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The Female Perspective: Ladies Are Taking Care of Business…

Welcome! This is a weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.


I thought about writing about Daredevil season 2 and how amazing the women are in that show but then I started thinking in a slightly broader sense. As I was binge watching season 2 with my man I realized that in the Marvel film and TV universe, they are writing exceptional women. Women who fight, who love and who do not apologize for being tough and brave, but who are also feminine and have their weak moments as well.

It’s bloody brilliant.

Elektra stands on her own (and apart) from her male counterparts in "Daredevil" season 2.
Elektra stands on her own (and apart) from her male counterparts in “Daredevil” season 2.

I am obviously a huge fan of the Marvel Universe that’s being created but I didn’t stop to really think of why, beyond the flash and fun of course, and now I realize it’s because in pretty much ever movie or TV show I’ve watched the women are bad ass, in the most wonderful way. This is feminism at work, this is equality at work and it’s wonderful to see. Today young girls have the option of so many female role models from Black Widow to Supergirl to Agent May on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and so many more that’s actually quite staggering. Even on a show like Daredevil the character of Elektra had the potential to be overshadowed by the “big boys” like Punisher and Daredevil himself, but she didn’t, she had her own storyline, her own struggles, her own power. Karen Page, a normal human by all accounts, finds her way in the world, finds her purpose and doesn’t ever become meek or fragile, even when kidnapped and fearful of her life, she manages to use her head and even though she doesn’t technically save the day, she manages to keep herself alive and guess what? She doesn’t fall apart in a sobbing pile in a man’s arms after. She picks herself up and keeps going. Elektra and Karen were essential to this season of Daredevil and that makes my feminist heart flutter with joy.

To me that’s how women should be written for TV or film. As women who can fight for their life when they need to, who can keep their heads in terrifying situations and who can rebound after those situations and keep going, keep fighting. They don’t run to the nearest man for love and/or sex and/or comforting, they comfort themselves and get going. They take care of business.

Frankly, that’s how the women I know in real life act. Of course, none of them have been kidnapped by madmen (thank God), but we have all had stressful situations in our life. We crumble, we fight, we cry, we get back up. That’s how you do it and it’s about damn time that TV and film catch onto that.

It’s been a gradual shift and Marvel is not the only one doing it by any means. If we look at Rey from Star Wars: The Force Awakens or Katniss from The Hunger Games (not a fave of mine but I know a strong lady when I see one) or one of my favorites, Black Widow from The Avengers and Captain America. What I love about Black Widow is that she is evolving, we first see her in Iron Man 2 and she is a sexy lady who turns out can fight circles around the men. Then we start to see her in other Marvel films and she starts to become a person, not just a fighter and a solider, but a person. In Age of Ultron she speaks about feeling like a monster for what she has done, for what has been done to her and when faced with the choice of fighting or running away with Bruce, she chooses to fight, because that’s what has to be done. She sacrifices her happiness for the greater good and hopefully you all know some women like that in your lives, I know I certainly do.

Black Widow doesn't apologize for who she is, it weighs heavily upon her, but she keeps on going, carrying that load.
Black Widow doesn’t apologize for who she is, it weighs heavily upon her, but she keeps on going, carrying that load.

The fact is, women are smart, sexy, tough and wonderful (as are men), and what makes me truly happy is to see that finally reflected in popular fiction on TV and in movies. I have high hopes for this weekends big release Batman v. Superman, not because of Batman or Superman, but because of Wonder Woman. FINALLY we get to see her in action and I for one, am extremely hopeful that WW takes after all the women before her and comes off as tough but feminine in the best ways possible.

What I am really digging is that while the costumes are tight fitting and all that, they aren’t slutty or offensive, they make sense for the character and (unlike what so often happens in comics) they are both sensible and sexy, a wonderful combination because when we see young girls cosplaying their favorites, we don’t have to sensor it because hey, it’s long pants and sleeves with a high neckline, fabulous! It makes me proud to be able to witness a time when characters like Agent Peggy Carter and Daisy from S.H.I.E.L.D move flawlessly from being powerful and brave, to being confused and/or uncertain and back again. These are flawed women, beautifully flawed women that aren’t taken advantage of. They stand toe-to-toe with the male characters and sometimes, they end up saving them.

"Don't worry fellas, I'll protect you." - Wonder Woman
“Don’t worry fellas, I’ll protect you.” – Wonder Woman

It’s a wonderful thing to witness, and with so much going on today that is stressful, sad or troubling, it’s truly heartening to be able to see women gaining so much ground, even if it is in a fictional sense. Here’s hoping that one day soon, it will start to really, truly happen in the “real” world.

How about YOU? What female character do you love that’s on TV or in film nowadays? Sound off in the comments and tell me why you love her!

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The Female Perspective: Oh Agent Carter, You Wiley Devil You

Welcome! This is a weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.


I’ve written about Agent Carter before and gosh dang it, the show is so good, I’m going to do it again, because it deserves more attention than it seems to be getting. If you haven’t watched the first season, go, now, do that and then come back and read this!

Onward and upward as they say…

My fave TV couple, Peggy Carter and Jarvis!
My fave TV couple, Peggy Carter and Jarvis!

In season one of Agent Carter we got to know SSR Agent Peggy Carter a bit better, we knew about her love for good ole Captain America and we know how that romance ended, but what about the woman behind SHIELD? The woman that shot Captain America multiple times to make sure his shield worked? What is her story? How did she fare after WWII was over and the “womenfolk” were sent back to the kitchens?

