Dakster903

Welcome to Dakster's World

Hello World!!

Hey guys! Hows it going? My name is Dakster and welcome to my blog.  This is my space to write and get things off my chest. I consider life to be one great adventure full of meetings and temporary partings.  I hope you find my adventures amusing, interesting, or at least read worthy. If you don’t, please feel free to locate the nearest Sarlacc pit and jump right in.

Image: Dakster Sulliva

Image: Dakster Sullivan

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Ame-Comi Girls Series: Powergirl

Powergirl \ Image: Copyright DC Comics

Powergirl \ Image: Copyright DC Comics

Based off the sculptures of the same name, the Ame-Comi Girls series is re-writing some of the characters I’ve grown up loving. I started to see subtle changes in Wonder Woman and Batgirl’s issues, but after seeing what they’ve done to Powergirl, I’m convinced of what DC is doing; making this comic book series universe an all woman superhero team.

This series has taken the characters that have been traditionally male and replaced them with a female counterpart or already existing female character.

Jimmy Olsen \ Image: Copyright DC Comcis

Jimmy Olsen \ Image: Copyright DC Comcis

In Powergirl #1 we see Powergirl taking on the role of Superman in Metropolis (complete with a hunky James Olsen, journalist and photographer for the Daily Planet). James still has his famous watch to call for help and has a few good one liners to go with it. His flirting with Powergirl is cute and funny to read and I’m enjoy the moments they have together in the series.

Kara has a very sweet personality while living as one of the people in Metropolis and when she shifts into Powergirl mode, she kicks some serious tail.

In issue #2 we get to see Powergirl open up on some anti-alien terrorists, the Silver Banshees. When our heroine finally gets them taken care of, she gets to focus on their leader, a man she describes as the “one man on Earth who would need a robot that size to compensate for his insecurities.” We never hear his name or see his face, but my best guess would be that it’s Lex Luthor. Since this series is focusing mostly on women characters, I’m thinking his battle was short and sweet to add some action in before the main villainess makes themselves known.

Issue #3 covers the introduction of Supergirl and of all the issues so far, this one goes the fastest. When Supergirl emerges from her ship, she’s in her costume and has full use of her abilities with no training. It’s apparent that just like in Superman, Supergirl is older than Powergirl, but her aging stopped while she was in her ship. The action in this issue is intense and we are left seeing the main villainess make herself known to our Kryptonian heroines.

There are a couple of things that surprise me in Powergirl’s three issues, one of those things being Powergirl’s lack of a double life. This is a staple in most superhero stories, and to see her living openly as Kara and Powergirl is kind of weird. Something else that surprised me is how easy it was for Powergirl to banish someone to the phantom zone. I’ve never heard of Superman just opening a portal and sending an enemy there to punish them. He usually left that to the justice system on Earth. The last thing that threw me off is Supergirl. Her name (as far as I know) has always been Kara, so when she is introduced at the end of issue #3, we have two Karas; talk about confusing.

Despite the changes to the characters, I’m really enjoying this series.

I’m liking it because it’s a fresh take on the characters I’ve grown up loving (in the animated series that is). It’s also nice to have a series where with no knowledge of any of the characters, any newbie can jump in and understand everything that is going on. My only complaint is the look of Powergirl doesn’t stay consistent from page to page. Depending on the page/panel, parts of her body may appear larger than in a previous panel.

So far in the Ame-Comi series, each major character has had three issues and they all tie in together very nicely. So far Wonder Woman, Batgirl, Duela Dent, Powergirl, and Supergirl have all had their time in the series spotlight. It looks like Supergirl is the last to get a mini-series (individual story line) before they tie them all together and jump into the real deal.

The next wave of issues will be focusing on all of the girls in, what I’m guessing, is going to be an all girl version of the Justice League.

Ame-Comi Girls started out as a digital only series on Comixology and DC Comics apps on Mondays. They recently moved to trade paperback form and it’s now released once a month. In trade form, the stories are the same, but one months worth of digital releases is rolled into one issue. Translation, the books are longer and you get the whole story in one sitting, verses in four or five.

