CM Podcast 262 – Alita Battle Angel movie (2019)

We have been doing dystopian future comics for a few weeks now and there are still several ideas we want to talk about in the coming weeks but a couple of weeks ago, I saw a movie that I thought was really good and would fit nicely into our Dystopian Futures conversation. That movie was:

Alita Battle Angel.

Alita Battle Angel is based on a 1990s Manga called Battle Angel Alita that was written and drawn by Yukito Kishiro. Here is the cover to Book 1 of the collected work…


Jon and I watched the movie and then were able to get the first book prior to recording the podcast. The movie is pretty faithful to the manga in who the story flows and how the characters look. The movie has Ito, the father character to Alita, had a wife and child. In the manga, he was single. The family dynamic probably works better for the movie.

I think what turned most people off to the movie are Alita’s huge anime eyes. In fact, after the first trailer, they reduced the size slightly of the eyes.

left: orignal Gollum eyes Right: updated eyes

Those eyes are a little distracting at the start of the movie but you get used to them and eventually forget about them by the end of the movie.

It is a solid Sci Fi story about a girl finding love and her own identity. She fights to overcome the odds and comes out on top. It is a real underdog story and I think, that’s what I like about it. It is currently playing on HBO and I highly recommend watching it before listening to the podcast.

This is a movie that I think a lot of people passed on that should have seen it in the theater (myself included). If they do make a sequel, I would definitely see it in the theater.

Jim

Comics Misremembered Podcast 262

CM Podcast 261 – The Last American (1990)

We will be doing Dystopian Futures for the near future because in comics, there are hundreds of dystopian future comics and we want to talk about most of them.

This week, we are talking about an Epic Comic that is not really well known called The Last American. It was written by John Wagner and Alan Grant with art from Mike (Mick) McMahon. All 3 creators are based in the UK and created a comic that is an American Cautionary Tale.

The Last American is a 4 issue miniseries originally released by Marvel’s Epic Imprint but it has been reprinted in Trade Paperback by Com.X and 2000 AD Press. It tells the story of soldier, Ulysses Pilgrim who happens to be the last American after a nuclear war. It graphically depicts what the world would look like if there was an actual nuclear war. Is Pilgrim the actual last American or are there others?

You know Pilgrim’s slowly going mad when Bert the Turtle shows up.

It is a fast and frightening read that was really relevant in 1990 which was the height of the Cold War but the story still is relevant today to show you this is what could happen if we were to stockpile nuclear weapons.

If you are a fan of books like The Road and movies like The Moon, then you will really like The Last American.

Jim

Comics Misremembered Podcast 261

CM Podcast 260 – Transmetropolitan (1997)

Another week, another dystopian future. This week we are covering the future of Transmetroplitan. This is a 1997 comic series that was written by Warren Ellis with art by Darick Robertson. It was published by DC under the new defunct Mature Sci-Fi imprint of Helix.

The story of Transmetropolitan starts with journalist, Spider Jerusalem living in isolation in the mountains (the way he likes it) when he gets a call from his publisher who tells him he needs to fulfill his contract of writing 2 more books. He doesn’t have any ideas for new books so he makes the decision to go back to the City to get his next story. This is a very difficuly decision because Spider hates the City. The cruel, dirty, polluted City.

Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson take use on a fun, cigarette and caffeine fueled roller coaster ride of what the world looks like in this nightmare vision of the future. You’ll laugh and laugh more.

It’s a dystopian future but it’s not too bad compared to some of the other futures we covered in the last few weeks.

Jim

Comics Misremembered Podcast 260

CM Podcast 259 – American Flagg! (1983)

The future is now! We are continuing our discussion on future dystopian comics and this week we are cover the future of American Flagg!

American Flagg! was a comic written and illustrated by Howard Chaykin with letters by Ken Bruzenak that originally started in 1983 and was distributed by First Comics, an independent publisher at the time.

American Flagg! takes place in 2031 in Plex America which is the name of the former United States of America. It follows the adventures of former TV star, now conscripted Plex Ranger, Reuben Flagg. He is relocated from Mars, a planet of the wealthy to Earth, home of the dregs of society and in a constant state of conflict. It is up to Flagg and his Plexus Rangers to establish order and return Plex America to it’s former glory before the Tricentennial.

