HAHA #1

The Stack: HAHA, Thunderbolts And More

podcasts The Stack

On this week’s comic book review podcast:

HAHA #1
Image Comics
Written by W. Maxwell Prince
Art & Cover by Vanesa Del Rey

King In Black: Thunderbolts #1
Marvel
Written by Matthew Rosenberg
Art by Juan Ferreyra

Future State: Teen Titans #1
DC Comics
Written by Tim Sheridan
Art by Rafa Sandoval

Future State: Green Lantern #1
DC Comics
Written by Geoffrey Thorne, Ryan Cady, Ernie Altbacker
Art by Tom Raney, Sam Basai, Clayton Henry

Future State: Kara Zor-El Superwoman #1
DC Comics
Written by Margaritte Bennett
Art by Marguerite Sauvage

Future State: Robin Eternal #1
DC Comics
Written by Meghan Fitzmartin
Art by Eddy Barrows

Future State: Justice League #1
DC Comics
Written by Joshua Williamson, Ram V
Art by Rorson Rocha, Marcio Takara

Future State: Superman/Wonder Woman #1
DC Comics
Written by Dan Watters
Art by Leila del Duca

Future State: Dark Detective #1
DC Comics
Written by Mariko Tamaki, Matthew Rosenberg
Art by Dan Mora, Carmine di Giandomenico

Home Sick Pilots #2
Image Comics
Written by Dan Watters
Art by Caspar Wijngaard

King in Black: Gwenom vs. Carnage #1
Marvel
Written by Seanan McGuire
Art by Flaviano

Sweet Tooth: The Return #3
DC Comics
By Jeff Lemire

A Man Among Ye #4
Image Comics
Written by Stephanie Phillips
Art by Craig Cermak

The Immortal Hulk #42
Marvel
Written by Al Ewing
Art by Alex Lins and Adam Gorham

American Vampire 1976 #4
DC Comics
Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Rafael Albuquerque

Seven Secrets #6
BOOM! Studios
Written by Tom Taylor
Art by Danielle Di Nicuolo

S.W.O.R.D. #2
Marvel
Written by Al Ewing
Art by Valerio Schiti

Bloodshot #10
Valiant Comics
Written by Tim Seeley
Art by Brett Booth and Pedro Andreo

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Full Episode Transcript

Alex:                 What’s 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 books that have come out this week.

Pete:                Shut up.

Justin:              We sure do. We got lots.

Alex:                 With one that Pete is terrified by.

Pete:                Oh my God, we’re starting with this?

Alex:                 We’re starting with this, Pete. We’re going right into it with HAHA, all caps, #1 from Image Comics, written by W. Maxwell Prince, art and cover by Vanesa Del Rey. Now, the reason I put it right here at the front of The Stack is this is by W. Maxwell Prince who also wrote Ice Cream Man, our number one book of 2020. This is his follow-up book. He talked about it live on the show when we had him on as a guest. I feel like there’s a fair amount of hype regardless in the real world about this, let alone here on our little old podcast.

Pete:                We’re old.

Alex:                 This is a different sort of anthology. This is not about the Ice Cream Man, this is about clowns. This is still an anthology telling deathwatch stories, I believe, about these different characters, and obviously it goes very dark. But what did you think about not just this book, but how it holds up compared to Ice Cream Man?

Justin:              I think definitely it’s great. If you’re a fan of Ice Cream Man, I think you will like this book as well. It’s nice to see a story that is a little bit totally different. I feel like Ice Cream Man has sort of a supernatural dread to it and this has just more of an existential dread to it, which is just a subtle shift in flavor, the difference between a pistachio with chocolate chip and a pistachio without chocolate chip. But the art is different, which I appreciate, and I really liked the first story.

Alex:                 Pete, how did you feel about this? Were you’re too scared to read it?

Pete:                It was very scary, I had to make sure I read it during the day with plenty of light.

Justin:              You had to empty that bladder out first so you didn’t pee your pants.

Pete:                Yeah, this was insane. This is really just … What was nice is you kind think you understand it and then it kind of takes a couple more turns. So it was creatively impressive, but just the fact of like this is the person who did Ice Cream Man, the tone underneath it was very troubling, and scary and intense. There is a lot of creepy stuff going on all the time. Yeah, the art was glorious. The storytelling was impressive, but I am very scared to see what’s going to happen if this is the beginning.

