Articles

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

RSS for ArticlesRSS feed for Articles

From 1994's Swamp Thing #150, by Millar, Hester & DeMulder. Here Millar pointedly has the Traveller described in a way that (1) evokes Barry Allen's defining tardiness while (2) reminding us that the second Flash's funeral took place in the absence of his corpse.Sneaking Barry Allen Back: The American Superhero Comics of Mark Millar, Part 20

Continued from last week. Millar’s habit of writing Swamp Thing tales, which demanded the presence of off-limits DCU characters, never entirely faded. Even at the climax of his run, and despite almost three years of… [more]

Uh...Zombie Tramp: Exactly What it Sounds Like

One of my favorite features of comics is that, unlike prose fiction, you can judge a visual book by its cover.  Covers can mislead you by juxtaposing compelling external art with mediocre artistic guts (shout-out… [more]

Falstaff and ShallowIf a Bell Chimes at Midnight, Does it Make a Sound?: Orson Welles’s Chimes at Midnight

It’s my favorite picture.  If I wanted to get into Heaven on the basis of one movie, that’s the one I would offer up. [1] –Orson Welles This week Marvel releases the first collected volume… [more]

monsters posterGareth Edwards’s Other Giant Monster Movie

A year ago I took a gamble with the cable in my hotel room after a long day of travel and tuned in to what I discovered to be Gareth Edwards’s 2010 film Monsters, and… [more]

Buffy the Vampire Slayer 027.cbr - Page 1Buffy: Retreat

After six issues that were essentially standalone stories, some of which were very experimental one-off character or thematic explorations, Jane Espenson’s five-part “Retreat” arc is a vital turning point in Buffy Season 8. In fact,… [more]

Uncanny X-Men #234 - coverX-Men: To the Outback & Beyond… Part 6

Writer: Chris Claremont Penciler: Marc Silvestri Inker: Josef Rubinstein Colorist: Glynis Oliver Letter: Tom Orzechowski Editor: Bob Harras That is without a doubt one of my favorite X-Men covers of not just this portion of… [more]

New X-Men #132Grant Morrison’s 9/11: New X-Men’s “Ambient Magnetic Fields”

Grant Morrison’s New X-Men debuted in 2001, about five months before 9/11. New X-Men came at an interesting time in American comics history. Marvel was being reinvigorated under Joe Quesada, radically upping its storytelling and… [more]

Bugged 12 imageBugged Out!: Scarab Reconsidered 20 Years On, Part Twelve

So here’s my theory: sometime between submitting his final scripts for Scarab #5 and #6, John Smith got word — probably via editor Stuart Moore — that DC wouldn’t be going ahead with his project… [more]

X-Men Figure 25What Should Be Done with the Mutant Menace? Part 5: The Special Case of Professor X

…continued from yesterday. In the previous four parts, we’ve seen how a very particular plot line structures the X-Men comics: the losing and regaining of control over one’s powers (and the comics are based on the… [more]

All New X-Men hard coverYour Homework Before Seeing Days of Future Past: Read All New X-Men and Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men

When comic book movies come out, it’s sometimes hard to tell what storylines they’re pulling from. Based on the trailers, X-Men: Days of Future Past focuses on a future where Sentinels have taken over, no… [more]

X-Men Figure 19What Should Be Done with the Mutant Menace? Part 4: The Evolution of Iceman

…continued from yesterday. We’ve been looking at the underlying structure of the X-Men comics: how mutants pose an existential threat to themselves and others, necessitating that they either control themselves (Xavier’s dream) or be controlled (the… [more]

71UGPKASQtL._SL1247_Maps to the Stars, Running to Paradise: Analyzing the Wild Palms Comic

If it’s even remembered at all anymore, Wild Palms is mostly known as the basis for an ABC network miniseries that attempted to combine the surrealism of Twin Peaks with the cyberpunk subculture, with decidedly… [more]

X-Men: The Last Stand screenshot (Phoenix with Wolverine)Why I Dig X-Men: The Last Stand

