sometimes I just think of how I wasted 4.5 years to get a stupid little degree in a major I despised so I can look moderately ok on a resume
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— welcome to avengers campus, isn’t it nice to be back, NATASHA ROMANOFF ? it’s been so long since i’ve seen you being a typical THIRTY-SEVEN year old ACROBATICS PROFESSOR, the image of ALEXANDRA BRECKENRIDGE against the retroreflective panels of headquarter buildings. feels like forever since i’ve seen you hanging around S.W.O.R.D. TRAINING GROUNDS. i don’t blame you, though; it fits your vibes perfectly given everyone associates you with WORN-DOWN POINTE SHOES, A MOTORCYCLE’S ENGINE REVVING, SCATTERED POLAROIDS. makes sense too: considering you’re known for being + CONSCIENTIOUS & + RESILIENT, even when you can be quite - SARDONIC & - RETICENT, too. hey, have you seen the news reports lately …? i heard you’ve been getting visions from MARVEL beginning to return, waking up from dreams of SEARCHING FOR THE SOUL STONE. must be something in the water … say, did you always have WIDOW’S BITE on hand ? i’ve never seen you leave home without it. — ( she/her & cisfemale )
❛ 𝐢 𝐝𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐣𝐮𝐝𝐠𝐞 𝐩𝐞𝐨𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐢𝐫 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐬𝐭 𝐦𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐤𝐞𝐬. ❜
birth name: natalia alianovna romanoff.
alias: natasha romanoff , black widow.
date of birth: november 22nd, 1984 ( thirty-seven ).
zodiacs: sagittarius / rat.
sexuality: bisexual biromantic.
occupation: s.w.o.r.d agent.
with no idea of her birth parents whereabouts or status, natasha had resided in an orphanage until she was recruited at a young age into the KGB by general dreykov. she would be trained in a place labeled the red room — what should’ve been her childhood was replaced with strict lessons in espionage. she excelled, though, and soon became their star pupil. she was eventually labeled as a master spy & one of the world’s greatest assassins. the first execution they ever had her perform haunted her. eventually, clint barton was sent by S.H.I.E.L.D to neutralize the threat. he decided to recruit her, much to the behest of fury. aching to do what is right, natasha decided to join them, and never looked back.
~ same backstory ~
despite her upbringing, natasha still trusts people readily. she has found solace in those she calls friends. her career is a vital part of her life, but she allows herself to have time to herself as well as time for friends. she doesn’t punish herself for what she’s done in her past.
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Poor Liam and shame on them for gaslighting him this way. If you have to start a sentence with "I know it appears bad but..." Yikes.
yikes on bikes, my dude!!! yikes on bikes!!!
Dream: While I’m gone, Mervyn, you’re in charge.
Dream, whispering: Lucien, you’re secretly in charge.
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Desire: *Screams louder to assert dominance*
Dream: Should we.. do something?
Destiny: No, I want to see who wins.
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I haven’t been on tumblr in awhile but I’m going to take the time to unload the nerves I had that only my tumblr Homies will understand.
checking meeting the Chris Evans off my nonexistent bucket list ✅
Take notes ladies. Dogs . Dogs will lore him in. ￼📝
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Today, Cameron and Donna are at their home in Mountain View
[CN: grown women talking about enjoying cannabis products]
Where Donna has just noticed that it’s been a little while since they had a real date night, and asked Cameron, “Hey, what are you doing later? After dinner, do you maybe wanna split an edible and fantasize about setting faceb00k’s servers on fire?”
Cameron, who of course has no plans for later, has accepted: “Make mine a cbd gummy and I’m in”
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Delirium: You love me, right, Death?
Death: Normally, I’d say yes without hesitation, but I feel like this is going somewhere and I don’t like it
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Dream: In light of what you did for me, you can hug me for four to five seconds.
Delirium: FORTY FIVE SECONDS?!?
Dream: No, four to five sec-
Delirium: Too late!!!
