Thrilling Exploits

Thrilling Exploits

I was raised not to pay attention inside a car. The suburban Vegas Strip-malls of outer Philadelphia provided way too much stimulation, and often, where we were going wasn’t exactly a road. The wide-open asphalt of drive-in movie theatres beckoned, and our secondhand station wagons were an escape-pod extra living room, with all its snack [...]

Wild Wild West End

Wild Wild West End

Many people have always thought that Sherlock Holmes was a real guy; these days, lots don’t know that Harry Houdini ever existed. But Sherlock Holmes vs. Harry Houdini brings them both to life. The labyrinth moved through here is really the workings of the intricate, exceptional minds of the main characters, and of the two co-writers, [...]

Cut to the Chase

Cut to the Chase

You can’t see the ingenious plot twists coming in Gail Simone’s Red Sonja because this is not a character for whom anything is pre-assured — she goes up against the kind of brutal, entitled guys who in a less feminist era would probably have been the hero. And yet these unforeseeable events lock into place [...]

Mad Skill

Mad Skill

I don’t know if this is the best-selling comic in America this month, but it is the most important. Comics deal in what-ifs that are often never-could-be’s — we may not ever see superpowered cyborgs, but the unlearning of our democratic heritage, the unfinishing of our 200-year-old revolution’s business and the descent of a dystopian [...]

Stack of Dynamite: Everydays of Future Past

Stack of Dynamite: Everydays of Future Past

Might-have-beens are the currency of comics and fantasy; both the expansive sense of what’s possible and the imagining of what path things could have taken. Joe Casey is consumed with what the comics artform could be capable of, and Peter Milligan with what human beings can rise or fall to. In Captain Victory and Terminal [...]

50 Shades of Black

50 Shades of Black

The key idea to Black Market comes with a passing line that will so absorb your attention as an entirely original perspective on superheroes that you may miss the way it expresses a whole new pop-culture definition of our century — the narrator talks you through the rise of (otherwise ordinary) costumed vigilantes and their [...]

Unforgiven

Unforgiven

You can exploit a subject long after it’s a trend as long as the issue gets old without going away — Tarantino proved that with wise period grindhouse on still-festering social faultlines like Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained. Alex de Campi is the right heir to this tendency, having slid antiquated attitudes from the 1950s [...]