Here Comes The Fear Again.

Here Comes The Fear Again.


00:00-10:01: Greetings! It’s a very subdued greeting this time around—probably because Jeff tried to outsource all of the introduction work to Graeme. It’s been a tough couple of weeks, and we find ourselves clinging to the potential optimism of current pop nerd releases. Also mentioned for its timeliness: Genius by Marc Bernardin and Adam Freeman, currently being released weekly from Top Cow.

Wow, he beat up both Ant-Man *and* Yellowjacket!

Wow, he beat up both Ant-Man *and* Yellowjacket!

10:01-1:04:21: Should we talk about Avengers #175-200, first? Yes! Are they some of the dullest comic books we’ve ever read? YES. Join Graeme and Jeff as they wonder how 25 issues with art by John Byrne and George Perez, writing by Steven Grant, Mark Guenwald, Roger Stern and especially David Michelinie, the debut of Taskmaster, an “epic” restructuring of the origin of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, giant robots, and the Absorbing Man can be so distressingly dull. PLUS, the jaw-dropping Avengers #200, an issue involving time-displaced rapey incest and not just some of the worst treatment of a superhero ever. Although we start talking about it earlier, Graeme tries to recount the plot around 37:27, which is followed up with Jeff’s dramatic reading of a truly terrifying infodump. Ever-timely Jeff brings up Luke & Laura from General Hospital, and much-more-timely Graeme mentions the 17th episode of Rachel & Miles X-Plain The X-Men wherein Rachel and Miles discuss Avengers Annual #10 and how it very specifically addresses this story. (Although we didn’t re-read AA #10 for this podcast, we also discuss it but, really, who cares about us.) If you’re interested, here’s a link to the fandom article about Avengers #200 that first addressed a lot of this issue’s problems.
1:04:21-1:30:14: As for comics from this century: The Multiversity #1 by Grant Morrison, Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, and Nei Ruffino. We are indebted to the annotations of the first issue by David Uzumeri, and a stellar post by Cheryl Lynn over at Digital Femme. But don’t worry, we also have our own thoughts about the book. (Boy, do we.) Discussed: Cartoon physics, the forces of pessimism, Bryan Hitch, All-Star Superman, JLA One Million, and the need for fluidity, possibility and the possibility of ideas.
1:30:14-1:36:23: The same week Jeff picked up The Multiversity #1, he also picked up a book from a few weeks earlier with a story that takes many of the same ideas and proceeds down a different path with them: “Grandeur and Monstrosity,” by Alan Moore and Facundo Percio (colors by Hernan Cabrera) in Avatar’s God is Dead Books of Acts Alpha.
1:36:23-1:49:01: Another interesting comparison/contrast to The Multiversity, courtesy of : The Fade-Out #1 by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips.  Is it the ultimate Brubaker/Phillips book in the same way The Multiversity feels like the ultimate Morrison book? Also mentioned: Abhay’s follow-up discussion over at the SavCrit of the conclusion of Fatale; female agency in Fatale and in Velvet; the conclusion to the first arc of Catwoman as recounted by Darwyn Cooke (and as recounted by Jeff) ; and more.
1:49:01-1:53:23: Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland #1, by Eric Shanower and Gabriel Rodriguez, with colors by Nelson Daniel. A gorgeous book, but how does it read? Is it worth the dosh? Does Nemo end up all a-tumbled out of bed with one leg higher than his head?
1:53:23-2:10:13: Infinity Man and the Forever People #3 by Dan Didio and Keith Giffen, Jim Starlin, Rob Hunter, and colors by Hi-Fi. Jeff appreciated the Starlinisms; Graeme pretty much hated the Starlinisms but what did Graeme really like? Teen Titans #2 by Will Pfeifer, Kenneth Rocafort, and Brown. Ladytron, Manchester Black, and Josiah Power?! Those are some crazy characters to be popping up in a book, dontcha think? And Jeff has some mixed feelings about Batman and Robin #34 and how it leads in to the Five Years Into The Future/Future’s End event. And because of Graeme’s review of Grayson #1 and #2, Jeff picked up those issues and really liked them.
2:10:03-end: Closing comments! Places to look for us at—did you know we’re on Stitcher now? Is that a thing you use? If so, follow and review us there! And, of course, we encourage you to check us out on Twitter (), Tumblr, and, of course, on Patreon where, as of this count, 73 patrons make this whole thing possible.

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Wait, What? Ep. 157: Poptimists!

As always, thank you for listening, and we hope you enjoy!


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9 comments on “Wait, What? Ep. (15)7: Poptimists!

  1. When reading The Fade Out, I had two reactions:
    1) I quite like this, and
    2) I hope their next project together is neither noir nor crime.
    It feels like time for them to throw a change-up, no matter how good that fastball might be.

  2. I, for one, am never happier than when I get just under 3 hours of Wait, What? goodness. But I know I’m in the minority on that, so two hours + is always okay by me.

    Loved you guys’ take/breakdown of Multiversity. It mirrored a lot of my thoughts on the book, and it was refreshingly free of cynicism.

    I’ve been trying to keep up with the Avengers re-read through the Essentials/Marvel Unlimited app, but man…I tapped out at #186 this time. You guys are right – the is NOTHING of interest here.

    • Aw chaps, I loved that run of Avengers – that’s how I like the team, hanging around the mansion, popping out on small missions then coming back for a cucumber sandwich from Jarvis. OK, #200 was a stinker and not even a young teen like me could miss the rape shite, but Wundagore, Molten Man, the Old Order Changeth-ing etc … fun.

