selenak: (Bruce and Tony by Corelite)
Tomorrow, in a year (8124 words) by Selena
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Agent Carter (TV), Captain America (Movies), Iron Man (Movies)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Peggy Carter & Howard Stark, Howard Stark & Everyone, Abraham Erskine & Howard Stark, Steve Rogers & Howard Stark
Characters: Howard Stark, Peggy Carter, Abraham Erskine, Werner Heisenberg, Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker, Konrad Zuse, Fritz Haber
Additional Tags: For Science!, Dubious Ethics, Ethics, Nuclear Weapons, Chemical Weapons, Computers, Morality, Historical

Inventions, the consequences they have and the choices you make: Three encounters Howard Stark has with German scientists he does and doesn't work with.

This was my [community profile] ssrconfidential story for this year. The reason why I assumed it was patently obvious who authored it was that, well, who else among this year’s participants would write about Howard having debates with a bunch of German scientists?

The prompt had asked for Howard Stark recruiting, via Operation Paperclip, the top German cybernetics expert in order to meddle in artificial life. This to me sounded like it was going for a tale with a Nazi robot on the rampage, which yours truly would not have been keen to write (there were other prompts by my recipient I’d have then gone for), but at the same time, the phrasing left me just wriggle room enough to come up with something more interesting and challenging to me, on the subject of Howard and German scientists. Given that the MCU has Howard Stark as a participant in the Manhattan project, and that I’m a fan of Michael Frayn’s play Copenhagen about Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg, I already knew there’d be a Howard & German nuclear physicists encounter in my story.

Canonically, Howard worked with Abraham Erskine who in the MCU hails from Augsburg (like Bertolt Brecht) and thus most definitely qualifies as a German scientist, so the first Erskine-Stark encounter was a given opener for the story. Now the MCU Wikipedia has them meeting in 1934 at a conference in Switzerland, which sounds a bit unlikely given the birth year the same entry provides for Howard, but Switzerland in 1934 was also where Fritz Haber died, which made it a must for me. Because if there is someone ideal to embody the two sides of science and to kick start the question as to what the responsibilities of a scientist are, it’s the inventor of fertilizers and weaponized chlorine gas. Also, given Erskine’s age it made sense to make him a colleague and friend of Fritz Haber’s whose WWI experience gave him the original idea for what became the supersoldier serum.
(BTW, having recently had Fritz Haber on my mind for this story made me go “so…does Haber not exist in the DCU?” when a certain character in the new Wonder Woman was introduced.)

But I still needed a computer genius which was what the prompt had asked for, after all. Did we even have those in that era, I wondered, researched a bit, and found out about Konrad Zuse, fascinating computer inventor with a sideline in painting, two of whose war time created computers even were in the city where I lived, Munich. Zuse’s memoirs were also available for reading and contributed such details as his fondness for Fritz Lang’s movie Metropolis, language difficulties and other personal details which made it into the story. I was tempted to call the Zuse section “Zuse and Stark”, after “Einstein and Eddington”, that, or: "Science Bros: The First Generation", but you might as well have called it Iron Man 0.1, because it’s also a riff on Tony’s origin story as well as a contrast – one of my betas, asked to guess the prompt for the story, thought it must have been “Why Howard Stark didn’t become Iron Man”, and while I hadn’t thought of it like that at first, yes, that’s also one of the themes. Father and son are very similar, but there are also differences, both in circumstance and reaction to certain situations.

Lastly: I apologize for giving Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker my “Hydra makes no sense” rant. But Hydra makes no sense.
selenak: (Tony Stark by Gettingdrastic)
So, the trailer for Spiderman: Homecoming debuted, and I find myself looking forward to a new Spiderman movie for the first time in eons. (I did end up liking the first Garfield movie, but I also felt it deeply unnecessary, and then the second Garfield took away what I had liked about the first one, so.) Which means Tom Holland's debut in Civil War has done its intended job for me, I suppose. And I freely admit one aspect I'm looking forward to is Tony Stark getting the morally ambiguous mentor role this time around. (Plus it won't be an origin story, THANK GOD. We really don't need to see Uncle Ben dying for the third time in a row.)

