Tag Archives: Jock

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)


WYTCHES #1 COMIC REVIEW: A Prymal Return to the Pyre

Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Jock
Publisher: Image
Reviewer: Rob Patey

Before DETECTIVE and BATMAN, this upstart writing professor from NY (which even though I’m form Jersey I have never held against him), was entrenched in horror with a little title called AMERICAN VAMPIRE. Here’s a snippet from one of my reviews of issue 3:

I originally came for King, but I have stayed for Snyder. As much as I will always love the master of macabre, his ability to bloat a word balloon is not the best fit for a visual medium. Snyder though, I think this guy has legs. Let’s see what happens when the King training wheels are taken off.”

So there it is folks, hate Optimous if you don’t like Snyder, I gave him his golden ticket (No, I’m not this arrogant, but I also predicted in 2008 Johns was headed for editorial leadership, just sayin).

Horror with heart was Scott’s introduction to comics, and WYTCHES has brought him home. Thank God DC squashed exclusivity last year, because after reading issue one of WYTCHES Scott is about to give some gravitas to the “Hocus Pocus” idea of Salem’s daughters and this time he can actually own the friggin property thanks to the lean Image corporate structure.

Of course, points and IPs are not the concern of us regular readers, so let me say that from a story perspective: Scott is building a mystery, he strengthens the true meaning of witches before Hollywood makes it more flaccid with insipid “Secret Circle” like shows, and delivers it all through the package of human experience as a young girl realizes just how dangerous she can be.

WYTCHES will be nothing you expect; yet somehow everything you have been asking for in this mythos. I loved last season of “American Horror Story: Coven,” but I realize now how pretty and sanitary the proceedings actually were. For Snyder’s WYTCHES, the wills of the earth are power, not confidence or how may times you get banged by the Sax man.

The one staple Scott missed in this issue is his deep reverence for history, and making the time or place of the story as vibrant a character as any carbon based life forms, or perhaps he has simply made it different this time around knowing that Jock is just as formidable with pictures as Scott is with words. While we don’t get any new history for Gotham or an exploration of the century we just lived, there is a primal introduction on page one as a woman is devoured by a tree. As Jock makes us more afraid of wood than a straight guy in a revival of “Anything Goes,” I believe Scott may be scratching under new surfaces of setting and letting his well-accomplished artist do the heavy lifting.

Because after this moment we shift back to normality, with a normal family on any normal weekday, waiting for the school bus to arrive. As middle aged Dad and teenage daughter play the last wisps of games from childhood (like kill the Hippogryph), Snyder and Jock both convey the underpinning of a great horror that casts a dark pall beyond the simple separation of young womanhood blossoming before a befuddled Father who now has a young woman instead of his tomboy buddy.

We find that the dark pall was the fact this young lady, Sailor Rooks, was the one who brought the lady eating tree to life.


And there’s the mystery folks: Sailor remembers the tree and bringing to life to thwart an attacker, Mom and Dad say it was a delusion (but are most likely lying) and let us not forget the freaky bald guy who has come back from helping Wesley Crusher explore the galaxy to now fuck with the Rooks in some very primal and disgusting ways.

With Jock and Snyder, quality is expected. With Image though, we all know that longevity is a never a guarantee. Not to open the comic Kimono too wide, but Image books get one arc to prove themselves on sales numbers, if they don’t make the mark than hope you weren’t too attached to that story. Of course with this baller marquee on the cover, I believe WYTCHES will have the current staying power of SAGA with the long draw editorial is letting Snyder play. He is letting points breathe instead of spewing them out en masse. This is not a critique; it’s a compliment to see what a creator who I admire and respect can truly accomplish when untethered from continuity shackles, family friendly mandates and larger story support structure.

The question of do you like it Optimous is moot and I still refuse to answer it point blank, so please stop asking folks. I love this book, but that’s an opinion and opinions are like assholes in that they usually stink and are utterly invaluable. Make your own decision. Are you ready for an old look at a new favorite in the horror genre? Do you have room for one more book on your pull list? Do you want staying power of story and the slow doling out of story versus flashes of character moments? If yes, than get up on WYTCHES bytches.


Batman 15 review coverBATMAN 15

Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Greg Capullo/Jock
Publisher: DC
Reviewer: Rob Patey (aka  Optimous Douche – Ain’t It Cool News)

The nature of Batman and the Joker’s relationship has changed with the sensibilities of the time. As we readers get deeper in touch with our feelings and have more free time to lament the human existence, so to have our heroes and their foils sought deeper introspection.

The Golden Age, when men were men and our enemies were eminently clear showed few emotional tethers between Bats and Joker. During the days of WWII, good was good and evil was evil — period. And of course good always triumphed. Flash forward to the silver age and you see the sanitized fifties bleed copious campiness into the title and little insight into either man, simply a goofy game of cat and mouse rife with ludicrous gadgetry and even more ridiculous crimes of grandeur. Go Bronze and we start to see a few chinks in each characters’ emotional armor, albeit the zaniness carry over of the silver age still forbade either from too deep of introspection. The 70s was the me generation and we began to see that essence in the pages of Batman. We began to know who the men were behind the masks and mayhem.  The Dark Age propelled us into the ID of both characters as opposite sides of the same coin. Who made who was the question that plagued my mind leaving Tim Burton’s BATMAN, and can one really exist without the other was my walkaway from Frank Miller’s THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS.

