Best of 2016: Best Issues

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Episodic storytelling is the name of the game in monthly comics. Month- or even multi-year-long arcs are fine, but a series lives and dies by its individual chapters. From self-contained one-offs to issues that recontextualize their respective series, this year had a ton of great issues. Whittling down those issues to a list was no easy task (and we look forward to hearing how your lists differ in the comments), but we would gladly recommend any (and all) of these issues without hesitation. These are our top 10 issues of 2016. Continue reading

Deadpool 21

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Today, Taylor and Patrick are discussing Deadpool 21, originally released October 26th, 2016. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

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Taylor: The Music Box Theater in Chicago has an ongoing series of film showings called “Is It Still Funny?” The premise of the event is that viewers go and watch an older comedy film and then listen to a discussion that begs the questions “is this film even funny anymore?” It’s an interesting idea and I think it works because unlike other genres, comedy tends to not age well. There’s a slew of reasons for that and here is not really the place to get into it, but the question is interesting when applied to a character like Deadpool. At what point do all of his antics fail to amuse and humor? More importantly, at what point do they begin to put innocent lives in danger?

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Deadpool 8

deadpool 8

Today, Patrick and Taylor are discussing Deadpool 8, originally released March 2, 2016 

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Patrick: Every couple years, Drew and I end up having a conversation about the “death of irony” or the “death of sincerity” and every time we have it, we’re basically blowing smoke out our asses. Concepts like “irony” and “sincerity” need not be mutually exclusive – in fact that’s where most genre fiction rest: comfortably in both camps. A superhero comic in 2016 wears the trappings of a superhero comic because its creators and its audience simultaneously love and are bored by those trappings. That puts a character like Deadpool in a tricky spot, when it seems like his mission statement is to subvert what is gradually becoming the insubvertible. Deadpool’s popularity almost works against him in this regard – how can you continue to classify him as a misfit underdog if everyone loves him? And then there’s the wildly successful Deadpool film, catapulting audiences acceptance of the Merc with the Mouth to meteoric heights. Writer Gerry Duggan and editor Jordan D. White act as Deadpool’s tonal shepherds in this series, keeping the character’s aims purely subversive, the key difference is that the subject they’re subverting is no longer as broad as “comics” or “superheroes” or “the 90s” – the subject is Deadpool.

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A + X 18

a+x 18Today, Patrick and Drew are discussing A + X 18, originally released March 28th, 2014.

Patrick: There was always going to be something artificial about the A + X conceit. For as much as it feels like they’re all good guys, so they should have no problem teaming up for a little BAM-POW superhero adventuring, there’s just too much baggage to sustain it for very long. As the series comes to close, it appears that A + X was a promise too heavy to be supported by such a fluffy, carefree experience. The final issue seems split on this opinion, simultaneously expressing how similar the two groups are while stubbornly refusing to find common ground between the two.

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