VFCast Season 3 Episode 16: Huge UnChanges to the Status Quo!

NAZI robots! Cap with Thor’s Hammer. That one dude from Broxton being awesome! The UnDeReCaptaining of Steve Rogers! All this and more!

Fear-Itself-1

Say what you will about Fear Itself, and Leland and I have tons to say in this podcast, but we both left the book with more smiles to be counted to our lives than when we came. As I am writing this a second round of explosions is going off in and/or near Boston. I am actually really happy that we read this book this week. It feels like emotional armor against the onslaught of tragedy and pain. Fraction’s message of optimism, hope, brave leadership, and a dedicated populace is helping to shape how I view the current tragedies. I go to sleep tonight, just about midnight on 4/18/2013 thinking of my friends in Boston and praying they are all safe. I hope that our leaders and first responders are efficient, effective and safe. Somewhere out there I hope that a first responder, or someone from Boston has the same response to this book as I do. I hope it helps…

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. This week, we feature Gillicuddy – “Thinking of You”, and Karsten Pflum – “Coil Up Swedish Pony Riding”. Intro music is “Action Figure” used by permission from Masai Andrews.

Reviews from the Future: New Avengers #4

new-avengers-4-galactus-jock

Why does everyone always give Galactus such a hard time? He is just a working stiff, trying to provide for himself and his ‘children.’ Silver chrome isn’t free you know?

Title: New Avengers #4
Author: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Steve Epting 
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: 3/20/2013

I’m going to spoil New Avengers #1-3 in my review of #4, so if you haven’t read it and you want to, go and get it and then come back.

So Cap is out of the picture now and The Beast is in, because the Science Cabal does not have any patience for non-scientists gumming up the works and when you are having a moral dilemma sucker-punching and mind-whipping Cap is always a good plan.  Namor should probably be watching his back.

Not much is actually happening in each issue of New Avengers. It really feels to me like Hickman and Epting thought up a set piece for each issue and then sat down and wrote a plot that would allow them to use all their awesome set pieces. The set pieces are always awesome, though. Captain America using the Infinity Gauntlet to push back a second earth narrowly avoiding an inter-dimensional collusion with ours. Black Panther and his Science Teen Force fight to save a world from being destroyed. An alternate universe herald of Galatcus tells us what Galactus is for. I suppose its unfair to say not much happens. Exactly one thing happens in each issue of Hickman’s New Avengers, and that thing is awesome!

I have my problems with the pacing of this book, obviously, but the art and content matter more than make up for it. If you liked Hickman’s FF/Fantastic Four run, or if you just think Space Operas just need some of the spandex set to be really awesome you should start reading this book.

Vestrymen Grade: Buy

VFCast! Season 3 Episode 10: Dooooooooctor Voooooodoooooo!

We read Doctor Voodoo: Avenger of the Supernatural purely because of the name. It confused and intrigued us, so we read Doctor Strange: Master of the Mystic Arts #1 to better understand the genre conventions of modern wizard comics. Then we where more confused! Listen in!

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 Doctor Voodoo: Avenger of the Supernatural Volume 1

1520976-dr_vdo__aots_largeWRITTEN BY: Rick Remender
ART BY: Jefte Palo
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: May 26, 2010

Jericho Drumm may have the best name in superhero comics, and the fusion of Doctor Voodoo’s costume with Doctor Strange’s is undeniably badass. It is also nice to see that Marvel heroes are full on assholes, regardless of the color of their skin.

Essential Doctor Strange: Volume 2

WRITTEN BY: Roy Thomas
essential-doctor-strange-vol-2-gene-colan-paperback-cover-artART BY: Dan Adkins & Gene Colan
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: December 26, 2007

We only read the first issue of this, but it is crazywonderful, so it won’t sit unmolested on the shelf for long. “Master of the Mystic Arts” is way lamer than “Gunner of God,” “Sorcerer Supreme” or even “Houngan Supreme.” Your chosen appellation is lame, Doctor Strange.

You can download this podcast, son: VFCast! Season 3 Episode 10

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. This week, we feature Mincemeat or Tenspeed – “Oaken Defender” and YELLOW CHAIR – “I’m Boys with the Boys from Nio Koi”. Intro music by Jonathan Coulton.

