A Quick Disney World Guide, Pt. 2

Part One, for those who missed it.

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Animal Kingdom
The Laid Back One

Best Ride: Expedition Everest. Wonderfully themed, delightful and entertaining queue. Theme persists throughout ride while delivering an enjoyable roller coaster experience.

Best Show: Tough, because this park has some pretty stellar shows, but I gotta go with UP! A Great Bird Adventure. Because birds are awesome.

Best Snack Spot: Creature Comforts is right up front and is a great place to grab some pastries and Starbucks coffee on your way in or your way out. The Africa section of the park has the widest variety of snack options if your group is like mine and everybody wants something different. Head to that area for pastries, coffee, ice cream, panini, a sweets shop and even fresh fruit.
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A Quick Disney World Guide, Pt. 1

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As we approach the end of the summer, we get ever closer to the time of the year when my friends and I start hitting the Walt Disney World parks. We absolutely LOVE going to the parks, especially in the fall when everything cools down and the summer crowds have dissipated (though summer crowds have apparently been down lately, so if you don’t mind the heat, might be a great time to go). It’s magical being able to roam free in cool fall evening and just enjoy the heck out of every inch of a park. I cannot wait to go back.

I’ve gone to the Disney World Resort an absolute TON over the years, and I’ll often have people ask me which park is my favorite, a question to which I generally don’t have an answer. I find myself going to Epcot considerably more but that’s typically just because we’re taking part in one of its many festivals. I think each park really has its own perks and appeal. They definitely all still feel like a theme park, but between different aesthetics, food offerings, entertainment options and general layout, they honestly each stand apart from one another, satisfying different goals that a group may have.

Below I’m going to lay out my guide to the Fab Four of Disney World: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. I won’t be discussing the water parks, since I have not actually been (just not a fan of water parks, tbh), and I won’t be including Disney Springs, though I absolutely love the Springs and you should totally go.
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A Guide to Comics: Marvel Women Part 4

Super gals GO! (wow, lame…)

Marvel Men: 1  2  3  4
Marvel Women: 1  2  3

  • Character Summary: Daisy Johnson, daughter of Calvin Zabo, the villain Mister Hyde; A pretty cool character with very little exposure in the grand scheme of things; Created by Brian Michael Bendis in the “Secret War” storyline; Daisy stands out in that she both a) actually gets respected by Nick Fury and b) is completely unafraid to tell other super people to shove it; Her stance on the other super folks around them is more of one of annoyance, she tends to act as if she just doesn’t have time for their super garbage; “‘Ooh, I’m Wolverine, I’ve got claws and blah blah’ Eff off, shorty” (Not a real quote but kind of her approach to super folk; Quake’s appearances are almost entirely ones of espionage and secrecy, never really appearing in the limelight of the Marvel world; Quake is in the perfect place to pop in and out of the Marvel Universe, as she has no public persona in the Marvel world; Her image remains secret, unlike bigger names, and that is exactly how Daisy likes it; My personal hope is that the inclusion and popularity of Quake in the TV show Agents of SHIELD will correlate to a rise in her appearances and importance in the comic universe.
  • Common Themes: Super heroes are lame; Espionage; Control of powers; Control of emotions.
  • Good For: People who like Agents of SHIELD; People fond of espionage stories
  • Go To Series: S.H.I.E.L.D (vol 3); Secret Warriors; Secret Avengers (Vol 2)
  • Stand Out Stories: Secret War; New Avengers (vol 1) #20

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A Guide to Comics: Marvel Men Part 4

Back at it, here goes!

Marvel Men: 1  2  3
Marvel Women: 1  2  3

  • Character Summary: Bruce Banner – Nerdy, Scientist type; Fairly reclusive and lacking in social grace; tends to have an air of nervousness about him, which may be do to the fact that if his emotions get out of control he turns into a GIANT GREEN RAGE MONSTER AND SMASHES STUFF.
  • Common Themes: Beast within; Who is in control; The innocent fugitive and the misunderstood beast; redemption and contrition; War and Anti-War philosophy (subtexts); Counterculture and rebelling against popular discourse (subtexts)
  • Good For: Hulk stories are typically surprisingly deep, and I honestly think people shy away from them due to the assumption that they’re just big beat-em-up tales. I recommend everyone pick up and read at least one Hulk story or series.
  • Go To Series: World War Hulk, Hulk: Destruction, Hulk: The End, The Incredible Hulk (2012), Hulk: Gray
  • Stand Out Stories: Planet Hulk, The Brute That Shouted Love at the Heart of the Atom, The Lone and Level Sands, The Intelligent Hulk Saga (Collected in Trades “Pardoned” and “Regression”)

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A Guide to Comics: Marvel Women Part 3

Welcome back, ladies.

Marvel Men: 1  2  3

Marvel Women: 1  2

  • Character Summary: At time of writing, actual identity is unknown (and even after it’s revealed I won’t mention it here because, come on now… spoilers); A mysterious woman who lifted Mjolnir and took over the mantel of Thor, who lost his ability to hold Mjolir due to an equally mysterious series of sneaky whispers (fo’ real); “Lady” Thor is presented as much more than that, or rather more than just a “Lady” version of regular Thor; In fact, it is laid out multiple times in the comic that she is not a woman with the Thor title, but rather is ACTUALLY Thor, with all the powers, respect and responsibility that comes along with being so; The writers have a done a decent enough job not making this Thor seem any less capable than the original, putting her in similar scenarios as the previous Thor would often find himself in; All in all, the series is still very new, but I seriously hope that it’s popularity is sustained even after the identity is revealed.
  • Common Themes: Adapting to new powers; Secret Identities; Trust; Obligations and Responsibilities
  • Good For: Thor Fans; Fantasy Fans; People interested in VERY powerful female superheroes
  • Go To Series: Only the one right now, but THORS comes out in May as part of the Secret Wars Crossover
  • Stand Out Stories: Still making them!

Jean Grey/Phoenix

  • Character Summary: Jean Grey, Omega Level Mutant Telepath/Telekenetic; Admittedly, Jean breaches my rule of avoiding characters who are mainly attached to a team; Jean doesn’t have too many solo arcs, and honestly, that’s why I’m including her; As a character, Jean has a lot of depth and intrigue; She is a vessel and avatar for an interstellar entity known as the Phoenix Force, which is a being of pure energy that feeds on creation and destruction; She has severe relationship issues thanks to her time with X-men and is generally constantly on edge due to the massive amounts of destructive power that flows inside her; HOWEVER, throughout much of the runs of the comics, Jean is mainly used as a plot device; She is strong when she needs to be and weak when the writers need her to be; She also stands as one of the primary examples of a comic book cliche- the inability to actually die; Jean has died and come back a number of times, which is usually attributed to her ties to the Phoenix; Ultimately, Jean Grey stories are worth a read because A) Jean is actually a really cool/powerful character and B) they often represent some of the mistakes that can and have been made in comics [This isn’t to say all Jean comics are bad, just that, much like Ms Marvel, Jean suffered in the beginning from the era of writing]. AS A SIDE NOTE: I prefer Jean Grey from the Ultimate universe; She is more tough, more badass, and a bit nerfed power-wise.
  • Common Themes: Power and Control; Relationships for Heroes; Separation from Society
  • Good For: X-Men fans; Hero team fans; People who like the tension of unstable heroes
  • Go To Series: X-Men (Vol 2); New X-Men (Vol 1); Ultimate X-Men; All New X-Men
  • Stand Out Stories: Endsong; New X-Men #150; Phoenix Saga; Dark Phoenix Saga

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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

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