0:00-2:28: Greetings from the Sleepy Duo, Graeme and Jeff! One of is justified in their tiredness, one of them is not, but they still can manage to work up enough steam to discuss…
2:28-16:15: Wonder Woman: Earth One by Grant Morrison, Yanick Paquette, and Nathan Fairbairn. Graeme feels like he read it forever and a day ago (which is to say two months ago, even though review copies circulated much farther back than that), whereas Jeff describes it as “disappointing and generic” with even Paquette’s lovely art having a fatal flaw to it. Also discussed: Morrison’s take on Wonder Woman in Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne; Zach Snyder’s take on Darkseid in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice; Graeme’s thoughts about some of the ideas in Final Crisis and how they might manifest in future DC movies; the set reports from Justice League; Wonder Woman Rebirth #1 and Wonder Woman #1 and forward movement compared to the other DC Rebirthings; Shakespearean structure in Wonder Woman: Earth One; and more.
16:15-25:33: Since we were still reeling from the results of the Brexit vote, Jeff had what he thought would be a great tie-in book: Jupiter’s Legacy by Mark Millar and Frank Quitely (with colors by Peter Doherty and Rob Miller as the digital art assistant), which Millar put on Comixology for free for a day. As Jeff puts it, “I couldn’t turn down that much Frank Quitely art for free,” but…at what cost, Jeff? At what cost!? Discussed: The Dungeon Master’s Guide; The Incredibles; Kick Ass: The New Girl; the event horizon of cynicism; and more.
25:33-36:49: “But let me tell you about a cynical thing that I read that was actually great,” sez Jeff and then goes on to talk about the first three issues of The Fix by Steve Lieber, Nick Spencer, and Ryan Hill. Discussed: Jeff having to rescind his antipathy for Nick Spencer after reading The Fix; the tremendous command of body language and pacing possessed by Steve Lieber; Superior Foes of Spider-Man, a title by the same team that’s just sitting there on Marvel Unlimited, aching to be read; DeMatteis’s and Giffen’s Justice League; Spencer’s Ant Man; Spencer’s Captain America as a revisit to Mark Gruenwald’s Captain America; and more.
36:49-44:15: Graeme’s turn! Graeme has been reading lots of old stuff this week, including a lot of The Brave and The Bold written by the aforementioned Bob Haney after reading other older team-up books; the first volume of Chip Zdarsky and Erica Henderson’s Jughead (engendering comparisons to Unbeatable Squirrel Girl as well as Mark Waid’s Archie, and discussing Archie the publisher’s current approach to trade paperbacks).
44:15-56:52: Graeme also read Jet City’s graphic novel for Girl Over Paris by Gwenda Bond, Kate Leth, and Ming Doyle, which is a spin-off of Bond’s YA novel series (Girl on a Wire, Girl in the Shadows), and he is also loving the storyline going on over in 2000 AD and Judge Dredd Megazine and the big twist that he is dying to talk about but refrains. “It’s a staggeringly simple and obvious idea,” Graeme tells Jeff, “that they’ve never done before. And also an idea that could only really happen right now in the Dredd mythology because of what’s happened in the various other big stories over the last few years.” Graeme also has some very good things to say about Lawless over the Megazine, and we both express some admiration for Dan Abnett, who’s been writing comics forever but is currently on a bit of a hot streak with Lawless, Aquaman, Brink, and more.
56:52-1:02:56: With not much finesse, Jeff turns the topic to something that Graeme has recommended that Jeff liked tremendously—Hannah Blumenreich’s superb free compilation of her various Spider-Man comic strips. Blumenreich’s take on Spider-Man is just one of the greatest takes on Peter Parker as a teen.
1:02:56-1:18:33: Jeff has “somehow” come into a copy of Civil War II #1, and hoo boy, he did not like it. WARNING: Graeme has a theory about what happens in issue #3, the death of a major character, and he discusses it openly. So…I don’t know. It’s not really spoilers since it’s just a theory? But if that’s the kind of thing that bothers you maybe jump over to Jeff’s stammering at 1:04:39. Discussed: the odd continuity of the FCBD, issue #0, and issue #1; an inability of Bendis to construct a rational-sounding argument or solid characterization; how long will the deaths in this series stick; the wackiness of the current comics marketplace including the number of Marvel titles selling under 20k; and more.
