fajrdrako: (Default)

Reading Wheelr's tumblr commentary on the new Marvel comics relaunch got me thinking.

Now, for all Wheelr's comments are thoughtful and intelligent, I do not agree with him on most of the key issues. I think long-term ongoing continuity is one of the greatest joys of comics, and something we don't get - cannot get - elsewhere. I do not think new starts should in comics should be labelled #1, and I think he likes James Hickman's writing more than I do.

I don't think the Avengers 'brand' is diluted by having a lot of characters; I think it's terrific that the interesting characters, including some of the interesting but underused characters, will have a new venue. I am, for example, totally thrilled that Shang Chi will be returning. He's been one of my favourite characters at Marvel since he had his own comic in Master of Kung Fu, one of my favourite series of all time. After a long hiatus he has been turning up recently - in Shadowlands and Secret Avengers - and I couldn't be happier about it.

Hawkeye by Matt Fraction and David Aja looks amazing. Never mind that I'd read anything written by Fraction: I have a newfound love for this hero I'd always thought was lame, and I'm eager to see what they're going to do.

Uncanny Avengers intrigues me, but it looks like something they've been doing for a while now, with Wolverine already in the Avengers, and lots of interaction between the teams. Nothing wrong with that.

All-New X-Men is going to be by Brian Michael Bendis and he's another writer I'd read (almost) anything by; especially when Stuart Immonen is his artist. The premise doesn't do much for me, but I have faith in Bendis to pull off unlikely successes. This is the man who got me to enjoy Moon Knight. In my book, he can do anything.

It looks as if Keiron Gillen and Greg Land will be doing the new Iron Man, and much as I'd like to see Matt Fraction write about Tony Stark forever, I'm not unhappy with this. Gillen and Land make a good team. I look forward to seeing what they do.

Here's my wishlist:

  1. More gay, lesbian, and bi characters. Bi women especially, not just because that's what I like to see, but because that's what we haven't been seeing. Okay, you have to strain to see the gay women, too - so why is that? I love Marvel for featuring the wedding of Northstar and his boyfriend Kyle; we need more.

  2. People ask for diversity in ethnicity in comics and I do too, but what I really like to see is diversity in nationality. It isn't just that too many characters in comics are white and male, but that too many people of all types are American. Okay, these are comics published in the US for a mostly-American market, which is fine, but I love it when a team like the X-Men or Avengers has characters from Ireland (Banshee), Brazil (Sunspot), Canada (Wolverine), Scotland (Wolfsbane), and so on. No problem with Wakanda or Madripoor, either.

  3. The return of old favourite characters. My old favourite characters. I'm already promised Gambit, Hawkeye, and Shang Chi - this makes me very happy indeed. I'd also like to see the return and heroic redemption of Forge, more focus on Rachel Summers, a return of Nightcrawler, a reworking of Cannonball to make him the brilliant, brave, heroic leader he used to be; Domino, Fiz (I have a weakness for Skrulls), Pete Wisdom - who should be Marvel's answer to John Constantine, only cooler and smarter - and Frenzy.

  4. I love the way some old villains have been given more personality and stories and lives of their own - the upgrading of Norman Osborn is a nice example, but it's happened to a lot of them - Taskmaster, for instance. I'd like to see more of that, and some of my old favourites: Hellfire Club, including especially Kinobi Shaw; Fenris; Shen Kuei; Exodus.

  5. I want Magneto to remain on the heroic side of the hero/villain divide, and Namor, too; without losing their arrogance or dignity.

  6. I want Daken back, as a dark and troubled hero - with a hearty sense of humour and interesting sex life.

  7. I want to see female heroes in prominent and powerful positions. I want to see them interacting with each other, not just the men.

You know, I really just want lots of good comics...

fajrdrako: ([Black Widow])

Somehow I didn't notice this comic when it came out; a Marvel miniseries called Battle Scars. [personal profile] fairestcat brought it to my attention, and told me what it is.

I might have skipped it, if she hadn't said anything. A comic about an American soldier... Okay, the inclusion of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the storyline and Nick Fury as a character might have made me pick it up, had I known.

