My Top Five Favorite Comic Book Movies

I’m normally not a huge fan of lists like this.  It’s always so subjective (naturally) and they can change rather frequently (at least for me).  So I don’t often write them.  We can be mercurial in our fandom love, you know?  But this term I’m teaching a new course on the intersection of comic books and social justice.  In the course, we read several comics and watch several comic book films and then we deconstruct them, exploring their messages and symbolism, with an eye towards justice issues.  As we discussed what would be in the course, several students asked me what my favorite comic book movies were.  I couldn’t just brush aside the question – my students are seeking to better understand the preferences and passions that have shaped me and this course!  I also can’t answer a question like this without way overthinking XD.  So here are the results of the deep introspection and soul-searching brought on by my students’ inquiries. Continue reading

What I Look For In A Star Wars Story

A little while ago I read a piece Kiri wrote on Star Wars Anonymous entitled, “The Mandalorian: Chapter One.”  As the name implies (and as those of you who are big on inferring from context clues may’ve guessed), it was a reflection on the first episode of the new Disney+ show The Mandalorian.  While I’ve yet to watch the show for myself (or get Disney+), I found her piece interesting.  I appreciated her take on the first episode and I was also struck by something Kiri wrote in the beginning of her piece.  She outlined what she, as a Star Wars fan, looks for in any Star Wars story she watches/reads.  And that left me puzzling over exactly what I look for in the Star Wars stories I watch/read.  I finally figured it out!  Now you can know my criteria too and, I’m sure, sleep easier at night because if it. Continue reading

Celebrating a Hero Like The Doctor – A Birthday Reflection

I wasn’t planning on writing today.  It’s my birthday after all!  Why go out of my way to make work for myself on my birthday?  But then an idea for a post struck and, when a new idea is unfolding, writing isn’t work.  It’s fun!  So with that in mind, you know I love Doctor Who.  And I thought, what with it being my birthday and all, it might be kind of fun to reflect a little on what leads me to love certain characters or fictional worlds.  Out of all the stories – novels, comics, movies, or TV shows – I’ve consumed in my life, what makes one stay with me?  What makes me want to return to that world and visit those characters again and again and again?  What captures my heart and mind? Continue reading

Mission: Impossible or James Bond? – Why I’m an M:I Kinda Guy

Growing up as an adolescent of the ‘90s the discussion of whether you preferred Mission: Impossible or James Bond for your spy-faring feature films was a resurrected area of pop culture discourse.  In 1995 Pierce Brosnan would debut as James Bond in GoldenEye, the first Bond film in six years, the longest gap ever between films in the franchise (at least as of this writing).  In 1996, Tom Cruise would star as Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible, the first film adaptation of the TV series that ran from 1966-1973.  I’ve always gotten the sense that James Bond is the more beloved pop culture figure.  He obviously has the wider reach, with a film series spanning fifty-three years and twenty-six films.  But for my money (metaphorically speaking as well as literal money in the form of movie tickets and first VHS (!) then DVD purchases), 007 has nothing on the Impossible Missions Force. Continue reading

Best Picture 2018 – MY Nominees

In honor of Oscar weekend, a few days ago I posted a piece about the nine films nominated for Best Picture 2018.  I’ve seen them all this year (woo!) and offered my thoughts on each film, leading to my prediction of the winner as well as my favorite film and the one I want to win Best Picture.  Today I’m looking back at the movies I personally saw at the theatres last year – presented in the order I saw them (with multiple viewing dates when appropriate) – and offering up my Best Picture nominees.  If I was in charge of the Academy Awards, who would get the Best Picture trophy?  And how does my list match up to Oscar’s?  Well, let’s take a look and find out! Continue reading

In Star Wars…Your Head Canon Is All The Matters

There…I said it.  All that matters is head canon.  The Last Jedi is on its way right?  (Yay!)  With it will come countless analyses, deconstructions, and evaluations (myself included).  No matter where you’re at in the world of Star Wars, you’re going to have opinions (myself included!).  And that’s exciting!  However, the Star Wars community can be volatile at times (especially online).  Instead of sharing our love, we seem to enjoy chastising those who love something else or love what we love in a different way.  Yet we can (and should) happily love what we love and respect what someone else loves too!  At the end of the day, no one can tell you what Star Wars stories move you.  So in the seemingly endless debate over what is or isn’t “canon” or what stories are “best,” the only important question is what do you like?  If the story moves you, it’s part of your Star Wars experience and those are the only stories that really matter.  Continue reading

Thor’s Day Salutes: “Whosoever Holds This Hammer…”

Legacy Characters have become a central (and vitally important) part of modern comic storytelling but Thor was doing it long before it was a trend.  Many sets of hands have held Mjölnir over the years and this Thor’s Day (that’s right Thursday…we’re going back to your original purpose and honoring the Thunder God!) I thought it would be fun to look at some of my favorites and consider why they’ve resonated with me.  (I also wanted to explore Mjölnir’s power set a bit, just for funzzies.)  I returned to reading Thor comics when Jane Foster became the Goddess of Thunder but my original run with the title was from 1991 to 1997.  Obviously there are more Thors than I’ll examine here, but these are my favorites :). Continue reading