Tag Archives: Charles Xavier

New Comic Book Day September 22, 2021: My Pull List And Pick Of The Week

A brief bit of peace and quiet go a long way when things in life get hectic. Most functioning adults know that. Hell, most teenagers know that, especially during this time of year when school is back in session and the holidays still seem so far away. It might just be my own personal experience talking, but this time of year always seems the busiest. Going back to middle school, I always felt the most stressed out and overworked during this time of year.

That makes whatever peace and quiet you can find that much more precious. For me and my fellow comic book fans, New Comic Book Day offers an ideal situation in which to create your perfect happy place. I’ve already noted before how I enjoy just downloading my new books for the week via Comixology and reading them on my iPad with a fresh cup of coffee. To me, that is the zenith of peace and quiet.

During certain times of the year, I’ll play a little music in the background if I’m in the mood. I’ve done that a few times over the course of the summer. For this time of year, though, New Comic Book Day allows me to get my perfectly prescribed dose of peace and quiet. It’s both fulfilling and therapeutic. If my fellow comic fans are in need of that, a day like today gives you the perfect opportunity.

To that end, here is my pull list and pick of the week. I hope it helps you create your own little world of Zen before enduring another stressful day. Enjoy!


My Pull List

Batman #113

Batman: The Detective #5

Death of Doctor Strange #1

Fantastic Four #36

The Flash #774

Guardians Of The Galaxy #18

Moon Knight #3

Nightwing #84

Red Sonja: Black, White, Red #3

Star Wars: Bounty Hunters #16

Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #4

Symbiote Spider-Man: Crossroads #3

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin #4

The United States Of Captain America #4

X-Corp #5

X-Men #3

X-Men Legends #7

X-Men: Onslaught Revelation #1


My Pick Of The Week
X-Men: The Onslaught Revelation #1

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New Comic Book Day September 15, 2021: My Pull List And Pick Of The Week

Everyone has their own personal happy place. It’s not childish or immature. It’s not something that warrants mockery, denigration, or teasing. Not everyone’s happy place will be similar. Some will come off as downright strange or quirky. That doesn’t matter. So long as it isn’t hurting anyone else, nobody should be ashamed of what constitutes their happy place.

For me, personally, my happy place has often revolved around comics. I have many other things that give me joy. However, it’s not always possible to structure those things around a happy place. With comics, though, it’s incredibly easy. Even before the days of the internet, being in my bedroom with a stack of comics was the bedrock of my happy place.

These days, thanks to smartphones, tablet computers, and Comixology, my happy place is almost always within reach. I could be having a terrible day. My favorite team could lose a big game. My friends could be giving me crap. The news can be extra depressing. Any number of things could be making me miserable, but that’s when my happy place does its best work.

I just log in, download some of my favorite comics, and let them work their magic. On New Comic Book Day, my happy place is even more robust. It often gives me some added strength to navigate whatever I encounter over the course of the day. For that, I’ll always be grateful.

In that spirit, I hope other fellow comic book fans have a happy place just as strong as mine. Today is as good a day as any to start building one. Here is my pull list and picks to help get you started. Enjoy!


My Pull List

Batman: Urban Legends #7

Black Widow #11

Eternals: Thanos Rises #1

Extreme Carnage: Agony #1

Fantastic Four #35

Fantastic Four: Life Story #4

I Am Batman #1

The Invincible Red Sonja #4

The Joker #7

Iron Man #12

Justice League #67

Justice League: Last Ride #5

Kang The Conqueror #2

Marauders #24

Power Rangers #11

Rorschach #12

Superman and the Authority #3

W.E.B. Of Spider-Man #5

Wonder Woman #779

X-Men: The Trial Of Magneto #2


My Pick Of The Week
X-Men: The Trial Of Magneto #2

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“Dark Phoenix” Is Now On Disney+ And Everyone Should Give It A Chance

Some movies just never get a fair chance to succeed. It’s sad, but unavoidable sometimes. There are just too many forces working against certain movies and too many people have already primed themselves to hate it before they ever see it.

