Thanos 1

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Today, Drew and Ryan D are discussing Thanos 1, originally released November 16th, 2016. As always, this article containers SPOILERS!

What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?

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Drew: This line is often used to sell a given story as some kind of ultimate showdown, but it always strikes me as thoroughly self-defeating: either one or both of those adjectives simply prove to be false. That is, the answer can’t be as interesting as the question suggests, since the answer necessarily reveals that the question was built on a false premise. Or, if you’re feeling more diplomatic, you might take Superman’s answer to this question from Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s All-Star Superman: “they surrender.” It’s an elegant solution, but is ultimately far less entertaining than the premise suggests — “they surrender” isn’t exactly the white-knuckle conclusion the question implies, and again, betrays the falsehood of those adjectives.

Such is often the case in superhero comics, where villains are routinely trotted out as unstoppable, only for our hero to miraculously give lie to that claim. It’s enough to make anyone doubt the increasingly hyperbolic claims made of villains. This becomes especially true of big name villains, who continue to be heralded as some kind of ultimate threat, in spite of the fact that they’ve been beaten in virtually every appearance. Thanos is a prime example of this — the seriousness of his threat diminishes with each subsequent return (especially after that time Squirrel Girl defeated him) — leading to even more hyperbolic claims made next time. Cleverly breaking that pattern, Jeff Lemire and Mike Deodato’s Thanos 1 sidesteps the Worf Effect by lampshading the inevitable conclusion in the first issue. Continue reading

New Avengers 10

new avengers 10 infinityToday, Spencer and Drew are discussing New Avengers 10, originally released September 18th, 2013. This issue is part of the Infinity crossover event. Click here for complete Infinity coverage.

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Spencer: If there’s one thing I’ve learned from reading New Avengers, it’s that the Illuminati are not friends. While close bonds or even romance often sprout between teammates in other books, the Illuminati seem to think of each other as resources rather than people. This may just prove to be their greatest weakness; the Illuminati may actually have the ability to take down Thanos, but their secrets, grudges, and disinterest in (or downright hatred for) one another are all building towards some deadly consequences. Continue reading