0:01-12:20:  Greetings from Graeme “Can I Say That?” McMillan and Jeff “I Certainly Can’t!” Lester, where of course a comics podcast opens with a brief discussion of reality television.  We also discuss slow radio, make wild promises of Patreon extras we hopefully we will never deliver, notes for Drokk!!, net worth and boy bands, the florida man meme, and more.
12:20-25:07: Drokk!! Ep. 2 is out in the wilds, and once again we’re in awe of the commentary skills of Voord 99.  But he has a question for Graeme, one about Dredd and…Brexit?!  Discussed:  Dredd; Brexit; San Francisco; a few post-Drokk! comments about “The Day The Law Died,” and more.
25:07-47:00:  Graeme saw Captain Marvel! Jeff has not.  We have a pretty spoiler-free convo about the movie (at least so it seems to Jeff editing it now).  Discussed: unearned moments; blah trailers; what will be the first Marvel movie to fail/underperform; movies shot back to back; Star Trek, Planet of the Apes, and the Six Million Dollar Man; the Disney/Fox merger and some of the horrible insanity; leprechaun porn; and more.
47:00-54:00: Jonathan Hickman’s X-Men is a thing! Apparently?  We talk about the announcement of House of X and Powers of X.  Is the savior of the X-Men Marvel’s last remaining architect?
54:00-1:05:39: Jeff is aware a lot of his opinions on Marvel are probably worthless just because he bought
Avengers: No Road Home #6 only because Conan and The Scarlet Witch team up and have adventures.  He talks about that as well as a previous issue of Jason Aaron’s Conan run; the surprising tie-in to Al Ewing’s excellent Immortal Hulk run; and the problem with having opinions.
1:05:39-1:14:03:  Graeme read/re-read all of Royals by Al Ewing, Jonboy Meyers, Kevin Libranda, Javier Rodriguez, and others, and talks about that cosmic Inhumans epic and its mixture of epic scope and humanity. (Because Jeff hasn’t read it, he ganked this lovely double-page spread from the latest Immortal Hulk instead.
1:14:03-1:24:17:  Other stuff Jeff wanted to talk about the comics he’s read over the last few weeks, some of which Graeme has read (and recommended!).  Discussed: Assassin Nation #1; Invisible Kingdom #1, and we talk a ton about Vinland Saga by Makoto Yukimura.  (Graeme sputtered out after Vol. 4 a few weeks ago, and Jeff just got there.)  Graeme was blown away by volume 2 but had diminishing returns—we discuss why.
1:24:17-1:36:42: For our latest installment of “Battlin’ About Batman,” we discusss Batman #67 by Tom King, Lee Weeks, Jorge Fornes, and Lovern Kindzierski.  Warning: it’s not much of a battle as we appreciated this very offbeat issue and take some time to give it up to the amazing Lee Weeks and talk about its possible comic antecedents.
1:36:42-1:51:04: While Jeff is all blah-blah-blah about DC titles, Graeme has been reading old Marvel comics and also Bloom by Kevin Panetta and Savanna Ganucheau, a graphic novel about baking and young love.  Sounds pretty excellent.  He certainly seems a little less surly about it than Jeff does about Wandering Island, Vol. 2 by Kenji Tsuruta.  Also discussed:  assorted manga (really!) and the neophytes leading the neophytes.  [Also: Jeff talks about all the people who’ve read more manga than him, and completely forgot to mention all the well-read Whatnauts who’ve recommended some terrific stuff on Twitter and in our comments.  You people have turned me on to some terrific stuff!]
1:51:04-1:53:15:  Hey, those of you who don’t have DC Universe and/or the cash but are interested in it should check out the service’s plans for Batman Day, which includes a day of free access and a single month for eighty cents?  That sounds…pretty good, right?  And if you’ve been following our Tumblr, you know there’s been some really neat additions to their comics library.
1:53:15-2:04:52: Is this…closing comments?!  Not quite, because we do want to talk about AWA Comics, and how underwhelmed we are.  With bonus comments for Hibbs, thanks to this comments thread at ComicsBeat, and our memories of the “best” of Jemas-era Marvel.
2:04:52-end: Okay, so now,  is this….closing comments?!  Yes, we do believe it is!  (In part because even we don’t want to bother with Tierigate.)   Look for us on  Stitcher! Itunes! Instagram! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! MattTumblr, and  on Patreon where a wonderful group of people make this all possible, including Empress Audrey, Queen of the Galaxy, to whom we are especially grateful for her continuing support of this podcast.  (Also, don’t forget about Spotify!)
NEXT WEEK: Skip week! So start digging in on that next Case File!

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22 comments on “Wait, What? Ep. 267: Hicks, Man.

