Jace covers Superman #10 as the mystery of Jon's time jump in age is answered. The loop is closed here for Jon's trip to outer space, his relationship with Jor-El and being thrown onto Earth-3. We get some great moments between Jon the child as Lois and Clarks as his parents. That pain and anguish of the time missed for these two with their only child is so obvious. We also get some amazing facial expression and emotion from Ivan Reis. The cosmic-ness of Superman as a hero and character is very evident in the story Bendis is crafting.
Jace dives into Supergirl #27 as the Omega Men and Supergirl fight to escape the clutches of Hokum. Meanwhile Z'ndr and Gandelo face off and we find out the relationship and connection they share. We are reminded of the greatest strength of Supergirl, which is her compassion and empathy, but will it be enough to stave off the ultimate plan of Hokem even as she teams up with the Omega Men?
Jace chats with writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson about his work on Future State Superman Worlds of War. They also discuss worldbuilding in story especially as it pertains to The Last God Black Label title Phillip did for DC. There is also a lot of discussion about respecting the work that comes before, the unique challenges of writing the Man of Steel and the challenge of creating story for characters that have been around for such a long time. There is a lot of great info in this episode from Superman to Aliens so we hope you enjoy it.
Jace breaks down Silver Surfer #35 as Thanos is indeed back among the living. He introduces himself to the Surfer and gives the reasons for being resurrected by Death. They ring a bit hollow to Jace, but fans of the MCU will find them sounding familiar. Despite the fact that the Silver Surfer has never met Thanos it takes no time at all for him to begin to be suspicious of Thanos's actions. Once Thanos lays his plans bare and even reveals how he has already manipulated the Surfer it is clear that Thanos has made a powerful enemy. These early stories of Thanos's return so brilliant build idea upon idea leading to the legendary Infinity Gauntlet story. Once again creator Jim Starlin is showing his mastery of the Marvel Comic as he creates this epic saga. Artist Ron Lim is the perfect choice to show the power, grandeur and action of this space opera.
Jace chats with Newsarama senior editor Chris Arrant about a variety of comic book industry subjects. How has the industry weathered the Coivd-19 pandemic? What are Chris's thoughts about some of the changes we saw in 2020? Also the guys discuss what changes we may still see coming in the next year or so. What is the feeling of creators in a general sense based on conversations Jace and Chris have had with the writers, artists and editors who make these books? What have the sales numbers been like after the last year? How about all the changes at DC? There is so much to think and talk about and we touch on a lot of it. Some of the talk is pure speculation, but when looking to the future of the industry some of the things discussed seem highly likely.
Jace is joined by Trevor form Dark Knight Nation and Rocky from Comic Boom! to discuss the third week of Future State. They talk art and story, what they liked and what they didn't. Breaking down both the plot and sequential storytelling in the main stories as well as all the backups. There are spoilers here so be sure you have read the books already if you plan too. Overall the guys feel like this is the best week yet in terms of quality of the books, but there is still a lot of room for improvement.
Jay and Jace break down some titles from the week of January 27, 2021 without giving away spoilers. For Jay his favorite book of the week was Batman Black & White #2 which showcased some gorgeous artwork and showed, once again, how the versatility of Batman is as a character allows for so many different types of stories to be told. We also got the next chapter of Captain Marvel's story in a possible Marvel Universe future that may lead into Carol gaining some the magical powers that have been hinted at by Marvel recently. Over in Post Americana, the blood and guts continue to fly as the action is turned up in this title for mature readers. Both Jay and Jace vastly preferred the Black Adam story in the pages of Suicide Squad much more than the story of Amanda Waller's latest line-up of Task Force X. Future State Batman Superman gives us some details about the Magistrate coming to power in Gotham and the guys think it should have been the first Future State title to be released. Both Amazing Spider-Man and Fantastic Four take a slight step back in quality this week, but for different reasons, in FF, the latest arc goes out with a whimper instead of a bang although the artwork is top notch. Amazing Spider-Man has once again placed the Kindred story arc on the backburner instead of resolving it and Jace is very frustrated by this. We have a similar problem with Daredevil #26 where the story Chip Zdarsky is telling is unfortunately interrupted by a King in Black tie-in. The AfterShock title Kaiju Score continues to be a wild ride and issue #3 is no exception as our gang of would be thieves are forced to switch things up on the fly. In Joker/Harley: Criminal Sanity #7, we see the first inklings that even this version of Harley may not be able to avoid the machinations of the Joker which could lead her down a very dark path. Finally in The Other History of The DC Universe #2, John Ridley & company pick up right were they left off with book #1 and give us a powerful & emotional look at the DC Universe through the eyes of characters who are often times overlooked. Jace gives it his nod for Book of the Week. Plus we gives a run down on some other titles you may want to be in the lookout for.
