The following is a video from my YouTube channel, Jack’s World. It’s the third video of my ongoing series regarding the prospect of rebooting Ultimate Marvel. This one covers my vision for a new Ultimate version of the Avengers. Please check out the first video for the full story regarding this effort. As always, I welcome feedback and comments. Enjoy!
Tag Archives: Iron Man
By now, I think everyone should be fully recovered from their Christmas festivities. Depending on how festive things got, your place might not be entirely clean. Kids and adults alike can make a hell of a mess when they’re excited on Christmas morning. I know this because I’ve made quite a few messes over the years.
Whatever the state of your holiday hangover, today is a momentous day of another kind. It marks the final New Comic Book Day of 2021. For comic book fans, that’s often noteworthy for a number of reasons. The end of the year often coincided with preludes, epilogues, and teasers for what’s to come in the next year. It’s also a chance to look back on everything that happened in the past year and just appreciate it.
Now historically, the last New Comic Book Day of the year has been fairly light in terms of noteworthy releases. You almost never see major milestone issues or the end of major events on this week. More often than no, a lot of filler issues get released this week and that’s perfectly fine. Not every week can be a blockbuster release.
Personally, I’ve often used this week to look back and see which comics or collections are worth adding to my collection before the new year begins. In the same way this week tends to be light on major issues, the first couple months of the new year tend to have major releases that are poised to set the tone. I’m already saving my money accordingly.
For this week, though, I’m content to enjoy the post-holiday afterglow with a simple stack of comics. They don’t have to blow my mind. They just have to help me relax and appreciate the conclusion of another holiday season. For those still recovering from the festivities, I hope this final New Comic Book Day does the same.
Here is my final pull list and pick of 2021. Enjoy and here’s to an awesome 2022.
My Pull List
My Pick Of The Week
When you love comics as much as I do, every New Comic Book Day feels special. Thanks to digital comics through Comixology, waking up on Wednesday morning often feels like Christmas. I get out of bed, grab my iPad, and see a nice collection of new comics to enjoy with my morning coffee. It’s nothing short of heavenly.
However, there are some days that are objectively more special than others. The New Comic Day before Christmas definitely qualifies. This year, the calendar has been extra generous. Today, I get to enjoy a nice batch of new comics. Three days later, it’s actual Christmas. That’s almost too much joy for me to process.
On top of that, comic publishers tend to release extra stuff before Christmas. I think that’s largely a result of many writers, editors, and artists traveling for the holidays. It usually means the week after tends to be pretty light. That only makes enjoying this particular New Comic Book Day more vital.
There’s just something inherently special about reading comics under the light of a Christmas tree. It’s enough to make me feel jollier than Santa himself. In recent years, it has become one of my favorite holiday traditions. I encourage all my fellow comic fans to give it a try. Christmas is already special. Adding comics to the mix only makes it better.
To that end, here is my rather lengthy pull list for this week, as well as my pick. Whatever you’ve got going on today, take some time to really appreciate this day. It’ll make the act of reading comics, as well as the holidays, even more special. Enjoy!
My Pull List
My Pick Of The Week
Avengers Forever #1
The week after Thanksgiving is often bittersweet, especially if your stomach is still recovering. Between going through all your leftovers and starting on Christmas shopping, at least for those who try to be proactive around the holidays, it can be exhausting. If you had to travel at any point, then that just compounds everything. That’s often why the week after Thanksgiving is often a week of recovery.
How we go about recovering varies from person to person, but as a comic book fan, New Comic Book Day has always been a big part of that process for me. Even though this year wasn’t quite as stressful as others, especially when compared to last year, Thanksgiving was still a stressful time, but for all the right reasons. By now, I’ve finished all my leftovers. I’ve digested all my meals. I’ve done all my Black Friday shopping. I am ready to get back into the swing of things.
A nice batch of new comics on a Wednesday morning just makes that process easier. It’s not just a direct result of awesome comics to start my day, although that is a big part of it. It helps get me back into my routine, of which New Comic Book Day is often built around. Regardless of any holidays, Wednesdays are often special in their own right. It’s a weekly treat that ensures I always have something to look forward to. I hope other comic fans feel the same way and experience the same joy.
Even if you’re done with Thanksgiving and ready for Christmas, the first New Comic Book Day after Thanksgiving can act as the final desert of sorts. It can also help get you into the full holiday spirit with Christmas coming in just a few weeks. In terms of a holiday treat, what more do you need? As always, I’m providing my pull list and pick for the week. Reading them on an full stomach is optional, but encouraged. Enjoy!
My Pull List
My Pick Of The Week
This time of year used to be so bittersweet. The week before Labor Day was often the last week before I went back to school and, as I’ve noted before, I had a less-than-enjoyable experience at school. I would often dread each passing day in this week, knowing that at the start of next week, I’d be going back to a place that made me miserable for seven hours a day. It was nerve-racking, to say the least.
That was often the week I needed new comics the most. It was the week when I needed a quality escape the most. I dreaded school so much that anything I could look forward to was a welcome reprieve. I always made it a point to go to my local comic shop that Wednesday and buy some extra books to get me through. For that, I’ll always thank the owner of that shop for letting me go a little overboard.
Years later, this particular week isn’t nearly as nerve racking. For the most part, it’s just another week. However, I haven’t forgotten how difficult it was in my youth and how comics helped me get through it. I had so many issues back then and I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for the comics I love. I know that sounds melodramatic, but I swear it’s true.
I know a lot of kids are already back in school. I also know some are poised to return next week. To those kids who dreaded it like I did, I urge you all to hang in there. Be strong and be safe out there. You’ll get through this, just like I did. Hopefully, a stack of new comics will help in some way. Here is my pull list and pick of the week. Enjoy!
My Pull List
My Pick Of The Week
Dark Ages #1
Last week, I went on my first extended vacation in over a year. I actually left the state, traveled somewhere nice, and enjoyed myself in ways that didn’t just involve lounging on my couch. It was a wonderful feeling. The fact that I got to enjoy New Comic Book Day on the beach on a nice summer day just made it so much more enjoyable.
Seriously, it was one of the most relaxing feelings I’ve had in quite some time. It was refreshing, therapeutic, and so many other things I don’t have words to describe.
Now, I’m back home and back in my routine. I’m still recovering from some nasty sunburns. I think I’ve used an entire bottle of aloe vera, but the worst is behind me. It’s a good thing too because I’m healed up just in time for another New Comic Book Day. I may not be able to enjoy this one on a nice sunny beach, but sometimes my couch and a nice cup of coffee is still plenty enjoyable.
My vacation may be over, but that’s the beauty of being a fan of comics and having a Comixology account. Every week feels like an event. Every week gives you something to look forward to. How you enjoy it is up to you. Last week, I got to enjoy it on the beach. This week, I get to enjoy it on my couch. Both can be plenty relaxing for all the right reasons.
I encourage others to embrace that feeling. To assist, here’s my pull list and pick of the week. Enjoy!
My Pull List
My Pick Of The Week
Kang The Conqueror #1
You don’t have to be a lifelong fan of superheroes to know the role that secret identities play in their over-arching narrative. It’s one of those story elements that often goes hand-in-hand with a hero’s journey. Part of becoming a hero involves forging an identity and, more often than not, this identity can’t function alongside the one they start with.
It’s a story that has roots in the early days of modern superhero comics. It wasn’t just a common plot point. It was practically a given. It was as necessary as capes, colorful costumes, and punishing masked criminals.
From a practical standpoint, having a secret identity has some legitimate merit. There are things Bruce Wayne can do as Batman that he cannot do and vice versa. The same goes for Superman, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man, and many other iconic heroes. In “Batman Begins,” Bruce Wayne set the stage for his secret identity by crafting Batman as a symbol, one that conveyed an idea that went beyond the person in the costume.
In recalling that scene, I think that idea was more prophetic than Christopher Nolan initially intended. When I look at how secret identities have come to define many characters, I believe they’re more important today than they have been in any other era.
I don’t just say that as a long-time fan of superhero comics who has used his knowledge of the genre to explore serious issues. I believe that we, as a society, are entering uncharted territory when it comes to how we manage our identities. The influence of the internet, social media, and an increasingly connected world is more powerful than any fictional hero. It’s already finding its way into superhero media.
This topic became especially relevant for Superman fans because back in late 2019, the release of “Superman #18” officially revealed Superman’s identity as Clark Kent. Now, it wasn’t not the first time Superman’s identity has been exposed, but this time it wasn’t a gimmick. Now, Superman had to learn how to be Superman without a secret identity.
Over the past decade, the value and vulnerabilities of secret identities have been under fire. One of the most jarring moments of the original “Iron Man” movie was the very end when Tony Stark didn’t attempt to hide the fact he was Iron Man. For those not familiar with the comics, it might not have seemed like a big issue. Trust me, it was a major shift.
While Tony Stark debuted as Iron Man in 1963, his identity didn’t become public until the early 2000s. That’s nearly four decades of him operating with a secret identity. In the context of his journey, this was not a trivial decision.
What happened to Spider-Man at the end of “Spider-Man: Far From Home” was even more jarring. While his secret identity has been revealed many times in the comics, it’s almost always retconned. Like Batman and Superman, he has to have a secret identity. He has to have a civilian life that’s separate from his superhero life.
There’s even a notable episode of “Superman: The Animated Series” in which Superman flat out admits that he’d go crazy if he couldn’t be Clark Kent. Think about that for a second. Superman, one of the most powerful and iconic superheroes of all time, admits that can’t handle a life without a secret identity. This is someone who can handle Lex Luthor, Darksied, and Brainiac. If he can’t handle it, then what hope do we have?
That question might not have been too relevant 20 years ago. Before the age of smartphones, broadband internet, and social media, a superhero might have been able to get away with having their identity exposed. You could say the same for anyone who happened to have a dirty secret or a double life. Whether it was an affair or a secret hobby, you didn’t have to work that hard to keep it secret.
