Oh, man. I apologize right now if the audio file you get sounds weird, you guys: for some reason, the first ten seconds kept cutting out on me over and over and over so trying to solve that may have been too taxing for my limited skills. I was able to get it to work but now there’s a two second delay between when I finish introducing and Graeme & I start gabbing. You’ll forgive me, right?
Anyway, enough with the preemptive apologizing, let’s get to the purely emptive apologizing—show notes!
0:00-3:51: Greetings! And chores!
3:51-45:02: Batman v. Superman v. Jeff v. Graeme! And yet, that is not entirely true, whatnauts, as you’ll find out when we delve into the film. FULL SPOILERS in that we talk about all the “plot” twists and reveals in the movie. But us being us, we also talk about the three points where Graeme laughed inappropriately, the parts that he loved, why Jeff thought about the Avengers, why Graeme thought of Wile E. Coyote, the best joke in the movie, why does Bruce Wayne lose his shit during the apocalyptic car commercial, which one of us thought of the film as “flaming car wreck of a film, but totally enjoyable,” the most suspenseful moment of the film for Jeff, Wonder Woman, the crazy second week drop in box office earnings, how much of BvS:DoJ was a Zack Snyder movie, and how much of it was a Warners/DC movie; and more.
45:02-48:43: In fact, we’re still talking BvS:DoJ but I thought I’d throw in a break in the ol’ time stamp since we change topic to talk (briefly) about the Suicide Squad reshoot rumors, and whether all the positive response to Wonder Woman will mean to a lot more studio meddling in the Wonder Woman movie.
48:43-57:39: Back to BvS:DoJ. “Would you recommend [the movie] to people?” asks Graeme. Discussed: John Romita, Jr., Nabokov’s Lolita, Jesse Eisenberg’s Luthor, the missing footnote from the movie, Luthor’s top-notch attention to folder logos, and more.
57:39-1:09:26: Graeme pivots away from BvS:DoJ to talk about the antidote to that film—the Flash/Supergirl crossover episode, but Jeff hasn’t seen it so the convo is pretty truncated and so we move on to some of Graeeme’s reservations about Captain America: Civil War. Discussed: when friends fight; when superheroes fight; when screenwriters fight; when wrestlers fight; when superhero movie trailers fight; and the last shot of BvS:DoJ (like I said FULL SPOILERS).
1:09:26-1:34:18: And with that, our Batman vs. Superman talk is done. Now it’s time to talk about I Hate The Internet by friend of the podcast Jarett Kobek. Discussed: how much we love the book; how we appear in the book; Kurt Vonnegut and Breakfast of Champions; Philip K. Dick; literature vs. the internet; The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; the ghost of Jack Kirby; Jeff wound up by Jarett; books promising you one thing and giving you another (pros and cons); collapsing narratives and lessons to the reader; the “I Hate The Internet” bot on Twitter; and more.
1:34:18-1:57:09: “So, Graeme, should we talk about, like, comic book comic books?” asks Jeff and Graeme decides to meet him halfway by discussing the Rebirth press conference. Discussed: The bittersweet return of Greg Rucka; wondering about the whereabouts of Tom Taylor and Brendan Fletcher; a rumor about the previous Batgirl team with a countering rumor; Hope Larson on Batgirl; the non-announced team of The Super Sons, and some worries about the biweekly publishing schedule; DC taking pages from the Marvel playbook after the Marvel playbook has stopped working in the marketplace; Dan Jurgens on Action; Tom King on Batman; the pairing of art teams on the biweekly titles; the rumored creative team for The Super Sons; and more.
1:57:09-2:05:39: Almost a non-sequitur: Jeff liked the second issue of Power Man & Iron Fist by David Walker and Sanford Greene much more than the first issue. And Graeme has been reading the first two volumes of the JSA Omnibus by David Goyer, Geoff Johns, Stephen Sadowski, Leonard Kirk, Don Kramer and many more. Discussed: The Geoff Johns influence, the Scott Snyder influence, Graeme and Matt Terl being butts; Graeme reading every appearance of Captain Britain between his first appearance and Excalibur. Wow, right? Look for that as a Wait, What? essay appearing near you!
2:05:39-2:12:42: Closing Comments! We have closing comments for you! Look for us on Stitcher! Itunes! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! Matt! Tumblr (where Graeme posted a really fantastic little Spider-Man story by Hannah Blumenreich. If you haven’t seen it already, you should check it out)!
Our special thanks to the kind crew at American Ninth Art Studios for their continuing support of this podcast, as well as our continuing special thanks to the Empress Audrey, Queen of the Galaxy…and to all 119 of our supporters on Patreon who make all this possible.