Jace and Jon-Paul tackle Powers of X #1. Jonathan Hickman uses an accelerated story structure to give a glimpse into 4 distinct eras of the X-Men. First we look into the past as the very idea of the X-Men has just occurred to Charles Xavier very soon to be followed by him meeting Moira Mactaggert for the first time. Then we see the world of the X-Men as it is in present time, just as we saw in House of X #1. When we look 100 years into the future things are not looking so bright as a huge war has devastated not only mutants, but the very earth itself. Finally we get a very brief scene of the world one thousand years from now and try to determine what it might mean. There is a TON to unpack in this one and the guys to their best to break it down and explain all the scenes as well as the informational text pages that Hickman gives us that provide a lot of material to help flesh out these different Ages of X he shows us.
Jace is joined by writer Kyle Higgins and editor/designer Michael Busuttil to talk about Radiant Black. Launching from Image Comics on February 10, 2021, this is shaping up to be one of the biggest launches of the year. Already 70,000 copies have been sold and it seems like the guys may have a hit on their hands. Kyle gives us the origins of the story, how his experiences as a freelancer and his love of the super hero and tokusatsu genres have all come together to create this story. We hear a bit about what the team has planned for the future of the title, supporting characters & world building as well. Michael gives some great insight on the design and look for the series plus he chats about he gives us an insiders view on the collaboration of the creative team. we wrap it up with Kyle discussing the community he is hoping to build both through the letters page type back matter and his new newsletter for Black Market Narrative.
Jace continues his look at the chronological history of one of Marvel most enduring villains, Thanos. As hard as it is to believe, after Thanos's apparent death at the end of Marvel Two-in-One Annual #2, he was gone from the pages of Marvel comics for over a decade. However, once Jim Starlin returned, so did the Mad Titan. Silver Surfer #34 begins the epic tale which eventually leads to the Infinity Gauntlet story that so many know from the similar story told in the MCU. Not only does this bring Thanos back for good and establish him as one of the most enduring and influential characters of the Marvel universe, it inextricably links Silver Surfer, Thanos and the Infinity Gems themselves together. It's hard to think of a time when Thanos and the Surfer weren't to different sides of the same coin and the reason for that is the story that starts here.
Jace chats with Chad Bokelman of The Lantern Cast about his origins with the show and comic books themselves. They also talk about the balancing act necessary for covering comics you simply may not like. Also who is Chad's favorite Green Lantern, the answer may surprise you. We talk about the different eras of Green Lantern and which one Chad likes best. Jace and Chad also look to the future and discuss what the upcoming Infinite Frontier Green Lantern title may be like. There's TONS of behind the scenes & Green Lantern talk in this one!
Jace and Jay break down some DC books in depth with spoilers. They start with Wonder Twins #2 as it straddles the juggles the genres of humor, satire & all ages superheroes. With so many different thematic goals, can it accomplish any of them? Next up is The Batman Who Laughs: The Grim Knight #1. In writer Scott Snyder's own words, this is what happens when you cross Batman with the Punisher. It's safe to say all criminals better beware, but does his thirst for vengeance go beyond justice? Is this truly a tale of Bruce Wayne? Could this happen? Finally the guys finish up with an issue of the incredible Hawkman series from Robert Venditti. We've finally had a writer makes sense of all the convoluted history and continuity of Hawkman, even Jay who has dismissed Hawkman in the past for exactly those reasons is on board for this series. In this issue Hawkman's ancient past finally catches up with him, but he may have a very unique way of dealing with it. Carter Hall's answer to his problem is literally something no one else in the DC Universe could hope to accomplish. Great stuff!
