Obi-Wan and Anakin 2

obi-wan anakin 2

Today, Spencer and Michael are discussing Obi-Wan and Anakin 2, originally released February 3rd, 2016.

Spencer: There’s nothing new under the sun. I don’t believe that’s a concrete truth — every once in a while somebody still trots out an idea that legitimately surprises me — but for the most part, it holds up, and I’m okay with that. A story doesn’t need to be wholly original to succeed. Sometimes they can rely on our previously established affection for the characters, and other times those familiar tropes can be told with new twists or different contexts or in support of deep themes that make them a joy to read regardless of originality. Sadly, I don’t think I can make that argument for Obi-Wan and Anakin 2. There’s nothing in this issue that gets me invested in its very familiar story. Continue reading

Spider-Man 1

Alternating Currents: Spider-Man 1, Ryan and Drew

Today, Ryan M. and Drew are discussing Spider-Man 1, originally released February 3rd, 2016.

Ryan: The danger of starting your story with a climactic image and then jumping back in time is that it can displace interest. At best, it builds anticipation. At worst, it feels like a bait and switch. It’s like when a friend starts a story with “Did I ever tell you about the time I made out with a mime in Vegas?” and then proceeds to tell you details about how she booked her hotel room. By getting me too invested in the end of the story, you’ve diminished my interest in the preamble. At that point, I’m just listening for mime specifics that indicate we’re getting to the good stuff. Continue reading

Marvel Round-Up: Comics Released 2/3/16

marvel roundup17We try to stay up on what’s going on at Marvel, but we can’t always dig deep into every issue. The solution? Our weekly round-up of titles coming out of Marvel Comics. Today, we’re discussing A-Force 2, Amazing Spider-Man 7, Sam Wilson: Captain America 6, Captain Marvel 2, Deadpool: Mercs for Money 1, Howard the Duck 4, and Rocket Raccoon and Groot 2.

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The Vision 4

vision 4

Today, Drew and Spencer are discussing The Vision 4, originally released February 3rd, 2016.

Drew: I recently watched a video titled “Why Donald Trump is a Gift to Democracy,” which effectively argues that the correlation between Trump’s disproportionate coverage and high poll numbers reveals the problems in how a profit-driven news media can be hijacked by anyone desperate for attention. I’m not as optimistic as the video seems to be about our collective will to change this phenomenon, but the more I think about it, the more absurd a profit-driven news agency is — if good reporting and the bottom line don’t match up, a publicly traded company really only has a duty to the latter. It’s ultimately not in service of the public it reports to, but the shareholders. This may seem like an odd introduction to a discussion of a comic about a robot-family’s struggles at fitting in in suburbia, but a profit-driven news media is actually the closest thing I can think of to an artificial intelligence that would harm humans in order to sustain itself. Only, you know, I have a lot more sympathy for the family of robots. Continue reading

Marvel Round-Up: Comics Released 1/27/16

marvel roundup16

We try to stay up on what’s going on at Marvel, (especially when All of these things are New) but we can’t always dig deep into every issue. The solution? Our weekly round-up of titles coming out of Marvel Comics. Today, we’re discussing Daredevil 3, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur 3, Spider-Woman 3, and All-New Inhumans 3.

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The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 4

squirrel girl 4

Today, Spencer and Taylor are discussing The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 4, originally released January 27th, 2016.

Spencer: What does it mean to be “unbeatable?” When Squirrel Girl was mainly a joke character, it meant that she could take down any opponent in combat, albeit always off-panel. While Ryan North and Erica Henderson’s take on Doreen still has extraordinary physical prowess, her victories under their pens have instead come from a place of compassion, understanding, and compromise; Squirrel Girl’s “unbeatable” because she always finds a way to appeal to and appease the humanity of any opponent she faces. It makes sense, then, that Doctor Doom is the first enemy to truly flummox Doreen. How is she supposed to defeat someone with no humanity to appeal to? Continue reading

Old Man Logan 1

old man logan 1

Today, Michael and Spencer are discussing Old Man Logan 1, originally released January 27th, 2016.

Michael: Comic books are full of lofty, almost impossible goals — typically on the part of the villain. We know all of the classics: world domination, citywide destruction, and the death of their most hated hero nemesis. The Joker might win small battles, but ultimately he will never win the war. Does knowing that a character will never completely achieve his or her goals ruin the story for you? Continue reading

Marvel Round-Up: Comics Released 1/20/16

marvel roundup15We try to stay up on what’s going on at Marvel, but we can’t always dig deep into every issue. The solution? Our weekly round-up of titles coming out of Marvel Comics. Today, we’re discussing Deadpool 6, Hercules 3, Ms. Marvel 3, New Avengers 5, Patsy Walker A.K.A. Hellcat 2, Silver Surfer 1, and Uncanny Inhumans 4.

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Captain Marvel 1

captain marvel 1
Today, Ryan D. and Mark are discussing Captain Marvel 1, originally released January 20th, 2016. 

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Ryan: For some time now, one of the largest recurring themes when it comes to Ms. or Captain Marvel is the legacy of the character. The character of the Captain has undergone numerous iterations through the years until the mantle came to rest permanently — or, as is often the case in comics, for now — upon the capable shoulders of the weathered and tested Carol Danvers. This issue heralds in the next chapter of the character, offering her  a new platform and new responsibility as the first line of defense for the Earth. While Captain Marvel has, of late, played important roles in large cross-over events and team-ups, this issue is wholly her own, though it also features a swell cast of supporting characters. While Carol is hoping that her new post will offer her a new purpose, can this creative team solidify her status as legend while respecting the tradition that comes with being Captain Marvel? Continue reading

Astonishing Ant-Man 4

astonishing antman 4

Today, Michael and Taylor are discussing Astonishing Ant-Man originally released January 20, 2016.

Michael: At what point do you stop blaming the world around you for your problems and start taking responsibility for your own life? Life is undoubtedly full of poorly-timed coincidences, but there is also a lot to say about the power of free will. Astonishing Ant-Man 4 focuses on Scott Lang’s ignored responsibilities smacking him right in the face.

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