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Spoiler Alert Monday :: our thoughts on Black Panther

19 Feb

It was a weird weekend and we’re posting this now so deal with it. It can’t wait.

First of all: we are not the people whose opinions about this movie matter at all. Even if we had both hated Black Panther, that wouldn’t have mattered. Black Panther is a superhero movie with a worldwide release by a major studio directed by, written by, starring, and designed by a largely black cast and crew, about a fictional African country that has never been colonized and has the greatest technological achievements of any country in the world. That is groundbreaking. (If you’re reading this and wondering why it’s such a big deal, I really recommend seeking out black writers’ thoughts on the film.)

Of course, the movie is also just really great. If you’re tired of superhero movies about the same old hero’s journey, I think you’ll be pleased with the places this movie goes. T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) returns to his home country of Wakanda shortly after the events of Captain America: Civil War to be crowned king after the tragic death of his father, T’Chaka. He wants to be a good king, but he is faced with a choice: keep Wakanda’s secrets and remain sequestered from the rest of the world, or use their country’s resources and power to help the oppressed around the world. Things become more complicated when a newcomer appears, Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan), who challenges T’Challa’s leadership

I don’t want to give too much away, but here are some non-spoilery (or the vaguest of spoilers) highlights:

  • Shuri (Letitia Wright) is the smartest person in the world, and she’s a sixteen-year-old princess who loves her brother and gives him lots of shit. She is probably going to be my favorite character of 2018 and if we don’t get a movie about her I will flip a desk. She’s this weird ball of teenage girl energy and the absolute pure essence of the Afrofuturism that this movie is bringing to the forefront (check that out, it’s super interesting), from her clothes to her multitude of inventions to her attitude to her technology.
  • T’Challa himself is a great character, much more dimensional than the (delightful) glimpses of him we got in Civil War as a quiet but skillful warrior trying to avenge the death of his father. His arc in this movie is a bit different from the typical superhero arc, and it’s wonderful to watch.
  • Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) fills the “love interest” role, but oh, thank goodness, there’s a brief glimpse of good het in a Marvel movie again, because she and T’Challa are great. It could be a dangerous setup, the exes who work together (goodness knows Marvel has messed that up before), but they work so well together. They’re still obviously on good terms despite the ambiguous breakup in their past; she can fight alongside him, he can confide in her, she protects him and his with all of her heart. She’s also incredible in her own right, multitalented and fearless and outspoken.
  • Then there’s Okoye (Danai Gurira) and the Dora Milaje. They’re Wakanda’s elite all-lady warrior group, but that even seems like an understatement. They’re just fantastic at everything. Okoye is their general and she’s very driven by tradition and justice but also capable of snarking. (Ayo [Florence Kasumba], who had one little moment in Civil War, is still around as well, so that’s nice.)
  • Also on the kickass women front is Ramonda (Angela Bassett), T’Challa’s mother and Wakanda’s queen (mother). She gets to grieve for her husband without it being treated as a weakness, exemplify what it means to behave like royalty, have a great relationship with both of her kids… she’s pretty damn awesome.
  • ALSO M’BAKU (Winston Davis). I don’t want to spoil anything but he has one of the best lines in the movie and I love him.
  • W’Kabi (Daniel Kaluuya) is an interesting character that I wanted to see more of. He went in a different direction than I was expecting, but Kaluuya does incredible things with his face and there’s one particular scene that is iconic.
  • Erik Killmonger is a great villain, one of the best the MCU has had, and Jordan gives an incredible performance. He’s also a terrible person, but at least he’s more interesting and fun to watch than most of the villains have been.

Go see this movie as soon as you can. It’s worth it.

–your fangirl heroines.



Marvel Monday :: our thoughts on Runaways’ season 1

22 Jan

So we are slightly behind in writing about this (oops) but it’s very important. You guys got tastes of a lot of my general feelings about the girls in the year-end reviews, but this was a beautiful season of television that deserves a more comprehensive discussion now that it’s over.

I (drift partner) have been a fan of the Runaways characters since I was literally the same age as the characters, about sixteen. The basic storyline of the comics is as follows: a group of teens who grew up together and then drifted apart are brought back together by their parents, accidentally discover that said parents are supervillains when they witness them murder a teenager, and promptly decide they need to get the hell out of Dodge and, well, run away. Along the way they discover that one of them is a mutant with super-strength, one of them has a genetically modified dinosaur that obeys their every mental command, one of them is an alien who lights up and flies, one of them is a witch, and one of them has awesome gauntlets that shoot fire. It’s a weird book, and some of the narrative choices are a little suspect (and everything after Vaughan’s run is hot garbage), but I love it.

The show is… different, although from what I (the original) can tell anyway still true to a lot of the best things. The characters are all exactly as lovable as I expected from what I’d heard. Gert (Ariela Barer) still has a dinosaur that obeys her every mental command. Karolina (Virginia Gardner) still lights up and flies, and is probably at least half alien although that hasn’t been particularly explained yet. Nico (Lyrica Okano) is still a witch. Chase (Gregg Sulkin) still has awesome gauntlets. Molly (Allegra Acosta) still has super-strength but considering the MCU isn’t allowed to have mutants proper because of the split rights between studios she might be an Inhuman or she might be something else and we don’t really know. And then there’s Alex (Rhenzy Feliz), who doesn’t really have any special tricks but is still important and good.

