Patrick: When you read a comic book, you’re opting in to a narrative. The same is true of watching a TV show or movie (or reading some kind of non-comic book, should just a thing even exist), but following an on-going series requires a kind of continuous buy-in that just isn’t there for most other mediums. There is a cost associated with picking up your serialized entertainment this way: and not just financial — getting the most out of any one issue of Zero requires a look back at all the issues that came before it. Great example: In January, Mike and I missed that the mindblowing flashforward in issue 5 was actually foreshadowed on the first page of the first issue. So we, the audience, have to make the decision to actively participate in the story from month to month. Like good little soldiers, that’s a choice we continue to make, even when our orders don’t totally match up with what we’re experiencing.
Today, Spencer and Mikyzptlk are discussing Detective Comics 28, originally released February 5th, 2014. This issue is part of the Gothtopia event. We talked with John Layman about Gothtopia, you can find that interview here.
Spencer: Back in the summer of 2010 I was obsessed with Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim comics, and eagerly awaited the release of their movie adaptation. I spent the weeks leading up to it reading and rereading the comics and preparing myself for the awesomeness I knew the movie would surely be. After I actually saw the movie, though, I was oddly disappointed by the many changes made between it and the comics. It took me quite a while to reconcile the two versions, but once I did, I ended up seeing it twice more in theaters and it quickly became my favorite movie. I had a similar experience reading Detective Comics 28 this week. After last month’s introduction to the “Gothtopia” storyline I was expecting a lot out of this issue—specifically, more exploration of this new Gotham utopia—but the story ended up veering in another direction entirely. I was disappointed at first, but fortunately, the story I got instead ended up being pretty enjoyable in its own right. Continue reading
Mikyzptlk: After the surprising events of Swamp Thing 27, Swampy and his amazing friends are entering a new era. Charles Soule is clearly excited to begin the next chapter of his story, but before he can really dig in, he takes some time flesh out the mysterious character of Capucine. The results are fine, but this issue feels a bit like Soule is stepping on his own toes. Hopefully this is just a case of needing to take a few steps back, before being able to move forward again. Continue reading
Today, Mikyzptlk and Spencer are discussing Red Lanterns 27, originally released January 29th, 2014.
Mikyzptlk: Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle. Clark Kent and
Lois Lane Diana Prince. Ted Kord and Michael Jon Carter. The pages of DC Comics have been filled with romances of all shapes and sizes, but few have been more volatile than the pairing of Guy Gardner and Tora Olafsdotter. Have you ever been involved with someone that you know isn’t right for you, but you just can’t help but want to be with them anyway? Yeah, that’s Guy and Tora for you. While the New 52 reboot has left longtime fans of this on-again-off-again couple with questions as to the extent of their relationship in current continuity, Charles Soule seems ready to explore the couple that once was. Flaws and all. Continue reading
Today, Patrick and Mikyzptlk are discussing Mind MGMT 18, originally released January 22nd, 2014.
Patrick: I got back to the Midwest over Christmas – neither of my sisters live there anymore, but our parents do, so it made a handy centralized location for us to all be together. This means that I was also able to spend some time with my niece Leah; she’s four, tells people she’s fives, loves Spider-Man and independently started calling me “Silly Uncle Patrick.” One day, we went to downtown Chicago for high tea at the Drake Hotel. It was full-on Chicago-cold, so none of us were too eager to walk around the loop after tea. But, like, what else are you going to do? After much protest, we got Leah to bundle up in her jacket and mittens and hat and scarf and shuffled her outside. The adults all went into city-walkin’ mode; understandably, we wanted to minimize our time spent outside. But not Leah. She’d take three steps and then stop to crane her neck so she could see the tops of the tall buildings she was moments away from shouting about. My favorite observation of hers from that afternoon was “some buildings are churches, but others aren’t.” I lived in Chicago for four years, the buildings don’t impress me, and the cold is a familiar nuisance, but this kid was having an experience. Matt Kindt taps into that same childhood enthusiasm in issue 18 of Mind MGMT, letting the reader be excited for one girl’s experience – injecting a familiar concept with renewed vigor. Continue reading
Today, Mikyzptlk and Patrick are discussing Zero 5, originally released January 22, 2014.
