Episode 19 - It’s a pun, you see - Mercury Heat #1

July 26, 2015
It's a relatively short show this time as we visit the closest planet to the sun for some crime action in issue one of Mercury Heat, from the creative team of Kieron Gillen and Omar Francia. A closed environment, a fish-out-of-water female lead, the strictures of a future society in which roles are determined for its citizens and some types are less welcome than others and a suspicious death; these are the ingredients Gillen mixes into this set-up issue. What did we make of it?

No 'Top Three/Worst One Ever' this time, but it'll be back in our next show.

Episode 18 - Chainmail bikinis are so last year - Red Sonja #10

July 5, 2015

Famed comics writer Gail Simone has been writing Red Sonja's exploits for Dynamite for a while now, so we wanted to see how a well-regarded writer took on a character whose portrayal over the years has frequently been... let's just say "not exactly feminist". This issue, a chapter of an ongoing 'quest' storyline, served as an intro to the current run for two of the team, so how did it stand up as an entry point, as a piece of fantasy storytelling, as a comic book, and as a woman-led title? 

And for this show's Top Three and Worst One Ever, Bex takes a look at madness in comics, trying to work out what it takes to make mental illness (or what comics tend to deliver when they try for it) work in comics, and why it's so hard to get right.

Episode 17 - Round and round we go - Silver Surfer #11

June 28, 2015

Around a year into Dan Slott, Mike Allred and Laura Allred’s run on Silver Surfer, they produced an issue in an completely original format, telling a time looping story in a uniquely looping manner. This is the One Comic of that issue, last month’s Silver Surfer 11. What did the team make of the story, the structure, the relationship between the Surfer and his new(ish) companion Dawn Greenwood, and the inexplicably French space pirates? Listen and find out.

Also, apropos of nothing, Jon takes a look at ‘Replacement Heroes’ in the regular Top Three and Worst One Ever feature. Who made the cut, and who failed to make the best of the mantle they took up?


Episode 16 - This is important - Providence #1

June 1, 2015

The first issue of a new Alan Moore/Jacen Burrows collaboration, Providence #1 is the story of a young journalist in the big city. As we dig into an early-twentieth century world of creepy doctors, clandestine relationships, madness-inducing books and ... exit gardens, we consider the importance of a creator's reputation in committing to a series, and the fit between story and pictures.

And in keeping with the theme, Jared takes a look at the best and worst of Lovecraft-inspired comics. It's a weird world out there.

Episode 15 - Well, not *that* secret - Secret Wars #1

May 10, 2015

Crossovers don’t get much bigger than this. The Marvel multiverse faces destruction and the only two Earths left are too busy fighting each other to do anything about it.  It’s kill or be killed for both the main and Ultimate universes and frankly, it’s not looking good for anyone. We delve into the first issue of Marvel’s biggest ever crossover, Secret Wars, by Jonathan Hickman, Esad Ribic and Ive Svorcina to see how it holds up and the start of the crossover and the end of the enormous grand plan that Hickman has been weaving through the Marvel Universe for years now.

And to round the show up, Jared takes a turn at sharing a Top Three and Worst One Ever - his chosen topic: Spider Costumes. And there are a lot for him to choose from.


Episode 14 - How very dare you! - All-New X-Men #40

April 28, 2015

Who’s up for an outing? No, not a trip to the coast, an enforced confrontation with one’s own denied sexual orientation. No? Doesn’t sound like your idea of a good time? Well imagine how you’d feel if you were Iceman; just back from a tour of the universe, happily perving over one of your teachers, then POW, in comes Jean “I’m psychic” Grey to burst your bubble of macho posturing and over-compensation by telling you “I know”. There’s a lot to unpack here, not least the complications added to the situation by telepathy, time travel and the adult Iceman’s diabolical dating record. Fun.

Also, the first outing (see what we did there?) for a new feature: Top Three and Worst One Ever - in which Jon selects the best and worst X-Men spin-offs. And not to paint him as too tragic a case, he’s pretty much read all the candidates.


Episode 13 - The Spin-Off Of The Spin-Off Of The Crossover - Spider-Gwen #1

April 19, 2015

So one of the "every Spider ever"s of Spider-Verse is the version where Gwen Stacy was bitten by the spider rather than Peter Parker, and things have pretty much gone downhill for her from there. Issue one of Spider-Gwen unexpectedly turns out to be the comic which divided our opinions most sharply so far. In this one we take a tour of the way people view female heroes compared to male ones, consider the way people come to comics in the "it's all on the internet anyway" age and discuss the pros and cons of the alternate universe in comics.  Also: Bex reveals her true colours, Jared reveals his part-time identity as Cliché Man and Jon reveals he's the kind of person who uses the word 'shebang'. This one's got it all, kids. Though actually: don't listen kids - there are bad words and a drug reference (hence the 'explicit' tag on this one).


Episode 12 - Borag Thungg, Earthlets - 2000AD Prog 376

March 27, 2015

Blasting very much from the past, yet at the same time future-looking, if not terribly future shocking, this time we're going all the way back to 1984 to examine Prog 376 of 2000AD. Notable for the first appearance of Halo Jones by the mighty Alan Moore and Ian Gibson, there's actually a lot more to explore between its cheap four-colour newsprint covers. Of course, not being British and therefore versed in the strange little 2000AD subculture, one of our number is at something of a disadvantage even before you throw in the heavily phonetic speech bubbles on the Planet of the Scots. 

Poor Jared.


Episode 11 - Nuts from above - Squirrel Girl #1

March 12, 2015

In which we encounter pronunciation issues, find ourselves taking the ever-so-serious Kraven The Hunter somewhat less-than-seriously, and wash the unpleasant taste of last time's Aquaman out with something completely different. That being issue one of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl from Marvel, written by Ryan North with art by Erica Henderson. And with all due apologies to those of a delicate sensibility, one or two strong words creep in again.


Episode 10 - “Does whatever an aqua can…” - Aquaman #39

March 1, 2015

This time we set out to see what was going on with a character that's currently getting some press, courtesy of the upcoming film and last week's release of the film poster image. Aquaman issue 39 from DC is smack bang in the middle of an ongoing story, so this also feels like a great chance to test how well an ongoing handles that "every issue is someone's first" principle.

Warning: some use of strong language.