Pick of the Week Podcast

Pick of the Week #653 – Action Comics #1003

Show Notes

We haven’t had a show with this many diversions in a long time, but this week, amidst all of the comic book talk, there’s time for excursions into Magnum P.I., Matthew Goode, Teen Titans Go To The Movies, Eddie Vedder, and way more talk about the Gin Blossoms than anyone was prepared for.

Running Time: 01:07:10

Pick of the Week:
00:01:08 – Action Comics #1003

00:08:55 – Heroes in Crisis #1
00:16:33 – Doomsday Clock #7
00:20:49 – Old Man Hawkeye #9
00:22:42 – The Amazing Spider-Man #6
00:29:20 – Justice League Odyssey #1
00:33:24 – Shanghai Red #4
00:35:01 – The Sentry #4

Patron Pick:
00:36:54 – Man-Eaters #1

Patron Thanks:
00:45:04 – Mike G.
00:46:38 – T. Scott Benefield
00:52:20 – John Fitter
00:53:22 – Jason Grigsby

Audience Question:
00:54:46 – Craig L. from Michigan misses thought bubbles.
00:58:09 – Davin P. has a response to the discussion in episode 650 about naming your kids after comic book characters.

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“Until I Fall Away”
Gin Blossoms


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  1. Q:
    PTSD, Trauma, Suicide.
    PTSD, Trauma, Suicide.
    PTSD, Trauma, Suicide.

    Tom King’s Oeuvre.

    You don’t want all your books like this? How about ALL your Tom King books?

    It feels a ‘little like Identity Crisis” A little??

    Let’s use some of those years of comic book critique experience to take an honest look at King’s work.

    Not everything he does is great.

    This issue was- just insufferable. I’m definitely not the only person feeling that.

    Clay Mann is amazing.

    Josh gets so close to almost admitting that something King didn’t work but then always pulls back.

    You needing to talk to Conor on a podcast in order to make this work- means it actually doesn’t work.

  2. If these deaths actually stick, then that would be a huge mistake. Wally’s death would make me feel that Rebirth is pointless. There was also a dead Green Lantern where you see the symbol under Superman’s armpit which means the crime should have been recorded and the ring should have left the body. It’s either Kyle or Guy who is dead which would be a big deal too if Tom King didn’t think that through. I think Tom King writes Booster Gold incredibly poorly especially compared to Tom Taylor with Injustice 2 where that was Booster. The fact that Booster said it was awesome in the alternate reality when Hal killed himself was wrong. He would never say that and would have been disturbed right away by seeing that. The dynamic between Ted and Booster was fantastic where their deaths were heartfelt and impactful.

    I am genuinely surprised that both of you didn’t bring up the beginning of Doomsday Clock #7 with Doctor Manhattan killing Alan Scott which was one of the big changes. I didn’t believe that was Ramos since the style was so different, but it was a really good issue and I loved the trivia section. I think Chip Zdarsky would go overboard with jokes at times in his Spider-Man run, but his final issue with Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #310 (what a long title) was great.

    I don’t like Snyder’s Justice League run and feel that it is way too reliant on his concepts from Metal. The Batman Who Laughs being brought in makes it worse for me and I already like Justice League Dark and Justice League Odyssey more than the main Justice League comic. Darkseid worked in Odyssey, but I just wish that what happened in Mister Miracle actually happened with the right looks for those characters.

    • “I am genuinely surprised that both of you didn’t bring up the beginning of Doomsday Clock #7 with Doctor Manhattan killing Alan Scott which was one of the big changes.”

      If I had any idea of what DOOMSDAY CLOCK *means* or what it even *is* then story beats like that might be shocking. But I honestly don’t have any idea what it is or what it is supposed to be or if anything that happens in it is relevant to the wider DCU so until then I’m mostly reading it to enjoy the craft.

    • That’s fair since this was the first issue where something actually happened in Doomsday Clock and it’s been paced very poorly. I do agree with Fhiz from Gotham Spoilers where Doomsday Clock ultimately doesn’t mean much and won’t really have changes that mean anything. It has just taken way too long and a reveal like that was cool in the context of something interesting happening in the series, but probably doesn’t really matter. It seems like a lot of effort in order to get the JSA and Legion of Super Heroes back. It seems like no one cares about Doomsday Clock that much and it just feels so separate from everything that is goin on right now.

