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New Girl Gang Releases 2/10/16

Hey Girl Gang! Happy Wednesday! Here are our pulls for this week!

Happy Wednesday Girl Gang!

What other titles should we be picking up that we should be adding to this list or don’t know about? Let us know in the comments or at thegeekgirlgang@gmail.com!

2

‘The Venture Bros’ Season 6 Episode 2 Recap: “Maybe No Go”

Damn, that was an excellent episode. Let’s get to it.

“Maybe No Go” opens on the home of everyone’s favorite albino and metal-handed-former-boy-genius dream team, Pete White and Billy Quizboy. They are arguing over what initially appears to be a dangerous experiment complete with labcoats and beakers, until Billy exclaims, “You can’t put mouthwash into cookie batter! Its idiotic!”

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Their extremely important experiment is interrupted when the ground starts shaking due to a giant robot t-rex breathing fire outside of the Conjectural Technologies trailer. This seems to be a message, because Billy exclaims, “To the Quizcave!”

The scene changes to the best opening we’ve seen in a long time: opening credits for an animated show titled Billy Quizboy and the Pink Pilgrim, complete with theme song, clips from different ‘episodes’, an excellent logo, and of course Robo-Bo. I’m pretty sure it is impossible to not smile with pure glee as you watch this scene. Pete’s ‘Pink Pilgrim’ costume is very literal – neon pink buckle on his hat and everything. Not only is this opening sequence super fun, its also new and unique – proving that Astrobase is not resting on their laurels in their 6th season.

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In their Quizcave (Quiz Cave? QuizCave?), Pete and Billy video chat with St. Cloud, who remains as obnoxious as ever. Cloud has stolen a red rubber ball from the Conjectural Technologies team, which Pete calls “the source of our power”. Billy calls for action, but Pete asks if they can reschedule their revenge for the next day as he has a dentist appointment in the morning. Cloud admits that he has a lot of things to do, so he’s down to reschedule for the next day. Billy admits he didn’t sleep well last night, so maybe tomorrow would be better. St. Cloud declares, “I will get you, Quizboy… At a reasonable hour.”

We join the Venture family as they sit around the kitchen table eating breakfast. Rusty is proud to see that he’s on the front page of the paper, undeterred by the accompanied headline “C-E-Oh No! Second Venture Son Drives Stocks Into the Ground.”

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Brock gently suggests that firing all employees and then spending money wasn’t the best idea, but as always Rusty refuses to listen to reason. “I don’t need a mutiny because people can’t post a picture of their lunch on TweetTweet or whatever.”

Brock complains about the gross coffee substitute that Rusty says he drinks for his nervous bowels, and leaves to get some real coffee. As he’s leaving, Rusty yells for him to find the missing Pirate, who is now back on tranquilizer darts.

At the Monarch’s mansion, which is still under construction, the Monarch crew are also having their morning coffee. The Monarch is refusing to accept that he can no longer arch Dr. Venture, but Dr. Mrs the Monarch will not budge on her position. She says that she will give him his arching rights back after the Guild of Calamitous Intent has reestablished their credibility. She also admits that there are a dozen villains in line ahead of the Monarch waiting to get Dr. Venture’s arching rights.

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Dr. Mrs the Monarch finally appeases the Monarch by offering make-up sex – or so she thinks. As she changes into the cheerleader outfit (assumedly the one we saw in season 4), Monarch tells Gary to use his wife’s laptop to find out the information of the 12 villains in front of him on the Dr. Venture list.

This scene also features the most graphic sex talk we’ve heard on the show so far. As they are from the Monarch, they are as gross and narcissistic as one would expect, e.g.: the phrase “caked in my sticky triumph”. 21 is understandably grossed out.

We cut to the zoo, where the Pirate Captain is jumps into the polar bear exhibit, causing the security guard will shoot the bear with a tranquilizer dart, which he steals for himself. The Captain looks much worse than the last time we saw him.

Pete and Billy are dropped off by Robo-Bo at the gate of the St. Cloud estate. Billy tries to get them in with his grapple hand, but then realizes that he can’t stand any pressure on the cord because the hand is attached to his nerves. Pete uses the intercom and Cloud opens the front gate. Billy’s hand coil isn’t retractable, so he has to drag it with him.

