Podcast 119: A Conversation with Sean (@ryzingstar50)

Direct Download (1:33:17)

I mentioned Sean in the previous episode and now he’s on the big show to chat with me about all sorts of comic book goodness including binge reading comics, trade sharing, DC Rebirth, Grant Morrison, Sandman, Young Justice, the Treasure Valley Comic-Con, and more! I want to thank Sean again for joining me; I had a great time talking comics and whatnot with him!

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Thanks for listening!

RandoMonday: Falcon #4

Here’s a comic chosen at random from my collection.

Falcon (1983) #4 by Jim Owsley (writer), Mike Bright (pencils), Mike Gustovich (inks), Clem Robins (letters), Steve Mellor (colors), Larry Hama (editor), and Bright & Joe Rubenstein (cover)

The early 1980s were so good for miniseries spotlighting some of the not A-list characters in the Marvel and DC universes, and this is one example. The Falcon gets the special treatment with this 1983 series where you found out that Sam Wilson is a mutant (though this was later changed), which, when I read this in issue #2, made perfect sense given Falcon’s rapport with Redwing. Anyway, this final issue has Falcon fight and defeat Electro, and convince Xeon, leader of the Legion, the “leading gang” in New York, to dialogue with kidnapped President Reagan. Despite the fact that the Legion committed a pretty major crime, all seems ok because Reagan listened to what Xeon had to say and told arriving police officers that he was in a conference.

The best thing about this issue, however, is Captain America’s involvement. He teams up with Sgt. Tork, who seems to have no idea who Cap is and continually makes comments that causes Cap to get these bemused looks on his face, almost is if he enjoys showing Tork what he is capable of.

One thing I noticed in my reread of this issue is that artists Bright/Gustovich did a good job at drawing expressive faces, especially with the eyes.

New Comics Wednesday 5/21/14

Happy New Comics Wednesday! Here are the comics that I’ll be getting from this week, plus some thoughts about Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Amazing Spider-Man 2!

New Comics this week

  • AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #2: I have to say, I miss Superior Spider-Man. I wonder how long I’ll stick with Amazing.
  • AMERICAN VAMPIRE: SECOND CYCLE #3: I can’t wait to read this. After #2, I am fully invested in this series.
  • BATMAN AND FRANKENSTEIN #31: Given Batman’s last encounter with Frankenstein, Bruce better watch his back.
  • BATWOMAN #31: My last issue. JH Williams was the magic behind this character for me.
  • BTVS SEASON 10 #3
  • BUNKER #4
  • EAST OF WEST #12
  • FOREVER EVIL #7: Does anyone care anymore? Dear DC, this is not how you release issues for a major company event. What the hell happened here?
  • IMMORTAL IRON FIST COMPLETE COLLECTION TP VOL 02: I can’t wait to read this!
  • ROCKET GIRL #5: My last issue.
  • SAGA #19: It’s back! I wonder how the new direction will affect the overall story.Will Saga jump the space shark?! ;)
  • VELVET #5: This is going to the top of my read pile.

Go here for a complete list of comics releasing this week.

Movie Musings

I wanted to talk on the podcast with Greg, my Comics in Other Media special correspondent, about Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Amazing Spider-Man 2, but he’s moving from California soon, so it’ll be a while. But the podcast’s loss is your, the blog reader’s, gain (or so I hope).

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

I will put out this up front: Captain America is not one of my favorite characters. He’s not even in the top 20. So, I wasn’t really excited to watch this sequel. I did enjoy the first Captain America movie, but mostly because it was a period piece. Putting Cap in modern times, for me, just becomes old man out of time jokes. But. While there was some of that, there was a lot to really like about this film. Primarily there was Sam Wilson. The way he was introduced was funny and didn’t feel too forced. The callback later in the film to the opening scene (“on your left”) was wonderful. I also enjoyed the fight scene between Cap and Batroc, but I wish we could have heard him speak more and with more of an accent. :) Finally, I really enjoyed the buddy cop vibe that we got between Cap and Black Widow.