Alex:                 I like this quite a bit. I thought this was really good like you guys are saying. For those who didn’t pick it up, I felt, whether purposeful or not, this felt like a very specific response to Joker to me because this is about-

Pete:                Oh, interesting.

Alex:                 … a clown who is down and out and pushed to his limits, and then what does he do next?

Justin:              The movie Joker?

Alex:                 The movie Joker, yes. Pushed to his limits, what does he do next? It goes in very different directions obviously than the movie goes, but it does go to this very dark place. It doesn’t back off from the realism of it. But like Pete was touching on Vanesa Del Rey’s art, goes through these really different art styles that are very gritty and realistic, some that are cartoony.

Alex:                 So there’s a real breadth to the art there that I thought was really nice. And it does feel different from Ice Cream Man like Justin was saying, which I thought was nice to see as well. Even if you haven’t read that book, even if you had no interest, even if you were scared of clowns, this is really good.

Alex:                 I mean, I will say, I know I’ve mentioned to the lead-up to this book that my wife was a clown so I was going to throw this by her, but this is a different type of clown. It’s just like more of a party clown type thing going on.

Pete:                I’m glad we’re-

Justin:              Well, I guess we’ll see.

Pete:                … talking about this, because something that I touched upon last episode, I don’t know if the live show or The Stack or whatever, I’m worried-

Alex:                 We know, as we do too many podcasts. Go ahead, Pete.

Pete:                … I’m worried about your children, because your wife is a clown, you are an evil genius. What are your children going to turn into? You know what I mean? I am very worried that I’m growing up in a world where it’s going to be the birth of some kind of like joker type character. You know what I mean?

Justin:              I’m worried you’re raising some sort of insane clown posse. Is that possible?

Alex:                 Yeah. The other day, and this is really weird, my son said, “Hey, do you want some Faygo?” and I was like, “I don’t know what that means, but yes, please.”

Justin:              Nice. I feel like they’ve got a big weekend planned later this little summer. I want to give a shout out to the movie Quick Change, which I feel like may have been an inspiration for this comic, a Bill Murray movie from like 1990 or something like that.

Alex:                 Regardless, very good book. Definitely pick it up. Next up, King in Black: Thunderbolts #1 from Marvel written by Matthew Rosenberg, art by Juan Ferreyra. As you-

Pete:                Bergie

Alex:                 … As what?

Pete:                Bergie.

Justin:              Bergie

Alex:                 You just love shouting things in the middle when I’m talking, Pete.

Pete:                Yeah.

Alex:                 If you haven’t been picking it up, this is taking place during the King in Black event where Knull, the God of the Symbiotes, has taken over New York City. Here, Kingpin gathers a group of villains to try to take down Knull or at the very least start the process of taking down Knull. In classic Matthew Rosenberg fashion, things don’t go very well. There’s a bunch of sad sack, horrible villains. But a lot of people die in this book. This feels like Marvel’s answer to Suicide Squad, the best way.

Justin:              100%. The movie.

Alex:                 I had a lot of fun reading this.

Justin:              Agreed. This was great. I was really into the star character in her standalone series from last year, so it’s great to see her on this team. And just great story, loved everything that happened. Great panel where you get to see Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones kicking ass in the middle and they’re like, “Yeah, let’s get away from this.”

Pete:                Yeah. I feel like this is a great kind of story, but also the art is really fantastic in a lot of different ways. It’s cool to see Kingpin out of a suit. He’s rocking like a starter jacket and a polo shirt, but casually still running things like Kingpin. Yeah. There’s a lot of fun being had in this book that is completely insane and over the top, but yeah, this is a fun issue.

Alex:                 Yeah, I’ve been a little 50/50 about some of the tie-ins. The Venom stuff feels necessary, the King in Black stuff feels necessary, but a lot of stuff with this event feels very side to the event to me. This is side to the event, but I had a blast reading it anyway, and I think that makes it worth checking out. Next up, let’s go into our Future State block. We did this last week for the first week of Future State.

Justin:              Yes.

Pete:                Oh, boy.

Alex:                 We read and talked about not all the books, but some of our favorites. But once again this week we read all of the books in DC’s Future State, which shows us a possible future of the DC Universe. I’d love to go to you guys. Given that we read, I’ll just read the titles and then we could read the creative teams later.

