I'm gonna transform into "Old Lady Phoebe" for a moment. Back in my day, the 90s, Memorial Day was the official 'start' of the summer movie season. Nowadays, it seems like summer movie season starts sometime in February, (I kid).

Being that I'm a bit old school, I still like to use the end of May as my official starting point for my summer movies. It just fells more authentic that way. All that being said, this week, I'll present you with my list of summer movies that I'm looking forward to. I'll be doing it in the order of their release date.
San Andreas PosterImage: WB
San Andreas: May 29
This one stars hulky hunk, Dwayne 'The Rock?' Johnson, and was written by Lost co-showrunner Carlton Cuse. Cuse is currently the show runner of one of my TV guilty pleasures, Bates Motes, on A&E and making it aware that he was the real talent behind the success of Lost. I gauge this on the success he is having post Lost as compares to his partner, Damon Lindelof. This movie falls into the 'disaster' genre as it's about a big earthquake that threatens America's west coast. I'll be honest, it looks like a pretty fun ride and features a pretty decent cast including Percy Jackson's, Alexandria Daddario, Fantastic Four's, Ioan Gruffurd and The Rhino himself Paul Giamatti. This movie is a good way to kick-off the summer as seems to feature everything a summer movie should, a hero trying to save someone they love and stuff either exploding or being destroyed.

PHOEBE EXCITEMENT SCALE:
<---------------------------------->
                                [x]
Meh.                                      Yes!

Jurassic World PosterImage: Universal
Jurassic World: June 12
I love dinosaurs and always have. As a kid, I used to make my toy dinosaurs eat my little sister's dolls. When I discovered Jurassic Park, I flipped out, and watched it so many times I broke the VHS. The subsequent sequels we okay, but nothing seemed to capture the original emotions and excitement the original had. It's been a long time since we've had a Jurassic movie and I think the wait will have been worth it. This one features fandom's new Harrison Ford, Chris 'Star Lord' Pratt, and appears to want us to relive the first movie by having the story take place in a newly reopened park. I have super high hopes for this one. With better CG technology to create the dinosaurs I expect some ferocious dinosaur action.

PHOEBE EXCITEMENT SCALE:  
<---------------------------------->
                                                  [x]
Meh.                                      Yes!

Terminator Genesys PosterImage: Paramount
Terminator/Genesys: July 1
This is either going to be great or a big pile of doo-doo. There's no grey area for this one. Mostly because ala JJ Abrams Star Trek, this one 'changes everything' and wipes out the James Cameron canon completely. This one features a pretty good cast and gives us back what this franchise has been missing since Terminator 2, Arnold. I want to be excited for this as sci-fi is my #1 genre, but based on the trailers, I'm having a hard time. I did a captain Picard facepalm when recently the latest trailer revealed that John Connor himself is now an advanced a Terminator.  Seriously?! You gave away your big plot twist in the trailer? Hopefully, there is something else that happens in this movie that makes it worth watching.


PHOEBE EXCITEMENT SCALE:
<---------------------------------->
[x]
Meh.                                      Yes!

New Ant-Man PoterImage: Disney
Ant-man: July 17
Like most movie fans, I was seriously bummed when Edgar Wright walked away from this movie last year. I've seen every one of Wright's films and love his style and humor. Without Wright, it's possible the world wouldn't even know about his pal Simon Pegg. When Marvel announced soon after the split that they hired a new director who's precious film was a dancing movie and the film's lead Paul Rudd was going to take a stab at a re-write, all of fandom began to get nervous. Even many industry folks were beginning to whisper that this could be the mighty Marvel's first misstep since the success of Iron Man. Then the trailers hit and for me at least, all those worries got shelved and forgotten like 90s Rob Liefield comic books. This movie looks awesome and appears to provide audiences with both comedy and action. Although it won't be as unique as an Edgar Wright film would have been, I think this film will be a bit 'out there' yet still fit into Marvels bigger picture.

PHOEBE EXCITEMENT SCALE:
<---------------------------------->
                              [x]
Meh.                                      Yes!