The parents, meanwhile, aren’t quite supervillains, though they definitely veer toward that. The parents are basically stock villains in the comics – they’re on-page for maybe 5% of the total run, and their main roles are to chase after the Runaways and like, commit murder and do crimes. I don’t even remember what ends up happening to them, that should tell you how little they matter. In the show, they’ve given them a significant amount of screentime and more personality. I can see why they did this, especially since TV demands more emotional grey areas now than simply “parents are evil.” However, I still find them to be a bunch of insufferable bastards. Tumblr did pretty much universally declare Robert (James Yaegashi), Nico’s dad, to be “the hot dad,” which I completely agree with, but not in the way that anyone I’ve seen has more sympathy for him because of it. Just in the way of, well, if you had to choose one. He hasn’t really been in a lot of things of significance, which is a shame, so I will say that I hope to see him in things where he isn’t playing an asshole.

The biggest names among the parents (biggest being debatable) are James Marsters as Victor Stein, Chase’s dad, and Kip Pardue as Frank Dean, Karolina’s dad. Victor is without fail the absolute worst of the parents, which is saying something, and objectively Frank is a little less bad than the rest of them, at least for most of it, which is interesting. And all of the other parents (played, respectively, by Angel Parker, Ryan Sands, Annie Wersching, Ever Carradine, Brigid Branagh, Kevin Weisman, and Brittany Ishibashi) do good jobs of acting, too, but damn. They’re all still a variety of kinds of loathable.

The strength of the show is, of course, the kids. There’s the balance of their regrowing friendship with their high school drama (since they don’t actually, well, run away until the end of the season) with their powers with the situation with their parents with their own interpersonal relationship drama with everything else, and all of the actors handle this very impressively.

They also the characters’ ups and downs impressively. Nobody here is perfect, but they’re all still ultimately people you like and want to root for. Alex is the most “normal” of all of them, the one who naturally tries to step into the leader position and the one who most wants them to remain friends. I always thought he got a bit of a raw deal in the comics because [SPOILER] so I’m glad that the show went to the effort to make sure you care about him. He just wants to play video games, you guys. Gert has been updated a little, but mostly only in the ways that she’s anti-establishment and outspoken – she starts a feminist club on campus and uses words like “heteronormative.” She can come across as a little “old person trying to sound like a hip young thing,” but I knew what they were going for and I think the actress does a lot to make her charming. Molly is the youngest of the bunch, aged up from her comics self (twelve) to fifteen, and just wants to be on the dance team and hang out in her rainbow-colored room wearing as many bright colors as possible. She’s adorable. (In the comics she insists on being called Princess Powerful and I’m waiting for them to make that reference.) They also raceswapped her for the show to be Latina, which I think was a good decision, and they do let her speak Spanish at points, so it’s not for naught. Chase is the hardest sell, as the bonehead jock who you slowly warm up to once he proves that he’s not just a meathead. But he’s kind and brave and loves his friends, and they also managed to work in his daddy issues without making it maudlin, which is what I was afraid of. He’s a good boy. Nico can best be summed up as this sentence from the comics: “Mom, why did you throw out my black nail polish? Now I’ll have to mix all the other colors to try and make black!” She is a baby goth witch who mostly hates everyone and I love her. They did change stuff around with her powers, which is probably fine – in the comics the Staff of One requires bloodshed to work, and I can see why they’d want to avoid cutting imagery in a teen show, but it means they lose my favorite joke in the comics which involves a menstruation reference. Alas. (This is also one of a handful of comics that idly mentions menstruation more than once! It’s very exciting, especially since it was written by a cis man.) Karolina’s gone in an interesting direction, as they’ve changed her parents from mid-level actors to “church” (read: cult) leaders, and that naturally changes her from bubbly Hollywood girl to still fairly bubbly devout follower of her mother’s cult. That does mean that her personal revelation partway through the season has more layers to it, though it’s not really addressed how the church deals with sexuality at all. Anyway, they made her a little sadder and darker initially than she was in the comics for a bit, but I think it works.

And the relationships between characters are some of the nicest I’ve seen in a new property in a while. You get the six of them being friends (often the kind of friends that bicker, but they always ultimately make it up), you get Gert and Molly as devoted adopted sisters, and you get a love-shape that involves all five of the older kids. Gert likes Chase who likes Karolina who likes Nico who is also liked by Alex and entertains the possibility of him for a while, and also Chase eventually realizes Karolina’s not into him and sees Gert for the awesome person she is for him and when Nico says nope to Alex (for different reasons than the comics, and they’re still able to coexist at least on a basic level) she (unlike in the comics, given the differing reasons) actually responds to Karolina’s advances and they kiss more than once. Happily. With the implication that now they’re going to be A Thing.

