Sure, our weekly comic book review podcast The Stack is an audio podcast – but what if it wasn’t? To provide better service to our listeners, here’s a transcript of the latest episode, featuring reviews for: Second Coming #1, Giant-Size X-Statix #1, Batman #74, Reaver #1, Invisible Woman #1, Blade Runner 2019 #1 (out July 17), Ghosted in LA #1, Event Leviathan #2, War of the Realms: Omega, Unearth #1, Archie vs. Predator II #1 (out July 24), Weapon Plus #1 and Naomi #6.
If you like this, please let us know and we’ll aim to do it more frequently!
Alex: What is up everybody? Welcome to The Stack. I’m Alex.
Justin: I’m Justin.
Pete: I am Pete.
Alex: And on The Stack we talk about a bunch of comics that come out willy-nilly, we don’t even care anymore. Some of them were today.
Alex: Some of them are next week, some of them are several weeks from now.
Justin: Some of them are Wednesdays, some of them are Wednesdays, some of them are Wednesdays. It’s chaos.
Alex: I guess that’s consistent. I’m sorry about that.
Justin: Fuck yeah. But this is a big Stack.
Alex: This is a big Stack.
Justin: This is a big Stack.
Alex: Oh, a big Stack. That’s a-
Pete: It’s not like a huge Stack, but it’s a big-
Justin: It’s a dece Stack.
Pete: It’s dece. It’s dece. I wouldn’t put it in the whole-
Alex: I’ve seen bigger.
Alex: Should we get into it?
Justin: Yeah, let’s do it. It’s dece.
Alex: Or just keep talking around this?
Justin: The size. I always talk up the size.
Alex: It’s not important the size of the Stack, it’s how the reviews go.
Justin: Which is what we’re doing now.
Alex: Kicking it off with AHOY Comic’s Second Coming #1. Now, this one caused a big kerfuffle back in the day. It was originally supposed to be a Vertigo Comics book and then, for some reason, the idea of writing a comic book about Jesus coming back to Earth and tangling with a Superman-esque superhero ruffled some feathers. Who would’ve thought? It has since moved over to AHOY Comics with the same team, including Mark Russell is the writer. He wrote the Flintstones comic book, which I like so much, a couple of other titles.
Pete: Wonder Twins.
Alex: What did you guys think about this book? Was it worth the controversy? Is it controversial? How’d you think about the content? Pete, you’re raising your hand, very polite thing to do in a church-like atmosphere, which is what we’re trying to get into here.
Pete: Yes. I’m wondering is the AHOY Comics a connection to the Netflix Stranger Things Ahoy?
Alex: Well, look who watched a TV show!
Justin: TV guy over here. Looking-deep conspiracy theorist.
Alex: Yes. Scoops Ahoy from Stranger Things 3?
Justin: Or is it a connection to Chips Ahoy, the popular cookie? Or a connection to the word ahoy, which sailors say?
Alex: Yep. I think it’s the third one, because that’s the name of the comic book company.
Justin: That’s what it is.
Alex: They are a fledgling comic book company. They’ve just launched. But they have some really quality titles that people are liking a lot. There’s, oh gosh, I’m blanking on the name of it, it’s not a Different World, it’s Another World, a parallel universe tale. They have this. They have a couple of other titles coming up as well. They’re expanding pretty rapidly. But beyond your very funny joke about Stranger Things, really liked it, very topical. What’d you think about the comic book? Pete?
Pete: Super relig, like you’ve really got to know your stuff to follow this thing.
Justin: Eh, I don’t know if you have that, you have to know your stuff.
Pete: Oh man, you got to know all the Commandments, bro.
Alex: No, you don’t.
Pete: Nah, they’re not even listed in here. It’s just a stone tablet with squiggles on it, which I think is what the original Commandment-
Alex: What I liked about this book was its approach to religion. What I was expecting coming into here and what I think people were expecting based on the controversy was that it was really going to skewer Jesus and be raunchy and in your face. But it’s actually I think very respectful and thoughtful about religion, which I liked a lot.
Justin: Yeah. I thought this was great, really smart. I can’t believe this controversy, because if anything, this feels like it’s bringing the values of Jesus Christ to a younger audience that would be interested in looking at it. And especially with a Superman analog main character, which so many Superman movies are like so Christ-y. Like which one was it that their most recent Superman that didn’t have Batman in it, where he’s like falling?
Alex: Man of Steel?
Justin: Man of Steel, where he’s like falling out of the orbit with his hands out and they’re like crucifixed. I was like that’s more sacrilegious than this. This is at least about that religious figure.
Alex: Right. There’s some parody things that happen. You start with a God who is very like good-old dude. He’s being raunchy and in your face to people. He’s pretty pissed off at humanity. Eventually, Jesus decides to go down after 30 days… 30 years, excuse me.
Pete: 30 years.
Alex: Sorry. Jewish. I’m not really familiar with this stuff.
Justin: This must have been really hard for you to understand.
Alex: I just couldn’t get into it at all.
Pete: This is kind of raunchy.
Alex: Write something about Passover. Come on.
Pete: They had the old forbidden fruit. There was dicks and…
Justin: That’s funny.
Pete: Yeah, vaginas and fruit. So that was pretty raunchy. Also-
Alex: Wait. Sorry. What kind of fruit do you eat?