2:12:42-end: But! Before we leave—Graeme hunts down the description of this podcast from I Hate The Internet to share it with you all. Because, yes, we are exactly that vain, sadly enough.
NEXT WEEK: Uh, well, funny thing about that—because of ECCC (yay!) we’re going to have to take another skip week (booo!). But join us in two weeks for the next Baxter Building (yay!) where we discuss Fantastic Four issues #126-133 (booo! probably, though I admit I haven’t read them yet.)
Need that link for cutting, pasting, spindling, mutilating, or folding?
On the DC Rebirth teams thing, I actually like the Superman: Lois and Clark miniseries that, I guess, goes into Jurgens’ Action Comics. A big part* of that is Lee Weeks, but Patrick Zircher is good as well. So I don’t think it might not be as dreadfull as you guys make it out to be.
*Another would be the fact that it was the only Superman series that didn’t start n’ stop to be merged into a hideous crossover as it constantly happened for the past two years.
I’m pretty sure that “Tell me, do you bleed? You will.” was another Lolita quote.
Really though, to me the whole point of “do you bleed” and the kryptonite spear was Zack Snyder calling back to 300.
As far as audience vibe, the overall feeling in the theater I was in was tempered hope and tempered enthusiasm. When Wonder Woman came on the screen in costume, there were scattered, subdued cheers and clapping as if people had been waiting a long time to cheer at that very moment, but someone had punched them in the gut so hard they couldn’t. Also, WW’s cheesy, vaguely Greek blistering guitar line as a theme song felt like it was saying “Wonder Woman, right!?”.
Anyways, enjoyable car crash of a movie indeed and a much better podcast, thanks!
I really should ignore that terrible Lolita joke, but….yeah, no, I’m going to ignore it.
Hilarious description of the reaction to Wonder Woman’s appearance, though.
Jeff – I also clearly heard “Dad” in that scene you described and confusingly assumed for a moment that this iteration of Batman not only loves guns and killing people with them, he was adopted somewhere along the way for some inexplicable reason. This movie was a steaming pile of Bat Guano and I cannot believe you guys are both entertaining the thought of seeing it again. Graeme, why not take the time you would waste re watching and read Clowes Patience?
You clearly misheard “Dad” because what was clearly said was “Jack.”
I’m just glad I wasn’t the only one who heard “Dad”!
I’m slightly dreading Graeme’s take on Captain Britain- I’ve been working through my own collection of originals from my Mum’s attic and it is a patchy history. 13 year old me had a letter published in Daredevils complaining about Alan Davis’s now iconic redesign- it was probably the best thing that ever happened but was tough to take at the time…
“If you do not have an overly reverent take on Superman or Batman but you sort of like seeing what people can do with the characters…go see this movie.”
Despite disagreeing with both of you on most of what you said about “BvS” (having lost track of how many plot points you both misremembered, I can’t help but think that a lot of the negativity you both have toward the film is because you’re misremembering a completely different film than the one you actually watched), I think Jeff’s comment that I quoted above perfectly encapsulates why so many of us legitimately, unabashedly loved this film. Unlike a lot / most critics that I’ve read, I went into this film prepared to accept the film on its own terms and didn’t bring to it my own preconceived ideas of what the film *should* be or how these characters *should* act. Because to do otherwise is just patently unfair to the film and the filmmakers. For better or for worse, Zack Snyder (whose work prior to “Man of Steel” I didn’t (and still don’t) care for) and team have a very specific point of view on these characters. And after 12 very formulaic Marvel films, I find that very, very refreshing (and I generally like the Marvel films, but man is that shtick starting to wear thin). I hope WB sticks to their guns and continues down this same path for the rest of the DCEU series.
Haven’t seen the film and don’t intend to, so I can’t comment on its quality or our hosts’ memories, but I absolutely believe that the film should be judged with the weight of history and character expectations behind it. These are two characters with 75 years of tradition behind them. When you say “Superman” and “Batman,” the audience has an idea of who they are. Otherwise the film would be Skyguy v Frownman: Dawn of Whatever. Snyder and Co. are trading on rich and frankly noble characters. Those characters have widely varying levels of quality and styles of portrayal over the decades, so there is plenty of latitude for interpretation, but to suggest one shouldn’t bring expectations and just accept it on the filmmaker’s terms makes no sense to me.
I wouldn’t go see a Superman (or Iron Man, or Winnie-the-Pooh) film and expect NOT to see a recognizable version of the character that respects (and, sure, maybe modernizes and augments and refreshes) the past. If, for instance, it’s true that Batman in this is a premeditated and indiscriminate killer, then that would make this a bad Batman movie, though not necessarily a bad action or superhero movie. Etc., for wherever the film does actually “get it wrong,” because getting it wrong, despite the filmmaker’s “terms,” is surely a possibility, and a valid standard of critique.
