Friday, December 30, 2011

Women in Comics

In January IDW is releasing a special anthology of Women in Comics. Thanks to Bleeding Cool for the heads up.

That's not all though. As the article states, Diamond is pushing all kinds of women creators/artists and more at the same time for January.

Women write about comics is a special blog crossover that will be highlighting all sorts of issues about women in comics and sexism. (KP will not currently be taking part, but strongly endorse it nonetheless.)

The Guardian in the UK has also got an article up focusing on women in comics. It's about an upcoming experimental book that has an all male cast of writers but an all female cast of artists. The book is called Bayou Arcana.

Preview: X-23 v3 Issue 20 and Avengers Academy Issue 24

CBR has the previews up for comics being released on January 4th 2012.

The comics for X-23 that week will be her ongoing's issue 20, and Avengers Academy issue 24.

So be sure to pick them up when they hit stands next Wednesday the 4th of January.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Update: Venom Valentines Cards!

Bleeding Cool has the scoop on the Venom Valentines cards coming with Circle of Four.

Be sure to check them out.

Now I'm off to more family obligations. "Oh the weather outside is frightful..."

Friday, December 23, 2011

X-23 Ongoing TPB Volume 2 & 3

While perusing the general nightly news, I ran across this over at Bleeding Cool. In May 2012, Marvel will be releasing Volume 3 of the premiere hardcover collection of the X-23 comic. This will be the fantastic Misadventures in Babysitting arc(Issues 17-19), and will also include issues 20 and 22. Wait? Issue 22? Isn't issue 21 supposed to be the last X-23 issue? Are they bumping it up for the Circle of Four storyline or because of the previous oneshot? Is this just a typo? Could this be a future marketing plan placement to prep for an oversized issue 23 farther down the line?
Listed on page 22.

June of 2012 will also see the release of the Circle of Four Premiere Hardcover collecting the entire Circle of Four Venom event plus the build up to it. It's on page 76.

July of 2012 will see the release of the Volume 2 TPB for X-23's ongoing. This will include issues 10-16 of the v3 comic. (No date listed for the premiere hardcover edition, but that might be outside the dates listed for this!) It's on page 102.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Recap: X-23 v3 Issue 19

This issue had quite a satisfying conclusion to the Misadventures in Babysitting arc.

In the end, it dives headfirst into showing us how much Laura has grown. I'm not sure there's anything I'd want to say about it because it might ruin just how amazingly well done this story is, and how very real it feels about intercharacter relations. It fits Julian perfectly, and it evokes a sense of reality that's sadly far too common with his ending barb. For the last X-23 story of 2011, Marjorie Liu and company gave us a great one that will be long remembered.

I will say one thing instead. The ending guest cameo has got me all giddy for next month.

That's right. Jubilee and X-23 are going to take the big apple by storm! Be sure to pick it up next month!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Comics, Male Privilege, and Heddies that don't fit!

Picture by Inugami Mokekiyo.

Kotaku has an interesting piece up that talks about this in all geek culture associated. From video games to comics they cover the bases pretty well.

I've been trying to wrack my brain about what else I would add to it, but nothing really comes to mind other than the above picture I wanted to use for irony's sake.
I will say it is true that geek guys are harmed by the stereotypes perpetuated, but as the article states it's nowhere near as bad as women get it.

I had an anecdote I wanted to tell about how a girl I dissmissed as out of my league (as in I was below her standards) led to me missing a chance with her, and when talking to her later she berated me for being so dumb as to not try. She thought I wasn't interested when I was. This is something I almost repeated again last year with a different girl, but thankfully that 'connecting random moment' made her speak up when we met a second time unexpectedly. That's not common, so don't ever expect it to be. In using these stories though, it shows a mild bias of my own for my side being superficial because of how hot I rated them immediately without knowing them, and how I automatically assumed geeks aren't allowed girls like that. That's a common example of the mentalities the world drives into geek guys. After experiencing this from the world though, we turn around and treat women much the same as we hated being treated. That's when we turn from victims to bullies and hypocrites.

