On this week’s comic book review podcast:
Written by Jed MacKay
Illustrated by Ig Guara
Green Lantern #1
Written by Geoffrey Thorne
Art by Dexter Soy and Marco Santucci
The Silver Coin #1
Written by Chip Zdarsky
Art by Michael Walsh
Beasts of Burden: Occupied Territory #1
Dark Horse Comics
Written by Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer
Art by Benjamin Dewey
King in Black #5
Written by Donny Cates
Art by Ryan Stegman
Written by Donny Cates
Art by Ivan Coello
Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters #2
By Chris and Laura Samnee
The Swamp Thing #2
Written by Ram V
Art by Mike Perkins
Seven Secrets #7
Written by Tom Taylor
Art by Daniele Di Nicuolo
The Immortal Hulk #45
Written by Al Ewing
Art by Joe Bennett
Dead Dog’s Bite #2
Dark Horse Comics
By Tyler Boss
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Jorge Jimenez and Ricardo Lopez Ortiz
The Last Witch #4
Written by Conor McCreery
Illustrated by V.V. Glass
America Chavez: Made In The USA #2
Written by Kalinda Vazquez
Art by Carlos Gómez
Fear Case #3
Dark Horse Comics
Written by Matt Kindt
Art by Tyler Jenkins
Suicide Squad #2
Written by Robbie Thompson
Art by Eduardo Pansica
Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Tony S. Daniel
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Gary Frank
Far Sector #11
Written by N.K. Jemisin
Art by Jamal Campbell
Crime Syndicate #2
Written by Andy Schmidt
Art by Kieran McKeown and Bryan Hitch
Written by Sean Lewis
Art by Caitlin Yarsky
Full Episode Transcript
ThanAlex: What is up, everybody? Welcome to The Stack. I’m Alex.
Pete: I’m Pete.
Alex: And on The Stack, we talk about a bunch of books that have come out this week. Tons of books out this week. Lots of number ones to get through.
Pete: Tons. Tons.
Alex: So let’s jump into it talking about Magic. Number one from BOOM! Studios written by Jed MacKay, art illustrated by Ig Guara. This is a bit of a reinvention of the classic universe people probably know from Magic: The Gathering and the card games. It takes a bunch of Planeswalkers, essentially magic folks and otherwise, has them attacked, spoiler over the course of the issue, and they end up having to band together. I got to tell you, I obsessively collected Magic: The Gathering cards as a kid, but I don’t think I ever paid attention to the mythology. So I didn’t know a lot going into this, but I still, as usual with the Jed MacKay book, enjoyed it quite a bit. What did you think, Pete?
Pete: Yeah, I thought it was cool. It definitely seemed like I was like, “Oh, there’s a lot more going on than I know about.” But I wasn’t sure. But, man, loved the Medusa character for sure.
Alex: Well, the thing that I really liked about this, and again, this is a spoiler for the issue, but it sets it up as this very typical fantasy world and then wrecks everything about halfway through the issue. And I thought that was-
Pete: That was really hard.
Alex: Yeah. I thought that was a really bold, fun move. It’s basically saying, “Oh, this fantasy world that maybe you know from card games, from books, I assume, and otherwise, don’t worry about that. We’re going into our own story. We’re doing our own thing.” So just kind of just follow it from there.
Pete: Why did you say, “I assume.” Are you worried that people do magic for real. I’m thinking are you talking about them?
Alex: No. I assume there are magic novels, but I don’t know.
Pete: Oh, okay. I see what you’re saying. Okay. Okay.
Alex: Yeah. I just don’t know enough about this world, but [crosstalk 00:02:02]
Pete: I thought you were throwing shade to magicians for a second.
Alex: Oh my God. I never would. They would come after me. Green Lantern, number one from DC Comics written by Geoffrey Thorne, art by Dexter Soy and Marco Santucci. In this, we are getting the Oa’s on the Green Lanterns, dealing with the new status quo of the universe. There is a new United Planets, as we’ve seen over the Superman books and otherwise, and that is affecting things here where they’re trying to decide, “Hey. If we’re the United Planets, if we have our own police force, what do we need the Green Lanterns for?” Of course, things go a little wrong over the course of this issue. Pete, now you’re not the biggest fan of Green Lantern other than a book we’re going to talk about it a little later at The Stack. But what did you think of this one?
