Episode 012 – Sleestackin!

Today on the show we discuss our new book review process, we welcome a new permanent cast member, Miguel tells us a somewhat funny story and we share some of our favorite stupid games with you.

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Below is the list of books that we read, as well as reviews!

Private: Books and Reviews of the Week 04/02/14

From this week going forward, we’re not just going to list the books we picked up, we’re going to review them! This week we read a total of nineteen books and one trade paperback, and for the first time ever, we didn’t have a single DC book on our pull list! We try to read as many different titles as we can, but we generally skip books that don’t appeal to us or that we’ve tried before but didn’t enjoy. If you think we’re missing something that we should be reading, please let me know! I’d also love to hear people’s thoughts about our podcast or our reviews, so feel free to contact me on twitter at @comicalpodcast or via email at comicalpodcast@gmail.com. Thanks!

Adventure Time: The Flip Side #4 (2.5/5)
Writer – Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover
Artist – Wook Jin Clark 

This Adventure time miniseries is about Finn and Jake taking on a twisted quest from the “quest board”, which has laid the Reverse Curse onto the land of Ooo. This issue is a continuation of our two adventurers trying to get the Monkey Wizard to kidnap Princess Painting and break the curse. There is definitely some funny moments in the book, especially some that may go over younger reader’s heads, but the story feels rushed and a bit too short. The art is excellent as usual.

Apocalypse AL #3 (4/5)
Writer – J. Michael Stracynski
Artist – Sid Kotian 

Apocalypse AL is the story of a female paranormal detective named Allison (Al), who is trying to prevent the end of the world. In this issue, she continues her pursuit of the embodiment of Ultimate Darkness to try and stop him from opening a portal to hell. During her investigation she seeks out help from her half-dead ex-boyfriend and a sexually deviant troll whom he has captured. There is a pretty unexpected twist at the end of the issue, and it left me anxiously awaiting the final chapter of this miniseries. I absolutely love Stracynski’s storytelling style, and this is only one of the many excellent titles he has on the shelves now.

Black Science #5 (4.5/5)
Writer – Rick Remender
Artist – Matteo Scalera 

Black Science is a story about a “family” of scientists who are travelling between various dimensions, while seeking a way home. In this issue, we follow Grant and the children as they are trying to gather supplies to fix the Pillar after it was sabotaged. During their travels, they encounter an unknown person who is trying to kidnap the children. Grant and the kids have a city-wide fight against the assailant and eventually learn the unexpected and awful truth about who the abductor is. They also find out who is responsible for sabotaging their ship, which leads to a major confrontation and an edge-of-your-seat cliffhanger. I personally think Rick Remender is the best comic writer in the business today, and I’ve said for years how much I adore Matteo Scalera’s artwork. I couldn’t wait for this book to start, and it has not disappointed me yet! Go read it now!

*Dead Letters #1 (4.5/5) – Justin’s Favorite Book
Writer – Christopher Sebela
Artist – Chris Visions 

Dead Letters is the story of a man named Sam Whistler, who wakes up in an unfamiliar motel room, dressed in hospital scrubs and with his arms wrapped in bandages. At first he doesn’t remember anything about who or where he is, but as the story progresses, he slowly remembers selective facts about his life. These memories convince him that he is probably a bad guy, and he is definitely a badass. Throughout the story he is being chased by goons from two different factions, who want to force him to work for their side. He is eventually caught and forced to choose a gang. The book ends shortly after that, but not before revealing some pretty big information about him, and an even more massive surprise about where he is. This is a fascinating Noir book with excellent dialogue, storytelling, and artwork. I’m eagerly awaiting the second issue, and I HIGHLY recommend picking up issue one.

*Deadpool VS Carnage (4/5) Miguel’s Second Favorite Book
Writer – Cullen Bunn
Artist – Salva Espin 

Justin’s Review:
This is a great beginning to another Deadpool miniseries by Cullen Bunn. Carnage is back to his old homicidal maniac self, and the police have no idea how to track crazy. Deadpool knows crazy better than anyone, so he takes it upon himself to put Carnage down for good. He easily finds the ghost town where Carnage has been hiding, and introduces himself with a bazooka blast. What follows is a hilarious and action packed battle, full of great one-liners and violence. There’s also a surprise character appearing at the end… somebody we haven’t seen for years! I loved this book, and can’t wait for the second issue. I could be biased though since I’m such a fan of both characters and the writer. You should definitely pick this one up now while it’s on issue one.

