Posts Tagged ‘Thor’

Superhero Angel Paper Craft Decorations, Including Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Ms. Marvel, and More!

December 22, 2015

I saw a cool classic style angel design on Buzzfeed this weekend and thought, “That’s fun! I bet I could make a Supergirl from that,” because I’m all about Supergirl as of late. The new show is the BEST. So I built myself a template based on what I saw and customized it to Supergirl, and quite liked it. Plus it was really fun to build. So I built more. And more and more. And ended up with ten superhero angels that are now decorating my home and making it all sorts of festive. Here’s what I ended up with!

1) TV Supergirl: Melissa Benoist is amazing, and I am all about that costume.

supergirl

 

2) Wonder Woman: Because, of course. It’s me! Who else would you expect?

ww

 

3) Batgirl of Burnside: It’s just the best costume.

batgirl

 

4) 1970s Catwoman: A classic, and super rad.

catwoman

 

5) Ms. Marvel: Kamala Khan is maybe my favourite character in comics right now.

kamala

 

6) Lois Lane: With superpowers, as seen in some classic 60s stories.

lois

 

7) Thor: I love me some Lady Thor. The comic is killer, and she’s so much fun.

thor

 

8) Patsy Walker, aka. Hellcat: My pal Kate Leth has a new Patsy Walker series starting tomorrow with art by Brittney Williams and it looks AMAZING.

hellcat

 

9) TV Hawkgirl: Such a cool character, and I can’t wait to see more of her in Legends of Tomorrow.

hawkgirl

 

10) Maps Mizoguchi: AW YEAH MAPS!! If you don’t love Maps, then you just don’t have a soul.

maps

 

If any of you happen to be interested in making angels of your own, here are all the PDFs for you. Just print them out, cut yourself a flap on one of the sides of the angel so you can stick it all together, fold it together and tape or glue it up! They’re really easy to put together. Yay for festive fun!

The PDFs:

angelBATGIRL

angelCATWOMAN

angelHAWKGIRL

angelHELLCAT

angelLOIS

angelMSMARVEL

angelMAPS

angelsupergirl

angelTHOR

angelWW

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My Top 11 Comics Of 2014

December 31, 2014

I’ve been brainstorming my top comics of the year for a few weeks now, making notes when I thought of a book I really liked, and I’ve been slowly amassing a really decent list of titles. Then I sat down to figure out my top ten (which turned into a top eleven because there were too many good books!), going “Okay, I like this one the best, then this…” until I had a definite list. I did this entirely on gut feeling, based on how much I liked these books, with no agenda whatsoever. Here’s what I’ve ended up with: Seven of my top eleven books feature female writers and/artists, while my top eight books star female characters. I know I run women in comics stats and talk about increasing female representation in the industry all the time, but this gal-filled list was entirely unintentional. Ladies, real and fictional, have just been killing it this year.

So here are my top eleven comics for 2014. Now, I didn’t read everything, but I sure read a lot, and it was a great year for comics all around. Also, a quick note: I like to pick new books rather than just reiterate all of the things I liked last year. So Saga and Sex Criminals and everything else I talked about last year are still great, but this is an all new list of my favourite comics. Let’s get into it:

11) ODY-C by Matt Fraction and Christian Ward

10odyc

Gender-swapped mythology is pretty much everything I could ever want in a comic book, and I’ve been really looking forward to this series, but I wasn’t prepared for how impactful it was to read a female Odysseus. I found it weirdly powerful to see her, and so many other women, at the center of such a legendary story. On top of that, it’s a really cool, crazy comic book. The first issue was a blast, and I can’t wait to see where it goes in 2015.

10) The Encyclopedia of Early Earth by Isabel Greenberg

 10encyclopedia

This is the history of the world before our world, and it is big and bizarre and brilliant. I picked up this book on a lark at my local library, and I’m very glad I did. Technically it came out in late 2013, but the rules for this list aren’t terribly hard and fast. This book is hilarious, clever, fun, and most of all unique, and I highly recommend it.

