Wonder Woman 35

Alternating Currents: Wonder Woman 35, Patrick and DrewToday, Patrick and Drew are discussing Wonder Woman 35, originally released October 29th, 2014

Patrick: A lot has been made of Hollywood’s apparent inability to adapt Wonder Woman for the screen. Is that driven by the sexism inherent in action film-making? Probably, in part. But Diana, Princess of the Amazons, suffers from a pretty severe case of “what the hell is she about?” We have easily understandable slug lines for just about any other bankable superhero: Batman is the mortal knight of vengeance; Superman is invincible alien boy scout, etc. There’s a how and a why expressed in both of those descriptions. Those attitudes have aged well, but for some reason, the essential nature of Wonder Woman is harder for creators to assert in perpetuity throughout the decades. What Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang have done in their 37 (and a half) issues of Wonder Woman is reassert just who this character is, and why her fundamental qualities are every bit as iconic as truth, justice and the American way. Continue reading

Manifest Destiny 4

Alternating Currents: Manifest Destiny 4, Drew and Taylor

Today, Drew and Taylor are discussing Manifest Destiny 4, originally released February 12th, 2014.

I’m busier than you.

College, Traditional

Drew: I don’t know if it is true everywhere, but when I was in college, scheduling a meeting or asking someone to help with something was basically made impossible by everyone’s knee-jerk insistence that they were SO busy. I absolutely understand the importance of saying “no” when you really are busy, but the implication that someone was unwilling to make time for whatever group project that everyone else was making time for always drove me nuts. It was known around campus as the “I’m busier than you” game, which found its practitioners preemptively complaining about how busy they were in hopes of avoiding being asked to do anything. The best response I ever saw to these kinds of complaints was a friend insisting that he had just run a marathon with knives embedded in both thighs — something so over-the-top to (hopefully) give everyone a little perspective on how silly it is to complain about term papers or whatever. Of course, nothing we could come up with was quite as extreme as single-handedly fighting off a band of monsters WHILE PREGNANT, which is to say, Sacagawea (or at least the version of her that appears in Manifest Destiny 4) would have easily won the “I’m busier than you” game. Continue reading

Manifest Destiny 3

Today, Taylor and Patrick are discussing Manifest Destiny 3, originally released January 8th, 2014.

Taylor: I enjoy camping and trips into the wilderness. There’s something refreshing about abandoning the trappings of modern day life and “roughing it” for awhile. Maybe I feel closer to nature and its beauty or maybe it’s just the quiet I can enjoy like nowhere in a populated area. However, this silence isn’t always peaceful and nature isn’t always a thing of beauty. Sometimes the silence — especially late at night — is terrifying as the isolation of my situation sinks in. The sense of peace I once had quickly transmutes to unease. The benign perception of nature is replaced by the more terrifying and accurate realization that, given the chance, nature would just as soon destroy as nurture. All this, and I know for the most part I am safe; I could be rescued if worse came to worse.  When I realize that, I can’t help but wonder how Lewis and Clark felt being absolutely in the middle of nowhere with no one to help them should things go wrong. The sense of terror they must have felt on occasion permeates the third issue of Manifest Destiny, blurring the lines of historical fiction and reality.

Continue reading

Dial H 9

Today, Ethan and Taylor are discussing Dial H 9, originally released February 6th, 2013.

Ethan: Remember the last time you woke up? You know, that thing you did this morning. You do it every day, you’re completely familiar with the experience, you know it like the back of your hand. And yet… do you really remember the instant of waking? Or is what you remember actually the moments or minutes of awareness after you actually became fully conscious — when the blur of color and sound and smell that you’ve plunged into begins to make sense. In that hazy cloud of stimuli, it’s possible to exist in a half-state — you aren’t completely “you” yet, so much as a body, breathing and shifting. It’s a physical echo of the conceptual strangeness that comes from waking up each day, year, decade, in the exact same body, but not quite as the same person as you were before. Dial H #9 continues and deepens the series’ exploration of identity, of what it means to be yourself, and what happens when that question becomes more difficult to answer.

Continue reading