I don’t think we should need to explain to you why this is so damn important. Not only does it mean we ultimately get to avoid the Sad Lesbian (™), which is always good on principle and also because Karolina deserves happiness, but it means that we have our first non-fucked-up Sapphic relationship in the MCU, and it’s interracial to boot! It’s also great because Karolina is very, very gay but Nico is (although she hasn’t used the word yet) bisexual so you get both kinds of rep. And plus that, they hit all the cutest relationship tropes: Karolina is a tol while Nico is a smol, Karolina is very much a Little Miss Sunshine sort while Nico is as mentioned a little gothic darling, they’re both apprehensive but willing to be affectionate, they protect each other, they’re just everything you want in a relationship, especially one between two girls on television.

Those two aren’t comics canon, but Gert and Chase are, and I was a little worried about how they were going to write them in the show. In the comics, Chase basically acts like a doofus because he doesn’t know how to feel about how he feels about Gert for awhile, and then finally they get together and everything is fine. He gets over his little crush on Karolina a lot quicker too. Then in the comics they become one of the longest-lasting relationships between comics people who aren’t like, longstanding Marvel characters. They have such a strong bond that when Gert dies, she passes her psychic bond with Old Lace (the dinosaur) to Chase. Anyway, so this show had a lot to live up to in that regard, and I was really pleased with how they handled it. It could have come across as really cheesy (Gert is, especially in the comics, overweight and not supposed to be particularly conventionally attractive, and Chase is a hot jock boy I guess) but it’s just kind of slow burn and sweet. Basically, Chase comes to realize that even if Karolina isn’t into him, he’s definitely into Gert, and Gert has a giant crush on him that she tries to pretend isn’t there. Then they end up making out at a school dance in front of a bunch of bat mitzvah decorations, which is cute because they’re both Jewish. They’re very cute and if the show fucks them up someone at Hulu will die.

Of course, there are some imperfect things about this show, but it’s ultimately very enjoyable, very sweet when it needs to be, appropriately serious when it needs to be, and a solid addition to MCU canon as well as a solid standalone project. You don’t really need the context of the greater Marvel universe for it, it’s pretty much Teens With Superpowers And Magic, but I also like realizing that these stories still do exist in the greater scheme of the MCU even when it’s dark and confusing in so many other places.

–your fangirl heroines.


Spectacular Summaries Saturday :: top 10 gifts 2017 gave me

30 Dec

10. Being drift partners forever every day
Disclaimer: drift partner is always going to be the real #1, for the rest of time. ❤ This list will henceforth be “top 10 other gifts” because that’s just true. There’s no one best thing about being drift partners forever every day. Being together every day is great. Watching television and movies together is great. Collecting truly ridiculous numbers of toys and memes is great. Helping each other through tough shit is great. It’s all great. Love you.

9. Those truly ridiculous numbers of memes
“The old __ can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Because she’s dead.” “There are millions of cars in this city and now they all belong to me.” “That’s you.” “I have an accent.” “There make be snakes.” “I’m Josh Hutcherson, after all.” “Not great, Bob.” (ineffectively flails like a video game NPC) “No quieres bailar.” “Mother!!!” “Bees???” “Petersburg!” (ineffectively hits hands together and on face while raising eyebrows) “Tough, you will.” “It is happening again.” “Guess meesa die.” “Isn’t that corrupt?” “I can’t help you out of this one, Jim.” “Jeffrey, I am afraid.” “Eels.” So on.

8. Hopeless Fountain Kingdom, Halsey
As said earlier.

7. I’m Only Dreaming, Eisley
As said earlier, with the addendum that following the DuPree family et al on Instagram has been one of the biggest delights of the year as well. They’re all easily some of my favorite famous people to follow and all of those children are the cutest. Also, it’s nice knowing Elle Puckett is one of ours.

6. Marguerite Bennett
This woman is responsible, largely, for my beloved DC Bombshells, though that’s mostly just something I am coming into this year slightly belatedly. She’s also now writing Batwoman and that’s great, and she writes the new Josie and the Pussycats which is honestly the funniest thing I’ve read all year and references probably a good 70% of the things I hold nearest and dearest in the first 5 issues alone.

5. Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Honestly, this is a perfect comedy. It’s aware of the world, it listens to its cast (Terry Crews’ influence on the police profiling episode, for example, or Stephanie Beatriz’s on Rosa’s coming out), its humor never punches down, its characters are mostly quite likable, its characters are allowed to grow, its nonsense is embraced.

4. The Defenders
This show is at least 50% nonsense, but it’s the greatest kind of that. There’s friendship and teamwork! There’s incredible gayness even though it’s all implicit and some of it is between a man and a woman but still, oh my god, they’re so gay. The arcs aren’t perfect, but a lot of important things happen and there are some really great character beats. Also, Jess (Krysten Ritter) and Misty (Simone Missick) and Colleen (Jessica Henwick) and Elektra (Elodie Yung) and Trish (Rachael Taylor) and Karen (Deborah Ann Woll). We should make a t-shirt, one of the name ones.

3. Thor: Ragnarok
Especially after being prepared to be very sad because of the lack of our beloved Jane&Darcy&Sif, this movie was the best pleasant happening. As I keep saying, Hela (Cate Blanchett) and Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) are absolutely everything, and it’s just… fun. And it’s funny! I laughed. I don’t think the funny takes away from it. I think it was a movie made for the internet by the internet and that’s a good thing. We deserve that.

