Stan Lee: A Reflection

There have been plenty of memorials and obituaries written to honor Stan Lee since his passing yesterday.  There’s nothing I can say about his life that isn’t being said/hasn’t already been said.  Yet, at the same time, I can’t not say anything.  I was talking to Jeff when the news broke.  He told me.  David called soon after.  Texts began coming not long after that.  As with many pop culture deaths, I find myself mourning someone who was a major part of my life despite our never having met.  Unlike most pop culture deaths however, few have influenced my life to the degree Stan Lee did.  His worlds and characters have shaped me since Mom bought me my first comic book – Web Of Spider-Man #12 – when I was four years old.  When I heard he’d died I was at a loss.  All I could do was read.  I had exams that needed to be graded (exams I got back to later that night) but for that moment in time, as I sat with the reality of his passing, the only place I could go to find comfort was back into the worlds he created. Continue reading

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Spider-Man’s Modern-Day Frankenstein Tale – “Dead No More: The Clone Conspiracy”

Alright, originally I intended this as a Halloween post.  I was going to finally read “Dead No More: The Clone Conspiracy” and write about it, analyzing how Dan Slott expands the premise of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in a modern setting.  However, life and work got in the way and I just got around to finishing reading it the other day.  I contemplated saving it for next year but I’m impatient and it’s more fun to keep the spookiness alive anyway.  When I finally jumped into Dan Slott’s world of Spider-Man tales, I avoided this storyline.  I’d heard conflicting reports about it and wasn’t ready for something with that sort of “baggage” as I was meeting his Spidey for the first time.  What I found upon finally reading it was a haunting tale that left me more emotionally shaken than I could have expected. Continue reading

New American Resistance – Midterm Elections (GO VOTE!)

When I began this (now very semi-regular) series on 26 January 2017, it took it’s name from something Bruce Springsteen said at a concert in Perth, Australia on the heels of the Woman’s March.  Speaking to the crowd he said, “We’re a long way from home and our hearts and spirits are with the hundreds and thousands of women and men that marched yesterday in every city in America – and in Melbourne – who rallied against hate and division and in support of tolerance, inclusion, reproductive rights, civil rights, racial justice, LGBTQ rights, the environment, wage equality, gender equality, healthcare, and immigrant rights.  We stand with you.  We are the New American Resistance.”  This week will mark the New American Resistance’s largest battle, its biggest potential win, so far.  It’s Midterm Elections and WE ALL NEED TO GO AND VOTE!!! Continue reading

The Immortal Hulk: Rooting for and Fearing the Monster Within

HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE!  In honor of this spookiest of all holidays, I’ve written a guest post for Kalie over at her horror blog, Just Dread-Full, about Al Ewing’s new horror/superhero hybrid series The Immortal Hulk.  As all the best Hulk comics do, this gives us all sort of superheroic destruction while leading us to look deeply into our own hearts and contemplate our own inner demons.  It’s an intriguing comic and I’m proud of the post so I think you should head over to Kalie’s blog right now to read my post about The Immortal Hulk.  Please?  PLEASE.  C’mon!  Just click this link and you’ll make me sooooooooo happy 🙂.  Please and thank you!

The Most Ridiculous Facet of Tony Stark’s Ego (In My Opinion)

It’s no secret, I love me some Iron Man.  Yes, Tony Stark can be a huge tool and our favorite “genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist” isn’t known for his humility or restraint.  He’s great.  He knows it.  And he’ll happily let you know it too.  However, I maintain Tony’s ego – and his struggle with both the trouble it brings and learning his own limitations – is part of what make him so important as a character.  While I doubt many of us have an ego quite the size of Mr. Stark’s, we all wrestle with ego.  Or at least I do.  So I see parts of myself in Tony Stark as well as lessons I need to learn.  I put a lot of value on that.  However, regardless of the relatability we (or at least I) can find in this particular fault, there is one MASSIVE expression of Tony Stark’s ego that even I find ridiculous.  Continue reading

OH MY GOSH THIS IS A THING!!!!! : Andrew Schaffer’s Hope Never Dies

Yesterday I was browsing Barnes & Noble.  My barrage of midterm grading was finally behind me and I was enjoying an afternoon of meandering with nothing much to do (until chaperoning the Homecoming Dance last night).  I glanced down at a table of new paperbacks and saw a cover, reminiscent of a pulp noir novel, featuring Barack Obama and Joe Biden riding in a car.  Then I took in the title – Hope Never Dies: An Obama/Biden Mystery.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?  I can’t remember the last time I bought a book, drove home, and immediately started reading it.  But no other plans could compete with this and if it wasn’t for the previously mentioned dance, I’d’ve finished it one sitting.  This isn’t an analysis nor a review, not traditionally at least.  To paraphrase Ron Burgundy, I got excited.  I just wanted to…shout it from the top of a mountain.  But I didn’t have a mountain.  I had this blog.  Look, I write about comics, that’s what I do.  And today’s top story, in Michael Miller’s world read something like this – I love Andrew Schaffer’s Hope Never Dies and this needs to become a long-lived series! Continue reading

Well, I’ll Say It…Venom Was A Pleasant Surprise

I wasn’t planning on writing tonight.  But I saw Venom and, after being pretty open about how awkward I thought the movie would be in presenting a Spider-Man-less Venom, I felt I had to write something.  Why?  Because I was wrong.  I thought this film was going to be a rushed, convoluted mess and it wasn’t.  Now, it didn’t redefine the genre like Wonder Woman nor did it fully embrace the idea of the antihero in the way Deadpool did.  But it was an enjoyable night at the movies and with it currently sitting at a 29% freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes, I wanted to take a few moments to write a short, spoiler-free reflection on why Venom was better than I thought it’d be. Continue reading