When I was growing up, no one talked about comic books, not really. Sometimes teachers would disparage comics as books for kids who could not—or would not—read. Sometimes librarians would do the same. Even five years ago, I still knew teachers and librarians who did not believe reading comics counted as reading. Perhaps there were students in my classes who did read comics. But, in a culture where liking comics was equated with laziness and stupidity, I can see why no one would have dared to talk about them. Continue reading
After Into The Spider-Verse, You Need to Read Saladin Ahmed’s Miles Morales: Spider-Man!
Okay, I’m sure everyone’s expecting something about Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. But here’s the thing; right now I have nothing unique to say that wouldn’t just echo the fan and critical praise it’s already generating. I am in awe of this film. It’s so brilliant and fun and funny and it far surpassed my exceedingly high expectations. I’ve seen the future of Spider-Man movies and it is animated. Eventually, I’ll have something deeper or more thoughtful to say. But for now, I have to say this: If, like me, you’re beyond in love with Into The Spider-Verse then you need to read Saladin Ahmed and Javier Garrón’s Miles Morales: Spider-Man #1. For any Miles Morales fan, old or new, this comic is a love-at-first-page experience and the love grows exponentially with each following page. I’m one issue into the new creative team’s run and I’m already counting the days to issue #2. Continue reading
Spider-Man at the Movies
Dear Readers (especially Sony Pictures),
I like to write about how much I love Spider-Man on this site. I also like to write about how much I love reading Spider-Man comics. But do you know what else I enjoy? I love to watch Spider-Man movies. Sony Pictures has been the steward of the web-slinger’s big screen adventures since 2002, giving us three movies with Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man, two with Andrew Garfield, and now Tom Holland has taken over the webs as Spidey’s swung over to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Yay!!!! But Sony has made it clear there’s no set plans to keep Spider-Man in the MCU after the two Avengers movies and the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming. They’re also insistent on building a Spidey-centered interconnected movie universe of their own…starring his villains (?) in solo films. Don’t worry though, I’ve got this figured out. Continue reading
Miles + Gwen = One CLASSIC Team-Up!
For Lent this year I’ve given up making sassy/snarky comments while driving. I’m a pretty positive guy…but I can be an impatient driver. Now, when I feel I’m about to say something in that vein, I offer a prayer for the other driver instead. It’s a prayerful effort to cultivate loving-kindness in my own thoughts and deeds and put more positive energy out into the world. In that spirit, I can be cranky about needless crossovers (*cough* Civil War II *cough*) so I wanted to write about the recent six-part “Sitting In A Tree” crossover between Spider-Man and Spider-Gwen. I really enjoyed it! In addition to showcasing two amazing spider-people, it reminded me how much fun a good, old fashioned team-up can be. For all my complaining (which I stand behind!) about crossovers forged in the service of Mammon, I’m giving a little love to one that was worth the cover price of admission. Continue reading
Spidey and Me
I’ve happily written a lot on this blog about my love of Spider-Man. Of alllll the fictional characters out there, he’s always been my favorite. I’ve loved Spidey consistently for thirty years (wow…I’m getting old). Sure, I met He-Man first but I can’t tell you the last time I watched Masters Of The Universe and I really dig Luke Skywalker but I didn’t see Star Wars until years after meeting the web-head. And I’ve never stopped loving Spidey. Yet for all my Spider-Gushing I’ve been remiss. I’ve never talked directly about how impressed I’ve been since I’ve met Miles Morales! Continue reading
Many Faces, One Symbol
On July 6th, Marvel announced that after the conclusion of Civil War II a young woman named Riri Williams will take over for Tony Stark as Iron Man. Fandom reacted as it always does. There was intrigue. There was optimism. There was excitement. Annnd there were the usual (tired) cries of it being a p.c.-driven agenda or proof that Marvel is out of ideas, echoed in the familiar refrain of, “I don’t mind a female/minority/etc. superhero…but why can’t they have their own identity??” But I’d like to argue if you think Spider-Man is simply Peter Parker, you’ve missed the entire point. Spider-Man represents so much more than Peter Parker. Spider-Man is a symbol, an ideal. The more people we see picking up that mantle, the more people we see embodying that symbol, the better. This is as true for Spider-Man as it is for Iron Man or any comic book superhero. Continue reading
A Lifelong Love Affair with Spider-Man
The costume was more exciting than any of the others. He was funny – equal parts heroic and hilarious. His powers came from this awesome mix of accidental mutation and his own ingenuity. He was the underdog, occasionally on the superhero/super villain battle scene but always struggling to make ends meet and balance his own life. He stood up for the little guy, protecting his neighborhood and leaving the world/cosmos saving exploits (most of the time) to the other guys. He experienced incredible loss…but let it teach him. He held tight to a moral code that was nonnegotiable – with great power, comes great responsibility. I’m not sure which of these first drew little four-year-old Michael to the amazing Spider-Man but I have loved him for over thirty years now. This is perhaps my most personal post yet, the story of why Spider-Man has always stood above all other superheroes for me. Continue reading
Profile of a Pull List
There were two powerful and seductive forces that pulled me back into the world of comic book collecting. Those forces are named Jeff and Kalie. As I discussed in my first post, I stopped collecting comic books around the time I turned sixteen, as comic money turned into gas money. For seventeen years I was only peripherally aware of what was happening in the lives of my favorite comic characters. But those seventeen years would fall away (with surprisingly little resistance) last fall. And again, all the credit (and/or blame) for my return to this wonderfully addicting and captivating world can be laid at the feet of Jeff and Kalie. Continue reading