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: Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #1, Loki #1, Little Bird #5, Aquaman #50, Black Badge #12, Age of X-Man: Omega, Batman #75, Manor Black #1 (out July 31), Collapser #1, Excellence #3, Wonder Woman: Come Back To Me #1, Killers #1 (out July 31) and Faithless #4.
If you like this, please let us know and we’ll aim to do it more frequently!
comicAlex: What is up everybody? Welcome to The Stack, I’m Alex.
Justin: I’m Justin.
Pete: I’m Pete.
Alex: And that’s our man of the booth, booth man prime.
Justin: I was thinking that, I was thinking that.
Alex: I wanted to say, but that’s not what we do on this show.
Alex: That’s not what we talk about.
Alex: I’m really sorry about that. Instead, we talk about a bunch of books that have come out today, this very week, as well as a couple of events reviews.
Pete: Ooh damn.
Alex: There’s a bunch of highly anticipated books come out this week, so let’s waste no time, get right into it with DC Comics. Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen, #1, this is from Matt Fraction and Steve Lieber and team. This is a reinvention of Superman’s Pal. How are you feeling about it guys?
Justin: He’s been his pal for a long time.
Pete: Yeah, sure.
Justin: His Foggy Nelson.
Alex: Don’t insult Jimmy Olsen by calling him a Foggy Nelson.
Pete: Whoa, whoa, whoa, that’s a compliment.
Justin: He’s like a baby Foggy.
Alex: No, it’s not.
Justin: It’s definitely not a compliment. Just so you know.
Alex: Jimmy Olsen, fun, cool.
Alex: Foggy Nelson, sluggish and dumb.
Pete: Oh, fuck you for saying that.
Alex: No, no, no, no, no, no.
Pete: He’s a lawyer, he is not dumb, he’s smart.
Justin: He is a lawyer, sort of.
Pete: He is a good lawyer.
Justin: In the same way a crossing guard is a cop.
Pete: What? Crossing guards aren’t cops.
Justin: Then I think you proved my point.
Alex: I really like this book a lot. It takes the format of old comic books and rifts through the whole idea of Jimmy Olsen history down to him turning into a giant turtle, has a lot of fun with it, throws out a ridiculous amount of ideas in the first issue. I thought this was a blast. What’d you guys think?
Justin: I agree. Jimmy Olsen has a crazy past, he’s done everything, he’s been Superman’s pal for a long time and you get in a lot of mix up adventures if you’re that dude. It’s like being Pete’s friend.
Justin: And I loved that they just went for it and incorporated a ton of crazy things at the same time, and made so much sense of it. What is it? Is it 12?
Alex: Kind of.
Justin: Kind of.
Justin: It’s a 12 issue series? What are the rest of these issues going to be like?
Alex: I don’t know. They set up with seems to be the plot at the end of the issue. I was a little confused, honestly, going in here because there was a preview story that went up where Jimmy Olsen got married in Gorilla City. And I thought, “Oh okay, this will pick up on that.” There’s a hint of that in there, but just a hint, that’s pretty much it. So, I can’t tell if there’s going to be 12 issues of goof civilian, or if it’s actually going to follow some sort of theme and idea.
Justin: It feels a little bit like Archie in that these stories are finite, and don’t worry about what’s happening.
Alex: It’s funny you mention that because, for whatever reason, reading this title, I was like, “Oh, has Jimmy Olsen ever crossed over with Archie Andrews?” They’re very similar.
Justin: Too similar, same guy. What if it’s the same guy?
Alex: Oh shit. Pete, what’d you think about this?
Pete: They’re kind of fun, but I don’t know if I could do 12 issues of this.
Justin: You can’t do…?
Alex: Going to have to.
Alex: We’ve got to talk about every issue.
Pete: We’re going to talk about all 12?
Alex: Every fucking one.
Alex: This is the only comic we talk about from now on, Pete.
Pete: Fuck my life.
Justin: Why? What’s your problem? It’s too much?
Pete: They’re just silly stories that don’t have any real relevance or whatever.
Justin: It’s too sweet for you, too much sugar.
Pete: It’s just like, “Hey, here’s a crazy guy, he’s doing crazy things, cool.”
Justin: That’s literally all comics.
Pete: No. No, that’s not true.
Alex: Yeah. You want to see something a little deeper. You want to see Jimmy Olsen go on a vengeful rampage and kill somebody, right?
Pete: Oh, well that would be different. No, I would just do… I don’t know. It just seems like here’s a collection of fun stories for Jimmy Olsen.
Justin: But what don’t you like about it? Is it the fact that they’re a series of short stories, or you feel like it’s not meaningful?
Alex: Do you have a problem that they’re not referencing his cousins, Mary, Kate and Ashley?
Pete: Wait, what?
Justin: Yeah, we should… I know this is a piece of continuity. It’s one of the few comics where the characters are related to two real world people.
Pete: Oh okay, all right, yeah.
Justin: And so they cross in and out of the reality. But Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen are DC…
Justin: Continuity, yeah.
Pete: Oh okay.
Justin: Yeah, they are.