The simple fact of the matter is, we males tend to think based on looks alone. We weight validity of existence based on aesthetics.  We throw hissy fits when "our superior moves are dissmissed because she's dating someone of a lesser pedigree than us." For the most part though, many women don't see the world like that no matter what we see them as. Many guys continue on complaining about how lonely they are, but when a girl makes a move to alleviate that, we dissmiss them because we want a 'hot' girl by whatever standards we dream up as ideal for recognition. Denying ourselves the chance to get to know someone that could be everything we were looking for. The shallowness and hypocrisy is rampant, and yet many women don't look at the world like that at all.

In every girl I've dated, I've heard the same thing over and over. It was some random moment that created the attraction or broke the attraction. It never had anything to do with superficiality at all. It's always the simple things like holding a door open for an elderly person, or whatever random oddity committed or joke said that caught their attention. Most recently accidentally getting lost in her deep blue eyes but not hitting on her which made her curious about me like a puzzle to solve. Again, not common but just an example of how random it can be.  I hate cameras because of my own self-image issues, but that doesn't mean that women see me the way that I see myself.

That's not to say you should stalk the girl until you get that one random moment. They'll notice that immediately as a turn off akin to 'puppy-syndrome.' As in you follow them around and are at their beck and call like a lost little puppy yearning for their attention. Confidence is key of course. So just be the best you that you can be. Put your best foot forward everyday and you may just be surprised with the results.  Then again, I've learned not to agree with the mind games places claim to use on girls to manipulate them into liking you.  I've learned that even the friendzone can grow into more over time if you are genuine and not just in it for "your turn in line."  Those have been some of the deepest connections I've made and they have stayed lifelong friends even when the relationship didn't work.  So over all else I will always say you should just be you and never pretend to be more than or less than you are.  Be genuine, honest, and earnest as much as you would like in return as you get to know a person.  An immediate overabundance can scare you, so why would you do that to them?  Let it be gradual but never fake.  Let it be real.

Don't fret over what doesn't work, don't try to force it, and don't belittle anyone for spurning you. Just move on. Above all else, don't close yourself off to possibilities based on the same reasonings that you profess to hate.  The times I've opened myself up to these still beautiful women, are some of the times I've outright fallen in love by knowing who they are inside and out.  Though it didn't work out, they are some of my most cherished memories.  I've learned my lessons from being with them and applied those lessons to my life to grow as a person.  This is where many get stuck.  We focus so heavily on wanting to fix our mistakes of the past, we forget to learn from them and move on.  We remain withdrawn inside introversion so deep we forget to live.

I've gone on a minor diatribe before about the nature of self, but I also didn't quite encapsulate that argument as well as I should have. You aren't always what people think you are, just as you aren't always what you think you are. You can just be you. The easiest thing to remember is outright 'how would I feel if someone said or did what I'm saying or doing but aimed at me?'

The nature of self is a hard road to define in a world that is filled with conceitedness, arrogance, as well as hate, and personal attacks from the distaste of hearing the truth spoken or of differing opinions. The world loves to hit a nail that stands above the rest, but without those nails we also wouldn't have the massive strides in civil rights that we have now. It's a fine line of standing up for what's right, and rationalizing our decisions for the sake of our wounded pride. Learn the lessons and move on instead of dwelling on it.  Pick your battles wisely so as to not besmirch your name for times unneeded, and yet also sometimes it's the small battles that must be won before they are accepted and become larger.

It's a complicated issue to dive into and explain between protecting yourself from those that willingly want to cause you pain for fun or for standing up, and those trying to help you to grow. Whether you're male or female it can be hard. I will admit outright within geek culture it seems much harder for women as it's not just the outside world but also what was to be their haven attacking them.

