The Desperation of Dead Rabbit 2

by Michael DeLaney

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

Pop culture has taught me that there are two types of robbers: those who do it for fun and those who do it out of necessity. The gang from Ocean’s Eleven get involved in wacky overcomplicated capers because George Clooney’s character wants to stick it to Andy Garcia’s. More often however – and more realistically – people turn to this particular life of crime out of desperation. Dead Rabbit 2 is a prime example of this desperation. Continue reading

Infinity Wars 4 Pits Novel Mash-Ups Against Classic Characters

by Patrick Ehlers

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

“In a life of weird experiences, this one is up there.”

-Bruce Banner, Infinity Wars 4

In the quote above, Bruce Banner is referring to the experience of having his soul un-merged from Scott Lang’s by the combined magics / telepathies of Loki and a Power Stone-wielding Emma Frost in the barren wastes of Soul World. It’s a jumble of virtually impenetrable Marvel Universe jargon, but it’s also sort of the appeal of the event as a whole. The Infinity Warps issues that have spun out of this story are sold almost entirely on the wackiness of the premise: a Captain America Doctor Strange hybrid! A Moon Knight Spider-Man mash-up! But with Infinity Wars 4, writer Gerry Duggan and artist Mike Deodato, Jr. start making the case against the novelty of these mash-up characters by asserting the strength and usefulness of the vanilla versions of these characters, to say nothing of just how appealingly weird they are to begin with. Continue reading

It’s Wade Wilson’s World in Deadpool 3

by Michael DeLaney

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

Deadpool is a mercenary, assassin, sometimes hero, and fourth wall-breaking jokester. But after nearly 30 years of quips, kills and general raunch Deadpool has become something else entirely: a lens to see the Marvel Universe through. Deadpool has a funny effect on the characters and setting surrounding him — he Deadpoolifies everything he touches. Continue reading

Contemporary Fears in the Near Future of Analog 4

by Mark Mitchell

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

Science fiction stories are often set in the future, but they reflect the contemporary anxieties of the societies in which they’re created. The Los Angeles of Ridley Scott’s 1982 film Blade Runner was heavily inspired by the modern landscape of Tokyo — it’s bustle and aesthetics cranked way up to sinister levels. As Sarah Emerson notes in a 2017 piece for Motherboard regarding cultural fetishization in the franchise, Blade Runner was a product of its time; in the 1980’s the West was still feeling the effects of an economic downturn just as Japan’s economy began to kick into high gear. Couple that with already high fear of cultural invasion thanks to the ever-present Cold War, and the futuristic dystopia of Blade Runner where, as Emerson writes, “communities are ghettoized beneath Asian-branded skyscrapers” comes into focus.

Unlike Blade Runner, which consciously or unconsciously stoked audiences’ fears for mere atmosphere, Gerry Duggan and David O’Sullivan use Analog to actively exercise their fears about the present. That’s exercise — not exorcise. The internet run amok, neo-Nazis, greed and corruption in the systems meant to protect us, Duggan and O’Sullivan are writing a noir story of the meanest kind, where the rot in society is too deep to be cured and the best one can hope for is making it out alive. There are no solutions to be found in Analog. Jack McGinnis managed to shut down the internet and it wasn’t enough to make things right.

But like any good noir, just because Analog is bleak it doesn’t mean it’s joyless. As someone who spends most of their time tied up with anxiety about the state of the world, I’ve found there’s catharsis in Analog’s pessimism. Have a few thoughtless internet billionaires seemingly fucked everything up for the rest of us? Hell yes they have! Doesn’t it suck how the world continues to get hotter and hotter? Absolutely! Can you believe that we have to regularly talk about white supremecists — like on an almost day to day basis? No, I can’t! Reading an issue of Analog is like going to Angry Liberal Church on a regular basis and I love it. Amen!

For a complete list of what we’re reading, head on over to our Pull List page. Whenever possible, buy your comics from your local mom and pop comic bookstore. If you want to rock digital copies, head on over to Comixology and download issues there. There’s no need to pirate, right?

