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Courtney’s Pull Box: June 2016

[Warning: This post contains spoilers.]

This month’s pullbox included several DC Rebirth series:

  • Batman Rebirth #1
  • Steven Universe and the Crystal Gems #3
  • A-Force #6
  • Wonder Woman Rebirth #1
  • Batman #1
  • Titans Rebirth #1
  • Jughead #7

Batman Rebirth #1

batman-rebirth-1Title: Batman Rebirth #1
Written by: Scott Snyder and Tom King
Art by: Mikel Janin
Published by: DC Comics
Release Date: June 1, 2016
Price: $2.99

Summary: Longtime Batman and Eisner Award-winning writer Scott Snyder co-writes with rising-star writer Tom King! EVIL 365: Gotham City faces the threat of the Calendar Man!”

I was trying to figure out what was going on a lot of the time while reading this comic. I found myself trying to figure out who Calendar Man is, and  Duke joining with Batman made the story a little confusing.

Though I did enjoy the comic, it took me a minute to reflect and go “Oh! that’s what happened!” I did like Luke and I’m glad that he’s going to be Batman’s sidekick… at least sort of. He’s definitely not going to be a Robin (something that is a little upsetting), and I wonder what made Batman make that decision.

The art style is very nice and well done – as was evident in the scene where Batman was doing pull ups in 137 degree weather on a helicopter pad without a shirt. Everyone looks really good and the backgrounds/scenes look really good.

I can’t wait to see what is coming up in the series.

Steven Universe and the Crystal Gems #3

suatcg3Title: Steven Universe and the Crystal Gems #3
Written by: Josceline Fenton
Art by: Chrystin Garland
Published by: Kaboom! Comics
Release Date: May 25, 2016
Price: $3.99

Summary: When Amethyst and Steven show proof of the glass ghost to Pearl, she recalls that Rose was the one who first told her the story.”

This story is really interesting, but I feel like this should have been a shorter series. There’s a lot of fighting filler and moving around filler, but that’s my only gripe with this series.

I really like that Amethyst believed Steven. Though I know it’s stated throughout the comic that she’s afraid of the ghost herself, it could have been very easy for the comic to go “Well I’m an adult and now that a child is afraid, it shows that I was childish in believing in the story.” This is a very sweet sentiment for kids (the comic’s target audience).

Though it’s very minor, I’m glad they went back for Ronaldo, and that Steven went to protect his dad. For Ronaldo, it’s nice that they remember little details like that because sometimes, stories (especially comics) can just forget things like that. When it comes to Steven and Greg, I’ve always loved the dynamic on the show between the two, showing a genuine parent child relationship, and the fact that Steven ran to go protect him is so nice. It also makes it when Steven’s bubble work even more real.

I feel like everyone in the show could be a real person and that’s something that is really good when it comes to writing characters. The only bad thing about this is the fact that this is the second to last issue and soon we will have to say good bye to these characters.

A-Force #6

aforce 6Title: A-Force #6
Written by:  Kelly Thompson
Art by: Ben Caldwell
Published by: Marvel Comics
Release Date: May 18, 2016
Price: $3.99

Summary: The mysterious (and formerly looking like a Dragon!) Countess has taken over the town A-Force came to save, rebuilding it in her own image and with a mind-controlled NICO MINORU at her side. It’s A-FORCE vs NICO and the team (and one innocent town!) is learning the hard way just how powerful Nico can be. Will this be the end of A-Force at the hands of one of their own? Or will SHE-HULK’S risky (okay, sure, some say insane) plan, allow them to live long enough to fight another day?!”

Nico’s betrayal really hurts if you’ve been reading the comic and felt a connection with all these ladies. You can tell that they all opened up and you can see the betrayal, even with newcomer Thor, when she strips them of their powers. The blow is even harder when you hear her say that she’s found peace with the Goddess and it makes the mind control seem a little more real.

I noticed this after the ladies got their powers back, but when they didn’t have their powers, all their hair looked terrible. Once it was restored, it looked great and beautiful again. It made me laugh at the realization, but I guess that makes sense since powers could be what makes their hair so lovely.

One thing I really couldn’t get over is the fact that when Nico said “Hulk Smash!”, the She-Hulk came out. I feel like powers shouldn’t work like that. I never put much thought into how powerful Thor’s hammer is, but when she threw the hammer at She Hulk and it knocked it out, it proved how incredibly powerful Thor’s weapon is. They also had a bit where the A-Force was literally steering She Hulk around to avoid buildings. I found the whole thing very weird, and though it wasn’t intended that way, to me it was like they were all riding on a bull.

The ending was weird because it ended with all of them basically being tossed into the ocean. Are we suppose to assume that this is a cliffhanger ending? It’s obvious that if they were going to drown and die, this would occur at the end of the series.

Wonder Woman Rebirth #1

20.-Wonder-Woman-Rebirth-1Title: Wonder Woman Rebirth #1
Written by: Greg Rucka
Art by: Liam Sharp and Paulo Siquera
Published by: DC Comics
Release Date: June 8, 2016
Price: $2.99

Summary: “After suffering an unimaginable loss, Wonder Woman must rebuild her mission as Earth’s ultimate protector and champion. DON’T MISS: New York Times best-selling writer Greg Rucka returns to Wonder Woman with a tale that will forever alter the DC icon.” 

This story is a little confusing at first to be honest. The writer is trying to establish two possible stories concerning Wonder Woman’s past. I found myself getting frustrated and yelling “Which story is it?!”, but when I realized this is going to be two alternating stories, I was a little excited.

One thing I did like about this story line is the fact that she decided to use the lasso of truth on herself to figure out who she is and what her story was. You can tell on her face that it pained her to do that and the lasso telling her that she had been deceived was something definitely shocked her.

The art for this comic really brings the story further to life – not only what I mentioned previously with the facial expressions, but with the symbolism of her taking off her new armor and putting on her new one. You can see the beauty of the armor and her realization that her home is full of flaws.

The art truly helps brings the story forward.

Batman #1

batman-1_0

Title: Batman #1
Written by: Tom King
Art by: Matt Banning and David Finch
Published by: DC Comics
Release Date: June 15, 2016
Price: $2.99

Summary: ““I AM GOTHAM” Chapter One No one has ever stopped the Caped Crusader. Not The Joker. Not Two-Face. Not even the entire Justice League. But how does Batman confront a new hero who wants to save the city from the Dark Knight? CAN’T MISS: Superstar artist David Finch returns to the Dark Knight alongside writer Tom King for this five-part storyline.”

The summary for this comic is a little misleading. The new hero that confronts him doesn’t even show up until the end of the comic, which I felt was super late in the game.

The actual story was okay at best. I have a feeling that the story will get better, but for a debut issue, this was a lot of action. There wasn’t much dialogue, but I was a little riled up when a man was complaining that Gotham didn’t have a hero, and they needed a Superman or Green Lantern figure in the city. Do people really not know of Batman? Or do they just not have that much faith in him?”

All in all, the story was okay for a debut comic issue, but it was all action with no story. If the story doesn’t get any better, I won’t continue reading it.

