Author Archives: Casual Comics Guy
Casual Comics Cast Ep 205 – Netflix’s Locke and Key, Full Moon Comics’ Femalien, Marvel’s The End, Oni Press’ “Bactrack”, and more
This episode, we’ve got commentary on the new Netflix TV series – “Locke and Key”
We also review a bunch of comics, including:
- Femalien: Cosmic Crush #1, from Full Moon Comics
- Wonder Woman #750, from DC Comics
- Captain America: The End and Doctor Strange: The End, from Marvel Comics
Plus, you’ve got my solid-gold, Hot Comics Pick of the Week: Backtrack #1, from Oni Press
So, settle in with your favorite beverage and enjoy the show!
This episode is recorded in front of a live studio audience.
No kidding, we really do have a live studio audience. His name is Ryan and he’s here to talk about Batman. And to correct last episode’s disparaging remarks about a classic DC character – Leslie Thompkins.
This week, the Casual Comics Cast reviews of the following comics and beers:
• Red Sonja and Vampirella meet Betty and Veronica number eight, by Dynamite Comics
• Quantum and Woody number one, by Valiant Comics
• All Luck Comics number one, by All Luck Comics
• Skittley Bittley Bop, from Hoof Hearted Brewery
• Opera Cream Stout from Platform Beer Company
• And Bierwolf, from Great Lakes Brewing Company
Plus, other comic-related nonsense!
So, settle in with your favorite beverage and enjoy the show!
A couple of quick housekeeping items before I get to the Hot New Comics of the Week:
I was promised help this week from my podcast mates. They did not deliver. And, thus, these picks are once again the sole responsibility of me – your friendly Casual Comics Guy. I’ll take all the blame (and of course, the accolades) on these picks.
But, do take a moment to listen to the podcast if you haven’t yet. And feel free to leave comments in the web zone below.
Casual Comic Picks of the Week
Frankenstein Undone #1
OK – it’s the first issue in a series. Just the right time to get on board with the comic. The Frankenstein myth is also an easy gateway into an unfamiliar title.
Mignola takes on Frankenstein! Frankenstein’s creator lies dead in the icy grip of the Arctic, and the monster searches for a new purpose. Just as he thinks he’s found one with a group of unlikely companions, disaster strikes–and the monster is catapulted out of Mary Shelley’s novel and into the world of Hellboy. Bridging Mary Shelley’s original Frankenstein novella and Mike Mignola’s Frankenstein Underground, this series brings together Mignola, Scott Allie, Ben Stenbeck, Brennan Wagner, and Clem Robins for an all-new horror adventure in the far north.
I’m not familiar with Mignola’s “Frankenstein Underground”, but he’s got an excellent track record for interesting gothic tales. Oh, so many years ago, I loved Fred Saberhagen’s “The Frankenstein Papers”, and the solicit for this comic gives me the same chills.
Clue TPB Candlestick
I’ve heard a ton of great things about this series from the fine gentlemen over at the Two Headed Nerd podcast. If you don’t already listen, you should.
Also, in running down my top movies of 2019, I find myself putting “Knives Out” easily in the top 5. So, maybe it’s time for the reinvention of the murder mystery genre.
Who did it? How’d they do it? And where? Answer these classic questions and solve the mystery in this graphic novel based on the timeless detective game. Cartoonist auteur Dash Shaw unleashes his murderous imagination on the quirky, thrilling, and mysterious world of Clue! Ripe with puzzles, secrets, and lies, everyone’s a suspect in this suspense-filled whodunit! Was it Miss Scarlet in the conservatory with the lead pipe? Suspicions mount as bodies start piling up.
More than 50% of my interest is from the raves that this got from the THN podcast. Now that it’s in a collected edition, sounds like the perfect time to pick it up.
Red Sonja and Vampirella Meet Betty and Veronica #8
That’s a lot of characters from a lot of different universes all packed into one comic. How did they get through seven issues without me knowing about this title? Guess it’s my lack of ability to get to the comic shop every week.
Ever wonder how Red Sonja and Vampirella could make it to Riverdale to hang out with Betty and Veronica? Now you’re about to find out! But to do so, you’ll have to travel deep into interstellar space, for the answer lies not on Earth, but on Drakulon! And the revelation is TWICE as bananas as you could imagine!
