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


Thor’s Battle with Gorr the God Butcher: A Question of Divine Implications

Jason Aaron began his run writing Thor: God Of Thunder by introducing the villainous Gorr the God Butcher.  For millennia Gorr travelled the cosmos, killing all immortal beings he encountered in the most macabre fashions he could imagine.  The story is obviously rich with theological implications, considering both the nature and purpose of our ideas of the divine as well as introducing the question that will form the core of Aaron’s run to date – what is a worthy god?  In preparation for a paper I’ll be presenting on Jason Aaron’s use of the Divine Feminine in The Mighty Thor at the ACA/PCA Conference on Popular Culture next month, I’ve been reading all of Aaron’s work with Thor (both Odinson and Jane Foster).  My research also led me to many articles interpreting Aaron’s work as a sort of atheistic manifesto, something I felt warranted further discussion. Continue reading

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 Elegant Nature of Black Panther

This is a piece I’ve wanted to write for a long time.  I’ve tried before but could never find the right words.  Ta-Nehisi Coates, Brian Stelfreeze and Laura Martin’s Black Panther was one of the titles I was most excited by as I returned to reading comics in 2015.  While the Black Panther was only ever a guest star in the comics I read in my youth, Ta-Nehisi Coates is one of my favorite contemporary authors.  I follow his work in The Atlantic and have read his memoir Between The World and Me several times.  An author I so respect coming to a medium I’ve loved since before I could read was almost too good to be true!  The results proved even better than I’d imagined.  The pages of Coates, Stelfreeze, and Martin’s Black Panther held a story with an elegance unlike any I’d found in a comic book before. Continue reading


A Tale of Two Caps

In the wake of Secret Empire’s conclusion, Nick Spencer stepped away from Captain America, the title he shepherded for Marvel from October 2015 through September 2017.  During this time he handled the majority of Sam Wilson’s iconic turn as Cap as well as the (infamously controversial) Hydra corruption of Steve Rogers, resulting in Steve becoming a fanatical white supremacist.  Amidst the most soul-crushing, hopeless storyline I’ve ever read in a comic, Spencer orchestrated the resurrection of hope in a way so authentically powerful, I felt as though I’d been reborn along with Steve Rogers.  Now, in the Marvel Legacy era, Rodney Barnes has taken over writing the brand-new Falcon series while Mark Waid has taken over Captain America.  For me, the results have been mixed. Continue reading


Marvel 2 In One: A Fantastic Family Reunion!

Admittedly, I’ve been behind on my comic reading.  There was Christmas (not to mention the shopping, wrapping, and delivering of Christmas goodies).  There was getting work done so I could enjoy my Christmas vacation without school stuff to do.  And then there was this little movie that came out a few weeks ago that I was a wee bit focused on.  But now Christmas day’s over and I’m snowed in by the CRAZY HUGE SNOWSTORM hitting us here in Erie, PA.  So I’ve plenty of time to delve into the comics waiting for me!  One of the comics in my pile was Chip Zdarsky and Jim Cheung’s new Marvel 2 In One starring the Thing and the Human Torch.  Annnnd I’m in love! Continue reading