1:18:33-1:32:22: Well, but hold on: how did Jeff get this copy of Civil War II #1? The shameful, or sorta-shameful or not-shameful-at-all-answer (depending on how you look at it): the recent Women of Marvel box from Funko’s Marvel Collector Corps. “What is the purpose of signing up for a box like this?” Graeme asks. “Because I genuinely don’t get it.” Discussed: Slurpee cups; old nerds with potato bodies; Spider-Gwen; presents; drunk internetting; how many bobbleheads does one person need; and just as Graeme sits down to critque each and every previous Marvel Collector Corps box offered so far….TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES!!!
1:32:22-1:37:37: And we are back! The fuse Graeme talks about blowing isn’t the one in Jeff’s head upon hearing his spending choices so sharply critiqued, but rather one in Jeff’s apartment that took out the Internet in one swell foop.
1:37:32-1:52:27: In the course of trying to predict the themes of future Marvel Collector Corps boxes, we turn to upcoming Marvel Now!, featuring the debut of Mosaic. We have a bit of discussion about Mosaic and why Marvel is making such a big deal out of it. Also discussed: the death of Rhodey in Civil War II; Deadman and Quantum Leap; and Graeme’s pretty on-point critique of the premise in this context. Also discussed: The Clone Conspiracy; Howard Mackie; a fantastic possible new ringtone from Graeme; is it time for Dan Slott to move on from Spider-Man; and more.
1:52:27-end: Closing comments! 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! It’s Independence Day in the U.S. so we will be attending barbecues and getting crunk, but there’s some scheduling shenanigans involved in July, we’re betting. So you may have to be patient with us. But until then…enjoy!
And for those of you of the cut & paste persuasion:
Re: train coming out of nowhere in Jupiter’s Legacy.
It’s actually coming off the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background, on the same train line I am on as I type this (I’m going in the opposite direction and I’m on a passenger train and not a cargo train, but still). Also Jupiter’s Legacy is one of the few times I’ve read a comic set in Australia which didn’t treat the place as one continuous desert so that was nice (only other one that comes to mind is Y: the Last Man).
Man, I am buying this for the Quitely art, but you’re not wrong, the plot is a turd.
My vote on why the market is very strange right now is that most people don’t need to go deep on things / don’t have the time to go deep on things.
So they have Netflix or they watch the DC stuff or the Movies or any combination of the above and they are satisfied on the entire enterprise.
A much smaller number wants a bit more and tries it here and there and a much smaller number even than that keeps going on a wide variety of comics.
Probably because of the age difference, but Batman #1 felt very much like a “decartoonified” version of something from BTAS. The gimmick set piece, the gremlins on the plane joke, the design of the Batmobile, the color palette. I liked it.
Jeff’s explanation of his Marvel Collector Corps Box subscription reminded me of Wallace Shawn’s defense of his electric blanket in My Dinner With Andre (and kinda sounded like him as well).
But I totally get it. Especially from the standpoint of getting things in the mail. I’ll order stuff I really don’t need just to experience the excitement of getting a parcel in the mail.
Pssst….. by the way, I recently ordered the Neal Adams’ Batman Omnibus from Barnes and Noble online for only $68 with free shipping plus I got an extra 20% off with a promotional discount. The book normally retails for $125. I don’t know why it’s priced so cheap, but if you’re the least bit interested, you might want to jump on this now.
Regarding Graeme’s comment that the first two issues of the new Greg Rucka written Wonder Woman have almost no forward momentum: YES! And this, btw, describes pretty much everything I have ever read by Rucka, especially the first 20 issues of Lazarus, the slowest, most plodding, dear-God-when-will-something-even-mildly-interesting-happen-comic of all time. Reading Lazarus turned into a peculiar sort of sado-masochistic literary sport for me… And I would peruse with great interest the letters in the letter column from people who apparently felt like things were actually happening in the storyline (what comic were these people reading?!)… I finally bailed on Lazarus because I couldn’t justify spending any more money on a story that felt so perversely, willfully more interested in “world building” with nonsense factoids, text pieces, and fake advertisements than it was in portraying compelling, unique, emotionally resonant characters. To be fair, Lazarus’ art by Michael Lark is nice, if a tad heavy on the photo-ref. Somehow, I think I prefer his very first work on that old Dean Motter scripted Vertigo series Terminal City (remember that?). He used to draw in a much more clean line, almost TinTin sort of a style. Anyway, sorry for the tangent, but seriously — does anybody anywhere think that Greg Rucka stories are well paced? Personally, I like listening to Rucka interviewed on podcasts more than I like reading his stories. To me, he is engaging as a conversationalist, less so as a writer.
