Anger Management – The Horror in Hulk!

Dichotomy is a regular running theme that spans over many genres, but perhaps most endlessly represented by the comic book industry. It runs the gamut from the effortless spectacles of  the Clark Kent alter-ego to more extremes like the literal bisection of Two-Face. Robert Lewis Stevenson introduced the most significant literary split-personality with his 1886  The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde novella. This was intended as metaphor for the transformational disease of alcoholism – the addictive tonic that brought out the monster in his roommate. Simultaneously you have the similar but even more shape-shifting transmutation of the old-as-time werewolf myth. Dating as far back as ancient Greece, legends of the lycanthrope are ultimately an allegory for the emotional inner beasts within us all. These undeniable influences helped promote countless fictional characters throughout publication – most incredibly in Marvel comics. No one has more experience with losing themselves to the internal tormentor than our favorite gamma-bombed scientist, the Hulk. (more…)

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Pop Culture Propaganda – Captain American History!

Si vis pacem, para bellum – If you wish for peace, prepare for war.

The great depression was a time of unprecedented poverty. Starvation struck Americans struggled to survive very harsh times in any way they could. This bred desperately enduring working class civilians under the emerging war clouds, grim and gloomy, over Europe. The economy imploded. The iron fist of the Nazi party was starting to pummel their way through country boundaries. Poland had been invaded. America still lay untouched… but not for much longer.

Don't be a sauerkraut!

You didn’t need psychic mutant power to sense the brink of world war; you just had to have common sense. Tights characters were fighting in the war even before we were drafted. In a now famed 1940 special for Look Magazine, Supes creators Siegel and Shuster had the man of steel end the war in a shallow 2-page spread. By simply flying to Germany, lifting Hitler and Stalin in a swoop, he effortlessly drops them off at the League of Nations. This now somewhat undermining feature made its way to the lion’s den itself. Upon seeing the comic, Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, in typical anti-Semitic hate, is claimed to have called Superman Jewish. He even mocked Siegel as “physically and intellectually circumcised.” Suddenly truth, justice and the American way just didn’t seem American enough. (more…)

Boba Fettish!

...who the hell is this?

It can sometimes feel like you have to punch it to light-speed just to familiarize yourself with every outer rim in the overwhelming Star Wars saga. In the almost limitless archive of characters the universe offers it oftentimes becomes unanswerably clear that you just can’t pick one stand-out persona. On your endless search for that lone favorite, the coronation of one old friend feels like the treacherous disloyalty of another. Quality comes in quantity in this myth from a galaxy far, far away.

It’s like the time someone hauntingly asked who I prefer – Han Solo or Indiana Jones? The world went black and there was this divine backdrop of shimmering white …suddenly I awoke in some corner crying in the fetal position. Apparently I had a fierce aneurysm the size of the second Death Star. The equation for world peace is more easily answered. Yet if staring down the barrel of a blaster, forced to decide or else they’ll bullseye me like some womp rat, who would I crown king to save myself from being the latest steaming mess in the Mos Eisley cantina? (more…)