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The Monarch and 21 approach a rundown house in Patterson, NJ, where one of the villains on the Venture arching list lives. A woman in a bathrobe and towel answers the door, and the Monarch requests that she sign away her arching rights for Dr. Venture, offering her a clipboard and paper. She refuses, so the Monarch darts her in the neck and drags her inside.

Apparently St. Cloud was not on time to arch, because Billy and Pete sit in the bathroom as he showers. We find out that the stolen rubber ball that Cloud has stolen is a prop from Duran Duran’s ‘Is There Something I Should Know’ video. This also explains the unique scene transitions that have been happening during the Pete and Billy scenes: they are the same as the video.

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Pete passes the time by using hair mousse to make his hair into signature styles from different bands – Flock of Seagulls, the Exploited, and Tool Academy. Pei Wei brings St. Cloud a cat puppet on a gold tray, which turns out to be Henrietta from Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood. Cloud uses her as a shower mit. Billy is understandably outraged.

Back at Venture Industries, Brock has returned with good coffee and the Pirate Captain. The Venture boys chain the Captain to the bed in Hank’s room to stage an intervention. They give him a bed (chained to), ladies’ shirt (pirate-sized), beef-flavored tomato juice (2 jugs of), fruit snacks (10 feet of), coffee cake (crunchy part of), picture of old people dancing, sympathetic kitten, television, She’s All That DVD, and buckets for urine, feces, and vomit (and one for the kitten).

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In a restaurant that apparently has live krill on the menu, Wide Wale meets with Fallen Archer. He is angry because Fallen Archer has not paid him the usual amount of money, and Archer says that its because Venture refused the Crusader Action League’s protection.

Back in New Jersey, the woman in the robe named Redusa wakes up from her tranquilizer sleep, and she is not happy. Her towel falls off, revealing a head of snake hair, and she starts shooting lasers out of her eyes at the Monarch and 21. 21 bounces one of her lasers off of what looks like a bag of garbage, and it shoots back at her, shrinking her head. 21 holds his blade at her neck and they force her to sign the paper.

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In Hank’s bedroom, The Captain is going through tranquilizer withdrawal. He is drenched in sweat and starts to hallucinate. In an excellent reference to the movie Trainspotting, he sees a former member of his pirate crew and a baby crawling on the ceiling with the face of Jonas Jr, both of whom tell him he’s a failure. He finally wakes up in care of Doc, Dean, and Hank, who stage an intervention.

Angry that Rusty did not pay the League fees, Wide Wale decides to do his first arching. Brock is warned ahead of time by his old friend Shore Leave, who I was super happy to see and have missed dearly. We learn that Wide Wale got his mutation from trying to find a cancer cure by using cuttlefish DNA with his brother (who we can only assume is Dr. Dugong from season 3). Brock starts to request backup, but Shore Leave tells him that the arching will happen at any minute and there is no time for backup.

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At Cloud’s estate, he is finally ready to arch. Billy and Pete are tied to chairs in a room that looks exactly like the room from the Duran Duran video, and St. Cloud’s wears an outfit very similar to what Duran Duran wears. St. Cloud says he will give them back the ball if they sell him their company for one penny.

Brock teams up with Hatred to protect the new Venture Compound, more out of necessity than choice. Hatred seems to be official Venture Industries building security now, with the jacket to prove it. He doesn’t seem to have any bitter feelings toward Brock, and enthusiastically agrees to help. Hatred’s history as both supervillain and OSI have given him a wealth of information about all Guild members, including Wide Wale.

Hatred admits that they have no real line of defense against an attack from Wide Wale other than the objects in the lobby. Brock smiles like a man with a plan and asks Hatred if he has been to the zoo recently.

Now clean from the tranquilizer dart monkey on his back, the Pirate Captain is back in his black turtleneck and helping Rusty repair the damage he’s made to Venture Industries. Rusty wants to change the direction of the company from modern “Angry Birds” technology to classic superscience like his father and grandfather before him. Dean suggests that they do both: continue producing the type of technology that will please the shareholders while also founding a new superscience-focused division of the corporation.

