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And now for this morning’s round of PUNCHINGS

Let me tell you a thing about having an iPad, Internets: it means I’ve become way more of a comics reader than I used to be, back in the day when the only comic I had any real interest in was Elfquest.

Dark Horse has contributed a lot to that–not only because they’ve picked up Elfquest for its resurrection, but also because they’ve produced excellent material for the extensions of the storylines for both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly. I’ve even dabbled some in the comics adaptations of the new Trek universe, wherein they’re telling stories more along the lines of what I am NOT getting out of the new movies: i.e., some goddamn Star Trek, with obligatory strange new worlds and exploration and such. In the last few years I’ve enjoyed a MacGyver miniseries from Image Comics, the three-part Anne Steelyard story, and the graphic novel for the Thrilling Adventure Hour.

But it’s been because of the Mary Sue and their coverage of certain Marvel storylines, combined with my growing general affection for the Marvel movie universe, that I’ve committed to following some actual superhero comics for the first time in my life. These are the current storylines for Black Widow, Captain Marvel, and the new young Ms. Marvel, that last in no small part because I really like that Marvel’s trying to branch out with some religious and ethnic diversity in their superhero lineup.

See, ’cause here’s the thing–I’ve been all too aware and very sad about how a lot of the comics industry these days is infected with rampaging sexism. But dammit, I like superheroes. I have ever since I discovered the X-Men when I was in middle school. I loved Christopher Reeve as Superman way back in the day, and Michael Keaton in the first of his Batman movies. I adored the first season of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. And I am full of nothing but love for the extended DC Animated universe, that connected all the episodes of the Batman, Superman, Justice League, and Justice League Unlimited cartoons. That was some damn fine storytelling, and to this day, Mark Hamill’s brilliant voice work for the Joker makes his version of the character my all-time favorite.

And it’s very worth mentioning that in the Murkworks, we very, VERY much like She-Hulk. In fact, Dara played her in an RPG we did in Kentucky, back when we were still having our Saturday gaming nights.

So when I see news like this about how one of the people involved with the still-unnamed sequel* to Man of Steel (the one in which Wonder Woman is finally going to have her first big-screen appearance EVER) says some hugely insulting things about She-Hulk and about geeks in general, I feel my blood pressure spiking. Because this? This gives us a two-fer, a slam not only to a beloved character, but also to comics geeks of both genders all over the country.

And make no mistake, the questions he was asked shouldn’t get a pass, either. “Slut-Hulk”? SERIOUSLY?

And I can’t even muster rage about it, because it’s so goddamn exhausting to see this attitude again and again and again.

But for the record, let’s lay it out:

One, women can like superheroes too. Seriously. We CAN. We DO. And it’s hugely, hugely offensive to dismiss the women in your character lineup as “porn stars”, i.e., only there for the gratification of the men, because HELLO, we’re buying these comics too.

Two, enough already with the tiresome stereotype of geeks and nerds as losers who can’t get dates, who live in their parents’ basements, etc., etc., we’ve heard it all before. And y’know what? If your reaction to our interests is to point and laugh at us as socially inept and unfuckable, you know who we definitely won’t be going out with? YOU.

If you need me, Internets, I’ll be over here, consoling myself with the coming of Agent Carter–and with comics that aren’t belittling my gender. Or belittling me for picking them up in the first place.

* Editing to add: ah, apparently the film actually does have a title now: Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice. I am still not filled with confidence here. Not much room for it with all the PUNCHINGS.


Elfquest: The Final Quest #1

Elfquest: The Final Quest

Elfquest: The Final Quest

And while we’re on the topic of Ways Dark Horse Comics is Going to Command My Money in 2014, we’ve also got the joy of a brand new Elfquest story starting up!

Hold on a minute, Internets, while I stand back and savor the rhythm of the phrase “new Elfquest story”. Ahem! Where was I? Ah yes!

Now that we’ve got the prologue out of the way, now we’re getting down to business with the opening chapter of this new story. And what a chapter it is. For this longstanding fan’s eyes, the Donning-Starblaze era of Elfquest is still the most lovely–but that’s not to say that this art isn’t also beautiful, because it is. Wendy Pini has hit her happy place with doing her art digitally, and there are times now in this new area of her work when I feel she comes close to the amazing lushness of the Donning-Starblaze days. So make no mistake, this issue is a pleasure to look at. I bought mine digitally, but I’ll be buying this again once there’s a graphic novel to be had, and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how this color palette renders in print.

As for the story itself, well. Most of the Wolfriders of Cutter’s branch of the tribe are beginning to feel like they’re losing track of the Way, and so we see them getting back to good old-fashioned basics with a rough-and-tumble hunt. But not everybody in the tribe is down with this plan, and the outlier certainly raised my eyebrows. Meanwhile, Ember’s branch of the Wolfriders faces a new human threat, one that makes Teir come face to face with the killer of his mother–Kahvi, the chieftess of the Go-Backs.

I’m still processing what I think about this so far, but I’m definitely intrigued, and am looking forward to the next installment! Let’s talk about the issue in the comments, y’all!


Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #1 has DROPPED!

Leaves on the Wind

Leaves on the Wind

My fellow Browncoats, most if not all of you will know about this already. But for those of you who didn’t, be advised that Dark Horse Comics loves us and wants us to be happy.

Because behold: the first issue of the new Serenity: Leaves on the Wind series is out!

