Women of Marvel-Netflix Part 1: Daredevil

I’ve been meaning to do some posts like this for a while, because why not, but a recent episode of the Fanboys at Large finally gave me the push when they wondered how female fans feel about Marvel’s handling of women in these Netflix shows. Some day I’ll do posts just about the Marvel shows in their entirety, but for now I’m going to focus on the ladies. This post will be just about the women in Daredevil (both seasons), with Jessica Jones and Luke Cage to come.

Be warned, there are many, many spoilers here for BOTH seasons of Daredevil

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First up is Karen Page. I already knew going in that she has a horribly tragic story/relationship thing with Matt, so their evolving flirtation, while kind of corny and annoying, doesn’t really bother me. If anything, I’m so glad that she’s been given more of a solid foundation as their secretary and then evolving into a journalist. She gets a little overly emotional sometimes… but okay, so she’s a softie. I can live with that. But I HATE that Matt and Foggy act like she’s crazy in the first season for carrying pepper spray. She was brutally attacked, twice, and has every reason to suddenly be wary of strangers, not want to be alone in her apartment, and to carry some sort of protection. I was disappointed that the show portrayed her that way. On the other hand, she’s been shown to be persistent, compassionate, and driven towards a sense of justice. She does what she needs to survive. I dig her.

I do kind of hope that they go a different route with her relationship with Matt in the show and she tells him to go screw himself. Since I expect it, I don’t hate their storyline… but I’d love for her to find out that Matt was ready to drop everything and be with Elektra while in the midst of dating her, and then decide that she’s done with him.

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Next is Marci StahlI admit to totally hating Marci at first, because you’re supposed to. She’s ambitious, callous, and a bit of  a passive racist. But I think the men in the show kind of treat her like crap. In the end, she does help save the day by risking her life and career to get information on Fisk that will help put him away. And what does she get? A lame toast around the table behind her back (“god bless her and her designer pumps”). I love that she’s confident, and drops some truth bombs (see GIF above, I mean she’s not wrong). I find myself warming to her more and more, and I hope that her priorities are little adjusted now, because I’d like to see more of her, and if that’s in a relationship with Foggy… well, we’ll see how it goes. Be careful, Marvel.

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Claire Temple is a big one, since she’s been in all three shows so far and is almost definitely going to be in Iron First. In Daredevil, she saves Matt’s life, they seem to develop some feelings towards each other, but then he gets caught up in what he’s doing, won’t really explain much of it to her, and she chooses not to be around him anymore because she doesn’t want to deal with his bullshit and she’s too afraid that he’s going to cross a line in his superheroing. I hated this entire flirtation, and I don’t think it needed to be there. Her continuing to help him did not need a romantic undertone. I like Claire, and I’m excited to see her grow into her Night Nurse role. I read an article that pondered whether Marvel will kill her off to bring the Defenders together, and I will lose. my. shit. if they did that.

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Ugh, Vanessa Marianna. She seems great at first, right? Smart, articulate, owns her own business. But I kind of hate Vanessa, even though I think there’s some sweetness to her and Fisk’s relationship. She was wary of Fisk to start, and realizes very quickly that her instincts were right and that he’s dangerous, but continues to date him. As soon as she handed her gun to him, her best means of protecting herself from this stranger she suspects is up to no good, I was done with her. And she apparently approves of all the horrible shit he’s doing, even helps him. Hard pass.

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Poor Mrs. Cardenas, who only existed here because Marvel couldn’t resist killing an innocent woman in order to motivate the superhero to finally get the bad guy. She was a sweet old bird, and I’m sad that she got such crappy treatment from the show.

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Madame Gao is a boss. There’s not really much more to say, except that I hope she makes a reappearance at some point. 

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Oy…Elektra Natchios. I have so many mixed feelings on her as a character. She’s absolutely crazy, but a tiny part of me likes that about her. I really don’t like the obsessive, toxic nature of her and Matt’s relationship. You know how in season 2 of Dexter, crazy-ass Lila showed up and enraptured Dexter and he was just fucking up left and right because he couldn’t get his head out of his ass long enough to see what a bad situation it was? That was basically Matt and Elektra. I think she could be a great character, but the season she was introduced was kind of a mess and they could have done better. And speaking of doing better – why the hell didn’t her final costume have sleeves? Why bother with Melvin making anything for her at all, if her arms are like 100% unprotected? Come on, Marvel. Come on. Anyways, Elektra’s all right… but I’m a little disappointed that they hinted at her return.

