Home Sick Pilots #1

The Stack: Home Sick Pilots, Venom And More

podcasts The Stack

On this week’s Stack podcast, we’re reviewing:

Home Sick Pilots #1
Image Comics
Written by Dan Watters
Art by Casar Wijngaard

Venom #31
Marvel
Written by Donny Cates
Art by Iban Coello

The Comic Book History of Animation #1
IDW
Written by Fred Van Lente
Art & Letters by Ryan Dunlavey

Sweet Tooth: The Return #2
DC Comics
By Jeff Lemire

Scarenthood #2
IDW
Story & Art by Nicke Roche
Colors by Chris O’Halloran

Vampirella: The Dark Powers #1
Dynamite
Written by Dan Sbnett
Art by Paul Davidson

Seven Secrets #5
BOOM! Studios
Written by Tom Taylor
Illustrated by Daniele Di Nicuolo

Crossover #2
Image Comics
Written by Donny Cates
Art by Geoff Shaw

Spider-Man #5
Marvel
Written by J.J. Abrams & Henry Abrams
Art by Sara Pichelli

American Vampire 1976 #3
DC Comics
Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Rafael Albuquerque

Getting It Together #3
Written by Sina Grace & Omar Spahi
Art by Jenny D. Fine & Sina Grace

Origins #2
BOOM! Studios
Creat by Arash Amel, Lee Krieger and Joseph Oxford
Script by Clay McLeod Chapman
Art by Jakub Rebelka

King In Black: Namor #1
Marvel
Written by Kurt Busiek
Art by Benjamin Dewey

The Vain #3
Oni Press
Written by Eliot Rahal
Illustrated by Emily Pearson

Red Sonja: The Price of Blood #1
Dynamite
Written by Luke Lieberman
Art by Walter Geovani

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Full Episode Transcript:

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 new comic books that have come out this very week. We review them, we give our unfiltered [crosstalk 00:00:23].

Pete:                Just try to filter us. Good luck.

Alex:                 It’s never going to happen. And we’re going to come out raw and hard on this first one.

Pete:                What? Well, don’t say things like that.

Alex:                 Yeah, but no, I’ll say whatever I want. Home Sick Pilots number one from Image Comics, written by Dan Watters, art by Caesar Wijngaard. I don’t know, I probably should check that before we got on the air or anything like that.

Justin:              I think Caspar, is Caspar Wijngaard.

Alex:                 Yeah. This is a new title obviously from Image Comics from two creators that frankly I don’t think I’ve ever heard of, but this is … I wanted to put this up front because there’s been a lot of hype on this. And there is a very big, in my opinion, bold debut that is well worth that hype. This focuses on an indie band, one member who ends up in a haunted house, disappears, weird things go on, crazy things go on. And it almost feels like to me a spiritual descendant of like, I don’t know, so many different things at the same time that it feels original. But the first things that came to mind are like Locke and Key a little bit, Paper Girls a little bit.

Pete:                Paper girls. Yeah.

Alex:                 And it’s great. I was so happy with this book and I’m so excited to see where it goes next. Did you guys feel the same way?

Justin:              Yeah, I agree completely. I thought this book was great. The art’s really nice and it really makes you really feel along with the characters, especially in the first third, that when you’re young and you’re like, “Let’s go fuck around. Let’s go mess something up. Let’s go … ” That rebellious vibe. They do a good job of expressing that in a fun way. And then it does a nice job also of being a horror story that also edges into comic book world. It’s not just a horror story. And I really appreciated that.

Pete:                Yeah. I think this is really a fantastic first issue. Does a great job of getting us set up with who’s who and what’s going on, and then tells a really crazy story. I also really love the use of the all black panels are really great. Just some really fantastic storytelling [inaudible 00:02:39] perspective. They really did a great, great job. I can’t recommend this comic enough. It’s really interesting. And I cannot wait to see how this unfolds, really, really impressive.

Alex:                 There’s a double page spread in the middle of the book that was laid out in a way that honestly as a comic book reader was kind of confusing for me, but once I realized what they were going for, I really appreciated and liked, where two different groups are coming to a haunted house at the same time, but coming from opposite ends of the house. So the way you read it is you follow one group and then they meet in the middle and then you follow the other group from the other side of the page.

Alex:                 One is going the way that we read in America, the other is going the way that you read anime. But it took me a second for my brain to adjust to that. But I thought it was such a smart, fascinating way of laying out the page. And that’s what plays throughout the book is just these top of mind choices that they’re going for.

