Heroes Reborn #1

The Stack: Heroes Reborn, The Good Asian And More

podcasts The Stack

On this week’s comic book review podcast:

Heroes Reborn #1
Marvel
Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Ed McGuinness

The Good Asian #1
Image Comics
Written by Pornsak Pinchetshote
Art by Alexandre Tefenkgi

The Invincible Red Sonja #1
Dynamite
Written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner
Art by Moritat

Eve #1
BOOM! Studios
Written by Victor LaValle
Art by Jo Mi-Gyeong

The Swamp Thing #3
DC Comics
Written by Ram V
Art by Mike Perkins

The Last Witch #5
BOOM! Box
Written by Conor McCreery
Art by V.V. Glass

Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters Alpha
Marvel
Written by Charles Soule
Art by Steve McNiven

Nocterra #3
Image Comics
Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Tony S. Daniel

Batman #108
DC Comics
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Jorge Jimenez, Ricardo Lopez Ortiz

DIE #16
Image Comics
Written by Kieron Gillen
Art by Stephanie Hans

Suicide Squad #3
DC Comics
Written by Robbie Thompson
Art by Eduardo Pansica

Beasts of Burden: Occupied Territory #2
Dark Horse Comics
Written by Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer
Art by Benjamin Dewey

Bliss #7
Image Comics
Written by Sean Lewis
Art by Caitlin Yarsky

Green Lantern #2
DC Comics
Written by Geoffrey Thorne
Art by Dexter Soy and Marco Santucci

Wynd #6
BOOM! Studios
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Michael Dialynas

Fear Case #4
Dark Horse Comics
Written by Matt Kindt
Art by Tyler and Hilary Jenkins

Batman/Fortnite: Zero Point #2
DC Comics
Concept by Donald Mustard
Written by Christos Gage
Art by Reilly Brown

Dead Dog’s Bite #3
Dark Horse Comics
By Tyler Boss

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Full Episode Transcript

Alex:                 What’s 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-

Pete:                We sure do.

Alex:                 … have come out this week. Let’s talk about a big one out from Marvel, Heroes Reborn, Number One.

Pete:                Oh, wow.

Alex:                 Written by Jason Aaron, art by Ed McGuinness. Now, this is not the Heroes Reborn you’re thinking of, this is not the event from back in the ’90s-

Pete:                This isn’t your mom’s Heroes Reborn, this is new.

Alex:                 … It’s also not your dad’s.

Pete:                Yeah.

Alex:                 Or your grandpa’s.

Pete:                Or your uncle who hopefully treats you nicely.

Alex:                 There’s definitely a back story there. But instead, this is another alternate universe-type riff where something has been changed in the past. You find out what it is over the course of the book. The only person who remembers the real history of the earth is Blade-

Pete:                Blade.

Alex:                 … as he wanders around, trying to gather back the Avengers. Meanwhile, everybody has forgotten themselves. The Squadron Supreme are the greatest heroes on earth. Pete, what’d you think about this?

Pete:                This is crazy, because I was like, “Marvel’s not making fun of DC, right?” Because there’s Wonder Woman and Batman stuff here, and the Superman has a Robin mask on, and I was a little like, “This is crazy.”

Alex:                 We read, you remember… And I’m not trying to talk down to you. You remember who Squadron Supreme is, right? We did a whole podcast about them.

Pete:                Yeah. Yeah.

Alex:                 Okay. So they’ve been around for a while.

Pete:                Yeah.

Alex:                 And they always have been a DC riff.

Pete:                Yeah. Yeah, I know. But I’m just saying, here I felt it a little bit harder than I have before.

Alex:                 Okay. Okay. I see what you’re saying.

Pete:                But I tell you what, doom as what you call it here is fucking-

Alex:                 Jugger Doom?

Pete:                … Yeah, Jugger Doom.

Alex:                 Oh, Dr. Juggernaut, that’s what it was.

Pete:                Yeah, yeah. It should be Jugger Doom. Or Doombot, Juggernaut, I don’t know. But just so much fun to see Ed McGuinness’ art is just glorious. I love his battle scenes and battles sequences. So yeah, it’s a lot of fun, it’s over the top, it’s action packed. It’s very interesting to see where this is going to go. I think this is fun. This is a popcorn greatness.

Alex:                 I agree with you on the popcorn thing. I think there were a couple of things that were holding me back initially about it. One was the Heroes Reborn title, which felt like, “Oh, are we going to this well again, what are we doing here?”

Pete:                Yeah, yeah.

Alex:                 So I almost wish it was called something else, because it doesn’t seem to be connected.

Pete:                It should be called Blade Knows.

