It’s One Step Forward and Two Steps Back for Barry in The Flash 26

by Spencer Irwin

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

Guilt alone is not usually enough to help somebody change for the better. It’s an important first step, of course, but unless it leads to self-reflection, guilt can often do more harm than good. That’s certainly true for Barry Allen throughout Joshua Williamson and Howard Porter’s The Flash 26, where Barry’s overwhelming guilt leads him to make yet another stupid decision, despite the best of intentions. Continue reading

Thawne Has a Point in the Flash 25

by Mark Mitchell

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

The danger in discussing a single issue of a serialized comic book is that a moment or character beat that doesn’t work in isolation might end up folding in nicely once more of the story is laid out to see. Since comic books are designed to tell their stories episodically, the fact that irrational behavior might be explained in the future doesn’t forgive the initial irritation, but it does help calm it. Such is the case in Joshua Williamson’s The Flash 25, where my profound annoyance in the previous two issues (especially The Flash 23) at Barry being so unaware of how selfish and dangerous he’s been by not telling Iris about his secret identity is resolved simply by having Barry acknowledge his foolishness. Continue reading

Super Sons 5: Discussion

by Mark Mitchell and Michael DeLaney

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

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Mark: When I was about twelve years old, some friends and I got it in our heads that we deserved to go to a Six Flags theme park located two hours away from our city. We had just wrapped up a school assignment and were feeling pretty good about it; going to Six Flags was, to our minds, a reasonable reward for a job well done. My parents, for what I now recognize to be completely legitimate reasons, were quick to kibosh the idea — they weren’t interested in driving a Suburban full of sweaty pre-teens two hours to a theme park, driving two hours home, and then doing it all again later that night in order to pick us up. Plus, since I was twelve and had no money of my own to pay for park admission or food once I got in, they would basically be paying me $100 for the pleasure. All because me and my friends felt like we should be rewarded for completing our homework. I was furious.

Dealing with pre-teens and teenagers can be infuriating. They are, after all, categorically terrible; self-absorption coupled with crippling insecurity is a toxic combination. But it’s not their fault nature made them that way. Kids are constantly confronted with situations and decisions they are ill-prepared to face, lacking both the context and emotional experience to properly process and asses the situation. But that doesn’t make it any less irritating to be around them. Continue reading

Knowledge is the Key to Victory in the Flash 24

by Spencer Irwin

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

Knowledge is power. Yeah, it’s cliche, but that doesn’t make it any less true; it’s especially true throughout Joshua Williamson, Carmine Di Giandomenico, and Pop Mhan’s The Flash 24, where the power dynamics between each character are defined almost solely by how much they know. Not only does the Flash’s victory over Multiplex come, not from brute strength, but from using his CSI skills to learn about his opponent, but Reverse Flash’s utter domination of all who face him is largely powered by his knowledge of the time before the New 52. Continue reading

Justice League 23.1: Darkseid

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Today, Patrick and Spencer are discussing Justice League 23.1: Darkseid, originally released September 4th, 2013. This issue is part of the Villain’s Month event. Click here for our Villains Month coverage.

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PatrickAny time I write about Darkseid, I’m worried that I’m going to misspell the character’s name. This is a fairly unique problem for me — outside of my unfortunate “Kitty Pride” habit (which I kicked after reading like a dozen issues of All-New X-Men), I’ve got a pretty good handle on how everyone’s name is spelled. I put the dash between Spider and Man and I know to double the R at the end of Dex Starr. But when I get to Darkseid, not only to I need to wrestle with internal pronunciation (‘darkSEED’ vs. ‘darkSIDE’), but I have to fight all of my elementary school spelling-training. “I before E, except after C and when sounding as ‘ay’ such as in ‘neighbor’ and ‘weigh.'” My mnemonic rhyme fails and I’m left with what’s in front of me. There’s an odd parallel to the presence of the New Gods in the New 52 – there’s a lot that we could know about them going in, but none of it is going to do you any good when you try to understand the character that’s in front of you. Ladies and gentlemen: Darksied Darkseid.
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Sword of Sorcery 7

Today, Taylor and Shelby are discussing Sword of Sorcery 7, originally released April 17th, 2013.

Taylor: The last bite from a bag of Doritos is not the best. Having eaten more than my fair share of Doritos, I feel as if I can speak with some authority on this issue. So trust me when I say that Doritos are not good until the last crumbs. A much better bite is that last full chip you get in the bag. You know the one: it’s still a perfect triangle, it’s evenly coated in faux cheese powder, and it delivers the perfect crunch between your teeth. This last full chip is made all the sweeter by knowing it is the last of its kind, never to return until you make the shameful trip to the grocery store for more junk food. And while the crumbs and the half-chips at the bottom of the Doritos bag are tasty, they don’t come near the tasteful bliss that is a full chip, the way the gods intended Doritos to be eaten. In just the same way, the penultimate issue of Sword of Sorcery delivers on all of the hallmarks that make this short lived series so good, giving us an issue that is perhaps the last, best taste of the title. Continue reading

Sword of Sorcery 1

Today, Shelby and Taylor are discussing Sword of Sorcery 1, originally released October 17th, 2012.

Shelby: It seems a common element of fantasy is the quest for power. You’ve got multiple countries, or cities, or houses, or whatever, all scrambling for as much power as they can get. In Dune, the power comes from control of the geriatric spice melange. In Game of Thrones, the power is in owning land and controlling trade. Amethyst seems a little different: the power is in your blood, is literally passed from generation to generation. This isn’t a power that can be bartered for, or distributed through a treaty; there appears to be one way to obtain more power in Gemworld, and it is a bloody one.

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