The Refrigerator Monologues

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The Refrigerator Monologues

By: Catherynne M. Valente

Grade: B

A short book in which Valente gives six of comics most famous “fridged” women the chance to tell their tales from Dead Town. Fridging women is the practice of killing, maiming, raping, disabling and numerous other things your female characters for the progress of the male superhero.

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Squirrel Girl, Paper Girls and Harley Quinn

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The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Beats Up The Marvel Universe!

Grade: B+

Of all the books I read over the holidays The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Beats Up The Marvel Universe was the one I was probably most looking forward to. Doreen winds up getting cloned accidentally (because Tony Stark apparently can’t do anything right in the comics) and cloned Doreen decides that in order to make the planet safe for squirrels she needs to get rid of the humans.

This was almost to packed with cameos (and really why does Tony always come off like such a dip in these stories?). The most emotional moments involved the squirrels and I kind of felt for clone Doreen. I enjoyed it and it had some cute moments. But it was also a bit disappointing and it lacked some spark that the other Squirrel Girl’s had for me. I think  even despite the clone Doreen’s starting to veer into that too perfect category for me but like I said I still overall enjoyed it. If only for the Squirrels. Recommend: Yes. 

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Grade: B

Paper Girls Vol. 2 is another one I was really looking forward to that kind of fell flat. We jump back into the story with Erin, Mac and Tiffany who have been slingshotted into their future (2016) and meet up with the older Erin.

There are some cute moments where the girls are off balance in the future and an interesting emotional fate for one of the girl’s to deal with but it’s a whole lot of set-up.

Everything expands and there is not a whole lot of answers. Really only one I can think of and that’s not until the very end and it might be considered an answer without an explanation. I love Brian K. Vaughn so I believe this will go somewhere but it was a little frustrating this time around.

Recommend: Yes. Despite my frustration I’m enjoying this series and to be fair I read a lot of people who said they actually enjoyed the second volume more than the first.

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Grade: B

Last among the graphic novel reading was Harley Quinn Vol 4: A Call To Arms. I always love Harley and this one starts off fun going forward with her “Gang of Harley’s” and crime-fighting. That was definitely my favorite part. I generally love Harley’s interactions with her friends and her trying to do good.

So it was a little weird that I had a hard time finishing this one- especially the last stories. There’s one when she’s in LA and another with a road trip with Poison Ivy and Catwoman. I just found both a bit dull even though there’s a Suicide Squad character cameo in one of them. I’m also not a big fan of this Catwoman. It probably took me longer to read this one than any other Harley.

Recommend: Yes. If for no other reason for her fighting crime and doing good while happily blackmailing the Mayor as only Harley can 🙂

Stay Evil Dollface: Suicide Squad

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Suicide Squad

Director: David Ayer

Grade: C

Oh, I wanted to love this one! I’ll admit- it was entertaining at times. It was well-acted. It had it’s moments but that’s what makes the mess even worse… it had so much potential to be more and it blew it! Actually, what makes it even worse is reading the behind the scenes and everything that went down with the studio.

I don’t know at this point whether the DCU needs to be saved from itself, it’s directors or it’s home studio.

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August Releases: Finally Harley Quinn!

MOVIES:

August has arrived and with it perhaps the movie I’ve been anticipating longest- since the Comic-Con trailer dropped, last year.

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Suicide Squad  (August 5th:) Harley Quinn on the big screen at long last! I’m so hoping this will live up to the expectations.

(Currently Wonder Woman is fulfilling my “I can’t wait for this one thanks a lot Comic-Con!” movie slot.)

Florence Foster Jenkins (August 12) with Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant seems to be getting really good word of mouth. I’m torn on this one. I love the actors but I hate seeing people being embarrassed even if it’s only on film.

I’ll probably catch up with some releases I’ve missed and The Nice Guys will be out on DVD August 23rd – probably still in my top three of the year.

BOOKS:

Books!

The most exciting one for me is definitely :

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Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi (August 30th) All you really have to do is give me a wild adventure and a heroine called Alice and I’ll be happy.

