RBB2015 Art

Voila!! It’s a couple of days late, since my author was very busy with personal stuff AND writing another RBB fic at the same time, but finally the day has arrived for my Cap-Ironman 2015 Reverse Big Bang art to come to light!

It’s my second year, and I’m proud of the fact that I’m no longer classified as a newbie! Also, that this year I have done a larger quantity of pieces to help my author along – in part, actually because of their fic. I took a completely different direction from last year, challenging myself to go down the steampunk path. Actually, the initial character sketches of steampunked Tony, Pepper and Steve (which I was pretty happy with) detailing clothing, patterns and ornaments didn’t end up being part of the final product, but I enjoyed doing them, and they definitely influenced my work.

This was the result:

RBB2015 Heart

This was a later drawing, a line in the fic which really resonated, and made me want to draw a mechanical heart. So I did ๐Ÿ™‚ Unfortunately, something about the red blood tubes makes it vaguely resemble a rugby ball… This was drawn in pencil and acrylic paint.

 

RBB2015Ship#2

The Iron Maiden! I’m not sure if I like it exactly, but here’s a depiction of the ship – Jarvis was obviously doing the laundry when I took a reference photo ๐Ÿ™‚ This was done in pencil.

 

RBB2015 Cap'n'Tony

So, this is an earlier scene where Tony meets Captain America for the first time. It was actually drawn after the next picture, because my author created a really cool opportunity to have a sort of parallel scene ๐Ÿ™‚ This was done in pencil.

 

RBB2015Masked

Last but not least, the original artwork!! (Or, rather, the original piece intended to be displayed for the RBB Challenge). This was a scenario I came up with, and my author rose to the occasion magnificently, writing a touching scene that also explained why Steve was in clothes and Iron Man was wearing his armour in a very convincing way! (Hooray!) This was done in watered down black acrylic paint, in lieu of watercolour or ink, which I had no access to, and pen for the detailing.

 

Thor: Dark World Review Part 2

As always, my review just grew and grew… (you should see all of the unfinished Cap 2 drafts) and as always, I seem to have put off writing my response up tillย  – gosh, half a YEAR – later. Not on purpose, I swear. Here is part two of my review on Thor: The Dark World. It pertains to everything else, apart from the premise and the first act of the film, which I discussed here in my first review. The delay has been terrible, and for that, I apologise.

Have a beautiful shot of Asgard’s gate to the Rainbow Bridge to cheer you up!

Directed by Alan Taylor, Thor: The Dark World was, in my opinion, a very spotty film, especially given its title. Whereas in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, there is an underlying tension that is maintained throughout the film regarding the Winter Soldier himself, despite his minimal screentime, Thor: The Dark World doesn’t pull it off, with the titular Dark Elves neglected and underdeveloped to create a weak and cliched overarching storyline. While there are certainly moments of well-placed levity, including a brilliant cameo with Chris Evans as Captain America, the film is carried by Tom Hiddleston as Loki, whose fascinating mixture of acerbic vulnerability and smooth menace lifts the film into decent territory and creates the contrast required to make Chris Hemsworth’s Thor a more interesting character.
While I have made my feelings on the subject abundantly clear, let’s reiterate in short: the dark elves were incomprehensible, because of both motive (turn the world Dark. Then what?) and voice distortion, and had been pushed to the side until that final climactic scene so that everyone can save the day again. The plot of the film wasn’t spectacular; in fact, it was rather predictable, to the degree that I guessed that Loki wasn’t really dead long before it was announced in that dramatic reveal. However, there were some good scenes, especially those where Thor is back on Earth or with Loki, as well as the earlier scenes with Kat Dennings as Darcy. I enjoyed being able to clearly see the relationship between Loki and Thor change (as Thor grasps a concept that had apparently been evading him for centuries). Having Loki to counteract his booming brawn always makes for a more interesting scene, but in Thor: The Dark World, this was enhanced by the new freedom to pull away from that clichรฉ a bit since Thor was on his home turf and showed more of an appreciation for strategy and cleverness than he had previously displayed in the first Thor film. I felt that previously, Thor was too direct and arrogantly self righteous to be regarded with a deeper gaze (through no fault of Hemsworth’s superb acting; it was the character himself), and that the balance had to be created by giving Loki such a contrasting, painful past to agonise over. The juxtaposition is certainly effective, but also it just makes me a bit bored of Thor when he’s not interacting with a character profoundly different to his own.