Pixels PosterImage: Sony
Pixels: July 24
Adam Sandler. It seems these days you either hate him or really hate him. As far as it goes for me, I've really have never seen any of his movies except for The Wedding Singer (my mom's #1 movie of all time), so I really don't have strong opinion on the guy. Since I'm not in his key demo of teenage boy, I haven't had the chance to get sick of his apparently tired gross out humor. So after all these years, it seems our paths have crossed, as one of my interests, video games had collided with one of his projects. This film was based on an Oscar winning short film of the same name and is directed by Chris Columbus. Now I don't know much about Sandler, but I do like Chris Columbus, if you don't know, he's the man that brought us Gremlins, Home Alone, and translated the world of Harry Potter off the page and onto the big screen. I'm a fan. The trailer looks fun, it has GOT's Peter Dinklage in it, and its one of the few films this year that isn't a reboot, sequel or based on a book/comic. Consider my excitement level primarily based on curiosity. 

PHOEBE EXCITEMENT SCALE:
<---------------------------------->
                 [x]
Meh.                                      Yes!

Fantastic Four PosterImage: Fox
Fantastic Four: August 7
Here we go again, another shot for Marvel's 'First Family.'  Maybe this time it'll be good. It's been hard to judge this one as it has been shrouded in mystery. One thing that is certain is that its director is allegedly crazy. Soon after filming began for this movie, wild stories began to be reported about his nutty on set behavior, and said behavior, is what got him fired from the upcoming Star Wars anthology film Boba Fett. All the gossip aside, this movie seems to be taking cues from the Fantastic Four Ultimate storyline written by Mark Millar. In the story, the Fantastic Four were created by time travel experiment of Reed Richards. This hard sci-fi edge may work for comics, but will probably miss with most audiences that prefer less though provoking concepts in their summer movie diet. I was a fan of the Ultimate Fantastic Four (even though it was penned by Millar) and like heavy sci-fi, so consider me more excited than most for this one.

PHOEBE EXCITEMENT SCALE:
<---------------------------------->
[x]
Meh.                                      Yes!

PictureImage: Lionsgate
Sinister 2: August 21
I think everyone can agree that the original Sinister caught all us horror fans a bit off guard.  "A horror movie with Ethan Hawk?" we said. Come on. Then we saw it and were surprised to be taken down a dark and terrifying road of physiological horror akin to The Shining. What I liked about the first Sinister was the mythology it created. It gave us a new horror 'monster' like Freddy or Jason and also felt real by having elements of a Creepy Pasta. I feel like there is more to know about in this world and I'm excited to return to its spooky world.

PHOEBE EXCITEMENT SCALE:
<---------------------------------->
                      [x]
Meh.                                      Yes!

There are a lot of other movies coming out this summer, but these are the ones that have a geek like me the most excited. What are yours? Leave them in the comments below.
 
 
If you've been watching this blog long enough you'd know that each week a new post is put up on Wednesday. But once and a great while, an exception has to be made. And after the events on the show Game of Thrones this past Sunday and the subsequent reactions to it, I felt a need to put in my 2 cents about the matter. This is a blog geared towards women in geekdom, after all.
Sansa Stark Season 1
Image via HBO
SPOILERS. SPOILERS. SPOILERS. Nothing but spoilers, folks!
In the last episode of GOT, Sansa reluctantly married the ruthless and terrifying Ramsay Bolton so that him and his father would have a rightful claim over Winterfell, and, in turn, the North. You're all aware of what a couple usually does on their wedding night, but knowing Ramsay, it's going to be twisted into something much worse. Ramsay rapes Sansa while making Reek, formerly Theon, watch the whole thing. After the episode aired, everyone flipped out! There were claims from hundreds of fans saying that they were done with the show or threatened that they would stop watching if this kind of thing kept happening. A politician even had some harsh words to say, so you know it's serious *sarcasm*.

Initially the thing that confused me the most, was the impression that everyone seemed to have that the show was somehow endorsing something as heinous as rape. In what way are they doing that? The man raping Sansa is one of the most hated and feared characters of GOT! I've yet to meet any fan that likes him or finds him in any way redeeming, whatsoever. Not once in the series has a protagonist openly communicated in any way that sexual violence is A-okay! Whenever they do decide to show such a thing, it makes the viewer cringe and silently outraged; that isn't on accident people! They wrote, shot, and edited each of those scenes to make you understand and feel the injustice and inhumanity of what you're seeing.