Justin:              Yeah. It’s just a book that feels very cool. They’re all musicians, they seem like they’re in cool bands. It feels like it’s just a good-

Alex:                 You want to hang out with them, wondering what they’re doing. Will they give you a call?

Pete:                Justin, it’s okay, you’re cool, man. You don’t have to just want to hang out with the cool kids all the time.

Justin:              No, I’m just saying like, “Hey nerds, I’m going to hang out with these cool musicians. I’m out of here.”

Pete:                Watch you become a nerd.

Alex:                 Let’s move on and talk about the opposite of a nerd, which as we know is jock with Venom number 31 from Marvel, written by Donny Cates, art by Iban Coello. This is picking right up off of the cliff hanger from King in Black number one, where Eddie Brock was thrown off the top. Love the sounds of coke being poured to the background.

Pete:                Sorry. Making the last of my rum and coke here, so apologies.

Justin:              Pete.

Alex:                 It’s okay. You got to listen.

Justin:              Pete, it’s 10:00 AM. What are you doing?

Alex:                 Cook breakfast for your kids. Venom number 31, Eddie Brock has been thrown off of a building. And this takes place during 32 seconds, 31 seconds.

Justin:              32 seconds, yeah.

Alex:                 32 seconds, could have been 31 seconds, could match the number of the book, where he is falling to the ground and various things are going on. And he’s thinking back on his life and the mistakes you’ve made. What’d you think about this issue as a follow-up to King in Black number one in particular?

Pete:                Well, I thought it was really very interesting, this kind of using this kind of free for all to tell the story that’s kind of insane and kind of, I think fits what’s going on. This is a very over the top kind of insane thing that’s happening in this book. I thought this was kind of an interesting way to kind of tell this story. The arts phenomenal, the action’s very intense. Yeah, it’s impressive how much store we get in as a person is falling to maybe their death. But the art I cannot say is just how creepy and weird and disgusting it is. It’s really impressive the way they’re doing it.

Justin:              Yeah. I mean, especially after how big the first issue of this crossover was with so much happening, I really like this issue despite the fact that it takes place in 32 seconds really slows the action down. And it’s sort of like setting the table, we’re meeting a lot of the players that feel like they are going to be the core characters in this crossover. Eddie Brock, obviously his son, Dylan know. And we really get in their heads as we are moving forward. I appreciate this. And it’s like one of those issues that sort of just like a show piece, it all takes place as this one quick thing is happening and the art’s amazing.

Pete:                Yeah. It seems like the son’s going to be a part of this somehow.

Alex:                 Yeah, I think so maybe, maybe a little bit. To what you’re saying Justin-

Justin:              Well, let me just say from the last issue was a huge broad strokes, you saw as much of Dylan as you did of Captain America. I do think this issue is important to be like, “Yes, Dylan is the linchpin of this crossover.”

Alex:                 Yeah. Well, to your point Justin, I think what’s really nice about this is creating different tones. It could feel since you’re coming from the same writer, you could be getting big bombastic King in Black and then big bombastic Venom, but instead he’s using them to hit two different storytelling modes to continue the same story. And it’s very smart decision.

Alex:                 Let’s move on to talk about The Comic Book History of Animation number one from IDW written by Fred Van Lente, art and letters by Ryan Dunlavey. We have talked to Fred and Ryan about many, many series that they have done, Comic Book History of Comics, Action Philosophers, other things like that. They have been diving into specific histories forever, and this is no different, just a reliable duo. And I say that in the best sense that when you see Comic Book History of Animation at the front, you see who’s doing it. You know what you’re getting, it’s smart, it’s funny, it’s informative, but it’s a good story at the same time. I just had a blast reading this and it’s so packed with information, is a good value for readers as well.

Pete:                Yeah. I loved the kind of like, you’ve heard stories over the years, but this is really informative. The fact that there’s a spinning house that rotates with the sun, that was really cool to find out. Yeah, this is really cool, very nerdy in all the right ways. The art does such a great job of keeping things action oriented and fun. It’s not just like facts, facts, facts, they do a good way using the storytelling to kind of keep things fun and light. It’s really impressive what they can accomplish.

Justin:              Yeah. To your point, Pete, they really do a great job of just selecting the facts, details and just story points that they tell about these historical figures. What I got really excited about is the animation studio that was like basically the first Hollywood studio in Midwood, Brooklyn. I want to go drive out there and look around and be like, “This is the first Hollywood style studio, is right sort of 20 minutes away from me.” That’s awesome.

