Weirdworld 5

weirdworld 5

Today, Patrick and Spencer are discussing Weirdworld 5, originally released October 21st, 2015. 

secret wars div

Patrick: One of the reasons people like genre films so much is that you never really need to guess what their values are. Are you watching a Western? Great: we value tough, honest men. Are you watching a teen drama? Great: we value cleverness and beauty. Jason Aaron and Mike del Mundo’s heart-stoppingly beautiful Weirdworld wears its chief value on its sleeve (and in its title): weirdness. That may sound like a shallow value, like when someone criticizes South Park for being all about “shock value,” and that may be the case. But even if we want to call weirdness a “shallow” value, it is startling how persistently it presents itself in this series. Even a little thing like The End of the World isn’t going to stop it from expressing itself as thoroughly — and as weirdly — as possible. Continue reading

All-New X-Men Annual 1

Alternating Currents: All-New X-Men Annual 1, Drew and PatrickToday, Drew and Patrick are discussing All-New X-Men Annual 1, originally released December 24th, 2014.

Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.

Emma Coates,  “Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling”

Drew: This is a pretty well-worn axiom of fiction writing, and while I don’t have any qualms with the assertion that good coincidences are bad, I think it’s important to acknowledge that bad coincidences aren’t necessarily good. We’re all familiar with how deflating a Deus ex Machina resolution can be, but I firmly believe that an arbitrary, unlikely problem — a Diabolus ex Machina, if you will — can be just as bad. Actually, it might be worse; while we might understand a writer painting himself into a corner (thus requiring a miracle to get out of it), there’s no such justification for a coincidence up front. The arbitrary rules of sci-fi technology has always been a pet peeve of mine, but as the laws governing time-travel take center stage in All-New X-Men Annual 1, the conflict became a full-on Diabolus ex Machina, derailing what could have been a thrilling, emotional journey. Continue reading

Fearless Defenders 4AU

fearless defenders 4 AU

Today, Patrick and Taylor are discussing Fearless Defenders 5AU, originally released May 22nd 2013. This issue is part of the Age of Ultron crossover event. Click here for complete AU coverage.

ultron-div

Patrick: I make up our posting schedules around here, so any time you see two of our writers fighting about something, I’m partially to blame to for that. Also when someone is like “I don’t normally read this title, so I don’t know what’s going on or who any of these people are” – that’s my fault too. Our writers are always good sports, though, and I think they all sort of relish the opportunity to say “I don’t have all the information, but here’s what I do know.” And isn’t that the experience of reading superhero comics? It almost doesn’t matter what you’re reading – you’re in the deep end. Throw this whole alternate-alternate timeline from Age of Ultron into the mix and you’ve got yourself a perfect recipe for misunderstanding. Oddly, Fearless Defender’s contribution to this event offers context to both the event and the main series by making explicit connections between the characters that transcend conflicting timelines.

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