Tag: Doctor Strange

Brainiac On Banjo: The Ultimate Reprise?

Brainiac On Banjo: The Ultimate Reprise?

Is he strong? Listen bud, he’s got radioactive blood. Can he swing from a thread? Take a look overhead. Hey, there goes the Spider-Man! “Spider-Man” written by Bob Harris and Paul Francis Webster.

As is our want, my dear friend and editor Bob Harrison asked me if I had read this year’s version of Ultimate Spider-Man #1. I said I hadn’t, and I felt the last thing this particular Earth needs is still another Spider-Man book. Bob is a family man without sufficient time to debate me on this; he knows my position on this sort of thing because it’s his job to read my stuff here at Pop Culture Squad, so his simply said “Well, you should. It’s very good, and Jonathan Hickman wrote it.”

Bob’s never steered me wrong and, yes, I really like Hickman’s stuff. I haven’t read all that much of it lately as I haven’t followed the sundry X-Mens since they became, much like Russian nesting dolls, the first comic book franchise to spawn its own massively incestuous comic book franchise. That was around 1983. Had I been more observant, I might have had a similar reaction to The Killing Joke.

Like the word “unique,” the word “ultimate” is an absolute. One thing cannot be more ultimate than another. Ultimate is the top of the peak, and grammatically speaking there isn’t room up there for another. Yet we’ve had more Ultimate Spider-Man #1s in the past few years than we’ve had Doctor Strange #1s in the past few weeks. Is this new Ultimate even Ultimater? Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo: The Ultimate Reprise?”

Brainiac On Banjo #109: What Jessica Walter Means To Me

Brainiac On Banjo #109: What Jessica Walter Means To Me

Don’t you ever miss your house in the country, and your hot little mamma too? Don’t you better get a shot from the doctor, for what the Road Ladies do to you? – Frank Zappa, Road Ladies, 1970

I was just 21¼ years old. Old enough to know better. And, well, I did know better.

I had started on the radio about two years earlier, doing freeform “underground” shows overnights on Chicago FM stations. Back in those days, FM wasn’t on most car radios and station owners bought them just so that their competitors could not. At that time, nobody made money on overnight FM except for those slots that were purchased — brokered — by churches, far-right-wing political howlers, and foreign-language shows. That is, nobody made money until we came along.

In short order, my peers warned the 19-year-old me that, from time to time, women would call the studio in the middle of the night and make it clear that a personal appearance need not involve guitars and amplifiers. Remember, this was during that hallowed time between the invention of the birth control pill and the onset of HIV, and it was a wonderful period to be a 19 year old with Y chromosomes that screamed louder than a pack of shock-jocks.

My peers pointed out that these ladies had never seen me, and that I had never seen them. All they knew was I was on radio which, admittedly, can be an intimate experience at 3 in the morning. According to my instructors, other than an hour’s pleasure nothing good could come out of such parlances… and quite often there’s a world of hurt around the corner.

Yeah. Right. I was pushing 20 and I was full of three things… one of which being myself.

I had just started at a station in Evanston, Chicago’s northern neighbor and their studio was along the Chicago River about two miles from the fabled “L” trains. As is wont to happen, one night my car broke down in their parking lot and I had to choose between a long walk or an even longer wait for repair. I was three hours into my five-hour shift and I knew that walk would be annoying. I mentioned my situation on the air. At three in the morning. Sadly, my “Uh-Oh Sense” declined to stop me. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo #109: What Jessica Walter Means To Me”

Everything We Read This Week – 12/5/2018

Everything We Read This Week – 12/5/2018

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 ton of really good books out this week. We reviewed nineteen of them below. We reviewed books from DC, Marvel, Image, Dark Horse, Titan, AHOY, Aftershock, and Albatross Funny Books. Make sure you go find some comics to read.  Hopefully, you might find what we say interesting enough to try some of these comics. This is a big list again this week but still not all that we have on our list.

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 – 12/5/2018”

Everything We Read This Week – 11/7/2018

Everything We Read This Week – 11/7/2018

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.

Following that last couple of weeks, there is a ton of books out this week. Make sure you go find some. There are few really good number ones out this week. Hopefully, you might find what we say interesting enough to try some of these comics. This is a big list again this week as we continue to catch up on our unwieldy pull-list.

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 – 11/7/2018”

Don’t Let’s Start #003: The Comic I’ve Had The Longest

Don’t Let’s Start #003: The Comic I’ve Had The Longest

Contributor Bob Harrison posed the question in his first column here at Pop Culture Squad. Not what is the oldest comic in your collection, but rather what comic have you held onto the longest. I immediately knew my answer, and that it was 3 comics I had bought at the same time when I was in 3rd grade.

Now I don’t remember the actual date (I was 8 years old) but it was a snow day during the 1983/84 school year. Being raised by a single mother, snow days often meant I went to work with her when I was too young to stay home all day alone. At some point that day I walked from my mom’s office to the newstand around the corner and bought myself some books off the spinner rack. Zyn’s News & Cigars is still in the same spot on Greenwich Avenue in Greenwich Connecticut today.

I was a voracious reader even then and a rather precocious child. I say that not to toot my own horn, it’s a thing I heard adults say about me and it often didn’t seem like they meant it as a compliment; I say it because the books I bought were not exactly the Archies that society seemingly wanted me, a little girl, to be reading.

As I look back at the 3 books that are the subject of this column I see so much of the foundation of my fandom laid out in these issues. Wonder Woman. Black Canary. The Huntress. Deadshot. Alfred Pennyworth. Doctor Strange.  Continue reading “Don’t Let’s Start #003: The Comic I’ve Had The Longest”

With Further Ado #006: Back Issue Bin Diving

With Further Ado #006: Back Issue Bin Diving

Everyone loves a bargain, right? And like many comic fans, I love finding lost treasures in a comic shop’s back issue bargain box. While I’ve never found an issue of Action #1 in a bargain bin, or even a friendly neighborhood garage sale, I am delighted and amazed that comics I find in these long white boxes. Like forlorn playthings trapped on the Island of Misfit Toys, these comics just need to find the right person to enjoy and appreciate them.

Now let’s be realistic.  If we all only spent money on back issues bargains, every comic store would go out of business.  But for shops, the bargain bin can be a way to invite customers in, add to a customer’s purchase or just blow-out inventory. And those are all good things. 

So, in the spirit, this column is a celebration of the recent treasures that I’ve rescued from back issue bargain bins, along with a little shout-out to each comic shop too.   Continue reading “With Further Ado #006: Back Issue Bin Diving”