Pete: Well, first off, I want to just say a couple of nice things about the book. Really love the start, very crazy heavy action, kind of love this kind of who done it. And then, a spoiler, fun killing one of the floating large shirt tail peep know-it-alls. I’ve always wanted to do that. So I’m glad it finally happened in this book.
Alex: Can I just interrupt? It’s weird to me that you don’t like the guardians given you love short people and they are very short.
Pete: Yes I do. I love short people very much. Know-it-alls, I have a problem with. Also, the whole flowing large shirt thing bothers me. And I also hate how they look like you with the giant heads and always talking about how smart they are.
Alex: What the fuck. How dare you? Also, thank you. I would love to look like [inaudible 00:03:46]
Pete: I’m sure you would. Also, you would look amazing in a flowing gown. I mean, how are you going to have a Green Lantern number one and not have Far Sector in your shit? It’s the best Green Lantern of all time and you’re going to have a Green Lantern number one and-
Alex: Here’s the thing, she is in, and this is a little bit of a spoiler from the title, a Far Sector. So there’s no reason for her to come back to the main planet for this. I will say I kept going back and forth in this issue where I thought based on the cover, “Okay. This is going to focus on the new teen Lantern character and what’s going on with her.” It doesn’t completely. She plays into it, but there’s so much going on here that there were things that I felt like, “All right. I don’t quite get this or why this is here or what’s going on.” But by the end, so much was set up that I felt like, “Okay. We have a solid. This is just throwing everything at the wall. Let’s see what sticks going into the second issue.”
Pete: All right.
Alex: Next up. Let’s talk about one of my favorite issues of the week, which I know Pete probably didn’t like, as well. We’re starting off so well here, the Silver Coin number one from Image Comics, written by Chip Zdarsky, art by Michael Walsh. It’s creepy, but it’s supposed to be creepy. I love this book. This is a new horror anthology from a bunch of folks like Chip Zdarsky and, I think, well, I should probably look up who else is on it. But there’s a bunch of folks that are contributing and they’re each, I think, going to write a different issue as it follows this evil cursed silver coin through different situations.
Alex: Here, we get a rock and roll tale that ends in a very Tales from the Crypt style way. Love the art by Michael Walsh. Like you said, creepy and terrifying in exactly the right way and viewers just dread into it. Chip Zdarsky writes a good rock and roll tale. I enjoyed this quite a bit. I didn’t know what to expect going in, but I like this. I was always a sucker back in the day for Tales from the Crypt and shows like that, and this channels those very well.
Pete: I agree. I definitely agree. It does have a fun Tales from the Crypt feel. It’s also going to be cool to see how this moves forward, but this first story is just kind of the classic band selling their soul to the devil to kind of make it big. But it’s got a very kind of interesting, it’s not that in all the right ways. And, I think, it’s the way they kind of leave it with the coin is very cool to see how this is going to keep moving forward. So as creeped out as I was and how much I knew Zalben enjoyed it, I still enjoyed this. And, I think, not only did I enjoy it, but I’m looking forward to see how the next one goes.
Alex: They call them comics, but they’re not very funny.
Pete: I don’t know what you’re doing, but please, stop.
Alex: That was my Crypt Keeper. He was always doing like [crosstalk 00:06:48]
Pete: Yeah. Yeah. That was pretty good. My bad. My bad.
Alex: Thank you. Let’s talk about something I do think you liked because this is one of your favorite series out there. Beasts of Burden: Occupied Territory number one from Dark Horse Comics, written by Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer, art by Benjamin Dewey. If you haven’t followed the series, this is about a bunch of dogs and other animals that investigate supernatural mysteries. Here, we’re getting a tale from back in the day of a sheep dog back in World War II, I believe, who is looking into a simile supernatural mystery there. Man, I love this series. It’s so adorable and terrifying at the same time, the perfect mix.
Pete: Okay. So a couple of things I want to ask. So here’s the hard part for me about Beasts of Burden, okay? Beast of Burden, love the story, love the idea but, originally, Jill Thompson on the art, who does these amazing water colors and you get that in kind of the fold Beast of Burdens created by Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson. So then, I feel weird about supporting this book. Okay. It’s the same writer. It’s the same title. I should be supporting this book, but it’s not this amazing watercolor artist. I love Sarah’s art. I think this is very cool, different take.
