Ladies of Marvel: Comics Edition

In June, Marvel announced this month would be celebrating their ladies from the comics with “Women of Marvel.” They would re-release issues of Black Widow #1, Captain Marvel #1,Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1, Thor #1, Spider-Gwen #1, She-Hulk #1, Ms. Marvel #1, Silk #1, Princess Leia #1, and Spider-Woman #5 (the reason for the fifth issue was because it was the introduction of a new story for Spider-Woman, Jessica Drew, and a costume change) for $1 each. This means if you are interested in trying out one of the comics, now is the chance. You can see if one of their stories interests you, and support the ladies while doing it.

I started really reading comic books this year. Before I would casually pick up an issue of Buffy to see what was happening with the Scooby gang, but this was the year I got serious with comics. What got me interested were the announcements of Thor being a female (Thor), Sam Wilson (Falcon) becoming the new Captain America (All-New Captain America), Peggy Carter getting her own short series (Original S.I.N.), and a new series based on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. characters (S.H.I.E.L.D.). Now I am trying to collect a few of the Marvel ladies comics.

For me my top five of these ten would be: Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, Silk, Spider-Woman, and Thor (Black Widow is another favorite). Most of these characters have been around for a while, but it was easy to learn about these characters and histories through the issues and sometimes the internet. It is easier to find out a character’s background thanks to Google.

One reason why I would suggest Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers) would be due to the movie coming out a couple of years from now. This was a good series by Kelly Sue Decconick. This series is over now, but a new one will start up soon written by the Agent Carter show runners, Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas.

Of course this recommendation leads me to also suggesting Spider-Woman because Drew and Danvers are best friends, and while Drew may not end up in the movie there is always a chance. It would be awesome to see the two of them together on the big screen.

It would also be great seeing Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan) in the movie. Before Danvers was known as Captain Marvel in the comics she bore the title Ms. Marvel. Danvers has shown up in Ms. Marvel and those were some good issues. It would be a great introduction for Khan and/or Drew to be included in the film.

Marvel is also releasing five one-shots featuring S.H.I.E.L.D. agents this month with four out of five of those issues being female agents: Peggy Carter, Bobbi Morse (Mockingbird), Melinda May (Calvary), and Daisy Johnson (Quake). While these single issues are not $1 I will still recommend picking them up.

Of course if you enjoy them, I would highly recommend reading S.H.I.E.L.D. since Morse, May, and Johnson have all been in the series including another lady agent, Jemma Simmons (my favorite).

“I’m Engineering”

Only two more weeks until Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is back on my TV screen. There is still time to catch up or refresh your mind on what happened during the last two seasons. It is amazing to see this group of characters and how much they have evolved since the pilot. Leo Fitz is probably the one who has had the greatest character development.

In the first season, Fitz was still the baby of the group towards the end of the season. Fitz was a newbie who joined the team because Jemma Simmons dragged him into it. Fitz didn’t really have his own identity. He was FitzSimmons who trusted easily. Season two was a game changer for him.

At the beginning of season two, Fitz was relying on a Simmons who wasn’t there. However, Alphonso “Mack” Mackenzie soon befriended him, and helped him overcome his disabilities. By the time Simmons came back to the team they were no longer FitzSimmons. For the first time he was Leo Fitz. While he was not able to handle everything he did as his last year, he was no longer the baby of the group.

Last year, Fitz proved he has chemistry with everyone. His friendship with Mack became one of the greatest relationships on the show. The show also introduced Phil Coulson, Lance Hunter, and Fitz as a trio towards the end of the season, and the trio quickly became one of my favorite things with those episodes. The three of them do not appear to have anything in common, but they were able to give pure entertainment when together.

The best relationship highlighted last season for Fitz was him and Skye. Fitz was in Skye’s corner throughout her whole process of learning she was Inhuman. One reason was because he had already went through the change of no longer being who he once was in season one. He recognized she was having a difficult time with the transition, and he was with her. He was Skye’s number one cheerleader. He didn’t care she had changed because he knew while she may have physically changed she was still the Skye he was friends with.

Fitz grew up during season two. He was able to develop his own voice, and actually saw more action. Fitz got better as time went on and season two, and one of the best episodes that showed his character growth was the finale. He partnered up with Coulson and Mack to take down the Inhumans and Gordon. While it was fun to see Fitz get into some of the action this past season, I believe someone needs to give him some field training.

