Podcast - Episode 83: X-Men Movies VS MCU Movies

Look, I'm aware that a dumb list of reasons why the X-Men movies are better than the MCU movies is not really worth the amount of scorn or attention that we give it in this episode, but, well...we're all on edge these days and sometimes you just have to find an outlet.

Allow me to submit to you this image of Robbie Amell, my current choice for Nightwing:

Right? 

What else...OH! That stupid Jeremy Renner Instagram post! Get ready for your eyes to bleed!

Daily prayer for unity #roughroad #strangedays #smallthingsmatter #beActiveNotReactive

A post shared by Jeremy Renner (@renner4real) on

I mean...my god.

Let's end this with a picture of Chris Evans on the red carpet at the Oscars with his sister, because awwwwwwwwww:

This Week's Haul: Grab Bag Week

Every four to five weeks or so I hit what I call the 'grab bag week.' This was one of those weeks. The big titles this week were, of course Buffy and Dark Tower, but since I don't read those I get an odd selection of sidekicks and minor characters. With a couple of notable Marvel exceptions.

Nightwing #145

This has actually turned itself into a really good Bat title. The current storyline is totally messed up and insane, but very fun. And the Morales art has been fantastic.

This issue is also monumental because, I believe, it's the first time I've seen the word 'vaginally' in a mainstream superhero comic. And it's not even used the way you'd expect in a Nightwing comic!

Robin/Spoiler Special

As I mentioned in the comment section of the last post, I don't really care one way or the other about the lack of memorial in the Batcave for poor Stephanie Brown. I liked her as a character, I hated everything about the War Games storyline, and I am glad that she's back. I think the whole "Hey guys! I faked my own death! Leslie helped!" return is pretty lazy, but I forgive it. I kinda feel the same way about it that I do about Brand New Day: I don't care how they did it, as long as they fixed it.

So this comic was pretty good. Two stories, both by Chuck Dixon and both with great art. I enjoy Robin and Spoiler together. It's got a nice old school Robin/Batgirl feel. Stephanie is the Barbara to Tim's Dick.

Wait. That didn't come out right.

Secret Invasion #3

Alright, here we go.

So, is Tony Stark a Skrull or what? And if he is, is that good or bad? I mean, obviously that's an easy way to explain away why he's such a douche now, but at the same time...

Well, either way, Yu has been at the top of his game with the art on this series so far. And I'll say this: whatever is happening in this whole Secret Invasion thing, it's holding my interest. Keep it up, Marvel!

Jonah Hex #32

Matador vs Bull!

Bear vs Bull!

Hex vs Bull!

Hex vs Scum Bag!

And all with fabulous Jordi Bernet art! Darwyn Cooke is doing the art for the next issue, in which Hex travels to Canada! I can't wait! I'll bet Darwyn draws some attractive mounties!

Justice Society of America #16

I really like comics/television episodes where the characters are granted wishes, so I really enjoyed this.

Damage gets his face fixed! Yay!

Lookin' good, buddy! We should introduce Gog to Jonah Hex.

Overall, I'm not super into this whole Kingdom Come storyline, but I really like this big, happy Gog.

And I like that Black Adam is working his way back into a JSA title.

Midnighter #20

This is a the final issue in a story that, I'm just gonna say it, got pretty bland after Giffen took over. Love Giffen, but this just wasn't a good run. This series started with a fantastic Ennis story about traveling through time to kill Hitler, and continued to be very good until the latest storyline. This issue, however, was pretty good. Certainly very violent, which is the reason to read Midnighter comics.

I am sorry it's canceled because I was hoping for a day that it would get awesome again. Oh well. If only the Morrison/Ha Authority comics would ever continue.

Justice League Unlimited #46

Another final issue. I find it sad when an all-ages title bites the dust, but I guess it's inevitable when the series has been off the air for several years. And, really, the series was more for nerdy adults than kids anyway. The end of this series means the end of the fantastic institution that is Justice League Unlimited. A great show, and a fun comic. This issue, much like every issue of this series, probably had too much going on in it for young kids, which is why Super Friends makes a lot more sense as an all-ages title. But it did make me think that a Green Lantern Corps cartoon series/all-ages comic would be a great idea. I mean, come on...Gnort? Gnort is made for all-ages reading!

