Thoughts on the female THOR

As a big Thor fan, I think this a very good idea actually. Here is why:

1) It's not permanent, so people shouldn't be worrying. If anyone reads the current Thor comic, they know this isn't permanent.

2) This will get readers who only read triple A titles to read something with a female leads. It expands people minds and expands the audience that reads female-led books which is very necessary.

3) Female books will be more likely to be read when they are released. People constantly complain that there aren't enough female books, when they aren't read. Marvel did try when they put Sif as the lead in Journey into Mystery. I thought it was a great book, but people refuse to read it. It makes no sense, but now we are tackling a much bigger audience.

4) I think this is great for the whole Thor mythos. Its a different take on a great title. It is an excellent opportunity to explore what it means to be worthy with Mjolnir.

5) The character looks sick, and this looks like a lot of fun.

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Book Review: American Gods

American Gods: An Ostrich by Nature

Since I was a child, there were few things that excited me more than the subject of mythology. From the story of Atlas to the trickeries of Loki, every tale was a saga to another realm, a journey into mystery. So upon my search for great books to read, I was bombarded by recommendations to read American Gods by Neil Gaiman. Never having read a book by the legendary author, aware that he uses a strange style, I decided to pick up the novel which modernized the idea of what it means to be a god, and created its own unique mythology.

The story begins with a man, simply named Shadow that is released from jail after some time in prison. He is let free with no family or home to return to, and is offered a job by a man known as Mr. Wednesday. Through the series of events that follow, Shadow finds himself in the center of a clash between the old gods of the past, and the new gods of today.

I was amazed at what interesting world Gaiman crafted, bringing forth an innovative idea and making it genuinely fascinating. If only he put more effort into it. Truth be told, American Gods is one of the most disappointing books I have ever read for several reasons, some of which are common in weak novels and others that one might not expect. First, and foremost, I did not like a single character in this book. It is one thing for a character to be boring, it is another for the reader to not be able to empathize or connect with them on a remote level. This is what I felt toward every character, for they were either as bland and unrelatable as Shadow, as strange as Sam, or as annoying as most of the new gods. This lack of connection with readers weakens the work significantly.

Story-wise, I despised the book even more so. I spent the entire time reading expecting something incredible to happen, yet nothing ever came; not only that, but I often felt that the book had no real direction. While it makes some interesting stops between the book’s major events, I always questioned where it was headed, and although there were a few interesting surprises, I ultimately felt that it didn’t lead up to anything either astonishing or worthwhile. Also, for a fantasy book, I found that it had very few action scenes or thrills to offer; even when we are told there is fighting or action, Gaiman refuses to give readers a glimpse of the mayhem. The most notable example (spoilers in this example) is when the new gods and old gods finally go to war, and Shadow is trying to find a resolution. We saw close to nothing about what happened on the battlefield. Why an author would write something as epic as that, and then not share it with readers, is beyond me. Furthermore, I found the epilogue, which was more of a short story, to be much more engaging than the lackluster main story. That should give you an idea of how mediocre the heart of the story actually is.

On a more minor and personal note, there was plenty of cursing, a few nude scenes, and some mature themes that were apparent in the book, such as Sam’s questionable sexuality. While there were times I found that it added layers to the atmosphere, there was such a lack of direction in the book that I felt it was tacked on just to make the book seem darker and edgier, something to catch readers in a culture that loves that style. A lot of it served no purpose in my opinion, and added something that was unnecessary. I felt it would have felt smoother without all of it, but it is more of a personal grudge. However, this last point is anything but personal.

It is a shame when something doesn’t reach its potential. What’s worse is when there is no effort made to strive to achieve that potential. That is the case with the American Gods mythology and story. I cannot emphasize enough, how genius the ideas Gaiman presented are, but it ultimately led to nowhere. Not only that, but the story was crammed into just a few hundred pages. While not everything so grand necessarily needs to be written on a grand scale, this universe was a creation dying to be expanded and explored. It deserves that treatment, but it is denied that. What could have been one of the most epic book series ever written was never given an opportunity.

If I had to make a comparison, American Gods is like an ostrich in its nature. It is colossal, striking, and stands strong, being the mighty bird that it is. But it refuses to fly. American Gods, is a book that never took off, never expanding upon what it built and never treating readers with what they deserve. It was world left unexplored.