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Delirium: What if the 'g' in 'gif' is silent?
Barnabas: Go the fuck to sleep
Delirium: What gif I don't want to?
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Dream: We need a distraction.
Dream: Is anyone here good at jumping up and down and making weird noises?
Delirium, whispering: My time has come
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The Sandman bonus notes: Interviews (4)
Here are yet again more fascinating facts from the interviews Neil Gaiman gave in The Sandman Companion!
FABLES AND REFLECTIONS
# Neil Gaiman originally planned for the Marquis de Sade to appear in “Thermidor”, and for this purpose he read his works before preparing the story. However he could not find where to put him, so the Marquis ended up merely referenced in “Brief Lives”. If he had appeared, Johanna would have met the “real” Marquis de Sade, a small, fat and sad man, far away from the picture people might have of him. Neil Gaiman, when writing Thermidor, was fascinated by how a counter-revolution was produced barely weeks after the French Revolution, and most precisely by the cognitive dissonance surrounding Robespierre (which he discovered when reading an old Encyclopedia Britannica, where the article about the French Revolution had been written by someone hating Robespierre, while the biography of the man had been written by one of his deep fans). In fact, after “Thermidor” was published, a reader sent Neil Gaiman a thesis exploring how Robespierre was a great man - and honestly, Neil Gaiman said that he could have very well written a story where Robespierre was a great and noble heroic figure, but he did not because it wasn’t the story he wanted to tell, he needed Robespierre as a villain.
# All the historical facts in “Three Septembers and a January” are true: the emperor Norton, the King of Pain, the Cobweb Palace, how Mark Twain was a journalist... The only mistake was that during the printing the hair color of Mark Twain came incorrectly. Sometimes Neil Gaiman even got facts right by pure luck - at one point he got the idea to give Norton an Asiatic chamberlain, and he later found out that at one point in his life a servant named Ah-Ho followed him everywhere like a butler.
# Everything in “August” comes from the “The Twelve Caesars” written by Suetonius and later translated by Robert Graves. The only things Neil Gaiman added were the presence of Terminus, the god of frontiers, and the trick to create boils and wounds on your skin - it was actually a trick of the Victorian-era beggars. In this story, Neil Gaiman praises the sense of detail of Bryan Talbot, who visually translated the passage of time through all sorts of little tricks: the shadows going from left to right throughout the story, the characters wearing a cap during mid-day and taking it off as the evening gets near, or the same staircase appearing clean in the morning and dirty by the afternoon.
# Neil Gaiman considers John Watkiss’ rendition of Dream as one of his favorites because of how awesome and strange it is.
# The inclusion of the “soft places” in the story was actually an eventual “safe exit” for Neil Gaiman: if he had ever decided to get out of the events he had planned to conclude the series, he would have used the soft places and how time passes differently in the Dreaming as an “exit”. However he did not use this escape route, and stayed on what he had originally planned.
# While, for “The Hunt”, Duncan Eagleson did a beautiful job for everything, there is one scene that was not correctly translated, and it was the sex scene between the two werewolves. Neil Gaiman wanted a copulation mixing the wolf and the human, and the first scene drawn by Eagleson was that of a naked man having sex with a she-wolf. It was judged to be “bestiality” and thus had to be redrawn, and the final result did not express sexuality properly.
# While “The Sandman Special” has been awarded and an acclaimed success, Neil Gaiman is actually not satisfied with it. Originally he wanted a much weirder and interesting story that played around with Orphic themes, the equivalent of a jazz riff as a story, with all sorts of variations and twists - something like “The Einstein Intersection”. However he ended up dropping this ambitious project because, no matter to which of his readers he talked, even the more enlightened and educated, they did not know who Orpheus was or what was the story of Eurydice. Realizing such a “riff story” would have no impact on an audience unaware of the original myth, he went for a straight and simple retelling of the legend of Orpheus, but incorporated in the Sandman world.
