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New Escapist Column! On the Strange Conservatism of “Star Trek: Lower Decks”…

I published a new piece at The Escapist this evening. We’re doing a series of recaps and reviews of Star Trek: Lower Decks, which is streaming weekly on Paramount+ in the States and on Amazon Prime in the United Kingdom. The first episode of the third season released this week, and it seemed like a good opportunity to take a look at the series.

There is something very interesting about how modern Star Trek treats the idea of Starfleet and the Federation as sacrosanct. It’s very different from how shows like Star Trek: The Next Generation or Star Trek: Deep Space Nine approached the idea of these authorities and institutions. It’s very strange to watch a television show in August 2022 that asks its black female protagonist to place her complete unwaivering trust in the system, and in particular in the judicial system.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

Acts of Vengeance: Fantastic Four vs. Congress (Review/Retrospective)

April (and a little bit of May) are “Avengers month” at the m0vie blog. In anticipation of Joss Whedon’s superhero epic, we’ll have a variety of articles and reviews published looking at various aspects of “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.”

In celebration of the release of The Avengers, this weekend we’re taking a look at the massive 1989-90 crossover “Acts of Vengeance”, which pitted various villains against some unlikely heroes. I’ll be looking at some of the most fun match-ups. This arc is collected in the companion omnibus.

The more I read of Acts of Vengeance and its related crossovers, the more I think that the collections work best as a slice of Marvel, capturing a couple of issues from a vast array of creative teams working on a huge number of titles, to give a sampling of Marvel’s output at the time. Walt Simonson’s Fantastic Four is very highly regarded by quite a few fans of the comic book series. While it arguably hasn’t become as popular as John Byrne’s Fantastic Four or even Mark Waid’s Fantastic Four, I have to admit that I’m delighted to be able to sample three issues collected in a nice oversized hardcover. Simonson seems to gently (or not-so-gently) mock the premise of the event itself, but his three issue story arc here is fascinating and decades ahead of its time.

No, Ben, we ain’t…

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