“I’ve changed. And I’ll keep changing.”: Gotham Academy, Issue Six

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In a world where the Big Two’s output is mostly defined by pervasive darkness and overcomplicated tie-ins, Gotham Academy comes off as a sparkling little miracle. It’s a mostly stand-alone book about a bunch of normal kids; even if Olive has superpowers, after all, she’s not a vigilante and seems to have no desire to be. While the concept of exploring the daily lives of Gothamites could lend itself to some depressing situations, Gotham Academy decided early on to balance its darkness with boundless optimism, and that’s never more obvious than in the way it ends its first arc, mixing mystery with merriment.

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This Is A Gift: The Wicked + The Divine, Issue Nine

Untitled Interviewers have a pretty tough job. Nobody can deny that today’s media runs on controversy; there’s a reason we’re always talking about the latest celebrity breakup or party fiasco. It means an interviewer can’t be kind- if they want to be successful, they’ve got to tear apart everyone they run across. Cassandra is excellent at this, for a number of reasons, chief of which being her own history with the gods. She’s openly bitter about her inability to feel the god’s powers despite her years of anticipation for their arrival, and it means there’s a personal slant to her interview with Ananke, one that ends in a way that few would have anticipated. Continue reading

“Believing takes practice.”: Morning Glories, Issue Forty-Four

UntitledIt’s truly bizarre that A Wrinkle In Time has become a classic. If summarized, the book comes off as a complete mess- filled to the brim with Christian themes, obscure physics references and capped off with a moral statement about the all-encompassing power of love. While those things certainly make it a weird book to approach, they also make it a very appropriate thing to come up in Morning Glories, which has long shared its love of biblical references and scientific lingo. Love doesn’t come up that much in a book so full of violence and death as this is, but this month’s issue is definitely powered on it, focusing on Ellen Richmond and her relationship with her daughter.

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The Road Not Taken: East of West, Issue Eighteen

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In his database, Babylon has Robert Frost’s famous poem “The Road Not Taken” listed as “Art: Poetry: Worst ever: Frost, Robert.” For anyone who’s gone through the American school system, seeing Babylon take such a harsh stance against one of the most famous poems in history may bring up any number of feelings. Whatever those feelings are, the idea of having multiple ways to go about one’s life is one heavy in the mind of the Prophet Ezra Orion, who alongside Babylon takes center stage in this issue.

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“There must be some explanation.”: Gravity Falls 2.11, “Not What He Seems”

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When our show started, I was overwhelmed by the amount of passionate, bizarre speculation. A show with an overarching mystery—this type of thing has been going on since Twin Peaks. The asset that we have now is that we have this global community of sleuths inventing and remixing and playing with and questioning and hypothesizing about the answers and trajectory of our series.

The one downside of that, which David Lynch didn’t have to contend with: Cumulatively, the minds of the Internet have solved problems that no single human possibly could. If they can fill holes in a DNA strand, they can fill holes in our plot. [Laughs.] They are now a terrifyingly powerful force to be reckoned with. If you want to keep something a secret, and you also want to tease it, it’s harder than it’s ever been. If one fan comes close to an answer and broadcasts it, it can become as known as the actual plot points—even if it’s not true. It’s a blessing in terms of hyper-engagement. It’s also a curse in terms of “How do our four writers trick the mental might of the entire Internet?”

Alex Hirsch

Before we can talk about “Not What He Seems” as an episode on its own, we need to discuss it in terms of a larger whole- not of the whole of Gravity Falls, but of the whole of the fanbase.

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Strangers In The Home: Saga, Issue Twenty-Six

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The greatest reason that Saga has become such a phenomenon is likely how universal its themes are. War; death; family. It’s nearly impossible to find a story that doesn’t touch upon at least one of those, but Saga plans to tell a tale that anyone can find relatable, even if they don’t have wings or horns. While Hazel’s narration this month focuses on the parenting aspect of the title, her point can apply to almost any kind of relationship. The world is full of dangerous, wild people that can help or hurt you; you have to choose your allies and enemies wisely, and sometimes you may never know whether or not you’ve made a mistake in picking your friends.

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“It felt like the end of the world.”: The Woods, Issue Eleven

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This week’s issue of The Woods both starts and ends with teenagers discussing how they feel in the face of disaster. How you react to tragedy defines who you are, but what you consider a tragedy in the first place says just as much. For Isaac, something like not getting into the school play is enough to feel like “the end of the world”, even when Ben points out they’re now facing the much greater threat of violence and death. But Isaac’s taking that much better, as is Karen, who tells Sander that though her life in the last few weeks has become horribly painful, she feels completely calm. As we head toward the end of the book’s first year, imminent danger is closer than ever, and how these characters react to it will define how things turn out for them going forward.

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