Thursday, September 30, 2010

Woman Warrior Wednesdays #15 by Kate Krimson

Valkyrie #1 (“Tragic Opera”)-Marvel Comics-$3.99


Under the name Valerie, Brunnhilde was working at a hotel in NYC. A male customer pushed her out of his hotel room window for not prostituting herself. She died, but an inner bolt of lightning sprung her back to life. The paramedics want her to stay with them to make sure that she was completely recovered. After she seems to regain some of her sense of self, she remembers that she has some unfinished business and busts out of the ambulance’s back doors. She goes back to hotel to find her attempted rapist/murderer (Ryan Sanduski), but also who she’s been for the past three years. The years of working at the hotel all seem to be a strange tale to her that she barely remembers. She doesn’t ever remember being Valerie, but she remembers being Brunnhilde. Unfortunately Sanduski checked out, but Brunnhilde decides to keep up her search for at least her real self.

She goes to Cresskill, NJ to visit her friend Janet van Dyne a.k.a. The Wasp. Brunnhilde seems now to be aware of the fact that her memory loss is due to being in the Slumber of Ragnarok and Thor, god of thunder, is the one who woke her up when she “died”. She doesn’t feel like she can go back to the Asgardians because Odin banished her. Janet tells her that was a long time ago and that she’s sure that they would be glad to see Brunnhilde. Janet tells Brunnhilde that she must follow her heart to make the right decision.

While putting back the puzzle pieces of herself, Brunnhilde starts putting other puzzles together. She realizes that Ryan Sanduski must be her old enemy Brian Calusky a.k.a. Piledriver and that her old friend Ziggy might be Siegfried, one of the paramedics who rushed to her rescue. After making this realization, she goes to Siegfried’s apartment where she finds Piledriver attacking Siegfried and his family. Piledriver almost kills her again, but Brunnhilde decides that dying once is enough and starts fighting back like she means it. During the fight, Piledriver calls Brunnhilde a man-hater and she teaches him a lesson:

“Those who fear me—Fear my strength, my independence…They are the ones who judge me in order to shield their own weakness…I am not cold and aloof; nor am I a hater of men…I am a woman of deep loyalty…Far beyond that which most mortals of this realm could ever hope to understand.”

Then she defeats him with one tough punch. Afterwards Siegfried begins to have a heart attack, Brunnhilde takes him and they ride off on a police officer’s horse to go to Asgard, so he can be healed. In her face is the pure look of absolute determination that she will never lose another battle, because she has “defended and avenged, fought the incredible and the mighty… and carried the worthy to their great reward” and she is “Valkyrior (female warrior), Brunnhilde, Shield Maiden of Asgard.” All of this is what truly defines Valkyrie.

Writer (Bryan J.L. Glass): Thank you, Bryan Glass, for writing the most feminist comic that I have come across thus far. Glass deals with women’s issues (rape and being deemed a man-hater just because one is a tough woman) and shows how a woman can overcome these obstacles by believing in who she really is.

Illustrator (Phil Winslade): Winslade also makes the comic a feminist one with his more than clear depictions of Brunnhilde as her true warrior self, who as Twisted Sister once said isn’t “gonna take it anymore.”

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Woman Warrior Wednesdays #14 by Kate Krimson

Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson: Moon Called #1 (“First Blood”)-Dynamite Entertainment-$3.99

Mercy Thompson is just the typical average woman. She fixes cars. She can turn into a coyote. You know the usual. She comes upon Mac, a fellow mechanic, who is being ordered by two men to get into a van that looks like the Mystery Machine. If he doesn’t get in the van, they’ll shoot him. Mac is a werewolf and these men want to “cure” him. One of the men apparently is a werewolf and the cure doesn’t work too well because he becomes a werewolf and attacks his friend. Mercy, just like her name, comes in just the nick of time as her coyote-self to protect Mac from the vicious brute. She bit him in the neck and ran. The werewolf ran after her, but died because he didn’t take the time to heal his wound. Mercy feels bad about killing someone, but returns to the garage to see if Mac is ok. He is and her mind wanders to when she met Mac a few days ago.