Titans Rebirth #1

Title: Titans-Rebirth-1-456x700Titans Rebirth #1
Written by: Dan Abnett
Art by: Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund
Published by: DC Comics
Release Date: June 15, 2016
Price: $2.99

Summary: “Friends. Teammates. Titans. Donna Troy, Arsenal, Garth, Lilith and Nightwing were all that and more until a mysterious force erased their memories, forcing them to forget what they could accomplish together. Reunited with their memories returned, the Titans must destroy the interdimensional demon that broke them apart and threatens reality itself. THEY SAID IT: “Grayson and Donna were a couple of the characters I first worked on at DC, so it feels like a homecoming for me,” explains penciller Brett Booth. “I’m beyond happy!” WARNING: Do NOT read this issue until after you read DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH #1!” 

This is my favorite of the DC Rebirth series that have been released. I’ll admit that I haven’t read that much with this version of the Titans, but I immediately loved this comic and the team. Because of DC Universe: Rebirth #1, we got more of the Flashpoint paradox, meaning that none of the Titans remember him. This immediately pulled at my heartstrings. They set it up really well about how close they all are and how much they loved each other.

The characters all get shocked and remember the point where they became close to Wally, and for me, the part that made me smile most was Wally and Dick taking a spin in the Batmobile. It was so lighthearted and innocent, and it definitely was something the two of them would do together.

If I was to recommend any of the DC Universe Rebirths, this would be the one.

Jughead #7

JUGHEAD-7-Cover-by-Derek-CharmTitle: Jughead #7
Written by: Chip Zdarsky
Art by: Derek Charm
Published by: Archie Comics Publications
Release Date: June 15, 2016
Price: $3.99

Summary: SUMMERTIME IS HERE! Jughead convinces Archie to join him at a cottage, away from all the madness of Riverdale, but the madness of Riverdale cannot be escaped. The madness of Riverdale is everywhere.”

The art style was slightly changed in this issue, and it’s really nice. I enjoyed how Jughead looked, and Archie finally looks like himself. Kevin is probably the worst looking of all the characters in this art style, but he’s obviously just a side character.

I’m tired of Archie being an asshole to Jughead.

This is the second comic that has been released (the previous being Archie #8) but now it’s clear that Archie is being super selfish. Basically, Jughead wanted to go camping with his best friend, but Archie was trying to guide them on a hiking path to sneak into an all girls’ camp. Archie is fully aware that Jughead is asexual and I hate this recent writing of him being a huge jerk to his best friend. This occurs towards the end so Jug doesn’t call him out, but I hope Archie’s attitude is dropped because I’m tired of it.

Tune in next month when I review my July pull box!

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Courtney’s Pullbox: May 2016

[Warning: this post contains spoilers]

This month’s pullbox had quite a few good comics, including a new one that I saw while waiting in line at Free Comic Book Day. Here’s the list:

  • Faith #1 (New to the box!)
  • Disney Princess #2 and #3
  • Steven Universe and the Crystal Gems #2
  • A-Force #5
  • Jughead #6
  • Archie #8
  • Starfire #12

Faith

FAITH-001-COVER-A-DJURDJEVIC

Title: Faith
Written by: Jody Houser
Art by: Francis Portela and Marguerite Sauvage
Published by: Valiant Entertainment Comics
Price: $2.99
Release Date: January 27, 2016

Summary: Orphaned at a young age, Faith Herbert – a psionically gifted “psiot” discovered by the Harbinger Foundation – has always aspired to greatness. But now this once ordinary teenager is taking control of her destiny and becoming the hard-hitting hero she’s always known she can be – complete with a mild-mannered secret identity, unsuspecting colleagues, and a day job as a reporter that routinely throws into her harms way! Well, at least she thought it would… When she’s not typing up listicals about cat videos, Faith makes a secret transformation to patrol the night as the City of Angels’ own leading superhero – the sky-soaring Zephyr!

But flying solo is going to be tougher than Zephyr ever thought when she uncovers a deep-rooted alien conspiracy. Two-bit burglars and car thieves are one thing, but when the world needs a hero to stave off a full-blown extraterrestrial invasion, will Faith find herself in over her head…or ready for her biggest challenge yet?”

I saw this comic when I was waiting in line at Free Comic Book Day at Maximum Comics. I am always keeping my eyes peeled for comics starring plus size girls and seeing Faith on the cover made my heart soar. I immediately got it and I can’t wait to keep reading more about her. She’s a plus size journalist and superhero so it’s pretty much everything I could ever want. Her outfit is practical for fighting, something I’m always trying to commend. It’s also super cute and it’s not revealing at all. I love the art style in general for this comic and it makes me feel like Faith could be my friend and a real person.

When it comes down to the story, it’s pretty basic at it’s core and I can’t wait to see what challenges Faith/Zephyr will face. I hope that they do play up into the fact that she is a plus size superhero, something that people on the Internet will argue can’t happen in any stretch of reality. I also might cosplay her one day because she’s just so awesome.

Disney Princess #2 

3347477Title: Disney Princess
Written by: Amy Mebberson, Patrick Storck, Georgia Ball and Pat Shand.
Art by: Amy Mebberson
Published by: Joe Books
Release Date: April 13, 2016
Price: $2.99

Summary: The hit series continues! Disney’s beloved heroines have returned in this hilarious collection of Disney Princess comic strips! Featuring laugh-out-loud stories from the worlds of Ariel, Belle, Rapunzel, Tiana, Cinderella, Aurora, and more, this charming ongoing series will make all your royal dreams come true.” 

I really like this comic series, it’s full of quick and easy reads. The stories aren’t hard to follow and they are fun to read. I love Disney Princesses, my favorite of which probably being Snow White. Sadly, Snow White is just on the cover and is not in the actual stories, but I can easily get over that.

I have to say my favorites of the short stories were Cinderella’s, Tiana’s, and Mulan’s, but this plays into my pet peeve, because Mulan is technically not a princess. Shang is not a prince, he’s just an army general. He’s not a son to the emperor where I could at least could see it in a technicality, but she’s not. Moving on from that though, I’ll go briefly into those stories.

In Cinderella’s story, she was super sick. Prince Charming and Cinderella are supposed to host someone important, but Cinderella still wants to be a good hostess though she is super sick. This comic really plays up the time period that her movie was released in. It was very common of women of that time period to want to be a good hostess and keep the house well. Cinderella also has a kind and loving heart, so being sick hinders her ability to make others happy. In general, sick Cinderella was adorable!

In Tiana’s story, she’s listening to Charlotte talk on and on about what she is wearing to a parade and about a man she met, while Tiana is trying to find the perfect hot sauce for her grits. Eventually she finds the hottest one in the whole restaurant and desperately searches to find water after not listening to warnings about how hot the sauce was. It’s hilarious to see this go on and I’m glad that she did try different things to try and calm the burning in her mouth (milk ultimately does the trick).

In Mulan’s story, she’s arm wrestling with Chien-Po, Ling, and Yao, and she doesn’t do a good job. Mushu teaches her a way to win: distraction. I think it’s funny that that’s the option Mushu goes for. This is something that Mulan can easily do since she knows the three men really well. I really liked this story and found it very cute… even though Mulan is not a princess.