Incidentally, Tony saying "don't do anything I would do" suddenly made me wonder whether someone has done the glaringly obvious and made a vid about him and Howard to the tune of Harry Chapin's Cat's in the Cradle, preferably using the Johnny Cash version. So I checked YouTube, and sure enough, someone did, but the vid is four years old, which means they can't have used any of the Howard footage from Agent Carter (and probably none of the Tony footage from Age of Ultron), and of course not the virtual memory from Civil War, or the Tony and Peter interaction there. And the vid of my dreams would really be focused on the Tony-Howard parallels rather than just being about Howard's lack of time (though that of course would also be there, it's in the lyrics, after all). Using Ultron (Tony's creation) and his devastation possibly intercut with Doctor Faustus and the movie massacre (Howard's creation), the Howard-Peggy argument scene from "The Blitzkrieg Button" intercut with Tony and Steve early on in "Civil War", Howard and Tony both making presentations and speeches in their flamoboyant ways, Howard in the plane over Manhattan with Tony as Iron Man near the end of "Avengers", and so forth.
selenak: (Peggy Carter by Misbegotten)
Because apparantly I can go through years of only writing Yuletide stories, but once the muses start yapping again... Anyway: this isn't the story I've written for the Agent Carter ficathon mentioned in the last post. It's the one I wrote after writing both my ficathon story and the one before that. Personally, I blame Civil War.

Funeral Games (5693 words) by Selena
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Agent Carter (TV), Captain America (Movies), Marvel Cinematic Universe, Iron Man (Movies)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Peggy Carter & Howard Stark, Joseph Manfredi & Howard Stark
Characters: Peggy Carter, Howard Stark, Joseph Manfredi, Whitney Frost, Tony Stark, Nick Fury, Peggy Carter's Son, Peggy Carter's Daughter
Additional Tags: Captain America: Civil War (Movie) Spoilers, Male-Female Friendship, Relationship Study, Grief/Mourning

A chance encounter with a face from the past at Howard Stark's funeral causes Peggy Carter to look for the truth - about Howard's death, and about their relationship.

selenak: (Ashoka and Anakin by Welshgater)
Goofiest fannish thing of the month I did: going to the Star Wars: Identies exhibition which is currently here in Munich and taking pictures of the Ahsoka Tano part of it.

Under the cut )

Re: the exhibition itself, costumes, models and props from all eras. (I.e. from early storyboards for A New Hope to BB8.) The infamous slave girl costume for Leia from Return of the Jedi brought it home that poor Carrie Fisher must have hungered and/or drugged herself to a painfully thin state for that movie - those sizes are tiny!

It's very much aimed at a young audience, with educational mini lectures (I don't mean this in a deragotorily) all over the place, like in a science museum. One of them, however, awoke protective feelings about Shmi Skywalker I didn't know I had. The subject was different methods of parenting, and the speaker, using clips from A New Hope (Toshi Power Station!) and The Phantom Menace (Shmi tells Anakin only he can decide whether or not to go with Qui-Gon to become a Jedi), tells us that while both Owen & Beru and Shmi were loving parents, Owen and Beru gave Luke discipline and boundaries whereas Shmi basically let Anakin do what he wanted and hardly gave him any rules at all. (Implication: and thus a future dark sider was made.)

Now look here, Star Wars: Identies. I'm all for defending and giving the two Lars' credit, not least because Uncle Owen was vilified in some older SW fanfiction. However, you really can't compare these situations. "Hardly any rules" doesn't apply when both Shmi and her son are slaves, and their entire existence is ruled by someone else. And how was Shmi supposed to react once Qui-Gon's offer was on the table? "No, Anakin, remain on Tatoine and stay a slave with me. Maybe you won't die on the next pod race Watto puts you in, either." Sure.

And that's leaving aside that you can speculate about reasons for the way Anakin's personality developed endlessly, but "lack of rules to obey" certainly wasn't one of them. He went from spending the first nine years of his life as a slave to spending the next fourteen as a Jedi, in an order where you address your mentor as "Master", are expected to feel benevolently for all species in general but must not get overly attached to any particular individual, something practically everyone else takes for granted, and where you go where they tell you to go. And then he spent the remaining 20 plus years of his life as a Sith, in a situation where while a great many people feared him (with reason) he still was expected to unquestioningly and absolutely obey the Emperor, who between Watto and the Jedi Council certainly wins the price for "most obvious tyrant ever in charge of Anakin Skywalker".