Then I realized that this is far from the first time they've shown something like this on the show. Where were all of these threats to stop watching when a sobbing Dany was forced to consummate her marriage to Khal Drogo in the first friggin' episode? Why did no one make a fuss when they found out Craster kept dozens of daughter/wives sexually enslaved in his keep? Where was the outrage when Joffrey tortured whores in his chambers? I don't even remember people getting this upset when Jaime assaulted Cersei at Joffreys' funeral! The entire plot of the series wouldn't be the same if a woman wasn't assaulted at some point.

The series, in both the book and television, takes loads of inspiration from historical people and events that took place in European history around the 1400s and beyond. Knowing how violent and patriarchal society was in those days, you can bet your butt that the way women have been treated in the show is accurate with the times.

Listen, if you're the casual viewer who just can't stomach the amount of blood, sex, and violence in the series then don't watch the show. I completely understand that it's not everyone's cup of tea. There are even a few friends of mine that I have steered away from GOT because I know they wouldn't be able to handle it. But if you've been an avid watcher since the first episode, and up to the current episode of season 5, and you're only now complaining and throwing a fit about it's content, then you're a hypocrite. Plain and simple.  You can't suddenly act all high and mighty after coming this far and seeing the countless boobs, blood, and violence. The moment Sansa was given to Ramsay you knew what was probably going to happen.

I suppose lots of credit needs to be given to Benioff, Weiss, and Martin for making the Game of Thrones universe so real to those watching that they forget Sansa Stark isn't an actual person that lives in Westeros (Which, guess what, also doesn't exist!). It's incredibly sad to me that the same people who are outraged over a television show can't have the same reaction to the fact that real women are sexually assaulted and raped every minute of every day across the globe. 

Here's what I think the main issue is that people have had with the recent 'developments' of GOT: Sansa is innocent. Since we've known her as a young girl she's been naive and even a bit spoiled, dreaming of being a princess and someday even a queen. Then over the course of each episode, that dream is slowly torn down, piece by piece. She comes to realize that her intended is a monster, watches her father get beheaded, is constantly abused in nearly every way by the crown prince, made to marry a man that is seen as a joke throughout the kingdom (thereby making herself a joke), threatened and assaulted by what she thinks is the only family she has left, and finally taken back home to Winterfell to marry the biggest monster in Westeros. The worst part of it all is that somehow she's managed to keep her 'virtue' intact throughout all of this madness. The way in which she finally loses it can almost be seen as an incredibly cruel and callous joke.

Being familiar with storytelling and development from my college studies, what Sansa has been through this entire time is called an 'arch', in which a character (usually the protagonist) starts off with certain attributes and goals but then goes through a journey where they are changed into something else. Usually they change for the better and overcome whatever obstacle is put in their way. Right now, Sansa is at the lowest point in her journey, rock bottom, the thing she's kept safe has been stolen from her and it looks like she may never have the idealistic, fairytale happy ending that she's always dreamt of. After this point in the story, characters will make the change that is needed for them carry on and succeed. It's a plot device as old as dirt. 

I'm actually intrigued as to where Sansa's character could go from here. She's been nothing but a victim for several seasons and that may be about to change. What kind of change she's going to make and whether or not it will be towards the dark side or light side remains to be seen; this IS Game of Thrones we're talking about after all. But, like any women who goes through something as horrible as what Sansa went through they can rise up and be stronger, be a voice for sexually abused women when everyone else puts their hands over their ears, refusing to look or listen because 'they don't need to think about that' or because it's 'upsetting'. Who knows, she may now become a huge playing piece that changes the course of history in Westeros.

And that is why I'll continue to watch Game Of Thrones.

Rant over. Phoebe out!
 
 
Spring has sprung! That of course means warmer weather, flowers everywhere, lots of rain, and Game of Thrones every Sunday!
Game of thrones wall
A bit ironic, all things considered...
M.C.B.A. logoM.C.B.A. Logo
But even more specifically for me, springtime is when I go through my massive collection of comic books and action figures. Not for spring-cleaning though (You'll have to pry my collectables from my cold, dead hands). It's so that I can figure out what issues and pieces I'm missing in the hopes that I'll find it at MSP Comicon.