Alex:                 We read Teen Titans, Green Lantern, Kara Zor-El, Superwoman, Robin Eternal, Justice League, Superman, Wonder Woman, Dark Detective. Those are the ones that came out this week. What jumped out at you? What did you particularly like that you thought was the standout this week or standouts?

Justin:              It occurs to me reading a lot of these books that this event feels so much like the 2099 line that Marvel did many, many years ago-

Alex:                 Good call. Yeah.

Justin:              … especially the Dark Detective book and Robin Eternal in this batch. And I liked both of these books. Robin Eternal brings in Spoiler and some of the … Was it Robin Incorporated? Was that the name of it or? I forget the team of all the Robins, there was a book for a while.

Alex:                 We Are Robin.

Justin:              We Are Robin, That’s what it is.

Alex:                 Yes. Just to mention the creative teams-

Pete:                We Are Robin.

Alex:                 … behind those since we’re talking is, Robin Eternal is written by Meghan Fitzmartin, art by Eddie Barrows. Dark Detective is written by Mariko Tamaki and Matthew Rosenberg once again, art by-

Pete:                Are they-

Alex:                 … Dan Mora from Once & Future, one of our favorites here, and Carmine Di Giandomenico. Go ahead, Justin. Sorry about that.

Justin:              And no, great. And Dark Detective I feel like is almost a direct analog to Spider-Man 2099 #1, which is a great book. I really enjoyed this. And then the backup that you were just mentioning, the team behind it, I think is Matt Rosenberg with a Grifter story which I also enjoyed.

Pete:                … Yeah. I mean, I’m not mad at this event. Like this has been some very interesting reading. I’ve been reading DC for most of my life and some of the stuff in here is really great. The superwoman art was just-

Justin:              It was really good.

Pete:                … unbelievable, the character design. It was just nice to be reading a DC book and being like, “Wow, is this really a DC book?” The colors and the stuff was just so cool.

Alex:                 Yeah, just too while you’re calling it out, Kara Zor-El, Superwoman is by Marguerite Bennett and art by Marguerite Sauvage, who I believe was the team behind the DC Bombshells line as well. So there’s definitely a sense of that going on. But go ahead, Pete.

Pete:                And yeah, I just think that even the Future State: Green Lantern, we still got … I was hoping it wouldn’t be the actual Green Lantern, it’d be the Green Lantern that we really like. But there’s still a lot of creative stuff happening. And maybe I don’t know everything, but I was really … The Teen Titans book, Beast Boy is also part of Cyborg. And Robin is rocking what looked like a Taskmaster belt. But like it-

Alex:                 Deathstroke.

Pete:                … Yeah. But it looked-

Alex:                 Same character basically.

Pete:                … Well, Slade Wilson, but the belt has the T that looks exactly like Taskmaster’s belt. But that kind of stuff aside-

Justin:              Terminator.

Pete:                … I was like, “Oh my God, this is a ton of books that we have to read that Robin just dumped in our laps to make us read. But I ended up being very happy-

Justin:              Make us read.

Pete:                … that we had to do this. And also, I’m still really loving this new Wonder Woman.

Justin:              Yeah. Well, Alex, you haven’t said anything yet. Why don’t you go?

Alex:                 No, that’s fine. I mean, I agree with a lot of those picks that I think are really good. Mariko Tamaki, like you said, her Dark Detective was awesome. This book is about Bruce Wade is left for dead, of course he’s not quite dead. So who does it become next? The Matthew Rosenberg Grifter story, again, a really fun story there.

Alex:                 I agree with you about Robin Eternal. I was surprised about that one, how much that I like that. It’s a really good Tim Drake spoiler story, and I was definitely reading that being like, “Oh, Justin likes this one.” But the one that stood out to me that I was really surprised about was Future State: Superman/Wonder Woman #1, written by Dan Watters, art by Leila Del Duca.

Alex:                 Like Pete said, I think like Wonder Woman, clearly this new Wonder Woman has been the standout here of this event. She’s definitely the one that everybody hooked into. They’re developing it for the CW as a Wonder Girl show. But she’s great, she’s fun, Jon Kent is fun. The tone of this is just …

Alex:                 This Wonder Woman is … I believe they haven’t been totally upfront about everything that’s going on, but she seems to be from some sort of South American god, Pantheon, but also the Olympian Pantheon. Like Zeus is her dad, but somebody else is her mom. So she’s dealing with the Sun God there who ends up having a race with … Is it Solaris?

