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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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“A Murder of Crows”: Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing #48

Swamp Thing #48 “A Murder of Crows” Cover date: May 1986. Writer: Alan Moore. Artist: John Totleben. Editor: Karen Berger. Colorist: Tatjana Wood. Letterer: John Costanza. We are off to an atmospheric start in this… [more]

“Celibacy Being Such a Drag”: Shameless? Part 16

Continued from last week. It often appears that Millar is determined to deny any interpretation of his work that he doesn’t approve of. Yet as we’ve discussed, he repeatedly fails to produce comics whose political content… [more]

Future Progressive, Past Regressive: Livewires

Adam Warren’s Livewires is Perfection. This is not a word I use lightly, especially when the thing involved is a one-off project by a person who is often considered a not-very-major-creator[1] ™ but Livewires: Clockwork… [more]

The Garden and the Wilderness: Walking Dead #1-6

Image Comics’ monumentally successful ongoing series Walking Dead presents itself as a story of survival – specifically the survival of the comic’s protagonist, Rick Grimes, in an apocalyptic world that has been overrun by flesh-eating… [more]

Tyrant Issue One: Knock Knock

The first issue of Tyrant, Steve Bissette’s short lived fictional biography of a T-Rex, came out in September of 1994. The series was published by Bissette’s own company, SpiderBaby Grafix. The story lasts 21 pages,… [more]

“The Parliament of Trees”: Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing #47

Swamp Thing #47 “The Parliament of Trees” Cover date: April 1986. Writer: Alan Moore. Artists: Stan Woch and Ron Randall. Colorist: Tatjana Wood. Letters: John Costanza. Editor: Karen Berger. This issue opens with the first… [more]

“The Evil was the Act of Violence…”: Shameless? Part 15

Continued from last week. Millar’s preference for deconstructing genre can at times make for routine and predictable comic books. For those who’d prefer more of close observation, ambition and innovation, and less of the bare bones… [more]

Is Superman Still Relevant in a Postmodern World?

Superman. The name alone conjures up images of capes flapping in the skies over thriving metropolises, walls exploding as a rock-hard fist punches through them, and criminals quaking in fear before a hulking mountain of… [more]

Deconstructing the Deconstructions: Hyper Drama and Realism in Superman: Secret Identity

Part of the essence of the superhero genre lies in hyperbole; by this I mean to say that in a superhero “story” (here referring to the output of Marvel, DC and they many succors and… [more]

Humanity, Heroism, and Action: Grant Morrison’s Action Comics #6

The Anti-Superman Army that was teased at the end of the previous issue appears at the beginning of this issue. It appears that the Dealmaker from the first issue (who has popped up a few… [more]

The Last Days of Superman

Superman might be the world’s most popular superhero. He’s also among the most difficult to write. Through the years we’ve seen Superman travel through time, endure the heat of the sun, and perform so many… [more]

1986: D.P.7 — Group Therapy for Superhumans

In 1986, twenty-five years after the publication of Fantastic Four #1, which launched the modern Marvel Universe, Marvel editor in chief Jim Shooter introduced a new fictional reality in Marvel Comics, the New Universe. This… [more]

Superman’s Rejection of American Exceptionalism

In February of 1940, Superman ended World War II and prevented the future Cold War altogether through flying around the world by capturing both Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin and delivering them to international authorities… [more]

“The Flat Earth Was Round”: Shameless? Part 14

Continued from last week. Where religion’s concerned, there’s nothing but Catholicism to be seen in The Saviour. Not only is there no mention of any other form of Christianity, but there’s not a hint of… [more]

On “How Superman Would Win the War”

One of the best Superman stories – and probably one of the most important super-hero stories ever told – is also one of the shortest. What’s more, the story didn’t appear in a Superman comic;… [more]

When the Present Makes Contact with the Past: Comic Adaptations and Translations of Medieval and Early Modern Sources

In past papers at the Plymouth State University Medieval & Renaissance Forum, I have advocated for the use of comics in the classroom in spite of the fact that this is a relatively modern and… [more]

The Hero Moral Code

For more than 50 years, Spider-Man has abided by one of the comic book world’s most famous mantras, “with great power comes great responsibility.” This saying was born from the moment when Spider-Man, aka his… [more]

Introducing Steve Bissette’s Tyrant: The Letter Pages

Steve Bissette’s Tyrant should have been a classic. His phenomenal art, solid writing and fascinating concept might well have led to what comic critics would have cited as essential reading. Circumstances, however, prevented this. The… [more]

“Revelations”: Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing #46

Swamp Thing #46 “Revelations” Cover date: March 1986. Writer: Alan Moore. Artists: Stephen Bissette and John Totleben. Colorist: Tatjana Wood. Letters: John Costanza. Editor: Karen Berger. As noted on the cover of this issue, the… [more]

Absolutely Puerile?: Shameless? Part 13

Continued. But more than anything else, Millar’s depiction of a demon-dominated Catholic Church was a playful, and often deliberately silly, reflection of his personal experiences and tastes. Few comic book writers have ever focused upon… [more]

Miracleman, Chapter 9: The Mentality of Big Ben

We’ve begun discussing chapter nine of Alan Moore’s Miracleman (parts 1, 2, and 3), illustrated by Alan Davis. Today, we continue our exploration of that chapter.

Humanity, Heroism, and Action: Grant Morrison’s Action Comics #5

Smack in the middle of the first story arc, the narrative shifts to the past for a tale about the rocket that brought baby Kal-El to Earth. Morrison promised in the supplemental material to issue… [more]

Imperialistic Themes in the Galactus Triology

The first appearance of the cosmic entity Galactus in Fantastic Four #48 in 1966 is marked by a simple, yet ominous declaration: “This planet [Earth] shall sustain me until it has been drained of all… [more]

1986: The British Invasion, Part 3: Neil Gaiman & Swamp Thing

One of the most important effects that Alan Moore had on the history of comics was triggering the entrance of Neil Gaiman into the medium. Gaiman had given up reading comics when he was sixteen… [more]

On Marshal Law: The Deluxe Edition, by Pat Mills & Kevin O’Neill

There’s no better advert for the costumed crimefighter comic than Pat Mills and Kevin O’Neill’s Marshal Law. Acclaimed for its superhero-loathing vitriol, it’s also the proof of how malleable and vital the genre can be. In… [more]