Pick of the Week Podcast

Pick of the Week #171 – Scalped #25

Show Notes

When Ron’s away, Paul Montgomery will play, and things will get wacky. Also, Conor’s microphone hates him.

Running Time: 0:59:58

Pick of the Week:
00:02:08 – Conor chose Scalped #25 as his Pick of the Week despite the strong Batcompetition.

00:09:48 – Josh loved the art so much in Batman #686, he has begun Eisner campaigning.
00:13:02 – Peter Tomasi’s one-two punch of Nightwing #153 and Batman and the Outsiders Special join the Batdiscussion.
00:15:58 – Vampire Missiles From The Moon! Captain Britain and MI:13 #10.
00:19:37 – Hellboy: The Wild Hunt #3 might start providing some answers.
00:21:46 – Josh raves about the comic booking in B.P.R.D.: The Black Goddess #2.
0:24:50 – Thor #600 rocked Paul’s socks despite the silly names.
00:27:23 – With Green Lantern Corps #33, Conor is finally no longer alone.
00:29:25 – Incognito #2 was really good, but…
00:31:30 – Which book brought Josh to tears? Fables #81.

User Reviews:
00:33:32 – superchuck really enjoyed Action Comics #874.
00:36:02 – robbydzwonar says that Batman Confidential #26 is the best Batbook right now.

00:38:16 – Mike H. was wondering about Matt Wagner books.
00:40:41 – Jesse from Owenton, KY asks about reprint extras and the 2099 renaissance.

Voice Mail:
00:44:44 – Dave from Denver, CO asks about comic book jobs.
00:47:55 – Matt from Simi Valley, CA wants to know about deus ex machinas.

iFanboy Giveaway:
00:49:59 – Congratulations to the Coraline giveaway winners!

“The Shrew”



Get Involved

Doing the podcast is fun and all, but let's be honest, listening to the 2 of us talk to each other can get repetitive, so we look to you, the iFanboy listeners to participate in the podcast! "How can I get in on the fun?" you may ask yourself, well here's how:

  • E-Mail us at contact@ifanboy.com with any questions, comments or anything that may be on your mind.

Please don't forget to leave your name and where you're writing from and each week, we'll pick the best e-mails to include on the podcast!


  1. I think its been carried over to almost every "official" incarnation of Alfred that he was a former actor who later joined the RAF as a battlefield medic. Or something along those lines.

  2. spoiler-free Scalped conversation for us trade readers????

  3. Oh Conor’s mic isnt working on his POTW podcast? How mysterious……

    *darts eyes and hides box cutters*

  4. @Mike – It’s spoilery for the issue but not the series itself because it’s an intro for a new character.  

  5. "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tommorrow" was more Superman’s last stand, fighting all his villains for the last time in the Silver Age.  It was in continuity (just that it gets erased by Crisis a little bit later) and it was a bit more grounded and straightforward than Caped Crusader.  Tonally, they’re similar insomuch as they’re the "last story" of their particular characters in their particular eras (Silver Age Superman, Modern Age Batman) but beyond that, they have little in common, I’d say.

  6. what the heck?! josh, your mum was married four times? at least four times, right

  7. sorry that made me sound like a dick…

  8. @mikegraham: You have heard the spoiler warning before each show, haven’t you? 🙂

  9. Hey Matt- Woody Allen is a modern master of the Deus Ex Machina. His one act play "God" is a genuis play on the concept and most of his films have some ex machina moments.

  10. I really ought to clarify the deaus ex machina thing.  If the story is designed to end with a deus ex machina resolution–if that is the intention– then it can possibly work.  It’s when someone does it because they simply don’t know how to end a story otherwise that it’s a cheap move.  You have to make it feel consistent with the logic of the established universe.  If it feels like a break, like an easy escape from thoughtfully resolving the conflict, people notice and you ought to be called on it. 

  11. Matt Wagner also wrote Sandman Mystery Theatre with Stephen Seagle of It’s a Bird fame with Guy Davis on pencils.  It’s really good stuff.  It’s 40’s pulp noir with a lot of f–ked up subject matter.

  12. What’s with all the hate for Batman Confidential? Or at least an indifference for it.

    I think for the most part the arcs have been great.

    Rules of Engagement (Meh, not a strong start). Lovers & Madmen (Very underrated story and possibly one of my favorite Joker stories ever). Wrath Child (Pretty good, not the best thing ever but soild). Bat vs Cat (Normally I hate cheesecake in comics but it has half an issue with Batgirl naked!!! Oh and the story and art was very very good….but still, naked!) Do you Understand these Rights? (Another meh)

    Usually I wait trade for the Confidential stories but after the Bat vs Cat I have loved this series in issues. Forgot about this King Tut arc (normally I avoid anything associated with 60’s Batman). But I’ll pick it up defendately next Wednesday.

  13. Thank you paul for metioning Thor! By far the best book this week and if it wasn’t for you dude, that book would have gotten no love at all. Pat yourself on the back my friend, well done.

  14. I like to think of myself as the peoples’ champion.  

  15. Also, the big king of machines at the end of the last Matrix movie is named (though not actually in the movie) the Deus Ex Machina.  so there’s that.

    More than anything, a deus ex machina when typically used now is when something comes out of nowhere and is kind of randomly thrown often without making any sense just to resolve the conflict.  A good example is in Spider-Man 3 when Harry’s butler just randomly pops up at the end and goes "Oh, yeah, did I not tell you that…" to quickly and illogically clear the "Spidey killed Harry’s dad" plot thread out of the way so Harry could save Peter and resolve the other threads. 

  16. @Paul: Hey Hey Hey….there’s only one champion here 🙂

    @Tork: Does that explain the last 30 minutes of Bullshit I saw during Revolutions?

  17. No, the line "From the Wachowski Brothers" in the credits explains the last thirty minutes of Matrix Revolutions.

    Oh!  Another good example of a deus ex machina happens at the end of Avatar: the Last Airbender when *S-P-O-I-L-E-R-S* the lead character Aang has been told constantly there’s no other way to stop the primary antagionist the Fire Lord from conquering their world than to kill him which goes against his pacifist beliefs.  Yet, literally in the last act of the last season, some mythical creature comes out of nowhere to say stuff off-screen to Aang and then in the final battle, Aang is able to stop the menace without killing the Fire Lord because of something the mythical creature showed him.  It comes out of nowhere and really makes no sense in the context of the rest of the series yet it’s used to completely resolve the primary plot of the series.

  18. @Tork: That’s actually more reasonible on why Revolutions sucked 🙂

    Watchmen sorta has a deus ex machina in it, or at least moore jokes on it.

    When Jon takes Laurie to Mars and explains he will save the world if she convinces him to do so. She then states something on the lines of: ‘That just seems very convienient dont it? Sort of like God coming out of the machine…’ Then Jon replies: ‘Deus Ex Machina? Yes it feels like that dont it?’.

    At least Moore cops out to it somethings when he needs to BS his way to get into another story point.

  19. @paul. so does that mean Ex Machina by BKV is going to wrap all th eloss story lines up in it’s second last issue?

     @ TNC and Tork. you know, the last two matrix movies sucked so bad i can’t even recaall anything that happened in them even though i know i saw them

  20. @Paul-You didn’t talk as much as I would have liked!!  More Paul damnit!  MORE PAUL!!

    @Edward-Well, the first page on the first issue of Ex Machina had the definition of Deus Ex Machina right on top.  I think it was refering to what happened in the book on 9/11, but it could very much come back in the end.

    Fun show guys.  I just ordered the first JMS Thor trade and plan on picking up the other issues at Wondercon.

    P.S. I love vampire missles

  21. @edward: Watching Revolutions is like getting drunk. You wake up in the middle of the night, sweating, breathing hard, and wondering what the hell you did a couple of hours ago.

    Gaiman seems to be having a good week btw. First his Batman issue got high praise (although I was indifferent on it) and Coraline has got nothing but great reviews. Actually just saw it today and it was fantastic! Probably the best animated film of the year. Unless Up can provided something more breathtaking then Coraline has got the oscar in the bag for next year.

    Oh and I would kill for a Catwoman comic with that original costume on. What the hell was Selina thinking back in those days?

  22. So i take it that all Steven King novels’ resolutions are deus ex machina ? (the stand)

  23. Holy fucking shit, Josh you have not read "What ever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?"  Oh my God.  IT is sooooo goood.   If you do no own it, I highly suggest you purchase the dc universe stories of Alan Moore, there is some fantastic stuff in there.  A Kevin O’neal Green lantern story which a lot of the current Geoff Johns stuff is based on actually, I think it’s called "Tigers"

  24. TNC– I’m thinking she was thinking what Bruce was thinking.  She probably want to strike a certain amount of fear in order to keep her victims from trying to stop her thefts so she drressed up like a humanoid panther monster.  Then, she figured out the sexy route was easier and there you go.

  25. The only problem I really have with "Man of Tommorrow" is how little Lex actually has any actual stake in the plot.  It’s Superman’s Last Hurrah, Lex should have a bigger role, especially to how much guys like Prankster and Kryptoite Man are to the story.  Neverthelless, the DC Universe: Stories of Alan Moore IS a really good must-have trade and I’m not even that big an Alan Moore fan.

  26. Spider-man 2099 is by far my most favorite run of comics. I collected every single issue. I just adored the 2099 universe, mainly because I love cyberpunk, NeoTokyo, and future-noir worlds. I was able to see this reimagining of a classic comic hero, and get to anticipate what new villains he’d encounter, and what classic foes would be reborn in the 2099 universe. It was like experiencing Spider-Man for the first time. I will definitely be picking up the collection!

  27. Peter David has asked we all cease and desist talking about Spider-Man 2099 so that those who wish to read it can not be "tempted" by spoilers.

    I keed!

  28. can someone tell me about the peter david business? please?

  29. Peter David asked that people not go online and spoil the surprise to last month’s X-Factor book.  He is asking the same for this months issue I believe. 

