The Week’s Most Popular Posts: January 19 – 23, 2015

Let’s take a look back at the week that was, here on Panels:

We’re halfway through Season Three of Arrow, and with the midseason hiatus giving us all some time to reflect back on the past nine episodes, I think I can confidently say: this season is a hot mess.

I’ve been watching Arrow since the start, and there’s a lot about the show that I really love, but it’s also got some deeply-ingrained storytelling problems. Season Two improved on them immensely, but it seems to be a “one step forward, two steps back” kind of deal. And so it is with frustrated affection that I present this list of Three Things Arrow Needs to Stop Doing.

from Oliver, No: Three Things Arrow Needs to Stop Doing by Jessica Plummer


Secret Identity tells the story of a young man named Clark Kent. No, not that one. He’s just a normal nobody from Kansas whose parents have a terrible sense of humor. He’s drowning in Superman themed presents and Superman themed insults from the contractually obligated school bully. Then one day, he flies. He flies and then everything changes.

It’s the simplest What If Story in the world, but Busiek and Immonen make magic with it. There’s so much vulnerability and wonder, two things that I’ve come to see as the core of truly great Superman stories. Readers are guided through the majority of Clark’s life. We watch him grow old and wise. We watch him deal with fear and with hope. We watch his life take shape and the world react to him just trying to exist.

from Secret Identity: The Book That Made Me Get Superman by Chris Rohling


panels mugs comic fetish


from Comics Fetish: Volume 15 (Coffee Mug Edition) by Brenna Clarke Gray


A month or so ago, fellow Panelteer Peter  and I realized we had drastically different opinions about Amazing Spider-Man 2. He loved it. I hated it.

We thought it’d be fun to rewatch the movie and live gchat through it to see why we’d responded to it so differently. Then we thought it’d be fun to let you fine folk join us! (If you’re feeling like you really, really want to join, go ahead and press play right before you start reading.)

from Talking During The Movie: Amazing Spiderman 2 by Preeti Chhibber


Batgirl #38 came out last week. The first Batgirl issue of 2015, #38 works as the first of the two part ending for this first story arc of writers Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher with Babs Tarr on art. Because it’s essentially a two-parter, the pace is slower than in the three previous issues and my god, it’s better for it. Not only do we still get more details of the story highlighted (some of which are big clues into the mystery of who’s been doing this) but we also get a few more beats each scene. That alone lets the story breathe. More than that, spreading out the story let us have more panels that are just Barbara’s reactions, which is definitely needed more in this book if we’re going to get to know Barbara without an inner monologue as narrative. For these technical elements alone, this is a major step up from the last issue.

from Art Imitating Life in Batgirl #38 by Katie Schenkel


I don’t know about you, but my interest in Superman as a character has never been terribly great. It amounts to a bit of frustration when I encounter him in comics (and dodgy films), because it’s so bothersome to feel like people are doing so little with such a potentially interesting character. Beyond that, my interest in him is almost purely academic, because he’s such an old character and predates so many superheroes.

Now and then, though, I react to Superman works with tremendous enthusiasm, and I realized that two of them are very interesting next to each other. You’ll see what I mean when we get into ‘em.

from Read This, Then That: Two Books About Superman by Peter Damien

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