Pete:                Wow.

Alex:                 Well, to that point, I think it’s interesting the different things you can pick out. The thing that really drew me in was the story of Winsor McCay, who created Little Nemo in Slumberland, and how crucial he was to the development of animation as an art form, which I feel like was one of those facts that maybe I had heard at some point and kind of ignored or not really gotten stuck in my brain. And to hear it again in this way, and as part of the story that eventually leads up to Walt Disney while not necessarily getting into Disney Studios. It’s good, it just really draws a narrative line between these things, which is what the best history stories do or the best history lessons do, and this is one of them.

Justin:              There’s another great panel where Walt Disney, who was sort of a dick, all of his animators that he had crossed are flipping him off wearing Mickey ears, that will really resonate.

Pete:                I was a huge fan of Felix the Cat as a kid. And so that part where Felix is pissing on exec’s desk really made me laugh.

Alex:                 Good times.

Justin:              Yeah, you’ll laugh so hard your heart will ache, your sides will ache and your heart will go pitter pat.

Alex:                 Sweet Tooth: The Return number two from DC Comics by Jeff Lemire. This is, as you could figure out for the title, the continuation, reverberation, whatever you want to call it, the original title.

Pete:                The Return.

Alex:                 Well, I think there’s a lot of things going on here. With Sweet Tooth we don’t necessarily know the full story or exactly what is going on with this new sweet tooth. But we find out a lot more about the world that he is in this issue, as well as potentially what’s going on and how it maybe ties to the first series, or maybe not. It feels like there’s more swerves going on. This is just great to revisit again in this new way. It’s eerie. It’s weird. It’s dark. I am loving this series.

Pete:                Yeah. This is a crazy issue. We’re slowly kind of learning more of what’s going on. And I really liked this kind of new friend that we meet. I think this is a very interesting character. I’m excited to learn more. This is very exciting to be back in this world kind of in a fresh way. And I really hate the creepy old church guy, but I’m excited to read more. This does a great job of getting you pumped for the next issue.

Justin:              Yeah, I agree. I’m curious how this is sort of going to roll out because it does feel like they’re telling the same story in some ways, but in just a total different mashed up iteration. So I’m curious sort of what the point of that is. Why are we hitting these same characters again in the same way, very much in the like, it’s happening again, that sort of TB trope. I’m curious what that will mean. And I just got to say nobody draws crusty old villainist dudes better than Jeff Lemire.

Pete:                Yeah.

Alex:                 Yeah. Next up, Scarenthood number two from IDW Story, and art by Nick Roche, colors by Chris O’Halloran. We had Nick Roche on the story, on a live podcast a couple of weeks back, really enjoyed the first issue of this one. I think in particular, Justin, you were probably the biggest fan of the first issue, which found a bunch of parents dealing with some weird going on at their kids’ school. How do you think the second issue held up?

Justin:              I really enjoyed it again as well. I think what I said last time is this comic does such a great job of simultaneously really being about the horrors of everyday parenthood, as well as touching on this supernatural horror that is really just boiling underneath this town and these characters. And this issue does the same thing. We get a lot of great scenes, their main character and his kid that he’s raising on his own, and sort of the little mistakes you make when you’re a parent, when you’re distracted and you apologize. And it just felt, the detail work here is so good. And so I got to give it up for Nick for putting that together.

Pete:                Yeah. I think this really continues to be a very interesting book. I love the kind of like almost scary things that kind of happen in this. We’re getting a little bit more story and a little bit less of the kind of ghost, kind of stuff and more like, okay, this is the team that we’re going to be kind of leading this expedition as we move on. I think this is a really great issue. The art is fantastic. It’s kind of a cool world and I’m excited to see where it goes in the art. Again, I really like it.

Alex:                 Like we talked about with the first issue, I think this does a phenomenal job of capturing the frustration and terror of being a parent, and then funneling that into actual horror things and ghosts. There are moments in here as Pete pointed out, there’s less of the supernatural activity, but the moments that were really just made my heart beat faster were the things about being, thinking you’re a bad parent, being a bad parent, acting like a bad parent. All of those things are very true to life in the best way. And on top of that, you do have this really nice art and this spooky story talk into at the same time. It was good stuff. Next up-

Justin:              One thing that really resonated with me is multiple times in this issue he’s doing something and his kid is like, “Hey,” and he looks at the clock, he’s like, “Oh shit, I got to go do this thing.” That was very real.