Alex:                 Played nose. Oh, that’s really good. But you might think it was talking about Blade’s nose.

Pete:                No.

Alex:                 Or something. No?

Pete:                No. It would all be in the spelling.

Alex:                 Anyway. So there was that, the other thing is I have read one kabillion stories and in fact, probably in the past couple of years even-

Pete:                Kabillion?

Alex:                 Where it’s just-

Pete:                Why don’t you fucking brag a little bit more, Cornell?

Alex:                 No, I’m saying we have read-

Pete:                I read so much-

Alex:                 … I’ve read a lot of books. I’ve read a lot of books, Pete.

Pete:                I’ve read the whole library.

Alex:                 We’ve read so many comic book stories where it’s the world has been changed because somebody in the past did one thing, and now there’s a bunch of mash-ups of heroes and villains that you didn’t know before. And the heroes have to come back from it, but only one of them remembers. And I’ve read this a million times. One million times. But the things that make these sink and swim, and the reason this swims here, is like you said, Ed McGuinness’ art is great. Jason Aaron knows how to write a fun story.

Pete:                That guy’s a good writer.

Alex:                 And the mash-ups have to be good. It’s like with Dark Nights Death Metal, where the thing that made that work is you’re reading it and you’re like, “This is stupid in exactly the right way, and they know exactly what they’re doing.”

Pete:                Well, that’s the thing.

Alex:                 Go.

Pete:                Because with Dark Nights Death Metal we’re in on the joke. You know what I mean? Where it’s like with this I was like, “Are we making fun, or is this just cool?” I was a little like, “Who’s side are we on?” Whereas Death Metal, it’s like, “We’re turning to 11, it’s fucking metal superheroes, bro. Each issue’s going to be a sick collab that you’ve only dreamed about.” Where this is a little different. So I can understand a little bit of your hesitation.

Alex:                 This to me though, feels like, and I could be wrong, I haven’t read anything about it.

Pete:                Could be wrong.

Alex:                 But it feels to me like this was a arc of Avengers that got changed into an event. Because what Jason Aaron has been doing has been doing these basically mini events with ridiculous over the top premises-

Pete:                Yeah.

Alex:                 … in Avengers, the entire time, they’ve been super fun. This feels totally in line with that, so if you’ve been enjoying Avengers, I think you will enjoy this as well. Just don’t necessarily think about it as the next big Marvel event, instead think about it is a fun story that a good team is telling.

Pete:                There you go.

Alex:                 There you go. Let’s talk about a great book though. The Good Asian, Number One, from Image Comics.

Pete:                Oh, man.

Alex:                 Written by Pornsak Pichetshote, art by Alexandre Tefenkgi. This is a riff on old Chinese detective noir stories like Charlie Chan. They talk about it a little bit in the back matter, but setting it in a realistic way. Because those stories were mostly Caucasians telling stories about Asian detectives to Caucasian audiences. Here, they’re telling it from the perspective of, this was a very bad time for Asian people in America.

Pete:                Yeah.

Alex:                 It unfortunately is paralleled with the fact with right now is also a very bad time for Asian people in America, but that makes it all the more relevant while you’re reading it. It’s gorgeous art that’s very reminiscent of, I would say, Darwin Cook in particular.

Pete:                Yes.

Alex:                 And the story is great. It’s an evolving, interesting mystery. I really like this. What did you think, Pete?

Pete:                Yeah. First of all, it’s fantastic on many levels. There’s all the historical references, there’s all the, there’s a lot of layers to what’s going on. But also what’s very cool is the characterization, the person that we see a little bit in the background in the beginning, but we don’t know is the main character. Has this really cool scar that I’m sure we’ll get to know what happened later. But also, I love, they do this panel where it’s a close-up of the detective’s eye, and has this different-colored thing around his eye, and then on what he’s looking at. So, the way the detective is analyzing the scene as we’re watching it. And it is just such a cool way to show us how he is piecing things together as he’s propped up smoking a cigarette against the wall. It is fantastic, and I think it works so perfectly in comics. It reminds me a little bit of the Sherlock Holmes with Robert Downey, Jr. where you got to see how-

Alex:                 Everybody’s favorite Sherlock Holmes.

Pete:                Well, fuck you, all right. Regardless of what you liked about it or didn’t like about it, there’s a part where he breaks down what he’s looking at. And I’ve never seen that in comic book form that made so much sense, that was split second. Like this person is not only crazy smart, but also knows how to read people. I just was really impressed with all the information just in the panels. And the panels are so well designed, the artwork’s unbelievable. The story telling really flows, and you get so much information in this first issue. And the back matter is really powerful and amazing. From top to bottom, I’m really, really impressed with this comic, cannot recommend this enough. If you’re going to pick up one comic, let it be this one.

