Transcript: Not Now, I’m Watching Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

[Funin’ and Sunin’ by Kevin McLeod plays]

Chelsea: Welcome to episode four of Not Now, I’m Reading, your one stop shop for all things genre. Today we are not reading, we are actually watching Guardians of the Galaxy 2, but we’re also gonna use it as a minute to talk about some of our general feelings about the MCU and Marvel and a whole bunch of stuff that’s going on with that. And of course we’re gonna talk about what we’re currently reading and we’re gonna recommend you guys some really awesome stuff.

Kay: Yay!

Chelsea: So let’s start with what we’re currently reading. What do you got, Miss Kay?

Kay: All the things? All the things. Okay, this one’s real weird, so I’ll just start with this one. I don’t know if you guys have seen, I’m gonna try and track down the tumblr link, there’s this really hilarious post about Steve Rogers and swearing. Basically. And someone way far down in the reblogs cited from this obscure nonfiction book about military history. And one of my really obscure weaknesses is military history. So I tracked down this book using the quote that they had.

[laughter]

Chelsea: That’s some dedication.

Kay: And Google reader. So this is The Air Combat Reader: Historic Feats ad Aviation Legends, edited by Walter J. Boyne and Philip Handleman. It’s a bunch of different authored pieces, so it’s very interesting. There’s some firsthand accounts, there’s some essays, there’s some really funny and some really sad moments. And it’s been a really interesting read so far. I’m only about halfway done, so I’ve gotten through the World War I, World War II, and Korean War sections.

Chelsea: Wow, that’s a lot.

Kay: And I’m about to move onto the Vietnam War and that’ll be not any fun at all.

Chelsea: Well, ’cause you know.

Kay: But it’s very interesting.

Chelsea: The first three were such laugh riots. You know, the first world wars and Korea are just full of laughs.

Kay: Yeah, hilarious. Just nonstop hilarity.

Chelsea: Oh, man. But yeah, that’ll be, that’s a lot.

Kay: It’s a really good read though, so far. And then the audiobook I’ve got on the go, because I just finished up Emma, I’m trying to finish The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth Wein. It’s narrated by one of my fave narrators, Maggie Service. The narration is not the problem. If you’re not familiar with Elizabeth Wein, she wrote Code Name Verity which is amazing.

Chelsea: The Pearl Thief is a prequel to Code Name Verity?

Kay: Yeah. The Pearl Thief is a prequel and it’s about one of the protagonists of Code Name Verity when she’s like fifteen.

Chelsea: I’ve never actually read Code Name Verity. Confession. It’s on my list, though.

Kay: You’ll need to. And you should do it on audio. And you’ll just cry hysterically for the last several hours you’re listening to it. [laughs]

Chelsea: I know. I told Jenny I was thinking about reading it and she was like you’re gonna ruin your life and I was like okay. But in like a good way, right?

Kay: I don’t have a soul and even I was really upset by the end of that book, so [laughs]

Chelsea: Don’t you talk about my best friend like that.

[laughter]

Kay: But this one, it’s, The Pearl Thief is not as, it’s just not as entertaining and interesting and one of the best parts, I think, of Code name Verity, is the format. How, I don’t really wanna spoil it. Just go ahead and look up, or we’ll put in the shownotes what the format of Code Name Verity is. This is just kind of a straightforward mystery and it just doesn’t work as well for me. And that’s fine. But I’m still kinda bummed about it. And then as far as some good fanfic that I’ve been reading. We’re gonna get into some MCU recs here a little bit later in the episode. But I did want to mention this really weird and wonderful fic that I stumbled across in one of my friend’s bookmarks the other day. It’s not actually a fanfic except it is.

[laughter]

Kay: So, you know when you’re on AO3 and something is marked Original Work and you’re like I’m not reading that? This friend bookmarks nothing. She has like thirty bookmarks and this is one of them and I thought okay. And I started it. It’s so good and I don’t really know how to describe it. It’s called The Northern Caves by, I don’t know how to say this person’s user name, nostalgebraist?

Chelsea: Sure!

Kay: I dunno. We’ll have links in the shownotes. The summary is ‘An online message board devoted to a cult fantasy author wrestles with his baffling final book.’ I recommend you do not download this onto your e-reader. I recommend you read this on something with a full screen and actually use the. You know when you’re using AO3 and there’s the option to use the author’s or creator’s style? Do that. They actually made mock-up forum posts. You know, like, oldschool fandom forums when people would do — so, it’s really weird. I don’t even. I’m trying to think how you would even describe this. This is like a send-up to oldschool fandom forums and the discussions, meta discussions people would have. And it’s about a fictional fandom that seems to be sort of a cross between if Watership Down had become a sprawling series sort of in the vein of Lord of the Rings. And had a weird, reclusive author about which there’s many myths that have grown up around them. And it’s just very interesting.

Chelsea: Interesting.