Alex:                 Yes. Vampirella: The Dark Powers number one from Dynamite, written by Dan Abnett and art by Paul Davidson. In this issue Vampirella is now teaming up with a super team made up of people from project superpowers, I think is what’s going on here. And she’s just got her crazy vampire methods and they don’t like them.

Justin:              They don’t like them. [crosstalk 00:15:03].

Pete:                Oh, go ahead.

Alex:                 Go ahead, Pete.

Pete:                I was just going to say that that’s a cool idea, right? It’s like put the person who doesn’t do well on a team, on a team. You know what I mean? Because there is this thing of like, oh, this is my arch enemy, and they keep coming back to haunt me. And it’s like, well, if you took care of business the first time, it wouldn’t keep going. So having Vampirella unleashed on these bad guys is very fun. She likes her work. She’s very good at it. And so yeah, it’s kind of fun to see her not trying to fit in, but being on this team and how they’re going to kind of deal with her.

Justin:              Let me ask you, what is the team that you would be put on that would be the biggest mismatch, and it can be like a Cub scout trip leader. What’s the team that would be the biggest?

Alex:                 Maybe a podcast or something like that.

Pete:                Yeah. I’d say a podcast with two assholes is what my answer is.

Justin:              And so you’d be the mismatch by being an asshole?

Pete:                Touché or douche as I should say.

Alex:                 Let’s move on and talk about Seven Secrets number five from Boom! Studios, written by Tom Taylor, illustrated by Daniele Di Nicuolo. In this we’re dealing with the fallout of the attack on all the secrets they go to hide from their enemy, and things go very, very badly leading up potentially to finally finding out what these secrets are. This series is as usual very well-crafted by Tom Taylor. I like the anime inspired art [inaudible 00:16:39], I guess inspired art by Daniele Di Nicuolo. Just a good series through and through.

Pete:                Yeah. Tom Taylor is a great writer and this is a very interesting, cool idea. In this issue though we kind of get this like … there’s someone on the inside because they keep doing the wrong thing. And it’s a little obvious where it’s like, attacking us all at once, oh no, it’s got … what should we do? Oh, let’s all go to the same spot. And it’s like, “Oh no, that’s a horrible idea. But here we go.” But all that said, I’m really impressed with the art and the storytelling, I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Justin:              Yeah, I think the [inaudible 00:17:22] influenced art, I think it’s really working. And I think the story really plays into that in a nice way. It feels like that was the intention throughout, which is great. And I just want to know a couple of the secrets. I don’t want to be greedy. I just want to know two secrets.

Alex:                 Yeah. Right.

Justin:              Or maybe three. In general I don’t know secrets. I keep secrets. I’m great at secrets.

Pete:                Whoa, I don’t believe that.

Justin:              I’ve kept all of your secrets, Pete.

Pete:                Whoa.

Alex:                 Let’s move on to talk about Crossover number two from Image Comics written by Donny Cates, art by Geoff Shaw. The first issue we found out that in Denver, I believe in Colorado, a big superhero crossover from every possible super year universe broke out, a dome appeared over Denver, locking it off. Some comic book characters were left outside, some were not. We found out different pieces of the story as we’ve followed a comic book shop worker has got embroiled with one of those rogue comic book characters. Find out a lot more about the state of the world in this issue, as well as having many, many teases for other things going on in this world, as well as the real world. What’d you think about this issue and how it picked up on the first one?

Justin:              I mean, it’s fucked up that there’s all these dead actual comic book writers in the beginning.

Alex:                 Yeah, they kill Scott Snyder, Brian Kayvon, Robert Kirkman, and somebody else.

Justin:              Chip Zdarsky. And do you think CNN would be leading with these names, all these comic book writers? Chip Zdarsky, Scott Snyder, I don’t think so.

Alex:                 I did like the joke where they’re like Brian Kayvon, Marvel comics writer. And I read that first page I was like, “Marvel comics writer,” and then the next page is the comic show crowder being like, “Marvel comics writer.” So well played.

Justin:              That was very funny. And you could tell that this is all sort of, the winks here are strong and good.

Pete:                Strong links for sure.

Justin:              Strong links. And the story, it’s such a good concept that it’s one of those premises that almost feels like it’s going to break under the weight of the story. But Donny Cates does such a great job of really straddling that line and keeping us just on the good side of like, “No, this is working, these people are going to enter the dome and encounter all of your favorite superheroes or maybe not.” We get the scene in the superhero prison where you see the arms of some of your characters you recognize.

