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Analytic articles, whether historical or literary, scholarly or popular. Views expressed are not necessarily those of Sequart.

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1985516-08Bugged Out! Scarab Reconsidered 20 Years On, Part Fifteen

All good things, as they say, must come to an end. As must all bad things, and all mediocre things… and all truncated, confused, ambitious, intriguing, but ultimately, hopeless things.  And so it was that… [more]

Kuroshitsuji Volume 1Indian Culture in Black Butler (Kuroshitsuji)

I will warn you now: this article has spoilers. What I have in mind would be impossible without them. So, that said, allons-y! In the anime series Black Butler, episodes 13 – 15 introduce us… [more]

from Swamp Thing #169 by Millar, Swan, DeMulder et al.“The War Between the Super-Freemasons”: The American Superhero Comics of Mark Millar, Part 25

Continued  from last week. Millar’s command of his craft wouldn’t significantly improve over the remainder of his time on Swamp Thing, though progress would undeniably occur. He’d dial back on the degree of redundant dialogue… [more]

Dick and Liz CheneyLarry Gonick, Thomas Jefferson, and the Fourth of July

The first time I proposed teaching a comics class, someone asked me what I wanted to call it.  “Um … Comics?  Comic Books?  Something like that,” I said, thinking it should’ve been pretty obvious.  The… [more]

Uncanny X-Men #239 - coverX-Men: To the Outback & Beyond… Prelude to Inferno

Genosha was now in the rearview mirror but for the last several issues, ever since her dream sequence with S’ym, something had been building with Madelyne Pryor.  The demon “stabbed” her in the heart with… [more]

Alan TuringAlan Turing in Context

If you are reading this on a computer, and you almost certainly are, you owe a small debt to Alan Turing. He was the genius code breaker in WWII who theorized and created the first… [more]

Convoy x Melissa toy box detailOptimus Prime, Pedophile

Did you know that the beloved leader of the Autobots had a fetish for underage girls? Or that a Megatron look-alike not only shared the same fetish, but repeatedly tried to rape those girls? Or that… [more]

Transformers #37When the Good Guys Deserted: On the Blaster Saga, Conclusion

Continued from yesterday. The following American issue — #37 (Feb 1988), also by Budiansky, Delbo, Akin, and Garvey — follows up on the Throttlebots plot. It also features Ratbat and the Earth-bound Decepticons, who haven’t… [more]

from "Man of Iron," page 37Why “Man of Iron” May Be the Best Transformers Story Ever Told, Conclusion

Continued from Wednesday. As the final chapter of “Man of Iron” begins, the British military has unearthed a portion of the side of the buried spacecraft. It’s now clear that the hill in question formed… [more]

from Transformers #36When the Good Guys Deserted: On the Blaster Saga, Part 4

Continued from yesterday. Issue #36 (Jan 1988) doesn’t only mark the conclusion (such as it was) of the Blaster saga. It also marked the one-year anniversary of the death of Optimus Prime — a year… [more]

Warheads_Vol_1_5Brian’s Comic Book Grab Bag: Warheads Volume 1 #5

Last Christmas my brother gave me a booster pack of random, non-sequential issues from a variety of popular comic book titles that syndicated in the late eighties to mid nineties. The nineties was a time… [more]

Headmasters #1Transformers: Headmasters and Cycles of Violence

When the Headmasters toys debuted, Marvel’s Transformers comic was selling well, in part due to the excitement surrounding 1986′s Transformers: The Movie. And so the Headmasters got to debut not in the monthly Transformers comic but… [more]

the first page of Transformers #35When the Good Guys Deserted: On the Blaster Saga, Part 3

Continued from yesterday. You might think that, after issue #32, Blaster would reconnect with the Throttlebots. But that never happens — at least not on-panel. When the story picks up again in issue #35 (Dec… [more]

from "Man of Iron," page 13Why “Man of Iron” May Be the Best Transformers Story Ever Told, Part 2

Continued from Monday. As the second chapter begins, Sammy wakes from a dream and walks onto his roof, where he sees an extraterrestrial craft pass overhead. It’s a creepy sequence, and it has far more… [more]

Preacher ArsefaceSouthern Bastards Starts with a Bang (and a Plop)

Southern Bastards #1, from Jason Latour and Jason Aaron, is the most recent high point in the barrage of high-profile releases coming from Image Comics over the last couple years. Insider fans like myself have… [more]

the end of Transformers #32When the Good Guys Deserted: On the Blaster Saga, Part 2

Continued from yesterday. Issue #30 (July 1987) — also by Budiansky, Perlin, Akin, and Garvey — continues the story, but begins in an unorthodox fashion: by introducing the Throttlebots on Cybertron. The Throttlebots were small… [more]

UnicronUnicron Vs. Galactus: Battle of the Planet-Eaters!

When coming up with villains, you usually want someone who poses a real threat to the story’s heroes. Few things are as important to a story as making the conflict seem like something’s at stake.… [more]

from Swamp Thing #150 by Millar, Swan, DeMulder et al.“A Martyr for All Mankind”: The American Superhero Comics of Mark Millar, Part 24

Continued from last week. At first, Morrison and Millar’s scripts were religious only in the very broadest sense of the term.  With the former’s influence clearly dominant, Swamp Thing’s series-opening crisis of identity is clearly framed… [more]

Transformers: The Movie posterWhen the Transformers Got Religion (in Transformers: The Movie)

There are a lot of reasons why Transformers: The Movie was revolutionary, when it was released in 1986. Its level of animation was spectacular for anything but a Disney film. Akira hadn’t yet been released,… [more]

Transformers #29When the Good Guys Deserted: On the Blaster Saga

In 1986′s Transformers: The Movie, set in 2005, both the Autobots and Decepticons got new leaders. Marvel Comics adapted the movie as a three-issue mini-series, but the main comic book didn’t leap forward to 2006,… [more]

from "Man of Iron," page 6Why “Man of Iron” May Be the Best Transformers Story Ever Told

When Transformers debuted from Marvel Comics in the U.S., it was originally a bimonthly four-issue mini-series, but it was so successful that it got extended. After a three-month pause between issues #4 (Mar 1985) and… [more]

Optimus PrimeThe Transformed Man: Close Encounters of the Optimal Kind

One day, just another day of organized happiness Like all the others I closed all the doors behind me. –all quotes from William Shatner’s “The Transformed Man,” words by Frank Devenport About a month ago… [more]

from Transformers Annual 1986When “Tales of Cybertron” Explored the Transformers’ Backstory

The original Transformers comic in the U.K. was augmented by hardcover annuals, beginning with Transformers Annual 1986 (published in late 1985). These annuals generally included several short stories, some in the comics format and others… [more]

Lee Horsley saves the damsel in distress, fights the tyrannical ruler and evil magician, and rallies the good guys in The Sword and the Sorcerer.Sword-and-Sorcery Movies: They Just Don’t Make Them Like That Anymore

Remember films like Conan the Barbarian, Labyrinth, and The Sword and the Sorcerer? Fantasy movies of the late 1970s and early 80s with lots of swords and sorcery, where the good guys always won? Remember… [more]

SherlockSherlock’s Women: The Good and the Bad

I was continuing my journey through my imposing edition of The Complete Sherlock Holmes when I realized my mind could not stop making links between the original texts and BBC’s hit series Sherlock. While I… [more]