The Mighty Thor 18

Today, Drew and Taylor are discussing The Mighty Thor 18, originally released April 26th, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Don’t tell me the moon is shining, show me the glint of light on broken glass.

Anton Chekov

Drew: In general, audiences are more consciously concerned with what happens in a story than how the story is told. That is, if you ask someone to describe their favorite movie or book, you’re more likely to get a plot summary than a thoughtful description of style. That’s not to say style doesn’t contribute to their appreciation of the work, just that it does so in ways that they may not be actively aware of. As someone who values considered analysis of art, this phenomenon is nothing short of tragic, which is why I so value narratives that aim to utterly thwart any emphasis on plotting. That’s exactly what Jason Arron and Russell Dauterman give us in The Mighty Thor 18, using every opportunity to spoil the would-be reveal of its villain.

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Wolverine and the X-Men 1

wolverine x-men 1Today, Patrick and Taylor are discussing Wolverine and the X-Men 1, originally released March 5th, 2014.

“Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.”

Patrick: I have a number of teacher-friends, my colleague and responder on this article, Taylor among them. The idiom above is largely bullshit, but it stings enough that I’ve seen links posted on facebook to articles decrying the attitude that it represents. The argument always follows that teaching presents its own specific challenges, distinct from the discipline being taught. (The follow-up argument, naturally, being that teachers are under-valued in our society, but like whatever: we’re all undervalued.) For my money, the hardest thing about teaching has got to be the shifting of priorities, from the betterment of yourself to the betterment of others. When I fail myself — write a bad article, perform as crummy scene, log something incorrectly in QuickBooks — I’m mostly just hurting myself. But when a teacher blows off their duties, there are a bunch of people, children even, that pay the price. Wolverine and the X-Men renumbers itself and zeros in on this burden of responsibility, just who can deal with it and who’s struggling. Continue reading

All-New X-Men 10

Alternating Currents: All-New X-Men 10, Drew and Shelby

Today, Drew and Shelby. are discussing All-New X-Men 10, originally released April 3rd, 2013.

Drew: They say that history is written by the victors. Generally, we mean that in a societal sense: the winners of wars paint their cause in a favorable light, which is why successful overthrows of the government are called “revolutions,” while failures are called “civil wars.” But what if we applied the phrase personally? Our lives are made up of decisions and compromises, which we tell ourselves were the right ones. This is easy enough to do, since we can always paint the opposing choice as naiveté or ignorance — sure, being a fireman seemed like a cool idea when I was six, but I realized it really wasn’t what I was interested in as I grew older — but does that mean it’s always right? This is hard to know because of the one-sided relationship we have with the past — we may know the mindsets of our past selves, but those past selves can’t know the circumstances that lead to where we are now. All-New X-Men has reveled in the idea of a dialogue with the past, forcing its characters to defend their actions in ways that they never would otherwise. Issue 10 brings this dialogue to a head, as Old, Evil Scott (as we’ve taken to calling him here) provides a measured response to Young Scott’s impassioned “how could you?”

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