Writing a critical analysis is often tricky for college freshman. Instead of writing high school book reports filled with plot summary and description, they are now compelled to write beyond the text -- to "stick his or her neck out." John Trimble reminds writers that "The critic's job is to explain and evaluate--that is, to bring his readers to a better understanding of his subject". But what does that mean?
It means you need a top notch thesis statement. Sometimes it's easier to understand what a critical analysis is by looking at examples of good topic questions.
Here again Trimble gives some good examples:
"How is Hamlet like Horatio--and unlike him?"
or "How does King Claudius win over the enraged Laertes?"
If you think of comic books like any other piece of literature including Hamlet, you can come up with good topic questions that will lead to a great thesis statement.
How is Captain Nemo like The Invisible Man--and unlike him?
or how does Mina Murray win over the enraged Mr. Hyde?
The key is to ask how and why questions, questions that can't be answered with a simple "yes" or "no."
Questions like, how is Captain Nemo a science pirate?
In addition to reasoned arguments, graphic novels and comics offer writers another resource for evidence--visuals can also be used to back up thesis statements.
What other how and why topic questions would you ask as a prelude to a critical analysis of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen?