Wolverine Has A Podcast – 087

Nicolas Cage Is Superman

After twenty or so years after the canceled Tim Burton film, Superman Lives, Nicolas Cage is getting his chance to play the Blue Boy Scout… or at least his voice. He’ll be appearing as Superman in this summer’s Teen Titans Go to the Movies. He’s one of a few celebrity cameos appearing, including singer/songwriter Halsey as Wonder Woman, and rapper Lil Yachty as Green Lantern Jon Stewart.

In January 2000, Nic Cage reported his copy of Action Comics #1 had been stolen from his home in LA. In 2011, it showed up in a storage lock in San Fernando Valley. That’s a story for some other time, though. As for his appearance in Teen Titans, I think this is pretty fun news, myself. He’s had a storied history with the character, so it’s nice to see it finally pay off. (Figuratively and literally.)

DC Black Label

This past week, DC Comics announced their new imprint, DC Black Label.The stories coming from Black Label will be out-of-continuity, which will enable their writers and creators to edgier books than the main line. It seems that DC is realizing the power the creatives have when they’re allowed to tell stories that aren’t obligated to the main storyline.

Since publishing my Why Do I Hate DC Comics episode a few weeks back, I’m finding myself more and more interested in what DC is doing with their books. Granted, I’ve only dug into The Flash so far – starting in the New 52-era. From the outside, it looks like this might be similar to Marvel Knights, but I think DC is going to do something more with the creative teams they’ve announced.

  • Frank Miller & John Romita, Jr on “Superman: Year One”
  • John Ridley (12 Years A Slave) on “The Other History of the DC Universe”
  • Kelly Sue DeConnick on “Wonder Woman Historia: The Amazons”
  • Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo on “Batman: Last Knight on Earth”
  • Greg Rucka on “Wonder Woman: Diana’s Daughter”
  • Brian Azzarello & Lee Bermejo on “Batman: Damned”

I really think these sound interesting. In some ways I’m sad to see two Batman books, even though I love the work Snyder & Capullo have done, and even enjoyed Azzarello & Bermejo’s “Joker” book. I want to see what they’ll do with The Flash and Green Lantern. We’ll see!

Wolverine: The Long Night

I’ve talked a lot about DC in this episode, but Marvel brought together two of my favorite things recently, so I couldn’t bail on them completely! They have released Wolverine: The Long Night, a scripted podcast available (for the time being) on Stitcher Premium. There are 10 episodes total, each to be released weekly and will eventually hit other podcast platforms this fall.

Special Agents investigate a series of mysterious deaths in Burns, Alaska, following the arrival of a strange newcomer – a loner by the name of Logan.

When I first heard about this, I was pretty bummed that I wasn’t going to be able to listen. I’m a fan of good audio dramas and really wanted to check it out. Luckily, there is a free trial available for Stitcher Premium if you want to start listening now. (And no, this isn’t an ad.)More than likely I’ll be reviewing this sometime soon, probably after my trial expires, so be on the lookout for that.

Black Panther Keeps Winning

As of recording this, Black Panther is now the 20th-highest grossing movie of all time. It has beat out The Dark Knight and is grossing a total of $1.09B in less than a month of it’s release! I think this is showing how important of a film it is. It’s amazing from a societal standpoint, as well as in the comic book movie genre. Looking at it that way, it’s going to be extremely hard for Infinity War to surpass it.

But man, those numbers! Congrats to Ryan Coogler and the entire Black Panther crew!

Introducing: Lock, Schlock, & Barrel

Have you ever been scrolling through the massive amount of Netflix movies, questioning their quality simply by looking at the cover art? Not interested in wasting your own time, just to find out it’s a load of crap? Luckily, we’re hear to help you.

Introducing Lock, Schlock, & Barrel, a new movie review podcast.


Later this month, we will be launching a second podcast here at GEEK THIS! and it will be hosted by my wife, Wendie, and myself. We’ll be choosing a random movie from Netflix – and other streaming services – watching it, and then reviewing it. In the end we’ll give it one of three definitive rankings:

  • LOCK – A movie worth your time
  • SCHLOCK – A terribly bad movie you don’t want to miss out on
  • BARREL – A bad movie that will make you regret even wanting to watch a movie

It will be a fun podcast with a lot of eye-rolls taking place and we hope that it becomes your new favorite movie review show. We also hope that you recommend some movies to us. Maybe we could get you on the show to share your thoughts, too!

