Wait, What? Ep. 175: May The Forties Be With You

May 4, 2015

(From Satoshi Kon’s Opus. Tough call as to which image to lead with.)

Oh my gosh, you guys.  On the one hand, this was kind of a nightmare, what with my computer’s monitor going kablooey on the day we were scheduled to podcast and with all the organizing of all the stuff I need to record, edit, and upload one of these here episodes.

On the other, we kind of crushed it?  Sure, the show notes are gonna be a tad brief, but in just under two hours, Graeme and I talk Age of Ultron, Superman #40, Justice League #40, Batman #40, and Multiversity #2 in a…surprisingly organic way? And we also cover Satoshi Kon’s Opus because a Patron demanded it!  (Actually, it was a pretty polite request.)  Check out the show, and check out the show notes below!

00:00-5:40: Greetings! Do we know the difference between a comma and a quote mark, a hawk and a handsaw? Do we know how many times Jeff’s computer has blown up on him? If you have a rhetorical question, now is the time to pose it! But be quick, because there’s only a brief amount of time before we get to…
05:40-17:58: Avengers: Age of Ultron! Graeme has seen it, Jeff has not, so there is a spoiler-free discussion of the movie (although, really, if you want to know the truth, Jeff had the phrase, “Just go ahead and spoil it, Graeme, that’s fine, I don’t care” on the tip of his tongue for this entire discussion but said nothing. Does Jeff really care about being spoiled about a Marvel Universe movie? It sorta seems like it, despite his protestations to the contrary….) Anyway, yeah, we talk about Age of Ultron. Also discussed: movies that are good in the theater; AoU’s reaction to Man of Steel; what they did with The Vision; movies that are written and directed by one man but feel like they were created by committee; all the problems with a shared universe concept for action movies; Joss Whedon, ostensible creator of the Agents of SHIELD TV show talking about how as far as he’s concerned, that show doesn’t exist; and more.
17:58-23:36: How we get from there to Superman #40 is a mystery I’ll leave to the listeners, but there is a very solid link between the Avengers movie and this issue written and drawn by John Romita, Jr. Come and find out what it is! Discussed: Scott Snyder’s Batman vs. Geoff Johns’ Batman; plotting and the editorial hand that sweeps stories forward as opposed to the slipperiness of properly giving credit in a shared universe, which leads us to…

23:36-51:40: Justice League #40 by Geoff Johns and The DC Art Squad of Kevin Maguire, Phil Jimenez, Jim Lee, Jason Fabok (and more!), which Graeme thinks owes a semi-substantial debt to Multiversity? But compounding this problem with making sure creators get credit is the way the system allows editorial fiat to go uncredited and, frequently, unexamined. Also mentioned: the characters from the latest Pixar movie watching the Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer; things fanboys cheer for at a fanboy movie; the discussions we might be having after Ant-Man, and the discussions we were having before the first Avengers movie; the just announced Valiant multi-movie platform; why creators for the Marvel movie universe can’t count to three unless they’re counting the number of SHIELDs in existence; change versus the illusion of change versus the illusion of illusion of change; another terrifying food metaphor from Jeff; and (again) more.

51:40-01:00:14: Multiversity #2 by Grant Morrison, Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Eber Ferreira, Jaime Mendoza, and the coloring team of Dan Brown, Jason Wright, and Blond! One of us liked it and one of us pretty much did not. Can you tell which of us will turn out to be which? (Hint: Jeff refers to it as “the comic shop version of Multiversity.”)


It’s All About The Benjamins, Baby (Where “Benjamins” is equal to “Goats”)

01:00:14-1:20:23: Batman #40 by Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Danny Miki and FCO Plascencia! This is another book one of us liked more than the other (Hint: Jeff wrote about it for the website), but we also have a lot of stuff to say about it here. Overwrought allegory or perfectly fine wrap-up to a story and a fun tease for the future? Also discussed: Graeme’s insights thanks to interviewing both Snyder and Capullo; Jeff’s insights thanks to talking to Jeff; comparisons to Hickman’s Avengers; goats, Gotham, and “hm, goats!”; the clumsiest summing up of a ‘70s Iron Man comic ever; and (yes) more.


Opus Image #2 (en francais!)

