[Please note: although we talk about so very many comics in this episode, I decided to pull images exclusively from the brilliant Transformers vs. G.I. Joe by Tom Scioli and John Barber. I accept full responsibility and apologize for any resulting cognitive dissonance.]
0:01-9:55: Greetings from Graeme “That’s Almost Worse” McMillan and Jeff “A bit of a mess!!” Lester, where Jeff had a tough day and Graeme had reiki (many years ago). As we compare notes, we’re in a pretty good place at the moment: Jeff might have a tough week in front of him, and Graeme has a tough week in his rear view mirror what with all the Endgame prep he had to write, but…we’re okay!
9:55-41:39: Hmm, I wonder if there’s anything happening in nerd news this past week? I do feel like ther might’ve been something….Oh, right! Avengers: Endgame and, of course, Graeme has seen it already and of course Jeff has not. Less of an “of course:” Graeme really liked it! And is incredibly cautious, such that we have a spoiler-free discussion of the film so that if, like Jeff, you also haven’t seen it yet, you can listen in safety. Also discussed: the importance of being unspoiled as possible going in to it; being spoiled by Google Prompt; the Tom Holland effect; Graeme attending Star Wars Celebration and contasting Star Wars fandom’s responses and MCU’s reponses; is Endgame a jumping off point for the MCU; what the next phase of Marvel films could be or should be; Disney in 2020; and more.
41:39-48:44: Comic books! Remember those? Jeff does and wants to know what Graeme’s been reading these past few weeks that’s not Judge Dredd stuff for Drokk? Answer: Graeme’s been reading Robo-Hunter Vol. 1. by John Wagner and Ian Gibson. (so it’s almost cheating?) We talk about how it’s different from Dredd; its opening story hook; and more.
48:44-1:09:21: “That’s the thing,” sez Graeme. “These days I am reading old comics or I’m reading homework for work.” And Graeme, like Jeff, has been reading alot of those old comics on the DC Universe app. Naturally, it becomes the topic of discussion for us, with Jeff reporting in on the reading experience overall in the app. Also discussed: The Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love, as edited by Dorothy Woolfolk; WildCATS/Aliens; Camelot 3000; Grayson: Future’s End #1; Doomsday Clock #1-4; and Justice League: The Darkseid War (Justice League #40-50 plus a handful of oneshots); Machine Man hitting Marvel Unlimited; Batman and the Outsiders; Checkmate; Legion ’89; Starman; and more.
1:09:21-1:41:29: Speaking of reading The Darkseid War, as you know, Graeme has been working his way through pretty much all of the DC incarnations of The New Gods, so Jeff, having just finished the Geoff Johns New 52 interpretation, is curious as to where that interpretation fits in with what Graeme’s read. Is Johns’ doing his take on The New Gods, or do the official mandated New 52 version, or something else? Jeff is confused, but fortunately Graeme is here to take us to school.
Discussed: Events repeating in DC; Forever Evil and The Year of The Villain; Wonder Woman’s brother, the Three Jokers, and the swerve of Rebirth; stories without characters; takes vs. traction; the surprisingly deep bench of old Wonder Woman stuff, including The Trial of Wonder Woman; and more.
1:41:29-1:49:34: So DC Universe is very attractive to both of us with what Graeme calls the “shit, there’s so much here!” factor, but that factor was also part of what was amazing about Marvel Unlimited, and we’re both wondering if we’re starting to see severely diminishing returns there. Also discussed: stuff not on DC Universe that maybe should be, such as Gerard Jones’s comics work of the 90s; and more.
1:49:34-1:57:20: For Jeff, who’s looking for more manga digitally (that isn’t Shonen Jump) and legitimately, the news that Kodansha has added and will be completing Initial D on Comixology Unlimited is pretty great. Kodansha has since thrown in more stuff around the edges, such that they have something close to 400 volumes of different titles available to read with a Comixology Unlimited subscription. Also discussed: being overwhelmed with material; Junji Ito’s Smashed; and more.
1:57:20-2:03:35: Another oddball reading pick, Graeme and I as old school Eddie Campbell fans were both delighted by issue #4 of Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt by Kieron Gillen and Caspar Wungaard, so of course we *have* to talk about it.
