Top 10 Favorite Heroines

So often in comics, woman are relegated to supporting roles. Whether they are the love interest of the male hero, the damsel in distress, a plucky sidekick or subordinante team member, or, worst of all, simply a plot device that is used as a way of motivating a hero’s vengeance against his enemy, known colloquially as “the woman in the refrigerator.” There are, however, many strong, well-written, and straight up badass females out there in comics. These ladies all have several things in common. They are independent, compelling, and all have a healthy dose of sex appeal. While they may seem like a misogynistic thing to say, for all of these characters, they own their sexuality, using it to futher empower them, rather than jsut be eye candy. I feel like I’m doing a disservice by only listing the top 10. But for the sake of time and not wanting to risk reader burn out with another multi-part countdown, 10 is what I’m doing. Here we go.

10. Voodoo (Wildstorm)

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9. Zatanna (DC)

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8. Elektra (Marvel)

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7. Emma Frost (Marvel)

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6. Captain Marvel (Marvel)

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5. Wonder Woman (DC)

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4. Michonne (Image)

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3. Psylocke (Marvel)

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2. Harley Quinn (DC)

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1. Catwoman (DC)

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Top 5-ish Batman Graphic Novels

As you all I love Batman. He’s one of my absolute favorite superheroes, second only to Spider-Man to be exact. He’s the world’s greatest detective and hand-to-hand combatant. The Dark Knight has easily the best rogues gallery of any comic hero. But he also stands alone as the character with the best graphic novel collection, and it’s not close. I was going to make this a list of the top 5, but I came up with six and just couldn’t find it in myself to knock one of them off. Besides, it’s my blog and I can make my own rules. I’m such a rebel. *Insert eye roll* I listed the writer and artist for each novel as well. Without further ado, here…we…go:

 

5*. Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth (Grant Morrison/Dave McKean)

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Beautifully painted artwork from Dave McKean sets this book apart from just about any other Batman story out there. It also delves deeper in the scarred psyche of the Caped Crusader than most. See Batman face his own madness to survive the night inside Arkham Asylum is a riveting read.

 

5*. Batman: Hush (Jeph Loeb/Jim Lee)

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I don’t know if there’s a writer that grasps the modern version of Batman quite like Jeph Loeb. Add in art from my all-time favorite comic artist Jim Lee, and you have the perfect foundation for an amazing Batman novel. They do not disappoint. A masterful puzzle of a story that also served to introduce a fantastic new villain to the Batman mythos.

 

4. Batman: Year One (Frank Miller/David Mazzucchelli)

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If Loeb isn’t the best modern writer for The Dark Knight, than it would have to be Frank Miller. Tracing the first steps in the career of Bruce Wayne’s war on crime, Year One gives an incredible re-envisioning of his origin. Also includes some of the absolute greatest Batman quotes ever written. David Mazzucchelli’s pulp-inspired artwork helps set the tone for this throwback. Heavily influenced the film Batman Begins.

 

3. Batman: The Long Halloween (Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale)

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As far as overall story arcs go, this might be my favorite among Batman’s many graphic novels. Winding and intricate, with incredible plot twists and misdirections. Much like Arkham Asylum and Hush, The Long Halloween includes several of Batman’s villains as major characters, which helps to make it an even better treat. Was, with The Killing Joke, the basis for Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight.

 

2. Batman: The Killing Joke (Alan Moore/Brian Bolland)

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The greatest story of Batman’s nemesis, The Joker. Never before has he appeared so prominently. Written by comic legend Alan Moore, the book is filled with all the violence, high drama, philosophical introspection, and twists that Moore is known for. Batgirl’s sexual assault and paralysis at the hands of The Joker is one the most iconic and controversial moments in comic history.

 

1. The Dark Knight Returns (Frank Miller/Klaus Janson)

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The essential Batman graphic novel. This is the story that returned Batman to his darker, brooding nature. Seeing an aging Bruce Wayne return to defend his city from a new threat that the police are unable to stop, while taking on a new Robin to train is some of the most fun you’ll have reading a Batman comic. Violent, gritty, and as dark as The Caped Crusader gets. Go out of your way to read this one if you haven’t.

Poll: Who Do You Think Negan Killed?

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I meant to include this in the last post. Who do you think got the business end of Lucille in the season finale of The Walking Dead? Vote in the poll below. Look forward to hearing from you.

Who Negan Killed. And Why It Has to Be Glenn.

