
Sara: Barrel of Monkeys.
Ali: Good one! Puppy dog eyes not working?
Anika: When Tony had empty armor walking around and Pepper did not bat one eyelash. She didn’t even look at it.
Ali: Ooh! Ohh! Trevor and the stinky bathroom!
Sara: I was so distracted by Pepper’s abs and Rhodey’s arms for the entirety of that last scene.
Anika: Tony going back for DUM-E. I could cry.
Ali: SCIENCE BROS and the after-credit scene!!!!
Pepper whacks Killian with the pipe.
Tony: I got nothing.
Pepper engages Killian in a debate… “Why are you DOING this? This isn’t YOU?”
He starts to monologue about his cray idea that anonymity is power and he can be anything and anyone even Tony Stark!
Pepper: You’re nothing like Tony Stark. You chose to be nothing.
Tony: Come on, Pep, he’s not worth our time.
Killian goes in for the kill on retreating Tony and Pepper.
Maya appears and blasts him out of the sky.
Pepper: That was really –
Tony: Hot, yes.
Welcome back! Or hello for the first time! Two quick things before I jump into this week’s reading.
First, I listened to some feedback and I’m going to start listing writer(s), and artist(s) for each title. So please keep feedback coming in, because it helps me make this a better experience for everyone.
Second, I have a pretty small pull list this week. But since last Saturday was Free Comic Book Day, I’m going to throw in a few of the titles I picked up via Comixology.
That’s it! Here we go.
In Q & A, a weekly feature of Fantastic Fangirls, we ask our staff to tackle a simple question — then open the floor to comments.
Flashback: What comic book characters should go on a road trip together?
First off: let me just say that I have wanted to answer this question since it was first asked back in Q&A #74. It’s the initial reason I kept coming back to this site and part of why I was so excited to be part of Team Fantastic Fangirls. I love this question so, so, so much.
And now I have to answer it. *gulp*
Right now, my gut-reaction answer is Kid Loki and Miss America Chavez.
I love the dynamic the two of them have: you’ve got the no-nonsense, direct straight-man and the all-nonsense trickster. They’d have this whole Brienne and Jamie thing going. It’d be fantastic! That said, I think the actual travel in this road trip would be from America punching Loki across state lines, as opposed, you know, actual driving.
So. My final answer.
Stephanie Brown and Hope Summers
I very nearly went with Steph and Kara here, because the Batgirl-Supergirl team-up to fight movie Dracula issue is probably my most favorite comic in the history of ever. But I think part of the fun here is to mix and match characters across universes.
Hope Summers has spent the majority of her life traveling across time and space. You’re probably thinking she doesn’t need a road trip. I respectfully and heartily disagree. Hope needs to know what it’s like to travel without being chased by a mutant from an alternative future that’s trying to kill her. She needs, more than anyone I think, to be shown what it’s like to have fun.
My default answer to any sort of wacky-hijinks-team-up is usually Clint and pre-reboot Ollie. The shenanigans. Oh, the shenanigans.
But in the spirit of creativity – or at least non-repetitiveness – I’m choosing some new people! Feel free to imagine the hilarity of Clint and Ollie driving through the countryside in some flash convertible.
I’d like a Volkswagen Bus full of Asgardians to head out from Asgard-on-Earth and travel around, getting to know Midgard via all the wacky Americana there is to experience, like the world’s biggest ball of rubber bands, or something.
Thor, the Warriors Three, Sif, and, because I’m currently in love with Fearless Defenders, Valkyrie, can all squeeze in. For even more comedic gold, throw in Kid Loki. And for the fish out of water who’s the readers’ connection to the heroes… Annabelle Riggs (did I mention I’m currently in love with Fearless Defenders?). Preferably with her helmet.
I think the better question for me to answer is which comic book characters shouldn’t go on a roadtrip together and the answer of course is no one because, oh my God, the hilarity of any heros going on a trip together is too priceless to ignore.
