Today, Mikyzptlk and Patrick are discussing The Superior Spider-Man 10, originally released May 22nd, 2013.
Mikyzptlk: Before Pinocchio was a “real boy” he was marionette imbued with life, but no knowledge of a conscience. So, as an obvious solution, a cricket by the name of Jiminy was tasked to be the boy’s conscience. Even with Jiminy on his side, however, Pinocchio still managed to get into heaps of trouble. Like, way more trouble than is probably appropriate for kids. Eventually though, with the help of Jiminy, Pinocchio learns what it means to listen to one’s conscience, and is rewarded with true flesh and blood life. It’s a classic tale, but what would have happened if Pinocchio kicked Jiminy Cricket to the curb instead? Would he ever have become a real boy, or would he have been fated to become a total jackass? Enter, possibly, the Superior Spider-Man. Continue reading →
Today, Drew and Scott are discussing the Flash 20, originally released May 22nd, 2013.
Drew: Barry Allen is a man of contradictions. As a police scientist, he is beholden to rigorously examining every scrap of evidence before coming to a conclusion. As a speed-powered superhero, he is all about decisive action. I’ve always found the tension between those two extremes particularly relatable — who among us doesn’t vacillate between those poles? — even when the series itself has been heavier on the action. The scrutiny half of this equation has always come across in the subtext, as writers Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato have hidden details throughout their runs that reward only the most vigilantly close readings. In The Flash 20, they graduate Barry’s detecting skills from subtext to text, but the results are decidedly mixed. Continue reading →
Today, Patrick and Taylor are discussing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Microseries Villains 2: Baxter Stockman originally released May 22nd, 2013.
Patrick: One of my persistent questions about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has been “why would Baxter Stockman put up with Krang’s bullshit?” After all, regardless of what he could offer, Krang’s ultimate goal is the destruction of the human race. Psst! Baxter, you’re one of those humans. There’s a bully component to their relationship, but Stockman also has this too-cool-for-school attitude, seemingly above intimidation. So why would he work so hard toward the completion of the technodrome? Same reason he does anything: because there’s something in it for him.
Today, Spencer and Drew are discussing Red Hood and the Outlaws 20, originally released May 15th, 2013.
Spencer: Our past can be a burden, but it can also be a gift, and while some things are out of our control, most of what determines how we view our past is how we learn from our mistakes, live with our regrets, and learn to forge on. For Red Hood, Arsenal, and Starfire, their past falls into both camps; a shared history of tragedy is what initially drew these three together and cemented their friendship, but their own inability to reconcile their pasts and find a way to deal might just end up driving the Outlaws apart instead.
Today, Shelby and Drew are discussing Nova 4, originally released May 15th, 2013.
Shelby:In the pilot episode of Firefly, we meet the ship’s pilot Wash as he is playing with some toy dinosaurs. As the T-Rex and his veggie-saurus friend survey their new home, the Rex turns on his friend, prompting the delightful line, “Curse your sudden, but inevitable betrayal!” In last month’s look at issues 1-3 of Nova, Patrick and Drew discussed Jeff Loeb’s penchant for cliches; they assumed Young Sam would be betrayed by Rocket and Gamorra, but because it seemed so obvious, they also assumed it was a fake-out. They weren’t totally wrong; Loeb gives us our inevitable betrayal this issue, but it comes from a completely unexpected direction. Continue reading →
Today, Ethan and Shelby are discussing FF 7, originally released May 15th, 2013.
Ethan: Family is the most important thing. The ones closest to us make all the difference, whether that’s helping us reach our goals, being there for us when we’re down, or providing vital sustenance when we kill them and eat them. More on that later. Writer Matt Fraction and artist Michael Allred continue to shepherd FF forward through the latest crisis — the assault by The Wizard — with the all of the quirks and charm we’ve come to expect. Even for an issue that spends more time than usual on its fight scenes, Fraction still finds ample room to pack in both the standard measure of goofball interactions and touching moments.
Today, Shelby and Drew are discussing Batwoman 20, originally released May 15th, 2013.
Shelby: Trust is always an interesting concept to explore when masked superheroes are involved. The protagonist’s entire experience is based on a lack of trust: they don’t trust their loved ones to with their secret identity, they don’t trust the existing authority to take care of crime. That the distrust is well-founded doesn’t lessen the fact it’s the foundation of a successful masked superhero. But even the most independent superhero has got to have someone in the corner, some support system of people they trust and can rely on. Unfortunately, Kate seems to continuously find herself faced with people telling her, “you will trust me, whether you like it or not!”, essentially rendering the entire concept meaningless.
Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing Iron Man 10, originally released May 15th, 2013.
Drew: Steven Soderberg’s Ocean’s 11 had a lot going for it: lavish, exciting locations, an all-star cast playing colorful characters, and a crackerjack heist story that kept the audience guessing until the end, just to name a few. Of course, none of those things were particularly original — the film was a remake, after all — but it was unlike anything that was being made at the time. Two sequels and countless copycats later, those ideas don’t feel nearly as fresh, which unfortunately leaves Iron Man 10 (or should I call it “Stark’s 7″?) dead on arrival. Continue reading →
Today, Scott and Shelby are discussing Nightwing 19-20, originally released April 17th and May 15th, 2013, respectively.
Scott: Moving to a new city is hard. Finding the right place to live, learning your way around town, making friends, it all takes time. Unfortunately, Dick Grayson doesn’t have much chance to settle into his newfound home in Chicago. He’s in the Windy City with a purpose- to find the man who killed his parents- and he’s hardly welcomed with open arms. Nightwing 19 and 20 serve as a beginning to a new chapter for Dick, away from the torpedo of death and depression that Gotham has come to represent for him. New life is breathed into Nightwing, courtesy of a gust of wind off of Lake Michigan, and it is something to behold. Continue reading →
Today, guest writer Greg Smith and Drew are discussing Twelve Reasons To Die 1, originally released May 8th, 2013.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”
“If you had a pussy it’d be getting wet right now.”
Greg: One of these literary passages is an iconic introduction embedded into our cultural consciousness, instantly recognizable in its quality and efficiency in setting up the work’s major themes. The other is Charles Dickens’ A Tale Of Two Cities. Continue reading →