Category Archives: Comics

Don’t Make People Nazis Just Because You’re a Lazy Writer: A Response to this Steve Rogers Hydra Nonsense

It’s like Marvel reads my posts. One minute I publish an article claiming that Steve Rogers as Captain America exemplifies anarchist principles, the next minute he’s being clumsily outed in the comic books as a fascist this whole time. Under deep cover. Under such deep cover that he has been fighting Red Skull, and also was able to pick up Mjolnir, and has done so many other things directly counter to being an undercover Hydra agent this whole time (since BEFORE HE WAS PICKED OUT FOR THE SUPERSOLDIER PROGRAM????) that it’s just not worth getting into. It doesn’t work, and we all know it. This is bad, bad writing. It’s gimmicky crap in the worst tradition of gimmicky crap comic book plot twists.
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No Gods, No Dungeon Masters

No Gods, No Dungeon Masters Cover

A short review of the comic and an interview with the author.

Comic Credits:
Words: Ion O’Clast
Art: Rachel Dukes
Cover: Andy Warner

This comic had me from the cover. First of course the imagery of a cop car crushed by a d20. Well, hell yes, I’m going to read this. Happily I can say there is a lot to like in this short little comic.

I really don’t want to give away too much of the content, but I’ll share a little. For me this is such a nice summary of why I think projects like AGR are important in our radical space. The comic follows the narrator’s journey through subcultures talking about how each group has informed them. (I just realized I’m using narrator here. I assume it’s Ion, but I forgot to ask.) The idea of fantasy as an escape from anarchism was one that hit close to home for me, but also the idea that fantasy provides us with tools to inform our anarchism.

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The Massive Volume 1: Black Pacific

The Massive Volume 1: Black Pacific

The Massive Volume 1: Black Pacific

Written by Brian Wood

Art by Kristian Donaldson, Garry Brown, Dave Stewart, and Brian Wood

2013, Dark Horse Comics

Recommended? Highly!

What do you do when you’re a member of a radical direct action environmental organization and the world really does collapse? This is the question at the heart of the story in The Massive as members of Ninth Wave face the world during a massive eco-social-environmental cataclysm. Ninth Wave, easily a stand in for Sea Shepherd, is comprised of an international crew aboard the Kapital and its missing sister ship the Massive. Volume 3 of the trade paperback was released in early July 2014—this review will look at Volume 1 and contain a few possible SPOILERS to that collection. This volume mostly serves as an introduction to the world and characters, so I don’t think I’ll be giving too much of the overall story arch away.

Set in the current era, the cataclysm depicted in The Massive is one of global climate change. Taken as individual occurrences these events could be ripped from the headlines of today: massive storms across the worlds oceans, unusual seismic activity, mass suicides and die offs of marine life, changes to wind patterns, unusual snowfall and changes to wind patterns. The results are worldwide coastal flooding, loss of power to hugely populated areas, and the destabilization of almost all world governments. This happens in less than a year, and perhaps most amazingly, the world actually takes notice.
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Ms. Marvel

Ms. Marvel

Ms. Marvel

Written by G. Willow Wilson

2014, Marvel

Recommended? Definitely add to your pull list

When it comes to pushing the boundaries of the media representation of socially marginalized groups, DC and Marvel Comics aren’t the first two companies that spring to mind. Recent controversies out of DC have certainly not helped, such as DC’s call for sexualized suicide images of Harley Quinn, or how Batwoman’s creative team quit after DC refused to let Batwoman marry her partner Maggie Sawyer.

These incidents, in addition to years of absurd outfits (I mean really, what’s up with Power Girl’s boob window, or damn near anything Emma Frost has ever worn? Those outfits deny all laws of nature and certainly aren’t made for super-powered fights.) and “Liefeldian” body-proportions that no skeleton could possibly support have resigned many comic fans to the belief that Marvel and DC just can’t, or aren’t willing to, give us heroes from marginalized groups that are written or drawn as well as their white male counterparts.
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Legenderry #1, by Bill Willingham

Legenderry 1

Legenderry #1

by Bill Willingham

2103, Dynamite Entertainment

Should I read? Nope

Steampunk is situated in an interesting place for radicals: it can, as the Catastrophone Orchestra put it, offer a “non-Luddite critique of technology,” and sites like Beyond Victoriana use steampunk as a platform to combat racism and orientalism. This, plus its ability to explore colonialism, class, and gender while looking oh-so-very-cool in the process has attracted more than a few radical authors to the genre, from those that are explicitly anarchist like Alan Moore to socialists of various stripes like China Miéville.

The genre has also seen a large recent growth in popularity, its aesthetic making appearances in mainstream television shows like Castle and that terribly embarrassing Bieber Christmas music video. One of the most well known steampunk novels, Cherie Priest’s Boneshaker, is currently being adapted for a major motion picture.
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