Sunday, June 17, 2018

Pride Sermon 2018 at Faith UCC in Iowa City

I go to Faith UCC in Iowa City. I’ve been part of that church for about 21 years. My husband Mark have gotten married there (twice), we raised our kids there, we’ve been Sunday school teachers there, and we’ve served in a variety of capacities there, including me serving two terms as Council secretary.

Faith UCC does this thing called shared ministry, where the pastor gets the week off every month and one of the members is responsible for organizing worship. I tend to get assigned to things during June for Pride Month. Which was today.

I thought I would share today’s sermon, which is a bit of basic Biblical defense when it comes to reconciling my identity as a Christian gay man who’s married and who’s active in the church. I could’ve gone longer and there is likely a part 2 (or 3) in me:
It’s Pride Weekend. Most of you know that Faith UCC has been an Open & Affirming Church for 26 years. If I’m not mistaken, we became the first UCC church in Iowa to go through that discernment process. I was not a member of the church back then. It would be another five years before I became involved with the church. I know that we subsequently ended up calling our first openly gay clergyperson to be our pastor about two years later. I know that commitment ceremonies were held at our church as a result of this vote. We later called our first partnered lesbian pastor to the church. And we’ve continued to nurture involvement by gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans people within our church pretty much anywhere and everywhere that they felt called to serve without hassle. 

I think that’s important for us to hear. I belong to various online communities, including an organization called Q Christian Fellowship (formerly called Gay Christian Network). It is not uncommon for people to share stories there about being ostracized in their church communities for coming out as LGBTQ people. And I’m not talking about people coping with stories of past traumas. I’m talking about now. Literally last week. Pastors and church members who’ve come out or gotten outed and who’ve now lost their careers – over even their ability to serve coffee during the fellowship hour, or sing in the choir.

And it’s not just gay people like me. Just yesterday at Pride, Mark and I were approached by a young woman with a goal of ordination who recently found herself rejected by some very dear friends for being an ally to the LGBTQ community. She officiated at a same-sex wedding. Her friends warned her that they would cast her out and she told them that she had studied scripture on her own and felt justified with her decision to do the wedding. And now her friends have completely shunned her.

My point is that it’s easy here. It’s easy to come to Faith UCC as a gay person. You don’t have to spend much time reconciling your faith and sexuality to others. You don’t have to explain to anyone how you can be both an LGBTQ person and a person of faith. You have the right to date as a gay man, or to marry as a lesbian, or commit yourself to a life of singledom if you choose. You don’t have to hide, or worry that the wrong person will find out. You don’t have to worry about your pastor or the Council calling you in and putting you on church-probation for making the same life choices as anyone else – except that the other intimate person in your life is of your own gender as opposed to the other.

Because it’s easy, I think that it’s equally easy to avoid talking about why it’s okay scripturally for me to be married to Mark. The truth is that I don’t spend a lot of time anymore dissecting scripture as a Christian who’s been out as a gay man since right around the time that this church came out as open and affirming.

But the questions continue, usually from LGBTQ teens who’ve grown up in anti-gay churches and who are terrified about becoming those who will not inherit the kingdom of God. Or adults who struggle with reconciliation. Or even those who don’t feel comfortable having their understanding of traditional scripture challenged. I encounter these questions, and challenges, a lot. Usually, I ignore the questions. But I do think that it’s necessary to engage the questions from time to time.

So I want to spend some time today briefly breaking down each of the scriptures that are typically used against people like me in an attempt to provide a bit of counter-balance to the prevalent beliefs. 

Genesis 19: Sodom and Gomorrah Destroyed: We all know the story. God sent two angels to Sodom to investigate stories of evil coming out of Sodom and her sister city. They were greeted by Lot and his wife and their daughters. After they were taken into their home, all of Sodom’s men surrounded Lot’s home and issued their demands: “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.” Lot immediately offered his daughters in place of the visiting angels, but the men of Sodom were terribly insistent and attacked the visitors. The angels acted and Sodom was destroyed, minus Lot and his two daughters.

We’re told that America is a modern-day Sodom & Gomorrah, collectively doomed because sodomy laws are technically unconstitutional now. Collectively doomed because same-sex couples can now obtain marriage licenses, or even get married in certain churches. Collectively doomed because gay couples can adopt children, or because trans women can urinate at Target, or receive some legal protections from harm. And as we learned from the story of Sodom & Gomorrah, the righteous were swept away just as easily by God’s wrath as the innocent.