I really liked the first Stumptown miniseries. It’s the thing that, along with his (sometimes bewildering) constant critical appraisal, makes me try his comics again and again, even if I’ve always been disappointed since.
I’m afraid that the Rucka-Ellis-Bendis generation of writers broke comics.
Yeah, y’know, I actually did kinda like that first Stumptown series, too. It was charming and pleasant. But that was all, in my opinion. It was a GOOD comic, perhaps the only one I have ever read by Rucka. My feeling is that Rucka absolutely LOVES plotting and outlining and world-building… It’s just that he falls down with characters, dialogue, and pacing. He would be an excellent CO-WRITER, which may be one reason why many people enjoyed that 52 mini-series. But I agree with you that Rucka’s mainstream critical acclaim and his status as a more or less A-list writer (ok, maybe B+ list?) is indeed bewildering. But then again, so is Warren Ellis’ similar status for anyone who has ever tried to make it through OCEAN or ORBITER or any of the other 50% of Ellis’ stories that literally have no endings and feel like phoned-in paycheck gigs. Personally, I have a soft spot for Bendis, though I understand why many do not. Not sure if that generation “broke” comics, but dear God, they all seem to have a “laziness” to their writing that Alan Moore and Grant Morrison did not back in the halcyon days of yore (not speaking of today’s Moore and Morrison, although I think that even on their worst days, Moore and Morrison are still MUCH better than those other three blokes on their respective worst days). To bring it back to today, Tom King is the only GREAT writer to emerge in mainstream comics in the last decade and a half. I think we can all agree on that.
I agree with a LOT of what you’re saying. When I got back into comics circa 2006, all the sites I visited and podcasts I listened to to learn about where the medium was at then — they all big-upped Rucka, along with Brubaker and Bendis. Brubaker I found to be more or less a total master — loved everything he did. Bendis was clearly more commercial, but even then there was more than enough good Bendis stuff out there for me to understand the praise and appeal. Rucka? For years I basically bumbled my way through his work, trying it out, not really feeling ANY way about it (because it’s just so BORING!) but also feeling like maybe I just needed to read more of his stuff to “get” him.
Eventually, several years ago Josh on iFanboy said something like “If I had my way, every comic I bought would be written by Greg Rucka.” At that, I snapped. Instantly I stopped giving the guy the benefit of the doubt. I may have even wrote some cheeky comment to Josh like “Why on earth do you want every comic you buy to be BORING, then?”
That’s nothing against Rucka (or Josh) personally. I generally like Rucka’s interviews, and I always feel like he has a really great handle on every aspect of what he’s writing (very smart guy!)… except for the slight detail that it’s all so boring and completely non-compelling. Part of it is that it’s so poorly paced and poorly structured.
He waited still the second and third issues of the second act of his Batwoman Detective Comics run to show us the part of Kate Kane’s origin that would have given her the potential to become a compelling figure rather than a blank slate that people just WANT to like. The character had been around for a few years then, without much of anything to do with an origin or explanation of who she was or how she came to be. And then Rucka decides that it would be best to wait SIX MONTHS in, after they overhauled Detective Comics, changes the lead, and changed the format to make it a $4 book. His tenure on the book ends up only lasting like 12 issues total (only 10 of which featured Batwoman). He totally blew it. He knew he only had J.H. Williams for a limited time. He knew that the whole format was untested. And he blew it due to poor structuring. There were some things I REALLY liked about the potential of that run, but it was mostly ALL potential. And pretty pictures.
Pretty much the same with Lazarus. I read the first three issues and then had to stop. It is deadly boring. I hear people praise it and I can’t imagine how they could possibly be that excited about such a boring book that seems to be all about set-up and set pieces. I guess Rucka writes essays or something in the back of each issue, about the fictitious corporations of the future and their histories? Do readers have to pound energy drinks before reading them?
I think Rucka did work better when he was sort of teamed up with Brubaker on Gotham Central. I think when he was forced to sort of collaborate that way, he had to push things forward and actually tell stories. Same with the stuff he wrote that was part of “52” or centered around “Final Crisis”, actually — those tie-in comics with The Question were good. And I don’t think he even minded working that way (saying he was “forced” is probably too much…). But when left to his own devices the stories just go NOWHERE. Every time he was let go from a project after “only one year” (of totally boring, static storytelling) he’d get pissy and act like DC was making a huge mistake. Well, I mean, dude, TELL A STORY instead of just vaguely setting things up all the time.
