So, I was tagged here for the fun 8 Things meme, which is cool. But I just did it on Pixiepalace! I would do it again here if I could think of another eight things to say, but right now, I just can’t. Why is it so hard to come up with eight semi-interesting things to say about yourself? It shouldn’t be that difficult, should it? Anyway, it’s posted over at Pixiepalace right now, so you can find eight things I could think of to say about myself there!
Thank you for the tag ZG! I’m thrilled that you thought of me!
Ok, so I got this comic because I heard that it was pretty good and I guess I wanted to give it a chance (and the bookstore I work at has an awful selection of DC titles – maybe five to choose from and all Bats or Supes titles). I was told this was Marvel’s big title aimed at women, especially teenage girls. I must say, I am not impressed! I like the art style fine (although there really isn’t anything remarkable about it), but the story drove me crazy and the cover made no freaking sense! The story entirely revolved around the minutia of teenage relationships, which isn’t the most impressive foundation (this comic failed the Bechdel test spectacularly), but didn’t bother me in and of itself because the relationships of teenage superheroes could be quite interesting indeed. This, however, drove me crazy!
First and foremost of my complaints was that the female characters in this are all morons. And they don’t need to be. We’ll start with Gwen Stacy, Peter’s ex-girlfriend. We’re told in the intro letter that she broke up with Peter because she “discovered that she inadvertently got in the way of Peter and MJ’s budding romance” and “has kept her distance from him ever since”. Ignoring how stupidly worded that is, does that sound like a teenage girl to you? It sounds fishy to me. In the issue itself we only meet Gwen once, when she speaks to Peter in a shop or cafe of some sort. During that scene it is clearly stated that she has not been speaking to him to punish him, but thinks that she is now ready to be his friend. Now, while I can sort of reconcile that with the above description of what happened, they in no way actually match and Gwen comes out seeming a little odd (and yet easily the least screwed-up and annoying girl in sight). Next we have Liz, MJ’s friend. Liz comes off very nosy and a bit self-centered, but also freely shares all of MJ’s relationship issues with her boyfriend, Flash, and then freely shares Flash’s thoughts on the issues with MJ, implying that it was ok to do so. This is weird and not very nice as a friend (or a girlfriend, really). Next is Firestar, the girl superhero. I’m generally in favor of female superheroes, but Firestar is not super. So she drags Spider-Man off to her house (blindfolded) and says “I want to share my life with you – you know, my other life.” Then she tries to take of her mask and tell him her name, but he stops her (because he has some sense). Then she sits on a swing (we’ll get back to that part) and calls herself an idiot and cries. Aren’t the girls looking great so far? And I haven’t even talked about MJ! Let’s talk about MJ! So, MJ likes Peter, and is flirting with Spider-Man evidently, according to our helpful intro letter, but she’s dating Harry. Again. But both of them have promised it won’t get serious. Right. So the story starts with MJ overhearing Harry yelling at his dad’s assistant on the phone about how he’ll be expelled if his dad doesn’t show up for conferences again. Then he smashes the phone. Ok, he’s either a very bad actor or seriously over-dramatic! Regardless, MJ buys it lock, stock and barrel and is very soothing, almost mothering. Later, she tells Liz all about it at a diner, agonizing about being there instead of comforting Harry and rationalizes that choice because she doesn’t want them to get close. Liz is, as I said before, unhelpful (not that any help really could be offered). Next we see MJ at lunch with Harry. She has made him lunch and presents it on a covered silver platter, to make up for not comforting him the night before. She is extremely distressed when he says he’s fine and the thing with his dad is no big deal. Cut to MJ and Liz analyzing the situation, as they did last time, only this time they’re on swings. Swings again. That’s too many times, especially when only the girls are ever portrayed sitting on them (and why the hell are there freaking swings everywhere anyway?). It’s totally a creepy infantalized image of the two teenage girls. Anyway, MJ hears what Flash suggested and, despite being mildly annoyed at him being told her personal problems in the first place, takes his advice. His advice is: punch Harry and call him a wimp until he talks! Stupidly, this works. Harry “pours out his heart” to MJ, she feels bad for him, kisses his cheek and we’re told that yes, Harry’s been playing her all along to get her to give up the “we can’t get close” thing. MJ’s a moron. And she is only dating him in the first place because she seems to feel she needs a boyfriend but Peter was taken. How messed up is that?
Yes, the women come out of this looking completely pathetic. The fact that Gwen, the girl who “punished” her ex-boyfriend is the one I think is the most admirable and sane is really REALLY sad. This comic really did nothing to improve my opinion of Marvel and their treatment of women in comic book stories. I was sorely disappointed by this comic on so many levels. It’s too bad too, I really wanted to like it.
Cassedy’s chapter on rhyme and rhythm didn’t impress me very much. It was too focused on poetry with set rhymes and with the names of things. Why does a book that assumes so many major gaps in what kids will know about basic writing spend time defining dactyls and triolits? It’s unnecessary, confusing and complicated! Just let kids explore rhythm and poetry as they wish without throwing in complicated words and confining strictures. It sounds like school and all the things that make people think that they don’t like poetry!
I think that this is one of the weakest volumes in this series, but that isn’t to say that it isn’t good. I just don’t think that it meshes with the rest of the series very well. I think Duane really wanted to play with the mythology of Ireland and how it would fit into the existing magical system she had set up for the Young Wizards series. It works fine, but I miss Kit and everything. This kind of feels like a side trip or break from the regular story when I’m not sure one was needed. Even if it is pretty well done!
This book ended amazingly well. I’m really impressed with how smoothly the ending went. I almost wanted to cry, though, when they were trying her as a witch! I love how the dragons returned and how the prophecy played out, it was perfect! I am actually really sad to have this book end! I’m going to miss it!
I’m so glad that this book had a chapter on the sounds of words! I wish Cassedy had not just said it is important for poetry, but also introduced it as a prose technique. Unfortunately, the vast majority of this book is focused on writing poetry. While I think poetry is important, I’d like equal time to have been given to prose writing.
This book is absolutely engrossing! I hate to have to put it down! I can’t wait to find out what happens next. The dragons were fantastic characters and I love their interactions with Rosalind. I will be fascinated to see how they factor into the end, now that she’s returned to her kingdom. The prophecy must get fulfilled somehow, the question now is how is she going to do it? And will her love return and have accepted the whole dragon claw thing?
The chapter on haiku was ok, but it took Cassedy too long to say that you don’t have to follow the rules. Most of her examples failed to follow the rules, even before she stated this was allowed. I’m also not sure that her first two examples made a good set of comparisons at all. Little Miss Muffet’s encounter with the spider is very little like the simple haiku story about the dragonfly!
This book is incredibly good! It’s such an engrossing story! The dragon, Lord Faul, is a wonderful character. He’s very bitter, but that makes sense (especially since humans just killed his lady-mate). I will be interested to see what happens with the pips as they grow up. They may be the key to ending this war.
Cassedy makes writing riddle poems sound much easier than it actually is. I’m glad that she included this type of poetry, since it can be so much fun and there’s no reason not to encourage kids to write it, but it is often very difficult and I guess I wish she had acknowledged that.
« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »