This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!
All those innocent contractors hired to do the job were killed! Casualties of a war they had nothing to do with. All right, look, you’re a roofer, and some juicy government contract comes your way; you got the wife and kids and the two-story in suburbia — this is a government contract, which means all sorts of benefits. All of a sudden these left-wing militants blast you with lasers and wipe out everyone within a three-mile radius. You didn’t ask for that. You have no personal politics. You’re just trying to scrape out a living.
Violence is never a good look. Self-defense may justify it in some cases, but any innocents caught in the crossfire tar even the most noble motives. It turns heroes into villains and obscures the line between good and evil. I’ve had the luxury of thinking of this as a hypothetical question for most of my life, the kind of moral quandry characters might be confronted with in comics, but not exactly an active concern in my day to day life. But in a country facing the rise of white-supremacists, I can’t tell you how many think pieces I’ve read in the past two years debating the morality of punching nazis. More broadly, the questions are about when violence is justifiable, and how much collateral damage we’re willing to accept of said violence. These are exactly the questions everyone is weighing in Harbinger Wars 2 4, though they’re far from the only “ripped from the headlines” commentary in the issue, which paints a startlingly nuanced portrait of our times. Continue reading →
Today, Michael and Drew are discussing X-O Manowar 3, originally released May 24th, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.
Michael: The inner monologue isn’t a narrative device exclusive to comic books, but it’s one that we don’t raise an eyebrow to in the comics’ medium. It’s a form of narration that gives insight into the protagonist’s thoughts — insight that they themselves might not admit to out loud. X-O Manowar 3 doesn’t use the inner monologue device outright, but thematically relies on it to show us a hidden layer of its protagonist Aric. Continue reading →
Today, Michael and Drew are discussing X-O Manowar 1, originally released March 22nd, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.
Michael: One of the initial stages of Joseph Campbell’s eternal concept “The Hero’s Journey” is what is known as “Refusal of the Call.” The hero receives the “Call to Adventure” in the form of some inciting incident or another, but initially tries to ignore the call and continue to live a mundane or ordinary life. When push comes to shove, the hero will end up changing their mind and embark on their heroic journey. It’s a tried and true formula that extends all the way to the planet Gorin in X-O Manowar 1. Continue reading →