Joshua N. Miller is dissecting individual pieces of art to assess their impact on the entertainment industry.

Disney Fostered Tron–Then Killed It

“One would think gaining repute for fostering an original franchise like Tron alongside Star Wars and Marvel might suit an insatiable behemoth like Disney. But the company’s shoddy treatment of Star Wars in particular makes it clear how little effort it will place into producing quality content if it can reap massive profits on the basis of name recognition alone.”

Originally published for Mangoprism on November 22, 2022

Anatomy of the Mask: A Reading List on Superhero Comics

Photo: timoph/Getty Images

“Superhero comics aren’t only political, but they’ve nearly always been political. Since Superman’s debut first made the genre mainstream, superheroes and their stories have advocated for social justice. And while some writers (and the corporations that employ them) may have lost sight of this reality, the communities these heroes represent can see when the forces that be abdicate the responsibility the heroes gladly shoulder.”

Originally published for Longreads on October 20, 2022

The MCU’s Biggest ‘Ms. Marvel’ Tweak Undoes a Powerful Story on Race

“While the show frames Kamala’s idolization for Carol [Danvers] as fannish—the same way young girls might’ve idolized Wonder Woman or Captain Marvel after watching their respective films—the comic emphasizes that a substantial part of Kamala’s idolization of Carol extends from the fact that Carol is white.”

Originally published for The Daily Beast on July 6, 2022

Interview: Writers Peter Kellogg and Stephen Weiner Explore The Odyssey Through Penelope’s Eyes

“Greek classics are no stranger to reinterpretation. On the contrary, the similarities between themes in ancient Greek literature and modern-day society renders the genre ripe for exploration. Writers Peter Kellogg and Stephen Weiner are among the latest creatives to do so with their upcoming musical comedy, Penelope, or How the Odyssey Was Really Written at the York Theatre Company.”

Originally published for TheaterMania on April 7, 2022

Thor | The Slapstick Deicide of Marvel’s Thunder God

“With Waititi’s character Korg present to witness Thor’s fall from grace, it feels impossible to ignore Ragnarok’s influence on Thor’s narrative direction. This is Thor’s newfound appeal for general audiences: after humanizing a god to make him more relatable, we mock him for the flaws that make him human.”

Originally published for The Companion on January 16, 2022

The Price of Power: African American Literary Tradition in the Post-Renaissance Era

“Baldwin didn’t know how right he was when he said that Bigger had burst the dungeon cell; Bigger not only broke free of the entrapment of White society that kept him repressed to serve their interests, but he also freed himself from the entrapment of the Black community which kept him obscured to prove their worth.”

Originally published for the Macksey Journal on September 6, 2021

The Self-Indulgence of The Last of Us Part II

“If The Last of Us taught us anything about the world that Naughty Dog built, it’s that death is unprejudiced…the theme of this game, however, is so insistent upon itself that it leaves the player with little room to form their own opinions about the characters’ decisions; and certainly not enough room to feel like their opinions actually matter by its conclusion.”

Originally published for Medium on March 3, 2021

The Queen’s Gambit – Review

“If this show is a chess game, Jolene’s reappearance is a promotion, a move where the player’s pawn breaches the farthest ranks of their opponent’s field and evolves into a stronger one…but its application to Jolene really highlights a dangerously lazy narrative decision.”

Originally published for Medium on November 13, 2020

We’re Being Privatized, Charlie Brown

“A comic strip that was catapulted into the animation medium based on the strength of a special that was so unapologetically anti-capitalist is now streaming exclusively on Apple TV+.”

Originally published for Medium on October 23, 2020