Look for the back-door pilot episode later this month on GEEK THIS!

 

Final Space – 086

In Final Space, an astronaut named Gary and his planet-destroying sidekick called Mooncake embark on serialized journeys through space in order to unlock the mystery of where the universe actually ends and if it actually does exist.

I’m joined by my wife, Wendie, to discuss the first episode in the new TBS television series created by YouTuber Olan Rogers.

Thanks for your podcast review!

  • None for this episode

Announcements

  • Wendie and I are starting a new podcast called Lock, Schlock & Barrel! More info is coming soon, so stay tuned!

Share Feedback

  • Comment on the show notes
  • Email feedback@geekthispodcast.com (audio files welcome)

Connect

Disclosure

This post may contain links to products or services we have an affiliate relationship with. We may receive compensation from your actions through such links. However, we won’t recommend something we don’t like. If you choose to make a purchase through these links, we appreciate your support of Geek This!

Black Panther – 085

Black Panther has been a huge box office success and we’ve seen it twice. Let’s talk about it.

Thanks for your podcast review!

  • None for this episode

Announcements

  • None for this episode

Share Feedback

  • Comment on the show notes
  • Email feedback@geekthispodcast.com (audio files welcome)

Connect

Disclosure

This post may contain links to products or services we have an affiliate relationship with. We may receive compensation from your actions through such links. However, we won’t recommend something we don’t like. If you choose to make a purchase through these links, we appreciate your support of Geek This!

Altered Carbon – Out of the Past – 084

Altered Carbon is rated TV-MA and may not be suitable for everyone. Please use discretion when choosing to watch this episode or series.

 

Netflix’s new show, Altered Carbon, is based on a 2002 book by Richard Morgan. This is the first book in the Takeshi Kovacs series. The other two novels are Broken Angels and Woken Furies. Fun fact, Richard Morgan wrote two Black Widow graphic novels – Homecoming (2005) and The Things They Say About Her (2006), wrote for the video games Crysis 2 and Syndicate. So he has a little nerd cred in addition to these sci-fi books.

The story is set in a dystopian world that felt similar to the cyberpunk style we see in Blade Runner. It’s very easy to see that Morgan’s vision in this show pulls heavily from what we get from Philip K Dick and Ridley Scott. At least that’s what we get on-screen. I can’t attest to what the books are like, but I would imagine something similar.

The first episode, titled “Out of the Past” starts with a body floating naked in a vast ocean and quickly cuts to someone in the shower. The fact that there is nudity – although at this point barely any – isn’t surprising given the rating.

What we realize eventually as the story is played out is that the body floating in the ocean and the man in the shower are the same person, Takeshi “Tak” Kovacs, even though they physically are not the same. This is due to an advancement in technology that makes the body what it really is: a shell. People are “re-sleeved” – given new bodies when they die unless their “stack” is destroyed. The “stack” is basically a chip attached to the top of a person’s spine. We see Tak get killed, along with his partner in a raid by a group of military sentries.

250 years later, that floating body is pulled into a medical bay and unzipped from a bag filled with some sort of goop that I suppose is a holding tank for an unused body. This one, though, happens to be the new sleeve for Tak, as well as the former body of a convict.

As Tak is essentially reborn and given the rundown of his current circumstance here, we get to get some flashbacks and not-so subtle exposition about the world Altered Carbon is set in:

Tak is a highly-deadly, highly-skilled, and highly regarded assassin known as an Envoy.

To truly kill someone, you have to destroy their stack.

When it comes to religion, sleeving is, as you would imagine, frowned upon. (It’s essentially reincarnation, but with someone else’s body.) The idea of sleeving being a bad thing is shown when a 7-year old girl comes out to see her parents, but she’s in the sleeve (body) of a middle-aged woman. The parents, of course, are unhappy and are told that if they want a better sleeve they’ll have to pay for it instead of getting it for free from the government.

We also find out the reason Tak has been re-sleeved: a rich man by the name of Laurens Bancroft wants him to solve his (Bancroft’s) murder because he doesn’t remember what happened. The explanation here was interesting to me. As we’ve watched Tak make his way through this new-to-us world, it’s shown that just because you’re re-sleeved, it doesn’t mean you lose any memories. Tak has flashbacks over and over again, as well as hallucinations. Bancroft explains that his stack was destroyed, but he has a backup copy uploaded to a satellite every 48 hours. This enabled him to not just be re-sleeved, but essentially reborn from true death.

