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Wait, What? Ep. 12.1: The Bottled City of Candor

Jeff Lester


I either need to get much, much better or much, much worse at my image searches for our podcast entries…

Anyway, Schrodinger’s website situation notwithstanding, Wait, What? ep. 12.1 is on Itunes for you to peruse, and in it Graeme and I talk about many, many things–like “Busiekgate,” Hickman, Fraction, and the influence of Grant Morrison on today’s books, and (as you may guess from the image above) a big ol’ discussion on Joss Whedon and Buffy The Vampire Slayer, seasons five through eight.

Or, should you prefer, you can listen to it here:

Wait, What? Episode 12.1

and we’ll have Episode 12.2 for you tomorrow.

Hopefully, with a better image.

Or maybe a much worse one.

(p.s.:  Special thanks to the mighty Chad Nevett for helping iron some technical difficulties almost immediately after I posted this. As you probably know, he and Tim Callahan’s Splash Page podcast is always terrific listening.  Thanks again, Chad!)

14 Responses to “ Wait, What? Ep. 12.1: The Bottled City of Candor ”

  1. Season five of Buffy killed the show for me, originally, though going back to it on DVD makes it hold together better– that final run of episodes, from The Body up through the spectacular Winnebago chase and The Gift, in which Buffy dies (my favorite episode, and where the show really should have ended), is a great little epic.

    The comic really does seem to have a lot in common with season seven, though, in which 50 extraneous and unlikeable characters were introduced, and the show just plodded on for episodes at a time with no momentum whatsoever.

    I’ll defend season four until my dying days, though. Adam, the cyborg Frankenstein, was shoehorned in when Lindsay Crouse quit the show, and yes, his plot arc just isn’t that great, but the fourth season also has the strongest, and often funniest, standalone episodes, Hush and Restless being the two that everyone lauds the most.

    I must also disagree with Graeme McMillions on Dollhouse– it has the shakiest start of any Whedon show since Buffy’s early episodes, but it pulled together into a batshit brilliant conspiracy show by the end. Season two manages to fit three or four season’ worth of plot in 13 episodes, which is downright uncanny– disjointed at times, yes, but Whedon and company use their miracle renewal as a chance to go nuts, making the world’s greatest, twistiest, super-compressed television show, with more balls than anything I’ve seen in years.

  2. To clarify what was meant as nothing more than a tossed-off point —

    I have nothing in principle against ACTION COMICS with Superman not in it. But in this case, it feels to me like the reason they’re doing it (and I could be completely wrong, of course) isn’t that someone had a great idea for an umpty-issue Lex Luthor story, but because Superman was reserved to Joe Straczynski’s use, or something. Which is a decision they’re free to make, but it feels less to me like, “Cornell greats great opportunity to do something different!” as “Cornell gets to write ACTION with one hand tied behind his back due to other editorial concerns.”

    Could be it’ll produce great stuff, but after hearing so much good stuff about his work, I want to start with something where nobody’s hands are tied due to tying in with or spinning out of a crossover event, or tangled in someone else’s editorial strictures. So I’ll wait for KNIGHT & SQUIRE, which looks like fun and also looks self-contained.

    If I like it, I can always go back and catch up on ACTION COMICS. I’ll have them all to hand, in single-issue or TPB form. But I’d like to start clean, where Cornell isn’t accommodating some other writer’s story.


  3. Bill: I think I might’ve been cheating with the Gilmore Girls by the end of Season 5, because rewatching it, the Winnebago chase seemed totally new to me and the finale got much better. And in case it wasn’t clear in the ‘cast, I love S4.

    Kurt: It’s awesome that you took the time to clarify: incredibly generous of you!

  4. Cornell’s Captain Britain may initially have spun out of Secret Invasion, Kurt, but it was hardly beholden to Marvel continuity and works perfectly on its own. It really was the best thing Marvel was putting out at the time. I’d at least implore you to check out the final arc, Vampire State, which includes a lot of what I love about superpeople comics. (Marvel has already completely ignored everything that happened in it, but that’s their problem.)

  5. I can always fig up copies if need be, Bill. If it works perfectly on its own, perhaps they called the first TPB “Secret Invasion” as a sales hook, and it had the reverse effect on me.

    I’ll wait for KNIGHT & SQUIRE, and proceed from there. I don’t need to miss out of anything, even if I don’t get to it right away.


  6. Er, “dig up.” I don’t think I’d know how to fig up something.


  7. Between the brilliant deconstruction of Johnathon Hickman’s work and the “bored-out-of my-mind” take on DC Legacies, I am finding myself firmly on Jeff’s side this podcast. Good show, guys.