But here’s the deal. Sodom was doomed before those two angels ever entered the city gates. People conveniently ignore Genesis 18:16-33, where Abraham spends a lot of time bargaining with God to save the Sodomites. It didn’t help that men of Sodom attacked the visitors and tried violating them and humiliating them through gang-rape. But attempted gang-rape isn’t the sin of Sodom. It’s a symptom of a much larger problem.

What did Ezekiel 16 tell us about the sin of Sodom? “She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.” I do worry that we are indeed in a modern-day Sodom & Gomorrah, but not because of gay marriage or because of homosexual ordination. Income inequality; the whittling away of America’s safety net; the privatization of our prisons and roads and schools; the way that we treat those who enter our country – both legally and illegally… To me, those are all signs of the modern-day Sodom & Gomorrah.

Leviticus 18:22: “Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman. It is an abomination.” Or alternatively Leviticus 20:13. Abomination is a horrible word and it sounds awful. It essentially means that something is ritually unclean. There are other abominations out there in the Bible: wearing cloth made of mixed fiber, eating pork, or having sex with a menstruating woman. There’s a parody website out there called GodHatesShrimp.Com: “Pinch the tail; suck the head, burn in hell.” I find that page a lot of fun. Bluntly put, both Jesus and Paul rejected all of those moral codes. Christ’s sacrifice redeemed us. We’re no longer under those purity codes. That’s not to say that there can’t be evil that comes from how we express relationships – sexual or otherwise, same-sex or otherwise. But I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about my salvation because of Leviticus.

Romans 1:26-27: “For this reason God gave them up to degrading passions. Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons due penalty for their error.” Which sounds like a horrible condemnation of same-sex relationships. Except that people never point out Romans 1:18-24, where he’s talking about people rejecting God and turning to “images resembling human beings or birds or four-footed animals or reptiles.” And how their hearts became impure and their bodies were used to exchange a truth about God for a lie and how they worshipped the creature rather than the Creator. Paul is writing to the people of Rome in this book. He’s talking about pagan religious cults who worshipped idols instead of God. It was not uncommon for these cults to involve sex among priestesses and other temple prostitutes.

In other words, Paul wasn’t talking about God giving up gay people to unnatural urgings. He was using pagan sex cults in that culture and the fall-out from such practices as an example to build a case in Romans chapter 2 against judgmental Jews. Which I won’t get into today, but Romans 1:26-27 clearly wasn’t speaking out against same-sex relationships. It just wasn’t.

I promised Mark that I wouldn’t run too long. (Can I get an amen, Mark?) I want to throw out a handful of ideas that explore the idea of reconciling one’s Christian faith and homosexual sexual orientation, as well as same-sex marriage within a Christian mindset.

First, how do I reconcile Christian faith with a same-sex sexual orientation? I actually look at this pretty simply. One doesn’t become a Christian because she or he became sexually active with someone of the opposite gender. One doesn’t not become a Christian because s/he became sexually active with someone of the same gender. One becomes a Christian when s/he accepts Christ’s love and forgiveness: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”

Do I believe that LGBTQ Christians have free reign to engage in any form of sexual hedonism imaginable? No. Do I believe in marriage equality for LGBTQ Christians? Yes. Do I believe that this is contradicted by the Bible? No. But ultimately, all of those questions are extraneous to the issue of my faith in Christ and in God. I’m a Christian because I have offered my life to Christ and sought his redemption.

And then for same-sex marriage, I would point out: 1 Corinthians 7:8-9: “Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”

Straight people meet their need for emotional and physical intimacy by marrying each other. But this doesn’t work for gay people, under traditional Christian belief. We are either placed in the position of becoming unevenly yoked to heterosexual spouses where neither partner is ultimately satisfied or we’re placed in a situation where we must live a life of celibacy, whether or not we are suited for it or interested in it.

This is an instance where my admittedly non-literal reading of the scripture has lead me to understand that gay couples, like straight couples, should be encouraged to marry if it is determined that they aren’t suited for celibacy. Some people of all sexual orientations are suited for celibacy. I know both gay and straight people who have voluntarily accepted a life of celibacy because they felt that God called that for them. But it is not healthy to universally enforce a celibate lifestyle of people who are not called to that lifestyle, whether they are gay or straight. Celibacy works best as a gift, not a tax.