Switching fandoms, since I'm in a complaining mood: yesterday, my suspension of disbelief snapped again in an otherwise not half bad post Civil War story where the author declared that Tony Stark was incredibly awkward around children. Look, author, I don't care how much you're attached to the fanon of Tony incapable of most social interactions, but we actually have screen canon on this. (I.e. how Tony Stark acts with children.) He's not awkward at all. Now you can argue he treats children like adults and whether or not that's a good idea, but he hits it off with Harley in Iron Man 3 almost instantly. There's no moment of "oh God, a child? What do I say?"; instead, Tony draws the correct conclusion that Harley is a mini nerd who gets bullied at school and bribes him with something to use against a bully, and has a wry, amused rapport with the kid throughout the rest of the movie. And in addition to Harley, there's the scene early on when Tony is having lunch with Rhodey and a couple of kids come to them because they want Tony to sign their pictures for them. Which he does without hesitation and with a friendly joke (that he then gets into a panic attack isn't because they're kids but because one of them mentions New York). Hell, in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, as far as I call, one official tells Nick Fury he wants Iron Man to come to his niece's birthday party, and it's not phrased like this is something unprecedented. In conclusion: MCU Tony Stark not only isn't awkward around kids, he seems to be well practiced in dealing with them. In fact, you could say he's got a talent for it.

For that matter, he's good with teenagers, too, if Peter Parker is anything to go by. Before anyone of the "recruiting Peter was unforgivable" persuasion strikes, I'd like to point out that by "good" I don't mean "morally upstanding". I mean "knowing how to interact with a teenager he's never met before and whom he wants something from". Which isn't something most adults can pull off.
selenak: (Tony Stark by Gettingdrastic)
Not the Agent Carter story I'm supposed to be working on, but it wanted to be written, not least due to a certain movie. Also, it's another of my meta-disguised-as-fanfiction efforts, this time on Howard Stark.

The dreams in which I'm dying (3348 words) by Selena
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Agent Carter (TV), Captain America (Movies), Iron Man (Movies), The Avengers (Marvel Movies), Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Major Character Death
Relationships: Howard Stark & Maria Stark & Tony Stark, Peggy Carter & Howard Stark, Steve Rogers & Howard Stark, Howard Stark & Tony Stark, Nick Fury & Howard Stark, Howard Stark/Maria Stark, Howard Stark & Joey Manfredi
Characters: Howard Stark, Peggy Carter, Maria Stark, Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Joey Manfredi, Nick Fury, Edwin Jarvis, James "Bucky" Barnes
Additional Tags: Backstory, Character Study, Non-Chronological, Non-Linear Narrative, Bisexual Male Character

Past, present, future: fourteen memories Howard Stark experiences in the minutes before his death.

selenak: (Tony Stark by Gettingdrastic)
Spent the weekend at home to be with the APs for Mother's Day, was otherwise very RL busy as well, so, just a few Iron Man fanfiction links. Both featuring Pepper because she's still on my mind, so I was looking for her in fanfic. (Neither of them has to do with the subject of my recent post, though, I hasten to add.):

Still under a spoiler for Civil War cut to be safe )
selenak: (Undercover (Natasha and Steve) by Famira)
More Civil War triggered thoughts, this time about someone who isn't in it (with a good reason), Pepper Potts. Because the explanation for her absence reminded me of a couple of things, and made some thoughts about Pepper and her characterisation in the movies versus fanon come together.

Pepper ramblings ensue; no Civil War spoilers beyond an early scene dealing with Pepper's whereabouts and the reasons )

On another note, here is a Rolling Stone profile of Chris Evans, in which Steve's actor has this to say about the central conflict of Civil War:

" It's a nice role reversal," says Evans. "You have a company man like Steve who always believed in the hierarchy of the military, but in the last couple of movies has seen the people he was loyal to misuse their power. Whereas Tony, who's always danced to the beat of his own drum, is feeling guilt for the collateral damage they've left. But that's why I like this movie: There's no clear villain in terms of right and wrong. And the truth is, I actually think Tony is right. To see Steve prioritize himself over what other people need is selfish. That's what makes it interesting."
selenak: (Flint by Violateraindrop)
Variation old fandom:

*self* Has a conversation with friend involving Iron Man 3. Rewatches IM3, is filled with great fondness, checks out fanfiction especially knowing what the impending arrival of Civil War will inevitably result in. Reads summaries on pages 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the AO3 Iron Man archive. Stares in disbelief.

Prevailing feeling: Who are these people supposed to be? Definitely not any characters I've seen in the movies...

Some spoilery to IM3 observations of how this movie would have been written if scripted by the authors represented by the first few pages of the current archives )

Variation new fandom:

*self* is excited the Black Sails fandom finally is getting larger, new stories are being written, and hey, several of them about a pairing I'm very interested in with a fascinating on screen dynamic!

*self* Reads the summaries. In rarer cases, reads the stories despite that.

Prevailing feeling: Who are these people supposed to be? Definitely not the characters I've seen on my tv screen...