Quick Review: Avengers Assemble Annual #1

Avengers Assemble Annual -Zone-000WRITTEN BY: Christos Gage
ART BY: Tom Coker
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: December 10, 2012

I don’t know why its taken me so long to get around to writing a review of this book, and honestly, you’ve probably bought or not bought it in the last two and a half months but reading it was such a strange and delightful experience I thought it still warranted a write-up.

The Avengers Assemble Annual  is a Vision story written for longtime Vision fans. You don’t know the true strangeness that was The Vision has kids plot arch? Are you confused when I tell you that I think the Avengers Disassembled event did not do Vision fans justice with his death? Are you as confused about his strange semi-resurrection and re-death as “Jonas” as most humans are? If you answered yes to even on of these questions you might not fully feel the emotional impact of this Annual.

If however, you are a member of the storied few, a Vision fan or just an Avengers Fanatic I think you will really enjoy this book. It is a slowly paced and emotional ride as the Avengers confront The Roxon Corporation over their treatment of Sunturion their pet super powered hit man.

Sometimes it frustrates me when comics move slowly. Honestly, its mostly a problem for me when I feel like the author is padding out their content. Here, however, the slow pace gives Vision time to stew, to Data it up, as it where. Vision has never been Data, of course. He is an analytical and emotionally withdrawn man but, he is also a man of deeply felt emotions. The slow pacing of this book gives those emotions time to stretch and grow. When the big turn happens in act three we should be surprised, offended, caught off guard, and filled with nerd rage. Instead The Vision’s choices make perfect sense, and that is due to Christos Gage’s sublime pacing.

If you are a Vision fan, or if you are Sunturion’s only fan and you still haven’t read this book go pick it up. It is worth the five bucks you’ll plop down.

Audio Quick Reviews for 2/13/2013

Katana 001, X-Men 041, Secret Avengers 00-1, Fantastic Four 4.  Coming at you a day late, and more than a dolla’ short, we are The Vestrymen.

Katana #1

Katana-001-(2013)-(2-covers)-(Digital)-(Nahga-Empire)-01WRITTEN BY: Ann Nocenti
ART BY: Alex Sanchez
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASE: February 13, 2013

This week is officially the week of the weird in the midst of the month of the archers. This book decides to be a book about Shado, but without Green Arrow. We liked it.

Vestrymen Grade: B

Secret Avengers #1

Secret Avengers 01-000WRITTEN BY: Nick Spencer
ART BY: Luke Ross
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: February 13, 2013

This is the best book we read this week. Not only does it have Hawkeye, but it also has spy shenanigans!

Vestrymen Grade: B+

X-Men #41

X-Men 041-000WRITTEN BY: Seth Peck
ART BY: Jefte Palo, Lorenzo Ruggiero
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: February 13, 2013

We like Adam Kubert’s cover art and not much else. Have something good to say about this book? Let us know.

Vestrymen Grade: C- (with much discussion)

Fantastic Four #4

FantasticFour_4_TheGroup-000WRITTEN BY: Matt Fraction
ART BY: Mark Bagley
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASE: February 13, 2013

This is a slightly sub par Valentine’s Day offering from Mr. Fraction. It’s still an enjoyable read, it just takes too long to get where it is going.

Vestrymen Grade: B-

Download the file here: Reviews from the Future! 2-13-2013

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. Intro music “The Future Soon” by Jonathan Coulton. Also featuring “Kenesaw Mountain Landis”, also by Jonathan Coulton.

Quick Review: New Avengers #2

New-Avengers_2WRITTEN BY: Jonathan Hickman
ART BY: Rick Magyar
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: January 24, 2013

Buy the book here.

Well things have started to make a little more sense at least as far as things can make sense in a world crafted by Jonathan Hickman. The plots, ideas and drives of all the characters are still BIG, so big as to be semi-nonsensical sometimes. Characters whose names are not T’Challa are drawn with a big brush, which makes some sense since they are all larger than life characters. It is honestly hard to paint Namor, King of the Oceans, with a artisan’s touch and none of none of the other members of the supporting cast really hurt from this treatment.

The plot is huge, metaphysically interesting, and effectively sets up the Star Trek-y moral quandary that Black Panther and crew are going to have to resolve. The villains are engaging as well and the face-heel and heel-face turns come at breakneck, but believable pace.