Jace is joined by some other stellar comic book pundits as they return to the future of the DC Universe for the second week of Future State. Overall, most of the guys felt like the quality improved in the second week, but there is still plenty of room for more improvement. Always the trend of cramming too much story into too few pages continues, as did the tendency for the art to let us down, even from creators whose work we normally love. So while the highs were higher the second week, the lows were a bit lower. Join is to find out which issues were which.
Jace is joined by writer, fellow podcast and all around awesome guy Jason Inman to discuss his latest Kickstarter project. Jason is tapping into his deep love of superheroes and Superman in particular to craft a relevant story about friendship, self-worth and social media in the digital age. Packed with tons of great artwork that pays homage to some of our favorite comic images from the past, this story introduces us to Mattie Moore, the best friend of Captain Terrific. Things take a turn for the worse however, when Mattie livestream reveals the secret identity of Captain Terrific. What will the consequences be for Mattie and the hero he idolizes? You will have to join the campaign by pledging to find out!
Jace, Jay and Manny talk about a few of the books they have read that hit stands this week. Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman #1 and Future State: The Next Batman #2 are both a little uneven but have their moments. Maestro: War and Pax is action packed with plenty of Hulk Smash! Scumbag is a title both Jay and Jace have been enjoying for both it's irreverence and its unlikable, humorous and some how endearing lead. King in Black #3 continues the big Marvel event from writer Donny Cates and Jay is ALL-IN! Stillwater #5 ends with a couple of very consequential moments that promise to have a big impact. Iron Fist: Heart of the Dragon #1 & We Live #4 are wall to wall action. Rorschach #4 shows why Tom King continues to be on the best in the business when it comes to story structure. Book of the Week DCeased Dead Planet #7 brings the story Tom Taylor has been crafting to a close with so much heart, that it reminds us what's best about the DC Universe. Jace also gives a run down on some other titles you might want to be on the lookout for hitting stands this week.
Our second Marvel Monday of the week focuses on several books that Jace and Jay break down. Captain Marvel #2 from Kelly Thompson continues the adventures of Carol as she tries to regain her footing not that she is back on earth. Things don't go real well though when the Nuclear Man shows up and throws a wrench in the works. Over in Avengers No Road Home, we return to the weekly format for Avengers as Voyager returns bringing some bad news about an enemy that is powerful enough to take out the gods of Olympus. We also talk about the debut issue of Savage Sword of Conan, it is perfect in tone and mood for the Cimmerian and evokes the classic feel of a Robert E Howard novel. The final quest for Old Man Logan is under way, the question is will he survive it? Meanwhile, Riri Williams is struggling with all her responsibilities and hasn't yet learned the very important lesson of when to ask for help. They say wisdom comes with age, is this a lesson Iron Heart will learn in time? We really love the story Kyle Higgins is telling in Winter Soldier, returning Bucky to his roots and humanity by having him reaching out to those who may feel trapped by their situation, just like he was when he first became the Winter Soldier. We finish up with Daredevil #22 as the plan that Matt Murdock has for eliminating crime in New York starts to come into focus. It great to see Charles Soule using his experience and knowledge as a lawyer to bring together both sides of Matt Murdock's life in way that has never felt more integrated.
This Marvel Monday breaks down a few books in detail. Jace starts off with a look at the deal offered by Mephisto and why Miles Morales and Amadeus Cho may be tempted to take it. Issue #13 of Immortal Hulk finishes off the second act of that book as we gear up for a lot of action coming in the next few issues. Over in Killmonger #4, things go completely sideways for Erik, we see him turn away from any last chance at peace or redemption and fully embrace his need for vengeance. Old Man Quill gives us a look at a possible future for Star-Lord and his Guardian teammates, so fans of the GotG should be sure to check it out. Tony Stark continues to battle for control of the virtual reality he has created in the paged of Iron Man #8 which has one of Jace's favorite comic book covers ever. Finally, we dive deep into Daredevil #21 as Matt Murdock's plan to rid New York of all crime begins to take shape.
