On this week’s comic book review podcast: Ultramega #1, Black Knight: Curse of the Ebony Blade #1, and more.
By James Harren
Black Knight: Curse of the Ebony Blade #1
By Si Spurrier & Sergio Dávila
Orphan and the Five Beasts #1
Dark Horse Comics
By James Stokoe
Written by Ram V
Art by Fernando Blanco
Radiant Black #2
Written by Kyle Higgins
Art by Marcelo Costa
The Amazing Spider-Man: King in Black #1
Written by Jed MacKay
Art by Michele Bandini, Alberto Albuquerque
Written by Tom Taylor
Art by Bruno Redondo
By Christine Larsen
The Trials of Ultraman #1
Written by Kyle Higgins & Mat Groom
Art by Francesco Manna, Eduardo Ferigato and Gurihiru
Justice League #59
Written by Brian Michael Bendis, Ram V
Art by David Marquez, Xermanico
Snow Angels #2
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Jock
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, but not Head Lopper.
Justin: Yeah, what the fuck, man?
Alex: Never Head Lopper, never, ever. [crosstalk 00:00:22] They barely lop any heads anymore in that book. [crosstalk 00:00:28]
Justin: It should be Head Notper because they’re not lopping anything up.
Alex: It’s a very good book. We’re just not talking about it in The Stack. Instead, we’re going to kick things off, talking about Ultramega #1, from Image Comics by James Harren. I think you actually said it best on the live show, Justin, so I don’t know if you want to just take it from here, but I think you totally nailed my thoughts on this book.
Justin: Yeah. And so this book is a take on Kaiju, sort of a dark take. I’ve never been a Kaiju guy in comic book form.
Justin: Just in the comics, I feel like a lot of them are sort of similar to what we’ve seen before. And this book is such a dark take on it. You’re in this character’s head, it’s just such a fresh version of this type of book. I loved every bit of the story and so many surprising moments and especially where it lands by the end. This was definitely the… Caught me off guard and was the most surprising and exciting book of the week for me.
Alex: Pete, what about you?
Pete: I loved it. The art’s unbelievable. This is a real epic book. Unbelievable battles, super gross. Yeah. The storyline is really creative and different. It’s dark in all the right places, creepy and gross looking in all the right places and huge and intense and others. And it’s just really, really well done.
Justin: [crosstalk 00:01:56] Sorry, before you get there, Alex, one last thing, it’s also the rare book that goes hard. It doesn’t just set up the premise and then sit in it and be like, “Tune in next week.” Kind of a thing. It goes hard at the ideas and really pushes it.
Alex: The basic premise of the thing. And this gives away the first couple of pages, which I think are surprising and exciting in and of themself as they slowly spool out the story. But I’ll do this just to tease people about it and then not talk about what happens probably in the last two thirds of the book. Well, the general idea is this weird eye creature or space being gives three people powers to turn into giant beings kind of called, at least one of them is called Ultramega. And they are able to identify a Kaiju virus that has embedded itself in people, but the catch is when they approach those people, when they see it, it activates that virus and they turn into these giant Kaiju and then they need to fight them. And it’s kind of what the world deals with after that. But as Justin was mentioning, it spins in these crazy, crazy dark directions that are so good.
Alex: Art wise as well, Pete, I don’t know if you’re going to take exception to this, but this reminded me in a really pleasant way of Daniel Warren Johnson and his work, just because all of the action. I think this was the thing as well that really shocked me about this book because I’m also not a huge Kaiju fan most of the time, is how clear and unique the action felt across the board, how well it was staged. Great. And it just builds too, over the course of the book. It starts with these big fights and they only get huger by the end. It’s amazing.
Pete: Yeah, it really is impressive. I guess I’m the only guy who likes Kaiju but that being said, I agree with Justin with the way that it moves. This book, it feels like they really sat on this book a little bit before releasing it and went over it again and again, and tightened and made all these different things because the way it… It’s just a powerhouse from start to finish.
Alex: And the creator talks about this a little bit at the end, we should also mention it’s an oversized book. I might have the page count, but it’s at least 60 pages or so.
Justin: Yep. 62 pages of comic action.
