0:01-7:27: Howdy! (And apologies for Call Recorder truncating Graeme’s greeting!) Hours have become days, days have become weeks, and weeks have become years, so it feels like a long time since we have last spoken and need to spend a few minutes catching up—to the point, in fact, where we have to jump offline to check in. How is Graeme? How is Jeff? And you, Whatnaut—how are you?
7:27-18:20: Okay, we’re back from discussing a thing for Graeme that may not come together and therefore should not be disclosed on air, and moving on to something Graeme is more than eager to talk about: Adfrian Tomine’s The Loneliness of the Long Distance Cartoonist! It is scheduled for release in July, and it is an autobio comic about being a cartoonist that is, as Graeme memorably puts it, “like Curb Your Enthusiasm starring Adrian Tomine.” Like we said, Graeme is more than eager to talk about it, but does it sound like Jeff is…less than eager to talk about it? Why would that be?
18:20-23:34: Jeff has had pretty bad luck with comics the last week or so. Not like…Uncut Gems levels of bad luck? But, still, yeah, Pretty bad with some exceptions—and one of those exceptions is the third and final issue of Superman Smashes The Klan by Gene Luen Yang and Gurihuru. Just a stellar wrap-up to the period piece minseries. And the other good read he had recently also had lovely Gurihuru art; Spider-Man and Venom: Double Trouble #1, recently available on Marvel Unlimited.
23:34-1:01:01: But maybe the reason Jeff has had bad luck with comics has a lot—a whole lot—to do with the fact that Jeff has been reading comics starring Morbius, The Living Vampire, the trash fieriest of trash fire characters…and worse he’s been reading the Adventure Into Fear comics from the 70s starring ol’ Morb. How can comics crafted by faves of Jeff like Steve Gerber, Doug Moench, Paul Gulacy, Gil Kane, and P. Craig Russel go so horribly wrong? Listen and learn, true believer, listen and learn. Also discussed: A Don McGregor top five; Rager of Ultron; The Melter; and more.
1:01:01-1:15:09: So worked is Jeff in his eagerness to define and convey the scope of his frustration that he bungles the title of his next disappointing read, Action Comics Vol. 3: Leviathan Hunt by Brian Michael Bendis and Szymon Kudranski, as Adventure Comics Vol. 3. (Thanks for catching, Graeme!) Jeff loves the character interactions but loathes the story machinations and the book’s excerpt of Bendis’s script is just gasoline on top of this very conflicted fire.
1:15:09-1:58:36: By contrast with Jeff’s exasperation with Bendis’s sloppiness, Graeme has some conflicted feeling about the manifestation of what is more or less the exact opposite in Scott Snyder’s run on Justice League, which has just concluded as a lead-in to the upcoming Dark Metal event by Snyder and Greg Capullo. Bendis had for many years at Marvel built the end of one crossover event into the beginning of the next, such that each event had a little less punch to it with one status quo leading to another more dramatic status quo, and that’s a pretty interesting contrast to what Graeme talks about here after reading Metal, Justice League: No Justice, Justice League Odyssey, and Justice League itself. Snyder hits all the story points but…do they land? And, y’know, why or why not? As you might imagine, SPOILERS for the conclusion of Snyder’s run and/or the various minseries and connected series along the way; and for those of you who gambled Jeff would still be second-guessing himself and consequently still screwing up James Tynion IV’s name this late in to Tynion’s career, pick up your winnings at window four!
1:58:36-2:07:06: If you follow the Wait, What? Tumblr, you’ll know Graeme has been reading Armor Wars/Stark Wars, the very enjoyable Iron Man comics by David Michelinei and Bob Layton, and can compare and contrast it with Iron Man, the launching point of the MCU that reworks the Armor Wars/Stark Wars and the Obadiah Stane arc from earlier. So the movie, in a way Graeme didn’t realize before this rewatch, is written by people who grow up with the same Iron Man comics he grew up with. Also discussed: Armor Wars II, which Graeme accurately describes as “a sequel to a story that never existed.”
