Kieron Gillen’s run on Journey into Mystery #622-645 is really the closest Marvel has come to telling a long form urban fantasy story about stories like Vertigo’s Sandman , and it survived multiple art shifts and even an extended crossover with the Fear Itself event. The premise of the series is ingenious as in the aftermath of the Siege event (which involved the much maligned and overused by Brian Michael Bendis character, the Sentry, finally getting thrown into the sun by Thor.), Loki has been resurrected as a child and hopes to avoid his villainous destiny.
Not only does Steve Orlando’s Midnighter comic star a gay man, it tells blunt, sex-positive stories about that character. The main cast of characters in the upcoming main Avengers comic All-New, All-Different Avengers has a small minority of white dudes.
While there is still a lot of work on the road to a utopia of complete social justice, there is a trend of progressivism in some of today’s superhero comics that is impossible to ignore.
In the world of superheroes, it seems that feats of physical strength and acrobatic prowess are possibly the most prevalent demonstration of super powers. One must wonder if such physical powers are a product of the time in which these comics were originally produced – the 1930s for DC’s iconic Superman and 1941 for Marvel’s super soldier, Captain America – or does this sort of hero have roots that extend deeper into literary history. Obviously, mythology is full of heroes who have superhuman strength, stamina, and agility with Thor and Hercules being the most famous in the world of comics for their huge roles in the Marvel Universe (and smaller ones in DC). However, there is a bridge, figuratively speaking, between the heroes of myth and their newer incarnations in the comic book world, and that bridge is found in the works of classical, medieval, and Renaissance literature.
Uncanny X-Men #210″Mutant Massacre”, a storyline running through various issues of Uncanny X-Men, X-Factor and New Mutants (as well as Thor, Power Pack and one loosely-connected issue of Daredevil) in the fall of 1986 is superhero comics’ first crossover event storyline, a style of storytelling that, following the success of “Mutant Massacre”, became a recurring device used by Marvel and DC, so much so that nowadays, these events are annual occurrences, with the entire lines of superhero comics from both companies impacted by their narrative gravity. Thus, “Mutant Massacre” represents not only a significant occurrence in the narrative of the X-Men, but for superhero comics as a whole.
On “Californication”, the Red Hot Chili Peppers observe that “destruction leads to a very rough road, but it also breeds creation”, a theory that Marvel apparently agrees with, as from the destruction of Earth-616 and Earth-1610 comes the genesis of Battleworld. Even though it’s about 30 years too late, Secret Wars is Marvel’s response to Crisis on Infinite Earths, and because of the sheer scope of the calamity at hand, this is the first time since Civil War that the actual crisis justifies a massive crossover event.
Avengers: Age of Ultron represents the zenith of Marvel Studios’ Phase 2, the culmination of all the films and television shows that represent the Marvel Cinematic Universe over the last two years. Like the first film, this superhero team up pulls out all the stops to astound, taking the audience on a thrill ride of almost unrelenting action.
Katy Rex returns to NonCompliant as we discuss the new horror tinged take on Sabrina, the surprising feminist themes of Archie vs. Predator, the latest issue of female fronted Thor, and the all ages indie slice of life comic Nutmeg. Plus a couple of PSAs about the University of Mary Washington Divest arrests and Day of Silence and a very special puppy cameo.
Ragnarok #1 opens in a suitably operatic manner as Thor and the last remaining Asgardians hold their ground against the Midgard Serpent and the world-devouring wolf Fenrir. Writer/artist Walter Simonson quotes directly from the Icelandic epic Elder Edda and shows that he can still draw gods, trolls, and elves 28 years after his run on Thor wrapped up.