Kay: I’m gonna put a bunch of warnings in the shownotes, too, because there’s no warnings listed on this fic, but there’s some triggery material. But it’s very good. And the writing is just top notch. And I don’t, I don’t even know how to describe it at all. It’s just that weird. But you should give it a look in the shownotes. If none of the warnings I list there are gonna be problems for you I’d say give it a look. And that’s it.

Chelsea: Sweet. I have just finished up a couple of things. The first one was Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi. Which is a middle grade book that I really, really wanted to love a whole lot. But just didn’t.

Kay: Oh no.

Chelsea: Just.

Kay: I hate that.

Chelsea: It’s, the whole – and the principal is very cool because it is about a world that operates with a value system based on color. And so different people can do different things with color and color is worth different things. And our main character is born without color. She’s completely white. And not white like Caucasian, white like an absence of any color. And so it’s about that and a magic system that’s based on color, only then she goes into a different world so it’s very Phantom Tollbooth, but not. And that’s what I really wanted it to be, because I love The Phantom Tollbooth. That’s one of my favorite kids books of all time.

Kay: Fair.

Chelsea: But the writing just got too caught up in itself and she was trying to do, I think some of that Cat Valente fairyland –

Kay: Did she go kinda purple?

Chelsea: Yeah. And I like a little bit of purple, like I am here for that because I am a sensory person, but this went, oooh, buddy. This went too far. Because it started to sacrifice plot –

Kay: If you go uber literary in your book that’s technically written for children, in your writing style, I’m just eh. I don’t know that wasn’t the greatest choice you could’ve made.

Cheslea: If you wanna use six different metaphors and colors to describe the sun –

[Kay laughs]

Chelsea: — that’s fine as long as you’re not sacrificing plot to do it. And that’s what’s happening is she lost track of the pieces of plot and the bigger stuff that was moving her story along just so she could play in the language. Which, again, worked for some people, but just did not work for me so I was super bummed. But then I read a poetry collection called The Princess Saves Herself in This One.

Kay: Ooohh.

Chelsea: By Amanda Lovelace. Yeah. And it’s great. And it is –

Kay: I’ve heard great things about that.

Chelsea: It’s super great. I would really recommend it, especially if you’re not super into poetry. I read maybe two poetry collections a year. Oops. [laughs] Because it’s just. I’m really bad at it. But this one is one that came across even my vision. Even I managed to find it, uh –

[laughter]

Chelsea: –online at the library and it’s great. Narrative poems in which Amanda Lovelace uses books and fairy tales and story structures to talk about abuse and to talk about her cold relationship with her mother and the different men in her life who have hurt her. And it’s just really, as is, that fairy tale kinda meta-commentary works very well in discussing relationships and relationship tropes and how all of those things kind of interact.

Kay: Nice.

Chelsea: And she refers to herself a lot as a person of the book or as a person of books. And so that was obviously, that’s the field we’re playing in over here. So that worked very well for me. So it’s really, like most poetry collections, it moves pretty quickly. Because they’re narrative it’s pretty easy to understand what’s going on. So you won’t get that kind of squicky poetry feeling sometimes of like I think I get it, but maybe I don’t? Maybe I don’t actually understand anything at all.

[laughter]

Chelsea: That’s how I feel sometimes when I read poetry. I’m like, I know what words mean, but do I?

Kay: Always.

Chelsea: Do I know what they mean?

Kay: Always.

Chelsea: Because now I feel like I don’t. The fanfiction that I wanna recommend is one that I found that didn’t quite make the cut for the Star Wars fanfiction recs that we gave out in our Long Way to a Small Angry Planet episode. But this is –

Kay: Yay!

Chelsea: This Is A Day of Rest by notcaycepollard. Who worte it for shortitude and rowboatcop.

Kay: I love all of their fics.

Chelsea: yes.

Kay: All of them.

Chelsea: So this is an ot3 Poe/Finn/Rey, so I’ll just read you the description. It says ‘Can we join you?’ she asks as if it’s a very simple question. ‘You want to what?’ Rey shrugs. ‘You said it was nice. I want to see why it’s nice and your quarters look nicer than ours.’ ‘And your bed is bigger than ours,’ Finn says accusingly. Poe casts a glance skyward wondering how he wound up explaining the concept of a lie-in to these idiot orphans on his first rest day in weeks.

Kay: It’s so good!

Chelsea: So good. There’s like cuddles and smooches and sexytimes and it’s basically porn? Like, it’s basically a PWP, but there’s a little bit of plot. [laughs] Like, very little.

Kay: It’s plotty feelsy porn. [laughs]

Chelsea: Yeah, there is a plot setup, there is a little bit of, like, you and I have talked about before. It’s PWP that doesn’t literally just start with porn.

Kay: Yeah.

Chelsea: Which is kinda nice. But it’s only 3000 words long so it definitely moves that direction, but I.

Kay: It’s mostly just porn.

Chelsea: But it’s nice porn!

Kay: With lots of feelings.

Chelsea: But that’s my one recommendation.

Kay. Beautiful.

Chelsea: Because like Kay said, we are now gonna talk about the MCU and Marvel and our feelings about superheroes.