Steven Universe and the Crystal Gems #2

344655._SX360_QL80_TTD_Title: Steven Universe and the Crystal Gems
Written by: Josceline Fenton
Art by: Gale Galligan
Published by: Kaboom! Comics
Release Date: May 4, 2016
Price: $3.99

Summary: After Pearl’s story of the glass monster, Steven has started having nightmares that it is real. What will he do when the people of Beach City start turning to glass?”

The Gems tell Steven a creepy story, and it’s clear that Steven is genuinely scared. Amethyst is also terrified by the story, even though she is more of an adult compared to Steven. I liked that she didn’t brush off Steven’s fear as something that is childish.

I also did enjoy the fact that he did go to Ronaldo about it. It’s very much something a child would do: avoid going to parents/caretakers about something scary. It’s very cute and it’s very sweet that Amethyst does come and help him out to stop the monster.

The art in this comic is worthy of high praise. It looks so much like the show and the colors are so beautiful. I love comic art that looks similar to the original television series, and this is the perfect example of one done right.

Overall, this comic is a light read, but it’s really good.

A-Force #5

a-force #5Title: A-Force
Written by: Kelly Thompson
Art by: Ben Caldwell
Published by: Marvel Comics
Release Date: May 4, 2016
Price: $3.99

Summary: “Rage, Rage Against The Dying Of The Light” STARTS NOW! When a massive dragon attacks a small coastal town, SHE-HULK, CAPTAIN MARVEL, MEDUSA, DAZZLER, NICO MINORU, and SINGULARITY spring into action. But this dragon is more than she seems and has her sights set on more than just one small town. In fact, she’s got her sights set on one of A-FORCE. Meanwhile, Dazzler’s got a big secret and the strangest ally ever is going to help them in this fight… or maybe try to arrest them.”

I continue to love this comic!

The all girl team is amazing and adding a new character, Thor, to the group makes the dynamic all that more powerful and impressive. The women are designed beautifully, even though Thor and Dazzler do look alike. The girls getting along and drinking together is nice, and it was really sweet Captain Marvel promised to help Thor get back to Asgard after they were all done.

These girls have a strong connection, so it was heart breaking to find out that Dazzler is dying and, save Thor, she hasn’t told anyone. Nico’s betrayal was also really hard on the heartstrings. The women seem to be growing to care about each other, and it saddens me to know that these next few issues will be filled with betrayal and hurt.

The art is very beautiful, like always. All of the women look amazing and I like that they do look sort of human (but in a supernatural sense) with normal proportions.

Simply put, this comic is just amazing.

Jughead #6

Jughead2015-06-0-b1cc1 Title: Jughead
Written by: Chip Zdarsky
Art by: Erica Henderson
Published by: Archie Comics
Release Date: May 18. 2016

Summary: The time has come. It’s JUGHEAD VS. PRINCIPAL STANGER: THE FINAL SHOWDOWN! With the whole gang at his side, Jughead puts it all on the line: Either Stanger goes, or Jughead does! You won’t want to miss this!”

I was upset that Jughead appeared to just give up at the sight of defeat, but I was glad about what actually happened. I really loved that he noticed that Veronica didn’t have to follow the strict new rules that were in place and went to Moose’s father and Veronica’s father, Mr. Lodge.

The way the author has been writing the characters is hit or miss. Moose was one of the ones that was brainwashed by the principal, which makes perfect sense because Moose is dimwitted, and with Veronica, her brainwashing makes sense due to the fact that she is very privileged. Principal Stanger is characterized as a discharged spy, which is a really good touch to his character. But things get weird in this comic with Dilton. The comic says that it is “canon” (meaning that it’s in line in the story and it is something that is fact) that he is a great dancer. It was so random and unnecessary to mention this.

I lost it when Jughead began singing Whitney Houston’s “Greatest Love of All” when his plan was coming together. I was listening to music and talking to someone, but I turned off everything, and just sat there to absorb it. It was so abrupt, but so funny – I had to figure out how to react. I have to say it is my favorite little panel from the comic.

This plot line in this issue is really good. The brainwashing-thing through music was a really good concept, though it was done before in Josie and the Pussycats (the movie). I’m glad that they finally got there so that way the story can move forward. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Disney Princess #3

3398228Title: Disney Princess
Written by: Amy Mebberson, Patrick Storck, Georgia Ball and Pat Shand.
Art by: Amy Mebberson
Published by: Joe Books
Release Date: May 18, 2016

Summary: The hit series continues! Disney’s beloved heroines have returned in this hilarious collection of Disney Princess comic strips! Featuring laugh-out-loud stories from the worlds of Ariel, Belle, Rapunzel, Tiana, Cinderella, Aurora, and more, this charming ongoing series will make all your royal dreams come true.”

My favorite stories from this adorable, quick read were Snow White’s, Sleeping Beauty/Aurora’s, Mulan’s, and Belle’s. There are a lot of smaller stories, some not even being more than three panels, but the ones mentioned are varied in size.

In Snow White’s, she is walking in the forest and trying to harmonize all the birds she runs into while she’s singing. She ends up getting them all together in a concert like set up and gets them to sing together with the dwarves catching her. I love how in spirit this comic is to the movie. I love Snow White so much and this was so cute! Between the art and the way she’s written, this Snow White comic was adorable.

In Aurora’s story, she’s exploring the castle with her fairies, leading her to find the king’s last secluded room away from everything. This comic is very adorable as well, but to be honest, Aurora is my least favorite princess. This comic reminded me of my relationship with my own father, as my dad tries to be alone when he gets home.

In Mulan’s story, she’s trying to enhance everyone’s fighting skills through meditation with Mushu ruining it with his talking. This ends with him having to have his mouth tied shut. I really like this comic for the main fact of how it explores the differences between Chien-Po’s, Ling’s, and Yao’s different preferences over where their meditation place is. Again, Mulan still isn’t a princess, but this comic was very good none-the-less!

In Belle’s story (which is near the end), Belle is getting frustrated with the enchanted items always doing things for her. She wants to be able to do some things for herself so she goes to Beast, who ends up being like a middle man with the enchanted items. I really like the expressions in this comic. Beast’s expression of sadness and worry when he knocks over her books on the shelf is shown really well. It’s also very sweet and considerate since it shows Beast does care for her.

Archie #8

fcead623-65de-421f-91a3-bffa7228e220-8a361

Title: Archie
Written by: Mark Waid
Art by: Veronica Fish, Andre Szymanowicz, Jen Vaughn, and Jack Morelli
Published by: Archie Comics
Release Date: May 11, 2016
Price: $3.99

Summary “Veronica’s father (and Archie’s arch-nemesis!), Hiram Lodge, is running for Mayor of Riverdale! But will he save, and even improve the town-or will he destroy it? Find out in this next installment of the hottest comic of the year!”

Though the summary implies that this comic is heavily about the campaign, the story is more about the fact that Mr. Lodge hates Archie and is trying to send him and his family away to Singapore for a year.

Archie looks like a huge jerk to everyone in this comic, putting Veronica first because he’s supposedly in love. He ignores the fact that this new job in Singapore could give his father the opportunity to provide Archie with a college fund and a wonderful life. He ignores that he will be far away from his best friend, Jughead. He ignores the fact that he will be away from Betty and her new boyfriend, Sayid. None of this crosses his mind really because he’s worried about never seeing Veronica again.

