The Stack: Powers of X, The Batman Who Laughs And More [Transcript]

Powers of X #1 header

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: Powers of X #1, The Batman Who Laughs #7, Ice Cream Man #13, Riverdale Season 3 #5, Strayed (out 8/14), Deaths Head #1, The Beauty #28 and Batman: Last Knight on Earth #2

If you like this, please let us know and we’ll aim to do it more frequently!


Alex:                         What’s up, everybody? Welcome to The Stack. I’m Alex.

Justin:                     I’m Justin.

Pete:                        I’m Pete!

Alex:                         And this is The Stack, a comic book review stack where we review comics that are in a stack, and then we stack them on top of each other, and the highest one at the top of the stack wins.

Justin:                     I don’t know if we’ve ever defined it, but a stack is a pile of comics. Perhaps in the order you read them, perhaps in the reverse order that you read them.

Alex:                         I always do that. I put my comics in a stack, and then I reach to the bottom and it’s a Jenga.

Pete:                        We’ve talked about this before, but I like to save my favorite for the last read.

Justin:                     Yeah, I’m the opposite. Give me the, give me the news first.

Alex:                         Aw Man.

Pete:                        Then, I’ll get to the scrubs.

Alex:                         Then you’re not going to finish though.

Pete:                        I finish them. What, you don’t finish them? It’s not like a meal.

Justin:                     No, but I’m saying you save the best for last. That way you work your way through it.

Alex:                         I like to read them in a random order at a cold paddock because I don’t have enough time before we record this show.

Justin:                     Yeah, you read the comics on a speed and a half, right?

Alex:                         Yeah, exactly. I skip every panel. Scott McCloud set that up in his book.

Justin:                     Yeah. Understanding comics was like “Read them fast and paid little attention”.

Alex:                         Yeah. Oh, I’m sorry. I read misunderstanding comics.

Pete:                        Oh by P? By P of age? It’s a good almost book.

Alex:                         Now, let’s kick it off with a book that you definitely have to pay attention to. Powers of X, number one. This is the second part of the House of X, Powers of X, X-Men relaunch by Jonathan Hickman and Company. The first issue, which was House of X, gave us a bold new world where it’s seemingly, Charles Xavier had brought the mutant race, put them on Krakoa, not like you guys insisted last week, Krackatoa.

Justin:                     Oh my God. I saw you on Twitter shitting on us about this. I was like, come on, let it go.

Alex:                         Hey. It wasn’t on Twitter. Okay? It was at the Patreon Slack, you asshole.

Justin:                     Okay. Either way. That’s still… that’s like our family.

Alex:                         Oh, you are me, okay you were on me. Okay. I know what I’m talking about.

Justin:                     Okay. Yeah. Okay. Carry on. You pillar of correctness.

Alex:                         Well anyway, we found out about this new generation. This take on the mutant race. They’re all living together on Krakoa. They’re making some deals with humans. They’ve been push around around their authority, like the authority of the comic book and here we get a vision of the future and the past of what’s going on to further flesh out what’s happening in the world to the X-men. How did you feel about this issue?

Justin:                     I love this. This is great. There’s so much information. Almost too much, I will say-

Alex:                         Yes.

Justin:                     It’s very chatty and I’m assuming this is for the first of these two series that are one series as Mr. Hickman says. That after we move into the main X books, it’ll be less of this, I’m guessing.

Alex:                         Yeah.

Justin:                     But as far as fleshing it out, like I’m so interested in this world, like four different time periods it’s like n plus 10 and plus a hundred and plus a thousand or something like that.

Alex:                         Yeah, it’s somebody, I’m not going to take credit for this because many people caught onto this, but powers of X, powers of 10

Pete:                        That’s what it is, there you go.

Justin:                     And I think this, this issue answered your question I think from last week where you were like, who are these two people being born out of those ponds?

Alex:                         Wait, what do you mean?

Justin:                     I think that’s Adam and eve that we see at the very end. I think it’s to me, my X-men, those are humans. The first humans being that he’s reinvigorating.

Alex:                         Oh, okay. All right. I don’t know if I’d necessarily read it that way.

Justin:                     Isn’t that an interesting way that he’s saying-

Pete:                        potentially that everything is circular and that would be very Hickman.

Justin:                     That dude loves circles.

Alex:                         He loves them!

