Medusa in Throne by G. Willow Wilson
Out of the three stories in this collection, this one was by far my favorite. Both the writing and the art were excellent and very appropriate for the collection and the story’s tone.
The Inhumans are certainly a good bunch to tell childhood stories of. I love how their race to the throne room without their parents seeing is both a test and a reflection of who eventually becomes their leader. I love how this story centers largely both on Crystal and Medusa.
Everyone’s characterization felt spot on. Karnak and Crystal playing chess. Maximus being the one to challenge them to defy their parents and sneak into the throne room to prove who’s the best once and for all. Medusa supporting her sister, but while at the same time playing all of them and being the one to win the game.
Delightful and fun.
Black Magic Women by Marc Bernardin
While I found the story of Black Cat and Satana tripping over each other on their missions and then working together fun, I could barely get passed the art. Moranelli’s art is beyond awful. It’s all giant tits with zipped down / showy costumes that would show real women’s nipples. (But since this is comics, I guess you can just color them in flesh-toned and it’s like there isn’t nipple there at all.) There were a ton of shots with tits and bubbly ass showing while fighting and open porn mouth. Yuck and yuck.
Not to mention, what I found really offensive was Satana’s shoes. At one point, Black Cat compliments her on them, but they are hideous and fringed. Not stylish.
I would’ve liked this story a whole lot better with different art.
Love & Illusion by John Layman
This story made me say, so what? It also made me double-check that I was still reading Women of Marvel.
Yes, this is a story about Enchantress and her powers. However, Larry the Bellhop is the narrator of the story, and by the end, he is the true person the story is about. Now in another book, I would’ve been okay with a Larry the Bellhop story. I do find tales of ordinary people affected by super-powered people to be interesting. However, this story was supposed to be about Enchantress, not one of her enchanted fanboys and how Mastermind ruined it all.
As for the art, it was mediocre at best. Not offensive, but didn’t stand out.
What disappoints me most about this issue is the cover. I know many woman who did not buy this comic book because of the sexed-up tracings of Greg Land. Seriously, way to isolate the female audience that you’re trying to interest in this book, Marvel.
Back Then… by Dame Darcy
First thing, I really enjoyed the cartoony nature of Ha’s art. It was fun, and it appropriately fit the context of the story: a fairytale about Sue and Reed as told by their daughter Valeria to her brother Franklin. Not to mention in Valeria’s nap-time tale, Sue was supposed to be a teenager / young woman and was perfectly draw for her age.
As for the story itself, it felt well-framed both by the Fantastic Four’s universe and by the Cinderella fairy tale. That said, I’ve read a lot of retellings and adaptations of fairy tales, and this one was only mediocre at best.
I wasn’t sold on Medusa as the evil stepmother, especially since she’s a good guy in the universe. I wasn’t familiar with Malice until this story, so I’m not really sure how she’s played in the main universe.
Doctor Doom as the evil being impersonating Sue’s father Franklin felt right on. Just over the top enough to be both a retelling from children and something Doctor Doom would actually do. The other characterizations I really enjoyed was Crystal as Sue’s fairy godmother and Johnny as her gay stylist. Which is actually a rewrite of Johnny that I really enjoy, considering how much of a pretty boy he’s portrayed as being.
The story is a bit cheesy, but cute. However, just is rather middle-of-the-road in terms of using the fairy tale structure.
Wake Up Screaming by Jim McCann
I can’t say that I was familiar with the character of Songbird before this story. But despite that, it was a good, solid story about a character seeking redemption and feeling guilty and scared about who she once was.
I loved how the story focused on not being able to run away from her past. Melissa wakes up screaming every morning because she’s never dealt with what happened to her. Yes, she’s found redemption by fighting the good battle for the crimes she committed. But she’s still healing from the psychological portion of being part of a girl gang, and from the situation she runs into with the new Mimi, it looks like she was more than just part of the gang, but abused to be part of it.
I liked that Songbird couldn’t take down the gang herself, but makes a point of saving the new Mimi. And also that Songbird can wake up the next morning without screaming.
Heart of Darkness by Mary HK Choi
I both really liked this story about Shanna the She-Devil and was a little bothered by it. I love stories about the entire affect that a person’s actions or in-actions have upon the world they live in. And I’m perfectly okay with a woman character having a bad day kind of story. This is both.
However, I found the ending, where Ka-Zar lectures her on leaving without her radio and how she might run into “rape mongers” or “LDS” to rather ruin the tone of the story. I suppose we’re supposed to see some irony in that Sheena can clearly take care of herself. But the irony was just lost as Ka-Zar asserted his patriarchal authority.
All the Rage by Audrey Loeb
This was a pretty cute tale of Jen Walters taking Lyra shopping for a dress for a school dance. I really liked Lyra’s continued reluctant to just be a high schooler. Though I thought that the dress was pretty revealing before Lyra hulked-out. Though I appreciated a surprise She-Hulk tale.