Aaaaanyway.I realise that everything is subjective, my interpretation is just that, mine, not obligatory for anyone else, etc., etc., different strokes for different people, and different tropes, etc. And every now and then, I actually find a gem where what appeals to me on screen is included in the fanfiction rendition. As, for instance, this excellent Silver and Flint emotional power play:

If your feelings aren't a story
selenak: (Clone Wars by Jade Blue Eyes)
I. Having rewatched some Revenge of the Sith scenes to refresh my canon knowledge for , um, reasons (and also because it's been many years, and sometimes you tend to misremember things), it strikes me again how Yoda and Mace Windu have a close competition of how to be more clueless re: Anakin (at every age), but Mace wins that competition, barely, in a way that's perfectly reflected in <>The Clone Wars by both how Mace Windu deals with Boba Fett and by what he says to Ahsoka in The Wrong Jedi, the s5 finale. Obvious disclaimer: none of this excuses Anakin's own actions (as Ahsoka demonstrates, y ou can deal with the Council being dicks without becoming the Evil Overlord's chief executioner and committing massacres). But still. I'm thinking of these two gems of Council Jedi behavior in particular:
Anakin: Master Yoda, I'm having visions of someone I'm close to dying. As I had when my mother was tortured to death.

Yoda: eh, chill out, be zen about it, attachment's bad, death is natural, rejoice in them joining the Force. ("Rejoice" is an actual quote.)

competing with:

Anakin: I've just found out my friend the Chancellor whom you've told me to spy on against my strong objections is really the Sith Overlord.
Mace Windu: If that's true, then you'll have earned my trust.
(Actual quote.) Just in case you were under the delusion I ever trusted you before. But stay here, because it's not like I trust you enough to make the arrest with me in any case.

Yep, same old Mace Windu who tells Ahsoka in the s5 finale that something spoilery for The Clone Wars ).

II. Having also rewatched some of the relevant scenes in Iron Man II (haven't seen that one for ages because it's my least favourite of the IM movies) to refresh my hazy memory of what the fanon of Howard Stark having been the worst father of the MCU (unless the writer is a Loki fan, in which case Howard is competing with Odin) is actually built on (in terms of movieverse canon only, not comics which are a different continuity and characterisation), I concluded it's a single scene, Tony's conversation with Nick Fury mid movie where he says that Howard was "cold, calculating and the best day of his life was when he shipped me off to boarding school" (which is why he won't believe Howard was complimentary to him to Nick Fury, whereupon Fury comments that actually he did know Howard better than Tony did because of SHIELD and their shared work there, which is the first time the MCU mentions Howard was one of the co-founders). Which is certainly standard US media Daddy issues providing Neglectful Dad (though definitely not the Worst Father of the MCU, because I'd like to enter Banner Sr. for that competition), which is why I found it a boring cliché to use at the time. (It certainly did not inspire me to write endless hurt/comfort stories about Tony's daddy issues, which it seems to have done for the rest of fandom; especially since the movie itself provides Tony with the paternal praise via recorded message.) It gets more interesting with the Captain America: The First Avenger and Agent Carter reveal that Howard and Tony are/were actually incredibly alike, which made me conclude the one fanfiction story which took its cue from Howard's Agent Carter s1 finale remark to Peggy that everything he created but Steve turned bad/a weapon, and concluded that he had as little contact with Tony as possible because of course he could see the similarities and didn't want Tony to model himself on him, was on to something.

Speaking of Peggy, there's a lot "Aunt Peggy being there in Tony's childhood" fanon now, which has its charm, but the more I think about it, the less likely it is. During Tony's childhood, Peggy not only was the Director of SHIELD (which made her at least as busy as Howard, of not more so), she also had a family of her own (if the photos on the shelves Steve sees when visiting her in The Winter Soldier are anything to go by). I very much doubt she had time to babysit Tony in between. Or even the inclination (if you already had Howard Stark in your life and were Peggy, would you want a second mini edition of same to deal with?). Otoh of course both Jarvises did, hence A.I. JARVIS in the movies, which begs the question: when did they die? Because of the role Obediah Stane played in Tony's life, my guess is before the Starks, Howard and Maria, did.

III. Black Sails links of the article and review kind:

Why Black Sails is officially better than Game of Thrones: I don't go for "better/worse" comparisons between shows myself, but the article certainly has a point in how both shows deal with certain tropes.

Review of episode 3.07.