Justin:                     And if Charles Xavier is bringing about the reemergence of Homosapien in the beginning first panel that I thought that was perhaps an interesting take.

Alex:                         All right. I could potentially see that I-

Justin:                     yeah, once you get on board, Mr correct. Can’t give this guy a meal

Alex:                         What I liked about this issue is the conflict is a lot clearer than the first one, and I don’t say that in a bad way for House of X, but we talked a lot about how it’s murky. Is Charles Xavier bad? What exactly is going on here? Here the lines are a little more clearly drawn even though it’s arguable I guess. But from a human perspective, from a fan of the X-men perspective, it’s clearly clear that Nimrod and the machines are rising up. They’re wiping out humanity, wiping out mutant kind while in their own seemingly magnanimous Mae saying, “Oh, we’re going to preserve remanence. We preserve the memories of Mutans. We preserved a couple of humans and Adam and Eve in this a park in the zoo”, if you will, but clearly that’s bad. There’s also a lot of information in there about Mr. Sinister and how they’re deals with him goes wrong, which I think is great.

Alex:                         To your point about the information, this one was even more of an info dump than the last one, but I do think we’re going to see some of that stuff, so like they’re setting it up in the text, but then we’re going to flash back and actually see what happens.

Justin:                     We see a bunch of Mr Sinister’s, bred Mutants in the N plus 100 timeline. I’ve got to see what’s underneath Charles Xavier’s X hat. What’s with that face?

Alex:                         Does he have hair? As it could have a big puff of hair?

Pete:                        Yeah. What do we know? We don’t know.

Alex:                         Yes, Pete.

Pete:                        Okay. I got a lot of questions. First off, what’s the difference between this book and the other one?

Alex:                         I make this look good. Next question.

Justin:                     Nice. There are two books that are one, so that means there’s two separate series. If I had to break it down, I would say it’s two different-

Pete:                        It seems like it’s the fucking same story. Just retold again in cased you missed it.

Justin:                     No, it’s broken down into different time timeline. So this is sort of a broader look at the history.

Pete:                        So, they took this idea and then said, let’s make it more confusing by fast forwarding a bunch of years and and going back a bunch of years.

Alex:                         Well that’s pretty typically X-men right? Like they’re-

Pete:                        cool. Cool. Yeah-

Alex:                         Hold on. You ask a question, do you want the actual answer

Pete:                        Well, I’m still trying to talk.

Alex:                         House of X is the house of Xavier, it’s focusing on Charles Xavier, right now and what is happening with the X-men.

Pete:                        Now is this helmet Xavier?

Alex:                         Yes. Helmet Xavier. And then Powers of X is showing us different points in the timeline flashing forward to show the end results of this path that Charles Xavier is taking the mutant race on.

Alex:                         So, and what I like about this is we are always led to think, okay, we’re following the heroes. We’re going to see what they could do. We want them to be successful. Jonathan Hickman has already told us, “Nope, they’re gonna fail. They’re going to completely fail and it’s going to go horribly, horribly wrong”. And I think that’s exciting.

Pete:                        Now, it doesn’t bother you that they’re fast forwarding time in a comic that we all know has to reset when it’s fucking done. So this fast forward to the future isn’t real. It’s just in-

Justin:                     Well this is his story and his story is going to be going for awhile.

Alex:                         This is generally why I don’t read comics because they keep recycling the same trash and I prefer cinema personally.

Justin:                     Ooh, what an interesting quality.

Alex:                         Yeah, have you seen Once Upon a Time in Hollywood? Oh that’s a movie, support original movies. That’s what I like to say on this podcast.

Justin:                     You would like Pulp Fiction, because they jump around in time a lot.

Alex:                         Oh, I do love that. Do they dance?

Justin:                     I think so.

Alex:                         Do they talk about cheeseburgers at any point? And when I say cinema, I’ve only seen Once Upon a Time at Hollywood. That’s the only movie I’ve seen.

Pete:                        It seems like-

Alex:                         This always happens in comics. That’s why you’ve got to concentrate on the story that you’re reading right now. Right, if you-

Pete:                        I’m aware that this always happens in comics [crosstalk 00:07:36]

Alex:                         Yeah but if you worry about- [crosstalk 00:07:36]

Pete:                        But that doesn’t mean it has to be- [crosstalk 00:07:38]

Justin:                     It bothers him- [crosstalk 00:07:39]

Pete:                        it’s great. It doesn’t mean it’s a great thing about fucking comic books.