As for the FitzSimmons aspect this past season it was more of a relief to have seen them separated. Jemma was more of her own person and season one, but Fitz wasn’t. While it hurt to see them apart it was the best thing to happened to Fitz. He was able to fully become his own person who didn’t rely on Jemma.

He was able to make his own decisions, and be more daring. It was good to see them become friends again towards the end of the season, but it was also good to see them having their own perceptions.

Fitz was able to evolve so much, and is quickly becoming one of the strongest characters of the show.

Ant-Man: A New Hope

*Warning: This post contains spoilers to Ant-Man*

I was wary about Ant-Man, when it was announced that Edgar Wright had left the production. What piqued my interest with the film again was announcement of Evangeline Lilly being in the film. A part of my problem was I never really pictured any of the actors in a Marvel film, but I should have learned by now Marvel generally excels at casting. Michael Peña definitely gets the MVP for the film (as well as Paul Rudd’s face which never ages). His character made this film feel like a mix between a heist and superhero film. The whole knowing a guy scenes were a delight with him telling the story.

The film also didn’t hurt with Sam Wilson’s (Falcon) appearance. It joined the movie to modern day Marvel Cinematic Universe. The world needs more Falcon. I would also like to applaud the film with Scott Lang suggesting they call the Avengers to help out. The thing about watching single character films after the first Avengers movie is they generally leave me asking why the character didn’t call up their new buddies to help out?

The one thing that caught my main focus is some Marvel movies can actually give more than one origin story in a film. Captain America had two origin stories. The forefront story was Steve Rogers, but then we also learned about Bucky Barnes who became the Winter Soldier between the first film and Captain America: Winter Soldier.  Ant-Man dealt with Scott Lang’s origin, but it also showed Hope van Dyne’s story. I fell for Hope and believe there was not enough screen time with her character. The mid credits scene appealed to me because Hank Pym was finally giving Hope her own suit. It shows potential with her character.

Sebastian Stan who plays Bucky has a 9 picture deal with Marvel. If Marvel has this deal with him, why can’t they make Hope’s character a bigger player? Yes, Bucky is big in the universe, but so is The Wasp. If Marvel is going with a new direction with her then let Hope become a bigger part. We need more ladies in these films. Captain Marvel is eventually going to come out in theaters, but what about the other characters? Marvel needs to give more screen time for Hope, and they could easily. They don’t need to worry about an origin story. We already got it with Ant-Man.

The film altogether was enjoyable. I don’t think it was absolutely necessary for Scott and Hope to be caught kissing in the end, but it was still an enjoyable film.

*Other observations*

*I was absolutely surprised and excited to see a Hayley Atwell appearance as Peggy Carter, at the beginning of the film.

*Major kudos to giving the girl a train set. It showed a girl does not have to have a room full of dolls.

*I think Kevin Feige is starting to walk a thin line by not exactly including Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Grant Ward is taking over Hydra so it makes me wonder how Mitchell Carson is tied into Hydra with no association with Ward. Yes, I know there can be different subsets, but it is still becoming a fine line.

Comic Con 2015: Best of Thursday

This year, it felt like Thursday was the calm before the storm. Right now my twitter feed is exploding with Agent Carter love because Hayley Atwell will win at Comic Con this year. There were some epic moments yesterday.

The first epic moment was Bill Murray making an appearance. This man deserves all the love. He checks off at least one surprise guest at the Con.

Marvel is livestreaming the Con, and a couple of my favorites were Lyndie Greenwood (Jenny Mills is my girl) and Will Friedle.

Marvel also interviewed Nicole Perlman, co-writer of Guardians of the Galaxy and writer for Captain Marvel.

There was also a interview with Kris Anka. I know he is an artist for Marvel, but I mention him because he is the one who recreated Jessica Drew’s (Spider-Woman) outfit. It is the reason why I started reading and fell in love with the series. He is also the artist for the new Captain Marvel comic series written by the Agent Carter show runners, Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas.

io9 came out with a review on Blindspot, Supergirl, Containment, and Lucifer. It made my Tom Ellis heart smile. They talk about funny Ellis is in Lucifer, and I will repeat what I have said before, watch Miranda.

http://io9.com/which-fall-tv-show-will-rock-your-world-our-spoiler-fr-1716703519

Con Man!!! It is a beautiful thing when nerds come together with especially when is Alan Tudyk is at the head.

The winners for Thursday had to be the iZombie cast.

