Podcast - Episode 120: Creator-owned Characters


This week we are looking at some of our favourite creator-owned characters. Basically this episode is a convenient way to talk about some characters who have barely gotten a mention on this podcast in the past. Characters like Nexus, Madman, Grendel, Bone, and Martha Washington.

I don't do a good job at all of describing what I love about Nexus in this episode. I blame a lack of sleep, and a brain that has been knocked around my skull due to constant coughing fits for the past three weeks. But trust me when I say, Nexus is amazing and everyone should read it. Also: he's a total dreamboat.

I have no time to write a blog post this week, but here are a couple of quick things:

You should read Mackenzi Lee's YA novel, The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue. It's a fun adventure story and a truly sweet and sexy romance. The audiobook is great, if you prefer those. I can't wait for her Loki book.

I have my author website and Twitter account set up now, so you can check those out if you like. Not much content yet, but I did post this short piece I wrote about my childhood determination to play hockey in a town that had no girls' hockey team.

Thanks for listening! See you next week to talk alllllll about The Last Jedi!

Podcast - Epsiode 23: CIVIL WAR TRAILER (And Dark Knight III) with J.Bone!!!


So, last week when I was writing this blog post I was forcing myself to stay awake to watch Kimmel because there was a rumour that the first Civil War trailer was going to be shown. Turns it totally DID get shown! And I have watched it a bazillion times since!

So obviously we had to shift focus for this episode from being all about Dark Knight III to being a little bit about Dark Knight III and whole lot about the Civil War trailer. AND obviously we had to invite J.Bone to come back on the show to gush with us about this trailer.

Guys, the trailer is SO GOOD. Have you WATCHED IT?! Here it is:

Here is the Charlie Murphy/Civil War mash-up that Dave can't stop watching. It's pretty great.

And here's that very funny 'I remember your mom' thing someone on Tumblr made:

Here's that Joe Russo quote about the helicopter scene we get a glimpse of in the trailer:

He’s hanging onto that helicopter for an extremely passionate reason. In stories you’ll read where a mother will lift a car off a child. There’s something very important happening in that scene and for us it really represented his struggle as a character, one man pitted against a helicopter that’s trying to take off. Can he stop it? And what are the limits of his strength? For us, it’s one of the most powerful shots in the movie and it’s Chris Evans, who works very hard to physically exemplify this character. On set, we had him straining against a crane holding this helicopter, and you have this fantastic shot of his muscles bulging and you can feel the pain and the energy and the determination as he tries to stop this thing.
— Joe Russo

Oh. Em. Gee.

So is Bucky saying Steve's dead here? You decide:

I don't know and I'm a little too distracted by how great his teeth look to figure it out. Hydra has a great dental plan!

J and I couldn't see each other while we were recording, but if we could we probably would have been giving each other this look when Dave was expressing concern about this Captain America sequel being rushed:

Shame on you, Dave. Shame on you.

Here is Faith Erin Hicks' Stucky art. I love watching people join the Stucky train. ALL ABOARD!

And here is that VERY IMPORTANT 2009 Hayden Panettiere video starring Sebastian Stan:

I just want to thank J again for coming on the show. It's always a pleasure talking to him, especially with actual voices instead of typing. And, look, I know that 254 messages sounds like a lot in one evening, but let me be clear that they were part of a conversation and not, like, me sending 254 unanswered messages. Because that would be CRAZY. And, it's not my fault that Sebastian Stan has lips that need to be talked about.

Seriously, recording this was a great time. I love doing this podcast!

This Week's Haul: One More Day? More like: This comic costs "One More Dollar"

Here's some whirlwind comic reviews comin' at ya!

The Sensational Spider-Man #41

Spidey. Hear me out.

Aunt May is very old. And her husband is dead. I just want you to consider that before you do anything crazy like trade your life as you know it for hers. I know you love her. We all do. But seriously, she is, like, what? 150 years old now? She probably wants to die. And she certainly doesn't want you throwing your life away so she can live the last six months or whatever of hers.
Also, incidentally, your comic books suck.

Sub-Mariner #6

You know what was surprisingly awesome? This mini-series. Particularly this issue. If you missed out, I think it's going to make an excellent little TPB, so watch for it.

