Pick of the Week Podcast

Pick of the Week #195 – X-Men Forever #4

Show Notes

We’re still a little worse for the wear after San Diego, but that doesn’t stop Ron from giggling over X-Men Forever #4 and surprisingly Josh, Conor and the iFanbase were okay with it. Glamourpuss on the other hand…

Running Time: 00:57:13

Pick of the Week:
00:02:20 – Ron is sorry for his Pick of X-Men Forever #4, well not really…

00:13:36 – There are 2 kinds of crazy, good and bad, and both are in Glamourpuss #8.
00:17:16 – J.H. Williams III is clearly a modern master, as evidenced by Detective Comics #855.
00:22:41 – Conor gets a breath of fresh air with Stuart Immonen and The New Avengers #55.
00:27:48 – Josh and Conor enjoyed the finale of Battlefields: Tankies #3.
00:30:17 – An example of how DC Comics can screw up a good thing: Superman #690.
00:32:55 – Ultimate Spider-Man Requiem #2 finally ends the Ultimatum event for Spider-Man.
00:34:26 – Josh still loves the current arc in Proof #22.
00:36:17 – Everyone has mixed feelings about Justice Society of America #29.

User Reviews:
00:38:45 – akamuu is dealing with inconsistency on Dark Reign Young Avengers #3.
00:41:14 – Tork is as happy to get Fear Agent #27 as we are.

00:45:59 – Andy from London wants to now why I Kill Giants was overlooked by the Eisners.
00:47:14 – Barrysoul is curious why we like comics and what brings us back to them every week (as well as loving Strangers in Paradise).

00:51:51 – Brett from Philadelphia, PA wants to read some Grant Morrison.

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  1. Ron’s apologizing like we caught him sleeping with our best friend

  2. bjork?  seriously?!?  O.o

  3. Excellent show, guys, Conor was in particularly creepy form with the whole “rosebud is a clitoris” mumbling thing…. I know it’s a Soprano’s reference but my skin still crawled! Kudos

    I would actually disagree with Josh about the lack of characterisation in Detective Comics 855.  If you look closely at Kate hallucinations you can see a little story unfolding. I think Kate was kidnapped as a child and her mother was killed; maybe by the kidnapper or maybe by the rescue team. This is Batwoman’s version deep seated childhood tragedy which motivates her character

  4. those pages towards the end of Ultimate Spider-Man Requiem #2 were from ultimate six and ultimate team up. 

  5. sounds like X men Forver was written in the 90s and nothing has been edited since then. 

  6. @edward: Not a SOPRANOS reference so much as a reference to history. But I agree with you about DETECTIVE; I think there was a lot of characterization in the latest issue.

  7. I think I figured it out: Claremont got over excited when he first got the x-men gig, and had some artist draw a bunch of pages with no clear idea of the plot, and now he decided to use them and he’s pasting panels together and writing long-ass word and thought baloons so you’ll know what the hell happens.

  8. Wuz that a real song at the end there?

    Oh yeah, what happened to all those great new Bat-books that just came back around like two months ago.  It seems like they all got canceled already or something.

  9. I think there’s a misconception here.  It’s not that X-Men Forever is incoherent.  It’s perfectly easy to follow, and not particularly badly crafted.  It’s just that everything the characters are doing or saying is completely insane. 

  10. I have to disagree with the idea that Detective had a lot of characterization in it, but I think any disagreement here has to do with how you understand the term "characterization". The issue revealed backstory–the stuff about Kate’s mother–but I don’t think information about "origin" is the same as "characterization". "Superman is an orphan from Krypton" says nothing about his characterization, because orphan aliens can have different personalities. Obviously, though, showing the way someone deals with, and is influenced by, their origin can be a strong way to eventually build a character. We finally know something about Kate’s origin, so now there’s an opportunity to flesh out her personality. As of yet, I just don’t think Kate’s heroism (which is apparently her response to her mother’s tragedy) has been particular or unique enough. And you can say that she’s a military brat, but what kind of soldier wears a long-haired wig? For me the pieces to her character don’t fit together yet a cohesive enough way. I enjoyed the issue overall, though, and look forward to learning more about the character as she’s slowly revealed.

    @Ron: I heard Paul Smith is illustrating the next X-Men Forever arc. I share your love of the "From the Ashes" storyline–in fact I actually like it way better than the Dark Phoenix Saga–but I’ve never really cared much for Paul Smith’s art since those days. The way Paul Smith drew in ’83-’84, though–that was my favorite comic art ever. I think the coloring had a lot to do with it, too.

    Good show, guys.

  11. thanks for the clarification Ohcaroline. You nailed it.  🙂

  12. And with that introduction Josh reminds me that I have the Sports Night 10th Anniversary Edition sitting on my shelf politely waiting for me to watch it all over again. 

