Archive for Marvel Divas

A Whole Buncha Dead Dudes


Blackest Night #4

A bunch of dead supervillains, including Copperhead, Dr. Light, Maxwell Lord, Alex Luthor, Jr., Killer Frost, and Madame Rouge, have been broken out of the Justice League headquarters and are busy attacking the Flash, the Atom, and Mera. Atom gets the three of them to safety by riding some telephone signals, but the zombie invasion is continuing. The Scarecrow escapes Black Lantern Azrael because he can’t feel fear anymore, and Lex Luthor is sealing himself into the depths of his corporate HQ to avoid all the hundreds of people he’s killed over the years. The Flash gives Mera and Atom a pep talk, then we join the Justice Society in New York as they try to fight off a bunch of undead Golden Age heroes. Unfortunately, Jean Loring shows up and manages to get the one death that pushes the Black Lanterns up to the dreaded 100% power levels — and that enables a cosmic zombie supervillain called Nekron to enter our universe.

Verdict: Ehh, thumbs down. Right on schedule, I’m starting to get bored with DC’s crew of zombies. The story isn’t that bad, but it’s badly disjointed, with lots of plotlines being created and abandoned, with lots of seemingly high-profile zombies showing up and then being ignored. The cover has Copperhead larger than life, looking like someone who has something to do with the story, and he doesn’t even have a single line of dialogue. Something tells me this series has just hit the “Bored Now” level that most of these mega-crossovers eventually pancake into.


Marvel Divas #4

Angelica “Firestar” Jones has been cured of cancer — but Patsy “Hellcat” Walker has been dragged off to spend eternity in Hell! Angelica, Felicia “Black Cat” Hardy, and Monica “Photon” Rambeau go to Doctor Voodoo for assistance, but he’s hesitant to help, so Monica uses the Monkey’s Paw to wish the three heroines into Hell. Meanwhile, Patsy learns why Daimon Hellstrom has brought her here — his ego has been bruised because he was barely mentioned in Patsy’s book! The rest of the Divas charge in, but they’re no match for the Son of Satan! Perhaps the only thing that can save them is if Patsy can negotiate a better bargain with her tempter…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Good story, fun artwork, outstanding characterization and dialogue. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Tonci Zonic did an outstanding job with this series — hopefully, they’ll be given an ongoing series for this one…


Madame Xanadu #16

Amy Reeder Hadley is back in the artists chair for this book as a new storyarc begins. The year is 1957, and most of our story focuses on Betty Reynolds, a dutiful, submissive, fashion-conscious, 1950s-style wife and mother — at least until her life starts to go completely topsy-turvy! She starts levitating, her hair changes color, she starts growing taller, her fingernails become almost indestructible, and she starts spitting up insects! A friend refers her to Madame Xanadu, and a quick Tarot reading by Nimue confirms that someone is casting spells on her. But why?

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s nice to see Hadley’s artwork again, and Matt Wagner’s story is already very intriguing. Betty Reynolds is turning out to be an entertaining and well-envisioned character — I’m looking forward to finding out what’s wrong with her…

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The Graduate

Astro City Special: Astra #1

About a decade ago, we were introduced to Astra Furst, youngest member of Astro City’s celebrated First Family, experienced superhero but a complete novice when it came to being a normal elementary-school student. Well, the “Astro City” comic advances in real-time, so Astra is now graduating from college, dealing with life as a super-celebrity, trying to decide what to do with her future. If anything, the ensuing hijinx are a greater trial for Astra’s boyfriend, Matt, who is a perfectly nice, down-to-earth guy, but is completely unable to deal with superteams on recruitment drives, diplomatic delegations from Monstro City, most of the members of Astra’s family, or interstellar nightclubs.

Verdict: Thumbs up. The First Family is always good for some good Fantastic-Four-style fun, and it’s great to catch up with them after all these years.


