Podcast - Episode 12: Costumes with Special Guest J.Bone!

Happy Wednesday! New comics are out today and we are here to talk about...last week's comics? Yup, that's what this podcast is. A thrilling glimpse into a few days ago.

Hey, this week we have a guest! A really GREAT guest! J.Bone joined us all the way from Toronto! It sounds like he's joining us from space! It's via Skype and it sounds like it's via Skype, but still completely awesome. We apologize for the sound quality. We had some technical difficulties and eventually just had to go with the best sound we could get. I think it gets better as the episode goes on? We'll work on it for future episodes.

J talks about being nervous meeting famous people. I know the feeling! I was nervous talking to J.Bone!!! He's my favourite! Remember when he drew that sexy Peter Parker in response to that super sexist Mary Jane statue?! He made me a crochet Batman once! It's the first thing you see when you walk into my house! He's the best! And he's on our show this week!!!

The theme this week is superhero costumes. J happens to be VERY good at re-imagining superhero costumes. Check out this Wonder Woman fashion plate!

Awesome, right? Ok, here's the episode:

Right off the bat I want to say that Dave and I FUCKED UP because we forgot to mention The Rocketeer when we were talking about awesome costumes.  Not only is it the best costume, J.BONE DREW ROCKETEER COMICS! I mean...yeah, we failed.

Ok, we'll get back to superhero costumes and our shortcomings as hosts in a second.

I talked quite a bit about Planet Hulk, which wrapped up with issue #5 this week. As I mentioned many, many times on the podcast, I LOVED this crazy thing. But I also mention that it seemed like there was some backpedaling in this final issue as far as the whole Steve-and-Bucky-are-totally-completely-crazy-in-love-in-a-romantic-way thing goes. There was one panel in particular that seemed to be a lot less cute in the final book. Here's the side by side of Mark Laming's original, which he posted on Twitter some time ago, and the final panel:

Not cute, Marvel. Not cute. Extra weird because holding hands at the end of a gladiator battle victory isn't really explicit. But the way they were holding hands is so adorable I want to die!

To be honest, the issue/series was still pretty romantic. And awesome. I bought a beautiful Planet Hulk print from Marc Laming. Check it out! I believe he'll be selling them at New York Comic Con. You should get one!

Also in the 'what we're reading' segment, J recommends Head Lopper by Andrew MacLean, I recommend Virgil by Steve Orlando and JD Faith, and Dave recommends Nailbiter by Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson. So we give Image Comics a lot of love this week.

Because you have to see this thing, here's that Jeremy Renner tweet we were talking about:

Ugh, let's wash that taste out of our mouths with some pictures of Sebastian Stan at TIFF:

Yes. Yessssss. Those pants are way too tight.

Like, come on. Just stop. It's rude to look like that if everyone can't have some. It's like eating a bag of candy in front of me. Does he have a hair elastic on his wrist? Oh my God...

And that was just his afternoon attire! He got all GQ for the actual red carpet premier that night, looking all young European royalty. Here's a gif of him smiling while meeting fans, looking not at all terrible:


J did an AMAZING Winter Soldier sketch cover commission that he posted in a few places. It's so good. Here it is:

So nice. I think I've looked at this on my phone like fifty times over the past week. I want him to draw a Winter Soldier series! Come on, Marvel!!!!

Dave politely suggests that we wrap up the Winter Soldier segment, AND THEN we get into the actual topic, which is costumes. I feel like I need to post a lot of images here. It's a very visual topic for an audio podcast. I am not going to post an image of every costume we talk about, but here are some highlights.

J names the Cheeks Galloway Spider-Man design from the Spectacular Spider-Man animated series as his favourite Spidey costume. Interesting and cool choice!

J also had Flash Thompson's Venom costume on his list of favourites, which I wholeheartedly agree with! Sexy Venom is not something I ever thought would exist, but here we are.

Also getting love from all three of us, Taskmaster! And after the podcast, J brought this Cheeks Galloway rendition of the character to our attention! Rad!

Dave surprises no one by naming the classic 1970s Wonder Man off-the-rack affair as his favourite. Dave should be this for Halloween.