I just finished reading it. Whoo. I knew Phil Coulson had been put into the Marvel comics universe, but I didn't know how or where. Now I know. The rest of my comments will go under a tag, for huge spoilers... )

30 Days

May. 27th, 2012 12:47 pm
fajrdrako: (Default)

30 Days of Marvel: Day 30: Something you would like Marvel to do (movie, comic, cartoon, adaption, apparel, etc.)

1. A new Gambit comic. By a writer and artist I respect, which might be good. And yes, they’re doing it. They’re doing it! I live in hope that it will be good, and that they will get him right, and that I’ll enjoy it.

2. Another movie with Tom Hiddleston as Loki.

3. A Black Widow/S.H.I.E.L.D. movie.

4. A new Young Avengers title. Or just give Wiccan and Hulkling their own comic.

5. A new Hawkeye comic. Yes, I know, they’re doing one. I’m thinking of Kate Bishop, not Clint Barton. (Not that I have any complaints about the new Hawkeye comic - I just think there’s room enough for two Hawkeye comics in the Marvel universe!)

6. Bring back Pete Wisdom. Ideally, I’d like to see him reunited with Kitty Pryde, and written by someone clever and witty. Or, conversely, Pete Wisdom working with S.H.I.E.L.D.

7. Return and redemption of Mystique, Daken, and Forge.

8. Restitution of the Spider-Man/Mary Jane Watson marriage.

9. The return of Nightcrawler.

10. A movie with Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Nick Fury.

11. A new Nick Fury comic that isn’t a Max comic, or set in the past.

12. More diversity at Marvel: more female heroes, more gay and bi characters (especially women, which are lacking), more handicapped heroes, more non-American heroes, more heroes of different ethnicities. More women writing their stories. More women editing and drawing their stories.
fajrdrako: (Default)

30 Days of Marvel: Day 28: Power you would most like to have

Wolverine’s: guaranteed long life and good health. Sounds about perfect to me.


May. 22nd, 2012 11:52 am
fajrdrako: (Default)

What has happened to Cable?

Last I saw, he was dead. And Hope resurrected him and took away his techno-organic virus. And then everyone got word that the Phoenix Force was coming for Hope, and everyone got distracted fighting the Avengers...

So where is Cable and what is he doing now?

fajrdrako: (Default)

30 Days of Marvel: Day 25: Favorite couple/relationship (romantic)

Another easy one: Emma Frost and Scott Summers.

“When I was with Emma, it was like flying. I could say any outrageous thing. There was no pressure. She had no expectations. She just accepted everything about me...”
Scott Summers, New X-Men #142

He was the X-Men's teacher's pet. She was the slutty White Queen of the Hellfire Club. Who'd have guessed how well they'd fit together?

Now, back in the sixties and seventies, I was into the Scott/Jean thing. It was what we had. Even though I liked the character, Scott Summers wasn't the most interesting of the X-Men. He was the most reliable, the most dependable, the least likely to have a life - and the most likely to have an unexpected relative. Exciting? Not really.

Emma changed all that. Emma changed him, and all for the better, as far as I'm concerned. The good-boy X-Man discovered his edge, discovered his intelligence, developed his leadership, turned into a hard-assed arrogant son of a bitch who didn't let anyone push him around.

Except for Emma. Sometimes. But only sometimes.

fajrdrako: (Default)
Day 24: Best twist

Best unexpected story development? Hmm...

Spider-Man reveals his identity to the world in Civil War #2 by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven. June 2006.

fajrdrako: (Default)

[livejournal.com profile] filkferengi pointed me towards this interesting article: The Spandex Closet: 10 Superheroes Who Need To Come Out. One of the best thing about this article is that it talks about the characters being bi, not homosexual, and I really like that. Implying the fluidity of sexuality, rather than sexual orientation being a polarized dichotomy, or static.

I have no opinion about the DC characters it mentions, except to smile happily at the idea of Tim Drake being bi. Yes, please.

I thought it really, really interesting that it talks about Gambit. Because I always thought Gambit ought to be bi. He's adventurous, flirty, nonconformist, individualistic, an outsider... not to mention funny, smart, acrobatic and sexy.

Here's what the article says:

    There's no in-character scene or moment that suggests that Gambit is bisexual, yet every fan I speak to just knows that he is. He has a Casanova quality and a laissez-faire attitude, two traits that combine into the attractive idea of a guy everyone finds sexy, who finds everyone sexy.

