The Umbrella Academy (2019)

[Image is a TV poster for the show The Umbrella Academy. It features the cast sitting on a hotel baggage cart.]

Superhero fatigue has been talked about a lot recently. There seems to be no shortage of superhero TV shows, movies, etc. With that being said, there are shows or movies that take on the superhero genre in a new way. I had The Umbrella Academy on my radar for a while. The recent announcement of Nick Offerman and Megan Mullaly joining the cast in season #4, it piqued my interest in watching The Umbrella Academy from the beginning. The Umbrella Academy is addictive, eccentric, and offers a fresh take on the superhero genre.

The Umbrella Academy begins on October 1st 1989 where 43 women around the world give birth despite never showing any signs of being pregnant. Rich and egotistical Sir Reginald Hargreeves adopts seven of these children who start displaying extraordinary powers. Reginald trains these children to be superheroes and announces them to the world as The Umbrella Academy. Flash forward to present day, Reginald has passed away and the heroes feel that something bad must have happened to him.

Each child within the Umbrella Academy has a number assigned to them besides their first name. Starting in chronological order, there’s Luther Hargreeves aka. Number One (played by Tom Hopper) who shows signs of extraordinary strength. Diego Hargreeves aka. Number Two (played by David CastaƱeda) who can telekinetically move projectile objects to a specific target. Allison Hargreeves aka. Number Three (played by Emmy Raver-Lampman) who can control minds by saying “I heard a rumor”. Klaus Hargreeves aka. Number Four (played by Robert Sheehan) who can see and communicate with the dead. Five Hargreeves (played by Aiden Gallagher) who can transport through time. Ben Hargreeves (played by Justin H. Min) who can summon horrors from his body. Ben is deceased and only Klaus can see him when season #1 begins. Finally, there’s Viktor Hargreeves (played by Elliot Page) who has been told his own life that he’s ordinary and has no powers. When season #1 begins, Five transports back to The Umbrella Academy from the future and lets everyone know that in a few days, an apocalpyse is going to happen which will kill everyone on Earth. The members of the Umbrella Academy initially don’t believe what Five is telling them. However, they do eventually believe Five and agree to help figure out what causes the apocalypse.

One thing that I enjoy about The Umbrella Academy is how realistic it is. Each of the members of the Academy struggle with their powers and the negative connotations that come with them. Klaus is a drug addict who numbs himself, so he doesn’t have to see the dead. I think of how traumatizing that must be for him as he finds solace in being high to escape what he’s capable of. Ben tries to bring out the good in Klaus which helps aid in Klaus’s character development. Luther sees himself as the leader, but doesn’t garner respect from the other Academy members. Allison uses her power on her daughter to try and prevent a toddler meltdown, but is discovered by her husband. Her husband is granted sole custody of her daughter. Five is trapped in a young body despite having the knowledge of the future. Finally, Viktor was told he wasn’t good enough and constantly feels overshadowed by the others. It shows that each of these characters are good people, but are contemplating how their powers have shaped their lives.

For ensemble shows like these, it’s crucial that these characters have chemistry with each other. I think that’s what makes the first season so fun to watch. Each member of the Academy has a unique partnership with each other. For example, Diego and Klaus butt heads a lot because of their differing personalities. By the end of season #1, Diego starts to admire Klaus and sticks up for Klaus during a group meeting when he’s being interrupted by someone else. Luther and Allison have this “will they” or “won’t they” romance to them because of the crush they had when they were kids. Viktor is easily seen as the outsider, yet Allison tries her best to be the sister that he needs. In only ten episodes, I feel invested in these characters and what might happen to them.

I watched half of season #1 in one day because I felt compelled to watch each episode back to back. I’m on season #2 now which transports the Umbrella Academy to the 1960’s before JFK’s assassination. I like the combination of the sci-fi elements of the show with the real world history unfolding in season #2.

The Umbrella Academy is one of my new favorite shows. It feels different to other superhero content out there and is entertaining throughout. The first three seasons of The Umbrella Academy can be streamed on Netflix.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)

[Image is a movie poster. The poster is "Ant-Man & The Wasp Quantumania"]

The first thing I heard about Ant-Man and the Wasp Quantumania was the film was getting negative reviews. There’s been a lot of discussions online about superhero movie fatigue which I feel contributed to the reviews that this movie received. I went to see Ant-Man last weekend and I liked it a lot. I felt that Ant-Man had a lot of build-ups considering that Kang the Conquerer (played by Jonathan Majors) will be the next Marvel villain to become front and center.

