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Wait, What? Ep. 120: Beat Up

Jeff Lester

 photo f8dabd57-4b13-4eff-b84a-507a8760a3bd_zpsb112cfea.jpg
Stunner stuff from D’Israeli in Stickleback, currently appearing in 2000 A.D.

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends! (If I was Stan Lee, I’d offer a No-Prize to those of you who really get that reference…but thank goodness there is only one Stan and I’m not him.)

Join me after the jump for show notes for Wait, What? Ep. 120, won’t you?  (Yes, there is one this week.  I assure you, I’m not pulling an April Fool’s Joke on you a week late…OR AM I????

Nope, I’m not.

By the way, we offer on-air apologies but let me apologize here for not giving you all an on-site update about last week’s unexpected skip week.   In the future, I’ll try to throw something together to let website-oriented Whatnauts aware that we won’t be around.  At the end of this ‘cast, however, we mention our skip weeks for the next six weeks or so, so feel free to get out your calendar if it will ease your anxiety.

What was I…?  Oh, right.  Show notes!

0:00-16:44:  Well, nothing says upbeat like talking about dead people!  Graeme and Jeff briefly contemplate the passing of Roger Ebert and — in a bit more detail — the passing of Carmine Infantino.  Also included in the discussion (but still alive as far as we know): Terry Austin; Bill Sienkiewicz; John Peele; advocacy v. shrill pedanticism; our own critical failings; etc.
16:44-37:01:  And as we skate merrily onto thinner ice:  Age of Ultron; the Guardians of the Galaxy Infinite Comics; and a new thesis (All-New Avenging Thesis!) from Jeff about the work of Brian Michael Bendis.  And more discussion about the concept of naive cynicism.  It could well be very frustrating for those who have to participate in this conversation via comment threads (or brought it up in the hopes we would stop talking about this kind of thing) but there are some surprising turns in here, I think.
37:01-50:10:  The first of three things Graeme really wants to talk about this week: (1) Zombo by Al Ewing and Henry Flint (currently appearing in 2000 A.D.), which also includes praise for Stickleback by Ian Edginton and the amazing art by D’Israeli, and Dandridge by Alec Worley and Warren Pleece.
50:10-54:41:  By contrast, Jeff thought he would love Agent Gates, the super powered quasi-steampunk graphic novel parody of Downton Abbey by Camaren Subhiyah and Kyle Hilton.
54:41-1:14:14: The second of three things Graeme wants to talk about:  (2) Stormwatch #19 by Jim Starlin.  Graeme is perhaps not so pleased.  We also end up talking a bit about The Inhumans over at Marvel and openly pray for the return of HEX (which probably isn’t usually referred to in all-caps like that but it gives you an idea of our fervor.)
1:14:14-1:14:49:  Intermission One!  (And what is probably my current favorite of Graeme’s stinger tunes for us.)
1:14:49-1:24:04: Graeme has been on NPR! Jeff has left a glass of water in the next room! And Graeme’s third thing he really wants to talk about this week:  (3) Marta Acosta’s She-Hulk Diaries.
1:24:04-1:37:52:  But Jeff, all he wants to do is talk about Giant-Man.  Giant-Man, Giant-Man, Giant-Man!
1:37:52-1:46:53: And Graeme reminds Jeff that Avengers A.I. which is coming soon. And then we spoil Age of Ultron #3.  (You’re welcome.)  Also included in the conversation (and filed under “Stuff Jeff doesn’t know until Graeme tells him”): Marvel’s next event and the death of Formspring.  (I actually had just a comma there originally since I thought there might be more to the list, and was tempted to leave it just so it would look like the title of Marvel’s next event was “The Death of Formspring.”)
1:46:53-1:56:41:  “Jeff, tell me about a comic you liked!”  Jeff’s answer?  Season Five of Mad Men.  Includes the phrase, “the Thor vs. Hulk of my heart.”  Bonus topic:  What do we read comics for?  (And for extra credit, guess which one of us really hates that question.)
1:56:41-2:14:07:  Graeme read DC Showcase Presents: The Flash, Vol. 4, so we get to talk more about Carmine Infantino, as well as Ross Andru and Mike Esposito, our favorite things about Infantino’s art, whether Neal Adams destroyed comic book art, Dave Cockrum, and more. [Note: Jeff mistakenly says Dan Day at least once here when he means Gene Day. Oy.]
2:14:07-end:  Closing comments! Apologies, promises, blood oaths, and so the cycle is complete.  And lo, the cycle shall start again!