This convention (formerly known as SpringCON) is one of two (the other being Fall Comicon) put on every year by the Midwest Comic Book Association or MCBA. They are a completely volunteer and fan based group that is devoted to promoting anything and everything comic book related. That doesn't just mean supporting the fans, but also the creators who make their beloved content whether they be professional, independent, or aspiring.

Artists from all of the categories I've mentioned come to show/sell their work and, frankly, it's refreshing to see the new and creative content being made. It warms my heart to see that the medium is nowhere near dying off and that so many other people understand and share a love I've had since childhood.

Now, with all this comic love being thrown around it only makes sense to have actual comics for us to peruse and purchase as well. If you're missing an issue of Wolverine: Weapon X or need an action figure Vision to go with your Scarlet Witch than this is the place to find them!
Wall of comics
Trust me, they have a pretty good selection...
Beyond comics and action figures, you'll find vendors everywhere ready with merch you never realized you needed. Medieval Cat Tarot Cards? Got 'em. Global Warming Coffee Mug? Got 'em. Puppets? Of course, when do you NOT need puppets?!

Be sure to take your camera with you as well, because you can't swing a dead gnome without hitting a cosplayer. You won't just see your run-of-the-mill superheroes either. You'll see video game protagonists, film or TV legends, as well as new and different spins on common characters.

Some conventional...

Others not-so-conventional.

There's even a contest to award all the hard work and creative talent that went into making them!

If you've had your fill of the vendors and are running out of storage space on your camera phone than you can admire the astounding Lego displays...
...before heading over to our old friend the Prop-A-Torium, here to show us even more hand-made, screen used, and replica props from every type of media known to man.

But you wanna know the best part? After you've had such a great time, your conscience can rest easy knowing you've helped make a positive difference. If you bring a non-perishable food item they'll donate it to a food shelf AND you get a dollar off admission! They've donated nearly a quarter of a million free comic books to charities, raised over 100,000 dollars for the Minnesota Lupus Foundation and much more.

By visiting MSP Comicon you're not just fueling your own love of comics, you're supporting a vast community of artists and fans that's growing everyday. Oh! And my collection is now even closer to completion! Thanks MSP Comicon!

Did you go to MSP Comicon this year? If so, what did you like about it? Leave comments below.

For more info on MSP Comicon, visit their website HERE.

 
 
With so much turmoil going on in the world today: Joss Whedon leaving Twitter, great TV shows getting canceled [R.I.P. Forever], and odd DC cinematic universe cast photos, I began to yearn for the days of my youth when things were simpler, and the closest thing we had to the internet was a fax machine. So last week I rolled up my sleeves, and dug out my old NES system from my mom's garage to see if it could help me recapture a bit of magic from a time when there was still a bit of optimism in the air. 
classic nes system
Swoon... You'll always be my first.
Over the past few days I've only playing NES games from my massive game library. It's caused my allergies to kick up from blowing into the cartridges, but it's been worth it.  I know I could have gone the emulator route, but what can I say? I'm a purist.
NES Sprites
Sprites, sprites, sprites, sprites, everybody!
NES ControlerNeeds more contours.
After playing through my favorites, like Mario Bros. 3, Ninja Gaiden, Castlevania, The Legend of Zelda [gold cartridge!], and Megaman, I was feeling pretty good and a solid sense of accomplishment. I still had the touch to dominate with the two-button terminator known as the Nintendo controller. Then, by some cruel act of fate, I came upon another box of games. You see, my mom, Jackie, just so happened to also be digging in the garage this past weekend for some old tarot cards and was hit in the head with another box of old NES games (don't worry, she's fine, but I bet she didn't see it coming!). In a fit, she brought the box into the house and yelled at me for about 20 minutes about all my 'junk' in the garage. After I nodded, and agreed with her to make her go away, I peeked into the box, and was hit with a deep sense of dread. For in this box, which I previously forgot existed, was a collection of my unbeaten NES games. Games with bosses so hard, and levels so unwinnable, I threw them all into one box, and hoped it would be as lost as the Tesseract at the end of Captain America: The First Avenger.

