Category Archives: Comics

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Review – Luke Cage: Season Two

Review – Luke Cage: Season Two by Jerry Whitworth

Last week, Netflix released the second season for Luke Cage, the third entry in the streaming service’s Defenders series that includes Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and The Punisher. Following the events of last season where Cage (Mike Colter) was drawn into conflict with Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes (Mahershala Ali) and his cousin “Black” Mariah Dillard (Alfre Woodard) only to be hunted by his crazed half-brother Willis “Diamondback” Stryker (Erik LaRay Harvey), the eponymous series’ hero must combat John “Bushmaster” McIver (Mustafa Shakir) who seeks revenge against Mariah for the crimes of her kin. The first season of the show was critically acclaimed for its exploration of challenging topics of race in America, an integrated soundtrack making the piece something of a visual album, and the remarkable performances of its cast (in particular, its actresses). Lets see if the second season matches up. Fair warning: there will be SPOILERS.

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Review: Where is Zog? TP

Review: Where is Zog? TP by Jerry Whitworth

Back in 2015, creator Jeff Martin (HEAT: The Space Age of Pro Wrestling, Wrestlemon) was asked to pitch a comic to a music magazine. Listening to one of his favorite bands Gwar, the song “Where is Zog?” played which planted the seed for what became his webcomic Where is Zog? on HeavyMetal.com. The series features aliens Grum and Zill marooned on an unfamiliar world in search of the mysterious Zog. Despite its science fiction-based premise, the piece is best described as a dark comedy as Grum and Zill race from life-threatening situation to life-threatening situation with comical gore and death. A running gag of the work is the different interpretations of what a zog is to the different cultures of the alien world (which undoubtedly is a nod to the reader themselves who have little idea what the Zog the story centers around is in fact). Admittedly, I’m not really the target audience for this piece. I have little idea about Gwar where in doing research into the band and its expansive mythology, only more questions seemed to emerge (it should be noted, Martin would eventually get to contribute to a Gwar comic in the final issue of Dynamite’s GWAR: Orgasmageddon mini-series). And while there are space-based science fiction and dark comedies I enjoy, it’s slightly out of my wheelhouse. Still, I found the work to be inventive and entertaining albeit difficult to encapsulate what it is. Spending a few days considering it, I would likely qualify it as if someone took a PG-13 version of the original Heavy Metal (1981) animated film short “So Beautiful and So Dangerous” and stuck it in a blender with Undertale, 2011 ThunderCats, and Rick and Morty and you’d have some idea what you’re in for regarding Where is Zog? It’s an ongoing journey that is yet resolved where Grum and Zill’s misadventures seem to stack upon themselves more danger which, seemingly, will result in an entire planet uniting to get rid of them. You can own Where is Zog? in print via its Kickstarter which ends November 9th and should ship by the end of the year.

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Review: Polybius Dreams #1

Review: Polybius Dreams #1 by Jerry Whitworth

Creepypastas, or horror-based urban legends from the internet, have grown in popularity in recent years with the likes of Slender Man, Candle Cove, and Jeff the Killer entering the mainstream. However, one of the earliest creepypastas is making a resurgence on the printed page. The Polybius legend is of an arcade cabinet video game called Polybius distributed by mysterious men in black to a handful of arcades in the Portland, Oregon area in 1981. These machines acted as part of a psychological experiment, one that made players addicted to it, induced various psychological affects (amnesia, night terrors, sleepwalking, depression, seizures, hallucinations, etc), and led to some committing suicide before the game disappeared a mere month after debuting. As with the other noted creepypastas, there are people out there who believe in the existence of this game (which some attribute to the early version of the 1981 Atari game Tempest which reportedly gave a player a migraine in Portland). The phenomenon surrounding Polybius even led to the development of a documentary from Todd Luoto, Jon Frechette, and Dylan Reiff that, due to lack of funds, culminated into a currently ongoing seven-part podcast series centering around Bobby Feldstein who claims the game was real and played a part in his supposed abduction (as well as the abduction of at least one other child). About six months ago, a crowdfunding effort would begin to produce the first issue of a comic book based on the legend of Polybius. Titled Polybius Dreams, Ben Grisanti, Keith Grachow, and Ester Salguero through Grisanti’s Hypnotic Dog Comics recently published its first issue and are currently crowdfunding for its second chapter of the four part series. Following a trio of lovable losers in Patrick, Paul, and Michael in 1986 Autumn Hill, NY, a mysterious new game called Polybius arrives in the small town’s arcade followed by the deaths of several youths. Friends with the arcade’s co-owner, the trio are given the opportunity to play the new addictive game after hours thus pulling them into the suspenseful mystery.

