Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Colonel's Picks For July 31st, 2013

This week DC came out to play! Two new Vertigo series and the big conclusion to Grant Morrison's reboot-jumping Batman epic means that the Distinguished Competition will be flooding my stack for the week.
Captain Midnight #1 (Dark Horse)

Earlier this year, Dark Horse announced they were going to enter the superhero horse race in a big way and we've already seen some stellar efforts in the form of The Black Beetle and Catalyst Comix. This is the next book in line designed to draw your attention away from the big two and over to the realm of creator owned. Written by Joshua Williamson and featuring art by Fernando Dagnino, Captain Midnight is the story of a daredevil fighter pilot and war hero who finds himself displaced in time thanks to the Bermuda Triangle. I've had a run-in with the Triangle myself, dear reader, and let me tell you I wasn't exactly fresh lemons uptop for a while.
Batman Inc. #13 (DC)

Over seven years and four relaunches, Grant Morrison has taken the Dark Knight on the most epic ride of his life and today it all comes to an end. Having buried his son Damian, Batman and Talia, Father and Mother, battle for the very sould of Gotham City. Ninja Man-Bats, International Batman, and the mystery of the Matron all come to a head. And how will Bat-Cow factor into it? Morrison and artistic partner in crime Chris Burnham bring down the house.
Collider #1 (DC/Vertigo)

Creators Simon Oliver, Robbi Rodriguez, and Nathan Fox present a real mind-bender for the ages. Special Agent Adam Hardy of the FBP (Federal Bureau of Physics) have to unravel the mystery of unexplained time-space fluctuations before it unravels us. The stunning artwork by Mr. Fox should make you take notice. If not, the only mystery is why you're buying all those Infinity tie-ins. Zing!
Tom Strong & The Planet Of Peril #1 (DC/Vertigo)

Peter Hogan and Chris Sprouse bring Alan Moore's science-infused pulp hero back to life in a new miniseries debuting this week. Tom battles his way through an alien world called Terra Obscura to save the life of both his daughter and grandchild. Hopefully this is just a precursor to the return of all of the America's Best Comics characters. It should be noted there IS yet another hardcover edition of Promethea on the way...
Black Bolt: Something Inhuman This Way Comes (Marvel)

These mini-trades from Marvel have been a fun way to blow eight dollars as well as a neat little trip down memory lane for seasoned readers. The formula is simple; just take a character from Marvel's stable that is on the cusp of breaaking through into the mainstream (like the Inhumans in this instance) and reprint a few old tales from the 70's and 80's. Badda bing, badda boom. Marvel kills more trees and everybody wins. With Matt Fracion and Joe Madureira's Inhumanity series coming later this year, get primed with this collection of Black Bolt stories from Amazing Adventures, with writing and art by the legendary team of Roy Thomas and Neal Adams!

Alright, that's enough out of me. Now you do your part. Head to your LCS and give 'em hell!
But, you know be polite and courteous and say please and thank you and stuff.


Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Club of Heroes Podcast Episode 38: The Reality of Wrestling feat. Tony B

Chris and Evan check in with their old pal Tony B, who is chasing his dream of becoming a professional wrestler on the independent circuit. From the mean streets of Johnny Emerald's Philly to the even meaner streets of Houston until the watchful eye of the legendary Booker T, nothing has deterred Tony in his quest. There's also some casual chat about pro wrestling in general, and the sleeper hold it put on our respective childhoods.

You can download or listen to it HERE!

You can also help out Tony B by checking out Houston's own Reality of Wrestling!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Colonel's Picks for July 24th, 2013

Put on your fiction suits and get ready to swan dive down into the second dimension. It's that time again, that one day out of seven when this old war horse puts down the popcorn and let's you know what's what.
Lazarus #2 (Image)

This old Colonel effed up big time when he forgot to mention Greg Rucka and Michael Lark's new Image series a few weeks back. Luckily for me and anyone else who missed it, there's a second edition of the first issue available today as well. Lazarus is the story of a woman named Forever and her struggle to survive in a class struggle pitting a small collective of elite ruling families against the masses. A world without Love. Sometimes the realm of fiction is right on the money.
Lobster Johnson: A Scent of Lotus #1 (Dark Horse)

