I am in awe—literal, no-lie awe—of the wild disparity between Marvel Studios and Marvel Comics. While Marvel Comics flails around and tries one desperate rebooting after another so that a hypothetical new reader won’t be…
Hey there, friends. The government may have shut down but not your friendly neighborhood Wait, What? Yes, we have a terrifyingly-close-to-two-and-a-half-hour installment for you!
- How many people we follow on Twitter(!);
- Comics news round-up featuring: the return of the red trunks; Bendis in Action Comics #1000; Dan Slott leaving Spider-Man to take over Iron Man; Kelly Thompson is now Marvel Exclusive; and, as Graeme perfectly puts it, “Wolverine is back, in the most fucking confusing manner ever!”
- The gap between Marvel’s sales and Marvel’s talent: Thompson on Hawkeye; Zdarsky on Spectacular Spider-Man; Al Ewing’s Ultimates and Ultimates2 (with Kenneth Rocafort, Aud Koch, Travel Foreman);
- Graeme’s thoughts on the first two parts of the new Avengers mega-storyline “No Surrender” by Mark Waid, Jim Zub, Al Ewing, and Pepe Larraz;
- Jeff’s thoughts on Batman #39, and a discussion about Tom King and Mister Miracle and DC’s non-Kirby handling of The New Gods overall and a discussion of continuity and character investment as opposed to an investment on a creator’s “take” on a character, which leads in its way to:
- discussions of American Vandal and the Netflix adaptation of Charles Forsman’s TEOTFW, and
- a *very* long—and absolutely spoiler-rich—discussion about Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
- Back to news (kinda): a discussion of Marvel’s new publisher;
- An all-too-brief discussion of the genius Bob Haney, George Tuska, and Vince Colletta story “Will of the Whisperer” from Worlds Finest #252, available on Comixology;
- If you like (or don’t mind) reading comics electronically, see if your library has the Hoopla service, so you can check out and read The Bronze Age Batman Brave and the Bold Omnibus Vol. 1 *for free*;
- Closing comments! Featuring Graeme’s great recap of Justice League of America #123 over at the most excellent Steve Morris’s Shelf Dust; Jeff’s not-so-great job of his half of the closing comments; and a call for you to VOTE!
Next week is a skip week but join us in a mere fortnight for Wait, What? Ep. 242, won’t you?
http://theworkingdraft.com/media/podcasts2/WaitWhat220.mp3 First things first, make sure you don’t miss out Matt talking about that Logan movie right below this very entry, y’hear? Good stuff, right? And now, some show notes: 0:00-3:47: Greetings! This week’s opening…
http://theworkingdraft.com/media/podcasts/BaxterBuildingEp18.mp3 Previously on Baxter Building: It’s all gone wrong! Sue Richards has left Reed and the team! Reed has managed to zap his own son with a ray gun that might have saved his life,…
First, big thanks to Ed Corcoran for providing the perfect title for this episode!
Second, here we are! This episode is a little early due to: the holiday weekend, some weird scheduling, and the desire to get a jump on the coming week which promises to be a bit of a sledge hammer. So let us begin, shall we?
Yup, here it is: our 174th episode (by one count, at least), just in time for you to snort some Hitler and celebrate Mary Jane Watson’s birthday!
Well, since I’m sure you’ve got a busy day ahead of you, allow me to present to you…without further ado…our show notes!
00:00-6:00: Greetings! Death threats! As Jeff says, “Listeners! Welcome to what may be the last episode of Wait, What?” Yes, it’s a bone-chilling opening for a podcast that jumps right in and barely looks back, with an introduction of what we’re going to be talking about length: a frank (and profanity-filled) discussion of Avengers #1-36, New Avengers #1-24, and Infinity #1-6, all written by Jonathan Hickman and a elite cadre of Marvel’s shock troops!
6:00-25:42: But first, before we do that, since this was recorded on the day the second Star Wars trailer dropped (embedded above), we have to talk about it first. Also discussed: Return of the Jedi, The Empire Strikes Back, Star Trek Into Darkness, the franchise that taught you not to trust franchises, class struggle in Star Wars, the Mad Max: Fury Road trailer (also embedded above), Terminator Genisys trailer, the Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer, the weird fragmented point trailers are at right now, the second Ant-Man trailer, and more.
25:42-1:11:05: And now we get back to Jonathan Hickman, Avengers #1-36, New Avengers #1-24, and Infinity #1-6, with liberty and spoilers for all. Because we are trying to be better with context, fasten your seatbelts as we try to describe everything that’s going on and break down our reactions. (And if you want to read along, all issues discussed are currently available on Marvel Unlimited). Discussed: plot hammering, what Jeff characterizes as the “contemporary American spirit” at the heart of Hickman’s story, the powers and drawback of repetition, a story about the inevitability of mortality as told in a story featuring characters who we know technically will not actually die; Marvel’s former series What If, #NotMyTonyStark, shared universes, D&D references, Stan Lee’s pubic hair, Secret Wars, the Nick Spencer train, the latest iPad update for the Marvel Unlimited app, the 500 Star Wars comics dropped on the app this week (seriously, if you find yourself hankering for the Dark Horse Expanded Universe, or you just want to re-read that issue where Michael Golden drew a really keen lightsaber fight, it is now exceptionally easy to get your hands on with a subscription to MU), and more.
1:11:05-1:20:58: The mention of the iPad (and more specifically, Jeff’s not-subtle hint that Graeme should get one) leads to a story from Graeme about what he’s been up to since the last time we podcasted. (Spoiler: a lot of what he’s been up to involves sitting in the Apple Store.) Throw in a cameo from Ernie and Gus-Gus and you’ve got a lovely non-comic intermission!
1:20:58-1:43:20: Returning from that intermission, patron Scott Ashworth requested that we read one of the oldest cult comics, Herbie the Fat Fury, by Richard Hughes and Ogden Whitney, which Graeme with his superior library skills (and superior library) is able to do! Discussed: Alan Moore, a certain type of “satire,” Groundhog Day (the movie, not the holiday), JFK (the person, not the airport), Stockholm Syndrome, Gold Key Star Trek comics, Daniel Pinkwater, pre- and post-war America, and coming up next on our to-read list: Opus by Satoshi Kon, as requested by Eric Rupe. Also, not mentioned in our discussion, but let me throw in a counterbalancing opinion about Herbie from Bill Reed, and an uncovered connection between Herbie and Watchmen. Those “Comics Should Be Good” guys are great, aren’t they?
1:43:20-1:55:21: Graeme also read the first week of Convergence titles from DC, which he wrote about for the website but also discusses at a bit more length here. Mentioned: Alisa Kwitney on Batgirl, Lee Weeks on Superman, Jeff Parker and Tim Truman on Hawkman (upcoming), someone’s butt talking to someone else’s boobs, editorial inconsistencies, Convergence as an event where you can read the crossover books without having to read the main event title; and more.
1:55:21-2:06:51: Although he didn’t have anything special planned to say (or anything planned at all), Jeff nevertheless wanted to talk about the passing of Herb Trimpe, comic artist, writer, and teacher who managed to fuse the imperatives of a Marvel house style with his own more unique one, and gave us a lot of great comics along the way: the Incredible Hulk, Shogun Warriors, Godzilla, and G.I. Joe, a fill-in issue of Captain America written by Bill Mantlo (issue #291, which Jeff does an impressive job of partially misremembering here (and again, thanks to Marvel Unlimited, I dug up that issue, read it and screenshot it just now), the Phantom Eagle in Marvel Super-Heroes #16, issues of G.I. Joe Special Missions that he wrote, and more. Thank you, Herb.
2:06:51-end: Closing comments, a.k.a., “when the hell is our next episode, we honestly have no god-damned idea.” (Hint, it’s a skip week coming up, so look for us in a fortnight.) The Small Tote Bag! Places to look for us at—Stitcher! Itunes! Twitter! Tumblr! and, of course, on Patreon where, as of this count, 102 patrons make this whole thing possible.