2. Runaways
This is still in-season and we haven’t written an official post yet because of that, but suffice to say we’re loving the hell out of this show (if the abundance of it in my TV post from earlier this week wasn’t enough). There definitely needs to be a shirt that’s just Nico (Lyrica Okano) and Karolina (Virginia Gardener) and Alex (Rhenzy Feliz) and Chase (Gregg Sulkin) and Gert (Ariela Barer) and Molly (Allegra Acosta). They’re very good kids  and even though they’re all in turn making some questionable decisions I love them and want to protect them. (Karolina is my especial favorite, predictably, but really only because I relate to her, the naive baby queer who just wants everyone to be happy.)

1. Wonder Woman
Honestly. This is a feminist blockbuster that lives in the details and preaches meliorism. What’s better than that?

–your fangirl heroine.


Spoiler Alert Sunday :: her thoughts on Lady Bird

26 Nov

(I saw it too, and echo this. I just wanted her to phrase things because she felt them more articulately.)

I don’t want to say too much about this movie, because I don’t think it’s the kind of movie you should talk too much about. It doesn’t have a complicated plot, or shocking twists, or flashy cinematography. It’s just a story about a girl and her mother in the early 2000s and how they talk to each other and hurt each other and lie to each other and love each other.


I think what’s most interesting to me about this movie is that it’s written by someone – Greta Gerwig, also the director – who so clearly remembers being a teenager. I’ve been reading a lot of young adult novels recently, and there are some that I do finish, but that grate on me because they sound too much like An Adult Writing a Teenager. My favorite kinds of stories with teeangers are stories where teenagers say horrible things, make huge mistakes, and are the narrative doesn’t excuse or coddle them. The thing about teenagers is that many of them are very smart, and say very smart and/or very frank things, but they will also think, say, and do some truly terrible or stupid things. (A quick plug here: two of the best novels I’ve read recently that capture what terrific fuckups teens can be, while still remembering that they are sometimes very smart, are Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy and Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld.) Anyway. Lady Bird is an authentic movie because its lead character, as well as some of her friends and acquaintances, say and do a lot of cruel, assholish, or just plain stupid things. But they also do and say some clever, kind, and profound things. The best kind of teenager-centric stories remember both of these elements and neither make teens into savants nor irredeemable assholes.

The name Lady Bird is one that our protagonist, Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson, has chosen for herself. We don’t see the process of her choosing it, or even where it comes from. It doesn’t matter. She insists on it, up to and including scratching out her given name on a call sheet to replace it with her chosen name. She and her mother fight about this, and about a thousand other stupid little things, and some bigger things too. (I really don’t want to spoil too much here.) I’m lucky to have a pretty good relationship with my mom, for the most part, but I could recognize elements in their relationship all the same. Both of them are headstrong, stubborn people who don’t really want to hurt each other, but who sometimes do it anyway because they forget to be careful or because their need to say something to the other is more important than thinking before they speak. It’s authentic in a way that I haven’t seen done in mother-daughter movies before – the handful that I’ve seen, I find sort of precious in a way that I can’t really stomach. (Brave is the exception here.) But in this movie, you can see how they try to love each other but don’t always succeed. It’s masterfully done.

I don’t think, at this point, it’s really necessary to point out that this movie absolutely smashes the Bechdel Test, but, well, it does. I think there are perhaps two scenes where men talk to each other? Almost all of the important relationships are between women. It’s very refreshing. However, this movie is very much about whiteness and white lower-class families – Lady Bird’s brother Miguel is Mexican and his girlfriend Shelly is black, and there are a few unnamed or briefly appearing characters of color, but for the most part it’s a pretty white cast. That’s fine, but it does influence the story.

Anyway. This is not really a movie that you need to know a lot about before you go in. It’s just a movie that you should experience. And if Saoirse Ronan doesn’t finally get an Oscar out of this, I will be very angry and never shut up about it ever.


Marvel Monday :: our thoughts on Inhumans

13 Nov

So, friends, we climbed this whole Inhumans and somehow we survived.

We did this for you, you guys. Someone had to watch it so they could tell everyone else what they weren’t missing (or, possibly, what little relevant things they might be missing – spoiler, virtually nothing.)

This was a very bad show about some very bad people (and two good people and a good dog, and a couple of decent people, I guess) and full disclosure, we were drinking through most of it. That was really the only way to do it (the couple of episodes watched without at least some Mike’s were nigh unbearable). So let’s just talk about the people… because there was almost no actual plot between episodes 2-7 that couldn’t have been intuited from actions in episodes 1 and 8. Seriously.

Inhumans follows a colony of, well, Inhumans who live in a special secret city, Attilan, located under a dome that makes them invisible inside a very large crater on the moon. Why did these Inhumans live on the moon? They’d fled Earth for… some reason… after being persecuted…? A long time ago? (Whether or not they knew there were other Inhumans still present on Earth is vague. They learned, but it wasn’t really clear. Why some stayed but some went is also not clear. It couldn’t have been that all the Inhumans who were too unusual-looking to pass for human went to the moon because, uh, terrigenesis created Inhumans who looked unusual on Earth all the time [see also, Gordon, Raina, Lash] and most of the Inhumans who lived on the moon looked normal aside from their terrible fashion choices. You would think they would attempt to explain it. No, not really. You just have to press on.)

