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Captain America #1The Fundamental Things Apply: A Brief Meditation on Reading Jack Kirby in 2017

In times of stress, many of us look to the arts to help fill our emotional wells after they’ve gone dry. And right now, for me, Jack Kirby is like some kind of magical mountain spring. [more]

Photo by Jillian VondyWatchmen up Close: An Interview with Andrew Hoberek

Andrew Hoberek is the author of Considering Watchmen: Poetics, Property, Politics (Rutgers University Press), a 2015 Eisner-Award nominee for Best Educational/ Academic Work.  He is also an Associate Professor of English at the University of… [more]

Last Week Tonight title cardLast Week Tonight is Mandatory Viewing

When Last Week Tonight was announced, given John Oliver’s past work as a fill-in host and a correspondent for The Daily Show, it was easy to see Last Week Tonight as a Daily Show clone… only aired… [more]

Charlie Gibson and Sarah PalinThe Politics of Captain America: The Winter Soldier

CHARLIE GIBSON:  Do you agree with the Bush doctrine? SARAH PALIN:  In what respect, Charlie? GIBSON:  The Bush — well, what do you — what do you interpret it to be? PALIN:  His world view. GIBSON:  No,… [more]

Ender's Game posterWhy I’m (Proudly, this Time) Boycotting Orson Scott Card

Having weighed in on the Orson Scott Card controversy earlier this year, when he was hired to write Superman, I feel compelled to weigh in now that he’s issued his non-apology apology. The controversy earlier… [more]

Cover art from Superman #14 by Fred Ray, Feb. 1942.Superman’s Rejection of American Exceptionalism

In February of 1940, Superman ended World War II and prevented the future Cold War altogether through flying around the world by capturing both Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin and delivering them to international authorities… [more]

page 2 of the recolored How Superman Would End the WarOn “How Superman Would Win the War”

One of the best Superman stories – and probably one of the most important super-hero stories ever told – is also one of the shortest. What’s more, the story didn’t appear in a Superman comic;… [more]

Iron Man 3 poster #2Why 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.

The Complete PersepolisOn Chicago Public Schools Censoring Persepolis‘s Images of Torture

In the recent discussions over censorship of Persepolis in Chicago public schools, there’s been a notable lack of discussion over why anyone would want the book removed — and what such reasoning represents.

The Sun's "Gotcha" headlineMiracleman, Chapter 7, and British Politics

We’ve begun discussing chapter seven (in two parts) of Alan Moore’s Miracleman, illustrated by Alan Davis. Today, we continue our exploration of that chapter. (We’ve previously introduced Miracleman and discussed chapters one, two, three, four, five, and six,… [more]

Bane (from The Dark Knight Rises)Why The Dark Knight Rises Fails

Let me start by saying that I’m glad if you like The Dark Knight Rises. I wanted to. I wrote a book about Batman Begins. I love The Dark Knight, and its ending makes me… [more]

9 khOn Hawkworld, by Timothy Truman and Alcatena (1989)

In the shadows of the planet Thanagar’s great High Towers, where the three billion souls of the Empire’s alien underclass are segregated away in the most squalid and soul-butchering of conditions, there’s a statue of… [more]

from Miracleman, chapter 5, page 3Miracleman, Chapter 5, and the Brixton Riots

Last time, we began our examination of chapter five of Alan Moore’s Miracleman. Originally printed in Warrior #6 (Oct 1982), it concludes Miracleman’s fight with Kid Miracleman and marks the midpoint of Book One.

Batman strollWhy Batman Isn’t a Wingnut

Recently, a friend of mine clicked on a Batman-related TV show clip that found its way to the front page of Reddit.

Holy Terror pageReading Holy Terror’s First Act

After its three-page thematic introductory sequence, Holy Terror shifts to the Fixer chasing Cat Burglar across Empire City’s rooftops. It’s a sequence not without its charms, including a few powerful images. It depicts an eccentric, hard-boiled… [more]

pu_Holy_Terror_080Superheroes are More than Propaganda

It’s been five years since he originally announced it, and ten years since the events of Sept. 11, 2001, which inspired the story, but Frank Miller’s graphic novel Holy Terror has finally been released.

The Big Lie #1 coverOn The Big Lie, by Rich Veitch and Gary Erskine

Before addressing this controversial comic, let’s establish one thing: anything by Rick Veitch is newsworthy and deserving of better than being written off. Veitch is one of the legends who renewed American comics in the… [more]

front imageSuperman is a Sex-Crazed Nazi!

I’m astounded. We shouldn’t even be having this conversation. Yet here we are.  Racist tweets by comic shops, Glenn Beck talking about Spider-Man and the change of traditions, and a “radical” Superman. What the hell… [more]

Men of Tomorrow, by Gerard JonesColin Smith on Comics Criticism

As a medium, comics are in a strange place. In many ways, we as comics scholars and advocates have achieved the respect we long sought.

dan dareDan Dare and the Seductive Myths of Englishness

In the very first Dan Dare adventure, which began to be serialised weekly in the Christian boy’s comic Eagle in 1950, we’re introduced to the ”Inter Planet Space Fleet some years in the future.”

Captain Britain CorpsCaptain Britain and the Comforting Myths of Englishness

In Paul Cornell’s Captain Britain and MI:13 #1, the eponymous Captain is killed by a Skrull missile during an alien invasion of Britain. As is the way of super-hero comics — and as was something of a habit… [more]

Green_Arrow_13The Fate of an Archer!

“Oh, he’s fast, the archer is! Fast hands, fast feet…yes, and a bit angry, too! His is an independent soul—he’s pioneer material, like Wild Bill and Wyatt, he’s not about to be pushed—by anyone!” —Green… [more]

Liberality for All #1Mike Mackey on Liberality for All

Mike Mackey is the creator of Liberality for All, the first issue of which recently saw publication from ACC Studios. Billed as “the World’s First Conservative Comic Book,” the series takes place 20 years after 9/11.… [more]

liberality for allDon’t Tread On Me

Politics has invaded comics, and I’m pissed. What do G. Gordon Liddy, Oliver North, and and Sean Hannity all have in common? They’re superheroes. We have a convicted felon, a man that should have gone… [more]

In the Shadow of No TowersOn In the Shadow of No Towers

In 2004, coinciding with the Presidential elections, Art Spiegelman released In the Shadow of No Towers. It was the first time his work had penetrated the bookstore since his Maus, which had since won a… [more]