tesseract ocean
You should have left it in the garage... I mean ocean.
I looked over each title and read each instruction manual trying to recall what stopped me from achieving 8-bit victory. In a determined mood, I decided to take on the challenge of beating these games once and for all, and add them to my list of conquered video games. Mind you, there are games I haven't beaten over the years for various systems, but there's something about having un-won NES games that was sticking in my craw. Nowadays, being a well-seasoned gamer with 1000's of hours of playing time, I should be able to beat such simple games with ease, and laugh off the rage I had as a child that caused me to whip the controller across the room. Right?
rage faceWhy I can't beat you!
I looked over each title and read each instruction manual trying to recall what stopped me from achieving 8-bit victory. In a determined mood, I decided to take on the challenge of beating these games once and for all, and add them to my list of conquered video games. Mind you, there are games I haven't beaten over the years for various systems, but there's something about having un-won NES games that was sticking in my craw. Nowadays, being a well-seasoned gamer with 1000's of hours of playing time, I should be able to beat such simple games with ease, and laugh off the rage I had as a child that caused me to whip the controller across the room. Right? Wrong! As of today, both of my NES controllers are currently broken and this is my list of unbeaten games in no particular order. PHOEBE SMASH

Kid Icarus

Picture
It's not so much the difficulty of this game... Alright, it's pretty damn difficult. It's the length of this game. It takes forever to play and when you're mission is to go up and up and up some more, it begins to wear on you by driving your motor skills to nothing as you reach smaller platforms to jump on, slippery surfaces to stay atop of for long periods of time, and backtracking galore. I was able to reach the final Medusa boss but by that time, I was so worn out, I couldn't put up a good fight. You win this time Medusa, but I have the continue code and will crush you yet when I've caught up on sleep and have a 12-pack of Mtn. Dew.

kid icarus boss
My hands are stone at this point. Medusa FTW.

Ghosts N' Goblins

Ghosts n goblins NES COVER
What the hell? You can only get hit twice before you're dead? Then, if you reach the boss, "Satan?!?" You have to have the 'right weapon' to beat him or else you have to replay level 5 at a harder difficulty? After two rounds with the Prince of Darkness, I saw the light and quit.

naked arthur
Yep, fight in your underpants. Seems like a good idea.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Picture
Sigh. If driving the Turtle van in the overhead view maze of New York City streets doesn't drive you mad, the loose gameplay will. It's impossible to dodge FREAKING anything leaving you with little power to beat any of the quick moving bosses. I never even reached The Shredder before slamming the power button off.  Give me Turtles in Time any day of the week and I'll showcase some serious "Turtle Power" but when it comes to this game, I'm as powerful as a turtle on it's back.


TMNT NES
Yep, that just gonna have to stay like that. BECAUSE I CAN'T BEAT BEBOP!

Fester's Quest

Festers Quest NES
I'm pretty sure I got this as a re-gift from my classmate Emily in the 4th grade. She hated me. Well, played, Emily, because I hate this game. Like Ghosts N' Goblins, you can only get hit twice before your dead and if you die you have to start all over again. Plus the battle system requires you to keep tapping the B button to shoot stupid blobs. After a good three hours, and a sore thumb, I stopped playing. Sorry world, it looks like the aliens will win.


Uncle Fester
Yeah, just relax while your game sucks.

Marble Madness

Picture
I really have no explanation for this one other than that the time thing really gets my anxiety into high gear. I can't take it. I freak out. I'll never beat this one.


Marble Madness NES
I CAN'T TAKE IT!

Bases Loaded

Picture
I generally hate sports. This game is probably the reason why. I think this was a game my dad liked to play. I have a pretty good understanding of how the game of baseball works and what the rules are, but for some reason, I cannot for the life of me get three outs on the other team! There is no mercy rule in this game, so I removed the cartridge after the 4th grand slam by the CPU. And don't say I suck at this game because I'm a girl! I will throw down and beat anyone in NBA Jam anytime. Try me.


Bases Loaded NES
Swing and a miss.
I'll note that I did in fact beat many of the games in the box including the impossibly hard Double Dragon III, Silver Surfer, Battletoads, and Top Gun to name a few, but the ones listed that continue to challenge me.

If you went back to face your NES library, what games would you like to beat?  Leave your comments below.
 