Justin:              Solaris.

Pete:                Yes, Solaris.

Alex:                 Solaris.

Pete:                In that conversation, Superman versus Solaris really.

Alex:                 So fun where just Superman and Wonder Woman are on the ground being like, “Well, this is messing up the entire earth because of the tides and everything that’s going on, while these two Sun Gods are having a race around the earth.” Just the whole tone of it was so surprisingly light and enjoyable. I had a blast reading this book.

Pete:                Also, I-

Alex:                 Justin, you were pointing at me, which one did you think I was going to call out?

Justin:              I thought you were going to call out Justice league #1, which is I really liked that.

Pete:                … That’s exactly what I thought he was going to say. I also was … Yeah, I really liked Justice League and Justice League Dark. I also liked the kind of last stage reveal.

Alex:                 That was great. So that was Joshua Williamson writing the Justice League story, Ram V writing-

Pete:                The third.

Alex:                 … the Justice League Dark story. Robson Rocha on the first story, Marcio Takara on the second story. And yeah, I liked the Justice League story, I thought that was a lot of fun. That was all about like the fallout of the Justice League messing up and being rear-ended, what have you.

Pete:                Also had the right Green Lantern on that one.

Justin:              Yeah, we get our N.K. Jemisin Green Lantern.

Pete:                Yeah.

Alex:                 Which is awesome. But the Justice League Dark story was fantastic in that backup there. So then-

Justin:              Yeah, I like both of these stories. They do a great job of really giving us context for the first Justice League story and then just moving quickly through the story in a fun way by getting this idea out that they’re not supposed to talk to each other, they’re supposed to maintain their secret identities. But they’re all breaking those rules, really great.

Justin:              As opposed to some of the ones that I thought were harder to read were the Teen Titans one and the Green Lantern one because I was like, “What is happening?” There was very little context given up at the top. And they felt like dumping us into story that I didn’t quite know it was happening.

Alex:                 … I think this is an interesting week two thing in particular with the Green Lantern one. Teen Titans is like the … There seems to be a disparity in terms of time period with some of these, where some the earth is a paradise, some the earth is ruined. It’s not quite clear how they connect to each other.

Pete:                Which one are we living in?

Alex:                 A little bit of both, calm A, calm B.

Pete:                Okay, cool.

Justin:              There you go.

Alex:                 Teen Titans is by Tim Sheridan, Rafa Sandoval. Green Lantern is by Geoffrey Thorne, Ryan Cady, Ernie Altbacker, art by Tom Raney, Sami Basri and Clayton Henry. We get three stories in the Green Lantern one. That was definitely one where I felt like we’re just dropped in the middle with a John Stewart story. You don’t know exactly what’s going on. They’re fighting a new villain.

Alex:                 The second one, it felt like it started to become a little clear as we followed. Jessica Cruz is fighting some Yellow Lanterns, some of the Sinestro Corps. And it becomes clear that the rings have failed. At some point, the Green Lantern rings stopped working. And it becomes even clearer in the third story, which was my favorite of that book, which follows Guy Gardner. He’s on a random alien planet as his ring fails and he can’t leave the planet, so he kind of makes the best of it. That story I thought was a lot of fun, personally.

Justin:              Yeah, indeed that one was very fun.

Alex:                 But there you go, good stuff from the Future State. Surprisingly like we’ve been talking about, a strong event going into week two.

Justin:              Really enjoying.

Alex:                 Next up, let’s talk about one of Justin’s favorite books I imagine this week, Home Sick Pilots #2 from Image Comics, written by Dan Watters and art by Caspar Wijingaard. In the first issue of this book, we met a punk band, maybe something like that. One of them got possessed by a haunted house, but-

Justin:              That happens in punk band. Yeah.

Alex:                 … the other folks got killed by that haunted house. And at the end of the book, we found out the one that was possessed by the haunted house was traveling around, finding relics that had been taken out of the house, and that’s where we pick up this issue. This title is awesome. I love it.

