The Real Villain in Marvel’s Infinity Wars Event is Boredom – or – My Struggle with Loyalty in Comic Buying

In synergetic anticipation for the “most ambitious crossover event ever,” Marvel Comics first gave Gerry Duggan the reins of Infinity Countdown and now Infinity Wars – a yearlong event replacing their regular monthly Guardians comic and bringing the Infinity Gems Infinity Stones back into existence in the Marvel Universe.  I’m sure it was an attempt to make what was happening in the comics mirror their cinematic bonanza, Avengers: Infinity War, and thus hopefully attract new readers.  However, unlike their literary masterpiece Secret Empire, this has been a HUGE miss for me. Continue reading

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First Impressions: The Fantastic Four

This is a post I’ve been thinking about writing for ages.  I originally envisioned it shortly following the “First Impressions: The X-Men” post I wrote last year.  But, for one reason or another, I always stopped short of finishing it.  Now, on the eve of the Fantastic Four’s return, shepherded by Dan Slott and Sara Pichelli, the time is right.  So let’s take another trip down memory lane and revisit the very first Fantastic Four comic I ever read!  It was 1993 and the cover leapt out at me from the spinning rack in a local grocery store (the now long-gone Loblaws on W 12th St, if I remember correctly).  It was Fantastic Four #374 and, while I didn’t know it at the time, I was about to meet the characters who’d become my all-time favorite comic book team.  To this day, they still hold this place in my heart! Continue reading

Jason Aaron’s Avengers #1 and Free Comic Book Day 2018

I’m not one for team books.  I used to be but, by and large, I just can’t get into them now (minus the incredible exceptions of Mark Waid’s Champions and Gerry Duggan’s Guardians Of The Galaxy).  I find them to be crossover hubs and often more action heavy then character focused.  However, like Lewis Black and candy corn, I can’t stop trying them.  This week, motivated by my love of his work on The Mighty Thor and knowing I’d see them in my Free Comic Book Day selections anyway, I decided to give Jason Aaron, Ed Mcguinness, and David Curiel’s new take on Earth’s Mightiest Heroes a try…sadly, I wasn’t impressed.  Thankfully, I have higher hopes for my other Free Comic Book Day picks! Continue reading

My Grail – The One Comic I Covet

Last week Kalie and I were in Indianapolis presenting at the PCA/ACA Conference on Popular Culture.  It was so much fun!  Both of our papers were well received (mine (as I’ve mentioned once or twice) explored Jason Aaron’s use of the Divine Feminine in The Mighty Thor) and the whole week was an enriching, stimulating experience.  It was exciting to meet so many other people who teach through popular culture and there were papers on just about everything you could imagine.  To see all these different scholars in all these different areas, utilizing pop culture and speaking to its value in an academic setting was incredible.  While we were there, Indiana’s Comic Con was going on down the street.  And THAT got me thinking about the one comic I covet… Continue reading

Marvel 2 In One: A Fantastic Family Reunion!

Admittedly, I’ve been behind on my comic reading.  There was Christmas (not to mention the shopping, wrapping, and delivering of Christmas goodies).  There was getting work done so I could enjoy my Christmas vacation without school stuff to do.  And then there was this little movie that came out a few weeks ago that I was a wee bit focused on.  But now Christmas day’s over and I’m snowed in by the CRAZY HUGE SNOWSTORM hitting us here in Erie, PA.  So I’ve plenty of time to delve into the comics waiting for me!  One of the comics in my pile was Chip Zdarsky and Jim Cheung’s new Marvel 2 In One starring the Thing and the Human Torch.  Annnnd I’m in love! Continue reading

Make Mine Captain Marvel!

This is it folks…my 200th post on MY COMIC RELIEF!!!  Just as I did with my piece on The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl for my 100th post celebration, I wanted this one to be extra special.  And I could think of no better subject than Captain Marvel.  Carol Danvers was one of those characters who exploded into popularity during my seventeen year hiatus in comic reading.  She’s also one of the characters I was most excited to meet when I returned!  I don’t think it’s at all hyperbolic to say Captain Marvel represents the future of Marvel Comics.  Reinvented by Kelly Sue DeConnick, shepherded through the Second Superhero Civil War by Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters, and now under the brilliant stewardship of Margaret Stohl, Carol Danvers has become Marvel’s true North.  Providentially named, I believe Captain Marvel represents the best of what Marvel Comics was, is, and can be. Continue reading

Profile of a Pull List III

It’s been nearly a year since I’ve written about what fills my monthly file at Books Galore, my local comic shop.  So I figured it was a good time to revisit the topic!  Given this is a blog about comic books, I like taking a moment every now and then to discuss what titles I feel I need to read each month.  This short little post outlines what I read regularly and explores the rationale that shapes my choices.  What’s making the cut as we near the end of October 2017?  Well read on to find out! Continue reading