Needlessly Angsty – Wolverine’s Claws

As I was working my way through a marathon grading session earlier today, I was struck with an idea for a new series.  I’m the type of guy who’s in his own head a lot and, as a result, I tend to over think things too.  However, if I’m being honest, not everything I spend my time obsessively thinking about is worthy of the time I devote to it…or really even important at all.  So this series will highlight the questions and/or issues that I devote plenty of mental energy to – as I wrestle with all their ins and outs, awash in angst over a solution I just can’t find – when I should probably be thinking about, you know, things that really matter :).  Our first topic?  Why it’s none other than Wolverine’s claws! Continue reading

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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

Thor’s Day Salutes: “Whosoever Holds This Hammer…”

Legacy Characters have become a central (and vitally important) part of modern comic storytelling but Thor was doing it long before it was a trend.  Many sets of hands have held Mjölnir over the years and this Thor’s Day (that’s right Thursday…we’re going back to your original purpose and honoring the Thunder God!) I thought it would be fun to look at some of my favorites and consider why they’ve resonated with me.  (I also wanted to explore Mjölnir’s power set a bit, just for funzzies.)  I returned to reading Thor comics when Jane Foster became the Goddess of Thunder but my original run with the title was from 1991 to 1997.  Obviously there are more Thors than I’ll examine here, but these are my favorites :). 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

Thor’s Day Salutes: The Thor Comics I Fell In Love With

I’m back with another installment in this (clearly random in occurrence (but c’mon…the school year is back (and that means grading and lesson planning (so blogging itself becomes more random (to make room for other obligations))))) series saluting my love of Thor as I continue to get excited for Thor: Ragnarök.  As makes total sense to yours truly, there’s really no better day of the week to celebrate Thor than on the day named in his honor.  So let’s celebrate Thursday by remembering it literally means Thor’s Day and looking at why Thor comics captivated me as a kid! Continue reading

Secret Empire’s Finale: Salvation in Hope

Nick Spencer’s Secret Empire came to a close on August 30th with Secret Empire #10.  As I read the final chapter, I knew I’d write something about it.  I’ve written about Secret Empire a few times and I’m pretty open about my love and respect for Sam Wilson: Captain America.  But I didn’t want to write something right away.  Secret Empire’s finale deserved more than my knee-jerk reaction.  I wanted to take time to really think about it before I tried to write anything.  It was an elegant story, equal parts epic superhero crossover and haunting allegory of our times.  But it didn’t stop there, daring to speak to one of our most intimate and eternal human struggles.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Thank you Nick Spencer for such a thoughtful, moving, important, and inspiring story.  And thank you Marvel for backing such courageous storytellingContinue reading

Reading Captain America #25 in the Wake of Charlottesville

Last week Nick Spencer delivered one of Secret Empire’s most important pieces yet in Captain America #25.  I knew when I read it, I’d be writing about it.  But I hadn’t expected to do so this quickly.  However, as I watched the news unfold on Saturday, I couldn’t get this issue out of my mind.  The comic, dropping “Sam Wilson” from the title with this issue, is simply Captain America once more.  The narrative juxtaposes the approach of two very different Captain Americas.  The allegory is clear.  Who do we choose?  Who are we?  It’s a question calling each reader to deep contemplation on a personal and national level, a question I ask myself daily. Continue reading