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She Has No Head! – Mission Accomplished?

I started blogging in 2007 and in the spring of 2009 two things in comics caused me to start blogging about comics. The first was the nightmare Cry For Justice promo image from DC in which Supergirl had no head – and you guessed it – that was the primary inspiration for the name of this very column. The second, which is what we’re going to discuss today, was the promotional announcement for the book Marvel Divas.

And so today I can’t help but compare everything that was the utter fail of the Marvel Divas pitch (which was everything except the gorgeous Tonci Zonjic interior art) with how right Marvel and Brian Wood are getting Wood’s new all-female X-Men team so far.

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Frantic as a cardiograph scratching out the lines, Day 215: X-Men #65

Every day this year, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. This month I will be looking at four writer/artist duos, as voted on by you, the readers! This week features Dennis O’Neil and Neal Adams! Today’s page is from X-Men #65, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated February 1970. This scan is from X-Men Visionaries volume 2: The Neal Adams Collection, which was released in 1996. Enjoy!
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Frantic as a cardiograph scratching out the lines, Day 197: X-Men #185

Every day this year, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. Today’s page is from X-Men #185, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated June 2006. Enjoy!
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Frantic as a cardiograph scratching out the lines, Day 172: X-Men #57

Every day this year, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. This month I will be doing theme weeks, with each week devoted to comics from one decade. This week’s decade: the 1960s! Today’s page is from X-Men #57, which was published by Marvel (although the indicia lists “Magazine Management Co.”) and is cover dated June 1969. This scan is from X-Men Visionaries volume 2: The Neal Adams Collection, which was published in 1996. Enjoy!
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She Has No Head! – Jean Grey Sheds Mary Sue Image, Becomes Awesome & Complex!

X-Men Season One. Dennis Hopeless (writer). Jamie McKelvie, Mike Norton (artists). Matthew Wilson (colors). Clayton Cowles (letters). Julian Totino Todesco (cover). Marvel Comics. Hardcover, full color, 136 pages (includes a preview of Uncanny X-Men). $24.99

As someone always on the lookout for strong layered portraits of female characters, I was delighted to find just that in Dennis Hopeless & Jamie McKelvie’s X-Men: Season One (terrible title) in the form of their re-imagining of Jean Grey.  I have never been a big fan of Jean Grey in any of her incarnations; she was always the definition of a Mary Sue to me.  Too nice, too smart, too powerful, too kind, too beautiful (I mean she was a model at one point…gimme a break), too perfect, and everyone too in love with her. I mean, she was that character that when asked “what is your greatest weakness?” would have to be all “Um…my obsession with perfection?”

Sure there were portrayals of her over the years that I liked and stories I found interesting – like any X-Men fan I enjoyed The Phoenix and Dark Phoenix Sagas, and I never hated her or anything extreme, but she was never a character that worked for me as so many others did. Jean Grey never had that moment for me where a character you didn’t care for one way or another suddenly became amazing – like for Cyclops it was when he led the nearly helpless Acolytes out of the Australian desert without bitching once in X-Men #44 – I never saw Scott Summers the same after that issue.  But all that changes today.  Jean Grey and I have finally had that moment, and it was not just one moment but a slight tweak to her in general throughout X-Men: Season One, that has finally made her very compelling to me and dare I say, for the first time, she feels human to me.

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Frantic as a cardiograph scratching out the lines, Day 106: X-Men #53

Every day this year, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. This month I will be doing theme weeks (more or less), with each week devoted to a single writer. This pseudo-week: Mark Waid. Today’s page is from X-Men #53, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated June 1996. Enjoy!
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Frantic as a cardiograph scratching out the lines, Day 42: X-Men #114

Every day this month, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. This month I will be doing theme weeks, with each week devoted to a single artist. This week: Frank Quitely! Today’s page is from X-Men #114, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated July 2001. Enjoy!
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She Has No Head! – Random Thoughts Mash-up #1

She Has No Head! meets Chad Nevett’s Random Thoughts…OMG. WHAT. WILL. HAPPEN?  Let’s find out!

