VFCast Season 3 Episode 4: Real Men Wear Spectacles

Holy crap do we go back to the foundation of the modern age of comics today! You can keep your Brian Michael Bendises, your Grant Morrisons, and your Jonathan Hickmans! If you want truly sublimely insane comics, Stan “The Man” Lee and Steve Ditko do it better than anyone.

Amazing Spider-Man #1-6

250px-AmazingSpider-Man1WRITTEN BY: Stan Lee
ART BY: Steve Ditko
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: March, 1963

totallylookslike.com:

IMG_21012013_170359Amazing Spider-Man - 002 02

That is a picture of Steve Ditko, co-creator of Spider-man next to our protagonist, Peter Parker. I will leave you to draw your own conclusions.

A few pieces of insanity, just for you:

  • We are repeatedly told, and I mean at least twice an issue we are told that Peter Parker is a “science major” at his High School. Do High Schools have majors?
  • Peter tends to invent things to solve his problems, including the Anti-Magnetic Inverter. Welcome to the Silver Age, everyone!
  • We skipped Amazing Fantasy #15 for no good reason. You should totally read it, write a review and send it to us. If it uses full words and is at least semi-intelligent we will likely post it.
  • Reed Richards is a dick.

You can download this podcast: VFCast Season 3 Episode 4

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. This week, we feature Burial at Sea – “Barely There” and Greg Gibbs – “Young Erotic Naughty People”. Intro music by Jonathan Coulton.

VFCast Season 2 Episode 15: The Vestrymen meet The Sentry

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This podcast is more a literary criticism than you have gotten from us in a while. Before you listen please, go and get yourself a copy of this great book. We spoil it, but even more than that you’ll need to have read it to enjoy our analysis.

The Sentry

Sentry-Tpb-9780785107996WRITTEN BY: Paul Jenkins
ART BY: Jae Lee
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics (Marvel Knights Imprint)
RELEASE: December 1, 2001

This is not our standard podcast. The Sentry is a literary graphic novel full of layered meaning, depth, ambiguity of meaning, and nostalgia. We manage to get through almost a whole podcast without making a single dick joke!

So we briefly touch on this in the podcast, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on something so I’m going to elaborate here. As we’ve touched on before there is an interesting tug-of-war in the comics industry between creator rights, editorial control, and company profits. In this particular case Mr. Jenkins and Mr. Lee created the Sentry but ownership of the character feel to Marvel, which is fairly standard in the industry.

Jenkins and Lee had created a multi faceted story, that by its very plotting lent itself to self-containment. It was, by all accounts, also massively influential and well regarded. Since Jenkins didn’t retain the rights to The Sentry, other writers got to riff on what Jenkins had done.

250px-Sentry(Robert_Reynolds)We don’t, on principle. have a problem with that, especially when a character that has been languishing is picked up by a great creative team and gets great things done with them. When it goes the other way, though, it leaves me with a foul taste in my mouth. Jenkins and Lee wrote a great arc here, and it has unique pacing, plotting, and temperament. That magic mix proved, in the following six years or so, impossible to duplicate. It is disappointing to expect a certain type of thing from a specific character and get a different experience. Some of the stories that use the Sentry after this are good, but none of them reach the heights of this original run, and that is ok, I guess. I suppose if we get The Immortal Iron Fist, I can just pretend that The Sentry is a Super Skrull in his later appearances if that is what it takes to have both The Sentry and Ed Brubaker’s Daredevil.

This was an long rant, now go listen to the podcast!

Vestrymen Grade: You just scrolled to the bottom to see what grade we gave it didn’t you? DIDN’T YOU? For this you must be punished, with fire, and the forgetting of all that you where and all that you could be!

You can download a copy of this podcast: VFCast Sason 2 Episode 15

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. This week, we feature Real Vocal String Quartet – “Forte Abandonada”, Plurabelle – “Lips” and Paper Navy – “Swan Song”. Intro music by Jonathan Coulton.

Quick Review: Silver Surfer 2

As I’ve said before I really, really, want to like the Silver Surfer. He is touted as Stan Lee’s cosmic and cerebral creation. He is supposed to be smart, driven, introspective, and philosophical. His power is on Superman‘s  level, and he fights interesting enemies. Unfortunately that all usually adds up to super boring stories most of the time. How fighting Thanos for the survival of the universe can seem boring is completely beyond me. Silver Surfer #2 is just part of a long chain of Silver Surfer thinking his way through boring, boring books. His introspection comes across as whining, his intelligence comes off as pedantic self-indulgence,  he stuck fighting a random non-national army, and his powers are stripped. Its a boring book. Move past it an find something new and interesting.