Mini Reviews: Teen Titans: Raven/Beast Boy

As much as I like comic books, I always struggle to review them. Anyway, I really liked the Teen Titans, so, I figured I at least gave them a try with a mini review! Haven’t done of these posts in a really long time.

Teen Titans: Raven by Kami Garcia (author) and Gabriel Picolo (illustrator)

Teen Titans: RavenA while ago, I would have firmly claimed to be a Marvel girl, but if we are being entirely honest, I am mostly consuming DC content now. While I have never watched or read Teen Titans before, I did watch DC’s Titans and liked it for the most part. This is entirely different, but I feel like that previous knowledge came in handy with Raven anyway.

The graphic novel very much focuses on Raven’s insecurities and her way of trying to figure out who she is as a person. Since she can’t remember anything, she tends to question everything instead of listening to her gut. She’s a teenager, so, she sometimes makes cringy choices, but I found those were easy to forgive.

Something I found confusing at times were the transitions between scenes, as they seemed very disconnected. I also felt like there was definitely some prior knowledge required, or you’d be a bit lost when certain characters started showing up.

Fazit: 4/5 stars! Interesting introduction to this series.

Teen Titans: Beast Boy by Kami Garcia (author) and Gabriel Picolo (illustrator)

Teen Titans: Beast BoyI loved the illustration in this one even more than in the first one, even though it was both done by the same person. Gabriel Picolo has mentioned several times that Beast Boy is very near and dear to his heart and it shows. Especially the pages where Gar uses his powers for the first time are just swoon-worthy.

Again, this one also heavily focuses on the insecurities of the main character. For now, it’s what ties them together as they haven’t met yet. Gar just wants to be popular, not because he likes the people so much, but because he wants to prove a point. I understood why his friends were annoyed with him at times and appreciated that they had their own struggles to face. Still, there was a definite relatability to it, which made Gar very endearing.

Fazit: 4/5 stars! I was never once bored while reading.


Over all, I was really happy with these graphic novels! I think the illustration especially was excellent and I cannot wait for the third book (Beast Boy Loves Raven in Fall 2021). Have you read these ones as well? 

#CurrentlyWatching: Riverdale

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This week I did a Twitter survey to determine which show to talk about and Riverdale was apparently the strong favourite. Not that I mind, but it is a rather controversial show at the moment, so that could have gone a lot of ways – more about that later though.

Going into this show, I knew about the Archie comics, but I didn’t make the connection until later. While most of the characters are based off of those, the story really isn’t. It’s kind of a Veronica Mars meets Teen Wolf meets Secret Circle meets Gossip Girl but all without magic? So, basically I am saying it’s a mystery show with tons of teen drama. I am quite the sucker for CW shows, so I would have watched it either way. You can also watch it on Netflix, which is very convenient for me, because it gets uploaded each week.

A small town gets rattled after the death of one of their most promising teens. Everyone is a suspect, old family rivalries are awoken and relationships are tested. *insert dramatic music here* All the while our main characters try to figure out their love life and how to survive High School.

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Riverdale might not be the most faithful adaptation, but they did a great job with the visual aspect and the music (seriously adore the soundtrack). A lot darker than the original source material, I fell in love with the look of it at first glance. It’s very much like book aesthetics come to life. They did an amazing job at the costume department and the locations are beyond gorgeous. You basically have everyone from the comics there, but slightly different and a lot of them might still hold a surprise for you. But, as I said above, you don’t necessarily need to know the comics beforehand, because it’s a very loose adaptation. Still, there are nice easter-egg-kind-of situations for hardcore fans of the series.

As per CW tradition there is a lot of over the top drama and beyond gorgeous people. Shipping several of them is inevitable and even though that is the case, I do not have a separate shipping portion today. This is mainly due to the fact that I haven’t made up my mind though. They want to make the canon love triangle of Betty-Archie-Veronica happen, but at the moment I feel like everyone is just crushing on Archie because he got hot over the summer, even though he surely is the dullest of the characters presented.

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I am much more interested in the Veronica and Betty dynamic, their friendship but also what it might become in the future. They both have a lot more to them than you can see at first glance. Kevin’s lines are on point every. single. time. and he is just majorly funny. The show might feature my favourite version of Josie and the Pussycats ever and Cheryl and her possible twincest with Jason does have me intrigued as well. Still, my favourite so far remains Jughead, who definitely needs to talk more about food, but has the greatest vibe. This brings me to my next point.

