0:01-9:55:  Greetings from Graeme “That’s Almost Worse” McMillan and Jeff “A bit of a mess!!” Lester, where Jeff had a tough day and Graeme had reiki (many years ago).   As we compare notes, we’re in a pretty good place at the moment: Jeff might have a tough week in front of him, and Graeme has a tough week in his rear view mirror what with all the Endgame prep he had to write, but…we’re okay!
9:55-41:39: Hmm, I wonder if there’s anything happening in nerd news this past week?  I do feel like ther might’ve been something….Oh, right!  Avengers: Endgame and, of course, Graeme has seen it already and of course Jeff has not.  Less of an “of course:” Graeme really liked it!  And is incredibly cautious, such that we have a spoiler-free discussion of the film so that if, like Jeff, you also haven’t seen it yet, you can listen in safety.  Also discussed:  the importance of being unspoiled as possible going in to it; being spoiled by Google Prompt; the Tom Holland effect; Graeme attending Star Wars Celebration and contasting Star Wars fandom’s responses and MCU’s reponses; is Endgame a jumping off point for the MCU; what the next phase of Marvel films could be or should be; Disney in 2020; and more.
41:39-48:44: Comic books!  Remember those? Jeff does and wants to know what Graeme’s been reading these past few weeks that’s not Judge Dredd stuff for Drokk?  Answer:  Graeme’s been reading Robo-Hunter Vol. 1. by John Wagner and Ian Gibson. (so it’s almost cheating?)  We talk about how it’s different from Dredd; its opening story hook; and more.
48:44-1:09:21:  “That’s the thing,” sez Graeme. “These days I am reading old comics or I’m reading homework for work.”  And Graeme, like Jeff, has been reading alot of those old comics on the DC Universe app.  Naturally, it becomes the topic of discussion for us, with Jeff reporting in on the reading experience overall in the app.  Also discussed: The Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love, as edited by Dorothy Woolfolk; WildCATS/Aliens; Camelot 3000; Grayson: Future’s End #1; Doomsday Clock #1-4; and Justice League: The Darkseid War (Justice League #40-50 plus a handful of oneshots); Machine Man hitting Marvel Unlimited; Batman and the Outsiders; Checkmate;  Legion ’89; Starman; and more.
1:09:21-1:41:29: Speaking of reading The Darkseid War, as you know, Graeme has been working his way through pretty much all of the DC incarnations of The New Gods, so Jeff, having just finished the Geoff Johns New 52 interpretation, is curious as to where that interpretation fits in with what Graeme’s read.  Is Johns’ doing his take on The New Gods, or do the official mandated New 52 version, or something else?  Jeff is confused, but fortunately Graeme is here to take us to school.
Discussed:  Events repeating in DC; Forever Evil and The Year of The Villain; Wonder Woman’s brother, the Three Jokers, and the swerve of Rebirth; stories without characters; takes vs. traction; the surprisingly deep bench of old Wonder Woman stuff, including The Trial of Wonder Woman; and more.
1:41:29-1:49:34: So DC Universe is very attractive to both of us with what Graeme calls the “shit, there’s so much here!” factor, but that factor was also part of what was amazing about Marvel Unlimited, and we’re both wondering if we’re starting to see severely diminishing returns there. Also discussed: stuff not on DC Universe that maybe should be, such as Gerard Jones’s comics work of the 90s; and more.
1:49:34-1:57:20: For Jeff, who’s looking for more manga digitally (that isn’t Shonen Jump) and legitimately, the news that Kodansha has added and will be completing Initial D on Comixology Unlimited is pretty great.  Kodansha has since thrown in more stuff around the edges, such that they have something close to 400 volumes of different titles available to read with a Comixology Unlimited subscription. Also discussed: being overwhelmed with material; Junji Ito’s Smashed; and more.
1:57:20-2:03:35: Another oddball reading pick, Graeme and I as old school Eddie Campbell fans were both delighted by issue #4 of Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt by Kieron Gillen and Caspar Wungaard, so of course we *have* to talk about it.
2:03:35-2:57:19: According to Jeff, Heroes in Crisis #8 appears to be pretty controversial out there on the interwebs.  He’s not reading it, but he knows Graeme has and he’s curious what Graeme thinks about the revelation concerning [BIG OL’ SPOILER].  If you haven’t read Heroes In Crisis #8 and don’t want to be spoiled, better skip this section because we leave almost no stone unturned in our discussion of the potential metatext of the story; the actual implications that should be happening for the rest of the DCU; and the strange weightlessness of such a heavy story within the DCU.  Is there just too much happening in the DCU, or is this an event that lost its bearings and therefore its chances to have a big effect on the DCU? Does DC history currently make any sense at all now?  And, probably most importantly, will Jeff use the term “woogly?”  Also discussed: Identity Crisis and Hickman’s Avengers; Year of the Villain again; expectations of DC Rebirth; and much, much more.
2:57:19-2:59:52:  Graeme mentions he read got to read an advance copy of the first issue of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Last Knight on Earth, touted as the Batman story wherein Batman is one of five taxi drivers in five different cities who ends up bonding with his passenger in the coure of one night.  According to Graeme, Jeff will like it, and not just because of Jeff’s residual fondness for Snyder and Capullo’s Down By Law!
2:59:52-end: With a certain amount of wistfulness, we come to…closing comment!  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: Wait, What? Ep. 270!

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8 comments on “Wait, What? Ep. 269: Darned Cynics

  1. Jeff Lester Apr 28, 2019

    And for your cutting and pasting needs:


  2. Thomas Williams Apr 29, 2019

    So Bendis is going to use Green Arrow…f*ck, he’s going to make him Hawkeye from disassembled.

    I think part of what derailed Doomsday Clock is Bendis coming to DC. It feels like DC is being pulled in several different creative directions

  3. Zach Adams Apr 29, 2019

    The long conversation on DC Universe was really great. On the topic of “stuff you never would have bought” I’ve been reading OG Stormwatch and WildCATs, and it’s incredibly jarring to (a) see the Image trade dress crudely shopped out and replaced with the DC logo and (b) revisit the period when Image were aiming for a cohesive universe, complete with footnotes advising me to pick up Spawn and Youngblood.

    And it’s INSANE that DC have got 80 percent of the Unlimited library in less than a year, and that MU STILL has huge weird gaps like DeMatteis’s X-Factor.

  4. Bruce Baugh Apr 29, 2019

    I really enjoyed this episode, and feel that if there’s a competition to choose the platonic archetypal Wait, What episode, this’d be a good contender. :)

    The discussion of continuity at the end was a big ol’ bundle of feelings for me. Being a Legion of Super-Heroes fan in the ’80s meant, it turned out, being one of the canaries in the coal mines. I remember slowly realizing, as the ’80s gave ways to the ’90s, that the Legion would simply never again be allowed to have the kind of history that had made it so so great in the decade before Crisis. Sure enough, it hasn’t.

    It’s kind of reassuring to hear folks like y’all, who read a lot more comics than I do these days, reinforce my sense that real continuity just isn’t a thing to be found very much anymore. I’d feel bad if it turned out there were great sustained runs making good use of a deep history in an established company’s setting and I simply didn’t know about them.

  5. David M Apr 30, 2019

    While I don’t think it’s what Jeff’s looking for, because the English translation isn’t complete yet, I have to recommend Dead Dead Demon’s DeDeDeDe Destruction by Inio Asano. That’s a ‘have to’ because it’s having an absurdly powerful effect on me. I think part of the intent is an allegory about being on the edge of adulthood in an age of climate change. However there’s so many things about it that remind me of what it was like going to school in Belfast between 1970 and 1977. It’s pulled to the surface a great grief I didn’t know I was carrying and, as it has come up, a furious determination that this was not going to affect me (ha ha)- I’m supposing that’s how I got through/locked it away. So it’s kind of hard for me to tell if it’s good, because I don’t have much distance, but I don’t think I’ve ever responded to any work of art so hard. Obviously the way I identify with the characters isn’t going to land for everyone. It is however on Comixology and doesn’t really have cliff hangers so far.

  6. Voord 99 May 1, 2019

    There’s one tiny weird idiosyncratic way that I prefer Marvel Unlimited to DC Universe: that you can browse the index as a vertical text list, not as thumbnails. (MU is also a little better if you’re trying to trace characters, creators, or events, but Unlimited’s indexing is so unreliable that you end up searching online for that information, anyway.)

    But the DC Universe app is so much more stable, which I suppose is what you get if something was designed to compete with the big boys as a video streaming service, and, oh, we’ll also have comics.

    About the 1-year vs. 6-month delay: I wonder if that’s the wrong way round: if Marvel should be the company with the long delay, and DC the company with the shorter one? DC’s always been the company that’s cultivated its back catalogue (a solid reason for them to be reluctant to take this step, nice though it is personally for me) – it makes less difference to them if a comic is old or recent, from the perspective of whether they’re going to get any value out of it.

    While for the kind of reader that Marvel cultivates, having to wait as a long as a year to keep up with things might seem like an eternity. Once something is a few years in the past, it’s much less likely ever to be kept in print, meaning that you might as well bung it on Unlimited.

    • Jeff Lester May 7, 2019

      You touch on what I think are the true reasons, which is that DC’s cultivated its back catalogue…which means they don’t want to disincentivize retailers from ordering and stocking their trades. (It’s one of the reasons the New 52 launched with a similar 12 month delay to trade collection.) Up until things seriously started going awry with DC reneging on their promises to retailers comparatively recently, part of how DC was able to cultivate a stronger trade market was with very strong and collaborative partnership with retailers.

      I’ll go to my grave not knowing, but I’m convinced some canny Marvel staffer proposed Marvel Unlimited specifically (even if possibly in secret) because the printing and storage restrictions management had on Marvel trades meant a super-short shelf life. At six months, they weren’t cutting into their product window since everything was coming out so soon and for such a short time…and there was no printing and storage overhead. (Plus, it acted as a possible storefront for their current digital product if they decided to cut ties with Comixology.)

  7. Zachary Adams May 1, 2019

    And now that I’ve listened to the back half of the episode, I can confirm that Blue Jay was in continuity post-Rebirth; he was in a couple arcs of Orlando’s JLoA. Steel et al., meanwhile, have no such explanation.