I picked up Wonder Woman: Rebirth #1 (honestly, just because it had a pretty Artgerm variant cover) and it was dreadfully circular, pointless storytelling. And, no joke, I really did want to like it and have a reason to read Wonder Woman and Greg Rucka again.
I know for a fact that we cannot all agree that Tom King is a “GREAT” writer. I, for one, dissent. He’s written some really good stuff but he’s written some really bad stuff, so it kinda evens out to my mind.
Why is everyone lining up to polish this guy’s rocket? I don’t see it.
I’d love to hear people who like King’s work talk about why it’s great. A lot of his stuff has not landed for me and he seems exceedingly unproven, outside of internet critical opinion that is.
I don’t he’s great with a capital G. For the most part he’s been heavy-handed in themes with cargo-cult Alan Moore storytelling, Something like an Ales Kot who doesn’t want to shove his reading list in your face. I want to say he’s proven with Grayson that these are not ticks, but deliberate choices and that he can snap out of them to make lighter funnier action comics that can still carry some pathos, but I’m waiting for a few more issues of Batman before that. It might as well have been the collaboration between Seeley and King.
But with the continuous degradation in the quality of new writers, King came out pretty strong right out of the box. His issues, even when they are decompressed (like the recent Batman), feel like they have a thesis, that they achieve something other than just presenting the next “cliffhanger”. They have a structure to them, they make use of comics’ language and capabilities. They feel like comics with (misplaced) ambition, rather than just boring scripts that barely get from point to point, hopefully embellished by some nice art.
So, basically, pretentious weak-sauce Alan Moore wannabees are better than most of today’s genre comics.
Regarding Rucka, I’d implore anybody who hates his stuff to go back and read his Queen & Country and Whiteout series. Both are pretty much master-class spy comics. If you don’t like those, though, I’ve got nothing.
(Also, if you think Lazarus is maddening in its slow pace, don’t even touch Black Magick, which I like despite itself, because…man. Like, that was the equivalent of a reeeeeally long first issue that might never actually get followed up on, considering he and Nicola Scott are now busy on Wonder Woman.)
Re: Rucka: oh wow, I had forgotten about his classic run on Batwoman with JH Williams where it was literally proven that JH Williams could draw a beautiful story out of something as deadly boring as the effin’ phone book. Yeah, another Rucka highlight. And yes, the first issue of Black Magick — I punished myself with that, as well. Another swing and a miss for Rucka. (Yes, I should obviously stop reading anything the man writes… At this point, it’s clear we don’t get along. No, I haven’t read Queen & Country or Whiteout; I have no time for spy stories — I’m sure that’s where Rucka’s storytelling suddenly, improbably sings.)
Re: Tom King: wait, hold on, why exactly are we questioning that he’s great? In the context of today’s mainstream comics writers? He is SO GREAT with a capital S-O to the muthafuckin’ G-R-E-A-T. I agree with the nice stuff that Alin said about King but I would disagree strongly with the Ales Kot comparison as well as the weak sauce Alan Moore wannabe jab. King is a vastly more substantive and effective writer (both technically and emotionally) than Kot. And I don’t see him trying to be Alan Moore, other than the fact that he’s producing a breadth of high quality work across multiple genres, all with a literary feel to it. Um, yes, more, please. And I don’t find his work to be pretentious, whatever that means. Are we all reading The Vision? Absolute classic in progress, a total master class in evergreen storytelling (something today’s Marvel Comics rarely engages in, IMHO). And… The Sheriff of Baghdad? It’s, well, brilliant. As good as a great HBO show… It’s brave, idiosyncratic, tense, stunning storytelling. Oh, and the short story that King did with JP Leon for a Vertigo anthology last year was an absolute knockout. And I haven’t finished Omega Men yet, but that’s been a hell of a yarn, as well. I haven’t yet Grayson yet, but good God, where do you people see Tom King swinging and missing? If anything, I think he is under-hyped, considering how damn good literally ALL of his work has been (Rob G, I’m genuinely curious: what “really bad stuff” do you think that King has written? The only thing with his name on it that has ever disappointed me was that Rebirth issue of Batman a few weeks ago, but I blame Snyder’s insidious “co-writing” for that hiccup). I will say it again: Tom King is the best writer, full-stop, to emerge in mainstream comics for the last 15 years. Can anyone disagree with that? Who is better? Ales Kot? No. Nick Spencer? No. Cullen Bunn? No. There is no one else even in the damn conversation. I humbly submit that Tom King is our very own homegrown (meaning, not from the UK) literary treasure in the making… Ignore him at your peril. He is producing work easily on par with the early output of Moore, Morrison, Milligan, or Delano. King is that good AND he’s got range. No other mainstream American comics writer has fit that bill for at least a generation. If you don’t think Tom King is the most interesting and engaging writer in mainstream comics today, then who the hell is? I hear… crickets.