It’s possible (yes, really.  Highly possible, even) that this podcast is already on iTunes.  But, as always, we make it available here for your delectation.  Are you not delectated?

Wait, What? Ep. 120: Beat Up

Oh, and don’t forget to check out Abhay’s thoughts about Scarlet #6, or John K (UK)’s thoughts on Robert Aickman, or any of the other material by people who don’t have to read the coattails of a talented and charismatic Scotsman.   And, as always, we thank you for listening and hope you enjoy!

26 Responses to “ Wait, What? Ep. 120: Beat Up ”

  1. I never quite understood the odd case of Wildstorm’s Stormwatch in the DCU. It just bores me. And Starlin doesn’t help. Hellstrike, the Irish guy made out of energy that sleeps around because he can make his energy solid is now a racist cop from South Africa? It feels like he’s writing New Guardians in Stormwatch.

  2. That D’Israeli piece is insane. Love it. Thanks for posting it guys.

    Re: the whole feedback/positivity discussion.
    Graeme’s comments about going into Age of Ultron with optimism were interesting. Perhaps the outcry in the comments has simply been because we arnt as generous as our scottish host. Are we’re better at pattern recognition. Something like that.
    Either way, appreciate the effort and the podcast as whole, well done lads :)

    I didn’t know Marvel had announced their new crossover, so your not alone Jeff.


    Work has been a right pain, so all I made it through was ACTION COMICS #19, which I loved. And that made me sad. Did read Age of Ultron on the stands. As expected it took 45 seconds and made me happy I saved $4. Are there people BUYING this who think it is well-done? I’m being serious.

    THIS WEEK (more books to buy and toss in the den for later!)

    BATMAN #19 – the Maleev backup was oh so nice.

    BATMAN LIL GOTHAM #1 – Nguyen!

    CONSTANTINE #2 – worth a second look (read: first issue was better than I feared), but it all seemed so generic. It hs very House Style. Which saddens me enormously.

    GI JOE COBRA FILES #1 – not sure why the restart (probably the movie?), but Mike Costa and Antonio Fuso have been killing it on this book (even if the Russia arc was a bit of a let down). Great spy book, with tons of style. Reminds one of the LOSERS at its best.

    HAWKEYE #9 – I would read those romance comics in a minute.

    LORD OF THE JUNGLE #14 – seems unusually long between issues. Nice art on a book that is really just IP mining.

    ROCKETEER HOLLYWOOD HORROR #3 – the Bone art has actually been a hinderance, which suprises. I guess I just don’t think of ‘my’ Rocketeer in that style.

    SAGA #12 – and hitaus after this means I will read it and savour it.

    SAUCER COUNTRY #14 – controversy! At last! Sorry to see this fade, although when it launched most figured it would never make double digits (qv Dominique leVeau). Wither Vertigo?

    SEX #2 – controversial, but. Yeah, that’s it.

    SHADOW #11 – the Spanish Civil war unwinds and this has been top drawer pulp. Great stuff.

    STAR TREK COUNTDOWN TO DARKNESS #4 – good book, but seems totally unrelated to the film. For now.

    STAR WARS #4 – wish I was at Toshii Station with my friends.

    SUICIDE SQUAD #19 – I will see what the Unkown Soldier is up to, but again, preferred the Vertigo take.

    WALKING DEAD #109 – more Negan; less ping-pong.

    X #0 – Dark Horse is picking up steam, aren’t they?

    COMICS! Not reading any this week as I need the promotion so I can buy more COMICS!

  4. …and that was supposed to be posted in the COMING SOON thing Brian does. Sorry one and all.



    You know, regardless of whether you like whatever you’re discussing it comes through to me that you enjoy discussing it with each other.

    Having listened from the beginning I can assure others that there has never been a “format” to stray from or a “darkest timeline”.

    Largely, it’s what comes across the desk and I for one think that their enjoyment of the process hasn’t waned in the face of a couple really rough years for mainstream comics.

    Listening now, fun as usual, best to you both.

  6. Joe Sinnott did penciling a loooong time ago. Some stories he illustrated in the ’50s were reprinted in the horror mags of the ’70s. It was well-drawn, if not amazing.

    It’s too bad Brian Bendis and Bryan Hitch didn’t get together in the ’90s. They could have formed an electronica act called the Decompression Twins.

  7. ONce again, another tremendous episode. It seems like the big-2 publishers are just generating crossover content with a few fill-in issues along the way. That’s explaining why I’m picking up less books per month, maybe the same for you, Graeme?

    By the way, was this the Flash page you were checking out for ‘the line’?


  8. Just starting to listen, gents. But when you dropped Faith Erin Hicks’s name as someone you think could improve Bendis’s stories, I had to pop over and drop in the link from Jim Rugg’s podcast (Tell Me Something I Don’t Know) where he and Jasen Lex interview Hicks.


    Best part – when Hicks relates the story of C.B. Cebulski emailing her (after seeing some of her work, but I can’t remember exactly what) and asks if she would like to pitch an Iron Man/Wolverine story. And she did. Well worth checking out.


  9. You guys should really check out the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes cartoon which is available on Netflix. I don’t actually have as much affection for it as many people do, but it has a wonderful version of Hank Pym which maintains the idea of him being a self-loathing fuck-up, but makes him an incredibly unique hero.

    I am curious though if Hank being known as the wifebeater would be as prevalent if it wasn’t for Ultimates. I feel like a lot of millennials found themselves in a position in which Hank being a horrific monster was our first real introduction to the character. I’m curious if the view of him as a wifebeater first existed in the 90s and 80s.

  10. That cartoon seems like it’d be up a lot of people’s alleys– I only half-saw a few because one of my nephews watches it obsessively (I’m not sure if he understands it). It seems like they really encapsulated a LOT of Marvel Avengers history in there. Based on the episode descriptions, at least, they seemed to just have touched a lot of the big stories… I couldn’t talk about it past that, but… nephew-approved.

    (I just found out about how the new Scooby Doo is supposed to be this big deal, A grades from the Onion and that Chris Sims review and all, and now I get to be a grown man balancing (a) wanting to continue to feel like a grown adult man which feeling is precarious and watching a children’s cartoon may undercut, and (b) the fact I really, really love Scooby Doo.)

  11. Oddly even though you talk about him in direct succession to your return to Carmine and evaluation of his art, I want to say Dave Cockrum has a little Carmine Infantino in him. Especially as the late 70’s turns to the early 80’s and Cockrum’s getting away from the Adams influence, there’s a boldness of the line (depending on inker) and you can certainly compare the banana boobs on Infantino’s Spiderwoman to Cockrum’s redesigned Ms. Marvel. The pre-American Flagg! Howard Chaykin has an angularity that reminds me of Infantino (compare their Star Wars runs and anything where Terry Austin inked either). And Graeme, I think you sold me on picking up that Elongated Man Showcase that DC put out a couple years back.

    Jeff, since you’re still reading Hulk comics, I still want to know about your overarching Hulk thesis that was cut off due to technical difficulties a couple podcasts back. Could we start a Kickstarter campaign to buy the Wait, What boys some better equipment or something to avoid the podcast crashing on what seems to be a more regular basis? Earmark some $5 Buy Us a Beer Donations on this site?

  12. I started watching Madmen at the first episode in Season 5. It made absolutely no sense, but as with great superhero comics, the history was palpable.

    I’ve harped on this before, but quality entertainment does not need jumping-on points, provided (1) the previous material is available, and (2) the target audience is not grumpy old men. If it’s good work, and even sometimes if it’s not, young people will track down those past episodes, back issues, whatever, because they want to learn the mythology.

  13. “wanting to continue to feel like a grown adult man which feeling is precarious and watching a children’s cartoon may undercut,”

    Who the fuck is judging you, Abhay? Little Lord Tuckleroy?

    And Graeme, have you EVER read a Jim Starlin comic in your life? Because then you’d realize that eradicating Apollo and Midnighter’s relationship is not something he’d do. I’m sorry, but I’m a fan of his and your implied accusation of homophobia got on my nerves.

  14. @dan

    I didn’t pick up any homophobia. I thought Graeme was concerned that due to the TOTAL AND RADICAL obliteration of the previous x issues of continuity that anything and everything may well have been on the table for reset / reinterpretation – up to and including the midnighter and apollo relationship.

    Also, “Implied accusation” is a contradiction in terms. Accusations are explicit and I don’t find anything to support your view in the comments made in the podcast.

  15. I’m with James, I was picturing Seventies Cockrum as you were chatting and definitely seeing some Infantino similarities, such as the sweep of hairdos, and body positions. Maybe it was something inker Joe Rubinstein was doing to both?

    Banana boobs made me gay.

  16. Could you identify the issue of 2000 AD that was discussed in the episode. I didn’t catch the issue number and I would like to check it out.


  17. Oops, I forgot to say, I’m pretty much a huge non-fan of Wildstorm, having only really enjoyed the Ellis stuff, but I was rather enjoying Stormwatch as was.