Scott Lang (played by Paul Rudd) is enjoying his fame from battling Thanos. He’s written a book that he obnoxiously listens to in his car much to his daughter, Cassie’s chagrin. Cassie (played by Kathryn Newton) chastises her father for seemingly not caring about real-world events especially since he’s an official Avenger. Cassie shows Scott, Hope van Dyne ( played by Evangeline Lilly), Janet van Dyne (played by Michelle Pfeiffer), and Hank Pym (played by Michael Douglas) how she invented a device to communicate into the Quantum Realm. Janet panics and shuts off the device, but not before they all get sucked into the Quantum Realm. Scott and Cassie are separated from Hope, Janet, and Hank. Despite their separation, they are told stories of “The Conqueror” an individual who has overtaken numerous worlds in the Quantum Realm. Cassie is determined to help even though Scott is reluctant. They realize that “The Conqueror” needs to be stopped as his existence is a threat to the multiverse.

I liked that Ant-Man and The Wasp Quantumania tied the other Ant-Man films together. First, there’s the reveal of M.O.D.O.K M.O.D.O.K was created by “The Conqueror” who is revealed to be Darren Cross (played by Corey Stoll) from the first Ant-Man movie. I know this isn’t comic book accurate, but I liked this reveal. It tied up loose ends and helped connect the movies together. Also, I liked how Cassie and M.O.D.O.K faced off considering that Darren went after her when she was younger and now she’s able to defend herself.

I liked Kang as a villain. His motives are simple, he wants revenge for being exiled. He feels it’s his duty to protect the multiverse by killing millions of people. Jonathan Majors knocks it out of the park. He’s someone who’s physically capable of holding his own in a fight and he has the tech to be a fierce opponent. I do think there’s much more potential to make Kang more lethal in future installments. This is for sure hinted at in the post-credit scene which by the way, I love the tie into the second season of Loki. I wasn’t expecting that, so I was happy to see that connection.

While Ant-Man was getting negative reviews, I personally liked the movie! It was fun, it tied in the other Ant-Man movies, and it was easy to follow. I’m looking forward to the other Marvel films that will be released this year and seeing Kang the Conquerer pop up throughout the franchise.

Underworld (2003)

I love making lists. It keeps me organized and I feel accomplished when I cross things off. One of my lists includes movies that I haven’t seen. This includes whole franchises or stand-alone films. One franchise that’s been on my list for a while is the Underworld franchise starring Kate Beckinsale. I know the Underworld series was about Vampires and Lycans, but that’s it. Watching Underworld for the first time, this movie has held up since it was released twenty years ago.

Underworld focuses on Selene (played by Kate Beckinsale) who leads a team to take down the Lycans as she is led to believe that the Lycans are evil and killed her family. As Selene is tracking a group of Lycans, she’s surprised to see that they are targeting a human which is unheard of. Selene feels that’s suspicious enough, so she finds Michael (played by Scott Speedman), the human that Selene feels is being targeted. Selene is correct as Michael was attacked by Lucian (played by Michael Sheen). Selene is too late and sees Michael has been bitten by Lucian. Selene is aware something is going on, but she’s gaslit by her clan who tells her there is nothing to fear. Selene turns her back on the clan to try to save Michael along with uncovering why he’s being targeted, to begin with.

The first thing I noticed about watching Underworld for the first time is how awesome Selene is. She’s a female protagonist who is not dressed provocatively and she can hold her own throughout the movie. It’s obvious that Selene is stunning because she’s a Vampire who doesn’t age, but they don’t dress her in a campy outfit, she wears all leather and black and her look is functional. I think that’s interesting considering the time frame in which Underworld was originally released.

Besides Seline, I think the cast in Underworld helps make this a more memorable supernatural action film. Michael Sheen as Lucian was a perfect casting choice. Lucian has this sort of goth, animalistic look to him. Lucian is the type of villain who isn’t physical, but more manipulative as he plays both sides of this war. Bill Nighy plays Viktor, one of Selene’s mentors as she became a vampire. Viktor is a character that is cold-hearted, yet he has a soft spot for Selene which is proven throughout the film.

It was fun to watch Underworld for the first time. I’m glad that I could cross another film off my list.

