VFCast Season 3 Episode 15: Albuquerque Has Comic’s Creepiest Dentist

It’s and eat or be eaten, whether you’re homo neanderthalensis or homo sapiens superior. Don’t blink, food your mogwai after midnight, and don’t forget that the enemy is in your own mind as we extoll the virtues of Grant Morrison’s New X-Men!

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Title: New X-Men Vol. 1
Author: Grant Morrison
Artist: Frank Quitely  
Publisher: Marvel Comics   
Release Date: May 28, 2008

I fucking love Xorn. Xorn is awesome, and I will fight you if you disagree. Yes terrible, strange, and confusing things happened to Xorn following the end of Morrison’s run on New X-Men but I want to forget about that and just remember how fucking likable and awesome Xorn the healer is. Morrison writes likeable outcasts better than almost anyone writing comics today. I suppose that is why Xorn works, both at the beginning and end of this arc. I love Xorn, so his betrayals, his compassion, and all his choices really hit home. We really liked this book! You should buy it! [Xorn has maybe 6 lines of dialogue in this entire book. -L]

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. This week, we feature Albuquerque locals A Hawk and a Hacksaw– “Hora Pa Bataie”, and Candlegravity – “Wanting Some”. Intro music is “Action Figure” used by permission from Masai Andrews.

Reviews from the Future: New Avengers #4

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Why does everyone always give Galactus such a hard time? He is just a working stiff, trying to provide for himself and his ‘children.’ Silver chrome isn’t free you know?

Title: New Avengers #4
Author: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Steve Epting 
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: 3/20/2013

I’m going to spoil New Avengers #1-3 in my review of #4, so if you haven’t read it and you want to, go and get it and then come back.

So Cap is out of the picture now and The Beast is in, because the Science Cabal does not have any patience for non-scientists gumming up the works and when you are having a moral dilemma sucker-punching and mind-whipping Cap is always a good plan.  Namor should probably be watching his back.

Not much is actually happening in each issue of New Avengers. It really feels to me like Hickman and Epting thought up a set piece for each issue and then sat down and wrote a plot that would allow them to use all their awesome set pieces. The set pieces are always awesome, though. Captain America using the Infinity Gauntlet to push back a second earth narrowly avoiding an inter-dimensional collusion with ours. Black Panther and his Science Teen Force fight to save a world from being destroyed. An alternate universe herald of Galatcus tells us what Galactus is for. I suppose its unfair to say not much happens. Exactly one thing happens in each issue of Hickman’s New Avengers, and that thing is awesome!

I have my problems with the pacing of this book, obviously, but the art and content matter more than make up for it. If you liked Hickman’s FF/Fantastic Four run, or if you just think Space Operas just need some of the spandex set to be really awesome you should start reading this book.

Vestrymen Grade: Buy

Audio Quick Reviews for 2/13/2013

Katana 001, X-Men 041, Secret Avengers 00-1, Fantastic Four 4.  Coming at you a day late, and more than a dolla’ short, we are The Vestrymen.

Katana #1

Katana-001-(2013)-(2-covers)-(Digital)-(Nahga-Empire)-01WRITTEN BY: Ann Nocenti
ART BY: Alex Sanchez
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASE: February 13, 2013

This week is officially the week of the weird in the midst of the month of the archers. This book decides to be a book about Shado, but without Green Arrow. We liked it.

Vestrymen Grade: B

Secret Avengers #1

Secret Avengers 01-000WRITTEN BY: Nick Spencer
ART BY: Luke Ross
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: February 13, 2013

This is the best book we read this week. Not only does it have Hawkeye, but it also has spy shenanigans!

Vestrymen Grade: B+

X-Men #41

X-Men 041-000WRITTEN BY: Seth Peck
ART BY: Jefte Palo, Lorenzo Ruggiero
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: February 13, 2013

We like Adam Kubert’s cover art and not much else. Have something good to say about this book? Let us know.

