Welcome back to the conclusion of the Franken-Castle storyline from 2010. It was originally published by Marvel as The Punisher Vol. 3 and became the title Franken-Castle with issue #17 until the series ended with issue #21. Rick Remender was the writer of the series. The majority of the art was done by Tony Moore with Roland Boschi doing some fill-in issues. Dan Brereton painted 2 issues (The origin of Hellsgaard and the final issue) and John Romita Jr did the art for a one-shot.
Last week we discussed how the Punisher was murdered and dismembered and how Morbius, the living vampire stitched Frank back together to help fight the Hunter of Monsters.
In the podcast this week, I talk about the origin story of Robert Hellsgaard and why he hates monsters so much. We also uncover the artifact that Hellsgaard is searching for and why he wants it so bad. This leads to the conflict between Frank Castle AKA Franken-Castle and Hellsgaard and how that conflict is finally resolved.
Once Frank takes care of that problem, he goes on a revenge tour and one of the stops is Daken (the guy that killed him). This leads to a 4 part cross-over event between Franken-Castle and Dark Wolverine. I posted the cover of the Franken-Castle #19 which is part 2. This 4 part event is essentially a 4 issue fight.
We end on issue #21 that explains how Frank Castle gets his old body back and returns to the status quo of the Punisher again.
I end the podcast with previous attempt at telling a different Punisher story with the 4 part miniseries – Punisher: Purgatory. Even though this series had fantastic art by Bernie Wrightson, everyone (including myself) hates this miniseries and I try to explain why.
This week we are going to review a Punisher comic storyline that will cause fans of the franchise to either be happy to talk about it or shun it with shame. I am always ecstatic to talk about Franken-Castle.
Rick Remender wrote the Volume 3 of Marvel’s Punisher comic in 2010. His run ran from issue 1 to the final issue 21 and there was a limited series Punisher: In the Blood that followed. He had several very talented artists helping him on these books which include: Jerome Opena, Tan Eng Huat, Tony Moore, Roland Boschi, John Romita Jr and Dan Brereton.
We will be talking specifically about the storyline that started in an Invasion one shot called: Dark Reign: The List – Punisher #1 and ran through issues #11 – 21 of the Punisher. This is know as the Franken-Castle storyline.
To sum up the story: Frank Castle AKA The Punisher is killed by Dark Wolverine AKA Daken (illegitimate psychotic son of Logan), Castle is then revived by Morbius, the living vampire to help defend the Legion of Monsters from the group called Hunters of Monsters Special Force lead by the fanatical Robert Hellsgaard. This is just the beginning of the story.
The storyline can be divisive based on how hardcore a fan you are of the Punisher. If you think Punisher stories should always be grim, gritty and realistic as possible then you are going to hate this story. But if you are like me, you know the Punisher lives in the Marvel Universe where crazy and insane things happen all the time so why can’t those nutty things happen to the Punisher? If you feel this way then you will love this story.
I broke this storyline down into 2 podcasts. It starts with this one 295 and will end next week with 296. In 295, I cover why Dark Wolverine killed Frank Castle, why Frank initially refuses to help Morbius and why he changes his mind and we get to know Hellsgaard a little. I will go into more detail on Hellsgaard in 296. There are spoilers in this and next week’s podcasts and I highly recommend you go purchase the trade paperback called Franken-Castle. I also go over a little writing history of Rick Remender and the Marvel characters he worked on from 2010 to 2012. I highly recommend picking these trades up as well.
We live in a time when men claim to be great in their rhetoric but their actions say otherwise. And even though they claims for these men are confirmed false, they still have thousands of die hard supporters. If only we had a silver alien from another planet to testify to humanity and call out these false saviors.
Unfortunately, this is the real world so we won’t get the Silver Surfers help but we have the next best thing: Silver Surfer: Parable – the collected trade by Stan Lee and Moebius (Jean Giraud) published originally by Epic Comics and later collected in trade by Marvel. Maybe if we can convince everyone on the planet to read this comic, we will have less strife in the world.
Silver Surfer: Parable is a really great read. The immediate attraction is the great Moebius art. His unique and detailed take of Galactus and the Silver Surfer are fantastic. You also are getting Stan Lee writing a comic in almost 20 years. Stan Lee is at his peak with the dialogue through the 2 issues. This was written in the late 80s were the rule of the land according to Wall Street’s Gordon Gecko was “Greed is good.” Lee and Moebius put out a book that stated beware false idols that espoused avarice and power because they will lead to your downfall.
I am reviewing it 30 later and the message still needs to be broadcast to all people and is as relevant as ever. If you have never read this, go out and purchase it. It is a book you will be revisiting many time over.
