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review 2017-03-25 22:23
Princeless Volume 2
Princeless Volume 2 #1 (Princeless Volume 2: 1) - Jeremy Whitley,Emily Martin
Princeless Volume 2 #2 - Jeremy Whitley,... Princeless Volume 2 #2 - Jeremy Whitley,Emily Martin
Princeless Volume 2 #3 - Jeremy Whitley,... Princeless Volume 2 #3 - Jeremy Whitley,Emily Martin
Princeless Volume 2 #4 - Jeremy Whitley,Emily Martin

I fell in love with this series back in December when I read Volume 1, Save Yourself, and had been looking forward to this volume ever since. It did not disappoint. I loved the title for this one and the way it plays into the plot.

First of all, I totally love the theme of the series in general. We have a WOC protagonist who has decided that she has had enough with the status quo and the waiting around and takes matters into her own hands. She even uses the dragon that guarded her castle in place of a mighty stead. I mean, how could I not love it?

So here we catch up with Adrienne and Bedelia, who is her personal blacksmith and sidekick. They are going to save Angelica! Or are they? Is Adrienne the only one to take matters into her own hands? Does Angelica even want saving? Adrienne has many sisters and while it should be easy to expect that they all be different from each other and nuanced and have different points of view, I also know that expectations like that usually end in disappointment.

Not this time. Whitley has created this amazing world for us and gives us sisters who neither think the same nor act the same. The outlooks that Angelica and Adrienne have on their like situations are not at all the same and serve to manifest very different outcomes for themselves and those who come to find them.

Personally, I loved Angelica. I loved getting another view on the subject of being so admired. I loved that the writers decided to just jump right into the alternative point of view and that none of it went in the direction that I expected. I also loved the rest of the family situation and the foreshadowing of the mysterious Black Knight that I have my suspicions about.

As before, the art is wonderful. The way that Angelica is obviously a little older and is more beautiful and even a little sexy without being overdone or exposing anything was impressive. The rest of the art is fun and colorful and keep it obvious that it's an all ages comic. If you haven't jumped in on this series, I suggest you do. I've already started the third volume and plan to post it soon!

 

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review 2017-03-03 00:29
Silk Volume 2: The Negative
Silk Vol. 2: The Negative - Robbie Thomp... Silk Vol. 2: The Negative - Robbie Thompson

This volume is kind of a coming home for Silk. I don't want to give anything away, but I feel like the issues cover a lot of ground in a really short period. They really expand her world.

I love Silk but she was totally eclipsed for part of this volume by the amazing cast of people that surround her. For this issue, I don't consider this a bad thing. In the last volume, we were mostly caught up with Silk and the Black Cat and being undercover for SHIELD but this time Silk's world is opening up a little. We already know her two friends from work, who I just adore, but a few more characters are introduced that I hope are here to stay.

The volume answers a lot of questions, but then poses new questions as well, as any good continuation should. I hope to see her really get on her own two feet in the future.

Some fun little things that I loved:

  • the friends totally geeking out when they had stumbled upon the opportunity
  • the introduction of Spectro
  • the whole Negative Zone everything
  • SHIELD holding up it's end of a bargain
  • JJJ. I know, he's such a jerk to Peter and Spider-Man but he adores Silk and Cindy Moon.
  • JJJ's nickname for her.

It's definitely a volume that has some crucial information for anyone keeping up with her storyline, not filler at all. I look forward to continuing the series! 

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review 2017-01-27 18:19
Lumberjanes #29-32
Lumberjanes #29 - Leyh Kat,Carey Pietsch,Shannon Watters
Lumberjanes #30 - Leyh Kat,Carey Pietsch,Shannon Watters
Lumberjanes #31 - Shannon Watters,Kat Le... Lumberjanes #31 - Shannon Watters,Kat Leyh,Carey Pietsch
Lumberjanes #32 - Shannon Watters,Kat Le... Lumberjanes #32 - Shannon Watters,Kat Leyh,Carey Pietsch

Here we have the next story line for the Lumberjanes series and we get to catch up with the Greek gods in this one!!

Diane is back and with a quest that the girls have no choice but to get in the way of. I'm not going to add the synopsis of each comic so I don't spoil things from one issue to the next but these tell a cohesive story that continue the involvement of the Greek gods past the first story line of the series. It also brings in some of the other characters of Greek mythology in their typically Lumberjane way.

I will never tire of this series.

As always, they use the names of some awesome women as exclamations, April says both in this set, first exclaiming "Holy Nakano Takeko" in #30 and then "Sweet Mary Shelley" in #32. Be sure to check out their stories at the links because both are hardcore lady-types.

