Comics

Room for the Brave: Exclusive Preview of Legion of Super-Heroes Vol. 2

It's the idea of a literary phenomenon thrown 1,000 years into the future, but more a story about our present values…

EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW

It's the coincident magic of shuffle. As I begin to write, Guns N Roses' "Breakdown" off of their Use Your Illusion (Blue) begins to play. And I'm reminded of what it takes to make it big, to make something that lasts, to say, "This is my team. This is who I'm with and where I'm from." And I'm reminded, just days after Cinco de Mayo, that the story of the rise of the Legion of Super-Heroes is also the story of the improbable victory of New World values.

The Legion of Super Heroes is the first credible attempt to deal with the literary genre of the superhero that was emergent during the '30s and '40s. What was it about young readers being able to imagine themselves into the roles of brightly-costumed heroes with near godlike powers that became so commercially viable? And how long would this cultural wave last?

What if the idea of the superhero could last 1,000 years into the future? Would teenagers from that time simply play at being superheroes in the same way modern kids might play at being King Arthur or Robin Hood? Or would the idea of the superhero prove transformative even then, at so great a distance over time?

Far beyond the crucible of the '30s and '40s in which the idea of the superhero was forged, the Legion of Super Heroes lives on as an ongoing monthly series in DC's New 52. But what's emphasized in this rebooted version of the Legion is the idea of not only a social wave that hits from 1,000 years back in time, but the idea of the team that propels individual members beyond what they believe can achieve. And perhaps even beyond what they can achieve by themselves.

And that is a story that echoes in the story of every team. From the Founding Fathers to Bones Brigade. And the exact opposite of the fear and the isolation that drives Axl Rose in "Breakdown".

Please enjoy our exclusive preview of Legion of Super-Heroes: the Dominators.

EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW

To be a migrant worker in America is to relearn the basic skills of living. Imagine doing that in your 60s and 70s, when you thought you'd be retired.


Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

Publisher: W. W. Norton
Author: Jessica Bruder
Publication date: 2017-09
Amazon

There's been much hand-wringing over the state of the American economy in recent years. After the 2008 financial crisis upended middle-class families, we now live with regular media reports of recovery and growth -- as well as rising inequality and decreased social mobility. We ponder what kind of future we're creating for our children, while generally failing to consider who has already fallen between the gaps.

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Very few of their peers surpass Eurythmics in terms of artistic vision, musicianship, songwriting, and creative audacity. This is the history of the seminal new wave group

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominating committee's yearly announcement of the latest batch of potential inductees always generates the same reaction: a combination of sputtering outrage by fans of those deserving artists who've been shunned, and jubilation by fans of those who made the cut. The annual debate over the list of nominees is as inevitable as the announcement itself.

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Barry Lyndon suggests that all violence—wars, duels, boxing, and the like—is nothing more than subterfuge for masculine insecurities and romantic adolescent notions, which in many ways come down to one and the same thing.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) crystalizes a rather nocturnal view of heterosexual, white masculinity that pervades much of Stanley Kubrick's films: after slithering from the primordial slime, we jockey for position in ceaseless turf wars over land, money, and women. Those wielding the largest bone/weapon claim the spoils. Despite our self-delusions about transcending our simian stirrings through our advanced technology and knowledge, we remain mired in our ancestral origins of brute force and domination—brilliantly condensed by Kubrick in one of the most famous cuts in cinematic history: a twirling bone ascends into the air only to cut to a graphic match of a space station. Ancient and modern technology collapse into a common denominator of possession, violence, and war.

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What makes Call Be By Your Name stand out from the films it will be compared to (Brokeback Mountain, Moonlight) is Guadagnino's play on juxtapositions, which go much deeper than merely an angsty teen with an introspective soul.

If you're a 17-year-old boy sorting out your sexuality, there has to be worse place to do it than the Northern Italian landscape of writer-director Luca Guadagnino's latest drama, Call Me By Your Name. It's 1983 and Elio Perlman (Timothée Chalame) is the classic case of what psychologists call a social introvert: While flirting with a French girl in the countryside lake, he charms with a bad-boy air -- he's capable of passing as an extrovert and much more -- but he's obviously much more in his element alone. The summer days find him composing piano concertos by the family's pool or riding his bike through rural roads. His contradictions, broody but introspective, are seductive, much like the famed "bad boy" ballet dancer Sergei Polunin, who was arguably the most prolific dancer of his generation but broke high-culture norms by tattooing his torso and making tabloids with his late-night party-boy antics.

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On new album 2017, Afropop artist Leila Gobi is a one-woman sugar rush.

There's a refreshing straightforwardness to Leila Gobi's music on new album 2017. Opening track "An Nia" begins with the quick, high-pitched guitar patterns that have become so integral to exported Malian pop, forming melodic loops that Gobi's nasal voice shoots through like a joyful arrow. The whole album follows suit, with thin electronics framing Gobi and her backup singers in repetitive dance tracks that are often minimal in texture but constantly pumping up the volume and energy.

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