Posts Tagged ‘Thunderbolts


Classic EBI #92: What’s So New About It?

In this week’s all-new Everything But Imaginary, I talk about the terrifying news that Seth MacFarlane has been hired to reboot The Flintstones, an in the process pick apart why some reboots work and others don’t.

Everything But Imaginary #399: Runaway Reboots

But moving back to December 8, 2004, I had a particularly pertinent discussion. As rumors swirl about massive renumbering over at DC comics, I back then I was already discussing renumbering and misleading prefixes in…

Everything But Imaginary #92: What’s So New About It?

In the land of comic books, there is one thing you can be certain of — publishers will never tire of starting a comic book over with a new issue #1 in the desperate attempt to boost sales. We’ve seen it with Captain America and Iron Man, we’ve seen it with Catwoman and, soon, She-Hulk… we’ve even seen it with stalwarts like Wolverine. Legion of Super-Heroes is about to start volume five of that title. And if you don’t mind, I’d rather not even discuss the Punisher.

This drives the people who care about such things (geeks like me) absolutely crazy, if for no other reason than that we’ve got to constantly remember which volume of a series we’re referring to while having a debate. (“It happened in Fantastic Four #12!” “Which Fantastic Four #12?” “Er…”)

If a company feels the need to relaunch a title with a new #1, I prefer them to at least make a slight alteration to the title. Give it a subtitle, for instance — instead of Doctor Strange Vol. 3, the series was Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme. That was cool. Or make a massive alteration that still keeps the feel of the book, such as when Justice League of America gave way to simply JLA.

There’s one other trick, of course, that publishers can pull out to make it seem like they’re launching another title instead of repackaging an old one, a trick that’s been used frequently of late: stick a “new” at the beginning of it. This isn’t a recent trick, it’s been happening at least as far back as the 80s, when Marv Wolfman and George Perez resurrected Teen Titans as The New Teen Titans. Marvel Comics turned Defenders into New Defenders towards the end run of that title, and even Jim Valentino turned his ShadowHawk property over to Kurt Busiek as New ShadowHawk for seven issues.

Why “new”? Well, what word has better connotations to drag in readers? “New” means it’s bold and exciting and innovative! (And even if the comic isn’t really any of those things, that “new” stamp gives it the feel that it is.) But something can only remain “new” for so long. Even if the book was still good, after a while the “New” Teen Titans weren’t all that new anymore. Eventually DC realized that and changed the title of the book again…

…to New Titans.

Okay, so maybe they kind of missed the point there. But eventually New Titans gave way to Teen Titans Vol. 2, which gave way to The Titans, which gave way to Teen Titans Vol. 3, which if nothing else proves that whoever is in charge of titles at DC Comics has learned absolutely nothing.

These days, though, it’s Marvel that’s really letting the “new” banner fly high. It started when Grant Morrison took over the adjectiveless X-Men comic book and asked that “New” be added to the title. This was done for two reasons:

1. Morrison was trying a totally new take on the superhero genre (well, kinda, except that what he actually did was wallow in the existing superhero genre even as he deconstructed it).

2. It made for a really cool logo that could be read the same upside-down as rightside-up.

When Morrison left the title changed back to just plain X-Men, but Marvel apparently liked the New X-Men moniker and applied it to another title they already had — New Mutants. Volume two.

(Brief aside here, New Mutants, New Warriors and a few other such books don’t quite fall into the category I’m talking about here because they weren’t originally repackaged versions of old titles — although each would be cancelled and spawn a second volume — but rather actual original concepts that were given the “new” label right off the bat to make them appear bold and exciting and innovative, even if they weren’t.)

So New Mutants Vol. 2 became New X-Men: Academy X. Well points to Marvel for at least giving it a subtitle. Interestingly, I think the “new” label fits this book much better than it ever did Morrison’s. While I loved that run, don’t misunderstand me, this book simply feels “new”er. Nunzio DeFilips and Christina Weir have done a great job crafting original characters who aren’t really superheroes, but students that are acutely aware that some day they may be called upon to become the next generation of X-Men whether they want to or not. It makes for one of my favorite reads every month.

This may even be one of those rare titles to not outgrow the “new” label, assuming it lasts that long. The book is about Xavier’s school, after all. It’s not that big a leap to imagine these students graduating a few at a time and a new class coming in to take their place, thereby keeping the book perpetually fresh.

And finally we come to the two big “new” titles to hit the stands in recent weeks — New Thunderbolts and New Avengers. The original Thunderbolts series, for those who don’t recall, was about a group of villains who first masqueraded as heroes in a scheme for domination, then had a change of heart and became heroes in fact. In this incarnation, a few remaining original members of the team begin it again with the hopes of recruiting other villains and giving them the same chance they had at redemption. Is it “new” though?

Well… yes and no.

About half of the characters are new to the title, and the returning characters (Mach-IV, Songbird and Atlas) are cast in decidedly different roles than when they were first on the team. The format of the book, however, seems the same as the original — lots of conspiracies, lots of questions about people’s loyalty and even a big shocker twist ending at the conclusion of the first issue. Not that any of these are a problem, mind you, but they do tone down the “new” aspect.

What about New Avengers? Well, the old Avengers disbanded after several of them died and one of them got crazy and a few of them quit, so when there was a major jailbreak at Ryker’s Island, somebody had to come in and fix things. Who’s that gonna be?

Good question.

We’re still not 100 percent sure who the final “New” Avengers lineup will be, but the safe money seems to include Captain America, Iron Man and Spider-Man (all of whom have been Avengers in the past), Luke Cage, Spider-Woman and Daredevil (who have at least associated with the Avengers), Wolverine (who already stars in four Marvel Universe titles a month and has absolutely no business being in this book but decided to jump on board since he was barred from being on the permanent roster of New X-Men: Academy X on the grounds that he wasn’t technically a student), and Sentry (who was once a bigwig in the Marvel Universe although nobody remembers him anymore).

So “new” is kind of stretching it here.

Not to say it’s bad, mind you. For the most part I enjoyed the premiere issue and I’m anxious to see how it goes. I’m just not sure how Marvel will still be able to justify having a “new” on the title by issue #25 or so, unless they plan to argue that the original Avengers lasted for 503 issues, so this team will still be newer at least until they hit 504.

Basically what this all boils down to is sort of a note to the comic book publishers — look for new adjectives. No pun intended. Now I’ve got to get back to work on my next book — it was going to be called 14 Days of Asphalt, but now I find myself leaning towards New Other People’s Heroes.

FAVORITE OF THE WEEK: December 1, 2004

This week was easier than expected for me to choose. New Avengers was good, Monolith is always a treat and G.I. Joe continues to impress, but nothing scored as high on the ol’ fave-o-meter as Y: The Last Man #29. Yorick, the last man on Earth, is dying. Agent 355 is looking for the ring he lost on the crazy premise that it somehow may have kept him alive. Dr. Mann puts all the pieces together. Brian K. Vaughan writes a lot of comic books every month, but none of the others I’ve read even approach how good this one is.

Blake M. Petit is the author of the superhero comedy novel, Other People’s Heroes, the suspense novel The Beginner and the Christmas-themed eBook A Long November. He’s also the co-host, with whoever the hell is available that week, of the 2 in 1 Showcase Podcast and the weekly audio fiction podcast Blake M. Petit’s Evercast. E-mail him at and visit him on the web at Evertime Realms. Read past columns at the Everything But Imaginary Archive Page, and check out his new experiment in serial fiction at Tales of the Curtain.


Classic EBI #54: Crossover Crisis

You know the drill by now, friends. First of all, let’s look at this week’s Everthing But Imaginary. Earlier this week, Devil’s Due Publishing announced that they’re cutting off ties with Diamond Distribution. Why did they do this? What does it mean? See my thoughts here:

Everything But Imaginary #358: Breaking Away or Breaking Down?

Next, let’s look at this week’s classic Everything But Imaginary. This week we’re going back to March 21, 2004…

Crossover Crisis

In the past, friends, we have talked about the inter-company crossover, those rare occasions where Superman and Spider-Man cross paths, or Batman puts a hurt on the Punisher, or when Aunt May trades wheatcake recipes with Martha Kent. While it’s always fun to see characters from different “universes” come into contact with each other, these crossovers are usually pretty hollow because no lasting changes can be made due to the need not to infringe on the regular titles. Even if that wasn’t an issue, there would still be the problem of referring to events that included a character you can’t legally refer to. Although it would be funny, every once in a while, to see Wildcat talking to Billy Batson and saying, “Hey, remember that time… no, wait, that was the other Captain Marvel…”

There is, however, another kind of crossover that rings much truer, where things can be changed. I’m talking about the intra-company crossover, where all of Marvel’s characters or all of DC’s characters unite to face off against some major threat or some terrible crisis. The first major company-wide crossover I am aware of came in 1984, with Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars, in which the mysterious Beyonder kidnapped the most intriguing (read: best-selling) heroes and villains from the Marvel universe, dropped them on a distant planet called Battleworld, and told them to duke it out for his amusement. (Surprisingly, Brother Voodoo and Diablo got to stay home.) The story was 12 issues and wound up telling a pretty satisfying yarn, including some of the best Doctor Doom sequences ever.

The story was so popular, in fact, that before the heroes even had time to unpack their bags back on Earth, Marvel launched Secret Wars II, in which the Beyonder came to our planet. This story was not quite so well-received, but it was significant in that it helped spearhead something that would define crossovers in the future: a main story in the titular mini-series and other chapters spread out among the regular issues of all the Marvel titles. The story wasn’t contained in Secret Wars II, the Beyonder carried out parts of his agenda in many other titles, including Uncanny X-Men, Fantastic Four and even Dazzler.

At around the same time, DC Comics was launching the crossover that would not only define the entire genre, but give the shorthand name for such an event: Crisis on Infinite Earths. Similar in structure to what Marvel did, this event was contained in a 12-issue miniseries about time collapsing and worlds being destroyed. (This was done in an effort to “simplify” the DC Universe. Frankly, I didn’t think it was in need of simplifying — science fiction fans had no problem with the concept of alternate realities for generations, why did comic book fans? But that’s another column.)

However, across nearly every DC monthly at the time, as well as several miniseries and specials, other effects of the Crisis were felt. New heroes were introduced. Old ones were laid to rest. The whole thing was so well done that even today, 18 years later, I’m still trying to get all of the official crossovers (mostly for the prestige of being able to say I have all of the official crossovers, including Losers Special #1).

The crossover was a hit and, like any other hit in the field of entertainment, it had to be repeated. The year after Crisis, DC gave us Legends. Then Millennium. Then Invasion . Some of these were more successful than others, but they all had the same basic format — a miniseries to contain the main story and “bonus” chapters spread across other titles that readers could get or ignore as they wished. Although it bears noting that while people were willing to shell out $100 bucks for a hardcover collection of the 12 main Crisis issues, you can probably make a complete set of the Millennium miniseries and all its bonus chapters in your nearest quarter bin.

Marvel, at the same time, took a different approach, abandoning the miniseries and instead hosting crossovers in a family of titles but spreading out to affect others. When demons swarmed on New York in Inferno, Spider-Man and Cloak and Dagger mixed it up with them in their own titles, but the main battles were fought in the pages of Uncanny X-Men, X-Factor, New Mutants and the X-Terminators miniseries.

A couple of years later came the Acts of Vengeance crossover, in which a mysterious mastermind who would turn out to be Loki, Norse god of trickery, convinced supervillains to attack each other’s enemies in order to gain the element of surprise. This resulted in unusual battles like Mandarin versus the X-Men, the Gray Gargoyle versus the Hulk and Typhoid Mary versus Power Pack. The crossover would touch everyone from the Punisher to Quasar, but the story began and ended in Avengers, Avengers West Coast and Avengers Spotlight.

