CM Podcast 299 – Batman: The Dark Knight Retruns (1986 comic miniseries)

Batman: The Dark Knight returns in a comic that I have been planning to review for a long time now. Tonight I finally have taken the time to do it!

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns is written and drawn by Frank Miller with inks by Klaus Janson and colors by Lynn Varney. It was published by DC Comics in 1986 in their new prestige format (squarebound, stock packer and cardboard covers).

Frank Miller has always been pushing the comics medium to be a viable place were creators can tell mature stories about the super heroes they grew up on. In the podcast, I mention that Frank Miller’s inspiration of this comic was to get Batman back to his 1930 roots were he was ruthless and terrifying to criminals.

Did fans want this new darker version of Batman? HELL YEAH! This comic sold millions of copies and it is continued to be reprinted in trade even today! Frank Miller’s Dark Knight art and story was so inspirational, people are still paying it homage over 30 years later.

The image second from the left is the original cover of Batman The Dark Knight Triumphant #2 and the rest are homages.

In my podcast, I touch on parts of the story but I really get into the history on why Frank Miller wanted to tell this future tale of Batman in his 50s, How real world politics influenced his story telling and how this comic inspired film makers with their interpretations of the The Dark Knight Detective. All this and much more in the CM Podcast!

Jim

Comics Misremembered Podcast 299

CM Podcast 293 – Wonder Woman: The Hiketeia (OGN Comic 2002)

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.

Jim

Comic Misremembered Podcast 293

CM Podcast 292 – Wonder Woman 1984 (Movie 2020)

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.

Comics Misremembered Podcast 292

CM Podcast 271 – The Golden Age (1993 comic review)

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).

***Spoilers Ahead***

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.

Comics Misremembered Podcast 271

CM Podcast 266 – Ronin (1983 comic) Part 1 (of 2)

We are at the final comic we will be covering for the #DystopianFutures theme and it is Frank Miller’s Ronin. This podcast is so epic that we had to split into two! We will be posting part one today and follow up with part two next week.

Ronin was published by DC in 1983. DC’s Editor in Chief, Jenette Kahn lured Frank Miller away from Marvel to publish this original story as part of DC’s Prestige format comics – all glossy pages, 48 pages per issue and no ads. DC offered more creative control and Miller wanted to do a more mature comic so he agrees to write and draw the six issue miniseries.

This was one of the many great things Jenette Kahn did to modernize DC and make the comic content more contemporary. One of the other great changes she made was to hire graphic illustrator, Milton Glaser (who passed away today) to design one of the greatest comic company logos of all time. It is known as the DC Bullet and here it is:

There is a funny story behind why DC cannot use this logo anymore and I am sure we will talk about it in a future podcast.

Miller was experimenting with different art styles in this series so that first 3 issues feature plenty of cross-hatching. If you are not familiar with that style, it is a technique used ti create tonal or shading effects by drawing closely spaced parallel lines. The first issue of the miniseries features cross-hatching on the cover:

Cross-hatching is very time intensive so this style is used in the first 3 issues and abandoned for more of a traditional comic style in the last 3 issues.

Jon and I talked about Frank Miller’s Eastern influences in the podcast. I mentioned a scene in the comic that is straight out of Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo. Here is a trailer for that movie:

The story from Yojimbo has been remade several times. One of the most recent remakes was 1996 Last Man Standing (whose name I forgot in the podcast). This movie stars Bruce Willis as the “body guard ronin who just blew into town”. Here is the trailer from that movie:

We covered some history, some influences and we start to talk about the comic in this podcast.

We will be spoiling plot points from the comic in next week’s podcast so we recommend reading it this week and coming back to listen and discuss it with us.

See you in seven for part two,

Jim

Comics Misremembered Podcast 266

CM Podcast 265 – Sweet Tooth (comic 2009)

We are getting close to the end of our Dystopian Future comics. This week we are talking about Sweet Tooth written and drawn by Jeff Lemire.

You know Jeff Lemire as the writer of great comics like Black Hammer, Gideon Falls, Hawkeye and many more. He started his career as an independent writer/artist and was able to get more mainstream attention thanks to Sweet Tooth which was published through DC’s now defunct alternative, mature imprint Vertigo back in 2009.

Sweet Tooth is an tale of a young boy who sees his mother and father die due to a pandemic that is impacting most of the people on the planet. The young boy named Gus (who looks like a deer) is able to survive the oppressive environment thanks to the help of a human named Mr. Jepperd. He has sworn to protect Gus and take him to a safe place where all the “hybrid” children live called “Sanctuary”.

