Reading Wednesday

Wed, Jan. 15th, 2014 01:40 pm
oyceter: Stack of books with text "mmm... books!" (mmm books)
[personal profile] oyceter
What I've read: Finished Anuja Chauhan's Those Pricey Thakur Girls! It's by far my favorite of her books, and now I kind of wish there were a version of Battle for Bittora done in rotating 3rd person POV, because I would have LOVED to see Pushpa Pande's sections. Hopefully a longer review to follow soon!

Also finished Chi's Sweet Home volume 2, which is just as cute and full of cat as the first volume. Definitely comfort reading for me, and I laughed especially hard at Chi getting mad at people ignoring her, climbing up on the table, and sitting down on the postcard people were looking at instead of where their attention should rightfully be focused (Chi, obviously).

What I'm reading: I finally started reading comics on my tablet! I say "finally" because that was the original reason I wanted a tablet in the first place. Anyway, I'm in the middle of the Greg Rucka Wonder Woman run (I blame [personal profile] chaila) and generally enjoying it. There are WAY more women than I usually see in superhero comics, though I am super skeeved out by Doctor Psycho and all the rape stuff he jokes about. I mean, you are supposed to be skeeved out, but given that the art is still male-gaze-y, it feels like one of those having your cake and eating it too things.

Also, totally get the appeal of Diana. She reminds me of why I like Captain America, at least in the MCU, and I really like that mostly her idealism and desire to do good and be good are genuine and not made fun of. It's so hard to find depictions of nice and good people who are interesting and have depth; most writers seem to save that for the morally ambiguous characters. And I looooove that she just goes ahead and makes decisions and her staff has to flounder to figure stuff out in her wake, and while she might apologize, she never angsts about it or questions her choices.

The art is mostly okay, given the genre? I think? I've never followed superhero comics closely, so I am not sure. I do love that Diana so far has very consistently been drawn with really broad shoulders and narrow hips; it's a silhouette I don't see very often on women. Still a lot of the twisted torso poses to get T&A in, and I rolled my eyes when one villain stepped out with her face entirely in shadow... but her naked body was of course visible!

It's also always weird getting into a new superhero/team and figuring out who the standard villains and secondary characters are. Various wiki articles help, but because comics is so convoluted, I hit a point when my eyes just glaze over as the details of betrayal! new allegiances! resurrection! secret identity! world resetting! and whatnot go on and on and on.

This is also interesting because it's my first foray into the DCverse that isn't centered around Gotham and its ilk.

What I'm reading next: Probably a lot more Wonder Woman.

Date: Thu, Jan. 16th, 2014 01:13 am (UTC)
natlyn: (Default)
From: [personal profile] natlyn
The Greg Rucka run is awesome. Also read The Hiketeia with Batman!

I paid no attention to who all the secondary characters etc. were. I just rolled with the story. I probably missed some themes and resonances, but I was okay with that.

Date: Sun, Jan. 19th, 2014 05:11 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I read it before the Rucka run, but I don't think it matters. Read it whenever you feel like it (although I think it was published before the Rucka run, but I'm not sure).

Date: Sun, Jan. 19th, 2014 05:12 pm (UTC)
natlyn: (Default)
From: [personal profile] natlyn
Sorry, that was me.

Date: Thu, Jan. 16th, 2014 02:25 am (UTC)
sanguinity: woodcut by M.C. Escher, "Snakes" (Default)
From: [personal profile] sanguinity
I stalled halfway through the Rucka run, because we hit AWESOME, and then I couldn't make myself put in the work to sort out the Flash-centric stuff immediately after.

And then when I went to pick it up again, I started at the top again, and hit AWESOME, and then AGAIN couldn't make myself sort the Flash stuff, hahaha.

I WILL finish Rucka's run at some point, I swear. I will, I will!

Date: Thu, Jan. 16th, 2014 03:07 am (UTC)
chaila: Diana SWORDFIGHTING in a BALLGOWN. (wonder woman - fight)
From: [personal profile] chaila
Skip Flash if you have to! I don't remember it being that important. I never did understand who all those people were, and I still don't. Sometimes I guess DC just shoehorns in a random standalone crossover plot to make people give them money.

