VFCast! Season 5 Episode 4 – Two Men, One Boy

Title: Batman/Starman/Hellboy Issue 1 & 2
Author: James Robinson
Artist: Mike Mignola
Publisher: DC & Dark Horse
Release Date: January 1999

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This is a crossover book drawn by a very popular creator and written by a cult favorite about the most popular character in comics and his dudebros. James Robinson has a very devoted fan following (Cabel and Leland included) and Mike Mignola is an extremely influential writer/artist.

So why can’t I find anything about it online? Seriously, the Wikipedia entry isn’t even important enough to get tagged with the “it’s just a synopsis” tag. It is so unimportant that no one (us included) even cared to mark that it was a bad entry.

Why is that? This should be an important book, right? There are big things happening. It is Starman’s first multiverse crossover. It is Mignola’s first time to professionally draw Batman. It has semi-false advertising on the cover.

We enjoyed it, so I guess all my confusion is somewhat moot.

Meh.

[I mentioned I would link to our Starman podcast. Stay a while and listen! -L]

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. This week, we feature Clockcleaner – “Caliente Queen”. Intro music is “Action Figures” used by permission from Masai. All other music is property of Leland Webb and Vestrymen from the Future!

VFCast! Season 4 Episode 8: Dropping Beats as Deep as the Marianas Trench

Aquaman - Smallville

Title: Aquaman Vol.1: The Trench
Author: Geoff Johns
Artist: Ivan Reis, Joe Prado 
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: May 21, 2013

The above picture exists just to share how stupid I think Aquaman’s costume is. It is not that i think ol’ AM is a dumb character, I really don’t. I think the character has a really solid premise. People say he is underpowered, but no one said that about Grace! Arthur Curry is at least as powerful as her, plus the cool utility powers…  Who am I kidding? I was literally the only person reading Outsiders in the early 2000s; you don’t know who Grace is!

Grace was a tattooed First Nations woman, with Amazonian ties (I think.) Aquabadass, on the other hand, is an Atlantian warrior who renounced his kingship in order to serve humanity… Seriously, we should write a Grace and Aquaman monthly. We could call it Bruisers; perhaps if Bane and the Hawks agreed to be really good they could come too. This would be a comic book about punching people in the face.

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Yes. Batman can come too if he wants. Who am to tell the Dark Knight where he can’t go?

You can download the podcast audio: VFCast Season 4 Episode 8

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. This week, we feature Kreng – “Maia” and Uncle Neptune – “The Good in Everything”. Intro music is “Action Figures” used by permission from Masai.

“I didn’t know rap was for that!”

A friend of mine is having a absolutely heartbreaking family health crisis. To help her cope I sent her Tnmmd of Almost Home by Masai. In the midst of her parents both being simultaneously hospitalized, for different reasons, a song from a genre she is fairly unfamiliar with made her cry cathartic, soul cleaning tears. The next time I talked to her she said to me “I didn’t know rap was for that!”

We are using Masai’s music on our podcast these days because we like it, of course. There is another reason too though. His music shares one of our favorite traits; it transcends it’s perceived genre limitations.  Rap doesn’t help you deal with grief, comic books are for kids, and classical music is boring and hard to understand.

Like so much of how we interact with each other, perceive one another, and how we engage the world, our beliefs about what a specific kind of art should and can be are shaped by cultural biases. Even the creators who are aware of the prejudice and who attempt to live free from it are aware of the assumptions that drive mainstream understanding of whatever part of the world is being lensed by social norms. Some would say that the weight of these assumptions is even heavier on them.

The Vestrymen tend to love art that works to transcend its genre e expectations. The Sentry reminded us that superhero comics can deal with addiction, loss, pain, and alienation in staggeringly honest and difficult metaphors. Blankets reminds us that faith, sexuality, and intimacy can be addressed through panels and speech. Almost Home lets us know that race, grief, and humor are not the anthemia of spoken word set to beat.  The Absorbascon’s and The Astroboys humor and warmth reminds us that not all comic book bloggers and podcasters can be a positive way to talk about and promote the medium that we all love.

As artists transcend the expectations they force us to transcend ourselves. The surprise and pleasant elation that we feel when we are confronted with something better than expected mirrors the surprise that Huck Finn feels as Jim constantly upends his racial expectations.

I know artists struggle with the belief that in order to be successful they must make the art that is expected of them. I don’t think that Almost Home or The Sentry will ever sell as well as Detective Comics #18 or Who Let the Dogs Out. I can only hope that making the world a slightly better place is enough of a consolation prize for Masai and Paul Jenkins.