 
(Slight Spoilers Ahead)

AVENGERS!!!!! AGE OF ULTRON!!!1! SQUEEE!!!!

Okay, I'm done. Actually, no I'm not, it was awesome!
Avengers Assembled
Pictured Above: Awesomeness.
Do I really need to review this movie for you? From what I've heard, everyone seems to agree that it was great. Now, I wouldn't say it's better than the first, but in my opinion, it's pretty much equal to the first. Even though it does have a different feel from its predecessor.

How, you ask? Well, hold on to your butts, folks, here comes one of my weird analogies. The first Avengers film feels like going to an amusement park for the first time. Your senses are overwhelmed, there's delicious food, fun games and attractions, and of course a ton of different rides but you can only do so much in just 2 hours. It's still fun, and you loved the experience, but there's so much more you want to explore and experience. The second time you go to the park you have a plan of action, you're still entertained, but you have a set goal and purpose this time to get more out of time you'll spend there. That's Age of Ultron.

At this point, we're familiar with the members of the Avengers, how they work together, and how the overall story could pan out, but now with AOU, we have a new threat, new characters, and a sense of an overarching plan of action revolving around a certain piece of handwear.
infinity gauntlent
Hence the earlier fangirl 'squee'.
APU isn't a darker film necessarily, but it does want to get down to business and show you its plan. Nothing wrong with that, as someone who knows what the plans are for the next few installments, I'm pumped! And you all should be too! In fact, read the comics first so you can properly anticipate the amount of awe-inspiring goodness coming to theaters the rest of this decade! Seriously.
Picture
So much goodness....
I'll admit that I've been in superhero frenzy lately (surprise, surprise) and have done my best to feed the hunger with all things Marvel and Avengers. While I can't afford to go to the theater and watch it for the 22nd time, I can placate myself with looking at forums online, reading other blogs like my own, and watching any and all behind-the-scenes coverage of Avengers or interviews with the cast and crew.

Ever since the first film I've slowly yet surely developed a huge amount of respect for Scarlett Johansson and Joss Whedon (Whom I already respected, so he's pretty much a god to me now) for their clever feminist agenda. If you've spent enough time on geek social media you may already be aware of the many times where ScarJo has reacted beautifully to sexist questions and responses regarding her character, Black Widow.

While the guys get the questions about their own geekiness, deep characterization and stunts, Scarlett has to answer questions about her outfits and her diet and exercise regimen. This is incredibly unfortunate because female superheroes can be, and are, just as intriguing, and powerful as their male counterparts, oftentimes more so. I'd love to hear Scarlett talk about Natasha Romanoff's past, what her part in the group is, or what drives her to turn away from what she was trained to do and save the world.

With all this being said, you may remember a piece I wrote around Valentines' Day where I attempted to create a 'Romantic Period Piece' story where the gender roles were reversed (CLICK HERE TO READ IT). I took all the conventions and typical stereotypes of both men and women in period romance and turned it on its head to give everyone an idea of just how entertaining, and innovative a story revolving a female lead who doesn't need to rely on males could be. One problem with this in a 'Period Piece' is that chauvinism was the norm back then. You can't really make a story like the one I wrote for Hollywood because it simply would NOT have happened!

However, this is a new age where us girls have the opportunity to be our own person, and enjoy the freedoms of the male gender (for the most part). So, I'm going to write another story where the female takes the lead. Seeing as nobody seems to want to make a proper Wonder Woman movie or a standalone film about Black Widow's past, I'm going to try and make do with what I know of the Superhero-verse and make up my own female superhero story. Hope you enjoy!

Rachel Moore is a soft-spoken nursing student who could fit perfectly into the category of 'nerd,' complete with thick-rimmed glasses. She wants to be a nurse because she wants to help people, and make a difference. But while in school, she's surprised to learn how cutthroat the world of healthcare has become as of late due to the rising demand of healthcare professionals, and literally thousands trying to get into the profession. Despite her knowledge, skill, and genuine heart for the work, she's often overlooked, and undermined by her peers. The only one that is actually nice to her is Scott Mallory. He's popular amongst the class, intelligent, kind, and absolutely gorgeous! But he's already got a bitch of a girlfriend, and there's no way Rachel could ever attract the attention of a guy like that.