Eleanor Guthrie meta

More Eleanor Guthrie meta
selenak: (Darla by Kathyh)
I'm currently in Prague again (as enchanting as in April, though as then, I'm not here for sightseeing), so have little time, but did manage to browse throught this year's remixes. Here are some I especially enjoyed:


Letters never sent (The Crumbled Sheets Remix

Xander, trying to tell Jesse's parents what happened in the BTVS pilot. It's a story entirely composed of letter attempts, terse, gutwrenching and all too likely.

Fairy Tales:

Feathers and Nettles (The Sibling Remix)

Based on Anderson's tale of the six swans, a story about the youngest brother and his sister. Bittersweet.

Galaxy Quest:

Like no business I know (The Climbing Uphill Remix)

How Gwen experienced the show. Loved it.


Magic Boxes (The What Remains Remix):

Howard builds magic boxes and out of them come weapons. Tony is his greatest creation and his worst nightmare.

Takes the various versions of Howard movies and Agent Carter have presented and creates a coherent whole. It also includes the encounter between Peggy and Vision I never knew I wanted until I read it!
selenak: (Tony Stark by Runenklinge)
I was busy writing my Yuletide story these last few days and just sent off the rough version to be beta'd, plus tomorrow I'm on the road again, hence, once more, belated reviewing.

However, I had the chance to watch a fabulous new character vid about Tony Stark:


Go and do likewise, gentle reader!
selenak: (Undercover (Natasha and Steve) by Famira)
I reread Sansom's Shardlake series - there will be a new novel this autumn - and concluded again that this might be my favourite current series of mysteries set in a historical era. (Here is an earlier detailed review.) The novels definitely are my favourites set during the reign of Henry VIII. Yes, even above Hilary Mantel's Cromwell novels, possibly because the later give me the sense of Mantel being just a bit too much in love with Cromwell (who shows up in the early Shardlake novels, too, since our hero starts out as a lawyer working for him, and is much thought about in the later novels after his death), or it might be the freedom of not knowing how the main regular characters (Matthew Shardlake, Jack Barak, Tamasin) are going to end up since they're all fictional. Also, Sansom knows his Tudor lawcourts like no novelist I've ever seen and makes being a Tudor lawyer as fascinating to layperson me as The Good Wife does it currently for Chicago lawyering. Speaking of Hilary Mantel's Cromwell novels, though, or rather, the movie versions currently being shot, here's a hilarious picture of Henry VIII, as played by Damian Lewis, taking a selfie. Okay, I should have phrased this "Damian Lewis taking a selfie while in costume as Henry on the set", but who doubts Henry would have LOVED taking selfies?

(Also: is Damian Lewis the first genuine redhead to play Henry VIII?)

From Tudors to Avengers:

The planned (and unused) Hawkeye scene in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Would have been a cool scene, but I can see why they cut it, if that was supposed to be Clint's only appearance in the film. It depends on the audience knowing him for the emotional impact, and strange as it may seem, not everyone watching one or two of the Marvel films has watched all of them.

Incidentally, while pondering why, when I loved Captain America: The Winter Soldier as a movie, Bucky and Steve/Bucky aren't relevant to my interests, so to speak, at one point I thought it was because we don't see much of non-brainwashed Bucky in the movie and what we saw of him in the previous CA film just felt like standard best pal stuff, so there wasn't much for me to get attached to beyond an abstract "poor guy, what a life" level. But then I realised that in terms of screentime, there is even less of Clint Barton, who also walks around brainwashed through most of the only film where he's in so far with any sizable amount of screentime (that one minute in Thor really doesn't count), and yet The Avengers immediately managed to make me emotionally invested in the Natasha and Clint relationship, and in Clint, with all the attachment I can't muster for Bucky and Steve/Bucky. I would say it's because I care about Natasha and that her concern for her brainwashed partner and determination to rescue him moves me on her account, but I care about Steve, too. And yet. *ponders*

Meanwhile, a missing scene set during the first Iron Man movie which celebrates the Rhodey and Tony friendship, lovely to read:

They Don't Know Where We Come From (4699 words) by ladyflowdi
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Avengers (2012), Marvel Cinematic Universe, Iron Man (Movies)
Rating: Mature
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Tony Stark, James "Rhodey" Rhodes
Additional Tags: Hurt/Comfort, Emotions, Arc Reactor, Missing Scene, Medical Procedures, Medicine, Psychological Trauma, Trauma, Recovery, PTSD

“Shrapnel,” Tony says, and alarms go off around his ears and he can’t breathe and the pain is going to eat him up from the head down. “In my heart. I made it. Not the shrapnel. ...Well. The shrapnel too.”

