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!
It finally happened. The Walking Dead Season 10 episode 16 finally aired!! We finally have the finale of the season so now we can talk about it! There was plenty going on in that final hour. We had…
MAGGIE and MASKED MEN and SOLDIERS! OH MY!
Not only did we have all these 3 revelations but we also had the conclusion to the Whisperer War. We will definitely not be seeing the Whisperers in future seasons.
Jon and I talk about the finale episode and go into details about how it played out and what this might mean for Season 11. We then conclude the podcast with a recap of the “Spoil The Season” where I compare the spoilers I gave at the start of the Mid-Season Premier based on the comic compares to the end of the actual season.
This week we have a slight variation in our comic review. This is a new comic but it a comic that is adapted from a well know American novel. Jon and I are reviewing Ryan North and Albert Monteys‘ comic adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five. The adaptation is published by BOOM! Studios and is available now.
You may be familiar with writer, Ryan North. He worked as the writer on the awesome and very funny Unbeatable Squirrel Girl for Marvel comics. What I discovered about Mr. North in doing some research is that he also created the Dinosaur Comic that is still running today at his own website, qwantz.com
It is one of the earliest internet memes that I remember. Here is the 1st comic that started it all…
The dino comic uses the same art format for each additional comic, only the script changes.
The Artist, Albert Monteys is a Spanish artist that works on the satirical weekly comic magazine, El Jueves. He has also created his own web comic called Universe! which has been collected and published.
And finally, Kurt Vonnegut who was an American author who had a 50 career and has published many fantastic novels such as The Sirens of Titan (I misremembered this as the Game Player of Titan which is a Philip K Dick book), Breakfast of Champions, Cat’s Cradle and Slaughterhouse Five.
We went over an hour on this one but we kept it under 2 hours so not to split up the podcast. Jon and I both love the original book and we think the adaption is brilliant. We talk about the story and how well the comic stayed true to the source material. In the podcast, we make recommendations on movies based on Vonnegut’s novels and I must mispronounce Paul Lazzaro‘s name about 15 times. I don’t know if I ever got it right.
Last week, we reviewed the Warner Bros. Animated movie Superman: The Man of Tomorrow. Months ago, when the title of the movie was announced and there wasn’t any information about the movie, I thought they may be adapting the venerated Superman story: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow. To my dismay, they did not adapt it and we were given a generic origin story for Superman.
Fast foward to a week later, I decided that we will be doing a retro review for Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow. This story was originally told as a 2 part tale in Superman # 423 (Part 1) and Action Comics #583 back in 1986. It was written by Alan Moore (with help by editor Julius Schwartz). The art was done by long time Silver Age artist, Curt Swan with inks done by George Perez (Superman #423) and long time Silver Age inker, Kurt Schaffenberger (Action Comics #583). The story is regarded as the “Last Superman Story” which is somewhat true. It was the last Silver Age story before DC would reboot and modernize Superman with the release of Man of Steel miniseries.
If you have never read this story, we highly recommend you buy the Collected Edition (Retails for $14.99 but you can find it for less online) and then listen to the podcast. This story has some surprises in the 2nd half and we spoil all of them in the podcast.
If you don’t mind spoilers, then check out the podcast. We go over a brief history on how Alan Moore was selected for this story and why it is considered one of the best Superman stories as well as best told comic book stories.
A few months ago while searching for the release date of Superman: Red Son (a comic and animated movie that are both quite good), I came across an image for another upcoming Superman animated film called Superman: Man of Tomorrow.
There was no description of this movie but I was excited that WB Animation will be releasing another Superman film in 2020.
Fast forward to September 2020 and the release of Superman: Man of Tomorrow written by Tim Sheridan (co-writer of Reign of Superman Movie and other DC Animated series).
Jon and I have watched this movie and we felt it was…adequate. This movie is not based on any existing storyline in the Superman comics as far as I can discern. It has elements of the New 52 iteration of the Superman comics (Modern interpretation of Superman, Clark Kent is an internet at the Daily Planet, Superman has only just been spotted in a modern setting) but it does not specifically reference any direct comic storyline. Here is a clip of the movie for context:
Listen to the podcast and I will explain why this movie has the worst version of Lex Luthor since Superman Returns. This is a boilerplate Superman story whose only purpose is to establish Superman’s story in the modern age. There is nothing special about this movie and it will soon be forgotten in the coming months.
