Pick of the Week Podcast

Pick of the Week #663 – Martian Manhunter #1

Show Notes

It’s the final show of the year and it’s a long one! With much consternation, Josh Flanagan and Conor Kilpatrick discuss the week’s comics. But that’s not all! Conor goes through some extended “state of DC” therapy while Josh goes down cartoon memory lane! All this and the gain on Conor’s mic was set too high which is the perfect send-off for a year full of dumb technical glitches!

Running Time: 01:21:59

Pick of the Week:
00:02:20 – Martian Manhunter #1

00:13:43 – Doomsday Clock #8
00:21:45 – Shazam! #1
00:26:00 – Prodigy #1
00:28:59 – Marvel Knights: 20th #3
00:34:23 – The Green Lantern #2
00:37:05 – The Last Siege #7
00:38:58 – Winter Soldier #1
00:41:08 – Namor: The Best Defense #1
00:42:56 – The Merry X-Men Holiday Special #1

Star Wars Corner:
00:44:46 – Star Wars #58

Patron Pick:
00:47:14 – DIE #1

Patron Thanks:
00:56:14 – Isaac Person
00:58:17 – KJ Eldridge
00:59:36 – Colin Adams
01:00:36 – Peter Shevenell

Picks of the Week – By The Numbers:
01:02:05 – Conor breaks out his spreadsheets to run down the stats on this year’s Picks.

Audience Question:
01:08:32 – Dan from Baltimore, MD is looking for comic book criticism resources.

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  1. Nice show dudes! I was a little scared when I read “last pick of the week for the year!”, but those fears were put to rest by the end of the show today. Glad you’ll be giving me something to listen to Sunday mornings for the next 3 weeks! The iFanboy podcast is part of my Sunday morning routine: cook breakfast, drink coffee, throw on a record on the turntable, listen to Conor and Josh talk about comics.

    Loved Doomsday Clock and Green Lantern this week but I’m curious what you guys thought about Batman #60?

  2. I’m genuinely shocked that Batman #60 wasn’t discussed in depth. That’s just very strange to me especially with that cliffhanger and I felt it was a great issue with fantastic art.

    • They’ve talked about the majority of Tom King’s Batman so far, usually at some point saying something along the lines of, “What else is there more to say about this book?” Issue #60 was probably similar. It was good, I agree, but there probably wasn’t as much to say about it as the books they did discuss this week.

    • Yeah, there wasn’t much to say about it this week. It was good but nothing really stood out.

  3. In terms of comics criticism, I would highly recommend Douglas Wolk’s READING COMICS. It addresses a lot of issues related to comics criticism vs book criticism vs film criticism in a way that’s both complex and readable. And the second half of the book are specific takes on a range of good to great comics in an attempt to show how to distinguish one from the other, and what different approaches one can take when explaining what makes a comic “work.”

  4. Thanks for another year of awesome POTW shows guys. Great show as always.

    I have been loving Doomsday Clock, specifically because it’s such a strange beast. I haven’t read this issue yet but I’m sure I’ll feel about it exactly the same as I have about the rest of it. First, I’m absolutely with you on the matter of this series clearly being Johns’ vision for the future of the DCU that will probably be treated as an Elseworlds project because of the way the power structure at DC has shifted, As a piece of work, though, it’s fascinating and incredibly compelling.

    Even when I haven’t liked the stories he’s told or his characterization (you know me and my feelings on Flash: Rebirth), I’ve always thought that Geoff Johns was one of the best craftsmen in the business. He has outdone himself here, though, working on levels that I never would have imagined he was capable of: taking on Watchmen and actually capturing at least some of Moore’s peerless craft for his own story. I’m starting to think there’s something to those nine-panel grids…

    What’s interesting, though, is that even with the exceptional writing in terms of plotting, characterization and even dialogue (not something for which Johns is generally known) and non-more-incredible art, there’s still a sort of shallowness to this story that means it doesn’t quite reach the levels of Watchmen or King’s Mister Miracle. This is true of Johns’ work, in general, I think. He’s the ultimate fanboy writer who generally has an impressive understanding of the DCU and its characters (Barry Allen aside) and armed with real writing chops, he can do this sort of fictional-universe-defining stuff better than almost anyone. What he doesn’t do is put much of himself into his work; he has seldom done creator-owned comics and most of his superhero work doesn’t feel like it has much to say about anything beyond the characters and stories themselves. He’s the very opposite of someone like Tom King, basically.