My thoughts about these ladies and the treatment they receive in the shows is always evolving, and I welcome other perspectives, so feel free to tell me what you think. How is Marvel doing representing women in Daredevil?

The Mothers by Brit Bennett

Wow you guys. This book.

It’s pretty fair to say that I actually didn’t know much of what this book was about. It’s been on my radar for ages, and the excitement of basically everyone on the internet exploded when it came out last week, so I had to go and get it for myself. I knew that it was vaguely about a black religious community, but that was about it. I sat down this weekend and devoured it.

When Nadia is a high school senior muddling through grief after losing her mother, she starts seeing Luke, a college football star working in a diner because of an unfortunate injury. Their romance doesn’t last but they have a secret, something Nadia doesn’t even share with her best friend Aubrey, and that secret will follow them through early adulthood and warp their relationships in ways they could never have anticipated. They all have their flaws, but you can’t help but feel for each one of these characters as they navigate through what life has dumped in their laps.

So, the secret is such a big thing, but I don’t want to say what it is in case anyone reading this has avoided that detail so far and doesn’t want it to be spoiled. But I very, very much loved the topic and the many ways in which it was discussed and dissected. But the other big piece of this book is the concept of mothers. It’s about how our mothers affect our lives, whether they are present or absent. It’s about the different shape that mothers or mothering can take – it can be a caring sister, or a doting daughter, or one of those old wise ladies at church praying for the community. It can be the ways in which you choose to be there for friends and family, it can be knowing the difference between right and wrong, it can be doing the hard thing even if doesn’t feel right. Mothering can be the decision not to be a mother, or the decision to actively pursue motherhood no matter what.

Brit Bennett did an absolutely wonderful job in this book. There were so many quotes that I jotted down to muse over later, that lend insight on blackness, and sadness, and womanhood. I absolutely cannot wait to see what she puts out next, but whatever it is I’m here for it. She’s going on my auto-buy list.

Have you read it yet? What did you think?

Fledgling by Octavia Butler


This is definitely one of those “Why did I wait so long to read this??” books. I picked up Fledgling from a used bookstore a couple years ago, but it’s just been sitting on my shelf. I added it to my TBR for this month because I wanted to read something I’ve had on my shelves for a while, and plus it was about vampires so perfect for Halloween-time, right? Well, it was not even remotely scary so maybe not a great Halloween pick, but it was still a great read.

Fledgling is about a black girl named Shori. She’s a 53-year old vampire who looks like she’s about 10 or 11, but she doesn’t know any of this about herself. At the book’s opening, she wakes up barely alive – blind and burned, with a crushed skull. She eventually heals, but with no memory of who she is or what has happened to her. She comes to realize that she is a vampire, an experimental, genetically modified one who is unique in her ability to be in the daylight, and that she is the only survivor of a brutal attack on her family. Shori has to set out to learn about herself, about what it means to be a vampire, and who is launching the attacks against her people.

I kind of very much love Octavia Butler’s version of vampire lore. I don’t want to spoil much, but I think most of it makes a lot more sense than the traditional folklore. She does some unique things with their existence, abilities, and traditions that I haven’t seen done elsewhere. I think that you’ll like this a lot if you enjoy the mythology of vampires more than the action and gore of vampire stories. But for me, that’s only one part of what made this so interesting.

Race plays a secretly big role in this book, and Butler uses it to make some commentary on the way the concept of race exists in our world, through her use of genetic modification in Shori’s creation to how insidious racial bias is. I had a great, long conversation with my husband about the race dynamics in Fledgling, especially after a pretty critical review I happened across online when I was about ⅔ through the book. And of course, Octavia uses this simple plot – who is trying to hurt Shori and how can they be stopped – as a backdrop to play with concepts of sexuality, consent, power, family, justice, and intimacy. I wish that I had read this with a book club because there’s just so much to be picked apart here. I love it when novels give me a lot to chew over.

Have you read it? Thoughts?

Sarah Sunday

It’s Sunday morning and I’ve already finished a book and now working on blogging, and there’s so much more Sunday left! Usually it’s already 5 and I’m sad because the weekend is winding down.

Reading: I finished The Mothers by Brit Bennett today and it is as fantastic as everyone is saying. Believe the hype – go get it. I’m still reading Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward, and I’m thinking I’m going to try to squeeze Listen to Me by Hannah Pittard in today.