Take a look at X-23's comic in particular. It's a comic that has pushed hard to not treat X-23 as a sex object, using art that depicts her as more like an everyday girl with a dark past she doesn't like reflecting on, but often can't help it as either gender can relate in having just lived life. The artwork itself has had an amazing shift back and forth to demonstrate this with the soft tones of Takeda and the harsher life is dark and light type shadow play that Noto does wonderfully per each story told and the details.

It's genuinely a comic with a multitude of ambitions and creativity within it that strives hard for having it's own unique voice as much as the writer lets Laura define her own voice by memory reflection, words, and actions. Yet at the end of the day, no matter how intelligently it's been handled, the sales reflect male audiences at large don't want something deep, yet there was a steady beat of sales and upswings that showed momentum building to rebound back upwards(though still selling far below where it should be, but enough that it would be profitable, possibly even a higher count of female readers than male). This is a reflection on audiences as a whole, and the mentalities of geek culture as seen in this piece by Kotaku than I'd like to admit, but it's true. It further degrades in any place you look online within geek mentalities. Simply look up the trailer for Haywire(more on this movie soon!) on youtube and you'll be bombarded with macho male bravado and other types of sexism galore alongside fantasy thinking that's never based in reality but solely their pride and manhood. Women belong in the kitchen not as action stars or so they claim. With X-23's comic, you'll see random comments like people counting how many times Gambit touched her inappropriately(like there were any to begin with!), or other more lewd remarks about it and complaints about her not being drawn sexily enough. We geeks clamor for intelligence in our books, but then berate it when such a provocative nature comes up that hits home we don't want to admit. Especially if it questions our own perception of characters we've become accustomed to seeing as an object for our visual pleasure.  This was a small battle we should have won.  Instead now it's leading to a larger battle or outright dissmissal of cleverly done nuanced with subtlety solo female ongoings as marketable.

It's much the same from Marvel's boys club sadly. Axel Alonso himself praises everything X-23 has done, but then turns around and belittles the creative integrity and artistic direction by perpetuating it's just not selling(though really, if he had said anything I'm saying here, how many geeks would overreact to the truth?). It makes me wonder if he sees why it's such a beloved comic among fans. (Maybe he does or doesn't, public relations denies that being voiced... While other editors feel free to belittle fans anyway...)  Other creatives at Marvel (Gage of AA fame in particular) have gone on record taking more tact about it to not be so dissmissive of the potential within, claiming time to reassess the direction the character needs to go in. This sounds plausible considering there's a lot within the ongoing that needs to be examined for where to take the character next, including what's coming in Circle of Four as well as Avengers Academy. There's a lot to tread over and look up and points to examine that have been covered. So much so that sometimes I even feel overwhelmed with having here at all. There's so much still to cover, bits I've barely even scratched the surface of. Philisophical debates that need way more research than I have time for that it can be maddening.

Maybe geeks have grown so accustomed to the way things are, we forget to look deeper and see what we're missing in all walks of life. We forget to see how we're treating those around us while we complain about how our lives have gone or parade around in how superior we feel over others with unwarranted gusto. Maybe it's time we stopped complaining or attacking, and started fixing how we can be the best of who we are without relying on belittlement and personal attacks to make us feel superior.  Maybe it's time we stopped accepting this behaviour from all walks of life whether it be the irate fan, or say an editor at Marvel like Steve Wacker.  These are the types of people you should ignore for good reason as not worth your time since they can't show you respect and only know how to be confrontational.

Maybe we shouldn't become the bullies we claim to loathe and instead should return to the meritocracy roots our fandom was founded on.  A fandom based on the validity of your points, and not based on how confrontational you can be, or the double speak you may hide behind to fool people.  No amount of status or privilege gives you the right to treat another as less than how you would want to be treated.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Venom: Circle of Four Valentines Cards!

Marvel has an interesting and clever promotion coming up in February with Venom's Circle of Four storyline.

