Wait, What? – license 2 (b) ill

January 26, 2020

0:01-17:30: Greetings from Graeme “Horribly Sick” McMillan and Jeff “Mildly Sick” Lester! We are both under the weather, and we apologize in advance if this episode has a few more woozy patches in it than usual. We compare notes about how shitty we’re feeling and why—turns out we’re more sympatico than we thought. Hypochondriacs are invited to skip over this section and our discussion of our ills.

17:30-28:20: Jeff gets a reprieve because Graeme hasn’t been tracking his reading lately—“your savage victory has been postponed for a week or two,” is how he puts it—but he’s still interested to see/hear that list. “Is there sickly news to match our sickly demeanor?” asks Jeff instead. We discuss the announcement of Marvel’s Empyre event, written by Al Ewing and Dan Slott and Valero Schiti. Spinning out from that we talk about Al Ewing’s great cosmic stuff being undone (Galactus Lifebringer), his first issue of Guardians of the Galaxy which Graeme read and enjoyed a lot, and more.

28:20-34:19: One of Jeff’s favorite topics, Marvel Unlimited and what’s being uploaded there, gets brought up in the course of talking about Al’s GotG. In particular: the last couple of weeks have seen very few (and in some cases no) uploads of older books. As MU starts trying to keep up with Marvel’s 100-titles-a-month output, will this be happening more and more? Also discussed: DC Universe’s more measured approach to its weekly upload; and more.

34:19-50:49: Graeme doesn’t have any more Marvel surprises for Jeff, but he is surprised he’s enjoying Bendis’s “Superman outs himself” storyline in Superman as much as he does, and we talk about why. Is this a chance for Jeff to swoop in and complain about Bendis’s plotting? You betcha! But they also talk about what’s good about Bendis, compare him to another wildly successful writer with an arguably equally lackadaisical approach to ending stories, why Bendis might be a better DC writer than a Marvel writer, the need to get a big story going to justify an investment, and more.

50:49-1:00:26: Graeme has read in collection the first twelve issues of The Green Lantern by Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp, and it is literally his third time through! What has he realized this third time through? “You realize the comics are interesting, and then they go up their own ass *dramatically. It’s not me!” Discussed: how the series was pitched in promotion and whether that’s a feint, a fail, or a swerve; and more.

1:00:26-1:09:06: Speaking of things one should love but do not—Jeff read Venom: The End written by one of his faves, Adam Warren, and drawn by Chamba, with the symbiote becoming the last hope for biolife in the universe. It’s a oneshot that sprawls across all space and time but feels curiously behind the times in a post Powers of X comics landscape. Why does it let Jeff down? And why doesn’t Graeme care? The answers may (but, let’s face it, probably won’t) surprise you! Also discussed: Miles Morales: The End, the secret ingredient that makes “The End” books so zesty, and more.
1:09:06-1:18:24: Jeff might be tapped out, but Graeme has a bunch of stuff he’s read that he wants to talk about. First, he had a chance to read a digital arc of David Roach’s Masters of British Comic Art, which Graeme thought would be profiles of British comic artists, but is in fact a complete history of Brtiish comics featuring hundreds of pages of samples and examples. “It’s fucking amazing,” is Graeme’s summation. Another book recently read and loved by Graeme is Kerry and the Knight of the Forest by the amazingly talented Andi Watson; and Noisemakers: 25 Women Who Raised Their Voices & Changed the World – A Graphic Collection from Kazoo Magazine featuring a powerhouse lineup of cartoonists.

1:18:24-1:22:11: On the less successful side of things? The first volume of Faithless by Brian Azzarello and Maria Llovet, where impressive art by Llovet cannot save the story from Azzarello’s Azzarello-ness. Much more successful is The Runaway Princess by Johan Troïanowski, featuring a great joke/storytelling trick along with terrific art and a ton of charm.

1:22:11-1:38:47: Jeff’s turn! From Hoopla, Jeff’s read Red Sonja, Vol. 1: Scorched Earth by Mark Russell, Mirko Colak, and others, wherein the she-devil with a sword becomes a queen with an impossible war to win; from Amazon, via the powers of pre-ordering high, the surprise arrival of Gambling Apocalypse: Kaiji by Nobuyuki Fukumoto; and on Comixology, two volumes of Ex-Enthusiasts: MotoKare Mania by Yukari Takinami.
1:38:47-1:54:31: “What do you think of The Boys news,” Graeme asks Jeff, and then sensibly follows up with, “Do you know The Boys’ news?” Jeff does, but doesn’t necessarily know what to think or how to feel about it. Also discussed: Russ Braun; later era Garth Ennis; SARA by Ennis and Steve Epting; Goodnight Paradise by Joshua Dysart and Alberto Ponticelli; and much more.

