Podcast - Episode 117: Justice League


We saw Justice League! It's the story of a badass woman teaming up with two beautiful teenagers, an impossibly sexy sea man, and Ben Affleck to bring Superman and his chest hair back from the dead. 

We didn't hate it!

Thanks for listening, and you're lucky I was even alive to post this episode because the cover of the new issue of The Hollywood Reporter damn near killed me:


I mean, come on, Hollywood Reporter. You can't just post that without a LOT of warning.

Armie Hammer for Warlock, 2020!

Podcast - Episode 39: Sick Day Comics!

Guys, I'm sick. Sick enough that I thought we'd have to cancel the podcast completely this week! Gasp! But instead, inspired by an afternoon spent watching plucky Steve Rogers overcome all obstacles in Captain America: The First Avenger, I wrapped my flu-addled brain around how to record via Skype and Dave and I ended up recording a pretty ok episode!

So this week we share our favourite "sick day" comics. The comics that sooth our souls when we are feeling under the weather. It's pleasant. 

First we talk about a few other things, including the Dr. Strange set photos, which you can see here and here and probably elsewhere. For the record, this one is probably my favourite:


Here's young, hot Steve Rogers looking all hot, thanks to Daniel Acuna:

Yes. Yesssssss.

Let's keep the hotness train rolling. Here's a link to some scans of the Sebastian Stan interview in the Malaysian men's magazine, August Man. And, hey, if you need some incentive, here is a sample photo:

Man, go to hell, Sebastian.

And of course there's a hot behind the scenes photoshoot video:

Which inevitably led to hot gifs made from the video:

Man, I am feeling better by the minute here!

As I mention, fans are calling the glorious age we find ourselves in these past few weeks "Sebpocalypse". There is a great recap here.

And if you like Chris Evans (haven't forgotten about you, babe!), he is on the cover of Esquire Middle East and you can find that interview here. It also has a photo shoot video and gifs and all the stuff. He's also very attractive.

Oh, and who likes adorable J.Bone drawings of Steve and Bucky?

I could look at those all day. I do, in fact. The first one is my lock screen/background. Oh my god those guys are probably going to hug in Civil War. They probably are!!! Guys!!!!

ALSO, J drew a very funny little cartoon based on something Johnathan said on last week's episode about Batman v Superman. Check it out.

So there you go. Follow J.Bone everywhere! (Online. Not in real life. That's terrifying).

I'm running out of steam here. Enjoy the episode. Dave and I rec some pretty great comics, so have your pencils ready. I really am feeling a lot better now. 

Podcast - Episode 16: Our Collecting Style

We recorded the episode this week in the middle of New York Comic Con weekend, so there was quite a bit of news. It also happened to be a veritable tsunami of a comic book week, so there were a lot of actual comics to talk about as well. Because of all this, we chose a short topic for the back end of the podcast this week: our collections and our collecting style.

I think more than any other episode, this one sounds more or less like you're having lunch with Dave and me or something. Just a really laid back conversation that goes off on some tangents. And discoveries are made! Like how I am totally rich now from owning a comic that I didn't even know was worth money!

We talk about the new Power Man & Iron Fist series by David Walker and Sanford Greene. If you haven't seen them already, here are the awesome new character designs by Greene:

I love the sneakers on Iron Fist! Really looking forward to this series. It looks, just from these images, like it will be fun, which is all I want out of my PM&IF.

Here is the link to that Adult Winter Soldier Muscle Costume (or marital aid). You can also just buy the mask. Just saying. It's a sex thing. 100%.

I don't have a whole lot to write this week. Like I said, very casual episode. Enjoy!

Steve Rogers, Starving Himself To Be Pretty

Several of this week’s Marvel offerings had a teaser image in them that showed a white star on a black page with the word JULY underneath. This is probably just an ad for THE MARVELS PROJECT, Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting’s upcoming mini about the early days of the Super-Soldier Project and the creation of the original Human Torch, but it’s obviously supposed to make everyone think that Steve Rogers is coming back. And who knows? Maybe he is. Probably sooner rather than later. However, I’m pretty sure that this is the same gag Marvel pulled when they released an Alex Ross Cap image awhile back with the word RETURN underneath…which turned out to be nothing more than a teaser for the AVENGERS/INVADERS mini. My point is, it’s not enough to simply kill a character off anymore—as a publisher, it is also apparently your job to begin teasing the character’s return almost immediately. It’s like that story in THE ONION compilation, OUR DUMB CENTURY, reporting on the death of Elvis; the headline reads “ELVIS DEAD”, with the words “Is Elvis Alive?” underneath. None of this may seem very relevant, but I am going to review both a new CAPTAIN AMERICA comic and the comic that reintroduces Barry Allen to the land of the living, so as introductions go, it seems fairly solid. Anyway…

CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS  #1 70th ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL: This is basically the opening sequence from INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE, but with horrifyingly skinny, pre-Super-Soldier-Serum Steve Rogers instead of River Phoenix. In this flashback-within-a-flashback, Steve Rogers—who is always depicted as little more than a walking skeleton before Dr. Erskine juiced him up...