Alex:                         It’s interesting to me that you are scared of what’s going to happen in the future while you’re reading a comic book that’s all about how you should be afraid of the future.

Pete:                        Okay. Also, do we get to meet any characters that don’t suck balls or is it just going to be a bunch of assholes the whole time?

Alex:                         No, they’re all going to suck balls and be assholes.

Justin:                     They are all assholes I’m afraid.

Pete:                        And it seems like it is, Fucking Nimrod is not cool character.

Alex:                         Nimrod’s the villain, idiot!

Justin:                     He’s the bad guy.

Pete:                        All right, first off, don’t fucking call me an idiot.

Alex:                         I’m sorry, that was rude. We’re getting pretty heated here.

Pete:                        Secondly, I know that he’s a fucking villain. It’s very obvious, but that doesn’t mean he’s a good character. His fucking name is Nimrod.

Justin:                     That means he’s stupid.

Pete:                        Whatever. My point is, so far I’ve read two books and I’m not excited about anything that’s happening.

Alex:                         What about the new girl who has a sword? She’s got a Colossus arm. That part was cool.

Justin:                     That’s very sweet.

Pete:                        That part was cool.

Justin:                     I think there’s going to be more and more of that. He’s setting the table. We’re going to see more and more action. More and more characters we know and that-

Pete:                        That doesn’t sound like Hickman’s style though.

Justin:                     No, but he’s a storyteller as well. We’re going to get a lot of like standalone issues. If you go back and look at his Fantastic Four run and his Avengers run. It was a lot of like big ideas, but they’re also great stories-

Pete:                        But that Fantastic Four run was very heady and not very enjoyable.

Justin:                     I mean it is going to be heady, but you know what else it is?

Pete:                        Cool, how long is he going to be writing in this book?

Justin:                     You know it’s in your head-

Alex:                         Forever.

Pete:                        Great.

Alex:                         The rest of your natural life.

Justin:                     You know what’s in your head, Pete? Your brain. But you know what else in your head, your face.

Pete:                        I don’t think that’s true.

Justin:                     That is true.

Alex:                         House of Head, Powers of Face.

Pete:                        Do you have any other questions?

Alex:                         That’s some names you can get behind.

Justin:                     I think we covered it. I love this. I’m going to keep reading.

Alex:                         Cool. Sorry that got so heated, everybody listening out there. Clearly we feel very passionate about this comic book. Let’s move on to another one from DC comics. The Batman Who Laughs number seven. This is wrapping up the epic mini series from Scott Snyder and Jock. We’ve been loving every issue of this. It’s been very dark as Batman has slowly been taken over by his Joker, Batman Who Laughs nature. He’s been battling the dark multi-verse, Batman Who Laughs and a couple of other evil Batmen and all of Gotham and perhaps the world is about to fall as we enter this issue. How do you feel it wrapped up? How’d you feel about the mini series as a whole?

Pete:                        I thought this was really well done, like this really took a lot of weird fucking turns for Batman, but I feel like it really paid off nicely. I was really impressed with how it went down.

Justin:                     And we learned it’s our Batman.

Alex:                         Yeah.

Justin:                     And he figured it out.

Alex:                         Wait, what do you mean?

Justin:                     We were talking about how this book went so far and got so dark, it felt like it wasn’t the main continuity of Batman.

Alex:                         Oh, right. Yes. I remember. You were theorizing about that.

Justin:                     And then it turns out it was. So, I thought that was cool. I love the Jim Gordon and his son-

Alex:                         Aw Man.

Justin:                     Stuff. I know you like him too.

Alex:                         Yeah, very touching stuff.

Justin:                     Scott Snyder’s so good at sort of commenting on what Batman is in very different ways in each of his books and he does another, the last like four pages of it were just great.

Pete:                        And it was a nice kind of shout out to the detective run he did where they also had a little focus on James Gordon and his son’s relationship.