He also mentions Doctor Mid-Nite, who is indeed awesome. Moon-shaped buttons? Forget about it!

I give props to Ted Kord's Blue Beetle costume, which might be my very favourite?

Also, Daredevil. I guess I just really like tone-on-tone colour schemes.

Magnus Robot Fighter is obviously wearing a perfect costume for fighting robots:

So much upskirt. "It's head" is right!

I also love Iron Fist's H&M-looking costume:

Cloak has the most comfortable super hero costume, Dagger has the least comfortable super hero costume:

I said that Tim Drake ditched the yellow on his Robin costume as a tribute to the recently deceased Superboy, but really it was the green he did away with. He still kept a bit of yellow. Oops. Just pretend I'm saying 'green' every time I say 'yellow.' It's a lot of times.

Getting into some of the more ridiculous costumes, here's that badass Bon Jovi looking Nomad and Baby Bucky:


What on Earth is going on there? I think I have a new contender for 'thing I show my kids if they ask me what the 90's were like.'

Of course we love the Steve Epting Winter Solider character design, but are not so crazy about the Alex Ross Bucky-as-Captain America design:

Man I fell hard for that imaginary man in 2005. Well done, Mr. Epting. You ruined my life.

Now I've lost my train of thought.

We talked about Gambit and 90's Cyclops, but you guys know what they look like, right? (I will always kind of love 90's Cyclops). We also mention some of Nightwing's less good costumes. I'm getting so tired of looking up images, guys. But I think it's important that I include this one of Thunderbird:

And maybe this image so you know which Scarlet Witch costume J is talking about:

That looks very hard to put on. You can read the story of the crazy messed up John Byrne thing between Scarlet Witch and Wonder Man in West Coast Avengers here.

Let's wrap this up with a picture of Clock King and his insane homemade costume:

You can read more of my thoughts on Clock King here.

Costumes are fun. They were always an important component of my Rating the Super Hunks series.

Thanks again to J for being on the show and generally being a very nice guy, and being very patient with our technical difficulties. You can check out his blog or his hotter blog to see his older artwork. And you really, really should. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter too to see new stuff!

If you want to hear a really good conversation with J.Bone that actually includes questions about his work and other things that would be smart to ask about, you should check out episode 15 of the Weekend at Burgie's podcast with SJ the Wordburglar. It's really fun.

My son Mitchell makes his debut on the podcast this week in a little segment we like to call 'Hey, Guess What?' with Mitchell. Here is a picture of him dressed as Speedy for Free Comic Book Day this year (I can't sew):

Yeah! I'm one of those parents now! My kid is so interesting!!!

Seriously, he told me he yesterday that he wants to be Starfire for Halloween. #blessed

Alright I'm done! Thanks for listening/reading! Rate us on iTunes!

One more picture of Sebastian Stan at TIFF.


Hip-Happy Heroes Part 2

It's Fat Week, day 2, and here I come with another installment of Hip-Happy Heroes, that rollicking look at the temporary fatnesses of the heroes of yesteryear. Today: it's grab-bag day!

Hip-Happy Hero : Aquaman

Yes, even the beloved Aquaman was no exception to the rule that every character had to get fat at least once before the 60s were through, though in his case  it was less blubber and more blimp.

1. How'd He Get So Big?

One day, as Aquaman and Aqualad were patrolling the seas, they happened upon a raft-bound castaway. They towed him to safety, whereupon he made a startling revelation:

The old man explained that Aquaman could now transform himself into a big fat blimp, a wide thick wall, a stone giant and a long thin arc. Then he died, before he could go on to explain why he hadn't tried to use any of these powers to, you know, try to escape a hideous death on the pitiless waves.

2. What Were the Social Ramifications?

Of all of our Hip-Happy Heroes, Aquaman probably gets off the lightest (so to speak). There's nobody hanging around making cracks about how he should join the circus or complaining about having to pick him up or anything. Aqualad worries a bit about how he might burst, but then that kid always was a worrier. Plus: he uses his fatness to save a ship, so big bonus there.

