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Wait, What? Ep. 46: Sympathy for the Mephisto Analogue

Jeff Lester


So much time! So little to do!

(Wait a minute. Reverse that.)

It’s the latest episode of Wait, What? wherein Graeme McMillan and yours truly talk about those comic books what need talking about: Wolverine #9; Flashpoint tie-ins The Superman Project #1 and Reverse Flash #1; James Robinson’s JLA; Earth X; Green Lantern Mosaic; Kirby Genesis #1; Steve Englehart’s Captain America and much more. You might even discover the true identity of that cute little tyke up there.

It should be available on iTunes by now, and it is also the sort of thing that you could be listening to here and now, if that’s the sort of thing that kung-pao’s your chicken:

Wait, What? Ep. 45: Sympathy for the Mephisto Analogue

As always, we hope you enjoy and thanks for listening!

6 Responses to “ Wait, What? Ep. 46: Sympathy for the Mephisto Analogue ”

  1. RE: Kirby Genesis #1

    Reading the comic, I found that there is this very strange melding of Jack Kirby, Mark Waid, and Alex Ross that reminded me of why I like Epcot Amusement Park Rides.

    Alex Ross brings in nostalgia as part of his work. You can see it in Marvels, but also in the way he appropriates the way commercial artists in the 60s appropriated Norman Rockwell as a way to sell cigarettes or cars. In this story, Ross is there as a heavy to invoke the artwork of that 1960s “World of Tomorrow, Today” feel that Epcot presents in their “educational” rides about tomorrow.

    Mark Waid brings in the feeling of a “dark ride.” Dark Rides are rides on a rail where you are unsure of where you are going, but are surprised by how the middle part of the ride “opens up” and gives you a narrative of a world. Lots of Disney theme park rides start off mundane and then suddenly burst out in the middle part of the ride, showing you this entire world for you to search out and look around before leaving you with a cool thought or idea that leads you out of the ride. Waid really evokes this in the story, with the mundane beginning, the world-building middle, and the capper that eases you back into the real world with a kernal of a weird idea in your head.

    Finally, there’s Jack Kirby who actually tried to develop amusement park rides in the later years, but was scammed and later worked with the FBI to find the scammers. Kirby’s bombastically strange ideas are definitely in this book, but it is sort of like how going through the Carousel of Progress gives you a taste of Alvin Tofler’s futurist ideas, but if you didn’t know that it was based off of a previous work, you wouldn’t have figured it out.

    Overall, the comic feels like an Epcot Amusement Park ride, where I feel like I should get something educational or an understanding of history by going through it, but really I’m just excited about how cool everything looks.

    I think that’s one of the strengths of comics…they’re all curiously informed by Coney Island amusement park rides and Madison Avenue Store Windows.

    - l.k.

  2. I guess I am just a tad pessimistic but Kirby Genesis

    If anything it should be full of Kirby character right away that get destroyed to make room for new creations. GODLAND is a better homage to Kirby than all the halfassed attempts of a modern telling using his forgotten characters, the creation of the new is stronger than the strip mining of the old.

  3. @Gary: Hmm, your ideas are intriguing to me, and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter!

    Rick Vance: I can see your point and share it to some extent. What intrigues me about Kirby: Genesis is taking a whole bunch of Kirby *ideas* (as much as the characters), and playing with those. Whether or not Kirby: Genesis goes that direction, it’s too soon to tell.

  4. Great podcast as always. Earth X is really cool. Universe X really does go off into incoherent crazy town though. However, Universe X: Spiders Man is a really great examination of Peter Parker’s guilt channeled through his daughter. If you only read one issue after the original Earth X, make it that one.

    To continue on about Spider-man,you said they had never actually killed Spider-man before, but they actually have. The Green Goblin even did it! I’m referring to Peter Parker: Spider-man issue 75, when Marvel found themselves with 2 Spider-men, so they had Norman Osborn Kill off poor Ben Reilly. I’m only bring it up because DeMatteis put in a lot of effort to make me love that character.

  5. Thanks, Colin! I could’ve sworn I read that Universe X: Spiders-Man book. Wasn’t it drawn or inked by John Romita, Sr.?

    Also, thanks for correcting us on that point–I’ll be curious to see what I do when I get to the Spider-Clone years on my collected ASM disc in order to read the tie-in issues from the other Spidey titles…

  6. It looks like he might have! My trade doesn’t list the credits by issues, just as a big group in each category, and his name is in the inker category. Also, I was wrong about the name, it is Universe X: Spidey.

    You are definitely going to have a hard time. It doesn’t help that most of the highlights of the era are not in Amazing (besides the Aunt May issue, of course). The Clone Saga trades they have been putting out are really nice though and scarily over-comprehensive.

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