Trinity #1

I love the cover because Superman is all "My logo's in focus! Bam!" As an aside...I really hate that Trinity logo. It's like "We need a logo for this series...pile them all on top of each other! No wait...that looks weird...um, blur the bottom two."

I had pretty low expectations for this, after the crushing disappointment that was Countdown. This wasn't bad though. At worst, it was boring. And that's just how I felt. Maybe I just don't have the energy for another weekly. The issue was fine, I just didn't read it and think "Sign me up for another 51 issues of this!"

The Amazing Spider-Man #561

This was SO GOOD. Really, there are no complaints at all about this series so far coming from me. Especially if they are putting people like Marcos Martin on art. (It should come as no surprise that I am a huge fan of Batgirl: Year One).

I never thought I would say this, but Spider-Man is now one of my favourite titles. And JLA is one of my least favourite. What crazy, upside-down times we live in.

Sorry these reviews are so late this week. I was having some computer troubles. Better late than never though, right? And I am trying really hard to not make it never.

This Week's Haul: Brand New Day

Blah. I had an 8.5 hour operations management class today. My brain is fried. Time for comics!

The Amazing Spider-Man #546

I LOVED THIS!

One More Day was terrible beyond words. It was actually a giant insult to comic readers everywhere, as far as I'm concerned. But this issue of the all-new Spider-Man was excellent. Peter Parker is a lovable loser, it's funny, he has a secret identity, he's friends with Harry Osborne, he's single, he's broke...it's great.

Scenes like this one, where Peter is looking for a job, are so enjoyable:

Oh, Spider-Man. It's so nice to laugh out loud while reading your comics, and know that the writer wants me to.

So while One More Day was just awful, at least it led to this. Even if it took the laziest route possible.

Now if I could just think about this comic without getting that damn Sting song in my head.

Green Lantern Corps #20

I loved this because it TOTALLY sounded like Guy and Kyle decided to get married.

They have, in fact, decided to move to Oa together. And Guy is going to open a bar there! I think this is a fun development.

I love how Hal and John are all "Wow, that's a big decision. Are you guys sure? When did you decide this?" Totally sounds like they're getting married.

Hee!

Green Arrow/Black Canary #4

This issue was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I mean, obviously it looked fantastic. Chiang's art is so good that it can even make scenes as goofy as this one look amazing:

The hero who is panicking and yelling at everyone because a loved one is on the brink of death story line is nothing new, but there was something extra touching about Ollie losing it on everyone over Connor. Especially when Hal got there.

Awwwww.

And then Black Lightning makes a fairly sensible observation:

I would think that, being a member of Meltzer's Justice League, he wouldn't even notice that anymore.

Wally's comment here confused me:

Arthur is in the water? Really? Where? What's his status? I thought he was dead. Or whatever.

So Connor isn't dead. But he is brain dead. You can still be hot when you're brain dead right?

Nightwing #140

Saaaay...this was good! Rags Morales serves up some great-looking art, and Tomasi gives us a story that's kinda like Nightwing: Brand New Day.

Nightwing is making some changes. He's making an HQ for himself in New York, for one:

Look at how nice that art is!

I loved this meeting between Batman and the two boys about family always coming first:

Oh, Batman.

The Nightwing title has a long, proud tradition of being very boring, but I really liked this issue. I look forward to more!

Marvel Adventures Hulk #7

This was totally awesome as always. I know there was that other big Hulk comic out this week, but I would advise everyone to buy this one instead. I mean, if you like Hulk. Like, regular Hulk being Hulk. But maybe you guys aren't interested in fun adventure stories full of the greatest Marvel characters. Maybe you want Hulk to be red.

I mean, check this out: Bruce Banner wants to step in and help out the Silver Surfer, so he asks Rick to punch him. Rick refuses. Hilarity ensues:

Jeph Loeb can't write funny like that, people!

Superman #672


All I want to say about this is that I hate insects. They are gross.

Ew.

The Spirit #12

Ohhhhhhhh...why did this have to be so good? The last Spirit comic by Darwyn Cooke and J. Bone and it was so damn perfect that now I'm all upset.

Why does this have to end but Marvel Zombies continues?! It's not fair!

I want a Cooke-designed Spirit action figure. Anyone else?