Then both companies struck upon a gold mine for crossovers: the annuals. For years most comic books had an annual double-sized edition. With Evolutionary War, Marvel began the practice of running a single storyline through all of these annuals. DC followed suit with Armageddon 2001. Marvel gave us Atlantis Attacks. DC gave us Bloodlines.

Other companies got into the act. Valiant had Unity. Eclipse had Total Eclipse. Malibu had Genesis. Even Image had stuff like Shattered Image, Altered Image and, my personal favorite, Mars Attacks Image.

Then something happened. People started to get fed up with the crossovers. They felt it was a cheap ploy to get them to buy books they ordinarily wouldn’t have just to have the complete story. They felt that the stories themselves weren’t worth it (and with junk like DC’s Genesis, who can blame them?) Frankly, I think this frustrated attitude is indirectly the reason we no longer have annuals today. The last time any major company-wide crossovers were seen was in 2001, with DC’s abysmal Joker: Last Laugh and Marvel’s “Okay-but-not-good-enough-to-justify-20-crossovers” Maximum Security.

But while I sympathize, and even agree, with those who hate crossovers because of the “gotta get ‘em all” mentality, I can’t deny that there is a certain thrill in seeing lots of characters come together against one menace. Isn’t there any common ground?

You bet there is.

Just a few weeks ago we found it in Secret War (notice the lack of pluralization) by Brian Michael Bendis. Nick Fury discovers that all of the two-bit hoods in the Marvel Universe, the ones who aren’t smart enough to program a VCR but walk around with high-tech weaponry and nuclear reactors strapped to their backs, are all being supplied by a singular source, meaning they are no longer supervillains, but instead meet the definition of terrorists. It’s such a simple, brilliant idea, and future issues, which promise Fury putting together a superhero task force to fight the ultimate evil, should be great.

It’s a story that won’t have crossover “bonus chapters,” but whose implications for nearly every Marvel title are clearly evident. It’s something I can’t wait to see played out.

I’m hoping for something similar with DC’s Identity Crisis (there’s that word again) coming out this summer, a storyline about which no one seems to know anything except that someone will die and it’s somebody important enough to show Superman crying in the preview art. At CrossGen, several of their titles have come to an end with a promise of their storylines being concluded in Negation War.

Major ramifications. No cheap stunts.

The crossovers of the future, friends. Let’s hope they stay this way. (2010 note: They didn’t.)

FAVORITE OF THE WEEK: March 10, 2004

It’s not that long ago that my two favorite comics at Marvel were Avengers and Thunderbolts. Now I don’t read either title anymore, for obvious reasons. When Kurt Busiek and Fabian Nicieza, the writers that put those titles in the upper tier for me, got together for a miniseries bringing back the latter from oblivion and the former from mediocrity, I jumped at it. The first issue of Avengers/Thunderbolts was a fine start, showing us where the Thunderbolts are since we left them at the end of Nicieza’s run and why the Avengers feel a need to stand against them. Throw in fantastic artwork by Barry Kitson and you’ve got the recipe for a great comic book.

Blake M. Petit is the author of the superhero comedy novel, Other People’s Heroes, the suspense novel The Beginner and the Christmas-themed eBook A Long November. He’s also the co-host, with whoever the hell is available that week, of the 2 in 1 Showcase Podcast and the weekly audio fiction podcast Blake M. Petit’s Evercast. E-mail him at and visit him on the web at Evertime Realms. Read past columns at the Everything But Imaginary Archive Page.


