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    What About Us?: An Essay on Marvel’s X-Men and Their Unending Search for Social Justice

    The recent revelation that Inhuman Terrigen mist is lethal to mutants, reeks of an editorial mandate and adds further fuel to the fire regarding Marvel’s recent distaste for the X-Men franchise. This act of segregation, due to the fact that the world is now (literally) deadly to mutants not only is a blatant attempt to sequester the franchise and put it into an isolated corner of the Marvel Universe, but it also spits in the face of everything the franchise is supposed to stand for. Very few comic books have ever managed to reflect our culture, or make such poignant social commentary as the X-Men franchise has. After all, the ethos of the franchise is that of change and acceptance. For decades, mutants were used as a sort of universal metaphor for anyone or any group of people who were abused, discriminated against, or persecuted by society. With this recent wave of social justice movements sweeping through our society at such a torrid pace, it’s clear that the X-Men are just as relevant and necessary as they’ve ever been. But instead of continuing the fight for justice and equality, Marvel would rather have the X-Men cut their losses and throw in the towel. It just goes to show that art doesn’t always imitate real life…even when it should. More

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    In ‘Final Crisis’ heroes die, but comics live forever

    On the surface, the title of Final Crisis feels like a misnomer. How can there even be a “final” crisis? There will always be a DC Universe, there will always be earth-shattering dangers, and there will always be heroes to ensure the end is never really the end. But the strength of Final Crisis lies in that it recognizes this, and uses this fact as the crux of the entire event: the promotional tagline was, after all, “Heroes die. Legends live forever.” The characters and stories of the DC Universe are timeless, never-ending, and very much alive in the way that language can be said to be alive. It’s from this angle that writer Grant Morrison attempts to comment on and interact with DC’s complex and often unwieldy history. While Final Crisis is not the final challenge these characters will ever face (because nothing ever will be until the day DC stops publishing — and at this point that’ll likely be the same day CNN puts it “Nearer, My God, to Thee” video to use), one walks away from it feeling like they’ve just experienced the ultimate in everything the DC Universe was, is, and will be. More

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    Best Comics of 2015 (So Far) Part 1

    2015 has been quite the eclectic year for comics, and this fact is reflected in our top ten list. Image Comics continues to be the true house of ideas with books ranging from a feminist twist on exploitation films to a murder mystery set in 1940s Hollywood and even a LGBTQ-friendly parody of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. Even though they are in the middle of big events (Convergence and Secret Wars), DC and Marvel respectively still have room for offbeat takes on their iconic or not so iconic characters and are represented on this list along with Valiant, which has attracted a veritable Murderer’s Row of creator to shape and develop their shared universe. More

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    The 13 Most Iconic Joker Moments

    What makes the Joker such an exciting villain isn’t just his diabolical deeds, but the way he acts as the perfect foil to Batman. The Caped Crusader is a dark and brooding shadow, bound by morals, rules, and logic. The Clown Prince of Crime is a manic, posturing madman, ruled by chaos, entropy, and a disregard for anything…including himself. Everything the Joker does is to make a point, or deliver a punchline even if it comes at his own expense. He knows no limits and pushes Batman to his own limitations like no our villain. The Joker is to Batman as Kurt Cobain was to Axl Rose, or as Aaron Burr was to Alexander Hamilton, a perfect antithesis in every imaginable way. Here’s a look back at 13 of the most iconic Joker moments. These are the moments that made the Joker the one of the most memorable and recognizable villains in all of fiction, across any medium. More

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    Was DC Comics’ New 52 Successful?

    Welcome to the new column “Comics Issues” where two Sound on Sight comics writers debate a important or controversial comics industry topic. First up, we discuss whether the DC New 52 was a successful initiative or not. Feel free to post your opinion in the comments below. More

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    ‘Nameless’ #3: we have lift off

    Grant Morrison’s cosmic horror miniseries has had a bit of a rocky start. The first two issues left a bit to be desired as they were slow parts building up to a something between Lovecraft and Event Horizon and fortunately it’s finally paying off. More

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    Jill Thompson: Jack and Master of All Trades

    Artist/writer Jill Thompson has one of the most idiosyncratic bodies of work in contemporary comics ranging from important arcs on legendary comics series The Sandman and The Invisibles to more traditional superhero work like a run on Wonder Woman as well her own creator owned comic/children’s book/film series Scary Godmother. She has drawn everything from dying stripper gods to Romantic poets, Batman to Bart Simpson and even an all animal cast in her Eisner winning Dark Horse series Beasts of Burden with writer Evan Dorkin. She is also one of the few creators not named Neil Gaiman allowed to write The Endless in her Li’l Endless stories. More

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    ‘The Multiversity Ultra Comics’ #1: Reading is believing

    In the penultimate chapter of his saga, Morrison has crafted the best example for self-referential, meta, blend of fiction and realism a comic has seen in a long time. Not since Pax Americana has a comic challenged you to think about what’s happening on the pages and piece together the ties that bind it to the larger scheme of things. With top-notch art, a (literally!) engaging story about comics being portals for invading aliens, and a comic that works as a simple adventure comic. The Multiversity – Ultra Comics #1 transcends all the boundaries of time and space in a single, phenomenal issue. More

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    Mission status is not optimal in ‘Nameless’ #2

    One of the strangest elements in Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham sci-fi horror miniseries has been how shockingly tame it’s been. That’s not to say what is presented in this recent issue of the inaugural outing are anything that doesn’t warrant a mature content warning, just that it’s strange to see the creative team of such mind bending works like Batman Inc. and The Multiversity: Pax Americana be this far into their limited miniseries and not fully engage the body horror and raging madness of say Event Horizon. That all being said, this issue is a massive improvement from last month, but to the point one wonders why the first two issues couldn’t have been at least fit together. More

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    ‘Nameless’ #1 leaves a wanting first impression

    Trying to review the work of the writer Grant Morrison always seems like a double act. For one, it’s the job of the reviewer to give their best description of the comic they read and their earnest thoughts on whether it’s worth the customers’ money. However, Morrison tends to write with an excessive amount of psychedelic weirdness that is difficult to critique. As such, please read this review with a grain of salt since this bizarre material is not the easiest thing to quantify. More

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