Mighty Thursday #9

Hellboy: Seed of Destruction

By Mike Mignola (Story & Art); John Byrne (Script); Mark Chiarello (Colours); 2004

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Summary from Goodreads

When strangeness threatens to engulf the world, a strange man will come to save it. Sent to investigate a mystery with supernatural overtones, Hellboy discovers the secrets of his own origins, and his link to the Nazi occultists who promised Hitler a final solution in the form of a demonic avatar.Read More »

Mighty Thursday #8

Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man: Derailed

By Peter David (Writer); Mike Wieringo & Roger Cruz (Pencils); Karl Kesel, Oclair Albert, Victor Olazaba, & Mike Manley (Inks); 2006

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Summary

Hold onto your webs, spider-fan A major character from Peter Parker’s past returns! Meanwhile, is that the Hobgoblin terrorizing the skies? And if so, how is he connected to the shocking changes in Spider-Man’s life? Continuity fans better break out their back issues, because both Spidey’s past and future will change when an old (and unexpected) foe executes his master plan!

Plus: Presenting “Web Log,” an off-beat Spidey tale that starts at the very beginnings of Spider-Man’s career and goes all the way through to the distant future…as seen through the eyes of a woman who is convinced that the web-slinger has been stalking her her entire life. And finally, think Spider-Man doesn’t have to worry about death anymore, having escaped its grasp in “The Other”? Think again, as — years after his origin — Spider-Man finds himself back in the ring, squaring off against a masked wrestler whose name literally means “Death”…and for good reason!Read More »

Mighty Thursday #6

Avengers: The Initiative: Basic Training

By Dan Slott (Writer); Stefano Caselli with Steve Uy (Artists); 2008

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Summary

The super-hero Civil War is over, and the government won. Now all super-beings and costumed heroes are being drafted into America’s new superhuman armed forces: the Initiative. The heart of the operation is Camp Hammond, where Avengers veterans such as Yellowjacket, War Machines, and Justice train the next generation of heroes. Can young cadets like Cloud 9, Hardball, Komodo, Rage, Slapstick, Trauma, and Ultragirl live up to the Initiative’s superhuman standards? Find out as they and dozens of other heroes from throughout the Marvel Universe clash with hordes of Hydra, the incredible Hulk, and even the amazing Spider-Man!Read More »

Mighty Thursday #5

Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn

By Jim Owsley, Keith Giffen & Gerard Jones(Writers); M.D. Bright (Penciller); Romeo Tanghal (Inker); Anthony Tollin (Colourist); Albert T. Deguzman (Letterer); 2003

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Summary

Only the fearless can be entrusted with a Green Lantern’s power ring, the universe’s most powerful weapon. When Abin Sur, the Green Lantern of Space Sector 2814, crash-landed on Earth, he knew it was time to pass the Emerald Mantle to a deserving human. After quickly studying billions of people, the ring selected test pilot Hal Jordan, who was busy making a mess of his life. Now gifted with an incredible trust, Jordan needs a crash course in both using the ring and what it means to be a Green Lantern. And he had better learn fast — Legion, the alien marauder who has already killed four Green Lanterns, has arrived on Earth to hunt down his fifth.Read More »

Mighty Thursday #0

I’m a great lover of comic books, but unfortunately I have a tendency to read them infrequently. There are also a great many titles I’ve accumulated in my library that I’ve had for a long time yet never gotten around to reading. Some of these are random volumes that I can’t even recall buying, while others I specifically wanted to read, yet let that desire fall to the wayside after purchase.

Mighty Thursday is my effort to remedy this, where every week I will choose a comic book volume — either off my shelf or newly purchased — and review it. Most of the time this will be one I’ve never read before, but sometimes I will reread a title for the fun of it.

The only requirement I have for these new weekly posts is the medium itself, so while a lot may be focused on the numerous superhero trades I’ve accumulated over the years, I will not be excluding books that fall outside of the genre. Comics are a wonderful art form and I want to explore them more regularly.

Regular posts will begin next Thursday.

Star Wars & Meaningful Side-Stories

At this point, there’s no denying how much we seem to love side-stories and prequels to series and franchises we know and love. Whether it is Better Call Saul spinning off from Breaking Bad, The Wind Through the Keyhole filling a gap between books in the Dark Tower series, or Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them giving us background on the world of Harry Potter, it would seem we can’t get enough.

I’m personally fine with them, for the same reasons as many others: we get to spend more time in these worlds with these characters. What does sometimes bother me though is a side-story that seems to exist for its own sake. The importance of a prequel or side-story to me is that it adds something. Most the time the main series works as a cohesive story all on its own, so a side-story had best add something that expands my understanding of what was going on and who these characters were, or explore a detail in the world that was a smaller piece of the big picture.Read More »

All About Stories

Quite simply, this blog is going to be a place where I will write.

What I write about will vary depending on what has captured my interest. In my academic life I spent a lot of time reading literature, but my focus will extend beyond that. I am absolutely in love with almost all storytelling mediums. To list them more specifically: literature, comic books, films, animation, live action TV, and video games. I try to absorb as much content across all these mediums as I possibly can.

I consider myself quite open-minded, so there are few genres I will outright dismiss instead of giving a chance. Two genres I am particularly fond of, however, are fantasy and science fiction. Although I have much love for more realistic, dramatic stories, it is the extraordinary elements of these genres that particularly captivate me. Perhaps not surprisingly, I have a considerable love for mythology as well. Although at the moment this is limited to classical mythology (Ancient Greece) I intend to expand my knowledge as much as possible to learn more about the world’s different mythologies.

The reason for the broad spectrum of mediums I want to cover is that I have a deep reverence for stories, and I try to enjoy them in all the forms they inhabit. Though I have never truly been a spiritual man, having grown up in an environment where religious practice was absent, I firmly believe in the power of story. All of us believe in a myth of origin, for example, and use this as a means to help understand who we are by using this origin as a foundation. This could be Creation in the Bible, Evolution from the scientific perspective, or anywhere else on the vast spectrum of belief.

Challenge a person’s myth of origin and it is likely to be met with negativity. You may be thinking to yourself, for instance, that your belief is not “just a story.” This is a line of thinking that fails to appreciate the power of story. A story can make you happy, excited, or even miserable over something that never happened. Stories can make you fall in love with or hate someone who has never existed. People fight, die, and/or kill each other over stories every day. People seek each other out, become connected, and/or fall in love because of stories. To paraphrase Thomas King, stories are powerful and flexible, like water. Sometimes the same story can be used to help or it can be used to hurt.

We are affected by stories each day of our lives, even when we don’t realize it, because they are not simply the explicit constructs that populate our books, televisions, and theatres. Stories are the truths and lies we tell to ourselves and others. To perceive, even in some small way, is to tell a story.

Be kind; I am a scholar, but not a philosopher. I hope the above has provided an interesting glimpse into how I perceive the world and the stories around us, and did not come across as rambling. With this blog I hope to analyze, criticize, and review works from different storytelling mediums as I consider and/or experience them. This could be anything from merely sharing my feelings about a work, providing deeper criticism, or digging deep and analyzing its subtext and sharing anything meaningful I might find there.

I also intend to post some of my own creative writing, though this will be less frequent. I idolize writers like Neil Gaiman —I would love nothing more than to experience success across numerous mediums such as he has — but for the most part I envision my creative work will consist of short stories for the time being.

I look forward to embarking further upon this writing odyssey of mine. We must all start somewhere, and it is time I stopped merely absorbing content and began creating some of my own. Come along and muse with me, and let’s see what we can learn.