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Wait, What? Ep. 52.1: Dream Team Supreme

Jeff Lester

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The time has come again for us to answer questions from listeners who follow Graeme and myself on Twitter. It’s always a struggle for Graeme and I to stay on topic long enough to answer everyone’s questions, and the struggle here hits near-epic proportions.

For example, I won’t tell you the question, but here’s one of my answers:

  • Jim Starlin, Shade the Changing Man
  • Bill Mantlo and Michael Golden, Green Lantern
  • Steve Gerber with whoever he wants (though it should be Curt Swan), Superman
  • Don McGregor and P. Craig Russell, Wonder Woman
  • Len Wein/Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan, The Demon
  • Michael Fleisher and John Buscema, Claw the Unconquered
  • Steve Englehart and Gil Kane, The Flash
  • Howard Chaykin, Jonny Double
  • Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum/John Byrne, Legion of Super-Heroes
  • Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Justice League of America
  • Steve Ditko, The Creeper or anything he wants, The Phantom Stranger
  • Roy Thomas and C.C. Beck, Shazam!
  • Archie Goodwin and Herb Trimpe, Sgt. Rock
  • Michael Fleisher and Don Heck, Jonah Hex
  • Gerry Conway and George Perez, the Brave and the Bold
  • Peter B. Gillis and Jim Steranko, Batman
  • Denny O’Neil and Barry Windsor-Smith, Detective Comics

Also covered: waffles, waffles, and more waffles; Chad Nevett’s Blogathon (stop by, check it out, and donate!); our pitches for DC; Mystic and Snark; Michael Fleisher’s career after comics; favorite Batman tales; Captain America and much more–with more to come.

You should be able to find it on iTunes by now, but you can also listen to us here on this fine website:

Wait, What? Ep. 52.1: Dream Team Supreme

As always, we hope to have the next installment ready for you very soon, and we thank you for listening!

13 Responses to “ Wait, What? Ep. 52.1: Dream Team Supreme ”

  1. Thanks for the shoutout, guys. Listening to the podcast while I work on the Blogathon sometime after six am… see, it went up in time for the Blogathon!

  2. Oh boys, oh boys, oh boys…

    You realise Amazon’s entry for Fleisher’s Shambler contains a “Look Inside” option, and prints the first couple of chapters?

    The first two lines of chapter one are:

    ‘”I’ve never done this before,” stammered Kevin. “What do we do?”
    “You can jerk off, okay? she replied. “And I’ll take my clothes off.”‘

    I demand a Wait What reading with Graham using his Wolverine voice for Kevin.

    I also demand DC publishes Jeff’s Angel And The Ape, as I’d definitely read it.

  3. Oops, apologies for spelling Graeme’s name the wrong way there. Sorry!!

  4. Fleisher’s SHAMBLER ain’t nothin.’ Those truly interested in Michael Fleisher’s prose should check out his novel, CHASING HAIRY. It’s about two guys who…”hairy” refers to… aw, go find out for yourself. Harlan Ellison mentioned how “deranged” HAIRY was during his infamous TCJ interview that resulted in the lawsuit.

  5. Great podcast guys. Those are all great nostalgic batman stories. My first Batman was Colan/Conway/Newton. Colan destroyed my 6 year old brain with Batman 349. Thinking back on it I have no idea how it got past the comic code. Having watched a ton of Adam West Batman, a comic that ends the way 349 ended was horrifying. Colan’s image of the dead couple hanging upside down in the Monk’s house still sits with me. These stories get reprinted in a hardcover coming out tomorrow – I haven’t been this psyched for a reprint in a while. I will happily pay $40 for this (well almost, couldn’t they have reprinted this a year or two ago while he was still alive)?

    I must have read Batman 348 through 350, Detective Comics 497, 503, 517 20 times each or until they fell apart. Same with the Stern/Byrne Cap. All that stuff was read till it fell apart.

    Has the JM DeMatteis and Zeck Cap ever been reprinted? Fond memories of that as well.

    I am interested in your review of Snyder’s Detective run. I think you will enjoy it but find some flaws in it.

  6. I feel like AdamKnave and I just left a hanging curveball over the plate.

    CRUSH!

    Thanks for the wild conjecture, gents!

  7. @Chad: I’m so glad there was some overlap–I was definitely driven to make sure Part 1 made it up in time! Looking forward to tucking in to all the content very soon…

    @Carey: Yeah, I followed some link or other and ended up reading an interview with Fleisher where he talked about the comics and porn connection. Really interesting that after the marked failure of Chasing Hairy, he apparently went for another squirm-inducing creepy sex angle.

    @Art: I haven’t read Chasing Hairy but I did indeed read the Ellison interview many, many years ago. It, uh, didn’t sound like anything I’d much want to pay money for.

    @George: I’ll have to hunt that up–it sounds creepy as hell, and the idea of having Colan do his take on a super-early Batman villain like the Monk is a great ide3a.

