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Wait, What? Ep. 41: Not Even Us

Jeff Lester


wait, what? podcast from palinode on Vimeo.

I could be a little better at this–although Graeme and I were delighted when Adam P. Knave (@adampknave) and his chum Palinode (@Palinode) took a second to set an excerpt or two of our podcast to video, I forgot to link on it here. If you’ve ever wished to see Graeme and I as our platonic ideals (inverted butternut squashes), this would be the video for you.

Or, if you would prefer to keep us two voices in your ear, feel free to listen to Wait, What? Ep. 41, now available for your audio perusal. In it, G and I discuss the conclusion to the Flash series, Flashpoint #1 and its possible ramifications, Thor: The Motion Picture, X-Men: First Class and a ton of other stuff. It’s on iTunes, it’s in the podcast’s RSS feed, and it’s also here, if that’s the kind of thing that floats your boat:

Wait, What?, Ep. 41: Not Even Us

We hope it’s to your likingm and thanks for listening!


14 Responses to “ Wait, What? Ep. 41: Not Even Us ”

  1. I mostly agree with you in regards to Wally West and the Flash– it was certainly one of the best, certainly the most consistent titles DC published from the late 80’s to the mid zeroes. But part of what made it such a good comic is also part of why Wally is no longer viable as a lead character in a comic: his character trajectory (and please forgive the pun). For 230 odd issues Wally was shown to grow from a selfish, insecure young man who felt overshadowed by his mentor to a self confidant hero with a loving wife and family. For him to have a happy ending, he needed to be written out of the DC universe, less his family become victims of the week (hello Arsenal/Red Robin/Dead Cat Man). Waid’s attempt at relaunching Wally and his family as the Invincibles was met with indifference, so the powers that be decided Barry Allan should return…

    The oddest thing about his return is that, in the pages of Final Crisis, it seemed to mean something. Morrison wrote him as the DC icon for optimism and creativity. His belief in the good of people was enough that he could kiss Iris and cure her of Darkseid’s Anti Life Equation. He was the hero others respected and in Final Crisis you were shown this (as well as some lovely Flash Facts such as Death being slower than the speed of light!)

    Much as I liked Geoff Johns work elsewhere (not least on his original run on Wally West and the Flash), his relaunch, for all the original high sales, is a failure in that all Morrison laid down (even the reason for his return, to lead Death the Black racer to Darkseid) is ignored, and as Graeme correctly says, for an unnecessary re-visitation to the Green Lantern relaunch, but to lesser effect.

    Here’s hoping that, come September, we have a writer better suited for the optimism that should be at the heart of the Flash, coupled with the creativity that should also be there. Does anyone know if Paul Cornell is free?

  2. On the Ultimate relaunch: yeah, the marketing is overblown, the title “Ultimate Comics Ultimates” somehow manages to even be dumber than “Ultimate Comics New Ultimates”, and the brand has been pretty much run into the ground…but I find myself kind of hopeful about Hickman’s Ultimates, at least, if only to make up for what a disappointment Bendis’s Avengers has been to me. The other books…well, maybe if I hear good things I’ll pick them up in trade.

    (FWIW, I think Marvel has said that the Ultimate line does particularly well in bookstores. And there’s probably some segment of the audience that only follows that universe and wouldn’t transfer over to the main line, so maybe they don’t want to lose that.)

    Anyway, amen on the “I can’t afford ‘pretty decent'” thing. The publishers really need to realize that, in this economy and with comics costing what they do, some of us are looking for any reason to *not* buy titles.

  3. Jeff-squash and Graeme-squash are The Greatest Things Ever.

  4. One thing that’s really appealing to me about manga is the low price and high page count make it easier to buy series are “pretty decent” but not great. For example, Biomega was a series that I was enjoying mostly for the art as the story wasn’t great but it was cheap enough with enough content to still pick up. On the other hand, I got X-Men #7-10 for Chris Bachalo’s art but the story was so bad that I felt like an idiot for buying them, especially when it cost me $16 for 88 pages when a volume of Biomega cost $13 for 200 pages.

    Also, you guys should do a podcast of nothing but psychoanalysing comics writers based on their work.

  5. So for your ratings, “Crap” is accidentally bad, while “Awful” is on purpose?

    I’m not getting where the dislike for X-Men First Class is coming from? What I’ve seen (notably the newest trailer and the character clips) has me I’m more interested in this movie that any of the older X-Men movies or in any of this summers comic adaptations; people I’ve talked to seem to have a similar take. I really think it could be the sleeper hit of the bunch. It certainly “feels” more like the X-Men than the older versions, and more than Green Lantern feels like any GL I want to see.

    I do think the GL movie could go either way– good space opera or flop, I think the hype’s built up way to high. Listening to Mr. Reynolds-Kyle-not-Hal growl “Green Lantern’s Light!” at the end of every ad I hear/see just makes me want to laugh and/or cry at it. It’s a terrible delivery, and hopefully not indicative of a larger failure to grasp what works with the character.

    And I passed dropping “pretty decent” a while ago. I’m still trying to figure out what I can call “good”…

  6. Amen, BD Montgomery – I’m right there with you on X-Men: First Class. I’ve been afraid that my dedication to the characters (been reading X-Men for twenty years on the dot now) was clouding my judgement on this one, so it’s good to know the film has some other boosters. :)

    Fear Itself…oh man. I actually really, really liked issue one – I read it, didn’t buy it, but enjoyed it enough that I felt like maybe I should. Then I read issue two, fully intent on purchasing both issues that day, an decided not to waste my money. My GOD, what a horrid comic. It was like a record skipping on a not-very-original-and-kind-of-boring song. I don’t see how this story is going to be wrapped up in any satisfactory way in the next five or whatever issues.

    Jeff – what is it about Andy Kubert’s art you dislike? I ask because I grew up reading his stuff in X-Men (which I’m fairly sure shipped on time, but then again I only made it to the comic store once every couple of months back then so I could be wrong).

    Speaking of Kubert, I read somewhere (ComicsAlliance? There or CBR) that he was already pencilling the final issue of FLASHPOINT. So unless his hands get attacked be bees or something, I’m fairly certain that both company’s mega-events are going to ship on schedule. :)

  7. I think it’s funny that X-Men First Class is playing off of nostalgia for the Singer films – it means the people who made X-Men 3 and Wolverine are selling a film by going ‘Remember how good the first two films were, before we decided to make those sequels’.
    It’s about as close to admitting a mistake that a studio will make – and it’s hilarious they are doing it with a film property that just isn’t that old.
    I’m surprised they aren’t selling it as ‘From the director we took off the third one to save money, which we now think was a mistake’.
    Which I guess is my way of saying that for me, that film franchise is dead – Vaughn is a good producer, but a mediocre director, so I’d be very surprised if this isn’t the last death spasm of the first of the modern Superhero film franchises.

  8. Gotta agree X-Men First Class is looking better with every trailer. Now the director is talking about a sequel. What’s a sequel to a prequel supposed to be called? Confusing times.

  9. “What’s a sequel to a prequel supposed to be called?”
    A midquel, of course.

  10. With the exception of your thoughts on Francis Manapul on Flash (I think he did excellent work on the book. Really really good! One of my favourite interpretations of the character), you’re right on the money about Geoff Johns’ take on the character. My preference runs to Messner-Loebs and Waid and their take on Wally than to Johns’ take on Barry… or Wally for that matter. While I liked a lot of what he did during his run, I was so disappointed that he took the focus away from Wally and placed it squarely on the shoulders of the bad-ass Rogues. Like you, I preferred to see them as aimless scoundrels than brutal psycho-killers.
    With regards to Scott Kolins’ recent issues, I think a lot of the problem lies with the colouring. Not that Kolins’ linework isn’t rushed (it most likely is), but the colouring is terrible… it’s all that painty/photography muddy colouring instead of the crisp colours that we ought to be seeing on a book like Flash.

  11. VoodooBen: I have to admit, I don’t know what it is about Kubert’s work that I dislike. I guess because I grew up reading Joe Kubert’s work, I find it very derivative, with a lot of the more interesting parts of Kubert Senior sanded off.

    Admittedly, Joe K. didn’t draw a lot of the superheroes in the DCU (except Hawkman, which has always been an oddball superhero titles, even by DC standards) and Andy has a pretty decent handle for that sort of thing…and he’s got really nice sense of scale…and he’s fine for what he is. It very rarely grabs me, unfortunately.

  12. “Waid’s attempt at relaunching Wally and his family as the Invincibles was met with indifference, so the powers that be decided Barry Allan should return.”

    Carey, as I understand it (and alluded to in the “why Barry’s back” DC Nation column), Barry’s return was destined by the time Geoff left the book (circa #225). He was going to come back with Infinite Crisis, which is why there was that 4 issue “career ender” storyline in #227-230. Then they decided to push it off a bit, hence what was done to Bart. Then that didn’t go over well, so Wally came back to fill-in while they were getting ready for Final Crisis. If the series came across as disjointed post-Johns, that’s the reason – everything they did since then was just there to mark time until Barry’s “triumphant return.” Barry’s return wasn’t a desperate attempt to get the series back on track (no pun intended). It was the hope/plan from the moment Dan Didio got his job.

  13. Weird thing, I had coppied your blog url (http://www.savagecritic.com/jeff/wait-what-ep-41-not-even-us/) because I needed to come back, but no matter how many times I tried I kept getting “page not found” when I copied it directly into the URL bar, but the site works fine when I find it in the search engine, anyone else mentioned that to you? haha maybe it is just me

  14. Carey: You’re the first one that’s mentioned anything and when I tried clicking your link it seemed to work okay. I also copied and pasted it into the URL bar and also had no problems. Sorry I can’t replicate it–maybe there’s a problem with the browser coming back to a page where you’d be listening to the podcast with the in-browser player?

    Thanks for checking in; wish I had a solution for you!

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