      I was delighted when Avengers Annual #10 came out and addressed that issue. The Rape of Ms Marvel, Graeme, was written by my chum Carol Strickland (fan designer of the Seventies Light Lass costume,’ which has nothing to do with the price of peas) and appeared in the first issue of Loc, my favourite single issue of a fanzine ever … check out the selection of articles.

      Anyway, here’s the original article at Carol’s web home:

      I didn’t recall any suggestion the Avengers were mind controlled too, to let Carol go with Marcus, so have just checked. Nope, no hint of an excuse, they were just crap.

      Regarding that business of the miscoloured black chap, Jeff, why is it racist to have an African American take a chip of uru for luck, but not a white fella? It was meant to be a good luck charm, not a Voodoo chicken to raise zuvembies. I’ve just looked at his dialogue – just a few panels’ worth in that first of two – and it really doesn’t seem offensive to me. It just seems that Michelinie is trying for a particular speech pattern. How do they speak in Pittsburgh? I see the issue was co-plotted with ‘Pittsburgh Comics Club, perhaps they had some input.

      But maybe, as a Brit, it’s all over my head.

      Incidentally, I see Marvel Unlimited has the guy white in both issues.

      OK, to the rest of the show!

      • Jeff Lester Aug 26, 2014

        Martin: as always, thanks for the feedback and we’re sorry we trampled on one of your favorite Avengers runs: I had a lot of fondness for Beast/Wonder Man from this period until I reread and it seemed too one-note (and I remember liking that Absorbing Man, too): I wish I’d been able to hold on to that fondness.

        As for the miscolored black chap–as always, I think I dashed right through my point and only confused matters. I don’t have a problem with the fact he collected the chip of Uru hammer as a good luck charm, it’s that he says: “I found this tiny chip o’Uru *what’d* flaked off. I *been* carrying it as a good luck piece ever since.”

        Like you said, when I was rereading this and the character, Conroy, was white, I thought it was just “how they speak in Pittsburgh,” something like the way working class whites in Boston might be rendered or something.

        But once it turns out the character is supposed to be black–and the other white Pittsburgh characters speak differently than Conroy (they say things like “I think my foot is broke! You gotta turn off the press!” but can and do use “have” and “had” and “that”)–it seems like Michelinie’s ear is rendering the speech of an (I’m presuming) older black man as something closer to the traditional white mimicry of black speech associated with Amos & Andy. It comes much closer to minstrelsy, basically, especially when there aren’t any other black Pittsburgh civilian types to suggest Conroy is one point on a spectrum of black experience.

        It’s not like he has to do something like that, really, if that’s not the point of his story. But…when that character was incorrectly colored as white, it was something that didn’t bother me (and escapes any kind of issues about representation). When that character turns up in the next issue as black, it did…because of the way that type of rendered dialect is coded.

        Hope that helps–apologies if it didn’t!

        • Thank you, Jeff, I forgot about Amos & Andy, yeah, that puts a different perspective on it.

          As for time, two hours, three if you have time and lots to talk about. Up to you chaps.

  3. Brendan Aug 26, 2014

    Woah, Graeme, you must really be on the same plane as Morrison to say The Multiversity #1 was surprisingly straightforward. But you got a knack for reading comprehension anyway, I think. It took a while for me to get the hang of navigating all the dialogue boxes.

    I think it’s pronounced Nix Woh-tohn?

    2:30 seems like a nice long podcast. Somewhere between 2:00-2:30s good for me, but yeah the more the merrier too. If you wanna do a telethon style thing for your Patreon I wouldn’t stop you guys either. Like a Whatthon, Podthon, Patreonthon 24 hour thing where instead of giving away Dr. Who vhs’s like on KQED, you give away Dr. Who comics, or a signed Murder She Wrote fan-fic or something like that.

  4. Still working my way through the podcast, gentlemen (I like to space it out over the span of a few days. It’s nice to have something to look forward to). But I wanted to comment on Alan Moore’s 10-pager in that overpriced “God is Dead” book.

    Loved it!

    But, I am predisposed to his work. There’s very little I haven’t enjoyed from Moore – I even went crazy on Watchmen a couple years back and wrote 87000 words on it –>, don’t ya know.

    Anyway. Not only did I enjoy the underlying theme of the story, I really enjoyed how Moore seemed to be completely having fun at his own expense throughout the whole thing. It made me smile.


  5. Geat episode…Avengers chat and The Multiversity (though, sadly, The Multiversity chat seemed to get cut off mid-stream by God Is Dead and The Fade Out).

    Was going to link to Carol’s Rape of Ms Marvel article, but I see old friend Martin got in ahead of me. While there is still a lot of stuff I have fond memories off from that period of The Avengers, #200 was the tipping point for me. It was a shit comic that The Avengers never really recovered from; even the Stern issues didn’t wash the bad taste away.

    Re: The Retaliators being the Ultimate versions, a number of other sites focusing on annotations have made the point that actually, the world that Thunderer comes from is the Ultimate version of the Retaliators world, which makes sense.

  6. Issue #200 aside, that Michelinie/Byrne/Perez era was pretty well regarded by Avengers fandom as one of the series’ high points – certainly Avengers fans on the internet circa ’98-01 loved it; it was hep to love that creative run then, considering how many homages, references and character dynamics from that era reappeared in Busiek & Perez’s run.

    But if you two had serious problems with the Byrne/Perez years then you’re in for some serious hardship over the next while – #201-226 is the first string of truly awful Avengers comics in the book’s publishing history and has at least as many fill-ins as the previous bundle. Please enjoy the Shooter comics even fans of Shooter comics don’t particularly like!