Alex:                 Great quote to end it on. Let’s move on and talk about the Invincible Red Sonja, Number One, from Dynamite. Written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner, art by Moritat.

Pete:                Great team.

Alex:                 It’s a great team, and I think that’s… and I don’t mean this is a slight, though it sounds like a slight, that’s the best thing you could say about it. Because it’s a Red Sonja book, she gets in a bunch of trouble, she fights a bunch of people, she kills a bunch of people, she gets worse trouble by the end. But this is such a good team, you know exactly what you’re getting going into it, and it delivers on that promise in the best way.

Pete:                Yeah, I think that’s a great way to describe it. Because these two, they’ve worked on Harley Quinn, they’re familiar with over the top, bigger than life characters, and have fun with the Red Sonja character in I think all the right ways. And yeah, fantastic art, a lot of fun action. Yeah, we’ve read a bunch of Red Sonja stuff, and this was very creative and had a lightness to it that Amanda and Palmiotti bring to stuff. Sometimes with books like this it’s too much T and A and not enough story or whatever, it’s just like, “Okay, I see what this is.” But this is done really well, and you were in on the joke so it feels good.

Alex:                 Well, to that end, if anybody is curious because they have a lot of different modes but they’re well known for Harley Quinn, it’s not like that. It’s not over the top, joking, T and A, it’s more in the mode of I would say Jonah Hex, honestly, except with Red Sonya. And I really liked that a lot. So I’m excited for where this one goes, I think it’s going to be good. Moritat’s art, as we mentioned, is really gorgeous and perfect for the book and perfect for the tone.

Pete:                Yeah.

Alex:                 So this should be fun to follow. Next up Eve, Number One, from Boom Studios, written by Victor LaValle art by Jo Migyeong. This is about a little girl who’s growing up with her father in a post- apocalypse. But there’s a bit of a twist, I’ll spoil the twist here.

Pete:                Oh, man.

Alex:                 She actually has been in stasis the entire time, and has to go find her father and somehow, potentially, return the world to its normal shape, along with a Android who is currently in the shape of a teddy bear. Pete, you had to like that in particular, the teddy bear. You liked that, right?

Pete:                Well, it depends. Sometimes teddy bears can be really creepy. I think this was really done well. You get to see this father- daughter duo, and then it’s just before this daughter’s got to learn about the real world that she’s actually in and what’s going on. And it is tough, but they made the choice to have her teddy bear from her childhood break this awful news to her, which was such a interesting, cool choice that I think a father would make. So I really appreciated that. And I think that this is creative and cool enough, and in such a unique, post-apocalyptic world that I’m really impressed with the moves that it’s making. Not only is it creative art-wise, but the story telling is very cool. And yeah, I thought this did a great job, first issue, throwing you into this world. And you’re discovering these things with the main daughter character, Eve. I think it’s a fantastic first issue.

Alex:                 And I get most of my news from teddy bears, so it really jived out with my personal life as well.

Pete:                Yeah. Yeah, that’s true.

Alex:                 Next up, The Swamp Thing, Number Three, from DC Comics. Written by Ram V, art by Mike Perkins. Oh boy, this series is real good. I feel like we’re going to disagree here, but I love this take here. We have a new swamp thing who’s figuring out his powers, figuring out what’s going on. In this issue, he tracks the woman who’s trying to help him inside the green. We get some new riffs on Poison Ivy and what’s been going on with her, old characters that tie into Swamp Thing mythology. This is great. It’s not quite at this level yet, but it strikes me a little bit like Immortal Hulk, but for Swamp Thing in a certain way.

Pete:                Oh, interesting.

Alex:                 And it has the possibility of getting there. Again, not quite there yet, we’re only three issues in, but it’s the same sort of lens on the mythology of Swamp Thing and reevaluating it that I think is really smartly done. And Mike Perkins’ art is stunning throughout.

Pete:                Yes, agree. The art is fantastic. I like the take on Ivy in this book. Yeah, there’s a lot going on in this issue. And I really love the way the art is leading the story. I really love the way the panels are set up, this is interesting to see this new, because even the characters in this comic are commenting like, “All right, here we go. Another swamp thing, Avatar, what’s this fucking guy’s deal?” So I’m very interested to see, once we get this out of the way, where this is going to go. And I think it’s got a great setup, so I’m excited to see how this all unfolds.

Alex:                 Oh, Pete. Always looking to the next thing instead of what is in front of you right now. Enjoy the time we have, Pete.

Pete:                Don’t fucking [inaudible 00:13:36].

