2

‘The Venture Bros’ Season 6 Episode 3 Recap: “Faking Miracles”

Jackson and Doc promised us that Season 6 would be different, and this episode proves just how different it is. I, for one, am loving the change. Faking Miracles brings some brand new revelations and challenges for Team Venture and Co.

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The new episode opens on the original Team Venture. A giant robot spider descends towards Colonel Gentleman, Action Man, and Jonas Venture Sr., who are caught in it’s giant web. Jonas yells the cliché “You’ll never get away with this, Scaramantula!, and Scaramantula predictably responds, “Ah, but I already have, Doctor Venture!” The giant robot’s claws approach Colonel Gentleman’s face, but the arching is suddenly interrupted when a classic blue car flies through the wall, taking out multiple henchmen as it spins in amazing 3D. (Note: they’re assumedly being held captive on Spider Skull Island, which means that the feat of driving a car through a wall is extra badass.)

The blue vehicle features a butterfly-shaped M logo on the grill and hood and shoots at the henchmen through guns inside it’s headlights. A familiar figure exits the vehicle: gentle giant and martial arts master Kano, wearing the same M logo on his jacket and hat. Surprisingly, he is not there as a member of Team Venture (which is how we’ve always seen him previously), as the men stuck in the web do not seem to know who he is. Dr. Venture ominously declares, “I don’t think he’s on our side..”

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Kano beats up the remaining henchmen. When he is finished, another man exits the car in a blue suit, fedora, and mask, matching blue gun in hand. Scaramantula addresses the stranger in blue as “The Blue Morpho”. (He seems to be somewhat of a parody of the Green Hornet.) The Blue Morpho shoots Scaramantula with a dart gun, Kano breaks the robot spider, and the two untie Team Venture from the spiderweb. Jonas does not trust his rescuers, and bends the Morpho’s arm behind his back as Action Man holds Kano at gunpoint.

Some notes on car stuff (if you’re not a car fan, skip ahead past the photos to return to the recap):

Although only seen briefly, I fell in love with Blue Morpho’s car. If you know creators Doc and Jackson at all, you know that they never do anything without copious amounts of research. I knew that Morpho’s incredible ride had to be a real model. I sent some screencaps to my dad, a connoisseur of all cars, and he informed me that it is a Mercedes 300SL Gullwing. They were manufactured in the mid-’50s, just around the time that the pre-Rusty Team Venture was adventuring. The Gullwing, named for the way it’s curved doors open upward, is a rare find. They go for about $2 million in good condition today!

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The Mercedes 300SL Gullwing

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The 300SL Gullwing interior

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The Mercedes 300SL Gullwing

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The Blue Morpho’s Mercedes

Isn’t she gorgeous? Anyways, back to the recap:

The scene freezes and the camera pans out, showing the freeze frame as a panel in a comic book. “But after that, they become like, friends and stuff,” explains 21, holding the comic up for the Monarch to see. The Monarch plays dumb, saying he still doesn’t understand why the Blue Morpho’s stuff was in his basement.

21 exasperatedly yells, “Don’t you get it?! Your dad was the Blue Morpho!” (This was pretty clear even before 21’s official reveal, as the Blue Morpho shared his son’s affinity for butterfly logos and dart guns.) The Monarch continues to resist the truth, insisting that his dad was just a boozed-up socialite who collected butterflies. When 21 uses the S-word to describe his dad, Monarch slaps him in the face with the comic book. 21 still argues: “Millioniare playboy is like, the number one superhero alter-ego! Come on!”

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“What the fuck is a morpho?” screams Monarch angrily. Once learning that it is a type of butterfly, he finally accepts the truth and apologizes for hitting 21. “Did Blue Morpho ever have.. his own comic book?” Monarch asks shyly. “Cancelled after six issues. Not Kirby’s best work,” 21 says.

The classic final five notes of the Venture theme play with the blood-splattered logo that we’ve come to accept as the short version of the Venture opening theme. The scene opens on a park in NYC, where Hank and Brock are jogging. Brock tells Hank “for the last time!” that he cannot take anabolic steroids to get fit, because its cheating. If he wants muscles, he needs to work for them by running. Dean finally catches up to them, panting and sweating profusely. Dean wore his normal dress shoes to go running, which Brock just notices.

