ComicsVerse Podcast Episode 91: X-Men, “The Dream” Part 2: How Young X-Men Fans View Progress in X-Men’s Civil Rights Metaphor

X-Men comics persist to ignite the imagination of readers everywhere. Yet, what originally charmed readers back when the stories first came out may now mean something else for an entirely new generation of young X-Men fans. This podcast explores how much of a divide there is, and what still holds up in modern times.

LISTEN: ICYMI – X-Men, “The Dream” Part 1 explores the real world applications of ideologies held by Professor Xavier and Magneto.

It’s a popular saying to claim age is just a number. While this is true in most instances, what college-aged kids in 1963 valued varies drastically from what they value today. A young X-Men fan is defined as someone who’s love of the stories derives influence from a modern day understanding of the series. This means the added complexities of Magneto are already well established, as well as other crucial plot points that developed later in the series. Political strife consumes the world of the 2010s. This influences the reading of the comics tremendously. Additionally, a young fan is aware of the complexities of their society parallel those in the comic. They respond to the material accordingly, to ensure their society doesn’t become the one in the stories.

HEAR: X-Men, “the Dream” Part 3 examines Emma Frost’s role in INHUMANS VS. X-MEN!

The world of the mutants is timeless, yet their stories aren’t. Sometimes, as political identities shift and the expectations of the consumer changes, the stories that were thought to be groundbreaking no longer are. Characters from diverse ethnic backgrounds became normalized as time went on; making comics that center around this idea trivial at best, patronizing at worst. While some stories fall by the wayside for the new generation, others still resonate throughout time. They might deceive some into thinking they firmly grasp their time and their time only, yet certain problems remain consistent. Debates on race, gender, and sexual identity have progressed but not enough. In conclusion, it is when X-Men tackles these harder subjects that readers, no matter when they were born, can love this unique franchise.

For your convenience, iTunes and SoundCloud also make this podcast available on their respective sites.

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ComicsVerse Podcast Episode 88: Marvel’s Muslim Superheroes – Ms. Marvel, Monet St. Croix, and Dust

Before we get into the specifics of this podcast on Marvel Muslim superheroes, first, some context:

It’s not a secret. Anyone born after 1978 likely cannot recall a time in American politics as divisive as now.

During the Reagan years, I was a child, blissfully unaware of most of the world around me. I remember Geraldine Ferraro, the first woman in American politics to have a clear shot at the White House as Vice President with her running mate, Walter Mondale, former Vice President under President Jimmy Carter. I remember the day the Challenger exploded on its maiden voyage. I remember the rise of A.I.D.S. and the Reagan administration’s avoidance in declaring the spread of HIV a crisis, something that indirectly caused the virus to infect millions more.

The cultural divide of the American landscape, of the collective psyche of America as a nation-state, was always at odds with itself, the teetering threat of the aforementioned divide becoming an uncrossable chasm constantly looming over our heads as it continues to this today. Looking back, I never could have imagined what would become of us. While a second American Civil War is hardly imminent, at times, I wonder if the preservation of the Union during the first American Civil War was the right choice given how much we seem to have grown to hate one another.

Perhaps the rise of social media and the technology necessary to democratize different people from all extremes of the political spectrum amplifies the sour sound of the voices of hatred? The calls to despise our neighbor, to think of them as people who “just don’t get it” or with evil or selfish intentions never have sung as loudly as they do now. Any environment containing this much enmity is a breeding ground for scapegoatism, a fertilizer that, when operating from our rage, makes it easy to point a finger outside of our house and into yours.

READ: ComicsVerse’s culture section discusses the damage normalizing the American alt-right can do!

Why Bother Discussing Marvel Muslim Superheroes?

Marvel Muslim Superheroes Kamala Khan, Monet St. Croix, and Sooraya Qadir Dust

Marvel Muslim Superheroes. From left to right: Monet St. Croix aka M, Kamala Khan aka Ms. Marvel, and Sooraya Qadir as Dust. Images courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

At this moment in America, two distinct groups of people seem to be the victims of our inability to cope with our own disagreements: Muslims and illegal immigrants.

Those arriving at this article from a different perspective need to know I am not pretending there aren’t people causing harm who are Muslim or immigrants. Rather, what I ask for is a mere reality check, a refreshing of one’s self of the factual data, something that isn’t agreed on anymore that, additionally, seems to no longer carry value.

