Jace and Jon-Paul break down House of X #4, the single most action-packed issue of the whole series. We knew the staked were high and the risk was great, but we weren't prepared for the consequences the X-Men face when their mission to stop the Mother Mold from coming online goes sideways. From the art, to the pacing to the emotion, this issue or pitch perfect as the creative team is firing on all cylinders. Plus, when confronted with the hard, cold facts about the number of mutants and how they have already been hunted to the brink of extinction the guys fully embrace the actions taken by Charles, Magneto & Moira.
Jace and Jon-Paul tackle one of the most action-packed issues of the entire series. Cyclops leads his team of mutants to the edge of the sun to try to take out the orbital platform that will serve as the Mother Mold. If this machine comes online it will eventually lead to the creation of Nimrod and the downfall of all mutants. It's safe to say the stakes have never been higher. We also discuss the ramifications of mutants no longer allowing themselves to be governed by human law. There's a lot going on in this issue so join us!
Jace talks with creators L.L. McKinney and Robyn Smith about their new YA graphic novel from DC Comics, Nubia: Real One. It is a realistic and relatable look at being a young black teenaged girl in today's world. When you add superpowers on top of that, things get complicated in a hurry. L.L. and Robyn talk about the challenges that Nubia faces and how they've brought their own experiences both as creators and women of color to the story. It is a story that will resonate with many young people today as they attempt to navigate the ever increasing challenges we face in attempting to make progress on issues of race, school violence, bullying and police brutality. Please join us for a great conversation.
Jace takes a look at Siler Surfer #37 as the Sentinel of the Spaceways continues his search for Thanos. He heads to Titan to learn as much as he can about the Mad Titan from his father Mentor. While on Titan he also encounters Eros again much to his chagrin and meets Drax the Destroyer for the first time. Unfortunately for everyone involved the resurrection of Drax by Chronos is not without it's problems. Drax doesn't exactly display superior intelligence or tactical thinking this time around. Complicating things even further, Drax also seems to be missing the sixth sense he previously possessed which allowed him to track Thanos throughout the cosmos leading to a very annoyed Silver Surfer. When brute strength doesn't help Surfer to ditch the ever-annoying Drax, he turn to more unconventional, even humorous, means.
Jace talks about Action Comics #1010 as the Leviathan Rising story nears it's conclusion. Clark and Lois are undercover as Spyral agents trying to get some answers while Jimmy and Amanda Waller are still hidden away at the fortress of solitude. Meanwhile Bones is questioned by someone claiming to be Kate Spencer but he suspects it is Leviathan right away and gives away nothing to her. The art is great and we like a lot of what is here, but there are a few narrative choices which threaten to pull us out of the story. Listen in for all the details.
Jace is joined by Trevor from Dark Knight Nation and Rocky from ComicBoom! to discuss week six of Future State from DC Comics. It's a bit of a rough week as we continue to see series come to a close, but we don't' get conclusions. Even some books we had that started with promise don't really live up to the ending we were hoping to see. It's not all bad as there are a few stories the guys like, but it's the weakest overall week since the Start of Future State. We know there are some DC fans out there enjoying it, and we are glad that is the case, so join us to hear why we feel this event is falling short and let us know why you think it's succeeding if you are digging it.
Jace dives deep into the first 6 issue of the second volume of Witchblade. It is an all new take on the title and character that started the entire artifact corner of the Top Cow universe. We get a brand new bearer of the Witchblade who is strong, authentic and loyal to her friends. However, she is not without her flaws and has suffered some pretty major traumas throughout her life. How will that affect her using the Witchblade? Could that be part of the reason the Witchblade chose her? Only time will tell, but this series is off to a great start with a compelling case of supporting characters and some incredible art. Even New York City itself is a character in the story in a way it never has been before in a Top Cow book.
Jace dives into X-23 #10 as we continue to explore the relationships between Laura and her clones. Also he takes a look at Uncanny X-Men Winter's End #1. This books gives Sina Grace and the creative team from the Iceman ongoing series a chance to bring closure to a lot of the storylines they were exploring for Booby Drake. Jace also talks about about the choice to retcon Bobby, does this change add to or take away from who Bobby is as a character?
Jace chats with superstar artist Liam Sharp about the Kickstarter campaign he is running to publish never before seen artwork from Jack Katz. Jack's career spans eight decades in comics and yet so many fans don't know his name or his work. Now is your chance to learn about this incredible master of the medium. Liam tells us about his own discovery of Jack's work and how he became friends with Jack and found a plethora of never before seen artwork. What is presented in this hardcover is just a small portion of Jack's body of work that has never been seen. Join us to hear Liam talk about his love for Jack's work and his treasured friendship with this incredible creator. So many legends of the industry have already left us, here is a chance to support and celebrate a legend who is still here with us.
