The Stack: Radiant Black, Sweet Tooth And More

Radiant Black #1

On this week’s comic book review podcast:

Radiant Black #1
Image Comics
Written by Kyle Higgins
Art by Marcelo Costa

Sweet Tooth: The Return #4
DC Comics
Written and art by Jeff Lemire

Eternals #2
Written by Kieron Gillen
Art by Esad Ribić

Low #26
Image Comics
Written by Rick Remender
Art by Greg Tochhini

Rorschach #5
DC Comics
Written by Tom King
Art by Jorge Fornés

Daredevil #27
Written by Chip Zdarsky
Art by Marco Checchetto and Mike Hawthorne

Birthright #46
Image Comics
Written by Joshua Williamson
Art by Andrei Bressan

Black Hammer: Visions #1
Dark Horse Comics
Written by Patton Oswalt
Art by Dean Kotz

Future State: Dark Detective #3
DC Comics
Written by Mariko Tamaki, Matthew Rosenberg
Art by Dan Mora, Carmine Giandomenico

Future State: Teen Titans #2
DC Comics
Written by Tim Sheridan
Art by Rafa Sandoval

Future State: Robin Eternal #2
DC Comics
Written by Meghan Fitzmartin
Art by Eddy Barrows

Future State: Superman/Wonder Woman #2
DC Comics
Written by Dan Watters
Art by Leila del Duca

Future State: Green Lantern #2
DC Comics
Written by Geoffrey Thorne, Robert Venditti, Josie Campbell
Art by Tom Raney, Andy Tong, Dexter Soy

Future State : Justice League #2
DC Comics
Written by Joshua Williamson, Ram V
Art by Robson Rocha, Marcio Takara

Future State: Kara Zor-El Superwoman #2
DC Comics
Written by Marguerite Bennett
Art by Marguerite Sauvage

Critical Role: Vox Machina: Origins: Series III #1
Dark Horse Comics
Written by Jody Houser
Art by Oliver Samson

Thunderbolts #2
Written by Matthew Rosenberg
Art by Juan Ferreyra

Undiscovered Country #12
Image Comics
Written by Scott Snyder and Charles Soule
Art by Giuseppe Camuncoli and Leonardo Marcello Grassi

The Last Witch #2
Written by Conor McCreery
Art by V.V. Glass

American Vampire 1976 #5
DC Comics
Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Rafael Albuquerque

Black Panther: King in Black #1
Written by Geoffrey Thorne
Art by Germán Peralta

Bliss #5
Image Comics
Written by Sean Lewis
Art by Caitlin Yarsky

Orcs #1
Written and art by Christine Larsen

Home Sick Pilots #3
Image Comics
Written by Dan Watters
Art by Caspar Wijngaard


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 books that come out this week, kicking it off with Radiant Black number one from Image Comics written by Kyle Higgins, art by Marcello Costa. This is of course, as you could probably tell from the number one and totally new book. And the premise is a Downer’s luck author who has not gotten jobs for a while, heads back home, encounters something weird and may or may not become some sort of a superhero, pretty typical setup. But I really liked how this was executed personally. I thought the designs were great and I’m very excited to read this going forward. What did you guys think?

Pete:                I agree. I was really impressed with this setup. I mean just seeing this guy cry when he goes through early, really makes you, “Oh, you’re rooting for this person.” And then just the way he falls into is very interesting. And the design of the suit and stuff is really fantastic. I think this does a great job of getting you excited for a new series.

Justin:              Yeah, this had some vibes of invincible to me very much Early Kirkman stuff.

Pete:                Sure-

Justin:              And both in the writing and the art. And yeah, it was an interesting launch. I was very triggered by a writer who struggles to work-

Pete:                Wow-

Justin:              Because that’s a constant stress.

Pete:                The douchey friend reminded me of you.

Justin:              Oh, that’s so interesting. The animal, I think it was some hamster or rat that was dead next to the tracks. It reminded me of you.

Pete:                Oh, wow. That’s really fucked up.

Alex:                 So in the back matter, Kyle Higgins talks a little bit about how he was inspired while he was writing Power Rangers-

Pete:                Yeah-

Alex:                 And that really firmed a bunch of stuff up in Bye-Bye and for the-

Pete:                Yes, big time-

Alex:                 About the world what is going on here. But I think what he’s done is he found a really grounded way of taking this Power Rangers concept, making it feel afresh, make it feel new. And it’s a lot of fun. I’m excited to read more of this.

Alex:                 Next up Sweet Tooth return number four from TC Comics so written and art by Jeff Lameer. We get some big answers here about what’s been-

Pete:                Yeah-

Alex:                 Going on with this rebooted-

Justin:              Yeah-

Alex:                 Sweet Tooth. Justin, I know you’ve been concerned about the end game here. So how did you feel about this issue [inaudible 00:02:34]?

Justin:              This issue did a lot for me. I think we got to learn a lot of the backstory here and what I love about the take here, and it reminded me of a lot of the later stuff. The later arcs on the original Sweet Tooth. The way that Jeff Lameer combines in the writing, the ideas of scientists who become religious fanatics, breaking that dichotomy between science and religion and showing that the real danger is when fanatical people actually have the tools they need to cause real problems for the planet.