Justin:              It’s so good. It’s comes from such a strong point of view, like such confidence writing this story, which is like a little wild. Like, you’re getting into all this like band and music stuff, at the same time a very specific type of ghost story or horror story. And the way this issue plays out is super fun, super unique, sad at points, and it’s setting up some real tension for the characters going forward.

Pete:                Also I’m glad it really explains why people hang a horseshoe above the door. We really get the kind of where that all got started and why people do that. This is all true stuff.

Justin:              But what if the horses come back for their shoes?

Pete:                Yeah.

Alex:                 It reminds me a little bit, I don’t know if this is exactly correct, but it reminds me a little bit of-

Pete:                You buy them Jordans, that’s what you do.

Alex:                 … like Scott Pilgrim meets Locke & Key, because-

Justin:              Okay.

Alex:                 … Yeah. Well, because you got the … This is a spoiler, but we find out by the end of the issue our main character has to track down six relics for the haunted house.

Pete:                Ah, don’t spoil it.

Alex:                 Well, hold on. But six relics for the haunted house. We get some teaser of some very creepy things that are going on there. We get some big fights. But there’s this whole mythology being built out here that is fascinating to read it. It really feels like something completely fresh and new at a very excited way.

Justin:              Yeah, the shot of the horseshoe ghost once it’s returned to the house was very Gabriel Rodriguez I thought, in a great way.

Alex:                 Yes.

Pete:                Yeah.

Alex:                 Great stuff. Definitely pick up this book. This is a good one to get on the ground floor of. Next up, King in Black: Gwenom, I think-

Justin:              Gwenom.

Alex:                 … vs. Carnage #1 from Marvel, written by Seanan McGuire, art by Flaviano. This is again tying it to the King in Black event. Here we’re getting our alternate universe. Gwen Stacy is going into the fray as you could probably guess from the title, she ends up fighting Carnage by the end, but not the Carnage you know. What did you think about this tie-in?

Justin:              I like it a lot. I’ve been a huge fan of the Spider-Gwen and now Gwenom and all the different iterations. It’s a pretty wild story at this point that she is a Gwen Stacy who held Peter Parker when he died in her arms and became Spider-Girl, Spider-Woman. And then in this, in her earth, there’s a little bit of gender swapping with a lot of characters and just slightly alternate takes with everybody. Then she had a venom from her earth, she’s now in our earth and dealing with a lot of other Venoms in this issue, including a surprising person who becomes Carnage by the end. I liked it.

Alex:                 Pete.

Pete:                Yeah. I mean, they make comics for different people, and the important part is that everybody gets to enjoy what they like and that’s awesome

Justin:              What don’t you like about this? Not enough Venoms? You need more Symbiotes here?

Pete:                No, just Gwenom is cool for people, not one of my favorite characters. And hey, awesome for other people, just not my cup of tea. And I respect people want to make comics that they want to read, and then you get to pick what you want to pick.

Alex:                 You sound so sad right now, Pete. I liked this book a lot more than I thought I would. I do like Spider-Gwen or Ghost-Spider or whatever you’re calling her. I think she’s good. This is a good tie in. It feels natural to bring her into this, given her status quo. And I think in particularly the art by Flaviano is really good-

Pete:                Art is great.

Alex:                 … and very consistent with the Gwen Stacy Ghost-Spider book, if you read that. Next up, Sweet Tooth: The Return #3 from DC Comics by Jeff Lemire. This gets you the story of whatever is going on with this new Gus who might be the old Gus, we’re not quite clear, who is being tracked out of this post apocalypse that’s living under the earth. This book is so wild to read, particularly in reference and bouncing off of what’s happening to Sweet Tooth. It’s fascinating. Justin, I know you were a little conflicted, I think, about the second issue. How did you feel about the third one?

Justin:              I mean, I still like the book. It’s funny. It feels like just a sped up version of the original series in a way. And I do think we’re going to get probably next issue the reveal that this Gus is a clone of the original Gus and it’s sort of like someone trying to re-engineer a religious event for all these people and return to the earth, and all of that. And so I think that’s a cool story, but it definitely feels like we’re digging up fossils that we were there for when they were buried-

Pete:                No way.

Justin:              … if that makes sense.

Pete:                This was an awesome, awesome issue. Earl is my new favorite thing. This was-

Alex:                 This is a large elephant man who kills people.

