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Spoiler Alert Comic Book Podcast 5/23/16 Oldtron Edition: CIVIL WAR II #0, SUPERMAN: AMERICAN ALIEN #7, MAE #1, FUTURE QUEST #1

Comic Book Podcast

What is Oldtron Podcast? Comic books, comedy…ish…yet another brand for this five year audio adventure across AIN’T IT COOL NEWS, POPTARDSGO.com and…that’s it really. We’re good, but not that good. I’m Rob Patey. I’m hosting Mark Miller. We have been known as Optimous Douche and Ambush Bug, but we’re not proud of it. JD, our third member hurt himself dancing at improv class. No, you didn’t have a stroke.



4:30 – EMAIL FROM THE WEB: Batman V. Superman non-apology. Ronnie Stryke’s figurines.

24:00 – CIVIL WAR II #0 (w – Brian Michael Bendis, a – Olivier Coipel)

37:00 – SUPERMAN: AMERICAN ALIEN #7 (w – Max Landis, a – Jock)

47:00 – MAE #1 (w – Gene Ha, a – Gene Ha)

54:00 – FUTURE QUEST #1 (w – Jeff Parker, a – Evan Shaner & Steve Rude)



batman 66 meets green hornet 1 coverBATMAN ’66 MEETS GREEN HORNET 1
Writers: Kevin Smith and Ralph Garman
Artist: Ty Templeton
Publishers: DC and Dynamite
Reviewer: Rob Patey (aka – Optimous Douche, Ain’t It Cool News) 

Given my malaise towards camp and kitsch, I thought for sure I would hate the BATMAN ’66 series that inspired this crossover. Wow, was I wrong. Jeff Parker and Richard Case worked the Bam and Kapow, while they delicately inserted today’s cynical sensibilities without ever compromising the camp.

Now, given my adoration of the prior ’66 effort and my love of Kevin Smith (Jersey boys stick together), I couldn’t see where this would fall off the rails. Well, now I know exactly where this title careened into a truck full of orphans was the complete lack of reverence for the original TV series, or the recent success of the comic book. Forced, muddled and an utter exercise in who gives a shit are the watchwords of this crossover that no one asked for.

To put prejudices at bay, I find Smith to be a .750 hitter on the comic front. I loved his Daredevil and Green Arrow run (before anyone wants to get on me for GA, look at how much was carried forward from his seeds). Now, I also know what the deal is 99.99% of the time when two writers are credited on a book. Generally the greater name is charged with plotting and editorial, while the lesser name does the heavy lifting on dialog. I actually have no problem with the plot that brings Britt and Bruce together on a train carrying priceless art. I also liked (in theory) Dick Grayson going on a date. So I’m not really knocking Smith, Garman on the other hand is more directionless than a Garmin.

The opportunities to play double-entendres abound, I mean these are big fat hanging softballs over the plate. Garman, the past host of the very funny Joe Schmo show, is Stevie Wonder at the bat. Whenever there is a chance to zig, he instead zags with a deluge of dialog that is not funny, ironic, nor in tonality with the original TV show or the Parker book. I’ve met Adam West, he couldn’t have remembered this much dialog if he tried. The sentences are too long and too forced to truly be any iteration of Batman. Not once does he revel in this playground, but rather plays it very safe on the see saw like an asthmatic fat kid.

Now, a prejudice I do have is the fact I hate Green Hornet. But I’ll say that Britt and Kato are probably the most likeable and realistic characters in this book. From the time the billionaires meet on the train, to when they finally suit up and start fighting the bad guy, a man who shoots glue, I really found myself in the Hornet’s corner. That’s sad considering I’ve only half-read most Green Hornet books after some earnest initial tries, while I have about twenty-five longboxes of the Bat in my basement.

I was even less than impressed with Templeton, but that is more stylistic taste versus quality. Something about Case’s work on the original ’66 made me think of a cleaner and more detailed Mike Allred. Templeton draws some very HEAVY lines, almost to the point of distraction. We have to remember that these characters have deep rooting in the public zeitgeist, too much deviation as was the case when the heroes were in their civies, can really loose the visage you’re trying to emulate.

My editor always asks us to say something nice about a book. The Alex Ross cover RULED!!!! Would love to get a version of his ’66 Batman for my man-cave, assuming it is minus this book title, sans the Green Hornet  and adds an in her prime Julie Newmar.

BATMAN ‘66 #1 REVIEW – Holy Nostalgia Batman

batman661BATMAN ’66 #1
Writer: Jeff Parker
Artist: Jonathan Case
Publisher: DC Comics
Reviewer: Rob Patey (aka – Optimous Douche Ain’t it Cool News)

Come back with me for a second to a time when McCarthy-era sensibilities had yet to be smoked out by the “Age of Aquarius.” A time when virtue was coveted as opposed to ridiculed, and a time when the good guys would always save the day despite the most harrowing of cliffhangers. BATMAN ‘66 is a perfect homage to a world where campy was the bedrock of television programming, and the dynamic duo had yet to be run through the proverbial wringer of societal cynicism.

I grew up in the dark age of comics, so to take any of BATMAN ‘66 seriously is a near impossibility. However, I can fully appreciate the spirit from whence it came. Just because it’s not my book shouldn’t negate the fact there is still a ton of fans that desperately thirst for heroes who skip the anti hyphen and always save the day.

There isn’t one element of the original TV series’ themes that haven’t made it into ’66. A boy wonder that is more acrobatic than academic, a PSA interspersed between puns and an honest to God beginning middle and end are all awaiting Batfans on Batchannel One. Adam West always had a bit of a condescending delivery, and as an adult I now realize it’s because Burt Ward was about as smart as a real Robin. Parker pulls no punches in this talking down, but it never becomes jokey. BATMAN ’66 is truly authentic, with a small dash of hindsight thrown in for even more fun.

The plot is almost incidental to the experience of BATMAN ’66. The Riddler has stolen a precious statue called The Lady of Gotham, one of 3 golden statues crafted to commemorate something or other. Again, it doesn’t matter, because what nostalgia makes you wait for is the chapter break alliteration, the horrific puns that only an actor like Burt Ward could deliver with sincerity and the overly heavy gravitas Adam West would deliver in every line whether he was delivering a morality lesson about crime or talking about the importance of fire extinguishers. I would love to get a teenager’s take on this book. On one hand, the child in me sees all this as talking down, while the man who is going to be a father thinks that maybe we’ve given up on our kids and we actually should explain the world to them in a bit more detail.

Frank Gorshin isn’t the only villain to make an appearance in this tale; we also get a few moments with super keen cat-suit clad Julie Newmar, a woman who still exudes sex despite the fact she hit menopause when Nixon was in office. Case was very careful with these characters; while they all bear a striking resemblance to their small screen counterparts, none are so hyper-detailed that it crosses into the often stilted likenesses that plague licensed properties. Also, there’s absolutely no apologies in using the Silver Age trope of jumping from one harrowing scene to the next with little explanation. This is a compliment, believe it or not. We often fault Morrison for this tactic, but we forget a time when a bomb would go up and we wouldn’t learn how the heroes escaped until tomorrow’s action packed episode. There’s no freaking way any of it is plausible, but the explanation’s deep complexity just makes you roll with it.

Again, these new stories won’t be for every comic collector, but for anyone who laments the current morose state of heroics, salvation awaits you each month at the same Bat-time in the same Bat-comic shop.