Scalped #13


This is the first issue of a new arc and it was AWESOME. I think this might be the best storyline yet. Although, really it is all one long storyline. I hope everyone is reading this series by now. You can buy the first trade with a money back guarantee! Do it! (I'll bet they get exactly zero books back from unsatisfied customers).

Teen Titans Lost Annual

Oh man. Bob Haney + Jay Stephens + Team Allred + JFK = the best.

I am pretty vocal about my love for the late, great Bob Haney. Nobody can write insanity like that man could. Sadly, he never got to see this comic before he died. Happily, the rest of us have finally gotten that opportunity.

JFK is kidnapped by aliens who believe his leadership skills will help them win a war on their planet. He is replaced by a shape-shifting alien. Robin notices. The Titans go to the distant planet to help win the war so the president can return to Earth. While all this is going on, the president is assassinated...on Earth...as in, it's actually the shape shifter who is famously killed, not the real JFK. The real Kennedy decides that the shock of revealing that he is actually still alive would be too much for Earth to handle (??!!...so his wife and son can just deal with the loss, I guess). He decides to return to the far away planet, where he continues to live happily.

Bob Haney is the greatest writer of all time. And this panel alone proves it:

Yeah, that's definitive Haney right there.

The art looks really great. The cover is beautiful. There's a lovely Nick Cardy sketchbook in the back.

Showcase Presents Robin The Boy Wonder

Trust me. You want this. If you don't own it you are missing out on heartwarming classic tales like this one:

Ha Ha! Good luck, boys!

***

Good news, everyone! I have found the perfect wedding cake!

And they make cupcakes too! Which are more fashionable these days.

Rating the Super Hunks #11: Dick Grayson

You knew this one was coming. This week Super Hunk theatre presents the pin-up pretty boy of the DCU...

Dick Grayson, aka Nightwing

He is just poured into that costume.

He is just poured into that costume.

Costume/Appearance:

Little Dick Grayson. He grew up. He filled out. He got hot...eventually.

The current Nightwing costume is great. Really nice-looking. Nice colours, nice lines, nice fit. Also, great hair. I have no complaints about the current Nightwing costume. Or the appearance of the man filling it.

Hey, girl.

Hey, girl.

But we can't ignore the fact that it took Dick a loooong time to get there. And we had to see some pretty disgusting incarnations of Nightwing first.

No.

"When i look over my shoulder, I don't want to see a damn thing, alright?"

"When i look over my shoulder, I don't want to see a damn thing, alright?"

No.

"I'm growing a ponytail, bruce, and you can't stop me!"

"I'm growing a ponytail, bruce, and you can't stop me!"

No.

What...what is this?

What...what is this?

Super no.

"Who's the playboy now, bruce?"

"Who's the playboy now, bruce?"

Alright, that last one wasn't technically a Nightwing costume, but Jesus. If you can stand it, take some time to really study that thing. You'll notice that, as well as high-waisted baggy jeans, a short-sleeve polka-dot Oxford, Achy Breaky hair and intensely hairy arms, Dick is wearing loafers with no socks. You can stand in front of all the Ferraris you want and you will never look good wearing that.

I also abhor that long, disgusting rat-tail thing that Dick was rocking for awhile. It's so gross. It's like a serpent. I also never understood why it was way longer than his hair was when it wasn't pulled back. *shudder*

But if we focus on the now, and ignore the past, Dick is a looker.

Every nightwing comic should have a shower scene.

Every nightwing comic should have a shower scene.

8/10

Personality:

I'm not sure how to put this lightly, but Dick Grayson is kinda...dumb. Or, if not dumb, he is lacking common sense. And he thinks with his manhood more than his brain, rivaling even Hal Jordan in this department (uh, the thinking part...I don't know about the manhood part). For a kid who grew up under the constant watch and teachings of Batman, Dick is a bit of a disappointment. I mean, he's a good leader and strategist, but overall...

On the positive side, Dick still retains a lot of the playful boyishness that we knew and loved in him as Robin. Again, considering his being raised by Bruce Wayne, having any kind of sense of humour is impressive. And he's, y'know, a nice guy who wants to help people.

boyish good looks!

boyish good looks!