Pete: But God was kind of a dick to his son. Like, “You only lasted 30 years.” I was like, “Wow, this is…” They had raunchy moments. So I can understand the controversy a little bit.
Alex: Sure. When they actually get to the Jesus of it all, he’s kind and he is loving. They portray his death in a more human way than I think I’ve seen ever portrayed.
Justin: That’s what I’m saying. It’s really smart. And Mark Russell who is a writer who always thinks so deeply about the content he’s creating, and it’s just another great example of that.
Pete: That was really funny the way you were like, “He is a writer.” Oh, the guy who wrote this is a writer?
Justin: That’s what I’m talking about.
Pete: Thanks for clearing that up.
Justin: Well, that’s just another conspiracy theory we can take off your board for you.
Alex: Yeah. And as this continues in his works, and the Superman character also, it’s very knowledgeable and nice about the Superman character. Same sort of thing. He could’ve been a dick. It could’ve been like, and this is not a knock against it, but it could’ve been a Garth Ennis The Boys style thing, it’s not that at all. And he talks about this in the back matter a bit where he says, “No. He’s religious and he wants to explore what religion means and what Christ coming back to Earth would actually mean and how that would relate to people.” And I think that’s fascinating.
Justin: Very cool. Christ, the original superhero.
Alex: Oh, boy.
Justin: That’s what a lot of people say in Sunday school I bet.
Alex: I don’t know. I’d say Moses maybe.
Justin: Come on. Who do you have on your side that’s a real hero?
Alex: My side? They’re all on my side.
Justin: Oh, yeah?
Alex: Including Jesus, asshole.
Pete: Oh, boy.
Justin: Honestly, you probably know more about Christianity than I do.
Alex: It’s entirely possible. Let’s move on to a Marvel Comic book-
Justin: Elijah, he’s the one you’re leaving the chair. What’s up with him? Is he invisible?
Alex: Yeah. He’s got invisibility powers.
Justin: See, there we go.
Alex: It’s pretty sweet.
Justin: Is he there? Is he not? Leave a chair open because he could show up.
Alex: Yep. Abraham has roasting his own son powers, which is pretty cool.
Justin: Nice. What a hero. He’s a real Punisher type.
Pete: Oh, come on, man.
Alex: He doesn’t like picnics unless they’re his son.
Pete: Aw, dude.
Alex: All right. Moving on to a Marvel comic book. This is a big return. Giant Size X-Statix #1 after years talking about parodies and the ultimate X-Men parody that was incontinuity is finally back. They’re bringing in some new characters. The old team, Peter Milligan, Mike Allred, and Laura Allred are back together. This is so good. I was so happy to see they’re back together again. How’d you guys feel about this?
Pete: The art alone is worth picking this up. It’s so cool.
Justin: Very cool, very fun. Some of the jokes felt a little dusty to me.
Alex: I can see that.
Justin: A little dusty. But honestly, the first thing when I was reading this was I had a flashback to when we were doing our old video show The Stack, and we reviewed the X-Force run that Joe Casey and Rob Liefeld relaunched with. And I think I said on the show like, “We’ve seen this before so many times. The original X-Force, the X-Statix, this feels like a re-tread.” And Rob Liefeld hammered us in the comments.
Alex: Oh, that’s right. Yeah.
Justin: Really got after us. So I had a wicked flashback of like, “Oh no. Remember? We were yelled at.” So much.
Alex: So much.
Justin: So, so much.
Alex: Yeah. Well, Rob Liefeld, definitely let us know what you think about our review of Giant Size X-Statix I guess. I think it’s good to see everybody back together.
Alex: It’s definitely skewering the whole idea of Giant Size X-Men. It is skewering reboots as well as it goes. But I liked it. I’m excited to find out by the end of the issue that there’s more of it. The general idea, as much as there is any sort of, not idea, but any sort of dramatic thrust behind an X-Statix book, is the X-Statix have been broken apart. They are brought back together because one of their old leaders has turned into an enemy and a big twist. But mostly, everybody’s concerned with ratings, just like they usually were. They want to get back on TV. They want to be famous. They’re interested in deal ends. It’s fun.
Pete: They’re trying to get the youth on board. Yeah. I mean, it’s all about getting those youth numbers.
Justin: What I like about-
Alex: That’s why, I just want to mention, I’m very interested to introduce our new youth correspondent J.T. Sizz.
Justin: Hey. What up. J.T. Sizz here. Just checking it out, just Snapchat, just doing work on the Internet, just like checking it out and running around the comment board. So yeah-
Pete: You all right?
Pete: What just happened?
Alex: He’s J.T. Sizz, our team correspondent.
Justin: Hey, hey, hey. J.T. Sizz just checking on Snapchat.
Pete: He just turned his hat backwards and then started talking very fast.
Justin: That was a different person, different person.
Alex: Well, you don’t know anything about kids.
Justin: Different persona. Young, fresh chi-
Alex: How’s Tiktok by the way?
Justin: Tik the cool, Tiktok. Beep, beep, beep, boop, beep-
Alex: Nice. Can you Venmo me some stuff?
Justin: I already sent you money. Venmo, Zelle, Chase QuickPay.
Pete: Oh my god. What the fuck? Who are-
Alex: Kids love Chase QuickPay.
Pete: Kids love Chase QuickPay, you asshole.
Justin: It’s just another great way to send money.
Pete: Man, you have got your finger on the pulse, bro.
Justin: I fucking do.
Alex: I’m 14 years old and I love TD Bank. Ameritrade.
Justin: Hey. People love a bank reffed by Regis Philbin. Huge youth star. What I was going to say is I love how these characters are selfish. That’s it.
Alex: All right. Let’s move on to a DC comic book, Batman #74. This is the end of the last arc before City of Bane kicks off. Where we left things, Batman’s father is back alive, sort of. He’s the Batman from the Flashpoint universe. He is carting around the dead body of Batman’s mother through the desert with Batman, who seems to be brainwashed, at least that’s where he left him. In this issue, we pick up with him, not getting to a Lazarus Pit, what is it called, a Carn Pit?
Justin: This is like a high-end Lazarus Pit.
Alex: Like a real primo one.
Justin: Like a bad. The Lazarus Pit of Lazarus pits.
Alex: But as a classic soul-gem-type situation where you got to trade a life for a life to bring somebody back to life. And over the course of this, they tell a classic fable that ties into the issue that leads to a awesome cliffhanger at the end. I was so satisfied with the finish to this arc.
Pete: I was so nervous after the last issue. I was pretty upset about the choices that Batman was making. This issue completely redeemed everything and I’m so happy with the way this ended and how it ended. And oh my god, the writing, the art is just fantastic in this book. Yeah, this was such a cool story arc and such a fun twist that really kind of had you on the edge of your seat of like, “What the fuck is happening?”
Justin: Tom King is the Shakespeare of Batman.
Pete: They even got a Kite Man reference in. I know you guys love that.
Justin: Yep. No, I think someone else had a Kite Man reference in one of our Stack this week.
Justin: I think this run lays out so many themes of Batman and we get to experience them all at once. Like it’s so good. It’s about him being a great hero. Dealing with a tragedy without having to see a bunch of pearls falling all over the ground again. We get to see him be like a detective, outfox someone, dealing with Batman family at the same time.
Alex: I get it. Outfox. Nice reference.
Justin: Got you over there. See, Shakespeare, layering ideas, fox.
Alex: By the way, I like how you just sat on your chair backwards when you said he was the original Shakespeare.
Justin: Thank you. I sometimes are youthful, but I’m sometimes like a cool professor.
Alex: Oh, man.
Pete: Oh my god.
Alex: You stand and deliver.
Justin: That’s right. I have tenure here on this podcast. I hate to tell you. I’m here permanently.
Alex: All right. Let’s hear from Pete’s dangerous mind. What do you have to say?
Pete: I was just really impressed with how well everything really tied in, in such a smart way. And also the way that they dealt with his past just in such a cool way that said so much when you stop and think about it. Yeah. I was just so impressed with Tom King and I’m sad to see that he’s not going to be doing it after a little bit.
Alex: Well, but he is. He’s going to be doing Batman through City of Bane that he’s moving over to the Batman and Catwoman title. So we’re not getting rid of him for a good long while.
Justin: He’s going to be around.
Alex: Just like Shakespeare.
Alex: Is still around.
Justin: Who do you think is going to take over Batman after Tom King?
Justin: Oh wow. That would be cool.
Alex: That would be a-
Justin: People would love that. Yeah. I know they’re like, “Hey, Tom King, your Batman is a little too confusing. Let’s get William Shakespeare to write it.”
Alex: Oh, man. Could you imagine. That would sell a lot of copies.
Justin: Yeah, true.
Pete: No. No, it wouldn’t.
Alex: No? If Shakespeare came back to life and wrote a comic book?
Pete: Yeah. People would be upset.
Justin: They’d be like, “Dude, can we examine you? Why are you writing a comic?”
Alex: He’d be like, “I want to explain how Batman’s parents died.”
Pete: Oh my god.
Alex: “I’m Shakespeare.”
Justin: Do you even know what an impression is? That’s so far from even the idea of an impression. It’s like you’re doing a parrot.
Pete: You didn’t even do like a-
Justin: It’s actually you’re being a parrot version.
Alex: “J.B., I’ll be better.”
Justin: Not all impressions are parrots doing voices. A lot of people do impressions where they sound like the person.
Alex: “Yeah, you guys. I wrote several Henry plays.”
Pete: Oh my god.
Alex: “Check those out. Here’s the next, Reaver, Image Comics. Reaver #1.” I thought this was pretty good.
Pete: All right. So let’s say the actual title in a way that-
Alex: Reaver #1, very clear when I said it.
Pete: No, it was not.
Alex: From Image Comics. This is a new title bringing together a team in a magical world to go on an adventure together. But it’s way darker and grosser than that. Pete, this seemed right up your alley. What did you think?
Pete: Yeah. I really love this comic. I liked the way they kind of formed the team in a classic way that was just a lot of fun, and intense, very intense. Didn’t shy away from a lot of issues. But I was real impressed with this, and it’s done such a good job of getting you excited for the next issue.
Justin: Yeah. I agree. This is fun. It’s like sort of a Ocean’s 11-y thing. We don’t quite know the rules of the world, expect like sharks’ teeth can be really sharp.
Alex: I’m just always into when you have a scene of somebody who’s been hanging out at a big pool of blood, and then they come out of the big pool of blood and the blood is dripping off them. I’m like, “Nice.”
Justin: That’s cool.
Alex: That’s a cool swimming pool you got there.
Justin: That’s a cool swimming pool.
Alex: Yeah, this is fun. Like you said, very Ocean’s 11-y, but darker on a fantasy subject. The characters are very clear from the get-go. They’re clearly in a dangerous situation. It’s going to be fun to follow this one as it goes along.
Justin: It will be so hard to maintain a pool of blood. Think of the chlorine-
Pete: Well, that’s why they have all those people they murder.
Alex: You don’t want to open your eyes when you’re swimming through a pool of blood because you get the chlorine in your eyes.
Alex: That’s the problem.
Alex: Moving back to Marvel Comics, Invisible Woman #1. This is Mark Waid doing a little bit of a spy twist on the classic Fantastic Four.
Justin: A riff.
Alex: A riff, if you will. What’d you think about this? This was a surprise to me. I guess I should’ve known this was coming out, but I did not. And I was very surprised how it turned out.
Justin: Got you. You just got pranked. Your boys P and J.T. Sizz hid it from you and then pranked you.
Alex: I tell you guys you’re supposed to send me that report of every Fantastic Four book that’s coming out. Monday-
Justin: Yeah, we didn’t do it.
Alex: You didn’t let me know.
Pete: We didn’t do it.
Alex: You guys got me so bad.
Justin: Ah, we got you. Chase QuickPay.
Pete: Yeah. I was happy that Sue Storm’s getting a little love. First time she’s got a-
Alex: Oh, Sue Storm. Look who’s on a casual first name basis with her.
Pete: Me and the Suez. But yeah. I’m glad that she’s got her own solo title and Mark Waid’s writing it. He’s an amazing writer, so that’s exciting. And it’s cool to see her not dragged down by her awful husband, so it’s fun to see what she can do on her own. Even in this comic, they were showing her being like, “Please pay attention to me.” And he’s like, “I’m busy. Go away.”
Alex: Was that Shakespeare? What was going on there?
Justin: I think that was a parrot of doing Reed Richards. You guys really parrots-
Alex: We’re taking a class.
Justin: Yeah, it’s cool. Thanks.
Pete: Yeah. Parrot class.
Justin: Great choice for a class.
Alex: Very expensive.
Justin: The bird prices alone.
Alex: A bird teaches it.
Justin: Is it taught by a bird?
Alex: It’s taught by a bird, yeah. Most of the other classmates, I have noticed, and I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, Pete, are birds.
Pete: Yeah. You know, I don’t see color but-
Alex: Now that I think of it, so it’s Wednesday night, Pete and I go down to Washington Square Park, the class is in the middle of Washington Square Park. We throw our money on the ground, the bird teacher picks it up and teaches us to be birds. I’m starting to think maybe it’s just a flock of birds that we’re throwing all of our money into.
Pete: That can’t be true. There’s no way.
Justin: But your work, your impressions have gotten so much stronger.
Alex: I know. That’s what I’m saying is I’m learning so much. I wouldn’t want to cast dispersions on Senor Feathers.
Pete: Yeah, I mean…
Alex: Good teacher.
Justin: Did you say senior?
Pete: The Yelp review was really highly rated so I doubt it could be-
Alex: But, again, the Yelp review was just a dog going “Yow, yow.”
Justin: I like this Invisible Woman comic too. I like that she’s been sort of given this role or she carved out this role as part of S.H.I.E.L.D. And now Mark Waid is taking that and sort of running with it on this little espionage mission. So of course, she encountered a friend on the way.
Alex: This is something you should never think about with comic books, but this comic book definitely made me start thinking about her age, specifically because she’s running missions with original style Nick Fury back when Fantastic Four debuted. And then, this is clearly years later, and new Nick Fury, Nick Fury Jr. has showed up, and interacted with her and was like, “Oh, you were on missions back with my dad years ago.” And I’m like, “Is she 60 years old? What exactly is happening here?”
Pete: Don’t think about age or time.
Alex: I know. Again, you shouldn’t think about it.
Justin: They were in space for awhile where time’s different.
Alex: Oh, okay. Runs backwards or whatever?
Justin: Yeah. Plus, in space, it like treats your skin, because it’s so cold. Keeps it tight.
Alex: In space, no one can treat your skin except you.
Justin: Yep. That’s how it goes.
Alex: Blade Runner 2019 #1 from Titan Comics coming out July 17th. So a little advance review.
Justin: It’ll leave time for you so you can have more time to think about it.
Alex: You can get a running head start to the comic book shop.
Justin: Exactly. Really pull yourself back like one of those old cars and then let yourself go.
Alex: So as you can expect from the title, since it’s Blade Runner 2019, nothing’s happened yet. It just takes place now and there’s no blade runners, there’s no replicants, or anything like that. It’s pretty cool.
Pete: Did you read this comic?
Alex: No, it’s a joke, Pete. I’m making a joke.
Pete: Oh geez.
Justin: Because it takes place in the future. Blade Runner.
Alex: Yes. But 2019 is now.
Justin: Because there’s Blade Runner 2049, which is 30 years from now.
Pete: That’s pretty quick math there.
Justin: Just think where we’ll be.
Alex: Oh, man.
Justin: The answer? Right here.
Alex: Now, have you guys seen the Blade Runner movies?
Alex: What did you think about it as people who have seen the Blade Runner movies?