One night the class is called into an actual emergency room to observe, and if absolutely needed, help the staff. Everything is calm until a bunch of patients are brought in from a mysterious accident. It's all hands on deck, and Rachel does what she can to help, but gets lost in the frenzy, and silently wonders if she made the right career choice. Is she really cut out to be a nurse? She can't even help herself! How can she expect to help other people?

That's when she notices an older looking gentleman with a blood all over his face and chest, waiting to be helped amongst the chaos. He was obviously brought in with the others, but he was standing upright and mumbling darkly to himself, so the nursing students either ignored him, or actively tried to stay away from him. Even though the man gives her a weird vibe, she goes to him ready to give him any kind of care she can provide. As she begins to work on him, he thanks her, then yanks her hand and places something into her palm. He tells her to keep it hidden, and safe “within herself” then he stops breathing.

She gets some of the actual doctors to see him but it's too late. He's gone. She feels the thing he put into her hand but only sees a strange rash in the shape of a diamond on her palm. Maybe she only imagined him giving her something...She doesn't tell anyone about their interaction.

That night she goes home and has some weird dreams. A deep voice saying something about her destiny, ancient warriors, and a dark diamond-shaped stone kept showing up. The next morning she wakes up feeling strangely energized despite the dreams making her toss and turn. She puts on her glasses out of habit, but realizes that she doesn't need them. In fact, she can see perfectly! When changing her clothes, she notices that she suddenly has abs and spends a good 5 minutes flexing her now incredibly toned arms. This is really strange. Actually, this should be impossible.

As she goes about her day, she realizes that she can see things a good mile away, perfectly hear a conversation happening on the opposite side of the noisy lunch hall, and grab a fly that was bugging her out of the air between two fingers. Unable to concentrate, she pretends to be sick, and goes home early to figure out what exactly is happening to her. When she hops into an elevator, she hears a familiar voice call for her to hold it and is elated to find out that it's Scott. She's so excited by Scott's appearance and smile that she fails to realize that she made finger indents on the elevator door where she grabbed it.

She tries to look up her 'symptoms' at home, but the search yields no medical results, and there isn't anything in her medical textbooks either. It isn't until she adds the strange diamond mark on her palm as a symptom that she gets the result she never expected. She finds lore and legends about a 'jet stone' being passed from one person to the next since before recorded history. This diamond-shaped stone would supposedly gives its owner super human abilities as well as beef up the strengths they already had. She goes back to the hospital where the man had died to try and find out who he was, but there are no records of him being there despite other nurses and doctors remembering him. At a dead end, she spends the next few days getting used to her new found powers and wondering if she'll be rid of them.

Then while Rachel sits on the city bus, a car comes out of nowhere, and causes the bus to crash and rollover. She opens her eyes, and realizes she is completely unscratched but notices that others were not so lucky. Without thinking, she pulls heavy debris off of other passengers, and carries two or three out of the vehicle at a time. She even lifts the bus off of a pinned passenger. She makes sure to check everyone of course, and finds that while many people have some pretty extensive injuries, whenever she touches them, they get slightly better. Bruises disappear, cuts and scrapes vanish, their bleeding slows down, and those with head damage become more lucid. She leaves the scene quickly, afraid that there will be too many questions from police.

She realizes that her newfound powers have given her the ability to do what she's wanted all along, to help others and make a difference! So she embraces it, and dons a black hoodie, jeans, and sneakers along with a cheap, black masquerade mask. At first, she thinks she might be out of her element as she wanders the streets, and back alleys of her city until she hears commotion in a parking lot. When she investigates, she sees Scott Mallory himself being threatened at gunpoint by two thugs who want his wallet and car. She goes into action, and while she is awkward at first, she's fast enough to dodge the shots they fire and strong enough to knock them unconscious with a bit of fighting.

Scott is beside himself and instantly enraptured by his rescuer. She asks him if he's alright (which he is) and turns to leave but he has to ask, “Who are you?” She isn't going to tell him, obviously, so instead she says, “I'm the one who's going to heal this city.” and disappears into the shadows. Thinking back on it she thinks that the line sounded kind of corny, but it'll do for now.
Yeah! Just get a taste! Go ahead, Hollywood, make your move!