I disagree. If your only exposure to gangster movies was “Johnny Dangerously” and you then watched “The Godfather” expecting it to be a comedy and then criticized for not being funny enough, people would think you were insane. I don”t think it’s unreasonable for audiences to go into a film with an open mind.
I’m not sure that’s a remotely valid comparison. I’m talking about characters that have existed for 75 years across multiple media, and I’m also talking about a genre. You’re positing one outlying data point as a basis for expectations, and that’s kinda absurd.
Expecting the film to be reasonably true to the well-established characters in it does not constitute a lack of an open mind. But I can accept that these things matter less to you, and that’s exactly the line of jeff’s you quoted — the less “reverence” one brings, the better the film fares. (Though not much better, I hear.)
I went into the movie expecting exactly this. After so many Marvel movies where the most exacting thing happening visually was somebody messing with the aperture enough to get soft focus on the background in Ant Man, I was ready to cleanse my palate with a stylish, visual action movie with spectacle elements. Couldn’t care less if the movie is reverent to some ideal of those characters.
And I wasn’t expecting Fury Road. All I wanted were two or three good, interesting action scenes in a story that made a lick of sense and moved onwards with some sense of rhythm and direction. The two or three scenes I got, but the way to them isn’t worth it and it greatly lessened their effectiveness.
If loads of critics misread/misremembered crucial plot-points then maybe the movie didn’t really do all that good a job to present them.
According to both bookstores I checked, I Hate The Internet is out of stock at the distributor. Clearly, the Wait What effect is strong.
Sure, I could get a digital copy, but that just seems wrong for this particular book.
I admit I read it digitally, though I’m usually a pulp guy. And I too had the “wait?” reaction to the ending, both in how sudden it was and how the tone took a left turn at Albuquerque. Though I did recognize it was an… echo? but concrete? “reified” sounds too snooty?… of the “life is a late J. G. Ballard story” mentioned earlier in the story. That led me to a meta reading of it, which led me to remember Mr. Mike’s advice on how to end a piece of writing and oh look I’m run over by a truck: http://www.coldbacon.com/misc/howtowritegood.html
I think Dan nails it here. While I didn’t find the ending incredibly satisfying, a tidier ending would have been worse. To my mind, the book isn’t trying to show that literature can do the Internet one better, if only because Kobec seems as skeptical about the liberatory capacity of that medium as he is about the Internet. The fact that the ending echoed “Network” was, if anything, a reminder of the futility behind that way of thinking about media technology and the impossibility of catharsis.
In comparing this to Civil War you mentioned Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman working together at the end. That was a big flaw in the film for me. If this was supposed to set up them starting The Justice league in the future. They may have all been fighting Doomsday but no one was working together. And when it came time to use the spear, there was a choice. You could give it to the woman as strong as Superman who isn’t affected by it at all and who seems very comfortable with old timey weapons. You could give it to the guy who’s been training with that exact spear for use against a Kryptonian and who has enough gas to weaken it one more time. Or you could give it to the guy who it weakens and who it’s poison to. This is where Superman could have trusted someone else and they could have started to work as a team. But no. It would be like Batman standing next to Aquaman and telling him, “Stand back, only I can fight that giant squid!” Then drowning doing it. And in the end Superman, who was so upset at killing General Zod in the last him, ends up killing his clone in this one.
Yeah! I’m a person that is easily manipulated by film, that accepts characters’ decisions at face value because “that’s how the movie has to go”, but this was filled with so many moments like this that it broke me.
And somebody will come up and say that “They didn’t effectively work together so they will learn in JL how to.”
Wouldn’t a more reasonable (but far less Snyder) reason for forming some sort of group be: “Let’s keep open some lines of communication so we never have a misunderstanding like this and level a city again”?
In the hypothetical Wait, What!? Civil War is Matt Teryl Spider-man?
I think we’ll know a little more once the third and final trailer is released, Dave.
/weird clicking noises as my eyes dilate
I hated Man of Steel so I didn’t go see BvS. Plus BvS isn’t a Marvel movie and the characters aren’t the precious versions I’ve grown up with so everything they say about why people are “harshing” on this movie is true.
Plus an anti-DC bias in the media is to blame.
Some of these DC fanboys are starting to sound like Drumpf supporters.
At least we can hope this new killin’ Batman and realistic Superman can finally start murdering some of these supervillains and not just night watchmen or purse snatchers for a change.
