Weekly Round-Up: Comics Released 11/25/15

round up

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 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 52, Outcast 13, Darth Vader 13, Kaptara 5, Jupiter’s Circle Vol. 2 1, Black Hood 7 and Black Magick 2. Continue reading

Weekly Round-Up: Comics Released 10/21/15

round up

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 Astro City 28, Cognetic 1, Darth Vader 11, Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Shattered Empire 4, The Fade Out 10, Godzilla in Hell 4, and Wolf 4. Continue reading

Batman and Robin Eternal 1

batman robin eternal 1

Today, Mark and Andy are discussing Batman & Robin Eternal 1, originally released October 7th, 2015.

Mark: Last year DC debuted three different weekly series, Earth 2 Worlds End, New 52 Futures End, and Batman Eternal. Where the former two had shorter runs and were used to set up the events of Convergence, Batman Eternal was a 12-month affair that told its own story (though there were a few spin-off titles based on the events of the series during that time). Frankly, 12 months was way too long a time to tell the story Eternal wanted to tell, and the amount of juggling it had to do to keep all of its narrative balls in the air made for a sometimes boring, occasionally incomprehensible read. Now, six months after the title’s conclusion, I could hardly tell you much about it and actually had to look up how it ended.

But for all of the title’s failings, there’s no denying it was a commercial success. The same probably can’t be said for the less-loved Futures End and Worlds End. Everyone loves Batman, and even though readership dropped steadily over the year, enough folks were willing to spend more than $200 to read it all that we’re getting a sequel of sorts, Batman & Robin Eternal.

Batman & Robin Eternal 1 Continue reading

Justice League 44

justice league 44

Today, Andy and Spencer are discussing Justice League 44, originally released September 30th, 2015.

Andy: Justice League stories usually come in one of two shapes: seismic clashes between legions of good and evil that change the universe forever, or workplace procedurals driven by quirky-character team ups. Justice League 44 sits firmly in the first category, as Darkseid and Darkseid-wannabe Anti-Monitor punch each other to decide the true big baddie of the DC universe. Continue reading

Kanan – The Last Padawan 6

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Today, Patrick and Andy are discussing Kanan – The Last Padawan 6 originally released September 23rd, 2015

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Patrick: I don’t think there’s a franchise out there that is as saddled with its own historical baggage as Star Wars. There are certainly series and characters that have been around longer and have more content in the histories (I mean, we do write about DC and Marvel here), but none of those have histories that are as visible as Star Wars. Everyone knows that little Anakin grows up to be Darth Vader, everyone knows that Luke is Vader’s son, etc. As such, part of the “Star Wars experience” is dealing with expectations, both negative and positive. On his first trip back to Planet Kaller as an adult, Kanan confronts similar expectations head-on, and even as he’s haunted by the ghosts of the past, nothing plays out exactly how he expects it would. Continue reading

Captain America: White 1

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Today, Andrew and Taylor are discussing Captain America: White 1, originally released September 16th , 2015.

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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

Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Shattered Empire 1

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Today, Patrick and Andy are discussing Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Shattered Empire 1, originally released September 9th, 2015

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“Star Wars is the saga of good vs. evil, divided into nine parts.”

-George Lucas, 1994

“It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I’ve always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime.”

-George Lucas, 2012

Patrick: George Lucas’ original Star Wars trilogy is heavily influenced by just about every archetype-establishing institution in the book: westerns, serials, samurai stories, myths. They are clear stories of good vs. evil, strictly adhering to tenants of Joseph Campbell’s Hero With A Thousand Faces. In 1977, that made those films the sum total of popular fiction to that point – a perfect distillation of the hero triumphing over forces of darkness. That’s an over simplification, of course: Taxi Driver came out the year before A New Hope, after all. But what Lucas did so well in his original film was channeling the simple, clear morality of popular fiction. Almost 40 years later and morality in popular fiction isn’t so clear – neither is the morality of war. Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, Mad Men, Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, two different Gulf Wars – today’s storytellers have a different responsibility to their audience than Lucas did. Greg Rucka and Marco Checchetto’s Shattered Empire embraces this shift, focusing more on the insane fog of war surrounding the bit-players that supported the main heroes of the original trilogy. Continue reading

Midnighter 4

midnighter 4

Today, Andy and Mark are discussing Midnighter 4, originally released September 2nd, 2015.

AndyMidnighter 4 continues the search for the stolen God Garden Tech with Midnighter enlisting the help of Spyral Agent Dick Grayson (of Robin/ Batman/ Nightwing fame) chasing a name associated with the stolen tech from the God Garden, Noi Akakyevich. Following a brawl in a Russian Banya, Midnighter and Grayson squeeze a potential hideout out of a trio of Russian Business Bros. A tech modded gangster is offering scummy businessmen the opportunity to slay their own vampire, bred out of lured bums from the nearby alleys. After taking out Polidorin, the big bad, Grayson’s attempt to save the remaining prisoners backfires, and they are burnt to a crisp. Continue reading