Watching: Still slowly making our way through Blacklist season 3 – my brother told me to get some wine or something to make it through the end because apparently some things go down. But also, watching the debates has been upsetting but weirdly fun because you just know some stupid shit is going to get said and Twitter is FABULOUS at live-tweeting and it’s just great. I’m almost sad that there’s only one left, but there should be plenty of comedic gold to come for it for a long time.

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Listening: I haven’t started an audiobook in weeks, I can’t seem to land on one that I can focus on enough while I drive.

Eating: I cooked the rabbit! And it came out pretty good – it is a lot more flavorful than chicken, and I can’t wait to buy more and try different recipes. We gave Gabby a few pieces and she went NUTS, wouldn’t leave us or our plates alone afterwards.

Blogging: Dude, not nearly as much as I want to. I have some more reviews to work on, but I’m guessing that my posts are going to be a little more all over the place this fall. I’m taking two trips in early November, and then the holidays hit. But I’ll always be pretty active on twitter/instagram/litsy/snapchat at least.

Thinking: About how I REALLY should get around to finishing the unpacking downstairs at least. And also, holy hell Christmas is coming up way too fast.

Anticipating: The readathon next weekend! Bookish people unite!

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How’s your weekend going?

IQ by Joe Ide

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Thank you SO much to Mulholland Books for giving me the chance to read and review this! I promise all thoughts expressed here came from my own head.

Man, this cover though, right? I love it. I’ve been looking forward to IQ since I first heard about it a few months ago. Here’s the publisher’s description:

A resident of one of LA’s toughest neighborhoods uses his blistering intellect to solve the crimes the LAPD ignores.

East Long Beach. The LAPD is barely keeping up with the neighborhood’s high crime rate. Murders go unsolved, lost children unrecovered. But someone from the neighborhood has taken it upon himself to help solve the cases the police can’t or won’t touch.

They call him IQ. He’s a loner and a high school dropout, his unassuming nature disguising a relentless determination and a fierce intelligence. He charges his clients whatever they can afford, which might be a set of tires or a homemade casserole. To get by, he’s forced to take on clients that can pay.

This time, it’s a rap mogul whose life is in danger. As Isaiah investigates, he encounters a vengeful ex-wife, a crew of notorious cutthroats, a monstrous attack dog, and a hit man who even other hit men say is a lunatic. The deeper Isaiah digs, the more far reaching and dangerous the case becomes.

So my brain really focused on the “genius kid solves cases that the police ignore” bit and forgot the part about this being about him working on a rapper’s case, so I was a tad disappointed that the focus wasn’t more on IQ using his Sherlock-like intellect to solve cases for the city’s downtrodden, but that was my own fault. Outside of that, I really enjoyed this.

The book bounces back and forth between IQ’s teenage years when he used his intelligence in less honest ways, and the current day where he’s trying to figure out who set a crazy hitman out to kill a failing rap star. A lot of the book, especially in the flashbacks, is dedicated to explaining how IQ grew up and what motivates him to solve cases for people today. There’s a wide range of emotions here too – my heart hurt for some of the things IQ went through, but then I literally had to pause reading to laugh out loud at some other parts, like the summary of ridiculous fights between the rapper and his ex-wife.

Honestly, I kind of had a good idea early on who was going to be the bad guy and I was right, but this was still a fun read. I hope there are more to come, because I want to see more of IQ’s smartypants self and I’d love to see future books delve more into the social justice side of his cases. I have a feeling that IQ has the potential to evolve into a hero-for-hire kind of mystery series and I would be all over that.


Sarah Sunday

Is it just me, or has this been a pretty decent weekend? Feels like fall, so that’s nice.

Reading: I’m in the very beginning of both Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward (Social Justice Book Club pick!) and Fledgling by Octavia Butler. I hardly read this week – work has been an absolute bitch, I think I took lunch and actually left on time maybe 2 days out of the week – but hopefully that’s changing and I can finish both by next weekend.

Watching: Umm, we watched Keanu last night and it was ridiculous. Not enough of the kitty in it, but basically I would do all of those things to get my Gabby back.

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Listening: The Heavy right now, but also Cannibal by Kesha. It’s a great Halloween-time song. She talks about eating boys and drinking their blood, so.

Eating: I bought a rabbit! I finally went to a meat market where they had frozen whole rabbits for sale. So, I have a 2-lb frozen rabbit in my freeze, and I’m really excited to try it, but I’ve never made rabbit before so any suggestions??