    Gambit is that rarest of things; a superdude who is deliberately sensual. It's a trait that forthcoming series writer James Asmus happily embraces, and it's a big part of his appeal. His appeal would only be enhanced by establishing his bisexuality. It's an increasingly apparent truth that a lot of women enjoy male/male romances. Whenever we talk about making books that appeal to women, the conversation seems to be about female characters. I'm willing to bet that giving Gambit a tortured same-sex romance would bring in more female readers than changing Power Girl's outfit ever could.

Comics Alliance has this interesting comment from upcoming Gambit writer James Asmus:

    CA: Speaking of Gambit's seductive prowess; the character is known for his charm and good looks, and there's room in comics for more male sex symbols. Do you see Gambit filling that vacancy?

    Asmus: 100%! Gambit really is one of the few explicitly sexy male characters in mainstream comics, and that's a major part of how I envision this book. Luckily, our artist on the book is Clay Mann. And he completely taps into the easy cool and good looks that help make Gambit such man-candy to his fans.

Man-candy. Heh. I hope they hold that thought.

fajrdrako: ([Black Widow])

I am happy about the various gay and bi characters at Marvel these days - there should be more of them, but those they feature are terrific.

But I was wondering: are there any female gay relationships at Marvel? At all?

I can hardly think of female characters who are gay or bi. Victoria Hand. Destiny, long dead. Mistique - but I can't think when I last saw her. (And as far as I know, she hasn't had a girlfriend since Destiny.)

I had it in my head that Colleen Wing was bi, but I can't find anything canonical that says so.

I could make my own wish list...

Addendum: I notice that this article mention Karolina Dean as being gay (I forgot her), and Julie Powers, which I simply didn't know. Apparently that was a story development in Avengers Academy. Who knew? Last I read a story that had Julie Powers in it, she was about 12 years old.

fajrdrako: (Default)

There have been hints lately about an upcoming X-Men story in which Northstar (Jean-Paul Baubier) will marry his boyfriend Kyle.

Which is a cool idea. There are a lot of things I like about it. Gay marriage in comics? Yup, I'm there.

But that's in principle. In practice... Kyle just isn't interesting enough. Nothing against Kyle, but he suffers from the syndrome of human partners of mutants and superpowered heroes: so often they come across as sidekicks. The Beast's girlfriends in particular always have this problem. Mary Jane Watson managed to escape it entirely by being full of personality; that's rare, and breaking up her marriage to Peter Parker is one of the worst continuity moves Marvel has made.

So I'm glad if Northstar and his boyfriend are marrying, but... Northstar himself has yet to make the first rank of superheroes. His own book was short-lived and unmemorable, and he hasn't been a focal point of the teams he's on. He's had some great moments, but not enough of them.

Perhaps better use will be made of him in future, but as it stands, his relationship with Kyle isn't nearly as interesting as Shattarstar's with Rictor, or Hulkling's with Wiccan.

fajrdrako: (Default)

30 Days of Marvel: Day 23: Best Marvel costume you’ve seen IRL (cosplay)

Hmm. Any of the costumes I made myself? Not that they were the best ever, but there's a great satisfaction in making one's own costumes... And such fun to wear. Those days when I was Saturn Girl and Janet was Supergirl and Don was Brainiac 5... Yeah, not Marvel, I know. That was in my Legion of Super-Heores fangirl days. Mostly my costumes were Marvel: Doctor Strange was the best - the costume looked dramatic, and was comfortable to wear. And to dance in. And Guinevere from Camelot 3000 - anyone remember that?

Okay, aside from that: the best costumes I have seen were at San Diego Comic Con, back when I used to go. The one that most stands out in my mind was a duo: Cloak and Dagger. He was big and dark and looming. She was tall and slim and fair. They had presence.

Really, with costumes, presence is as important as style.

fajrdrako: ([Loki])
30 Days of Marvel: Day 21: Current obsession

Hmm. How many obsessions can a fan have at once?

As usual, I have many Marvel obsessions... Many favourite comics and favourite characters because there are so many good ones out there. Daredevil and Magneto have been favourites for decades.

But now... just now... I'll say Loki. Thanks to Pasqual Ferry's lovely art and the revival of the character as a boy; thanks to good writing by Matt Fraction Kieron Gillen; thanks to the magnificent portrayal of Loki by Tom Hiddleston....

