Spider-Man and the Avengers: Considering the Web-Head’s Place Amongst Earth’s Mightiest Heroes

I feel I write about Spider-Man and his being a member of the Avengers tangentially in a lot of posts.  It’s often an aside, here or there.  Honestly, I’ve never been a fan of Spidey being an Avenger (or part of the Fantastic Four’s Future Foundation or anything).  I’ve always seen Spider-Man as a solo act, Peter Parker’s character not readily lining up with the whole “super team” thing.  Plus, is swinging around and sticking to things really the type of small-time power set you want when battling Thanos, Kang the Conqueror, Annihilus, or Ultron?  Still, that’s my bias and it’s anchored in my preconceived notions.  So I decided I wanted to sincerely look at the idea of “Spider-Man, Avenger” with an open mind.  The time to make an informed decision had come! Continue reading

Rose and the Doctor – Bonding at the End of the World

One of the things I love contemplating about Doctor Who is each companion’s first trip in the TARDIS.  Not their first meeting with the Doctor, when they get caught up in the wake of adventure, danger, and world-saving.  But the first willing trip they take after the Doctor invites them to travel along with them for a while.  While it’s not my favorite “first trip” episode, “The End of the World” (S1,E2) is the most fascinating to me.  Just having helped the Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) save London from the Nestene Consciousness, a sort of living plastic that was controlling store mannequins, Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) bounds into the TARDIS in search of adventure.  Where the Doctor decides to take her says so much about where he’s at on his own emotional journey.  How she responds to this says so much about who she is and why the Doctor needs her. Continue reading

The Memories We Bury – Won’t Be Forgotten (or, you know, repressed) Anytime Soon

Well folks, I’m the next stop on the blog tour for H.A. Leuschel’s new psychological suspense novel The Memories We Bury.  I normally like to write something bantery here and give a bit of a build-up but, honestly, I REALLY loved this novel so I’m just going to jump into it so I can get to gushing about how great this is.  Coolio?  Coolio!
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Advice to Readers Who Are Afraid of Classics (Classic Remarks)

Classic Remarks is a meme hosted at Pages Unbound that poses questions each Friday about classic literature and asks participants to engage in ongoing discussions surrounding not only themes in the novels but also questions about canon formation, the “timelessness” of literature, and modes of interpretation.  Founded and run by Briana and Krysta, Pages Unbound is one of my absolute favorite sites.  So I always love when I can throw my two cents in on a Classic Remarks discussion.  So, dear readers, let’s get the conversation rolling!

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Jodie Whittaker and David Tennant – My Dream Doctor Team-Up

Last spring, for our Fiction’s Fearless Females series, I wrote a piece about Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor.  In it I said she had officially taken the top place in my heart from David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor.  But that doesn’t mean I still don’t adore Ten with all my heart!  I just love Thirteen more.  So last week, as both Jodie Whittaker and David Tennant joined James Cordon (who was also on Doctor Who with Matt Smith!) on The Late Late Show, I was in heaven.  Then I started thinking about how AMAZING it would be if we could see these two together on screen, side by side, both playing their respective Doctor.  And, while I trust showrunner Chris Chibnall to pull it off far better than I could, I contemplated how I’d do it.  So, as far as I’m concerned, this is how these two Doctors could meet. Continue reading

The Strength of Silk – Cindy Moon May Be Marvel’s Most Inspiring Hero

When he was fifteen-years-old, Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider at a science demonstration, gaining the proportionate strength, speed, and agility of a spider.  It also granted him a precognitive sense that warns him of danger – his spider-sense.  The death of his uncle at the hands of a burglar he could’ve stopped taught Peter that with great power there must also come great responsibility.  Every day since he’s tried to live up to that creed, as the amazing Spider-Man.  BUT Peter wasn’t the only one bitten by the irradiated spider on that fateful day.  Before it died, it also bit Cindy Moon.  On a whim I decided to begin rereading her adventures as the superhero Silk last week.

Reading these comics just as, “New coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in record numbers swept through more U.S. states…as most push ahead with reopening,”[1] cast these stories in an entirely new light.  I marveled at Silk’s strength and realized she may well be the most important superhero we have in this pandemic age. Continue reading

Spider-Man and Gwen Stacy: All the Beautiful Angst of First Love

For the fourth installment of my series exploring the variety of romantic archetypes we find in literature (illustrating the variety of romantic experiences we find in life) using only Spider-Man comics, I’m considering the first great love of Peter Parker’s life – Gwen Stacy.  To write this, I went back and read the entirety of Gwen’s time with Peter, beginning with her first appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man #31 (from December 1965) through issue #120 (from May 1973).  Over the years, Gwen has taken on a hallowed significance in Peter’s life as his great, irreplaceable lost love.  But in reading these comics I realized she – and her relationship with Peter – illustrated something far more universal and far more interesting.  Gwen and Peter perfectly present our first love with all the awkward, emotional, angsty, and idealized moments that come with it. Continue reading

The Great Gatsby: A Classic I Read in School and Ended Up Loving (Classic Remarks)

Classic Remarks is a meme hosted at Pages Unbound that poses questions each Friday about classic literature and asks participants to engage in ongoing discussions surrounding not only themes in the novels but also questions about canon formation, the “timelessness” of literature, and modes of interpretation.  Pages Unbound, founded and run by Briana and Krysta, is one of my absolute favorite sites.  In addition to adoring their content, I love the sense of community they’ve built there.  So I was SUPER EXCITED when I saw this week’s prompt because I knew I had something to contribute!  Without further ado, who’s ready to chat about F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby? Continue reading

Influential Books In My Own Ongoing Education About Systemic Racism

I have read a lot of articles and social media posts by black authors and activists over the last week who have said the same thing.  In this moment in time, the role of white allies is to listen to and learn from black voices, to stand with the movement and march in solidarity, and, if needed, put our white privilege to a just use by placing our white bodies between the police and black bodies during peaceful demonstrations.  What was stressed again and again is that this is not the time for white voices to lead, to speak out, and/or to make it “about us” – something, sadly, all too rare in American history.  What is most important is for white Americans to listen and learn, to hear what our black sisters and brothers are saying and to follow their lead in the struggle against the sin of systemic racism. Continue reading

How to Top Thanos Vol. 2 – Onslaught

The first eleven years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe held twenty-two films all leading up the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy’s battle with Thanos and his Black Order, as the fate of creation hung in the balance.  It was a story built with patience and care and the conclusion in Avengers: Endgame, while not without faults, was brilliantly crafted.  But the MCU didn’t end there.  No, Phase Four is rolling and one of many questions to consider is…which villain comes next?  Who can possibly follow Thanos??  My guess?  Onslaught.  BOOM. Continue reading