    I thought Milligan’s scripts were interesting, and the art was generally shiny nice. But #19 was it for me – if it’d actually been a good comic on its own terms I might’ve gotten past the slap in the face of erased continuity, but it was just awful.

  18. @P Spence: The specific issue of 2000 AD was was issue (I mean, Prog, dammit! Prog!) 1826, and it’s hilarious. The storyline itself starts in the previous iss–er, I mean, “Prog”–however. [May or may not be necessary to your enjoyment–probably not if you’re just checking it out for the Beatles riffs…)

  19. “…A bit like doing a crossword puzzle, isn’t it? Only with more shouting.”

    I laughed so hard a couple of people around me at Jack in the Box asked if I was okay.

    I’d actually fallen behind on my 2000AD subscription – thanks for pulling me back in, guys.

  20. For more of Infantino inking his own pencils, like the Elongated Man adventures: seek out the Detective Chimp stories and the first Animal Man. I will always love his simians. For someone who was attempting to draw in the Infantino style: what about Mike Vosburg? Irv Novick seemed to be going for the Infantino look when he took over the Flash from Andru and Esposito, but that was probably more of an editorial request than a stylistic decision on his own part.

    Speaking of Andru and Esposito: my memory is that fans in the day absolutely hated their work on the Flash. This was probably their first work for Julius Schwartz, having spent most of their DC career in the Kanigher offices turning out Wonder Woman comics, war stories and the Metal Men. Their style was such a departure from the more-designey scenic pieces of Infantino it was admittedly quite a radical change in (dare I say it?) pace.

    All these decades later, having been through so many other interpretations of speeding scarlet, it’s hard to see any justifications for the complaints. Every decade would appear to have its share of comic fans reluctant to keep their minds open to change. I’ll be looking forward to seeing what you have to say about Don Heck’s work on the Flash.

  21. Thanks for the information, Jeff. I signed up for the 2000 AD site and purchased issue 1826.

    By the way, I loved Graeme’s review of Jim Starlin’s Storwatch. It was hilarious. He made it sound like it was so bad that it was good. Sort of like Ed Wood’s Plan 9 From Outer Space. I am sorely tempted to check it out just to gaze in wonder and horror at such a cosmic train wreck.

  22. If I sign up for 2000AD, does it include any back issues? Do reading any back issues become necessary? I know that several of these stories in the book are continuing, but I am not sure if they are easy to jump into. Any recommendations?

  23. “If I sign up for 2000AD, does it include any back issues? Do reading any back issues become necessary? I know that several of these stories in the book are continuing, but I am not sure if they are easy to jump into. Any recommendations?”

    If you’re subscribing through the app then you get a range of back issues – a one month sub gets you the proceeding month free, three months gets you two months of free back issues, and 12 months gets you three months of back issues.

    In terms of catching up on the back story of the current run of stories, several collections are available:
    Zombo: http://www.amazon.com/Zombo-Can-Eat-You-Please/dp/1906735964/
    Stickleback: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Stickleback-2000-Ad-Ian-Edginton/dp/1905437749/
    Dandridge has not yet been collected but you can get print or digital back issues (1631, 1710 to 1714, 1726 to 1730) through the online shop: http://shop.2000adonline.com/categories/comics

    For the background on the current situation in Mega-City One, check out Judge Dredd Complete Case Files #5 for the Apocalypse War, then take a look at the digital collections available on our online shop http://shop.2000adonline.com/categories/digital for America and Origins. The first collection of ‘Day of Chaos’, the most recent mega-epic and the reason Dredd’s city is in such a mess, has just come out in the UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Judge-Dredd-Day-Chaos-Faction/dp/1781081085/


    Molch-R, 2000 AD Pr ‘droid’…

  24. Thanks!

  25. Joe Sinnott drew several early Marvel books, most notably a bunch of early Thor in the low 90s of JIM. He drew comics for a book called Treasure Chest throughout his career. For a guy who played a role in creating so many key Marvel images, his own work looked to me as if it would have fit more easily with Silver Age DC. I’ve heard of romance comics he pencilled that Vince Colleta inked. It’s a bit like contemplating a zen koan…

  26. I always thought it was shame Dave Cockrum wasn’t inked more by Dan Green. X-Men #107 is great, Dan really suits him. Is Dan the most under-rated X-Men contributor?
    Also Ralph and Sue Dibney, pencilled and inked by Carmine Infantino are Sexy! Like the Hawks by Joe Kubert, they just look flirty and hot together. Imo, ahem.

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