I just finished Omega Men and probably that’s why I came with the Alan Moore jab. It has a few distinctive ticks that are very Watchmenish and a few other others that are Mooreish in general. The often use of grid for zoom-in/zoom-out cinematic effects, the use of iconic motifs (omega symbol in place of the Comedian’s badge), ending every issue with a quote on a black panel, forcing a static point of view. All of them together point very strongly Watchmen. In a way that’s a bit more studied and that feels more like “getting it” than when other people are doing it *coughrebirthcoungh*, but at the same time felling a bit pastiche.
I don’t dispute that he’s one of (if not) the best mainstream genre writers that emerged in NA comics in the last 5 years (maybe longer). At the same time, the bar is set pretty low.
I say to wait to see how he sticks the landing on The Vision and how Batman goes before claiming he’s great, not just really good.
Weighing in on the Rucka/King dichotomy. I don’t think Rucka is quite THAT boring, but I only read Lazarus when it periodically comes on .99 cent sales on Comixology – too little happens to justify full price – and . And you’re right about Batwoman, gorgeous art in service of a pointless, tedious story, same for Black Magick. Maybe Gotham Central really was good bc of Brubaker.
Tom King, on the other hand, … brilliant. His Omega Men is easily the best sci-fi allegory for the middle east I’ve read since Dune (are there any others? Who knows?), his take on Grayson was fun and charming, and The Vision is great so far. The Ales Kot comparisons are fair in terms of them both being facinating new wunderkinds, but King is so much more focused than Kot, who kind of crawled up his own ass about three quarters of the way through Zero and never came back out (I’m still trying to read Wolf and I don’t know why – I get no pleasure from it). The only thing stopping me from getting the new Batman is a pathological hatred of Finch art – I’ll buy the Janin arcs in trade.
Yeah, King is much more disciplined than Kot, who’s frustrating most of the time (but, by God, some of the Zero issues are brilliant).
Finch is okay(ish) in the new Batman. Also, Jordie Bellaire colors and John Workman letters.
@Zaragosa Other than that laughable Tom Cruise/Mission Impossible Rebirth #1 issue (er, I mean Batman flying a jetliner!), I thought that King’s Green Lantern: Justice League: Darkseid War one-shot was really, really bad on a number of levels. When John Stewart, Kilowog and the rest of the Green Lanterns corps died in the parademon attack, you knew immediately that there had to be a deus ex machina resolution to the story. The GL corps were not about to be destroyed in a 22 page, one shot tie-in issue. Consequently, all the real drama and tension got sucked out of the story before it even started. Not to mention that relying on a deus ex machina plot contrivance is hackneyed and Hal Jordan becoming a god was literally the definition of a deus ex machina. As the god in the machine, he was basically able to do whatever he pleased, such as resurrecting the corps and restoring Oa. We all saw that coming on page one. He realized that with such unlimited power, he could, as he says, “make everything right.” Presumably, those powers would include going back to Earth and stopping the Darkseid War from happening in the first place. But inexplicably, he chooses to relinquish that power. Why exactly? Even Jordan does not know, as obviously, neither does King. Jordan states: “I could’ve done it. I should’ve done it. I should’ve made a better world. But not me. Nope. I couldn’t do it. I tried, but… Why? Why not me?” Good question!