According to Bleeding Cool they'll be giving out Venom valentines with order amounts exceeding the orders of Carnage USA #1.

No word yet on what they'll look like, but I'm hoping they pull out all the stops and give us some for all 4 of the characters in this storyline. It'd definitely save me some time on card shopping.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Preview: X-23 v3 Issue 19

CBR has the preview up for issue 19. It hits stands Decemeber 21st.

This is part 3 of Misadventures in Babysitting. Count me excited to get my hands on this issue for what's looking like one of the best X-23 stories. X-23 is ending 2011 with a bang and it could leave you breathless!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Few Random Thoughts On Avengers Academy Issue 23

Well, there were a few points I wanted to talk about from this issue. This issue highlights some great future potential, and has some interesting character potential. So let's quit with the jabberjawing and get right down to it.

1.) X-23 does not need training.

Within the first 3 pages we're shown X-23 doesn't need any training. She's here because she needs the social interactions with peers her age. It also shows in many regards with her interactions to fellow students she's going to be a borderline counselor/teacher's assistant/tutor which could prove very interesting.

2.) X-23 and Finesse both needing help dealing with emotions.

This is something I can't wait to see explored. These two are quite an interesting pair and together it could be quite explosive once Finessse's competitive nature starts to kick in. There's a lot of potential between these two to be good friends, or have a friendly rivalry that become onesided as X-23 doesn't see the world like that enough to notice one. It could humanize Finesse though over time.

3.) Striker and Lightspeed's heart to heart talk.

I've said before this makes sense with his history and search for fame, but it also dances softly on the old standard of what parents blamed for their kids 'turning gay.' It's interesting here to see how Gage handles it, diving into it's not the past that caused it but the past that makes it harder to cope with. I do wish writers would stop using this repetitive stereotype, but the reason it is a stereotype is because it has happened a lot to many kids all over the world. Though I do kind of wish a writer would have the balls to dive into a scenario that's less clear cut and dry. Like say maybe a boy that was molested by a girl the same age as him, and what that does to a youth because he can never speak about it and the rammifications that happen because of that from the world's slanted perspective. Overall it was handled very tastefully though. I just wish they pushed a little bit more on the edge of it's not just those with sexual identity issues that don't like labels, or even how ignorant teenagers can be trying to force someone to come out of the closet that never was homosexual. Lot's of schoolyard bullying and sexual harassment happens towards both straight and LGBT alike whether they are or aren't. It's sickening and sad, but it happens. Personally, it's annoying to me to see the bullies who called someone out for superficial stupid reasons be right, since that's rarely the case(though in this case it's the natural evolution of the character in questions other appearances). It does happen though. I do commend the point it brings up about how even some people have their own bigotry towards bisexuals. It's a great point to have brought up. I look forward to seeing how Lightspeed develops as a character, and I'm glad it brought up the point about personalities over gender. Striker gets no sympathies from me as I tend to view characters and people alike should overcome what happened to them to be better people than their attacker, but he's slowly starting to redeem his past in his actions. Instead, Hazmat is quickly becoming the member of the team I have the strongest distaste for.

4.) Future Finesse suffering from memory loss.

This is something brought up before when she faced off with Taskmaster. Sooner or later Finesse will have so many fighting styles and weapons knowledge because of her power it'll start overwriting all her other memories. Even the memories of her own family or loved ones.

5.) Future Reptil focusing on changing the future.

Is he the only one that's traveled back to change or push a timeline? Are there more pieces falling into place about this in other comics like X-23's ongoing? This could prove interesting. Only time will tell, but it seems like the master of chess that is X-23 will be going against someone that knows all her moves from seeing them in the past when she made them. It also raises that same question of will we see that mystery woman again.

6.) X-23 is free to come and go as she pleases.

