VFCast! Season 4 Episode 9: Swashbuckling and THE FEELINGS

Title: Daredevil: Volume 1(Marvel Now!)
Author: Mark Waid
Artist: Paolo Rivera, Marcos Martin
Publisher: Marvel Comics (Marvel NOW!)
Release Date: August 8, 2012

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I’m enjoying showing you the worst costumes in comic movies/tv shows. I’ve watched these things; had to have my eyes burned, now you do too! Also I’m going to, as I do exactly 37% of the time, talk about something that is not the podcast itself in the podcast write-up.

I am convinced that if you make a comic book movie but are embarrassed by  subject matter that your are “inspired by” you cannot make the best version of the film. This principle extends to all parts of the undertaking. If you are making a Superman TV show with a “no flights, no tights” rule, when you actually get around to having costumes, they won’t be great.

The same problems exists, I think, for the Daredevil movie. We know that tights based costumes can look rad, and Daredevil had a nice budget, so I think we can safely blame creative choices for how silly Affleck looks in the costume.

Hollywood: Stop giving adaption contracts to teams that dislike the thing they are adapting. Fans do it better.

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. This week, we feature The Heavy – “How You Like Me Now?” and The NSJ Crew – “Swagger”. Intro music is “Action Figures” used by permission from Masai.

Vestrymen Season 4 Episode 2 : Who butchers the God Butcher?

Title: Thor: The God of Thunder, Vol. 1: The God Butcher
Author: Jason Aaron  
Artist: Esad Ribic 
Publisher: Marvel Comics  
Release Date: June 11, 2013

This may be the season where the teaser image at the top of the podcast’s blog post is just something vaguely related to the material that I enjoy. Sometimes it will be a sweet picture of old Nick Fury chillin’. Sometimes it will be an even sweeter picture that makes me terrified that someday I might actually meat Jason Aaron and he will eat my liver. Perhaps it will be a picture of Venom Galactus, you never know what is coming in the future, boyz and gurlz[zz].

When I was a kid I used to think how sweet it would be if Superman and Spider-Man would just have more comics together. Well, really I was more of a Batman/Spidey guy, but it’s the same thing, you know? These days I imagine what it would be like if Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic made a comic book together. Alternatively, in my comic book fantasy world, David Aja could draw a story written by Matt Fraction.

What you say? All those things have happened? I really should spend more time wishing for world peace and less time wishing for strange comic book related things.

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. This week, we feature Coconut Monkeyrocket – “Bloops, Bleeps, Bongos, Brass” and Still Pluto – “My Own God”. Intro music is “Action Figures” used by permission from Masai.

Season 4 Episode 1: Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy; Illegal Wars are Harder

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Title: Fury MAX: My War Gone By, Vol. 1
Author: Garth Ennis 
Artist: Goran Parlov 
Publisher: Marvel Comics (Max Imprint) 
Release Date: December 19, 2013

So I feel like I should address something. I’ve lied to you right out of the gate. That picture? The one of Fury sitting there, holding some strange tech thing and reading? That never happens in this book. Not only does it not happen, but nothing even a little bit like this happens in this book. I really, really think that image is great, and I couldn’t even tell you why.

We’ve discussed the work of Garth Ennis before. We where not huge fans of the first work of his we read. Wanted feels mean spirited, lazy, and trite. This book is lots of things, but I wouldn’t call it lazy or trite. I might call it overly gruesome, dark, and brooding. If you’ve ever ready anything by Ennis before, these should be things you expect. By the bucket full.

I really like Captain America and I really like evil twins. They are even better handled with a little bit of grace and charm. If you’ve ever thought that you’d like to see an Anti-Hero version of cap, read this damn book.

I have no more random thoughts to spew in your general direction, now go listen to the podcast!

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. This week, we feature Mudhoney – “Chardonnay” and Chris Gheran – “Dante”. Intro music is “Action Figures” used by permission from Masai.

A hot mess

My favorite comics blog calls the current age of comics the Platinum Age. Scipio is not wrong, not but I think it is clear that there is more going in the current age of comics than he has accounted for. It is fair to note that it has been four years since he wrote the linked piece and the landscape has changed significantly. Who wants to be fair really?. I’d rather 328936-118779-justice-league-of-am_superwrite about where the industry is today.

