D’Artagnan’s Unsatisfactory Parenting Skills (1994)

eloiseAs it turns out, there are so many Musketeer related movies that I ran out of Musketeer Media Mondays long before I ran out of DVDs – in particular, I didn’t get to many of the sequels, including the entire Man in the Iron Mask oeuvre and the 80’s sequel to Musketeers Crack Me Up Seventies Style and Musketeers Break My Heart Seventies Style featuring the original cast and creative team.

But before this epic project of mine rolls to a close, I wanted to give a bit of attention to the imaginary daughters of D’Artagnan.

As well as the ageing Musketeers, the book sequels focus on two ‘next generation’ kids, both male: the son of Milady, and the son of Athos. The girl in these stories is Louise de la Valliere, who isn’t related to anyone. Obviously that’s no fun at all, so several media adaptations (including, let us never forget, Barbie and the 3 Musketeers) provide D’Artagnan with a daughter to carry on his legacy.

On the whole I disapprove of Musketeer film sequels, as they seem largely an opportunity to kill off elderly versions of characters I adore, or show how miserable and lonely they’ve been since we saw them last. (Also they rarely provide what I actually want to see from next generation stories, which is Athos Being A Surprisingly Good Dad) Still, I remember loving La fille de D’Artagnan (D’Artagnan’s Daughter/The Revenge of the Musketeers, 1994) as a teenager, and I was hanging out for a bit of female-centred Musketeer action, so…

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Robotech Rewatch 58: True Snowmance

Secret_1Keep your scanner tuned to this station. Robotech is back!

Episode 71: The Secret Route

The crew are stranded in the mountains looking for a safe way across. Annie goes wandering off in town and crashes into a teddy boy called Eddie who doesn’t seem to object to her blatant sexual harassment.

Yellow Dancer calls on the creepy mayor Donald, looking for employment in his nightclub. Karla, the mayor’s obviously abused fiance, is shocked to recognise her old boyfriend Lancer. Turns out that she was the one who first helped him disguise himself as a woman in his early freedom fighter days.

Yellow Dancer sings “an old Minmei song” (must have been from her more than three songs days because I don’t remember this one) in honour of the “happy couple” while he and Karla recall their tragic backstory, including that one time he abandoned her on a train to save her from his terrible life choices.

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Issue #1: Black Canary

black canaryTitle: Black Canary #1

Writer: Brenden Fletcher

Artist: Annie Wu

The Buzz: This one seemed to come out of nowhere, its greatest buzz being the amazing screech-rock cover art which sold the concept good and loud: Black Canary as a rock singer. Annie Wu has a lot of cred riding high from her run on Hawkeye, and Brenden Fletcher is the writer behind Gotham Academy, the recent breakout teen comic for DC, as well as the writer of the new, indie-vibe Batgirl of Burnside. So it all looked promising…

All You Need To Know: Literally nothing. I mean, it probably helps if you know or like Black Canary as a character. She’s playing the mystery woman, a lead singer in a rock band because she needs the money after her life was destroyed. But the mystery of the comic isn’t actually about Dinah (or rather: DD) at all, it’s about one of her bandmates and the weird monsters that are following them. This is a version of Black Canary I’ve never seen before, but it reminds me of some of my favourite versions of the character. She’s angry, she’s violent, and she doesn’t run a flower shop.

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Issue #1: All-New Hawkeye

All-New_Hawkeye_Vol_1_1_TextlessTitle: All-New Hawkeye #1

Writer: Jeff Lemire

Artist: Ramon Perez

The Buzz: Pretty much the main buzz for this title was created by its predecessor. The Fraction-Aja-Wu Hawkeye broke and rebuilt the mould for superhero comics, and is widely held up as one of the biggest game-changers of the genre in the last few years. It was so beloved and critically acclaimed that even the slow, often-delayed release of the last few issues didn’t affect its reputation. Even when Issue #1 of the new series (AKA Hard Act To Follow) was released several months before the final issue of the Fraction series appeared. (Which happened today, woo!)

All You Need To Know: Hawkeye is Clint Barton, an orphaned former carnie with hearing problems, dodgy brother baggage and a terrible relationship history. He’s the dude who brings a paleolithic weapon to a gunfight. Oh and he’s an Avenger, which is so not relevant right now. Hawkeye is also Kate Bishop, privileged rich girl who took Clint’s bow while he was dead and refused to let go of it once he came back. She’s practically an Avenger. Together, they get into terrible trouble. But it’s so much worse when they’re apart…

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Musketeer Space Part 60: Judge, Jury and Executioner

duchy-of-anjou-shield-of-fleur-de-lysTHANK YOU FOR READING AND SUPPORTING MUSKETEER SPACE!

It’s Musketeer Day! This is I think the longest chapter of the longest novel I have ever written. In my defence, I still have fewer chapters than Dumas did. Slightly. Thanks so much to my weekly readers, it’s been lovely to know this hasn’t just been spinning out into a void.

Still two chapters to go after this but… they are quite small. This is the big one.


Start reading Musketeer Space from Part 1
Missed the last installment? Track back to Part 59
Read a festive Musketeer Space prequel, “Seven Days of Joyeux.”
Main Page & Table of Contents


Stuff happened.


