In lieu of flowers, the families of the Marvel and Ultimate Universes request you instead consider donating to The Hero Initiative…

Hey, so, let’s get this underway, shall we?  Show notes are below; plain text link for copying and pasting purposes will be in the first comment, I still haven’t seen Age of Ultron yet, go, go, go GO!


00:00-17:48: Greetings! We recorded this on election day for the U.K., and you’ll certainly be able to tell based on our first minute, but in an alarmingly short turn-about we are talking about Multiversity #2 by by Grant Morrison, Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Eber Ferreira, Jaime Mendoza, and the coloring team of Dan Brown, Jason Wright, and Blond! We talk about Graeme’s re-read and interpreting the comic as an inoculation against the Gentry’s infection. But how about that last page? asks Jeff. To Graeme, the whole thing seemed much more upbeat and fulfilling on the re-read. Jeff thinks Multiversity #2 is a very playful and light but not necessarily optimistic, but rather a meeting point between the pendulum swings of Morrison the optimist and Morrison the pessimist. Also discussed: the somewhat disturbing idea that you might have a better experience just reading Multiversity #1 and #2 (and maybe or maybe not the Multiversity Guidebook, depending on which one of us you ask) without all the one-shots in-between. Also discussed: The Atomic Knights of Justice and how far we should be unpacking the Arthurian motifs in the miniseries; the Seven Secret Earths; multiple multiverses; additive concepts versus reductive concepts; and more.

17:48-28:37: As compare and contrast, Graeme mentions Convergence, the weekly book in the center of DC’s wackadoo event, and finds additive elements in it that have won him over. Also discussed: the second issues of the first batch of titles and happy endings; how DC’s Free Comic Book Day offering, Divergence, is available on Comixology along with a handful of free previews from upcoming titles like Prez; the War of Kings (Jeff King vs. Tom King vs. Tim Kring); and more.
28:37-31:40: Yes, Graeme highly recommends picking up that freebie Divergence preview, which he talks about briefly for Gene Yang’s Superman; the Omega Man preview by Tom King, Barnaby Bagenda, and Jose Marzan, Jr.; and the Prez preview by Mark Russell, Ben Caldwell, and John Lucas (see link above for where you can grab ’em for free from Comixology).

Hex in Full Effect

I kinda buried the lede here which is: SCUBA-DIVING CANNIBALS.

31:40-1:04:34: By contrast, Jeff has only read some weirdo not-especially-recent stuff he’s been reading during a relatively crazy week. Stuff like Hex #11-13 by Michael Fleisher, Mark Texeira, and Carlos Garzon, on sale digitally as part of one of DC’s Convergence sales (and the only three issues available on Comixology). Seriously, though: how can you not enjoy the 18 issues series from the mid-1980s where cowboy Jonah Hex is thrown into the post-apocalytpic future of 2050 and forced to road war and terminate and robot cop? Well, Jeff lays it out how such a scenario might be possible. Also discussed: Wayne Wayne, Dwayne Wayne, Batman Beyond, Future’s End, Scott Snyder’s story in Detective #27, The Dogs of War, how Jonah Hex got to the future in the first place, the crossover issue with the Legion of Super Heroes that of course Graeme has read (of course!), Michael Fleisher’s infamous run on 2000 AD, the first installment of our new quiz segment “was that a 2000 AD series or were you high on bath salts?” and more.


An Army of One…and and Audience of Two?

1:04:34-1:17:36: Another odd reading choice from Jeff: Spider-Gwen #1-3 by Jason Latour, Robbi Rodriguez, and Rico Renzi. Discussed: Lois Lane, alternate earth stories, stylized art, whether to buy issues or wait for Marvel Unlimited, gimmicky comics vs. super-gimmicky comics, pre-Starlin Warlock, and things of that nature.


Wherein the phrase “A Cast of Thousands” might become all-too-horribly accurate.

1:17:36-1:45:59: Secret Wars #1! By Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic! Discussed: Hickman’s Marvel plots as metaphors for fixing a toaster; humor vs. oh god we hope that’s humor vs. oh god that was supposed to be funny; a debate about whether or not a status quo at the beginning of an event signals there will be a return to that status quo; the pleasures of feeling up to speed about comics, even when you don’t enjoy them; “a billion dollars worth of crap”; the rumors of Planet X-Men [link?]; Onslaught, Heroes Reborn, The Age of Apocalypse and the holy shitness of line-ending events; and more.
1:45:59-1:47:59: On an indirectly related note, both Graeme and Jeff wanted to draw attention to Tim O’Neil’s essay on Stan Lee, Marvel Comics, and Hollywood, in part because it says some of the things we’ve been saying here on the podcast but says them better, and in part because it’s just a really damn brilliant piece of work.
1:47:59-1:52:50: Graeme has been catching up on Valiant and has picked up an appreciation for Matt Kindt’s work for them, especially Divinity, but also titles like Imperium as well. Nuff said?  Probably not, shownote-wise, but Poppa’s is staring down the barrel of a work deadline so…