Pete:                … Yeah. And Earl was just such a bad-ass and such a fun addition to this book. I mean the fuck me Earl is loose just before his head gets ripped off, that’s just great. That’s just great comics. That’s just fun stuff. Yeah. Kind of a creepy reveal of the kind of like two versions of him. But I think this is a very interesting kind of book as it does kind of speed through this, which I … It says three to six, like they don’t have time for this. I appreciate the fact that it’s fast forward a little bit.

Justin:              Of course, I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, I’m saying that’s just what it feels like.

Pete:                Yeah, so …

Alex:                 That’s definitely a cool quote for the cover, “I don’t have time for this shit.”

Justin:              Yeah.

Alex:                 I really liked this a lot, it’s just it’s a weird read. To your point, Justin, I’m curious too. I’m more curious to reflect on it when it’s done and how it works in relationship to the first Sweet Tooth more than anything else. Next up, A Man Among Ye #4 from Image Comics, written by Stephanie Phillips, art by Craig Cermak. This is ending this title, I believe, for now. It focuses on a bunch of female pirates who are teaming together. We finally get that team in this issue as they try to rescue one of their boyfriends, I guess, that’s the best way of putting it. Pete, you’ve been a big fan of the series.

Pete:                Yeah, this is really great. And I think this ends really well. It’s a little heartbreaking what kind of happens. But I’ve been really impressed with the action, I love the storytelling and I think this is a really kind of cool way of everybody kind of coming together here at the end so we can kind of get more ventures hopefully. But I thought this was a great kind of a fun pirate story with some cool twists in it to kind of update it. And I appreciate a lot of the rage in what was happening.

Alex:                 Justin, what about you?

Justin:              Some comics are for Pete, and some comics are for Justin and some comics are for Alex. And this one, this was fine. I think I said last time like I’m not a crazy fan of this. Reading this issue, it feels very much like an old black and white Disney movie in it’s sort of storytelling and style. Once I was like, “Ah, I think that’s what the vibe is here,” I enjoyed it more, but it’s all right.

Alex:                 Yeah, I would have honestly wanted a little more from it. I want to kind of want to see where it goes, and maybe now that this team is all together where it goes to the second arc, excited about that. But art by Craig Cermak was good. I think the writing was solid. I had a fun time reading this. Next step, The Immortal Hulk #42 from Marvel, written by Al Ewing, art by Alex Lins and Adam Gotham. Gotham, perhaps.

Justin:              Oh, interesting. And on a Marvel book.

Alex:                 That’s weird.

Justin:              I think it’s Gotham.

Alex:                 Gotham.

Justin:              Oh, Gorham actually.

Alex:                 Gorham?

Pete:                Wow.

Justin:              Yeah.

Alex:                 All right. Interesting. Anyway-

Pete:                Actually, it’s Jones, I think is what it is. Yeah, it’s Gorham.

Alex:                 In this issue, we’re getting split focus between Henry Gyrich is taking over Gamma Flight-

Justin:              I think it’s Gyrich.

Alex:                 … Gyrich?

Justin:              Definitely.

Alex:                 Have I been pronouncing it wrong my entire life?

Justin:              Yes.

Alex:                 Jesus Christ.

Justin:              It’s pronounced [inaudible 00:25:37].

Pete:                I don’t want that attention.

Alex:                 Anyway, some guy is taking Gamma Flight to task. Meanwhile, the leader is trying to figure out why he can’t get the whole taking over the world, the Immortal Hulk thing to work for him. He figures out some stuff by the end, so does Gamma Flight. Lots of stuff going on here and lots of movement to this issue. What did you guys think?

Justin:              This book is great. It’s continues to be great. This feels very much like a sort of middle type issue, so it’s not the like big moves happening. I do like the reveal that our newspaper reporter, who’s been an ongoing character in this run, has been affected by the gamma rays. That’s a big turn and reveal. And I love, love the reveal at the end.

Alex:                 Pete, what about you?

Pete:                Yeah. I mean, it continues to be gross and creepy in all the right ways. Yeah. I mean, we got the leader trying kind of figure things out a little bit in this issue, and then some other storylines going on. Yeah, just the monster stuff is so insane and this stuff. I’m interested to see where this is going. It continues to be a really solid book.