Alex:                 Enjoy the time we have. The Last Witch, Number Five from BOOM! Box, written by Conor McCreery, art by V.V. Glass. Now, if you haven’t checked it out, we talked to Conor McCreery on last week’s live show-

Pete:                Sure did.

Alex:                 … all about The Last Witch, and it was a great chat, so definitely tune in for that. But this is the end of what should be the first arc of the book.

Pete:                Oh, man.

Alex:                 We’re ending it with a climactic battle against a witch, not necessarily the last witch, but a last witch, if you will. What’d you think about this? I know you’ve been a big of Pete.

Pete:                Yeah. This continues to be really creative in all the right ways. Just when you think, “Okay, all right. I think I understand what’s going on,” there’s some really interesting stuff with the other kid that’s the same age as our main character. And especially with, he’s there to help and the grandmother specifically sent him there to help, but there’s some crazy like shading where it’s like, “Is this dude evil? Who’s really pulling the strings on this dude?” Yeah, I just, I can never get enough of this book. It’s really, it’s drawn like a nice fluffy cartoon, but there’s some really up fucked up, crazy shit happening, which is a nice juxtaposition.

Alex:                 Justin Position.

Pete:                Let’s not talk about that guy. But hopefully he’s alive and out of the mountains and okay. But yeah, I continually am impressed with this book. It’s really fantastic. The double page spreads with all the witch battles are fucking glorious, and I can’t get enough of the grandma. This just continues to be a fantastic book.

Alex:                 Let’s talk about Star Wars, War of the Bounty Hunters Alpha from Marvel, written by Charles Soule, art by Steve Mcniven. This is kicking off the biggest event that Marvel has done with the Star Wars books. It’s going to go over a mini series, spin-offs, the main books as well. And the kickoff is that Boba Fett is trying to take Han Solo, frozen in carbonite, back to Jabba, and runs into some big problems along the way. And beyond the fact that Charles Soule at this point really knows his way around a Star Wars comic book, beyond the fact that Steve Mcniven draws the hell out of absolutely everything, this is just such a smart point in Star Wars continuity to be playing with, that I never in a million years would have pinpointed. Because watching the movies you’re like, “Oh, he leaves Cloud City, and then he delivers Han Solo, the end.”

Pete:                Right, right.

Alex:                 That’s it.

Pete:                Right.

Alex:                 But of course there’s time traveling in space there where things could have happened. And I love that. I really had a blast reading this book. It was so much fun. I enjoyed it. What’d you think Pete?

Pete:                Yeah, I think they did such a great job of in between moments that we know, exploring how important and how crazy this thing of getting Han Solo to Jabba the Hutt, and who would be interested in this. I thought this was amazing. The art’s unbelievable, of course. But such a cool action sequence of like, “All right, what do I got to do? Okay, I’ve got to join and I’ve got to fight for my life? All right, yeah. Mortal combat styles? Let’s fucking do this.” Yeah, it was great to see the Fett whooping ass, and yeah, this was really a lot of fun. This is an amazing book and the team is unbelievable.

Alex:                 It also feels stylistically consistent with the Mandalorian as well. So I’m sure there are people who had just checked out the Mandalorian and haven’t really watched many other Star Wars things, so it’s the sort of thing that-

Pete:                What?

Alex:                 … if you watch the show and enjoy the show, or maybe you’ve been out of Star Wars for a while, you can jump into this book and get right into it.

Pete:                Cool.

Alex:                 It’s possible. And I’ll tell you what, Pete, there’s something I’ve always wondered about.

Pete:                What’s that?

Alex:                 How does Boba Fett shave?

Pete:                What are you talking about dude? When nobody else is around-

Alex:                 Down there.

Pete:                … he can take off-

Alex:                 How does he shave down there?

Pete:                … Why would you think about that?

Alex:                 In his old Sarlacc pit, you know what I’m talking about?

Pete:                Why are you just spending free time thinking about these things?

Alex:                 I’m just saying, if Boba wanted to get a shave closer than Han and Luke escaping the Deathstar, he might want to try out the just released Lawnmower 4.0 trimmer for manscape.com.

Pete:                Oh, I see what you’re doing here. That was smooth. That was really well done. Right when we’re talking about the comic too, you just slipped it right in there.

Alex:                 Thank you.

Pete:                Nice.

Alex:                 Thank you. It’s another one of my seamless ad transitions. This week’s episode-

Pete:                No, it’s not-

Alex:                 … is brought to you by manscape.com and the new Lawnmower 4.0. It’s got advanced ceramic blade and skinsave technology to help keep your testicles smoother than smooth Yoda.

Pete:                What? That is gross, man.

Alex:                 Pete read the script.

Pete:                Smooth Yoda is gross.

