Pick of the Week Podcast

Pick of the Week #307 – Uncanny X-Men #544

Show Notes

Still recovering from the New York Comic Con, we get back to a semblance of normalcy as the streak of consecutive picks of the week by DC Comics is broken by Ron and his love for all things X-Men and Marvel. It was bound to happen sooner or later. Deal with it.

Running Time: 01:06:44

Pick of the Week:
00:01:43 – With mixed emotions, Ron chooses Uncanny X-Men #544, the final issue of the first volume of the title as pick of the week

00:12:24 – Conor is perplexed as to why Ron is reading Batman #2, but it’s just so good that Ron can’t deny it.
00:17:20 – Last man standing, Ron has finally had enough after Fear Itself #7 and how shockingly awful it was.
00:26:45 – Mixed comments about Justice League #2.
00:29:51 – Conor’s clear Pick of the Week was Catwoman #2. Sexy time!
00:33:49 – Ron’s favorite new series of 2011 is back with a strong second issue with Near Death #2.
00:35:34 – Talk about a tease, The Avengers #19 didn’t give us a new team lineup despite the cover saying it would!
00:37:15 – The insanity of Batman: Odyssey #1 is back and Ron is loving it.
00:39:06 – Wonder Woman #2 continues to deliver the goods for Josh.
00:41:13 – But man, Josh can’t get enough of B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth – Russia #2.
00:42:50 – A strong first issue from Xenoholics #1.
00:43:53 – Conor marvels at the opening pages of Wolverine #17.

User Reviews:
00:44:57 – The Top 5 Community Picks of the Week.
00:45:48 – grassman is a big fan of what’s going on in Nightwing #2.
00:46:49 – kingdomofevan has had enough of hammers with Fear Itself: The Fearless #1.

Book of the Month:
00:48:54 – Comics greatness is observed by Ron with Love And Rockets: New Stores #4

00:56:45 – Nathan from Albuquerque, NM is curious if now is a good time to bail?.

Brought to You By:
Graphicly – Over 5,000 digital comics for you to enjoy on the web, your phone or tablet! Now with Image Comics!

“Under Your Spell”


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  1. Love that song so much. The soundtrack for that movie is AWESOME.

  2. Well that’s a pretty strong thing to say.

    Just cause someone doesn’t like how Uncanny is going from one volume to the next with absolutely no difference doesn’t mean they aren’t emotionally invested.

    To say that to any die hard X-fan would be pretty dumb.

  3. I have the first two hardcover BPRDs that Dark Horse put out recently, and I am hooked. I am assuming/hoping all of this stuff makes it into the hardcovers eventually, but maybe I’ll just start buying the “minis” too.

  4. DRIVE!!!!!

  5. The sarcasm in my user review was absolutely intentional, Josh, and you delivered it perfectly.

  6. For some reason, in my Firefox browser, the player is just a grey box with an x in it. I can still direct download the show though.

  7. forrestlee (@leeoftheforrest) says:

    I think I’d disagree that the Marvel Universe is now broken because of Fear Itself… Don’t get me wrong, Fear Itself was absolutely dreadfully awful, but we are moving into some really exciting places now.

    Everything Jason Aaron and Rick Remender are touching looks great, and Hickman’s work talks for itself. Not to mention we’re getting some potentially cool (albeit rehashed) ideas from Bendis’ Avengers books, with the HAMMER War. And, I know not everyone agrees, but I am quite looking forward to Fraction’s Defenders book, and him bringing back classic villains in Invincible Iron Man has me interested.

    I read somewhere that Fear Itself started as a small crossover between Thor and Captain America, and if that’s true it definitely shows. Fear Itself failed as an event because it seems like too little material spread out over too many issues and books. Good thing is that I doubt we’re gonna see huge implications from the series after the Fearless and Battle Scars finish up, sans any new characters they add to the universe in those books. Not like we did with Civil War, or even Secret Invasion/Dark Reign.

    It’s an exciting time to be a Marvel fan. Just don’t read Fear Itself.

  8. hmm, I didn’t interpret the 1st of Catwoman #2 as being the morning after. It simply continues the last scene of issue #1. Otherwise, agreed! 😀

  9. Really well done episode, from the song to the fond farewell to X-men and the angry farewell to Fear Itself and the sad-but-temporary-and-for-good-cause farewell to Tom’s column, everyone just totally on point. I don’t know if it was just good editing…but everything came together for an especially nice podcast.

  10. great show guys, thanks.

  11. I’m supprised Ron didn’t love Justice League. I thought the Flash totally stole the show when he appeared. I’m not even a big Flash fan and I thought he was awesome.

  12. I’m not usually much of a moon-landing-denier, but I feel a hint of DC-ness in some of these Marvel books. The Serpent in Fear Itself felt a little Darkseid/Anti-Life Final Crisis-like, the whole hammers/rings thing, the Fearless weekly follow-up sounds a little Brightest Day-ish, Uncanny #1 maybe a little New 52-y. Happenstance and circumstance I’m sure.

    Also, I think the Juggernaut on the Fearless cover is ok… From what I can gather from Fear Itself 7 and the recent preview of Fearless right here on iF is that it takes place afterwards and all the Hammery folks turned back to normal looking.

    A final chapter of an event doesn’t get a sniff in POTW voting? Telling and sad.