Pete: Oh, I didn’t know.
Alex: They’re part of the New 52.
Justin: That’s why it was fucked up when the Heath Ledger, Joker, he was there.
Alex: Just broke my brain with this.
Justin: Yeah, exactly.
Pete: But yeah, I don’t know. Jimmy Olsen’s never been one of my favorite characters, so then it’s like, “Here’s a collection of stories.”
Alex: That’s crazy to me. You love characters that stay on the sidelines and don’t really do anything. Do you not like Jimmy Olsen because he actually does stuff sometimes?
Pete: I don’t know how to answer that. I’ve never liked Jimmy Olsen. I’m not going to start liking Jimmy Olsen.
Justin: What don’t you like about him?
Pete: I don’t know. He’s annoying. I don’t know what to tell you. I just never liked Jimmy Olsen.
Justin: Why do you like Foggy and not Jimmy Olsen?
Pete: They’re two very different people.
Justin: They occupy a similar role for the main characters.
Pete: No, they do not. How dare you.
Justin: They’re sidekicks.
Pete: That proves to me that you don’t know anything about either of those two characters.
Justin: I know more about both of them than you do.
Pete: No way.
Alex: Yeah, I agree with that.
Justin: That’s a challenge.
Alex: All right, we’ll have a quiz next episode. Let’s move on to a Marvel comic book, Loki #1. This is a pretty, I’d say… Low key debut.
Justin: Oh hey! Come on.
Alex: Picking up after War of the Realms. Loki is now the King of the Jotunheim, he’s the King of the Frost Giants, except he doesn’t really want to be there and spends most of the issue trying to avoid his responsibilities in classic Loki fashion. How’d you feel about this title?
Justin: I like this a lot. Loki’s one of those characters in the last, I don’t know, few years where it’s been like he’s a hero. We can follow his adventures. We had young Loki running around, falling in love, teenage life, grew up a little bit and then he became a little bit more of a bad guy. And I’m down with seeing him in power, doing little bits and pieces, running a kingdom that we’re not super invested in as people, as comic book readers, I don’t think. We’re not Jotunheim heads.
Alex: Pete, are you? I’m very confused about what you like and what you don’t like anymore.
Pete: All right. Cool, cool. I think this was very interesting. It’s cool to see the two brothers are running their own kingdoms right now.
Justin: Separately, yeah.
Pete: Yeah, separately. Sorry, if I upset you.
Justin: No, just you got to check the politics. You got to check in the politics.
Pete: Oh, okay cool, yeah, yeah.
Justin: I’m a citizen of Jotunheim.
Pete: Oh, all right. Oh wow.
Justin: I vote in the Jotunheim elections.
Alex: Me too. I was raised as a [Jötunheimr 00:06:19] .
Justin: Yeah. Jotunheim is the Jewish.
Alex: Yeah, it’s a Jewish state. Let’s not get into politics too much. That’s a little touchy right now.
Justin: The Jewish state. The Jewish state is Jotunheim. Oh, boy, that’s fun.
Alex: I was surprised how much Thor there was in this comic.
Justin: Me too, actually.
Alex: I didn’t mind it, but I usually expect Thor to be this background figure who’s like, “Ooh, Loki’s trying to go off and do his own thing,” separate from Thor. But here it was like a buddy team up book, and I thought that was fine. To your point, I think it’s fun because they’re both in these new positions. Thor gets to be the straight man, Loki gets to be the crazy man. It’s a good comedy time.
Pete: Yeah, I think-
Justin: It’s a good comedy time.
Pete: It’s really well drawn, it’s a fun issue. It’s does a great job of getting you excited for more. I think it’s a solid first issue.
Alex: Moving onto an image comic book, a Little Bird #5. Now, I should do my reading and research in advance because I thought the last issue was the last issue, but this issue is the last issue.
Justin: Uh-huh (affirmative).
Alex: So, how does this title, that we have been enjoying quite a bit, wrap up differently from the last issue but we thought it was finished?
Justin: Well, this feels like a final statement on the whole thing where it’s a little bit more like… It was interesting. The title feels like it’s about religion
Alex: What tipped you off? The theocracy and the crosses being knocked down and everything?
Justin: No, but as a landing statement.
Justin: because a lot of the first couple of editions were about axes going into people’s bodies and heads and stuff.
Alex: That’s true.
Justin: Which is my religion.
Pete: Yeah, but there also was… very much about our religion and how much power wields and all that stuff.
Justin: Yeah. And this landed on that. I feel like when we thought that the series was ending was last issue, this really drove home that that was the theme.
Alex: Yeah. I really like this quite a bit. The art in this series was gorgeous overall.
Pete: Oh, unbelievable.
Alex: This was much bigger and crazier and actiony than even this title usually is. So, I had a little-
Justin: And that’s saying a lot.
Alex: Yeah. I had a little bit more trouble following some of the stuff that was going on this issue, to be perfectly honest, than the previous ones. But regardless, I think the series is phenomenal. I can’t wait for people to check it out and trade and well worth doing so.
