April 11th, 2021 | Season 2 | 39 mins 51 secs
comics, dc, fantastic four, frank quietly, grant morrison, jae lee, marvel, superman
In the early-2000s, Grant Morrison's aimed his mighty imagination at DC's Superman and Marvel's The Fantastic Four. In this episode, Raman and Ryan talk about the way Morrison brought out the very essence of these superheroes and argue over the extent to which it worked.
April 2nd, 2021 | Season 2 | 44 mins 2 secs
This week we're talking about Planetary, written by the now-controversial Warren Ellis and drawn by the always-astonishing John Casaddy - which ran sporadically for just 27 issues from 1998 to 2009.
Planetary follows the eponymous Planetary corporation, a global organization dedicated to unearthing the secret histories - and mysteries - of the world. The team trots the globe, encountering reminiscent phenomena like Japanese monsters, hardboiled Hong Kong cops, giant sized nuclear bugs, strange visitors from another planet, wild westerns, pulp action heroes...and even bizarro-world evil dick doppelgängers of the Fantastic Four...
March 30th, 2021 | Season 2 | 46 mins 2 secs
comics, karnak, moon knight, warren ellis
Moon Knight and Karnak of the Inhumans have largely been D-list afterthoughts in Marvel's superhero universe. How could they possibly have a starring role in their own titles? Simple, just make them crazy.
March 22nd, 2021 | Season 2 | 1 hr 4 mins
comics, jla, justice league, zack snyder
No longer propelled by mystique, Zack Snyder's official, four-hour long version of Justice League finally became an actual thing. This week, we welcome back author Chandler Klang Smith, who gives her unique spin on Snyder's "novelistic" filmmaking, and how it helps and hinders Justice League.
March 12th, 2021 | Season 2 | 31 mins 16 secs
This week we're continuing our "subversive superhero series" and reading Matt Fraction's 2020 reboot of "Superman's Pal Jimmy Olson," illustrated by Steve Lieber. Sure, Jimmy Olson is an ace photographer, turned content creator. He's a bow-tied bon vivant and adventurer. But as the book asks, why does Jimmy get to be Superman's best friend?
In a book that embraces it's own madcap weirdness, Jimmy wanders the weird corners of the DC universe to solve the mystery of his own murder with some zany characters old and new...marrying an inter-dimensional jewel thief, being tormented by blood vomiting cat, hanging with Metamorpho, decoding his crazy criminal conspiracy with Lois Lane, starting a prank war with Batman, and of course avoiding his best friend Superman. The narrations alone made this book an oddly fun read. But was that enough weirdness, or did the attempt at a plot get in the way?
March 7th, 2021 | Season 2 | 39 mins 12 secs
In this episode, we'll look at the inaugural adventure of newest and most unique Green Lantern: Sojourner Mullein, a young black woman raised in post 9/11 New York, whose experiences growing up, and later serving in both the army and the NYPD, impact how she carries out her duties investigating a homicide in the furthest reaches of space.
February 26th, 2021 | Season 2 | 37 mins 14 secs
This week we continue our subversive superhero series ...with Superman Red Son, the 2003 miniseries that reimagined the Man of Steel had he been raised in Mother Russia
Written by Mark Millar with the artist team of Dave Johnson, Andrew Robinson, Walden Wong, Killian Plunkett, and colorist Paul Mounts - RED SON has the last son of Krypton's rocket ship landing on a Ukrainian collective farm. the book starts decades later in 1953 - at the beginning of the Cold War, with the Soviets revealing Superman to the world as "the Champion of the common worker who fights a never-ending battle for Stalin, socialism, and the international expansion of the Warsaw Pact."
February 20th, 2021 | Season 2 | 27 mins 49 secs
Batman is many things. The Dark Knight detective. A tortured hero. Fetish bat. But scared boy? In Arkham Asylum, writer Grant Morrison (him again!) and illustrator Dave McKean give us a Batman the likes of which you've never seen before - and take him on a nightmarish spin through a haunted insane asylum.
February 12th, 2021 | Season 2 | 32 mins 7 secs
This week we're talking about 2018's "MISTER MIRACLE" by Hugo award winning writer - and ex-CIA officer - Tom King and artist Mitch Gerads ... the same team behind “the Sherrif of Babylon.” Mister Miracle is an ambitious new take on one of Jack Kirby's most beloved New Gods - and his dysfunctional family. this is some PTSD-laden shit, and one of the best new comics we’ve read in awhile…and a great book to kick off our “Subversive Superheroes” series...
February 6th, 2021 | Season 2 | 32 mins 52 secs
manga, opus, satoshi kon
When manga artist Chikara gets pulled into his own work... it's quite literal. Soon, he finds himself entangled in the adventures of the characters he created, many of whom are not thrilled to learn they're fictional.
January 30th, 2021 | Season 2 | 35 mins 32 secs
"The Rough Pearl" by Kevin Mutch begins as an in-depth look at one man wrestling with his own mediocrity... and ends in another dimension. If you like existential dread, quantum realities, and the zombie apocalypse...this book for you.
January 22nd, 2021 | Season 2 | 35 mins 9 secs
This week, we're reading SAILOR TWAIN or "the Mermaid of the Hudson", by Mark Siegel, Founder of First Second press, one of my favorite semi-indie comics publishers. The book just has a haunting atmosphere that pulled me in and still haunts me to this day.
January 17th, 2021 | Season 2 | 35 mins 17 secs
comics, graphic novels, memoir
Charlie Hebdo cartoonist Riad Sattouf's graphic memoir about his childhood growing up in France and Syria. At turns funny and at turns disturbing, The Arab of the Future is about a boy's growing disillusionment with his father and not feeling completely at home, no matter where you are.
January 8th, 2021 | Season 2 | 23 mins 38 secs
grab your cowboy hat, and break out your typewriter for PULP, by the longstanding writer / artist duo of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. To many, Brubaker's best known for revitalizing Captain America with his "Winter Soldier" storyline...but to TRUE FANS, we know and love Brubaker's frequent team-ups with Sean Phillips for any # of NON-superhero, crime drama. If you want some good comics reading, i'd recommend any # of the duo's pairings - like SLEEPER, THE FADE OUT, FATALE, and their long-standing series CRIMINAL.
January 1st, 2021 | Season 2 | 37 mins 16 secs
graphic novels, science fiction
This quirky and eerie sci-fi trip by Ezra Claytan Daniels - the fewer plot details given, the better - follows two extraordinary individuals in the twilight of their lives as they undergo a scientific experiment to become their optimal selves.
It goes poorly.
At turns touching and horrifying, Upgrade Soul is among the best graphic novels we've reviewed so far.
December 29th, 2020 | Season 2 | 53 mins 23 secs
comics, wonder woman, ww84
WW84, the sequel to the 2017 hit Wonder Woman, hasn't gotten the critical or audience acclaim of its predecessor. No surprise, we didn't like it either - but in this episode, we'll examine what did and didn't work for us.