Bruce’s breakdown at the sight of Superman and his decent into violent crazy (lampshaded by Alfred’s throwaway line about “how feeling powerless can turn cruel”) was a metaphor for post 9/11 Frank “fear all Muslims!” Miller.
Also, the name Bruce screams out of the dude in Wayne Financial is Jack, and Lex admits that he’s the one writing in red on the checks to Bruce to provoke him by thinking of the Joker (it’s the same writing on the Robin suit except a different color because red on that suit wouldn’t be legible) and are all victims to the terrible direction.
Just wanted to chime in to say I really enjoyed this episode! The BvS talk was fantastic! I don’t think it’s a “good” movie, but it’s an interesting one. I also want to revisit it, so I guess it has that going for it. Also, Wonder Woman was great!
Yeah, it was Jack.
‘Subdued’ doesn’t begin to describe the Edinburgh reaction. Try ‘sedated’. It felt like a rubbernecking convention.
Rucka said in Word Balloon that he’s on at least 24 issues of WW. And Jon Kent is, somehow, about nine in Lois and Clark. And I really like that book, so yay, Jurgens and Action!
You know, coming out of the film I thought, “this is a film only Graeme MacMillan could love. In fact, I bet he’ll use it as a stick to beat Civil War with.”
But I thought that was way too mean and cynical, and making unfair assumptions about belief Graeme’s pathological need for DC to be better than Marvel.
Whoops, what I meant say was, “That’s making unfair assumptions based on my bullshit theory about Graeme”
Though if it makes you feel any better, Batman V Superman, a film Chris Haley- CHRIS HALEY- couldn’t enjoy- was a lot better than Ant-Man IMO, Graeme.
Great episode. Loved all the discussions.
Batgirl has actually been doing quite poorly in sales. Just going off your/our/my favored comics internet sites, you’d think it was doing well but it hasn’t been. It was #81 on the charts last month. It makes the Finches’ Wonder Woman seem like a big hit title that has caught on with fans. I run hot and cold on Stewart and Fletcher’s writing, but there’s no doubt that they actually put a lot of effort into the title and ever issue has felt like a “meal”. Babs Tarr’s art has been worth the $3 a month anyway. But, yeah, the title didn’t really catch on.
DC doesn’t seem to release these kinds of projects with a lot of goodwill in terms of marketing and packaging. Just remember of the Killing Joke referencing cover.
But I’m wondering how well it did digitally and how it will do (it does?) collected. I think that the kind of reader it attracts isn’t really part of the Wednesday crowd.
Graeme – i liked the hot mess of BvS as well.
quick question: what jsa stories do you recommend after reading the omnibus stories? I don’t want to commit to the whole thing but interested in the best of. Thanks!
This is probably the most honest and entertaining BvS:DoJ review I’ve encountered yet. Snyder seems to approach Superman as a problem that needs explaining (in the most tedious, explicit way possible) rather than a character with actual moral agency. But, whatever, the film was not made for me and it’s too dull to even get upset about.
As a fan of both pro wrestling and superheroes, I always love hearing Jeff compare the two. The “heel turn” is probably the most common trope in wrestling storytelling, but unlike superhero fights there is always the larger story of everyone competing for the championship title, which does add a small amount of narrative justification for jealousy and backstabbing.
Also, any comic fans at least curious about wrestling should watch El Rey’s “Lucha Underground”, which combines the “good vs evil” dramatic stakes of lucha libre with some batshit crazy telenovela-inspired storytelling and worldbuilding. It’s basically the closest thing to a live action comic book I’ve seen in a while, and much more interesting than BvS.
So, I really enjoyed this episode as usual, but I’m leaving yet another picky comment….Jeff recounting of his experience watching BvS at first involves six people, not four. He appears to ignore the experience of the two people (dad and daughter?) who liked it most and then refers several times to his sample of four. Unless there was an explanation I missed, this looks like cherrypicking the statistics to back up his conclusion.
This is a good point, although hopefully more indicative of my poor storytelling abilities than any genuine bias: at the end of the movie, I felt uncomfortable trying to peer around the woman next to me to get a sense of how the dad and the daughter were reacting, because doing so might make the woman next to me uncomfortable.
And for all I know, the woman next to me, even though she looked shell-shocked, might’ve really enjoyed the movie but was merely tired/drunk/etc. Lord knows the guy to the side of Edi seemed practically jubilant, even though he was actively decrying the film.
So, yeah. My survey was anecdotal, incomplete, and biased at best, though its purposes were intended more for comical effect than anything. I’m glad you enjoyed the episode, nonetheless!