Pete: So I liked this. I mean, it’s very similar setup to the Blade Runner movies. But I enjoyed this. I think it’s a cool character that we get to be with. And I’m excited for more. I think the art’s fantastic, it’s kind of a classic thing that we can quickly get behind, sets up the world and gets going. I thought it was a great first issue.
Justin: Yeah. Like you said, we dispensed with the ‘is she a replicant’ thing right out of the gate, so we don’t have to wonder.
Pete: Spoilers, dude. Come on, bro.
Justin: I didn’t say is she or is she not. I’m just saying that’s what we’re dealing with here. And the mystery of the kidnapped-
Pete: Spoilers, bro. Come on.
Alex: It’s okay, Pete.
Justin: That’s just talking about the story. It doesn’t say anything. I think there’s going to be a mystery there that I’m excited to see unfold.
Alex: Yeah. The setup reminded me a little bit of Altered Carbon. I don’t know if you’ve seen that on Netflix.
Justin: Oh, yeah.
Pete: Oh, wow.
Alex: Like it starts in a very similar way.
Justin: You’re getting down deep in that Netflix.
Alex: Here’s a funny thing. I’ve seen Altered Carbon. I’ve never seen Blade Runner.
Justin: Wow. That’s fucked up.
Pete: It is fucked up.
Justin: Very fucked up.
Pete: Neither of them?
Justin: You’ve only-
Alex: Neither of them. Well, I’ve never watched Blade Runner 2049 because I’ve never seen Blade Runner and-
Pete: What’s that about?
Alex: It just never happened for me.
Justin: You’ve only eaten hydrox and never touched an oreo?
Alex: Yeah. Wait, they sell oreos?
Justin: You’ve only eaten red vines and wouldn’t eat a twizzler?
Alex: I did have red vines the other day and I was like, “These are not good.” I don’t know why the west coast likes them.
Justin: They’re like cut-up extension cords.
Pete: Dude! Come on, man. Red vines are great.
Alex: Eh. They’re good for sipping soda maybe, and that’s it. But they taste like they were rubbed on a chalkboard.
Pete: Well, you’re rubbed on a chalkboard.
Justin: That’s a takedown.
Alex: Thanks. Sick burn. This title, as somebody who has not seen either Blade Runner movie, I still like this quite a bit. I know enough about the lore and what goes on in the movies to understand what’s happening there. But I thought the characters were good, they were interesting. The storytelling was good. Like you said, the mystery is interesting, and certainly going to go in some twisty directions as it goes.
Alex: Next, we’ll just talk about, I believe this is from BOOM! Studios, Ghosted in L.A. #1.
Alex: Boombox. And this is about a girl who moves to L.A. to be with her boyfriend and then, spoilers from the title, gets ghosted.
Justin: Yeah. What I’m talking about with ghosts is, you got J.T. Sizzle on the mike here, and ghost is when you like talk to somebody and they’re like, “Whoa, later. Bye, bye.”
Alex: Yeah. Like we invite them over to your Chase idea.
Justin: Exactly. Like, “No dice. Later. Bye, bye. Tiktok.”
Alex: And then she meets a literal ghost later on and that’s the setup for the book. What’d you think about this first issue?
Pete: Well, I think it was a little bit of like the classic, “Oh, move to a place for somebody.” And I’m like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah.” Your roommates a psychopath. Okay, we get it. We get it. But when we get to the ghost stuff, that’s when things start being original and more fun and so-
Justin: So you sound like… Have you ever moved to a place for somebody?
Justin: It’s intense.
Pete: Yeah, it is. But it’s like her friend gave her the real truth, she couldn’t handle it, she started to go anyways. Just you know… But I liked the ghost stuff and I’m excited to see what happens moving forward.
Alex: Pete, would you ever move somewhere for somebody?
Pete: Yes, I would. Thank you for asking.
Alex: Oh, really? Interesting.
Justin: That’s a good answer to that question.
Pete: Yeah. Yeah.
Alex: Huh. Even if it hurt other people in your life?
Pete: I don’t know. It’d be tough, but figure it out.
Justin: You got to figure it out. That’s right.
Pete: You got to figure it out.
Justin: Just don’t ghost people.
Pete: Yeah, you don’t want to ghost.
Justin: You know what I’m talking about?
Justin: Because people are irreplaceable.
Alex: Yeah. Particularly if it’s like shows you’ve been doing for a really long time, Pete.
Pete: Well, you know, love’s more important.
Alex: Jesus. What are we talking about right now?
Justin: That’s very too on the nose.
Alex: All right. This book, I do think is fun. The characters are fun. I will say, to Pete’s point-
Alex: … it felt like it got to the concept by the end of the book and I wanted that to come in the middle of the book.
Justin: I see.
Alex: So I’m definitely interested to check out a second issue of this. But this felt like either a pilot jammed into one issue, or the first 10 minutes of a pilot.
Justin: I can see that. But I agree. I liked it. It’s fun stuff.
Alex: Cool. Moving on to a DC comic book, Event Leviathan #2. Now there is a new character-
Pete: This is the Kite Man riff.
Justin: This is the Kite man riff.
Alex: This is the Kite Man riff. There is a new character named Leviathan who has destroyed all the intelligence agencies in the DC universe. Some of the biggest detectives in the DC universe have banded together to try to figure out who it is and exactly what’s going on. In this issue, they float a new suspect who happens to be Jason Todd.
