Originally this was supposed to be a Legion themed episode with Shag. Life got in the way and because this is an episode celebrating July 4th I kind of had to get it out now. The Shag episode is coming soon, though, so have no fear.
Anyway, this time out I celebrate the Fourth of July by talking about three awesome issues of Captain America! And I’m not alone! With me is Permanent Semi-Regular Co-Host Andrew Leyland because when I think of celebrating America’s independence I think of having someone on from the UK! After an interesting discussion on the military history of our families we get into three issues of the utterly amazing (I will not hear any argument on this) Roger Stern/John Byrne run of Cap. In issues 253 and 254 Steve Rogers receives a coded message from one of his World War II colleagues to come to England right quick. It seems that one of their old enemies, Baron Blood, is back in action! So you have vampires, Captain America and the return of Union Jack! What more could you want? Well how about the best re-telling of Cap’s origin ever in Captain America #255? If your answer is, “That sounds amazing!” then you would be right!
Cap fighting vampires! Cap fighting stick up artists! Cap fighting Nazis! These stories have it all!
This time out I am joined by my new Permanent Semi-Regular co-host Andrew Leyland (by the way, I have a new permanent, semi-regular co-host) to talk about the state of the DCU or rather the state of the New 52. There has been a fair amount of controversy surrounding DC Comics since the New 52 launched in 2011. Books have been late, creators and editorial staff have left for various reasons and changes have been made to the continuity even though that continuity hasn’t been around all that long. While we don’t address the creative and editorial shake-ups we do take a look at what we have liked about the New 52 thus far and what we haven’t liked. What books have been great? What books aren’t firing on all cylinders? Does lateness matter? Does the Five Year Timeline work? All of these points are discussed plus a few more and we even get a good rant out of Andy.
If you have not listened to Episode 18 of the Shortbox Showcase over at the Relatively Geeky Network then you probably should stop what your doing because listening to this episode before that might ruin the rhythm and the style that you’re used to. In all seriousness that episode features the first installment of a three part crossover where Alan Middleton, his daughter Emily (or Emily Middleton and her father Alan if you prefer) and I discuss the twelve issue maxi-series The Kents. In the first part we talked about Bleeding Kansas, the opening storyline from the series. After hearing Emily and Alan’s comic book origin stories we dive into Brother Versus Brother where the action takes us into the Civil War. We learn more about what happened to Nate Kent, his brother Jeb, Mary, Joshua and all of the other characters we have grown to like, love or hate during the first story arc. Consequences are given, blood is shed, sensitive topics are discussed and you even get a little of my family history at least as it pertains to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
In case you were curious, here are the covers to the comics we discuss in this episode.
Keep an eye out over at the Relatively Geeky Network for the final installment of this crossover. Emily and Alan produce three fantastic podcasts and you need to check out each and every one.
Next Time: Has it really been seven years since I started this show? Why yes it has and my brand new Permanent Semi-Regular Co-Host joins me to talk about the New 52. Who is this mysterious co-host? Well come back next time to find out!
This time out Scott Ryfun (one quarter of the hosts of Dinner 4 Geeks) stops by to talk about a series that is about to turn ten years old. In late 2004 Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver brought Hal Jordan back from the dead and back from being the Spectre and started a journey that would see Green Lantern and his world become one of the most successful franchises in comics. This was not without some controversy. Some fans were a bit miffed that Hal had come back and thought that their Green Lantern, Kyle Rayner, was being sidelined to satisfy some weird need on the part of DC to bring back their more iconic characters. Scott and I talk about that, the series as a whole and a bunch of other things that have nothing to do with Green Lantern because this is Views From The Longbox and that’s how we roll here.
I’d like to thank Scott for coming on the show and let him know he is welcome back every time.
Next time: It’s part 2 of a 3 part podcasting crossover so be sure to head on over to the Relatively Geeky Network and listen to Episode 18 of the Shortbox Showcase to listen to Alan Middleton, his daughter Emily and I talk about a very awesome western maxi-series called The Kents. I mean you could skip it and listen to the second installment first but their show is awesome and a lot of what we talk about will make a lot more sense if you hear the initial installment first.
Rob Kelly (he of Aquaman Shrine and The Fire and Water Podcast fame) returns to the show to talk about the Justice League. Last time we did this Rob and I talked about the League in the more general sense. This time we dive into a specific three issue storyline that was, in reality, an unpublished Treasury Edition. Justice League of America issues 210 through 212 tell the story of an alien race that is out to scam the Earth and one average man holds the key to the planet’s salvation! Will the League succeed? Well, yeah. They kind of have to, but there’s a lot that goes on during the course of three issues and some fun side conversations happen too.
We talk about the covers in some detail during our talk. Here they are in case you wanted to see them.
Next time: First time guest Scott Ryfun (he of Dinner 4 Geeks fame) joins me to talk about Green Lantern: Rebirth!