It’s widely believed that 2006′s X-Men: The Last Stand was a poor ending to the original X-Men trilogy. The film and 2009′s X-Men Origins: Wolverine seem to be regarded as the weak links in the X-Men movie… [more]

X-Men Figure 11What Should Be Done with the Mutant Menace? Part 3: Losing (and Regaining) Control

In Part 1 and Part 2, we’ve seen how Prof. Xavier’s dream for the peaceful coexistence of humans and mutants depends upon mutants being able to control their special powers. To this end, mutants must… [more]

X-Men Figure 09What Should Be Done with the Mutant Menace? Part 2: The Need for Self-Control

…continued from yesterday. Given that mutants exist, what is to be done with them? That question drives the narrative of the X-Books. The book’s villains—Dr. Bolivar Trask and his Sentinels, the Genoshan Magistrates, Apocalypse, Mr.… [more]

Black Box, from 1995's Swamp Thing #151, by Millar, Hester, DeMulder et al“Try Telling That to a 23-Year-Old Who Just Wanted to Play with the Toys”: The American Superhero Comics of Mark Millar, Part 19

Continued from last week. That “bloody big shadow” of Alan Moore’s extended far beyond the pages of Swamp Thing. Trying to compete with his achievements on the title was a daunting enough prospect.  But Moore’s… [more]

X-Men Days of Future Past - TPB.cbr - Page 105Claremont’s Days of Future Past: A Story About Kitty Pryde

Unlike many comics fans, I never actually read X-Men as a child all those years ago. In fact, I stayed away from most superhero titles, other than the odd cross-over with Superman and Batman when… [more]

X-Men Figure 03What Should Be Done with the Mutant Menace? Part 1: The Lack of an Ending

A curious yet distinguishing feature of the X-Men family of comics is their lack of an origin story, typically an essential element in superhero comics. Usually, the superhero’s identity and power is formed by a… [more]

Sin City (Marv torturing)Thoughts on Frank Miller’s Creative Evolution

In the original Sin City, Marv is a tired old man. The events of the story turn him into an uncompromising hero, whom you could say is in the ultra-violent, Ayn Rand-inspired mold of some… [more]

Giant Size X-Men 1, CoverDear X-Men… It’s Not You, It’s Me

I’ve been putting off writing this column for a while now.  When I first heard we were doing an X-Men week here at Sequart, I wasn’t too worried.  After all, I’ve got a shelf full… [more]

othello-orson-welles-4Orson Welles’ Othello: A True Masterpiece

Orson Welles’ Othello, now doing a victory lap around the world in a “restored” version, is one of the boldest and most singular of all the adaptations of Shakespeare to reach the movie screen. I… [more]

Buffy the Vampire Slayer 025.cbr - Page 2Buffy: Tentacles and a Thricewise

We are almost back to the main storyline of Buffy Season 8. Just some catching up to do with Faith and Giles, and dealing with Dawn’s boyfriend issues to get through, first. Issue, #24, “Safe”,… [more]

Arrested Development season 4 screenshotThe Genius of Arrested Development, Season 4 (Part 2)

Yesterday, I discussed the remarkable fourth season of Arrested Development — without any major spoilers. Today, we’ll look at some episodes and themes in more detail — with plenty of spoilers. It’s surprising how well… [more]

Uncanny X-Men #233 coverX-Men: To the Outback & Beyond… Part 5

Writer: Chris Claremont Penciler: Marc Silvestri Inker: Dan Green Colorist: Glynis Oliver Letter: Tom Orzechowski Editor: Bob Harras Right off the bat, largely due to the graphic on the cover declaring “NOW ON SALE TWICE… [more]

Frankenstein“Follow me; I seek the everlasting ices of the north…”: DC’s Frankenstein in Post-Millennial Publication, Part Two

We left the last article after establishing various conventions of the Creature and ended on the discussion of a crossover and crisis event. We begin this article with another company-wide crossover and crisis event. To… [more]