Alex:                 Tell you what folks. Pete does not feel comfortable saying the word testicles, but that is exactly what the Lawnmower 4 is going to shave down for you. Right Pete?

Pete:                I guess so, man.

Alex:                 And thank you for reading that line exactly the way it’s written, I appreciate it. Because when-

Pete:                Well, it’s nice when you yell at me, “Read the script.” That makes it seem real, real smooth, man.

Alex:                 Smooth like how your balls are going to be when you use a Lawnmower Four? I’ll tell you what, it has a 4,000 K LED spotlight, allows you to use-

Pete:                You don’t need that.

Alex:                 … different guards. What?

Pete:                You don’t need that light, when you’re working down there. It’s important to feel safe.

Alex:                 I’ll tell you what, I’m terrified, man. I’m more scared that womp rats being fired at-

Pete:                Oh boy.

Alex:                 … by Luke on tatooine.

Pete:                No, we got it.

Alex:                 You got it?

Pete:                Yeah.

Alex:                 But I’ll tell you one thing, Lawnmower makes it okay, because it’s got that 4,000 K LED spotlight, allows you use different guard lengths if you’re going to go more ewok than wookie.

Pete:                Oh, boy.

Alex:                 I’ll tell you what, I thought about that one for a little while, because are they different hair lengths? I’m not 100% sure.

Pete:                I don’t know.

Alex:                 I couldn’t think of somebody with like a nice, smooth shave, but still sort of hairy in the Star Wars universe. But that’s what the Lawnmower Four is going to do for you. And it’s even waterproof, if you try to take it to Degoba and drop it in a swamp or something. I don’t know-

Pete:                Oh, boy.

Alex:                 I’m running out of Star Wars jokes.

Pete:                How many did you have to begin with?

Alex:                 Not a lot, Pete. I didn’t have a lot. If you want your balls to be as hot and round as a thermal detonator-

Pete:                Oh my God.

Alex:                 … get yourself the Lawnmower Four right now.

Pete:                How long did you-

Alex:                 Good news. Get 20% off and free shipping with the code fan site and 20 at manscape.com. That’s 20% off with free shipping at manscape.com. And use code fan site at 20, unlock your confidence and always use the right tools for the job with manscaped.

Pete:                Go, man. Cool. Shave your nuts, people.

Alex:                 Hey, thank you for also reading that line as written, Pete. And now back to the comic book reviews.

Alex:                 Nocterra, Number Three, from Image Comics, written by Scott-

Pete:                Did you say Noterra? Don’t pronounce it weird.

Alex:                 Noc, Nocterra.

Pete:                Thank you. Thank you.

Alex:                 Nocterra, Number Three, from Image Comics, written by Scott Snyder, art by Tony S Daniel. This is continuing the saga of a world that’s been plunged into darkness. Hey, they could really use that light from the manscape.

Pete:                Oh my God.

Alex:                 No, I’m not going to do that. Anyway, they were plunged into darkness. People are being turned into human shades. What I am loving about this book, which is very typical in the best way of a Scott Snyder book, is the human element that he’s bringing there with all the wild ideas. He teased this very specifically, like he laid out this entire issue for us-

Pete:                Yeah, he did.

Alex:                 … when he was on the live show a couple of weeks back.

Pete:                He probably shouldn’t have, but he did.

Alex:                 But he did it anyway. And it’s so awesome to see and hear everything that is going on here anyway, because the way that it plays out ties so well into the emotional growth of the characters. It’s completely worth it. The action by Tony S Daniel is awesome. What’s your take, Pete?

Pete:                All right. Well first off, Scott said something on our show that I can’t get out of my head. He said, “I wanted to make something for my daughter.” And this book, as I’m reading it, I was like, “I don’t know, man, this is a fucked up book. There’s a lot of crazy shit going down.” I understand what he was saying, but also I’m worried about the death, and who’s going to make it through this or not. So I’m worried about him scarring his children, is what I’m really worried about. But this comic is action packed, phenomenal, art’s unbelievable. The story telling keeps getting better and better with every issue, we’re finding out more and more. The villain is so bad-ass in all the right, fucked up ways. Yeah, this is just a glorious, bad-ass book that just continues to, kind of like the main character, just plowing down the road in this jacked up fucking 18 wheeler. It’s bananas.

Alex:                 Such a good book, definitely pick it up. Next up, Batman Number 108 from DC Comics, written by James Tynion IV, art by Jorge Jiminez and Ricardo Lopez Ortiz here. Here we’re finally getting some answers in this issue. What’d you think, Pete?

Pete:                You all right?

Alex:                 Yeah, I’m fine. I’m just hiccuping a lot.

