Power Man and Iron Fist Annual 1

Alternating Currents: Power Man and Iron Fist Sweet Christmas Annual 1, Taylor and Drew

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.

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Klaus 6

klaus 6

Today, Patrick and Michael are discussing Klaus 6, originally released June 15, 2016.

Patrick: My mother used to teach first grade, and just about every Christmas, there’d be some little shit in her class that insisted on telling all the other kids that there was no such thing as Santa Claus. Since she was their teacher – their trusted source of ALL INFORMATION – the question would eventually make it up to her. And never in private: kids would interrupt a math lesson to ask “is Santa real?” Now, if you don’t already know my mother, you should know that she’s got a kind of Midwestern / German stoicism that’s practically blinding and she’s got almost 40 years of experience avoiding difficult conversations with children. So she’d turn the question back on them: “some people believe Santa Claus is real and some do not – what do you believe?” And, naturally, the kids that are the most hurt by the notion that Santa could be made up chose to believe. My mother hasn’t crushed any little hopes, but she also hasn’t been dishonest either. She allows the power of the myth to be it’s own magic, just like Grant Morrison and Dan Mora do in Klaus 6.

Though, that’s probably where the similarities between Morrison and my mother end… Continue reading

Klaus 5

klaus 5

Today, Patrick and Michael are discussing Klaus 5, originally released May 4th, 2016.

Patrick: Joseph Campbell’s monomyth needs revision. Certainly, the concepts born out in his Hero With A Thousand Faces appear in every blockbuster action movie and comic book produced in the last half-century. But the proliferation of visual storytelling since Campbell’s heyday has added some colorful hallmarks to the heroic storyteller’s lexicon. I don’t know what we can really trace these recurring visual motifs to — Hollywood Westerns, anime, comic books, Saturday morning cartoons — but the fact remains that our heroes all share some common traits. They have costumes that give them either an instantly recognizable silhouette or an instantly recognizable color palette. They all move the same way: with a shocking grace, often over rooftops. In Klaus, Grant Morrison and Dan Mora imbue Santa with these same visual hallmarks, updating him from folk legend to comic book hero.  Continue reading

Captain Marvel 11

captain marvel 11

Today, Drew and Suzanne are discussing Captain Marvel 11, originally released January 14th, 2015.

Drew: It’s no secret that I don’t have a lot of patience for tropes. Predictable situations, reactions, or patterns are crutches for serialized storytellers, which is only made more apparent by those writers who manage to avoid them. Still, I do understand that certain tropes can be comforting — and perhaps even important to the identity of the work of art in question. I’m willing to forgive The Twilight Zone having the most obvious twist endings, because that’s kind of the point. That willingness to forgive certain tropes varies from person to person, as can be seen in the varied reactions to Christmas movies, albums, and episodes. Are they cheap cash-grabs? Charming acknowledgements of the season? Unfortunate acquiescences to the Christo-normativity of America? Christmas stories aren’t my favorite (I swear, if I see another reimagining of A Christmas Carol, I’m going to lose it), but I’ve seen enough pulled off well that I’m willing to at least have an open mind. Unless, of course, I’m consuming that story three weeks after Christmas, in which case, my patience for Christmas tropes dwindles right back down to zero. Continue reading