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As Brock helps Dean, a familar girl runs past Hank in all pink running clothes and Hank runs after her. Before he can catch up to her, Hank is taken down by two of Wide Wale’s henchmen, proving the theory that the girl with gills is Wale’s daughter. As this happens, Hank yells “Don’t harpoon taze me, bro!” (Remember when that was a huge cultural reference in 2007 and it was on shirts sold at mall stands and stuff?) The henchmen address the girl as “Miss Ong”, also confirming that Wide Wale is the brother of Dr. Dugong from season 3 (and who the Monarch cruelly murdered). Brock tackles the henchmen who are holding Hank.

Meanwhile, back at the Venture building, the Captain is showing Dr. Venture, Pete, and Billy around the super science lab, which has not been used for a while as Jonas Jr.focused on consumer electronics in recent years. “This is where we’re gonna make the miracles,” declares Doc.

Billy drives around the lab in the “Go Pod” a floating zero-emissions vehicle that uses electromagnets. The Captain reveals that it hasn’t been put into production because it caused infertility and heart murmurs in monkey test subjects, and also because it doesn’t break well (which Billy learns the hard way as he crashes it into the wall).

During a guild meeting at Wide Wale’s apartment, Dr. Mrs. the Monarch checks her compact phone obsessively. The Monarch has not responded to any of her texts. The Council of 8 is voting on new council members, and they vote to invite Dr. Phineas Phage to rejoin their ranks. They have 5 more spots to fill – or 4 if they can find Vendetta, who hasn’t been seen since his disastrous date with Ghost Robot at Don Hell’s nightclub in season 5.

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Wide Wale’s daughter returns home from her run, angry at her dad’s henchmen and her complete lack of privacy. The lone remaining henchman tells his boss that his two coworkers were killed after some kid in the park got too friendly (we can assume by Brock).

Back at the Monarch mansion, Monarch and 21 plan a new coat of paint for his dad’s old Mercedes. Their plans are interrupted when the Monarch receives about a dozen texts and then a call from Dr. Mrs. His Wife, who wants to know why he isn’t getting ready for Wide Wale’s party. He says he has no intention of going because he hates her coworkers. She begs him to make an appearance and turn on “the old Monarch Charm”.

21 tells Monarch he should go to the party because the villains ahead of him on the list to arch Venture will probably be there. The Monarch excitedly asks if he can bring 21, but no henchmen are allowed. “She wants me to bring wine,” whines Monarch. “I should piss in it!” 21 sighs, “There’s that Monarch Charm.”

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In the Venture Industries super science lab, Doc, Pete, and Billy are looking through all of the Venture tech in the lab. Dr. Venture admits he’s been out of the super science game for a while, so he’s a little Rusty (get it?). Billy accidentally drops and breaks a vial of silver liquid, which puddles on the floor and then moves on its own. They can’t find where the mysterious substance has gone.

Dean is showering upstairs when the silver liquid comes up through the drain. It crawls up Dean’s leg and apparently enters him through his penis, as afterwards he asks Brock if candiru are native to New York (the fish that enter the body through the penis, as we saw in season 1 episode Are You There God? It’s Me, Dean). When Brock doesn’t know what Dean is talking about, Dean brushes off the problem and asks Brock if he will still help him study for the SATs.

At the birthday party for Wide Wale’s daughter, there are both Guild and civilian guests. We see the members of the council in civilian clothing, including Dragoon/Red Mantle in a double turtleneck. Dr. Mrs. the Monarch is at the bar, upset that the Monarch is not at the party yet. Her worrying is interrupted by a Dean Martin lookalike in a magenta tux who hits on her with old-fashioned smooth talk, calling her “Stardust” and “Bright Eyes”. She dismisses him by mentioning that she is married, but he shows her his Guild logo cufflinks and says he is there to talk business. His name is Copycat, and he’s interested in joining the council.

Wide Wale’s daughter pouts at her party, still angry that she has no privacy from her father’s henchmen. He offers to cheer her up. The episode cuts to a pizza place called Vincenzo’s, where the familiar voice of Steven Rattazzi (who also voices Dr. Orpheus) takes Wale’s order for a pizza. He sends his new delivery boy – Hank Venture. Hank drives the Venture Go Pod we saw Billy crash into a wall earlier to deliver the pizza.

The Monarch joins Hank in the elevator ride up to Wide Wale’s apartment. He clearly did not get the memo that the party is half-civilian, as he is wearing his Mighty Monarch costume. The butler tries to prevent him from entering the apartment, but the Monarch shoves past him. Hank sees that his pizza recipient is the girl from the park, and drops the pie in excitement. Before he can collect the payment, Wide Wale’s henchman from earlier sees him and chases him through the apartment.