Mikyzptlk: Zero began as a super spy, sci-fi thriller featuring said super spy, Edward Zero, seemingly going rogue after many years of faithful service. For four issues, we’ve seen Zero go on various missions, as we’ve learned more about where he’s come from and where he’ll ultimately end up. Along the way, we’ve been presented with important subjects related to war profiteering, corruption, brainwashing, free will, and more. Just as I begin to feel more confident about what this book is all about, Ales Kot drops one hell of a “WTF” ending effectively, and entertainingly, shattering my confidence in one fell swoop. Continue reading
Today, Mikyzptlk and Patrick are discussing Forever Evil: Rogues Rebellion 4, originally released January 15th, 2014.
Mikyzptlk: While Batman and Spider-Man’s rogues are most likely considered to be the deadliest of them all, I’ve long found The Rogues to be the most interesting of the various superhero rogues galleries. As far as I know, they are the only villainous group who follow a code of honor. They are all about the take, and they go out of their way to refrain from hurting anyone unless they absolutely have to. Their code of honor is why this very miniseries exists. In a world run by villains, The Rogues don’t really look so bad, and they are now suffering for that fact. The intent behind this series seems to be to explore what makes The Rogues so different from all of the other villains of the world. In issue 4, Brian Buccellato continues his examination of The Rogues in a serviceable, if not entirely mind-blowing fashion. Continue reading
Today, Shelby and Mikyzptlk are discussing Batgirl 27, originally released January 15th, 2014. This issue is part of the Gothtopia event. We talked with John Layman about Gothtopia, you can find that interview here.
“It was a disaster. No one would accept the program…I believe that, as a species, human beings define their reality through suffering and misery. The perfect world was a dream your primitive cerebrum kept trying to awake from.”
Agent Smith, The Matrix
There’s some truth to ol’ Agent Smith’s theory. Humans do in part define their reality through suffering, because without suffering how would we know joy? In order to recognize and truly appreciate the good in life, you have to know the bad, which is the problem Batgirl is running into as she tries to understand her stay in Gothtopia.
Today, Taylor and Scott are discussing Superman/Wonder Woman 4, originally released January 15th, 2013.
Taylor: When you’re Superman and/or Wonder Woman nothing is ever simple. This idea extends to basically every part of their lives, from their work as heroes all the way down to their most intimate experiences. Given the circumstances of their lives, it’s amazing that Clark and Diana have the stamina to maintain a romantic relationship. The two lovers had been blessed with keeping their relationship a secret from almost everyone they know, save a few confidants, but now their secret is out now and all that they have built together could potentially come toppling down under the weight of the world’s scrutiny. Issue 4 of Superman/Wonder Woman sees our favorite power couple split up by narrative space and the work of two distinct creative teams. The result is an issue that meditates on the desire to keep things simple while everything else becomes increasingly more complicated.
Today, Scott and Mikyzptlk are discussing Action Comics 27, originally released January 8th, 2014.
It’s tempting to see your enemies as evil, but there’s good and evil on both sides in every war ever fought.
Scott: That’s a line from this new Game of Thrones Season 4 trailer (Don’t click this if you aren’t caught up with the show, there are some possible spoilers). It brings up a good point about how irrational wartime mentalities tend to be, and about the importance of looking at things from a foe’s perspective. I think it holds true on a person to person basis as well. There are two sides to everyone, and no matter how prevalent the evil in an enemy seems to you, if you look harder you will see some good in them. Action Comics 27 is something of a study on this theory, as every seemingly ill-intentioned character is revealed to have at least some heart.