Pete:                Yeah, that’s really cool.

Justin:              Yeah, it’s cool.

Alex:                 It’s like Batman’s there, Spawn’s there, Spiderman, bunch of others like that. It’s definitely-

Justin:              The Thing.

Alex:                 … Easter egg heavy. The Thing, yeah.

Pete:                I really thought the way that they intertwined different styles of art in this book is really impressive. A lot of the shading and shadowing and coloring really is impressive. And it fits well in this story, which is really cool. And then we got a really creepy reveal at the end. I think this is very interesting. Unfortunately, they lean a little hard on the comic book shop person is a lot of their god. It’s like, I would just like one normal comic book shop owner, just one time, just one person-

Alex:                 Doesn’t exist.

Pete:                … that’s got their shit. But I really like the story. The Cates does good work. I’m excited to see how this unrails, unreveals itself.

Alex:                 Yeah. Good stuff across the board as you mentioned, Geoff Shaw’s art is really gorgeous as well. Let’s move on, talk about Spider-Man number five from Marvel, written by J.J Abrams and Henry Abrams, art by Sara Pichelli. This was a huge launch I want to say a year ago at this point, something like that.

Justin:              Ages ago.

Alex:                 Yeah, ages ago, because of course, J.J Abrams and his son behind it, unclear how it fit into Spider-Man mythology, but it was very much its own thing. And of course, circumstances worked against it with COVID and delayed things. Seems like maybe it would have been delayed a little bit anyway, but who knows? But how do you think this wrapped up?

Justin:              Sad. Sadly. I mean, we talked about this I think back when the first issue came out that seeing Peter Parker be a distant parent and a jerk or an absent parent replicating the mistakes that he suffered from where his parents died obviously and then uncle Ben died, seemed very out of character to me. So that was a hard pill to swallow. And then to have the way this issue ends up, I was like, “Ah.” I appreciate the sacrifice Peter makes. And I liked the reveal that we get at the end here, but I was just such a … it just bummed me out the way it ended.

Pete:                Yeah. It’s really kind of crazy and over the top. And it’s got a little kind of like aliens meets Spiderman kind of vibe to it. But I feel like the heart of Spider-Man is still in this story, which is nice. At the end of the day still trying to do what he can, trying to do the best that he can.

Alex:                 Whatever a spider can.

Pete:                Yeah. Bu it’s very gross and it’s kind of scary, but there’s some heartwarming stuff in it.

Alex:                 This was kind of a bummer for me. I think Sara Pichelli’s art is always great. And there’s some phenomenal action sequences in here. But this is quippy even for a Spiderman book, everybody is joking all the time even in the middle of dire circumstances to the point where everybody kind of sounds the same. It wrapped up very quickly. I don’t know if it was a victim of pacing necessarily, it certainly felt like that could be part of it. But after an intriguing start, I felt like this fizzled a bit at the end for me, even if it is worth picking up for Pichelli’s art, who is only as good on Spider-Man personally.

Justin:              Yeah.

Alex:                 I thought you were going to say more. American Vampire number 1976, a lot of issues on that one. American Vampire 1976, number three, DC Comics written by Scott Snyder, art by Raphael Albuquerque. I just continue the storyline where Skinner Sweet and his pals are robbing an old train, great train robbery, a little bit of a twist on that as they fight the edge of the world and some other dark things go on as some of other characters track down Dracula. Man I love how much they’re blowing out the mythology of this book. And just as always, Scott Snyder loves his details in a very good way, and Raphael Albuquerque-

Justin:              Guy loves details.

Alex:                 Loves details. Raphael Albuquerque just draws the hell out of a book.

Pete:                Yeah, the Querque just kills it. One of my favorite artists on a book called-

Justin:              Never heard him call the Querque.

Pete:                But yeah, this was my kind of favorite.

Alex:                 Hey, who’s your favorite Star Trek captain, Pete?

Pete:                Kirk.

Alex:                 James Kirky.

Pete:                Yeah.

Alex:                 Which favorite thing to eat on Thanksgiving, Pete?

Pete:                Jerky.

Justin:              Beef turkey.

Pete:                Stuffing. No, but a really fun bit at the start. I really liked that. And then they had kind of … What I like about this is they’re having fun, but there’s also some crazy kind of ideas poke around here. I wrote this down, the world becomes a greenhouse and all the buried secrets will come poking up. I thought that was a very kind of cool line in there. I mean, the arts phenomenal, the action in this issue, this issue really moves. It’s got a great kind of pace to it. Amazing last panel. Yeah, this is great issue.

