Comics, LGBTQIA+

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade

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I enjoyed this story a lot. Breezed through it really quickly. The Young Avengers are all faves of mine. Especially Wiccan and Hulkling.Never can get enough of them. Wiccan and Speed search for The Scarlet Witch who they think might be their mother.They need to find her before lots of other angry people do.

It was really great to get more of the fill in for what happens with House of M. This rounds out that plotline. Wanda does something that affects the entire Marvel universe. She wiped out most of the Mutant race by accident.Reality warping powers are really too much for anyone. Learned that with Wiccan in Young Avengers and he got it from Wanda.

So the X-men are angry and coming for her. The Avengers are searching for her as well because she killed some Avengers.The Doctor Doom is involved. Wanda has lost some of her memories.Maybe got rid of them herself. Reasonable considering her grief and everything that caused House of M. She’s a mess with reality warping power and Doctor Doom has his clutches in her. It’s bad. No one wants Wiccan to look for her because the situation is bad. Also, I think the adults are a little afraid Wiccan’s powers might be too much like his moms.

This story revolves so much around Wiccan a.k.a. Billy Kaplan a.k.a. one of my favorite gay superheroes ever. I’m most happy that I read this because it has some great moments between Billy and his boyfriend Teddy a.k.a Hulkling.It’s great seeing how much they love each other and will do to protect each other. Billy left a note for Teddy at one point and I just read it over and over. I’m trash for this couple. I love following their relationship over time. They have big moments like the letter that went on for a few panels. Then just the small moments in fights or in passing. Moments where they check up on each other and protect each other. Just naturally gravitating toward each other in different situations. The little flirting they do here and there. I love this pairing. The end of the comic with them was really great.You constantly see how much they care about each other in this.

Plus I love all the family feels for Billy and his brother Tommy a.k.a. Speed. I’m going to stop putting in a.k.a. now. He’s searching for his mother with his brother but also meets his grandfather Magneto for the first time. We even get a mini comic of when Magneto learns about the existence of his grandchildren. Why do I feel like Magneto would actually be a decent grandparent? Like he might use you and your powers to his advantage but he’d take someone out if they came for you. He’d care in a Magneto way. Wiccan and Speed meet their uncle Quicksilver as well which isn’t the best first meeting but the family resemblance is so cool to see. Even if Speed and Quicksilver’s outfits are actually way too close. Like how does that even happen?

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This is a star-studded cast. Got the main X-men team. Mostly really annoying in this but it made sense.I needed them to think a little more but they were angry at all the mutants who died trying to get their abilities back. I understand.The Avengers appear as mentioned. The fight between the X-men and Avengers in this is lit. Then the Young Avengers. I love the Young Avengers. They are so great. I love the newer version of The Young Avengers and really need to talk about those comics but it’s really nice seeing the dynamics of this young Avengers team.You really see the fall of it here too, unfortunately.

There also was another gay superhero couple in this comic. I had not read them until now but I need to read more of them. Rictor and Shaterstar have such great moments in this. I know the pairing just from forums talking about the mutant couple in the X-men comics. Rictor talking about what it feels like to be connected to the earth with his power one day and to not have his power the next was intense. I really felt for the character. Then he and Shatterstar had this moment and I melted and I can’t. I need more of them. I feel like this is as far as their run has gone from what I know right now. So I’d be starting from before this and I hope I like seeing how it develops. I’ve also seen Shatterstar listed as a polyamorous character under a directory once so I wonder how that plays into his relationship with Rictor in the comics.I hope the comic handles it well.

The ending was sad even when I knew who was going to die already. I’ve read of Young Avengers comics set after this. It’s rough for a lot of reasons. Hoping the movie verse doesn’t take that turn with that character for a while. It would be rough to see on screen.No one really has a happy ending at the end here. most groups leave the situation extremely unhappy. Billy and Teddy still have each other and eventually will have a new Young Avengers team. Still, it’s a rough ending to the comic for Billy considering what has happened to the current team and ultimately what his search for his mother leads to.  I could do with less time travel in the plot, to be honest, but still enjoyed this a lot. Especially the gay.I’m a sucker for gay superheroes as you might know from so many other things I’ve reviewed. Plus my focus on them in this review. The queer characters in this particular comic had great arcs to follow. Can’t read to more on a lot of these characters in the future.

 

Comics, LGBTQIA+, YA

Runaways Complete Collection Vol 2.