The icing on the “Archie is acting like a jerk” cake is when he goes off on Mr. Lodge. It’s disrespectful and it’s so selfish…I couldn’t stand it. Because of this outburst, Archie can be with Veronica so long as they aren’t near him.

This is my least favorite issue. It doesn’t match what they say it’s about and Archie is an asshole. No thank you.

Starfire #12

STARF_Cv12-copy_56b54a3b1eea14.90944900 Title: Starfire
Written by: Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner
Art by: Elsa Charretier
Release Date: May 11, 2016
Price: $2.99

Summary: Starfire is finally figuring out the world around her as she surrounds herself with her new friends and extended family for a romantic and wild end to her Key West adventure.”

It is so hard to say goodbye to this series. I do love Starfire so much and though she will be back for Titans Rebirth, I love seeing her as a main character. She’s so strong and dynamic that it is hard to move on.

Seeing her say goodbye to everyone and making promises to come back makes it hard to read, as I know it’s the end. I can understand why she would need to leave. I understand that Stella’s aunt has to move in and she has MS so there won’t be enough room for everyone. I understand that she lost her job at the aquarium, but seeing her bring Beth back to the ocean, and swim with the porpoises made my heart soar.

Starfire is such a sweet and loving character. Seeing her accept her faith, but it opening up for new adventures, gives fans hope for a wonderful Koriand’r in Titans Rebirth. I’ll miss her until we see her once again!

Tune in next month when I review my June pullbox!

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Courtney’s Pull Box: April 2016

[Warning:  this post contains comic book spoilers]

My April Pull Box included some great new comic issues, and this month I’ve added some new comics! Here is this months list:

  • Jughead #5
  • A-Force #1-4 (New!)
  • Steven Universe and the Crystal Gems #1 (New!)
  • Archie #7
  • Starfire #11

Jughead #5

Written by: Chip Zdarsky

Art by: Erica Henderson and Jack Morelli

Publisher: Archie Comics

Price: $3.99

Release Date: March 23, 2016

To figure out more about Principal Stanger and his plans, Jughead and his friends enlist the help of Wade, a side character who has been held back because he has bounced from high school to high school. One of those years, he was a principal in another near by city.

Reggie helps the gang get to that city to further investigate, and there they meet people who are basically their gender opposites. This was definitely one of my favorite parts of the comic because I like the idea of alternate universes and gender reversals. The characters did have little nods to the originals, like girl Jughead who had a little crown barrette in her hair. This plot line was interesting and I hope that they continue with it.

This month’s comic is basically what I’ve been asking for from this series: to move with the plot and show me a story. Before, it seemed much more focused on the references of the dream sequences, which is great and all, but stories are really helpful when it comes to comics. The dream sequence looks like it might reoccur in the next comic, so it will be interesting to see how that will further the plot.

As far as the art is concerned, the art style in this comic issue is good…as always!

A-Force #1-#4

a force #2Written by: G. Willow Wilson and Kelly Thompson

Artist: Jorge Molina

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Price: $3.99

Release Date: #1 on January 6, 2016, #2 on February 3, 2016, #3 on March 2, 2016, and #4 on April 13, 2016

There’s a place called Battleworld and a part of it, there was a paradise called Arcadia, and it was protected by the A-Force. Now that Battleworld is gone, so is the A-Force, and it is up to Singularity to bring them back together to stop Antimatter.

The team is comprised of Medusa, She-Hulk, Singularity, Captain Marvel, Nico Minoru, and Dazzler. I’m torn as to who my favorite character is. I love everyone because they each are an important part of the team, even if they don’t originally remember already being a part of a team. I particularly really love Singularity – she reminds me a lot of Starfire in that she is an innocent, naive, fish out of water type character. I also really love space and galaxies, and her whole body is just a galaxy.

I love the art in this comic. I wanted to say that Medusa was my favorite just based on looks alone, but everyone looks unique and beautiful, which makes my heart smile more than this amazing girl team. Dazzler reminded me of one of my friends, which is wonderful since superheroes are often scrutinized for not looking realistic. It’s nice to see that some of them do look sort of human (or as human as you can get).

When it comes to the story, the fight with Antimatter seemed really long. I know they prolonged it in order to properly introduce the whole team, but I feel like it could have been done in fewer comics. That aside, I did really enjoy this comic.

Steven Universe #1

Su_and_the_cgsWritten by: Josephine Fenton

Art by: Chrystin Garland

Publisher: Kaboom! Studios

Price: $3.99

Release Date: March 16, 2016

Steven and the Gems decide to go on a camping trip, much like how  Steven and his dad use to. While on the trip, Steven teaches the Gems typical camp traditions like setting up the tent and making smores. They even tell ghost stories and Pearl tells the story that they (Pearl and Garnet) told Amethyst to keep her from running off.

I haven’t watched much of the show, but from what I’ve seen, I loved it. Amethyst is my favorite character and I do see my own locked-away rebellious nature in her. The only character whose personality is really shown in this comic is Amethyst, but we do learn a little bit about Pearl, who is very levelheaded and can be strict. I hope the other stories will expand on Garnet’s reserved and quiet personality.

I thought the story was super short. I know that this is a comic for children, but half of the book is a preview for Over the Garden Wall. Really? There’s no need for it. Children don’t have that short of an attention span – they are more than able to read a fuller sized comic, especially when it’s a comic created for them.

Archie #7

Archie7-FishMainCover-666x1024Written by: Mark Waid

Art by: Veronica Fish

Publisher: Archie Comics

Price: $3.99

Release Date: April 6, 2016

Now that Veronica’s father, Mr. Lodge, has found out that Archie was the one who destroyed their mansion (thanks to Reggie), Mr. Lodge forbids Veronica from dating Archie. Archie desperately is trying to fix the relationship with both Mr. Lodge and Veronica with very little luck. Archie decides to go to Jughead at Pop’s to try and see what he could do about fixing the problem. Pop apparently is very trustworthy and holds secrets about everyone in Riverdale so without revealing anyone’s secret, Archie realizes what he must do. Sadly, when he tries it, he runs into mishaps, and this leads to a question that is probably on a few fans’ minds: #WhatDidReggieDo

I really like how this story is progressing and I can’t wait to see what happens with Reggie. I really have been enjoying the story that Archie has created. I really like the fact that even though Archie is vying for Veronica, the writer doesn’t try to make Betty look like the bad guy when it seems like she has found someone new. They could have easily had Archie be mad about it or be judging her, but instead, it does seem like he is at least wanting to find out about the guy she’s with on a carrying about without being an intrusive ex boyfriend.

Sadly, I do have to end on a sour note again, because much like in the first comic of Archie, they have another hashtag that they want the hip young millennials to interact with, much like the #LipstickIncident. Although this instance was not as blatant as Archie facing the reader and asking for them to do it, it’s still trying way too hard to get that younger audience. I find it a little lazy to try to connect with their audience in this way, and the pandering is annoying to those of us who like Archie but are not in their target demographic. I would like to think that teenagers aren’t also into this pandering, either. This reeks of the same thing that is suppose to be done with ads for Truth.Org’s campaign to end smoking. You don’t need memes or hashtags to get your audience.