Well, I think it’s pretty safe to say that Agent Carter had a rough go of it after the war but if nothing else, she is tenacious. You cannot stop her and that, I absolutely adore. She makes me want to be just like her. Never give up on what’s right and above all, don’t give up on what you want.

It’s a perfect message for female viewers, young and old.

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I’ll admit right here that I haven’t checked the ratings on Agent Carter but I’ve begun hearing pesky rumors that she won’t be back for a season 3 and that really makes me angry. If the dang Kardashians (gag) can be on TV season after season, than Agent Carter, at the very least deserves a 3rd season.

Why is one of the best shows on TV not getting the attention it deserves?

In one of the recent episodes a character named Whitney Frost declares that she is trying to find a place of power for those that are treated as unequal (namely, women and African-Americans), it’s a poignant message in this time of both racial and feminist inequality.  Unfortunately, Frost is taking a bad path, she doesn’t just want equality, she wants power. ALL the power. She wants to rule. She wants to take over. Unfortunately, that’s not the way to do it. Luckily for the world, Agent Carter and her team is on the job and they are going to do everything they can to stop Frost from enacting what I am sure is a truly evil plan. I can’t wait for the season finale (I’ll be watching it tonight) to see what Frost tries next!

MARVEL'S AGENT CARTER - "Better Angels" - Peggy's search for the truth about Zero Matter puts her on a collision course with her superiors as Howard Stark barnstorms in, on "Marvel's Agent Carter," TUESDAY, JANUARY 26 (9:00-10:00 p.m. EST) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Eric McCandless) WYNN EVERETT
MARVEL’S AGENT CARTER – “Better Angels” – Peggy’s search for the truth about Zero Matter puts her on a collision course with her superiors as Howard Stark barnstorms in, on “Marvel’s Agent Carter”.

I was excited about Agent Carter when it came on for it’s “special run” last year and was even more thrilled when season two was announced. This season has actually been even better than season one because we have distanced quite a bit from Captain America and Peggy is standing on her own stylish two feet as she runs, jumps and quips with Jarvis (can I take a moment to say I adore Jarvis) on a weekly basis. It’s a smart show and each episode is full of meaningful moments and important statements that directly impact our own politically-charged world.  The last 2 weeks have aired back-to-back episodes that almost feel like little movies and it’s been a joy, it’s also been quite a bit to take in all at once (this is certainly a show I want on DVD to enjoy over and over again) and you can feel the intensity building with each episode, I have no doubt we are racing towards a fairly epic conclusion and I cannot wait to see where we go.

Season 2 of "Agent Carter" has been full of politically important moments, including an interracial romance.
Season 2 of “Agent Carter” has been full of politically important moments, including an interracial romance.

The show is well-written, well-acted and darn-it, it’s important. In a TV landscape that can be quite iffy when it comes to great female leads Agent Carter is chock full of women taking care of business and standing up for themselves. The idea that it might be cancelled and a show like Supergirl (that I started out loving and have since become fairly bored with due to it’s trite treatment of its female characters) or a show like … Well, at the moment I can’t think of another show with a strong female lead (wait, there’s my newfound love of The 100 which I will get into next week) so therein I make my point, we simply don’t have enough TV programs with really great, strong, interesting female leads that aren’t about romance but are about action, getting things done and making a difference. Everything about Agent Carter is refreshing and fun. I sure hope it comes back for a season 3.

What do YOU think? Do you watch Agent Carter? Tell me YOUR thoughts in the comments!

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The Female Perspective: The F Word…Again

Welcome! This is a weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.


Yep, I’m going to talk about that F word again.

The dreaded Feminism.

I came across a couple things this week that made me see that this discussion is far from over. It both saddens and encourages me. The two videos showcase the best and worst of the mind and what it can do, how words can be powerful and how the person in charge can be a good and fair person.

Stacey Dash, “famous” for her role in Clueless and not much else, has made a point of being an outspoken, anti-person, or whatever it is she claims to be. She has basically gone against her own race along with her own sex. She recently appeared on Meredith Vieira’s show to discuss gender pay inequality.

Take a moment to watch this 2 minute clip and meet me in a minute to discuss.

Okay Stacey, I see some of what you are saying but not all of it. You clearly do not want to accept the fact that women do in fact make less than men, as Vieira said, 78 cents to the dollar. It’s an actual FACT. Sorry lady, you can’t really argue with actual math and stuff.

To say that pay inequality and racism is all an “excuse” and if you want to be extraordinary you should go ahead and do so is simplifying the issue to an extreme degree. There are probably hundreds of thousands of women today who are extraordinary, more so than their male counterparts, and they are still making considerably less than men. By your argument Stacey, you are saying that these women simply are not seizing their greatness or some such crap.

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It’s slightly insane how she absolutely refuses to see the truth and instead spouts ignorance and lies and worse than that, blames women being held back on excuses. It saddens me. The fact is, many women work very hard and they deserve pay that reflects that. We have made great strides in the years since suffrage, but we have a lot further to go.

My other video is so much fun I almost squealed with glee watching it. Once again, new Canadian PM Justin Trudeau has made headlines for his no-nonsense truth talking and I gotta say, more than the idea of Donald Trump being elected into office, this guy makes me want to move to Canada. Trudeau talks about how men (and women) need to embrace feminism  to improve decision making in politics.

I could not agree more with this fella.