I should reread AWESOME. Remember the AWESOME?

I am SO PLEASED there is reading of the Wonder Woman on my rlist, omfg.

Date: Thu, Jan. 16th, 2014 03:13 am (UTC)
sanguinity: woodcut by M.C. Escher, "Snakes" (Default)
From: [personal profile] sanguinity
I do indeed remember the AWESOME. It was AWESOME.

You want me to... skip? *twitches*

Date: Thu, Jan. 16th, 2014 03:39 am (UTC)
chaila: Diana of Themyscira has manpain. (wonder woman - manpain)
From: [personal profile] chaila
Haha, well not if it will make you twitch! Just so you know it's an option. :)

Date: Tue, Feb. 11th, 2014 07:48 pm (UTC)
sanguinity: woodcut by M.C. Escher, "Snakes" (Default)
From: [personal profile] sanguinity
So, I finally dipped into wikipedia to figure out who all these people ARE. (Thing that I learned: Crisis of Infinite Earths was a continuity reset button, so for any given character, just jump down the page to "post-Crisis" because everything farther up the page is irrelevant. Well, irrelevant for V2 and V3 WW.)

It turns out that Zoom's backstory is HILARIOUS. He was the Flash's best friend, and somewhere along the way, he 1) got superpowers of his own, and 2) decided that the Flash hadn't experienced enough pain in his life, and that was holding him back from being a great superhero. That is, the ENTIRE REASON HE EXISTS nowadays is to threaten the Flash with manpain. FOR HIS OWN GOOD, HAHAHA. "Because of my deep and long friendship for you, I am going to kill your wife. It hurts you more than it hurts me, and that's how you can tell that I am selflessly thinking of YOU. " BWAHAHAHAHA, I cannot stop cracking up.

Date: Wed, Feb. 12th, 2014 03:23 am (UTC)
chaila: Diana SWORDFIGHTING in a BALLGOWN. (wonder woman - fight)
From: [personal profile] chaila
Ahahahahahaha. *laughs and laughs* *cries a little*

That is so. . . comics that it is both deeply hilarious and eye-roll inducing. It's almost a fond eye-roll though oh no what have comics done to me.

([personal profile] beccatoria has explained Crisis stuff to me multiple times, but I throw up my hands. There was another rebootish event, Infinite Crisis, in between WW vol 2 and 3, and it kind of leaves volume 2 unresolved--because I reject Infinite Crisis as a "resolution"--but I mostly just wave my hands at that one too. At least I do at the parts that I even understand. Oh comics. Good thing you have DIANA).

Date: Wed, Feb. 12th, 2014 04:24 am (UTC)
sanguinity: woodcut by M.C. Escher, "Snakes" (Default)
From: [personal profile] sanguinity
It is so FREAKING over the top hahahahahaha! The first couple pages of the Flash crossover issue are kinda hilarious when you know THAT'S what's going on with Zolomon Hunter (Hunter Zolomon?) aka Zoom. (Linda Park, the news reporter, is Flash's wife, the one Zoom wants to kill for Flash's own good.)

Y'know, I started trying to read the wikipedia article explaining Crisis, but decided I was happy with the high-level "continuity was such a mess that they couldn't even retcon it with multiple universes/timelines anymore, so they had a multi-title extravaganza in which they destroyed all the extra universes / timelines plus a whole bunch of characters they were tired of, and for the characters they decided to keep they picked ONE CONTINUITY EACH and went from there." If I actually read a bunch of Silver/Bronze Age titles and cared about how they linked with post-Crisis continuity, then it MIGHT be worth it to me to bother with the Watsonian explanation, but frankly, the Doylist explanation works JUST FINE FOR MY PURPOSES.

This, btw, explains why I was recognizing *nothing* when you were talking about how awesome Diana was, nor when I was reading Rucka's run: the last time I was an active Diana fan, it was pre-Crisis/Bronze Age, and the continuity she had then doesn't seem to be the continuity she had/has in Volume 2.