  1. Jeff Lester Mar 24, 2019

    And for those of you looking for just the link:


    • Matt M Mar 26, 2019

      I liked ROYALS a lot, too, but I’m surprised that Graeme didn’t mention that it’s *very clearly* MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE in the Marvel U. From setup (heroes and villain(s) on a fool’s errand space quest to save their race) to the tone, it owes MTMTE a lot.

  2. Matthew Mar 24, 2019

    I really disagree with Graeme on Captain Marvel. Some of the criticisms don’t even make much sense to me, Unearned? Carol is just led around by everyone else, waiting for them to do things? Didn’t seem like it to me. She took the initiative the entire movie, constantly making the decision to push and investigate further.

    But really, “they didn’t describe what her powers are” is the absolute worst criticism because not knowing what her limits actually are is a key plot point to the entire movie. Mild spoilers, but, at the beginning of the movie she’s being lied to and gaslit by the Kree. They tell her that her abilities are limited, can’t be controlled, and that the Kree can take them away at will. All lies.

    The entire movie is about Carol discovering that each time she questions her limits, she finds out that she was wrong about them. It would be literally impossible for someone to do a “and this is what Carol can do” exposition until the last two minutes of the movie, and by then what’s the point? Like… it’s supposed to be a *shock* to the audience where suddenly she can fly at the end.

    • Bengt Strand Mar 25, 2019

      I’m in Matthew’s camp on Captain Marvel. The limits to her powers will be important in Endgame and any sequels as they are supposedly stable then.
      Overall I enjoyed the movie more than most super hero movies, sure it had its flaws but not enough to put me off. I had a nice “awe” moment when Carol goes all out in the end.
      As to some of Graeme’s other issues, I took for granted that the powers of the rest of Star Force were from their weapons and gadgets (and from the final showdown with Jude Law), but is that even important?
      Didn’t note that Carol’s CGI were bad, Coulson though, oh boy, he looks like a plastic manikin. Fury was fine though, so I guess they let the interns do Coulson. :)

      • Voord 99 Mar 27, 2019

        (Disclaimer: I have loads of nostalgia here. I latched onto Carol Danvers’ ‘70s adventures when I was very young when she was one of “Let’s see if this works” choices in a Marvel UK reprint some time towards the beginning of the ‘80s. I have enough nostalgia for that version, flawed though it definitely was, that it’s not entirely welcome to me that feminist magazine editor Carol Danvers has been so thoroughly erased in favor of a Carol Danvers who is exclusively defined by militarism.)

        [Spoilers for Captain Marvel]

        First, one should obviously note that our hosts have established in many previous discussions that Graeme McMillan is a dog person.

        Moving on, I never noticed about Carol’s powers, but part of that is that obviously I know what her powers are from the comics. Still, does the audience really need to be told what her powers are? They’re extremely generic — we know from the start that she can blast energy, and the strength and invulnerability are both very standard and also obvious from early on. About the only surprise at the end is flight, and superhero powers don’t get more generic than flight.

        In fact, I think that’s a bigger problem than not explaining her powers: from the point of view of this film and not from the point of view of the comics, when she finally realizes her powers it should have been something bizarre, marvellous, and overwhelming, to justify the buildup. (I have to agree with Graeme McMillan that weak CGI is a problem — the final sequence doesn’t have the impact that it should, because it really needed to seem viscerally real.).

        On the late Yon-Rogg name reveal: that’s surely deliberate, although aimed at people who know the comics or have used Wikipedia in advance of the film. It’s part of how cagy they were about whether Law’s character was Mar-Vell or Yon-Rogg. As such, it’s related to something that I think works rather well, which is what they did with Mar-Vell, I’ll have to see where the Yon=Rogg name reveal happens when I rewatch the film, but I won’t be surprised if it turns out to have been strategically placed in relation to the slow dribbling-out of clues regarding Mysterious Annette Bening Character/Dr. Wendy Lawson/Mar-Vell.

        Things I thought didn’t work so well: Captain Marvel has the same feel as a lot of the Marvel movies, of something that’s been aggressively cut for pace at the expense of setting and atmosphere. Give us more of Hala at the beginning, so we have a sense of Kree culture, and exactly who “Vers” thinks she is and what her relationships are. Give us more of the ‘90s — really twist the knife and make people like me feel how old we are. (Is there a single banded collar in this film?)

        And especially, give us more of Carol’s relationship with Wendy Lawson, given how emotionally important that is supposed to be to the story. For that matter, that’s all going down in 1989, which as a memorable year is low-hanging fruit that this film leaves on the table.

        • I have to agree with you and Graeme that a lot of the emotional beats in Captain Marvel feel unearned. It’s like a lot of the middle tier Marvel movies in that respect. And I think you’ve touched on exactly why that is in this case. Namely, the movie is built around a mystery, which robs it of any emotional impact.

          [More spoilers]

          We can’t start on Earth because that would ruin the “reveal” that Vers is really Carol Danvers. But making that a mystery just means we don’t get enough scenes of her past. We only get weird jumbled snippets, which works in terms of the plotting, but just ends up weakening the emotional stakes.

          And we don’t spend too much time on Hala getting a sense of her life there, because that part of the movie is dull, and the film’s clearly been edited to rush through that part as quickly as possible.

          So we don’t get a sense of either Carol as a human or a Kree. We just get a standard quippy Marvel hero who at least has an in-universe reason to be sort of a blank slate. But she quips her way through the movie, and we never even see her try and “suppress her emotions.” So why are we supposed to feel good when she… starts quipping harder and can now fly? It just doesn’t hold together. There’s no catharsis there.

          Plus, the Yon-Rogg/Mar-vell stuff is built around a reveal targeted only at comics fans. They want you to think that Jude Law is playing Mar-vell, and so they don’t say his name until they reveal that Dr. Lawson was the real Mar-vell. But they could have done something to make this twist work beyond the wink to comics continuity. Maybe have Yon-Rogg call himself Mar-vell or even Captain Marvel, before revealing that to be a lie? Because otherwise, it only works as an in-joke. Into the Spider-verse was smart to play a similar “famous character shows up, but with different gender” reveal as just a joke, and then just do something interesting with that new character.

    • Dan Coyle Mar 26, 2019

      Are you guys really shocked Graeme didn’t like a marvel movie to the point where he willfully misunderstood it so he’d have reason to dislike it?

      Remember, this is the guy who argued Dawn of Justice, the movie where Lex Luthor SUCCEEDS IN KILLING SUPERMAN was better than Civil War because it was “more optimistic”.

  3. Loved the bite-sized Drokk!! at the top of this episode.
    I haven’t read Wandering Island, but I remember Jog wrote a little bit about the whole “Miyazaki but pervier” vibe back when volume one came out in English: http://www.tcj.com/this-week-in-comics-81016-maximum-relevance/

  4. Bruce Baugh Mar 25, 2019

    Grant, for the love of FOOM, please, check a thesaurus or something. The first 40-50 minutes of this episode were stuffed with stupid uses of “nuts”, “insane”, etc. “Insane” is not a synonym for “ill-considered”, or “retrograde”, or “poorly presented”, or any of a zillion other things.

    This last week I had to spend some time explaining to others about the mental harm from chronic pain, the suicide rates for people with chronic pain, the difficulties of diagnosis (including the way “acute” and “chronic” pain are the same thing in actual experience), and a bunch more, including just how often people with chronic pain are diagnosed as malingering, exaggerating, inventing it outright, and so on. Reviewing such things always gives me PTSD flashbacks and depression boosting. Come Sunday, I figured I’d veg out with a video game tournament, only to end up turning it off after the 17th enthusiastically shouted use of “insane” in a single hour. OK, I thought, I’ll at least get podcasts to listen to this evening.

    And then this.

    I’ll finish the episode at some point later in the week. But it was very discouraging, and more so for the surprise – y’all are normally nothing like this lazy in leaning on a single word, particularly not one that comes with a bunch of painful associations for us gimps and feebs.

    • Bruce Baugh Mar 25, 2019

      Graeme. Why the hell do I keep writing “Grant”? I’m sorry about that. :(

      • Bruce Baugh Mar 26, 2019

        Ah! It’s auto-correct not liking “Graeme”! Let’s see if adding you to my dictionary helps.

  5. David M Mar 26, 2019

    ‘East of West’ is by far the most continuous Hickman I’ve read. How much of that is the tremendous Nick Dragotta artwork, or a personal weakness for eschatological westerns is currently hard to say. There are so many serials I’ve enjoyed most before they concluded, when there was still space for my anticipation and imagination.

  6. Voord 99 Mar 27, 2019

    And again, I have to say how very flattered I am. I’ll quickly note that I don’t think Dredd is about Brexit. But I do think that Dredd is partially about Britishness (and so also Englishness), and that Brexit is mostly about Britishness (and very definitely also about Englishness*),

    As for evidence that Dredd is partially about Britishness, in the next Case Files: Enid Blyton Block. (Which, seriously, is a wonderful touch in that particular story.)

    *Insert ritual disclaimer about Wales here.

