In Country: Marvel Comics’ “The ‘Nam” — Episode 73

IC 73 Website CoverWar comics legend Russ Heath joins regular writer Chuck Dixon for a story about Ice and Speed tracking a ruthless VC sniper known as The Ghost.  It’s all in The ‘Nam #65, “The Gratitude of His People.”  As always, I take a complete look at the issue and this time around I’ll be looking at June 1971.

You can download the episode via iTunes or listen directly at the Two True Freaks website

In Country iTunes feed

In Country Episode 73 direct link

 

Nam 65

Pop Culture Affidavit Episode 63: Truth Be Told

Episode 63 Website CoverIt’s time to go back to class as I sit down with Professor Alan (The Relatively Geeky Network) to discuss documentaries. We take a look at the genre as a whole, talking about what makes a good documentary and the mistakes that documentarians often make (from our opinions as viewers) as well as go in depth with a few of our own choices, including King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, Room 237, and This Film is Not Yet Rated. There are a number of films mentioned and several recommendations as well.

iTunes:  Pop Culture Affidavit

Direct Download

Pop Culture Affidavit podcast page

For a solid list of documentaries that are well-known and critically acclaimed, here is the Wikipedia page for the Current TV network show …

50 Documentaries to See Before You Die

As a bonus, below are the trailers for the documentaries that Professor Alan and I discuss with a little detail as well as a list of the documentaries mentioned in the episode:

(more…)

Pop Culture Affidavit Presents: 80 Years of DC Comics Episode 17 — Westerns

80 Years Episode 17 Website LogoMy look at the history of DC Comics through its many genres reaches its penultimate episode with the last non-superhero genre but the very first it published (literally), which is Westerns. While giving an overview of the many cowboys and frontiersmen that DC published since 1935, I take a look at New Fun Comics #1, which featured a story starring cowboy Jack Woods on its cover before heading over to a 1950s Nighthawk story and then Jonah Hex #48.

iTunes:  Presents Pop Culture Affidavit

Direct Download

Pop Culture Affidavit podcast page

In Country: Marvel Comics’ “The ‘Nam” — Episode 72

IC 72 Website CoverIt’s the conclusion of a three-part story featuring Iceman and Speed in “Duty Elsewhere” from The ‘Nam #64 by Chuck Dixon, Wayne Vansant, and Art Nichols. Plus, I take a look at the history of the Vietnam War in April and May 1971.

You can download the episode via iTunes or listen directly at the Two True Freaks website

In Country iTunes feed

In Country Episode 72 direct link

 

Nam 64

 

Bonus material here, the two clips that I play during the historical context segment.

John Kerry’s Anti-War Speech:

CBS News report about war protests:

Pop Culture Affidavit Episode 62: Yakkin’ Over Pancakes

Episode 62 Website CoverIt’s an all-star “live” episode as I get the chance to sit down with Professor Alan and Stella and then Stella herself and talk about topics random and geeky! Enjoy such conversations as the novels of Thomas Hardy, DC Rebirth, the Human League, Bat-splaining, and Mad Men. Plus, LISTENER FEEDBACK!!!

Show notes and pictures are available at Pop Culture Affidavit, which is also where you can see regular weekly blog entries about the randomness that is pop culture.

Here’s where to listen:

iTunes:  Pop Culture Affidavit

Direct Download

Pop Culture Affidavit podcast page

In Country: Marvel Comics’ “The ‘Nam” — Episode 71

IC 71 Website CoverAfter a brief hiatus, “In Country” is back and back in The ‘Nam with issue #63. We continue our three-parter featuring Iceman and Speed with a story by Chuck Dixon that features art by Wayne Vansant and Kim DeMulder. Plus, I look at events from March 1971 and read listener feedback!

You can download the episode via iTunes or listen directly at the Two True Freaks website

In Country iTunes feed

In Country Episode 71 direct link

Nam 63

Comics Prehistory: Secret Wars II #6

Secret_Wars_II_Vol_1_6You know, the phrase “It was all a big blur” is one that most people probably associate with a drunken night (or several, perhaps) in college, not to reading a comic book when you are eight years old.  Then again, I may not be the only person who will say this about Secret Wars II.

Published in 1985 and 1986, Secret Wars II as the direct sequel to the blockbuster Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars event that had come out in 1984.  In that original series, an omnipotent being named The Beyonder swipes all of Earth’s heroes and villains and transports them to Battleworld, where they do an enormous amount of fighting (and Spider-Man gets the infamous alien costume).  In the sequel, The Beyonder comes to Earth in human form and learns about being human.

I think?

I have to be honest–I only ever owned issue #6 and even then didn’t buy it voluntarily because it was another birthday party favor.  And I don’t know if I read it thirty years ago when I first got it.  Even if I did, I probably didn’t understand what was going on.  I remember looking at the cover and thinking that the issue was probably important because it said that it was “#6 in a nine-issue limited series” (that and DC’s “miniseries,” “maxi-series,” or “Anniversary” banners were catnip to me back in the day … and still kind of are) and the cover showed this guy busting past a group of Earth’s mightiest heroes, saying, “Move over heroes, The Beyonder’s here!”

But really, up until I read this comic for this very blog post, I didn’t know what the comic was about.  And quite frankly, I still have no idea what is going on.  It seems that The Beyonder has come to Earth, closed on some property, built a huge house/headquarters, filled it with a ton of stuff like cars and planes, and then decides to help out Power Pack (which I assume plays out in greater detail in Power Pack #18, which is an official crossover issue).  Meanwhile, Dave, a reporter from a local newspaper interviews him and The Beyonder tells the reporter all about who he is and how he came to be.  But then he basically hires the guy as his PR man, they set up and organization, and The Beyonder decides he will “fight for life.”  he doesn’t know what his role is or should be, and The Watcher along with superheroes think he might be dangerous.  He then decides to eliminate Death and despite the objections every celestial being, succeeds.  Then Molecule Man and Dave plead for him to bring Death back because it has completely upset the balance of the universe and then he makes Dave into Death and disassembles his new house.

And that’s the most succinct summary I could come up with.

Because honestly, the issue is almost what it would be like if a kid were given super powers and had free right.  Think of Tom Hanks in Big.  Plus, The Beyonder does kind of look like and eight-year-old dressed him.  I don’tknow if that many grown men wore a curly mullet and that appears to be a vinyl jumpsuit (seriously, it’s like the guy saw a windbreaker and said, “No.  I want the whole outfit to be that”), but then again, I have seen grown me in cropped muscle tees and acid-wash jeans.  God, the Eighties were blindingly awful.

Anyway, if I am going to pick something positive out of the story that Jim Shooter wrote, it’s that it is kind of like a kid trying to “act bigger” than he is–like it’s his first day of high school or something–and the art by Al Milgrom is workmak-like.  Otherwise, I can see why Secret Wars II was something I forgot as soon as I acquired it and why it’s more of a punchline than a fondly remembered story.

Next Up:  We finish “Comics Prehistory” with G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #48