Tag: aquaman

Brainiac On Banjo: Remember Nostalgia?

Brainiac On Banjo: Remember Nostalgia?

“Summer has come and passed. The innocent can never last. Wake me up when September ends.” From Wake Me Up When September Ends, written by Billie Joe Armstrong, Tre Cool and Mike Dirnt.

I remember nostalgia before it became an excuse to “fix” things. Whereas this applies to most aspects of modern-day life, it is a particularly dangerous weapon in the hands of comics people.

First, some background. Originally, the term “nostalgia” referred to a disease. According to The Atlantic magazine in 2013:

“These were some of the treatments proposed for nostalgia during the 17th to 19th centuries, when it was considered a psychopathological disorder – rather than a blanket term for fondness for anything that existed more than thirty minutes ago … Swiss physician Johannes Hofer coined the term in his 1688 medical dissertation, from the Greek nostos, or homecoming, and algos, or pain. The disease was similar to paranoia, except the sufferer was manic with longing, not perceived persecution, and similar to melancholy, except specific to an object or place.”

I first heard about the nostalgia disease a very long time ago. At that time, this diagnosis made complete sense to me. Sadly, it still does.

This brings me to the subject of Mystery In Space #75. This truly historic (by the standards of the medium back then) single issue went on sale March 6, 1962, which means I was 11 years old at the time. In other words, I was the exact age DC Comics was targeting. They figured out I was about two years away from the habit-destroying affects of puberty. If you want to quibble about “historic,” DC did a facsimile edition reprint in 2020; of course, the original cost 12 cents and the reprint $3.99, which is almost four times the rate of inflation. I think it’s safe to say the intended audience was significantly older than in 1962, the field fraught with victims of nostalgia. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo: Remember Nostalgia?”

Brainiac On Banjo: To Ramona

Brainiac On Banjo: To Ramona

I’ve heard you say many times that you’re better than no one and no one is better than you. If you really believe that you know you have nothing to win and nothing to lose, from fixtures and forces and friends your sorrow does stem that hype you and type you, making you feel that you gotta be just like them. “To Ramona,” written by Bob Dylan

Back in the post-WWII days when 10 cent comics cost a mere 10 cents, there were but a handful of ongoing superheroes, all of them were published by DC Comics, and each had a very distinctive look. Not the razor-sharp nearly photogenic linework of artists like Curt Swan and Carmine Infantino, but highly stylized and not quite real-world: Wayne Boring’s Superman, Dick Sprang’s Batman and Robin, Russ Andru’s Wonder Woman, George Papp (and, briefly, Jack Kirby’s) Green Arrow, and Ramona Fradon’s Aquaman. They maintained and advanced the standard for comics’ most enduring characters.

Of course, this was seven decades ago. Time seems to move on and, now, the last of these famous artists has left the building. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo: To Ramona”

Brainiac On Banjo: The Rodney Dangerfield of Super-Heroes!

Brainiac On Banjo: The Rodney Dangerfield of Super-Heroes!

I tip-toe down the street, smile at everyone I meet. But suddenly a scream smashes through my dream. Fee fie foe fum, I smell the blood of an asylum. – “How Sweet To Be An Idiot,” written by Neil Innes

I think there are few, if any, major heroic fantasy characters that have received less respect over the past eight decades than Aquaman. Well, this ain’t gonna win me any friends, but to me that makes perfect sense.

This is not to say that the fish man didn’t have a lot of great stories. With artists like Ramona Fradon, Nick Cardy, and Jim Aparo, some swell writers, and an uninterrupted run (more or less) of 82 years, there’s a reason he’s still in the water. But let’s face it: Aquaman was created as just another bland rip-off of the Sub-Mariner, and at that one of many. In fact, Subby’s creator Bill Everett also created two other water-bound heroes, Hydroman and The Fin, as well as a third with the Sub-Mariner spin-off Namora.

Aquaman was no Sub-Mariner. For one thing, he was a nice guy. For another, he talked to fish and ordered them to do his bidding. His enemies were largely lame, and his costume looked like he escaped from an undersea disco.

For all these efforts, DC’s fishy super-friend has been severely and continuously mocked. Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim created a series of really funny bumpers featuring the guy, and any number of folks have had their photos taken while engaging in deep mockery. Aquaman has been the butt of much teevee humor ever since the Boomers started getting work in the writers’ rooms. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo: The Rodney Dangerfield of Super-Heroes!”