2:03:35-2:57:19: According to Jeff, Heroes in Crisis #8 appears to be pretty controversial out there on the interwebs. He’s not reading it, but he knows Graeme has and he’s curious what Graeme thinks about the revelation concerning [BIG OL’ SPOILER]. If you haven’t read Heroes In Crisis #8 and don’t want to be spoiled, better skip this section because we leave almost no stone unturned in our discussion of the potential metatext of the story; the actual implications that should be happening for the rest of the DCU; and the strange weightlessness of such a heavy story within the DCU. Is there just too much happening in the DCU, or is this an event that lost its bearings and therefore its chances to have a big effect on the DCU? Does DC history currently make any sense at all now? And, probably most importantly, will Jeff use the term “woogly?” Also discussed: Identity Crisis and Hickman’s Avengers; Year of the Villain again; expectations of DC Rebirth; and much, much more.
2:57:19-2:59:52: Graeme mentions he read got to read an advance copy of the first issue of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Last Knight on Earth, touted as the Batman story wherein Batman is one of five taxi drivers in five different cities who ends up bonding with his passenger in the coure of one night. According to Graeme, Jeff will like it, and not just because of Jeff’s residual fondness for Snyder and Capullo’s Down By Law!
2:59:52-end: With a certain amount of wistfulness, we come to…closing comment! Yes, we do believe it is! (In part because even we don’t want to bother with Tierigate.) Look for us on Stitcher! Itunes! Instagram! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! Matt! Tumblr, and on Patreon where a wonderful group of people make this all possible, including Empress Audrey, Queen of the Galaxy, to whom we are especially grateful for her continuing support of this podcast. (Also, don’t forget about Spotify!)
Next week: Wait, What? Ep. 270!
0:01-4:00: Greetings from Graeme “Gracious Winner” McMillan and Jeff “Suck It Up” Lester. Are we complaining less in 2019? It’s not just a potentially awesome American Voices topic, it’s also something we contemplate briefly before getting things underway.
4:00-47:51: “Look, I think this whole fight thing from last week was overrrated,” Gracious Winner declares. “Mmm-hmm,” agrees Suck It Up. And so we’re once again unified in our quest to talk comics, comics news, and comics media. So, first up: Aquaman! How has Jeff seen this but Graeme hasn’t? We can’t work that out but Jeff does have some “damning with faint praise/praising with faint damnation” thoughts about the movie. Yes, we have to admit upfront that it’s a shame that Aquaman is going to get much more mouth-time than Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (unless we turn that around next episode) but, well, Jeff has thoughts and you know what that means. (Cut to montage of calendar pages dropping to the ground one by one). Also discussed: superhero movies where the weakness on the page becomes a strength on film; *spoiler of post-credit sequence at 20:28* if that’s a thing you care about. Also discussed: Justice League 2, Ben Whishaw as Bruce Wayne, Wes Anderson’s Batman movie (and now that I think about it, it should be a remake of Batman Returns with Lea Seydoux as Catwoman, Willem Dafoe as Max Schreck (for double bonus in-joke points!) and Jason Schwartzbaum as the Penguin running amok in Gotham as The Kinks’ Father Christmas plays. Come on!); Riverdale; Legends of Tomorrow; Titans; Trolls; and more.
47:51-58:54: Hey!! Kids Comics! We talk about Aquaman #43 by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Robson Rocha and Daniel Henriques; Wonder Woman issues #58-61 by G. Willow Wilson, Cary Nord, Mick Gray, and Xermanico; Superman #7 by Brian Michael Bendis, Brandon Peterson, and Ivan Reis.
58:54-1:16:40: (Had to start a few seconds earlier so I could get Graeme’s “Oh!” included in this. Speaking of DC Comics, there was a bit of news the other week about DC joining Comixology Unlimited (as well as bringing titles to Kindle Unlimited and Prime Reading). We discuss that news which includes the 15% discount on digital titles; what’s available there as opposed to the DC Universe app; DC’s different approaches to its different readerships; the first volume of Immortal Hulk being on CU; Jeff’s pie-in-the-sky dreams for having these services as the openers of the way to readers and fans, and more.
1:16:40-1:18:42: Also in comics news: the passing of Ron Smith (Judge Dredd, 2000 AD) and Batton Lash
(Wolff & Byrdd Counselors of the Macabre, and Archie Meets The Punisher).