Alex: Yeah. [crosstalk 00:04:12] And he talks about this in the end where he says, I know, normally it felt like you should be doing 20 ish pages of a book, but there’s so much more he wanted to say in this first issue that he just jammed it all in there and worked on it and it’s totally worth it. This is an incredible book. Definitely pick it up. Easily the pick of the week, but lots of other good things on The Stack so keep listening to our podcast because here we go. [crosstalk 00:04:34]
Justin: Yeah, don’t shut it off just because we got a banger. [crosstalk 00:04:36].
Alex: Comic book shop.
Pete: No, I mean, that’s how I would listen to it. I would just be like, “Well, all right, looks like this is the one they recommend. That’s on you, dear. I’m going to go to the shop.”
Alex: Well, stay tuned for our even more pick of the week that we’re going to have [crosstalk 00:04:51]
Justin: Oh, nice. Way to sell it up. P.T. Barnum. Pete, when you listen to albums back in the day were you’re like, “Oh, great song, smash. I’m done with this shit.”
Pete: It’s all right, man.
Justin: You’re like Pearl Jam Ten or Pearl Jam One, throw the rest away. I don’t care about the rest of these songs.
Alex: Black Knight: Curse of the Ebony Blade #1 from Marvel by Si Spurrier and Sergio Davila, we read the Black Knight King in Black One Shot, enjoyed that. But I think our general impression was it felt like, “Ah, this is really just setting up a Black Knight series.” Surprise, it was in fact setting up a Black Knight series. And what you get here is also a very dark take on a classic Marvel character. Justin, you’re a fan of the Black Knight. How’d you feel about this one?
Justin: I love the Black Knight and this was another great book. They do a great job in this book of specifically setting up a Black Knight as sort of the dark side of a Thor. Black Knight famously an Avenger, sort of a mid-tier Avenger who wasn’t a super big hero, but was around a lot in different eras of the Avengers. And in this, he feels that. He’s like, “I wish I had friends. I wish I could hang out with the Avengers.” It’s sad.
Pete: Yeah. It’s got to be tough. You’re so close yet so far away.
Justin: Yeah. Well, he was in, he’s in the Avengers. [crosstalk 00:06:13]
Pete: That’s what I mean, but they won’t hang out with him.
Justin: Yeah. It’s a bummer. They only call him for the real fucked up missions. But in this, there’s a great moment in here where Thor can’t pick up Black Knight’s sword, the Cursed Ebony Blade, because he’s too pure and he’s like, “You have to have a darkness. It has to feel your shadow.” Which I thought was just a great comparison as Thor was just throwing his worthy hammer in the air. And then you have this blade that is too dark for anyone to pick up but our guy Dane.
Pete: Which is surprising, because you would think with Thor’s drinking, he would have a little bit of a dark side, but apparently not.
Justin: Yeah. He’s a social drinker.
Pete: Well, it’s interesting, the way the conflict that he has and the way that he has to use kind of the darkness inside of him. It’s not the goodness that he uses to fight. It’s the dark side. It’s kind of like the anger. So I very much related to that. And it was very cool. Like this moment of him trying to deal with his emotions and talk things out in a way that he can be okay with who he is and how he battles and stuff like that. I thought it was very interesting and cool.
Alex: I like this book quite a bit too. Let’s move on and talk about Orphan and the Five Beasts #1 from Dark Horse Comics by James Stokoe. Pete, I don’t know why you need your Head Lopper when you got your Orphan and the Five Beasts. I mean, come on, you got an angry fighter, you got a bunch of lopping going on. That’s got to satisfy you.
Justin: This is right over the Pete plate right here.
Pete: Yeah. I mean, this was great. Don’t get me wrong. This was a lot of fun. The thigh master or whatever it was really fucking bad-ass. Just kind of the cloak dude who is just really great at fighting. I very, very much enjoyed this book.
Alex: And just to be clear, we like Head Lopper. I’ll stop pretending that I’m slamming it over the rest of the podcast.
Justin: Love Head Lopper.
Alex: But this is exactly what you wanted, to have James Stokoe, I’m trying to think how to describe it, but just like quest to kill five increasingly, probably deadly villains who have killed this ronin’s master sort of story. You kind of know what you’re in for, but it’s the regular requisite James Stokoe insane art. This is very fun. It’s very enjoyable and it looks great.
Pete: Yeah. I also really liked the kind of setup. Sometimes we get a set up of like, “I have to avenge because of this or whatever.” And it’s sometimes interesting, but sometimes kind of typical. This is a very kind of cool a story to kind of set up how this is all going to go down, this whole you make a promise to, “Okay, I’ll give you this power, but then you’ve got to come back and learn the right way to use it.” And I thought it was a very cool setup for [inaudible 00:09:07] and for all this unbelievable fighting and action.
