Season 5 Episode 5: Elder Godhood and the Life Cycle of a Fish-Man

Title: Hellboy Volume 1
Creator: Mike Mignola
Publisher: Dark Horse
Release Date: 3rd Edition: December 9, 2003

Listen to me! The Many-Sided-Ones knock! You think we are just Podcasting about their glory three weeks in a row because they make for great villains? You think we like talking about their many sided glory? We love them with a dark love. Our dedication to their glory flows not from our own engines. The Mechanic removed that which shines in us. Now we rot. We rot with the glory and power of an ant forced to behold the full splendor of a man. Our many sided parts, jokered passion, our ardor are not a warning, but rather a joyful noise! We are The Men of the Vestry; We show you What-Is-To-Come!

Alternatively titled Sometimes Red Dudes Get Unreasonably Angry About Frogs.

VFCast Season 3 Episode 14: Why would you would you want to be Van Halen when you could be Stan Lee?

The Umbrella Academy movie is in development hell. This is a sad thing. Fortunately there is another volume out that we have not read yet. Still Brad Silberling would kick the ass of this movie so hard, and I’m sure its soundtrack would explode my ears with joy, so hard.  I guess we get another Superman move instead.


Title: The Umbrella Academy Vol. 1
Author: Gerard Way
Artist: Gabriel Ba 
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics  
Release Date: June 24, 2008

I love the games Gerard Way plays with names in this book. The protagonists are superheroes whose real names are just numbers and have code names are straight out of the Legion of Superheroes naming conventions. You want alienation? Take Dean and Sam from Supernatural, but have John Winchester think of them so much as solders that he refuses to give them names besides “Soldier 1” and “Soldier 2.” You want to talk about chosen family? Have your protagonists choose their own names, and make those names be their only names. Sure code names tell us a lot about a character, but if there is no Bruce Wayne behind the mask, if Batman is his only identity, his only name, then the choice of the name takes on even more significance. Kraken chooses  a terrifying name because he wants to be terrifying. Kraken doesn’t put on a mask and pretend to be terrifying, his only personality is the personality he chooses. Also he is good with knives.

Vestrymen Grade: I’d say “pull” but nothing is currently being published, so go and buy the trade.

You can download this fuckin’ podcast right here: Vestrymen Season 3 Episode 14

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. This week, we feature Kazoo Funk– “Baby, You’ve No Eyes”, and Ancient Laser – The Last Americans. Intro music is “Action Figure” used by permission from Masai Andrews.

Reviews from the Future! Star Wars #3, In the Shadow of Yavin

Star Wars - Death Star Spread

Title : Star Wars, In The Shadow of Yavin #3
Publisher: Dark Horse
Author: Brian Wood
Artist: Carlos D’anda

My interest in Star Wars has waned significantly over the last 15 years. This is not because the prequels were terrible (they were) or because the expanded universe literature has been hit or miss (it has). It’s because the narrative that captured my imagination so thoroughly when I was a young lad looks a bit too tired and too derivative to eyes that have spent too many hours in a college film classroom. I lost my innocence somewhere among the twisting corridors of higher education, and I have only myself to blame.

Star Wars - HanClearly Kurosawa was better at this sort of thing than Lucas, but I’m still excited to revisit these characters who lived a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. I think I always knew that George Lucas had written a pretty cool universe with some great characters, but it always felt like there should have been a bit more depth. It turns out that Brian Wood’s Star Wars is the antidote to a poison I barely realized I had swallowed. Kicking off shortly after the battle of Yavin IV, the series seems poised to flesh out some of the character growth that was only implied in the films. It’s not a re-characterization; Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewy feel like the same characters that Lucas invented. It’s more like episodes 4-6 told us the action-packed bits of the story without bothering to linger on the characters, and Wood is striking a more mature balance.

Star Wars - Leia PilotCabel and I have already talked about book #1 on the podcast, so I won’t retread too much old ground except to say that all the elements we liked from the 1st issue, the art, the dialogue, and the pacing, are present in #3. Carlos D’anda’s artwork continues to absolutely stop the show. This is not only the best looking Star Wars book I have ever read, it’s some of the best art on the newsstand. D’anda draws crisp and energetic action, along with some really gorgeous set-pieces that really force you to experience scale, but his real strength is in his character art. It’s always tough to draw a cast based on such a recognizable group of actors, and the book strikes a rare balance between creating comfortable likenesses of the characters while maintaining a larger-than-life gloss commiserate with the rest of the art.

Issue #3 has some moments where the plot stutters, and where the dialogue gets overwrought. The grey squadron story drags its feet through the soap-opera swamp just a bit, and love triangles are often a mess to write. Though the situation can feel forced, the character’s choices make a lot of sense to me and the shuffling pathos is offset by Han and Chewy going full tilt swashbuckle mode engage on Coruscant, so minor bits of melodrama shall be forgiven. After all, this is a space opera, right?


Quick Reviews for 1/09/2013

50% more reviews than normal! Is Superior Spider-Man superior to Spider-Man in Superior Spider-Man #1? Superman is action-y in Action Comics #16, there is a Star War in Star Wars #1, Godzilla is both a God and a ‘zilla in Godzilla #8, and I have no damn idea what happened in Higher Earth #7.

Star Wars #1

StarWars1-e1357716042373WRITTEN BY: Brian Wood
ART BY: Carlos D’Anda
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
RELEASE: January 9, 2013

It is nice to read a good Star Wars comic. Lee and I have reviewed Dark Horse’s Star Wars line before. We have not liked them, not at all. It is nice to see a well paced, well characterized, well plotted, and fun book. If you like Star Wars read this book, if you don’t I expect you to be lost.