While the cause of illegal immigration is a close one to me, being of Hispanic descent, the focus of ComicsVerse’s 88th Podcast is Marvel Muslim superheroes. Through the newly elected Donald Trump, The United States of America recently issued its second travel ban targeted at predominantly Muslim nations. The travel ban prevents Muslims from certain countries from traveling to America.

The conservative think tank, the Cato Institute, performed a study, the results of which can be found here. Allow me to skip to the end: “[the Cato Insitute] compiled a list of foreign-born people who committed or were convicted of attempting to commit a terrorist attack on U.S. soil from 1975 through 2015.” The total tally of that number equals zero. Yes, zero people from the countries Trump banned from entering the United States committed an act of terror on our soil.

Kamala Khan Ms. Marvel is a Marvel Muslim Superhero.

The first issue of MS. MARVEL #1 sees Kamala Khan tempted to eat pork. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

The executive order behind the travel ban will prevent families from seeing one another. It will keep the best and brightest minds of these countries from American universities that sorely need their skill sets. Moreover, the travel ban is ethically wrong, and we, the American people, have given birth to it simply because it’s easier to point the finger elsewhere and blame others for our figuratively insurmountable border wall that keeps people, who normally would get along and come to a workable agreement, hating one another.

In NEW X-MEN: ACADEMY X #39, Dust, a Marvel Muslim superhero, invokes Allah's name as she prepares to take on a demon in Limbo.

In NEW X-MEN: ACADEMY X #39, Dust invokes Allah’s name as she prepares to take on a demon in Limbo. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

I’ve always remained open about my past, and there are numerous articles on this website that speak to that truth, my truth. I’ve, personally, been a scapegoat before. I know how it feels to have done nothing wrong and be blindsided by the ugly recesses of humanity when I was only trying to live my life free of discrimination. That knowledge is why we chose to focus on Marvel Muslim superheroes. To our surprise and delight, the panel on this podcast consisting of ComicsVerse editor Jamie Rice, writer A. Chowder, Marvel editor for ComicsVerse Kat Vendetti, Marvel Editor for ComicsVerse Alex Bisignaro, writer Anika Hossain, with special guests Amna Pervez, Jose Robledo, podcast veteran Nolan Bensen and myself as host, the three most compelling Marvel Muslim superheroes are strong and diverse, three-dimensional women. Each deserves a podcast in her own right.

LISTEN: Want more women of Marvel? Last episode we discussed our favorite X-Men women!

Before the focus of our conversation became Marvel Muslim superheroes Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel, Sooraya Qadir/Dust, and Monet St. Croix/M, we took it upon ourselves to do some research. We felt an obligation, before discussing the internal lives of these characters and what connotates their “Muslimness,” to dispell a bevy of American myths surrounding Islam. As three panelists on our panel know, as former and current practitioners of Islam, the world can often use a reminder of the truth behind the stereotype and just what a minuscule portion of Islam it is that poses any sort of threat to the western world’s way of life.

In X-FACTOR #217, Monet tells Strong Guy she is a Marvel Muslim superhero.

In X-FACTOR #217, Monet St. Croix tells Strong Guy she is Muslim. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

As we dissected each Marvel Muslim superhero, the same questions arose over and over. Is this character authentic? Do they purport any negative stereotypes? What makes us able to determine any of this at all? The conversation, both illuminating and intense, was one of my favorite podcast moments at ComicsVerse.

Despite moments of utter silliness and banter between friends and colleagues, we never lose sight of our goal: raising awareness of a self-perceived flaw in the consciousness of the people of the United States of America and the west; finding out what exactly it is that motivates three incredible characters created by Marvel; and just how far their efforts have come, as a publishing company, for Marvel Muslim superheroes to serve as a beacon of anti-discrimination and hope for all the young Muslim women and men who read their comics.

For your convenience, this podcast is also available on iTunes, SoundCloud, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, and Stitcher.

Download The ComicsVerse Podcast on iTunes

source: https://comicsverse.com/episode-88-marvel-muslim-superheroes/

Weekly Comics News Episode 3 – Trump Comic Book Covers, JL v SS, Spider-Man/Deadpool and more!

Welcome back! We’re on Episode #3 of the Weekly Comics News Show — a (very, very, obviously) weekly program that brings you the latest in comic book news, releases, and more. Host Patrick Aloia and his guest host (this week —Lilie Le Prevost) will scour through releases and news stories every week to get you exactly what you need to be up to date in the world of comics.

