Articles

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

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An Unknown Soldier in an Unknown War: Joshua Dysart’s Unknown Soldier #4

Joshua Dysart explores the “eye-for-an-eye” model often used against violent “terror” groups in Africa and the Middle East in this issue of the Unknown Soldier #4. [more]

Brian’s Comic Book Grab Bag: Suicide Squad Volume 1 #26

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]

“Make Him a Monster Again, Make Him Dangerous”: The American Superhero Comics of Mark Millar, Part 21

Continued from last week. Morrison later made a point of emphasising how central his contributions to Millar’s Swamp Thing had been; “I worked out a large scale thematic structure based on a journey through the… [more]

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

And so the big wind-up (or wind-down, depending on how you look at things) begins — I have no idea how much tinkering John Smith had to do with “The Power And The Glory,” his… [more]

The Lion, the Witch, and The Art of Neil Gaiman

Does Neil Gaiman ever get into your dreams?  I don’t mean literal dreams where you toss and turn in the middle of the night and wake up convinced that the Goodyear Blimp is being piloted… [more]

Capital Thoughts: Captain America #20

Steve Rogers wakes in a hospital bed.  He’s been dreaming of his mother, whether she made the right decision to stay with her worthless husband. Maybe it was a mistake; maybe she just should have… [more]

Game of Thrones and True Blood: I Read the Audiobooks!

Eric Northman describes Oklahoma as empty, economically exploitable territory containing nothing but oilrigs and Indian casinos in Charlaine Harris’s final Sookie Stackhouse novel, Dead Ever After. While not all of Oklahoma matches this description, the… [more]

Why Worldbuilding Matters

A staple in genre fiction is the act of worldbuilding; when a creator crafts a mythology of certain fantastic elements and illustrates how they interact within the setting of the story. It is not just… [more]

X-Men: To the Outback & Beyond… Part 7

Writer: Chris Claremont Penciler: Rick Leonardi Inker: P. Craig Russell Colorist: Glynis Oliver Letter: Tom Orzechowski Editor: Bob Harras When we left our mutants last, the team had returned to their Outback home following a… [more]

“I Spent Time with Coulson. He’s a Good Man.”

I trusted Phil Coulson from the first moment he appeared onscreen, because he reminded me of someone I knew, a good man, who had a good heart. He was self-effacing and simple, with a sharp,… [more]

Brian’s Comic Book Grab Bag: Superboy Volume 4 #35

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]

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]

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]

If 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]

Gareth 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: 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]

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]