In the podcast, I go over the history of the Silver Surfer and Galactus from Fantastic Four #48 and how it relates to this updated version in Parable. I talk about how Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created the Silver Surfer using the Marvel Method and how Stan pitched the Marvel Method to Moebius for Parable and how Moebius was stunned at this process. I then go into talking about the story.
Last week, I reviewed the 2nd Wonder Woman movie – Wonder Woman 1984. If you listened to that podcast, you know that I have a very favorable review of the movie. Since then, I have been reading and watching videos of other reviews of the movie and I have come to find out that I am in the minority for liking this movie.
I decided that Wonder Woman needs a little redemption this week so I went to my collection and pulled out Wonder Woman: The Hiketeia. This was an Original Graphic Hardcover Novel that was published by DC in 2002 written by Greg Rucka, art by J. G. Jones, inks by Wade Von Grawbadger and colors by Dave Stewart. A year later, it would be reprinted as a softcover. I was lucky enough to get the softcover which looks like this…
In the podcast, I talk a little history about Greg Rucka and his DC work prior to writing the OGN. I give a little Greek history about the mythology of the Hiketeia and the Erinyes. I also mispronounce this 2 words several times.
I go over the story but I keep it mostly spoiler free. I set up the plot and the characters that are involved but I do not give you everyone’s motivation. I want to give you a reason to pick this up and read it. But even if I did spoil everything, I would still recommend reading it for the lovely illustration of J. G. Jones. He also created the cover image.
At the end of the podcast, I go over 2 movie recommendations that have similar themes of the OGN that you will want to check out.
Just when you thought there were going to me no super hero related movies coming out in 2020, Warner Bros (the studio that owns DC and HBOMax) makes a bold movie before the year ends. They decide to release Wonder Woman 1984 in the theater on Christmas Day (12/25/2020) and on their streaming service HBOMax on the same day!
I think it was about a month ago that they announced the news of this new way to watch movies (in the theater and in your own home). It was a unprecedented event but we live in very interesting times where people are afraid to gather in public. I want to thank Warner Bros for doing this and giving people a choice on how to watch this movie. I did choose to go the the theater. I am a long time fan of movie theaters and do not want to see them die out. Big, blockbuster movies like Wonder Woman 1984 deserve to be seen on the biggest screen possible. If this is not an option for you, then your next best thing is to watch it at home on your TV.
Gal Godot reprises her role as the Amazonian goddess, Wonder Woman. We are introduced to 2 new DC characters: Barbara Ann Minerva/ Cheetah played by Kristen Wiig and Maxwell Lord played by Pedro Pascal. These are probably relatively unknown characters to the casual comic movie fan but both have a shared history with Wonder Woman. I start the podcast but giving a quick history lesson on who these characters are in the DC comic universe.
The rest of the podcast, I give review of the movie. There are spoilers in the podcast so I recommend that you go out and see the movie (it is a very good movie) first and come back to discuss it. The movie does a few plot holes in it but overall, it overcomes these minor issues by focusing on the characters and pretty consistent pacing.
Sex, drugs, and murder in 1980s Los Angeles, and the best new twist on paperback pulp heroes since The Punisher or Jack Reacher.
ED BRUBAKER and SEAN PHILLIPS, the modern masters of crime noir, bring us the last thing anyone expected from them—a good guy. A bold new series of original graphic novels, with three books releasing over the next year, each a full-length story that stands on its own.
Meet Ethan Reckless: Your trouble is his business, for the right price. But when a fugitive from his radical student days reaches out for help, Ethan must face the only thing he fears…his own past.
I purchased Reckless this past Wednesday and devoured it like a dog with a t-bone steak. Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (with Jacob Phillips on colors) put out another fantastic read set in the Criminal Universe.
With help from my long time friend, Hector (who never reads comics), I give a spoiler free review to try can convince Hector that he should consider picking up this comic. I get Hector to judge a book by it’s cover – he looks at the above cover art and tells me what he believes will be in the comic.
Also in the podcast, I explain the connection between Folk singer, Bob Dylan, The Weather Underground – a 60s and 70s domestic terrorist group, Nuclear Existential Dread and The A-Team have to do with this comic.
It’s the holiday season so I wanted to review a comic that was a little light-hearted and offered hope for the future and found that in Chrononauts.
Chrononauts was written by Mark Millar and features art by Sean Gordon Murphy. It was published by Image Comics in 2015 as a 4 issue limited series. You can read it as a Trade Paperback.
You can argue that the majority of Mark Millar stories aren’t very original but I have to admit all his stories are very entertaining. Chrononauts may not be breaking any new ground telling the story of 2 time traveling scientists but it is an extremely fun read and features fantastic artwork from Sean Gordon Murphy.
Murphy’s art in this book is worth the purchase alone. He has to create scenes from the 1500s all the way up to modern times and he does not slouch in capturing each time period. He has a great eye for detail and it shows in every panel of this comic.