Pete: Yeah, definitely it will be great to see it all collected. Yeah, the art alone is worth picking this up. It’s crazy, but it follows a couple of main characters and it’s not afraid to put those characters in danger and to have real sacrifices and deaths, and all this kinds of stuff. So, it’s a hell of a ride and it’s definitely worth it.
Alex: Moving onto another DC comic book, Aquaman #50. This is by Kelly Sue DeConnick. Now, we haven’t checked in on this title in quite a bit. I think since Kelly Sue came on to the title, but big anniversary issue, Aquaman is back on land, he’s back hanging out with members of the Justice League. Meanwhile, Mera is the Queen of Atlantis and making some moves of her own. What’d you think about this issue? How’d you feel about checking back in on it now?
Justin: It feels like Aquaman’s been this DC character in the last many runs and iterations where it’s like, “No, we have to make it weirder for him, or push him in a different direction.” And I just feel I want a straight up Aquaman story. Does that…?
Alex: Well, what to you is he straight Aquaman story?
Pete: Yeah. What are you trying to say?
Justin: The stuff that I long for is back maybe 10 years ago when he had a whole squad. It was Aquaman, Aqualad who then became a magician.
Alex: Was it a Squawka Squad?
Justin: It was a Squawka Squad, which is a term we throw around a lot in our office, which is where we live.
Justin: And a dolphin.
Alex: Can you get off of my bed while we’re taping?
Justin: This is our clubhouse, which is our office, and also it’s just three bunk beds stacked on top of each other.
Alex: You’re just messing up my sheets, my Squawka Squad squeets.
Justin: Ooh, whoops.
Alex: Had a little bit of a stroke there.
Justin: I often talk about the mini series Aquaman: Time and Tide, it’s something that really reset Aquaman. Even the stuff when he lost his hand felt like he was a little more close to an Aquaman mythology that we were dealing with. And lately it feels like it’s reaching beyond.
Alex: How do you feel about it, Pete?
Pete: I love this. This was a fun, fresh start, if you will, setting up the next thing. Aquaman shows up and he’s like, “Hey guys, I know the spots to get some food, like come on with me.” And we’re setting up a Black Manta’s Return. I’m very excited about this. I think the art’s great and I’m excited to see what happens and how this unfolds. Seems like there’s just a little tension between him and his queen, so we’ll see whahoppies.
Alex: What, what, what?
Alex: What happens?
Justin: I told Pete we needed to save time on the podcast, so he does the very short word. Well, because obviously we’re running tape, we only record this on…
Alex: Of course. Well I know that.
Alex: I had to go to the tape store and buy the tape.
Alex: You don’t have to tell me what’s going on.
Justin: This is all reel to reel.
Alex: I like this. I like this as well. I am not a huge fan of when Aquaman goes crazy and gets into underwater mythology stuff because it just gets too dense for me. This, opposite from you, I think I enjoyed because it streamlines it, it makes it simple. It’s clearly putting Aquaman, despite the fact that he’s blonde, in line with the Jason Momoa, from the movie, making him look the same.
Justin: Maybe that’s my issue.
Alex: Maybe it is. But I liked that, I thought it was fun. I think Kelly Sue DeConnick has a good take on that voice there, good bits with cereal. I always love a good cereal-eating scene.
Pete: Oh man, people love cereal.
Justin: I don’t like cereal.
Alex: But I agree with you. It’s-
Justin: I don’t eat it.
Pete: Come on!
Justin: Sorry. Real quick, I’m an adult, so I eat adult breakfast.
Pete: Fuck you man. Cereal is adult.
Justin: No, technically not. There are toys in it.
Pete: Not in every kind.
Justin: In a lot of the kinds of cereal there are toys in it.
Pete: No dude, fuck you.
Justin: What kind of food for adults are there toys in?
Alex: Hold on. I know you have not had cereal in a little while because they don’t do that anymore because people were choking on toys that they were getting in cereal, or something.
Pete: Yeah. So suck it.
Justin: There are mazes on the back of the boxes.
Alex: No. Now you need to download apps.
Alex: [inaudible 00:12:37].
Justin: Yeah okay, cool. It’s still for kids though. When do you go and buy lettuce? There’s not, “Finish this maze,” and online, in lettuce.
Alex: Every time I buy lettuce there’s a toy stuck inside. It’s true.
Justin: You live in some candyland.
Alex: I buy lettuce from Pete.
Alex: Your lettuce is awful.
Justin: I don’t eat cereal. Honestly, I wish I did because it’s very easy.
Pete: Yeah, so why do you fucking hate cereal?
Justin: I just don’t like it.
Pete: It’s the glorious.
Alex: What do you eat for breakfast?
Pete: Yeah, he poaches his eggs.
Justin: A lot of eggs.
Alex: That’s not healthy for you.
Justin: Yogurt. I’ll have just a bunch of fruit.
Alex: Oh, okay. That’s healthier.
Justin: I’ll mix it-
Pete: Cereal has got vitamins and minerals, all sorts of stuff.
Justin: How many minerals are in your cereal?
Pete: A lot.
Justin: I think you need to check the minerals you’re taking in.