I recommend this series for anyone ages 10 and up.

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A Look at DC Comics Ame-Comi Girls Series

Ame-Comi-Girls

The Ame-Comi Girls Series is one of those series that you need to read for pure fun. Don’t go in and expect continuity with the New 52 or any other series.

Right off the bat, you can tell from their costumes that these are not your mother’s superheroes.

The style is based on a series of statuettes that was released by DC Collectibles Ame-Comi Girls, which features some of DC Comics top female characters redesigned in the style of manga and anime. Not only do the characters get a face-lift, but their story lines get some tweaking as well.

Wonder-Woman-300x201Ame-Comi I: Wonder Woman shows us Diana as a headstrong princess who dreams of glory on the battlefield. From the first few pages, I can see that Diana and her mother do not always see eye to eye.

When a battle ensues, Diana’s mother insists she stay safe in the palace instead of fighting alongside her sisters. Her stubbornness and desire to fight over-rides her mother’s orders and she eventually makes her way to help win the battle.

The story leads into Diana’s eventual trip to the United Nations as the ambassador to Themyscira.

Ame-Comi II: Batgirl starts off a bit differently. In the beginning we see Barbara (Batgirl) and her cousin, Carrie (Robin), getting ready to go out for a night on the town. They both assure Barbara’s father, who is wheelchair bound, their plans include being home before the rooster crows.

Batgirl-300x202The next thing we see is Poison Ivy causing her usual trouble and Batgirl & Robin swing in to help save the night. I’m actually happy to see that Batgirl and Robin are a sister-like cousin team. They give the series a nice balance of humor and action; which is something I look for in all of the comic books I read.

In the end of both Wonder Woman and Batgirl we see the villainess in charge is the same, Duela Dent. What is she up to and what is all this about? Keep reading the series to find out!

While originally this was a digital only series, you can now find it in trade form at your local comic book store. Currently, it is only being released once a month. Volume one of the series is expected to hit comic book stores in September this year.

I would say this series would be best appreciated by ages ten and up.

What are your thoughts on the series? Let me know in the comments!

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Book Review: The Force Is Strong With The Last Jedi

The-Last-Jedi-660x203

The Last Jedi by Michael Reaves and Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff is my first adventure into the Star Wars universe through reading. I was worried that the story was not going to be newbie friendly, so I proceeded with caution.

978-0-345-51140-9-350x574I learned through my 501st Legion buddies that the book is a stand-alone novel that’s actually part of the Corusant Nights trilogy.

The story starts off pretty easy with us being taken into the world of the last known Jedi Knight, Jax Pavin and his comrades Den, I-Five, and Laranth. Their mission is to get the leader of Whiplash (a secret resistance group) from Coruscant to a new safe house. When their plans go awry, Jax and his friends are sent on an adventure to regain what they’ve lost. Along the way we meet some interesting characters and we learn a little more about Jax and his friends.

From the very beginning I felt like I was being sucked into an adventure. I can’t say my imagination could understand everything, but that didn’t distract me from understanding the characters dialogue or the pain they were going through.

Some of my favorite moments are between I-Five and Den. They have this vibe going on between them that at times made me want to slap them both and other times laugh with them. I-Five acts almost human (though he reminds us throughout the story he’s a droid).

If you are looking for your first Star Wars novel, this is a good one to start with. While I might not have understood everything going on, I don’t feel this hurt my reading experience. There are some references to the past that I’m sure the first Coruscant Nights novels can explain, but I wouldn’t say it’s required reading before picking this up.

In exchange for my time and efforts in reporting my opinion within this blog, I received a free review sample. Even though I receive this benefit, I always give an opinion that is 100% mine.

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Batman: Noel — A Holiday Story for Batman Fans

When I first heard about Batman: Noel, I thought it was going to be a complete retelling of A Christmas Carol and in a way it was. The narrator tells the famous Charles Dickens tale as best as he can, while we watch Batman have some similar experiences to Ebeneezer Scrooge. In the place of the spirits, we have three individuals who make their presence known to the Dark Knight.

