lydamorehouse: (shield)
 I'm here in a Starbucks in Chicago, waiting for the SFWA Nebula Conference to wake up, so I thought I'd finally write down a few thoughts about Captain America: Civil War.  

Generally, I liked it.  There are a few things I think I can say about the movie 'above the cut.' as it were. Without spoiling, I want to talk about one of the fundamental differences between the movie and the comic book arc.  In the comic book, like the movie, there is an event that triggers a public outcry about the unchecked destruction that superheroes cause when they come blundering into situations, do their best, but sometimes civilian lives are lost.  In the comic book arc, the difference is that the destruction is caused, quite accidentally, by random "new" superheroes.  That's to say, "powered" people who have no affiliation with a superhero group like the X-Men or the Avengers.  As a result, part of what the public demands is a "superhero registration act" which not only requires any people with powers to offer themselves to the government, but ALSO requires long-standing superheroes to expose their secret identities as part of registration.

I think you can already see why, in the comic book version, someone from World War II might stop and say, "Uh... wait a minute... You gonna ask us all to wear stars next?"  (He had other really amazing observations which really resonated with everything that was happening during the time Civil War was written, which was during the Patriot Act, which DIRECTLY commented on things happening in the US.)

In the movie (and this isn't much of a spoiler, because, in many ways the movie is actually about Bucky's past), the accords only require the superheroes to subject themselves to oversight.  Now, the question is a lot more nebulous: who is in charge, what decisions do they get to make... ?  

But, what's missing in the movie is Captain America being far more articulate and CLEAR about why he, specifically, finds this situation squicky.  The thing that drove me absolutely buggy (later... because during the movie my only thoughts were: bam! crash! zap!) was that it was certainly all set up in the previous Captain America movies. All we would have needed is, during the scene where the gathered Avengers are looking over the accord (I do love that it's clear Captain America read EVERY PAGE) to have Cap say, "Guys, really? We're going to put our trust in a governing body... WHEN HYDRA WAS SECRETLY IN CONTROL OF S.H.I.E.L.D. FOR THE PAST FIFTY YEARS??"

MCU Captain America has a LEGIT reason not to want to sign something that gives away his decision making power to an organization he knows nothing about.

But, so. like, *I* thought of that, but it was _never_ said out loud by ANYONE in the movie.  

Which to me, made Captain America seem like a war-mongering vigilante.... which is... super not Captain America.

That's not to say there weren't things I loved. Again, no spoilers, but I thought Black Panther moved EXACTLY RIGHT.  I was having flashbacks to comic books I barely remember reading every time he did a jump or a four-point landing or a swipe with his vibranium claws.

Also, I loved Peter Parker/Spider-Man

Okay, a couple things I can't say without a spoiler block...
Read more... )So, those of you who saw it, what are your thoughts?
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
I haven't seen the movie "Captain America: Winter Soldier" yet, and I might not get out to it tonight because we got 6+ inches of snow on the ground and it's still falling. However, I read the review that the Star Tribune gave of it http://www.startribune.com/entertainment/movies/253753221.html and I wanted to say that if you hated Marvel's Civil War, you're going to hate this movie.

It sounds very much like (which I had guessed from the trailer) that the main conflict is going to center around the idea of security vs. freedom, which was, in effect, the issue that tore apart the Marvel Universe in Civil War. The Tribune's reviewer seemed to think that the issue was given complexity, despite the fact that Cap is very clearly on one side of this issue, and very strongly so, from his line from the trailer, "This isn't freedom; this is fear."

Personally, I hope they deal with some of the issues that were brought up in Brubaker's run of the Winter Soldier collections (vols. 1-4) in particular the fascinating role his Bucky played in the war. I say "his" Bucky, because, quite obviously Brubaker's Bucky is a complete recast, being a lot older than the original. But Brubaker did some cool things with that, particularly with the idea that Captain America was the symbol of America during the war, so there were missions that the uniform couldn't go on, because AMERICA couldn't be involved. But, Bucky could go.

Because he was a crack shot.

And the war needed winning.

Maybe this messes with what a lot of people think of as the core of Captain America, which is to say that he's somehow always does the Right Thing and is always on the side of truth and justice and some idealistic 'American Way' that never existed anywhere in Real Life (tm). I don't know how Cap could have gotten through WWII without losing a little faith in humanity. We like to think of WWII as this nice, clean war, but that's simplistic. Of course it wasn't. It was a war. Wars are always ugly. Full stop.

So I'll be curious where they go with it in the movie. Hopefully, the roads will clear and we can get out and about soon. I'd love to be able to see this tonight, in fact. But, I actually kept Mason and Shawn home from school and work today because, as the driver, I said 'no.' Saint Paul Schools are still open and so I had to call Mason in as sick, and I'm sure the roads are more passable than they look, but why risk it? I think he'll survive a day without. If M.I.T. rejects him because he skipped school on a snowy day, well, then M.I.T. isn't worth our time, anyway. :-)

Because, seriously? This is how it looks outside right now:

IMG_8886

Here's our car before we unburied it:

IMG_8887

Yeah...
lydamorehouse: (cap kneeling)
Look, two days in a row!  Wow, if I'm not careful this whole blogging thing could become a habit again.

Yesterday, I got an early Christmas package from my pen pal in Seattle.  She's an amazing knitter, and she knitted scarves for my whole family in Hogwarts house colors!  Slytherin for me, Ravenclaw for Shawn, and Gryffindor for Mason.  Perfect!  I put mine on right away, of course, and began explaining to everyone the virtues of being a Slytherin.  I'm not sure, however, that I convinced the six year-old brother of one of Mason's classmates.  He inched away from me when I explain that Slytherin was my house. 

Sigh.

I, of course, instantly reminded him that not all villians come out of my house.  After all, let's not forget that Peter Pettigrew was a Gryffindor! 

At any rate, I wore the scarf again this morning, and, as I was leaving Mason's school I had a startling realization.  Underneath my coat I was wearing my Captain America sweatshirt, and on top, the Slytherin scarf.  What did that make me, I wondered... a dark paladin?  Or an ambitious superhero?



I bought this fabulous sweatshirt from "Think Geek," for myself for my birthday.  Many people are confused by it.  A woman at the grocery store thought I was especially patriotic (I wasn't, I should add, wearing the hood.)  When I explained Cap, I still got a blank look.  Again with the sighing, apparently not everyone knows who Captain America is....

What is the world coming to?