selenak: (Science Buddies by Mayoroftardtown)
I won't be able to watch Peter Capaldi's first Doctor Who episode in real time, after all, and not for a considerable time after (read: Monday), but it's for a good rl cause. Meanwhile, there's multifandom fanfiction:

Marvelverse: Howard Stark usually shows up in one of two ways in MCU fanfiction - either as part of Tony's daddy issues, or, more rarely, in Captain America WWII era fanfiction in pretty much the same capacity as he did in the movie - flirting with Peggy (and/or Steve), but nothing series. This story, by contrast, takes the canon info of Howard having worked on the Manhattan Project and runs with it in this taut exploration of science and responsibility, dealing with history in a way very few Marvel stories do which usually go for window dressing. Short, but every sentence carries a punch. Like this one: He would ask Arnim Zola about it, once. About Poland. Once, and never again. Says it all about post WWII transfer of German scientists (though Zola, as he points out to Steve in the movies, is Swiss) to the US, and all the handwaving that entailed. Here's the story:

A particle, a wave (1068 words) by kvikindi
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Captain America (Movies), Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Graphic Depictions Of Violence
Characters: Howard Stark
Additional Tags: Manhattan Project, References to Injury of a Child

"My father helped defeat Nazis. He worked on the Manhattan Project."

Highlander: Even shorter - a drabble - but a great character piece about Rebecca and Amanda, and how to survive as an immortal:

those who shine brightest (100 words) by storiesfortravellers
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Highlander: The Series
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Amanda Darieux/Rebecca Horne
Characters: Rebecca Horne, Amanda Darieux
Additional Tags: Pre-Series, Training, Swordfighting, thieves, Mentor/Protégé, Drabble

Amanda and Rebecca are practicing their fighting skills when Amanda finds out that Rebecca knows some of her secrets.

selenak: (Clint and Natasha by Corelite)
When [personal profile] thalia_seawood visited last week, we chatted on the (cinematic) Marvelverse (and watched some), which sent me on a reading binge. Or rather, a looking-for-stories binge, since I'm not into several of the most popular pairings and was in the mood for gen more than romance anyway, but luckily, the fandom is so large that you can find what you're looking with some patience. Or with lucky, when there happens to be a ficathon at the same time.

The Sky and I (6706 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Avengers (Marvel Movies), Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Clint Barton & Natasha Romanov, Clint Barton & Thor
Characters: Clint Barton, Natasha Romanov, Thor (Marvel)
Additional Tags: Thor The Dark World Compliant, Iron Man 3 Compliant, Captain America the Winter Soldier Compliant, (as much as it can be with the film not being out yet), Recovery, Developing Friendships, Introspection, New York, Not Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Compliant, Thor Is Not Stupid

If this is going to work, Clint needs to remember that Thor is not his brother.

This is not only one of those rare stories where Clint gets to deal with what Loki did to him in Avengers without the story leading up to hurt/comfort sex, but also a rare story that uses Thor in ways other than make fish-out-of-water jokes and/or pair him up with Loki. It makes sense that Clint would be wary at first around another Asgardian, but team-building stories post Avengers rarely tackle that, either. In short, it's a gem all around, and while Clint and Thor are the main focus, all the other Avengers are well written, too, and I loved reading it.

Queen of the Mountain (1397 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Avengers (Marvel) - All Media Types
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Tony Stark, Natasha Romanov

Remix fic, Avengers Remix Round 2

Tony needs some help, some advice on heroing. He gets a little more than anticipated.

Also a rarity: Tony and Natasha bonding (again, without leading uip to a pairing). This one is set post Iron Man 3, and executes its "Tony learns from Natasha" premise very well indeed in a short space.

Once Around the Park (1896 words) by AnonEhouse
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Iron Man (Movies), Iron Man (Comic), Iron Man - All Media Types
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Happy Hogan & Tony Stark
Characters: Happy Hogan, Tony Stark
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence, Crack Treated Seriously, Fluff and Crack, First Meetings

A totally non-canonical version of how Tony and Happy met.

(Although it's entirely possible that Marvel simply refused to tell the truth. I've read at least 2 different versions in the comics.)

Iron Man 3 left me craving more stories about Happy Hogan, and while there still aren't many, there are now at least some, including this delightful "first meeting" tale.
selenak: (Bruce and Tony by Corelite)
So, I've stopped watching Downton Abbey two seasons ago. But as soon as I saw this crossovery, I knew I'd read it, and did with ever greater joy, for verily, idea and execution are golden.