The pulpiest of all of Mike Mignola's Hellboy-verse creations stars in his own miniseries starting this week. Resolving plot threads that date back as far as 2005's B.P.R.D. series, this issue promises a resolution to the long-standing Crimson Lotus plot thread. John Arcudi, Sebastion Fiumara, Dave Stewart, Tonci Zonjic, and even Papa Mignola himself all contribute to this soon-to-be talked about mini.
The Unwritten #51 (DC/Vertigo)

Mike Carey's magnum opus about living fiction hero Tommy Taylor is still going strong and this issue sees the titular character and his gang crossing paths with Bill Willingham's Fables characters. This is a massive crossover between two of DC and Vertigo's strongest monthly reads. Mike Carey and Peter Gross do the heavy lifting this issue and then they'll be passing it over to the Fables crew in just a few weeks.
Army of Darkness vs. Hack/Slash #1 (Dynamite)

Because, why not? Ash probably has plenty to say about the babes from Tim Seely's Hack/Slash series. Seely, Daniel Lester, and Amazing Spider-Man artist alumni Stefano Caselli bring the camp horror crossover of the ages to your LCS this Wednesday.
Hawkeye Annual #1

Just buy this. I don't want to have to come and find you.

And there you have it, a primer for any and all who are planning to embark on a journey to the spinner rack. Comics are chicken soup for the soul, so quit clucking around and go get some.


Monday, July 22, 2013

The Club of Heroes Podcast Episode 37: Only the dead have seen the end...

At long last, Evan and Chris are called back to the battlefield. In this episode, they discuss the war comics of roughly 1946-1967, including the post-war years, the Red scare, and the Korean war. Learn about some hidden comic book gems such as a pre-Marvel Jack Kirby series that was too extreme for Wertham's America. They even find time to riff on Captain America as a social studies teacher and a possible gritty reboot of the Fighting Yank. Tri-Corner hats for all!

You can download or listen to the episode HERE.

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Club of Heroes Podcast Episode 36: The Shallow Stream of Consciousness

Evan Arnold is back with a vengeance! Evan and Chris rant about Hollywood, the state of comic books, Nicholas Cage's "acting", and more!! Plus, a special announcement regarding the future of Evan and Dugan's Fourth of July fireworks extravaganza, Bane of the Communist & Socialist Existence!!!

It's right HERE. Light it up!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Colonel's Picks for July 17th, 2013

This old Colonel is more than just your average streetwise vigilante. I'm a beacon, nay, a blinding light that sears your eyes every Wednesday morning with the siren song of new comic books. Maybe that last liter of cough syrup was my limit. I dunno. All I know is here's my pull list for the week!

Five Color Comics #1 (Art Of Fiction)

Forty-eight pages of New comic adventures from the Art of Fiction crew. Ransacking the golden age comics and men's adventure magazines of my youth, Eric Warfield and Troy Nixey have masterfully crafted a collection of retro tales designed to showcase their timelessness. There's a cover by animation titan Bruce Timm to boot.

Day Men #1 (Boom!)

Even with a cliched premise involving immortal vampire families, seeing Brian Stelfreeze draw anything is always a treat. When one of the modern masters returns to his craft (he never really left, just lied low), you put your preconceptions away and just enjoy the ride.
Batman '66 #1 (DC)

Finally! A print edition of Jeff Parker and Jonathan Case's brilliant take on the classic Adam West Batman series from the swingin' sixties. If you missed the digital edition, now's your chance to relive the Colonel's favorite decade. Excuse me while I adjust myself after reminiscing over Julie Newmar...meow.

Red Sonja #1 (Dynamite)

Who better than Gotham City's own Gail Simone to help relaunch the Red Sonja franchise? No one, that's who. Gail and artist Walter Geovanni (Witchblade, Prophecy) bring the crimson haired warrior woman into a new series, lobbing off the heads of monsters and misogonysts (sp?) everywhere.
Numbercruncher #1 (Sloth Publishing)

Another brainchild of the mad and brilliant Simon Spurrier (Six-Gun Gorilla), Numbercruncher is the story of a mathematician who has found a way to cheat the "divine calendar" of death. Sounds like the movie Pi, but hopefully easier to follow. This Colonel's all for mindbending, just as long as he doesn't get lost in the ether.