01:20:23-01:40:16: Thank God, Graeme remembers we were scheduled to talk about Satoshi Kon’s Opus because of course Jeff totally forgot. So, thanks to the recommendation of patron Eric Rupe, we read Satoshi Kon’s Opus and we talk about it here. Will the split machine once again cause Jeff and Graeme to disagree about a book, or do we finally achieve unity? Either way, you get a full spoilers deep cut conversation about Kon’s unfinished story of a manga creator trapped in his own manga. Mentioned: Perfect Blue; Darren Aronofsky; Purple Rose of Cairo; Buster Keaton; all kinds of gnostic subtext Jeff forgot to even mention although he nevertheless discusses a bit of subtext to the story that Graeme thinks only Jeff sees in the story; the nature of creativity; the goofiness of Golden Age comics; and (still) more.
1:34:45-1:40:16: Convergence: Shazam #1 by Jeff Parker, Evan “Doc” Shaner, and Jordie Bellaire! A comic on which even Jeff & Graeme can agree! We love the art but are also impressed by how much Jeff Parker is able to shape the feel of a classic Captain Marvel story. It simultaneously gives him hope and dread for how DC will handle its universe once it emerges on the far side of Convergence. (Or not, depending on how sold you are on our “Stomach Fauna September” idea.)
1:40:16-1:46:02: Hey, here’s a super-quick recommendation from Graeme: Batman: Earth One Vol. 2 by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank which he talks about super-briefly; the Star Wars Legacy run by Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman (available on Marvel Unlimited…at least for some of us, if Graeme’s experience with the Amazon Fire is not anomalous). Good stuff.

SKR big

(Quasi-atypical image from Sun-Ken Rock. For one thing, it’s comparatively subtle.)

1:46:02-1:52:36: And from Jeff, there’s the slightly harder to recommend without reservation (okay, the term we should really go with here is “problematic”), the first 108 chapters of Sun-Ken Rock by Boichi, currently available on Crunchyroll, a series that makes Kazuo Koike seem like bell hooks by comparison. I admit, I’d still be reading it if they didn’t have a thirty chapter gap on Crunchyroll, but please, in the name of God, do not read it if you are underage or in any way impressionable. [WARNING: Jeff uses another food analogy here, but it’s actually…halfway decent?]
1:52:36-end: Closing comments, a.k.a., “next week is a Baxter Building episode? NO IT’S NOT” (seriously, it’s not). The Tote Bag Integration! Places to look for us at—Stitcher! Itunes! Twitter! Tumblr! and, of course, on Patreon where, as of this count, 104 patrons make this whole thing possible. 104! Holy smoke, patrons on Patreon, how we love you.

Okay, that’s that!  See you next week (or, just as likely, in the comments!)


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16 comments on “Wait, What? Ep. 175: May The Forties Be With You

  1. Jeff Lester May 4, 2015

    Oh, and here’s just the link, in case you want to copy and paste into the browser/player/person of your choice:


  2. Abhay May 4, 2015

    Multiversity 2 was really strikingly generic and dull — flat is being very kind after all that setup that just went *nowhere* (did people not want to see characters from the Teens-are-Bad issue or the I’m-Better-than-Alan-Moore issue or the Superman-is-a-Nazi issue to show up??? I thought it’d be really busy with that stuff but it just all felt dropped — or if there were points picked up on, I didn’t really follow– so that instead you could see some skexie on a chair babble nonsense… Like, that’s the part of Final Crisis he decided he wanted to do again??? Weird).

    But boy, that Convergence Shazam comic is *gorgeous*. I didn’t really get as much out of the story as you folks– I don’t really know why the “loving tribute to Captain Marvel” always just ends up being a “All the Captain Marvel villains get punched by all the Captain Marvel heroes” story, but my only reference point for classic Captain Marvel is that Smithsonian comic which I only half-remember but remember being a very, very different thing. (Or that Jerry Ordway trade which was sort of more of a pre-Ultimate but Ultimate-ish-y take). This or the Cameron Stewart thing always just feel more like nostalgia acts than whole things. But who cares– gorgeous work. (That Doc Shaner’s got a tumblr which is good times, but I guess so does everybody now…).

    • “…did people not want to see characters from the Teens-are-Bad issue or the I’m-Better-than-Alan-Moore issue or the Superman-is-a-Nazi issue to show up???”

      I did not want to see those things. I think it would’ve kinda stunk up the whole series if we’d gotten a buncha Teens and Bettermoores and Supernazis and Metamans and (what am I missing?)… Pulpyguys? crisis-ing in the last issue.

      Those comics were fun, but it seemed clear pretty early on that this wasn’t all connected beyond like how horror anthology movies/shows are connected by the creepy old house or skull-man or whatever. Framing device is what I think they’re called.

      Having said that, I thought MULTI2 was pretty silly.

      Convergence Shazam was the second Shazam book I’ve ever read (the first, of course, was the Morrison/Stewart Multiversity issue), and I thought it was dynamite. I thought both were dynamite. The “us back/Ibac” joke (in Convergence) was tops.

      • Total agreement that Doc Shaner’s art (especially with Bellaire’s color) is unreservedly happy-making.