  13. Great show guys. I hate being that guy, but it’s pronounced hip-PAUL-ih-ta.

  14. Hey now, Fraction and Brubaker might not have had the best runs, but let’s not get hasty and lump them in with Austin.

  15. I for one have avoided anything from Marvel with a Fear Itself banner. Avengers Academy and Thunderbolts I ended up dropping and planning on picked up later after the event. There were also other books that I may have picked up but didn’t even notice because of the giant Fear Itself banner stuff like The Deep, Hulk vs Dracula and Alpha Flight. I was slightly interested in those books when they were announced and completely forgot about them as they got lost in the event.

  16. Holy Hell. In regards to your Fear Itself reacation: Dramatic Much? Take a deep breath fanboys.

  17. I used to be a very big Xmen fan back in the 80’s when there was only 1 X-men title through the early 90’s where there were probably 5-7 or so X related titles. I’ve been wanting to get back into X-men, but I just CAN’T. In December Previews there were 17 different X related books.

    I went to the X-men panel at NYCC and I wound up leaving half way because of all of the different titles. It just didn’t make any sense to me. Its WAY too much to follow.

    I read the final issue of Uncanny, but I just couldn’t care. Mr. Sinister is one of my favorite Marvel villains, and even he couldn’t make me interested in what was going on. I really wish the X universe was much smaller again 🙁

    • You don’t have to read them all.

    • Conor yeah I know, but jumping back on righ tnow seems really really hard. Especially from what I’ve seen from NYCC. It seems like I’d probably have to read at least 5-10 of them just to truly understand whats going on. While that December previews also had 15 different Bat related titles, I know I can read several of them without feeling that they relate all that much.

      I just want to desperately get back in touch with the characters that I used to love, but this doesn’t feel like a good jumping on point because there is way too much happening. The X books right now from an outsiders perspective feel like there is a constant event running through them and I’m waiting for all of that to end so I can get back on board.

  18. I loved Ron’s comments on Fear Itself: The Fearless Fear of Fearing Feardom.

  19. Fear Itself was indeed a mess.

    Outside of Immonen’s awesome art, this was an annoying and meaningless story. Hard to believe this was a Fraction story.

    I never felt the FEAR that was promised. Why was this event more “fearful” than any other? I’m still not sure. There was a lot of talk about the fear being overwhelming, but I never saw it or felt it.

    I do think interesting stories are coming fro marvel in the immediate future including Fraction’s Defenders, but this story blew.

    • When i first saw the teasers i just assumed Fear Itself would have been about how all the Marvel Characters and teams…maybe even that entire world living through their deepest darkest, waking nightmares. That would have been fun to see that journey play out. I dropped it after issue 2, but i don’t think i missed a whole lot.

  20. I’m glad you guys addressed that voicemail. I always come to moments where I want to drop comics all together. I was going to use “post-reboot” as an excuse. But I can’t, I just love comics too much to do so. Every time there is a slip in quality, I just drop whatever book it is and find something new to follow. There is SOOO MUCH published today. If you are a true comics fan how are you not able to find something you like?!?

    p.s. Nice call on the Desire song. They’re a good band.

  21. It was nice to hear Ron echo my current sentiments of “i’m just buying to many comics right now..i need to cut back”. Thats how i feel. Too many books, shipping too often. its just overwhelming where its affecting my enjoyment.

    As always, fun show…

  22. Somewhere, a sad Cullen Bunn is wishing he’d never signed on to script The Fearless.

    I know it got a bad reader review, and Ron said it was complete shit… but honestly, putting aside hammer time and all that, I thought The Fearless was pretty good. It’s got a tight focus on just the two characters, with a good artist on each perspective so it’s not all jarbled. I also have a soft spot for a well written/drawn Crossbones, so that helped it.

  23. Surely the lack of buzz about Fear Itself has to do with the way DC has totally dominated the conversation the past few months. And hey, hats off to them, they’re doing their marketing job well. But I don’t think it’s entirely a referendum on Marvel’s quality. I never read past issue 1 of Fear Itself, but it didn’t have a huge effect on other Marvel books I was reading — the few that had tie-ins were the sort that could have related to any event ; Thunderbolts and Avengers Academy, for instance, didn’t derail their story for the event but used the event to move the story along. And plenty of other books — the new Daredevil and Punisher, Captain America and Bucky, and most of the X-books — just kept clipping along. No question FI fell flat as an event, but I don’t think it’s as simple as ‘it tanked and took the rest of Marvel with it.’

  24. Thank you so much for your confusion about Fear Itself. I haven’t been reading it fully but while my brother is away at basic training I’ve been picking up issues for him, and peaking in here and there. It’s been fun but it’s got me lost.

  25. I’m a little hurt by Josh’s image of me. I mean, yeah, I’m the guy to come to for primo-weed, and, no, I don’t live in Denver anymore. But, to say I live in Springfield Mass?, that hurts. I live in my van down by the river.

  26. the way Ron described Fear Itself, is how I felt about Final Crisis (that’s the Grant Morison one right?) it sounds almost like a direct copy of the way it was written, idk, I didn’t read Fear Itself, I tried to read Final Crisis in trade but couldn’t quite get through it. just from hearing conversations about it, it seems it’s like when someone tries to do a story like how Quentin Tarantino did Pulp Fiction but they aren’t QT so it doesn’t work. So I’m probably woefully misinformed but neither one of those stories (FC or FI) had a tone or plot structure that agreed with me at all.

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