Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Patrick Stewart to be Knighted

Patrick Stewart, who is best known for his performance as Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation is reportedly slotted to be knighted by Queen Elizabeth II on New Year's Day. I wonder if there is any irony in a British actor being knighted for a career best known for playing a Frenchman.

At least the soon-to-be Sir Patrick can finally be equal with Sir Ian McKellan whenever they decide to make that X-men prequel featuring a young Xavier and Magneto. Here's hoping that they'll hire Dame Judy Dench to play Destiny and we can have a cornucopia of british nobility!

Givin' Up That Mary Jane

We scoffed at the rumors about the new ending to Watchmen. We scoffed at the news of Heath Ledger as Joker. We comic book fans/moviegoers might be the scoffingest fandom in all of geekery, becoming that stock character that we loathe most in science fiction, the arbitrary skeptic (well sure, aliens and ghosts and time travel I can believe exist, but cuddle parties?). Perhaps all the picture books with men in tight pants shooting lasers all pew pew from their eyeballs has exhausted our imagination. Or that some websites' layouts are programmed in such a way that merely looking upon them causes a chemical reaction in our brains that's similar to being neuralyzed, and every time we go on IMDB or IHeartChaos we lose a little more of the memories necessary to maintain the jaded disillusionment that would prevent us from paying to see the very same movies we hexed and cursed on our blogs. I'm not willing to rule this out as a possibility. Joe Lieberman just declared war on Yemen . As far as reality is concerned, all bets are off.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Hit-Girl Trailer is KICK ASS!

I was browsing the intertubes and came across this gem of a movie trailer, for KICK ASS. Despite the inclusion of Nicolas Cage, this trailer is full of so much win, I can hardly stand it.

Northstar To Be Featured In Nation X, Art and Story by Gay Comic Artist!

Northstar. For queer comic fans he is the longest running joke in Marvel. Since his groundbreaking coming out in 1992 (after a series of unfortunate events including a short stint as a fairy and adopting an AIDS baby who then died), Northstar has occupied an interesting place in the hearts of gay comic book fans. On one hand he was a trailblazer, a shining rainbow beacon in Marvel's four-color world; on the other hand, he was generally misused and abused by many writers throughout his tenure with the X-men, and also remained perpetually single.

Northstar's reintroduction into the ranks of the X-men (after he was killed by Wolverine, resurrected by a clan of evil ninjas and then forced to attack his friends and allies) briefly introduced Northstar's first canon boyfriend, Kyle. This hanging plot thread is finally being addressed in January's issue of Nation X. And even better, mainstream comic's first openly gay superhero is in the hands of openly gay comic artist and writer, Tim Fish.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas from Scarlet Betch!

Hope everyone is having a lovely holiday! And for those of us who don't celebrate Christmas, I hope the Chinese food was good last night! :P

Funnily enough, my Chinese family went to a Chinese restaurant for Christmas (which was very untraditional for us) and were surprised to be celebrating Christ's birth/PRESENTS surrounded by a boat load of Jews. Oh the irony.

Also, remember that Marvel and DC both shipped their comics this week, and are skipping distribution next week. So make sure you get your last pull list for 2009!

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Comic Book Poetry Corner #1

Having graduated from college, I am now living the art student's dream life; unemployed, living on donated food, and praying for the sweet release of death. While God gets around to filling my order, I've decided to write terrible poetry for loved ones in lieu of thoughtful gifts and cards with a recent picture of me looking like I'm trying to hard to look like I'm not trying too hard to be smug. I thought it would be a nice holiday gesture to give you a poem to you, Scarlet Betch. So here's Comic Book Poetry Corner. If you like it (or are vocal enough in your dislike of it) there will be more.Let the angst begin!

Chartreuse is the color of loneliness by Bruce Banner
I am a ticking time bomb
of self-loathing and apathy
painted green like the bloated
rotting corpses of little lovers
thrown into the sea to feed
the insatiable appetite of human cruelty
That wretched monster is my inevitable friend
and with every car or building full of people
I heave at it I am drawn closer to it,
like bitter enemies drawing towards the
mistletoe because their hate is their love
and the fire of hate is warmer than the
candlelight of fleeting affection
My heart is a benevolent scientist
mercilessly doused in gamma radiation
And I want to smash him

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Superqueeros! for December 23rd, 2009

You know the schtick: I scour the solicitations each week for LGBTT-SAP...etc. characters and you guys make your pink dollar known. If you let me know when I've missed somebody, I'll edit the entry faster than Barry Allen on a sugar high!

Speaking of lesbians, this is Ladies Week at your comic book store! Hot on the heels of Bling!'s coming out last week in the pages of X-Men: Legacy, we have a jumbo week of SIX queer and queer-adjacent titles, all of whom heavily feature our female forces. So let's see who's gaying it up this week:

Detective Comics #860
The end of an era!!! This is the last issue of J.H. Williams III's AMAZING run on the interiors of this book, so if you haven't picked up a copy yet, this is your last chance (before the trade)! And for those of us who are now devout Williams-ites, make sure you don't miss out on what is sure to be another stunning issue. Batwoman dons her costume for the first time in this, the third piece of her origin story. My prediction? AWESOME. And for those of you still weeping over Williams' departure, rest assured that he'll be doing the cover art well into 2010, if not longer. Just think of him as Kate Kane's Jo Chen. #artistgasm

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow (One-Shot)
Speaking of Jo Chen, she's got half the covers of this month's BtVS issue, a Willow one-shot! I didn't use it on the side bar because I couldn't find a small version of it online, but rest assured that there is plenty of snake-goddess-on-Willow action basically everywhere in the book. Willow has gone through some of the most drastic changes (or at least drastically mysterious) since the end of season 7 and it's in this issue that we get some answers. I am more turned on by the prospect of this issue than if I woke up next to X-Factor's Rictor! #notreally #omgwillow!!!