Fine, fine, I’ll give a real answer.
While I would truly enjoy any team-up ever on this endeavor, at the moment, my most desired roadtrip would be between the Avengers from MCU. There, I said it. Welcome to my life.
After seeing the Avengers movie last year, the one thing I could not wait for was team storylines. Not fighting for good and justice, but rather coming together to be the amazing personalities that they are under one roof.
So what if it was a car roof?
Like, did we all see the same ending to the movie? I think we did.
And, thank Jeebus for fanfiction, because it gave me what I needed at the moment. Jibralis wrote an amazing, heartwrenching fic called The sky and everything beneath it and you should all read it here and leave kudos and tell me what you think about it!
So what about you? What comic book characters should go on a road trip together?
It is a truth universally acknowledged by TV Tropes that the Magical Girl genre would be incomplete without a discussion of Cardcaptor Sakura. A quick perusal of site would reveal that not only did they choose her as the genre’s banner girl, but also gave her the silver medal for being its second most popular icon following Sailor Moon. And that’s a tough act to follow.
Cardcaptor Sakura is one of the most well known titles from the all-female manga artist group, CLAMP—whom I mentioned in my last post as the creators of Magic Knight Rayearth. Some fun facts include the group’s humble beginnings as a doujinshi circle (doujinshi meaning “self-published” or “amateur” manga). In any case, it seems that you can’t think about CLAMP without thinking of Cardcaptor Sakura either. In fact, those characters have endured so well that they were reincarnated for titles like Tsubasa (see pic below).
Like most adolescents winding down from Pokemon fever, I tuned in to the Kids WB during the weekends to see what other anime was out there (weekdays afterschool were reserved for the Toonami block). Cardcaptor Sakura (renamed Cardcaptors for American audiences) was one of the shows that fit my bill and paid with interest. It was also one of the few instances I had growing up where watching the anime influenced me to read the manga.
As to my opinion on which medium is better, I think that depends on the amount of depth you’re looking for. As TV Tropes is quick to point out, the manga only featured 19 cards while the anime featured 52 (a full deck). This invited roles to have more dimension, storylines to branch further out, and feature anime-exclusive characters like Meiling. However, one could argue that despite the expansion, the anime’s English dub was lacking in depth overall since its ruthless censorship eliminated much of the backstory.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with either the manga or the anime, Cardcaptor Sakura is the story of a young girl who comes across a set of magical items known as Clow Cards. After accidentally releasing the entities that were sealed inside them, it becomes her responsibility to re-capture them before they wreak havoc in the town that she lives in. As I’ve mentioned before, this kind of mystical endowment echoes a lot of Magical Girl titles aside from Sailor Moon. Often, the heroine doesn’t choose to be who she is, but rather she’s “forced” into her role by way of moral obligation.
This kind of moral obligation acts as the inciting incident for other shoujo manga—Fushigu Yuugi, The Vision of Escaflowne, and of course Inuyasha come to mind. Like Revolutionary Girl Utena, these titles tend to be classified as more Action/Adventure genres or Fantasy/Romance versus Magical Girl. To be honest, I’m not sure how the lines for each genre are drawn. But I think it’s safe to say that each of these titles–CardCaptor
Sakura included—add to the shoujo milieu in rich ways that are often overlooked. What other genre, for example, would portray same-sex relationships or transgender identities without the stigma that we would normally see elsewhere?
It’s easy to see why Sakura fits the Magical Girl genre to a tee. In addition to called attacks, glamorous transformation sequences, and an adorable otherworldly companion, she has a wardrobe full of fantastical outfits that predate Lady Gaga. She’s a very young protagonist as well—younger than Sailor Moon since her adventures begin as early as elementary school. Nevertheless, she’s a heroine that’s determined and a friend that’s just as compassionate.
Perhaps what sets Sakura apart from her predecessor was the emphasis on the strength of the individual versus the strength of the whole group. Sure, Sakura had her allies and supporters— but she often could only rely herself to carry out the plot’s major turning points. And that kind of proactive self-confidence (especially in a protagonist that’s so young) is definitely something I can get behind.
