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Latest Topics

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The Symbolism of Superman

As a comic book character, few have garnered the notoriety that Superman has. This topic calls for an investigation into the character’s history and an investigation into the symbols the character has come to represent over the years. Questions for investigation may include: How has Superman changed over the decades, and why did these changes occur? What type of ideology does Superman best represent?

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    Aging in Comic Books

    In comic books, character traditionally stay young forever. However, in the past 30 or so years, several important and critically acclaimed stories have focused on aging super hero characters. Stories like the Dark Knight Returns (Batman) and Old Man Logan (Wolverine) have aged their respective characters well into middle age. These stories are considered some of the best for their respective characters (DKR is a landmark title) but how are these characters different than their younger counterparts. What is the impact of aging super heroes, who are traditionally portrayed as eternally young. How does the reader’s perception of these characters change when they grow old or advance in age?

    • Interesting topic. It could be interesting to also discuss why Spiderman hasn't aged much in his comics, since many have already made fascinating commentary on that (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1dO462ufLc; worth watching the whole thing, but relevant content begins at 4:22). – ProtoCanon 3 months ago
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    • Another interesting affect this has on characters is the sliding time line of their back stories. Sometimes the writers can retcon this sort of stuff with little fuss, i.e. punisher fighting in Vietnam is changed to Iraq. But for a character like Magneto, whose origin story and, by extension, entire world view stem from his experience of the Holocaust, it's very hard to explain why he's not dead at this point.I don't know if you want to touch on this also, but related to this issue is the fact that characters who never age never die(and if they do, comic book death is cheap). So we have golden age, silver age, bonze age, and modern age heroes all occupying the same stage, all very nearly the same age. This presents especially interesting problems for legacy characters with large families. Take the bat family, that has something like four robins, three batgirls, and a bat-woman in it right now. And I think all four people who've held the flash mantel are alive now too. Not to mention the 6(?) green lanterns currently inhabiting sector 2814. Crises only keep these characters dead for so long. – ealohr 3 months ago
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    • Also worth noting is how lack of aging can be tied to lack of development in characters, so writers often reuse the same story tropes instead of letting the characters progress (i.e. the reversal of Peter and MJ's marriage leaving Peter as a single guy again, or bringing Aunt May back to life). – jnardone 3 months ago
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    Suicide Squad: Movie VS. Comic(s)

    What was similar and what was different between the Suicide Squad comic and the film? What elements, including characters, from the comic could have made the movie better? What elements from the comic, including characters, would have made the movie worse?

    • This topic could also include the Suicide Squad animated movie. I haven't watched the new movie or read the comics but my love for the animation is what makes me hesitant, since it was so well done. What elements were in both, what was left out? They're both just movies so it's perhaps easier to go into what could and should have been cut to fit an appropriate feature length. – Slaidey 4 months ago
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    • The shared the adventurous, defeat a villain and their army aspect, but what the film lacked was a central point. There was no room for character development with such a huge cast and many characters to follow. The film itself should have lastes at least 2.5 hours if not 3 hours. Really hoping the extended edition fixes this problem. – carlospena 3 months ago
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    • The comic was way better. They tried to put ever comic into the movie in under 2 hours. – mikka1321 3 months ago
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    Wonder Woman: The Evolution

    Since the film has been made and a trailer (maybe more than one) has been released as well – let’s give some background to comic readers who may not know about WW. Explain Wonder Woman’s relationship with herself, the Justice League, and how she came to be who she is today. Also, tieing in the new comic series she has had and seeing where the movie could potentially take from that instead of taking from the older versions of Wonder Woman.

    • This has already been published here: http://the-artifice.com/wonder-woman-history/ – Misagh 4 months ago
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    • Thank you! I meant an updated version [I added it in there], she has a new comic series out from 2016! I wanted to focus on that and how the movie will (maybe) adapt to the newer comics being made recently instead of adapting to the older ones and making it more updated in a sense – scole 4 months ago
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    The Gray Area Between Good and Evil

    Within comics and movies, heroes have slowly been developing more flaws while villains are beginning to produce a more human face. More so, with the rise fandoms, readers and fans have begun to appreciate both; picking favourites and encouraging this type of development for characters. By examining older heroes and villains and how they have developed/changed over time, as well as, the rise of the "flawed hero" and the "human villain", are we slowly entering an age where there is no right answer? Or will "true villains" be forced to be purely "evil"? Analyze both the negatives and positives of this within a writing context — will this change how plots and characters are being written? Will the definitions of what a "villain" or "hero" are, have to change? And will this bring in a new era of "grey" as opposed to the archaic, early form of writing that was strictly black and white? Or is our perception of the "character", "plot" and writing becoming deeper and more advanced?

