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