Bento Review: Rai: Welcome To New Japan

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I can remember, back in the 90s when Image Comics formed around Marvel’s biggest artists jumping ship to form their own company, being told by various comic shop owners and clerks about just how darn good Valiant comics was doing at about that time.

I only got a scattering of Valiant books, and while they weren’t bad, my finances can only stretch so far.

Recently, Valiant’s characters and line have returned and have been getting a lot of buzz.  And the good folks at Comics Bento sent me one…

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Tom Recommends: Astro City

Gabbing Geek Tom Recommends v2

In this space last week, I recommended the comic book series Planetary, the deconstruction of the superhero genre and pulp literature in general.

This week, I’m going to recommend a book that comes from the opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to taking a serious look at the superhero genre, namely Astro City.

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Ten Best Deconstructive Superhero Stories of All-Time

 

Would this be a work of construction deconstructive superhero?
Would this be a work of construction deconstruction superheroes?

I have a reputation on Gabbing Geek as a guy who doesn’t like comic books.  This knock is generally well deserved.  I don’t like much anymore.  But there is a certain kind of comic that even to this day will cause me to get dressed, get in the car, head to the comic shop, and buy a comic sit in my underwear, fire up the ol’ tablet, click Comixology on my browser, and download a digital file.  What are these amazing tales you ask?

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Why The X-Men Suck At Their Jobs

Lots of pouches here.  It was the 90s.
Lots of pouches here. It was the 90s.

The X-Men were created for two primary reasons.  One was because Stan Lee needed another superhero team and was feeling kind of lazy, so he threw up his hands and said, “You know what?  They were just born that way!”  The other was as a at-times heavy-handed anti-racism allegory.  The year was 1963, and the Civil Rights Movement was heating things up across the country.  Younger readers of comic books could be taught a lesson on tolerance, and comics were a good medium for that, so here were the X-Men, mutants who were feared and hated by non-mutants for the crime of being born different.  But the X-Men were good and defended regular folks against the evil mutants of the world, in an attempt to prove that not all mutants were evil.

Even given the sliding scale of Marvel time, where everything outside Captain America and the Invaders’ exploits during World War II depicted in a Marvel Comic (barring the upcoming Secret Wars) has taken place over a roughly 12 year time period, the X-Men really suck at their task of promoting tolerance.

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