We review the collected trade volume one by Image. It collects the first 6 issues.

This comic is a dark, satirical take on America and it’s politics in the 1980s, but it feels as relevant today, more than ever. In Flagg’s reality, people have broken their political beliefs into fractured, radicalized cells and wage war on the streets with other political parties every day – and this is a normal day! Chaykin takes a philandering louse and makes him the hero of the story and it works! This comics gets you with humor and keeps you reading for the twists and turns of the plot. Netflix, HBO and Hulu – why are you not making this a series yet?!!

***Some slight SPOILERS in the Podcast***

Jim

Comics Misremembered Podcast 259

CM Podcast 258 – Scout (1987)

We are continuing with our review of Dystopian comics and next on the list is Tim Truman’s Scout. It was originally published by Eclipse Comics back in 1987.

If you are not familiar with the comic, here is a brief summary:

BY TIMOTHY (CONAN WRITER/ARTIST) TRUMAN Scout, originally published in 1987 and created by Timothy Truman features the Native American hero, Emanuel Santana, and his one-man war against oppressive governmental forces in a post-apocalyptic United States.

This was pulled off the Dynamite Entertainment website. Direct link here.

Jon and I have did not read this in issues when it originally came out but Dynamite Entertainment collected the first 7 issues in a trade paperback so we got the opportunity to read this rarity and give our review on it.

cover of the Volume 1 of the trade.

Scout is a interesting satire of 80s politics and “Go Big or Go Home” culture mixed with Indigenous People folklore. Scout “sees” the evil in the world and it is up to him to heed the hero’s call to vanquish the beasts that destroy the land and reestablish order in America.

*** SPOILER WARNING***

In the podcast we talk about characters and plot points. We don’t give everything away but we do spoil a couple of parts to talk about the story. You can listen to this podcast prior to reading the comic. In fact, it may help you understand some of the content. But if you want to read the comic without any spoilers, go read it and then come back.

Jim

Comics Misremembered Podcast 287

CM Podcast 257 – V for Vendetta (1982 comic) Pt. 2

Welcome back to the second and final part of our discussion of Alan Moore and David Lloyd’s V for Vendetta comic miniseries. The 10 issue miniseries was published by DC back in 1982.

In part one of our discussion we covered: the uniqueness of Lloyd’s original black and white art and the problems with coloring it with DC. There are several literal influences in V for Vendetta but the political climate of the UK in the 1980s may have been the biggest influence on this comic.

We started to talk about the comic but we ran out of time. We picked up that discussion with Part 2. We go over who exactly Guy Fawkes is and why his mask is relevant to the comic. we get through the story and what we like (and dislike) about it but we feel it is still a very relevant comic that still need to be read.

we recently, watch the V for Vendetta movie and compare it to the comic. Jon and I have very different views about the movie and if it is faithful to the comic. Listen to the podcast to see who’s side you will take.

Overall, V for Vendetta is a good read with great art. It is not as ground breaking to comics as Watchmen but you’ll enjoy the ride.

Stay safe,

Jim

Comics Misremembered Podcast 257

CM Podcast 256 – V for Vendetta (1982 comic) Pt. 1

The world is in a social crisis. COVID-19 is impacting everyone and we are all worrying about the future. Now seems like the perfect time to talk about a cheery subject – a totalitarian future were everyone’s freedoms are stripped away and there is no hope.

This is not entirely true. The is one hope – one man wages war on a despotic government to overthrow the tyrants and return freedom to the people. Hooray! We are going to be talking about V for Vendetta. A comic by writer Alan Moore and artist David Lloyd. It was originally published as a serial in a UK comic Warrior in 1982. DC converted it into a 10 issue miniseries in 1988.

I have been waiting for the perfect time to talk about this comic and now seems the best time. Jon and I share our history regarding reading this comic.

We talk about the history of the comic coming from Warrior and moving over to DC. The original David Lloyd art was in black and white and DC wanted it to be in color. Normally, this would not be a problem but Lloyd uses Negative Space technique for the black and white images and that will not look great with color. The colorists for the comic get around the problem.