Yeah. My current obsession is Loki, Marvel's god of mischief.

[Fan art by ~kisago on deviantart]

I had a look at Wikipedia on Loki as a mythological figure, and was amused by the scholarly descriptions:

    ...Folke Ström... in 1956 concluded that Loki is a hypostasis of the god Odin. In 1959, Jan de Vries theorized that Loki is a typical example of a trickster figure. In 1961, by way of excluding all non-Scandinavian mythological parallels in her analysis, Anna Birgitta Rooth concluded that Loki was originally a spider. Anne Holtsmark, writing in 1962, concluded that no conclusion could be made about Loki.

    Regarding scholarship on Loki, scholar Gabriel Turville-Petre comments (1964) that "more ink has been spilled on Loki than on any other figure in Norse myth. This, in itself, is enough to show how little scholars agree, and how far we are from understanding him."

    ...Stefanie von Schnurbein (2000) comments that "Loki, the outsider in the Northern Germanic pantheon, confounds not only his fellow deities and chronicler Snorri Sturluson [referring to the Prose Edda] but has occasioned as much quarrel among his interpreters. Hardly a monography, article, or encyclopedic entry does not begin with the reference to Loki as a staggeringly complex, confusing, and ambivalent figure who has been the catalyst of countless unresolved scholarly controversies and has elicited more problems than solutions".

Fertile ground for Marvel and for movies, I'd say.
fajrdrako: (Default)

30 Days of Marvel: Day 17: Coolest Marvel apparel

For us? For the fans?

On thing I think, and have always thought, is that most of the outfits sold as comic book merchanizing are either for little kids, or kind of ugly. Ugly in a dorky way. There are some fine T-shirts (and many ugly ones), a few good ties, some watches - but on the whole, the comic book apparel I have seen looks like dorkwear. Stuff adolescent males would wear before they develop any taste or colour sense. Me, I'm not impressed.

There could be Marvel-based apparel that looks both attractive and adult, even dignified. Or glamorous. Something along the lines of Nick Fury's coat, for example. There's so much potential there: fan see it, on pages like GeetTyrant or the Tumblr comic book fashion pages.

Best I can think of is Wolverine's leather jacket.

fajrdrako: ([Iron Man])

A Guide to the Avengers for the Extremely Confused.

I particularly liked the description of Iron Man/Tony Stark: " Tony Stark, a rakish technosuit-wearing billionaire genius who now uses his filthy, arms-dealing lucre for justice. Weaknesses: Arrogance and/or being too awesome."

fajrdrako: ([Iron Man])
Prompt Five: Steve (Captain America) and Tony (Iron Man) Exchange gifts for Christmas. Steve keeps it simple and Tony goes overboard.

Title: The Spirit of Christmas
Author: [personal profile] fajrdrako
Fandom: The Avengers, Iron Man, Captain America (Movieverse/Comicverse)
Character: Steve Rogers/Tony Stark
Challenge: From Sci Fi Multipass: Prompt Five: Steve (Captain America) and Tony (Iron Man) Exchange gifts for Christmas. Steve keeps it simple and Tony goes overboard
Rating: PG
Words: 1430
Genre: Slash
Disclaimer: Not mine, no claims, all property of Marvel.
Notes: Cross-posted to my Dreamwidth account, my Livejournal account, and my fanfic journal.

The Spirit of Christmas )


Nov. 27th, 2011 10:52 pm
fajrdrako: (Default)

This evening I watched the 2011 movie Thor. Loved it again. Loved it enough to go looking for online Thor/Loki slash after watching it. If anything, I enjoyed it more than I did the first time, when I didn't much like Natalie Portman as Jane Foster. This time, I liked her, and particularly liked Darcy. I see there are a bunch of Loki/Darcy shippers online. Well, why not?

I totally love Agent Coulson.

Ah, yes, bring on The Avengers. It will be fun to see Thor and Iron Man together.

fajrdrako: (Default)

George R.R. Martin has an interview about how he's a fan of Wonder Man.

Now, that really is perverse!

He said, "It was great fun being interviewed by John Hodgman (he's a PC)." What's a PC? Police Constable? Progressive Conservative? Personal Computer?


fajrdrako: (Default)

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