Justin:              That’s when we as a society get into trouble. I think it’s on display again here. And this is such a great issue to really flash out the mythology. We get to hear a little bit of why the people in charge of this newer world are motivated to do what they do and it’s great.

Pete:                I thought the stuff about the shirt was very sweet and touching.

Alex:                 There’s some stuff about Sweet Tooth shirt, particularly that was such a big thing back in the old book. And that gets called back here. I agree, really good issue, very excited to see how this all starts to wrap up, going over to a Turtle’s number two from Marvel written by Karen Gillan, art by [inaudible 00:03:48] where we left off in the last issue, Thanos was attacking some of the members of the Eternals. So one of the Eternals had been murdered. Usually not a problem. It turns out it is a little bit of a problem here-

Pete:                There’s a problem-

Alex:                 But you get some big revelations and explanation of what’s going on. One-

Pete:                Yeah-

Alex:                 Of my favorite things about this book is it is revealed. I don’t know if it was real to the first issue, but it’s revealed here in a very funny and very Karen Gillen way that the person who is narrating this, is the eternal machine that helps resurrect the Eternals, but that machine is broken. And just the way that is executed, the way that tells the story of the series feels so unique and exciting to me.

Pete:                Yeah. I was-

Justin:              Totally the narration is funny, it’s sort of irreverent. It feels like you’re hearing the Karen Gillan, basically make fun of the characters in the book that he’s currently writing, which I think is so great.

Pete:                Yeah. I was really impressed with this. You got a big Eternals movie coming out from Marvel. So I feel like this does a great job of getting people excited for that. Eternals to me never really was something I could latch onto, but I’m really into this book. I think it’s a really cool setup of a what’s the problem is and what’s going on and what’s going to happen. And I’m really looking forward to it. Art’s fantastic. A really fun time jumps stuff here. Yeah. And even there’s sweet touching moments where they make mistakes. And I was really impressed with this. This is a really solid book.

Justin:              And their R is so good. It feels so big mythology while also having great comic book action at the same time. This comic is really just delivering on all the fronts you want.

Alex:                 Well, on that note, let’s turn a bit to low number 26 from Image Comics written by Greg Takini-

Justin:              Oh, here we go-

Alex:                 This is the last issue of this book. Justin, this has been one of your favorite books for a very long time. How do you think it wrapped up?

Justin:              Great. Just so good. Rick Rimenda. I don’t know how, I mean, we talked to him about this book a few weeks ago and it was on the podcast. And I don’t know how he writes his books. When does he think of the ending? Because he really does such a good job with endings in a lot of his work. He’s able to tie up the character arcs, the emotional arcs as well as just the central theme and leave you thinking and feeling a certain way, in his last issues, it was same with Black Science.

Justin:              And this issue is just beautifully done. You see that… And I don’t want to spoil too much of it. Because I think you really need to read this and take it in. And I want to reread the entire series to really get every ounce of story out of it. But it’s about a family at the end of the day. And you get to see that land in a way that is tragic, heartbreaking, but beautiful and sentimental at the same time.

Pete:                Yeah. I mean, this is the sweetest most moving way Rimenda could kick you in the nuts. He’s still going to get you, but this is done so well. And it’s so moving. It’s really impressive. The art is just… A lot of times when you’re dealing with different worlds, different ideas, the art can get too crazy, but it’s done in such a way that it shows grace and beauty and different things.

Pete:                The layering to it is really impressive. There’s different characters that aren’t human that are very humanized, it’s really amazing and impressive the way this all ties in. This got really weird at times, but man, does he land this so well.

Justin:              And he-

Pete:                He does it so well, it really does make you want to be like, “Wait, I want to go back and see that beginning again.”

Justin:              If I may just get your jacket book quote correct. I think it’s a beautiful kick in the nuts that makes you turn and say thank you to the nut kicker.

Pete:                Right.

Justin:              Peel the page.

Alex:                 Next step Rorschach number five from DC Comics written by Tom King art by Hori Fornace. I hesitate to say it was my favorite issue so far, but this is the one to me that really felt like-

Justin:              Yeah-

Alex:                 It pulled back the veil on what’s happening potentially where this book is heading. We’ve had this guy investigating this mystery. There was an attempted presidential assassination, but somebody dressed as Rorschach and somebody dressed as a cowboy.

Alex:                 The first couple of issues have been really building up, was investigator looking through this mystery. And if I was to purely speculate for a bit, we found out that this cowboy character has been going up to people and telling them, “Hey, you are the reincarnation of Rorschach. His energy with Dr. Manhattan Blue is hemp, has gone into various people. You and Rorschach, come with me, let’s do vigilante justice.”

Pete:                That’ll pick up line.

Alex:                 That’ll pick up line. I think whether that is true or not, that’s what’s happening to our main guy, right? He is going to get to a place where either he becomes Rorschach or even thinks he is Rorschach and maybe starts to think this is true.

Justin:              Well, he believes that he’s Rorschach at the end of the day. I think that’s just smart.

