Avengers 17

Alternating Currents: Avengers 17, Drew and Spencer

Today, Drew and Spencer are discussing Avengers 17, originally released August 7th, 2013. 

“Bigger?” Look, it’s not for one of the new guys to say, but — feeling kinda crowded around here already.

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Drew: In our discussion of Avengers 16, I complained that the bloated story and cast was collapsing under its own weight — far from making me excited, the sheer scope of the story was preventing me from fully engaging with any subset of elements. It’s a feat that writer Jonathan Hickman can keep all of these plates spinning (and these are only half of the plates he’s writing in this event), but that triumph of multi-tasking unfortunately precludes any real emotional connections. That is to say, the story here is already too big, but as this issue concludes into Infinity proper, we pile on even more Avengers, and widen the scope even further. And there are still only, like, two showers. Continue reading

Avengers 16

Alternating Currents: Avengers 16, Drew and Patrick

Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing Avengers 16, originally released July 17th, 2013. 

…times infinity!

–Schoolyard Traditional

Drew: Infinity is an incredibly abstract concept. By its very definition, it is beyond comprehension. It is often treated — especially by children — as just a really big number, something you could multiply yesses by or supersede by adding one to. Infinity might simply be the next step in a logical progression, from hundreds to thousands to millions and so on, usually following shortly after “bazillion.” Adults are a little less prone to these misconceptions, but I can’t claim to have any true understanding of what it would mean for something to be infinite. That is, until I started reading the interminable prelude to Marvel’s Infinity event, which doesn’t feel “big” as much as it does “endless.” Continue reading

Avengers 15

Alternating Currents: Avengers 15, Drew and Patrick

Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing Avengers 15, originally released July 3rd, 2013. 

Drew: I have a buddy who doesn’t like Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings films — but it’s not because he doesn’t like fantasy. In his mind, the story is a too simple escalation of “then they fought an even bigger villain” repeated ad nauseam. He has a point: that narrative is particularly focused on building to the final boss battle, but I’d argue that that focus is exactly what prevents each encounter from feeling routine. We understand the importance of Frodo’s quest, so there’s actual tension to be garnered from any obstacles that might pop up along the way. More importantly, having that goal laid out offers direction after each villain is defeated — there’s none of that “wander around the woods until you find something else to fight” RPG bullshit. Unfortunately, Avengers 15 lacks that kind of focused direction. Continue reading

Avengers 14

avengers 14

Today, Mikyzptlk and Spencer are discussing Avengers 14 , originally released June 19th, 2013. 

Mikyzptlk: We are now 14 issues into Avengers and its been one hell of an…interesting ride. There’s been plenty of highs and a few lows, but throughout the series there has been the promise of the Infinity event. This event has kept my interest quite high for this series, but I might be nearing my limit as truth be told, I’m itching to get to the big event already. Fortunately, this issue does enough to keep me sated as they use the cast of the Avengers in some pretty creative ways while presenting some more intriguing mysteries. Continue reading

Avengers 13

Alternating Currents: Avengers 13, Drew and SpencerToday, Drew and Spencer are discussing Avengers 13, originally released June 5th, 2013. 

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In this house, we obey the laws of thermodynamics!

— Homer Simpson

Drew: Conservation of both matter and energy are such fundamental concepts, we sometimes take them for granted. Or misunderstand them completely. Folks may choose to ignore the water cycle or how they keep gaining weight, but we’re generally pretty keen to the notion that systems have inputs and outputs. Of course, fiction allows us to break these rules, leading to notions of perpetual motion and unlimited energy — but what if we took those for granted, too? What if the boundless energy of an alien race of children distracted us from the fact that they don’t eat? What do you do when your kids start violating the laws of thermodynamics? In Avengers 13, Jonathan Hickman and Nick Spencer explore this idea, throwing in a bad guy for good measure. Continue reading

Avengers 12

avengers 12

Today, Spencer and Mikyzptlk are discussing Avengers 12, originally released May 22nd, 2013. 

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Spencer: One thing I’ve never really associated with Marvel Comics is sidekicks. While there was once a point in DC’s history where nearly every hero had a young partner at their side, Marvel’s adolescent characters tend to act autonomously or stay out of the fray entirely, and even Peter Parker premiered as a full-fledged Spider-Man. There are upsides to both approaches, but what it boils down to for me is that, while I could write volumes on how Batman or Green Arrow treat their protégés, I really have no idea how most of the Avengers fare as mentors. In Avengers 12, Jonathan Hickman (and new co-writer Nick Spencer, of Morning Glories fame) mine this unexplored territory for both laughs and some insightful character moments.

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