#790 “Social Fiction” by Chantal Montellier

Social Fiction

Chantal Montellier‘s Social Fiction, published by New York Review Comics with a translation by Geoffrey Brock, is a collection of comics fueled by political anger, hauntingly farsighted satire and attacks on consumer culture.

Emmet and Kumar review the collection, which still feels vibrant and at the same time prophetic, given the original publications dates of the stories from the 1970s and 1980s. Montellier’s work collected here uses science fiction to discuss white supremacist movements, body autonomy – oh, and talking cats.

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#789 Jack Kirby’s “Capt. America and the Falcon” #193-194: “Madbomb”

Captain America and the Falcon

When Jack Kirby returned to Marvel in 1975, the first series he worked on starred the character that was one of Kirby’s earliest claims to fame: Captain America, created in 1940 by Kirby and writer Joe Simon. Before Kirby returned, Cap’s book became Captain America and the Falcon. As Kirby begins his run, he deftly uses the African-American Falcon to show that Cap’s optimistic view of America (“This country’s grown up!”) isn’t always accurate (“Jive! It’s still trying, friend!”). This time, Tim and Emmet discuss Captain America and the Falcon #193-194.

Waxing and Waning: Essays on Moon Knight, containing an essay by Emmet

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#291 “MONSTER” (Justifiable Homicide? pt 2)


FLASHBACK! Planning a murder that you think will prevent future murders? That’s the premise — or, at least, one of the premises — of Monster, Naoki Urasawa’s 18-volume series. Set in Germany, the series focuses on the unintended consequences of Dr. Kenzo Tenma’s good deed; he saved the life of a boy who turned out to be a remorseless killer. Tim and guest reviewer Natalie Nourigat discuss. (This episode was originally published August 22, 2011.)

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#290 “NEXUS” (Justifiable Homicide? pt 1)


FLASHBACK! We begin a two-review series on comics that ask hard questions about whether murder can ever be justified. This week, Mike Baron and Steve Rude’s Nexus. Beginning in the early ’80s, Baron’s philosophical writing and Rude’s increasingly polished art presented the story of a far future in which a man kills mass-murderers — not out of revenge, but because he feels forced to “in self-defense.” Tim and Paul review. (This episode was originally published August 15, 2011.)

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#788 Alan Moore’s “1963”


In 1993, the Image revolution was underway, itself a result of the 1986 earthquake brought about by Alan Moore’s Watchmen and Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns. Moore was on a mission to counteract the wave of “grim and gritty” comics he had inadvertently helped to start. This led to Moore’s 1963 series, a combination parody of and homage to the Marvel comics of the Silver Age, with art by the likes of Stephen Bissette, Rick Vietch, Dave Gibbons, Don Simpson, and Jim Valentino. Tim and Kumar review the series, discussing why it was never completed and why it’s not currently in print.

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#462 Usagi Yojimbo

Usagi Yojimbo

FLASHBACK! Originating out of the same ’80s black-and-white/anthropomorphic boom that brought us the Ninja Turtles, Usagi Yojimbo is one of the few comics of that batch that are still going today. Stan Sakai’s work combines historical drama, understated violence, light comedy, and even some explanations of 17th century Japanese culture — and he can pack a surprising amount of story into a few pages. Tom Spurgeon joins Tim and Kumar to talk about the long-eared samurai. (This episode was originally published August 24, 2015.)

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#787 Jack Kirby’s “OMAC”: The World That’s Going

The run of Jack Kirby’s OMAC: One Man Army Corps was bright but short, lasting only through eight bi-monthly issues. This time Tim and Emmet discuss issues 5 through eight, covering a shocking, brilliant two-parter, another two-parter that brings the series to a crashing halt, and more evidence that Kirby was great at wild ideas, but naming the characters might have been better left to someone else!

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#786 Jack Kirby’s “OMAC”: The World That’s Coming

One of Kirby’s late efforts at DC was OMAC: One-Man Army Corps, which focuses on “the world that’s coming”: what miracles, and horrors, technology would bring. Of course, some of it seems ridiculous, but other parts seem prescient. Tim and Emmet discuss the book’s crazy Kirby concepts — or are they crazy?

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“Black Panther” (2018)

Black PantherPaul of “To the Batpoles” joins Tim and Mulele to discuss 2018’s “Black Panther” film, trying to separate political filmmaking from good filmmaking, and having different experiences based on whether they went in knowing the comics, the comics AND the film’s marketing, or neither.

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#785 “Berserk”: The Prosaic Past

Berserk pt 2

After covering the first four volumes of Kentaro Miura’s Berserk a few months back, Tim and Kumar decided to keep going. In volumes 5 and 6, the lengthy (volumes 3 to 14!) flashback to Guts’s origin story continues, but why does the flashback seem to exist in a magic-free world? In the early volumes, in the “present”, Guts was shadowed by an elf, frequently encountered ghosts and demons, and pulled off comically over-the-top feats with his huge sword. But the world of the flashback seems to be, with a few exceptions, a fairly realistic medieval Europe. The guys examine the difference and pick up hints of what comes next.

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