New Mutants #8
Necrosha is scary! It's the New Mutants + Warlock (+ Doug?) vs. The Hellions + Feral!!!?? (+ Doug?) in the ultimate issue of the New Mutants' run in the Necrosha event. As a book whose characters have a history of tying up their loose storylines with angst-y, explosive deaths, this event is working the C-list cameos like there's no tomorrow and it is BETCHIN'. Expect blood, fire, resurrection, death, and Catseye! #fierce

Wonder Woman #39
Oh Gail Simone. Why are you so amazing? Evidently basically everyone in this book is a liiittle gay plus we get an explanation of Wonder Woman's new powers (wikipedia is failing me on this so much rgt now!) and a reveal of her newest nemesis! All in all, I think this is gonna be a rawkin' issue and, given Simone's penchant for working half-naked beefcake into her work, INFINITELY rewarding! #awesomecovertoo

X-Men: Legacy #231
DESTINY!!!!!!!!!!! Man, this week does not let up with the heavy hitter lesbians, does it? Destiny is far and away the best conceptualized, best written, and most mysterious lesbian character besides Batwoman (imo) and guess what: she's back! Expect three issues of tender moments and all-out brawls as Destiny works her way out of Selene's clutches to protect her daughter, Rogue. And, given Carey's consistent use of queer characters as guest stars, expect some cameos from your fav LGBT muties. #anissueofonlyanoleplz #DESTINY

Gotham City Sirens #7
I debate every month whether to add this title, but I've read some recent reviews that have been pretty positive and the three-issue panorama cover is BEAUTIFUL, so I'm giving Harley and Ivy the last slot in this week's Superqueeros. The focus has been on Harley for the past few issues, but now it's time for a little Selina and that is always #hawt!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Laziness Disguised As Artistic Curiosity (See Also: Story of my Life)

While browsing through Borders, trying to decide if I should use my $10 gift card to get 1 person a respectable gift or to lose ten friends, I stumbled across a copy of Marvel's Pride & Prejudice comic book. P&P (haha! Why do I know what that means?) is very popular with nerds. It's been made into a comic book, rewritten to include zombies and ninjas, and I know at least five nerds who went to see the movie even though they were single and nobody coerced them to do it. With the recent release of the Alice In Wonderland comic, I've been looking at my personal library and thinking "hmmm, what books do I want to read again, but don't want to bother with all that text?" So I've produced a modest list of books that I feel could use a more visual component (or "dank pictures" for those of you without useless art degrees).
Someone Make These Books Into Comic Books So I Can Continue Putting Off Upgrading My Cell Phone Plan

Friday, December 18, 2009

Scarlet Betch Episode 12: "Emma's Every Woman"

We're back with another episode of Scarlet Betch! We gear up for the holiday extravaganza with more X-titles: Uncanny X-men, Dark X-men, and Wonder Woman: Blackest Night (one of these things is not like the others). Jason and Anthony take to comicdom with a hard swing of the plot hole bat... and much more!

This week's featured music is some retro Chaka Khan and her hit single "I'm Every Woman"

Direct Download

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Great IGN Discussion: Should Bruce Wayne Return as Batman?

Today IGN fired up their message board with a question that I've been thinking a lot about: should Bruce Wayne return as Batman? Now we know Morrison's next tale is called "The Return of Bruce Wayne" and that there are going to be about 18 issues, guaranteed, of Dick and Damien as Batman and Robin. But what happens after that? The IGN editors speculate and opine in this article and then open up the forum to us fans. Go have your say, start a flame war, and have (safe, responsible) fun!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Superqueeros! for December 16th, 2009

You know the schtick: I scour the solicitations each week for LGBTT-SAP...etc. characters and you guys make your pink dollar known. Also, you let me know when I've missed somebody and I'll edit the entry faster than Barry Allen on a sugar high!

X-Factor #200

Yes, Mavel has returned to the original numbering for the most awesomest X-title in comics today! So be sure to check out this landmark issue, which just happens to fall a month after the landmark 50th issue! But seriously, Ricstar is the best 'ship out there and Valeria Richards is a kick-ass diva:
we're looking at a win-win book here. Go. Read. Love.

The Authority: Lost Year #4

I don't know much about this book, except that it opens with Midnighter defeating multiple military helicopters, a la Wolverine: Origins. I wonder if they'll talk about how revolutionary the fictional Apollo and Midnighter are now that they've crash landed in the "real world"? Of all the members of the Authority, those two would have actual power and influence in my life. Either way, it's another Authority book!

