October “Worlds in Panels”: STRANGE TALES

My “Worlds in Panels” for October is up at PopMatters, and I look at Marvel’s Strange Tales anthology and the pleasures of genre & genre subversion:

The contributions to Strange Tales derive much of their meaning from the orthodox Marvel universe, and work primarily as diversions, or provocations, from that mainstream. Even an entry like the short two-page Fantastic Four story by Jeffrey Brown, “Fantastic Fool’s Day”, builds from one of the foundational pieces of that franchise, the idea of the superhero team as family. This series is delightful in no small measure because the stories are transient, they are moments to pause and think about the familiar in an unfamiliar way before going back to the regular titles and standard versions of characters.

Read the full column.