The Stack: Spider-Man, Flash Forward And More

spider-man #1

This week’s comic reviews include: Spider-Man #1, Flash Forward #1, Excellence #5, House of X #5, Once and Future #2, Absolute Carnage #3, Inferior Five #1, The Black Ghost #1, Firefly #9 and Lex Luthor: Year of the Villain #1.


Spider-Man #1 (2019) Official Synopsis:

The most shocking and incredible comic of 2019 is here as J.J. ABRAMS (STAR WARS, STAR TREK, SUPER 8) and his son HENRY ABRAMS are joined by superstar artist SARA PICHELLI (MILES MORALES, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY) team up for SPIDER-MAN! What do they have planned for Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson?! Who is Cadaverous?! The Modern Master of Mystery Makes His Marvel this September!

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Plus, check out a full transcript of the episode, here:

Alex:                 What is up everybody? Welcome to the Stack. I’m Alex.

Justin:              I’m Justin.

Pete:                I’m Pete.

Alex:                 And on the Stack, we talk about a bunch of comic books-

Pete:                A bunch of them.

Alex:                 … that have today. We review them. We recommend them for you or let you know to stay away

Justin:              And we read them first and then now we’re going to recommend and review. A lot of times people are like, “Would you… Did you guess? And we are diligent.

Alex:                 I didn’t read them. Pete, did you read them?

Pete:                Yeah, I read them. Did you read them?

Justin:              Yeah, I mean, I looked at the covers. Oh, that’s basically that’s the main thing-

Alex:                 That’s the main thing.

Justin:              … the covers never lie.

Alex:                 Yes. We, of course, did read the book we are going to review them but first we’re going to kick it off reading a bunch of comments from you guys we usually left this for the end of the show. And to be perfectly frank, we kept forgetting about it. So, these are comments that you guys have left for us on iTunes. If you would like to us to read your iTunes comment on the show. Please leave them there. Go rate and subscribe and leave a comment we love to hear from you guys. This first one is from Thor, that he says-

Pete:                Cool, the Thor?

Justin:              That’s awesome.

Pete:                Holy shit.

Alex:                 It says my name really is Thor that’s his username.

Pete:                Oh man.

Alex:                 [crosstalk 00:01:17]

Justin:              That’s bold.

Pete:                You name your kid Thor.

Alex:                 And the headline is, “This is a bro love letter to the show and gave us five stars,” Thank you very much a real name Thor.

Justin:              Love it.

Alex:                 “I’ve been looking for a comic book podcast that reviewed comics and was actually entertaining for years to no avail. I had all had given up until recently, I stumbled upon comic book club. I listened to a good amount of podcast but this is the first one I found that really hit home for me on a deeper level than just enjoyment. Their friendships are very clear and sincere as we discussed comic books and joke around. That is something that really means a lot to me, as well,” Hold on, ” As one of my closest friends moved five years ago, and I’ll be damned if Alex doesn’t remind me of him when he talked about-

Justin:              Of course we know that Alex doesn’t have friends. So, it could not be Alex.

Pete:                Hey, he’s just dictating what he said.

Alex:                 … Well, ever since I moved five years ago. He and I still talk regularly we see each other when possible, but this definitely helps make me feel closer to him. So thank you, Pete Justin, Alex, best comic book podcast by far. And I recommend it to anyone who is into counter-culture, not just comics.”

Justin:              That’s right. We are counter-culture.

Alex:                 Real name Thor, thank you so much.

Pete:                Yes, thanks, Thor.

Justin:              That’s very nice, Lord. And I’m sorry, that Alex moved away but honestly, you’re better off.

Alex:                 This one, I think you’re going to be interested to hear this one, Pete. This one is from [Sleztracks 00:02:38]. “We review five stars. So on August 21, 2019, I gave them three stars and wrote this, ‘great except for the guy hating on hot spots-

Justin:              that checks out.

Alex:                 … he’s just annoying. I get having a different opinion but he just seems like a troll.’ On the next podcast. They read my review and the guy I called a troll gives it a much better explanation of his views. Most I even agree with I must say I wasn’t expecting that. They have earned my respect. And these five stars.” Thank you Sleztracks

Justin:              Wow.

Pete:                Turn that frown upside down, baby.

Alex:                 Despite, I’ll mention Pete, you did not want to do that.

Pete:                I did not want to talk about my feelings. I have a hard time dealing with my feelings. And Alex made me talk about them.

Alex:                 Maybe there’s a lesson in there.

Pete:                Yeah, no.

Alex:                 I think look at it, think about it for a second.

Pete:                I’d rather-

Alex:                 …this comment couldn’t be more or less illustrative about how there’s a lesson in it.

Pete:                I’d rather keep repeating the same mistakes I’ve made in my life over and over. Thank you very much.

Alex:                 Well, thank you for the five stars I’m so sorry that the troll of Paige is back.

Pete:                And, I’m sorry that you disagree or whatever.

Justin:              No, I think he does agrees with you.

Alex:                 No, now you’re taking it all down. Last one is from Jon Jones-Johnson, “Favorite show of the week. Five stars, love all your content. As a comic shop owner, I don’t always get to read everything before opening on Wednesday. But you guys give me enough talking points about each title I didn’t get to. Plus you make me laugh. Thanks for the weekly enjoyment ONP please make another secret quiz. South Side Comics.”

Justin:              Nice.

Pete:                Nice.

Alex:                 And South Side Comics I believe I want to say I’m going to look it up right now is in Pittsburgh. So if you are there, definitely go visit them. It’s in Pennsylvania, Brentwood, Pennsylvania. That’s where it is.

Justin:              Please check out South Side Comics.