Remember when he was partnered with that gay cop, and the other mean cops were beating up the gay cop, and Dick intervened? And when the mean cops asked Dick if he was his boyfriend or something, Dick said "What if I am?" That was nice. He gets a point for that.

I like Dick Grayson. I like him a lot. But he ain't no Tim Drake. And he is certainly these two things:

1. Boring

2. Horny

He gets a lot of play. A LOT of play:

"Nice to meet you, my name is mmrrrff!!"

"Nice to meet you, my name is mmrrrff!!"

get it, girl.

get it, girl.

"BUT,   WE ONLY HAVE FIVE MINUTES!"   "I ONLY NEED TWO."

"BUT, WE ONLY HAVE FIVE MINUTES!"
"I ONLY NEED TWO."

this is the hottest thing i have ever seen.

this is the hottest thing i have ever seen.

Even when he looks like this:

can we just take a moment to appreciate her outfit?

can we just take a moment to appreciate her outfit?

Dude, we're just as surprised as you are.

The fact that Nightwing is one of the most sexually active superheroes out there certainly earns him some points in the hunk department. And the fact that I can now look at him without throwing up certainly helps. He's not...great...with women. But look at who he had as a teacher.

7/10

Day Job:

Dick Grayson was a City of Blundhaven police officer. I think that's awesome. That means when he's not fighting crime...he's fighting crime.

"Also I took off my shoes. And my pants got ripped. And my shirt got ripped. And my hair got sexily mussed."

"Also I took off my shoes. And my pants got ripped. And my shirt got ripped. And my hair got sexily mussed."

But now he's just Nightwing. Oh...he runs a circus school. That's...not really all that sexy.

8/10

Sexiness of Powers:

Dick has no powers, but he was trained by Batman. And, before that, he was trained as one of the top circus acrobats in the world. The result is that he rules at fighting, and can do crazy aerial stunts. He's strong and graceful. Of course that's sexy.

Plus, he's apparently the only person in the world who can do a quadruple somersault.

10/10

He's very flexible.

He's very flexible.

Dick in the face!

Dick in the face!

Cons:

Dick Grayson's name is 'Dick.' I'm taking one point off for that. I'm also deducting points for his tendency to grow his hair badly, the fact that his comic is pretty boring, and for jerking Barbara Gordon around.

-4

smoldering manga-looking dick!

smoldering manga-looking dick!

Final Score: 29/40

He's sexy alright, but he'll always just be sidekick sexy. Plus, Tim Drake is going to grow up to look exactly like him, but way more awesome. Why have hamburger when you can wait a few years for steak?

you know it, lady.

you know it, lady.

This Week's Haul: Batman's Magical Mystery

Sorry this week's is a little late. I had a lot of stuff to read. I don't have time to review everything, so I'll just say that Jonah Hex, Scalped, and The Initiative were all really good. I haven't gotten to the Simpsons Summer Shindig yet.

Spider-Man Loves Mary-Jane #19

Everything is always a little bit better whenever a new issue of Spider-Man Loves Mary-Jane comes out.

Look at how cute!!!:

Ok, so in this issue it becomes clear that Flash has some personal problems because he's tired all the time. Harry continues to be a pretty big jerk. And MJ helps both Flash and Spider-Man, because she is awesome.

But what I love is that she does it on her own time. This scene, where she politely declines Spider-Man's request for her to listen to his problems, is fantastic:

Yeah! When Spider-Man says 'jump,' MJ says 'maybe later.' I love it!

Eventually they do meet to talk about Spidey's girl troubles. He's conflicted because Firestar wants them to reveal their identities to each other. It's a thinly-veiled euphemism for 'going all the way.'

The tension is killing me!!!

Detective Comics #833

Well this was exciting! Lots of fun with a twist ending that I won't give away. I really haven't liked Kramer's art on this entire run, but I thought this issue looked really good.

I like stories that pair up Batman and Zatanna because magic makes him so uncomfortable. I thought the back story about them as kids was cute.

Lately their relationship has been made more interesting after the whole mind-wiping incident in Identity Crisis. I am hoping that after this two-part story the bad blood between them will be resolved.
The All-New Atom #12

I laughed out loud so many times while reading this. Starting with the first page:

Gail Simone rules. I love Ryan Choi so much. I love the quotes that pop up throughout every issue (including one by Brian Posehn in this one!). I love everything that Ryan says and everything he thinks.

