Happy International Women’s Day!

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Happy International Women’s Day!  We at Stacks have been lucky to have so many strong women in our lives to support us and make us better.  We also have read some amazing women authors as well.  Thank you to all the women who have come before us and here’s to all the women that will come after us!  Let’s continue to support and inspire each other and there is nothing we can’t accomplish!

March: Discussion Part 2

9781603093958_p0_v6_s192x300 Hello, Beth here.  

I have had many reactions to this trilogy so far. I’ll admit it’s not an easy read as there are a lot of hard truths here. The question I keep asking myself is how can I be shocked when I know what’s going to happen? I know my history. I know this was not one of America’s proudest moments in our history. I studied in school about the protests and violent reaction to them. I’ve read about Emmit Till, Medger Evers and Freedom Rides.  So why am I’m still shocked to read how violent they were? How am I still shocked to read how angry, hurtful and full of hate people can be? It’s not like they were asking for huge things. They wanted to eat at the counters of stores they just bought merchandise in. They wanted to go to the movies. They wanted to ride the bus. They wanted to vote. How are any of these extraordinary requests? How am I still shocked by these when the news lately are full of people saying angry, hurtful and full of hate? Why do I feel like we are repeating history?

What is everyone else’s reactions so far?

March: Discussion Post 1

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Beth and I have both finally gotten our copies of March in the mail, and I started reading it at breakfast this morning! This couldn’t be a more pertinent read. As I am sure you have seen, Senator Elizabeth Warren was officially silenced for the rest of the hearing on whether to confirm Senator Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. She was silenced for reading out part of a letter written by Coretta Scott King to the chair of the judiciary committee in 1986 on Sessions’ possible appointment to a federal judgeship. Warren was officially silenced for, ‘breaking Rule 19, which forbids members from imputing to a colleague “any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator.”‘ (quote from NPR.)

 

In the letter, King writes about the march from Selma to Montgomery in the letter, setting the stage to discuss subsequent actions designed to deny people their right to vote. She writes, “I was privileged to join Martin and many others during the Selma to Montgomery march for voting rights in 1965. Martin was particularly impressed by the determination to get the franchise of blacks in Selma and neighboring Perry County.” You can read the letter in its entirety here.

 

Volume one begins with Lewis’s early life; we won’t get to Selma until volume 3 (I believe). It is not often that we read historical pieces that are so immediately relevant as we read them.

For this post, I’m not going to ask discussion questions. So, please feel free to comment with your first impressions of the graphic novel. Are you reading along with us? Have you started? How do you feel about pet chickens? We look forward to hearing what you have to say in the comments.

Ms. Marvel is the hero we need now

ms-marvel-trump If you are like Kate and I then you are horrified about the actions of the current administration. All throughout the campaign, through his transition period, we were told not to take what Trump says seriously. He isn’t going to build a wall. He wasn’t going to ban an entire religion. He has seriously begun one and made steps to do the other. I’m almost afraid to turn on the news or go online. Even if you try to avoid social media, you can’t escape the outside world entirely.  Really, for the first time, I truly feel afraid. I have now lived in New York City for almost nine years.  I work on the World Trade Center.  Everyday I am reminded of the terrible effects of what terrorism does to people, to cities, to nations and to the world.  I see the hatred, but I also see what comes after.  The love and caring for perfect strangers, the kindness that brings us all together after such horrific events.  Since moving to New York, there have been two possible attacks and yet I have never been afraid.  I have never been scared of being injured in a terrorist attack until the last couple of days.  In one day, he has made us more of a target than we were before.  He turned his back on our American ideals. I understand wanting to keep our country safe.  I want to keep our country safe and the current Immigration Order will in no way keep us safe.