The fact is, feminism is not a dirty word,  it is a word to be proud of. A movement that both men and women should be honored to be a part of. There is no shame in being a feminist because it is about equality and who could possible be against equality?

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Sadly, I think most of us know the answer to that particular query. There is so much opposition to equality in our world today that it makes it seem like an impossible hurdle to jump. The fact that there are still women being lambasted in public for breastfeeding because breasts are apparently offensive unless they’re squashed in a Victoria’s Secret bra is just one example of how the world views women unfairly.

Even today, a friend posted a video on Facebook of a woman doing some amazing acrobatics and the comments from some of the men were sexist and annoying. Jokes about  this is what happens when you accuse a woman of having a “man cold” or some such nonsense. All I could think was, “If that was a man doing it, it would be, wow, look at him,” or, “He’s a badass.” I realize to some it will seem like I’m taking it “too seriously” and I need to “chill” but at the same time, it’s these same little things that when they slip by unnoticed that become big things, that soon become bigger than the world can contain and things explode (or implode). So no, I don’t think it’s a small thing, I think it’s a clear indicator of the inequality all around us.

That same Stacey Dash video was one I snagged from Facebook and the comments from one guy were about how he’d have to research to make sure that women don’t get paid the same as men and then he actually posted a full list of professions and the pay inequality (thus admitting he was wrong and that yes, inequality exists) but it was really annoying for a man to be trying to find a way away from the truth. A truth that is well documented. While I applaud him wanting to make sure the research proved the video, I found it frustrating that today, in 2016, we still have non-believers.

Suffragettes Forever is available on Amazon.
Suffragettes Forever is available on Amazon.

I recently watched a 3-part documentary called Suffragettes Forever: The Story Of Women and Power on Amazon (it is excellent) and it reminded me that I personally am so very, very grateful (and that is still a paltry word) for all the hard-working, brave women that came before me. The women who fought (physically and mentally) to get us to a place where we can work, go to school and vote without persecution, but we and many other parts of the world still have a lot of work to do. This documentary also made me think of the group of anti-feminsts who say they don’t “need” feminism and I want to sit them down and have them see the true cost of their free lives. Had those suffragette not fought for their rights, those young “I don’t need feminism” ladies wouldn’t be able to speak their mind and video tape and photograph themselves with their anti-feminism slogan.

It’s endlessly frustrating to be a woman and to be able to see how far we’ve come and at the same time, how far we still have to go. Nonetheless, I have hope and faith that we’ll get to a place one day where women are seen as equals. If nothing else, the fight rages on and none of us will stop pushing towards a world where all are equal. Where all are one.

Sixteen-year-old British suffragette Dora Thewlis is arrested by two policemen on March 20, 1907 (according to info shared via Wikimedia Commons).
Sixteen-year-old British suffragette Dora Thewlis is arrested by two policemen on March 20, 1907 (according to info shared via Wikimedia Commons).

Are you a feminist and proud of it? Tell me YOUR thoughts in the comments!

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The Female Perspective: Why I’m Disappointed in “Supergirl”

Welcome! This is a weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.


Oh Supergirl, I had such high hopes for you. I was so excited during the first episode when you seemed smart and capable. When you seemed unsure of your power and how to use it for good. When it seemed like you were going to be a good show.

Now, however many episodes in, I’m bored.

Here is why I’m disappointed in Supergirl.

  1. She’s trite. With all the power and responsibility now at her feet, she carries a torch for Jimmy Olsen and obsesses about what Cat needs. She also spends a lot of time convincing those around her that she is smart and capable and that they are super duper people with great personalities. Gag.
  2. Her friends are boring and needy and I find Jimmy Olson boring as heck.
  3. I feel that the feminist angle is being literally shoved down my throat rather than just placed gently in front of me (ala Agent Carter). We DO NOT need to be reminded multiple times in an episode that Supergirl is a woman. It’s built right into her title, SuperGIRL. Leaves nothing to the imagination. Stop telling us that she’s a woman and that women have to be strong and powerful. What I mean by stop telling is to start SHOWING us. Give us a Supergirl that IS strong instead of her talking about it all the dang time.
  4. The fact that they can’t have Superman on the show is lame and her sharing cute little IM’s with him is just stupid. They need to figure that out STAT.
  5. The writing stinks. It’s trite and it’s extraordinarily lazy. When you have someone with super hearing that doesn’t hear her best friend being kidnapped in the hallway outside your apartment, that’s an issue.

The fact is, Supergirl is a show that has a lot of potential. I still have hope that they’ll figure out who they are before Season 2 because right now Supergirl is in the midst of an identity crisis. It wants to be a show about a kick-ass heroine but it also wants to appeal to teenagers and young girls.

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Let me tell you something CBS, you can have a show about a woman that is both smart, fun AND appealing to young girls without making it suck for the adults who watch it. My boyfriend loves all the little nugget of Supergirl coolness that they add in for fans. We both detest the “love triangle” between Kara, Jimmy and her geeky friend who’s name I can’t even be bothered to remember. It’s boring. As a grown woman,  I find the fact that another grown woman (and SUPERGIRL no less) is clearly pining away for Jimmy. He has a woman, get over it Kara and do something with all your power, you know, save some people instead of eating pizza with your sister or getting food for Cat.

