Uncanny X-Men 35

uncanny xmen 35

Today, Patrick and Taylor are discussing Uncanny X-Men 35, originally released July 22nd, 2015.

Patrick: Mutants are among the more malleable allegories in comics. As a class of people persecuted for something they can’t control, they’ve acted as stand ins for racial minorities, religious minorities, disabled peoples, homosexuals – anyone with any kind of outsider status. But they’re also useful for other political debate: gun control, freedom vs. safety, etc. In one of his final issues writing the X-Men, Brian Michael Bendis employs a rarely-tapped metaphor and uses one of his own Mutants to tackle a topic that is decidedly apolitical, and casts an unlikely X-Man as the furthest thing from “outsider” you could imagine. It’s a delightfully simple slugline: what if Goldballs became famous? Continue reading

Wolf 1

wolf 1

Today, Ryan and Drew are discussing Wolf 1, originally released July 22nd, 2015.

Ryan: Stop me if you have read this comic before: a dark, supernatural noir following a seemingly immortal protagonist and featuring Lovecraftian — oh, yes, that’s Ed Brubaker’s Fatale. Or this one, then: a hard-nosed paranormal detective named Wolf tries to right wrongs in a major American city populated by folkloric — yup, you got it, that is Fables. The first issue of Wolf strides over well-trodden territory — really, we have seen this all before. So why, then, does it work so well? Better yet, what is it that Ales Kot is doing better than everyone else? Continue reading

Weekly Round-Up: Comics Released 7/22/15

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Look, there are a lot of comics out there. Too many. We can never hope to have in-depth conversations about all of them. But, we sure can round up some of the more noteworthy titles we didn’t get around to from the week. Today, Spencer, Drew, Patrick and Michael discuss Spider-Woman 9, Kanan: The Last Padawan 4, All-New Hawkeye 4, Sons of the Devil 3, Archie vs. Predator 4, Archie vs. Sharknado 1, Effigy 7, and The Infinite Loop 4.

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Spencer: With more and more great books hitting the stands each week, we’ve recently taken to splitting our Weekly Round-Up into several installments so as to make each one easier to digest. Now that we have Round-Ups specifically covering DC and Secret Wars, it could be tempting to think of the books we cover in this Round-Up to be the leftovers. I just want to emphasize to you all that this is absolutely not the case. Every book we cover this week features unique concepts, or even unique takes on familiar ones, and almost all of them are high quality to boot. It’s an eclectic line-up of comics, but one that’s just as worth your attention as anything else we’ve written about this week. Continue reading

Grayson 10

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Today, Spencer and Michael are discussing Grayson 10, originally released July 22nd, 2015.

Spencer: Once, way back when Wally West was the Flash, he ran so fast that he merged with the Speed Force, a fate from which no speedster had ever returned. Wally did return, though, all because of the love of his life, Linda Park. Wally called Linda his “lightning rod” — no matter what weird shenanigans he had to deal with, Linda’s love always kept him grounded in reality. I think most of us have a “lightning rod” of one sort or the other, some person or thing that acts as a constant in our life, that keeps us tethered to our old lives even as everything else around us changes. Dick Grayson has gone through more changes than most ever since his “death” in Forever Evil, but even as an agent of Spyral, he had both his mentor Batman and his faith in his own abilities acting to keep him grounded. With Grayson 10, though, Tim Seeley, Tom King, and Mikel Janin strip those last familiar comforts from Dick, leaving him with nobody he can trust — not even himself. Continue reading

Cyborg 1

cyborg 1Today, Michael and Patrick are discussing Cyborg 1, originally released July 22nd, 2015.

Michael: Words are an interesting thing, are they not? In one of those “Woah, its crazy how humans work” moments, the assemblage of letters, words, sentences, punctuations and so on is impressive. Memorable moments in pop culture can often be whittled down to a few buzzworthy quotes – especially with our 2015 short attention span. This particular mindset heavily influenced my reading experience of Cyborg 1; and that’s not really a good thing. Continue reading

DC Round-Up Comics Released 7/22/15

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Look, there are a lot of comics out there. Too many. We can never hope to have in-depth conversations about all of them. But, we sure can round up some of the more noteworthy titles we didn’t get around to from the week. Today, Mark, Spencer, Patrick, Shane, and Michael discuss The Flash 42, Gotham by Midnight 7, Prez 2, and We Are Robin 2.