Sometimes, those movies go onto become cult classics. It just takes time for people to rediscover the movie and appreciate it for what it achieved. That is my sincere hope for “Dark Phoenix,” a movie I’ve praised before and even done YouTube videos about. I genuinely believe that this is a movie that fans will appreciate more as time goes on.

It had so many things working against it. It just never got a fair chance because of the pending Disney/Fox merger. I feel like it got critically panned for reasons that had nothing to do with the actual quality of the movie. Fans and critics alike just decided to hate this movie because it was part of a dead cinematic universe and it wasn’t in the MCU.

That’s a bullshit reason to hate a movie and most reasonable people understand that.

Now, I believe the time is right for “Dark Phoenix” to get another shot. That’s because today, “Dark Phoenix” has officially arrived on Disney+ and anyone who never gave it a chance when it came out can truly judge for themselves.

If you have a Disney+ subscription, I highly recommend adding this movie to your queue. Forget everything you’ve heard from the critics. Forget the popular perceptions surrounding this movie. Just check it out and see for yourselves.

I believe that this movie’s worth will reveal to a new audience. I also believe the time is right because we haven’t had much news about the future of the X-Men movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We know they’re coming. We just don’t know when or what form it’ll take.

Since it’ll likely be a while before we see any mutants show up in the MCU, the time is right to appreciate what the Fox movies gave us. Many of those movies are already on Disney+ and I think “Dark Phoenix” is the hidden gem the franchise needs right now.

Again, just give it a chance. You might be surprised by how much you enjoy it.

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What Recent X-Men Comics Can Teach Us About Present (And Future) Politics

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Trying to make sense of politics is like trying to understand quantum mechanics while stoned. The process of governing humanity has always been tricky. Ever since we exchanged our basic hunter/gatherer ways for a more formal system of order, the process has only become more difficult over time. You don’t have to look far to see the complexities and the overall absurdities of politics.

I’ve tried to talk about politics before, albeit with a limited focus on hot-button issues. I never claim to be an expert or an authority on the matter. I’m an aspiring erotica/romance writer. My understanding of politics is as limited as most people who don’t live, work, and breath these issues. Despite those limitations, I still want to make an effort to talk politics in a novel way.

As it just so happens, I’ve come up with just such a way and it involves X-Men comics. Considering how much I’ve written about X-Men and superhero comics in general, this should surprise no one.

More specifically, I want to take the events that have been unfolding in the X-Men comics for the past two years and use it to make sense of the current state politics. I also want to use it to speculate a bit on where these politics might lead us. Again, I am not even close to an expert, but I do believe that art and media have an uncanny way of shining a light on the real world and there are few narratives more uncanny than the X-Men.

The current state of politics, especially in the United States and Western Europe, has been dominated by polarization. More and more, citizens are becoming more tribal. On top of that, people are becoming more divided. That’s not just an anecdote, either. According to Pew Research, the public has become more ideologically split over the past 20 years and it’s only getting worse.

Rather than try to make sense of these decade-long trends, I want to apply it to the politics in the X-Men comics. More than any other superhero comic or franchise, politics are a major driving force for the X-Men, more so than killer robots. Co-creator, Stan Lee, stated that the inspiration for the X-Men was drawn from the ongoing Civil Rights movement that was in full swing in the early 1960s.

Over the years, this idea of mutants being an oppressed minority who were hated and feared for being different has been the driving force behind the X-Men’s story. It is also a big part of what helped them gain such a wide appeal. Some of the X-Men’s most iconic stories come from conflicts inspired by the hate and fear that ordinary humans feel towards mutants.

In the real world, hatred and fear are powerful forces that don’t need killer robots to cause upheaval. Hatred and fear is at the heart of debates surrounding migrants and immigrants. That same hatred and fear is at the heart of the political polarization.

Liberals hate and fear conservatives because they think they want to turn the world into one big plantation ruled by rich, wealthy slave-owners.

Conservatives hate and fear liberals because they think they want to abandon their heritage, punish people for the sins of their ancestors, and micromanage their lives.