Alex:                 That’s so nice. Thank you for leaving a comic-

Justin:              Comment.

Pete:                Comment.

Justin:              A comment and next time we’re in Brentwood, we’ll come on by.

Pete:                First. We got to get to Justin secret quiz. We’ll start back over-

Justin:              Interesting [crosstalk 00:04:39]Getting over cheat’s second quiz before-

Pete:                … We got to go all the way through. We got a cipher through if you will.

Justin:              That’s not the word for that.

Alex:                 That’s not correct. Let’s get into the Stack. It’s been long enough. First one we’re going to kick it off with this is a highly anticipated book Spider-Man No. 1 by John Jonah. Abrams, and-

Justin:              Definitely his name.

Alex:                 … and his son. Is it jumping Joseph Abrams?

Justin:              Yeah, that’s definitely it.

Alex:                 Henry Abrams, his son, and art by Sarah Pichelli. This, of course, is the director of the Star Trek movies, director of the Star Wars movies coming on with his son.

Pete:                That’s adorable.

Alex:                 Yes, very adorable is 20 something-year-old son. It super cute.

Pete:                Why is it not cute? A father and son. I think that’s cute,

Justin:              Because you’re thinking of it as like a baby. But he’s an adult.

Pete:                I don’t care what age it is, a father and son teaming up it’s cute.

Alex:                 Once you pass 18 nothing is cute.

Justin:              Nothing’s cute, Pete come on.

Alex:                 [crosstalk 00:05:35]never again.

Pete:                Dude, what the fuck.

Justin:              If I was like, “Pete-

Pete:                You guys are fathers. You assholes.

Justin:              Pete, if I was like, “You look cute today.” You’d be like, “What?”,

Pete:                Okay, well, that’s different for what I’m saying.

Alex:                 Well think about that then how old are you? 55

Pete:                Oh, fuck you.

Alex:                 I’m going to say 35 years ago. Still weird. Okay, so this is I don’t think what anybody expected out of this book? At all.

Justin:              Definitely not.

Alex:                 So, let’s very briefly lay out the plot. This can be spoilers here. But this starts with Spider-Man completely losing a fight with a villain called Cadaverous. And the biggest shocking event that happens right at the beginning of the issue is Mary Jane dies during the fight then we cut forward 10 years, and they have a son together. The son seems to be developing spider-powers of his own meanwhile-

Justin:              I would say 100% developing his powers.

Alex:                 Well, maybe he’s just at ceilings or whatever it’s cool. Like the beetle power.

Justin:              I guess it could be any bugs that sticks to the ceiling.

Pete:                If you guys have seen Trainspotting, you know that guy was on the ceiling for-

Justin:              That’s true. That was a [crosstalk 00:06:39]baby.

Alex:                 Yes. And then the other thing that happens in the background Cadaverous is coming back. What do you think about the steak?

Pete:                Well, first off, it’s a little upsetting because hey, JJ, do you know what we’re going through as Spider-Man fans right now. Do you think that this is a good time to drop this comic? Because what the fuck man?

Alex:                 When you say-

Justin:              What are you something about? No one’s going through any sort of… there have been multiple comics where Spider-Man and Mary Jane have been married and have children together.

Alex:                 Right. In fact, there’s an ongoing one called Renew Your Vows. Which is happening right now when you say the thing that Spider-Man fans are going through? Are you talking about One More Day which came out? And I want to say 2008?

Pete:                Yes.

Justin:              A full 11 to nearly 12 years ago.

Pete:                Seems like yesterday.

Alex:                 2007.

Pete:                It’s an open wound. Guys, if you don’t talk about your emotions you stay in the same place.

Alex:                 I see-

Justin:              I guess he did learn his lesson about this rant.

Pete:                But I just think that-

Justin:              Well, you should like this because they were married in this. Just one of them died.

Pete:                They were together for two panels and then she horribly dies.

Justin:              So, is that better than the devil breaking them up?

Pete:                No.

Justin:              Death is better for you?

Pete:                It’s just very painful to watch her die like that.

Justin:              Well, I think that’s the idea of the comic. It’s not supposed to be like, ” You, Cadaverous, my hero.”

Pete:                I just think I was like, “Oh, well, what the fuck man.” It was hard to me to then get back into the comic and continue reading.

Justin:              Well, let me pick up there because I do think that this was a hard comic to read in that Peter Parker has been so affected by this death. He’s become a bad distant father. And we don’t really know what his deal is. But he’s definitely given up on his responsibility as a father in this.

Pete:                That one part where he was like, “You don’t help people, you don’t go out your way for people.”

Justin:              So that’s-

Pete:                Who the hell is this guy?

Justin:              That’s a harsh take for Peter Parker. On the other side of it, though, Cadaverous seems very scary, seems like an interesting villain. It feels like this comic is almost about the villain as much as it is about Spider-Man. So, I’m curious to see that and I like this new kid, Spider-Man.

Alex:                 I think it’s really interesting to have a comic book about a kid who’s finally coming to his own discovering his creativity, really trying some new projects. And he’s got an asshole father who’s so busy off all the time. That was an interesting thing to read-

Pete:                Do you think maybe JJ?

Alex:                 … What do you think about that?

Pete:                Do you think maybe JJ read this? And was like, “Do we need to talk about some stuff?”

Alex:                 And Henry was like, “No, no, you have two hands. It’s cool.” This is a different thing?

Justin:              That’s true.

Alex:                 I will say one thing that I absolutely loved about this book is Sarah Pichelli’s art. She’s always been absolutely fantastic.

Justin:              So good.