King answers by reasoning that “Gods do not have will,” and that Jordan was “not willing to give that up.” This seems rather selfish of Jordan, doesn’t it? It also disregards the fact that he could have decided, with is own free will, to go back to Earth and make a better world, but chose not to because he didn’t want to give up his free will. That makes no sense whatsoever. (I won’t even get into the Free Will versus Determinism argument this raises). What else makes no sense is the story of Jordan traveling back in time to tell himself as a child that gods have no agency and can only watch events transpire. Assuming one believes in God or gods, I’m not sure where King is getting this information from. This seems to be nothing more than a lie you tell to comfort a child whose father was killed in a plane crash. Anyhow, the belief that gods can merely watch and do not have free will is clearly not true as Jordan himself proves by choosing to revive the GL Corps and restore Oa. Oddly enough, it seems that there were no negative consequences to Jordan becoming a god (indeed, the most powerful god of all), since he could have had the mother ring destroy itself at any time and revert back to the mortal Hal Jordan/Green Lantern. Why didn’t he merely wait until he made a better world like he wanted to before having the mother ring destroy itself? Why not solve all the ills of mankind when there are clearly no deleterious consequences? Ultimately, the resolution of the story placed the character of Hal Jordan/Green Lantern back in the same position he was in had the story not happened, rendering the whole thing moot. I could go on, but will spare you.
I was also disappointed in the first issue of Omega Men. I had read such high praise for the comic and King’s writing on this book in particular. I had a difficult time following what was going on in that first issue, but I mostly blame the artist (this was a real muddy comic) and letterer (this was a real noisy comic). But overall, that first issue did nothing to compel me to pick up the next issue. Hasn’t it been argued ad nauseum on this website that the hallmark of a first issue is to compel the reader to want to pick up the next issue?
I read issues 1 and 2 of the Vision on Marvel Unlimited and that is generally a good book with good writing and complementary artwork, but I have to agree with Abhay that it is disappointing that King chose to promote/condone violence towards women in the very first issue. According to Abhay: “I don’t get why no one even notices, why it’s not even mentioned, “oh by the way Tom King shares comic’s bizarre insistence that women’s torsos be constantly stabbed.” (see: http://www.savagecritic.com/uncategorized/abhay-2015-another-year-that-i-mindlessly-consumed-entertainment-almost/
I guess the point I was/am trying to make is that no, not everyone agrees that Ton King is GREAT. He certainly has potential, but he needs to build a lengthier resume before we start calling him GREAT and comparing him to Moore and Morrison.
Okay, so you didn’t like Batman surfing on the plane. Most people seem to have dug that issue, but fair enough if it didn’t work for you. Regarding the Green Lantern:Darkseid War one-shot, I don’t have much of a defense, mainly because I barely remember reading the story… but that in itself is probably not a good sign. However, I will say that the GL one-shot is a minor story in the scope of King’s work, thus far. If you aren’t reading Sheriff of Babylon, I’d say give that a shot… That book is vastly more representative of King’s original authorial voice. It’s on the basis of Sheriff, Omega Men, and Vision that I believe dude is on one hell of a streak. I do also agree that the first issue of Omega Men was a terrible standalone opening chapter. I had the exact same reaction as you did, only returning to the title months later after the fan outcry caused DC to un-cancel it. It was at that point, reading the first six in a “one’r,” that I realized the book was fucking fantastic. So, yeah, kinda a crappy first issue (I heard it worked better if you read the free 8 page promotional online-only prologue, but that’s just dumb).
And those crickets are chanting: “Jeff Parker…Jeff Parker…Jeff Parker…Jeff Parker…”
And those crickets are chanting: “Jeff Parker…Jeff Parker…Jeff Parker…Jeff Parker…”
Is Jeff Parker really a more interesting, engaging writer than Tom King, though? From what I’ve read of Parker’s work, it’s amaiable and pleasant, in a fun, retro way. But I have never found him to be an A-list caliber writer. More of a solid B+ craftsman who doesn’t have a strikingly original worldview on display in his writing. Is that unfair?
So…one question, and this is mostly sparked by the discussion in the show, but it consistently nags at me…what is it with these Funko things? Like, they’re funny-looking enough, but the absolute madness that people have in going for these things, and the multiple booths I’ve seen at cons that are devoted to them and nothing but…man, I just don’t get it. (I have precisely one, and it’s Darkseid, because, well, I also have a Mego Darkseid and the Total Justice Darkseid figure, so let those show that DARKSEID IS.) But I work at a B&N, and I’ve seen people come in and buy 10 of them, and…I just don’t get it.
I hear you. Though I did feel compelled to buy Lightning from Big Trouble in Little China, for which my wife mocks me mercilessly.
I think this might be the secret to Funko: they more or less put out a bobblehead of every single figure in the nerd bestiary, so that everyone buys at least one…the collectible disease sets in to a non-insignificant number of those exposed, and then Funko has another person hitting their booths.