Hopefully, this provides some insight into how I respond to the scriptures that are tossed out routinely at me as a gay Christian; as well as some basic thoughts on how I think about scripture in a way that isn’t traditionally used to support LGBTQ Christian, or families.
The sermon was well received, and it would’ve been nice to explore some other areas where I re-frame scripture. But I felt good overall with today’s service.

Incidentally, one of the things that I love best about organizing worship is getting to pick out the hymns for the week. I usually pick out a song that reminds me of my time in the Methodist Church. This week, I chose “God Will Take Care of You.” It’s one of my favorites.

But I also found this great hymn book at our church – and I use “hymn book” in the loosest way possible – in the form of The Genesis Songbook: Songs for Getting It All Together. It’s from 1973 and it so wonderfully captures the 70s. I went with hymn #69, “If I Had a Hammer.” It was difficult for us to sing with the piano. Two many aging hippies with memories of Peter, Paul & Mary. So we ended up singing it without music and had so much fun!

Friday, June 15, 2018

Logic Sings "1-800-273-8255" for Mental Health Awareness & Suicide Prevention

Did you hear "1-800-273-8255" at the 2017 VMAs by Logic, Alessia Cara, and Khalid? Suicide has been such an ongoing source of discussion over the past few weeks. It's disappointing that this performance about suicide prevention was broadcast nearly a year ago and it totally slipped past me.

Here's what Logic had to say about it during the 2017 VMAs:
I just want to take a moment right now to thank you all for giving me a platform to talk about something the mainstream media doesn't want to talk about. Mental health, anxiety, suicide, depression, and so much more that I talk about on this album. From racism, discrimination, sexism, domestic violence, sexual assault and so much more. I don't give a dame if you're black, white, or any color in between. I don't care if you're Christian, you're Muslim, you're gay, you're straight. I am here to fight for your equality. Because I believe that we're all born equal, but we're not treated equally. That is why we must fight for the equality of every man, woman, and child regardless of race, religion, creed, and sexual orientation. So I say here and now, if you believe in this message and my message of peace, love, and positivity and equality for all, then I demand that you rise to your feet and applaud not only for yourselves, but for the foundation that we're laying for our children. 

1-800-273-8255 is the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

You can listen to the song here.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Governor Reynolds Tells Press that Same-Sex Marriage Is Settled -- And Then Suggests That It Would Be More Settled If Iowans Voted For or Against Gay Marriage!

Gov. Kim Reynolds was in Pella, IA, discussing employment and and apprenticeship programs yesterday. Somebody asked her about this coming weekend's Republican Party of Iowa's state convention, where GOP leaders and members plan to vote for two anti-gay marriage planks within the convention's platform:
The first says: "We believe that traditional two parent (one male and one female), marriage-based families are the foundation to a stable, enduring, and healthy civilization. Therefore, public policy must always be pro-family in nature, encouraging marital and family commitment, and support of the parental rights and responsibilities." The second says: "We encourage the repeal of any laws allowing marriage that is not between one natural man and one natural woman."
Gov. Reynolds told the press that the issue of same-sex marriage is settled and that she is not obligated to follow through with the Iowa GOP's anti-gay marriage platform:
When asked to explain her stance on same-sex marriage, Reynolds replied, "I think that's been determined," a reference to the state and federal court rulings on the issue. When pressed again on the question, she said that people have traditional views on what they believe marriage consists of, and they have every right to have those views, but that the issue has been decided by the courts.
Which is a relief because it's been nine years since Iowa became a marriage equality state. I don't understand that why Iowa Republicans are so hellbent on fighting against marriages and families that have been part of this state for nearly a decade.

But Reynolds kept talking...
Reynolds also said that a vote of the people on the issue would stop "this back and forth" debate over the matter. She did not say when or how that vote should take place.
That's right. She suggested that it might smooth things over if everyone got together and voted on whether or not Iowa's same-sex married couples should be able to maintain our marriages. And if the vote goes against us? Well, then I guess married couples like Husband Mark and I will graciously allow our marriages to get involuntarily annulled.

Right? Definitely wrong...

Reynolds' press secretary later clarified that "The governor believes that this issue is settled."

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Lea Thompson Expresses Interest in Pitching "Howard the Duck" Remake!

Two years ago yesterday, I wrote about my love for the 1980's movie, "Howard the Duck." That movie was Marvel Comics' first attempts at translating one of its characters onto the big screen -- and it failed. Badly. But I loved it.