Alex:                 But there’s a sequence of the beginning. I went back and read this because when they jumped 10 years ahead, you see that Peter Parker has a hook for a hand. The initial sequence it’s always hid there. So, it’s this very behind a rock, behind somebody else’s figure or something like that. It already happened, but you don’t know it’s coming until you actually see it. That’s nice. That’s the sort of pacing that she gives to this book. And it’s very impressive.

Justin:              It’s a very subtle played-

Pete:                This was too emotional for me to enjoy.

Justin:              Really, you think? What about this new Spider-Man? You can’t get on board with him? Ben Parker.

Pete:                No.

Alex:                 I do you wonder how or if this is going to fit in with any sort of continuity whatsoever? Because as you mentioned, we’ve had a lot of futures for Spider-Man and Mary Jane, where they have a kid usually it’s a girl, May Parker or MJ or something like that. Here we’re getting Ben Parker, that certainly gets you in the gut a little bit at-

Pete:                Yeah it does.

Alex:                 … I’m curious to see if there’s going to be any time travel or anything like that going on where it wraps into the main continuity, or if it’s going to be its own semi out of continuity story.

Justin:              I do think people said the same thing about the Ultimate Universe. Now Miles Morales is one of almost on equal footing with Peter Parker and Spider-Man, so I think we’ll see how it goes. Maybe this will become another popular Spider-Man character.

Alex:                 We’ll see what happens. Moving on to another redheaded hero FlashForward #1, it’s picking up after Heroes in Crisis from the DC Comics, following Wally West. He murdered a bunch of people. He’s dealing with that. But-

Pete:                How-

Alex:                 … as that happens? He is wrapped into a plot to destroy the multiverse from the dark multiverse by a new character called, what is it, Tempus Fugitive?

Justin:              Yes.

Alex:                 Something like that. Well, what do you guys think about[crosstalk 00:11:18]

Pete:                Wait, I want to check in with you to see how you’re feeling about this? Because you’re the big Flash fan-

Justin:              You’re the Wally guy.

Pete:                You’re the Wally guy. You took a big hit from the heroes and crisis.

Justin:              This is an Alex and crisis. Take us to Wally world, Alex.

Pete:                How are you feeling? How is this going for you?

Alex:                 I get it. I didn’t love it. I didn’t love it. But a couple of reasons, actually, I didn’t love it, is first of all, like we talked about at the end of Heroes and Crisis. My take on it was they had changed time. So, Wally felt he had killed everybody. But he hadn’t actually killed everybody. I guess I was wrong about that. First of all.

Justin:              It definitely feels weird in this title, that he’s in jail and on trial for these murderers that were sort of clipped out of time, because I think the point of Heroes and Crisis were, he was in crisis, but he actually rose above it to become a hero. And he was brought back into the fold to try to move past this trauma. And in this comic, it’s the opposite idea. He’s wallowing in the trauma. And it seems to not have learned the lesson of that title.

Alex:                 I think, I don’t know there was either some either misunderstanding on my part, or they just decided to go in a different direction to make it more concrete. But then getting past the point of okay, he actually did kill all of these other heroes. Everybody is way too forgiving of him at that point. There’s one point when Linda Park, who was his wife in another life, she doesn’t really know that but he does, shows up and she’s like, “Well, but you feel bad about it so that’s okay.” That’s not okay. If he killed a dozen people. It’s not like, “Well, at least you’re thinking about it.”

Justin:              But technically he killed them either way. Like even if they were fixed in time, he did go through action of the killing them. So to that point, he definitely did do that. And it’s weird because he’s such the bright fun-loving Flash, or was up until this point. So, this does feel they’re putting Wally West Flash into a new place for most likely because there’s another Wally who is doing the more Wally things.

Alex:                 I think where we’re getting is we’re clearly leading towards something right? There’s all this stuff that’s going on with the Justice League and the Legion of Doom over at Justice League. They’re certainly setting up a lot of stuff with the Dark Multiverse. I came out in solicitations that I believe in October or something like that, they’re going to reveal Superman’s identity to the world almost to the 10-year point with The New 52. It’s about that time again for some sort of crisis. I think this is the kickoff to that. This is leading towards here we go again, we’re gonna get another reboot of the DC Universe. So

Pete:                I did really like the new character. I thought he-

Alex:                 Tempus Fugitive?

Pete:                Yeah. I thought he looked cool.

Alex:                 It was cool. This is Brett Booth on arc, right?

Justin:              Yeah.

Alex:                 Which I think, a very solid superhero artist. So that was the real appeal to me.

Justin:              I guess we’ll see what the… this was like I said a lot of wallowing in the past.

Alex:                 Wallying?

Justin:              Wallowing. I’m excited to see if we can move him out of this into whatever the next iteration is. And maybe he’s going to become a new, totally different hero feels like.

Alex:                 We’ll see what happens. Next one up from Image Comics, we’ve been loving this title Excellence #5. This takes place in a world where magic is secret. But magic wars are going on all the time. Every issue reveals a little bit more about our characters. And this issue is specifically dealing with the idea that in this world, women are not allowed to do magic and the certain repercussions of one of our female characters actually getting the opportunity to use magic. What do you guys think about this issue?

Pete:                Well, I think it’s fucked up in the world that women can’t do magic but I like this comic, and I think it does a good job of moving the story forward and you’re really put in the characters kind of like mind and seeing what they’re going through. And I think the art’s fantastic. And it’s a cool story. And every time we read it, I’m very entertained, and kind of can’t wait to read the next one.

Justin:              This is you felt like sort of a chess match between these three characters. And this comic does a great job of doing that of really getting you inside the different characters heads and letting them play off each other. I’m excited for the next issue. I think more than this one because it’s all been set and now the trap can get sprung. This was an issue that sort of reorganized everyone’s motivation and point of view and I wish there was a little more action here I guess.

