Freelance undergrad Creative Writing major at Cornerstone University.

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    Latest Articles

    Latest Topics


    What does the end of Annihilation (2018) mean?

    The movie Annihilation (2018) has a pretty confusing ending with lots of interpretations. What happened to Lena? What was the significance of the mirroring alien? How does the ending tie in to the themes seen throughout the rest of the movie? Who is the Kane we see at the end of the movie?


      Dr. Strange, Spider-Man, and the Multiverse

      Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness and Spider-Man: No Way Home deal with the multiverse in various ways. Multiverse stories can be interesting and also complicated. How did these movies handle this complicated plot? Was it done well or could it have been done better? It might also be good to compare it to other stories with a multiverse plot (ex. Everything Everywhere All at Once, Bioshock: Infinite, Dark Matter by Blake Crouch, or Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse if you want an all Marvel article). Explore the pros and cons of a multiverse plot and how these stories fit into it.

      (My Opinion): I believe that Dr. Strange and Spider-Man used the multiverse mainly for nostalgia, to varying degrees of success, and the stories ignore the other strengths of the plot (especially Multiverse of Madness). I think these stories are flawed but enjoyable. Feel free to disagree with me, agree with me, or bring up more talking points!

      • I agree with your opinion on this matter. Multiverses were a cool idea in the MCU before it became just another fluff tool for their infrastructure of storytelling. – gbarreto 1 year ago
      • Both Marvel and DC approach multiverse to create new plots but rebrand the same story of Western society's "nostalgia" (as mentioned) of the triumph of the white man and/or the masculine concept of strength that consumer culture celebrates. The strength of superheroes celebrated across multiverses means white men and Western societies love to see their superiority not only in one universe but also in all of them. The concept of multiverse is not new, it is mentioned in Indian myths (Mahabharat) and ancient songs of Bangladesh. For example, the songs of Duddu Shah, a 19th-century Baul poet from Bangladesh, refer to the word "digontikar" which means multiverse. There are several songs about the multiverse that celebrate a spiritual force that connects all humans of the multiverse through black holes in space. He uses the words "pingolo trosto jota" and "kuar dale dhandomaan" signalling the black holes in the space connecting multiverses like tree branches. The inclusive and spiritual thoughts of inclusive humanity that these references of multiverse portray are rarely visible in graphic-narrative-based multiverse stories in Marvel or DC. The obsessive focus on having binary oppositions of powerful heroes and villains might be problematic for young minds. – Golam Rabbani 11 months ago

      The Iterations of Tony Stark and Ultimate Comics

      The MCU has taken a lot of it’s inspiration specifically from the Ultimate line of comics. Thor’s Stormbreaker, Spider-Man being in high school again, and Tony Stark’s personality. Tony Stark has always been snarky, witty, and a pretty swollen ego, but a lot of the mainline comics’ Tony Stark’s rough edges have been sanded down. Stark was one of the founding members of the Illuminati, working for Kang the Conqueror, shooting Hulk into space, lots of his actions in both Civil War storylines, and not to mention his stint as Superior Iron Man, exploiting people and lots of other dubious actions.

      My question is, have we lost something? Are the rough edges what make Iron Man so compelling in the comics? Has the MCU’s more palatable Iron Man worse or just different? What about other comic characters who’ve lost nuance like Wolverine in every movie besides Logan?

      Further, how do we go about adapting these characters from these thousands of issues to hours of film? Is it even possible? Is the loss of some nuance a necessary evil?

      • Might be useful to include some examples of what Ultimate Iron Man did and how he was different from mainline Tony. – noahspud 1 year ago
      • I think that the rough edges in 616's Iron Man positioned him as more of an antagonist in many popular storylines. I think that the MCU definitely made conscious attempts to water down his actions, even in the Civil War storyline. Whereas in the Ultimate line of comics, he was definitely still snarky and narcissistic, but didn't make as many huge mistakes as 616 Tony, who's contributions to making the 'Thor' android lead to the death of Goliath in 'Civil War', who literally took Peter Parker in to Avengers tower and then sent a squad of villains after him who very nearly killed him. In the Ultimate Universe, Peter looks up to Tony, and I feel that the MCU very much ran with this idea, especially after Robert Downey Junior had endeared this character to so many people through the Iron Man and Avengers Films. I think that for this topic, it's worth considering the loss of the original characters' personality, and the replacement of something new — but not necessarily less palatable or less nuanced. I think that nuance depends greatly on the writer, director, and actor concerned with whatever iteration of Stark is present, whether in comics or film — such as with Logan, which you referenced. Adapting characters with nuance is definitely possible. It's all about going into the character with confidence, in my opinion. – Patrick 1 year ago

      The Last of Us vs. Resident Evil; TV Video Game Adaptations

      Within the last two years we have received two horror video game inspired TV adaptations, one that was a smash hit, and one that flew under the radar. Neither of these shows stuck 100% to the source material so what made The Last of Us succeed and Resident Evil fail?

      • I don't think this is the place for an opinion piece, but you could still approach the topic from the perspective of the overall necessity of adaptations or the art of adaptation. Something more objective but focused. I hope that helps. – Leo Panasyuk 1 year ago

      Differences in tone between Marvel and DC comics

      Marvel and DC comics have been said to have distinct tones between them with Marvel being about more grounded protagonists and DC being about more god-like entities. Is there a difference? Which characters are the exceptions?

      • Have you got specific characters that you would like to see explored? Eg. Captain America and Superman, Batman and Iron Man? This could be something to flesh out further to make your topic more precise for a potential writer. – Elpis1988 5 months ago

      Lord of the Rings and it's homage to Macbeth

      In Lord of the Rings there are two satisfying moments that seem to derive from Macbeth’s prophecies. That no man of woman born can slay Macbeth and that the Birnam wood would come to Dunsinane. In Macbeth these prophecies were gotten around in a less direct way of a C-section in the first case and cutting down branches and using it as cover in the second. Lord of the Rings uses alternative outcomes with trees literally marching on Isengard and a woman killing the one that cannot be killed by man. Analyze and critique these differences in the two classics

      • Perhaps expand the topic to include other Shakespearean references and tropes. John Noble's character is a Foolish King. Frodo deals with depression symptoms, similar to Hamlet's "To Be or Not to Be" speech. Sam, Pippin, and Merry could be put in various roles, such as Supportive Sidekick, Comic Relief, or Wise Fool. – noahspud 1 year ago

      If the ending of an anime is different from the manga, is it a bad adaptation?

      This question can go for books/movies, comics or really any adaptation. What does a director adapting a piece of media have to prioritize? If this director sees the ending of a work and decides to change the ending to fit his own view, has the adaptation suffered because of it? Imagine a scenario where the ending is, on an objective level, neither better, nor worse than the original ending. Is the new ending a poor adaptation on the sole basis of its deviation from the source material? Or conversely, can the original intent of the author be bent to serve a new story?

      • something that's definitely been on my mind some with specific examples: Soul Eater, Tokyo Ghoul, and the upcoming speculation whether Attack on Titan will have an anime-only ending. – lavenderhatchet 1 year ago
      • I suggest the analysis of the example of the (in)famous ending of Usagi Drop, which was changed in the anime and live-action adaptation and was very welcome because the ending in the manga was just unnecessary and horrifying. – Beatrix Kondo 1 year ago

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      Latest Comments

      All amazing recommendations! The monument mythos is a series I still have to finish so thanks for the reminder haha.

      Analog Horror: Analyzing an Eerily Nostalgic Genre

      Depends! Some are more on the digital horror side which draws more from recent nostalgia, but Kane Pixel’s The Backroom series definitely falls more into the analogue horror camp.

      Analog Horror: Analyzing an Eerily Nostalgic Genre

      Yeah this is a valid complaint. I think Local 58 did it best.

      Analog Horror: Analyzing an Eerily Nostalgic Genre

      I didn’t know this! Love the series, definitely on of my favorites.

      Analog Horror: Analyzing an Eerily Nostalgic Genre

      I think this movie is called “Cam”. Spooky watch!

      Analog Horror: Analyzing an Eerily Nostalgic Genre

      Great article! Loved the read.

      “The Replacements” a Marxist Reading of Anti-union Propaganda

      Great writing! This article really grew into something wonderful. I love the conclusion and how you tied it all together. The first open world game I fell in love with was probably Assassins Creed: Black Flag. While most of its open world is literally just water, the sailors singing, the sound of the waves, and the wind, and the slow crescendo to ship to ship combat kept me endlessly engaged. For some reason Skyrim never had a hold on me like it did many others. Fallout: New Vegas is another open world game that has kept me coming back.

      The Compulsive Indulgence of Open-World Games

      That is an interesting point. I do feel that social media can create a barrier between our ideal selves and our real selves, a persona we create and perpetuate through these apps. Connecting back with ourselves, fusing the identities we have built into something more true and honest.

      Connecting with what is real in our world is also something I completely agree with. Pictures and captions don’t do justice to real experiences we can have over the course of our lives.

      Social media drives a wedge between us and everything beyond the screen, even ourselves. Very insightful, Allan 🙂

      Exploring the impact of social medias through Helter Skelter and Black Mirror's Nosedive