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Posts relating to Image Comics.

Podicus Wrecks #62 – Until Dawn

With Halloween approaching, I thought we should have a couple Halloween-centric episodes.  So first, Scotty joins me to discuss our experiences playing Until Dawn.  This is a horror movie inspired game, centered around story decisions and quick time events.  It is a spoiler-filled discussion, as we not only go into our mindset while playing this game, but also the repercussions of our actions.  Casey then wraps up the episode with his minute recap of the Season 8 premier of The Walking Dead, “Mercy.”

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The Walking Dead – “30 Days Without an Accident”

The fourth season of AMC’s The Walking Dead kicked off last night, drawing in over 16 million viewers and dominating the ratings for everything not football related. The episode drew more than six million viewers than the season three premiere, and nearly four million more than the season three finale, continuing the trend of The Walking Dead being the highest rated show on cable. Scott Gimple takes the series’ helm starting with this season. He’s the third show runner for the series; replacing Glen Mazzara, who’d just taken over for Frank Darabont after season two. Gimple was responsible for writing some of the best episodes of season three, which managed to find a nice balance of emotional, character driven stories and gory zombie goodness. If this episode is any indication of how season four will play out we’re in for some good times. Now, with a healthy dose of spoilers both television and comic book related, let’s get into the story…

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The Walking Recap – “Seed”

Here we are with the premiere of season 3.  We last left the group with them just camping out on the side of the road, after all hell had broken loose on the farm.  In between seasons, the winter season finished, and the group has been traveling continuously looking for safe shelter.  I won’t have the usual play-by play at the end of this article, because I didn’t have my laptop with me as I watched this episode, but that’s alright.  Not a whole lot of different things happened.  Sure, it was a good, full episode, but extended action sequences make the recapping portion much easier.  Some spoilers below.

After accepting that going from house to house looking for shelter isn’t going to work, the group stumbles upon a prison.  Rick believes that if the prison was taken over early, there may still be plenty of provisions inside.  The only problem is, the prison is overrun by walkers.  But, that’s not really a problem.  The group is able to shoot the walkers in one fenced in area, as Rick runs through them to close off a gate to separate this yard.  It’d be a walker massacre, except I’m not certain you can massacre something that’s already dead.  They secure the yard, but Rick’s not satisfied.  He leads a group further inside, and secures another section of the prison area and a cell block for the group to call home.  Still not content, Rick leads a group to look for the cafeteria and infirmary.  On this trip however, Hershel gets bitten on the ankle.  They take him to what seems to be the cafeteria, and Rick hacks off his lower leg, in hopes of stopping the infection from spreading.  There, they find four inmates that were holed up.  In a town, Michone has been taking care of Andrea, who’s been sick, but they decide that they need to leave.

This was an episode for everyone that believed there hasn’t been enough zombie killing in the series, because this episode was mostly gruesome zombie killing.  There were some character moments thrown in.  Carol “jokingly” propositioned Daryl.  Lori told Hershel that she’s worried about her baby possibly being miscarried and turning into a walker inside her.  Personally, I think that would be an awesome way of killing her off.  She’s also worried about dying during childbirth, and turning and attacking the baby.  Not as awesome.  I don’t know what it is, but I just don’t like Lori.  And Rick is on the edge of snapping.  He’s walking along the cliff, feeling responsible for everyone and exhausted.

The hacking off of Hershel’s leg was brutal.  All Rick had was a small hatchet, and it took several attempts to finally do it.  I just cringed with every shot.  And to go from that, to the inmates looking at them, and *poof* episode over.  Damn, I hate cliffhangers.  I should just watch full seasons at a time, but gosh darn it, I want to see it as soon as I can.  It’s quite a conundrum.

As for the rest of season 3, it’ll likely include lots of zombie killing as they continue to secure the prison, but what’s really interesting is what is going to happen with the Governor.  He’s only appeared in teasers, but it looks like Michone and Andrea are the ones that find him.

See you next week.

Weekly Readings

Welcome to a pretty late edition of Weekly Readings.  Sorry about that.  This week we have:

  • The Fury of Firestorm #0, in which Jason and Ronnie deal with what comes next for them.
  • Batman, Incorporated #0, in which Batman recruits a ton of people.
  • Aquaman #0, in which Arthur discovers his true heritage.
  • Happy #1, in which Nicholas Sax finds himself in a highly unlikely situation.
  • Justice League Dark #0, in which John Constantine gains magical knowledge and meets Zatanna.
  • Superman #0, in which Jor-El deals with the end of Krypton, and my fears are realized.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #14, in which Splinter teaches Raphael a lesson.

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Is it Hollywood validation or just exposure?

In a recent blog post, Image Publisher Eric Stephenson looks at the sales figures for the four Robert Kirkman books released each month (The Walking Dead, Thief of Thieves, Invincible, Super Dinosaur), and notices that The Walking Dead and Thief of Thieves are selling much better than Invincible and Super Dinosaur.  He believes that this increase in sales is due to the two properties being attached to AMC shows.  As you know, The Walking Dead has finished two seasons, and as you probably didn’t know, Thief of Thieves has been optioned by AMC.  Now, I don’t dispute that connection to AMC and popularity of The Walking Dead show has boosted sales.  What I’m disputing is the why this is bad.

Here’s a bit of what Eric Stephenson has to say:

There are way worse problems to have, obviously, and I’m not complaining, but it is a little disconcerting that the dividing line between The Walking Dead and Thief of Thieves and Invincible and Super Dinosaur is the attention the former two titles have received from Hollywood. Is that a good thing for those books? Absolutely. But it’s a bad thing for comics as a whole, when we sit back and let mainstream popularity guide how we as industry order and sell comics and how we as a community buy and collect comics. In essence, we wait for someone outside comics to tell us something is worthwhile before accepting it ourselves.

Now, I’m not an industry insider or anything, and maybe my cynicism is still asleep in bed, but is it possible, just maybe the sales bumps are not due to comic fans that now believe these books are okay to buy because there is now a show based on them, but instead from people exposed to these books for the first time because of the show.  Image has succeeded where the Big 2 usually fails, and has actually gotten a bump in sales from a movie or show.   But, maybe Stephenson has some polling statistics that back up his beliefs as to why more people are buying those books, but it is too simplistic of a view to take without any solid stats.  (more…)

Dear Invincible

We’ve had some fun times, you and I.  I remember many years ago, I was eager to expand my reading beyond just DC stuff, and I had heard of how amazing you were.  I picked up the first volume, and it was incredibly good.  I was hooked.  I bought the next 5 volumes.  I couldn’t wait for volume 7 to come out, so I found issues 30-41 online.  From there, I was loyally buying every issue each month.  Or every couple of months.  Things got a little sketchy for a while.  But I didn’t care.  I just wanted new issues.  You were living up to your tagline of being the “best superhero book in the universe.”  But then things went wrong.

Let’s remember the good times, first.  You were at your best when showing how a teenager/young adult was trying to learn how to use his powers to become a superhero.  That was your strength.  Hell, I’ll still recommend the first part of the series to people.  It was fun to watch Mark Grayson try to get a handle on his new powers, while at the same time dealing with the difficulties those powers created in everyday life.  This is when the book was at its best.  When things were on a small, personal scale.

But you couldn’t keep things small, could you?  You just had to expand, and create your own little universe, didn’t you?  It started slowly.  There was the revelation that Mark’s father was actually an alien that was sent to Earth to scout it for invasion.  At the time, I was saddened by this, as was the intent of the story.  Mark had fought his father to protect his home planet.  It was a very emotional moment.  And it was well done.  But in hindsight, this was the beginning of the end for me, because it  introduced the Viltrumite empire.

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