We then get into world history of the UK in the 80s and how that would have a major influence on Moore and Lloyd on the creation of V and how their dystopian society looked.

We then get into talking about the actual comic (but not too much). We go over the first 2 issues. We learn about V, the main protagonist. Evey, a innocent by-stander that gets swept up by accident into V’s terrorist plot and finally, Mr. Adam Susan, face of the fascist regime that is controlling the UK.

Mr. Susan – everybody’s favorite wanker.

This podcast is a great place to start if you have never read V for Vendetta. We don’t talk too much about the comic in this podcast but we are giving you a chance to read it and come back in a week for part 2. Next week, we will get into all of the comic and do a comparison of the movie to the comic.

Some bloopers in the podcast: This is podcast 256, not 258. Alan Moore wrote Swamp Thing not Swamp Men and there are probably a dozen others but I am too tired to address them. This is why it’s called Comics Misremembered.

In the podcast, I promised a link to Superman Annual #11 (Here) AKA “For The Man Who Has Everything”. Moore explores the same themes of nationalism and fascism.

Jim

Comics Misremembered Podcast 256

CM Podcast 255 – The Walking Dead Season 10 Season Finale (Almost) (2020)

Last week, The Walking Dead aired episode 15 (the penultimate episode) of Season 10 and episode 16 will not air until Summer. Well, that is too long for us to wait to recap the season. There is a reason why we call part of the podcast “misremembered” – we don’t have the best memories. We knew we could not wait until Summer so we are going over what we saw so far in Season 10’s 2nd half.

We saw that Negan became a Whisperer and we met a new person called Princess.

Now does Negan remain a Whisperer? And can Princess be trusted? Well, these are question we will answer in the podcast. So, before we go any further…

***SPOILER WARNING ALERT***

We do go over all the details about Season 10 mid-season material so if you have not watched it yet, then don’t listen now.

If you have watched The Walking Dead up to Season 10 Episode 15 then you are all set. We are not spoiling anything. We are just recapping with you.

The other thing we do on the podcast is to review the Spoil The Season predictions we made in CM Podcast 249 (link here) and see how right (or wrong) we were based on the comic.

Here are some comic covers from material we did in Spoil The Season. What do they mean? We talk a little about the future storylines in the podcast.

Finally, if parts of the podcast sound like they were recorded on the back of a pick-up truck that has bad shocks while driving over a cobblestone road, that would be the fault of our Comics Misremembered Dog, Daisy. She was asleep at the start of the podcast but woke up towards the end and wanted to play by bumping into the mic stands. Sorry about that.

Jim

Comics Misremembered Podcast 255

CM Podcast 254 – Batman: Death in the Family (1988)

This week’s podcast was brought about by an answer to a twitter question: Without telling me exactly how old you are, tell me something about your youth?

Someone answered “I was alive when you had to call a 1-900 number to kill robin.”

Jon did not get the answer to the question. I immediately knew exactly what this person was saying. I started to tell Jon about the controversial Batman: Death in the Family story arc (Batman #426 – 429, 1988). The story was written by Jim Stalin (Infinity Gauntlet) with art by Jim Aparo (long time Batman artist) and inks by Mike DeCarlo.

Jon started to remember bits and pieces. I told him that this would be a great time to review that story on the podcast since I have the trade paperback of the story. So we both read it and here we are this week talking about a story that is about 28 years old.

I started to collect Batman comic just as this story was being published. I missed issue 426 but I was able to get the rest. About a month later, DC would collect all 4 issues in a trade paperback that had this cover:

Normally, collected trades for well known stories never came out shortly after they were published in issues in 1988. Some it is unusual that the trade came out as quick as it did and it was printed on regular paper stock, not the traditional high gloss stock.

It was a shocking event for 1988. There were very few deaths of heroes in comic up to this point. Killing Robin was as significant as killing Jean Grey and James “Bucky” Barnes. The other unique part of the death is that fans decided Robin’s fate. You would call one of 2 1-900 numbers: one to save Robin and the other to kill him. The media was all over this. When infamous issue #428 came out revealing Jason Todd (Robin) died, all the news channels were reporting it.

