Friday, October 8, 2010

The Comics Professor moving (updated)

The Comics Professor is moving to Typepad (, and I hope to update it much more often afterwards. As you may know, my academic blog, Economics and Ethics, is on Typepad, and I'm constantly on that, so it makes sense from a practical point of view to port The Comics Professor over there too. (I've had no problem with, honestly.)

The first post at the new site: the call for abstracts for Superman and Philosophy!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Iron Man and Philosophy podcast

My new friend Chad Wells just posted a podcast of the phone interview we did several weeks back at his site, A Welcome Invasion of Privacy. In it, we discuss the Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series, how Iron Man compares the topics of my previous books (Batman and Watchmen), and various issues in the book, movie, and current comic storylines. Chad did a fantastic job--be sure to check it out!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Iron Man 2: Tony Stark's womanizing and character

I have a comics-related post at my Psychology Today blog dealing wth Tony Stark's womanizing ways (which are much more prominent in the films than in the comics) and what it says about his character and his decision-making asa superhero. Check it out here, and then check out Iron Man and Philosophy: Facing the Stark Reality for more philosophical discussion inspired by the Armored Avengers.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Well, I didn't see that coming (Spoilers for JL: Cry for Justice #7)

SPOILER WARNING for Justice League: Cry for Justice #7 below...


Last chance...

OK, here goes.

I think everyone had a feeling that Ollie would kill Prometheus at the end. But I didn't predict the death of Lian, Roy Harper's daughter with the assassin/villain Cheshire.

While I am very sad to see her go--I thought she really humanized Roy, as well as providing a much needed comic foil in so many books--I am just as glad that DC chose not to show her dead body, instead displaying Ollie, from behind, holding her in his arms, with just her leg visible with some blood on her pants. It was a very tasteful way to show the death of a true innocent, and I personally thank DC for their discretion. (At the same time, I had no problem with the Sentry's ripping Ares in half in Siege - I agree with Bendis' reasoning that they needed to show how horrific this act was.)

I wonder if this tragedy is going to being Donna and Roy closer, now that they both have lost children. I didn't like their pairing before (during the first run of Titans), but now there seems more motivation to it.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Aquaman's back (?)

Today, from DC's The Source, comes the cover for Brightest Day #2:

Fantastic - now let's see what they do with him...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Birds of Prey are back!

Thanks to DC's The Source, good news for your Wednesday morning - Gail Simone and Ed Benes are bringing back Birds of Prey this year!

This was a title that should never have been cancelled (or that Simone should never have left), and I could not be happy that it's coming back.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

New Black Widow ongoing series!

Acccording to Marvel, Natasha Romanova (please get the last name right, Marvel), the Black Widow, is getting her first-ever ongoing series starting in April. This is fantastic news, not just for fans of the character, but for fans of solo books starring female heroes (especially after Ms. Marvel ends with #50). And Daniel Acuna on art doesn't hurt either!

Acording to writer Marjorie Liu
I want to establish Black Widow as her own character, not as someone's girlfriend or the member of a team. Which isn't to say that Black Widow's relationships won't be explored, but she's a cunning, ruthless woman whose physical prowess would be nothing without her staggering intelligence. She's a force to be reckoned with, in every possible way.
I appreciate both sides of this, for while Natasha definitely deserved an independent focus, one of the interesting things about the character is her relationships with so many big players in the 616--including Iron Man, Daredevil, Nick Fury, Wolverine, and both Captain Americas (or is that Captains America?)--and I wouldn't want that aspect to be ignored completely. (I've really liked her interaction with Maria Hill in the current Invincible Iron Man arc--maybe they could be featured together.)

I just hope the book is good enough to continue long after the movie hype dies down (though we can always hope for a spinoff movie as well!).

(And since you asked, yes, Black Widow does get some time in Iron Man and Philosophy: Facing the Stark Reality, out in March.)

Friday, January 8, 2010

New Iron Man armor

Today Marvel Comics released an image of Tony Stark's latest, set to debut in April's Invincible Iron Man #25:

I have to admit, I liked the Extremis-era armor - very imposing - and this new armor is much more streamlined. Also, the lit parts of the new armor remind me of all the highlights on the Heroes Return armor, which I was not a fan of. But we'll see how it looks "in action."

Any thoughts?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Peter Singer and Batman, revisited

Over at Ivy's Vine, Ivy Reisner has chimed in on Mahesh Ananth and Ben Dixon's chapter, "Should Bruce Wayne Have Become Batman?" in Batman and Philosophy: The Dark Knight of the Soul. Ananth and Dixon argue that Peter Singer 's strict utilitarianism would condemn Wayne's decision, but Reisner disagrees, concluding:
If everyone, or even most people, did as Singer proposed, there would be ample resources to help the starving poor, even absent the Wayne fortune. Therefore Wayne if helping the otherwise unaided population of Gotham by becoming Batman and is therefore doing more good than would have been possible by simply donating the Wayne fortune.

Singer seeks to bring a world where charitable organizations are fully supported by routine small donations from the majority of the world’s affluent population (defining affluent as people with disposable income for even small luxuries, like DVDs and philosophy books). Batman seeks to bring a world where Gotham is no longer corrupt and crime can be kept under control by normal law enforcement efforts, such as the police and judicial system.

I would argue their intents are in alignment, and that Singer, rather than decrying Wayne’s becoming Batman, would laud him for his Herculean efforts “to prevent something very bad from happening”.
Very nice contributon on the part of Ms. Reisner.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Low blow, Frank Cho!

In Frank Cho's great comic strip Liberty Meadows, the current thread has the evil cow returning to terrorize Ralph with some very advanced technology--but from whom is he getting it? Guess who...

(Shameless plug: there are several chapters that discuss Tony Stark's alcoholism in Iron Man and Philosophy: Facing the Stark Reality, out in March.)

Friday, January 1, 2010

Sherlock Holmes and Batman

Over at Psychablog, my friend Robin Rosenberg (editor of The Psychology of Superheroes), ruminates on the recent Sherlock Holmes film, at one point comparing director Guy Ritchie's version to Batman:
While watching the film, I kept thinking about Bruce Wayne—and an appropriate 1-sentence movie summary could be: "Bruce Wayne placed in Victorian England and played by Iron Man actor; Alfred the Butler morphs into Watson and Catwoman becomes Irene Adler."
For more on this point and others, check out her post, linked above.