Comic Pick of the Week 09/14/2016

Pick of the Week

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Voltron: Legendary Defender #1 and #2 (of 4)

When Team Voltron takes on a dangerous training mission in deep space, Coran, Princess Allura’s majordomo, is captured by an ancient enemy. It will take teamwork, smarts, and, of course, Voltron, to save their friend’s life.

As Team Voltron searches for a treasure that can settle Coran’s debt and save his life, the beasts they have to fight keep getting bigger and nastier! When a mountain monster has Voltron on the ropes, Hunk realizes they’ll need more than brute strength to stop it.

Look, I know both of these are older, but I jumped on the Voltron bandwagon kind of late. Hunk and Keith need to totally date already.  Since they were my favorites from this week’s haul, they tied for my top pick of the week.  It’s written by the show writers so you don’t have to worry about any moments where the characters don’t feel like themselves.  I don’t know why this just wasn’t an episode, but I guess they make more money by releasing additional material as a comic.The first one is  a great start, but the second one is where this story really starts to shine.  (Which makes it a darn shame that it’s only going to be four volumes long.  I suggest a petition to continue this indefinitely while we’re waiting for season 2).  Benefits of the second issue definitely include the team deciding that maybe its better if they listen to Hunk, unlike the last time with the pirates.

Reasons to pick this one up:  Um, it’s Voltron, and I think we could all use a little more Voltron while waiting for the second season.  Also, Hunk gets to be in the spotlight, which is something that needs to happen more in general.  I vote to promote Hunk to the star of the show.

Reasons to avoid:  Keith, don’t be mean to Hunk.

Runner Up:

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Black Panther (2016-) #6

RISE OF THE DORA MILAJE! T’Challa’s failures as king are revealed to the UNITED NATIONS! Ayo and Aneka, the Midnight Angels, are courted by Tetu and The People to raise Wakanda to glory, but at what price? The storyline that has critics raving and retailers selling out continues!

I picked up this series after falling in love with T’Challa watching Civil War.  If you aren’t reading this one yet, it’s definitely one to check out for the politics alone.

Reasons to pick up:  The Midnight Angels, who I hear are going to be getting their own series soon, continue to inspire me.  It’s amazing watching all the stories unwinding together, and I’ll probably end up rereading the first five soon.

Reasons to avoid:  You’ve had enough of politics on Facebook and don’t want to think about it during your comic reading time.

Honorable Mentions:

397968-_sx1280_ql80_ttd_Wonder Woman (2016-) #6

WONDER WOMAN YEAR ONE” part 3!Diana brings Steve back home, but the reception is not what either of them expected. Amid suspicion and a looming threat, the Patrons pay a visit, and new friendships are forged.I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m not as fond of Year One as I am of The Lies.  However, both series have had consistently gorgeous coverart.  Gods as woodland creatures is also a plus.

 

 

 

Something Else I Picked Up This Week:

406380-_sx1280_ql80_ttd_Star Wars: The Force Awakens Adaptation #4 (of 6)

Rey, Finn, Han and Chewie have reached Maz Kanata’s castle…but the Force is calling Rey to Luke’s lightsaber! Meanwhile, our heroes have been discovered! The First Order strikes!

Honestly, I’m only still reading this because I’m halfway through and I feel committed now.  Although, there was a whole page dedicated to the one helluva pilot scene, and that pleases me.

9/7/2016 Comic Pick of the Week

Pick of the Week

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Kim & Kim 2

With fugitive Tom Quilt in tow, the Fighting Kims go off in search of the mysterious Lady Babylon, only to come up short. Turning to necromancy to help find her, things go about as badly as they possibly can.

I love these two girls.  I’ve been looking forward to the second issue of this one for months.  Picked the first up on a recommendation and have never regretted it.  If you aren’t reading this one yet, I highly recommend it.  Kim & Kim both stars a transwoman and was written by a transwoman.

Reasons to pick this one up:   The art is gorgeous and the costumes are amazing.  Kim and Kim are amazing besties who are friendship aspiration goals.  The team is composed of mostly women and puts women in the front and center.  There’s also sandworms, necromancy and bounty hunting.

Reasons to avoid: There are literally no reasons not to pick this one up.  The only thing I would change is have them come out a little more frequently.  The wait was interminable.

