Doreen Inspires Good Once Again in The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 25

by Taylor Anderson

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

There are some superheroes who are more good than others. Superman and Captain America are your prototypical heroes who have the reputations for always doing the “right thing.” Other heroes are more nebulous when it comes to how they carry out their heroing. The Punisher, for example kills people, and while Batman isn’t that extreme, he operates in the shadows in more ways than one. If you had to peg Doreen Green into one of these two pigeonholes, she would definitely fall in the former, and while that predictability risks being boring, with The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, it never is. Continue reading

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The Woods 36: Discussion

by Spencer Irwin and Drew Baumgartner

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Spencer: Drew and I had the immense pleasure of chatting with The Woods artist Michael Dialynas at New York Comic Con a few weeks ago, and early in our conversation Dialynas caught me off guard by asking me how I wanted The Woods to wrap up. I like endings, and I like endings that surprise me, but I’ve also been following these characters for over three years now, so I answered, “Well, I just want a happy ending for everyone. Especially Isaac.” Dialynas proceeded to sign my comic with the words “I’m so sorry.”

Final issues are always about wrapping things up for beloved characters, but after that conversation, I especially approached The Woods 36 trying to figure out what kind of life each character could possibly live going forward. What kind of futures have Dialynas and writer James Tynion IV granted their creations?  Continue reading

Looking Forward by Looking Back in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps 30

by Patrick Ehlers

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Green Lantern is a mythological big bang, constantly expanding outward into space at an alarming rate. Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps writer Robert Venditti usually participates in these kind of elliptical expansions that loop back around on information or concepts that readers are already familiar with and then venturing out further into the undefined depths of space. That’s how Hal’s relationship to the New Gods of New Genesis was fleshed out, that’s how Soranik Natu temporarily re-joined the corps before betraying them and defecting with her father’s evil army. But those are whirling galaxies of mythology, and in issue 30, Venditti and artist Patrick Zircher bring that same cyclonic energy planetside.  Continue reading

An Ending (of Sorts) in Star Wars: Doctor Aphra 12

by Michael DeLaney

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Ah the finale: the last word a creator has on a particular story before they say goodbye. Some finales are literally the final word on a story, while others leave the door open for future adventures. Doctor Aphra 13 is an example of the latter — Kieron Gillen’s final story with Aphra before passing her on to writer Simon Spurrier. Continue reading

Despicable Deadpool 287: Discussion

by Patrick Ehlers & Taylor Anderson

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

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Patrick: There’s a principle in screenwriting called “save the cat.” That phrase refers to the act of unambiguous good a character needs to perform in order to win the audience’s sympathy. To use the idiom’s namesake as an example, as long as our hero has rescued a cat from a tree branch, any other morally dubious behavior can be forgiven. One shred of evidence that he’s a good guy is enough to trick our brains into believing that he must actually be good. This may sound like kind of a hack technique, but writers use it all the time, particularly since the rise of antiheroes. Our boy Wade Wilson gets them all the time — the audience can recoil at 95% of his actions, just so long as he protects a kid, helps and old lady, or saves a cat. Despicable Deadpool 287 throws that convention out the fucking window. This isn’t the hero Deadpool, this is the cut-throat, single-minded, merciless merc with the mouth. Continue reading

Dark Nights: Metal 3 is an Epic Rock Opera of Fun

by Michael DeLaney

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

When it was first announced, the concept of Dark Nights: Metal left me perplexed. But if you’ve been following along with DC’s multiversal exploits of the last ten years — specifically Final Crisis and The Multiversity — then a heavy-metal rock opera isn’t out of place in the musical vibrations of the Multiverse. Now that the stage has been set, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo can play in the crazy world that they have constructed. Continue reading

Memories Come Rushing Back in All-New Wolverine 25

by Drew Baumgartner

All-New Wolverine 25

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

I think it’s fair to say that All New-Wolverine is more concerned with the idea of legacy than most comics. Laura is donning the mantle of her mentor, and the first arc of this series found her reconciling with her literal clones. Indeed, I might argue that it’s one of the greatest strengths of this series, as writer Tom Taylor has mined Laura’s history for ever more emotionally devastating gut-punches. So when issue 25 features a “Legacy” banner across the cover, it’s almost a promise of legacy-squared, somehow centralizing the idea of legacy even more than the series normally does. Those are daunting expectations, but Taylor and artist Juann Cabal more then live up to them, forcing Laura to relive some of her most traumatic memories. Continue reading

FOMO Sucks in Runaways 2

By Taylor Anderson

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

There are a lot of reasons to dislike social media, but perhaps one of the best is that it propagates FOMO, or “fear of missing out.” In in a nutshell, FOMO is when people generate anxiety over the fact that something cool is happening right now and they’re not a part of it. What with friends and such sharing all their awesome experiences virtually all the time, it’s not hard to see why this is now a problem. This fear though, must be nothing compared to Gert’s, given that she was dead for two years and resurrected only to find the world completely different from what she once knew. Continue reading

New Super-Man 16 Drags Historic Racism into the Present

by Mark Mitchell

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, read on at your own risk!

Recently on my morning commute, I’ve been catching up on the Washington Post‘s new(ish) podcast, Constitutional. The podcast’s third episode, “Nationality,” traces the story of Wong Kim Ark, a man born in San Francisco to Chinese parents whose Supreme Court case determined that being born in America made you an American citizen. And while that brief summary makes it sound like his story is a victory for the foundational ideals of America, the details paint a much less satisfying picture. It’s no secret that America is historically a deeply racist country, and that efforts to make forward progress are continually contested making victories hard-won. New Super-Man 16 reminds us how casually pervasive racism used to be, but also provides a measure for some of the progress that has been made. Continue reading

Temptation Lurks in the Shadows in Astonishing X-Men 4

by Taylor Anderson

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Being human, we are all slaves to our desires. True, most people are able to keep their impulses in check and only give in every so often. However, the urges are always there and it is only through self control that we’re able to be productive members of society as opposed to fleshy hedonism bots. So ingrained is desire in our culture that it frequently presents itself in pop-culture, usually as a dangerous temptation for heroes as they struggle to achieve their ends. For the X-Men, who are more than human, will temptation prove too great in their fight against the Shadow King? Continue reading