Deadpool is Back to Merc’ing in Deadpool 2

By Michael DeLaney

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

Deadpool is often characterized as the bane of the superhero community’s existence: he’s the last guy that they want to ask for help. That said, the Avengers set must derive some guilty pleasure when they get to cut loose and rip Wade Wilson’s regenerative body apart. At least, that’s what I gather from Skottie Young and Nic Klein’s Deadpool 2. Continue reading

Indifference is the Enemy in Analog 3

by Patrick Ehlers

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

“Oona can handle herself…”

Analog 3

We find ourselves in a wholly irrational place in history — a swing away from progressive ideals. Regressive. Part of what makes this era so fucked up is that we believed ourselves to be beyond history. The concept of the “end of history” is contingent on society having reached a perfect state of civility. There would be no war, no famine, no racism, no inequality, no income disparity if only we reached this civil equilibrium. Here’s the problem: we never got close to perfection before white America declared that we were living in a post-racial world. And why would they? We are Americans and we are exceptional! We saved the world from the most obvious evil history has ever seen, and everything since 1945 has been a victory lap. Essentially, the belief has been that the system would find justice, or that society can “handle itself.” Gerry Duggan and David O’Sullivan’s Analog 3 explores the dangers of expecting a situation to fix itself. Continue reading

Mind Wipes and Missteps in Infinity Countdown: Daredevil 1

by Michael DeLaney

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

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Infinity Countdown is well under way which means…time for some tie-ins! Written by the Infinity Countdown helmer Gerry Duggan, Infinity Countdown: Daredevil 1 focuses on the current owner of the Mind Gem: Daredevil “villain” Turk Barrett. Many readers scratched their heads when it was revealed that low-level criminal Turk was in possession of an Infinity Stone. While Duggan highlights why Daredevil is a good pairing for the Mind Gem, the issue lacks consequence. Continue reading

Defeat and Retaliation in Analog 2

by Patrick Ehlers

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

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Normal Person + Anonymity + Audience = Total Fuckwad

Penny Arcade, 2004

Back in 2004, the Penny Arcade guys were disgusted by the behavior of some people playing Unreal Tournament online, leading to them publishing the strip referenced above. Fourteen years later, and we know better than to ever be shocked by a faceless teenager hiding behind the gamertag “6ftcock” using hate speech in PU:BG. Vile behavior begets other vile behavior, and as long as the bullies never have to meet their victims, that fuckwadery is as make-believe as the game they’re playing. At least, that’s what John Gabriel’s Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory postulates. But what if those hateful impulses, those destructive anti-social tendencies are just part of who we are, with or without the internet? Gerry Duggan and David O’Sullivan’s Analog 2 dutifully moves the series’ plot mechanics forward, while continuing to mine this thematically rich vein. Continue reading

Despicable Deadpool 300: Discussion

by Drew Baumgartner & Patrick Ehlers

Despicable Deadpool 300

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

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Drew: Five years into this run, pointing out that Deadpool is a Sad Clown would be lazy analysis — not only has that point been well established, but the series itself has managed to explore it so thoroughly, reducing the character’s emotional journey to a two-word summary couldn’t possibly do it justice. And yet, I couldn’t think of a more appropriate way to begin this piece than embedding Smokey Robinson’s “Tears of a Clown,” not because of a shallow similarity between the content of these two works, but because of some profound similarities in how they treat that content. The lyrics describe a narrator who puts on a good face in spite of his profound sadness, but the music doesn’t betray that sadness for a second — it sounds like any other Motown hit (though that bouncy bassoon that maybe hints that this song is about a clown). By this point in the story, Wade Wilson has completely dropped that fascade of silliness, but just like the instruments in “Tears of a Clown,” the series itself maintains that clownish exterior. Continue reading

A Good Laugh Goes a Long Way in Infinity Countdown 3

by Taylor Anderson

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

One of the things that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has done right since its inception is to make their movies funny. Of course, some movies are funnier than others. Thor: Ragnarok has more humor than the first two Thor movies combined. Even the grandiose Avengers movies always find time for a laugh in between the action and making sure every hero has their proper amount of screen time. This humor isn’t always present in Marvel comics, and huge crossover events are often more muted in their humor. Luckily, that’s not the case with Infinity Countdown 3. Continue reading