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xmen_schism_teaser-592x900Through a Siege Perilous: Rebooting the X-Men, Again

Much like any super-hero team around for 50 years, you eventually run out of stories to tell. Especially with a property like the X-Men, you can only tell the persecution story so many years before… [more]

batgirl-1Man of Steel, Woman of Legs

Given how often Superman and Batman have been paired into dualisms ranging from “day and night” to “Apollo and Dionysus,” it’s surprising that in the second week of DC’s “new 52” they paired the Grant… [more]

Image courtesy of "Our Valued Customers"The Curious Case of Hyper-Criticism

Let’s talk about who we are as fans for a moment, shall we?

Nothing is happening on this pagePut Your Money Where Your Panel Is: On Action Comics #1

Action Comics #1 is a simple story with a simple premise – introduce the character Superman, make the readers care about him, and put him in a dangerous test to set up for the next… [more]

Superman Returns Prequel #4, bottom of page 30Superman Returns Prequel #4: Lois Lane

Five years ago, around the release of Superman Returns, I began a look at its four-part prequel mini-series, examining how it changed Richard Donner’s original films and what it revealed about Superman’s five years of… [more]

211_batman_mask_of_the_phantasm_1024Rosebuds and Grim Reapers: Why Batman: Mask of the Phantasm is the Citizen Kane of Animated Films

From the deputized FBI agent of the 1940’s movie serials to the gritty, realistic vigilante of Christopher Nolan’s films, Hollywood has portrayed Batman in a variety of ways, but none of the live-action films have… [more]

images (1)Exposing Triple-D Tits: Sexuality and the Comic Book

There is no limit to what can be said about sex. Such a simple, almost industrial an act, yet mind boggling broad in its implications. The wealth of films, TV shows, and countless songs about… [more]

WareSupermanClash of the Mythologies

I can appreciate someone like Chris Ware for his artistry, which I think is beautiful, but I think his attitude stinks, it just seems to be the attitude of somebody really privileged, and honestly, try… [more]

Captain MarvelWhatever Happened to the Big Red Cheese?

As I write this, Captain Marvel’s future at DC comics is uncertain. Before the relaunch, Freddy Freeman was Captain Marvel (or maybe he was going by the name “Shazam” to clear up all those pesky… [more]

09-06-2011 Right Number Panel (2)The Right Number – A New Reading Convention

Scott McCloud’s The Right Number is a compact, experimental web-comic.  It is also one of the most successful web-comics ever produced.  This is primarily due to it questioning something that most creators take for granted… [more]

The Walls of Samaris -- sundew motifThe Walls of Samaris, Part 4: Textual Variants

We’ve previously examined the story of The Walls of Samaris, a French masterpiece that deserves to be known among comics-literate Americans. In part two, we looked at several implications of its trompe-d’oeil device. In part three, I wrapped up… [more]

Wertham with Children at LefargueDiagram for Delinquents Update #19: For Good

One question looming over our documentary, and it’s certainly a controversial one (especially for longtime comics readers like myself) is: was Wertham right? A simple question indeed, but one that has many more questions packed… [more]

Keeping the World Strange: A Planetary GuideKeeping the World Strange in Comics Stores Wednesday

Keeping the World Strange, our book on Warren Ellis and John Cassaday’s Planetary, hits comics stores Wednesday (14 September 2011).

Justice League International (2011) #1Justice League International #1 Review

It’s hard to put into words how silly Justice League International #1 is. On the one hand, it’s written in a style that’s a throwback to the very early 1990s. That shouldn’t be a total surprise:… [more]

Action Comics #1, top of page 9Not Your Daddy’s Superman: How Grant Morrison’s Action Comics #1 Works

Having slammed Justice League #1 so severely in the last week, I feel as if I’d be remiss not to point out how excellent Action Comics #1 is and how it gets right virtually everything… [more]

stormbreakerThe Heroic Struggle of Beta Ray Bill

This is a somewhat informal essay on a character that has fascinated me for a few years, Beta Ray Bill. While it echoes the work of folklorists and the hero narrative (Propp, Campbell, et al),… [more]

UA 2Mark Millar’s The Ultimates, Part 6: And Now for Something Completely Different

If Ultimate Comics Avengers was a departure from Millar’s previous Ultimates work, then its sequel goes completely off the rails.

Swear for foodSpider Jerusalem and Friedrich Nietzsche

“Spider Jerusalem is like Hunter S. Thompson in the 25th century.” That is how the lead character of Warren Ellis’s Transmetropolitan was first described to me.

Captain Picard facepalmHollow Spectacle (or How Super-Hero Comics Warped My Logic Circuit)

There’s nothing wrong with spectacle. Even, I’d argue, for its own sake. Hell, it used to be its own genre of Hollywood movie (e.g. Cleopatra and more recently Gladiator)! But there’s good and bad spectacle,… [more]

Hitchcock & Wertham Redbook interview page 1Diagram for Delinquents Update #18: Grimmness

In April 1963, two men sat down to discuss the controversial topic of violence in the media. One man had dedicated his life to the study and eradication of it. The other manipulated it to… [more]

Speedy on HeroinLoud Sounds and Bright Lights: Comic Books and the Addict

I hate the new Justice League. Let me be emphatic on this point: I loathe the new Justice League. I realize to a few this may seem a bit dramatic. After all, isn’t this book exactly what… [more]

Justice League #1, top of page 4How Not to Relaunch a Universe: A Negative Review of Justice League #1

How bad is Justice League #1, written by Geoff Johns and penciled by Jim Lee? It’s virtually a road map for how not to write super-hero comics.

Justice-League-1How to Launch a Universe in 52 Easy Steps: A Positive Review of Justice League #1

Though I typically skew toward hyperbole when I discuss anything, I will do my best to avoid such in this review. So let’s get this out of the way right now: is Justice League the best… [more]

Monkey KingFresh Off the Boat: Stories of the Americanization Process in Anya’s Ghost and American Born Chinese (Part Two)

While Anya’s Ghost subtly weaves the theme of the “FOB” and the struggle with Americanization into its story of coming of age and the supernatural, Gene Luen Yang’s award-winning American Born Chinese takes direct aim… [more]

IdentityCrisisCv1Defending Identity Crisis

In the past week, not only has my hero Grant Morrison said some pretty strong opinions over Brad Meltzer’s Identity Crisis, but Newsarama has listed the crossover as being their number 1 moment worth forgetting… [more]