In other news, I'm still not sure what to do with myself since I don't yet have a new book contract.  I consoled myself yesterday by watching some Anime on NetFlix.  I watched the first couple of episodes of Bleach.  I'm... uncertain about continuing.  I like story, sort of, but Japanese demons freak me out.  Some of them look just a bit too much like, I don't know, twisted clowns that they trigger something deep in my psyche.  BUT, I do love the Soul Reapers.  They're cool, so I'll probably suffer through the clownish demons just to watch the awesome swordplay and such.

I'm still listening to and enjoying CINDER, but I find it impossible to listen to it while, say, writing a blog or a letter.  I lose track of words, either in the story or on the page, so I have to save listening to it when I'm doing mindless things like housework or working out. 

The lack of a regular book to read has left me feeling especially out of sorts, as well.  I have something on the Kindle I agreed to review, but the first few pages did not impress me, and, out of desperation the other day, I turned to some fan fic.  Not to disparage fan fic, because I'm actually quite enjoying what I've read of Nessuno so far, but that was meant more a comment on my severe lack of books in the house. "Nessuno" is an alternate history Buffy fan fic that's pretty unlike anything I've ever read before.  It takes place in Rome during the hieght of Papal decedence, and Spike and Angel are mercenaries in service to the Pope... and things go from there.

I guess I'm just busy being a fan, something I don't get to do when I'm so focused on writing all the time.
lydamorehouse: (cap kneeling)
Last night I went to "Captain America: First Avenger" with Eleanor and [livejournal.com profile] seanmmurphy. I have to agree with what Laura Anne Gilman pointed out on Goggle+, which is that the movie completely fails the Bechdel Test, but, it's still an awesome superhero movie.

For my money, though I'm a huge Cap fan, "Thor" was more fun. Eleanor and I have been talking about this from the moment the credits rolled, and one of the things I decided is that Captain America's orgin story is difficult to tell partly because he was a honest-to-goodness propaganda tool when issue #1 came out. There's this whole history of him as a gosh-gee, "buy war bonds" kind of hero (which the movie found a clever way to acknowledge.) Captain America as we have come to love him really doesn't come into his own as a complicated character until he becomes "a man out of time." That's when he gets his Marvel "issues," at least.

That being said, I think that the writers did an excellent job of finding a good theme and sticking to it. As Eleanor cleverly pointed out on FB, "Thor is about a superhero learning to be a decent human being; Captain America is about a decent human being learning to be a superhero." (Iron Man, I pointed out, as a collelary, is about an indecent man learning decency.)

I ended up finding more to like about Steve Rogers as a character than I think a lot of the critics did. Part of that, of course, is that I have a long history with him, which I can't help but carry into any movie about Cap. Another thing, however, was the "movie magic" they performed by giving the 90-pound weakling so much screen time before he becomes the buff super-soldier Rogers becomes. I'd never spent much time with the "earlier" Cap in my head -- who he was, at his core, before he took the super-soldier formula. (Note: I was first introduced to Cap via the Avengers and was not a regular reader of his individual title until really, REALLY recently. Think: Brubaker's "Winter Soldier") At any rate, that meant that the grenade scene was new to me (though I understand it's canon, yes?) For me, that provided all the character I needed. Steve Rogers, before any augmentation, is that guy who is going to run INTO the burning building, instead of away from it.

Say what you will about Bendis, but I've come to appreciate his constant, unwavering, and in-depth exploration of what it means to be a HERO. That moment reminded me of one of my favorite quotable lines from NEW AVENGERS: Breakout, where Spider-Man is headed toward the prison breakout not knowing even what's going on, thinking, basically, "what new cosmic fiasco" am I running TOWARDS?

Other people, including Chris Lough at Tor.com have suggested that the saving grace of this film is it's more interesting side characters (Dr. Erskine, Peggy Carter and Tommy Lee Jones's Colonel) that carry this film. That might be true, but to be fair, I've always thought Captain America is a better ensemble player, anyway... so it worked for me.

As a side note, I love the movie-version of Bucky a lot. I totally saw Brubaker's Winter Soldier echoed there especially in the scene on the train (that's all I'll say in an effort to keep this review mostly-spoiler free. Hopefully, I've said nothing above that you haven't seen in the trailer.)

Anyway, I'm SUPER-excited that I'm going to get to talk about this with all y'all at Diversicon.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
From talking to my folks last night, it sounds like my dad got moved back into the nursing home without any hitches. He even got his old room back. I guess, too, the PT schedule has been really pushed up, because, with the new/temp hip, he can really start working on getting up and walking again.

So that's all good news.

As you know, Bob, it's been hot as hell here. Our house is going to be 100 years old next year, and doesn't have central air. We do have a window unit that we struggled into the master bedroom earlier this year. The entire family, including, at times, all four cats and both gerbils, have been crammed into this room at night to sleep. This has not made for the most restful evenings, alas. Especially since the cats, being cat-like, insist on going in and out all night, and I'm the one person in my family who sleeps light enough to hear their scratching and meowing. And the only one foolhearty and soft-touch-y to actually pull myself upright and stumble over every time they want to go in or out.

Also Mason is a bed hog.

Anytime I got up to let a cat in or out, Mason would instantly take six more inches of my space. I could, ocassionally, shove him back over in the direction of mom, but as soon as I settled back down, he'd wrap himself, octopus-like, all over me.

I can't WAIT for the heat to break. We've got to get that kid back into his own bed!!

Anyway, I guess Captain America opens this weekend. I need to call my Marvel dates and see when they want to go. I'm still very nervous about this one, because I love a particular Cap and it's not actually the silver age one. I did watch the bootlegged Avengers trailer that Gizmodo had posted, and that got me all happy.

A gentleman at kuk sool wan who was wearing an Avengers tee-shirt tried to tell me that the original line-up for the Avengers included Black Panther and Storm. I, however, insisted that it was: Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor, Ant Man and the Wasp. With Captain America joining in an early issue. (I thought #2, but Wikipedia tells me #4). I'm glad to see that I'm vindicated. After all, I REMEMBER reading Storm's introduction in an X-title during the 1980s, during the time of the great gathering (which brought us Colossus and Nightcrawler and Wolverine.) Again, Wikipedia corrects me that it was 1979 Claremont, but I DO remember this.

Anyway, I should make plans for this weekend. I hope Cap doesn't suck.
lydamorehouse: (cap kneeling)
So I guess that I missed seeing the trailer for CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER because I had a dinner date with my nephew who was boycotting the big game. (First of all, *I* am extremely pleased that the Packers won. I'm a Wisconsin native and it's just kind of cool to see a team owned by the people of Greenbay do so well.) Jon and I watched the Cap trailer on his iPhone, but I thought maybe I missed something because the screen was so small, but, uh... not really.

