Today, Patrick and Spencer are discussing Silk 4, originally released May 13th, 2015.
“My body can stretch all around this building. It’s natural state is a giant puddle of, well, me. It takes everything I have to hold myself together. So, yes. I’ve had anxiety.”
Reed Richards, Silk 4
Patrick: For obvious reasons, most superhero narratives that deal with mental illness stay pretty close PTSD or anger management problems. While debilitating issues in real life, in the realm of fiction, that all sounds very sexy — these afflictions either steam from or drive a character to action. Usually both. And it doesn’t much matter how negatively a writer tries to paint Bruce Wayne’s grief- and guilt-ridden revenge episodes, the reader always wants to see Batman kicking ass. Punisher may not be able to sleep without a gun under his pillow, but we sorta like that. Silk 4 toys with the idea that mental illness isn’t always so obvious and often isn’t so action-packed. Continue reading →
Today, Drew and Spencer are discussing Silk 2, originally released March 18th, 2015.
That’s gonna be a…you know, a…fascinating transition.
Walter Bankston, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Drew: And just like that, Silk‘s story of a girl trying to make it in New York after spending several years in a bunker has entered the zeitgeist…as the logline of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Two narratives having similar premises and release dates is a common phenomenon in Hollywood, from A Bug’s Life and Antz to The Prestige and The Illusionist, and while the similarities are often superficial, the perceived sameness can rob both narratives of their sense of originality. Silk has the benefit of being released first (with its title character’s origin introduced back in Amazing Spider-Man 4), but Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt has managed to get more of its story out quicker. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve already watched every episode of Kimmy Schmidt (which may explain why I’m picking up on the similarities so strongly), so I’m decidedly biased in terms of who owns the narrative, but the overlap actually lends Silk 2 the familiar charm of a series that has been around much, much longer. Continue reading →
Today, Spencer and Drew are discussing The Amazing Spider-Man 10, originally released November 19th, 2014.
Spencer: Obviously, the major draw of Spider-Verse is getting to see so many Spider-Men together in one place. It’s easy to think of them all as one homogenous whole — they’re all Spiders, after all — but this group is actually quite diverse, with each alternate Spider holding their own opinions and viewpoints. The readers no doubt want to see these heroes all work together, but what happens when their ideals begin to clash? This is the bread-and-butter of Dan Slott and Olivier Coipel’s Amazing Spider-Man 10; from Silk chafing at her strict handlers to the science vs. magic debates of Otto and Old Man Spider, this issue is all about the conflicts that threaten to tear the spiders apart when they need to join together the most. Continue reading →
Today, Spencer and Patrick are discussing The Amazing Spider-Man 9, originally released November 5th, 2014.
Spencer: I started reading comics regularly right at the beginning of DC’s Infinite Crisis crossover event back in 2005 or 2006; the story scattered just about every DC character across the universe, and I must’ve spent hours obsessively charting out which heroes were where. This gave me a big soft spot for massive crossover epics, the kind of stories that can really only be done in superhero comics, which have decades of stories across hundreds of titles to mine. When done right these epics are extraordinarily fun, a testament to the grand histories the DC and Marvel universes have built, but when done wrong they can just feel excessive, too caught up in their own impenetrable histories to tell a coherent story. What strikes me the most about The Amazing Spider-Man 9 — the first “official” chapter of Spider-Verse — is how aware of this danger writer Dan Slott seems to be. Spider-Verse is a story built around history and cameos, but Slott seems to be going out of his way to make the story — and the stakes — as clear as possible. So far, so good. Continue reading →