CultPOP 431 – JLA Rebirth The Ray, Monsters Unleashed, Superman 15, and Amazing Spider-Man: Clone Conspiracy 4!

Spoiler Alert Comic Book Podcast with JD, and Mark L Miller:
JLA Rebirth The Ray, Monsters Unleashed, Superman 15,
and Amazing Spider-Man: Clone Conspiracy 4!

Take a listen and then feel free to comment below if you agree or disagree, or email us at!

Here are the time stamps, since we tend to ramble:

  • 01:30 – email
  • 07:00 – Justice League Rebirth The Ray – Steve Orlando, Stephen Byrne
  • 30:52 – Monsters Unleashed – Cullen Bunn, Steve McNiven
  • 37:34 – Superman 15 Peter J Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, Ed Benes, Ryan Sook, Clay Mann, Jorge Jimenez
  • 53:14 – Clone Conspiracy 4 – Dan Slott, Jimmy Cheung

You can find JD’s stuff at: and tweet at him @poptardsgo
You can find Mark at and @mark_l_miller
You can find Optimous Douche at

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2 Comments to “CultPOP 431 – JLA Rebirth The Ray, Monsters Unleashed, Superman 15, and Amazing Spider-Man: Clone Conspiracy 4!”

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  1. Hey first time poster, long time listener here.

    You missed a great discussion opportunity with the whole Republican Peter Parker thing. It would be very interesting because at this point it would make sense. He’s rich now! Many Republicans were Democrats before they got money. When one is broke, government assistance seems great! When one has money, one resents having to support the broke people. Speaking from my own experience.

    As I have gotten older, I have gotten more conservative. I couldn’t vote Republican because they hate my people, but Im no Bernie Bro (or sis, cause like I am totally a girl). so that would be a great avenue to explore, how money affects one’s worldview.

    Speaking of Boobs (like my name does) have you guys read the new Red Sonja? Her last incarnation covered her chest and was written by the somewhat dull female Marguerite Bennett. Apparently it didn’t do well and now she;’s back, written by Amy Chu and more naked than ever. Boobs galore! A gay friend of mine loves boobs, which people think is weird for some reason, and he liked the art. Also the story is interesting, with Sonja in modern times.

    You blew your load talking all that gay talk about a character who seriously is no ones favorite, the Ray. Plus I think he’s been ambiguous for some time. Fin Fang Foom too, and I’m not joking. But anyhooo…. the new All Star X Men seems to be written just to piss off the people Bug is talking about, with Bobby getting a full page make out sesh with his Inhuman BF Romeo.

    Any resemblance to other people with Simpsons-based names is purely coincidental.

  2. Homer! says:

    Since you asked and all..

    Before I get into my long ass ramblings on gay male superheroes, let me say that my favorite gay couple in comics, by far, is Harley and Ivy. And literallly no one has ever said “I hate the way Harley is going gay, she loves Mister J. ” But when the characters are fantasy sex object bi-girls, no one objects. Really, no one. And why would they when I think we can all agree its totally hot. But in a different category.

    So to reply…
    I went and bought The Ray, which I hadn’t the week before. It was selling better than Vixen at my LCS, as was Killer Frost. But I am so old I read the 1970’s Freedom Fighter and the miniseries that Quesada drew as well. He was not a very interesting character, but I recall thinking he was maybe written down-low gay even in that mini.

    Anyway, Like I said I felt like the Ray did always have gayish undertones, and he’s a super obscure character so who cares, right? But I guess people do, and JD was most elequent showing that people have a problem with characters “They” identified with being changed into something “they” see as bad (women, gays) no matter how much they protest otherwise.

    “Everyone is someone’s favorite character” may or may not be a valid point, but many characters are so underdeveloped that there’s nothing really substantial about them to change. Such is the case with The Ray. I would question that he has ever been anyone’s favorite hero. So after you revewed it and wanted a gay perspective, I went and spent my $2.39 (I get a discount).

    As I suspected, it was rather dull and pedantic. The story was ok. Very “meh” , attempting to be topical but not really succeeding. I mean, really just a one-shot intended to provide a backstory for the Ray in JLA. If this character, who does have a good visual, was rebooted again, I don’t think many people would care. If he were to suddenly be straight or Republican, or whatever, I wouldn’t care. Would you? There isn’t much to him.

    So the Ray is pretty low on the list of good gay characters, just like Alan Scott, bland gay role model who’s boyfriend is conveniently killed very early on.

    The much-maligned gay latino Girder in Teen Titans was a little better. He had a specific personality, if as a minor supporting character. He was my favorite character in that book, fwiw. I know you guys hate him, but I thought he was ok.

    I wasn’t initally on board with gay Iceman because it did seem so blatantly done just to cause controversy. But it has been handled well and works with his character. It makes him more interesting to me The latest issue was pretty heavy-handed and had me rolling my eyes plenty, but then I think the X-books always tend to lay it on a little thick.

    Northstar, like Obsidian from Justice League and later Manhunter, are capital-G, GAY characters. Being gay is their primary personality trait and I am not a huge fan of that. But Northstar Represents! And yes I would still buy any book he appears are in because it’s like I feel obligated to support a book that represents me. Even if it is sometimes a bit much.

    As you guys have said, Midnighter is the best gay superhero. And Apollo is his boyfriend and plays a huge part in Midnighter’s identity. As one of you said last week, if a relationship is pivotal to a character, it should be acknowledged.

    I am happiest when Midnighter is with Apollo, but I still love Midnighter on his own. He is a character who “happens to be gay” but isn’t constantly speechifying. Not that he isn’t openly gay either cause he mos definitely is. He’s just himself, busting head and busting nuts. I really enjoy the way Midnighter does actually embody some gay stereotypes while also exploding others. We all fit some stereotypes, and almost all of us are more than stereotypes.

    Not all comic characters are, though. Hence the phrase “One Dimensional”… or even two-dimensional even though comics are literally 2 dimensional. Peace.

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