This was actually the first comic in a long time that I was so into while I was reading it that I actually got pissed off at the ads. I'd turn the page after an awesome cliffhanger panel and be like "What?! Ad?! Get out of here!" It was a very gripping issue with a great ending.

I'd like to mention this about Marvel: I like what they do with their comics in terms of extra stuff. I like having that front page that summarizes the story up to this point. I like those new pages at the back with a Q&A, and some fun facts about characters, and some other stuff. I'm into it. Fix up, DC.

X-Men First Class #6

Holy lord. What a mess! I mean, the story is as great as always, but it was completely out of order. And that confused me for an embarrassingly long time before I figured out the problem. I assume that Marvel is going to send out corrected issues.

Right, Marvel?

Daredevil #102

It seems like Daredevil comes out every week now. But I am certainly not complaining.

Poor Matt Murdock. Proof that bad things happen to good/borderline psychotic/actually not that good people. This latest helping of sweet, sweet schadenfreude has Milla returning home to Matt, but under 24-hour house arrest surveillance. Matt's happy she's home, but we all know he has no reason to be because something awful is definitely going to happen to her, or him, or both of them very soon.

You know what I'd like? An issue of Daredevil where he wakes up, has a big delicious breakfast, takes a relaxing stroll in the park with a wife who is in no way crazy or sad, and then maybe takes the night off and goes dancing. And maybe eats cake in there somewhere. That guy is in desperate need of a really good day.

Of course, then we wouldn't get to see awesome fights like this:

Batman and the Outsiders #2

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...huh? Whu? Oh right. This is why I always have, and always will, hate The Outsiders.

Awesome! Catwoman and Martian Manhunter are going to be in it! I love those guys...oh, wait. They're leaving forever. And here's that dumb Batgirl I have no time for. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Batman #671

So much talent being wasted on a stupid crossover.

However, the fight between Batman and whatshisface was great. I don't know if I've ever seen Batman's eye shields get smashed up like that. It looked cool.

Also...Batman ended up coming back and winning this fight. Because he is awesome.

Blue Beetle #21

Nice fill-in! This was really enjoyable. The more Traci Thirteen the better, I say!

All-Star Batman and Robin #7

Making fun of this isn't even fun anymore. It just makes fun of itself so effectively that there is no joy in it.

I mean, the cover is The Joker sporting a giant back piece for no reason. In the very first panel Gotham City is called a "whore." Dick makes yet another homophobic remark about Batman being queer. Batman says/does some more things that make it clear that he should not be allowed within five states of a child.

And Green Lantern is an idiot man-child. Usually that would be funny, but it really is just obnoxious here.

I hate this comic. I hate it so much.

Countdown #22

This issue had a perfect example of what's wrong with this series. Mister Miracle shows up to help Jimmy Olsen. He's wearing his old costume, and seems unconcerned that at this very moment he is on a mission with Superman to Apokolips. Why can't this damn comic sync up even slightly to what's happening in the other comics?

Know what else I hated? Trickster dying. And I can't really see a way out of this death. He was shot in the head and the heart. He's fairly dead. And this little scene was heartbreaking:

Nooooooo!!! They were just starting to like each other! I hate you, comics.

Green Lantern Corps #18

This whole issue was one big fight between Superman Prime and the new Ion, Sodam Yat.

Superman Prime continues to be delightfully bratty:

"Read 'em and weep!" I really love how hard Prime tries with the smack talk, but he really just sounds like a giant tool.

I really liked Sodam Yat's back story too.

Superman Annual # 13

Camelot Falls (or should I say Camelot Stalls...zing!) finally gets wrapped up in this annual. Good lord, how long has this story been going on? I know I really enjoyed many issues of it, but it just seems so long ago. We're lucky enough to have three great Superman stories happening in three separate series simultaneously...but they are all moving slower than molasses.

I prefer an annual that stands on its own and is fun with lots of mini stories, but this was fine. The back-up, with lovely art by Renato Guedes, was really cute. I liked the premise of Supergirl trying to cook everyone a traditional Kryptonian meal.

