The Frustration of ‘Almost’ in Astonishing X-Men 5

by Taylor Anderson

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

I’ve recently been playing a lot of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and while I love the game, there are times it frustrates the hell out of me. Usually, this frustration comes in the form of puzzles located in shrines scattered throughout Hyrule. While a lot of the shrines are solved using logic, there are some that just require skill and a lot of patience to complete. I can’t count the number of times I’ve come close to solving one of the skill shrines only to have something get bungled up at the last minute. This sense of frustration in the face of near victory is familiar to me now, and it’s why I recognize it so readily in Astonishing X-Men 5. Continue reading

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Temptation Lurks in the Shadows in Astonishing X-Men 4

by Taylor Anderson

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

Being human, we are all slaves to our desires. True, most people are able to keep their impulses in check and only give in every so often. However, the urges are always there and it is only through self control that we’re able to be productive members of society as opposed to fleshy hedonism bots. So ingrained is desire in our culture that it frequently presents itself in pop-culture, usually as a dangerous temptation for heroes as they struggle to achieve their ends. For the X-Men, who are more than human, will temptation prove too great in their fight against the Shadow King? Continue reading

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

Astonishing X-Men 1: Discussion

by Taylor Anderson & Patrick Ehlers

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

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Taylor: About a month ago, the Golden State Warriors won the NBA  championship with ease. So easy was their win, in fact, that many pundits are calling them a super team that practically has the next several championships already won. It’s tempting to think that building such a dominant team is the result of careful planning and deep pockets. In actuality, what brought so many talented players together was a series of fluke accidents and coincidental timing that amount to little more than dumb luck. In much the same way, another super team is also being built, albeit this one on the pages of Astonishing X-Men. That might sound like a haphazard way to build a team — maybe it is — but it’s also a refreshing take on the typical team-up concept.  Continue reading

X-Men ’92 1

xmen 92 1

Today, Taylor and Michael are discussing X-men ’92 1, originally released March 30, 2016.

Taylor: For many Generation Y-ers, or Millennials, or basically anyone born in the ’80s, the introduction to the world of comics came from one of two sources. The first, of course, is Batman: The Animated Series, which solidified the Dark Knight in this generation’s hearts forever. The second is the well-known, if not quite so beloved, X-Men animated series. While both shows are fantastic in their own way, I remember frequently being frustrated by the X-Men series as a kid. Like a true comic book, this series told long stories over the course of several episodes which made watching the show in order essential, but during the age of syndication, nearly impossible. Still, I have fond memories of the show and to this day I can still sing its guitar solo theme song from memory. X-Men ’92 is cut from the cloth of this show and in doing so, the creators have made a comic that is both timely and nostalgic at the same time. Continue reading

Steampunk Superhero Cosplay at the Bristol Renaissance Faire

It’s sad, but true; none of us Retcon Punchers were able to go to SDCC this year. I have avoided all those  galleries of incredible cosplayers at the convention, afraid they would make me She-Hulk-out in a jealous rage. Instead, my esteemed collegue Taylor and I attended steampunk weekend at the Bristol Renaissance Faire in southern Wisconsin and found ourselves surrounded by creative comic book fans in beautiful steampunk costumes. I appropriately geeked out, and got my picture taken with as many as I could find. Despite missing out on Nerd Mecca, I have my own, unexpected cosplay gallery to share with you all. More after the jump.

I loved The Flash. He had pistons on his legs, and the wings on his hat were exhaust pipes that actually smoked.

Flash Continue reading

A + X 3

Alternating Currents: A + X 3, Drew and Shelby

Today, Drew and Shelby are discussing A + X 3, originally released December 19th, 2012.

Drew: Size can dictate a lot about a narrative, to the type of tone it can sustain to the very form it’s hung on. We currently seem to be in an era fetishizing ever longer dramatic narratives, hailing television shows with season-long arcs (or longer), and pouring out in droves to see stories broken into multiple epic-length films (coughTheHobbitcough). At the same time, Adult Swim has found success with very short-form comedies, and youtube clips of cats saying “no” have racked up millions of hits. It seems we’ve decided that very short stories are better at supporting comedy, while very long ones are better for drama. A + X, as a kind of clearing house for extremely short-form stories, has largely borne-out this notion, mining a series of absurd scenarios for their comedic potential. A + X 3 carries on this trend in its latter half, but opens with on much more serious (but still fun) note.

Continue reading