This goes back to what I was saying before about her feeling more like a student teacher. She has more freedom than the other students, and seems to have earned the faculties respect already. I'm curious how future issues will play out in this regard, especially when Captain America shows up with those two having history. Her being able to freely come and go also fits her personality though. X-23 has always had a small tendency to run away as it seems, feeling she's better off alone when she starts to feel emotions or attachments. The team is too new to her as yet, but this could be an interesting future note as she learns to care about her fellow students. Especially since Gambit, Jubilee, among others have seemingly temporarily broken her of this habit. They've made her stay and shown her that feeling good isn't bad, and that she deserves to be happy and have fun without fear or running away from it. It also prevents her from feeling like she's trapped and the faculty trusts her. She may not realize what that means yet, but it could be interesting how that plays out on a subconcious level.

7.) X-23 likes to read?

Before X-23 and Mettle have a talk about killing and the rammifications(the entire counselor bit I mentioned before), X-23 is shown reading in a tree. Reading is one of the great escapisms of the world to new lands and lives, but it also reflects Laura's education and pedigree too. The book she's reading is never given a title, but it's an interesting point nonetheless.

Recap: Avengers Academy Issue 23

So Avengers Academy issue 23 hit stands today. I'm sure one burning question is left in the minds of all X-23 fans. Is she handled well in it?

The answer? Yes, yes she is.

I'll admit I was on the fence when it was announced. I just couldn't see how it would work with everything they were saying about the whys, and after previous writers like Claremont that apparently had no clue what to do with the character, I was worried about the writers here. I must say within the very first 2 pages they quelled every fear I had. I'm not only okay with her on the team, I'm excited for it! Not only have they covered her training, they dive into her past on the surface level, and make refences to current X-comic issues. They point out her education, training, and more.

Well, I guess I should bring you up to speed a bit. I've been a fan of Avengers Academy since it started. I was just a bit worried about how they may handle X-23. That being said, this issue brought a lot up and may even contribute to the stories from the ongoing. With the AA cast facing off against their future selves soon, it may harken back to the mystery woman we saw before in X-23's comic that could be Laura from the future.

There are some minor character aspects of the AA team I'm not too enthused about. (The actual team, not the writing team. Gage has proven himself a more than capable writer in all his works.) I'm glad to see them covering many aspects about identity and avoidance of labels, but I'm not exactly sure how I feel about the tropes used to do so. It fits, and yet it also feels slightly forced and public service announcement like. It'll need more issues to blossom into anything for me to make a clear opinion on it. Hazmat's insecurities are an aspect that also make sense but she's a character I'm slowly starting to hate with how she lashes out blindly at others while in an emotional haze. Though I think personally it's because she reminds of a girl I once knew that acted much the same. This girl for me is a darker part of my past that makes me look back and wonder why I dated her. She was so afraid of being judged, yet was also the most judgemental girl I ever knew. This bodes well for the writing team, as generally speaking only the best writers can take something so steeped in fantasy and make it real to the point it reminds you of your own life experiences.

Overall, the X-23 parts of the issue were a great treat. I'll have a follow up post about this soon as with her new team, I'd like to handle these issues differently than I have the X-23 ongoing. This will be the only recap on an AA comic as that's going to be an X-23 solo title thing only.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

March 2012 Solicits

The final issue of X-23 hits stands that month. It'll be a slightly oversized issue reaching 32 pages for $2.99. While I still feel it's a wasted oppurtunity when so close to issue 23 to end it on, at least they've given it a slightly bigger page count to go out on a bang. Though the smart "Marvel" marketing way would have been to dual release it that month, with issue 21 being the oversized finale of the run then pull the Marvel renumbering stunt to include the oneshot so they could have an oversized issue 23 for that month too. That way with an issue 23 celebrating the character they could amp the audience up and generate more buzz with the character that can carry over to Avengers Academy.

While they aren't letting the character reach that better marketing strategy, they are giving her a fitting sendoff for this run as March will mark a solid 2 years of Marjorie Liu issues. It may not be an issue 23, but it still is a cornerstone that's nice to see them accidentally acknowledge.