Justin: What are your favorite minerals that you’re trying to get at?
Pete: Yeah, I love-
Justin: Real zinc guy.
Pete: I love me some zinc.
Justin: Okay, good.
Justin: What does that do for you, all your zinc chasing?
Pete: Well, I’m trying to keep my stress levels down.
Justin: Oh. And zinc’s good for that.
Pete: It good, it is.
Justin: Nice, great.
Alex: By the way, I should mention, we’re probably going to do this for this episode, we did it for the last episode as well. We’re making transcripts of these episodes, everybody should check them out. This is going to be great. I’m very excited about this one.
Pete: I would just like to go on record saying Cinnamon Toast Crunch is the best cereal of all time.
Alex: Thanks for going on record. Jesus.
Justin: Good, then this will be a transcript. That is definitely one of the more child cereals.
Pete: I don’t care. I don’t care what your thoughts are.
Alex: Let’s move on to Black Badge #12. This is from, I want to say Boom!?
Alex: Boom! Studios? Is it?
Alex: In which comics? Boom! Studios.
Alex: Boom! Studios. It feels like it should be an image comic book, but it’s a Boom! Studios book. This is about a bunch of boy scouts and girl scouts who are actually secretly spies. This is the last issue of the title.
Alex: Justin, I know you’ve been a big fan of this, but you’re a little worried about how this was wrapping up. How’d you feel about the last issue?
Justin: It felt like it wrapped up in a nice package. This is very much a positive, bright ending, a statement issue. Like, “Look, they’re out there.” There are 18 of the boy scout and girl scout world, where they’re out there, they’re doing good, they’re doing the right thing. They’re earning their badges and they’re still friends.
Alex: This is a weird ending to me. This started in a very dark place, it continued in a dark place and, to your point, it ended like ding!
Justin: I know.
Alex: Which is very strange.
Justin: I was very surprised.
Pete: I thought it was great. I thought it was zoomed out, showed us the world, how important it is and all the good stuff that they do. Also, Pink Badge got a little shout out too, so it’s nice to see the Badges are working together to make the world a better place.
Justin: You got to get all the badges.
Pete: I loved it. I thought it was a fun send-off and letting people know how important they are to our world.
Alex: Great. That sounds very nice.
Justin: A stronger take on just scouting in general.
Justin: Were you a Boy Scout?
Pete: I was a Cub Scout.
Justin: Cub Scout.
Pete: What about you?
Justin: I was also a Cub Scout. We never went to Boy.
Justin: Very rarely do you hear someone like, “Nah, I didn’t make it to Boy Scout.”
Pete: I didn’t do that because I grew up in Jotunheim.
Alex: All right. Moving on to another Marvel comic book, Age of X-Man Omega. This is wrapping up the big Age Of X-Man story. Lots of things wrapping up as we get to the big of Jonathan Hickman reboot here. Pete is raising his hand.
Pete: I have a lot of questions.
Alex: Let me give a recap of what’s happened so far?
Pete: Okay, cool, cool.
Alex: So, X-Men, X-Man, excuse me, using the Life Seed, split off this alternate universe, which is isn’t exactly an alternate universe. It took most of the X-Men there, created a pseudo-utopia that was… Hold on, hold on.
Pete: Real quick, you said something I want to clarify it.
Pete: Is X-
Alex: Comic books?
Alex: They’re like periodicals, they come out monthly.
Pete: Is X-Man the Jedi-looking dude in this book?
Alex: No way. All right, you’re going to need a lot of help.
Justin: We have to start from the beginning.
Alex: Yeah. Okay, so X-Men are mutants, right?
Pete: No, no, I know, but which one…? When you say the X-Man, which dude…?
Alex: You’ve read a bunch of these books now.
Pete: Yes, I have. But I’m saying which guy was the Jedi with the white, glowing…
Alex: Yeah, that’s X-Man.
Pete: Okay, thank you. You don’t have to be a dick about it.
Alex: Okay, but you read several other books with X-Man in it.
Justin: But do you know who he is? That’s Nate Summers.
Pete: Well, he’s getting to that.
Justin: Okay. No, I’m not.
Alex: You can say it.
Justin: Nate Summers, Cable. He’s the Cable from the Age of Apocalypse.
Pete: Doesn’t look anything like him.
Justin: But he’s slightly different. Back in the Age of Apocalypse story line, a couple of characters came over here into their world.
Pete: Yeah. Also, he looks nothing like the X-Man animated series, Nate Summers.
Justin: You got a different person.
Alex: Well anyway, he created another universe. This is wrapping that up. Everybody has discovered that the utopia is of his making and it’s all cracking apart. How’d you feel about this wrap-up? How’d you feel about this event in total? And if any of you want to let Pete know who any of the other X-Men are. Nightcrawler’s the blue one.
Pete: I know. No, that’s not true because Beast is also blue asshole.
Pete: That is not, “No, he’s not blue because there’s another blue character.”
Justin: Sorry, Pete.
Pete: When you said, “He’s the blue one,” there’s two blue ones, motherfucker. And then, technically, Mystique is blue. There’s a lot of blue motherfuckers. You can’t just say blue.
