Avengers Annual 2013

Aternating Currents: Avengers Annual 1, Drew and DanToday, Drew and guest writer Dan Jones are discussing Avengers Annual 2013, originally released December 4th, 2013. 

slim-bannerDrew: Superheroes are a lonely bunch. They’re generally unlucky-in-love. Many of them are orphans (or had other close loved ones die). They also have isolating responsibilities and power-sets that can make them difficult to relate to. Unless, of course, they’re trying to relate to other superheroes. Characters like Iron Man and Captain America seem peerless when surrounded by everyday schmucks, but they act as serviceable peers to one another. That emotional support can be lost in stories that attempt to justify their team-ups with ever-bigger baddies to punch (coughInfinitycough), but can be a goldmine for savvy writers. Kathryn Immonen goes a step further in the Avengers Annual 2013, making the subtext of superhero loneliness the text, and giving the Avengers a reason to team up besides a giant bad-guy. Continue reading

Ultron 1

ultron 1 AU

Today, Ethan and Taylor are discussing Ultron 1, originally released April 10th, 2013. This issue is part of the Age of Ultron crossover event. Click here for complete AU coverage.

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Ethan: In the aftermath of terrible, unexpected events, it’s good to find comfort in familiar places and situations. Ultron’s instant and total takeover of the world qualifies as a pretty terrible and unexpected event. For the lead character of Ultron #1 – Victor Mancha – this catastrophe is a unique blend of insult and injury. Not only has Ultron killed off Victor’s former teammates the Runaways, but Ultron is  also Victor’s father. Add to this the fact that a visitor from the future once warned that Victor would bring about the destruction of the world and the death of its heroes, and you’ve got a pretty complete package of misery. Writer Kathryn Immonen and artist Amilcar Pinna explore how Victor copes with all of this by returning to his roots as a teenage hero.

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A + X 5

Alternating Currents: A + X 5, Michael and Drew

Today, Michael and Drew are discussing A + X 5, originally released March 6th, 2013.

Michael: Superhero comics tend to take themselves very seriously. They have to. Crime, justice, the duality of man — these are big themes that require sober moments. This might have something to do with the marketability and general popularity of dark graphic novels that differ starkly from older stories that have some ingrained silliness. These short team-ups are a perfect palate cleanser — especially since as of late, I’ve been reading comics that bite off more than they can chew, philosophically. A+X #5 gives us an unabashedly ridiculous story followed by an ostensibly serious story packed with lame jokes. While I enjoyed the first attempt with Iron Fist + Droop, the second with Loki + Mr. Sinister missed the enjoyability boat on both the comedic and dramatic front.

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