As to the political intrigue of the movie, I thought it was overplayed and not at all deep, but I was very surprised to see–SPOILERS IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE FILM YET!!!–Hydra take down SHIELD, opening up the third Cap (and second Avengers) film to potentially (and hopefully) move outside the SHIELD umbrella. Not to mention what that does and will do to Agents of SHIELD on ABC. Notice that I haven’t said much about the titular character, the Winter Soldier? That’s because there’s not much to him in the story other than fight scenes and a half-assed is Bucky still in there after all? (Hint: yes.) Finally, was I the only person yelling at the screen (in my head of course) for Natasha to remove the booby-trapped (no pun intended) broach that Redford’s character gave her–it was such an obvious thing that it seems really unlikely that super-spy Black Widow wouldn’t have seen it coming (and she didn’t!).

Overall, while I enjoyed this movie more than I thought I would, I don’t think it was better than any other Marvel film produced so far, which seems to be the consensus, and, in fact, it was slightly below average in comparison to how much I enjoyed Thor: The Dark World.

Amazing Spider-Man 2

After the lackluster first film, I was not all that interested in seeing this movie, but the trailer that I saw while attending the Emerald City Comicon (played every five minutes between panels) changed my mind. Alas, if only the movie delivered on the hype. Yes, the special effects and action sequences were very well done–in fact, I almost felt like what Peter must feel like swinging through New York. But some of the dialogue and the overall plot was mediocre, at and worst, was like a bad sitcom. Why was Peter obviously ok being with Gwen at the graduation, yet not much later, he breaks up with her because he’s haunted by his promise to Captain Stacy? It was just a forced plot point that ultimately didn’t matter–take that out and the emotional drive of the film still has a tremendous impact. Why did Harry’s affliction seem to affect him so much more quickly (and conveniently so) than it did his father? Why can’t Spider-Man movies do the Goblin right? We’re 0 for 2 now! Finally, I know it’s a Sony movie so product placement is just a part of the game, but with everyone using a Sony Vaio in the movie, it made me think I was watching a commercial–it was just too much.

However, I did like that the costume was the traditional. I also liked the revelation that Peter’s dad is directly responsible for Peter being affected by the spider bite as he was. Oh, and Gwen Stacy. Or more accurately, Emma Stone’s performance. She was the real heavyweight of this film, and with–SPOILERS IF YOU HAVEN”T SEEN THE MOVIE!!!–her death near the end, I have even less a reason to watch #3. As to Gwen’s death, I knew this was coming, but I had hoped it would happen in the third film, just so I could have more Emma as Gwen. When it did happen, I got upset, and not just because of that sickening dull sound of her body hitting the floor, but because I’ve always been team Gwen. One of my first comic books that I bought was a reprint of the issue in which she dies by Spider-Man’s hand. It’s such a beautifully tragic story. Come to think of it, the other comic that I bought that very same day featured Captain America and Electro, so wow for convergence!

As I tweeted after the movie, I sure hope that Marvel Studios can get the rights back from Sony in the next 10 years to do Spider-Man right. That will be one time where I will gladly accept a film reboot.

Podcast Episode 46: Marvel NOW!.1

The Marvel NOW! initiative began about six months ago, and we discuss the titles that started within the first three months, including:

  • Uncanny Avengers
  • Red She Hulk
  • All-New X-Men
  • Thor: God of Thunder
  • FF
  • Fantastic Four
  • Indestructible Hulk
  • Captain America
  • Avengers
  • Hawkeye (Yes, this started before Marvel NOW!, but we also wanted to discuss all Marvel titles that we’re reading now.)

What did we like? What could have been better? Just how successful was this initiative for a couple of old comics readers who weren’t reading a lot of Marvel comics before? You’ll have to listen to find out! Next episode we’ll finish up with the rest of the Marvel NOW! titles.

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Thanks for listening!

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