Time Travel Tuesdays: Son of the Best Comics I’ve Never Read

Well friends, with the great Comixtreme changeover finished, it’s definitely time to use Time Travel Tuesday to re-present all the lost EBIs, since there will be more of them soon. So let’s just go to the oldest column I’ve got that you haven’t seen elsewhere. This is from February 25, 2004, a column I wrote about going in and reading some comics that were recommended to me by well-meaning readers…


Back in November I sat down with you, my rabidly devoted readers, and we had a long chat about some of the best comic books out there that don’t get enough attention, as well as some of the best books I haven’t read but that you guys think are in the upper eschelon of comic book goodness. (You can check out that first column by clicking here.) This week, we’re going to take the first look at some of the books you suggested and that I’ve checked out in the interim, as well as one new book I’ve discovered that I’m adding to your reading list. And I think some of you will be surprised by my findings.

This works rather simply — any book you guys suggest that I haven’t read (and don’t know enough about to have formed an opinion) gets put on my reading list. I’ve formed a second reading list of great graphic novels that I think you should read. When I read a book from the first list, if I like it enough, it moves up to the second list. The complete lists will be at the end of the column.

The first book I checked out from the list you guys gave me was the premiere Hellboy trade paperback, Seed of Destruction. I’ve always had a marginal interest in Hellboy, even though I’ve never read any of his comics before, because the idea of a demon working for a paranormal investigation agency seems deliciously campy to me, and with the movie coming out soon I thought it would behoove me to read this introduction to the character before I saw it.

And actually, I thought that was the best way to sum up Hellboy: Seed of Destruction: as an introduction. We meet the character and examine the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense. We meet the ancillary characters, including my favorite, the weirdly entertaining Abe Sapien. We get a story about Nazis and monsters and a lot of cool fighting.

But that’s about it.

Reading this book and looking for answers about Hellboy’s past (let alone answers about Abe or the others) is a futile effort, there are none to be had. But that’s okay. This book exists to let you meet these characters and get interested in them, and as such, it succeeded. With any graphic novel series, the primary function of the first book is to interest you enough to make you want to read the second one. Well done, Mike Mignola (and a tip of the hat to scripter John Byrne as well.) Hellboy: Seed of Destruction is the first book to “graduate” from my list of books I need to read to my list of books you need to read.

Unfortunately, I don’t have such high praise for the second book I tried out based on your recommendations. Some people will be shocked to hear me say this (and others, I suspect, will be somewhat gleeful), but I was quite disappointed in The Invisibles: Say You Want a Revolution.

It pains me to say it, folks, it really does. I enjoyed Grant Morrison’s run on JLA and he’s writing the first X-Men comic to really get me excited in over a decade. But The Invisibles didn’t really work for me. Before reading this book, I really knew nothing about it, other than the fact that some people claim the Wachowski brothers ripped off some of the concepts for The Matrix. Maybe that’s what hurt it for me, as I read I kept looking for the parallels and I didn’t find many. The only similarities to be found in this first volume were those of a secret organization fighting against a some sort of phantom big brother that is secretly controlling the world, and the idea of people leaving their bodies behind to travel to another reality (or another level of reality). Did Morrison use these concepts before the Wachoswkis? Certainly. But there were a lot of people using the same concepts before Morrison as well.

That wasn’t what let me down, though, it was the story that let me down. Once I put down the trade paperback I felt like I’d read a 200-page anti-establishment rant with no real soul to it. The characters let me down. When we first meet our “hero,” Jack Frost, he’s blowing up a library. As someone who considers a book to be the highest product of humankind, this did not serve to endear him to me. I was let down because when I finished reading, I didn’t feel like I understood any more than I did when I started.

Now I’m going to be fair about this — I did just read the first graphic novel in a rather lengthy series, and it’s entirely possible that many of the questions and doubts I have are addressed later in the title. In fact, I intend to read the second book in the series, The Invisibles: Apokalipstick, in the hopes that it will lay some of my fears to rest. But with Hellboy I’m reading volume two because I liked what I read in volume one and want to read more. With this title, I’m reading volume two out of a sense of frustration, in the hopes that something about the book will begin to make sense. Graphic novel format is the only thing that could have saved this book for me, because if I had tried reading it in single-issue form I would have dropped it after issue four and never looked back. So sorry, Mr. Morrison, but Invisibles: Say You Want a Revolution doesn’t make the cut.

