Comic Shots #1 with Chris Neseman: Old Fashioned and ‘Wolverine: First Class’

July 17, 2008

Each week Chris Neseman drops by to pass along a tasty drink recipe and an even tastier comic book recommendation. The cocktail and the comic can both be enjoyed independently, but they have a common theme and when served together they can make for the perfect reading experience.


This week we’re mixing the rough and the sweet with one of my favorite cocktails. It’s a basic little beverage that I often hear referred to as a “Grandma” drink mostly because of it’s name. It’s an Old Fashioned, and it has been around for well over 100 years. For those of you that haven’t tried sampling straight whiskey, an Old Fashioned is a nice way to step into the world of bourbon. You can enjoy a sweet and chilled cocktail without totally losing the whiskey with mixers like soda, colas or sour mix.

Here’s the ingredients and how to make it.

Old Fashioned

  • 1/2 orange slice
  • 1 cube sugar
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 2 ounces rye or bourbon whiskey (I prefer Jim Beam Bourbon)

Dissolve a small lump of sugar with an equal amount of water (bottled is best) in a whiskey-glass; add two dashes bitters, a couple ice cubes, a slice of fresh orange and the whiskey. Mix with a small spoon and serve with a maraschino cherry as garnish.

Enjoy an Old Fashioned on the back deck, out with friends, or on the couch while you’re reading…


Wolverine: First Class (Whiskey and Sugar – Wolverine and Kitty. Get it?)
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Fred Van Lente
Artist: Andrea Di Vito & Salva Espin

Back in 2006 Marvel launched a series that revisited the early years of the original X-Men called X-Men: First Class by Jeff Parker and Roger Cruz. If you’re a fan of the original team, or if you just enjoy teenage superhero comics it’s a fun run of stories from a simpler time in X-Men history. I highly recommend picking up the original issues of the series if you can still find them, or even better, the beautiful oversized hardcover. It should also be noted that John Byrne helmed a similar series called X-Men: The Hidden Years. That said, we’re here to talk about the new First Class series starring Wolverine and a young Kitty Pryde. Wolverine: First Class begins with the newly recruited Kitty Pryde settling into Xavier’s mansion. For those concerned with continuity, this story probably takes place around Uncanny X-Men #139. If you were a fan of the Kitty Pryde and Wolverine mini series of the mid 80s this new series will pull on the nostalgic heart strings of those who remember a world with only one X-Title and the mini series that were used to tell additional stories. I miss those days, but I’m old fashioned… See, I told you it was a theme.

The series takes us back to a time when Wolverine was the rogue member of the X-Men and often less interested in fighting mutant terrorists than he was in finding out about his hidden past. That drive to uncover the truths of his life have provided decades of interesting plot lines and revelations about the character. Wolverine is certainly a more evolved character now, but the that lack of mystery may have ultimately taken away the rough edge that made him a favorite to many readers. What Fred Van Lente has been able to do in Wolverine: First Class is walk between the raindrops of continuity and tell stories about the Wolverine we remember from twenty years ago. By merely accepting that these stories take place in between the moments of classic X-Men stories we are able to have our cake and eat it too. We have the classic characters of Wolverine and Kitty Pryde told in a modern voice that appeals to both our adult tastes, and to the kid inside us that longs to recapture the joy of those early adventures. When Wolverine was simply “The best there was at what he did” and the mystery of his past hung over the character he was entertaining and exciting. First Class restores some of the rough edge to Wolverine in a way that goes down as easy as an 80 proof bourbon… Uh, you get my drift.

Kitty is without a doubt the sugar in our little comics cocktail and in many ways is the star of this series. When she was introduced during the Phoenix Saga, Kitty Pryde was our personal window into the X-world. Every kid reading the X-Men wondered what it would be like if they woke up one day to discover they were a mutant with fantastic abilities. Kitty was that kid, and we followed her experiences like they were our own. She was the kid that proved in our minds that a good heart and just a little genetic luck was all you needed to take on the bad guys and travel the universe. Kitty was the female version of Peter Parker for a whole new generation of comic fans in the 80s. What twelve year old at the time didn’t have a list of superhero names ready if that mutant gene finally kicked in? I know I did. I’ll also tell you that Sprite was never even close to being on that list. But I digress. Kitty was there to reintroduce the X-Men to us through the eyes of a newcomer. Of course she would be drawn to the danger and mystery of Wolverine, because we were as well. Mixing these two characters together was brilliant then, and it’s brilliant again twenty years later in Wolverine: First Class.