Thor has been developed into a much more interesting character in Thor: The Dark World, thankfully!

On the other hand, with a character like Loki, it doesn’t matter who you play him against, because he’s interesting at the most fundamental level. The myriad of complexities that Loki is made up of, and the large screen time afforded to him and his arc is what sold the movie, for me. However, it brings up a debate which a lot of people have mentioned; that of the protagonist role. Named after Thor, the films so far have nominally focused on his story, but it is becoming increasingly clear that it is Loki who holds the audiences captive. Marvel has acknowledged it by giving the character solid expansion and time on screen, and while this seems to be a popular move, it rather undermines the story of Thor as the hero in some ways (although it makes for a better film). I wonder if there’s a chance of seeing an offshoot film with the anti-hero playing protagonist? I, for one, would definitely watch that!
Character-wise, Loki makes sense, and so does the theory behind his actions. Why is Odin so stupid? This is the crux of my problem in the Loki-Odin relationship – I find it very hard not to sympathise with Loki, because he seems, for the most part, to be surrounded by slightly boorish morons or Aesir who actively dislike him and cannot see past their furred cloaks. The Allfather gave up an eye for wisdom; would it hurt Marvel to portray him as someone who can make a good decision, or at least listen to reason every once in a while? Loki masquerading as Odin made better decisions than the Allfather himself.
It was therefore absolutely brilliant to have some Frigga-Loki interactions, and especially nice to see a woman whose strength lay just as much in her words and mind, as in the muscles of her arms. I think that the role of the mother was quite cleverly used as a device to bind Thor and Loki together, although I deeply regret that it resulted in the death of Frigga (who is played by Rene Russo). I do understand why it was necessary plotwise – for the two brothers to even think about teaming up, it couldn’t have been anyone else’s demise. Yet, there are so few female characters in Marvel, and the few that are mostly seem to be relatively younger women who are in a new relationship, or single; it would’ve made a good change, in my opinion, to also have a wiser matriarch, with a long marriage behind her and centuries of experiences to have shaped her. Somehow, even though I’d had this point spoiled a few months before I saw the movie, I managed to forget and thus be extremely surprised and somewhat angered all over again. The Fridging of Frigga was not to my taste. At all. Especially since we learn at the beginning of the film that she can cast illusions and send them quite a distance away – to Loki’s cage. As she had sufficient time to take Jane Foster and leave the room in the scene, I fail to see why the director didn’t simply make her appear to be dead.
Well, I guess you can’t use the same trope twice in one film, right?
My reaction at Loki’s death was surprised: but not for the right reasons. Hang on, I thought, Loki’s dead? That can’t be, no way would Marvel kill Loki off, it would be bad for business. Also, Ragnarok! Thus, after appreciating the very well acted scene, I concluded that Loki was Not Dead. And then I went ahead with my winning streak, and correctly guessed that Loki was the guard, and surprised my friend, who somehow hadn’t seen it coming ๐Ÿ™‚ I couldn’t properly suspend my disbelief at his death, and it saddens me a little, because it mean that I was watching the scene with jaded eyes. Although, they did get me at the Odin part, that was good. Overall, the second half of the film improved upon the first, and the ending was a great cliffhanger.
I really loved Darcy, her snark was great, but I didn’t like the intern of intern drama, especially when she seems to get together with him at the end of the film. One kiss, I can understand, I guess – a the world did NOT end, yay, we live! kiss – but Darcy was a minority as a woman in a film who is single and happy about it (or seemed to be), and I liked that, and appreciated it a heck of a lot. So that annoyed me. Also, the slap is being overused in movies. But Jane is still better in this film than in the previous one (you can find my opinions on her over here, I wrote a thing). On that note, I would also be keen to seen more racial variety, because as it stood, we had Heimdall, who was very well played once more by Idris Elba, and Kurse, played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, who is very briefly seen and then turns into a CGI berserker-elf. Who promptly dies. And that’s about it for diversity.
I believe I’ve mentioned it before, but the other thing that piqued me was the lack of acknowledgement of why no help is coming from outside quarters. To drop in a line is easy – the audience understands that due to budget constraints it’s hard to get other Avengers to lend a hand, so pragmatic viewers wouldn’t have been expecting anything, but really, a simple, “oh, Stark’s dealing with an emergency in Oceania, Banner’s off-radar and Cap’s on a mission with Black Widow and Hawkeye, sorry they can’t help” would have helped so much!

