Today, Patrick and Courtney are discussing Fantastic Four 5AU, originally released March 27th, 2013. This issue is part of the Age of Ultron crossover event. Click here for complete AU coverage.
Patrick: How do you say goodbye? I believe that we don’t have a choice in matter — our goodbyes tend to come out in ways that most honestly get to the heart of our relationship with the person we’re saying goodbye to. There’s always a sense of obligation, like you’re trying to impart one lasting image of yourself in the person’s brain. Something to remember you by. While the rest of the Age of Ultron event seems interested in telling the stories of heroes pulling themselves up by their bootstraps, Fantastic Four lingers on goodbyes, and finds some touching honesty in the process. Continue reading →
Today, Scott and Shelby are discussing the Flash 18, originally released March 27th, 2013.
Scott: Use your gifts to help in every way you can. This is what Barry Allen believes being a superhero is all about. Or so he claims. In The Flash 18, Barry contradicts himself, telling the eager-to-help members of team “Speed Force” that they must not use their newfound powers. Despite having gifts and wanting to help, these men are not superheroes in Barry’s eyes, at least not yet. So what does it take to truly become a superhero? Does it require a fine-tuned sense of when and how to use your powers? Does it even require having superpowers at all? Looks like Barry’s about to find that out the hard way. Continue reading →
Today, Mikyzptlk and Drew are discussing Age of Ultron 3, originally released March 27th, 2013. This issue is part of the Age of Ultron crossover event. Click here for complete AU coverage.
Mikyzptlk: In any post-apocalyptic scenario, you can either give in to the destruction that surrounds you or you can find that one last sliver of hope to hang on to. The first two issues of this event have mostly centered on a group of defeated heroes who are on the verge of giving up hope. The resistance, if you could even call it that, was rudderless and quickly losing its steam. It was all quite depressing, if not in a fascinating kind of way. The latest issue of Age of Ultron reveals that perhaps not all hope is lost and, armed with a shiny new plan, our heroes start on a path that can hopefully lead them to victory.
Today, Taylor and Shelby are discussing Justice League Dark 18, originally released March 27th, 2013.
Taylor: Magic versus Science is an old trope. This theme has presented itself in books uncountable, in roughly half of all the Star Trek TNG episodes ever made, and in 67% of the movies filmed between 1985 and 2011. Hell, this battle is even present in music. If we accept that magic is essentially a stand-in for things of the past while science stands for those of the future it becomes clear how this relation works. Just take a look at any of your friend’s iTunes list and you’ll see a large portion of it is devoted to neo-folk while another large portion is made up of electronic or club music. I suppose it is a testament to mankind’s preoccupation with this theme that it exists in so many aspects of our daily life. However, I’m surprised that as a society we haven’t gotten tired of this conversation. While we all certainly long for the past in some way or another, we also all enjoy innovation and exploration. Perhaps there is some deep explanation for why this subject fascinates us all and perhaps that is the reason why the recent events in Justice League Dark are so entertaining. Or maybe, just maybe, the reason why it’s so compelling in JLD is because the story telling is just so damn good, as exemplified in the most recent issue.
Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing Batman Incorporated 9, originally released March 27th, 2013.
Drew: In Batman Incorporated 0, Grant Morrison asserted that “the first truth of Batman” was that he was never alone, and backs it up with the fact that Alfred was there from the start. But is that the first truth of Batman? If Batman was born that night in his father’s study, he was surely conceived 18 years earlier as Thomas an Martha died, making loss the first truth of Batman. With that loss comes the loneliness that Morrison’s “first truth” was reacting to. Sure, Bruce sought comfort in his friends and wards, but every moment of his life was shaped by the crushing loneliness he felt watching his parents die. The death of Damian reemphasizes that point, distancing Bruce even from Alfred, who — as Morrison asserted — was always there. The result is a uniquely lonely Batman, spinning another take on the character into the tapestry of Morrison’s epic. Continue reading →
Today, Shelby and guest Pivitor are discussing New Guardians 18, originally released March 20th, 2013. This issue is part of the Wrath of the First Lantern crossover event. Click here for our First Lantern coverage.
Shelby: Be true to yourself. It’s the sort of lesson a pre-teen protagonist would learn at the end of an after school special about peer pressure or cliques or something like that. Disney Channel-sentimentality aside, the idea of recognizing who you are at your core is an important one to me. It took me about 28 years, but I think I’m finally figuring myself out, finally learning what really motivates me to be the person I am. Is this core me something that I’ve always had inside me, or has the life I’ve lived shaped it? If my life had taken a number of very different turns, would I be a completely different person, or would this core me be the same? Continue reading →
Today, Drew and guest writer David “The Mast” Masters are discussing Daredevil 24, originally released March 20th, 2013.
Drew: Superhero comics are great at exaggeration. Everything is a matter of life and death, good vs. evil. It makes for exciting stories, but it also has the power to make anything less extreme seem dull by comparison. Many titles deal with this issue by avoiding it altogether, minimizing any time the heroes spend outside of their costume to brief interruptions in the otherwise endless stream of fights and explosions. Mark Waid’s run on Daredevil has always found a much more even balance between his life in and out of the costume, but issue 24 goes a step further, presenting the superhero action as brief interruptions in an otherwise normal life. Continue reading →
Today, Ethan and Drew are discussing Indestructible Hulk 5, originally released March 20th, 2013.
Ethan: How do you handle a dangerous idea? When the structure of the atom began to unfold, when the concept of converting mass to energy began to surface, what went through the minds of those in the know? Looking at the far edge of the equations, where the numbers start to get really dramatic, what was it like to be one of the people who stopped and superimposed the idea of a fission reaction onto reality — the machines that might be built, the weapons that might be forged? The history of nuclear power and the tragedy of nuclear weapons is all around us now, but it wasn’t so long ago that all of these ideas were just scrawls on chalkboards and napkins. In fiction — and specifically the Marvel universe — big and dangerous ideas are molded into reality all the time, and whether the result is a marvelous new tool or a terrible doomsday device is entirely dependent on the person who controls that “a-ha” moment. In Indestructible Hulk #6, Mark Waid plays with his own microcosm of an arms race and drops the Hulk straight into the middle of it. Continue reading →
Today, Patrick and (guest writer) Evan are discussing Justice League 18, originally released March 20, 2013.
Patrick: I’m always missing something when I read a DC or Marvel comic. The companies and the characters have been around too long and there’s just too much material for me to be well-versed in all of it. That’s not an apology or an admission of any kind – I think we should all accept that readers have a infinite amount of time and money and memory and interest. One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone stares at me, mouth agape and says “Oh my God, I can’t believe you haven’t read blank.” Justice League 18 digs deep into the DC archives but also embraces brand new creation and mixes vigorously. Suddenly, it doesn’t matter what you’ve read before. Continue reading →
Today, Patrick and (guest writer) Michael D. are discussing All-New X-Men 9, originally released March 20th, 2013.
Patrick: ”What are we doing here?” It’s a practical question, but it’s also often a petulant one. The question is so charged, packed with implications about the many other ways the asker would rather be spending their time. In my experience, the next thought after “what are we doing here?” is usually “I’m leaving.” When you’re young and unattached, it’s a dangerous question because it can lead you to take almost any course of action. So when a time-displaced mutant that feels alienated from his only friends asks “What are we doing here?” it’s cause for alarm.