The worst thing I can say about this book is this: “Batman is not in it.” The second second worst thing I can say about this book is perhaps more damming, since if your buying a Marvel Comics book and hoping for Batman write us an email and we’ll actually tell you which superheroes are owned buy which company.

I read this book last Thursday, and then, thinking you all would like quick reviews, looked for books to read. I looked at this book, picked it up started flipping through it but until I’d read the first three pages I didn’t remember that I’d read it. I’ve read Hickman’s complete run on Fantastic Four and this books feels very, very similar.

Vestrymen grade: B

Quick review: Uncanny Avengers #3

detailWRITTEN BY: Rick Remender
ART BY: John Cassady
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: January 23, 2013

The Red Skull,backed by his extremely powerful S-Men and now fully in control of Xavier’s brain is prepared to bring battle to the New York City,  Havoc’s Avengers, and forces of equality and tolerance themselves! Everything else about this book aside it allowed to write that sentence as its introduction and mank, was that fun!

Something bothered me about UA#3 on my first read through and I couldn’t put my finger on it, well at least until I grafted Xavier’s brain onto mine. The pacing, characterizations, and general plotting of the book feel an awful lot like the subject of our second-to-last feature. Thankfully the art is better, though. Characters are allowed to have expressions and dialogue flows in a way that doesn’t feel painfully stilted which is appreciated. Still, Havoc and Cap’s interactions really read like old school over-the-top, on-the-nose character moments, as does the “voice over” explaining everyone’s motivations.

Remender, despite his clear pulp influences is actually riffing on the racial work of so may X-Writers before him.  The X-Men where conceived and rose to popularity during the Civil Rights Movement and its immediate fallout. During both Lee and Clarmont’s iconic runs the X-Men often stood in for American Blacks and Jews. Uncanny Avengers asks, with some subtly, if we have actually come that far since the 60s and 70s. Have we moved past the racial struggles of the Jim Crow Era or have we just changed our language and made the battle a more subtle one? I’m not ready to judge the books attempts to engage that question, at least not until the first plot arc is done, but I’m interested to see how it finishes.

I enjoyed the read and its addition to the month of Wolverine getting beat down is lovely, but it never rose to the pure fun of Hawkeye, or the the true thoughtfulness of Sandman. The middle ground that Uncanny Avengers is currently straddling is uncomfortable, and just a tad off-putting.

Vestrymen Grade: B-

VFCast Season 3 Episode 3: Post Galactic Stress Disorder

Hey there cats and kittens! Today we read the last great idea from the house of ideas! We read the final crossover that cares about justice! We read the end of an era and the death of a civilization!

Operation: Galactic Storm: Volume 1

250px-Avengers-345WRITTEN BY: Various
ART BY: Various
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: February 8, 2006

Our podcast will establish, without a doubt, haters be silenced, that Operation: Galactic Storm was A Thing That Happened. Some will deny it and declare me a liar but the egg will be on their faces once I show them an actual copy of the crossover.

This book contains the following things:

  • Thor with the most ridiculous hair-and-beard combination imaginable.
  • Quasar being a creeper, As we previously established.
  • Repeated attempts by Starfox to turn people on so much they forget how to fight.
  • Lots of heroes and lots of text in the panels.
  • Pretty cool cover art, especially when compared to the interior art.
  • Terrible, terrible, terrible hacking scenes.

If you want something else, like characterization, dynamic art, or an overall feeling of what it is like to experience this book, listen to the podcast!

You can download the podcast: VFCast Season 3 Episode 3

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. This week, we feature The Monitors – “Suit & Tie” and A Magnifique Bande dos Homes Sen Medo – “Algo Ouvín tra-las Vides”. Intro music by Jonathan Coulton.

Quick Reviews for 1/2/2013

We start the new year with mind bending bangs, spinach powered punches, Batcow, and alive vampires. Also there were Avengers rings on the cupcakes at Leland’s New Years Eve party, and now Scarlett Johansson has to marry me!

