Manifest Destiny: I Love You but I Know You’re Not Trying

There is a point early on in any promising relationship when your significant other gives you a gift that lets you know they really get you. In the case of my current relationship, that gift was the Volume 1 trade paperback of a comic series called Manifest Destiny. I’m a sucker for anything that falls under the weirdly specific category of “fantasy organic science”: stuff that delves into plausible-sounding pseudo-scientific minutiae as it pertains to biology that doesn’t actually exist. I’m pestered by questions like “If contact with iron burns faeries, what’s the oxidizing agent in faerie blood?” and “If drow live underground they must be obligate carnivores, so how can they digest vegetables?” Manifest Destiny is not only great fuel for my fantasy biology obsession, it’s an original, beautifully-illustrated and creatively written piece of historical fiction. The story follows Meriwether Lewis and William Clark on their famous exploratory journey across the Louisiana Purchase, except in this version, mapping and documentation are just a cover for what they’re really doing: clearing the new territory of strange and terrible beasties to make it safe for human habitation.

While the concept and aesthetics are a delight, the writing does fail in some more-or-less predictably disappointing sexist and racist ways, which is especially frustrating since the series came out in 2014. Sacajawea, in spite of being well known and almost mythologized in popular culture, is woefully underdeveloped and more than a little caricatured. Although historically Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery encountered and had good rapport with many Native American communities, (establishing trade was, in fact, part of the mission) Sacajawea is the only Native American to appear in the first six issues of Manifest Destiny, and although she becomes directly involved in the narrative in issue three, she doesn’t even speak until issue six. It’s an irritating distraction from a series that has a lot going for it creatively.

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Was this not your first clue?

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“Everything’s Coming Up Lucifer”: A Lucifer Season Premiere Review

Season 2 of Lucifer is here and I’m so excited! I love this trash show. Despite many problematic issues and some stereotyped writing, this show is remarkably entertaining and Season 2 looks set up to be better than the last one. I’m actually surprised by how much I enjoyed the latest episode and by how excited I am for the rest of the season. I was also pleased to find that certain issues with the show have been fixed and that the overall plot for Season 2 involving Lucifer’s mother actually seems like it might be really interesting.

Spoilers for first episode of Lucifer Season 2.

lucifer

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Throwback Thursdays: Masters of the Universe

If you were to take the year 1987 and simmer it down into a thick gelatinous paste, then leave it undisturbed in a warm, moist environment for eighteen months, you could look at the resulting slurry under a microscope and what you would see is the Masters of the Universe movie unfolding before your eyes. This film is the most ingenious parody of an 80’s film ever executed, or it would have been if it had been intended as a parody. The story and characters are based on a series of loosely connected generic action figures designed in-house in 1981 by the Mattel toy company so they wouldn’t have to pay licensing fees to make actual franchise toys. It stars Dolph Lundgren (who at the time was not fluent in English) as a virtually naked barbarian creatively named He-Man, one of the few fantasy genre characters stuck awkwardly into an otherwise vaguely Power Rangers-esque science fiction movie. Part of the movie takes place in an alternate fantasy/sci-fi mashup dimension and the other part is trying really hard to be an aggressively typical 80’s high school angsty love story. The result is an absolute mess of the most quality entertainment you can imagine, if you’ve got some booze and an hour and forty-five minutes that you never want back.

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This art definitely makes me take this movie more seriously.

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Fanfiction Fridays: Little Rebellions by CompletelyDifferent

Our Pearl is (relatively) happy, but what about the others?

Our Pearl is (relatively) happy, but what about the others?

So… Steven Universe, am I right?

This “Summer of Steven” has been a wild ride, opening audiences’ eyes further to the injustices going on on Homeworld, the internal struggles of the Crystal Gems, the increasing grey morality of everything, and how Earth and its inhabitants keep moving on through all of this. While the Crystal Gems are focused on the immediate problems on Earth—allowing Jasper to run around is probably not great for gemkind or mankind alike—today’s fic takes a look at the current situation from another point of view: the view of Homeworld’s Pearls.

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Pan Reviews: Ghostbusters! (The One with the Ladies)

The release of the Ghostbusters reboot has proven to be a fascinating experience. Even as someone who tends to be a little hard on hyped-up new releases, I felt that the movie itself was a lot of fun and pretty well put together, but the public response to it has been widely negative. Internet hearsay the day of the release told me I shouldn’t even bother seeing it, and interestingly, the scores for it on user-generated sites like IMDb have been significantly lower than the critic-generated reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. Unfortunately, it seems to me that this negative response is more the result of our current social climate than the actual quality of the film. The first point working against it is that it’s a reboot of a hugely popular cult film, which puts it in the position of being compared to the nostalgia-elevated, very-original-for-its-time, pre-CGI original. The second reason it’s getting negative response is that (wait for it, cause I’m gonna say it) all the main characters are women and the only male characters are dumb or need saving or both. Yeah, everybody, I went there, I called the internet sexist. I’m sure this totally unknown and unforeseeable piece of information completely blew your mind.

Spoilers below the cut!

ghostbusters 2016 cast ladies

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Not Quite an A+: A Doukyuusei Review

Doukyuusei PosterIf you read this week’s Trailer Tuesdays, this post shouldn’t come as a surprise, but for those of you who didn’t (and have no interest on clicking on that link), I’ll give a proper introduction. Gifs from the film Doukyuusei have been following me around for so long that I finally decided to give in and watch it, despite my trepidations about the yaoi/BL genre. And, well, it looked cute, so I figured I may as well give it a shot. Upon doing so, not only was I charmed by the love story between the two protagonists, I was so charmed that I actually looked up Doukyuusei’s after stories—Sotsugyousei and Occupation to Beloved–and devoured those just as quickly. However, while all of these stories are a sweet little taste of gay romance, none of them manage to completely leave the unfortunate yaoi tropes behind.

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Trailer Tuesdays: Pete’s Dragon 2016 Official Trailer

A little while ago, I reviewed the teaser trailer for this movie, and my initial impression was that it looked too dark and muted. Thankfully, the newer trailers make the movie seem much brighter and more in line with the original in terms of tone. Unfortunately, something about the remake still seems a little off to me, and I finally realized what it is: the dragon is a total dick in this version.

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