This time out Andrew Leyland (of Hey Kids, Comics and Fantasticast fame) joins me to talk about three issues of DC Comics Presents (issues 27, 28 and 29 to be exact) plus a random Superboy story. Now I know what you’re thinking…and you’re right. “But, Mike,” you say, “That cover you posted doesn’t look like the cover to any of the comics you just mentioned.” Instead of digging those issues out of my collection and reading them one at a time I read the stories in question in the 1983 Superman UK Annual. If you are also thinking that I had Andy on just because he is from the UK you are only half right. I happened to have this book in my collection, Andy happened to post the cover on Facebook and I thought it would make a fun episode.
And it did. Andy and I covered just about every aspect of these stories like the fact that this was the first appearance of Mongul. And the fact that this was a rare (for the time period) Martian Manhunter appearance. And the fact that Superman is a really big jerk in the first chapter. And the fact that Steve Lombard sucks and wears a wife-beater shirt. And the fact that Supergirl looked pretty dang good during this era. And how the Superboy story would have made a fine episode of Smallville. Oh, and the fact that apparently I can’t read because despite the fact that the cover artist signed the cover I just couldn’t see it and looked rather foolish.
This episode was also part of something I called “Comics By Candlelight” as I read this book by candlelight back in February when the power was out for three days. It’s not the best bit but it seemed like a good idea at the time.
Next time: Rob Kelly (of the Aquaman Shrine, the Fire and Water Podcast and a half a million other blogs) returns to talk about a “lost” adventure of the Justice League of America.
Returning to the show this time out is actor/director/adapter/producer and all around nice guy Richard Rohan. Richard was kind enough to give me about an hour and a half of his time to talk about the newest comic book adaptations from Graphic Audio. We touch on Wayne of Gotham and It’s Superman, but the bulk of the episode is spent talking about Ultimates: Tomorrow Men and Ultimates: Against All Enemies. Around all of that Richard and I have a number of fun digressions, including a long talk on the pros and cons of digital comic books. We wrap things up with a handful of listener questions that lead to a fun conversation about the super-hero animation of the sixties and the seventies.
I would like to thank Richard for being so generous with his time. These interviews are always fun and I hope to have him back on the show down the road.
So last year I did this whole Superman at 75: The Celebration of a Legend thing. If you are familiar with it then you probably heard a low pitched voice saying them with a bit of an echo thrown in for good measure as you read those bolded words. My apologies to Rob Kelly for the flashbacks this no doubt caused.
Last year I devoted the bulk of Views to Superman related shows to celebrate his anniversary and as the year was winding down I was pretty sure that Batman wasn’t going to get the same treatment. I didn’t make a vow but a few gags were created to joke about this. The thing is I recently got on this huge Batman kick and it made me realize I did want to mark the Dark Knight’s 75th birthday in some fashion and thus this episode was born. This is one of those long, ramble filled episodes where I just talk and talk about why I like Batman and even wax nostalgic regarding my history with the character. No notes. No real planning. The fact that I managed to sound somewhat coherent is a minor miracle.
Quick note: I have no idea when the next Batman related episode is going to happen. I really don’t want to make any promises. Something is coming down the pike but I don’t have any firm plans.
Next Time: Andy Leyland comes by. We talk about something. It was fun.
For the first episode of 2014 I thought it would be a good idea to clear the e-mail decks. I don’t respond to them enough so I figured this would be a good time to go through the feedback before moving on to the comics I plan to cover this year. Before those e-mails I talk about 2013 a bit and how I feel about new year’s resolutions. I also explain why I won’t tell you what I have planned for Views in 2014. After that it is about forty-five minutes of e-mails where I talk about past episodes, what I did over the holidays and even answer a question from Sean Koury’s Captain Carrot’s Burrow.
I want to thank everyone that wrote in. It made for a fun episode.
Next time: Well, that’s going to be a surprise from now on as I won’t be telling you what I’m covering in the next episode anymore. You’ll be able to find out here when you see the show notes but I have decided that it might be fun to keep the subject of the next episode a surprise until its release. If you really hate this let me know.
In the summer of 2011 I “sat down” with Big Honkin’ Steve (you know, of Geek Out Loud fame) to talk about Smallville. It was a good time for it too. The series had just wrapped and the show was fresh in our minds. Due to some technical problems that six hour conversation (yes, it really was six hours) disappeared. Now, over two years later Steve and I got back together to talk about a show that defined Superman or at the very least Clark Kent for a generation. To the shock of…well, everyone after they find out…we managed to keep our conversation to about two and a half hours. So join Steve and I as we close out Superman at 75: The Celebration of a Legend by covering Smallville from beginning to end. We cover Clark, Chloe, Lana, Lois, Jonathan, Martha, Tess, Dr. Hamilton and everyone in between. It was a fun conversation and I am glad Steve and I were able to get together to record this episode.
Towards the end of the episode I mentioned an old WB promo thingie that Tom Welling and Michael Rosenbaum appeared in. I also said that I couldn’t find it on YouTube and Steve immediately found it on YouTube. So here’s the video for your viewing pleasure.
Next Time: I kick 2014 off with an e-mail episode. Seems like the right thing to do.