ratcreature: RatCreature as Spidey (spidey)
I watched Ant-Man and the Wasp and I had a really good time, and not just because it was a few precious hours in a climate controlled environment. (As much of world we are having a heat wave here, and yesterday it was over 33°C, about ten degrees hotter than normal July temperatures. Today there has been a brief respite as in the afternoon with some thunderstorms temperatures fell to 20°C, but the forecast for tomorrow is much higher again, and Monday it's forecast as back to 33°C and staying hot as far as the forecast goes.)

Anyway, to get back from the weather whining, cut for spoilers )
ratcreature: Woe! RatCreature feels emo. (woe!)
I wanted to get my tickets for Black Panther, but apparently right now the cinema where I can watch it in the original version is only selling for opening day here, i.e. Thursday, not for the Friday when I have time to watch it. I asked why they weren't, because for Thor Ragnarök and Spider-Man they were selling post opening day tickets two weeks in advance (and for Star Wars even longer), and they said that it depends on how much the opening screenings are sought after.

So I guess people are less eager for Black Panther? Or they're like me and just can't on Thursdays.
ratcreature: RatCreature at the drawing board. (drawing)
Okay, so, while my picture is really harmless and cute, with a new Bucky (Winter Soldier) Bear and a battered old teddy bear in a new Captain America costume, the story Berceuse by wickedthoughts is Hydra Trash Party, so you need to check the tags, whether the kinks match yours, as my picture only reflects parts of it.

a doodle for Berceuse by wickedthoughts )
ratcreature: RatCreature as Spidey (spidey)
I watched Spider-Man: Homecoming this afternoon, and it was a lot of fun.

cut for spoilers )
ratcreature: RatCreature as grey alien (alien)
I watched Guardians of the Galaxy 2 today, and overall it was fun, though it did hit my embarrassment squick a couple of times. And as in the first part, Marvel's space mythology and setting is confusing.

Also it's not like I especially needed another daddy issues story. It's not that I dislike them as such, but more variety for the heroes' issues would be nice.

BTW, has this opened in the US this week too? I haven't seen any posts about it.
ratcreature: RatCreature as Cyclops (cyclops)
I watched the Legion pilot and I'm quite confused.

It started with me trying to figure out when this was even supposed to be set. Obviously it's not supposed to be present day, but it's not the 1960s, 70s or any other consistent era either. And even more disorienting, David's childhood flashbacks didn't seem to be offset in an earlier era than the main story either.

I mean, clearly both the design, the psychedelic interludes and the disjointed story telling are all intentional, but I'm not sure that this works for me. I had a really hard time trying to decipher events and understanding what was going on in between the hallucinations, flashbacks and the body switching in the present? Or was that even body switching? I'm not clear what actually happened with that mental hospital escape.

Though I'm willing to stick with the series for a bit longer.
ratcreature: RatCreature as Linus: Dear Great Pumpkin,... (halloween)
My expectations were kind of low, because most of what I heard about it in advance were the casting issues and such, and also Benedict Cumberbatch is a bit hit and miss for me, but I actually had a lot of fun watching this one. Then again I, heretically, enjoyed Antman too. Though I'm not feeling particularly fannish about either.

quick comments, cut for spoilers )
ratcreature: RatCreature smokes Crack (crack)
I'm trying to continue with posting trope/theme rec sets. This time Bucky post-WS recovery stories featuring therapy somewhat prominently.

Works No Longer in Progress: Bucky Recovery Fic, by Alex51324. Gen, team. (36,175 words, unfinished)
I'm reccing this even though it's been posted as unfinished fragment, because what is there is very enjoyable, and a distinct take on the Bucky recovery theme, and features an Avengers team with their own mental health issues. (There is also a paragraph with a synopsis where the author saw it going.)

