Podcast - Episode 98: Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Spider-Man 2 is widely considered to be the best Spider-Man movie made to date. But here's the thing: it's not!

Sorry, everyone. It's just not that good.

But anyway. Let's not fight. Instead, let's enjoy this photo that I mention on the podcast of George Lucas and Mickey Mouse from when Lucas received his Disney Legend award in 2015:

This will never stop being funny to me.

Look, if you think Spider-Man 2 is a great movie still, you really should watch this clip of the completely pointless and dumb fire rescue scene:

But, like I said, I don't want to fight about how wrong you are. Let's gaze upon the lucious full beard Sebastian Stan has been rocking lately (for BUCKY??!!).

And if we are going to fight, let's at least fight about who the two mystery friends are in Secret Empire #4:


In order of most sense to least sense:

1. Bucky and Sam;
2. Rick and Rhodes;
3. Rick and Sam;
4. Bucky and Rhodes.

Either way, I like the wacky world they exist in.

Thanks for listening! See you next week for Spider-Man 3!

A More Innocent Time

Where there is a Hawkman there is going to be a Hawkgirl or Hawkwoman. It's now a thing. Initially, though, it took a little more than twenty issues for Carter Hall's galpal Sheira to get a costume of her own and start getting into scrapes. This is not terribly remarkable. What is, however, is the fact that for at least the first couple of issues that she was dabbling in the winged lifestyle this kept on happening:

Now I'll admit that if there was a flying superhero in my costume and I saw someone wearing a similar costume streaking overhead I might assume that it was them without checking for secondary sex characteristics and the like, but the fact that Sheira was repeatedly able to have extended conversations with people without them catching on to the fact that she was a she?

 Well that's just weird. Here, look at this:

Literally the only time in two Sheira-as-Hawkgirl stories that I've read where her gender was sussed out. 

I don't know. Maybe I'm making too big a deal out of this. Maybe it's just a case of everybody involved being too embarrassed to mention to their friends that they found Hawkman quite attractive. Once a gangster cottons to having checked out a lawman's rack, well, it's pretty much all over, career-wise.

Forgotten Characters of Yesteryear: Mighty Hawkhat

It's time for a little forgotten history, friends! A character so obscure that I guarantee you've never heard of him: Hawkman's long-discarded sidekick:


Mighty Hawkhat was one of those strange storytelling elements of the early days of comics, things which might merit an entire story arc to explain today but that had no origin at all. How archaeologist and reincarnated Egyptian prince Carter Hall acquired what was evidently a living creature resembling a giant, tentacled hawk's head was never addressed, nor was it explained why such a creature was worn by hall while in his role of Hawkman. It was all just part of the experience.

Hawkman and Mighty Hawkhat shared a number of adventures together. Initially, Mighty Hawkhat could not speak and contributed his opinions of the proceedings through exaggerated facial expressions, though curiously these expressions seldom matched the tone of the story.

In fact, Mighty Hawkhat usually seemed to be grinning and winking at the events that were going on around him, as if to break the tension of the often-violent mysteries that Hawkman would find himself embroiled in.

If he was attempting to court favour with his young audience, however, Mighty Hawkhat failed miserably. Readers evidently hated him, sly grins and all. In an effort to salvage the character, he was given a more ominous aspect:

He was also given a voice, though in an effort to steer the character away from his light-hearted beginnings that voice tended to be even darker than the already serious Hawkman's own:

But the change in character did nothing to change how the fans felt about Mighty Hawkhat. In fact, one of the aspects of the personality makeover served to further alienate the reading public. The revamped Hawkhat was inexplicably jealous of Shiera Saunders, Carter Hall's love interest:

... his constant barrage of disparaging remarks and dirty looks served less to liven up the series that to derail it into panel after panel of tedious "banter".

Mighty Hawkhat eventually proved to be more of a hinderance than a help to Hawkman's war on crime and was discarded, never to be heard from again. Hawkman invested in an inanimate hawk headdress and never looked back. Probably for the best, but one always wonders what might have been.

Rest in Peace, Mighty Hawkhat.

Shadow Thief shows that hard work and complete lunacy pay off.

We all know and love Shadow Thief, the shadow-based DC villain who used to annoy Hawkman and Hawkgirl on a regular basis.

But did you know that Shadow Thief's origin is completely stupid and hilarious?

Grab some popcorn and take a seat.

Shadow Thief, or Carl Sands, first appeared in The Brave and the Bold #36, which was among the many awesome comics collected in Showcase Presents Hawkman vol.1. Like all good villains, Shadow Thief likes to pass the time by remembering his own origin story.

"If only I were a shadow..." For most people this would be a fleeting, whimsical thought that one would be sort of embarassed about. But not this guy. He turns it into a mission.