Alex: Benjamin Dewey did the art.
Pete: Oh, I thought it said Sarah Dyer.
Alex: I think Sarah Dyer wrote it with Evan Dorkin.
Pete: Oh, my bad. My apologies.
Alex: That’s all right. Oh, sorry. Go ahead.
Pete: Regardless, art is clean. It’s a different take on it, all of the same characters we love. The story is great. But I kind of have this thing of like, “Should it be okay that I’m still reading this book? Or is it betraying Jill and her amazing work?” Talk me through this, Zalben. How should we do this?
Alex: I mean, I sort of had the same thought process as you because Jill Thompson’s art is so gorgeous and so necessary to this book that I was thrown initially, when I saw Benjamin Dewey’s art. I do think Benjamin Dewey’s art is real good, as well.
Pete: Oh, yeah.
Alex: It’s super fun for a flashback tale. Yeah. I don’t know anything that might be on behind the scenes. It’s entirely possible given artistic schedules, maybe Jill Thompson is working ahead on something else that takes place in the present. And, excuse me, Benjamin Dewey is doing this thing because it takes place in the past. I don’t think Evan Dorkin was like, “Screw you, Jill Thompson. I’m doing my own comic at my own time.” or anything like that. So I don’t think it’s anything you need to feel bad about necessarily. But Jill Thompson is great, so it’s okay to miss her art at the same time. This is super fun.
Alex: You don’t need to know anything about Beasts of Burden to jump into this. All you need to know is talking animals, supernatural mysteries. There’s a terrifying last page here that maybe out loud I’d go. So it’s good stuff. Next up, King in Black number five from Marvel, written by Donny Cates, art by Ryan Stegman. I thought this was worth talking about in a block with Venom number 34 from Marvel, also written by Donny Cates, art by Iban Coello because they’re both ends of the era leading directly into the next status quo for Venom and I believe Donny Cates leaving the title after this. King in Black wraps up. They made King in Black saga. Venom number 34 interweaves with it a little bit and sets up, spoiler, a new status quo for Flash Thompson. Pete, go ahead.
Pete: What was the order reading this? Because I read King in Black first and then I was like, “Oh, I think I should have read Venom first.” I just want to [crosstalk 00:10:29]
Alex: We are simpatico here. I had the same thought process where I got to about page five of King in Black and thought, “Wait, did I miss something? What’s going on here?”
Pete: Yeah. Yeah.
Alex: So I think Venom number 34 happens concurrently with King in Black. So you kind of can read them in any order, but probably you should read Venom number 34 first, then King in Black number five.
Pete: Yeah. Because I did the opposite and I was like, “I shouldn’t have done that.” Because reading Venom, it’s kind of like, “Oh, I know what’s going to happen.” So read King in Black number five first, then read Venom. Okay. But let’s kind of go in that order, King in Black. First off, Donny Cates did this epic giant tail and I feel like was really impressive. All the stuff with the son was great. This was a giant kind of epic event, but also had a lot of small, amazing moments, a lot of great Flash Thompson moments, a lot of, “Holy shit, look at the size of that sword. I’ve never seen Silver Surfer with a giant sword before. This is fucking cool.” It just got even better. I really love this book. I really loved how it ended. It ended so well I wanted to go back and reread the whole thing again. Man, this was really a lot of fun and I was surprised at how much it covered and how much happened in it.
Alex: I did appreciate that the ending here brought it back around to Eddie Brock and Venom. I thought that was a really good sense of focus under the event both in King in Black number five and Venom number 34. I think he gave a nice crest to the story he wants to tell, though there’s probably at least one more issue going on there before he really wrapped things up. Yeah. I also appreciate the fact I really identified with people throughout this event being like, “Ugh, is this a Venom thing? I hate symbions. This sucks.” Because that’s my general feeling going into it but, like you said, Donnie Cates and company made it feel very cool and big and fun throughout the event. So good times.
Pete: Yeah. Also, it’s a great book to pick up if you’re like… I love comics where someone’s mostly free falling and just kind of thinking about things and then there’s flashbacks and stuff because they really [crosstalk 00:12:51]
Alex: Are you a big Tom Petty fan? Then check out King in Black number five and Venom number 34. Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters number two from Oni Press by Chris and Laura Samnee. This is a almost mostly silent series at this point. It’s all ages as well about a girl looking for her sister who has gotten lost in the wild with the unpossible monsters in the title. Beautiful, beautiful book. I want more of it every time is my only thing. I kind of want to wait until there’s a trade. And then maybe hand it to my kids and say, “Hey, check this out.” But gorgeous.