Bullet Train (2022)

[Image is a movie poster. The poster is split diagonally from top right to bottom left by a train. On the top left is Brad Pitt. The bottom left are a few characters in the film along with a stuffed cartoon cat.]

I remember watching a trailer for Bullet Train last year and thought it seemed like a fun movie. It’s tough to tell with action movies because as much as I love them, they tend to follow the same premise. Bullet Train was getting rave reviews, so maybe there was something unique about the movie that made it stand out. Bullet Train was such a fun twist on an action movie. If Knives Out was an action film, that’s how I would describe Bullet Train.

Bullet Train begins with Ladybug (played by Brad Pitt) being sent out on a last-minute job to pick up a briefcase on a train. As Ladybug searches for the briefcase, the film introduces us to “brothers” Lemon (played by Brian Tyree Henry) and Tangerine (played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson) who are also looking for the briefcase while also protecting “The White Death’s” son who was kidnapped earlier. If that wasn’t enough to keep track of, “The Father” (played by Andrew Koji) is searching the train for the person who pushed his son off a building. “The Father” is knocked out by “The Prince (played by Joey King) who reveals herself as luring “The Father” to the train to help kill “The White Death”, but it’s not revealed why “The Prince” wants the “White Death” dead until later. As the characters fight each other over the briefcase, they realize that details were left out as to why they were asked to be on the train.

As far as the characters, it’s clear that Lemon and Tangerine stole the show. They were hilarious and they had great chemistry together. I would watch a “buddy cop” type film starring Lemon and Tangerine. Lemon talks about his love of the Thomas the Tank Engine TV show and how he would group people as one of the trains on the show. This carried throughout the whole movie with everyone referring to the “double agent” as Diesel, a train on the show. As a side note, there are rumors that Aaron-Taylor Johnson is being auditioned as the next James Bond and after watching Bullet Train, I can see it. Lemon and Tangerine are the best part of this movie.

The reason I would describe Bullet Train as being a “Knives Out” action film is how much mystery there is and how it’s revealed towards the end. There are moments that happen earlier in the film that feels innocuous but then is revealed as being important later on. An example of this is when Ladybug punches a stuffed cat and walks away. The stuffed cat was really an assassin in disguise that Ladybug has to fight later on. The way everything is revealed and tied up at the end is satisfying.

Bullet Train was one of the more memorable action films that I have seen recently. I’m still waiting on a Lemon / Tangerine team-up movie. Hollywood should make that happen.

Set It Up (2018)

[Image is a movie poster. It shows two women at the top and two men at the bottom. In the middle it says "Set it Up"]

When it comes to sitting down and watching a movie, I tend to lean toward action or adventure films. After reading romance books in February, I found myself wanting to watch a rom-com. As I was scrolling through Hulu and Netflix, I found Set It Up starring Glenn Powell before his Top Gun Maverick fame. I figured why not watch it because even if the movie wasn’t that great, the movie can still be fun to watch. Set It Up was cute and better than I was initially expecting it to be.

Harper Moore (played by Zoey Deutch) is an assistant to sports journalism editor Kirsten Stevens (played by Lucy Liu). Harper has always dreamed of writing sports articles that move people, but she hasn’t found the time to actually write. In the meantime, Charlie Young (played by Glenn Powell) is an assistant to venture capitalist Rick Otis (played by Taye Diggs). Charlie is hoping for a promotion, so he doesn’t have to be an assistant for too much longer. Both Harper and Charlie bond over the fact that they are constantly busy being assistants. They decide that if they tried to pair up Kirsten and Rick, maybe they would have more time to devote to themselves. Harper and Charlie work together to set Kirsten and Rick up while also falling in love with each other.

Set It Up falls into the trope of a “quirky girl falls in love with the hot guy” Harper is a sports fan, but the way she expresses herself along with her personality falls into the trope. She’s goofy and doesn’t take herself too seriously. Charlie is the “hot guy” who likes quirky Harper and they fall in love. I can’t help it, but I love this trope in romance. For any fan of romance in general, I think everyone has that trope that they love and this is one of them for me. Another theme in rom-com is the cast. The cast can either make or break a movie. I thought Zoey and Glenn had great chemistry together. I wasn’t expecting Pete Davidson to play Charlie’s best friend, so I thought that was a nice surprise.

Set It Up was a cute rom-com and I’m glad I watched it.

