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Music

The Top 20 Punk Protest Songs for July 4th

As punk music history verifies, American citizenry are not all shiny, happy people. These 20 songs reflect the other side of patriotism -- free speech brandished by the brave and uncouth.

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Comics

Redemptions and New Roles in 'Scarlet Witch #1'

Wanda Maximoff enters a bold (and overdue) new era.

Comics

Winning (and Losing) the West: 'Red Wolf #1'

The Old West gives Marvel a new hero and a fresh shot of diversity.

Film

Deconstructing the Avengers: Bad Robot! Language Co-Opted

Like Joss Whedon himself, Ultron refuses to play fair: The bad robot in this film does not stand for the “shit” at all.

Film

Deconstructing the Avengers: Language Transcended ... Almost

Black Widow’s reputation for cajolery, subterfuge, coaxing, and subtle persuasion endow her with a silver tongue that almost transcends Hulk’s chaos and unbridled, unreasoning emotion.

Film

Deconstructing the Avengers: Good and Bad Language

From the very outset Age of Ultron was weighed down by a lot of artistic, cultural, and commercial expectations: You don't take care of this particular problem by adding more weight.

Comics

Vulnerable Invincibility in 'Invincible Iron Man #1'

Forging a more balanced Tony Stark.

Comics

Minimized Melodrama in 'Uncanny Avengers #5'

Ending with neither a bang nor a whimper.

Comics

'A-Force #1' Is Gender-Neutral Awesome

How to make an all-female team of heroes awesome for all genders.

Games

Where Did All the (Action Figure) Girls Go?

The scarcity of the Black Widow action figure on toy shelves has me thinking about what we think we know about gender identity in play, be that play with toys or play in video games.

Comics

Cars That Will Kill You, An 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' Triptych Finalé

Thus far, we've seen director Joss Whedon leverage the history of comics fandom and of Hollywood film in a grand and postmodern experiment. Here's why.

Comics

Inferior Superiority in Marvel's 'Superior Iron Man #8'

A high-tech concept downgrades to a low-tech, but serviceable narrative.

Comics

Cross Culture Convergence in 'Ms. Marvel #14'

It's easy to root for Kamala Khan, but that also means it's easy to feel the impact when her emotions get the better of her.

Comics

The Ties That No Longer Bind: "Uncanny Avengers #1"

The aftermath of a major retcon can't be ignored, but it can't be rushed either.

Comics

Reverted Meaning: "Avengers and X-men: AXIS #9"

An event comes to a solid end, but is too lacking to be anything more.

Comics

Anatomy of an Inversion: 'Magneto #12'

Magneto's transformation gives form and substance to the concept of inversion.

Reviews

Aura of Superiority: "Superior Iron Man #1"

Iron Man finds a way to be arrogant, shallow, and superior in all the right (and a few wrong) ways.

Comics

A (Not Quite) Epic Onslaught: "Avengers and X-men: AXIS #1"

A high concept that's high on potential and low on refinement.

Comics

Title Fight, Majority Opinion: "Thor #1"

It's only very, very rarely that we come across issues of such great importance, that present us with such divergent opinions.

Comics

Oversights and Afterthoughts: "Uncanny Avengers #22"

A story that had everything going for it ends with a deafening whimper.

Reviews

Needlessly Elaborately Epic: "Uncanny Avengers #21"

Overly elaborate plots rarely justify their complexity. But there are exceptions.

Reviews

Radical Concepts In Lovability: "Ms. Marvel #4"

As new Ms. Marvel Kamala Khan struggles on her path to become a hero, she finds a way to make herself more lovable.

Reviews

Having It All and Wanting More: "Captain Marvel #1"

Carol Danvers seems to have it all on Earth. But when that's not enough, she reaches for the stars.

Comics

Uncanny Avengers #14

When one character dies in a compelling way, it's a great story. When many characters die, it's underwhelming.

Books

The Staff Become Characters Themselves in 'Marvel Comics: The Untold Story'

Licensing deals became all important, with comics becoming vehicles for selling things like toys, towels, and shampoo.

Film

2012: Another Year the World Should Have Ended

The end of the year is a time for festivities, joy... and naysayers to lament the end of cultural artifacts. The naysayers needn't fear. The world hasn't ended, again. It's just different, now.

Comics

Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Finally: A Hard Look at "Avengers #1"

After the success of Joss Whedon's summer blockbuster the Avengers, there needs to be a title that captures the essence of the movies while retaining the force and the intricacies of the comicbooks. Jonathan Hickman's Avengers is that series.

Jay Mattson
Music

The Avengers: The Avengers

Formed in 1977, the Avengers were pioneers of West Coast punk. This phenomenal double-disc release of their classic recordings make these Avengers the real superheroes of the season.

Film

Joss Whedon's 'Avengers' Reaches Apex of Averageness, True Believers

The Avengers may be awesome, but that doesn't mean it's any good. The new standard for superhero films seems to be that they don't suck as opposed to actually containing any ideas of interest.

Comics

Is It Just Us?

Imagine a weird ending to Back to the Future where Doc Brown never shows up and Marty McFly convinces himself it was all just a dream. The sequel is just Marty living an everyday life. Now ask yourself what are your expectations of the DC reboot.

Comics

Who Is Henry Pym, and Why Are They Saying Such Terrible Things About Him?

Dan Slott has redeemed the founding Avenger and leader of the "Mighty" team, deftly and expertly removing him from the ghetto of mischaracterized misanthropic anti-heroes just in time for the Heroic Age.


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