Ten Surprises I Found When I FINALLY Read Marvel’s Civil War

That’s right world, I finally did it!  I FINALLY read Marvel’s “Civil War.”  It only took me twelve years to do it :).  This was, arguably, the biggest thing to happen to comic books during my seventeen year break in reading them.  It was a company-wide crossover unlike anything Marvel had attempted before.  It was a story working perfectly in-universe while also serving as one of the defining allegories of the times.  Parts of it worked as comic books do when they are operating at their highest level.  It was a shining example of a modern myth.  Naturally, I’ve always been intrigued by it and it was certainly impossible (well impossible if you’re interested in comic books) to not have heard all about it.  So it’s been a treat, as I’ve spent the last few months reading this modern epic, to find a few things which legitimately surprised me. Continue reading

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What is #Comicsgate? Small Minds with Big Mouths

I’ve intentionally avoided writing about “#Comicsgate” until now.  Honestly, I felt it didn’t deserve any more attention than it already had.  It’s a movement of intolerance fueled by a small (compared to comic fandom as a whole) group of angry, close-minded individuals.  They are very loud about their displeasure with the modern comic industry in an attempt to a) appear larger and more influential than they really are and b) garner more attention for their rantings.  As such, I haven’t written about it.  Why give this little, prattling monster what it wants?  However, as someone who writes about his love of comic books while often showcasing my appreciation for the social justice lessons the better ones teach us, I figured it was time to finally talk about it.  As it’s sadly not going anywhere (yet) I’d also like to offer my two cents on how we can counter things like this in the comic fan community.  Continue reading

Thoughts on James Gunn’s Firing from Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3

This isn’t a news site.  I’ve no desire to be a news site either.  But, as a comic geek and MCU fan, it’s impossible not to think about the news that came out Friday.  Being a lover of the Guardians Of The Galaxy films, I’ve obviously been thinking about Disney firing James Gunn from Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 a lot.  Writing often helps me sort all my feelings (one of the reasons I need to get back to journaling regularly…I miss it) so I figured I’d give it a go here.  So, technically, this isn’t so much a reporting of the news as it is my reaction to the news. Continue reading

F.N.V. – The Fourth of July!

Okay, I know it isn’t Friday.  So a Friday Night Video post may be unexpected.  If it helps, you can think of this as a Fourth (of July) Night Video post!  Or, if you prefer, you can think of this as a makeup for the one I wasn’t able to write last Friday since I was at that conference all week.  However you slice it, as people all over the country celebrate America’s birthday in their own way, I wanted to offer some music that explores all America does, can, and should represent. Continue reading

Marvel’s Champions – The Youth Shall Lead Us

Back in March, Mark Waid and Humberto Ramos ended their eighteen issue run on Champions, the team they introduced in 2016.  Consisting of Ms. Marvel, Spider-Man, Nova, Viv Vision, the Hulk, and Cyclops, these teens united with the very real belief they could make the world better.  While adult superheroes tend to spend all their time with things like supervillains, monsters, alien invasions, and stupid/senseless/pointless Civil Wars, these kids sought to tackle real issues, believing in their potential to fix things and inspire others to do the same in the process.  This run was one of the most important things Marvel’s produced of late, a story that speaks to their youthful readers while reminding us older ones what’s worth fighting for by showing us what real heroes do. Continue reading

From Tony to Riri and Back Again: Considering Iron Man’s Return

This week’s New Comic Book Day brings two major Marvel milestones.  The first, Tony Stark returns to active duty as the Armored Avenger, shaking off the coma that’s sidelined him since the end of Civil War II.  The second, The Invincible Iron Man #600 marks Brian Michael Bendis’s final Marvel comic.  There’s lots to reflect on with Bendis’s move to DC, to be sure.  However, as someone who writes often of the vital importance of Legacy Characters on this site, I’d rather discuss something else.  What does it mean for Riri Williams – for Ironheart – to have Tony return? Continue reading

The Elegant Nature of Black Panther

This is a piece I’ve wanted to write for a long time.  I’ve tried before but could never find the right words.  Ta-Nehisi Coates, Brian Stelfreeze and Laura Martin’s Black Panther was one of the titles I was most excited by as I returned to reading comics in 2015.  While the Black Panther was only ever a guest star in the comics I read in my youth, Ta-Nehisi Coates is one of my favorite contemporary authors.  I follow his work in The Atlantic and have read his memoir Between The World and Me several times.  An author I so respect coming to a medium I’ve loved since before I could read was almost too good to be true!  The results proved even better than I’d imagined.  The pages of Coates, Stelfreeze, and Martin’s Black Panther held a story with an elegance unlike any I’d found in a comic book before. Continue reading