Here’s the deal, I’m way behind on my novel revisions for my agent, work is crazy busy, I’ve been sick and I just can’t seem to catch up, also my planned column for this week got pushed back due to some things beyond my control.  So the benevolent Chad Nevett agreed to let me pilfer his column concept (and I should add fearless leader Brian Cronin suggested the idea to me months ago) and so here we are!  Did you really want to see how the sausage gets made people?  I thought not!

Random She Thought: It’s She Has Random Thoughts Time!  Get Excited!

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Sunday Brunch: 4/11/10

This week, I share some links to cool comic things and ramble on for far too long about Doctor Who. So, you know, an average Sunday.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: What emotion-that-is-not-really-an-emotion should become a power ring next, and what color would it be?

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She Has No Head! – Kitty Pryde: Saviour Of Everything?

There was a pretty good discussion in the comments of my last post, as well as another CSBG post last week Kitty Pryde: Shadow & Flame Coverabout superhero comics and the issues related to appealing to both men and women, boys and girls.  Rather than get into a superheated battle over it, I thought rather I’d offer up a mini-series that I read in trade recently that I felt pretty well covered all those bases – likely to appeal fairly broadly to both men and women.  The book, Kitty Pryde: Shadow & Flame, has the added of bonus of being particularly topical since Kitty Pryde was just this past week returned to the X-Universe (from exile in a giant metal bullet hurtling through space) thanks to Magneto (and Matt Fraction) in Uncanny X-Men #522.

I wasn’t always a Kitty Pryde fan, in fact when I was younger I think I alternated between finding her far too bratty and far too perfect.  It was frustrating as a reader to see that it wasn’t enough for Pryde to be an adorably cute genius with some of the best mutant powers around and to also possess a pure heart, honorable soul, evocative innocence, AND a be a wiz with computers; but that she ALSO had to become a master martial artist whose fighting skills rivaled the best of the best.  It was a bit much for me and it’s true I often felt the ‘Mary Sue’ effect that I have heard some other readers complain of.  Over time however, and in the hands of some good writers and artists (Alan Davis of course instantly springs to mind) I grew fond of Pryde, especially as she outgrew her bratty streak.  She never became my favorite hero, but I found I genuinely liked her.

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Committed: Introduction

There’s nothing cool or sexy about reading comics. I mean it, and I should know, I’ve been reading them all my life, since I could only understand the pictures and wonder what the hell the words meant (but when the comic books you’re reading are your dad’s stolen Fat Freddy’s Cat, not being able to read detracts nothing). Up until very recently, my comic book habit was only just tolerated by most of my friends, I’d try to get them into it, giving them graphic novels and saying “Oh, I bought too many copies of Violent Cases, you might like it…” they didn’t). Time moves on, and now at least a few of them see the value of the medium, and I’m lucky to say that some of my friends are even fellow zealots.

010610_violentcasesBut when I was the only little english girl in the playground who wanted to play X-Men, running around pretending to be Phoenix with my telekinetic powers, or the Hulk (I really enjoyed growling “You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry”, and then roaring a whole bunch – who wouldn’t?), everyone else wanted to play Charlie’s Angels (and what were their superpowers? Long hair?) When people saw me reading Superman, or Love & Rockets, they balked. It quickly became pretty clear that comics weren’t socially acceptable. Even on my annual visits to America to visit my New York dwelling family, I only occasionally glimpsed a world of comic-influenced play, and that place was clearly reserved for the boys. I could ask to play with their Batman toys, coveting those batmobiles that actually shot little missiles (to this day I still fantasize about inheriting my dad’s), but owning my own superhero toys was a step too far into overt weirdo territory.

Nowadays, despite the growing popularity of comic books and the superhero medium, I haven’t really changed. Continue Reading »

Hey, It’s Another X-Men Theme Post!

Only two comics in this one, though. One is an all ages title, the other is Blackest Night: X-Men, more or less, so at least it will be X-Clectic. (How was that not the title of a comic during the X-Men glut?). Continue Reading »

What I bought – 4 November 2009

You know, your menstruating heart just isn’t bleeding enough for two.
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What I bought – 7 October 2009

“I’m not a hero! I’m not a savior! Forget what you know!”
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Randomer Thoughts: Micro Reviews!

Yeah, this randomer thoughts thing is my shtick. See how long it lasts before I get bored (or Nevett internet sues me for ripping him off (even if I did the random thoughts thing here first)(first!!!!)). Continue Reading »

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