Captain Marvel and the Skrulls – The Borders of a Hero’s Courage

When Captain Marvel opened on 8 March 2019 it was kind of a big deal.  After a decade of dragging their feet, Marvel Studios was finally putting the solo spotlight on one of their female superheroes.  Brie Larson was bringing Earth’s mightiest hero – Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel – to life!  This film would also mark the entrance of the Skrulls into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  The Skrulls, a shapeshifting alien race, have plagued the (comic) Marvel Universe since the ‘60s.  As happened with Black Panther/Avengers: Infinity War the year before, it was a shame Avengers: Endgame came out so soon after Captain Marvel.  Attention from this brilliant film was quickly redirected first to speculation about, then reaction to, and finally analysis of Avengers: Endgame.  But there is so much in Captain Marvel that warrants a closer look, one point in particular being the Skrulls themselves. Continue reading

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Chelsea Cain’s Man-Eaters: Vol. 1

I loved Chelsea Cain’ Mockingbird.  It was a comic as fun as it was intelligent and laugh-out-loud funny, easily one of the best Marvel was publishing…until they prematurely cancelled it.  So you can imagine my elation when I realized Chelsea Cain was back together with her entire Mockingbird team to do another comic!  This time she’s writing for Image Comics and the result is the darkly satirical horror/comedy comic Man-Eaters.  It’s narrative is richly symbolic and deeply mythological all while delivering a unflinching assault on patriarchal oppression.  It’s funny and creepy and has this fascinating slow building mystery.  If you’d like to know more (and who wouldn’t?!?) then you can click here to read the piece I wrote exploring it for Reads & Reels!  I would be super happy if you clicked and read because I dig the piece, love the comic, and am happy to be featured on Reads & Reels :).  So, um, what are you waiting for?  Click away! Continue reading

“The Death of the Mighty Thor” – My Eulogy for the Best Comic I’ve Ever Read

This is a milestone for me :).  This piece is my 300th post on My Comic Relief!!  I’ve been trying to figure out which comic was worthy of such a tribute since about my 256th post.  Then, like a blinding flash of lightening it hit me.  I adored Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman, and Matthew Wilson’s work with Jane Foster in The Mighty Thor.  She’s become my definitive Thor.  I’ve written several pieces exploring the brilliance of this run but I’ve never written about the end of Jane’s time wielding Mjölnir.  To do so, I wanted it to be special.  Instead of another analysis, I aim to simply pay tribute, to eulogize in the wake of “The Death of the Mighty Thor,” to talk about why I fell in love with this character and this comic.  In short I want to explain why Jane’s time as Thor became MY FAVORITE COMIC BOOK STORYLINE OF ALL TIME.  In my heart, she’ll always be who I mean when I invoke the name “Thor.” Continue reading

After Into The Spider-Verse, You Need to Read Saladin Ahmed’s Miles Morales: Spider-Man!

Okay, I’m sure everyone’s expecting something about Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse.  But here’s the thing; right now I have nothing unique to say that wouldn’t just echo the fan and critical praise it’s already generating.  I am in awe of this film.  It’s so brilliant and fun and funny and it far surpassed my exceedingly high expectations.  I’ve seen the future of Spider-Man movies and it is animated.  Eventually, I’ll have something deeper or more thoughtful to say.  But for now, I have to say this: If, like me, you’re beyond in love with Into The Spider-Verse then you need to read Saladin Ahmed and Javier Garrón’s Miles Morales: Spider-Man #1.  For any Miles Morales fan, old or new, this comic is a love-at-first-page experience and the love grows exponentially with each following page.  I’m one issue into the new creative team’s run and I’m already counting the days to issue #2. Continue reading

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

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