Justin: This feels like it’s at the intersection of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the classic, Usagi Yojimbo and Ball Z, Dragon Ball Z. And that intersection is actually where Pete lives. If you’re ever looking to send some mail to Pete, that’s the address.
Pete: Yeah. I definitely get my mail there. There’s no question.
Alex: Let’s move on and talk about Catwoman #29 from DC Comics written by Ram V., art by Fernando Blanco. In this issue, Catwoman is running shit downtown, but there’s some different forces who are closing in on her at the same time. A couple of things that I’ll throw out to you guys right at the top here, first of all, I sort of felt this last week, but I felt this even more this week, I am really appreciating Future State even more based on the fact that DC set up these art teams, kind of gave them two months to play around and figure things out and then put them on the permanent titles. And that pays off here with a really good, beautifully drawn story. I haven’t read Catwoman in a really long time, but I like this quite a bit. On the flip side of things, I am wondering, and I know there has been blow back, should they have renumbered these to #1?
Pete: Oh, my God. Jesus Christ.
Justin: I’m surprised they didn’t, to be honest. But I do think coming out of Future State, which was all #1s and #2s, I get why they just kept going. And I appreciate that a little bit more because I think Future State was sort of the bait to get you to sign on to these books with these great new creative teams. And I want to say, I feel like Ram V. is having a moment.
Pete: Yeah. Ram V.! I agree. I really liked this book. I like how the villain is a kind of similar to Ghost in the Ant-Man movie. I also love this kind of strung out Riddler a little bit who’s hooked on that Ivy. You know what I mean? A very interesting take. There’s a lot going on in this book, which I appreciate. This is a very cool Catwoman book. The art’s fantastic.
Alex: I particularly like playing in this villainous side of the world. Catwoman always straddles this weird line, particularly now that she’s canonically with Batman, has fallen more on the side of the heroes, but you do have all these characters in Gotham that have been on both sides. You have Poison Ivy, you have Harley Quinn, you have Catwoman, you have Riddler. All of these ones that are like, “They’re bad, but are they really that bad?” To throw those into a book together as a cast and throw them against even worse villains, I think is a great place for Catwoman to be as a character.
Justin: I feel like the move there is to make them sort of selfish heroes, as opposed to villains. They’re like heroes who do what they want as opposed to just always saving the day, which I think makes for a more interesting story.
Alex: I agree. Moving on, Radiant Black #2 from Image Comics written by Kyle Higgins, art by Marcelo Costa. We loved the first issue here, it was about a guy that discovers a weird black hole over a train track, gets some powers, felt very much invincible, even though it’s a different story and it’s a different character. And it had a lot of the sense of that, that in my mind continues with the second issue, which finds him having breakfast with his dad multiple times, meeting up with another person with similar powers and fighting them. Great. I had a good time reading this book again and I’m very into it after two issues.
Pete: I would like to point out though, kids out there, if you see a floating black hole, you shouldn’t go towards it and try to grab it, okay. That’s a bad idea. We don’t want to encourage that kind of stuff.
Justin: And that’s a PSA we’ve done for years. We’ve put that out there on public radio and… We’re the big don’t touch the black hole guys.
Alex: What’d you think about this book, Justin?
Justin: Nice, great question, Alex. I like the second issue a lot. I was fine with it in the first issue. And I think the second issue has made me like it more where we get into the character a little bit. It does feel like Invincible a lot without sort of the epic, worldwide storytelling. This is very much about this kid who wants to be a writer and failed and has to go back home and he’s using his under the radar or his like, I need to figure out my life, “super powers” of being an Uber driver to aid in his super heroics. And I think that’s cool.
Pete: Yeah. I think this is not only stylistically very cool. And I liked the outfits and when they’re suited up, how that all looks, it looks really looks amazing. But I also like the person inside the suit and the struggles with what’s going on. And yeah, you don’t want to deal with your parents. Sure, you got to talk to them around mealtime, but otherwise, parents, fuck off. You know what I mean? I got shit to do. So I appreciated the check-in stuff. But I’m very interested to see now that he has a plan, how this is all going to go.