Justin: I’m sorry, I’m the judge in this court case, and Pete just won.
Alex: Whoa, wow.
Justin: Because he really poked a hole in your, “That’s the blue one,” defense.
Justin: And I’m sorry, Alex, you have to go to jail.
Pete: Also, Apocalypse is blue. There’s a lot of blue people.
Alex: Ah, Apocalypse is more of a slate gray.
Pete: Well, whatever.
Alex: Ooh, interesting.
Pete: It just depends who’s drawing them, dick.
Alex: Oh, I’m sorry. This case has just been dismissed.
Pete: All right. So yeah, this issue was weird because I had a lot of questions. I didn’t understand what’s going on. I knew a lot of the characters, but some of them I didn’t. Like the Obi-Wan Kenobi-looking motherfucker.
Alex: That’s X-Man.
Justin: That’s X-Man.
Alex: We just went over that.
Pete: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And then they had the summer school, which I was like, “Oh well, I don’t give a shit about this place again.”
Alex: Again, you’ve been reading these books!
Pete: Yeah, but Cyclops school?
Alex: Justin, what did you think about this?
Justin: I like this. I like the idea of this crossover. I feel like… We talked about this a lot there. There’s a little bit of an inherent problem to it, where we knew this is a dystopia but it rested on the idea that it was a utopia that X-Man had created for so long. So we always, as readers, I feel felt ahead of the story. But I love so many of these moves. I love X-Man as a character.
Pete: Do you love people walking around with giant floating gems?
Justin: Yes, I do love that.
Pete: Because this book is for you then.
Justin: I love gems.
Pete: Lot of gem stuff.
Justin: I had a rock tumbler as a kid. And boy did I tumble rocks.
Alex: I liked this event as a whole. A lot more than the conclusion to the point that you’re making because it felt like we need to wrap this up because we’re moving on to the next thing.
Justin: There was a shadow over it.
Justin: As soon as the Hickman run was announced, it definitely was like, “Oh.” Because we talked about this a lot. It felt like there was a big reset in the X-Men universe with all of these new titles and this big crossover. And then come to find out, oh no, it was the reset before the big reset.
Alex: Right. And all of the Age of X-Man titles were really good, I liked them a lot. I thought they were good stories, I thought they were interesting. I understand why it needed to wrap up here, but this felt like a doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo at the end of the whole event.
Justin: Yeah. Agreed. It-
Alex: It’s well-written and well-drawn. There was some good character stuff throughout, but it was not my favorite part of the whole thing.
Justin: I did like the exchange that X-Man had with Magneto right at the end.
Alex: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Justin: I thought it was interesting and spoke to… It put Magneto a little bit more at the center of this than than he was before as a character. And I thought that was interesting because that doesn’t happen as much. And I liked the last line, “Let’s begin with a simple question, what would you sacrifice for your dreams?” Which-
Alex: That’s deep, man.
Justin: Well, you’re being sarcastic, I think. But I think it’s specific, like Magneto’s dreams, he’s always the hardliner where his philosophy is never a dream. So to put that to him I thought was interesting and I don’t know if this will ever get called upon again, but I thought it was an interesting way to end the series.
Pete: Well, to the point that you’re making, I would have wanted to see him a little more center in this event then. Particularly, because they have the whole House of M thing where he did the same thing, created his own utopia. So to get his take on it, to get his view on it, I felt like we were missing that a little bit in the event. Well,-
Justin: But House of M was never his dream.
Justin: That was just what Scarlet Witch did, he had just happened to be at the middle.
Pete: What would you sacrifice for your dreams?
Justin: For me, personally?
Pete: Yeah. Would you eat cereal or what would you do?
Justin: I would never go back to cereal. I grew up.
Alex: Oh man, wow.
Pete: So you wouldn’t sacrifice anything for your dreams.
Justin: For my dreams? No, I would sacrifice plenty of stuff.
Alex: From the end of one event to the kickoff of another.
Pete: Guess we’re not going to talk about my question?
Alex: Let’s talk about DC Comics, Batman, number… Oh, talk about cereal some more?
Pete: No, we’re talking about his dreams. We were talking about his dreams.
Alex: He was going to make some sort of joke, or whatever.
Justin: What is this guy?
Pete: All right fine, Batman, let’s talk about it.
Justin: I was about to really get into my heartfelt dreams.
Pete: I was hoping you were. I was hoping you were.
Justin: I would sacrifice shoes.
Pete: Wow, that’s a lot!
Justin: I like being barefoot, I prefer it.
Pete: In New York City?
Justin: Okay, everyone’s barefoot. The streets would be nicer.
Pete: Oh my God. That’s so gross.
Alex: That’s definitely not true. Batman #75, is the kickoff of the City of Bane storyline. Batman has lost, Bane has won. He has taken over Gotham City. This is a very different take on the villains win thing than I think we’ve ever seen.
Justin: Well, so the end of the last issue was Batman vs daddy Batman, both wearing the Cowl and they were in the Lazarus Pit.