Did I ever wonder… I absolutely did as soon as I read the title. If it was only as bananas as I could imagine, I might just wait. But it’s apparently TWICE as bananas as I can imagine. And that’s pretty darn bananas. Count me in for this issue.
I’m going to go ahead and assume that there’s no exaggeration going on here, and that this book is 2x as much craziness as I can imagine and name “Red Sonja and Vampirella Meet Betty and Veronica #8” as my Casual Comics Hot Pick of the Week!
Until we meet again… Cheers!
Here’s the latest Casual Comics Cast. I promise you, the audio gets better about 5 minutes in (timestamp 5:13 to be precise).
On this podcast, we discuss :
- How Michael is doing with Dry January
- Pat and Michael’s extreme abuse of Joe’s physical comics
- Which comic character – if any – has cats in his/her mouth
Plus, some actual comic reviews:
- Warrior Nun: Dora #2 from Avatar Press (Pat’s verdict – 8 out of 10)
- Detective Comics #1000 from DC Comics (Michael’s verdict – 5/10)
- Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter or Terror: Season 2 #4 from Ahoy! Comics (Joe gives it 9/10)
And there are beer reviews, as well.
Join us, won’t you?
2020 already? It seems like just yesterday that I was starting up this site. Yet through the excessive postings during comic conventions and then into the lean times… through the launch, then relaunch of our Casual Comics Cast, we’re still here.
So, while I still have a little energy left over, here are my picks for the Hot Comics of the Week.
Edgar Allan Poes Snifter of Terror Season 2 #4
This goes against every fiber in my being. It’s a “second season” of a comic where I haven’t read the first. Also, it’s number 4 in the series, and I haven’t read the first three. On the plus side, this looks like an anthology, so while the wraparounds might have some ongoing story, the bulk of the issue should stand on its own.
Check out the solicit:
More audaciously reimagined Poe stories! A smart car leads a lobbyist to murder in ‘The Black Cat!’ Plus! The survival of a space station astronaut depends on ‘The Gold Bug!’ Extra! ‘Poe and the Black Cat’ continue their slapstick war, and short prose stories round out this issue.
Between the excessive exclamation points and that gorgeous cover, count! me! in!
Wonder Woman #750
At this point, I’m just a sucker for the “anniversary” collections that DC is publishing this year. To be fair, they have been hit (Action Comics #1000) and miss (Detective Comics #1000). But of DC’s big three, I think this one has the most potential.
There have been a couple of great Wonder Woman arcs over the last few years. Brian Azzarello’s recent run was absolutely amazing.
Side note: looking back, that “recent” series started in 2011. Time is fleeting, my friends…
Let’s take a look at what DC has to say. And, let’s hope they can start taking it easy on those exclamation marks. We’re getting into Marvel-level yelling on some of these.
An all-star 96-page celebration of the Amazon Princess by longtime favorites and acclaimed new voices! In the lead story, Wonder Woman’s epic ‘Year of the Villain’ battle comes to a close, leading the way to new challenges ahead. Additionally, this oversized gem tells tales from Diana’s past, present and future by some of the greatest storytellers in the business- including Colleen Doran, Mariko Tamaki, the Teen Titans: Raven team of writer Kami Garcia and artist Gabriel Picolo, and legendary Wonder Woman creators returning to the character, including Gail Simone and Greg Rucka!
Ghostbusters Year One #1 (of 4)
This one gets on the list for checking many of the casual comic fan boxes. First issue. Limited Series. Familiar property. Yep. Let’s see what’s going on with these ‘busters.
In anticipation of the new Ghostbusters feature film coming to theaters Summer 2020, we look back at the Boys in Grey’s first year on the job, showcasing never before seen adventures! After defeating Gozer and becoming heroes in the city, county, and state of New York, a publisher has decided to cash in with a biography of the Boys in Grey and sends a writer to interview them all for background. He starts with WINSTON ZEDDEMORE, the first ‘buster hired into the supernatural start-up. Winston relates the story of his very first bust, so we can finally know what kind of… ahem, stuff he’s seen that’ll will turn you white!
Punisher Kill Krew TPB
This is the kind of comic that has me intrigued. I solidly know that I will be confused. This is a tie-in to a massive crossover event that I didn’t read. But… it’s just familiar enough and just insane enough that I feel like I have no alternative but to check it out.
