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Comic Shop Talk: Totally Metal 8/8/17

Comic Shop Talk is a video blog dedicated to Comics, and pop culture talk including movies, television, books, and more.  Ken Lee is the author of our long-running comic blog The Crank File, Rob Goyer is our Cards and Counters game blog author, Tylor Hamel appears in many in-store livestreams and works at Great Stories Comics & Gaming, and Chris Mills is the owner of Great Stories. 

Contents
0:00  We talk the latest developments in Marvel’s massive Secret Empire story.

14:30  Weapons of Mutant Destruction

19:00  Edge of the Venomverse

23:50  Spectacular Spider-Man

26:18  DC talk begins with Dark Days: The Forge

35:00  Batman regular series

38:00  DC/Looney Tunes crossover titles

42:35  Indie Comic Talk including Image Comics’ Redneck, Plastic, Kill the Minotaur, and Winnebago Graveyard

50:45  Movie talk begins with Ken and Tylor catching us up with their opinions on Wonder Woman, our anticipation for Spider-Man Homecoming, and The Transformer movie franchise

1:03:50  TV talk begins with Game of Thr0nes, Stephen King, Netflix Marvel shows, and some movies we caught on the small screen.  Then we end it all with our reaction outside our local theater after seeing Spider-Man: Homecoming.

We hope you enjoy the show, and we’ll be back real soon with another installment!

-The Great Stories Team

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Comic Shop Talk – Not So Secret Empire

Greetings Everyone,

We are so excited to bring you our very first video blog (vlog for short I suppose).  This will be the first of a monthly series that will bring you the latest in comics and pop culture!  Let’s just get right to it.  We are new to this, and we trust you will see production elements improve over time as we get into the flow of video creation.  We hope you enjoy the first journey!

Film Date: June 4, 2017

Video # 1 is All Secret Empire Talk.  Nick Spencer ticks off Captain America fans everywhere.  Hydra Cap…say it ain’t so!  Check it out and let us know what you think!

Video #2 covers various topics including non-Secret Empire comic talk, movies, and television.

1:09 – The guys talk about what they are reading lately and digging.

18:25 – We begin talking cinematic happenings including talk about DC’s successful Wonder Woman.

29:37 – We start to get into television talk for both DC and Marvel.

Thanks for watching!

The Great Stories Team

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The Female Perspective: The Women of the Marvel Netflix Universe

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


It’s no secret that I have a soft spot for superhero films and TV shows. I, like so many others, have been enjoying everything Marvel, including their foray into the world of binge watching on Netflix. Recently my boyfriend and I sat down and watched Luke Cage and I have to say, it was phenomenal. It also got me thinking, how come Marvel, and by extension, Netflix, can get this stuff so right and so many others get it so, so wrong?

The awesome women on "Luke Cage" on Netflix now!
The awesome women on “Luke Cage” on Netflix now!

What am I talking about? Not the content necessarily, though they nail that, but more specifically I’m talking about the women. The female characters are well thought out, they’re developed in fascinating and engaging ways and they walk around fully clothed and act like the grown ups they are.  It particularly struck me during Luke Cage as something that is a pleasure to see. Women who are powerful and smart, not just sex objects.

Take Rosario Dawson’s character for example, Claire, she its he connecting character between Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage and in all the shows she’s tough, she’s no-nonsense and she’s brave as all get out, especially when surrounded by larger than life enhanced people. She doesn’t wuss out when things get tough, she grabs the closest weapon she can find and she fights, or she used her words, which she’s more than capable of stringing into full sentences and fights that way. The women of the Netflix Marvel Universe are so much more than just women, they’re partners to the crime fighters they stand by. They’re equals. 

"Jessica Jones" on Netflix.
“Jessica Jones” on Netflix.

Of course, it’s not just in the Netflix programming either, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is equally as impressive in its female roles. No quiet wallflowers here, they’re all out to protect those that they love, keep themselves safe and fight toe-to-toe with some of Earth’s greatest hero’s. It’s something that strikes me as at odds in today’s world of angry anti-feminist rhetoric. It’s amazing when you look at the toy lines and the fight that it’s been to get the female characters represented alongside the male characters. How can Marvel and the studios get it so right on the screen, but so wrong in other places?

Now I can’t pretend to be knowledgeable about comic books since I haven’t read most of the ones that are the basis of these shows, but the comics I have read have struggled with representing women as equals to their male counterparts. I will never, ever understand why someone thinks it makes sense to draw a woman who is in a life or death fight as wearing a strapless top and a skirt. I know comics aren’t meant to be realistic and I love being sunk into  fantasy world of super hero’s and super villains, but still, I want my super ladies to wear pants, is that so much of a stretch? And shirts with sleeves and stuff would be good too, but one thing at at time. Pants would be great.

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.

Anyway … What do you think? Have you watched any of these shows? What do you think about the portrayal of women in the Marvel universe? Sound off in the comments! Tell me what you think!

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The Female Perspective: Vampires, Bats and Crazy, Stuff I’m Watching

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


With fall quickly approaching that means new TV shows are coming soon, but if you’re looking for something entertaining to binge watch this weekend (or week, whatever works for you) I have some great ideas.

Now, I could go with the typical like Stranger Things which is fantastic and totally binge-worthy, but chances are you’ve already watched it. So I’m going to go a with few shows that seem to have flow under the radar, but are fantastic all on their own

Penny Dreadful (Showtime & Netflix)

Penny Dreadful
Penny Dreadful

Now, this show took a while for me to warm to. I thought it was  bit overly dramatic, a bit slow, and I still think that at some points it does get a bit dry, but overall, the 3 season drama/horror show is truly fantastic. Using old-time characters like Dracula, Frankenstein (both Doctor and Monster) and even Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, you really can have a lot of fun with this show. Not to mention, the female characters are not just relegated to damsels in distress. No sir. One of my favorite plots was when Dr. Frankenstein created a bride for his monster and … Well, let’s just say things didn’t go as he planned. Instead of her being a docile housewife type, she declared a war on men and started an entire revolution against the men that had been using the women for so very long. It was fantastic, and horrific the methods she used to get what she wanted. There is so much mythical goodness wrapped up in this show it’s hard to summarize and still do it justice, sufficed it to say, if you have fond memories of old-school monsters, this is a great show to revitalize the myths and maybe change your perspective on these characters while also getting a heavy dose of horror, drama and feminism.

Ray Donovan (Showtime)

Ray Donovan on Showtime
Ray Donovan on Showtime

This one might be a no-brainer since Donovan has been on for 4 seasons now, but I have heard about this show for quite awhile and only just got to start watching it. I’m on season 3 now and zipping right along and I have to say, this is a terrifically written show not afraid to face challenging topics like child abuse, alcoholism and more. It’s a show about a family and the mess they are along with the insane work Ray does as a “fixer” of sorts in LA. He’s like the Olivia Pope for the Hollywood elite. It makes for some mighty fine TV I have to say.

Not to mention, in the role of Donovan we have Liev Schriber, who is one of my faves. He has a way of acting with his face that conveys exactly what he is thinking without him having to speak, it’s dynamic and exciting to watch. Not to mention, every time he gets out his baseball bat, you know something big is going down! Add to Schriber’s fantastic portrayal of Ray, we have Jon Voight as his father, Mickey Donovan and he is brilliant. He is a horrible, horrible father and human being who  you also fall totally in love with because he is such a mess.  I have to say though that my favorite character is Ray’s little brother, Brendan, aka Bunchy, played by Dash Mihok. Bunchy has been through the ringer and is sweet and kind and I just want to hug him all the time! This is not to say the women don’t get their fair share of screen time. I love how the women are written on this show! They are strong, capable and just as messed up as the men folk. Again, as with Penny Dreadful, the women are not damsels in distress, they are smart and their growth in the last few seasons is amazing to watch (especially Abby, Ray’s wife. I can’t decide if I feel bad for her or if I love her or if I hate her, that’s how awesome this show is!).

My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (Season 1 is on Netflix)

https://youtu.be/AIuh1mMKsEs

I started watching this show because I was curious after doing a transcription with one of the show runners. I had passed on this show originally because I wasn’t interested in a show about a crazy ex-girlfriend honestly. I thought the term was sexist and that did not interest me in the least bit. After learning that the title is meant to be a joke of sorts, I thought, okay I’ll give it a go.

Color me surprised when first, they had musical numbers. MUSICAL NUMBERS in the middle of the show. The musical stuff is hilarious and often extremely clever and I have to applaud them on that. I’m still trying to decide if I actually like the show as it deals with, as expected, the main character being in love with her ex-boyfriend from camp when they were kids. I have issues with the way she runs about desperately trying to get his attention even though he has a girlfriend (who’s equal parts horrible and kind of hilarious, see video above for her song about Yoga).

