fly_outbreak_1_cover_2015It has been, bar none, the crappiest week in comics news in recent memory – when the high point of the week’s news is that Larry Wilmore hosted a nationally televised round table discussion on how comics aren’t diverse enough (bookended by nerds-in-basement gags), it’s probably best to just pretend the whole thing just didn’t happen.

So that’s what we pretend. Instead, we took the occasion of the release of IDW’s The Fly: Outbreak #1, written by Brandon Seifert with art by Menton3, as an excuse to revisit one of our favorite movie franchises. Sure, The Fly might seem like simple Cronenberg body horror, but if you take a few steps back, what you really have is, starting with the original short story, a series of classic tales of science gone wrong, with unintended circumstances that imbue someone with extraordinary abilities in the face of terrible tragedy. Sure, it’s presented as horror… but if Jack Kirby or Steve Ditko had drawn it, we’d be arguing over which actor should be playing Seth Brundle right now.

We also discuss:

  • The Amazing Spider-Man #16.1, written by Gerry Conway with art by Carlo Barberi, and:
  • Batgirl #40, written by Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher, with art by Babs Tarr!

And now the disclaimers:

  • We record this show live to tape. While this might mean a looser comics podcast than you’re used to, it also means that anything can happen. Like a discussion over why real superheroines know to avoid a stack overflow error (and why that isn’t a reference to a wardrobe malfunction).
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, be aware that we might ruin the ending of a 29-year-old horror movie (that’s based on a 57-year-old short story).
  • This show used adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. You want your boss to know how many Godzilla wangs worth of snow we got this winter? Didn’t think so. Get some headphones.
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Enjoy the show, suckers!

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witch_doctor_mal_practice_3_cover_2013Witch Doctor has always been a book that has been pretty unabashed about wearing its influences on it’s sleeve. If you take a step back – and not even a big step – and unfocus your eyes a little bit, you can see past the characters on the page and see Ghostbuster jumpsuits, with Dr. Gregory House peeking out from Dr. Vincent Morrow’s eyes, and if you could get your hands on the plans for any given building, in the book, you’d probably see “Tim Burton, Architect” signed at the bottom.

This should be a recipe for disaster. After all, think about every groundbreaking hit movie you’ve seen, and then think about how many “homages” to that hit that came out a year and a half later, and how good they actually were. Sure, everyone loves Raiders of The Lost Ark, but a dare you to find me someone who pops wood over, say,Nate & Hayes, orHigh Road to Chinaor even someone who remembers them without resorting to IMDB – and one of those even starred the guy who was originally cast as Indiana Jones. Sure, the parts are all there, but just because they were magic in one place doesn’t mean they can work when you grab them and drop them someplace else.

So yeah: if you stop and think too much about Witch Doctor: Mal Practice #3 too much, you’ll see all the pieces working under the hood. And, depending on what kind of reader you are, that might prove too distracting to really get into the book. Which would be a shame, because even though you can see all the influences at work, writer Brandon Seifert and artist Lukas Ketner has put together one hell of a fun book, with entertaining and funny dialogue, nifty gadgets, and satisfying action. Sure, you’ve seen some of what underpins this story before… but you don’t see it done well often.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This review may contain spoilers. Hey, it’s not my fault that all the best, most quotable lines give away the plot. Blame the writer. Clearly he’s an asshole.

Don’t mock my faith!

Your god has no junk.

Yeah, Image is gonna get some angry letters about this one, Angry, poorly spelled letters with threats of “deevine retrobyushun.” Because for good or ill, writer Brandon Seifert makes some broad generalizations about the nature of deities – at least in the world of Witch Doctor – of the kind that some lead people to make “God Hates Fags” placards, and other people to begin to suspect, or at least hope, that Seifert is right.

My point is that, if you have the right mean and sick sense of humor, Witch Doctor: The Resuscitation is a comic well worth picking up, particularly if you missed the original miniseries and don’t want to risk fifteen clams on the recent trade without getting a taste first. Not sure if you have the right sense of humor? Okay: what was the last thing to go through Princess Diana’s mind? The steering column! Didja smile at that? Then you should buy this book. If you didn’t? Not only is this the wrong comic for you, it’s the wrong comics Web site.

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