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There Are No Safe Spaces: An Arturo Ripstein Double Feature

Of late, I’ve been exploring the work of director Arturo Ripstein after coming across El castillo de la pureza aka The Castle of Purity (1972) and Foxtrot (1975) streaming on FilmStruck. Ripstein was brought up in Mexico’s thriving post-war film industry by his Polish-Mexican father, a prominent producer who cultivated his son’s cinematic interests. During […]

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Guarding the Galaxy: A Team Divided

Celebrate this incarnation of the Guardians of the Galaxy’s tenth anniversary while also prepping for the May 5 release of their new film with these gems from Marvel Unlimited!

So, the Guardians of the Galaxy didn’t exactly get off to the best start. After finally settling on a name and going on a few fairly successful missions, the group learned that Peter Quill had asked Mantis to mentally push Rocket, Groot, Quasar, Adam Warlock, Drax, and Gamora into joining forces. As you can imagine, that angered them and they went their separate ways. In GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #712—by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, Paul Pelletier, Brad Walker, Carlos Magno and Wes Craig—the one-time teammates headed out into the cosmos to keep reality safe, prevent huge disasters, and bring back dead loved ones.

After newbie Major Victory—a member of the original, alternate reality Guardians—explained how the Badoon nearly destroyed humanity in his future, he, Rocket, Groot, Mantis, and Bug took out a Badoon Zom factory in the Callisto sector. In the process they battled a huge beast called a Monster as well as the undead soldiers until the Badoon actually agreed to end what they referred to as a “weapons test.”

Meanwhile, Gamora traveled with Adam Warlock in his mission to become head of the Universal Church of Truth. Upon visiting with the Church’s Matriarch she revealed that prophecy foresaw his ascendancy. Warlock liked the sound of that and took off, but Matriarch still had a problem: they just so happened to already have a Warlock-like cocoon in their possession.

For his part, Star-Lord wound up preventing a Blastaar-lead invasion of Negative Zone inhabitants in the regular universe with the help of Jack Flag and a few other prisoners in 42, a.k.a. the Negative Zone prison from Civil War. He ended up in the Negative Zone after trying to get Ronan to take down the Babel spire the Kree erected. The Accuser, still mad at Quill for inadvertently allowing the Phalanx to overtake the Kree War-Net, defeated Star-Lord in combat and had his people send him off to the Zone. After finishing up their Badoon mission, Rocket’s squad received word that Peter needed help so they teleported to the Negative Zone to back him up. Eventually the team and Flag made it through the portal to Camp Hammond where the collective geniuses promised never to open it again.

Guardians of the Galaxy (2008) #7

Guardians of the Galaxy (2008) #7

  • Published: November 26, 2008
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: May 22, 2009
  • Rating: Rated T
What is Marvel Unlimited?

At the same time, Moondragon’s lover and father visited Mentor on Titan to see if the one-time Avenger might be recovered after dying in Annihilation: Conquest. To their surprise, Mentor killed them, sending them to a dimension inhabited by Maelstrom and the Dragon of the Moon. He played with their heads but also explained just how evil Moondragon’s other side, the Dragon of the Moon, continued to be.

Eventually, Phyla jumped into the Dragon, ripping Heather free in the process while the recently resurrected Quasar Wendell Vaughn popped in to help take out Maelstrom. Not long after, they all woke back up on Titan, as Maelstrom revealed that everything had taken place within Lord Oblivion and that a new Death avatar had been born.

All of these individual stories eventually lead to the Guardians reuniting in the next arc with a few new members in tow just in time to get tangled up in the War of Kings event!

Transmissions from Knowhere

Now that Moondragon’s back in action, let’s try to break down her history a bit! As a girl, Heather Douglas and her parents had the misfortune of driving past Thanos’ recently landed spaceship. The Mad Titan killed the parents and left the girl for dead. Mentor found Heather and took her to Titan where she learned to test both her physical and mental limits, eventually becoming a skilled martial artist and geneticist. Heather also boasted mental abilities that made contact with the Dragon of the Moon. She thought she chased the Dragon off, even taking on the name Moondragon, but its influence still persisted on a subtler level. Oh, by the way, Mentor also snatched up Heather’s dad’s spirit and turned him into Drax.

She eventually made her way to Earth where she appeared as Madame MacEvil in IRON MAN #54—also Thanos’ first appearance—and debuted as Moondragon over in DAREDEVIL #105. Heather became an Avenger for a while, had unusual relationships with Thor and Wendell Vaughn, held the Mind Gem as part of Adam Warlock’s Infinity Watch and even helped break up Rick Jones and Marlo Chandler’s marriage by running off with Marlo! Not long after that, she met up with Phyla-Vell and started getting involved in huge cosmic storylines like Annihilation. She died in her dragon form at the hands of Ultron in the pages of Annihilation Conquest and remained so until the above issues!

Next, Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning re-team with Paul Pelletier pit the Inhuman-lead Kree and Shi’Ar into mortal combat in War of Kings!

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Hellcat: One Sick Kitty

Even super heroes get sick.


Whether it’s Spidey sneezing in his mask or the Man Without Fear being so congested his radar sense gets thrown off, heroes suffer the indignities of cold and flu season just as awkwardly and uncomfortably as the rest of us.

For Patsy Walker, however, her situation will quickly make it clear she has one very uncommon cold.

PATSY WALKER, A.K.A. HELLCAT! writer Kate Leth gave us a few moments of her time to fill us in while we all waited in the line at the pharmacy to stock up on Kleenex and cough drops for issue #15, available February 15.

Marvel.com: What has Patsy under the weather? Are we talking common cold, flu, or something worse?

Kate Leth: Patsy’s come down with a mild case of the reality-warping, dimension-skewing sniffles.

Marvel.com: The world, alas, does not stop spinning for us when we are sick and I’d assume it is the same for Patsy. While she cuddles under a blanket and slurps chicken soup, what might be unfolding in the wider world?

Kate Leth: Patsy is actually readily involved in this one—or, I should say, reluctantly.

What starts off as a few innocent fires rapidly evolves into real danger! With no clues as to where it comes from or how to stop it, Patsy’s left feeling overwhelmed and helpless, on top of an already Everest-like mountain of stress. It’s not her best week!

Marvel.com: Who amongst Hellcat’s friends are stepping up to help the unhealthy hero?

Kate Leth: This arc was such a joy to write, because Hellcat’s backed up by such a great crew. America Chavez, Jubilee, and Patsy’s landlord/former super hero Sharon King are along for the ride, which includes some familiar faces…

Marvel.com: What kind of tasks are her friends stepping up to take care of? Are they up to it or will these goals be a bit too much for them?

Kate Leth: Nothing’s ever too easy for Patsy Walker, so there are challenges.

[Artist] Brittney Williams and I actually came up for the arc when we were both late on deadlines because of a cold that just would not quit, so it’s a weird, fun, bizarre story. A lot of it centers around Patsy not taking good enough care of herself, stretching herself too thin trying to do everything, and that can have disastrous consequences!

As always, with [PATSY WALKER, A.K.A. HELLCAT!], it’s a super hero story, but really it’s about people just doing their best with what they’ve got.

Kate Leth and Brittney Williams have the cure for the common comic with PATSY WALKER, A.K.A. HELLCAT! #15, available February 15!

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