0:01-3:45: Greetings! Jeff is psyched (out) about this episode for reasons unknown to him and Graeme. Is it because next week is a skip week? Because last week was a Drokk! but so much was happening it should’ve been a Wait, What? Because Jeff can’t count? All those reasons and more? Like Mary Skrenes’ and Steve Gerber’s original ending for Omega The Unknown, it shall probably remain a mystery forever.
3:45-30:15: With one enigma in place, Graeme goes for a second: “A week later—and this is not meant as a diss of DC Fandome at all—but (a) what do you remember about DC Fandome, and (b) does it really seem like something that you ‘re like, ‘well that’s something everybody was talking about after the fact?’ I mean, maybe The Batman trailer, but that feels like it.” And so, you know, let’s unpack that. Said unpacking includes Jeff feeling ooky about the Black Adam sneak peek; slightly less straight after watching Ezra Miller introduce The Flash sneak peek; Graeme recommending Doom Patrol and the joys of the third season; Robins #1 and the Monkey Prince oneshot on DCUI; and the Milestone Initiative, a talent development program.
Trans women are Wonder Women. End of story.
— Lynda Carter 🎃 (@RealLyndaCarter) October 19, 2021
30:15-43:04: It was Wonder Woman Day on October 21! How did we celebrate? Jeff retweeted Linda Carter, downloaded some free Wonder Woman comics and bought a few others; Graeme read a whole pile of Wonder Woman comics, many of which were sent out on Wonder Woman Day, and reports back to us on the state of Wonder Woman 2021. (Spoilers: it sounds pretty good!)
43:04-57:29: Graeme also did a re-read of all the Action Comics material since Future State which works much better when read all at once. This is of interest to Jeff, who quite liked Superman And The Authority, the four issue miniseries that ties in to the same storyline. Graeme, having read both, talks about the ties—some pretty tenuous—between the connected stories and their very different takes on the Man of Steel. Also discussed: the CBR interview with Morrison about the final issue of the miniseries; and more.
57:29-1:09:09: There’s a new She-Hulk series! And it sounds…kinda like most of the other She-Hulk series(es). Between that and the upcoming Donny Cates/Ryan Ottley run on Hulk, is Marvel just rolling back the status quo on the Hulk books? Well…probably. But Jeff, who *really* loved the finale of Immortal Hulk by Al Ewing, Joe Bennett, Ruy José, Bellardino Brabo and Paul Mounts wonder if rather than following Sinatra, it might be better to pivot? Also discussed: holy shit, that run of The Immortal Hulk! And yet…was the follow-up about it on social media very quiet? (Jeff admits to termsearching because some of the people he normally sees tweeting about comics didn’t mention it.). Graeme dropped off—more than once!—and came back, so we talk a bit about why people step away from good books, the two sides of Al Ewing’s work and how each side to each of us differently, and more.
1:09:09-1:40:57: Remember when Jeff favorably compared Jason Aaron’s Avengers run to Grant Morrison’s run on JLA? Well, the bloom’s off that rose, baby! And yet, it’s Graeme who sat down (for the…third time?) to re-read all of it and this time around? He…still doesn’t like it. SURPRISE! (But we also unpack a lot of stuff in that, be it who popularized the “never ending story” trick, the ‘disrespect’ of reading digital, and much, much more).
1:40:57-1:54:41: Jeff has been, as he puts it, “Restoring The Snyderverse” by reading the first issues of the three(!) titles Scott Snyder published this month through Comixology Unlimited (We Have Demons with Greg Capullo; Clear with Francis Manapul; and Night of the Ghoul with Francesco Francavilla) as well as the wrap up of the first arc of Snyder and Tony Daniel’s Nocterra.
1:54:41-2:05:39: A substack joke inspires Graeme to talk about the free Substack newsletter of ND (formerly Noelle) Stevenson and the autobio comics posted there and how good they are. Sounds awesome, so you should do what Jeff did and go to imfineimfine.com and sign up for updates!
2:05:39-end: Closing Comments…or are they? 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.
Next week: Trick or Treat! Smell Our Feet! Join us again in about two weeks!
Ayo, here’s the link for cutting and/or pasting!
So I bounced off Aaron’s Avengers immediately, the 1MBC Avengers annoy me on so many levels, but the never ending feel of the Kindred story in Spider-Man was the worst part of that run. I read that on an off as there were other parts I liked, but when Spencer was leaving it was wrapped up in lightning speed (sure it was over lots of issues, but ASM gets like 10 issues a month…) so it feels like it would have gone on forever if he hadn’t left. But the one that really burned me was Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series of fantasy novels, it starts with a seemingly self contained first book (supposedly he didn’t have publishing deal and didn’t know if would get to write more) that is really good. So a series is announced, initially touted as a trilogy, the big battle at the end of first book was retconned to not have been a big deal really. Characters and sub plots are then fire hosed into the story in book after book with hardly anything resolved. I drop off at book 8 or 9, Jordan dies after book 11(?) and another author writes two more books from his notes to wrapped it up.