Alex:                 Well specifically because the theme that Tom King is dealing with here is conspiracy theories. And I think this is a little bit about how the deeper you get into conspiracy theory, the more things start to look like conspiracy, and the more it starts to become believable, whether you’re investigating it or whether you’re the one who’s putting it out there.

Justin:              Yeah, I think that’s such a smart take because my takeaway from this issue specifically… I mean, last issue, we talked about this a little bit because it was tricking people into believing certain things and them taking it to the extreme where they end up-

Alex:                 Right-

Justin:              Believing it above everything else in their lives. Also very topical thing going on in our real world. And in this, this issue is about masks. And then we have this character who’s running for president to try to take down a Robert Redford who’s won for like five terms in a row. And he’s shitting on wearing mask because he is so comfortable believing a bunch of nonsense maskless.

Justin:              And the people that wear masks are quote unquote, hiding their beliefs, their identities, whatever, yet this person is so brazen and out there saying nonsense. He doesn’t have to hide even the craziest opinions that he has. That was my takeaway from this, is just, the people that wear the mask are maybe the people to trust more so.

Pete:                I agree with… It’s all been, a lot more is solidified, click into place here. Tom King, just piece meals information as he twists and turns stories. But this is one of my favorite issues for sure. And the last couple of panels, just absolutely fantastic. And so cool. Yeah, I thought this was a great issue and I’m very excited for more.

Alex:                 I agree, next up Daredevil number 27 from Marvel written by [inaudible 00:11:20] who is on the live show this very week, talking about this book, art by Marco Maketto and Mike Hawthorne. This book we’re dealing with the King Black crossover while Electra is filling in for Matt Murdock fighting on the streets of New York. Matt is trapped in prison and has been infected by [inaudible 00:11:36] the God of the Symbionts. So we’re getting these dual stories going on and they’re both very good.

Justin:              I was really impressed with this. I thought the way they handled Matt Murdoch’s belief in religion and God when it came to, what the fuck is, the King of black, what’s his name there?

Alex:                 Knull.

Justin:              Knull, thank you. Yeah, I thought that was so great. And so well explained in such a way that really felt like Matt Murdoch character. I was really impressed with that. It was crazy to hear, to be like, “Yeah, religion, I don’t know.” Because it really felt like he was coming from a place, for this, but I guess he just really gets in the head of his character so well.

Justin:              But yeah, I thought this was really a great, fantastic, hold it up over time issue of Daredevil, really interesting. It’s all of the characters really doing their own thing in their own way, right down to kingpin and a lecturer as Daredevil. I was really impressed with the art and everything that happened in this issue.

Pete:                It’s really rare when a book can continue its story through a crossover and the crossover actually enhances a lot of the themes that we’re dealing with.

Justin:              Yeah.

Pete:                And this book really does it. And the only thing that was missing was a scene where Foggy was sitting alone in his apartment, which is what he does a lot. And a symbiont comes up, jumps on him and then the symbiont is like, “Eh nevermind.” And just goes on to just someone else or just to wrap around a mouse or whatever.

Justin:              Yeah. Well, Foggy wins again.

Alex:                 Next up Birthright, number 46 from Image comics written by Joshua Williamson and art by Andre Bresson. This is kicking off the final arc of this book. As we start to wrap up this story here, everybody’s picking up the pieces by finally taking down the God King Lore. We get some flashbacks back to the world that Mikey and friends were living in for a very long period of time. What’d you think about this? I think we felt like everything wrapped up really nicely in the last couple of issues. And now we have more Birthright.

Justin:              We have this and four more issues. This is another one of my favorite books coming to an end in a great way. The fact that we had the big battle the land of the last arc, we get to see a nice epilogue an emotional-

Alex:                 Oh yeah-

Justin:              Epilogue, which is what again, about family and about what it means, despite all the crazy shit going on in our lives. What do we chase after when the going gets tough? And in this case, family, I love this book.

Pete:                It’s really dawning on me that family’s important. I think comic books might be right. It’s crazy. No, I agree, Justin, this is really impressive. What they’re doing afterwards, this huge thing, it’s kind of like, okay, onto the next adventure. No, they’re really sitting in this aftermath, exploring other things that maybe they could have talked about more while all this madness was happening. I was really impressed with the relationship stuff in this, very moving, this book continues to be amazing.

Alex:                 Next up Black Hammer visions never went from Dark Horse Comics written by Patton Oswalt art by Dean Cots. This is the first issue of course, of this anthology telling stories about the Black Hammer characters from creators. Other than Jeff Lameer, we’ve been really big fans of the miniseries, they’ve been rolling off here. These are these one-shots.

Alex:                 I thought this as usual was absolutely great. This is a one-shot story that mixes up Black Hammer and Ghost World of all things and awards as a coda to Ghost World while still telling a story of Gail for the Black Hammer universe. Absolutely wonderful. I was completely surprised by this. Did not see this coming from Patton Oswalt at all. Really good one-shot comic book.

Pete:                Patton Oswalt, really getting into the comic book game.

Justin:              Yeah, I was really impressed with this. This wasn’t just a comedian doing bits. This was really smart, very moving stuff, such a cool story, the way everything tied in and fit with this world. I was really impressed with this. I really liked the setting of it. I thought it was great. The art’s glorious.

