diflucan 2 doses

Wait, What? Ep. 132: The Village, People

Jeff Lester

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Jack Kirby on The Prisoner. Ahh, what could’ve been….

Howdy, Whatnauts!  The good news is: I think I fixed the recording levels for this episode so your eardrums will not bleed whenever I speak.  (Though I’ll miss feeling like Black Bolt.)  The bad news is:  I started on this kind of late and so powered on through the show notes.  They are….very, very brief. If last week’s notes were a leisurely feast, this week’s notes are a shaky handful of peanuts devoured standing up by the sink.

And with that effortless bit of salesmanship out of the way, join me behind the jump!

0:00-25:25: Introduction comments!  We have just a few minutes talking around Graeme’s incandescent rage, before talking about the news of Karl Kesel taking over scripting duties for Matt Fraction on Fantastic Four…all of which leads us to ponder the Fantastic Four.  Is it a book past its prime, or is it still possible for the title to resonate in the marketplace?
25:25-53:15: There was a discussion the other day on Twitter about why people should care about the sales of comics.  It seems germane to the stuff we talk about, so we talk about it. And I guess it moves to become a discussion about how Marvel is selling their books, marketing their books, and making their books since we end up discussing stuff like: Captain Marvel, Variety Magazine, the Direct Market and the comics Internet, Hawkeye, All-New X-Men, Uncanny Avengers, Indestructible Hulk, and more.
53:15-1:04:19:  Speaking of Indestructible Hulk, Jeff has read the last five issues and we revisit our previous discussion of the book’s strengths and weakness.
1:04:19-2:01:11: And other comics we have read: Adam Warren’s story from A+X #10! Infinity #1! The Trinity War crossover event! (Plus, a brief anecdote about DC 3-D.) Saga #13! Buffy Season Nine! Angel and Faith! Batman #23! Suicide Squad issues #22 and #23 by Ales Kot, Patrick Zircher, and Rick Leonardi!  More Rogue Trooper! More Cat Shit One! The FCBD Judge Dredd comic! Jack Kirby’s adaptation of The Prisoner! 3 New Stories by Dash Shaw! When I’m tired and over-extended, exclamation points are my crutch!
Oh, and some point, I took a picture of the screenshot I checked out of the library.  Here it is, in part because I’m so ashamed of stiffing you people on show notes content, and in part because Graeme and I look like some sort of hilariously ominous comic book cabal committed to forcing dopey manga on an unsuspecting world:

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The Slump is out there….

2:01:11-end: The Center Cannot Hold! Shenanigans! Apologies! Skip Week! Closing Comments! Something like an attempt to provide coming attractions!  More Shenanigans!

(And holy crap, did I enjoy those first three volumes of Yakitate!! Japan… Can’t wait to read the rest…)

The show is on iTunes! The show will be on iTunes! The show was on iTunes!  But it is also here, hovering snug in the center of the Nexus of All Realities:

Wait, What? Ep. 132: The Village, People

Remember, next week is a skip week so feel free to catch up on all of our past episodes (thanks to my esoteric numbering system, there are more than 190 entries available on our RSS feed) and tune in two weeks from now.  As always, we hope you enjoy this thing we do, and thank you for your patronage!

31 Responses to “ Wait, What? Ep. 132: The Village, People ”

  1. Oh my god, I have been waiting to hear Jeff and Graeme talk about Jack Kirby’s Prisoner adaptation for YEARS.

  2. Regarding the reception of books like Captain Marvel, which have online followings but not direct market sales, keep in mind there may be significant sales from other areas of the market. Namely digital, as well as online retailers like Amazon. A generation discovering books through Tumblr may not start pre-ordering their books through Diamond, but they may be using comiXology.

  3. The levels are much better. Thanks!

  4. Does Fraction stand out as the only creator of his level to have this many bombs? Brevoort on his Tumblr acknowledged that Fear Itself was not the seller that other crossovers have been. Defenders was a bomb. His Fantastic Four books, as you point out in this episode, have been the stragglers of the Marvel NOW! relaunch. Would his Thor work also count as a bomb? By “bomb” I mean something that didn’t connect, the way Fraction’s Iron Man and now his Hawkeye both do.

    Bendis suffered Moon Knight. Millar suffered a similar fate on Fantastic Four. But does Fraction take the cake for most books that just don’t get readers on board?

  5. Guys, I know I’ve never been Captain Critical of the podcast or anything, but seriously – this may be the best episode you guys have ever done. Seriously enjoyed every minute of it.

    So how does one go about getting pages of Kirby’s PRISONER? I’m assuming it’d pretty much have to be through, shall we say, extralegal means…but I wouldn’t even know where to look.

    Graeme, as much as I disagree with your review of INFINITY #1, I appreciate the tone and the very valid points you raise against it. I’ve mentioned before that Hickman’s work left me exceptionally cold until his Avengers run which, for whatever reason, has totally clicked for me. For both that reason and the fact that I have been in the tank for Jimmy Cheung since his Crossgen days, I am completely sold on Infinity’s first issue.

  6. Sometimes I don’t send Jeff codes cos I forget … Infinity will be with him now, and he has the chance to finish the book where I failed. It’s so ruddy portentous and pretentious – I want to be thrilled by character and incident, not simply invited to stand back and admire the grandeur.

    And yes, great show lads, so much comic talk!

    Can’t we have a show next week with a Guest Graeme? I want my Tuesday treat!

    And Graeme,don’t tease with your ‘I’ll tell Jeff the juice off-air, listeners’ – you’re a bugger for that! Anyway, hope this week is lovely and calm.

  7. Mr. Voodoo Ben-

    You can read the whole thing here:

    The first seven pages – better quality:

    Charles Hatfield’s take:

    Another great podcast guys.

    Loved Jeff going on about the recent HULKs!

  8. On future occasions when the Real Graeme isn’t available, I’d certainly be all for a Guest Graeme too. (Folks like Hibbs or Tim Callahan spring to mind.)

  9. Andrew – many thanks, man! There is some gorgeous work in those pages. Oh, what might have been….

  10. I’m reading through the Lee/Kirby Fantastic Four stuff for the first time now, and I don’t think it comes anywhere close to the quality of the early Spider-Man’s. I just got through with the Galactus Trilogy, which ends at issue 50. I would say about half the stories up to this point revolve around the Fantastic Four fighting a villain or villains who can do basically anything. They fight Diablo, the Molecule Man, the Miracle Man, the Impossible Man, the Super Skrull, and even Doom seems omnipotent in some of his early appearances. How do the Fantastic Four turn back these God-like forces? By Reed Richards out-doing them in the deus ex machina department, with a magic, heretofore-unseen scientific device. It gets tedious fast, and for me anyway, it removes all sense of drama and stakes from the story.

    This is why I never understand the affection some people have for Mister Miracle. Mister Miracle is only a Super Escape Artist in the sense that he escapes traps through the power of Super Bullshit every issue. How can there be dramatic tension when all problems are solved by the push of a button?

    But yeah, returning to the Fantastic Four, I found that often what I would enjoy most about an issue was the power showcase in the beginning of the book, where you got to see Mr. Fantastic or the Torch use his powers in inventive ways. The serious drama almost never landed for me, in large part because Kirby and Lee were repeating themselves again and again in those early issues. The Thing turning back into Ben Grimm was the “they killed Kenny” of the first 45 or so issues of Fantastic Four. I can’t take Sue or Johnny seriously at all, and while the Thing is a compelling character, Stan is so verbose in those comics (his Reed is even worse) that you often want to tell Ben to quit his fucking whining and punch the villain already.

    All of this is to say that the reason attempts to recapture the spirit of the original Lee/Kirby run have failed may have something to do with the fact that the original Lee/Kirby run is not as great as everyone remembers it being.

  11. I vote for a “Garfield without Garfield” pod-cast. Have Graeme write down some patter, and Jeff responds to it on air, but we only hear his responses.

    (Apropos of the FF comments, my Turing Test is “1 x four =”.)

  12. But guys, there was a good Fantastic Four movie, only it was called The Incredibles. (I know, I know, old joke.)

  13. Guys, guys! Please do a podcast with Tucker Stone as a guest Graeme one time (or just a guest, really). Please do it. Please.

  14. I liked how in Fantastic Four: The End Johnny had joined the Avengers. I wish they’d do something like the with him in the main universe. Get him out from under his family’s shadow and have him actually interacting in a meaningful with the rest of the Marvel Universe. Replace him in the 4 with somebody like Alex Power.

    I think by far the strongest parts of Hickman’s run were the parts dealing with Franklin. Since he’s kind of been stuck in the same place for decades and has a lot of potential, focusing on him and seeing where that takes the story might be a good way to evolve the Fantastic Four. At least I thought that worked for Hickman

  15. Echoing Colin and Jeff on the pod I think one of the only ways forward for the FF Is to split them or segregate them from the rest of Marvel. Think about it this way, the X-men have existed in a version of a bubble for most of their existence. It certainly hasn’t hurt them. With Fox holding the development rights it makes sense to get them into their own situation.

    Take them off to another universe. Make them the ultimate outsiders as opposed to the First Family. Don’t de-power them, just make the rules different and escape impossible. No other marvel characters. No crossovers. Lock this plan in for a couple of years regardless of creative teams and let it roll. Hell, give it to James Robinson.

    On the never really discussed but oft ballyhooed front of a non-Graeme episode I just have to say “no thanks.” It’s not that I don’t think all involved wouldn’t be capable or interesting but we’re nearing 200 “issues” of the same creative team and there’s just something damn special about that.