The story opens with the narrator telling us a little about himself and how he first heard the story. We see a man following instructions in a note and running for dear life from the Batman. After threatning the man and letting him go, Bruce heads back to the cave to spy on him with the tracking device he placed on the man’s shirt. It turns out the man has a child and Batman couldn’t care less about what will happen to him. As long as he gets the Joker, that’s all that matters.

The story continues in the Christmas Carol spirit when Bruce almost swears that he sees his dead partner, Robin (I’m assuming Jason Todd) in the cave with him. It almost seems to shake Bruce a little, but just as soon as the moment had come, it passes and Bruce is back to focusing on his mission to nail the Joker.

The first spirit is played by Catwoman. As the Ghost of Christmas Past, she complains to Batman that he’s changed and is no longer as fun to play with. Batman only gets angrier at her deception of having information on the joker and tells her he is no longer up to playing her games.

Later, he is found by Superman (playing the part of the Ghost of Christmas Present) who said he heard him “coughing all the way in Metropolis”. While on a forced “tour” of the city by Superman, Batman overhears the Police talking about him to Gordon, and his reaction is none to happy.

The third persona is the Joker and he has his own plans for the Dark Knight before he heads out to kill his henchman and his son. These scenes were a little disturbing for me and if it wasn’t for Bruce being very sick thorughout the story, I wouldn’t have believed the Joker could have taken him down so easily. After Bruce comes to his senses, he runs in to save the day and finally be the Batman I know and love.

At the end of the story, I was left wondering about the boy. Could he have been Tim Drake? Think about it…father down on his luck and turns to crime. No mother in the picture. The character has this hope that Batman is a really cool guy trying to do good for the city. Ummm….

The story shows a much colder version of Batman than I’m use to seeing and I hate watching him have no care in the world for an innocent child whose father is only doing work for the joker to keep them both alive.

I’m happy to report that the story has a happy ending and Bruce sees the error of his ways. Of course, we never find out if he is fully changed, because the story ends, but one can hope that the times of him using fathers and children as bait are over and he returns to being the Batman we know and love.

I’m disappointed to say that you can not purchase this title on Comixology, but you can find it on Amazon.

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A long time ago…and it still hurts

A long time ago, when I was about 8 or 9, I showed some dance steps to a relative. That relative looked at me with a “you can’t dance” look in their eyes. They didn’t have to say anything for me to know from their eyes what they meant. This one experience has stayed with me since. Some might call that silly, others unforgiving but I say it was a lesson learned in rejection.

The relative who looked at me this way hurt my feelings in such a way, I have not danced in public since (with the exception of being in my clone trooper). Why is that? Why is it that I gave up doing something I love in public simply because of one person? I don’t understand it, but I guess it was my first taste of rejection. My first taste of doing something I loved and someone I care about looking at me as if I just wasn’t good enough in their eyes.

I know its been almost 20 years, but it still hurts when I think about that day. I don’t let it get me down anymore, but the memory of that instance hurts and the one who is behind it, will never know and even if they do find out (this is a public blog after all), I don’t think they will ever admit to it.

Ohh well. I might not dance in public anymore, but I have moved on to putting myself out there in other areas. Besides, when I have danced in my clone trooper, I will say that I’ve been given high scores on my dancing. 🙂

Why am I bring this up? I was given a writing exercise and this is what I came up with for it. I think it hits on the high points without dragging you into a long and sad story about my childhood. I could do that with ease, but its wouldn’t be fun to write.

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Superman Family Adventures – Submit Your Questions for Arthur Baltazar

Superman Family Adventures, Copyright DC Comics

Superman Family Adventures, Copyright DC Comics

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes of your children’s favorite comic book stories? Me too! That’s why I will be talking with Arthur Baltazar, one of the men behind Tiny Titans and Superman Family Adventures, about his work on the series. Personally, I’m curious about why Tiny Titans was canceled and about the various kinds of things we can expect to see in Superman Family Adventures. Submit your questions through my article on GeekMom.com! Let me know what questions you have in the comment area and I will do my best to get some answers for you. Don’t forget to ask your children if they have any questions. I would love to hear from the younger readers as well as the adults. Please submit your questions by April 20th!