Dark Wolverine #81 and Dark Avengers #12

Okay, Dark Wolvie's double feature is getting one entry this week. With Siege on the horizon, things are winding down for the evil Avengers. The Wolverine story this week is a one-shot from Ms. Marvel's perspective, so I have no prognostications about its quality. Meanwhile, Victoria Hand, my new favorite evil lesbian (Brand+Hand OTP), gets put front-and-center in this month's Dark Avengers as she bargains with some of the most powerful mystic forces in the Marvel universe for the return of her favourite super-powered employers. In summary: Wolvie looks not seminal, and Dark Avengers is a must for fans of Dormmamu, Enchantress, the Beyonder, and Sappho.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Superqueeros! for December 9th, 2009

Each week we bring you a summary of which new comics are featuring LGBT(etc.) characters! Now, I'm no Amadeus Cho, so I may miss one or two. If you spot an omission, please let me know in the comments section and I'll correct it!

Secret 6 #16
I have no idea what the state of the team is, since none of my comic book stores stocked issues 15 or 16, but I am disproportionately excited about the introduction of Black Alice to the team. I read up on her last week and she is KICK ASS. She's all tortured and dysfunctional and she switches from bad guy to good guy more times than Heroes season three! She's also insanely overpowered and pretty much just plain old insane: BEST. COMBO. Plus, Vandal or Jeanette is sure to be in this issue, so it's LGBT-legit too!

Dark X-men #2
If you read the preview you know that (1) Mystique acting as Jean Grey is an integral part to the plot of this limited series, (2) that kind of makes her whimsically macabre choice of cover identity a plot device, and (3) Mystique has added another tick mark in her tally of X-Men-whose-Mom-I-am. All of which means that this book is going somewhere. And hopefully that place will be dark, morally reprehensible, and warranting a continuing series. Also, HAWT!!

Nation X #1

The first time I read about one of these limited series about the X-characters I thought, "Ugh. Another inconsequential tie-in to sell more crossover books." But that's not what these stories are at all. Sure they end up having something to do with whatever the current crossover is, but the real point of these series is to explore and give the spotlight over to the B and C list X-men. And that means Queer Takeover (and quality character development, blah, blah, blah, ANOLE!!!!!). This issue alone has confirmed, and sometime in this series there will be a more Anole-centric story and even a story! That features his boyfriend! And Colussus is such a beefcake in his story this month! SWOON!

Duet In The Key Of Batshit Crazy

In high school I was bitten by a radioactive debate team captain. The incident gave me the ability to have lengthy arguments with myself about tedious, trivial subjects. This is also known as "youneedtogetafuckingfriend" disease and in most cases is treatable with therapy coupled with actually accepting invitations to social engagements.

Today, I will be discussing (with myself) whether the character of The Alchemist from my (and also my) favorite television show, The Venture Brothers, is a positive or negative portrayal of a gay man in the media. Let me begin.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Scarlet Betch Episode 11: "Don't Ask Don't Boom Boom"

We're back from the Thanksgiving break extra thankful! Lots of comics to cover, including the new Batwoman, New Mutants, Uncanny X-men, Wonder Woman, how hot Luke Cage and Jessica Jones are, and much much more!

Featured music this week is Justice's Ttthhhheee Paarrtttyyy. It's awesome.

Direct Download

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Superqueeros! for December 3th, 2009

Each week we bring you a summary of which new comics are featuring LGBT(etc.) characters! Now, I'm no Amadeus Cho, so I may miss one or two. If you spot an omission, please let me know in the comments section and I'll correct it!
It's pretty slim pickings this week, which is understandable after last weeks feast. We've got, basically, only one title with any front-and-center queers:
The Authority #17
This issue, at least, is homo-centric. Midnighter is back and ready to cure his refrigerated hubbie! And given that someone from the old team is in possession of the vaccine this issue may be a reset button for everyone's favourite deus ex machina superhero team. Either way, this is the end of World's End, which means that I'll be jumping on next month when the book is turned over to a new team and storyline and the Authority once again takes to the Bleed!

Also we have three gay-adjacent titles:
Uncanny X-Men #518
Scott goes spelunking in Emma's brain! I'm UBER excited about this storyline, partly because it means an end to perpetually-diamond-form-Emma. Unfortunately, it looks like Emma doesn't think about her hot male teammates the same way Scott fantasizes about Rogue and Storm jello wrestling in French maid outfits. #dang Also unfortunate: The likelihood of any Anole/Northstar cameos is minimal.

Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #1 (of 3)
No one told me that Gail Simone's Greeks were all queers! Its our implicit wonder-lesbian versus her homicide victim Maxwell Lord! Simone's not penning this book, and the scariest thing I can think of Lord doing is reforming his for-hire Justice League, but I have faith that we'll get some good catharsis-battling out of this mini. Once again, queer forecast looking low.

