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God 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]

“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]

A 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]

Why Iron Man 3 is the Best Iron Man Film to Date

Iron Man 3 might not be an Avengers-like, nonstop action fest. But it’s the best of the three Iron Man films. In fact, it’s the only one that really understands the character.

Iron Man 3 — Second Biggest Opening in History

It’s official: Iron Man 3‘s opening weekend in the United States is the second biggest in history, after only The Avengers. Iron Man 3 took in an estimated $175.3 million in its opening weekend, which… [more]

Two Sequart Books in Previews

The Devil is in the Details and Curing the Postmodern Blues are now available to order through your local comic-book shop. Both books are in the current, May 2013 Previews catalog, for distribution to comic-book… [more]

Is a Supervillain Always Evil?

At the time of writing this piece, I have not yet seen Iron Man 3. It’s Wednesday right now, and I just bought my ticket for a 7 p.m. screening of the film on Saturday.… [more]

Today is Free Comic Book Day!

Today is the 12th annual Free Comic Book Day, in which comic-book fans — and prospective comic book fans — can go to their local comic-book store and receive free comic books.

Two New Interviews with Julian Darius, on Sequart and the Comics Medium

Sequart founder Dr. Julian Darius has done two recent interviews about Sequart and the medium of comics. In an interview with JC Thomas, Julian Darius discusses the medium of comics, whether it can be considered… [more]

Humanity, 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]

Those 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]

1986: 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]

The 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]

On 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]

On Jon Favreau’s Iron Man 2: What Tony Stark Once Suffered to Learn, Tony Stark Soon Forgot

Everyone’s at least something of a villain in Iron Man 2, except for some of our superhero’s friends and those thoroughly unaccountable Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and yet one of the very worst of the bad… [more]

Vaughn and Martin Unleash The Private Eye

A few weeks ago I talked a little bit about the new book that Brian K. Vaughan is working on, Saga, a planetary romance that he co-created with the brilliant Fiona Staples. Saga was one… [more]

Neil 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]

That’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]

“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]

From 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]

On 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]

My Best Guess for How to Live Life as a Super-Hero

As I write this, the authorities are still pursuing the perpetrators of the April 15 bombing of the Boston Marathon, although it looks like we might not have to wait much longer to see them… [more]

How Far is Too Far?: Excessive Violence in Johnny the Homicidal Maniac

For centuries, writers all over the world have seen the word censorship as a dirty word. And rightly so. No self-respecting writer wants his/her intellectual property to be covered up as though it wasn’t good… [more]

Humanity, 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]

Ascending 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]