The Superior Spider-Man : Confronting the Darkness Within

Of the many tropes to regularly wind their way through the Spider-Man comics over the years, the one that always wears on me is when some chain of events cause the “friendly neighborhood” attitude to drop from Spidey’s modus operandi and we see Peter become a dark, serious vigilante.  What can I say?  I like my Spider-Man to be a light, happy, inspiring character.  If I wanted glum and grim I’d read more Batman.  However, Dan Slott (who I’m learning more and more is nothing if not an inventive writer (who really loves Spider-Man)) upended this approach with The Superior Spider-Man.  One of the many things to happen to the web-head during the nineteen years I wasn’t reading his comics was Doctor Octopus stole his body and life for a time.  With Ock wearing the webs, we find our angrier Spider-Man but wrapped inside a tale of transformation and redemption. Continue reading

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Welcome To The Family

It’s no secret that I love the Guardians of the Galaxy.  It’s also no secret that I was super excited for Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2.  However, I still really struggled with writing this piece.  I had trouble trying to capture just how this film affected me.  But…I think I’m ready to try.  In 2014, James Gunn simultaneously stole my heart and made me laugh until I cried with Guardians Of The Galaxy.  I immediately fell in love with these characters and this universe so I’ve been patiently waiting (for nearly three years!!) to see them again.  Now that I have, THERE’S SO MUCH TO TALK ABOUT.  So let’s go!  Fair warning, spoilers will follow.  Continue reading

Wonder Woman: A Salvific Triumph

Even with the Rotten Tomatoes score, I wasn’t ready for this.  Wonder Woman is a revelation.  We now have a new standard bearer for what a superhero movie can do.  There are no spoilers here, obviously.  The movie just came out last night!  Everyone needs to see this and experience for themselves just how inspiring a comic book movie can be.  Marvel, and the world, need take notice too.  DC’s cinematic comic book universe has arrived and Wonder Woman is their flagship hero, carrying both the DCEU forward and the possible potential for all comic book movies.  Finding what I did in watching Wonder Woman was the most incredible surprise.  And you deserve that surprise too!  So I’m not talking spoilers but I will speak of the film thematically and speak to how it managed to move me so profoundly. Continue reading

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

Logan – Elegy to an Era

After three viewings and two weeks, I’m finally ready to talk about Logan.  I had high expectations.  I tried to manage them but it was impossible!  Hugh Jackman has been playing Wolverine for seventeen years.  He ushered in the modern era of cinematic superheroes.  I couldn’t keep my expectations for his swansong from growing.  The film was absolutely nothing like I expected but it was brilliantly executed.  Hugh Jackman and James Mangold delivered a finale that deeply moved me.  Fair warning, this post will be filled with spoilers.  It will also be filled with emotions! 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

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