Here's the link to the Official site, from which you can follow to the official Superbowl trailer.

I don't know. It's not that Cap doesn't look cool, because he does. But I was really hoping for an iconic shot, you know, a sheild toss or something... like they gave us with IRONMAN (the classic shot of him landing and then the repulsor ray image. Honestly, it's little bits like that which make me go: "cooooooooooool!")

I should write to the folks over at the Marvel movie studios and explain something quite simple to them. Comic book fans (or, at least THIS comic book fan,) is actually not as nitpicky as you think or worry. I'm used to reboots. I'll follow almost any storyline for a couple of hours. What I want from a superhero movie is a chance to see my hero do that cool stuff s/he does in the still frames LIVE. Like, seeing Nightcrawler's "bamf" in action totally made up (for me, at least,) for the fact that Kurt apparently did not recognize his own MOTHER, the only other blue skinned person in town.... But, you know, seriously, I even enjoyed seeing Gambit do his card trick, even though I wasn't at ALL sold on the guy they had playing him in WOLVERINE.

So I'd like to see:



or that moment right before he yells "Avengers Assemble" when he raises the sheild, like this:



That's kind of all I need.

At any rate, we had a fine weekend, despite missing the Superbowl ads. Saturday Mason had swimming class and then we went directly to the Sprawl where we met up with some friends who had unlimited wristbands to the amusment park formerly known as Camp Snoopy (now Nikolodean). Alas, I forgot to pack my computer, so I ended up having to make an emergency purchase at Barnes & Noble of a notbook and some paper, since Mason had two teenage girls to chaperone him. I got to sit with the other adult and chat at the Caribou Coffee which is nestled just inside the amusement park next to the LEGOs store. I was awfully distracted from writing, though, anyway. The Mall is the GREATEST people watching place, probably just shy of the State Fair. I discovered, for instance, that Goths still exist. I was really grateful to see that, since I just sort of assumed they did when I wrote Garnet and Ana.

I was also distracted all weekend by the most bizarrely overwhelming desire to write STAR WARS fan fic. I'm going to have to get that out of my system at some point, but it seriously has to stop descending on me whenever I realize I have a deadline swiftly approaching.

sigh-yi-yi.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
First of all, I don't have much to say about the AZ shootings that many of my friends didn't already post instantly on Facebook. The only thing I would add to the discussion is that I have never known a "left-winger" who considers Mein Kampf a favorite. I've known plenty of people who have read it, even own it... but list it as a favorite? Not so much.

But the whole thing makes me so sick to my stomach that I'm going to, instead, focus on the entirely mundane.

To that end, I am pleased to report that Mason and I got our yellow stripes on Saturday. And, yes, the test really wasn't so much a "test" as a demonstration of what the instructors knew I (and Mason) was already capable of. That did not mean, however, that the test was EASY. In fact, it totally kicked my butt. My butt still hurts, and the entire house smells of Icy Heat. Sa bum nim said to me as he was putting the stripe on my belt at the ceremony, "That wasn't so bad, now was it?" And I laughed, "Are you kidding, sir? I've never done anything so hard in my entire life!"

But also great fun.

I'm actually looking forward to going back tonight and having my butt kicked AGAIN.

Also, in the realm of complete mindlessness, one of the things my family and I did on Sunday as a sort of post-stripe celebration was go to the bookstore to stock up on winter reading. We did our usual used book circuit, which includes HalfPrice Books and Sixth Chamber. I spent much of Sunday resting my aching muscles on the couch and reading various Avengers comics, which I'll review later. As I've posted on FB, I've been struck by a bunch of strange observations about various superheroes. Like, how many superheroes must smell like Icy Heat... or, how do you suppose Peter Parker explains all his bruises? Do you think he just does like my friend Bill Henry who would ocassionally show up to Wyrdsmiths with a black eye and mutter, "socceer" or "rugby," and lets people just assume he's not out crime fighting in the streets on his off hours? Or why is it that no one pulled this skinny, nerdy kid away from his Aunt May and asked him, "Do you need a SAFE PLACE???!"

Seriously.

I read one of Brubaker's Marvel Age issues about Pearl Harbor and the Invaders, and that just really got me thinking about my grandparents and about all the strange things Captain America probably says/does/eats because of the era he grew up in. My grandparents always had coffee after dinner ....and ate bread with butter, like as a side dish. I'm being told on FB that much of this is probably ethnic (particularly my example of liver and onions), but you've got to figure there's something that Cap used to ask Jarvis to make for dinner that had the rest of the Avengers groaning.

And does he smell like Old Spice?

I mean, you could not go into a grandparent's bathroom without seeing that white bottle with the blue ship on it. And old people just smelled -- not like "the man my man could smell like" -- but like my grandpa'a Old Spice!

So, yeah, this is the level of thought my brain is capable of today.
lydamorehouse: (more cap)
[livejournal.com profile] naomikritzer turned me on to this awesome theory about Captain America's past. As she pointed out, it totally reads like something I'd devise. So, yeah, I think it'd be an awesome back story. Of course, I grew up singing labor union songs and "Four for the Founding Fathers... Marx, Engles, Lenin, Trotsky!" so, I might be biased.
lydamorehouse: (cap)
My holiday reading included lots of comic books, bought at HPB. Of course, as usual, I seem to collect many of these with issues missing, so my reading of them is full of gaps. Here’s what I’ve read so far:

The Amazing Spider-Man: Grim Hunt, Part 1 (#634) – Kelly /Lark & Gaudiano
The Amazing Spider-Man: Grim Hunt, Part 2 (#635) – Kelly/Lark & Gaudiano
The Amazing Spider-Man: Grim Hunt, Part 3 (#636) – Kelly & Wells/Checchetto, Lark & Gaudiano

Since I don’t really know how all this ends, all I can say was that my lack of Spider-Man history messed me up a bit in this series. I, for instance, had no idea Peter Parker had a failed clone, named after the Biblical first murderer [K]aine, no less. I think the writer(s) understood that a lot of readers might not know much about Kaine, thus there was this utterly depressing back story/mini-story of Kaine’s life previous, complete with a pathetic version of Aunt May, with whom Kaine has a detestable non-relationship with and discovers dead on the stairway. Gah! Since the entire of bit of the arc of “Grim Hunt” seemed to be about redeeming Kaine, I wonder at the wisdom of the wholly unlikeable mini-story, which simply served to make me happy he sacrificed the way he did. *

*New, later addition to this thought. At some point, Kaine calls himself a "soulless" creature because he's a clone, a mere shell of a man, etc., etc. Can I just say how much I hate this trope? Clones certainly have souls. Or maybe this is where I show my Unitarian upbringing, because I believe if you do good work that's close enough. So, live well, clone, and you shall be a real boy and have a soul!