Starfire #11

STARF-Cv11-ds-f044cWritten by: Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti

Art by: Elsa Charretier

Publisher: DC Comics

Price: $2.99

Release Date: April 13, 2016

Starfire, Atlee, and Stella are still on Atlee’s home planet, and they’re celebrating their victory with a girl’s weekend. While out on the girl’s weekend, Stella becomes overwhelmingly honest with Starfire at a spring that has water that will make you honest. She tells Starfire a few truthful things that make Starfire question what she’s doing and her current situation on Earth in Key West.

I’m not enjoying the work of the current artist who is working on this comic, but that’s a minor thought. I like the old style, which is shown on the covers, better. I believe that the comic art should match the cover art, but this doesn’t affect the story or anything.

Stella is a character that I’m liking less and less as the comic goes on. I understand being a cop character, but she’s just so unnecessarily overprotective, bossy, and nosy. She is such an overpowering main character, which is one of the reasons why I don’t enjoy this series as much. I still love this issue, don’t get me wrong, but it left a sour feeling in me knowing that Starfire has to requisition everything because Stella reflects her own insecurities on Starfire.

 

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Reactions: Clark Gregg performs Britney Spears’ “Toxic” | Lip Sync Battle

This clip from the upcoming Spike Lip Sync Battle was one of the top trending topics and it peeked my interest because it has Clark Gregg (Phil Coulson of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”) Not to mention “Toxic” is one of my favorite Britney Spears songs (yes, I am a Britney Spears fan. Calm down.) I had to check it out just to see what Agent Coulson was up to and I all I have to say is I wasn’t disappointed. Let’s see if Marvel will work in a Britney Spears themed throwaway scene in the next Avengers movie, or even have a cameo with the pop idol herself! It’s doable. We have time to work this in people! I can just see Agent Coulson whipping out some Britney Spears trading cards for the singer to sign.

If you really want to know what I think of this clip, check out the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe to the GeekGirl World YouTube channel! This episode of Spike’s Lip Sync Battle is set to air on Thursday April 21 at 10p/9c.

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Reactions: Marvel’s Doctor Strange Teaser Trailer

The world premiere of the new Doctor Strange teaser trailer has just arrived! Here are our first cinematic glimpses of Benedict Cumberbatch as Steven Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme, and Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One. The film is set to debut in theaters November 4, 2016 and in addition to Cumberbatch and Swinton, stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Mads Mikkelsen. I didn’t grow up reading Doctor Strange in the comics, so I know very little about the actual comic book storyline and characters. However, there is controversy over the casting of Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One, who was depicted as an Asian man in the comics. Hollywood has a long history of “whitewashing” ethnic characters and appropriating culture. It’s nothing new, but certainly something that needs to be continually addressed until people of color are regularly cast in leading roles in major big budget films. With all that said, am I excited to see this film? You’ll have to watch the video below to know for sure. Also don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel!

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Daredevil Season Finale Recap, Ep. 113, “Daredevil”

We’ve finally come to the season finale of Daredevil! I have to say, this has been one of my favorite shows to recap. Waiting a week to watch each episode was SO DIFFICULT but entirely worth the slow burn of Matt Murdock’s development into a proper hero. This season has far exceeded my expectations for what this show could be (and I wasn’t expecting much) and I’m already itching for season two! Now that’s out of the way, on to the finale!

Okay, so we’re starting off with me crying: it’s Ben Urich’s funeral and he is being laid to rest by Father Lantham. Matt and Karen are in attendance as well as Ben’s wife, Doris. Oh and Ben’s editor, Ellison, showed up, too. (Wonder how guilty he’s feeling for not taking Ben seriously about Fisk?) Noticeably absent? Foggy. Karen pays her respects to Doris and Doris is pleased to meet her, as Ben admired her. Karen tells her she blames herself for Ben’s death but Doris reminds Karen that Ben never pursued a story unless he wanted to.

Father Lantham speaks to Matt, who is obviously raging inside at Ben’s death. He also blames himself, which Lantham discourages, but Matt isn’t swayed and Karen “helps” him leave the funeral.

Back at the office, Karen accuses Ellison of being Fisk’s paid mole at the paper, but Matt reminds her that Ben never said he had evidence of that. Switching gears, Karen notes her disappointment in Foggy not showing up for the funeral. Matt takes the blame for that as well, and tells Karen she should go home to get some sleep. She tells Matt that she’s worried Fisk will discover she went to St. Benizet with Ben, but I think she’s more concerned with Fisk discovering her showdown with Wesley in that basement. She feels like trying to fight Fisk is hopeless since he has so many resources but Matt is like, “Hey! I said I would protect you after the whole Union Allied thing, right? Still binding.” Then Matt promises that everyone who’s in bed with Fisk will get what’s coming to them – including the big man himself.

Vanessa has recovered enough for Fisk to bring her back to his penthouse and she finds him staring out the window as she emerges from the bedroom. He’s been looking over money transfer documents to prepare for Vanessa to leave the country but she again refuses to leave without him. He indicates that something’s wrong with the numbers and says he’ll have Leland look into it.

Fisk and Leland meet at a garage of sorts as Leland fills him in on the current structure of their enterprise. Leland adds that they’ll need to find a replacement for Madame Gao’s heroin trade, as she is in the wind, and implies that maybe she wasn’t their ally after all. Then Fisk shows Leland the documents he had been reviewing in his penthouse: evidence of the transfer he ordered Wesley to make before he was found dead. Fisk says there are some irregularities with his accounts and Leland brushes it off as cover for the authorities should they come sniffing around. As Leland gives the document back, his hand shakes almost violently and he begins to sweat noticeably, even though it’s freezing outside. The jig is finally up and when Leland confesses, Fisk assumes that he killed Wesley because he discovered the irregularities and that he was responsible for the attack at the benefit. Leland denies the former, but cannot skate around the latter, as Fisk has realized that Gao was in on the attack as well. Leland confesses that the poisonings were meant for Vanessa to nudge Fisk back on track, and somehow this man doesn’t think his life is in danger as Fisk becomes more irate by the second. He tells Fisk that they’re going to part ways amicably because he’s got leverage: the missing Detective Hoffman. He’s paid Hoffman $10 million to wait for daily calls from Leland ensuring his safety; if he doesn’t get a call, Hoffman will go to the feds and spill his guts about all his dealings with Fisk. Thinking he’s covered all his bases, Leland asks if they have a deal and Fisk is like, “Mmm, no,” and punches him square in the face. Looks like another Wilson Fisk Signature Beatdown! Leland tases Fisk but doesn’t take him down, so Fisk gets revenge for Vanessa by throwing Leland down an elevator shaft. Then he orders his men to sweep the city to find Hoffman and kill him.

Matt tears up the heavy bag at the gym as Foggy arrives. He tells Foggy that he tried going out and knocking some heads, but Ellison wasn’t available for a chat so he’ll try again tomorrow night. Foggy asks if Matt wants to talk about his anger issues and Matt’s like, “You’re not my priest – who you would have met if you’d shown up for Ben’s funeral.” Foggy says he got a call from Marcie when he was on his way to the funeral and she’s copied some good, incriminating documents on Fisk. Matt thinks Foggy is being irresponsible involving Marcie and packs up to leave, vowing to go after Fisk again. Foggy worries what will happen to Matt this time, since he found him nearly dead the last time Matt went after Fisk. He tells Matt to use the law to combat Fisk like he always preached to Foggy and Karen, saying they’ll take them down together. Matt’s like, “Oh, so we’re a ‘we’ again? We can’t go back to the way things were, but we can try to move forward.”

