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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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4 odinThor’s Facelift: Norse Mythology in the Marvel Universe

In 2011, Marvel added the highly anticipated “super-human” alien, Thor, to their cinematic universe, and was largely considered a success. Kenneth Branagh’s direction of the film conjured an old world Shakespearean atmosphere that allowed for… [more]

Image 1 for ArticleIf They Be Worthy, They Shall Possess the Power of Thor!

“Whosever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of…Thor”. These are the words inscribed on the hammer of the Mighty Thor; on the mythological hammer Mjolnir itself. Thor, though himself a… [more]

From Journey into Mystery #98How “Tales of Asgard” Changed Everything

In Journey into Mystery #83 (Aug 1962), Donald Blake finds a magical walking stick that transforms him into Thor. It’s a rather inauspicious beginning. In that first story, Thor fights stone-skinned aliens, who simply land… [more]

Foolkiller #1The Original (and Better) Kickass: A Look Back at Steve Gerber’s Foolkiller #1-10

Foolkiller By Steve Gerber, JJ Birch, Tony Dezuniga & Vince Giarrano Published by Marvel Comics “Live a poem… or die a fool!” There’s a good chance you’ve never read this mini-series, published from October 1990… [more]

Sandman_Vol_2_52Aurelia, Restitutor Orbis: Meddling with Sovereignty in Sandman #52

“Cluracan’s Tale” marks the second installment of single, one-shot style issues in the Worlds’ End story cycle in the Sandman. Exhibiting the wit of the Faerie and the corruption of Man, Cluracan’s yarn advances a… [more]

USM10Ultimate Spider-Man #10-12 is a Coming of Age Story with Tights, Crime Lords, and High School Girls

The coming of age story is one of the most enduring story types in Western literature. From Telemachus in the Odyssey to Huckleberry Finn and more recently the boy wizard Harry Potter, readers young and… [more]

scan340“Keep Calm. I’ll Wrap This Up Quickly.”: Shameless? Part 34

Continued from last week. The world-building that Millar had begun to invest in Canon Fodder was unusually rich, distinctly quirky, and full of promise. Yet that surprising combination of Catholicism, Holmesian characters, alt-world SF and superheroes… [more]

Young Miracleman in Warrior #12, page 4Sex and Nuclear Armageddon in Young Miracleman’s “Quiet Desperation”

We’ve begun discussing the silent Young Miracleman story originally printed in Warrior #12. Today, we continue that discussion. (If you’re new, hop to the introduction, to the beginning of Book One, or to the interlude… [more]

CAPA2012011_DC11_LR_00001Capital Thoughts: Captain America #11

Consistency. It’s not much to ask for in a serial. In fact, without consistency, the serial form is moot. Last issue, Remender told us in the “letters” section that Cap “has spent more time in… [more]

assimilation 3Political Heroes in Assimilation: Dissecting the Star Trek / Doctor Who Crossover

Should the hero remain an outsider to corrupted society, or should he actively recover that society from within? [more]

from the 2008 reprint of Canon Fodder, by Mark Millar & Chris Weston“Bones Gnawed to the Marrow”: Shameless? Part 33

Continued from last week. “I had no idea what I was doing for the most part and just learning how to do very basic stuff then. Only good stuff I’d recommend would be Big Dave (which… [more]

Young Miracleman in Miracleman #6Miracleman, Book Two: “Quiet Desperation”

We’ve previously introduced Miracleman and discussed all ten chapters of Book One (starting here), along with the interlude “The Yesterday Gambit,” which were originally published in Warrior #1-11. We now begin Book Two… with the… [more]

uxm224p7Accessibility and the X-Men: A 2-Part Look at My First Comic, Part 2

Two more characters enter the picture in Havok and Longshot and I picked this first page, despite their introductory sequence lasting several more filled with great character insight, because I think it depicts Longshot in… [more]

san2“Life on the Edge”: In Which a Man Named Robert Finds Himself Stuck in a City

Sandman has fostered its reputation as a staple in the Horror genre since its conception, often executing stories and fables instigating the subtle and unnerving fear lurking in the modest and mundane. Gaiman’s style, very… [more]

USM8Ultimate Spider-Man #8-9 Uses a Variety of Character Perspectives to Show Spider-Man’s Development As a Hero

After the editorial mandated origin story, Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley get to cut loose and tell their first official Ultimate Spider-Man story. The name of the story arc is “Learning Curve”, which signifies… [more]

scan1“Two Tickets for My Next Performance”: Shameless? Part 32

Continued from last week. So how did Morrison and Millar use the pages of Big Dave to express their contempt for homophobia? Starting from the premise that their readers were similarly liberal-minded, they studded the strip’s… [more]

from Miracleman #3, chapter 10, page 8Miracleman, Book One Concludes

We’ve begun discussing the conclusion of Book One (parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10) of Alan Moore’s Miracleman, illustrated by Alan Davis. Today, we continue our exploration of this historic… [more]

Captain-America_10-674x1024Capital Thoughts: Captain America #10

Last time, we explored the death of Cap’s son, Ian, and its emotional fallout. We wondered, for example, how Ian’s death would affect his relation with Sharon, who killed the boy. At least some of… [more]

uxm224coverAccessibility and the X-Men: A 2-Part Look at My First Comic

ac·ces·si·ble adj: Easily approached or entered. I never thought much about the concept of accessibility in comic books for the first 20-something years of my comic book reading career (I think it’s safe to call… [more]

picture 12How Comics Work: The Fight Scene, Part 4

Young Avengers 3 Kieron Gillen (writer), Jamie McKelvie (artist), Mike Norton (artist), Mathew Wilson (colourist), et al The third issue of Young Avengers breaks all the rules. The fight has little to no context in the… [more]

Heropa Image 1Revisionism Comes to a Silver Age: Or Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa?

Julian Darius, in a response to a comment of mine in his article “On Underworld Unleashed, Precursor to Kingdom Come” explains that Reconstructionism with regards to the superhero comics genre is a term coined by… [more]

by Steve Parkhouse, Morrison & Millar, from 1993’s 2000AD #845“We Were Just Trying to Bring Peace to the Planet”: Shameless? Part 31

Continued from last week. The urge to stereotype Millar’s beliefs in the light of his least liberal scripts is an understandable one. Yet his work is anything but consistent on matters of social justice. As I’ve… [more]

from Miracleman #3, chapter 10, page 8Miracleman, Chapter 10: The Epilogue

We’ve begun discussing the conclusion of Book One (parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9) of Alan Moore’s Miracleman, illustrated by Alan Davis. Today, we continue our exploration of this historic chapter.

ram 1Empire of the Sun: The Golden Age of Islam in Sandman’s “Ramadan”

The previous installments of Distant Mirrors dealt with the cult of government, prospective rulers at the behest of their citizens, blindly careening through history. Caesar Augustus blazed trails, setting into motion the wheels of modern… [more]

UltimateSpider-Man005Ultimate Spider-Man #5-7 Has an Abrupt Ending, but Transforms Peter Parker into Spider-Man

Unlike the previous four issues which have played extremely fast and loose with Spider-Man’s origin in Amazing Fantasy #15, Ultimate Spider-Man is surprisingly faithful to Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s story. The plot is virtually… [more]