I also talk about time travel in media and go over some examples of how books and movies tried different ways of presenting time travel to its audiences.
I said in the podcast that there would be spoilers but I barely spoiled anything with my description of the comic so listen to it without worry.
Alien Legion is a comic that was originally produced by Epic Comics imprint under Marvel Comics in 1984. It was created by writers Carl Potts and Alan Zelenetz with artist Frank Cirocco. Potts described the story “The French Foreign Legion in space”.
The original series ran for about 18 issues and was relaunched with writer Chuck Dixon and artist Larry Stroman. This series would be cancelled after a year but Alien Legion would make sporadic appearances as prestige miniseries through the 1990s.
My exposure to Alien Legion was Chuck Dixon and Larry Stroman’s run on it. I enjoyed their stories very much in the 90s when I read them. I bought some Trade collections that were put out by Titan Books in the early 2000s. Tonight, I am reviewing a re-read of the story Alien Legion: Tenants in Hell by Dixon/Stroman.
Tenants in Hell was a fun re-read. As I mention in the podcast, it felt like a very 90s comic: references to Cyberpunk and Corporatism. Grim and Dark situations and characters. Total Nihilism and hope is for losers. I enjoyed these stories in my youth but they seem a bit rote in my re-read. These are still entertaining stories by they are reminders of a different time and seem antiquated now.
I keep the review mostly spoiler free but this is only a 2 part miniseries. There are plenty of Alien Legion stories out there if you want to read more.
Due to COVID, there were not many comic related movies released this year. In fact, there were hardly any movies released.
One movie that came out in September 2020 was The New Mutants. This was a former 20th Century Fox movie that was filmed in 2016 and would be delayed for reshoots and schedule conflicts until 2020.
Can a movie that has been postponed so much be as good as the New Mutants comic stories?
Much like you, I did not go to the theater to see New Mutants. I knew that it would come and go out of the theater without much fanfare due to the current COVID epidemic.
I always buy the Blu-ray superhero movies, good or bad. I like to keep a record of these things to see how bad things were and how great they would become. Based on the previews and reviews, I didn’t have high hopes for the New Mutants movie.
Listen to the podcast and I will go over a brief history of the original New Mutants group that Chris Claremont and Bob McLeod created. I then compare the movie to its comic counterpart and how faithfully (if at all) it is translated. I end the podcast with spoilers and my feelings about the movie.
Most of the podcast is spoiler free and I do warn you where I reveal all the secrets.
I continue celebrating my birth month with comic related items that I don’t think Jon would be interested in reviewing, and to be honest, I didn’t have much interest in this week’s item but I did have fun reviewing it…
Man-Thing: The Movie
The purpose of this podcast is to help promote comics and other items like movies and shows that are related to the comic industry and that are fun to read and watch. This week, I am making an exception.
Man-Thing: The Movie is bad. Really. It is a terrible film and should never been release or even made. If it’s so bad, why am I talking about it? Well, it is a perfect example of how Hollywood gets its mitts on a comic property and instead of taking some time to read the backstory of the character and incorporating that history into the movie, they decide to make a typical Hollywood movie that is a comic book movie in name only.
Movies like The Shadow, The Phantom, the 80s Captain America movie and the Dolph Lundgren Masters of the Universe and Punisher movie are all prime examples of how Hollywood got comic book movies wrong.
Look at the designs of Man-Thing. Here is a comparison of the comic versus the movie creature:
On the left is what the comic version is supposed to look like. The picture on the right looks more like Swamp Thing than Man-Thing. Also, the movie has Man-Thing have these jittery tendrils. Do you see any tendrils in the picture on the left? Not really. Maybe the things on his face but that is it. The movie has him loaded with tendrils. So much so, that you may mistake him for Cthulhu.
Here is the end scene of the movie. It shows how wrong the movie got the design of Man-Thing and also sums up the entire plot in 2 minutes…
Even though this movie is a hot mess. I have a good time going over the history of the character, talking about the terrible acting and throwing out ideas for good Man-Thing projects for the future.
I am sticking with the funny book theme from last month’s Howard the Duck and transitioning into Marvel‘s 1989 miniseries, Damage Control.
Damage control was conceived by the late, great comic duo of Dwayne McDuffie (writer) and Ernie Colon (artist). The premise is “a sitcom within the Marvel Universe”.
The story follows around: Anne Marie Hoag (founder), John Porter (account executive), Robin Chapel (traffic manager), Eugene “Gene” Strausser (Technician) and Lenny Ballinger (foreman) as the run the company, Damage Control – the business that cleans up after superheroes and villains.
The comic feels like it was scripted as a 80s sit-com: Porter and Chapel are rivals but there is some sexual tension between them. Hoag is a stoic but sage figurehead, Strausser is the nerd that helps his friends when they are in a jam and Lenny is the gruff but lovable blue collar comic relief.