lilies with full hands, by refusals. Slash, Steve/Bucky. (102,011 words)
This is the therapy fic I was looking for a couple of days ago. It actually features several therapists, before Bucky finds one he can work with. It is also a rape recovery story, so it's one of those stories that sort of piles on trauma, which I know is not for everyone. However, Bucky is also shown to actively work on his recovery, and he finds ways to cope with his issues. So he is messed up, but still a competent adult, which I enjoyed.
ratcreature: RatCreature begs: Please? (please?)
I'm trying to find a Bucky post-WS recovery story again (one among the many I've read). It was, at least partly, a therapy fic, and I remember really liking the therapist OFC. There was iirc quite a bit of therapy detail, I think some sensory PTSD coping mechanism with touching objects, and another feature that stood out was that the therapist in her regular practice worked with traumatized children? I'm not sure about other details, because TBH a lot of stories kind of blur together in my mind.
ratcreature: RatCreature smokes Crack (crack)
I've decided that if I ever want to get back to actually posting any recs instead of just sitting paralyzed in front of my giant pile of bookmarks, I need to abandon the idea of "catching up" in any systematic way and just pick a trope/theme and post a limited number of stories that I enjoyed, say five. This really pains my inner completist, because I have bookmarked three times that number of Captain America time travel stories that I enjoyed.

From Winter's Cold, by 27dragons. Slash, Bucky Barnes/Steve Rogers/Tony Stark. (64,370 words)
Tony travels back in time accidentally and tries to fix things.

Thermotemporal Equations, by Blinky the Tree Frog. Gen. (48,149 words)
Bucky from the past gets transported to the future. I read this as it was posted in chapters, and it had me so on edge.

Sleepers of Ephesus, by Domenika Marzione. Gen, WIP. (some 50,000 words so far)
This one is still a WIP, but a great action-adventure with Bucky and Peggy working together. It's also stands out because Peggy travels forward in time, but then has adventures in the present with Bucky rather than a plot about fixing the past by taking information back again or such, which is more common with this trope.

to memory now I can't recall, by Etharei. Slash, Bucky Barnes/Steve Rogers. (102,600 words)
A body switching take on time travel, i.e. past and present Bucky switch places. The time travel epic everybody has read already, but still great.

The Blue-Eyed Boys of Brooklyn by die_traumerei. Slash, Bucky Barnes/Steve Rogers. (7,003 words)
This is a short but neat take on the time travel fix-it.
ratcreature: RatCreature as a sloth (sloth)
...because I really feel that a Captain America/Calvin & Hobbes fusion should exist, with of course little Steve as Calvin (and his long suffering single mom Sarah), who instead of Hobbes has a stuffed bear called Bucky, and dreams up adventures where he is Captain America (rather than Spaceman Spiff) and fights the Red Skull as one of the disgusting monsters. Though Bucky!Bear would of course be the trusted, if exasperated, sidekick in those adventures, unlike Hobbes, who iirc usually wasn't featured in the Spaceman Spiff strips.
ratcreature: RatCreature as grey alien (alien)
It finally opened here this week, and it was fun to watch, though slightly confusing, because I'm not familiar at all with Marvel's cosmology and all the alien species running around there and their intergalactic grudges, so it was hard to put the events in any sort of context. Then again, the comics themselves probably don't make much sense in the first place.

some more specific, and thus spoilery confusing things )
ratcreature: RatCreature with an ear-trumpet: What? (what?)
After watching the first two eps of Marvel Agents of SHIELD I had stopped, because I wasn't impressed and suffered from my embarrassment squick, but since I've seen an increase in more squeeful posts, so I decided to give it another try, but the series keeps tripping my up, like then while watching the third episode...

minor spoiler )
ratcreature: RatCreatures as Magneto (magneto)
This occurred to me when I commented in another journal, but one of the reasons why I like XMFC fix-it scenarios where the beach scene isn't the moment when Erik embarks upon an ideology of genocidal mutant separatism is that I can't imagine how Erik would even be able to make a sound judgment at this early point that a mutant-only society is a viable future option.