I know that Supergirl has to have human qualities, especially since she’s lived as a human most of her life but … Does she have to be so childish? So … bubble-headed? I long for the Supergirl created by Helen Slater, she was young and naive but she was also strong, smart and more than capable of saving her friends from the witchy Selena. I think Supergirl is having issues because it is on CBS and not the CW like it’s brother shows, Arrow and The Flash. Both shows are killing it on the CW. Both shows are about hero’s who are flawed, confused and longing for a normal life but also fighting bad guys and being smart. They have the formula down (but, to be fair, it took a season for Arrow to get really good), Supergirl needs some help and I hope she finds it before she gets the axe.

I need Supergirl to be...well, SUPER.
I need Supergirl to be…well, SUPER.

I also know that a show about a female heroine can be good. Agent Carter is the perfect example of that. Peggy Carter is smart, kind, strong and capable. All the things a woman should be who is used to taking care of herself. Supergirl seems like she’s never taken care of a houseplant, let alone herself, though we’re supposed to believe she’s lived on Earth most of her life, has an apartment and a job and yet, she’s still so … blah. I want more from my Supergirl and I’m willing to be patient because I’m a patient woman, but if Season 2 is anything like Season 1, this woman is going to start skipping Supergirl and go straight for Agent Carter.

What do you think of Supergirl? Is she “super” or is she boring? Sound off in the comments?

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The Female Perspective: The “Mary Sue” Of “Star Wars” (No Serious Spoilers)

Welcome! This is a weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.


I want to start by saying that I am going to do my best to not put any spoilers in here about the new Star Wars movie because I hate dirty rotten spoilers. If you prefer to know nothing about the movie though, don’t read this yet!

Daisy Ridley plays the character Rey in the new "Star Wars: The Force Awakens"
Daisy Ridley plays the character Rey in the new “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

That being said, I saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens this past weekend and simply adored it. Now that I’ve seen the movie I can start reading the millions of articles about it that have popped up. One trend that is annoying the ever loving heck out of me is the people calling one of the new character, Rey, a “Mary Sue”.

In case you are wondering:

Mary Sue or, in case of a male, Gary Stu or Marty Stu is an idealized fictional character, a young or low-rank person who saves the day through extraordinary abilities. Often but not necessarily this character is recognized as an author insert and/or wish-fulfillment. –Wikipedia

I actually didn’t know the full definition and I also didn’t know that Mary Sue’s could also be male characters so I learned something new today and it actually annoys me more because if Rey is a Mary Sue, why isn’t Luke or Han Solo?

Regarding the character of Rey in Star Wars: TFA though, to call her a Mary Sue is to insult a strong, capable female character. It’s not, in fact, the first time the Star Wars Universe has had a strong female character. Have we forgotten Princess Leia???? Or even after her, Padme Amidala, the mother of Luke and Leia? What is all this surprise that a woman who lives in the Star Wars Universe is not only  smart, but capable as well? Why can’t we just accept that and move on?

Strong characters are par for the course in "Star Wars" and I for one am thrilled about it.
Strong characters are par for the course in “Star Wars” and I for one am thrilled about it.

Oh, that’s right, because we live in a patriarchal society that cannot possibly accept a female character as smart, strong and able to get sh&t done alongside her male compatriots. As I said above, you can have a male Mary Sue as well but I don’t believe I have ever heard that term applied to a male character. It’s a clear sexism that a woman who is capable can’t be real but a capable man is totally believable. How annoying!

This kind of pseudo internet anger is infinitely frustrating to behold. The fact is, the new (all of them) characters add depth and dimension to the universe many of us love but beyond that, the Star Wars franchise has always been about the next generation overcoming the rules of the current generation. The original Star Wars starts off with Luke Skywalker, the son of Vader and we follow him and Leia and Solo through their various adventures. Even in the newer films, it is about the rise of Vader and the destruction of the older generation. That’s the whole thing that Star Wars does, it shows us that the wheel of time moves on and the younger kids are eventually going to inherit the mess the previous generation left behind.

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The fact is, the internet is a hotbed of angry trolls typing forcefully and looking for stuff to criticize. Rey is strong, she is smart and she one of my favorite characters in the entire Star Wars world because she was written well, she was created as a full person and not some damsel in distress at the first sign of trouble. She has her moment, and who can blame her, when she becomes overwhelmed with the weight of what is before her but instead of descending into tears and woe is me, she fights and she kicks butt. If that’s a Mary Sue, than I’m all for that kind of character being in every film.

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What did you think of the new Star Wars? Who was your favorite character and did you think Rey was “too” capable? Sound off in the comments!

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The Female Perspective: “Supergirl” Is Indeed Super

Welcome! This is the weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.


If you’re a regular reader of this blog (and you should be) then you know that I have mad love for all things superhero. Man, woman, Hulk, etc, if it’s a superhero, I love it. One of my all-time favorites is Supergirl. Don’t get me wrong, Wonder Woman rocks my socks off but my very first superhero memories are of the Supergirl movie with Helen Slater and Peter O’Toole. That movie made me feel so many of the feelings and to this day I adore it and no one can talk me out of it!

You can imagine then that I turned into the new CBS adaptation of Supergirl with lots of excitement and a pinch of trepidation. Were they going to make her over-sexed and stupid? Were they going to make her kick-ass and awesome?

Oh CBS, you did not disappoint me. I simply adored the first episode of Supergirl this week. I can’t wait for more! I can only hope that the rest of the season is as good as that very first episode. There were a few times I got chills, always a good sign.