Other releases that caught my eye include:

The Thousandth Floor by Katherine McGee (August 30th)

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A Torch Against the Night (August 30th) I haven’t actually read the first book in this series but it was $1.99 on Amazon so I bought it.

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Jay Kristoff’s Nevernight comes out August 9th!

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The Telling by Alexandra Sirowy

Despite the fact the date for this is August 2nd my Barnes and Noble had it out this weekend. Which mostly means I will be living at Barnes and Noble the weekend before Crooked Kingdom comes out 🙂 On the off chance they put it on shelves early!

July wasn’t a great reading month for me but I’m hopeful for August. (Since it’s starting with a return to Harry Potter’s world that’s a good sign!)

Hopefully everyone will have a great and happy August no matter what you read, watch or do!

Harley Quinn & Ms. Marvel: Volume 3’s

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Ms. Marvel Vol 3. Crushed

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Harley Quinn Vol. 2 Kiss Kiss Bang Stab

Grades: A-

Okay, this seems pretty random other than the fact both are comic book characters and both are volume threes. Truth is I find that in both cases the one thing that links them is the likability of the characters often overcomes any shortcomings in the story. Or in Harley’s case any insanity.

Volume 2 of Ms. Marvel was a little bit too much pounding a message over your head. This one walks a much finer line. Kamala develops her first crush and goes to a school dance and there’s a cute little Agents of Shield crossover. Overall it’s just good fun. I would say that the only thing that bugged me was it seemed one possibly important story with the Inhumans was dropped and I find it hard to believe  but Kamala didn’t seem to know who Loki was.

Still, it’s an engaging series. I would love to see this as a movie or television show.

Harley’s third outing was a little too over the top for me at times. Seriously, hallucinations and dreams and her wanting to date Bruce Wayne… (Priceless for Bruce Wayne’s reaction though!) Yet somehow the nut bucket always pulls it off even as she’s hiring  a “gang” of assistant Harley’s. That should definitely be fun.

It’s also interesting they definitely seem to be going the more twisted vigilante root with her in this storyline. Does it make it wrong to love her if she has good intentions (usually) while screwing up? I also tend to like the art in the Harley comics a little better. Obviously, it’s just more colorful and vibrant. Fits the character. Also Harley has the benefit of a bigger Poison Ivy presence to be the voice of reason.

Recommend: Yes. Of course. I’m really enjoying both these series. Ms. Marvel I’d recommend to everyone. Harley’s probably best for an older crowd though.

A Little Harley Quinn Love

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Harley Quinn Hot in the City (Vol. 1) & Power Outage (Vol.2)

By: Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Chad Hardin, John Timms & Alex Sinclair

Genre: Comics/Superhero

Grade: A

 Now a break from my regularly scheduled Marvel reading.

 I love Harley Quinn. She’s one of those weird, fascinating characters that get under my skin. Don’t get me wrong I don’t want to be her (Halloween is a different story) and I know a lot of people would put her in the “problematic fav” category but that doesn’t stop me from loving her.

 So I was thrilled to get Hot in the City and Power Outage, new stories about the Jokers one-time love on some wild adventures of her own. Harley becomes part of a crime-fighting duo, rescues animals, gets a day job, goes to Comic-Con and even runs into an old-friend.

 She’s crazy and honestly the stories get a little too crazy in the second novel. But somehow it’s still hard not to like her. I can’t even put my finger on it. Probably has something to do with the rescues animals thing. Both volumes are violent of course although these are way more on the almost zany antic side than some of your darker D.C. comics.

 Harley’s like Lucille Ball gone wrong.

 I really enjoyed the art in these. Despite a couple of pages of dreams and some space strangeness I thought it was very clean and bright and fun. Very fitting to Harley’s tales. I’ll definitely be reading onward while I count down the days until Suicide Squad hits theaters.

Recommend: Yes. Harley’s an acquired taste so if you don’t know anything about the character I’d read up on her first before jumping into the madness.