Alex: Think it should be interesting to follow. Next up, The Amazing Spider-Man: King in Black #1 from Marvel written by Jed MacKay and art by Michele Bandini. In this, we’re getting two stories. The first one has Spider-Man feeling super guilty as I think, frankly, he should about everything that’s happening in King in Black. Teaming up with Reptil, who is one of the characters from Avengers Academy and then Avengers Arena, I believe, as well. And then the backup story shows us what’s happening from Reptil’s perspective and kicks off a new Reptil series that is coming later in the year, which is pretty surprising.
Justin: And you got the Querque on the art there, the backup story.
Alex: The Querque?
Justin: Yeah. Albuquerque.
Alex: Oh, was that Rafael Albuquerque?
Justin: You’re god damn right it is.
Alex: Is it? Are you sure about that?
Justin: That’s all I’m fucking looking at right here. That’s what it says.
Alex: All right.
Justin: [crosstalk 00:15:15] story. Alberto Albuquerque.
Alex: Alberto Albuquerque. That’s not Rafael Albuquerque.
Justin: You’re right. It’s a different, but it’s still…
Pete: A different Querque.
Alex: Well, thank you for giving him credit, regardless. I appreciate that.
Pete: Yeah. Classic. Classic. But let me just ask you something.
Alex: Yeah. What?
Justin: It’s about time… Throw the question.
Pete: Nick Spencer is completely off this book now?
Alex: [crosstalk 00:15:46] This is not Amazing Spider-Man. This is a King in Black One Shot. What emotions are you going through right now? Justin, can you talk about this book? Because Pete’s [crosstalk 00:15:59] You are all over the place right now.
Pete: I was just hoping that this was the start of something fresh and new.
Justin: Pete came with such joy. He’s like “I got the Querque. I got Jed MacKay, Nick Spencer and Alex just devastated. [crosstalk 00:16:18] One, two punched it.
Pete: Yeah. That was a combo I wasn’t ready for.
Justin: Let me just say also, let’s keep in mind that our podcast is the main news source for Pete LePage. He doesn’t get his news anywhere else about anything, not just comics, but truly every bit of news he gets is right here.
Alex: Every morning he opens up The Stack podcast and he’s like, “Ah, what’s happening to the world today.”
Pete: But the comic itself, a very touching kind of a classic Spider-Man story, very moving. I really enjoyed all of it. I thought this was a great kind of little guy versus big monsters. I thought this was such a great Spider-Man story. And I think that this is for me, one of the… I feel like this is a great example of why Spider-Man is great.
Justin: I liked this book a lot as well. I’m a big Jed MacKay fan, the writer of this. He writes the Black Cat book-
Pete: Brother of Adam MacKay, right?
Justin: That’s not accurate. Again, not accurate. Just guessing about stuff, not working right now. Jed MacKay’s Black Cat book. I’ve been a huge fan of, so it was great to see him taking on this Spider-Man book. And I agree, starting with Spider-Man feeling guilty about bringing the Venom suit back. We’ve all felt bad when we brought like a suit back from somewhere and it devastated the world. Whether it’s with mobs or just starting a fashion trend, it caused problems.
Alex: Yes. Just to stay in order, Justin, Pete, go ahead.
Justin: Reptil, as a character, got a lot of love in this issue. I did not see that coming and leading up to Reptil #1. Okay. Let’s give it a try.
Alex: It’s fun. He could turn into dinosaurs. That’s pretty cool. I like this issue quite a bit as well. Let’s move on to another big surprise though. In retrospect, given the team and it shouldn’t necessarily have been. Nightwing #78 from DC Comics written by Tom Taylor, art by Bruno Redondo.
Alex: I’ll tell you straight up, when I read this book, I was like, “Oh, another Nightwing book. Here we go.” First couple of pages, I was like, “Holy shit, this is great. Why is this so good?” And then we got to the credits and I realized, “Oh, that’s why it’s so good.” [crosstalk 00:18:38] This team is great. So this is Nightwing is back in the costume. He doesn’t have the memory loss, which he pokes fun of a little bit in the middle of this issue, which is very fun, but he is back in Blüdhaven dealing with all that entails. Barbara Gordon comes to visit him. It was a big spoiler for the issue, but I’ll mention this because I’m sure Pete wants to talk about this in particular. The major feature of the issue is Alfred turns out to have been a billionaire and leaves all of his money to Nightwing. Pete, how did you feel about this?
