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The SJW Comic Book Club is a book-club style podcast where three friends chat about a different story arc in comics each week. We analyze plot points, themes, and characters, and generally approach stories from a modern and progressive point of view. We try to center the opinions of people of color, women, LGBTQ people, etc. who are sometimes overlooked in nerd culture.
 
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What makes us like antisocial heroes? Where's the line between their good and bad qualities? And what's the risk of stories that don't understand that elusive quality? Join us this week as we discuss Hellblazer: Dangerous Habits, a story of John Constantine facing his demons as he desperately searches for a way to save his own life--and his soul. D…
 
Folks, this was a doozie. Despite being only 3 issues, this deceptively long and complex (but totally worthwhile) story took hours to discuss and even more hours to edit. Hence the slightly late upload. But we promise it is worth it! Join us this week as we discuss Superman: Red Son, a compelling alternate universe take on Superman as a hero of the…
 
Is there anyone you'd sell your soul to see? Even if you were already dead? You might think it's difficult to be tormented when you have almost total amnesia, but Spawn accomplishes this feat handily. Join us this week as we discuss Spawn: Beginnings (at the time of this posting, Spawn #1 is free on comixology), the origin of the cult classic 90s I…
 
In this week's episode, we explore what it means to be human when you're an alien with god-like powers or god-like intellect. Join us as we discuss Superman: Brainiac, which is part of the same continuity as Superman: Birthright, which we read in S8E2. Next week, we will be reading Spawn #1-5 (at the time of this posting, Spawn #1 is free on comixo…
 
Would you sell your soul... a second time? That's the question presented to Johnny Blaze, the Ghost Rider, when he finally gets a chance to be free of his curse for ONE GODDAMN MINUTE... only to realize the sacrifice he made of the next poor soul in line. Join us this week as we discuss Ghost Rider: Fear Itself (aka Give Up the Ghost), part of the …
 
This week we read the 2003 Superman origin story, Superman: Birthright #1-7. This is the beginning section of a 12-part limited series rebooting and humanizing the origins of one of the world's most iconic superheroes. Spoiler alert, it's great! Next week, we will be reading Ghost Rider: Fear Itself (Ghost Rider, vol. 7 (2011) #0.1-5). We invite yo…
 
What else do you need when you have a wry wit, infernal genetics, and a big F-you demon hand impervious to soul-sucking? Certainly not a giant tentacle god harnessed by Grigori Rasputin for the purpose of bringing about the end of the world, that's for sure. Join us this week as we discuss this and other eldritch nuisances in Hellboy: Seed of Destr…
 
It's the moment you've all been waiting for! Once again, MELISSA is choosing the comic! And what a comic it is! Join us in exploring America: The Life and Times (America vol. 1 (2017) #1-6), the first arc in the first title book of America Chavez, best known as a star member of the Young Avengers, and the first queer Latina character to head her ow…
 
Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away... Season 8 began. Yeah, that's it. Veronica's theme this season will be Hell. Monte's theme will be Superman. Easy as that. Before starting our theme episodes for season, we will be posting a bonus episode about America, vol. 1 (2017) #1-4! (The graphic novel in that link includes more issues--grab the individua…
 
So many comics, so little opportunity for them to savagely beat each other in a bloodsport-style tournament to the death. Join us in the basement Fight Club of comics to see who comes out on top! Monte's theme for this season was Mentors and Mentees. Veronica's theme was 90s Movie Properties. The comics we read were: Magik: Storm & Illyana #1-4 Tee…
 
This week we discuss Blade: Undead by Daylight, a collection including three early appearances of iconic vampire hunter Blade in 70s title Tomb of Dracula, and one comic whose release coincided with cult classic 90s movie Blade! - Tee Noir video referenced in the episode Tune in next week for the season finale bracket tournament, where all comics o…
 
They're back, back, back, back, back again! This week we are collaborating with Marci and Ako of Colored Pages Book Club to talk about Invincible Iron Man (2016) #1-5 featuring Ironheart (Riri Williams). This story is really stellar, and our discussion of it was so great we had to split it into two parts. Here's part 2! If you haven't listened to p…
 