Miss last week’s episode of the “Weekly Comic News Show?” Check it out here!

This week we’re featuring stories on the LOVE IS LOVE comic release, THE UNQUOTABLE TRUMP, and the end of DC’s JUSTICE LEAGUE VS SUICIDE SQUAD. LOVE IS LOVE is a collection of stories relating to the Pulse nightclub shooting and LGBTQIA+ issues, THE UNQUOTABLE TRUMP is Artist Robert Sikoryak’s blog where he has turned President Trump and his controversial quotes into covers of iconic comic books, and DC’s JUSTICE LEAGUE VS SUICIDE SQUAD is going to go out with a bang.

For DC, we’re also talking about WONDER WOMAN #15, whatever the KAMANDI CHALLENGE is, and a bizarre law suit the company has gotten embroiled in. For Marvel, we have BLACK PANTHER #10, SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL: MU #1 , and INHUMANS VS X-MEN #3. For Image, CURSE WORDS, SAGA, LOOSE ENDS, BASTARDS, and more. We’ll also be talking about the DC/IDW crossover, BATMAN/TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLE ADVENTURES.

Want more of Lilie? Of course, you do! Check out her interview with Tim Jones at the Rhode Island Comic Con!

We seem to have had an issue with the video, which has lead to flickering at the bottom of the screen and instead of a picture of CURSE WORDS’ artist Ryan Browne, we have one of Brian K. Vaughan. All joking aside, we apologize for the mistakes, and to Mr. Browne as well.

Stay tuned for new episodes of the Weekly Comics News Show, and on all of ComicsVerse’s video content. Check out our Facebook Live and Instagram Live videos while we produce the show to meet the hosts, the crew, and get a peek at what it takes to get a weekly show running.

ComicsVerse’s Drunk Comic Book Origins: Spider-Man

On December 18th, 2016, Anna Garcia drank an entire bottle of wine and attempted to retell the origin of Spider-Man (the original comic storyline, not the movie version). Spider-Man has always had, in my opinion, the best narrative construction of any superhero. He checks all the boxes of the “perfect” situational storytelling for any young hero:

  • Complex, vulnerable, and tragic lead in Peter Parker, check.
  • An outcast in high school who gets superpowers, check.
  • Lives with an older woman allowing him to get away with sneaking around, check.
  • A balance of villains who are people close to him and those he has never met before, check.
  • A supporting cast that is as interesting as he is (Harry, MJ, Gwen, etc.), check.
  • Contained to one city (more grounded than trying to saving the world), check.
  • Easy to follow storylines, check.

READ: SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL #13 Review: Meaning of Life

On the most fundamental level, there is no better hero to write. So naturally, I figured why not try and retell the original comic origin? No, that wasn’t good enough; let’s try and retell this story while intoxicated…

This is ComicsVerse’s new series, Drunk Comic Origins!

Anna Garcia is a Screen Arts student at the University of Michigan and also happens to be a good friend of mine. She graciously volunteered to be our drunken storyteller and throughout the experience continued to make the claim that she was “on an adventure!” Anna has always been a big fan of the web slinger and was able to give a somewhat accurate rendition of the original story. The basic plot points that we covered were:

  • Pre-powers Peter Parker
  • The spider bite incident
  • Selfish post-powers/pre-Spider-Man Peter Parker
  • The tragic loss of Uncle Ben
  • Peter’s transformation into Spider-Man
  • A rundown of the supporting characters

All story rights are reserved to Marvel. At the end of the day, this is a spoof. The following is brought to you by ComicsVerse.com and is a Mid-Youth Crisis Production. Drunk Comic Origins contains explicit language. Please Drink Responsibly.

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ComicsVerse Weekly Comics News Episode 2

Welcome back! We’re on Episode #2 of the Weekly Comics News Show — an (obviously) weekly program that brings you the latest in comic book news, releases, and more. Host Patrick Aloia and his guest hosts (this week — Kay Honda) will scour through releases and news stories every week to get you exactly what you need to be up to date in the world of comics.

Miss last week’s episode of the “Weekly Comic News Show?” Check it out here!

This week we’re featuring stories on STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE comic release, the app HOOPLA, and Marvel’s MONSTERS UNLEASHED. The ROGUE ONE comic is set to add more to the ROGUE ONE story, the HOOPLA app is going to have DC REBIRTH comics available for reading, and the highly anticipated Marvel event MONSTERS UNLEASHED is finally coming out.

