Jean Grey 4 Delivers a Puzzling Moral

by Spencer Irwin

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

The best idea in Dennis Hopeless and Harvey Tolibao’s Jean Grey 4 is that the Odinson teaches via stories — quite often rambling, drunken ones. It’s an ingenius use of the character, exploiting both his greatest strengths and weaknesses, but unfortunately for an issue about teaching lessons, the moral never fully comes together. Continue reading

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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The Unworthy Thor 5

Today, Taylor and Spencer are discussing The Unworthy Thor 5, originally released March 22nd, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Taylor: Over two years ago the Odinson lost his most powerful asset and was deemed unworthy to wield Mjolnir. The circumstances that made the Odinson shamed in the eyes of his hammer were shrouded in mystery. The only thing readers knew was that, as he lay dying on the moon, Nick Fury whispered something into Thor’s ear which changed everything. What those words were have been debated across the fandom but now the patience of Thor fans has been rewarded. In the fifth issue of the Unworthy Thor, we learn what makes the Odinson undeserving of the universe’s most powerful mallet, but is the reason given worthy or unworthy in the eyes of the reader? Continue reading

The Unworthy Thor 1

unworthy-thor-1

Today, Taylor and Spencer are discussing The Unworthy Thor 1, originally released November 2nd, 2016. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Taylor: What makes someone worthy to wield Mjolnir?  Is it their inherent goodness? Their capacity to do good? Or is it something else? Ever sense the Odinson had a terrible secret whispered into his ear this has been the question on everyone’s mind, for if a god isn’t good enough to be Thor, then who is? By now we know that Jane Foster is, but the reasons for her being chosen by the hammer are only now beginning to reveal themselves and even then mystery still abounds when it comes to the universe’s most powerful hammer. The Unworthy Thor, as its name suggests, follows the man who was once worthy of Mjolnir but no longer is. Could it be that in following this outcast, the answer to one of comic’s most tantalizing questions will be answered?

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The Mighty Thor 12

mighty-thor-12

Today, Taylor and Spencer are discussing The Mighty Thor 12, originally released October 19th, 2016. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Taylor: Even though it’s easy to recognize a fairy tale or myth, it’s hard to explain what sets them apart and makes them so recognizable compared to other forms of storytelling. True, there are the usual suspects that jump out to tell us that what makes a story a myth is a moral, an explanation of how things came to be, or supernatural creatures. More than these, however, there’s something about the structure of a myth or fairy tale that makes it instantly recognizable as such, something intrinsic and deep down that on some level defies explanation. So, even though it’s hard to say exactly what makes these stories work the way they do, they simply cannot be misunderstood for anything else. And in just this way, there’s no denying that The Mighty Thor 12 is a myth in all the best ways possible.

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Thor 4

Alternating Currents: Thor 4, Spencer and Drew

Today, Spencer and Drew are discussing Thor 4, originally released January 28th, 2014.

Spencer: Would my life be different if I had a different name? Back in high school I thought Spencer was a nerdy sounding name and that it gave me an automatic handicap when it came to being “cool,” but now that I’ve matured I’ve come to realize that my name didn’t dictate my personality or path in life. Still, as I’ve grown to love and appreciate my name it’s come to feel like an intrinsic part of my personality; it may not have shaped my life, but it’s grown with me and absorbed my qualities, and if somebody took my name away from me, it would feel like I was losing a part of myself. That’s the exact situation Thor Odinson finds himself facing in Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman’s Thor 4, an issue that firmly establishes the new Thor while also showing just exactly what that means for the old one. Continue reading

Thor 3

Today, Taylor and Spencer are discussing Thor 3, originally released November 12th, 2014.

Taylor: Despite what you may think of them, the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies are amazing for one thing in particular. No, I’m not talking about the infinite pools of blue that are Orlando Bloom’s eyes, I’m talking about the insane amount of detail present in each installment. From swords wielded by extras on down to the authentic briar used to create Gandalf’s pipe, it all is produced with detail and realism in mind. And while Thor may not be known for its realism, the series does possess a staggering amount of detail which I find positively delightful. Thor 3 is an exemplar of this and is another solid installment in this run. Continue reading

Thor 2

thor 2Today, Taylor and Spencer are discussing Thor 2, originally released November 12th, 2014.

Taylor: One of the best (and if I’m being totally honest with myself, the very best) parts of visiting a comic book convention is seeing the costumes donned by the attendees. It’s rare that you get to see grown men and women enthusiastically dressed in costumes which reference their pastimes. In particular, I’ve always enjoyed the gender-swapped costumes which many an industrious con-goer has crafted. It speaks to a reader’s dedication when they take the time to craft a costume that is at once recognizable as being the character in question, but also bold enough to envision that character as a different gender. The reboot of Thor, with a lady acting as the titular character, seems to have taken ques from the bold women who have gender swapped heroes in the past. In similar fashion, this She-Thor doesn’t take guff from anyone and is at once assured and powerful. Continue reading

Indestructible Hulk 9

hulk 9

Today, Ethan and Drew are discussing Indestructible Hulk 9, originally released June 19th, 2013.

Ethan: Given time, life is going to throw us a curveball that we can’t quite hit, no matter how on top of our game we are. The politicians most on-message always seem to make the inevitable career-ending gaffe; level-headed Olympians of spotless character waver in a moment of weakness and shoot up to get the gold. When we’re at a pivotal moment, the people around us can help encourage (or goad) us on to success, or inject a much-needed grain of reality into our head with a well placed word. We’ve seen Banner in a mentoring role with his researchers, but in Indestructible Hulk #9, writer Mark Waid and artist Matteo Scalera take a look at the interactions Banner has with his peers, Director Maria Hill and Daredevil, and how they each keep him going in their own signature ways. Continue reading

Indestructible Hulk 7-8

hulk 8

Today, Ethan and Shelby are discussing Indestructible Hulk 7-8, originally released May 29th, 2013.

Ethan: Sometimes, when you’re feeling a little blue, you need a distraction. Something to take your mind off of what’s causing you pain. A kind word from a friend, a spontaneous trip to somewhere new, an experience that shakes you out of the depression. Or a near-death experience accompanied by front-row seats to a couple of big, brawny dudes rolling around in the snow. In Indestructible Hulk 7 and 8, writer Mark Waid and artist Walter Simonson explore all of the above. Continue reading