Supergirl Isn’t a Trollop Or a Moron (Thank God)

It’s so easy these days for female superheroes to be treated as nothing more than eye candy. Short skirts, up-skirt shots, tight outfits and … well, being a woman in a mostly (but not for long) male-dominated world can be a challenge. In recent years we’ve seen a wonderful surge in strong female superheroes (thanks Black Widow!) that gave me a lot of hope that this version of my favorite flying lady would be amazing.

CBS did a lot of things right with this permutation of Supergirl, from her costume (which went through a couple of versions, with a funny nod to the boy shorts and crop top look she had at one point *shudder*), to Kara’s personality. They didn’t make her dumb or slutty. They made her a total nerd, which I LOVE. She’s goofy, she’s clumsy, she’s awkward but she also has this powerful side of her, this side that can beat bad guys and punch in the front of tractor trailers. How can you not love her?

Also, as a side note, well done on the new Jimmy Olsen, I can see why Kara went speechless when she met him the first time!

Kara and Jimmy Olsen.
Kara and Jimmy Olsen.
When Supergirl flies, there's real power behind it.
When Supergirl flies, there’s real power behind it.

She’s More Than Just Super

So often these days strong women are seen as bratty, as bitches and that’s so often very far from the truth. It’s an endlessly frustrating discussion, why can’t women be strong and be seen as strong rather than cranky or PMSing?

This Supergirl is strong without it being annoying. She doesn’t go around (so far) acting tough and doing strong…stuff just for the sake of it. She is learning how to be a hero and she wants to do right by her now destroyed world.

When we meet her, she’s conflicted about her strength and unsure if the world needs another Super-anything but when she gets a taste of her true power, she is addicted to it. She needs to help where she can. She needs to do the best she can by her adopted people. She needs to be a hero because she is a hero. Supergirl is born.

What I’ve always enjoyed about Supergirl is that she’s just as powerful as her cousin Superman and what I enjoy about both the 1980’s movie and the new show is that they let her fight and be beaten up. In fact, she’s punched into the sidewalk at one point, it’s pretty brutal and I loved it. They didn’t shy away from showing how strong she really is nor did they shy away from showing that being a superhero can be a tough gig. They showed her being beaten up just like Superman would have been. Like any male character would have been and the best part? She gave as good as she got.

Well done Melissa Benoist and CBS.
Well done Melissa Benoist and CBS.

It’s Not Perfect But …

So far, CBS did right by Supergirl and I can’t wait for next week. I know the show isn’t perfect, I wish they had connected this Supergirl to the current Superman movies or at least alluded to them in some way, that would have been really cool to know that people are used to or even perhaps a little weary of the superhero’s in their midst. The destruction their kind can cause when they are trying to do right. That would have been great. They also mentioned Superman A LOT. A LOT. I’m hoping that isn’t continued throughout the whole show.

It seems as though this Supergirl exists in a world where Superman has been around for 24 or so years so it’s long past the time of our current Superman (I think, anyway. The timeline was a little confusing) so fine, I can live with that.

I LOVED that they used Dean Cain (a former Superman) and Helen Slater (SUPERGIRL!) as this Supergirl’s adopted parents, the Danvers. I thought that was a clever nod to the past permutations of our favorite Super-folk.

Feminist TV?

I’ve heard some rumblings about how this is “feminist TV” and I thought about that last night as I contemplated my blog for today. There were the same rumblings when Furiosa kicked butt in Mad Max: Fury Road and it also made me pause, who cares if it’s “feminist TV”?

What IS “feminist TV”?

Is it regular TV with women as strong lead characters? If so, I’m okay with that.

So why is it said as if it’s a bad thing?

Oh, that’s right, because there are still men out there who are threatened by strong, powerful women who are their own hero’s. That don’t need saving by a man. That’s right. I forget that sometimes. Those guys can shove it. Give me more FEMINIST TV!

Regardless – I’ll take a good dose of feminist TV any day of the week over some of the more misogynistic, male-dominated fare that has dominated TV and other entertainment my entire life. Now, I just need to see that Supergirl toy and I can’t wait for Rhode Island Comic Con this year, I am hoping to see a few Supergirl’s running around!

Watch The Trailer For Supergirl Here!

What did you think of the new #Supergirl? Tell me in the comments!

I'll always love Helen Slater's version but CBS did a good job. Let's hope it continues!
I’ll always love Helen Slater’s version but CBS did a good job. Let’s hope it continues!
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The Female Perspective: “The Darkangel Trilogy” – A Review

Welcome! This is a twice-weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.


If you read this blog that you have some idea that I am a huge book nerd along with being an all-around other stuff kind of nerd. I feel then, as a blogger, to make special note of books that I particularly enjoyed. Recently I’ve read two such books (and a review on the other will be forthcoming), one is The Darkangel Trilogy by Meredith Ann Pierce. I stumbled upon this trio of books while perusing the internet and someone had done an extremely extensive review of the story. It had vampires, a girl on a quest and gargoyles. I was sold.

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Now, to me, I love a good opening line. It doesn’t have to be particularly poetic or inspiring, it doesn’t even have to be a cliff-hanger or dramatic. It simply has to set the tone of the book.

Aeriel rested the broad basket against her hip and adjusted her kirtle. – The Darkangel

See what I mean? I’m instantly curious. Why does Aeriel have a basket? What is a kirtle? What a great name for a character. Is she the main character or is she secondary? All of these questions just from a few simple words.

