Jason Aaron’s Avengers #1 and Free Comic Book Day 2018

I’m not one for team books.  I used to be but, by and large, I just can’t get into them now (minus the incredible exceptions of Mark Waid’s Champions and Gerry Duggan’s Guardians Of The Galaxy).  I find them to be crossover hubs and often more action heavy then character focused.  However, like Lewis Black and candy corn, I can’t stop trying them.  This week, motivated by my love of his work on The Mighty Thor and knowing I’d see them in my Free Comic Book Day selections anyway, I decided to give Jason Aaron, Ed Mcguinness, and David Curiel’s new take on Earth’s Mightiest Heroes a try…sadly, I wasn’t impressed.  Thankfully, I have higher hopes for my other Free Comic Book Day picks! Continue reading

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My Grail – The One Comic I Covet

Last week Kalie and I were in Indianapolis presenting at the PCA/ACA Conference on Popular Culture.  It was so much fun!  Both of our papers were well received (mine (as I’ve mentioned once or twice) explored Jason Aaron’s use of the Divine Feminine in The Mighty Thor) and the whole week was an enriching, stimulating experience.  It was exciting to meet so many other people who teach through popular culture and there were papers on just about everything you could imagine.  To see all these different scholars in all these different areas, utilizing pop culture and speaking to its value in an academic setting was incredible.  While we were there, Indiana’s Comic Con was going on down the street.  And THAT got me thinking about the one comic I covet… Continue reading

Thor Odinson vs. Roxxon: You Can’t Serve Two Masters

In preparation for my paper on Jason Aaron’s use of the Divine Feminine in The Mighty Thor at the ACA/PCA Conference on Popular Culture at the end of the month, I’ve finished reading his entire Thor: God Of Thunder series.  Following Gorr the God Butcher, Aaron introduces another villain who is equally rich in menace and theological significance.  Dario Agger, CEO of Roxxon Energy Corporation, will challenge first the Odinson and then Jane Foster when she becomes Thor.  In continuing his exploration of what makes a worthy god Aaron uses Agger as the personification of two of our most sinful and dangerous traits – the idolatrous worship of wealth and wanton environmental destruction.  These then are the forces a worthy god opposes.  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

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

Locke & Key and Horror Comic Books

I read a FOR REAL horror comic book that was super scary and everything.  It was IDW’s beyond brilliant Locke & Key series by Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodríguez, and Jay Fotos.  It was recommended to me with the highest of recommendations by Nancy (of Graphic Novelty² fame).  She digs this comic.  It took me months to marshal the courage needed to actually read a for real horror comic series.  But I did it!  After surviving, I wrote this post for Kalie on her blog Just Dread-full.  Listen, this was a big moment for me.  I read something super scary and survived!  Also, the comic had a powerful message at it’s heart.  As if that wasn’t enough, I also wrote it to mark the three year anniversary of the day Kalie and I met.  I know…awwwww.  So, um, why haven’t you clicked the link yet??  C’mon people!  Time’s a wastin’!  You should read this thing!

Deadpool Does Secret Empire!

I’m about to write a line I never expected to write.  Are you ready?  Gerry Duggan, Mike Hawthorne, and Matteo Lolli’s Deadpool is the best Secret Empire tie-in I’ve read.  By far.  Without question.  No contest.  Now, I love me some Deadpool!  But with Sam Wilson: Captain America and Steve Rogers: Captain America and Champions and all the one shots (Uprising, Underground, and United) being on my pull list, I never thought ol’ Wade Wilson’s tale would be the best.  But it is!  Deadpool presents the everyman’s tale inside this massive, emotionally-heavy crossover event.  It shows Secret Empire from the perspective of the “regular person” trapped within this system, struggling against the banality of evil growing around them while having no choice but to play their part in the new regime. Continue reading