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All posts for the month January, 2014

hopeless

This week on??View from the Gutters??our topic work is??Hopeless Savages, by??Jen Van Meter and various artists. It’s the story of the Hopeless-Savage family, as told from the perspective of the youngest daughter, Skank Zero Hopeless-Savage. In the first story, after Zero’s parents (noted 70s punk rockers Dirk Hopeless and Nikki Savage) are kidnapped, she assembles her siblings Twitch Strummer, Arsenal Fierce, and Rat Bastard to find and rescue their lost parents.

Hopeless Savages is an all ages story, featuring a compelling cast with strong family bonds. It uses a variety of ??styles across its three stories, and is artfully drawn. It combines deep characters with an??emotionally honesty which is rare in a comic written for all ages.

For discussion about this book, please check out our open discussion thread on reddit, where we invite you to share your own thoughts on this week’s book.

In our recommendation section our hosts nominated Chew, Titans: Old Friends, Powerless,??Scurvy Dogs, and The Infinity Gauntlet for discussion, and our selected title is??The Infinity Gauntlet.

Our hosts for this episode were Andrew Chard, Joe Preti, Audrey Preti, Tobiah Panshin, and Cade Reynolds.

projects1

This week on??View from the Gutters??our topic work is??The Manhattan Projects, by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Pitarra.??It??is an altera-universe action science comic in the tradition of??The Five Fists of Science.??Set during and in the aftermath of World War II, it??follows the actions of the U.S. War Department’s secret weapons program:??The Manhattan Projects.

Led by Gen. Leslie Groves and featuring a team of scientists including Robert Oppenheimer, Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi, and Richard Feynman, the Projects????mine pan-dimensional space for fringe materials to build impossible machines, fight Zen-powered Death Buddhas, and square off with the USSR’s counter-science program.

Our open discussion thread for the week is available on reddit. We encourage you to head over there and contribute your own thoughts about the comic.

In our recommendation section our hosts nominated Hopeless Savages, Darkwing Duck, Tintin, Jinx, and Infinite Vacation??for discussion, and our selected title is??Hopeless Savages.

Our hosts for this episode were Andrew Chard, Joe Preti, Tobiah Panshin, Eric Manix, and Cade Reynolds.

crisis3

This week on??View from the Gutters??our topic work is our 3-part 50th Episode Special! In part 3 we discuss??Infinite Crisis, written by Geoff Johns with art by Phil Jimenez, Jerry Ordway, George Perez, Iven Reis, and Andy Lanning. Released almost exactly 20 years after the first Crisis,??Infinite Crisis??is the event that bought the multiverse back to DC.

Infinite Crisis is both a direct sequel and homage to??Crisis on Infinite Earths. It sees the Superman of Earth-2, Superboy of Earth-Prime, and Alexander Luthor of Earth-3 returning from the pocket dimension they traveled to at the end of the first crisis in order to correct their perceived mistakes in creating the current DC Universe.??In the process they cause a massive war between heroes and villains, literally break magic, shatter the Justice League, and threaten to destroy the universe.

It is the capstone of two decades of DC continuity, and with this book our journey from Crisis to Crisis is at an end. We hope that you enjoyed our 50th episode. We’ll be back next week returning to our usual format, discussing the book we picked in episode 49,??The Manhatten Projects.

Our hosts for this episode were Andrew Chard, Joe Preti, Tobiah Panshin, and Cade Reynolds.

 

crisis2

This week on??View from the Gutters??our topic work is our 3-part 50th Episode Special! In part 2 we discuss the 2004 series,??Identity Crisis, by Brad Meltzer and Rags Morales. Unlike the other two crises on our list, this one isn’t about a threat to the universe. This is a far more introspective story, and one that continues to be highly controversial amongst comic fans.

It features the murder of Sue Dibny, the Elogated Man’s wife, and the subsequent investigation which reveals a mountain of dirty secrets being kept within the Justice League, both from the world and the superhero community at large. It showcases the more human side of superheroes, and focuses heavily on the relationships between the superheroes and their non-powered loved ones.

This story begins a very dark period in the history of DC, which slowly builds up over the course of several years to the last event we’ll be talking about this episode:??Infinite Crisis.

Our hosts for this episode were Andrew Chard, Joe Preti, Tobiah Panshin, Matt McGinnis, Eric Manix, and Cade Reynolds.

crisis1

This week on??View from the Gutters??our topic work is our 3-part 50th Episode Special! In part 1 we discuss the ur-event book,??Crisis on Infinite Earths, by Marv Wolfman and George Perez. Released in 1985-6, the Crisis was one of the first great event books (Marvel in fact rushed Secret Wars out the door just to beat DC to the punch). Touted not as a mini-series, but a maxi-series, the 12-issue event brought the Silver Age continuity of DC to an end.

The Crisis sees world after world of DC’s vast multiverse being destroyed by a mysterious force. An equally mysterious figure who had been appearing in random places throughout the DCU???The Monitor???assembles a team of heroes from across space and time in order to combat this existential threat to all reality.??Over the course of the series it is revealed that the source of the threat is the villainous Anti-Monitor, The Monitor’s double from the sole anti-matter reality of the multiverse.

In battling The Anti-Monitor numerous heroes die???including the famous deaths of Barry Allen, the silver age Flash, and Kara Zor-El, Supergirl???and eventually all but a handful of realities are destroyed. Those that remain are only saved by merging them down into a single reality which would serve as the sole DC Universe for the next 20 years.??Crisis on Infinite Earths is a critical moment in the evolution of superhero comics, and it continues to have an influence on comics even 30 years later.

On Part 2 (out now!) of our 50th episode we will discuss??the next crisis on our list,??Identity Crisis.

Our hosts for this episode were Andrew Chard, Joe Preti, Tobiah Panshin, Matt McGinnis, Eric Manix, and Cade Reynolds.

In my previous post I talked about the idea of conceptual space and how fictional works that bend or defy genre classification can reveal new and interesting creative dimensions. I wanted to continue on with that line of thought a bit and discuss how it relates to my problems with the New-52 era at DC Comics.

If you???ve been listening to the podcast, I think we???ve been very clear about many of our issues with DC. There are any number of criticisms that can be leveled against DC, from their ongoing problems with the depiction of female characters, to the general undercutting of creators, to the way in which they???ve actively sought to undermine (or outright eliminate) any sort of character growth that has occurred in the DC Universe over the past 30 years. These are all issues we???ve touched on that I consider problematic. But I also feel that they are all symptoms???or at least byproducts???of a greater and more pernicious problem: DC is intentionally trying to strangle the life out of the DCU. Continue Reading