Certified nerd, super geek and very proud fangirl.
Black Widow Review
Alright so as soon as this movie was over I decided that it needed to be two separate reviews because although it is a Marvel movie it had too many independent film qualities to ignore. So this is the review of Black Widow as if it were simply a stand alone film.
The release of Shang-Chi brings many milestones for Marvel, the first Asian superhero movie of course, but what Shang-Chi opened the door for was so much more than a statistic. Shang-Chi had one of the biggest box office openings of any Superhero origin story as well as setting up even more opportunities for phase 4.
Falcon and the Winter Soldier
The hatred for John Walker grows in episode 2 and I think it boils down to one thing, everything we know about him points to him being a good soldier, including the fact that he was dubbed Captain America by the US government but nothing we know about him even gives us the illusion that he is a good man. The whole tagline for what makes Captain America relatable, loveable and a hero is that he wasn’t a perfect soldier but a good man and John Walker spits in the face of everything that Steve stood for and that's why him being in possession of the shield simply feels wrong.
Falcon and Winter Soldier
Of course the internet has been speculating about what this show would hold since before the conclusion of WandaVision, and I am willing to bet most of that speculation is wrong as it was with WandaVision because you people can’t seem to come up with fan theories that make any kind of sense. But we’re off to a great start it's been rumoured for the last week that the first episode of the new series was to be titles “Rest in Peace Cap” causing the internet to frantically theorize about whether or not that was death to Steve Rodgers or death to the legacy title of Captain America...well it actually doesn’t matter as the actual title for the first episode is “New World Order” so here we go, week one of Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
Episode 5 Wanda discovers that she can’t use her magic on her kids, and Wanda expresses her need for help which summons Agnes. The kids age up to about 5 or 6 and after the theme song we get to visit the world outside of Westview with Monica, Darcy, and Woo. Monica talks about feeling Wanda’s grief and the X-ray machine can’t get a read on Monica as her body is now made of energy. During the debrief Hayward reveals himself as a giant douche racquet and Woo does his best to tell the whole truth about Wanda and her trauma but he is dismissed by Hayward. Monica also comes to Wanda’s defense but her words are twisted and Hayward continues to push the narrative that Wanda is a terrorist and a threat sharing some very doctored footage of Wanda in the sword facility claiming that she stole Vision's corpse to resurrect him. Also these two little boys are the world's cutest children and the scenes with them are just too adorable. The boys are told that they cant have a dog until they are 10 years old so they age themselves up (by they I mean we’re gonna go with Wiccan). Darcy calls Wanda’s world of Westview “The Hex” which for those who don’t know is a very subtle comic book reference to the original definition of Wanda’s powers, hex magic. Vision is at work when SWORD sends in a message that prompts Vision to unlock the consciousness of one of his coworkers revealing that Wanda is very much in control of these people and their minds. Of course there was speculation that the big bad controlling everyone was Agatha, people so desperately wanted a bigger villain and I said from the beginning that should that happen that would completely detract Wanda and her character arc and I could not be more grateful to Jac Schaffer for only telling Wanda’s story and not allowing her development to be overpowered by an unnecessary villain introduction. SWORD decides to send in a drone to Westview, and Hayward (being the twat that he is) decides that it's a good idea to shoot Wanda with a missile...Wanda, ya know the rewriter of reality, yeah lets shoot at her and see what happens. Well what happens is my baby girl comes out of the hex to confront the SWORD agents, she tosses their little drone at them and very clearly tells them to leave her alone, Hayward continues to provoke her and she turns his agents guns on him until she is safe in her hex. This is the second time we see her respond violently and emotionally. Back in the Hex, the boy's dog Sparky runs away and Agatha finds him dead and the boys are visibly upset. Wanda gives them a very powerful and motherly speech about facing grief and not running away from it. The boys express that they want Wanda to bring him back to life, prompting Agatha to question Wanda and her abilities. Vision starts questioning Wanda and how they came to Westview and who he is. Wanda so desperately wants Vision to be content with their life the way that she is and we find out that though Wanda is probably aware that she created Westview she doesn’t remember how, nor does she know the extent of her control over this town. In the middle of their argument the doorbell rings and we watch with Darcy as we see the Fox version of Quicksilver greeting his “sister”, Darcy of course calls out the recast and Wanda is visibly confused.