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Spot the Presidential candidate in the background!

Wide Wale is furious when he sees that Monarch came in costume. Copycat offers to take the Monarch to his downstairs apartment to change and as they are leaving, he splits into two, showing the reason for his name. One of him leaves the party with the Monarch, and one goes back inside.

Brock reads over Dean’s college admission essay and sighs. He tells Dean that his essay reads like a suicide note and he needs to be more positive. “You’re supposed to be selling yourself to these people!” Dean says that the changes are lying, and Brock argues that it isn’t lying, its just spin: “I know what I’m talking about. I work for the government.” Dean reveals that the SATs are the next morning, and asks Brock to help him study.

In Copycat’s apartment, Monarch takes off his costume to borrow one of Copycat’s suits. Copycat puts on the Monarch’s costume and shoots him with one of his own butterfly darts.

In the lobby of Venture Industries, Sergeant Hatred sits at the front security desk reading a magazine. Copycat comes through the front door in Monarch’s costume and walks towards Hatred with a jazzy gait, snapping his fingers and shaking his hips. Hatred realizes that he isn’t the real Monarch when Copycat multiplies himself by a dozen.

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Downstairs in the lab, Pete finally locates the silver liquid’s file on the Venture Industries computer database, and finds out that the mysterious substance is actually nanobots. They play around with what they think is a tutorial for the nanobots, and find out that the tech was created to go inside a human body and fix health problems.

Pete runs the bots around the intestines on the computer program, unaware that they are really inside Dean’s intestines. This causes Dean to vomit on Brock, who is helping him study. Pete decides to go even further with the nanobots and uses them to stimulate the muscles and give the body superstrength. Dean’s body reacts to this change by picking up Brock with one hand and throwing him across the room.

Billy argues that this raises ethical questions – for example, you could just stop the person’s heart. Dean collapses in his room. As Brock performs CPR, Pete says that the bots could merely start the heart up again. Dean sits up, suddenly back from the dead. Billy tries hooking the nanobots up to the Internet to see if they could cause someone to speak a new language. Dean starts to babble in Babylonian.

Back at the party, Copycat approaches Dr. Mrs. the Monarch on the balcony. She rants to him about the Monarch’s jealousy and passive-aggressive ways. He tells her to come look through the telescope, where she sees the Monarch pissing on the Venture’s couch in the opposite building. Of course, this is not really the Monarch, but one of Copycat’s clones in the Monarch costume. Dr. Mrs. calls her husband, and watches the Monarch-Copycat ignore her call. Upset, she leaves the party.

Brock is extremely worried about Dean. He calls Dr. Venture on his communicator watch and tells him to call Dr. Orpheus, because he thinks Dean is possessed. When he hears that Dean was speaking Babylonian, Doc finally realizes what happened to the nanobots.

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Down in the street, the Monarch wakes up from his dart-induced stupor in full costume. He catches his wife as she leaves the party, unaware of the events of the night and of his wife’s anger. He tries to explain himself, but pauses to answer a call from 21. While he’s on the phone, Dr. Mrs. the Monarch leaves without him in the limo.

Wide Wale’s daughter is pouting in her room when she sees Hank out on her balcony, hiding from the henchman. She recognizes him from both the park and when he was outside her window. Hank is confident and smooth with the girl, who reveals her name to be Sirena. (Not only does “sirena” mean “mermaid” in Spanish, someone on Reddit also pointed out that “sirenia” is the taxonomic name for sea cows.)

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When Hank goes to leave, Sirena teases him for not being willing to risk his life to go on a date with her. Hank grins at her and jumps off of the roof. The romantic moment is interrupted when the henchman who was chasing Hank all night breaks down Sirena’s bedroom door. “I was just getting some fucking air!” she screams. He apologizes and leaves awkwardly.

She runs to the edge of the roof and Hank floats upwards in the Go Pod, leaning back and smiling confidently. “So, do we have a date?”, he asks. I loved this reference to Aladdin jumping off of Jasmine’s balcony. (Some people on the forums said it was a reference to Back to the Future 2, but the romantic aspect makes me think its more Aladdin/Jasmine than Marty McFly/Biff Tannen.) There was also an undeniable Romeo and Juliet vibe from the balcony plus the whole “my dad is your dad’s arch nemesis” kind of thing.