        As for Convergence #2, I also felt let down, but was trying to think whether what led to that feeling was intentional on Morrison’s part. It is, on one level, nothing more than “justice _is_ a punch in the mouth” – but is Morrison celebrating that (as part of his celebration of the form of superhero comics), making a comment on the meta level that punching is what all this creativity and storytelling defaults to, or pointing at us (who, I still suspect, are partially The Gentry, along with corporate creators) and chastising us for liking it?

  3. Matthew May 4, 2015

    I’ve been thinking about ‘professional comics vs passion comics ever since Jeff’s rant with regards to Tony Daniel a couple of episodes ago. And I’ve actually started thinking more dismissively of a lot of comics I would think highly of otherwise. Maybe more harsh than Jeff’s rant suggested as well.

    Shazam was professional and fun. I loved the art, and thought the setting was note perfect. And it’s obvious from Twitter that these guys are passionate about these characters. But there was really nothing to grab onto emotionally. It was a Hardy Boys story with superpowers, I never felt anything resembling empathy for these characters – anything beyond ‘Ooh, neat/pretty’, which makes it ultimately throwaway to me. Maybe it’s because in evoking the 50s stories, they also ended up evoking the weightlessness of those books. I’d argue the same thing for Thunderworld. Jeff Smith did the only take on the character that actually pulled any empathy from me.

  4. I think you find distracting the shielding civilians from damage only if you see it as a distraction from the fighting and violence. But if you see it as part of their ”job”, as another task they have to accomplish, if you see them as empowered people that stand between civilians and those who would harm them, then I think it makes a lot more sense. I would have liked if there were moments where The Avengers failed. This is what strained my suspension of disbelief, their competency in avoiding the loss of life, less so the fact that they were pursuing it.

  5. Small nitpick: It’s Metron, not Metreon.

    I think it’s ridiculous that DC keeps referring to pre-Flashpoint universe, since to me that defeats the purpose of Flashpoint. Isn’t Flashpoint supposed to simply things as a clean slate jumping on point?

  6. I’m not on the tweeters or whatever the whippersnappers are using these days, so perhaps everyone’s already hip to this, but I thought the WaitWhat gang would be interested to know that Steve Englehart and Richard Howell’s Vision and Scarlet Witch (discussed lo those many moons ago on the pre-Patreon podcast) is up in its entirety on Marvel Unlimited as of this week.

    • Jeff Lester May 6, 2015

      Thanks for the head’s up, Cass, although if I’m not mistaken, aren’t they still missing issue #4?

      It really sums up Marvel Unlimited so well that they’d upload a half-dozen issues of the miniseries out of the blue, and still manage to not complete the run.

      • Wow you’re right. Wah wah as Graeme would say.

        I would love to get a glimpse behind the curtain of Marvel Unlimited. My current theory is that it’s three unpaid interns running the whole show.

        • Jeff Lester May 8, 2015

          You are more optimistic than I am by precisely one intern.

  7. Matthew Murray May 6, 2015

    Haven’t had a chance to listen to all of the podcast yet, but I wanted to let you know that I got the Rogue Trooper trade (and the Batman comic and the card) a few days ago. Thanks! I’m looking forward to reading it.

  8. Paul Spence May 7, 2015

    Well Jeff has done it again. There really is such as thing as Sexy Libertarians. The link follows:


    Wait, What is no ordinary comic book podcast. The hosts can fabricate something that is real, without fully comprehending the extent to which their fevered on air imaginings, are rooted in an actuality of which they are blissfully unaware.

    We audience members are in awe and we can only wonder at how your spontaneous non-linear ravings are so stunningly lucid.

    • Jeff Lester May 8, 2015

      This is one of the more terrifying links I think anyone has ever sent along, Paul. Thank you!

  9. Mike Loughlin May 7, 2015

    Like Matthew, I got the Rogue Trooper trade and enjoyed it! Thanks, and thanks for including a little extra!

    I liked Avenges: Age of Ultron. All the criticisms I’ve heard are valid (especially knowing that Feige & Whedon clashed over what characterization the movie managed to squeeze in) but I had a good time. They did a great job with the Vision and the extended climax action overload was entertaining. My biggest problems were pacing and exposition, but they weren’t deal breakers.

    I tried to convince myself I liked Multiversity 2 more because I liked most of the rest of the series, but it didn’t land for me. I think the meta outweighed the story. Could Morrison really not come up with a better conclusion or are super-hero events only end-able with punching and zapping? Oh, and thinly-veiled criticisms of super-hero comics, the companies and creators that produce them, and maybe the readers? Maybe it’s just me being bored by meta? At any rate, I read it and shrugged.