He read up on shadow facts and legends. And then built something that he could have seen at (or, hell, stolen from) any children's science museum. But wait for this:

"I've got to do more research!" That is so crazy. That's like "Dammit! This quarter didn't really materialize in my ear! I must work harder! I must find a way!"

His relentless practice of children's science experiments and magic tricks is interrupted by one of the countless aliens who visited America during the 1960s.

My favourite thing about those panels is that somewhere in the short time that Carl met and rescued the alien, he managed to talk about how much he loves shadows.

Dude, you can have, presumably, any wish granted by this alien, and you still are sticking with the shadow thing? Aren't there better abilities than being able to control shadows?

Alright, actually, that is pretty cool.

You know who were probably really surprised are all the sensible people who were like "Seriously, Carl, enough with the shadows! It's never going to happen! Get a job!" Or his mom. "What would you like for your birthday this year, Carl? And DON'T say another flashlight!"

Once again a human triumphs over science and possibility and uses it to rob museums and banks. I salute you, Shadow Thief.

This Week's Haul: So Late It's Pretty Much Irrelevant

As I said, the comics were late this week after the long weekend. And I've been really busy. But now, without further ado...This Week's Haul!

Booster Gold #3

Thanksgiving can go to hell if it means I have to wait even one extra day for the new issue of Booster Gold. This comic is my favourite...thing. It's like...what if Quantum Leap was AWESOME?!

And in this issue he runs into Jonah Hex!!! This issue was basically a parade of things I love. It's like this comic reads my mind. Before we even get to the cowboy fun there's a Back to the Future reference (you know that both Booster Gold and Rip Hunter have seen that movie, like, so many times) and this Smallville reference:

If Booster Gold doesn't save the day, the world turns into Smallville! (Only...better Smallville...with Clark and Lex raised together as brothers. That rules). It's so weird and rad to see my boy Lionel in a comic. Nice.

Now let's get to the good stuff. Like Booster dressing like a cowboy:

Oh man, Skeets is totally welcome to follow me around blasting The Ecstasy of Gold if he wants. That would add a touch of majesty to everything I do (like, when I'm frantically running around cemeteries...).

I'm getting off track. What I meant to talk about was Booster stripping down there (yowza!) and also that Rip Hunter keeps a cheap cowboy Halloween costume in the Time Sphere.

So our boy runs into Jonah Hex, as I said, and is challenged to a drinking competition. So Booster gets PLOWED. And it's great.

But not as great as SKEETS RIDING A HORSE!

Let's see another shot of that:


And then there was this:

Booster is gonna drive the Time Sphere...drunk.

This is as good as comics...nay...entertainment...gets.

Black Adam #3

This series is really, really good. I am calling this the surprise of the year. I really wasn't even planning on reading this, but every issue is great.

In this one, Black Adam runs into Hawkman and totally throws down. It's AWESOME.

Also, Doug Mahnke draws a great looking Hawkman. The helmet is perfect.

Adam totally lays waste to him. He crushes his mace with one hand, rips one of his wings off and smashes him mask up.

This next page is great:

Soooo rad.

Captain Carrot and the Final Ark #1

This is pretty much as geeky as something can possibly be. And I love it.

"Justa Lotta Animals"!!! Quail Simone! Giraffe Johns! Panda Dio!

If you're confused about Captain Carrot, don't be. It's just fun. It's an Earth that mirrors our own but its inhabitants are anthropomorphic animals. Funny ones.

I laughed out loud quite a bit. Particularly at these two panels:

And this one, which reveals that the past few pages of monologue-style narration have actually been a very long one-sided conversation Rodney Rabbit is having with the worm in his tequila bottle:

It's extra funny because the worm is wearing an iPod for no apparent reason.

Countdown Week 29

I really only have one comment on this week's issue, and that is this:

I know that they are hand-cuffed together and it would therefore be tricky and everything, but...wouldn't Piper and Trickster maybe want to think about changing their clothes? Since they are on the run and stuff? I mean, I would at least try. If I were them.

Green Arrow/Black Canary #1

I actually did expect to see this team-up...because this cover was revealed months ago. Which is weird because there is a perfectly good variant cover with Canary and Oliver that DC could have released in Previews instead.

Let's talk about Cliff Chiang and how frigging awesome his art is. It's so beautiful. I could not be happier with the choice of artist on this.

And look at classic Oliver, looking all sexy:

I really enjoyed this. I'm a big Connor fan, so it's nice to see him getting some attention. And Black Canary's insistence that the man she killed wasn't really her husband is very touching. And of course the only one who believes her is my boy Batman:


When you hug Batman, he gets so freaked out that little red triangles appear above his head.

Yeah, so Batman believes that Oliver isn't really dead. Hal on the other hand is totally keen to bury the body and move on. Because Hal's an idiot. Or Hal wants Oliver's XBox or something.

This autopsy scene was pretty amusing:

It actually isn't almost exactly what they do. What they do is a pretty standard, and tidy, autopsy that leaves the body in tact. So I don't know what Midnight is going on about. I guess he gets his giggles where he can. Or Judd Winick does. Either way, I like Batman in that apron.

Y'know what else I really liked in this comic? Dinah's eye make-up. That mauve shadow really looks pretty!

So of course Ollie isn't dead. But I guess Everyman is.

Green Lantern #24

Super awesome as always.

Particular highlights this time around include the continued use of lethal force by the GL Corps (I could watch those guys waste bad guys all day), and Parallax calling Kyle "the pretty boy."

This page is awesome:

Superboy Prime is kind of awesome. "I'm baaaaack. Jerks."

I really like that aside with Superman and Hank too.

I also really like later in this issue when Kyle emerges from Parallax, all naked, and Guy uses his ring to make clothes for him...but he only makes tight-fitting boxer shorts...

Justice League Unlimited #38

Giganta loves Wally!

Did anyone else find this comic to be kinda hard to read? I hate to say that about a kids comic, because it makes me feel dumb, but the pacing of the story just seemed sorta bizarre. It was like every other page was missing or something.

But I'll tell you what I loved about it: Giganta using a skyscraper as a make-up mirror:

And this:

Another Smallville reference! What a week!

Runaways #28

First of all, I just want to say that the zombie variant cover for this was horrible. All of the zombie covers are horrible, but this one especially. The main cover, on the other hand, was beautiful. As you can see.

This was a good issue. I just don't really have anything to say about it. Except I hope they return to the present soon because I am getting bored of the past.

Superman #668

And we're off on another zany Busiek adventure. This time Superman is searching for the supposed Third Kryptonian on Earth (besides Power Girl, Krypto, and his new son Christopher...who seems to be the most neglected son in the whole world, because he has not really made much of an impact on Superman's life. I keep forgetting about the little tyke).

To find the Kryptonian, Supes gets some help from his old pal Batman. Because that guy loves to find stuff. Superman also brings Christopher to the cave, and it's pretty cute:

It's been awhile since I've read a good Superman/Batman sexual tension comic, so I enjoyed this. Maybe this will be the arc where they finally kiss.


Awww, Batman can't say 'no' to those eyes.

Also, I don't know who this guy is, but I like his enthusiasm:

Suicide Squad #2

This series is also awesome.

For one thing: Dinosaurs!

Getting shot in the face!!!

I would like to know where I can get one of these fire swords:

Man, that's sweet. I could just slice and BBQ a cow right there on the spot. No more pesky waiting for grilled meat.

Wonder Woman #13

J. Torres does double Wonder Duty this week with Wonder Woman and Wonder Girl. And he does a good job of both.

The art on this kinda jumped around between pretty good and really bad. Like, why did Wonder Girl look like a 40-year-old trophy wife?

And Wonder Woman's shorts were certainly awful in this issue:

And Black Canary's were possibly worse:


Wonder Girl #2

Well, this is a much better Wonder Girl than the one we saw above.

Wonder Girl is a very charming mini-series. The fun art really suits Torres' writing, I think.

In this issue Cassie is getting stalked by a very persistent Hercules. He gives her a new outfit, which looks pretty cool:

Man, I am so sleepy. I can't think of anything else to say about anything. Comics were good this week. Yay!

Batman and Hawkman: Batman Wins

In an attempt to become better acquainted with sexy, sexy Hawkman, I turned to The Brave and The Bold no.164.

Unfortunately for the Thanagarian superhunk, this comic has only strengthened my undying love for Batman.


Exhibit A:

Batman has enough of a sense of fun to call his helicopter a Whirly-Bat.

Exhibit B:

Batman remains cool-headed and optimistic in the most challenging and confusing situations.

Exhibit C:

His self-confidence.

Batman knows he's got a body worthy of the gods.

Exhibit D:

Batman can really rock wings and an oxygen mask.

You can tell he loves those wings. Look at those poses he's striking! I'm surprised he doesn't just ask Hawkman to give him an anti-gravity belt permanently. It would really help Batman out.

I think Batman pulls off the wings better than Superman, but I'll let you be the judge:

That panel's from DC Comics Presents no. 74. I guess Hawkman can't team up with anyone without lending them some wings. I like that Batman had his own little Bat-symbol embellishment on the wing straps. Because Batman takes the time to do things right.

And, finally...

Exhibit E:

Batman is open to trying new things.

Damn! Is there no end to Hawkman and his sexy adventures?

In closing, I would like to say that this is one of the weirdest final panels I have ever seen:

So...many...immature...sexual jokes to be made...