Saturday Comics

It’s been a great day for comics, here’s what I’m reading:

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Thor #5 – Each issue is better than the one before it – there’s a great fight sequence calling out all the haters of a female Thor.  Thor is my first real introduction to the hardcore superhero universe but it’s been pretty easy to follow along and pick up the terminology (Midgard, for instance).  I can’t wait to see how Thor will overcome the scheming of Odin and his brother as they try to bring her down.

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Ms. Marvel #6 (and #7) were hilarious as Kamala Khan completely fangirls out after teaming up with Wolverine to try to figure out the Inventor’s sinister plot in Jersey City.  A teenage superhero through and through.

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Locke and Key Vol. 5 – oh my god, I need Vol. 6 immediately.

What comic books are you excited about?

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Agent Carter Season Finale

Last night was the season finale of Agent Carter and it was amazing!  I wanted to post a couple pictures from the official Agent Carer twitter page –  ABC please please please renew this incredible show!!

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I need more Hayley Atwell in my life – I’m pondering some Agent Carter cosplay for DragonCon this year – eee!

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At the end of the episode, we see Peggy taking the first steps for moving on from Steve.  Maybe Peggy and Agent Sousa will have a chance to finally have that drink.

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Agent Carter wouldn’t be successful without a killer cast of characters – my favorites being Mr. Jarvis, Agent Sousa, and Dottie (I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of her!)!

Next up – finally watching Captain America: Winter Solider and maybe taking a dive into Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D!

Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

Dara and Nick used to be inseparable, but that was before the accident that left Dara’s beautiful face scarred and the two sisters totally estranged. When Dara vanishes on her birthday, Nick thinks Dara is just playing around. But another girl, nine-year-old Madeline Snow, has vanished, too, and Nick becomes increasingly convinced that the two disappearances are linked. Now Nick has to find her sister, before it’s too late.

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Lauren Oliver’s new novel explores the relationship between sisters who are torn apart by a horrific car accident. The story alternates not only between Nick and Dara but between Before and After the accident which unfortunately makes the story a little fragmented. While the timeline is a little difficult to keep straight, Oliver has created unique voices for each of the girls with subtle overlaps adding to the narrative of their close relationship growing up together thick as thieves. The third musketeer to round out the trio is Parker, the girls’ life long neighbor and best friend. As we learn about Nick and Dara (and Parker) and their evolving relationship before the accident and their estranged relationship post-accident, the disappearance of a young girl named Madeline Snow looms in the background.

I liked Vanishing Girls – I didn’t love it and I’m not sure I can exactly pinpoint why. I liked that the story was interspersed with newspaper articles, emails and Dara’s diary entries. I felt like the story was a little slow, based on the back cover I expected Dara to disappear much earlier in the novel and Madeline’s connection to become clearer sooner. I wasn’t a fan of the love triangle (I rarely am) especially between siblings.

Overall, Vanishing Girls is interesting read. I read it mostly in two sittings torn between wanting to know what would happen next in present time and what happened in the past leading up to the accident. I have a feeling Vanishing Girls will be marketed as the next We Were Liars by E. Lockhart (Lockhart is the cover quote after all). I think this sort of comparison does the newer novel a disservice → Liars ends with a serious twist and now the publisher/reviewer/whomever is creating a semi-spoiler by making the comparison. I went into Vanishing Girls, just like We Were Liars, knowing nothing about the novel beyond the back cover. I think it makes for a much more enjoyable reading experience, a slower build to the climax as I wasn’t looking around every corner to solve the mystery.

Now by even saying this I feel like I have become part of the problem I am describing and take ownership of that (boo/hiss/rude on me). Here’s a link to the newest podcast from BookRiot ‘Do Spoilers Matter‘ that I just finished which discusses the idea of spoilers in further detail. That said, I hope you enjoy Vanishing Girls and the mystery behind the intertwined lives of Nick and Dara.

I received an ARC of Vanishing Girls from the Not-So-YA book club in Decatur, GA. Vanishing Girls is on sale March 15th, 2015.

Locke and Key Vol. 4: Keys to the Kingdom

Best volume yet!!!! Like seriously, best volume to date! So intense, suspenseful, and that surprising end!

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The first chapter is drawn as a tribute to Bill Watterson, the author of Calvin and Hobbes. Bode resembles one of Calvin’s cohorts – as an avid fan of Calvin and Hobbes, I enjoyed this mix up of artwork. Bode finds a key allowing him to turn into his spirit animal. Much to Bode’s surprise he is turned into a little sparrow. You wouldn’t think a sparrow chapter would elicit some tears but damn if the ending didn’t.

Chapter two is an investigation into the past as Kinsey tries to uncover what happened to her father when he was a teenager. Chapter three is a catalogue of all the adventures the Locke children have during the month of February – quick one page scenes featuring crazy keys and full of near-death experiences. I want more details! Chapter four is all about Rufus – yay Rufus returns!!  Rufus tries to alert the Locke children to Zach’s nefarious actions, that Zach isn’t the friend they think he is. Rufus is also the only person who can see and speak with Sam Lesser’s ghost which as you can imagine leads to a pretty interesting conversation. Lastly, Chapter five follows Zach as his facade starts to crumble and shit starts to hit the fan leading to a crazy, unexpected ending. Locke and Key just gets better and better and I can’t wait to read volumes 5 and 6!!