Immortal Hulk in contrast is brilliant, it starts with a series of self contained and wrapped up stories, the Green Door stuff is snuck in as a character feature that is much later revealed to actually be a plot. Possibly the Leader reveal goes on a bit too long, but with the wrap up of the series is very satisfying.
I never bothered with DC Fandome because of the ad that was mentioned, it just looked like TV and film and cartoons and nowt else. I never even noticed the Jim Lee John Stewart. I figured any interesting announcements would show up pretty quickly on the comic websites.
How lovely of DC to release Robins and the Monkey King prologue on the comics app… great for everyone in the US who can actually get it. Could Graeme use his contacts to see if DC have actually abandoned plans to release the app to the Rest of the World? At one point, I swear, they said it was going to be last summer. They might at least tell us something.
I did read the Monkey King short in that special, and it wasn’t my cup of tea. I enjoy Yang and Chang but the lead character was ruddy unbearable.
There was indeed lots of good stuff in that WW 80th anniversary special and yes, the Mark Waid/JLG-L story was brilliant, but it was actually set in the Silver/Bronze Age. I disagree that the book hit every decade, the earliest vibe was the delightful Fifties fun of Amy Reeder’s Fresh Catch, so no Golden Age-era story (though Steve Orlando’s story did nod towards it). There was Mod Diana, but no dedicated Bronze Age tale. No Simone era story… mainly, it was the type of random, Modern Age stuff that we’ve seen so often in the many WW anthologies of the past decade… good quality, but reading like inventory.
Our hosts said some very interesting things about that statement of Morrison’s, about being a child and having only part of a story, and filling in the gaps. I’m not sure that was what Aaron’s Avengers was going for, but to be fair to Aaron, I stopped reading early on and maybe that is why Aaron was writing the way that he does.
One thing about Aaron that they observed is that sense of someone going, “Hey, I can do anything with these characters.” Which really articulated for me something that I don’t like about his writing. I know there are people who loved his Thor run, and I like quite a lot about it myself. But it rubbed me the wrong way how Aaron seemed essentially to be reversing the work that Gillen and Ewing had put into making Loki a more interesting character, for no particular reason.
And I read Heroes Reborn on MU. This was our hosts’ fault. Their discussion of it a couple of episodes or so ago made it sound like it might be interestingly flawed. And actually, a couple of the tie-ins are enjoyable enough Amalgam comics that play in a fun way with doing DC/Marvel mashups that supposedly were published as ongoing series in the past. The core series, though — it seems completely to lack what you might call a “point.”
And it’s the same thing as Loki, with Phil Coulson. Not that I care particularly about Coulson, whereas I do care about Gillen and Ewing’s Lokis — but why? It’s that “point” thing again. What interesting story purpose is served by using this character in this role?
But back to Morrison’s comment on what he was trying to do. It might be that some comics writers of a certain age are trying to recreate that feeling, but what I wonder is, is “of a certain age” critical there. Because I grew up reading superhero comics that way, as did our hosts, I imagine. Because when one was a child, there was a high degree of randomness in what comics you acquired. Even if you were buying regularly, sometimes it was sold out by the time that you got to the newsagents. And a lot of what you found was older comics in church fêtes and so on.
Bits and pieces, and you learned to become competent at inferring what must have happened, even if you did not always do so correctly. (I was certain that there had been a long period when the status quo was that Hercules was Thor’s supporting character, because I misinterpreted a story in which Hercules made a guest appearance, and it sort of made sense to me that Hercules might be Thor’s sidekick.) Just as sometimes you missed an episode of Doctor Who, and you had to catch up. (I had to miss the last episode of The Caves of Androzani, of all episodes to miss.)
Because there was no Internet.
I think what Morrison’s observation misses is that the way we interact with media has fundamentally changed since they were a child.
I also had the missing issues experience and agree with Voord that things have changed and won’t go back. I think that the current accessibility of content may be even more significant. Even when I was getting all the issues of a series, my income was limited and I lived more intensely with fewer, carefully chosen comics. The events of an issue would be in my mind for a month and I might re-read it several times. It would live in my imagination in a way it’s difficult for anything to when there’s always another course to the feast available right now. I’d recommend MU, or the Shonen Jump subscription to anyone with a limited budget, but when you don’t have to wait, the engagement is different. While I’m here it’ll be interesting to see how that plays out.
I was looking forward to a deep dive into Immortal Hulk, which as Jeff and everyone said was a big series with a very satisfying ending, but then we get 30 minutes diatribe on Marvel non-ending storytelling! Weird. The praise was all over my social media feed. Well done to Jeff on trying to keep it positive- I hadn’t considered that Al Ewing is religious- I just assumed he was using the iconography because he knows how powerful it is- even to the lapsed or nonbelieving. But the Khabbala references might show something more.
“Bits and pieces, and you learned to become competent at inferring what must have happened, even if you did not always do so correctly. ”
The development of this skill as a tender lad is how I’ve managed to read Hickman’s X-Men exclusively, as I’m not one to go along with linewide launches these days.
There was something about swords and some bit with something called Empyre but I missed the fashion ball (?) altogether and I still don’t know who “Elixir” is but it’s been coherent enough for my interests.