Posted on

The Female Perspective: It’s About Dang Time!

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 made no secret of my annoyance and frustration that it seems to take forever for companies like Marvel and DC Comics to come out with female-centered superhero movies, or more accurately, the fact that they don’t have any right now.

In fact, I’ve written about Wonder Woman many times now, along with Black Widow and others that are not in the comic world. The lack of merchandise is also a problem, but ladies and gents, all that is changing because of one biggish announcement by Kevin Feige recently.

The fact is, our society is changing, women are taking up the comic book action hero mantle and other woman, i.e. ME, want to see those women kick butt in their own movies, not as a sidekick to a bunch of dudes.

Black Widow is ready for her own movie...
Black Widow is ready for her own movie…

It is a happy day when you see the seeds of your wishing coming to fruition. With the Wonder Woman movie on its way to theaters soon (woohoo!), it was awesome to hear Kevin Feige say recently that they are fully committed to a standalone Black Widow movie!

“We’ve announced the next nine movies, ten counting Civil War, through the end of 2019. Where we go beyond that are ongoing discussions that we’ll focus on in the next few years because we have a lot to do before then. Of the characters that you’ve just mentioned I would say certainly the one creatively and emotionally that we are most committing to doing is Black Widow.” –Den of Geek

Sure, that means we’ll still have to wait a few years to see Black Widow kick ass all on her own on screen, but the very fact that Marvel has realized she should have her own movie is a huge win for fans everywhere and it’s clear that it’s what fans actually want.

In fact, a recent poll amongst Captain America: Civil War advance ticketholders asking which Avenger should get a solo film saw Black Widow with a dominant 48 percent victory out of the six choices. –Den of Geek

48 percent is a pretty good number! I for one am tickled red and black that Black Widow is finally going to get her own film. For a bunch of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that she’s a really cool female character. There’s a lot of cool female characters in both the DC and Marvel universes so there is literally no real end to the amount of movies they could make telling their stories, but the fact is, since her debut in Iron Man 2, Scarlett Johansson has been doing an absolutely amazing job portraying a complex female character surrounded by and constantly fighting alongside her male counterparts. She is no less powerful in Captain America: Civil War where she attempts to be diplomatic when torn between two of her respected and loved friends, Iron Man and Captain America. In fact, Black Widow is at her best in Civil War because she is troubled by having to “pick a side” in the argument, when essentially all she wants is her friends to get along and do what’s right for the world they protect. In Civil War things are not that easy though, and Natasha finds herself battling her own sense of what is wrong and right and ultimately doing what she think’s is best, even if it’s going against her own “team”.

will-marvel-never-give-scarlett-johansson-a-solo-black-widow-movie-scarlett-johansson-in-477047

Also, after seeing Avengers: Age of Ultron, I was most certainly interested in hearing more of the story of Black Widow. We were given a small taste, ala Scarlett Witches powers, of what Natasha’s life had been like as she trained (and became brainwashed) to become the super bad ass spy/assassin/superhero she is today. Not only that, but we were teased with some more of what the training was like for Black Widow’s on the TV show Agent Carter when we got to see what “life” was like for Dottie Greenwood (spoiler alert: it’s bad to be trained as  a Black Widow spy). The fact is, there is a rich, complicated and brutal backstory to tell when it comes to Natasha and her other women spy comrades, one that deserves to be told on screen.

Wonder Woman may have her movie out first, but I have no doubt Black Widow's film will be kick-ass.
Wonder Woman may have her movie out first, but I have no doubt Black Widow’s film will be kick-ass.

Not to mention, it’s about dang time that a woman superhero gets her own movie. Yes, I’m greedy for it, we have seen men ruling over the superhero franchises forever now, I mean, for pete’s sake, Batman gets a new movie every couple of years, but only after decades do we finally get to see Wonder Woman up on the big screen, fighting toe-to-toe with the guys in some of the best scenes of Superman v. Batman: Dawn of Justice. Seeing WW up there got me all sorts of jazzed up for her movie and I am very excited and hopeful that she will be the start of some really awesome female-led superhero films.

It’s time folks. It’s way past time.

How do you feel about Black Widow? Do you think she’s ready for a standalone film? Why or why not? Share in the comments!

Posted on

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.

f6914c0a7560dce09722a74ddd5933d6

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!

