The Colors Tell the Story in Quantum and Woody 6

by Drew Baumgartner

Quantum and Woody 6

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

Our sense of color is intuitive, but I think that makes it harder for comics colorists to achieve true verisimilitude. Readers may not have a sophisticated understanding of color theory, but they still know when something looks wrong. And “wrong” can be anything from shadows and highlights to textures to atmospheric effects. We might only be able to articulate the most attention-getting aspects of comics coloring, but subtler choices have a profound impact on the believability of the art. Those choices can be simple, as they are in Quantum and Woody 6, but it’s the skill with which colorist Andrew Dalhouse pulls them off that ultimately makes them work. Continue reading

A Bad Dad Provides Clarity in Action Comics 995

by Spencer Irwin

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

The past few issues of Action Comics have featured Superman at his worst. His determination to go back in time to watch Krypton’s destruction (all in hopes of proving that Mr. Oz wasn’t actually Jor-El) has practically made him the bad guy of this story, as his stubborn refusal to heed Booster Gold’s warnings to stop meddling in time have endangered all of history. Even at his best moments in this story, though, he’s come across as a bit shortsighted and condescending. It takes a revelation about Booster’s father to help Superman gain some much-needed clarity. Continue reading

Fandom’s Power to Connect in Faith’s Winter Wonderland Special 1

by Spencer Irwin

Faith's Winter Wonderland Special

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

Fandom can be a pretty horrifying thing sometimes. A shared passion is often an excuse to harass or belittle others fans, or sometimes even creators, over differences in taste, which is inexcusable, yet practically inescapable. This is far from the way things should be, and that’s something Marguerite Sauvage, Francis Portela, and MJ Kim reminded me of in Faith’s Winter Wonderland Special. Though it’s only a small thread in the issue, the ability of fandom and pop culture to help Faith make meaningful connections is by far the part of this story that resonated the strongest with me. Continue reading

Bloodshot Reborn 0

Alternating Currents: Bloodshot Reborn 0, Drew and Ryan D.

Today, Drew and Ryan D. are discussing Bloodshot Reborn 0, originally released March 22nd, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Drew: I tend to steer a pretty wide berth around 0 issues. Unlike a first issue, which is clearly designed for newcomers (even if the character has been around for decades), 0 issues might be explicitly pitched as a prequel of sorts, offering origins or explanations for elements already at play in an ongoing series. Then again, they may be prologue for a forthcoming series — a kind of de facto first issue, perhaps tackling inessential exposition that would only bog down the real first issue. Or they might achieve that prologue effect by way of an epilogue for the previous volume, pointing to the future while tying up some loose ends from the past. Any of these varieties can be good, but usually only for longtime readers — folks already invested in the characters, their current situations, or what might happen next. In this way, Bloodshot Reborn 0 is an unfortunate introduction to the franchise, though the appeal of these characters (and this creative team) shines through, even if some of the finer points of the story are lost on newcomers. Continue reading

Nightwing 21

nightwing 21

Today, Scott and Spencer are discussing Nightwing 21, originally released June 12th, 2013.

Scott: Obsession can be a very dangerous thing. For Superheroes, letting emotions dictate the decisions they make often muddles the line between justice and personal satisfaction. Dick Grayson is obsessed with Tony Zucco, a man he rightly feels deserves punishment for murdering Dick’s parents. But Dick has shown that he will go to any lengths to get to Tony, even if it means compromising many of the things Nightwing stands for. Nightwing 21 finds Dick Grayson venturing further into the realm of moral ambiguity, with implications as fascinating as they are frightening.
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Nightwing 19-20

nightwing 19-20

Today, Scott and Shelby are discussing Nightwing 19-20, originally released April 17th and May 15th, 2013, respectively.

Scott: Moving to a new city is hard. Finding the right place to live, learning your way around town, making friends, it all takes time. Unfortunately, Dick Grayson doesn’t have much chance to settle into his newfound home in Chicago. He’s in the Windy City with a purpose- to find the man who killed his parents- and he’s hardly welcomed with open arms. Nightwing 19 and 20 serve as a beginning to a new chapter for Dick, away from the torpedo of death and depression that Gotham has come to represent for him. New life is breathed into Nightwing, courtesy of a gust of wind off of Lake Michigan, and it is something to behold.
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