Alex:                         Yeah, this issue is very good. One of my favorite things that they did in here is they had a little bit of a secret, not so secret thing. I assume most people picked up on this, but in case not, throughout the book as Batman was talking and being taken over by the Batman Who Laughs, there’s a little red letters in there and they spell out a code of sub things that he’s saying and at the end when Batman has essentially been cured of the Batman Who Laughs virus, it’s like, “Wow, I can’t believe it. I guess it left”, the red letters spell out, I believe, “I’m still here, ha ha”. So there’s still that opportunity to bring out the Batman Who Laughs in Batman, which is pretty good. And of course a spoiler, but it ends on a big cliffhanger where Jim Gordon has been taken over by the Batman Who Laughs virus and that’s gonna lead directly into Batman, Superman, number one.

Justin:                     I thought that it was cool to see that it has setting up another issue. It’s good that there’s a little bit of a laugh in Batman. He needs to laugh.

Pete:                        No, definitely doesn’t. Ah, but the art really, Jock on art is just phenomenal. And especially with this story, it was the perfect amount of twisted that really fit his art work, I thought.

Justin:                     Felt like some nineties J. Lee, A little bit Lincoln in here, art wise-

Alex:                         Interesting, normally you would think a Jock wouldn’t be good for comic books in this case, he is.

Justin:                     Wow. Yeah, but actually Jock’s archenemy Nerd is playing on the New York Giants this season.

Alex:                         Oh, that’s pretty sweet. Let’s move on to one of our favorite comic books here. Image comics, Ice Cream Man number 13. When I flip to the first page of this book, I literally out loud said, “Oh shit”, because this book is built like a palindrome.

Pete:                        Did you, did you read it both ways?

Alex:                         I don’t think-

Justin:                     You don’t need to.

Alex:                         Yeah, You don’t have to.

Pete:                        Right, I was just asking.

Alex:                         I know, so, it’s a palindrome you can read it backwards or forward. You could read it either way for the back cover, the front cover and it works either way, but it actually does tell the same story forwards and reverse. So reading through it I thought, okay, I’m very excited to read this backwards again, but it turns out you don’t quite have to do that if you don’t want to.

Justin:                     Yeah, when you first start thinking about it, it’s like, “oh, I have to read it backwards”. But no, it’s actually a complete palindrome not just half of the palindrome. I thought this was so good. This comic is, is horrifying, but it’s also just like it’s breaking the form. What other book could ever do something like this, and this did it in a way that it’s not like re reading the back, the front half in reverse in the back half wasn’t boring. It was like re contextualizing the whole thing. It was so smartly done. Scary. Also like commenting on like life and death and all this.

Alex:                         It’s sad! One thing that I don’t think we’ve talked a lot about with the series is how deeply it dives into the characters emotions. Even when you’re dealing with horrific situations and terrifying looking dead animals and characters and other things. This is really about a man who lost his partner and descends into the depths of hell because of it. And even when he pulls himself out, he’s not completely out. He’s going to be doomed to repeat the same thing over and over and over.

Justin:                     But think about it, like maybe all palindromes are sad, like Race car. Oh, I get halfway through that and-

Alex:                         Ah, kills me.

Justin:                     I’m like “What is happening here?”

Pete:                        Also, what’s very interesting is we don’t spend a lot of time on the main character. The main characters in this book. We get all these tangent, like I don’t know, other books that can go away from the kind of main story or the main characters as much as this comic does.

Justin:                     Here, we going to meet a bunch of dumb mud and senile felines.

Alex:                         Yeah, I love that section. So when he gets to the bottom or close to the bottom, he encounters a couple of horrific palindromes. Great. Absolutely great. And they talk as palindromes as well. Yeah. Loved it. Such, such a brilliantly structured single issue.

Justin:                     Yeah, absolutely.It’s like a man, a plan, a canal, Panama.

Alex:                         I get it. Next let’s to talk about this from Archie comics, Riverdale season three number five. This is actually the last issue of the series, it turns out, I guess because there’s a new season of Riverdale coming out-

Pete:                        Huh, weird.

Justin:                     Checks out.

Alex:                         So, we get two stories here. One of them focuses on a Josie and Archie, as Archie gets Josie out of the funk that she’s been in for awhile, and the second story focuses on the River Vixens as they get trapped outside of town. I’ve really been enjoying this title. I think we’ve all been enjoying this title. How’d you feel that wrapped up?

Justin:                     I thought it was great. The first issue, the first story, really the reveal at the very end of it. I thought it was great and like sort of horrifying in a good way. The Josie story, we find out at the end. Spoiler that-

Alex:                         Oh don’t!