Dark Avengers Annual #1
This issue is also high on my pull list, but it's for the hot art, not any man-on-Wolvie action. Bachalo, whose art I fell in love with when he teamed up with Mike Carey on adjectiveless X-Men, is illustrating this Marvel Boy-centric double-size issue of the Dark Avengers. So even if the view is straight, it won't be a waste. Still, is it too much to hope that MB will decide to go save Kitty and Xavin? I'm really hoping for a way for those two to return to Earth that doesn't involve them joining the Starjammers. #K.R.I.S. #KeepRachelInSpace

In Which Our Anti-Heroine Gets Douched By The Corporate System

You'll have to forgive me for flaking. No, seriously, you have to. Because between the holidays and passing my resume around like it was a Green party pamphlet, I haven't had time for redeeming myself. Or crafting half-decent apologies, for that matter. Mea culpa, punks.

Last week I interviewed for a job testing video games. I figured, if anything, a BA proved I would be capable of two things; tedious, arbitrary busywork, and bitching about shit doesn't work. A background in tech support couldn't hurt either, I thought. If it did, it'd be one of those "good hurts" you get from exercising or giving yourself a black eye to give you an excuse for being late to a meeting.

I arrived at 9:30am to some corporate casual hellhole with unlabeled art on the walls and a clock on a desk that was purely decorative. I hope one day I am important enough to have a lobby full of timepieces that don't work.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Dragon Age: Origins - Humans Top and Elves Bottom

So, I won't deny that a large part of Dragon Age: Origins' squee factor for me was the possibility of getting it on with hot elf assassin, Zevran. What can I say? I always had a thing for Legolas. (I'm also convinced Orlando Bloom only looks good with blond extensions.) While it would have been nice to do Alistair too have multiple male same-sex options, I was quite content with the opportunity to bed and wed the limber elven Lothario.
I had been working up to this achievement for quite some time; carefully selecting the adequate gifts to woo the object of my virtual affection. I even did some research on the correct conversations strings that would unlock the much anticipated man-on-man cut scene. So when I finally accrued enough affinity from Zevran to unlock the key conversation points that would get him into my tent (double entendre intended) I was surprised to discover that my elf mage PC had entirely different sex choreography scripted than the prior human/elf videos I had already seen online.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Superqueeros! for November 25th, 2009

Each week we bring you a summary of which new comics are featuring LGBT(etc.) characters! Now, I'm no Amadeus Cho, so I may miss one or two. If you spot an omission, please let me know in the comments section and I'll correct it!
It's Thanksgiving weekend and I'm giving thanks that three of today's best queer heroes are seeing action this Wednesday!

It's a Don't Ask, Don't Tell crossover this week as we see the next chapter in Batwoman's secret origin and I can't wait to see how JHW3 illustrates "homophobia"! Plus, Batman, military uniforms, and the cover teases a queer-bashing! Let's get this party started!
Also, a Question/Huntress team-up as DC beats the lackluster co-feature to death. Evidently, the kick-ass final installment from last month (that redeemed the long-winded tale in my eyes) was NOT the final installment. Greeeeeat.

The Hellions are back!!! And Karma is going to kick @$!!! Now I just need Grace Jones on the radio and Robbie Williams to make out with me and my 80's wet dream will be complete! But seriously, Roulette and Cat's Eye win all the internetz. #lolcatzeye

The classic X-Team doesn't make my list too often, but the preview clearly shows Northstar chillin' with the other X-men gathered to defend their new island nation. Let's cross our fingers for some gay-boy vs. faceless-death-machine beat down!

Also, we've got the Ambiguously Queer Duo of Dark Wolvie and Gotham City Sirens! And from the Wolvie preview, it's looking pretty betchin' over in sociopathic-sexuality territory!

Daken is supposed to neatly apprehend and arrest the villains who just kicked his ass. HAHAHA! Yeah, sure. Plus, this shot! Hawt.

Poison Ivy's on the cover! I haven't been reading this title and the preview is really vague, but evidently the Joker guests and Harley Quinn as EARTH-SHATTERING CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT!! I'm hoping that they mean this issue is gonna be a Sapphic classic, but I'm not holding my breath.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Scarlet Betch Episode 10: "X-Plosion!"

Jason and Anthony are back at it again with a great new issue of Scarlet Betch! The new comic lists exploded with new X-titles this week and we dish about Dark X-men, X-men Legacy, X-force, and X-Factor! Featured music this week is Lady Gaga's new single, Bad Romance that I'm just a little obsessed with... :P

Hope you enjoy!

Scarlet Betch

Verti Go-Go

For the past two weeks I've been trading e-mails and splitting pizza with C.L. Minou, aka transfeminist from BelowTheBelt. What happens when you put two geek bloggers from other sides of the country together and feed them curry caffeine? Why, they start working on a comic, of course! And then one of them gets the idea to just run with it like it was once owned by Margaret Cho and form their own label.

Voila! Cowgirl Astronaut Comics, the first queer trans feminist comic label (run by bloggers). I can now add "editor/creator of comic label" to my ever-growing list of things I will probably never get paid for no matter how passionate I am about it. Mama be so proud. I bring this up not because I think you care what it is that I do during my "me time", but because it is a convenient and awkwardly relevant segway to my topic for this article: my favorite comic label, Vertigo.

For those who either don't know what Vertigo is, or love explanations for explanation's sake, Vertigo is DC's "darker, more mature" imprint. While it's hyped and marketed as the gritty "No Kids Allowed!" answer to DC's more kid-friendly mainstream, it is home to some of the most artfully rendered and poignantly worded comics available. And they sort of started the "trade paperback" trend, which is what 90 percent of my comic collection consists of, so yeah, read as much bias into that as you want, you'll still be way off.