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“You can breathe. You can blink. You can cry. Hell, you’re all gonna be doin’ that.” With those words season 6 of The Walking Dead came to a violent close. Seeing the bat come down from the unfortunate soul’s point of view was a decision that intrigued some (like me) but infuriated most. But regardless, it had us all talking. We’re still two months away from finding who got the business end of Lucille, and the speculation is running wild about who Negan’s victim was.

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As fans of  AMC’s zombie apocalypse drama are known to be rather passionate, everyone seems to have an opinion as to who it was. I’ve heard from some disgruntled fans that feel like it was some minor character like Aaron (sorry Ross Marquand, I love your work, but Aaron could disappear from the show and I don’t think most people would notice). Others believe it will be fan favorite Daryl or our favorite wordsmith Abraham. I’ve also heard from some that think it’s sickly mother-to-be Maggie. But there are others, like myself, that believe it’s Glenn. I would go as far as to say that I would all but guarantee that it’s Glenn.

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Why the certainty? Several reasons.

The easiest and most obvious answer: he’s the one that dies here in the comics. Yes, I know that Scott Gimple and company play pretty loose with the story from the comic books on a regular basis. However, from the end of season 5 throughout season 6, the stories have lined up very closely. Pete’s demise, the herd breaking through the walls at Alexandria, Carl losing his eye, and Jessie’s death are all events straight from the comic with very little deviation. Of course that means nothing when it comes to this situation, at least on its own.

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When you pair that with the reprecussions of Glenn’s death in the comics, it really seals that is needs to be him. This is a moment in the comic that launches the story forward. Everyone is affected. Glenn getting bludgeoned to death wasn’t just for shock value (though there was plenty of it). It was a milestone in the series. It fed so many other threads…created so many plot lines…changed so many relationships. Not to mention it established Negan as THE big bad.

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Think about it from the show’s perspective. If Glenn dies, Rick has lost his oldest friend in the apocalypse, and the man that helped reunite him with his wife and son. Maggie loses her husband and the father of her unborn child. Also how will Maggie’s relationship with Rick change knowing that is was his hubris that led them to this point? Also will she blame herself for negotiating the deal with Gregory to take out the Saviors? Daryl loses a close friend, and some one that helped him overcome his own prejudices. Abraham would see up close what can happen in an instant in that world to someone you care about…after just starting to consider wanting to start a family with Sasha. Would he want to leave her in the same situation that Maggie would be in? The group as a whole would also lose their moral compass yet again (RIP Dale and Hershel). That’s heavy stuff. And much better story arcs than just about anyone else’s death could provide.

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Now let’s look at this from a technical standpoint. Very seldom on the show have we ever seen things from a particular character’s point of view. Yet, the finale opened with, and after every commercial break, returned to what turned out to be a character’s vantage point inside the van where Glenn, Daryl, Rosita, and Sasha were being held. If you look closely the view is from the very back of the van. Meaning it would have to be the person that gets out last. That would be Glenn. So if we hold to the idea that the POV shots were consistent throughout the episode, then Glenn’s view opened and closed it. It has to be Glenn.

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I love Glenn. As a fan, I don’t want it to be him. I would hate to see him go. But I just feel like all evidence points to his violent and bloody end. Am I right? We’ll find out in October.

The Other Side of Comicon 2016

Here’s my quick shots from what I’ve seen at Comicon 2016. I felt like there was a lot of good stuff, most of which excites me.

 

WONDER WOMAN

Let’s just get this straight right from the start. This movie is LONG overdue. We’ve waited too long to have an iconic female lead on the big screen. Now the wait is over…and it looks like it will have been worth it! I know we’re all wondering (see what I did there) about this since it’s another DC WB effort, but this one looks different. An intriguing origin story that’s different from any we’ve seen, yet still feels familiar. The heroine saving her beau, I like it…and am looking forward to more. Catch the trailer here.

 

DR. STRANGE

This is one of the disappointments for me. Let me start by saying I’m not a fan of Dr. Strange and never have been. However, all the footage I’ve seen feels like a cross between The Matrix and Inception. Two fantastic flicks, but two flicks that shouldn’t be crossed. Kind of like Peanut butter and ketchup…both are great, but I’m not making that sandwich and if I did, I doubt you’d eat it.  However, I’m not closing the door because I do enjoy the idea of entering the magical corners of the MCU that we haven’t visited yet. This is just my initial gut. I hope there’s more to this story than just moving cities and other dimensions. We’ve already been there.

