Hopkins

About Hopkins

If gaming is my true love, then comics are my seedy mistress. Always one to latch on to a good story or an interesting character, I'm a product of the 90's and all that Pop Culture has to offer. Jumping onto the comic train after dipping my toes in the MCU, I never got off and the train speeds up a little bit everyday. When I'm not playing a game I'm devouring some other form of written or visual nerd culture stimuli.
Website: http://thecomicbookden.ca

Episode 48 Now On Youtube

Hey everyone,

The video for Podcast episode 48 is now available on our youtube channel. Be sure to check it out and subscribe if you want to get our videos as soon as they’re available!

 

Welcome to TheComicBookDen Year 3

What’s up Superfriends!? If you’re reading this that means that we’ve all entered year 3 of this thing together and it’s still chugging along. No doubt you’ve noticed that all our branding has been updated across our social media, you can thank Mr. Arden for toiling over that the last few weeks while getting way too much feedback from the other 4 of us. I’m sure you can imagine.

Anyways, hopefully you’ve had a chance to listen to the anniversary podcast where we do talk about all the great goals and aspirations we’ve set for ourselves and the podcast over the next year, if not I highly recommend you check it out down below.

Outside of that we’re working towards upping our podcast game in as many ways as possible, but more than anything we’d love to hear from you, the person who is reading this post right now. So if you’re reading this on the website, or maybe seeing it on Twitter or Facebook, let us know about it.

Anyways, we hope you’re excited about everything to come this year, we sure are, thanks for listening.

 

-TheComicBookDen

Our Wet Hot Canadian Summer

Greeting Superfriends! It’s been awhile, how are you guys doing? See Spiderman? Pretty great right? Defenders is right around the corner on Netflix and some pretty intense new runs are coming out. You’ve likely noticed if you’re reading this that is been awhile since we’ve put out a new episode. Well we’ve noticed that too and we just wanted to let you know that we’re taking a short hiatus during this summer as some of us are moving and drastically changing things in our lives. As it stands right now we hope to be back on the trail by the end of August with new episodes and maybe even some new announcements. If you’re holding out for more ComicBookDen then just bare with us a little bit longer. We’re sure the wait will be worth it.

Your Superfriends,

The ComicBookDen

P.S. Obligatory Wonder Woman shoutout.

All Star Batman Volume 1 Review

Batman All-star volume 1

Collects issues 1-5

Writer: Scott Snyder (New 52 Batman, Wytches)

Artist: John Romita Jr. (Amazing Spider-Man, Kick-Ass)

Reviewed by: Peter (Produce Pete) McNeely

 

All-star DC comics (which no longer exists) was an imprint of DC comics which brought together some of the best writers and artists to create new stories using DC’s most popular characters. The main differences between previous All-star titles and All-star Batman is that All-star Batman’s stories are part of the current DC universe continuity. The series features the ever so popular writer Scott Snyder with a rotating cast of well known artists.

Scott Snyder is at it again with the help of John Romita Jr.. Together these two create one hell of a rollercoaster ride that jumps between the present and the past. The story, titled MY OWN WORST ENEMY, has Batman fighting his way across the state (498 miles to be exact) to cure Harvey Dent of Two-Face. Early into the story we find out that Two-Face has put out an open contract on Batman to try and stop him from reaching a house (we learn about this house later on) containing the cure. As the story progresses Batman’s relationship with Harvey Dent is explored, through multiple flashbacks, revealing the childhood interactions these two characters share. Even with over a dozen different villains trying to stop him, Batman with the help of Robin (Duke Thomas) and a few other members of the Bat family, prevail (SURPRISE!).

I really enjoyed the art in this book. It flows beautifully from panel to panel and does a good job of creating an obvious transition from past to present. There is a panel of Batman standing in a field, cape blowing in the wind, which is so simple yet still portrays Batman’s perseverance. Although, of all the characters in this book I would have to say that Two-face is drawn the best. The details of the scaring on his face are outstanding and the use of showing one side of the face to show who is in control is very well done. The colours used are not your typical dark Batman colours. They are brighter and more vibrant making the characters pop out from the background.

Even though at its core this is a very typical Batman story I still enjoyed reading this book. Snyder just knows how to write a good Batman story and John Romita Jr. backs it up with some wonderful art. The book (and I’m sure the rest of the series) will scratch that Scott Snyder Batman itch lingering since the end of his run on Batman New 52. The only unfortunate thing about this series is that the artist changes every story arc, something I am not the biggest fan of. If you can get past this I would recommend hopping onto the series. If you can’t get passed that issue I would still recommend picking up All-Star Batman volume 1 as it is sure to be an entertaining read.

All-Star Batman volume 1 was provided to us for review by Penguin Random House Canada.

DC Rebirth Aquaman Vol 1 Review

 

Review by: Matt Larose

Written by: Dan Abnett

Art by: Scot Eaton, Brad Walker and Philippe Briones

 

DC Universe has now reached an end of an era with the New 52 wrapping up and entering the new phase of comics titled Rebirth. Everyone is beginning their relaunches starting at issue #0 and moving quite quickly into trade paperback format, today I get the privilege of reviewing one of the first with Aquaman. A lot of people give Aquaman grief mainly because they see him as the typical under water guy who talks to fish, sorry folks but if you actually took the time to read his books before passing judgements you’d realize that you’d be pretty wrong, I would know because I used to be one of those people. I started my journey with Aquaman while working at a local comic shop and got dared to try and read volume 1 from the New 52 storyline, my coworker at the time was and will always be an Aquaman fan so I took the dare. Man was I ever glad to be wrong because it was an amazing read and an incredible run for Aquaman. But now that that run is over with we get to start over, not going to lie, I’m quite excited to see where this title goes.

We begin this new tale exactly where the last volume of New 52 leaves off, Aquaman and Mera are pretty much trying to create peace between our society and Atlantis, who knew this task would be tricky, right? Not only do they find trouble with the surface world but there are a lot of citizens of Atlantis, even terrorist groups, that totally disagree with Aquaman when it comes to peace. It was interesting to see the differences and similarities between both cultures over this touchy subject. Differences were obviously how the world was treating the oceans as well as how society in general should be, but similarities in how both societies hated each other but also in how they both wanted change. To say that a lot of opinions were being thrown around would be a total understatement, but that’s what made this story interesting.

One thing I enjoy about relaunches in comics is the fact that characters get brought back in big ways, for this storyline one of my favourite villains was brought back and I couldn’t have been happier, that’s right folks one of our big baddies is back and goes by the name Black Manta! Now for those reading this and not knowing anything about this title or this particular character in general do not fear because in this story you get a brief history on both Aquaman and Black Manta and as to why they are hated foes, and I got to tell you it’s a pretty interesting tale to read. I loved seeing this character returning to the title, I find that Black Manta is a key player whenever telling any tale from Aquaman, he may have a ridiculous costume (depending on the artist) but he is a great villain and deserves some respect for that.

Story wise, it felt like I was watching an episode of a TV series, seeing as how i had just previously finished the last volume of the New 52 run. This volume pretty much picks up the pieces of the previous story line and just starts a new one. The ending of the book didn’t feel like much of an ending but that’s what I found intriguing. The way this volume ended made me want to read the next volume immediately because it didn’t have that finishing touch to it.

Now here’s  my favourite part of this review, the art. In this volume we had artists Scot Eaton, Brad Walker and Philippe Briones. I enjoyed the art in this book very much it’s just for me I get pretty picky, I like when a story stays with one artist in general. I found the work of Scot Eaton to be what was needed in this book, detailed enough with facial expressions and not over detailing on say hair or Aquaman’s armour or clothing. Not to mention the covers for this book were very well done by Brad Walker, my favourite one being the issue with the cover of just Aquaman’s hands in handcuffs.

All in all I would have to say that this was a great story from beginning to end and that Aquaman does deserve a lot more respect than what he gets from the typical comic fan. He’s not just the guy who talks to fish, trust me if you read this book you get to see him go toe to toe with a big gun and he says a lot to them that makes you respect the man just a little bit more. So I say unto you good reader, find volume 1 of Aquaman and have a look see and maybe, just maybe you’ll break that chain of Aquaman hate like I did.

Scooby Apocalypse Volume 1 Review

Written by Stephen Hopkins

 

Our copy of Scooby Apocalypse was provided to us for review by Penguin Random House Canada.

 

Scooby Apocalypse Volume 1

Keith Griffin

J.M. DeMatteis

Howard Porter

Published by DC Comics

 

I always found that Scooby Doo was kind of a hard pill to swallow, like, where does the gang get their money from? Why are there so many abandoned, haunted amusement parks? Why even keep Shaggy around? He literally doesn’t do anything but be scared and eat questionable food. So when I found out about Scooby Apocalypse I just had to see where they were going with it, and zoinks did they ever go for it.