Runner Up:

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Poe Dameron #6

Poe and Agent Terex are in a race…to break out of jail! But with Black Squadron surrounded by deadly inmates…their only hope is BB-8?!?

In correction to my last post talking about this series, the blue murderbot actually belonged to Jessika Pava.  I thought it was Snap’s because I had matched the droids up with the colors on the helmets from an earlier issue, but, apparently, the droids were not color coded for mine or anyone else’s convenience.

This issue features droids, prisoners, and more spaceship battles.

Reasons to pick up:  I mean, who doesn’t love BB-8, especially when that little droid is saving the lives of everyone else in Black Squadron.  Kare is still alive, although I have good money on her being the mole.  Don’t let me down, Kare.  Don’t exist in this comic just to be Snap’s love interest.  (Side note: I actually ship Snap/Kare, but I dislike characters who exist only to be love interests.)

Reasons to avoid: Look, Snap got injured, and I don’t know if it was supposed to create dramatic tension or not, but it really didn’t since Snap is one of the people we know survives the end of the series.  Tiny little alien creature and maybe a crapton of prisoners die.

 

Honorable Mention

423826-_sx1280_ql80_ttd_“Ponies of Dark Water Part 3” Chaos reigns over Ponyville as normal ponies across town turn evil! It’ll be up to Spike and the Cutie Mark Crusaders, with the help of an unexpected ally, to save the day!

Um, evil ponies don’t really seem that evil.  I mean, evil Rainbow Dash seemed a little cocky, but there is some truth in what she was saying.  I don’t know if I would go as far to say that she was faster than all the Wonderbolts combined, but it’s a pretty safe bet to say that she is faster than all the other Wonderbolts.  Also, I love when Evil Twilight is a thing.  It’s one of my favorite parts about the third Equestria Girls movie.

 

397953-_sx1280_ql80_ttd_“DIE LAUGHING” part 3! In this concluding chapter, Coney Island threatens to collapse completely under a tidal wave of zombies! Harley’s got a lead on a cure-but what’s it going to take to administer it to a thousand flesh-hungry fiends? Here’s hoping Poison Ivy has an idea…

Unfortunately, the zombies are gone, but on the plus side, the teenage runaway alien is going to be okay after he gets fused back together by his parents.   Poison Ivy and Harley are back together again, and going to the Bahamas soon.

 

 

404779-_sx1280_ql80_ttd_“THE WHISPERER WAR” Part Two. The war rages on.

Zombies, zombies, zombies, and some guy’s  a dick.  I skipped about 150 volumes before I started reading, so I’m a little behind and am still not entirely sure who is who.

8/24/2016 Comic Picks of the Week

Pick of the Week

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Wacky Raceland 3

The Racers are skirting the crumbling coastline of the Pacific Ocean when an earthquake threatens to dump them into the toxic waters! And when Penelope and Dick are caught in a tsunami that sweeps them to a barren island without their vehicles or weapons, how will they battle the island’s horde of mutant crabs? And back on the mainland, the other Racers must fend off a tangle of carnivorous vines!

 Wacky Raceland was the first comic series I picked up that I was not formerly introduced to through some other media (ie Poe Dameron, My Little Pony and Black Panther).  It was also the first recommendation from my local comic store owner that I decided to check out.  I recently learned that it was going to be ending after only six volumes, and I was very upset, so chances are likely it’s going to be topping my list for the remaining three.

Reasons to pick this one up:  The art shift and mythological analogy surrounding Penelope’s backstory are a charming addition.  A trans woman being viewed as desirable.

Reasons to avoid: Some people find the art to be a bit cluttered, so if that type of thing bothers you, you might want to avoid the entire series.

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Runner Up: Wonder Woman 5

“The Lies” part three! Steve Trevor finds himself trapped in the heart of Urzkartaga’s darkness, with Wonder Woman and Cheetah the only hope of rescue for him and his men. But how far can Cheetah be trusted?

Wonder Woman was the second hero comic book I started reading after hearing so many great things about the history of the character on tumblr.

Reasons to pick up: The art by Sharp and Martin is incredible.  It’s one of the reasons why I prefer this to Year One (although I am reading both).  Also, cat people, wolf people and godly possession.

Reasons to avoid: Too much villain exposition?