One of the best things that made Sailor Moon such a fun series was the ability pick which Sailor Scout you were. Each of the Scouts had their own specific personality traits, but they were still universal enough to largely appeal to their demographic. For me, it was always hard to choose. At the time, I think I picked a different Sailor Scout every week.
Obviously, this idiosyncrasy carries over to other Magical Girl titles. In fact, I feel that it plays a major factor in why Magical Girl titles are so popular. W.I.T.C.H., an Italian comic series published by Disney Italia, is definitely a Magical Girl title that has this criterion. I think it’s also a title worth mentioning given that it made in Europe and therefore integrates a lot of shoujo influences.
First published in April 2001, the series was created by Alessandro Barbucci, Barbara Cenpa, and Elisabetta Gnone. The series concluded last year in October. There was an animated adaptation as well, which aired on Jetix. It might be worth noting that the television series varies largely from the comic book series, and the fandom is generally divided on which was better. Personally, I feel that one’s loyalty depends on which medium you were exposed to first.
The story follows five teenage protagonists who are chosen to become the Guardians of Kandrakar (an “ethereal” dimension that exists at the center of our universe). Again, one can note that theme of mystical endowment. These girls are charged with protecting Kandrakar from its enemies and are thus granted the powers of five elements: earth, air, fire, water, and “quintessence” (energy). These elements can be combined or work in tandem to achieve different effects. The full potential of their powers are also affected by whether or not the team is in harmony. Their names Will, Irma, Taranee, Cornelia, and Hay Lin form the acronym W.I.T.C.H.
The comic book series progresses over the course of many different sagas, with each arc featuring the kinds of storylines that are reserved for high fantasy novels. There are other kingdoms, other worlds, and other guardians that have their own intrigues, high stakes, and of course great drama—both in high school and otherwise. That’s another reason why I think Magical Girl genres are so popular: it’s hard not to like a heroine that has to deal with saving the world and then have to study for a Chem final afterwards.
That being said, I think it’s a good series for young fans to get into, especially if they’re still trying to get their feet wet!
Happy May 1st! With the new month, we’re starting a new feature here at Fantastic Fangirls. Every week, I’m going to write up a paragraph or two on my weekly comic haul. If you follow me on twitter, you’re probably used to my one sentence reviews followed by an image of my favorite panel. This is a lot like that, but longer!
I usually read 3-6 comics a week, and they range in popularity. I tend to read from the big two, but I have a few pulls from other companies. I also browse all the new releases, looking for new things to read. I’m always open for suggestions!
Okay, so here we go! I’d love to hear your thoughts/suggestions in the comments section.
In Q & A, a weekly feature of Fantastic Fangirls, we ask our staff to tackle a simple question — then open the floor to comments.
Happy Birthday, Q&A!! What do you remember about the first comics you read?
Comic books were not something that were ever really in our house growing up, and not something I sought after when I could just watch Super Friends on TV instead. I mean, I’ve always loved superheroes and adventure stories. He-Man, She-Ra, Danger Mouse, and ThunderCats pretty much consumed my childhood. But never comics.
When I was 11 or 12, my dad came home one night with polybagged copies of Death of Superman for me and my brother. Convinced they would be very valuable someday, he told us under no circumstances should we take the comic book out of its shiney bag. We were to save it until we were adults, when it would be worth lots and lots of money.
Breaking the rules was never something that came easily to me. But I HAD to know what happened. I mean, how could Superman just DIE? He was the strongest guy in the universe! He could fly so fast that he made the world go backwards. I knew ’cause I saw him do it on the WPIX Sunday Afternoon Movie like five times. Guys like that don’t just get beaten by bad guys. And they certainly don’t die.