The last thing I wanted to mention is the slightly disturbing trend to the Phase 2 films so far: the metaphorical hanging up of the cape. In Iron Man 3, Tony Stark blows up his suits and operates his reactor out of his chest. In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Natasha Romanov’s cover is blown and she goes to ‘discover herself’, while Steve Rogers distances himself from the role of hero as he goes on a personal on a mission to find the Winter Soldier with Sam Wilson. Now, in Thor: The Dark World, Thor decides to return to Earth and forego his princely duties on Asgard for the time being. I have no idea what’s happened to Clint Barton and Bruce Banner, but I assume that one is in psychiatrists’ hands, and the other has gone back to a third world country to lie low and help the locals.

The question is; how do they reforge the Avengers in Age of Ultron?What do you think?-Let’s call me Lily

Sergeant James Buchanan Barnes, a.k.a. Bucky, codename: The Winter Soldier.

My second instalment in a series of reviews of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Don’t despair, more will come…eventually.

For a look at my reaction to the introduction of The Falcon, click HERE!

For a look at my reaction to the development of Captain America, click HERE!

Be careful, guys, this here is your warning that you are entering SPOILER territory. Does Bucky look vengeful enough to dissuade you? Honestly, watch the movie first, then come back. If you want to come back, that is :)
Be careful, guys, this here is your warning that you are entering SPOILER territory. Does Bucky look vengeful enough to dissuade you? Honestly, watch the film first, then come back. If you want to come back, that is ๐Ÿ™‚

Goodness, Sebastian Stan can pack his acting punches! Having read at least some comics, I am vaguely familiar with the Winter Soldier storyline, and definitely knew that he’d been mind-wiped multiple times and had his personality basically erased (probably through fanfic, if I’m being honest). So I am really curious what someone who didn’t know about Bucky being the Winter Soldier, or even didn’t know that he was being mind-wiped by HYDRA, got out of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, especially given that he didn’t actually have a lot of screen time for the titular character. In fact, what I really want to know was if someone who didn’t know the history of the Winter Soldier, picked up that Bucky was being continuously mind-wiped between missions in that short scene with Pierce and Bucky after he encounters and fails to kill Steve. Because to me, even though no one said it, it seemed so clear. And that was due to Stan’s acting.

I love Bucky’s characterisation so far; I, for one, am so glad that he’s not 12 years old. Or Steve’s sidekick. Although the newer strands of comics, which I’m a tad more familiar with, do portray him more like the MCU version. The power and emotions behind Steve and Bucky’s story comes across much better with Bucky and Steve as best friends since childhood, instead of a leader/follower dynamic; it puts them on the same level and gives more depth to their relationship. The fact that Bucky was once bigger and stronger than Steve, the person who always cared about and took care of Steve even after Steve’s transformation into Captain America and was saving everybody else. This is really important, because Captain America: The Winter Soldier shows how much Steve needs that โ€“ a friend who will back him up and offer the support that he requires; to believe in him, so that he believes that what he’s doing is the right thing. It also, I think, lends more credit to Steve’s reaction at the end of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, as Steve, knowing that he has been taken care of for years, wants to do the same for Bucky now, partly to repay him, and partly because of the deep and abiding loyalty and love that he has for him. It wouldn’t have worked if Bucky was just Captain America’s 12-year-old sidekick.

Yep, it was a Batman and Robin scenario going on there...

Yep, there was a Batman and Robin scenario going on there….