The Vox Machina Chapter is Complete – Critical Role

Last weekend, I sat down to watch Critical Role Episode #115 “The Chapter Closes” This was the final episode in Critical Role’s first campaign, Vox Machina. According to a Reddit thread, the full campaign of Vox Machina is about 447 hours which includes all their episodes. To say that I have watched all 447 hours is incredible. I started Critical Role toward the beginning of 2021 without knowing what I was diving into. I can’t believe I have gotten to this point! I wanted to talk a little about Vox Machina and some observations I had. There will be slight spoilers of the campaign down below.

My first thought after finishing Vox Machina was how much the characters grew over 115 episodes. All the characters had some sort of character growth as they matured and learned from the adventures. The first character that I thought of was Scanlan. Scanlan (played by Sam Riegel) was a flirtatious, wise-cracking character who always seemed to break the tension. He would make sexist and somewhat indecent jokes throughout the episodes. Once Scanlan discovered he had a daughter, he became a bit more humbled. Once Scanlan died and was brought back, he separated from Vox Machina and went on his own. I loved this arc! I think Scanlan was taken for granted by Vox Machina and I’m glad that Scanlan called Vox Machina out on that. Towards the end of the campaign, Scanlan admits his love for Pike (played by Ashley Johnson) and it’s hinted that Scanlan and Pike marry. Scanlan towards the beginning of the campaign wasn’t on my radar, but now he has quickly become one of the most interesting characters.

Besides Scanlan, Percy (played by Taliesin Jaffe) was another standout character. Percy was angry and bent on revenge for the death of his family. He made a lot of terrible decisions in order to get revenge. Halfway through the campaign, Percy and Vex (played by Laura Bailey) admit their feelings for each other. Vex softens Percy and helps Percy to move through his grief. Percy originally was the first character in Vox Machina that I paid the most attention to.

As I watched the last episode, I absolutely was crying throughout the first half of the episode. The emotion on everyone’s faces made it that much more believable. It’s clear that the cast of Critical Role became their characters and had that strong attachment to playing them each week.

Now that I finished watching Vox Machina, what’s next? There are three one-shots that feature Vox Machina that I am planning to watch sometime this week (The Search for Grog, The Search for Bob, and Dalen’s Closet). The Amazon Prime series, The Legends of Vox Machina has season #2 coming out on January 20th which I intend to watch. Once all of that is completed, I will officially start watching campaign #2, Mighty Nein. If I had to predict, I probably won’t start until February since I still have a lot of content left even if it’s not the main campaign.

I’m so happy that I started watching Critical Role. It’s been fun to experience the full universe that Matt Mercer has built.

Pop Culture New Year’s Resolutions – 2023

Last year, I wrote about my “Pop Culture New Year’s Resolutions” and I wanted to repeat that for 2023. I’m not a big New Year’s Resolutions person, to begin with, but I like the concept of making goals that are centered around my hobbies, interests, and fandoms. I’ll start by summarizing my resolutions from 2022 before ending with my new resolutions in 2023.

2022 New Year’s Resolutions

  • Watch at least 3 different Anime Series (EOY) – I read two different mangas but didn’t end up watching much anime.
  • Start Watching Mighty Nein, Critical Role’s second campaign – I’m so close to being done with Vox Machina but didn’t make it in time to begin Mighty Nein in 2022
  • Attend an Out of State Convention I Have Never Been to Before – This one didn’t happen either. I go back and forth on this goal and I’ll explain in a little bit why that is.
  • Play and Complete 4 Different PS4 or Console Games – Completed! I think I will carry this one into 2023.
  • Play through Marvel’s Spider-Man on a Tougher Difficulty – I decided halfway through the year that I wanted to move this to 2023 since Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is coming out this Fall.

I wanted to break down a few of these resolutions I had. The first resolution came from wanting to use my Funimation subscription. It takes me a long time to watch TV shows and I found it a lot easier to read manga than watch anime. I ended up canceling my Funimation subscription halfway through the year since I wasn’t utilizing it. In the future, I think I will stick to reading manga as I find that’s a lot more doable for me.

For Critical Role, I decided that I didn’t want to rush through Vox Machina because I wanted to fully enjoy it. I’m currently on episode #111, so I’m close to fully finishing the series (there are 115 episodes total). After I finish them all, I want to watch the Amazon Prime series The Legends of Vox Machina along with the one-shots associated. Once that’s completed then I will start watching Mighty Nein.

