Today, Taylor and Ethan are discussing Uncanny Avengers 8AU, originally released May 22nd 2013. This issue is part of the Age of Ultron crossover event. Click here for complete AU coverage.
Taylor: The thing about parties is that they’re only fun if you know the people who are going to be there. Now, this doesn’t apply to everyone, some of the more socially fluid among us have an ability to mix and match with anyone. However, for your average Joe, going to a strange party means having to make conversation with a lot of people you’ve never met before and who you will never meet again. What do you do; who do you know; is that beer good; this song is great – become your most-used phrases for a couple of awkward hours. By the end of the night all the names and faces blend together and you’re more than happy to leave without saying goodbye to any of the people you just met but couldn’t care about less. In just the same way Uncanny Avengers 8AU is not a fun issue to read unless you are steeped in the mythology of the Marvel Universe. Even then, there is little that is appealing about this issue for fans of the series, both old and new. 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, Patrick are discussing Age of Ultron 8, originally released May 15th 2013. This issue is part of the Age of Ultron crossover event. Click here for complete AU coverage.
Patrick: A few weeks ago, I noted that I wasn’t having very much fun with the whole Age of Ultron concept – issue after issue of pure, relentless destruction and doom was getting to me. But that started to feel like the point: Brian Michael Bendis was taking my comic-book-fan apocalypse-lust and rubbing my nose in it. When the heroes decided they had to take drastic action and travel through time to fight Ultron on his inventor on different chronal fronts, I cheered the initiative. Anything to stop the suffer-slog through devastated cityscapes. But as the series moves further and further away from what’s familiar in the Marvel Universe, the harder it is to get a grasp on the story. Continue reading →
Today, Scott and Ethan are discussing Deadpool 9, originally released May 8th, 2013.
Scott: Moral ambiguity is an important theme in Deadpool. Wade Wilson doesn’t kill people unless he has to, but he doesn’t have to enjoy doing it so much either. In Deadpool 9, the actual necessity of such violence, as well as Wade’s willingness to commit it, becomes blurred, forcing Wade to make tough decisions. It’s the kind of situation you might see depicted with a miniature angel and devil propped on each of his shoulders, but writers Brian Posehn and Gary Duggan would never revert to such a trite story device unless they were mocking it, right? Well, take the moral-righteousness of a recently-dead government agent who lives inside Wade’s head and put it up against the deplorable, power-hungry demon forcing Wade to do his dirty work and you get Posehn and Duggan’s version of a conscience-battle. They are a creative team, in every sense.
Today, Ethan and Taylor are discussing Avengers Assemble 15AU, originally released May 8th 2013. This issue is part of the Age of Ultron crossover event. Click here for complete AU coverage.
Ethan: It’s always tempting to poke fun at other cultures. Humans seem evolutionarily predisposed to draw lines between Us and Them, and in the present, enlightened point in the development of our species, we like to use humor to act on that where our paleo-ancestors might have used a nice, big stick. Humor’s got more uses than pushing others away though; sometimes it’s a good way to navigate the gap between the familiar and the different, and to draw people together. All of this is a bit overblown for introducing this issue. What I’m really trying to say is that writer Al Ewing really went to town on those silly Brits in this issue. Continue reading →
Today, Shelby and Ethan are discussing Hawkeye 10, originally released May 1st, 2013.
Shelby: There are two sides to every story, even stories wherein our favorite, loveable auxiliary character is shot in the head by a new bad guy for seemingly no reason. Even though we’re all still a little sad about the loss of Grills last issue (Matt Fraction included, as indicated on the title page of this month’s issue), we have to remember it was a man who pulled the trigger, a man with his own story to tell. Continue reading →
Today, Ethan and Drew are discussing Superior Spider-Man 9, originally released May 1st, 2013.
Ethan: I’m not sure why so many of my posts have dealt with issues of identity lately. Maybe modern comic authors really like to incorporate this theme; maybe it has something to do with the inherent conceit of people donning costumes to play out parts of their life as someone else; maybe it’s just a concept I like to think about. Probably some mixture of all of them. Regardless, in Superior Spider-Man #9 Dan Slott provides a great forum for exploring the ideas of what makes us who we are by throwing science, emotional relationships, and morality into a figurative salad spinner and, um, spinning it.
Today, Ethan and Patrick are discussing Uncanny X-Men 5, originally released April 24th 2013.
Ethan: Each of us has at least two definitions of self – the one we show to the world, and the one we identify as our true self. The external definition — the mask — is usually a tool we use to fit in. Perhaps your mask is funnier than you believe the “real” you truly is, or more confident, or more flippant, or more compassionate. Some of us may present a version of ourselves that is not too different than the one we believe to be true; others of us may show a face that’s more dramatically different than our internal, hidden one. Whatever the distance between the public and private self, whatever qualities you infuse into this living theater of personality, you — and only you — can fully plumb the difference. That is of course, assuming that you know who the “true” you is. In Uncanny X-Men #5, Brian Michael Bendis begins to peel back the figurative and literal masks worn by Magik, reminding us of her past and exploring the present condition of the rebel mutants.
Today, Shelby and Ethan are discussing FF 6, originally released April 24th, 2013.
Shelby: It’s interesting to see the real world creep into comic books. On the one hand, real world elements make comic books more relateable; if we can relate to the events our heroes are facing, it’s easier for us to become immersed in the story. On the other hand, real world events juxtaposed with fantastic (and sometimes dumb) comic book events can be jarring and ultimately make the story unnecessarily nonsensical. Matt Fraction maintains the balance of real world and comic world by making the silly comic book stuff EXTRA silly while at the same time making the characters extra endearing. I don’t understand how or why, but it works. Continue reading →
Today, Taylor and Ethan are discussing Wolverine and the X-Men 27AU, originally released April 17th 2013. This issue is part of the Age of Ultron crossover event. Click here for complete AU coverage.
Taylor: Expect the unexpected. On a scale of one to ten that measures cliché sayings that enrage me, this one is at about a 9.3. How can you expect the unexpected? By its very nature a person can’t prepare for the unexpected. If something is unexpected that means you cannot see it coming, so how can you prepare for it? I understand that some of the charm people derive from this saying comes from the very paradoxical nature of it that I hate so much. However, I think a lot of people have forgotten this aspect of the saying in eschewing its true meaning. Rather, those who employ the saying often seem to use it as a way of preparing people for wild times ahead, not caring that the dribble coming out of their mouth is useless and confusing. However, occasionally this phrase is useful, like when you really have no idea what to expect from your present circumstances. I think time travel is one of the times when it’s safe to say you should expect the unexpected if for no other reason then temporal mechanics are wonky. So when Wolverine and Sue Storm travel back in time in Wolverine and the X-Men 27 AU, I think it’s safe to use the phrase I deplore so much.