Alex:                 Yeah, I love this as well. My one caveat that I was weirdly struck with this issue, I wish, I know that they can because they’ve got to release a whole book every month, I wish that they would have waited for Joe Bennett to do all of it. Because Joe Bennett’s art is so phenomenal and his designs are so disgusting in exactly the right way, that whenever he does an issue, it’s heads and tails above everything else. And we’ve gotten some phenomenal stuff as well. I think the art in this was good. Alex Lins, Adam Gorham, you say.

Justin:              I know, I think you’ve got to give it up for Gorham.

Alex:                 Yeah, both really good things across the board. But man, there’s something slightly missing in terms of the fucked upednes of Joe Bennett’s art in this issue that I would have wanted a little bit more.

Justin:              But I also think this issue wasn’t about that, this was sort of dealing with some of the other characters. If we’re going to take a break from the crazy body stuff, I’m fine having another artist jump on. But I got to get up for Al Ewing for really plumbing all the depths of the Hulk villains to hit all the weirdest marks, and we do it again here.

Alex:                 Yes, I agree with you on that cliffhanger. Let’s move on to talk about American Vampire 1976 #4 from DC Comics, written by Scott Snyder, art by Rafael Albuquerque.

Pete:                Albuquerque.

Alex:                 In this issue we’re ramping things up in a big way as our heroes, I guess, question mark, sort of try to start to figure out how they can stop the apocalypse, things get worse before they get better. What did you guys think about this issue?

Pete:                This was a really amazing, fun issue. Love the crazy team up. A really intense last page. The art is really unbelievable. This was really clicking for me. I really enjoyed this issue.

Justin:              If you walk in a room where the chairs are too big, get out of there, because someone’s coming home and sitting-

Pete:                Yeah, that’s a good note.

Justin:              … in those big ass chairs.

Alex:                 I broke into a house one time and there was a chair that was too big, and there was a chair that was too small, but then there was one chair that was just right, that’s the one that I sat in and then I broke it.

Pete:                And then the bears came home and murdered you like your name was Archie?

Alex:                 Yeah, that was a lot of things all at the same time, Pete.

Justin:              Interestingly you were in a house that bears own.

Alex:                 I got totally bear-zoned, if you know what I mean.

Justin:              Yeah, you got bowned.

Pete:                Yes.

Alex:                 Yeah, great book. Really awesome every issue. Let’s move on and talk about Seven Secrets … Yes, what?

Justin:              No, I do. I really like this book. Scott Snyder has such a mastery of these characters, and I think it’s building up to something really exciting.

Alex:                 Yeah. I guess the main thing is just like, it is wild to be in a thing that started with something so relatively simple as, “There’s different type of vampires,” and now it’s like, “Every monster,” but I love it, it’s fun to read. Seven Secrets #6 from Boom! Studios, written by Tom Taylor, art by Daniele Di Nicuolo. We have wondered the entire series what these secrets are, they just kind of talked about what the secrets are. Finally, we get an inkling of what is going on-

Pete:                A little taste of the secret.

Alex:                 … with them as our heroes get attacked by the Keepers, the Villains, manage to escape at the last second. And we open up the mythology of the book in a really big and very weird way. I thought this issue was not only great as the series has been, but very necessary in terms of the run, because there’s only so long you can keep these secrets-

Pete:                Yeah, exactly.

Alex:                 … secret from the reader before it starts to get annoying and they start to really pull back the veil here.

Justin:              Yeah. It’s great to hear your secrets. Go ahead.

Pete:                I was really impressed because I was like, “Man, it’s the sixth issue when we’re finally getting a little taste of the secrets,” I was like, “There’s no way to build up.” But the fact that it is such a huge kind of thing that happens when they open up one of the cases, I was like, “Okay, great. This is worth it. This is totally insane. The action is over the top.” It’s really interesting how something can start at one place and kind of end up here. It’s really impressive, the writing and the storytelling. It’s great.

Justin:              Yeah. I feel like Tom Taylor set out at the beginning of this book and was like, “I’m going to write a comic that is truly an anime, that is very much in the style of an anime series or anime movie,” and that’s what this is. This feels very much like it’s-

Pete:                In all the right ways.

Justin:              … Taylor-made to be an anime.

Alex:                 I get it.

Justin:              Taylor-made to be an anime.