Honorable Mention: Star Wars: The Force Awakens 3
Rey and Finn escaped Jakku in the Millennium Falcon and teamed up 
with Han Solo and Chewbacca! But they're not in the clear yet — 
there be RATHTARS! Meanwhile, Kylo Ren meets with the mysterious 
Supreme Leader Snoke! The search for Luke Skywalker continues! - 
Honestly, I've been kind of underwhelmed by the whole Force Awakens 
comic book adaptation.  I was expecting so much more, especially 
having read Wendig's Aftermath novels.

On a related note, a good friend of mine bought me the first two comic installations on the four major battles of the Civil War.  I’m looking forward to reading and reviewing them.

08/17/2016 Comic Picks of the Week

Pick of the Week

384589._SX640_QL80_TTD_DC Rebirth Harley Quinn #2

“Die Laughing” part two! As the plague of zombies on Coney Island continues to spread, Harley must rescue one of her own from the undead hordes…and try to uncover the cause of this corpse-y catastrophe!

Two weeks ago, Harley Quinn Rebirth #1 came out the door swinging with a teenaged runaway alien induced zombie apocalypse, and this week does not disappoint. If anything, I may love this issue even more than the last one.

Reasons to pick this one up:  Harley gets an undead horse at one point when she throws herself into the zombie horde.  Someone special makes a grand entrance with a weed whacker at the end.   Harley tried to take a pee break during the middle of a zombie fight, and honestly, I have never related to a character more in my entire life.

Reasons to avoid: None?  You don’t like Harley Quinn?  You’re turned off by some light zombie action?

Runner-up: Star Wars Poe Dameron #5

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Black Squadron’s been locked away in a Republic prison! But they’re not locked in there with us, they’re locked in with…Terrex?! Can Poe and co. get the info they need and get free?

The Poe Dameron series was the reason I searched out my local comic shop in the first place and is what got this whole thing started.  I used to go once a month for Poe Dameron.  Now I’m there every week, and I’ve already earned my first reward on my loyalty card.

This month’s issue featured more droids, more Jessika Pava, and the information that Poe can charm the pants off a Hutt.  I don’t even want to know how Jess came to that conclusion.  Also, Black Squadron is still wearing the infiltration gear.  10/10 approve.

Reasons to pick up:  You love Poe Dameron as much if not more than I do.  BB-8 is amazing.  More Jessika Pava, which is great if you’re working on some fanfic.  Snap still has this thing with murderbots.

Reasons to avoid: The line about Poe being able to charm the pants off a Hutt.  Kare’s demise was not only foreshadowed, she was singled out for a grisly demise through Terrex’s threats.  I knew her chances of survival were dismal to begin with given that she was not in The Force Awakens, but I thought she would at least last ’til closer to the end of the series.  If we’re foreshadowing her death five volumes in, that’s not good.

Honorable Mention: N/A
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David Gaider’s Departure From Bioware

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From a report from Polygon, I learned that after 17 years at the company, David Gaider and Bioware are parting ways on amicable terms.

It was December of 2009 when I first heard about Bioware and Dragon Age specifically.  I had found the “This is War” video while listening to Thirty Seconds To Mars music, and did some research into the game.  After spending several hours soaking up information from TvTropes, I discovered that there was a character in the game by the name of Andraste.  At the time, I had been working on an epic fantasy series with dragons that contained a main character named Andraste.  I had found the name after several hours of researching Celtic names, and had only found it listed on one website before the Dragon Age information started coming out.  It seemed far too strange to be just a coincidence.  The more I read about the game, the more I decided I needed to play it even though my computer was several years old and never designed for gaming and at the time I didn’t have a PS3.  It felt like it was my destiny to find these games, especially because of the strange occurrence of both myself and the Dragon Age writers using the name Andraste.

For Christmas that year, I received Dragon Age Origins for the PC.  My computer could barely handle it.  All the characters had black eyes.  I played that game for hours on end, creating several different characters and exploring the different options.  I can’t explain how much this series has meant to me.   Dragon Age revolutionized the way I look at games.  Who knew that there were games with romance options and where the choices you make actually have an affect on the overall plot?  Dragon Age changed the way I look at character interactions.  Most importantly, it changed my expectations of what a story could offer.