They're back, back, back, back, back again! This week we are collaborating with Marci and Ako of Colored Pages Book Club to talk about Invincible Iron Man (2016) #1-5 featuring Ironheart (Riri Williams). This story is really stellar, and our discussion of it was so great we had to split it into two parts. So enjoy Part 1 and check back in a few day…
 
You're no longer part of the System. You're above the System. Over it. Beyond it. We're "them." We're "they." We are the Men in Black. Which appears to mean we can do whatever we want??? This week, we discuss the 1990 comic The Men In Black #1-3, on which the 1997 movie is based. This comic is out of print, but if you manage to find it, are you in …
 
It's a bird! It's a bat! It's a dangerously unstable individual using deadly violence to cope with deeply ingrained trauma and grief! This week we read Batman: Battle for the Cowl #1-3, a story that follows the conflict over the legacy of Batman after his apparent death. Next week we will be reading The Men in Black (1997) #1-3. These issues are so…
 
Somebody stop us! Or at least, somebody please stop the people who put custom songs/raps over the end credits of 90s movies. Or give them Oscars. One or the other. This week we discuss the comic upon which the 1994 Jim Carrey movie The Mask is based, The Mask #1-4. (The digital comic in that link is an omnibus, containing more than what we are read…
 
This week we read Kitty Pryde and Wolverine (1984) #1-6, a limited series detailing the adventures of the two title characters in Tokyo. This story has everything: money laundering, a precocious teenage superhero, an unusually hairy man, and a particularly grotesquely drawn baby. If you want to learn more about representation of Asian culture in We…
 
So, you think you know the ninja turtles? Well, guess again! Until you've read the dark, gritty, sloppy origin of those media sensations, you don't know squat! No pizza! All-red bandanas! No quippy teen catchphrases, and pseudo-zen martial arts nonsense philosophy in their place! NO. PIZZA. If you understand that true love comes only with true unde…
 
What shapes us? Are we the people who have raised us? Are we our friends? Do our enemies define us? Is there some immutable part of us that remains, unchanged, no matter what--or who--influences us along the way? This week we explore these questions as we discuss Magik: Storm & Illyana, a limited series from the 60s detailing what happened to Illya…
 
Who says comics need to be gloomy? Well, not the majority, but sometimes you get sick of dreary, doomsaying movies and books anyway, and you're in the mood for a bubbly, positive, aspirational heroine who loves nerd culture and has a real moral sense. If that sounds like your kind of comic, join us in reading Faith: Hollywood & Vine, a selection fr…
 
We begin Season 7, in which s**t gets real. I have no evidence to support that claim, but I aspire to it. Monte's theme this season will be Superhero Mentor/Mentee Relationships. Veronica's theme will be 90s Movie Properties. Before starting our theme episodes for season, we will be posting a bonus episode about Faith (2016) vol. 1, issues #1-4! We…
 
Yes, the rumors are true--this is it, the end of all comics. The very concept of combining pictures with words was destroyed when these powerhouse pages clashed in a winner-take-all tournament to determine the best comic we read this season. Brother fighting brother, puns against puns, and random criteria for success combine to make this the single…
 
A road trip buddy-comedy including a cameo from a dinosaur-themed supervillain? Sign us up. Unfortunately, this episode is missing Melissa's original audio, but we did our best to make it work and hopefully we put together an enjoyable episode for you all. This week we read Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy and explore the relationship between the two. W…
 
A single event can connect people who would otherwise have nothing to do with each other, and can create enemies and allies at the same time. This week, we collaborate with the podcast Superhero Politics! Michael joins us for a rousing discussion of mental health, trauma, grief, and the relationship between a hero and their nemesis while we discuss…
 
Join us as we discuss Runaways: Live Fast Next week, we will be collaborating with the podcast Superhero Politics! Michael will be joining us for the regularly scheduled Episode 7 of Season 6, in which we will discuss The Incredible Hulk vol. 2 (1999), #24-25. Veronica's theme for Season 6 is Green. Monte's theme is LGBT Power Couples. Email us at …
 