Jace, Manny and Jay talk about some of the titles hitting stands the week of February 17, 2021. Stillwater #6 ratchets up the action all the way as the first arc comes to a close. The Last Ronin #2 picks up where #1 left off, but the guys wonder how much the long delay between issues hurt the series. Future State Catwoman #2 ends one of the best titles DC has put out during this peek into the future so you should give it a look. Savage is indicative of that kinds of books Valiant is putting out and the guys can't help but feel a little let down over the quality of what was once a top publisher. Shadow Doctor #1 is another incredible debut from AfterShock and Declan Shalvey's take on the Immortal Hulk in Flatline #1 should not be missed. Spider-Woman continues to impress from writer Karla Pacheco and may go down as the definitive run for Jessica Drew. We end of with three books of the week this time, Haha #2 from Manny, Jay gives his nod to Black Widow #5 which finishes off the first arc of Kelly Thompson's run that has humanizes Natasha and Jace gives his nod to Iron Man #6 as Tony Stark reaches his breaking point and is about to show Korvac he shouldn't have messed with Stark! We also give a rundown of some other titles you may want to be on the lookout for!
Jace is joined by Peter Marinari, better known as Krisis from the Crushing Krisis website It's an incredible resource for reading order & other comic book data about chronology, characters & more. We use it ourselves & if you follow our Marvel Chronology: Thanos Reading Order you probably already know that. Jace chats with Krisis about how he discovered comics and his first steps towards establishing his website. The guys also talk about balancing reading content, creating data for the website and injecting personality into coverage. Their a lot of great info here for fans of comics whether you want to learn the history of your favorite characters or catch up on current storylines.
Jace and Jon-Paul take a look at Powers of X #3 as we learn the plan that Apocalypse has for the few remaining Sol Mutants. Why have they stayed behind on earth and just what have they been fighting the machine-man alliance for? It's all revealed in this issue and the stakes have never been higher. Can they succeed and what will the cost be? Also why are the humans giving so much of themselves and the control of the human race to the machines? We certainly know how Nimrod feels about the human species and if there was any doubt, this issue clears it up for sure.
Jace chats with writer Steve Orlando about his upcoming AfterShock title Patron project. What happens when the world's most beloved superhero seemingly returns being killed by a terrible foe, but that return is actually a conspiracy to trick the world into thinking the hero survived? That question only scratches the surface of the complicated & intriguing premise Steve is exploring in this upcoming AfterShock title. Plus Jace and Steve talk about the AfterShock original graphic novel Steve co-wrote with Phillip Kennedy Johnson featuring art by Alec Morgan, Kill A Man. A powerful and personal story, the guys get into the collaborative process with Steve explain how the ending was specifically a part of that collaboration. Finally, Steve talk about his Commanders in Crisis series from Image and how it celebrates comics while exploring some relevant themes.
Jace is joined by Trevor from Dark Knight Nation and Rocky from ComicBoom! to discuss week five of Future State from DC Comics. This week takes a bit of a down turn in quality, which the guys weren't really happy about. The second issues are starting to be released and they are supposed to wrap up these storylines and give us some conclusions to the threads that have run throughout Future State. Unfortunately it seems many of the titles may have a less than satisfying conclusion. That being said, it's now all bad and some of the books are definitely worth your time.
Jace chats with comic creator Steve Bryant about his new Athena Voltaire Kickstarter campaign. They talk about the early days of Athena and how Steve has remastered her over time. We touch on the inspirations Steve pulled from in bringing Athena to life and how visually he wanted her to look feminine but not over the top. We follow Athena's journey to various publisher's and talk about the current logistics of the campaign and distributing with Action Labs. There's tons of great Athena information in this one so take a listen!
Jace, Manny and Jay talk about some of the comics they have read for the week of February 10, 2021. It's not the best week in comics, but there are a few titles that really stand out. Scout's Honor #2 shows that this title from AfterShock is going to be a wild ride from start to finish. Also from AfterShock Red Atlantis #4 is still giving us that action movie feel with plenty of spy and espionage story beats as well. Knock 'Em Dead, also from AfterShock gets a Book of the Week nod from Manny and Jace as this story really hits its stride in issue #3. Jay gives his Book of the Week to Radiant Black, which is not only the biggest launch of the week, but the biggest launch of the year so far. Shades of early Spider-Man or Invincible, with great artwork and colors. Don't miss this one!
