The Four Comics I Can’t Live Without

A few years ago, when I was counting down to my hundredth post on this site, I profiled the four comic books I’d found since my return to reading comics which had become indispensable to my reading life.  These were the comics that, even if I stopped collecting comics again, I couldn’t imagine putting down.  They showcased, for me, the best of what a comic could offer while doing things I never imagined a comic book could.  They were (in the order I wrote about them in my countdown), Marvel’s Ms. Marvel, IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, IDW’s Ghostbusters, and Marvel’s The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl.  Thinking of those titles now, I can still feel the burgeoning excitement and awe that accompanied my return to comic reading.  They also make me think of impermanence. Continue reading

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Tony Stark – Marvel’s Cinematic Masterpiece

“Genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist” – with four words Joss Whedon defined the character of Tony Stark for a generation.  But it was never the words alone that transformed a b-level character into a worldwide icon and the anchor for a groundbreaking interconnected cinematic universe.  It was the man inside the armor delivering those lines.  While it’s easy to forget, eleven years and twenty-two films in, back in 2008 Marvel Studios was far from a sure thing.  Marvel had sold their most successful characters (Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four) to other studios and was left to make their own movies with their second tier.  Robert Downey Jr. made it work.  He incarnated Tony Stark perfectly, seamlessly blending cockiness and charisma, arrogance and vulnerability, snark and heart.  He presented a character who resonated and who meant something.  He carried the world of comic books into the mainstream on his armored shoulders, all but single-handedly paving the way for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  No matter how much brilliance followed in his wake, this is why Tony Stark will always be Marvel’s cinematic masterpiece to me. Continue reading

Star Wars ComLINKS: Favorite Female Character

Much like Woody Allen Wednesdays took a hit when teaching slowed my participation in joint blogging adventures (papers don’t grade themselves…phooey), I’ve been sadly absent from Anakin and His Angel‘s Star Wars ComLINKS for a few months.  But I’m back baby!  This month, in honor of the Forces Of Destiny cartoon shorts on the Disney YouTube channel, Jenmarie has focused our ComLINKS posts on favorite female characters.  There are so many strong women I love in Star Wars.  Where would we be without Princess Leia??  And we have Padmé Amidala, Mara Jade, Jaina Solo, Admiral Natasi Daala, Shmi Skywalker, and Ahsoka Tano too!  But for me, this post belongs to Mallatobuck.  Malla is Chewie’s wife and their relationship serves as a moving meditation on the strength of love. Continue reading

Squirrel Girl’s Subversive Genius

Aaaahh!  This is it!  This is my 100th post on My Comic Relief.  Yay!!!  To mark such an important occasion, I want to take a look at the one comic book that’s become truly indispensible to me.  If, for some reason, I could only read one comic book a month, Ryan North and Erica Henderson’s The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl would be it.  There’s no contest.  No other comic is more enjoyable or more important to me.  I could think of no better way to celebrate hitting 100 posts than by celebrating why I love this brilliant comic so much. Continue reading

Top Five Wednesday – Used To Love ‘Em But…

Top Five LogoOkay, full disclosure, I’m writing this post as I’m watching the Election Returns so I’m sorry if my writing seems a little off.  I’m distracted you know?  Even though I’m still hopeful and optimistic anything can happen (and has been…) and I’m kind of freaking out.  Sooooo I figured I’d write a blog post!  And thankfully our faithful moderator Sam from Thoughts On Tomes has given the T5W Goodreads group another great prompt.  The task?  Find five characters I used to love but now don’t, whether I’ve outgrown them, have come to hate them, or am just now casually indifferent to them.  So here’s who comes to mind when I’m trying not to worry whether or not my country’s about to implode under a Trumpocalypse…  Continue reading