Vestrymen Grade: C- (with much discussion)

Fantastic Four #4

FantasticFour_4_TheGroup-000WRITTEN BY: Matt Fraction
ART BY: Mark Bagley
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASE: February 13, 2013

This is a slightly sub par Valentine’s Day offering from Mr. Fraction. It’s still an enjoyable read, it just takes too long to get where it is going.

Vestrymen Grade: B-

Download the file here: Reviews from the Future! 2-13-2013

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 review: Uncanny Avengers #3

detailWRITTEN BY: Rick Remender
ART BY: John Cassady
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: January 23, 2013

The Red Skull,backed by his extremely powerful S-Men and now fully in control of Xavier’s brain is prepared to bring battle to the New York City,  Havoc’s Avengers, and forces of equality and tolerance themselves! Everything else about this book aside it allowed to write that sentence as its introduction and mank, was that fun!

Something bothered me about UA#3 on my first read through and I couldn’t put my finger on it, well at least until I grafted Xavier’s brain onto mine. The pacing, characterizations, and general plotting of the book feel an awful lot like the subject of our second-to-last feature. Thankfully the art is better, though. Characters are allowed to have expressions and dialogue flows in a way that doesn’t feel painfully stilted which is appreciated. Still, Havoc and Cap’s interactions really read like old school over-the-top, on-the-nose character moments, as does the “voice over” explaining everyone’s motivations.

Remender, despite his clear pulp influences is actually riffing on the racial work of so may X-Writers before him.  The X-Men where conceived and rose to popularity during the Civil Rights Movement and its immediate fallout. During both Lee and Clarmont’s iconic runs the X-Men often stood in for American Blacks and Jews. Uncanny Avengers asks, with some subtly, if we have actually come that far since the 60s and 70s. Have we moved past the racial struggles of the Jim Crow Era or have we just changed our language and made the battle a more subtle one? I’m not ready to judge the books attempts to engage that question, at least not until the first plot arc is done, but I’m interested to see how it finishes.

I enjoyed the read and its addition to the month of Wolverine getting beat down is lovely, but it never rose to the pure fun of Hawkeye, or the the true thoughtfulness of Sandman. The middle ground that Uncanny Avengers is currently straddling is uncomfortable, and just a tad off-putting.

Vestrymen Grade: B-

Quick Review: Avenging Spider-Man 16

AvengingSM_16_TheGroup-000WRITTEN BY: Christopher Yost
ART BY: Paco Medina
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: January 16, 2013

Marvel feels like choices they have made with Superior Spider-Man are really important, and the sales number agree. But is it good?

Avenging is a team-up book and this reads like a paint-by-numbers superhero team-up.  It is not bad, exactly but it is far from inspired. We are by now, hip to Superior’s jive. He is a man with Peter Parker’s ethical sense, but a significantly more driven and brutal logistical sense, which is what most of the book is dedicated to and I am tired of learning the same character traits over and over.

Is it fair for me to judge this book for doing character work that has been done in other titles of late? Should I judge the book as a stand-alone, ignoring the character work done in Superior Spider-Man #1, and all its tie in books? I can only tell you that I read the books in the order I read them and that I am tired of comic books giving lots and lots of energy to telling me something I learned last week.

I did enjoy Spidey’s character moment with Wolverine more than the above paragraph would suggest, though.

Vestrymen Grade: B-

VF Cast Special: X-Men First Class: The Movie

This week we discuss comic book movies, pretty blue things, and what it’s like to be a cad. It’s time for X-Men: First Class!

DIRECTOR: Matthew Vaughn
PRODUCED BY: Bad Hat Harry Productions
IMDB for more info?: Here!
RELEASE: June 3, 2011

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We discuss the perfectly and surprisingly delightful X-Men: First Class.

I promised a link to Movie Bob’s review and discussion of the film, as if you really need anyone’s opinion of anything that is not ours. Cretins!

There are problems with the film, which of course we discuss, but it really ends up being a a super positive podcast. Sorry haters, I guess you are gonna have to find somewhere else to get your hate on. Try Limbaugh.

I do have one problem with the film that is only tangentially touched on in the podcast. We discuss that Professor X is a bit of a dick, but I never mentioned how much I hate watching him use his powers.