Last year I started reading Ms. Marvel Graphic Novels.  Ms. Marvel’s alter-ego is Kamala Khan,  a Pakistani-American Muslim teenager from New Jersey.  She is a normal American teenager.  She reads comics and writes fan-fiction about the Avengers. When she meets her idols like Wolverine and Captain America she freaks out like any of us would.  She cares for her friends and her family. Like most kids, she toes the line between fitting with her friends and making her parents proud.  She is full of confidence and insecurities. She has doubts and fears about what she has done and what she could do.  When she comes into her power, the first thing she does is save a fellow student who bullied her earlier in the comic without hesitation.  When her best friend’s brother gets in trouble, she puts her fear aside and puts on her costume and goes to the rescue.  She does this because her religion tells her to help others if she has the ability to.  Isn’t that what we all should strive for?  Isn’t that what we all should be doing?  If you have the ability to help someone, shouldn’t you?  Even if they are a stranger to you?  Kamala Khan is a brave girl who goes out into her community and her city and helps those in need because she loves her city and community.  She is brave. Muslim, Christian, Jewish, White, Black, Asian, LGBTQ+. We could all use a little bit of bravery right now.  We all could use a little Ms. Marvel in us and we need to remind our representatives and our President of that, too.  Ms. Marvel and Kamala Khan are the Heroes we need right now.

Review: Crecy by Warren Ellis

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I’m pretty sure that I read this graphic novel when it first came out but, I recently moved and in all the packing I came across it and decided it was time to pick it up and read it again.

 

 

The year is 1346 and then English army is outnumbered outside of the village of Crecy. They’ve run a shock-and-awe campaign, attacking villages and just generally making mayhem but now they have to stand and fight. French forces with mounted knights and hired crossbowmen go up against English longbows and other fighters a battle that would have a major impact on the Hundred Years war. The story is centered around one longbowman as he moves through the French countryside and prepares for battle.

 

This is a quick read about a piece of English history. It is pretty good. A little sweary and sometimes a little gross, but that is in line with the subject material. So, if you’re looking for a little history but you aren’t into reading a long tome, I say give this a try.

 

 

Review: Marvel 1602 by Neil Gaiman

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It’s the Marvel Universe! Written by Neil Gaiman! Set in Elizabethan England! Nick Fury is John Dee! Stephen Strange is the Court Magician/Doctor! Magneto is basically the Spanish Inquisition!
I cannot use enough exclamation points. That’s how much I enjoyed it. It was great to fun to recognize characters (or not recognize them at first).
Anyway, There are disturbing storms and signs and omens that the world may be at its end. The Queen puts her best men on it. Meanwhile, the Spanish Inquisition is hunting down mutants and Virginia Dare (who has a terrible secret) accompanied by Rohjaz, her Native American caretaker, is coming to visit Queen Elizabeth to ask for more resources for the colony her father is governor of back in the New World. Von Doom is, unsurprisingly, trying to kill the Queen. And, James in Scotland’s is patiently awaiting the death of the Queen so he can rid the world of magic and super people.
Can everyone come together to keep the universe from ripping itself in half? Will the survive these terrible storms? Can Magneto and Professor X work together in this incarnation? SO MANY QUESTIONS TO BE ANSWERED.
This was a delightful book. I am so very happy that a friend recommended it to me. So, if you’re looking for a fun twist to superheroes and/or you like history, che

Captain America. So much Captain America

Tomorrow a movie that Beth and I (and a lot of the world) has been anticipating comes out and I have been preparing for it in typical Book Blogger fashion. I binged on some of the source material.

I started with Civil War (which Beth also read.)  This is a heartbreaking title in which Captain America stands up for what he believes in and Tony Stark is kind of a dick about something that’s probably a terrible idea. But, that’s not what is heartbreaking about it. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone interested in reading the interesting title, but Cap’s arch in this comic is pretty sad.

 

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And, then I read The Death of Captain America. I feel like that title should come with a spoiler alert? Except, I don’t. This is the post-registration world and so no one can take up the shield without registering first. And, Bucky Barnes, who once again remembers who he is or was, isn’t going to let just anyone take up the shield. I liked how this story developed and went into some of the implications of the registration act. There are still fugitive unregistered heroes. There are registered heroes who regret that choice. It was a good read.