9) East of West by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta

 10eastofwest

Okay, so this is a Western, but it’s also science fiction, set in an alternate version of the United States and starring the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. If you think that sounds awesome, you and I could probably be friends. And it IS awesome. It’s violent and bonkers and embraces all of its inspirations while doing completely new and fantastic things with them. It’s also absolutely gorgeous. I just grin from ear to ear when I read this book.

8) Thor by Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman

10thor

I fell out of the Thor loop a couple years ago after being a regular reader during Matt Fraction’s tenure, but I jumped back on board out of curiousity about the new female Thor and am loving it so far. The new Thor trying to figure out how to be Thor in the midst of battles with Frost Giants is all kinds of fun, and I’m enjoying the slow burn on the big mystery of who this new Thor actually is. Plus that costume is super cool. The writing and art are both solid, and it’s been a guaranteed good time each month.

7) Batgirl: Futures End #1 by Gail Simone and Javier Garron

 10batgirl

I was not at all a fan of the “Futures End” event, and I didn’t really keep up with Gail Simone’s Batgirl, but this issue promised the return of both the Stephanie Brown AND Cass Cain Batgirl, so I was all over this issue. It did not disappoint. It was so much fun to have both characters back, along with a new Batgirl, however briefly. While it was just a one-shot set in a hypothetical future, this comic had loads of heart and humour along with some much-missed characters.

6) Bitch Planet by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro

 10bitchplanet

There’s only been one issue of Bitch Planet thus far, but oh wow what a first issue it was. It was a total punch in the face, in the best way. The book is set in a not too distant future where non-compliant women are sent to a prison planet. It’s a feminist riff on exploitation films with sharp, cutting writing and gritty, beautiful art. It’s brutal but thought provoking, depressing but hilarious. If you haven’t read it yet, you absolutely should.

5) Edge of Spider-Verse #2 by Jason Latour and Robbi Rodriguez

 10spidergwen

This should have been awful. I generally hate Spider-Man, so an event with ALL of the Spider-People was the last thing I was interested in. And bringing back Gwen Stacey just seemed ridiculous. Then I saw the amazing costume, and that Gwen was in a band called the Mary Janes, and I was intrigued. I loved the book, loved the character, loved the writing and the art. Everything about it was fun and great and I’m so excited for the new ongoing series. No one was cooler this year than Spider-Gwen.

4) This One Summer by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki

 10thisonesummer

As someone who spent their summers at a family cottage, This One Summer was totally up my alley to begin with. The engaging story and lovely artwork perfectly capture everything that’s weird and wonderful about summers at the cottage, and on top of that it’s a beautifully told story of friendship and adolescence. It’s no wonder that it won a Governor General Award; it’s richly deserved.

3) Lumberjanes by Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson, and Brooke Allen

 10lumber

Friendship to the max! Lumberjanes is an absolute blast to read, every single month. You’d think that gals in a summer camp getting up to whacky hijinks might get a little bit stale after a while, but each issue is more fun than the last. The book is chockfull of hilarious adventures, but the core of the title is the friendships of all the girls and their commitment to each other. If this book doesn’t make you happy, then you just don’t have a heart.

2) Gotham Academy by Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher, and Karl Kerschl

 10gothamacademy

The Bat-line has been mixing it up in fun ways this year, with a fantastic new team on Catwoman and a wonderful revamp of Batgirl, but Gotham Academy is my favourite thing to come out of DC this year. The book is basically Harry Potter set in Gotham City, but somewhat less magical. Not entirely un-magical, though; something is definitely afoot! Olive Silverlock is a great protagonist, but her optimistic, adventurer pal Maps Mizoguchi gets my vote for best new character of the year. The cast is great, the writing is awesome, and the art is spectacular. Gotham Academy is killing it on every single level.

1) Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona

 10msmarvel

I think it’s fantastic that Ms. Marvel exists. It’s a mainstream comic with a star who is a Muslim-American, non-white, female teenager; ALL of these demographics are massively underrepresented in superhero comics. Even if it sucked, I’d be happy they tried it. Luckily, it’s amazing. It was no contest for me to pick my favourite comic of the year. Ms. Marvel has been killing it from its very first issue, telling kick ass superhero stories in new and exciting ways. It’s ridiculously fun to read every month, and instantly goes to the top of my pile every time I get comics. It’s “important”, yeah, but more than that it’s just epicly good comic booking. If you aren’t reading this book, do yourself a personal favour and go check it out.

So there you have it, my top eleven comic books for 2014! Feel free to disagree and list your own favourite books in the comments. I’m always glad to hear about what cool stuff I may have missed over the year.

Marvel’s New Thor Is A Woman, And I’m All For It

July 16, 2014

thor

Yesterday, on The View of all places, Marvel announced that someone new will not only wield Thor’s famed hammer, Mjolnir, but that this new hero is a woman who will essentially be the new Thor. As writer Jason Aaron explained:

This is not She-Thor. This is not Lady Thor. This is not Thorita. This is THOR. This is the THOR of the Marvel Universe. But it’s unlike any Thor we’ve ever seen before.

Marvel hasn’t revealed the pre-Thor identity of the new heroine, though before the announcement the chief rumour was that Angela, recently introduced in Guardians of the Galaxy, would be the new god of thunder.

Certain male sections of fandom reacted like they always do and wailed about a female character replacing a male character, throwing around terms like “political correctness” and “feminist agenda” as if they were harmful, evil things. Other, more reasonable fans were intrigued, with reactions ranging from curiousity to outright enthusiasm. Personally, I think this could be a very fun comic, and that Marvel is going about it in a smart way.

First, the creative team is excellent. Jason Aaron’s run on Thor: God of Thunder has been great. He captures the epic awesomeness of the Norse gods well, and has a good handle on the mythological side of the Marvel universe. Aaron is a skilled writer, whose work ranges in tone from the light-hearted adventures of Wolverine and the X-Men to the dark Vertigo series Scalped. Russell Dauterman is an up and coming artist, currently doing solid work on Marvel’s Cyclops series, and he’s worked for several other comic publishers. From what I’ve seen of his art, he seems to be a cool mix of Olivier Coipel and Frank Quitely, while doing his own thing at the same time. Together, Aaron and Dauterman should make a great book.

Second, Marvel’s has an impressive track record with female characters as of late. Something seemed to change in Marvel’s thinking when they introduced the new Captain Marvel, and since then they’ve been focused on bringing strong, well-written female characters to the fore. Currently, Black Widow, Elektra, and She-Hulk are all getting rave reviews, while Ms. Marvel is arguably one of the best comics out there right now. I trust that if Marvel is introducing a new, female Thor that they’re going to do it right.

Speaking of doing it right, Marvel is smart to launch a new female character in a familiar role in an established title. Marvel’s recently taken a couple of stabs at books led by Norse women, and they didn’t pan out well despite decent critical acclaim. The Sif-starring Journey Into Mystery and the Valyrie-starring Fearless Defenders both barely lasted a year. This is less a problem of the characters, and more an issue of branding, and I think Marvel realizes this. Established entities sell better; that’s why so many DC books have “Batman” on them somewhere. Many fans wondered why Marvel didn’t just introduce a new female character with her own identity instead of giving her a male character’s title and role, which is a valid question. But in today’s comic market, most new, non-established characters aren’t long for the world. Introducing her as Thor is a smart way to ensure a built-in audience and establish a new female character in the Marvel universe.

Because let’s be frank here: As much as Marvel says she’s the new Thor from now on, she’s not. The old Thor will be back at some point. This is just how comics roll. But, if while she’s Thor she can get a foothold in the Marvel universe and build up a fanbase, when the old Thor inevitably returns and the female Thor gets a different identity, her time as Thor will have laid the groundwork for her continued existence in another book, or several. Being Thor is an excellent foot in the door for long term relevance.