Pete: The letter was so touching and so moving. I really loved it. Yeah. How heartbreaking is it that the Alfred wrote him a letter every year because of the business that they’re in and how crazy their life is. I was just so moved. I thought it was such a touching letter. Yeah, this was one of my favorite issues for the week. I love the humor in it. The fun bit about having Dick for a name, the dad bit, the Alfred with the dishes moments there. I got choked up for that. And then the whole fucking John Wick of it all, you don’t fuck with dogs, man. Don’t fuck with somebody’s dog. That is just disgusting, as Nightwing put it. And yeah, it was just really just blockbuster fun. Yeah, I was just [crosstalk 00:20:09]
Alex: Is that a joke on the fact that Blockbuster, the character, appears in here? Pete?
Pete: Yeah, yeah.
Justin: He’ll say yes. Now that you said it. Alfred the butling billionaire. Who would have thought? This guy was just butling for the fun of it. The love of the game.
Pete: When the Waynes died, they must’ve been like, “Here’s a shit ton of money to raise our… Just in case.”
Alex: And he was stealing it, he was stealing it from Bruce Wayne.
Justin: Yeah he stole that money.
Alex: Every year, squirreling away a little bit of Bruce Wayne’s money.
Justin: Here’s what he’s doing. He’s telling the Wayne’s that he’s buying these expensive English cucumbers, and he’s buying some shitty fell off the back of a truck cucumbers and pocketing the difference. [crosstalk 00:20:53]
Pete: I’m not going to sit here and let you fucking… Alfred is nothing but an angel. All right? That house of insanity and he’s the only sane one, all right? [crosstalk 00:21:04] So don’t fucking talk shit about Alfred.
Alex: Justin’s making a little bit of sense here because that might explain why Batman never eats any of the soup that he gets him because it tastes like shit.
Justin: It’s trash soup. Because he’s not buying the high end stuff, he’s not buying the Progresso, he’s buying like… Huh?
Pete: Don’t you fucking say that.
Alex: [crosstalk 00:21:24] or whatever. Even Bruce is like, “Oh, this is bad.”
Pete: [inaudible 00:21:31].
Alex: “I don’t like this.”
Justin: Wait, Pete, are you telling me you’re like Alfred cooks the best food?
Justin: You know that for a fact?
Justin: He only made little sandwiches and soups. It’s not like he was bringing out like a dinner.
Pete: You don’t know what he was doing while we weren’t looking [crosstalk 00:21:48]
Alex: What do you think his worst dish was? The thing when all the bat family [inaudible 00:21:53] And they’re like, “Oh, he’s making his lasagna. That’s bad.”
Justin: “Master Bruce, I prepared your favorite French toast.”
Justin: “Oh, Alfred’s French toast.”
Pete: Yo, he’s dead, you fuckers. Where’s the respect?
Alex: “It’s just too eggy.”
Justin: There’s no cinnamon in it. Put a spice in it. For god sakes.
Justin: [inaudible 00:22:20] He doesn’t even buy the good maple syrup. He buys the shitty stuff.
Pete: You don’t know that. Don’t say that.
Alex: It’s not even maple. It’s not from Vermont. It’s not B grade.
Pete: Don’t you fucking…
Alex: It’s Log Cabin.
Justin: [inaudible 00:22:33] Log Cabin syrup. Pocketing the difference.
Justin: [crosstalk 00:22:36]
Justin: And then he’s given this difference. He gave it to Nightwing in this issue and that’s continuity right there. That’s the truth.
Alex: I don’t want to downsize just to get back-
Pete: I hate talking comics with you guys. It’s the fucking worst.
Justin: That’s crazy because you do it a lot.
Pete: All you do is just fucking kill my dreams and hopes. You take everything that I like in an issue and just do bits until it’s not fun anymore. You’ve killed Foggy Nelson for me and you can’t fucking leave Alfred alone. The fucking guy just died and I still can’t get any enjoyment out of…
Justin: What do you think Foggy’s worst dish is?
Alex: All of them.
Justin: “Hey, Matt, I made dinner tonight. It’s a bunch of old gum.”
Alex: I was doing the old man laugh. Where he’s going…
Pete: [crosstalk 00:23:36] Please leave me alone.
Justin: I love Nightwing. I love this issue. Tom Taylor is also on a great run of books. It’s great to see Nightwing, get back to some of the old stuff. Being in Blüdhaven, sort of carving out his own area away from Gotham.