***SPOILER WARNING***

Jon and I review the first story arc that covers meeting Gus and Mr. Jepperd and their journey to Sanctuary. We go over the art style, characters, motivation of those characters and what happens at sanctuary.

We were very interested to talk about this series. I feel it is not well know but people will find out about it due to the Netflix series that will be coming out soon. We want you to go out and read all the issue of Sweet Tooth. It is a great story about humanity in the post-apocalypse. It is a quick read too – only 40 issues.

Thanks for listening,

Jim

Comics Misremembered Podcast 265

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 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 244 – New Comic Review

It has been awhile since our last new comic review and there have been plenty of new comics released in the past few months so we wanted to talk about 4 that we think are exceptional!

You know the format that Jon and I use:

  • We review the 1st issue of a new comic.
  • This comic has been release within the last 3 months.
  • We keep the reviews to just the first issue so not to spoil too much.
  • We want you to check out all 4 books because we think they are worth your time.

I do the first review and then Jon does the second. We switch off until we get through all 4 books. So enough of the explanations! Let’s me show you the comics we talk about in podcast…

Review #1 – A Jim Review

Iron Man 2020 #1

Writers: Dan Slott and Christos Gage

Artist: Peter M. Woods

Publisher: Marvel

Review #2 – A Jon Review

Punisher: Soviet #1

Writer: Garth Ennis

Artist: Jacen Burrows

Publisher: Marvel Max

Review #3 – A Jim Review

Far Sector #1

Writer: N. K. Jemisin

Artist: Jamal Campbell

Publisher: DC under Young Animals imprint

Review #4 – A Jon Review

Strayed #1

Writer: Carlos Giffoni

Artist: Juan Doe

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

These are the 4 new series you should be reading, if you are not already. All have great creators with stories that will keep you interested.

Also, as a bit of bonus content. Here is a comparison of the 1984 Iron Man 2020 vs the Peter Woods’ Iron Man 2020. Which do you think is the the better design? I share my thoughts in the podcast.

That’s all for this week. See you in 7.

Jim

Comics Misremembered Podcast 244

CM Podcast 240 – 5th Annual Hazie Awards

We have reached the end of 2019. It has been another great year for comics. There were plenty of great comic books, comic related shows and movies that we covered here at Comics Misremembered.

Traditionally at the end of the year, most comic podcasts would do a review show of the best of the best comic related books, shows and movies but that’s not what we do here at the Comics Misremembered Podcast.

We like to cover comic related stories that happened through out the year that we thought were funny to us. The topics we cover are either a storyline, a story about a creator or comic company or any comic related tale that we want you to remember again. We called the award show The Hazies – because our memory is a little hazy.

I even went out and bought an actual award. I am not mailing it out to the winners (Sorry). I have been meaning to get one so here it is…

Listen to the podcast to find out who or what won this Hazie for these categories…

Dick Move Hazie

Killing Me Softly With His Love Hazie

Fear of a Female Planet Hazie

I Take My Coffee Black Like My Worldview Hazie

He Put The ‘No’ in Nostalgia Hazie

All these and many, many more were given out so tune in and have a laugh with us.

PS – Thanks to Emperor Palpatine to take some time out of his busy schedule promoting Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker to help us with our Hazie Award intro.

Jim

Comics Misremembered Podcast 240 – 5th Annual Hazie Awards

CM Podcast 239 – JLA Earth 2 (2000)

Over the last few weeks, we have talked about DC’s 1985 Crisis on Infinite Earths miniseries and how it retconned their multiverse into a single universe.

DC’s new single Earth universe would remain this way through several crossover events and one more crisis, Zero Hour: Crisis in Time. It will not be until the year 2000 when writer Grant Morrison and artist Frank Quitely would introduce the concept of multiple Earths again with the stand alone comic, JLA Earth 2

These are the 2 covers of the initial release of JLA Earth 2 back in 2000.

I just want to talk about these covers for a second. Frank Quitely is a fantastic artist and he creates some amazing perspectives. I love how he literally has the mirror image of the JLA and CSA on these covers. The interiors are great too.

In this comic, we are reintroduced to The Crime Syndicate of Amerika who are now on the anti-matter world of Earth 2. Prior to Crisis on Infinite Earths, these villains were known as The Crime Syndicate of America and they resided on Earth 3.

