Your Feelings Betray You: Luke Skywalker and The Last Jedi

Last Jedi

I’m late to the party when it comes to The Last Jedi, but the fact that I didn’t see it until seven months after its release gave me a chance to witness the controversy around the film. Fans either love the film or hate it, and for a myriad of reasons. Of all the controversial points in the movie, the portrayal of Luke Skywalker seemed to serve as the biggest lightning rod, and I find this controversy very interesting.

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Was George Washington Bulletproof?

Washington Crossing the Delaware

George Washington is one of the seminal figures in US history. He saw the fledgling nation through the Revolutionary War, served as the first president under the current constitution, and had the wisdom to give up power so as to encourage a peaceful transition to the next leader. Also, he might have been bulletproof.

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ThunderCats, No! (Part 2 of 2)

ThunderCats, No!Last time, we scratched the surface of an ill-advised attempt to make the ThunderCats franchise darker and edgier. The sexism, gore, and terrible storytelling of the first two issues pales in comparison with the final half of the miniseries. As always, I must share my pain, so let’s explore issues 3-5 of ThunderCats: The Return.

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Thundercats, No! (Part 1 of 2)

Thundercats, No!

I don’t know why, but many people really seem to want kids’ entertainment to get re-imagined in a dark and gritty way. That’s one of the main complaints people seem to have about the upcoming ThunderCats reboot, which looks sillier than the original. While adult clamor for a darker version of ThunderCats (often ignoring that the awesome 2011 reboot was more mature and didn’t last more than one season), it’s worth noting that there is danger in going dark just for the sake of getting grim and gritty.

The ThunderCats franchise serves as a good example of why “more mature” often isn’t and why dark and gritty doesn’t necessarily make for better storytelling. See, the early 2000s had a ThunderCats reboot of its own in comic form. The resulting miniseries, ThunderCats: The Return is probably one of the worst comics I’ve ever read.

I don’t like to suffer through bad comics alone. So let’s take a look at this train wreck together, shall we?

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The Golden Age Superman was a Badass Vigilante (Part 1 of 2)

Superman Action Comics #1

I had the good fortune of picking up Superman: The Golden Age, Vol. 1while it was on sale at Comixology.com a few weeks ago. I like the Golden/Silver Age stuff as a historical artifact of how comics shaped pop culture. In the case of Golden Age Superman, the results were really eye opening.

I knew that Superman’s early days were very different from the Man of Steel we know today. He didn’t have heat vision, couldn’t fly, and kryptonite wasn’t a thing yet. However, I didn’t realize how fully early Superman embraced his role as a man of the people – or how well the stories serve as middle-class wish fulfillment.

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The Many Worlds of D&D, part two

Oriental Adventures

Dungeons & Dragons started as an offshoot of wargaming, but it grew quickly. TSR, the company that owned the game, soon saw that people wanted more than just dungeons and wilderness areas for their heroes to explore. They wanted a semblance of a living fantasy world filled with history, personalities, and adventure.

The earliest settings, which I described last time, grew at the speed of adventure – new information got added as needed for a given module rather than in an atlas-like book. By the 1980s, though, D&D was realizing its media crossover potential. This led to a new wave of campaign settings that had a reach far beyond gaming tables.

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Derrezen the Dragon-God

Derrezen the Dragon-God

Known to many as the great dragon-god, Derrezen is a legendary terror that even demon lords and divine beings try to avoid. With a wingspan that approaches 200 feet in length, tales of the great wyrm blotting out the sun as he flies overhead are barely exaggerated. Fortunately for most, the dragon-god spends most of his time atop his hoard of treasure, and can sleep for years at a time.

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