So take part of a lazy evening and mix up a little danger and sweetness with an Old Fashioned and Wolverine: First Class. Savor each sip and every page as you remember those days gone by with a classic cocktail and a classic feeling comic.


Chris Neseman is the host of The Around Comics podcast and a co-host of the 11 O’Clock Comics  podcast. You can contact him at and suggest a cocktail or comic of your own, because good drinks and good comics should be shared.

Please obey the law and only drink if you are of age. Drink responsibly and never drink and drive. Buy only the amount of comics that you can till your wife or significant other threatens to throw things away.


  1. Nice article Chris.  I really love the First Class series.  It doesn’t take itself super seriously and it has all the X-Men characters I know.

  2. Excellent drink suggestion (I had a friend in college who always ordered these to prove he was a Southern gentleman; the South is weird — anyway) — even better rec.  I’m glad to see the ‘First Class’ line getting the love; I think it’s one of the best ideas Marvel’s had in the past couple years.  I’d love to see DC do something similar, with an old school Batgirl & Robin ongoing, somehting like that.

  3. First of all, thanks folks. Im really enjoying writing these, and I hope you enjoy reading (and drinking) them.

     If you like the First Class stuff from Marvel, and want something similar from DC you should check out Batman Confidential right now. Great early Batgirl story. I really like  alot of the Year One stuff as well.

    Mark Sable’s Two Face: Year One sounds like it’s going to be really cool. 

  4. Phenomenal article Mr. Neeseman!


    I loved to combo (drink and comic that is).  If you ever need any Elixir recipes in the future you got my #, I’ll dig into the Tiki’s Drink Tome! 


    the Tiki 

  5. @Chris  Oh, yes, I should have said — I am loving the current ‘Batman Confidential’ story, and I read Year Ones whenever they show up.  I just wish there was an ongoing that reflected that tone with a consistent cast of characters.  Year Ones and other out-of-continuity stories can be frustrating to me, because if I finish them and want to read more there’s not necessarily any place to go to find it.

  6. I agree. That’s why I would LOVE to see Titans Year One become an ongoing.

    I think the simple truth is that those kind of books really appeal to fans like you and me, but don’t have the solid sales numbers to hold down a regualr spot.


  7. Great jod on your frist post! Chris!  

  8. Every once in a while, I’ll pick up the Marvel adventures line to recapture that old school feel of things. Marvel Adventures Spider-man is pretty good and thr Amzing Spidergiel is actually oddly satisfying. For an old school FF fix, I reread Dans slott the thing trade or the old issues of the Thing from the Mid 80’s.

    What I find postively exciting about xomics eight know, is the unaplogetic return to the Silver Age Esque stories. Captian Britian has a very old school romp feel, as does Incredible Herucles, Action Comics, Booster Gold,etc etc.

    I hope I’m not hijacking the tread, but opinions on Nghtwing Year One? I reead it in issues and wasn’t that impressed I ould help but feel like I’dactually seen that particular story too many times before and for once, Chuck Dixon failed to really show me anything new. Maybe I have to give it another look in the trade. 

     Nightwing: The Lost Year by Marv Wolfam. Now that was some good comics. 

  9. I’ll definitely have to check out the Batman Confidential stuff!

  10. Great job sir, and great recipe, I’m partial to a good ol Rusty Nail myself. Keep up the good work.

  11. ohcaroline: since I am from "the South" I have to take exception to that comment ohcaroline! Why, with a name like that I’d figure you would be on the righteous, good side…" ohwell! Just kidding, yanks!

    Joking aside, fantastic article. Anytime we can mix booze and comics I’m the first in line! Add some cheesecake in there (any variety: Danger Girl, Amanda Connor, Greg Horn, or New York Style and you’ve got the trifecta!)

    These articles will need to be linked to the iFanboy drinking game!


  12. I love that Kitty gets top billing in that old mini series. 

  13. Mmm…Old Fashioned.  Mmm…old fashioned donuts.  Pardon my drool.

  14. Great article, Chris!  I think I’ll give Wolverine: First Class a look as that’s the era of Wolverine that I like!  And thanks for the links to ComicBookDB!

  15. Drinks and comics or is it comics and drinks… ether way the good stuff of life. Great article Chris.

    In Wisconsin they drink old fashioneds with brandy…ugh.  Can you talk to Tom about fixing this travesty so I can go back to WI in my lifetime?

  16. This fascination with brandy in Wisconsin causes me a lot of headaches. It’s not that brandy in itself is bad, you just don’t need to put it in everything!

    Their need to replace different booze with brandy and still call the drink by name is what really drives me crazy.

    You’ve hit a nerve jaglo.