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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – April 11, 2018

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. Every Wednesday is new comic book day and on Tuesdays I like to spotlight some of the stuff I’ll be checking out.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: Thanos #18

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Geoff Shaw

What it is: AT LONG LAST…THANOS WINS! When there is nothing left to kill, Death comes…to the one who loves her most – KING THANOS. How will the fantastic saga of Thanos, King Thanos and the Cosmic Ghost Rider end?

Why we love it: The can’t miss conclusion to Donny Cates and Geoff Shaws’ exceptional Thanos run drops this week. It’s Thanos vs Thanos and the winner marries Death. Sounds like one of those, you win but you actually lose, type scenarios.

The Mainstream One: Captain America #700 (Alex Ross 1:50 variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Mark Waid
Art: Chris Samnee

What it is: OUT OF TIME CONCLUSION! Cap is finally ‘OUT OF TIME’! Frozen in time, awakened in a decimated future and once again a man out of his era, there is only one way for Steve Rogers to restore order and rebuild civilization-and that’s to rule it as King Captain America! No dream, no hoax, no lie, this IS Cap and this IS happening, believe it or not! PLUS: Mark Waid delivers an untold tale from Captain America’s past, featuring the classic artwork of Jack Kirby! Rated T+

Why we like it: Happy 700th Cap. To celebrate Marvel’s making you king of future world. A monarchy seems like the kind of thing that Captain America would be opposed to, so I expect his reign to be a short one.

The Indie One: Gideon Falls #2

Publisher: Image
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Andea Sorrentino

What it is: The brand-new supernatural mystery series by the acclaimed team of JEFF LEMIRE and ANDREA SORRENTINO (Old Man Logan, Green Arrow) continues. The mysteries of the ‘Black Barn’ heighten as the reclusive Norton begins to unravel new clues just as a murder spree breaks out in the town of Gideon Falls. But how is it all connected?! The puzzle pieces begin to fall.

Why we like it: Issue 1 of Gideon Falls was a very strong premiere for the new series by creative superstars Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino. Part urban horror, part rural mystery, Gideon Falls touches on themes of madness, obsession, religion and good old fashioned ghosties.

The #1 One: Immortal Men #1

Publisher: DC
Words: James Tynion IV
Art: Jim Lee, Scott Williams

What it is: ‘THE END OF FOREVER’ part one! There is a secret history to the DC Universe of heroes who have protected humanity from the shadows since the dawn of time…and who can live forever. Enter the Immortal Men! The team, headed by the Immortal Man, has waged a secret war against the House of Conquest for countless years-but Conquest has dealt a devastating blow. When their base of operations, known as the Campus, is savagely attacked, the Immortal Men must seek out their last hope-an emerging metahuman known as Caden Park! Caden’s emerging powers may be able to ensure the Immortal Men’s survival-but will Conquest get to him first? RATED T+

Why we like it: DC’s New Age of Heroes has been a bit of a mixed bag, but there have been some positive standouts. I really like the creative team on this title, and I hope Tynion and Lee stick around for a while.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Supergirl #20 (Artgerm Cover B variant)

Publisher: DC
Words: Steve Orlando
Art: Robson Rocha
Cover Art: Stanley Artgerm Lai

What it is: Supergirl must fight both Mokkari and the out-of-dimension Viking Judge to save Director Bones from the fury of the Viking’s magical ax! Meanwhile, with Director Bones out of the picture, Cameron Chase and Lar-On must break into the D.E.O. to save Veritas before the clock counts down to zero and the psycho-redactor erases her memories forever!

Why we like it: Based on Michael Turner’s Supergirl costume design, issue 20 is my new favorite from the run. I believe that this is the last cover B that Stanley Artgerm Lau is doing on Supergirl, and  its an absolute beauty. But don’t fret, Artgerm will keep the cover B’s moving as it has been announced that he will be doing B covers on Joelle Jones’ Catwoman series launching in July.


That’s all I got this week. Until next time, carpe comics!

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – August 9, 2017

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. Every Wednesday is new comic book day and on Tuesdays I like to spotlight some of the stuff I’ll be checking out.


Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: Mister Miracle #1

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Mitch Gerads

What it is: From the team behind THE SHERIFF OF BABYLON and the Hugo Award-nominated writer of Vision comes a unique new take on one of Jack Kirby’s most beloved New Gods. Scott Free is the greatest escape artist that ever lived. So great that he escaped Granny Goodness’ gruesome orphanage and the dangers of Apokolips to travel across galaxies and set up a new life on Earth with his wife, the former female fury known as Big Barda. Using the stage alter ego of Mister Miracle, he has made a career for himself showing off his acrobatic escape techniques. He even caught the attention of the Justice League, which counted him among its ranks. You might say Scott Free has everything…so why isn’t it enough? Mister Miracle has mastered every illusion, achieved every stunt, pulled off every trick-except one. He has never escaped death. Is it even possible? Our hero is going to have to kill himself if he wants to find out. Written by Tom King (BATMAN) and illustrated by Mitch Gerads (The Punisher), this is a MISTER MIRACLE unlike any you’ve read before.

Why we love it: Tom King took one of Marvel’s more oddball heroes and with artist Gabriel Walta, turned the Vision into a 12 issue post-modern masterpiece that won a freaking Eisner. Mister Miracle will be a 12 issue mini that deconstructs one of Jack The King Kirby’s strangest creations. It’s King on King action!


The Mainstream One: Secret Empire #8

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Nick Spencer
Art: Daniel Acuna

What it is: UNITED WE STAND – against the SECRET EMPIRE! Rated T+

Why we like it: Still good. Still on time. Still loving this event.


The Indie One: Low #19

Publisher: Image
Words: Rick Remender
Art: Greg Tocchini

What it is: END OF STORY ARC ‘OUTER ASPECTS OF INNER ATTITUDES,’ Conclusion Death comes to the drowning city as Tajo and her crew fight to inspire the citizens of Salus to not go gentle into that good night.

Why we like it: It’s the end to another glorious Low arc and as usual, things aren’t going so great for our main characters. One of the recurring themes of Low has been finding hope when things are at their darkest moment but it has been pretty grim since Stel’s story came to a grisly end in issue #15. I’m looking for something in this week’s issue to keep my spirits buoyed.


The #1 One: Generations Phoenix & Jean Grey #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Aaron A
Art: R. B. Silva

What it is: Teenage Jean Grey is willing to do whatever it takes to avoid the fate that befell her predecessor. But when Jean is cast through time and comes face-to-face with the newly possessed Phoenix, will she find the key to saving herself or learn that her fate is sealed? Rated T+

Why we like it: Jean Grey was one of my first crushes, so the prospect of having two Jean Greys at the same time is something of a dream come true. It looks like we’re gonna be doing some time-traveling here, so prepare for things to get convoluted. Like with Generations Hulk, there will be a beautiful Mattina second print cover, but the Stephanie Hans regular cover is just too good to pass on.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: DC Cover B’s

Publisher: DC
Cover Artists: Frank Cho, Artgerm, Renato Guedes

Why we like it: I was having a hard time choosing the best cover this week so here’s three amazing DC cover B’s. These are all spectacular and can all be had for cover price.


That’s all I got this week. Until next time, carpe comics!

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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: Superhero Toys For Girls Are Here!

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 before about the lack of superhero toys for girls. The almost complete absence of Black Widow merchandise for the last few Captain America and Avengers movies has been insulting to say the least. That seems to be changing for the better, thank goodness!

After a fairly big backlash against Hasbro for not having Rey toys from the newest Star Wars film (which they rectified asap after giving us all the lame excuse that it would give away plot secrets, puh-leese) we have recently been made aware that they will FINALLY have Black Widow toys to align with the Captain America: Civil War and I am pleased as punch.

One of the few Rey toys released prior to the film. (Courtesy of Erik Kain from
One of the few Rey toys released prior to the film. (Courtesy of Erik Kain from

I remember when I was a kid being sorely disappointed in the lack of superhero toys for girls. I had every single Princess Leia figure there was (wish I still had them!) and one lone Boba Fett, but my brother had all the other characters so we managed to make it work (when we were getting along), but I struggle to remember any other toys that I could have played with as a child, sure there was She-Ra, female Thundercats characters and the like, but I spent a lot of time playing with My Little Pony and Barbie toys, I just made them into superheroes. They rocked some pretty awesome ensembles, except for JEM because darn her, she was twice the size of Barbie so they couldn’t share their clothes! Ahh the trials and tribulations of a small child…

Anyway, the point I’m trying to make here is that I am REALLY happy to see the growing hoard of positive superhero toys for girls, but more than that, Black Widow is finally getting her due. Is this because of the upcoming appearance of Wonder Woman in the Batman/Superman movie? Does Marvel finally see that DC might have the beat in terms of movie merchandise? Because DC hasn’t had much of an issue with making sure WW makes her presence known in toy aisles. Of course, WW is a much more well-known and established character in the minds of young girls/grown woman. Hard to say, but regardless, accordion to Black Widow will be “dominating” the toy markets with the release of the newest Marvel movie monster.