Book One in "The Darkangel Trilogy"
Book One in “The Darkangel Trilogy”

The plot of the three books is simple. Aeriel (a slave) and her mistress (and sort-of friend) Eoduin are on a mission to collect a certain kind of flower for her sister’s wedding. They are climbing high up on the mountain and Aeriel, we find out, is a clutz and a nervous-nelly. She worries they are going to high for she had heard tales of the Darkangels that swooped from the skies and kidnapped pretty ladies.

It is quickly made apparent that Aeriel is a plain-Jane, she is nowhere near as beautiful and graceful as her dear Eoduin and everyone tells her this. Even the Darkangel (because, yeah, he shows up).

“I am to be your bride,” she said, not questioning. The certainty of it overwhelmed her.

The dark angel looked at her then and laughed, a long, mocking laugh that sent the gargoyles into a screaming, chattering frenzy. “You?” he cried, and Aeriel’s heart shrank, tightened like a knot beneath the bone of her breast. “You be my bride? By the Fair Witch, no. You’re much too ugly.” – The Darkangel

Yeah, Aeriel does not get much love at first.

Book Two in "The Darkangel Trilogy"
Book Two in “The Darkangel Trilogy”

I don’t want to spoil the series for you so I’ll try to sum up without spoilers for you. Basically, Aeriel gets taken by the dark angel to be his servant girl to his twelve wraiths, women he has taken as his bride and stolen their souls, they are thin creatures, barely sane and horrid to look upon. Aeriel also finds herself in the precense of gargoyles, ferocious beasts that really only suffer from a lack of love and attention.

Some stuff happens and we start to see that Aeriel is more than just a slave, she is more than just an “ugly” girl. She is a smart, resourceful woman who manages to make the best out of a really REALLY bad situation. In the darkangels house she lives under the constant threat of death and yet, she manages to find some good in her life.

Sufficed to say, in all three books of The Darkangel Trilogy we get to see Aeriel grow up and become a woman, a force, to be reckoned with. She is tasked with many things throughout the three novels and each task is arduous and damn difficult for her but she does it all.

My biggest complaint about the books is that a few times things are happening and the reader (aka, me) knows exactly what is about to happen and yet our heroine seems clueless and in the dark, that frustrates me because it makes Aeriel seem stupid or slow and she is neither. What I loved about these books is that she isn’t weak, she is extremely resourceful and she is amazingly kind. Even as she grows into a beauty, she never relies on her looks to get her way. She never expects a man to save her. She is her own hero and that, I simply adore.

Book Three of "The Darkangel Trilogy" also known as, "The Pearl At The Soul Of The World" - ack! Doesn't that make you want to read it?
Book Three of “The Darkangel Trilogy” also known as, “The Pearl At The Soul Of The World” – ack! Doesn’t that make you want to read it?

In a world where vampire novels are a dime a dozen The Darkangel Trilogy deserves your time. It is a new take on a classic villain and besides that, it’s not even really about vampires! It’s about an entire WORLD that Pierce creates that rivals some of the stuff that Tolkien or Martin have created (granted, it is not nearly as in-depth as their works). It’s a series written by a woman about  a woman who is able to be the best parts about feminism and humanity.

I can say with 100% certainty that if you are into fantasy literature, then this series is for you.

To purchase, click here!

Have YOU read The Darkangel Trilogy? If so, did you love it? Hate it? Feel indifferent about? Want to make tiny babies with Talb? Tell me about it in the comments section!

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The Female Perspective: The New Wonder Woman, Inspiring Or Not?

Welcome! This is a twice-weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.


wonder-woman-logo

If you’re a regular reader of this blog then you know that I have a fondness in my heart for Wonder Woman. You can imagine then that I am VERY excited/interested/nervous about the upcoming Superman v. Batman movie that is coming out next year. The preview that dropped after San Diego Comic Con made it look as if things are picking up from the end of Man of Steel and taking a turn for the dark and treacherous for our man Super.

While I loved the trailer, it got me really jazzed up to see the movie, I was a bit sad by the utter lack of Wonder Woman footage. Are they keeping her a secret? Why? Or are they just wetting our appetites because they want us to be surprised when we finally get to see her truly in action?

These are questions I cannot possibly answer.

What I can say is that what little we did of Wonder Woman has me thinking some thoughts.

  1. We see her a couple of times in beautiful, expensive outfits peeking at us.
  2. Then we see her in full costume kicking some serious ass.

I have to say that I like this. I like that we see the two sides of Diana Prince and Wonder Woman. They’re clearly going to show her as a woman and a warrior. Something I can totally get behind.

I need more than this! I want to see Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman fighting, jumping, kicking butt!
I need more than this! I want to see Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman fighting, jumping, kicking butt!

Others are not so excited. In a recent article on Geek Tyrant’s website, Grant Morrison, who wrote the upcoming Wonder Woman: Earth One, had some very doom and gloom type things to say about the little we’ve seen of Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman.

“[The warrior woman thing is] not what Marston wanted, that’s not what he wanted at all. His original concept for Wonder Woman was an answer to comics that he thought were filled with images of blood-curdling masculinity, and you see the latest shots of Gal Gadot in the costume, and it’s all sword and shield and her snarling at the camera. Marston’s Diana [Prince, the character’s real name] was a doctor, a healer, a scientist.” – Geek Tyrant

Morrison’s concerns are rooted in the fact that he is worried that this newest portrayal of Wonder Woman is not in line with what William Marston, the creator of the Wonder Woman character, had in mind for her.