Pete: Yeah. I mean you and your kids this, and you’re a cool dad. You’re winning. This is a really amazing book. Art is, I mean, I say it all the time, but it’s worth it alone. It’s just so fantastic. Love the role building. Love the pace of this. Storytelling is unbelievable. Touching, badass, all the right things. Yeah. I can’t get enough. Yeah. It does read quick and I’m sure I’ll read it a lot better than the trade, but man, single issues have been a lot of fun.
Alex: Let’s move on then to talk about the Swamp Thing number two from DC Comics, written by Ram V, art by Mike Perkins. We have a new Swamp Thing here who is investigating some weird doings out in the desert. We had the setup, but not exactly the explanation in the first issue. Here, the new Swamp Thing is exploring his powers and abilities a little bit more and tangling with somebody new and very, very bad. This book is gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous. Mike Perkins’ art is incredible. And Ram V is really leaning into that. This, to me, feels like, I feel like you’re going to yell at me here, Pete, but this feels like on par with the first couple of issues of Batwoman by J.H. Williams III. It’s just breaking the layouts, playing with it, playing with the format feels really engaging and dark in a very similar way.
Pete: Yeah. That’s hell of a praise. That’s really fantastic praise. Okay. I agree. It’s absolutely gorgeous. This is a lot of fun. Swamp Thing can be hit or miss for me. I enjoyed this issue a lot. I didn’t enjoy all the human stuff as much, but I really thought this was cool. And also, we got to talk about this. You guys don’t go to central park in the middle of the night because there’s full grown dudes being born out of trees and I’m glad Swamp Thing is finally talking about it. It’s fucked up and someone needs to look into this because it’s not right, man. It’s just really messed up.
Alex: I’ll tell you what, I’ve been to The Ramble at night and I don’t think that’s what dudes are doing in trees.
Pete: Well, that’s what’s happening in this comic book.
Alex: Great book. Seven Secrets number seven from BOOM! Studios, written by Tom Taylor, art by Daniele Di Nicuolo.
Pete: I mean, Seven Secrets number seven. I mean, that’s you.
Alex: We still don’t know what the secrets are, but in this issue, our main character has wandered off the road into the land of fairy [crosstalk 00:16:08]
Pete: We don’t know all the secrets. We know a couple.
Alex: We don’t know anything. The secrets are still secret in this book. We know they’re important, but we don’t know what they are or anything about them, which is kind of wild. But we do know more about the main character, about where he comes from, another really good issue of this very fun title. I’m enjoying it. How about you, Pete?
Pete: Yes. Absolutely. Art’s amazing. Paneling is fantastic. And if you’re going to do a glowing horse with a fish tail, this is just the peak that which all should be measured. This is very creative. Very cool. Interesting paneling, amazing storytelling. Yeah. This is just really kind of creepy and tripped out in all the right ways. It’s one of those things where you got to be like, “All right. I’m definitely going to find out the secret in this issue.” But they do such a good job of keeping you busy in all the right ways. I’m impressed by this book.
Alex: By the way, the thing you mentioned, the horse with the tail of a fish, like they say in the book, it’s called a sulky, which is where the expression taking a sulky comes from.
Pete: Oh my God. You’re such a dad joke. It’s ridiculous.
Alex: The Immortal Hulk number 45 from Marvel, written by Al Ewing, art by Joe Bennett. In this issue, the Hulk is once again, dead, killed by the U-Foes, trapped in the land below grid, I always forget what the name is. But it’s Joe Fixit and the dumb, very flabby, kid Hawk being trapped by the leader while back on earth, things are going wild. I’ll tell you what, not only do I love this book, like we talk about every issue. Not only are all the designs absolutely terrifying and the amount that Al Ewing and Joe Bennett are building into the mythology, rather fascinating. But I don’t think any other book, since a Brian K. Vaughan book like Saga, consistently on the last page out loud makes me go, “Oh, here we go.” Every single time out of the gate.
