Turn Back the Pages: Young Avengers

Turn Back the Pages is a biweekly feature where I spotlight a comic that is not fresh and new. It may have come out a few months ago or even a few years ago. Maybe it was hyped and popular, or maybe it was an underappreciated gem. Whatever the case, it’ll be a great comic that’s well worth a read.

Young Avengers Cover

Superheroes save the world. Thanks goodness they’re around, or we’d all be dead, right? But the thing is, sometimes superheroes save us from a threat they created in the first place, and if it weren’t for the hero, we’d all be fine.

Think Avengers: Age of Ultron. Nice job inventing a killer robot, Iron Man.

This is what kicks off the plot in Young Avengers: Style > Substance. Billy Kaplan, formerly the teen hero Wiccan, uses his incredibly strong yet untrained magical powers to bring his boyfriend Teddy’s mother back from the dead, and he pulls it off with no negative consequences whatsoever.

Just kidding. There are awful, horrifying consequences. As Kid Loki puts it, it’s “terribad.” Continue reading Turn Back the Pages: Young Avengers

Turn Back the Pages: Marvel Holiday Special 2005

Happy holidays, everyone! I hope you’ve all been good little girls and boys this year, because Santa Claus Santron is coming to town, and he’s got neural disruptors and a thirst to kill all humans.

Santron Image

Ultron is Santa Claus, and the Avengers are on his naughty list.

Really, that’s all I should have to say about this comic. If that premise doesn’t get you excited, then your heart is three sizes too small. But why stop there? Let’s get into all the delightfully absurd detail of why “Yes Virginia, There is a Santron” is the comic you need to read this Christmas.

It all starts with Virginia Hanlon, a young woman who got bullied for believing in Santa Claus as a kid (which, yeah, is pretty relatable). So as an adult, she builds a robot Santa to make the world a happier place (which is…less relatable). Unfortunately, some of the robot parts she used belonged to an old Ultron model, so when Robot Santa comes online, the first thing he does is fly off to kill the Avengers. Continue reading Turn Back the Pages: Marvel Holiday Special 2005

Last Week in Superhero Fiction (12/14/17)

Superhero Fiction News Graphic

Author Mackenzi Lee is writing an official YA novel starring everyone’s favorite Marvel villain, Loki. Honestly, I’m surprised Marvel didn’t start putting out books about him years ago. Talk about leaving money on the table.

Smart Bitches Trashy Books gave Not Your Villain by C.B. Lee a “B” in this insightful review.

R.J. Ross is getting into the holiday spirit with the Cape High Advent Calendar 2017, a web serial set in her Cape High universe that’s updating everyday in December on her blog.

Rec-It Rachel has a good list of recommended superhero novels as part of her holiday book-gifting guide.

Any news I missed? What superhero fiction are you currently reading? Let me know in the comments!

Turn Back the Pages: Princess Leia

Turn Back the Pages is a biweekly feature where I spotlight a comic that is not fresh and new. It may have come out a few months ago or even a few years ago. Maybe it was hyped and popular, or maybe it was an underappreciated gem. Whatever the case, it’ll be a great comic that’s well worth a read.

Princess Leia Cover

The best thing about expanded universes is that they fill in the gaps the original source material didn’t have time to explore. In the Star Wars short story collection A Certain Point of View, Nnedi Okorofor gives us the history and character of the monster in the trash compactor. Rogue One is basically a two-hour movie to answer the question of why the Death Star had that stupid weakness. And Star Wars: Princess Leia deals with the aftermath of the destruction of Alderaan.

Alderaan’s end is a huge moment in the original movie, but its repercussions are never dealt with, whether on the galaxy at large or Leia personally, who’s lost not just her home but her entire people. The characters in A New Hope are too busy with their immediate goal of stopping the Death Star from striking again to spend time mourning its first victims.

But that’s okay, because Star Wars: Princess Leia picks up literally right where A New Hope left off. Continue reading Turn Back the Pages: Princess Leia

Turn Back the Pages: New Avengers

Turn Back the Pages is a biweekly feature where I spotlight a comic that is not fresh and new. It may have come out a few months ago or even a few years ago. Maybe it was hyped and popular, or maybe it was an underappreciated gem. Whatever the case, it’ll be a great comic that’s well worth a read.

 New Avengers Cover

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: a new threat arises, forcing a group of otherwise unrelated heroes to band together to stop it. Afterward, they decide it might not be such a bad idea to form a team to protect the world from similar dangers.

It’s a tried and true superhero story, but dang, I’ve rarely if ever seen it done better than in “New Avengers: Breakout.”

The premise is fantastic. The supervillain Electro is paid by an unknown client to break a specific person out of a top-secret, ridiculously secured prison full of super-powered criminals. Electro shorts out the prison’s power, releasing the person he was paid to, but he also frees every single other supervillain that was locked up in the place.

A Ragtag Group of Heroes

Seven superheroes respond to the mass breakout:

  1. Luke Cage was working as a bodyguard for lawyers Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson, who were visiting one of the inmates.
  2. Daredevil, whose secret identity is definitely not Matt Murdock, was nowhere near the prison. Really.
  3. Spider-Woman was on a hiatus from superheroics and working as a SHIELD agent on assignment to escort Murdock, Nelson, and Cage.
  4. The Sentry was the inmate Nelson was visiting.
  5. Captain America was in a helicopter, which he redirected to the prison. (It crashes.)
  6. Spider-Man hitched a ride on said helicopter when he saw the massive fricking lightning bolt that knocked out the prison’s power. (He also crashes.)
  7. Iron Man was…just flying by, I guess? He shows up halfway through.

Continue reading Turn Back the Pages: New Avengers

Turn Back the Pages: Thor The Mighty Avenger

Turn Back the Pages is a biweekly feature where I spotlight a comic that is not fresh and new. It may have come out a few months ago or even a few years ago. Maybe it was hyped and popular, or maybe it was an underappreciated gem. Whatever the case, it’ll be a great comic that’s well worth a read.

Thor Cover

I can’t wait to see Thor: Ragnarok.

The trailers have been fantastic, and every time I see a new clip or image, I’m like:

Thor Gif

If I feel any more hype for this movie, I’m going to explode, and if you feel the same way, you’re probably looking for some good Thor stuff to keep you occupied until the movie comes out. Well, I’ve got a recommendation.

Thor: The Mighty Avenger is a complete collection set in its own self-contained world outside the normal Marvel Comics universe. You don’t have to know 60 years of Thor and Avengers comics history to understand what’s happening. It’s great for new readers, but long-time comics fans will appreciate the distillation of Thor’s story. Continue reading Turn Back the Pages: Thor The Mighty Avenger

Turn Back the Pages: Runaways

Turn Back the Pages is a biweekly feature where I spotlight a comic that is not fresh and new. It may have come out a few months ago or even a few years ago. Maybe it was hyped and popular, or maybe it was an underappreciated gem. Whatever the case, it’ll be a great comic that’s well worth a read.

Runaways Cover

With a TV series in the works and Marvel relaunching a new monthly comic written by Rainbow Rowell, now seems like a good time to talk about Runaways.

The comic’s premise is simple and fantastic: six kids learn their parents are in a supervillain cabal after spying them murder a girl in an occult sacrifice. The kids then make the very reasonable decision to run away from home.

Run Away Gif

It’s definitely a high-concept premise, but what made the series so great was it’s relatable, complex characters. The six original Runaways are:

  • Alex Wilder: geeky gamer and teen genius, he’s the leader of the Runaways and the son of two mafia bosses.
  • Nico Minoru: goth girl and the daughter of two evil sorcerers. She comes to wield a magic staff that allows her to cast any spell, but only once.
  • Gertrude Yorkes: sarcastic, cynical daughter of sinister time travelers. Rocks purple hair and gets a pet raptor.
  • Karolina Dean: free-spirited vegetarian and lesbian who learns she’s an alien composed of rainbow light. Daughter of two other rainbow light aliens who are evil invaders.
  • Chase Stein: rule-breaking jock whose bad grades disappoint his mad scientist parents. Steals the Fistigons, a high-tech gauntlet, from his dad.
  • Molly Hayes: adorable preteen with super-strength and invulnerability, daughter of evil mutants. She wears cute hats and totally punched Wolverine through a wall once.

Continue reading Turn Back the Pages: Runaways