So they do…directly to the police station to see their buddy Mahoney. After Foggy hands over some more (good) cigars for Mahoney’s mom, he begins to spill about the fire at Madame Gao’s warehouse and his run in with the man in the mask. They fill Mahoney in on pieces of their investigation, namely that they think Fisk murdered Ben for visiting his mother, and Mahoney says they found no evidence of that at the scene. A couple of officers exit the building saying they’re looking for Mahoney inside, and Matt hones in on one of their cell phone conversations: the officer is talking about the hunt for Hoffman. When Mahoney goes back inside, Matt fills Foggy in on his suspicions and they realize they need to get to Hoffman before Fisk’s men find him.

At the office, Matt, Karen, and Foggy are three researchers once again as they comb through the documents Marcie smuggled to them. Karen wonders if Hoffman will actually testify against Fisk if they find him, but Matt is sure he will based on the disappearances of all of Fisk’s other allies. Then she asks how they found out about Leland hiding Hoffman, and Foggy and Matt lie badly about a run in with the man in the mask, saying they think he’s trying to do the right thing. Foggy doesn’t think these documents will help them nail down Leland, but Matt makes an important point: men of financial privilege will not often use their own money for something when they can use someone else’s, just as Karen finds a property rundown that is one property short but shows no profit loss. With the location of the missing property in hand, Matt lies smoothly that he’s going to report this info to Mahoney, but he really leaves to go investigate himself (plus a mask). Foggy sees right through this but Matt tells him this is where law meets real life and he can’t risk losing Hoffman to dirty cops.

Driving across town, Fisk gets a call which seems to imply that someone had located Hoffman. Fisk gives the order for the closest team to move in and specifies that there be no survivors.

Leland’s guys distribute dinner as they keep a watchful eye on Hoffman – and the clock. Leland is due to call in eight minutes or less. No call and they’re blowing that popsicle stand. Just then, a team of dirty cops burst in and execute every single guy watching over Hoffman. They’re about to kill Hoffman (who has squeezed his eyes shut) but instead of a single shot, we hear lots of punches thudding and shots flying wildly until Hoffman finally opens his eyes to see the man in the mask beating down the last cop. Hoffman is wearing a blood mask (so popular this year) and shaking like a leaf when Matt pulls up a chair to talk to him. Matt tells him that he can go turn state’s evidence on Fisk rightnow or he can wait for Fisk to send more people to kill him. Hoffman isn’t convinced that he won’t be killed anyway, so Matt tells him to turn himself in to Brett Mahoney specifically and get linked up to a couple of lawyers who can’t be bought. He says he’s going to follow Hoffman as he turns himself in and Hoffman won’t like what happens if he doesn’t.

And so, bloody and fearful, Hoffman approaches Mahoney at the station saying he needs to make a statement. Fast forward and Hoffman is being represented by Nelson and Murdock as Hoffman prepares to give a video statement before a federal panel. Matt relays that Hoffman isn’t seeking a deal but only wants to provide evidence as a sort of penance, and Hoffman is ordered to start at the beginning, leaving no details out.

Then we have a montage! It’s Turk Barrett being run down by the FBI! It’s a bunch of crooked cops being led out of the 15th precinct! It’s Ellison Caldwell being arrested at the Bulletin! It’s Landman being surrounded as he gets to work (and as Marci looks on in her car)! It’s Senator Cherryh being carted out of his offices!

The arrests are all over the news and Fisk ties up loose ends as he prepares to be arrested. He tells Vanessa that she needs to do something for him and explains a plan as the FBI files into the building. With them breaking his door down, he proposes to Vanessa and is then led outside to a media frenzy. He is cuffed and put into a secure transit vehicle with armed guards in the back while reporters continue to shout questions at him.

Matt, Foggy, and Karen celebrate the news of Fisk’s arrest and they toast to all the people who suffered at the hands of Fisk.

In the transit vehicle, Fisk begins to tell a biblical story about a man on his way to Jericho. The traveler was set upon by thieves on his way until a good Samaritan rescued the man and put him up in an inn using all of his money because he loved his city and everyone in it. Fisk says he always thought he was the Samaritan in the story but realizes that he’s actually the ill intent who set upon the traveler. Just then, his whole police escort is stopped on a bridge and they come under assault from a group of mercenaries. The cops call for back up and are taken down one by one and the assault is televised.

Foggy puts Karen in a cab and tries to convince Matt not to go get involved. Matt asks him to trust him and Foggy relents, telling Matt to go be a hero.

With all the cops down, the mercs prep to retrieve the package. One of the guards in the back with Fisk kills the other and Fisk is freed and escorted to a delivery  truck to be taken to another location. He yells to his team to take out anyone who tries to follow by ground or air.

Matt heads back to Melvin Potter, who has finished Matt’s new suit. Matt is pleased, but Melvin wants to know if this means Betsy is for sure safe from Fisk. So Matt’s all, “I’m a man of my word, Melvin.”

Standing on a rooftop, Matt listens for chatter about Fisk just as the delivery truck pulls into a warehouse and he is transferred to a smaller delivery truck for Summerville Department Stores. When one of the mercs announces that the package is en route with an ETA of 18 minutes, Matt hears this and springs into action. Fisk speaks to Vanessa (who is waiting by a helicopter for a swift extraction) and tells her to leave without him if he hasn’t arrived in 20 minutes’ time. He adds that if he doesn’t make it, it isn’t the end of their relationship but an inconvenience, promising that nothing will ever keep them apart.

As the driver announces a 15-minute ETA, the truck is hit through the windshield by a stick and flip over onto its side. Fisk exits the vehicle with a gash on his head, and Daredevil jumps down onto the truck to confront Fisk. One of the mercs opens fire and Matt does some fancy stick work while Fisk makes a break for it. Matt corners Fisk in an alley (giving us a full view of the new costume!!!) and Fisk begins to rant about how Daredevil robbed him of his ability to make the city a better place. Then he says he’s going to kill him, and Matt’s like, “COME AT ME, BRO!”

They start fighting and each get in some good hits, but Daredevil is doing the most damage until Fisk begins to use his brute strength to throw Daredevil into walls and dumpsters and run at him like a bull seeing red. Daredevil recovers as Fisk finds a pipe to use, but Daredevil’s better: he uses his pipe to lay Fisk out. With some strategic hits to the head area, Fisk is disoriented but gains the upper hand and lifts Daredevil above his head only to throw him bodily onto the ground. He continues to strike and scream at him on the ground until Daredevil declares that this is his city and rises up to knock Fisk down with his sticks. Fisk taunts him that one man in a silly little costume can’t make a difference, so Daredevil hits him with a final leaping punch – just as Mahoney shows up in his squad car. Mahoney realizes that Daredevil is the man in the mask and accepts that he has just caught a fugitive, and so calls it in.

Vanessa disappointedly waits at the helicopter when Francis (presumably) tells her that it’s time to go, now or never. Slipping the engagement ring Fisk gave her on her finger, she boards the helicopter and they lift off.