The War of the Realms may be over – but for the Punisher, the conflict never ends! To combat Malekith’s invasion, Frank Castle raised his own personal army. And now, in the war’s aftermath, they have some scores to settle! The Punisher has stolen Thor’s flying goat and is traversing the Ten Realms on a mission. But why is his first stop Counter-Earth?! Frank made a promise of vengeance – and he keeps his promises. But a van full of orphans is about to make that vow a lot more complicated. And while Frank has picked up some unlikely allies, can he keep them alive? Featuring the Black Knight, Foggy Nelson and more in an action epic unlike anything you’ve ever seen. One Krew. Ten Realms. All-out war! Collecting PUNISHER KILL KREW #1-5 and material from WAR OF THE REALMS: OMEGA. Parental Advisory
Stop… You had me at “Punisher has stolen Thor’s flying goat”.
Just when I think Marvel can’t surprise me, they get me one…more…time.
For that reason, “Punisher Kill Krew” is my Casual Comics Hot Pick of the Week.
Two episodes in two weeks? Looks like someone is making an “effort”. Let’s see how that is working out.
In this episode, the crew discuss the new comics of next week (Week of January 15, 2020), the top selling comics of 2019, and the history of Marvel Comics’ HAWKEYE.
Also, a quick beer review of New Belgium’s Trippel Ale. Spoiler Alert, it’s quite delicious and Michael is staying strong on Dry January
- Michael actually reads a comic book (that she got for free 8 months ago)
- Joe finds a new anti-hero to root for: Trick Shot
- Pat searches his soul to see if he can accept – if not respect – the existence of Hawkeye the World’s Greatest Archer
Join us, won’t you? Comments are welcome in the web zone below. Or, you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, a new episode of the Casual Comics Cast.
The Casual Comics Cast gets and update for 2020. After a long hiatus:
- Pat finally reads a comic book.
- Michael still cannot remember the names of any actors from comic movies or TV shows.
- Dry January is not going as planned for every member of the podcast.
- Joe has a cold, rendering him mostly useless during discussions on Image Comics.
Yet, we carry on; including our discussions of Image Comics’ “God Hates Astronauts”, Marvel and DC movies (including “Joker”, “Birds of Prey”, “Suicide Squad”) , and what’s coming to Disney+ Happy New Year, everyone!
As a casual comics fan, one of my favorite things is just how ridiculous comic books used to be.
Marvel Comics are now the backbone of a multi-billion dollar entertainment industry.
Had you asked me 30 years ago whether this would ever be possible, even on my most optimistic day the answer would have been a resounding “No!”
And to illustrate why my answer would have been so definitive, I present to you “out of context” comic panels. For example, look at these actual panels from an actual comic published by Marvel.
Quick recap to add just a smidgen of context. The two characters in the first panel are:
Doctor Doom: Archenemy of the Fantastic Four – probably their greatest nemesis. His powers include – Super-intelligence (like Iron Man level or greater), an army of robots at his command, ruler of a sovereign nation (Latveria), and mastery over the dark arts of magic.
Namor (aka – The Sub-Mariner): Sometime villain, Sometime hero appearing in comics since 1939. Ruler of the underwater kingdom of Atlantis. His powers are that he’s super-tough, super-strong, and can breathe underwater and fly.
These two major villains – both rulers of their own kingdoms – are fighting over a “sea horn” that is hanging from a drop ceiling like one in a cheaply finished basement.
Actually, they’re not fighting over the horn, simply whether Doom should “toot” said horn. And once he does, this somehow makes him laugh “Ha-Ha!” and then immediately claim mastery over the entire world.
There’s so much more going on here that I could spend too much time analyzing. But, I won’t. I’m just going to leave this filed under “Out of Context Comic Panels” because these make me happy to be a casual comics fan.
Coming up on next week’s Casual Comics Cast, we’ll be previewing a few issues that hit the shelves this week: Detective Comics #1000, The Walking Dead #190, and War of The Realms #1. Look for the podcast early next week!
In the meantime, here are a few more comics that caught my eye.
Black Hammer ’45: From the World of Black Hammer #2
“From the World of Black Hammer comes a truly gripping tale of war and intrigue!
With their orders to save a family of scientists from the clutches of the Nazi regime, the Black Hammer Squadron are on the move. As they encounter fantastical foes, the elite air-men also find themselves with the aid from a hero Black Hammer readers will find familiar!”