In the world of X-Men, humans hate and fear mutants because they think they’re too dangerous, unpredictable, and uncontrollable. On top of that, if they truly are a new species, then that means their survival means humanity’s extinction.

The parallels aren’t perfect, but they are there. Mutants aren’t just a metaphor for any minority who has been oppressed, segregated, and denigrated. They represent just how divided two groups can be. Constant conflict ensures that hatred and fear will fester. However, it’s the events of House of X and Powers of X that the entire concept of X-Men has gained greater political relevance.

In case you haven’t been following superhero comics, the details of these events are many, but the theme is relatively simple. After years of fighting, running, surviving, and being marginalized because of movie rights, the entire mutant race has decided to reorganize themselves into a new society.

This isn’t some exclusive club or superhero team. With help from Charles Xavier and the powerful foresight provided by Moira MacTaggart, the mutants of the Marvel Universe have united within a new homeland, which happens to be a living island. They also have their own mysterious language that only they understand. They are essentially establishing themselves as a new political entity.

In the scope of the X-Men’s 50-plus year history, the idea isn’t new. There have been multiple efforts over the years to give mutants a homeland. One was called Genosha. One was called Utopia. Both enjoyed some measure of short-term success, but both ended up destroyed or abandoned. The reasons for this aren’t important. What sets them apart from Krakoa is the scale.

To understand it in a real-world context, think of Genosha and Utopia as enclaves within a community. They’re akin to neighborhoods in America or Europe that are predominantly populated by a particular ethnic group or religion. Many are quite successful in their own right. Others have become the sites of atrocities and tragedies.

What the mutants are doing with Krakoa in the comics is something bigger than an enclave. They’re not just seeking to be recognized as a full-fledged country, either. Charles Xavier, the X-Men, and every other mutant is building Krakoa to be a society that can function with or without humanity. It’s not land borrowed from humans. It’s land that’s theirs and theirs alone.

That’s not to say Krakoa operates in isolation, as Wakanda once did. They actually seek to maintain diplomatic relations with the world. They even have valuable resources with which to trade. They don’t have to make these kinds of deals, but under Charles Xavier, they do anyway. It culminates in “House of X #5,” in which Krakoa gains formal recognition by the UN.

This is where the politics of the X-Men comics add some necessary nuance to what we’re seeing in the real world. When people feel marginalized, they tend to feel unwelcome. Even if you are legally an American, a German, an Italian, or a Wakandan, being hated and feared by a large segment of the country makes you feel like you don’t belong.

Between divided polls and America’s colorful electoral map, it’s not hard for anyone to feel out of place. The added polarization provided by the internet, social media, and cable news only adds to the divisions and the animosity. As a result, people naturally retreat into groups and tribes where they feel welcome. Whether it’s a political group, a religious group, or an identity, they seek some form of sanctuary.

In doing so, these groups essentially create their own little world within their community. It’s a world that might as well be a separate reality from what others see. It’s how different people can see the same facts, but have wildly different interpretations. Their brains are still working and the facts are still facts. It’s how they apply them to their world that’s different.

Each group feels they don’t belong. They may even feel victimized. It doesn’t matter if the group happens to make up the vast majority of the population. They still feel like they’re the ones under attack, not unlike the X-Men when they constantly confront fearful, hate-filled humans. They act as though they need to carve their own place in the world and defend it at all costs.

This is where House of X and Powers of X can provide some possible insights into the future of politics. To some extent, Krakoa is a natural byproduct of mutants being hunted, attacked, and denigrated at every turn. They tried isolating themselves on islands. They tried living among humans, sometimes in their most populated cities. Now, they’re trying something bigger.

It’s not exactly peaceful and not everyone understands it, which seems antithetical to Charles Xavier’s dream. However, it’s pragmatic in a very political sense. They have a homeland that they can control. They have barriers for entering and exiting that homeland. Nobody who isn’t authorized can enter it. It’s basically the ultimate immigration control.

On top of that, it has valuable resources that the rest of the world wants. The mutants of Krakoa are willing to share them, but only if they respect their new homeland and treat it like a legitimate country with its own culture, laws, and norms. In a world where people constantly attack others for not respecting their culture or norms, it feels like the ultimate endgame of sorts.

