Jun. 13th, 2015

biohazardgirl: (pic#9218083)
 So I've been MIA since the sixth for a pretty decent reason - I've been traveling cross country! We traveled from North Dakota to New Jersey starting six days ago and arrived this evening. I'm staying at my grandparent's house and I finally am alone for the first time in a week. I did some Abnormal Psych homework on the trip, but I mainly read comics:

Hawkeye (2003) - He begins the solo series literally riding a motorcycle around the USA in search of the best chili. He runs into a stripper being harassed by this dude and the sixth (?) issue culminates with some Vietnam secret that was so bad people killed themselves and it involved Jesus. To be honest, it became pretty incoherent but it was worth the read just to giggle at Hawkeye the suave ladies man when for most of his run he is either pouty and impulsive about women or super awkward. I liked the flashbacks of the first six issues; they were really effective. Something I find hilarious is that every Hawkeye solo has flashbacks to his past, some of them retreading the exact same material as if to say 'We know people don't usually read Hawkeye comics so we're willing to hold your hand in the hopes that you keep reading this one before it dies like all the others.' The plot was pretty forgettable in the last two issues and the art was way worse. Unnecessary TnA abound in all of them but what can you do. Ah my ridiculous son. I love you so.

Avengers A.I. - I didn't finish this one yet because I got really excited about Avengers Academy and forgot but this one was good. I specifically sought it out after learning that Hank Pym was finally assigned bipolar disorder as his Thing and it was really well written for, well, almost any other media about bipolar disorder that I've seen. The rest of the story was fun and enjoyable but that was really the standout bit for me. As for Hank, I know he has his issues (though his recent writing is phenomenal about them) and possibly I won't like him in earlier titles but I still don't think any problems he might have no matter how bad they are negate how wonderful this piece of writing is. Also I eat trash like candy so I'll probably end up liking him anyway.

Avengers Academy - I read all 40 issues of this like as fast as I could. Probably fifteen issues a day. This series was really incredible, diverse, and kind of thinky. I really liked the questions about superheroism that it raised and I found myself often agreeing with both sides of difficult issues or disagreeing with people who were supposed to be good guys because the opponents raised good points. The teenagers and relationships within were really realistically written. I thought some of the queer stuff was a little on the nose but even still having three queer members of the cast, two of them main characters and one of them bisexual, is nothing to shake my head at for sure. The treatment of trauma and mental illness in this series is incredible too. Whenever I thought the story might be lagging it picked right back up again. I know events can be really hard to write around but this series did it beautifully through not one but two of them. Honestly the world is so #blessed that this series exists.

Incidentally Hawkeye just shows up around the midpoint and is like 'I'm teaching now' and then just sort of hangs out mostly near the background for the rest of the time. 'Oh yeah and Hawkeye was there in the back left of the panel,' is basically his whole life. He is perpetually roman centurion number two except for when he complains at which point he gets ridiculous stories written about him where he gets kidnapped and fridged and rescued by other people. I exaggerate because he is heroic too very often but. He is still very ridiculous.

Black Widow - I didn't complete this series yet but I think it's a pretty terrific series of near- one shots about Natasha. I love the art and how expressive it is, particularly with Natasha's face. Her outfit here is much more realistic and very practical for a spy of any gender and her anatomy is very proportional. I love her cat and the way she beat up her neighbor's boyfriend for being abusive. Hawkeye was there in one issue because of course he was and I loved it.

Dark Avengers I - I tried reading Dark Avengers I before I left for New Jersey and despised all six issues. I just wanted to set up and understand Dark Avengers II because Trick Shot was on there but damn reading Dark Avengers I was NOT worth it. I don't know how to articulate it but the treatment of mental illness during the Dark Reign under Norman Osborne was incredibly unsettling to me as a mentally ill person, particularly because Osborne has a great case of 'makes-me-uncomfortable-itis' that permeates the whole series. It's a damn shame because the whole concept of the series is fascinating and I really wanted to enjoy it.

Thunderbolts - I heard that Dark Avengers I was almost directly ripped off from Thunderbolts from several years previous and that a character with PTSD was treated much better in it. However, Thunderbolts was almost as disappointing and skeevy as Dark Avengers so I gave that title up too. Again, a concept that seemed absolutely fascinating but with the skeeviest execution ever.

All New Marvel Now! Secret Avengers - Such a delightful and quirky little series. Really unique art which is why it stood out to me in the first place. The plot is fairly intriguing and I love how Hawkeye is basically the GOB Bluth of it all. Though I thought it was interesting when Maria Hill said that Clint acts incompetent to not seem like a threat. I think this can definitely be true but I also think she may be more dismissive of her colleague's inner lives than she realizes. Sometimes it thinks it's funnier than it is but overall I was very charmed. Just finished reading issue ten last night which is the last one available on Unlimited for now.

Secret Avengers (2013-2014) - Whooo boy. This series is dumb as fuck. The whole plot of the second issue is literally Al Qaeda needs to be stopped from getting their hands on dark magic and teleportation technology. I was like........you do realize that that organization......is a Muslim......Organization. Also there was weird shit going on with memory nanochips that meant (I think?) Hawkeye was being systematically beaten up by SHIELD agents and then his memory was wiped so that he thought it was bad guys doing it. I felt bad for him because that means SHIELD shot him in the stomach and stabbed him twice until he thought he was dying twice but who better to torture and kidnap than Hawkeye. Love me some Hawkeye though and I've read a lot worse for his sake *coughHawkeyeBlindspotcough*

House of M - I didn't read much of this yet but overall I find the concepts really intriguing. 

Scattered thoughts on comics in general:

-I'm really surprised by how much crossover there is with the X-men and how human and mutant relations permeates the entire Marvel universe. This is entirely absent from how the MCU is (as X-men are copyrighted by Fox) and the absence now seems really jarring.

-Speaking of mutants, I find it really fascinating how some people have superpowers and some people are mutants and the former still get better treatment than the latter despite some of their powers being exactly the same.

-Characters just showing up places does not stop being delightful to me. One issue of Avengers Academy had Magneto just show up for one issue and then leave.

-So many people are Avengers that I wouldn't be shocked if one time someone's favorite toaster was pronounced an Avenger.

-There is a frustrating lack of women in the MCU and I am angry that Maria Hill has been demoted.

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