CM Podcast 269 – The Wolverine (1982 miniseries and 2013 movie review) Part 2 of 2

I know it was hard to wait a week for our review but thanks for coming back! We continue with our examination of the Wolverine miniseries written by Chris Claremont and drawn by Frank Miller. It was published by Marvel in 1982. We also compare the miniseries to the 2013 The Wolverine movie and show you how much they used from the miniseries in the movie.

Some things you can expect to hear in this podcast:

  • We continue to spoil a comic that came out almost 40 years ago and has been recapped in issues of Uncanny X-Men, X-Men and The Wolverine regular series so it’s not much of a spoiler.
  • I call Yukio the wrong name for half the podcast and Jon does not pick up on it until I correct myself.
  • We know our 80s American Asian cinema – we go off on a 10 minute tangent to talk about how Asian culture influenced media during the 1980s.
  • Jon and I try to piece together why Storm has her “punk rocker” look on the final 2 pages of issue #173 of Uncanny X-Men.

All this and more hilarity with this podcast. Thanks for listening.

Jim

Comics Misremembered Podcast 269

CM Podcast 268 – The Wolverine (1982 miniseries comic and 2013 movie) Part 1 of 2

A new week and a new comic. This week we are talking about Chris Claremont and Frank Miller‘s collaboration on the 1983 Marvel miniseries Wolvervine.

We recently read the trade paperback of the 4 issue miniseries and took some time out to watch the 2013 The Wolverine movie. There are many moments the movie uses which is directly taken from the miniseries.

At the start of the podcast, we go over a interview that Chris Claremont told Sean Howe about how he trapped Frank Miller and forced him to work on the miniseries with him.

This chance encounter lead to an epic miniseries that all the fans demanded. 1982 was when the Uncanny X-Men were at the height of their popularity. The character that everyone wanted more of was Wolverine. He was the mysterious, animal bad boy with the shadowy past. The miniseries was a way to add more dimensions to him. Everyone expected a hack and slash tale (and they got that) but they also got to know the sensitive side of Logan.

***SPOILER ALERT***

We are talking about the entire Wolverine miniseries and the movie so we will be spoiling all of the plot points. The miniseries is almost 40 years old so some of the original story has been retold in other comics so if you are long time follower of Wolvie, then you know most of this story.

Jim

Comics Misremembered Podcast 268

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

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.

This is the cover of the trade we read.

*** MAJOR SPOILERS THIS WEEK***

Ronin is set in the near future and has a massive twist at the end of the comic that you don’t see coming (we debate it’s validity) but we want to warn everyone up front – if you do not want the comic’s ending spoiled, stop listening when we tell you in the podcast. You can listen to everything else but stop listening and go read the comic.

Reflecting back on Ronin, Frank Miller was in an experimental mood when creating this comic. He tires several different art styles (cross-hatching, negative space) and we also pushes the limits of dialogue and censorship with the way some of the characters speak. It was ground breaking, especially for a DC comic, at the time and still holds up today.

Jim

Comics Misremembered Podcast 267

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 252 – Daredevil: Born Again (1986)

Welcome back to Comics Misremembered. This week we are going to talk about a story that people will argue that is Marvel’s greatest story ever. There are others that hold this story in reverence. We may make these people angry with our podcast.

Tonight, we are talking about Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli’s seminal Daredevil story – Born Again. Originally published as Daredevil #227 – 231 in 1986 by Marvel.

I explain in the podcast how I came to buy the trade paper back for Born Again and why we are recording a podcast for it now. In reflection, it seems the perfect time to do a story review for this book.

Here is the cover of the trade that I bought.

For those that have never read or even heard of this story, let me give you some of the history. Frank Miller wrote and drew some of the defining moments of Daredevil in the 70s and 80s. He would leave Marvel and work on several Batman stories over at DC.

In 1986, Frank was invited back to write a new storyline for Daredevil to help boost it’s sales. Jim Shooter, editor-in-chief at the time, asked Frank if he would like to take a crack at the Scarlett Swashbuckler again. Frank said he would and so history is made.

Jon and I have never read this story until today. We both are not big Daredevil fans but we are familiar with the character of Matt Murdock and his family of characters. This story is wildly hyped, but does it live up to it? We tell you in the podcast. We also cover the religious symbolism that Miller and Mazzucchelli put into the story.

It’s a great story but one of the greatest? You be the judge. Oh, by the way – SPOILERS WILL BE IN THE PODCAST.

Jim

Comics Misremembered Podcast 252

CM Podcast 164 – Give Me Liberty Part 2

Welcome back!  We continue the discussion of Frank Miller and Dave Gibbons’ dark political satire – Give Me Liberty.

We discussed Books 1 and 2 last week and we continue on with the remaining Books 3 and 4.

We start the discussion with Miller’s crude brand of humor and we discuss if he could get away with this type of humor today.  We go on to discuss Martha’s relationship with Chief Wasserstein, the introduction of the Surgeon General, the dissolution of the United States and Moretti’s final fate.

Some of the material is a bit dated but overall, Jon and I did enjoy reading (and rereading) this miniseries again.

Your Comics Pal,

Jim

Comics Misremembered Podcast 164

CM Podcast 163 – Give Me Liberty Part 1

July 4th was a celebration of the birth of the United States.  It is also the birthday of Martha Washington.  Who is that?  Why she is the main protagonist in this week’s review.

Since it is Independence Day, it seemed appropriate to do a review of Give Me Liberty a creator owned comic from writer Frank Miller and artist Dave Gibbons.

GML_01

The comic was originally published by Dark Horse Comics in 1990 and it is a creator owned character for Miller and Gibbons.  Give Me Liberty was published as a 4 issue prestige comic miniseries.

Give Me Liberty is dark political satire that takes place in a near future dystopia.  (Remember, this came out in 1990 and starts in 1995 with the birth of Martha Washington).

I have my original copies of this series and read it when it first came out in 1990.  Jon has never read the series until this week.  We had so much to talk about that we had to break this podcast up into 2 parts.

Part 1 – We cover the first 2 issues.  We talk about President Rexall and how he repealed the 20th amendment (I think I mistakenly called it the 26th amendment) so he can run for president for more than 2 terms.

GML_03GML_04As you can see from Dave Gibbons lovely art, President Rexall looks more like a dictator with each passing election.

Martha joins PAX (which is a combination of the Peace Corp and the Marines) and her first mission is the protect the Amazon Rain Forest from the corporate greed of Fat Boy Burgers.  Here is another great image from the series…

GML_02

There is a lot to talk about in this series and most of the issues in this comic are still relevant today.  Listen to part 1 and come back next week for our conclusion to the series.

Your comics pal,

Jim

Comics Misremembered Podcast 163

CM Podcast 3 – Frank Miller

This week Jim and Jon focus on the writer/artist Frank Miller.  Frank Miller is responsible for creating some of the greatest story lines for characters like Daredevil and Batman.  He also has created his own creator owned property such as Give Me Liberty and Sin City.  We analyze his stories through the cultural and political landscape of the 80’s and 90’s and how Miller wrote his own fantasies and fears into his protagonists.  So come with us for the Rise and Fall of Frank Miller.

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