Those who want their culture and way of life preserved will only have more incentive to become more organized. If they keep feeling hatred and fear, they may look for ways to simply function without those they feel don’t belong. People won’t just become more ideologically divided. They may end up more divided in a very literal sense.

It’s the ultimate manifestation of our natural tribal instincts. We seek to join, maintain, and protect our tribe from others, be they real or imagined. It doesn’t matter if there are objective facts that show our tribe is somehow wrong or misguided. We still feel inclined to protect it at all cost.

This era of X-Men comics has been exciting. Writer, Jonathan Hickman, has turned the X-Men from just another superhero team into a blossoming community with its own culture, identity, and borders. As an X-Men fan, I’ve been enjoying it a great deal. As someone in the real world who can’t always avoid politics, it leaves me worried about just how divided we’ll ultimately become.

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Jack’s World: Latest MCU X-Men Rumors: Reactions, Promise, And Potential

The following is a video from my YouTube channel, Jack’s World. It covers some recent rumors that have been circulating about the future of the X-Men in the MCU. Please note that these rumors are not substantiated. There is no inside source at work here. Most of this information comes from the site, BGR. So, please take them with a grain of salt.

That disclaimer aside, I made this video as a general reaction of sorts. This is also the first time I used my new video editing software. Please let me know if you can see a difference in the overall quality. Enjoy!

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New Comic Book Day December 30, 2020: My Pull List And Pick Of The Week

It’s the last New Comic Book Day on the last week of the year and I think I speak for many, comic lovers and non-comic lovers alike, when I say fuck 2020. Fuck this god-awful year. It cannot end fast enough.

I apologize. I just needed to get that out of my system. Thank you for bearing with me.

I know that’s a popular sentiment. I think everybody is ready to close the page on this shitty year and embrace 2021 in ways we usually reserve for puppies, kittens, and a cold beer on a hot summer day. However, we still have a few days left so there’s still time for an asteroid to hit.

For comic lovers, this year has been plenty challenging. At one point, the global pandemic that has dominated this year effectively brought the entire comic book world to a halt. It was a painful, heart-breaking time. I still remember it and the agony that came with it.

The industry has since adapted. It still has a long way to go and will likely face more upheavals in 2021. However, the bar for improvement is so low at this point that I’ll be content if it just means I can attend a comic convention at some point.

Normally, the last New Comic Book Day of the year is a time of bittersweet reflection. This year, which has been like no other, carries a very different feeling. Whatever that feeling entails, let’s try to enjoy it as best we can. Better days are coming. I believe that and I’m willing to work towards it.

In the meantime, here is my pull list and pick for the week. Enjoy!


My Pull List

Amazing Spider-Man #55

Avengers #40

Batman Annual #5

Ghost Rider: Return Of Vengeance #1

Justice League: Endless Winter #2

King In Black: Iron Man/Doom #1

Shang-Chi #4

Van Helsing #50

Wolverine #8

X-Men #16


My Pick Of The Week
X-Men #16

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New Comic Book Day December 9, 2020: My Pull List And Pick Of The Week

We all have our own unique rituals for enjoying a particular experience that we’ve come to love. One of my siblings had this weird thing where he could only watch “The Sopranos” in the basement, with all the lights off, while sitting on a bean bag chair.

I don’t get it, either. It annoyed the hell out of me most of the time. Then again, who am I to judge? I’m the same when it comes to reading comics, especially in December.

I love reading comics on New Comic Book Day at every point in the year, but that doesn’t stop me from using the holidays to enhance the experience. For me, that involves turning on my Christmas lights, starting a fire in my gas fireplace, brewing a cup of coffee, and laying back in my recliner with an iPad full of new comics.

It’s basically comic book and holiday nirvana. There are no words to describe the joy, comfort, and relaxation I feel when I’m in that state. It’s one of my favorite parts of the week. It’s also one of my favorite experiences, in general.