Tony Stark Meets an Extremely Unimpressed Time Traveler, or, Thomas Barrow Makes a Surprisingly Good 21st Century Butler (87671 words) by Alex51324
Chapters: 3/3
Fandom: Downton Abbey, The Avengers (Marvel Movies)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Thomas Barrow/Tony Stark
Characters: Thomas Barrow, Tony Stark, Steve Rogers
Additional Tags: Time Travel, Butlers, Crossover

In which Tony Stark ditches a boring party, makes an addition to the household staff, throws a much better party, and tries not to sexually harass his new butler.

Or,In which Thomas Barrow has a little trouble getting home from the pub, is generally unimpressed with many aspects of the 21st century, never thought of himself as a conservative dresser before, and may or may not be falling in lust with his new employer.

tl:dr: Thanks to time travel, Thomas Barrow becomes the Avengers' butler.

The one thing you have to handwave is that Downton Abbey is actually referenced in Iron Man III, complete with clips (Tony's chauffeur/bodyguard Happy Hogan is a fan), but otherwise, this is perfect. Not least because it uses the ensemble well, not just the two main characters, and has everyone in character. It's funny and touching in turns and the dialogue is golden.
selenak: (Norma Bates by Ciaimpala)
How better to begin the new year than with a look back at the last? :)

1. Your main fandom of the year?

I'm a fandom polygamist, always was, always will be. However, I think the fandoms that occupied me a bit more than the others this year were Breaking Bad and Once upon a Time.

2. Your favourite film watched this year?

Wadjda, my review of same linked, which was absolutely amazing and would have been even if it wasn't a) the first Saudi Arabian big screen movie, b) the first Saudi Arabian film directed by a woman, and c) all about a girl.

Runner-up: Iron Man III, which broke the curse of the third movie in a popular franchise being weaker than the previous ones, was highly entertaining and provided a good wrap up to the Iron Man films while leaving Tony and friends available for Avengers shenanigans.

3. Your favourite book read this year?

It's a tie between Steel Blues, which is just the kind of ensemble adventure with great character stuff I love, and the first volume of Mark Lewisohn's monumental Beatles biography.

4. Your favourite TV show of the year?

It was a very good year for tv, both new (how so awesome, Orphan Black?), and recurring/finishing, but this, too, is a tie of the two named in 1). Though if you push me: Breaking Bad. Because it is complete now and thus one can say it really remained and ended as one of the most amazing accomplishments on tv.

5. Your favourite online fandom community of the year?

I loved the disussion of The Charioteer which [personal profile] naraht was hosting on her journal, but as far as communities go: 2ceuponatime, which will resume its s1 rewatch now that the show proper is on hiatus. It makes think of b5_revisited a few years ago.

6. Your best new fandom discovery of the year?

Considering I didn't discover BB this year but did start to marathon Once upon a Time after Christmas last year, it's the fairy tale show, together with Orphan Black which I marathoned in the summer, and Bates Motel (ditto). Of these three, Orphan Black wins in sheer quality, but Once upon a Time in terms of my emotional investment.

7. Your biggest fandom disappointment of the year?

Homeland. Alas.

8. Your TV boyfriend of the year?

Tricky. I don't really have one in the sense the meme means, I suppose, and in terms of my male tv loves of years past (and forever - Londo Mollari, I will never quit you *g*). Not that I didn't like various male characters, sometimes a lot, but never in the sense of crushing on them. Although, you know, if I had to pick one to have an affair with, well, err, I'd probably go for Rodrigo Borgia, him being Pope not withstanding, in the hope I'd get a graceful exit like Giulia and not a bloody demise courtesy of general scheming in Rome.

9. Your TV girlfriend of the year?

Norma Bates. As she's ever so doomed by narrative, I'm trying to steel myself for the inevitable. But Norma is such a vivid, rich character, impulsive, loving, controlling, repressive, resourceful, mamma bearish, hopelessly damaged, helplessly damaging.

10. Your biggest squee moment of the year?

The Day of the Doctor was everything I'd hoped the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special would be. Also, in April I saw Helen Mirren and Judi Dench both on stage in London. Don't make me choose.

(The amazing last bunch of Breaking Bad episodes, particularly Ozymandias, certainly left me breathless, emotionally wrung through and pulse racing, but squee is the wrong term for what I felt.)

11. The most missed of your old fandoms?

You know, I always go periodically back to my old fandoms like Star Trek or Babylon 5 or Highlander, so I can't say I miss them. Writing a Torchwoodstory for this year's DW remix made me rewatch a lot more TW than was needed for the story and made me miss the show, but most certainly not the fandom, the majority which I always remained at a cautious distance from due to my utter lack of Jack/Ianto shipping.

