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Thor ’77-’78: On the Never-Ending Road to Ragnarok, Part 4

The Mighty Thor #265: This one is truly an ALL BATTLE ISSUE! We left off with The Destroyer, a suit of indestructible-looking armor, powered by someone’s spirit force, crashing into battle with Thor. We find… [more]

Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers #2: We Were Avengers

Issue #2 acts as something of an interlude in the first three issues of Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers. As Captain America prepares a new team to go to Mars, Ex Nihilo’s speaks with the imprisoned Avengers,… [more]

Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers #1: An Avengers World is Born!

Hickman begins Avengers #1 like a creation story, the theme of creation being prevalent throughout the three-issue opening arc: “First there was nothing. Then everything.” As we will see, this is juxtaposed against New Avengers… [more]

JLA: New World Order Revisited or, What Makes a Story Essential?

The world of cape-comics has a rather tortured relationship with certain sets of words used to describe a character, creator or project. ‘Iconic,’ for instance, is probably one of the most overused words in our… [more]

Academics on Avengers: Endgame, Part 2

As mentioned in Part 1, we got so many contributions that we had to split this article up into two parts. Below is the second half, and we hope you enjoy it. And again…BEWARE…FOR SPOILERS… [more]

Academics on Avengers: Endgame, Part 1

Avengers: Endgame is a cinematic generational event. The epic conclusion to the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first arc that began with 2008’s Iron Man and encompasses twenty-two films. As of this posting, Avengers: Endgame has grossed… [more]

A Long Brush with Marvel Comics

Whatever confluence of events, whatever set of circumstance that attaches a child to a thing, in this case to Marvel Comics, is within the purview of the brain people and magicians.  It interests me that… [more]

Smorgasbord #73: Who They are, and How They Came to Be

Pick up your Secret Origins and your Years Zero as Shawn and Tom go on a flashback month to discuss their various entry points into the wonderful world of comics and how these points shaped… [more]

Smorgasbord #72: H.R. Giger’s Human Resources Department

Tom and Shawn play a game of “What If?” and peer into an alternate dimension where we run Marvel Comics. How would the Star Wars line grow? What could we do to fix the trade… [more]

Len Wein, 1948–2017

For those of us of a certain age, who grew up on comic books in the 1970s and 1980s, it seems like we’re losing far too many of the great creators who helped shaped our… [more]

The Framework in Agents of HYDRA

Where do we even begin? This is yet another article that I hadn’t been planning. Well, I’m sorry: that is just an alternative fact. You see, I had been thinking of writing about this arc… [more]

Smorgasbord #63: Khatz in the Khradle

In which Shawn learns that Marvel’s definitions of “ongoing” and “miniseries” are more interchangeable than they should be; a Warren Ellis Plot Generator would inevitably become sentient and attack the United Nations while chain-smoking; Meredith… [more]

We Are All Children of the Atom: Marvel’s X-Men Gold Controversy, the Qurʾān, and the Problem of Diversity

[Note: This article originally appeared on Mizan Pop on the 10th of April, 2017. Since its publication, Marvel has terminated Syaf’s contract.] The recent launch of the new comic series X-Men Gold has generated international controversy… [more]

Smorgasbord #62: Shawn & Tom Kill the Marvel Universe

Go for broke! The news from the Marvel Retailer Summit have forced Shawn & Tom to discuss at length about all myriad problems Marvel actually have, as opposed to the problems they think they have.… [more]

Spotlight on Steve Gerber’s The Son of Satan

Marvel Comics in the 1970s were, to put it mildly, weird. Now, I mean that as a compliment. The dizzying array of subgenres that the publisher expanded into during the decade is impressive. Explosive creativity on… [more]

The Brilliance of Bill Everett’s Sub-Mariner, Marvel’s Superman

Bill Everett tribute for Marvel’s 75th and Daredevil’s 50th anniversaries (2014) by Stephen Sonneveld, featuring William Blake’s “The Great Red Dragon and the Beast from the Sea” (1805-1810) Bill Everett was an expert storyteller, whose… [more]

Design Sense: Steve Ditko’s “Jack” is an Ace Compared to Marvel’s

Few images are as iconic in Western culture as the grinning gourds that populate our harvest festivals. Initially, such sturdy fruits made practical lanterns. The artistry of carving faces, and weaving religious and secular folklore… [more]

Academics Discuss their Book Marvel Comics into Film and the Secret Origins of the MCU

Matthew J. McEniry is an assistant metadata librarian at Texas Tech University and describes digital manuscripts for online discovery. Robert Moses Peaslee is an associate professor and chair of Journalism and Electronic Media at the… [more]

Hunger and Longing: Growing Up with Cloak and Dagger

While I can’t remember exactly what happens in this comic book, the cover to Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #95 has long been burned into my memory. It’s cover dated October 1984 and I must have… [more]

Last Night, A Superhero Saved My Life: Reading Comics to Live

While reading Last Night, A Superhero a Saved My Life (Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press, 2016), I was struck by how emotionally invested I became in these tales of lives saved and redeemed by comic… [more]

Shattered Empire Fills in Some Intriguing Star Wars Gaps

One of the great things about a mythical universe such as the one created by Star Wars is that there’s plenty of room to tell many different stories, so long as they connect neatly with… [more]

Droids, Slaves and C-3PO’s Red Arm

The role of droids in the Star Wars universe has always been fairly clear, and yet tinged with some troubling implications. They’re servants, essentially, but they’re also companions and, most interestingly of all, they have… [more]

Smorgasbord #43: With Treelike Reptile Erections

As the Internet rages at Rebirth and Nick Spencer, Tom and Shawn discuss the passing of Darwyn Cooke, the latest desperation tactics at Marvel and DC, casting news for Thor: Ragnarok, and August Previews. We… [more]

A Marvel Cinematic Universe Wish List

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), including their Netflix series, is expanding rapidly. Since having kids, the wife and I can’t seem to keep up. I’m not sure she’s as impatient to see Captain America: Civil War… [more]

Of Squirrels and Girls

This exposes me to some risk, having to look over my shoulder for Steinbeck’s vengeful spirit, but that’s the life we choose in the thrilling, fast-paced world of sequential art criticism.  Not like music reviewers… [more]