Here’s my issue with this. First off, we’ve only seen what, maybe five seconds of Gadot as Wonder Woman? How in the WORLD can someone decide how she’s being portrayed with that little amount of time? Secondly, he’s wrong, she isn’t only “snarling” at the camera, she smiles slyly as she ducks into a car. Thank you and goodnight.

Gadot herself has expressed only excitement at being able to portray Wonder Woman.

“I told them that I wanted to be able to show the stronger side of women. I didn’t want to do the obvious role that you see in Hollywood most of the time, which is the heartbroken girl who’s waiting to be rescued by the guy, blah, blah, blah.

I’m so excited about this role. I feel like I’ve been given a huge opportunity to inspire people, not only women. And not because of me but because of who Wonder Woman is and what she stands for. There’s a lot of responsibility. But I have the best team and the best people to work with. It’s going to be an amazing ride, knock on wood.”  –Geek Tyrant

So basically, from that soundbite and the few seconds we’ve seen Gadot in action, Morrison has decided that this newest incarnation of Wonder Woman is going to be a disaster of some sort? Personally, I feel good about Gadot has had to say about the role, she wants her Wonder Woman to be strong and powerful, not mooning over a man or in need of saving. THANK YOU! We’ve seen such a thing with the portrayal of Black Widow but we need more of it people, lots and lots of it. Women aren’t only around to be damsels in distress, we can do loads more cool stuff.

Can anyone be better than Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman?
Can anyone be better than Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman?

Morrison’s comments are of the type that really sticks in my craw (I’m not entirely sure what a craw is but I suspect it’s nothing good and to have something stuck there it is quite uncomfortable but this is all just a guess), he’s making ASSUMPTIONS about something that, while he is clearly educated about Wonder Woman, since he has written some of the comics, he doesn’t have a clue about when it comes to the film Zach Snyder is making.

Look, I want this Wonder Woman to be a bad-ass just like so many of my fellow Wonder Woman fans. I want her to be powerful, beautiful, intelligent and just as tough, if not tougher, than her male counterparts Superman and Batman. I want her to be everything that is wonderful about how women can be portrayed on film while leaving out all the sexism that happens so often with female superhero’s. I know that Wonder Woman’s portrayal can’t fix the many, MANY flaws in the film industry (where the heck is my Black Widow movie??? Hmmm? HMMM?) but she can help move it forward just the littlest bit if she’s played well.

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I personally have faith in Gadot. She did a great job in the Fast & Furious movies. She was just as tough as the guys along with having all those feminine wiles to use against the men. I think she can go toe-to-toe with Supe and Bats and come out on top.

I think Gadot can do it.
I think Gadot can do it.

I only hope that when she does come out on top that DC realizes that they need to give Wonder Woman her OWN damn movie.

Tell me YOUR thoughts, how are you feeling about the new Wonder Woman? Good, bad, indifferent, distraught, penniless, putrid or joyful beyond words? Tell me all about it in the comments!

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The Female Perspective: Ant-Man!

Welcome! This is a twice-weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.


Last week I promised to give you all a review on the movie Ant-Man and I did not tell a lie. What follows are my thoughts on the movie and its female character. Before I get into that though, I must warn, there are SPOILERS! If you haven’t seen the movie and WANT to see the movie then stop reading. Like, now.

Still with me? Cool.

Ant-Man, in Theaters Now!
Ant-Man, in Theaters Now!

First off I’ll admit that I had never heard of Ant-man before this movie. I read comics, sure, but Ant-Man, lost on me. The name is lackluster and ants have a tendency to creep me out a tad. But then I saw the trailer for the movie and I started to get excited, this movie looked fun. The kind of fun that Guardians of the Galaxy had. The kind of fun that I have come to expect from Marvel movies.

It did not disappoint.

Let’s start off with the fact that the lead character, Scott Lang, is played by one of my personal favorites, Paul Rudd. I remember Rudd back from his days in the movie Clueless  and I thought he was both hysterical and cute back then. I have since come to enjoy his dry humor in movies and on TV. I was interested to see someone like Rudd take on a Marvel superhero (it worked for Chris Pratt right?). I am also a huge of Micheal Douglas (as Hank Pym) and Evangeline Lilly (as Pym’s daughter Hope). I’ve liked Lilly since her days on Lost so this flick was shaping up nicely.

Evangeline Lilly as Hope.
Evangeline Lilly as Hope.

The story is a simple one, Lang is an ex-con trying to set his life in order (and befriended by a ridiculously funny cast of misfits) to be a better dad to his daughter. He hooks up with Pym who convinces him to help with a heist. The heist is to get the Pym Particle technology away from Darren Cross. Hank sees it as too dangerous for wide use (he himself has kept it a secret and used the Ant-Man suit to save lives these many years), he is right.

Ant-Man manages to take the best of the Marvel-verse and add in some surprises, we see an Avenger and we also get to see Agent Carter and a few other familiar faces. I have to say, the way that Marvel is weaving all these stories together makes it an even better experience for moviegoers.

Rudd does a really good job of being the down on his luck Lang while also infusing the character with his trademark wit and dry delivery. It’s a perfect fit for a guy who stumbled upon the superhero life. Douglas is solid as Pym and it’s really nice to see him having some fun a few times in the movie as he tries to teach Lang how to handle the suit.

Paul Rudd as Scott Lang, aka Ant-Man.
Paul Rudd as Scott Lang, aka Ant-Man.