12. The fandom you haven’t tried yet, but want to?

Other than Slings and Arrows, which the "this year I really will do it!" show to marathon, I'm now tentatively eyeing Sleepy Hollow and The Americans.

13. Your biggest fan anticipations for the New Year?

Orphan Black, season 2: will it keep up the quality or have a second year downfall? Also, seeing MCU Natasha Romanov again in Captain America II, and watching the third part of The Hobbit.
selenak: (Tony Stark by Runenklinge)
You know, for me, there are only a very few authors - all the more admirable for it - who can pull off the genre known as curtain fic. I.e. the main characters busy doing domestic things, like, well, buying curtains, and not much else of an exterior plot happening. And it's great character and relationship exploration. [personal profile] penknife is one of those few. She has done it for Xavier and Magneto in the past, and now she's given us a look at young movieverse Tony Stark and Jim Rhodes:

Housekeeping: Four and a half times Tony did housework (or, five times Rhodey wasn't sure Tony Stark was cut out to survive in the real world.)

In which Tony and Rhodey meet at MIT and start their friendship. Also, there is washing. Seriously, though, this makes for a great backstory, and a lovely exploration of the Tony and Rhodey dynamic which is shamefully neglected in fanfiction when the movies made it clear how important it is to both their lives.
selenak: (Money by Distempera)
There is one cinema in Munich which occasionally shows those National Theatre productions from Britain which otherwise we continental Europeans are (legally) deprived of. Considering the RSC is getting into the transmission business with David Tennannt in Richard II, I was already hoping said Munich cinema gets a contract with the Stratford crowd as well, when, lo and behold, I stumbled across this great bit of news: The National Theatre will broadcast a Macbeth starrting Kenneth Branagh and Alex Kingston! This makes me exceedingly happy, not only because the NT as mentioned is an option here in Munich, but because this is dream casting. With one exception - Judi Dench and Ian McKellen in the 1970s - all the Macbeths, both on screen and on stage, which I've seen had the problem that either Lady M or Macbeth was great, but not both. However, Alex "River Song" Kingston as Lady M and Kenneth Branagh as Macbeth should ensure this problem is solved, and I'm a very happy theatre addict over here.


Elementary meta by [profile] abigail_n: Watson, I Need You: Thoughts on Elementary's First Season

And a couple of fanfic links:

Iron Man: Show me your true colors Amusing missing scenes Rhodey-centric friendship tale set around IM2 and IM3. The banter between Rhodey and Tony is dead on.

Once More Into The Fray: another good entry of Pepper dealing with the spoilery thing from IM3 subgenre which uses Natasha and the rest of the gang well.

Breaking Bad:

A matter of time: Future fic, terse and heartbreakingly to the point, featuring Skyler and Jesse.
selenak: (Bruce and Tony by Corelite)
Let me tell you, having my Avengers reading hunger rekindled by Iron Man 3 was tricky, because while on the one hand there are gazilion stories, on the other I have to eliminate so much which I'm really, really not interested in. My avarage look through archives and lj communities goes roughly like this:

- is Loki mentioned in a prominent position in the summary and paired with an Avenger in the pairings list? Do not want.
- Clint/Coulson? Do not want.
- Steve and Tony as adopted fathers of Peter Parker? SO DO NOT WANT, Peter is one of those characters you can't detach from Uncle Ben and Aunt May without altering him (any version of him) so much that it kills any interest I might have)
- Tony as Darcy's newly discovered bio dad? Okay, new trend, is at least more plausible than the Peter Parker stuff, but still not exactly what I'm looking for
- Clint/Natasha - I'm okay with this, but right now I'm more in a Natasha and Clint as team mates mood
- Tony/Steve - absolutely for the comics, but so far I don't see it in the films; author would have to start from scratch to convince me
- any summary indicating it postulates Howard Stark as an abusive parent: DO NOT WANT. I'm aware that some of the comic versions (and they get endlessly retconned anyway) go with that, but the movieverse didn't indicate anything more than Howard having been focused on his work and not having spent much quality time with his son. I get so TIRED of the fannish trend to blame parents, I can't tell you. (Not just in the Marvelverse. Everywhere.) Anyway, if you want a MCU character who has had an abusive father on screen, go with Bruce Banner. (He did in the Ang Lee Hulk.)

Having filtered all this out, still looking in vain for Happy Hogan centric stories and also having been converted to Tony/Pepper as a pairing by the combination of their screentime in Avengers and by Iron Man 3, this leaves me with the following stories I can recommend.

Below the cut, as they can't be described without spoilers. )


selenak: (Default)

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