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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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Image 1Neil Gaiman: The Early Years, The Magician’s Choice in The Books of Magic

The Books of Magic was published from 1990-1991, at a time when Sandman was underway and gathering steam but the Vertigo universe was still forming, and demarcations between Vertigo and the DC Universe had not… [more]

Image 1 - VolstaggGod is Dead, Long Live God: On Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic’s Thor

“God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. Yet his shadow still looms. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? … Is not the greatness of this deed too… [more]

ST“Ghost Dance”: Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing #45

Swamp Thing #45 “Ghost Dance” Cover date: February 1986. Writer: Alan Moore. Artists: Stan Woch and Alfredo Alcala. Colorist: Tatjana Wood. Letters: John Costanza. Editor: Karen Berger. This haunted house story takes its inspiration from… [more]

scan1A Superhero for the Reader’s Sake: Shameless? Part 10

Continued from last week. But even the most experienced and gifted of writers would struggle to make a success of The Saviour. It was far too ambitious and complex a project. In mixing so many genres,… [more]

Action 4Humanity, Heroism, and Action: Grant Morrison’s Action Comics #4

While the first three issues of Grant Morrison’s Action Comics could never match up to the perfection of All-Star Superman, the series had established a slow, methodical unveiling of Superman’s mythology in a way that… [more]

4d35b435dc5d0Those that Lead the Blind: Gaiman on Government

Mirrors show us a reflection and repose in stasis. We can reflect upon it, perhaps adjust our appearance to fit our whim, but ultimately the mirror captures more than just personal imagery—it captures our essence.… [more]

imgres-121986: The British Invasion, Part 2: Grant Morrison in 1986: Superman & Captain Britain

The last installment examined Grant Morrison’s early, partly comedic Batman prose story, “The Stalking,” which was published in the United Kingdom in 1986. In the 1986 British Superman Annual Grant Morrison did another text story,… [more]

scan1The History of the World?: Shameless? Part 9

Continued from last week. But despite its barnstorming high concept, The Saviour was, as Skidmore conceded, “hard to explain” (*1). Some of this was caused by the need to keep key plot-reversals under wraps. But… [more]

Underworld Unleashed #1On Underworld Unleashed, Precursor to Kingdom Come

DC’s 1995 crossover Underworld Unleashed — scripted by Mark Waid, penciled by Howard Porter, and published as a three extra-long monthly issues (though the third issue ran late) – featured no less than Satan as its villain.… [more]

Image 1Neil Gaiman: The Early Years, Black Orchid (Part 2), “Gangsters and Scientists”

Continued from part 1. In the introduction to the first collected edition of Black Orchid, Neil Gaiman wrote, “I know that some people regard this writing as escapist fiction, but I think that tales of… [more]

joke1That’s Not Funny: Alan Moore’s Tragic Joker

The ’80s for comics is something akin to the British Invasion. American Rock-and-Roll saw a exponential boost in popularity when British acts invaded the already well-established scene, bringing with them unique stylistic influences that would… [more]

Swamp thing 44“Bogeymen”: Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing Issue #44

Swamp Thing #44 “Bogeymen” Cover date: January 1986. Writer: Alan Moore. Artists: Stephen Bissette, Ron Randall & John Totleben. Colorist: Tatjana Wood. Letters: John Costanza. Editor: Karen Berger. The issue opens with a scene in… [more]

scan0001From Shazam to the Devil, from Brother Power the Geek to Jesus?: Shameless? Part 8

Continued from last week. It’s impossible to say how much the young Millar wrote or how often he sent off his work to publishers in the years before he landed the Trident Comics contract. His… [more]

Armageddon 2001 #1On Armageddon 2001 and the Annual-Based Crossover

Armageddon 2001 was the first DC universe-wide crossover to run through the company’s annuals. The central mini-series of Armageddon 2001 was only two issues long, acting as “bookends” to the tie-ins, which ran exclusively through… [more]

action-comics-3Humanity, Heroism, and Action: Grant Morrison’s Action Comics #3

Gene Ha takes over on art duties for the first seven pages of issue #3 in order to show what Krypton was like. The first page of issue #3 depicts Krypton as a colorful utopia… [more]

san 25Ascending the Throne: Dream’s Return to Dominance in Sandman #25-28

Obligation to duty is an odd way of exacting revenge for a condemned archangel. Thus far in Season of Mists, Gaiman’s philosophy of duty and right work ethic encircles the conundrum of Lucifer’s Miltonian Hell,… [more]

imgres-81986: The British Invasion, Part 1 — Grant Morrison in 1986: Batman

As shown in previous installments, in the mid-1980s there were notable late works by two of the leading members of the founding generation of comic book professionals, Will Eisner and Jack Kirby. This period is… [more]

SCAN1What if Superman was Really the Antichrist!?!: Shameless? Part 7

Continued from last week. The Saviour #1-6 (December 1989 to January 1991) Trident #5 (April 1990) The Saviour TPB Volume 1, Trident, 1990 (reprints all of the above except issue 6, with a Neil Gaiman… [more]

Photo by Seth KushnerNeil Gaiman: The Early Years, Black Orchid’s Passive and Impassive Universe Part 1

Neil Gaiman, like Alan Moore, is someone working in comics who seems to need no introduction. Their influence and impact is so pervasive that they’ve practically become a household name. But there’s a danger to… [more]

Spidey Doc Memories 01Superior Spider-Man Memories

The premise of one of Marvel Now’s flagship titles, The Superior Spider-Man, may initially come across as a classic sci-fi plot: two characters having their minds magically “switched” to create fish-out-of-water scenarios. But within the… [more]

Swamp Thing 43“Windfall”: Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing Issue #43

Swamp Thing #43 “Windfall” Cover date: December 1985. Writer: Alan Moore. Artists: Stan Woch & Ron Randall. Colorist: Tatjana Wood. Letters: John Costanza. Editor: Karen Berger This issue is aptly entitled ‘Windfall’, both for its… [more]

scan4“That Wicked Tongue Will Land You in Trouble Some Day”: Shameless? Part 6

Continued from last week. Shameless? will inevitably reference the way in which Mark Millar has discussed his own work. As such, it’s worth noting that his distinctive public persona turns out not to have been… [more]

Warren Ellis's SupergodOn Warren Ellis’s Super-Hero Work at Avatar

We’ve previously looked at Warren Ellis’s realistic worldview, at his much-celebrated 1999-2003 period, and at his work for Marvel from 2004-2010. One of the more interesting developments of Ellis’s career, especially given his professed distaste… [more]

comics_hellboy_in_hell_1_1[1]“Don’t Tell Me What to Do”: Looking at Hellboy Refusing Fate by Pushing Freewill

Hellboy is the intellectual demon child of comic book writer Mike Mignola. It’s been published by Dark Horse Comics off and on since 1993. Hellboy’s origin is simple, during WWII in 1944 an occultist by… [more]

ACTION_COMICS_2Humanity, Heroism, and Action: Grant Morrison’s Action Comics #2

In the supplemental material in the issue, Grant Morrison writes, “Superman is mankind at its best, and Lex Luthor is us at our worst . . . but they’re both us.” It’s a sentiment that… [more]