The New 52, Marvel Now, and The Avengers move have all come out since 2009, proving Scripo’s analysis of the superhero genre is on the nose.  Superhero comics are currently in something that would fairly be called “The Platinum Age.”

Something interesting is happening around the edges, though. Comic books have broadened themselves out again. The comics code authority’s rise in the mid 50s ended horror, noir crime and any sexually explicit comics. Starting in the 80s we saw some of these genres returning to publication, but to me, looking back, many of those works feel juvenile; like a 15-year-old trying so hard to prove they could be an adult. At their worst The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen feel like shock media, though never for long, and 250px-Youngblood_01_covernever in the same way The Youngbloods do.

I just interrupted my reading of Ed Bubaker and Sean Phillips moody Fatale to write this. We read and loved Greg Rucka and Matthew Southworth Stumptown recently. Though neither Leland or I love Multiple Warheads or Saga as much as the zeitgeist seems to they are works of substance and value. Fantasy comics, which have always had a slow, reliable market seem to be bursting out of their corner with Mice Templar and Amethyst. Soft and hard sci-fi comics litter the shelves, from a surprisingly good Star Wars title to the delightfuly whimsical Lost Vegas. Valliant comics is insuring that the Dark Age is forgotten, publishing a grip of well reviewed anti-heroes.

Though Scripo’s analysis is shiny, it is important to include the revitalization of neglected and abandoned genres that is a part of today’s landscape. Today’s creators throwing together the gold, silver, bronze, iron, platinum, and the metals forgotten between the ages, churning them together, distilling their mistakes, their creative brilliance, and their pure joy to create something new. The current age of comics is pushing at the edges of what you expect, forcing us to consider what is possible, what it means to be a creator, a reader, a fan, or an admirer. It is an exciting time to be a part of the comic book industry, even only as a fan and commenter in the Age of Alloys.

Reviews from the Future: Secret Avengers #2

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Title: Secret Avengers #2
Author: Nick Spencer
Artist: Luke Ross 
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: 3/13/2013

It seems like Secret Avengers could just end up being a book where one member of the team that Spencer put together in issue one goes out and does insane spy things in fictional places that only exist in the Marvel 616 Universe. I, for the record, would be completely down with that book.

The action moves along quickly Luke Ross’ art give a moody, cloak-and-dagger feel to the whole thing, and somehow, even with the distance that Spencer’s writing keeps from his subjects, I am invested in the welfare of every one of them after just 60 pages.

Like so many of the Marvel Now titles, this book isn’t trying to be to deep, or too literate, it is just trying to deliver on the promise of the title in an internally consistent, well plotted and characterized way. Also it has Taskmaster in it, so that is always fun!

Vestrymen Grade: Buy

VFCast! Season 3 Episode 12: Kung-Fu Mystic Medical Rom-Com!

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Title: Doctor Strange: The Oath
Publisher: Marvel Comics Author: Brian K. Vaughan
Artist: Marcos Martin
Release Date: 12/12/2012

Having had a LOT of fun with Doctor Strange and Brian K. Vaughan recently, when we remembered that there was a Vaughan created story staring the Master of the Mystic Arts it was just too tempting to read that thing.

Also did you remember that Doctor Strange was an MD? Did you read the 70s-tastic Marvel Comic’s Night Nurse? Do you want ol’ Doc Strange to have homoerotic tension with his “Man-Servant” Wong, while flirting with a girl, using Sherlock Holmesian quips? If you answered yes to all of these questions you are likely our first, and most loyal listener. How are you, Christi?

You can download this podcast: Vestrymen Season 3 Episode 12

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. This week, we feature Reigning Sound– “Shaw”, The Undynamic Pop Experiment – “Jo(h)n”, and Cosmic Analogy Ensemble – “Ain’t No Love Lost”. Intro music by Jonathan Coulton.

Review from the Future: Nova 2

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Title: Nova #2
Author: Jeff Loeb
Artist: Ed McGuinness 
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: 3/20/2013

We’ve had a string of “it is not high literature,  but it sho’ is fun” reviews lately and you can chalk up one more.  In a big plot twist in the meta-narrative of our reviews the image you see above is everything you need to know about Nova #2.

 

Loeb’s writing keeps things moving right along, and the plot is certinally has Easter Eggs for people who have paid attention to Marvel’s cosmic red headed step superheroes, but you should be able to jump right in, regardless of weather or not you know what a Xandarian is.

