Today, Taylor and Drew are discussing Power Man and Iron Fist Sweet Christmas Annual 1, originally released December 21st, 2016. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.
Taylor: At some point during the Christmas holiday I looked up from my cell phone and realized a number of my family (including myself) weren’t talking to each other. Instead, we were hypnotized by the small, glowing screen in each of our hands. Something about this felt wrong and I felt a stab of guilt in realizing that this wasn’t the best way to spend time with my family. Resolved to do better, I put my phone in my pocket and got ready to make some conversation because at the end of the day, isn’t that what the holidays are really about? Connecting with people? Most would say yes and can count on the first annual issue of Power Man and Iron Fist to back up their opinion.
Today, Ryan D. and Drew are discussing Black Panther 6, originally released September 14th, 2016. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.
Ryan D: Maybe it’s an American thing, but culture and media have trained me to almost always root for the revolution. Revolution is often associated with the fiery passion of change, the usurpation of the dolorous and oppressive status-quo, backed by the free-thinkers and do-gooders. Or maybe it’s the idea being studied in psychology about peoples’ need to root for the underdog. This, however, has not exactly been the case in the current run of Black Panther. Or has it? Issue six takes us a bit deeper into the side of the revolutionaries and the monarchy, and bring some new variables into the mix. Continue reading →
We try to stay up on what’s going on at Marvel, but we can’t always dig deep into every issue. The solution? Our weekly round-up of titles coming out of Marvel Comics. Today, we’re discussing Doctor Strange 9, Gwenpool 3, Ms. Marvel 8, Power Man and Iron Fist 5, Rocket Raccoon and Groot 6, and The Ultimates 8.
Today, Patrick and Drew are discussing Deadpool 13, originally released June 1, 2016
Patrick: Hey, do you think we’re too comfortable with Deadpool? We know he’s a bastard that plays fast and loose with the value of human life, but there’s a jeu de vivre to the character that makes him immanently lovable. But what do readers and fans stand to gain from looking past Wade’s uglier qualities? He’s supposed to be chaotic, he’s supposed to be subversive — those are the Deadpool qualities that we celebrate. But readers sorta need to employ their own fan-canon in order to reconcile that chaos, with the often-adorable, infinitely accepting, ultimately heroic Deadpool we have in our minds. It’s that second version of Deadpool that writer Gerry Duggan has tapped for the better part of the last three years to build up Deadpool’s cast of friends, employees and even family. Recent issues have seen those relationships strained, or even destroyed, leaving Wade Wilson to be reflected upon and defined by people outside his inner circle in issue 13. Cleverly, issue 13 is also kind of an issue of Daredevil and kind of an issue of Power Man & Iron Fist, meaning the opinions we’re getting aren’t just from characters outside of Deadpool, but creators outside of Deadpool. The consensus? Wade Wilson kinda sucks.
Today, Spencer and Taylor are discussing Power Man and Iron Fist 4, originally released May 18th, 2016.
Spencer: The beating heart at the center of David Walker, Sanford Greene, and Lee Loughridge’s Power Man and Iron Fist is the friendship between its titular heroes. It should’ve been obvious, then, that the primary theme of this series would be “the power of friendship,” but that’s actually an idea that didn’t come fully into focus until this month’s issue four, the finale of the series’ first storyline. Even more interestingly, the true strength of friendship (and its advantages over other kinds of power) isn’t driven home by Luke and Danny, but by the villains, Jennie Royce and Black Mariah. In fact, it’s their friendship that makes Danny and especially Luke reprioritize their own friendship. Continue reading →
Today, Spencer and Patrick are discussing New Avengers 3, originally released November 18th, 2015.
Spencer: Al Ewing and Gerardo Sandoval’s New Avengers is rather explicitly a book about problem-solving; the very purpose of Sunspot’s revamped A.I.M. is to use their resources to solve crises on a global scale, and the bulk of the second issue was spent breaking down the threat of Life-Minus like a math problem in order to find a solution. It seems appropriate then that, with the concept of problem-solving having been thoroughly established, Ewing and Sandoval shift the focus of issue 3 to exploring the effectiveness (and morality) of various approaches to solving problems. Continue reading →
Today, Spencer and Taylor are discussing New Avengers 1, originally released October 14th, 2015.
Spencer: I love “team” books. There’s just something fun and exciting about throwing a bunch of heroes — be they A-List or Z-List — together and seeing what happens. Despite the potential for almost endless variations, though, many team books find themselves repeating certain familiar combinations, tropes, and ideas over and over (look how many books started using the “traitor” plot once Terra first popped up in the Teen Titans, for example — and even she was a riff on Kitty Pryde’s role in the X-Men). Thus, my favorite part of Al Ewing and Gerardo Sandoval’s New Avengers is how quick they are to acknowledge and subvert many of those tropes. This book is clever, fun, and gets right to the point; it’s pretty much everything I look for in a team book. Continue reading →
Today, Ethan and Drew are discussing FF 16, originally released January 22nd, 2013.
Ethan: With the arrival of FF 16 Scott Lang’s campaign to end Doom is itself at an end. Even though Doom was the cause of the crusade, it’s always been more about Scott — this finale is no different. As Scott confronts the mortal enemy of the Fantastic Four and the man who killed his daughter, there’s never going to be a better time to prove who or what the latest incarnation of Ant-Man has become. Unsurprisingly, Matt Fraction and Lee Allred do not disappoint.
Today, Drew and Shelby are discussing Mighty Avengers 3, originally released November 6th, 2013.
…and this whole justice league — Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman. You mean to tell me Superman can’t cover everything? For crying out loud, he’s Superman!
Drew: It’s hard to resist the synergy of a superhero team-up. Batman and Superman have megawatt star-power alone, but combine them, and you can draw an even bigger audience. As easy as it is to justify those team-ups from a business perspective, it can actually be quite difficult to justify them narratively. Writers often resort to improbably massive threats or absurd contrivances to bring their heroes together, but the biggest problem with team-ups is much more fundamental than plotting. The appeal of superheroes — the appeal of the idea of The Hero in general — is that they alone bear the power to succeed in their journey. If you put several of them in a story together, their narrative purposes are at odds, dividing any victories between them in a way that is ultimately less satisfying. But what if a team isn’t made up of such heavy-hitters? What if they were presented with a problem that the members couldn’t possibly cover on their own? Mighty Avengers 3 zeroes in on exactly what strength can be found, as its team becomes greater than the sum of its parts. Continue reading →
Today, Ethan and Shelby are discussing Mighty Avengers 2, originally released October 2nd, 2013.
Ethan: Push the envelope. Stand on the shoulders of giants. Rules are made to be broken. Going boldly where no one has gone before. Put 110% of your effort towards your goals. Ours goes to eleven. Etc etc. Our culture has gotten a pretty good handle on this concept, as evidenced by how many ways we’ve come up with codifying it into our tropes – the idea of taking everything that came before, acknowledging it, and then moving past it. Comic books – and fiction at large – LOVE this concept. Mighty Avengers #2 is no exception, and the one-upping writer Al Ewing packs into this issue is fun, if also a little bit silly by the end. Continue reading →