For DC, we’re also talking about RAVEN #5, which is just as excellent as the rest of Marv Wolfman’s series has been, BATMAN #15 which will continue to explore the relationship between Batman and Cat Woman. For Marvel, we have IRON MAN #3 and the final issue of Genndy Tartakovsky’s CAGE. For Image, Sean Lewis’ THE FEW has us very excited, along with Ed Brubaker’s KILL OR BE KILLED, THEY’RE NOT LIKE US #13, and more. We’ll also talk about Valiant’s HARBINGER RENEGADES #3, and IDW’s REVOLUTIONARIES.

Want more Kay? Check out her interview with Simon Graves at Flame Con last year!

Stay tuned for new episodes of the Weekly Comics News Show, and on all of ComicsVerse’s video content. Check out our Facebook Live and Instagram Live videos while we produce the show to meet the hosts, the crew, and get a peek at what it takes to get a weekly show running.

ComicsVerse Podcast Episode 84: Sex in Comics

Episode 83 of the ComicsVerse Podcast centers around sex in comics! ComicsVerse Comics and Managing Culture Editor Jamie Rice is joined by panelists Bob Franco, Dellen Miller, Phil Casey, Matt Murphy, Mark Bouchard, and Kay Honda!

LISTEN: Want more tawdry comic book stories? Listen to the comics that are our guilty pleasures!

In this episode, our panelists discuss books like SEX CRIMINALS, CATWOMAN, and SAGA in an attempt to unpackage the way in which sex and sexuality function in comic narratives. First, they recount the days of the CCA, or Comics Code of America, and the impact that it had on the American comics industry before moving on to discuss the idea of feminist sex in comics. The comics industry has and continues to suffer from a lack of female creators- thus, female characters are often both written and drawn by men, often leading to the character catering to the male gaze. Our panelists unpackage the intent behind the characters, as well as the actions taken by the characters themselves, to see just what makes a depiction of sex, “feminist.” They unpackage how real world attitudes about sex culture, such as the double standard that exists between men and women regarding promiscuity, and how they function in the real world.

In addition to this, our panelists explore the world of fetishism and erotic comics before moving on to a discussion about consent and rape in terms of a handful of comics, including NIGHTWING and KAIJUMAX. Going further, the panelists discuss whether or not rape should be present in comics at all, and the use of trigger warnings.

HEAR: Lots of SAGA in this podcast! Want more? Listen to Jamie host an entire podcast on SAGA alone!

With a reading list comprised of superhero and non-cape comics, this podcast was so intense, and had so many puns, that it couldn’t be contained in just one segment, so stay tuned for part two!

For your convenience, this podcast is also available on iTunes, SoundCloud, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, and Stitcher!

Download The ComicsVerse Podcast on iTunes

source: https://comicsverse.com/episode-84-sex-in-comics/

Exclusive Chris Claremont interview at Flame Con 2 in NYC

Something that becomes obvious when looking around any comic book convention, including Flame Con, is that people love the X-Men. It’s easy to understand why: the characters are all engaging, the adventures exciting, and their powers and costumes all visually arresting, even when compared to other comic book characters. There is, however, another important layer to the X-Men: their significance to the outsider. As the tagline says, the X-Men defend and protect a world that fears them. Rather than use their powers to lash out, they use them to help those who would rather see them dead. This martyrdom has provided inspiration for generations of comics fans, and they have become symbols for victims of bigotry. Their multinational status gives everyone someone to relate to in the X-Men, and much of this diversity is thanks to one man: Chris Claremont.

LISTEN: Want more Chris Claremont interviews with ComicsVerse? Chris talks Jean Grey, Cyclops and everything else X-Men in this podcast!

What is there to be said about Chris Claremont that hasn’t been said already? The legendary X-Men writer wrote the adventures of the merry mutants for an unprecedented 17 years. You would think that Claremont would see himself as an authority on the X-Men, but the writer is hesitant to make claims about why the mutants appeal to specific groups. However, he will be the first to tell you that the most important thing about Marvel’s mutants is that, first and foremost, they represent the outcasts, the misfits, and the ostracized.

LISTEN: The X-Men are a metaphor for all minorities. How does that metaphor translate into real life? Listen to the “X-Men: The Dream” podcast by ComicsVerse.