Miguel’s Review:
Ok, so this is my second favorite book this week by Cullen Bunn. It stars two nut jobs who are both in red suits, and both seriously unstable. Carnage is a violent psychotic killing machine with no remorse for human life. Deadpool usually kills for money as he is a mercenary with his own issues. In previous books, Carnage has escaped prison several times, killed a ton of people, taken over a small town, and fought other characters like Captain America, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Venom, and other symbiotes. Deadpool recently got Madcap out of his head, along with Agent Preston of S.H.I.E.L.D. and has been dealing with the revelation that he had a daughter, but she was murdered.

Deadpool VS Carnage is entertaining because of the humor and the violence. Deadpool steals the show in the first round, but a character that has not been seen in a long while has returned to assist Carnage. If you’re a fan of either Deadpool or Carnage, I recommend you pick this miniseries up. Both of the characters are at their peak popularity and Cullen Bunn will definitely not disappoint you. I give this book a 4/5.

Fear Agent Volume 1 (2nd Printing) (4/5)
Writer – Rick Remender
Artist – Tony Moore 

This is a series that I’ve heard a lot about but didn’t get around to reading until this week. I’m not sure why, because I love both Remender’s and Moore’s other books. This is the story of alcoholic alien exterminator Heath Huston, and how he gets caught up in a wild adventure across space and time. Heath is incredibly adept as his job, despite his drinking problem, and he has a sarcastic wit and an occasional disregard for the rules which serves him well. Remender draws on several established sci-fi clichés, but writes them in such a way that they all feel very fresh. The artwork is also incredible. If you’ve heard any of the hype surrounding this series, you should believe it. Pick up volume one for only 10$ right now!

***The Field #1 (4.5/5) – Our Pick of the Week!
Writer – Ed Brisson
Artist – Simon Roy 

Justin’s Review:
Memory loss is becoming a frequently used tool in books lately, but nearly everyone has been doing a great job with it. The Field is no exception. A man wakes up in a field with nothing but his underwear and a cell phone. The phone tells him to run, but he doesn’t. Instead he waits and gets picked up by a crazy, pseudo-religious, cocaine-fueled psychopath named Christian. Christian beats him, gives him some clothes, then takes him for breakfast. That’s when all hell breaks loose. Meanwhile, a biker gang is apparently tracking the man from the field and is aware that he was taken by someone else. The story is very fast-paced and intriguing and I can’t wait to see what happens next in this 4-issue miniseries. Pick it up!

Miguel’s Review:
Another great book brought to us by Image Comics. This one is about a man that wakes up in a field wearing only his tighty-whities. He has no memory of who he is and how he got into the field, but he has a cell phone that receives text messages warning him of upcoming danger. He ignores the phone’s warning and takes a ride with a fat ex-bible salesman who holds him hostage and then goes on a crime spree.

This book is intriguing as we don’t know what is going on with the man from the field. The ex-bible salesman is crazy and has serious impulse control, and the bikers are an unknown factor. I’ve had nightmares where I wake up one day and don’t remember anything, so this story really appeals to my fears. The Field has a lot of potential, I give it a 4/5.

God is Dead #10 (2.5/5)
Writer – Mike Costa
Artist – German Erranmouspe 

God is Dead is a story started by Jonathan Hickman about all of the different pantheons of gods returning to earth to do battle for the right to be the only remaining diety. In this issue, The children of Gaia are at war with some of the lesser Norse and Greek gods, and the greek god of death, Thanatos, goes to meet his half-human son. This was one of the weaker issues in the series, but it was still fairly enjoyable.

Inhuman #1 (3.5/5)
Writer – Charles Soule
Artist – Joe Madureira 

Inhuman tells the story of the new inhumans that were created when Black Bolt detonated the Terrigen bomb during Infinity. It follows Medusa on her quest to find Black Bolt, and it also watches as an inhuman from another clan – Lash – passes judgment on some freshly hatched inhumans and finds them wanting. His tribe kills the weak hatchlings and only allows the strongest to survive. This book has a ton of potential. Charles Soule is another of the best writers in comics today, and Joe Madureira’s art is legendary. I think this series can only get better, and I recommend getting in on the first issue.

Loki: Agent of Asgard (3.5/5)
Writer – Al Ewing
Artist – Lee Garbett
Loki goes back in time to manipulate the past so that he can attain a magic sword in the present. It’s a fascinating story that’s very well written and ties the future and the past together in an interesting way. It’s not action-packed, so if you only enjoy action packed books, you probably won’t love this. We really liked it though. I recommend giving it a chance.

