Tansy Rayner Roberts

Musketeer Space Part 34: The New Aristocrats

January 14th, 2015

pewter-fdl-stopper66640It’s Musketeer Day!

I put up a Musketeer Media Monday post this week, so if you’re interested in a melancholy Norwegian comic about an ageless (but not immortal) lonely Athos fighting aliens straight out of Edgar Rice Burroughs, check out my review of The Last Musketeer (2008) & Athos in America (2012).

In other news, the silent producer and myself just got to the end of our first ever viewing of all seven seasons of The West Wing and we have no real idea what to do with ourselves now. What did other people do when they got to the end of it?

Luckily for me I still have a large stack of Musketeer movies to get me through this trying time… oh, and a book to write.

Start reading Musketeer Space from Part 1
Missed the last installment? Track back to Part 33
Missed the festive Seven Days of Joyeux prequel? Read it now.
Main Page & Table of Contents

PREVIOUSLY ON MUSKETEER SPACE: Dana has been stalking Milord in the hopes of finding out if he was involved in the abduction of that boy she likes. His sister, the Countess of Clarick, got suspicious and brought some overly handsy friends to the party. Porthos has a thing with Chef Coquenard. Aramis and Tracy Dubois are on again, husbands bedamned. Oh and the solar system is at war, but that’s tomorrow’s problem. Today is all about snogging and duels. I’m not even sorry.

Duel, duel, duel, duel!


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Issue #1 – S.H.I.E.L.D. (2014)

January 13th, 2015

SHIELD 1Title: S.H.I.E.L.D. #1

Writer: Mark Waid

Artist: Carlos Pacheco (though the title will apparently feature a rotating team of artists)

The Buzz: I’m not saying there hasn’t been any buzz for this one, but I hadn’t heard any – then again, I haven’t been paying attention to the blogs and things lately. All I saw was the ‘pre-order’ page floating around Comixology, and that was enough for me. Because COULSON LIVES. It didn’t hurt that this was the only new Marvel comic that released on New Year’s Eve. The promo material for the comic (which I only found belatedly) had this to say:

Writer Mark Waid (DAREDEVIL) and a rotating crew of mission-specific top flight Marvel artists make you one promise: Every issue: Twenty pages. One mission. Unlimited budget. Unlimited imagination. Six periods. And a helper monkey. Welcome to Level Eight. Welcome to S.H.I.E.L.D.

All You Need To Know: This is sort of a tie-in to the Agents of SHIELD TV series, only totally not. It shares many of the characters with Season 1 of the show – notably Agent Coulson, the cool-headed pilot and asskicking specialist Melinda May AKA “the Cavalry”, and adorkable science duo Fitz and Simmons – but it’ss clearly part of the 616 (default) Marvel Universe rather than the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so stands completely alone from the show. You don’t need to have seen even ten minutes of Agents of SHIELD to get this comic because it’s a well-crafted Issue 1 that isn’t afraid of explaining stuff to newbies.

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Issue #1 – Captain America & the Mighty Avengers (2014)

January 13th, 2015

Captain_America_and_the_Mighty_Avengers_Luke_Ross_CoverTitle: Captain America and the Mighty Avengers #1

Writer: Al Ewing

Artist: Luke Ross

The Buzz: I didn’t hear any particular buzz about this one ahead of time but we can count the same ‘hey Captain America is black now’ buzz for this title too. I was mostly drawn to it for the same reasons I tried out All-New Captain America : 1) Anthony Mackie, 2) Attention-grabby covers featuring Falcon!Cap plus a brand new reason 3) a team with a diverse line-up, which is always interesting to me. It’s been billed as the first Avengers team with a predominantly non-white team, which is in itself pretty exciting.

All You Need To Know: Sam Wilson, AKA the Falcon, is now Captain America but he still has his wings. Luke Cage is a great, interesting and nuanced character in pretty much everything else I’ve read him in.