Regarding the “Attend an Out of State Convention” I mentioned how I go back and forth on this. While I think it would be fun to attend a convention in a state that I have never been to before, attending a convention would take up a full travel day. This could be a day that I could explore or hike and I’m not sure if attending a convention would be worth it to miss out on being a tourist in a new city. This might be a resolution I will put on hold for now and focus on attending local conventions instead.

As far as my video game resolutions, I do want to carry these over into 2023 as gaming is a hobby of mine that I don’t want to lose.

With all of that being said, here are my resolutions for 2023:

Start Watching Mighty Nein

Read 100 Books, Comics, Graphic Novels, etc.

Play 4 Different PS4 or Console Games

Play Through Marvel’s Spider-Man on a Tougher Difficulty

Rewatch Christopher Eccleston’s Doctor Who Series + Tennant’s Series by End of the Year

Happy New Year! If you have specific pop culture resolutions, I’d love to hear your resolutions in the comments.

2022 Pop Culture Year in Review

Happy New Year! 2022 was a jam-packed year full of various trips, weddings, and surprises. As I reflect on all the memories made in 2022, I can safely say that 2022 was a great year.

Movies I Watched:

  • Shang Chi
  • Black Widow
  • Licorice Pizza
  • The Batman
  • Doctor Strange Multiverse of Madness
  • Top Gun Maverick
  • Black Adam
  • Morbius

If there was a film that would be “the movie” of 2022, it would easily be Top Gun Maverick. I went to see Top Gun twice in theaters. My mom saw Top Gun 6 times in theaters. Top Gun was pivotal as it made going to see a movie in theaters so fun especially after the lull of the pandemic. I wouldn’t be surprised if I rewatched Top Gun in 2023 as my husband hasn’t seen it yet.

Besides Top Gun, I loved The Batman. Robert Pattinson knocked it out of the park and I liked how this movie felt like a “Detective Batman” adaptation.

TV Shows I Watched:

  • Dopesick
  • Euphoria
  • Castle
  • Peacemaker
  • Moon Knight
  • Kenobi
  • The Kardashians
  • Bridgerton
  • Critical Role
  • She-Hulk
  • Ms. Marvel

I think if I had to choose my favorite TV show that I watched this year, I think it would be Moon Knight. Moon Knight was grittier and I loved Layla El-Faouly (played by May Calamawy) as Scarlet Scarab. I’d love to see her pop up in other Marvel adaptations. Besides Moon Knight, I liked Peacemaker a lot which is interesting because Peacemaker was one of my least favorite characters in The Suicide Squad movie. I think Vigilante (played by Freddie Stroma) stole the show with his dark humor and one-liners.

One surprise for me was how much I enjoyed Bridgerton. I’m not normally a big Victorian-era TV show person, but I found myself truly invested in the show. I’m looking forward to Penelope’s (played by Nicola Coughlan) season even though I’m not a fan of Penelope and Colin together because he seems toxic.

The last show I wanted to mention was Dopesick. Dopesick was a Hulu miniseries that focused on the Opioid epidemic. The acting in this is superb and finishing the show left me frustrated since the Purdue family will more than likely not face repercussions for what they started.

Video Games I Played:

  • Nancy Drew Secrets of the Old Clock
  • Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Donut Country
  • LEGO The Skywalker Saga
  • Backbone
  • Disney’s Dreamlight Valley
  • Hidden Through Time DLC
  • Overwatch 2
  • The Quarry
  • LEGO DC Supervillains
  • Nancy Drew: The Final Scene

My favorite game of 2022 was The Quarry. I like Supermassive’s games because they have just enough horror and jump scares where I can play them without having to cover my eyes too much. I played The Quarry Halloween weekend with the lights off and it was perfect.

I didn’t play as many Steam games this year as I did in previous years, but I want to get that going again. With the Steam sale, I plan on picking up a few games on my wishlist. I have a few Nancy Drew games still left to play.

I played a lot of Overwatch 2 which I have to admit, I was expecting more from the game. I’m trying to play new characters as I usually always play as either Zarya or D.Va. I recently discovered Brigitte and she might be my new go-to character.

