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!

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.

This Week's Haul: Sinestro Gets Pwned

No real excuse for being late this week. I was so overwhelmed by having nothing to do that I forgot that I actually had something to do: review comics.

Countdown Arena #2

There's really no reason to pay any attention to this comic, but there's a little thing that's bothering me about this issue that I just have to say something about.

Ok, so the double page spread that shows all the arena fighters and what Earths they are from? Full of mistakes.

Check it:

Ok, this Wonder Woman is from Earth-21, which is the New Frontier Earth. Fine. But below that panel we see that crazy monster thing made of beetles. He is also supposedly from Earth-21.

So my first thought was "that ain't right." Later in the comic we see him again, only now he is suddenly from Earth-26:

Ok...so that first one was a typo. Alright. It happens. I look up Earth-26 in that little guide they published in DC Nation a couple of weeks ago, and it lists Earth-26 as, wait for it...Captain Carrot's Earth.

I dunno...that just seems wrong to me...

And there was also this Firestorm guy, who is from Earth-37:

Earth-37, according to that guide, is the Thrillkiller Earth. That makes no sense. (Also...do we need a Thrillkiller Earth?!). Please correct me if I'm wrong about this. Maybe that guy was in Thrillkiller? I just don't see how.

Green Arrow/Black Canary #3



Connor, you were too beautiful for this world.

Congratulations, Judd Winick. You've ruined Christmas.

Green Lantern #25

Not only was this worth the $4.99 cover price, each page is worth $4.99:

I swear, like every other page looks like that. It's amazing.

I love the rise of the seven lantern corps. That's going to be neat:

Oooo!! I hope the red corps and the green corps fight at Christmas time! It would be so pretty!

I loved Guy trying to fight while being infected with a viral member of the Sinestro Corps:

It was also great when he was injected with the GL Corps virus and the two viruses battled it out inside him. Craziness!

And Hal, Kyle and Sinestro all losing the power in their rings so they just start street fighting? Awesome!

I love that "The both of you." Hardcore.

Green Lantern Corps #19

The members of the Corps who survived the war finally get a little downtime to spend with their families and loved ones. It's nice.

And this page is awesome:

I love those two!

But the issue wasn't all hugs and kisses. It had a rad ending!

I love that "Yes. I believe I have." This is gonna be great!

Tales of the Green Lantern Corps: Ion

All that I really want to say about this issue is that it was pretty good. These things have been kinda hit-or-miss, but this one is definitely worth checking out.

Also, I liked Guy's sexy lady that feeds him marshmallows:

Especially her I Dream of Jeannie pose.

Booster Gold #5

Man, this was so good and so sad.

I figured that, y'know, Booster wouldn't actually stop the Joker from shooting Barbara. But the way he insisted on going back over and over again! Ohmygod. I am just so filled with love for Booster Gold right now.

And if that wasn't sad enough, Rip breaks the news that Ted's death is a fixed moment in time that cannot be undone.

Awwwwwwww. I can't stand it!

Wonder Woman #15

I can't believe how much happened in this one issue! And it was all awesome!

I have been having a hard time selling people on this relaunch (Can we call it a relaunch? I think it's a relaunch). Everyone is all "I was buying this series for awhile, but I didn't like it." And I'm like "But it's awesome now!" And they're all "Yeah...I dunno..."

But it is awesome now. Don't let the fact that it's been mostly kinda bad up to this point prevent you from checking it out now. I guarantee you'll love it.

Personally, I was really into the god that WW found to help her in this issue:

What religion worships him? I'm joining!

Superman Confidential #10

One thing I really like is when comics are both really good, and really smart strategic moves. The New Gods are playing a starring role in the current DCU, so it's not a bad idea to have a comic that introduces new readers to the Fourth World. And the fact that it's also a great read with nice art is just icing.

I love Superman just having no idea who any of these characters are:

I also like Superman's ripped costume.

Superman is totally awesome in this comic. He doesn't know who these New Gods are, but he wants them out of downtown Metropolis:


The Batman Strikes #40

This comic is consistently very funny and entertaining. This month's was written by Matthew K Manning and drawn by Adam Archer. I like this series because it frequently combines a wisecracking Robin with a humourless Batman:

Once you get past the fact that all of the villains in this series, like the cartoon its based on, look very messed up, it's a consistently fun read.

Nexus: The Origin

I've read this comic several times, and it never stops being awesome. This is a re-painted reprint of a 1992 comic which stands the test of time as one of the best single issues of any comic ever written, in my opinion. If you've never read Nexus, then obviously this is a great place to start.