Story: There’s a new Avengers team in town – this one is apparently “for the people,” operates out of an old cinema, and responds to a hotline. Luke Cage is grumpy. Sam conspires with Tony Stark to destroy the other Avengers. There’s some posturing villain appearances, and no clear narrative throughline. Meh. For a team book there’s surprisingly little showing (instead of telling) what the team is going to be like together, or even how they know each other.

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Musketeer on Mars (2008 & 2012)

January 12th, 2015

last musketeerSo the trouble with Musketeer sequels, as opposed to adaptations of the original Three Musketeers, is that they’re kind of depressing. Instead of being about our boys at the height of their adventures, they are usually about the end of the story – either focusing on the next generation, and/or a reunion plot making it clear that the best fictional BFFs of all time have been sorely neglecting each other for years or even decades.

(Friendship stories based on the premise that the friends have gone their separate ways for most of their lives are the WORST friendship stories)

Also, unlike adaptations of the first volume of stories, and regardless of the original fictional fates, our boys tend to be somewhat expendable in the Gallery of What Maybe Happened Next.

As of the New Year, I’m opening up my Musketeer Media Monday posts to sequels as well as straight adaptations, to change it up a bit and keep it all fresh. However, I think you need to congratulate me, because I’m pretty sure I just found the most depressing Musketeer sequel of all time on my first try.

Seriously, I don’t want to be proven wrong on this one. Even that Leonardo Di Caprio Wears a Mask movie can’t be this depressing, right?

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ROBOTECH REWATCH 33: Team Hovertank!

January 10th, 2015

Robotech will be rewatched after these messages.

It’s a whole new show, but we have clips to prove that isn’t true.

It’s totally true, though.

You weren’t attached to all the previous characters, settings and plots, were you?

MopeBowieEpisode 37: Graduation Blues

Everything changes right here!

It’s the Second Robotech War according to the DVD case but I always think of this particular storyline as the Southern Cross.

New opening credits. I’ve missed that clip of Dana shooting the viewer. When I was originally watching the show, the credits were the same throughout, with images referencing all three Robotech series. I always wondered about those characters in the credits that I didn’t know, until finally they turned up and OH there they are.

That happened for the first time with this episode. It’s fifteen years later, and a new generation are graduating from Robotech Academy. This blew my mind the first time around, because new characters, and no sign of the old characters, and WTF? Where was my show? I was all attached and I desperately wanted to know what happened next for Rick and Lisa and where the hell is my show?

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Issue # 1 – All-New Captain America (2014)

January 9th, 2015

4159897-all-new_captain_america_1_coverTitle: All-New Captain America #1

Writer: Rick Remender

Artist: Stuart Immonen

The Buzz: Captain America is black! Which is all-new except for those other times that happened. In all seriousness, I was interested in checking out this title because I really liked Sam Wilson/the Falcon in the Winter Soldier movie, and I was keen to see him in his own comic.

All You Need To Know: This part is pretty much spelled out in a helpful info page, but in short: Steve Rogers is old now, because alternate dimension, and he has an adult foster son, Ian AKA Nomad (which is a codename Steve himself used back in the day when he was feeling disillusioned about America). Old!Steve has handed the shield and Captain America title on to Sam so he can retire in a boat with Old!Sharon.

Story: Eh, you know what, there’s some Hydra fighting, and some introspection, and Nomad kinda thinks he should have got to be Cap instead. Possibly some kind of spy plot with shooty soldiers, but I didn’t take in much. There are no women in this comic except for a brief panel with Sharon Carter. There’s nothing here for me.

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Issue #1 – Spider-Woman (2014)

January 8th, 2015

spider-womanTitle: Spider-Woman #1 [AKA this Spider-quest brings all the Spider-Gals to the Spider-yard]

Writer: Dennis Hopeless

Artist: Greg Land

The Buzz: Mostly the buzz around this comic was the negative kind – because the awesomeness of having a Spider-Woman solo title was marred somewhat by a ridiculous, over-sexualised cover of epic butt-contortion proportions (not shown, no longer used as the default for this comic). Other than that, this is part of the current Spiderverse crossover-multiverse event which has mostly generated buzz because of the fabulous “Spider-Gwen” one-shot.