Justin:              I think this book is one of the most consistently successful comic books on the stand. Scott Snyder and the Querque know how to really just deliver the great action, great character moves, while at the same time pushing the story forward. The reveals at the end of the issue are super exciting. This book is just so good.

Alex:                 Next step, Getting it Together number three, written from Image Comics, written by Sina Grace and Omar Spahi, art by Jenny D. Fine and Sina Grace. Continuing our story of a bunch of friends if you will in San Francisco, mixing it up romantically. We get some big band stuff goes down in London.

Justin:              A lot of big band music, classic 1950s big band stuff.

Alex:                 I like this story. I’m into these characters. I like how they relate to each other. I do think the band drama is really good at particular and well done. There’s a lot of nuance there in terms of how the characters react to the fact that their band might be falling apart, that I thought was very nicely drawn in terms of the characters. How’d you guys feel?

Pete:                Yeah, it’s weird, but I agree with you, Alex. I really love the band stuff.

Justin:              Huh, it is weird.

Pete:                And I feel like that’s really kind of-

Alex:                 Look at us, quirky in the turkey. That’s what they always call us.

Pete:                I don’t know about that, but I think the art does a great with the paneling and the pacing to kind of really give it this tone. And I think this is kind of cool. You see texting and when it’s done not so well in comics, but this is kind of a fun way to kind of have these texts conversations. And they did a good job of trying to be creative about it, which I think is impressive. But overall, I think this story really continues to move forward in an interesting way that does a great job of getting the reader excited for more information.

Justin:              Pete, I thought you’re going to say, “You see texting,” and I honestly hate these textings. Why can’t you just give a call or just say hello, I don’t want to get a bunch of words from you.

Alex:                 Send a letter through the mail.

Justin:              That’s the way we used to do it in my hometown, letters.

Alex:                 Back in the civil war, which I fought in.

Pete:                Oh my God.

Alex:                 Anyway, good stuff. Next up … Oh, go ahead.

Justin:              I really like this as well. It’s funny we have so many band based comics today, they approach it in a very different way. I said this back when we had the team on our show. But to me, this has some Scott Pilgrim fives in a very good way. If you like Scott Pilgrim, this feels like a updated version of that, where we get to explore those same worlds in a fun and reverent and visually interesting way. I love the way the issue ends with the music performance and into the drug stuff, really great.

Alex:                 All right. Origins number two from Boom! Studios, created by Arash Amel, Lee Krieger and Joseph Oxford, script by Clay McLeod Chapman, and art by Jakub Rebelka. This is continuing a weird future story of a virus that’s mostly wiped everybody out seemingly there-

Pete:                Oh, no.

Alex:                 Yeah.

Justin:              Yeah, it happens.

Alex:                 There is a guy who, as we find out, spoiler, but right at the top of the issue, has been cloned, who has been resurrected, potentially a bunch of times we find out a lot more about his past here. I think our general impression of the first issue was gorgeous, but confusing. Do you feel like it’s more straightforward an issue too?

Justin:              I do.

Pete:                Well, I think for parts of it, yeah. We get the main characters kind of deal, which is interesting. But then it gets kind of really tripped out with what the main character is going through. But man, the art is fantastic. It really feels like this other worldly, which is very impressive. There’s also some sweet small moments. Yeah, it’s a little like, I got a little confused by the end of what’s happening, but man, the art and storytelling are fantastic. This does feel very original and cool as far as the story goes, so I’m into it.

Justin:              I feel like of all the books we’ve talked about and maybe in a while, this feels very much tailor made to become a feature film. And maybe that’s the intention of this book. Because I do think this issue lays out some of the factors and sort of the places where the characters are a little bit better, and we get sort of locked in on our trio who begin this journey. So yeah, I like this, I think the second issue really pushes it forward in a good way.

Alex:                 Next up, King in Black: Namor, number one from Marvel written by, Kurt Busiek, art by Benjamin Dewey. Right off the bat, I will say, I thought this was a great Namor story, it’s Namor dealing with some issues in the present while he’s flashing back to his past. So we get fun, young, shirtless Namor, kind of like a little skinnier, a little smaller, deal with [crosstalk 00:30:27].

Justin:              Tiny.

Alex:                 Yeah.

Justin:              Shirtless.

Alex:                 Yeah, he is, it’s cute. [crosstalk 00:30:29].

Pete:                Don’t make it weird.

Alex:                 He’s like a cute teen Namor.