  8. Hey Jeff – the podcast still isn’t automatically downloading for me, but I guess I’m the only one.
    I can live with it.

    “I can always fig up copies if need be, Bill. If it works perfectly on its own, perhaps they called the first TPB “Secret Invasion” as a sales hook, and it had the reverse effect on me.”

    I was the same – especially puzzled as the first trade doesn’t mention that the writer wrote for Doctor Who anywhere on the cover.
    But, I still picked it up (there was a version with less Secret Invasion malarkey on it, which made me feel better), and it’s a pretty good read – beyond not seeing the Skrulls actually invade, I don’t think there’s anything in it that isn’t complete within the story.
    If all crossover tie-ins were like this, they wouldn’t be so annoying.

    And if you can get past reservations about why he’s writing Action Comics the way he is, without Superman, it’s a great read.
    You’d never guess that he had anything else planned, or wasn’t doing exactly what he wanted.

  9. Great ‘cast fellas. Very happy you’ve got the majority of your itunes issues sorted and are no longer eviscerating voodoo dolls of Steve Jobs.

  10. I echo Ben’s comments on Cornell’s stuff.

    Also I was interested to hear Jeff and Graeme’s thoughts on Hickman’s Marvel work. The FF run has been frustrating for me, because there *are* so many parts that I enjoy — I liked the first arc (though I agree with the criticism of the pacing), some of the Four Cities stuff, and Reed’s smack talk at the science conference — but it’s interlaced with threads from Millar’s run, the Franklin/Val/Nathaniel time travel plot which I’m not finding all that interesting, etc. (Much the same problem as I have with his Secret Warriors.) And the way they’re hyping the next arc — somebody dies and then we pretend to cancel the book! — is not filling me with a lot of hope.

  11. I haven’t heard the podcast yet, but… Cornell’s Captain Britain thing was frustrating– it was just the same “heroes in a desperate fight against overwhelming number of Skrulls” thing that every other Marvel book at that time was featuring. Cornell’s series was one of the best of that bunch in the execution, but… It wasn’t enough to keep me in it. I heard it got better after that, once Dracula got involved, but I couldn’t maintain interest through the entirety of that initial arc…

    What I’ve seen of his Action Comics, a couple issues of that– that seems like a reasonable comic. I guess it might help if I knew what happened in the Blacker Night, but besides that: Lex Luthor runs around the DCU proving he’s better than other villain dudes..? Dragonball Luthor feels like such a good idea commercially that… I think a lot of my enjoyment of it comes out of just admiring the idea of it…? It’s just a good idea.

  12. I disagree with you guys categorically about FF, here. You guys gotta remember: you’re old. Really old.

    I do totally agree that is all fallout from Grant Morrison though. What you’re seeing with the FF is the same channel-zapping thing that Morrison has been trying in the last few years (and that Graeme talked about in relation to Final Crisis and his Batman run) and which the 80’s-old-guard and the faux-drama-fans don’t seem too partial to.

    I’ve absolutely noticed the “left hanging” thing that Jeff mentioned, except… I love it. I don’t see the integration of Val’s tablet as “running out of space” so much as Hickman just using his graphic design chops to mess with the pacing a bit.

    I think it’s fine if you don’t like the lack of character driven story threads/arcs. It’s fine if you don’t like the channel-zapping narrative style. But I think that’s much more of an age and/or taste related thing than a “quality” or “skill” one. Saying Hickman’s FF is “bad” sounds to me dangerously close to saying Morrison’s work is “incomprehensible & druggy”.

  13. “Cornell’s Captain Britain thing was frustrating– it was just the same “heroes in a desperate fight against overwhelming number of Skrulls” thing that every other Marvel book at that time was featuring.”

    The trick is to not have read all the other Secret Invasion books!
    The only ones I read were the Captain Britain tie-in and the Incredible Hercules one, so it all felt fresh and interesting to me.

    And everyone raves about the Dracula arc, which was cool, but the second arc had Blade join the team to help take down a Dikto type mystical villain who had taken over an apartment building in Birmingham!
    It was awesome.

  14. Re Buffy… I liked Season three alot, but Season 4 is probably my favourite. How can it not be – no Angel. Let me repeat… sad, mopey goopey faced Angel is off the show. Sweet!
    Season Five is lots of goofy fun.
    Season six, while it had it’s flaws, also had lots of fun moments. The whole super nerd gang of goofballs was awesome. As was Spike. And the musical episode… that was there, too, wasn’t it.
    For me, Season seven with its Legion of Slayer Wannabes was a bit of a letdown. Kind of all over the place when it should have been focussed and too focussed when it should be looking at the bigger picture.

    Looking forward to the Whedan rant!

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