Thor (#1): Straczynski/Coipel
Thor (#2): Straczynski/Coipel
Thor (#3): Straczynski/Coipel
Thor (#4): Straczynski/Coipel
Thor (#5): Straczynski/Coipel
Thor (#6): Straczynski/Coipel
Thor (#7): Straczynski/Djurdjevic
Thor (#8): Straczynski/Djurdjevic

People have been recommending these to me for a while, and I found this bundle on sale together at HPB. I have NEVER been a Thor fan. Straczynski, IMHO, had the sense to bring back Thor’s human counterpart Dr. Donald Blake, which helped one of my underlining problem with the title previously – relating to a Norse god isn’t easy for a mortal like me. Spider-Man deals with the kinds of things I do: mortgage/rent, keeping a job, getting along with a spouse/lover; Thor, not so much. I don’t really worry about Ragnarok much, frankly. So, bringing Blake back as the human side of Thor helped tremendously.
As with much of Straczynski’s comic work, I appreciated a lot of the little touches. I liked that Straczynski updated Blake to be a “Doctors without Borders” member. His relationship with his old lover was also wonderfully complicated by the reincarnation story and the fact that Blake is Thor to the point of obsession about Thor’s lover, rather than thinking about his own.

Speaking of the reincarnation storyline, I ALWAYS appreciate reincarnation stories that allow for gender shifts. (One of my favorites, a DC title: Camelot 3000.) I totally happen to buy into the choice Straczynski made, too.


Amazing Spider-Man Presents: American Son (1 of 4), Reed/Briones
Amazing Spider-Man Presents: American Son (3 of 4), Reed/Briones
Amazing Spider-Man Presents: American Son (4 of 4), Reed/Briones

This series follows Norman Osbourne’s son(s) after the elder’s fall from grace as the former head of the Avengers/S.H.I.E.L.D. I’ve always enjoyed a good villain, though Green Goblin was never a favorite, not like say Magneto or Dr. Doom. I think it’s the crazy, honestly. Though kudos to Reed for taking on the whole complexity of being a villain’s kid. I found some of the relationships confusing, since I own, but have not yet read “One Last Day.” MJ with Osbourne, Jr.? Srsly?

Then, though these aren’t precisely a grouping, I also read:

The Heroic Age Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier (#1), Brubaker/Eaglesham

The Heroic Age Captain America (#606), “No Escape, Part 1,” Brubaker/Guice
The Heroic Age Captain America (#608), “No Escape, Part 3,” Brubaker/Guice

I have to admit to not knowing why these titles fall under this new “The Heroic Age” banner -- perhaps to distinguish them from the popular “Ultimates”? I have no idea. Okay, never mind. I just Googled “Heroic Age + Marvel,” because I can from home now and I’m disappointed to see that Marvel has plans to make the future bright and shiny and pull away from strife like the Civil War, Secret Invasion, the Death of Captain America and other fantastically awesome writing. Oh, wait, they didn’t say that last part, but it was pretty much implied. This is sad to me. I like dark and real.

Anyway, in Super-Soldier we find Steve Rogers trying to be a superhero without being Captain America. He doesn’t have much of a problem. ‘Nuff said.

Meanwhile, James “Bucky” Buchannan is having a MUCH harder time figuring out how to be Captain America, especially when Baron Zemo, Jr. exposes his past as Soviet era assassin to the press. Yikes! (Side note: is it true? Did Bucky also get the super-soldier formula? I thought only Steve did. In fact, one of the things I like about the new Cap is that he really doesn’t have superpowers outside of the one Soviet cybernetic arm.)

Of the two, I’m actually more interested in Bucky’s storyline, which makes me wonder. Am I really a Captain America fan, or did I really only like Winter Soldier?????

*gasp!*
lydamorehouse: (cap)
At MarsCON, I learned that Captain America (the Steve Rogers version, as opposed to the current Bucky Barnes version,) was _not_ shot and killed by a regular bullet.

No, apparently, Red Skull being the sort of evil overlord who tells people his devious plan with exactly enough time for the hero to thwart it, decided rather than just killing Cap dead (the simple option), he’d have the brainwashed Agent 13 shoot Steve with what Brian Thao Worra called a “quantum bullet” in order, I gather, to infuse his own mind into Steve’s body (aka the unnecessarily complicated choice.) I guess Brian was wrong about that term “quantum bullet,” but I like it, so I’m keeping it. What the magic/quantum bullet did was separate Steve’s consciousness from his body, and then sent his mind on an eternal loop through his own past, Red Badge of Courage style.

So, when I was at HPB, I decided that, knowing this already, I could pick up Ed Brubaker’s:

Captain America, “Days Gone By” #50
Captain America: Reborn (4 of 5)
Captain America: Reborn (5 of 6)
Captain America: Reborn
Captain America: Who Will Wield the Shield?

Of course, I managed to read them somewhat out of order (I mistakenly thought the unnumbered issue of “Reborn” was the first, not the last issue). Even having read the unnumbered issue twice, I’m still not sure I get it. I guess the take away lesson is that, despite surviving since WWII, Red Skull is the dumbest supervillain in the entire Marvel Universe. (On Facebook yesterday Jon Hansen said "It was so bad, it needed Scott Evil to go: 'Wait.. what? What are we doing? Why don't we just shoot him?'")

BECAUSE like a lot of superheroes, Captain America is a science-altered human. But, he’s not a god (not like, say Hercules or Thor.) He’s not invulnerable, like Rogue, or nearly-so, thanks to his healing factor, like Wolverine. He can’t stop bullets with an invisible or magnetic shield. His body cannot contort like rubber, is not made of stone, and cannot turn to diamond or steel at will.

If you shoot Captain America at point blank (careful to get under his adamantine chainmail shirt), the bullet rends regular old, human flesh and bone, and he dies. Dead. All the way. (Okay, this is Marvel, so he could have been a Skrull all along or some other completely preposterous plot device, but just roll with me here for a moment.)

But, apparently, Red Skull thinks using a quantum bullet is a much better idea, and even seems (I think) to have made arrangements with Dr. Doom to capture Captain America’s disembodied soul in some kind of space-age/soul-capturing magic device (Bonus, with Doom it can be both).

