Geekorama

From Superhero-Fiction
Authors Trish Heinrich and Jeremy Flagg Geek Out Over Superhero Pop Culture

S1E08 - Book Club: A Himba named Binti & A Daring Devil with Hope

March 26th, 2020

Having difficulties coping during this turbulent time? We are all struggling. If you need somebody to listen, you can reach out to https://www.takethis.org.

Trish -started implementing some homeschooling for the girls, which is going well, especially since her husband is home with her. And she’s on the mend from the swine flu, finally!

Jeremy - Isolation, my ass! Jeremy is working at lightning speeds again and after throwing away an unsuccessful novel, he’s back into it. He’s hoping to release his urban fantasy superhero prequel series in the next couple of months. 

 

This month in Pop-Culture History

  • 1655 - Saturn's largest moon, Titan, was discovered by Christiaan Huygens.
  • In 1963 Tony Stark premiers in Tales of Suspense #39 by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Don Heck
  • In 1964 Scarlet Witch premiers in X-Men #4 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

 

Deep Dive: Book Club Edition

Trish’s Selection: The Binti Novella Trilogy by Nnedi Okorafor

The first novella is a Hugo and Nebula award-winner where we are introduced to a young Himba girl named Binti who has the chance to attend the prestigious Oomza University. Binti has a talent for mathematics and is a master harmonizer. But on the way to the planet where Oomza is located, aliens called the Medusae attack, leaving Binti as the lone student survivor. She has to fend for herself and survive the five-day journey with a shipful of the aliens.  Binti discovers that the Medusae are planning an attack and so she has to try and broker a peace agreement between them and the leaders of Oomza. What happens transforms her in more ways than one, and Binti’s life is forever changed. She becomes even more of an outsider to the Himba people than she was by simply leaving, and becomes an object of curiosity at best and revulsion at worst by those around her.

The three novellas have themes of transformation, being an outsider and the courage to enact necessary change when everything is resisting that change.  They are simply and beautifully written, the world-building is simply done without a lot of explanation and yet I wasn’t lost at all. I highly recommend reading the trilogy as one complete novel because you get a really compelling, complete story. 

 

Jeremy's Selection: Daredevil: The Man Without Fear

By: Frank Miller (Author) and John Romita Jr. (Artist)

Originally created by Stan Lee and Bill Everette in 1964 and known as the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen. However, amongst the many stories about this “street level” vigilante, one will always rise to the top. In 1993, a limited edition, five issue comic was released blending the solemn and poetic words of Frank Miller along with the gritty and violent artwork of John Romita Jr. 

The story delves into the origin of Daredevil, taking key moments from his childhood, teen, college and adult life that led him to wear the suit. What we quickly learn is that Matt Murdock is not the hero we need, he’s the hero we deserve. Surrounded by tragedy, first with the death of his father, then the abandonment of Stick and later Elektra, Matt tightly holds onto the shred of humanity that puts him just slightly on the right side of good and wrong. 

What makes this story unique does come from the origin story itself, or the tragedy Murdock faces on his way to becoming a masked vigilante. No, the beauty of the story comes from an almost cold detached narrator giving us insight into what we’re seeing. Written in third person, we are left wondering if these words are from some godlike figure, or if they’re Murdock himself from the future looking back. The simple statements packed with emotion, both good and bad, rope in the reader and take them on a turbulent ride. By book five, when we finally see Murdock don the classic red devil costume, it feels earned, as if he was given no other option. We the reader are left feeling that it is the only choice we could have made. In five issues, we are given an emotional landslide that provides context for the existence of another person, or at least, a devil.

Rating: Five out of Five Stars

Want to Join our Book & Comic Review for April:  

Trish Reviews

Trail of Lightning: By Rebekah Roanhorse
https://amzn.to/2UEdbZI 

Jeremy Reviews

The Walking Dead: Volume 1
https://amzn.to/2QGK9rt 

S1E07 - Males Gazing, The Robo Apocalypse & Movies For Quarantine

March 19th, 2020

Trish released her newest superhero novel, Fahrenheit’s Ghost!!! Yay!!! It’s now available on Amazon. Oh, and she has swine flu.

Jeremy is in isolation and trying to find the will to live...or at least write. The Superhero Smut story is officially finished. Now to get back to writing about a certain psychic woman from the 1940’s.

This month in Pop-Culture History

  • 1976 - March 19th Barry Allen is born (According to ‘76 DC Calendar)
  • 1972 - LUKE CAGE, HERO FOR HIRE #1 debuted
  • 1980 - Jean Gray goes full Dark Phoenix in Uncanny X-Men #134 
  • 1980 - "Who Shot JR?" Episode of Dallas premiered giving rise to the popularity of the cliffhanger season-ending episode 

Geek Outs 

Trish's Geek Out!