Kay: Yes.

[Funin’ and Sunin’ by Kevin MacLeod plays]

Chelsea: We’re more specifically gonna talk about all of those things through the lens of Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and then also some fanfic recs that we have for you guys. I will say, I will start my general disclaimer by saying that I did not super love Guardians of the Galaxy 2, and I really liked the first one so I was kinda hoping to like the second one more than I actually did.

Kay: Yeah.

Chelsea: Yeah.

Kay: So I thought the first one was one of those movies that while you’re watching it, it’s super fun and charming and five minutes after you leave the theater you remember almost nothing about it except that you enjoyed the experience of watching it.

Chelsea: Yes.

Kay: I never felt the need to watch it again.

Chelsea: Yes.

Kay: Which is not the case with a lot of the Marvel movies, for me. I could watch the first Captain America and the second Captain America and probably the first Thor a million times.

Chelsea: I mean I have watched –

Both: Iron Man.

Chelsea: — a million times. It’s acceptable.

Kay: Yeah. Like a million times. And they will continue to be entertaining. Never felt the need to rewatch Guardians of the Galaxy.

Chelsea: Which, pause, why do you think that is? Do you think that’s just a fault of the team movie or do you think it’s just the plot wasn’t super great? Or?

Kay: So one of the big weaknesses of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in general are the villains tend to be really weak.

Chelsea: Yes.

Kay: And their motivations tend to kinda be I want the shiny thing and I am evil.

[Chelsea laughs]

Kay: And there’s not a lot more to them than that.

Chelsea: [still laughing] That’s so true.

Kay: So I think one of the big reasons that Loki was so wildly successful for a lot of people, as a villain, was because he kind of, he has slightly more motivations than your run of the mill just ridiculous baddie.

Chelsea: Mmhmm.

Kay: And also Tom Hiddleston.

Chelsea: Also, yes.

Kay: Who is not my particular bag, but I get.

Chelsea: Yeah. Can appreciate for sure.

Kay: I get it. I understand, ladies. And other people who enjoy Tom Hiddleston, not just ladies.

Chelsea: Also.

Kay: Obviously. I think that the Guardians of the Galaxy movies have the weakest villains. And that’s saying something after we saw Ant-Man.

Chelsea: Oh-ho.

Kay: Okay?

Chelsea: Ant-Man gets so much hate. Poor Ant-Man.

Kay: That’s saying something [laughs] after we saw Ant-Man. I mean, the big problem with Ant-Man is that it should’ve been about the Wasp, but –

Chelsea: Well, yeah. But that’s a whole.

Kay: — that’s a discussion for another day.

Chelsea: That’s a whole ‘nother podcast. But yeah.

Kay: I also wanna say we’re coming at this Marvel discussion from a viewpoint of I’m a longtime Marvel comics reader who is on a break with Marvel comics. I’m not currently reading anything they put out.

Chelsea: Yeah, because of their fuckery.

Kay: Mainly fuck Nick Spencer and their entire management team. Just fuck all of them. I don’t really need to explain that to anyone.

[laughter]

Kay: And I believe Chelsea is not coming at this from a?

Chelsea: No, I am not. Yeah, my graphic novel tastes have never really run to superheroes. I also think that despite what a million people have tried to tell me, superhero comics are incredibly difficult to break into. If you’re coming at it –

Kay: Super difficult. I 100% agree.

Chelsae: I’ve had so many people tell me on Twitter that here, you just have to start here, here’s this Wikipedia and I’m just like no, man. It’s just difficult.

Kay: No. No.

Chelsea: Especially if, this is a me thing, but I am a completeist, so if there’s even a hint of this is a thing –

Kay: Which is a fucking shitshow trying to do with any particular character or run or anything at Marvel it’s awful.

Chelsea: Any time I’m like. If there’s even a hint of maybe there’s this other thing that’s important I’m like now I have to read that thing.

Kay: Yeah.

Chelsea: That’s just how my brain works. So that whole system is just incredibly difficult with comic books.

Kay: Plus Marvel is fucking obsessed with doing these events.

Chelsea: Yeahhhh.

Kay: Where you have to pick up eight different comics to know what’s happening. And I’m just like, your fucking floppies cost $4. I’m not gonna buy eight of them to know what’s going on in your Nazi Steve Rogers story!

[laughter]

Chelsea: I am definitely never going to.

Kay: Again. We’re just not going to get into that.

Chelsea: I read the Black Panther run that Ta-Nehisi Coates did. So I have read some of the Marvel comics.

Kay: Which was nominated for a Hugo award.

Chelsea: Yeah, it was.

Kay: The week after it was announced it was being canceled.

Chelsea: Got pulled. That’s some bullshit. Yeah, so I tend to focus more on the side character lines. Those I think are easier. They usually have a much more definitive. Like, the new Squirrel Girl. If you want the new Squirrel Girl, there is one Ryan North Erika Christianson place to go for that. There’s not, like, New Squirrel Girl and then New Squirrel Girl Again, Issue Number 1 Vol. 4.

