It’s not a radical idea to say that superhero comics should be for children, but it seems an increasingly radical idea in a time where a Marvel comic recently had Hawkeye shoot Bruce Banner through the eyeball. All-ages comics at the Big Two are the exception, not the rule. Are the demands of continuity the reason why? Does "everything should fit together" inevitably create, for lack of a better term, "tone bleed"?
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Avengers Academy is a hit mobile game where your favorite Marvel Comics characters are inexplicably reimagined as teenagers attending high school, and I am addicted to it. I’m not the only one, as the charming character designs and spot-on characterization of the students has millions of people playing. So why isn’t there an Avengers Academy comic?
Ryan North, Erica Henderson and Rico Renzi’s The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl is one of the best superhero comics being published today, but it’s also one of the best that fall loosely under an all-ages banner and is enjoyed by kids and adults alike. Everyone can enjoy Doreen Green’s adventures and her positive outlook on life, and the comic itself is spreading a positive message through Squirrel Girl’s empathy and how she approaches and interacts with the supposed super villains of the comic.
Here’s a sample of the angry comments I’ve read in the last 24 hours about the rumor that Zendaya will be playing Spider-Man’s long-time love interest, Mary Jane Watson, in Jon Watts’ Spider-Man: Homecoming.
When Garth Ennis and John McCrea's Hitman ended, it ended definitively for almost all of its characters --- including the collection of heroes called Section 8, who would have to sweat for a lifetime to reach the lofty heights of the Z-list. So I held off on buying All-Star Section 8 --- written by Ennis, drawn by McCrea, with colors by John Kalisz, letters by Pat Brosseau and covers by Amanda Conner and Paul Mounts --- because I didn’t feel the need to revisit it.
But eventually I did, and I was not expecting what I got: affection wrapped in sheer nihilism, a pointed critique from a very unexpected angle on how the Big Two superhero universes work, and nothing less than Ennis and McCrea’s own Flex Mentallo.
Since the dawn of the Silver Age, legacy characters have been a staple of superhero fiction, and having a new character step into a well loved role can open up new opportunities for writers and artists to tell different kinds of stories. In The Replacements, we’ll look back at the notable and not-so-notable heroes and villains to assume some of the most iconic mantles in the superhero genre.
Spider-Man discovered the mysterious symbiote while on Battleworld, but after returning to Earth it proved to be a malevolent and obsessive force that craved a permanent bond. After Spider-Man freed himself from the symbiote's influence, the alien has gone on to bond with some of the toughest heroes and villains in the Marvel Universe.
Suicide Squad has only been in theaters for a week, but it’s already become a flashpoint for fan discussion. (And yes, that was a DC pun, thank you very much.) Does the movie’s plot make sense? Does it matter? How much of David Ayer’s original vision wound up in the theatrical cut? And maybe the most contentious debate of all: Is the movie better than Warner Bros.’ previous entry in the DC Extended Universe, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice?
More than most, the mantle of The Flash is defined by legacy and by family. Jay Garrick wore the name proudly through the Golden Age, but it was a successor stepping in that kicked off the Silver Age and revitalized superhero comics on the whole. This week we look at the men and women to ride the lightning as The Flash.
The box-office records it demolished over the weekend aren’t the only broken parts of Suicide Squad. For all its admittedly impressive financial success, the movie’s story is shockingly incoherent, and that’s when the film has a story at all. Sure, Will Smith was great and Margot Robbie made an impressively committed Harley Quinn. But in much the same way the Suicide Squad is held hostage in Midway City by sinister bureaucrats, Smith, Robbie, and company are trapped in a movie that gives them very little play and makes even less sense.
This looks like a job for Superman. Too bad he’s dead.