Pete: Great use of Blockbuster.
Justin: Great use of Blockbuster. Barbara’s in this issue, touching on his relationship with Alfred, which I do think despite what I said about how just God awful his lasagna was.
Pete: Fuck you.
Justin: He did have a great connection with Alfred. And I love seeing that here on display. What’s he going to do with that money? Just buy some cool spandex?
Alex: I don’t know.
Justin: Blow it on spandex?
Alex: I do want to shout out also Bruno Redondo’s art. There is a gorgeous, gorgeous two page spread that happens earlier in the issue where Nightwing is jumping off a roof and it’s the classic Batman jumping in front of the moon thing. But it’s him jumping in front of the sun. And I thought it was just such a smart, awesome thing to do to delineate Nightwing from Batman. Loved it. Let’s move on to a book that I’m betting Pete liked as well. Orcs! #2 from BOOM! By Christine Larsen. Just a bunch of orcs, doing fun orc stuff. Pete, how did you feel about this one?
Pete: Yeah, we loved to the first issue of this. I like this kind of this team up, if you will, of characters. I also love the love of story in this. People will risk a lot for a great story. I can appreciate that. The torture I go through so I can read comics is real. I thought this was fun. I also love the dedication that the person wears an eye patch and has two eyes just for the love of the game. That was really fun. I think the art and storytelling is great. I love the mix of cute and gruesome things. I like where this is going. This is exciting.
Justin: Yeah. The story within the story stuff is really fun. This reminded me of, this is a hyper-specific reference, but in the movie Willow, all the brownies, the little people that ride along, that’s what this book reminds me of.
Justin: The orcs are sort of like a version of those guys.
Alex: Yeah. I can see that. I think it’s a fun book. People should definitely check it out. Next up. The Trials of Ultraman #1 from Marvel, written by, again, Kyle Higgins and Matt Groom, art by Francesco Manna, Eduardo Ferigato and Guri Hiru. We checked out the first issue of this book. And haven’t checked in in a while. Obviously, this is a new story of Ultraman. It was interesting reading this in the same week as another Kyle Higgins book and another Kaiju book. How do you think it stacked up in comparison?
Justin: I wish I had read this one first, before I read Ultramega, because Ultramega felt so genre breaking that this felt very within the genre. And if you’re a fan of Kaiju books, I think this is a great version of that and it’s setting up a lot of interesting twists and turns on it and a potential new villain that I was surprised. I thought it was the backup story. I thought it was an advertisement for another book. And then it tied right into to this book. So yeah, I like this, but it definitely feels like just a fun new version of a Kaiju book.
Pete: Yeah. I thought this was kind of a comparison regardless of what is better or whatever. I thought this was a cool take. It felt different enough where I wasn’t like, “Oh, this is kind of too similar.” I enjoyed where this was coming from and the perspective, I also like the start of this book. Yeah. I like what this is setting up. It’s not as long as the other one. It’s a little bit shorter, but they do a good job of keeping it simple, teasing the story, putting all the things in place. I’ve followed it well, I understood what was going on. Thought it was great art and storytelling. I think this is good.
Alex: My favorite part of this book is still the insert pages. I think these are the ones that Guri Hiru is drawing where it’s instruction manuals for what to do for the Kaiju organization or if a Kaiju attacks. They’re super fun. They’re super cute. I like that quite a bit. And it really breaks- [crosstalk 00:27:52]
Justin: The Kaiju steps.
Alex: Kaiju steps. There you go. I enjoy those quite a bit. Agree with you guys. Otherwise, next up, Justice League #59 from DC Comics written by Brian Michael Bendis and Ram V., art by David Marquez and Xermanico. So the front story is Brian Michael Bendis on Justice League for the first time. Backup story is Ram V. doing Justice League Dark. What’d you guys think?
Pete: I thought it was a fun issue. It’s kind of a setup issue, but really love the story and the art and Green Arrow wants more out of life.
Justin: It’s interesting what the take here. This feels like a Black Adam book in a lot of ways. And re-introducing one of Bendis’ characters right, at the end.
Alex: Naomi. Yeah.