Alex:                 Yeah, really good stuff. Next, oh God.

Pete:                I agree as well. Sorry. Really got into the fact that he was able to bring Ghost World into it, was clearly something that he loves. He’s got some Amy Mann quote lyrics from at the end of the book and still be telling a story that fits seamlessly into this world and is fun, funny with good reveals. It’s really great.

Alex:                 Let’s jump into our Future State block, where we talk about all of the books that have come out for future change.

Justin:              Oh yeah.

Alex:                 And just to read down the list this week, we’ve got Future State, Dark Detective, number three. Future State Teen Titans, number two. Future State [inaudible 00:16:38], number two. Future State Superman and Wonder Woman, number two. Future State Green Lantern number two. Future State Justice League, number two. And Future State [inaudible 00:16:46] Superwoman, number two. I got to admit, I’m a little slightly with Pete here where they definitely hit me this week where I was like, “Oh, there’s a lot of books we’re reading, oh boy.”

Justin:              Yes. It is a lot, but-

Alex:                 Fuck this guy-

Justin:              The stories are, so they get to-

Alex:                 [inaudible 00:17:01]-

Justin:              Go off in a lot of different directions. And if we’re going to dive into our faves I’m going to give it up for Future State Justice League number two, which I really liked the way they went here by having the white Martian takeover. And it became about all the different heroes identities, and the fact that they need to connect with each other or else nothing, or else they’re just weaker as a team. And I liked that as a theme, it was something I didn’t see coming really in the last issue they laid it out and this really paid it off. I thought it was just really well done.

Pete:                Yeah. I completely agree. I love Justice League, amazing art, The White Martian story was great. And also having Joe, the new Green Lantern, he was the best Green Lantern of all time. It was just fantastic. And it made the book so much better and the backup story was great. Magic is hope motherfuckers, I thought that was great. I thought [inaudible 00:18:03]-

Justin:              The Justice League dark story.

Pete:                Yeah.

Alex:                 The other thing I mentioned that I thought it was interesting about this week is we’re getting two things here, right? One, we’re getting the wrap-up of these future state stories, but also we’re getting teases for what’s down the road. And DC has started to announce that some of these titles are continuing in different forums. For example, Wonder Woman is continuing as Wonder Girls, or we’re going to get that there.

Alex:                 I think, I’m forgetting which other ones are going to continue, but certainly there’s teases at the end of a couple of these for how they’re going to flesh out in different storylines. Green Lantern number two ends with the tease of Green Lantern 2021, which does seem again, Joe, from-

Pete:                Oh, yeah-

Alex:                 Fire sector is going to be fighting Hell Jordan in the subway. So that should be fun to watch.

Justin:              Yes.

Alex:                 The one that-

Justin:              Great crew-

Alex:                 Really jumped out to me, I love the first issue of this, and I love the second issue of this too. Future States Superman, Wonder Woman, which is of course, teaming up the characters, but sending them off on these very different stories, Superman fighting Solaris, [inaudible 00:19:00]. Wonder Woman trying to have a race around the universe with the Sun God from her culture. I just really liked how these characters related. I thought there was a fun tone to it. The art was really nice as well, and it felt like an enjoyable all ages title, but with these new Superman, Wonder Woman characters and it made me really delighted to potentially follow them going forward.

Justin:              I agree. And this felt really mythological, the whole thing felt it could have been something in the back of an Edith Hamilton book that you read in school and were pleasantly surprised how much a comic book it was.

Pete:                Oh, wow. I really liked Kara Zor-El Superwoman, number two. The art was just so phenomenal and I really liked the character design for Superwoman amazing, just cool [inaudible 00:19:57] like dragons. Very enjoyable. I’ve been enjoying that series as well.

Alex:                 Now let me ask you Pete, at the end of this book we leave Kara Zor-El buried next to her dog Krypto.

Pete:                Right.

Alex:                 Would you feel if you were awesome shared a grave with them a dog, would you be like, “That’s it.” Or in your case, I guess it’d be a cat.

Pete:                Well, currently, I mean, don’t put shit like that out there. I don’t want my cat to die, but-

Alex:                 I’m not saying your cat’s going to die, but someday it will.

Pete:                Oh, that’s fucking heartbreaking, man.

Justin:              Is your cat like a [inaudible 00:20:32] where if your cat dies, you have to be buried alive with the cat?

Alex:                 Yes.

Pete:                I hope not. I don’t want to do that, but yeah, I love that. I thought that was super sweet.

Alex:                 Sorry man your cats live at will, it’s going to happen. I have your cat’s [inaudible 00:20:51]-

Justin:              You can’t sign it with a [inaudible 00:20:52]-

Pete:                My cat can’t read. So it’s going to be fine.

Justin:              The cat doesn’t have to read, [inaudible 00:20:57]-

Alex:                 I explained it very clearly to your cat, your cat agreed-

Justin:              Put a little ink print.

Pete:                [inaudible 00:21:03] my cat then, I’ll see you in court.

Justin:              Lapage versus Whiskers of some sort. All the way to the Supreme court, what’s your cat’s name? Pete.