The future me who might have a job and some actual follow through would like her label to a template somewhat like Vertigo (sans the megacorporate connection): mature, socially relevant themes, gratuitous but fabulously drawn sex and violence, subversion of mainstream archetypes and tropes, and the occasional dabbling in absurdism. Gotta put that college learning to use somewhere.

Below is a modest list of my favorite Vertigo comics, all of which would appear on my "top ten comics OF ALL TIME. OF ALL TIME!"

Note that while worshipping/admiring Alan Moore than I already do would probably result in a "restrainingus orderus" curse cast upon me, Moore never actually penned anything for Vertigo, although his works are cited as helping necessitate the creation of Vertigo, and V For Vendetta was re-issued under the Vertigo name after Moore swore never to work for DC again. So, yeah, just in case you were curious.

And by no means should this list be construed as a "best". I don't do "bests" on anything. I rate things based on my own peculiar and admittedly random tastes. Sometimes I like things that suck and hate things that are beautiful. Try not to think about it. You, like the Netflix suggestion system before you, will lose your damn mind.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Who Was the First Gay Superhero?

It seems like every time a new LGBT comic book character debuts there's always some uninformed sensationalist ready to proclaim him the first gay superhero. Which, as any real comic book fan will tell you, is ridiculously false. But how do you, as the informed voice of reason the you indubitably are, rebut those claims? Who was the first gay superhero?

Well, the kids over at Bleeding Cool have done their research and they have an answer. Rich Johnston has compiled a list of the first firsts in comics for the gay, if not the LGBT, community. Is he the first to have done so? Probably not. But he's definitely the first whose article I've linked to in a Scarlet Betch blog post on Thursday, the 19th of November, 2009. And, as we say on tweeter, #precision.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Superqueeros! for November 18th, 2009

Each week we bring you a summary of which new comics are featuring LGBT(etc.) characters! Now, I'm no Amadeus Cho, so I may miss one or two. If you spot an omission, please let me know in the comments section and I'll correct it!

Dark Avengers #11

It's a double header this week! It turns out that Victoria Hand, the Maria Hill of H.A.M.M.E.R., is a HUGE LESBIAN! And a former accountant! Look out, Mystique, you've got competition for my favourite female-identified supervillain! The other header is Daken! Does ink really do it for you guys? I think Wolvie II might have to pheremone me to get me into bed. Though he is really good looking for a 60-year-old... Oh, and Norman Osbourne is going crazy or something. Like we say on tweeter, #boring.

The Authority: Lost Year #3 (of 12)

FINALLY, someone is wrapping up Grant Morrison's two-issue "run" on The Authority. What, you don't remember that? Yeah, that's cause it was like two years ago, with at least 6 months between issues. And the first issue didn't even have The Authority IN it. Not even Midnighter! Wildstorm reprinted those first two issues last week as a "reader", so if you don't have the first two issues, pick it up and jump on board. Apollo + Midnighter = Always Good.

Mighty Avengers #31

EVERY AVENGER EVER!! FIGHTING!! Look for some Billy/Teddy cameos as the Unspoken/Loki storyline comes to a head. Did I mention how pissed I am that Loki's a boy again? Gender-swap is not just for fanfiction, okay Marvel?

JSA 80-Page Giant #1

Wow! 80 pages! I wonder how many of them will have Obsidian on them?! Or even in the background! Please?
Seriously, though, DC, if he's an inanimate object, does he really count as part of the team?

And, just because NPH is the opposite of JSA-induced invisibility...
Dr. Horrible #1 !!!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Scarlet Betch Episode 9: "My OTP PWNS Your Pheromones!"

We're back with another great issue of Scarlet Betch! Anthony returns as we discuss the newest in Buffy, Young Avengers, New Mutants, and Batwoman! Sorry for the delays, loyal listeners. Life kicked us in the butt the past few weeks.

Direct Download

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

SuperQueeros for Novemeber 4th, 2009

Each week we bring you a summary of which new comics are featuring LGBT(etc.) characters! Now, I'm no Amadeus Cho, so I may miss one or two. If you spot an omission, please let me know in the comments section and I'll add it tout de suite!

Dark X-Men #1 (of 5)

It's the one and only MYSTIQUE getting back to her roots and leading a team of inane male characters on a rampage across the Marvel Universe! It's the return of the twinkier version of Cable, Nate Grey! And it's the return of a pseudo-Jean Grey, and this time it's NOT Madelyne! Read the preview and be shocked. Read the book and be amazed. Dark Reign was awesome for the Young Avengers, and it's looking to be just as hot for the X-Men Mystique!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Trailer Trashed Pt 2

The movie theater has always been a main fixture of my life, an anchor, if you will. By the time I had my own car (yes, Dad, you paid for it, please don't interrupt again) it wasn't unheard of for me to go to the theater once a week or more. Every year since I turned 18 I took my brothers to see a movie on Christmas Eve, and once saw the late showing of Valkyrie on Christmas night (because nothing says holiday cheer like watching Nazis shoot at Tom Cruise disguised as a pirate). In senior year of high school, I got a job at a nearby Harkins, abused the "free movie privileges", and immediately quit after I learned all the blind spots in their security system. My friends and I didn't pay admission for almost a year.

