We’re continuing with Tim Drake’s rise as Robin, and shifting books from Detective Comics to Batman.

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I’m starting a new project now, which I’m calling “Batman: Knightfall Saga” – this will be taking the place of Legends of the Force for a bit, so I can take a break and cover something else – so I don’t burn out. I’m starting this off with the path to the Knightfall saga, focusing on three different characters and concepts. First off, we’re getting into the origins of the third Robin, Tim Drake.

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Excerpt from the cover of House of X #1, with Cyclops, Jean Grey, Magneto, Wolverine, and an unknown 5th X-Man

A while back I gave some thoughts on my concerns about the upcoming X-Men series House of X and Powers of X by Jonathan Hickman, and where the X-Line was going to go from there. Well, Hickman’s first two series – House of X and Powers of X – are now out and I’ve read them, and now it’s time to re-assess some of my analysis, as we’ve gotten into the series coming out of those series.

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One of the first X-men comics I read was a collection of the first few issues of Age of Apocalypse, back when I was in middle school. While I have still yet to read the entire story, the bits I’ve read left something of an impression on me. When the Age of X-Man event began, I was interested in seeing X-Men writers take on a dystopia that’s different from many of the standard “Pile of Skulls” X-Men dystopia.

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There is running theory in stories with romances that the chase is better than the catch – that once characters in a romance get together, there is no motivation to continue the story. These are people who never watched Hart to Hart nor are familiar with Nick & Nora Charles. In the X-Books, probably the biggest of these romances, almost as much if not more so than Scott Summers and Jean Grey, was Gambit and Rogue. However, during the planned wedding of Kitty Pryde and Piotr Rasputin, things ended up not happening, leading to Rogue and Gambit basically deciding to take advantage of the opportunity and the two X-Men who could never tie the other down decided to get hitched.

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Excerpt from the cover of House of X #1, with Cyclops, Jean Grey, Magneto, Wolverine, and an unknown 5th X-Man

Recently Marvel announced that, as part of Jonathan Hickman’s upcoming run on the X-Men books, the X-Line would be contracted to just two books – House of X and Powers of X, each with a 6-issue run. According to an interview with ComicBook.com, the decision was pitched by Hickman essentially to create a jumping on point for the line for new readers.

The argument makes sense – two books are cheaper than 10 and require less effort to keep track of a story across those books. However, the fundamental idea of the Mutant Metaphor – of Mutants being representative of multiple discriminated minority populations – requires representation not only in the form of the characters on the page but also in the form of the people writing stories with those characters.

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Excerpt of the cover of DC Comics Zero Year

DC Comics: Zero Year is meant to be something of a starting point for various characters in the DC Universe, showing Superman, Batman, and Catwoman in the early days, if not the start, of their superhero careers. The book also shows Dinah Lance, Barry Allen, Jason Todd, Dick Grayson, John Stewart, and Oliver Queen either before they started superheroing or, in the case of Barry and John, before they got their powers.

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When it comes to comic book films, and adaptations of comic books to the screen, there are questions about how you adapt certain comic book concepts to the screen, and as cinematic universes get more involved, there is no question that has lingered in the background more than “How do you clean up a cluttered universe?” How do you not only pull a retcon, but a big universe altering one?

Days of Future Past not only attempts to pull such a retcon, but succeeds, by creating a situation where the X-Men films can change course to a new path different from the first 3 films, while still giving credit to where the earlier films worked. (more…)

When I heard that a Deadpool movie was in production, as a fan of the comics I was pretty pumped. That said, a situation like that is almost a recipe for disappointment – Star Wars: The Phantom Menace really shows how much high expectations can lead to equally high disappointment. Fortunately, there was no disappointment to be found for me in this film. (more…)