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Musketeers Brooding in Shirts (2015)

first-musketeer-adThere are three essential aspects to a good Musketeer story: friendship, swordplay, and attractive men in diaphanous shirts. The new web series “The First Musketeer” hits all three notes, though it is a little heavy on the atmosphere (and light on humour) for my own personal tastes.

The first series is 6 episodes, each somewhere around 9-13 minutes long, and three quarters of each episode is Athos brooding in a diaphanous shirt, which… is not a poorly chosen aspect of the story to focus on.

Athos is the First Musketeer of the title, and this prequel to the classic story sets up an origin for how he came to Paris and became friends with Aramis and Porthos. But mostly Porthos and some other blokes.

The first few episodes are very heavy on the gothic shadows and Byronic mournfulness, but I quite like this version of Athos even if the show feels like the set up for a vampire romance rather than a cheerful tale of bros with swords. This is one of the most ambitious web series I’ve seen, with location filming, special effects and proper fencing choreography. Some of the acting is a little of the ‘slightly stilted, I went to stage school’ variety, and the pacing is slooooow at times, but the whole piece hangs together well.

four musks

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Robotech Rewatch 57: Aliens Cloned My Girlfriend

Original Recipe Marlene

Original Recipe Marlene

Keep your scanner tuned to this station. Robotech is back!

Episode 70 – Enter Marlene

Finally after all that running around in circles (cough, padding, cough, dinosaurs), actual plot development!

The Invid Regent has finally realised that Scott and his team are a serious threat after that time they sort of accidentally blew up her Genesis Pit. So she’s going to get a secret agent to infiltrate their little bikie gang. Via glowing egg.

Scott leads his friends to a rally point set up previously by Admiral Hunter, where he expects to meet up with other REF (Robotech Expeditionary Force) units before heading to Reflex Point and kicking Invid butt. Instead, he finds a mecha graveyard of destroyed ships and corpses, and is absolutely devastated with grief and loss of hope.

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Issue #1: Fresh Romance

freshTitle: Fresh Romance #1

Writers: Kate Leth, Sarah Vaughn, Sarah Kuhn

Artist: Arielle Jovellanos, Sarah Winifred Searle, Sally Jane Thompson (cover: Kevin Wada)

The Buzz: I supported this project on Kickstarter – it aims to bring back the tradition of Romance comics, with a 21st century sensibility. It’s pretty exciting to see so many women involved in creating, producing and publishing this title (so many female names in the credits!) and nice to see something a bit different.

All You Need To Know: Comics weren’t always about superheroes! Fresh Romance offers three ongoing serials hitting different romance genres: one contemporary YA, one Regency, and one paranormal comedy (or what we used to call chick lit with magic, I guess?).

Story: In School Spirit, two teen couples are pretending not to be dating (it’s not explicit yet but the surface implication is it’s because one pair are lesbians and the other are an interracial couple) and covering for each other at school via fake relationships. In Ruined, a very unhappy young Regency miss is being married to a very unhappy looking gentleman after some kind of scandal involving another man. In the Ruby Equation (my favourite of the three) a magical barista is on a matchmaking mission – she just has to bring one more cute couple together and she’ll be allowed to go home… right?

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Issue #1: Loki, Agent of Asgard (2014)

Loki_Agent_of_Asgard_Vol_1_1_TextlessTitle: Loki: Agent of Asgard #1 (2014)

Writer: Al Ewing

Artist: Lee Garbett, Jenny Frison (cover)

The Buzz: Some great covers, but I hadn’t heard much about this except that it follows teenage Loki after the Young Avengers series, and there’s a cool chick called Verity in it that the fanfic writers seem fond of. This was one of the first comics I tried out with my Marvel Unlimited subscription!

All You Need To Know: Loki is the god of mischief from Norse mythology, and has been a villain in the Marvel Universe for decades. Previously, Loki died, then came back as a kid, then another version of his kid self killed his kid self, then he joined the Young Avengers, aged up to late teens to get a handle on his magic, and learned to love bacon.

Story: I love the premise for this so much, I can’t even tell you. Loki is trying to control his destiny despite his long history as a villain, and is performing missions as an ‘Agent of Asgard’, working for the three goddesses currently ruling their world as the All Mother. His payment is that for every successful mission, they will destroy one of their cultures many stories about what a dick he used to be. This particular issue brings Loki back in conflict with his estranged brother Thor and the Avengers – and, for once, he’s not trying to be the bad guy. BUT THEY DON’T KNOW THAT. There’s also a gorgeous page of Hawkeye and Natasha hanging out which is one of my favourite sequences of them of all time (sometimes things just happen, Nat!)

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Issue #1: Runaways (2015)

Runaways-1-Cover-260b7Title: Runaways #1 (2015)

Writer: Noelle Stevenson

Artist: Sanford Greene

The Buzz: Noelle Stevenson is a rising It-person in comics, from her own webcomic/graphic novel Nimona and her creation of the Tumblr-based Hawkeye Initiative, to her writing work on the celebrated girl’s own adventure story Lumberjanes.

All You Need To Know: The best and brightest kids from the various baronies on Battleworld have all been clipped out of their zones and sent to the same boarding school, run by a mysterious super villain (probably), so they can be trained up to be effective battle teams. The characters and their places of origin are all introduced here, and while you might recognise many of them, you won’t have necessarily seen these versions in other Battleworld comics so far. Because, you know, they were at school.

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