That past Friday Mac came into the garage looking like a fright and looking for work. Mercy could sense that he was a werewolf, but felt bad for him, so she gave him a job and some food. When she got home that night, she found her cat, Medea, in a crate with a note from Adam Hauptman, a leader of a werewolf pack. His note said that if Medea was ever on his property again that he would eat her.

On Monday Mac comes back to continue working at the garage. They have a quiet day of working and then go home. Mercy goes back to the garage to pick up her purse. When she gets there, that’s when she sees Mac with the two “cure” men. After the werewolf dying and making sure Mac is safe, Mercy decides that Mac should get werewolf tutoring by Adam, so she calls Adam and tells him that she just killed a werewolf in order to make sure that he will definitely come.

Writers (Patricia Briggs and David Lawrence): These writers sure know how to draw you into the world of Mercy Thompson, the werecoyote mechanic, and her werewolf surroundings. Picking up the next issue definitely seems like must.

Illustrator (Amelia Woo): Woo’s illustrations bring to life the battle between Mercy and the werewolves with the gnashing of teeth and gushing blood. Woo also reminds us of Mercy’s humanity with her soft kind eyes and with her tough, but loving grip.

Cover Art (Brett Booth): Booth’s cover depicts both the handsomeness and darkness of the werewolf community. I’m not sure who all the characters are, but the friendly redhead in the background must be me.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Woman Warrior Wednesdays #13 by Kate Krimson

X-23 #1 (The Killing Dream: Part 1) – Marvel Comics-$3.99

4 out of 5 stars

X-23/Laura, the female clone of Wolverine, is dreaming that she’s running away from death and destruction, when she runs into Wolverine. He tells her that he will give her freedom if she will be his queen and help him rule Hell. She wakes up screaming “no.” She is on Utopia Island, the X-Men headquarters. Although other X-Men youngsters are hanging out and eating pizza, X-23 decides to talk with Storm, who is remembering her lost love, Nightcrawler (Kurt Wagner). Storm tries to make Laura feel better about not fitting in and asks Laura to play chess with her. X-23 decides to leave when she senses that Wolverine is nearby. Wolverine and Storm discuss Laura’s ability to change. Wolverine doesn’t think she can. She was raised to be a killer and that’s what she’ll always be. Storm thinks that Laura at least deserves a chance to prove him wrong. Cyclops and Emma Frost argue over Laura too. Frost thinks X-Men ruined Laura’s chances of enjoying life as a youngster. Cyclops doesn’t think Laura would have been able to anyway. Cyclops is the one who enlisted Laura in X-Force, the X-Men black ops group.

The next time we see Laura she is knocked out in the middle of a forest. Perhaps she has gone on an exhausting killing spree, but we will never know.

The next day the young X-Men give Laura crap for not hanging out with them last night. Hellion stands up for Laura. She tells him that she has missed him. The group continues to harass her, but Cyclops comes to the rescue. Cyclops sends Laura to a mutant halfway house, a place to transition from the life of a mutant to the life of an average Joe or Josephina in X-23’s case. But even in this new place, Laura’s dreams of horror continue.

Writer (Marjorie Liu): Liu makes us love X-23 by displaying how the character is one that we can all relate to. Laura does not fit in with regular human beings or mutants. She feels like she is all alone on a dark blood-covered island. She is the outsider that is within us all. It will be interesting to watch how she grows and learns to mingle with others.

Illustrator (Will Conrad): Conrad’s illustrations are fantastic. He illustrates Laura’s life in way that the reader can feel what Laura is feeling. Whether it is the pain and horror in her dreams, the awkwardness of her trying to socialize with others, or her loving of Hellion, all of Laura’s emotions can been seen on the pages thanks to Conrad.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Woman Warrior Wednesdays #12 by Kate Krimson

Batgirl #14: Terror in the Third Dimension-DC Comics-$2.99

2.5 out of 5 stars

Stephanie Brown a.k.a. Batgirl is playing Scrabble with her mom and being bored out of her mind, when the doorbell rings. It’s her friend, Kara a.k.a Supergirl, and she wants to hang out. Stephanie goes with Kara to hang out. They go to Stephanie’s school, Gotham University. A man runs into them knocking his important research papers all over the place. He picks them up and keeps running. Stephanie and Kara decide to see a vampire 3-D flick.

