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coverOn Adventure Comics #332, by Edmond Hamilton and John Forte (1965)

The received wisdom has it that the future world of the Legion Of Super-Heroes was originally an inspiringly optimistic, comfortingly cosy, super-scientific utopia.

from Miracleman, chapter 6, page 3 (Warrior version)Miracleman, Chapter 6, Page 3: “Reflections” of Kid Miracleman

We’ve previously begun discussion of chapter six of Alan Moore’s Miracleman, which originally appeared in the classic British magazine Warrior. We continue that discussion today.

Screen shot 2012-04-21 at 2.01.38 AMSoul Silver Surfer

After my recent column about Galactus, I’ve had an urge to rediscover a character that I’ve never really given enough attention to: Norrin Radd, the Silver Surfer.

Black Hole coverBlack Hole… Where Everyone is Welcome!

Charles Burns’s Black Hole starts off like so many other bildungsroman stories before it: girl and boy meet, girl and boy fall in love, girl and boy experience sex together for the first time, girl discovers… [more]

Irving JokerDeconstructing Batman & Robin: A Game of Villainy, Part 7

I’m sitting at a little coffee shop in Springfield, Missouri, called the Brown Egg with my comics spread out on the table. As the waitress delivers my pancakes, she remarks, “That looks really cool,” as… [more]

BR 1On Boys’ Ranch #1-3, by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon (1950)

In his Art of the Comic Book, R. C. Harvey offers Boys’ Ranch as an example of Jack Kirby having elevated comics into an “art form.”

Warrior #7 back coverMiracleman, Chapter 6: “Secret Identity”

Having introduced Miracleman and discussed chapters one, two, three, four, and five, as well as the interlude “The Yesterday Gambit,” we now turn to chapter six of Alan Moore’s Miracleman, which originally appeared in the classic… [more]

03_BusShelterComic Book Dads

Yesterday, my friends Wes and Andrea welcomed into the world their beautiful new daughter, Annabelle Fay. I was there along with members of their family to accompany them on their big day, and even though… [more]

CouriersThe Spectator Left: Self-Disgust and Self-Mockery in Brian Wood’s Channel Zero and The Couriers

As Brian Wood branches out into more mainstream work with Conan the Barbarian and X-Men, it’s important to peer back to his formative days.

Joker_Oberon_SextonDeconstructing Batman & Robin: A Game of Villainy, Part 6

While R.I.P. could be argued to be a game of chess between Batman and Dr. Hurt, the game of dominoes is at the forefront of Batman & Robin.

CoverOn The Zaucer of Zilk, by Al Ewing and Brendan McCarthy

NB: The Zaucer of Zilk is currently being serialised in 2000AD, so please be aware of oncoming spoilers as well as the likelihood that most if not all of my presumptions are entirely misplaced.

AnorexiaOn Body Typing in Comics: What We’re Not Saying and Why It Matters

This is not an essay I wanted to write. Doing so, I’m conscious of wading into waters famous for their landmines. This is at least the sixth full draft of this essay. Most of the… [more]

Galactus_(Earth-20050708)Galactus: Meditations on a World-Eater

The Uncreator. The Universal Endbringer. The Anti-God. Gah. Lak. Tus.

PersepolisPersepolis & Fun Home: Women and Comic Books in the College Classroom

There’s been a lot of controversy over women’s rights in the United States in the media lately.

Batman and Robin 3Deconstructing Batman & Robin: A Game of Villainy, Part 5

In the footnotes for the first volume of Batman & Robin, Grant Morrison discusses the strange coincidence of the third issue’s cover resembling an image of the Joker that Brian Bolland had done years previous.

VoodooNot the Way We Play the Game

I’ve never once criticised the work of another blogger in public, so why start now? Yes, Gene Phillips’s Making a Dirty Breast of the Matter (parts 1 and 2) are appallingly written pieces which express… [more]

From the Dark Phoenix sagaAlan Moore’s Miracleman and the Influence of Chris Claremont’s Dark Phoenix Saga

Having reached the halfway point of Book One, let’s pause and consider the influence of Chris Claremont and John Byrne’s Dark Phoenix saga on the way Moore presents his own hero-turned-villain, Kid Miracleman.

AnimalMan_GrantMorrisonFiction Suit

Alan Moore’s done it. Jack Kirby and Stan Lee did it. Osamu Tezuka did it. Grant Morrison did it so regularly and intently that he gave it a name.

Dark Knight Strikes AgainThe Anxiety of Influence and Failed Sequels: Frank Miller and The Dark Knight Strikes Again

“I mean the criticism teaches not a language of criticism […] but a language in which poetry already is written, the language of influence, of the dialectic…” (Bloom 25).

Joker and HurtDeconstructing Batman & Robin: A Game of Villainy, Part 4

Once the transformation into the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh is complete, the comparisons to the Joker are apparent and numerous.

coverDan Dare, by Garth Ennis and Gary Erskine (2008)

Dan Dare is ancient comics history now.

from Miracleman, chapter 5, page 7 (Warrior version)The Conclusion of Miracleman, Chapter 5

We’ve looked at chapter five of Alan Moore’s Miracleman, examined it in the context of the 1981 Brixton riots, and carried through to Kid Miracleman’s defeat. We now conclude our look at this chapter, originally printed… [more]

BuffyMaking a Dirty Breast of the Matter, Part 2

I want to focus on one remark made by Kelly Thompson in the essay “No, It’s Not Equal,” regarding the inequitable objectification of male and female characters in superhero comics:

incognitoThe Difficulties of Being “Just” Good and Bad in Comics of the New Millennium

In 1974, Frank Castle—also known as The Punisher—made his debut in Amazing Spider-Man #129, and the comics world was introduced to what would become one of the most popular anti-heroes—though he certainly was not the… [more]

Joker Black and WhiteDeconstructing Batman & Robin: A Game of Villainy, Part 3

The most controversial storyline in Morrison’s Batman run, R.I.P. is the psychological destruction of the Dark Knight.