DC Comics

Pop Culture Affidavit Episode 122: Titans Two-Fer Part Two, Apokolips Now

In 1982, Marvel and DC teamed up to present a story featuring their two hottest properties: The Uncanny X-Men and The New Teen Titans.  Written by X-scribe Chris Claremont with art by Walt Simonson and Terry Austin, the crossover was one of the best ever produced and had the X-Titans facing off against Deathstroke, Darkseid, and Dark Phoenix.

To take a look at my favorite inter-company crossover of all time, I’m joined by The Irredeemable Shag from the Fire and Water Network.  We take a look at it from all angles and really find our joy talking about this classic.

You can listen here:

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A QUICK NOTE: The show is only currently available on the Two True Freaks website for streaming and download. We’re working on getting the feeds fixed and that will hopefully get them to podcatchers soon.

Don’t forget that if you’d like to leave feedback, you can email me at popcultureaffidavit@gmail.com!

Pop Culture Affidavit Episode 121: Titans Two-Fer Part One, The Judas Contract

In 1984, Marv Wolfman and George Perez shocked their fans by revealing that the New Teen Titans’ newest member, Terra, was working with Deathstroke: The Terminator.  Then, they finished Terra’s story in what is the high-water mark for their run, “The Judas Contract.”  This episode, Donovan Grant joins me to take a look not only at the story as a whole, but The Other History of the DC Universe #3.

CONTENT WARNING:  In this episode, we discuss the relationship between Slade and Tara and talk specifically about issues concerning rape, and the exploitation of minors.

You can listen here:

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Don’t forget that if you’d like to leave feedback, you can email me at popcultureaffidavit@gmail.com!

Pop Culture Affidavit Episode 109: JLMay 2020 — The Return of Donna Troy

Episode 109 Website CoverIn 2004, DC Comics released ‘Countdown to Infinite Crisis,” and set in motion a six-month buildup to what would be the most monumental crossover in recent DC history, Infinite Crisis.  This May, that ‘countdown” and buildup to Infinite Crisis is the topic for the annual JLMay crossover.  It is “The Event Before The Event.”

In this episode, I step in to take on the only miniseries from that time that you’d expect, which is The Return of Donna Troy. But in order for you to actually understand how and why Donna Troy is returning (and where she went in the first place, you need to know the answer to the age-old question … “Who is Donna Troy?”

And trust me, the answer is complicated.

Join me as I look at Donna’s origin and history through its most important phases–the swingin’ ’60s original Teen Titans, the Wolfman-Perez classics “Who is Donna Troy?” and “Who is Wonder Girl?”, and even the Nineties where she was the victim of crossover shenanigans and John Byrne.  And that’s just a warm-up for my coverage of the four-issue miniseries that’s written by Phil Jimenez, penciled by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez (praised be his name) and inked by George Perez.

You can listen here:

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This episode is just one part of a huge podcast crossover for JLMay 2020.  Be sure to check out the following shows over the course of May to continue the epic coverage of the event before the event.

Also, if you are listening to these shows and digging this podcast crossover, be sure to use #JLMay2020 if you’re sharing these episodes on social media.

Pop Culture Affidavit Episode 88: Laying Down the Law, Part 1

Episode 88 Website Cover.jpgIt’s the first of a two-part look at police story comics of the late 1980s and early 1990s!  This time around, I look at the DC Comics four-issue miniseries Underworld by Robert Loren Fleming and Ernie Colon from 1987.

You can listen here:

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And look for part two next week!

Origin Story Episode Fourteen

Origin Story Episode 14 Website CoverDifferent distributors in the 1980s means different release dates for comics means that I’m putting this episode out two days before the last one.  This time around, I take a look at The Adventures of Superman #429 by Marv Wolfman and Jerry Ordway, which puts the spotlight on Cat Grant in a sense, or at least gives us more insight into her relationship with her son Adam and his father.  Plus, I walk down WWF memory lane by talking about Wrestlemania III and the legendary match between Randy “Macho Man” Savage and Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat.

You can listen here:

iTunes:  Pop Culture Affidavit

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And as promised in the show, here is a link to ESPN’s “Oral History” of the Macho Man-Steamboat match:  “Oral History: Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat, 30 Years Later”

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Pop Culture Affidavit Episode 71: The Legend of Wonder Woman

episode-71-website-coverFor the past 75 years, she’s been a hero and role model, and this summer she is getting her own feature film.  I’m talking, of course, about Wonder Woman.  To honor the mighty Amazon, I’m taking a look at two series entitled The Legend of Wonder Woman.  The first, from 1986, is by Kurt Busiek and Trina Robbins and takes place right after Crisis on Infinite Earths, closing the door on the pre-Crisis incarnation of Diana while opening the door for the landmark George Perez run.  The second, from 2016, is by Renae De Liz and Ray Dillon, and is an all-ages, out-of-continuity retelling of WW’s origin story.

iTunes:  Pop Culture Affidavit

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As a bonus, here are scans of the text pieces from the 1986 Legend of Wonder Woman series.

By Kurt Busiek (from issue #1):

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By Trina Robbins (from issue #2):

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Origin Story Episode Three

origin-story-episode-3-website-coverThirty years ago, I begn collecting comics for the first time. Now, I’m taking you back to those days with “Origin Story,” a comics podcasting miniseries where I will look at all of the comics I bought in 1986-1987 in “real time.”