This story is an interesting time capsule. DC used the technology of the time (1-900 numbers) to get more interactive with fans and let them have a say in what happens. This type of event was never duplicated again (as far as I can remember).

We both read it again and had some good times remembering the good, the bad and the ugly regarding Batman: Death in the Family.

Jim

Comics Misremembered Podcast 254

CM Podcast 253 – Superman: Red Son Movie (2020)

Back in 2018, we reviewed the 2003 Elseworlds story, Superman: Red Sun which you can listen to here. Jon and I both really like the comic (except for the ending).

2 years later, we are reviewing the newly releases Warner Bros. Animated movie – Superman: Red Son. Which is written by long time comics scribe, J. M. DeMatteis. I looked at his IMDB page (which you can see here) and he has written quite a few TV episodes, including one of our favorite Justice League Unlimited episodes “For the Man Who Has Everything“.

J. M. DeMatteis does an excellent job at creating a teleplay based on the original comic material that retains all the great elements while streamlining the story so that people not familiar with comic can still enjoy it too.

Here is a clip of the movie to give you an example of the quality of animation:

The story and the animation are top notch. Jon and I go over the movie and talk about the differences between the comic and movie and if we like the changes.

Spoilers are ahead so we recommend watching the movie first and then coming back to listen to the podcast. Go watch the movie – it’s not like you got anyplace to go. We are all stuck inside at this point.

Jim

Comics Misremembered Podcast 253

CM Podcast 252 – Daredevil: Born Again (1986)

Welcome back to Comics Misremembered. This week we are going to talk about a story that people will argue that is Marvel’s greatest story ever. There are others that hold this story in reverence. We may make these people angry with our podcast.

Tonight, we are talking about Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli’s seminal Daredevil story – Born Again. Originally published as Daredevil #227 – 231 in 1986 by Marvel.

I explain in the podcast how I came to buy the trade paper back for Born Again and why we are recording a podcast for it now. In reflection, it seems the perfect time to do a story review for this book.

Here is the cover of the trade that I bought.

For those that have never read or even heard of this story, let me give you some of the history. Frank Miller wrote and drew some of the defining moments of Daredevil in the 70s and 80s. He would leave Marvel and work on several Batman stories over at DC.

In 1986, Frank was invited back to write a new storyline for Daredevil to help boost it’s sales. Jim Shooter, editor-in-chief at the time, asked Frank if he would like to take a crack at the Scarlett Swashbuckler again. Frank said he would and so history is made.

Jon and I have never read this story until today. We both are not big Daredevil fans but we are familiar with the character of Matt Murdock and his family of characters. This story is wildly hyped, but does it live up to it? We tell you in the podcast. We also cover the religious symbolism that Miller and Mazzucchelli put into the story.

It’s a great story but one of the greatest? You be the judge. Oh, by the way – SPOILERS WILL BE IN THE PODCAST.

Jim

Comics Misremembered Podcast 252

CM Podcast 251 – New Comic Review

Welcome to Comics Misremembered New Comic Review. Jon and I find 4 titles that have come out in the past few weeks and we make recommendations. Usually these comics are independent titles that you may have missed. All of our recommendations are worth your time and we highly recommend reading them. Let’s get to talking comics this week…

The reviews are like this: Jon starts then I do the next and so on until we review 4 books. Got it! Great. Here is the order…

Wolverine #1 – Jon’s review

  • Writer: Benjamin Percy
  • Artists: Adam Kurbert and Viktor Bogdonavic
  • Publisher: Marvel

BANG! #1 – Jim’s review

  • Writer: Matt Kindt
  • Artist: Wilfredo Torres
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

Mirka Andolfo’s Mercy #1 – Jon review

  • Writer: Mirka Andolfo
  • Aritst: Mirka Andolfo
  • Publisher: Image Comic

Tomorrow #1 – Jim review

  • Writer: Peter Milligan
  • Artist: Jesus Hervas
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Comics (Berger Books imprint)

There you have it. 4 great books with glowing reviews. Go pick them up as soon as possible because issue #2 for most of them will be out in a week or 2.