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Anxiety and the Geek

Since I was a child, I have suffered from high anxiety. When I was growing up, it was just referred to as being shy. As an adult, I learned that what I have is not something you always grow out of. In fact, as an adult, it can get worse if you don’t learn how to deal with it as a child.

Over the years, I have figured out what my triggers are, and I have found ways to avoid them. Unfortunately, some of my triggers are things that I can’t avoid, such as social interaction and big crowds. TV and movies can be especially rough for me. This became a serious problem when my husband would want to watch his favorite show, Smallville. I would get caught up in the story to the point that I would have racing thoughts and panic attacks if it ended on a cliff hanger. Eventually, I started having “me time” where I would lock myself in the bedroom for an hour so that he could watch his show, and I could keep my sanity.

Over the past three years, I have dived deep into my geeky roots as a way to get some reprieve. In 2010, I joined up with the 501st legion. In 2011, I was welcomed by GeekMom as a writer. This year, I have found a new love in comic books. All of those things as well as learning how to meditate and surrounding myself with the love and support of all those I call family, have helped me achieve things I never thought possible.

The 501st legion has taught me patience and has given me a chance to make awesome friends. The children I have met will never know that with every smile, they gave me, my heart jumped. Trooping with the 501st has made me realize that even though I am just one person, I can still make a difference in someone’s life. I’ve learned that sometimes you have to ask yourself “What would MacGyver do?” and use some imagination to solve the problem at hand (anyone who’s had a costume piece break off just before a march knows what I am talking about).

GeekMom has given me a nice break from my regular job and allows me to write about what I love. I gain a little more confidence in myself with each article I submit (and with each comment, it doubles). Writing helps me focus my mind on something other than the stress around me. I’ve also met some amazing ladies here, and I am proud to be on the team.

The comic book world, starting with DC and moving into Marvel, has given me back my love of reading that I lost a long time ago. I currently visit the library every week looking for new titles to devour on my lunch. I’ve also learned how to handle cliff hangers a little better so that I don’t get overly anxious about them. When my anxiety is really high, I turn to my comic books for fast relief. It gives me another world to escape to and a story to get caught up in.

Learning to meditate has helped me when I feel a panic attack coming on or when I know I might run into one of my triggers during the day. At the start of each day, I take 30 minutes with my iPod and listen to some music. During that time, I meditate by focusing on the words in the song and letting any other thoughts that enter my mind just float on by. It’s probably not a method any Buddhist monks will teach you, but it works for me. After I leave the house, I continue to meditate on and off throughout the day by focusing on my breathing.

During a panic attack, I’ve learned to find somewhere I can be alone and I do my multiplication tables in my head. This helps bring me back into a logical state of mind and forces me to see what’s really going on around me vs. what the anxiety is trying to make me believe.

In the past few months, my husband has expressed his feelings, of how much I have changed in the last year. With over $1,000 spent on my costume and comics (99.9% of that was the costume), it has been a far cheaper and better therapy than me sitting on a therapist’s couch and taking medication. In addition, I use my iPad and iPod touch regularly to ease my thoughts with apps designed to help calm the mind.

Since 2011, my anxiety levels have dropped tremendously. I have gained friends and hobbies that when I feel overly anxious, I can run to. I wish I could say that I am anxiety and panic attack free, but I’m not. I still suffer occasionally at troops and at work. My mind continues to have days were my thoughts just don’t want to settle down and focus. What I have achieved are ways that I help me cope and a group of friends that understands and are there to help me.

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Dear Superman…I Love You. Signed – Lois Lane

In 2010, Taylor Swift released her “Sparks Fly” album. Along with the album’s regular release, Target received a special 2 disk edition that included 6 never before released tracks. One of the songs on that disk is called “Superman”. Now unlike “Innocent” where the connection to Superman might not be obvious to everyone, this one is spelled out as clear as day. With some loving guidance from your’s truly, my husband put together a music video showcasing Superman and one of DC Comics leading ladies, Lois Lane.