Pete: Right. And we saw the glove, so after reading this next one, it makes me think that Batman didn’t make it out of the pit, evil Batman won.
Justin: [I think that’s 100% what you’re supposed to think. Yeah, because he’s the main character in this book now.
Pete: Yeah. That’s very upsetting because when I read the end of it, that’s not what I was thinking. So this was a kick in the pants.
Justin: Well, haven’t you always…? Everyone has been a fan of Batman, but Batman’s dad is cool.
Pete: No, he’s not.
Justin: He’s older and-
Justin: He has more ideas.
Pete: No. He’s eviler than Batman is and has a shitty fucked up agenda.
Alex: I go on the Internet a lot and people are talking about daddies a lot these days, so I feel like they might like this title.
Justin: Yeah. That’s good. Honestly, this title’s going to be called Daddy #75 pretty soon.
Alex: What did you guys think about this? How did you guys-
Pete: It was fucking nightmare!
Alex: That’s what it’s supposed to be.
Pete: Well, great. Nice to pay money to get something that fucking haunts me.
Alex: Cool. How’d you feel about this Justin?
Justin: I like it. Once again-
Pete: You like this?
Justin: At the end of the last issue, I was solidly convinced that it was Bruce Wayne who’s glove we saw.
Justin: And he was going to come out. It was the end of that title and we’re going to kick off City Of Bane, and he was going to come back to Gotham, and Bane was going to be running it. It was going to be fucked up.
Justin: Instead, he does the thing I don’t think anybody anticipated, and has Thomas Wayne emerge from the Lazarus, the most extreme Lazarus Pit. Comes back, he’s running Gotham, he changed everything up. Again, he’s upsetting the Batman universe in a way that is exciting, fresh and new and I like it.
Alex: Yeah, you have uh…
Alex: What’s his name? Ventriloquist/Mr Scarface is Alfred.
Pete: Mm-hmm (affirmative). It was fucked up.
Alex: You have The Joker and Riddler working as the Commissioner Gordon, two cops going around, which is completely fucked up.
Justin: But yeah, it has precedent. It has precedent in Zero Year where they were the ones who were putting out riddles and just being very specific and running Gotham in their own way, so it makes sense. That’s what I love about it.
Alex: Yeah. And I loved having Two-Face being like, “No, fuck you guys, I’m not doing this,” and having to be taken down. So many smart, exciting moves here. You have Psycho-Pirate coming in and taking care of things, which is a messed up character in its own right.
Alex: And then, this is a big spoiler, but we knew this was coming anyway, Bruce Wayne is alive. He did make it out of the most extreme Lazarus Pit, climbed to the top of the mountain, gets his throat slit and Catwoman shows up. Yes, Pete?
Pete: Wait. So, I was like, “Where is Bruce? What is this mountain?” Because the only time I’ve seen him climbing a mountain is for when he’s trying to find Ra’s al Ghul. So, I’m just wondering if I miss something of this-
Alex: Raysh, it’s pronounced Raysh al Ghul.
Pete: Oh, I’m sorry.
Alex: It’s all right.
Justin: Anyone can climb a mountain. You could.
Pete: Yeah. Thanks, dick. But I’m wondering if I missed something. Is this a specific mountain that I’m supposed to know where he is and where he’s climbing?
Alex: We don’t know where is he yet.
Alex: We don’t know what’s going on with Bruce Wayne.
Justin: The big thing is that Catwoman showed up.
Pete: Right. That was very exciting.
Justin: They had a break up.
Alex: Yeah. Catwoman is like the X-Man of the DC universe.
Pete: Fuck you for saying that.
Justin: She’s holding a gem.
Pete: Fuck you.
Justin: An engagement ring, which was a whole fucked up thing.
Pete: Ooh! No, this was the only small piece of light that I had in this nightmare of an issue.
Justin: Oh, a harsh take from Pete LePage, no surprise there.
Alex: This is awesome, I love this.
Justin: So good.
Alex: They did a good job integrating the whole offer thing that’s happening throughout the DC universe.
Alex: That worked nicely through the issue versus these weird two-pagers that are happening at the end of a lot of other comic books.
Pete: I can’t believe you guys are just so into this.
Alex: Here is a Dark Horse book that is coming out July 31st, Manor Black #1 and this is another book by Cullen Bunn. I don’t know when this dude sleeps, but man, this book is crazy, so many things going on. A lot of the books that he has been doing, I think in fact the horror books are like, “Here’s 1 million ideas that I have that are stuff in here.” Ostensibly, this seems to be not haunted house, but like a old dude is going to give away his inheritance. But in this case his inheritance seems to be some magic, or something like that.
Justin: Powers, some sort of-
Alex: Yeah. There’s ghosts who are living in the basement. There’s wood sprites and other things happening outside. There’s cops spontaneously combusting, so many things going on. I really like this a lot though. What’d you guys feel about it?
Justin: I agree. It was a nice mystery, it was hard to tell… We don’t know what’s happening, but it was threaded out in a way that I liked. It didn’t bother me that I didn’t know everything that’s happening in the old building to this last moment where the guy, who is passing his mantle, meets the other side of the story with this girl, that is lost from her family, and some magic moment happens with them. Really cool.