Leading up to the release of last summer’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, a controversy started brewing when none of Marvel’s merchandise for the movie featured Scarlett Johansson’s popular character Black Widow. The studioseems to have learned from its past mistakes, with Entertainment Weekly unveiling a slew of new products for the upcoming Captain America: Civil War, which prominently feature this beloved character. These items even correct a few mistakes from the Avengers: Age of Ultron merchandise. –

YAY! The first time I saw Black Widow I was impressed with her general bad-assery and I was totally confused by her lack of presence for toys. Newsflash world, little girls like to play with toys based on their role models! Sure, I enjoyed playing with the “boy” toys all the time, Han Solo was one of my fave’s from Star Wars and I preferred some He-Man characters over my She-Ra dolls (but She-Ra toys really did rock, again, where did those go???? I’d almost kill to have them back!). I don’t believe that toys need to be segregated into boy and girl toys, I think they should just be TOYS. Some girls like to play with cars and swords, some boys like to play with Barbie, nothing should be taboo and it would be great to see all stores adopt the toy aisle idea, rather than splitting them between the sexes.

Black Widow will feature prominently in the toy marketing of "Captain America: Civil War", a big change after Marvel received a lot of complaints for her lack of presence in previous movies toy marketing campaigns.
Black Widow will feature prominently in the toy marketing of “Captain America: Civil War”, a big change after Marvel received a lot of complaints for her lack of presence in previous movies toy marketing campaigns.

Regardless, I am also impressed with Target’s newest line of toys, from DC Comics we have a pretty awesome line of female superhero toys. They range from Batgirl to Harley Quinn but I have ONE issue with them, in every description it says, “DC Hero Girls Action Figure” – leave off the girls and it would be perfection I say, but even that’s nit-picking. These toys are kind of amazing and I would totally want these if I was a kid (I kind of want them as an “adult)!

Target's newest line of Superhero toys is pretty awesome and girl-centric!
Target’s newest line of Superhero toys is pretty awesome and girl-centric!

I am happy to see that even in the short time I’ve been writing this blog, that positive changes like this are happening in the toy world. Those marketing people are starting to see that woman/girls/ladies do in fact like toys, they buy them, they collect them and it is more then appropriate that they become a part of the marketing machine of the big comic blockbusters coming up this year.

Change is slow but it IS happening.

Now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to go play with my toys.

Did you have a favorite toy as a child? What do you think of Target’s new line of Superhero toys? Sound off about toys in the comments section!

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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.


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: 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.


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!

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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: Supergirl, Then and Now

Welcome! This is a Tri-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 originally going to write about the new “Mad Max: Fury Road” controversy of men being angry about the movie being “feminist propaganda” but instead, I want to talk a little bit more about Supergirl – both the 1984 movie and the upcoming TV series on CBS.

1984 Supergirl. Rock on Supergirl, ROCK. ON.
1984 Supergirl. Rock on Supergirl, ROCK. ON.

First, we’ll start with the 1984 movie. I am going to state right up front that I LOVE this movie. It was the very first superhero movie I ever watched (that I recall) and not only that, it starred a female hero. My budding little feminist heart was thrilled beyond measure to see a woman kicking butt and getting stuff done with grace, ease and amazing strength and without looking like a hooker. I watched this movie a lot as a girl and I recently re-watched it as “research” for this piece. Though, to be fair, I didn’t need to re-watch it since I pretty much have it memorized.

Faye Dunaway as Selena? She pretty much ate up the screen in her scenes.
Faye Dunaway as Selena? She pretty much ate up the screen in her scenes.

