This week on ComicsAlliance's War Rocket Ajax podcast, "Lightning" Mike Quackenbush joins us to talk about the influence of comic books on his career as a pro wrestler, what it was like to square off against the super-hero that inspired him, and even the creators he's been wanting to get in the ring since he was a kid. It's a fun one, and you can listen to the entire show right here at ComicsAlliance!War Rocket Ajax v.2, #29: I'll Wrestle You, Al Milgrom with "Lightning" Mike Quackenbush

(WARNING: Contains NSFW language)

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This week on War Rocket Ajax, Chris is back from his trip to the circus and if you thought he loved cartoons, wait 'til you see how he reacts to the Greatest Show on Earth. Meanwhile, in our continuing series of reviews of video games from two years ago that we're just now getting around to playing, Matt's been having a decidedly more adult time with Bayonetta. Then, in this week's Listener Mail segment, Chris and Matt finally fess up to their Juggalo backgrounds.

When Quackenbush joins the show, he's quick to jump right into his history as a comics reader, with the story of how he got into comics:

My grandparents went to a recycling plant near where they lived at the time. I'm sure you're familiar with this old-school process: When comics went to the newsstand and they didn't sell, the retailers could send the covers back to get a certain percentage refund for the books that they had kept in inventory on their shelf, or something to that effect. I might not have that exactly right.

So what would happen is that a bunch of comics with the covers ripped off would then end up at the local recycling plant, bound with twine and sold by the pound. So on the right day, we could just drive by and buy comic books by the pound. Now granted, they didn't have their covers, which was a little deflating, but when I was just starting out, I would get just huge blocks. Every DC book that had been on the racks that month was just waiting for me to come and collect them.

That's how I got in. I had issues of all the DC books, Action and Superman, Batman, Detective, Justice League. But then, I was really fortunate when I was in grade school that I happened to be at a friend of mine's house whose brother was about to depart for college, and his mother was in the process -- I'm sure you share in my horror -- she was about to throw out his comic book collection. "Oh, he's about to get out of the house, let's get rid of these stinky old things!"

I don't know about you, but there's an undeniable nostalgia to the faint scent of a yellowed comic book page.

True to form, Quack is also quick to issue a challenge based on his childhood disappointment in Marvel colorist Mike Rockwitz's work on one of his favorite characters, Black Panther:

I'm really getting off on my Black Panther fanboy tangent here, but right when they started publishing Marvel Comics Presents biweekly, there was, and I have all the reverence in the world for Gene Colan, don't get me wrong, but they published like... it was enormous. Do you know which one I'm talking about? The anthology where it would have like four. The main story was always Wolverine, or Cable, whoever was the flavor-of-the-month mutant was always the lead story, and then it would be like "here are the losers that can't support their own book! Eight installments of Man-Thing!" No one cares what Man-Thing is up to!

It was like a 25-part Gene Colan Black Panther thing that ran through, and it was so bad. The colors were -- whoever the colorist was, we should find him. I'll wrestle him. Find out who colored the Gene Colan 25-part Black Panther that ran through Marvel Comics Presents. That colorist, I don't know what's wrong with your palette, buddy, but I will find you and I will wrestle you and I will beat you for ruining that, because it was a quarter more than everything else.

Plus, find out what it was like for him to step in the ring with his idol (and real-life manga super-hero) Jushin "Thunder" Liger!

Show Notes:

Find more of Mike Quackenbush on Twitter, at Chikara, and at his network of podcasts!

If you're not familiar with the truly awful Legends of the Super-Heroes specials, get ready for pain.

Some photos from Mike's match against Jushin Thunder Liger, currently framed by Jacob and Edward from Twilight for some reason.

For the record, the crew of War Rocket Ajax likes Al Milgrom a lot.

Chris's Rec: Rumble in the Bronx, which he wrote about here.

Comics Reviewed:

Justice League #5: "This comic is so bad that I don't know if I ever liked the Justice League. In fact, I don't even know if I like Darkseid anymore." "You know how we've talked before about how everybody in this book is an a**hole? In this issue, there's less being an a**hole and more just being really stupid." "Things happen in this comic, but nothing means anything."

The Adventures of Dr. McNinja: "The current story arc in Dr. McNinja is fantastic. Christopher Hastings has introduced a new character. Since Dr. McNinja is dead, he has introduced his replacement: Dr. McLuchador."

Secret Avengers #21.1: "Instead of finding the U.S. Senator they were trying to find, they find a Life Model Decoy who says, as he's exploding in front of them, 'when you see your Yankee Doodle diety in his chicken-fried heaven, tell him you died molesting the world!' I love Rick Remender, you guys."

Don't forget to let us know which classic episodes from Volume 1 you'd like to see in our brand new iTunes feed!

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