Full Page Problems in Wonder Woman 28

by Taylor Anderson

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

When I think about it, the very idea of a full page spread seems pretty audacious. Given that a creative team has only twenty pages to tell their story, the act of devoting two full pages to single panel means that image better be damn impressive. More than that, it needs to convey emotion, theme, and character to really give the image the emotional impact its two pages demand. But what happens if a full page spread doesn’t do these things – what does that look like?

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Current Events Explained in Ms. Marvel 21

by Taylor Anderson

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

It’s hard not to look at the events of the past weekend and wonder just how we, as a nation, got here. How did we get from electing the first black president to having a president who seems to tolerate Nazis and white supremacists? How is it that our country has become so fractured that it seems we are unable to even roundly condemn men who openly advocate for the suppression of an entire race of people? There are no easy answers to these questions, but in Ms. Marvel 21, G. Willow Wilson and Marco Failla offer an explanation on why (at least in part) the world is the way it is in 2017. Continue reading

Things Get Weird in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Dimension X 2

by Taylor Anderson

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

The creation myth surrounding the TMNT comic is well known, but just in case you don’t know it, here it is again: Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird were bored one night so they decided to make a comic that was basically a joke. Their idea was to make a comic that parodied popular monthlies of the day with material that was so outlandish it couldn’t help but entertain. This idea proved a hit and TMNT became a fan favorite in no time due to its humorous stories, irreverent tone, and just basic overall weirdness. Fast-forward thirty years later and the series is still a hit with fans of all ages despite the many incantations the title has undergone. However, one has only to look at the Dimension X spin-off to remember just why people fell in love with this series in the first place. Continue reading

Discussion: Gotham Academy Second Semester 12

Today, Taylor and Drew are discussing Gotham Academy: Second Semester 8, originally released April 12th, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Taylor: I recently just moved away from Chicago — a city which I called home for nearly 10 years. The move is bittersweet; I had been talking about moving for quite some time and was more than excited to finally make my escape from the Windy City. However, now that I’m gone, I’m finding I miss the place even though it often frustrated me. I think this boils down to the fact that despite its flaws, Chicago was my home for so long and that bred a certain respect, if not love, for the city. Gotham Academy has explored this same relationship between the individual and the city in surprisingly deep ways, and the series finale doubles down on this theme, reminding me that the place you call home is the place where you feel loved. Continue reading

You Need Wings in East of West 34

by Taylor Anderson

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

The bullshit piled up so fast in Vietnam you needed wings to stay above it.

Captain Benjamin Willard, Apocalypse Now

War is a messy business. Aside from the needless death it causes, war destroys communities and families, wrecks economies, and has a way of dragging people and countries down into its bloody maw. Those who try to keep their hands clean often find, despite their best efforts, that war has a particular talent for drawing the unwilling into its embrace as well. Xiaolian Mao has tried, for 34 issues, to keep her hands out of not just war, but the apocalypse, but with attempts on her life and a final attack against her people, she finds that even she can’t avoid her part in ending the world.
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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Dimension X 1: Discussion

By Patrick Ehlers and Taylor Anderson

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

Patrick: I recently spent the week with my three year old niece. Like all three year olds, she’s totally incapable of not expressing her emotions — everything that upsets her triggers a screaming fit and everything that delights her… triggers a screaming fit, but just a different kind. Spending the day with her is, of course, equal parts charming and exhausting, but the thing that struck me the most was how honest that time is. She’s got no way of hiding, muting or dulling her emotional reactions. As a crusty ol’ adult, I’ve got decades of training tamping those things down, to the point where I have to actively attempt to express what I’m feeling. There’s a strength to being able to feel without filter, and the young simply haven’t developed that filter yet. Paul Allor and Pablo Tunica’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Dimension X 1 explores how that strength manifests itself in our heroes as they visit a planet that makes emotions manifest physically. Continue reading

Happy Endings Aren’t Always Happy in Unstoppable Wasp 8

by Taylor Anderson

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

When asked what the best Star Wars movie is, most people will tell you Empire Strikes Back is where it’s at. Objectively, there’s no denying that it is the most cinematically sound of the all the movies, but I think a lot of people respond to it because it ends on a dour note. Seeing Han, Luke, and Leia fail resonates with so many people because it more accurately reflects our own life experiences. Aside from a select few, most of us know more failure than we do success, so the realism of a sad ending is often times preferable to a happy one. Unstoppable Wasp 8 doesn’t end sadly, in fact the entire issue is quite the opposite, and for that reason the issue falls somewhat flat. Continue reading

Hammer Time in Mighty Thor 21

by Taylor Anderson

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

When it was first announced that a woman would take up the mantle of Thor a couple years ago, people were shocked. The uproar about this wasn’t so much about a different person being labeled Thor, but the fact that a this person was going to become Thor while using the Odinson’s signature hammer, Mjölnir. (I would be remiss not to mention that blatant sexism and fragile male egos also contributed to the backlash against a woman being named Thor, but that’s a different discussion entirely). There have been plenty of versions of Thor in the Marvel pantheon, but the idea of Mjölnir going to someone else seemed to agitate fans. That this bothered people raises a question: if a person is Thor, or a version thereof, based on which hammer they wield, who is actually the hero, the hammer or the person who uses it? Continue reading

History Deepens in Doctor Strange 23

by Taylor Anderson

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

The Marvel universe is as deep as the Mariana Trench, which is to say it’s practically bottomless. After more than fifty years of continuously pumping out serialized stories, it’s fair to say that no person knows everything about the Marvel universe no matter how much they’ve read. The breadth of its history gives writers a leg up when writing their stories: when you have deep pool to draw from it’s unlikely it will run dry any time soon. Even with the vastness of this narrative landscape, Doctor Strange stands out because it always hints at an even deeper world history beyond the Marvel pages. This is something Dennis Hopeless knows and uses to his great advantage in Doctor Strange 21.

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Astonishing X-Men 1: Discussion

by Taylor Anderson & Patrick Ehlers

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

slim-banner

Taylor: About a month ago, the Golden State Warriors won the NBA  championship with ease. So easy was their win, in fact, that many pundits are calling them a super team that practically has the next several championships already won. It’s tempting to think that building such a dominant team is the result of careful planning and deep pockets. In actuality, what brought so many talented players together was a series of fluke accidents and coincidental timing that amount to little more than dumb luck. In much the same way, another super team is also being built, albeit this one on the pages of Astonishing X-Men. That might sound like a haphazard way to build a team — maybe it is — but it’s also a refreshing take on the typical team-up concept.  Continue reading