Justin:              Now as you were saying his nipples are a little smaller.

Pete:                what the fuck man?

Alex:                 They’re very hard because he’s under the water.

Justin:              Yes, cold.

Pete:                Oh my God, what?

Justin:              It’s cold down there.

Alex:                 Nothing’s going on, you know what I mean?

Pete:                Oh my God.

Justin:              It’s like from that song from The Little Mermaid like, it’s always colder and your nipples are harder under the sea.

Pete:                What the fuck.

Alex:                 You got those [inaudible 00:30:53], doubt where [inaudible 00:30:54], under the sea.

Pete:                All right. Stop. Stop.

Alex:                 It’s a good Namor book. I don’t understand how it could actually King in Black. And this is a problem, I mean, I do want to talk about this book in a second, but I love the King in Black number one. As we talked about in this very Stack, I liked the Venom issue.

Pete:                Oh, in this very Stack?

Alex:                 In this very Stack. The other issues they’ve released so far have been weird. I don’t know what this has to do with King in Black yet, this issue, the [crosstalk 00:31:27] which we reviewed last week also was like, here’s this new concept? There’s a wet dragon in here somewhere, don’t worry about it too much. And then I don’t know if you guys read the Atlantis Attacks issue that Greg Pak wrote, which was real good, but ended with the most red skies of red skies possible things where they’re like, I wonder what’s next for us. In the background there were some dragons and that was it. And it’s just like, don’t label it as an event if it doesn’t actually have anything to do with the event.

Pete:                Yet, they could be leading up to it. I appreciate the fact that Marvel was like, “Hey, listen, we need you to tie it in.” And they were like, “You go fuck yourself, I’m telling the story I want to tell. We’ll put a fucking banner on the top, so everybody will be happy.” I think this is a good issue, Namor is usually a complete douche bag. So it’s nice to see younger, less douchey version a little bit. I think there’s a lot of cool characters [crosstalk 00:32:25]. I’m not going to fucking answer that bullshit.

Justin:              Honestly I’m a larger nippled Namor guy. From the beginning I appreciate sort of Namor.

Alex:                 Well, how he’s grown into his nipples, right?

Justin:              I mean, it’s a thing that as he gets older, it’s part of his history, that his nipples-

Pete:                You two are the fucking worst.

Alex:                 I always like to call them, I’d like to call him Namor the [inaudible 00:32:48].

Justin:              That’s the way they originally created the character.

Pete:                Don’t laugh at that.

Justin:              He was the nazi man. He wasn’t even under-

Alex:                 Stan Lee watches the [inaudible 00:32:57] days like, “I want a character with rock on nipples.”

Justin:              I mean, that’s probably a 100% accurate.

Alex:                 Probably. And Steve Ditko was like, “I don’t know, I’ll draw some fucking bigger rounds nipples, we’ll see what happens.”

Justin:              In the far future Namor is mostly nipple. I think I agree with you. It is weird that these stories exist under this banner, but I also think this is a good way to launch new titles, new character, directions, everything, so I’m here for it. And I do think, well, there was Nereus [inaudible 00:33:32] in this issue. They do one of the characters that King talks about how there’s some black rocks hidden underwater somewhere that probably are like, “Oh, a bunch of symbionts or something.” Eventually we’ll get there.

Pete:                Yeah, there you go. Zalbs, what are you talking about?

Alex:                 I know. And again-

Justin:              And also apparently this will tie into King in Black number two, which will then spin back into the Namor number two book. Because Namor apparently has something to do, because here’s the thing, symbionts, very gloopy underwater. It’s a weakness.

Alex:                 There’s a point to this book where somebody offers somebody piece of food. They’re like, you’ve got to try this, this is really crispy. And that didn’t track for me, because there’s not a lot of things that are very crispy underwater.

Justin:              That’s fair. That is a 100%. I will say if you were to eat a lobster whole, it would be crispy.

Alex:                 That’s true. Or some coral, crunched down some coral, that might be crispy.

Justin:              Depends on how good your teeth are.

Alex:                 Points retracted. This is a good book. Let’s move on, The Vein number three from ODI press written by Eliot Rahal and illustrated by Emily Pearson. We checked it on the first issue of this book, which is kind of turning into its own sort of American vampire story following a group of the empire criminals throughout history, throughout important moments in American history or world history I guess actually. Here we get them through several decades as they try to get blood, as they try to hide out. I think we’re big fans of the first issue. Do you think this concept is still holding up three issues in?