Pete:                It’s a very long name. I call her Caboots.

Alex:                 Why are you being secrective about this?

Justin:              Do we not have time to get into this?

Pete:                It’s a very long name.

Justin:              Okay. Are you worried about threading tape on it? Because I talked to the engineer and we actually have the tape. We can run it. So go ahead. Lay out the whole name, I guess.

Pete:                Okay, fine. It’s kitten NASCA of the Valley of the wind Lapage Thomas.

Justin:              Aw, that’s very cute.

Alex:                 That’s very cool.

Pete:                I call her Caboots.

Justin:              Well, I look forward to visiting your grave in the Valley of the wind.

Pete:                Nice.

Justin:              Your shared grave.

Alex:                 Alright. Why don’t we move on from Future State and talk about critical Role Vox Mac-

Pete:                Wait-

Alex:                 Oh, there’s other things you wanted to talk about?

Pete:                Yeah it’s-

Alex:                 We’ve got also Dark Detective. We’ve got Teen Titans. We got [inaudible 00:22:07] Turtle.

Pete:                Yeah. I wanted to talk about Dark Detective. I really thought it was a great issue.

Justin:              It’s great.

Pete:                I love this tech Batman versus future Batman. The two designs are really cool and it’s fun to see them go head to head. And to [inaudible 00:22:27] guys so drones are scary and I’m just putting that out there now. Drones are going to be very scary in the future.

Justin:              Yeah. You mean the nano drones that are hovering right around your head even as we speak.

Pete:                Yeah. I’m sure they’re out there, but also I checked out a DC Love is a Battlefield. [crosstalk 00:22:47]. There was very durable. They did a lot of coupling up for Valentine’s day. And Tim Seeley did a Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn love story. It was just so great. So touching.

Justin:              It is amazing how you do this every week and in such an odd way. I really liked Dark Detective as well. The front story has been one of my favorites of this run. And just a quick rundown of the rest, Green Lantern too, I thought the setup for the next issues, I was really into the Green Lantern 2021 coming forward with how Jordan felt like a nice starting point going forward. And I liked the Robin Eternal issue here as well with Tim Drake, really suffering from some juicy Lazarus problems.

Alex:                 I agree. Next up, critical role [inaudible 00:23:37] series three, number one from Dark Horse Comics written by Jody Houser, art by Oliver Samson in this book, we’re getting a bunch of fantasy stuff is happening. What did you guys think? I’m sorry. I’m just not very familiar with critical role. So I read this and I was like, “Yes, this is a fantasy world.” But funny. I get it.

Pete:                Yeah. I think this is a fun adventure book, a bunch of people teaming up going on adventures. Joining fight clubs. I thought the arts fantastic. Some fun storytelling. I thought this was a cool team to get behind. I’m very excited to see where this goes.

Justin:              Yeah, I agree. I was concerned with the fight club that they fight in teams and how do you really judge on a team? If we were to fight another trio, how would we know we were an evenly balanced team?

Pete:                If we won, we would be good.

Alex:                 So Pete is the tank, right?

Justin:              Yeah, that’s what we say off mic.

Alex:                 Justin, you’re the thief, you’re quick and sneaky.

Justin:              That’s okay.

Alex:                 And I’m white like [inaudible 00:24:45]-

Pete:                You’re the evil mastermind.

Justin:              You’re the baby hands-

Alex:                 Baby hands.

Justin:              Every trio has them-

Alex:                 Crucial.

Pete:                The tank, the thief-

Justin:              Yeah, you’re a boss baby [crosstalk 00:24:55]-

Alex:                 I’m a muscle.

Pete:                Justin’s [inaudible 00:24:58]-

Alex:                 I’m a boss baby back in business.

Justin:              Now streaming on Netflix-

Pete:                Justin’s a face man. He can talk his way into anything.

Alex:                 There we go.

Justin:              We’re quite a trio. None of those things we’re fighting by the way just so we’re clear.

Alex:                 Thunderbolts, number two for Marvel Comics written by Matthew Rosenberg, art by Van Ferrari. This is tying into the King and Black event. Lots of goopy stuff going on this week-

Justin:              Goopy-

Alex:                 More [inaudible 00:25:21] to come. Here we get a bunch of villains, have tried to rescue maybe, or work with Norman Osborn to find out some information from him. So they spent a lot of time in Raven Croft. I always want to say Arkham, but it’s not Arkham, it’s Raven Croft.

Justin:              It’s close.

Alex:                 And it’s super fun as usual.

Justin:              How could you mix those two up Alex? How would you mix those two things up?

Alex:                 They’re two-

Justin:              It’s impossible. There are two very different in [inaudible 00:25:45] in two very different universes.

Alex:                 You right, I’m sorry. Super fun bits in here, in particular. And I feel Matthew Rosenberg is just writing for the bits for some of these things where just, what is it? Mister Fear says something to Kingpin. He doesn’t realize he’s of the zoom and Kingpin is, “Hey, Taskmaster you’re here.” And he’s, “Yeah.” He’s like, “Okay, punch Mister Fear.” And he punches Mister Fear, Norman Osborn getting too close to the zoom and his whole face filling it, just fun, it’s a fun book to read. I had a blast reading it across the board.