# Neil Gaiman did not hide the identity of Dream’s lover out of sadism against his audience - he simply thought the brief scene of introduction he wrote for her was no good, and so decided to begin the story once she was already gone.
# Gaiman sees Mervyn as “the voice of the people”, and he makes him enter the stage whenever the Sandman does too much, as a way to have someone telling to Dream that he acts like a real dummy. Neil Gaiman also points out a beautiful and lovely detail from Jill Thompson - at one point Mervyn comes in the library with a roll of wallpaper he starts applying, and the wallpaper turns out to be new bookshelves filled with tomes for the library.
# When it came to using Delirium in Sandman, Neil Gaiman thought back of how someone had told him one day how “Sandman” was a surrealist comic book, something Gaiman did not agree on since he thought it “perfectly realist”. He then decided to introduce pure surrealism with Delirium. According to him, while Delirium is really funny and entertaining, she is not to be triffled with, because she is able of a great wisdom.
# The Alderman is actually born of several sources. Hs name, Leib-olmai, comes from real Finland legends. However, the ritual of transformation (putting your clothes in a pile and urinating a circle around) comes from the “Satyricon” of Petronius, while the idea of cutting your shadow with your teeth comes from “Peter Pan” (where Peter and his shadow split). Other ideas are more personals - such as the small pouches to trap your death.
# For the dialogues of Bast, Neil Gaiman actually took inspiration from James Branch Cabell - he wrote a form of poetic politeness in his historical novels that was never truly used by anyone but that is absolutely charming, and Neil Gaiman thought it would fit perfectly Bast.
# When it comes to Barnabas eating chocolate, Neil Gaiman explains that he knows very well chocolate is toxic to dogs, and that in the story Destruction ignored this fact while Barnabas was certainly not going to tell him about it.
# Neil Gaiman explains that the moment the fate of Dream was sealed and became impossible to avoid was when he left Destiny’s garden to go find Orpheus. Before that, he could have changed direction and take other decisions which would have prevented his fate, but he did not. And this is why, as Dream is leaving, the pages of Destiny’s book flip between future and past, with a glimpse of the future Dream all in white: it is a sign that now it is too late to come back, that the third act has begun and the story is reaching its end.
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The faces of Delirium in Brief Lives (3)
As I mentionned previously, the final look of Delirium is the one with long flowing red hair and an oversized white jacket.
However, pictures 1 and 2 are some of the most interesting pages of Brief Lives when talking character design, because as Delirium recounts her travel she returns to all of her previous looks - her hairstyle changing to match all the previous events we just saw. The “long on one side, short on the other” hairdo she had when they began the journey, the “fiery” one she sported in the plane and at the motel ; the mass of multicolored hair when she was driving ; the shirt blond hair of her fight ; the short red hair of their meeting with Destiny - and she even has her eyes matching again (except previously when she was sane her two eyes were blue, while here they are green).
[I usually do not get so descriptive in these posts, I let the pictures speak for themselves because they already have everything in them, but here... I don’t know, I feel it wrong to just summarize all this into short sentences. Delirium never fits with a given pattern X)]
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The faces of Delirium in Brief Lives (2)
We continue with the long-haired and over-sized sweater look from pictures 1 to 2. Pictures 3 and 4 show a different look, when Delirium is angry and sad, with a leather jacket and short blond hair.
When continuing their quest, Delirium sports a new look, with a different oversized jacket and her short hair now ginger (pictures 5 to 8). Pictures 7 and 8 specifically are when Delirium briefly becomes sane again - her two eyes now of a matching color. She sports a final look upon visiting Orpheus, with an oversized white jacket and her red hair now much longer.
I will also mention picture 9, which is how Delirium looked in the 1690s when Destruction announced his retirement, so to speak ; and picture 6 where a statue of Delight appears in the garden of Destiny.
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The faces of Delirium in Brief Lives (1)
Interestingly, Delirium, while ever-changing, has a clear set of appearances throughout this volume.