Alex:                 We definitely get to it with that last page-

Justin:              Which is really great.

Alex:                 Without revealing too much.

Pete:                But I also love the wand work in this issue.

Justin:              Wand work?

Alex:                 Oh, the wand work. Look at Harry potter over here, PD Potter.

Justin:              What do you mean the wand?

Alex:                 What are you talking about?

Justin:              Just like the way they wave it?

Pete:                Yeah, the way they kind of like use their wands, and have different kind of stuff with the wands and I think it’s fun.

Justin:              Have you ever seen like an orchestra conductor?

Pete:                Yes.

Justin:              Do you like that one work?

Pete:                Not so much.

Justin:              Why?

Pete:                It just stays the same old time. This the wands are floating around a little bit.

Alex:                 Do you like it better if the conductor stabbed a cellist or something?

Pete:                Oh, man. Yeah.

Justin:              You want a battle orchestra? Or the woodwinds are like, “Get out of the way percussion you’re dead.” There’s a clarinet through someone’s neck-

Alex:                 “Yeah, we’re the brass session. The brass, knuckles.

Pete:                And at the end of it it’s just one person covered in everybody else’s blood just playing a solo. That is so deep and painful.

Justin:              What instrument do you think would win?

Pete:                What?

Justin:              What instrument do you think would win?

Pete:                Ooh, that’s tough. I’m going to have to say, Viola.

Alex:                 Davis?

Justin:              No, the viola that makes sense.

Alex:                 Great. Let’s move on. This is it, you guys. This is the big one. House of X #5 of Marvel Comics. This is a red issue in the Span of Powers of Ten and House of X.

Justin:              That means important.

Alex:                 Which means important there’s a big moment[crosstalk 00:17:12]

Justin:              Or a rash. It could mean a rash.

Alex:                 And certainly looks like a lot of people have a rash on this one. But we get a confirmation of a big theory that has been out there that reveals not just a lot of what’s been going on, but also what’s been going on since the very beginning of the series. I will warn you massive some spoilers here. If you want to keep completely clean for House of X and Powers of x. But as suspected, it turns out that those pods at the beginning are actually a way of reincarnating the X-Men, and the way that the X-Men and specifically Charles Xavier, working with Magneto and assumably Moira Mactaggert, though she doesn’t show up this issue.

Alex:                 Is they are going to win by continually resurrecting the X-Men bring them back to life. Giving them new ideal bodies at their ideal ages, and then putting the most recent copy of their brains inside. This issue was taken up with really reinforcing the idea that these X-Men who died a couple of issues back now are not just back to life, but they are themselves. They are not just copies of themselves. That’s at least what they’re telling us. And then by the end of the issue, there’s an even bigger thing that happens, which now that they’re successful with that, now that they’ve stopped the mother molds up in space. They’ve decided to go to the next stage, which is bringing all the mutants under their wing, including all of the villainous mutants, including Apocalypse, who joins up with them. We’ve kind of know that’s going to happen because Solicitations down the road hinted at it, but a lot of stuff going on here. What do you guys think about this issue?

Pete:                This is a fucking horror comic now.

Justin:              Why?

Pete:                This is fucking horror comic.

Justin:              Because they’re pod people?

Pete:                It’s so creepy and so wrong what the X-Men are doing. It’s fucking scary.

Justin:              Wait, why is it’s-

Pete:                When Apocalypse shows up and goes finally, we’re all exactly where I always want us to be. You guys are all on my side now. Let’s rule the world. That’s fucking scary.

Justin:              Well, but I mean, I take your point. But I will say it. I really liked that section. Because I think Apocalypse his whole thing has always been I need to challenge the mutant race so that we can reach the next evolutionary step. And part of that is moving beyond the battle between humans and mutants. And Apocalypse walks in is like, this is what I’m talking about. Now. We’re all hanging everyone’s naked.

Alex:                 And that’s what the word apocalypse has always meant is let’s find a stage. That’s next. let’s move forward.

Justin:              I’m thinking that needs to change.

Alex:                 Do you think post-apocalypse?

Justin:              Yeah, I think it’s a bad time for post-apocalypse. That’d be a great you just adds a little P to an L? PPA.

Alex:                 [Pcogin 00:19:59]

Justin:              That would be never happen but it’s very funny if he’s PA.

Pete:                This shit is scary man.

Justin:              It’s scary because the villains and heroes are together. Now you’re saying?

Pete:                It’s scary that the villains are agreeing with the heroes, and we’re all doing something that doesn’t feel right-

Justin:              But I think the point is-

Pete:                … and also you’re just creating pod people from your dead friends and that shit looks real scary.

Alex:                 That’s not from the dead friends. It’s for Goldballs. Who turns out makes eggs.

Justin:              I mean, I got to say. That was a Turn about

Pete:                No no. It’s supposed to be Goldballs. You can’t just say gold balls are eggs.

Alex:                 All gold balls are eggs. Have you ever checked inside of a gold ball?

Justin:              Yeah.

Alex:                 All eggs?

Justin:              Hey, all balls are eggs. Have you ever opened-

Pete:                Well, I just-

Justin:              … up a football, there’s a turtle inside

Pete:                They just could have said, “Oh, we’re wrong. We don’t know what gold. They were eggs the whole time-

Justin:              No, I thought that.

Pete:                … you can’t say something that was gold is now eggs.

Justin:              Jonathan Hickman is-

Pete:                They were Cadbury eggs.

Justin:              He’s using the whole buffalo here. He’s choosing these mutants and able to create this crazy new idea, which I thought was so cool. Let’s see if I can remember this, it’s Goldballs makes these eggs that are unviable. Proteus warped reality so the eggs are viable. Then there’s a time-

Alex:                 I think it’s Elixir-

Justin:              Elixir.