For all my fellow comic fans out there, I’m sure you have a New Comic Book Day ritual of your own. During the holidays, you may even mix it up a bit. I encourage everyone to embrace that. When you can combine comics with the holidays, then joy of every kind will surely follow.

With that in mind, here is my pull list and pick of the week. Enjoy!


My Pull List

Amazing Spider-Man #54

Captain Marvel #24

Detective Comics #1032

Grimm Fairy Tales: 2020 Holiday Special

Guardians Of The Galaxy #9

Juggernaut #4

Marauders #16

Mighty Morphin #2

S.W.O.R.D. #1

Star Wars #9

Superman: Endless Winter Special #1

Venom #31

Wonder Woman #768


My Pick Of The Week
S.W.O.R.D. #1

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New Comic Book Day November 25, 2020: My Pull List And Pick Of The Week

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is always extra special. For me, it’s like an appetizer before the appetizers. It’s a mini-holiday before a major holiday, which only serves to make both holidays even better.

Does that sound complicated and weird? I don’t doubt that it does.

Does it make me love it even more? Absolutely!

New comics are a like a hot meal for my soul. They inspire and invigorate me like my mother’s famous pumpkin pie. Knowing I’ll be able to dine on actual pumpkin pie the next day only makes them more delicious. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.

Whatever your Thanksgiving plans are this year, tempered they might be, today is a good day to work up an appetite. Before you start slaving away in the kitchen, take a step back to enjoy a nice stack of new comics. It’ll make you feel like a hero when dinner is served.

To that end, here is my pull list and pick for this beautiful Thanksgiving Eve. Take care and I wish everyone a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!


My Pull List

Action Comics #1027

Batman Beyond #49

Batman: White Knight Presents: Harley Quinn #2

Batman/Superman #14

Daredevil #24

Amazing Spider-Man #53.LR

Doctor Doom #9

Excalibur #15

Fantastic Four: Antithesis #4

Justice League Dark #28

Rick and Morty Ever After #2

Shang-Chi #3

Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #6

Wonder Woman #767

X Of Swords: Destruction #1

X-Men #15


My Pick Of The Week
X Of Swords: Destruction #1

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Jack’s World: How House Of X/Powers Of X Redefined The X-Men

The following is a video from my YouTube Channel, Jack’s World. As someone who has followed and praised X-Men comics for years, I wanted to make a video that articulated just how important the recent House of X/Powers of X story by Jonathan Hickman is in the history of the franchise. I tried to do it justice while trying not too hard to geek out. Enjoy!

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New Comic Book Day August 5, 2020: My Pull List And Pick Of The Week

The current state of the world is still awful. Let’s not sugarcoat that. As much an optimist I try to be most of the time, you can only try so hard during a global pandemic.  I don’t deny these past few months have utterly killed my optimism with a force of a thousand pissed off Hulks.

Even without optimism, we’re all still adapting. We’re learning to live our lives without the luxury of going to a movie theater, hanging out in a crowded restaurant, or just browsing through a mall without someone whining about having to wear a mask. It’s frustrating, but it’s bearable. For me, new comics help make this new normal bearable.

I say that as someone who knows that the whole comic industry has had to adapt a lot these past few months. Between comic shops facing enormous hardship and the San Diego Comic Con being reduced to a glorified series of Zoom calls, things have been very difficult for this industry I love so dearly.

More changes are likely, but I’m still grateful for the efforts of those working in this industry to keep New Comic Book Day awesome. Whether you’re a writer, an editor, an artist, or an IT person working at Comixology, I can’t thank you enough for your tireless effort. The world needs this right now. I certainly need it too.

As always, I show my appreciation by dropping plenty of money on digital comics and assorted merchandise. I encourage others who struggle to adapt in this awful world to do the same. Once again, here’s my pull list and pick of the week.


My Pull List

Batman #96

Black Cat #12

Captain America #21

DCeased: Dead Planet #2

Deadpool #6

Dr. Strange #6

Empyre #4

Fantastic Four #22

Guardians Of The Galaxy #5

Rick and Morty Presents: Birdperson #1

Star Wars #5


My Pick Of The Week
Deadpool #6

 

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