Other comics I’m looking forward to reading are Trees Volume 1 by Jason Howard and Warren Ellis out February 24th, the Orphan Black comic book adaptation due out sometime in February – a collaboration between Jody Houser, John Fawcett, Graeme Manson, and Szymon Kudranski, and lastly I’ve also borrowed the Watchmen by Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, and John Higgins from my co-worker.

What are you reading?

Star Wars: A Gateway Drug (I hope)

Ahead of the new Star Wars film being released later this year (don’t mess this up JJ Abrams!), Marvel is releasing a new comic book series by Jason Aaron, John Cassaday, and Laura Martin which takes place after Star Wars IV: A New Hope. There are 2 issues out right now. Now Star Wars is beloved in my household – we love the original trilogy and loath the updated CGI, we are pro-ewok – we own the Caravan of Courage and Ewoks the Battle of Endor, we quote ‘It’s a trap’ constantly and our dog was almost named Chewbacca (we went with Indiana Jones, one Harrison Ford for another).

The husband does not read comic books but I knew, I knew that Star Wars would open his eyes to the amazing world of comics. He listens to the audiobooks of essentially published fanfiction for Star Wars so getting him to read a Star Wars comic book would be a piece of cake. I picked up both issues yesterday from my local comic book shop. I generously let him read them first (I’m so nice) and they are fantastic!

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A long time ago in a galaxy far, far way… – STAR WARS – oh god, how cool would it be if there was accompanying music?! If it was like a musical card and as you turned the pages there were different sound bites?? Aaron has captured the essence of Luke, Leia, Han, Threepio, and Vader himself. Their dialogue is spot on, I swear I can hear the actors voices reading the dialogue in my head. The characters are drawn to resemble their movie counterparts and it’s done well, artistic without being creepy. The storyline seems like a completely plausible adventure that would have taken place between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back and at this point, I don’t have any negative critiques. I did see from the ends of the issues there are upcoming comic books for Darth Vader and Princess Leia (different writers/artists). All the comics!! I really think this could be a gateway drug for my husband.

In addition to Star Wars, my latest comic book haul included Wytches #4, Ms. Marvel #11, Locke and Key Vol. 4, and mother effing Saga #26. Love love love Saga. Love Love love comic books.

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Agent Carter: Episodes 1 – 4

After re-watching The Avengers on FX the other night, I decided to give Agent Carter on ABC a try. I’ve seen Captain America, I haven’t seen the Winter Solider yet (I know!), and I gave S.H.I.E.L.D. a shot but I’ve heard once I watch Winter Solider then I really have to watch S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Carter follows titular character Peggy Carter post-WWII as she conducts secret missions while fighting against working as only a secretary for the Strategic Scientific Reserve (SSR).

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I watched all 4 episodes on demand last night, I mean how do you spend your Saturday nights? Agent Peggy Carter kicks some major ass. I liked the details I had missed or forgotten about in the Marvel universe – Howard Stark himself (now I want to re-watch Iron Man) and Jarvis being an actual person before J.A.R.V.I.S. I was also pleasantly surprised to see Enver Gjokaj Agent Daniel Sousa most notably known as Victor from Dollhouse but also of Dexter.

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Parts of it are hard to watch, not the violence I mean, but the inherent sexism of the 1940s is just rough. Agent Carter’s boss Roger Dooley and wannabe boss Jack Thompson (played by Chad Michael Murray) don’t even blink an eye while they verbally degrade Peggy. That part is the hardest. She helped save the world in WWII with Captain America and she is expected to gather lunch orders everyday. But whatever screw them, she’s kicking ass by night.

One final note, I love the period music of the 1940’s, it’s such a nice touch. I can’t say that I will watch in real time (there aren’t many shows I do watch except for probably Game of Thrones) but I will definitely set the DVR up to record Agent Carter.

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Comic Book Haul

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Thor #4 – So a dark elf, a minotaur, and the new Thor walk into a bar. Except instead of a bar, its’a secret vault containing the skull of a giant king that has the power to plunge the ten realms into war. What could go wrong?

Reading a comic book series with YEARS of backstory is intimating, like scary intimidating, like where do I start maybe I’ll just give up before I even start. Panels has a great posting on this very topic right here. With every passing issue of Thor, I am enjoying the complex world more and more – granted there is a lot of terminology that goes over my head but I am very much enjoying the story. I loved the Thor vs. Thor banter in #4 and the artwork continues to be top notch. I particularly love the inner dialogue of (Lady) Thor, even though she is clearly a badass superhero her inner monologue makes her so relatable. I can’t wait for #5 out 2/11/15.

Lumberjanes # 10 – Guys, we are going to spend this free day earning as many boring and frankly outdated badges as possible! OR DIE TRYING.

Lumberjanes continues to be hella sweet. The girls’ passion for summer camp shenanigans is always an entertaining treat and every issue presents a ridiculous, unexpected surprise. What will the girls find in the woods this week?? (spoiler it may be dinosaurs in an out of order outbox!)

March Book One by Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell

I heard about March on Panels’ podcast Oh, Comics! Oh, Comics! is a weekly chat show about the wild and wooly world of comics, hosted by Paul Montgomery and Preeti Chhibber (If you can’t tell, I go to Panels for all my comic needs!!). Immediately after listening to the podcast and adding March to my Goodreads TBR, a friend told me that Congressman John Lewis would be at a book signing at Criminal Records for the release of Book Two. Here was the perfect opportunity to buy Book One, have it signed and meet the acclaimed Congressman himself! I have heard that March takes the larger than life Civil Rights heroes and makes them real, everyday people. I can’t wait to see Lewis’ life and our nation’s history come to life, a full review to follow!

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