Everyone gets lonely sometimes, even amoral plant/human hybrid botanists with a history of eco-terrorism. It's just, most of us don't bio-engineer infant plant hybrids to get some company. But no one ever claimed that Pamela Isley, aka Poison Ivy, the infamous Rogues Gallery villain and occasional anti-hero, was not extra as heck. Join us as we dis…
 
It's the same old story--a pair of star-crossed lovers, separated by death, and one journeys through the underworld to save the soul of the other. But what if, this time, the lost soul did the saving right back? (And also, what if they were both dudes, and superheroes, and one was a murder-psycho with a combat computer for a brain?) Such is the cas…
 
Straight from Melissa's mouth: Issue #20: really confusing Issue #21: a nice little narrative device Issue #22: a FEVER DREAM and a battle for multiple characters' humanity (per Monte: the GOOD kind of confusing) Issue #23-24: getting into some plot Join us in discussing this cult-classic character in Alan Moore's initial run of Swamp Thing: The An…
 
An adorable, murderous pirate from another dimension? A mediocre, not-so-wise cracking detective? The Goddess of Death and Mistress of Darkness as a "noir dangerous woman"? X-Factor: Lost Souls (vol. 3, #207-212), featuring queer super-couple Rictor & Shatterstar, has all this and more. Tune in to hear us discuss the characters & themes in this del…
 
When heroes fight heroes, what is the reason? What is the outcome? And who has the right of forgiveness? Kicking off our sixth season, your friendly neighborhood comic book club partake of JLA: Trial By Fire (vol. 1, #84-89) to highlight the lovely GREEN character of Martian Manhunter, who has recently overcome his debilitating weakness to fire. No…
 
I don't need to fight (but I can) to prove I'm right (which I am)--I don't need to be forgiven (damn right, girl)! In the teenage wasteland of Chicago (and occasionally Cambridge, Mass.), RiRi Williams bears the burden of protecting absolutely everyone. Petty criminals, gang violence, corrupt officials, supervillains, and mysterious cabals, take yo…
 
And Season 6 commences! Two new themes, eight new comics, and an unlimited amount of unfounded drunken assertions! Veronica's theme this season will be Green. Monte's theme will be LGBT Power Couples. Before starting our theme episodes for season, we will be posting a bonus episode for Black History Month about Ironheart issues #1-5! We invite you …
 
This season's single-elimination, winner-take-all tournament is less brutal and more tragic? Several very good comics, a few compelling weirdos, and a stinker or two, combined with different tastes among the hosts leads to HEARTBREAK and SPECTACLE to finish off the fabulous Season 5 of The SJW Comic Book Club! Monte's theme for this season was Cult…
 
Everyone has blind spots. But when your blind spot sneaks up behind you and shoots you in the head, the time has come to address it. What do you want in a comic? A revolving door of excellent superhero cameos? We got it. Subversion of the male gaze? Check. A very cool motorcycle jacket? Gimme. Sass and badassery? Natch. Sexy domesticity? With Luke …
 
Who pulls beer heists, dates kangaroos, tricks the devil for an appearance on a talk show, accidentally kills assassins before breakfast, and has a tank? It can't be anyone but Tank Girl. A discussion of the cult classic, 80s punk icon, multimedia Tank Girl cannot be anything but chaotic, so follow us as we bounce around topics while discussing the…
 
Sometimes, you've just gotta go rogue. Yes, even if that doesn't involve donning a mask and punching criminals. This week we read Daredevil: Wake Up (Content warning: child abuse & domestic violence), a story that follows investigative reporter Ben Urich in his mission to find out what happened to a young boy traumatized by an unknown event. Next w…
 
How does an anthropomorphic alien duck get elected president? Spoiler alert: he doesn't, but it's the journey that counts. This week we take a break from the heavy and the dark to read Howard the Duck: Howard and the All-Night Party (Howard the Duck (1976) #8-9). This surprisingly funny piece of satire explores the themes of political cynicism, the…
 