Before you ask, yes, the Aqua-blimpiness does wear off on schedule six hours later. In true Silver Age form, Aquaman uses up his new abilities just as fast as he can, one after the other, and then they are never spoken of again.

Hip-Happy Hero: Wonder Woman (and Green Arrow, Kind of)

Another crazy adventure of the JLA lands Wonder Woman in the fat soup. Green Arrow too, kind of, though with him I feel that the shortness is more key than the fatness.

1. How'd She Get So Big?

Well, the Justice League were chasing aliens at a carnival, see, and they stumbled into a funhouse mirror-cum-trap, with hilarious results!

All in all, this mirror thing was a pretty fattening experience, as Wonder Woman and Green Arrow both chunk up pretty darn thoroughly, while Flash comes down with a bad case of Thunder Thigh. Heck, even Green Lantern's head looks curiously enormous.

2. What Were the Social Ramifications?

Social ramifications don't really come into this one, unless you count the fact that the Wonder Woman was rendered too fat to fight effectively and so humanity was almost crushed under the heel of an alien overlord. I'm sure that that would have led to some awkwardness at the water cooler.

Oh! and having to get help from Aquaman just to lift your arm, that's pretty embarrassing.

3. Well, How Did She Get Back to Normal?

Well, after the incredibly difficult fight for the future of the planet, Green Lantern remembers that he has a magic wishing ring that can do anything, so he fixes them right up. But only after the incredibly difficult fight for the future of the planet.

4. Can We Apply Her Method to Our Own Lives?

If you have access to a magic space ring then I say go for it. Plus, use it to make me a new computer.

Hip Happy Hero: Blue Beetle

Yep, poor old Ted Kord managed to snack his way to tubbiness, smack in the middle of the Giffen League's heyday.

1. How'd He Get So Big?

Snack food and a sedentary lifestyle were Ted's undoing, though just how he managed to be sedentary while fighting Despero and the like is beyond me. Anyway, he chubbed himself up good.

2. What Were the Social Ramifications?

As can be expected, ted got a lot of ribbing from his team-mates in the League, as well as super-villains, passers-by, Rocket Red's kids and society at large. And he got fired from the League over it. Plus, I think that it may have been one of the reasons that he got the hell beat out of him in a boxing match with at-his-jerkiest Guy Gardner. it was the least respect that... It was the second-least respect that he ever got.

3. Well, How Did He Get Back to Normal?

In the shocker of the century: through diet and exercise. I know, I know: what a chump. He knew at least four Green Lanterns, right?

4. Can We Apply His Method to Our Own Lives?

Well sure, if you're a chump.

And remember: Hip-happy means plump! Good night!

I may be cursed, a review by Johnathan

So this week when I went to the local comic shoppe to fritter away my salary (ah, for the halcyon days when Canadian and US currency were at par) I learned that Blue Beetle was scheduled to get the axe. This was the last scrap of evidence that I needed to verify the fact that I am labouring under a curse at least as hideous as that of the average werewolf.

Here's the pattern: 1) I will find some neato series, or some kind soul like Rachelle or Dave will clue me in to one. 2) I'll read the trades and the back issues to get things in the proper context. 3) I'll put the book on my pull list and enjoy a couple of months of good reading. 4) The book will be cancelled.

Seriously, check out this list of books that I have had on my list over the last year or so:

Shadowpact: DOA 
The All-New Atom: died a lingering death. 
Legion of Super-Heroes (or whatever): on borrowed time. 
Birds of Prey: I spend six months catching up and then it dies. Added to my list one month before it was cancelled. 
Blue Beetle: on the chopping block. Added to my list two months ago.

You want to know why Manhunter didn't get cancelled? Sure, the fan support helped, but the real reason is that I hadn't gotten around to reading the back issues yet. If I ever do, Gord help you all.

If this were a comic book world then I'd theorize the existence of a Bizarro Johnathan - or possibly an overly-mischevious John-Mite - working at DC Comics and cancelling things based upon my approval. I'd have to hope that they didn't have enough pull to take down Action Comics or Green Lantern.

