Review: Women of Marvel — Volume 2

womenofmarvel2Women of Marvel: Volume 2
by Roy Thomas, Chris Claremont, Mark Gruenwald, and Terry Austin

★★★½☆

Why am I not just reading Bronze Age comics all the time?

If you are not familiar with the ages of comics, the Golden Age covers roughly the late thirties to the early fifties, The Silver Age the mid-fifties to the early seventies, the Bronze Age the seventies to the mid-eighties, and the Modern Age the mid-eighties to now. Mark Voger makes the argument that the late eighties and nineties, known for its deconstructions, “extreme!” tone, and allowing Rob Liefeld to make a living, are the Dark Ages, which I can buy. This also allows me to predict that, when DC gets its head surgically removed from its derriere in the future, that the time we live in will be referred to as the Grimdark Age. (Although a new word will be have to be invented to describe Marvel’s current state, which should indicate ascension, a steamroller, mass media saturation, and rolling in money.)

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Review: Women of Marvel — Volume One

womenofmarvel01Women of Marvel: Volume One
by Stan Lee, Gerry Conway, Roy Thomas, Linda Fite, Tom DeFalco, Carol Seuling, Steve Gerber, Chris Claremont, Jim Shooter and David Michelinie

★★★★½

For the last three years, the amazing Jess Plummer has been noting what free promotional materials Marvel and DC have sent along to Wiscon, the world’s oldest feminist sf convention. After last year’s pretty decent showing, she was disappointed that Marvel’s offerings this year featured no ladies at all. After all, Marvel has so many interesting female characters and female-led titles these days, from Ms. Marvel to She-Hulk (featuring Kevin Wada’s deliriously delightful covers and Javier Pulido’s willfully and wonderfully grotesque art) to X-Men, which boasts an entire team of lady mutants without bothering to change the title. Why not celebrate that?

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Page to Screen: X-Men — Days of Future Past (2014)

X-Men: Days of Future Past
based on “Days of Future Past” by Chris Claremont and John Byrne

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x-mendaysoffuturepast

While I’m always excited for summer movie season, X-Men: Days of Future Past grabbed my imagination because I couldn’t quite believe it was happening. Every new detail released about the film promised simply too much to fit into one summer blockbuster: a cast of thousands, from both sides of the reboot! Sentinels! Time travel! I had no idea how all of this could even fit into a single film—and, unfortunately, neither did the film.

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The Sunday Salon: Genre Fiction and Feelings

You know, I could try to make a witty prelude to this, but this happens so much that it’s just exhausting, so I’ll just cut right to it—somebody else wrote about why “literary fiction” is inherently superior to “genre fiction”. (Presume sarcastic quotation marks around said semantically meaningless phrases throughout this post.) This month’s (well, last month’s, hush your face) somebody is Arthur Krystal in The New Yorker’s “It’s Genre Fiction. Not That There’s Anything Wrong With It!”. The usual arguments (genre fiction is formulaic, genre fiction is commercial, genre fiction isn’t written as well) and the usual flaws (defining genre in subjective terms, all the better to “rescue” certain worthy genre fiction) are all there, and I like to think we, as blogger and reader, have been over this material time and again. But towards the end of his piece, Krystal brings up a qualifier I’ve never seen before—he believes that literary fiction inherently affects the reader more profoundly.

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