At one point there were 4 theaters within a 5-10 minute driving distance from my house, though in my last year in Phoenix I had shirked them all in favor of drive-thrus and independent cinemas, having developed an attack of the conscience from supporting businesses who openly supported anti-LGBT causes (Harkins Theatres was one of many southwestern theater chains that refused to show Brokeback Mountain, and once while working for them I was told to ask a gay couple to cease kissing or risk being ejected...hell is waiting for me with open arms).

After moving out to the Bay, my trips to the theater have decreased significantly, for two reasons: 1) I'm so poor I can't afford a decent haircut, and 2) there just aren't as many of them. Today we drove half an hour to see The Men Who Stare At Goats. The only independent theater I've seen/heard of/been to is The Roxie, where I saw Dod Sno and laughed hysterically the whole way through (but then tearfully cringed at the amputation scene...that's like the one thing I can't stand seeing depicted...which is disturbing when you consider I've sat through documentaries about people who like to be fucked by horses).

Consequently, my Netflix use has sky-fucking-rocketed. I wonder if this will eventually replace my habit of going to the theater, if my employment issue doesn't improve or if I just don't find a warm, local theater not run by a hate group (btw, still haven't found Jesus) that I like.

On the plus side, I've relied entirely on youtube to provide me with movie trailers, which is becoming an increasingly beneficial arrangement, since I'm batting about .100 (that's 1 base hit for every ten pitches, golf fans) with good, view-worthy trailers at the few showings I am going.

Whatever, enough with my life story. Let's get trashed.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Diary of a Diseased Wench

Being a geek is a double edged 1d10 two-handed sword with +4 against born again orcs: on the one hand, a lifetime of rolling around naked on a pile of Alan Moore titles has left me physically frail with no immune system and a psychosomatic dependence on orange soda. On the other hand, when all that inappropriate hugging and kissing of platonic friends that I'm so fond of finally bites me in the ass and puts me on bed rest with the infectious disease of the week, I have many more means of distraction at my fingertips than your average infected bag of mostly water, and in some twisted way can find a sort of productivity in catching up on TV shows, video games and the occasional picture book with the word shapes.

After coming down with flu, I took some time off from my hectic schedule of bemoaning my life choices and painstakingly crafting the facade that I've got my shit together so I can give my father the impression I've risen above all the neurosis and mistrust of others he instilled in me in a child because somehow that will mean that I've "won" so I could recharge and cleanse myself of the toxins I more than likely invited into my body with open arms. This involves lots of time playing the Wii, catching up on Season 3 of Avatar: The Last Airbender, and writing "I will not mention my inappropriate obsession with Princess Peach on the SB Podcast" over and over on Hello Kitty stationery. In that time, I had lots of time to think, ponder, contemplate, and other shit I say the booze and weed"helps me do". And I've come with a modest list of questions, observations, and comments that I had nowhere else to post.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Scarlet Betch Episode 8: "OMG Games"

Sorry for the delay folks! We have a very special edition of Scarlet Betch. Anthony was indisposed this week, and so we were able to get the ever spectacular Jetta to step up to the plate for the podcast!

We chat a lot about comic book/gaming intersections, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, Slashfic, Wesley Crusher, and much much more! It's a shade long, but it's filled with great content. Thanks Jetta for stepping up! Hope you all enjoy.

Direct Download

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

SuperQueeros for Novemeber 4th, 2009

Each week we bring you a summary of which new comics are featuring LGBT(etc.) characters! Now, I'm no Kiden Nixon, so I may miss one or two due to time constraints. If you spot an omission, please let me know in the comments section and I'll correct it tout de suite!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer #30
Super Kick-@$$!!! Buffy just raised some wrath spirits, so there's about to be some smack down in this issue! Word on the street is that the cover inspired some of the events inside the book, so pick it up and see what in the heck a glowing stake in a snow storm has to do with anything!

The Authority #16
Cool cover this week! Also, Midnighter is back in the book, making "earth-shattering discoveries" left and right! Maybe he'll discover a writer who won't put his love life on ice! #earthshattering #shade

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dragon Age: Origins and Buttsex

I have always loved fantasy. Be it high fantasy a la Tolkien or Lewis, or B-list magic pony fantasy of the Tamora Pierce variety. I also love gaming... so, naturally wherever the two shall meet I'm so there. I was even a fledgling 10 year old D&D dungeon master... before my mother accused me of witchcraft and watched as I burned the manual.

So naturally, I have been chomping at the bit, awaiting the release of Bioware's new dark-fantasy RPG, Dragon Age: Origins. The publisher has a long history of extremely successful RPGs, including Mass Effect and the D&D-inspired Baldur's Gate series (which consumed roughly the entirety of my eighth grade existence).

Demian Linn of bitmod recently posted his spoiler-y run down of the steamy action your character can engage in. Evidently in addition to the standard hetero pairings with NPCs, there's also possibilities for gay, lesbian, and even trans relationships with NPCs.