Jace and Jon-Paul do a deep dive into House of X #1. What lead to this event? How long was Hickman working on it before it was announced? How does it compare to what came before? As for the story itself, we are thrown into the deep end so the guys go over the events of the first issue and talk about both what happens as well as the significance of the events. This is especially true of the role Magneto plays in the book. It's just as complex as you would expect a Hickman book to be, so there is a ton to talk about in this one.
Jace chats with writer Zack Kaplan about the recently released Join The Future TPB. Zack talks about building this story as a look at technology and security versus tradition and freedom. Not looking at is a political issue but something much more personal. It doesn't get much more personal than Clementine Libbey having to grow up in a hurry while seeking justice for the loss of her brother, her father and her town itself. There's a lot to unpack in this one and the guys dive into all of it. Plus they chat about the incredible art from Piotr Kowalski and Brad Simpson.
Jace continues the Thanos reading order with an incredible powerful tale that was an instant classic from the moment it was released. The Death of Captain Marvel was the first ever graphic novel from Marvel comics. This new format which has come to dominate comic sales over the last few decades started with the story of how the Marvel Universe lost it's most powerful cosmic champion. Filled with incredible Jim Starlin art and emotional character moments, this story still is just as powerful nearly 40 years after it was released. Thanos's involvement is both minor and yet key to the story Starlin weaves here, but this is truly a Captain Marvel story. It showcases the incredible impact that this character had on the Marvel universe in a relative short period of time.
Jace is joined by some other stellar comic book pundits as they dive deep into the first week of Future State. Be warned there are tons of spoilers in this episode and nothing is off limits. The guys talk about what worked and what didn't. They also speculate on the changing editorial dictates of DC affecting the structure and pacing of this titles. Jace has a lot to say about the art and many of the others agree. There is not much they agree on though, as many of the titles draw differing opinions. Join us to see what we liked and what we didn't.
Jace and Jay take a very deep look at a few DC titles. They examine Heroes In Crisis #6 from the perspective of the trauma displayed by the three characters closely followed in this issue, plus Jay takes about PTSD from the perspective he gained while serving in the army. The guys chat about the spectacle that is Justice League #19 and how the structure of the epic story Scott Snyder is playing out. They finish up with Shazam #3 a really wild and fun book that may have been a bigger hit if it hadn't suffered from so many delays. The Dale Eaglesham & Marco Santucci art is amazing though!
Jace looks at the penultimate issue of Arcanum from Brandon Peterson. The Avatars of Good find the ancient temple they were seeking, but all is not as it seems. Matthew Royale is one step ahead of them and just why does the Baron show up? An appearance by the embodiment of death is never good news for the avatars. It's an eventful issue as we head for the series finale.
Jace and Manny are joined by fellow LRM contributor Jay Bradshaw to chat about some of the titles that are hitting stands the week of January 13, 2021. The guys talk about several Future State titles which are a bit of a let down overall. Manny and Jay really enjoyed the debut issue of HaHa though, from the same writer who brings us Ice Cream Man, W. Maxwell Prince. Manny is although thoroughly engaged with the story Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque are unraveling in American Vampire. Jay talks about the end of Big Girl, which despite slightly predictable, was immensely satisfying. Meanwhile the Jessica Cruz story in Green Lantern was a huge hit with Jace, as was Commanders in Crisis #4 and Red Atlantis #3 which was action-packed. Jace book of the week, like Red Atlantis, was also written by Stephanie Phillips. A Man Among Ye from Top Cow, Phillips and artist Craig Cermak, lived up to the title and surpassed all expectations.
Jace dives deep into a couple of X-Men titles. What the heck is Wolverine doing getting mixed up in the cosmic goings on of the Infinity Gems? And an even bigger question is why is he teaming up with Loki to do it? It's a rousing tale that is both cosmic and grounded in a way only a Wolverine story can be, with great Andy MacDonald art. Over in the Uncanny X-Men #14, the rag tag band of mutants Cyclops has managed to gather together has finally achieved a real victory. It's a small one, but this underpowered group that comprise the X-Men team will take it.