Batman Incorporated #6

Batman_Incorporated_6-665x1024WRITTEN BY: Grant Morrison
ART BY: Chris Burnham
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASE: January 2, 2013

Is “mostly like the comic, hate the cover,” like “love the sinner, hate the sin?” Is Batman like Jesus? Do we all have a little piece of the divine in us? Is Batcow the most reasonable part of the Batvegetarian superhero political movement?  None of these questions are answered inside Batman Inc #6!

Vestrymen Grade: B

Morbius: The Living Vampire #1

18a867f903e14a917835220864305074WRITTEN BY: Joe Keatnge
ART BY: Richard Elson
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: January 2, 2013

If you buy only one comic book cover this week, buy the Morbius: The Living Vampire cover. It is even better in real life than it looks on the Internet. I know that seems impossible, but it’s true!

Vestrymen Grade: B

New Avengers #1

NEWAVN2013001_DC11WRITTEN BY: Jonathan Hickman
ART BY: Rick Magyar
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: January 2, 2013

Hickman is a high concept writer and today, still fighting against the holiday daze, his concepts may be over our head, or this book might not make any damn sense.

Vestrymen Grade: B-

Mars Attacks Popeye One Shot

MarsAttacks_Popeye-CvrAWRITTEN BY: Martin Powell
ART BY: Terry Beatty
PUBLISHER: IDW
RELEASE: January 2, 2013

Mars Attacks Popeye is the craziest book coming out this week, and Leland’s kitchen table played host to a Morbius book and Batman Inc this week. We both enjoyed it thoroughly however that may be because we are the target audience, if such a thing has a “target audience.”

Vestrymen Grade: A-

You can download this and put it in your pocket: Reviews from the Future! 1-2-2013

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. Intro music “The Future Soon” by Jonathan Coulton. Also featuring “Kenesaw Mountain Landis”, also by Jonathan Coulton.

Reviews from the Future! 12/05/12

Hellboy: In Hell #1! Hawkeye #5! Action Comics #15! Avengers #1! Extra points if you can guess the grades we give to ASM and Hawkeye! Vestrymen powers activate!

Avengers #1

2662230-avengers_1_cap_coverWRITTEN BY: Jonathan “I wrote S.H.IE.LD” Hickman
ART BY: Jerome Opena
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: 12/05/12

The avengers on the cover of this book are not the Avengers you will see inside, mostly. You will however recognize this lineup. It is the same lineup offered by a Avengers scribe that really likes vampires. Its all very rushed, but Opena’s art is rad so that is not nothing.

Vestrymen Grade: C

Action Comics #15

AC15_var_cover_02WRITTEN BY: Grant “I am an insane man” Morrison
ART BY: Brad Walker and Rags “I Draw Everything!” Morales
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASE: 12/05/12

We enjoy reading and reviewing things on our pull list, though we try and keep it fresh. Morrison took a break, in both of his books, these last few months from being his normal, totally insane self. That break is over, and we love it.

Vestrymen Grade: A

Hawkeye #5

hawkeye5WRITTEN BY: Matt Fraction
ART BY: Javier Pulido
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE DATE: 12/05/2012

Before the podcast today we tried discussing what we like about Mr. Fraction’s run on Hawkeye. The answer, after careful consideration and debate, is EVERYTHING. The plotting is amazing, the dialogue sings, the dark gods rise. Ok, that last thing doesn’t  happen at all, but the book is fantastic and you should read it.

Vestrymen Grade: A+

Hellboy: In Hell #1

HellboyInHell1WRITTEN BY: Mike Mignola
ART BY: Dave Stewart
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
RELEASE DATE: 12/05/12

Hellboy: In Hell is not your standard Hellboy story. We see a much different Hellboy than the Hellboy we normally see in Hellboy books. Also “Yo, Dawg. I heard you like Hellboy, so I put a Hellboy in your Hellboy so you can Hellboy while you Hellboy.” Windows Live Writer hates the sentences I’ve just written like a 22-year-old high school english teacher marking up his first paper. “Hellboy” is not in its dictionary, apparently.

Vestrymen Grade: B

Later this week: We get philosophical with The Sentry!

You can download a copy of this podcast: Vestrymen Quick Reviews 12-5-2012

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. Intro music “The Future Soon” by Jonathan Coulton. Also featuring “Kenesaw Mountain Landis”, also by Jonathan Coulton.