Tonal Inconsistency Leaves Secret Wars Less Than the Sum of its Parts

Look, there’s a lot of really fun stuff happening this summer in Marvel’s multiverse-spanning Secret Wars event. On the whole, it’s been a success and I’m still eagerly reading almost everything that they put out. But given how high the stakes were pushed to get us here, it doesn’t really feel like anything’s actually happening. The event works well as a way to remix the characters repeatedly—but it just seems to be a summer adventure before everything gets back to normal for the fall.

Avengers All Coming to an EndYes, the result of all this will be the end of the Ultimate universe, in favor of importing certain favorites into the main Marvel universe, or some kind of hybrid. But that seems more like continuity cleanup than something really meaningful—frustrating in light of the gigadeath apocalypse that got us to Secret Wars in the first place. Copious spoilers below—you’ve been warned.

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The Big Bad: Superheroes without Supervillains

drevilSupervillains are historically inseparable from their superhero counterparts. Batman has the Joker, Superman has Lex Luthor, Joe Biden has Nixon’s Ghost. However, as comic movies keep getting bigger, and as the MCU sucks up the world’s supply of white dudes named Chris, the villains are increasingly left behind. These guys fall into a few tidy categories, and alive or dead, find themselves forgotten when the credits roll.

Somehow, the greater realism applied to superheroes, the less room there is for supervillainy. Instead, we’re left with a handful of tropes, with only a few bad guys able to break out of the box. This dynamic is crucial to the ways our current crop of superhero blockbusters reflects our wider psychology. We ache for something bigger than ourselves to believe in, and assemble the Avengers. We question that ache, and begin the Civil War. But when it comes to evildoers, we haven’t figured out what we want. Sometimes it’s just exaggerated versions of the bad people in the world, sometimes it’s faceless alien hordes, sometimes it’s pure evil, given the nasty explanation of “mental illness.” In contrast to the depth we’ve given our heroes, our villains keep falling short.

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The Past was Terrible, the Present is Terrible, and the Future will be Terrible

It’s summer! We passed the solstice on Sunday, and the season finally turned, meaning we can leave behind a nerd culture spring that was unusually dark and full of terrors. The spring seasons of Game of Thrones, Agent Carter, and Orphan Black have all come to a close, and the MCU will pass from the Age of Ultron to the Age of Ant-Man.

And while that list has some peaks and valleys in terms of quality, there has been a real unifying theme: the realms of science fiction and fantasy have become truly effing bleak.

via Hawkeye #2

via Hawkeye #2

In genres long renowned for escapism, we have become obsessed with escaping into nightmares.

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Sexualized Saturdays: Noodle’s Top 10 Headcanon Bi Characters

I basically live for representation of LGBTQ+ characters. As a bi person, I’m especially starved for good bi representation. Unfortunately, such characters are especially difficult to come by. Then there are wonderful characters who could be great bisexuals, and that’s where headcanons come in. A headcanon is something that is not explicitly stated in the text, but doesn’t contradict it either, and you like to imagine it’s true. It’s not as great as actual representation, but it can be great fun and provide comfort when actual representation isn’t there. So, today I want to share with you my Top 10 characters whom I like to imagine are bisexual and who would make excellent representation if they were made canonically bisexual.

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Fanfiction Fridays: Ambivalence by Ashley Rabbit

Avengers-Loki-Tony-starkAmbivalence was not the fic that I originally intended to recommend. However, in a recent conversation with Lady Geek Girl, the two of us complained a lot about the abuse-apologist rhetoric that seems to follow Loki’s character around on the internet. As much as I love Loki’s character and do feel for him, it’s always bothered me how many fanfic authors tend to write off and excuse his murderous actions due to his own internal turmoil. And no, that’s not all the Loki-redemption fics out there, but it is enough of them.

I really do love the Loki-redemption stories, but I dislike how many of them tend to minimalize the atrocities he committed in order to redeem him. Thankfully, Ambivalence does not follow that trend.

Tony had built his suit to protect himself and others. He should not have been caught again. He also shouldn’t have to depend on a certain green eyed individual, who happens to be his cellmate, for survival. Tony and Loki whump. No Slash. Rating for scenes of torture.
—summary of Ambivalence

When I first settled down to read this, I really did think that it was going to be a typical “Loki gets hurt badly so the Avengers save him and accept him as one of their own—New York Destruction? Who Cares?” fanfiction. I can say with all certainty that I am happy to have been wrong.

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Fanfiction Fridays: It’s Not Always About the Romance

Every Valentine’s Day, we at Lady Geek Girl and Friends vote on and compile a huge list of our favorite pairings to share with our readers. (This is not that post. Check back around noon.) However, we also always do a post that takes some of the emphasis off romantic love, because we are strong proponents of the idea that while having a significant other is cool, it isn’t the be-all end-all of life or this day in particular. We’ve listed our favorite platonic duos and our favorite unattached anime characters over the past two years, but since V-Day conveniently falls on a Friday this year, we’re taking the opportunity to share five awesome fanfics where the focus is not on romance. Enjoy!

Warning: some fics involve spoilers for their respective series, specifically Shingeki no Kyojin (and, like, Harry Potter and The Avengers if you somehow haven’t read/seen those).

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe vs. the Female Character

tumblr_mqv1lnkgBR1qzvka7o1_500tumblr_mqv1lnkgBR1qzvka7o2_500Marvel: what are you doing? What, what, what are you doing?

I usually don’t pay attention to movie posters, but when these two posters kept popping up on my Tumblr dash I decided that I needed to address the issues I saw here. The blatant and utter sexism of these posters just makes me what to throw things and scream. Continue reading