Something that I really love about Marvel is their character continuity, wherein they cast an actor in a role, and, for the majority of the time, that actor will stay in their role (a few exceptions are Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner and Don Cheadle as James Rhodes, who were recast, but both were markedly well-suited for the job, more than the original choices, in my opinion) for their entire duration in the MCU. I mean, can you imagine a different Tony Stark for each film? In this way, the actors in some ways canonicalise their characters through their stylised performance, as well as depict the development of their characters in a much clearer arc. This is really evident in The Winter Soldier, because we have the strong foundation of Bucky in Captain America: The First Avenger as Steve’s oldest and dearest friend; someone whom Steve loves deeply and looks up to in some ways, as well as a stubborn, charismatic soldier whose abilities are superb and who attracts the dames with his cocky smirk. This makes the change from Bucky Barnes into the Winter Soldier even more dramatic, because the audience recognises Bucky’s face and some of his movements in the Winter Soldier, but his entire attitude to life, the core of his being, has been erased, resulting in a vastly different depiction of character. But, and I stress this point, because that is what makes it such a breathtaking portrayal, there isn’t a ‘new’ character to take Bucky’s place. It is still recognisably Bucky underneath all the brainwashes and torture and experimentation that he has undergone, and it’s all conveyed without words, just the emotion that Stan carries in his eyes. Marvel made the marvellous (:P) decision to make the Winter Soldier powerful, strong, yes, but not in control (a bit like Clint Barton under Loki’s power), and in some respects, not aware of the destruction he has wrought because that is a consequence of his mind-wipes; that he is not aware of what he has done and who he has been. The Winter Soldier is a puppet; a broken toy to be used and abused as HYDRA and Pierce wished. This quality was so clear in Bucky’s plaintive, childlike protestation of “but I know him …” and pout, the resignation in his eyes as he prepared to be wiped again, accepting the mouth guard, knowing the pain was coming, but knowing he had no choice. Bucky wasn’t making choices for himself any more; wasn’t his own person, and that was what made Stan’s performance so heartbreakingly devastating.

…. yeah, Sebastian Stan made me feel like Bucky needed a hug.

Run, Bucky! Out of the fire, and into Steve's arms :P
Run, Bucky! Out of the fire of the war, and into the ice of the cryogenic chamber.

The Winter Soldier’s costume design was another point in Marvel’s favour. I really loved the way that the cybernetic arm was so smoothly crafted, a fine networking of interlocking parts that could lock together and provide him with a superhuman grip, as well as the way it just fitted onto him – not clunky, but a dangerous weapon that was intricately bound to Bucky and was now an integral physical part of him. Additionally, I always appreciate a comic shout-out, even if I’m not particularly knowledgeable, just because it’s nice to see where concepts are coming from. So while I don’t think that long hair on anybody involved in combat is a very practical idea, it did echo the Winter Soldier’s look, as did the black costume and assortment of weapons. One thing I will ask is: what is up with the smudged eyes? Because in comic-verse, this is one of those flimsy skin-tight masks that totally means that they can’t be identified (cue the suspension of belief), but in the film, it looked like smudged raccoon eyes? I’m not sure if it’s a side-effect because of his goggles or what; I’d really like to know.

Raccoon eyes :)
Raccoon eyes ๐Ÿ™‚

However, in saying all of that. I am really disappointed in the lack of back-story of Bucky meeting with Natasha in the Red Room; that has always been a vital part of their story (and relationship, because the Black Widow and the Winter Solider are an item for quite a long time in most versions), and I was really interested in seeing that modernised and negotiated by Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanov. I knew it wouldn’t be explored in depth in this film, but I did want at least a hint that Marvel was going to use it, because 1) it’s in practically every version of Marvel as far as I know, 2) it provides a great link between Natasha and Steve, as it gives them a shared motivation: wanting to snap Bucky out of it (otherwise, as we saw, Natasha would think that Steve is just wasting his time, because she knows intimately that second chances are a risky business) and 3) it was a genuinely interesting back-story that could have led to an origins-type film with Natasha and Bucky negotiating the Red Room, and how Natasha got out of that environment alive. Instead, it wasn’t mentioned at all. In fact, they made up a new story and acted like it didn’t happen – here, Bucky was simply another antagonist that Natasha had faced, albeit one that was more skilled than anyone she’d encountered before. There is a theory going round which tries to assert that as Natasha is an unreliable narrator, she’s covering up her emotional past with this story of being shot and not telling Steve the whole story, which is possible, but a bit unlikely in my opinion, simply because I don’t think that Marvel would want to confuse viewers that much.

One last quibble about the Winter Soldier himself; throughout the film he is described as a ghost, someone who slips past systems and kills and then disappears completely. Well, we don’t really see much of that at all, do we? Instead, we see daylight confrontations, gunfights and dozens of civilian witnesses! I know that this is because such things create more oomph and impact as action sequences, but it would have been nice to see the spectre-like qualities of the sniper in the Winter Soldier – his primary role in comic-verse – to shine through, Maybe it will be covered in the next film in which Bucky is part of? As Sebastian Stan told several interviewers, including here (which offers a very comprehensive look at Stan’s views on the film and his character and the future of Bucky), he didn’t find out that he would be the Winter Soldier until a year ago, and didn’t even know the title of Captain America: The Winter Soldier until it was announced at Comic Con by Marvel; so it stands to reason that Marvel is just keeping as much under wraps as possible.