Well folks, my goose is honked. Now quit pestering me and get over to your LCS. Repair the economy with your purchases and repair you soul with some comics!


Friday, July 12, 2013

The Club of Heroes Podcast Episode 35: Batman Six Six Six

Chris flies solo this episode, presenting a "dramatic" reading of Grant Morrison and Andy Kubert's Batman issue #666. This very special episode is sponsored by Satan and the twenty dollars Chris found in his couch to keep the Libsyn account up and running. Enjoy!

Download or listen to it HERE!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Strange Death of Carlyle White

I found my copy of Satellite Sam issue one from Image Comics sitting innocently next to Swamp Thing on the new realeases shelf at my friendly neighborhood LCS. Little did I realize then how truly out of place it was, even if the cover sported a woman in lingerie standing over a dead spaceman, holding a smoking gun. This book is from a different time, and the talent involved from another world. Writer and current comics golden boy Matt Fraction and legendary artist/designer Hoawrd Chaykin have started something interesting and informative here, a new series that already has me racing to the nearest search engine to learn more about the fabled "golden age of television", as well as questioning everything I might have ever known about my own deceased father's sexual appetites. Yes, this comic my leave an impression on you, and it may make the most uncomfortable questions you have about your parents' pasts seem like a mystery worth solving.
Satellite Sam takes place in New York City, 1951. The war is over, but still casts a long shadow over the world, and live television is one of many opiates used to sooth a weary generation and energize as well as motivate the children who lucked out of having to replace their fathers on the battlefield, thanks to two questionable decisions dropped on Japan. The title character is a work of fiction within fiction, a childrens' television host whose daily interstellar exploits delight the youth in glorious black and white. Satellite Sam's world isn't like the edutainment programs of my generation at all. He exists in that glorious time before any real standards and practices, where news anchors smoked and any sort of child programming was simply that: programming kids to buy more cream of wheat and toy rockets. The man who plays Satellite Sam is nowhere to be seen, and his sudden disappearance is the focus of the story, a depth charge that shakes and rattles an already panicked television studio, as they stand on the verge of either total collapse or overtaking CBS and dominating the airwaves. Hastily, the actor's son is put into his father's role. After filling in for dear old dad, he learns his father isn't missing, he's been found dead. Then the book takes a strange turn and the real story begins; the son finds his father's "secret stash", a massive collection of photographs of women in lingerie.
"Pop, what the hell were you into up here?" he wonders aloud on the last page. Then the reader is encouraged to return next issue as the mystery of Satellite Sam's murder will surely deepen. Fraction turns in a hell of a script, utilizing techniques he's been experimenting with in books like Hawkeye and Casanova. Certain scenes take place simultaneously, and events are viewed from several angles. It's the kind of comic that doesn't quite sink in on the first read. I found after reading the issue for a third time that the entire issue takes place in the span of minutes and perhaps slowing down to digest every single hectic word balloon inside the TV studio may not be the most effective way to read this. Rather, the chaos implied by the setting lends itself to skimming the book, a reading technique I normally dispise. The characters all "sound" like fifties archtypes, at least to my knowledge, and the swearing and sayings of the day all seem pretty genuine. Yep, the words are all where they need to be. Being an introduction more than a first act, not much is gleaned about any of the characters, but it seems pretty obvious this will read better when I have all the issues and can enjoy them in one sitting. Or if you prefer, maybe this will do better as a trade.
The reat treat here is the art. If you're not familiar with Howard Chaykin, let me just take a second to recommend American Flagg. Flagg is essential reading for fans of independent comics and Frank Miller-esque 80's dystopian fiction. Chaykin's work is always very sexually driven as well, so when Mr. Fraction approached Mr. Chaykin with this story, it must've been right up his alley. From my observation, Chaykin draws three things extremely well: half-naked women, fifities Americana, and fabric textures. All of which are on display here. The polaroids of beautiful naked "pieces of strange" (as the lead character puts it) adorn the inner back and front covers, giving the reader the same sensation as the main character when he discovers his father's secret stash. The interior sequential art is brilliiant, even is long-time fans of Chaykin may see it as a little old-hat at this point. There are some obvious uses of photoshop in the layering of crowd scenes, but nothing jarring or amateurish. This story is also in black and white, which regretfully turns some people off. The use of black and white here however is right in line with the setting and tone of the story. The graphic depiction of the the main character's father's "play room" is probably my favorite page, mostly because I'm a bit of a perv myself. Comics need more dildos.
Needless to say, I'll be back for more. This is a great departure from my usual reading habits when it comes to comics. It's nice to read a story where the capes and costumes are just props, and the only doomsday device is a double-sided sex toy. But seriously, why this was on the same shelf as the New 52 is just baffling and proves that many retailers don't get around to actually looking at their product.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Club Of Heroes at the Movies Playlist