Is the rebootish event the issues between Rucka and Simone that you advised skipping?

I didn't mean to make you sorry you asked, it's just, DIANA

Date: Wed, Feb. 12th, 2014 05:37 am (UTC)
chaila: Diana of Themyscira has manpain. (wonder woman - manpain)
From: [personal profile] chaila
Lulz this is the only thing that has ever made me want to even try the Flash stuff again, WHAT.

and the continuity she had then doesn't seem to be the continuity she had/has in Volume 2.

No, not at all. I understand nothing about pre-volume 2 Diana! As [personal profile] estara mentions below, George Perez was the writer who rebooted volume 2 of Wonder Woman, beginning in 1987, after Crisis on Infinite Earths. And as I understand it, this run was really significant to the future continuity of Diana, and it was the first time the mythology and Amazonian aspects of Diana's story were really drawn in a meaningful way? Some of Perez's run is dated and some of it is downright faily but lots of it I appreciated, and there are A TON of callbacks in Rucka's run to Perez's. So Perez's made me appreciate Rucka's EVEN MORE (I finally understand and love Julia and Vanessa Kapatelis, for example. I might rec reading Perez just for Julia Kapatelis <3). Perez was slow going at times though. And sidenote, and to [personal profile] oyceter if you're reading along, I have the Perez run and can share if you want it at some point.

Is the rebootish event the issues between Rucka and Simone that you advised skipping?

Partly but not completely? Infinite Crisis is the multi-title extravaganza reboot event between v. 2 & 3. Threads of its set up actually begin towards the end of Rucka's run, so there will be plots that seem to start in the middle in a WW issue, because they started over in a Superman issue. Then there was the mega-crossover event that comprises the actual Infinite Crisis, which is like its own standalone volume of issues. I wasn't that interested, there was too much Batman and Flash &etc., and I didn't like Diana's characterization in it. So I mostly skipped it, and just understood that some things were different afterwards (like, her mother is alive again!), because Comics Plot.

THEN there's the beginning of volume 3 WW, which is post-Infinite Crisis. There are 13 issues from the beginning of volume 3 to when Simone starts writing. Some of them apparently just kind of deal with recalibration after Infinite Crisis, which apparently Diana came out of with this belief that she needs to be "more human" or some such whatever, so she gets a secret identity and stuff? It was just. . . not something I had the least interest in after finishing the epicness that was Rucka's run. Then there's ALSO the FUCKING AWFUL thing called Amazons Attack during this period of volume 3, when the Amazons decide to destroy man's world and, like, murder all men in sight. For real. That is what happens. I was told emphatically not to read it, not even for the lulz. (I peeked anyway. It is ludicrous. So of course, mainstream comics fandom thinks it's great).

Then Simone starts writing and has to Fix This Crap, which she does admirably!

So! That was probably way more information than you wanted! But the short answer is, the things I skipped included: 1) most of Infinite Crisis, the crossover event itself; and 2) the first 13 issues of volume 3, which were very Ill Advised.

I just picked up Simone like it was the beginning of the volume 3 reboot and filled in whatever I was missing through context as I went along. Which works pretty well, because she starts Simone's run by attempting to rescue her mother. <33333 (Though it will make more sense if you have a general understanding of why the Amazons are scattered and banished, i.e. because they murdered all the men in the previous issues. Facepalm).

Re: I didn't mean to make you sorry you asked, it's just, DIANA

Date: Thu, Feb. 13th, 2014 03:43 am (UTC)
sanguinity: woodcut by M.C. Escher, "Snakes" (Default)
From: [personal profile] sanguinity
Also, all that stuff where Zoom is offering to make Diana a better superhero, and she's like THANKS BUT NO THANKS? His plan for making Flash a better superhero was offing Flash's wife, hahahaha.

I caught some Julia and Vanessa Kapatelis stuff from wikis, and wanted to go back and read all that properly! In fact, I'm kinda thinking of going back to the beginning of V2 at this point, instead of going ahead to Simone and a new continuity.

