Unclear Intentions Frustrate in Brilliant Trash 1

by Mark Mitchell

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

For everything I like about Tim Seeley and Priscilla Petraites’ Brilliant Trash 1, I find it a frustrating read because I’m not entirely sure of its intentions. Seeley (who shares story credit with Steve Seeley) is clearly disaffected with modern society’s dumbed down discourse — the pages of Brilliant Trash 1 are splashed with images of Twitter, Facebook, and BuzzFeed proxies hawking articles with headlines like “Low Income, But Low in Cum! The Poor Fuck For Their Dinner” — but it’s not clear to me who the target of his derision is. Is it the people or the institutions?

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Batman Who Laughs 1: Discussion

by Patrick Ehlers & Mark Mitchell

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

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Patrick: Outside of dance-able club hits, which state their desire to make you dance, very few works of art tell you what effect they intend to have on you. Batman Who Laughs has one purpose and one purpose only: to shock longtime Batman fans with a violent, evil twist on the Dark Knights’ mythos. And the book cockily asserts that it is going to surprise its readers, by having the titular laughing Batman address the camera directly and saying as much. “You really thought you had it all figured out. That you knew every combination in the deck.” The work assumes the reader is skeptical of its goal from page one — the remainder of the issue is spent trying to prove that this is the darkest, most twisted Batman story ever told. Continue reading

Relatable Moments Make For Great Fun in Green Lanterns 35

by Mark Mitchell

Green Lanterns 35

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

It’s great to see Tim Seeley having fun again in Green Lanterns 35 after spending so much time in the joy-deprived and muddled world of his Nightwing run, and introducing Bolphunga into the mix lets Seeley cut a little looser than he did in Green Lanterns 34.

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Star Wars 38: Discussion

By Mark Mitchell and Spencer Irwin

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

Mark: As a Star Wars fan, the 2015 release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens was exciting for a lot of reasons, but, in hindsight, perhaps the best thing to come out of the buzz surrounding the franchise’s cultural relaunch was the reemergence of Carrie Fisher into the public consciousness. Look, Mark Hamill seems delightful, and Harrison Ford’s turn into Curmudgeon With a Heart of Gold has become more tolerable with time, but Fisher was uniquely witty and genuine. Even if you’ve seen it before, please take a moment to watch her December 2015 interview on Good Morning America. Has there been a more perfect promotional tour interview? Fisher’s ability to simultaneously fulfill her corporate mandate and lampoon the absurdity of the situation while also being charming and warm illustrates just how much of a pro she was. She’s effortlessly charming in a way that immediately puts the lie to the transparently vacuum-sealed “Stars — They’re Just Like Us!” celebrities usually foisted upon viewers in the overenunciating hours of daytime television.

I don’t know how Fisher viewed her return to the role of Leia Organa, but I hope she was pleased. And if her likeness is going to be the property of the Walt Disney Company in perpetuity, than I’m glad she was able to portray General Organa in her later years, and that both versions of the character can continue to exist in the Star Wars comics going forward. Continue reading

Joy and Frustration in New Super-Man 17

by Mark Mitchell

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

There’s a lot of joy in the opening pages of Gene Luen Yang and Joe Lalich’s New Super-Man 17 as Kenan Kong and his Justice League of China friends get to meet their older, more experienced OG idols. Super-Man and Superman already met a few issues back, and Avery and the Flash are already buds, but this is the first time Bat-Man gets to meet Batman, and Wonder-Woman gets to meet Wonder Woman, and it doesn’t disappoint.

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Green Lanterns 34: Discussion

by Michael DeLaney and Mark Mitchell

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

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Michael: Sam Humphries has passed the Green Lanterns torch but the flame still burns strong. Green Lanterns 34 marks Tim Seeley’s second issue with Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz and explores how hard it is to maintain a steady job while you’re on call to save the universe 24/7. More importantly, it highlights the ugly truth that no matter how heroic you are, if you’re brown in America you’re still seen as second-class citizens. Continue reading

The Missing Angels of Angelic 2

by Mark Mitchell

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

Once again, the cuddly appearance of the characters in Simon Spurrier and Caspar Wijngaard’s Angelic 2 belie their darker, more manipulative intentions. When we met the Mans at the end of the first issue, they seemed like friendly potential allies to young Qora. But like everyone else Qora has encountered, the Mans have ulterior motives — they think Qora holds the secrets to fully reviving their god, Ay, and they manipulate her into entering the toxic mists in hopes of learning more. Yes, they pair her with one of their own, but it’s one they find useless to their own society. The Mans have low expectations that Qora will find success, but what’s a dead Monk to them? Continue reading

An Exasperated Superman Doesn’t Make Smart Choices in Action Comics 990

by Mark Mitchell

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

It’s rare to see Superman exasperated. Usually he’s flying around, helping people; sometimes he feels weighed down by the enormity of humanity’s ability to do evil, but at the end of the day he’s the ultimate optimist. It’s not often we see Superman at the end of his rope, but that’s exactly where he is in Dan Jurgens and Viktor Bogdanovic’s Action Comics 990Continue reading

Batman: The Merciless 1: Discussion

by Michael DeLaney and Mark Mitchell

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

Michael: Remember when Superman and Wonder Woman were an item and how boring that was? Same. As a fan who was raised on the DCAU, I’ve always preferred the Trinity pairing of Batman and Wonder Woman. And since the events of Batman: The Merciless 1 hinge on Bruce mourning the loss of his beloved Diana, I’d say Pete Tomasi agrees with me. Continue reading

Generation Gone 4: Discussion

by Ryan Desaulniers and Mark Mitchell

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

Ryan D: In the premiere issue of this series, Mr. Akio uses the image of the ouroboros as the symbol for his Project Utopia during his pitch to General West. While this motif appears without much fanfare, it hasn’t been until issue four of Generation Gone that the significance of the serpent eating its own tail begins to fulfill its own inherent meanings. Originally seen as iconography from an ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead, the ouroboros survived through medieval mysticism until finding its home in Renaissance alchemical texts and beyond. Throughout its tenure, it’s represented many things, with the common denominator being duality, and Ales Kot infuses this issue with a multitude of cyclicality and layered recurring through-lines. Continue reading