Wait, What?, Ep. 342—Suspicious Minds

May 8, 2022

00:00-7:50: Greetings! Or as our new standard greeting for 2022 apparently goes: “so what ended up fixing [the tech problem] was…” I wish I could say you only hear Jeff make audible whining noises in the first minute thirty, but oh-ho-ho that certainly is not true!
7:50-1:00:06: We recorded this on Free Comic Book Day 2022 (something we talk about in more detail at the very *end* of the episode) and also on the day the Internet learned George Perez had passed away on Friday, May 6. Following on the heels of Neal Adams’ death the week prior, it is hard to imagine such a near-simultaneous loss. Here, we talk a bit about Perez, Adams, their work, and their legacy. Also discussed: reappraising Marv Wolfman, the recent two part oral history of JLA/Avengers over at The Beat (though Jeff only read the first part, and Graeme’s more sensible take is based on having read both parts); and more.
1:00:06-1:17:10: And then on to other topics, such as…The Batman! Jeff dug it. Sure it was too long, overstuffed, and tried to do too much (so many of the faults of most superhero movies Jeff rails against) but…worked for Jeff! Whereas that West Side Story remake?
1:17:10-1:23:48: Oh, and also: Jeff was thinking about it and he’s got *yet* another MCU theory stemming from the final episode of Loki! Spoilers for the final episode of Loki and, if Jeff had his way, the next big arc of the MCU but….nah. (For reasons that Graeme doesn’t elaborate on-air because they have “Dr. Strange: Multiverse of Madness” spoilers.) So sorry for the brief (?) injection of Fanfic Headcanon (which sounds like a Steve Gerber villain, bless him).
1:23:48-1:32:47: Actual comics! They were bound to show up eventually! Jeff bought the first issue of Jim Rugg’s Hulk: Grand Design – Monster #1 and…did not like it! Damn it! We also discuss Piskor’s and Rugg’s Grand Design projects and what a tightrope act they are, as a way (at least for Jeff) to find more empathy for Rugg.
1:32:47-1:48:35: Oh, and what’s an episode of Wait, What? without a jovial skirmish that threatens to turn deadly? Jeff finally quits his subscriptions to Avengers and Avengers Forever, Graeme has a question or two to ask about the process and bam, we are off to Skirmishville! (Population: Us.) How does The Great Gatsby come into it? You’ll just have to listen, I’m afraid.
1:48:35-2:08:05: “I’m going to pivot off all of that,” Graeme says tactfully and moves on to talk about Jed Mackay and the Death of Doctor Strange (with art by Lee Garbett)! Graeme was on the fence about Mackay’s work and talks about that for a bit before talking about how much he does enjoy the Mackay scripted event (minus the innumberable tie-in issues that add nothing (and probably are not written by Mackay I’d bet but don’t quote me either way). Also discussed: Beyond: Spider-Man, a thing I sort of had vaguely heard about but not really; Darkhold, a Steve Orlando scripted, uh, event?; and more.
2:00:17-2:08:05: As mentioned above, we are recording this on the FCBD, and Graeme had some recommendations in his recent newsletter, so Jeff asks him to recap those. Also included: some really impressive shenanigans from Diamond about Free Comic Book Day, and more.
2:08:05-2:16:59: Oh, I was wrong—the fight about Avengers kind of ends up here, because Jeff tried bottling up his emotions in the earlier segment, and it finally all comes cascading out here. Yeah, good times, my friend, good times. (Good times, and a *Great* Gatbsy!) Also, crammed in there at the corners: Chihayafuru!! It’s so good, you guys. It’s so good.
2:16:59-end: Closing comments (give or take a few minutes, but let’s say it comes in here)? But Graeme talks about reading the oral history of Mad Max: Fury Road and reprints of the British Transformers comics, and Jeff talks about the observation about Elon Musk buying Twitter that led him to…the first episode of Baxter Building? And also: Graeme’s newsletter (https://www.getrevue.co/profile/ComicsFYI!  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:  Time to get Drokked! Read Vol. 35 of Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files and join us here next week, citizen!

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13 comments on “Wait, What?, Ep. 342—Suspicious Minds

  1. Jeff Lester May 8, 2022

    Need to cut and paste, instead? Here you go:

  2. Bengt May 9, 2022

    I disagree with Graeme’s characterisation of the Darkhold tie ins. They are not inversions where the heroes become super villains, but horror stories where the title characters are the monsters. And while they don’t really affect the Darkhold story in anyway, I found some of them to be interesting stand alone stories, Iron Man and Black Bolt comes to mind. It’s nice to get a done-in-one for once, unlike, lets says, the Beyond story (which is even longer than Graeme thinks as there are a bunch of .BEY issues and some cross over with Miles Morales).

    I read way more Marvel than DC but I can never stay long with a Jason Aaron comic. His low level writing is fine enough I guess but there are always some overarching plots/ides/characters that are stupid and/or annoying. So I’m shaking my head at Jeff for staying with his Avengers for so long. :)

  3. Shadavid May 9, 2022

    Consider this a vote for Graeme giving us his Scottish Elvis. It also prompted me to listen listen to some of the Elvis from Belfast ( The King) and his entertaining album, Gravelands. Perhaps his version of ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart.’… I was chuckling when Jeff went into his divorce riff, as I had earlier in the program found been musing on the custody issues concerning your listeners should you split.
    Adams drawing unsettled me when he started drawing X-Men. I was 10 and didn’t know if I liked it, but I knew I liked the stories. I’ve heard lots of people write or say things like they didn’t know how to like Kirby when they first read him. He was an instant hit for me, but Adams was a shock. He wasn’t the first artist at Marvel to not draw like Kirby though, that would be Gene Colan. I think Lee knew it, too, as I don’t recall Colan ever being given the Kirby layouts, while Romita, Buscema, Toth, Steranko, among others, all got them.
    Perez’s work on that ‘Brave and Bold’ story with Waid might have been the point where his art finally plateaued. It’s hard for me to think of an artist whose work got a little bit better, year on year, for so long. It must have been love. Maybe George Perez was the man whose heart was not broken by comics?
    I opted not to get the Rugg Grand Design comic and the review leaves me happier with my decision. I enjoyed spotting the Severin and Trimpe swipes in the picture you used, so there’s that.

