So one of the “every Spider ever”s of Spider-Verse is the version where Gwen Stacy was bitten by the spider rather than Peter Parker, and things have pretty much gone downhill for her from there. Issue one of Spider-Gwen unexpectedly turns out to be the comic which divided our opinions most sharply so far. In this one we take a tour of the way people view female heroes compared to male ones, consider the way people come to comics in the “it’s all on the internet anyway” age and discuss the pros and cons of the alternate universe in comics.  Also: Bex reveals her true colours, Jared reveals his part-time identity as Cliché Man and Jon reveals he’s the kind of person who uses the word ‘shebang’. This one’s got it all, kids. Though actually: don’t listen kids – there are bad words and a drug reference (hence the ‘explicit’ tag on this one).

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Blasting very much from the past, yet at the same time future-looking, if not terribly future shocking, this time we’re going all the way back to 1984 to examine Prog 376 of 2000AD. Notable for the first appearance of Halo Jones by the mighty Alan Moore and Ian Gibson, there’s actually a lot more to explore between its cheap four-colour newsprint covers. Of course, not being British and therefore versed in the strange little 2000AD subculture, one of our number is at something of a disadvantage even before you throw in the heavily phonetic speech bubbles on the Planet of the Scots.

Poor Jared.

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In which we encounter pronunciation issues, find ourselves taking the ever-so-serious Kraven The Hunter somewhat less-than-seriously, and wash the unpleasant taste of last time’s Aquaman out with something completely different. That being issue one of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl from Marvel, written by Ryan North with art by Erica Henderson. And with all due apologies to those of a delicate sensibility, one or two strong words creep in again.

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This time we set out to see what was going on with a character that’s currently getting some press, courtesy of the upcoming film and last week’s release of the film poster image. Aquaman issue 39 from DC is smack bang in the middle of an ongoing story, so this also feels like a great chance to test how well an ongoing handles that “every issue is someone’s first” principle. (Warning: some strong language.)

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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.

Except that it was too long, the subtitle for this show was going to be “The bastard love child of Felix The Cat and HP Lovecraft”. Which may tell you what you need to know going into Frank’s High Horse, from the collected edition The Portable Frank by Jim Woodring (Fantagraphics). Join the usual crew of Bex, Jared and Jon, plus special guests the ID, the Ego and the Super-Ego as we get lost in some very strange territory. Probably more ours than Jim Woodring’s, to be fair. We’re marking this one ‘explicit’ for some use of sexual terms, but all done in the best possible taste. Honest.

1comic_icon_star_warsAfter a short hiatus, we’re back, taking on the first issue of Marvel’s new Star Wars series published this week. Written by Jason Aaron, with art by John Cassaday and Laura Martin, it’s a return to the Star Wars universe for Marvel, who had the original licence back in the day. It’s the Star Wars of our youthful passion brought back in a faithful recreation. But is its fidelity to ‘proper’ Star Wars a strength or a weakness?

(Note: we discuss the many variant covers this issue has – the one we’ve chosen for this show’s icon is the rather brilliant Amanda Conner variant.)

This time, in exploring the new Vertigo Quarterly: Yellow, we find ourselves exploring a mixed (magic) bag of post-apocalyptic high fantasy psychological drama with occasional ambiguous old men and two different takes on predestination. With occasional asides to consider the art of anthology assembly and how many directions it’s possible to take the theme of ‘yellow’ anyway – this one’s got it all.

It’s an all-new, all-different (sorry, wrong publisher) chapter in Barbara Gordon’s life, as she moves across the river, fights crime with a hangover, gets Black Canary’s pad burned down and takes on a particularly topical bad guy. Who we inexplicably forgot to mock for talking in hashtags. #Literally. So does this new start for Batgirl work?

Usual routine – listen here or get the feed over on the right

So the best laid plans, and all that.

Do to some scheduling issues, in a change from our advertised podcasts, the next two shows are actually going to be:

Episode 5: Batgirl #35

Episode 6: Vertigo Quarterly: Yellow

We will be getting to Frank, but it’ll be a few weeks off. We know – we’re as devastated as you are.