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I enjoyed this volume of the comic but not nearly as much as the first one. It’s a brand new direction since the parents are dealt with in the first volume. There are arcs here that I really loved. I think the general direction and who the big villain is for this volume wasn’t the greatest for me. I feel like this needed more focus to really work like the first Volume does.

I liked the new additions to the team.Victor Mancha who is Ultron’s son apparently. Not sure how that happened still. Pretty sure that makes him related to Vision, though which is really cool. I’m pretty sure they will meet in a crossover between The Runaways and The Young Avengers. I’m excited to read that.

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Then we meet a shape-shifting Skrull named Xavin. Xavin is there to find Karolina who they are supposed to marry. Karolina is a lesbian and I thought it was so interesting that Xavin decided to just turn into a girl for her. I felt like Karolina and Xavin had a big arc in this. it may have happened a bit too fast but I’m interested to see where it goes.Also love that Xavin is black when in human form. This is a pretty diverse cast. Xavin changes gender often throughout the story.The pronouns used in reference to Xavin changed because of that. I’d love to see how they handle it.I hope the upcoming show based on the comic gets to the point where Xavin will be introduced.

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I love Nico Minoru in A-Force. In the Runaways, she just keeps getting worse right now. I really can’t warm up to her character at all. I’ve read further than this volume by the time that I’m writing this and her actions after what happens at the end continue that. I really don’t get why she acts the way she does. They also really need to figure out something for her magic to be useful again. Her method in A-Force is really fantastic.

I wish Gert/Arsenic was more confident in her body. The bad guys seem to consistently call her fat and I just want her to kill them with her Dinosaur. She goes through a lot in this volume. I think she’s such a strong character and puts up with so much.She deserves more. Her relationship with Chase comes out of nowhere in the first volume for me. I think there were some great moments between them in this. I still can’t find myself to really like Chase, though. He makes a lot of mistakes here.

The end of this volume was so sad. I’m jumping into the next volume. Don’t want to linger with what happened here too long. I want to see how the team handles it going forward. I feel like they won’t fare well.

Quote1 Most people in life don’t have great power, and the few that do are almost never responsible with it. The people who have the greatest responsibility are the kids with no power because we’re the ones who have to keep everybody in check. Quote2 – Gertrude Yorkes to Spider-Man

 

 

 

Comics, diverse books

The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang

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This comic was pretty amazing.It was intended to be one of my short reads for #Diverseathon but was pushed to this month. I’m so glad my library had it. I never heard of the comic before. it was just a great comic I found on my shelf. Gene Luen Yang recreates the story of the first Asian American superhero The Green Turtle.loved getting a little history on the character int he back of this collection.I’m really happy to see that mantle being taken and shown in a much bigger way here.The origin of the hero of this collection is really rooted in Asian culture.

You first see how our hero Hank’s family got to America.You see the struggles his mom has in the country since hr family first immigrates there when she is a child. You see how she met her husband and the rut she falls into after that. I thought it was a great decision to focus so much on the mother. She really pushes her son to be a hero even when he has no reason to want to be a hero at first. No powers or any desire to do more than he’s already set up for his life. She’s misguided in a lot of ways. She puts him in danger but shows that she loves her family by the end.

As for Hank. He’s out trying to be a superhero before he even gets any powers. Just for his mom really and I love that.he cares about his family. The origin of his father bonding with the turtle spirit was awesome.We get that story in the first few pages. The turtle spirit has to live in a human shadow to survive in our world. The turtle is really wise in a different way than you’d expect and he nags a lot too. So that was pretty funny.

Hank makes some really dumb moves in this story, though. Like one, in particular, I won’t spoil.I just knew immediately it was a bad idea. Still, he is able to make some important decisions for himself. The decision to be a hero, by the end is ultimately something he feels he needs to do. He has become the Green Turtle.He also makes the decision on what kind of hero he should be. I do wish we’d seen a bit more of what he went through internally. He’s almost too good really. I wanted to know if he had any doubts about one decision he makes but I also like to think that maybe he didn’t. He’s just that good.

I don’t know how many of the comics are collected in this edition. I hope there are more out there. I was really entertained. I definitely recommend you pick up the collection. If you started off with the first section I’m not sure it would be enough to pull you in. It takes a while for Hank to really get started as The Green Turtle but I found all the set up really interesting and loved following his family. Definitely, check it out if you are interested.