X-23 #21
WRITER: Marjorie Liu
ARTIST: Phil Noto
Cover By Kalman Andrasofsky
Series Finale!
• X-23’S Globehopping Journey Comes To A Close
• After All This Time Spent Choosing Who She Will Be, Will She Permanently Choose A Team As Well?
32 Pgs./Parental Advisory $2.99

Monday, December 12, 2011

November 2011 Sales Rank

Last month we have two X-23 issues to check for. The numbers show a minor decline over October, but still beating strong with a steady audience. X-23's comic is also still well above Daken's comic and also topples her father's side ongoing "Wolverine: Best There is." Showing once again her solo title can bring more to the table than additional Wolverine titles outside of his main book.

X-23 v3 #17
Cover Price: $2.99
This issue was ranked 98 out of 300 according to ICv2 which is based on Diamond U.S. to comic specialty stores. The issue has sold an estimated 22,780 copies to them.

X-23 v3 #16
Cover Price: $2.99
This issue was ranked 100 out of 300 according to ICv2 which is based on Diamond U.S. to comic specialty stores. The issue has sold an estimated 22,737 copies to them.

Disclaimer: These numbers do not factor in digital, foreign sales, subscriptions, or any other avenue of release her title may have.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Preview: Avengers Academy Issue 23

The Avengers Academy issue where X-23 joins the team hits shelves December 14th. CBR has the preview up.

If these two pages are any indication, just holy crap. This is going to be beyond amazing. They nailed it so far. Pointing out her training over animalistic behaviour and outright admitting the class could learn from her. All around I'm impressed and extremely happy (for now at least, can't speak for future usages) that X-23 is being handled so well. While I will miss the ongoing for the more humanized voice it gave Laura on her path to learning what being a real girl in the Marvel universe is like, this looks like we could see some great interactions among fellow heroes her age.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Recap: X-23 v3 Issue 18

X-23's Misadventures in Babysitting continues in this issue. Part 2 to be precise.

This issue is written by Marjorie Liu with art by Sana Takeda, and I must say it's quite a delight to read. I think so far my only complaint about this 3 part story is that the issues end when I wish they never would.

This issue in particular reflects how understanding and patient X-23 is towards Julian. His actions that would normally tire the average girl out and push them away, Laura just takes in stride with understanding he's still coping with his own issues and clinginess. She takes the time to express her own thoughts, and clearly state what her choice is in the Schism aftermath. That choice being a neither side choice. Julian further pushes the point and letting his jealousy rear his head about Gambit too.

Overall this issue reflects entirely what a great X-23 story can be. We're given subtle nuances to her training and how she takes in her surroundings, her calm demeanor in handling situations or stressful people, and touching moments where sometimes old feelings of love can take over. Even with the rampant scifi and cosmic level story-telling we're left with an issue that's easy to relate to for both boys and girls(a tangent I'm going to have to avoid, sorry folks!). It dives deep into the complications of what boys act like when unhinged by insecurities, and it reflects a kind X-23 who understands more about how people act and their whys than we've previously seen hinted at in her other comic appearances. Like much of the run, the comic continually nods her past appearances. In this instance doing so in a more forward less symbolic type fashion when Julian makes reference to the Academy X days of their adventures. It's done in a manner rather fluidly, but also harkens back to a kind of role reversal from previously where Julian seemed to be the one in control and taking lead to keep X-23 in check from killing. Now X-23 has to do the same for him instead even though his actions are annoying her, and in many ways pushing her away, the feelings they share are hard to forget. Julian is both infuriating, and yet where her heart is even if she's not happy wiht his actions. Stuff that reflects real life quite well, but sadly things like that never end well, no matter how understanding the other person can be. It's just a ticking time bomb waiting to go off as foreshadowed in the previous issue's opening.

Overall, this issue is just a magnificent piece, and I look forward to the next. It continually makes me wonder why this comic is being canceled when weeks like this approach and it being the biggest highlight to read from all the comics on shelves.