    @J_Smitty: Yeah, if we were getting any loot out of this endeavor at all, I’d totally cut you and Knave in on a taste. Those were great questions.

  8. I’m with you, re: the DeMatteis/Zeck Cap run, George. Though I had dipped my toe in with the odd issue here and there, this was the first run I consistently followed. Loved Red Skull’s death, in part because it was so well done and in part because, yes, I was young, naive, and idealistic enough to think it could actually stick. Sure, I knew there would be another Red Skull around at some point, but I figured it could/would/should be a legacy character and not the original.

    By the way, here’s the fascinating back story behind the abrupt departure of DeMatteis from the series (taken from his website):

    The nature of the character dictated that the stories I wrote explored issues larger than the latest hero-villain slugfest. The canvas had to be huge—encompassing action, psychology and broader political, spiritual and philosophical issues. Some of my attempts failed spectacularly, some succeeded—but I thought I’d finally hit my stride during my last year on the book: an ongoing saga involving Captain America’s final battle with the Red Skull that was to reach its turning point with a double-sized Captain America #300 in which the Skull dies and Cap, after (at the time) forty-plus years of solving problems with his fists, begins to wonder if there’s another way to live his ideals and change the world. (Despite my love of the super hero genre, the inherent—and often mindless—violence in super hero comics has always disturbed me. This story was my way of attacking the issue head on.) In the proposal I presented to my editor—the late, great Mark Gruenwald—Cap was, ultimately, going to disavow violence as a tool for change—essentially rejecting the fundamental super hero mindset—and start working for world peace. (Keep in mind that this was at the height of the Reagan “evil empire”/cold war period, so it was a pretty radical idea for its day.) There was much more to the story—including Steve Rogers’ apparent assassination by his then-partner, Nomad, and the emergence of a new Captain America, a Native American named Jesse Black Crow—and I was eager to spend the next year exploring these challenging issues.

    Gruenwald approved my proposal, I wrote the double-sized Cap #300 then went ahead and plotted the next two or three stories in the arc; but Jim Shooter, hearing what we were planning, shot the idea down. Jim thought my idea violated Cap’s character, that Steve Rogers would never do the things I was suggesting. Captain America #300 was then cut down to a normal-sized issue and substantially rewritten, I think by Jim himself—or perhaps Gruenwald under Jim’s direction. (Which is why I used a fake name in the credits and immediately quit the book.) At the time I was angry but, in retrospect, I totally understand Shooter’s POV. Jim—a brilliant editor who really helped me along in the early days of my career—was the custodian of the Marvel Universe: he had to protect the characters as he understood them. Me? I think my Cap saga would have been an emotional and thought-provoking piece of pop fiction.

    (This idea—a long-time super hero finally realizing that violence is a dead end—obsessed me, in various forms, from the moment I conceived it in 1983. The concept evolved considerably over the years and finally saw print in 2009 as The Life and Times of Savior 28: for my money the best superhero story I’ve ever written.)
    http://www.jmdematteis.com/2011/07/stars-and-stripes.html

  9. @jeff: Conway/colan/newton do the monk, dr death and Hugo strange, all very good stories. I recommend trying to get the original issues. I am looking at the colan collection as we speak and it looks good but better on yellowed 80s paper.

  10. The only place the DeMatteis/Zeck issues are collected are Marvel Masterworks: Deathlok Vol. 1, which has issues #286-288 (interestingly, a few years ago on his blog Ninja Turtles writer Steve Murphy claimed that story was stolen from a pitch he sent to Marvel at that time).

    I mentioned this to Graeme on Facebook, but I’ve bought, and read, Michael Fleisher’s Shambler.

  11. Totally agree that Dungeons & Dragons is a book which (as Graeme so eloquently put it) is fun and sharp, even if the art leaves me a bit cold. It’s a blast. And I also hate fantasy books.

    Nobody named my favorite childhood Batman arc – “Who killed the Batman.” And if naming the Batman Animated series is allowed, than the animated Brave and the Bold MUST be counted. OUTRAGEOUS!

  12. Another quality production of Waffle Watch — only problem was, it was making me very, very hungry, and I was on my bike, hours from anywhere.

    You know, each podcast really, really gives me ideas for a line of Wait, What t-shirts. The designs are not near done, but some tag lines are obvious.

    One is, of course, “Also, we’d need to make a time machine.” Like the rest of the plan is in place but for this one, little thing.

    Hey, you guys almost mentioned it in passing, but why is it the Giffen “Five Years Later” Legion gets no love? Was it just me that really appreciated it? Of course it was all rebooted, but what version of the Legion hasn’t?

  13. My first Cap issues were the David Kraft/Mike Zeck two-parter in 265-266, guest-starring Spider-Man and Nick Fury. They’re kind of goofy in retrospect, but I loved them dearly (and, of course, still love them because nostalgia is vastly more powerful than craft).

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