Embracing the Unknown in America 12

by Spencer Irwin

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

America opened with its title character ready to try something new, with the unfathomably strong, uber-competent hero deciding she had more to learn and heading off to school to learn it. America 12, the series’ grand finale, returns to this idea, with America saving the day by quite literally diving into the unknown and finding a way to fight her enemy that, for once, doesn’t involve her fists. It’s a beautiful sentiment, but one that works better in concept than in execution. Continue reading

Advertisements

America’s Joy Defines America 11

by Spencer Irwin

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

America‘s often breathless pace works to its favor in issue 11, a transition issue that manages to serve as an epilogue to the previous storyline while also diving head-first into the next, mixing heartfelt character moments with genuine thrills and actions, with none feeling out of place or poorly paced. For the moment, America Chavez is in a good place, and her joy shines through in this issue loud and clear. Continue reading

The Strength of Heritage vs. the Evils of Cultural Appropriation in America 10

by Spencer Irwin

America 10

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

For better or for worse, America 10 brings all of the series’ developments thus far to a climax. Writer Gabby Rivera’s (assisted on art by Flaviano and Jen Bartel) attempts to find roles for the majority of America’s allies makes the issue feel overcrowded, especially since most of their efforts don’t really play a role in America’s victory, but her further exploration of the racial and cultural conflict between America and Oubliette (which I first talked about when covering issue 8) is far more successful. Rivera has a message she wants to get across, and it makes this issue feel focused and vital in a way the rest of this storyline sometimes hasn’t. Continue reading

Great Ideas Fizzle Out in America 9

by Spencer Irwin

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

One of America‘s greatest strengths as a title is that it’s chock-full of fantastic ideas; unfortunately, one of its greatest weaknesses is that it often doesn’t give those fantastic ideas enough room to breathe and succeed. America 9 is a frustrating installment in that way, blowing through the meaty ideas of last month’s issue (plus a whole host of new concepts) so fast that none have room to land. Continue reading

Failure to World-Build in I Am Groot 2

by Mark Mitchell

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

World building is delicate business. Finding the right balance between teasing the audiences’ imagination and leaving them impatient for answers can trip up even the most skilled artist. My go-to example for successful world building is 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road. Director George Miller immediately throws the audience into the thick of an alien, hostile world, but it’s never confusing. Miller avoids confusion in two ways: first, he uses classic archetypes when constructing characters — Max Rockatansky is the silent hero, Immortan Joe is a mad king, the War Boys are his soldiers, etc. These archetypes are well-worn in fiction and require no further justification. Second, if something or someone is introduced that directly affects the plot and its utility in the world can’t be intuited by the audience, he explains it. Providing this concrete framework for the necessary elements of the film means many other details, like the infamous Crow Fishers, can go unexplained, teasing the audience and allowing their imaginations to run wild, without causing confusion. Continue reading

I Am Groot 1

Today, Spencer and Patrick are discussing I Am Groot 1, originally released May 24th, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Spencer: When I first discovered that Baby Groot would feature in Guardians of the Galaxy v.2 I was taken by surprise, since in the comics Groot can regenerate from the kind of injury he suffered in the first film almost instantly. Of course, in the movies, James Gunn is free to make whatever changes he wants to the characters; the comics have since brought in Baby Groot as well, but that requires a bit more explanation. While the “whys” of Groot’s predicament are playing out over in All-New Guardians of the Galaxy, it’s fallen on Christopher Hastings, Flaviano, and Marcio Menyz’s I Am Groot 1 to explore the effect Groot’s new form is having on the team, and on Groot himself. Continue reading