Justin:                     Okay, I won’t say it.

Alex:                         No, it’s okay. We can out … It’s out.

Justin:                     That her dad didn’t send her recommendation letter to Julliard.

Pete:                        That’s really messed up.

Alex:                         Sad.

Justin:                     Very fucked up. Also shout out to a Parkside lounge where she sings.

Alex:                         YEAH!

Justin:                     A bar venue-

Alex:                         I go there a bunch.

Justin:                     That I, for one, have performed a lot of Improv shows like 10 to 12 years ago. It was the-

Pete:                        Parkside lounge. That was kind of exciting.

Justin:                     It’s funny to imagine someone being nervous to perform at Parkside lounge.

Alex:                         Oh, but hey, that’s, that’s one of the funny things I think about Josie in the book is she’s a big deal in Riverdale, in book and show, she’s a big deal in Riverdale, but nobody knows her and she hasn’t performed anywhere. And performing in New York is a big deal. So

Pete:                        I thought this was a really sweet and really kind of also touched upon what’s happening in the show in a nice way. Her father isn’t really on board with her career, which is weird. And they kind of really, totally kept that. It was a nice to see Archie not be the dumb asshole and kind of be a nice, good boyfriend for a change.

Justin:                     Be a regular asshole.

Pete:                        Well, he wasn’t an asshole in this issue.

Justin:                     Just a dumb, nice guy.

Pete:                        He was just a nice guy in this issue. Also a little shout out to Sylvia’s. That was great in the Apollo Theater. That was fun. Yeah. And the second story also; what I like about this is, for me, I haven’t really connected to the old school Archie shit. So this is all focusing on the TV show, which is the new school stuff and I’m very much enjoying how well they’re bringing those characters to the comic book.

Alex:                         You got to go uptown dude they’re bumping that old school Archie shit all the time. On the streets.

Justin:                     That’s true. Yeah, that’d be pretty sweet.

Alex:                         Those a second story is fun as well. Focusing on the river vixens in particular. I think Micol Ostow, the writer does a good job of capturing Cheryl and Tony. Their relationship is a lot of fun. I enjoyed this book quite a bit

Pete:                        Yeah it’s great.

Justin:                     Huge win, huge victory.

Alex:                         I do hope they do a Riverdale season four throughout the season because it’s fun to see these side stories that they don’t necessarily get to. Next what to talk about, this is coming out August 14th from dark horse comics: Strayed. Now this is a book about a cat in space who can astral project itself and how various people and factions are vying to use this magical cat. I thought this-

Pete:                        Or you could just say it’s about cats cause we all know cats are magical.

Alex:                         Sure. Tell you what, scrub the last bit from your brains everybody. There’s this new book, Strayed it’s about cats. That’s all you need to know

Justin:                     Its about the comic book adaptation of the movie trailer based on the Broadway show Cat’s.

Alex:                         Pretty good. What did you guys think about this book?

Justin:                     This is like pornography for cat lovers, right?

Alex:                         What!?

Justin:                     Not Sex pornography, but more like, oh, I’m a cat lover and I’m finally getting to experience that in comic book form.

Pete:                        Oh, okay. I don’t know why you use the word pornography. Are you just saying because there’s a cat in it?

Justin:                     No, because it’s a very, it’s a cat lovers book. There’s a lot of-

Pete:                        Its an ode to cats.

Justin:                     There’s a lot of panels where the cats just like doing cat stuff, so yeah, I thought it was good. And the art was actually really great.

Pete:                        The art’s great. This is a creative different story. I thought this was a solid first issue that gets you excited for more.

Alex:                         Yeah. It reminded me quite a bit of We Three without being derivative. If you guys never read-

Justin:                     Because of animals.

Alex:                         Because of animals, but also the way the cat talked.

Justin:                     I see.

Alex:                         And Sci-fi with the animals and all of that.

Pete:                        Spoiler cats talk in this, Jesus. Yeah.

Alex:                         Saying you can’t do spoilers doesn’t mean you can’t say anything about the book.

Pete:                        Mm, a little bit.

Alex:                         Okay. Spoiler [inaudible] [crosstalk 00:19:27]

Justin:                     Don’t reveal how many staples of held this book together.

