Darth Vader 22: Discussion

by Patrick Ehlers and Spencer Irwin 

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

Patrick: Our very own Mark Mitchell has expressed to me on a couple different occasions that he doesn’t get the appeal of either Darth Vader series that Marvel has published. His rationale is that the more we know about Darth Vader, the less terrifying he becomes. And he’s not wrong: there’s a whole trilogy of movies clarifying Anakin’s motives and they only serve to make the Dark Lord of the Sith more of a bumbling blunt instrument than an evil mastermind. But with Darth Vader 22 writer Charles Soule shows us how scary the motivations of a truly evil Dark Side master can be. Of course, Vader proves himself to be even scarier by rejecting Lord Momin’s ideology in favor of a far more direct motivation: accumulation of power. Continue reading

It’s OK to Keep Secrets in Ms. Marvel 30

by Taylor Anderson

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

In any relationship, romantic or otherwise, there are bound to be secrets. For a long time, there was belief that prevailed which said your partner was entitled to know everything about you, which basically meant no secrets were kept. However, times have changed, and people have begun to accept that it’s healthy and natural to not tell your partner everything. That’s not being duplicitous, that’s just being human and respectful. This is healthy turn of events, but as with all things, it’s more complicated if you’re a superhero, just as Kamala find out in Ms. Marvel 30. Continue reading

Mind Wipes and Missteps in Infinity Countdown: Daredevil 1

by Michael DeLaney

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

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Infinity Countdown is well under way which means…time for some tie-ins! Written by the Infinity Countdown helmer Gerry Duggan, Infinity Countdown: Daredevil 1 focuses on the current owner of the Mind Gem: Daredevil “villain” Turk Barrett. Many readers scratched their heads when it was revealed that low-level criminal Turk was in possession of an Infinity Stone. While Duggan highlights why Daredevil is a good pairing for the Mind Gem, the issue lacks consequence. Continue reading

Avengers 1: Discussion

by Taylor Anderson and Drew Baumgartner

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

Taylor: In middle school, my favorite book was a archaeology tome titles Ancient Mysteries. The book is exactly what you would think — a survey of all the unsolved mysteries archaeologists have studied such as how the inhabitants of Easter Island made their statues and the relevancy of the Atlantis story. I was entranced by these mysteries because they suggested a history of Earth that was far bigger and far stranger than anything I had imagined up to that point. This was exciting at the time, and to this day my interest is still piqued by random archaeology articles on the BBC. It’s maybe for this reason that Avengers 1 intrigues me so much. It points to a deep, weird history of Earth I want to know more about. Continue reading

Star Wars: Darth Vader 15: Discussion

by Michael DeLaney and Patrick Ehlers 

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

Michael: Avengers: Infinity War is coming to theaters this weekend and the world eagerly awaits to see some epic cosmic superhero smackdown. I will see it — and I hope to enjoy it — but there will always be something that the comic book source material will always have that movies don’t: believing the unbelievable. Comic books don’t have a special effects budget — a scene of Iron Man fighting the Hulk costs the same as a scene of Iron Man and the Hulk sitting down for dinner. The action and display of power of the story is of the same medium as its characters, there is no gray area in between. Given that, Darth Vader 15 continues to explore the range of scope of Vader’s powers in a way that no movie has — or likely could. Continue reading

Ms. Marvel 29: Discussion

by Taylor Anderson and Ryan Mogge

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

Taylor: There’s a reason why Archie comics are still around almost 80 years after the first issue was published. The lives of teenagers, to a certain extent, will always be the same, and Archie comics have traditionally done a pretty good job of chronicling what it’s like to be a high-schooler. In particular, the series’ focus on the romantic and emotional lives of its characters is what has made it an enduring title. After all, it’s not necessarily your AP Biology class you remember so much as the crush who happened to sit next to you in it. But it would be a mistake to think that Archie comics have cornered the market when it comes to teen dramas, or, as Ms. Marvel 29 shows, that teen dramas can’t include super heroes. Continue reading

The Illusion of Control in James Bond: The Body 4

By Spencer Irwin

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

We all know what happens when James Bond meets a beautiful woman. It’s one of the most (in?)famous aspects of the franchise, and it’s an assumption creators Ales Kot and Eoin Marron clearly lean into when their injured Bond runs into a woman named Moira early in James Bond: The Body 4. Even Bond himself, if only momentarily, thinks he knows exactly how things are going to play out.

It never happens. Moira isn’t a conquest; she’s a complicated woman with her own desires and internal life that Bond can barely begin to fathom. That’s really the idea behind this entire issue: James Bond is a professional who thinks he understands how the world works, but control is far more elusive than he ever truly realized. Continue reading

The Philosophy of The Last Jedi in Star Wars: Poe Dameron 25

By Michael DeLaney

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

Up to this point, Lor San Tekka has basically been a human McGuffin. When Poe & Co. finally retrieve the old man in Poe Dameron 25 however, he doesn’t yet know where Luke Skywalker is. You can’t blame that on Charles Soule, the guy’s gotta line stuff up for The Force Awakens. Interestingly, the movie that Soule pulls from the most is The Last Jedi. Continue reading

Racism, Homophobia and Hypocrisy in James Bond: The Body 3

By Patrick Ehlers

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

James Bond is an agent of the state. His actions seldom need to be motivated beyond “for Queen and Country.” We can infer some other values that the character holds from his choice of career. For example: he believes that violence can (and should) be used to bring about justice. He’s pro sex, but possibly in a way that devalues his relationships with his sexual partners. Issue three of James Bond: The Bond reveals another of Bond’s values — he hates white supremacy.

Or… is that it? The thing that seems to really get Bond going is the hypocrisy inherent in white supremacy. His appetite for sweet, violent, humiliating revenge seems to be fueled less by his desire to stamp out intolerance and more to do with people and organizations neither understanding nor practicing what they preach. Continue reading

Star Wars: Doctor Aphra 17 and a Lived-in Universe of Love

By Michael DeLaney

 

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

We talk a lot today about representation in pop culture. People who are not straight white men yearn to see a reflection of themselves, on the big screen or otherwise. As this representation increases, so does the opportunity for a more nuanced reflection. Star Wars: Doctor Aphra 17 presents such an opportunity in the relationship between Aphra and Magna Tolvan. Continue reading