A Guide to Comics: Marvel Women Part 1

This one is all about the ladies.

NOTE: Unlike my Marvel Men segment, this will contain a few female heroes who are more often than not a part of a team. There just, unfortunately, are not enough Super Gals to choose from otherwise…

You can check out my Marvel Men guide HERE


Captain Marvel (Prev: Ms. Marvel)

  • Character Summary:  Carol Danvers; Air Force Officer (?) who is caught in the explosion of a Kree weapon and eventually develops a set of awesome powers and a knack for not wearing pants (oh, 1970’s comics…); Was pretty much fetished and abused in the 70’s, unfortunately, and had a horrible downgrade as a character for decades (dealing with alcoholism, depression, etc.); Was brought back into the light in the 00s, and played powerful roles in many of the big story arcs of that era. Recently has very much become what her creators originally said she was supposed to be, which is a strong female role model who isn’t defined by being a woman.
  • Common Themes: Women as powerful and important as men; sexuality vs respect; cool blonde mohawks; space, deep space and deeper space; sudden changes; weakness vs strength; The ridiculousness of female super hero costumes (Writers would often use Ms. Marvel to make jokes regarding the silliness of female costumes).
  • Good For: People looking for a female super hero that isn’t defined by being a woman and doesn’t really use her sexuality to get ahead [NOTE: this applies most prominently to the most recent series]; people who like the space-opera style superheroes found most predominantly in DC; Barbarella fans [70’s series applies here]; People who just generally like watching a woman who can overpower just about anyone and anything (Seriously, Carol is strong like DAAAAAAMN)
  • Go To Series: Ms. Marvel (vol 2); Captain Marvel (Current Ongoing); Mighty Avengers (vol 1)
  • Stand Out Stories: Carol and the X-men (Uncanny X-men VOL 1 150-164ish [gaps]); Live Kree or Die (crossover); Civil War: Ms Marvel; Not NOT NOOOOOOOOT DONOTREAD Avengers (vol 1) #200

Misty Knight

  • Character Summary: Mercedes “Misty” Knight; Sassy, strong, independent and various other words white, male writers often attribute to black female characters, Misty Knight came about as very much a play on Blaxploitation characters from the 70s; She is a cop who lost her arm to a terrorist attack and was instead given a bionic arm by Mr. Tony of Starkland for her bravery; Over the decades, Misty has moved slowly out of the “we need more black characters” sidelines and into more mainstream fair; Though not YET having her own solo series, Misty has been seen alongside many of the A-List marvel stars, but tends to keep to the streets, dealing with more alleyway criminals and less Mutant Alien World Exploders; Misty’s experience as a detective and proficiency with weapons gives a nice play on the character, making her story arcs akin to those of traditionally male protagonists like Batman or Daredevil; Much like Ben Grimm, Misty is one of those people that other Marvel characters just know; She lived with Jean Grey, has/had an on again/ off again relationship with Iron Fist, and has come into contact with other Marvel Superstars; As stated, Misty shines when working out street-level crime, whether that is tracking down murderers or stopping drug cartels; Her work with Heroes for Hire is some of the best from that time, in my opinion, even compared to the days of Luke Cage and Iron Fist
    • NOTE: This is one character I’d like to see have her own ongoing, honestly. Could be a super gritty look at what goes down in New York while all the heroes are off saving the universe and gangs, crooks and upstart supers are running amok on the ground.
  • Common Themes: The dirty side to Urban life (New York); Never giving up, no matter what; Law and Justice; Pride in one’s work; Women who prioritize a lot of things over having a man
  • Good For: …Women who prioritize a lot of things over having a man; People interested in Detective stories; Fans of “Street-Level” supers, like Daredevil or Luke Cage; Pam Grier fans
  • Go To Series: Heroes for Hire (vol 2 & 3); Daughters of the Dragon; Fearless Defenders; Immortal Iron Fist
  • Stand Out Stories: Marvel Team-Up #1; Civil War: Heroes for Hire; Shadowland:Blood on the Streets

Continue reading

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I seriously hate everything I write…

disappointed animated GIF

Title pretty much explains it.

See, I’m currently doing this 24 hour short story writing contest, and it just got me thinking.

Does anyone else have this issue? Is it just me? I just can’t stand anything that I write ever. And it’s not that I’m over judgmental of details. I’ll recognize if it’s written well and if there is little or no editing needed. I just don’t like it. I have a particularly undefined distaste for anything I write. I read through and just find the story unappealing and the dialogue ineffective. I don’t even feel passionate hate towards it. It just falls flat. Does anyone else have this, truly? Absolute apathy for their art.