The only hitch (for me) was Hank’s daughter Hope. When first you meet her she is the typical, call your dad by his first name because he ignored you while you were growing up female cast member. Then we dig in a little deeper and we see that she actually does get along with her father, sort of, and wants to be in charge of the heist herself because she already knows how to harness the powers of Ant-Man. Which begs the question, why bring Lang in if Hope already knows how to do it?

The answer comes simply and beautifully, because Hank can’t stomach the idea of putting his daughter into the line of fire whereas Lang is expendable. It’s a really well-done and well thought out scene when Lang himself explains this to an angry Hope. Is it believable? Sure. In the context of the Marvel Universe I bought it. Especially when we realize that Hank’s wife was killed because he let her suit up and join him on missions. It makes sense.

I read an article that had a very confused argument about the whole situation between Hank and Hope. At one point it asks why she isn’t the star of the movie and cries sexism and then goes on to say that Hank’s reasoning is actually pretty sensible.

Huh?

Make up your mind Daily Dot article. Is it sexism or is not?

I have to go with not.

The fact is, this movie isn’t just about Ant-Man and his adventures. It’s about superheroes and saving the world from factions of Hydra but it’s also about Fatherss and Daughters. Lang is motivated to do all that he does in order to make his daughter proud of him and Hank wants nothing more than to keep Hope safe from harm. What Hank begins to realize is that after a certain point, you can’t do that anymore. He realizes by the end of the movie that the best way to keep his daughter safe AND have a relationship with her is to give her what she wants (no, she doesn’t don the Ant-Man suit but if you stay for the credits scene, you’ll see what happens!)

Ant-Man versus Yellowjacket
Ant-Man versus Yellowjacket

I love that this movie was about more than just a fancy suit and ant charming, I love that it was about relationships and family as well as being about saving the world from Hydra getting Pym Particles to wreak havoc. It’s why I enjoy these Marvel movies so much, they constantly surprise me.

Not to mention, the special effects were phenomenal! The scene with Lang and the villainous Cross duking it out in Lang’s daughter’s bedroom is hysterical and amazingly well done.

Darren Cross, aka Yellowjacket versus Thomas the Tank Engine
Darren Cross, aka Yellowjacket versus Thomas the Tank Engine

All-in-all, two thumbs up from this lady. Ant-Man is a great addition to the Marvel Universe and I can’t wait to see more of Rudd as Scott Lang!

What about you? Did you see Ant-Man? Did you love it, hate it, have nightmares about ants? Sound off in the comments!

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The Female Perspective: Shameless Self Promotion Blog

Welcome! This is a twice-weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.


Many of you may not know that I am a published author of three books. Well, my third book was released today! I wanted to take a moment to share it with you because these books are my babies and I am darn proud of each and every one of them. So bear with me on this blog, it’s Shameless Self Promotion Time!

In the last year I have self-published three books and each one has been a blessing for me. While they aren’t selling to the levels of Harry Potter or Stephen King, they do sell pretty regularly and I have a blast at the various book expos and comic cons I have been lucky enough to attend (I also make tote bags from T-Shirts fyi).

Before I get to my newest novel, let’s do a quick review of my first two.

The Last Daughter of Lilith

Great title right? Check out the cover!

Cover Art by Frankie B. Washington
Cover Art by Frankie B. Washington

The cover art is by Frankie B. Washington (he also did the cover art for my newest book) and the story itself is about a young woman named Katrina who had, throughout her life, found herself doing things she simply didn’t mean to do. Strange occurrences that made her fear for the lives of the people she loved so she shut herself off from them, built up walls of cool detachment and decided to focus on a life of rules and order. Katrina was the kind of girl who didn’t believe in magic, until one day it found her.

What follows is a tale of love and finding your own power. Katrina has to learn to embrace her new life after tragedy destroys her old one. She has to learn that she is far more powerful than she ever imagined she could be and she has to fight to protect the people she cares about. It is a tale of magic, romance, death and more. It is a tale about the last daughter of Lilith and what she does with the power she never knew she had.

Coming Undone: Musings On Life, Love and Hobbits

Cover art by JL Metcalf
Cover art by JL Metcalf

This one is a bit of a departure from my first novel. It’s an auto-biography of sorts. I use old journal and blog entries to talk about my struggles with depression, anxiety and self-loathing while I attempt to find love in this insanely digital world. It was a challenging book to write but an important one. I knew that there are so many men and women out there who struggle with not feeling “good enough” to be loved. The fact is, we are all good enough, we are all amazing people and we deserve only good things in our lives. We all deserve love.

Menagerie Of The Weird

Cover art by Frankie B. Washington
Cover art by Frankie B. Washington

And here we have it, my third book, Menagerie Of The Weird, a collection of short stories sure to titillate and terrify. Each tale is amazing in its own way and with the help of my illustrator and collaborator Frankie B. Washington, this is a collection of unusual tales that I have been collecting for years. Almost every story takes place in Rhode Island as well because honestly, I can’t think of a better place to set a story than my home state!

Menagerie is available today on Amazon in paperback format, it will be available for Kindle in the next day or two. If you like short stories, horror stories and funny stories, than Menagerie is for you. Even if you don’t like any of these things but like to read, I’m almost certain you’ll find something to love in Menagerie. Join me on this adventure into the WEIRD!

All of my books are available on Amazon.com, you can easily find them all by searching my name, JL Metcalf.

Yours in Reading, Writing and Weirdness!

Do you support your local authors? Tell me some great stories you’ve read by a local author recently. Did you buy any of my books and love them? Tell me all about it! 

P.S. I’m seeing Ant Man today so expect a review next week on the blog!!!