Pete: This book was insane. I didn’t know what was happening or what the fuck was going on. It was scary as fuck.
Justin: You sound terrified. When you get on the subway in the morning, are you like, “Where the fuck is this train going? What are we doing? Why are we underground?”
Pete: Yeah. There it is.
Alex: Every moment a waking nightmare for Pete LePage.
Alex: Moving on to a DC Young Animal book, Collapser #1. There’s a new kickoff title. Something weird happens in some other space, a package is sent to a dude, he’s taken on some big adventure. I thought this was fun and weird. Different, like a lot of the Young Animal books. How’d you guys feel?
Pete: I really like this. I thought it was cool. It was a fun introduction of an everyday type of guy character. Yeah, I liked what happened, I liked the reveal of him getting the quote unquote “powers”, if you will. It was intense and done in a cool way and the art really helped tell the story. I very much enjoyed this book.
Justin: Wow, Pete onboard. Yeah, I like this. I feel like these Young Animal books are a little bit purposefully weird in a way.
Alex: I see what you’re saying, yeah.
Justin: You know what I mean? Where it’s like we can just tell some stories, but otherwise I agree, this was a fun read.
Alex: All right, let’s move on. Talk about Excellence #3, from Image comic books. Now, we’ve been enjoying the series quite a bit. This is a very different riff on magic, set in New York, focusing on a secret society of magicians who are there to help the world, but mostly our infighting. We’ve been following one member of the community as he grows up, and jumping around to different points in his life, and his age and finding out more about him, and finding out more about this world. We’ve also been finding out how he split up with his best friend and how they ended up coming to blows, which really comes to the head of this issue. Man, I’m loving this series.
Pete: Yeah, it’s great.
Justin: So good.
Pete: The art is fantastic, some cool world-building. I’ve been really enjoying the storytelling so far. Yeah, I think this is a cool title.
Justin: This book does an amazing job of laying out the rules of the magical world while also keeping the character drama interesting and high. And this is another issue where it’s like we’re learning about recoil and what that means. And it comes up a lot, but not weighing on the story, it’s just enhancing the story, and the relationships are great.
Alex: Yeah. I think this was new for this issue. I’m not 100% sure, but there were a bunch of ads throughout from the Ageas, who is the ruling council, telling you what to watch out for it, which is very helpful for information, but also a fun graphical thing at the same time.
Justin: Yeah, right in the middle it served the story in a way to remind us in a way that was obtrusive, but purposefully so. And I really like that.
Alex: That’s great.
Alex: Definitely pick up this book. Moving on to another DC comic book, very DC heavy stack today, Wonder Woman: Come Back to Me #1. This is a written by Jimmy Conner and Amanda Palmiotti. The art style is a very-
Justin: Amanda Connor and Jimmy Palmiotti.
Alex: Oh my God. I am an idiot. Anyway, this art style is very similar to Amanda Conner’s, I’d say. I wonder if she did layouts, or something like that?
Alex: But yeah, this is a story of Wonder Woman, of Steve Trevor. They get separated, they got to figure out a way to get back together with each other. I like this quite a bit.
Justin: Yeah. It’s focusing on their love and relationship, which is sweet. And a fun adventure, getting through that. Now, their relationship, it’s one that I’ve never really felt the romance of it. And it always feels like Wonder Woman’s going to be like, “Later, dude.”
Pete: Dude, that’s fucked up.
Justin: Is that me? Is that just me?
Alex: Is it because she’s out of his league?
Justin: Maybe, or she’s just busy all the time.
Pete: He’s also busy.
Alex: He runs a spy organization or something.
Justin: Not anymore. I don’t know.
Pete: He goes on missions and stuff. He does some-
Alex: He does. Steve Trevor, I’d be hard pressed to figure out what his character points are other than he loves Wonder Woman and he doesn’t feel like he’s worthy of Wonder Woman.
Justin: Yeah. I think-
Alex: And he’s a spy.
Justin: That’s his ongoing thing. Even, the more that he’s not worthy is above the him being a spy, but also he is not essential to Wonder Woman’s character. I feel like so many of the other like Superman, Lois Lane feels like that relationship is center to Superman’s… Who he is and what he’s doing.
Alex: But I think-
Justin: And this feels separate.
Alex: But what I think this is exploring a little bit, particularly at the beginning, is that what Wonder Woman needs Steve Trevor for is to feel that connection and feel normal.
Alex: Because she needs to be so big and bold and Wonder Woman all the time. She wants to be with a pretty normal, nice guy.
Pete: Yeah. It’s nice to have some downtime and just be yourself around somebody.
Justin: What I like about their relationship is that it’s often like, “Let’s go on this crazy adventure,” or it’s one around being like, “Steve, where are you? What crazy situation are you in? I’ll come save you again.”
Pete: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Alex: Yes. A good title from Jimmy Jimmy and Amanda Baddaddadda.
Justin: Yeah, that’s definitely their names. Obviously we fact check our podcast every episode.