[laughter]

Chelsea: And I’m just like, I can’t even fucking do that. So yes. All my Marvel feels are entirely related to the MCU and I think that will have some bearing on where my favorite are. And the things that I really enjoy because so much of that is influence by the people who play them. I have no idea if I would love comic book Tony Stark as much as I love movie Tony Stark because of how much I love Robert Downey Jr and because of how much the two.

Kay: I mean, you would probably still love comics Tony Stark, but uh. RDJ does help.

[laughter]

Kay: RDJ does help.

Chelsea: I also am just, I like emotionally dense guys who are assholes. Fictionally. Not in real life, in real life those guys suck, but fictionally –

[Kay laughs]

Chelsea: — that’s where it’s at for me. So. Anyway. So let’s talk, back, a little bit about Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Cause I feel like some of what you were saying with some of the villain stuff they tried to fix in this one. This one definitely had a much more, like, a villain. I could tell you who the bad guy in the second one was.

Kay: Yeah.

Chelsea: Where the first one was kind of like there’s a bad people, different bad people trying to do different bad things.

Kay: Which, I’m sorry, you got Lee Pace to play the villain in your movie.

[Chelsea sighs]

Kay: And you gave him nothing to do.

Chelsea: Nothing.

Kay: What? What! And Karen Gillan! Are you just? You can’t see the horrified faces and –

Chelsea: So much eye rolling.

Kay: — ridiculous shand motions I am making right now, but you do not get those people to be your baddies and then just waste them. That is criminal.

Chelsea: I just, I do not care about Kurt Russell. I do not care about Kurt Russell.

Kay: Blah.

Chelsea: My problem, I think, with the second one, is that all of the stuff that I wanted was not Peter Quill and the issues with his dad. I wanted to talk about Gamora and her sister. [laughs]

Kay: We have so many superhero movies and media in general about superhero bros with daddy issues.

Chelsea: Yes.

Kay: And I do not care.

Chelsea: Don’t care.

Kay: I do. Not. Care.

Chelsea: There are no words to express how much I do not care.

Kay: Or! Your character needs to be at least moderately charismatic for me to give a shit. I don’t know what is happening –

Chelsea: Yeah, dude.

Kay: — with this particular Chris’s career that he continues to make movies where he –

Chelsea: I know!

Kay: has less and less charisma. It is awful. Please stop doing this.

Chelsea: Please stop.

Kay: We want you to be funny and charming!

Chelsea: You were good as Andy Dwyer! Go back to that. I just feel like. I mean, we’re not even gonna get into Passengers but I just.

Kay: Do you think all that time in the gym –

Chelsea: Yes.

Kay: –just sucked his sense of humor and charm right out of him? I don’t know. Maybe. [laughs]

Chelsea: I’m not gonna make the fat and funny, fit and stupid body play dichotomy here, but in this one particular scenario it does seem that the bigger his biceps get the less charming he is and maybe that’s just a factor of the kinds of roles you get offered as you get more popular?

Kay: Yeah, I don’t think it’s anything to do with him as a human being.

Chelsea: No. I think it’s just the roles he’s getting.

Kay: He’s not, like, my favorite person, but those are the roles that are rolling in, now. And I’m just like blech. But Peter Quill. Peter Quill in these movies. Is just. Not that interesting.

Chelsea: Yeah. He’s really not.

Kay: He’s kind of a cipher. Which, most of the characters in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies are very characterless. There’s almost no characterizations gone into them at all. They’re very two dimensional. There were no satisfying character growth arcs –

Chelsea: At all.

Kay: — in this at all. There just weren’t. Maybe for Yondu? But all of his –

Chelsea: But then Yondu died.

Kay: — past shady shit was not appropriately discussed. And then he just dies.

Chelsea: Which, again, I feel like we’re supposed to, because he is a father figure for Peter, just kind of forgive all that other shit we knew about him because he took care of Peter and now Peter’s sad. And he took care of Rocket and now Rocket’s sad so it’s okay?

Kay: But he was wildly abusive? You know. I don’t care if he was theoretically saving Peter from his evil father. He still was a wildly abusive guardian.

Chelae: Okay, so let’s talk a little bit about Peter’s dad. Because.  Just. [laughs]

Kay: Wow. Wow.

Chelsea: [sighs] Like.

Kay: He’s a god.

Chelsea: He’s literally a god!

Kay: This is not a thing from the comics, by the way.

Chelsea: Oh, it’s not?!

Kay: He’s not.

Chelsea: Oh!

Kay: No.

Chelsae: I didn’t know that.

Kay: I don’t know why they changed the dad backstory, like he’s from, I don’t remember what the race is called. It’s been fucking forever since I bothered to read a Guardians of the Galaxy comic. [laughs]

Chelsea: It’s fine. No blame.

Kay: But his dad was not agod. He was an alien of some sort, but not a god.

Chelsea: Yeah.

Kay: And I was like, so they just needed him to be uber powerful for funsies. I guess.