There is no major overarching storyline. Each issue can be read and enjoyed individually. I got a few chuckles out of the re-read of the series and compare it to a great sit-com, Cheers. You may draw comparisons to similar sit-coms. It is a blue print on how you can make a sit-com in the Marvel Universe. Disney, are you reading this?
Enjoy the podcast and then read the comic. It’s a mostly spoiler free review.
Another week and a new episode of the Comics Misremembered Podcast is created. It is just me, Jim doing the podcast this week. Jon will hopefully be joining us in some later podcasts but for the month of November, it will be me.
November is also my birthday month so I will be celebrating all month long with comics that are near and dear to me that we haven’t covered yet.
Week 1 of the month long celebration, we are covering Howard the Duck (the 1970s run).
Howard the Duck was created by writer Steve Gerber and artist Val Mayerick on the pagers of Adventure into Fear featuring The Man-Thing #19 (Dec. 1973) published by Marvel Comics.
I started collecting comics in the early 80s. I started with titles like ROM and Captain Carrot and the Amazing Zoo Crew (look – I was young, okay!). The comic shop I was going to at the time had a back issue room and I discovered Howard the Duck! These issue excited me because they were old (at least 10 years!) and I could buy large chunks for close to cover price. I bought up the majority of the run there. I thought the art was great and the stories were pretty funny too.
A few years would pass and there was news that a Howard the Duck Movie would be coming out and it would be directed by George Lucas! This guy did Star Wars!! The Howard movie is going to be awesome!
Well, it wasn’t but now re-reading the Howard comic run, I can see how they got some of the ideas for the movie. I break this down in the podcast.
The comic also had lots of philosophical sub-text that I did not pick up on as a child that I see while reading as an adult. This was a well made, smart comic that appeals to kids and adults. If you never read the original comics, I highly recommend picking them up in collected trades.
Welcome to the Halloween edition of the Comics Misremembered.
If the image above didn’t scare you away then continue on, intrepid listener. But be warned! You will have to be made of much sterner stuff to listen to this week’s podcast.
This week, we are covering a Cosmic Horror comic called The Neonomicon.
The Neonomicon is by writer Alan Moore and artist Jacen Burrows. It was published by Avatar Press back in 2011 at 4 issues. 2 of the issues are reprints of an earlier collaboration between Moore and Burrows called The Courtyard and the remaining 2 issues are just a continuation and conclusion to the story.
In the podcast, I go over the origins of Avatar Press, Alan Moore and his love of H.P. Lovecraft, The many, many Lovecraft references in the book (I probably missed a few) and we talk about the actual story.
I keep it mostly spoiler free and do warn you when I am going to spoiler the rest of the comic in case you do want to read it. I highly recommend picking this up and reading. Especially during October!
Jon is back! Jon joins us remotely for this week’s CM Podcast. As Jon explains in the podcast, he is currently in the hospital for cancer. This is a new complication that Jon found out about within the last few day. He is in one of the greatest hospitals for cancer and is being treated by some of the best doctors so it is my hope that Jon will return in person to co-host the podcast with me in the near future.
But you know Jon, he is too stubborn to let anything stop him from talking about comics so through the power of technology, I was able to get him included in the discussion on this week’s comic, Black Badge.
Black Badge is written by Matt Kindt (MIND MGMT, Grass Kings) and artist Tyler Jenkins (Snow Blind and Grass Kings). It was published by BOOM! Studios back in 2018 as a 12 issue limited series.
I had the opportunity to read the collection for the first 4 issues. Jon has not been able to read this comic yet so I describe the book to him (mostly spoiler free) and Jon makes the decision if he will be reading this comic in the future.
I loved the concept – Boy Scouts are recruited to run wet work/black ops jobs for the US government. It is full of cold war espionage but with a modern twist. I thought it was a great comic and plan to get the rest of the series.
Welcome back to the podcast! First order of business, Jon is not on this week’s podcast due to an aliment that he has and it put him in the hospital. I can’t say too much about it but what I know is that it is not life threatening and hopefully he will be able to join us in the weeks to come. I wish him a full and speedy recovery.
On to the next item, talking about The Boys Season 2. If you have been following our podcast, you know we covered the first 3 episodes in Podcast 277.
One of the things we speculated on was what was Stormfront’s true agenda and our speculation was correct. I talk in detail on how we came to the conclusion and some of the clues that were dropped in the first 3 issues.
For the rest of the podcast, I go over some of the other major story arcs like: Who is Lamplighter and why he was so important in Season 2. Butcher’s relationship with his father and how if affected his marriage and relationship with the Boys. I speculate how his dysfunction could impact his relationship with his adopted son, Ryan. And finally I talk about Victoria Neuman and the big reveal in Season 2 Episode 8. All this and much more!