So one busy Saturday afternoon, when my parents were off doing house and yard work, I crept downstairs and got the good scissors out of the junk drawer. I went back into my bedroom and locked the door. Ever so carefully, I cut the top of the polybag off. I can still remember the crinkle of the mylar and the smell of the glossy paper. I remember the weight of the comic being heavier than I thought it would be. Convinced what I was doing something was very wrong, I hide behind my bed and, knees to my chin, gripping the book with both hands, and read my very first comic book.
I remember wondering why Betty and Veronica bothered fighting over Archie when they were clearly meant for each other.
No, but seriously. My first comics were Archie comics, the kind you could buy in the supermarket checkout lane. I had stacks of Archie, Betty & Veronica, and Jughead double digests hanging around my dad’s house. I was just a kid, so I was more concerned with Jughead’s awesome pranks than the relationships of the characters, but I definitely had my favorite. Oddly, none of them were Archie.
My favorite Double Digest was a summer special, that involved a lot of beach-related stories, like the one with the scene from above. I still don’t know what drew me to those books, but I devoured them like nobody’s business.
Even twenty years later, I remember a lot of the little shorts from the various books. I wish I’d held onto at least some of the stacks of comics, because I’d love to reread them and relive the stories. And as a modern, adult comic fan, I feel oddly proud that Archie Comics is often at the forefront of the industry when it comes to diversity and social issues. Now if Betty and Veronica could just figure themselves out, drop that Archie jerk, and admit their love for each other… everything would be perfect.
It is so ridiculously appropriate that I am answering this question because, at this very moment, I am re-reading the first comics I ever read!
Batgirl, featuring Cassandra Cain as Batgirl, is the best introduction a 12-year-old gril could possibly have to the comic book world. Yes, I am biased. No, I don’t care. Cassie Cain is awesome.
I learned about the Batfamily through shows like Batman The Animated Series and Batman Beyond, but Silent Running was the first ever comic book I could remember picking up and devouring. For those of you that never read the book, it was basically Cassie’s origin story and backstory rolled into one. Cassie was mute, having not been exposed to spoken language by her mob boss father, who deliberately did so to train his daughter to be the ultimate weapon. A killing machine that didn’t slow herself down by translating human movement into language in her head? And the Father of the Year Award goes to…
But why is Silent Running still such a pinnacle book for me? Probably because Cassie exhibited true heroism and bravery and it made me really excited for her character. After Cassie’s illiterate/mute status was explained, she comes across a telepath who scrambles her body-language reading brain into one that understands and communicates in spoken words. This rewiring leads Cassie to slow down in combat against four gunmen. Does that stop her?
Nope. Did the shots hurt?
So what about you? What do you remember about the first comics you read?
In geekdom, we see a lot of teasers. Sometimes it’s just an image or the name of a creator, other times it’s a trailer or a simple tag line. Whatever it is, it’s meant to get a reaction from you and start a discussion. Inspired by the anticipation and buzz caused by these teasers, we at Fantastic Fangirls present Skipping to Conclusions in which we speculate about the comics, movies, TV shows, or whatever we’re excited about but hasn’t come out yet.
Iron Man 3 opens this week and ushers in a new era: the Post-Avengers Marvel Cinematic Universe. Who knew we’d get here when Iron Man premiered five years ago?
When my brother saw Pepper Potts suiting up in the TV ads for Iron Man 3 he wrote to ask me if I’d secretly written the script.
Sadly, no, but it brings us to the question: Now that the universe is established who do we want to see?
We know that Falcon and Agent 13 are being introduced in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
As well as, of course, The Winter Soldier.
There is an Ant-Man movie.
And there are plenty of rumors for new Avengers…
In conclusion: I am more than ready for Phase II of the MCU. What about you?
What are your media consumption habits? Netflix? Hardcover books? Digital comics? Tell us how you access the stories we all love.
If trade paperbacks were the only type of books one could buy, that would make me the happiest girl in the world. I love TPBs; how the art on the covers is usually prettier, how it folds every which way, how they fit on a shelf.