These Inhumans are ruled by a monarchy who enforces a completely horrifying caste system based on the usefulness of an individual’s post-terrigenesis gift. There’s none of that “oh, everyone is beautiful and useful” kind of stuff like (pre-antagonist) Jiaying preached to her Inhuman pals at Afterlife in SHIELD season 2. No, these fuckers make terrigenesis a public ceremony held in the throne room, after which someone’s gifts are immediately evaluated by the Genetic Counsel (!!!) and they’re assigned either to an upper-class life or working in the mines. What do they mine on the moon? We have no idea. But they mine something. Apparently without affecting the geology or atmosphere of the moon as a whole.

Those two paragraphs were about the social system instead of the individuals, but trust me, it’s important. It means that going into this world, you don’t have a lot of sympathy for the ruling class. Black Bolt (Anson Mount), the king, is king despite the fact that he murdered the previous king and queen, his parents, on accident with the use of his devastating powers: he generates terrible seismic waves and instant death when he opens his mouth. As a result, he doesn’t speak, which could have been really interesting… if they had, say, gotten an actual mute actor. Or at the very least actually used sign language for his communication. They didn’t. They made up a fake version of sign language, allegedly with a consultant, but it came off highly simplified and more often than not foolish-looking. “I can’t… use ASL because he’s not from [Earth],” Mount apparently said. Well you live on the moon but speak English, why not just use ASL too? This is not the only baffling thing about Black Bolt, though. He is inexplicably more than ten years older than his brother Maximus (Iwan Rheon) in present day despite the fact that they’re virtually indistinguishable in flashbacks. There are almost no scenes indicating any of Black Bolt’s actual capabilities to rule Attilan. There is an eleventh hour reveal that he’s been keeping massive strategy secrets from his wife Medusa (Serinda Swan) and the rest of their family… but after she confronts him once about it, everyone just shrugs and goes on their way. His much-feared gift is used exactly… twice, once in flashbacks of him killing his parents (which, by the way, we find out was after he thought they signed him up for brain surgery, which wasn’t even them, it was his jealous shitbag brother forging their signatures). Oh, and they never said it in the show – but his full name? Is Blackagar Boltagon.

His relationship with Medusa suffers from an exaggerated version of the problem that many MCU relationships suffer from: tell, not show. There is exactly one incredibly uncomfortable scene of the two of them in bed together, Medusa’s famed and prehensile long hair draped over all of their naked bits ‘cause it’s ABC, and it’s not overly sexual but it’s uncomfortable because it just looks so staged. When their Apple Watches ring and interruptus their coitus, it’s honestly a relief. Soon after they’re separated for a bunch of episodes, during which they try to find each other without actually expressing any emotional reasons to long for each other, and then they come back together and it’s just as stiff as it was before. This might be a narrative flaw – we just didn’t have any reasons for why they actually cared about each other. It was also implied that they were an arranged marriage, born out of some weird political something (Medusa’s parents were activists…? Who fought to challenge the class system…? How, we don’t know, but that’s who they were, apparently, and then they died, and somehow Medusa was betrothed to Black Bolt as a… peace offering? In the process also losing any political affinity she had with her parents, mind you – she doesn’t give a damn about the poor miners or whatever until she has to for narrative reasons). How or why this came about isn’t specified.

Medusa herself has the Inhuman gift of the aforementioned prehensile hair. It’s down to the floor and then some, it’s Halloween-store-wig orange, it clashes terribly with the shade of lavender that all of her royal outfits seem to be, and it’s incredibly useful for not only covering naked bits but also picking things up and attacking people… which is why Maximus, in his first-episode coup, has one of his lackeys shave it all off. It’s understandable that Medusa feels anxious about this sudden loss of power… but we as an audience have built up almost zero sympathy for her as a character at this point, so it kind of just seems like all of the hype was a chain-yank. Also, when they shave her head it looks disastrous, but in the next scene she’s got a perfectly-maintained buzz cut and once she’s on Earth she could pass for a perfectly normal woman with a buzz cut and it’s not a big deal? Also, hair grows back, my guy. So she spends seven episodes of the series having no powers, but just walking around getting into Wacky Situations (there’s a beat with an ATM that was funny… when it appeared in Dollhouse ten years ago) and befriending a wacky astrophysicist named Louise (Ellen Woglom) who probably falls in love with her, but gods only know why because she’s not a good person, Medusa. Louise is fine though. She’s one of the decent people. She’s just wacky and Really Adamant that people live on the moon even though her colleagues are like “that’s silly, woman” – good thing Medusa helps her Prove Them Wrong! Kind of. (Medusa doesn’t actually prove this. Medusa proves that her sister Crystal [Isabelle Cornish] has a teleporting dog, but apparently this is proof that there are people on the moon too?) Oh, and they never said it in the show – but her full name? Is Medusalith Amaquelin. (Never mind that THEY ARE ON THE DAMN MOON THERE IS NO REASON FOR THEM TO KNOW ABOUT MEDUSA AND THEREFORE HAVE GIVEN HER THAT APPROPRIATE NAME BECAUSE OF HER HAIR THAT THEY DIDN’T KNOW SHE’D TERRIGENESIS INTO HAVING AS A MAGICAL POWER – but this is a problem with the comics too, not just this disaster show.)