I know, I know, this isn't my most in depth review, but not much more to say than what I have already in previous posts about just how much of my heart these girls have. There's great representation here, the girls work together, their differences make them stronger, and they aren't all perfect at everything. They each work at what they know and grow in what they don't and sometimes the best lines comes from the strangest places. I think Molly has the best moment of this set.

I can't wait to read the next adventure these girls go on!

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review 2017-01-18 19:39
Ironheart
Invincible Iron Man (2016-) #1 - Brian Bendis,Stefano Caselli
Invincible Iron Man (2016-) #2 - Brian Bendis,Stefano Caselli

This is actually for both Invincible Iron Man #1 and #2 since #2 came out when I finally got a chance to read #1. It's also my Read Harder 2017 superhero comic with a female lead cause she's taking over the title, for at least a while.

I wanted to read this one as soon as it came out but I wanted to buy a physical copy to read because I've been loving having all the first issues of the new fabulous women that Marvel have been making the headliners of comics like Thor and Ms. Marvel. But no. This one does not yet have a physical copy available at the time of this writing, even at Amazon. So disappointing.

But alas, I decided to go ahead and get the Kindle/comiXology version and check out the story. As soon as I sat down to write this, I noticed on Amazon that #2 was also out, so I scooped it up and took the break to get that one in too because I had been intrigued about the way #1 ended.

Can I just say, though, that I loved the idea of Riri Williams from the first moment I saw her? Yeah, there was some controversy over the horrible hyper-sexualized version of the cover that lots of people wrote about. My favorite article about it was this one from Sublime Zoo. I couldn't agree more with the essential problem of that cover and everything it implied. At the same time, Ms. Marvel had been written and drawn so well and not sexualized that I held out hope that Marvel would listen to the outcry and fix it, which they totally did. But before they fixed it so that she looked like a teenager instead of a grown woman, there was this awesome display of cosplay in the outfit from that cover. It's so great to get a character that people want to cosplay as. It has to be the dream, right?

Okay, now let me get my main criticism out of the way and I'm going to do this without spoilers. There was one seen in the first issue that made me go, WTF? I am interested in seeing how it plays out in the media or if it gets any attention at all. Not being from Chicago nor sharing race, ethnicity, or any background with Riri Williams or anyone in the scene that gave me pause, I have to wonder what people who do share those things will think about that scene. It came off a little too stereotyped. It's one where I have to wonder how much of it is really an aspect of that location and how much is just a stereotype or whether there is some truth to find there.

The author is Brian Bendis, who is a white male comic writer for Marvel. I won't pretend that it wouldn't have be nice for this series to follow the Black Panther model for having POC write characters of color, but I get it. This is an established writer for comics who, according to his Wikipedia page, has won most of the awards he's been nominated for. He probably knows what he's doing and it was probably a decent call to get an established Marvel writer to transition the title from an established character to a new one because the established Iron Man audience that he normally writes for may not be quite so estranged by Iron Man's title being taken over by a black girl if the author is someone they feel they have a relationship with. And yes, she is a girl and not a woman just yet.

As the comic stands in the first issue, she is still a girl and very much looks like one. She is not the hyper-sexualized version that was in the problematic variant cover from this summer and honestly made a teenager look like she was closer to 25. Thank goodness. So glad they listened. Not only is she not in the hyper-sexualized version, but she doesn't even appear in that outfit. She is presented as a kid more interested in building things than her appearance and literally anything else. As in, virtually no skin is exposed ever. They must have gone back to Ms. Marvel and noticed what was done there. Nothing wrong with dressing sexy as a teenager, I did it as much as I could get away with, but it's entirely different for people to draw these girls as something for men to look at the way the older versions of most female heroes were. A little modesty in the superhero world is not a bad thing. We can stand to be, you know, treated like heroes and not eye candy in completely insane outfits and heels. But they appear to know already, so I'll stop here.

Aside from the scene that really felt unnecessary and stereotyped to me (though it could be my ignorance or privilege hiding that it's a general truth in Chicago, Idk), the rest seemed pretty gender and race neutral. What I mean is, none of the rest seemed put there to focus on either her gender or race in a negative way that might dehumanize or unnecessarily underestimate her nor did any of it look showy like it was only designed to show how great they were for attempting diversity. It was just there in that she was just a girl with a big brain on her kind of way.