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So, I mentioned controversy surrounding this show earlier and this section will explain what I meant by that. In the comic reboot Jughead has his own series in which he is openly asexual. The writer has confirmed that and has mentioned in a tweet (but not specifically in the comics as far as I noticed) that Juggie also has a tendency towards being aromantic. Now, that is not (yet) the case in the show.

Hear me out! I think that accurate ace/aro representation in mainstream media is direly needed and something that has been neglected for a while now. We’ve come a long way making TV more diverse, but there is still SO much work to do. However, I woke up after the first episode of Riverdale had aired and people were mad at the show, threatening to boycott it because Jughead wasn’t portrayed as ace/aro and I simply don’t get it. Absolutely nothing suggested that he isn’t in the first episode. Neither did it in the second or the third (which is all that has aired yet/that I have seen before this post gets published). So, my question was why everyone was so mad and I did some research!

Cole Sprouse (who portrays Jughead) revealed in an interview that they wouldn’t portray the character as ace (as they don’t seem to focus on any aro aspect, seen as it is not necessarily considered canon) in the first season, however, he also said he would keep fighting to make it a topic in the future. The producer of the show said that Riverdale is merely the beginning of those characters and that things that are canon in the comics need to still develop on the show (click here for the article). Jughead, as well as other characters, are still discovering their sexuality, so I read that as it being a real possibility that they will make Jughead’s sexual identity a future story arc.

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There’s also been some leaked material, which suggests Juggie will have a romantic storyline. Nevertheless, I don’t see how that is a hindrance just yet. Sexuality is something very fluid in my opinion and especially when you don’t know how you feel or categorize yourself, you might try different things. I feel like a lot of people don’t even know about ace and aro (and the difference between them) and maybe a teen who hasn’t figured it all out just yet would try to date like everyone around him does? I mean, he could try to fit in with the rest of his friends and then realise that it’s just not what he wants? This is obviously just my opinion and I have no idea where they are going with it in the show.

So, what I am trying to say here is that I really wish people would give the show a chance. If they mess up the portrayal, boycott away! Everyone deserves the right kind of representation, but maybe, just maybe, this show will give you a great story about a character who for the first time figures out that they are asexual. Keep in mind, the reveal in the comics wasn’t until Volume 4 either, so give them at least the possibility to work on this before condemning them.

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There isn’t much I can say as to why you shouldn’t watch the show. Maybe don’t tune in if you can’t stand water-bloated corpses? Also, this is obviously a teen drama and in case you know that that’s not your jam at all, I can’t really recommend it either. Lastly, I would understand if people wouldn’t want to watch it because they don’t want to get their hopes up about ace representation and then maybe get disappointed on the long run. If that’s a concern, maybe it’s better to wait a while and see what others say. In the end, it’s always on Netflix to binge.

Are you watching Riverdale? What are your thoughts on it?

T5W: Non-Written Novels

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It’s time for Top 5 Wednesdays, a weekly meme created by gingerreadslainey and hosted by Sam @ThoughtsOnTomes. If you want to know more or join as well, just go to the Goodreads group by clicking here. The title for today’s post is a little misleading in my opinion, because can a novel not be written and still be a novel? I don’t want to go into the philosophical aspect of this, but rather show you some of my favourite comics and graphic novels instead.

This was a hard topic to name, but this is about all books that are not ‘written’ novels! So graphic novels, comics, manga, audiobooks, etc. Shed some light on books in other forms.

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If you want to talk about any of these, leave a comment and I’ll be there to discuss! What would have been your picks?

Comic Book GIVEAWAY!

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As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve recently sold some of my old stuff at a flee market. There was one incident that made me think about what to do with the things that didn’t find any new owners. Here’s what happened: There was this 10-year-old boy and his parents were selling things at the flee market as well. Of course, when you are selling things, you don’t want your son to go around and buy all sorts of new stuff, so he only had a very limited budget. There weren’t many things for kids, but he saw a Lucky Luke comic he really wanted from our stand. I swear, I have never seen a kid so happy to have a comic book. He hugged the thing like he never owned anything more precious or dear in his life. He came by some more after that and became one of our prime customers. It brought me so much joy to see him happy.