Alex:                 … to work with their DNA.

Justin:              And activates the egg sort of moves them forward. They’re aged up by Emily, I forget her name. And then finally Hope comes in and puts the powers into the bodies. And then they emerge in the eggs as their full self. That is wild. I will say on Pete sort of, I’m worried about this front. This takes the stakes out of death for the X-Men. Do we want to see an X-Men team where everyone dies on missions? And then it’s fine. And I will say, I don’t think that’s going to be what happens. They’re going to remove this power from them.

Alex:                 There are so many things that can go wrong with this, first of all, I will say I’m kind of in agreement with Pete on this issue just in terms of the feeling that it gave me and I was trying to intellectually work through. Okay, I understand that structurally, they’re telling me, yo, these aren’t copies of x men, these are the actual X-Men. This is the work that we’re putting in here to really force it through to your mind. Again, intellectually I understand that and intellectually I understand what you’re saying but apocalypse at the end, where he’s like, “All I’ve ever wanted is this now we should work together.”

Alex:                 And I understand also that it’s not their sinister plans in the background or anything. This really is the whole mutant race working together. That’s the intellectual part. The emotional part of me, who has been reading comics for decades now is like, this is fucked up. And I agree with Pete with that for a couple of reasons. The first reason is, it’s just a personal thing. But I have a hard time believing the idea that if somebody dies, and then you clone their body, and then you put their memories in there, that that is the same person that their soul has transferred over. And I know it’s comics. And I know that’s what they’re saying but-

Justin:              You backup your phone and reboot that and its soul goes over into your updated model.

Alex:                 That’s true. I accepted that. No, I’ve always had a problem with this concept and sci-fi. There’s done the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie The 6th Day where they do the same thing. Where I remember very clearly sitting in the theater watching that being like, “Those are different people. I don’t buy it.” And that’s a sci-fi concept. That’s always been a wall for me here. And sorry, that just last thing, the point at the end with Apocalypse. I was certainly wondering over the course of this issue, when they have the whole mutant nation being like, “We’re all on board with this. Hooray. Let’s do it.” That the thing that was holding me back is that’s not how any of this works. And I think Jonathan Hickman’s argument is, they are not human. They have evolved, they push past what’s make them human. So, they’re not acting like humans. But it still feels like again for decades of comics from knowing how the X-Men act, that they never agree on anything. This has to fall apart at some point.

Justin:              But I would argue that we talked about this before, I think in another episode, but I think Jonathan Hickman’s point is hey, it’s time to move past the kids games. It’s mutants fighting mutants is not useful protecting humans, when humans hate you, that logically doesn’t work anymore. It doesn’t work forever, to just have that be the paradigm. And he’s shifting it forward, where it’s, hey, we’ve seen the future. Humans are trying to murder us and they do in all these nine timelines. And then later we have this [fulnix 00:24:45], whatever we will fight about how to pronounce it, I say it like I did when I was 10 and first read it and so suck on that. Letters consonants, too many consonants in a row at the end. And that’s another existential crisis. So, they’re like hey, we don’t disagree, Pete and I don’t disagree but we do this podcast together, and I think that is what’s happening now with the X-Men.

Alex:                 Oh man, who’s the Apocalypse in this?

Justin:              Definitely Pete there’s no doubt about that.

Alex:                 He does have that P at his belt.

Justin:              That’s what I’m talking about. It stands for-

Alex:                 It’s not the letter though.

Pete:                Pete.

Justin:              Pete Apocalypse.

Alex:                 No he just has P at his belt.

Pete:                But also what’s what’s tough about this comic as well is you have to read a lot and-

Justin:              This criticism is not as strong as your previous one.

Pete:                I don’t say the [crosstalk 00:25:37]

Alex:                 I’m surprised that your second thing is not Wolverine died.

Justin:              And let me throw this out to you.

Pete:                Let’s get that in a second.

Justin:              Okay.

Pete:                So, in the reading they say that these husks of people.

Justin:              You say like it’s homework. I did the reading.

Pete:                These husks only last a week. So-

Alex:                 No, no, no, they were saying that Proteus husk’s only last. Proteus always… That was actually just a side note that was the first thing that gave me pause where I was like, “Fucking Proteus is on board with this. How did that happen?”

Justin:              Well, it also it’s, wow the amount of research where it’s oh yeah let’s make sure we cover our bases on everyone knowing that Proteus’ body disintegrates the more he uses his power so we have to make sure that we cover that he has a second husk on fucking lock on the side so that he could jump into that next body and then keep the work going. And also that the five of them are like, “We’re a family now we never leave each other side-

Pete:                Also-

Justin:              … Goldballs.”

Pete:                … the more we work together, the stronger we get.

Justin:              Goldballs and Hope Summers are just like, “Hey, we’re right.”

Alex:                 I think this the thing, we’ve talked about this before with this book, Pete. But there is a cult-like vibe coming off of it right now. Which also alarms me. As a human, I don’t want these mutants coming for me or my children. So, I approve of the mutant registration.

Justin:              You’re on the wrong side of history.

Pete:                That’s awful. Stop. So, what was nice for me as I was like, “Okay, my Wolverine didn’t die. This was just a husk of a Wolverine-

Justin:              No Wolverine died.

Pete:                … that they created, and it’s not a part of this.

Justin:              Let me throw this out to you. Are there adamantium bones in that dude?

Pete:                Yeah I guess so.

Justin:              Where did the adamantium come from?

Pete:                Goldballs.

Alex:                 The Goldballs.