Dammit, I may have to stop reading Booster Gold.


Note: Bizarro-face is hard. I need more practice at it.

This Week's Haul: WHAT are you DOING Dakota??!!

Hello All!

Sorry I have been a little absent this week. It's been a busy week, what with school, work, NHL exhibition games, an Elton John concert, and Lego Batman.

PLUS the excitement of my band's CD hitting #8 during its second week on the national campus charts! For those of you who are interested in checking out The Stolen Minks, you can listen to some tracks here, including some from our new album, High Kicks!

And now some quick comic reviews, on a thankfully light week for new releases.

Daredevil #111

No Dakota! Don't do it! Don't sleep with Daredevil even though he's all shirtless and helpful and sexy and...aw dammit.

Sorry Dakota. But you have now destroyed your life.

Also in this issue: a sexy new villainess! And the beginning of what looks like a pretty awesome storyline!

Captain America #42

I love when a Brubaker double-header happens like this and we get Captain America and Daredevil on the same week. Unlike Daredevil, Captain America wraps up a long story arc with a relatively happy ending. And by happy, I mean Bucky is snuggling with Black Widow. That makes ME happy, anyway.

Ambush Bug #3

Man that's a great cover.

I don't believe I've taken the opportunity on this blog yet to express how happy I am that there is a new Ambush Bug series. It's been great, too. There have been some weird little things like colouring errors, maybe because it's being rushed to press, but overall its been fun. Right now is a great time to be poking fun at the DCU.

Superman #680

Man, when did Superman turn into such a whiny prick? He really lays it on thick when he meets Zatara. Like, Superdickery aside, Superman is not typically this big of an asshole. He sounds like Green Arrow or someone:

Zorro #7

I am posting both covers because every month Zorro is released with at LEAST two amazing covers. There's always a Matt Wagner one (on the right), and this month there was a beautiful Ryan Sook variant (on the left).

PLUS Francesco Francavilla art inside! All around, Zorro is one of the most beautiful comics being published right now. And it's a great read too. I don't get the impression that it's a big seller, but I can't recommend it highly enough.

And speaking of Francesco Francavilla being awesome, you should check out the art on his website, especially the commissions page. Damn...that's some nice stuff. Look at this Rocketeer!!

Whoever commissioned that one WINS.

Blue Beetle #31

Is this gonna be canceled? Because I am going to be really sad if it is. I'm worried about it. Usually if I like something enough it gets canceled. And I don't know if a guest appearance by Doctor Mid-Nite is enough of an incentive to get people to pick it up. Besides me, of course.

In this issue Blue Beetle starts his fight against anti-immigration laws. It was only a matter of time, I suppose.

This Week's Haul: BBQ at Blue Beetle's House!

Daredevil #106

In this issue Daredevil throws a party! And all of his friends are there and they all have a wonderful time! Daredevil laughs and loves and dances and decides everything is going to be ok from now on.

Oh, I'm kidding. In this issue Daredevil continues to march in the endless parade of shit that is his life.

I love this series. Really love it. But, damn, it has to lighten up a little. Comic books shouldn't make you wish they came with a suicide pill.

Blue Beetle #25

People sometimes ask me why I read comic books. This comic book right here is EXACTLY why I read comic books. What an awesome and fun issue of an awesome and fun series. It brings together the whole supporting cast in a way that makes you say "Hey, this comic has a really excellent supporting cast."

And, ladies and gentlemen, I give you your new desktop image:

Plus, I love any comic that ends in a super hero BBQ party:

All-Star Superman #10

I want to read this at least three more times because there is just too much awesome happening here to take in all in one sitting.

This issue was particularly heartwarming. And confusing. But when you read it really carefully it's staggeringly brilliant. Superman created our Earth! Insane!

And this page is amazing:

Wolverine First Class #1

This was great! It was more like Kitty Pryde First Class, which is ok with me. I can typically take or leave Wolverine, but team him up with a plucky young girl and you've got a recipe for adorable!

The art is excellent. The story is really fun, and, along with X-Men First Class, it doubles my cute X-men story intake!