Third, I’m adding a book that I really dug that wasn’t brought up in our last discussion (it’s my column, I reserve the right to do this): Kurt Busiek and James Fry’s short-lived series from Eclipse Comics, The Liberty Project.

For those of you who have never heard of The Liberty Project (even I, crazed Busiek fan that I am, had never heard of it until About Comics announced they were releasing a collected edition last year), the concept is simple — the federal government starts a program that allows supervillains to pay their debt to society by acting as government-sponsored superheroes instead of spending time in jail. If it sounds familiar, that’s because DC comics used almost the same idea at almost the same time (1987-1988) when it relaunched its old property Suicide Squad.

The Liberty Project was a bit different, however. First of all, Suicide Squad used established DC villains like Deadshot and Captain Boomerang, while these characters were all-new (although the similarity in skill, if certainly not in character, between Deadshot and Crackshot is curious). Second, while DC’s team stuck to the shadows and didn’t operate in the public eye, the Liberty Project members were out in the open, and actually found themselves celebrities. Third, many of the Suicide Squad members remained cruel, unrepentant creatures, whereas Busiek’s creations almost all were changed by their experience working on the right side of the law. In many ways, it’s like reading a beta test for his later work on Marvel’s Thunderbolts series (about villains masquerading as heroes and some of them realizing the prefer life on that side of the fence).

Busiek still owns the characters, so I keep hoping someday he’ll return to the world of Slick, Burnout and Cimarron. In the meantime, About Comics recently published a dandy digest-sized, black and white, inexpensive volume of the eight-issue run, along with a Total Eclipse special. If you liked Busiek on Thunderbolts, you’ll dig this book.

So let’s recap. As of last time we talked the list of books you guys think I should read are as follows:

Animal Man Vol. 1
Cerebus Vol. 1
Doom Patrol: Crawling From the Wreckage
Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Boy in the World
Lone Wolf and Cub Vol. 1: The Assassin’s Road
Maus: A Survivor’s Tale
New Teen Titans Archives Vol. 1
Punisher: Welcome Back Frank
Record of Lodoss War: The Lady of Pharis
Safe Area Goradze
Terminal City
Top 10
V For Vendetta

Conversely, the list of books that I really dig that you should be reading is now this:

The Adventures of Barry Ween, Boy Genius (Vol. 1-4)
Bone Vol. 1: Out From Boneville
Creature Tech
Daredevil: Wake Up
Dork Tower Vol 1.: Dork Covenant (then Vol.s 2-6…)
Fantastic Four: Imaginauts
Hellboy Vol. 1: Seeds of Destruction
The Liberty Project
Meridian Vol. 1: Flying Solo
Preacher Vol. 1: Gone to Texas
Road to Perdition
Understanding Comics/Reinventing Comics
The Wizard’s Tale

I’m open for suggestions to add to the first list, folks, and if you’ve read some of the books on the second list and want to comment, this is the place to do it. In the meantime, it’s back to the bookstore for me!

(By the by: If you’d like to suggest a title to add to the list, please try to suggest books that are available in graphic novel form — either original works or trade paperback collections. It’s not that single-issue runs aren’t great, but for the purposes of this project, it’s a lot easier to track down graphic novels and read those.)

FAVORITE OF THE WEEK: February 18, 2004

Since I started the “Favorite of the Week” feature in this column, I think this was the hardest week ever to choose a winner. I was very close to selecting Fantastic Four #510 and Superman: Secret Identity #2, both titles that have won this honor before. I was close to selecting Abadazad #1 because it was such a great beginning for what promises to be CrossGen’s best comic yet. But in the end, I picked a title that was a fantastic conclusion to a fantastic storyline: Superman/Batman #6.