Because, you know, snuffing out Captain America’s consciousness would be too… what? Easy? Evil? And our insane, swastika-wearing Red Skull can’t bring himself to kill Captain America straight up….because? Because he’s the perfect example of the Aryan uber-race with his blond hair and super-soldier perfect body?

Okay, maybe. I could actually BUY that latter explanation, but not having read every issue in the series, I have no idea if Brubaker ever makes that argument in the text for Red Skull’s crazy-complicated-how-can-it-possibly-succeed “plan.”

Except my theory only serves to explain why Red Skull takes the time and effort to transfer his consciousness into Steve’s awesomely Aryan body, but not why he preserves Steve’s mind, at all. Because, what supervillain doesn’t realize that if his dark, small, evil consciousness has to battle the formidable, morally-upstanding, good soul of the hero, the hero is going to find a way to be, well, stronger!? And, you know, overpower your wicked self by sheer force of will? DUH!

Brubaker goes to a lot of contortions to explain that Red Skull couldn’t have come up with a better torture than to have Cap constantly reliving his danger-fraught life, with all of its various mistakes (the big one being the failure to save Bucky in the whole, classic Baron Zemo rocket plot.) Yet, I kept thinking, okay, yeah, Steve, this sucks for you, but wouldn’t Skull have been smarter to just kill you? You know, like the Russians seemed to have been planning when they sent the Winter Soldier/Bucky to sniper your a$$ the day Agent 13/Sharon shot you with the quantum bullet?

The worst part, IMHO, is the conclusion as it is presented in “Captain America: Who Will Wield the Shield?” After all this meandering to get Cap back from the dead, Steve decides that Bucky makes the better Captain America, after all, and it’s time to hand over the shield to his protégée. Again, I ask myself: if the plan at Marvel HQ was to retire Steve Rogers as Captain America, why not let him die?

Frankly, I was pretty sold on Bucky Barnes as the new Captain America (there have been many others, after all). Plus, I’m fond of what Brubaker did to Barnes’s history. I liked that Barnes would necessarily be a darker Cap, because he doesn’t have the super-soldier formula, and so had to rely on his *one* cybernetically enhanced arm (the only way he can catch the shield) and a _gun_. He’s basically a normal guy with WWII/evil Soviet combat training. This was kind of working for me, actually. I didn’t need Steve to come back from the dead to give Bucky his blessing. In fact, it’s kind of out of character, (within Brubaker’s own storyline even).

One of the reveals in the Winter Soldier miniseries (by Brubaker) is that Captain America was complicit in using Bucky to carry out missions that would “tarnish the flag.” In other words, Cap looked the other way while Bucky assassinated Nazis (rather inelegantly, I might add. We’re talking slashing throats and ambush sniper fire.) The ugly that Brubaker asks us to accept is that Bucky is a teenager supposedly under the protection of Cap, and yet is a skilled killer, putting blood on his own hands so that the image of Captain America isn’t spattered with the hard, cold reality of war.

I would think that seeing Bucky, knowing what he knows, wearing the FLAG of his uniform would freak Captain America OUT. It seems extremely out of character that, especially given that he supposedly relived that part of his past over and over again only days earlier, Cap would be like, “Oh, look at Bucky and his Russian girlfriend all team-y; they’re doing a great job. I’ll leave them to it, then.”

It should have been a _shock_ to see Bucky holding a gun in one hand and *the shield* in the other.

I mean, WTF? It still freaks _me_ out. Every time I see a CAPTAIN AMERICA cover with Bucky in the uniform with a gun in his hand or holstered at his hip, I have a moment of, “Whoa!” Then I think, “Oh, yeah, this is Winter Soldier.” Cap hasn’t, meanwhile, had as much time to adjust to this idea as we have. Given that I’m still a little uneasy at the passing image, you’d think Cap would have a conniption fit. Cap likes to remind us that the cowl, the shield – they represent. What America _is_, is reflected in how Captain America behaves… at least, that was kind of the whole theme of why Bucky existed in “Winter Soldier.”

Well, Cap, how about that? You just handed over the shield and the cowl to a stone, cold killer, and you’re okay with that? Really.

As Spider-Man might say, “Oy.”

That being said, there were things I liked in “Who Will Wield the Shield?” Most notably, the cameo by President Obama, who implies that he thinks the superhero registration act is crap, even if it *is* law. Thus, he signs an executive order to pardon Captain America (alas, not the rest of the unregistered heroes, which is kind of Obama all over, isn’t it? Small changes, not nearly as sweeping or progressive as some of us would like…. Marvel remains surprisingly cutting edge political, and I do like that about them.)

Anyway, I’ll have to see if I can find out what’s currently happening in CAPTAIN AMERICA and decide whether or not it’s worth continuing to pick this title up when I find it used. Like I said, I like Bucky as Cap, but if Brubaker isn’t going to acknowledge the queasy of having a former assassin as Captain America, I don’t know if it can hold my interest long term, especially if I have to endure super stupid villains and their really ridiculously complicated plans.

I was a fan in the 70s and 80s, when Spider-Man grew extra arms and the plots sometimes involved vampires or the “cosmic cube,” but Civil War showed me a higher ground – one I could appreciate as a grown-up. I can tolerate references to the over-the-top past and even a nod or homage to it on occasion, but I prefer the moral ambiguity of the new hey-our-audience-grew-up-with-us renaissance in comic book storytelling of the past decade or so.

So I hope that’s where Brubaker goes, or has gone, as the case may be.
lydamorehouse: (cap)
Is Captain America Coming Back to Life?

WTF? Okay, I have to admit I stopped picking up my Captain America titles a few months ago when Dreamhaven moved, so I don't know what's going on here.... but dang it, I LIKED Bucky/Winter Soldier as Captain America. My only consolation seems to be that Ed Brubaker is writing.
lydamorehouse: (cap)
Last night I finished the last of the SECRET INVASION titles, and, looking around for a bit of light bathroom reading, I picked up one of the CIVIL WAR titles (I think it was Chronicles #1)... and suddenly, I missed the whole civil war storyline something fierce.

My reading of CIVIL WAR has been necessarly spotty. I came back into comics when CIVIL WAR was mostly wrapping up, so I couldn't read it episodically and the collections are actually somewhat difficult to navigate as an outsider, especially given how many titles the storyline straddles.

