Batman 34

batman 34Today, Spencer and Drew are discussing Batman 34, originally released August 13th, 2014.

Spencer: Although I haven’t been talking about it much (if only because I’d work myself into a frenzy it’d take hours to recover from), I’m absolutely livid about the injustices going on in Ferguson right now. A police force essentially militarizing and terrorizing an entire city to cover up the murder of a child is some straight-up supervillain level madness, but what’s worse is that no one in any positions of authority are doing anything about it. I’m legitimately having a hard time focusing on comics at the moment, but if there’s one book that can bring me some peace of mind right now, it’s Scott Snyder, Gerry Duggan, and Matteo Scalera’s Batman 34. Although the situation faced by the Meek’s victims isn’t exactly the same as the people of Ferguson’s, it’s hard not to see parallels in how both groups are looked down upon or considered unworthy of merit or compassion. This issue is a timely reminder to always treat everyone with dignity, but it’s also a showcase of the best sides of Batman’s personality; here he provides an example we should all aspire to. Continue reading

Indestructible Hulk 13

Alternating Currents: Indestructible Hulk 13, Drew and EthanToday, Drew and Ethan are discussing Indestructible Hulk 13, originally released September 11th, 2013.

Drew: Hulk is indestructible. It’s a fact so indisputable, Marvel went ahead and put it right in the title of the series. That is to say, there isn’t much tension to be garnered from the question of whether something might destroy him. Like Gloria Gaynor, Hulk will survive. He’ll also likely smash whatever tries to destroy him. There aren’t really going to be any surprises on his part, so much of the interest in the failed attempt to destroy/successful attempt to get smashed must come from the other side of the equation — the one attempting to harm the Hulk. Fortunately, writer Mark Waid is no slouch when it comes to coming up with interesting villains for Hulk to face. Continue reading

Indestructible Hulk 12

hulk 12

Today, Shelby and Ethan are discussing Indestructible Hulk 12, originally released August 21st, 2013.

Shelby: “Whatever happened, happened.”

“Save the clocktower!”

“Dust. Wind. Dude.”

Time travel in stories can be heavy, paradox-laden stuff. When I first saw the episode of LOST with the [SPOILER ALERT] photo of Jack and Hurley on the island in the seventies, my brain imploded; the “it happened this way because it always happened this way” approach to time travel is somehow both the easiest and hardest explanation to understand. You can also go back in time to change the future, though as a real-world solution it is far too dangerous. Who knows the web of effects your actions will have? Just ask anyone in the Marvel universe, they’ll tell you. Or, time travel can be utterly meaningless: no paradox, no consequences, just “we traveled in time and it was neat!” Mark Waid’s Indestructible Hulk takes a slightly different approach; Hulk and Banner-bot have gone back in time to save the present, but not from things that did happen in history, from things that didn’t happen in history. And when the time stream is as broken as it is, a little more time travel can’t really make things any worse.
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Indestructible Hulk 11

hulk 11

Today, Shelby and Patrick are discussing Indestructible Hulk 11, originally released July 31st, 2013.

Shelby: I recently saw Pacific Rim, and I absolutely loved it. Plot-wise, it was nothing special; case in point, it was the same as every other world-ending, hail-Mary-play sci-fi action flick I’ve ever seen. But that didn’t matter in the least because it was just so much fun to watch. The sheer joy I felt at watching giant robots punch those deep sea monsters is what made the movie so great. It’s simple, well-executed, and a ton of fun. This month’s issue of Indestructible Hulk sets us up for the same sort of situation. It’s probably not going to be quite so simple (time travel never is), but it promises time travel shenanigans in a messed up version of history with a surprising team-up, so I expect a lot of wacky, fun adventure to ensue.
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Indestructible Hulk 10

hulk 10

Today, Shelby and Patrick are discussing Indestructible Hulk 10, originally released July 10th, 2013.

Shelby: It’s really easy to look back at a situation after the fact, and see the obvious solution to the problem, what with hindsight being 20/20 and all that. I know it sounds like I’m making some sort of mean joke, talking about vision in an issue of Indestructible Hulk that features Matt Murdoch, aka Daredevil, the blindest lawyer/masked vigilante around, but stick with me. For Bruce Banner, great big chunks of his life are lived with only hindsight to guide him. When he turns into the Hulk, he loses his control; all he can do is look back when it’s all over and try to assess what happened, maybe even learn something useful about the Hulk for next time. Banner moves forward as himself by constantly looking back to when he was the Hulk. It’s not ideal, but I guess hindsight is better than no sight, am I right Matt? Ok, one mean joke…
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