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Billy and Pete discuss the importance of the rubber ball on their walk home that night. Pete questions if it was worth it to tell their company to retrieve the ball, and Billy is adamant that it was. Billy explains all of the progress that came from the New Romantics, including future hip-hop, which is important because “I lost my virginity to side-A of Wutang Forever!”(Possibly the time that he had sex with three prostitutes who he thought were vampires in Monstoso’s home?) Billy says that the ball is magic and that they just saved the world.

At Venture Industries, Wide Wale appears for his first arching by coming up through the floor as Hatred predicted. However, Brock and Hatred stood him up. No one is in the building.

After finally procuring Redusa’s signature, Monarch and 21 return home to a huge surprise. The head of construction on the house, Manolo, shows them a secret steel door that the crew found earlier that day. They descend a long staircase to a huge underground room which sheets covering large objects. It appears to be some kind of laboratory.

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Brock and Hatred talk on the roof of the Venture building. They bond over the activities of the day, and Brock offers to buy Hatred a beer. They scale off of the roof together, no longer rivals but two men with the same goal of keeping the Venture family safe.

Wide Wale returns home to find his living room filled with balloons and the polar bear from the zoo, courtesy of Brock and Hatred.

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In the final scene of the episode, St. Cloud shows up at the Conjectural Technologies trailer to inform Pete and Billy that he has sold their company to Venture Industries.

I loved every single moment of “Maybe No Go.” Some people online were saying it was a “set-up episode”, and maybe it was, but it also advanced the story substantially while bringing back old favorites and packing in the references. I was glad to see that Doc is taking steps to not completely ruin the company. Watching him make some effort to succeed will be far more interesting than if he fails immediately.

I love Billy and Pete and I’m really excited for them to join the Venture team in NYC. This was also the first episode when I actually kind of enjoyed St. Cloud instead of wanting to strangle him. The impulse was still there, but its hard not to laugh when he’s using a beloved Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood puppet to wash his junk.

This episode is an excellent reminder that new seasons of The Venture Brothers are worth the wait. Doc and Jackson are not merely recycling their previous successes. It is clear that still have their supremely unique voices that made us all fall in love in the first place. I’m sure that there are plenty more surprises in store for us in season 6.

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Also! This week’s Shirt Club shirt is super cute. Its made even better by the use of Kim as this week’s model. Kim is Triana’s friend from season 2 who is infamously always asked about at conventions. It was a cheeky move from Doc and Jackson, who really would like it if you stopped asking about her. Please.

Edit: Thanks to the commenter who pointed out the Trainspotter reference that went completely over my head!

 

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New Girl Gang Releases 2/3/16

Hey Girl Gang! Happy Wednesday! Here are our pulls for this week!

Happy Wednesday Girl Gang!

What other titles should we be picking up that we should be adding to this list or don’t know about? Let us know in the comments or at thegeekgirlgang@gmail.com!

1

‘The Venture Brothers’ Season 6 Episode 1 Recap: “Hostile Makeover”

So you’re probably wondering why I’m posting a recap article two days after the episode actually aired. I promise I have a good excuse. I actually flew to Florida for 41 hours this weekend to attend a Venture Bros Season 6 Premiere Party at Cinemaworld in Melbourne. I packed my favorite Venture cosplay (a 1950s poodle skirt version of Dr. Mrs. the Monarch) and was on my way.

The Venture Bros is my favorite show of all time, and its really important to me, to say the least. Being surrounded by hardcore Venture fans at an all-Venture event to see the new episode was a dream come true. The first 50 people got Venture shirts, and all of us got the gorgeous poster of Brock Samson by Patrick Leger. Adult Swim sent some other goodies that were raffled off to audience members. We watched The Devil’s GripAll This and Gargantua-2, and finally the new episode Assisted Suicide.

Here are some photos from the event, some of which are courtesy of The Venture Home News on Facebook.

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Some of the amazing work of John McDonald at Cinemastery Studios

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My Moppets waiting for the show

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The cosplayers at the showing

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Hank and Dean on the big screen

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HELPeR and Billy both talked! It was the coolest thing!