Pete:                Oh, okay. It’s all that drinking, catching up with you?

Alex:                 Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Pete:                Excuse me, all right. Now I’m feeling it. I’m feeling the vodka. All right. Miracle Molly, we get her. What an intro. New character, we’re getting a lot of new characters in this Batman book. This is exciting.

Alex:                 I’m starting to think we need Justin to keep us on the rails. Is this true?

Pete:                Yeah. Yeah, I think it is.

Alex:                 Okay.

Pete:                We’re a tripod and we’re wobbling here without our third leg to stabilize us. But I like this idea of Batman trying to go back to old Matches Malone and it not working because-

Alex:                 It’s a stupid disguise.

Pete:                … young people are smarter than we are. Yeah.

Alex:                 Yes.

Pete:                B it was cool to see the world through Miracle Molly’s eyes, and to have Batman literally take a back seat and hear this person describe Gotham, which I really enjoyed. This new perspective was very refreshing to get on the situation. So I thought it was a really cool, it’s not like a break in the action, but it was nice to have this other person give us a perspective on Gotham. Yeah.

Alex:                 I think it’s James paying off on the premise of what he said a couple of issues back. A lot of people, throughout the history of Batman, have said, “Gotham has changed now. Gotham is totally different.” And it’s never really changed, it’s never really totally different. But what he’s doing here is he’s challenging Batman’s preconceived notions about what Gotham is and what it can be. He’s working in a lot of social issues in terms of the 1% and how that reflects on people, and making Bruce Wayne learn a couple of things.

Pete:                Yeah.

Alex:                 We’ll see how much it sticks along term necessarily, but I really liked the stuff that they were talking about this issue, and the gradations he’s giving the villains here. Because there’s a difference between Scarecrow, who is a nightmare person right now-

Pete:                Yeah.

Alex:                 … just lurking around Gotham. And what’s going on with the Unseen Collective, where they’re just trying to challenge the status quo in a way that feels very concurrent with what’s going on in our world. So it’s very smartly written, and I also really liked the back-up story with Ghost Maker, which has a very different tone to it-

Pete:                Yeah.

Alex:                 … and is fun as well.

Pete:                Yeah. Agreed. And the art is really great and fun for that as well.

Alex:                 Next up, Die, Number 16, from Image Comics written by Kieren Gillen and art by Stephanie Hans. In this issue we’re getting a [kathooloo 00:26:01], HP Lovecraft-style riff-

Pete:                Yeah.

Alex:                 … as some of our characters travel to the center of Die to stop things, try to find out what’s going on, I’m not 100% sure of what’s happening in this book. But it’s very pretty, and I like reading it.

Pete:                Yeah. And also the reveal of what that Island is, it’s like the fingertip of this giant person under the sea, was so amazing and unbelievable. Spoiler alert, sorry about that. Yeah, this continues to be just an amazing book, and the farther, the deeper we get into it, the more creative and fantastic it continues to be. I am very much enjoying this book. Each issue has been really phenomenal, but this really gives us, we’re spending more time with the characters and getting their takes and stuff. So yeah, I continue to be impressed with this book.

Alex:                 Next up Suicide Squad, Number Three, from DC Comics. Written by Robbie Thompson, art by Eduardo Pansica. I’ve been really enjoying this one a lot, and I’m not usually a huge fan of Suicide Squad. But here, as usual, with the Suicide Squad things are going very well wrong, people do not trust Amanda Waller, they’re trying to figure out what she’s up to. In this case Peacemaker has a bone to pick with her.

Alex:                 But the thing that’s really interesting here is Super Boy is in the mix, and we don’t know exactly why. I think Robbie Thompson is writing this very well, Eduardo Pansica is drawing some good superhero super villain art. Pete, what do you think?

Pete:                Well, here’s the thing. Peacemaker is John Cena in this book.

Alex:                 Yes.

Pete:                So it’s very interesting to have that before we see Peacemaker in the movie. So each issue, I’m like, “Oh man, I’m pumped for peacemaker.” And this issue I’m a little like, “Man, I don’t know. Is Peacemaker too much of a Type A personality?” I don’t know. But one thing everybody can agree on is Waller’s an a-hole. And this art is phenomenal, and this is a fun team, so this continues to be a good book.

Alex:                 I agree. Next up, Beasts of Burden, Occupied Territory, Number Two from Dark Horse Comics. Written by Evan Darkin and Sarah Dyer, art by Benjamin Dewey. This is continuing a flashback title for our pet investigators. Things get very dark, very weird and very disturbing and scary in this issue as they travel through, it seems like some sort of Japanese fairy tales, perhaps I’m not 100% sure. This is a pretty violent book with some cute dogs, but I like it quite a bit.