  4. Phil Southern May 11, 2022

    Did we ever hear about why Jeff dropped Avengers? Because I was genuinely interested in that. I woulda been down for a long discussion about Loki, too.

  5. I tried an Aaron Avengers issue recently, my first in about two years, and it was readable, with some fun Serpent Society moments and a few decent Avengers members, but still we’re getting Mephisto? Talk about stretching out a bad idea.

    I once had a wazz at a convention next to Alan Moore but I don’t think I asked him for an autograph. Public loos are awkward enough.

    I don’t think I actually moaned about you talking about Loki, I just didn’t like Hammy Kang (and Moon Knight was a let down too… I feel like Lucy Van Pelt after Christmas).

    What oral history did Graeme refer to towards the end of the show, I listened back a few times but couldn’t catch it, sorry.

    • Jeff Lester May 12, 2022

      I could be wrong but I’m 95% sure it was Blood, Sweat & Chrome: The Wild and True Story of Mad Max: Fury Road

  6. Martin Gray May 13, 2022

    Thanks Jeff?

  7. Martin Gray May 13, 2022

    I mean, ‘Thanks Jeff!’

  8. > shadavid: … It’s hard for me to think of an artist whose work got a little bit better, year on year, for so long. …

    I completely agree re: Pérez, but for another, Walt Simonson, whose current Ragnarok has lost none of the power and joy of Thor and all his other great work. Somehow he is still getting better.

  9. Shadavid May 15, 2022

    I think for me, Simonson was in another category. I think the 3rd installment of Manhunter, in the back of one of those 100-page issues of Detective Comics was my first exposure to him. I was in Ballycastle on holiday and I wrestled with the idea I was going to spend 10p on a comic for 7 or 8 pages of an artist that looked really interesting, when most of it was old DC reprints. I chose well and found out the Archie Goodwin Batman stories were good and that Hawkman and Hawkgirl drawn by Joe Kubert made a surprisingly sexy couple.
    My experience of Perez was quite different. It was maybe 10 years after I first saw his work that I started to think of him as a good superhero artist and even then, not particularly to my taste. His hard work and enthusiasm won me over, though,

  10. Tim Rifenburg May 16, 2022

    I have been wrestling with creating a top 5 or ten of my favorite Perez and Adams stories or covers. They were the artists that defined the eras of me being a pure comic fan and I followed their work as I aged through their careers. Adams covers and sporadic DC / and limited Marvel work on interiors in the late 60’s and early 70’s stood out to me. Perez I associate with a longer career because I still followed and picked up his work until his health issues .(Though Adams was still doing work and covers sporadically, until his death, it never hit the enjoyment level of his 60’s 70’s output for me.) I enjoyed your discussion on both creators and was curious what your favorite work of theirs was or what stands out as your favorite work. If you ever do a question oriented podcast again (hint, hint – which I always find enjoyable) consider that mine.
    My Top 5 (No particular order):
    Perez: The Busiek / Perez Avengers Run, Perez’s
    Wonder Woman (Ironically i loved more of his run when he relinquished art duties. (#46 the Suicide story stands out)
    JLA / Avengers (Obviously)
    New Teen Titans (Whole run but issue #39 – Wonder Girl origin is my favorite)
    DC Comics Presents #51 (Superman / Omac) Just a random issue of a team up comic but I just enjoy it.

    Batman issues – but 237 – Night of the Reaper is a favorite)
    X-men issues – only a handful but they made me look at the characters differently after
    Green Lantern / Green Arrow (Full Run)
    DC 100 page Giant #5: Cover
    Brave and Bold #79 (Batman / Deadman) My first look at Adam’s interpretation of Batman and my first encounter with Deadman and his story.
    Would be curious what other What Nuts would put on their list.

  11. Williamson’s Dark Crisis lead-up as well as Aaron’s Avengers feels like they are both influenced by Morrison (JLA and Multiversity) but the comparisons should end there. Williamson’s JLI is a middle chapter limited-series for DC’s tentpole event series (Dark Crisis) and Aaron’s Avengers is just another writer putting in time on the Avengers. After Bendis overstaying and then Hickman and the decade of MCU I wasn’t ready to commit to any more Avengers comics but Aaron’s 1 million BC Avengers was wacky enough to check out.

    I enjoyed Aaron’s run maybe up until ish 38-39? The Phoenix arc and the She-Hulk arc were the period where I realized I didn’t care/like the book that much and then when they added a second title (even tho it was more Morrison multiverse-stylings but for Marvel and Kuder art) it made me step-check and I noped out of the whole thing.

    I liked Blade, the sheriff of MU vampires who had settled at Chernobyl, with a little Man-Thing sidekick. I liked the Soviet equivalent of the Avengers. I didn’t mind Squadron Supreme and Heroes Reborn and Mephisto as the big bad but it went on too long and then they added the second series with variable Kuder art and so much torture…it just wasn’t fun anymore. Marvel overreached and it got old.

  12. Jeff: [compares Graeme to a character famously described as “great”]

    Graeme: “I’m being dissed.”