Justin:              I like this book. I do think this is like an American vampire that’s coming at it from a totally different way. It’s much more focused on the passing of time, the passage of time for vampires, which I think is fun. I like these characters. I like the action here. It’s very funny that the back half of the issue focuses on the most gabagool, goofy ass gangster character. He’s like, “Hey, I’m Johnny Boneno.” [inaudible 00:35:40]. That part was crazy. And then he’s just like, “Yeah, I’m going to be a fun guy, okay, [Don Gambilino 00:35:47], I sell blood to vampires and I didn’t mention that before.

Pete:                No one killed old bananas yet.

Justin:              No, just call me bananas, classic gangster name.

Pete:                Johnny bananas.

Alex:                 Good stuff. What’d you think about this issue, Pete?

Pete:                I mean, it’s interesting. It’s great artwork. The subway stuff really made me miss New York. Because when you’re living in New York, you can just wrap a body and a carpet and walk down the subway tunnels, no one will say shit to you.

Alex:                 Yeah. Philly they’re like, “Hey, what’s that, a she steak? Give me a bite.”

Pete:                They’re like, “Guys, give me, you’re going to eat that whole hoagie yourself?” But-

Justin:              But in Philly-

Alex:                 And they’re halfway through and they’re like, “Yo, is that a body? You got a body here?”

Justin:              You seem to be painting New York as some sort of like Thunderdome. When in Philadelphia you can murder anyone at a sporting event and everyone be like, “Yep. It’s the purge basically because our sports teams are playing.”

Pete:                Hey, take it easy, all right, with that, like you’re fucking all saints over there. All Right?

Justin:              Okay. What are you, Mr. Philly now? You’ve lived there for four months, not even.

Pete:                That’s true.

Justin:              We’ve got the Philadelphia Philly over here.

Alex:                 [crosstalk 00:37:01] with Gritty, what’s going on with that? Are you friends with Gritty?

Pete:                Gritty, yeah. Our next door neighbor made his own Gritty costume, It’s a lot of fun.

Alex:                 No further questions.

Pete:                Great.

Justin:              Well, everyone in Philadelphia has to have a Gritty costume, right. They come by and check.

Alex:                 Last but not least, Red Sonja: The Price of Blood number one from Dynamite written by Luke Lieberman and art by Walter Giovanni. This started off with Red Sonja captured in a dungeon. She flashes back, tells the story of how she got there. Typical, crazy Red Sonja adventures, getting drunk, killing people, you know how it is. But how do you think this held up, was this a new fresh take on Red Sonja? Is this a story you want to read more of? What are your thoughts?

Justin:              It’s interesting. I haven’t read a ton of Red Sonja, and I didn’t know she was this sort of partying fun, loving. I thought she was sort of grim. When she cuts, she goes to the literal fire festival. I don’t know if that was meant to be the same one that we’ve seen so many documentaries about, but definitely had that vibe. So yeah, it’s hard to pin down exactly what the character is from this issue anyway.

Pete:                Yeah. I mean, this is more of Red Sonja who likes to murder and party. But I think this is, I am excited for more in this story just because I like her the way she fights and just straight up attacks anyone who kind of tries to wrong her. I think that’s one of my favorite things about Red Sonja. And I’m glad that like, yes, there was kind of crazy shit happening in the party, but they didn’t focus too hard on that, it was in the background, which is good. I want Red Sonja to be more about action and story and less about like TNA. I think that this comic does a good job with that.

Alex:                 I liked Walter Giovanni’s art in particular in this book, there’s a part in the middle where Sonja kicks a guy out a window that I thought was really active and nicely staged just in terms of the angles of everything. It was very cool. And just across the board, the action and the characters are very clear, which is good. The settings are very clear. I know that sounds like faint praise, but I thought this was a solid first issue of a Red Sonja book, if not necessarily a radical reinvention, say like the Vampirella book that we talked about earlier.

Justin:              Yes, good comparison.

Alex:                 Thank you very much. And that is it for The Stack. If you’d like to support our show, patreon.com/comicbookclub, also do a live show every Tuesday nights at 7:00 PM, Crowdcast and YouTube, come hang out. We would love to chat with you about comic books. ITunes, Android, Spotify, Stitcher, or the app of your choice to subscribe and listen to the show at Comic Book Live on Twitter, comicbookclublive.com for this podcast and more. We’ve been Comic Book Club, this is The Stack. We’ll see you next time.

Justin:              Yeah, that’s the facts.

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