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I don’t think I’d have been bothered if he did the ol’ finger to the temple thing when he was really focusing or, like, when it was really important for us to know he was using his powers, but for some reason it was decided that EVERY DAMN TIME Xavier used his powers, which was in almost every single damn one of his appearances on film, he had to put his damn hand on the side of his damn head. As you can tell I found that slightly annoying. Pretty good movie though.

Vestrymen Grade: B

Some people like to download the podcast: VFCast! Special – X-Men: First Class

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.

Quick Reviews for 12/12/2012

All 12s all the time today. Our first re-attempt at a skypecast.  We review Age of Apocalypse 12, ASM 699.1, Batgirl 15, Batman 15.

Age of Apocalypse #10

Age-of-Apocalypse_10-674x1024WRITTEN BY: David Lapham
ART BY: Roberto De La Torre
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: December 12, 2012

We like Roberto De La Torre, but if you can tell me what the heck is going on in AOA #10, please tell me. We think, if we read this from the beginning we might really dig it, or we might hate it so very much, hard to tell really.

Vestrymen Grade: Not a good jumping on point

Amazing Spiderman 699.1

WRITTEN BY: Joe Keatinge and Dan Slott
ART BY: Valentine Delandro
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: 12/12/12

ASM has been one of our favorite books for a while now, but neither of us have ever been that excited about Morbius: “The Alive Vampire,” as Leland has taken to calling him. Its an ok book, but we are all still holding our breaths for #700. Also publishing a .1 right before you change a hero’s whole world seems dumb, downright dumb.

Cabel’s Grade: C+
Leland’s Grade: D

Batman #15

WRITTEN BY: Scott Snyder
ART BY:Greg Capullo
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASE: 12/12/12

Death in the Family is fucking awesome. If you are not reading it, you’d better be waiting for the trade, cuz this shit is real, yo! The Joker is creepy, and the crossover is written really soldly from author-to-author, creative team to creative team. Start reading, it, now.

Vestrymen grade: B+

Batgirl #15

batgirl-015-01WRITTEN BY: Gail Simone
ART BY: Daniel Sampere
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASE: 12/12/12

Gail Simone is rad, radder that you, radder than me, and as you can tell from  my previous review we rather like the crossover too. Fun, insane, gut wrenching unpleasant, and really well written. FYI: Batarangs concuss.

Vestrymen Grade: A-

You can download this podcast: Reviews from the Future! 12-12-2012

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 11: We thought it was a Halloween book

captain-marvel1a

I love that image of Ms./Captain Marvel. We actually review a  book where she is going by Ms. We also review Bedlam #1, Multiple Warheads #1, Uncanny Avengers #1, and Debris #4.

Quick Reviews:

Multiple Warheads: Alphabet to Infinity #1 (of 4)

WRITTEN BY: Brandon Grahammw01-1
ART BY: Brandon Graham
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
RELEASE:  October 24, 2012

This book is hip and fun and self aware. It’s a single creator book, and it’s certain to garner a following.

Vestrymen Grade: B+

Bedlam #1

2674534-bedlam_1_superWRITTEN BY: Nick Spencer
ART BY: Riley Rossmo
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
RELEASE: October 31, 2012

Bedlam is a HIGHLY anticipated book. It reads like a really solid Joker story in issue one, though I think it will go in interesting directions. We both enjoyed it.

Vestrymen Grade: B+

Debris #4

debris4WRITTEN BY: Nick Spencer
ART BY: Riley Rossmo
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
RELEASE: October 24, 2012

“Punk Junk” is an interesting genre, and there are really engaging things to be said here. It is fun, we talk about Waterworld for a bit.

Vestrymen Grade: A-

Uncanny Avengers #1

skottie-young-uncanny-avengers-variantWRITTEN BY: Rick Remender
ART BY: John Cassady
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: October 31, 2012

So we will never love a book as much as we loved Wolverine and the X-Men, but this book does a passable job at being a comic book where The Avengers and The X-Men have a post AvX team book together.