Reviews from the Future: Batman and Robin #18

2013-03-13 07-47-31 - Batman and Robin 18-001

Titile: Batman and Robin #18
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Penciler: Patrick Gleason
Release Date: 3/17/2013

What do you want me to say about this comic book? Do you want me to say that I miss a fictional 12-year-old? I do. Do you want me to say that reading it made me think that comic book writers are a waste of money, and perhaps we should just have artists, since they clearly write better stories on their own? The trolly part of me thinks that. Do you want me to tell you that this is a really excellent comic book and you should “read” it, yesterday? You should do that thing.

Peter J. Tomasi gets writer credit but all the heavy lifting in this issue is done by Patrick Gleason. Gleason’s work gave me the chills on more than one occasion. Bruce’s suffering, his visceral pain is right there on the page and there is absolutely no missing it.

Even if you are not a Batman fan you should pickup this book, to see how a goodbye to an iconic character is done right.

NewsTime! Special Report for 3/12/13

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Since The Vestrymen don’t love you very much we’re not giving you a quick reviews podcast this week. In order to soften that blow, we are going to give you a new kind of podcast. It will even come out early! Ever wonder what comic news we notice in the last week? Listen to this podcast about comic book news and you will know!

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We’ll try to be at least as good newsmen as JJJ!

Like this format more than our normal format? Hate it? Think we were totally off base on one of our stories? Let us know down in the comments!

You can also download this news podcast here: Vestrymen News 3-12-2013

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 Reviews for 3/6/2013

A heist, an epic battle of wills, a HUGE plot twist and dark musings all await in this week’s quick reviews! We’ll tell you all about SSM #5, Detective Comics #18, Lost Vegas #1, and SEX #1! We also have a New Review Metric!

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Detective Comics #18

DTC_Cv18_ds_02WRITTEN BY: John Layman
ART BY: Jason Fabok
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASE: March 6, 2013

Did you ever think, “God I am so tried of writers like Morrison, Slott, Fraction, and McCann? Writers who take risks, challenge me, and force me to re-engage their work, and by extension the world around me?!? I just want The Goddam Batman all the time!” Well now you have what you wanted and I had to read it. I hope you are happy!  #redskycrossover #dramaticbatmanpose

Vestrymen Grade: Don’t Buy

Sex #1

Sex 001 (2013) (Digital) (Darkness-Empire) 01WRITTEN BY: Joe Casey
ART BY: Piotr Kowalski
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
RELEASE: March 6, 2013

SEX! Rebellion! Also remember DKR #2? Not really? *Spoiler Alert* I’ve felt a little trolly this week! Sex is trolling me harder then I’m trolling Sex though. I don’t know how to engage this work.

Vestrymen Grade: Buy this Book

The Superior Spider-Man #5

Superior-Spider-Man-5-DC21_LR-1WRITTEN BY: Dan Slott
ART BY: Giuseppe Camuncoli
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: March 6, 2013

You mad fanboyzzz? The Superior Spider-Man is a better Spider-Man than Peter Parker every could hope to be. He is smarter, faster, darker, and more Batmanarific!

Vestrymen Grade: Put It On Your Pull List!

Lost Vegas #1

lost-vegas-1-coverWRITTEN BY: Jim McCann
ART BY: Jane Lee
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
RELEASE: March 6, 2013

Remember Han Solo? What if he was a prisoner of Space Vegas?

Vestrymen Grade: Buy This Book

 

You can download this podcast and consume it later here: Reviews from the Future! 3-6-2013

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.

Audio Quick Reviews for 2/27/2013

The Vestrymen sit down for a Morrison-y quick review session. Batman Inc #8, Happy #4, Action Comics #17, and Hawkeye #8. A lot of great runs started about eight months ago, I guess.

Action Comics #17

AC_Cv17WRITTEN BY: Grant Morrison
ART BY: Brad Walker & Rags Morales
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASE: February 20, 2013

We like trade paperbacks. We are certain that Morrison, who is co-hosting our podcast with us this week, is better in TPB format than in pamphlets. If go back and read Action Comics 1-18 and still think Superman is boring, I command you to tell me why!

Vestrymen Grade: A-

Happy #4

Happy_41-300x461WRITTEN BY:  Grant Morrison
ART BY: Darick Robertson
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
RELEASE: February 20, 2013

Did you expect Happy! to get LESS insane as its run went on? Well its likely you are winning lots of money in your office comic book pool. Happy! was a delightful read, and it is too bad Morrison isn’t writing anything else of note right now.

Vestrymen Grade: A

Batman Incorporated #8

robin-batman-inc-8-variantWRITTEN BY: Grant Morrison
ART BY: Chris Burnham
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASE: February 27, 2013

If you miss Batman & Robin the way I do reading this book will feel a little bit like your favorite TV show had a reunion and you where invited. And then something else happens. No spoilers in quick reviews.

Vestrymen Grade: A

Hawkeye #8

detailWRITTEN BY: Matt Fraction
ART BY: David Aja
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: February 27, 2013

Every month we give this comic a great review and every month it seems to get better than the month before. I might be just a little in love with every woman that David Aja draws. They don’t even have to say one word and already I’ve fallen for an imaginary woman, which is good, ‘cuz I should be in love on Valentine’s Day.

