Welcome back to my wrap-up of #MarvelAThon’s Phase Two! If you don’t know what I’m talking about, here are some helpful links:
Phase One and Phase Two both had six books each, while Phase Three has nine. In Phase One, two of the books I read for the challenge were graphic novels, and I said that I would like to continue to include as many graphic novels as I can, because reading 21 books a month is ambitious even for me.
Oh, and of course, since June is also Pride month, I tried my best to read books with queer main characters for at least /most/ of the prompts. (In the last Phase, 5 out of 6 books had at least one queer MC.)
IRON MAN 3 – A book that will challenge you
Broad Knowledge edited by Joanne Merriam
(🏳️🌈)This was an anthology with 35 stories, and while I love anthologies, if they have more than 15 stories then I tend to read them very, very slowly. (It took me a month to read the Sunvault anthology, with had about 40 pieces, and many of those were artwork or a few lines of poem.) So, reading this in time to finish the other prompts was certainly challenging. About 5 of the stories have queer women MCs. Read my review here.
THOR: DARK WORLD – A book with siblings
Coady and the Creepies by Liz Prince
🏳️🌈 This is a graphic novel about three sisters who are part of a punk band… and one of them is a ghost. It was a fun read, although I felt like the plot was a little all over the place. One of the sisters is into girls, though.
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER – Main character is a villain or anti-hero
Loki: Agent of Asgard, Vol. 1: Trust Me by Al Ewing
🏳️🌈 Need I say more? In the MCU, Loki goes from villain to annoying little brother and reluctant ally. In this particular volume, he is an agent of Asgard, trying to make up for his past crimes – but he’s got a long way to go before anyone would call him a hero. Also, his genderfluidity is wonderfully presented in this volume.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY – Set or written in the 80s
Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
🏳️🌈 For this prompt, I picked a novel by Jeanette Winterson that I was convinced was a memoir until I read the introduction. Apparently, this is a fictional novel loosely based on the author’s life. It’s about a girl who grows up in a heavily religious family and realises she’s a lesbian – personally, I would have enjoyed more focus on the second half, but we can’t always get everything.
AGE OF ULTRON – A book involving AI
The Freeze-Frame Revolution by Peter Watts
(🏳️🌈) Shout out to Avalinah’s Books: I was agonising over this prompt because the book I was originally going to read for it is 400 pages long, so it was a blessing to quickly find this 200-page novella that centers a crew’s relationship with their artificial intelligence. The book has a nonbinary side character and two men in a sexual relationship, although romantic attachments are definitely not in focus. (I definitely wouldn’t recommend this book specifically for the LGBTQAI+ content, though. The nonbinary character is pretty minor, and the two men barely spend time together after the first chapter.)
ANT MAN – A book involving heist or thieves
Baker Thief by Claudie Arseneault
🏳️🌈 This is the ownvoices aromantic story with a bigender aromantic protagonist and a biromantic demisexual protagonist that we all deserve. Both the queerness and the food in this book is amazing, and I’ve been meaning to read it for a long time. Its relevance to the prompt is probably obvious by the title – I could have used it for the sibling prompt too, because both protagonists have siblings who are central to the plot.
To sum up: six books in this challenge, two of them are graphic novels (one of them is Marvel!), and all of them have queer characters: five as protagonists in at least some stories, and one has multiple side characters.
There’s still time left in June – but will it be enough to read another 9 books?! … Let’s hope so.