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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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X-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]

Grant 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 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]

What 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]

Your 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]

What 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]

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]

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]

What 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]

What 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]

“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]

Claremont’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]

What 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]

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]

Dear 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]

Orson 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: 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]

The 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]

X-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]

“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]

Brian’s Comic Book Grab Bag: Eternal Warrior Volume 1 #18

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]

“Swamp Thing was Just a Vegetable who Lived in a Bog, after All”: The American Superhero Comics of Mark Millar, Part 18

Continued from last week. For almost a decade, Wein and Wrightson’s estimable if brief spell on Swamp Thing would prove impossible to follow. At best, the character would feature in some mildly suspenseful tales marked… [more]

The Amazing Spider-Man 2: Pop Tragedy or Just Sad?

[Author’s note: If you haven’t seen The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and it feels like your Spidey sense is tingling, it’s probably because you’re about to encounter major spoilers.] I’ll always remember when I went to… [more]

Buffy: Out of Control

Things are starting to get out of control for the Slayer army. That’s the essential, long-range, overall story arc point made in issues #22 and 23 of Buffy Season 8. But you could be forgiven… [more]

Bugged Out!: Scarab Reconsidered 20 Years On, Part Eleven

Like you, I’m not quite sure what Glenn Fabry and Tony Luke’s cover for Scarab #5 is exactly supposed to be depicting other than some weird electricity coming out of our protagonist’s head, but it… [more]