Book Review – Wenjack by Joseph Boyden

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Though a rather small, unassuming book that took me a short amount of time to read, Wenjack by Joseph Boyden conveyed a story that will stay with me forever. Its brevity is swallowed by its poignancy, carrying with it a great weight in contrast to its size. This weight comes from the tragic history of displacement, death, abuse, and what Boyden calls “an attempted cultural genocide” suffered by the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people of Canada. This was suffered at the hands of the Canadian Indian residential school system, which from the 1870s to 1996 had more than 150,000 Indigenous children over seven generations removed from their families with the intention of assimilating them into the dominant Canadian culture.Read More »

Mighty Thursday #16

Secret Avengers by Rick Remender Volume 3

By Rick Remender (Writer), Andy Kuhn, Matteo Scalera (Artists), Matthew Wilson (Colour Artist), Chris Eliopoulos (Letterer); 2013

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Summary

As Father launches his invasion, a terrible new Avengers foe is born: beware the bite of the Black Ant! Can the Marvel Universe survive the plague of contagious robotic evolution, merging the Descendants with all humanity? And how do you stop a plague that has already begun to spread? Torch, Venom, and Valkyrie infiltrate the rebel robot base — but are Lord UltraVision and Monarch Machine Man friend or foe? And when Torch must choose between mankind and the perfect future Father will create for all automatons, which will he pick? As Black Ant and Hawkeye face off in the ultimate showdown, the Master Mold rises over New York — and the only way to stop it is to kill the Torch!Read More »

Book Review – When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris

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When You Are Engulfed in Flames is the sixth book by David Sedaris originally published in 2008. I was drawn to read more of his work after reading Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk earlier this year. While there were many others to choose from, this cover depicting a Van Gogh painting of a skeleton smoking a cigarette and the eye-catching title made this book hard to resist. It collects anecdotal essays about a range of situations: a talkative cab driver turning the conversation far too sexual, the experience of buying your partner a human skeleton, and spending a week with a miserable and slothful babysitter.Read More »

Mighty Thursday #15

Secret Avengers by Rick Remender Volume Two

By Rick Remender (Writer), Renato Guedes, Matteo Scalera (Artists), Matthew Wilson with Bettie Breitweiser, Jeremy Mohler (Colours), Chris Eliopoulos & VC’s Clayton Cowles (Letterers); 2013

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Summary

Thor leads a secret team of Avengers on a suicide mission to stop the Phoenix by any means necessary!

Who is Minister Marvel, and why has he drawn the Phoenix to the Kree homeworld? The Avengers devise a way to save the Kree, but one man stands in their way: the original Captain Marvel, reborn to unite his people! Can Ms. Marvel and the Protector break free of Minister Marvel’s influence to aid their former companions? Plus: Can Hawkeye and Black Widow unmask the spy on their team in time to prevent tragedy? And as Hawkeye, Venom, and Ant-Man face the Masters of Evil — an army of villains unlike any ever seen before — to save Max Fury, the Shadow Council’s true goal is revealed! Enter the power of the Abyss!Read More »

Movie Review – Doctor Strange

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Doctor Strange is the latest film produced by Marvel Studios, directed by Scott Derrickson and starring Benedict Cumberbatch. The film follows Dr. Stephen Strange, a supremely talented surgeon who permanently injures his hands in a car accident, effectively ending his career. After trying everything that modern medicine has to offer, exhausting his fortune in the process, he turns to more mystical sources after meeting a man with a permanent spine injury who miraculously regained the ability to walk. He directs Strange to seek a place called Kamar-Taj in Kathmandu, Nepal, where he begins training in the mystical arts under the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton). Through her tutelage he begins learning how to magically travel great distances, cast spells, and manipulate reality.Read More »

Mighty Thursday #14

Secret Avengers by Rick Remender Volume One

By Rick Remender (Writer), Patch Zircher (Artist Issue #21.1), Gabriel Hardman (Artist), Bettie Breitweiser (Colour Artist), & Chris Eliopoulos (Letterer); 2013

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Summary

Relinquishing the reins of his covert Avengers squad, Captain America has handpicked Hawkeye to take over — as long as the world’s greatest marksman proves he can cut it in the spy game. And with a new leader comes a fresh lineup as Giant-Man, Captain Britain, and the Original Human Torch join Black Widow, Beast, Valkyrie, and Ant-Man in the ranks of Earth’s stealthiest heroes. But Hawkeye — determined, as ever, to do things his own way — draws the line at Cap’s final suggested recruit: the deadly and unpredictable Venom! Will the quickly assembled team of powerful personalities unite behind the brash bowman? Can the archer lead them safely through their first deadly mission — a baptism of fire against the human/synthezoid hybrids known as the Descendants and their mysterious “Father”? Or will an Avenger make the ultimate sacrifice on Hawkeye’s watch?Read More »

What We Get To

Recently I read Found, a book of poetry by Souvankham Thammavongsa. Not to disparage this book in the slightest, but the content of this book specifically isn’t important. What matters right now is what it is to me, what is has been. I read her first collection of poems, Small Arguments, in 2008 for Critical Thinking about Poetry, a first year course I took during my time at the University of Toronto at Scarborough (UTSC). I can’t precisely remember when, but I bought Found in the UTSC bookstore shortly afterwards because it was there. I recognized the similar binding, that I’d read the poet already, and picked it up. I wasn’t even particularly partial to Thammavongsa’s work. I was just starting to collect books and I jumped on it.Read More »

Mighty Thursday #13

Hellboy: Wake the Devil

By Mike Mignola (Story & Art), James Sinclair (Colours), Pat Brosseau (Letters), & Dave Stewart (Cover Colours); 2004

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Summary from Dark Horse

A murder in a New York wax museum and a missing corpse lead Hellboy and the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense into ancient Romanian castles on the trail of a sleeping legend: the nobleman vampire, Vladimir Guirescu. Nazi scientists, revived in Hellboy: Seed of Destruction, prepare for the return of Rasputin and the end of the world, and Hellboy confronts his purpose on Earth.Read More »

TV Series Review – Luke Cage Season One

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Luke Cage is the latest superhero series created for Netflix set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The series was created by Cheo Hodari Coker and stars the titular Marvel Comics character Luke Cage, played by Mike Colter. Having gained unbreakable skin and super strength from a sabotaged experiment in prison, Luke Cage is a fugitive from the law trying to live a low-profile life in Harlem to keep his past from catching up with him. When violence in the community hits close to home Luke risks being exposed, using his abilities to fight the criminal element that exploits and threatens the community.Read More »