*Sigh* I sentence YOU, Nexus...for stealing my heart.

All done! I'm gonna go watch TV until our power goes out from this storm. Any comments about these, or any other comic releases this week (Howard Porter doing the art on Countdown? Blech) are appreciated below.

PS - I would also highly recommend this week's Marvel Adventures The Hulk. It was great fun. Rick Jones calls Namor's army "Aqua Teen Excessive Force." Also...Spider-Man Family was excellent and featured some beautiful art by David Hahn. I'd kinda like him to draw all Marvel comics. Or at least all Spider-Man.

This Week's Haul: Long Live Sean McKeever!

I read a lot of really good comics this week! Here's what I thought of some of them:

Spider-Man Loves Mary-Jane #20

The squeeing hit inaudible decibels this week as I read this. I mean, look!:

They're gonna maybe hold hands!!! Eeeeeeee!!!

Firestar, I love ya, but get out the way! Harry, you suck and go die somewhere. Now all the excess baggage has been removed and MJ and Peter are totally gonna hook up! It's gonna happen! Any issue now!

Except! Ack! It's Sean McKeever's last issue! The letter at the back almost made me cry (it was really nice that he was able to mention his upcoming run on Teen Titans, though). Oh, Sean McKeever, thank-you so much for creating this series. Just yesterday a young girl in the comic shop shyly picked up the first Mary-Jane book, and I was like, "Ohmygod, that's my favourite comic. You should buy it. You'll love it. If you don't, I'll eat it." Because, although I don't normally eat comics, I have a feeling that this one would taste like ice-cream. I await Terry Moore's run with interest and, like most MJ fans, some amount of uncertainty. But I'm sure it will be great. The foundation is so solid, with such a great cast of characters, I think it will be awesome to the end. Everyone was sad when Miyazawa stopped doing the art, but David Hahn has been doing a great job.

Oh, and PS: I love having the Mini Marvels back-ups. Such a great idea.

Countdown Week 42

This was the surprise of the week. As you may recall, last week I said I wasn't going to buy this anymore because I just haven't really enjoyed more than a couple of pages of any issue. Plus, the overall arc is a confusing mess (someone in the store yesterday asked us what Countdown was about and we could not answer that question, except with laughter).

The point I am getting to in a roundabout way is that I enjoyed pretty much every page of this issue. From Trickster and Piper's cuffed-together Midnight Run-style adventures:

to Holly's conversation with Harley to Jimmy's decision to be a super hero to whatever Mary Marvel and the Riddler were doing. Plus, bonus Ryan Choi content, and an odd little scene between Batman and Karate Kid which TOTALLY sounds like a lover's spat:

"Sure. Go. Whatever. I don't know why you think I'll care."
"Fine. I just thought I'd say good-bye, but I don't know why I bothered wasting my time."
"Good then. Go."
"I will."
"Fine. Bye."
"See if I care."

So I was wondering why I was enjoying this issue so much, and then I check the writer and AH! Of course! It's Sean McKeever!

And also...no Forerunner!

(Note: I can't even imagine how challenging it would be to be given Countdown as your first writing assignment at DC. Soooo confusing).

The New Avengers #32

And now Bendis Theatre presents: The Avengers as a Marvel Comics Message Board

Spider-Man: As a re-cap, Elektra is a Skrull. Let's talk about that.
Wolverine: Any one of us could be a Skrull, and I will now give detailed reasons as to why, based on recent events.
Dr Strange: Maybe you're a Skrull, Wolverine.
Wolverine: I certainly could be. And here's an amusing and surreal list of reasons why, including the fact that I am in every single comic on the stands right now.
Spider-Man: So what does this all mean?
Everyone: Shrug. War, maybe?
Spider-Woman: We should take this dead Skrull to Tony Stark.
Luke Cage: Tony Stark is totally a Skrull.
Hawkeye: Backed. Who else is a Skrull?
Spider-Woman: The president?
Everyone: Skrull, Skrull, Skrull
Everyone: Mercifully distracted by plane going down.
Iron Fist: Dr Strange, can you do some magic or something to save us?
Dr Strange: Nope!

And the plane crashed and they are probably all fine. Or Skrulls.

Sub-Mariner #2

I don't have much to say about this. I do want to mention that it falls into one of my favourite sub-categories of comics: Iron Man getting his ass handed to him.

I also want to say that I was totally following and enjoying this series until this moment:

Well...when I heard about this Sub-Mariner mini-series, I certainly never thought I'd see that guy in it.

Ehn. They're probably all Skrulls.