Medusa was also apparently friends with Black Bolt’s brother Maximus. They keep saying that, and show one tiny flashback of their younger selves approximate to each other, but who the hell knows. So many things are thrown into the air on this show but not actually explained.

Maximus, meanwhile, is an even more terrible person. This was pretty much a given considering Iwan Rheon – who my mother says is actually a very nice man and I trust her, but he’s never going to be cast as anything but a shithead ever again. He’s from an Inhuman family, but somehow his terrigenesis turned him… into a regular human…? But since he’s a royal he doesn’t have to work in the mines, he’s just constantly present at court and sulking because everyone thinks less of him for being a human (but also because he’s a bad person). He organizes a coup under the pretense of liberating the miners and overthrowing the caste system, which isn’t a bad idea, but he sends monsters after some Inhumans who traveled to Earth, then attacks his brother and sister-in-law, causing them to teleport to Earth too, then tries to blackmail his sister-in-law’s sister (I have no idea what that makes her familially), then attacks others, uses people in just as bad of a way as the caste system has used them, collaborates with an Earth scientist (in the grand tradition of shit ABC Marvel scientists, a Scot) to study Inhuman powers in a way that causes the scientist to work with murdery techniques, tries to go through terrigenesis again, and threatens to blow up the entirety of Attilan if his brother doesn’t concede to his demands. I’ve probably missed something, but rest assured. He’s a bad person. He doesn’t actually feed people to dogs, nor does he actually rape anyone, but he emotionally does the former and comes damn close to the latter. The best part about him is that his accent is a hilariously awful mishmash of every UK accent imaginable, and it’s fun to punctuate his sentences with a bad impression of him saying “I have an accent.” (When I do this it comes out mostly Scottish.) Oh, and they never said it in the show – but his full name? Is Maximus Boltagon.

And then there’s Crystal, Medusa’s little sister (so little that I originally thought Crystal was Medusa’s daughter – but no, she’s just Medusa’s surrogate daughter since their parents are dead of plot device). Crystal is one of the good people. Crystal just wants to be where the people are, wants to see, wants to see ‘em dancing, etc. There’s actually a scene in the first episode where Crystal is supposed to be at the terrigenesis ceremony and instead is off frolicking with her giant teleporting bulldog Lockjaw (he is the good dog – he is not good animation but he is a very good dog and every time he appears we cooed at him), echoing the opening of The Little Mermaid pretty directly. She also earned the nickname Crystal Swift, because she’s a teenage girl and it’s not her fault and occasionally she’s naive but she’s well-intentioned but sometimes she tries to be angry and it’s funnier than it should be even though I feel for her more than I feel for any of these other assholes. (“The old Crystal can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Because she’s DEAD!”) Crystal’s Inhuman power is essentially being the Avatar: she controls the four elements (earth, water, fire, air). Her journey through the series is learning that humans (gasp) don’t suck entirely, and exploring Earth, sort of. She also explores a generic surfer, but later when Medusa asks her about this, if she misses him or regrets leaving him, her answer is “…I guess.” She’s a good person who actually makes active efforts to help people. And as mentioned, she has the best stupid giant dog. Oh, and they never said it in the show – but her full name? Is Crystalia Amaquelin. (I realized how dumb this was, because literally terrigenesis is achieved through terrigen crystals, so her parents were the most uncreative ever… but then again, in the comics Crystal and Pietro Maximoff have a daughter who they name Luna because she [like other Inhumans, apparently] was born on the moon. So I guess that’s just a thing.)

The other good character is Gorgon (Eme Ikwuakor), who unfortunately suffers from “mythical kind gentle simple big black man” syndrome. (He’s not black in the comics, so I’m sure they thought they were being diverse… but it was a poor decision. Gorgon literally has hooves.) He’s a big sweetie and befriends a bunch of Hawaiian surfers, learning lessons about why friendship is magic… which is sure something he hadn’t learned before, because his closest relationship is with his “cousin” Karnak (Ken Leung) – they’re also allegedly cousins of the royal family, which is never explained, despite Gorgon being black, Karnak being Asian, and the other royals being outstandingly white. It’s fine, I’m all for diversity, but it’s also another plothole. Karnak is clearly in something like love with Gorgon, despite regularly sleeping with and insulting women all around Attilan and also finding a marijuana-growing nonsequitorial fuckbuddy in Hawaii, but he’s also an insufferable douchebag. He’s rude to most people, inexplicably including Gorgon who he also severely cares for, and it’s implied that this is because his Inhuman gift is essentially that he’s magical Sherlock Holmes. Like, BBC Sherlock, with the stupid imaginary mind palace shit.  He also tried to resurrect Gorgon after Gorgon’s incredibly unfortunate death (which also made minimal sense because you’d think an Inhuman capable of great feats of strength would not be killed by a heavy impact, but whatever) by putting him through a second terrigenesis, which was exactly what the royals were trying to prevent Maximus from doing to himself because it would be incredibly dangerous and not end well. Spoiler, it didn’t. Gorgon went from friendly buddy to… barely coherent rage monster, so one bad stereotype to an even worse one. But it’s not his fault.