Blogging: I’m VERY BEHIND. Hoping to catch up a bit on reviews today.

Thinking: My new skull scarf that I got for $3 at the public market is awesome.

Anticipating: My friend is having a girl’s night next weekend, so that should be fun. And the weekend after that is the 24-hour readathon! Lots of shenanigans to look forward to. I could use about 20 readathons to catch up on all the reading I want to do.

Hope you’re enjoying your weekends!

September Recap


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I don’t know what it was, but I kicked September’s ass. I read 8 books and 21 comics. I even reviewed most of the things I read. Maybe it was my super low expectations? Or my tendency to choose reading over unpacking/cleaning/doing anything active or productive? Who knows, but it was awesome. 


Playing Dead by Elizabeth Greenwood – She kind of lost be when she started talking about whether or not Michael Jackson is still alive, but the parts that focused directly on pseudoside were was kind of fascinating and it’s great on audio.

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The Rise of Io by Wesley Chu – More action-filled awesome from Wesley Chu. I can’t wait for the next one.


Here Comes by Sun by Nicole Dennis-Benn – Really engrossing but also very heartbreaking, seeing these female characters struggle through life and how hard tourism impacts life in Jamaica.


The Hike by Drew Magary – Weird and delightful, had a little bit of a video game quest vibe going on. But I like the other’s other novel, The Postmortal, better.

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You Can’t Touch My Hair by Phoebe Robinson – Phoebe tackles racism and sexism while talking about her own experiences as a young black female comedian, and she does it while making you laugh out loud. VERY psyched she’s going to be at Book Riot Live in November!


Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina – Nora’s growing up in NYC during the Son of Sam’s reign of terror, but the things she’s dealing with at home – an increasingly violent brother, and a mother barely scraping by – are almost as horrible. Nora is one of the better depictions of those turbulent teen years that I’ve seen in YA.


The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins – Absolutely bizarre and a little creepy. I don’t think it lived up to the hype I heard, but it was a decent read.

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The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer – I am really pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this. I’m hoping to do a full review soon, but it was funny and poignant. Awesome on audio.



Books read: 8

Female authors: 5 (63%)

Non-white authors: 4 (50%)

Format breakdown: 2 e-book, 2 audiobook, 4 print


Issues read: 21

Female authors/illustrators: 0  :(

Non-white author/illustrators: 2

Format breakdown: All print.

This is such a late update, but man September was awesome. So far October has not been so awesome – more busy, less reading. But my focus is basically to read ARCs and books by authors that will be at Book Riot Live in November.

How was your September?

You Can’t Touch My Hair by Phoebe Robinson

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“Society doesn’t exactly make life terribly easy for black women – and yes, life is hard for everyone – but black women have their own unique battles, a Molotov cocktail of racism and sexism.”

I requested this on Edelweiss because I love funny-lady-memoir books, and ones by WOC are especially hard to come by, so thanks so much to PRH for approving my request! And it’s a double-win, because Phoebe Robinson is going to be at Book Riot Live and now I am extra psyched to possibly meet her in person. (We’ll see how that goes, I’m shy.)

The range of topics in these essays is broad, but man I hope she writes more books because I could read her thoughts on all the things. She’s hilarious and goes off on weird rambling tangents and it’s awesome. Basically, if you like funny-lady books and are even mildly interested in commentary on race and gender, then you’ll enjoy this much. And if you don’t get why you shouldn’t be touching (or asking to touch) a black person’s hair, then you desperately need to read this and many more books. This might be a good starting point.

Fave parts!

  • Why she loves boats.
  • When she talks about her Not-So-Guilty Pleasures and is talking about the famous dudes she’d like to sleep with, and this comes up: “Sure, he’s got biceps and triceps for days. Of course, eing incredibly talented at banging on drums all day means that he is most likely to put his thing down, flip it, and reverse it. But his name is Larry. Y’all. I can’t call out “Larry” during sex. I’m not about that life.”
  • She talks about the hyper-awareness that all black people live with and how exhausting that is.
  • She writes a list of demands to the First Female President, which includes forcing the world to become comfortable with the word “vagina”.
  • She TEARS APART the white lesbian couple who sued the sperm bank they used for giving them a black baby, because having a black child made their lives hard, partly because they live in a racist neighborhood. I enjoyed her critique of those women SO HARD.
  • She talks about coded language, which is often racist but white people will cling to it and claim that their use of those words in that context wasn’t racist. (AKA, that co-worker who told me to avoid a certain suburban apartment complex because it was “ghetto”. What she meant was that there were a lot of non-white people living there. That’s it.) “Coded language allows the speaker to deny any sort of responsibility unless their back is against the wall, in which they’ll generally offer up a paltry ‘I’m sorry you feel that way’ non-apology.”
  • Her speaking about the movie Kingsman and how the ending was just stupid and ridiculous. (And I agree, it kind of ruined the whole tone of the movie.)