Want to binge on pop culture perspectives? Youtuber, Lindsay Ellis has done a series of videos that looks at The Male Gaze in Michael Bay’s Transformers. But in a twist, she doesn’t look at females, she focuses on the men in his movies. She’s a fan of his movies but has no problem picking apart the good and the bad. You can fall down the rabbit hole.

Lindsay Ellis: Transformers The Male Gaze vs. Men

Jeremy's Geek Out!

We hate to bring up the same thing two weeks in a row, but the androids are making us do it. Season 3 of Westworld has come out and the folks are saying it’s good. However, Jeremy hasn’t gotten there. Perplexed, confused, and amazed by season two, Jeremy is going back and rewatching (for the third time.) It gets better each viewing and has amazing storytelling that any person will admire. The writers deserve serious accolades. If you haven’t watched it yet, put it on your quarantine binge list.

Westworld Season 3 Trailer 

Deep Dive

Our Suggested Isolation Movie List

We’re a world in lockdown. Across the world every country is experiencing some form of isolation. Currently we’re staying indoors and abusing our Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime subscriptions. It seems the world is split between appropriate “apocalypse” worthy movies. There are those looking to lift their spirits and ward off the misery and then there are those who want to see the worst-case scenario to feel better about life. Even here, Trish and Jeremy diverge in opinion...

Trish’s Top 5

  • Easy A starring Emma Stone
  • Bad Moms starring Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis, and Kathryn Hahn
  • The Spy Who Dumped Me starring Mila Kunis, Kate McKinnon, Sam Heughan
  • Galaxy Quest starring Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Tony Shaloub, Alan Rickman, Sam Rockwell, Daryl Mitchell, Enrico Colantoni and Justin Long
  • The Lord of the Rings Trilogy starring...c’mon, do I need to say it? 

Jeremy’s Top 5

  • 28 Days Later - starring Cillian Murphy & Naomie Harris
  • Dawn of the Dead - starring Sarah Polley & Ving Rhames
  • Blindness - starring Julianne Moore
  • Resident Evil Franchise - starring Milla Jovovich
  • Anna and the Apocalypse - Ella Hunt, Malcolm Cumming & Sarah Swire

Question of the Week

What are you watching during the “Great Isolationing of 2020?”

S1E06 - Steamy Romance, More Mutants, and the Fiercest Females in Sci-FI Television

March 12th, 2020

Trish is struggling with a MONSTER cold (NOT Covid!!!) that has waylaid her.

Jeremy wrapped up his steamy romance and has been preparing for the crazy about to swallow the United States as lock downs and cancellations happen.

This month in Pop-Culture History

  • 1818 - Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus by 21-year-old Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley was published. It is recognized as the world's first science fiction novel

 

  • 1973-Spiderman #121 kills off Gwen Stacey, shocking the readers. It was previously unthinkable to kill off such an important character. Generally, a superhero did not fail this disastrously unless it was part of his or her origin story.

 

  • 2012-Captain Marvel #1 by Kelly Sue DeConnick premiered, The relaunch of Captain Marvel stands out as being important most of all because Danvers was notoriously a character that was shelved, squandered, and underutilized for decades. 

Geek Outs 

Trish's Geek Out!

The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics is a period romance with two delectable lesbian protagonists. It’s an older woman-younger woman romance with so many beautiful layers and a healthy amount of steam. Set in Regency-era England, Catherine is a widow whose husband had been abusive throughout their marriage. Lucy is a brilliant young astronomer who longs to continue her fathers’ work but is being held back by society. The book not only does a beautiful job of showing the growing passion between these two women but uses it to heal them both: Lucy’s broken heart and Catherine’s wounded one. Underneath all this is a history lesson on how brilliant women were forced to hide or kill their talents in service to the men around them. Written by Olivia Waite, this book is the literary equivalent of a rich chocolate cake and good red wine.

Jeremy's Geek Out!

New Mutants Final Trailer

The New Mutants, created by Chris Claremont is coming to the big screen and it’s the last chance for Fox to wow us before Disney and Marvel incorporate characters into the MCU. Unlike the previous X-Men films, this movie has a much stronger genre presence. Based on the New Mutants comic, it appears to be holding true to the horror themes that ran rampant during its original publication. Unfortunately with another PG-13 rating, it will maintain a tame theme. With characters including Wolfsbane, Magik, and Psyche/Mirage, it has the potential to end on a high note, But can it overcome the horrific writing that has plagued the X-Men franchise up to this point? We’ll know soon enough.