There are countless other things about this show that are worthy of dragging. (Inhuman side characters named Bronaja, Loyolis, and Iridia! Countless holes in mythology! Way too much brutality against Inhumans, including those of color like poor Auran [Sonya Balmores], Maximus’ head soldier – she wasn’t a good person, really, but her regenerative gift made her basically cannon fodder a lot of the time and it was uncomfortable. Etc.) But all you need to know is this: there were some Inhumans on the moon. They were mostly bad. Now they all live in Hawaii because Ramsay Bolton blew up their secret space city in a hissy fit.

Let’s hope nobody but Crystal and Lockjaw ever resurface in any other properties.

–your fangirl heroines.


Sundry Monday :: RCCC 2017

12 Sep

It was a long weekend. Long and hurried and we got very, very few pictures so here is a very brief summary. (These costumes are going to get their own better shoots later, but this should do for now. Also they’re both works in progress, so.)


This is our “having a conversation” pose! We are Maggie Sawyer and Kate Kane aka Batwoman of DC Bombshells, featuring a lot of items found on Amazon and modded as necessary.


This is our “action babes being casual or something” pose! We are Black Widow and Scarlet Witch, eh shrug not really circa any moment in particular. End of Ultron maybe. It did not occur to me how many people were going to confuse my coat for Star-Lord’s, which is dumb because they’re two obviously different styles and Star-Lord doesn’t wear a corset or leather pants and also if you cosplay Star-Lord you have to get either a gun, mask, or stupid headphones, but eh, shrug, whatever.

It was a good weekend. Pearl Mackie, Carlos Valdez, Danielle Panabaker, Rose McIver, and Katee Sackhoff are all very sweet people, as are the randoms we met in line and whatnot. Also I saw Chelsea Cain, who was there visiting people, and stopped her to tl;dr a little about Mockingbird mostly and she took a selfie with me and put it on Twitter and I kind of died of glee.

–your fangirl heroine.


Marvel Monday :: our thoughts on The Defenders

28 Aug

This show was very silly and quite gay.

As always, we acknowledge the criticisms and complains others may have, but honestly, we had eight hours of fun with The Defenders and we’re here to tell you about all of the silly and/or gay things we enjoyed about it. (Many. We’re kind of amazed that our neighbors have not thumped on the floor/ceiling because we’re shouting “GAY” too loudly.)


Gay things

  • Foggy (Elden Hensen) and Karen (Deborah Ann Woll) are both really really in love with Matt (Charlie Cox) and they miss him a lot. Matt is also really really gay for Foggy. Matt and Karen can also be in love BUT only if Foggy is there too. Good triad.
  • Luke (Mike Colter) and Claire (Rosario Dawson) have a very good relationship that is technically heterosexual but is nevertheless very gay. At one point she reaches up to brush some debris off his head or something after he’s been rescuing people from rubble after an earthquake, and it was the cutest thing I have ever seen. Also they break a table from fucking, which sounds about right. They care so much about each other and also everyone else in the city and they trust each other’s opinions and they’re so good together. A+ good m/f.
  • There’s LITERALLY a scene where Karen and Trish (Rachael Taylor) – after musing about the current events in a mutually journalistic fashion, which is pretty cool – are discussing their relationships with Matt and Jessica (Krysten Ritter) respectively, and Trish asks Karen what Matt is to her, and Karen says “…a good friend, it’s complicated” in a way that implies the friendship was either actually with benefits or she wanted it to be. And then Trish says, “Jessica’s a good friend too. Not in the traditional sense…she wouldn’t be there to move a couch or plan a party, but when it comes to the real stuff, the stuff that’ll last forever…” And then we screamed our heads off because the narrative directly conflated an actual canon m/f relationship with Jess/Trish. Trish Walker is in love with Jessica Jones pass it on.
  • Jess and Trish also have some nice moments together, bantering over (whiskey-infused) coffee and Trish trying to convince Jess to be on her radio show and Jess worrying about her and running into the middle of a meeting to protect Trish and a hug to end all hugs and… sorry. They’re in love.
  • The narrative grinds to a halt in the final episode for a good two minutes just so Colleen (Jessica Henwick) can tell Claire about how she’s just as important as the people who have powers and how she’s a hero too. It is ridiculous. You can see her hearteyes from space.
  • Colleen also finally meets her comics gf Misty (Simone Missick) in this series. Their first introduction is at the police station, where Misty comes to comment on the katana that her fellow officers confiscated from Colleen when she was brought in. “It’s weird,” she says, but with a kind of smirk like it might be the cute kind of weird. After a discussion about Colleen’s ability to protect herself, she then returns the katana, in the middle of the police station, just in case. Misty also shows up to participate in Colleen’s final boss battle against her erstwhile mentor, which does not end well for her but it ends not-well for her in a way that people who have any awareness of the comics at all are super excited about because it means we are this much closer to The Daughters of the Dragon. That’s their team-up in the comics, and it’s probably going to replace Iron Fist once Danny (Finn Jones) dies of being such a big idiot.
  • Honestly, most of the interactions between women in this series are incredible. Claire and Misty? Perfect as always. Jess gets to bite Jeri’s (Carrie Anne Moss) head off which isn’t gay at all even though Jeri is, y’know, actually canonically gay but the yelling is always nice because Jeri is also awful. And then there is the good-bad of…
  • Alexandra (Sigourney Weaver) and Elektra (Elodie Yung), which is very very very very fucked up but also, they have a ridiculous amount of chemistry. You have to get kind of kinkshame-y because Alexandra keeps calling her “my child,” but like, you were already going to hell if you shipped this anyway so whatever. She is constantly touching her and fawning over her and they touch foreheads like four times and it is just absurd.
  • Elektra and Matt are also excellent and despite being m/f, also quite gay. I was not expecting the freight train of feelings I got about them after season 2 of Daredevil, but they have continued to ruin me all throughout this show too. They also do the forehead touching thing, which is my favorite thing in all the world for couples to do and if I hadn’t already been ride or die for them, that would have sealed the deal. I literally get incoherent talking about them but just, they have murdered me.