It isn’t just writing, too. Anything I create receives pretty much the exact same reaction. If I cook something, it’s never phenomenal. If I draw something, it’s average. Even if I try to get in shape, I find I can never get as in shape as I want. Jesus, I worry about what it’ll be like if I have kids…

Doctor: “Congratulations! It’s a beautiful baby girl!”

Me: “Well… she’s not that beautiful…”

Nurse: “Sir?”

Me: “For that matter, she’s a little too beautiful, isn’t she?”

Doctor: “Sir, I won’t let you have this child… Take her to the Child Depository!”

Baby: “Noooooooooooooo!”

Door Slams: Fade to black

Now, I’m not trying to whine. This isn’t one of those “please pity me” posts. I just honestly want to know if anyone else feels this way about the things they create. Honestly, it makes it difficult to work. I sit to continue working on a story or play or whatnot and as I read through to remind myself where I left off, I lose interest. Realistically, I know I’m not a bad writer. I’ve been published a few times. Heard positive critique from reliable sources (such as my mom). So why am I the only person who doesn’t seem at all interested in my work? To be honest, I wish this manifested itself in hate instead of apathy. At least then there would be some sort of passion, a drive to be better and try harder. The apathy just makes me tired and I’m left not desiring a future in the craft, but craving a bag of Skittles and cartoons.

Finding that passion to write has been difficult, but I’m trying new steps. I’ve started setting aside time everyday that I am only allowed to do productive activities. I’m making advancing my life a full-time job. Honestly, I think I would have given up a while back out of shear lack of emotional tie to my writing. Two major factors played into me staying with it. First, my beautiful fiance, Tee. Not to sound sappy and be all like “without her constant support, I would have settled long ago” but, to be honest, without her constant support, I would have settled long ago. The second factor is on me. It is my absolute HATRED of the thought that I will be working from 9 to 5 every Monday through Friday until the day I die. I can’t stand the thought of being stuck to a standard work week, and if it comes down to that I would rather quit and work food service for the rest of my life than be 9 to 5 in an office. The routine, the monotony, it all disgusts me. I was stuck there for a while and have recently escaped that conundrum. I wanted to be able to write to survive, but I needed time to write, so I needed to survive for right now, so I needed to work, but work got in the way of time to write, and thus it cycled around.

Office life is stupid.

Anyway, I’m doing my best to stay passionate and motivated. Wish me luck.

~C

So, have you ever felt this way? How do you keep yourself motivated when all you want to do is snack on some Pringles and watch Spongebob? Let me know.

A Guide to Comics: Marvel Men Part 1

Being the resident comic book nerd of my friend group, people often come to me with questions when they want to start getting into comics. What titles would they like? Which books should they pick up? Plus, with all the new movies in the works, people want to get involved just as much with the hero on the page as with the hero on the big screen. Thus, I’ve decided to occasionally post a comprehensive collection of Comic Book heroes and what to expect of them.

NOTE: I won’t be doing characters that are mainly just a part of the team. I will be sticking primarily to characters that tend to shine as individuals. I plan on doing a separate list to highlight teams.

Other Guides:

Marvel Women – 1


Spider Man
  • Character Summary: Peter Parker – “Common Man” gifted with extreme power and potential, generally bad at juggling obligations and scheduling; Science focused, studious; Generally nerdy; Very quick wit.
  • Common Themes: With great power come great responsibility; Hot chicks dig nerds (with good bodies and handsome jawlines)
  • Good For: Anyone, really, but particularly those interested in a “relatable” hero, or rather a hero who has very real world problems; People who like flashier fights with a focus on speed instead of raw power; People who like Batman (rogues gallery, “no kill” philosophy, etc.); People who like a sprinkling of romance in their comics
  • Go To Series: Amazing Spider-Man, Ultimate Spider-Man, Superior Spider-Man (for veterans)
  • Stand Out Stories: Kraven’s Last Hunt, Spider-Man No More,The Night Gwen Stacy Died, Spider-Man Blue (For Romance), The Death of Jean DeWolff, Ultimate Spider-Man: Venom
Ghost Rider
  • Character Summary: Johnny Blaze (Later Danny Ketch, whose back story is a might bit flat, but has quite a few good stories during his run with the mantel in the 90s) – Stunt motorcyclist and demonology hobbyist; Was infused with the demon Zarathos, a Spirit of Vengeance, by the demon Mephisto, who was jealous of everyone giving Zarathos so much attention… Holy shit, that’s balla. Ghost Rider has slowly increased in power as time has gone along and picked up new skills and weapons. In his most recent Johnny Blaze incarnation, he was often referenced as one of the most (if not the most) powerful hero in the Marvel universe. Also, he shoots Hellfire at people, which is fire that burns the individual’ FRIGGIN SOUL. Nice.
  • Common Themes: Heavy Good vs. Evil, but also an emphasis on necessary evils; Punishment and retribution; Heaven vs Hell; Losing Control; “Good” not being the same as “innocent”
  • Good For: Motorcycle lovers, People who like Constantine or Hellboy, People looking for a less diplomatic hero, People looking for more of a “wrong side of the tracks” hero instead of some white boy from Queens.
  • Go To Series: Spirits of Vengeance, All New Ghost Rider, Ghost Rider (1990s)
  • Stand Out Stories: Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Ghost Rider Annual 2, Crossroads, The Curse of Johnathan Blaze, Trials and Tribulations

 … Continue reading

Waking Up from Hibernation

Hey, folks.

I know, it’s been a while. I took some time away from writing and blogging. Had a busy couple of months, what with Holidays and friends coming into town, and me going out of town. I’m back now, I just wanted to give myself a little vacation.

Which actually segues nicely into what I want to talk about: obligations.

Why do we feel the need to constantly pound ourselves with obligations?

Think about it, when was the last time you genuinely sat down, stared at the wall and didn’t feel like “oh, crap I forgot to ____” or “damn, so-and-so said they wanted to hang out” or “well, I guess I have some down time, might as well ____?”

We are constantly drowning in our obligations, and many of these are placed upon ourselves. We have the innate ability as a society to take things that shouldn’t be obligations, and make them feel that way. Fun, leisure activities can feel like rigid, scheduled work. Social activities have to planned to the T and time set aside for them. If you watch a TV show regularly, better schedule the happenings of your week around that night. Even those of us that read or play video games, if you’ve ever been in a point where you have a huge backlog building up, as you stare at the pile you may think “jeez, I’m never going to finish these” or “when will I have the time?”

We make everything into an obligation, as if some second or even third party is holding us to it. Quite often, someone is. Our boss. An Editor. A teacher/professor. Sure, many things have someone expecting completion and good work, and thus the obligation is poured out directly from them, but what about the things that come from us? Why do things that should be casual hobbies sometimes feel like assignments or duties? I personally feel it is just all of us, each and every one of us, reacting to the myriad of discourse playing out around us at any given time.

You work at a job you hate, but pays well – Discourse of Success
You really want and can afford this video game, but decide you don’t need it – Discourse of Money
You would much rather cloister away and be alone this weekend, but are easily pressured into going to a party with friends – Discourse of Social Wellness
You refuse that tasty slice of pizza in honor of staying skinny – Discourse of Beauty
You feel alone and worthless because you aren’t dating anyone – Discourse of Sexuality and Love

These discourses play at us all the time, and it makes me wonder: when did we stop doing things for ourselves? When is it okay to let so much outside influence decide who we are? We as a society have stopped taking our Mental and Emotional Wellness into consideration.  I can’t tell you how many people I’ve known to take a job they know they won’t enjoy, but it pays better. They decide to live in an area where they know no one, they are distant from family and friends, and they are in a climate that is the opposite of their favorite places, all in the name of a slightly bigger salary. I’ve known plenty of people jump on strict diets, despite being in fairly decent shape, because they’ve decided this will be the key to finding love. I’ve seen people do drugs and continue doing them because someone they thought was cool started to give them attention. These discourses dance all around us all the time. It’s easy to say “oh, well those things would never happen to me. Only weak people give into peer pressure.”

Oh? Can you honestly say you are doing 100% of every decision you ever make in your life for you and you alone? Think about every major choice you’ve made and why you made them. If you have indeed only lived for yourself, great. If not, no worries. We all do it. Each and every one of us. That’s the power of the discourses.

I guess I’ll wrap up by saying this: It’s unrealistic to think that 100% of your decisions will  be made selfishly, or rather only with yourself in mind. Sometimes you have to make decisions for the greater good and for those around you. I’m also not saying that people who do this are just inherently unhappy. What I’m getting at is that your personal choices, the choices that affect mainly YOU, shouldn’t be about anyone else. If you hate your job, find a new one. If you want to drink a lot on a Friday night, do it. If you enjoy diet and exercise, go for it. If you want to spend maybe a little more than you should on a new computer, dive in head first. If you want to eat four burgers in a sitting because burgers are delicious, eat up! Obviously, for a lot of these things moderation is the key, but the idea is to live for yourself and strive for your own individual happiness in the smaller areas of your life. Leave the obligations at work and school and whatnot, and live for yourself in your free time. At the end of it all, you are the only person that will experience your life in its entirety, from start to finish. So why shouldn’t you do everything it take to keep yourself happy?

What do you think? Am I bad at being preachy? What sort of things have you turned into obligations? Where did the humorous posts go?

~C