If you want an amazing story to read, these past two issues and the next should be on your must buy pile. On the surface it's a fun action and comedic romp in babysitting and under the surface it's a commentary on relationships, emotions, how hard it is to speak when your feelings are in the way, and what it's like for those who are used to being alone when they get those feelings.

This comic itself makes me wish they'd grant Marjorie Liu a second chance on this title to stick around or a relaunch with the Sana Takeda artwork presented here. I have nothing against Noto, but the soft artwork with the emotional nature of the topic truly shines as a must read. Noto's darker sides of the art with the stories are interesting and have provided much to the comic, and whether it's just because of the story of the issues or the subject matter, the Sana Takeda side packs more of the down to earth punch that I really enjoy about the comic. They both work in unison to create a fantastic intelligent read, but as I said, I tend to favor the soft glow of the Takeda side of the issues.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

CBR Interviews Remender About Circle Of Four

The new 6 part event "Circle of Four" that'll be running in the Venom ongoing helmed by Rick Remender costars X-23. CBR takes a moment to speak with Rick Remender about his comics and this upcoming event.

I'm looking forward to this event personally. Remender has shown he truly gets the characters and their depth with how he's penned Uncanny X-Force and Venom. So I'm almost absolutely sure Circle of Four will be a delight to read.

The article goes more indepth on why Uncanny X-Force works so well (and why Fear Itself: Uncanny X-Force not penned by him missed the mark), but it also helps paint a picture of exactly why all of Remender's comics are so amazing and what to look forward to in the coming months and next year. The interview continues on to explain why even X-23 fans should look forward to this and quickly skims over why it's a shame her ongoing won't be around after issue 21.

With so many pieces like this in the puzzle coming forward, it helps set the stage for hopefully more fans wanting another X-23 ongoing to deal with any outlying plot threads. That is assuming at least they don't mishandle the character and her history, but I have faith that Remender will use his normal delicate touch to keep everything relevant like Liu managed to do during her run.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

X-23 Ranks 36th on CSBG's Top 200 Character List

Well, really it's a top 100 for Marvel, and top 100 for DC with a combined 200 count.  That being said, X-23 ranked 36th on the Marvel list.  Pretty high for a relatively new character that's only a little over 8 years old (she'll be celebrating her 9th year in 2012, and tenth year in 2013).

She beat many mainstays too in the final vote, from Black Panther, to the Human Torch(Johnny Storm), Invisible Woman(Sue Richards), Hank Pym, Black Widow, Vision and even the god of mischief himself Loki.  She also beat fellow X-alumni Psylocke, Colossus, Cable, and Iceman.  Her half-brother Daken is non-existant on the list as yet(update: he's listed at 91), so she beat him too by a wide margin. Laura's vote count gave her 470 points with 12 first place votes from the fan's company top 10 list each reader submitted for the poll.

When comparing her final vote tally's points to the DC side, she beat such DC mainstays as Lois Lane, Supergirl, Beast Boy, Donna Troy, Animal Man, and anyone else listed at 38th place or above.  Sinestro creeps in at 475 to beat X-23 by a measly 5 points with only 2 first place votes.

If you're curious who else she beat on the CBR blog Comics Should Be Good's poll, head on over to the CSBG entry.

Marvel's February 2012 Solicits

X-23 will be appearing in the Venom event "Circle Of Four" this month. No mention of her in Avengers Academy's solicits either. So this might be her only comic appearances this month.

Venom Issues 13, 13.1, 13.2, 13.3, & 13.4

  • Hell is spreading across the Earth from out of Las Vegas.
  • Ghost Rider is responsible but what price is she willing to pay to save mankind?!
  • X-23, Venom, & Hulk must defeat their worst enemies, buying Ghost Rider time to stop hell's march across the globe!
  • As a clone, X-23 has often wondered if she has a soul. This is where she gets her answer!
  • Who is Ichor and why has he targeted Venom for Death?!