Onto the episode!

We last saw the Ventures in the All This and Gargantua-2 special that aired in January 2015. Many important events occurred in the special, including the reveal of the Sovereign’s real identity (just some bloke who wanted to be anyone but himself, so, nobody), his accidental death, Dr. Killinger killing the Investors, who were revealed to be his brothers, Killinger’s reformation of the Council of 13 including Dr. Mrs. the Monarch and Phantom Limb, and most importantly, the death of Jonas Venture Jr. and his decision to leave the giant Venture Industries Corporation to Rusty, making the Venture family wildly wealthy.

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Creators Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer wasted no time in immersing us in the Ventures’ new lives. We open on a beautiful bird’s eye view shot of New York City. The Ventures look eagerly out the windows of a limo with the license plate “RSTYS BK” as it brings them to their new home: the Venture Industries skyscraper. The montage of them checking out the new digs includes the Ventures dancing around their giant new living room and Rusty firing the entire board of Venture Industries.

The next morning is the Ventures’ first full day in New York. HELPeR is very jealous of their new butler robot, J-BOT, who seems to be a lot more modern and capable than HELPeR. Their breakfast is interupted when Hank yells from the other room, “Hey, Pop? Pretty much the Avengers are on our porch!” Here we meet the Crusaders Action League for the first time, who will clearly be regular characters in season 6. The team is made up of heroes named Stars & Garters, Warriana, Fallen Archer, and as we learn later, Nightdick. They try to sell Rusty superhero insurance, but back off when they see that Hatred is OSI.

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Meanwhile, the new Council of 13 of the Guild of Calamitous Intent has their first meeting on the spacecraft given to them by Dr. Killinger. The remaining members are Dr. Mrs the Monarch, Phantom Limb, Dragoon/Red Mantle, Dr. Z, and Radical Left. They find out that Killinger has disappeared, leaving them without a Sovereign.

Back in New York, Dean tours Stuyvesant University with campus tour guide Brown Widow, who was Dean’s neighbor during his brief time as an intern in New York. (Maybe now that Doc has money, he can finally produce the musical he wrote, with Brown Widow in the title role. Who’s Rusty? I’m Rusty!)

Never one to wait around or plan ahead, the Monarch decides to check out the Ventures’ new home with 21 in tow. The Monarch disguises himself as a Statue of Liberty impersonator, and 21 stands near him as the Naked Cowboy. They manage to steal a Venture ID off of an employee, and they shoot longtime Venture Industries the Sea Captain employee with a dartgun when he tries to stop them. Most fans will remember that Captain has a serious addiction to dart poison.

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We cut to the villain nightclub, where the Council of 13 holds a meeting for members of the Guild to voice their complaints. They try to impersonate the Sovereign’s giant floating head to hide his death, but they are called out by Dr. Phineas Phage, who the Sovereign tried to kill alongside Dr. Mrs. in the special. Caught in her lie, Dr. Mrs. the Monarch reveals to the angry crowd that the Sovereign is dead, and that the Council of 13 is looking for new members to fill the remaining seven spots.

Back at the Venture home, in a surprising twist, Brock Samson arrives at the door announcing that he has been reassigned to his former family. The now-unemployed Sergeant Hatred reports back to OSI headquarters, where Hunter Gathers assigns him to a desk job.

Rusty and Brock (rather unnecessarily) take the jet to Little Italy, where Rusty needs to “settle an old score”. They meet with an Italian tailor named Enzo, and Rusty picks up a custom speedsuit he ordered 20 years ago and never picked up. Later that night, Brock gives Hank advice on picking up women: to be a Steve McQueen, not a Justin Bieber. Brock’s advice to boys were one of the best parts of his time as the Venture bodyguard, and its great to see that continue this season.

The Monarch and 21 arrive back at the Venture building, disguised as Venture security guards. As they enter the building, we see that Hatred has decided to continue his mission as Venture bodyguard. He surveys the new Venture compound from the rooftop of another building.