Sebastian Stan’s acting is incredible ๐Ÿ˜€ I’m looking forward to seeing more of him. In the seven films that he is still contracted to make with Marvel. I was completely taken aback by that; that Stan had agreed to a nine film contract with Marvel. That’s going to keep him busy for, what, the next decade at least? I hope Marvel makes it interesting, both for his sake and ours.

Sam Wilson, the Fresh-Faced Falcon in the Sky

Captain America: The Winter Soldier.ย Or, CA:TWS, as people have logically been labelling it (for some reason, this makes me think about cat food, though, so I’ll just stick to the full name ๐Ÿ™‚ )

I went to watch the newest Marvel offering with two friends, and the one on my left (โ€œon your left!โ€) hated it, and the one on my right loved it. Now, after loads of brainstorming, I feel ready to attempt the colossus thing that will be my very spoilerific series of reviews.

So. This is how things will work: I shall be splitting this up into different parts, because otherwise the word-length of this thing will be awful, and I’ll jump all over the place and nothing will make sense. I’ll be linking my posts to each other for ease of access, and also, that way you can read the parts that you want to, without wading through masses of words you don’t care enough about to read.

Disclaimer: in the desire for all honesty, I just want to remind you all that when I’ve written about something here, especially in review context, it’s usually an opinion that has been revised and discussed with other people, as well as influenced by the reviews of others which I have read. Please keep that in mind ๐Ÿ™‚

For a look at my reaction to the introduction of The Winter Soldier, click HERE!

For a look at my response to the development of Captain America, click HERE!

If you don't want to be SPOILED, fly away, birdie!!!

If you don’t want to be SPOILED, fly away, birdie!!!

I really admire Marvel in their adaptation of Sam Wilson’s character in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Sam (codename: The Falcon) is a former USAF pararescueman trained by the military in aerial combat using a specially designed wing pack, whose best friend died in battle. Played by Anthony Mackie, Sam is something of a cross between the ‘buddy’ in the buddy cop film (sharing that role with Natasha Romanov, codename: The Black Widow) as well as the more supportive and emotionally stable role of the ‘love interest’ (which is not to say that he is the love interest โ€“ he simply has some of the attributes commonly associated with the role, especially for superhero films). I enjoyed his quips, which were great for the necessary moments of comic relief, but he also has a more serious side and seems pretty well-rounded for a new face on set; a pleasant surprise, seeing that ‘funny characters’ are often sidelined and serve no purpose apart from their humour. He was comedic, but he was also heroic, a good friend, compassionate and helpful. He also contributed quite lot in the climactic sequence and saved the day together with Steve and Natasha. As Mackie describes in an interview, Sam has โ€œmore of a working relationship [with Captain America], a respect relationship as opposed to a leader and follower. The three of us [Steve, Sam and Natasha] work really well together.โ€

falconncap

He’s also an empathetic character who gives us insight about PTSD in a vastly different way to Tony Stark’s civilian take on it in Iron Man 3 โ€“ I was especially happy to see PTSD being covered in a film about soldiers. This is such an important issue that rarely ever gets the attention it deserves in our society. Most films glance over the traumatic effects of war, and the long-lasting impacts that it has on people’s lives, and focus more on the action, so to have the support group scene was a big step forward, in my opinion, and this was emphasised by Marvel’s take on it. Instead of emasculating Sam for caring about the emotional welfare of other people, or Steve and the other members in the group for wanting or needing that type of support, Marvel showed it as a regular course of action for people; something to be sought out on a soldier’s return and recognised as an important part of readjustment to life. The scene is also vital for the development of Wilson’s characterisation, as it gives Marvel a supportive male figure, whereas this role has normally remained within the domain of women.

