Tuesday, October 25, 2016

And lo there came an ending...to my series of episodes about the 20th anniversary of Heroes Reborn!  This time out I close things out on that four part flashback by going back to the first series that was put out under the Heroes Reborn initiative.  The Fantastic Four was one of the Marvel properties taken over by Jim Lee and it seems (if Internet chatter is to be believed) that it is the one book that tends to looked back on fondly or at the very least gets a free pass.  To help me examine why this is I have roped in Andrew Leyland and Stephen Lacey, who just so happen to host a Fantastic Four podcast called The Fantasticast.  Their mandate is to read every issue or appearance of the FF in chronological order.  Currently they are in the 1970's but I managed to convince them to hop on to Doom's Time Platform and read the first six issues of the Heroes Reborn Fantastic Four series.  Together we look at the 1990's take on the team's origins and their new first encounters with The Mole Man, Namor, The Black Panther, the Silver Surfer and  of course Doctor Doom.  We also discuss the series and Heroes Reborn in general.  

I wanted to thank Andy and Stephen for getting together on a Sunday to talk about this series.  Be sure to use the link above to check out their site and show if you haven't already and if you like it consider contributing to their Patreon page.  You get some neat bonuses and would be supporting a wonderful show that just shot past its 200th episode.  While you're at it check out Andy's other shows which include Hey Kids Comics, The Palace of Glittering Delights, Listen to the Prophets: A Deep Space Nine Podcast and Keep Em' Flying: A Firefly Podcast.  

And if you are a fan of the Fantasticast you'll enjoy this awesome image made by Samuel Savage, who does their episode graphics!

Next Time: 25 years ago a series called X-Force came out.  Jon M Wilson and I talk about it.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


Quick warning right from the top; I usually have a PG-13 attitude towards language on this show.  Certain words are okay and certain words I will bleep out.  Because of how this conversation flowed there are a number of F-bombs that get dropped that I didn't bleep out.  Those F-bombs were not due to the quality of the comics that are covered.  They just happened and I felt that bleeping them took away from the point that was being made.

So...headphones if you're at work and you may not want to play them in front of the kids if you are sensitive to such things.

Anyway, my series of episodes marking the 20th anniversary of Marvel's Heroes Reborn initiative continues this time out with what is considered by many to be the worst of the four books of the line.  The Avengers have traditionally been Marvel's varsity super-hero team but by 1996 they, like the other characters and teams that were handed over to Jim Lee and Rob Liefeld, not doing too well.  Rob Liefeld and crew were given the keys to the mansion and the results were...mixed.   Joining me to discuss this roller coaster ride of a book is Jon M Wilson and we have one of those conversations that starts out one way and in the end becomes something else.  Along the way there are flashbacks, movie clips and even a classic television theme song thrown in for good measure.

Jon M Wilson is the host or co-host of a bunch of other shows such as The Giant Superman Podcast, Avengers Inspirations and the New 52 Adventures of Superman.  He has also resurrected Amazing Spider-Man Classics and in the next few months episodes featuring me and Andrew Leyland should be hitting the feed, which were a lot of fun to record and it's neat to be part of that show.  In a few weeks Jon will be back to discuss another Marvel anniversary for this year.

Next Time: The Heroes Reborn series comes to an end with the Fantastic Four!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


After far too many delays I finally present an episode that was meant to come out in August but life had other plans.  Thomas Deja returns to Views to talk about something we've been planning to discuss for years.  

The Suicide Squad.

Specifically the John Ostrander/Luke McDonnell series that started in 1987.  I've been a fan of this book since discovering it around 2000 and the fact that I get to talk about it with a good friend helps.  Tom and I go through the first eight issues of Suicide Squad and discuss the team's first encounter with The Jihad, their loss against the Female Furies, a slight diversion with a guy named William Hell and then their Mission to Moscow.  Rounding this octagon of awesome is a look into what makes the members of the Squad tick.

You might notice that Tom sounds like he is on a land line.  That's because he was on a land line.  I'm really not supposed to talk about it but Tom has been on the run from the government for most of the year.  We had to have this conversation on a burn phone (as opposed to a Byrne phone) and I appreciate him taking a chance by talking to me.  I don't know where Tom is now but I'm pretty sure he's in a small town helping people out because he's awesome.

Next Time: Heroes Reborn Avengers with Jon Wilson!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


I have a real treat for you this week, folks!  On Sunday, September 4, 2016 I and some of the other Classics Track Irregulars had the honor of sharing the stage with the one, the only George Perez!  Our subject?  Wonder Woman: The 75th Anniversary!  During the panel you'll hear us talking about Diana's history but mainly you'll hear about how George started working on the character and some of the highs and lows of his run.  He also gives an insight on what he brought to the character and the ways he changed her for a new generation.

Seriously...it was so awesome.  I cannot express how grateful I am to Joe Crowe and Gary Mitchel for letting me be a part of it.  Speaking of being a part of it, my fellow panelists were;

Towards the end of the episode I mentioned that another panel I was on had been released over at the Needless Things podcast.  You can check out the GI Joe panel by clicking on this link.  Give the Phantom Troublemaker some love.

Next Time: Suicide Squad with Thomas Deja!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


This time out I present the second week of my DragonCon 2016 coverage with the Superhero-Versary Panel that took place on September 5, 2016 at 8:30 in the morning.  The panel was well attended for 8:30 on the final day of the con and I had a lot of fun talking super-hero birthdays.  Like last year we talked about a bunch of super-heroes celebrating their 75th anniversaries in 2016.  I was once again blessed to be joined by a great group of people.  They were:
  • Geena Phillips: Writes and blogs about social justice issues and can be found on Twitter @geenacanblowme.
  • Philip Schweier: Writer for Comicbookbin.com and one of the organizers of Gnomecon.
  • Kevin Eldridge: Is a host on the Flopcast
  • Joe Crowe: Co-director of the American Sci-Fi Classics Track and one of the grand pooh bahs over at RevolutionsSF.
If you want to follow along with the discussion feel free to download the Powerpoint Presentation I Put Together For This Panel.  

Also I wanted to give Rebecca Raymer of Creators.Co for writing about this panel.  She reached out to me through Twitter and here is a link to the article she wrote.  I cannot express how much it means to me that someone liked this panel enough to write about it. 


Tuesday, September 20, 2016


DragonCon 2016 is over but the fun hasn't ended.  I was fortunate enough to be on a bunch (12 in all plus a few I got pulled up on) of the panels on the American Sci-Fi Classics track this year and while not all of them have to do with comics some of them did.  One of those was the Watchmen: 30 Years, 35 Minutes Ago, which took place on September 5, 2016. This was a fantastic conversation where we talked about Alan Moore as a writer, the themes of the story, the amazing art by Dave Gibbons and we even touch on the prequels that were a published a few years back.

We also take a few shots at the Zach Synder movie.

If you liked what you heard on this panel and want to check out the various podcasts my fellow panelists host they are...

I do apologize for the sometimes spotty audio.  I recorded this with my phone and sometimes it was hard to hear people but I think you can get the gist of what was said.

I also apologize for not getting the name of the young lady in the Silk Spectre costume.  She was very nice and even posed for a picture with us.

Thanks again to Gary Mitchel and Joe Crowe for putting up with me again this year.

Next Time: Get out your favorite paper hats because it's time to celebrate some super-hero birthdays with the 2016 Superhero-versary Panel!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016


In the first installment of Views From a Superstitious and Cowardly Lot (the series within a series where I talk about Batman) Andy Leyland and I talk about Batman: The Killing Joke.  To say that this is a controversial story is an understatement.  For years The Killing Joke was considered a seminal Batman story.  A must read.  A violent look at the relationship between Batman and the Joker.  A game changer.  Now the worm has turned and The Killing Joke isn't seen as a bastion for mature comic book storytelling.  It's an unnecessary story that damaged Barbara Gordon as a character and furthers the trope of killing or maiming a female character to further a male character's story.

For nearly two hours Andy and I talk about all of these issues and more.  We look at the story as a story and then look at how this story treats its characters.  Barbara Gordon is brought up more than once and the two of us get to vent about how we're sick of rape being used as a gimmick.  I'm not going to lie.  This episode has some fun points but Andy and I go to some pretty dark areas and we don't shy away from it.  We ask a lot of questions and try to judge this story fairly.  What are our final thoughts?  Listen and find out.

As I mentioned Andy and I talk about some pretty serious issues in this episode.  Normally I keep this a pretty light affair but for this story things get real.  Because of that I wanted to warn everyone because I know there are people out there that, for a variety of reasons, get very upset when they hear about sexual assault and violence towards women.  Because of that I am issuing Views' first ever trigger warning.  Some people think that trigger warnings are silly and that people should just suck up and get over whatever is bothering them.  To those people I say, "Too bad."  I have seen the effects of PTSD and if giving out a trigger warning spares someone an episode then it is totally worth it.

Besides...my show, my rules.  Don't like it?  I really don't care.

Andy Leyland was nice enough to stop by.  Be sure to check out his other shows, which include: Hey Kids Comics, The Palace of Glittering Delights, Listen to the Prophets: A Deep Space Nine Podcast, The Fantasticast and Keep 'Em Flying: A Firefly Podcast.

Next Time: I will finally release the awesome Suicide Squad episode Thomas Deja and I recorded.  It's keen.