Tansy Rayner Roberts

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What I did in February

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

agent-carter-768Online Essays:

Reasons to Love Agent Carter

Instead of the elegant martial arts usually used to explain how a Hollywood-petite woman can be lethal (eg. Black Widow, Melinda May), Peggy is a total bruiser. She punches, kicks, elbows and uses every dirty trick she has to hand. She also has a sense of humour and a full emotional range. She’s a genuine pleasure to watch on screen, whether she’s deflecting awkward work situations with quiet sarcasm, or punching the hell out of a pair of goons on the waterfront. Peggy, I love you, don’t ever leave me.

Kicking Holes in Reality with the Young Avengers (Vol 2)

In interviews, the creators of the series stated that the original Young Avengers is about being 16, while this book is about being 18. This isn’t literally true (Kate, for example, is a hair’s breadth off turning 21) but definitely comes across in the content which explores themes such as sexual identity, informed consent, casual sex/serious relationships, gender fluidity and break ups along with the universe being in danger from Teddy’s inter-dimensional zombie mom, and Kid Loki’s murderous past. There are several bisexual or sexually questioning characters, which is pretty awesome to see in a story for an older teen audience, and in comics generally.


ROBOTECH REWATCH 39: Romancing the Clone

Saturday, February 28th, 2015

So last week was a disaster. Those of you who tuned in on Saturday for “Debriefing the Dreamboat” may or may not have noticed that – it was totally the wrong episode. I skipped a disc! Which is something of a relief because there were quite a few parts of that episode that didn’t entirely make sense.


Here is a double episode to make up for it.

Hold your position, Robotech transmissions will now resume.

robotech-masters-000243. Prelude to Battle

The Alpha Tactical Armoured Corp (ATAC) 15th Squadron is at it again, another battle on the ground against the Robotech Masters, and they’re pretty exhausted.. A member of the Council suggests letting more than one squadron fight at a time to overwhelm the enemy, but the others are wary of that strategy, on the grounds that they might run out of troops that way.

Anyway, we all know there’s only one squadron.


Friday Links Don’t Own Me

Friday, February 27th, 2015

The Cat PhoneOur family has been Batman-obsessed since my honey received the entire Batman 1966-68 box set on DVD for Christmas. My five year old is deeply attached to Julie Newmar to the point that she howls with delight when a cliffhanger ends on ‘Tune in Same Cat Time, Same Cat Channel’ instead of Bat Channel.

My ten year old has had a crash course on what sexism used to look like, simply by observing the gender dynamics in the show. We’ve been learning more about 60′s celebrities than I ever thought possible. Oh, and we’ve been counting down the episodes until we get to Season 3, because Yvonne Craig as Batgirl! (Ms 5 sneakily found montages on YouTube and watched ahead, I’m oddly proud of this)


Issue #1 – Spider-Gwen (2015)

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

Spider-Gwen_Vol_1_1_Latour_VariantTitle: Spider-Gwen #1

Writer: Jason Latour

Artist: Robbi Rodriguez

The Buzz: Spider-Gwen is all about buzz. She was created as an alt-universe version of much-killed-off Spiderman love interest Gwen Stacy in Edge of Spiderverse #2, to join an ensemble of dimension-hopping Spider-characters. But right from the start (actually from the release of the cover art/costume design via Instragram and Tumblr) her distinctive look and the fresh, contemporary feel of her world captured the imagination of readers. Spider-Gwen in her white web-lined hoodie, with her grrrl band and her dead boyfriend and her over-protective cop father, was so vivid in that single issue that she became a cosplay icon and a call to arms practically overnight.

All You Need To Know: Gwen was bitten by the radioactive spider instead of Peter Parker; he was so inspired/obsessed by the mysterious Spider-Woman that he experimented on himself and died as tormented villain The Lizard. Gwen is the drummer in the rising rock band The Mary Janes (their first single: “Face It Tiger, You Hit the Jackpot”) and her dad has just found out she’s a super vigilante. She’s just got back from her dimension-hopping adventure with all the other Spider-peeps, and is hoping to put her life back together.


Bat’Magnan and the Mean Musketeers (2001)

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

themusketeerI wasn’t sure what to expect from The Musketeer (2001) but the title didn’t give me a lot of confidence – after all, while the number of Musketeers in the title is canonically questionable, it’s the plural that’s important. I mean, last time I reviewed a piece of Musketeer Media that was only about a single Musketeer, we got Athos being sad on the moon.

This time around, we have Tim Roth in a hat, and a script that thinks it’s okay to tell the Musketeer story without Milady and, for the most part, without giving Athos anything to do.

It’s not okay.

We are introduced to the young Bruce Wayne D’Artagnan as a small boy, fencing with his father, until an arch Tim Roth in a glamorous all-black ensemble turns up to snark about taxes and kill both D’Artagnan’s parents for shits and giggles.

Just as I was wondering why you would cast Tim Roth as Rochefort and not give him an eyepatch, newly-orphaned Bruce Wayne D’Artagnan went at him with a sword and made an eyepatch supremely necessary.

The kid is left in the charge of Jarvis Alfred Planchet, a kindly servant who will do his best to raise him without anyone building a Batcave, creating a utility belt, or dressing up in silly costumes to fight crime.

