All posts by cosmo

The Black Panther’s 70’s Rage

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Billy Graham

The Black Panther first appeared in a 1966 Fantastic Four two-parter (#52 & #53). Not long after that (1968) he joined the ranks of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Black Panther’s time with the Avengers raised his profile, yet, also largely ignored one of his most prominent features: being king of Wakanda. Other superheroes in the past had either been monarchs or had ties to them, most famously Princess Diane, daughter of the Queen of the Amazons. The overlap between Wakanda and Themyscira is intriguing, as they are both technologically advanced cultures created and maintained by minority populations. In his original Wonder Woman stories, William Moulton Marston used Paradise Island as an example for what human civilization could aspire to being, if only women were allowed to live to their full potential. Similarly the scientific glories of Wakanda represent what African minds can achieve when free from the bonds of oppression. Unlike Wonder Woman, this concept was dormant throughout T’Challa’s earliest adventures. His Avengers period kept him in New York, far removed from the tribal politics of his homeland. It was not until the Panther received his first solo stories that creators began tapping the full potential of Wakanda.

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This Week’s Finest: Monstress #10

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Sana Takeda

By Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda

As with any art form, the best comic books are those that offer an immersive experience. Favorite paintings or films, for example, provide visual worlds for contemplation, while listeners can lose themselves within an album’s aural landscapes. All these mediums share the ability to craft a compelling ambiance. The same is true of Monstress which continues its excellent run this week with another stunning issue.

Much of the appeal of Monstress is related to its elaborate world building. The narrative unfolds in the aftermath of a long brutal war waged between magical/semi-magical beings. This extended conflict, which continues to simmer not far below the surface, has left the environment ravaged. A general sense of gloom hangs over the proceedings, a visual reminder of writer Marjorie Liu’s motif of war’s deep, ill-healing scars. Issue #10 however, achieves a heightened level of dread as protagonist Maika and her companions reach the Isle of Bones.

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Uncovering the Best Covers, 2-23-17

Want to know what covers caught our attention this week?

Curious what our eyes fell in love with at first sight?

Well, here they are, the most memorable images on the stands this Wednesday . . .

Cosmo admires the skill of  . . .

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Wonder Woman #16 by Jenny Frison

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Uncovering the Best Covers, 2-15-17

Want to know what covers caught our attention this week?

Curious what our eyes fell in love with at first sight?

Well, here they are, the most memorable images on the stands this Wednesday . . .

Cosmo feels a chill from . . .

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Dark Horse Presents #31 by Carla Speed McNeil

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Review of The LEGO Batman Movie

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No Spoilers

It has often been observed how malleable a character Batman is. Over the past several decades he has found himself equally at home busting the heads of petty street criminals and out-witting cosmic menaces with (new) god-like powers. What unities such diverse plots is a common interest in the humanity of the hero. The tone of the narrative might emphasize oppressive bleakness or optimistic redemption, yet what all the best Bat-stories have in common is an interest in who the man is beneath the cowl. This is true of the movies as well; for example, Christopher Nolan’s masterful Bat-trilogy is as, arguably more, concerned with Bruce Wayne than it is with Batman. In many ways, The LEGO Batman Movie liberally skewers the melancholy tone of Nolan’s films, while sharing with them an interest in the hero’s personality. Amidst the bonanza of gags, Chris McKay’s new film has something to say about Batman’s character.

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Uncovering the Best Covers, 2-09-17

Want to know what covers caught our attention this week?

Curious what our eyes fell in love with at first sight?

Well, here they are, the most memorable images on the stands this Wednesday . . .

Cosmo falls under the spell of . . .

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All-Star Batman #7 by Tula Lotay

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Film 2017 Preview

As superheroes continue to win massive profits at the box office and graphic novels strengthen their literary credentials, the amount of comic book adaptation increase in turn. This year’s crowded slate kicks off on Friday with The LEGO Batman Movie. While the majority of these projects remain dominated by capes and tights, there is some cursory interest in exploring other aspects of the medium. What follows is an overview of 2017’s offerings loosely ranked by level of interest.

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Uncovering the Best Covers, 2-02-17

Want to know what covers caught our attention this week?

Curious what our eyes fell in love with at first sight?

Well, here they are, the most memorable images on the stands this Wednesday . . .

Cosmo takes a swing at . . .

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Nova #3 by James Stokoe

Continue reading Uncovering the Best Covers, 2-02-17