    At least that’s how I read it. Either way, it’s ironic that Doomsday Clock so perfectly encapsulates Johns’ strengths and weaknesses when, on the surface, it’s such a departure for him!

    The reason I say this is interesting, incidentally, is because none of this changes how much I have been loving this series. I look forward to new issues of this about as much as I look(ed) forward to new issues of Mister Miracle and Lazarus. And it’s really nice to say that about a Geoff Johns book again.

    As for your audience question, as someone who has been paid to write film reviews for the better part of a decade and who still feels like I’ve only just begun to learn the craft, my best advice pretty much mirror’s yours: read a lot of comics; read a lot of reviews (of all sorts of media but especially comics, obviously) and, most importantly, just keep writing those reviews/long-form criticism. Like any form of writing, practice may not make “perfect” but it certainly does make “better”. Learning about the craft of comics is essential but you can probably get that as much from reading different kinds of comics (I love superhero comics but don’t limit yourselves to them) as from books specifically dedicated to dissecting the craft. Though, of course, that said, McCloud’s Understanding Comics is a must-read – but then, it’s a must-read for all comics fans.

    Thanks to Chadwpost, though, for that recommendation. Reading Comics sounds like a fascinating read.

  5. I don’t know why I didn’t like Martian Manhunter #1. I think the scenes on Mars were very jarring to me because I had no idea what was going on. The only other Martian Manhunter stories I’ve read were the recent creepy one with a slender hat-wearing villain (cant remember the name) and the New Frontier story by Darwyne… so I don’t have much context with J’ohn J’onzz. I didn’t really LOVE DeathBed which was my last experience with Rossmo so maybe that left a bad taste for me.

    Green Lantern (who I also have little familiarity with) has been great so far! Like Josh I am not a huge fan of writing phonetically. I could barely understand the volcano-head character although i appreciate the creativity.

    As for Doomsday Clock, it looks great and sounds… about right, I just have no idea what it is supposed to be. Maybe I need to re-read it all again so I can follow it. I’m lost.

    Great show guys and thanks for all that you do! This show brings joy to my life every single week. I genuinely appreciate it.

  6. I would be reading those star wars books if not for the art. I’m totally along for the ride with the new continuity. I’ve made my peace with it not being this sacred thing from my childhood. I’m more excited to just see something new or entertaining in that universe.

    I could even get passed the art being super photo reference-y if not for the faces as Josh pointed out. It’s always the faces. It totally takes me out of it.

  7. Doomsday Clock is the most interesting mainstream comic in awhile. It seems like there are real stakes. Gary Frank’s art is my favorite for DC. That being said the delay is unacceptable. Gary Frank on twitter got testy about it recently. Your explanation about the DC internal war probably explains it. As for Shazam I liked it but I am not a fan of the whole family being Shazam powered. It will probably turn me off the book if it is too focused for a younger audience.

    • To be clear I don’t think that the internal stuff is delaying this book. I mean, it’s possible that it has delayed the scripts but Gary Frank has always been really slow. He’s worth it, though. I’d rather he draw this whole story than have fill-in artists. Especially since DOOMSDAY CLOCK seems to have no effect on the wider DCU.

    • Frank’s art is worth it and I definitely don’t want fill in artists as it will totally break the flow. But if it is the case he is just slow than that is unacceptable. I thought he was a slow artist but he hasn’t done a series in awhile. They should of had a number of issues ready to go before releasing the series. It’s unprofessional. This just might be in my head but it seems DC has a problem with delays exponentially more than Marvel.

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