Black Hammer is one of the titles I recently came across on Comixology. For those of you who have a subscription to the service, but have not yet checked out Black Hammer, I highly recommend it. It’s got sci-fi, action, magic, and mystery all blended together into a pulpy froth.
The first two books in the series – Black Hammer: Secret Origins and Black Hammer: The Event were mind-blowing, but the second volume came out in 2017, and the trade paperback of Black Hammer: Age of Doom didn’t come out until January of 2019. I’ve been wondering what’s going on in the expanded Black Hammer Universe, so I’m curious how this volume will pick up / tie into the story.
Adventures of the Super Sons #9 (of 12)
“Takron-Galtos, the prison planet, may be behind them-but in order to beat the Gang and get home, the boys must saddle up to survive a wild wild world of the west! An unlikely guide on this lawless planet might just help Superboy and Robin survive…but what in the west world is Jonah Hex doing out here in space?! Hold on to your hats, this one’s going to be a bucking good time! “
Here’s a great case study in being a casual comics fan. I walk away from this blog for what seems like no time at all, and I come back to a world where Superboy and Robin have their own comic book? One question – why is it called “Adventures of the Super Sons“?
Is this a world where Robin is Batman’s son? Somewhere deep in my memory banks, I’m recalling a character named Damian who was Batman’s son with Talia al Ghul (I think). In this comic is Damian the new Robin? And which Superboy are we dealing with here? I guess that’s more than one question… and that’s why DC comics sometimes make my head hurt.
Cool cover, though, and glad to see Jonah Hex is still getting some run in the DC Universe. And, he’s getting off-world too. Good for you, Jonah! Bonus points for using “bucking” instead of a different word here in a solicit where sensitive readers might see it.
Immortal Hulk #16
Here’s a classic case of following my heart vs. my head for my Pick of the Week. (Spoiler alert, this is my Casual Comics Pick of the Week).
For those of you following along, I’m assuming that it’s because you’re interested in comics, but not that deep into what’s going on day-to-day or month-to-month. I’m also hoping that it’s because you’re looking for comics worth checking out. If you’re looking for one book to buy this week, The Immortal Hulk #16 is not that issue.
The Immortal Hulk is another series I got into via Comixology. The original conceit had very little appeal to me. It was pitched as a way to get the Hulk back to his “horror roots”.
Having read some of those old Hulk comics, I never thought of them as all that scary. There are certainly elements of a werewolf story early on – when Hulk’s transformations were caused by nightfall. And, later series certainly lean on the Jekyll/Hyde dynamic – a scientist whose creation overtakes his body.
The Immortal Hulk, though, really leans into some heavy ideas and digs further into the inspiration behind the creation of the character.
In Stan Lee’s book, Origins of Marvel Comics, he discussed his inspiration for the character. “We would use the concept of the Frankenstein monster, but update it. Our hero would be a scientist, transformed into a raging behemoth by a nuclear accident.”
In The Immortal Hulk, the character truly becomes a terrifying beast – compounded by the fact that he literally cannot be killed. Having read the first trade paperback, this is the Marvel series I am most eager to catch up on.
I’m such a fan of this title that I’m going to, for the first time I can recall, link to the title here. Amazon Unlimited subscribers – as well as Comixology members – should be able to read this title for free.
It’s for those reasons (and More) that The Immortal Hulk #16 is my selection for the Casual Comic Pick of the Week.
PS – I love this comic so much, that the first two people to DM me at @casualcomicsguy requesting a physical copy of the first trade paperback will get one for ABSOLUTELY FREE!
Here’s what you’ll be getting!
Hope to hear from you soon casual comics fans!
If you’ve been wondering why the updates to the blog have been a little slow, well here’s your answer. Or at least one of the many excuses I have…
The Casual Comics Cast is back and, while not “better than ever” (Mo was a great co-host), still in pretty darn good form.
Please welcome Pat and Michael to the weird world of comic books with me as we cover Captain Marvel – both the movie and the comic book character. Who is Captain Marvel, what is his comic book origin, and how does Carol Danvers fit into all of this? All these questions – and more – are answered to the best of my limited recollection.
The episode also includes updates on The Hulk, talk about Netflix’s Umbrella Academy, and a couple of random cat attacks.
Comments are always welcome. In upcoming weeks, you’ll hear more as we explore the comic book history of Ant Man, The Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, and more. Let us know what you think – both here and on Twitter at @casualcomicsfan