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! 1/16/2013

Today’s quick reviews include Indestructible Hulk #3, Todd, the Ugliest Kid on Earth #1, Savage Wolvering #1, and Daredevil #22.

Indestructible Hulk #3

Indestructible_Hulk_Vol_1_3WRITTEN BY: Mark Waid
ART BY: Leinil Francis Yu
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: January 16, 2013

I just gave a fairly positive review of Issues 1&2 of Mr. Waid’s run. This issue might be the weakest of the three, but The Hulk punches things, and Bruce Banner is Bruce Banner.

Vestrymen Grade: B+

Todd: The Ugliest Kid on Earth #1

NOV120456WRITTEN BY: Ken Kristensen
ART BY: M.K. Perker
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
RELEASE: January 16, 2013

So this is a comic, written like a kid’s comic, but not at all for kids. I’m not sure if its good, but it is engaging. I’m not sure who the audience is, outside the emo/goth movement, but I enjoyed it and am not in either group, so perhaps you should read it?

Vestrymen Grade: B-

Savage Wolverine #1

SavageWolverine_1_CoverWRITTEN BY: Frank Cho
ART BY: Jason Keith
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: January 16, 2013

Man does Frank Cho love Shanna the She-Devil; he loves her so much. I feel like Mr. Cho might secretly be using the inter-dimensional portal in the Marvel Comics office to date Shanna.

Vestrymen Grade: B+

Daredevil #22

2811663-22_superWRITTEN BY: Mark Waid
ART BY: Chris Samnee
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: January 16, 2013

I honestly might like Mark Waid’s Superior Spider-Man more than I like Dan Slott’s. Then again, not having to see inside the skeezy, manipulative mind of Otto Octavious might make life better for all of us.

Vestrymen Grade: B

For those who wish to download the podcast: Reviews from the Future! 1-16-2013

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: Indestructible Hulk 1&2

indestructible-hulk-1

WRITTEN BY: Mark Waid
ART BY: Leinil Francis Yu
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: November 21 & December 19, 2012

Sometimes we show up late to a party. I’ve been told that if it is a trendy, rad, quickly paced party that has some of our favorite people in the universe in it, then it’s worth showing up to the party even if this particular party started nearly three months earlier. We have an editor these days, and if she lets me strain the metaphor as thin as I just did she likes me more than I like myself. indestructible-hulk-2

The TV inspired Bruce Banner has been running around making the Hulk boring since the 80s. I’m not saying that the formula of Bruce shows up in a city; there is injustice; the Hulk fixes it; repeat’ is boring exactly but lets all agree that it works better on TV and move on?

When Mark Waid’s birthday comes around Leland is very likely to write a quick bio of him, but for now know that all the good things that people say about Brian Michael Bendis are actually true of Mr. Waid. Waid writes about dynamic characters with driven dialogue. They are intense, uniquely voiced characters that are true to their history, their cannon, and most importantly he doesn’t let any of that get in the way of telling interesting stories.

Light Spoilers From Here Out

The Marvel Now! Hulk is like watching the most interesting and engaging car crash I’ve ever watched. At the beginning of issue one Bruce Banner has come to the conclusion that The Hulk is incurable. As a reasonable reaction he turns himself over to S.H.I.E.L.D’s Maria Hill, asking to put both himself and The Hulk at their disposal as a way to atone for his crimes and as a way to do SCIENCE! Things play out about as you’d expect.

As de facto leader of of everyone’s favorite 616 Universe Secret Cabal Tony Stark has had his share of issues with The Hulk recently and Waid uses that tension to to let Bruce’s seams show in issue two. It is clear, at least to me, that finding out that The Hulk is Indestructible has unhinged Bruce and he is acting out the most dangerous rendition of the first two acts of Office Space imaginable.  Letting Hulk’s obligatory issue two teamup-and-then-fight be with Iron Man lets Waid pull some slight of hand since Tony has to be the only person who has known Bruce as long and as well as he has but still miss the obvious signs of a maniac episode. Tony Stark is the most self-obsessed person in the universe, after all and he is really easily distracted by SCIENCE!

IH-02-005Waid’s writing is often a bit brooding, though, which of course is a great match for the eponymous character in this book. Bruce has decided to be a super outgoing, shiny-happy-time Bruce Banner, but Waid reminds us in the second issue that he is still a man who is most comfortable either alone with numbers, or in the company of other hyper-geniuses talking about numbers.

This book might, at times, be little more than an in-depth version of the bromance from that one movie, but I have high hopes for this book. It has a interesting direction, great characterizations, funny jokes, wonderfully drawn scenes and a great sense of pacing. If it is still on the shelves at at your local store pickup a copy, or two.

Vestrymen Grade: B+

Quick Review: The Amazing Spiderman Annual 38

I enjoy paint-by-number superhero stories, but I’m not sure why. This is an archetypal superhero story too. Peter gets sent to an alternate reality where The Spider is the only superhero in that reality. Not because other people like Tony Stark are not around, but because alternate reality PP is actually THAT good at his job.  He took down The Big G all by his lonesome. From there it pretty much follows as you’d expect. There are some odd Hulk and Deadpool (shutter) subplots, and there are some twists and turns, that you should see coming from miles away, but there are no real close character moments, no revelations of human nature, no criticism of political or social trends, no real meat whatsoever.

And it all ads up to fun. Not a huge amount, not Invincible levels of fun, or even Batgirl Showcase, but its a good serviceable story and I feel a little guilty for having spent time on it.  Go figure.