Captain America, Black Lives Matter, and the Systemic Sin of Racism

When it comes to Nick Spencer’s work we’re all currently focused on Secret Empire.  With good reason too!  The story’s proved as brilliant as it is important.  But in the wake of the June 16th verdict acquitting Office Jeronimo Yanez of the murder of Philando Castile, I think we need to return to Spencer’s final arc in Sam Wilson: Captain America before Secret Empire began.  In Sam Wilson: Captain America #17-21, Cap finds himself facing America’s oldest systemic sin – institutionalized racism.  The story is uncomfortable to read but when we look at the news with open eyes it makes us uncomfortable too.  The idea that we’ve somehow beaten racism in this country or that it’s not a major problem anymore or that we need to “get over it and move on” is an effect of this sin.  In having Captain America confront it, Nick Spencer proves once again why he’s one of my favorite comic writers.  Who better than Captain America to wrestle with this country’s systemic sins and raise important questions about our future? Continue reading

Deadpool’s Totally Boss Trip To The 80’s

Nancy (of Graphic Novelty² fame) has been on vacation with her family and, as a result, asked if I’d be up for writing a guest post for her blog.  Um, how about YES?!?!?!?  Nancy and Kathleen’s Graphic Novelty² was one of the very first blogs I found as I entered the world of WordPress and blogging and I love their posts.  As a result I couldn’t have been more excited to add something to their catalogue.  My choice?  Well, like a babysitter who lets the kids watch something a little inappropriate while Mom and Dad are out for the night, I figured we’d look at Deadpool!  However, as is always the case when Deadpool’s being written by Cullen Bunn, Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars gives us a lot more than just the Merc with a Mouth at his inappropriate best.  Bunn drops Deadpool in the original Secret Wars of the 1980’s and offers another master class on why we’ve come to love and need Deadpool so much.  So maybe you should click over to Graphic Novelty² and check it out?!?  C’mon, it’ll be rad!  I promise.  As a bonus, you can also spend more time perusing all of Nancy and Kathleen’s amazing posts too.  It’s a two-for!  Yay!

The Power of Hope in Secret Empire

This is a piece I felt I had to write.  I’ve been open about my disdain for Marvel’s seemingly endless stream of major event crossovers.  I love their comics, their characters, and their creative talent…but I avoid these cash-grab events like a plague, often dropping heavy tie-in titles from my pull list.  Yet a few weeks back I wrote of my struggle with “Secret Empire.”  While I don’t like these events, I have great respect for/trust in Nick Spencer as an author so I wanted to give this one a shot.  Today, four issues in (counting the Free Comic Book Day offering), I have to say the series is worth every penny!  While Secret Empire is obviously Marvel’s big summer event it’s also a story with a point, purpose, and message and that makes all the difference in the world. Continue reading

So…let’s all try to be Champions

The opening page of Champions #5 shows a mosque in flames.  As this angry, ignorant, intolerant hate crime burns, the Champions arrive in Daly County to help.  Sure, they’ve had traditional superhero skirmished before.  But their focus is on something larger.  They honestly believe they can make the world a better place.  Guided by that belief, the Champions are working to honor the vow they made in issue #1.  Ms. Marvel told Spider-Man and Nova, ” All the ‘grown-up’ heroes broke the world with this dumb war…and they don’t seem interested in putting it back together!  Somebody has to!”  That’s the Champions. Continue reading

Captain America and the Defense of the American Dream

What do we make of today?  With the inauguration of our 45th president we, the American people, are facing an unprecedented age.  It was a difficult, divisive election to be sure.  We looked deeply into our own darkness, leaving many wounds in need of healing.  Hostile foreign powers played with our politics and we, by and large, let them.  Republicans didn’t care because it helped them claim the power they so desperately coveted.  Democrats didn’t say much either, afraid that they’d appear to be using foreign affairs to play dirty partisan politics like their rivals.  Now we have a carnival huckster, a reality TV showman ascending to the highest elected office in our land – a man who seems to know little of, and care even less for, our Constitution.  It all feels unreal, like a dystopian novel.  What will the presidency of Donald Trump herald?  I have no idea.  What do we do?  For that, I have a clearer picture.  For that, we have Captain America to guide us. Continue reading

The Vision, The Other, and a Way to Communion

Okay, so obviously I’m late to the game with Tom King and Gabriel Hernandez Walta’s The Vision.  I started it when it came out but (honestly) it made me heart hurt a bit too much to read monthly.  But thankfully Kalie got me both trade paperbacks for Christmas!  Yay!!!  I’m happy I read this in one sitting as a complete, beautiful, tragic novel.  You know those novels that, once read, you can’t get out of your head?  Well that’s The Vision.  This story will haunt me, yes, but it also moved me – as we all need to be moved – by making me feel the experience of the other. Continue reading

Ghostbusters: A Favorite Comic, A Lifelong Calling

with Kalie Zamierowski!  Yay!!

I’ve never done a co-authored piece on my blog before but today is the day!  Given this is my 99th post annnnd I’m honoring a comic book I love (and write about a lot) – Erik Burnham and Dan Schoening’s brilliant Ghostbusters – I wanted to do something extra special.  Kalie and I were having a discussion about ghostbusting the other day and she started analyzing the guys in grey in a light I’d never considered.  So I pitched the team-up idea to her and she happily agreed.  Are you ready to see the Ghostbusters as you’ve never seen them before?  Here we go… Continue reading