Marvel Round-Up: Comics Released 3/15/17

We try to stay up on what’s going on at Marvel, but we can’t always dig deep into every issue. The solution? Our weekly round-up of titles coming out of Marvel Comics. Today, we’re discussing Captain America Sam Wilson 20, Daredevil 18, Mighty Thor 17, Ms. Marvel and Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat 16. Also, we’re discussing Amazing Spider-Man 25 today and we’ll be discussing Deadpool The Duck 5 on Wednesday, so come back for those! As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

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Mighty Thor 16

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Today, Taylor and Drew are discussing Mighty Thor 16, originally released February 15th, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Taylor: As our current president is learning on the job, it’s hard to be a good leader. On one hand, you have to appease the electorate who voted you in and gave you your power in the first place. On the other, you also have to work with fellow politicians, some of whom hate you, to get your legislation across the table. It’s a difficult job and some are more suited to the task than others. And while the gods may deal with things on a grander scale, this doesn’t mean they are by any means exempt from these same problems. After all, being the leader of entire worlds, as opposed to just one nation, isn’t an easy task, as Mighty Thor 16 assures us. Continue reading

Star Wars 27

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Today, Patrick and Mark are discussing Star Wars 27, originally released January 25th, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

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“I’m very conscious of the environments. I try to have at least three environments in a movie and I try to have them as different as possible. And then from movie to movie I try to have them as different as possible. Y’know, in the first movie, we were on a sand thing — it was all a brown kinda color— and in the second one we were in the snow and it was all kinda white, and a green, swampy kinda thing. And third one… what can you do in terms of environments? You have to shoot it somewhere on this earth. Unfortunately, you can’t go somewhere else. So a forest was really the only thing I had left.”

-George Lucas, on Return of the Jedi

Patrick: George Lucas spends a lot of time, energy and imagination developing the settings for his stories. This is actually one of the qualities that — no matter what else slipped in his filmmaking — never suffered in either of his trilogies. Say what you want about The Phantom Menacethe planet Naboo is stunningly realized and presents two completely separate environments and cultures. He’s a designer with a strong sense of place and history. That quality of passive storytelling doesn’t always trickle down into Star Wars games, comics and TV shows (or arguably, into the newer movies), but it’s interesting to see Jason Aaron and Salvador Larroca try to capture that same sense of place in Star Wars 27. Continue reading

Marvel Round-Up: Comics Released 1/11/17

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We try to stay up on what’s going on at Marvel, but we can’t always dig deep into every issue. The solution? Our weekly round-up of titles coming out of Marvel Comics. Today, we’re discussing All-Star Wolverine 16, Captain America: Steve Rogers 9, IvX 2, Mighty Thor 15, Ms. Marvel 14, Power Man and Iron Fist 12 and Silk 16. Also, we discussed Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 16 on Thursday and Deadpool 24 today, and will be discussing Daredevil 15 on Wednesdayso come back for those! As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

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Best of 2016: Best Writers

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In such a collaborative medium as comics, it can be difficult to say where a writer’s influence on the story ends, but there’s no question on where it begins: words on the page. Whether they thrill, elate, chill, or deflate, the best writers create characters, settings, and situations we want to return to, again and again. These are our top 10 writers of 2016. Continue reading

Marvel Round-Up: Comics Released 1/4/17

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We try to stay up on what’s going on at Marvel, but we can’t always dig deep into every issue. The solution? Our weekly round-up of titles coming out of Marvel Comics. Today, we’re discussing Deadpool the Duck 1, Hawkeye 2, Moon Knight 10, Nova 2, Old Man Logan 16 and Unworthy Thor 3. We discussed Captain America Sam Wilson 17 on Thursday and U.S.Avengers 1 today, and we’ll be discussing Unstoppable Wasp 1 on Tuesdayso come back for those! As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

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The Unworthy Thor 1

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Today, Taylor and Spencer are discussing The Unworthy Thor 1, originally released November 2nd, 2016. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Taylor: What makes someone worthy to wield Mjolnir?  Is it their inherent goodness? Their capacity to do good? Or is it something else? Ever sense the Odinson had a terrible secret whispered into his ear this has been the question on everyone’s mind, for if a god isn’t good enough to be Thor, then who is? By now we know that Jane Foster is, but the reasons for her being chosen by the hammer are only now beginning to reveal themselves and even then mystery still abounds when it comes to the universe’s most powerful hammer. The Unworthy Thor, as its name suggests, follows the man who was once worthy of Mjolnir but no longer is. Could it be that in following this outcast, the answer to one of comic’s most tantalizing questions will be answered?

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The Mighty Thor 12

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Today, Taylor and Spencer are discussing The Mighty Thor 12, originally released October 19th, 2016. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Taylor: Even though it’s easy to recognize a fairy tale or myth, it’s hard to explain what sets them apart and makes them so recognizable compared to other forms of storytelling. True, there are the usual suspects that jump out to tell us that what makes a story a myth is a moral, an explanation of how things came to be, or supernatural creatures. More than these, however, there’s something about the structure of a myth or fairy tale that makes it instantly recognizable as such, something intrinsic and deep down that on some level defies explanation. So, even though it’s hard to say exactly what makes these stories work the way they do, they simply cannot be misunderstood for anything else. And in just this way, there’s no denying that The Mighty Thor 12 is a myth in all the best ways possible.

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Star Wars 23

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Today, Patrick and Michael are discussing Star Wars 23, originally released September 28, 2016. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Patrick: There has been a lot of digital ink spilled on the subject of the predictable nature of the structure of the Star Wars films. Whether we’re talking about the Campbellian Hero’s Journey or some kind of impossibly orchestrated ring-based super structure, or just the fact that Force Awakens hits all the same beats as A New Hope, everyone likes to image that they know how a Star Wars story is going to go. Hell, even the interquel nature of the Star Wars comic book series forces the reader to apply all kinds of knowledge about how they already know the story ends. There are — presumably — no surprises to be found between the 4th and 5th episodes of a ubiquitous series based on the culturally omnipresent mono-myth. But writer Jason Aaron is aggressively mucking with structure in this story arc, “The Last Flight of the Harbinger,” and issue 23 finally starts to marry disparate story threads and character beats into genuinely harrowing conflict.

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Doctor Strange 11

Alternating Currents: Doctor Strange 11, Taylor and Drew

Today, Taylor and Drew are discussing Doctor Strange 11, originally released September 7th, 2016. As always, this article containers SPOILERS.

Taylor: To say that modern movie making has changed the course of comic books would be an understatement. Once wrongfully believed to be the bastion of solely nerds and misfits, the world of comics has now opened up to broader audiences with the wide appeal and easy entry point movies have offer. It’s easy to assume that the scripts for these movies are plundered from the rich depths of over a half a century of serial publication, but that assumption wouldn’t be entirely accurate. As the Civil War movie shows, movies frequently influence their panelled brethren. The Civil War II comic event, while totally independent from the movie, certainly has been influenced by the film, and that comes as no surprise. Marvel has money to make. And though it’s true that the Civil War movie was based on an earlier comic, it’s clear to see that movies, for better or worse, are influencing comics. There is no better example of this than Doctor Strange 11.

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