Posted on

The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 10/28/2015

Happy Halloween comic booOOooooOOOook fans (read in a ghost voice). Welcome to a spooktacular edition of the Crank File, written in spooOOooky script. It’s the end of October folks and monster month has been an absolute treat. The Marvels relaunch was a little shaky, as expected, but everyone I spoke to seems to be finding something to enjoy. I liked what I saw from Iron Man and Captain America. The latest Star Wars Force Awakens trailer went a long way to ease any doubts I had about the new Star Wars movies. The internet dropped a crazy Batman vs Superman theory that actually sort of makes sense and AMC’s Walking Dead stabbed it’s audience square in the gut (for the watch). Week four delivers a merciful break as we enter All Hallow’s Eve. So without further adooOOoooOOoo…

Here’s what I’m reading this week.

 

The Top of the Pile: Manifest Destiny #18 Image

 

MD18

 

As the arc comes to a close, extreme measures are taken to protect Lewis & Clark’s mission.

Always finding its way up to the front of the stack, Manifest Destiny is some of the most fun I’ve had reading comics. The series continues to horrify and delight with more monsters, more terrors and more grisly deaths. Manifest Destiny really hit its stride in the third arc Chiroptera & Carnivores with a balanced mix of action and storytelling. Issue #18 will undoubtedly close out with fireworks so Westward, ho!

 

The Mainstream One: Justice League The Darkseid Wars Batman #1 DC

 

JL1

 

As the Darkseid War rages on, Batman’s role in Gotham City–and the world-alters drastically as he’s forced to accept his new role as a God of Knowledge.

Batman sits atop the Mobius chair and becomes god. An unstable man with violent tendencies and a thirst for vengeance gains omnipotence. What could possibly go wrong? I wasn’t planning on picking this one up initially, but I heard that in this issue Batman confronts the man who shot his parents all those years ago, Joe Chill.

 

The Indie One: Rumble #8 Image Comics

 

r8

 

Special Halloween issue, introducing a new major character!

I read the first issue of Rumble when it came out and liked it enough to add it to my pull list. Issues 2-7 had been sitting in my pull box since then and I decided the reading load for monster week wasn’t enough, so I decided to tack six issues of Rathraq on top of it. I didn’t really need to sleep anyways. It’s hard to boil Rumble down to a blurb, but it is action, fantasy, humor, horror and heart and it’s all done incredibly well.

 

The #1 One: Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D #1 Marvel Kirby Monster Variant

 

HCa

 

Hidden deep beneath AREA 13 lies the clandestine headquarters of S.T.A.K.E.–a top secret division of S.H.I.E.L.D. housing aliens, mythical beasts, and all manner of extra-normal entities. Under the command of legendary soldier DUM DUM DUGAN, these monsters step out of the shadows and defend the world against supernatural threats too dangerous for normal men.

Marvel’s answer to the Justice League Dark, S.H.I.E.L.D’s Howling Commandos are a motley crew of monsters and humans who specialize in dealing with the weird stuff that their super-strong counterparts can’t punch through. I like the premise, it allows Marvel to tell dark, supernatural stories that don’t work elsewhere but I was underwhelmed by the preview. My Newbury 50% special of the week, I’m going to try to grab the Del Mundo Kirby variant.

 

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Paper Girls #1 Image

 

PG1

 

In the early hours after Halloween of 1988, four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls uncover the most important story of all time. Stand By Me meets War of the Worlds in this mysterious young adult adventure.

The Paper Girls debuted a few weeks back and it was awesome. If you’re like me and love Brian K Vaughan’s writing, then you probably already own a copy. But right now, Midtown Comics is selling copies signed by creators Brain K Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, Jared Fletcher and Matt Wilson for cover price plus shipping. It even comes with a COA. Be sure to snag a couple cheap comics to protect your copy of Paper Girls during shipping, Midtown does not ship their comics with backers.

 

The Speculation One: Self Storage #1 451 Media Group

 

SS1

 

What if you found a zombie locked up in a self storage unit? Would you keep it? Chris Smith has eked by in life hocking the auctioned-off junk from those people who no longer pay the rent on their self storage units. He spends his days hopping from one storage facility to the next, bidding on units sight-unseen, only to sell whatever’s inside to antique dealers and pawn shops for as much money as he can squeeze. But Chris has never found anything like what’s waiting for him inside unit # 83… …Her name is Jessica.

Small, indie publishers are all the rage this year. Last week’s Sunflower #1 from 451 Media Group sold out quickly and immediately shot up to $15 in after market trading. I’m hoping for similar results with their zombie book, Self Storage. The previews looked great and should be an entertaining read regardless.

Carpe Comics!

