It’s like Marvel knows it’s my Birthday Week! On July 1st it was announced Dan Slott will be returning to write a new monthly Spider-Man book – the adjective-less Spider-Man, which first debuted in my youth as a vehicle for the artist/writer Todd McFarlane in August of 1990 – this October. Dan Slott was part of of the Webhead Braintrust of writers who launched Spider-Man’s “Brand New Day” Era in January 2008 alongside Marc Guggenheim, Bob Gale, and Zeb Wells and grew to include Mark Waid, Joe Kelly, Fred Van Lente, Roger Stern, Brian Reed, and Tom Peyer before BND ended in November 2010. He then took over as solo writer for The Amazing Spider-Man which he wrote from that November’s #648 through June 2018’s #801. Dan Slott can be a bit of a divisive writer among Spider-fans so I wanted to take this chance to reflect a bit on his writing and why I’m pretty excited for the return of such an amazing (heh) Spider-Man writer. THWIP onward for Spider-Reflections!
The Fantastic Four and the Science of Soul Mates
Perhaps the most oft repeated observation about the Fantastic Four is they are a family first, superheroes second. This piece of their identity has been their cornerstone since Stan Lee ushered in the “Marvel Age of Comics” with their creation in 1961. With the FF poised to enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Dan Slott was given the reins of “The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine” in 2018. Understanding the nature of the FF – a family of explorers and travelers who save the day when needed – he uses it to examine a captivating concept which seems uniquely suited to the Fantastic Four. When their explorations take them to the planet Spyre, Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic, Sue Storm/the Invisible Woman, Johnny Storm/the Human Torch, and Ben Grimm/the Thing meet the Overseer, the leader of the Spyricans, a people who have technology they claim will show you your Soul Mate with absolute certainty. Families are born in the bonds of love and there’s no love like a Soul Mate…should such a thing exist. What better place to drop explorers defined by their family than the questions raised at the intersection of loving communion and a technology that can predict the mystical movements of the heart?!!?
As readers we can’t help but take this journey with the Fantastic Four and wonder are Soul Mates real? And if they are, would we want to know?
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
Make Mine Captain Marvel!
This is it folks…my 200th post on MY COMIC RELIEF!!! Just as I did with my piece on The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl for my 100th post celebration, I wanted this one to be extra special. And I could think of no better subject than Captain Marvel. Carol Danvers was one of those characters who exploded into popularity during my seventeen year hiatus in comic reading. She’s also one of the characters I was most excited to meet when I returned! I don’t think it’s at all hyperbolic to say Captain Marvel represents the future of Marvel Comics. Reinvented by Kelly Sue DeConnick, shepherded through the Second Superhero Civil War by Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters, and now under the brilliant stewardship of Margaret Stohl, Carol Danvers has become Marvel’s true North. Providentially named, I believe Captain Marvel represents the best of what Marvel Comics was, is, and can be. Continue reading
Thor’s Day Salutes: “Whosoever Holds This Hammer…”
Legacy Characters have become a central (and vitally important) part of modern comic storytelling but Thor was doing it long before it was a trend. Many sets of hands have held Mjölnir over the years and this Thor’s Day (that’s right Thursday…we’re going back to your original purpose and honoring the Thunder God!) I thought it would be fun to look at some of my favorites and consider why they’ve resonated with me. (I also wanted to explore Mjölnir’s power set a bit, just for funzzies.) I returned to reading Thor comics when Jane Foster became the Goddess of Thunder but my original run with the title was from 1991 to 1997. Obviously there are more Thors than I’ll examine here, but these are my favorites :). Continue reading
Profile of a Pull List III
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
Thor’s Day Salutes: The Thor Comics I Fell In Love With
I’m back with another installment in this (clearly random in occurrence (but c’mon…the school year is back (and that means grading and lesson planning (so blogging itself becomes more random (to make room for other obligations))))) series saluting my love of Thor as I continue to get excited for Thor: Ragnarök. As makes total sense to yours truly, there’s really no better day of the week to celebrate Thor than on the day named in his honor. So let’s celebrate Thursday by remembering it literally means Thor’s Day and looking at why Thor comics captivated me as a kid! Continue reading
…..really?? – Marvel Legacy Edition
I enjoy writing impassioned pieces here. There is a special sort of joy that comes from something born of your heart and soul taking shape in your writing. I also like to pride myself on writing informed and researched pieces. I’m not one to rant emotionally with nothing to base it on. However, one of the early posts on this blog was titled “…..really?” and it dealt with my shock and frustration over the (now infamous) Hydra Cap reveal. I’ve come to deeply respect what’s come of the story and I’ll openly admit I was wrong. Buuuut sometimes you just need to rant so I’m taking the title of that piece – “…..really??” – and turning it into an occasional series where I react to an idea before I really have any idea what’s up :). Today’s focus is Marvel Legacy! Continue reading
Free Comic Book Day and My Guardians Of The Galaxy Sampler!
Yes, it’s the first Saturday in May and that means FREE COMIC BOOK DAY! This is the sixteenth year this event’s been a part of our pop culture experience. Personally, this is only the second time I’ve participated as someone picking up free comics, having just come back to reading them recently. This year I waited in line (in my Star Lord garb from the movie on Thursday night) ready to take home my free comic and celebrate my favorite independent book store/comic shop – Books Galore. On the costume note, special thanks to Green Onion who pointed out to me on Twitter Thursday that my Star Lord costume was missing a Walkman! How did I let that slide by?!? Thankfully I had time to go home after work to get my old Walkman before the movie so I was good to go on Thursday night and this morning. Thanks man! Continue reading