Jeph Loeb is the best writer either of these iconic characters have had in over a decade. He nails who they are, what they mean to the world and what they mean to each other. He caps off the story of President Lex Luthor in a way that is smart and satisfying (and also answers a question I had about Aquaman #15, which clearly takes place after this issue). It’s a fantastic comic book. You can keep your spiders and your x-people friends. This is a comic book that proves the first two superheroes are still the greatest.

Blake M. Petit is the author of the superhero comedy novel, Other People’s Heroes, the suspense novel The Beginner and the Christmas-themed eBook A Long November. He’s also the co-host, with whoever the hell is available that week, of the 2 in 1 Showcase Podcast and the weekly audio fiction podcast Blake M. Petit’s Evercast. E-mail him at and visit him on the web at Evertime Realms. Read past columns at the Everything But Imaginary Archive Page.


Everything But Imaginary #320: Bad to the Bone

Secret Six is one of the best comics being published right now, but villain-focused comics rarely last. What makes Secret Six different? And why do villain titles fizzle out?

Everything But Imaginary #320: Bad to the Bone
Inside this column:


2 in 1 Showcase Episode 112: Kurt Busiek

The boys are back with another creator spotlight, this time on writer Kurt Busiek! From his early days on Justice League of America and Power Man and Iron Fist, through his career-making work on Marvels and Astro City, right through to his current work on the weekly maxiseries Trinity, the guys break down all of his work, talk about their favorites and least-favorites, and discuss the next project he’s going to be involved with, Wednesday Comics. In the picks this week, Blake recommends Batman: Battle For the Cowl #1, Mike dug Action Comics #875, and Chase is all about Thor #600. This week’s graphic novel pick: American Flagg Vol. 2! Write us with comments, suggestions, picks of the week, “Ask Chase Anything” questions, or anything else at!

Episode 112: Kurt Busiek
Inside This Episode:

PLUS: It’s Week in Geek time again! This time out, Blake and Chase discuss Lost: He’s Our You. Chase gives his thoughts on the final episode of Battlestar Galactica and last week’s South Park, Blake talks about the episode of Dollhouse that rescued his interest in the show, and both boys dish on recent episodes of Smallville, Heroes, and Kings.

Week in Geek #14: Battlestar Galactica finale, Dollhouse “game-changer,” and more!


2 in 1 Showcase Episode 101: Secret Invasion

It’s been a few weeks now since Marvel‘s Secret Invasion storyline wrapped up. This week, Blake and Chase pick apart the build-up, the spin-offs, the aftermath, and the event itself. How did we get here? Which spin-offs were worth reading? And where is Dark Reign going to take us? In the picks this week, Blake bids farewell to Shrugged, and Chase is a fan of Thor #12. Write us with comments, suggestions, picks of the week, “Ask Chase Anything” questions, or anything else at!

2 in 1 Showcase Episode 101: Secret Invasion
Inside This Episode:

PLUS: In Week in Geek #6, you get a true rarity — a video game review from Blake. He talks about LEGO Batman: The Video Game, and gives you his review of the new book by Michael Davis, Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street. (Trust us, friends, it’s not what you think.) Plus, he’s got a very specific request for your feedback.

Week in Geek #6: LEGO Batman: The Video Game & Street Gang


2 in 1 Showcase Episode 92: March of the Villains

From Suicide Squad to the Secret Six, Thunderbolts and Venom, over the years a lot of super-villains have broken free from their heroic nemesis and starred in series of their own. This week, the Showcase boys talk about some of the villains who have become stars in their own right, why some villain series work better than others, what makes a good villain comic, and which heroes they think could star in a title of their own. In the picks this week, Chase has found the Marvel Comics Guide to New York City and She-Hulk #34, while Blake was pleasantly surprised by the first issue of the Terra miniseries! E-mail us with your comments, “Ask Chase Anything” questions, or anything else at!

Episode 92: March of the Villains
Inside This Episode:

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