Justin:              Oh, it gold instead of adamantium. That changes the game for Wolverine. He’s got gold on his bones.

Alex:                 He’s even softer than usual.

Justin:              Give me those bones.

Pete:                Hey, don’t call Wolverine soft.

Justin:              He’s got gold bones.

Alex:                 Instead of adamantium that’s going to make his bones… He’s going to poke people. His bones are just going to fold. His claws are going to go like boop.

Justin:              Don’t make me pop my claws. It’s $20,000. Every time they do it. Let me throw you this as well.

Alex:                 That’s okay my family made more.

Justin:              How did you feel about all the X-Men coming out and being like, let’s have this rally. No time to put on the clothes guys. Just stand here and we’re going to shout at you.

Alex:                 Nightcrawlers like, “I will cover your genitals with my tail, yeah”

Justin:              That’s good. I mean, he’s a little prudish. He’s a Christian pirate he’s like, “I’ll cover your junk.” I thought that was just a funny… he had to be pretty comfortable with your group of friends. If you’re like, “I’m cool with this.”.

Pete:                I would not. I think the problem is-

Alex:                 If you were somewhere and you guys didn’t have some clothes on [inaudible 00:28:20] let’s just get some clothes on this guys before.

Justin:              If I’m fresh out the pot. I’m fresh out the pot still dripping with gold juice.

Alex:                 Here’s the thing is we know Hitman did the work right? he figured all this stuff out? In the entire history of the x men, there’s never been a mutant who could create bathrobes.

Justin:              Yeah, no that’s true.

Alex:                 So, find one of those and you’ve solved this problem.

Justin:              That’s a great point like marrow but for bathrobes. Jokes aside-

Pete:                Bathrobes out of his chest.

Justin:              … I like this a lot. I still like this. I’m on board

Pete:                This is turning into a nightmare.

Justin:              I like that the X-Men have a unified-

Pete:                All turn evil.

Justin:              No, it’s not. I mean, we’ll see what that I don’t think it’s evil. It’s they are drawing a line around them for a change rather than being… like I said earlier, the ideology that humans hate us, but we also serve at the pleasure of humans and protect them. That’s a faulty, illogical premise. And the fact that we’re getting a new take on that wherever it lands because I do think it’s not going to be there on this fine society and everyone gets along There’s going to be a ton of conflict, both within the mutant community and without, and I’m looking forward to just a fresh POV on all of that.

Pete:                Okay, well, first off the whole thing about humans hate us. Not all humans, man. All right.

Justin:              Most humans, hate or fear. That’s literally in the slogan.

Alex:                 I hate them. That’s why I voted great and creed.

Pete:                Oh, my God.

Justin:              Wow. No Nimrod over here.

Alex:                 I agree with you. I mean, this is fantastic. Even while it makes me uncomfortable. The writing, the art, everything across the board.

Pete:                It’s doing a great job of making a comic that you can’t miss. You can’t not read the next issue of this shit. It’s so insane.

Justin:              I got a bad case of HoXPoX. And I’ll tell you, I’ve got a fever.

Pete:                I’m very scared to see where this is going.

Alex:                 Well, I’m actually I was nervous and uncomfortable reading this issue, which I think is exactly the place you’re supposed to be when you’re reading this issue and the series as a whole. But it also gave me glimmer of all the different ways this can go horribly wrong. Because even if you have Xavier walking around with a helmet on his head, somebody could take that helmet, somebody’s going to destroy that helmet-

Justin:              And it’s over.

Alex:                 … And they got backups. They’re very careful to say we have backups of everybody’s memories. But we’ve seen in comics time again, somebody can find those backups and destroy those backups.

Justin:              My prediction is pretty early on in this new X-Men paradigm is that power will go away. The resurrection power, they will lose. But we also get the first look in some of the text here of what the actual point of the series going forward will be where it’s going to be making sure the mutants that are dead are actually dead before we replicate them. I think that’s going to be maybe the next four series.

Pete:                They were very specific to spell that out.

Justin:              So, I think that’s… we’re starting to pivot forward.

Pete:                Because I was reading. I was like, “Why are we taking time on this? It seems very-“

Justin:              Going to say that too.

Pete:                This is-

Alex:                 Well, I mean, this is a big concept. That’s happening-

Pete:                [crosstalk 00:31:21] really weirded out when Apocalypse showed up, and the whole planet was like, “Hey, here’s some doves. We love you Apocalypse.

Alex:                 No. They weren’t like that at all though. There was clearly these villains are working and what were they? The Externals and everybody else-

Justin:              And his Four Horsemen. I think those are his current horsemen.

Alex:                 So, they’re all walking in and everybody is like, “This is not good. Are you sure about this? Do we actually want to take the step?” And if you look at the framing of the panel, Apocalypse is huge in the frame overcharge Xavier, he is big. He is looming over him. So, it’s not a direct on shot of this meeting of minds between Xavier and Apocalypse. Apocalypse is still Apocalypse in here and he is dangerous. He is a potential danger for them.

Justin:              He’s stretchy.

Alex:                 Yes, and the stretchy that’s the important part. Let’s move on to a BOOM! Studios book Once and Future #2.

Pete:                This is my new jam.

Alex:                 Really.

Pete:                I love this fucking comic.

Justin:              You like that grandma?

Pete:                Yes.

Alex:                 So, the concept of this book is Arthur is maybe coming back.

Justin:              King Arthur.

Alex:                 King Arthur.

Justin:              Not Arthur, the cartoon character.

Alex:                 No, I was talking about Arthur, the Dudley board character.

Justin:              At the Russell Brand, reboot?

Alex:                 No, not that one.

Justin:              Okay, great. We’ve covered a lot of Arthur ground.