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Wrestlemon: Gotta Review ‘Em All

Wrestlemon: Gotta Review ‘Em All by Jerry Whitworth

 

Known primarily for his webcomic HEAT: The Space Age of Pro Wrestling (fusing pro wrestling and science fiction), cartoonist Jeff Martin is combining together elements of pro wrestling with another genre in battle monsters. Wrestlemon (2017) parodies the popular Nintendo property of Pokémon (short for Pocket Monsters) while also parodying pro wrestling with allusions to lucha libre in its featured monsters and homages for the likes of “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes, “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, John Cena, Demolition, Ultimate Warrior, and more. The plot revolves around rookie trainer Jacey and her Wrestlemon Technico (after the lucha libre term “tecnico” meaning technician and referring to a babyface or hero) as they begin their path toward competition in the world of Wrestlemon. In their way is Jacey’s rival Thad and his Wrestlemon Roodo (after the lucha libre term “rudo” meaning rough and referring to a heel or villain) as Thad struggles to escape the shadow of his legendary father and his Wrestlemon Flaireon. All paths lead to a Wrestlemon gym where Jacey and Thad must prove their worth as trainers and their Wrestlemon demonstrate the ability to overcome in such a highly competitive environment.

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Top 10: Favorite Articles at CAC

Top 10: Favorite Articles at CAC by Jerry Whitworth

 

Hey Stranger Rangers, I told you I’d be back and here we are. As I said in my last post, ComicArtCommunity.com and I have parted ways and over my five year career with the site, a few of my 267 articles have stood out. Previously we covered the most popular articles on CAC where now we’ll examine my favorite. The criteria for my favorite articles largely encompass one prevalent component: hard work. While I tend to invest a lot of time and energy into many of the pieces I write, some I have really needed to pore over and research. As such, many of these projects I’ve needed to care a great deal about in order to bring to completion (as I assure you, not every article I begin crosses the finish line). Of course, some of the most popular articles were also my favorite (like “Destroy All Monsters! Tokusatsu in America”) but for the sake of this list, there will be no repeats. Without further ado, my favorite articles I’ve crafted for CAC.

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Top 10: Most Popular Articles at CAC

Top 10: Most Popular Articles at CAC by Jerry Whitworth

 

Hello Nerdfect Nation, this is your intrepid co-host Jerry Whitworth back with a new article. Its been a while, I know, but there’s been an important development in my life. As many of our listeners know, I’ve worked for ComicArtCommunity.com for five years but, sadly, we’ve recently parted company. No hard feelings, they’re still a great site and resource but it was time to move on. At this time, I don’t know where I’ll end up, but for now, I thought it would be fun for a small retrospective. I’ve produced 267 articles for CAC (not including the biography I wrote for the Al Rio Tribute Art Book Volume One), which is roughly on average an article a week for my time there, and certain pieces of work stand out from the rest. Thus, I will produce two Top 10 lists: first, my most popular articles and second, my favorite. Based on the number of views and unique visits, the following are the ten most popular articles I have written for CAC. Enjoy.

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What to Watch and Not Watch in Superhero Television

For those not in the know, Nerdfect Strangers is not just a cool name for a blog/website, it’s our podcast, and the podcast came before the website. Here’s what’s on the podcast now…

The latest episode, our forty-first, just dropped the other day. Hosted by Bobby Fisher, Jerry Whitworth, and some guy named Glenn Walker, Nerdfect Strangers #41: “Gators ‘N’ Glaives” is a journey into comics, wrestling, role-playing games, and the latest batch of superheroes on television.

You can download the episode here, and don’t forget to Follow us on Twitter here and Like us on Facebook here. Enjoy!

An Afternoon with Laverne & Shirley

For visitors to this website who might wonder what the title is all about, let me tell you, Nerdfect Strangers is not just a cool name for a blog/website, it’s our podcast, and the podcast came before the website. We’re going to start to be more diligent about making folks aware of the podcast, starting now.

The latest episode, our fortieth, just dropped the other day. Hosted by Bobby Fisher, Jerry Whitworth, and some guy named Glenn Walker, Nerdfect Strangers #40: “Tales from the Pizza Bowl” is a journey into comics, wrestling, and the sitcom zaniness of “Laverne & Shirley.”

You can download the episode here, and don’t forget to Follow us on Twitter here and Like us on Facebook here. Enjoy!

Young Justice S01 E12: Homefront

ayj1When Mount Justice comes under attack by the Red Tornado’s malevolent ‘siblings,’ Artemis and Robin are on their own to save the day without super powers. We learn a bit more about Artemis as she faces her final baptism by fire. A lot happens in this episode – all this and more in “Homefront.”

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Young Justice S01 E11: Terrors

ayj1This episode features the first animated appearance of the Terror Twins, who had previously appeared in the comic Young Justice #0, which took place between “Fireworks” and “Welcome to Happy Harbor.” Southern super-strong badasses Tommy and Tuppence Terror can leap long distances and are highly durable, if not invulnerable. In our opener, once more narrated breaking news style by Cat Grant, the Terror Twins are in New Orleans, holding their own against Superman and the Martian Manhunter. Yeah, that’s how tough they are, but as usual with “Young Justice,” there’s more here than meets the eye. Looks like orange could be the new black for two members of our team…

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Young Justice S01 E10: Targets

ayj1As with the last episode, this time we are dealing with fictional countries again as the “Young Justice” showrunners continue worldbuilding. Stand-ins for North and South Korea are North and South Rhelasia, and Red Arrow is there for the negotiations between the two nations. That’s where he stops Cheshire from taking out the new independent arbitrator… Lex Luthor.

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Young Justice S01 E09: Bereft

ayj1Time is an extremely important factor in “Young Justice,” and it becomes even more important as the series continues. In “Downtime” it is specifically mentioned that Aqualad has been gone from Atlantis only two months, and the time stamps at the start of each episode verify that. With this episode, it starts to get complicated.

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Young Justice S01 E08: Downtime

ayj1We open on a rather toothy and horrifying version of Clayface bearing down on Aqualad after trashing the rest of the team. The monster’s about to do the same to Aqualad when the Batman shows up to save the day. Reprimanded afterward by Batman, Aqualad needs to get his head in the game. Atlantis is on his mind, he’d better get back there and get it together. Yeah, we’re finally getting Atlantis, and more of the new Aqualad’s origins, in this Kaldur-centric episode…

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Young Justice S01 E07: Denial

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When I was watching “Young Justice” on a weekly basis as it aired new on Cartoon Network, this was the episode that made me sit up and really take notice of what was going on here, and not just because Doctor Fate was one of my absolute favorite characters (the original version at least).

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Young Justice S01 E06: Infiltrator

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Nobody likes being replaced, especially for a job you claim not to have wanted in the first placed. Well, that’s how Speedy’s feeling. After declining membership on The Team, and going solo from Green Arrow – Speedy has found new heroine Artemis is subbing for him as GA’s new sidekick and with Young Justice… and Artemis may be more than she seems…

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