Being EmilyI first picked up Being Emily because I was told it was a Young Adult novel featuring a trans* character who found an escape through playing video games, specifically World of Warcraft (WoW). That statement was not entirely accurate. WoW is featured in the book, but it's hardly what I would call a focus; however, this book does lead into a couple of things I figured I could take about. Bear with me, this article is going to be less nerdy than most, as I dive into a discussion about Being Emily, Trans* Young Adult fiction, and the value of escapism in games.

 

Spike 5This week saw the wrap up of Dark Horse Comics’ Spike: A Dark Place miniseries focusing on Buffy’s platinum blonde vampire. While the creative team of Victor Gischler (writer), Paul Lee (pencils), Andy Owens (inks), and Cris Peter (Colors) has surprised and entertained me during multiple moments of Spike: A Dark Place, the final and fifth issue of the series felt lackluster and predictable - an unfortunate crash landing following a fairly smooth flight. Let’s hope it reads better in TPB form!

SPOILERS BELOW

 

Justified S4E3Meanwhile, back in Harlan County . . .

SPOILERS BELOW

Let me first say that, as a person who is deathly afraid of snakes, there were a couple of scenes in this episode that were truly difficult for me to watch. That cold open scene where Boyd’s goon (Does that guy have a name?) tries to sneak up on Preacher Billy only to be bitten about 50 times by venomous snakes was squirm-inducing for me. But, it gave us some really nice character information about Preacher Billy and his sister. It seems that Billy is a true believer in his old-time religion, but his sister is more pragmatic in a fiscal sense and that she’s been milking Billy’s serpents of their venom for not only his protection but also to enhance his work as a spiritual performance artist. This girl has her eyes clearly on the collection plate.

 

HP 1It's no secret that I'm a huge Harry Potter fan, so I leapt at the chance to spend a weekend with friends in Orlando and visit the Harry Potter theme park at Universal Studios. Naturally, Harry Potter-themed treats were a necessity. So, I made my own version of cauldron cakes!

 

All New X-Men 1The New Marvel is a series that looks at the changes that the mega-comic empire made following the events of Avengers vs. X-Men and the impact that those changes have on the stories of Marvel NOW!  Six issues (or more) into each Marvel NOW! title, we see what our favorite characters are up to and what to keep an eye out for in the future.



In the wake of what he’s done to the world—and the way mutants are treated—Cyclops has taken up arms against the world in what he thinks is oppression for a legitimate political agenda.  Cast as a criminal by even some of his closest friends, and coming to grips with the fact that he’s pushed mutant kind to the brink of salvation as well as extermination, the one-eyed sharpshooter gathers others around him to teach the world that it can’t put him down in the name of international security.  But, the unexpected happens as he comes face-to-face with the one person he can’t lie to, evade, or dare to disappoint: himself.

MINOR SPOILERS

 

TMNT SOTF 2The Secret History of the Foot Clan. Although some uninitiated to the world of TMNT may think this would be a chronicling of a fetishist hate group, there's a much easier explanation behind this tale. It's simply an origin story for the most notorious clan of ninja to ever exist, interspersed with the events that surround two vitally different groups, both intent on gaining the information this origin story has to offer.

 

SW Blood Ties Boba Fett TPBThe first page of Star Wars: Blood Ties Volume 3 - Boba Fett is Dead is a wonderful splash page of the recently dead Boba Fett. I honestly don’t think this next bit counts as a spoiler since the surprise is spoiled before the first page of the comic, but if you want your experience to be completely unsullied, skip the rest of this paragraph. This book takes place about a year before the events of Star Wars: Episode IV— A New Hope. Eagle-eyed readers might notice that this means that the book takes place before the first appearance of Boba Fett in the Star Wars Holiday Special.* Clearly, Boba Fett survived his death, but that’s not really the point of the story.

 

Deva Zan            “At that time Existence had succumbed to Ku   Chaos - drowning in anger, sadness and evil.”

            “The very arms of the Milky Way above had been inverted - now dark matter, a vast coiling, black spiral. And it moved with a will, for these numberless antistars were no blind objects, but a legion, advancing to battle strength.”

            “It was then that the guardian deity of light, Lady Mariu, rise up. Under her were twelve generals, given commands at the points of the zodian. In answer to the Dark Corps, they raised an army of light.”

                                                            Yoshitaka Amano
                                                             Deva Zan

 


If the name Yoshitaka Amano isn’t familiar to you, you probably aren’t a fan of his work.   You might not have read Vampire Hunter D . . . or played any of the Final Fantasy series . . . or read Neil Gaiman’s brilliant follow-up to his Sandman series, the Hugo Award-nominated work called The Dream Hunters . . . or even watched Speed Racer while growing up. Yes, that Speed Racer.

 

Star Trek Countdown to Darkness 1Based on the title, I assume that sometime soon, the crew of the Enterprise will find themselves trekking into darkness. Cumberbatch speculation aside, this comic takes place in the months after Star Trek, when the crew find themselves in danger from an unexpected source.

 

Borderlands 3This four-issue miniseries has been telling stories from the pasts of the four playable characters from the original Borderlands. The first issue focused on the Soldier, Roland, which I thought was fantastic and is really worth checking out, especially since it's free on Comixology. The second issue was all about the Siren, Lilith, and had some bloody fantastic moments, including a speech I loved, and some lackluster ones, such as her actual “origin.” Now, in Issue #3 we arrive at a story of the hawk-loving Hunter, Mordecai.

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