Dr. Mrs. the Monarch goes to New York City to meet with new character Wide Wale with the goal of recruiting him for the Council of 13. If the Council can gain support of one of the biggest villains in the New York chapter, they can regain credibility as an authority among the Guild. Wide Wale says that he will need additional incentive to convince him to join the Council. He places his hand on Dr. Mrs. the Monarch’s thigh, which seems to suggest that he is seeking motivation of a sexual nature.

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While using Brock’s binoculars to spy on his neighbors, Hank spots a young woman diving into a pool and floating to the top, never bringing her head up for air. He grabs Brock’s grapple gun, sprints back to the roof, shoots it towards the window where the girl is drowning, and slides down the rope using his shirt. This catches the attention of the Crusaders Action League, who, when seeing that the commotion is from a building who hasn’t paid them, initially decide to ignore it. They change their minds when they think they see Brock push Hank off of the roof.

Brock tries to help Hank, but he is held back when Fallen Archer and Warriana start to fight him. It has been far too long since we’ve seen an old-fashioned Brock fight, knife bared, eye twitching, foaming at the mouth as he leaps towards his opponent. It was just like the old days of Brock as bodyguard, and it was a great reminder of how much Brock has been missed.

Hanging from his shirt, Hank kicks on the window, trying to get the attention of the drowning girl. She lifts her head from the water to look at him, and we see that she has gills on her neck. Hank falls from the rope, but is saved by League member Nightdick. In the funniest moment of the episode, Nightdick gives a dramatic third-person narrative of his own story when asked who he is. Hank understandably giggles when hearing the superhero’s name.

Back on the roof, Brock is finally subdued by Warriana and her lasso of truth. He screams out, “I don’t even care about the breast thing, I wanna do you!” It will be interesting to see if Brock finally gets to have a healthy relationship in the show after all the times he suffered at Molotov’s hand. (It will also be interesting to see if she reappears in this season after season 5 episode O.S.I. Love You.)

As all this is happening, the Monarch and 21 are stuck in the elevator with a strung-out Sea Captain, who begs for more darts. They finally use the Captain’s retina scan to get out of the elevator and are kicked out of the building by Hatred, who was watching the entire time. They are saved by Dr. Mrs. the Monarch, who tells Hatred that the Monarch’s trespassing is an internal Guild matter because Wide Wale now has an exclusive arching claim on Dr. Venture. This, and not sex, seems to be the one condition Wide Wale insisted on before throwing his support behind the Guild.

The League leaves the Venture rooftop, refusing to clean up their mess. In the last – and one of the best – moments of the episode, HELPeR and J-Bot make eye contact, and HELPeR pushes his new rival off of the rooftop.

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The episode was very busy and there was quite a lot of new stuff packed into 22 minutes. It was slightly overwhelming the first time I viewed it, but in my subsequent rewatches I’ve caught all of the jokes and quotes I missed the first time, and I’ve liked it more and more. There are only going to be 8 episodes in Season 6, so its understandable that Doc and Jackson wanted set up the new season as soon as possible in order to get to the good stuff. I would much rather see an exciting action-packed episode with many new characters than a slow episode as the premiere we’ve waited for for three years.

And although the episode might have been slightly overpacked, there is no denying that Hostile Makeover is classic Team Venture. Rusty making stupid decisions, Hank embracing life changes with confidence, Brock beating the shit out of someone, Dean hugging a giraffe, the Monarch and 21 impulsively henching with bad results, Dr. Mrs. the Monarch being a total boss and taking charge. This episode proved that although it has been a few years since the last season, Doc and Jackson are as passionate and dedicated to their characters as ever.

I can already feel that season 6 is, as always, worth the wait. I can’t wait until Sunday at midnight to see more.

Also! If you are a fan of Team Venture and want some sweet Venture goodness in your t-shirt collection, make sure to check out the Shirt of the Week Club! Each week a new shirt is released relating to that week’s episode. I have so many Shirt Club shirts from over the years and they are some of my favorites. You can find them over at AstroBaseGo!

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New Girl Gang Releases 1/27/16

Hey Girl Gang! Happy Wednesday! Here are our pulls for this week! Just in list form today. Click the links if you want to find out more!

Happy Wednesday Girl Gang!