Pete: Yeah. I mean, I wish I could, after reading this book and all the crazy thing, is I wish I could have been on this pitch meeting for Marvel. Can you imagine how you’ll be going, “All right, listen. I’m going to take Hawk and I’m going to twist them and I’m going to turn them. And it’s going to be so gross and so fucked up, it’s probably going to turn a lot of people away. But if people check this out.” I mean, this keeps getting weirder and more fucked up, yet I’m having such a great time. I don’t know. I don’t know how to describe this to somebody. I don’t know what’s going on. I love the last page. I can not wait to see what’s happening. I don’t know. I’m so confused. I’m so grossed out. I love this book. I love the way it starts with the quote every time. And then it gets all sorts of fucked up. This is some groundbreaking, really cool shit right here.
Alex: This is one of the most epic Hulk rods of all time. And it’s so exciting to be able to be reading that right now. I love it. Next up, let’s talk about one that I know you really liked a lot, Dead Dog’s Bite number two from Dark Horse Comics by Tyler Boss. Now this is one we missed talking about the first issue of this, which I really regret because Tyler Boss, great artist. We know him from 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank, which he did with Matthew Rosenberg and other things.
Pete: The Burgee.
Alex: This is about a woman who is investigating a disappearance. It’s weird. It’s funny. The panel layouts are great. I loved it. Love this issue.
Pete: It’s really impressive. This is very, very creative in all the right ways. The Boss is killing it here. I mean, it kind of takes a little bit of like gives me that Hawkeye feel with a little bit of, God, what was it, King’s Vision with the different panelings and stuff here. But it’s got this great Indie kind of creative field, but just the paneling and the logos and the different stuff that they’re doing. I mean, I’m enthralled watching someone put money in a machine to try to get soda out. How can you do that? How is that enthralling? Yeah. I’m just really, really impressed with how creative and fantastic this book is. The scene where she goes and sits down with their mom at the fucking lunch table. Oh my God. This is crazy. I cannot wait to see how this kind of unfolds or gets explained. This is fantastic. I’m completely on board.
Alex: Me, too. I want to go back and read the first issue at this point. I feel bad about missing it. This is great. Next up, Batman number 107 from DC Comics, written by James Tynion IV, art by Jorge Jimenez and Ricardo Lopez Ortiz. In this issue, we’re continuing to find out about how Batman is dealing with the new status quo of Gotham City. Scarecrow is on the move. Other forces are, as well. And the backup story is about Ghost-Maker. What’d you think, Pete?
Pete: All right. I’ve never seen Scarecrow so badass portrayed in a Batman book in a while. This is very interesting and cool. Tynion’s doing unbelievable stuff. The art’s fantastic. The Harley Quinn stuff has been so enjoyable. I think just kind of sprinkled throughout this Batman run and I think in a great way, and then we kind of get this new lady in red with green plant dogs who loves roses, so very intriguing. Tynion has done introducing a lot of different new characters with Ghost-Maker and now this lady in red. This is interesting to see what’s going to be happening here for Batman. Yeah. I’ve been enjoying it.
Alex: I’m going to throw a theory out at you. So there’s a character named Simon Saint, who we know is tied to the magistrate program that we saw in the future state books that essentially takes over Gotham and turns it into a police state, potentially in the future. Is Simon Saint Scarecrow? Because there’s a scene in the book where-
Pete: Don’t you fucking spoil this for me, you son of a bitch.
Alex: No. I have no idea. But there’s a scene in the book where Simon Saint is looking outside and Scarecrow almost seems to be talking into his mind standing on a gargoyle. We’ve previously seen Scarecrow in his office sitting there in the darkness and it almost seems like maybe there’s a split personality thing going on there.
Pete: Oh, interesting.
Alex: Just a thought. Whatever it is, love this book. I’m glad James Tynion has the, whatever you call it, handcuffs off or something like that and is able to just go wild in this book. It’s great. Next up, The Last Witch number four from Boom! Box, written by Conor McCreery, art illustrated by V.V. Glass. As a little bit of a note, we’re going to have Conor McCreery on our live show in a couple of weeks, so definitely check that out. I know you and Justin are going-
Pete: For real?
Alex: For real. I love giving you news on our podcast.
Pete: Oh, man, that’s great. Dude, this book has been fantastic. I cannot wait to talk about this.