Alex: Sorry guys. Good writing on this, good adventure, fun last…
Pete: Page reveal.
Alex: Yeah, crazy last page reveal. This is very enjoyable. Moving on to a book coming out from Valiant, July 31st, Killers #1. Now, we won’t give any spoilers for this, but we did a check out Killers #1 and Killers #2 to get a better sense of the title. This is riffing off of the Ninja-K books and following a bunch of other lettered ninjas. So if you want to know your alphabet, this is a great title.
Justin: I’ve read it aloud to my daughter who is working on the alphabet, so it’s nice.
Alex: Oh good.
Pete: Nice, nice.
Justin: I love that they took what we knew as Ninjak, from back in the day, and made it this alphabet system. It makes so much more sense. And this book, specifically, the art has this great seventies vibe to it, which I think is fun and it’s all action, a lot swords.
Pete: Yeah, it’s great.
Alex: To me, this is very Mortal Kombat Street Fighter style thing, like in Jack or Ninjak, or Ninja-K, or whatever you want to call it, does mix in the spice of its big action movie. Usually, I really liked the Ninjak titles that they put out, but here, this is just non-stop action, people fighting each other and that’s it. So Pete, you got to like it, right?
Pete: Oh man, I love this. This was checking all my boxes. Ninjas, action, death, letters.
Pete: Yeah. I didn’t like the letters part.
Justin: Yeah, it’s too confusing because we get lost after L.
Alex: But definitely pick this up when this comes out. Last one we’re going to talk about this is from Boom! Studios, Faithless #4.
Pete: Here we go.
Justin: Alex’s #1.
Pete: Saving the best for last. Creepy .
Alex: Yes. So some of us have been really enjoying this title. It’s a creative, sexy, adult take on magic. It’s been following a girl who has slowly…
Pete: That you can’t read anywhere.
Alex: Hold on. Who has slowly been getting embroiled with first, this woman who she ended up hooking up with. And then that woman’s father. Last issue, as she was sleeping with the father, she saw the ghost, maybe, of her dead roommate who was killed. This issue follows her hanging out with the father more. I really like the character stuff going on in this book. It’s very weird, it’s very purposely off-putting, but the whole magical world is very interesting and gross in the right way.
Justin: Yeah, I agree with that. There’s this underlying tension or just dread throughout this whole series. Our main character, it feels like she’s just making mistakes all the time, getting deeper and deeper involved with these people. And there’s this great reveal halfway through that we won’t, but was really cool and surprising and scary.
Alex: Yeah. Pete, you got to be loving this book.
Pete: No, this book really freaks me the fuck out.
Justin: But you love exploring your sexuality, right? And demonology?
Alex: The other day you were saying, “I wish I could read a comic book where dude get sucked off and then the sperm swim up his chest.”
Pete: And then the sperm comes out and emerges.
Alex: And we were like, “Wait until the next issue of Spider-Man or Faithless,” one of the two.
Justin: Turns out it was this one.
Pete: Yeah, this book is super creepy and the character making all the bad choices really upsets me. So it’s tough to read and then be able to move on with my life.
Alex: What do you think about the art?
Pete: They do a great job of creating a creepy fucked up world.
Justin: You feel like you weren’t able to move on with your life after reading this?
Justin: You’re right here with us.
Pete: Yeah. It’s still with me. I want it to get off of me.
Justin: That giant sperm is with you?
Pete: That dude who’s manipulating people is still with me.
Alex: We are here to tell you, Pete, you are ready to move on to the next plane. Go Pete, go.
Justin: Go, Pete.
Pete: Oh yeah. You’re saying I should leave the show and never come back? Is that what you’re saying?
Alex: No. I’m saying that you died three years ago and you’ve never left our clubhouse.
Justin: You’ve been a ghost the whole time and it’s really hard to get good audio on a ghost because you’re so wispy.
Pete: All right, well good luck with the rest of your lives guys.
Alex: Thanks Pete.
Justin: Thanks guy. You’re already fading away, you’re already fading from Alex’s memory.
Alex: Remember how we always did a podcast with two people, Justin?
Justin: Yes. I know, it’s never been different than that.
Pete: What I want to know is who hurt you? Did your mom say cereal will kill you? How do you not eat cereal?
Justin: I liked-
Alex: And if you want to know the answer to that, subscribe to our Patreon, patreon.com/comicbookclub.
Justin: Great tease.
Alex: Also, we do a live show every Tuesday night at 8:00 PM at the Peoples Improv Theater Loft in New York. Come on by and we’ll share some cereal with you except for Justin.
Alex: Oh yeah, that’s an adult cereal. What do you want to plug, guy?
Pete: Friend us on Facebook, so you get to know about the amazing guests we have on our live show.
Justin: Follow us on Twitter, and Comic Book Live.
Alex: Check us out at comicbookclub dot com for this podcast and more. Also, you can subscribe on iTunes, Android, Stitcher, Spotify, or the app of your choice. And we’ll see you at the Squeeze Squad.
Pete: Is that what it’s called?
Justin: That’s definitely not what it was called.