Today, Mark and Michael are discussing Detective Comics 40, originally released March 4th, 2015.
Mark: On a week to week basis, comic books are junk food. Most everything that comes out is disposable, easily forgotten. While occasional stories and arcs will make a mark, for the most part Batman’s latest encounter with a violent psychopath quickly becomes only of interest to the most diehard continuity enthusiast. These are the same stories that DC has been telling for basically 30 years, and they work. They’re engaging. They sell a dwindling number of books. Detective Comics 40 ends an arc built around hatred, revenge, and the murder of children. It’s another take on the classic Batman formula: a new threat emerges in Gotham, Batman tries to control the threat, Batman loses control and order in Gotham is threatened, Batman confronts the source of the threat, almost loses, but through strength and determination, Batman defeats the threat. Mad libs “threat” for the name of any member of his rogue gallery, and you’ve got yourself a Batman story. Continue reading →
Today, Drew and Spencer are discussing Avengers 13, originally released June 5th, 2013.
In this house, we obey the laws of thermodynamics!
— Homer Simpson
Drew: Conservation of both matter and energy are such fundamental concepts, we sometimes take them for granted. Or misunderstand them completely. Folks may choose to ignore the water cycle or how they keep gaining weight, but we’re generally pretty keen to the notion that systems have inputs and outputs. Of course, fiction allows us to break these rules, leading to notions of perpetual motion and unlimited energy — but what if we took those for granted, too? What if the boundless energy of an alien race of children distracted us from the fact that they don’t eat? What do you do when your kids start violating the laws of thermodynamics? In Avengers 13, Jonathan Hickman and Nick Spencer explore this idea, throwing in a bad guy for good measure. Continue reading →
Today, Spencer and Mikyzptlk are discussing Avengers 12, originally released May 22nd, 2013.
Spencer: One thing I’ve never really associated with Marvel Comics is sidekicks. While there was once a point in DC’s history where nearly every hero had a young partner at their side, Marvel’s adolescent characters tend to act autonomously or stay out of the fray entirely, and even Peter Parker premiered as a full-fledged Spider-Man. There are upsides to both approaches, but what it boils down to for me is that, while I could write volumes on how Batman or Green Arrow treat their protégés, I really have no idea how most of the Avengers fare as mentors. In Avengers12, Jonathan Hickman (and new co-writer Nick Spencer, of Morning Glories fame) mine this unexplored territory for both laughs and some insightful character moments.