This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!
Michael: It’s kind of been a kick for me to watch Steve Rogers slowly enact his devious Hydra takeover, but in Captain America: Steve Rogers 18 the kid gloves have come off. As he faces The United Nations, Steve is devoid of any of his hunky charm and goes full-on authoritarian. Steve demands allegiance from the UN and threatens grave consequences if any nation crosses Hydra. Continue reading →
Today, Patrick and Michael are discussing Steve Rogers: Captain America 17, originally released March 25, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.
Patrick: Secret Empire has, thus far, been an intensely relevant crossover event. Exhaustingly so. If there’s anything that allows the reader a little distance between the democratic crisis within the pages of the Marvel Universe and our own, it’s that we can recognize the supernatural cogs at turning in Hydra’s machine. Cosmic Cubes, inter-planetary defense shields, the motherfucking Darkforce dimension — these are all superhero specifics that grant us some much needed distance from the tyranny of Steve Rogers. Captain America Steve Rogers 17 mercilessly grounds Rogers’ fascist techniques through the vehicle of reporter Sally Floyd, who is manipulated, bullied and ultimately imprisoned in an issue much more rooted in reality than fantasy. It’s enough to break my heart in real life. Continue reading →
Today, Drew and Spencer are discussing Steve Rogers: Captain America 12, originally released February 22nd, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.
Drew: To say that Captain America: Steve Rogers 1 rocked the comics world would be a profound understatement. It caused an uproar unlike any I’ve seen in my time writing on comics, and it continues to be a point of controversy nine months later. It set the tone for a Captain America story unlike any we’ve seen before, built upon one huge, jaw-dropping twist. The downside of kicking off a series with a twist that large is that it’s hard to match. Writer Nick Spencer has struggled admirably in this regard — and may have actually topped himself in Civil War II: The Oath — but a twist that required the rewriting of reality as we know it is a nigh-unreachable bar. Case in point: this issue’s return of Elisa Sinclair. Continue reading →
Scott: What is the greatest threat to the Justice League? For a group with the power to make neutralizing powerful villains and preventing catastrophic events seem routine, maybe they should be looking at one another as possible threats. It’s hard for the Justice Leaguers to believe that one of their friends could let power get to his or her head or, worse yet, actively be working against them, but that’s a reality they must face. Justice League 20 explores different types of threats to the Justice League, those present, pending, and merely theoretical. Continue reading →
Today, Spencer and Drew are discussing Green Lantern: New Guardians 20, originally released May 22nd, 2013. This issue is part of the Wrath of the First Lantern crossover event. Click here for our First Lantern coverage.
Spencer: My first experience with a major creative team shake-up was back in 2007 when Geoff Johns ended his run on Teen Titans. It was the first book I had ever followed monthly, and I walked around for weeks with an empty feeling in my stomach after I heard the news. Nowadays it feels like creative teams change almost daily, and I’ve developed a thick skin out of necessity, but every once in a while a change will hit me like it’s 2007 all over again. Tony Bedard’s departure from Green Lantern: New Guardians is one of those changes, and this final issue epilogue is such an effective goodbye that I feel completely justified about how much I hate to see it end.
Spencer: Tragedy and loss are inevitable parts of life. We can’t escape it, but we can deal with it, and how we do so tends to reveal our true priorities and who we really are deep inside. Continuing Green Lantern: New Guardian’s habit of turning crossover issues into journeys through its characters’ psyches, writer Tony Bedard uses not one, but two tragedies—the destruction of the planet Korugar and the “death” of Hal Jordan—to shine a light deep inside Sinestro, Carol Ferris, and Kyle Rayner.
Today, Scott and Patrick are discussing Nightwing 15, originally released December 19th 2012. This issue is part of the Death of the Family crossover event. Click here for complete DotF coverage.
Scott: Superheroes are defined by the things they care about most. Whether it be a loved one, a city, or a planet, there must be a something that compels them to fight, something for which they can be held accountable. Their physical abilities may make them Super, but it is their desire to protect the things they care about that make them Heroes, and what differentiates them from other physically powerful figures, like villains or, say, sidekicks. The success of Nightwing as a series ultimately depends on whether Dick Grayson can shake the notion that he is a sidekick, fighting to save Batman’s Gotham rather than something of his own. In Nightwing 15, with the threats against Dick’s beloved Haly’s Circus beginning to have real consequences, it finally feels like he is blossoming into a Superhero in his own right. Continue reading →
Today, Drew and Scott are discussing Nightwing 14, originally released November 21st 2012.
Drew: As a former sidekick, it’s difficult for Nightwing to define his life without Batman. This is as true outside of the mask as it is behind it — just try to define Dick Grayson without mentioning Bruce Wayne. This makes Dick’s investment in Haly’s Circus (the one part of Dick’s origin story that doesn’t involve Batman) make a lot of sense — it’s his best shot at agency in his life. Dick seems poised to begin a new chapter in his civilian life, yet his costumed life finds him pulled inextricably back towards Batman, as some of Bruce’s oldest foes demand Nightwing’s attention. Continue reading →
Today, Scott and Shelby are discussing Nightwing 13, originally released October 17th 2012.
Scott: The other night I just could not get to sleep. I was lying awake restlessly, my mind racing through any number of thoughts until the desire to know what year a certain Guided By Voices album came out was nagging at me so much that I convinced myself to open my computer and look it up. 40 minutes later I found myself on John Woo’s Wikipedia page and decided it was time to call it a night once and for all. Dick Grayson is having one of those restless nights, but instead of GBV’s chronology, what’s nagging at him is Gotham’s lack of gang activity — the city is too quiet for him to sleep easy. The sequence of events that follows is something like a night spent with Google and Wikipedia: a bunch of tangentially related bits and pieces — some very intriguing, others merely dead ends — that by the end has you wondering what you’ve really learned.
Today, Peter and Patrick are discussing Nightwing 12, originally released August 15th, 2012.
Peter: I feel like I’ve been let down a lot by comics lately. Most of the books I’ve read recently have left me feeling unfulfilled. Stories just don’t seem to be going interesting places, or aren’t very thought provoking. Nightwing has become one of these offenders recently. Dick is a great character that is capable of exploring so much. During the Night of Owls, he played a major role in the story and I loved it. There are some nice moments and a few redeeming factors, but overall, I am feeling very whelmed about this issue. Continue reading →