Chelsea: And like, I’m still, and maybe this is just my watching of it. Maybe it’s the fact that the movie is confusing. But I’m still not entirely sure what the whole point of the takeover was. Basically Peter’s dad just wanted to be the galaxy?

Kay: He wanted to remake the galaxy in his image?

Chelsea: Because that’s gone over so well in the past.

Kay: It sounded like he was gonna do forced terraforming of everything? As far as I can tell. But his motivations were basically I am evil and want to rule the world?

Chelsea: Yeah!

Kay: [laughs] And fine.

Chelsea: And he kept talking about it in terms of you have to find your purpose and I’m just like what? What are we doing here, bro? And then you get to the scene where he talks about how he gave Peter’s mom that brain tumor and that was, I will admit, the one point in the movie where I got a little gasp. And I was like, damn dude. That’s intense.

Kay: No, I 100% called that he killed. I 100% called that he killed Peter’s mom.

Chelsea: That’s harsh. I will cop to that, I did not call that.

Kay: I 100% called that. [laughs] Like, literally, the opening scenes where he’s hanging out with Peter’s mom, like, he 100% killed that bitch.

[laughter]

Kay: I just. He killed her!

Chelsea: Which he did. Straight up.

Kay: That is what happened there. Cause we can’t have a single living mother anywhere in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

[laughter]

Chelsea: Anywhere!

Kay: This is why these peole are all fucked up. They have no living father figures or mother figures or guardians who were any good at all. Any good at all. Except Jarvis.

Chelsea: Awww.

Kay: I just made myself sad.

[laughter]

Kay: I just made myself so sad.

Chelsea: That’s so sad.

Kay: Oh, we have to talk about the fact that the b plots were so much more compelling than the a plot. So I think one of the compelling aspects of the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie was that it was a teamup of misfit weirdos. Which, like, is where I live.

Chelsea: For sure.

Kay: That’s a thing you’re gonna get me with even if it’s not a great movie, book, tv show, whatever. I’m gonna be suckered in for at least a little bit. This movie? The team is split up for the vast majority of the movie. When they were together they weren’t working together as a group or a family unit. They were being mean to each other.

Chelsea: Yeah, it was weird.

Kay: And I had no concept of how their relationships together worked. You know what I mean?

Chelsea: Yeah.

Kay: I had no horse in the race of them getting back together because they didn’t seem to like spending time together to begin with. And what I kind of would’ve enjoyed more was if the plot of this movie, instead of, was Peter Quill’s daddy issues, we had the sister team-up intergalactic road trip where everyone else was helping them track down Whatsisface.

Chelsea: Whatsisface.

Kay: Who killed their parents.

Chelsea: Yeah, that dude. That guy.

Kay: That’s how compelling that villain was, I just called him Whatsisface.

Chelsea: Note our attention to details on this super important cinematic adventure. [laughs] I wanted to see more of Rocket and Yondu. I think that was a cool relationship that could’ve been explored. Cause there’s a lot of, like, wrestling with morality.

Kay: They had most of the funny scenes.

Chelsea: They had most of the funny scenes, and they had a lot of cool wrestling with your morality slash humanity stuff going on there. But that’s not gonna happen cause Yondu’s dead.

Kay: They’re both graymoral aholes, which is entertaining. And then Yondu’s just dead.

Chelsea: And then Yondu’s dead.

Kay: So we don’t get anymore of that. But.

Chelsea: I did like the funeral because I thought cinematically it looked really cool. I liked the space fireworks.

Kay: Oh, for sure.

Chelsea: It was very pretty.

Kay: It looked really cool.

Chelsea: This movie was very goodlooking And the soundtrack was good. As a movie it was fine.

Kay: It was fun to look at. This was for sure the first time I have ever seen an action scene set to a Fleetwood Mac song. Which was delightful.

Chelsea: Also some Cat Stevens in there at the end. Which I’m always here for.

Kay: Right? Just, the plot of it didn’t work for me.

Chelsea: Nope.

Kay: The characterizations didn’t work for me.

Chelsae: No.

Kay: And then we also have one of the few new main characters is this, like, Orientalist Woman Trope?

Chelsea: Yeah, she’s basically this alien geisha trope. Who has clearly been somehow emotionally abused.

Kay: Played by, I believe, a French actress of Asian descent, so it’s. yeah. Yeah. Extra layers of ohmygod.

Chelsea: Yeah, it’s really bad.

Kay: She’s a literal slave.

Chelsea: She’s a literal slave. Very clearly has been emotionally abused and is dealing with some PTSD. And then her primary interaction –

Kay: And has empathic powers. Because of course.

Chelsea: Yeah, because of course she does. So not only does she have to go through her own pain, her superpower is to translate and feel the pain of others in a role of service to, basically, white people.

Kay: Her job is to help dudes with their feelings.

Chelsea: Literally.

Kay: She’s the human incarnation of emotional work done for men. [laughs]

Chelsea: Literally, by women of color. Literally.

Kay: Yeah. Yeah.