1:52:50-2:11:15: Jeff is still reading Sun-Ken Rock by Boichi, although he found himself in an ethical quandry (well, an even bigger ethical quandry than reading Sun-Ken Rock by Boichi is probably the more appropriate way to put it) due to a twenty-seven installment gap in Crunchyroll’s collection. Is it okay to read free manga online when it’s just to fill a (presumably accidental gap in a service one *is* paying for? Even if you look at it on a super-big high definition screen? And speaking of all-you-can-eat comic services, Graeme has some very exciting news about Marvel Unlimited. On the week we recorded (last week) Marvel added about another two hundred or so Star Wars comics and, more germane to our interests, approximately 15 issues of Marvel Two-In-One and 25 issues of Marvel Team-Up! Just think what they’ll add when Graeme and Jeff get that write-in campaign organized! (No, we haven’t forgotten.) (There’s also some Amazing Adventures issues featuring The Inhumans by the mighty Jack Kirby.) Will Micronauts ever return to print? Will Rom: Spaceknight? And why does Jeff continue to buy print if he soooooo loves digital? And many other topics! Most of these questions will probably not be definitively answered here!
2:11:15-end: Closing comments, a.k.a., “next week is a Baxter Building episode, REALLY IT IS” (no, seriously, it is).  Tote-Lands! Places to look for us at—Stitcher! Itunes! Twitter ! Tumblr! (And secret bonus, Graeme lists the websites he’s currently writing for.)  And, of course, do look for us over on Patreon (http://www.patreon.com/waitwhatpodcast) where, as of this count, 105 patrons make this whole thing possible. 105! We are grateful.

Remember: next week—read Fantastic Four issues #48-54 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby along with us!  Look to the comments for that plain-text link!  And like that.


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19 comments on “Wait, What? Ep. 176: Comic Book Free Day

  1. Jeff Lester May 11, 2015

    Yup, here’s that link:


    Cut and paste into the player or browser of your choice. (Do not spindle, mutilate, or fold. If ingested, do not induce vomiting.)

  2. I havnt read Marvel Comics in years and from your discussion I decided to read Secret Wars #1 to see how new reader friendly it was. I had heard a bunch about what happened to Ultimate Reed in a message board so I guess i wasnt going in completely new.

    Thoughts after page 12: Kind weird to start this event with shadowy bad guys discussing how hopeless the actions of the heroes are :\

    After page 14: I get that the ultimate universe is trying to kill the marvel universe because they’re going to crash or something, but it seem weird that that takes the form of an assault on Manhattan. Wouldn’t you need some kind of space laser for that? I mean, i know you need superheroes punching for these big events but I don’t really get it from an in-universe perspective.

    Page 21: This is a real pretty page. Also glad we’re finally caught up to Ultimate Reed’s plan. Pleasantly surprised it happened this issue. Also was Namor talking on page 20 suppose to be a hint that the Illuminati were working with Ultimate Reed? Almost missed that one.

    Page 22 – 23: This section is dumb.
    Page 25: Phoenix egg?
    Page 27: I have no idea who this Manifold dude is. I thought Manifold was a machine or plan or something.
    Page 40: What a wet fart of an ending.

    Yeah, I dont see how this is suppose to win over new readers. If you didnt know about publishing schedules and were incredibly naive you would this that this is the last Marvel comic. It even fades to black after the universe ends.

  3. Abhay May 12, 2015

    I’m at work past midnight tonight, and just really enjoying this episode. Thanks, guys.

    • Jeff Lester May 12, 2015

      Sorry to hear you’re staying that god-damned late, Abhay, but we’re glad we’re providing some kind of relief in our guffawy way.

      • Jeff Lester May 12, 2015

        (Jesus, I meant that we were the ones guffawing. I wouldn’t presume that we would incite guffaws. Agh.)

  4. Eric R May 12, 2015

    Unless they’ve changed things, when Crunchyroll gets a new series they start with the most recent chapter. Partly because one of the big things they advertise about the service is that it is day and date with Japan and partly because, as Jeff demonstrated, the rest is available online and part of their audience are probably pirates who do want a legitimate option. They then add the back catalog as get it translated and stuff. And since it sounds like Jeff doesn’t know it but they did finish getting the rest of And the Town Moves up.

    • Jeff Lester May 12, 2015

      Thanks, Eric. That makes a lot of sense re: how gaps develop in series on Crunchyroll.

      As for And Yet The Town Moves, I still show a gap between Chapter 105 and Chapter 113 on my app (which is a smaller gap then they used to have). Is that not the case? Should I be checking this out on the browser online or something?