  13. Bjork? There’s something you don’t hear everyday

  14. Man, X-Men Forever sounds hilarious (and I am very much a Tom Grummet fan) but $4 for a fortnightly comic? Not a chance.

    Anyway, cool show as always guys though I actually thought there were a few pretty excellent titles that came out this week. Detective, Madame Xanadu, Ultimate Spider-man Requiem and Wednesday Comics all spring to mind. JSA, sadly, does not. 

  15. i hear bjork everyday


    @flapjaxx: There’s no characterization in this issue except the origin which informs the character’s motivation?… that makes sense

  16. As for Barrysoul’s question: It’s a cheap and old way to create. Using drawings that can grab you instantly, there’s rarely a budget limitation, you don’t have to worry about moving actors from place to place – how they’ll walk or talk, you’re not dependent on good actors to portray your creations in a good way, you can create any sound you want to, you usually don’t have to worry about the screen size, you can use two types of narrators – the know all see all kind artists seem to use the most, and the narrator that’s a part of the story which is sometimes used in the text (prose seems to usually stick with one type rather than mix).

    There are some brilliant movies and animated movies, but the free reign you have to create on top of the ability to "publish" your creation everywhere, if you don’t mind using walls or school tables. The continuation of it -the newness due to the established consistent (usually) publishing schedule.

    The ability to portray with a single wordless panel an entire world –  showing a too-skinny character covered in a cheap blanket, next to the ruins of a home, and the background is a desert. The ability to transfer emotion so potently and with such a sudden punch.

    Go check out Sgt. Rock – The Prophecy #1 by Joe Kubert. The story is a bit cheesy, but the way the colors seem faded and how it intensifies the sudden bombing attacks where everything turns red and orange – the only colorful thing for miles, and how deadly and beautiful those sudden attacks look, the small and easy to miss planes that are constantly in the background (sky) of panels, the easy to miss ruins of the city that you skim through at first, but when you actually notice them it hits you like a ton of bricks – that people used to live there.

    Good to great stories are part of it of course, but you can’t overlook the almsot endless possibilities that you get just by adding art to words. Also it’s easier to get invested in and has the ability to hit you quicker and is harder to overlook than words. Political graffiti seemed to have perfected that simple image that says a lot and makes you think and shakes you. Another example are the one panel political cartoons in newspapers that comment on current events.

    Not to hijack the discussion, but here’s an example: http://kichka.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/papa-kichka-ahmadinejad-copy.jpg

  17. Glad to hear that the Battlefield stories will come out in a hardcover.  I’ll have to pick that up.

    I agree with Josh, this latest issue of Proof was damn fine reading.  The backup story isn’t really interesting to me at all, but the reast was good.  Also, I picked up The Stuff of Legend #1 and it was amazing.  If your store has it, pick it up.

  18. Are you guys okay with how Williams draws Kathy Kane out of costume?

    It was a bit of a coversation on the comics link and I was curious on how you feel about it. For me, I don’t understand why Kane looks like a bulimic circus preformer with too much eyeliner on. But that’s just me…

  19. Okay, a bulimic circus clown is a bit harsh on my part.

    She actually looks like she’s part of the Lolita fashion the Japanese are so crazy about.

  20. Avatar photo Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    She looks like a pale woman with red hair. Not sure what the eating disorder comments are about.  

  21. I didn’t expect the wig to come off so early in the series.  I wonder if she’ll stick with the shorter hair. 

    I still like the boots.

  22. Bat-characters don’t get a lot of sun, I suspect.  Also, I thought she looked a bit husky.  Maybe I should go back and re-read it.

  23. No mentions of Wednesday Comics? Maybe there isn’t much to say but I hope we get a midway update on it from the boys.

  24. I know people with eating disorders and Kathy Kane is drawn to look like one apparently.

  25. @TNC: ????

  26. Her name is Kate.   Also, she likes to step on people, hard.  Just saying.

  27. Well obviously I’m gonna drop the subject cause so many people are hostile about it.

    Not posting it for laughs or to get attention. Just stating how I see Williams drew the character. But of course it’s not the right opinion.


  28. Oh yeah Ron, but how would a 15 year old you react to this if this was in continuity and on the stands?

  29. 2 people didn’t agree with you.  I don’t see a note of hostility.  Take it down a notch there trooper.

  30. Sodam Yat cannot be dead!!!! He is alive in Legion of 3 worlds!!  And yes Josh, I have no life.  No hostility though, it’s comics.  

  31. Ok, this was one of the most hilarious podcasts you guys have done. Advice: don’t mention Xmen Forever for a few months. Then do a "iFanboy vs Xmen Forever" podcast. Pure win.