Jim

Comic Misremembered Podcast 251

CM Podcast 250 – Iron Man: Demon in a Bottle (1979)

Welcome to a very special edition of Comics Misremembered Podcast. We are celebrating our 250th podcast!! About a week ago I had no idea what we were going to do to honor this milestone.

We started kicking around ideas: Maybe do a countdown of our favorite storylines. We ditched this idea because we figured it would be too similar to past podcasts. Then changed it up to: review a great and celebrated storyline that is often over looked.

This brings us to the topic of this week’s CM Podcast. We will be reviewing the trade paperback of Iron Man: Demon in a Bottle. This is a collection Iron Man Vol.1 #120 – 128. The original story was published by Marvel in 1979.

The creators of this storyline are: Writer/Co-Plotter – David Michelinie, Artist – John Romita, Jr and Inker/Co-Plotter Bob Layton.

The title Demon in a Bottle comes from Iron Man #128 which is the final part of the overall story arc. It also has one of the most recognizable covers of all time created by Bob Layton.

Jon and I have never read this story in it’s original run. We had a great time going over it and we both think it is as relevant today as it was in 1979. I think the reason it is often overlooked on people’s Top Ten lists is because this is only the beginning of Tony Stark’s descent into alcoholism. In this story arc: Bethany Cabe points out that he has a drinking problem, helps him identify the problem and overcome it. Tony seems to have conquered his demons. Or has he?

If you continue reading after #128, Tony’s struggle become worse and he will eventually lose everything to drinking. It will be several years before he turns it all around to become sober and a success again.

It’s a terrific story that shows that no man is an island. You sometimes have more problems than you can handle and it is always a good idea to have your friends and family help you out when times are tough.

We compare Tony Stark of the 70s to how he behaves in the 2020s, we cover the infamous Javis resignation letter and discuss how they tired to use elements of this story in the Iron Man 2 movie to varying degrees of success.

Jim

Comics Misremembered Podcast 250

CM Podcast 249 – The Walking Dead Season 10 Mid-Season Premier (2020)

The Walking Dead is back again. It’s the middle of February and its the middle of Season 10. We get to see what happens to Carol and the gang. Remember, they were trapped in the cave after Carol stupidly ran in after Alpha and the gang tried to stop her.

On the podcast, we review the Mid-Season Premier episode. We discuss if it was in Carol’s character to wildly chase after Alpha. We then talk about what happens to everyone once they are trapped in the cave and how they worked out a solution to try and leave the cave.

We catch up with the Whisperers and see how Negan is doing. Is Negan trying to prove his worth to Michonne and Judith or did he show his spots and turn traitor and ally himself to Alpha.

*** SPOIL THE SEASON***

Lastly, we do what we do every premier episode on AMC’s The Walking Dead – We spoil the season (#SpoilTheSeason) by revealing what happened in the comic and see if the events that transpire in the comic align with the events in the show. We have been pretty accurate so far.

Jim

Comics Misremembered Podcast 249

CM Podcast 248 – Locke & Key Show (2020) Part. 2

We are back and discussing the rest of the Netflix series Locke & Key Season 1. A few weeks ago we started the conversation here. We are now picking up where we left off.

In this week’s CMPodcast, we cover the remaining episodes 4 – 10. Season 1 covers story elements that you can read about in the first 3 story arcs of the IDW Publishing comic: Welcome to Lovecraft, Head Games and Crown of Shadows. The original comic was written by Joe Hill with incredible art by Gabriel Rodriguez.

In this podcast, we compare the differences of the show to the comic. I noticed that overall, the show had a Young Adults feel and was not as dark as the comic. I feel that works best for the show so it gets a wide audience. Most of the changes actually work out better and we list most of them.

Jon and I discuss the different keys that are introduced and why they needed to create some brand new keys for the show. The ending has changed too. I liked this because it was a twist that both comic readers and first timers watching the show did not see coming. An interesting twist that sets up Season 2.

Jim

Comics Misremembered Podcast 248