Chelsea: All of her interactions deal with Drax. And Drax, again, his whole sense of humor stems from this play on I don’t understand social norms so I speak very bluntly and honestly in a way that is humorous. And it worked, kind of, in the first movie, except for when he called Gamora a whore, but you know, whatever. That’s the first movie.

Kay: Unless he literally thought she was a sex worker that line just didn’t make sense. Anyway.

Chelsea: And if he did, call her a sex worker! Again. All of his, basically all of his dialogue and her dialogue are commenting on how physically atrocious he finds her. And how he thinks that she’s gross. There’s a scene where she comes to visit him in his bedroom and he thinks she’s propositioning him and he literally starts to vomit. Like, he literally is acting like he’s having to hold vomit down because the thought of sleeping with her is so gross to him. And we’re supposed to be laughing but obviously I’m sitting there being like this is not funny in any way.

Kay: No one in my screening laughed. At any of those scenes.

Chelsea: yeah. No one in the screening I saw laughed. At all.

Kay: Yeah, no one in my screening laughed at any of those. The only big laughs that this movie got when I saw it were the Rocket and Groot scenes.

Chelsea: Rocket and Groot.

Kay: Which, Groot was fucking adorable.

Chelsea: Which, you know. Those scenes were good. Little Groot was awesome.

Kay: Love Baby Groot. Here for it. Yeah.

Chelsea: And the other thing is there are a lot of scenes where Mantis, because she doesn’t understand what’s happening, she laughs along with him, so I guess we’re supposed to read it like it’s okay because she’s also laughing. But it’s not. And then at the end Drax has this moment of being like it’s okay, you’re pretty on the inside and you’re a part of the team now and a part of the family. And just as you’re like oh, well, look, he’s learned. He’s like you’re the ugly member of the family and just oh. Well. Okay. I guess that’s just how we’re ending that so there we go. Kay is miming choking anyone in the world right now. Because it’s just.

[Kay groans]

Chelsea: And I was trying to sit there just as a general person being like what purpose would this have for being included in this movie? What is the end goal? And all I could come up with is to have cheap laughs at the way this woman looks? Like. What? Why is that happening? So yeah.

Kay: And this is actually the second James Gunn movie I’ve seen this year. The first one’s The Belko Experiment. Which was also really sexist.

Chelsae: Of course.

Kay: And I was just like oh. Okay. This is just a thing. [gasps] I just remembered!

Chelsea: Yes?

Kay: We didn’t talk about Sean Gunn.

[Chelsea gasps]

Kay: Who is James Gunn’s brother.

Chelsea: Who’s amazing.

Kay: And who got amuch larger. If you don’t know, he played Kirk on Gilmore Girls. You probably recognize this guy. He got a much larger role in this and I thought he was super charming and funny.

Chelsea: I thought he did a good job.

Kay: And I was glad he got a much larger role in this. He did a really good job.

Chelsea: I think he’s actually a really good actor. I think that he does great character stuff and I thought that his. When he comes back in and he says that they killed all my friends I was just like oh you poor baby.

Kay: And again, it’s a very two dimensional role, but he brought a lot to it.

Chelsae: For what’s there.

Kay: And I was quite impressed. Which, Kirk was also a very two dimensional role which he made charming through sheer willpower, so way to go, Sean.

Chelsea: So just on the whole I feel like Guardians of the Galaxy 2 encompassed my general superhero feelings of the moment. Which was like: not great to women, lots of white dudes and dudes dealing with their daddy emotions.

Kay: Lots of more competent women of color being used as sidekicks to prop up mediocre bros.

Chelsea: Yes. Yes, I feel like that is probably the subtitle of the Marvel business plan for 2017.

Kay: Yeah.

Chelsea: Slash forever.

Kay: Seriously, somebody give me the Gamora and Nebula road trip movie. I want it. I want it.

Chelsea: Do it! Just gimme a, gimme any movie that doesn’t have Peter Quill in it.

Kay Give it to me.

Chelsea: Sorry not sorry. I’m just not here for Starlord

Kay: I’m trying to figure out how many more movies he’s contracted for. I know that most of them are gonna be in the Infinity Wars movies, right?

Chelsea: Mmhmm, I’m assuming.

Kay: Which, those are gonna be such shitshows. [laughs] They’re gonna be awful.

Chelsae: I’m not super here for the Avengers, anyway.

Kay: No matter what they’re gonna be bad.

Chelsea: I have a hard time hanging in with the Avengers movies because there’s so many people, let alone if we were then to also add like Deadpool and the Guardians of the Galaxy and maybe Squirrel Girl?

Kay: One of the big faults of the Marvel Cinematic universe is that they keep trying to build and build and build. But that means you have all these actors on for multiple contracts. We know there are not gonna be any world ending consequences because you have to put them into another movie. You’re gonna make another movie. So I have no real feeling about the stakes of the film that you’re making.

Chelsea: Although, side note, the way to build your stakes is not to turn Captain America into a Nazi.

Kay: No.

Chelsea: Not the way to fix that problem. By the way.