Demian makes some great observations on the game design and Bioware's approach to sexual inclusivity:

"What you learn about the characters, however, isn't so interesting -- all of your romantic prospects adhere to parochial stereotypes. Both females seem wildly different at first, but are ultimately only interested in monogamous relationships, while the gay male character prefers a no-strings-attached open relationship."

"So what's the point of all this? Good question. Sex is a very difficult game design challenge, no surprise there, and Dragon Age does it right when it incorporates sex directly into the narrative (the aforementioned spoiler I don't want to reveal). But the casual sex, which could be used as a tool to deepen your understanding and empathy for the other characters, tends to reinforce the idea of women as alternately jealous, catty, smothering, and weak-willed (easily taking back a lover that has strayed), while perpetuating the stereotype of the promiscuous gay/bisexual man. I guess what I'm saying is...the sex could be better."

I find it interesting that even inclusive game publishers like Bioware find themselves playing into tired archetypes of sexuality and gender. Gender theorist Donna Haraway (the author of such works as The Cyborg Manifesto) wrote a lot about the exciting possibilities for video games and virtual reality to be spaces in which we are able to rewrite the rules of society as we see fit, i.e. without oppressive sex/gender/sexuality schemas. Granted, while Haraway is the bat-shit crazy bag lady of gender academia, I did resonate with the idea that virtual worlds were one such space in which gender and sexuality lines can be blurred and reformed. But when the creation of these virtual worlds are tied to profits generated by human social interaction, a truly revolutionary schema of gender/sex relationships is inhibited.

Problematic virtual sex schemas aside, I can't wait to get my hands on this game and get myself some hot elf booty. Way to go Bioware and satisfying me and every other fangirl who wrote Aragorn/Legolas slashfics!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

SuperQueeros! for October 28th, 2009

Each week we bring you a summary of which new comics are featuring LGBT(etc.) characters! Now, I'm no Kiden Nixon, so I may miss one or two due to time constraints. If you spot an omission, please let me know in the comments section and I'll correct it tout de suite!

Correction from Last Week:
Solicits show that Gen13 #32 is actually out this week. Check last week's SuperQueeros! for a teaser.

X-Factor #50
Ricstar = OTP! Rictor may have been my first superhero crush, but Peter David has my heart now. This is the 50th issue of his groundbreaking series, but never be afraid to pick this book up: David's recaps are the best in the biz! Plus, Shatterstar just displayed some interesting new powers. You know, besides HOT MAN-ON-MAN ACTION. ;)

Detective Comics #858
The Batwoman origin story starts here! If you aren't hip to the newest, coolest lesbian in comics now is the time to jump on the bandwagon. Kate Kane is to the Bat Family as Six is to a Centurion model Cylon: hotter, smarter, more gendered, and the future.

Dark Reign: Young Avengers #5 (of 5)
The Young Masters are about to cement their place as future Marvel supervillains. But first, a huge fight! If the cover isn't hint enough, this issue is going to end with pain and rubble, both physical and emotional. Plus, did Wiccan and Enchantress... shift his Kinsey score? The answer is, no doubt, contained within these pages! Plus Teddy!

New Mutants #6
Cypher is back! As a technologically-reanimated zombie! And what's going to happen in Shan's murder storyline? Necrosha starts here!! Or four months ago in Blackest Night #0!!! (But seriously, Karma is awesome)

All this and!!:

Gotham City Sirens #5
Harley was rescued from the clutches of Hush just in time for her own issue! Plus, the cover combines with those for issues 6 and 7 to make a tryptich masterpiece!

Justice Society of America #32
Obsidian is still an egg.

Ianto's Death: Progress for Queer Heroes just posted an article by Polina Skibinskaya entitled Death by "Torchwood": Captain Jack, Ianto Jones, and the Rise of the Queer Superhero. Head on over and read it; the argument it makes is intriguing and empowering, no matter where you fall on the issue of Ianto's death.

I agree with the article, and I'd also like to posit that, due simply to the logistics of arranging multiple interpersonal relationships, the future for fictional queer characters in the media is in bi- or pansexuality. Just look at the characters in books today. Northstar, the oldest strictly-gay hero around may have a boyfriend, but when was the last time he appeared in Uncanny X-men? He must have gained the power of invisibility, because he's still listed on the Wikipedia roster and is nowhere to be seen.

On the flip side, the first gay kiss in Marvel was between a bisexual and an (arguably) pansexual character, and the "convenience-sexual" Daken is starring in his own title. It looks to me like the biggest advances in queer hero representation are being made by those heroes whose sexuality doesn't alienate any part of the audience.

Which isn't to say that I want to give up all same-sex OTPs! "Billy + Teddy 4evah!!", *squee*, etc. But if a gay pairing is threatened by a potential love interest who's female, e.g. Enchantress, I understand that's it's simply a result of equal gender representation comics, not of homophobia.

Of course, by making that concession, I do also expect some Executioner/Patriot action. After all, what's good for the gay is good for the gander.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Scarlet Betch Episode 7: "Avengers Assemble!"

The wait is over! Jason and Anthony are back at it with a new issue of Scarlet Betch! We chat about answers to questions left lingering from last episode, an update on all things Avengers (Mighty, Dark, or otherwise), Rogue and anti-ghost money shots, and much much more!

Again skype gave us some technical difficulties, so bear with us.