    I say, take your skips because you can’t invent a format with someone for a week without it all feeling a little “jazz hands.” Still, for the 200th ep let me be the first to suggest a YouTube show. Then we would get all the wild gesticulating we missed this time around.

  16. That Prisoner looks like a Kirby self-portrait.

  17. Here’s a vote for “nay” on tucker Stone as a guest host. The guy has his own podcast, plus I don’t think he fits the dynamic. Graeme tends to be the hopeful one, versus Jeff’s gloominess. Tucker would just grump up the joint. Plus his comprehension skills are spotty. On an episode of Comic Books Are burning in Hell he criticized Fraction and Aja’s HAWKEYE because it didn’t get across the romantic tension between Clint and Kate, even though that is clearly not Fraction’s intention (the age difference alone, please). Hibbs would be a good guest host, it also makes the most sense. Abhay, too. I mean, it should be someone from the site, right?

  18. I may be in the minority (at least online), but I’m really enjoying Fraction’s Fantastic Four. If you take it for what it is, which is the F4 channelling Doctor Who, it is fun.

    I don’t think the Fantastic Four should be sidelined, broken up or shunted over to a separate universe. All it takes is the right team with the right take on the characters to revitalize it. Look at what Waid & Co. have done with Daredevil or Jason Aaron & Essad Ribic are doing on Thor right now. Both of those characters have been called creatively bankrupt in the recent past and are now enjoying great runs.

  19. Tucker Stone seconded.

  20. I’m with you on FF. There’s not much to explore that readers will have any attachment to, so that makes the explorer angle hard to push successfully. However, it could be done…by combining the concept for the Exiles or say Doctor Who. Fraction has allowed the FF to explore the galaxy and other realities, but not allowed for the fundamental interaction with those worlds that might change them.

    So, make the book about a family exploring space-time. Let them meet alternate versions of themselves, discover alternate physics, allow them enemies that can follow, and allow them to interact with what they find, and let it change them. They can run into CB Corps, Fury, Cancerverse, Gabriel Summers, etc. All those corners of the MU that don’t get seen often that relate to space and time. Just send them home every 12 or so issues. Exiles and Fantastic Four = Doctor Who. Writes itself.

  21. My unsolicited vote for guest host is that you work out the nine-hour time difference and have John Kane. You could plan an all-Chaykin/Gil Kane/Kirby episode, or just pretend to be surprised when it evolves that way. It would be stupendous, hilarious, and it would maintain that British Isles flavor. PODCASTS! Sometimes you should listen to them while drunk!

  22. Since Jeff thinks FF should be given a rest, which I sympathize with even though I think it would be a disappointment, what do you think of DC giving the Legion of Super-Heroes that type of treatment? That’s a book that also hit big in the 60’s, saw a resurgence in the 80’s (Levitz/Giffen for LSH, Byrne for FF) but has struggled since. Will DC laying off the property help? Will it build a hunger?

  23. I don’t know why Nova suffered such a if drop, but it was between issues one and two that it came out Loeb & McGuinnes were leaving after a few issues (despite Axel Alonso’s then recent words about solid creative teams on NOW launches), which is why I decided to ditch it.

  24. Jeff,

    I know you guys are skipping next week but all your love for Rogue Trooper reminded me that I keep forgetting to ask you guys to give quick review of the Judge Minty fan-film


    or at YouTube


    How about it ?

  25. What always confuses me about the Fantastic Four is that the only time I unreservedly loved the book was the Walt Simonson run. And I think what I loved best about that run is how unapologetically superhero-ish it seems. There are family elements and explorer elements, but mainly it just feels like Simonson doing Simonson things (dinosaurs, time travel, whatever random guest stars he felt like including).

    I wonder if the book wouldn’t read better if the creative teams that took it on were LESS concerned with echoing the core elements of the Lee/Kirby stuff and more focused on just telling whatever FF stories they felt like.

    (This made much more sense in my head.)

  26. The FF has been stuck in a rut for a while now – mostly because every creative team that comes on the book is now expected to go through all the hits of the Kirby/Lee era (here’s Doom! here’s the Inhumans! here’s the Negative Zone!). So we don’t see any new concepts being explored (which means the notion that the FF are explorers has been utterly abandoned) and the concepts that seemed so fresh and novel in that original run grow crusty with overuse (there was a time when Galactus was a figure of awe, the Marvel equivalent of the Old Testament God, arriving to destroy worlds for pitiless, inscrutable reasons – now he’s a glorified plot device at best, and a figure to be humiliated to show how awesome a new villain is at worst).