Back then, not everyone had a fully-functional camera in their pocket or a means of sharing their media on a mass scale. Even if someone did manage to take a compromising picture or video, it wouldn’t be a huge revelation unless it was published by a major news source and even then there was no guarantee it would have staying power, especially if other major stories broke at the same time.
Now, anyone with a smartphone and an internet connection can capture compromising footage of anyone and share it with the world in seconds. In the world of superheroes, it makes keeping an identity harder than ever. Spider-Man found that out the hard way at the end of “Spider-Man: Far From Home.” Ordinary people and major celebrities are finding that out as well in the real world.
The internet and social media has created an unusual, yet potent system that skews the dynamics of having an identity, secret or otherwise. On one hand, it’s easier than ever to create an anonymous persona on the internet. With that persona, people are unbound by the propriety of real-world interaction.
It’s part of why the comments section of any website or social media feed is full of deplorable rhetoric that highlights the worst in people. Ordinary people can use the anonymity of the internet to say thing they would never say to another human being face-to-face. At the same time, celebrities and people of influence have the opposite problem.
In this hyper-connected world, every word and every action is permanently archived and subject to greater scrutiny. Every mistake or misstep is amplified and blown out of proportion. Every bit of subtext and nuance is completely lost in the various biases and agendas of the public. In essence, public figures have little to no control of their identity. They are very much at the mercy of how others perceive them.
That kind of scrutiny can have benefits and drawbacks. You could argue that the added scrutiny of social media has held celebrities and people of influence to a higher standard. They can no longer operate in the shadows with impunity. Dirty secrets will come out. Bad behavior will be documented. The O.J. Simpsons and Bill Cosbys of yesteryear could not get away with their deplorable behavior in today’s environment.
That may be a good thing on some levels, but it comes at a cost and not just for those who have had their lives ruined by the internet. In a world where anonymous identities are easily created and valued identities are easily ruined, how can anyone hope to maintain a balanced perspective? Whether you’re an accomplished celebrity or just some random blogger, don’t you still need a persona that feels true?
For people who are stuck in difficult situations, such as those belonging to racial, religious, or LGBTQ minorities, having that secret identity might be the only one that feels true or genuine. If that gets exposed, then those individuals could be in legitimate danger. There are parts of the world who will punish these individuals in ways far more serious than online trolling.
In the past, these kinds of people didn’t have an outlet or a means of connecting with others who share their struggles. They either had to organize in secret or set up their own communities, which often meant making themselves real-life targets. The ability to create an identity, secret or otherwise, can be a powerful mechanism for helping people forge an identity that feels true to who they are.
To some extent, superheroes embody the importance of these identities. They can’t do what they do without them. They can’t remain connected to the people and the world they’re trying to protect if they’re always in costume, trying to maintain this persona they’ve created. Without it, they become disconnected and overwhelmed. As a result, they can’t be the heroes they need to be.
For people in the real world, having these identities is more important than ever. You don’t have to be a superhero to appreciate their value, but as our world becomes more connected, it’s become a lot easier to understand why Spider-Man and Batman work so hard to preserve their secret identities.
The fact they still struggle, despite having super-powers and billions of dollars, is a testament to just how difficult it can be. As the world becomes increasingly connected and increasingly tribal, it’s only going to get harder.
Sometimes, the days of the week just line up perfectly. Like the years in which Halloween is on a Saturday or the 4th of July is on a Friday, everything just falls into place perfectly. For me, who identifies as both a comic book fan and a Star Wars fan, a year when new comic book day falls on or the day after May 4th is just too perfect.
For those of you who don’t know, May 4th is also known as Star Wars Day. It’s an annual celebration of the stories we love about a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. If you were on social media at any point yesterday, you likely saw people saying something like “May the 4th be with you.” That’s just Star Wars fans celebratory and being coy. It’s a beautiful thing.
The fact this is happening right before new comic book day this year just makes it even more special. Like many other Star Wars fans, I have more than my share of Star Wars comics in my collection. I also rarely need a reason to go back and watch my favorite episodes of shows like “The Mandalorian” or “The Clone Wars.” If I can do that and read a new stack of comics, then that’s a day well spent.
So, if you’re either a Star Wars fan or a comic book fan, today is a special day. If you happen to be a fan of both, it’s extra special. Find a way to celebrate and enjoy it. It’s not often the calendar works out this way. Cherish it as best you can. May the Force be with you all and here’s my pull list for this extra special new comic book day. Enjoy!
My Pull List
My Pick Of The Week
X-Men Legends #3
The following is a video from my YouTube channel, Jack’s World. It’s a video I’ve been working on for a while now. It breaks down “Captain America: Civil War,” a movie that’s held in high regard in the pantheon of superhero movies. I saw it too. I enjoyed it. However, I feel there were some significant flaws that got glossed over and overlooked.
This video is my way of highlighting those flaws, as well as a deeper exploration into what made the Civil War event in the comics so impactful. Enjoy!