Go get it and go read it! And then go on YouTube and watch her Woke Bae videos, which are delightful.

Sarah Sunday

So, this was quite a week. Work was ridiculously busy (I’m thinking that this has become the new normal for my job, which I feel some sort of way about) and I was there till around 6 at least 3 nights out of the week. But also, my little brother, who moved clear across the country in February, was in a car accident. I got the call Wednesday morning, and my mom flew right out there as quick as she could, but it was relatively serious. Fractured cheekbone (going up to eye socket) that will probably need some sort of surgery later, a whole bunch of abrasions, possible sprained ankle, and who knows what else because the private hospital he was rushed to basically tried to shove him out the door as soon as they heard he has no insurance. My mom said he could barely walk (my nephew video-chatted with him on Friday and told me “Tio walks like a zombie now”. He went to another hospital last night to get checked out, and I’m waiting to hear from him and my mom to see if they found any other injuries or anything. It was a relief to talk to him on the phone, but I’ve been worried all week and I know he’s still in a hell of a lot of pain.😦

Anyways, on to the things…

Reading: The Terranauts by T.C. Boyle… I can’t decide if it’s slow, or if my attempts at reading it have just been so scattered have been ruining the reading experience. I’m going to try to read of a chunk of it today, hopefully.

Watching: LUKE CAGE!!

Listening: Nothing at the moment, but I did download a bunch of old Busta Rhymes, TLC, and some other stuff on my phone since I had to do that stupid reset and lost so much music on it.

Eating: Just junk food yesterday while we watched the first 7 episodes of Luke Cage. I feel gross.

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Blogging: HA. Barely this week. I’m going to try to get caught up on some work stuff today so that maybe I can leave work at a decent time this week and have more time for reading/blogging/living.

Anticipating: Hopefully getting to the mall this week to use the like $50 I have in Sears points because I bought the washer and dryer there. I really need a new pair of boots for the fall, but man I hate shoe shopping.

Alright, hope everyone is having a great weekend. I got work to do.


October Monthly TBR

I don’t know what is was, but September kind of rocked. I finished 8 books, (8!) and 19 issues of comics. So, I’m being a little ambitious in my October reading.

In the stack:

  • Fledgling by Octavia E. Butler – I’ve been meaning to read this FOR.EV.ER. It’s about a little black girl vampire who is actual in her 50’s and is able to be outside during the day.
  • Super Extra Grande by Yoss – Cuban sci-fi! Space travel faster than the speed of light  is a real thing thanks to Latin American scientists, and a veterinarian will be responsible for saving the day and keeping the peace among the galaxy’s species.
  • The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Heidi W. Durrow – This is about a biracial girl who loses her family and has to rethink how she identifies. I think. I don’t know, it’s gotten so many great reviews.
  • Spontaneous by Aaron Starmer – Seniors students start exploding in class, with no rhyme or reason. I heard about this on the Book Riot podcast and it sounds weird and hilarious.
  • Preacher by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon – I have the first three volumes from the library and I really do want to check it out, ideally before I get around to watching the show.

On the Kindle:

  • Rich and Pretty by Rumaan Alam – Focuses on two best friends who are really different? Honestly the premise isn’t my usual jam, but it’s gotten fabulous reviews and the author will be at Book Riot Live.
  • IQ by Joe Ide – A young inner city kid starts to try to solve the crimes that the police just ignore or dismiss. I am BEYOND PSYCHED that I got approved for this on NetGalley.
  • The Terranauts by T.C. Boyle – I’m about 15% into this, the premise is basically like Bio-Dome (that Pauly Shore movie). But you know… without stoners creeping into the giant science experiment. Of course I had to request it on NetGalley!
  • Never Look an American in the Eye by Okey Ndibe – Another NetGalley approval. I haven’t read anything by this author before, but his memoir is about moving from Nigeria to America and it sounds so great.

Alright, and then there are a couple other books coming out this month that sound fantastic and hopefully I’ll get to those too. It’s gonna be a good month, right? Right.

What are you excited to read soon?