So, after that little story time, I hope you can guess the reason for this little GIVEAWAY! I have some comics that I don’t need any longer, but maybe someone else would be really happy about them. Before we get to the details of how you can enter, here’s what you can win:

Package 1 (DC Comics)

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Swamp Thing
Issue #115
Cover Date: January 1992

The Ray
Issue #9
Cover Date: February 1995

Package 2 (Various Comics)

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Issue #2
Cover Date: December 1987

Black & White
Issue #3
Cover Date: January 1995

Thundercats – The Return
Issue #4
Cover Date: July 2003

I know the issues are all pretty random, but they are in good condition considering their age. So, winning one of the packages is really super easy. Are you ready? Just comment below which Package you would like to win! (You have to specifically say that you want to enter in the Giveaway!) If you can’t decide, you can say both as well and I will just pick one, but you can’t enter more than once. The giveaway is open internationally and ends Friday October 16 at midnight (let’s say Pacific Standard Time). I will contact the two random winners via mail the next day to arrange shipping. Told you it was going to be easy!

I hope I can make someone as happy as the little boy! However, I do have a final request. Even though this will not affect your chances at winning, I would really like for you to comment about some experience where someone made you really happy or you did someone a small favour and made them happy. Also, you could do me a solid by following me on Twitter and liking my Facebook page!

I am looking forward to your stories! Read you soon!

Dark Matter Season 1 Finale

What a journey it’s been! So many twists and turns and revelations. I hope you enjoyed Dark Matter as much as I did and therefore won’t mind the upcoming Spoilers!

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So neither Killjoys (which ended last week and I didn’t write a review for – sorry!) nor Dark Matter have been renewed for a Season 2, which is a real shame in my opinion. Renew the shows already, because they definitely were great summer sci-fi programs that I’d like to see more of!

I think we can all agree that we learned a lot about the characters, while still having to learn a lot about them. Especially after the finale!!! Let’s break it down one crew-member at a time to see what we discovered about them throughout the season:

  • One: So, he’s not actually Jace Corso. We now know that he actually came on the ship to revenge his murdered wife, but his rivalry with Three definitely made him blind to the real traitor among the crew. His relationship with Two is also a bit rocky … at least he might have a legit excuse to get released by the Galactic Authority since he’s not Corso?
  • Two: FINALLY the mystery was resolved. She’s pretty much an engineered being that should not be captured or she’d be in real danger of being destroyed. There is still a lot we don’t know about who really constructed her and for what reason. We got a glimpse at it, but there’s still so much more to find out. I’m sad to think that Five doubted her, but I probably would have too. Well … Two is still boss and I bet she’ll find a way out of this dilemma.
  • Three: Who would have thought the guy had such a heart? I didn’t trust him in the beginning, and trust might still be a strong word, but I definitely like him. He’s one of my favourites and cracks me up every episode. I wish they wouldn’t have taken away his love interest that quickly though.
  • Four: I am glad he considers taking his empire back, although that seems pretty difficult from where he’s currently at. However, I was so excited to hear that he is training Five and that he was the one who let her stay on ship in the first place. I think seeing some training scenes would be awesome in the future!
  • Five: She’s my favourite! Those goggles and her outfits – could she be any cooler? I like her innocence and her wanting to belong to the crew. And I love how everyone wants to protect her, even though she’s quite capable herself. She’s just an amazing character!
  • Six: HOW DARE YOU? I don’t even know who he is anymore. I just don’t understand how he could do this to his friends, especially Five. He was like father to her! There needs to be some serious explaining in Season 2 (and yes, I am just assuming there will be one)!
  • Android: Can we all just agree on how amazing Zoie Palmer was as the Android! I loved how she wasn’t just like a robot, but actually their friend and with some really funny quirks to her personality. Also, people who can play a double-role are always cool! I hope she won’t be rebooted with a different personality!
  • He’s not a crew member but it was still a mighty fine surprise to see Wil Wheaton on Dark Matter. Even though the same can’t be said about his character …

So, what do you think? I have no idea how the crew is going to get out of this and how they’ll ever forgive Six but I NEED MORE! That’s my opinion, but what is yours?

Summer Review: Dark Matter & Humans

Sorry for my brief absence, but I had to study for my final exams and now I officially have a Bachelor degree of arts in business (*doing a little victory dance through the apartment right now*). Never thought that would happen so fast, but now it’s over and I have to figure out what to do next. In order to “celebrate” I’ll review not just one but two new Science Fiction TV shows that started airing this month. Enjoy and beware of Spoilers!