Back in the alley, Mahoney cuffs Fisk and wonders what he should call the city’s new savior in his reports as Matt scales the walls like a parkour master. And Karen grabs up the newest Bulletin which dubs him Daredevil. She, Matt, and Foggy discuss the new moniker and its applicability as Foggy finally installs their sign on the office. Then he bails to help Marcie find a new job since her bosses are mostly under indictment. Matt and Karen send their thanks but Foggy reminds them that Fisk still needs to go to trial, which could easily be a year from now. Matt chooses to focus on how Fisk is in prison where he belongs and revels in the fact that they put him there. As Karen goes to enter the office, Matt stops her, saying he’s noticed something weird in her voice for a while. He says he thought it would go away when Fisk was put away but it hasn’t, and she basically says putting Fisk away has left deep scars that they can’t forget. Matt says they can promise to move forward, together, and they head into the office.

Fisk is kept in a small windowless cell and sets about passing the time: with his bruised and cut up face, he stares at the latest white stucco wall in his life, seemingly biding his time.

And Daredevil stands on a rooftop surveying his city and, hearing a scream, leaps into action once more.

All images courtesy of Marvel and Netflix.

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Marvel’s Daredevil Recap: Ep. 112, “The Ones We Leave Behind”

We’ve finally come to the penultimate episode of the first season of Daredevil and it has definitely been a wild (and fairly brutal) ride! Let’s jump right into it.

Karen dumps the gun she used to kill Wesley in the river and seems to be struggling with the reality of what just happened to her. When she gets home she locks herself in and immediately reaches for the booze. After a drink and a quick sob, she jumps into the shower to wash it away, but looking at herself in the foggy bathroom mirror, she realizes it won’t and takes her trusty whiskey to bed with her. After some sleep she wakes with a start and notices she’s out of liquor and reaches for beer. When she turns away from the fridge, Wilson Fisk’s outline emerges from the shadows and he talks to her about the weight that comes along with killing someone. He tells her it gets easier the more you do it and makes a grab for her head – at which point she actually wakes with a start.

Later, Karen goes into the office and is having a difficult time focusing. Then Foggy creeps in and scares the bejeesus out of her. They question each other about why they’re at the office so late: Foggy denies avoiding Matt and Karen dodges questions about what she did after she left Foggy at Josie’s. Foggy apologizes for his beef with Matt spilling over to her and they try to bury their own strife. She asks if he’s coming back to the office and he wants to avoid the topic and pack up some stuff. But he does assure her that he’s not giving up on their investigation and asks for the box of info Ben brought over, and adds that he no longer believes the “man in the mask” is the enemy. As he leaves, he finds Matt standing at the door, who moves aside to let Foggy pass (and who presumably heard every single thing they just said).

Matt asks Karen why she’s at the office so late and they determine that an inability to sleep seems to be the only thing the three employees of Nelson & Murdock still have in common with each other. She tells him Foggy thinks he’s responsible for Mrs. Cardenas’ death but Matt’s like, “Foggy’s the one not talking to me, not the other way around.” Karen says she’s beginning to think she made a mistake coming to work with them, saying her world fell apart.

Fisk, still by Vanessa’s bedside, checks his phone in vain for a missed call from Wesley. Then Vanessa wakes up and wants to know what happened to her. Fisk explains and blames himself for her almost dying, telling her of the arrangements he made to get her out of the country. When he says he doesn’t plan on going with her she refuses to leave. Exerting her agency, Vanessa tells Fisk that she knew the risks of getting romantically involved with him and she took them because she wanted to, and now she wants him to find the person responsible and “make them understand” that she and Fisk won’t be parted. Cheerily, he tells her he’ll make them suffer for what they’ve done as there is a knock on the door from his security. They’ve located Wesley.

At the deserted building, Fisk and Leland arrive to find Wesley slumped in the chair just the way Karen left him. Francis clues them in to Wesley’s last known movements and Fisk is disappointed that he didn’t get more information out of Wesley before handing over his gun and keys. So he head butts Francis and punches the crap out of him while shouting that Wesley was his friend and Leland intervenes, noting (correctly) that Francis only did what he was told which is also known as loyalty. Leland thinks Wesley’s murder is revenge from the Japanese for Nobu and urges Fisk not to lose sight of their end game by pursuing a war. Fisk says only that he wants to find who did this to the people closest to him before giving Wesley a kiss on the forehead…and rifling through his pockets. Scrolling through his phone, Fisk sees that the last person Wesley called last night was his mother.

Ben walks to his car one night and Matt pulls his peek-a-boo act again. He shows the drug symbol to Ben, who recognizes it from around town as a marker for heroin dubbed “Steel Serpent.” Matt walks Ben through his theory of Fisk eliminating his partners and wonders if hitting Fisk in his pockets will finally cause him to make a mistake. Then he asks Ben about the Chinese drug operation, mentioning the poor blind delivery guy who was killed in the Russian shoot out. Ben says he’s seen the blind men near 51st and 10th during morning rush hour and Matt has a new lead.

Foggy meets Marcie at Josie’s and he has a favor to ask. He brings up the tenement case and since she feels bad about what happened to Mrs. Cardenas, she agrees to listen. When Foggy says he thinks Wilson Fisk was behind the attack, she gets up to leave since her firm, Landman and Zack, represent Fisk and she can’t talk to him about her client. Foggy says that’s fine, that she can sit and read (lots of incriminating evidence) instead.

When Ben gets home, Karen creeps out of a shadow to ask him why his story about Fisk and his mother hasn’t been printed yet and he’s like, “Girl, go home and take a nap.” She tells him that she thinks they know that she and Ben found Fisk’s mother, and this gets her invited inside for a drink. Ben tells her about the connection he’s working on that will give Mrs. Vistain’s story some clout in spite of her dementia, but Karen wants the story out rightnow, fearing that they’ll lose their shot. Ben asks Karen why she thinks they’re on to their secret trip upstate and she says it’s a strong feeling and she needs to trust him. He promises to write the article up and submit it to his editor the following day, and Karen is grateful.

Back at Josie’s, Marcie stayed longer than the five minutes she promised and when Foggy reveals that some of the information was obtained from “The Devil of Hell’s Kitchen,” she appalled that he’d work with the guy who’s been terrorizing the city (according to the news). He asks her to really reflect on Fisk and ask herself if there’s nothing fishy going on at Landman and Zack where Fisk is concerned. Though she’s worried about losing her job and her ability to practice law by speaking to him about this, Foggy gets through to her by appealing to her sense of morality.

Matt stands at 51st and 10th listening intently to the city’s sounds. Finally he hears the sound of a walking stick tapping the sidewalk and has spotted a blind courier. Following the courier, Matt watches a sedan (playing classical music) pick him up and drive away. Quickly, Matt runs into an alley and does some awesome parkour across several rooftops as he follows the sedan. (Even in a suit, this guy is good!) The car finally stops in an alley and the courier is escorted to a door where a secret knock is performed before they are ushered inside.

Ben goes in to work and discovers that his editor, Ellison, isn’t currently in the office but will be in later.

And in another sedan in Hell’s Kitchen, Fisk tries to appease his mother as she complains about him removing her from St. Benizet’s (she’s gonna miss that zuppa!). He tells her she can get real zuppa in Italy and she frets at having to start a new life before losing her train of thought. Then Fisk asks her what she remembers about her conversation with Wesley, but she remains distracted.