Rating: 2/5 Stars

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My Thoughts on Venditti's Green Lantern

Preface

I’m not exactly a blogger, but I thought I’d share my opinion on a rather big topic regarding Green Lantern. That topic is none other than Venditti’s writing on Green Lantern. Before I talk about this, I just want to tell my short history with Green Lantern. I started reading comics only about two and a half years ago when the New 52 happened. I did not read the main Green Lantern title, though. In an attempt to be a hipster, I read New Guardians instead (good book btw). Twelve issues in, I jumped into the main Green Lantern title. I have yet to read all of the first twelve issues of the New 52 Green Lantern (I’m searching for them) but I have read issues 0 and 13-27.

About a year ago I decided to start reading John’s run from the beginning, starting with Rebirth. I don’t exactly have all the money or time in the world so I’m not done with his run yet (don’t spoil anything!). I am currently a little more than halfway done with The Sinestro Corp War (epic stuff). That being said, I get the gist of John’s run and I think I have a good understanding of what he has done, but of course I am not familiar with all of it yet.

My Thoughts

So after ten years of writing Green Lantern, Geoff Johns retired from the book and Robert Venditti took the mantle. Needless to say, people were mad. From my perspective, this divided Green Lantern readers into one of three crowds. First is the crowd that didn’t care; this group is the 1% and very few people were indifferent about the change. Second, was the crowd that knew Venditti from his superb work on X-O Manowar (go read it) and thought he was the perfect choice. And lastly was the crowd that left Green Lantern just because Johns wasn’t writing it. To be fair some of the last crowd did give Venditti a chance, but left because they weren’t used to a different style. Personally, I am a part of the second crowd, and am a fan of Venditti’s work. However, people from all these groups have shown some discontent with Venditti’s work now that it’s here.

So what is the difference between Venditti and Johns that made so many people angry? The difference is very apparent actually. Johns reinvented Green Lantern, which is why he is considered the god of that domain. He turned a character and series that people didn’t care much about and made it a total epic. I think his work is phenomenal, but that shouldn’t discredit Venditti. Venditti takes a very different approach. As we have seen with the events of Lights Out, he has begun his run by informing readers that the emotional spectrum is actually a finite, rather than infinite as most readers assumed. I call this Venditti’s thesis. I think this will dictate his run long term. Johns’ thesis was that there are more corps than the green lanterns. Johns’ entire run was basically exploring all the different corps, but it took him several issues to state that thesis. Venditti’s is much different, but I think it is just as smart and innovative as Johns’.

People ask why Venditti didn’t just stick to what was already there and keep going with it. Well, I actually attended the Green Lantern Lights Out panel at NYCC this year and he said that he did not want to fill Johns’ shoes. He didn’t want to use those shoes and instead decided to use a different pair and run with those instead. In other words, Venditti respects Johns and his work. Why mess up a masterpiece? Instead he is taking a leap of faith and trying to establish a new era for Green Lantern in a different way, but in the best, most interesting way he can.

This finite energy is an intriguing idea, and based on the events of Green Lantern #27 readers know that things are going to get messy, in a good way of course! But Venditti has done more than just say that the emotional spectrum’s energy is finite. He made Hal the leader of the corp (for now), blew up Oa and made Mogo the new mobile headquarters for the green lanterns, caused controversy on the use of the rings amongst the lanterns, and even shook up some love interests. Of course, people got angry about this too. OH NO, IT’S CHANGE. I don’t get what the big deal is. Venditti shaking things up is a positive in my book; otherwise things become static and tiresome. He is keeping things fresh and interesting, which is a GOOD thing.

As much as I love what Venditti is doing though, I have a problem with two things: Hal’s characterization and notorious plot holes. Staring with Hal, Venditti definitely knows what Hal is about and understands him, but he makes him more idiotic than he should be. Several times we have seen Hal rush into things mindlessly, declare a stupid law regarding the rings, etc. It’s not hard to see that Hal has a brutish nature at times. I have no problems with Hal making his bad decisions, but it happens more often than it should. Venditti needs to show us that Hal is indeed a hothead, but can be smart when he needs to be. I am aware that he likes to make heroes both good and somewhat evil (X-O Manowar readers know what I’m talking about), but making Hal dumb won’t accomplish that.

