Mike Makes an Appearance on the View from the Gutters Podcast!

Mike sits in with the folks from the View from the Gutters comic book podcast to dig into the first two volumes of Image Comics’ latest series by Warren Ellis, Declan Shalvey, and Jordie Bellaire: Injection.

When a secret think tank made up of two scientists, a detective, a super spy and a wizard-in-denial crunch the numbers and see that imagination, innovation and human advancement is heading toward stagnation, they take a radical step to fix it, and in their hubris, may have irrevocably broken the universe.

It’s got super science, malevolent pixies, ancient folklore, feral artificial intelligences, human ham sandwiches, gun battles and some of the most wonderfully biting and funny dialogue around.

Check it out!

Hex & Violence Episode 2 – Swamp Folk

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“I’m gonna show ya one last trick I picked up offa Cheyenne ‘afore I let you die in the kind of pain no white man has ever known.”

In our second episode, Mike and Casey follow professional badass Jonah Hex into our worst blue state nightmares, and a fictional trope that we never tire of: Murderous hillbillies.

First, we delve into an issue of Hex’s classic series in 1978’s Jonah Hex (vol.1) #12. In a story by Michael Fleisher and Vincente Alcazar, entitled “The Search for ‘Gator Hawes.” Wounded by an alligator during a search for a missing friend in bayou country, Hex is taken captive by a murderous backwoods family and is forced to fight his own friend to survive.

Then it’s back to the Louisiana swamp in 2006’s Jonah Hex (vol.2) #10 by Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, and Phil Noto, titled, “Gator Bait.” Jonah Hex is hired by a dying man to find rescue his wife and child from the savage Lamont family, killer swamp folk who even local law enforcement is afraid to confront. Escaping capture himself, Hex is wounded, unarmed, and looking for bloody revenge.

JONAH HEX CONFIRMED KILL COUNT: 32 (+9 this episode)

Hex & Violence Episode 1 – First Impressions

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“Normally, I’d hang you, but I figure your actions warrant something really cruel and unusual.”

In our premiere episode, Mike and Casey dig into two Jonah Hex stories from two different eras.

First, we look at the character’s first appearance in 1972’s All Star Western #10. In a story by John Albano and Tony DeZuniga, entitled “Welcome to Paradise.” When famed disfigured bounty hunter Jonah Hex is hired by the business leaders of Paradise Corners to deal with a violent gang of killers, he gets a chilly reception from the the local townsfolk he’s protecting.

Then we revisit the first issue of Hex’s most recent relaunch in 2005’s Jonah Hex (vol.2) #1 by Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, and Luke Ross, titled, “Giving the Devil His Due.” When Hex is hired by a wealthy man to find his kidnapped son, he wanders into an ugly world of underground dog fighting and child murder.

JONAH HEX CONFIRMED KILL COUNT: 23 (+23 this episode)

Hex & Violence Episode 0 – Who is Jonah Hex?

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He was a hero to some, a villain to others… and wherever he rode people spoke his name in whispers. He had no friends, this Jonah Hex, but he did have two companions: one was death itself… the other, the acrid smell of gunsmoke.

In our series prologue, Mike and Casey get into their mutual love of a largely unknown comic book character: DC’s western anti-hero, Jonah Hex.

We get into the character’s origins, his lasting appeal and why this merciless bounty hunter with a hideous facial scar has outlived the genre that spawned him.

Mike Returns to the Secret Origins Podcast!

riddlercoverMike is back on the Secret Origins Podcast to talk with host Ryan Daly about one of a trio of Batman’s iconic villains: the punctuation-garbed Riddler!

The Riddler has appeared in comic books, television, animation and feature films. He’s one of the Dark Knight’s most recognizable foes, yet one of the least consistently defined, being depicted as both a manic mentally unstable puzzler, and a cold mercenary thief with a penchant for matching wits with Batman.

They get into the history of the character in his many incarnations, including his kinda-sorta-but-not-really origins as depicted in DC Comics’ Secret Origins Special #1 from 1989.

Check it out!

Fun Size Episode 9 – Something, Something, Iron Man

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We’re joined by Ask an Atheist‘s Sam Mulvey, who politely tolerates listening to Mike and Casey talk about Captain America: Civil War. And evidently, both of us take different sides.

And we ask the question, what are conspiracy theorists like in the Marvel and DC Universes? When you live in a world where the president can be — and has been — replaced by an alien duplicate, are there any ideas that left that can make you look like a crackpot?

We wax poetic about the 2004 Denzel Washington vigilante movie, Man on Fire, and how for many years, it was Mike’s Punisher movie.

And Mike says goodbye to legendary comic book creator Darwyn Cooke.

Episode 24.5 – Not Everybody is You, Grant Morrison!

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In the shadow of our Batman discussion, Mike and Casey continue their discussion with Joe Preti and Pól Rua. We dig into the weapons-grade weirdness of comic book writer Grant Morrison, and why his work probably shouldn’t be your introduction to the medium.

We get into the contrast of revolutionary artistic experimentation vs. conventional competence that doesn’t reinvent the wheel.