I love the supporting characters, especially the floating head that is now his roommate.

People that aren't reading this are missing out. It is hilarious.

Nightwing #133

Beautiful cover by Ryan Sook.

Inside we had a whole lot of Dick being dumb. Y'know, everyone gives Hal a hard time for being kinda stupid and always thinking with his crotch, but I would argue that Nightwing is worse.

In this issue he meets up with an old flame, and pretty much loses his mind. I mean, seriously. We get pages and pages of this thought process:

I want to remind you that this is abridged. There were seriously pages of this, ending with this one:
"I like pie."

Dick, you're an idiot. This weakness for females is a serious handicap. I can't even imagine. Like, I like cheeseburgers, but I'm not all Don't eat it. It will crush you, just like before. Smells so good. Meat. Meat and cheese. It smells like meat and cheese. Don't eat it.

Pull yourself together, Dick.

Midnighter #8

Awwwwwwwwwwww!!!

This issue starts with Midnighter being his usual badass self, killing a dude in a horrible, horrible way. Which leads to this very funny panel:

Hawksmoor decides that Midnighter needs to work on his human relation skills. He wants Midinghter to try helping an ordinary citizen with an ordinary problem.

Hee!!!

He does find her cat, after what turns out to be a fairly Midnighter-ish adventure involving a mad scientist who is turning housepets into bionic super-pets. We get this adorable scene at the end:
This very fun issue was written by Christos Gage, and the artwork, by John Paul Leon, was really nice. I like the Midnighter comics because the character is almost a blank slate. Creators can kind of go crazy coming up with things for him to do.

Justice League Unlimited #34

Do you know what I like about the JLU comics? This:

Blue Beetle! Hanging with Booster! All the characters are here in soothing, uncomplicated forms.
I always check out the JLU comic every month, and some are more interesting than others. This was a good one. It involved Superman confronting Zod in the Phantom Zone. And it ended with this, which you won't find at the end of any other comic:

They made a banner!!!

Man, that gang is so cute.

Countdown Week 47

Sean McKeever steps up to the plate this time, and I thought the results were far better than any previous issue of Countdown. I haven't been hating the series as much as a lot of people, but I am aware that it's a bit of a letdown after 52.

There were some really interesting and fun moments in this issue, like the business with Black Adam giving Mary his powers:

Huh.

And I LOVED the conversation between Pied Piper and The Trickster.

I find these two so charming. That's just some well-written dialogue. I'm excited that McKeever has joined team DC.

Supergirl #18

??????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have no idea what's going on here, but I know I don't like it.

Gross!

Well, at least I agreed with one thing:

Birds of Prey #107

Alright. Let's see what it's like when women fight each other and it doesn't suck.

Awesome!

Things actually ended pretty nicely for most of the Birds of Prey/Secret Six battles. Huntress and Catman went back to flirting:

Barda and Knockout called a truce and shook hands as a display of mutual respect:

Ice was back to normal, all sweet and nice and alive:

And Deadshot is still awesome:

Superman #663

This issue was clearly supposed to have come out before last week's Countdown, and before Lightray's death. They cover it up with one of those little "This story occurs prior to Countdown #48" boxes. But let's not quibble over scheduling problems. Let's instead focus on how awesome it is watching Superman use his teeth to rope up a bunch of meddling kids with heavy cable:

I don't know if I've ever seen Superman carry anything in his mouth before. Huh. Neat.

In this issue Superman is still troubled by the prophecy handed to him by Arion: that the presence of himself and other aliens was going to lead to the ultimate destruction of the human race. While he broods over this, a bunch of pesky kids from New Genesis are creating chaos all over Metropolis. It's kinda funny.

Lightray tells Superman to take the night off, promising that he'll make sure the kids clean up their mess. Supes reluctantly agrees and takes Lois to Maine, which is pretty awesome. Unfortunately, he can't stop thinking about that damn prophecy, and about how Arion has told him that he has to stop being Superman.

Man, how late do the antique shops stay open in Maine?

So that was Lois' opinion. Supes also gets one from an oddly-dressed Lana:

I was into that. The other options for a man with Superman's powers, if he has to quit the hero game.

I was also into how beautiful Pacheco's art is:

Pretty...

Pretty...