It should surprise exactly ZERO persons reading this that I bought the hell out of that as soon as I saw the link show up in my email. And when I got home tonight, I happily slurped the issue itself down onto my iPad. Picoreview: gorram hell it’s deeply, deeply shiny to see these characters again. 😀

The art’s acceptable, by which I mean everyone is recognizable. The overall style is nicely gritty without being blatant and distracting me from the actual story. And the story–well! It’s kicking in not long after the events of the movie, and we’re seeing straight out of the gate that the revelation of what happened on Miranda is NOT going over well to the general public. The Alliance is now looking very, VERY hard for the crew of our favorite Firefly-class freighter. And so is the ragtag brand new resistance group forming, who’ve gotten it into their heads that Malcolm Reynolds should be their leader. I can hear Mal facepalming from here, you guys.

Which is all I’m going to say about it, at least in this main post. I call open season on spoilers in the comments, though–so if you’ve read it and you want to squee, COME RIGHT IN and let your Browncoat flags fly!


For the first time in YEARS: New Elfquest!

Elfquest Special: The Final Quest

Elfquest Special: The Final Quest

Wow, it feels pretty damned awesome to be able to use the words “new Elfquest” again for the first time in years.

Fellow Elfquest fans, if you haven’t grabbed the new release, you should do so pronto. It’s not just the bit of prologue that the Pinis ran via Boing Boing a while back; it’s the whole version of that story, including the part that ran on Boing Boing but also proceeding past that as well to give us the full prologue for the story to come.

We see quite the span of time covered as well. A newer character born not terribly long ago (in terms of the last few bits of stories released) grows up and earns her tribe name. A brand new character is born and we see her grow up a bit too. We get followup with a LOT of characters, elfin AND human. And some Shit Goes Down that ends things on a truly poignant note, and there are some lovely and tragic panels in particular towards the end of the story. And we see one of the most stalwart and unchanging couples in Cutter’s tribe get shaken up, in an unexpected and real interesting way.

I also note one particular REAL interesting development that, now that this has been established as canon, would have made roleplay on Two Moons a LOT more amusing. It absolutely reminds me of a thing that userinfostickmaker did with a character of his, way back in the day even before I started MUSHing and was running an EQ game in Kentucky. Rod, if you’re reading this, you may well remember the thing I mean; just recall the fate of Ash. 😀

The new release is available digitally from Dark Horse, and I scarfed it right off their web site here. The print copy may be already available in comic stores near you, but you can also order it here.

Read the story yet, tribesmates? Talk to me in the comments! (If you HAVEN’T read it yet, beware the spoilers!)


I’d just like to take this opportunity to say SQUEE

I squeed about this on the social networks yesterday, but for those of you who may have missed it, Richard and Wendy Pini released the news that Dark Horse is going to be picking up publishing Elfquest! They linked up to this story on Comics Beat that has pertinent details!

Dark Horse is going to re-publish older material as well as start putting out the new stuff as well–the prologue bit that was recently serialized on Boing Boing, AND the new actual main story, “The Final Quest”, once it starts in earnest! And there will be print and digital releases!

This news fills with me HAPPY. And soon my iPad will be filled with ELFQUEST.

Because yeah, I have all the previously released print material, but I’ll adore having it in digital form as well. I know it’s been available to read for free for ages on (which is AWESOME), but that depends upon having a live Internet connection. And I do love the idea of having omics to read right on my iPad!

Plus: DARK HORSE! Who’ve been the main place I’ve been buying comics from at all, what with their excellent Buffy season 8 and season 9 series, as well as the stories they’ve done for the Firefly universe. They should be an excellent home for Elfquest and I am looking very much forward to giving them more of my money. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: my own treatment of elf characters can trace the majority of its lineage right back to the Wolfriders and the Sun Folk, and I am over the moon that Elfquest is coming back to us again. 😀


New reboot Trek comics

Throughout most of my life, I haven’t been a huge comics reader. There have been notable exceptions to this–Elfquest of course being the biggest. I paid a bit of attention to The X-Men and Excalibur when I was in Kentucky. More recently, I’ve bought the Dark Horse Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 graphic novels, and their various Firefly and Serenity stories. And I’ve gotten at least the first of the graphic novel adaptations of userinfojimbutcher‘s Storm Front.

But that’s been about it, really. There are a few reasons for this: one, I’ve got plenty of novels I want to read, and have very little mental bandwidth left over to seek out comics as well. Two, I’m finicky about my subject matter. Three, I’m finicky about the art; Wendy Pini set a REALLY high bar for me with Elfquest, and even now, that’s hard to beat. Four, I’ve got very little interest in physical copies of comics these days, for much the same reasons I’ve got less interest in print copies of books: i.e., I do most of my reading on my daily commute, and any paper copy of something I’m carrying around is likely to get beaten up by being carried in my backpack.

That said? I’m actually tempted by IDW’s new line of Star Trek stories that take plotlines from the original series and adapt them using the reboot versions of the characters. Yes, I know–the reboot Trek flick was very silly. But I really rather liked it all the same, despite its spectacularly goofy science. And I’m intrigued by the idea of what this line of comics might do with the plotlines; I was always a TOS girl, when it comes to Trek.

And since IDW does have various free versions of their apps, I could even buy this comic digitally if I so chose. I’ve seen that the Dark Horse comics I’ve picked up digitally are beautiful on the iPad, and that nicely solves the problems of space and abuse of physical copies.

I may have to get this. I’m still pondering; IDW’s app has a bit of a preview up for issue #1 of this line, and it does look tempting!