Ben calls Karen to tell her that Ellison isn’t in the office yet but he’ll call her when he’s put the story in Ellison’s hands. He admonishes her to keep her eyes open and she takes a call from Matt. He tells her he’s had “a rough morning” as he mops up his burst stitches and says he won’t make it in today. He adds that he’s working on something that he wants her and Foggy to stay out of and promises that things will work out.

When Ellison finally arrives, Ben approaches him with the story and he’s not trying to hear it. He says the story has no corroboration and will open the paper up to a lawsuit. As Ben tries different angles to convince Ellison to run the story, they each hit the other with verbal barbs and have attracted the attention of the whole office. Ben tells Ellison he feels like he whoring out his talents because of him, and Ellison tells Ben to take the rest of the week off, prompting Ben to accuse Ellison of being paid off by Fisk. After all, he hasn’t been able to get a meaningful story printed in ages. So Ellison tells Ben that he hasn’t been printed because his stories are crap and unceremoniously fires him.

At the Chinese warehouse, Madame Gao surveys her blind workers before ascending a staircase. The blind courier taps into the warehouse and a guard hears a noise that he investigates outside. Someone delivers the secret knock and the guard opens the door and gets a beatdown that we don’t see, then Matt enters the warehouse. As guards keep watch over the workers, we notice that many of them have scars around their eyes, indicating that they were blinded horrifically. Hearing a noise and going to investigate, a second guard is beat up and disarmed as Matt approaches and observes the workers. As he listens closely to them, Madame Gao spies him from her vantage point and instructs her workers to attack.

Fisk and Leland meet and Leland reports that he couldn’t find anything to link the Japanese to the recent attacks, saying it might be the man in the mask after all. Fisk orders Francis (who is still around because Wesley trusted him) to double the cash offer in the streets for information and receives a call on Wesley’s phone. After a short conversation he tells Leland that he has to go, but Leland has to be getting used to Fisk brushing him off by now.

Gao and two armed guards search the warehouse for the man in the mask and he takes the two men out with ease (though not without gunfire which begins to set the warehouse on fire) and approaches Gao. Matt accuses her of blinding her workers and she insists they did it to themselves out of faith. He asks her about Fisk and she throws him to the ground and disappears. Hearing more explosions, Matt takes a guard’s gun and shoots to initiate the sprinkler system then tells the guard to clear everyone out. The workers slowly file out as the fire department approaches and Matt runs off into the night…and is stopped by Brett Mahoney. After Matt relieves Mahoney of his gun, he tells him that he didn’t kill any cops and assures him that his department was infiltrated by bad cops. Then backup arrives and Matt runs off again.

Madame Gao approaches Leland for a meeting and drops her “I don’t speak English” act with him, too. They discuss the fact that Fisk is on the hunt for whoever struck at him but that he doesn’t suspect them. They both agree that the attempt on Vanessa’s life was a good plan, but she denies having anything to do with Wesley’s death. When Leland asks what their next move should be, Gao’s like, “I don’t know about you, but I’m heading back to my homeland to lay low.” Before saying they won’t speak again, she leaves and Leland yells empty assertions of self-sustainability at her back.

Ben visits Doris in the hospital and they banter about running away together. Doris asks him if he wants to run away together, or if he just wants to run away, noting that she knows that he has something important he’s working on. He tells her he was fired and Doris is all, “Good! Now you can pursue great stories and post them on the Internet and reach a huge base. It’s a good thing.”

Then, as he leaves the hospital, Ben calls Karen to let her know that he was fired and his story won’t be published. He tells her that he’ll start a blog now that he’s got the right story to tell, and he’s going to write it tonight and get it out there. After promising to send Karen the link once he’s posted the story and to call her in the morning, the two hang up. Still deep in thought, Karen is startled by the doorknob rattling and it’s Matt struggling to get into the office. He’s curious about her locking the office now and tells her she should head home. She wonders aloud if she, Matt, and Foggy will continue to work around each other without really talking and he explains how Stick taught him that he must distance himself from loved ones to be effective at what he does. He never thought he did before, but Matt sees that he does that now. He describes his bad night as seeing the bottom of humanity and Karen clearly relates, but Matt knows that he can’t fight his crusade alone. Karen hugs him and assures him that he isn’t alone.

Ben returns home and settles down with a drink and his computer to begin his Fisk expose. As he begins to type, we see Fisk sitting in the shadows behind him. Fisk says he wants to have a conversation but Ben tells him to get out. After he promises to be truthful, Ben allows Fisk to say his piece. Fisk tells Ben that he’s sorry for assuming that his relevancy had passed and begins to explain all that he knows about Ben’s work at the Bulletin…and the precautions he’s taken since the Union Allied story to protect his interests. Then he reveals that he knows Ben went to see his mother, confirmed by his mole at the Bulletin, and Ben lies that he went alone. Ben also denies having anything to do with Wesley, but Fisk is PISSED that Ben would involve his mom in this, saying that he’s not there to threaten Ben, but to kill him. Fisk attacks Ben, grabbing him around the throat with both hands and chokes him until Ben stops moving. Then Fisk leaves, stepping on a now broken photo of Ben and Doris on his way out.

The Questions: Holy crap, did you see that coming?! With Ben out of the picture, how will Karen and Foggy go after Fisk? And will this be enough to bring the crime-fighting trio at Nelson and Murdock back together?

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Tom Holland Is The Newest Spider-Man

Tom Holland has been cast as the latest actor to portray the web-slinging superhero on the big screen in both the upcoming Sony standalone films as well as in Captain America: Civil War. Sony will be lending the character to Marvel Studios for its Avengers universe tie-in, and since Spider-Man plays an integral part in that storyline in the comics, it would have been near impossible to do the story justice without him.

“It’s a big day here at Sony. Kevin, Amy and their teams have done an incredible job. The Marvel process is very thorough, and that’s why their results are so outstanding. I’m confident Spider-Man will be no exception. I’ve worked with a number of up-and-coming directors who have gone on to be superstars and believe that Jon is just such an outstanding talent. For Spidey himself, we saw many terrific young actors, but Tom’s screen tests were special.” – Tom Rothman, Sony Pictures Motion Pictures Group chairman

This will mark the second time fans will see a reboot of the franchise, as in most recent years we’ve seen Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield take on the role. However, this time Peter Parker is going to start out as a teenager with the time period entirely set in high school. Exploring more of Peter Parker’s adolescent years is an exciting new take on the film franchise.

What do you think about the latest casting news? Let us know in the comments!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Marvel Superheroines

This week’s Top Ten is dedicated to the #WeWantWidow movement. Black Widow being excluded from many of the toy tie-in and retail ad campaigns for Avengers: Age of Ultron had many fans wondering why anyone would consciously make such a ridiculous omission. This just further underlines a persistent issue the geek community has had with female representation in leading roles and on the retail shelves. Only one confirmed major studio film with a superheroine as the lead character is on the horizon. We want more!

So let us know what you think of our Top Ten. Are there any of your favorite Marvel superheroines we should have put on this list? Who would you take off?

Also take a look at the Black Widow flashmob staged around the world for #WeWantWidow.

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