Tara Cardinal’s official IMDB synopsis for her female-led action movie, Legend of the Red Reaper, is:

“It's been 100 years since The Red Reaper, half human, half demon was traded to the demons by the Teller Witch - her own mother. Rescued by the Reapers, a sacred clan of human/demon warriors, they raised her as their own, even though she was more demon than the rest of them. Abandoned by her mother, at odds with her Reaper family, struggling with her Reaper training, and in love with one man she couldn't have - nothing was going right for the Red Reaper. She was untrained, untested, and shared none of her mother's magical abilities. She couldn't even see the future, her mother's greatest gift. Until the day she did. And, it changed the world forever.”

Part fantasy adventure, part autobiographical, Cardinal’s Legend of the Red Reaper definitely shows that a female lead can carry an action movie, but, at the same time, it contains small flaws that prevent it from being truly great.

I am not and never have been a Transformers fan (My '80s obsession was more the classic My Little Pony stuff.), but when I heard of Mairghread Scott’s upcoming Windblade series, my interest was piqued.  Not only would the first female Transformer be introduced due to fan input, but the four-issue mini-series features both a female writer and a female artist. My familiarity with Mairghread’s previous works pushed me over the edge when I was offered the opportunity to review the first issue; I know she creates wonderful stories, and I would be a fool to pass up this one simply because I’m not a robot girl. While I don’t think I loved it as much as hardcore Transformers fans will, I can’t deny that Windblade has a powerful story at its heart that is backed up with Sarah Stone’s beautiful artwork.

I skipped dinner tonight and am extra hungry.  I’ve been fantasizing about meatloaf and mac ‘n cheese and lasagna, and I could go on and on.  I won’t, because it’s late and I’m feeling compassionate (to you).  Bottom line is, a plate of everything sounds pretty good right about now.  Instead of eating tonight, I read Star Mage #1, the new IDW comic created by JC De La Torre with art by Ray Dillon.  It’s not half bad. If you want a big, ol’ plate of lasagna, mac 'n cheese, and meatloaf, this could be just what you’re looking for.

Hellboy is the ultimate badass. A character who, by all intents and purposes, does good despite being put through well . . . Hell. He rejects the notion of destiny, fighting against the very forces that would see all he loves destroyed, and he does so at great cost. Over the years, he’s lost friends, loved ones, and family along the way, and yet he still marches on.

So, when I picked up Itty Bitty Hellboy, I was hesitant. Can all of Mignola’s genius be condensed to itty bitty form? Surprisingly, yes it can.

In this issue of The Star Wars, Luke Skywalker and Annikin Starkiller lead a guerrilla strike against an Imperial base on the jungle planet Yavin. Their only allies are Owen Lars, a sympathetic anthropologist, and a small army of Wookiees. From there, preparations begin for this story’s final confrontation between the Jedi Bendu and the Knights of the Sith.

If you haven’t yet made the dive with The Mercenary Sea, the new comic series of the adventures of a rag-tag bunch of soldiers of fortune manning a refitted German U-boat in the 1930s, Issue #3 (releasing on April 16th) provides readers another excellent opportunity to jump aboard with the roguish Captain Jack Harper and his charismatic crew. Writer Kel Symons and artist Mathew Reynolds raise the stakes once again in The Mercenary Sea #3, delivering an issue that hits like one of the honorable Captain Tono’s powerful depth charges!

MINOR SPOILERS BELOW

The latest chapter of Gene Yang and Sonny Liew’s The Shadow Hero adds one of the most important components to any superhero: personal tragedy to provide a reason to stand up against evil in the world. Hank vaguely knew that his father paid money to someone every month, but he was unaware of the reasons or the exact recipient; however, after Hank’s injuries in Chapter 2, the family forgets to pay, and the debtors show up in their little grocery store demanding recompense. Without the ability to pay double the protection fee to Mock Beak, leader of The Tong of the Sticks, Hank’s Ba (father) loses a sentimental jade pendant, which compels the young man to once again don his Golden Man of Bravery ensemble to avenge the loss.

Looking at the cover of Lady Phenom, I am overcome with childhood nostalgia for Super Girl starring Helen Slater. While not a commercial or critical success, I can remember staring at that movie poster for hours wanting to be Helen Slater . . . to be Super Girl. I wonder if young girls will get the same feeling looking at this Lady Phenom cover, which may have been the same feeling many girls also got looking at the Wonder Woman covers. I suspect they will. There is nothing more magical than to be a child or adult and see a superhero looking back at you in any art form.  As a girl, when most of what we are given to play with is dainty and delicate, it is even more life changing to have a woman that flies and saves lives on a cover for all to see.  Now that is PHENOMENAL!

It’s difficult to like or empathize with any protagonist who utters the phrase, “Shut your mouth! Higher life forms are talking!” with himself being one of the higher life forms he’s referring to. In fact, that statement pretty much encapsulates what Brain Boy is all about. Matthew Price, also known as Brain Boy (much to his chagrin), is the most powerful psychic, telepath, and telekinetic on the planet, and he clearly sees himself as some sort of ubermensch.

The great folks at Emerald Knights - Comics and Games have got connections.  Why, you may ask?  Well, they have coordinated a PRIVATE SCREENING of Captain America: The Winter Soldier at the AMC Burbank 16 Theatre on Sunday, April 13th, at 7:30 p.m., and they are welcoming all fanboys and fangirls in the SoCal area to join them!

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