    • Interesting topic, but please make sure to go over it to fix some minor punctuation errors. "Favourites" is actually spelled without the "u." Also, commas must be placed within the parenthesis. You also end your fourth sentence with both a question mark and period, which you cannot do. – Diego Santoyo 5 months ago
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    • Diego, I believe Canadians and the British spell favorite with the u, Americans don't. – Tigey 5 months ago
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    • I wasn't able to update my topic before it became accepted, so here is the proposed revision:Within comics and movies, heroes have slowly been developing more flaws while villains are beginning to produce a more human face. More so, with the rise fandoms, readers and fans have begun to appreciate both; picking favourites and encouraging this type of development for characters. By examining older heroes and villains and how they have developed/changed over time, as well as, the rise of the "flawed hero" and the "human villain", are we slowly entering an age where there is no right answer? Or will "true villains" be forced to be purely "evil"?Analyze both the negatives and positives of this within a writing context -- will this change how plots and characters are being written? Will the definitions of what a "villain" or "hero" are, have to change? Compare and contrast the potential backlash and consequences. Will this suspension of "grey" initiate a return to the classic hero? Or will this bring in a new era of "grey" as opposed to the archaic, early form of writing that was strictly black and white? Or is it our perception of the "character", "plot" beginning to change into something new; bringing in a new era of writing that is deeper and more advanced?Possible characters to look at may include: Joker, Bucky Barnes, Jesse Pinkman, and Jean Valjean, Dexter, etc. – Mela 5 months ago
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    • A character that could be a good focus on the gray area concept would be Deadpool. Although comedic, the character displays characteristics that could classify him as both hero and villain. – AngeloCruz 5 months ago
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    • Another good character to focus on could be Tony Stark from Iron Man, who is the perfect example of a flawed hero. – mariamvakani 4 months ago
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    • A good character to focus on is Walter from Breaking Bad. Lots see him as an evil man and others see him as a man who did bad things but with good intentions. – sabrinakasymov 4 months ago
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    What Should Happen To Captured Super Villains?

    A major problem with super villains is that after they are defeated and captured they break out of jail to reek havoc again. So what should happen to these trouble makers? Take a look at how different comics deal with this problem and the frustrations and morality struggles heroes face from it. For example, in one of the Crisis on Two Earths stories Superman performs lobotomies on villains to stop them but it is seen as immoral action. In many cases heroes are tempted to kill villains to stop their terror once and for all.

    • How the method used to deal with villains is a reflection of how society does/should/shouldn't deal with criminals should also be taken into account. Media doesn't exist in a vacuum. – Amanda 8 months ago
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    • This is a fantastic topic! I think the moral aspect is the most important in this discussion, and should be the focus. Make sure to consider super villains that also have the ability to do good/have some form of a moral stand. I look forward to reading this! – LilyaRider 8 months ago
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    • I don't know – Zyana Hault 8 months ago
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    • Definitely look at DC's Arkham Asylum and Marvel's "The Vault" as examples of "super-max prisons" and how they do (or don't) work in the context of the greater comic universe. – Tarben 5 months ago
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    Dynamic Duos: For Better or Worse

    Sometimes there’s a beautiful balance – like peas and carrots, pie and ice cream, Laurel and Hardy – between entertainment partners. Sometimes… not so much. In politics, Nancy whispered answers to Ronnie, Cheney pulled Bush’s strings, and for eight years Hillary ran the White House while Bill diddled.

    Of course, the same is true in entertainment. In music, Simon really didn’t need Garfunkel, Hall didn’t need Oates, and Diana Ross didn’t need the Supremes. Regarding TV, it’s said that "Eddie Murphy’s success went to Joe Piscopo’s head."

    Which comic book character duos – for example, Batman and Robin – are equally necessary? Which are not? Which seem equal but are imbalanced? Which seem imbalanced but are equal? Why do these pairings either work or fail?

    • This looks like a really good concept. I would narrow it down to comics though as that is the topic. For example, Green Hornet and Kato and the Lone Ranger and Tonto.One perspective to take could be how this portrayal has changed over time. I read that when Jay Chou took over Bruce Lee's role as Kato, there were changes made to his role. Here is a link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8uZiniM5jU. Also, Seth Rogen playing the Green Hornet made it clear that Jay Chou, charismatic music star, wouldn't be a suitable person to be following orders.Also, I would re-examine the title. How about "Dynamic Duos: For Better or Worse.". Just a suggestion. I have a thing about titles, and not just trying to maximize the search engine optimization, although that is very, very important. I try to put myself in the reader's seat so that when scrolling through all that is present on the internet, hopefully this will be a competitive title which will grab the elusive attention of an audience bombarded with all kinds of attention grabbing headlines. – Munjeera 5 months ago
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    • I don't agree with all the claims made here, but I like the way you've written it and I'm sure it could be a very engaging article. – TKing 5 months ago
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    • Munjeera, that's not some arbitrary "thing about titles," that's just good writing and I appreciate your sharp intellect catching my oversight.TKing, everything I wrote must be true. I read it on the Internet. 😜 – Tigey 5 months ago
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    The Evolution of the Hulk

    With the recent events in the Civil War II – (untimely things) – let’s talk about the evolution of the Hulk. Who the Hulk is and where he has come from. How his character has grown and at times not so grown. No one really talks about the Hulk in terms of how he grew up and how he arrived at where he was today. Specifically in the comics, since for one, the films never really were praised until Mark Ruffalo became the Hulk. I really think talking about the comics and his story arc and where he has come from in the series’ would be so great to see!

    • This is interesting...especially due to a previous topic discussing the amount of time spent on the background story of superheroes as distracting and time consuming, but it is true, I really am not very aware of the Hulk's background, other than the very bare, and minimal preliminary facts that occurred during his accident in the lab. Maybe that really is all that is to it, and that is why not much time has been dedicated to his backstory? Please remember, this is coming from someone who is not familiar with comics, at all!!! – danielle577 5 months ago
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    • Love the child is father to the man aspect. – Tigey 5 months ago
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    • Although you mentioned that this topic would specifically focus on comic verse, I think it would be worth analyzing the movie verse as well. Yes, the Hulk has greatly gained popularity with Mark Ruffalo, however, his character which made great development in the Avengers regressed with Age of Ultron movie events. Perhaps a compare and contrast with comic vs. movie verse treatment and what this means for the character's overall representation would be interesting to work with – Mela 5 months ago
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