Gaming in 2022:

  • Taught my mom how to play Exploding Kittens
  • Curse of Strahd campaign
  • Adventurer’s League with Zehiri
  • Doctor Who Fluxx
  • Star Wars Villainous
  • Hunt a Killer – Motel
  • Goodcritters

One highlight in 2022 was playing Curse of Strahd every other Thursday. Our campaign is still ongoing since we haven’t gone after Strahd yet. It’s been fun to meet new people and see my character shine. If this campaign wraps, I will be joining another new campaign. Besides Curse of Strahd, I am still playing in Adventurer’s League sessions. I usually play in a session every few months due to monthly obligations. I am planning on playing in a session later this month.

If I had to pick, I think Star Wars Villainous was my favorite new game I played in 2022. I love Star Wars board games to begin with and I liked how easy this was to learn.

Graphic Novels / Comics I Read This Year:

  • Moon Knight Vol #1 – Jed Mackay
  • Star Wars Doctor Aphra Vol #1 – Alyssa Wong
  • The Weatherman Vol #1 – Jody LeHeup
  • Star Wars Doctor Aphra Vol #2 – Alyssa Wong
  • Star Wars Doctor Aphra Vol #3 – Alyssa Wong
  • Peacemaker – Garth Ennis
  • Teen Titans Beast Boy – Kami Garcia & Gabriel Picolo
  • Hawkeye Issues #1 – #3 – Marieke Nijkamp
  • Vampire Emmy & Garbage Girl – Pat Shand
  • The Last Session #1 – Jasmine Walls
  • The Death of Doctor Strange Blade – Danny Lore
  • Birds of Prey Manhunt – Chuck Dixon
  • Plume Vol #1 – K Lynn Smith
  • Batman Year One – Frank Miller
  • Daredevil Woman Without Fear Issues #1 & #2 – Chip Zdarsky
  • Batman Killing Time #1 & #2 Tom King
  • Critical Role Vox Machina III #1 – #5 – Jody Houser
  • Aquamen #1 – Chuck Brown
  • World of Darkness: Crimson Thaw #1 – #3 – Danny Lore
  • Ms. Marvel #1 – #5 – Samira Ahmed
  • She-Hulk #1 – #7 – Rainbow Rowell
  • Manhattan Projects Vol #3 – Jonathan Hickman
  • Star Wars Princess Leia Vol #1 – Mark Waid
  • Star Wars Obi-Wan #1 – Christopher Cantwell
  • Star Wars Poe Dameron Vol #2 – #4 – Charles Soule
  • Han Solo & Chewbacca #1 – #5 – Marc Guggenheim
  • I Am Not Starfire – Mariko Tamaki
  • Star Wars Crimson Reign #1 , #2 & #4 – Charles Soule
  • DC Pride 2022
  • March Book #1 – John Lewis
  • Miskatonic High #1 – Mike Shea
  • Ice Cream Man Vol #1 – W. Maxwell Prince
  • Bettie Page #1 – #4 – Ani-Mia
  • For Goodness Sake Vol #3 – K Lynn Smith
  • Preacher Vol #1 Garth Ennis
  • Star Wars The High Republic Vol #1 – Daniel Jose Older
  • Stake #1 – David Byrne
  • Captain Carter #2 – #4 – Jamie McKelvie
  • Constantine – Kami Garcia
  • Delicious in Dungeon Vol #1 – Ryoko Kui
  • The Ridler #1 Paul Dano
  • Deadpool #1 – Alyssa Wong
  • Blade Vampire Nation #1 – Mark Russell
  • Ms. Marvel & Venom #1 – Jody Houser
  • Batgirls #1 2022 Annual – Becky Cloonan
  • Teen Titans Beast Boy Loves Raven – Kami Garcia
  • Nightmare of the Living Cat – Hawkman

It took me a long time to fully type out this list. When I skim through the list, there are a few comics that stand out to me. I started reading Moon Knight in anticipation of the show. I’m seeing some repetitions such as Alyssa Wong as they wrote Doctor Aphra and Deadpool along with Kami Garcia’s YA DC graphic novels. My favorite new series that I read was The Last Session which is about college friends getting together to finish their DnD campaign. Other memorable series include Captain Carter, Plume, She-Hulk, and Nightmare of the Living Cat.