Alex:                         Let’s move onto one of Pete’s favorite characters from marvel comics. Death’s Head number one. This is a reboot of the classic robot bounty hunter. Here’s-

Pete:                        Everybody loves Deaths Head.

Alex:                         Yes.

Pete:                        Everybody loves him.

Alex:                         Yes. That’s, yeah, that’s what he says a lot. What did you pick about this Pete?

Pete:                        Well, I think was great it kind of gave you a nice feel of the old school Death’s Head while also bring it forward in time. Yeah, I think this does a good job of kind of setting things up. Give you a little twist at the end. I love it, but I’m also a sucker for Death’s Head. So yeah, this is definitely in my wheelhouse. I very much enjoyed the art and it felt like it was a great story and fun.

Justin:                     This is a fun, weird story.

Pete:                        Yeah.

Justin:                     We see Death’s Head is, he’s an amplifier or for a rock band. For a metal band, I guess for awhile.

Pete:                        If you’re like a metal band and you see like, a robot that’s also an amp, you’re going to buy that dude.

Justin:                     Yeah, and he gets in trouble for being behind on his bounty hunter payments. And what I really loved about it is we could see Warlock and Hulkling in this.

Pete:                        Wicked and Hulkling.

Justin:                     I’m sorry, Wicked and Hulkling.

Alex:                         Also, Wicked has a new name that I think I missed at some point.

Justin:                     It was in there and I don’t remember it either. But yeah, I love those characters and they’ve been sort of off the map a little bit. So to see them back sort of separate from everybody, it made this story like surprising and unique in a way I didn’t see coming.

Alex:                         Yeah, I really enjoyed this a lot too. I think this is going to be really an interesting ride to take as it goes.

Justin:                     Exactly. There’s some classic-

Pete:                        Guys, welcome to Death’s Head. All right.

Justin:                     Mr Death’s Head over here.

Alex:                         Moving onto an Image comic book, The Beauty Number 28 this takes place in a world where folks get an STD, but it’s a good STD where it turns you super beautiful, until it isn’t because you spontaneously combust. But they don’t know that for a little while.

Justin:                     There’s the twist. Am I right?

Alex:                         Well yeah, but-

Justin:                     Sounds a lot of like the real world.

Alex:                         Oh Man, because beautiful people blow up, on Instagram!

Pete:                        Oh my god.

Alex:                         So we’ve talked about this book on and off. I’ve really enjoyed it as gone through so many different iterations from an initial conspiracy book about where this disease came from, The Beauty, to becoming a crime book that was set in the world of The Beauty to telling a bunch of one off stories. This is one of those one off stories focusing on an actor who has The Beauty, who’s very low level going out on auditions until there is a twilight zone type twist at the end. I liked this issue quite a bit.

Justin:                     This was fun.

Pete:                        Ah, it was all right. I mean I didn’t like the fact that he had to have sex with people that survive. You know that was a little, it was a little-

Justin:                     Were you were sad for him?

Alex:                         How do you make enough money to do this podcast, Pete?

Pete:                        We all have sex with people to survive.

Justin:                     Sometimes the same people.

Pete:                        Yeah. All right, well this got weird fast.

Alex:                         Do you want to ask more questions?

Justin:                     Any follow up questions? We have time for one more follow up question. Just one. Pete, any follow up questions?

Pete:                        No, no, I’m sorry that you guys have to have sex with people.

Justin:                     Because we really opened the door to one particular question. Okay.

Pete:                        I’m sorry. You’re forced to have sex-

Justin:                     Let’s offline about this one.

Alex:                         That sounds good. You know it’s weird. We are comic book journalists so it feels like Pete should follow up in some way-

Justin:                     Exactly Pete, and this is the most important-

Pete:                        We are not journalists.

Alex:                         This is the most important comic book question of the week.

Pete:                        We are not journalists.

Alex:                         So, your problem with this book is that he had to have sex with old people to make money.

Pete:                        Well I wouldn’t say-

Justin:                     I wouldn’t say old people.

Pete:                        Well, yeah, they are old but like I just thought that was just a kind of a sad part of his story that to survive he has to resort to, you know.

Justin:                     But I mean I think the point of it in this story was that it was sad and that he wished he was a successful actor.

Pete:                        Right. Me Too. I was just-

Justin:                     You too wish you were a successful actor?