Vestrymen Grade: B+

Godzilla #8

Godzilla_02-CvrAWRITTEN BY: Duane Swierczynski
ART BY: Simon Gane
RELEASE: January 9, 2013

Godzilla! Space Monsters! Zero Point Energy! Betrayal! Mothra! Sexy Priestesses. Fun!

Vestrymen Grade: B+

Higher Earth #7

HigherEarth_07_CVAWRITTEN BY: Sam Humphries
ART BY: Francesco Biagini
RELEASE: January 9, 2013

We have trouble engaging this text, since we haven’t read it before, and it does not seem to be pulling any issues punches. This book feels fresh  interesting, and if we where more conversant with its internal mythology it might even get a better grade, or we might decide it is stupid, who knows? Keep your eyeballs on this space to find out, maybe.

Vestrymen Grade: B+ (the grade that we give all comics this week)

Action Comics #16

2799020-prev_img_2_superWRITTEN BY: Grant Morrison
ART BY: Brad Walker & Rags Morales
RELEASE: January 9, 2013

Reading Action 16 and Higher Earth is a makes for a mind bending month. Morrison is a crazy man, does crazy things with crazy people. It’s a good book, though, we think.

Vestrymen Grade: B+

The End Times of Bram and Ben #1

endtimes01_cover-197x300WRITTEN BY: James Asmus & Jim Festante
ART BY: Overdrive Studio
RELEASE: January 9, 2013

James Asmus and Jim Festante write the story of the Rapture, if everyone that remained on Earth after the rapture where hipsters. Fear the Skinny Jean Antichrist!

Vestrymen Grade: C

Lucky Boy Restaurant

l3521 Constitution Ave NE
Albuquerque, NM 87106

We get distracted by how much we like Lucky Boy. Lucky Boy is awesome, and so very, very, very tasty. Go there, eat their Egg Fu Young hamburger.

Vestrymen: B+

The Superior Spider-Man #1

Superior_spiderman_1WRITTEN BY: Dan Slott
ART BY: Ryan Stegman
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: January 9, 2013

Comic creators, make a slight change in the way they characterize their lead, or make a change in the supporting cast tend to say they are taking the book in a “Bold New Direction.” Dan Slott is taking Spider-Man in a direction we would not have believed if Mr. Slott stood in our recording studio and told us what he was going to do a year ago. We love his giant balls, and just hope that Mr. Slott and the Spider-Man editorial staff have the focus and drive to stay on course and really examine what makes Spider-Man Spider-Man.

Vestrymen Grade: B+

For those about to download this: Reviews from the Future! 1-9-2012

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.

Vestrymen Season 2 Episode 12: Sometimes Leonardo Da Vinci has to punch Galactus in the face


OMG did we enjoy Mr. Hickman’s S.H.I.E.L.D. We also review Mr. Gillen’s Iron Man #1, Mr. Jordan’s Shadowman #1, Mr. Richardson’s 47 Ronin, and Joe Kubert’s Joe Kubert Presents #1. We pour one out for our departed homies.

Quick Reviews!:

Iron Man #1

ironman1WRITTEN BY: Kieron Gillen
ART BY: Greg Land, Jay Leisten and Guru eFx
PUBLISHER: Marvel comics
RELEASE: November 7, 2012

Feels a lot like Ellis’ Extremis, and Mr. Gillen does a good job, but he is not the creator of Leland’s favorite comic book, so we really just recommend you go buy Transmet, or  Extremis if you really need an Iron Man story. If you’ve read both those texts and you still need more Iron Man then you are allowed to read Marvel Now! Iron Man #1: the Re-extremising!

Vestrymen Grade: B+

Shadowman #1

Shadowman_issue_1_comic_book_cover_by_Valiant_Comics1WRITTEN BY: Justin Jordan and Patrick Zircher
ART BY: Patrick Zircher
PUBLISHER: Valiant Comics
RELEASE: November 7, 2012

Garth Ennis used to write Shadowman. We probably should have read that instead.  I can’t find a place to buy this one online, you’ll have to actually go to a brick and mortar store or wait ’til it gets onto the online vendors, peeps. We like Astro-Zombies, if you live in Albuquerque or feel like a comic book themed road trip.

Cabel Grade: C Leland Grade: B-

47 Ronin #1


WRITTEN Mike Richardson
ART BY: Stan Sakai
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
RELEASE: November 7, 2012

This is not a review of the upcoming Keanu Reeves vehicle, though they are both drawing from the same source material. Reeves is a strange choice for Kai, don’t you think? It is good that he got the role though, ‘cuz the Hollywood Asian Actors Guild was complaining  about how there where too many nuanced, interesting blockbusters being produced about famous historical events from the Asian Continent. It’s a good comic book with some art issues that confound us a bit.

Vestrymen Grade: B+

Joe Kubert Presents #1

JKP01_covercropCREATED BY: Joe Kubert, Brian Buniak, Sam Glanzman
RELEASE: November 7, 2012

Vestrymen Grade: A-

Our Feature:

S.H.I.E.L.D.: Architects of Forever

shield_2_2ndWRITTEN BY: Jonathan Hickman
ART BY: Dustin Weaver
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: November 7, 2012

We skip talking about the author here, having discussed him in some depth recentlyDustin Weaver does have a great blog and a very funny nonsense rivalry with Dustin Nguyen, since they are both named “Dustin.” Mr. Nguyen has a Wikipedia entry and Mr. Weaver only has a Wookieepedia entry, so Nguyen 1 – Weaver 0. Very serious rivalries aside, we loved the Ever Loving Everything out of this book. Go read it, then listen to our podcast!

Vestrymen Grade: A+

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. This week, we feature The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. Intro music by Jonathan Coulton.