All the mutants Erik knows seem to be first generation mutants, presumably with regular human parents, and at this point none he encountered have reproduced. I'm no geneticist but it seems to me that just then they have nothing but hope that mutants will produce viable and fertile offspring with each other, who will also be mutants on top of that. And it's all well and good for your ideology to hope that you are the next evolutionary step rather than some dead-end (like Charles does too), but it's somewhat premature to burn all bridges to the larger genetic base when you haven't even seen the first mutant-mutant baby be born and reach puberty.

For all they know the mutations that give them awesome powers might lead to illness and early death kind of birth defects when two mutants have children, or they could be infertile, or just have a really high chance of either. It's probably best not to think too much about how Marvel's "X gene" is supposed to work in terms of real genetics, and I don't know much about the latter anyway, but still. I can't imagine anyone would just assume these mutations would breed true and without complications.
ratcreature: RatCreature as Daredevil (daredevil)
quick, and not all that spoilery opinion, just cut to be safe )

Unrelated, I just have to gripe about the weather a bit. Admittedly it is far, far better than a heat wave, because even moderate heat will make me truly miserable, but I would not mind if the highs weren't quite *this* low. Seriously, 14°C with rain? Couldn't it be a sunny 22°C? *grump*
ratcreature: RatCreature as Cyclops (cyclops)
I watched X-Men: First Class this afternoon, and even managed to find a showing that wasn't dubbed.

some spoilers )
ratcreature: RatCreature as Daredevil (daredevil)
I post about Daredevil so rarely because I tend to wait for a couple of storylines to accumulate before reading, even though I collect the monthly issues.

Now I've read DD #107-110: cruel & unusual, #111-115: Lady Bullseye, #116-120 (500): Return of the King )
ratcreature: RatCreature as Cyclops (cyclops)
Astonishing X-Men #1-21 (written by Joss Whedon, art by John Cassaday)

I wonder whether I shouldn't have waited for the final issues to come out before reading. Now that I'm faced with a cliffhanger again, I remembered how irregularly this came out for a while. Still it was entertaining so far, and I like the mix of an overarching plot that's coming to a conclusion in the final issues, i.e. that alien world that is convinced by some prophecy that an earth mutant will destroy it, which makes for a nice mystery keeping you hooked, and the subplots threaded into that.

Though the subplots didn't all work equally well for me. The one with the mutant cure was pretty cool, but I didn't really get into the sentient danger room thing as much, though it wasn't bad. I have to admit that the Hellfire Club stuff left me mostly confused, as I had no idea who all these people and their history with the X-Men were (though I have come across some in fanfic), and I didn't know anything about this Cassandra Nova character and her history with Emma Frost. Eventually I read with a couple of reference and overview websites open and skimmed those to get the gist, but I still felt lost. How did anyone manage to follow superhero comics at all before reference websites?? Anyway, I suspect readers familiar with the background may get more out of this (or hate it for messing with something, I guess that's always a possibility).

Still, even with my confusion the basic suspense worked for me, or I wouldn't have bothered looking up all these Hellfire Club people and their history and powers in the first place. Also I'm inclined to like this X team because it has Cyclops, Wolverine and Beast who are among my favorite X-Men characters.
ratcreature: RatCreature as Spidey (spidey)
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #11-19 (written by Peter David, pencils by Todd Nauck and Scott Eton, inks by Robert Campanella, Rodney Ramos, and John Dell)

I enjoyed those three stories. While they aren't outstanding all are solid and entertaining action-adventures with Spidey and some of his classic villains. All are set during Civil War and the direct aftermath, but not closely connected to any Civil War plots, except for Peter's identity being known. In the first several Mysterios appear at the school, mayhem ensues, and Flash deals with Peter as Spider-Man, the second, is set after Peter changed sides to oppose registration, and the government employs the Vulture to fight and capture him, but it's mostly irrelevant why the Vulture is attacking Peter just then. In the third The Sandman seeks Peter's help to exonerate his father from the murder of the alternate Ben Parker, so that also brings the future Spider-Man story to a close. Actually I liked the last least, probably because I wasn't too fond of that earlier plot in the first place. There's also a strange school nurse with a spider affinity and spikes like Peter's new poison stingers, so I assume she's the spider-creature from Spider-Man: The Other.