** Magneto #2 (4.5/5) – Justin’s Second Favorite Book, Miguel’s Favorite Book
Writer – Cullen Bunn
Artist – Gabriel Hernandez 

Justin’s Review:
Magneto continues his hunt for the group responsible for the new wave of sentinels. He is searching the slums for information about the boy who became the sentinel-human hybrid that he killed in the first issue. This book feels like a gritty detective book, but with the small exception that he will absolutely fuck up anyone who gets in his way. Magneto is ruthless in his quest for information and once he learns how people are being selected for the sentinel hybrid program, he doesn’t hold back on punishing those responsible. This is probably the best book Marvel is putting out. Definitely pick it up.

Miguel’s Review:
In this story, Magneto is by himself and on a mission to ensure the safety of all mutants, regardless of the cost. He is a killing machine looking to take out threats before they have any chance to respond. His powers are still supposed to be broken, but it seems like he has taken the Mutant Growth Hormone and is now stronger than anyone.

This book appeals to me because he is no longer playing second fiddle to Cyclops. Magneto is ruthless again and has gotten back to his old self. I like the way the book has flashbacks to his past and how he relates those experiences to what is going on in the present. Even though Magneto is a killer, he has a code and is only killing those that he believes deserve it. This book is spectacular and I recommend it. I give it a 4.5/5.

Moon Knight #2 (4/5)
Writer –Warren Ellis
Artist – Declan Shalvey 

Reading this book felt like watching a movie. The story has exceptional pacing and definitely will keep you on edge. The story starts with a sniper picking off people in an office building. At first it seems like the sniper is Moon Knight, but that’s quickly disproven when Moon Knight appears and tries to kill the assassin. An epic battle ensues over the rooftops and into the office building, where everything is explained and the battle comes to an end. Moon Knight is very well written and the artwork is exceptional. This is one of the best Marvel titles right now. Definitely pick it up.

New Warriors #3 (2.5/5)
Writer – Christopher Yost
Artist – Marcus To 

This was probably the weakest book I read this week. I like the idea of the New Warriors, and I really want to continue reading about Kaine from Scarlet Spider. Unfortunately, it seems like Kaine has been toned down a bit since all of his “teammates” are kids. I’m going to keep reading it in hopes that once the team is officially assembled, the characters will mesh better and hopefully Kaine can take more of a leadership role.

Pretty Deadly #5 (4/5)
Writer – Kelly Sue DeConnick
Artist – Emma Rios 

I really enjoy Pretty Deadly. It takes me some time to enjoy it, but I really do. This issue, just like all previous ones required multiple reads to fully understand what was going on. The story is amazing, and the artwork is beautiful, but this is nowhere near an easy read. You really have to slow down and pay attention or you will miss important plot points and character development. If you enjoy books that make you think, and don’t have to speed-read 18 of your 19 books a week like I do, then you should be reading this series. If you prefer easy reads, this might not be the right series for you.

Punisher #4 (3.5/5)
Writer – Nathan Edmonson
Artist – Mitch Gerads 

Frank Castle continues to do what he’s best at. He manages to escape from his captors and kill nearly everyone in the room. This causes the cartel to put a hit on him, which of course he’s used to, but they hire a very unexpected mercenary to go after him. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I’m pretty excited to see how that fight goes. If you like anti-heroes who like to kill kill kill, then pick up Punisher today!

Revival #19 (3.5/5)
Writer – Tim Seeley
Artist – Mike Norton 

The thing in the woods is back, and it kills a dog! Em’s secret starts to get leaked, and Dana prepares for a huge upcoming mission. This issue is as good as ever. The next one will likely be even better.

She-Hulk (3.5/5)
Writer – Charles Soule
Artist – Javier Pulido 

The son of DOOM wants extradition to the US so that he cannot be forced to become DOOM’s successor. Nobody will take his case, except for Jennifer Walters. The only initial hindrance is that today is the last day to file in court, so they have to hurry to get the paperwork and go see a judge. As the story progresses, She-Hulk has to fight legions of doombots who will stop at nothing to prevent this from happening. This is another great comedic issue and you should at least give it a chance. She-hulk is vastly different from anything else on the stands today.

Sidekick #6 (4/5)
Writer – J. Michael Straczynski
Artist – Tom Mandrake, HiFi 

This is easily the best issue of this series. Flyboy has finally had enough of everyone lying to him. He’s sick of trying to be a hero that nobody wants or appreciates, and so he starts taking revenge on everyone who has wronged him over the last five issues. If you were reading the series and gave up on it, you should revisit it in this issue. The last few issues were a little tedious and it was annoying always seeing him fail, but it’s finally turned around and become very satisfying.

Veil #2 (3/5)
Writer – Greg Rucka
Artist – Toni Fejzula 

Veil continues to impress. We get a few answers in this issue, and even more questions. This is supposed to be a 5 issues miniseries, and a lot is probably going to happen in the next 3 issues. Do yourself a favor and pick up issue one and two today.

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