Tak isn’t interested in helping Bancroft, even though the man has promised him everything from unlimited money to a new sleeve of his choice. Instead, he decides he would rather “go back on ice”. This leads him to buying a ton of drugs from a guy on the street, getting high, hallucinating, and then encountering the cop that escorted him from the place where he was re-sleeved at the beginning of the episode, Officer Ortega.

Ortega comes off as a no-nonsense cop, even though she doesn’t always follow the rules. In fact, the first time we meet her, we find out that she wasn’t the one who was supposed to pick Tak up, it was supposed to be Bancroft’s son, who was caught (I assume thanks to Ortega) drinking and driving.

Ortega meets Tak hallucinating in an alley and the two end up – of all things – going to a strip club to talk about his job, solving Bancroft’s murder. They leave and Tak decides it’s time to wind down for the night at the Raven, which we see an advertisement for when Tak was hallucinating in the alley. It’s essentially a brothel with every fantasy imaginable. (Did I mention this show is rated TV-MA?)

At the Raven we meet one of my favorite characters of the episode, an AI named Poe – as in Edgar Allen Poe. Poe runs the Raven and entices Tak with “every amenity”, which includes private entertainment, a great room and “no fantasy beyond reach.”

Before he has the chance to pay for his stay, a gun is placed right on the back of his neck by a Russian hitman. Given that Tak is a trained assassin, there is a huge brawl. What was great about this was that it wasn’t just one guy kicking the whole room’s butt. No, at the Raven, when they say “every amenity,” that goes so far as to have turret guns drop from the ceiling and take the baddies out. Also, Poe goes old school at uses his bartender shotgun to finish off a few baddies before Tak has a chance to find out who hired them.

Ortega shows up after the bloodbath and, with her partner, explains that the guy who held the gun to Tak’s head was a double-sleeved twin. Double-sleeving is where someone duplicates their consciousness and places it in a sleeve, which creates a duplicate of a person. It’s incredibly illegal and is punishable by real death.

The whole fight brings up the question of why someone else would want Tak Kovacs dead and does it involve Laurens Bancroft’s murder? We end with Tak’s former partner, Quell, telling him to finish the mission.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Overall, I enjoyed Altered Carbon. To be honest, I think I like this first episode more since I’ve had a chance to mull over it and not get totally wrapped up in what is happening on the screen.

Like I said before, this show feels like it could very well be a spin-off of Blade Runner. The world feels very much the same and that’s something very hard to get away from while you’re watching it.

When it comes to characters, I feel like there is more that we need to learn about Takeshi Kovacs. He seems very onenote and constantly angry. This first episode doesn’t give him any time to breathe or make him relatable. He is interesting, so the writers have done a good job of making me want to watch the next episode and I hope that continues through the rest of the season. I want to see Ortega grow more, too. She has the same problem Takeshi has: no depth, but intrigue to find out more.

I’ll continue to watch season one of Altered Carbon, but how about you? Did this episode pique your interest in the show? Have you already watched it?

 

Thanks for your podcast review!

  • None for this episode

Announcements

Share Feedback

  • Comment on the show notes
  • Email feedback@geekthispodcast.com (audio files welcome)

Connect

Disclosure

This post may contain links to products or services we have an affiliate relationship with. We may receive compensation from your actions through such links. However, we won’t recommend something we don’t like. If you choose to make a purchase through these links, we appreciate your support of Geek This!

Trailers from Big Game LII – 083

This past weekend millions of people chose to watch two sports teams duke it out in hopes to take home some jewelry. I personally don’t pay any attention to sports of any kind – although I do wish dodgeball was a national past time – but I do know that the first Sunday in February means it’s time to watch some commercials. Particularly those that are TV spots for upcoming movies. For the first time ever in the history of Geek This, I’m going to be sharing my thoughts on what was shown during the Big Game.

You may not be familiar with my “One Trailer” rule. This is something I personally enacted three or four years ago when I realized that there are literally dozens of trailers and TV spots out there for upcoming movies. My theory is that if you put them all together you’ll end up with at least half of the movie and that ultimately means it’s spoiled for you before you ever set foot in a theater.