Pete:                Yeah. I think he does great on team books. This was fun. I also really to see Taskmaster around, so I thought this was a lot of fun, great kingpin stuff. The art’s great. This is just a fun book.

Justin:              Yeah. It’s a great mix of real good comic storytelling, good fights. Character-driven stuff, even characters we don’t really see a lot. I really liked this new star character that the series that we read six months ago now. Seeing her hair, it’s great. Really well-written but also very fun, funny, and still tying into this goopy old crossover.

Pete:                And also, you got to be wary if you just find… Nobody’s just taking a nap in the bush. You got to be careful. That’s all I’m saying. I don’t want to give things away, but that was creepy.

Alex:                 I hope this comic continues. I don’t know if it will, but this is the sort of thing where I could see Wilson Fisk having a bunch of villains going on disposable missions. Most of them getting killed, not coming back alive, betray each other. It’s suicide squad without the bombs in the head, but it’s fun to read and he’s writing the hell out of it. So I’ll definitely read more.

Alex:                 Next up Undiscovered Country, number 12 from Image Comics written by Scott Snyder and Charles Soul art by Giuseppe Camuncoli and Leonardo and Marcello Grassi. This is tying up the second arc of this book, unity in a huge fashion, propelling us into the next arc of the book. This is a wild ride as usual, incredible visuals throughout.

Justin:              Yeah.

Alex:                 Particularly with this issue, we had Scott on the show a little while ago and he was talking about how he and Charles are writing the movie. I do not know how they’re writing a movie of this. It’s just so big. Everything that happens.

Justin:              It would be crazy to boil this arc down to one set piece. Because that’s what it would have to be, sort of. I would think.

Pete:                I don’t know how-

Justin:              The comic, you get the emotional beats are here, it’s wild storytelling. There are so many ideas here. I mean, it’s the same stuff we always compliment this book about, but they just continue to really find the balance of giving this… In this book, there’s this very wild escape. It plays a Super Mario kart race for a portion of it. But then you get this really great heartfelt moment where to the main characters, the brother and sister are talking to their images of their parents and it’s great.

Pete:                Yeah. There’s so much to this comic. There’s so much happening. It can be a little crazy, but man, does it deliver? And the big monster aspect in this issue was just glorious and so cool that a six shooter was really crazy. This was really cool also, they thought this place that they’re out was one thing and it turned out to be something different, really great ideas going on in this book.

Pete:                I mean, I did think it was a little bit like, “All right, when it’s these young kids.” And they’re like, “This is old technology, the first iPod, how do you even use this?” I was, “Okay. All right.” But really impressive fun stuff. Art’s really unbelievable. This continues to be such a scratch your head, what’s happening, but then delivers really well.

Justin:              Yeah. And the last page reveal is just a hundred percent fun.

Alex:                 It’s great stuff-

Justin:              It’s like, “Okay. Yeah, let’s get fun.”

Alex:                 I’m in, I’m on board. Love it. Can’t wait for the next arc. Next up, The Last, Witch, number two for BoomBox written by-

Justin:              Oh man-

Alex:                 Connor MCcury art by [inaudible 00:30:09]. You guys have been buzzing about this book.

Pete:                [inaudible 00:30:13]. This book is buzzing. This book is so good-

Alex:                 Buzzing. First. So we got a girl in a small town heading off to a witch’s tower. Just wants to check it out a little bit, things pick up and this issue where I was, “Did I miss an issue? Is this issue, number three, what’s going on here?” Because this is insane from the first page with witches eating people and powers and everything. What do you guys about this book in particular?

Pete:                Well first off, the art is really unbelievable. It feels like an amazing animation and still form… The characters designed in the witches and the faces and the different kind of glowing things in them are really cool. This is moving, it’s intense, it’s sentimental. The little part where the kid is like, “I told you, it was so awesome.” Yeah, I’m really impressed with this book. I didn’t think I would like it so much. The grandma smoking a cigar is glorious.

Justin:              You love a good grandma, who doesn’t love a good grandma?

Alex:                 You love a grandma. And you Pete, you know that’s a blunt dude, you know she’s [inaudible 00:31:20].

Justin:              She’s far from [inaudible 00:31:22] bro-

Alex:                 She even says, she’s like, “Let’s get this Juniper going around the room.”

Justin:              Honestly. I know we’re joking about it, but Pete, you are very into grandma’s and comics from this to watching Future. I’m sure there’s a couple of others I’m forgetting-

Alex:                 And real life. He loves a grandma.

Justin:              You should release your own podcast where you count down the top 10 grandmas of all time.

Pete:                Oh that’d be cool. I could do it. But yeah, I think this book really took me by surprise and is really impressive. I cannot wait for more. Each issue continues to give us such a great movement for the story. Yeah. I’m really impressed.

Justin:              I love the art in this a lot. It reminds me of some classic Ralph [inaudible 00:32:08] animation style getting in like, the old habit series back in the day. And to your question earlier, Alex, why we think it’s such a buzz, buzz, buzzy book. It moves quickly. It’s both fun, lighthearted, welcoming us into this world. It’s scary at times. But it’s always just driving the story forward in a well done, confident way. It’s just a good book. There’s a little mystery going on at the end. We get a lot of mythology building here and cabins in the woods. Watch out.