Alex:                 Let’s move on and talk about S.W.O.R.D. #2 from Marvel, written by Al Ewing, art by Valerio Schiti. This is also tying into the King in Black event, though it’s not necessarily labeled as such, I believe, on the cover. I believe this following how it’s affecting the X-Men side of the world and things get real bad by the end here with this weird defacto team of folks. What did you think? Pete?

Pete:                Sure.

Alex:                 Justin?

Justin:              Yes. This was a weirder … Like we were talking about with the King in Black stuff, this definitely feels like it’s a fair distance away from the main storyline. But it’s a fun, random team of X-Men. And it’s nice to read a book with Al Ewing sort of dabbling around in the X-Men world. I like the places ends. I like to see these characters random. Magneto sort of feels like older Magneto. Sebastian Shaw. We haven’t seen these characters in a while, so I enjoyed seeing them in this book.

Alex:                 Pete.

Justin:              Yeah, Ewing is doing amazing stuff on Hulk and so cool.

Alex:                 This is wild. This is like straight out of the nineties X-Men book. It’s very different from a lot of the other X-Men stuff, and it is tangential. I mean, it’s all of them living on the S.W.O.R.D. Space Station and try to figure out like basically reasons why they should not go fight Knull, the King in Black, is essentially what happens to this issue.

Alex:                 But it is one of those books where I’m reading, I’m like, “Oh yeah, I remember that character from the nineties. Okay, that’s cool.” But like you said, a good cliffhanger at the end that definitely makes me excited to read #3. And last but not least, Bloodshot #10 from Valiant Comics rate by Tim Seeley, art by Brett Booth-

Pete:                Don’t you feel it.

Alex:                 … and Pedro Andreo. This is a book that straight up feels like it’s trying to capitalize off the massive success of the Bloodshot movie that never happened. But regardless, Tim Seeley is doing his best here to put out a fun over the top, insane, cinematic Bloodshot book.

Justin:              Yeah, and I think he is succeeding. I like a lot of the movies in this book. I mean, aren’t we all strung out Bloodshot who comes back in the middle of the issue and tries to pick a fight, but he doesn’t have enough protein? That’s what we’re all living in right now. And I like the line, “Come on you Jared Leto-looking motherfucker.”

Pete:                Yeah, that’s great.

Justin:              Very funny.

Alex:                 That’s just Tim Seeley.

Justin:              Tim Seeley does a great job of combining great action with some fun minds.

Alex:                 It’s wild how much happens in this book, it feels like three entire arcs of a Bloodshot comic happening within 20 something pages which is an insane pace to read. But it’s fun, I enjoyed it. I don’t know.

Pete:                Yeah, I mean-

Justin:              Eat your protein.

Pete:                … Tim Seeley is a great writer. He adds humor to all the right things. Bloodshot to me is not one of my favorite characters, the movie didn’t help that at all. I thought this was kind of a more interesting take, but it was very fast-paced, but it had some great lines in it.

Justin:              Let me ask you, Pete, what don’t you like about him? That he’s like Deadpool, a character you like, or the Punisher, another character you like?

Pete:                I don’t know what it is, man. All right? I don’t know.

Justin:              You don’t like nanites? They’re just tiny robots.

Pete:                Yeah. Don’t trust them.

Alex:                 He kills people and eats meat, what is there that you don’t like about that, Pete?

Pete:                Okay. On paper, it seems like I should love this guy. I get it guys.

Justin:              Tim Seeley, one of your favs.

Pete:                Oh, yeah.

Justin:              Touchy-feely Tim Seeley.

Alex:                 His name is Bloodshot. Blood and shot are two of your top 10 words.

Pete:                It’s okay guys, I get what you’re saying.

Justin:              Whenever we used to go out to bars, you’d be like, “I’ll have a blood shot,” and we would all drink blood with you because that’s what you demanded.

Pete:                Yeah.

Alex:                 And then you would shout, “Dracule.” All right, folks. I think that’s it for The Stack. If you’d like to support us, patriotic.com/comicbookclub. Also we do a live show every Tuesday night at 7:00PM-

Pete:                We sure do.

Alex:                 … a podcast on YouTube. iTunes, Android, Spotify, Stitcher or the app of your choice to subscribe and listen to the show. @comicbooklive on Twitter, Comicbookclublive.com for this podcast and many more. Until next time, that’s it for The Stack.

Justin:              Yeah, round of blood shots, baby.

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