The research man who doesn’t look where he’s going when he runs is named Newton. He needed to show his research results because they are taking away his funding and kicking him out of the lab. He decides to show everyone the results of his project.

While the girls are at the movie, the film becomes a little too 3-D, when Dracula comes flying out of the screen. Stephanie and Kara decide to stop him. Somehow he gets trapped in green slimy stuff. Newton shows up. Dracula came out of the film because of him. His project was an invention that took images made by light and turned them into 3-D objects. The only way to stop Dracula is with a control rod through the chest. Since there are 24 frames per second in a film, there are 24 Draculas running around. They take out Draculas at some weird locations, like on top of a ferris wheel and inside an ice cream shop. The 24th was a little hard to catch and kill, but of course they managed. Stephanie and Kara end their night of hanging out with an unseen pillow fight at Stephanie’s house and by promising to help each other whenever they’re in too much trouble. Kara leaves and Stephanie tells her mom that she had the best time hanging out with her friend.

Writer (Bryan Q. Miller): The storyline is kind of interesting. Batgirl’s just an average college student who plays board games with her mom by day, and by night she’s fights crime sometimes with friends, like Supergirl. What a life! But the movie coming to life has been done before. Anyone ever see a little movie called The Ring before. (If you read this comic, you’ll day in seven days-Ha ha ha). Also, why do Batgirl and Supergirl have to be stereotypical girls, who have pillow fights, say things, like “BFFs”, and make pinky swears. There only college age kids for goodness sake. Also, how original is it to name the science guy, Newton? It’s only a little better than calling him Einstein. Also, killing these film Draculas with basically what are stakes through the heart. That has never been done before, right?

Illustrator (Lee Garbett): My personal favorite illustrations in this comic are all the different places Batgirl and Supergirl have to kill Draculas, especially the ice cream shop and the photo booth.

Cover Artist (Stanley “Artgerm” Lau): The girls are back to back surrounded by black and white Draculas (it was an old film they were watching) and they look completely ready for the fight.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Woman Warrior Wednesdays #11 by Kate Krimson

Shadowland: Elektra-Marvel-$3.99

3 out of 5 stars


Master Izo talks with Elektra out in a snowy landscape surrounded by tall cliffs. Izo appears to be trying to talk Elektra out of climbing those cliffs because of what is beyond them.

The writer hits rewind and plays a scene of Elektra taking out a bunch of guys. It turns out that she got paid to do so by a man in the C.I.A. While meeting with the C.I.A. man to collect her money, several ninjas show up. Elektra knocks out the C.I.A. man, so he won’t get hurt or do anything stupid.

The ninjas work for Daredevil. They say that he will no longer tolerate her presence. They say she has until the sun rises to be off the continent. She kills all the ninjas. These ninjas are members of The Hand, an organization that tricked Elektra into murdering Master Izo.

When she goes outside, she sees Daredevil fighting Bullseye on a big screen. Daredevil stabs him.

The story goes forward to Elektra climbing the cliffs that Izo tried to stop her from climbing.

Writer (Zeb Wells): Even though this comic is a one-shot, it sure doesn’t read like one. It tells the reader that the story continues in Shadowland #3. Well, there are things that I would like to know now. What is beyond those cliffs? Why does Daredevil want Elektra gone? The comic seems to only give a vague answer to this. How exactly did The Hand trick Elektra into killing Izo?

Art (Emma Rios): Rios is definitely good at portraying motion in her work, especially in all the fight scenes. When a punch or a kick is released, you would almost swear that you could hear that crack in bone it makes when it lands on the opponent.

Covert Art (Sana Takeda): Takeda portrays Elektra in her fierce yet flowing red outfit, which emphasizes her sexiness and her ability to swiftly take out an enemy.