Hearing Claremont discuss his work on the X-Men reminds us of the importance of the comic book medium. In an age where millions of dollars are spent in bringing these characters to life, the insights of their earliest writers, like Claremont, remind us of the powerful ideas behind the characters.

In our discussion, Claremont discussed his understanding of the X-Men allegory, his entrance into the world of comics, fan reaction, expectations for the characters, and if Professor X and Magneto should be seen as analogous to MLK and Malcolm X.

Download The ComicsVerse Podcast on iTunes

source: https://comicsverse.com/chris-claremont-flame-con/

ComicsVerse Podcast Episode 81: The Wicked and the Divine

At the center of Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s THE WICKED AND THE DIVINE is a set of suave, sexy, newly-super-powered people who have been granted the powers of deities from across cultures and religions. Every 90 years, a new generation of gods emerges through an event called the “Recurrence,” but there’s a cost to their power: Within two years, all of them will be dead.

LISTEN: Want more Image Comics podcasts? Check out our past discussions of great Image titles!

The latest iteration emerges as a crew of huge personalities befitting of the 21st century’s celebrity worship culture. The gods play massive shows and throw multi-day ragers, attracting legions of adherents just like a real-world celebrity might—with the obvious advantage of having supernatural abilities.

Through it all, though, the clock is ticking, and after Lucifer (a David-Bowie-inspired badass) gets herself into trouble with the law, things start to go south for the Pantheon. Meanwhile, our protagonist, a teenager named Laura, gets in with “Luci” and some of the other gods, skirting the edge of fame as she becomes entangled in their web of rivalry and intrigue.

Gillen wields the large and diverse cast well, crafting strong personalities for characters that so clearly demand them. Tracing a line back to Gillen and McKelvie’s last series together, PHONOGRAM, music also saturates this comic, as each of the gods takes cues (both in plot and in depiction) from various pop artists: Rihanna, David Bowie, Lady Gaga, and others!

HEAR: If you’re a fan of THE WICKED AND THE DIVINE, listen to a podcast on Rick Remender’s DEADLY CLASS!

The ComicsVerse team sits down to talk through the major themes of this book, an undeniably cool series with a strong premise, a continuously captivating plot, and attractive and boldly colored artwork. Join the ComicsVerse Podcast panel for a wide-ranging chat on the music, religion, fandom, and romance that characterize THE WICKED AND THE DIVINE.

For your convenience, this podcast is also available on iTunes, Spreaker, SoundCloud, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and Stitcher!

Download The ComicsVerse Podcast on iTunes

source: https://comicsverse.com/the-wicked-and-the-divine/

ComicsVerse Podcast Episode 80: AYA – LIFE IN YOP CITY

In the West, there are few topics of conversation more rife with generalities, prejudices, and fear than that of Africa—especially sub-Saharan Africa. How easy it is for us to make a vaguely ridiculous, generalized statements about the Earth’s second largest and second most populous continent without fear of scrutiny! Racism, the legacy of colonialism, and the pervasive, disfiguring, narratives attached to this legacy has bred an easy sort of ignorance about the histories, cultures, and day-to-day lives of the people(s) who call the African continent their home. Aya of Yop City offers a wonderful response to (or perhaps a reprieve from) the monolithic narratives that crowd our perceptions about “Africa.”

LISTEN: Want more Gabby Beans podcasts? She hosts an episode on the graphic novel INCOGNEGRO!

Written by Marguerite Abouet and drawn by Clément Oubrerie, this colorful, refreshing, and vibrant comic follows the adventures (and many misadventures) of the eponymous character and her two best friends as they navigate adolescence. The story takes place in Yopougon-Koute, which is a large suburb of Abdijan, the economic capital of the Ivory Coast. We enter the story at a particularly interesting point in the history of the Ivory Coast. Set in the 1970’s, Aya and her friends are living during the time of the “Ivorian Miracle,” a time at which there was a thriving middle class and unparalleled wealth and opportunities. Theirs is a moment of burgeoning freedom, and a large part of the fun of this book is watching as the young women contend with the values of their parents and elders while forging their own identities in a rapidly changing social and economic landscape.

HEAR: ComicsVerse is committed to doing podcasts on graphic novels! We discuss and interview SUPERMAN writer, Gene Luen Yang’s opus, AMERICAN BORN CHINESE in this podcast!