Brainiac On Banjo: The Birds of Clay

Brainiac On Banjo: The Birds of Clay

A pretty little raven at the bird bandstand taught him how to do the bop and it was grand. They started goin’ steady and bless my soul, he out-bopped the buzzard and the oriole! — Rockin’ Robin, written by Leon René.

Proliferate: increase rapidly in numbers; multiply: the science fiction magazines that proliferated in the 1920s. (Apple Dictionary)

Make Room, Make Room: Harry Harrison’s 1966 novel about the overpopulation of Earth so massive that people had to live in stairwells. The story was set in 1999. The book was made into a movie titled “Soylent Green” after the artificial food substance manufactured to feed the teaming masses. Spoiler Alert: “Soylent Green is people.”

If you chart the growth of Robins in the DC universe, it won’t be long before there are more of those obnoxious little buggers than there are Elvis impersonators. Indeed, the way things have been going lately there will be more Robins on Earth than there are Green Lanterns in the universe.

This is not a good thing.

Mind you, even as a kid long, long ago, I disliked Robin. He was, at best, unnecessary. The idea of a child that young being trained as a superhero was not a good example of child-rearing. I mean, sure, take a kid whose mind and body was not nearly developed, put him barelegged in tight shorts and a yellow cape and toss him into action against The Joker. Hell, at that time I was barely allowed to cross the street. Even Bruce Wayne’s megabucks wouldn’t protect him from Child Protective Services. It barely protected Batman and Robin from Dr. Frederic Wertham. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo: The Birds of Clay”

New Number Ones: New Comics Series Coming in June 2022

New Number Ones: New Comics Series Coming in June 2022

Summer is just around the corner, and there are excellent new comics series coming in June! We have compiled an alphabetical list with cover art and the official solicitation text from the publishers of some of the cool new comics that are coming out this month. Check below for our PCS NOTES to find out what we just have to tell you about the new comics in question.

This month we spotlight books from the usual suspects: DC Comics, Marvel Comics, AfterShock Comics, Image Comics, Boom! Studios, Mad Cave Studios, Ahoy Comics, Vault Comics,  Dark Horse Comics, and Scout Comics.

It’s a FIVE-WEDNESDAY MONTH; so, we have five glorious weeks of new comics. The bulk of the new releases are in the middle weeks with the first and last being very light with new series.

We will bring you reviews of these debut issues as they come out, and don’t forget to use the comments section to let us know what you think of this list.

You will find the books listed below in the order of when they are released.

Week of 6/1/22
Week of 6/8/22
Week of 6/15/22
Week of 6/22/22
Week of 6/92/22


Week of June 1


The Closet #1
Image Comics
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Gavin Fullerton & Chris O’Halloran
Cover Art by Fullerton

Thom is moving cross-country with his family and dragging the past along with them. His son, Jamie, is seeing monsters in the bedroom closet and will not let them go. A tale of existential familial horror by JAMES TYNION IV and GAVIN FULLERTON.

Release Date: June 1, 2022

PCS NOTES: The current reigning master of horror comic storytelling is at it again. We are intrigued by this book. 


Code 45 #1
Scout Comics
Written by Benjamin Hunting
Art by Joe Ng

There are dragons lurking in the tunnels beneath Montreal’s city streets – at least that’s the rumor that confronts new metro driver Vanessa. Terrified by these mysterious and horrifying apparitions, the night shift turns to self-medication, losing the ability to tell the difference between reality and fantasy. Pulled in deep by the underground raves that blast through the system’s abandoned stations, Vanessa quickly finds herself on the verge of crossing into a dark world she never knew existed.

Release Date: June 1, 2022

PCS NOTES: This is an ominous solicitation, and we are interested in checking it out.


New Think #1
AWA / Upshot Studios
Written by Gregg Hurwitz
Art by Mike Deodato
Cover Art by Rahzzah

This Black Mirror-style anthology examines the rapid proliferation of technology, the cultural and political polarization of the country, and the technocrats that have driven us to such extremes of thought that we need to present the present as something…futuristic. Each of the five issues is a stand-alone tale with its own art team

Release Date: June 1, 2022

PCS NOTES: I am intrigued by the rotating art concept in this series and Gregg Hurwitz’s return to comics. Continue reading “New Number Ones: New Comics Series Coming in June 2022”

New Number Ones: Comics Coming in January 2021

New Number Ones: Comics Coming in January 2021

This month we give our readers a list of the exciting new comic book series debuting in January. We have compiled an alphabetical list with cover art and the official solicitation text from PREVIEWSworld. Check below for our PCS NOTES to find out what we just have to tell you about the new comics in question.