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End credits roll, revealing that Cristin Milioti (from multiple Broadway productions as well as the Mother from How I Met Your Mother) was the voice of Sirena and Thrilling Adventure Hour cast member Paul F. Tompkins was the voice of Blue Morpho. Mark Gagliardi (also of TAH fame), who voiced Stars & Garters and speedsuit tailor Enzo in the season 6 premiere, was in this episode as Rocco, the henchman who protects Sirena.

In the last scene of the episode, Dean is in extreme pain in the bathroom, passing the nanobots the same way they entered. Dr. Venture reveals “That’s not all you passed!” and tells Dean that he was accepted into Stuyvesant University. We cut to Doc as he sits at the desk in the lab. One of his computer screens displays the Stuyvesant U website, and the other shows the nanobot program, with multiple bots in Dean’s brain. This suggests that Doc connected the bots to the Internet while Dean was taking the SATs so that he would know all of the answers. Dean seems unaware of this.

“Gentlemen, I think we just made our first miracle,” Doc declares proudly. Brock and Pete cross their arms and nod, smiling, and Billy yells “High five!” in the robot suit, raising the robot arm.

Fan theories abound after this episode. When Copycat removed the Monarch from the party, he winked at Wale, making us think that Wale was in on Copycat’s plan to make Dr. Mrs. angry with her husband. After the confirmations about Wide Wale’s last name, most of us assume that he procured the henching rights to Dr. Venture as a step in a larger plan to take revenge on the Monarch for killing his brother.

The specific mention of Vendetta during the Guild Meeting has made many fans believe that he and the Blue Morpho are the same person. The theory that Vendetta is the Monarch’s father existed before season 6 premiered, after the Bot Seeks Bot episode of season 5. Many fans online have been suggesting that the Monarch will take up his father’s mantle and don the Blue Morpho costume, possibly in order to kill the rest of the members on the Venture arching list. The Monarch’s interest in his dad’s old lab and car further supports this theory; however, I personally doubt it. Doc and Jackson like to intentionally make fans predict that something will happen, and then squash that theory, like having the Sovereign shape-shift into Jonas Venture Sr. before revealing that he’s not Jonas or anyone else.

Faking Miracles is one of those special episodes where we really notice just how much the Venture unit has changed over the seasons. Dr. Venture willingly accepts help from Pete, Billy, and the Captain, and for once does not pretend to have all of the super science answers. Even after his long absence, Brock returns to his role as bodyguard and father-figure with ease, which shows that he never stopped considering the Ventures as his family. We see the most growth in Hank and Dean, who have developed from the goofy and naive twins we met in season 1 into unique individuals. Hank’s interactions with Sirena have shown that he’s learned how to have Detective-hat confidence without wearing the hat. Dean is very aware of how strange his life as been, as we see from his college application essay, but he is finally taking control of his own future by applying to college.

There was some complaining on the forums about how this episode was only filler. I do not share this complaint; this episode was hands-down my favorite of the season so far. I have to wonder if those complaining have not made any emotional ties to the characters and only watch the show to see Brock punching people and the Monarch being a dick. I can’t imagine that anyone who really loves these characters will dismiss this episode as only filler. Watching Brock patiently help Dean study for the SATs and Hank flirt smoothly with Sirena, I am filled with that weird sense of pride you get f0r a fictional character even though you know they aren’t real.

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If you are like me and are also emotional about the character development of Hank and Dean, you might like this week’s Shirt of the Week Club that features Dean’s upcoming alma mater.

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The shirt translates to something like “I have suffered from a wooden leg”, a reference to Peter Stuyvesant

See you next week, Venturoos!

0

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!

 

0

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!

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‘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!

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Image Humble Bundle benefits HRC

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For the next week or so, Humble Bundle is featuring an Image Comics bundle that benefits the Human Rights Campaign. Humble Bundle is a pay-what-you-want format–customers will receive the first tier of comics for paying a small amount, but will receive more if paying above, say, $16.

This Bundle features $334 worth of Image’s best, including the first volumes of ODY-C, Phonogram, and Wolf. Collections like Saga vol. 4 and Nowhere Men vol. 1 are available in the second tier, which buyers receive if they choose to pay more than $15.71. The third tier, featuring Bitch Planet vol. 1, Stray Bullets #1-41, and more, is available for $20 (or more, if readers choose to donate more).

