All-New Ghost Rider 3

ghost rider 3

Today, Shelby and Spencer are discussing All-New Ghost Rider 3, originally released May 14th, 2014

Shelby: I’ve only been reading monthly comics for a couple years: basically since the New 52 launched. Even with that relatively short history with comics, I feel pretty jaded when it comes to origin stories. If I don’t already know it backwards and forwards, I’ve seen enough origins to get the gist of it. Tragically lost parents at a young age, science experiment gone wrong, coming-of-age gaining of powers (be they magical or otherwise) — it’s easy to roll your eyes at a new origin story because you think you’ve already seen it. Felipe Smith and Tradd Moore have embraced that origin spirit with their All-New Ghost Rider, but have somehow managed to do so in a way that feels new and relevant. It doesn’t hurt that it’s completely gorgeous to look at, either.  Continue reading

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All Star Western 16

all-star western 16

Today, Taylor and Patrick are discussing All Star Western 16, originally released January 30th, 2013.

Taylor: There is a certain beauty to be had in simplicity. In a culture that tends to think more is better, simplicity has become something of a rarity that is all too infrequently encountered in our everyday life. However, even though American culture tends to favor the louder and busier aesthetic, there are signs  that the simple and austere are gaining favor. Japanese aesthetics, known for their Spartan feel, and Scandinavian aesthetics alike are ever gaining popularity in America. The signs of this change in the wind are more pervasive than we might at first believe. Nearly every person who has a single ounce of nerd running in their veins is familiar with the minimalist renderings of famous movie posters. Further, and on an even broader scale, the design of most Apple products is nothing short of a minimalistic and simple genius. But what about comic books, are they too moving toward a simpler feel? Do they believe that sometimes less truly is more? If All Star Western 16 is any indication, then the comic book world truly has embraced this motif. But that then raises the question, when put into practice is simplicity a good thing for comic books?

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All Star Western 15

all-star western 15

Today, Taylor and Drew are discussing All Star Western 15, originally released January 2nd, 2013.

Taylor: What evil lurks in the heart of men? The Shadow, among many others, has asked this question and it is a query which each of us must face every day. Not only do we ourselves struggle to do the right thing constantly but we are more than aware of those who commit acts which most would label evil. Whenever someone does something terrible to someone else, the question always arises of where the impulse to commit that act comes from. While some might believe in the inherent evilness of man it seems much more likely that these impulses come from sort of rationalization process. This process is something we are all capable of and leads us to question how pure our own motives are. If so called “evil” acts can be rationalized doesn’t that mean we are all equally capable of committing terrible acts ourselves only to explain them away in some way? So then, if we are all capable of being “evil,” who would we be or what would we do if we followed our immoral urges? And what would happen if a potion is created that can make a seemingly good man do bad things? The fifteenth issue of All Star Western delves into these questions while at the same time indulging in some serious action.

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All-Star Western 14

Today, Taylor and Patrick are discussing All-Star Western 14, originally released November 28th, 2012.

Taylor: The Strange Tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, originally written in 1886, has interested readers and writers alike continuously since it’s initial publication over 100 years ago. What perhaps gives the tale its enduring legacy is its exploration into the contradictory nature of mankind itself, both in action as a whole and on an individual level. While humans have done great things, like sending man to the Moon and ending the Cold War, they have also committed countless atrocities against each other. On an individual level a person may be kind to you one day and a jerk the next. All of this is part of the human experience and while it’s sometimes paradoxical and counterproductive to behave in such ways, it would seem that we just can’t help ourselves and they are here to stay. And while this aspect of humanity certainly makes for the stuff of great stories and philosophical inspection, it’s not something I appreciate in my comics. All-Star Western 14 is an exercise in this duality, being at times fun and at others trying, but ultimately giving us something to look forward to.

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All-Star Western 13

Alternating Currents: All-Star Western 13, Taylor and DrewToday, Taylor and Drew are discussing the All-Star Western 13, originally released October 24th, 2012.

Taylor: I enjoy professional basketball. It’s fast paced, fun, full of dunks, trick shots, and some of the most gifted athletes on the face of the planet. With that being said, you would think that every game of basketball would be an amazing show worth watching every second it’s on. However, we can’t disregard the fact that these are professional basketball players who, whether we like to acknowledge it or not, don’t enjoy every game they play. It’s their job and sometimes they take the floor with their sole purpose being to win a basketball game and cash a check, regardless of how entertaining it is for the fans. Commentators often call this a “workman-like approach,” a phrase which also aptly describes All-Star Western 13. Continue reading