Amazons Attack: *reads article synopsis* The Stygian killer wasps sound cool? The rest of it, though. *side-eyes*

And this is TOTALLY NOT too much information! It is just right information! Remember when you asked for my recommendations for Oz, and I sent you back, like, THREE TIMES this much info? There is only so much time to read things, and if crap is mixed in with the good stuff, well, LOTS OF INFO is good!

Date: Sat, Jan. 18th, 2014 12:25 am (UTC)
sanguinity: woodcut by M.C. Escher, "Snakes" (Default)
From: [personal profile] sanguinity
Oh, just go back and re-read the AWESOME three times. Worked fine for me. :-D

Date: Thu, Jan. 16th, 2014 02:47 am (UTC)
lilacsigil: 12 Apostles rocks, text "Rock On" (12 Apostles)
From: [personal profile] lilacsigil
That's my absolute favourite Wonder Woman run! Greg Rucka is usually a safe bet if you want a comic book where women are people.

Date: Thu, Jan. 16th, 2014 03:04 am (UTC)
chaila: Diana SWORDFIGHTING in a BALLGOWN. (wonder woman - fight)
From: [personal profile] chaila
I blame give credit to chaila

Fixed that for you! :D

I always want to flail about Diana, because DIANA. That she never angsts about her right to make decisions is one of my favorite things about her! Turns out I really like having a super powerful, idealistic, strong female superhero fight evil and protect the world,, and not really question her authority to do that? Like, way more than I expected to like it. But also you are totally right about all of this other stuff too. I'm still perpetually confused by continuity, and mostly just roll with it.

It's constantly frustrating that the comic will do some really great, interesting things, and then mess it up with gratuitous shots and body poses that defy physiology. Though, so you're forewarned, I think there's less of the annoying stuff in Rucka than in most of the other WW comics, except maybe Simone? I personally really, really like the art in Rucka's run, but I think I'm kinda alone there. I like it because she almost always looks broad and strong, and she wears stuff other than her costume a fair bit of the time. But other than stuff like that, there's lots of better stuff out there, art-wise. But then sometimes that'll come with more male gaze, so it's a trade-off. :/

Date: Sat, Jan. 18th, 2014 04:13 am (UTC)
chaila: Diana SWORDFIGHTING in a BALLGOWN. (wonder woman - fight)
From: [personal profile] chaila

ahem, sorry, I just love all this so much! The ARMOR and the BALLGOWN and ATHENA and [SPOILER] and blocking bullets after SPOILER. [pauses for feelings] One thing I actually really love is her polytheism? I love her faith, and how faith is totally different from "rah rah Christianity yay Jesus" faith that I feel like I have to put up with in a lot of other American stories. Mostly though, ATHENA. And pwning Superman and Batman, because that never, ever, ever gets old, never.

I'm terrible at keeping track of artists too, but I'm getting better! I...don't *love* The Hiketeia art in some of its details, but some panels are AMAZING for reasons that you will see. Teaser: this is the cover, if you didn't know that already. :)

Date: Thu, Feb. 13th, 2014 03:46 am (UTC)
sanguinity: woodcut by M.C. Escher, "Snakes" (Default)
From: [personal profile] sanguinity
There are some STUNNING panels in Hiketeia. And also panels that make me want to push the artist off a bridge. But I choose to relish the STUNNING panels. Like, f'rinstance, that cover.

Date: Thu, Jan. 16th, 2014 01:43 pm (UTC)
estara: (Default)
From: [personal profile] estara
I have no idea if it's available in ebook, but if you can get the original George Perez run of Wonder Woman (after the very first rebirth of the DC Universe - Crisis of Infinite Earths, etc.), he did about 50 or 75... not sure... pamphlets and it was the first time that the mythological background made sense, there were coloured Amazones, lesbian Amazons, important women helping Diana to learn about normal life on Earth, and the Greek Gods were the big villains. I LOVE that run still.


oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)

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