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Category: Comics

Captain America: The Winter Soldier – the only problem is that Captain America & The Winter Soldier are in it

Captain America Winter SoldierThe worst thing about Captain America: The Winter Soldier is that Captain America is in it.

I can’t lie: I’ve never liked the star spangled avenger. Most of that can be attributed to me being Canadian, and being fairly disinterested in a superhero wrapped in someone else’s flag. (Lest you think it’s entirely about nationalism, I have always maintained that Alpha Flight is pretty stupid.)

The first Captain America movie because it put the character in his proper context: As a piece of WWII propaganda. I don’t even mean that in a derogatory sense: It was a fun, pulpy bit of entertainment that played with the character’s origins and created a scenario where it was (almost) credible to dress a man up in a costume and send him to Germany to fight Nazis with a shield.

But while the modern Captain America narrative tends to be a “fish out of water” story, Winter Soldier takes Captain America too far out of the character’s comfort zone, and doesn’t do much with the resulting juxtaposition.

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The Wisdom and Impact of Before Watchmen

There was a time when I would have been genuinely offended that DC is publishing new Watchmen comics. Watchmen is one of the greatest comics ever published, a masterpiece of cohesive writing and art, and an massive influence on superhero comics. Publishing prequels or sequels seems inherently wrong, a line that everyone knows you shouldn’t cross lest you risk being struck down by the vengeful gods Alan Moore might talk to.

But the more I think about it, the less it bothers me.

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Didn’t this blog used to be about comics?

Apparently I haven’t written about comics in almost a year. I knew I hadn’t written a lot – I’ve been slacking on the blog in general this past year – but really, no posts about comics for that long? I suppose my review of Kick-Ass was kind of comic-related, but I never read the book.

My lazy blogging habits are one culprit. Aside from a crippling bout of writer’s block (which isn’t really writer’s block, because there’s no such thing; I just loathe everything I write lately), Twitter sucks up a lot of my thoughts and sentences. I spend more time redesigning my blog than I do writing for it. (Played with Movable Type for a while, partly to learn it for work; went back to WordPress because I like the plugins.)

But the biggest comic-related change is that I finally stopped caring about what Marvel & DC do in their superhero books. I used to have a passing interest, thanks to decades of reading them; I tried to keep up with what was going on, and picked up a book here and there if it had a creative team or concept I liked. But every time my hopes got up a little, they were slapped back down by a book that was either mediocre or dedicated to telling shared-universe stories in which I have no interest. At some point (Infinite Crisis seems about right), I even lost interest in Grant Morrison, who could make me care about epic fisticuffs. (I still happily bought a used copy of Absolute All-Star Superman over the holidays. Damn fine book.)

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Losers or Winners?

God knows I’m skeptical of adaptations these days, but I’m actually starting to get a good feeling about The Losers, Sylvain White’s adaptation of Andy…

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