Justin: Yeah. So I don’t know, that got me a little bit, like this feels like a very Bendis move where I don’t know what the story is going to be about. It feels like it’s like him being like, “Here’s some stuff I think is cool.” And I want it to be a little bit more of like, “Here’s an idea that I’m excited to create for these characters.” The art’s really beautiful in the front story. Good Aquaman issue if you’re an Aqua fan, but I don’t know what the direction here is. It feels like it’s almost like, “You like the Justice League? Well, here’s a totally different bunch of people who are going to operate like the Justice League.” The Justice League Dark backup by Ram V. I thought was great. Spin this off and make it a book.
Alex: I agree. I really liked the backup. That was dark and weird and interesting in a very different way than James Tynion did the book, which I loved. But it was interesting to see this change and this more mythical take on the characters. For the front story, like this better than the Legion of Superheroes. I thought that was very messy. There were too many characters going on. It’s surprising that Justice League feels like it has less characters and is more focused. So that’s a little ridiculous, but the characterizations are good and fine. I don’t know. Like you said, there’s a lot of Bendis isms in the book and I would like to see what he does going forward, but it felt a little derivative down to basically doing the New Avengers cover on the cover here, but with the Justice League. And if he’s going to do that, New Avengers felt different because it was Bendis coming in and doing his Bendis thing on Avengers for the first time. You don’t necessarily get this here. I want him to do something bolder and more exciting.
Justin: Yeah. If you want to do the New Avengers for Justice League, give us that hit, give us that swing and have all these new characters introduced and have it be that because that’s still a story that sticks right in the memory because it was such a big new change for the Avengers. Instead, it feels like sort of a middle ground here.
Pete: I agree.
Alex: Last one, let’s talk about Snow Angels #2 from ComiXology written by Jeff Lemire, art by Jock. We liked the first issue of this one, I believe, quite a bit. Takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where everybody lives in a snow filled trench. A family, a father, and two daughters is being chased by a guy named The Snowman. That picks up this issue. Pete, you’ve always been scared of snowmen. What did you think of this one?
Pete: Yeah. I mean, what’s great is snowmen themselves are scary, but this is a nice heightening of that idea. Yeah. I think this is a great… First off an amazing team. And this is very action oriented, which I very much enjoy. And this does a great job. Each issue kind of leaving you really wanting more. I think this is a very intense, kind of reminds me of that horror movie where nobody can talk or whatever. So I think this is really fun. Very creative. Love the way it ended. Love the art.
Alex: A Quiet Place? Is that what you’re thinking of?
Pete: Yeah, A Quiet Place. [crosstalk 00:31:55]
Justin: Oh, I thought We Have To Talk About Kevin. Is that what it is?
Pete: No, it was A Quiet Place.
Justin: Nice. Either way, this book, everyone’s skating really hard in this book.
Pete: You got to skate hard, bro.
Justin: You got to skate hard. So that was stressful. Great pace to this book. And a lot of just tense, a lot of tension. And I think A Quiet Place is a good comparison, I think.
Alex: I would compare it to The Mighty Ducks, which is a movie with skating in it.
Justin: That’s true. That’s true. And Pete, I know you love this. It’s sort of a cutting edge with less romance.
Pete: [inaudible 00:32:31]
Alex: This is a great book. Definitely pick it up. You have another point you want to make Pete. What’s up?
Pete: Yeah. I just wanted to, while you’re wrapping up, while I was waiting for Head Lopper to come through, I did read Superman Red & Blue #1, and I just wanted to say, really fun, love the coloring, really amazing art. The Boy Who Saved Superman, a story by Wes Craig and Jill Thompson. So amazing. The art was unbelievable. His water colors and the little Clark Kent stuff was very, very adorable.
Alex: I love how you act like, “Well, I have no say in what happens in this show.”
Justin: And then you secretly just review stuff at the end. That’s nice. You take control in a way that I just would never be so audacious.
Pete: Well, thank you.
Justin: I would like to review my dinner that I made earlier, it was… But taco night, obviously…
Pete: Couldn’t have been better than what Alfred would have prepared.
Justin: Yeah. I made Alfred’s trash lasagna.
Alex: Foggy’s famous pile of worms. And that is it for our Stack podcast. If you want to support us, patreon.com/comicbookclub. Also, we do a live show every Tuesday night at 7:00 PM to Crowdcast and YouTube. iTunes, Android, Spotify, Stitcher, or the app of your choice to subscribe and follow @comicbooklive on Twitter, ComicBookClub on YouTube, comicbookclublive.com for this podcast and more. Until next time, we’ll see you at the virtual comic book shelf.