0:01-6:31: Greetings from Graeme “Burping” McMillan and Jeff “Probably Talking” Lester! It’s been a couple of weeks so we’re starting off slow(er than usual). For example: did you know Graeme rewatched Rocketman? Could you have guessed Jeff would have some opinions about Rocketman?
6:31-19:21: Since Graeme admitted watching Rocketman on his flight back from New York Comic-Con, and Jeff, being an equal and opposite member of a comic book podcast, feels compelled to ask: how was the flight? (Just kidding, he asked about NYCC.) Discussed: NYCC, particularly from the point of view of an overworked entertainment industry reporter.
19:21-29:36: Arguably the big story to come out of NYCC is the news about DC’s timeline that came out at the DC Nation panel. Graeme covers how that came about, and also touches on the other news stories to come out of the Con (such as Iron Man 2020, G. Willow Wilson taking over The Dreaming, Ruins of Ravencroft, etc.)
29:36-1:01:13: At a certain point, we segue from people being disappointed at how there weren’t more new X-titles announced at NYCC to talking about the end of House of X/Powers of X. Spoilers? Well, yes, I think that would be fair to assume…
1:01:13-1:13:08: The Green Lantern also wrapped up its first season around the same time as HoxPox with issue #12, and Jeff was curious if Graeme had read it. How the hell is a lovely book with an amazing artist and a superstar writer something so easily summed up by Graeme as “yeah, that’s a comic that happened?” Also discussed: what happened to the spectrum lantern corps?
1:13:08-1:19:28: How worried should we be when Jeff starts “worrying” about a comic writer? (It doesn’t always turn out well for Jeff, if nothing else!) Here, he worries about Geoff Johns’ legacy at DC? Is it being ignored? Actively erased? Discussed: Doomsday Clock and is it not a big deal anymore for DC? And what does Siri think about it?
1:19:28-1:30:57: Speaking of Doomsday Clock, those of you interested in reading it without buying it *but* wanting to be legal and legit may want to check out Hoopla, where the first collection hit more or less on day of release. And although this is the point where you think Jeff is mentioning this as a recommendation for more Whatnauts to look into Hoopla—and it is!—it is also a segue so that Jeff can talk about the Heroes In Crisis collection which he just read, in part based on Graeme’s recent post about it, and wishes to “discuss” it with Graeme (“discuss” apparently being code for “fight about”?)
1:30:57-1:40:41: “DC is all over the place,” Jeff declares, “I’m not paying really attention to Marvel except when they put Conan in something…which means I’m going to be paying a lot more attention to Marvel because apparently they’re putting Conan in everything.” This leads Graeme to start talking about how Marvel has something for everyone considering they’re currently publishing 125 titles, but walking that back to point out Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur and Unbeatable Squirrel Girl are getting canceled. But at the same time they’ve announced deals with Scholastic for middle grade books. They appear to be really upping the amount of titles they publish while at the same time narrowing the range of what they publish. Also discussed: what is on Jeff’s comic subscription list?
1:40:41-1:45:53: Part of why we’re talking about Jeff’s sub list is because Jeff is trying *really* hard to put himself on a budget and how that works when it comes to comic books. In theory, considering he subscribes to Marvel Unlimited, DC Universe, Comixology Unlimited, and has access to Hoopla, how hard does he really have to work to read good comics without spending any (more) money? (Part of why this comes up is Jeff has been power-bingeing Giant Days off CU and *loving* it.)
1:45:53-1:54:33: And! Just as Jeff is bingeing Comixology Unlimited with Giant Days because of Graeme’s continued recommendations of it, Graeme read the first trade of Outer Darkness on Hoopla because of Jeff’s recommendation!
1:54:33-2:08:29: “I just love old Star Trek comics,” Graeme admits, before going on to talk about two very different graphic novels (different from Star Trek comics, anyway): Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell, and The Hard Tomorrow by the mighty Eleanor Davis. Also discussed: our pending top ten lists for 2019.
2:08:29-2:15:19: A discussion of what we’ve read recently on digital pivots away from Jeff being unable to tell time (Major X #1 came out six months ago?) to, as Graeme brilliantly puts it, the “‘Rob Liefeld threatens to sue Marvel’ part of the news cycle.” As tempting as it was to cut the “Graeme scrolls through Rob’s Twitter feed while complaining he can’t find the tweet” and save it for what doubtlessly would’ve become a coveted Patreon extra, we decided instead to just boil it down to its richest parts for everyone. Take that, late stage capitalism!
2:15:19-end: Closing comments! Look for us on Stitcher! Itunes! Instagram! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! Tumblr, 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: Episode 281!!
