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
Jace chats with comic creators Jemma Young and Chad Hardin about the Kickstarter campaign for the second issue of their Temerity series. From Chad's desires to have their ship the Temerity become a sci-fi icon, to Jemma's detailed character histories, it's clear that these two creators are passionate about this project. Plenty of talk about how they fell in love with comics and the craziness of the Harley Quinn ear and conventions also. The real takeaway here though is what a fun and cosmic story they are crafting which already has a loyal following. The Temerity community is growing daily, be sure you pledge listen and take advantage of that community to share your love of Temerity with your fellow fans!
Jace and Jay talk about a few of the comics that hit stands the week of February 3, 2021. It's a bit of a lighter week, but there are still tons of great books. Canto II #5 brings that volume of the clockwork knight to an end, but it sets everything up for the next volume starting in April. It's still one of the best books for kids out on the stands today! Inkblot continues to be a fun magical adventure with the cutest cat in comics getting into all kinds of mischief. We have a brand new world to explore in Deep Beyond and the first issue is intriguing but there are still so many questions about this world to be answered. Manbat wasn't bad, but the appearance of the Suicide Squad feels unnecessary. Tom Taylor and Darrick Robertson finishes off a perfect Constantine story. This is THE book to give to someone to introduce them to the depraved, crass and sometimes hilarious magical world of Constantine. Finally the guys both LOVED Maniac of New York. This book is absolutely incredible from the all too real narrative of a serial killer becoming an uncontrollable force of nature in New York City to the grimy, gritty and visceral Andrea Mutti art. No doubt our book of the week!
Jace breaks down three DC Comics titles. We explore the world of present day in which the Nazis won World War II. For years after the war the heroes of the Freedom Fighters were hunted and eventually killed, but now a new generation of heroes has emerged. They are taken up the name and fight of their fallen forebears and giving their all to bring about the return of Uncle Sam and achieve a final victory over the Third Reich. In the pages of Justice League #20 we get a look at a Utopian world, the world that Superman entered the sixth dimension to find, one where the Justice League found a way to defeat Perpetua and prevent the perversion of the universe she has been planning, but just as everything seems to be idyllic, we see some cracks start to show. What do Martian Manhunter and Hawkgirl learn from their supposed future child? What does it say that Bruce Wayne is the one hero no longer present in the future timeline? And most importantly, just who is the future Superman and why has he trapped the original in a void without sunlight? Finally in Aquaman #45 Kelly Sue DeConnick continues to build upon the grand mythos she has created for the world Aquaman finds himself in following his apparent death. We learn that Callie's mother is far more than she seems and everything from Callie's being left behind to the poisoning of the waters surround the Village of Unknown Water has been part of a scheme by Namma to eventually bring about the destruction of the world. Luckily as the issue ends it appears Arthur may have more allies than he realized and they will be coming from an unlikely group.
Jace chats with YouTube creator Danny Malt about his early origins falling in love with comics and eventually that leading him to want to share that love by creating content on YouTube. We discuss the nuts and bolts of how Danny puts together episodes as well as some of the challenges and setbacks he has faced and overcome.
Jace and Jon-Paul dive head long into what may be the most important comic of the while Hickman era. House of X #2 gives is a look at Moira MacTagert in a way we've never seen before. Her mutant power of reincarnation, unrevealed before now, gives her a unique perspective on the human-mutant condition. Her many lives are spent in an orderly and scientific manner testing many different scenarios to allow mutants to survive or even thrive in a world dominated by normal humans. Which solution is correct? Will any of these plans work? What about her mysterious sixth life? Why is still hidden from us. There are many questions that we receive answers to but just as many that remain unknown.
Jace talks about the Oberon series from AfterShock. It's a fanciful adventure filled with fairies, goblins and magic, much like you would expect from a story mostly set in the World of the Fae. However, the themes explored go far beyond just your usual adventure story of this type. Ryan Parrot explores ideas of love, loyalty and truth in a very powerful way. This is the perfect type of story to share with children from about the age of 9 and older. It makes for a wonderful bedtime story and can spark some great conversations about this universal themes.
Jace chats with writer Ryan Parrot about the incredible AfterShock series Dead Day. It starts with such a simple question, what would you do if your loves ones got to come back from the dead for one night? From that simple question comes a world and story with limitless possibilities, from the ideas of righting wrongs to taking revenge to having a chance to say goodbye. It is such a huge idea because not only are there consequences for the dead, there are so many implications for the living. It could fundamentally change the moral contract of society. You know how much we love comics that make you think and Ryan has does that here in spades. All this and we haven't even mentioned the story that we are given in the context of this world, that highlights chances for revenge, what obligations the living might feel for those who've passed, the idea of coming back to see your legacy and finding a way to truly rest in peace.
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.