What other titles should we be picking up that we should be adding to this list or don’t know about? Let us know in the comments or at thegeekgirlgang@gmail.com!

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New Girl Gang Releases 1/20/16

Hey Girl Gang! Happy Wednesday! Here are our pulls for this week!

  • Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl #6 (Image) – The mini-series from the Gillen-McKelvie dream team comes to an end in this exciting conclusion. The Immaterial Girl, a spinoff of their original Phonogram series, focuses on the affect of music videos in a world where music is magic and on Emily Aster, who sold half her soul 10 years ago to music necromancers in exchange for power. What will happen to Emily in the end?
  • Ms. Marvel #3 (Marvel) – It is no secret that Kamala is probably my favorite superhero out there right now. In this issue, she needs to figure out how to stop the extreme gentrification of Jersey City by the Hope Yards Development Company, who use mindcontrol alongside their bulldozers. Even Bruno has been captured and controlled! How will Kamala deal with saving her friends and her city AND getting her good image back?
  • Lumberjanes #22 (BOOM!) – This issue is the second in the new arc for the girls, which features lots of evil selkies and a bear woman who does not like it when you call her “were-bear”. In this issue, the girls have to try to get Seafarin’ Karen’s boat back from the selkies, and they’re gonna need the bear woman’s help. As always, Carolyn Nowak’s great artwork is perfect for the Lumberjanes and is always a delight to see.
  • Patsy Walker aka Hellcat #2 (Marvel) – In case you didn’t see my review a few weeks ago, I really loved the first issue of this series. It’s has funny dialogue, great friendships, diverse characters, and gorgeous coloring. I think Hellcat is definitely worth picking up no matter what kind of comics you like. In this issue, Patsy keeps working on her idea for a superhero temp agency, as she takes on the ultimate challenge: working in retail!
  • Batgirl #47 (DC Comics) – As we saw in the last issue, more and more things are piling up in Barbara’s life – from her new partnership with Frankie, coworker Jeremy getting kicked out of school for plagiarizing, Alysia’s safety while on her honeymoon, and general homework, Barbara is struggling to find balance. It doesn’t help that a mysterious man named Lewis says he needs to talk and then disappears back into the shadows (cliche, much?) In #47, Barbara has to deal with her biggest problem of all – her mind is failing her, too!
  • Captain Marvel #1 (Marvel) – I know we’ve all missed Carol. Although Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps somewhat filled the star-shaped hole in all of our chests, it isn’t quite the same as the title we all loved. As of today, Captain Marvel returns to our pull lists with a new #1! Although it is really hard to see a series without Kelly Sue, the new series is written by Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas, the team behind Marvel’s Agent Carter TV show. I love Agent Carter and I’m really excited to see what the duo brings to the series. The new Captain Marvel is illustrated by Kris Anka, who did a lot of work on Ms Marvel, and who I think will be a perfect fit for the book.

Happy Wednesday Girl Gang!

What other titles should we be picking up that we should be adding to this list or don’t know about? Let us know in the comments or at thegeekgirlgang@gmail.com!

0

New Girl Gang Releases 1/13/16

Hey Girl Gang! Happy Wednesday! Here are our pulls for this week (weirdly all Marvel today for some reason?)

  • Scarlet Witch #2 – Hopefully you all picked up issue #1 of this series last month. It was worth grabbing just for the the outstanding coloring alone. The way colorist Jordie Bellaire contrasts neutrals and graytones with small pops of color is gorgeous, and compliments Vanesa Del Rey’s artwork perfectly. In issue #2, Wanda continues to search for the source of the sickness in witchcraft.
  • Silk #3 – Cindy’s struggle as a good guy masquerading as a bad guy just gets harder and harder, and it seems clear with each issue that her double life might not be sustainable. In this issue, some of the rising conflicts are coming to a head. The Goblin King finally finds Silk. Who will come out on top? AND we’re finally going to see Spider-Man confront Silk about her allegiance with Black Cat. Will she have to fight Spidey or will she blow her cover?
  • The Mighty Thor #4The Mighty Thor is one of my favorite titles out right now. Jane Foster has proven herself more than worthy of the hammer, although if you’re reading this comic, you know that she might not be able to keep the title for much longer. In this issue, Loki has requested a meeting just to talk, but Thor knows that with Loki its never just talk. As this is happening, Malekith continues to instigate a War of the Realms.