Now, there are some fair concerns out there. Not from the aforementioned idiotic sub-section of fandom; Thor’s been a frog and a space horse before, so Thor can be a woman. Chill out, guys. But the costume has some silly bits. There’s a belly window, which is impractical and nonsensical, and some fans are displeased with the breast-conforming armour (“boob plate” armour is a non-starter for a lot of fans, which I can understand; in this case, I think the aesthetics work and it’s a lesser offender on that front, but that’s just me).

However, I think there’s far more to be excited for than to be worried about. We’re getting a female Thor from an excellent creative team with a massive PR push from the publisher! That’s cool in so many ways. It shows that Marvel is reaching out to female fans and trying to broaden their appeal, plus a female Thor is just going to be rad as hell. As a Wonder Woman enthusiast, I’m all about lady warriors, and I’m very pleased to see a new one take center stage. I’ll definitely be picking up the book when it launches this fall.

The First Trailer for Thor: The Dark World Debuts!

April 23, 2013

thorposter

The Marvel movie franchise is remarkably impressive, churning out hit after hit and then bringing everyone together for an epic Avengers film.  Now with Phase Two about to begin, I am far and away the most excited for Thor: The Dark World.  I love all of the movies, but Thor is my favourite thus far.  It’s Norse gods AND superheroes.  What more could you possibly want from a film?  There’s a reason Loki was the villain in The Avengers: Because Thor was such a super cool movie.

Iron Man 3 is out soon, and I’m sure that’ll be fun, but Marvel’s just released the first teaser trailer for Thor: The Dark World!!  Give it a look:

Jane in Asgard!  Evil dark elves! Long haired Loki!  It looks like so much fun.  Plus it’s directed by Alan Taylor, who did an amazing job with so many episodes of Game of Thrones.  This movie is going to be a spectacular mélange of awesomeness.  I loved the style of the first movie, and I’m hoping it gets blended with the more down to earth fantasy that characterizes Game of Thrones.  From this trailer, it looks like a good mix.

Unfortunately, we have to wait until November to see it.  There are several superhero flicks to tide us over until then, but man oh man I want to see Thor: The Dark World most of all.  Mark November 8 on your calendar… draw a big hammer on it or something.

The Women Of The Big Bang Theory Try Comics OR Pre-Judging A Promo

January 11, 2013

bigbang

The promos for this week’s episode of The Big Bang Theory had the girls going to a comic book shop, without the guys, with a voiceover declaring that “the girls go where no woman has gone before.”  And then everyone went bananas.  Twitter and tumblr were up in arms, comic blogs were running columns, and everyone was outraged at the implication that comic shops aren’t for girls.

It may have been an overreaction.  First off, women HAD been in the shop before.  Lots and lots of times, and not just the main characters either.  Penny had even gone on a few dates with Stuart, who runs the shop.  This was just a silly promo, meant to grab our attention.  Second, the episode itself was fine, and a lot of the sites where everyone was so livid earlier this week are saying “it actually wasn’t bad” today.

The worst thing that happened was that the guys in the comic shop stared at the girls when they were there, which is a definite stereotype, but the owner helped them out politely and suggested Fables, which is pretty much the ultimate gateway comic for non-comic fans of any gender.  They ended up getting Thor because Thor is hot (it looked like Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic’s Thor: God of Thunder #2, which is a great book) and while they didn’t like it initially, they spent the rest of the episode arguing about Mjolnir and who can pick it up, and even dug into the boy’s collection for more research.  The show ended with the girls having a lengthy argument about the Red Hulk.

So while the show engaged in some stereotypes, the ultimate message was that these nerdy behaviours, however stereotypical, aren’t male specific.  Yes, the guys at the shop ogle the girls, but then the girls pick up Thor because Thor is hot.  They end up arguing about comics just like the guys always do.  Despite some of their cracks earlier in the episodes, the girls get super into comics and we learn that comics are for boys AND girls.

