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thor-insaneThor is Not a God, He’s a Lunatic: Realism in Ultimate Marvel

As the Ultimate Marvel Universe is reaching it’s conclusion it is worth looking back at the magnificent alternate universe. So much of the Ultimate Marvel Universe has helped to define both the Marvel Cinematic Universe… [more]

2Brian’s Comic Book Grab Bag: Ultimate Spider-Man Volume 1 #67

Last Christmas my brother gave me a booster pack of random, non-sequential issues from a variety of popular comic book titles that syndicated in the late eighties to mid nineties. The nineties was a time… [more]

PeanutsThe Spider-Man Moment

This is not the essay you were supposed to read today. When I first heard that we were having a Spider-Man week at Sequart, I knew pretty quickly what I wanted to write about.  While… [more]

USM13Ultimate Spider-Man #13 Uses Art and Dialogue to Add Depth to Its Characters

There are no masks, tights, or supervillains in Ultimate Spider-Man #13. There isn’t a fight scene. No one gets hurt. The whole comic is about a teenager having a conversation with his girlfriend and aunt.… [more]

USM10Ultimate Spider-Man #10-12 is a Coming of Age Story with Tights, Crime Lords, and High School Girls

The coming of age story is one of the most enduring story types in Western literature. From Telemachus in the Odyssey to Huckleberry Finn and more recently the boy wizard Harry Potter, readers young and… [more]

USM8Ultimate Spider-Man #8-9 Uses a Variety of Character Perspectives to Show Spider-Man’s Development As a Hero

After the editorial mandated origin story, Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley get to cut loose and tell their first official Ultimate Spider-Man story. The name of the story arc is “Learning Curve”, which signifies… [more]

UltimateSpider-Man005Ultimate Spider-Man #5-7 Has an Abrupt Ending, but Transforms Peter Parker into Spider-Man

Unlike the previous four issues which have played extremely fast and loose with Spider-Man’s origin in Amazing Fantasy #15, Ultimate Spider-Man is surprisingly faithful to Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s story. The plot is virtually… [more]

USM4Ultimate Spider-Man #4 Uses Language to Explore Peter Parker and Spider-Man

Ultimate Spider-Man #4 primarily consists of conversations, inner monologues, and characters running away from each other. No one throws a single punch. Some of the events, like Peter’s foray into wrestling and arguments with Uncle… [more]

GrowingPainsUltimate Spider-Man #2-3 Reveals the Perils of Power without Responsibility

Unlike the first double-sized issue of Ultimate Spider-Man, the second and third issues move at a much slower clip. At the end of Ultimate Spider-Man #2, Norman Osborn tells his scientists that he is testing… [more]

Ultimate_Spider-Man_Vol_1_1Ultimate Spider-Man #1 Introduces Peter Parker, his “Fathers,” and Hints at a Rich Supporting Cast

Ultimate Spider-Man #1 is one of the most important comics issues of the 21st century. The  series was the brainchild of Marvel publisher Bill Jemas, who wanted to create a Marvel universe that was accessible… [more]

SpiderMen_1_Cover_660Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man, Part 3

Lately I’ve been writing about comic books mostly from a mythological sort of angle, either as they pertain to mythological symbolism or how they can be used as real-life lessons the same way a myth… [more]

42Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man, Part 2

In the summer of 2011, Spider-Man died.

MilesMiles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man, Part 1

I don’t like to address politics very often when I write about comics.

Screen shot 2012-05-19 at 11.38.27 AMThe Venom Formula, Part 2

A few weeks ago, I wrote a column about the new version  of Venom as he appears in the cartoon series Ultimate Spider-Man.

406px-UltimatevenomThe Venom Formula

If there’s one character who is constantly in need of a makeover, it’s Venom.

from Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 3 #1, page 11Eight Thoughts on Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 3 #1-2

The right-wing media went apeshit over Peter Parker being replaced by Miles Morales, based on a single seven-page sequence (really its own short story) in Ultimate Fallout #4. Lots of people were perfectly prepared to… [more]

ultimate spider manUltimate Spider-Man Volume 2: Learning Curve

When I picked up volume 2 of Ultimate Spider-Man, I was expecting a new interpretation of a Spidey villain. Instead I was treated to a dose of Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin. Maybe because the Kingpin… [more]

002-bUltimate Spider-Man: Power and Responsibility: Part 2

Ultimate Spider-Man #2-7 The second issue is titled “Growing Pains”. It could have been called “The Longest Day” and fit just as well. It starts off with Peter in class. Coming down with the shakes,… [more]

ultimate spidermanUltimate Spider-Man: Power and Responsibility: Part 1

Ultimate Spider-Man #1: “Powerless” I’ve got a confession to make: I’ve never been a big Spider-Man follower before. Yes, I did see the movies, the sequel literally brought me to tears, and I consider it… [more]

Ultimate Spider-Man# 1House of Marvel #1: The House That Marvel Built

I’m a relative newcomer to comics. In fact, my first exposure to the American side of things only came a few years ago in the form of Ultimate Spider-Man #1, which was released in an… [more]

Ultimate Spider-Man #49Tremble in Fear, Hollywood!

Hey, gang — welcome to another New Comics Day. I’m screwing around with the format of the column (again). Look for some more changes in the coming weeks. If you hate the new format and… [more]

Catwoman #25The Call for a Mainstream

Welcome to another New Comics Day. Sorry about the delay — the Day of Gorging and Celebrating the Massacre of the Natives really saps my energy. Just think, the day of Commercialized Spectacle and Consumer… [more]

Ultimate Spider-Man #49Down with Comics Activism!

The lights are out at O’Malleys and the greatest y’allternative bluegrass band in the world, The Woodbox Gang, are twanging up my stereo with devil songs. The ol’ wallet is considerably lighter thanks to beer… [more]

Ultimate Spider-Man #48The Art of Intrinsic Failure: Epic, The Cubs, and Some Reviews

Salutations, and welcome to another New Comics Day. Well, okay, not really. New Comics Day plus a few days. Sadly, New Comics Day last week was spent in mourning after watching the Cubs blow it… [more]

406px-The_UltimatesSex Scenes, Orson Welles, and Other Matters

Greetings, and welcome to another edition of New Comics Day. As usual, New Comics Day winds down at O’Malley’s Pub on Lincoln where the beer is cheap but the comics reviewers are cheaper. This week,… [more]