Today, Michael and Taylor are discussing Wonder Woman Annual 1, originally released May 31st, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.
Michael: With her big screen debut just around the corner there’s a regular Wonder Woman frenzy these days. Wonder Woman Annual 1 seems to be joining in on the fun with several short stories that embody what makes Diana of Themyscira such a powerful symbol. I’m pretty sure that Batman and Superman are already on their second Rebirth Annual issues but this is only Wonder Woman’s first? What gives, DC?
Today, Michael and Mark are discussing Batgirl Annual 3, originally released July 29th, 2015.
Michael: I don’t know if the concept of “Annual” comic book really has a true characterization. Sometimes it’s just a giant-sized issue of an ongoing story. Other times it’s a semi-audition for up and coming writers to get their feet wet. Then there are annuals like to jam-pack the issue with as much muchness as possible. Batgirl Annual 3 is the much muchness example. Continue reading →
Today, Drew and guest writer Dan Jones are discussing Avengers Annual 2013, originally released December 4th, 2013.
Drew: Superheroes are a lonely bunch. They’re generally unlucky-in-love. Many of them are orphans (or had other close loved ones die). They also have isolating responsibilities and power-sets that can make them difficult to relate to. Unless, of course, they’re trying to relate to other superheroes. Characters like Iron Man and Captain America seem peerless when surrounded by everyday schmucks, but they act as serviceable peers to one another. That emotional support can be lost in stories that attempt to justify their team-ups with ever-bigger baddies to punch (coughInfinitycough), but can be a goldmine for savvy writers. Kathryn Immonen goes a step further in the Avengers Annual 2013, making the subtext of superhero loneliness the text, and giving the Avengers a reason to team up besides a giant bad-guy. Continue reading →
Today, Shelby and Patrick are discussing All-New X-Men 15, originally released August 7th, 2013.
Shelby: No one knows better than I the importance of taking a break every once in a while; heck, I took several writing breaks before I even started this post. But seriously, it’s important to take breaks to keep from getting burned out, and the same applies to comic books. Stories take little breaks with what we call “hang-out issues,” where the bulk of the plot consists of the characters hanging-out. The beauty of the hang-out issue is, when it’s done well, we get a story break AND character development. Artists take breaks too, but the obviously visual nature of art can make an artist break more jarring and disruptive. This month, Brian Michael Bendis gives us a story break as we wait for Battle of the Atom to start, and David Lafuente gives Stuart Immonen a break on pencils; the result is a story which feels very different from what we’re used to in All-New X-Men.
Today, Michael and Drew are discussing A + X 5, originally released March 6th, 2013.
Michael: Superhero comics tend to take themselves very seriously. They have to. Crime, justice, the duality of man — these are big themes that require sober moments. This might have something to do with the marketability and general popularity of dark graphic novels that differ starkly from older stories that have some ingrained silliness. These short team-ups are a perfect palate cleanser — especially since as of late, I’ve been reading comics that bite off more than they can chew, philosophically. A+X #5 gives us an unabashedly ridiculous story followed by an ostensibly serious story packed with lame jokes. While I enjoyed the first attempt with Iron Fist + Droop, the second with Loki + Mr. Sinister missed the enjoyability boat on both the comedic and dramatic front.