The outrage earlier this week was a bad case of pre-judging.  A lot of people wrote off a 20 minute show based on a 20 second preview.  Now, The Big Bang Theory has been criticized before for its treatment of geek culture, and some people see it as the show laughing AT nerds instead of laughing WITH them.  At the same time, we’ve had several prominent examples lately of sexism masquerading as “humour”.  I can understand the sensitivity when the most well-known bastion of geekery (last night was a series high for viewership) seems to be taking a shot at women reading comics.  But pre-judging is never a good call.  There are enough actual troubling things going on with women in comics that maybe we can let a promo go until we see the actual episode/issue/what have you.  Then if it’s bad, it should by all means be critiqued, and I’ll be first in line to do so.  But yeah, wait to see the actual product.  It might surprise you.

Avengers Movie Review OR I LOVE The Hulk!!!!

May 5, 2012

So The Avengers was absolutely fantastic.  Marvel’s done a pretty amazing job with their film properties, Ghost Riders and Punishers aside, and the most impressive part is that they’ve made me like their characters.  I’m a hardcore DC guy, and I only buy/read Marvel titles when a creator I really love is on the book (right now, Fraction, Hickman, and DeConnick are my Marvel people).  I couldn’t care less about the Avengers, and never have.

But then they made me love Iron Man by making him Robert Downey Jr.  And then they made Thor, the only character I was predisposed to like on account of I’m a mythology nerd, even awesomer than I thought it would be.  Then they took Captain America, a character I find unintentionally hilarious, and made a great action movie with an old school feel.  So now I like all these people!!

The only character I wasn’t keen on was the Hulk.  The Eric Bana and Edward Norton versions of the character didn’t do much for me.  So I figured there’s not much you can do with a mindless force of destruction, and when it was announced he’d be in The Avengers with characters I did like, I just hoped he wouldn’t bring it down too much.  Turns out, the Hulk was my very favourite character.  And that’s what was so great about The Avengers… it took everything I liked and made it better, and took what I didn’t like and made it AWESOME.

I’m going to spoil the hell out of the movie now, so…

SPOILERS!!!!!!!!!!

GO AWAY IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE AVENGERS YET!!

I’M ABOUT TO RUIN IT ALL SO BAD!!!

Okay… that should do it.

We all love Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man.  We all love Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury.  We all love(d) Agent Coulson (I’M STILL UPSET ABOUT THAT!!).  We love Cap, we love Thor, and we REALLY love Loki.  We knew these things would be good, and they were.  In fact, they were spectacular.  All of that was great.

There were other things, though, that we probably had some doubts about.  Black Widow didn’t have much to do in Iron Man 2 so she was sort of an unknown.  Hawkeye was only in Thor for like three seconds.  The Hulk movies kind of sucked.  Plus it was a pretty full cast already with the heroes we loved… tossing in these characters we weren’t sure of AND a new one with Maria Hill could have been too much.  Of course, it wasn’t.

Black Widow was BAD ASS.  And an actual character this time.  She manipulated Loki well with her Hawkeye story and acted all cold and aloof after, but you could tell there was something there.  And then she fought the Hulk, killed a TON of aliens, and jumped on one of those alien flier things and flew it up to the top of Stark tower.  It was pretty great.

Hawkeye was killer too.  He was all evil for a while, but then he came back with a score to settle and shot oh so many aliens with his bow and arrow skills.  Maria Hill was cool too, and way more hardcore than I thought Robin Scherbatsky could be.  They were all fantastic additions to the Marvel movie universe.

But then there’s the Hulk.  You guys, the Hulk was the GREATEST!!  Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner was so laid back/silently rage filled the whole time, was cracking jokes with the best of them, and just generally fit right in with the affable big guns we loved already.  And then he Hulked out and it was AMAZING.  The Thor/Hulk fight was crazy fun, but in that final battle at the end it was ALL about the Hulk.  I don’t think I’ve EVER heard a theatre erupt like it did today when Hulk grabbed Loki and smashed him on the floor over and over and over… it might have been the best thing I’ve ever seen on the big screen EVER.  And everybody was LOVING it.  Ditto the Hulk punching Thor after they took down the alien snake.  He was great comic relief, but he also busted up the aliens SO fantastically.  Arrows and repulsor rays and hammers are fun and all, but nothing’s better than getting in there and manhandling bad guys.  I NEVER thought the Hulk would be the best part of this movie, and he was by far.

