The Power of Hope in Secret Empire

This is a piece I felt I had to write.  I’ve been open about my disdain for Marvel’s seemingly endless stream of major event crossovers.  I love their comics, their characters, and their creative talent…but I avoid these cash-grab events like a plague, often dropping heavy tie-in titles from my pull list.  Yet a few weeks back I wrote of my struggle with “Secret Empire.”  While I don’t like these events, I have great respect for/trust in Nick Spencer as an author so I wanted to give this one a shot.  Today, four issues in (counting the Free Comic Book Day offering), I have to say the series is worth every penny!  While Secret Empire is obviously Marvel’s big summer event it’s also a story with a point, purpose, and message and that makes all the difference in the world. Continue reading

Logan – Elegy to an Era

After three viewings and two weeks, I’m finally ready to talk about Logan.  I had high expectations.  I tried to manage them but it was impossible!  Hugh Jackman has been playing Wolverine for seventeen years.  He ushered in the modern era of cinematic superheroes.  I couldn’t keep my expectations for his swansong from growing.  The film was absolutely nothing like I expected but it was brilliantly executed.  Hugh Jackman and James Mangold delivered a finale that deeply moved me.  Fair warning, this post will be filled with spoilers.  It will also be filled with emotions! Continue reading

‘X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills’ Is As Relevant As Ever…

While cross-company promotional policies may have shifted the X-Men to the sidelines in Marvel’s comic catalogue of late (as Fox, not Disney, owns the rights to make X-Men movies), I’d argue the X-Men are as relevant now as they’ve ever been.  “Mutants in the Marvel Universe,” as master X-Men writer Chris Claremont says in his introduction to X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills, “have always stood as a metaphor for the underclass, the outsiders, they represent the ultimate minority.”  The X-Men then are both those who we reject and those who stand up to give a voice to those rejected.  As such, their stories and their message are desperately needed right now.  Continue reading

Ms. Marvel: Faith, Family, and Fandom

It should go without saying that Islam is a beautiful religion, deserving of reverence and respect.  Sadly and disturbingly, we live in a world where this still needs to be said.  So in this age of increasing (and terrifying) intolerance, we need Kamala Khan.  In this young Muslim, first generation Pakistani-American teenager who becomes the new Ms. Marvel, G. Willow Wilson has created the single most important hero of our age.  This is the most overtly theological post I’ve done so far and, as such, it’s very personal.  Exploring the intersection of the joy of comic books, living a life of faith, and teaching theology leads me to explore part of the very core of who I am. Continue reading