Matthew Peterson
Author Archive

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

Avatar PressBlack SummerReview

Or – “Sometimes A Book Will Come Out Of Left Field And Surprise You…” Black Summer is one of those books that I wasn’t entirely sure about, dealing as it does with the murder of the President of the United States (and it doesn’t pull it’s punches, making it clear that the Prez in question is unequivocally the sitting Commander-In-Chief.)  My usual goal in life is to strenuously avoid discussions of politics, religion, or alternate lifestyles, but the setup to this issue (and the Warren Ellis writer credit) piqued my interest.  Issue #0 was as interesting as the premise promised (say

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MarvelReviewThe InitiativeThe Order

Or – “Would It Be Unprofessional To Announce That This Issue Is My Last?” I often worry about the fine line between criticism and opinion, between “I don’t like it” and “I don’t get it.” Certainly, there’s no 100% reliable way to remove the subjectivity from my recaps, and I’ll always have my preferences and peccadilloes, but when a book comes out that obviously SOMEBODY thinks was a great idea, I wonder if it’s just me. The first issue of The Order left me cold, focusing on a character who is supposed to be a hero, but frankly comes across

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DCMartian ManhunterOutsidersReview

Or – “Two Of My Favorite Super-Heroes Together… So Obviously One Is Getting Fired.” I was initially very skeptical about Thunder as a character. Black Lightning’s creator, Tony Isabella, has stated numerous times that retconning in a daughter that we never heard of makes Lightning look like a deadbeat dad, at best, and a heartless jerk at worst, and that Jefferson would never have let his child grow up without being an active force in her life, and I agree. But the execution of the character has grown on me; with Anissa initially less-than-thrilled to be a superhero but eventually

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Black CanaryDCReview

Or – “Never Ever Try To Come Between A Mother And Her Child…” For a master assassin, Merlin is kind of an idiot about the simplest things. Black Canary’s adoption of Sin, protegee of the League of Assassins, put her in a role that, while unfamiliar, suited her very well. Unfortunately, a combination of “event comic” and “editorial caveat” combined to put the JLA’s chairperson in a situation where motherhood wasn’t exactly a simple option. Add to that the ongoing efforts by the assassins to regain their premiere killer (since Black Canary had already cost them the services of Lady

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Colossal BoyDCHero HistoryLegion of Super HeroesReview

Or – “In The 30th Century, Big Man On Campus Takes On A New, Very Literal Meaning.” The Legion of Super-Heroes has room for many different kinds of hero. Some, like Sun Boy, Wildfire, Tom Welling and Ultra Boy seek out the spotlight. Others, like Blok, The White Witch, Star Boy, Tellus and others prefer to work more in the background. But only one Legionnaire tends to BE the background, backstopping his teammates and literally crushing everything in his path. Gim Allon is a straight-shooter, the kind of guy who sees life as a choice between right and wrong. If

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DCHellblazerRetro ReviewReviewSwamp Thing

Or – “The Seed From Which Everything Vertigo Will Eventually Grow…” Back in 1985, the choices in terms of comics reading were much more limited in scope than they are now (at least the choices within bicycle range of my house in North Central Kansas.) Sure, Epic Illustrated and Heavy Metal were still around, but those books held the distinction of being: A. Expensive B. Marked 18 and up. C. Distributed differently than the comics, making them harder to find in the drugstores and Pump ‘N Pantries I frequented. When Alan Moore took over DC’s faltering super-hero/horror hybrid title, Swamp

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CheckmateDCReview

Or – “It’s Interesting To See Ol’ Moosie Again…” Some years ago, when Mark Gruenwald was writing Quasar for Marvel, you could count on that series to clean up Marvel’s loose ends, either writing in endings for characters who disappeared, or in some cases explaining why one-shot villains were never seen again. Sometimes this led to interesting storylines (like the revelation of who was in the Stranger’s alien lab) other times it led to things like the ‘Living Armor From The Secret Wars’ issue, wherein it was extrapolated that since Spider-Man’s costume turned out to be an alien symbiote, then

