Critiquing Comics #235: “Rebirth of the Gangster” and “Toe & So Long”

Rebirth of the Gangster, Toe and So Long

Critiquing Comics returns, with a comic that we just couldn’t put down, and one that we couldn’t quite pick up on! Jason joins Tim to discuss Rebirth of the Gangster: The Complete Collection, a crime novel with incredible forward momentum by Writer CJ Standal and Artist Juan Romera. Then Adam and Tim critique Toe & So Long, a rather cosmicky, rather AdventureTimey comic created by Jacob Michael Campbell with art by Alexis Vivallo.

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#801 Swamp Thing Begins: Issues 1-13 reviewed

Swamp Thing

The character of Swamp Thing originated in House of Secrets #92 in 1971, drawn by Berni Wrightson and written by Len Wein. That story served as a first draft for the real origin story in Swamp Thing #1, with the same creative pairing. This week, Tim is joined by writer for CBR and Screen Rant Ashley Land to discuss the collection Swamp Thing: The Bronze Age vol. 1!

Crowdfunding campaign for Ashley’s comic The Unbreakable Argonauts #1

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#800 “Batman and the Outsiders” vol. 2 review

BATO v 2

Batman and the Outsiders was one of DC’s top sellers in the 1980s. This time, Tim is joined by John Trumbull to take a close look at the second volume of the series, which includes the reveal of Halo’s origin, exploration of Metamorpho’s, the 1984 L.A. Olympics, time travel, and more. Don’t forget the Mike W. Barr wordplay and great Jim Aparo art!

Tim and John discussed the first volume of the series here.

John writes for Back Issue magazine (and is an admin on their Facebook group) and co-hosts the SNL Nerds podcast.

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#799 “Berserk” v. 9 & 10 deep dive: Genre hopping

Berserk 9-10

Kentaro Miura’s Berserk can be confounding. Reading volumes 9 and 10 prompts us to ask “Just what genre IS this comic, anyway?” While it still has plenty of over-the-top action and violence, it also has gratuitous sex, comedy, and even some horror elements. And now we finally have hints toward why the “present” of volumes 1-3 had so many magical elements that have been mostly missing from the ongoing flashback. Tim and Kumar ask “Could it be the magic at last?”

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“Ant-Man and the Wasp” (2018)

Ant-Man and the Wasp

After the gravitas of Avengers: Infinity War, which ended in a blaze of glory only for the villain, what did we want next? A fun, lighthearted romp of a movie. Right? No? Well, that’s what we got and this movie is certainly fun. But it doesn’t resolve a single thread from Infinity War. Mulele struggles to avoid spoilers for Tim as we review Ant-Man and the Wasp! (Originally published on Patreon February 1, 2020)

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#241 “Dragon Ball” in depth

FLASHBACK! Though the highly influential manga series, and resulting TV show, are known for non-stop action and fighting, Dragon Ball started out as a comedy strip reminiscent of Akira Toriyama‘s early work, Dr. Slump! Viz’s English versions have gone through various levels of censorship over time to adjust to the low level of sexuality that most Americans expect of kids’ books. Except, most of the characters themselves don’t understand sexuality, and that’s the charm of it; it’s best enjoyed (probably by kids as well) in its pristine form…if you can find it!

In memory of Akira Toriyama, we re-present our review of the original Dragon Ball series. Tim, Kumar, and Mulele review. (Originally published August 16, 2010.)

Visual censorship comparisons after the jump (NSFW but probably safe for Japanese kids):

Continue reading #241 “Dragon Ball” in depth

#689 Priest’s “Black Panther”

Priest's Black PantherFLASHBACK! In 1998, under the “Marvel Knights” banner, Christopher Priest began the first ongoing Black Panther title in nearly two decades. Panther was a relatively unknown character to many Marvel readers at the time. With the aid of “Emperor of Useless White Boys” Everett K. Ross, and artists like Mark Texeira and Joe Jusko, Priest (a.k.a. Jim Owsley) made Panther a must-read and brought the nature of his character into sharper focus. Kumar and Tim discuss the first 17 issues (the ones included in Black Panther by Christopher Priest: The Complete Collection Volume 1) and see if it still stands up 23 years later. (This episode was originally published March 10, 2021.)

Michael Hoskin’s 4-part article

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#798 “Delicious in Dungeon” yields a feast

Delicious in Dungeon

Ryoko Kui’s Delicious in Dungeon pokes fun at fantasy games and cooking manga tropes, exploring what it would really be like to be a character in a fantasy game, arranging your life in ways that wouldn’t really make sense in the real world. This week, Kumar and Emmet do a deep dive on this consistently enjoyable and beautifully plotted manga, the anime for which is now on Netflix.

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Critiquing Comics #234: “Murky Water” and “Barking”


"Murky Water" and "Barking"

Kel McDonald‘s Murky Water is about a paranormal investigation police unit looking into the death of a man from drowning – in his very dry living room. (Currently being Kickstarted!) Tim and Adam critique. Then, Jason joins Tim to review Lucy Sullivan‘s Barking, about dealing with depression in an inadequate mental health care system. The art is beautiful, but how does this style work in a 130-page book?

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#797 Jack Kirby’s “2001: A Space Odyssey”

2001: A Space Odyssey

Jack Kirby’s 1976 adaptation of 2001: A Space Odyssey is an odd combination of the Stanley Kubrick movie, the Arthur C. Clarke novel, and Kirby’s own research and dramatic inclinations, which sometimes were pretty out-of-step with the tone of the film! This week, Tim and Emmet discuss this out-of-print treasury edition comic, where it borrows from one or both of the other versions, and where Kirby goes off on his own tangents!

“The Crazy Legacy of Jack Kirby’s Forgotten 2001: A Space Odyssey (

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