TV Recap: Comic Book Men, Mid-Season Premiere

Written by Dylan Brandsema

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Comic Book Men Mid-Season Premiere Plot Summary:

The long-awaited two-episode mid-season return of AMC’s Comic Book Men was definitely an interesting one, and it certainly made up for the awful, cringe-worthy mid-season send-off “Stashbusters” we were left with back in November. One of the episodes was surely better than the other, but nonetheless, it was great to have Comic Book Men back once more, despite its inexcusable time slot.

Photo Credit: David M. Russell/AMC
Photo Credit: David M. Russell/AMC

Mid-Season Premiere Episode 1: “DRAGGING RIGHTS”

The first episode of the return, “Dragging Rights,” found Walt and the rest of the guys at The Secret Stash debating over the purchase of comic book Hulk #271, which marks the first appearance of the now beloved Rocket Raccoon. This provided lots of insight to how much impact the modern Marvel Cinematic Universe has. Walt so keenly points out, that if someone had brought in that same comic a few years ago, it wouldn’t be worth nearly as much as it is now if it weren’t Guardians Of The Galaxy. This exchange was refreshing to see, as it returned, (for the first time in a while) to the Comic Book Men buying comics – not silly shampoo bottles, Rocky action figures, or obscure backyard water toys like we’ve seen in more recent episodes.

Of course, however, the highlight of this episode, was the one and only Adam West. On request from Kevin Smith, Batman himself visits The Stash to sign some Batman ‘66/Green Hornet crossover comics. After Ming says something unbelievably stupid (as per usual) in front of Mr. West, the idea is sparked to have a drag race between the 1960’s Batmobile and The Green Hornet’s Black Beauty. Seeing Adam West at The Secret Stash was absolute delight, and this race (without providing any spoilers) is hilariously anticlimactic, and a joy to watch.

This episode was a welcome return for Comic Book Men, and here’s hoping that there will more episodes of this caliber in the remainder of the season.

EPISODE RATING: 9/10

Don’t forget to check out Pop-Break.com’s interviews with Walt Flannagan & Bryan Johnson and our interview with the man himself, Kevin Smith.

Mid-Season Premiere Episode 2:  “MR. ADAMS”

The second episode of the night, “Mr. Adams,” although enjoyable, was rather lackluster following the Adam West episode.

This episodes found the gang looking at a set of mint-condition 50-year-old Batman night lights – an interesting, and amusingly rare item. Kevin Smith explains in the podcast portion of the episode that when he was a child, his parents bought him one of those exact night lights for him for less than a dollar, and today a set of them of them is worth hundreds (Walt purchased them for $750) – another interesting insight from Comic Book Men.

As the episode titles advertises, the primary focus of the episode is a Stash visit from Neal Adams, a legendary comic artist from DC, and Dennis O’Neal, a renowned writer and editor for Green Arrow, Green Lantern and Batman comics. Seeing Mr. Adams in the Stash was interesting, but frankly not very entertaining to watch. He didn’t come to do anything all that interesting (he came for reference Jack Kirby work for a project he was assigned to – enthralling, huh?).

O’Neil was onscreen for all of about 60 seconds. He was being interviewed by the gang in the podcast portion, which, for what it’s worth, could’ve been much more intriguing than Adams’ visit had he been in the episode longer. One assumes that, in real life, this interview was much longer, and that it got cut for time, which, if true, is a shame.

EPISODE RATING: 5.5/10

Altogether, Comic Book Men had a promising return – portions went to the series roots, the showy gimmicks from recent episodes were cut to down to a minimum, and it shows signs of becoming as good as it once was.

AMC’s Comic Book Men airs Sunday nights at midnight.

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