...has to keep a military secret safe from a trio of Fifth Columnists. Like in LAST CRUSADE, Steve is chased across a bunch of train cars, even using a garbage can lid as a makeshift shield at one point. It’s a cute enough story by James Robinson, one of those “he was a hero before he got the costume” dealies (albeit one that stretches credibility a fair ways—Steve’s pretty able-bodied for a 98-pound weakling who only minutes before was labeled 4-F at the recruiting station!), but the reason to check it out is the always-outstanding Marcos Martin (BATGIRL YEAR ONE, DR. STRANGE: THE OATH) on the art. This guy needs a regular gig, stat. There’s also a great Simon and Kirby Cap reprint where he and Bucky foil a villain named the Black Toad, who’s out to kill a bunch of baseball players.

Check it out! Those dudes are totally sliding into their own tombstones, and Death's like, "You're outta here!" This forces Cap and Bucky to join the game, which is undeniably awesome, although they never question why a guy who calls himself the Black Toad is dressed in a bat costume.

Yep, fangs and everything.

FLASH: REBIRTH #1: After Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver’s super-successful relaunch of the GREEN LANTERN franchise a few years back, it’s no surprise that DC wanted them to do the same with Silver Age FLASH protagonist Barry Allen. It makes sense on a number of levels, really—like Hal Jordan before him, Barry’s the Flash with the least amount of continuity baggage and the most easily explainable origin. Also, comic books regularly sold in the millions back in the heyday of Hal and Barry, so why wouldn’t you try to recapture that? This, however, is a very different animal than GL: REBIRTH, since Barry already came back to life in FINAL CRISIS, with some sort of hasty explanation that involved him being “reverse-engineered back to life in a blizzard of faster-than-light particles” or some such. The mission of this 5-part mini seems to be the re-establishment of Barry as the DC Universe’s most prominent speedster, which, it seems, may require some pruning of the family tree. Let’s face it, the DCU is lousy with speedsters young and old, and the creative team seems intent on scaling back the cast, hopefully giving Flash back some of his uniqueness. This is a potentially controversial move, but I think it’s necessary—the last two FLASH incarnations failed because they started out with too-cluttered mythologies (that’s my theory, anyway). So this book sees Barry Allen, still clinging steadfastly to his old-fashioned notions of guilt and innocence, eager to get back to fighting the good fight, while the re-appearance of super-villain Savitar seems to indicate that something is up with the Speed Force (the otherdimensional source of all the speedsters’ power). For a FLASH title, this is a pretty slow-moving first issue, cycling through tons of supporting cast before introducing its title character, and Van Sciver’s hyper-detailed art doesn’t really convey the sense of movement that a FLASH title desperately needs. I’m as happy to see Barry back as most fanboys, but this franchise may not, er, find its feet until the inevitable ongoing title (much like Johns’ GREEN LANTERN did, say).

SEAGUY: SLAVES OF MICKEY EYE #1: The original 2004 SEAGUY miniseries was one of those Grant Morrison comics like THE FILTH (or FINAL CRISIS, even) where, as a Morrison fan, I just shrug and go along for the ride, not really understanding what the hell’s going on half the time but enjoying it nonetheless. The three-issue mini, illustrated with whimsy and creepiness by Toronto artist Cameron Stewart, seemed to be Morrison’s satire on the absurdity of superhero comics--the protagonist lived in a science-fiction amusement park, repeatedly playing chess with a goofy, easily-cheated Death, all the while bemoaning the lack of excitement in a world where the ultimate evil, Anti-Dad, had been destroyed by the sacrifice of somebody called Teknostrich. SEAGUY was also some strange parody of corporate domination, featuring an omnipresent logo/mascot/TV show called Mickey Eye and a sentient foodstuff called Xoo that is offered to the book’s bored, complacent superhero characters at every turn. The book’s namesake hero went on a doomed quest to save Xoo from corporate/industrial slavery, trying to win the heart of heroine She-beard along the way. Oh yeah, and there was a mummy on the moon as well. Still with me? This long-rumoured but unlikely sequel kicks off with Seaguy realizing once again that his amusement park world might be a lot more sinister than it appears, while Seaguy’s lost sidekick Chubby Da Choona appears from beyond the grave to offer cryptic warnings that soon send Seaguy off another crazy quest, pursued by the forces of Mickey Eye. If this description has you rolling your eyes, than SEAGUY is probably not for you. However, if you like the idea of a funny, disturbing adventure book that reads like a collaboration between Gardner Fox and David Lynch, and are prepared to shrug and go along for the ride no matter how crazy it gets, than check it out.