Alex:                 So, Arthur is coming back. And as we find out Arthur is evil. He wants to destroy all of Britain remake it in his image. We get more hints of in this issue. And there’s only this grandmother and her grandson, who potentially could fight it back. We got a lot of gross stuff happen to this issue. A lot of ghosts and zombies and other things. This is a blast.

Justin:              It’s such a fun book.

Pete:                It’s such a great book, first issue did an amazing job of setting up this crazy world. And second issue delivered hugely and I just can’t wait for each issue. It’s so creative, so much fun. And the art is fantastic.

Justin:              I agree. Great art. I love the trick because I would actually… Arthur’s not necessarily evil. He’s just in the philosophically at the point where he was when he died where he sees Anglo Saxons and he’s like, “Those people were [crosstalk 00:33:26]”

Alex:                 No, they established in the first issue that he’s evil.

Justin:              I mean, he does seem evil but I would say I like the way-

Alex:                 Just because he kills a couple people and licks their blood doesn’t mean he’s evil.

Justin:              Well, he’s killing these people that were his enemies when he died, Anglo Saxons. And so I just thought that was interesting take as opposed to him just being like a regular zombie.

Alex:                 I definitely am all in on this series. So, let’s move on, talk about another Marvel Comic book Absolute Carnage #3 when we last left things Miles Morales had been taken over by the Carnage, symbiote along with most of New York. Venom was on the run with Scorpion. And meanwhile bunch of other things were happening. What do you guys think about this issue?

Pete:                I mean, this is just over the top madness. It’s a fun comic. It’s just there’s a lot of just Venom symbiote type things going on. I just think it’s a fun, just kind of popcorn movie type of situation where you shut off your brain and you enjoy the action.

Justin:              I really like how this is played. I think it’s not just to shut off your brain thing. I think it’s really smartly played. We get to see a lot of venom and Eddie Brock’s point of view here and interesting usage. I think Donny Cates is doing this, and the way he’s really thinking through how these symbiotes work, and how they play. There’s this battle in the first half the issue between Eddie and the Venom symbiote, of what they should be doing. And there’s this moment where the Venom symbiote sort of spits Eddie out. And it’s just standing there, sort of free of and it’s just a great comic work of the written word and the visual working together with really interesting ideas.

Alex:                 Well, like you’re saying he gives it emotional stakes. It’s about Eddie’s relationship with Peter Parker. It’s about Eddie’s relationship with his son who doesn’t know that he has a son.

Justin:              And Venom’s relationship with Carnage as a son to him. It’s really great.

Alex:                 I’ll tell you just on the popcorn part though, the thing that happens on the last page made me cackle. It was just fun.

Justin:              That was definitely a popcorn moment.

Alex:                 Absolutely. So, it’s great definitely pick that up and moving on to another DC Comic book. Maybe the weirdest book of the week, Inferior Five #1. It’s by Keith Giffen and Jeff Lemire, I believe

Justin:              Jeff Lemire did the backup.

Alex:                 And this is picking up right after Invasion. Classic DC Comics crossover.

Justin:              When was that? That was a while ago.

Alex:                 I don’t know, the ’80s? The ’90s? Probably.

Justin:              This is wild.

Alex:                 So, this is a town that has been wrecked by the invasion may be an alternate reality but a little hard to tell.

Justin:              At this comic, does not tell you much about what’s going, no.

Pete:                It really hurt me to read this.

Alex:                 How so why?

Pete:                Because he was bleeding on the comics.

Alex:                 There seems to be some sort of vampire or something like in town or bleeding in comics maybe he’s a Dominator.

Justin:              Vomiting blood. I mean, I feel like a Dominator. Dominator vs. Villains, I like them that from Legion Legionnaires. They’re interesting. Alien invader’s sort of Mars AttacksE style alien invaders.

Alex:                 Mars a Taxi.

Justin:              Mars a Taxi. Why get an Uber when you can get Mars a Taxi.

Pete:                It sounds like Mars Attacks but more Italian. Is that what you’re-

Justin:              No.

Alex:                 Nice spicy Mars a taxi?

Justin:              It’s like Mars Attacks. E.

Pete:                Oh, okay. I see what you did.

Alex:                 I’m intrigued though. Honestly, I don’t understand what the business decision was but behind, yeah, sure. Let’s do a sequel to Invasion decades later. I’m not sure who this is for but I guess it’s for me because I think the characters are interesting. I don’t know what’s going on with the mystery. There’s some dude who’s maybe a baby Dominator wandering around with a sack on his head with an x. It’s like a horror movie. That’s how it plays out. That’s how it’s written and it’s fun.

Justin:              Small town horror movie send a superhero universe.

Alex:                 And the backup with Jeff Lemire is focusing on the peacemaker and other character out of Invasion I believe and following him through this deep dark journey of the soul where he’s tracking down Dominators. It’s great Jeff Lemire stuff. weird project but I’m glad they made it.

Pete:                Seriously though, the comic thing didn’t bother you guys at all.

Justin:              That he was bleeding on the comic?

Pete:                Yeah.

Justin:              Now-

Alex:                 You are very into this.

Justin:              Now but there’s-

Pete:                No, I just mean that we saw the blood and because they’re standing around all these comics. And like if this world is like dying, we got to save the comics. And then they made it a point to be like, “You’re ruining all these comics” and I was like, “Goddammit.”

Alex:                 No, no, he made it into a variant. It’s a blood variant.

Justin:              Very worth alive. Definitely get it back in great… it’s funny to me that we read so many comics and you see multiple people murdered in a million different ways. And don’t bat an eyelash. See one comic get a little bit of blood on your like, “Stop the presses.” We need to change this let’s get the comics code in here.