Rahul Kohli is the winner of the day

*Bonus* Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

What to Binge: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

It surprised me when they announced season two of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was going to be out on Netflix earlier this month. Usually I have to wait until the fall before I can start to binge watch a show that just aired. However, I feel it was a smart move because now it gives people a chance to start watching the show before season three airs. There is no longer an excuse of not having time to watch it all.

Summer is the time for binge watching. Where fanatics of shows yell at friends to watch something they love because they care. This is me yelling at you to watch this show. It may start off slow, but IT GETS BETTER! WATCH IT!

The show had a slow start. In some ways it reminds me of Arrow’s first season. Both shows got better as their first season went on. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was finally able to go full speed after Captain America: Winter Soldier. The show was leading up to the film, and the ramifications from the film impacted the show greatly. For me this show is like a roller coaster it took a while for the build up, but the pace finally increased.

This show has been enjoyable for many reasons, and it is why I’m giving you 10 reasons why it needs to be binge watched this summer.

 

1. Phil Coulson

Clark Gregg gives Phil Coulson life. The man passionately believes in S.H.I.E.L.D. and his team. One of Gregg’s greatest moments was the scene up above. There was despair in what the group had lost. Hydra had been with them this whole time. However, Coulson carried on. He kept his beliefs, and it made you want to stand with him (In Coulson We Trust). Gregg’s performance made you want to hug the man, and tell him you would follow him anywhere.           

But then there is also more playful side of Coulson. The one you want to keep in your pocket because he is adorable.

 

2. Captain America: Winter Soldier

Season one was tightly connected to this movie. The season was leading up to the revelation Hydra had been implanted in S.H.I.E.L.D. It was the catalyst for how the organization dealt with the after effects of Hydra being revealed. Steve Rogers may have said no more S.H.I.E.L.D., but the organization was huge. Someone had to make sure the agents were taken care of. Someone has to find and fight Hydra. Yes, S.H.I.E.L.D. fell down, but the belief for what it stood for never died. They were able to keep it alive.

 

3. Guest Appearances

The show never lacks in good guests. For instance, the show finally introduced Phil’s cellist played by Amy Acker. Other actors from both the Whedon Universe and Marvel Cinematic Universe have popped up from time to time. The second time Samuel L. Jackson appeared as Nick Fury was everything I wanted and more. Then there are other actors who don’t belong to the universes like Lucy Lawless, Patton Oswalt, and Edward James Olmos.

 

4. Villains

Agent Dale Cooper played a excellent, unhinged villain in season two. He knew how to balance the craziness and violence. Then there are the Team Hydra players. They know how to comply on being the bad guys. One of my favorites is Raina. She joins any team that will give her what she wants at the time. She will forever be in the morally grey area, and enticing to watch.

 

5. Fight Sequences

The combat is fun to watch especially with season two. Melinda May has been kicking butt since season one, but season two showed more of the team in action. A beautiful thing to see is Bobbie Morse and Lance Hunter fighting each other, but then being in sync while fighting the bad guys.

 

6. The Characters Added On The show started off with only six members of the team, but the team has evolved over the past two seasons. It has added new characters. Antoine Triplett was the who brought the funk to the group, and he will forever have a piece of my heart. Then there were more additions is season two. My favorite being Bobbi Morse a.k.a. Mockingbird. As soon as she and Jemma Simmons bonded, I knew I was hooked.

 

7. The Number of Women One thing that sets this show apart from other shows is the number of women. Generally I find a show to be lacking with women. The men always outnumber them. This group usually has the same amount of men and women. We also get women who have questionable morals. The women on this show are not there to help a man’s story line along. They have their own stories. They will also protect the others, if you even try to mess with one of them.

 

8. The Characters Before the first season is over there will be at least one character to fall completely in love with. You will find yourself worrying about the character, and wanting to protect them at all costs (my favorite is Jemma). It is more than probable to fall in love with more than one of these characters. They all have differences, but they work brilliantly as a team. They also grow over the series. The character growth and evolving of this series is a beautiful thing. The best example would probably be Leo Fitz who was the child of the group in season one. Fitz has grown up, but is still this caring man you want to hold and protect.

 

9. The Friendships Friendships are a key factor for me watching a television show. I love seeing camaraderie between two people who will be there for the other person. This show has multiple friendships. All the members of the team are friends, but the bonds between certain people on the team are different. They each bring their own value and interest. I cheered when Mack and Leo became friends. I encourage a friendship between Bobbie and Jemma while I still love the Jemma and Skye dynamic.