Kay: Spoiler alert, turning any of your heroes into a Nazi is a bad move. I know. Shocking. Shocking.

Chelsea: In 2017 it’s still not okay. Although maybe he’s not a Nazi? Stay tuned.

Kay: Guess what? That’s not a plot twist. It’s just a lie!

Chelsea: it’s just a lie.

Kay: It’s a lie.

Chelsea: When people ask you pointblank about it, it’s just a lie. So. Headsup.

[Funin’ and Sunin’ by Kevin McLeod plays]

Chelsea: Okay. So. Let’s talk about some happy stuff right now. And let’s rec some good fanfiction.

Kay: Absolutely. I have nothing else to say about this thoroughly mediocre movie other than the soundtrack was actually pretty good.

Chelsea: That’s a good playlist to look up on Spotify if you’re into the classic jams. I will start with one of my few non-Deadpool related pieces of fanfiction to recommend.

[laughter]

Chelsea: It’s called and you needed someone to show you the way by sailorchibi. It is an ot3 souldbond whatever.

Kay: Soulbond, soulmate.

Chelsea: AU fic. What are words? They’re hard. It’s Steve and Tony and Bucky and basically it’s about how Tony has soulmarks on his body for both Steve and Bucky. So he loves them very much and they’re bound to be his soulmates. He knows that. They do not. Tony, as per usual, is dealing with all of his feelings fitting in with the team and feeling like he’s worthy to fit in with the team and he’s having a lot of emotions. [laughs] Which is my favorite kind of Tony. But it is basically an ot3 very slow burn soulmates fic. So if any of those things are for you, we will of course link in the show notes. There are a lot of tags on this to make sure that you check out in case you’re triggered by antign or in case you want some more details abou the sexy bits and what’s goin on there.

Kay: Alright, so my first recommendation is actually a Guradians of the Galaxy fic. There are all of three fics on ao3 for this paring, so you know it’s gonna be good.

[laughter]

Kay: It’s called Life, Love, Empire, and Cake. And it’s pretty much a direct followup to the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie so if you are still listening to us and got thoroughly spoilered for the first movie. Sorry. But this fic won’t spoiler you for the second Guardians of the Galaxy movie. The summary is Peter Quill’s mom had, as far as he remembered, always been a sweet, gentle, and kindly soul. As such, he had grown up convinced that his father must’ve been, by way of cosmic balance, an asshole and 100% a dick. After all, Peter had to have inherited that particular character flaw from someone. This is by manic_intent, by the way, and it’s basically. At some point Peter’s dad who we still don’t reall meet in this fic, arranged a marriage between Peter and –

[Chelsea laughs]

Kay: — and the royal family of Asgard. So this is a Peter/Thor fic.

[Chelsea is still laughing]

Kay: And Peter, Peter because he’s from like 1980s Earth has very internalized homophobia. So he’s got a real confused boner for most of this.

[Chelsea wheezes]

Kay: Thor’s like no it’s fine, we just consummate and then you can go back to doing your Guardians thing. This fic is, they go, they hook up, they get married, then he goes off and does their own thing. And eventually they have to team up for saving the galaxy reasons and it’s great. And the characterizations are just really lovely and I love manic_intent’s version of Thor. And also Peter Quill, cause Peter Quill’s mostly an asshole. This next one is User Since by rageprufrock, who I just blanket recommend.

Chelsea: Always.

Kay: any of her fics. In any fandom. She’s a delight. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever read a fic of hers that I didn’t’ love. And this fic is technically gen. It basically takes place in the direct aftermath of The Avengers. And it’s, I think it’s entirely outsider POV. And it’s all told in emails and forum posts because Phil Coulson, the obsessive, obsessive history nerd and Captain America buff that he was, back in the usenet days definitely started the premier Captain America Howling Commandoes message boards. And so this fic basically runs down, it starts off with a member soundoff post. I dunno if you guys remember those from back in the day. Whenever something bad would happen you’d have everyone check in and make sure everything was okay. So it’s a member soundoff after the Attack on New York. And then it’s repeated attempts to get in touch with Phl. And then everything that happens after. And it culminates in a bunch of the people from the forum going to Phil’s graveside in DC at Arlington and some stuff happens. And I just have a lot of feelings.

Okay. This next fic is Cum Laude by Domenika_Marzione. I’m sure I butchered all of that pronunciation on [laughs] both the fic title and the author name. I’m sorry. The summary is Steve navigates the  sometimes choppy seas of being a celebrity in the 21st Century and finds the time and the courage to fulfill a 20th century promise and return to school. Because back in the day Steve promised Bucky that after the war he would go back and finish his art degree.

Chelsea: Awww.

Kay: So this is this really lovely gen fic with some equally lovely original characters. Which, hear me out, I know most people hate original characters. Domenika_marzione, it’s her specialty to write really great ones into every fandom I’ve ever read her fic in. So he’s got a wonderful publicist and her assistant and they’re both great. And he basically finds out at the start of this fic that the school he went to back in the day wants to know if he wants an honorary degree from them and he’s like, but I only had a year left. Can we look into this? And he goes back to school and finishes his degree. And it’s really, relaly lovely.

