It’s All a Game in Avengers 679

by Drew Baumgartner

Avengers 679

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

We’ll often chide middle chapters for failing to maintain dramatic momentum while setting up the climax — when he actions in those middle chapters feel motivated more by what the climax needs than what came before. We refer to that phenomenon as “putting the pieces in place,” as it reduces the dramatic interest of a story to setting up a board game. It’s an unfortunate tendency that tends to crop up in event series with huge casts, and has already led to some consternation with “No Surrender,” but Avengers 679 hangs a lampshade on its game-iness, zooming out from the game board to focus on the real players. Continue reading

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The Ol’ Weekly Series Wheel-Spinning in Avengers 678

by Spencer Irwin

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

A weekly title — especially one running more than a few issues — should feel big, as if its story simply cannot be told in any other format, on any other release schedule. Instead, though, I’ve found that weekly comics often tend to feel padded, as if a typical story is being stretched out to better fit the format. That’s certainly a problem I’m starting to notice with “No Surrender,” the current weekly Avengers event. Continue reading

A New Perspective Benefits Avengers 677

by Spencer Irwin

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

The nice thing about team books is the wide and varied casts that allow the creative team to explore each story from multiple perspectives. The nice thing about weekly series is the sheer amount of space they have to work with, giving them all the time in the world to explore even the most wide and varied of casts. That seems to be the idea behind Avengers: No Surrender. Thus far Mark Waid, Al Ewing, and Jim Zub (with Pepe Larraz on art) have used each issue to explore the perspective of a different Avenger. While the first issue largely used Lightning as an outside POV and the second didn’t lean enough into Falcon’s unique perspective, Avengers 677 digs deep into its spotlight Avenger, Quicksilver. Continue reading

Too Many Cooks Clash in Avengers 676

by Drew Baumgartner

Avengers 676

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

I still read my old college newspaper, but the older I get, the more I recognize how terrible it is. Case in point: they recently published an article about a meeting on campus, but failed to put the meeting into any kind of context — there were no quotes from anyone involved, no explanation for why the meeting might be necessary, no connections to similar issues at other schools (I’ll apologize now for being vague, but the point isn’t to dunk on this particular article, so I’ll leave it at that). The result was something closer to meeting minutes than an actual article, overemphasizing the “what” in place of any “why”. I found myself thinking the same thing in Avengers 676, which has so many characters and events to cram in, there really isn’t any room to properly examine any of them. Continue reading

Avengers 675: Discussion

by Drew Baumgartner and Michael DeLaney

Avengers 675

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

Drew: The Marvel Universe is big. That much is clear from the very beginning of Avengers 675, which skips across the globe to catch up with Marvel’s countless superhero teams and fictional countries as they deal with the Earth suddenly being transported…somewhere. Characters helpfully repeat each other’s names (and the names of their respective teams) to orient us, but being overwhelmed is kind of the point — these characters are facing down utter chaos, and that chaos is everywhere. Crossover events will often feature these kinds of “cash in all the chips” moments, straining our familiarity with Marvel’s lesser-known characters to really sell the massive scope of the story. But that’s where this issue differs from the standard crossover; where other stories simply revel in the bombast of throwing all of these characters together, Avengers 675 uses it as a cover to inject a new character into the narrative. [Phew, are there SPOILERS to follow.]  Continue reading

Glitterbomb: The Fame Game 4: Discussion

by Patrick Ehlers and Spencer Irwin

Glitterbomb The Fame Game 4

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

Patrick: In the first Glitterbomb series, writer Jim Zub and artist Djibril Morissette-Phan explore the late-career of actress Farrah Durante. Durante was abused by the system, sexually assaulted by her co-star, and discarded by the studio. She was emboldened by a spirit of vengeance, and ended up murdering a theater full of Hollywood’s worst scumbags in a whirlwind of intensely satisfying supernatural revenge. Mind you, it costs the character her life.

Glitterbomb: The Fame Game follows the next generation of celebrity in the form of Kaydon, Farrah’s only real friend toward the end of her life. Kaydon isn’t an actress on a TV show, she’s a personality, famous for her experience and perspective. She’s a woman of color, and at least a little bit queer, so we already know she’s able to express herself more completely than Farrah ever would have been allowed to. Continue reading

Glitterbomb – The Fame Game 2: Discussion

by Patrick Ehlers & Drew Baumgartner

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

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Patrick: What are we doing here? I mean, here, reading (or in my case, writing) a piece critical of a work of art? The art itself, issue two of Glitterbomb The Fame Game, is an exploration of emotional voyeurism, and is openly critical of the people profiting off the vulnerability of others. The risk associated with saying anything about this issue is always going to pale in comparison to the risk the creators take in actually expressing the story therein. Writer Jim Zub and artists Djibril Morissette-Phan and K. Michael Russell lay their own fears of fame out on the page in naked, sometimes groaningly obvious, ways. I can point this out and say “look how obvious this is”, but this is always going to be a weaker product than the story that actually says something. Continue reading

Glitterbomb 1

glitterbomb-1

Today, Ryan D. and Taylor are discussing Glitterbomb 1, originally released September 7th, 2016. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Ryan D: Being an actor is a very peculiar job. Though it may seem like a pretty sweet gig — getting paid to pretend you are someone else — the difficult part of the profession is seldom the actual acting. Yes, it can be extremely taxing, assuming the quirks and burdens of another person on yourself, on top of your own idiosyncrasies and insecurities, but that’s the easy part. The aspect of acting which differentiates it from other walks of life is that a professional actor, unless they are very successful, spends a very small portion of their life actually doing their trade. If you’re an electrician or an accountant, you do those things throughout your day; however, most of an actor’s life is occupied with the process of finding work to do whilst maintaining one’s skills and often fragile sense of self. The stress can be maddening and hell on one’s ego, so it is a very good thing that actors do not have some sort of internal mechanism for murder.

Continue reading