Today, Spencer and Patrick are discussing IvX 1, originally released December 14th, 2016. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.
Spencer: Last month’s IvX 0 did a fantastic job of summing up the conflict between the Inhumans and the X-Men and showing why their going to war was only a matter of time. Charles Soule, Jeff Lemire, and Leinil Francis Yu’s IvX 1, though, is the issue where that powder keg finally ignites into all-out war, and war…well, war is ugly. IvX 1 plays up the fun of watching these two groups duke it out, but also the pain and sadness inherent in its scenario. Continue reading →
Today, Michael and Taylor are discussing A-Force 1, originally released May 20th, 2015. This issue is a Secret Wars tie-in. For more Secret Wars coverage from the week, click here.
Michael: Full disclosure: the exact ins and outs of Secret Wars are kind of over my head. I know that it is a better (and actually planned out) version of DC’s Convergence. I also know the basics of the event, which pretty much can be boiled down to the recap page of: “The Multiverse was destroyed! The heroes of Earth-616 and Earth-1610 were powerless to save it! Now, all that remains…is Battleworld!” So I’m going to try to take A-Force objectively, at face value. Continue reading →
Today, Taylor and Patrick are discussing Uncanny X-Men 34, originally released May 20th, 2015.
Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.
Semisonic, “Closing Time”
Taylor: Chances are that if you’ve been in a bar in the past 17 years, you’ve heard these lyrics wafting across a half-filled room. Generally played to indicate that yes, indeed that bar is closing soon, it signals to stragglers of a long night that it’s time to go home. But be not sad, the bittersweet song entreaties its listeners. There is a silver lining to something coming to an end: it signals the beginning of something new, and isn’t that something to be optimistic about? A nice enough thought, but what if the ending of something isn’t all that great and therefore the thought of something beginning again is not cause for celebration, but sadness? A tough question to ask, but Uncanny X-Men 34 has me asking it whether I want to or not. Continue reading →
Today, Patrick and Greg are discussing Deadpool 30, originally released June 11th, 2014.
Patrick: As I get older, I realize that I have to consciously fight my growing instincts to make Dad Jokes. My father, who we called by his first name, Lyle, was quite the connoisseur of these terrible, punny, embarrassing jokes. Nine times out of ten, not even Lyle thought they were funny, but his mugging for laughs at laughless lines elevated the experience to pure anti-comedy bliss. To give all Dad Jokes — and by extension, my baser humor instincts — the benefit of the doubt, their intent is never to be revolutionary or make you think or anything quite so sophisticated. Where a good joke relies on subverting our expectations, a Dad Joke plays into out expectations so hard that the refusal to be subversive is, in a way, subversive. But forget all of that: the Dad Joke is comforting because Dad is saying it. Deadpool 30 leverages our comfort with these kinds of jokes to distract us while getting to the real subversive business — developing, ironically enough, the identity of Deadpool’s daughter. Continue reading →
Today, Spencer and Greg are discussing Deadpool 29, originally released May 28th, 2014.
“…I’m happy, too.”
“Hey, don’t use the ‘h’ word around me. It ends the fun quickly.”
–Shiklah and Deadpool, Deadpool 29
Spencer: As a medium, comics seem to have a problem with happiness — and quite often, as DC especially has proven, they specifically have a problem with characters being happily married. The above quote comes from the very first panel of Deadpool 29, and is spoken as Wade and his new wife lie together in bed. It’s a remarkably prescient statement from Deadpool; life itself seems to go out of its way to make sure Wade can’t ever be genuinely happy, at least not for long. Wade and his new bride have been disarmingly happy together so far, but with the honeymoon over and real life (aka the larger Marvel universe) reasserting itself, it seems like only a matter of time until the “fun ends quickly.” Continue reading →
Today, Taylor and Shelby are discussing All-New X-Men 25, originally released April 9th, 2014.
Taylor: They, the ever shifting and nebulous authority that knows more than us, is always saying that hindsight is 20/20. Once events have played out, we know exactly what we should have done in a given situation to obtain our desired results. It’s a damned feeling; there’s nothing you can do about it but you kick yourself for not doing the right thing. This feeling is often so frustrating that it can keep us up at night, pondering the grand “what if?” While that can be crushing, just imagine what the feeling would be like if perhaps you could change the past, if only you thought about it hard enough. Hank McCoy (the one in his proper time) knows this feeling and All-New X-Men 25 shows us just how deep and dark that hole can be.
Today, Taylor and Ethan are discussing All-New X-Men 21 and Uncanny X-Men 16, originally released January 15th, 2014.
Taylor: Ah, the father/son relationship. Daddy issues have basically been around since the birth of man, both literally and figuratively so it’s no wonder they often pop up in the stories we tell one another. After all, who hasn’t inherited some odious trait from their father or wished they had a better relationship with the man? So rich is the vein of paternal relationships that it can told time and time again and still be entertaining. Throw in a dash of mutants and a pinch of augmented super powers and you got yourself the makings of an interesting story. Given these ingredients, you think it would hard to cook up a story that resound with its fan base. However, in All-New X-Men 21 this proves to be the case. The story is a bit bland and one you slog through just for its narrative nutrients.
Today, Ethan and Taylor are discussing All-New X-Men 18, originally released November 13th, 2013.
Ethan: The best part of being in a relationship is that you get to spend so much time with the one you love. The worst part of being in a relationship is that you get to spend so much time with the one you love. For the X-Men, isolated from the world by that tricky little accident of being born with the X-gene, their ties to each other are incredibly strong. It’s no surprise that they so often find passionate love and lifelong friendship inside their circle. Just like any family or couple, though, they often drive each other completely crazy. Breathing room is hard to find when you’re all stuck in the same space, whether it’s a mansion or a mountain bunker, and All-New X-Men #18 explores how they fight, how they cope, and how they move forward.
Taylor: Hey, do you guys remember 2008? Specifically, do you remember when Barack Obama was elected president? It was big moment and not solely because it decided who would be the most powerful man on the planet for the next four years. For the first time, a black man was elected to the highest office. Some said it happened sooner than they expected, others as it not having come soon enough. Regardless of the stance, there’s no denying that it was a watershed moment for the United States and one that brought a certain amount of hope for the future with it. Suddenly, instead of being a backwards country who only elected the white and rich, America was viewed as progressing in the right direction. But the glossy sheen of hope fades fast and in these days of bitter bipartisanship and government shutdowns the hope that once surrounded Obama’s administration is now lost. There are those who stand staunchly by our embattled president and those who have become jaded by the world altogether because Obama didn’t live up to their impossibly high expectations. In this fallout, what is left for these individuals? Do they rally to change the system or become mired in hate and malice? All-New X-Men 17 ponders this question along with the usual time travel paradoxes.
Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing Uncanny X-Men 11, originally released August 28th, 2013.
Drew: Does bravery matter in war? Society has long honored the soldiers most willing to ride out and face their enemies, but modern technology renders that way of thinking almost obsolete. Why risk your life in hand-to-hand combat when you can shoot your enemy from a quarter mile away? Or drop a bomb on him? Or better yet, have a drone drop a bomb on him while you sit comfortably in a control room on the other side of the planet? The danger for yourself stops being physical, and starts being spiritual — under what circumstances is it moral to kill someone who poses no immediate threat to you? America has become a bit desensitized to these drone strikes, but in Uncanny X-Men 11, Brian Michael Bendis examines how would-be-victims react to murder-by-proxy. Continue reading →