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SDCC Cap statueI’m Just a Kid from the Lower East Side Brooklyn: Steve Rogers’s Shifting Working Class Background

Today Steve Rogers is branded as “I’m just a kid from Brooklyn.” His class and geography marks him as much as his old-fashioned ideals and morals do. He is a man of the people, but… [more]

BP and WSErasing Black Panther to Render Him Safe

The Captain America: Civil War trailer has caused a lot of excitement with fans. And certain images have gone onto become instant memes and gifs. Newspapers, reviewers, as well as comic book related journals, have… [more]

prime-image000-caponcapWe are the Heroes of Earth-Prime: The Role of the Reader in the Multiverse

You. Yes, you. Staring at us. Studying us. Picking over these words and looking for meaning. Did it not occur to you that you are the one giving this significance?  Every word you read is… [more]

CaptainAmerica221Weird Worlds: The Minor Mainstream Works of Steve Gerber, Part 3 – Captain America

Of the works that I am considering in this series of articles, Steve Gerber’s run on Captain America is by far the shortest. Weighing in at a scant 3 and three quarter issues, this truncated… [more]

sdfWeird Worlds: The Minor Mainstream Works of Steve Gerber, Part 2 – Mister Miracle

Though Jack Kirby’s Mister Miracle ostensibly ran for 6 years (1971-1977), the series produced only 25 issues. Between #18, Kirby’s final issue, and #19, there is a 3 year gap. It is a testament to… [more]

All new Cap 6Capital Thoughts: All-New Captain America #6 and some contemplations on Age of Ultron

Hydra’s new plan for world domination—safe sex!  Brilliant!  Here’s how it’s supposed to work:  Hydra has created a new virus that make couples impotent.  Only Hydra agents will get the antidote, which means that in… [more]

2939564“I Just Don’t Like Bullies”: Joss Whedon’s Interpretation of Captain America

2012 was inarguably Joss Whedon’s biggest year ever. Not only did he take center stage of a sold-out ravishing audience at the 10th anniversary Firefly reunion panel at San Diego Comic-Con, have his micro-budget adaptation… [more]

from Age of Ultron, Black WidowSuperhero Movies and the Curse of Familiarity: The Age of Ultron

The art of adaptation as well as the challenge of sequels is to allow the audience to experience things in new ways—strange ways—in order to destabilize us. [more]

all new Cap cover 5Capital Thoughts: All-New Captain America #5

Comics have always wrestled with consistency and continuity—hence, the Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe, the Crisis on Infinite Earths series, and the ongoing Convergence. On the other hand, with all this talk of Secret… [more]

Bst7rv7CAAAn15W.0_standard_640.0The Good and Bad of Diversity in Comics

Diversity has always been a problem in comics. In the early days, minorities were nigh invisible, and women were usually relegated to romantic interests/damsels in distress. In the modern era, however, DC and Marvel have… [more]

all-new-captain-america-4-covCapital Thoughts: All-New Captain America #4

In what is now a common trope, Sam Wilson, aka, the All-New Captain America, is getting his ass kicked, this time by Armadillo, a third-rate villain who first appeared in Cap #308 (August, 1985; Gruenwald/Neary/… [more]

asdfCapital Thoughts: All-New Captain America #3

As much as I find Remender’s recent storylines to be thought-provoking, Sam Wilson’s backstory is one long cliché: inner city youth, a community ravaged by drugs, his parents die; Sam then raises his siblings and… [more]

All-New Cap  Cover #2Capital Thoughts: All-New Captain America #2

Karl Marx, writing on the Anglo-French wars, observed that history repeats itself, first in tragedy then in farce.  His example was Napoleon, a man defeated by the combined armies of the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Hanover,… [more]

wordballoon1Breaking the Silence: How Comics Visualize Sound

Of all the elements defining comics, the most paradoxical is that it is a silent medium that nonetheless has sound represented.  Comics are in the peculiar position of needing to imply sounds through images, making… [more]

cap  all new #1Capital Thoughts: All-New Captain America #1

The “All-New” Captain America begins, curiously enough, with a nostalgic turn:  Sam Wilson flying into a fortress and kicking Hydra ass.  But, even as fisticuffs fly, Sam’s mind is elsewhere:  he replays a childhood filled… [more]

cap25Capital Thoughts: Captain America #25

That Sam Wilson is the new Cap can come as a surprise to few.  For months now, Yahoo and other major sites have been predicting this event. The moment, as Sam himself notes, is anticlimactic. … [more]

cap 24Capital Thoughts: Captain America #24

Superhero families have always been something of a mystery.  As most serious readers of comics know, the 1955 Comics Authority banned virtually all sexual activity from comics, and even within the bounds of marriage, sex… [more]

postnineeleven2Comics Post September 11th

I remember September 7, 2001 pretty well. It was a Friday. I had been working as a manager of sorts in an office. Small, private administration company. It had been hemorrhaging money because the owner… [more]

Wonder Woman_1Overcoming the Status Quo: Wonder Woman, Superheroes, and the American Criminal Justice System

In this three-part series, I explore where superheroes fit into popular conceptions of criminal justice in the United States, and the potential for Wonder Woman to help improve those conceptions. This week, I look at… [more]

Cap 23Capital Thoughts: Captain America #23

Issue 23 has more than its fair share of mayhem, so much so that finding a theme to discuss is difficult.  Oh, there are plot twists, to be sure:  Zola is invading from Dimension Z… [more]

4Oh, My Aching Cranium!: Jack Kirby’s OMAC Deconstructed and Reconstructed, Part Two

15 pages a week — written, penciled, and edited. Think about that for a minute. That’s the number that Jack Kirby’s fairly-lucrative-for-its-time DC contract called for when he created the concept of the One-Man Army… [more]

Captain_America_22Capital Thoughts: Captain America #22

Cap, now a shriveled old man, lies in a bed in the Avengers’ Manson.  Banner runs tests on him and reports that there is no trace of the super-soldier serum in his blood.  Tony Stark… [more]

AsterixAndVikingsAnimatedMovieAsterix the Gaul, Captain America, and Steroids

What if Tyrion Lannister had Popeye’s super powers? What if Thor had the appetite and I.Q. of Cookie Monster? What if the Spartacus universe was cross-pollinated with the Smurfs? Well, then you’d get Asterix, Obelix,… [more]

detailCapital Thoughts: Captain America #21

“The law of sacrifice is uniform throughout the world. To be effective it demands the sacrifice of the bravest and the most spotless.” —Mahatma Gandhi. So reads the penultimate panel of Captain America #21.  The… [more]

Captain America #20 cover artCapital Thoughts: Captain America #20

Steve Rogers wakes in a hospital bed.  He’s been dreaming of his mother, whether she made the right decision to stay with her worthless husband. Maybe it was a mistake; maybe she just should have… [more]