X-Men First Class #10

A Cyclops-centric story, which is ok with me because I inexplicably really like Cyclops. He gets sent on a solo mission after the rest of the team all hilariously have a horrible bacterial stomach infection.

Green Lantern #29

Here's the thing: we've all read Hal Jordan's origin a thousand times. But does it ever really get tired? I really liked this issue a lot, and am looking forward to more of Geoff Johns' version of this tale. Especially since Ivan Reis is laying down some absolutely beautiful art to compliment it.

This is a pretty smart move by DC to re-tell the origin because of the sudden crazy interest in all things Green Lantern, thanks to the Sinestro Corps War. I like it when comic publishers do smart things.

Batman Confidential #15

I hope everyone has been reading this Bedard/Morales run on Batman Confidential. I understand if people have been missing it, due to the fact that BC has been a festering dung heap since it started. No more! Now it is one of the best Batman stories that I have read in a very long time. Do check it out. This issue was part 3 of 4.

Teen Titans #57

I am really close to dropping this, and it is 99% related to the art.

I just want to offer this bit of advice to current comic artists: belly shirts. No one wears them anymore, guys. You put a girl in a belly shirt and it looks like Melrose Place. Please take an hour or so a week to take note of current fashions. These are teenagers; they should look somewhat hip and "with it" (as the kids say).

Also...that is not how clothing fits. I know I shouldn't even open this can of worms because it's so enormous, but shirts don't perfectly encase breasts like that. There is stretching and hanging and extra material. This looks effing ridiculous.

Plus, she's a teenager, so...gross.

This Week's Haul: Poor Daredevil

Let's see if I still remember how to review comics.

Daredevil #105

When you are feeling stressed out, there is really no better cure than picking up a Daredevil comic. Because no matter how bad your life is going, Matt Murdock's is much, much worse. And his loved ones are having an even rougher time.

So, this concludes the Without Fear story arc. And does it end happily? Oh my goodness no. Not at all. Daredevil confronts Mr. Fear re: the poisoning of Matt's wife, which has turned her into a murdering lunatic. Mr. Fear is a stone-cold badass:

Haha...good one, Fear.

DD is pretty badass too:

Well, that shut him up.

So anyway, Matt punches Fear around and, having beaten him, believes he's going to get the cure for poor Milla. Nope:

Ohhhhhh shit.

And I love that the preview of the next issue is a picture of Daredevil crying in the rain.

Captain America #35

Let's see if my boy Winter Soldier is faring any better than Daredevil this week.

Yup. *sigh*

Blue Beetle #24

Love it! Love the cover. Love how much ass Jaime kicked in this comic. Love the Death of Ted Kord motif.

Love Traci 13:

This comic rules.

All-Star Batman and Robin #9

Ok, I wasn't going to say anything about this comic, because I am trying to ignore it. But, seriously...

WTF, DC?! Why are you even allowing this?! I don't care who's writing it or how "legendary" they are...this is just wrong.

Batman #674

Well, at least this was some awesome Batman. I like it when Batman just does something really, really cool. Like this:

I liked how this issue ended too. Bruce Wayne is clever.

Teen Titans #56

This issue was really entertaining. I've been pretty underwhelmed by McKeever's Titans run so far, while at the same time being very impressed with his Birds of Prey writing. So of course he's leaving Birds of Prey. When McKeever was announced as the new writer of Titans, I thought it would be perfect, and this is the first issue of his run that had the level of fun I was expecting. The Titans are teenagers! This title should be two things:

a) fun
b) a soap opera

I think we are getting there.

In this issue Kid Devil decides to invite some fans from a Kid Devil message board to Titans Tower for a party...with hilarious results!

I particularly loved this little detail, with Robin bitching Kid Devil out from home:

Very funny.

And, of course, Batman getting prank called:

Saying "Your Mom" to Batman is funny for so many reasons...

New Frontier DVD

And, of course, New Frontier came out on DVD this week. In case you forgot. You should buy at least one copy. You won't be disappointed.

There were lots of other good comics this week too. I actually haven't gotten to Nexus #100 yet. I'm saving it. It's going to be rad.