Posted on

The Female Perspective: This Halloween, Be Sexy, Be Powerful, Don’t Be Slutty

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.


I was thinking about my blog for this week and wondering what kind of goodness I wanted to write about and eventually I thought about how Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. There’s something about the air that’s different, it’s cooler (well, usually. Right now it’s a tad warm in Rhode Island) and it’s just … weirder. So I started thinking, what are some great costumes for the feminist lady? Can it be sexy? Can it be daring? Will it still be feminist if you show off your good bits?

I think the answer can be yes though I admit it makes me feel a little bit weird saying that. I’m not someone who loves the “slutty” costume series and a lot of them really just look ridiculous (does anyone buy these???) but I also think that people should dress up as whatever they want. If it makes them feel good, who am I to judge? Then I think to myself, the real problem isn’t the risqué costumes, it’s the term “slutty” – that seems to be a quick and not-s0-subtle way for us women to degrade ourselves while doing something as simple as getting a Halloween costume.

Let me suggest some alternatives to being a Sexy Disney Character (ick) or other so-called “slutty” costume.

To each their own but something about a sexy Snow White gives me the creepy crawlies.
To each their own but something about a sexy Snow White gives me the creepy crawlies.

#1) Rosie The Riveter

Smart & Sassy.
Smart & Sassy.

How can you go wrong with this badass lady? Not only is the costume SUPER easy to make, it’s also really recognizable either as the “Yes We Can!” lady or Rosie. No matter what, you’ll look smart, sexy, powerful and be super comfortable.

Am I one of the only people who want their costumes to be comfortable along with looking awesome? I’m okay with it if I am, just thought I’d ask.

#2) A Suffragette

And it's perfect for the upcoming release of the movie "Suffragette"!
And it’s perfect for the upcoming release of the movie “Suffragette”!

You might be going, huh? What? Is that some weird toy or cosplay? Nope! In case you didn’t know, women didn’t always have the right to vote and it’s because of these brave women (aka suffragette’s) that we can vote and enjoy the rights we have today. Not only is it an unusual costume, it’s also pretty cool, you can wear a vintage dress and wear a SASH without having to be a beauty queen or … um, sash model. Seriously, who else other than beauty queens wear sashes?

#3) Any Awesomely Famous Women From History/Pop Culture

Honestly, these are as easy as pie (mmm…pie). You can go as Frida Kahlo and sport a fabulous uni-brow that will certainly catch all the glances. Not to mention, as Frida you can wear beautiful, colorful, flowing clothing and really show off your artistic side.

If you are more into movie/TV icons you can go as a S.H.I.E.L.D Agent and go around kicking people’s butts or grabbing that hot guy dressed as Thor and tell him you want him to join the S.H.I.E.L.D initiative – it’s a perfect pick up line for the single gal!

You can also go with more traditional fare like a fully dressed Disney princess, the Queen or even my personal fave, Buffy The Vampire Slayer or get really tough with your best Furiosa costume!

Buffy Costumes - totally DIY awesome!
Buffy Costumes – totally DIY awesome!

There are so many awesome options for Halloween costumes that DON’T involve showing off every bit of skin you can get away with but still be powerful and in full command of your sexuality. Don’t sell yourself short by picking something “slutty” – I can promise you that you are better than that.

Halloween is a time to express the side you never get to express. It’s a time to dress up in a way you’ve always wanted to, but thought might be disapproved of. Go Goth, Emo, Punk, Prairie Lady, whatever makes YOU feel good.  If that means showing some skin, then go with it, but do me a favor, don’t call yourself a “Slutty” anything. If someone tells you that you are dressed as a Slutty Nurse just because your skirt is short or you’re showing some cleavage, make sure to correct them and say you are a Nurse, plain and simple. Calling ourselves “slutty” is what I object to. I think it’s degrading and it cheapens any effort we put into dressing up for a party. We are more than our body parts ladies. We are more than our cleavage and our booty. We are powerful, we are sexy, we are smart and we are worth respecting ourselves.

This is so cool! I wish it was my costume!
This is so cool! I wish it was my costume!

This Halloween, dress as you want, have fun with it, be daring, but most of all, be the powerful Universal force you truly are. Don’t sell yourself short by being slutty. Show the world that you can be both powerful AND sexy and that being sexy does not mean you’re not feminist. Being sexy is about harnessing your inner Goddess and rolling with it. Not about being cheap. You’re all brilliant, now show off that brilliance this Halloween!

What are YOU going as for Halloween? Tell me in the comments!