Alex: Yes. We’ll talk about this one, then. We have our young witch is continuing to learn magic as she goes on a hunt for other witches. Here, we meet a refugee from Ferry who seems to be working with her. Maybe he’s not, necessarily. What’d you think about this issue?
Pete: Yeah. Really great set up. I mean, first off, the girl’s grandmother’s just fantastic. What a badass.
Alex: You love a grandma.
Pete: There’s nothing better than a badass grandma, all right? I don’t know what it is, but it’s glorious. Yeah. So just interesting.
Alex: That’s the thing that you love about grandmas, Pete. They keep getting older and so do you.
Pete: Okay. Great. Stop being creepy. Yeah. Yeah. It seemed like a interesting kind of dude tagging along on this. Amazing kind of last page reveal on that. Yeah. Love the art. It makes it seem like it’s this kind of all ages, innocent thing, but there’s really a lot going on underneath the surface. So I’m very intrigued by this. Love all the main characters. It does such a great job of giving you story, giving you fun, giving you action. Yeah. I can’t wait to see how this all unfolds.
Alex: I like the V.V. Glass art in particular on this book. It really feels like sort of a, Don Bluth isn’t exactly right, but it’s very classic animation style where you could almost feel like it’s moving between the panels. It’s very nice. Next up, America Chavez: Made in the USA number two from Marvel, written by Kalinda Vazquez, art by Carlos Gomez. In this, we’re continuing to find more about the origin of America Chavez and it is not what we thought it was. We’re definitely in retcon territory here, folks, where we find out there’s a family after she left the Utopian Parallel that adopted her and kept her for a while. We get to see how she started to develop her characters and there’s the hint that everything she knew was wrong. I’m really enjoying the series quite a bit. And I say this as somebody who likes the concept of America Chavez a little better than the solo series I’ve seen. I’ve always liked her in a team book, but haven’t quite understood the character out of here. This is so far and we’re in the early going, maybe my favorite American Chavez story so far.
Pete: Oh, cool. Yeah. I agree. This is really great. I feel like the art’s fantastic. We’re getting just enough backstory where it doesn’t feel like too much. It’s done so well with the kind of back and forth. I also really liked her with Spider-Man. That was great. Yeah. It’s very interesting how we’re kind of slowly getting her backstory, I would say a lot more in this issue, which is good. I’m very interested to see how this goes. I like how she’s moving about the world solving kind of things, trying to figure stuff out. Sometimes when that’s done, it can seem forced but it feels really natural here. Yeah. I mean, going into old-timey arcade place at night, that’s just not a smart idea. Nothing’s good is going to happen there.
Alex: Next up, Fear Case number three from Dark Horse Comics, written by Matt Kindt, art by Tyler Jenkins. Pete, you read this book and we missed it, right? What’d you think about this one?
Pete: Yeah. I thought this was creepy in all the right ways. Very interestingly drawn. I love the kind of pencil kind of take on it. A lot of really powerful panels. And I just kind of finding things out with the characters here. Really love the last page, oh, shit kind of reveal. I think this is very interesting to see how each one of these fear cases kind of unfold. I think it’s really well done. The art’s fantastic.
Alex: Next up, Suicide Squad number two from DC Comics, written by Robbie Thompson, art by Eduardo Pansica. This is continuing the assault on Arkham storyline, which finds the Suicide Squad trying to liberate Talon from Arkham Asylum just as seemingly Scarecrow is, not Scarecrow, excuse me, joker’s fear toxin is being released throughout it as we’ve seen in a couple of other comic books. As usual with Suicide Squad, a bunch of people die. It’s very dark. There’s complicated and morality here. I think this is a really good classic Suicide Squad story with some very nice superhero art by Eduardo Pansica. What do you think, Pete?
Pete: Yeah. I agree. I think this is really cool. Also, I’m glad that in Suicide Squad, the comic, we’re getting more Peacemaker here getting us ready for the movie. Really an over the top kind of person. So I think having what’s his face playing it is going to be very-
Alex: John Cena.
Alex: Can you smell what John Cena is cooking?
Pete: No. No. No. You can’t see me, okay? But I also really love the pulp fiction heart attack moment. I thought that was fun.
Alex: Good stuff. Next up, I don’t know anything about wrestling. Nocterra number two from Image Comics, written by Scott Snyder, art by Tony S. Daniel.
Pete: Just for the audio podcast, I was waving my hand in front of my face like John Cena does.
