Striving for Freedom, Not Comfort in Lazarus X+66 3

by Spencer Irwin

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

As much as Lazarus has shown us a dark vision of a future dystopia, it’s largely shown it to us from the point of view of that world’s most wealthy and privileged members. Introduced in the second arc, the Barret family allowed writer Greg Rucka to give readers a glimpse of the world from the point of view of its most unfortunate and downtrodden instead. As the series progressed, Michael and Casey have become more integrated with the world’s elite, but parents Joe and Bobbie Barret still provide that more grounded P.O.V., even as serfs. As Lazarus X+66 3 reminds us, the pain of the past can’t, and shouldn’t, be so easily forgotten. Continue reading

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Rowan’s Defenses May be Lacking in Black Magick 7

by Drew Baumgartner

Black Magick 7

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

We don’t often talk about procedurals in terms of “putting the pieces in place” — there’s too much directionality to all of the clue finding for the endgame to feel anything other than inevitable. Of course, for all of the procedural elements in Black Magick, it isn’t strictly a procedural. This issue is full of procedural scenes — all showing some degree of cause and effect — from Rowan’s “investigation” into Bruce Dunridge to her (and Alex’s separate) spellcasting, to Stepan Hahn’s own detective work. He’s the noose we’re consciously aware of (especially as the end of the issue puts him on a collision course with Ro), but it’s the procedures we don’t quite see the fallout of that intrigue me most. Continue reading

Lazarus X+66 2 Presents a Cyborg as a Rorschach Test

by Drew Baumgartner

Lazarus X+66 2

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

People see what they want to see. It’s a fact that’s fundamental to our perception of the world, but also the thing that prevents us from agreeing on anything. Rorschach tests represent the most fundamental expression of this notion, asking subjects to project their own meaning onto meaningless inkblots, but it’s something we see every day, from our simplest hopes and fears to the way we evaluate political candidates. That’s not to say there aren’t objective truths, just that, individually, we’re terrible at recognizing (and respecting) them, so their existence is almost incidental to our attitudes about the world. This is enervating enough when discussing climate change or which way toilet paper rolls should be oriented, but becomes all the more heartbreaking when the debate questions your very humanity, as it does for Joacquim Morray in Lazarus X+66 2. Continue reading

Lazarus X+66 1: Discussion

By Drew Baumgartner and Ryan Desaulniers

Lazarus X+66 1

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

Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon ’em.

William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night

Drew: This quote often comes up when discussing historical figures, but to my eye, it’s really all about the narratives we build around people. That is, this describes fictional heroes — from “chosen ones” destined for greatness to utterly reluctant nobodies that rise to the occasion — stories so familiar to us, we can’t help but project them on the world around us. But, like, what does it mean to be “born great,” and how do we distinguish that from someone having greatness thrust upon them? Those kinds of distinctions might make sense in stories where deities and magic put concepts like destiny in play, but the real world is much messier than that. Such is the case with Casey Solomon, whose greatness is anticipated by Forever Carlyle. Is her greatness inborn, or is it something she only achieved in order to live up to expectations? Continue reading

Wonder Woman 25: Discussion

By Michael DeLaney and Taylor Anderson

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

Michael: The concept of a higher power is one that many men and women struggle with at least once in their lives. One popular debate between believers and non-believers is the question “why does God let bad things happen to good people?” More to the point, “why does God let bad things happen?” After all of the trials and tribulations that she has gone through, Wonder Woman faces her gods and demands answers for it all. Continue reading

The Non-Quixotic Quest in The Old Guard 5

by Drew Baumgartner

The Old Guard 5

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

To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go

Joe Darion, “The Impossible Dream”

Is Andy the anti-Don Quixote? Her world-weary cynicism is certainly the opposite of his delusions of chivalry; her bitter pragmatism the opposite of his flights of fancy. But the thing that strikes me most is that Andy is the unbeatable foe, the kind of mythical being Quixote could only dream of. Of course, this gives them different priorities — while he’s focused on those imaginary beings, she’s utterly undaunted by the mortal tilting at her. Sure, the mortal can get in a few good licks, but is more of an annoyance than a nemesis. Indeed, it turns out the only thing worthy of an unbeatable foe’s attention is another unbeatable foe. Continue reading

Despair in the Denouement in Wonder Woman 24

by Ryan Mogge

Wonder Woman 24

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

In a classical Greek tragedy, no matter whether they achieve their goals, the protagonists of a story end up worse off than they started. In Wonder Woman 24, everyone is at once successful and miserable. Greg Rucka focus on three women living in pain even after reaching their objectives.

After seeing her mother and being only a step away from Themyscria, Diana is distraught when she returns. Rucka indicates that Diana is not her usual self in the way that she carelessly leaves Cheetah behind. It wouldn’t necessarily be careless if a regular person did it, but Wonder Woman has set standards of empathy and kindness that even she cannot always live up to. When Etta calls her out, it only takes a moment before Diana is ready to take action. Even in her guilt, she is committed to making things right. Continue reading

Wonder Woman Annual 1

Today, Michael and Taylor are discussing Wonder Woman Annual 1, originally released May 31st, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Michael: With her big screen debut just around the corner there’s a regular Wonder Woman frenzy these days. Wonder Woman Annual 1 seems to be joining in on the fun with several short stories that embody what makes Diana of Themyscira such a powerful symbol. I’m pretty sure that Batman and Superman are already on their second Rebirth Annual issues but this is only Wonder Woman’s first? What gives, DC?

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The Old Guard 4

Alternating Currents: The Old Guard 4, Drew and Patrick

Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing The Old Guard 4, originally released May 24th, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Drew: “The grass is always greener on the other side” is a remarkably ambiguous idiom. Is it about the subjectivity of our perspective (that is, things simply look better from a distance), or perhaps about some kind of psychological phenomenon that makes whatever it is we don’t have more appealing? Whatever the cause, the analogy works only insofar as we can flatten our value system to some kind of parallel for “greenness” — there’s no real acknowledgement of either side having pros and cons, or the choice between the two representing a compromise. Still, the phenomenon of the grass being greener on the other side still pervades our culture, reflecting a superficial, one-dimensional understanding of real-world choices we too often adopt. Such is the case with both Steve Merrick and Andy, two characters who might gladly trade sides for each other’s greener pastures. Continue reading

DC Round-Up: Comics Released 5/24/17


How many Batman 
books is too many Batman books? Depending on who you ask there ain’t no such thing! We try to stay up on what’s going on at DC, but we can’t always dig deep into every issue. The solution? Our weekly round-up of titles coming out of DC Comics. Today, we’re discussing Batgirl 11, Batman / The Shadow 2 and Wonder Woman 23. Also, we will be discussing Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps 21 on Monday, so check back for that! As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

slim-banner4 Continue reading