2:07:06-2:22:46: And then Graeme skips ahead to read Tom Taylor’s run on Superior Iron Man, followed by Kieron Gillen’s run, Bendis’s run, and Dan Slott’s run. Has Tony been done dirty by writers unable to leave a decent character hook alone? Or has the influence of Marvel’s marketing department hold more sway in this era of Marvel comics than we normally acknowledge?
2:22:46-2:25:08: Comics news/Musical interlude
2:25:08-2:35:25: More comics news (non-musical version). With added TV and movie recommendations from Graeme!
2:35:25-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 Dominic L. Franco, and 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! See you in two hundred years—which is to say, June 7—for our next episode!
Need just link itself? Have at you!
Aw come on, you two have been so good later with the ‘ ‘We know something you don’t know‘ bits… just edit out the whole sequence, that would be lovely.
I thought about it, but (a) unlike some of the other “we know something you don’t” bits, this really is very minor comparatively (more to do about a possible gig for Graeme he doesn’t want to jinx than earthshaking comix news that’s been embargo’d) and (b) at the time I started editing, I mistakenly thought he mentioned something much later in the ‘cast that required the listener’s knowledge of the sequence’s existence, but by the time I got to the end I didn’t want to go back, cut, and redo the time codes.
My apologies, though!
Thanks for the clarification, Jeff, it honestly sounded like there was going to be some big entertainment news, something Graeme has been waiting for all his life… you know, JLA/Avengers: the Shooter Cut or something. In which case, I hope whatever it is comes off for Graeme.
And well done on the song, Jeff, I giggled all the way through my seated dips here in East Lothian.
I disagree that there are no bad characters. Original Wolverine was a bad-tempered hamster. Lobo was a one-note spoof of Wolverine. Snivelling Sue Storm. Snivelling Silver Surfer. They only become mass favourites because someone comes in and changes them completely, like Claremont making Wolverine an ‘honourable’ mass murderer (see also Wolfman and Deathstroke/Dracula).
Morbius will never be successful because, as was so cleverly pointed out, he looks like an albino pig.
It is fascinating to hear that, like DC Metal, Graeme finds Scott Snyder’s Justice League better as a read-in-one. I honestly could not be bothered, especially knowing it leads to another To Be Continued. I don’t care how important Death Metal is going to be to DC continuity, I am not going to read anything else involving The Batman Who Bores and ‘edgy’ axe-wielding versions of DC’s Big Three. It’s great that Snyder’s superhero stuff works for the trade, but they should be satisfying reads for those of us buying them as they come out as chapters.
I’ve enjoyed a lot of Bendis Superman stiff, but Action Comics right now is a terrible read, with all the ‘nine hours ago’, ‘three minutes ago’ and so on. None of it adds up. In media res is played out enough without going in media res in media res res res. And than there’s the Romita Jr/Janson visuals, my eyes!
Ironmonger! That was seriously a villain name?
PS what’s that Lulu song G mentions, ‘Love lust love’? I can’t find it and am intrigued.
My favourite Bond lyric comes with Gladys Knight’s repeated insistence on singing Licence to KILT.
It’s “Love Loves to Love Love,” which can be found here, and it’s magic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-QBMwXF5NQ
Huh, I’ve definitely heard this song but maybe not this version? She sounds fantastic!
Also, that beautiful opening guitar lick got bit by somebody else–the Chemical Brothers?–and I’m gonna be stuck trying to figure it out.
Now I am thinking about what JLA/Avengers: The Shooter Cut would be like. I mean, obviously Krona would be a ruthless all-powerful figure with benevolent intentions who wants to dominate all reality for its own good, but what else?
Also, I have to confess that as a child I was fascinated by Morbius. It was for very Marvel UK reasons, though. I had picked up somewhere one issue of some Marvel UK weekly where, in their typical throw-this-against-the-wall-and-see-if-it-sells manner, they had reprinted a few pages of a Morbius story, the standard tiny fragment of the original plot, with practically no context. (I remember that Morbius fought Blade, with whom I also became fascinated.)
