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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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Foil Hats and Skin Suits: Examining the Content Concerns of Mental Illness in Villainy

In the last few years, there have been many concerns over the content of comic books. In fact, the concerns are over a wide range of topics from Catwoman being too provocative to that of… [more]

Portrait of a Serial Murderer

Conventions exist to bring people together, even serial killers. At least that is the spin put on them in Sandman #14: “Collectors.” Those familiar with Gaiman’s catalog can attest to the diversity of his corpus,… [more]

1986: Will Eisner on Old Age (Part 2)

In the final issue of Will Eisner’s Quarterly, published in 1986, Eisner wrote and drew three comics stories that each deal with a protagonist in the last decades of his life. In the previous installment,… [more]

Shameless? The Super-Hero Comics of Mark Millar: Part 1, An Introduction

It’s too good a story not to be treated with suspicion. Asked to recall his first comic by Lee Randall of The Scotsman in 2009, Mark Millar declared that he could remember the matter “exactly”.… [more]

Evelyn Cream and Race in Miracleman, Chapter 9

We’ve begun discussing chapter nine of Alan Moore’s Miracleman, illustrated by Alan Davis. Today, we continue our exploration of that chapter.

Analyzing Time in the New 52

I’ll admit it. I love the new 52 DC Universe. Despite the jarring and sudden nature of its introduction, I have found the new mythology incredibly delightful. However, despite my love of the new continuity,… [more]

Ouch, That Hurts: Looking at Torture in 1991′s Weapon X, by Barry Windsor-Smith

It would be hard to refute that Wolverine is the most famous mutant that Marvel Comics has on their X-Men roster. In the last decade, he has been emphasized and serialized in almost every mainstream… [more]

Romantic Reflections in “A Glass of Water”: Morrison and McKean Unplugged

When you do research for a book, you often find yourself searching through the more obscure work of a writer or artist, naively hoping that between all the usual awkward experiments and routine exercises in… [more]

“Fish Story” and “The Curse”: Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing Issues #39 and #40

Swamp Thing #39 “Fish Story” Cover date: August 1985. Writer: Alan Moore. Artists: Stephen Bissette and John Totleben. Editor: Karen Berger. Colorist: Tatjana Wood. Letterer: John Costanza.

The Renaissance Man, The Master Of The World?: One Last Look at the Ditko / Lee Doctor Strange (Part 12)

One recurrent criticism of Doctor Strange as a character is that he’s simply too powerful. A great many writers and fans alike have contended that comic book magic provides him with the tension-destroying ability to… [more]

Miracleman, Chapter 9: “Inside Story”

We’ve previously introduced Miracleman and discussed chapters one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, and eight, as well as the interlude “The Yesterday Gambit.” We now continue this critical examination with chapter nine (written by Alan Moore, illustrated by Alan Davis) of this celebrated but… [more]

Batman: The Freudian Super-Hero

“I am vengeance. I am the night. I am Batman.” That one is quite possibly one of the most iconic lines from any comic book related medium and is quite possibly the best demonstration of… [more]

Gaiman’s Fortunate Men: A Humanizing Tale of Time Well Spent

The words of John Donne’s Death be not Proud are Neil Gaiman’s badge of honor. “Death, be not proud, though some have called thee mighty and dreadful for thou art not so,” the emboldened meter… [more]

1986: Will Eisner on Old Age (Part 1)

Towards the end of The Hunger Dogs, Jack Kirby, a longtime veteran creator of comics, turned his attention to the oldest members of his cast: the evil Darkseid, who is finally toppled from power, and… [more]

You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet, Baby: On What Made Doctor Strange Unique (The Penultimate Part)

Why would the Ancient One wait until after Strange had confronted Dormammu before rewarding his triumphant student with “new powers”? Perhaps the physical and magical enfeeblement caused by the Dreaded One’s spell had left the… [more]

The Other Egg of the Phoenix: Understanding the 50th Issue of Sandman

Neil Gaiman is one of the most renowned living comic book writers, and one of the most popular authors currently working. He is best known for his long lasting Vertigo series, Sandman, but he has… [more]

“Still Waters”: Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing Issue #38

Swamp Thing #38 “Still Waters” Cover date: July 1985. Author: Alan Moore. Artists: Stan Woch and John Totleben. Editor: Karen Berger. Colorist: Tatjana Wood. Letterer: John Costanza.

Father, Son; Mentor, Student; Friends: On Doctor Strange & the Ancient One (Part 10)

It was the unprecedented degree of conflict, of course, which marked out the earliest Marvel superhero comics from their characteristically more polite, repressed competitors. No-one had ever produced the likes of Fantastic Four #1 before,… [more]

On Invasion #3: “World Without Heroes”

We previously introduced Invasion and discussed its first and second issues. Today, we conclude our look at Invasion with issue #2. Invasion #3 begins with this same explosion, revealed to be a “gene bomb” released… [more]

Sandman #1-8: Preambles and Introductions, Full of Sound and Fury

Paul Levitz once said Sandman is about storytelling, and the point by which it vacillates between mere tales and pithy sayings to the grand myth it is today. DC is full of heroes, truth be… [more]

Jim Valentino’s Shadowhawk: Year One

At the time of Image Comics’ inception, Jim Valentino openly admitted to being the least known founder.  Valentino stated in the first edition of the trade paperback of Shadowhawk vol. 1 that “I was pretty… [more]

Who’s the Superhero, Who’s the Supporting Player? On Doctor Strange & the Ancient One (Part 9)

In the years since Ditko and Lee stepped away from writing Doctor Strange, the Ancient One tended to be characterized in terms of, at best, his moral authority and, at worst, his physical decrepitude. Yet… [more]

On Invasion #2: “Battleground Earth”

We previously introduced Invasion and discussed its first issue. Today, we continue with issue #2. By the time Invasion #2 (titled “Battleground Earth”) begins, Superman has successfully negotiated a 24-hour cease-fire with the Dominators. Many… [more]

Gotta Loeb Batman: Batman and Synergy in Hush

Jeph Loeb is the quintessential Batman writer, and one is not bereft of evidence for such a claim. His two most recognized works, Batman: The Long Halloween, and the anticipated sequel, Batman: Dark Victory, embodied… [more]

“Growth Patterns”: Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing Issue #37

Swamp Thing #37 “Growth Patterns” Cover date: June 1985. Writer: Alan Moore. Artists: Rick Veitch & John Totleben. Editor: Karen Berger. Colorist: Tatjana Wood. Letterer: John Costanza.