Alex:                         No, no, no, no. He was saying Me too, like Hashtag Me Too.

Pete:                        Oh my God.

Alex:                         He likes to throw that out every once in a while.

Justin:                     You do slide it in the darndest places.

Pete:                        That Is was a weird thing to say.

Justin:                     Uh, true. Well this conversation’s a little charged.

Pete:                        I think we should move on.

Alex:                         We probably should. Pick up The Beauty number 28. I liked the series a lot.

Justin:                     It was very good, and we do have time for one more question.

Alex:                         Pete?

Pete:                        Batman, lets talk about Batman!

Alex:                         Sure. Batman: The Last Knight on Earth number two. This is another Scott Snyder joint, but this is taking Batman flinging him to the far future. He is seemingly a cloned version of Batman who has survived in the Navy present. He’s been exploring a mystery where a younger version of him was found dead in Crime Alley and now we’ve gone far to the future to a dystopian, beyond dystopian future where the entire world has been ruined. The Flashes are going around in a speed, storm Lake ages or youngifies people very quickly.

Justin:                     Yeah, Speed Force.

Alex:                         The specter has been blown apart. Everything that you could imagine that has ruined has been ruined and Batman is an epic quest to try and figure out how to repair the world. Meanwhile-

Pete:                        They also have joker’s head-

Justin:                     Joker in jar.

Alex:                         Operation. There’s also-

Justin:                     Water on the knee!

Alex:                         There’s also a character name to Omega who seems to be the big villain of the series who has imposed a new type of order on Gotham City. We don’t know who it is, but as of this issue Batman, like us the reader, is suspecting maybe this is another Batman. How’d you feel about the second issue?

Pete:                        This was really intense and amazing, the art’s fantastic. This is a big book. There’s a lot that happens in this book.

Justin:                     Yes.

Pete:                        The whole River Styx thing with Wonder Woman was bananas and great. The Bane with like Scarecrow on his back was just amazing.

Justin:                     Very cool.

Pete:                        Yeah. I love this book. I think this is great. This is such good, crazy storytelling and combination of Snyder and Capullo.

Justin:                     So many great ideas. It’s great to see … Scott seemed to really blow his ideas out. He’s like, “Well, my run on Batman’s over for now. But let me just like I extrapolate a bunch of the ideas that I had in my main series, get my man Greg Capullo to draw them and just have a great rich standalone series”.

Alex:                         Let me throw a theory by you guys, which may have been emphasized in particular by the River Styx sequence. Do you think this whole book is just Batman is dead and he’s descending into hell or heaven and it’s a Dante’s Inferno type thing

Justin:                     Interesting.

Alex:                         Cause he does seem to go to these different levels as he travels. He’s encountering everybody that he’s ever known throughout his life. I don’t know at the very least there seems to be some sort of riff on that going on here. I’m not sure if Batman is permanently dead or not.

Pete:                        But the whole, that group shot of everybody by the water River Styx was really kind of heartbreaking.

Justin:                     Yeah. It’s great to get everybody together for that family picture.

Pete:                        Yeah.

Justin:                     That makes a lot of sense. Last night on earth and maybe Batman’s like dying right here and he’s descending through too, right, and maybe he’ll be like revived at the very end or something like that.

Pete:                        Oh, Lex Luther thing was really fucked up too.

Justin:                     Yeah he’s creepy. That dude’s creepy.

Alex:                         Overall, this is just a super creative book. There’s lots of great stuff going on here. As you mention, Greg Capullo’s visuals are phenomenal. Just so big.

Pete:                        The art alone is worth picking this up.

Alex:                         It’s fantastic and it’s a great package, so definitely pick it up. If you would like to support us: Also, we do a live show every Tuesday night at 8:00 PM at The People’s Improv theater Loft in New York. Come on down. We’ll chat with you about comics. Pete, what do you want to plug?

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, @ComicBookLive.

Alex:                         Check us out at for this podcast and more. You can subscribe on iTunes, Android, Stitcher, Spotify. Now before we go, one other thing that we’re going to do, which we started doing as of last episode is read some iTunes comments that you guys have left us.

Alex:                         If you would like to leave a comment on iTunes, we will read it here on the show if you would like. Totally up to you.

Justin:                     Yeah, we got to spread the word.