The first one is her wearing the oversize gray jacket, with one side of her hair short and blond, and the other long and multicolored. She sports it from picture 1 to 6. There is however a slight difference: when visting Desire and Despair, Delirium has pants and a waistcoat with a swirly pattern ; when she visits Dream the waistcoat disappears and she now wears a skirt.
Picture 7 has a second look, her hair longer, and with a brightly colored skirt, no jacket.
Picture 8 and 9 has a third look, with a shorter skirt, a new jacket and a “fiery” hairdo that grows much longer between 8 and 9.
The tenth picture shows Delirium’s fourth look - with a mass of hair falling down and an oversized torn sweater.
Of course we cannot ignore picture 6, which also shows us Delight. Or maybe Delirium... It is slightly unclear: at this point, she wasn’t Delirium yet, but she wasn’t Delight anymore (at least according to Delirium’s inner thoughts), so she was in a transitional state, somewhere in the very early ages of Earth.
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The faces of Dream in Brief Lives (3)
Once more, you can love the attention for details: this outfit, the one Dream wears to visit Orpheus one last time (and by extension to visit Destruction one last time) is almost identical to the one he wore when talking with Orpheus after his beheading. The difference being that now the edges of the coat are torn, and that instead of his Ruby he has a silver piece closing the cape.
The faces of Dream in Brief Lives (2)
Picture 1: Dream, leaving Delirium to her quest and returning to the Dreaming (still wearing his “human coat”).
Picture 2 to 4: Dream appearing to Bast. Just like in Season of Mists, Dream takes on feline features on his humanoid appearance - though at one point his head turns into one of a cat.
Picture 5 and 6 show Dream in his usual cloak - however in two different occasions, and once more we can appreciate the love for the detail. With Delirium he has a torn cloakcoat and a simple outfit (you can see the shirt and jeans), while with Destiny he has a much neater and more formal version of his cloak.
The rest of the pictures are from when Destiny looks throughout his book, and thus goes up and down the timeline of Sandman:
Picture 7 is Dream as he appeared when Destruction gave his “resignation”, in the 1690s. Picture 8 is Dream shortly before he was imprisoned in the beginning of Sandman. As for Picture 9, it is first appearance of New Dream (aka Daniel-Dream).
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The faces of Dream in Brief Lives (1)
Dream mostly changes outfits during this volume, rather than appearance. We first see him in his usual outfits, with his long cloak when his lover spurns him (picture 1) and his usual shirt and jean ensemble when Delirium visits (picture 2). He also puts on regular and casual human clothes when travelling in quest of his brother: a black coat (picture 3), shirt and jeans (picture 4), a black leather jacket (picture 10). He only takes back a more formal and noble outfit in pictures 5 and 9, when he contacts Lucien in the Dreaming.
We also have Dream’s appearance during his flashback with Destruction - while I do not have yet the exact date and place, it seems this flashback takes place during the second half of the 17th century (before 1690, maybe after 1660) and in England.
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The faces of Destruction in Brief Lives (2)
I don’t have much to point out here since after retiring Destruction doesn’t change his appearance or outfits as much as his siblings. However I can point out one thing: while at first he appears entirely beardless and cleanly shaved (pictures 1 to 4), the closer his siblings get to him, the hairier his face gets, until he sports a few days old beard when finally meeting back with Dream and Delirium (pictures 6, 7 and 8).
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The faces of Destruction in Brief Lives (1)
I collected here all the flashbacks of Destruction.
Pictures 1 and 2: Destruction as he appeared to Despair during the Great Plague of London
Picture 3: Destruction as he appeared to Delight, in the beginning of her transformation into Delirium, in the early days of Earth
Picture 4 and 5: Destruction as he appeared to Dream, in England during the second half of the 17th century. (At least I believe it is in England, I am not quite sure...)
Picture 6: Destruction when he announced his decision to abandon his functions, in the 1690s.
Pictures 7 and 8: Destruction as he appeared a long time ago on a very distant planet, talking with Death.