Turning the Trope of Overpowered Women
Going into this series I had my doubts, Wanda is one of very many characters in the comics that suffers from an “Overpowered Women” trope. The main requirements for this trope are A. The female hero is only considered overpowered when she is also considered mentally and/or emotionally unstable B. Once she returns to a “stable” state of mind she loses access to her new found powers and occasionally C. When in her overpowered state the woman is also seen as villianouness or evil (not a requirement for the trope, simply a trend I’ve found). The first half of the season seemed like they were leaning hard into this trope but by the end of the series they turned this overused, sexist trend in comics and made it empowering.
The Comic Book Accuracy of WandaVision
This is a bold statement but I am just going to say it, WandaVision is the most comic book accurate piece of Marvel media ever produced. In major ways and in more subtle accuracies, WandaVision raised the bar for blending the MCU and the comics and truly showed what it meant to appreciate the source material and stay true to the characters while still telling a story that does them justice.
There are definitely ups and downs in the quality of this show, those who love everything Marvel does blindly without accepting any criticisms are ridiculous and exhausting. There is not a single flawless Marvel project and to act otherwise is a disservice to the franchise, the fanbase and the characters we love. That said it is no secret that Wanda is my favorite comic book character and so I was naturally cautious about their treatment of her, also considering that Marvel’s treatment of their female characters is dismal.
Wonder Woman 1984 Review
The new Wonder Woman is finally here! And as always the internet has brought out the worst in people that have no constructive, coherent or intelligent opinions. Was the movie good? Undeniably. Was it better or even on par with the first one? Unfortunately not, but let's be honest, the feelings, raw emotion and cultural impact of the first one simply can not be duplicated. However 1984 was raw, real, emotional and as comic accurate as we can expect from movie adaptations so here we go.
As we tackle 1965 please feel free to listen to this content on the Lady Comic Book History Podcast. Donna Troy was one of the many results from the publication of Seduction of the Innocent. DC comics as trying to find a way to portray Wonder Woman but in a way that was acceptable to parents, one of the ways this was a achieved was by have the Amazonian Princess appear side by side with younger versions of herself creating a wonder family, by issue #123 of Wonder Woman in July of 1961 the label Impossible Tale was not included in most of these stories in spite of that being the series title. In this particular issue the character of Wonder Girl is referred to as if she is an entity entirely different from Diana, as if she is her own character. Wonder Woman’s younger sister Wonder Girl made her first appearance outside the Wonder Woman book in the Brave and the Bold issue #60 in July of 1965 as a member of the Junior Justice League called the Teen Titans. Writer Marv Wolfman and artist Gil Kane created an origin for Wonder Girl in Teen Titans issue #22 in July and August of 1969, this story established Wonder Girl’s origins as an orphan who was rescued by Wonder Woman from an apartment building fire. In 1969 she dons a new costume and adopts the secret identity Donna Troy. Wolfman paired up with George Perez to revive the series in 1980 as The New Teen Titans and in January of 1984 Donna Troy got an expansion on her origin story titled “Who is Donna Troy”. We find out about her parents and more about the fire she was rescued from, Donna gets married to Terry Long in Tales of the Teen Titans issue #50 in February of 1985. Crisis of course rewrote the history of nearly every major DC character entirely unnecessarily. And Donna’s origin was retconned to fit the new continuity by severing her ties with the amazons. She did get a new storyline to rediscover her origins, god I hate DC sometimes, titled Who is Wonder Girl? Featured in the pages of The New Titans issues #50-54 in December of 1988 to March of 1989. Donna Troy was also involved in one of the world’s dumbest and most ridiculous storylines and I am not sorry at all about introducing this like that, Titans Hunt appeared in the New Titans Annual #7 in 1991 where Donna discovers that she is pregnant, a group called the Team Titans appear intent on killing her as they are from the future, Donna’s son is born, instantly ages himself, kills his mother, and becomes a dictator known as Lord Chaos...which is why the Team Titans are there to kill Donna before he is born. Donna ends up giving birth and naming him Robert and to prevent him from becoming Lord Chaos she sacrifices her powers and becomes a normal human. Her origin was of course retconned again in the late 90s where she was originally created by an Amazon sorceress as a magical duplicate of young Princess Diana, she was kidnapped by the Dark Angel Dark Angel cursed Donna to live endless lives that were characterized by suffering, her life would restart and her past was erased from the world’s memory when she was at her lowest (Quite similar to the curse placed upon Hawkman and Hawkgirl) She was of course saved from this eternal fate by her friends and after that she returned to Themyscira and was coronated as the second princess of paradise island.
It is time! We finally get to talk about one of the most well known comic heroes possibly of all time, the powerful and lovely Jean Grey, and as always if you’d like to hear the content instead of reading it please check out the Lady Comic Book History Podcast wherever it is that you do your podcast listening.