Why I’m Thankful For Comics

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It would be very easy to simply make a list of reasons we should be thankful for comics. The truth is the mere entertainment value alone could fill more than a few dozen lists. But the truth is there are many other reasons why we should be thankful for comics, reasons that many may not realize.

Like any form of storytelling when properly executed, comics not only entertain but enlighten and empower.

It was comics that instilled in many of us that with great power comes great responsibility. It was comics that made us fall in love with a Kryptonian champion who taught us that being a super hero isn’t limited to getting godlike powers from a strange reaction to the yellow sun, but doing our very best to be a positive force in the world. That same Kryptonian would inspire a young Hawaiian boy to become the 44th President of the United States.

Through icons like Wonder Woman, young women learned that they can achieve greatness. Just as important is that through icons like Wonder Woman, young men learned that young women can achieve greatness and our sisters should be respected and celebrated.

Comics have provided escapism to the abused, the neglected, to survivors when they so desperately needed it. Comics also shined a glimmer of hope to those who have been lost in the darkness.

The superheroes in graphic novels have infused the terminally ill with a fighting spirit and a resolve not to go quietly into the night. Daredevil and Oracle are steadfast reminders that heroes come in all types.

LGBTQ comic book readers have found champions in such extraordinary characters like Midnighter, Renee Montoya, Xavin, Wiccan and Kevin Keller.

As an allegory to the Civil Rights movement, the story of the X-Men have enlightened hearts and minds on what it means to be a minority. In fact, beloved characters such as Magneto, Cyclops and Storm are examples I’ll be using when I explain to my 8-year-old nephew the tragedies that have transpired in Ferguson and Florida this weekend.

Comic books are essentially modern-day mythology. They entertain, they empower, they enlighten. They also question the world we live in and challenge us to evolve, and progress.

Those reasons alone are why I love comics. And those reasons alone are why I will always be thankful for them.

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By Dennis R. Upkins

BBC Merlin: A Retrospective

(Originally published at Geeks Out)

This month marks the three year anniversary of the series finale of the BBC’s Merlin.  By no means is it an all-time favorite show and more than a few formulaic eps I could’ve done without. But the show had its charms and when it brought it’s A-game, the show delivered moments that were nothing short of magic. See what I did there?

All the same, I find myself plagued with all the feels. So much so that it’s forced me to break out into song.

[sings]

FEELINGS. WHY MUST I BE CURSED WITH ALL THESE FEELINGS, YEAH?

[/sings]

One of the main reasons for the show’s success is the talented cast who fans found themselves often cheering for (Gwen), laughing at (Merlin and Arthur) or loved to hate because they were so deliciously naughty (Morgana).

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Character Study: Phil Coulson

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It’s always the quiet ones. Even more so if they’re also the little guy. This is most certainly the case if that quiet little guy is one Phil Coulson.

Coulson isn’t exactly a character one would initially expect to have a loyal following, much less receive a spin-off tv series. Played flawlessly by the charming and handsome Clark Gregg, when Coulson first debuted in Iron Man, he made it a point to be as quiet and non-assuming as humanly possible.

Understandable, given that he is a secret agent.

While most people would take Coulson at face value, a few of us immediately recognized that when it came to our Secret Agent Man, there was more to him than meets the eye.

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