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Some of My Friends Read Comics

SOME OF MY FRIENDS READ COMICS is a book-club format podcast about reading the great comic book stories for the first time. On each episode, your hosts will review a classic comic book story or run, examine how well it holds up, and figure out how it fits within the grand context of comics.
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Some of My Friends Read Comics
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Jul 8, 2020

This week on the show, we remember Dennis O’Neil with a look back at his run with Neal Adams on Green Lantern from 1970, in which he explored a few topics that superheroes didn’t often tackle.

Green Lantern shared the spotlight with Green Arrow to start their “Hard Travelin’ Heroes” Era, and we read issues 76-81. After that we jumped into another DC/Marvel team-up with the first issue of JLA/Avengers from 2003.

Next Time: Aliens vs. Predator (1990)

Jun 24, 2020

For the last few episodes, we’ve been reading Marvel vs DC, about two universes pitted against each other. But just before the final issue, they merged and Amalgam Comics was born!

We take a look at a handful of those special one-shot issues that all arrived before the event’s finale which we also read! Join us as we explore Amazon, Dark Claw, Super Soldier, Spider-Boy, Doctor Strangefate and the JLX.

Next Time: We remember the late great Denny O'Neil with Green Lantern & Green Arrow: Hard-Traveling Heroes (Issues 76-81) + We start our next long-read with JLA/Avengers #1 (from 2003).

Jun 10, 2020

Teenage. Mutant. Ninja. Turtles. Four words that instantly belong together. We go back to where it all started in Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird’s original comics from the mid 80’s.

We read the first 7 issues and saw the turtles fight robots, travel to outer space and murder Shredder(?!). Unfortunately, there were no Cowabungas.

Then we read Marvel vs DC part 3 aka the one with all the fights!

Next Time: We wrap up DC vs. Marvel, but not before reading a few comics from the Amalgam Universe!

May 27, 2020

There aren’t main writer/artist pairs in comics who work together as consistently as Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips, and yet we’ve never covered their work!

We finally rectify that by reading a spin-off of their long standing Criminal series called Bad Weekend, in which we learn about all kinds of shady practices behind the scenes of the comic book industry.

And then we keep diving deeper into Marvel vs DC with issue #2.

Next Time: The original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics by Kevin Eastman & Peter Laird!

 

May 13, 2020

It’s the exciting conclusion to the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time manga with Volume 2! Will Link ever be a little kid again? Will this mysterious Sheik be friend or foe? And how much does this thing line up with the video game?

After that, we begin our long read of Marvel vs DC, featuring the most famous comic book character of all time: Lobo!

Next Time: Criminal: Bad Weekend by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips

Apr 29, 2020

Some of My Friends Read… Manga?!?!? And Play Video Games?!?!?!

After 5 years, we finally delve into some content from Japan: The Ocarina of Time manga adaptation from the Legend of Zelda series. Did we get confused reading right to left? Were we able to switch back for the Marvels Epilogue? (Yes, it was fine.)

Next Time: We close out The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time with Volume 2 + we start reading DC vs. Marvel issue by issue. 

Apr 15, 2020

Marvel’s had plenty of titles dedicated to the “next generation” of X-Men, but New Mutants was the first.

We jumped into the Demon Bear Saga and read issues 18-21 written by Chris Claremont in his prime and with the wIcKeD art of Bill Sienkiewicz.

Then we finished up Marvels: Eye of the Camera with the unexpectedly moving issue 6.

Next Time: After 5 years, we finally decide to dip our toe into manga with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Vol. 1 by Akira Himekawa

Apr 1, 2020

Remember that time Colonel Sanders defeated the evil Colonel Sunder from Earth-3 by taking down his knock-off fried chicken franchise with the help of Green Lantern and Flash?

Well you’re remembering it wrong, Colonel Sanders doesn’t need nobody’s help.

We read a 3-pack of KFC/DC crossover comics from 2015-2017 and then we experienced an actually intriguing story beat in Marvels: Eye of the Camera #5.

Next Time: New Mutants: The Demon Bear Saga (New Mutants 18-21)

 

Mar 18, 2020

It’s high time we read some Sandman for this show. No, not the the literal sand guy from Spider-Man. It’s the Neil Gaiman series that made Vertigo Comics famous.

We jumped straight into Volume 4: Season of Mists, which seems to be less about seasons and more about land ownership rights.

Then we keep reading Marvels: Eye of the Camera and we regret every second of it.