Summer "blockbusters" disappointing you? Ticket prices got you down? Is it just too effing hot outside? Enjoy these past movie reviews from the air conditioned comfort of your own home!

Man of Steel

Star Trek: Into Darkness

Iron Man 3

Django Unchained

Man of Steel Trailer (The Very First Episode!)

As far as new episodes, that fat cat Chris is in the process of moving right now, so the podcast is on a brief hiatus. Once the lava cools beneath him and the ground is solid once again, expect a regular dose of free audio goodness. And how! Just try to contain your excitement as I tick off this list of coming attractions: The History of War Comics Continued, The Saga of Stan and Jack, and a special episode dedicated to our dear listener Rico all about a certain jade giant!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy F***ing Fourth Of July!

Now go set off some firecrackers! It's the only way to ward off King George's ghost!!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Colonel's Picks for July 3rd, 2013

Oh Paula, you done messed up. I tried to warn you about those plantation-themed dinner parties, but you just wouldn't listen to the Colonel...
Boy howdy, this week looks exciting! Your very own Colonel Reddenbacher is back to let you in on his pull list for another week of funnybook purchases. Publishers big and small stepped up to the plate this week and everybody knocked one out of the park! Read on, true believers...
Satellite Sam #1 (Image)

CoH favorite Matt Fraction and some guy named Howard Chaykin team up to present a murder mystery set in the Golden Age of Television, brought to you in glorious black and white! If you've never read Chaykin's stuff before, or even Fraction's indy work, you're in for a kinky, chain-smoking surprise.
Catalyst Comix #1 (Dark Horse)

The first of nine issues, this anthology series hopes to return several concepts from Dark Horse's old Comics Grreatest World imprint. With talent like Joe Casey and Rafael Grampa at the helm, that should be easy. Besides, who hasn't been clamoring for the return of Casey's Mastermind? Described as "superhero comics with a back-alley face lift", it's easy to see why your Colonel is excited for this.
Mercy Sparx #1 (Devil's Due)

You know the Colonel loves bad girls and Mercy Sparx is the baddest. She's so bad, it took the combined efforts of Kickstarter and Devil's Due publishing to get her off the mean streets and back on the spinner racks. Josh Blaylock and Matt Merhoff of Brainmachine Comix continue the adventures of Heaven's secret weapon.
The Owl #1 (Dynamite)

Time displaced Golden Age hero? Check.
Bombastic writing and art by J.T. Krul and Hubert Khan Michael? Check.
Obligitory Alex Ross painted cover? Check.
Superior Foes Of Spider-Man #1 (Marvel)

In the spirit of great 90's miniseries spotlighting villains such as Deadly Foes of Spider-Man, comes an all-new ongoing series from writer Nick Spencer and artist Steve Lieber. Featuring a cover from the always astounding Marcos Martin, this book pits some of Spidey's more hapless enemies against a much deadlier, Otto Octavius-powered wallcrawler. If you're the type who loves to root for the bad guy, this one's for you!
Final Plague #1 (Action Labs/Danger Zone)

I'll keep tooting on the Action Labs horn until you people start listening, by George! The Action Labs crew have already made a name for themselves producing high-quality all-ages reading, but with their Danger Zone imprint, they look to corner the mature readers market as well. The Final Plague features the creative talents of J.D. Arnold and Tony Guaraldi-Brown and is worth at least a looksie while you scan the shelves of you LCS today.

Well, that's my stack for this week, haters! Get on your ten-speeds and race to the nearest comic book store. But pedal your heart out as you might, you'll never beat me! I'm already living in tommorow, placing spoiler tags on my very thoughts!