Pete: Dude. Spoilers, bro.
Alex: It’s pretty obvious from the beginning that’s what they’re going for.
Justin: That it is Jason Todd. Yeah. But I think then we can say that it’s probably not Jason Todd.
Alex: Right. I agree.
Alex: Because we’re only partially the way through this event, so if they were like, “It’s definitely Jason Todd,” and then Jason Todd’s like, “It’s not me,” and then they’re like, “It actually is Jason Todd,” that’s not much of a mystery.
Pete: But I mean, they got to chase him down and have some-
Alex: Chason Todd.
Justin: They got to Chason Todd.
Pete: I really like this issue. The first issue was great. I think second issue does such an amazing job with setting things up, amazing last panel. This is just some classic great comic book stuff here.
Justin: I think the art is really cool. I feel like, so now the series seems focused on who is Leviathan, based on this issue.
Justin: Even though the previous issue-
Pete: Who is Leviathan?
Justin: Right. Yeah. In the previous issue, sort of what-
Justin: Oh, yeah. You want to guess? Do you have a guess?
Pete: No, I’m just asking you who it is.
Justin: Who do you think?
Alex: I think it’s Jason.
Pete: Oh my god. What just happened?
Justin: That was legit creepy. Here’s my guess. I think it’s going to be within the Bat family.
Pete: Okay. It has to be.
Justin: Not necessarily. It could be anybody. I think it’s going to be Damian.
Alex: Because Leviathan used to be Talia al Ghul’s thing. So he’s following in her footsteps?
Pete: That doesn’t make any sense though.
Alex: Isn’t Leviathan very tall?
Pete: Yeah. Stilts.
Alex: Yeah. That would also be a huge bummer, because I really like Damian.
Justin: Yeah. But he also comes from the murdering side of things, and I think this is something he could be maybe doing to… In this issue, it’s aluded to that Batman has always planned for these intelligence agencies to be removed and it feels like something that maybe Damian might do to be like, “Look father, I did this.”
Alex: Yeah. I can see that. I can also see he points the suspicion at Jason Todd in this issue, so if it is him, he’d certainly want to put it someplace else.
Justin: You think it’s going to be a double-fake?
Alex: I don’t know.
Justin: I also think it’s interesting the way Leviathan talks feels very… Like he laughs at one point. He or she laughs at one point. So it’s interesting.
Alex: Yeah. I like this. I do think Batman saying he’s figuring it out, and it’s 100% definitely Jason Todd when it’s not, is a bit of a bummer for Batman.
Justin: Because he’s a detective.
Alex: Yes, he is.
Justin: Just like his contemporary.
Pete: Maybe the world’s greatest detective.
Justin: Well, who’s in the running? We have the Question, Plastic Man, Batman-
Pete: Detective Chimp.
Justin: … Detective Chimp.
Alex: And wasn’t Kendra Saunders in there? Hawkgirl?
Justin: Was she in the-
Alex: She was in that black book, or whatever the mystery thing where there was the mystery club.
Justin: Yeah, yeah. That’s right.
Alex: Yeah. I don’t know. I like this just fine. I’m not the hugest fan of the who is blank thing. I think the overall plan that Leviathan is doing is far more interesting than whatever Leviathan’s identity is. So I’d rather be focusing on, “Okay. Now that you’ve destroyed all of the global spy agencies, what’s next?” What is actually happening there? And I want to see that happen and then I want to see everybody reacting to that.
Pete: I also think, something that I never say, is a great use of Plastic Man, one of my least favorite DC characters, used rather well here.
Justin: Well, you’re a big recycler.
Alex: So you don’t like Plastic Man.
Justin: You want Reusable Man.
Justin: Reusable Bag.
Pete: Right. I just think he’s annoying, guys.
Alex: Paper Man.
Pete: Just like you guys are being.
Justin: Right. We’re Plastic Man. What about Batgirl?
Justin: Because she’s missing.
Alex: At this point, I really have no idea.
Justin: You guys really know how to have some fun with a guessing game.
Alex: I don’t even care, man.
Justin: Yeah. No. Mr. Cool over here.
Pete: Whatever, dude.
Justin: You put out that cigarette. Pete, not a single guess?
Pete: I’m saying it’s Jason.
Justin: Wow. Okay. That’s stupid.
Alex: Yeah. You know what? I got to go to-
Pete: Why is that stupid? That’s what Batman thought.
Justin: Because he’s the one-
Pete: I’m with Batman.
Justin: Well. You can’t trust Batman.
Pete: Fuck you, you can’t trust Batman.
Alex: What if it was Batman?
Justin: Yeah. It could be. Sure.
Alex: It can’t be Batman.
Justin: Don’t throw bones to me.
Alex: I don’t know. Whatever it is, it’s going to be disappointing, I’m just saying.
Pete: Throw bones to me.
Justin: It’s g-?
Alex: It’s going to be disappointing.
Justin: No, it’s not.
Alex: If it’s a hero, turning a hero into a villain is a real bummer. I don’t know. You have to walk that back eventually and make them a hero again, so it feels like a cool move for a while, but then it never really pans out.
Justin: When has that ever not worked? Saber-Tooth is one of my favorite X-Men.
Pete: Fuck you. Fuck you.
Justin: Right alongside Juggernaut.