Now, we have Scott Snyder, the modern man in an age where self-discovery isn’t a luxury, it’s a requirement for societal success. In a time when the term Bromance can easily cross the lips of guys who are straight as an arrow, is it any wonder that the transformation of BATMAN and Joker’s relationship is one of an obsessive affection? Love, ladies and gentlemen is the new emotional bedrock between BATMAN and the Joker, and the penance for that love being unrequited is, “DEATH OF THE FAMILY.

BATMAN 15 bleeds motivation for the Strap-On Jokers’ need to squelch all things Bat. In essence Joker wants to be part of the Bat family, he wants to be that crazy cousin at Thanksgiving who someone has to go bail out of jail for drunk driving when they go to get more stuffing from the store. Joker needs to be chased by the Bat like the earth needs the son and Lindsay Lohan needs to smell the inside of jail cells.

Now, even though I’ve said words like Bromance and Strap-On, let’s please not get puerile with the often associated act of love. This is an obsessive love based on an unhinged desire, not the higher state of intimacy and becoming one in flesh. Spirit perhaps, but that’s it.

This issue also successfully divided the family, and we are left wondering whether it was of the Joker’s devise or merely a side effect to the Joker’s grand plan. It’s a cool little mind-fuck “later reveal,” that more serial books should remember to use.  I won’t ruin the details on how the Bat Family splits, but I will say it involves Bruce being odd man out for living in a state of delusional deniability regarding the Joker’s prowess and wiles.

The back-up story continues to delight, mainly because of Jock’s eerie ass way of seeing the world of the Joker. Even the point of view in the panels gives pause for creepiness. The backstories have been trips down memory lane to moments before the crossover started and how the Joker set all the main story’s plans in motion.  I have to admit this one didn’t give me the same ick factor as the Harley episodes, but seeing the first signs of the Riddler in the Bat-Verse as more arrogant than maniacal gave me great hope for future Bat tales.

Everyone who keeps saying, “Robin’s going to die. Robin’s going to die.” Please kindly shut the fuck up. That’s a hack move neither Snyder nor DC can afford right now. If after reading BATMAN 15 you still believe this inane theory, I suggest you take a class in understanding subtlety. It’s not Robin that’s going to die, or Barbara, Dick, or Jason. BATMAN 15 clearly shows that death does not have to be a physical state of being, emotional death or untethering can sometimes be the most painful end of all because you must continue living afterwards.

P.S. When is that freaking face going to rot? I’m not a Sciencey guy, but I always thought faces needed more nourishment than leather and dental floss to avoid becoming necrotic.

Get Diggled by Andy’s Jock in SNAPSHOT 1 Review…

Writer: Andy Diggle
Artist: Jock
Publisher: Image
Reviewer: Rob Patey (aka Optimous Douche)

Here’s a lesson for you kids. Become a comic reviewer and completely fuck up the attribution of one of the most heralded names in comic history. Seriously my review of Batman 13 was the equivalent of walking into Leonardo da Vinci’s studio and asking him how much the cheese costs?

The creator in question is Jock and my review did not give the proper credit for what I thought to be the best part of the book. The end of BATMAN 13 felt like eye rape, Harley Quinn portrayed a level of profound sadness we’ve never seen before – and of course Jock was instrumental in that moment. Mea Culpas off. However, if you do ever offend to such a level, I only wish you the same fortuitous penance I’m about to share with you.

It’s a rare occasion we get our hands on an Indie Book by two already established creators, but SNAPSHOT is seriously underground at this point. A clandestine placement in Judge Dredd magazine and a possible release date from Image are all that exist of SNAPSHOT right now. Although by the time this hits true publication I think more deets will be available, by then everyone will have shuffled off their NYCC True Blood hangovers.

So what is SNAPSHOT. Well, as we say on the Spoiler Alert podcast…it’s so so so so so good (yeah we’re a clever lot – that actually replaced jizztastic). SNAPSHOT takes the Hollywood concept of a murder being caught on camera and modernizes it better than the reinvention of Betty White.

It all starts with a cell phone being picked up off the ground. Right from the start Jock shows his skill for interesting and cinematic POVs for the panels and Diggle’s aptitude for never stuffing a word balloon is welcomingly real and allows the art to breathe the story along. This book is B&W, but with the way Jock gleefully plays with shading you’ll be thankful they skipped a colorist.

Our teenage protagonist takes the phone to his day job, which is at the comic shop Near-Mint Rhino (so which one of you is it that frequents Vegas – hmmm). The conversation that ensues will ring like a “This is Your Life” for all the married fanmen out there who were able to sneak away for a trip to the LCS only to find a Holiday bumped the delivery date (hate that shit).

Then the sublime then turns into the fantastic after we find this phone is packing pictures of a corpse.Keeping the surprises coming just when you think this is going to be a standard hunt and chase of murderer to witness, the guys pull the rug out. Just when you think this is the simple case of a Doppelganger, there goes that rug again, and just when you think you think you have the payers figured out – you don’t. Oh and don’t get too attached to anyone.

There’re about ten mysteries in this first issue, but I never once felt lost. Also Diggle and Jock move this whole thing without one narration bubble, in case you don’t know, that’s the sign of a writer and artist that spoon perfectly. Buy this book when whoever publishes it at the time they will or will not publish it. Or just go buy back issues of Judge Dredd I guess.

P.S. This book would be worth picking up just for the one panel of the spiral staircase. You’ll know what I mean when you see it.