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Monday, Feb 8, 2010
"Companion Tommy, sound your horn!" A story for the ages and, of course, our age, The Unwritten's goals are lofty indeed, and its creators do not shy from them, lest their work lose validity.

“If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him”.
-  Voltaire


Many things can be said about the latest Vertigo work to emerge from the team
of Mike Carey and Peter Gross. It can be said that The Unwritten is an examination of the human need to escape into a fictional world during troubled times. Or The Unwritten is metaphorical look at just how powerful the creative process truly is. Or a profound meditation on individuality, identity and the all-too-common theft thereof. Or a warning to pay attention to our own history so that we don’t repeat the mistakes of our ancestors. Even an outward strike at J. K. Rowling seemingly “borrowing” concepts from Gross’ Books of Magic for her records-breaking Harry Potter cycle.


In all honesty, The Unwritten is all these things and more.


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Sunday, Feb 7, 2010

“The superpowers often behave like two heavily armed blind men feeling their way around a room, each believing himself in mortal peril from the other, whom he assumes to have perfect vision.”
-  Dr. Henry Kissinger (1923-present), former National Security Advisor and Secretary of State


Since the beginning of the genre, the underlying subtext of superhero comics, so
beautifully brought to its logical boiling point over the last several years of Marvel stories (from House of M through the current Siege and Fall of the Hulks), has been the potential of the superman (or even Superman) to become a weapon. In order to stop America from creating an army of super-soldiers, a Nazi agent murdered Dr. Abraham Erskine. When the United States Armed Forces couldn’t weaponize the Hulk, they decided to hunt him. When President Lex Luthor couldn’t manipulate or control Batman and Superman, he sought to destroy them. And how soon we forget the magic words “Shazam!” and “Kimota!”…


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Friday, Feb 5, 2010

‘What will you ‘evolve’ into next?’ Cassandra Nova’s words to Doctor Hank McCoy still wound even a decade later. Hijacking Beast’s psychically body and forcing him to shred his framed PhD, Cassandra Nova mounts her vicious psychological attack. When I return, will you have ‘evolved’ to become the school mascot, or maybe its house-pet? Or maybe you’ll be nothing better than a bacterium


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Thursday, Feb 4, 2010

A fascinating and complex balancing act, Yuichi Yokoyama’s Travel mixes an explosively kinetic, bold visual style with an intriguing sense of emptiness. It brings to mind a famous verse from the Tao te Ching:


‘We shape clay into a pot,
but it is the emptiness inside
that holds whatever we want.’


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Wednesday, Feb 3, 2010

There is something very scary about not knowing what happens next, that whole ‘fear of the unknown’ idea. While comicbooks are suspenseful, there is always a certain amount of predictability in them. The Amazing Spider-Man will not see Spider-Man die at the hands of Mysterio. Surprises (like the death of Captain America in his own monthly title) often end in the inevitable (like his inevitable return from the dead). However, comicbooks that do not follow ongoing continuity are the true wild cards. These are an outlet for the writer to make some incredible statement, with no regard for what may come next. Standalone stories provide the storyteller with a way to totally disregard responsibility to the character. Loose ends are left hanging, and no one has to pick up the pieces once the story ends. Truly, no subject or character is untouchable.


That being said, I want to look at one of my favorite non-continuity titles from the 90s: Earth X.


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