I haven’t played Dragon Age Origins in a very long time, even though I did eventually update to the PlayStation 3 version just so I could get characters with eye colors.  I finally got to learn what color Alistair’s eyes are!  I defended Dragon Age 2 (except for the recycled environments) for their decision to make all the love interests player sexual. I’ve read the books and the comics.  I entered Bioware’s short story contest a few years ago with the intent of hopefully getting the Skype Q+A session with David Gaider just so I could ask him some very specific questions about Herren and Wade.  Questions that I will likely now never get answered.  I waited patiently for five years to get the chance to finally run away with Cullen.  I cannot stress enough the impact that this series has had on my life and on my writing.

I would like to thank David Gaider for everything he’s done for the series.  For better or worse, Dragon Age will never be the same.

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Happy 2016 and Resolutions!

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As we start the new year, I find myself asking a lot of questions about my future.  What am I going to do with the rest of my life? Am I ever going to be able to pay my bills? How many books can I challenge myself to read in the upcoming year since I failed at the usual 52 this year? Do I really have to turn 30 in five months, and have I failed as an adult by the time I reach 30 since I still can’t pay my own bills?

Some of you may remember that instead of doing traditional resolutions at the beginning of the year, I ‘ve started doing the one word challenge. I can’t really say if it’s a better option, because I failed at the one word challenge last year as much as I fail at my normal resolutions, but I’m willing to give the idea and myself a second chance.

This year’s word is going to be “new.” New house, new adventure, new friends, new challenges, new bill paying system, new attitude, new job, new languages, new runs, new distances, you name it. This year is going to be all about change, but not change into old habits like I did at the end of 2015.

I’ve already started embracing the idea of new.  There’s a race I’ve never done before north of me that I’m thinking of signing up for.  I’ve started a 10K training program so by November I’ll be able to run the Marathon on the mountain.  I’ve acquired a passion planner to help keep me on track for my goals.

 

I let work get the better of me during 2015, and part of my new attitude entails not letting that happen to me again this year.  It’s time to make a new, better me, and I hope you’re willing to join me for the journey.

 

I challenge you to take this journey with me.  It doesn’t have to be extreme; it can be something as small as a new habit to keep up with your laundry better before it becomes the dreaded laundry monster.   Whatever it is, it’s a new year.  Now’s the best time to look closely and decide what in your life you want to make “new.”  Share in the comments below what “new” thing you want to achieve and what steps you want to take to accomplish it.

Les Mills Combat Challenge


LES MILLS COMBAT. Work out like a warrior. Get shredded in 60 days.

I’m so excited to share this news with you! Some of you know that I’ve been taking kickboxing classes for a while now. Most of you know that I’ve been trying to get in shape because I’m running the Spartan Race in October. Everyone should know that I’m so dedicated to the cause that I made “Spartan” the one word I focus on over the course of the year.

I’ve decided to bring those three things together and am organizing a Les Mills Combat Challenge Group that will run from May 4th to July 3rd. We’re going to get in the best shape of our lives just in time for fourth of July parties.

What is LES MILLS COMBAT?
LES MILLS COMBAT is an explosive mixed martial arts body transformation
program that will help rip, shred, and lean you out for unparalleled results.
Blending dynamic martial arts movements with High Intensity Interval Training
(HIIT), LES MILLS COMBAT pushes your body far beyond where it’s ever been
before. You’ll punch, kick, and strike your way to the biggest adrenaline rush—
and your best body ever—in just 60 days!
Beachbody® and Les Mills International have teamed up once again to bring you
a high-octane workout program based on the immensely popular BODYCOMBAT®gym classes taught in 80 countries around the world, with expert trainers, chart-topping music—and muscle-shredding results. Now for the first time, LES MILLS COMBAT is available for home use.

What makes LES MILLS COMBAT so exciting?
• LES MILLS COMBAT is the first home-based mixed martial arts–inspired workout program designed to get you a lean, chiseled body—in just 60 days!
• Trainers Dan Cohen and Rachael Newsham are incredibly fun to work out with! As experts in a great number of martial arts disciplines, they will teach you, challenge you, inspire you, and keep you accountable in your quest to unleash your inner warrior—and build an outrageously strong,
sexy body.

If you want to do this with me, make sure you like my Facebook page and let me know!  This is going to be amazing, and I can’t wait to share this journey with all of you!