 

10. The Family The core group became a family during the first season. They will protect each other at all costs, and consider wherever the team is home. It isn’t S.H.I.E.L.D. that is home for them, it is the people they love.

 

Bonus: It is all connected. I had a better understanding of the films with how they connected parts the show and films like Avengers: Age of Ultron together. It has also already started what will probably be the basis for Captain America: Civil War.

“You didn’t see that coming?”

ultron

**This post contains spoilers for Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” under the cut. Proceed at your own risk.**

Believe it or not, I don’t ask a lot of my superhero shows and movies. Pretty much all I want is character consistency. Since I come from a place of mostly ignorance regarding the original comics, I have no expectations for big character moments or backstories outside of what I’ve already seen in previous episodes or movies. At the end of the day, I am the easiest fan to win over. The banter and action sequences and sweeping shots are just bonuses to me — just keep the characters true to themselves, and give them room to evolve as people. It’s really an easy task, right?

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Jemma vs Jemma

There are two Jemma Simmons out there in the Marvel universe: the TV show, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Jemma and the comic book, S.H.I.E.L.D., Jemma.

 

The comic book was inspired by the TV show, but there are differences between the two of them. The first being Skye is not part of the team, and while I greatly miss Skye I found the first issues enjoyable. One of the main reasons why I found them enjoyable is the way Jemma has been portrayed in the comics.

In the first issue Jemma is going on her first field mission as an operative. She still has her mad science skills, but Melinda May has also been training her in combat. As soon as I saw these pages, I greedily ate them up. This is what I have been wanting from the show. I don’t necessarily need May to be the one who trains her, but I firmly believe Jemma already needs to start training as an operative. She has already gone undercover with Hydra, and has handled a gun a few times on the show.

 

The problem is no one has been teaching her. While the show has been taking the time to train Skye, they have not taken the same time to train Jemma or Fitz in the basics. The pilot made a point to mention both Jemma and Fitz were not ready to go into the field, but nothing has been changed about this situation. I do not think Jemma and Fitz should always be in the field, but the two of them cannot always stay in the lab. They need basic training to defend themselves. Someone needs to teach Jemma how to properly aim a gun. If she is going to be carrying one to protect herself, someone needs to train her. May approved of Jemma shooting Raina, but the fact remains Jemma missed keeping Raina down. May did not mention anything about Jemma needing to practice. Jemma does not need to be with guns blazing, but she does need to be properly trained.

 

One of my hopes is Bobbi Morse will teach her. Of course with the two different S.H.I.E.L.D.s it may be a pipe dream, but Bobbi has already befriended Jemma. I welcome scenes between the two of them because Jemma doesn’t have a mentor on the show.

Another wish fulfilled I got by reading the comics is getting a glimpse of comic Jemma’s background. They reveal who her father is and part of her personal life. This Jemma has a family. She has a father, mother, sister, and brother. We learn how hard it is for her to keep her S.H.I.E.L.D. life a secret, but she has a sense of who she is.

Season one gave us a Jemma like this, and we did find out early in the series she does have parents. However, Jemma changed when Hydra came out of hiding. After the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D., we have seen a lost Jemma, one who is not sure of what her real purpose is anymore. It is one of the reasons why she went undercover with Hydra because it did give her a purpose. Protecting the ones she loves gave her a purpose, but the mid season finale has again highlighted a lost Jemma. Trip was her responsibility after the collapse of S.H.I.E.L.D., and she wasn’t there to protect him. Jemma has always had this instinct to protect the ones around her first with jumping out of the bus, and then by jumping on the supposed grenade on the train in season one.

Now she is at a loss, she doesn’t know how to protect the team. When she does, she goes about it the wrong way leading Fitz and Skye keeping secrets from her. The impact the mid-season finale has caused a fracture which needs to be mended. The whole team is suffering, Jemma included.

The rest of the season will probably remain with the dark tone it has taken especially when Avengers: Age of Ultron comes out. However, it should not be an excuse not to build on Jemma’s character. For the most part we have mainly seen Jemma’s reactions to what is happening to those around her. The stories have been great where the rest of the characters have been concerned, but it feels like Jemma is suffering where the rest have been strengthening.

While I may be in love with what the first two issues of S.H.I.E.L.D. has done with Jemma, I know the reason why I love it so much is because of my love for Agent Jemma Simmons on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Without Elizabeth Henstridge’s portrayal of Jemma Simmons, I would not be so deeply invested in the comic character.