I’m about 2 episodes away from the end of season 1 and I have to say that this show is worth a watch if you like musical numbers and can distance yourself from the stupid, unbelievable stuff she does or at least find it mostly funny. I’m willing to give it a chance because the supporting cast and their stories are pretty engaging (one character just outed himself as a bisexual and it’s pretty funny and also kind of amazing) and I am hopeful that by the end she will be over her ex and onto something more interesting.

So those are some of my faves, what are YOU watching?

What are you looking forward to seeing in the next couple months? I’m pretty psyched about Luke Cage on Netflix and the return of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D!

 

 

 

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The Female Perspective: Jessica Jones

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.


Alright, it’s been a couple weeks since Jessica Jones was released on Netflix so hopefully this won’t be a spoiler blog post for those who haven’t watched it yet.  I try not to be a spoiler but if you haven’t seen it then maybe don’t read this yet! You can always save it for later, post-viewing.

"Jessica Jones" is a very different superhero show and I love it.
“Jessica Jones” is a very different superhero show and I love it.

That being said let’s talk about Jessica Jones and why it is so important to the television landscape. It’s not just because it’s centered around a female character (that, in and of itself is a miracle at a time when we have two other female-centered shows in Supergirl and Agent Carter), it’s about the fact that it’s not all lightness and humor. It’s about a woman who was kidnapped, raped and abused for years by a man and who came out the other side to try and live a normal life (well, within the confines of also being a superhero). As with all things, life has a different plan for Jessica and she quickly finds out that her abuser is alive and stalking her through other people.

It’s a brutal premise and it’s beautifully executed by the folks at Netflix. Jessica isn’t treated like a damaged, fragile creature. She’s treated as a human being who has been through absolute Hell and who just wants to move on. Jessica has flaws, lots of them. She’s snarky, has a bad drinking habit and she distances herself from other people because she fears what might happen to them because of her past pain. She’s messed up and I absolutely love her for it.

So I get understandably frustrated when I see people comparing Jessica Jones to Daredevil. These are not the same shows folks. These are VERY different shows. Just because they live in the same Marvelverse as one another does not mean they are the same thing. Where Daredevil was more carefree and action-oriented, Jessica Jones is a character study about living with abuse. Where Daredevil is the origin of a superhero in the making, Jessica Jones is about a woman who doesn’t want anyone to know about her abilities and even more than that, she doesn’t even really want to be a hero to anyone. She simply wants to do her job, drink her booze and get through each day.

Kilgrave makes my skin crawl.
Kilgrave makes my skin crawl.

On the other hand, I get it, of course you’re going to compare one superhero show to another. We do it all the time with the Avengers movies versus the Superman movies and things like that because they do exists in the same Marvelverse with one another but I am hard-pressed to say that one is better than the other simply because they are both so very different from one another. They share a common darkness but where Daredevil goes around saving people and beating up the bad guys, Jessica Jones turns her back and wants to run away from the man who abused her for so long. In fact, we aren’t even sure if she is going to go after him until, ultimately, she has no other choice.

Let’s talk about her abuser, her captor, Kilgrave. A name that gets some fun jokes near the end of the season but those jokes do not lesson the horrific nature of Kilgrave’s power. The man can literally make you do things you don’t want to do. Add to that that he is played by the fantastic David Tennant and you have a match made in villain heaven. When he’s on screen (and even when you only hear him obsessively saying Jessica Jones over and over again) he oozes creepy vibes. He makes your skin crawl and you want Jessica to beat him to a pulp so badly it hurts! This man cannot be trusted and he must be stopped but it’s also totally understandable as to why Jessica has such a hard time being near him. Wouldn’t you if this man kidnapped you and forced you to do horrible, demeaning things? Forced you to have sex against your will? He makes my skin crawl even as I type this. This is the kind of superpower that should never exist.

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Now, I’m a fan of the gritty superhero movie. I have loved all of Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies and am enjoying the world Zach Snyder has created in Superman, but I also enjoy the lighter flicks like the Joss Whedon-helmed Avengers movies. I can go either way as long as the show or movie is well written and directed and acted. Jessica Jones is all these things and more. It’s gritty and has dark humor, it’s got sex and violence and a lot of heart to it. What I love most about it is the fact that it’s not about someone trying to do right, it’s simply about a woman trying to survive her trauma and make some kind of a life for herself.

I sure hope that Jessica Jones gets a Season 2 and I look forward to all the other superhero shows helmed by female characters that will be coming our way and that exist in our world today. It may be baby steps, but we are making progress people. Now, if only we can get those Black Widow, Princess Leia, etc action figures things will really be smoking!

What did you think of Jessica Jones? Good, bad, ugly?

Tell me YOUR thoughts in the comments!