"Howard the Duck" starred actress Lea Thompson (AKA Beverly Switzler) and she's just like me: she loved "Howard the Duck!" And apparently she really wants to see Howard makes his flying leap from cameos in "Guardians of the Galaxy" to his own motion picture reboot:
Writer Kevin Tall: On the topic of Cherry Bomb, do you ever fake consider an imaginary reunion with your fictional band? 
Lea Thompson: [Laughs] That would be awesome. You know, ‘Howard the Duck’ is so beloved, for being so maligned. I go to conventions, I go to do ‘Back to the Future’ panels with Michael Fox and Chris Lloyd and Tom Wilson. I sit there and I meet the fans, and a good one-third of them say ‘I am the only person who liked ‘Howard the Duck.” It’s hilarious. And then they keep making new Blu-rays for it. I just wish that ‘Howard the Duck’… 
I love Howard the Duck, the person. I love the duck. I loved the duck in the movie; maybe I took my part too far and now I still love the duck. I wish that he had his due because I don’t think they had the technology to do ‘Howard the Duck’ well. So I hope that Marvel does do another ‘Howard the Duck,’ and does him proud... 
KT: Speaking of ‘Howard the Duck,’ I know you lent your lovely likeness to the comic a couple of years ago, but since he, Howard himself is breaking back into the Marvel Universe in a few cameos, are we going to see Lea Thompson going there any time soon? 
LT: Oh my god, from your lips to God’s ears. I don’t know. To tell you the actual truth, I am going to Marvel to pitch ‘Howard the Duck,’ a new movie. 
KT: Really? 
LT: Uh-huh. 
KT: Wow. 
LT: In like three weeks. I want to direct the ‘Howard the Duck’ remake [laughs]. Why not dream big, right? 
KT: Absolutely! 
LT: I’m into it.
I totally get that Thompson was joking around in this interview, but I'd really like to see this "Howard the Duck" remake happen. Maybe he could team-up with Scarlet Witch and Man-Thing? I think it has some real potential...

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Indiana Teacher Fighting School District Over Policy That Respects Trans Students' Preferred Name Choice // Claims the Policy Violates His Religious Liberties

A teacher from Brownsberg, IN, is fighting to keep his job in spite of a school district policy that respects the preferred name of trans students:
John Kluge, the former orchestra teacher at Brownsburg High School, said the school district's requirement that teachers call transgender students by their preferred names, rather than those given at birth, goes against his religious beliefs. The requirement, Kluge said, violates his First Amendment rights. 
"I’m being compelled to encourage students in what I believe is something that's a dangerous lifestyle," he said. "I’m fine to teach students with other beliefs, but the fact that teachers are being compelled to speak a certain way is the scary thing."
That's right. He believes that his religious beliefs are trampled on by using their preferred names.

According to this article, trans kids can request that their preferred names be used instead of their birth name with written consent by their parent and doctor. The district records are then update and teachers are to refer to those students by that name from that point forward.

Kluge believes that calling a trans kid by their preferred name implies that he agrees with their gender identity. He also believes that being a trans kid is "dangerous." And his faith is apparently so fragile that he's harmed by respecting their preferred name choice.

Kluge has apparently been fighting the school district over this policy since January 2018. He tried skirting the policy by only referring to students by their last names. But he was eventually told that he needs to stop calling kids by their last names and start using their first names.

He eventually turned in his resignation, but then regretted that decision right before the end of the school year. So now he is appealing the school board's decision to respect his resignation letter.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Who Are the Asgardians of the Galaxy? // Updated Below: Meet the Asgardians of the Galaxy!

(Originally written on 06/06/18): Marvel Comics put out an interesting teaser tonight: "The Guardians of the Galaxy are now more... Who are the Asgardians of the Galaxy?"

No other information has been shared about this cryptic question, though Newsarama reminded us that Angela was a recent member of the Guardians. Plus Dargo Ktor, the 26th century Thor, once fought alongside the original Guardians of the Galaxy.

Otherwise, there haven't been any Asgardians of  note with ties to the Guardian of the Galaxy.

So who are the Asgardians of the Galaxy? I have no clue, but I'm hoping that Frog-Thor is one of them! After all, the Guardians are composed of some of Marvel Comics' more diverse and alien creatures!

Updated on 06/07/18: These are the Asgardians of the Galaxy!

