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Superhero Spotlight: Blue Devil

200px-Shadowpact_DevilWould you sell your soul to the Devil for superpowers? Think of all the good you could do as a superhero. All the lives you could save. Wouldn’t all that be worth the sacrifice of your soul? Isn’t that the kind of thing Jesus would do? That’s what Daniel Cassidy aka Blue Devil did. But was it worth it? And is it even possible?

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4 Horsemen

horsemen_01_c01Some of you may not remember what things were like in 1999. If you don’t remember, you’ve just made me feel old. Thanks for that. Back in ’99 every one was getting ready to crack out their old Prince albums and party like it was 1999, because, well, it was. But there was a looming threat. The Y2K bug. There was a great panic because we were uncertain that our computers could cope with the change from ’99 to ’00. Planes were going to fall out of the sky, cars would spontaneously combust in the streets, microwave ovens would rise up against the oppressive regime of mankind and over throw the government – you know, the usual. It would be the end of the world as we know it. It was time for the apocalypse.

As I’m writing this in 2009, you can be pretty much assured the apocalypse didn’t happen in 1999. But there was a genuine uncertainty about the year 2000. Vertigo comics jumped on this wave with their V2K line of comics, all focusing on the stroke of midnight, New Year’s Eve 1999. 4 Horsemen was one of those books.

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Secret Six: Unhinged

secret_six_1

Secret Six: Unhinged

Writer: Gail Simone

Art: Nicola Scott

This is the story of six strangers picked to live in a house and work together to find out what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real.

Yeah, not really.

More like six messed up people doing messed up things. Six damaged, outcast super villains trying to find a place in this world. But first they have to work out if they want a place in this world anyway.

Meet the Secret Six.

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Watchmen Comic Reviews

watchmenReading through the Watchmen graphic novel? Here are links to reviews I wrote for each chapter.

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Watchmen #12

Watchmen #12

Watchmen #12

This is it. The end. Does it finish with a bang or a whimper? Has Adrian saved the world or doomed it?

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Watchmen #11

Watchmen #11

Watchmen #11

Okay, I know I didn’t get these finished before the movie came out. But once that deadline passed, there didn’t seem to be a great need to rush. But here it is – Watchmen #11. The end is near. Can Rorschach and Nite Owl save the world and stop the mastermind’s nefarious plot? How far would you go to save the world?

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Watchmen #10

Watchmen #10

Watchmen #10

Future? What future?

As we draw near the end, Rorschach and Nite Owl grow closer to uncovering the conspiracy. Hints and clues that have been present since the first issue are drawing together. We come to realise that nothing in this work is random or filler. Everything connects. Will our two heroes be able to save the world? Or will they be too late to stop the evil scheme? Except, we don’t know anything about the scheme. We don’t know what our master mind is planning. Has this elaborate pulling of strings been for good or evil? We still don’t know how all the pieces connect.

Only a short review this issue. This is the chapter that draws everything together for the final act. Two more issues to go.

Watchmen #9

Watchmen #9

Watchmen #9

Don’t you see the futility of asking me to save a world that I no longer have any stake in?

Say there is a God. Say he did create the universe. Is he still around? Is he still at work in his creation? Or did he wind it up and leave it to run by himself while he nicked off for a beer?

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Watchmen #8

Watchmen #8

Watchmen #8

What makes a hero? Is it just enough to put on a costume and declare yourself to be one of the good guys? Or do you have to possess a certain moral fortitude? Watchmen is a work that asks that question. What is the difference between a costumed vigilante who fights crime and a one that commits crime? Where is the line between Batman and villainy? In Watchmen #8, our “heroes” have to make some tough decisions. And their actions will have consequences.

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Watchmen #7

Watchmen #7

Watchmen #7

One of the things that sets Watchmen apart from other superhero comics, especially comics prior to 1986, is its treatment of sex. Watchmen #7is all about sex. Not some cheap an tawdry porno orgy comic book, but a mature approach to two consenting adults exploring sex. Two adults who also dress up in costumes and fight crime.

