Archive for the ‘Comics’ Category

What the Hell, Marvel.

Okay, look. I know complaining about the way women in comic books are drawn is like yelling into a hurricane, but Siryn is my absolute favorite comic book character, full stop.

X-Factor’s next issue is being renumbered to 200 (counting this and the previous two volumes) and there is some great art coming out for it. The variant covers are great, and this amazing team spread will be the main cover:

X-Factor 200

I love the team redesign. I love that after 10 issues apart they’re finally back together in New York again. I love that they all look badass, I love the new costumes, I love that they match, I love it all. What I don’t love is Siryn’s redesign.

The previous issue (#50 before the renumbering) used this spread as a teaser for issue 200, and I loved it then. Nix and I spent at least half an hour talking about how much we love it. I loved it so much I had to take a picture of it on my webcam so I could shove it in my friends faces and tell them how much I loved it:

Notice anything different?

Of all the things to edit, why did Siryn have to lose half her shirt? Monet’s got enough sex appeal to cover all three women, and it’s in character for her to show that much skin. Considering what she’s just been through in the past month or so of comic book time (from having her baby, losing her baby and finally facing Jamie, even though he was a dupe), it’s almost inappropriate for Siryn to bare  so much. Not that I’m saying a woman can’t show whatever she wants if she’s comfortable, but historically, Siryn’s shown just cleavage. She had a bare midriff for a very short time in X-Force, but that costume was lost to the ether when she lost her powers and left the book.

So, what gives? Layla gets to keep her body covered (though she used to be 15, so that’s probably for the best), but to counteract all the testosterone in X-Factor they have to give Siryn less? Was the cleavage in her original X-Factor costume not enough? Should I stop asking questions, because I’m just another woman complaining about the way women are dressed in comics?

(That’d be a no.)

I think what bothers me most is that the Marvel higher ups obviously vetoed the original design and asked them to edit Siryn’s new uniform. Which is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard off, because she is a pure (and sexy) badass in the redesign without showing  any skin.

Oh, and let’s not forget: she flies. So not only is she dressed in half a shirt, but she’ll freeze when she’s in the air. Great thinking there, Marvel.

It’s not too much to want my favorite character be treated properly, is it?


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Look, sometimes, when you’re unemployed and have a lot of time on your hands, you finally succumb to Stefanie’s evil masterplan and watch five seasons of Grey’s Anatomy in a ridiculously short amount of time. Combine that with a healthy love for comics, a chat full of crazy friends (ie. all the other PCRers) and you get…

Grey’s Anatomy, X-MEN STYLE!

Which of our favorite mutants are roaming the Seattle Grace halls? Keep on reading to find out!


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It’s that time again! Every week, we here at [Insert Pop Culture Reference] each like to share something that we loved this week. Because being a fan is all about spreading the love, and we’re all big fans of well, pretty much everything under the sun. Comment and tell us what you’ve been loving this week!


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The big news in the pop culture realm today, is, of course, that Katy Perry got mistaken for Zooey Deschanel in LA.

Wait, no, that’s not it.

Oh, some company called Disney bought some firm called Marvel that makes books with pictures, that’s right.

Reactions have been… mixed. Mostly, I suspect, because none of us can quite get a handle on what this means, so it’s either Chicken Little style running about, ‘The censorship rating is falling, the censorship rating is falling!’ or jokes about Bambi joining the X-Men.

That second one is courtesy of Warren Ellis’s twitter, so it’s nice to know it’s not limited to just the fans, there.

But does it mean Tony Stark’s new industrial competition will be the worrisome Scroogetech, run by the only man (well, duck) to survive the fall of the banks because he kept his money in, you know, gold coins in a giant vault? Will the discovery that Billy Ray Cyrus is bent on world domination drive Hannah Montana to join the Runaways? Are the Pet Avengers going to team up with Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers?

(…okay, that last one I wouldn’t actually mind seeing. Disney, take notes.)