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And, then I read Captain America: Road to Reborn. Steve Rogers has been gone a year. How is everyone holding up? How are they living with what happened and the part they played in it?  This was also an interesting title that unsurprisingly has left me wanting to read more.

So, a friend lent me Marvel 1602 and now that’s what I’m reading.

The good news is Comixology has got a girl’s back and they’ve helpfully had a number of sales that have let me keep reading. (Even if it meant I had to buy single issues.)

 

How do you prepare for a movie based on a book to come out? Do you read the book? Do you watch the interviews of cast members? Do you avoid everything and hope to be pleasantly surprised? Let us know it the comics!

 

 

 

Review: Civil War by Mark Millar

civil warI have to remind myself that the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) is not the same as Marvel Comic Universe. The Captain America and Iron Man that we have grown to love in the movies are not exactly the same in the comics.  They may share some story lines, traits and beliefs but really they are different characters.  As is the story is going to be a different story then the movie.  For one thing thing, in the comic the story relies kinda heavily on the involvement of both the Fantastic Four and the X-Men, both teams that do not exist in the MCU.  So the reasons why the registrations of Superhero’s is necessary had to be changed but the central argument seems to be the same.  To have a governing body to oversee superhero activities or continue to have autonomy on their work.  I can understand both sides.  On one hand, just because you have super human abilities does not mean you are or should be above the law and do what ever you like and then force other people to pay to clean up your mess.  On the other hand, you can’t force someone to work for someone without a choice of employers.Not everyone has the same prioritize and they shouldn’t be forced to submit to others.  I’m not sure how it’s going to play out in the movie since it doesn’t come out until Friday but I feel like the in the comic they were definitely more Team Captain.  Team Iron Man was doing all sorts of shady things.  Cloning older superheroes and creating new ones who will follow their directions.  Release super villains to track down the rebelling superheroes.  Who is supervising them?  The more I read the more I felt that people’s anger was misplaced.  What started it all was a few Mutants (were they actually X-men?) are filming a reality TV show.  They track down other mutants in Stanford, Connecticut. Even though they know they are out matched and they confront them anyway for the sake of better ratings.  They end up dying and taking with them a whole bunch of kids from a near by school. Now this is truly a tragedy but why blame all superheroes and not the producers and the network of the show that pushed them to get bigger rantings.  I haven’t read all the Civil War collections, as I see their are many, so maybe there are more to this then just that but it seems to me this is blaming all for the actions of few.  Say, like blaming the all Muslims for the actions of terrorist even though majority of Muslims live peaceful lives are are just as angry and appalled by the actions of Isis as everyone else.  Captain America, The Falcon, Iron Man, The Fantastic Four Spider-Man and so on are not going out looking for trouble they are only responding when there is.  That’s a big difference.  Maybe regulations should be made but this all of nothing solution that is presented in this is probably not the way.  I found this book to be enjoyable.  Gave me a lot to think about.  Not sure if if really prepared me for what’s to come in the movie since as I said in the beginning these are different beasts but I’m glad I did.

Review: Operation S.I.N. By Kathryn Immonen and Rich Ellis.

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First off, the cover of this book lied to me. This isn’t MCU Peggy Carter, it’s a different Peggy Carter. But, I was able to quickly put that aside because she still kicks ass. The story starts off with a home invasion and then it takes you through a rollicking ride into Mother Russia. Howard Stark has a question about some tech and he needs Peggy Carter’s help. They then team up with a couple of Russian teenagers and a Scottish dude to investigate some alien tech. Can they diffuse tense situations? Will they thwart Hydra? Will Peggy punch Howard in the face? Will Howard deserve a punch in the face? (I think we all know the answer to that last question, at least, even if we don’t read the book.)

This was a fun story and I liked the art. I also kind of love Howard Stark and his Science! first approach to life. It’s amazing he lived as long as he did in the comics since he doesn’t always seem to be aware of his surroundings.

Oh, and there’s a bonus Agent Carter and Captain America at the end of the volume. And, that was pretty fun.