MARVEL SPECTACULAR ASSISTANT-SIZED SPECIAL #1:  Back in ’84, Marvel’s editors relinquished control of their books to their assistants for the duration of “Assistant Editors Month”. This wasn’t really an event, more like a month of somewhat goofy stories (or in some cases, a goofy letterhead illustration and not much else), but it gave us some classics like the MARVEL TEAM-UP where Aunt May became herald to Galactus, the Avengers appearing on “Late Night with David Letterman”, and a great IRON MAN story featuring a bunch of neighbourhood kids with an Avengers club whose Iron Man is booted out of the team in disgrace, just like his drunk-at-the-time namesake. However, in today’s hectic, crossover-driven marketplace, there’s no way Marvel would give up a month of their books to the whims of their assistant editors, so instead we have this two-issue miniseries that sees the lowly assistants convening in the Marvel bathroom to have their own pitch session. The resulting anthology features a Middle-Eastern-set D-Man tale by Brian Patchett and Xurxo G. Penalta, an American Eagle vs. Cottonmouth story by Jason Aaron and Richard Isanove, and an always-welcome MINI MARVELS entry by Chris Giarrusso…apparently, the only place a Clint Barton Hawkeye fan can get a fix these days. The resulting mix of tone and style in these stories is pretty weird—the D-Man story has a very indie comics feel, the American Eagle number is fairly gritty (and Isanove’s art makes the whole affair look like a DARK TOWER outtake—but the cute framing sequence by Chris Eliopoulous and Jacob Chabot and the Giarrusso story make it all better. The whole affair is topped off by a dope David Williams (HULK/POWER PACK) cover, who needs to do some more interiors, pronto.

KILLER OF DEMONS #2: This three-parter from Christopher Yost (X-FORCE) and Scott Wegener is a bit like the 2001 film FRAILTY, only less homespun and more crazy. An office drone named Dave starts seeing that most of the people around him are demons, and embarks on a mission from God to wipe them out. But is Dave actually being shown visions of Hell from his angel guide, Uriel, or is he just a plain old homicidal loony?

KILLER OF DEMONS is heavy on zany humour—Dave works for a tobacco company that is always looking for new ways to market their product to an increasingly younger audience, his FBI agent brother gleefully uses online gaming to trap pedophiles, Satan enlists a stripper-assassin to kill Dave—but this week’s issue two brings with it some surprising twists as well, like the lengths Dave’s cop girlfriend goes to in order to protect her guy when she learns about his hobby. Wegener’s angular, cartoony art is a lot tighter and more assured with the second issue as well, and Yost’s script has a nice balance of humour and action that has me looking forward to the wrap-up.

This Week's Haul: Flash Back!

The Flash: Rebirth #1

I have made it pretty clear that I will buy anything that Geoff Johns writes, so I was pretty excited about this. Plus, I really enjoyed Green Lantern: Rebirth, so I was hoping that this would promise to be as good. The first issue of the story of Barry Allen's return starts with some blood spashing all over the page, just in case you forgot that Geoff Johns is writing it. It also features lots of "Welcome Back" parties and parades being set up in various locations on the same day (because, y'know, The Flash can make it to all of them no problem. Cute!). It also features a lot of Barry chatting with his old pal Hal Jordan, which I loved.

It's a very exciting first issue and I can't wait for the next one!

JSA #25

And since we're talking about Geoff Johns anyway, this is the penultimate issue of his very enjoyable run on JSA. It's also the finale of a pretty exciting Marvel family story featuring Crazy Black Adam, Crazier Isis, Slutty Mary Marvel, Powerless Billy Batson, and Pissed Off Shazam.

Speaking of the JSA, I highly recommend Johnathan's recent and important posts about whether or not the member of the Golden Age Justice Society would make the Legion of Super Heroes. I was laughing my ass off reading it, and my husband was like "what are you doing?" to which I had to reply "reading Johnathan's post about whether or not members of the Golden Age Justice League would be admitted into the Legion of Super Heroes...which is NOT AS NERDY AS IT SOUNDS!" Anyway, check them out here and here.