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Watchmen #6

Watchmen #6

Watchmen #6

Friedrich Nietzsche is an interesting person. But if I was to throw a dinner party and could invite anyone from history? Nietzsche would definitely not be on the invite list. That would be way too depressing. One of the core points of Nietzsche’s philosophy is that there is no point to existence. Not exactly the bubbly disposition one would hope for in dinner time discussion. Watchmen #6 quotes Nietzsche in the final panel. Rorschach is a man who lives the Nietzschian ideal. I wouldn’t want to invite Rorschach to a dinner party either.

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Watchmen #5

Watchmen #5

Watchmen #5

There once was a time when heroes were upright citizens. They fought crime and saved the world because that was the right thing to do. Being a hero was not just about saving the day but also making sure the way you saved the day was heroic and just. After Watchmen, heroes were ultra-violent nut jobs in trench coats with severe psychological problems and an inability to interact in social settings. Thanks Rorschach.

The theme of this issue is reflections. What do we see when we look into the mirror? And what is there looking back at us, lurking underneath the surface?

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Watchmen #4

Watchmen #4

Watchmen #4

Only 8 more days until I will be either deliriously happy or uncontrollably homicidal. That’s right, the Watchmen movie is finally upon us! I started reviewing the individual issues late last year. And like so many other things, it got abandoned over summer. 8 days. 9 issues left. Let’s do this thing.

What does it mean to be human? At what point do you stop being human and start being something else? Could God be one of us? Just a slob like one of us? Just a naked blue guy on the surface of Mars trying to find his way home?

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Watchmen #3

Watchmen #3

Watchmen #3

“How’s the end of the world comin’ along?”

“It’ll happen today. I’ve seen signs. National Examiner reported a two-headed cat born in queens.

“Today for certain.

You’ll keep my paper for me tomorrow?”

It’s times like these where it’s hard not to quote REM. It’s the start of the end of the world. Things don’t look good for the old US of A. And while Rorschach may seem paranoid, that doesn’t mean he isn’t right. Is there a conspiracy at work?

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The Spectre: The Early Days

I’ve mentioned The Spectre a couple of times here at Pop Culture Christ. He’s a comic book character over at DC Comics. For a good look at his 1940s adventures, head over to Dial B for Blog.

Comic Review: Therefore Repent!

Therefore Repent!

Therefore Repent!

The Rapture has happened. All of the Christians have floated up into the air, leaving everyone else behind. And to be honest, those who are still here kind of like it that way. But something is happening. Things are changing. Pagan magic is starting to have real and obvious affects. Black winged angels in army gear are patrolling the streets. And dogs are starting to talk. Welcome to the world of Therefore Repent!

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American Jesus

Chosen

Chosen

What if Jesus was reborn today? What if a boy in the USA found he could heal the sick and change water into wine? This was the premise of Mark Millar’s 2004 comic miniseries Chosen. Now it appears more is on the way.

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Watchmen #2

Watchmen #2

Watchmen #2

With the second installment of Watchmen, I’m reminded why I love this book so much. With the introductions of all the main players out of the way in part one, the textured layering of the story becomes apparent. What could have been a series of flashbacks is instead a moving look back on┬áthe life of a man who is by no means a good man. And amongst all of this, the mystery surrounding the death of the Comedian deepens.

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Final Crisis – Revelations #1

Final Crisis - Revelations #1

Final Crisis - Revelations #1

Final Crisis – Revelations #1

Dc Comics

Written by Greg Rucka

Pencils by Philip Tan

What is the deal with people using the word Revelations in titles? Are they trying to be high brow? Are they trying to invoke Biblical themes of judgement and destruction? Are they trying to show they know what they’re talking about? Because it’s not working, people! It’s Revelation. Not Revelations. There was one vision given to John written down in the New Testament. Not plural. You use Revelations and I’m going to write you off as a try hard. Sorry, that’s just the way it is.

Anyway, let’s talk about the Spectre.

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Comic Review: Watchmen #1

Watchmen #1

Watchmen #1

The Comedian is dead.

Who killed him and why is the mystery of the story. Was it the communists or someone hunting down masked vigilantes? Or is there something more going on?

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