I limit the comics I purchase to the Whedonverse, and the other shows that I wish to follow in comic book format. The Silver Snail(https://www.facebook.com/SilverSnailComicsOttawa) in Ottawa is my preferred location for all things comics; they are quite friendly and there are many female employees that are super welcoming.
Recently, I bought a Nexus 7. I’ve been cutting back on paper-book purchases, and my student-on-a-budget wallet thanks me for it. It’s a great tablet; I mostly use the Kobo app to read e-books, and I love getting the achievements! They’re like virtual stickers and you can collect them depending on how many pages or what kinds of books you read. It really appeals to the overachiever in me.
My favorite way to consume media has always been (and will forever be) through reading – hardcovers and paperbacks, fantasy epics and cheesy time-travel historical romances, I love it all. Most of the fandoms I’m really passionate about originated with books (Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Ender’s Game), and reading traditional books satisfies my craving for narrative in a way that no other media outlet does. I love the way that when you are reading a book, especially one that may not be commercially popular, the world inside becomes your own. You are granted a privileged access into the hearts and minds of the characters, and it’s yours to take advantage of whenever you have the time to delve into its pages. Books have the power to suck me into them emotionally. I’ve noticed that if terrible things are happening to the main character in a book I’m really invested in, I will be seriously depressed and sad. Sometimes I don’t even realize why until I notice that there is nothing terrible happening in my life–it’s all in the book! As much as I love television, movies, and comics, none of them have the power to stick with me in the way that books do. I rarely buy them new, although I do make exceptions for special occasions, like a new release by a favorite author. Just let me loose in a used bookstore (my favorite is McKay’s, back home in Knoxville) with $10 and I’ll be happy for at least a week.
Well, I play video games mostly on my XBox, with a few exceptions (Journey, the Uncharted series, and some older games I play on my PC, mobile gaming on my iPhone), which has also become something of a media center for me. I watch most of my TV via either Hulu or Netflix, and occasionally will watch stuff on the web if they don’t offer it anywhere else and I don’t want to wait for Netflix, like Pretty Little Liars, Lost Girl, and Elementary. I watch most movies via Netflix, unless I’m so excited for something that I absolutely have to see it in the theater. For newer releases, if I happened to miss it in the theater but really want to see it, I’ll probably rent it via Amazon Instant or Zune or something.
As far as reading goes, I read books mostly on my Kindle these days. I’m in love with my Kindle. I read so much more now that I have it. I used to be a huge reader; I’d read a book a week from age 10 through law school, but I haven’t read so much in recent years. Now I read all the time. I’ll read the occasional paper book, usually if someone’s lent it to me, but I’d much rather carry my Kindle around with me than a book. Comics I read almost exclusively on my phone. I love the guided view of Comixology, and actually think it adds a lot to the reading experience on some titles, like Hawkeye. I’m glad I went totally digital, because I’ve still got about ten boxes of comics from five or six years ago that I have no idea what to do with. I aspire to one day have an iPad or Kindle Fire, but I’m pretty happy with the tech I have right now.
So, what I really want someone to do for their college thesis one year (hopefully soon) is to look at the attention span / GPA changes of college students pre and post the invention of Netflix. Because hotdamn. If there was one thing (besides Glee) that tanked my GPA in college, it was Netflix.
What a wondrous thing. High quality, quick streaming, and thousands upon thousands of movies and TV shows ranging from Oscar Nominated Classics of the 1950s to C-grade Zombie Movies that You Have to be Drunk And Or High to Enjoy.
You can imagine why college might be the best place for Netflix subcription drones to set up shop.
Netflix is awesome. Netflix is the best. Netflix now has all of Justice League, Justice League Unlimited, and Batman Beyond on its Instant Streaming. Oh my God, am I glad that I no longer have a GPA to tank.
So what about you? What are your media consumption habits? NetFlix? Hardcover books? Digital comics? Tell us how you access the stories we all love.