 

 

 

 

Comics, LGBTQIA+, YA

Lumberjanes Comic Review | Volume 1

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I liked Lumberjanes more than I thought I would.I’d heard bits and pieces about the series but never decided to pick it up. After reading Nimona which is also by Noelle Stevenson I thought it might be time to pick this up from my local library. I love Nimona. It was one of my favorite reads of last year so I hoped this would be something I enjoy.

It’s a group of girls off at summer camp trying to earn their badges and solve the mystery of this crazy place.There are three eyed things lurking in the woods, water monsters, yetis, and a lot more. It’s pretty wild from start to finish. Lumberjanes starts with some of the troop lost in the woods a page before encountering three-eyed foxes.

If I wasn’t looking at a picture with the characters names on it right now I would not be able to refer to any of the characters by name in this review.I still won’t probably. About midway through I tried to go back and see if I could figure out who was who but still was confused honestly. The only ones I was sure on was Rosie the Camp Counselor we only see once in this volume.I think she knows things. Then Jen the Roanoke cabin’s scout leader. Jen yells at the girls a lot for disappearing and breaking rules.She probably should have taken an internship at space camp instead of being stuck in the woods as a scout leader.Too late Jen. Too late.

I did like a lot of the main cast of girls. I loved their friendship. They build each other up. They each have different skills they bring to the table and work well together to get out of the situations they get stuck in. They are great friends and a great team. I love girls supporting each other in books.

Lumberjanes is tagged as LGBT  but no one was completely pointed out as queer in the story. There are hints of a possible relationship between some characters or at least feelings, though.Mal and Molly are the characters names I’m pretty sure. There is also sort of a kiss in the story but extenuating circumstances so I don’t know.The queer subtext is there and I hope it is explored more in the following volumes. Especially if that is with Mal and Molly. I ship it.

The sign for the camp has “Hardcore lady types” stapled onto it. It was pretty cool to see that for sure. I also liked the way they did the oath and the girls would say things like “What the Joan Jett?” It was cute.Really enhanced that girl power message but let you know if was for all girls too. I appreciate this comic a lot.

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I liked the artwork. The creatures they encountered look really cool and there is a lot going on in each page. I love the pace of the story. It’s a quick paced comic and was great for when I was stranded waiting for my boyfriend’s car to get fixed. I just wish there was more going on with the character development to keep me invested. I still want to get the next volume, though and have already put a hold on it at my library.

 

 

 

 

Comics, LGBTQIA+

Midnighter, Volume 2: Hard

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This comic starts off with a pretty awesome team up. I never saw the character Midnighter teamed up with until this but it was really great. I really like Dominic Mndawe.I always appreciate learning about diverse heroes. Dominic Mndawe is a South African man with the power to fuse two animals together, some mind control, and probably more. I need to read more comics on his character for sure.

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Dominic MnDawe- Freedom Beast

Then we get more into Midnighter dealing with the issues from the last volume. He experienced a betrayal. He’s hurting but in a Midnighter way. So he’s out beating up crime wherever he can. He’s dealing with all these emotions when we get into what we will really be facing in this volume.

Henry Bendix. A man from Midnighter’s past has come around to create more soldiers with the capabilities of Midnighter. Midnighter has to fight people who can get around his ability to see several steps ahead. It’s a really good volume.

I still love Marina Lucas.She shows up in this volume in a different role than before. I like that she’s someone Midnighter can rely on. He saw good in her when others would have just locked her up and thrown away the key. It’s more insight into who he is moral wise. he operates in the in-between. I need people to get some Marina Lucas images on the web. Fanart too. I know she makes appearances in the upcoming Midnighter and Apollo series and I’m looking forward to it.

Helena Bertinelli in the New 52 is pretty cool from the little bit on her that I’ve seen. She’s the big shot caller at the organization Spyral. We get to see Spyral at odds with Amanda Waller and her suicide squad in this volume which I think was one of my favorite things.

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Helena Bertinelli

Midnighter going up against Harley Quinn and Deadshot was really awesome. I would not mind seeing more of Midnighter versus the suicide squad or working with them one day. They were all so good going up against each other. When things get really rough Midnighter reaches out to someone he can always count on and I won’t say who that is. Just pick this up and love it like I do.

Super excited for the release of Midnighter and Apollo this year.I definitely need more Midnighter in my life.

