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

CM Podcast 267 – Ronin (1983 comic) Part 2 of 2 Comics Misremembered Podcast

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 267 – Ronin (1983 comic) Part 2 of 2 Comics Misremembered Podcast

This is it – the final installment of our Dystopia Futures run on comics.  This does not mean that we won't talk about Dystopian Futures in… the future, but it mean next week will not be a Dystopian Future theme. We are continuing were we left off last week – we are concluding our discussion of Frank Miller's Ronin six issue prestige format miniseries that was published by DC from 1983 – 1984.

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

CM Podcast 234 – Crisis on Infinite Earths (comic 1985)

Last year the CW shows (Arrow, Flash, Supergirl and Heroes of Tomorrow) did a crossover event – Elseworlds. At the end of the crossover, they teased their next crossover with this static image:

We were like “Are they actually going to do this? This story? On the CW shows?!!”

wrap around cover by Alex Ross for the 30th anniversary collection of ‘Crisis’

The original, seminal comic miniseries Crisis on Infinite Earths came out in 1985 and it was one of the first “maxiseries – anything over 6 issues”. It was an epic tale and was a huge undertaking for the writer and artist. In this case:

Writer – Marv Wolfman

Artist – George Perez

Not only did these 2 creators tell a tale that spans dozens of worlds, with hundreds of characters over millions of years but it also served a purpose of realigning the DC universe to streamline it for new readers without alienation long time fans. It accomplishes both by the twelfth issue.

Here are some of the covers of the original miniseries:

In this week’s podcast, Jon and I go over the history of why Crisis on Infinite Earths was necessary to clean up continuity. We talk about our own histories on how we discovered the comic. We talk about the story and characters.

We can’t really say there are spoilers since this story is 35 years old and the basis on future Crisis events like Infinite Crisis and Final Crisis. In fact, all the plot twist that happened in this series have pretty much been retconned 3 or 4 times now.

Join us next week for the conclusion of our discussion on Crisis on Infinite Earths!

Jim

Comics Misremembered Podcast 234

CM Podcast 231 – Watchmen TV series (2019)

Over the last few years, HBO has teased use with this image…

This is interesting. People never thought the original miniseries Watchmen would ever get a movie adaptation and it eventually did. Now, HBO wants to make it a TV show based on the original comic? This did not seem like a good idea.

The series was partially written and produced by Damon Lindelof, who has success, to varying degrees with other sacred franchises like Star Wars and Star Trek so he seems like the best choice for this series.

Time goes on and I have not heard a peep regarding the show until within the last few weeks. The premier episode was viewed at the New York Comic Con and fans got a taste of the new show and overall, the reaction was surprisingly positive.

Jon and I watched the premier episode, along with millions of other people and we came to the conclusion – The show was very strong and seems to have legs.

****SPOILERS AHEAD AND IN THE PODCAST****

In this week’s podcast we are going to talk about…

All of these images. We will try to answer questions like: Who is Looking Glass and what is his “Pod” used for? Who is Sister Night and are her origins tied to the original miniseries? Why are the cops wearing masks? Who are the Seventh Kalvary? We ask a whole lot more questions and look for clues on a few conspiracy theories like does the show really tie into the comic timeline or is it in it’s own universe?

Listen to the podcast for clues…

Also, if you did watch the show, go to HBO’s Watchmen website for some supplemental material. Link here: https://www.hbo.com/watchmen

Comics Misremembered Podcast 231

CM Podcast 224 – Swamp Thing Show

Time Warner has a cool app called DC Universe that carries all the DC Heroes animated shows like Batman TAS, Superman TAS, Justice League Unlimited, and more.

It also has new and exclusive live action hero shows like Titans, Doom Patrol and Swamp Thing.

This poster gives away a big secret but you will have to watch the show to find out.

Jon and I recently subscribed to the DC Universe app to watch Doom Patrol (and we hope to review it soon) but we stated to like some of the other shows too. We both had little knowledge about Swamp Thing so we started to watch Season 1 and we both really liked it. We like it’s American Gothic setting and story. We like characters and the actors that played them. We like the special effects and the horror elements. We consumed all 10 episodes wanting more and we found out the Warner Media cancelled the series!!

In the podcast, we talk about what we knew about Swamp Thing prior to watching the show and what we really liked about the show itself. We also explain what Phantom Stranger and Blue Demon have to do with the show.

You don’t know about these 2 obscure characters are? That’s great because we share a little info on who they are and why they fit perfectly in the Swamp Thing show.

We lament on what could be with a Season 2 and other characters that would have been introduced like Anton Arcane.

We recommend checking out the DC universe app and the Swamp Thing show now before it is removed. Maybe if enough people watch the show, we can get a 2nd season!

Jim

Comics Misremembered Podcast 224

CM Podcast 222 – Twilight

Back in 1990, DC editors allowed Howard Chaykin and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez to use some of their beloved 1950 and 1960s Sci-Fi characters to be used in a very mature and violent miniseries.

Twilight is quite an oddity. DC only has a few comics that were released dealing with mature themes up to this point and not many after Twilight.

Covers to issues 1, 2 and 3 of the Twilight miniseries

Chaykin and Garcia-Lopez use zany characters like Tommy Tomorrow, The Star Rovers, Star Harkins (now called Axel Starkins), Ilda and Jon Starkins and put them into a comic that deals with politics, religion, civil liberties and many more mature themes. Some of the characters are totally opposite of their 90s counter part like Tommy Tomorrow.

I don’t know who came up with the concept and pitch but I am glad this comic was made. It is a fresh and different idea for DC at the time and it still holds up re-reading it. This is Jon’s first exposure to it and he really had a good time talking about it.

We also talk about the history of the original characters from the 50s and 60s and how the atomic bomb influenced the creation of these characters and how the cold war impacted the imagination of writers and film makers during that time.

Jim

Comics Misremembered Podcast 222