Sex, drugs, and murder in 1980s Los Angeles, and the best new twist on paperback pulp heroes since The Punisher or Jack Reacher.
ED BRUBAKER and SEAN PHILLIPS, the modern masters of crime noir, bring us the last thing anyone expected from them—a good guy. A bold new series of original graphic novels, with three books releasing over the next year, each a full-length story that stands on its own.
Meet Ethan Reckless: Your trouble is his business, for the right price. But when a fugitive from his radical student days reaches out for help, Ethan must face the only thing he fears…his own past.
I purchased Reckless this past Wednesday and devoured it like a dog with a t-bone steak. Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (with Jacob Phillips on colors) put out another fantastic read set in the Criminal Universe.
With help from my long time friend, Hector (who never reads comics), I give a spoiler free review to try can convince Hector that he should consider picking up this comic. I get Hector to judge a book by it’s cover – he looks at the above cover art and tells me what he believes will be in the comic.
Also in the podcast, I explain the connection between Folk singer, Bob Dylan, The Weather Underground – a 60s and 70s domestic terrorist group, Nuclear Existential Dread and The A-Team have to do with this comic.
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.
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.
If you happen to be down at the beach and there is a spacey blonde staring off into the distant horizon, you don’t ask her if she is okay. You keep moving and mind your business. You’ll do this if you know what’s good for you and you’ll especially do this if you are a character in a Ed Brubaker Criminal story.
My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies is the latest story from writer Ed Brubaker and artist Sean Phillips in their Criminal anthology series. Unlike their other series, it is a hardcover novella instead of the traditional 4 to 5 issue miniseries. The books are published through Image Comics.
This story focuses on young Ellie and her time spent in a high class rehab center. She tells us of her past problems with addiction which stem form her mother’s struggles with drugs. She is draw to people with addiction problems and that explains why she listens to a lot of music where the lead singer has died of drug overdoses (and also explains the title).
While in rehab, she must attend ‘group sessions’ – a sharing therapy session where other addicts share their problems in a sitting circle. While in a group session, Ellie shares her thoughts on drugs…
As you can see, Ellie is not having a great time at rehab but she did meet a nice boy and maybe they can have some fun together.
My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies is a great read. The story and art are top notch. Jon and I go over the story by we don’t spoil it. Listen to the podcast and if you are looking for something more than superheroes in comics, we recommend picking this comic up.
Welcome back, CM Podcast fans. Jon and I both have this cold that’s been going around so we apologize in advance for the coughs and hope to be back to 100% next week.
I have been reading Nick Spencer’s Steve Rogers: Captain America and really have been enjoying it. It is a controversial story because it has Cap as an Agent of Hydra instead of the Sentinel of Liberty. Time will tell if this will go down as a great story or terrible idea in the annals of history.
This gave me the idea to talk about 3 other controversial stories and how people reacted to them. In this podcast, we review the following:
Identity Crisis (2004)
Ed Brubaker’s Captain America (2005)
The new 52 Launch (2011)
Also, In the podcast Jon speaks to the criticism that DC received on their female characters in the new universe. To give you a visual on how women were portrayed in the new 52 here are 3 examples (left to right): Catwoman, Starfire and Voodoo.
We know you have been waiting for it and it has returned once again – a new comic review from Jon and Jim! Hurrah!
There are hundreds of titles that come out each month and some deserving comics get lost in the shuffle so it is up to us at Comics Misremembered to point out comics that are worth reading and you should pick up on your next trip to the local shop.
This week’s round-up are the following (including the time stamp in the podcast):
6:00 – Rough Riders – by Writer Adam Glass and Artist Patrick Olliffe. Published by Aftershock Comics
15:40 – Kill Or Be Killed – by Writer Ed Brubaker and Artist Sean Phillips. Published by Image Comics
34:10 – Avatarex: Destroyer of Darkness – by Writer Grant Morrison and Artist Jeevan J. Kang. Published by Graphic India
46:30 – The Black Monday Murders – by Writer Jonathan Hickman and Artist Tomm Coker. Published by Image Comics
All 4 of these comics are fantastic reads with incredible art work. They are different than your usual Super Hero books and that’s why we like ’em!
Listen to our review podcast for more detail on each book.