Good vs. Evil in Astonishing X-Men 12

by Patrick Ehlers

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

“Good vs Evil” implies that there are two sides — two warring factions — battling for the fate of the world. It’s a compelling image: a battlefield with good guys on one side and bad guys on the other. Good and evil are separate forces, and in our imaginations, represented by two different groups of people. While Charles Soule and Gerardo Sandoval’s Astonishing X-Men 12 still gives the reader avatars of light and darkness in the forms of X and The Night King, the armies fighting for each side are made up of all the same players. Old Man Logan is both a reformed ally-murderer and an irredeemable death machine; good and evil waging war within one mind. Continue reading

Phoenix Resurrection: The Return of Jean Grey 2

by Drew Baumgartner

Phoenix Resurrection 2

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

Does anyone remember the “flash sideways” device from LOST‘s final season? The show mined a lot of fun out of the mystery of just what the heck that other world was — a parallel universe? a new timeline? purgatory? — but I never really found the guessing all that fun, as the magical/metaphysical nature of that particular mystery meant that any and all of those things could be equally right. I tend to feel that way about most mysteries that delight in building up red herrings to look as likely as the ultimate answer (perfectly demonstrated in Clue‘s multiple endings; the culprit can only be found by the movie telling us whodunnit, not through any deductive work on our own), but it’s particularly pronounced in stories with a fantasy or sci-fi element that might defy our own experience of the world. That is, if we’re operating in a world with a magical island, is it possible to rule out even the most absurd theory? These are the thoughts running through my head as I read Phoenix Resurrection 2. Continue reading

Spoofy Action in Despicable Deadpool 291

by Taylor Anderson

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

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If you haven’t seen Edgar Wright’s supremely funny Hot Fuzz, I heartily recommend renting it and making tonight a viewing party. The movie is predictably funny because Simon Pegg is a comic genius, true, but what always makes me laugh is the way Wright directs action scenes. He clearly has an ironic fondness for silly action movies (think Michael Bey) and that is made clear in the way he so cleverly spoofs typical action movie tropes. My favorite of these is when Simon Pegg and Nick Frost leap into a room guns-blazing and seem to be falling and shooting for an endless amount of time. This scene so well captures and lovingly makes fun of action movies in a clever way that is also present in Despicable Deadpool 291.  Continue reading

An Odd but Lovable Couple in Despicable Deadpool 290

by Taylor Anderson

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

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Odd couples are almost always a great recipe for entertainment, if done right. For example, Independence Day‘s odd couple of Captain Steven Hiller and David Levinson (played by Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum respectively) is so dynamic that it can carry a movie that is otherwise too dumb to succeed (or is that the point?). The same point can be made about the recent arc in Despicable Deadpool, which features the unlikely partnership between Deadpool and Cable. While it was fun to see these two beat the shit out of each other for a couple issues, it’s even more fun to see them work together as an odd couple in issue 290. Continue reading

Time Travel Mulligans in Despicable Deadpool 288

by Taylor Anderson

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

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Everyone knows there are paradoxes when it comes to time travel, but the very idea of time travel in a story comes with its own set of paradoxes as well. Chief among these paradoxes is the fact that any story being told is somewhat meaningless. Why? Well, if characters have the ability to time travel then they probably have the ability to go back in time and alter the story line they just took part in. This is the case in Despicable Deadpool 288 where all sorts of crazy shit happens, but none of it may matter at all. Continue reading

Violence Can be Funny in Despicable Deadpool 288

by Taylor Anderson

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

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Deadpool has always had an interesting relationship with violence. Its titular hero is one of the more bloody characters in the Marvel pantheon, yet he’s also one of the funniest. This means that at the same he’s committing atrocities, Wade Wilson is also cracking jokes. This relationship is easier to write than it is to draw. After all, how are you supposed to draw someone being killed and have it be funny? Scott Koblish seems to have figured that out, turning a bloody issue into one that somehow retains its humor in spite of (if not because) of its violence. Continue reading

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!

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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

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!

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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

Deadpool 27

deadpool 27Today, Spencer and Patrick are discussing Deadpool 27, originally released April 9th, 2014.

Spencer: We all have that one friend whom we love dearly, but who’s clearly a huge jerk. What’s fascinating about having a friend like this is what happens when they fall in love and/or get married. It’s a strange thing to experience; there’s joy at seeing your friend happy, but there’s also a bizarre feeling of unease and dread. Can this last? Is it for the best? Should you warn their boyfriend/girlfriend about what they’re getting themselves into? (Pro-tip: Don’t do this). As sad as it is to say, there’s this odd feeling that maybe the whole thing is just a very bad idea. This is the situation Deadpool’s friends find themselves facing in Deadpool 27. Yes, Wade Wilson is getting married, and it’s exactly as strange as it sounds. Continue reading

Deadpool 26

Alternating Currents: Deadpool 26, Drew and Shelby

Today, Drew and Shelby are discussing Deadpool 26, originally released March 26th, 2014

Drew: Third-person omniscient perspective is perhaps the most common in all of storytelling, but it’s also the weirdest. That kind of birds-eye-view of a situation we’re otherwise not involved in is utterly unnatural, yet we almost never question it when we read it. Who is it that’s telling us this story? Why are they telling it? Sometimes these questions are addressed in-narrative, but more often than not, we’re meant to accept that our narrator is not a character at all, but some mysterious force that reveals this story to us just for the sake of it. This can get even more complicated in visual media, like comics and film, where the visual narrator can exist independent of the voiceover narration. Deadpool 26 takes gleeful advantage of that complexity, creating a comic that very explicitly feels like a comic, effectively challenging all of our notions as to what exactly that means.

Continue reading