I was thinking earlier today that it would be cool to see Dani Moonstar appear among the Asgardians of the Galaxy. She's an on-again/off-again Valkyrie, but she doesn't get to see a lot of action these day. Shortly after reminiscing about one of my favorite New Mutants, I learned that she didn't make the cut. But something awful similar to her did!

So who are the Asgardians of the Galaxy? There is Angela, an Asgardian angel who also has the distinction of being Thor's half-sister. There is Brunnhilde the Valkyrie and former Defender and her human girlfriend/host Annabelle Riggs. There is Skurge the Executioner, a former villain who sacrificed his life to save Thor and a handful of humans. There is Thunderstrike, the hammer-holding heir of a previous Thor. Then there is Frog-Thor (or Throg as others call him, but I HATE that name). I'm glad to say that I predicted his presence on the team. He's one of my favorites! And then there is the Destroyer, a deadly armor built to fight against the Celestials! It's not clear who is pulling its string, so most likely there is a seventh member of the Asgardians lurking about!

What do you think? I like this team, for the most part.

Johnson County Iowa Proclaimed June 2018 as Pride Month!

The Johnson County Board of Supervisors voted today to proclaim June at Pride Month:

Whereas, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT+) communities across the nation celebrate annually pride in their culture and community in the month of June; and

Whereas, the annual celebration of Pride began as a collective protest for the rights of LGBT+ individuals and communities; and,

Whereas, the national tradition of celebrating Pride began as a collective protest for the rights of LGBT+ individuals and communities; and,

Whereas, the national tradition of celebrating Pride in June is a tribute to the Stonewall Riots of June 1969, which are remembered as the launch of the modern LGBT+ rights movement; and,

Whereas, Johnson County welcomes and accepts people of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions, and is proud to celebrate the contributions and culture of these citizens; and,

Whereas, each year, Iowa City Pride brings together thousands of LGBT+ people from across Iowa and beyond to celebrate their shared identities and experiences; and,

Whereas, Iowa City Pride will be celebrating the city's 48th Annual Pride Festival on Saturday, June 16, 2018.

Now, therefore, be it resolved that we, the Johnson County Board of Supervisors, do hereby proclaim the moth of June 2018 to be: PRIDE MONTH and encourage Johnson County residents to recognize the many contributions that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered individuals and communities have made to our County.
This was an unanimous vote.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Jazz Jennings to Undergo Gender Confirmation Surgery Later This Month

I learned recently that Jazz Jennings will be undergoing gender confirmation surgery on June 26th. She publicly announced this news a few days ago on her YouTube channel.

The most recent season of her reality TV show, "I Am Jazz," focused on her efforts to get approved for gender confirmation surgery (or "bottom surgery," as they sometimes call it). She needed to lose a bunch of weight before her doctors would approve the surgery and it was a real struggle for her to work on the weight and make the dietary changes needed to meet her goal. But she finally did it and things are finally moving forward.

I've actually never watched any of Jazz's videos before and I really like the candor that she can communicate when not filtered for family viewing! There's a spot in her announcement video (at the 2:35 minute mark) where she expresses some sadness about losing her ability to urinate standing up:
Y'know, the one sad thing is... peeing standing up is something really cool. I don't think I appreciated it enough that I've been able to pee standing up. But now I'm not going to be able to pee standing up. Sorry if that's too TMI. But like when you wake up in the morning and you're lazy as hell and tired, it's the most convenient thing to do. I keep the toilet seat up overnight and I don't have to touch all that slimy juice underneath the toilet seat. (Jon's Note: ???!!?) I just do it. And then like sometimes I don't even have to wash my hands if I don't touch anything so...
Hopefully, Jazz's surgery will go well and she will recover quickly.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Lockjaw Finally Gets an Origin & D-Man Gets Some Interesting Powers in LOCKJAW #4!

There were shipping issues with our comic book distribution company last week, which means that I didn't receive most of Wednesday's comic books until yesterday. Which means that I didn't get my copy of LOCKJAW #4 until yesterday!

Let's get this out of the way. "Chasing Rabbits" features writing by Daniel Kibblesmith, pencils by Carlos Villa, inks by Roberto Poggi, colors by Chris O'Halloran, and letters by VC's Clayton Cowles.

This was the final issue of this particular miniseries and I'm so very sad to see this title end!! LOCKJAW features a very simple character -- the Inhumans' teleporting dog -- and builds of an engaging, humorous, and smart comic book. Plus it somehow managed to match Lockjaw with D-Man of all people -- and make it work so well!