We will bring you reviews of most of these debut issues as they come out, and don’t forget to use the comments section to let us know what you think of this list.

You will find the books listed below in the order of when they are released.

Week of 1/6/21
Week of 1/13/21
Week of 1/20/21
Week of 1/27/21

 


Week of January 6th


Eternals #1
Marvel Comics
Written by Kieron Gillen
Art by Esad Ribić
Cover Art by Ribić

NEVER DIE. NEVER WIN. ETERNALS. What’s the point of an eternal battle? For millions of years, one hundred Eternals have roamed the Earth, secret protectors of humanity. Without them, we’d be smears between the teeth of the demon-like Deviants. Their war has waged for all time, echoing in our myths and nightmares. But today, Eternals face something new: change. Can they—or anyone on Earth—survive their discovery? From the thought provoking minds of Kieron Gillen and Esad Ribić comes a new vision of the classic Marvel mythology!

Release Date: January 6, 2021

PCS NOTES: I have always enjoyed the Eternals storylines, and I can’t wait to see what Kieron Gillen does with it.


The Last Witch #1
Boom! Studios
Written by Conor McCreery
Art by V.V. Glass
Cover Art by Glass

It’s the one time of the year when the witch known as Cailleach hunts the children of the village – so Saoirse, a brave and reckless young girl, decides this is the perfect opportunity to defy her father and discover the secrets of the witch’s tower!

But when the Cailleach captures Saoirse and her brother Brahm, their lives are forever changed in ways they never expected.
Now, Saoirse will have to save everyone she loves by discovering the truth about the mysterious mark on her shoulder – and embracing her secret magical powers!

Release Date: January 6, 2021


Scouts Honor #1
AfterShock Comics
Written by David Pepose
Art by Luca Casalanguida
Cover Art by Andy Clarke

Years after a nuclear apocalypse, a new society has risen from the ashes…and their bible is an old Ranger Scout manual.

A young Ranger Scout named Kit has endured the harsh survivalist upbringing needed to conquer the irradiated Colorado Badlands. But after discovering a terrible secret once lost to history, Kit must risk everything on a dangerous quest to uncover the truth behind the Ranger Scouts’ doctrine.

From multiple Ringo Award-nominated writer David Pepose and artist Luca Casalanguida comes a post-apocalyptic coming-of-age tale that proves when all you know is a lie, a Scout’s Honor is the only way to move forward.

Release Date: January 6, 2021

PCS NOTES: We are big fans of writer David Pepose and have been waiting to get our hands on this book for a while.

Continue reading “New Number Ones: Comics Coming in January 2021”

Everything We Read This Week – 04/17/2019

Everything We Read This Week – 04/17/2019

Welcome back to Everything We Read This Week.  This is the place that we make our weekly trip through this week’s pull-list. It features mostly spoiler-free brief analysis and commentary of each book.

We are back this week with a full column. There are still some series that we are behind on due to travel last month, and we will do our best to get fully caught up in the near future. There are a coupleof New Number ones in the list and a bunch of other really good books.  This was a great week for new comics. Make sure you go and find the ones that move you.

We reviewed books from DC, Marvel, Image, AfterShock, Dynamite, and Dark Horse this week. As always, we hope you might find what we say interesting enough to try some of these comics.

Also, Don’t forget to check our hotlist of new books debuting this month over here. You will see books that we were looking forward to with the designation Hot #1 by them. There are a few of them out this week and they are really good.

DISCLAIMER: 

There is a 4 star rating system. It is simple and not to be taken too seriously as everyone gets their own impressions of art. These ratings are just to give our readers an idea of what we thought of the book, and they will be on the generous side normally. So don’t expect to see a lot of 1 Stars. After all, it’s not often that you have a bad book on your pull-list.

The rating system is as follows:

Great

 Good

 OK

 Not Good

 

And here are the books we read in alphabetical order:

Continue reading “Everything We Read This Week – 04/17/2019”

Everything We Read This Week – 02/20/2019

Everything We Read This Week – 02/20/2019

Welcome back to Everything We Read This Week.  This is the place that we make our weekly trip through this week’s pull-list. It features mostly spoiler-free brief analysis and commentary of each book.

