Bizarro 6

bizarro 6

Today, Michael and Spencer are discussing Bizarro 6, originally released November 18th, 2015.

Michael: With the countless stories we have read or watched we have (most likely) seen the same number of finales. We’ve seen finales we’ve loved, ones that are easily forgettable and, of course, the ones that the general public can’t ever seem to forgive. We are all our own experts on the “art of the finale.” Heath Corson and Gustavo Duarte treat their Bizarro finale with the same unique and fun approach that they’ve taken with the series thus far, while still playing to the finale tropes we recognize. Continue reading

We Stand On Guard 3

we stand on guard 3

Today, Ryan D and Taylor are discussing We Stand On Guard 3, originally released September 2nd, 2015.

Ryan: Canada and America at war. Total war. At first glance, this seems highly unlikely, almost unimaginable. But at issue three of a six-part miniseries, We Stand on Guard is far past first glance. Brian K. Vaughn and Steve Skroce keep pulling back the curtains, and every reveal in this issue fits perfectly into the universe created. The real hook, aside from the soaring tension and slick action, is that the fiction is not incredibly far from the truth.

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We Stand On Guard 1

we stand on guard

Today, Taylor and Ryan are discussing We Stand On Guard 1, originally released July 1st, 2015.

Taylor: You don’t have to sort through many comics, movies, or books before you find a story about a war, on earth, set in the relatively near future. A lot of the time, these stories are a good way of capturing the zeitgeist of time in which it was written. Take, for example, much of the sci-fi written during the Cold War. What percentage of that writing focuses on a then-likely war with the Soviet Union and/or nuclear holocaust? Keeping that in mind, some might find it surprising that Brian K. Vaughan’s new series We Stand On Guard is about a future war between the USA and… Canada? Yes, the country known for its benign nature is now the centerpiece for a story about war. But why? As it turns out there are plenty of reasons which make this a promising series premier.

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Dial H 10

Today, Taylor and Shelby are discussing Dial H 10, originally released March 6th, 2013.

Taylor: Sidekicks are a staple of the superhero myth. Basically every superhero at one time or another has employed a trusty ally to help them battle evil and protect the innocent. The function of the sidekick can essentially be pared down to the idea that they help the titular hero off the comic pull of amazing stuff from week to week. And while it would be easy to think of this simply in terms of how a sidekick affects a storyline, they serve the dual purpose of making a comic more interesting to read. Just look at (SPOILER ALERT (kind of)) the recent death of Robin in Batman, Incorporated. This event came out of nowhere and shocked its readers, instantly making for a riveting issue. It can be argued that Batman, as a superhero, doesn’t really need a sidekick, he’s basically as tough as they get. But throw in the occasional sidekick (two of which who have died) and the story of Batman becomes instantly more interesting due to the wildcard that is a sidekick. However, in a comic entitled Dial H for Hero (my emphasis on hero) is it appropriate to explore the mythology of the sidekick? Dial H 10 answers that question with a resounding “YES. Continue reading

Dial H 9

Today, Ethan and Taylor are discussing Dial H 9, originally released February 6th, 2013.

Ethan: Remember the last time you woke up? You know, that thing you did this morning. You do it every day, you’re completely familiar with the experience, you know it like the back of your hand. And yet… do you really remember the instant of waking? Or is what you remember actually the moments or minutes of awareness after you actually became fully conscious — when the blur of color and sound and smell that you’ve plunged into begins to make sense. In that hazy cloud of stimuli, it’s possible to exist in a half-state — you aren’t completely “you” yet, so much as a body, breathing and shifting. It’s a physical echo of the conceptual strangeness that comes from waking up each day, year, decade, in the exact same body, but not quite as the same person as you were before. Dial H #9 continues and deepens the series’ exploration of identity, of what it means to be yourself, and what happens when that question becomes more difficult to answer.

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Dial H 8

Today, Taylor and Mikyzptlk are discussing Dial H 8, originally released January 9th, 2013.

Taylor: Oh, Canada. For a slew of reasons our neighbors to the north are frequently at the butt end of a joke. Whether it’s their elongated “O’s”, that their national emblem is a leaf, or that it is Justin Bieber’s homeland, the country is seldom taken seriously. Making matters worse for the common maple leaf is the constant put downs the country is subjected to by such shows as South Park. This has caused an entire generation of TV viewers to see Canada less as a country and more as a subsidiary of the United States. That Canada is in fact a first world nation with its own aspirations and political motivations is a thought which seldom occurs to the average comic book reader. However, what would happen if Canada was treated with gravitas? Would that change our views on the country or would that itself serve as a sophisticated joke? Issue 8 of Dial H delves into the mythos of Canada and at the same time has us wondering what exactly the country’s relation to Dials is anyway.

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Dial H 7

dial h 7

Today, Taylor and Mikyzptlk are discussing Dial H 7, originally released December 5th, 2012.

Taylor: Imagination enjoys an awkward place in our modern day society. While most people and institutions are quick to praise the use of imagination it is far more rare to find those who actually appreciate it. Seldom are we, as an audience, treated to something that is truly unique – whether it be in a movie, music, a book, or any other medium. While the complexities of this relationship with creativity are of too much detail to go into here, it will be said that a fair amount of imaginative endeavors are rebuffed due to the general population’s resistance to anything that diverges too far from their expectations. Many inventive music artists aren’t signed to major labels because their music isn’t traditional pop; many writers have to rewrite parts of their book so they will appeal to a larger base audience; and many TV shows craft generic characters and plots so that they will be liked by many, but perhaps loved by few. However, the comic book industry has always managed to buck this trend in many ways since its very inception, which itself was a departure from accepted norms. Whether this is due to the type of reader the comic book attracts or the type of artist it employs for its creation, I can’t say, but it seems like comic books have always been more willing to take imaginative chances than their counterparts in other media. Dial H is a perfect example of this daring and the seventh issue of this title is an excellent example of its imaginative prowess.

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