Alex:                 Yeah. All right, everybody that has been our buzz-buzz busy [inaudible 00:32:48] book of the week. Let’s move on and talk about American Vampire 1976, number five from TC Comics written by Scott Snyder, art by Rafael Albuquerque. Talk about things getting big-

Justin:              [inaudible 00:32:59]-

Alex:                 In this issue, our heroes are fighting a bunch of giants, encounter a council of vampires, tons of mythology dump in this issue are going on here as we’re on to the end game, seemingly of American Vampire. Another great issue, but it’s just wild to me that we are so far into the road of this book and they’re still laying down huge pieces of the mythology. It’s very impressive.

Justin:              Yeah. And it all fits. It all feels very deliberate and they’ve done a great job of setting up a villain that is worse than everything else we’ve seen it before. And the way that they’re able to keep, Skinner’s such a central part of this character just by the fact that he’s been devamped and he’s just sort of, “Ah, I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m just hanging around.” And he’s still such a fun character, is great.

Pete:                Yeah. Scott Snyder knows what the fuck he’s doing when it comes to writing comic books, because this is really impressive, so well done. After all these arcs you would think that maybe the ideas would get a little, “All right, we’re going to try.” But man just delivers hard on every issue. The last panel reveal on this was really unbelievable. I can’t say enough about the art. These two teaming up is just magic.

Alex:                 Next up Black Panther, Keegan Black, number one written by Jeffery Thorn art by Jermaine Peralta in this issue, as you can probably imagine these symbionts are attacking Wakanda and they start to fight back. What’d you think about this issue? Another book that feels it was inspired by, “Hey, what characters have black in their name? Let’s put them in the Black King and Black Event.” But personally I think it panned out a lot better than you might expect based on that.

Pete:                I was really impressed with this book. Also, I didn’t expect to get choked up but there was a moment where Black Panther and Siri see each other and give each other a hug. And I got a little choked up because I was, “That’s never going to happen in TV or movies and we’re never going to get to see that.” And it got me a little bit, which I wasn’t ready for.

Justin:              It’s funny you say that Pete, because I was thinking the same thing. It’s so rare, I think in a comic book, where from the adaptation to the movie has such an effect on reading the comic book going forward. Because I do feel, when I see Black Panther, I’m just, “Oh, there’s a loss there.”

Pete:                Yeah, It’s tough yeah-

Justin:              I view the character in the way that it’s never happened to me before. And I just can’t imagine it has happened before. And to see this, I don’t know, does that harm the Black Panther character in the Marvel universe? The fact that Chadwick Boseman was such an icon for the role and then died. And is it going to stay with us for forever? I guess would say.

Pete:                I wonder because it’s like, the comic came first. They should be able to do what they want, but man, it was just… I was having a hard time reading it. I was really getting choked up and being, “Ah, I don’t know, what did you just say? Series Black Panther and not kind of deal with it just so you don’t have these kinds of reactions.” But that doesn’t seem fair.

Alex:                 I do think there’s something to be said. I agree with you guys. I had the exact same reaction emotionally and there was a brief thought of you’re saying, Pete, should they retire to Tchala as Black Panther for a while? Which sounds insane. But just to get around that uncomfortable sad reaction that you have, but I would say no, you keep it going because it is a tribute to how powerful he was as the character that even though he passed away in a very untimely manner, the character continues and it does pay a tribute to him by continuing to exist, by continuing to have these ventures. And as long as they keep being good and they keep treating the character in a good way, that does pay tribute to Chadwick Boseman’s performance in a back way as well.

Pete:                Now I do want to talk a little bit about this issue, not you know talking about that. I thought this was a great issue of Black Panther, lot of cool things and the call back to one of Black Panthers enemies was such a cool idea to help stop this menace. I was really impressed with the writing on this and there’s really cool, beast showdowns here. Yeah. Wow. What an awesome issue. What amazing art. This was really cool.

Alex:                 Next up Bliss, number five from Image Comics written by Sean Lewis, art by Caitlin Yarsky. In this issue, we’re getting a bunch of backstory about what’s going on with our father character who was going up against the main antagonist of this book. We find out how he broke out of the hold of this drug. I guess you can call it a drug. Bliss, how he worked his way forward. Meanwhile, we’re following his son as he is trying to track down his dad, I believe. Still some incredible imagining coming out of this book, even five issues in.

Justin:              This reminded me of, and maybe this is a stretch. Do tell me. It’s a reverse never-ending story?

Alex:                 Oh wow. Interesting.

Justin:              I guess it’s just like the never ending story. The dad is going on the adventure and the kid is [inaudible 00:38:35] hearing the dad adventure.

Pete:                That’s a way to reverse Everett Dick story, as [crosstalk 00:38:43]-

Alex:                 You said, the kid being directed to the drug, it’s the dad and then-

Justin:              What I was thinking about was the fact that it’s the dad going on the adventure and the kid is hearing this stories-

Pete:                Riding a dragon means drugs. And then-

Alex:                 I always describe, I don’t know if you guys do this too, but I always describe 13, going on 30 is a double reverse pig.