Alex: Oh, yeah.
Justin: Another great X-Men who is not a mutant, but he hangs out with them.
Alex: Yep. Well, anyway. It’ll be fine. Like you said, the art is good, the writing is good. I definitely am on board to find out more regardless.
Alex: Let’s turn to the end of something, from Marvel Comics, War of the Realms: Omega. This is teasing a couple of upcoming books, including the Loki book, the Valkyrie book, and one other book that I’m blanking on.
Justin: Yes, that’s the Punisher Kill Krew.
Alex: Oh, right, Punisher Kill Krew.
Justin: Punisher babysitter time.
Pete: Yeah. Punisher babysitter book. No, no. It’s Valkyrie, it’s…
Alex: Yeah. That’s what it is.
Justin: Loki and Punisher Kill Krew.
Alex: Yes. And then they also talk about some Daredevil stuff.
Justin: Daredevil’s hanging out.
Pete: I really liked this. I thought it was a fun event. And then a nice little bow to put on the end of it there, where you really get excited for Thor’s new book. I thought what a fun thing to do for Valkyrie, like with all the valkyries being dead. And then having Jane Foster.
Justin: Very cool.
Pete: Yeah. It’s very badass.
Justin: I liked the Loki stuff seemed fun.
Pete: Daredevil stuff was-
Justin: Some Frost Giants, that’s an upcoming series by Dan Kibblesmith, which I think should be cool.
Justin: The Punisher one, sick of the Punisher. Definitely just sick of him.
Pete: Fuck you, man.
Justin: He doesn’t do any… He always is-
Pete: Shut the fuck up.
Justin: He’s always miserable.
Pete: He’s cleaning up the streets. Everybody’s partying and hanging out and Punisher’s like-
Justin: He’s miserable. It’s like hanging out with an angry uncle. It’s like, “Hey, man. Sit down. Relax.”
Pete: No. He’s got shit to do.
Justin: He’s always got to be running around with a bunch of kids. What’s that mean? What’s that?
Pete: I don’t know, man. He’s got to save some kids, all right?
Justin: So you’re like down with the idea that Punisher, who only has one speed, fucking boring, angry-
Pete: Fuck you, man.
Justin: And he’s going to be paling around with a bunch of juniors?
Pete: I don’t know what’s going to happen. He finds some kids.
Alex: Do you think they’re all going to start wearing little Punisher shirts?
Justin: Little Puns?
Pete: Fuck you.
Alex: I love it. Next-
Pete: But the Daredevil stuff was also really touching.
Alex: The Daredevil stuff was very good.
Pete: Very cool. Very well done. I really liked that. I thought this was a great addition to the event.
Alex: Yeah. It was a nice wrap-up to everything that went on.
Alex: Next, we’re going to talk about, from Image Comics, Unearth #1. Unearth #1, with some gross stuff happening under the Earth, hence the name. What’d you think about this book?
Justin: This one, I like the… It doesn’t explain much of what’s going on. There’s a disease that’s making people bend around?
Alex: Yeah. Or something, or kind of explodes.
Justin: And bloat. Yeah.
Alex: Bloat. Bloat’s a good way of putting it.
Justin: Then they get underground. You don’t quite know what’s happening. But this feels like the beginning of a sort of alien-style sci-fi movie and I’m down.
Alex: Yeah. And to your point, it seemed like it was a disease thing and it was a little unclear why they headed down into these caves. But then, once they got there, they discover weird monsters, giant monsters. There’s a lot of fighting going on. As usual with a Cullen Bunn book, there’s a ton of ideas in it and tons of creepy characters as well. So I enjoyed that. I enjoyed it I think more for the feel than the plot, but I think we will bring it together by the end.
Justin: Yeah. This is definitely one I would give another read.
Alex: Yeah. Pete, what about you?
Pete: Yeah. It’s all right. The art’s good. It’ll be interesting to see how it unfolds.
Alex: Moving on to one coming out July 24th from Archie Comics and Dark Horse comics-
Pete: Don’t spoil it.
Alex: This is Archie vs. Predator II #1. We’re big fans of the first Archie vs. Predator, which is a super gross, super hilarious take on both of the franchises, sending the Predator to Riverdale. We’re picking up on the end of that kind of. But this one is way more metatextual.
Justin: Crazy meta.
Alex: A crazy meta. But I thought it was kind of fascinating.
Justin: Yeah. Like most books that go meta are like a Deadpool-style meta, where occasionally the character will be like, “Pretty cool that I’m in this comic,” right? And this is just like so far through meta. It’s like talking to a comic book fan about a comic that they’re also inside of. And that was cool. To your point exactly, it went so far through the looking glass, I’m like on board.
Alex: Yeah. How’d you feel about it, Pete?
Pete: Eh. I mean, it’s a lot of setup.
Justin: I think I made him mad with the Punisher stuff because now he’s being Punishery.
Pete: You know, it’s a lot of setup. It’ll be interesting to see once some action actually happens.
Alex: A lot of setup?
Alex: So much happens in this issue.
Pete: It’s a lot of talky, talky, talky.
Alex: Yeah, I guess. But at the same time, there’s so much weirdness happening here and some much commentary, in Archie Comics is a thing that I was not expecting. I, personally, was riveted from the first page.
Justin: I was Riverdaled.