Just as the main characters in “Aya” face issues that range from the most superficial teenage spats, to questions of their aspirations being limited by their gender, so too did our discussion range from larger sociopolitical realities evinced by the nuanced characters and stories in the book, to the pert and twinkling humor throughout. Helmed by our fearless leader, Justin Alba, our wonderful cast relived our teenage years while confronting our own biases and pre-conceived notions about “African” stories. Bintu Conteh, Columbia grad and arts administrator/producer at-large offered her fruitful insights as a student of history and culture, as well as a person of Sierra-Leonean descent. The effulgent Amna Pervez (who introduced Justin to this book), also provided personally relevant anecdotes interspersed with laser-sharp political and literary analysis. ComicsVerse writer and intern, Tim O’Reilly proved to be an incredibly insightful reader and thinker in this, his first ever podcast!

If you’re in the mood for a witty, subtle, and enlightening read, be sure to pick up Aya of Yop City. In the mean time, enjoy the podcast!

For your convenience, this podcast is also available on iTunes!

Download The ComicsVerse Podcast on iTunes

source: https://comicsverse.com/episode-80-aya-life-yop-city/

ComicsVerse Podcast Episode 79: SAGA by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

SAGA has been described as STAR WARS meets GAME OF THRONES, which is a pretty amazing comparison considering those are two of the biggest franchises of the last 50 years–Thank goodness they didn’t put LORD OF THE RINGS in there too. However, I have to say that the story of Alana and Marko’s struggle to protect their forbidden child and love as they run across the galaxy is more than up to the challenge.

READ: Want to know more about SAGA? Check out our analysis of diversity in the most recent arc! 

Told from the future in voiceover by Alana and Marko’s child Hazel, SAGA is the story of Alana and Marko’s struggle to protect their daughter from a world that wants to rip them apart. Why do they want to rip them apart? Because Alana is from a Landfall, a planet where the people have wings, and Marko is from Wreath, a moon of Landfall where the people have horns. These two people have been at war since anyone can remember. So long that the rest of the universe has even gotten involved and taken sides.

LISTEN: Want more Ms. Jamie Rice hosted podcasts? Check out the first time she hosted with BITCH PLANET!

There are more creatures than I can name in this short post, but SAGA is more than just fantastical and beautiful creatures rendered gorgeously by Fiona Staples. SAGA is an epic story about the ways that cultures and prejudices clash. It is a story about the lengths that people will go to to protect their families. It is a story about pregnancy and the unexpected and pointless nature of death. SAGA is a story about life itself and what it truly means to live. In this podcast with guests Pete Imbesi, Matthew Murphy, Brad Sloan, and Phil Casey we discuss all this and more. So sit back and relax while ComicsVerse discusses Brian K. Vaughan’s and Fiona Staples’ epic space opera, SAGA.

For your convenience, this podcast is also available on iTunes!

Download The ComicsVerse Podcast on iTunes

source: https://comicsverse.com/episode-79-brian-k-vaughns-fiona-staples-saga/

ComicsVerse Podcast Episode 78: Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta

V FOR VENDETTA was a personal podcast for me. As the resident anarchist in ComicsVerse’s stable of commentators, I was both one of the people advocating for an episode about it and one of the most well-prepared on the panel to discuss its political inspiration.

LISTEN: Want more Alan Moore podcasts? ComicsVerse delves into the Origin of Alan Moore’s Swamp-Thing!

Justin jokes early on that our open discussion is “the strangest of all podcasts,” but to me, as an academic, this discussion felt familiar. V FOR VENDETTA is a sprawling, intellectually dense work that has to be engaged with from a scholarly perspective to be fully appreciated. It’s packed with allusions, political theory, and musings on human nature. We tried our best to meet it on its own terms. Therefore, what makes for one of our most heady podcasts is also one of our most interesting. Those of you who’ve got near the end of your BA or past it will probably find it similar to a seminar in which the professor has an even more dry sense of humor— Justin’s sense of humor —than professors tend to have.  Connor, as a Princeton graduate, is able to seamlessly move into our seminar-style discussion. Naturally, ComicsVerse editor Jake Grubman’s post-graduate education in law prepared him well for such a discussion, and of course, Gabby Beans’ reputation as a thinker precedes her, so her thoughtful contributions come as no surprise.

READ: Alan Moore’s WATCHMEN is under the scope of the lens of Laura Mulvey’s Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema!