This was a big week for comic books. There were a lot of quality books out there for all types of readers. There were some great new series that started. We try to read as much as we can to bring you recommendations on what good stuff is being produced. Unfortunately, we can’t read all the comics. So, remember to find what you like, GO OUT AND FIND SOME COMICS TO READ!! They are good for you.

We reviewed books from DC, Marvel, Image, Aftershock, Dynamite, Valiant, Titan Comics, Boom! Studios, and Albatross Funny Books this week. As always, we hope you might find what we say interesting enough to try some of these comics.

Also, Don’t forget to check our hotlist of new books debuting this month over here. You will see books that we were looking forward to with the designation Hot #1 by them. There are a few of them out this week and they are really good.

DISCLAIMER: 

There is a 4 star rating system. It is simple and not to be taken too seriously as everyone gets their own impressions of art. These ratings are just to give our readers an idea of what we thought of the book, and they will be on the generous side normally. So don’t expect to see a lot of 1 Stars. After all, it’s not often that you have a bad book on your pull-list.

The rating system is as follows:

Great

 Good

 OK

 Not Good

Also look for the book we deemed Favorite Book of the Week. It is the comic that we like the most this week. The criteria are difficult to pin down, but suffice to say it is a book that moved us.

And here are the books we read in alphabetical order:

Continue reading “Everything We Read This Week – 02/20/2019”

Everything We Read This Week – 01/23/2019

Everything We Read This Week – 01/23/2019

Welcome back to Everything We Read This Week.  This is the place that we make our weekly trip through this week’s pull-list. It features mostly spoiler-free brief analysis and commentary of each book.

There are a bunch comic books out this week. There are a few new series that we have been waiting for. It is overall a solid week of new releases. We say this often, but seriously, GO OUT AND FIND SOME COMICS TO READ!! They are good for you.

We reviewed books from DC, Marvel, Image, Albatross Funny Books, Boom! Studios, and Ahoy Comics. As always, we hope you might find what we say interesting enough to try some of these comics.

Also, Don’t forget to check our hotlist of new books debuting this month over here. You will see books that we were looking forward to with the designation Hot #1 by them. There are a few of them out this week and they are really good.

DISCLAIMER: 

There is a 4 star rating system. It is simple and not to be taken too seriously as everyone gets their own impressions of art. These ratings are just to give our readers an idea of what we thought of the book, and they will be on the generous side normally. So don’t expect to see a lot of 1 Stars. After all, it’s not often that you have a bad book on your pull-list.

The rating system is as follows:

Great

 Good

 OK

 Not Good

Also look for the book we deemed Favorite Book of the Week. It is the comic that we like the most this week. The criteria are difficult to pin down, but suffice to say it is a book that moved us.

And here are the books we read in alphabetical order:

Continue reading “Everything We Read This Week – 01/23/2019”

Everything We Read This Week – 12/19/2018

Everything We Read This Week – 12/19/2018

Welcome back as we make our weekly trip through this week’s pull-list. It features mostly spoiler-free brief analysis and commentary of each book.

There are a lot of good books out this week. We reviewed a bunch of them below. We reviewed books from DC, Marvel, Image, Lion Forge, Albatross, and AHOY. Make sure you go find some comics to read.  Hopefully, you might find what we say interesting enough to try some of these comics. Keep in mind this big list is still not all the books we have on our list, just what we have read.

This week Marvel Comics did a tribute to Stan Lee  for all the covers of the week. There is minimal dressing on the cover and the opening two pages are black. They are followed by lovely Phil Noto portrait sketch of Stan. It is a touching effort to remember all that Stan did for Marvel.

Also, Don’t forget to check our hotlist of new books debuting this month over here. You will see books that we were looking forward to with the designation Hot #1 by them. There are a quite of few of them out this week and they are really good.

DISCLAIMER: 

There is a 4 star rating system. It is simple and not to be taken too seriously as everyone gets their own impressions of art. These ratings are just to give our readers an idea of what we thought of the book, and they will be on the generous side normally. So don’t expect to see a lot of 1 Stars. After all, it’s not often that you have a bad book on your pull-list.

The rating system is as follows:

Great

 Good

 OK

 Not Good

And here are the books we read in alphabetical order:

Continue reading “Everything We Read This Week – 12/19/2018”