That said, I’m going to dive into the trailers from the Big Game!

RED SPARROW

Red Sparrow is based on a best-selling novel by Jason Matthews and this teaser feels a little like something we might see from a Black Widow movie. In this movie, a ballerina by the name of Dominika is recruited by a Russian intelligence service and forced to use her body as a weapon after she witnesses something she wasn’t supposed to. The teaser doesn’t give much and it doesn’t really lead to any kind of anticipation. I think I’ll pass.

JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM

In Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) are trying to rescue the island’s remaining dinosaurs after a volcano becomes active. Also, there’s a giant, genetically-engineered velociraptor on the loose.

Since I was a little kid I have loved Jurassic Park. That was the only film of the franchise I can honestly say I like. And then they release this second trailer for Fallen Kingdom. I was sucked in as soon as it started. The creepy toy piano and the claw? Yes please! I’m always leery, though, when there is a Jurassic Park sequel because none of them have lived up to the magic (for me) of the first one. Fingers are crossed here.

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY

Solo: A Star Wars Story chronicles an adventure featuring everyone’s favorite scruffy-looking nerf herder. In this teaser, we hear Han registering for the Imperial Navy as a pilot, we get to see Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian, the Millenium Falcon in its youth, and of course, everyone’s favorite Wookiee.

If I were to have a man-crush on a character it could easily be Han Solo. As a kid I was fascinated with him and in many ways tried to emulate him daily. I even read the now non-canon Han Solo Trilogy by AC Crispin and became an even bigger fan. What’s great for me in this teaser is there are nods to that trilogy. The fact that Han is registering to be an Imperial pilot? Check. Possibly telling the story of winning the Falcon? Check? What I’d love to see is Han Solo not being called “Han Solo” for part of the movie. Maybe I’ll have to re-read the books and talk about them in a later episode. I’m really excited for this one.

SKYSCRAPER

Yeah… there was nothing here. It’s simply Dwayne Johnson talking to a group of executives about how they’ve built a 3500 foot tall skyscraper and how it’s probably not safe.

I love The Rock. I’d watch him in almost anything, so there’s a good chance I’ll be seeing this some time. Whether it’s in the theater or at home in my underwear, I haven’t decided yet. Maybe that’s the point: “Can we sell a movie just having Dwayne Johnson talk?” We’ll see.

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT

Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his Impossible Mission Force return to save the world again after a mission gone wrong. This time it looks like it’s IMF versus CIA.

Mission: Impossible has been a franchise that I’ve loved to watch. Not because of Tom Cruise, but because of the action and dynamic between characters. Sadly, though, it’s become old hat and there hasn’t been anything new to add to the lore of Ethan Hunt or IMF since M:I 3 in my opinion. They’re honestly sitting at the same level as The Fast & The Furious movies, which means I will keep watching them until they stop making them. (Sorry?)

Also, we finally get to see that awful mustache they had to CGI out of Justice League. Thanks, Henry Cavill!

THE CLOVERFIELD PARADOX

Before the events of Cloverfield, 10 years ago, a group of international astronauts orbiting around the Earth in an effort to solve an energy crisis and avoid another World War. Unfortunately they end up coming face-to-face with an alternate reality.

The Cloverfield Paradox was a surprise to a lot of people, including myself. Mind you, I didn’t watch the game, but I did happen to come across Netflix’s Facebook page where they were advertising a countdown to the movie through a Facebook Live video. I’ve enjoyed the Cloverfield movies – specifically 10 Cloverfield Lane – so I’m interested in watching this to see how it fits in the franchise timeline.

A QUIET PLACE

A family lives in silence in order to avoid something that will attack them should they make a sound.

First of all, I love that John Krasinski is getting into more movies. We all love him as Jim from The Office, but I’m definitely interested to see what his range is as an actor. I missed his movie 13 Hours, but I’m planning on checking out the Jack Ryan series on Amazon Prime Video. Also, the fact that he’s acting with his wife in this movie piqued my curiosity even more.

There is something about this trailer that has me wanting to go right out and see it. I think it’s the idea that maybe this movie will be almost silent due to its plot, which will ramp up the horror factor. The premise is interesting. I don’t know what else to say.