Is she a perfect hero right out the gate? No. But that's normal. Neither was Spider-Man in any of the movies (I don't read his comics, not my thing but loved the old Tobey Maguire moveis), Silk, or Ms. Marvel. She should have a bit of a learning curve here. I still really enjoyed her first fight and the conversation that opens the entire comic between her parents and a head shrinker. I enjoyed his insights and the parent's responses. It had a little extra tinge of beauty because I had just seen Hidden Figures the day before and that movie opens with a similar, though not identical, conversations about the potential of a black girl (or African-American, if you prefer).

Moving on to #2.

Her backstory continues but no reveal as to her main motivation. Yes, her backstory contains reasons but so far it's more "she can" and not so much of a "why she does it". The art for her continues to be awesome and not sexualized while being gorgeous in a realistic way.

A fun little thing for me is the mention of my all-time favorite Disney princess by Riri (The Little Mermaid) though not whether or not she likes that one.... it was just cute to see the reference.

Other than that, #2 mostly just continues the activities of #1 and gives a few more details. I really like the little intros in both of these issues where she's making a video for what seems like a journal.

I came into these two issues without having read Civil War II and I'm starting to feel like I need to go back and do that before going further. Okay, I don't currently have a choice about going further since #3 isn't out yet, but you get my point. I'm almost caught up with Lumberjanes and then plan on catching Ms. Marvel up to that point and then giving Captain Marvel another shot to get into the whole Civil War thing and see what must have been Riri Williams's debut, because it's mentioned that she was in it.

So far, the comic is living up to the promise, at least for me. Riri is a genius and treated that way with no excuses or anyone trying to downplay her intelligence, just as Tony has been in the movies. She is what she is and her family at least pretends to be okay with her habits and abilities while still trying to get her to have a more normal childhood experience. I thought it was cute in the first issue when her mother, like so many of us these days, was telling her to go outside. I love the way her parents and her friend, Natalie, took it in stride when they asked what her projects were too. Most people would have scoffed at these ideas, but they have obviously normalized her genius level already because they just go with it. The mother even offers an alternate and more mainstream use for her first one. She's not treated like a freak or too smart or any of the other crazy things that we see sometimes when people talk to or about women in general being smart and all that negativity can be magnified sometimes when the discussion is women of color.

In individual issue form, they only seem to be available online for now, so I went to Amazon for these. They can be found here for #1 and #2.

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review 2017-01-06 02:43
Thor Volume 2: Who Holds the Hammer
Thor Volume 2: Who Holds the Hammer? (Thor: Marvel Now!) - Russell Dauterman,Jason Aaron

This volume had some great moments! This has been an interesting ride so far and I'm intrigued to see where this series goes.

Allow me to get the negative out of the way first. I did not particularly enjoy (and maybe didn't finish.....) the extra stuff in this voume. The annual was cute but unnecessary and the What If? was just meh. I was enjoying the series and then was abruptly interrupted with some random other stuff and I didn't really appreciate it.

Okay, getting to the good stuff.

There are few things that make my little feminist heart flutter more than badass women working together and having good male allies. The mystery is still on for most of the issue to find out who this new Thor is and why the hell some woman has Mjolnir. I love the progression as the man now known as Prince Odinson (former Thor) tries to figure it out, but the story isn't about him.

Thor is around and being generally awesome when she gets attacked by the Destroyer and that's when things really start to go in a fabulous and wonderful way, at least in my humble opinion. As the title suggests, the reader does finally find out who holds the Hammer.

Then there are lots of opinions about this choice of Mjolnir-wielder, not the least because she is a she but there are other reasons I've seen that people give to not like the decision. It's an interesting decision, to have a person such as she is be the one to wield the hammer, but after reading through more of some other titles, I feel pretty confident that they know what they're doing and have a longer plan. Especially given some of the Asgardian family drama that surrounds this volume.

While I appreciate that the Marvel Universe isn't handling a female Thor any better than the real world, I'm also glad to see the shift that happens here toward acceptance with some characters. It makes for a great moment that I'd rather not spoil with details. Suffice it to say that I wouldn't call anyone "over it" but I feel like the "who" and "why" are getting to be less important to some than the "what's she going to do with Mjolnir now that she has it".  Most of the volume was just kinda-good and meriting closer to 3 stars in my system, but then women working together and the good male ally that pushed it into the fourth star. It's a pretty awesome moment.

The cuts over to Malekith and his dealings are also very interesting in what is going on in this series and with these characters, but didn't grab my attention or focus as much as the royal family drama or the search for Thor's identity.

If you're curious, though, Prince Odinson's character does continue to have his own title, it's The Unworthy Thor. I've been trying to stick to women-written and/or women-titled comics, but I do plan to make an exception.

Has anyone else read this title or volume?

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