Chelsea: That’s really cute. The next one I have is a piece of Spideypool fiction. Confession, my fic of choice in the MCU is actually Ironpool. But there are literally seven tagged entries for Ironpool on AO3 and I didn’t feel like any of them were worth recommending. [laughs] Sorry.

Kay: I wish you guys could see the intensely dubious face im’ making right now.

Chelsea: I accept your dubiousness. You don’t have to sail my ship. I’m totally good sailing it by myself.

Kay: I don’t judge anyone’s ships, okay, but I just don’t understand that one at all. [laughs]

Chelsae: It’s just my broken baby assholes being mean to each other and also fucking. It’s where my heart is. I have no other explanations for it. But that’s not what t his is. This is my second best ship in the MCU. Which, like I said, is a piece of Spideypool. This is called Sick Days by darkmoonmaiden and it is what happens when Peter Parker gets sick and has to kind of stay home from some adventures and Wade sneaks into his house to check on him. It’s very cute. It’s not technically gen, because it is a Spideypool fic, but there’s not any actual sexytimes. It’s just some cuddling and hand holding and forehead kissing. So it’s actually very sweet. And very light on any kind of actual sexual content.

Kay: Next up we’ve got RED. That’s all in capital letters. By waldorph. The summary is just These are not all lies. And it’s basically ten thousand words of Natasha feels and backstory. It’s amazing. There’s, it’s not secondary to the main plot, but there’s, I would call it background, cause mostly this is Natasha fic. But it’s a Maria Hill/Natasha Romanov fic. There’s also some background Clint/Coulson. It’s just really great. Even if you’re like me and Natasha is not one of your particular faves. Which, me not loving Natasha is mostly tied into me really not being a ScarJo fan. Cause I like comics Natasha quite a bit..

Chelsea: Yeah, that’s what I was gonna say. I’m not here for Scarlet Johansson.

Kay: But, uh, I don’t love MCU Natasha. But, yeah. That woman. I dunno man.

Chelsae: We just won’t go there.

Kay: We’ll just not. But this fic is really great and it will probably also give you Natasha feels. Mind the tags on that. I’m pretty sure she put the warnings in there. There’s some past noncon stuff, because you know. Spies. Honeypot. That kind of shit.

Chelsea: But, as always, it’s tagged. So just make sure you check that out before you head on into anything. My last one is actually part of a series is called Wade and Peter and other being punched in the face things.

Kay: That’s a great name.

Chelsea: I’m so here for meta titles. So. Yeah. This is the second part of the series. You don’t really need to read the first one. They’re kind of standalones but there is some backstory that we’ll just, again, deep in the reading experience if you’ve already had it. This one is called Petey and Wade’s Secret Dating Service. As in they are secretly dating and that serves to protect the world in the loosest way possible. And it’s by isadancurtisproduction. And basically what happens is that Peter decides that he’s gonna take a job with Wade. Only Wade’s boss is Tony Stark. So that causes some conflict. Both between their being professional superheroes and also between them wanting to be smooch. It’s super great. It’s kind of an investment. It’s mostly fluffy and humorous. Which is actually usually really not my jam. I usually playon the much more angasty end of the spectrum.

Kay: I was gonna say. That’s usually my bag, not Chelsea’s. [laughs]

Chelsea: I’m usually always here for angst and hurt/comfort, but 2017 already has enough of it’s own IRL angst man. I don’t need any more of that in my fiction.

Kay: Pass the fluff, man. Pass the fluff.

Chelsae: Humor and fluf.

Kay: I’ve got one more. I mean, I could go on for days. I’m also gonna link to my blog where I have a million fic rec lists and there’s more if you need more. Cause I’m your dealer, okay? I am here for you. But this is gonna be the last one we’re gonna talk about today because we’ve gotta wrap this up. This fic is called Average Avengers Local Chapter 7 of New York City. It’s by hetrez. It’s probably one of my favorite fics in Avengers fandom ever. The summary is Steve and Tony accidentally start a national do gooders association and fall in love. Which is wonderful. And if you are a New Yorker or have spent any significant amount of time in New York City you are gonna be reading htis going fuck. This person has spent so much time in my neighborhood and like. They even talk about Scabby the Union Rat? Like, we’re going deep, here. Like, Steve. I love this. Steve has lots of union feels.

[laughter]

Kay: In this. This basically could be subtitled Steve has a lot of feelings about unions and Tony indulges him. It’s just really great.

Chelsea: Which was a thing you never knew you wanted.

Kay: It’s so beautiful. Read it immediately.

Chelsea: And that’s it.

[Funin’ and Sunin’ by Kevin MacLeod plays]

Chelsea: Alright, guys. Well, that about wraps up this episode. Join us again in a week. We will be reading another book. This time we are gonna be reading Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai. Come find us. Chat with us. We are always here to chat with you guys. But until next time. Goodbye!

Kay: Bye!

 

Advertisements