On top of all the characters being cooler than they’ve ever been before, The Avengers was a big step up stylistically as well.  The Marvel movies have all had a similar structure and tone, and it had become a bit formulaic.  Something crazy would happen, creating the hero, the hero would have fun hijinks for a while, things would get more serious, and then it would end with a big battle.  All of the movies were great, but that wasn’t really going to work for The Avengers.

Instead of the usual structure, they opted with wall to wall insanity, constantly building and building the chaos.  Sure, it ended with a huge battle, but there were like FIVE battles before that there were comparable to or bigger than the grand finale battles from the other films.  The SHIELD base got blown up, they fought Loki, they all fought each other escorting Loki back, the helicarrier got attacked and THEN the aliens arrived and it was crazier than everything before combined!!!  All the while being hilarious and endearing and fun, and building the plot beautifully, as well as maintaining the original tone that was so key to making the originals movies such successes.

Because here’s the thing about the Avengers: They’re all a lot of fun.  As Fury and his cohorts assembled the team, I thought for a second “This is a bit of a slow build” (and “Why is Thor last? He’s my favourite!”), but then I realized I didn’t care because all of the characters are such a good time on their own.  They don’t have to be battling fiendish gods or invading alien hordes.  They can just sit around and chat and make jokes and it’s ridiculously fun.  The superhero insanity was awesome, but the characters are just so enjoyable.  If The Avengers 2 was a two hour extended cut of the after credits scene of the team eating shawarma, I’d still go see it.  They’re just fun to be around, explosions and punching aside.

Finally, I’m super impressed with Joss Whedon.  Don’t crucify me, but I’m not a huge Whedon guy.  I really love Astonishing X-Men, but Buffy and Firefly/Serenity and all of that really isn’t my scene.  He’s got geek cred up the wazoo, but The Avengers was far and away the biggest thing he’s ever done.  And he KILLED it.  He maintained the feel of the original movies while adding his own style to the mix, and juggled a lot of characters, a lot of plot, and an insane amount of action with a remarkable level of finesse.  The movie never dragged, nor did it short change any of the characters or become too chaotic to follow.  It was quite a directorial feat all around, and it sort of makes me ill that he never got to make a Wonder Woman movie.  Imagine the awesomeness of The Avengers, but with Wonder Woman instead… how great would that be??!!

So yeah, I LOVED it.  But let’s not be sycophantic… there must be something to critique.  Well, I’m pretty bummed about Agent Coulson.  And I didn’t like Thor without sleeves.  He looked silly.  That’s about it.  Other than that, it was such a good time!!  It was epic superhero fun with an amazing ensemble, though really it’s worth seeing just for that Hulk vs. Loki scene.  Seriously, that might be the best thing I’ve EVER seen.

Conan Has Some Qualms About The Thor Movie

April 22, 2011

Last night in his monologue, Conan O’Brien expressed some concerns about Chris Hemsworth’s portrayal of Thor in the upcoming Marvel movie.  Here’s the footage (though for a better version, try TBS.com or the Comedy Network site in Canada):

What this clip doesn’t show is how very tickled Conan is with the trailer afterwards.  Usually Conan smiles, or shakes his head if a clip bombs, but he clearly loves this bit.  They did another Thor trailer tonight, but it’s not on Youtube yet… it was just as hilarious.  I really hope that Hemsworth is a guest on Conan when the movie comes out, as that would be fantastic.

UPDATE: Youtube has removed the video, unfortunately, but you can see yesterday’s Thor trailers at TeamCoco.com in the United States, and on the Comedy Network site (starting at about the 6:15 mark) if you are Canadian because Americans are video bogarters who hate to share things with the rest of the world.  Seriously, if you want to restore America’s reputation on the word stage, stop keeping all the cool videos to yourself!!  The world will immediately go from hating you to not caring about Iraq and Afghanistan and whatnot because they are super busy watching Hulu.  Get on it, President Obama!!


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