Dark Matter

Dark Matter is a show based on a comic book series of the same title that started airing on Syfy last week. It follows the six members of a space ship, who awaken from stasis just to find that they have lost their memory. In order to find out information on who they are and what they were about to do, they try to find the ship’s original destination.

I think the show started deliberately slow in order for the audience to get used to the different characters and show the confusion that they must have felt. It takes the entire first episode for them to find out who they are and leaves us right at the most exciting moment. It turns out they weren’t supposed to help the people on the planet the ship brought them to, but instead five of the crew members are murderers and they were meant to kill them. That was the point at which I was most invested in the show, just to get ripped out of it and told to wait another week. It’s smart really, but also highly annoying.
Somehow I was reminded of Firefly and several other shows set in space, simply for the reason that everyone and everything has a very familiar feel to it. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because I liked all those shows, but it also doesn’t give it that vibe of excitement that comes with new things. Lastly, it doesn’t look like it had the biggest budget, but it definitely has potential. I will make sure to check out a couple more episodes!

Humans

Humans is based on the Swedish drama Real Humans and follows several storylines throughout a universe that has developed artificial intelligence in the shape of Synths. They are programmed to be humanity’s slaves, but things get interesting when some of them develop feelings and a consciousness of their own.

I originally started watching this show because of Colin Morgan (previously known from Merlin, Doctor Who and Testament of Youth), but I got hooked right after the first episode. The three main storylines are very diverse and therefore cover all sorts of emotions. On the one hand you have a family where the arrival of a new Synth threatens the mother of the household since she feels she’s loosing her place in the family. And on the other hand, you have an elderly man who’s created a father-son-relationship with his Synth and doesn’t want to get him upgraded in order not to loose him. Lastly, there’s Morgan’s storyline which is too complex to fully comprehend after just one episode. Let’s just say he is pro-Synth and wants to protect the ones who have a mind of their own.
The whole dilemma of whether artificial intelligence is a danger to humanity or not and if they deserve to live their life as they wish to if they have feelings and emotions like us is extremely intriguing to me. I hope the show will continue to have a controversial point of view on the topic and show both sides of the story.

So, the reviews were pretty short, but could I spark your interest in the shows nonetheless? I’d love to talk in the comments!

We Are Groot: The Guardians of the Galaxy

I loved Guardians of the Galaxy! I am going to say more than that, but I needed to get that out of the way.  But before we dive into my not very refined review, here are some facts about the movie:

Genre: Marvel superhero movie

Length: 122 minutes

Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Karen Gillan, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Djimon Hounsou, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, Benicio del Toro, …

Plot: After the existence of a very rare and dangerous infinity stone is confirmed an unlikely group of outlaws and misfits has to protect the galaxy from being destroyed.

Now, on to the important stuff – my review. This may contain spoilers, so if you want to go into the movie completely untained by my opinion – do not read on! As you may have noticed, I really like lists, so, here we go with another one comprised of my thoughts:

  • First off, what’s not to love about this movie? It is hilarious, action-packed and even touching at times. I mean the start of the movie was already heart-breaking and then I almost teared up again when Groot sacrificed himself (although I knew he would regrow again). And the jokes – they just kept on coming! I laughed so much during this film. I will admit to having a certain affinity for Marvel productions, but I have not yet met anyone who disliked this movie.
  • The soundtrack was absolutley amazing! Pairing this great music from the 60’s and 70’s with the sci-fi background of the story resulted in a truly awesome mix! If you don’t know the music, here’s a tracklist.
  • I love the cast! And not just the main cast. I was so happy to see Karen Gillan in a major movie, it was almost worth shaving off her entire hair (but then again, at least Marvel was nice enough to make her a wig out of her own hair – which is weird, but also kind of awesome).
  • I can’t wait for the sequel! I am not that familiar with the storyline, because I haven’t read the comics, but I really want to know who Peter’s dad is! An ancient, angel-like being sounds interesting to me.
  • Baby Groot! Dancing Baby Groot was so cute and definitely the star after the movie. In anticipation of going to the cinema und also because I am crazy; I crocheted for almost two days straight and attempted to make my very own Baby Groot. Since I was too lazy to go shopping for proper garn though, I just worked with what I could find at home. What do you think of the result?

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So, that was it for today. Did you love the movie as much as I did? If not, I am definitely willing to discuss.