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR

Before you start leaving comments reminding me about the One Trailer rule, I will acknowledge that, yes, I have already watched the first teaser multiple times. And yes, I shouldn’t have watched this one if I was keeping with my own rule. But to be absolutely fair…

This trailer didn’t reveal anything else other than Thanos was a little more purple and that Steve Rogers has a freaking awesome shield. That’s it. And, no, I’m not going to sit and analyze every single frame looking for story points. I’m done with Avengers until May. I promise. Let’s pretend this never happened.

OK, so I want to know, what was your favorite teaser/trailer out of this bunch? If I had to pick one I’d have to go with “A Quiet Place”. As much as I loved the “Fallen World” trailer, that one has me the most interested. It could be good, it could be bad. All I know is I want to be there to find out for myself.

Thanks for your podcast review!

  • None for this episode

Announcements

  • Get a free month of podcast hosting and more using our Blubrry affiliate link! Start your own podcast today! Use promo code GEEKTHIS at checkout!

Share Feedback

  • Comment on the show notes
  • Email feedback@geekthispodcast.com (audio files welcome)

Connect

Disclosure

This post may contain links to products or services we have an affiliate relationship with. We may receive compensation from your actions through such links. However, we won’t recommend something we don’t like. If you choose to make a purchase through these links, we appreciate your support of Geek This!

Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee – 082

Jerry Seinfeld is a household name thanks to his TV  show, Seinfeld, that ran from 1989-1998 on NBC. The show, if you haven’t seen it is about… nothing. Well, kind of. It’s based on a somewhat fictional version of Jerry and his friends, Elaine, George, and Kramer. There isn’t an overarching theme throughout the show, other than the gang finds themselves in some hilarious predicaments. It’s one of those things you just have to watch to understand.

Well, anyway, thanks to the huge success from that show, Jerry’s well-known. Oddly enough, he didn’t really do a lot of well-known work outside of his stand-up career and guest appearances on shows like Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock. And then came Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee in 2012.

The show was produced for the streaming service Crackle originally and has since been moved to Netflix, where every single episode is now available to watch and there is a new 24-episode season scheduled to release sometime in 2018.

If you’ve never watched a single episode of Comedians In Cars, it’s a pretty straight-forward concept: in each episode, Jerry (who is a major car enthusiast) picks up a comedian in a car – usually a fancy, expensive classic – and they drive through New York, Los Angeles, or wherever the comedian is from, and they get coffee while talking about anything and everything.

It doesn’t sound like much, I know, but there’s a level of “realness” in the conversations Jerry has with his guests. I think that’s due to the fact that there isn’t this huge production going on like a traditional talk show. They are literally sitting in a car, talking. It’s simple but brilliant and allows the guests to be honest and communicate on a more personal level.

Since this is a show about comedians, an obvious topic to cover here is, “How funny is it?” To be honest, it’s genuinely funny the majority of the time. What’s great about it, though, is it’s not some scripted television show and no one has lines. It absolutely wouldn’t work that way. The humor is genuine, so like stand-up, there are going to be moments and guests that you’ll want to go back and rewatch, but there are some misses.

I think it would be extremely easy to say that I didn’t like some guests simply because I’m not a fan of their style of humor, but I really did try to be open with each new episode. Garry Shandling and Ricky Gervais aren’t comedians I would put on my Top 10 list if you were to ask me, but they happened to be great episodes because of their banter with Jerry. And there were times when guests you expected to be good just weren’t. (Sorry Jay Leno and Brian Regan!)

Also, one thing I noticed toward the end of the available episodes was how Jerry became more and more crotchety. He was a little more mean during that last collection and a half. Still, it made for a fun show.

As far as favorite episodes go, that’s really a tough one. There are currently 59 episodes on Netflix to watch and at 15-20 minutes on average, it’s easy to forget some that were absolutely stellar. But, if you were to stick me in a sweet classic car – oh man, those Volvos! – I’d have to say my top five were:

  • Jimmy Fallon
  • Stephen Colbert
  • Carl Reiner & Mel Brooks
  • Robert Klein
  • Don Rickles
  • David Letterman

I know that was 6, but come on! There are so many great people. Again, what was fascinating to me is that, yes, they were funny, but to learn more about what makes them tick? That’s the reason I love character so much. People are interesting, even if they are famous and slightly out of touch with the real world.