Gotham Underground #2

Sometimes you just want to read a Batman comic that isn't about the resurrection of Ra's al Ghul in anyway. Thank God for Gotham Underground, the totally entertaining criminal-centric 12-part Batman series for the rest of us. If it keeps up the good work, this is going to be my favourite current Batman title.

So close to being done school for four weeks, guys. And when I'm done, I am going to read every comic ever and write about them. I thank you for your patience. As always, I wanna hear what you all thought of this week's comics, including any that I didn't post about. Because chances are good that I read them.

Sunken Spirit

So I, like many comic fans, have some...concerns...about the upcoming film based on The Spirit, being made by Frank Miller. Basically: I think it is going to suck.

Every time I see or hear anything about it, I get cranky. But this quote, from a Newsarama article, is the most bothersome thing I've read yet:

Miller later directs a scene from near the film’s finale in which the Spirit delivers a powerful right cross to the chin of The Octopus, played by Samuel L. Jackson. “From the start, I wanted Sam Jackson to play The Octopus because I’ve always wanted to work with Sam Jackson,” Miller says. “It seems to me he’s always had a part like this inside waiting to get out.”

The villain, who famously never showed his face in Eisner’s comics, will be slightly less mysterious in the film. “I knew I couldn’t get away with two hours of a guy whose face you never see,” Miller said.

WHAT?! The Octopus has existed as a character for almost seven decades. In all that time his face has never been revealed. Now Frank Miller gets to decide what he looks like? And it's Samuel L Jackson?!

Actually, scratch that. It doesn't matter who it is. The point is that Miller has the audacity to feel that, for some reason, he is allowed reveal a mystery that, clearly, Will Eisner never wanted revealed.

“I knew I couldn’t get away with two hours of a guy whose face you never see,” Miller said.

Two hours?! Try seventy years, assface! It worked pretty well in the comics. If you can't tell a good story without Samuel L Jackson's face, that's your problem.

All-Star Batman and Robin #7: Live Running Commentary...Again!

It's that time again! This thing is coming out more or less on schedule now! It's creeping me out!

Now, once again, I will read this for the first time and post my running commentary. When you hear Batman kick you in the teeth, it's time to turn the page.


Before I get started I just want to say that as soon as I picked up this comic I launched into a giant sneezing fit. So maybe I am allergic to All-Star Batman and Robin.

Page 1 - "Striking TERROR. Best part of the job." Isn't striking terror the only part of the job?


Page 2 - "You don't know from screwed, you losers!" This gets my vote for worst Batman quote ever.


Page 3 - "Let me take you to school, suckers!" Ok, we have a new winner.
Also, Batman really gets off on people shooting each other. I guess.


Page 4-5 - "WADS"???!!!! Batman used the word 'wads'!!!!


Page 6 - Oh man. I am really glad that I didn't actually buy this. So Batman just called one guy "sweetheart," another guy "boy of mine" and all of this is making "Black Canary" (who is Irish, for whatever reason) very hot.


Page 7 - Oh, come on. Selina's not a smoker.
Yes, of all the crap on this page, that's what bothers me.


Page 8 - WHA?! NO!! YARG! I...can't believe this. At all.


Page 9 - I am so confused about what this is supposed to be. Clearly, it's a joke. I mean, it has to be, right? So my question then is, why is someone with so much obvious contempt for comic books allowed to write this comic? Let me write it! It would be so delightful!


Page 10 - So, what is Dick Grayson doing during all this? Starving in the Batcave? Sharpening his axe? Eating rats?


Page 11 - ??????!!!!!!


Page 12 - Hey, it's Robin! "I have no idea how long I've been here, in the Bat-Cave." Yeah, neither do I. I am pretty lost on the time frame of this comic. How many nights since Dick's parents were killed? Was it this same night? And didn't he leave the cave to play with that axe at one point? Or was that in the cave? Meh. Next Page.


Page 13 - 14 - Seriously, if I see one more person throw up in one of my comics this week...


Page 15-16 - Well, this is messed up.


Page 17-18 - At this point I would believe anything. It would not surprise me if I turn the page to find that Robin has chopped that guy's head off. And then the next page is a giant orgy.


