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Wait, What? Ep. 50.1: The Devil, We Say

Jeff Lester


Yes, here we have it–Wait, What?’s fiftieth episode, filled with talk by Graeme McMillan and Yours Truly about Daredevil #1, the Defenders relaunch, Incognito and creator expectation in comics, Jim Starlin and Jim Shooter, Alan Moore’s Captain Britain, and our usual ephemera jammed into just over an hour.

And since I’ve been told that “context” is this year’s big buzzword among podcasters as the number one thing listeners would like, lemme point you toward this post by Jim Shooter in particular, and this interview with Ed Brubaker as things what might help in capturing this mythical “context” creature.

(Also, it should be pointed out that, despite the title and the graphic up top we didn’t talk nearly enough about Daredevil #1, and it’s really pretty great and you should go get yourself a copy if you haven’t already.)

Savvy souls can find the latest installment on iTunes, or you can also give it an auditory gander here:

Wait, What? Ep. 50.1: The Devil, We Say

And, I should also note, installment 50.2 is right around the corner.  Thanks for putting up with us for 50 or so episodes, and we hope you’ll stick with us for many more.

9 Responses to “ Wait, What? Ep. 50.1: The Devil, We Say ”

  1. Thanks for the podcast guys. I haven’t read the Morrison or Starlin books. I intentionally try and avoid comic creator (or any creator really) books because sometimes I feel like their opinions dminishes or taints their creation.

    Jeff – I generally agree with you on Hickman. I have tried so hard to get into his Fantastic Four and FF but it does nothing for me. I also attribute some of that to possibly the worst matching of an artist with a marvel property ever(Epting and the FF? Really?). Do you feel the same way about Redwing 1 as you do about the rest of Hickman’s stuff? I enjoyed Redwing 1 (even though you can totally tell where is it going), but that could be because of the great art and that it is an Image book not a marvel book.

    BTW, you guys talk about 70s and 80s DC stuff sometimes – i picked up the Gerber/Colan Phantom Zone on the cheap a few weeks ago. It surprising holds up really well. It has me really excited about Colan’s Batman collection that is coming out.

  2. Shooter’s blog is definitely a must-read, but take everything you find there with a grain (or two) of salt. Which you should do, anyway.

    Re: Guys you like who went to Marvel and were disappointing-

    I loved Brubaker on Batman/Detective and Sleeper (altho’ Authority was a special kind of awful). I still greatly enjoy Criminal (and am kind of on the fence on Incognito). Followed him to Marvel, where I mostly enjoyed his Daredevil… but couldn’t stand his X-Men. And Cap…? I honestly just don’t see what’s so good about it. It’s the one book where everyone loves it but me, and I sort of wish that I did. Maybe it stems back to when I was bitching to him on the old Joe Quesdada board and said, circa issue two or three that “I guess I won’t be surprised when Bucky ends up being the mystery killer.” Whoops. :) I gave it around two years to wow me, and it never clicked with me, never gelled. I even went back after the death of Cap hoopla and bought a bunch of stuff up to around issue 600 (on the cheap, ‘natch) to figure out what I had been missing.

    Never did.

    Fraction I used to positively adore, but his X-Men was disappointing, his Thor was GRAVELY disappointing (especially after those awesome one shots he wrote that I did very much enjoy… I didn’t even bother with Mighty Thor), and Iron Man is drifting off of the rails, slowly but surely. His name is no longer enough to get me to try a book. Hopefully the new volume of Casanova will still be neato-keen.

    I’m just not sure what happened to these guys, or, perhaps, to my perception of their work.

  3. I think modern day creators at Marvel and DC are being handed a different job. In the 70s and 80s there was, seemingly, less concern on making the characters brandable and more on delivering quality fiction; barring the occasional Saturday morning cartoon, the comics stories were the be-all and end-all for these characters and their universe. However, now the comics are, at best, a secondary concern when compared to the big budget movies, video games, TV shows, cartoons, etc. To a certain extent (and perhaps more so at Marvel) it’s as if the creators are being handed the keys to the Porsche and being told not to scratch the paint or put any unnecessary miles on it. Rather than striving to deliver a top-flight story, the creators are just keeping the copyright alive, and possibly testing the market for new brands to spin off into more profitable media avenues. I can only imagine the effect is an environment of stifled creativity and rampant groupthink as the creators try, to use a cliche, making an omelette without breaking eggs.

    Admittedly, I’m pretty cynical towards Marvel and DC these last few years. Every cash-grab they’ve made during that time has come off as so transparent, and often anti-art. Yes, I understand these are companies with the main goal of making money, but the product they churn out appears to only be created with that goal in mind.

  4. I think you guys have nailed it as to why I don’t like Hickman’s FF. Even if all the parts are there (and I do think some parts are missing), it’s still some assembly required. Some readers may not mind doing this work for the author; for me, especially with FF, I do.

    That I see Hickman’s FF story as derivative of other, better FF stories I’ve read doesn’t help. This may be where being a younger reader helps; in the great go-around of stories, newer/younger readers haven’t seen this dance before. And before it had art that fits “my” idea of the FF better.

    This brings up a thought that I’ve been having more and more: what ARE the stories that I think of as either “my” versions or even those that best capture a character or book? For example, I was a huge fan of the Byrne FF, but for me, the best, most “Fantastic Four” run was Waid & Wieringo. For Thor, however, I’d still go with Simonson.

    Which brings me back around to the idea I started with: have I, as a long time comics reader, ever been so in love with the ideas in a book that I just overlooked problems or even plain bad stories? For example, I read the Alan Moore Captain Britain stories when they were collected way back whenever and really liked them. I’m almost afraid to go back again and see if I still do, having heard Graeme’s review

    Without a doubt, my main interest in any comic story is the mad/bad/crazy ideas it expresses. I’d hate to think that I’ve been filling in blank areas in stories (for years!) just because I like some of the crazier concepts.

  5. Oh boys, oh boys, oh boys… Moore and Davis’ Captain Britain doesn’t make sense? You may have a point there, but I’d say that because one of the main villains of the run has the ability to distort and manipulate reality, there is an in-story reason for it.

    From my understanding, Captain Britain was Moore’s first continuing series, and one where he very much cut his teeth on figuring out what would work, and what would not, especially within the UK six or seven page instalment. I’d also add that many of the characters featured in the run (Saturnyne, Jaspers and the concept of multiple Earths) were introduced by Moore’s predecessor on the title, David Thorpe. But to a degree Captain Britain is refreshing in Moores output in that it doesn’t really attempt to deconstruct the character. Instead, it seems that Moore attempts to deconstruct the Britain of the times within the confines of the Marvel universe and its conventions. I always loved how the good Captain often came across as a bemused observer to the increasing insanity around him.

    Personally, I love Moore’s run on Captain Britain, with the same affection as I have with his 2000ad work; and probably more so than anything he is producing at the moment. But that’s probably down to children’s comics having certain parameters Moore is unable to bend, hence the lack of any of the rape scenes that seem to dominate so much of his more ‘mature’ work, the frequency of which I am finding distasteful to a point that I really can’t bring myself to read the latest League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

    Which is a shame, as I am of the age that Moore was one of the first writers whose name I became aware of in comics, and have followed him from the age of ten when I first read his work in the backup strip in the then Doctor Who Weekly. Indeed, it could be argued that Moore was chiefly responsible for my never growing out of comics, as the few times that I came close (around the age of 14/15 and around the turn of the century) he produced something that reinvigorated my love for the medium. (My brother even read Sounds back at the turn of the 80’s so I was unaware that I was reading Moore in the Axel Pressbutton/Stars My Degradation strip that ran within its pages at the time: for me, there was no escaping the Hairy Beast of Northampton).

    Not that I’d like Moore to return to superheroes: as I said, I have a personal love for Captain Britain. Skizz and especially Halo Jones that transcends nostalgia, but far too much time has elapsed for him to recapture their flawed beauty. I just wish he’d take a leaf out of Sparks suggestion to Morrissey, and lighten up a bit: http://youtu.be/zMW_ROS94Kk

    But like the aforementioned Steven Patrick, I think that Moore may have become over-enamoured in his own mythology. As Grant Morrison said: “Come back to us, Alan!”

  6. Sorry about the adjective “mirthless.” It’s not for me to say where mirth does or does not reside.

  7. Thanks for the podcast once again, guys (and puppies).

    I have to admit being very skeptical about Daredevil, but if I’m honest I have to admit it comes from that dark emotional void that constantly threatens to turn us all either into Cranky Old Man or Comic Book Guy. That is: the DD I was first exposed to was the Frank Miller run, and my first exposure of that was the issue where DD was playing Russian roulette with a paralyzed Bullseye. Yep, just that brutal. More important, it was one of those experiences where someone shows you something you’ve not only never seen before, but had never imagined could be possible. That’s a powerful mental marker.

    That led me to read back in the series, but even the Miller that wasn’t so Miller-y seemed only prelude to my first issue, and not quite the same character. Mazzuchelli’s run was also a big mark on my conception of the character (personally I preferred the more fluid and abstracted style he developed during that run, though he still kept it far more grounded in the real world than Miller and Janson — nothing at all against that duo).

    What’s interesting to me about this new #1 is that it DOES seem like a reimagining or “not a” reboot or whatever term DC is using for nuDCU, but done right. They acknowledge, but in-story and meta, all that’s come before (more or less, as far as I know); Matt overshares and overexposits — and in public, too — to Foggy and in captions, but that’s in service of addressing that all the bad old days did happen but that Matt is making a choice to be happy, or at least fake it until he makes it. This is actually a real-life and sometimes therapeutically recommended course of action for trauma and/or depression survivors.

    The art, interestingly, also makes the same points. The sunlight and the line work are very Mazzuchelli; there are a few Miller-ish touches; the red-stripe-y radar vision seems to be Romita Jr. Did Allred ever do DD? I get a whiff of him, too.

    The only off-notes I get are the bride-smooching (trying too hard, Matt? That seems like it’d only get her in trouble.) and Matt showing off in public, as with the violin. Trying it, I can see Matt choosing his “new me” to do, but there’s a bit of flaunt. Shouldn’t Matt still have some Catholic guilt?

    In any case — thanks for getting me to think a bit, rather than just consuming comics. The podcast brings me great mirth. Yes, I should be making my research position in Finland worth it to those people who brought me here, but hey, you guys talk about comics for what, 16 hours a day and still have lives, right?

  8. Oh, and whilst I’m avoiding work… similarly, my first notices of Rucka, Brubaker, Fraction, were all in “I didn’t know that was possible” books. Gotham Central, Iron Fist, and so on. So they became “I would read anything these people write” writers. That’s a hard thing to have broken in you, and it leaves everyone and the world a bit sadder. Who’s on the list in mainstream comics now? Fred Van Lente (and what exactly was his contribution to DD #1’s first page?), Simone, Morrison is a gimme… ?

  9. What’s interesting to me about this new #1 is that it DOES seem like a reimagining or “not a” reboot or whatever term DC is using for nuDCU, but done right http://resync.org/ . They acknowledge, but in-story and meta, all that’s come before (more or less, as far as I know); Matt overshares and overexposits — and in public, too — to Foggy and in captions, but that’s in service of addressing that all the bad old days did happen but that Matt is making a choice to be happy, or at least fake it until he makes it. This is actually a real-life and sometimes therapeutically recommended course of action for trauma and/or depression survivors.

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