So far it's sounding promising besides the obvious answer on the soul or not, but I might be personally biased since my views lean to anything that is alive has a soul(besides the fact X-23 isn't exactly a true 'clone' as insinuated by her minis and the ongoing).  With hell actually rising this time, maybe my previous theory of Laura facing her mother will happen(not that I think Dr. Sarah Kinney would go to hell, but she does come across as the type of person that would condemn herself to it even if she did potentially redeem herself at the end of the origin mini). I hope the deviation from Avengers Academy is only a brief one with the final X-23 ongoing issue following in March.  While I'm not enthused about her addition to Avengers Academy, it does make sense on a therapeutic level to help her learn social interactions with her peers in a safe environment that's not hindered by pre-conceptions or judgements...  Well even if Hazmat can be a bit nasty with subtle homophobic tendencies.  (See issue 22 and her demeaning of Lightspeed in the midst of being angry at the adults...  If it doesn't matter, why bring it up at all?  Emphasizing the stereotypes to push the point no less.  The same as any bully tries to impose what you're supposed to be by what they think is true.  Not a comment on the writers though, they are just expanding the character personas to be more real during a moment of duress which typically would reveal such nuances to one's persona. A raw moment is prone to no thinking of what's being said, just being reactionary.) It could be quite interesting to see how Finesse and X-23 get along with both being so well trained with chess like pinpoint precision to their individual strategies. X-23's rather wide range of training and vast education does seem to put her at an advantage in the Academy over the others.

Daken, the half-brother of X-23, has his issue 21 listed for February. It'll be doing yet another Daken vs Daddy story as opposed to the man Daken actually hates more than anyone in the Marvel Universe, and his story has been building up to... The Winter Soldier, Bucky. Go figure. You'd think they'd at least let him go out on a high note like that instead of a low note with yet another Wolverine and Daken story.

Will keep you posted on X-23's Avengers Academy appearances as more comes to light in following months.  Maybe there's a light breaking at the end of this tunnel for something else like a mini or a new ongoing or other book she might end up in.  Personally if it's not a new ongoing or a mini, I'm hoping she's being added to the FF once the alternate uni Reeds story is over.  It could be pretty fun to see her in a nanny capacity once the Fantastic 4 come back if the recent Misadventures in Babysitting story is any indication.  Hopefully she's not being relegated to the background again of Marvel nothingness like Darkhawk and many other Marvel characters have been in recent times.  (Though Defenders could be interesting too if that's where she ends up, but I'd prefer they take another stab at an ongoing altogether now that the character is in a more stable place mentally.)

Further spinning the rumor mill of Marvel reassessing how to handle the character, Christos Gage of Avengers Academy brought up a valid theory. He speculates it might be because they are trying to think of a new strategy for X-23. This sounds pretty likely considering everything the character represents and her current high ranking on the the top 100 list of Marvel characters at CBR's CSBG. So keep your fingers crossed for good news in the coming months!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Preview: X-23 v3 Issue 18

CBR has the preview for issue 18 up now. This is the 2nd part of X-23's Misadventures in Babysitting!

Be sure to pick up your copy next Wednesday, December 7th. Tell your friends too as well. Help send a message to Marvel this character is loved and deserves a second chance at a solo later down the line. (Like say a title called 'Exceptional X-23' at a rate that it hits the 23rd issue on October 23rd 2013 that has Craig Kyle on board along with Sana Takeda and Liu among maybe some others that can help bring the best of all worlds out of the character for a better mainstream push...)

While you're there picking up your copy, I highly recommend picking up the first issue of the Defenders. From the preview alone, it looks well worth the read! It's written by Matt Fraction, and has colors done by Sonia Oback, who was one of the original artists on the X-23 minis. (Yes Fraction, if you say 23 often enough, I will plug it... Maybe.)