Taylor: They say that time heals all wounds. Everyone knows that this saying has both a literal and metaphorical meaning. For only time can take the sting away from hurt feelings and only time can mend a broken body. However, time also causes things to fester and decay. Eventually, time kills or destroys all. While the truth of these statements can’t be denied, I think whether a person views time as a destroyer or a healer says a lot about their viewpoint on the world. In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 50, a clash of these two viewpoints takes place, and the head-to-head encounter leaves one dead and the other walking into new territory. The result is an issue focused on the past, the future, and the passage of time.
Ryan: Batman has been happening for quite some time, both in the real world and in the oft rebooted DC Universe. Fans of the series remember his numerous encounters with his rogues gallery throughout the years, as villains escape time after time from the doldrums of Arkham Asylum to once again terrorize the city of Gotham. The formula for Batman may even be seen as a little tiresome: villain arrives, terrorizes Batman, Batman wins, villain returns again, eventually — maybe teaming with another foe, something messed up happens to Bruce Wayne’s personal life, his family rescues him, rinse, repeat. So what is it that draws us back into Batman narratives when the conceit can seem formulaic? Much of its appeal, I would argue, comes from the long-standing history which the reader shares with the character, one which can make jumping into a title so compounded with spin-offs and mini-series and event tie-ins intimidating for some. Batman Annual 4 offers an easy jumping-in point as Bruce Wayne undergoes yet another identity crisis, catching a casual or first-time reader up while showing the audience why a protagonist mired in the past can be so fascinating.
Today, Taylor and Drew are discussing Captain America: White 2, originally released September 30th, 2015.
Taylor: For some reason, when I think about World War II, it doesn’t seem like it happened all that long ago. Maybe this is because the war shares many of the same things we see in warfare today like airplanes and tanks and machine guns. Or perhaps the reason it seems fresh is that WWII was a substantially photographed and filmed war, making it an frequent topic of documentaries. Still more, WWII has been the backdrop for much of the pop-culture that has pervaded the 20th and 21st centuries, and with each new story set between the years 1939 and 1945 the war comes alive once again. But WWII ended 70 years ago and few still live who actually saw or took part in its events. It’s a weird dichotomy, this difference between perceived and actual length of time, and if nothing else, Captain America: White 2 has me considering this subject deeply.
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, we discuss Fury S.H.I.E.L.D. 50th Anniversary 1, Astro City 27, Manhattan Projects: The Sun Beyond the Stars 3, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Casey and April 4, and Deadpool vs. Thanos 2. Continue reading
Today, Michael and Taylor are discussing Gotham by Midnight 9, originally released September 23rd, 2015.
Michael: Though Sergeant Rook came knocking on their door back in issue 1, Jim Corrigan and the rest of the Midnight Shift finally have to answer for their mysterious dealings in Gotham by Midnight 9. Rook tears through their station house for any potential evidence against the Midnight Shift while Corrigan and Lisa Drake are poked and prodded by Internal Affairs in their interrogation rooms. Both Corrigan and Drake go a few round with their respective interrogators without breaking a sweat – they are seasoned cops who how to play the game. The cops start leading Corrigan to the conclusion that he is the Spectre and that he knowingly chooses the Spectre’s victims. Needless to say Corrigan becomes agitated and the Spectre takes control, killing the two cops. The kicker is that Spectre tells Corrigan that the interrogators were right – Corrigan DOES pick the victims.
Today, Taylor and Drew are discussing 1872 3, originally released September 23rd, 2015.
Taylor: We just can’t seem to leave the Wild West, can we? Throughout the entire 20th century and well into the 21st the Western has endured in books, movies, TV shows, and of course comics. I guess there’s just something appealing about a world where there is no law except for the gun you hold in your hand. We all know for the most part these portrayals of the Old West are pretty inaccurate. It was neither as exciting or dangerous as one would have you believe. However, that hasn’t stopped artists from visiting a world we just can’t get enough of. Now into its third issue, I think it’s fair to judge whether 1872 is a version of the West we want to visit again and again, or one we let hit the ol’ dusty trail.
Today, Andrew and Taylor are discussing Captain America: White 1, originally released September 16th , 2015.
Andrew: After being unfrozen from the ice after 7 years, Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale have delivered on their long teased series dissecting our favorite Nazi kicking boy scout, Steve Rogers. In line with their color series (including Daredevil: Yellow, Hulk: Grey, and Spiderman: Blue), Captain America: White presents a retelling of what made Loeb and Sale fall in love with Captain America in the first place, focused through a thematic color. Loeb and Sale paint a critical picture of this icon without being cynical. The Cap we’ve seen so far is calm, confident, but above all, naive. He is a soldier but not a leader. He has the enormous privilege of superhuman abilities which separate him from ever truly sharing the average soldier’s experience. This privilege and optimism blinds him to the dangers he puts Bucky through. It’s his relationship and loss of Bucky that is put at the forefront of this issue and what ultimately makes him into the nuanced Marvel character that he became today. Continue reading
Today, Taylor and Spencer are discussing All-New Hawkeye 5, originally released September 16th , 2015.
Taylor: Often times I wonder what my life would be like had I made an important choice, differently. When I try to make this abstract thought game more concrete, I think about the decision I made of where to go to college. My life would be incomparably changed if I had attended a different university. Different friends, maybe a different major, and most likely living in a different city for the past eight years of my life. Hawkeye 5 at first has us thinking big choices never affect the totality of our lives, but as events unfold, it becomes clear a single choice can affect your life greatly.
Today, Ryan M. and Taylor are discussing Gotham Academy 10, originally released September 9, 2015.
Ryan: As the daughter of a high school teacher, I grew up seeing a lot of teens preforming Shakespeare. My dad wanted to support his students and I wanted to see people in costumes; it was a win-win. I saw a dozen of these amateur auditorium productions before I ever saw a professional one. When I was little, I didn’t always understand the language of the scene, and I certainly wasn’t grasping the deeper themes. What I was enthralled by, other than those fun costumes, was wondering about the actors. Were they friends in class? Were there romances? Which ones were nerds or cool kids? Because, while I didn’t always get Shakespeare, I watched a lot of Saved by the Bell. In this issue of Gotham Academy, there is a lot happening behind the scenes, but it is even more spooky than the time Zack and the gang went to the murder mystery house.
Today, Taylor and Spencer are discussing Ms. Marvel 18, originally released September 9th, 2015. This issue is a Secret Wars tie-in. For more Secret Wars coverage from the week, check back Tuesday for our Secret Wars Round-Up.
Taylor: The old axiom says there are five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. While I have my doubts that every person experiences grief in the exact same way as this, I do believe that most people go through something akin to this before arriving at the final stage of acceptance. When something truly traumatic happens it takes awhile for our brains to shift to the new reality of things. However, I think given time we all come to accept whatever bad thing it is that’s happened to us. Ms. Marvel 18 delves into this last stage of coping with grief and shows us that for everyone who undergoes it, it looks a little different.