I’m just curious how the hell they work out their licensing fees, because they can get just about anyone or anything, it seems like, and apparently are still successful (or afloat, at least).
It’s a combination of that and also the Beanie Babies similarity and mentality. Funko eventually retires (or vaults, in their terms) various figures. Like for instance, Darkseid got eventually vaulted and now suddenly there are people are paying more than $30 for it.
I think that even in spite of the hundreds or in some cases thousands some people pay for certain Pops, the most absurd I’ve seen was seeing that people were willing to pay $60 for a Jar Jar Binks Pop.
Thanks for the info, Jay! That does shed more light on the situation.
And yeah, people paying $60 for a JJB item is a sign of a cruel and blind marketplace, or a cruel and blind God, or both, or something.
I just picked up Gwenda Bond’s “Girl” books after reading her excellent Lois Lane YA books, which have the best stories featuring Lois Lane in maybe a decade. I’ll look into the “Girl over Paris” comic.
The idea of Tony ‘Illuminati’ Stark telling anyone else not to play a God is hilarious.
Anyway, great show as ever. I didn’t get the incredulity around Tom Brevoort still having Rhodey killed off despite Ta-Nehisi Coates asking him not to. Yeah, he’s a big name in the US, but he’s not actually handling the character, is he? Marvel have the (dull-sounding) crossover planned out, Rhodey’s death is apparently a key point, so unless Coates had a better plan, War Machine should get his temporary death like any other Marvel character, and the subsequent profile boost on his return. The vibe I was getting is that because Coates and Rhodey are both black, Coates should have some sway. If I’m getting this wrong, why the surprise?
It was funny hearing you co-coin ‘Zany Haney’ – the Fire and Water Podcast Network do occasional shows with that very title. And Teen Titans Wasteland has been having some great Haney chat, most recently on the later, seriously creepy issues.
Thanks for the tip on Hannah’s Spider-Man comic, I have donated and downloaded and donated!
I’ve always tried to like Greg Rucka books, but found his first WW run, for example, ridiculously slow, got bored by Batwoman, frustrated by all the dull black ops jargon in Checkmate, couldn’t even make it through the first issue of Black Magic…. I also find him an engaging listen and his Word Balloon chat with John Siuntres had me excited. I rather liked WW Rebirth but the first proper issue was so ruddy slow, and all that Checkmate-style Etta chatta… sheesh.
Mark Millar reminds me a lot of a modern-day Stan Lee, except one who treats the artists who do all his heavy lifting well.
Jupiter’s Legacy isn’t very good, but I’ve enjoyed Jupiter’s Circle. I don’t think Millar handles epic stories very well, but I do feel that he is entertaining when dealing with smaller, lighter stories.
And one other thing, Graeme’s analysis on Superior Foes is dead on. I think it’s one of the best things Marvel has published in years, and as someone who is an old school Marvel fan AND enjoyed The Fix, Jeff, you will almost certainly love Superior Foes. It works much, much better than Ant Man, which is trying to do a similar thing but not quite pulling it off.
Frankly, it’s hard to believe the same guy that writes the ultra-turgid Morning Glories has the deft touch to write Superior Foes and The Fix. I’m sure the amazing Steve Lieber has a lot to do with that, but not everything.
I’m now going to have to check out the Captain America run on MU, as Gruenwald’s run was definitely my jam.
Rucka, Rucka, Rucka….what to do with ya? I always want to like Rucka more than I end up doing and have come to the conclusion that the one title I really did like, Gotham Central, was more down to Brubaker than Rucka.
I immediately took a dislike to his first run on WW when it became apparent that Rucka thought the best way to write a superhero book was to set it in some sort of West Wing-Themyscirean Embassy, go talky talky talky, and make a big thing out of Diana being a vegetarian. As if that is interesting in and of itself (with a vegetarian Minotaur chef to compound the non-issue).
Despite all that, I was almost suckered back in by his Rebirth return until I heard that it was all about her origin/story being wrong. As someone who has been reading a long time, let me tell you the antagonist is most likely her mother with some dodgy memory tapes. Again.
Has Graeme written more about what he likes about Amelia Cole? I’ve read the first volume and while I enjoyed the art and visual storytelling, found Amelia a bit of an emotional blank in difficult circumstances and the motivation of the baddies unclear. Unfortunately neither of these things functioned in a good way for me. It’s a book I’d like to like, so help’s welcome.