As I mentioned in the podcast, the 1960 Earth 3 Owlman looks dumb. He looks like a man wearing a owl hat. How is anyone supposed to be intimidated by that? But the 2000 update by Morrison and Quitely is as scary as the original Batman!

Besides the amazing updates to all the costumes, Morrison and Quitely weave a compelling tale about what happens when a team that believes in truth and justice cross over to a world of pure evil. They explore Good vs Evil and show that these 2 concepts aren’t always black and white.

We also go over some of the real world events that happened back in 2000 and some of the history for the Justice League of America from 1985 – 2000.

Comics Misremembered Podcast 239

CM Podcast 238 – Crisis on Infinite Earths CW Crossover (2019 – 2020)

A TV Event years in the making. First there was Invasion!, then Crisis on Earth-X and that lead into The Elseworlds Crossover and finally…

Jon and I were psyched a year ago when it announced that Crisis on Infinite Earths would be the next crossover event for the 5 CW Superhero shows.

Supergirl Part 1, Batwoman Part 2, The Flash Part 3, Legends of Tomorrow Part 4 and finally, The Arrow Part 5.

We have seen Parts 1 – 3. Parts 4 – 5 will not air until mid-January so we decided to review the parts that we saw, what we liked about them and how well did they capture the essence of the original comic miniseries.

Our Heroes

Also, below is the clip off YouTube that I was describing at the start of the podcast. This clip aired at the end of Supergirl Episode 8 2018 – the episode prior to the Elseworld Crossover. It is not mentioned much in other episodes but it is a very mysterious clip…

Why, Monitor?

Overall, Jon and I both like the show and what it is trying to do. We go into more detail on the podcast and we are looking forward to the conclusion of Crisis on Infinite Earths!

Jim

Comics Misremembered Podcast 238

CM Podcast 237 – New Comic Review

It’s time for Jon and myself to do another round up of 4 new comics that have come out in the last month that we think you should go out and pick up at your local comic shop or online.

The 4 books we are reviewing are as follows:

The Last God #1 (of 12) (Jim Review 1)

Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson

Pencils: Riccardo Federici

Colorists: Sunny Gho with Dean White

Publisher: DC Black Label

Folklords #1 (Jon Review 2)

Writer: Matt Kindt

Artist: Matt Smith

Publisher: BOOM! Studios

The Doll House Family #1 (of 5) (Jim Review 3)

Writer: Mike Carey

Artists: Peter Gross (layouts) and Vince Locke (finishes)

Publisher: DC Black Label – Joe Hill Comic Imprint

Undiscovered Country #1 (Jon Review 4)

Writers: Scott Snyder and Charles Soule

Artists: Daniele Orlandini and Giuseppe Camuncoli

Publisher: Image Comics

2 of the comics are fantasy, sword and sorcery comics and 2 are modern horror comics. All 4 are amazing reads and you should have them on your pull lists! Listen to the podcast for details on why we like the comics.

Jim

Comics Misremembered Podcast 237

CM Podcast 235 – Crisis on Infinite Earths Pt. 2 (comic 1985)

Hello and welcome back to the 2nd and final part of our discussion on the epic miniseries Crisis on Infinite Earths that came out in 1985.

The series was written by Marv Wolfman with art by George Perez (pencils) and Jerry Ordway (inks). It was originally published by DC.

We do a quick recap and then get right back into the discussion of the story. Issue #7 is perhaps the most important issue of the series. It is where we get the origin story of Monitor, Anti-Monitor and Pariah. It is also has the death of an important member of the DC Universe – Supergirl.

You knew something bad was going to happen just by looking at the cover to issue #7…

Look at the way Kara looks in Superman’s arms and the way that Superman is crying. Those are tear of pain. Everyone thought “Supergirl must get hurt pretty bad in this one.” No one expected a death! That was unheard of for a popular character to die in comics but DC and Marv were rewriting all the rules, baby!

I mentioned that this cover is also one of the most parodied covers in all of comicdom. I did a quick google search and her are some the the “homage” covers that I found…

There are many, many more that exist out there. It just goes to show you how influential this series and George Perez’s art was this this time.

There is another death too in issue #8. An even bigger death! Listen to the podcast to find out who!

At the end of the podcast, Jon and myself reflect on the series and give you the answer on “Would you recommend the series?” Our answers may shock you.

Jim

(in the podcast I mention we are recording in 2017. This is a misremebrance. We actually recorded this on 11/24/2019)

Comics Misremembered Podcast 235