Deep Dive Favorite Women of Sci-Fi (Mostly) Television

Trish’s Top 10

 

  • Myka Bering- Warehouse 13 (Joanne Kelly)
  • Alison Blake-Eureka (Salli Richardson)

 

  • Aeryn Soong- Farscape (Claudia Black)
  • Sarah Lance- Legends of Tomorrow (Caity Lotz)
  • Peggy Carter- Agent Carter (Hayley Atwell)
  • The Ladies of GLOW- GLOW
  • River Song- Doctor Who (Modern day) (Alex Kingston)
  • Zoe- Firefly (Gina Torres)
  • Eleanor Shelstrop- The Good Place (Kirsten Bell)
  • Betty Suarez- Ugly Betty (America Ferrera)

Jeremy’s Top 10

 

  • Maeve Millay / WestWorld (Thandie Newton)
  • Sarah Manning / Orphan Black (Tatiana Maslany)

 

  • Prairie Johnson OA / (Brit Marling)
  • Lt. Sharon 'Athena' Agathon / BSG (Grace Park)
  • Astrid Farnsworth / Fringe (Jasika Nicole)
  • Colonel Samantha Carter / SG1 (Amanda Tapping)
  • Xena / Xena (Lucy Lawless)
  • Clarke Griffin / The 100 (Eliza Taylor)
  • Machonne / The Walking Dead (Danai Gurira)
  • Number 6 / BSG (Tricia Helfer) 

Question of the Week

Who is your favorite female in Television Science Fiction & Fantasy?

S1E05 - Geeking with Glow & Telekinetics, and What makes a Character Iconic?

March 4th, 2020

Trish is excited that her upcoming new release has already made it at the top of the new releases for African American Science Fiction.

Jeremy is working like crazy to finish editing the Night Covenants Audiobook. It’s currently offering a chance for him to cool off from writing steamy superhero romance. 

This month in Pop-Culture History

  • 1972-Misty Knight makes her premiere in Marvel Team-Ups #1 
  • 1985- Robotech premiered in US syndication, 
  • 1998-Titanic became the first film to gross over 1 billion dollars worldwide,  

Geek Outs 

Trish's Geek Out!

 If you’re wanting a little more Woo in your life, look no further than the Glow Girl podcast! Two midwest moms talk about the ins, outs and slightly crass side of Astrology and Tarot while being incredibly down to earth in the process. Though raised in a conservative Christian home, I’ve been yearning for something a bit more Female empowering in my spirituality. I was never sure where to start and decided “Why not just start with Wicca” last fall. Though it doesn’t quite fit me, I’ve fallen in love with crystals, oracle cards, and Astrology, not to mention Goddess culture in general, as a way to expand on the restrictive faith of my childhood. I know it sounds woo-woo, and that’s why the Glow Girls call it Woo. Seriously, it is a little woo-woo, and I’m ok with that. 

Glow Girl Podcast 

Jeremy's Geek Out!

In the pursuit of superhero shows that aren’t Marvel and DC action-packed extravaganzas, we have a new trend that is happening. I Am Not Okay With This is Netflix providing a story that focuses on character development and not the over-the-top action. Created by the same team that brought us Stranger Things, this show focuses on a Sydney, a teenage girl who doesn’t fit in. Drawing on the universal feeling of isolation in the teen years, this show goes a step beyond puberty and adds budding superpowers. The show has some flaws overall. It’s dangerously close to Stranger Things, awkward kids, doing awkward things and a young female with telekinesis. The other major downfall is that it is only seven episodes long and just and just as the plot finds a direction, it ends. It’s obvious that Netflix is splitting the season to help spread out their content, but the cliff hanger is irksome.

Watch the trailer on Youtube 

Deep Dive

What’s the difference between genders in iconic superheroes?

 

There are numerous reasons why a hero can make it to icon status. It can be the writer, the artist, or even the reader who propels them to this legendary status, but there's an unfair uphill battle that female characters face. 

Trish and Jeremy discuss the two powerhouses of DC, Superman & Batman. While Superman embodies the hopes we have for humanity and our needs to always be in the right, Batman operates in the gray area of morality. We want Superman's hope, but we want Batman's ability to persevere when there is no easy answer.

For Marvel, there is Wolverine and Deadpool. Wolverine is the loner whose internal struggle is between being a human and submitting to the animalistic rage. We understand his anger, and ultimately hope that he manages to find peace and happiness. Where as Deadpool has exactly zero F*cks to give. He's the man readers which they could be in the real world, no filter, no care for consequences. Deadpool has the unique trait of being the newer superhero and has quickly risen to icon status.

For the women both Trish and Jeremy noticed something different. Storm and Ms. Marvel aren't frequently knocked back to the status quo, they're more often clawing their way for acceptance. Storm is an iconic black goddess who even in her darkest hour holds a semblance of grace. Without her powers she still finds an identity that rivals her male counterparts. Ms. Marvel, with a tragic back story (tragic as in sexist) had to bide her time until writer Chris Claremont used her for more than a prop. Despite being torn down over and over, she manages to become a hero that is now recognized by the masses. While the men often lose their powers to learn lessons, these women lose their powers to keep them in check. However, no writer can keep them down as they are propelled into the limelight and cherished by fans.

For more on the women: Superwomen: Gender, Power and Representation

Question of the Week

Who do you feel is an iconic superhero and why?

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