Comics, LGBTQIA+

Jughead Vol. 1 Review

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In the grand tradition of comic book reboots like ARCHIE VOL. 1, Archie Comics proudly presents… JUGHEAD VOL. 1–from the comics dream team of Chip Zdarsky (HOWARD THE DUCK) and Erica Henderson (THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL)!

Riverdale High provides a quality education and quality hot lunches, but when one of those is tampered with, JUGHEAD JONES swears vengeance! Well, I mean, he doesn’t “swear.” This is still Archie Comics after all.

This was just a really fun read. I think Jughead is just a great character. Personality and look. I want to know where he got his hat. I really want to know where he got his hat.

I really hope the Riverdale show does not brush Jughead’s sexuality under the rug. I want an asexual character on my tv screen.I hope it’s portrayed well.

Jughead’s fantasy sequences were something I think won’t work for everyone but worked for me. I loved the super teens sequence the most. The Game of Thrones like one wasn’t really my thing but I still liked it enough.

I love the art. Erica Henderson is becoming one of my favorite comic artists between this and Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. I will end by saying that I really really want to know where he got his hat.

 

Comics, LGBTQIA+

Kevin Keller: Welcome To Riverdale

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Kevin has some love interest in this set. He’s going on his first date and getting tips from Archie and friends. Kevin had bad luck on dates and is generally just kind of awkward as it is when it comes to dating. It was nice to see since he does come across at just kind of good at everything kind of character at times.

At one point he gets a secret admirer and I was rooting for it so hard. Hoping all the best things. Definitely want this to be followed up on in future issues. The whole thing was too cheesy but these comics are cheesy and I just love it.

I really ship Kevin with someone he probably won’t ever be with and it makes me sad. I can’t even explain without spoiling but just know I have so many feels reading this.

Loved that there was some variation to the way the homophobic characters are written. I swear I keep saying the same thing in every story with a queer character. I felt like you see different levels in this a little.Not much. It could be better but at least there was some.

Overall I really enjoyed this set of Kevin Keller stories.

Comics, LGBTQIA+

Midnighter, Vol. 1 : Out

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Overall I felt the story was a little chaotic but still loved it. Midnighter is a really great character to follow. He has a different moral compass than some other heroes you might read but the compass is still ticking. There was a situation in the book that I felt would go really badly but Midnighter handled it really well. Like a superhero should handle it I think. He also just likes to fight and help people who deserve it. He’s a good guy. Violent but good. I appreciate that.

I think everything happening in his personal life was really interesting. Midnighter is gay. He’s trying to get over his ex-boyfriend Apollo. I never read the two of them together but even from this comic, I could see how great their relationship was.

Loved how realistic his dating life seemed to me. He’s going on dates kind of casually. He’s hooking up with guys. Sometimes the relationships don’t go anywhere even if he definitely wants more. Sometimes those dates are interrupted by gunfire. It’s the life of a protagonist in a comic book. What ya gonna do? Midnighter is a relationship kind of guy who has a hard time in relationships. I felt that was something people could relate to.

I’m really excited to get the next volume of this when I can. I need to read more about this Midnighter and see how he progresses after everything he goes through in this volume.

 

Book Reviews, Comics

Ms. Marvel Vol. 1 | Review

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Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City — until she’s suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm! When Kamala discovers the dangers of her newfound powers, she unlocks a secret behind them, as well. Is Kamala ready to wield these immense new gifts? Or will the weight of the legacy before her be too much to bear? Kamala has no idea, either. But she’s comin’ for you, Jersey!

I really enjoyed this. I think Kamala is such a great character. She’s relatable. She’s just a teenage girl trying to fit in. Her family is really strict. That was definitely something I related to her on.

I really like her power. I love that she needs time to figure her power out. Learn how it can be used. She’s not just automatically badass. She’s a mess when she first gets her powers. She’s still learning at the end of the book too. She doesn’t have it all figured out. I really like that a lot.

The way she got her powers was confusing as all out, though. I’m not sure what happened there really. I have an idea. I’m hoping that is expanded on more in the next volume. Some people have told me that’s the case. Whatever happened in this first volume was trippy.

I loved Bruno.He’s a great character. Definitely, can see how much he cares about Kamala. I ship it. Hoping good things for his character down the line. Please don’t kill him for Kamala’s character growth or an arc. I see it too much. I don’t need it.

The villain seems really interesting to me. Scary too. Excited to see what happens next in Kamala’s story. What will she have to face next? Will she continue to get grounded over and over again? Probably. She really should just tell her parents she’s a superhero. Why does no one ever do that?