Vestrymen Grade: A+

You can download this podcast if you desire: Reviews from the Future! 2-27-2013

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.

Audio Quick Reviews for 2/6/13

You get our quick takes on the interesting Green Arrow #17, the slamtastic Legends of The Dark Knight #5,  the surreal Dial H #9, the sublime Dia De Los Muertos #1 and the amazing Superior Spider-Man #3. 25% more quick reviews for your money!

Green Arrow #17

Green-Arrow_17_Full-665x1024WRITTEN BY: Jeff Lemire
ART BY: Andrea Sorrentino
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASE: February 6, 2013

There is a lot to say about this book, but really our dissatisfaction with it comes down to one thing and it’s the same reason that I’ve been avoiding Green Arrow since its New 52 re-launch. Ollie has not the facial hairs. I loved Ollie’s fantastic mustache.

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RIP awesome 80s ‘stache. [1880s ‘stache -L]

Vestrymen Grade: B –

Legends of the Dark Knight #5

LODK_05_Cv-650x999WRITTEN BY: Joshua Fialkov
ART BY: Phil Hester & Eric Gapstur
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASE: February 6, 2013

It is a Slam Bradley story. If you don’t love Slam Bradley, stop reading as soon as you finish this sentence and go buy and read Darwyn Cooke and Matt Hollingsworth’s Selina’s Big Score. Slam is great, awesome, and better than your PI.

Vestrymen Grade: A –

Dia De Los Muertos #Uno

WRITTEN BY: Alex Link, Christopher Long, Dirk Manning
ART BY: Riley Rossmo
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
RELEASE: February 6, 2013

If we can have Christmas in July, why not Halloween in February? We are  interested to see what happens with the rest of this three issue mini-series. We EXCITED, with the ferocity of Hercules.

Vestrymen Grade: A –

Dial H #9

DIALH_Cv9WRITTEN BY: China Mieville
ART BY: Alberto Ponticelli
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASE: February 6, 2013

Watching China and Alberto try to make sense of the insane, insane backstory that you inherit when you decide to write a Dial H book is fun just as an intellectual challenge, at least.

Vestrymen Grade: C

The Superior Spider-Man #3

SuperiorSpider-Man3_1WRITTEN BY: Dan Slott
ART BY: Ryan Stegman
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: February 6, 2013

I used to hate The Vulture because I thought he was a boring villain. Then Dan Slott got a hold of him. Now I hate him in a way I never thought I would. He is a terrible, evil, annoying man who deserves everything that happens to him in this book and more. Seriously, screw that guy.

Vestrymen Grade: A –

Download the podcast here: Reviews from the Future! 2-6-2013

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.

Audio Quick Reviews for 1/30/13

The Vestrymen’s do a quick podcast for your pleasure. We talk Hawkeye #7, The Superior Spider-Man #2, Masters of the Universe Origin of He-Man #1, and Batman Incorporated #7. Are comics better this week or are we just happier people? It’s your choice, but we warn you not to underestimate our vicissitude.

The Superior Spider-Man #2

Superior_Spider-Man_Vol_1_2WRITTEN BY: Dan Slott
ART BY: Ryan Stegman
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: 1/30/2013

We where a little worried about some of the choices made in SS #1. Oh we of little faith. This book was straight awesome, better than #1, even. Egg Fu on our faces.

Vestrymen Grade: A

Hawkeye #7

Hawkeye_7_Cover-300x456WRITTEN BY: Matt Fraction
ART BY: Steve Lieber & Jesse Hamm
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: 1/30/2013

Hawkeye Hawkeye Hawkeye

Why does your prose pull at my heart so

Why does your beauty so confound my soul

Fraction! you made me write beat poetry, you sneaky bastard!

Vestrymen Grade: A

Masters of the Universe Origin of He-Man #1

Masters-of-the-Universe_The-Origin-of-He-Man_1_Full-665x1024WRITTEN BY: Joshua Hale Fialkov
ART BY: Ben Oliver
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASE: 1/30/2013

I don’t know people, it is fucking He-Man. It is a good He-Man story? He is one of the Masters of the Universe, Man. He is Adam Greyskull, inheritor of a great and mysterious Sword of Power. Sword. Of. Power!

Vestrymen Grade: B-

Batman Incorporated #7

WRITTEN BY: Grant Morrison
ART BY: Chris Burnham
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASE: January 31, 2013

BATMAN INCORPORATED. You thought Morrison was just gonna let the Leviathan thing hang out there, weren’t you? WRONG! Strange Strange business.

Vestrymen Grade: A

Download the podcast here, downloaders: Reviews from the Future! 1-30-2013

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 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.