Who killed Sue Dibny? This week we discuss Identity Crisis, a game-changing and controversial DC event (Trigger Warning: sexual assault). Join us as we compare and contrast Marvel and DC's approaches to events and to continuity, discuss the effects of shifting tones on a comic book universe, and of course, analyze the comic's value as a mystery. Ne…
 
What does it mean to selfish, or to be brave, when you live in fear of the Judges? This week we dive into the pulp sci-fi pages of Judge Dredd, a long-running cult classic that we can't quite get a grip on. This collection, Judge Dredd: America (Trigger Warning: sexual assault), includes three standout issues from very distinct eras in the run of J…
 
This week, the thrilling conclusion! Throw on your trench coat and fedora and join us for a few festive holiday murders as we finish what we started with Batman: The Long Halloween, issues #8-13. We complete our discussion of Film Noir with a few points about conclusions, rag on the Riddler some more (because, come on), and argue our pet theories a…
 
Who is Holiday? This dame walked into my office... Well, really I (Bruce Wayne) walked into a mob boss' office, but it's similar. There were definitely venetian blinds. Oh, you didn't know that venetian blinds are a hallmark of Film Noir? Well you are behind the times. Join Monte, Melissa and Veronica as they discuss Batman: The Long Halloween, iss…
 
How would you act at the end of the world? Would you take the lead? Would you accept the new normal? Would you do what needs to be done? Take risks, or hedge your bets? Fall back on old stereotypes, or widen your perspective? Would you gossip, cheat, and envy your neighbor? Or would you do all you could to lift everyone up and protect them? Explore…
 
This is Part 2 of a two-part episode. You guys are in for a TREAT. This week, we welcome guests Marci and Ako from The Colored Pages Book Club podcast and discuss a double helping of TWO (2) arcs from Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur: Full Moon! It's super adorable, and our conversation is fabulous. 'nuff said. Check out The Colored Pages Book Club on …
 
This is Part 1 of a two-part episode. You guys are in for a TREAT. This week, we welcome guests Marci and Ako from The Colored Pages Book Club podcast and discuss a double helping of TWO (2) arcs from Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur: Full Moon! It's super adorable, and our conversation is fabulous. 'nuff said. Check out The Colored Pages Book Club at …
 
Legend states that every nine weeks (or so), eight comic books face off in a vicious one-on-one tournament to determine the best among them. The comic that comes out on top earns the right to say that Monte, Melissa, and Veronica laud and venerate that comic, for all of time. It is the greatest (meaningless) honor that can ever be bestowed on a hum…
 
This week, we say goodbye to an icon. That's right, it's the last Magneto episode of the season! Never again will we see such a drama queen grace the pages of our book club (until the next time we pick an X-Men comic, and, you know... the X-Menisodes). In Uncanny X-Men: Superior: Survival of the Fittest, Magneto heads up his own team of dysfunction…
 
I'm just a kid, and life is a nightmare. Writing fan fiction, wearing only clothes with a single logo on them, wearing out your phone battery, and arguing with your parents; if you're listening to our podcast, odds are this is what your teen years were like. Well, in Ms. Marvel: No Normal, Kamala Khan is the teen superhero for us! Let's read along …
 
In X-Menisode 6, Monte continues reading and ranking (almost) every X-Men story from the debut of the mutant superheroes to the modern day. This week covers X-Men #97-100 "The Sentinels Have Returned". These issues are Part 1 of the iconic Phoenix Saga, one of the most popular & beloved events/story arcs in comic book history. See how it ranks with…
 
Magneto's just, like, really complex, you know? No one understands him. He doesn't even understand himSELF, man. He's just too complicated for that. I mean, look at everything he's been through! Check out the beautiful, well-crafted, subtle... or, um, SUBDUED story of Magneto: Infamous (with background reading of Uncanny X-Men Vol 3, issue #16), wh…
 
In X-Menisode 5, Monte continues reading and ranking (almost) every X-Men story from the debut of the mutant superheroes to the modern day. This week covers 1975 stories Giant-Size X-Men #1 "Deadly Genesis", X-Men #94-95 "The Doomsmith Scenario", and X-Men #96 "Night of the Demon". Hear about the debut of iconic characters like Storm, Wolverine, Ni…
 
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