Next Time: April Fools' Day with the KFC Colonel Sanders Trilogy: The Colonel of Two Worlds (2015), Colonel Corps (2016), Green Lantern/Colonel Sanders: Across the Universe (2017)

Feb 26, 2020

It’s finally time for us to cover one of Batman’s greatest villains: a leopard! (Actually, it’s Ra’s al Ghul, but the fight with the leopard looked cooler).

We take a look at Old Ghoulie’s first appearance in Batman 232 and then his first rise from a Lazarus Pit in issues 243 and 244. All by Dennis O’Neil and Neal Adams.

And do we have to keep mentioning Marvels: Eye of the Camera? We’re on issue 3.

Next Time: Sandman Vol 4: Seasons of Mist (Issues 21-28)

(Apologies for the first 27 minutes, where Vince's sound is wrong)

Feb 12, 2020

On today’s episode, we explore the rare Non-Gritty Reboot. I assure you, they exist. At the very least, one example exists: Archie. In 2015, Mark Waid and Fiona Staples brought Archie back to mainstream comics. And it’s nothing like Riverdale.

We checked out the first six issues and then continued our read of Marvels: Eye of the Camera with issue #2.

Next Time: The Origins of Batman villain Ra's Al Ghul with Batman 232, 243, and 244!

Jan 29, 2020

In my headcanon, Birds of Prey was always 3 members: Oracle, Black Canary, and Huntress. Turns out Huntress didn’t even join the team until Gail Simone took over in 2003. Turns out Harley Quinn was definitely not on the team.

We read the first few issues of Simone’s run from #56-61 and then we continued our read of Marvels with the 1st issue of the followup miniseries, Marvels: Eye of the Camera.

Next Time: Archie gets rebooted in 2015 by Mark Waid & Fiona Staples!

Jan 15, 2020

We've got more Moore than you can handle, as we take a double dose of Alan Moore's Superman from the 1980s!

First up, Alan Moore teams up with his future Watchmen collaborator Dave Gibbons with 1985's "For the Man Who Has Everything", where Batman & Wonder Woman try their darndest to find a good birthday present for Superman, while Superman imagines a world where Krypton did not explode and he never came to Earth.

Then, we check out the final story of the pre-Crisis Superman with Alan Moore and Curt Swan's "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?" As Bill Hader's Stephon would say, this book has everything: Krypto the Superdog, superbabies turning coal into diamonds, Jimmy Olsen & Lana Lang getting superpowers, and Superman defending his friends against all his foes. It's a classic story you don't want to miss!

And finally, we conclude Phil Sheldon's journey through the early days of the Marvel Universe with Kurt Busiek & Alex Ross's "Marvels #4"! (That's not really true, we start the sequel "Marvels: Eye of the Camera" next episode.)

Next Time: Birds of Prey: Of Like Minds by Gail Simone (Birds of Prey #56-61) + Marvels: Eye of the Camera #1

Jan 1, 2020

Way back in episode 19, we read our first Thanos comic when he returned from death in 1990 and started collected the Infinity Gems. Now, exactly 100 episodes later, we decided we’d take a look at how he actually died in the first place.

It was surprisingly earlier in 1977’s Marvel Two-In-One Annual #2, written and drawn by Jim Starlin (because who else would it be?).

And then we relive the terror of Galactus in Marvels #3!

Next Time: Superman & Alan Moore times two with "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow" and "Superman: For the Man Who Has Everything"

Dec 18, 2019

The holidays are upon us and you know what that means: Ducks. Specifically Donald Duck and Scrooge McDuck. We take a look at the very 1st appearance of Scrooge McDuck in “Christmas on Bear Mountain” from way back in 1947 and then “A Christmas for Shacktown” in 1951, both written and drawn by “the good duck artist,” Carl Barks.

And the it’s on to the mutant scare in Marvels #2!

Next Time: The (Original) Death of Thanos from Marvel Two-in-One Annual #2 (1977)

Dec 4, 2019

It’s time to continue Marvel 1602! In the last 4 issues of the miniseries, we make our way to America and find out how this universe connects to our regular 616 universe.

But will Gaiman’s 1602 survive? (Spoiler alert: nothing ever dies).

And we also get our long read of Marvels by Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross really rolling with issue #1.

Next Time: Donald Duck in "Christmas on Bear Mountain" (Scrooge McDuck's first appearance) and "A Christmas for Shacktown"

Nov 20, 2019

Back in the 1600s, there were apparently superheroes in England. I don’t know because I wasn’t there, but I will take Neil Gaiman’s word for it.