We recommend to watch this movie only if it becomes available on HBOMax and don’t pay any thing extra for it. If you are curious about the plot (or lack thereof), then you want to listen to the podcast.
Last year, we were give The Boys, an Amazon Prime adaptation of Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson‘s comic series, and it was great.
We waited and about a year later, we are given the second season of The Boys!
Amazon Prime is doing something different with the release of Season 2. Instead of getting all the episodes at once (a la Netflix), they released the first 3 episodes and 4 though 8 will be released weekly. I like this schedule. It gets the ball rolling and gives us something to talk about in this podcast and then we can do a wrap up podcast after episode 8.
***OBLIGATORY SPOILER WARNING***
There is a lot to talk about in just 4 episodes. We mostly talk about the revelations that happened in Episode 4 and compare them against the comic book storyline. I don’t want to say too much here but we talk about Homelander and Stormfront’s tenuous relationship on The Seven. How Butcher is dealing with the revelations at the end of Season 1. What The Deep is up too and much more.
We could have talked for 2 hours on just these 4 episodes but we stuck to just 1 hour. We are looking forward to the end of the season and doing the wrap up podcast.
This week we are talking about an original graphic novel that came out about a month ago that is part western and part crime drama. It is called Pulp.
This fantastic story was written by Ed Brubaker with art by Sean Phillips and coloring by Jacob Phillips. It was published by Image comics.
Here is the description from the Image website:
Max Winters, a pulp writer in 1930s New York, finds himself drawn into a story not unlike the tales he churns out at five cents a word—tales of a Wild West outlaw dispensing justice with a six-gun. But will Max be able to do the same when pursued by bank robbers, Nazi spies, and enemies from his past?One part thriller, one part meditation on a life of violence, PULP is unlike anything award-winning BRUBAKER & PHILLIPS have ever done before.
Jon and I really liked this story and we talk about it and other themes like: living through the Turn-Of-The-Century – witness the world change from riding on horses to riding in cars. Comic creators and their rights on the characters that they create – we go over some real comic history, and finally the rise of fascism in America – in the 1930s, some Americans thought Hitler was a great leader. How could so many people be so wrong?
Some spoilers in the podcast but we recommend you go buy the comic and come back to listen to the podcast.
DC Animation recently released a new movie called Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons. It features DC’s anti-hero Deathstroke and the movie was written by long time comic scribe, J.M. DeMatteis.
Here is a description about the movie:
Ten years ago, Slade Wilson-aka the super-assassin called Deathstroke-made a tragic mistake and his wife and son paid a terrible price. Now, a decade later, Wilson’s family is threatened once again by the murderous Jackal and the terrorists of H.IV.E. Can Deathstroke atone for the sins of the past-or will his family pay the ultimate price?
As I understand it, the movie originally debuted on CW Seed (free streaming service for CW) as a multipart web series and then it was collected and released as a Blu-Ray movie. I bought the movie but did not know about the streaming part.
If you would like to watch the first 30 minutes free, here is the CW Seed link:
Jon and I watched the movie and it is a retelling of the origin of Deathstoke but modernized and all references to the Teen Titans have been removed. I think the WB Animated Universe is trying to make Deathstroke into a viable IP as an anti-hero with this movie. Maybe this will lead to more Deathstroke miniseries and movies.
The first half of the podcast we go over the movie and plot points and the second half of the podcast, we discuss how often do comic companies retell and modernize the origin of their characters. How often is too often? Is it better to replace heroes with newer, younger versions then to retell the origin? What if you vary too many elements of the origin story that an older fan can no longer recognize a character?
A few weeks ago we did a podcast for the Netflix movie, The Old Guard. In that podcast, I mentioned that the comic and movie The Old Guard were both written by Greg Rucka. We went over some history of Greg Rucka’s past comic work and brought up that he did a Gotham Police comic with Ed Brubaker in 2003 called Gotham Central.
Fast forward to today. I was able to pick up the first book in the Gotham Central series so Jon and I read the first 2 story arcs: In the Line and Motive. We will talk about the comic and why you should be adding this to your “must read” list.
Gotham Central was written by Greg Rucka and Ed Brubaker with Michael Lark doing the art. It was published by DC in 2003. It ran for about 40 issues and was cancelled in 2006. It was nominated for Eisners for writing and art in 2003 and won an Eisner for Best Serialized Story in 2004.
