Donatello’s Peace in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Universe 22

By Taylor Anderson

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

It’s always easy to say that peace is worth fighting for when we’re talking about cessation of hostilities between two groups of people. It’s not quite as easy to say that peace is worth fighting for when the type of peace being discussed is the inner kind. While the idea of inner-peace is always talked about with a special reverence, it’s uncommon to find it placed at the forefront of importance. That means a lot of inner turmoil for a lot of people, but what if both inner and outer peace could be achieved at the same time? If that sounds difficult, it is – just ask Donatello in TMNT Universe 22.

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All-New Wolverine 35: Discussion

by Spencer Irwin and Taylor Anderson

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

Spencer: I think I may have missed the mark a bit when discussing last month’s installment of All-New Wolverine. I claimed that “Old Woman Laura” was a story about redeeming Bellona and defeating Doctor Doom, the last tyrant left in a world that’s otherwise an utopia, but Tom Taylor and Ramon Rosanas have proven me wrong in All-New Wolverine 35, the series’ finale. Those are a part of this adventure, to be sure, but only a small part. What this story is about — what it’s always been about — is giving Laura Kinney the happy ending she deserves.  Continue reading

Torture Buddies are the Best Buddies in Poe Dameron 27

by Taylor Anderson

This article containers SPOILERS. If you have not read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

It’s easy to overlook throughout the Force Awakens and the Last Jedi, but Poe Dameron and Rey (does she have a last?) have spent virtually no time together by the time the latter film ends. That’s kind of odd when you think about how Poe, Rey, and Finn are touted as the next iteration of Luke, Leia, and Han. This being the state of things, however, it makes sense the three of them would have a lot to catch up on. Still, the last issue of “Story Time with Poe and Friends” wasn’t all that great despite it’s apparent need. So does the second issue featuring the same premise fare any better?

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“What Ifs” in Peter Parker: the Spectacular Spider-Man 304

by Taylor Anderson

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

One of my favorite episodes of Star Trek: the Next Generation involves Worf and parallel dimensions. In it, Worf is returning to the Enterprise from a Bat’leth tournament and through a bizarre set of circumstances finds himself transporting to different versions of his universe. In one, he’s married to Deanna Troi. In another he goes from placing first in the Bat’leth tournament to ninth. In yet another, he’s responsible for the inadvertent death of Goerdi La Forge. It’s a fun episode because it sets familiar characters and settings against an unfamiliar backdrop. This “what if” is a favorite of every Star Trek show and the same goes for comics. That being the case, you think I would be tired of the conceit, but the very opposite is true — I love it.

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The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 32: Discussion

by Taylor Anderson and Michael DeLaney

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 32

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

Taylor: Usually when I go to work, I wear contact lenses instead of glasses. Generally, that’s a decision I make based on comfort, or more accurately, on how late I wake up that morning. This being so, people at work don’t see me in my glasses that often and frequently express surprise that I’m bespectacled. My students think it’s hilarious to lovingly (I think) mock me by calling me “Professor Anderson” in their best nerd voice when they see my Clark Kent look. This just shows that superficial changes to one’s appearance often lead to you being seen differently, and the same can be said of comics. Being a visual medium, how things look matters. And when that look changes, it’s a total gambit as to whether it works or not. Continue reading

A Rare Quiet Moment in East of West 37

by Taylor Anderson

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

In the hustle and bustle of a busy day, I find that it’s the quiet moments that make me happiest. After dealing with hectic pace and many demands of the classroom, it’s nice to come home and enjoy a quiet, evening walk with my wife and dog. As nice as these quiet moments are, they’re only pleasant because they are set against the larger backdrop of a busy day. If I hadn’t had a long day, I’m not sure they would be quite as sweet. This same thing can be said of grand, dark stories like East of West. While the big narrative about the apocalypse is the main bill, it’s the quiet, smaller moments I think I enjoy best. Continue reading

A Good Laugh Goes a Long Way in Infinity Countdown 3

by Taylor Anderson

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

One of the things that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has done right since its inception is to make their movies funny. Of course, some movies are funnier than others. Thor: Ragnarok has more humor than the first two Thor movies combined. Even the grandiose Avengers movies always find time for a laugh in between the action and making sure every hero has their proper amount of screen time. This humor isn’t always present in Marvel comics, and huge crossover events are often more muted in their humor. Luckily, that’s not the case with Infinity Countdown 3. 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

The Burden of Tomorrow in Peter Parker: the Spectacular Spider-Man 303

by Taylor Anderson

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

More so than most superheroes, Spider-Man knows just how much of a sacrifice it takes to use his powers for good. In fact, the very reason he decided to become a hero at all revolves around the loss of his Uncle Ben. The list of hits doesn’t end there, though: Gwen Stacy, Aunt May, and and the sometimes friendly Osborns have all died at some point or another due to Spider-Man. This means that he’s a character as much defined by his tragic circumstances as he is by his superpowers, which begs the question: if he knew how terrible it is to be Spider-Man, would Peter Parker choose to be him anyway? Continue reading

Doctor Strange: Damnation 4: Discussion

by Spencer Irwin and Taylor Anderson

Doctor Strange Damnation 4

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

Spencer: Big comic book events and crossovers aren’t exactly known for intimate, character-based storytelling — instead we read these stories to see dozens (sometimes hundreds) of characters all hanging out and mixing together in ways they never would at any other time. Damnation has been an interesting event because it’s the exact opposite — Donny Cates, Nick Spencer, and Rod Reis’ story works best when the scope remains small, and becomes weaker and weaker the more it tries to be an “event.” Continue reading