All You Need To Know: Spider-Woman, AKA Jessica Drew, is at times an Avenger, a SHIELD agent, or a private detective. She has nothing to do with Spider-Man except for the similar iconography – her origin is entirely unconnected to his. However, you would not know it from this comic, where there’s some serious universe-hopping going on between all the Spider peeps. Apparently they’re all one big family now. Jessica is awesome and snarky, as is only right and proper for a superhero veteran. Weary sarcasm is always a character hit for me, especially in a female lead character.

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Musketeer Space Part 33: The Hotel Coquenard Deluxe Bathroom Experience

January 7th, 2015

tapsIt’s Musketeer Day!

No I haven’t seen the first episode of the new BBC Musketeers series yet, and yes it’s driving me crazy because I have to look at Tumblr with one eye squinched closed to try to avoid spoilery stuff.

I have heard rumours that as well as having no hat, D’Artagnan is now also without shirt. You’re welcome.

Start reading from Part 1
Missed the last installment? Track back to Part 32
Missed the festive Seven Days of Joyeux prequel? Read it now.
Main Page & Table of Contents

PREVIOUSLY ON MUSKETEER SPACE: Dana D’Artagnan came to Paris Satellite to become a Musketeer pilot and instead she has befriended three of them, and got herself wrapped up in palace intrigues and spy romances, so she’s getting pretty sick of it all. Since the attack on Gascon Station, the solar system is at war with the Sun-kissed. Before they ship out, there are outfits to chase and loose ends to tie up. Including Porthos’ love life…


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Issue #1 – Thor (2014)

January 5th, 2015

The Marvel comics universe is huge and sprawling and complex – and it’s tricky sometimes to figure out where to hop aboard.

I thought since I’ve been on a comics kick lately, I’d do some short reviews of some Issue 1s I’ve tried out lately, of new or recently relaunched Marvel series. Come window shop the superheroes with me!

Thor-1-Comic-Release-DateTitle: THOR #1 [AKA Crankypants Odin gets Pwned by his Spectacular Wife]

Writer: Jason Aaron

Art: Russell Dauterman

The Buzz: This one got a lot of promo attention because of the whole THOR IS A LADY NOW aspect of the book.

All You Need To Know: Marvel comics Thor is mostly a storybook version of Thor from Norse myths. Odin is his dad, Loki is his brother, etc. This Thor has also been an Avenger for decades. His hammer is called Mjolnir, and Odin once cast a spell on it so that only those worthy of the power of Thor could lift it. Turned out, that was a dick move. But that’s Odin for you.

Story: We don’t actually find out who the new (lay-dee) Thor is in this issue. What we get is depressed, miserable Original!Thor on the moon while his family and friends explain what happened in a previous Marvel event: someone whispered something in his ear, he’s not worthy any more… eh. What’s fascinating is that no one now seems to be worthy. His friends, many of whom have wielded Mjolnir before, can’t lift the hammer off the surface of the moon. Turns out Odin can’t either and he is EXTREMELY PISSED ABOUT THIS.

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ROBOTECH REWATCH 32: It’s the End But the Moment Has Been Prepared For

January 3rd, 2015

The Robotech Rewatch will resume after these messages.

I had totally forgotten that the Christmas episode was the penultimate episode of the First Robotech War.

robotech-the-macross-saga-1-rick-minmei-lisaI’m not ready for this.

Episode 36: To the Stars

Lisa is mournfully thinking about how she lost Rick. Sadness makes her hair go all glittery.

Rick is mournfully thinking about how much he loves Robotechnology.

Minmei suggests that she and Rick both ditch their jobs, because she’s completely disillusioned with everything. He is a bit bewildered about how this means she doesn’t get him at all. Her solution to his confusion is for them to get married.

Our Minmei, she’s a problem solver.

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