We (Still) Don’t Need Your Civil War

As I was re-reading some recent issues of Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel this afternoon I had an odd experience.  Each comic left the Guns ‘n’ Roses song “Civil War” playing louder and louder on repeat in my mind.  As I read (or re-read) Kamala and Miles’ solo adventures each month I find myself wondering where the story could be if it didn’t have to tie into a massive crossover.  And as I let my thoughts wander I found myself continuously singing, “I don’t need your civil war…” Continue reading

Star Wars, Dark Empire, and the Expanded Universe

For a lifelong fan of comic books and a lover of Star Wars what I’m about to say surprises even me.  I just finished reading the Dark Empire miniseries for the first time.  For real.  How has it taken me so long to read this?!?  I can absolutely see why this is considered such a classic!  With all this excitement running through my being I thought it would be an excellent time to engage in an EPIC lightsaber duel.  However, given the fact that my lightsabers are all the way downstairs and I’m lacking an opponent at the moment, I figured I’d talk about Star Wars, comics, canon, and the Expanded Universe instead. Continue reading

Andrew’s DC Diaries

Guest Writer – Andrew

While I have enjoyed a lot of the DC Rebirth process to date there are two releases so far that for me tower far above the rest of the titles. Those two books are Red Hood and the Outlaws and Batgirl. Indeed if I were forced to pick just two DC books each month then (with some reluctance, especially at not being able to throw Green Lanterns in too) it would be those two as things stand. Continue reading

My Deep, Dark Comic Book Secret

Admittedly, this is a weird thing for someone who blogs (and thinks and talks) about comic books as much as I do to admit.  Hell, it’s something weird for anyone who enjoys popular culture to admit.  But it’s the truth.  I was actually inspired by a recent post Nancy wrote at Graphic Novelty 2 as well as one by Emrys M. over at New to Comics to just come on out and say this.  So here we are.  I’m going to be honest.  The truth – my deep, dark, comic book secret – is about to be revealed.  Are you ready?  Okay…let’s go. Continue reading

In Love With Spider-Man In Love

Do you remember that classic SNL skit with Will Ferrell and Alec Baldwin?  They’re doing Inside The Actor’s Studio and Will Ferrell (as James Lipton) tells Alec Baldwin (playing Charles Nelson Riley) that the English language lacks a word capable of describing just how great his performance is.  As a result, he invents the word scrumtrelescent to describe that level of perfection.  Well after work yesterday, I finally treated myself to the trade paperback of Dan Slott’s Secret Wars tie-in series The Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows.  Do you know what I learned?  IT WAS SCRUMTRELESCENT!!! Continue reading

Andrew’s DC Diary  

Guest Writer: Andrew

The last time I wrote for My Comic Relief it was to do a brief assessment of the Rebirth process following the first 6 or 7 weeks of titles. So how are things shaping up since then? Well we’ve had some new titles, and in the main there has been a continuation of strong first issues for the new series. Here’s a further update, with a focus on new appearances to the comic shop shelves since my last post.

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What does YOUR Hulk look like?

As a kid, I was always reading and re-reading The Incredible Hulk.  In fact, I have one comic box from my youth entirely filled with nothing but Hulk comics.  There was just something about this monstrous hero that I found exciting!  However, reading about the Hulk also made me sad.  So often he’s the epitome of isolation, feared and rejected by the world, unable to be with those he loves.  It’s an odd experience to love a superhero who always makes you feel like you should give them a hug and tell them it’s going to be alright.  But the Hulk also fascinates me as a metaphorical example of our anger’s devastative potential.  And when I read the Hulk now I wonder…what do I unleash when I get angry? Continue reading

Batman and the Nature of Evil – Arkham Asylum

Grant Morrison, who has become one of Batman’s most celebrated authors, would write the character for the first time in 1989’s haunting graphic novel Batman: Arkham Asylum.  Paired with Dave McKean’s wild, boundless paintings of the characters, the book’s visual feel matched and fueled the horror of the narrative.  If we’re looking at how the Batman’s enemies illustrate evil, this is one of the definitive texts. And, as we ready ourselves for Suicide Squad this weekend, this seems a natural book to consider as well.  The Suicide Squad is comprised of some of Batman’s most intriguing villains.  But what exactly makes a Batman villain?  And how do they reflect and relate to our understanding of evil? Continue reading

Batman and the Nature Of Evil – An Introduction

While I’ll always be a Marvel guy first and foremost, one of the things I’ve always felt Batman does better than any other comic book character is explore the depths and nature of evil.  Every superhero has villains…but Batman dances with the darkness in a way that’s expressly his own.  So, in honor of Suicide Squad‘s release this weekend, I wanted to do a few posts about the nature of evil and how it’s presented in Batman’s villains.  However, I don’t want to start with something I’ve written.  Rather, what will come in my next few posts will build heavily on articles I’ve already read.  These pieces will help frame the arguments I’ll be making in the posts to come but, more importantly, they’re brilliantly written analyses in their own right, speaking elegantly about evil.  Before I can talk about and understand the Batman and the evil he faces, I first want to look at what others have said about evil, informing my own opinion. Continue reading

Some opening thoughts on DC Rebirth – Justice League and Green Lanterns

When Michael asked me to write a piece for My Comic Relief he suggested it should be on DC comics. His request came right at the start of DC Comic’s Rebirth launch so unfortunately it’s only at this point, as we reach week 6 of that process that I feel I have acclimatised enough to the new titles to give some thoughts. Continue reading