Nostalgia hits us in various ways this show, as we take a look at issue six of Paper Girls written by Brian K Vaughan with art by Cliff Chiang and Matt Wilson, which tells the story of characters from 1988 brought forward into the present (and some other coming back from the future. Possibly. Exactly what’s going on remains tantalisingly intriguing.) Suffice it to say that Bex and Jon (but not Jared, because he’s a child) brought their own experience of living through the 1980s to the party.  And even by our standards, this one was digressive. Including one swerve into a 1970s TV series Jon remembers fondly called The Paper Lads – which you can at least see vaguely how we got to. That one among others didn’t make the final cut. We did talk about the comic too though.

No 3&1 in this show, because reasons, but by way of a special bonus, instead of the usual random nonsense or outtake at the end, we’ve included one of the digressions, as Bex and Jon share some of the madness that was The Tomorrow People (original version) with Jared. Poor, innocent Jared, whose American childhood spared him. until now.

We each came to this issue of Bitch Planet with a different level of familiarity with the series, so we viewed is as everything from the latest in the run to a first peek into the world of Non-Compliance – so how this one-off story works from all our perspectives was an interesting starting point. Bitch Planet was almost one of the first titles we ever reviewed, so it’s good finally to get under its skin. It’s a series that’s developed a substantial reputation, based only partly on its actual story; the additional material in each issue as well as the ways its fans have embraced the Non-Compliant identity are all part of what Bitch Planet is. Are we ready to get the NC tattoo too? Listen and find out.

No 3&1 this show, but it’ll be back next time.

This one’s a bit of a puzzler. When you tell the story of a sexy woman super-agent set against a backdrop of the California porn industry, featuring lots of prominent cleavage and a very male gazey perspective, even if it’s meant to be ironic, is it actually still just a bit sexist? And more importantly, is it actually any good? These and others are the questions we face in reviewing issue one of Red One from Image Comics, by Xavier Dorison, Terry Dodson and Rachel Dodson.

And as Red One is above all else a Soviet sexy super-agent and it’s Jared’s turn at Top Three/Worst One Ever, he’s making his pick of Soviet/Russian super-characters. Astonishingly, he doesn’t pick Colossus. Or, to Jon’s annoyance, Darkstar.

Let’s get this right out there up front: this one’s marked explicit for both subject matter and language. The first volume of Sunstone from Top Cow/Image is on one level a romance comic, but on a completely different level it’s a story about a BDSM relationship with quite a lot of graphic nudity. This one challenges us, particularly the male participants (and yes, we nearly typed ‘members’ there… there’s a lot of struggling with language here) in a number of ways – how do we feel about what we’re seeing? Are there limits to what seems appropriate for certain types of creator to create? Can we objectively assess the objectified? And what are we to make of the industry when we consider this comic?

One of those discussions where the basic question of “is it any good?” takes a back seat to a lot of others. Like “How many euphemisms for women’s genitalia can Bex come up with?”

It’s time for Jon, Rebecca and Jared (the latter in a distant echo chamber) to take a look at something by one of *those* names in comic creation; issue 1 of Nameless, written by Grant Morrison, working with Chris Burnham and Nathan Fairbairn on art duty. While we’re on the subject of Morrison, as well as digging into this first issue, which we each have quite different views on, we also discuss our experience with his other work, from Batman to The Filth; Zenith to Supergods.

This time, Bex and Jon take a look at the first issue of a new series from Image: Wytches, by Scott Snyder, Jock, and Matthew Hollingsworth, and consider whether comics can be frightening, what exactly was happening with that deer, and the creepiness of teeth, among other pressing issues.

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