Justice Penis Society of America #7

Well, clearly some quick photo-shopping was done here to reduce Citizen Steel's controversial package. Here's the original:

So I guess I can also expect that Mary-Jane statue to be wearing a comfy sweat suit when it comes out and she'll be studying for the LSAT exam.

They can smudge out Citizen Steel's junk all they want and it still won't distract from the fact that the dude is HOT.

Power Girl knows what I'm talkin' about.

Yeaaaah. (I love how Eaglesham draws Powergirl. I really do).

I also love how Eaglesham drew the alternate cover for this issue, which is the one that I bought:

Hilarious! And even better is the subplot that it refers to: Superman and Starman chatting it up while scarfing sloppy joes and milk at the mental hospital cafeteria.

Oh man I love this comic.

Green Arrow Year One #1

I thought this was great. I'm a big Green Arrow fan and Andy Diggle and Jock do a nice job of updating his origin. It starts with Oliver as a cocky, thrill-seeking billionaire with a Robin Hood complex. By the end of this issue he's been double-crossed and thrown off a yacht in the Pacific, so we can expect to see him learning to survive on a deserted island in the next issue, honing his archery skills in the process.

I liked this little fun piece of foreshadowing:

As can be expected from these guys, it's a very macho comic and I expect we'll be seeing a lot of violence and action in the next three issues. And beautiful covers.

Superman #664

Continuing the very long Busiek story-arc about Arion' s bleak prophecy about Superman and the other aliens on Earth inadvertently destroying humanity while trying to save it. In this issue, which I really enjoyed, Arion magically takes control of Superman...but only for a second. Superman is able to overcome the spell using techniques learned from Zatanna. Unfortunately for Superman, no one else knows that, and he has to deal with wave after wave of emergency anti-Superman measures.

First comes the federal government's Squad-K, a tech-heavy bunch of soldiers and vehicles designed to take Superman down if necessary. Then comes Prankster with his own anti-Superman weapon:

A giant pie filled with lead and electric jolts. Well, that's something else!

Then the Justice League AND Justice Society show up:

(No one invited Geo-Force). Superman, awesomely, has to yell to get it through Hal's thick head that he isn't being magically controlled:

Hey, shouldn't Hal be kinda busy off in space with that whole...aw forget it.

Superman takes a moment to wonder what Batman is doing:

In the end, Superman talks it out with the leader of Squad-K, throws Prankster in
jail, and vows to hunt down Arion and stop...whatever it is that Arion is doing. I honestly kinda forget. But I did like this issue. A lot.

Nexus #99

Hells yeah! New Nexus!

Nexus is a comic that I've only gotten into in the last year, which turned out to be excellent timing what with the new series just starting up after a ten year hiatus. If you've never read Nexus, I can't recommend it enough. It's just a really well-written and beautifully drawn comic with awesome characters. In space. I think a lot of people are intimidated by it for one reason or another, but it's very easy to follow. I really find that, as far as outer-space stories go, this one is very straight-forward. Green Lantern Corps is more confusing than this by far.

This is issue #99, but it could work as a jumping-on point. I'm sure they are hoping new fans use it as a jumping on point. I would recommend reading the three original black and white comics, which is collected in a small out-of-print but easy-to-track-down book called Original Nexus, then reading the single issue Nexus: The Origin, and then the Alien Justice three-part series. Seriously, you read those seven comics and you will be all set to enjoy the new series. Then you'll be able to read amazing pages like this and fully appreciate them:

Seriously, not as confusing as it looks.

As an aside, I think that women are better represented in Nexus comics than in any other comics anywhere. Ever. Actually, people are just generally better represented. And Nexus himself is an amazingly well-developed character.

My goal is to get more people into Nexus. As I keep stressing, I just got on board myself and it was really easy. Great superheroes exist outside DC and Marvel.

Green Lantern #21

I think the good thing about this issue is that it more or less brings people up to speed who may have missed the sold-out Sinestro Corps one-shot. And it does it in a non-boring way for people who have read it.

I am trying to think of things to say about this and I got nothing. It's good. Read it. Parallax is gonna pound on the Green Lantern Corp. You don't want to miss that.

Alright, that about wraps it up. I read other stuff, but I have nothing really to say about it. Oh! Except Superman Confidential, which I wrote a review for that will be posted on Comic Addiction shortly. I also have a copy of the new Minx book, Clubbing, which I haven't read yet, but I'll let you know what I think of it.

Today is my friend Paul Hammond's birthday. He's a talented artist and one half of local screenprinting superstars, YoRodeo. You should check out their stuff at their website. If you like cool art and stuff.