Pete:                Yeah.

Alex:                 Pete? LePage?

Pete:                Yeah.

Alex:                 Your take.

Pete:                Thanks.

Alex:                 Over to you.

Pete:                Oh, thank you. Thanks Alex. I’ll take it from here.

Alex:                 Great.

Pete:                So yeah, I still don’t know why Jill Thompson is not doing the interiors, because she does this amazing watercolor stuff. We got a different artist, so it feels like a different Beasts of Burden. So like here, we’re getting a different story, so I’m trying not to let it bother me. This is a really gross, over the top, cool story for Beast of Burden. But I do miss my watercolors. And part of me is like, “Are things cool with this creative team? Because she was there to help create this.”

Alex:                 You’ve got to stop worrying about that. I’m sure it’s fine.

Pete:                And then if they did something to Jill, I don’t want to support this book because she really helped make it what it is today.

Alex:                 You’ve got to stop worrying about that. I’m sure it’s fine.

Pete:                Okay. Well, I’m still worried about it. But it’s gross, it’s creepy, it’s dog saving the day. What’s not to like?

Alex:                 Agreed. It’s creepy and it’s kookie, it’s all a little spooky. And now Bliss, Number Seven from Image Comics. Written by Sean Lewis, art by Caitlin Yarski. This is the second to last issue of this book as our main two characters finally face down the gods that they’ve been going after the entire series. This is a epic conclusion, and there’s a twist at the end that I won’t spoil. But it leads into the fact that yes, of course, there is one more issue, and of course it’s the thing that they’re going to need to deal with the end. But I love how big and lyrical this is throughout. What about you, Pete?

Pete:                Yeah. Epic is a great way to describe this. Really unbelievable. The art’s the real hero of the story, the paneling. And it’s also fun because it’s like, “Hey, we use famous people’s likeness. And I don’t know if they know about it yet, but we’re going to continue to do it.” Yeah, this is tripped out and amazing in all the right ways. The story continues to be fantastic with all the twists and turns. Every time I think I got a handle on this, there’s another twist. So it’s impressive how they keep changing the story. And you don’t feel like, “Wow, fuck you.” It’s so great, and the art’s so unbelievable. It continues to be bad-ass.

Alex:                 Next up Green Lantern, Number Two from DC Comics. Written by Geoffrey Thorne, art by Dexter Soy and Marco san Touche. In the first issue of this book, I think-

Pete:                Right, right.

Alex:                 … one of the things that I liked, but also my criticism, was there were so many things going on it was hard to figure out okay, what is the plot of this book? And so many big things happen pretty much non-stop throughout it, it felt like it kept changing status quo every couple of pages. But it felt like, okay, it’s settled on what this book is about by the end. This issue, same thing. So many wild, enormous things happened throughout this book. I was like, “What is happening here?” And they’re all good, but once I think I figured out where this is going to go it completely swerves and completely changes the premise, which is insane. So I’m definitely on board. I’m really liking how wild this goes. I love where it ends up.

Alex:                 But it’s putting me in shaky territory, because my question is, going into issue three, should I get attached to any of these characters? Should I get attached even to this premise of this book, because who knows what’s going to happen next? And that’s, mind you, exciting when you’re reading a book, but it’s also nerve wracking as well. What about you, Pete? And I know you’re not the biggest Green Lantern fan around.

Pete:                Oh, thanks for pointing that out, Alex.

Alex:                 No problem, Pete.

Pete:                It is all over the place. And that’s okay, typical Green Lantern stuff. But amazing last panel. Love the angry wheelchair villain thing going on there, interesting to see what’s going on with that. Yeah, John Stewart, definitely one of the top Green Lantern, so I’m glad we’re spending time with John. So yeah, Green Lantern.

Alex:                 Thanks, Pete.

Pete:                Yeah.

Alex:                 Thanks for your crack commentary. Moving on to Wind, Number Six, from Boom! Studios. Written by James Tynion IV, art by Michael Dialynas, I think. In any case, this is continuing the way the saga. We did get some interesting input from Conor McCreery on the live show about Wind, where he referred to his comic book as taking the Wind model.

Pete:                Yeah.

Alex:                 And that certainly re-contextualized how I looked at this as more of the beginning of a second graphic novel versus an issue in and of itself. But that said, still a great fantasy book with some really dark elements here. We’re getting the sister vampire of the villain is going after our heroes. It’s dark, it’s weird, I’m excited for them. It’s interesting. I really love this book. What about you, Pete?