Part of why I hoped that we would do a podcast on V FOR VENDETTA is simply that I love Alan Moore’s work, but I also thought that it was doubly relevant in the present US political climate. It’s relevant to a topic that’s been making the rounds in the news for years: the hacktivist organization Anonymous. And it’s relevant to a much newer topic: the accusation that Donald Trump and his rise are fascistic. Especially with some small degree of confrontation between Anonymous’ and Trumps’ organizations themselves, the questions of whether Trump is a fascist and of whence Anonymous’ inspiration comes are worth asking and discussing. We touch on these topics, and I hope the groundwork that I lay for them myself by attempting to define fascism and anarchism is helpful to listeners. In this way, we hope this podcast allows you to continue these discussions yourselves!

For your convenience, this podcast is also available on iTunes!

Download The ComicsVerse Podcast on iTunes

source: https://comicsverse.com/episode-78-alan-moores-v-vendetta/

ComicsVerse Podcast Episode 77: Comic Book Guilty Pleasures

https://soundcloud.com/comicsverse/episode-77-guilty-pleasures

In every medium, there’s a “guilty pleasure.” It’s a work that audiences feel ashamed for enjoying. You know what we’re talking about, listeners! You can’t hide your love of DATING NAKED from us! Luckily for you, this is a no judgment zone. In fact, on this week’s episode of the ComicsVerse podcast, our contributors actually discuss their guilty pleasures in comics and whether or not there should be a negative connotation to the term, “guilty pleasure”, at all.

LISTEN: Want more podcasts featuring Jamie hosting? The first podcast Jamie ever hosted was BITCH PLANET!

Managing editor Miss Jamie Rice leads Phil Casey, Bob Franco, Matthew Murphy, and Tim O’Reilly in a discussion of four different titles, each representing one of their biggest comic book guilty pleasures. The titles featured in this week’s episode include SUNSTONE by Stejpan Seijic, JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS by Kelly Thompson and Sophie Campbell, ARCHIE VS PREDATOR by Alex De Campi and Fernando Ruiz, and ALL STAR BATMAN & ROBIN by Frank Miller and Jim Lee. With genres ranging from BDSM romance to pop music, it’s hard to imagine how any common ground was found.  Yet, despite these different tastes, a lot of really interesting opinions and questions came out of the discussion. How do we feel about all of these guilty pleasures? Are they okay? Bad? Good? What makes these pleasures guilty anyway?  Do we feel shame for liking these titles? What makes a guilty pleasure “guilty”? Do you feel comfortable recommending your guilty pleasure to friends and family?

HEAR: Jamie interviews X-Men writer- Chris Claremont!

As comics become more popular in today’s society with the current surge in superhero movie properties, it’s hard to imagine a time when the medium as a whole was a guilty pleasure. However, at ComicsVerse, all of our contributors have had a passion for comic books long enough to remember when it was looked down upon to be a fan. We’re sure many of you can as well. That’s why it’s so important to discuss our guilty pleasures. While it’s more accepted to be a reader now, there are still a lot of fans who feel like the things they love are embarrassing. With this podcast, we hope to end that stigma and get people talking more about the titles they enjoy!

The Guilty Pleasure episode of the ComicsVerse podcast is here, so give it a guilt-free listen. We hope you enjoy.

Download The ComicsVerse Podcast on iTunes

source: https://comicsverse.com/episode-77-comic-book-guilty-pleasures/

ComicsVerse Podcast Episode 76: X-Men “The Dream”

Thirty-one years after I picked up my first comic book, we recorded this podcast on the day I turned thirty-seven. As they say the planet Jupiter does every twenty-eight years, in many ways my experience with comics made a full revolution around my life. The beginning of this journey filled me with curiosity, wonder, and life lessons I never found in any other form of media, and the circle completed itself not too long after I had the opportunity to interview the most prolific X-Men writer ever—Chris Claremont.

LISTEN: ComicsVerse interviews X-Men writer Chris Claremont!

Joined by my friend, ComicsVerse X-Men writer and podcast co-host Marius Thienenkamp, Episode 76 of the ComicsVerse Podcast, “X-Men: The Dream,” explored the significance of the metaphor of the X-Men both in and outside of comics through discussions of race, sexuality, inequality, and “othering” in western civilization.  Podcast panelists Jamie Rice, Kay Honda, Nolan Bensen, and Corey Spanner weighed in on parallels between historical activists like Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and Gandhi which lead to conversations about dominant cultural hierarchies and the nature of humanity itself.