Pete:                Exactly. And you talk about that a lot, especially in your work as a critic. Yeah.

Alex:                 I try to relate everything back to 13 going on 30 if I can.

Pete:                Seven a movie. Yeah, I thought this was a really beautiful issue. Unbelievable. This story continues to move forward in a great way. You go from absolutely hating this dad to maybe there’s something that could be done. Yeah, I’m just really impressed with this story. And then fun kind of join us next time. And they got the AOC with the scales of justice. I thought that was crazy cool.

Alex:                 What?

Pete:                The character designs are very interesting.

Justin:              I will say to Pete’s point, I don’t think it’s actually AOC, but the woman in the preview for next issue looks just like AOC.

Pete:                It’s AOC dude.

Alex:                 Next step Orcs, number one from Kaboom written by and art by Christine Larson. This is pretty much you could do that you could expect from the title. It’s a bunch of adventure in Orcs. [inaudible 00:40:07] it’s Kaboom, it is very all ages. I thought this was a delightful, fun book to read with some great character designs. I enjoyed this quite a bit. Pete, I imagine given its similarity to other things like Head Lopper and whatnot, you might’ve liked it as well?

Pete:                Oh, I really loved it. I especially loved the first story, thought it was really cool. It’s fun to see things that are cute be violent. But man, it was fun-

Justin:              Yes. Are you Soggy or Jimbo that little bunny?

Pete:                Yeah. I think that… Don’t call him little. You [inaudible 00:40:41]-

Justin:              Oh, I thought you weren’t going to take the bait and then you did. [crosstalk 00:40:45]-

Pete:                It was like that fish that swims by, and you’re, “Wow, I missed it.” And then it’s, “What’s that? Is that a worm?”

Justin:              [crosstalk 00:40:53]. Fish. I love worms. I’m a fish. I love worms even though I never encounter them because I live in the water. But let try that worm it’s exotic to me, because it lives over the ground.

Pete:                Yeah. The arts in this is really cool. It’s all ages, but really it doesn’t feel it’s pandering to children or anything like that. There’s a lot of cool action and adventure. I think this is a cool book.

Alex:                 What I like about this is, it’s an Orc, never ending story.

Pete:                I thought it to be more of a 13 going on 30 myself. Oh wow.

Justin:              I really did like this. Especially the first bit that ends up being the grandma Orc telling a story, Pete. Grandma Orc you must be just basically coming in your pants because you’ve seen grandma here.

Pete:                I wouldn’t go that far, but then I like how the grandma trips out a little bit. That was fun. Story times over, I’m getting fucked up.

Alex:                 I’m sorry, just to ask, would you not let me go that far to edge her about grandmas. Let’s go down.

Pete:                What? What did you say?

Alex:                 Nevermind. It’s not important.

Justin:              [inaudible 00:42:24] broke man.

Pete:                Anyway. Good book.

Justin:              [inaudible 00:42:27] book.

Pete:                [inaudible 00:42:28], I’m fine.

Justin:              You’re trying to take the baton, Pete?

Pete:                I don’t know. Yeah.

Justin:              Some are homesick pilots-

Alex:                 Yeah. Go for it. Number six, Pilots Image Comics written by Dead Waters, art by Casper Winguard. We’ve been really enjoying this book, I think it’s so many things at the same time, but essentially it’s about a girl in a punk band, maybe a heavy metal band who discovers a haunted house has to recover a bunch of ghosts, but it’s so much more than that. So many different things going on. It ramps up the premise at exactly what’s happening. Every single issue ends with a wild visual at the end here. This is great. I really enjoy reading this.

Justin:              Yeah, me too. It was one of my favorite new books out there. Talk about visuals, the visual of the sort of videotape ghost.

Alex:                 Yeah.

Justin:              It was haunting.

Alex:                 Yeah.

Justin:              I want to see that for sure. I want to see that in some movie or film or TV show. So good.

Pete:                Yeah. I also really liked lessons in this, they’re like, “Yo, if you’re going to join a band, it is hard, it is grueling and you might get trapped in a house and not be able to make it out.” So you got to be ready for that. Also don’t fucking go into other people’s houses. All right. It’s not going to end well.

Justin:              Two lessons.

Pete:                But the art is just fantastic and they really try different, the crackly, black panels that they have that look an old book in the middle of the comic is just really cool and creepy and sets this cool tone. They keep using this shot of this window in this creepy house almost looking like it’s about to explode. I’m really impressed with what they’re doing with this book creatively and how they’re telling this story. It keeps being just fantastic every issue.

Alex:                 Great stuff. If you’d like to support our show, book club, also we do a live show every Tuesday night at 7:00 PM to 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. for this podcast and more at comicbooklive on Twitter. Until next time. Keep those grandma’s coming, Pete, can’t get it up.

Pete:                What are you doing?

Justin:              Enjoy your marathon of Golden Girls Pete. You’re going to fucking love it.

Pete:                You’re weird man.

Leave a Reply