I've read somewhere that Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man is going to be canceled soon in favor of ASM coming out more frequently, and I'm not sure how I feel about that. On the one hand I like ASM better, and having it come out more often with more room for a single, consistent Spider-Man plot arc isn't bad, on the other hand FNSM seem to have hit its stride and provides decent adventures with the classic Spidey villains, and it's kind of nice to have a slightly less angsty break from ASM.

Amazing Spider-Man #539-541 -- Back in Black (written by J. Michael Straczynski, pencils by Ron Garney, inks by Bill Reinhold)

I kind of hate it that I'm now caught up so that I have to wait for the next issue again, especially with cliffhangers. But I like the story so far. Peter is hunting down those responsible for shooting Aunt May, and it's fast paced and tense. Peter being pushed to his limits, not just from the assassin shooting Aunt May, but also from Captain America's death and from being hunted himself, comes across as very believable here. I also like how he keeps in contact with MJ. And I'm curious what will happen during the fight with Fisk. I mean, Fisk isn't going to die, especially not since this seems to be set before the whole FBI deal in Dardevil ended, so he obviously survived, and I don't see Peter dying yet again either, but still.

One random quibble though-- what is it with comic rats having canines?? I've complained about this before, but let me say again: rats are rodents. Their incisors are plenty sharp, but they just don't have canine teeth, nor are any of their teeth pointed. Giving them canines doesn't make them look more scary, it just looks ridiculous.
ratcreature: RatCreature is buried in comics, with the text: There's no such thing as too many comics.  (comics)
Okay, figuring out the reading order was a bit of a pain in places, especially between ASM and the main Civil War series since I just couldn't get a real grip how the events sort out into a single timeline for Spider-Man. (A bit more on that below.) Also I haven't bought all the tie-ins, so I'm missing chunks, and I think I've rad the specials (War Crimes and The Return out of order).

Anyway, the Civil War issues I read were:
Road to Civil War: The New Avengers Illuminati
Amazing Spider-Man #529-538
Civil War #1-7
Civil War: Front Line #1-11
Civil War: The Return
Civil War: War Crimes
Civil War: The Confession
Civil War: The Initiative
New Avengers #21-25

Overall I quite enjoyed Civil War. cut for lengthy rambling )
ratcreature: RatCreature as Spidey (spidey)
Well, all that Spider-Man reading has some nice side-effects: I had a neat Spider-Man/Superman crossover dream last night. Sadly no slashy content or anything, just a wacky action-adventure, and I mostly forgot the details soon after waking up. Still, nicer than lots of other dreams.

Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #5-7 (written by Peter David, pencils by Roger Cruz and Michael Wieringo, inks by Karl Kesel)
These issues were kind of forgettable, except for the brain-hurting part where they somehow compressed or relocated the timeline to make weblogs a common thing when Peter attended high school, but it is best not to notice these details. Also, I'm really not interested in wrestling, much less into mythical wrestling gods or whatever that villain was, so it didn't do anything for me, and some angsting by Peter about the origin of his powers (i.e. are they (comic-book) scientific or from magical totems?) didn't make up for my lack of interest in the rest.

Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #8-10 -- Jumping the Tracks (written by Peter David, pencils by Roger Cruz and Michael Wieringo, inks by Karl Kesel and Mike Manley)
And this story was just-- it just didn't work for me. It's not even the timetraveling future Spider-Man whose daughter is the future Hobgoblin as such. I mean, yes, that's weird, but this is comics and you deal. But the whole setup was lame. First, some crazy torturing Peter with his guilt over dead relatives and friends yet again gets old, and really there is no need to bring back Uncle Ben (again? maybe they don't count the ghost thing). Also, to me it made no sense that a future Spider-Man ends up as the boss of the time police, and that they don't even prevent that stereotypical apocalypse that apparently happened. And the whole thing with the alternate Uncle Ben just got more boring with him seemingly shooting that Spider-Man. Obviously the "real" Uncle Ben, or a reasonable equivalent from another universe as the one in the Spider-Man as pro-wrestler AU flashbacks seemed to be, wouldn't just turn into a homicidal lunatic, even when he's depressed, so the shooter isn't that Ben, no matter what the artificial tension is supposed to be. So he's either some evil!Ben brought from yet another universe (but that crazy timetravelling Green Goblin said she only brought one) or some shapeshifter bad guy who will then try to trick Peter (*yawn*), only I was confused by the clothing issue. The guy who confronted alternate!Ben first appeared to wear a woolly hat, and then later the dead!Ben (whom I assume is alternate!Ben) wears a baseball cap, so where did that come from? Alternate!Ben didn't wear any hat. Other random annoyances: as far as self-referential meta jokes go the "retcon bombs" were on the really clumsy side and not that amusing.
ratcreature: RatCreature as Spidey (spidey)
Spider-Man: The Other--Evolve or Die (in Amazing Spider-Man #525-#528, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #1-#4, and Marvel Knights Spider-Man #19-#22, written by J. Michael Straczynski, Peter David, and Reginald Hudlin, pencils by Mike Wieringo, Pat Lee, and Mike Deodato, and inks by Karl Kesel, and Joe Pimentel. )

Overall I really enjoyed this crossover. I think the changes to Peter's powers have cool potential, and it was really creepy in parts. Some of the subplots didn't quite come together for me though, and I thought the first half was a bit weaker than the second.

For example I liked Tracer okay as a villain, but he vanished rather abruptly and didn't seem much connected to the main Morlun and spiderpowers plot thread. Also I was disappointed that we never found out what caused Peter's cell degeneration illness in the first place. Was it random? A long term after effect of the initial bite? of Peter not accepting the spider fully? or a side effect of that radiation thing he did to defeat Morlun the first time? Also I was a bit confused why Morlun wasn't always visible to others besides Peter.

I thought the part where he travels to see all these other scientist-type heroes was somewhat boring. I mean, I guess it makes sense that he had to ask around, but it just didn't do anything for me. MJ an Aunt May helping him to play with cool gadgets at Dr Doom's place was fun though.

Another random thing I liked in the first half was MJ beating up that creep with her pool cue. Granted, the creepy stalker fan cliche was trite, but MJ was cool. Peter imagining this plan to make money in Vegas was cute too, though I think a better bet for financial security for his family would be patenting his web fluid or something.

Anyway, IMO the story really picked up once the main fight with Morlun started. Things got much more tense and creepy. Morlun gouging out Peter's eye was really gross, and I actually found it almost OTT for a Spider-Man comic because it wasn't as necessary for the story as the later grossness when Peter transformed. That transformation Peter went through afterwards almost shocked me. I mean, he mutated before, like in stories where he grows extra arms, and that iirc fairly recent change (I forgot when it happened exactly) that brought the comic powers in line with the movie version so that he produces his own web fluid, but the teeth? weird poisonous spikes? and most importantly that then Peter ate Morlun?? It's creepy and unexpected when a hero goes for cannibalism. Not bad though. I actually kind of liked it in this story's context. And it even escalated further when he somehow pupated or something, shed his skin and then regenerated in that cocoon. Somehow cocoons have an inherent creepiness.

I've been a bit dubious when JMS first introduced these spiritual spider connections earlier in ASM, but here Peter's dream of embracing his inner spider or whatever that was, worked for me, and I'm intrigued about Peter's new powers and his control (or lack thereof) over them. I mean, he reacts now faster and on instinct just to being touched in a friendly way, and has suddenly possibly poisonous spikes at his disposal during a fight, that opens a lot of potential way for him to hurt others without meaning to. Especially considering that he already ate one guy, even if it was a villain.

I'm less fond of the upcoming costume change, I like Spidey's classic costume and and gold just isn't as nice, also kind of ominous in that those are Iron Man's colors (and it's not like I want to slash these two) and it's bad enough that apparently Tony Stark listens in on Peter and MJ making out like a stalker. Though I guess it's related to the whole Civil War event.

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