Well, two out of three isn’t bad.


Galactic Suburbia 114 Show Notes

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

New Episode is up! You can get it here.

In which the Champagne and Socks podcast casts on, Cranky Ladies is about to be launched, and it’s that time of year again, DITMAR CENTRAL.

Ditmar awards ballot is out
And the Sir Julius Vogel too

Champagne and Socks

Cranky Ladies launch March 8


New Who In Conversation: A Good Man Goes to War/Let’s Kill Hitler

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

We would like to thank everyone who nominated our “New Who in Conversation” series for the William Atheling Jr Award again this year – it’s a great honour to be on the ballot! Voting for the annual Ditmar Awards (which the Atheling is included in) is open to all members of Continuum X (2014 Natcon – Melbourne) and Swancon 40 (2015 Natcon – Perth), and can be done online.

Jenny and VastraDAVID:
I really enjoyed the introduction to “A Good Man Goes to War”. I do think that there are times when Amy puts the Doctor in roles that by rights are Rory’s, and it was great that he was the subject of her speech and, unless, I am way off, the “good man” of the title and the prophecy. The scene where they confront the Cybermen is quite effective, though you do have to ask about the ethics of blowing up so many of them just to get information – it’s even more casual slaughter than we are used to. I actually had already seen this scene when it was played during the Hugo ceremony, but I had managed to blank it out and it didn’t diminish my enjoyment of this.

Rewatching the beginning I’m just all “RORY ROCKS”! Which is, almost certainly, the idea.

I love that Rory uses his Roman Legionary costume and identity when he needs to kick ass, and I do like this scene very much – of course, as soon as you start thinking about the ethics of exploding the whole army it’s a bit icky. Looking back to 2011, when this episode aired – this was the point very much at which fandom accepted Rory as officially awesome instead of complaining about him being a doormat or another Mickey. I’ve always given a bit of a side-eye to this group reaction, as it seems to me that Rory became a lot more popular as a character as soon as he became more traditionally macho – waving swords and uttering threatening lines. Which is a shame, because I love squooshy, sensitive Rory too.

I am very glad that they seem to now have dropped the whole thing with Rory feeling jealous of the Doctor – it feels like discovering Amy’s abduction has led him to finally drop that very boring narrative thread, so he can concentrate on what’s important.

PS: the ‘A good man’ of the title is the Doctor I think, but it also refers to Rory, and takes on different meanings for each of them.


ROBOTECH REWATCH 38: I’ll Patrol the Discos!

Saturday, February 14th, 2015

night lifeRobotech will be rewatched after these messages!

Episode 42 – Danger Zone

A newscast reports on what’s happening with the invading fleet. Weirdly, the broadcaster seems to be aware that the military commander of the Robotech Masters (Prince Charming) is called Zor, even though no one has been formally introduced. The standard of investigative journalism in the post-apocalyptic robot universe is surprisingly high.

The 15th Squadron have patrol duty in a city which is jam-packed with seedy recreation as portrayed by neon signs and hot ladies. The boys are all delighted at this turn of events and Dana is amused enough to let them have a little fun – all except Angelo, of course, who would rather have a proper patrol somewhere with no discos or strippers. Poor lad, all he wants is for everyone to take things seriously.

That he has Dana as his superior officer is a tragedy for them both.


Friday Links is Batty About You

Friday, February 13th, 2015

batty about youIs Valentines Day even a thing in Australia? My 5 year old is weirdly obsessed with it. Me, I love the geeky Valentines that pop up at this time of year (Pinterest and Tumblr, what did we do before you?)

Chirravutever presented some cute Flash & Arrow chibi Valentines for each of the characters. I don’t know why Picnic with the Sisko is my favourite, don’t judge me.

I also wanted to point readers towards Check Please! an adorable webcomic about a college hockey team with a tiny, gay social-media-obsessed protagonist. Here are the Check Please! Valentines which probably make no sense unless you’ve read the comic. Read the comic, it’s all sports and pie-baking, I love it.

Though of course when it comes to funny, weird fandom valentines, the classic is always Gingerhaze. Can’t be beat. (prove me wrong in the comments, send other links!)



Issue #1 – Operation: S.I.N.

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

Operation_S.I.N._1_CoverApparently it’s Agent Peggy Carter Week in this household. LIKE EVERY WEEK.

Title: Operation: S.I.N. #1 (of 5)

Writer: Kathryn Immonen

Artist: Rich Ellis

The Buzz: This mini-series is another one I hadn’t heard anything about before it popped up on Comixology but it’s pretty clear that this 1950’s espionage comic featuring the double act of Agent Peggy Carter and playboy scientist Howard Stark is designed to appeal to fans of the Agent Carter TV show. Check out this interview with writer Kathryn Immonen.

All You Need To Know: Peggy Carter was a secret agent working for the US government during World War II and beyond. She’s amazing. Howard is a genius millionaire inventor and kind of an asshole, but he’s smart enough to value Peggy’s skills as an operative. If you’ve seen the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of these characters in Captain America: The First Avenger, or in Agent Carter, then there are no surprises here except that comics Peggy is blonde.


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