Alex: Okay. All right. Why does he do that?
Pete: Because you can’t see him. You can’t see.
Alex: Is that where the Drax [inaudible 00:29:26] came from? No, that’s Dave Bautista. Nevermind.
Alex: They’re different people?
Pete: See how it works is they’re different people.
Alex: Okay. I don’t see people.
Alex: I just don’t see people. I don’t see things. Okay. Nocterra number two written by Scott Snyder, who we had on the live show. He talked quite a bit about this as well, as many spoilers for Nocterra number three, which was very cool and very fun. So check out that live podcast if you hadn’t. In this book, we’re continuing our journey through a world where it’s always night and it’s filled with horrific creatures. Tony S. Daniel’s art is stunning here as usual. Just great action scenes. They’re fighting a terrifying villain named Blacktop Bill. This is great. This is like duel on sci-fi steroids is what I’d compare it to. You love this issue too, right?
Pete: Oh my God. Yeah. And I love Blacktop Bill. Yeah. And also, really amazing art, bold choices. We talked about that Batman issue with him but two solid pages of all black, bold, bold choice. I was like, “Wait, did this not download right? What’s going on here?” Yeah. I think this is really getting crazier and crazier. Yeah. This is just really over the top fun. Yeah. It kind of reminds me of having metal in all the right ways where it’s like, “Oh yeah, this is just gonna be completely non-stop trucker fucking.” Yeah. This is fun.
Alex: Well, I also like the fact that it’s not delaying or an issue too. We already know a ton of information and things about the world.
Pete: But it’s so much to know. That’s the fun part.
Alex: Well, exactly. But it’s the sort of story where it feels like, “Oh, okay. These are things that you kind of drag out and get to an issue 12.” But nope. We’re getting them in issue two. And that’s awesome. Next up. Let’s chat about Geiger number one from Image Comics, written by Geoff Johns, art by Gary Frank. Now, before we get into it, I do want to mention, this was initially at the top of our stack. We moved it down here because if you haven’t read it, there was a big interview with Ray Fisher from Justice League talking about his treatment from Geoff Johns. There were a lot of quotes in there. There were a lot of back and forth. We don’t know anything necessarily about it. Certainly, we want to listen to every single viewpoint and understand what went on.
Alex: As the story continues, we will continue to discuss it and find out more about it. But as is, I felt like it was still potentially worth talking about a Image Comic book from Geoff Johns and Gary Frank that’s coming out. So we’ll see. Maybe we’ll scrub this from the podcast later, if more things come out. But as is, let’s talk about the comic as the comic and as it is. So that all said, this is a new issue from this team who’s worked on Doomsday Clock as well as a lot of other things. Here, we’re getting an original property set in a post-apocalyptic world where one man has been seemingly affected by the radiation and gained radiation powers. The world, specifically, Las Vegas here has been split into different ruling factions as the outside of the world is not safe. What’d you think about this book, Pete?
Pete: Yeah. I don’t know about all that shit. This is kind of news to me.
Alex: Again, I love giving you news right on the podcast.
Pete: Yeah. So, hopefully, we’re not enjoying something that’s whatever. I don’t know what to say, but just looking at this comic as a comic and hopefully… All right. My point is that this is very cool idea. I’ve very much enjoyed the action. I thought the glowing man was really badass. I’m very interested to see how this kind of all enfolds. This two-headed dog is my favorite. This is really very, very cool. You got the broady kind of villain. So if everything’s okay, I’ll be interested to see how this all unfolds.
Alex: Yeah. Sorry I threw you there, Pete. I can see you’re really struggling with it and that is totally fair. I think the thing that I would say about this is Gary Frank’s art is meticulous as always as well as of layouts. I do think a lot of the problems that we had with Doomsday Clock, which got very in its head about the whole Watchmen of it all. There’s a lot of themes and ideas and images that I think do get hit on and in a certain way, and not a necessarily bad way recycled here, but it feels much more wide open. It feels a little looser, both in terms of the storytelling and the plotting. And it’ll be interesting to see, potentially, if everything gets clear, what this team does away from DC Comics. This is something that we talked with Scott a bit about as he is on his Rumspringa from DC Comics right now, about how you don’t have the corporate responsibility. You don’t have the things that you need to write because you’re serving a greater master here.