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MarvelMODOK's 11Review

Or – “There Is No Character Who Cannot Be Interesting In The Right Hands.” It always makes me angry when the major comics companies decide that it’s time to “clear the decks” and off a bunch of characters in a crossover cluster-schmozz. Sure, it reinforces the illusion that comic stories have lasting consequences, but it usually just leads to an eventual series of resurrections or revamps that make the initial attempt to “clean up” continuity ridiculously laughable. Marvel is in a period of experimentation right now, and the racks are literally flooded with titles whose membership consists of random samplings

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DCJustice League of AmericaReview

Or – “As Swan Songs Go, It’s An Interesting Choice…” Brad Meltzer’s run on the Justice League has been an odd and inconsistent lot. He has made a point of elevating characters like Vixen, Black Lightning and Red Arrow (ugh) and has drawn upon tons of continuity, while letting your imagination fill in the blanks with other characters. After all, don’t we all KNOW how Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman act? His quiet moments are well-done, and superior in many ways to the larger overarching plots. The first arc took forever and accomplished little, while the Lightning Saga was a

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DCOutsidersReviewShazam

Or – “I’m Still At A Loss As To How This Is Any Sort Of Competition…” I mean, honestly, Katana is a former Outsider, she’s worked with Batman before, she’s got the smarts and battle skills, and, oh yeah… SHAZAM CAN’T LEAVE THE ROCK OF ETERNITY! After the first head-to-head came out with no winner at all, I’m sort of wondering if I’ve misunderstood the concept of this miniseries within a series. The way I read the Previews, it seemed like each issue was going to be a competition to see who works better within Batman’s proposed team structure, but

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AnnihilationMarvelNovaReview

Or – “It’s Not Namorita, But I’m Not Terribly Disappointed…” The first Annihilation miniseries was a huge hit for Marvel, relaunching a number of concepts thought long-since rendered pointless, including Super-Skrull and Richard Rider’s Nova career. Nova’s history is full of ups and downs, in terms of power, story, and setting, so it’s good to see Rich return to his roots as a Centurion, and this is the first attempt to do the character in flat-out space opera (unless you count his series of cameos in ‘Rom’ and ‘Fantastic Four’ in the 80’s.) Not surprisingly, and probably not unexpectedly, there’s

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Captain AmericaMarvelReview

Or – “This Just In… Former Captain America Steve Rogers Is Still Dead.” Trust me… In the right context, that joke is hysterical. The good Captain has been gone for four issues now, but the threads that led to his assassination are still unraveling. Tony Stark and Natasha Romanov have a mole in their organization, Sam Wilson and Sharon Carter have no leads, and the Winter Soldier has murder in his heart. Add in a new Serpent Squad, Red Skull’s continuing battle for dominance of Aleksandr Lukin, as well as continuing drama about exactly WHO pulled the trigger on those

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Dynamo 5Image ComicsReview

Or – “Y’Ever Notice Superheroes Get Guns Pointed At ‘Em A Lot?” I suppose it’s one of the hazards of the job, like I have to deal with arthritis, writers block, and repeated cuticle injuries from going through my back issues of “Legion of Super-Heroes.”  The problem is, the Dynamo 5 aren’t really used to it yet, having only had papa’s powers for a couple of months now.  With the agents of FLAG massing against them, Chrysalis in the wings, a mysterious Captain Dynamo impersonator at large, and their coordinator Maddie missing, it looks like the sibs are in for

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DCGreen LanternReviewSinestro Corps

Or – “Two Crossover Issues Involving The Color Green In A Row…” It’s a Verdant Monday at Major Spoilers! When last we saw the Green Lantern Corps, Sinestro’s evil plan is proceeding as written, with the Guardians in disarray, Mogo under assault, John Stewart and Guy Gardner MIA, Kyle Rayner possessed by Parallax, and Ion under lock and key. The myriad Sinestro Corps members have been killing Lanterns left, right, and center leaving the Corps more and more thinly stretched. Hal Jordan has taken the fight directly to Qward, but even the man once called ‘Greatest Lantern of Them All’

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