 

JUSTICE LEAGUE

Ok, this sizzle reel has me very interested. I’m not a fan of comics that is easily swayed by other’s opinions. So, when all the negative reviews came out about BVS: DofJ, I was determined to still see the flick and make my own opinions. I don’t consider a fantastic film, but I don’t think my disappointments were as grand as others either. Again, though, I don’t feel like comic movies have to be married to the literature counterparts to be enjoyable. Maybe this is why I didn’t hate the film?  However, I want DCU to be successful on the big screen because I believe it will push MCU to continue to produce better and better movies…and likewise MCU will push DCU, giving us the absolute best of both universes. This Justice League trailer showed us a valiant effort from the WB to lighten up. I like that move. I really enjoyed the sequence with Bruce and Barry. I felt it was easy and believable. I hold some reservations still about what they can do to make us believe Aquaman is more than someone who can talk to fish. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

 

FLASH and ARROW

On to the small screen! The flash and Arrow clips were nice. I love that the CW will be continuing to take the Flash further into the Flashpoint story line. This is exciting and I’m anxious to see how they’ll play it out. I’m especially interested to see what happens since in both the comic and the cartoon the Justice League played key roles in the story. In this universe, we don’t have a Justice League.

 

Arrow looks like Arrow. I still wish they would let Ollie lighten up and a little more. But there’s no denying the success of the show. It’s dark, but it works really well. This season seems to follow suit. My big question here is, what villain will they have that will be better than Damien Darhk was? And, who will these new recruits become?

Quick Shots From Comic-Con – Part 2

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Wrapping up the coverage of the major news coming out of Comic-Con 2016.

Captain Marvel casting –

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After months of speculation, and several women throwing their hat into the ring including former UFC Banthamweight Champion Ronda Rousey, Marvel finally announced who would be playing the titular character in their first female-led film: Brie Larson! Before she the casting was announced, MCU veteran Chris Evans had given his endorsement of her for the gig, which certainly helps her credibility. While I’m not overly familiar with her work, I’m optimistic about her potential to bring Carol Danvers to life. Marvel rarely misses when it comes to casting.

 

Justice League sizzle reel –

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While Wonder Woman amazed with its trailer, the sizzle reel for Justice League was a rather big disappointment. I get that DC is trying to lighten up the feeling of the universe after the overly serious nature of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but the footage was just too focused on humor. Bruce Wayne was particularly jokey. And why is the most paranoid member of the Justice League revealing to each potential member that he’s Batman?  I also appreciate that they’re trying to make Aquaman seem more badass, but let’s face it, he’s still one of the lamest superheroes imaginable.

 

Ghost Rider on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

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When a train in San Diego was seen with an Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. advertisement that seemed to contain a fiery chain, speculation ran wild that Ghost Rider might be headed to the Marvel television property. That speculation was affirmed at Comic-Con, when it was announced that the Spirit of Vengeance would in fact be a major part of Season 4. While I am slightly disappointed that the version that will be present on the show won’t be Johnny Blaze, but the All-New Marvel’s Roberto Reyes, I completely understand and support their decision to bring in a minority character. AoS might have already been the most diverse show on television, and it’s going to be even more so now. That’s not a bad thing. I am a little surprised that Ghost Rider didn’t end up on Netflix, where his violent nature would seem to fit in better. But I’m still very much looking forward to seeing the character come home to the MCU.

 

Spider-Man: Homecoming concept art –

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It’s not much, but the concept art reveal for Spider-Man: Homecoming was still exciting. Spider-Man is and always has been my favorite comic character, so it doesn’t take much to get my anticipation up for anything regarding Ol’ Web-Head. Tom Holland was absolutely incredible in his small role in Captain America: Civil War, and I can’t wait to see him in a starring role. But this gave us our first look at the upcoming film’s big bad, Vulture. I’m glad they took a different approach with his flying suit to make it stand out from Falcon’s. And Michael Keaton playing the part gives the role a definite epicness.

Help Support Nicole Carter

Taking a break from the continued coverage of what we learned at Comic Con International this year, I wanted to use this platform, small as it may be, to help support someone who could really use it: Nicole Carter. I won’t bother attempting to tell her story. I could never do so as well as she did herself at the link below. I learned about her situation through following comedy show @midnight on Twitter. Speaking of which, @midnight host Chris Hardwick (you may also know him as the host of Talking Dead) in an incredible display of generosity donated over $11,000 himself. He did so anonymously, but I have confirmed it with Nicole herself that it was indeed him. If you click on the link below, you’ll notice that she has already reached (and exceeded) her goal, but as she’s not sure when she’ll be able to work again, I say let’s keep going. It’s not just about assisting her in paying medical bills and expenses, it’s about showing that she is loved and we support her in her fight with cancer. Please click the link, read her story, and if at all possible make a donation. If you can’t make a donation, at least spread the link so that others who can might see it.

https://www.gofundme.com/nicolevschordoma