Alex:                         Yeah. Here we go. Okay. This is the first one. Do we want to do this in a round? Do we want to do-

Justin:                     Go for it.

Alex:                         Just read it?

Justin:                     You read it and we will comment.

Alex:                         Ooh, that sounds good. Okay. This is from Empire2: great comic book podcast. Funny and informative. Check them out.

Pete:                        Thank you Empire2

Justin:                     That’s really nice. Well, what else would you need to say?

Alex:                         Well, Edge9000X says “These guys are great. Give them a listen.”

Justin:                     Okay! Edge, take it to the edge. Great. I love this. Five positive comments in a row.

Alex:                         Yeah. Okay. Well here’s another one. This is another positive comment. This is from Aaron Blur who I believe might be one of our patriots orders just throwing that out there. She says “My husband and I go to the live show every week. These guys have been doing this show for a long time and it’s the most fun. Comic books, laughs, tears, surprise quizzes, hidden everywhere. Awesome guests. I definitely started reading more comics since listening. They recommended so many things I wouldn’t otherwise have thought to check out. They also do a ton of podcast covering lots of TV shows based on comics and those are absolutely worth listening to as well.”

Pete:                        Wow.

Justin:                     Great! What a comment.

Alex:                         Well it’s all up, up, up from here. Oh, here’s One more.

Justin:                     Okay, good. I mean you always save the best for last. That’s what you learned based on our stacks.

Alex:                         So this is a four out of five star reviews, so that’s still pretty good.

Justin:                     That’s pretty good. Just one star down.

Alex:                         Needs to do two podcasts says, “Huh? Logan? One, two, two, nine. Love the stack and hate the live show-

Justin:                     Holy shit!

Alex:                         What!?

Pete:                        Oh man.

Alex:                         Well, I will mention, I did leave this in because you guys complained. We were too positive last week, so here’s where they rip us to fucking pieces.

Justin:                     Give us the real shit.

Alex:                         “Love the stack, hate the live show. Wish they would be in two separate podcasts so I could subscribe to just the stack. Guys have great chemistry and have been a fan since the old YouTube videos. My go to for comic reviews.” Logan, thank you very much. And I think yes, obviously not completely positive right at the beginning.

Justin:                     Well, I’m very curious what Logan doesn’t like about the live show. Yeah, Logan, give us the, I mean, obviously you’re listening to this one, so give us the straight dope.

Alex:                         Well, the other thing is I would ask our listeners and also you guys, because you have a little bit of input here, should we separate the stack and the live show into two feeds?

Justin:                     What do you mean a little bit input?

Alex:                         Just a little bit.

Pete:                        Yeah, just a little bit.

Alex:                         It’s mainly-

Justin:                     What do we got to talk to the board?

Alex:                         No, I’m talk directly to the fans, yo.

Justin:                     Oh, I see. You pointed at us like, “You two have a little bit of input”, like “Get the fuck out we do this, is almost equal stake?

Pete:                        Yeah, almost.

Alex:                         That’s right. Yeah, man, it’s 40 20 20.

Pete:                        Wow.

Justin:                     Wow. Quick no, a human calculator over here.

Pete:                        Yeah. I don’t think that adds up.

Justin:                     Pillar of correctness and human calculator.

Alex:                         The fans are 20 percent as well.

Pete:                        Oh, okay. There you go.

Alex:                         You guys have-

Pete:                        way to cover that last 20 there. I’ll get you back.

Alex:                         Well, but seriously, let us know what you think, guys. Should we separate the Stack and the live show into two separate feeds. Also, as Justin said, Logan let us know what you don’t like about the live show. We’ve been doing it at the exact same way for 13 years, so we’re definitely open to change. I think.

Justin:                     Yeah, let’s freshen it up.

Pete:                        Yeah.

Alex:                         Yeah. What do you guys want to see? Do you want it to be a dead show?

Alex:                         No.

Justin:                     Logan is not going to like that.

Pete:                        Yeah, I don’t think Logan will like that.

Alex:                         Thank you guys so much for listening. As mentioned, all of the places you can subscribe. Please do and comment on iTunes and we’ll check them out on this show and we’ll see you at the Comic Book Shop.

Justin:                     And we have time for just one more question.

Alex:                         Pete, you got a-

Pete:                        See you at the Comic Book Shop!

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