We dive into the stick and meta-textual question of comic book continuity, and whether it’s better to hold a Crisis on Infinite Earths-style event to get rid of story elements you don’t want to keep, or whether it’s better to simply ignore them without explanation.

And finally, how exactly did the Ewoks perceive the Battle of Endor at the end of the Return of the Jedi?

Episode 24 – Batman, Motherfucker!

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“It’s an omen. I shall become a bat!”

Criminals are superstitious and cowardly lot, so Mike and Casey are joined in the Batcave to compare case notes with our friend Pól Rua, and first-time panelist, Joe Preti of the View from the Gutters podcast. Our topic, DC Comics’ Caped Crusader, Batman.

We dig into the character’s ridiculous versatility and unique ability to upend the normal rules for the suspension of disbelief. From the campy do-goodery of Adam West to Frank Miller’s dark avenger of the night, we discuss the wide range of tone and genre that the character has had in his seven decades of publication.

This is the podcast you deserve, but maybe not the one you need right now.

Music: 
“The Batman Theme” from Batman by Danny Elfman

Episode 20.5 – I’ve Been Peeing Into a Jar This Whole Time

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It’s B-roll time, as we wrap up the Watchmen discussion with Sam Mulvey and Rob Kelly.

We get a little bit more into why Zack Snyder’s movies fail — and why they also don’t fail enough to be fun or interesting. We talk about Uwe Boll’s recent crowdfunding meltdown, Steve Ditko’s Objectivist superhero, Mr. A, and why you should be able to hear criticism of your favorite things like a grown-up.

We talk about the possible consequences of Disney’s purchases of Marvel and Lucasfilm, and wonder how truly terrifying it would be to have to repossess the American Nazi Party’s “Hate Bus.”

Episode 20 – You’re Gonna Like This. It’s Got G. Gordon Liddy in it!

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 “Dog carcass in alley this morning, tire tread on burst stomach. This city is afraid of me. I have seen its true face.”

Mike and Casey are charging our electric cars, voting for Richard Nixon, and getting a booth in the Gunga Diner with Ask an Atheist‘s Sam Mulvey, and Rob Kelly of the Fire and Water Podcast. Our topic, the 1986 mini-series that has been labeled “the greatest comic book of all time,” Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s Watchmen.

We dig into the series’ aggressive and intentionally unflattering deconstruction of the superhero genre, the often uncomfortable morality and motivations of its characters, and the controversial and underwhelming 2009 Zack Snyder film adaptation.

*for those interested in donating to a great cause we mention on the podcast, please check out the Hero Intiative.
Music: 
“Pruit Igoe and Prophecies” from Watchmen (and Koyaanisqatsi) by Philip Glass

Episode 19.5 – Are You a Bad Enough Dude to Beat Up Uwe Boll?

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We’re back with more B-roll goodness! Mike and Casey are joined in the studio with Sam Mulvey of Ask an Atheist and his brother, Mike Mulvey for a wide-ranging bullshit session.

We dig into contests with pop culture prizes that never materialized, like guests spots on Star Trek: the Next Generation, and the Captain America Broadway musical that never was. We chat about film director/walking human garbage Uwe Boll’s challenges to literally fight his critics and perceived rivals.

We discuss the recent reboot of Archie Comics, as well as the character’s past and current encounters with the Punisher and the zombie apocalypse. We get into why we all dig Netflix’s Daredevil series, even if a lot of the current comic book TV shows aren’t setting our worlds on fire.

Fun Size Episode 1 – Puppy Vengeance

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As Holiday scheduling conflicts made a full panel episode of the show impossible this month, Mike and Casey are back with what they’re calling a “Fun Size” episode. It’s an unstructured, free form discussion of stuff in pop culture not quite big enough for a full panel episode!

Join us as we dig into the new under-the-radar Keanu Reeves revenge film, John Wick. We explore the idea that perhaps it’s not a great thing to spend a year dissecting every scrap of news and trailer before seeing a movie. Let alone have years of film releases mapped out for us. And finally, we compare how our current lack of enthusiasm for the movie theater experience compares to the present state of the mediums of television and comic books.

We won’t be doing these episodes regularly, but please let us know what you think of Fun Size episodes! Thanks for listening and have a Happy Holiday!

Episode 12 – A Jock’s Wet Dream

2595372-savage_sword_of_conan_047_01fcTravel back, O Listener, to an age undreamed of!

Hither came Mike and Casey, swords in hand, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under sandaled feet with Greg Hatcher of Comics Should Be Good! and our friend Pól Rua of Mike and Pól Save the Universe!

That’s right. This month, the panel is talking about Robert E. Howard’s legendary fantasy anti-hero, Conan the Barbarian! From his pulp magazine beginnings in 1932 to the character’s explosion into comic books, newspaper strips, cartoons, and feature films. Conan’s impact on modern fantasy fiction — and popular culture itself — is deep and often unsung. Join us in a discussion of jocks versus nerds, power fantasies and the infectious “fuck yeah!” moment.

So heft your weeping red broadsword, and whisper a prayer to Crom, because we’re telling you of the days of high adventure!

[CORRECTION: Greg writes new pulp adventures for Airship 27. My apologies.]

Music: 
The Battle of the Mounds from Conan the Barbarian” by Basil Poledouris