    • David M Mar 28, 2019

      Is the first Otto Sump story in the next Case Files? The way Johnny Teardrop carries Bruce Forsyth references just adds more layers to the whole British reflecting on US culture thing with British culture emulating US culture. That’s a culturally anxious spot due to the conflict between the attraction and the way (defensive) English ruling class contempt and disdain has infected all of British culture. That withering scorn British people will sometimes express for US culture just sounds so much like what is run at the working class I’m convinced there’s a connection. That that’s present in Dredd is further irony.

      • Voord 99 Mar 29, 2019

        The Otto Sump story is indeed in the next Case Files, and that’s a really interesting observation. To support your argument, my memory is that British contempt for American culture was a good bit stronger c.1979 than it is now. I was very young at the time, so correct me if I’m wrong. But certainly a few years later, it was a general assumption that there was and could be no such thing as good American television and that British tv was and would always be the best in the world in every genre — which is obviously something that’s changed.*

        And, to support your point about the class implications as well, this was before Channel 4 started to complicate the hierarchy in which BBC meant quality and independent television meant ITV meant popular crap, and an aspect of that was maybe ITV’s association with American imports.

        I’ll be interested to see how Dredd as a strip shifts as it moves into the ‘90s and British assumptions about American media shift.

        One thought: Wasn’t Eagle specifically founded out of a sense that there should be nice improving British comics for British boys, not all that American trash? I ask that, because 2000AD is obviously in part an exercise in not being the Eagle.

        *Before someone shouts at me, there’s no question that British television was creatively very strong in the ‘70s and ‘80s, and there were solid reasons to believe that it was, on balance, better than American television — and also, American tv has gotten better since then. But not all British tv, universally, was better than all American tv. Plus, I can’t help but wonder if an ingredient – not a dominant one, but there – in that attitude was British culture, in a slightly colonized-subject sort of way, reproducing America’s own hierarchy at the time, in which films ranked securely above television. (?) Because US films could always be well-regarded in Britain, and I identify Twin Peaks as an important moment when you were “supposed” to like an American tv series, which was obviously connected to David Lynch’s reputation as a filmmaker,

        • Bruce Baugh Mar 31, 2019

          Certainly as a bright middle-class California kid in my mid-teens then (born in 1965), I often felt in a cultural shadow from Britain, and I think I was pretty representative in that regard.

        • David M Apr 1, 2019

          Your question about whether British contempt for US-ers has reduced since the late 70s is great, because I don’t know the answer! While I know people of all ages I know more people closer to my age than not. Amongst them I’ve come across such well-worn and demonstrably false statements as ‘Americans don’t understand irony’ within the last three years. I directly encountered this several times and it doesn’t matter how many people I list from the USA who obviously are masters of irony the reply has always been a variation on, ‘Yes, but apart from them…’
          The way that era of 70s and 80s British television was talked about shows what looks like a confusion in the British/English character. ‘British television is the best in the world’. It’s that confusion between pride and chauvinism. There’s no pleasure in achievement which doesn’t defeat all comers- see sports in England for further examples.

  7. Matthew Murray Mar 27, 2019

    Jeff, I’m sure you’ll be glad to know that “jeff lester net worth” is the 4th autocomplete that I get from Google.

  8. Agreed.

    Her powers are “fire hands” and all of the umpteen references to shooting “photon blasts” from her hands.

    The movie is FINE/VERY FINE and not worth defending because Marvel/Disney is counting money right now but it’s not not good.

    She’s Capt. Carol “Avenger” Danvers and Fury calls Mar-Vell “Marvel” so the set up is there for Endgame to level up from Captain America to Captain Marvel. She’s the Superman of the MCU, replete with Fury’s “signal watch”.

    My audience was more boisterous than Graeme’s…and I saw it last night. FTR, everyone was way more into it than me and I think Disney/Marvel deserve the target that comes with being on top but Capt. Marvel was not their SOLO. That might be the next Spider-Man or the solo Black Widow movie or the Eternals but this wasn’t it. This was better than Wonder Woman and Aquaman I thought.

  9. Brendan Mar 31, 2019

    Just dropping in to say I like Project Runway because it shows people being nice to each other in addition to the drama, and I’ve heard Tim Gunn is down to earth and kind to fans who happen to run into him in public.

    Also, I’m gunna track down a copy of that manga with the weird A’s story in it.

    Nice show!

    • Nate A. Apr 2, 2019

      I think project runway works because the drama is largely personal, as opposed to interpersonal, by which I mean the contestants beat themselves up more than they ever beat up on each other. As Brendan points out, you’re as likely to see the contestants help each other out as anything. That’s not to say they don’t cast shade on each other now and again, but it’s pretty mild.

      Also, as Noah Berlatsky points out it’s one of the few shows where you see people of different genders, body types, sexualities, etc. And the contestants generally come from a variety of backgrounds. So it’s genuinely diverse, even to the eyes of a guy who spent the better part of his life in major cities.