Ed McGuinness’ art straddles the same thin line between realism and space opera inspired fancy that Loeb is playing with in the script, a more significant challenge in the art, I think.

Nova two is a hot rod to the stars, an atomic milkshake, a trip to space Disneyworld. I wouldn’t want to read it every week, but man is it a fun little pallet cleanser once a month.

Just in case I haven’t given you enough of feel for what his book is here are some moment from it:

  • Rocket Raccoon and the most dangerous woman alive make a hospital visit
  • Moonbrakes!
  • “Help me Sam Alexander, you are my only hope!”
  • “Did you way ‘trust them’ or ‘never trust them?’”

Either Leland and I are having more fun in our lives lately, or comics got fun again last month. I’ll let you decide, dear reader.

Vestrymen Grade: Buy

VFCast! Season 3 Episode 11: [Insert long and awkward Mormon joke here]

Orson Scott Card is in the news and so we read the only OSC book we had floating around! Get ready for Indians, Folk Magic, Mormon Overtones, and a model of the compassionate hero in Red Prophet.

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[Begin interjection by Leland:]

Wet dog, yo.

First and foremost, we apologize a trillion times for the lateness of this podcast. My vacation, combined with the unexpected death of my puppy, led to a series of unfortunate events that pushed publishing the podcast back further than anticipated from when we recorded it on Friday. We hope you still enjoy it, late as it may be. Here is a picture of my late dog, because we know you all love pictures of dogs almost as much as you love videos of sleepy kittens. We’re sorry, we are for real.

[End of interjection. Carry on, Cabel.]

Whatever you think about Orson Scott Card’s politics or social beliefs I always find his creative voice to be unique. Card is geeky without being too self-aware, and is thoughtful while avoiding the descent into pseudo-intellectual profundity. Card’s heroes are deeply committed to kindness without the feeling like OSC is cheating for them; He never oversimplifies the worlds he creates in order to give ‘softies’ an artificial advantage. Card’s characters are always aware of intersectionality, race, and gender politics without often making me feel like I’m being preached to. Card is not either of The Vestrymens’ favorite author, but he generally spins a good yarn, and I loved Ender’s Game.

Red Prophet is a unique experience, both as a comic book, and as story archtype. I wonder what OSC’s Superman story would have been about.

You can download this podcast here: Vestrymen Season 3 Episode 11

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. This week, we feature Crete Boom– “Evil Brother”, Lucey Foley – “Making Circles”, and Bell X1 – “The Great Defector”. Intro music by Jonathan Coulton.

Quick Review from the Future: Wolverine #1

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Title: Wolverine #1 
Publisher: Marvel Comics 
Author: Paul Cornell
Artist: Alan Davis
Release Date: 3/13/2013

So I haven’t even started writing this review and already I’ve lied to you. That image above suggests that you Wolverine #1 is a fun, silly, playful, sexy book, full of flirty sexy fun. In fact, Wolverine #1 will crush your soul.

I don’t want you to get the idea that this is a poorly written or poorly drawn comic book, it is not. Few people in comics today can convey motion, grim determination and terrible, terrible violence as well as Alan Davis.  The art straddles the line between an iconic 70s super-hero style and a Gotham Central/Daredevil grittiness wonderfully perfectly driving the emotional heft of Mr. Davis’ emotional swings wonderfully.

“Cabel,” you say. “You just wrote 50 words about how awesome this comic is, so what the heck is going on with your first paragraph,” you say. Well new best friend, the content of this comic is sad, disturbing, emotionally effecting and downright depressing. In other words it is the perfect “The Best At What I Do” Wolverine story. Pick it up, especially if you are a Logan fan.

Vestrymen Grade: Buy

Quick Review from the Future: Avenging Spider-Man #18

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Title: Avenging Spider-Man #18 
Publisher: Marvel Comics 
Author: Christopher Yost 
Artist: Marco Checchetto

I am enjoying the heck out of Avenging Spider-Man #18 since the Superior turn that Spider-Man has taken recently. While SSM is reserved for the important, life altering, character defining, big plot moments, Avenging is a silly, fun, buddy comedy comedy. the art is nice too!

I’m not sure there is anymore to be said about this book. Is SSM is a truffle soufflé than Avenging is vanilla ice cream. Avenging is fun to eat, but it just slides right down to your stomach without really leaving much of a trace.

I enjoy this book, and will keep reading it and I suggest you do too, unless you hate things that are fun.