The Falcon hails from one of the most iconic of Marvel’s African-American superheroes, preceding many of DC’s creations and being perhaps most notable for being the first hero without the qualifier โ€œBlackโ€ in his superhero name. It was great to see that Marvel kept this aspect in the MCU, as well as choosing a really great actor to play him โ€“ I believe Anthony Mackie is well-deserved in the positive reviews that he has received for his performance as Wilson. It’s also nice to note that he recognises how this will affect the lives of viewers, stating in an interview that โ€œthe biggest thing for me, the most exciting thing for me, is to come out on Halloween and see all the little black kids dressed up like the Falcon. There are so many parts of our society that are not catered to or represented fully and this will give a new generation of our society someone to look up to and identify with. Thatโ€™s why I am so intensely focused on bringing the character to life in a special way.โ€ The dedication which is apparent on the screen shows that Mackie’s desire to portray Sam Wilson as a way to give children the opportunity to have a role model to look up to in the MCU and honour the tradition of the character is clear from his performance, creating a character with true integrity and, even better, emitting a quiet self-confidence and aura of trustworthiness.

falconcatws

Sam’s ‘piloting’ is a cool twist, and a nice modernisation – I just hope that we get to see more of his comic-character shining through, because bird telepathy was really an integral part of his skill-set. Although, Marvel so far have either science or magic (which Jane reveals is just advanced, science in Thor: The Dark World, anyway), rather than actual supernatural stuff, which the telepathic ability kinda falls under (that or mutation, which is strictly not part of the MCU, because of copyright reasons), and thus I feel MCU isn’t going to do that, simply because they’re trying to make everything more believable. For example, everyone’s suits are more “real world” and not skin-tight outfits in bright colours, something that I will forever be thankful for. However, maybe MCU will surprise me and make another clever parallel in some way!

Simply put, Sam Wilson is a man, who, despite his retirement from the military after the death of his best friend in action, and how much it must have cost him to regain a sense of normalcy and routine, sacrifices a civilian life, takes in Cap and follows him till the end of the road, putting his trust in a relative stranger and highlighting his skills and humbleness in the simple statement; ” Don’t look at me – I do what he does, only slower“, that encapsulates his steady attitude towards life. I am proud that he’s joined the MCU cast.

Take Two: This Holiday’s Reading Endeavour

A few holidays ago, I tried to read theย entiretyย of The History Of Middle Earth, which comprised of 13 volumes and the Silmarillion. Well, I did not succeed, unfortunately, and after school started again I had to abandon the project. My problem was, I think, that I read the Silmarillion before I read the History, which meant that I already had the condensed version of events when I approached the more extensive version which included notes on revisions, and often had several different versions of each text, both in prose and poetic formatting. Thus, it was a bit tiresome, and I put the series aside to be read at a later point. I think I reached volume 5 or 6.

This holiday, I have a different goal in mind – I have recently picked up Roger Zelazny, and now find myself delving into his 6 volumes of collected poems and short stories, having finished the Amber Chronicles. I have also just finished reading the light and very racy Lucifer Box trilogy by Mark Gattis. Gattis is perhaps more known for his acting as Mycroft Holmes in the BBC Sherlock TV series, which he co-wrote with Steven Moffat. However, I found the trilogy about the bisexual and busy detective an enjoyable read, if not my usual fare. I think I liked the last line of each book best – Gattis finishes each with a witty remark that relates to Box’s name in each of the 3 books.

I am also aiming to read more comics. This has been a longer-lasting goal, as while I don’t read manga unless I am really desperate (and then I borrow my brother’s) because I dislike the general lack of plot, I love the illustrations to be found, and greatly admire the form of graphic novel storytelling. A longtime fan of Asterix and Obelix and Tintin, I have been reading Marvel and DC comics for a while now.

Unfortunately, it is proving very frustrating. Firstly, the only thing I seem to be able to lay my hands on are Spiderman comics at my local library, which are fine, but every couple of pages it seems like there is a little asterisk saying, see volume 572ย  and I really don’t want to go find it on the library catalogue! So I’ve read some Fantasic Four, some Daredevil, Neil Gaiman’s 1602 and The Eternals, some of Dean McKean, a bit of Alan Moore, some Thor, some Captain America, some Batman… but I can’t seem to find the start of anything! For example, I haven’t read a single Gwen Stacy Spiderman comic! And don’t get me started on trying to find a storyline from the beginning, let alone the beginning of the actual character!

So, I guess I’m asking for advise – how do you suggest I read these types of comics, whose characters have been interwoven and recreated and redone and published in magazines and then republished as graphic novels…

This is probably going to take my whole life. Well, I suppose I’d better get started ๐Ÿ˜›