A lot of folks don’t like this movie for various reasons I simply don’t understand. Sure, it’s 80’s cheese in some degrees but it has an all-star cast, I mean, seriously, FAYE DUNAWAY as the villain Selena, how can you go wrong? Not to mention Peter O’Toole as Supergirl’s mentor and friend, Zalfar. It’s a pretty stellar cast if you ask me. Helen Slater nails the innocent power that is both Supergirl and Kara Zor-El from Argo City.

Kara, after an unfortunate accident that is equal parts Zalfar and her faults, finds herself on Earth. She has powers and can fly for cripes sake! She is also on a mission to find the Omega Hedron and save her city from certain death (by suffocation no less). She spends a few moments (during some really awesome wire work) flying around and getting used to her new strength and her new world before she gets back to work looking for the Omega.

What gets me most about this movie is the utter strength of the women in this film. Dunaway’s Selena is crazy as all good villains should be, but she is also powerful and confident in her power (with the exception of a few amusing fumbles), she doesn’t need a man and continuously tricks them to get what she wants. Slater’s Supergirl brings out the appropriate amount of gravitas and fun that Supergirl should have. Honestly, for me, it’s like watching a comic on-screen.

If you are a regular reader of my blog than you know that my favorite part of this movie is the ending sequences. When Supergirl has to escape the Phantom Zone with Zalfar, she loses her friend and has to go on alone. That moment is precious to me. It is Kara realizing her true power and strength. She has to keep moving and DARN-IT, that scene gives me chills every time I watch it.

To me, this is a perfect movie for young girls to see if they want to see a female superhero or even before they start watching the CBS show to get a feel for Kara Zor-El and the Supergirl universe. Not only is Supergirl not treated like a sex object, she is actually treated like an equal to the men around her (to be fair, the male characters are pretty much reduced to stumbling buffoons, funny but not my favorite part of the film). This is a feminist movie that isn’t trying to be a feminist movie. That’s what I love about it.

Oh Zalfar. "On Girl!"
Oh Zalfar. “On Girl!”

Sadly, it flopped in theaters and we never saw another Supergirl film. Lucky for us, the recent rise in the love of all things comics (Green Arrow, The Flash, The Avengers, etc) has brought Supergirl back to us. Later this year, CBS will launch their version of Supergirl for TV audiences. They recently released a 6 minute preview of the show and I have to admit, I am pretty psyched. Check it out if you haven’t seen it already.

It’s a long preview and it shows a lot of good stuff. It also gives us a lighter, more fun superhero show. it comes from the mind of the creators of The Arrow and The Flash which only makes me more excited. On Arrow the women are as strong as the men, they fight side by side with them. Not to mention, the action/fight sequences should prove to be beautifully choreographed. Besides all of that I have to say that I’m pleased with her costume, her attitude and oh, everything about it. It looks fun and kick-ass, a winning combination – if you ask me. I have the hope that it will be a proof to all those Execs out there that think a female-centric superhero show/movie can’t work, that lady hero’s are just as watchable as male hero’s. I mean seriously, look at Agent Carter! She was step one, let’s hope Supergirl will be step two to us finally seeing a female hero movie on the big screen.

Our new Supergirl. She looks very promising.
Our new Supergirl. She looks very promising.

I’ve read varying degrees of happiness and unhappiness about the trailer which is to be expected. I mean, you can’t please everyone, right? What irritates me is when people nit pick. For example, I saw one complaint that the guy playing Jimmy Olson isn’t wimpy or unattractive and is (gasp) being played by a black man and not a pale-faced ginger. Listen folks, it’s OKAY to change things up every once in a while if the story stays relatively true to the characters. I don’t care what color Olsen is as long as he’s a good actor. I’ve also seen complaints that they mention Superman too much. Sigh. Really? The 1984 movie talks about him a lot, they even go so far as to show a poster of him in Linda Lee’s dorm room. It’s allowed people, Superman IS her cousin and they share super powers! Seems to me that it would only be natural, as Kara finds her power, that she talks about her cousin who knows of what she speaks.

I personally am ready to check out this new Supergirl and I have high hopes for it, Lord knows I needed a win this week after the debacle that was the Jem and The Holograms trailer!

Time will tell and hopefully I won’t be writing another blog in a few months complaining about our new Supergirl.

So tell me, what do YOU think? Did you love the 1984 version of Supergirl? Did you love the comics? Are you excited for the new show? Why or why not? Sound off in the comments!