1:18:42-1:33:13: Since we were talking about 2000 AD, Jeff really wanted to talk about The Green Lantern #3 by Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp, which is simultaneously a love letter to 2000 AD, DC Silver Age comic book covers, and, uh, more? Less? We’re still not quite sure, but it may have some big ramifications for Hal Jordan…or not.
1:33:13-1:49:55: We talk a bit about the most recent issues of Batman by Tom King, Mikel Janin and Jorge Fornes, Travis Moore, Mitch Gerads, and others, as well as Batman Annual #3 by Tom Taylor and Otto Schmidt. Also discusssed: Heroes in Crisis; ambition, politics, and Watchmen references; and more.
1:49:55-2:00:40: When is a comic we like not a comic that we like? Sadly, when it’s Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #1 by Tom Taylor, Juann Cabal, and Marcelo Ferreira. We pull apart what doesn’t work for us in a book we really wanted to work.
2:00:40-2:04:18: We point out (mentioned above in the notes but not actually in the podcast) that the first trade of Immortal Hulk is on Comixology Unlimited. We then go on to rave very briefly about the most recent issue, Immortal Hulk #11 by Al Ewing, Joe Bennett, and Ruy José.
2:04:18-2:19:04: And from there, Graeme goes on to talk a bit about what he’s been reading, including: trades of Action Comics: Rebirth by Dan Jurgens, Patch Zircher, and Tyler Kirkham; Young Justice #1 by Brian Michael Bendis and Patrick Gleason; Captain Marvel #1 by Kelly Thompson and Carmen Carnero; Uncanny X-Men by Ed Brisson, Matt Rosenberg, Kelly Thompson and Yildiray Cidar; the Shortbox releases of 2017; the Hilda graphic novels by Luke Pearson; the Asterix graphic novels by Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo; and a brief discussion about what constitutes new on Hoopla.
2:19:04-2:45:00: Jeff’s turn! He’s read and wants to talk super-briefly about Die Wergelder Vol. 2 by Hiroaki Samura; Vinland Saga by Makoto Yukimura; Conan The Barbarian #1 by Jason Aaron and Mahmud Asrar; Criminal #1 by Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, and Jacob Phillip; Outer Darkness #3 by John Layman and Afu Chan; Gunning for Hits (Music Thriller) #1 by Jeff Rougvie and Moritat; Keeping His Whims In Check by PI; I Moved to Los Angeles to Work in Animation by Natalie Nourigat; Go-Bots #2 by Thomas Scioli; and Man-Eaters #3 and 4 by Chelsea Cain, Kate Niemczyk, and Lia Miternique; and from there we talk about Chelsea Cain’s very problematic tweet from the other week.
2:45:00- end: Closing comments! Look for us on Stitcher! Itunes! Instagram! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! Matt! Tumblr, and on Patreon where a wonderful group of people make this all possible, including the kind crew at American Ninth Art Studios and Empress Audrey, Queen of the Galaxy, to whom we are especially grateful for their continuing support of this podcast. And then we’re out!
NEXT WEEK: Another episode of Wait, What? Yes, somehow!
0:00-21:06: Greetings from your tech-confused team (or as Graeme suggests far too late for our actual opening, RiRi Lester and Victor Von McMillan), who are dealing with a strangely loud recording. Adjust your volume to taste, and buckle up, buttercup, as we start in on almost immediately on the exciting world of comic news (Marvel edition). We cover Marvel’s announcements for its forthcoming Marvel Now! launch (a new Invincible Iron Man, a new Infamous Iron Man, new Champions title, U.S. Avengers, etc.,), the timing of their information release, etc. Discussed: all of the above, plus: Jeff misunderstands Graeme’s use of the word singularity and so just parrots Graeme’s point; a casual invitation for a tech-talented Whatnaut to put the movie Interstellar to good use; Marvel has never had a black female writer ever; David Walker getting backing at Marvel; and more.
21:06-43:42: A bit more about Iron Man, which Jeff has not been following at all, but Graeme as a reader is a little concerned that the teases that Bendis made when starting the book less than a year ago are already set to either be truncated or abandoned. Discussed: abandoned storylines; Captain America: Agent of Hydra and Marvel editors and Marvel creators literally saying whatever they want, even if it bears no relation to reality, just to sell a book; Dr. Doom in name only; whether one of the characters in the Champions is a spoiler; and more.
43:42-50:11: After covering Marvel’s outwardly confident movement toward its next nonboot, and DC’s more conciliatory, albeit coded, approach to Rebirth, Graeme wonders if Marvel’s strangely rushed and off announcements have a lot in common with the DC You marketing blunders, which thank goodness at least gives us a little bit of time to talk about Midnighter by Steve Orlandao and ACO, which Graeme fully spoils but also makes sound very satisfying and great. Also discussed: Black Canary; liking books enough to stick around; Bourne Identity Aquaman; and more.
50:11-58:26: “You’re not reading the DC Rebirth books, right?” asks Graeme, gently, hoping to avoid a prime Jeff rant. And that almost kind of works? But Jeff has read the first two issues of Batman by Tom King and David Finch; but Graeme is really onboard with Aquaman after the events of the second issue. Also discussed: the second issue of Batman, Jeff’s frustration and Graeme’s theory about the last page reveal; and more.
58:26-1:10:46: Graeme went on a back-issue spree at his excellent local store Cloud Nine Comics where he purchased almost the entire run of Hawk and Dove by Barbara and Karl Kesel, so Graeme gets to recap the history of the original Hawk and Dove, the second team from the late ‘80s, the very, uh, offbeat conclusion to the series, and a lot of discussion about DC’s Armageddon 2001, an event DC does not seem particularly keen to reprint and which *dove*tails with the end of Hawk and Dove. Also discussed: Armageddon: The Alien Agenda; Zero Hour; and the punting of Captain Atom’s next series.
1:10:46-1:35:01: The other title Graeme of which bought a lot of back issues? Marvel Fanfare, the prestige paper anthology/inventory title edited by Al Milgrom; “Every issue is an oddity,” is how Graeme describes it quite nicely but wow, some of these oddities! An Angel story by Ann Nocenti and David Mazzuchelli, to name just one! Also discussed: 80s Marvel vs. 70s Marvel; the delight that is the art of Tony Salmons; Trevor Von Eeden in the ‘80s which, of course, makes it all but impossible to avoid bringing up Dick Giordano, Robert Loren Fleming, and Thriller; an amazing Jim Shooter anecdote about Bill Sienkiewicz; spitballing new and exciting Patreon extras; Jim Owsley’s promotional material for The Falcon; and, hoo boy, more.
1:35:01-1:40:39: And what’s Jeff been reading? He’s re-read and didn’t quite finish the remarkable Transformers vs. G.I. Joe by Tom Scioli and John Barber, having only made it up to issue #10 on this particular go round, but he has many positive things to say including the statement, “Transformers vs. G.I. Joe is the Paul’s Boutique of comic books.”
1:40:39-2:00:52: Unfortunately, Jeff was not nearly as impressed with Dark Night: A True Batman Story by Paul Dini and Eduardo Risso that he picked up on the long-ago recommendation of a certain nameless someone whose initials are Graeme McMillan. Part of the problem is clearly Jeff’s expectations for the book, which is not entirely fair to the book, but there are other problems at work, insists Jeff. Discussion ensues! (To the point of uncomfortable stridency on the part of Jeff.)
2:00:52-2:01:54: By contrast, Jeff read The Colonel Corps, the second issue of promotional DC/KFC (KFDC?) comics starring Colonel Sanders and the DC multiverse. He thought it was pretty good!
2:01:54-2:29:14: And finally, to wrap up this edition of “Jeff’s Bad Faith Adventures,” after railing about the way the launch of Comixology Umlimited treated creators, he…signs up for Comixology Unlimited? Jeff, what is up with that? But also: what’s the deal with Comixology Unlimited? Discussed: searching on Comixology Unlimited; Doc Savage Archives Vol. 1; As The Gods Will; the generosity of Chris Arrant; Hoopla (which, contrary to what Jeff says, will allow him to borrow graphic novels now); and more.
2:29:14-end: Closing comments, but with some bonus bits of commentary from Graeme about “Not Brand Echh”! Look for us on Stitcher! Itunes! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! Matt! Tumblr, and on Patreon where a wonderful group of people make this all possible, including the kind crew at American Ninth Art Studios and Empress Audrey, Queen of the Galaxy, to whom we are especially grateful for their continuing support of this podcast.
Next week: Skip Week! There are some crazy reasons but join us in two weeks for the next episode of Baxter Building, where we’ll be discussing issues #160 to #170 of the Fantastic Four!