Daredevil 610: Discussion

by Spencer Irwin and Patrick Ehlers

This article containers SPOILERS. If you have not read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Spencer: “Why is Elektra here?” It’s a question Charles Soule and Phil Noto introduce as their cliffhanger at the end of Daredevil 609, then promptly dismiss on the very first page of Daredevil 610, never to be addressed again.

Elektra ends up being a rather minor part of the ongoing stories (both Matt’s “death” and his crusade against Mayor Fisk) even as she plays a prominent role in this single issue, appearing on all but one page. It’d be easy to chalk Elektra’s story up to Soule wanting to play with the character, an integral bit of the Daredevil mythos, a bit before bringing his run to an end, but I don’t think it’s that simple. Despite Elektra’s (non)answer, there are enough hints, inconsistencies, and strange coincidences surrounding her arrival to raise anyone’s suspicions. “Why is Elektra here?” is an answer practically begging to be answered. Continue reading

Dreams and Death Wishes in Daredevil 609

by Michael DeLaney

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

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Matt Murdock is a maniac – I love him – but he’s a maniac. As the name Daredevil implies, he often throws himself into a situation with wanton abandon. That’s not to say that he doesn’t have a strategical mind, he clearly does. But his innate “fight or flight” response comes from a place of selflessness. He wants to protect people. Continue reading

Darth Vader 22: Discussion

by Patrick Ehlers and Spencer Irwin 

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

Patrick: Our very own Mark Mitchell has expressed to me on a couple different occasions that he doesn’t get the appeal of either Darth Vader series that Marvel has published. His rationale is that the more we know about Darth Vader, the less terrifying he becomes. And he’s not wrong: there’s a whole trilogy of movies clarifying Anakin’s motives and they only serve to make the Dark Lord of the Sith more of a bumbling blunt instrument than an evil mastermind. But with Darth Vader 22 writer Charles Soule shows us how scary the motivations of a truly evil Dark Side master can be. Of course, Vader proves himself to be even scarier by rejecting Lord Momin’s ideology in favor of a far more direct motivation: accumulation of power. Continue reading

No Heroes in Star Wars Poe Dameron 31

by Patrick Ehlers

This article containers SPOILERS. If you have not read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

There’s a letter in the back of the final issue of Star Wars Poe Dameron that questions the disparity between the character we see in the comics and the character we see in Episode VIII. “In The Last Jedi, Poe’s actions show that he is brash and headstrong. During the movie he becomes a great leader.” And that’s true: in deed and in name, he is the Best Pilot in the Galaxy. Writer Charles Soule answers this letter with the following observation: “[Poe] hadn’t really failed to that point.” In The Force Awakens and Star Wars Poe: Dameron, he is still a singular hero. Star Wars: Poe Dameron 31 strips away the narrative myth of the Chosen One, forcing victory by ensemble, by circumstance, and by hope. Continue reading

Creator vs Creation in Daredevil 608

by Michael DeLaney

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

“I did not ask for the life I was given. But it was given nonetheless.”                                                                 Mr. Eko, LOST

No one ever asked to be born – we emerge from the womb and are saddled with struggles specific to our circumstances. In Daredevil 608, Mike Murdock emerges from the ether/Matt Murdock’s imagination and has to deal with a world that doesn’t want to acknowledge his existence. Thus, he takes some aggressive measures to make them acknowledge it. Continue reading

Depth of Field in Hunt for Wolverine: Dead Ends 1

By Drew Baumgartner

Hunt for Wolverine Dead Ends 1

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

I remember someone once telling me that they mostly evaluate a comics artist based on the detail of their backgrounds. That always felt like an odd facet to fixate on (especially with so many others to factor in), but it’s hard to deny that richly detailed backgrounds are dazzling. It allows artists to flex not only their attention to detail, but their capacity for deep perspective, lending a sense of lived-in reality to their settings. But it’s also time consuming — even the most detail-prone artists will pick their moments, reserving sprawling cityscapes and the likes for big splash pages, and making choices that compress the depth of field elsewhere. Time is an understandable driver of level-of-detail, but it doesn’t always coincide with storytelling in a meaningful way. With The Hunt for Wolverine: Dead Ends 1, artist Ramon Rosanas finds a much more thematically resonant way to use his depth of field, lending Charles Soule’s villain reveal an unsettling otherworldliness. Continue reading

Vader is a Glutton for Punishment in Darth Vader 20

by Michael DeLaney

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

The relationship between Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala is easily one of the worst parts of the Star Wars prequel trilogy, but it is my favorite part of a Darth Vader comic book. When you remove Hayden Christensen (and George Lucas) from the picture, the emotional weight of the former Skywalker is fairly significant. Such is the case in Charles Soule and Giuseppe Canuncoli’s Darth Vader 20. Continue reading

An Opaque Reflection of Anakin in Darth Vader 19

by Spencer Irwin

Darth Vader 19

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

I could easily spend hours listing qualities that make Darth Vader one of media’s most terrifying villains, but one of the most prominent is simply how inscrutable he is. His mask and his voice give away almost nothing about his emotions, his goals, or his thought process, rendering him cold and unknowable — and nothing’s scarier than that. Charles Soule and Giuseppe Camuncoli have made excellent use of this attribute in their run on Darth Vader, and issue 19 is no exception. Despite offering up a mirror, an echo of Vader’s former life, in the form of exiled Jedi Eeth Koth, the Sith Lord remains as fascinatingly opaque as ever. Continue reading

De-Romanticizing War Stories in Poe Dameron 29

by Patrick Ehlers

This article containers SPOILERS. If you have not read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

This arc in Star Wars Poe Dameron has been all about telling war stories: who does it, and why they do it. The answers thus far have been pretty straightforward. Poe tells Rey and Finn what he was up to during The Force Awakens so they can bond over their differing perspectives on a shared experience. It brings them closer together. And Artoo and Beebee honor their fallen droid brothers by recounting the serial number of every robot lost in the attack on Starkiller Base. These are noble war stories, and that’s weirdly consistent with the tone of the original trilogy. For as much as Star Wars was about Vietnam, Lucas perhaps didn’t have the historical perspective to capture the tone or cadence of war stories from that conflict. With Poe Dameron 29, writer Charles Soule taps into a sense of hopeless, confusion and pointlessness, rounding out his list of reasons to tell war stories with one of the hardest explanation out there: because they happened. Continue reading

The Responsibility of the Witness in Daredevil 605

by Patrick Ehlers

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

Charles Soule and Mike Henderson’s Daredevil 605 begins with Wilson Fisk raising from his hospital bed to attempt to regain control of New York City. Even dressed in a hospital gown and dragging an IV pole behind him, Fisk backs Foggy into a corner. It looks like Fisk is going to get his way, but ends up collapsing to the ground — it turns out that he wasn’t well enough to exert himself so much. But he made a choice to stop letting Matt Murdock run New York City, rather that simply witnessing it from the safety of his hospital room. While the sun sets on this Wilson Fisk story after three pages, the remainder of the issue plays out that same fundamental question over and over again: what responsibility does a witness have to interfere with whatever they are witnessing? Continue reading