Alex: So again, we’ll see what happens. If anybody has any feedback or questions about any of this, we, of course, are happy to chat either at email@example.com at Comic Book Live on Twitter or in our page here on Slack. We’d love to get your feedback on whether we should be covering this comic or not. But again, we like to cover number ones. We like to talk about this. This is a big superstar team, so it was worth throwing in there. Maybe not as the first comic book in The Stack. Next up, let’s move to happier climbs with Far Sector number 11 from DC Comics, written by N.K. Jemisin, art by Jamal Campbell. Another fantastic issue of this book that just gets bigger and bigger every issue out of the gate. Pete, this is the Green Lantern you like. Go ahead.
Pete: I mean, it sets the bar higher and higher with each issue and then continues to meet that bar and go above it. I mean, it’s just fantastic. 20% ring to save 20 billion. I mean, come on. This is exciting stuff. Everything has been unfolding in such a cool way. The art alone is worth the pickup. It is gorgeous in all the right ways. Characters designs are new and fresh, breaking this mold of stereotypical people and what they should look like. I love every single minute of it.
Alex: Well, I say this every issue, but I don’t think you can undervalue the fact that Jamal Campbell has drawn every issue of Far Sector, as well as N.K. Jemisin writing it, and they make a great team together. I know it’s not always possible with the monthly schedule of comic books, but I love that they have been able to continue together and kept this world consistent and build on it and make it look weirder and more interesting every issue out of the gate. It’s great. This book is great. And I’m really curious to see if it ends with issue 12. Is it going to continue? What’s going to happen? Because it’s such a fun interesting premise that they’ve set up here. One little side note-
Pete: Am I to go and take over Green Lantern? We don’t need Green Lantern. We got Far Sector.
Alex: There you go. One little side note I’ll mention, I checked out, because I love this book so much, I read N.K. Jemisin’s The City We Became which is a novel. It’s awesome. I know everybody probably already noticed this, but just in case you haven’t checked it out yet, it is, I don’t even kind of want to spoil it, but it’s about people who become living cities and it’s not the same themes. But you can kind of get a sense of similar things that she’s trying out here in Far Sector. Particularly as a new Yorker, I love it because it’s based in New York. It’s so of New York. Such an awesome book.
Alex: Again, I’m sure a lot of people have read it who are listening to this, but if you’ve only checked out our comics, definitely read that, as well. It’s well worth it. Next up, Crime Syndicate number two from DC Comics, written by Andy Schmidt, art by Keiran McKeown and Bryan Hitch. I think we were a little split on the first issue of this because it takes a more satirical look at the Crime Syndicate, at the evil Justice League. Here, we get them fighting Starro and we also get a backstory for Owlman. What’d you think about this one, Pete?
Pete: It’s interesting. It’s cool. I mean, the Flash, shirtless Flash, with the crazy chain pants was hysterical. So fun.
Alex: I like this a little better. I felt the humor was a little strained in the first issue, but it hits more of its rhythm in this one. I like the backup story here. Bryan Hitch’s art is always pretty good. So I was ready to jump ship after this issue, but I think I’m more than willing to check out a third issue after this one.
Alex: Next up, Bliss number six from Image Comics, written by Sean Lewis, art by Caitlin Yarsky. We are, I think, getting towards the end game here as we finally find out a big secret from the past of the father and son who were trying to find each other in this world where gods run a muck. There’s some great bits here with one god that the son is palling around with, this turtle god who hangs his mouth open the entire time. There’s some very dark and emotional stuff that happens as well. What did you think, Pete?
Pete: Yeah. This is just really unbelievable. Fantastic storytelling. This has been a real roller coaster of rooting for them or not rooting for them. It seems like really evil, but then the other side to him. We’ve got the AOC on the cover with the old balance of power there, the scales. Yeah. I really think this is a very interesting, cool world and it’s really done very well. The art and the characters are weird in all the right ways. Yeah. We find out a lot about the family in this. This is great. This really continues to be a book that you’re like, “What is this going to be?” every time you pick it up and it doesn’t disappoint.
Alex: Totally agree. And that’s it from The Stack. If you’d like to support us patrion.com/comicbookclub. 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, listen, and follow the show. At Comic Book Live on Twitter, comicbookclublive.com for this podcast and many more. Until next time, we’ll see you at the virtual comic book shop.