Jonah Hex #42

In this issue, young Jonah Hex is put through a merciless, abusive involuntary Batman-style training regimen by his crazy drunken father to toughen him up. As we all know, it worked. But that doesn't make it right.

Or does it?

Either way it makes for great reading!

I love how nearly every issue starts with some dudes who are like "Say your prayers, Hex, because you are going to die now." And I'm all like "Oh shit! Those guys are totally going to die SO HARD!" Good comics.

Captain America Comics 70th Anniversary Special #1

Holy hell. This was awesome. In general, I really love Captain America's origin story. And I really, really love Marcos Martin's art. But even I was surprised at how awesome the two things combined turned out to be. This is a definite must-own, people.


X-Men First Class Finals #3

Ok, the main story was really great and everything as usual, but I have to totally freak out here about the long and awesome Colleen Coover back-up story. She totally draws the most adorable Man-Thing ever! Check it out:

Pride and Prejudice #1

I didn't actually buy this or read it, I just flipped through it. I just want to say this: what if Colleen Coover had been the artist on this?

Awesome, right?

Other things I read this week: Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam #3 (A rare treat! A perfect kids superhero comic, I say. If only it came out faster!), Amazing Spider-Man #590 (it's got the Fantastic Four in it!), and Franklin Richards: Son of a Genius: April Fools (hilarious!).

Things I haven't read yet: Doctor Doom and the Masters of Evil #3 (I forgot to buy it! Drat!) and Jersey Gods #3 (I just realized I haven't read issue #2 yet! Smack!).

This Week's Haul: Badness Happening in Tangent

So, I don't really want to get into the two comics in too much detail, but there was a very specific problem happening with Justice League of America and Countdown Arena this week. Consider first the infinitely unlikely coincidence of any Tangent comics character being referenced twice in one week. Now let's add the improbability that the same Tangent character is being used in two separate series...and that one of these comics completely contradicts the events of the other. I mean, I don't care to see the Tangent comics Flash in any of my books, but I certainly don't want her to be teaming up with the JLA in one book, and dying horribly in another at the exact same time. I mean, really, what are the odds that the same RIDICULOUSLY obscure character is being used twice in one week, and that they can't even get THAT to sync up?!

In related news, I dropped JLA from my pull list this week. I gave it a more than fair chance, and this issue was beyond terrible. Never in my wildest dreams would I expect to drop a JLA comic written by Dwayne McDuffie, but here we are.

And since I am waxing cranky about DC anyway, I'd also like to voice my disappointment of a complete lack of Christmas-themed comic this year. Oh, except the TERRIBLE issue of Detective Comics, which wrapped up the Resurrection of Ra's Al Ghul with this drippy panel:

Yargh. I almost barfed on my comic, which would have reduced its condition to poor and I would not have been able to return it to the store.

But seriously, DC. Nothing? Last year you guys had that great Xmas issue of JLU, and then the half decent Infinite Christmas Holiday special, PLUS a festive issue of 52. And this year not even a festive installment of Countdown?! What's wrong with the DCU? It's a world of dread and fear, where the only water flowing is the bitter sting of tears. Do they know it's Christmastime at all?

And don't think you're getting away easy, either Marvel! What If Civil War?! That's not even a question! And the inside was, like, what if Civil War was written correctly the first time. But with much worse art, at least in the second story.

The Marvel Christmas Special was, however, very fun. Particularly the first story.

I'm in a bad mood because I took home a very large stack of comics and enjoyed very few of them. But, hey. It wasn't all bad. Let's look at some others:

The Immortal Iron Fist #11

Now THIS was an awesome comic!

This must be the funnest comic to write. Particularly this storyline, with the kung-fu matches happening in every issue, complete with crazy awesome names for every move.

And the bad guys are just so evil. I love it!

This series rules so much because its pretty much the lone representative on the shelves currently of a very classic genre of pulp entertainment. And it's a really, really good representative. It's kinda like The Spirit in that way. I feel when I am reading it that it's a labour of love for everyone involved.

Catwoman #74

I love this series, but why oh why must it constantly be tying into events? Particularly events that I have no interest in? If any comic should just be allowed to stand alone, it's this one. I get that they want to make Catwoman kinda badass again. This issue had her cutting off all her hair to symbolize her return to...I dunno...pre-One Year Later, I suppose. Forget everything you thought you knew and enjoyed about Selina Kyle, because now she's childless and being magically transported to Salvation Run! Why? I am guessing her books aren't selling well enough. Which is too bad because its an excellent series, and was actually the best post-Crisis book going, for my money. But thank God they are doing away with all those pesky character developments that I have been very excited about for the past year and a half or so. Why stop at this reduction? Let's just stuff her in the purple costume again and have Doug Moench write her.

