Pick of the Week Podcast

Pick of the Week #147 – Fear Agent #23

Show Notes

Josh Flanagan is back and the sexual innuendo is thick in this one.

Running Time:  00:58:25

Pick of the Week:
00:01:36 – Josh’s choice, Fear Agent #23, is a lesson in genre morphing and alcoholism.

00:15:26 – Was there perhaps too much Legion in Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #1?
00:19:20 – Captain America #41 was good. Again.
00:21:34 – Josh is surprised to find he liked Marvel 1985 #4.
00:23:41 – John Romita Jr. rocked Ron and Conor in The Amazing Spider-Man #568.
00:26:52 – Superman/Batman #51 brought the funny. And the super-babies.
00:28:48 – No one likes X-Factor #34, but everyone likes X-Factor: Layla Miller #1.
00:31:51 – Josh says there’s no “there” there in Air #1.
00:35:04 – Scalped #20 was a bit of a let down.
00:36:17 – Who is the man in the costume in Robin #177?!
00:36:52 – With Uncanny X-Men #501, Ron declares he hasn’t been this happy about Uncanny in over ten years!

User Reviews:
00:39:47 – TehDave says The Brave and The Bold #16 delivers pure fun.
00:41:15 – ultimatehoratio says there is no excuse to not have read Guardians of the Galaxy #4.

00:43:00 – Shaun from Lancaster, PA asks about prematurely canceled comics.
00:45:26 – Jason N. is confused about J. Michael Straczynski’s upcoming DC project.

00:48:37 – Andy from Charlotte, NC thinks he hates Grant Morrison’s writing.
00:51:27 – Dan from The Bronx, NY asks, in the wake of the Robert Kirkman video, which creators should do their own books?

“NYC – Gone, Gone”
Conor Oberst


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  1. we all know how much rob loves the x-men! 😉

  2. Who’s Rob?

  3. <legion fanboy>

    jim shooter is still writing legion, and is solicited for several upcoming issues. and that title has been overall very good for most of his run – lots of space action and well-written teenage interactions. the last issue had an awful fill-in artist, but francis manapul’s art on the book has been GREAT too.

    basically, the legion is teh awesome.

    </legion fanboy> 

  4. Rob?

    These are not the droids you’re looking for…

  5. i always get rob and hunter’s voices confused.

  6. I love it when I make the show.  It’s like a little piece of joy.  *Tear*

  7. I love Ron’s enthusiasm for ‘Uncanny X-men’ (Land notwithstanding).  And there may be a different tune in six months but, in fairness, if that’s happened before, it’s because Marvel has been pretty bad at following through on their premises in the X-books.  I feel like that might really be changing, but, well. . .ask me in six months.

  8. oh wow.

  9. Is it just me or are the prominent X-books plagued by controversial artists? I love Bianchi’s art, so I’ve no problems with Astonishing. However, you couldn’t PAY me to read Uncanny thanks to Greg Land’s "art."

  10. @J4K3  My theory is that Marvel knows that the X-books have an unusually loyal core audience that will buy them in spite of ‘controversial’ art, but it’s just a theory. 

  11. I think these artists are actually pretty popular with a whole other fanbase who don’t necessarily care about the same things many of the iFanbase care about.  They’re not gonna put artists who don’t sell on their top teir books. 

    Then again, I’m just guessing.

  12. On the Kirkman point:

     While I recognize his sincerity and admire his boldness in seeking to get the discussion started, I don’t think it is the lack of creator owned properties that is causing the industry to suffer. I believe instead that it is a more secure and stable environment for creators when they seek a balance between working for Marvel/DC and puting out creator owned material. Often the one supports and encourages the other. The real problem is lack of access. There really isn’t any cross promotion of comics and they are not placed with high traffic retailers. If a distribution deal was struck with the likes of Wal-mart or Target just think of the sales that would be possible. If books were included with displays of movies, toys, clothing and the like I don’t think we would be having this discussion about the long term health of comics. Comics quality-wise are at an all time high but they are suffering from a lack of accessability to the casual fan. A comic book display at the concession stand at the local movieplex would make money had over fist. (Talk about a mecca for impulse purchases!) In an era of cross marketing, the comics industry shows a lack of engagement and foresight in how to get the product to the customer.

  13. I like the cut of your business jib dough boy.

  14. The art for Air gives me a frank quietley fill in artist vibe.

    I know that comparions to rushdie and pynchon are pretty much an inevitable comparision  for any sort of "literary" work. It’s kinda like how if anything wacky happens in a comic it’s inevitably compared to morrision or gerber. If you do you that Pynchon & Rushdie comparison just on the basis of getting you hooked into the story, both pynchon & rushdie can hook you into a story with a single sentence. Wilson can’t with 30something pages Granted, both of those guys are pretty much the best novelists in the world, but if someone’s going to compare your story to them you better be able to bring it and she just didn’t. i’ll keep reading it for a while longer and i’ll hope that i’m just jumping the gun, but i really don’t think i am.

    To comment on Grant Morrison a little bit

    #1; He is my favorite writer period. Not just for comics, but all books. the invisibles, doom patrol and animal man are directly responsible for getting me back into comics and his run on New X-Men was what got me back into Superhero comics.

    #2: He is probably the most versitile writer in comics today. All Star Superman, Final Crisis & Batman R.I.P. are all radically different in tone yet are still morrison books. it gets even more mind-boggling if you throw all his creator owned projects into the mix as well. Hell, each volume of the invisibles is radically different from each other. I really believe that there is nothing that he can’t do.