Now I will move on to the plot holes. There will be some spoilers of the last few issues. The plot holes became apparent in issue #27. First was when the tribesmen attacked Hal from behind and knocked him out in about two melee attacks if memory serves me right. This makes little sense. Hal’s ring could have easily detected a threat, and should have automatically created a force field. Venditti could have cleaned this up rather easily too. He could have had the transforming enemy disguise himself as a lantern or friendly, so the ring could detect a threat but Hal would have been confused anyways. The tribesman could have then come up and shot through Hal’s automatic shields because they were using weapons that go through constructs. One or two nice shots to the body or head would have knocked him out the same way and then the scene would have made sense.

Then we have the biggest plot hole that someone brought up in a review. I will have to go back several issues to explain this. So first Nol-Anj gets her ring because she loves her tribe and then she escapes to her people. After Lights Out, Hal declares that illegal use of the emotional spectrum is a crime. Hal goes and fights Nol-Anj, declaring loudly that illegal use of the emotional spectrum is a crime, but they come to an agreement. Instead of Nol-Anj going to jail, her tribe would go for her instead. The tribe then arrives on Mogo, fights the lanterns and work their way to some wilderness and safety. Here they meet a partner from their planet, one of those aliens that can transform (I can’t recall the name). Together they get to the control center, knock out Hal, and make the green lanterns look evil to the rest of the universe by rewording and exploiting their plans.

Alright, now that this series of events has been reviewed, I have questions. How did the tribesman plan all this out? How did they know one of their transforming associates would be there? They didn’t know about any of this until Hal announced it. They were arrested shortly afterwards, so how did they plan this out? If someone knows the answer to this, feel free to tell me. Venditti hopefully will explain this in the next issue though.

So I’ve said all I have to say, the good and the bad. I conclude that I really like Venditti, and I don’t understand the hostility toward him. What he needs to do is sharpen his writing so Hal doesn’t come across as being stupid and these plot holes can be avoided. Otherwise, Venditti is doing great. By introducing new ideas, characters, status queues, etc. he is keeping things fresh and original. People just need to embrace change. I have high hopes for Venditti and I think he will have a long, fruitful run.

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What Superhero am I results, and reading List

So I'm Hawkeye which I didnt expect but Hawkeye's pretty cool so I can't complain.

As for what I've been reading:

Blue Beetle- It is awesome and still my favorite series because Jaime is awesome and I love its style. If you're not reading this you should give it a shot because its too good to have the possibility of being cancelled.

Red Lanterns- It been meh. The story hasn't been very exciting besides the fight between Rankorr and Guy Gardner, and when Rankorr makes an energy construct. Stormwatch is coming in next issue so many that will make things more interesting.

Green Lantern: New Guardians- Its been pretty good. The next story arc with the Reach should be awesome. Its nothing out of this world though.

The Mighty Thor- The series has been totally awesome and the upcoming story arc looks interesting enough.

X-O Manowar- Just started it and the first issue was very good. Everything is setup for epicness. I reccommend people to look into it.

I'm going to starte the mini series Man of God. I'm reading my NARUTO and will start soon ATTACK ON TITAN.

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What I read

I just started reading comics when the New 52 began and I'm only a teen so i don't have the money to buy much. What I read though is:

- Blue Beetle

-Red Lanterns

-Green Lanterns: New Guardians

-The Mighty Thor

-Limited series of my interests

I love the Blue Beetle so far. I can really relate to the character and i love the hero in general.

Red Lanterns caught my attention when i was deciding what i would read. It looked interesting so i jumped in; so far its alright but it doesn't seem to be getting anywhere. I have patience though.

I haven't actually started New Guardians yet but since its written by Tony Bedard who writes the Blue Beetle and a crossover is likely going to happen, next time I go to my local comic shop I'll pickup issues 1-6.

The Mighty Thor was pretty good at the beginning and now its great. After the Galactus story arc, the art got much better and the story is really intriguing.

If you're wondering why I may have randomly picked The Mighty Thor, I didn't. Before i started reading I asked my parents to pick me up a random comic from Marvel or something and they gave me The Mighty Thor. It was my first comic and its been awesome. Since I don't have much money to spend on comics, I'm not going to jump into any more continuous series unless its Thor related (Journey into the Mystery doesn't interest me) or maybe i might get tempted by something from Tony Bedard.

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