Breaking Macho: What ‘Logan’ And ‘Lego Batman’ Have In Common
Earlier this month, X-Men fans were treated to Logan, a Wolverine movie … without Wolverine. A sort of adaptation of the comic Old Man Logan (although more in tone than plot), the movie imagines a future where mutants are nearly all dead, and a barely hanging on Logan is low-key doing chauffeur work to take care of a decrepit Charles Xavier. When some bad guys go after a young girl named Laura suddenly in Logan’s care, the ex X-Man takes a road trip to get her to safety --- while killing a lot of people who get in their way.’ While some are comparing Logan to Deadpool, the other R-rated film starring a Marvel hero from the past year, we should be looking at its similarities to another superhero film from 2017 instead; The Lego Batman Movie.
Good Thing: Learning With Stevonnie In The ‘Steven Universe’ Comic
While we were originally supposed to get a new Steven Universe episode this week, SU fans were disappointed to learn that the episode is being held off for a later date. Chances are it’ll be put as the first episode of the next Steven Bomb, but of course it’s still a bummer to have to wait. However, the silver lining is that this week featured a Stevonnie storyline in the the latest Steven Universe comic, and guess what? It’s lovely.
Good Thing: The Shake Ups Go To Beach City
The pop culture power-pop band The Shake Ups have made a name for themselves on the Midwestern convention circuit as The Shake Ups in Ponyville, a My Little Pony-inspired project featuring original songs based on the hit cartoon show. For 2017, the band has announced their new side project; The Shake Ups In Beach City. That’s right, Together Breakfast readers --- they’re going full-on Steven Universe.
Good Thing: Kevin Keller Gets Fleshed Out in ‘Riverdale’
I’m happy to say that, after a rough start with Kevin Keller in the Riverdale pilot, last week's episode, "Chapter Four: The Last Picture Show," was the first really good episode for Kevin, played by actor Casey Cott. The dialogue felt like a better fit. His lines are still snappy, but there’s less leaning on the "quirky gay best friend” trope and more fleshing him out as a supporting character.
Unsinkable Ship: Why Barbara Gordon And Jason Todd Are Stronger Together [Love & Sex Week]
When I first jumped into the Batbooks early into the New 52, I was disappointed to learn that Barbara Gordon, my favorite superheroine, hadn’t had many love interests, and even less showing up in the new canon. How did a character so awesome, who had been around for so long, have so few romances over the years? I had started brainstorming who I would pair her with, and around that time I checked out the event comic Death of the Family. In the last issue, the Batfam had stopped the Joker, but they were all still coming down from the Joker toxin. While they were all sitting in a pool of water, grinning painfully against their wills, there was this one detail towards the back of the panel...
Good Thing: Jory And Hunter Take The Next Step In ‘Backstagers’ #6
Boom’s Backstagers is one of my favorite comics to premiere in the last year. Ryan Sigh’s lineart and Walter Baiamonte's colors bring the weird, gorgeous magical backstage world to life, but it’s also worth highlighting James Tynion IV’s writing, particularly his focus on overt, in-canon queer representation. Before Backstagers #7 comes out on February 22, I want to take note of the loveliness that is Backstagers #6, published in January. Spoilers for #6, and for the series as a whole, below.
Enjoy The Madness: The ‘Shade the Changing Girl’ Mixtape [Music Week]
Shade The Changing Girl --- part of DC's Young Animal imprint --- tells the story of Loma, a rebellious alien who steals a magic coat of madness, runs away to Earth, and possesses the body of a comatose teenage Earth girl. Along with Cecil Castellucci's trippy script, the space-bending, psychedelic visuals from artists Marley Zarcone and Kelly Fitzpatrick are a core part of what makes Shade the Changing Girl so fantastic. When planning the playlist, I wanted to find weird, intense tech/pop songs, less focused on the lyrics and more on the mood of each song.
Things Go Bump In The Night In ‘My Monster Boyfriend’ [Fantasy Week]
It's Fantasy Week here at Comics Alliance, and many of my fellow CA contributors are writing about their favorite monsters. And I can respect that, but why would I choose one monster when I could highlight a book with lots of monsters instead? Especially when these monsters are all really, really sexy. Published by Iron Circus Comics and edited by C. Spike Trotman, Smut Peddler Presents: My Monster Boyfriend has ten short comics about monsters and the humans who love them. Its highly successful Kickstarter earlier this year (paired with the femdom erotica comic Yes, Roya) raised over $160,000. There is clearly a market for comics full of sexy monster boys, is what I'm saying.
Deeper Space: How ‘Omega Men’ Stands Apart [Sci-Fi Week]
2015's The Omega Men tells the story of a group of freedom fighters (or terrorists, depending on who you’re talking to) in a section of deep space called the Vega System who have taken White Lantern Kyle Rayner as prisoner. This is all part of their big plan to once and for all tear down the oppressive government that controls their star system. Over the course of 12 issues, the book by writer Tom King, artist Barnaby Bagenda, and colorist Romulo Fajardo Jr, brings hard looks on corruption, how the very things that should be enriching or protecting people can rot from the inside, and the assumption that anyone fighting against an evil is then inherently good themselves. Now out in trade paperback, the collection also happens to be one of the more fascinating sci-fi graphic novels of the 2010s.
The World Could Use More Power Pack [Kids’ Comics]
Earlier this month Marvel put out the fourth issue of its Civil War II tie-in series, Choosing Sides, and while most of the Civil War-related stories are dark and depressing, this particular issue included a Power Pack story courtesy of writer John Allison, with lineart by Rosi Kämpe and colors by Megan Wilson. The story is quiet, sweet, and contemplative, with three of the four Power kids debating the issues being fought over in the larger Civil War II event, and ultimately deciding that the issues are more complex than one side being right and the other being wrong. Reading the story reminded me of a question that's been on my mind for a while; why isn’t there an ongoing Power Pack series right now?