Thor’s Battle with Gorr the God Butcher: A Question of Divine Implications

Jason Aaron began his run writing Thor: God Of Thunder by introducing the villainous Gorr the God Butcher.  For millennia Gorr travelled the cosmos, killing all immortal beings he encountered in the most macabre fashions he could imagine.  The story is obviously rich with theological implications, considering both the nature and purpose of our ideas of the divine as well as introducing the question that will form the core of Aaron’s run to date – what is a worthy god?  In preparation for a paper I’ll be presenting on Jason Aaron’s use of the Divine Feminine in The Mighty Thor at the ACA/PCA Conference on Popular Culture next month, I’ve been reading all of Aaron’s work with Thor (both Odinson and Jane Foster).  My research also led me to many articles interpreting Aaron’s work as a sort of atheistic manifesto, something I felt warranted further discussion. Continue reading


The Future of the MCU: A Little Speculative Fun

With the premiere of Black Panther just two weeks away, my excitement couldn’t be higher!  I have fallen in love with the character through Ta-Nehisi Coates genre-defining run on the title and my anticipation of seeing the world of Wakanda on the big screen has legitimately surpassed – by far (and for real!) – my excitement for Avengers: Infinity War.  And now Black Panther has taken the record for the largest ticket presale for any superhero movie ever!!  As I get ready for Black Panther, I’ve been thinking a lot about what Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will look like.  Who lives?!?  Who dies?!?  What movies will we see down the line?!?  Here are my guesses… Continue reading

Um, Amazing Spider-Man, I’m Feeling Trapped…and a Little Unhappy

Part of me didn’t want to write this post.  Then a bigger part of me didn’t want to share it.  It feels inappropriate.  This feels like talking about problems with a significant other in public when it should be handled privately, just between the two of us, and behind closed doors.  But I keep wrestling with it and I write a blog about comic books (and, you know, other stuff) so I figured it was time to just be out with this.  Who knows?  Maybe I’ll glean some insight here. Continue reading


The Impossible Surprise of James Tynion IV’s Batman: Detective Comics

I have to tip my hat to James Tynion IV.  He’s clearly one of our most talented modern comic writers.  I’ve always been fairly ambivalent about DC.  And I’ve never, ever liked Batman.  I’ve said before I think he’s overrated.  In fact, he kind of annoys me.  He’s this grumpy malcontent whose emotional development stalled as the result of a childhood tragedy and now (somewhat ironically) recruits child soldiers to help him battle the most dangerous and disturbed minds on the planet.  He’s too dark, dangerous, and dour to ever be my sort of superhero.  BUT James Tynion IV has taken this character I’ve never liked and created a comic I love around him.  His Detective Comics is the lone DC book I need to read in my world of Marvel and IDW titles. 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


Captain Phasma: A Lesson Learned in The Last Jedi

So this isn’t another essay or reflection on The Last Jedi.  I’m not looking deeper at the themes in the film nor am I furthering my analysis on Star Wars’ future as folklore in this post.  Rather, this piece is about an unexpected lesson I learned from The Last Jedi, care of everyone’s favorite chrome-plated stormtrooper Captain Phasma, regarding the growing Disney Canon of works in their Star Wars Universe.  What lesson, you may ask, did you glean from Phasma’s fifteen seconds of screen time?!?  While it’s probably quite the opposite of what Disney would want, I think it will make my Star Wars time far more enjoyable. Continue reading


A Tale of Two Caps

In the wake of Secret Empire’s conclusion, Nick Spencer stepped away from Captain America, the title he shepherded for Marvel from October 2015 through September 2017.  During this time he handled the majority of Sam Wilson’s iconic turn as Cap as well as the (infamously controversial) Hydra corruption of Steve Rogers, resulting in Steve becoming a fanatical white supremacist.  Amidst the most soul-crushing, hopeless storyline I’ve ever read in a comic, Spencer orchestrated the resurrection of hope in a way so authentically powerful, I felt as though I’d been reborn along with Steve Rogers.  Now, in the Marvel Legacy era, Rodney Barnes has taken over writing the brand-new Falcon series while Mark Waid has taken over Captain America.  For me, the results have been mixed. Continue reading