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.
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!
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.
It’s our 150th podcast so let’s celebrate by talking about a comic that is over 30 years old!
It’s a special milestone podcast so I wanted to talk about a special comic mini-series that was influential and had an impact on the comics industry as well as Jon and myself. That series is… The Watchmen.
Originally published by DC between 1986 – 1987, this seminal series was written by Alan Moore with art by Dave Gibbons.
We were so excited about this series that John and I both flub our opening lines (it’s in the podcast – I barely ever edit anything). This is what I was trying to read:
“How did a min-series about a superhero team comprised of a psychopath, a sociopath, a meglomaniacal narcissistic egomaniac, an impotent self-doubting fanboy, a daughter trying to live up to a legacy’s expectations and an uncaring, indifferent god become one of the most awarded, beloved and reverent comics of all time?”
This is the question we ask and we do a pretty good job trying to answer it. We enjoyed the comic and hope you enjoy the podcast.
While visiting our local comics store New England Comics (which is the best by the way), I came across a Trade Paper Back Blowout sale that they were having. I looked through the many boxes that were there and came across an absolute buried treasure:
Strikeforce: Morituri – created by Peter B. Gillis and Brent Anderson back in 1986!!
The entire run (31 regular issues and 5 issue prestige format miniseries) was collected into 3 Trade Paper Backs! Each one was $5 a piece!!
I instantly grabbed them up and proceed home as fast as possible to begin re-reading the series. I knew that I had to have Jon read these trades and this was going to be the next podcast.
Jon read most of the 1st TPB and we decided to go over the first 2 story arcs of the series and then talk about what we think were some of the influences to Peter Gillis when he was writing this series. It was great revisiting these stories and we hope that you can snag a copy of these comics and get a chance to read them or if you already read the comic, relive the memories that we have of the series.
A few weeks ago, DC launch their most audacious comic yet – Doomsday Clock. It is a direct sequel to the critically acclaimed Watchman miniseries and it will tie the Watchmen universe directly into the DC universe. Quite a bold undertaking to say the least.
The writer of this series is Geoff Johns. He has written some great story lines for Superman, Green Lantern and the JLA that have earned him critical praise. If there was on person to pick up where Alan Moore left off, Geoff Johns would be on the short list.
The series is penciled by Gary Frank. He is an accomplished artist in the comic industry. I have been a fan of his work since I saw it on Peter David’s run of The Incredible Hulk. Gary Frank is the perfect person to pick to fill the shoes of Dave Gibson.
Together, they are taking on the thankless task of continuing the adventures of The Watchmen in Doomsday Clock.
The first issue is out so Jon and I read it and we give a review of it on the podcast. We also speculate on how the identity is of the new Rorschach. We go on to talk about what may happen in the upcoming series. We had a good time with the comic and talking about its future. Did you know if you initialize the miniseries it would be DC’s DC? Weird.
It was Veteran’s Day last week so we celebrate it a week later with a war comic. War comics were all the rage back in the 50s, 60s and 70s. There were many great characters that came out of that genre like Nick Fury and Sgt Rock but one of the lesser known heroes was The Unknown Soldier.
DC introduced him on the pages of Sgt. Rock and he became so popular that he eventually received his own monthly title in the 70s that ran until 1982.
After that, the Unknown Soldier faded back into DC obscurity until a 1988 12 issue miniseries tried to resurrect him but that did not work.
Then in 1997, Garth Ennis (who likes the old DC war characters) pitched a 4 issue miniseries for but with a more mature storyline so DC picked it up and published it under the Vertigo imprint.
The series continued where World War II left off and put the Unknown Soldier in every clandestine meeting and leading every wet works operation from the 40s up until the present and it was a fun read. It had fantastic interior art by Kilian Plunkett and the covers were done by the incomparable Timothy Bradstreet.
I read the original miniseries when it came out and recently bought the trade. Jon had the opportunity to read it so we decided to give it a glowing review and explain why it’s a great comic for war historians and those that want to take a closer look at the US’s foreign policy since WWII.
We have done 100 podcasts and this is the start of 100 more!
This week, Jon has read one of the comics that he missed when it originally came out. We discussed this in Comics Misremembered Podcast 95 and that comics is:
by Brian Wood and Riccardo Burchielli
This comic is as relevant today as it was when it was published in 2006. The story is told through the eyes and words of Matty Roth – the only embedded photojournalist in the Manhattan DMZ. Want to know more? Listen to the podcast!
We talk politics and comedy – you will swear you were listening to an episode for Bill Maher’s Real Time or the Daily Show.
This is a 2 part podcast: the first 30 minutes are about real world politics in comics and what one company is doing to change that and the second 30 minutes is a review for FX Network’s Legion show. I didn’t want to confuse you and think it was a political discussion based on the Legion show.
Part 1 (minutes 1 – 30)
Recently in some comics, writers have been using existing comic universe characters as analogies for Donald Trump as not so subtly done in DC’s Catwoman (but still very funny).
Other comics have blatantly lampooned Trump in their comics like Marvel’s Spider Gwen seen here:
Marvel Entertainment CEO Ike Perlmutter (who does support Trump) wants writes to stop using real world politics in their stories. Jon and I discuss the implication of Marvel not using real world characters in their stories and if it is a good or bad thing.
Okay. Enough politics! Let’s talk about the FX show Legion.
Part 2 of the podcast (minutes 31 – 60)
Based on Marvel’s David Haller AKA Legion, the show is about the mutant that has a multiple personality disorder. We review the first episode.
we reveal some of the secrets of the 1st episode so don’t listen if you have not see it yet! Go watch the show (it’s great!) and then come back to listen to our takes on were we think it is going.