Enjoy!

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A Trip Into Journeys…

The other day I went to Journeys by myself and I asked the sales clerk for a size 11 in “The Flash” style converse sneakers. When she brought me the shoes, I was surprised to see that she brought me a men’s size. Since I know the shoes come in women’s sizes I pointed out they were the wrong size and she quickly fixed the mistake. I could tell by her body language that she didn’t realize I wanted them for myself.

I started to wonder what made her assume I was buying them for a guy. If I had asked for Superman, would she have done the same thing? How about Batman? This started to get me thinking…female comic book fans get the short end of the stick.

In my local comic book shop or mall, I find it very easy to find my favorite characters on shirts. The only problem is 99% of the shirts are for guys. The shirts for the women say something lame like “I only date superheros.” or “My boyfriend is a superhero.” How about a shirt for the guys that says “My wife can kick Supergirl’s tail.” or “My girlfriend is a real Wonder Woman!” Umm…

I would like to see some equality for the female comic book fans. With a recent article I wrote, I got a lot of flak on Facebook for being a “newbie” and worse yet, a “woman newbie”. Some of the veterans were nice and welcomed me with open arms, but others were just down right mean. After I left my computer feeling beaten by a bunch of guys that I will never see or meet, I realized a few things…

I can read just as well (if not better) than some of the guys I know. Why would I not find the same story arc and artistry in comics just as interesting as them?*Spoiler alert*Just as the men like the looks of Wonder Woman and Power Girl, the women find Batman and Superman just as equally physically appealing (except for the Bat nipples…that was too far Schumacher.). Their looks and personality draw us in and give us the desire and need to learn more about them.

Comic books are great! They are just short enough to take up my breaks at work and let me relax. They have also given me something to relate to with my little brother (by little I mean he’s 2 years younger and is 6ft 1in). I really enjoy our quality comic book talk and trips to the comic book store. When I have a question about something I have seen in the cartoons, he hands me a graphic novel to understand more. Recently I started to read the DC New 52 and now I have gotten him into reading it. Now we both get excited every time a new one is released. I love debating the movies with my husband and brother. I tell my husband about what is going on in the comics and he gives his “veterans” opinion on it. Eventually I’ll see him sneaking on my iPad to take a look at the ComicsX app to see what I was talking about.

Although I am still a newbie to the comic book world, so was every veteran comic reader at some point. So to all of you grumpy veterans who attacked me online and trolled my articles, I say this…believe it or not the comic book world needs the newbies (male or female) just as much as it needs you to grow. We are here to stay, so get over it and move on.

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Be A Super Hero!

Founded in March of 2000,  St. Baldrick’s foundation is the largest volunteer driven charity dedicated to raising money for childhood cancer research. Since they’ve started, over 216,00 volunteers , including 21,000 women, have shaved their heads to help raise over $126 million for childhood cancer research. Now they have teamed up with the super heroes at Marvel to help in the fight to conquer kid’s cancer.

From the original press release:

“We are so grateful for Marvel’s support and creation of the “Super Heroes Save Lives” t-shirt,” says Kathleen Ruddy, executive director of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. “Marvel fans everywhere will be proud to see five of their beloved characters joining forces with St. Baldrick’s to help raise awareness and fund the most promising childhood cancer research to cure every child, so that they not only survive, but thrive. Every one of us can be a Super Hero in the fight against childhood cancer!”

“When we first heard about the St. Baldrick’s Foundation we knew we wanted to get involved and be a part of this incredible movement to help Conquer Kids’ Cancer,” shares Chris Fondacaro, executive vice president of Marvel Creative Services. “When we paired the Foundation’s existing slogan with our iconic Super Heroes the design came to life. We are proud to be a part of this incredible effort to help fund lifesaving childhood cancer research.”

The shirt features the legendary characters Spider-Man, Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, and the Hulk. Proceeds from each shirt go to help fund research to “find cures and give survivors long and healthy lives.” The shirts are $19.99 each and come in sizes ranging from Youth small to Male 2X-Large. For more information visit their website.

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