Archive | Guest Columns

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THE FLASH: The One Where Barry Goes to Prison

The Flash’s tenth episode (“The Trial of the Flash”) was definitely harrowing—and not simply because some guy ended up a walking ball of radiation, almost taking down the city. Things bounce around from bad to even more bad, heartwrenching, and frustrating. I may have shouted at the TV a time or twelve. Who’s counting? Here’s […]

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IN A WORLD… Part Three – Age of Ultron #1

Pat Shand here, back with the third installment of In a World…, a series of articles about stories you know and characters you love, but where things may not be what they seem. We’re traveling to strange, alternate realities where familiar faces have been placed in different timelines, places, and maybe even worlds. This time, […]

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Draining the Swamp Thing – Revisiting “Chester Williams: American Cop”

DC Comics’ Elseworlds stories have typically been presented as one-shots or miniseries outside a comic book’s main continuity and issue numbering. Thanks to the Elseworlds concept, Batman fans have been treated to seeing the Dark Knight portrayed as a reverend (Batman: Holy Terror), a vampire (Batman & Dracula: Red Rain), and a rampant psychotic (Catwoman: […]

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IN A WORLD… Part Two: Marvel 1985

Pat Shand here, back with the second installment of In a World…, a series of articles about stories you know and characters you love, but where things may not be what they seem. We’re traveling to strange, alternate realities where familiar faces have been placed in different timelines, places, and maybe even worlds. This time, […]

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An Extraordinarily Human Life

When I was little, I would ask my mom to safety pin a towel around my neck and I would run around the house talking in a voice that was somewhere between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Christian Bale’s Batman.  I wrote the longest essay in class when my 2nd grade teacher asked us to write about […]

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IN A WORLD… Part One: Iron Man – Noir

Welcome to In a World…, a series of articles about stories you know and characters you love, but where things may not be what they seem. We’re traveling to strange, alternate realities where familiar faces have been placed in different timelines, places, and maybe even worlds. First up is a tale of adventure that takes […]

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What If…Chris Ryall Picked His Favorite ‘What If’ Covers?

In 1977, Marvel launched a new series of extra-length stories called What If? with a first cover image showing the Fantastic Four—alongside new member Spider-Man—exploding through B&W pages of comic art that featured past pairings of these characters. Here, the spider on Spidey’s chest had a “5” on it, and the Fantastic Four’s costumes similarly […]

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The Real Reason

There are things in comics which we talk about and take sides on, and yet this very attention makes us miss some obvious points. We get so caught up in the popular byways of the point that we depopulate the highways of the main point. If someone points out those main points, we are suddenly […]

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All the Right Moves on THE FLASH

The Flash’s ninth episode (“Don’t Run”) was not surprisingly cerebral. (Come on. You know I was going to make that joke at some point, right?) It felt very much like a chess game, arranging the pieces just so, right before going in for the kill. In this case, somewhat literally. The knife set, with one […]

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Love—and Life—Is a Battlefield on SUPERGIRL

Supergirl’s ninth episode (“Reign”) was so wonderfully done for a lot of reasons. And I’m not just talking about how Lena snapped at Edge (“Morgan, you are a vile, despicable scrooge who’s going to die alone in prison.”). Or about Winn gleefully geeking out over Star Wars’ Life Day. (What do you get a Wookiee […]

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Welcoming the Future, Treasuring the Past.