1:54:31-2:09:20: File this under conversational gambits that don’t work: “Hey, Graeme, Bloodshot the movie trailer with Vin Diesel!” But it does lead to us grumpily shit-talking Morbius and Jared Leto; The Joker being nominated for all the Oscars; we take the “two sick people try to cast DC supervillains even as they audibly lose their desire to live” challenge; and more.
2:09:20-2:27:27: Graeme sends us the warning! The two episodes of DC Daily wherein people pitch their DC-based reality show to DC execs have gone live on DC Universe. We will discuss it next episode, so go check it out. (Jeff certainly will!)
2:27:27-end:  Closing Comments!!  Look for us on  Stitcher! Itunes! Instagram! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and JeffTumblr, 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 ,wherein your two hosts will hopefully take some time to recuperate! We’ll see you right around February 9th.


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11 comments on “Wait, What? – license 2 (b) ill

  1. Jeff Lester Jan 26, 2020

    Need the link? This should do the trick (we hope!):


  2. Wait…why would Florence Pugh as Catwoman be terrible? Sounds great to me, although Riley Keough would be my first pick. If JOKER was TAXI DRIVER with a DC villain, than CATWOMAN could be KLUTE with a DC villain.

  3. CJ Kral Jan 27, 2020

    Jeff, if you like Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji. Then you should watch the Chinese live action adaptation Animal World on Netflix. It changes somethings, adds some weird shit and stars Michael Douglas, but it’s still the same basic plot.

    • Jeff Lester Jan 27, 2020

      Oh hell, I remember when that came out and it sounded like a thing I’d like…then I forgot all about it. Thank you–I may try to check it out this week!

      • You might also enjoy a Kaiji spin-off, Middle Management Blues: Mr Tonegawa, which is a parody of the main story written as a workplace comedy about the employees whose job it is to devise and set up these ridiculous death games for their evil maniac bosses, manage and distinguish all those identical-looking black-suited goons, etc. The manga doesn’t have an official translation that I know of, but Crunchyroll is streaming the anime adaptation.

        • Jeff Lester Feb 3, 2020

          Holy shit, that sounds great. I don’t know if it’ll get my to break my indifference toward watching anime, but it might! Thanks for mentioning it, Joe.

  4. Bengt Jan 27, 2020

    After watching the Empyre trailer I have one question. Is CB Cebulski and Tom Breevort the same person?
    I thought that Annual Tom King wrote was an entertaining Batman The End, the Venom one not so much (which I only read because of Adam Warren, Venom sucks).

  5. The great thing about about Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji as you describe it is that it has the same setup as the first arc of Yugioh but with real criminals

  6. David M Jan 28, 2020

    Sorry to hear you guys have been sick, I hope you’re both continuing to get better. Your talk about it brought some of my own memories of breathing related illness to mind, but they seem inappropriate to share with self-identified hypochondriacs.
    I don’t know if it’s his first work in colour, but Andi Watson’s Gum Girl came out in 2013 and is lots of fun. You need to search with his name as there is a more recent Gumazing Gum Girl, by other creators- which also looks fun. I had Amazon US open as I’d followed your links to some of the books recommended. Most of the volumes of Gum Girl are available for much cheaper on Amazon UK.
    I was a bit surprised at Jeff’s coolness towards Morbius. His principle scripters in the 70s were Don McGregor, Steve Gerber and Doug Moench. Jeff really must not care for the character.
    Your discussion of swerves in Green Lantern and their possible reasons gives all the excuse I need to bring up what I noticed in my recent re-read of Rima The Jungle Girl. For the first five issues there’s a neat back-up strip called Space Voyagers drawn by Alex Nino. The first episode is scripted by Jack Oleck and has absolute top of the range Nino art. It ends on a cliff hanger. Robert Kanigher scripts the second episode (and the rest of the run) and opens with an impressive display of ‘I don’t care what story you were telling’ by having the first episode be an illusion cast by an alien mega-being. While it’s still Alex Nino art, he doesn’t seem quite as engaged after that.

  7. Mike Murdock Feb 3, 2020

    I would push back on the idea that Bendis ever could tell a cohesive story from beginning to end and stick the landing. I’d encourage you to go back and read Daredevil – especially from issue 50 onward where Bendis did the big reveal about Daredevil being the king of Hells Kitchen and it immediately becomes clear that he has no idea what that means or what to do with it. But, even before that, the stories don’t really work except as an anti-climax. The only real exception is Trial of the Century, which is a very tightly told three-part story. But every story has to undermine the villain or suggest that they weren’t really a threat. Even Bullseye ends poorly. But The Owl, after all that build up, just gets busted by the FBI. Most villains get played for laughs, etc. The Murdock Papers story has a good ending (in an Ambrose Bierce type way), but it also makes no sense when read through knowing the ending.

    • Jeff Lester Feb 3, 2020

      Thanks for this, Mike. Even his detractors hold up his DD run as one that “worked,” but what you’re saying matches a lot of how I remember feeling about it? Always just assumed it was me, but I’m tempted to go back and give it a read just to see.