March for Life 2019

This thoughtful and prayerful reflection on the March for Life this past weekend was written by my good friend and co-worker, Matthew. I deeply appreciate his words and am proud to share them here. Please give it a read.

Word - Liturgy - Charity

Yesterday, I returned to the March for Life for the first time in at least a decade. After participating for a few years, I quit the March in my late teens. This was not because I lost my moral opposition to abortion, mind you. Rather, with the War on Terror in full swing I was overwhelmed by the myopic focus on abortion at the expense of tens (eventually hundreds) of thousands of civilians sacrificed to the false gods of war and wealth in Afghanistan and Iraq. That the march began with the Pledge of Allegiance and a rally filled with star-struck praise for the right wing in power was too much for my Catholic, consistent life ethic conscience to bear.

Recently, students from my school formed chapter of Students for Life. Two dozen of them excitedly planned to travel to Washington, DC. They needed support from teachers to go with…

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The Imperial Avengers Assemble!

Since I pushed Mike to present his Avenger’s Dream Team he, in turn, told me that I had to share my own squad of Avenging superheroes. As I have been soaking up Marvel stories lately, and not really interested in the Star Wars content being pumped out by Disney (which has resulted in my having absolutely nothing to say about Star Wars over on my site), I figured I would take Mike up on the offer and share my own team – “The Imperial Avengers.” That said, I should note that whereas I am a savant with Star Wars, my knowledge of the Marvel-verse is plebian compared to Michael. Soooo, you know, just bear with me here as I struggle to explain my rationale for choosing my team. Continue reading

My Avengers Dream Team

Reading Brian Michael Bendis’ The New Avengers lately (first the issues in “Civil War” and now I’m wading through the equally lengthy “Secret Invasion”) I can’t help but think: He just picked whatever superheroes he liked and made them Avengers.  I mean, c’mon.  Spider-Man?!?  Wolverine?!?  Luke Cage and Jessica Jones?!?  I love Spidey but he’s a neighborhood guy.  The same goes for Luke and Jessica; they’re street-level heroes.  And Wolverine?  The guy’s not a joiner AT ALL let alone randomly becoming an Avenger.  Jason Aaron’s done the same thing with his new team.  Ghost Rider?  Doctor Strange?  What the heck??  But then I realized THAT’S WHY YOU’D WANT TO WRITE AVENGERS BECAUSE YOU GET TO DESIGN YOUR OWN TEAM.  Moments after this realization hit it naturally led me to consider – Who would fill my Avengers dream team? Continue reading

Spider-Man and Mary Jane: Soul Mates? (Y/N/Maybe)

Mary Jane Watson and Peter Parker got married on 9 June 1987, in The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21.  For someone who began reading comic books in March 1986, their marriage was a central tenant of my experience of Spider-Man.  You don’t have Spider-Man without Peter Parker and you don’t have Peter Parker without Mary Jane!  Despite Marvel’s editorial staff having “instant regrets” about their wedding, fans have passionately embraced the marriage for over twenty years.  As their relationship evolved, especially as it approached it’s end in 2007’s “One More Day” storyline, Mary Jane and Peter were increasingly painted in the light of Soul Mates.  Their relationship then allows us to ponder one of romantic love’s most intoxicating questions – are Soul Mates real?  It’s end allows us to reflect on the potential of finding and losing the one.  Now let’s see if I can write about them without getting overly emotional and/or angsty… Continue reading

Doctor Who – Getting to Know the Thirteenth Doctor Once a Week

Jodie Whittaker’s debut as the Doctor was special for me.  I’ve only recently come into the world of Doctor Who, watching all ten (modern) seasons of the show last year.  I began in the fall of 2017 with Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor (well, technically I started with David Tennant but my friend Theresa kept making sad sighs when she heard I didn’t start at the beginning so I went back and did) and finished Peter Capaldi’s run in the spring of 2018.  So Jodie Whittaker became the first Doctor I got to watch as the season aired.  It was so exciting!  As this eleventh season (or series if I’m being English about it) of Doctor Who unfolded, I kept thinking of a post I wrote awhile back about being exhausted by binging and streaming TV shows.  Jodie Whittaker and company have consistently delivered everything I’ve come to love about a Doctor Who episode!  But I think part of the magic of this season came from watching it on a weekly basis. Continue reading

When Love, Actually Misses You, You Wait for Death Among the Walking Dead

As the old year turns to the new, we become reflective.  We think of our blessings, trials, challenges, and our hopes and dreams for the year to come.  When we consider all this, it’s only natural we think of love.  What, after all, is more important than love?  Perhaps no modern cinematic tale more accurately (or more hauntingly) presents love’s all-important nature than 2003’s Love, Actually.  I’ve always loved (hmm…that seems redundant) this film because it celebrates love in so many shapes and forms.  It shows us romantic love, platonic love, familial love, sacrificial love, unrequited love, new love, old love, love won…and love lost.  Of it all, Mark’s story teaches us the most important lesson.  We should pay attention, careful to heed its warning. Continue reading

“The Death of the Mighty Thor” – My Eulogy for the Best Comic I’ve Ever Read

This is a milestone for me :).  This piece is my 300th post on My Comic Relief!!  I’ve been trying to figure out which comic was worthy of such a tribute since about my 256th post.  Then, like a blinding flash of lightening it hit me.  I adored Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman, and Matthew Wilson’s work with Jane Foster in The Mighty Thor.  She’s become my definitive Thor.  I’ve written several pieces exploring the brilliance of this run but I’ve never written about the end of Jane’s time wielding Mjölnir.  To do so, I wanted it to be special.  Instead of another analysis, I aim to simply pay tribute, to eulogize in the wake of “The Death of the Mighty Thor,” to talk about why I fell in love with this character and this comic.  In short I want to explain why Jane’s time as Thor became MY FAVORITE COMIC BOOK STORYLINE OF ALL TIME.  In my heart, she’ll always be who I mean when I invoke the name “Thor.” Continue reading