Jim Henley



Great genre stories don’t “transcend their genre,” they exemplify it, fulfilling preexisting potential. Spider-Man 2 is indeed, as many critics have said, “the best superhero movie ever.” It is also a philosophical romance that probes the dilemmas and paradoxes of altruism. It is “the best superhero movie ever” because it probes the dilemmas and paradoxes […]

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Slaying Visions


Steve Englehart has no clear recollection of inventing the suicide bomber. “Two factors come into play to limit what I can give you here,” he writes in response to my e-mail. “The story’s over 30 year[s] old, and, it was, as noted, not one of the AVENGERS stories that’s garnered a lot of attention in […]

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Wish Globally


The conservative charge that Democratic candidates for president want to “cut and run” from Iraq is unjust, which is too bad. We’d have a genuine debate then. With the partial exceptions of the minor candidates (Kucinich, Moseley Braun and Sharpton), the Democratic presidential candidates rush to assure us that we must stay the course. When […]

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Muscle Cars


MARYLAND — The morning after Isabel, we woke to find that the old locust tree along the side of our yard had sagged across the fence into the scraggly pine of our next-door neighbor. When we took his chainsaw to the locust, it knocked the pine down too. Legally, the mess was his problem. But […]

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