X-Men comics and characters are rife with meaning and serve as a mirror of how society treats anyone who is, and feels, different and how those same people cope in a world that hates and fears them. The concept of the X-Men served as a perfect platform during this podcast to embark on an analysis of American culture as a microcosm of human nature and what it ultimately means to be American.

HEAR: Want more X-Men analysis? These podcasts are all X-Men related!

As someone who read X-Men comics their entire life, I thought of no better birthday gift than to celebrate the medium and series that gave me, and continues to give me, the most hope and feeling. I am lucky in that I was able to hold such a conversation with such wonderful close friends, colleagues, and caring individuals.

For your convenience, the ComicsVerse Podcast is also available on iTunes, iHeartRadio, Spreaker, SoundCloud, and Stitcher!

Download The ComicsVerse Podcast on iTunes

source: https://comicsverse.com/episode-76-x-men-dream/

ComicsVerse Podcast Episode 75: The Holy Trinity of DC Comics – Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman

DC Comics has a long and storied history–no pun intended.  However expansive their catalog of characters may be, DC’s biggest headliners have always been the members of The Justice League, and of the League’s ranks, the true ringleaders are DC Comics’ most well-known trinity: Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman.

LISTEN: Want more DC Comics Podcasts? We cover everything from Arkham to Zatanna!

A week before the release of BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE, ComicsVerse got together to discuss these three heroes, examining ways the characters have met, fought, and interacted throughout more than 75 years of DC Comics history.  From first meetings in the TRINITY trade paperback to retirement and childrearing after Armageddon in KINGDOM COME, ComicsVerse follows the three heroes through their storylines, highlighting the teamwork, friendship, and respect that the three share.

With lots of room for speculation about the movie (it’s interesting to see how different expectations were in comparison to the reality of the film), ComicsVerse even focuses some attention on THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS and HUSH, focusing on Batman and Superman as adversaries.  It’s always a treat to see these two titans go at it, so we just had to dive into some of their most violent encounters.

HEAR: Travis hosts another episode of the podcast where Greg Rucka is interviewed!

With some truly incredible stories, ComicsVerse spends a lot of time dissecting and analyzing these characters and how each sees the world in a different way.  Of course, Batman is our point of view character since he is the only one who truly belongs to the world of humanity.  Superman and Wonder Woman, on the other hand, have to reconcile their otherness to protect a people to whom they don’t belong.  This all brings up another question entirely–what is it to be a human, and what is it to be a hero?

With lots more to explore, please join ComicsVerse as we explore Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, DC’s holy trinity.

source: https://comicsverse.com/episode-75-holy-trinity-dc-comics-batman-superman-wonder-woman/

ComicsVerse Podcast Episode 74: Marvel’s CIVIL WAR

It is not often that a comic event comes that redefines a title, a publisher, or a universe.  Events in the comic book world often equate to highly publicized ways to reboot a series without stopping any continuity.  However, not all crossover events are used as reboots, and one stands above all others as a shining example of a major crossover event that actually holds some ongoing and lasting importance to the characters and creators of the comic book universe.  That crossover event is CIVIL WAR, the Marvel crossover that shook the very foundations of 60 plus years of Marvel history and redefined the rules of the universe for the characters within.

READ: Want our take on a different civil war? Check out our analysis of CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR!

The main event was written by Mark Millar, but, as major crossovers go, the full event spanned nearly every ongoing title that Marvel had at the time, so to call it anything less than a team effort is to exclude a lot of deserving creators.  There was something for everyone, and every character had their own chapter in the saga.

While we did choose this event for a podcast because of its excellence, we also chose it because of how topical it is right now in the world of Marvel Comics. In Marvel’s recent SECRET WARS event, we got the chance to explore the possible alternate history that might have come about had this event not ended in the way it had.  CIVIL WAR II will also be happening in the upcoming months, once again pitting hero against hero over a new moral dilemma, making the original all the more important, and the most highly public version of this story, however, is without a doubt CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR, which adapted elements of this story for the big screen.

By the way, since the podcast was recorded prior to the release of the movie, there’s plenty of speculation about what might occur in the film’s runtime.  Enjoy seeing what we got right and wrong, and follow along with us as we explore one of the most divisive comic book events ever written: Marvel’s CIVIL WAR!

The ComicsVerse Podcast is also available on iTunes, Stitcher, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, TuneIN, and SoundCloud!

Download The ComicsVerse Podcast on iTunes

source: https://comicsverse.com/episode-74-marvels-civil-war-means-civil-war-ii/