So why did a well written police procedural comic with fantastic artwork have such a limited run? The answer is: no promotion. The comic started with hot but lost steam over the years. DC did not seem interested in keeping this comic going so rarely saw any ads for it and there were no crossovers in its 3 year run.
We recommend picking this book up and giving it a read. It starts with Detective Marcus Driver and Detective Charlie Fields following a lead for a missing persons case and then having the worst day ever…
Detective Driver survives his encounter with Mr. Freeze but his partner did not. The reader follows Detective Driver as he works with the Gotham Central to track Freeze down before he hurts someone else. Driver wants justice for his partner so he wants to find Freeze before the Batman does.
Jon and I really enjoyed this book and characters and we highly recommend that you pick it up. I am not a fan of police procedural books but this one held my interest. There is a buzz that this may get turned into a TV series and I hope it does. This book really deserves a chance at a bigger audience.
Last week, we covered the 2020 Eisner Award Nominees and Winners. In the category of Best Limited Series, Writer Bobby Curnow and Artist Simon Gane were nominated for Ghost Tree. I recently purchased the trade for Ghost Tree so I thought it would be a great time to cover it.
The podcast for this week will be Ghost Tree by Bobby Curnow and Simon Gane with colors by Ian Herring. The comic was published by IDW Publishing. It originally came out in 2019.
I was not familiar with Bobby Curnow’s writing before Ghost Tree. I found out that he has worked on other IDW books like My Little Pony and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This is my first time reading his work and I hope he puts out many more books like this.
I was already familiar with Simon Gane’s work. I was reading a comic called They’re Not Like Us from Image that he was working on. That was a great book and the art really sold it for me. I was looking forward to see what he was going to do with Ghost Tree.
Ghost Tree on the surface is a tale about ghosts and the 2 men that have the ability to communicate with them. Below the surface, you get a story about relationships and what you have to do to make them work. Jon and I really like this miniseries and we highly recommend that you pick it up.
***Minor Spoiler Alert*** – we talk about some plot points but we did not give away the major revelations in the comics so it is fairly spoiler free.
The 32nd Annual Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards were presented at a virtual ceremony on Friday evening, July 24.
Normally, these awards are held at the San Diego Comic Con (AKA The International Comic Con) but due to COVID-19, the Comics Con was cancelled. Luckily, the ceremonies were held virtually which you can watch here.
I believe this is our 6th Eisner Award review we have done on the Comics Misremembered Podcast. We like to cover the awards like Best New Series, Best Continuing Series, Best Writer, Best Artist but we don’t cover all the awards. If you want to see the list of categories and winners then go to the Eisner Awards website here.
Jon and I talk about the series and creators that we have read and which series that we are most interested in checking out.
We have been watching the CW show: Star Girl – which is set on Earth-2 and references the heroes and villains of the Golden Age of DC. The show does a good job of using the Golden Age villains and heroes without being too hokey or corny.
While watching the show, I was reminded on how I got to know the Golden Age characters as a comic reader. It was back in the early 90s, DC has a JSA comic series and I was enjoying it. Getting to become familiar with the Golden Age version of Green Lantern and Flash while learning about new characters like Hour Man, Wild Cat, Starman and others. Remember, we had no internet back then so I only had back issue and new comics to give me backstory.
In 1993, a relatively unknown writer, James Robinson pitched an Elseworlds story (The What If? equivalent for DC) about most of the JSA heroes called The Golden Age. It would feature art by the awesome Paul Smith and had colors by Richard Ory. DC would publish it as a 4 part prestige series between 1993 – 1994.
The Golden Age is an awesome mystery story that helped me learn a lot about the Golden Age Heroes. Did you know there was a Robot Man before Cliff Steele? Did you know there were multiple speedsters in the Golden Age like Jay Garrick, Johnny Chambers and Libby Lawrence? Did you know the Golden Age Atom was called that because he was small not because he became small? All this and more will be revealed to you.
This series does a great job at making these Golden Age characters feel believable while introducing them the the problem and politics of the real world in 1940 – 1955. It takes on issues like World War II, Communism and McCarthyism (Not McCartneyism – that has to do with Rock n Roll and screaming teenage girls).
Jon and I talk about the history on how this book was made and then go over plot points and characters. We don’t spoil the final act of the book but we do go over most of the story.
We highly recommend reading this story. It has some ties to the Star Girl series and will bring you up to speed on most of the Golden Age heroes.