Next Week: there is no next week! (As far as a podcast episode is concerned) but then come back the week after that! And the week after that! Etc., etc. And remember, if you need just a straight text-only link to cut and paste into your browser or program of choice, check out the first comment!
Oh, it’s too late. 2015 has already barged in, wiping its feet on the carpets and asking if there’s anything to eat because its hypoglycemic. Nonetheless, while editing our last podcast for 2014, I had…
Holiday’s greetings, everyone! It’s next to next to the last day of the year, and Graeme and I are here to shut it down in style, with a two point five hour podcast of Avengersdissing, predictionmaking, shadethrowing hyphenignoreing adventure! We recorded this one the day after Christmas, I mixed it yesterday, I’m uploading it today, I’m having a quiet nervous breakdown tomorrow and then we are streets ahead into 2015! So join us for a very quick piece of shownoteisms, won’t you?
00:00-16:13: Holday greetings! As mentioned above, this podcast was recorded on Boxing Day, 12/26/14, so our opening is long on the holiday catch-up news and short on the comics news. Oh no, wait, I’m sorry: We’re actually talking about renowned Marvel supervillain, Swarm…
within the first ninety seconds. How that leads into a big long discussion about Dr. Doom, I wish I could tell you. Well, I mean I could tell you, but wouldn’t you rather hear that for yourself?
16:13-49:37: Is Captain America Marvel’s Superman? Does Marvel have an aspirational hero the way DC has Superman? These are things that Graeme is wondering about—is there a lack of inherently good heroes in Marvel right now? This talk actually turns pretty quickly to Graeme filling Jeff in on the state of Superman right now especially in comparison to how Supes started off in the New52. Also discussed: the Charlton characters and which one would be most likely to end up in 2000 A.D. unchanged, and our appreciation for the ludicrously deep back catalog of DC characters, all of which culminates in our discussion of Showcase #100…
by Pauls Levitz and Kupperberg, Joe Staton and Dick Giordano, which in turn leads to a big description of Gardner F. Fox’s Justice League of America, the best reboot of Hawkman ever hatched, Green Arrows then and now, and more.
49:37-2:07:30: AVENGERS TALK! We had one job for this podcast…! One job!!
Fortunately, we do indeed get around to discussing issues #275-300 (after first talking shit about 2014) and talk about what it was like reading these 300 issues of Avengers, generally, where the high points were and why; the difference between Marvel in the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s, and writer Roger Stern and editor Mark Gruenwald as the embodiments of that last era; the last ten issues (#290-300) written by Walt Simonson and what a strange batch of issues they are;
the dialing down of the Marvel Universe; Nebula, Marinna, and (again) these amazingly weird issues by Walt Simonson; the next 50 issues as summarized by Graeme; the idea that The Avengers is a book that only works by accident: why is that? Also discussed: the retconning of the retconning of the retcon of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch; Jeff’s analogy about Jonathan Hickman’s work which he’s still somewhat pleased by; how many issues you can read until you get to have an opinion; Serial, fiction, and serial fiction; Twin Peaks (another story about a murder that first infatuated and then infuriated people), Reflections: An Oral History of Twin Peaks; whether or not Jeff should jump ahead and read the Kurt Busiek issues; and much more.
2:07:30-2:17:06: You’d think this would be where our closing comments go, and it sorta/kinda starts that way, but instead we talk about what we expect and/or what we want from 2015, as summed up by the guy who knows nothing of what’ll be going on (that would be Jeff) and the guy who knows pretty much everything (that would be Graeme). Discussed: Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Butcherology; Star Wars; Secret Wars; Convergence; the article title that will make Graeme turn the Internet upside-down; the prices of comic books; and more.
2:17:06-end: Closing comments! The Crying of Tote Bag 49! Places to look for us at—Stitcher! Itunes! Twitter! Tumblr! And, of course, Patreon, where, as of this count, 89 patrons make this whole thing possible.
Happy New Year to one and all—we hope 2015 brings you everything you need and all that you might want! We will talk to you in the New Year!