Courtesy of io9: Mobile Organism Designed Ultimately for Creative Killing

Courtesy of io9: Mobile Organism Designed Ultimately for Creative Killing

But probably not. Courtesy of Disney’s president, we know that they’re taking the Vetinari family motto approach, Si non confectus, non reficiat. If it ain’t broke… To be fair, we only have their word on this, but what else have we got? They took over Pixar, and Pixar still makes, for example, Up.

So the possibility is that it just means Marvel suddenly has a powerhouse behind them. They may have signed on with the devil, but the devil can rewrite reality, so that’s handy. More money for the movies, more marketing pushes to shine a light on their new properties, these are not necessarily bad things. Personally, on this front, I’m hoping that it may also mean that Disney, all consuming devourer that they are, will want to get all Marvel properties back under their wings: Marvel Studios didn’t have anywhere near the pull to get the X-Men and Spider-Man back from Fox and Sony, for instance. Disney might. I find even the slightest possibility that the Marvel Cinematic Universe might encompass everything it should encouraging.

Similarly on the movie front, word is Marvel and Pixar are talking. Look at that sentence again, people: Marvel. Pixar. How is this not beautiful?

But that’s the best case scenario. What could go wrong? Well. A lot. It’s a giant inhuman juggernaut consuming… well, another inhuman juggernaut, I guess, but one we like that makes X-Force. Can we expect to see an X-Force that actually matches that puppies and rainbows joke cover? Will, say, Northstar, Teddy and Billy end up shunted into a corner to be tokens to be pointed to as indications of inclusiveness but not actually used because we can’t have that, that’s not family friendly! I hope not. In fact, this entire article could be said to be me trying to harness the power of positive thinking, because this deal has me very nervous. It just happened, and we don’t know what they’re going to do. Will it just be sticking Beast in the new Kingdom Hearts game, or will it be something more sinister, like putting Wolverine in the new Kingdom Hearts game? We don’t know!

Stay tuned, True Believers. This could turn out to be our very own Dark Reign.

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Runaways was my first comic.

Runaways #13.

Runaways #13.

I’d never really been that interested in comics until Nix brought Jamie Madrox and Gertrude Yorkes to my attention. I read Runaways first, because I was a bit intimidated by the vast Marvel universe Madrox and X-Factor represented. Runaways was self contained, easy to read with little to no knowledge of the Marvel U at large.


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We’ve all heard the origin stories. Ordinary kid gets bitten by a radioactive spider and becomes a superhero. Boy’s parents are killed and he spends his life getting revenge. Four scientists are hit by cosmic rays and are suddenly given superpowers. An alien crash-lands and is endowed with superpowers by Earth’s yellow sun and decides to use them for good.

Ordinary guys pushed towards a life of heroics because of an extraordinary occurrence in their lives. They’re all the same story, told in slightly different ways. These are the hero conventions that we’ve all grown used to and that we expect when we pick up a comic book with a masked vigilante on the cover.

Kick-Ass throws every single one of these conventions out of a ten story window.


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The ladies (and Scott) here at [Insert Pop Culture Reference] got into a bit of a heated debate the other night after hearing that rumors have surfaced that Supernatural’s Jensen Ackles may be in the running to play Captain America in Marvel and Paramount’s upcoming Captain America and Avengers movies.

I’m probably one of the last people who should be making predictions about who will eventually be cast in the iconic role, given that I’ve yet to read a single Captain America comic book. Sure, I’ve seen him make appearances in other comics here and there, but when it comes to reading the actual title, it’s still on my To-Read list. But even without having read 99.9 percent of Captain America’s source material, I can tell you that Ackles is completely wrong for the role. As much as I loved him on Dark Angel and love him on Supernatural, there’s no way I’d be able to buy him barking orders at Robert Downey Jr. as the leader of the Avengers.

So who is RIGHT for the role? After all, hardcore comic book fans aren’t going to buy just anybody in the part. They’ve got to not only bring to mind the original character, but with the current franchise that is being built, they’ve got to have the acting chops to stand with Robert Downey Jr., Edward Norton and Don Cheadle.


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