  32. Also, JSA felt like a golden age book with a mid-life crisis. The art was amazing, but the writing was horrid.

  33. oh yeah, ifanboy vs Xmen Forever seconded. for me, that’s the only good thing that’s come out of claremont’s obvious insanity.

  34. Haven’t listened yet, but thanks for the podcast, guys. Interested to hear the rundown of X-MEN FOREVER again, haha.

  35. @Gabe-I believe Senor Flanagan was talking to TNC. 

  36. Confirmed.  Not talking to Gabe.  As you were.

  37. Thanks to Ron’s review, I went back and picked up all 4 issues of X-Men Forever. Figure we could all use a little more silliness in our lives. Same reason I still read Loeb’s Hulk.

    Sometimes big, dumb action movies are the best medicine for what ails you.


  38. @Josh  Oh, good.  That makes me feel a lot better about myself.  


    Whats sad is there is no sarcasm in that statement.   

  39. Also, how many San Diego episodes shall their be?

  40. Just finished reading X-Men Forever, started w/ the Alpha One-Shot, and went all the way through until this issue in one sitting…

    What can I say? I was never bored, and I actually like that Wolverine’s dead in this alternate history/present. This is the X-Men I grew up with. Doesn’t mean it’s great material, but these issues seemed more focused with giving pure entertainment. No statements to be found here, just a guilty pleasure, like Keifer Sutherland’s "Desert Saints"–not particularly good, but entertaining.


  41. Aside from Detective Comics 855 and Thunderbolts 134 I was somewhat disappointed in last week. But oh well I only spent what, 6 bux? something like that so that was a nice change of pace. This week looks like another 7 book week so I might actually save some decent money for trades and boxes + bags/boards.

  42. Finally, you guys have fgured out the one element that will put you over the top as a comics podcast: Bjork! Thank you for playing the jet-lagged, paparazzi-attacking songstress.

  43. Just listened to the show — I had NO IDEA there would be a dramatic reading of italicized dialogue from ‘X-Men Forever’.  Best episode ever!

    On reflection, I think my main discontent with the X-Men Forever series is that the first issue was genuinely not bad. The style was dated but I could see what the story was going for and I thought the take on each character was interesting. Since then, it’s gotten progressively crazier and not (to me) in a fun way.  God bless those that like it but I’m out.  You know, after the end of the arc.  Unless there’s a really good cliffhanger — *sighs*

    Also, I second the praise for ‘New Avengers — I’ve never stopped enjoying it since SI, but the Immonen art is a nice shot in the arm.  And I agree that Detective had more going for it visually than in terms of character, but I trust Rucka has a plan and I’m waiting it out.

  44. @Ron I think the change in art style in Dective Comics isn’t from who has the upper hand in that fight.  I think it is because Batwoman is cut with the razor and she starts to hallucinate. I think the art reflects her hallucinating.

  45. Oh someone just burned you guys about your ‘cameo’ in Young Avengers!

    Starting @2:31


  46. Their envy is palpable.  Our guys haven’t had tequila on camera that’s true.  Or have we?

    Who knows? Do shots with Darwyn Cooke at 8:45 AM count?

  47. @josh: It counts for something….but probably more of a headache in the morning then anything else.

    Their ‘hatred’ for you guys continue a bit in the video. I don’t know, I just find it funny that these guys really want to start something with you but nothing comes from it. lol

  48. They’re just kidding. We know them.

  49. @TNC – I think they goof around with each other pretty often. I think they know each other.

  50. @josh: Oh I know, I just thought there would be a fake internet war or something out of this.

    If we can see you three battle them in a tequila shot contest. I’ll die happy.

  51. Well, Josh beat me to that. I must be getting slow in my old age.

  52. I love that there is a place in my life where I hear the phrase, "There’s an excellent ‘Skaboom’."

  53. And then you hear someone agree to that notion!

  54. Yeah ‘Skaboom’ is nice.

    But in Incredible Hercules #131 you get: ‘JAWCRACK’ ‘ZOMBOOW’, ‘SISY-POOF’, and who can forget:


  55. Is it wrong that I thought the baby in the second to last page of Proof looked really cute?  I mean, he had a sailor suit on!

  56. KRAKOOM doesn’t make sense.

  57. @chlop: Neither does BICHSLAPP, but I’m not complaining.

  58. It makes perfect sense. It sounds like a bitch slap. Krakoom sounds like a… cracked broom?

  59. The boys were asking who Jonas Harrow* from New Avengers was.

    *he is, among other things, the original "creator" of Hammerhead, as shown WAAAY BACK in ASM #114- Back-Issue BC.

  60. X-Men Forever is a great comic


  61. Josh called Hawkeye "Ronin" in this episode, on more than one occasion… how did no one notice that?

  62. @WonderAli: He also said ‘Ronin’ a bunch of times when we got into a bit of an argument.

    He’s totally in love with this new Clint Barton.

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