Young Anakin Skywalker turns and runs back to his mother, telling her that “I just can’t do it mom.” Offered the chance to flee his life of slavery on Tatooine, to travel the galaxy and become a Jedi under the tutelage of Master Qui-Gon Jinn, the 9-year-old boy has a reasonable moment of doubt. He has only ever known this life with Shmi, his mother. As an audience we know very little of their life prior to meeting them in The Phantom Menace, only small bits that are often short on details. Anakin and Shmi used to be the property of Gardulla the Hutt and are now owned by the junk dealer Watto. Shmi has taught Anakin to care for others who are in need, and she says he has no greed. Anakin is the only human who can fly a podracer, having incredible reflexes that are uncommon for a human. We learn these and other facts, but they remain superficial, lacking any depth to better understand the trajectory of the life Shmi and Anakin have lived together. When Anakin says he does not want to leave, and his mother never-the-less insists “don’t look back,” we are otherwise lacking any meaningful understanding of what looking back truly means.
This was not the piece I expected to write about The Suicide Squad. I had a completely different idea in mind as the film began but as I watched the movie I realized this was what I needed to talk about. I’ve always loved stories. Who doesn’t? Reading, watching, telling, and listening to them – I’m here for all of it! I will reread and rewatch the stories I love again and again and again. The right story takes a place in our heart like nothing else can. Years ago this blog was born, in part, as an outlet to write about the stories I love (so maybe I’d talk about them a little less in real life (but the exact opposite occurred XD)). I love thinking about stories, talking about stories, analyzing and deconstructing stories, teaching with and through stories – I love it all. So I needed to write about Cleo Cazo/Ratcatcher 2, played by Daniela Melchior and written/directed by James Gunn in The Suicide Squad, because never in my whole life has any character in any story ever moved what this character in this story moved within me. And that is certainly something worthy of exploration! This piece has a few minor spoilers for the film but you’ll be warned beforehand.
Seeking a refuge for healing and peaceful contemplation, Jedi Knight Nomi Sunrider returns to the planet Ambria and the dwelling of Master Thon, her former Jedi Master. Traveling with Sunrider is her beloved 4-year-old daughter Vima and fellow Jedi Knight Sylvar who, like Nomi, seeks the peace and wisdom which Master Thon can offer. The joyful reunion with Master Thon is brief, however, disrupted by the sudden ambush of reptilian creatures swelling with the Dark Side of the Force and controlled by Sith assassins. Commanded to destroy Master Thon and his company, the Sith-controlled creatures surround the Jedi and launch their assault.
The first eleven years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe held twenty-two films all leading up the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy’s battle with Thanos and his Black Order, as the fate of creation hung in the balance. It was a story built with patience and care and the conclusion in Avengers: Endgame, while not without faults, was brilliantly crafted. But the MCU didn’t end there. No, Phase Four is rolling and one of many questions to consider is…which villain comes next? Who can possibly follow Thanos?? My guess? Onslaught. BOOM. Continue reading →
The first generation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – now officially “The Infinity Saga” – has come to a close with Avengers: Endgame. While I’m only beginning to process all the film had to offer, I still can’t help imagining what will come next. More Black Panther! More Captain Marvel! More Dr. Strange! Plus we know there are movies in the works for new characters like the Eternals and Shang-Chi. But, as the name “Infinity Saga” implies, it’s not all about the heroes. The name points towards the reality that the past eleven years and twenty-two films all led to our heroes’ iconic encounter with the Mad Titan Thanos, in an attempt to stop his destruction of half of all life with the Infinity Stones. So, thinking of the future of the MCU naturally begs the question…what villain comes next? Who can possibly follow Thanos?? My (first) guess? Annihilus – the Living Death that Walks. BOOM. Continue reading →
Where is the line for what can and can’t be changed in regard to certain characters? Or rather, where is the line for what changes can be permanent as opposed to those inevitably reverted by future writers? This question has been on my mind a lot last month (well, in addition to being terribly sick and having to do my end of term grading – but all my extra mental energy has been focused on this). As a genre, comics demand new stories for their most popular characters every month (sometimes multiple times a month) unceasingly for decades without allowing characters to age more than five or ten years. It’s easy to see why reboots, alternate realities, Legacy Characters assuming a mantle, time travel, alien doppelgangers, mind-wipes, and so on always pop-up. How do you keep an unending story fresh? One trope employed to this end is the redemption of a villain and this, specifically, has been on my mind. Continue reading →
It’s been nearly a year since I’ve written about what fills my monthly file at Books Galore, my local comic shop. So I figured it was a good time to revisit the topic! Given this is a blog about comic books, I like taking a moment every now and then to discuss what titles I feel I need to read each month. This short little post outlines what I read regularly and explores the rationale that shapes my choices. What’s making the cut as we near the end of October 2017? Well read on to find out! Continue reading →