If you can’t tell by now, I have really enjoyed Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee. I’m looking forward to the next batch of 24 episodes, which are coming sometime this year. I’ve heard Dave Chappelle, Kate McKinnon, and Tracy Morgan are a few of the guest, but that’s all I know so far.

Please watch this show if you like comedy. It’s not “necessarily” a comedy show, but it is funny and it’s nice to peek behind the Hollywood sign and hear people talk about their Hollywood lives… I know, it’s weird.

Thanks for your podcast review!

  • None for this episode

Announcements

Share Feedback

  • Comment on the show notes
  • Email feedback@geekthispodcast.com (audio files welcome)

Connect

Disclosure

This post may contain links to products or services we have an affiliate relationship with. We may receive compensation from your actions through such links. However, we won’t recommend something we don’t like. If you choose to make a purchase through these links, we appreciate your support of Geek This!

Why Do I Hate DC Comics? – 081

If you’ve listened to Geek This since the podcast started in 2012, you may have noticed a trend: we have rarely talked about DC Comics and DC Entertainment. It’s been brought to my attention by myself that maybe, just maybe I hate them. In fact, my loathing for DC has been brought up a couple of times with friends and I’ve never truly been able to explain why I might hate them. So, on this episode I want to explain my point of view and how I’m going to remedy the issue.

I was born in 1987, so my childhood took place in the 1990s. What I find wild about this era is that when it came to comics themselves, while I wasn’t very interested, there was a boom going on. With it, though, came the rise of comic book cartoons. These were my jam. Since that was the case, it was easy for me to become familiar with characters like Spider-Man, the X-Men, Hulk, and the Fantastic Four. Marvel cartoons were just more prevalent, which meant the superhero toys I had were primarily Marvel.

I had watched and re-watched the Michael Keaton Batman films a lot of times, but any other character outside of those I was oblivious to. It wasn’t until sometime later that I discovered Batman: The Animated Series. Still, I didn’t understand the concept of a shared comic book universe, so I had no idea Superman, The Flash, or any other DC Comics character outside of that particular show even existed. Once Superman: The Animated Series was on, I watched it, but not with the interest that I did Batman. (Still, to this day, Superman isn’t as interesting as Batman to me. But that’s another episode.)

As I grew older, comic book characters and superheroes faded away. They didn’t hold much value to me once I became interested in books, music, video games, and movies. When I was a teenager, the only person I knew that liked comics was my older cousin. Then, in 2002, a certain web-headed hero was brought to theaters. After that, I started to read some comics, namely Ultimate Spider-Man. In 2007, after another Spider-Man movie, I stumbled upon the Civil War event. It pulled me in, leading me to today, where I still love everything Marvel.

As you can see, I didn’t have a lot of exposure to DC Comics outside of Batman. My parents didn’t have an opinion one way or another when it came to comics. In fact, the only ones they ever bought me were a Marvel Comics adaptation of John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress and two issues of a Christian series called Archangels: The Saga, which I liked enough to spend my hard-earned money to buy every single issue until it was discontinued. (I still have them, by the way.)

So it isn’t that I hate DC Comics, I’ve just never given them an honest chance outside of Batman. Here’s the deal, though. In an effort to become a more well-rounded person, I’m going to start reading a non-Batman DC Comics series. I want suggestions from you, though. What is a good series to start with if I’m just dipping my toe into the latest books? And, yes, I’ll even read a Superman book, but I still need someone to help me understand the appeal.

All of this is in my quest to understand the world of comics and truly appreciate what’s out there, even if it is unfamiliar.

Thanks for your podcast review!

  • None for this episode

Announcements

  • None for this episode

Share Feedback

  • Comment on the show notes
  • Email feedback@geekthispodcast.com (audio files welcome)

Connect

Disclosure

This post may contain links to products or services we have an affiliate relationship with. We may receive compensation from your actions through such links. However, we won’t recommend something we don’t like. If you choose to make a purchase through these links, we appreciate your support of Geek This!

Brian K Vaughan’s Paper Girls – 080

Previously, in episode 77, I made a list of 12 pop culture things I wanted to check out in 2018. One item on that list was to read more comics that were not part of Marvel or DC. I was given several suggestions from you and I’m taking the time to dig into these books.

