Being The Hero, and Being the Sidekick in Lockjaw 4

By Spencer Irwin

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

Lockjaw is a pet, Black Bolt’s (and sometimes Ms. Marvel’s) faithful companion, so often a sidekick in their adventures. Daniel Kibblesmith and Carlos Villa’s Lockjaw miniseries has provided a chance for the teleporting canine to step into the spotlight and become the hero of his own story, a fact that takes center stage in the series finale. Continue reading

Lockjaw 3 is a Cartoony Romp

By Drew Baumgartner

Lockjaw 3

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

Gordie: Alright, alright. Mickey’s a mouse. Donald’s a duck. Pluto’s a dog. What’s Goofy?
Teddy: Goofy’s a dog, he’s definitely a dog.
Chris: He can’t be a dog. Wears a hat and drives a car.
Vern: God, that’s weird. What the hell is Goofy?

Stand By Me

There are no rules inherent to a cartoon world. Maybe this is one where dragons exist. Maybe this is one where elephants can fly. Maybe this is one where an anthropomorphized mouse can own a regular (albeit cartoon) dog. We can accept those conceits on the terms they’re given, because it’s a cartoon. Audiences balk at other media for being “unrealistic,” but “cartoony” — effectively stylized unrealism — is a compliment. At least, that’s how I tend to think of cartooniness: a fun relaxations of the “rules” that govern fictional worlds, making room for a heck of a lot more imagination and fun. Such is certainly the case with Lockjaw 3, which finds even more fun to mine from relaxing its already madcap rules. Continue reading

Finding Purpose in the Journey in Lockjaw 2

By Patrick Ehlers

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

“Animals may not understand our every word, but when it comes to tone? They understand perfectly.”

-Ka-Zar, Lockjaw 2

Throughout this issue, D-Man repeatedly states his confusion about what’s going on. He doesn’t know what it takes to survive in the Savage Land, he doesn’t know what Lockjaw is really up to, he doesn’t know what “the Beast” is. And it’s not just a good running gag: he doesn’t know what the D in D-Man stands for anymore. Writer Daniel Kibblesmith gifts the reader with Dennis’ confusion, greedily keeping most of the series’ explanation and exposition off the page. We are left to intuit was is right and what is wrong, just like D-Man does. We’re reading tone — and we understand that perfectly. Continue reading

Lockjaw 1: Discussion

by Taylor Anderson and Patrick Ehlers

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

Taylor: Ancient wisdom states that you should never judge a book by it’s cover. We’re all familiar with this phrase and know that this metaphor extends far beyond assessing books by their cover art. Don’t judge people by the way they look and don’t assume a video game is good based on the franchise it hails from. Yet while I’m familiar with this sage advice, I often find it extremely hard to follow. Take Lockjaw 1, for example. It’s tempting to think this comic will be about its titular character, given his name splayed across the cover and the oversize likeness of this same dog. However, that’s not the case here, so how much you are inclined to judge a book by its cover might determine what you think of this issue. Continue reading

Captain America: Sam Wilson 22

Today, Patrick and Michael are discussing Captain America: Sam Wilson 22, originally released May 31st, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Patrick: Thinking about the problems the United States faces on global and federal levels is daunting as hell. We’re inundated with concerns about the stability of our global leadership, about the viability of of our political system, the longevity of healthcare and other programs put in place to protect individuals. And what can you do? Call your representatives? Donate to the ACLU? Volunteer? Run for office? They’re all drops in a bucket — important drops, but drops nonetheless. In the face of a country that rejected him, Sam Wilson is forced to come up with his own answer to this question, and in so doing, brings Cap back to the vulnerable citizens that need him. Continue reading

Sam Wilson: Captain America 1

sam wilson 1Today, Patrick and Spencer are discussing Sam Wilson: Captain America 1, originally released October 14th, 2015.

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America
And to the republic for which it stands:
One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

-The Pledge of Allegiance of the United States of America.

Patrick: Have you ever considered how weird it is that the Pledge of Allegiance is a common fixture at the beginning of the school day? From my first day of kindergarten, until the last day of my senior year of high school, I either recited this thing, or stood silently with my hand on my heart while hundreds of other kids recited this thing in unison. Even without that “under God” jammed in there by Eisenhower, the pledge feels more like prayer than anything else — offering oneself up in the service of a singular benevolent entity. Of course, it’s not quite that simple: liberty and justice are pretty nebulous terms, and what they mean can vary hugely depending on your perspective. I think when I was a kid, I would have just as easily swapped out “liberty and justice” for “law and order” and not given it a second thought. But that’s not the country is really about: we’re founded on revolution, on challenging the status quo, on fighting for what we believe in. In Nick Spencer and Daniel Acuña’s Sam Wilson: Captain America, Captain America embraces the more revolutionary aspects of his mantle, and while he’s certainly fighting for liberty and justice, he is decidedly anti-establishment. Continue reading