  3. Conor makes a great point about not yet knowing what Doomsday Clock means, and how that makes it tough to render an opinion of it until it’s done. A lot of these current comic book minis and events are like that, especially when they are honestly written for trade while first being released to us piecemeal, slowly, over 6-12 weeks per issue, when many of us have forgotten much of what’s already happened in the title. Throw in story points like unreliable narrators, the effect of PTSD on characters, and the involvement of characters like Psycho Pirate or an antilife-equation-wielding Darkseid… and it’s just really tough to accept that any beat in any of these comics will have enough lasting traction to warrant our emotional investment. When Barry Allen died in COIE, it was like a real person died. Seeing dead Wally and dead Roy in Heroes in Crisis, to me, was like seeing friends napping. I’m not saying that title isn’t interesting for me; it is. I’m definitely in. But I dunno, it’s just… I know I don’t know what it means yet.

    • “When Barry Allen died in COIE, it was like a real person died. Seeing dead Wally and dead Roy in Heroes in Crisis, to me, was like seeing friends napping.”


    • I reread 1-6 a couple weeks before 7 came out and it made a lot of sense. The present-day (actually DCU future) story all takes place in the span of a day or two so the pacing is strange, and the back matter has a lot of info that helps hold the main plot together.

      It’s hard for me to pick up on all of the references from DCUs of old, and am surprised that Conor doesn’t like it more for that alone, it’s like a DCU encyclopedia that Geoff Johns is turning into a Dr. Manhattan story. I feel like there are implications yet unrevealed but it’s going to be awhile before we see them.

      I really like it and find it fun (if not laborious at times) to read and figure out. It’s not really Watchmen and I like that.

      There are also a few cool annotations online for each of the issues that helps a guy like me out.

  4. Did Freedom Fighters: The Ray sneak up like a Eminem album or did we know? I had not heard about it at all. Just me?

    Brain Trust getting together?

    • We have no plans to cover any of those Seed shows.

    • Ah, yes i see after watching this. I was not aware of the Seed thing. This started well i thought.

      I didn’t know about the link to the tv shows and thought they had snuck out a regular DC animation. Look forward to the next official coming together of the ABT.

  5. Some great discussion as ever. I don’t quite get the ‘don’t know what Doomsday Clock is’ business. You know it’s a sequel of sorts to Watchmen with characters visiting the present day DC Universe, explaining why Dr Manhattan stole a decade of time from the heroes’ lives. You know that! Given that neither of you chaps like to read advance solicitation and articles you’re never going to know more than what’s on the page, so what’s the problem?

    I’ve never heard of the Gin Blossoms and life was just fine. Should you ever find yourself in a similar position of diverting towards obscure pop, catch yourself, make a note that this would be GREAT for the end of year show, and move on… please God, just move on.

    Extra points to Josh for imaginative powers!

    • “You know it’s a sequel of sorts to Watchmen with characters visiting the present day DC Universe, explaining why Dr Manhattan stole a decade of time from the heroes’ lives. You know that! ”

      Actually, I don’t. I see no evidence of this affecting the wider DCU at all yet. Maybe it will all make sense when it’s over.

  6. PS: ‘A toy chest of fun in every can!’

    See, some of us can quote Play-Doh.

  7. I can get that Man-Eaters is probably not for everyone, but what marks it and Mockingbird as being really remarkable for me is that so many writers come from outside comics and they take a while to get used to the format. They’re overly wordy or the pacing is weird etc etc. But Cain is able to take a medium that she’s relatively a novice in and act like she’s been doing it for years. Infographics, visual humor. I totally don’t want to come across as negative towards Josh and Conor’s review of it, I get that it doesn’t suit their sensibilities (and it’s not like they were bashing it), but I really do think Cain is someone to watch. Assuming she stays in the medium of comics, eventually, someone is either going to give her a book or she’ll start her own that will click with a larger audience and really get the industry’s attention.

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