Silly things

  • Let’s start this with the necessary remarks about Danny freaking Rand. We hate him. We have been trying to slog through Iron Fist for continuity’s sake and also Colleen’s and Claire’s sakes, but as you can tell by the fact that we’ve never actually blogged about it we have not managed to get all the way through. This is not because of Colleen, who is in general fantastic and I’m so happy for Jessica Henwick especially after the thing that happened elsewhere (and the other thing that happened in another place, hi Lucasfilm, fuck you too) and I just really love this badass warrior who is still at heart something of a meliorist even though she’s seen all this terrible shit, and not because of Claire, who is 100% solid always, but because of (well, the supporting characters and plotlines – the Meachums we refer to as “garbage Lannisters,” for example, and not in a fond way – but mostly) Danny. Danny is just. Every bad thing. There is literally a scene in Iron Fist where he prays to Buddha. He prays. To. Buddha. There are countless edits and crops of Defenders promo material that remove Danny from the picture (thanks to one, this has earned the name “fenders,” which is appropriate because if you remove Danny it is the same thing as removing a big old d), because nobody likes him. And luckily, none of the other Defenders seem to really like him that much either. The first time Luke meets him, he immediately whoops his ass into the ground, and the only reason Danny wins is dumb luck and his magical glowstick hand. Jessica is constantly making fun of the name “Iron Fist” and calling him by different names (such as Ironside). Even Matt barely tolerates him, and Matt has a trophy in being a whiny douchebag sometimes. (We love him, but it’s true.) Unfortunately, Colleen’s one weak point is the fact that for some reason (narratively compulsory heterosexuality) she actually cares about him, but pretty much everyone else is done with him. And the show itself seems pretty done with him too. In fight scenes with the other characters, he basically acts as a video game NPC who only has like 3 programmed moves that he cycles through. He bounces around on his heels and throws fake punches that barely connect and it looks ridiculous. He’s somehow crucial to the main antagonists’ plan, but they literally only need him for his aforementioned magical glowstick hand. At one point Elektra straps him to a large metal dolly and totes him through the building, which prompted us to give him the nickname Large Box. But we guess he had to be there because there had to be someone to be useless.
  • Everybody except Jessica is so Extra about everything. The villains are Extra about their clothes and strutting around in silly villain outfits while looking as non-menacing as possible (seriously, Alexandra’s wardrobe is the most nonsensical couture I have ever seen). Elektra is Extra once she remembers who she is and takes over the Hand, and even before she swooshes her giant coat around in every battle like she’s the Phantom of the Opera or something. Matt and Danny are the most Extra people on the planet and will not cease angsting about their cities which are either dead (Danny’s) or in danger (Matt’s) and their shitty upbringings/dead parents. Matt also will not stop doing parkour in situations that don’t require parkour at all. Colleen is pretty cool, but she also walks around New York City with a katana casually strapped to her back. Even Luke gets in on it a little bit, when he’s angsting about how he wants to help the young people of Harlem avoid getting mixed up in the Hand’s business. Jessica is having absolutely none of this and makes fun of all of them at every opportunity.
  • Matt and Jess are also hilarious together. As actors, they have great platonic chemistry, and as characters, their temperaments are so constantly on opposite ends of the spectrum that it’s wonderful. Matt parkours into a building and Jess just gets on the elevator. Matt has a lot of feelings and Jess just wants a drink. There is so much banter.
  • The main group of villains is called the Hand. They’ve been a thing since season 1 of Daredevil, but the writers decided to just go to the next level of silly here and say that they have five leaders, who are called the Fingers. Grown adults unironically call each other the Hand and the Fingers. It is so goofy it loops back around to genius.


  • Elodie Yung is transcendent.
  • Jessica Henwick is, as mentioned, the most wonderful.
  • Just about everyone is pretty great, honestly, but these two warrant special mention.

–your fangirl heroines.