      • Eric R May 12, 2015

        No, my bad. I use the android app and noticed that they had uploaded new chapters and just assumed it was all of them since I don’t really pay attention to the chapter numbers on the series since they are mostly standalone.

  5. Mike C. May 12, 2015

    Guys, just discovered this site and podcast a few months ago. Loving it, so keep up the good work.

    I haven’t finished listening yet but I’m laughing along at your Hex recaps right now and, I have to say, you make those issues sound amazing. 1985 was when I really started collecting seriously, as a kid. So this one will likely hit that nostalgic sweet spot. There is very little I love more than wildly and outlandishly bad comics. And this sounds like it fits that bill perfectly. I need to read these, posthaste! And I vote “yay” on you gents doing further analysis of this series in the future.

    • Murray May 12, 2015

      I don’t know how Graeme managed to read a Legion/Hex crossover because I don’t think there was one. Legion may have guest-starred in Hex, but there’s no way there was a straight up cross-over. At most he might have appeared in a panel… maybe… but I can’t think of which issue that would have been. In 1985-86 Legion issues we were dealing with Crisis, new members and a lead-up to the new Fatal Five.

  6. What’s the deal with the Punisher logo on the Marvel Universe and Ultimate Universe tombstone? Really odd.

  7. Matt for Hire May 12, 2015

    Count me in as somebody enjoying Spider-Gwen, too, but also not for the intended reasons. I pretty much read it because I want to see more of Matt Murdock, Mob Lawyer all the time. Even though he’s just in a few pages each issue, he’s a character who’s sucked me in.

  8. Great show, on the digital codes business, I don’t want DC to start putting them in the print issues as a matter of course cos that means they’ll charge $3.99 per issue like Marvel, and put the Comixology prices up to match. When you’re buying a Marvel book with a code, Jeff, it may feel like you’re getting extra value – in fact, you’re getting a $2.99 book and paying a dollar for a code. Well, readers without discounts are.

  9. Matthew Murray May 14, 2015

    Loved the Hex discussion guys. That is why you are my favourite podcast : )

    Also, this has got to be the first time I’m actually ahead on reading Fantastic Four. I just finished #59 this morning, and I’m a little sad that I’m going to have to wait until next month to hear you talk about #56 and Klaw: The Murderous Master of Sound (which I desperately want someone to adopt as their DJ/MC name).

  10. Inspired by Jeff’s self-flagellation, I started a read of Hickman’s Avengers last week. I’d bought it as it came out up through Infinity, but tapped out immediately afterwards.

    Upon reread, I was almost ready to give up at the same point again. Infinity is a fucking SLOG, with neither of the plots being particularly interesting or well-told. I’m glad I pushed through, though, as I thought both books pick up markedly after the crossover finishes. They’re still bad *Avengers* comics, and break characters in ways that would be hard to reconcile with the rest of the shared universe (not that Bendis didn’t break them first), but they’re relatively inventive and move along at a nice clip–at least, they do up through the beginning of the “Time Runs Out” branding.

    • LAndrew May 19, 2015

      I haven’t really read AVENGERS since the end of the Busiek run–I’ve tried to dive into the Bendis, post-Bendis, and Hickman runs and I find it a bit impenetrable and not really my speed.

      A bunch of heroes around a table deciding the fate of worlds makes sense if you read the one page of KINGDOM COME with the Justice League, but if you ignore the remaining 100+ pages explaining why a distant group of supergods above us all is a terrible idea, you’re left with something a bit . . .sterile, I suppose?

      To me, anyways.

  11. Sean Fitz May 18, 2015

    Hi Guys,

    Love the show and finally have the ends to donate via Patreon so I did. Money is tight with the fourth kiddo on the way, but I really value the show and wanted to show my support for the wonderful analysis regularly done in the podcast. Even though I may disagree with you a lot of the time, I always think you guys are genuine and thought provoking.

    Now I am a Hickman fan (watches out for the flying daggers) and actually felt that the intro to Secret Wars has been extremely enjoyable this far. I agree with Graeme that issue #1 may be a bit difficult to understand in a vacuum, but they just had Free Comic Book Day where Secret Wars #0 was the hotness. This was when all the general populace was visiting comic shops and would be how they would get up to speed on core concepts to the event!! So now they get the back story to the big event and then they can just jump in on the action. No exposition, just amazing action!!! So great editorial planning and marketing by Marvel that a lot of comic journalists seem blind to. Also, if a comic shop was worth its weight it would be offering a discount for the entire series or at least first two issues to all customers on Free Comic Book Day. I guess Secret Wars is my thing, but it might be that I am a bit younger that the hosts and less cynical. ;-)

    Thanks guys. Talk to you soon.