Argh. Sorry. I trust in Pfeifer to maintain the awesomeness of this comic through whatever muck the higher ups at DC decide to drag it through, because he's done a good job so far. I'm just frustrated because I love this series so much, and Selina Kyle is one of my all-time favourite fictional characters. This issue was good, and the art was beautiful as always, but I just wish it could be left alone. I guess I should be thankful that it wasn't part of the Ra's Al Ghul crossover.

Birds of Prey #113

Sean McKeever makes his debut, and it's a loud one! He decides to kick off his run with a giant disaster which occurs on the BoP's watch. A big ol' chunk of Metropolis gets blown up. It's not good:

Barbara gets a strip torn off her from Superman:

I think it's an interesting direction for the series. Now the team is fighting to get back in Superman's good books. The writing was great, even though it understandably needed to include a number of quick character introductions to get new readers up-to-speed. I really enjoyed Tony Bedard's short run on this, but I'm excited to see what McKeever's got planned.

Incredible Hulk #112

Marvel wins this week because I really enjoyed this comic too. The art, by Khoi Pham and Stephane Peru, was really excellent.

I'm really enjoying the team-up of Hercules and this Amadeus kid. They are a lot of fun together.

Superman #671

All I really want to say about this comic is how much I love this panel:

Ahahahaha! He looks like Beaker!

Superman/Batman #44

Can you believe this series is up to issue #44 already? I do love that bold cover, though, of Superman busting right through Batman, ripping him clean in half.

I'm not going to lie to you...I was looking forward to this issue because I could not wait to make fun of it. After Michael Green's absolutely absurd run on Batman Confidential, I was expecting nothing less than side-splitting unintentional hilarity out of this book. I wasn't disappointed. But I also didn't hate it in the way I thought I would. It actually captured my heart, much like my beloved Smallville: it's so stupid, it's almost charming.

It opens with Superman and Batman secretly watching over the filming of a Superman/Batman movie (directed, apparantly, by Jeph Loeb).

They are using real Kryptonite on the set as a prop for "realism." That's fine, except this comic also works in Smallville continuity, meaning that Kryptonite causes mutations in many humans. So...if that were the case...they probably wouldn't be using it on the set of a movie. It wouldn't be all that safe.

Anyway, Livewire shows up and does her thing, which causes Kryptonite shards to fly everywhere, including into Superman's face and eye.

So he goes down, and Flash shows up. Except Flash is a TOTAL DOUCHE! He just keeps ribbing Supes for being taken down by a "second-stringer" like Livewire. But, seriously, Superman has a face full of Kryptonite and he is dying. And Flash is being all "Man, I am never going to let you live this down." It's jarringly out-of-character for ol' Wally.

Anyway, they get Superman to the Fortress of Solitude, and Batman shows up with Alfred so he can remove the Kryptonite. Could they have taken Superman to the Batcave and it would have been easier for everyone? Yes. Of course.

Superman does some thinking over the next few days, and then recruits Batman to help him rid the world of all Kryptonite. The issue ends with them realizing that there is an awful lot of it to round up. Good thing they have five more issues.

Metamorpho Year One #6

This comic had that thing that I love where superheroes team up to mess with people's heads!

The JLA totally shows up in this issue and disguises themselves as bad guys so Metamorpho will fight them and show them what he's got. I love that stuff!

And Batman...did nothing.

This was a great ending to a very fun mini-series. Well done! But I'm still not reading Outsiders!

***Speaking of The Outsiders, Geo-Force got traded in this week's issue. He's no longer a JLA member. Can they just do that? "Hey, Geo-Force...pack your desk. You're moving to the Outsiders."

Marvel Adventures: Fantastic Four #31

I will buy anything with David Hahn art. Plus, I loves me some Marvel Adventures comics.

This was written by Kirsten Sinclair, who I admit I am unfamiliar with. The issue is a lot of fun. The FF go shopping! And The Thing gets a facial!

It's very funny and the art, of course, is beautiful. Do check it out.

All done! My scanner wasn't working all week, but I got it up and running again. So the posts should be flowing on a more regular basis. Comments are welcome. We can talk about anything...like how rad Grendel is, or how much I wish next week's comics...which are going to RULE...we're going to be late. Stupid holidays.