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

Ms. Marvel and a Brighter Tomorrow

Do you know what super villains Ms. Marvel fought in her latest issue?  She fought Gerrymandering and apathy.  FOR REAL.  I put the comic down as convinced as ever that G. Willow Wilson is one of the most important comic book writers of our modern age.  I promise I’m not being hyperbolic.  Rather, this issue is a perfect example of why we need her writing.  I wanted to spotlight the four comics I could never cut from my pull list as I count down to my 100th post.  I literally just finished Ms. Marvel #13 a moment ago (I know, I’m behind) and knew I had to start here.  How could I ever stop reading a comic that leaves me so inspired?? Continue reading

What Would Superman Do?

Granted, I don’t write about DC often on this site.  Yet just because Marvel has always held my heart doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy DC’s characters in their own way.  Nor does it mean I don’t spend time thinking about them.  In fact, Superman is one of the heroes who most often rattles around in my head.  There is a story I’ve always wanted to see, a struggle that’s uniquely Superman’s.  And I think about it all the time. Continue reading