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Mark: It’s a motley crop in this week’s DC YOU round-up. With nary a mainline Superman or Batman title in sight, some of DC’s smaller, up-and-coming, or perhaps lesser loved titles take center stage. Weird that in a world where The Flash can have quite the renaissance in one medium this year, The Flash the comic book can feel like such an afterthought. But here we are!

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C.O.W.L. 11

cowl 11 Today, Spencer and Drew are discussing C.O.W.L. 11, originally released July 22nd, 2015.

Spencer: One of my favorite expressions is “would I do it all again?” Usually it’s only uttered after a long string of consequences (“So I ended up breaking both legs…but would I do it all again?”), and it’s never an actual question — if you’re asking “would I do it all again,” you’re basically admitting that yes, you would. No matter what consequences you faced, it was worth it. This phrase has an opposite as well — “Was it worth it?” Just like “would I do it all again,” “was it worth it” is rarely a question — it’s almost always an admission that no, whatever you did was not worth the consequences. It’s a phrase uttered by Geoffrey Warner in the final moments of Kyle Higgins, Alec Siegel, and Rod Reis’ C.O.W.L., leaving the readers with the impression that even Warner knows that the actions he took to keep C.O.W.L. in business aren’t justified. No matter what C.O.W.L. goes on to accomplish in the future, Warner’s actions will forever be hanging over the organization like a dark cloud. Continue reading

Secret Wars Round-Up: Issues released 7/22/15

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Today, Patrick, Drew, Mark and Michael discuss Star-Lord and Kitty Pryde 1, Weirdworld 2, Old Man Logan 3, E is for Extinction 2, Loki, Agent of Asgard 16 and Marvel Zombies 2.

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Patrick: We can argue about the merits of “Battleworld” as an engine for compelling narratives until we are blue in the collective face. (I assume we keep that face on Reddit, and its has seen some shit.) This week’s crop demonstrates that, no matter what stories are coming out of Marvel these days, the pages themselves are looking absolutely gorgeous. Andrea Sorrentino, Ramon Villalobos, Michael del Mundo, Kev Walker and Lee Garbett all in one week? Plus, relative new-comer Alti Firmansyah rounds out a beautiful line-up. Maybe there’s something about the freedom that Secret Wars offers that attracts this kind of amazing talent.
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Justice League: Gods and Monsters Batman 1

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Today, Michael and Spencer are discussing Justice League: Gods and Monsters Batman 1, originally released July 22th, 2015.

Michael: There are a couple of questions we face when we read an “Elseworlds” tale in regards to the main continuity. What’s the point of any of this? Why does any of this matter? We are presented with alternate versions of the heroes that we know and love and wonder, “what the hell does this have to do with anything?” The worst case scenario is that we follow the exploits of a character that has a familiar name, but is absolutely nothing like what we know, and just different for difference’s sake. The best case scenario is that the character — while different from what we know – resonates with us to a certain truth at their core. Justice League: Gods and Monsters Batman 1 stars a different Dark Knight that circles a lot of familiar Batman tent poles. Continue reading

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Casey & April 2

tmnt casey & april 2

Today, Taylor and Patrick are discussing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Casey & April 2, originally released July 22nd, 2015.

Taylor: Last summer’s Michael Bay-produced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie met with lukewarm reviews. There were a lot of reasons cited by critics for the movie not being great, but the one thing that was almost universally harped upon was the confusing nature of the action sequences. Bay aficionados, however, were not surprised by this: chaos is one of his trademarks. What this goes to show is that clarity is incredibly important when crafting a story. It makes sense – if the audience can’t understand what’s going on, how are they supposed to take anything from it? Casey and April 2 is an interesting study in clarity: how it succeeds, how it fails, and how it succeeds despite its failings.

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