  30. @Tork =  Avatar isn’t really a good example of deus ex machina (at least not the pejorative variety) because it’s a character-driven conflict and a character-driven resolution. Ang doesn’t want to kill the Fire Lord because he’s a pacifist. That he would seek and get help from a god or spirit is consistent with his character because he has ties to both the spirit world and the real world. 

    I agree with Paul: it has to do with the framing of a story and staying consistent within the story’s self-defined laws and logic. If a story is about Hercules, who gets himself into a jam and then uses his Herculean powers to get himself out of it, that’s a story consistent with its own parameters. If a story is about Joe Schmoe who gets himself into a jam, and then Hercules shows up to get him out of the jam (or an anvil falls out of the sky, or any other unforeseeable occurrence), then that’s deus ex machina. 

  31. @Conor it’s ok, it wasn’t that bad. i’ll probably forget most of it once the newest trade comes out

  32. Hey guys, great show this week. Loved the Bat talk and I’m going to try and find the issue of Outsiders. Very keen to see Alfred playing a more active role in the Batverse.

    @Conor: Man, you sounded terrible. I hope you’re feeling better. Try drinking some of Paul’s chicken bath water.

  33.  So we’re going to have the Final Crisis show this thursday? Please!

  34. @UncleBob – I’m not sure, but some are too convenient: The Mist, The Shining, From a Buick 8.

  35. Bruce IS rich… he can pay for a hair transplant.

  36. What happened in the last X-Factor? I don’t read it.

  37. Chaplin’s spirit is haunting the shirt factory. After that the windows will brake, and after that an empty cabin somewhere in Alaska will fall off a cliff, and a blind girl will see again.

  38. And there’s and unintended reference (or sort of a reference) to "The Life and Times of Juniper Lee" in the end, which no one caught probably…

  39. Its good to see the Zach Condon love.

  40. I’m 99% certain that Marvel is bringing back the 2099 line. I believe it’s for a crossover with the regular universe however. Like 616 Spider-man is transported to the 2099 universe and he has to fight with the Dr. Doom of that universe as well. Could be wrong, anyone could verify that?

    Was there anything bad about the 2099 line? Other then that it probably feels outdated the closer we get to that actual year. (2099 probably felt like a long ways away back when it was created)

  41. @ed: As we said on this episode, this week’s video show is NYCC Part 1.

  42. @red: They’re gonna need at least a week or two to freshen up and then talk about FC. Conor do you really want to talk about FC with a cold like that? 🙂

    So is Incognito worth anybody’s time at all? Cause that sounded like a negative review of the issue…and then you guys say it’s been ‘meh’ for the most part.

  43. @TheNextChampion: I believe we said it was better than most every book out there but even so we’d rather have CRIMINAL.

  44. @conor: Oh okay, maybe that was the negativity I heard about the series.

    I dont know it sounds interesting…..but just doesnt feel special ya know? I’ll wait for the trade to see if it’s worth it.

  45. Vampire George Harrison? It’s got legs. Mention it to Paul Cornell next time you see him. And I agree with you guys Cap & Mi13 #10 was very ‘Johnsian’ with all those loose ends. Particularly psyched about who came to pay Spitfire a visit…

  46. I guess a mic difficulty is the "official" reason for the sound issues, but I’m pretty sure Conor was at the beach. 

  47. @Nate – That would explain a lot.  Specifically Conor’s frantic complaint at the end of the recording session. "The little girl buried me!"  

  48. @PaulMontgomery – Let me also add my heartfelt gratitude for you making Thor #600 your pick of the week.  That title is one of the best Marvel is publishing right now and it is criminal how underrated it is!  Thanks, man!

  49. @jimski: That’s what I read!

    I’m not a fan of the line, hell I didnt even know it exsisted until like 6 months ago….But I like the concept and I hope this is a good mini.

  50. I liked having PMonty around, guests are great – it’d be nice to have guests along with the Threesome occasionally.

    Oh, and is Dracula any more ridiculous than Dr Doom? More chain clasps, a green mini skirt over medieval armour . . .

  51. Regarding the ‘Johnsian’ nature of the latest issue of Captain Britain, I’d argue that good as he is, Geoff Johns didn’t invent the juggling of subplots issue; Marvel and DC writers were doing a lot of that in the Seventies, and the breather/day in the life issue was a New Teen Titans/Avengers speciality in the early Eighties.

    And it’s not just England Dracula wants, it’s the rest of the British Isles too – the clue’s in the book’s title. Yup, Dracula wants all Brits, cos we’re hot!

  52. I didn’t mean to suggest that Johns invented it.  Clearly he did not.  No, Johnsian is when someone is juggling multiple storylines and characters in such a way that it seems effortless and simple when it is anything but.

  53. Ah, gotcha. My bad, as people rather peculiarly say.

  54. I guess George Martinian isn’t catching on…shame

  55. JUST got last weeks comics. JUST listened to the podcast. awesome

  56. I just read Batman 686. It was well written but I’m very very very bored of the exploration of the Batman mythos. It gives me a major case of "are we there yet?"

  57. Beirut as the opening music… NICE!  Who picked that one?  Good taste! 😉


    the Tiki 

  58. @thefreakytiki – I always pick my entrance music.  😀

Leave a Comment