Pete:                You couldn’t be in a baseball card store or something else. It had to be comic books?

Alex:                 Very rude. Moving on to a comiXology book, The Black ghost#1. This is by our pal Alex Segura, a girl who was on the show the other week. This is a riff on old-timey heroes like the Shadow and whatnot. Take it from the perspective of Lois Lane type character who was investigating this vigilante in the city. There’s a big twist at the end. I thought this was fun. I enjoyed this.

Justin:              It does feel sort of like the spirit like an old fashioned superhero looks very cleanly set up and cleanly made. The characters are interesting. It’s a fun series that just gets past the premise into interesting storytelling very quickly.

Pete:                I like the way this kind of sets up the old vs. the new. We have kind of like this newer character that we follow. And then she kind of sees this old-timey character, and I feel like this is a great kind of creative way to pass the mantle a little bit.

Justin:              Because he’s wearing a hat, that’s how you know, he’s old-timey.

Alex:                 Right? Exactly. Hopefully, he’s going to pass the hat as they say that’s the expression right?

Justin:              Yep, that’s an expression.

Alex:                 Oh, okay cool.

Justin:              That’s that where you all take your hat off and pass it to the next person on the subway and everyone gets lice.

Pete:                That’s how New York works.

Alex:                 That’s great. You can pick it up on comiXology Originals right now. Moving on to another BOOM! Studio book Firefly #9. This is from Greige McPakie.

Pete:                Greige McPakie?

Justin:              He changed his name.

Alex:                 He changed his name.

Justin:              Greg pack.

Alex:                 Is from Greg pack this is continuing the epic story of what happens when Mal and company accidentally reignite the war once again. This is huge I did not expect the story to gets so big and I love it.

Justin:              I’m so surprised that Greg Pak went so deep with it into the sort of herb mythology of the Firefly universe getting into the battle between the Browncoats and Empire and it’s good, it’s so complex and it’s all coming to a head in what I think is the next issue.

Pete:                I am not surprised because Greg Pak is amazing writer and does fantastic research and knows his material of is going to take over book so I was very happy with the choices that he made.

Justin:              Very aggressive about it.

Pete:                Well, it just seem like you guys were undercutting-

Justin:              Not undercutting.

Pete:                … Greg’s intelligence.

Justin:              Not-

Pete:                Like, “Oh, I’m so surprised that he did such an amazing thing.”

Justin:              There’s a lot of ways to write a Firefly book the series and the movie Serenity. There was a lot about the fun wandering around and then exploring the universe. And they only glanced upon all that Browncoat stuff and instead of doing more of that this series goes right at the Browncoat stuff getting to do sort of basic stakes of the series that Mal and everybody else is dealing with so I am surprised that, that’s the choice but it’s good.

Pete:                It’s great.

Justin:              I’m glad we had this agreement.

Alex:                 Last one, we’re going to talk about from DC Comics Lex Luthor Year of the Villain #1. This is continuing the one-shots that are focusing on the Legion of Doom. We got a Riddler one-shot. We got a [Senester 00:41:25] one-shot here. We’re focusing on Apex Lex himself as he travels around the universe the Multiverse excuse me eliminating other Lex Luthors gently in the one style. What do you guys think about this?

Justin:              Lex in effects. This is a fun story.

Pete:                Well, Alex you had to love this because it tied into that Krypton because we got to see the what you call it the Black Rose or whatever that is the-

Alex:                 Blackmercy?

Pete:                Yeah, Blackmercy.

Alex:                 That didn’t to Krypton.

Justin:              It’s from comics.

Pete:                But Krypton did an episode where that was a thing.

Alex:                 That’s true. They also did Brainiac which, also that tied into comics.

Pete:                Oh, I’m sorry, I tried to-

Alex:                 Tied into Superbad. And it took place at TV so it’s sort of part of the wire extended universe.

Pete:                You know what’s fun is I tried to set you up like, hey, this was a fun thing that you liked. And then you just insult me.

Alex:                 Blackmercy was from the Allied War story from The Man Who Had Everything

Pete:                Sure. Originally yes, but recently in an episode of Krypton that we fucking talked about-

Justin:              He was trying to reach out to you and try to connect.

Alex:                 Oh, okay. I’m sorry.

Pete:                This is why don’t fucking talk about my emotions. You fucking piece of shit.

Justin:              It’s a great father-son moment.

Alex:                 You got so bad at me for this Blackmercy thing? Perhaps this is a wonderful dream that I’m having.

Justin:              That could be. I thought this is a good story. The way that Lex Luthor has been positioned throughout this Doomsday this a Legion of Doom event.

Pete:                Apex Luthor.

Justin:              Yes, this Legion of Doom event is you’d never get inside his head and he’s impenetrable. And so I liked this sort of way that we see a little bit of his plan and positions he is lying to everyone once again. But it’s played in a very smart way. And I like the little twist at the end.

Alex:                 How did you feel about a Pete other than yelling at me?

Pete:                No, fuck you, man.

Alex:                 All right, great. If you want to support this sort of thing. book club. We do a live show every Tuesday night at 8:00 PM at the People’s Improv Theater loft in New York. Come on by we’ll chat with you about comics. Pete what do you want to blog?

Pete:                Follow us on Facebook, so you get to know about the amazing guests we have on our live show.

Justin:              Plus on Twitter at Comic Book live. I’m going to set up a separate Patreon where Alex and Pete can go out and do fun friends stuff together. It’s going to need a lot of funding because they need a lot of hang time.

Alex:                 Yeah. Comic Book for this podcast and more subscribe and comment on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Android or the app of your choice. And we’ll see you at the comic book shop.

Justin:              Pop those gold clauses baby.

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