Jace is joined by Behind the Panel producer, writer and host, Mike Avila. A life long comics fan Mike shares with us his early love of the medium and how it expanded his vocabulary and started a life long love of reading. We also talk about comic distribution and how things have changed over time. Jace and Mike talk about some of the nuts and bolts of comic's journalism and finding the balance between being an outlet for publishers to market their books and staying true to journalistic integrity. Mike recounts some of his favorite creator and convention moments and let's us in on what he spent 2020 catching up on in comics (Hint: he's friendly and may live in your neighborhood). Finally Mike makes a bold statement on the single greatest non-powered character in the Marvel Universe. Think you know who it is? You will have to listen to find out for sure.
Jace and Jon-Paul continue to break down the re-launch of the X-Men corner of the Marvel Universe from the mind of Jonathan Hickman. In the second issue of Powers of X, we see the real world consequences of the lives Moira MacTaggert has lived. It spurs an unlikely alliance that changes everything and sets the stage for what's to come. Hickman gives us plenty of glimpses into those futures starting with seeing Cyclops with a confidence and swagger we can't recall him ever having before, but we like it! Further into the future we see Apocalypse showing confidence as well, but his confidence may be crossing the line into arrogance and could cost his team dearly. Finally as we glance over a thousand years into the X-Men's future it's time for everyone to put on their thinking caps, because Hickman's going to Hickman. By this we mean, he gives us some wild, esoteric and theoretical concepts that take a bit of brain power to understand.
Jace takes a look at Uncanny X-Men #15. Captain America shows up to give the X-Men some advice and offer some help, but Scott & Logan aren't sure they can trust him. Meanwhile it seems like Dark Beast may be the one they should worry about because he seems to be plotting something. Our heroes don't find out what it is until after they are called into action to face off against the MLF who now count Banshee and Hope Summers among their members. Confronting his granddaughter doesn't exactly go the way Cyclops might want or expect, but luckily Wolverine is there to be sure she doesn't get away with it. It's a different side of Hope and only time will tell if Scott can reconcile what Hope has done to him.
Jace chats with Lance from The Night Nerd podcast. We talk about lance discovering comics as a kid and picking them up at the local convenience stores. We also chat about Lance launching the Night Nerd with the very ambitious plan of doing five to six episodes a week. We cover why he does the show as a podcast rather than joining the growing number of content creators who produce YouTube shows. Also who might Lance be intimidated to interview and what are some of his favorite creator interactions.
Jace and Manny along with Rocky from the COMIC BOOM! YouTube channel finish off their picks for the Best Comics of 2020. In this second part they focus on the creators behind some of the best books. They talk about writers who they felt made an impact and artists as well. When it comes to cover artists, that, oh so important part of a comic which can grab a potential reader's attention, their are some familiar names, but some new ones as well. We cover new talent, some of the highs and lows of the Comic Industry in 2020 and what we are looking forward to in 2021.
Jace and Manny along with Rocky from the COMIC BOOM! YouTube channel give their picks for the Best Comics of 2020. From their favorite new series, ongoing titles, mini-series, graphic novels and more! There are so many great books discussed, did any of your favorites make the list? They also talk about some of their favorite covers, cliffhangers and moments in comics from 2020. Part 1 of 2.
Jace continues the Thanos reading order by taking a look at Silver Surfer #36 from 1990. The first half of the issue has the Surfer visiting the Avengers to learn as much as he can about his new foe Thanos. Captain America fills him in on their past dealing with the Mad Titan, but is very disappointed to hear that Thanos has returned and has plans to destroy half the universe. The second half of the issue is an interesting and humorous encounter with the Impossible Man. What purpose this might serve in the Surfer's fight against Thanos, we don't yet know.
Jace chats with Tyler from the Imaginary Axis YouTube channel. It's a fun, educational and informative channel that teaches a ton about the world around you. Have you ever wondered how the science behind Superman's flight might really work? How about who the fastest Flash really is? Do you know how strong Spider-Man really is? This channel uses real science to try and answer all those questions and more. So join as we ask some questions of out own and find out how this channel got started and what it's all about.
Jace is joined by Nick, Dark Knight Nation and Comic Boom once again to dive into the Future State titles for week 4. The good new is this is the best week yet. Aquaman in particular was a real triumph. Every one of the guys praised it as the best issue of Future State yet. We also got a pretty solid issue of Dark Detective and THe Batman Superman and Suicide Squad issues weren't too bad. Listen for more spoiler-y details