Pete:                I agree. This book is fantastic. I’ve loved every issue. This continues to be creative in the way it’s telling the story, and the way we spend time with different characters for different parts. Yeah, I’m very impressed with all the stuff that it’s tackling, and how we’re getting the story. What’s nice is we get a little bit more back story on our main character as a kid. Yeah. And there’s nothing scarier than that evil sister that nobody trusts, or you know what I mean, when she’s doing stuff, when nobody’s paying attention, you’ve got to worry about that. So, yeah, I think this is scary, but the art makes it heartwarming. This is a fantastic book, it continues to be bad-ass.

Alex:                 Next up Fear Case, Number Four from Dark Horse Comics. Written by Matt Kindt, art by Tyler and Hilary Jenkins. This is, I think, wrapping up Fear Case, at least for now. And we find out the origin of the fear-filled suitcase, what’s going on with it. Pete, you’ve been a big fan of this book. How’d you feel about the wrap-up?

Pete:                I thought it was creepy in all the right ways. This fucking Case, I used to, I would think it would be really cool to find a random suitcase on the side of the road. But now I will never, ever pick it up.

Alex:                 Oh, man.

Pete:                Yeah.

Alex:                 That suitcase had a million dollars in it, Pete. Sorry.

Pete:                Yeah, well guess what? I don’t get a million dollars. Yeah, this is also interesting, the paneling and the use of white space is very cool. But yeah, this is the scary-ass suitcase, man. If you see somebody with a suitcase, maybe don’t trust them.

Alex:                 Fair enough. Next up Batman Fortnite, Zero Point, Number Two from DC Comics. Concept by Donald Mustard, written by Christos Gage, art by Reilly Brown. I’ll tell you what, we loved the first issue of this book, and the second issue of this book continues to go so much harder than it needs to go. It is emotional, it’s well done and the action is great, focusing on Batman and Cat Woman. If you didn’t pick it up, basically Batman and Cat Woman, and also, as we find out later on, Harley Quinn, have essentially been trapped in Fortnite. They can’t talk, they lose their memory every 22 minutes. And in this issue, Batman has to figure out some way to try to get out of this trap with Cat Woman. It’s awesome. I am shocked at how much I am liking this book.

Pete:                It’s crazy because I’ve played Fortnite a ton with my brother’s kids, and it’s like, “What if somebody was like, I’m going to use Batman, but then went hard on Batman’s story, if Batman got to Fortnite and had to actually be in this fucking weird-ass place with all these weird-ass roaming storms and shit.” I was really impressed with how hard this went on that premise, because it sounds like a what kind of idea, but it works. The the bat and cat stuff got me. There was a moment of, I was like, “Oh my God.” But oh man, really fun. I thought this was a kind of insane premise, but really impressed with how well it works.

Alex:                 Just to spoil one bit in it that was so funny and so well done, is Batman and Cat Woman keep finding each other through these storms, through these memory lapses. And they figure out how to slowly experiment, even though they’re losing their memory every 22 minutes. They come on Harley Quinn and they’re like, “Huh, there’s something familiar about her.” And then they see her doing the Fortnite dance and they’re like, “Oh no, she’s doing one of the dances, she’s lost.” Very funny, very perfect Harley Quinn bit. Great. I can’t believe how good this comic is, it’s bizarre.

Pete:                Yeah.

Alex:                 Last one though. Dead Dogs Bite, Number Three, from Dark Horse Comics, by Tyler Boss. We skipped the first issue of this book, big mistake. Read the second issue, loved it. Checking in here with the third one, our main character is investigating a mystery, a disappearance, but this book is weird. It’s fascinating, the way it’s laid out is funny, and strange, and disturbing, and interesting at the same time. This is an excellent book. I really can’t say enough about it in terms of the way that it’s laid out. The story is intriguing, there’s a lot of magical realism in it as well. And it’s absolutely gorgeous. Pete?

Pete:                Yeah. The last two issues of this have really impressive. And also this really tripped out beginning that sets this tone of like, “What’s going on?” In all the right ways. Art, panel set up, amazeballs. Main character, trying to piece this stuff together, fantastic. Love the whole library bit. Oh, man. Yeah, super impressed with this book, super impressed with this story telling. So worried about the main character and how she’s going to get it out of this, but so invested in this weird-ass fucking book, man. I love it.

Alex:                 It’s so good. Definitely pick it up. And that is it for The Stack. If you’d like to support us patrion.com/comic book club. Also, we do a live show every Tuesday night at 7:00 PM to Crowdcast and YouTube.

Pete:                We sure do.

Alex:                 Come back out, we’d 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 @comicbooklive on Twitter. Comicbookclublive.com for this podcast and many more. Until next time, we’ll see you at the virtual comic book shop.

Pete:                Take care of everybody.

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