Logan’s Mind and Body in Astonishing X-Men 3

by Taylor Anderson

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

Wolverine has always been the perfect blend of superpower and persona. On the mutant side, Logan’s body regenerates from virtually any damage he may sustain. On the persona side, Logan is strong-willed and once his mind is set to do something, there’s little that can get in his way. The marriage of Logan’s unflinching resolve and undying body is poetic in the way each side reflects the other. What exactly that makes of the man’s psyche is the topic of discussion in Astonishing X-Men 3. Continue reading

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Guardians of the Galaxy 20

guardians of the galaxy 20Today, Spencer and Shane are discussing Guardians of the Galaxy 20, originally released October 29th, 2014.

Spencer: The first couple of times I read through Guardians of the Galaxy 20 I found myself utterly unable to figure out how to approach writing about it. To be honest, I’m still a little flummoxed; there’s plenty of moments within the issue I think are quite well done, but I don’t know if any of them ever coalesce into a cohesive whole. Is this an issue about Nova’s heroic sacrifice, or an issue about how his death has affected the Guardians? Writer Brian Michael Bendis is clearly trying to make it about both, but in the process, I’m not sure he gives either thread the full attention it requires. Continue reading

Amazing X-Men 1

Today, Taylor and Ethan are discussing Amazing X-Men 1, originally released November 6th, 2013.

Heaven is a place where nothing ever happens.

– “Heaven” by The Talking Heads

Taylor: So sings David Byrne in describing his vision of paradise. Whatever your beliefs or disbeliefs of heaven may be, there’s no denying the power of the imagery the word or thought evokes. For some, it may be a rosy paradise full of angels strumming on harps. For others it may be a state of mind that represents tranquility. And for others still it may mean a bed full of Doritos being fed to you while Arnold Schwarzenegger movies play endlessly on repeat (or is that hell?). But what would heaven look like to a member of the X-Men? A danger room set to beyond-lethal difficulty? A utopia where humans and mutants get along? A place free of the burden of having augmented powers? In Amazing X-Men 1, we get our answer and fans are reintroduced to a member of the X-Men who they have surely been missing.

Continue reading

Nova 5

nova 5

Today, Patrick and Drew are discussing Nova 5, originally released June 27th, 2013.

Beru: Owen, he can’t stay here forever. Most of his friends have gone. It means so much to him.

Owen: I’ll make it up to him next year, I promise.

Beru: Luke’s just not a farmer, Owen. He has too much of his father in him.

Owen: That’s what I’m afraid of.

-Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope

Patrick: It’s not uncommon for our space heroes to have impossible family legacies to live up to. Luke Skywalker would come to define himself by how he chose to respond his father’s every action. Darth Vader isn’t evil — he’s over zealous, he gets in over his head and uses his considerable powers to get what he wants. He’s an old man in need of redemption, and Luke’s the only person to see that — because they’re so much alike. This conversation between Luke’s adopted aunt and uncle holds the perfect amount of mystery and specificity to tease some meaningful depth about the character. In Nova, Sam’s father’s reputation looms similarly large, but no one has anything nearly so interesting to say about him. Continue reading

Nova 4

nova 4

Today, Shelby and Drew are discussing Nova 4, originally released May 15th, 2013.

Shelby: In the pilot episode of Firefly, we meet the ship’s pilot Wash as he is playing with some toy dinosaurs. As the T-Rex and his veggie-saurus friend survey their new home, the Rex turns on his friend, prompting the delightful line, “Curse your sudden, but inevitable betrayal!” In last month’s look at issues 1-3 of Nova, Patrick and Drew discussed Jeff Loeb’s penchant for cliches; they assumed Young Sam would be betrayed by Rocket and Gamorra, but because it seemed so obvious, they also assumed it was a fake-out. They weren’t totally wrong; Loeb gives us our inevitable betrayal this issue, but it comes from a completely unexpected direction.  Continue reading

Nova 1-3

Alternating Currents: Nova 1-3, Drew and Patrick

Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing Nova 1-3, originally released February, March, and April 17th, 2013, respectively.

Drew: Cliche is a complicated subject in genre fiction. We tend to characterize predictability as bad, but it’s only by setting up expectations that writers are able to thwart them. Moreover, those tropes may be the very thing that draws us to those genres in the first place — we want the hero to beat the villain, get the girl, and ride off into the sunset. As a veteran writer conversant in a number of genres, Jeff Loeb understands the power of those tropes, mixing them potently in his take on Nova. Continue reading