Deadpool vs. Old Man Logan 1: Discussion

by Michael DeLaney and Spencer Irwin

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

slim-banner

Michael: A common criticism of a piece of fiction is “nothing really happened.” The meaning of that blanket statement can vary depending on who the critic is and more specifically what they’re expecting. A great example of this is the Season 3 Breaking Bad episode “The Fly.” Critics praised the bottle episode as a brilliant character study while it left many audiences unimpressed with the fact that “nothing really happened.” While I try to appreciate the deeper meaning of a piece of work, I must say that in Deadpool vs. Old Man Logan 1…nothing really happens. Continue reading

Advertisements

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Universe 15: Discussion

By Drew Baumgartner and Patrick Ehlers

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Universe 15

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

Drew: The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have always been the perfect outcasts in a medium made for outcasts. Well, saying that comics were “made” for outcasts isn’t entirely accurate, but it certainly had become a medium for outcasts — at least in the US — by the time the turtles were invented in the 1980s. We don’t really need to get into the causality of why comics fandom was perceived as a weird thing — the point is that it was. And in the age before the internet, someone with a “weird” hobby or enthusiasm for some obscure piece of pop culture might not know anyone else like themselves. While the rest of the world could connect over their religion, political party, or even local sports team, the average comics reader in 1984 might not have had anyone they knew who shared their interest. I don’t bring this up to pity the lot of the poor comics fan — heaven knows plenty of people were more isolated and actively persecuted — just to say that themes of not fitting in have always been an essential part of the TMNT makeup. This is a point that Erik Burnham and Sophie Campbell clearly understand, as their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Universe finds several characters seeking their place in the world. Continue reading

Mister Miracle 3: Discussion

by Mark Mitchell and Michael DeLaney

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

Mark: How I feel about Mister Miracle 3 will ultimately depend on how the remaining 9 issues pan out, and if Tom King and Mitch Gerads are able to stick their landing. In isolation, I’m grossed out by King invoking the Holocaust and the genocide of more than 6 millions Jews in Nazi Germany not once, but twice, in this issue. The Holocaust is one of the modern era’s most visceral examples of mankind’s cruelty towards mankind, and as such it has become shorthand in media for “A Very Bad Thing.” Comparing fictional events to the Holocaust is cheap and easy, and doing so runs the risk of devaluing the real-life horrors experienced by real people and perpetrated by their fellow men.

Continue reading

Despicable Deadpool 287: Discussion

by Patrick Ehlers & Taylor Anderson

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

slim-banner

Patrick: There’s a principle in screenwriting called “save the cat.” That phrase refers to the act of unambiguous good a character needs to perform in order to win the audience’s sympathy. To use the idiom’s namesake as an example, as long as our hero has rescued a cat from a tree branch, any other morally dubious behavior can be forgiven. One shred of evidence that he’s a good guy is enough to trick our brains into believing that he must actually be good. This may sound like kind of a hack technique, but writers use it all the time, particularly since the rise of antiheroes. Our boy Wade Wilson gets them all the time — the audience can recoil at 95% of his actions, just so long as he protects a kid, helps and old lady, or saves a cat. Despicable Deadpool 287 throws that convention out the fucking window. This isn’t the hero Deadpool, this is the cut-throat, single-minded, merciless merc with the mouth. Continue reading

Batman: White Knight 1

by Ryan Desaulniers and Mark Mitchell

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

 He’s the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now.

Jim Gordon, The Dark Knight

Ryan: Since that line was uttered in lamentation of Gotham’s corruption, I feel as if it’s almost become a canonical outlook on the Caped Crusader. The thing about that line, though, is that it’s purely subjective on Gordon’s part, and particular unto the circumstances of that Batman story in that film. And almost every statement can be used against the point for which it was originally made, right? Even scientists with objective data sets can use the same numbers to support the opposite side of an argument, or the same verse of scripture used to prove opposing points. In Batman: White Knight 1, Sean Murphy takes Jim Gordon’s iconic statement and uses it to sow the seeds of a Gotham wherein the Joker justifies his action with that logic, both as a villain and a hero. Continue reading

Hawkeye 11: 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: If you read enough ancient ancient Greek myths you quickly realize that people have had complicated relationships with their parents since history began. Cronus was afraid his son Zeus would kill him and take over the world so he tried to eat him. Cronus failed. Zeus did indeed come to rule Mt. Olympus but not, without inheriting his father’s fear of his own children. Kate Bishop shares a similarly complicated relationship with her father, the only difference is that she doesn’t fear him so much as she fears to become him one day. This relationship is part of what defines Kate and the way she responds to it is fascinating in Hawkeye 11.

Continue reading

Batman 32: Discussion

by Drew Baumgartner and Michael DeLaney

Batman 32

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

I don’t know.

Teenager, Traditional

Drew: I used to work as an Assistant Dean for an academic enrichment program — basically, high-school students would come to a college campus for a few weeks over the summer to take some classes and get a feel for dorm living. The Dean’s office was there to keep kids out of trouble, or, more accurately, to address the trouble that the kids inevitably got into. Most of the time, the motives for their infractions were clear enough — they skipped class because it was boring or they tried to sneak into the girl’s dorm to see their girlfriend — but every so often, a kid would do something so inexplicable, the first question had to be “why?” And the answer, invariably, was “I don’t know.” Sometimes, our better judgement eludes us, allowing weird impulses or emotions to lead us to actions we can neither explain nor defend. It’s a phenomenon that teens are particularly prone to, with their hormonally-charged emotions and only-partially-developed impulse control, but it happens to adults, too (even sober ones). It is one of these moments that turns out to be Bruce Wayne’s “greatest sin,” as the climax of “The War of Jokes and Riddles” leads him to a rare flash of moral weakness. Continue reading

Generations Sam Wilson Captain America & Steve Rogers Captain America 1: Discussion

by Patrick Ehlers and Ryan Mogge

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

slim-banner

Patrick: One of the harsher truths of Secret Empire is that America was always run on an engine of hatred and fear. Racism, sexism, classism, fascism — neither Hydra Cap nor Donald Trump invented these things. They didn’t even popularize or legitimize them, they’re simply high profile embodiments thereof. It is increasingly easy to read the totality of American history as ugly and hateful, filled with crass opportunists, liars, and mass murderers. That can make the USA a hard hero to root for. With Generations Sam Wilson Captain America & Steve Rogers Captain America 1, writer Nick Spencer goes back in time, giving both Sam Wilson and his readers a lifetime to reconsider the value in fighting for what may, at times, appear to be a lost cause. Continue reading

Batman/The Shadow 6: Discussion

by Michael DeLaney and Mark Mitchell 

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

slim-banner

Michael: As Drew and I suggested in our discussion of this series’ first issue, Batman/The Shadow is absolutely a Batman-centric book featuring The Shadow and not the reverse. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it just proves how strong Batman’s hold is on the heart and mind of Scott Snyder. The finale — Batman/The Shadow 6 — underlines that statement as the fantastical elements of The Shadow’s world only strengthen Batman’s very human legend. Continue reading

Godshaper 6: Discussion

by Spencer Irwin and Drew Baumgartner

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

slim-banner

Spencer: It’s a marvelous thing to watch a series come into focus — to reach that eureka moment where you finally get what a creator is trying to say, where a series’ message finally clicks. Simon Spurrier and Jonas Goonface’s Godshaper 6 has been one of those moments for me, a finale that brings all the themes the series has been exploring together in a satisfying, yet completely unexpected fashion. Continue reading