the Our Solemn Hour rule

Stray thought of the night: if a canon has an epic, climactic battle that you can imagine making a particularly good fanvid to Within Temptation – Our Solemn Hour, I’ve probably been into it.

  • Utena? ✔️
  • Evangelion? ✔️
  • Hellsing? ✔️
  • Madoka Magica? ✔️
  • His Dark Materials? ✔️
  • First 2 seasons of Welcome to Night Vale? ✔️
  • WandaVision? ✔️
  • Moon Knight? ✔️

It doesn’t work in reverse — I’m not less into the Oz books, or the Colbert Report, or Red Dwarf, because they don’t suggest cool Our Solemn Hour vids — but the basic rule holds.

And, hey, a few of them even have an existing fanvid that stacks up to the one in my head. Have some recs.


Aurora and Jeanne-Marie Beaubier: primer + history + where to find the good stuff, Part 3/3

This is it! This is actually the last part! About time.

Previously, on Part One: the first run of Alpha Flight! Then, on Part Two: writers scrambling to figure out what the heck to do with all the characters after Alpha Flight got canceled.

Jean-Paul Beaubier, Marvel figured out pretty quickly. He joined the more-mainstream X-Men in 2001 (Uncanny X-Men Volume 1 issue 392), and has been on-and-off with them ever since — and it’s been great. He’s a breakout hit!

Aurora and/or Jeanne-Marie Beaubier, on the other hand, Marvel is still trying to figure out. Doesn’t help that “hey, they’re canon plural” — the system’s biggest source of Unique Story Material You Couldn’t Do With Any Other Character(s) — is a trait the writers seems to just straight-up forget half the time.

Part Three covers the rest of the major Beaubier system content, up to the present day. The main reason it got long is, I keep stopping to think in detail about the continuity errors. And then trying to reverse-engineer the Headmate Action we aren’t getting on-page.

If you just want a recommended reading list, here it is:

tl;dr Read These For The Good Stuff:

For the rest of the detailed tour, read on:

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Aurora and Jeanne-Marie Beaubier: primer + history + where to find the good stuff, Part 2/3

I know, I know, at first I said this would be two parts. Please fill in your own “there’s never just two” jokes here.

Previously, on Part One of the Beaubier System Primer: an overview of Aurora and/or Jeanne-Marie’s appearances and development in the first Alpha Flight team book. At 130 issues, even with the system getting written out for a hefty chunk of the middle, there was a lot of good material!

…And then the book got canceled, and it’s been a real mixed bag ever since.

Aurora, often along with her brother Northstar, gets a ton of “looking cool in the background of a fight scene” kinds of cameos. Hard to argue, because the twins do look cool! But frustrating when you’re digging through a bunch of one-off appearances looking for characterization details, and it’s another “I flipped through 27 pages for nothing but one cool-looking panel” issue.

So, full disclosure: in the Marvel wiki’s list of Aurora/Jeanne-Marie issues, I skipped a fair number of “they’re in the character list, but don’t rate a mention in the summary” cameos. If this overview ends up skipping something good, feel free to rec it to me in the comments!

With that, let’s dive into the Beaubier system content from 1997 through 2011:

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Aurora and Jeanne-Marie Beaubier: primer + history + where to find the good stuff, Part 1/3

I’ve been deep-diving into this character’s publication history for team-up fic-writing purposes, and figured I should write up some notes, because I’m never going to remember all this otherwise.

Aurora and Jeanne-Marie are Marvel’s other “extremely uneven attempt to write a relatively-realistic DID system.” (Both with close associations with canon-gay French-speaking characters named Jean-Paul!…that’s not plot-relevant, that’s just fun trivia.)

There’s an obvious direct inspiration from The Three Faces of Eve, the book+movie that launched “multiple personalities” into the public consciousness. (Check that out for the historical relevance! Then fact-check it with the memoirs written by the real system involved, unfiltered through the preconceptions of her/their therapists.)

I’m using the Marvel wiki’s list of the system’s appearances in the 616 universe. Running through this in publication history. And, uh, this whole Part 1 only covers the first Alpha Flight team book, because this run is long.


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Eurovision 2023: nothing in the world can stop the cha-cha-cha of her wings

Norway remained my fave even after hearing the rest of the entries, and they came in 5th! Good showing, My favorites are not usually the voters’ favorites, so I am unreservedly happy for them.

Finland’s runner-up song was not my jam, but considering how perfectly on-brand it was for Eurovision nonsense, and how much the audience overall clearly loved it — yeah, they got robbed.

Also: Sweden’s winner was so forgettable! If you played me the “10 seconds of each song” montage, no intros and no video of the performances, I swear I wouldn’t be able to pick it out. (With video, at least I would recognize it as The Literally All Beige One.)

Aside from Norway, the one that’s going to be stuck in my head the most is Austria’s bop:

I’m still in the Moon Knight zone, so: considering that the MK guys are played by the same actor as Poe Dameron, please imagine Steven just happily singing this to himself around the house, and Secret Fourth Headmate Poe going “…how the kriff did he figure out about me??”

Alternately, imagine Secret Fourth Previously-Unnamed Spacecraft-Pilot Headmate overhearing the song and thinking “oh hell yes, that’s my name now.”

Finally: New Zealand still hasn’t gotten invited to join Australia in the ESC, so they put together this unofficial entry. Catchy beat, some impressively creative rhymes, more appealing than half of the actual finalists:

Youtube commenters are calling it “the best song about Eurovision since Love, Love, Peace, Peace.” They’re not wrong. If NZ doesn’t still doesn’t get into ESC 2024, at least invite these folks to do an interval act! They’ve earned it.