Pete: Not me. I was like, “All right. Let’s fucking have some action.”
Justin: You want to see death.
Pete: “Let’s see what you’re setting up here, not talk about what we’re setting up.”
Alex: You should read a book called Archie vs. Predator I.
Pete: Oh, okay.
Justin: It’s interesting also because the first series was in the classic Dan Parent, if I’m saying the right person, style art. The classic Archie style. And this is a much more moderny Riverdale comic type art.
Pete: Yeah. But it still has that Archie cartoony feel.
Justin: But not anywhere near-
Alex: No, not really. It feels more of a piece with all the other horror stuff.
Alex: Anyway, I like this a lot. I’m very excited for people to check this out. Moving back to Marvel Comics, maybe this is a little more your speed, Pete-
Pete: Probably will be.
Alex: Weapon Plus #1. Bringing together Captain America and Wolverine to fight a bunch of sharp and exploding dudes. How’d you feel, Pete?
Pete: Well, this was fun. But bringing together the Cap and old Weapon X there, Wolverine, in kind of a fun way of like, “Hey, we’re all serumed up here. What if they’ve been working on that ever since you guys have been created?” Which is something that’s kind of been explored before, but this is just like turning that up to 11 a little bit. So yeah. What I like about this book is you know what you’re getting and it delivers on it. Fun art, ton of action. You know, super fans gone wrong.
Alex: How many secret organizations have been working in the background of the Marvel.
Justin: A lot of them. A lot.
Alex: Oh, constantly. It’s the number one employer in the Marvel universe, is secret underground organizations.
Justin: Secret economy, it’s really good. I do like they sort of laid that out a little bit in this title, where they’re like they haven’t been working separately, not even contiguously, they’ve been working at the same time alongside each other. I was like, “Oh, shit. This is maybe an even more employable situation.” I like Captain America and the Wolverine together. I would actually like to see them sort of slow down a little bit and talk about each other a little bit more, since they do have a history in the Marvel universe together. I love it’s a great moment where Wolverine is like, “I don’t know what that is. I’m even older than you are.”
Pete: Yeah. That was a fun moment.
Justin: That was really fun reminder that Wolverine is actually much older.
Alex: I’m not super into the whole Weapon X, Weapon Plus, Weapon whatever, weapon, weapon.
Justin: Did you know that X is 10?
Alex: Oh. Okay. But if you turn an X to the side.
Justin: And Plus is a sideways X.
Alex: Well, kind of like slightly turned on an angle.
Justin: Yeah. Exactly.
Alex: Eh. Not far enough.
Justin: Yeah. Turn it up-
Alex: A plus sideways is still a plus.
Alex: I’m glad we agreed. But I did like Captain America and Wolverine in this. They’re bringing in Venom and a bunch of other characters as we go forward. I also enjoyed-
Alex: Fantomex is in this, which is fun.
Justin: Yeah. And then it’s very long-winded.
Alex: Yeah. The comment about him giving a 20-minute monologue from Cap was great.
Pete: That was funny. Yeah.
Alex: So enjoyable. Like this is supposed to be a big action thriller and I think it nails that.
Justin: They’re fun peas in a pod. And that’s where I want my peas. In a pod.
Alex: Yeah. Stick in a pod, peas.
Alex: Last one we’re going to talk about from DC Comics, Naomi #6. This is the last issue of Naomi for now.
Justin: For now.
Alex: Later on, there’s going to be Naomi II. But this wraps the initial arc on the title. Naomi has found out she has powers, that she’s from an alternate dimension. She’s met the evil villain who forced her parents to drop her off on Earth. In this issue, she is taking the fight to him. How do you feel it wrapped up? How do you feel about this title?
Pete: I’ve been enjoying this title the whole way. I think this does a great job in the last issue getting you excited for more. I really love this. I feel like Bendis is really killing this book, and I’m sad to see it go. But yeah. I think this is a great introduction of a new character that fits nicely in what’s going on. And I’ve been impressed with this book.
Justin: The art is certainly great. This issue, I really like the mystery elements and sort of the wonderment of the first few issues of this series. And this issue felt, to me, a little rushed and I was like, “Nope. She’s just a regular superhero. She punched this guy into a portal.” So I thought there was going to be a little more special sauce on it. It felt less unique than the promise of the premise.
Alex: I can see that. And they’re setting her up. She’s heading over to, what is it, Young Justice, or something like that? So I can see how they wanted to rush her into that development so they can get her over there. Also, six issues, nice for the trade. So just finish it up there and then go into Naomi II. But I like that they added this new character into the universe. I’m excited to read Naomi II. So ultimately, I think it was very successful there.
Pete: Yeah. Me too.
Justin: Yeah. It’s all fitting into the Bendis blueprint of creating a new character that will then become mainstream like he did with Miles Morales.
Alex: Yeah. We’ll see what happens.
Alex: All right. If you’d like to support this podcast and all the podcasts we do, patreon.com/comicbookclub. Also, we do a live show every Tuesday night at 8 P.M. at the People’s Improve Theater loft in New York. Come on down and we’ll chat with you about comics. Pete, what do you want to plug?
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Justin: Follow us on Twitter @comicbooklive.
Alex: Check us out at comicbookclublive.com for this podcast and more. You can subscribe on iTunes, Android, Spotify, Stitcher, or the app of your choice. I’m Shakespeare.