First, we got ourselves a very brief origin of Sleepwalker's new canine companion, Dogwalker. Sleepwalker, in an attempt to better understand humans, recognized that we often keep pet dogs around. So he created Dogwalker. Of course, this ignores the fact that Sleepwalker used to hang out with a real dog named Rambo way back in the old SLEEPWALKER series. But I like Dogwalker, so I'm not complaining!

We also got ourselves an actual and complete origin for Lockjaw in this issue. Which is incredible given that the character has been around since 1965! It turns out that some simple Inhuman woman "kidnapped" a young puppy from some human family, mistaken the animal for a mistreated child. Inhuman scientists began performing awful experiments on the poor dog, including devising ways to impregnate the dog with her own cloned material and then torturing the puppies.

Eventually, they exposed the dog to Terrigan Mists right before she was set to give birth to Lockjaw and his four siblings. The mists caused spontaneous mutation of Lockjaw, but not his siblings -- which isn't completely true because they were clearly changed. They're all very intelligent for dogs -- especially Doc Jaw -- and they all have lived for decades.

Regardless, Lockjaw recognized that his siblings were at risk and so he teleported everyone away from within their mother's womb. Bixby was left in Brooklyn, the Beast was taken to the Savage Land, Doc Jaw ended up on Larval Earth, and the fourth dog was taken to the Negative Zone -- where he's been at the mercy of the evil Annihilus, who's tortured the dog and tapped into its latent teleporting abilities. Annihilus has been trying to capture Lockjaw and his siblings with plans for teleporting whole planets into the Negative Zone so that he can torture and kill all of the natives. Because he's not really nice.

Once Sleepwalker and Doc Jaw helped Lockjaw tap into his forgotten memories about where he left his final brother, Lockjaw and D-Man teleported to the Negative Zone and confronted Annihilus. This led to a huge multi-dimensional battle between Annihilus, Lockjaw, and D-Man transformed into a dragon (don't ask).

Annilhilus was ultimately defeated in Earth's distant past and D-Man was quickly deposited back in Brooklyn with his brand new Inhuman puppy! That's right, Lockjaw entrusted his lost brother to his new human pet!

Of course, we don't know this dog's name. I actually reached out to Daniel Kibblesmith via Twitter to thank him for the series and to ask about the new dog's name. He deflected, confirming that he does indeed have a name for the dog. However, he wants to keep it to himself to reveal at a later date if and when he gets to write D-Man again. Which I really want him to do!!

Speaking of D-Man, it's unclear if he got his original powers back after the temporary power boost/dragon transformation that was given to him by Doc Jaw. I'm kind of hoping that he doesn't end up with the ability to transform into a dragon-man now. Then again, I could think of worse powers in the world!

Monday, June 4, 2018

Archie Comics to Publish ARCHIE 1941 Mini-Series in September 2018

Archie Comics announced today that ARCHIE will be going on hiatus following its 32nd issue for some unspecified amount of time. In its place, the publisher will be publishing a five-issue miniseries titled ARCHIE 1941. The miniseries will feature writing by Mark Waid & Brian Augustyn and artwork by Peter Krause.

ARCHIE 1941 will follow the Riverdale Gang as they graduate from high school in 1941 and head into adulthood as America marches towards World War II:
The series debuts in September, and follows how the Second World War impacts the lives of Archie, Jughead and the rest of the Riverdale gang as the specter of enlistment hovers above them. 
"Through the gauzy shades of decades gone by, it’s easy to imagine that all Americans were on board with the battle against the Axis but it was not so — at least not until the attack on Pearl Harbor,” Krause explained. “Mark and Brian have spun a tale that details the ambivalence, the consequences and ultimately the sacrifices that led us to label those patriots, 'The Greatest Generation.'" 
Augustyn said the series is a chance to see the "lovable characters through the lens of time." “This narrative is a bit more serious and occasionally somber, but I hope we've leavened that with humor and warmth," he said.
I'm not sure how I feel about ARCHIE 1941. I like stories set during the 1940s, but I'm not sure what ARCHIE 1941 means for the future of Archie Comics. I do kind of hope that Waid & Augustyn pull a page from "Riverdale" and turn Reggie into a character of Japanese descent. Mainly because I think it would be interesting if Archie Comics showed a Japanese-American family being uprooted and forced into an internment camp. It's a dark part of American history and I don't remember ever seeing it portrayed in comic books.

ARCHIE 1941 will be published in September 2018.