He wrote about Marvel 1602 in an 8-issue miniseries that very strangely seems to parallel the Marvel Universe we are already familiar with. We read the first 4 issues and then we started our long read of Marvels with issue #0, which takes place in the 40s.

So much history! My head hurts.

Next Time: Marvel 1602 #5-8  + Marvels #1

Nov 6, 2019

It’s (after) Halloween! And we continue our tradition of releasing a late episode about late, spooky comics with Jughead: The Hunger!

We read the first volume to see if this is another clever take on classic comics like Sabrina was or just an excuse to tell a werewolf story with Archie characters.

And we also finish off All Star Superman with issue #12!

Next Time: Marvel 1602 Pt. 1 (#1-4) and Marvels #0

Oct 16, 2019

What’s up, spooks? Time for some scary comics for the spookiest month of the year. First up is Locke & Key by Joe Hill who for some reason reminds us all of Stephen King. Hmm, wonder why that is.

Anyways, it’s a book about the scariest thing in existence: KEYS. We read the 1st volume: Welcome to Lovecraft.

And we’re so, so close to the end of All Star Superman with issue #11.

Next Time: Jughead: The Hunger, Vol. 1

Oct 9, 2019

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving! We’re celebrating our neighbors our neighbors up north by reading about their premiere superhero team, Alpha Flight!

We checked out their 1st appearance in Uncanny X-Men #120 and then read issues 1-4 of their ongoing series written and drawn by John Byrne.

Listen as we try to figure out how Vindicator / Guardian / Captain Canada is an even more milquetoast version of Cyclops. And then Clark Kent gets the scoop of a lifetime in All Star Superman #10!

Next Time: Locke & Key, Volume 1: Welcome to Lovecraft

Sep 18, 2019

There's a spy in the Teen Titans... and she works for Deathstroke! Dick Grayson drops the Robin mantle to debut Nightwing! There's a new team member named Jericho, a sweet little mute boy!

It's the Judas Contract from Tales of the Teen Titans #42-44 and Teen Titans Annual #3.

And over in All Star Superman #9, Clark deals with some real assholes!

Next Time: We celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving with Alpha Flight (Uncanny X-Men #120 + Alpha Flight #1-4)
Sep 4, 2019

Whoa, Carnage is so Maximum it’s taking us two episodes to get through it. Spider-Man seems to be having a tough time getting through Maximum Carnage as well, because in parts 8-14 he really just can’t deal anymore.

All Star Superman also rolls on with issue 8. Booooooo!!!!! (Don’t worry, that’s a Bizarro Boo.)

Next Time: The New Teen Titans: The Judas Contract (Tales of the Teen Titans #42-44, Annual #3)

Aug 21, 2019

Can you believe this is the 25th anniversary of the Maximum Carnage video game? A classic that has such accolades as being A Game and being Based On A Comic Book. At least we know it was a memorable comic book 14-parter that ran through the Spider-Man comics of 1993.

Actually, was it memorable? We know Carnage goes Maximum, but… what else? Let’s start finding out with parts 1-7.

We also don’t continue No Moon Superman with issue #7.

Next Time: Spider-Man/Venom: Maximum Carnage #8-14

Aug 7, 2019

It may seem hard to believe, but there used to be a time when we knew little to nothing about Wolverine's origins. The Weapon X story from 1991 by Barry Windsor-Smith began to fill in some gaps.

Originally told in small chunks appearing in Marvel Comics Presents #72-84, it's become one of the classic Wolverine stories in his history.

Plus, we continue All-Star Superman with issue 6.

Next Time: Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage, Pt. 1

  1. Spider-Man Unlimited #1
  2. Web of Spider-Man #101
  3. The Amazing Spider-Man #378
  4. Spider-Man #35
  5. The Spectacular Spider-Man #201
  6. Web of Spider-Man #102
  7. The Amazing Spider-Man #379
Jul 24, 2019

Animal Man has never exactly been one of DC’s biggest heroes, but he got a reboot in 2011 for the New 52 written by Jeff Lemire with some gruesome, horrific art by Travel Foreman.

We read the first volume which saw him re-discover his origin, find out that his daughter can turn human arms into chicken arms, and start making his way toward the Swamp Thing.

And then in All Star Superman #5, Clark Kent interview Lex Luthor in prison!

Next Time: Wolverine: Weapon X (1991) from Marvel Comics Presents #72-84

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