So, really, I'd never read many of the sort of major events or first moments, and only knew about them from context and what I'd gleaned from later issues. The issues I read last night collected some iconic scenes -- the whole Stampford School Incident and the moment Captain America goes rogue. The most powerful image, however, was the end piece with Spider-Man juxaposed with a story about family forced into the Japanese rellocation camps of WWII. The very last panel shows the family heading into the concentration camp on one side, the Statue of Liberty in the middle, and Spider-Man gazing at the statue saying, "With great power..."

Oh. My. God.

Where's the awesome now?

I think a lot of my disappointment of SECRET INVASION is that there's nothing, for me at least, in the new storyline that can compare to moments like that. For one, the Skrull's aren't an enemy I can understand. The powerful thing about the CIVIL WAR was that the "enemy" became us. "Who's side are you on?" was the tagline, and it pretty much summed up what was exciting for me about the CIVIL WAR. As a reader, I was engaged in the story in a much more personal way. Was Captain America's illegal resistance justified? Should a soldier follow the law, when the law is unjust? Is freedom more important than security? Or are there times when security should trump individual freedoms? What I loved about CIVIL WAR is that the answers were NEVER portrayed as simple. I think that it was pretty clear that many of the authors shared my personal politics, but that didn't stop them from making very logical and sensible arguments for "the other side."

Spider-Man never finishes his sentence. We know that his tagline is, "With great power comes great responsiblity," but we're left with our own minds blown open to what he seems to be suggesting which may (or may not) be:

...and what IS your responsiblity in the face of facism?? Facism from your own country in the name of security?? Do you do nothing and face the consequences that you may be allowing evil, or do you stand up for what's right even when popular sentiment is against you?

The Skrull invasion, for me at least, doesn't ask anything quite so difficult for me. Yeah, maybe the non-Skrull/real Captain America stepped off the "captured" Skrull ship, but... who cares? The person who won my heart -- the REAL Captain America (Skrull or not) -- stood up against facism and for civil liberties during the superhero civil war. The rest just doesn't matter.
lydamorehouse: (cap)
So, of course, I checked out the Captain America site this morning, and I have to say I could do without this: Captain America Lands Titanic Rumor from Wired's blog (which they apparently cribbed from ComicBookMovies.com). Leo DiCaprio as Steve Rogers? I believe the comic book term is: AAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhh!

I'm very sorry, but my humble opinion is that Mr. DiCaprio looks a bit like a rat. I find him unattractive and sort of vaguely sleezy. And he's not nearly tall enough, is he? (Cap is always pictured as nearly six inches or more taller than Spider-Man. Is DiCaprio any taller than Toby McGuigure?) Sadly, I think I'd have preferred Matthew McConnaughy -- and I wasn't terribly sold on that idea.

Although, you know, I thought the Marvel producers/casting folks were off their meds when they picked Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man, too. So what do I know?

Also, as far as which Avengers they're planning to do for the movie, apparently this is the answer: the semi-original line-up, as spilled by the director of Iron Man in Newsweek -- Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, and Ant-Man. (Technically, for you purists out there, the originals were: Ant-Man, Wasp, Thor, Iron Man, and the Hulk... Cap joined four issues later, having been frozen in suspended animation in arctic ice.)
lydamorehouse: (Default)
So you can find my alter ego over at "Something Wicked..." talking about my addiction to Internet research, a topic for which I must give partial credit to [livejournal.com profile] swords_and_pens, since we both suffered at Cafe Amore the day the internet was down.

Tate has also been doing interviews all over "town," and if you want a fairly comprensive list, I just made one over at her MySpace site. (That, btw, is one seriously messy url. Let me know if you can't get there.)

Over the last few days, I wrote a few more pages on the prequel. For some reason, this has been slow going. Instead, I've been playing Spider Solitare, which is a complete waste of time, so I can't quite figure out why I've been drawn to that instead of a project I was initally extremely excited about. I think that part of my problem is just that. The prequel means A LOT to me, so I want it to be good. When I start worrying about the quality of my writing, my production slows to a crawl. It's not that I don't worry about writing quality on my Tate projects, but I'm more willing to have crappy first drafts. I need to remember (and embrace) the fact that that writing badly at first is just part of the process -- no matter what book I'm writing. I'm going to have to do some serious output on RESURRECTION CODE, because I plan to hand out chapters to Wyrdsmiths on Thursday.

In other news, I need to get a haircut.

I didn't go to Fourth Street Fantasy this weekend. I'll be interested in reading people's con reports (I know [livejournal.com profile] jiawen went, and I'm hoping to coax something out of her.) Wyrdsmiths had talked about attending, but I think most of us wanted to go for somewhat dubious reasons (think various writer/fan squabbles,) and honestly, the weekend kind of snuck up on me.

I spent a lot of time this weekend reading about fish. I learned something I might try. I've been using a product to soften the tetra's water which works pretty well, but, of course, with the heater and the flourescent bulb there's evaporation, and every time I top off I add "hardness." One of my books suggested using distilled water to top off tanks. You can't, of course, use it for water changes because, you need to have SOME minerals in the water not to mention all that organic gunk that people don't like to think they're drinking, and it would be ridiculously expensive. But, I'm thinking it might work for topping off. I'm going to give it a try at any rate. My tetra, btw, are very happy. I finally found a good bulb (another brilliant thought: why not use one of those energy efficent flourescent bulbs?? It seems to be working.) Seven of them school. I've got one that's getting bullied off to a corner, which all my books say is a bad sign -- though I don't see any evidence of illness. I've been watching him, though.

I found out too, that my White Cloud Mountain Minnow (Kenya) was described as "a poor man's neon tetra" by one of my books, which I really rather liked. The goldfish Bob[2], Joe, and Fergus all say "hello." They seem to be quite happy and healthy, though Joe is convinced I NEVER feed him. (He swims to the feeding corner of the tank every time he sees me and nearly jumps out of the tank to get my attention.)

Mason spent the weekend playing "Where is in the World is Carmen Sandiego?" with me. He's been asking to wear red (like Carmen) and will randomly announce that he's the world's greatest jewel thief and run off with various items to hide around the house (currently he has the cover to the flour bin under his bed, which I must retreive soon.) He wants us to call him Carmen and will call me Agent Shadow Hawkins (the boy ACME agent) and Shawn is Jules (the girl ACME agent, and former partner of Carmen) most times, though he's pretty fast and loose with that.

We also picked up a number of cool board games at a rummage sale this weekend, which Mason and Shawn played during breaks from "Carmen."

