The Ultimates 2 4

ultimates-2-4

Today, Drew and Spencer are discussing The Ultimates 2 4, originally released February 15th, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Persuasion is achieved by the speaker’s personal character when the speech is so spoken as to make us think him credible. […]

Secondly, persuasion may come through the hearers, when the speech stirs their emotions. […]

Thirdly, persuasion is effected through the speech itself when we have proved a truth or an apparent truth by means of the persuasive arguments suitable to the case in question.

Aristotle, “Rhetoric”

Drew: I’ve never studied philosophy, or even public speaking, but even I’ve heard of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos, the three modes of persuasion Aristotle describes in the excerpts above. Obviously, “heard of” is a pretty far cry from understanding, but to my lay mind, Logos — the mode that relies on logic — is often held up as the purest form of persuasion, as it hinges on facts rather than our emotions or faith in whoever is making the argument. But, of course, it’s difficult to truly ignore the impact of Ethos and Pathos — we’re emotional, social beings — so it’s possible for something to feel like Logos when, in fact, it isn’t (a phenomenon we call “truthiness”). Moreover, dubious Logos may shore up its logicalness by being distractingly lacking in Ethos and Pathos (a phenomenon we might call “fuck your feelings”). This is all very messy, and is threatening to turn into an essay on political discourse, but I brought it up to address the appeals characters make to one another in Ultimates 2 4 — all modes are on display, including a “logical” argument built on such shaky ground that its arguer feels compelled to call itself “Logos.” Continue reading

Silver Surfer 11

Alternating Currents: Silver Surfer 11, Drew and Spencer

Today, Drew and Spencer are discussing Silver Surfer 11, originally released April 29th, 2015.

Drew: I both love and hate that Birdman was shot the way it was. I love that it uses the single-shot effect to such awe-inspiring ends, but hate that it feels so gimmicky. I want to be clear there: it’s not that I think it is gimmicky, just that it feels gimmicky. The conversation is so often about how Alejandro G. Iñárritu and Emmanuel Lubezki achieved those effects (or even just that they achieved them at all), that reason why they did it often goes unaddressed. That this kind of formal affectation might have an unnoticed thematic justification speaks to the low regard we have for form — we only notice it when its weird, and then only to comment on how weird it is. That low regard makes formal outliers all the more daring — will they be known for their reasoned narrative choices, or will they be dismissed as a vehicle for the most unusual of those choices? With Silver Surfer 11, Dan Slott and Michael Allred attempt an even more convoluted formal trick, but its rewards are well worth the challenges it poses to the reader. Continue reading

Silver Surfer 3

silver surfer 3Today, Greg and Suzanne are discussing Silver Surfer 3, originally released June 18th, 2014.

Greg: I’m just gonna be blunt and cheesy up-top: the human imagination is a goddamn beautiful thing. It’s a place where everything and nothing exists and doesn’t exist. A breeding ground for active creation and idle daydreaming. It’s arguably the most fun thing about being a human, and by combining heady intellectual concepts of quantum physics with a simple yet emotionally grounded narrative drive (combined with a healthy amount of “call the unusual thing out” humor), Silver Surfer 3 is one of the purest encapsulations of imagination I have seen in recent memory.

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Silver Surfer 2

silver surfer 2

Today, Scott and Suzanne are discussing Silver Surfer 2, originally released April 30th, 2014.

Wishes are powerful things, Herald. Especially if you believe in them. They might just become your future.

 The Never Queen

Scott: Like any kid, I spent many summer nights gazing up at the sky, hoping to see a shooting star that would grant me a wish. I don’t remember what any of those wishes were, but at the time nothing seemed more important. Now, I see making wishes as an exercise in picturing happiness, with each wish a snapshot of our greatest desire, constantly changing as we mature and our senses of reality take shape. Eventually, our sense of wonder fades away to the point that wishes no longer carry much weight. For that reason, it’s dangerous to base a story around the power of wishes — most readers no longer believe in them. While comic books often ask us to suspend our disbelief, this is like asking us to re-believe in a part of us that we’ve lost. Silver Surfer 2 focuses on the power of wishes, and while it isn’t seamless, it does bring with it an irresistible sense of wonder, the same one I had as a kid gazing at the stars.

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