    Something else i kinda wanna say is that no writer is really for everyone. i’m sure that there are plenty of people who dislike geoff johns and he’s the golden child of comics right now.


    bah. i need to shut up. 

  15. No shutting up for you.  Excellent points all.

  16. I have to check out All-Star Superman.  I hear nothing but good.

  17. Is ‘All-Star Superman’ supposed to go for a set number of issues?  It’s one of those things I’ve always intended to catch up on once the series is finished, but I’m not that keen on waiting in between issues. 


  18. @ohcaroline- I believe it ends with issue 12.  And if you want to catch up the first hardcover is out and I think a paperback is coming out soon.

  19. I thought Josh’s point about the lack of hook in Air as a reason not to continue with the series was a fair one. There seems to be a lot of comics that we need to ‘wait and see where it goes’, which means we have to keep buying issues. With prices where they are for single issues, there has to be more of a reason to come back than "maybe it’ll get good".  Countdown cured me of that style of thinking forever.

  20. Yeah, but there are some stories that do take some time to make their mark.  And Vertigo is a place where I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt sooner than I will with a superhero book.  (I know, I know).  I’ve made mistakes before like Scalped and Fables, where I bailed too early.  If I don’t like the tone of a book right off, I know it’s not for me, but if that’s not it, I’ll stick around a bit longer.

    But still, she better hook me soon. 

  21. I was a tad peeved that you said that Air had to grab you first issue otherwise you drop it. Because you had mentioned you’ll give G-Mo several issues grace. For me it’s the other way around. If someone is new at something they deserve a chance that the vet doesn’t. It’s like sportsy. Coach has high expectations of his star player so that if he doesn’t deliver one game he’ll give him heck. But a rookie usually needs a couple seasons to show what he’s made of.

    Meh. Different strokes.

  22. Re: series that ended prematurely:

    -Gaiman and Buckingham on Miracleman (cf. my avatar). You know issue #25 was about halfway complete. You can find scraps from that unpublished comic online.


  23. Superman/Batman sounds a bit like X-Babies redux, but then again I LIKE the X-Babies, so I might have to give that a shot.

    I agree completely on all things X-Factor – it’s been so weak for so long, but the Layla special gives me hope.

    (Great answer on the Grant Morrison question, too – I’m one of those people who tends to get caught up in frustration regarding what I "should" like versus what I actually do, and it’s always nice to be reminded that variety of opinions is the spice of life.)

  24. @ohcaroline

    Yeah, I would use that word because a lot of people have had a lot of bad things to say about the artists on the x-books. But maybe that’s just me.

  25. @JumpingJupiter – He just have different philosophies. I give someone with a track record more of a benefit of the doubt than someone with no track record.  Actually, now that I think about it, that’s how it is in sports too.  Well, in baseball at least.

  26. Avatar photo PymSlap (@alaska_nebraska) says:

    ugh. thats my least favorite song on conor oberst’s 2008 thing. Lenders in the Temple, baby.

    funny show this week. really liked the bit on supes’ legion ring. well, its invisible. LOL

  27. @Conor: Baseball? That’s the problem right there. Hockey’s the way to go.

  28. I’m glad they mentioned Joe Casey’s work on WildCats, the book was great and ended prematurely because certain people, Jim Lee, felt the need to re-start the line…again.  And to that end he released a number one issue and nothing since.  That is why he has earned my contempt, instead of letting Casey finish his story, he had to force his way back onto the book and for what? One lousy issue then he let it die as he went on to pimp his next projects.

  29. @flapjaxx – Miracleman was the first thing that came to mind when talking about prematurely ended runs.  Also Alan Moore’s run on Youngblood.  Another one of note was Micah Ian Wright’s run on Stormwatch that ended when it came to light he lied about military service and his final issue was never published.  Never liked that book myself.

     @JumpingJupiter – What’s hockey?

  30. "What’s hockey?"

    You know beer? Well, hockey’s not as good as that. But almost.

  31. There are places in the South that sell tickets to this "hockey" thing that you speak of but I don’t know anyone who’s ever actually seen it.  Now beer we’ve heard of.

  32. Hearing all this praise for Fear Agent makes me want to try it out again. I bought the first 7-8 issues when it initally came out at Image and I enjoyed it. I guess I dropped the title due to money. It’d be worth pulling out those issues and rereading them and then maybe tracking down a trade or two to see if it can pull me back in.

  33. I would say that if you liked it then, you’ll like it now, but if you didn’t really like it, it hasn’t changed all that much, and you probably still wouldn’t.

    But hell yeah give it a re-read and see how you feel.

  34. I’m with Andy on the Morrison thing, & I thought the "modern art" comparrison was awesome. His writing a lot of the time to me seems like an abstract painting, where other people will look at it & say how it’s a work of genius & I just see random lines & colours.

    I don’t hate his work, it’s just that right now I’m forced (not literally of course) to read more of his stuff than I’d like. I’m a huge Batman fan so I can’t miss an issue no matter who writes it & all the huge DC events I read no matter who writes them.

    I picked up All Star Superman because everyone says it’s so awesome, & I just don’t see the same things everyone else does, people saying it’s the best comic on the stands, the best Superman in years & all of that — to me it’s just another comic book. It makes me wonder how many people are sheep & wanna agree with the "experts" in saying how awesome certain things are.

    I guess me & Andy are just in the minorty here, in the taste department.

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