This time, I step away from Marvel and head over to DC for The Adventures of Superman #424, which marks the beginning of that title in the post-Crisis era.  Does it still hold up after 30 years?  Will I be able to say anything that Michael Bailey and Jeffrey Taylor haven’t already said?  Will I fill out the postcard in the middle of the comic and attempt to win a copy of the Man of Steel special edition hardcover 30 years after the contest expired?  Well, you’ll just have to listen!

Please don’t forget to leave feedback at the Pop Culture Affidavit Facebook page and check out Pop Culture Affidavit for the show notes.

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Here are a couple of extras:

The iconic cover of the comic:

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And the trailer for the Stallone movie Cobra:

Pop Culture Affidavit Presents: 80 Years of DC Comics Part Eighteen — Superheroes

80 Years Episode 18 Website LogoTHIS IS IT! THE BIG FINALE! And oh what a good one we’ve got for you! I’m joined by The Irredeemable Shag to talk about a book that not only showcases a plethora of DC superheroes, but characters from just about every DC genre I’ve covered. It’s Showcase #100, a 36-page spectaculary by Paul Kupperberg, Paul Levitz, and Joe Staton!

We cover the issue, give our critique, and then wrap up by having a quick talk about new comics and finding your joy. So check it out as we take this miniseries home.

Thanks goes out to everyone who co-hosted on the show and everyone who listened and wrote in. It’s been a lot of fun. Let’s do it again sometime!

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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.

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Comics Prehistory: Superman #410

Superman 410As I make my way through these very early days of buying comics, I see more and more how my purchases were influenced by other media.  The two issues of Transformers that I just looked at are prime examples.  Superheroes are another, as much of my early knowledge of the spandex set came from seeing them on television shows such as Super-Friends or Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends.  Another source was, occasionally, my dad, who liked Superman and was a fan of the Christopher Reeve films (at least Superman and Superman II).  That, of course, led to my purchasing all four issues of Superman: The Secret Years, and it led to my buying Superman #410.

This was another trip to Amazing Comics, sometime around my birthday in 1985 because while this issue came out that May, I remember seeing this and Superman #411 on the shelves at the same time, so it must have been right before Bob took the comic off of the main shelves and put it on the spinner rack near the door, which is what he did for all of “last month’s comics.”  It was a practice that he held onto for years and while I do have fond memories of comic book spinner racks and would love to own one someday, they do have an odd associate in my mind with comic book leftovers.

Okay, tangent over–or at least point of tangent, which is that my dad took me to the local comic store and said that he thought the cover to Superman #410 looked cool, so I decided to buy it.  Drawn by Klaus Janson, who at that point was known for his work with Frank Miller, the cover is certainly a dramatic one–Clark Kent is walking away from a screen where Superman is saying “I categorically deny the story Clark Kent wrote about in the Daily Planet–it is nothing but a pack of lies!”  If I may criticize it briefly, I will say that Superman does have a bit of a fat face and Clark’s suit looks two sizes too big, but the drama of Superman’s pronouncement and then the cover of the paper saying “CLARK KENT FIRED” was enough to pull me in and still makes me want to read the issue.

Superman Satellite

Superman saves a satellite.  Or does he?

What’s inside is the first of a really great three-part story arc that is one of those excellent late Bronze Age/pre-Crisis Superman stories.  We open with Superman saving a nuclear-powered satellite from falling to earth and blowing up, and then cut to Clark writing about it for the paper.  But the thing is, that satellite resuce never actually happened and once that is discovered, Superman finds himself being forced to deny the story, which gets Clark fired.  Superman, of course, is confused because he knows what he saw and knows what he did, yet when he flies to the place where the satellite fell from orbit, it’s still there.

Is he going nuts?  No.  This is all the machinations of Lex Luthor, who is messing with Superman’s mind from the confines of his lair, and he will just copntinue to do so until the end of issue #413, where he gets away because Brainiac recruits him to join a team of villains in Crisis on Infinite Earths #6 (Superman #413, by the way, is an issue I bought years later because it was an unofficial Crisis crossover).

It is, essentially, everything I wanted a Superman story to be when I was a kid, and exactly what i expect out of this time in the Man of Steel’s career.  Lex has an underground lair with henchmen and is planning supervillainy?  Check.  There’s romantic subplots with Lana and Lois?  Check.  Clark is secondary to Superman?  Check.  Granted, I would come to really love the FCTC-era Superman and I do consider that version to be my favorite iteration of the characters, but the “Oh, this would only happen on pre-Crisis Earth-1” feel of this particular issue is part of its charm.  Plus, it’s just a great setup and doesn’t feel like Cary Bates or Julius Schwartz were burning off stories prior to Alan Moore and then John Byrne.

Even the Curt Swan artwork, which I will admit I am hot and cold on at times, works well here.  Swan is inked by Al Williamson, whom I am most familiar with from Star Wars comics of the era, and his links, though pretty loose at times(although this may be due to the reproduction on the digital comic, which makes some of these old newsprint comics look like they are on baxter paper and it doesn’t always work), give Swan’s artwork more grace and fluidity than I’m used to seeing.  Then again, I’m not the most accurate judge of Swan’s art, considering I don’t have a lot of issues he actually drew.

But honestly, this is one of thosecomics that makes me with I had started collecting earlier than 1987, and that i had been experiencing the ed of the Bronze Age and the beginning of the Modern Age as it happened.  This was still a time when a little kid could pick up books and follow them even if he had little to no sense of continuity.  Although even a sense of continuity could not have helped my next book.

Next up:  Secret Wars II #6