Need to cut? And/or paste? We’ve got you covered:
Jonathan Hickman’s latest “Flow Charts: Elegant Design starring the X-Men” draws mixed feelings from critics and fans alike?!!!
Morrison’s Green Lantern reminds me a lot of Morrison’s Action Comics, and not in a good way (almost by definition, since there’s very little in his Action Comics I would enjoy being reminded of). Both series started with a clear, well-defined hook (Superman as working-class reformer/GL as police procedural in spaaaaaaaace) that they more or less abandoned after issue 3. By about issue 9, both of them were back to parallel Earths and endless reflections of their main characters. Green Lantern even hangs a lampshade on this in the Green Arrow issue when one of them says “I thought this was supposed to be about drugs” while fighting the boring alien menace of the month. I thought so too, Hal and/or Ollie. I thought so too.
I will give Action Comics this, at least its main character actually had a character to reflect across endless Earths. Green Lantern doesn’t even have that.
I liked HoX/PoX more than it seems you guys did, but I am surprised that more people aren’t pointing out that the cloning concept is very similar to The Venture Brothers. If I had that idea I’d be thrilled for a moment, then my mind would tell me “you can’t do that – people will say you’re just doing a po-faced version of The Venture Brothers.” But that…didn’t happen here. Maybe The Venture Brothers’ cultural impact has shrunk. Hey, that’s what happens when you take too long between seasons.
Also, maybe Hickman has it out for Adult Swim shows because Rick and Morty ripped off The Council of Reeds for The Council of Ricks.
Hey, as a minority reader who found solidarity in the mutant metaphor, I really ｒｅａｌｌｙ hope Hickman is not purposefully invoking it. “Trans cult” is still commonly used as insult, “What if gay people lived on their own little island?” is a punchline from a decade ago, the story is flat out incomprehensible as a mental illness metaphor, and having the seperatist holy nation plan only work when the jewish guy isnt the one doing it is a weird look.
I dont think X-Men always needs to be a minority morality play, I love the dumb space adventures, but to have whats supposed to be a defining take on the series ignore or heavily botch what so many people consider the core premise is weird.
After listening to the podcast I thinking about some of the weakness of the mutant metaphor, particularly there’s no real examination of the other oppressions affecting and tending to divide mutants. Sexism maybe has got the biggest nod, but that’s been mostly been of the ‘Guys, be polite!’ as opposed to any acknowledgement of a systematic, institutionalised oppression. Maybe I’ve missed it and there have been arcs about how mutants carry various attitudes of entitlement and privilege towards other, or maybe that’s to come?
Yeah, I think X-Men would be at its best exploring intersectionality with real minorities instead of just using this as a stand in.
Then again, after seeing “the mutant deportation act” and mutants as a psuedo nazi secret police in Age of X-Man, maybe we’re better off completely avoiding real issues for a while…
Just wanna say, while I liked HoXPoX A LOT more than you guys, I did mostly agree with you on there being excessive repetition in the backmatter and final issues of both series–until I read the questions people were asking Hickman for his Q&A on Twitter.
I think we’re overestimating how smart a segment of the audience is. I hate to admit it, but some of those questions make it abundantly clear that even this much hand-holding just wasn’t sufficient. There were people asking why Exodus, Mystique and Sinister were on the Council despite it being made EXPLICIT. So… just throwing that out there: perhaps there are readers who need that level of repetition and reinforcement and unfortunately for a book like this, we’re all bound by how ‘accessible’ you want to make it for as large an audience as possible.
I loved Lissa Treimain’s art, too. As I understand it, she went back to Pixar, so hopefully that’s a good gig. I think she was only on the comic for a while due to her commitments to animation. However, Max (who I believe is a woman) has grown and developed on the comic and she started good! I am excited at the prospect of what she does next. She has a blog with some fun cartoons on her process.
Hard Tomorrow features some of the best drawing I’ve seen in comics. Davis has tremendous command of body language and gesture, and her line is somehow fluid and controlled. She uses this to great effect; there’s a scene toward the end where the drama is in a sequence of small movements paced across a few pages that hits like a ton of bricks.
As to the story, I’m still thinking it through. I agree that it marks a new stage in Davis’s career, and that it’s her overall best long-form fictional narrative. That having been said, I’m not sure what to think of the final third of the book. It seemed a bit compressed, and the character reactions and development didn’t quite align with the weight of specific events; at the end of the book I was a little unsettled by the mix of melodrama and naturalism there. But hey, I’m still thinking about it. That’s more than I can say for most books I’ve read this year.
Starting THE HARD TOMORROW based on Graeme review/recommendation. Really liking it so far!