Vestrymen Grade: B-

Our Feature:

Ms. Marvel Volume 4: Monster Smash

448484-ms_marvel_monster_smash_1_00_largeWRITTEN BY: Brian Reed
ART BY: Aaron Lopresti
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: March 19, 2008

We talk about the gender politics of Ms. Marvel, comic books, and their relative intensity over time for a while. We also spend some time talking about the book.

Vestrymen Grade: B-

Nice set of Bs to the comic book industry this week… Lots of Image too. The end

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. This week, we feature Cobson – “Rubbish”, The Womb – “1970 Vampire College Girls”, and Kids on Bikes – “Transferrence”. Intro music by Jonathan Coulton.

Vestrymen Season 2 Episode 9: Greetings, Fellow Omnivores! Follow me to the snack machine!

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ASM 695! Doctor Who #1! Legends of the Dark Knight 1! Action Comics 13! Animal Man 13? Also Wolverine and the X-Men Volume 1! Bonus Content at the End!

Quick Reviews:

Action Comics #13

WRITTEN BY: Grant Morrison AC_Cv13_var
ART BY: Travel Foreman
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASE: October 3
Vestrymen Grade: A

God, is Action Comics the best book to come out most months. Sweet, sweet Superman, y’all! It’s Halloweeny, funny, sad, pathos-y and rad. Also, yes, those are all words!

Legends of The Dark Knight #1

WRITTEN BY: Various1339179998_cvr
ART BY: Various
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASE: October 3rd

Vestrymen Grade: C

Batman things happen here, except when Batman doesn’t feel like Batman. There are two stories where Batman is so Batmany that my nose almost bleeds. Three stories, one awesome, one ok, and one that seems to miss Bruce Wayne’s character completely. 

Animal Man #13

WRITTEN BY:  Jeff LemireANMAN_Cv13
ART BY: Steve Pugh
PUBLISHER: Dc Comics
RELEASE: October 3rd

Vestrymen Grade: C-

Animal Man 13 is a comic book that represents what goes wrong when things go wrong with modern comics. It is part of a crossover but that seems to limit what it can do rather than contribute. It pacing is all wrong and there doesn’t seem to be anything that is worth saying once that is not worth saying three times.

Doctor Who #1

WRITTEN BY:  AndDOCTOR-WHO-1-Comic-Previewy Diggle
ART BY: Mark Buckingham
PUBLISHER: IDW
RELEASE: October 3rd

Vestrymen Grade: B-

We love Doctor Who. It is awesome, but this comic falls a little short of its potential. Its hard to capture Matt Smith’s energy and everything is so dependent on it. It’s a serviceable Doctor story but not a great one. I cannot find a find a link to where you can buy this online as of publishing, so just go to your local comic book stories, lazy people!

Amazing Spider-Man #695

WRITTEN BY: Dan Slott,Christos Gage
ART BY: Guseppe Camuncoli
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: October 3rd

Vestrymen Grade: A

Funny, smart, well written, and well paced, this book kicks a lot of ass. It has a few missteps, but in general it is rad as a radish and it has a GREAT cover!

Our Feature:

Wolverine and the X-Men: Volume 1

WRITTEN BY: Arron Scott
ART BY: Various
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics

Vestrymen Grade: A+

The hands down best superhero comic we’ve read in a long time. It is smart, funny, interesting, and a little dark. It has great character work and really engaging art. It compares unfavorably to “Secret Avengers” in the podcast.

Bonus Section: Graphic Novel Pricing Discussion!

Wolverine and the X-Men spawns a fairly interesting discussion of the pricing, distribution, land consumer advocacy issues around how graphic novels are produced, distributed and sold in the current comics climate. We liked the conversation and couldn’t bring ourselves to cut it, so we left it here for you to listen to, if you’d dare.

Download the Podcast here: Vestrymen Season 2 Episode 9

Music for today’s podcast includes Thee Midnight Creep – “Strange Side of the Tracks”, MI-GU – “Spider”, and The Peach Tree – “Totally Insane”. All music featured on Vestrymen from the Future! is licensed under Creative Commons.