I also finished the last of my Secret Invasion books and so am now starting to rumminate about what I might write for Bill's Mid-Ohio Comic Con blog... Oh, and in other comic news, I found a website so devoted to news about Captain America that they pulled a very tiny quote by Tate in which she mentions the books she's reading.
lydamorehouse: (more cap)
This always happens to me. I finish a book and I go on a self-indulgence binge. I play video games, watch TV, and generally don't do anything resembling "work" for days on end. But my amazing beta reader naomikritzer already got the book back to me, so my vacation is officially over. Tonight it's back to the grindstone, alas. But, I did catch up on all my comics and BSG and managed to see a movie (in the theatre!) so I have a few things to rant/relate/comment on.

One of the things I did was go with my friend Sean M. Murphy to see "Iron Man." Holy sh*t! I have never been a big fan of Iron Man, though I knew some about him from Avengers (new and old). I've always thought he was kind of a non-personality/military industrialist Capitalist running dog, so there was no love lost for me when he became a psuedo-villian in the Civil War storyline. However, this movie made me a fan. Robert Downey, Jr. could not have been more perfectly cast, and he was surprisingly poingnant with all the "heart" metaphor stuff. Pretty deep and metaphorical for a comicbook movie. Plus, of course, Read more... ) God is great now that Marvel is in charge of its own movies.

I still need to do some contemplating before I write anything about Bendis' Secret Invasion, however. Lance at Dreamhaven very kindly pulled everything Secret Invasion related for me, so I'm completely up on the story, including the kind of dull primer on Human/Skrull/Kree relations that Bendis gave us with his revisionist history laid out in all its glory.

The reason I need to think about it is this: before we headed out to the movies, I started ranting about Secret Invastion to Sean and he pointed out that my argument might not go over well with WisCON folks because, at its heart, it is a transgender issue. It was this amazing lightbulb momment for me. As some of you may know, Bendis is doing at Marvel what BSG is doing on TV. We're discovering that some of our heroes may have been replaced decades ago by shape-changing Skrull/human clones who have been programmed to believe they are the real heroes. So, like with the Cylons, they've been living AS the heroes, until which time their sleeper trigger is activated.

My inital reaction has been one of betrayal, and I've been struggling with a way to articulate this because it's one of the same snags I have, on ocassion, with Battlestar Galatica. With BSG, however, the idea that the Cylons have been living among us in secret has been set up from the beginning. One of the things that's bugging me about Bendis' stuff is the feeling of whiplash because, while there's been some foreshadowing in recent issues, the heroes whose identity are in question have been key players in some major events (The Death of Captain America, Civil War, House of M, Avengers Disassembled, etc.)

One of the conculsions I've come to is that my sense of betrayal is complicated. It's not just that the heroes/BSG characters were living as something else the entire time, but that the people chosen by the writers of both series have picked characters whose storylines resonated with REAL political events. For instance, on BSG, three out of the four new Cylons were insurgence policy makers. The New Caprica insurgency was clearly a thinly-disgused metaphor for Iraq and our occupation of it. The storyline, clumsy as it was on occassion, forced the viewers to identify with the "other side," the nationalistic rebels trying anything to push the occupying army with superior weaponry/tech out of their homeland. Because this was about America's involvement in Iraq, I felt like those characters (Ty, Tyrol, and Sam) represented *us,* the humans of the storyline.

Similarly, in the Civil War/Death of Captain America storyline, there was a very obvious metaphor for American politics. The Superhero Registration Act smelled a bit like the Patriot Act (surrender freedom for security!) which happened after a horrific attack -- the Samford School disaster -- clearly a 9/11 proxy. The storyline, again sometimes as overt as a 2 X 4, asked readers to identify with BOTH sides of the question of freedom vs. security. The two key personalities in that fight, Captain America and Iron Man, are now potentially Skrull imposters.

My question (to myself but also now to you) is why does it bother me so much that these key players in these American political metaphors have turned out to be distinctly "not us"? Or, at the very least, not who I was originally led to believe they are?
lydamorehouse: (cap)
I just read Captain America.... First of all, I love James Buchanan Barnes as the New Cap (also I'm glad they seem to be calling him "James" instead of "Bucky," which was always so WRONG.) I particularly loved when James/Bucky/Cap stabbed Crossbones in the leg with a knife, and then proceeded to shoot up the bad guys like James Bond. So NOT Steve Rogers! Also, his attempt at making a grand speech in front of a rioting crowd was a dismal failure, which seemed very Bucky (and really, it was a nice nod to Steve, too. Dude had charisma, 1940s-style.) But, okay, Sharon (Agent 13) is having Steve's baby. Not that we probably didn't _see_ the moment of conception in CIVIL WAR, but I don't know, does it matter? I suppose the super-soldier formula was injected into Steve's blood, thus making it transmissable through blood-related things like sperm. But, as the parent of an adopted son, I've never been terribly fond of the whole the-children-of-heros-will-be-heros crap. Spider-Man will tell you, it's how you're raised more than who your parents were that makes a hero.

Second Read more... ) But, I will chew off my own right arm if it/he wakes up ready to go, Captain America style. That's just not good science.

Now, on to the rest....
lydamorehouse: (cap)
I've been slowly catching up on all the various Marvel titles as I can find them, particularly the CIVIL WAR series. All I can say is that I think that Brian Michael Bendis et. al. are totally setting Ironman up as a villian. And, because of that, every time I see an ad on TV for the new Ironman movie starring Robert Dowing, Jr., I can't help but think it's all part of a government propoganda campaign.

We all know that Tony Stark/Ironman is tight with the current administration, after all. 



I mean, JM Straczinski overtly connects Stark Enterprises (Ironman's corporation) with Halliburton (yes, it's really there. It's on the second page of Amazing Spider-Man #535: CIVIL WAR.) And, there's what, only 30% of the country that doesn't GET that equals evil, right? There are also implications in New Avengers that Tony Stark might have been doing a little insider trading based on the foreknowledge that the Civil War was coming down the pike. He had been broke at the end of AVENGERS DISASSEMBLED, after all, and now...? How are those government contracts working out for you, eh, Mr. Stark????

Plus in CIVIL WAR: Spider-Man Peter Parker asks to see where the heroes are kept who don't comply with the Hero's Reigstration Act (think Patriot Act, as it was precipitated by a horrific attack on a school, not unlike 9/11). Ironman very patiently explains that the heroes are sent to a Negative Zone prison without a trial. For how long? Forever, unless they sign the Hero Registration Act. How is that legal? Spider-Man wants to know. Well, explains Ironman, the Negative Zone isn't on American soil and not subject to American laws.