2022 Pop Culture Moments

  • Don’t Worry Darling Drama.
  • Lizzo playing James Madison’s old flute
  • James Gunn & Peter Safran reorganizing DC


I split my time between working from home and working in the office. When I work in the office, I listen to podcasts. The two podcasts that I discovered this year have kept me entertained throughout the workday. Three Black Halflings is a podcast that focuses on diversity within role-playing games. Force Toast is a Star Wars podcast that I listen to. It’s one of the few podcasts that I have found that focuses on Star Wars books and comics.

Catchiest Song in 2022:

I was looking through my Top Songs in 2022 playlist on Spotify and I know for a fact that I listened to I Ain’t Worried by OneRepublic so many times throughout the year. It’s so catchy.

Conventions I Attended in 2022:

The only convention I attended this year was Twin Cities Con in November. I hope to attend more conventions in 2023.

Personal Memories

Top Three Memories of 2022:

Road Trips

Buying a House


Henry Cavill Out as Superman – State of the DC Film Universe

Merry Christmas! I wasn’t sure whether I should write a Holiday-Themed blog post, but I decided against it. I had this blog topic on my mind for a while and figured today would be as good of a day as any to write this. There have been a lot of DCrelated announcements now that James Gunn, along with Peter Safran, are the CEOs of DC Films. There is a lot that’s been up in the air as it seems that James Gunn is inheriting a mess of a franchise. With the recent announcements, there is a lot to unpack.

I think the biggest announcement is easily about Henry Cavill. Henry Cavill posted on Instagram that he wouldn’t be returning as Superman. James Gunn followed up on this saying that they were aiming to create a younger Superman story. This news couldn’t be more disheartening. With the release of Black Adam, Henry Cavill appeared in the post-credits scene which implied that he would be back in the role. YIKES. I think Henry Cavill’s Superman statement was professional especially given the context. Both me and my husband liked Henry Cavill as Superman as we thought he was a good fit for the role and it seemed like Henry genuinely enjoyed being in this universe. I’m not exactly a fan of a younger Superman story because it has been done before. I think it would have been much more interesting to feature a veteran Superman who has been through some traumatic events but got through it.

With Henry Cavill out, where is Gal Gadot in all this? I loved Gal Gadot’s portrayal of Wonder Woman and I was hoping that she was going to be carried over into James Gunn’s plan. Patty Jenkins released a statement where she stated it wasn’t her decision to walk away and she would have loved to do a third film. While I didn’t love WW84, I still would have liked to see Gal Gadot return. Besides Patty Jenkins, it’s been announced that the Wonder Woman cameo was cut from The Flash which I think is safe to say that Gal Gadot is out of this new universe.

To be clear, I don’t think James Gunn has an easy job. He has to enter an already messy situation and figure out a way to move forward. It’s unfortunate that this is going to be a full reset instead of potentially merging everything together. If you are a DC fan, I would love to know what you think about this in the comments.

The Guardians of the Galaxy – Holiday Special

Watch The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special | Full movie | Disney+

My go-to Holiday movies are The Polar Express, Love Actually, and Die Hard. This post is not to debate whether Die Hard is a Christmas movie because it absolutely is. I saw The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special pop up on Disney+ which was perfect timing since I was figuring out what holiday movies I wanted to watch this year. The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special was so fun and filled with holiday cheer along with Drax’s awesome one-liners.

Peter Quill (played by Chris Pratt) has been sad for a while coinciding with the loss of Gamora. Mantis (played by Pom Klementieff) and Drax (played by Dave Bautista) come up with an outrageous idea to make Peter feel better. They will fly to Earth and kidnap Kevin Bacon (played by Kevin Bacon!), so Peter can meet one of his heroes in person. As you can imagine, Mantis and Drax have loads of fun in LA while trying to figure out where Kevin Bacon lives.

First of all, the fact that Kevin Bacon agreed to be in this was cool. I could see as an actor when you’re mentioned in another media property, you might want to steer clear from being a guest star in that franchise. For those who are unaware, Kevin Bacon was mentioned in the first Guardians of the Galaxy film where Peter has a dance battle with Ronan (played by Lee Pace). It was so sweet to see that come full circle especially when Kraglin (played by Sean Gunn) tells Kevin that dancing really in fact saved the galaxy.

I need more Mantis and Drax adventures on Disney+. These two have such great chaotic energy together. There’s a part where they are taking photos on Hollywood Boulevard that’s so funny to watch. I haven’t watched a holiday movie that has made me laugh this much in a while.

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special was such a heartwarming superhero holiday film and is definitely worth the watch.