    If Marvel wants the FF to work again, they need to push the book into really unexplored territory – no more of the old standbys, which have been done to death and usually casually butchered (Uncle Doom? Franklin’s pet Galactus? Baby Annihilus? The last few years have been a master class in how to kill old Kirby characters with banality). Put the old stuff on the shelf for a few years until they can be taken back off and done right again. Take the FF somewhere new, with new people and places and concepts to deal with. If no one is willing to create new concepts anymore for a company like Marvel, then can the book, because exploration is the core of the concept, and you can’t be an explorer if you’re hanging out with the Watcher or the Skrulls for the umpteenth time.

    Also – some sort of psychological realism would be nice. Reed doesn’t have to be autistic. Sue doesn’t have to be a harried housewife. Johnny Storm can act like he’s done with puberty once in a while.

    Also – ditch the kids. No one at Marvel knows how to write kids, so they end up sounding like tiny, emotionally- and mentally-damaged adults, which I doubt is the intention… and they add to much cuteness to stories that frequently aren’t trying for it, and Franklin’s powers are a plot nightmare (which is why he’s constantly being depowered and repowered in various ways), and they necessitate grounding the core characters in one place where they have to have reactive stories that retrace old plots (“Oh no, the Frightful Four is attacking the Baxter Building again!”) because what responsible parent is going to run around the universe leaving their kids behind?

  27. Though in college I powered through all the second-hand Byrne FFs that my roommate compiled (hey, it beat studying), I’ve never been a big fan of them; that they had superscience such as clean power, etc., while flying over, say, Far Rockaway, always left a bad taste in my mouth.

    But, that in mind, I have a few pitches for recontextualizing the FF in the Marvel universe.

    A. The arc would be titled “Wicked Problems”, following the concept (mainly out of urban planning): “A wicked problem is a social or cultural problem that is difficult or impossible to solve for as many as four reasons: incomplete or contradictory knowledge, the number of people and opinions involved, the large economic burden, and the interconnected nature of these problems with other problems. Poverty is linked with education, nutrition with poverty, the economy with nutrition, and so on” (from wickedproblems.com).

    The FF have been, for some McGuffiny reason, stripped of most of their wealth, their security clearances suspended, etc., so they rededicate themselves to being explorers and troubleshooters; perhaps having the Future Foundation kids with them from places around the world motivates them to do more work on the ground. (I suppose it’s be like their Fraction-y trip through space, but without the, you know, space.) It could get a little Denny O’Neil-era GL/GA, what with too many social-commentary problems out there, but the first them they give a tiny village power/clean water and then have to defend it against invading, poorer neighbors, it gets complicated quickly. And they see how you can’t punch or invent your way out of the problem of people.

    B. The FF are motivated, either by an outside threat of one of Reed’s endless epiphanies, to become Peacemakers. That is, they feel a need to go back through all their foes and reconcile and/or co-opt them into one coherent, peaceful, organization (and w/o mind control). The gag would be to follow the order the villains were introduced: Mole Man, Skrulls, and so on, from FF #1 on. The subtext would be the FF trying to reevaluate their past combativeness with their sense of themselves as being on the side of the law and peace. And what does that mean, if one has to deal with, and understand, the likes of Doom?

    (And, by the way: Hawkguy Infinite is a no brainer. Given: Thanos worships Death. Given: All Dogs Go to Heaven. Ergo: what better ultimate weapon against Thanos’s plans than Pizza Dog?)

  28. I was watching the Steelers/Chiefs game and noticed the Chiefs have a linebacker named Frank Zombo. Much to my disappointment he did not unleash the death shadow or try to eat anyone.

  29. Late comment but– “Hell, give it to James Robinson”

    Man, it’s kinda weird that James Robinson doesn’t have a long FF run, if you stand back and think about it. He’d fit that book pretty snug. If it were 1996 James Robinson at least– I haven’t read his stuff in some years. That might be a really good fit– family stuff, superheros, New York, obsessive characters, etc. Except: the outer space arc of Starman. That’s the only catch– but I think that arc went wrong for me more because seeing him lose his enthusiasm for the job than “he can’t write cosmic.” (Plus, I just don’t like outer space stories).

    I just can’t figure that other series they try to jam in there, with Artie and Leech and whoever. Two titles for a book without an enthusiastic audience? That’s just the world now, I guess, but the math on that one’s beyond me…

  30. Every time I see the title I think “Jack Kirby’s ‘Can’t Stop the Music'”.

    As if someone promised he would be allowed to “do something just like ‘Xanadu’…”

  31. @Abhay: James Robinson did work on Fantastic Four, a little bit, when he did Heroes Reborn: Fantastic Four when, inexplicably, the Wildstorm Universe merged with the Marvel Universe. To his credit, Robinson channeled the best of Verhoeven in his Fantastic Four story, where it read like Starship Troopers Fantastic Four, but it was still fun to read. But I don’t know if Robinson could do FF “straight.” He’d have to have his own take. He’s have to do Fraction or the Hulk/Ghost Rider/Wolverine/Spiderman FF.

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