Marvel Divas #3

Angelica “Firestar” Jones’ cancer treatments are going about as well as you’d expect them to — chemotherapy is no picnic, superpowers or not. Patsy “Hellcat” Walker, Monica “Photon” Rambeau, and Felicia “Black Cat” Hardy rally around her and do what they can to take her mind off her troubles — Patsy sets her up with the best hairdresser in New York, and Angelica opts for a good ol’ fashioned buzzcut. Meanwhile, Monica has been roped into standing in for Doctor Voodoo in an auction for the Monkey’s Paw, and Felicia gets in a fight with her boyfriend, the Puma, because she wants to go back to stealing jewels from museums to pay her bills. And Daimon Hellstrom, the Son of Satan, makes Patsy another deal to cure Angelica’s cancer.

Verdict: Thumbs up. One of the things I ended up enjoying the most was the descriptions of some of the side effects of chemo — we’ll still need to wait on official word from Polite Dissent to see if they pass the sniff test from an Actual Doctor, but they do seem to give you some idea of just how unpleasant chemotherapy can be. Other than that, great art, great dialogue, good action — this one is worth getting, whether you’re a female or male comic fan.

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Girls Night Out

Power Girl #4

Power Girl treats Terra to a night out at the movies, beats up trolls and an environmental supervillainess, takes care of company business, and gets a new apartment. I mean, those are the main plot points. I guess that leaves out funny details like Terra’s overblown fear of horror movies, Power Girl shooting down the guys from the “Big Bang Theory” TV show, Terra fighting giant monsters without her pants, Pee Gee hiring the supervillain after she beats her, and Pee Gee’s famously horrible cat pooping on someone’s sportcoat.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Just extraordinarily funny and awesome. And how cool is it to have one of those “Day in the Life” stories that actually involves someone headbutting a giant lizard?


Marvel Divas #2

I know, I know, the title is just awful, but it’s really a lot better than it sounds. Angelica “Firestar” Jones has been diagnosed with breast cancer, and her physicians include Night Nurse and Dr. Strange. She gets an appointment to see Dr. Hank Pym, but she’s still pretty flat-out terrified, no matter how brave she tries to be. Felicia “Black Cat” Hardy can’t get a loan to start her new detective agency, which is making her consider returning to a life of crime. Monica “Captain Marvel” Rambeau is trying to fend off Doctor Voodoo’s romantic advances (at one point, he sends a zombie to her apartment to deliver flowers) and agrees to help him acquire the actual fer-realz Monkey’s Paw from the new Baron Samedi. And Patsy “Hellcat” Walker meets up with an old boyfriend, Daimon Hellstrom, better known as the Son of Satan, who offers to cure Angelica’s cancer for the low, low cost of Patsy’s soul.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Good soapy superheroics that’s both dramatic and funny. There’s tons of emphasis on Angelica’s cancer, at the expense of the other characters’ subplots… but on the other hand, none of them have any subplots that are as scary as Angelica’s, do they?

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The Diva Show

I think I got time for a quick post this morning…


Marvel Divas #1

I wasn’t planning on picking this one up. J. Scott Campbell’s ridiculous cover made it look like it was going to be a nonstop cheesecake comic, and Marvel’s description of it as “Sex and the City with superheroes” didn’t sound a lot better. Luckily, it ended up being a good deal better than that. Our main characters are Patsy “Hellcat” walker, bestselling author and martial artist, Monica Rambeau, energy projector and former “Captain Marvel”, Felicia “Black Cat” Hardy, semi-reformed cat burglar, and Angelica “Firestar” Jones, fire-slinging mutant college student. For the most part, they all just hang out together. But they hang out very entertainingly.

Okay, there are quite a few similarities to “Sex and the City” — the main characters are four women, they all look gorgeous, and there’s lots of emphasis on their romantic lives. But for all that, I was entertained by this, and I was never entertained by “Sex and the City.” All four main characters have wonderful, fully-drawn personalities, even down to different, distinct voices. They’ve got their own problems, some shared, some separate, some trivial, some not-so-trivial. If I’ve got a complaint here, it’s about the art. For the most part, it’s all good, but it definitely hits one of my pet peeves about comic art — all the female characters seem to look alike, other than hair color and skin color. Eyes, eyebrows, noses, mouths, bone structures — most of them look like they were cloned.

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s good fun, and I’d read more of it.

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