Tonight's feature music is Toy Boy from Mika's new album.

Direct Download

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Marvel & Tokidoki: Unholy Awwwwwlliance

A few Christmas seasons ago, my brother and I pitched in to buy our best friend (yes, we shared, and looking back, it's not so surprising that he hasn't called or written since I moved away from home) a set of Marvel Monopoly with the removable labels that let you put whatever character's names you wanted on the properties (we usually put Doom as Boardwalk and Wolverine as one of those crappy purple ones at the beginning). We spent many a subsequent winter evening arguing for half an hour on whether or not Free Parking should come with a prize, another half hour setting the board up, and then, finally, two hours of tedious, joyless gaming that would make Risk look like strip poker. At some point I realized that I really hated Monopoly, and was confused as to why dressing it up in a comic book theme suddenly made it more tolerable.

One day, while bitching to our friend about how tired I was getting of Monopoly, we spotted a Marvel Edition of Guess Who? and must have played that for a week straight before I realized I hated that game, too. Despite my misgivings about Marvel's comics, I simply can't stop myself from buying every piece of Marvel-licensed merchandise I come across and playing with it until the novelty of it wears off and I realize I now own something I loathed in its original form. My life provides no greater example of this than my video game collection. I own every Spider-Man, Avengers, X-Men, etc video game released on NES, SNES, Sega, Playstation and arcade (as soon as I get a real job I intend to get a Dreamcast and Xbox to fill out my collection). I've played all the Marvel: Ultimate Alliances, even the shitty one for the Game Boy Advance. I've even gone to Marvel vs Capcom 2 tournaments, and I can probably tell you what teams I played as and how fast I got my ass beat.

This creates in me a sort of remorse, as I feel bad for saying the things I do about Marvel while shamelessly enjoying their products. I am ultimately no better than all those Marvel fans who hate on the direction of the label but still buy every issue of every comic to justify their hate by claiming it's all part of their loyalty. I took some solace in being able to tell myself that it's all just part of my love of gaming, both board and video, and that as long as I didn't buy things I didn't have an established interest in, like action figures or trading cards, then somehow I'd be less of a hypocrite.

And this happened to fuck up all my plans.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Chuck Bass Outed, A Million Teenage Girls Weep, while Slash Fangirls Squee!

I admit it. I watch Gossip Girl. It's a terribly cheesy, melodramatic, poorly written soap opera. But it's so pretty! That, and the show's tone is so borderline camp it's hard to look away. It's my guilty pleasure, but I draw the line at the CW's new 90210 or Melrose Place remakes. I may be a trashy TV viewer, but that's plain skankerific.

Chuck Bass, Gossip Girl's resident lothario, has been heating up the tv screens of America with his unbridled sexual appetite and smoldering stares into the camera. Speculation around Chuck's sexuality has been circulating the interwebs for quite a while. The source material casts Chuck as very decisively bisexual, with his closest romantic relationship with another boy, Greg (who also evidently dated Dan for a while too... /dirty thoughts). While Chuck's endless fan base of tween girl might be opposed to this, the dangling carrot of a Gossip Boy three way has been one of the reasons I keep coming back.

Last night's episode of Gossip Girl featured Chuck and Blaire up to their usual antics. The couple play a game where Chuck hits on an unsuspecting girl and Blaire plays the scorned girlfriend. This episode we saw Blaire set Chuck up with NYU administrator, Joe Ellis. Blaire wants to deliver the highly coveted freshman dinner speech and Joe wants to go all smackaroo with Chuck Bass for some kind of bizarre New York scavenger hunt. While I expected Chuck to be all flirty to play Blaire's game, I didn't expect the big reveal afterward!

Monday, October 19, 2009

SuperQueeros! for October 21st, 2009

Each week we bring you a summary of which new comics are featuring LGBT(etc.) characters! Now, I'm no Kiden Nixon, so I may miss one or two due to time constraints. If you spot an omission, please let me know in the comments section and I'll correct it tout de suite!

This Week in Comics:
Gen 13 #32
Evidently this "World's End" storyline is code for 'Kick the Queers Off the Teams": Even though she's been on the covers, bisexual Native American Sarah "Rainmaker" Rainmaker is MIA from the Gen 13 team. Hopefully that means she's just on walkabout and will come back with secrets, cool new abilities, and a girlfriend. In reality, she's probably just going to be a deus ex machina for a future/the current storyline, but because it's Wildstorm I'll keep my hope alive!

Dark Avengers #10
Norman goes crazy! This is the moment some people have been waiting for! Norman is reaching a tipping point that is going to start a new storyline! And queer sociopath-Wolverine (Dakken) is going to be there for it!

Dark Wolverine #79
And he's going to be here too! In his solo title! Fighting some (other) bad guys! (Clearly I don't know anything about this title. Except that I wouldn't sleep with Dakken. But he would sleep with me, so he gets on the list ;P)

Mighty Avengers #30
This issue has every Avengers team ever. that means Billy and Teddy, but it also means they're only cameo-ing. Since I've given this title TWO WHOLE SEPERATE times to pull me in, and it's failed both times, I'm just gonna wait for the next issue of Dark Reign: Young Avengers. But completists should run, not walk, to their local comic book store!