So far, this Bundle has raised nearly $200,000. It can be purchased on Humble Bundle’s site.

A full list of the comics included in the Bundle:

Pay what you want:

  • ODY-C vol. 1
  • Virgil
  • Self-Obsessed
  • No Mercy
  • Phonogram: Rue Britannia
  • Wolf vol. 1
  • Kaptara vol. 1
  • Sunstone vol. 1
  • Wytches vol. 1
  • Image Comics Humble Bundle Preview Book
  • Image Comics New Issues + New Arcs Starter Pack

Pay more than $15.71:

  • Injection vol. 1
  • Saga vol. 4
  • Just the Tips (Sex Criminals companion)
  • Outcast vol. 1
  • Nowhere Men vol. 1
  • Jupiter’s Circle vol. 1
  • Trees vol. 1
  • Rat Queens Special: Braga #1

Pay more than $20:

  • Low vol. 1
  • Bitch Planet vol. 1
  • Wayward (Deluxe Edition) vol. 1
  • Invincible Compendium (collects #1-47)
  • Stray Bullets #1-41
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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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Review: CHAINMAIL BIKINI The Anthology of Women Gamers

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Copacetic Comics carries a lot of local and indie comics–if you’re in or near Pittsburgh, it’s definitely worth checking out.

I am a terrible gamer. So terrible, in fact, that I don’t really consider myself a “gamer,” rather, I’m more of a “person who plays one game and that game is the Batman Arkham series and actually I’m not too bad at it.” Batman is the exception to my rule.

However, I enjoy gaming in theory, so in the spirit of my 2016 resolution (be less terrible at video games, stop playing only Batman) I recently picked up Chainmail Bikini: The Anthology of Women Gamers at The Copacetic Comics Company in Pittsburgh. Surprisingly, I haven’t seen much buzz about it, even though the book was released in September 2015.

It’s great.

Chainmail Bikini came to fruition after a campaign on Kickstarter funded
its printing. It’s a comic anthology about many things: gaming as an escape, how gender influences gaming, how it impacted a generation. It’s a unique approach to the conversation about women gamers in the wake of GamerGate, focusing on individual storytelling rScreen Shot 2016-01-07 at 9.05.53 AMather than making a singular point. All anecdotes fall within the categorization of “about gaming,” but forty different writers/artists took this theme in different directions. Some stories focus on relationships and sense of community the storyteller developed through gaming while others are centered on how gaming helped the author develop their sense of identity. The stories range from quick and fun to deeply serious in tone with a mix of each, resulting in a tone that isn’t overwhelmingly happy or sad–it is what it is, and more than anything, it is experiences in gaming laid bare.

The two most important aspects of this anthology, perhaps, are its diversity and its definition of gaming. Women of different ethnicities, sexualities, and gender identities are responsible for and are represented in Chainmail Bikini’s stories, proving, yet again, that gaming isn’t exclusively for heterosexual white guys–it’s for everybody.

Something that I hadn’t considered before I read Chainmail Bikini is what makes a gamer. I always think of gamers as men who take things way seriously and yell at consoles, but not all gamers in the anthology play video games. LARPers and tabletop gamers are also represented, and there are references to Animal Crossing and Tamagotchi.

As it stands, I’ve reconsidered my gaming experience. Reading “Let Me Do It” by Sara Goetter reminded me of the hours my brother and I would spend working through Kingdom Hearts and Scooby Doo: Night of 100 Frights (the only games we could agree on enough to play together). “Pocket Worlds” by Anna Rose gave me a sense of nostalgia for the times my mom and I would hunch over at our desktop computer, playing through HER Interactive’s Nancy Drew fantastic computer game series (by my count, we played through an impressive eighteen of them).

The point being: This book redefines gaming. I am perhaps more of a gamer than I thought.

Though it’s not without flaws–some stories are a bit muddled in their art and are hard to understand in the first read–Chainmail Bikini is well worth a read by anyone who is interested in comics, gaming, and/or feminism. I would also encourage men who inhabit these spaces, whether they’re online or physical, to give it a read. It’s worth it just to consider a viewpoint different from your own, because the important takeaway of this book, though not stated in an explicit thesis, is to remind readers that almost everyone has experiences with gaming, because gaming is for everybody.

Buy/Preview Chainmail Bikini: The Anthology of Women Gamers