At the end of Lumberjanes / Gotham Academy #2, we had left Jen, Olive, Professor MacPherson, and Rosie participating in the strangest Sweet Sixteen dinner party ever, and the balance of the Lumberjanes and Gothamites were gathered outside the party venue, ready to break in to rescue them.
Being a geek means occupying a constant state of wishing you had MORE: more of your favorite characters; more world-building; more detail; more conversations; more involvement; more adventures; and so on, world without end. Sometimes, this need is met with whole universes of satisfying detail. Open the pages of The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings and you will end up in a world fleshed out with whole languages, annotated histories, compendiums, and additional stories that exist solely to tell the backstory of a character’s distant ancestors.
I jumped right into the newly released Torchwood #1 from Titan Comics with absolutely no preparation. It’s been awhile since I visited the intrepid Cardiff Torchwood Three crew, so I’ll admit right up front that I was very happy to immediately encounter a “Previously on Torchwood” page as I opened the issue.
“Maybe we’ve finally entered the Twilight Zone. Really, it was bound to happen.”
These worlds are spoken by Jen, the Lumberjanes' long-suffering and continually frazzled camp counselor. She longs for normalcy and calm but inevitably gets reality-bending, supernatural chaos instead. Really, at this point, what else should she expect as the “responsible adult” in charge of the adventure-magnet Lumberjanes. And nothing has changed as she’s taken on temporary babysitting duties for the recently arrived group of Gotham Academy students.
I spend a considerable amount of time these days trying to think like a 9-year-old. This is because I have a 9-year-old tromping around my house, and it’s a very good thing to try to predict what fascinating, new mischief he might be planning. Actually achieving some precognition in this matter, though, is difficult when the target changes their mind so abruptly.
It feels like an impossible task to sit down and write coherent words about Anton Yelchin’s sudden and tragic death in a freak, single-vehicle accident in Los Angeles. On hearing the news, my immediate thoughts were stuck in a numb refusal to accept the idea. “This has to be a hoax.” “He’s too young.” “He has too many movies coming out.” “But his career is just getting going.” As the news was confirmed, I started to look through his IMDb credits and realized that, with 65 roles under his belt by the age of 27, Yelchin was much further along that I realized.
Warning: Spoilers for the TV series, Fringe, are inevitable. Proceed with caution.
There has been no time in history when humans have not been trying to work out family issues through some form of artistic expression, culminating in an immense catalog of art forms devoted in one way or another to this topic. A quick mental scan through pop culture media will generate an extensive checklist of characters with complicated paternal relationships, including Thor, Tony Stark, Peter Quill, Franklin Richards, Damian Wayne, Tyrion Lannister, Luke Skywalker, Indiana Jones, Marty McFly, Danny Torrance, Wilson Fisk, Michael Bluth, the Winchester brothers, Boromir and Farimir, Carl Grimes, Sherlock (in the Elementary version), Nemo (the Pixar clownfish, not the Jules Verne Captain), and on, and on. We’ve begun a tally that can almost not be completed, and we haven’t even started on the villains with “daddy issues.”
I am a Lumberjanes reader from way back when it was hip. (Oh, wait…it’s still hip!) I’m a complete newbie to Gotham Academy. Contrary to my natural instincts, I jumped into Lumberjanes / Gotham Academy #1 without doing a stitch of research - no reading up on the characters, past story arcs, universe, or canon. (Of course, the name Gotham was a helpful clue.)
One of my favorite movies in recent memory is the 2014 What We Do in the Shadows (directed by and starring Taika Waititi who is currently directing the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok for Marvel), a delightful parody of all-things vampire and reality TV. Shot in the faux-documentary style of The Office and following the daily lives of a group of vampires sharing a flat in New Zealand, What We Do takes on every vampire (and werewolf!) trope imaginable to hilarious effect.