 

Scooby Apocalypse brings us a new origin story for the crew of the Mystery Machine and gives each member of the gang a new background to work from. Daphne is a guerrilla journalist with Freddy playing her man slave/camera man, Velma is a high ranking scientist at a giant multinational corporation, Shaggy, a bearded hipster dog trainer, and of course Scooby Doo, the failed product of a government smart dog program.

 

The expository issues cover all the introductions and tell us how Velma has essentially helped in bringing about the end of the world, and ends up recruiting the rest of the gang to help her stop it… Which is weird because she’s a scientist, and she picked a journalist obsessed with ratings and getting her own show, her subservient cameraman, and a hip dog trainer and his rejected science project buddy to assist her. Smort!

 

As things progress we see the gang get back into the swing of things as the story jumps forward into full on apocalyptic mayhem, how they went from rag tag group of random people to armoured monster combatants is a bit of a mystery but hey, there’s a talking dog that wears a saiyan scouter to send people emoji’s so… let’s not worry about logistics here. We get plenty of familiar Scooby tropes throughout the book and even a reimagined mystery machine, replacing the old psychedelic VW bus with an Armored LAV. This book is for fun people, not anyone who wants to sneer at a lack of respect for the source material.

 

The art is well done for the most part with everyone looking more or less like themselves and keeping to the familiar colour schemes of each character, Velma is definitely the least changed character, while Shaggy is just…. Well he’s hipster Shaggy. Hipster Shaggy might be Produce Pete’s new nickname… Scooby is handled well for the most part as well and Freddy is as forgettable as ever (in a good way).
All in all, this is a very fun read and a good use of these classic characters, the story is as sound as literally any other Scooby Doo story and it’s pretty to look at, although some panels are a little too busy for my liking. The amazing “after credits issue” included at the end of this book will definitely get a few people excited about the return of a much beloved character from the show. If you’re like me and you like Scooby Doo and apocalyptic tales, then Scooby Apocalypse might just scratch an itch for you.

Ep 24 – The Human Perspective

The guys talk about how us “normies” view all the crazy super stuff that happens in comics. Arden laments his viewing of 50 Shades Darker.

EP23 – Here is… The Ambiguous Definition of Superhero Comics

The guys talk about the new Xmen TV shows coming out soon, the new trailer for  Logan and then try valiantly to define what superheroes and superhero comics really are.

Follow us on Twitter @thecomicbookden

Email us with questions, topics suggestions and book recommendations at everyone@thecomicbookden.ca or on Facebook.

Of Things To Come

Hey Superfriends,

Hopkins checking in with you all again, this time to talk about the things that we’re planning for the new year and on for The Comic Book Den. We have a few things we can’t quite talk about just yet but here’s the gist:

-The show is returning to it’s original bi weekly format, so new episodes every two weeks. Mondays at 9:30am EST.

-Re Education Through Reading, our book review centred show has been shelved so that we can focus more on the main podcast and make sure it meets the level of quality discussion that we’re striving for. Don’t fret though you can expect more book centred episodes in the future as well as written reviews and opinions here on thecomicbookden.ca.

-We’re looking for more ways that we can engage with you, the listeners, so be sure to tune in for ways that you can help us make the show better. Please, please, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us on Twitter (@thecomicbookden) or on Facebook with show topics you’d like to hear us discuss, questions for the guys or just friendly constructive criticism.

-Just like last year we will be out in force at the Ottawa Comic Con in May with news and happenings from that event, so be sure to look forward to that. We may or may not be attending Fan Expo Canada again, Arden definitely will not but that’s his prerogative, more on that as we get further into the year.

-Lastly if you’re an independent comic book writer or artist we would love to feature your hard work on the podcast so please reach out to us so we can bring your creations to a wider audience.

The next episode of the show will be available on Monday February 13th at 9:30am  EST.

Until then,

Beers.

Hopkins out.

 

EP22 – Here is… More Catch Up and the Beginning of Season 2

The guys catch up after a short hiatus from recording. Everyone checks in at the halfway point through winter, Arden’s stomach argues with him, and surprise surprise Suicide Squad still isn’t a very good movie. Beers!

Follow us on Twitter @thecomicbookden

Email us with questions, topics suggestions and book recommendations at everyone@thecomicbookden.ca or on Facebook.

Next page →