Happy Wednesday Girl Gang!

What other titles should we be picking up that we should be adding to this list or don’t know about? Let us know in the comments or at thegeekgirlgang@gmail.com!

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New Girl Gang Releases 1/6/16

Hey Girl Gang! Happy Wednesday! Here are our pulls for this week! (Because I’m so late, just a list without descriptions today!)

  • Bitch Planet #6 (Image)
  • Mystery Girl #2 (Dark Horse)
  • A-Force #1 (Marvel)
  • DC Bombshells #8 (DC Comics)
  • Spider-Gwen #4 (Marvel)
  • Paper Girls #4 (Image)

Happy (late) Wednesday Girl Gang!

What other titles should we be picking up that we should be adding to this list or don’t know about? Let us know in the comments or at thegeekgirlgang@gmail.com!

 

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Molly’s Top 5 Comics of 2015

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I’m gonna be real with you, Girl Gang. 2015 was awful and I’m glad to see it end. However! There were so many good comics this year that I need to talk about first.

(Also, sorry this is so long. I meant to keep it short and sweet and then I started writing about these great titles and I couldn’t stop.)

5. Black Canary

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From Black Canary #1

When DC announced this title, I was psyched. Black Canary is one of my all-time favorite superheroes, and it was about damn time she got her own title again. I was even more excited when I heard who was put on the book. Writer Brendan Fletcher has been doing amazing things on Batgirl, where we last saw Black Canary, and Annie Wu’s issues of Hawkeye were my favorite in the entire run. It’s always dangerous to pick up a first issue with really high hopes, but I have to say: I have not been disappointed.

The story is Dinah doing something new: singing in a band, which she names Black Canary. Of course, Dinah is never safe from her past, and it becomes clear that whoever put the band together had an alterior motive to selling out venues. I’ve really loved all of the new characters in this title, especially Dinah’s bandmates.

The true star of this title is the artwork. Wu manipulates panel shapes and sizes to create dynamic movement, especially when the band is performing. You can feel the energy and intensity of the music without hearing a single note. The style is almost reminiscent of old punk flyers and zines, messy but intentional. The colors are gorgeous, perfectly contrasting muted pastel tones with intense neon hues. Really, Black Canary is worth picking up just to see this incredible art for yourself.

Buy: Digitally / Physically

4. Rat Queens

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From Rat Queens #12

The end of 2014 was not a good time for Rat Queens. In November 2014, their former artist Roc Upchurch was arrested on domestic violence charges, and it was announced he would not be on the comic anymore. I was very excited when they announced that he would be replaced with artist Tess Fowler. Fowler has been an important voice on abuse in the comic book industry.

Although some fans were worried about what an artist change would do to Rat Queens, their worries were proven unnecessary when the Rat Queens Braga Special was released January 2015. Fowler’s presence on the team obviously improved an already excellent title. I love how she draws the Queens. There is no “same face” here: each  one of them is drawn distinctly and beautifully. It’s so clear that Fowler understands and loves these characters.

With every new arc, Rat Queens continues to be one of the most interesting and unique comics out there. It has a little of everything: girl power, magic, gore, sex, and disgusting monsters. I’ll definitely be keeping Rat Queens title on my pull list until it comes to an end.

Buy: Digitally / Physically

3. Ms. Marvel

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From Ms. Marvel #17

“Good is not a thing you are. It’s a thing you do.” Kamala said this line in Ms. Marvel #5, and it has stayed with me ever since. I recently reread the entire Ms. Marvel series as it ‘ended’ after Secret Wars this summer (it didn’t really end, but Marvel restarted all of their comics at #1 in September of this year after that in-universe event). I was so struck by how special Kamala is. She stays with you. By the number of times I’ve seen this series on other bloggers’ “Best of 2015” lists, it is clear that I’m not the only one who has been influenced by Kamala.

The story of “teenager gets powers and has to deal with them” is anything but new. Writer G. Willow Wilson took that premise and created something completely unique and special. As a Muslim-American teenager, the representation Kamala brings to comics makes this story new. Kamala is special because of that and more. She is a very realistic portrayal of a young girl who suddenly finds herself alongside the heroes she always idolized. 2015 brought the long-awaited meeting between Kamala and Carol Danvers, and I cried and cried when I read it for the first time. Watching her as she grows to fill her newly-assigned “hero” status has been an absolute joy.

Kamala inspires me deep down inside in every issue. Her passion, honesty, and positivity are something I aspire to every day. Although she is fictional, she feels so real, and I want to live a life that makes Kamala proud. I want to good to be the thing that I do.

Buy: Digitally / Physically

2. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl

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From The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #4

I was flying alone when I read The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1 for the first time. On the second page, Squirrel Girl kicks some robbers’ butts, and as she throws one of them over her head, he yells, “I am currently reevaluating the choices that led me to a criminal liiiiiiife!” This line took me by surprise and I unexpectedly and suddenly cackled very loudly, making my neighbor jump in his seat. I was slightly embarrassed, but thought it was a one-time thing now that I had a feel for the tone of the book.

Nope. I laughed out loud at just about every single page after that. I was absolutely delighted. This is the comic we all needed this year. The world is terrible and bad things happen constantly, but Doreen is a beam of light once a month with her reckless optimism and a great sense of humor. She is the hero who tries to befriend villains (see above strip) before butt-kicking, but also never holds back if a bad guy really deserves it. Doreen is a great friend, and she accepts every person she meets for who they are.

My favorite part of Squirrel Girl might be the tiny captions at the bottom of each page. They never fail to make me laugh. The above strip captures everything I love about this series in three panels: friendship, humor, and hilarious captions.

Buy: Digitally / Physically

1. Bitch Planet

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From Bitch Planet #2

Bitch Planet reminds me strongly of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, which I first read in my Intro to Women’s Studies course during my first semester at college. I remember reading Atwood’s words and having one of my first “Aha!” moments of understanding in my feminist education. Reading Bitch Planet for the first time was another significant “Aha!” moment in my life. It was a much-needed reminder that those moments of discovery never stop happening, even after graduating with a Women’s Studies degree. Bitch Planet is a hauntingly realistic portrayal of a misogynistic dystopia that thrives at the cost of its women.

This series has become more than just a comic book to me and many other women. The non-compliant symbol has turned into a tattoo phenomenon, with hundreds of women worldwide choosing to permanently label themselves as going against societal expectations. Being a Bitch Planet reader feels like being part of something huge and important and bigger than yourself. When I read it, I feel connected to every other woman reading the comic having her own “Aha!” moment.

More than anything, Bitch Planet is an upsetting and glorious reminder of the discovery, the pain, and most of all the community that comes with identifying as woman. It reminds us that being non-compliant is not only okay, but something to strive for.

Buy: Digitally / Physically

So there you have it, Girl Gang. Writing this has been a nice reminder that these worlds exist for me when I need a break from my own. I hope you have a great New Years, no matter what you’re doing. Stay safe, and we will see you in 2016! Happy New Year!

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New Girl Gang Releases 12/30/15

Hey Girl Gang! Happy Wednesday! Here are our pulls for this week!

  • Black Canary #7 (DC Comics) – Black Canary is one of my absolute favorite titles on the shelf right now, and I feel like it’s been forever since we last heard from Dinah and her bandmates. In reality, the last issue was released in October, but this comic is so good that I’ve felt Dinah’s absence these past two months. Issue 4 will be giving us some much-anticipated answers: Who formed the band Black Canary, and who put Ditto into Dinah’s life?
  • Rat Queens #14 (Image) – I am also very excited to return to the Queens this week, as they continue their journey at Mage University. I like the way that author Wiebe has incorporated the girls’ backstories as the story proceeds, and I’ve especially enjoyed learning about Hannah. In this issue, Hannah is finally reunited with her father, but not in a way she ever expected.

Happy Wednesday Girl Gang!

What other titles should we be picking up that we should be adding to this list or don’t know about? Let us know in the comments or at thegeekgirlgang@gmail.com!