How a War of Language Escalates to Full-On War in Captain America Steve Rogers 19

by Patrick Ehlers

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

There are few political and social movements in my lifetime that have caused my peer group to stand up and say “fuck that whole ideology.” The rise of Trump and white nationalists is one such movement. I do it too — I find the ideas and attitude so repugnant, that I can’t help but extend my disgust to the people who preach it. Whether I’m justified in jumping to such combative language (did I really just use the f-word in the first sentence of a Retcon Punch piece?) the effect is undeniable: I’m contributing to the adversarial relationship that makes it feel like there’s moral gulf between myself and a Trump supporter. And with a chasm between us, how do we ever find common ground? Captain America Steve Rogers 19 asks these same questions, and unsettlingly lands on an answer: war.

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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 Failings of Friendship in Desperate Times in Secret Empire 5

by Spencer Irwin

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

“The power of friendship” is a popular trope in most media. The idea that most situations can be overcome through the bonds we share with our friends is powerful in a lot of ways, but it’s one that never really seems applicable to war or espionage stories like Secret Empire. Make no mistake, Hydra is not going to be defeated by friendship or optimism alone, but in Secret Empire 5, Nick Spencer, Rod Reis, Andrea Sorrentino, Joshua Cassara, and Rachelle Rosenberg do explore the effect pre-existing relationships have on their conflict. It’s not always a good one. Continue reading

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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The Mighty Thor 3

mighty thor 3

Today, Taylor and Andy Spencer are discussing The Mighty Thor 3, originally released January 13th, 2016.

Taylor: I recently learned that I have a reputation for being a strict teacher at my school. This revelation came as a bit of a surprise to me since I feel like I’m not any more strict than my fellow teachers. I’m not bothered by having this reputation but I do find it interesting that I had no idea this is how I was viewed by my students. But I guess that’s ultimately the thing about a person’s reputation; no matter how hard you work to craft it or understand it, you ultimately have no control over what it is. For most of us this isn’t a huge issue, we move on with our lives no matter how others view us. If you’re Loki, however, and the fate of the ten realms rests on your actions and how others see you, it’s a completely different story. Continue reading

The Mighty Thor 1

mighty thor 1

Today, Taylor and Drew are discussing The Mighty Thor 1, originally released November 18th, 2015.

Taylor: By now we all know the premise of Breaking Bad: a chemistry teacher diagnosed with lung cancer turns his skills to dealing meth and things spiral out of control from there. While this is an interesting premise, it’s not what makes the show great. What makes it great is the colossal character study it became. The show ponders why Walter White does the things he does and what drives him to do it. Naturally, his cancer diagnosis is a catalyst for much of the action Walter takes. And while his disease spurs him on to nefarious pursuits, others react to the disease more nobly. Case in point: Dr. Jane Foster aka Thor. Rather than let cancer eat away at her body and her sole like Walter, Jane uses it to motivate ever  greater and more altruistic deeds. Continue reading

Thor 8

thor 8

Today, Taylor and Drew are discussing Thor 8, originally released May 13th, 2015.

Taylor: Motion is an important thing to people. Most of us don’t like to be stagnant for any set amount of time whether it be an hour, a month, or a year. We visualize our lives as having a narrative that is always moving forward. Likewise, as a society, we like to think that we are also making a steady motion forward. In other words, we like to think of our society as making progress. And while most of the country can get behind progress (just look at how rapidly gay marriage became acceptable) there are always going to be those who oppose it. Thor 8 recognizes this dichotomy and in doing so makes a strong statement about the need for acceptance of progress and just how hard that can be for those who don’t want to see things change. Continue reading

Thor 7

thor 7

Today, Taylor and Spencer are discussing Thor 7, originally released April 15th, 2015.

Taylor: Recently I visited a friend who I’ve known for a long time. As we tend to do, we watched bad action movies, with the features this time being Commando and the more recent John Wick. Both movies feature a ridiculously high body count, the cause of which is a thin plot filled in with a lot of action scenes. Generally, audiences tend to love action, but after John Wick killed what was probably his 42nd mobster, I found the action scenes growing stale. And therein lies the rub with an action sequence whether it be on film or in a comic book: too much of a good thing makes it bad. Thor 7 is an issue that is basically all action and despite the dangers of too much action, it’s a great issue. Why you may ask? The answer is the astounding art of Russell Dauterman. Continue reading