Reviewing comics is one of the hardest thing for me on the podcast because, generally, people don’t have the access to comics the way they might a big-budget movie. I actually have to get my comics digitally because the closest comic shop is nearly an hour away from me and, sadly, they don’t always carry everything. That said, there are going to spoilers. There’s really no other way around it, especially for this series. Sorry.

Today I’m covering Paper Girls by Brian K Vaughan. This series (which is still ongoing at the time of this recording) debuted in October 2015, so I am absolutely late to the party here and I’m so sorry that I am.

The first issue begins on Halloween 1988, where four 12-year old girls meet each other on their paper route and get sucked into a plot that is so much bigger and twisted than they (or the reader) realize. The vibe has been called “Stand By Me” meets “War of the Worlds” and I think it deserves that comparison. When it was recommended to me, it was along the lines of “Stranger Things,” which is also a good comparison.

When I started reading this series, I had no idea what I was walking into. I didn’t read any of the plot or even a summary of that first issue. I just picked it up and ran with it. The 80’s feel was spot on and that is really what sucked me in at first. And then all of the weird sci-fi stuff started.

But let’s back up.

Our protagonists are, like I said, four 12-year old girls doing their early-morning newspaper deliveries. They’re spunky. They have attitudes. They aren’t the typical girls written in comics and that makes them more special and more interesting. Erin is the newcomer to the group and bumps into Mackenzie (the tough leader), Lindsey (the tough girl’s best friend) and KJ (the tomboy). Vaughan makes it plainly clear that the 80s were tougher than we would like to believe.

Unlike a lot of female protagonists, these girls are capable of handling things themselves. That’s shown at the beginning of the first issue, when Erin has to deal with a dirtbag teenager harassing her. Mackenzie, Lindsey, and KJ roll up to stop him, regardless of them knowing this new girl. Vaughan doesn’t mess with cliches here.

In addition to the Paper Girls meeting each other, they get sucked into a weird sci-fi adventure when someone steals one of Lindsey’s prized walkie-talkies. They decide to chase him down, which leads them to an abandoned house, where they find what looks like a lunar module in the basement.

After a flash of light and a loud hum, the girls return outside to see that the sky looks different and things just don’t feel right. They find the walkie-talkie thief, who is revealed to be someone from the future. It’s also revealed that the girls are in 2016, not 1988.

This is where things get weird. This is also where we are constantly reminded that we aren’t in a time-travel story. But maybe we are? (As I’m recording this, I’ve not read the most-recent issue, so things are still developing and still a little foggy.)

At the end of the first volume, the girls run into Erin… as a 40-year old woman. Later we meet another version of Erin that is from the future, but is still 12 and speaks the same language as the Elders, who seem to be the antagonists in the story. And they ride these pterodactyls who fly in the sky. When Erin shows up from the supposed alternate universe, she brings back giant tardigrades who start fighting Godzilla style in a lake.

Like I said, things are weird the further you get in Paper Girls. But that just makes it more fun.

A word of caution for those of you who are more sensitive to certain material, there is strong language in the series, as well as some blood and gore, though I would not call it gratuitous. All of it shapes the story in small ways and helps set the world.

The artwork by Cliff Chiang and color palette in Paper Girls is perfect for the mood Brian K Vaughan is conveying throughout the story. Not only does it work with the 80’s motif, but it also works well with the sci-fi that takes place more and more   as you read the story.

I have to say that it has been an overall well-written series with a great mystery that makes you want to come back issue after issue. In an interview with the LA Times, Brian K Vaughan said that the book is planned to run for a couple of years and he has a definite ending in mind. That makes me extremely happy because I’m loving this series, looking forward to how much weirder it can get and, and definitely excited to see where he’s going to take these characters.

A huge thanks goes out to David Arington at Helix Reviews for suggesting this series.

Have you read Paper Girls? If you have, shoot me an email at feedback@geekthispodcast.com and let me know what you thought. You can also use that same email address to suggest more books outside of the Marvel and DC bubble for me to read. I’m looking forward to the recommendations, so send them in!

Thanks for your podcast review!

  • None for this episode

Announcements

  • None for this episode

Share Feedback

  • Comment on the show notes
  • Email feedback@geekthispodcast.com (audio files welcome)

Connect

Disclosure

This post may contain links to products or services we have an affiliate relationship with. We may receive compensation from your actions through such links. However, we won’t recommend something we don’t like. If you choose to make a purchase through these links, we appreciate your support of Geek This!