Sound familiar, anyone? Does anyone think that Guantanamo wasn't wrong???

And, Spider-Man, who's tag line is "with great power comes great responsiblity" and who is arguely one of the most MORAL of all heroes in the Marvel Universe, looks at all this and decides he can no longer support a government that condones these actions. And Spider-Man, after initally going along with the law, decides, along with Captian America before him, to go rogue. Of course, this all ends in the death of Captain America and the end of the superhero civil war.

Tony Stark/Ironman is now the director of S.H.I.E.L.D., a dubious moral position, as well, since S.H.I.E.L.D. exists as the US/UN clean-up crew. We know from New Avengers that S.H.I.E.L.D. is not beyond violating international treaties to mine for weaponizing "vibranium" in the Savage Land.

We also see Ironman actively spy on Spider-Man and "give" Spider-Man a new armored suit, which at first seems generous. The suit protects Spider-Man from the other super-powered heroes he's expected to take down, but we discover Ironman has built a fail-safe into the costume so he can immobilize/control Spider-Man in case he ever does decide to go rogue. Dude. That is just WRONG.

Now I'm reading the latest Captian America issue (#34) wherein Winter Soldier accepts a new Captain America suit/costume made by Tony Stark/Ironman, and I'm thinking... don't you read the other titles, Bucky? Don't trust that man as far as you can throw him, which, given that you kicked his a** in the previous issue, is pretty dang far.
lydamorehouse: (cap)
Well, from the research I was able to do on the internet, my best guess is that Johnny/Giant-Girl has two tumors. There’s nothing that will make them better, but at least one site seemed to imply that as long as he isn’t acting sick, he isn’t in imminent danger. Apparently, some bettas with tumors live on to a ripe old age. My only concern, of course, is how rapidly they appeared and that there’s not one, but two!

And, of course, this whole thing seems like some kind of horrible real-life metaphor for everything that’s going on with Shawn’s dad.

That just goes with my general feeling of being blindsided*, because this morning my mom e-mails me and tells me she was watching some late night show and she heard the Bucky will be the new Captain America. My mom! (At least my mom said “Bugsby” so I could still feel vaguely superior), but why am I the last to know, people?

Then on Facebook someone tells me some information *I’m* still waiting to hear from my agent.

And John Edwards dropped out of the race? He was just here in Minnesota last night. Did call me to give me a little advanced warning that was coming down the pike? No. Well, hell. Just when I was feeling all decider-y.

-----------------

*Note: I re-read this after said-Facebook friend apologized and realized that for a writer I did a piss-poor job of implying the correct tone. This whole little rant isn't meant to be taken too seriously. I figured starting with my mom spoiling Cap's secret would clue the reader into realizing that the rest of these bits made my day brighter, actually. But, I think maybe that's hard to tell since the rest of my life has been so crappy lately (Shawn's dad, sick fish, etc.) Anyway, the point of this addition is to let you know that I actually found the rest of the blindsidign things kind of funny in a "sheesh!" sort of way.

Oh, and it looks like I'll have an announcement to make tomorrow.
lydamorehouse: (cap)
I'm now also available for your friending pleasure on Facebook.

Jesus.

I suspect I will take some time later tonight and hook Tate up as well. *shakes head*

Anyway, in the land of Lyda not much is terribly new. Mason got his first-ever invite to a birthday party. I feel so proud. My little boy is out making his own friends. I'm sure this seems really late in his life to be making friends, but as I've posted before one of the main reasons we signed Mason up for Pre-K was so that he wouldn't be quite so isolated as he was when I was his sole care-provider, as it were. As I've said here and elsewhere, despite being the queen of schmooze in my own profession, I absolutely suck at the whole buddy-up-to-the-random-stay-at-home-parents-you-meet-at-playgroup thing. So Mason has never really had an opportunity to make friends thanks to my inaptitute in this department. So this whole thing is way cool. Plus, I was just warmed to the depth of my black heart when Mason, who was out of school yesterday came into to another kid yelling, "hey, Mason!" in obvious excitement to tell him something (Dalton actually got shushed by Mrs. R.) I suspect Mason is already far more popular than Shawn or I have ever been.

Thanks for all the well wishes regarding Mason's health. He slept pretty well last night, which is great considering we really only had a chance to do one dose with the nebulizer. I think he's well on his way to recovery, at any rate. We haven't done the steriods yet, and I'll be curious to see how he reacts. Thanks to all the advice I got, we're going to try the steroids in the afternoon so if he is cranky and/or hyper, it will be during the day and not right before bedtime.

Also, I came home yesterday to British money which I wasn't expecting. Shawn and I are definately going to be remodling/fixing the downstairs bathroom now. Whoot.

I'm bummed however because Shawn reminded me that tomorrow Mason has off school thanks to some weird half-day inservice thing or another at Crossroads. Captain America is going to have delay his workout AGAIN. How am I ever going to be buff by forty-five at this rate??!! Oh the humanity!

Curse-it-curse-it-grumble-grumble.
lydamorehouse: (more cap)
Isn't it funny how everyone wants to be what they aren't? Curly haired women wish they had straight hair; women with straight hair... you get the idea. So, in my deeping fandom of Ed Brubaker (writer of many comic books for Marvel, but most notably for me the current Captain America title -- go Bucky Barnes!), I checked out his MySpace. First of all, whoa doggie, that man has a lot of "friends." Secondly, he's my age (okay, a year older,) and a Scorpio like me. Third, he has unfinished novels in his sock drawer.

How hillarious.

I can't remember a time when I didn't dream of writing/drawing comic books for Marvel. When Ed and I were ten, all I did was pretend to be Marvel superheroes in my grandmother's backyard with my cousin Laun. Laun and I "wrote" (played, really, as we only rarely took the time to transcribe any of our epic adventures onto paper) hundreds of continuing storylines for the X-Men, Avengers, Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, etc. I secretly wanted nothing more than a job at Marvel Comics when I grew up.

And Ed Brubaker wants to write novels.

Let me tell you something, Ed. Look at the number of "friends" you have on MySpace and compare your tally to mine. I've written six commercially published novels. No one knows my name. Although, man, if you can do it, you could go the way of another comic book writer turned novelist, Neil Gaiman. With as many MySpace friends as you already have, I say finish up one of those beauties. You tell me what you have lanned for next month's Cap issue, and I'll get you in touch with my agent. You can realize your dream of becoming a novelist. I can help.

------
Cross posted from MySpace

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