Page 19 - 20 - Normally I would kind of love Batman leaning on his car like that. But this isn't any kind of Batman I want to know.


Page 21 - Oh, well, terrific. (The Joker has pierced ears?!)

Aaaand we're done. Ouch. This exceeded my expectations of shittiness. Way to go, DC.

All-Star Batman and Robin The Boy Wonder #5: The Live Running Commentary

Alright, does everyone have their copies of ASB&RTBW #5 in front of them? I am going to record my initial reactions to the book as I read it for the first time. When you hear Batman punch you in the face (POW!), that means it's time to turn the page.

Ready? Let's begin.

Batman is punching me in the face. Or maybe this is Jim Lee getting his frustrations out (my theory).


Page 1: Oh dear. "Sperm bank?"
Five hours ago, eh? Is anyone still keeping track of time? Also, when did Metropolis turn into such a dump?


Page 2-3: Stilettos? Seems practical. This is weird because it looks like Jim Lee is doing his version of the Frank Miller Wonder Woman from DKR. I don't even know what to say about what she's saying. Let's move on and see where this is going.


Page 4-5: I gotta say, when I first heard about this series called "All-Star Batman and Robin," I never expected to see Plastic Man and Green Lantern in it. Or even Wonder Woman and Superman.
So...what? Hal doesn't get a proper introduction by Wonder Woman?
Why would Wonder Woman care what Batman is doing if she doesn't care about this "world of men"? Why would she be a part of this organization of super heroes? (I refuse to call it the Justice League). Why is Plastic Man a fire hydrant? What is Hal doing with those giant hands? Is he so lazy that he makes hands so he doesn't have to move his own when he gestures?


Page 6: Who is this woman? Circe? She wants to kill Batman and put his head on stick because he's setting a bad example with his extreme methods? She wants to murder him because he's a psychopath? But...ah forget it.
What in sweet hell is Plastic Man doing? And why is Hal such a bitch?


Page 7: Still no Batman. Or Robin. Just sayin'.
"Damn you, Diana! Damn you and your Amazon arrogance!" God that's fantastic.
I seriously have no idea what's going on. But I love it. Superman is telling Wonder Woman that she'll pay for her crimes with her blood. So...these guys are all psycho. Wait...is that the message here? Batman is always getting the bad rap for being crazy, but these guys are even crazier? Or is everyone just crazy?


Page 8: SHUT. UP! You have got to be kidding me. That kiss is so stupid. Holy lord. This is fanfictastic. Wonder Woman is a Mary-Sue for Frank Miller!!! Seriously! Go back and read the last 8 pages with that in mind!
I love Hal in that last panel. "Duhhhh."


Page 9: No. No way. No. This...is...the best page...of anything. Ever. It's...it sums up the whole series in one beautiful, ridiculous page.


Page 10-11: "Giordano and Adams." Cute.
Man, it's too bad this series blows, because it really does look fantastic. These two pages are not too bad. Kinda ridiculous, but if the whole series had started with these two pages, that would have been kind of dope.


Page 12: Seriously. Nice art.
"Every inch of me is alive." *giggle*


Page 13: I kind of like the idea of a crazy cackling Batman. That really would be pretty terrifying.


Page 14-15: Batman is threatening that guy with...arthritis. Weaponized arthritis! Hee!
Well, I like watching a bunch of rapists get beat as much as any girl, so I have no problem with these pages.


Page 16: No problem with this page, either. Man...not a bad run these last few pages. (And when I say I have no problems, I mean relative to the rest of the series).


Page 17: Aaaaaaand you lost me. "My darling?" Ew.


Page 18: "Whiskers"? I find it so weird the amount of times Batman has said "cool" in this series.


Page 19-20: Alright! Shirtless Alfred! Now we're getting our money's worth!
We all pray your master hasn't gone man, Alfred.


Page 21: Is this still the night that Dick's parents were killed?


Page 22: Kids love axes!

And we're done. Well, that taught us nothing. I can't believe how long this took to come out. I bought more Christmas trees in the last year than issues of this comic.

The first nine pages were so awful that they cancel out anything that was tolerable in the second half. I'm actually sort of disappointed that the second half wasn't as stupid as the first. But still...it's a pretty dumb comic.