And at no point ever after that did I manage to find any comic at all that had Morbius in it. For all I know, they dropped him from that title (whatever it was), with that issue. So I was desperate to have the continuity filled in, to know what on earth was the deal with this “living vampire.” Marvel UK: every issue is someone’s first issue, and we want that person to be really confused. The absence of information was much more interesting than actual Morbius, whom I’m fairly sure I did not encounter again until the Spider-Man Essentials reprinted his origin story,
I didn’t mind the pig face, which to a 10-year old just looked weird and therefore interesting. (Also, his design does survive being reprinted in black-and-white better than some.)
What else would be jn JLA/Avengers: The Shooter Cut? It seems too obvious, but The Sex! would be in it.
Oh, one thing, what does it actually mean, Scott Snyder can’t get out of his own way? I just don’t understand the expression… it’s obviously me being thick!
For me, it’s that he has these really interesting big ideas that he can’t quite execute properly because he gets caught up in the minutiae and the micro, meaning the bigger picture stuff just ends up needlessly obscured. (Also, I’m not sure he writes well for serialization in general, hence why everything reads better in a one-r.)
Thanks for this, Graeme, that make sense. And the Lulu song is uber-groovy. So that’s at least two songs in which she mentions tigers.
Armor Wars II–indeed, a lot of Byrne’s run on Iron Man–is what Cartoonist Kayfabe calls “jobber comics.” Byrne plainly doesn’t want to be there for anything other than the paycheck, entire plot points are taken from NAMOR and played out there (and if I remember right, that stuff’s never included when they collect Armor Wars II) the main villain never explains what the hell he’s doing until Len Kaminski ties it up in an Annual two years after.
It’s just a mess, and at the time it drove me off the book. Upon re-reading it, I liked it even less because it’s just. so. lazy.
Was Detectives, Inc the other Don McGregor you were trying to think of?
I read a bunch of the Morbius issues of “Adventure into Fear” as part of a deep-dive into Englehart’s FF where I tracked down alllllll the footnoted comics that are referenced (There’s a lot of them, particularly in the Savage Land/Beyonder-no-not-that-Beyonder sequence) and I can’t say I enjoyed them any more than Jeff, although they clearly made some kind of impression on Englehart, so maybe there’s something elusive in there.
Also, yet again I sincerely appreciate the “Graeme-read-a-huge-chunk-of-modern-DC-continuity-so-I-don’t-have-to” portion of the show. Truly a public service.
So this was the Morbius stuff that was referenced in that FF storyline? Was that trying to tie-up plot points that weren’t finished in the stories Jeff was reference or just…”space vampire!”?
Hold on a second Armor Wars 2 rules
Prime Marvel era John Romita Jr is worth anything John Byrne wants to try and script.
My brother was telling me about The Snyder Cut (It’s a pity this is what this will mean for a generation. Wouldn’t it be great if it was the name for the annual award for snark?) earlier in the week and I was feeling proactively bored about hearing about for the next year. Now, thanks to Jeff, I’ll enjoy a happy little hum to myself.
I’m doing fine in lockdown and no-one should consider my recent decision to read all 137 issues of 2015’s Secret Wars on MU as evidence of anything different!
Thanks for giving me a cheerful Tuesday back at work. Glad to finally be all caught up! It just took some quarantining.
You made me want to revisit the Snyder JLA run cause it didn’t seem to make a lick of sense all broken up. But it does seem like it matters in the larger story.
And the song…perfection, Jeff!
Thanks as always, Graeme and Jeff.
If anyone’s interested, I put together a “full” version of Spider Cut with the instrumental https://genuinenoprize.tumblr.com/post/619329472710213632/waitwhatpod-i-was-so-preoccupied-with-whether-or
Thank you, Skye. You made a good song great.