Pick of the Week Podcast

Pick of the Week #720 – John Constantine: Hellblazer #4

Show Notes

It’s hot! In February! Oh boy, here we go! On this week’s show, Conor Kilpatrick loses his faculties in the winter (!) heat, while (not a) Dr. Ryan Haupt steps in for a mysteriously missing Josh Flanagan to discuss this week’s comic books, the properties of various gemstones, and COVID-19.

Running Time: 01:05:45

00:01:30 – Ryan’s COVID-19 Prevention Tips

Pick of the Week:
00:02:11 – John Constantine: Hellblazer #4

00:09:44 – Batman/Superman #7
00:11:46 – X-Men #7
00:17:42 – X-Men/Fantastic Four #2
00:21:48 – Falcon and Winter Soldier #1
00:26:30 – Amethyst #1
00:30:19 – Leviathan Dawn #1
00:32:48 – Action Comics #1020
00:36:29 – Tomorrow #1

Patron Pick:
00:42:29 – Fantastic Four: Grimm Noir #1

Patron Thanks:
00:47:31 – Tommy Newton
00:48:39 – Michael Escobedo
00:50:27 – David Caswell
00:51:38 – JJ Orta

Audience Question:
00:53:00 – Dallas T. needs the iFanboys to make a decision for him.

Please consider voting for Bill Sienkiewicz: Revolution, Vol. 1 for Best Collection in the Tripwire Awards!

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  1. Bendis hit a wall with his comics a while ago other than Batman Universe and Event Leviathan was just a big set up where it was a waste of time. The Manhunter reveal and then Event Leviathan just ending with no resolution was frankly unacceptable. The Perpetua story wasn’t finished with the end of Scott Snyder’s Justice League run either and the follow ups are Hell Arisen and then Death Metal. When the Justice League loses in #39 and it says to be continued in Hell Arisen, I feel like that was clear with that story. The teases of a Metal sequel with images made that obvious as well. Snyder and Bendis have wasted a lot of people’s time lately with the end of Event Leviathan and Justice League. I’m not sure if Bendis knows that much about Checkmate honestly by creating this new version. I was never as high on his DC work as you guys other than Batman Universe being great, but he has not given me a reason along with Snyder to keep up with what they’re doing.

    • I am underwhelmed by Bendis’ work in DC so far.
      It’s good – it’s fine.
      The Superman reveal is writer’s ego tring to make their Mark!
      And hey- it’s great if the guys here are over celebrating his DC run and also truly enjoying it.
      One the duo has a long history of proclaiming his opinion as a kind of fact.
      After all it took years for him to let go of the POW as being “The Best Comic of the Week”
      Rather than his favorite.
      Point being Bendis’ ‘revival’ and the relevancy of his DC work is subjective.
      And this viewer- Viewer is debatable- isn’t stoked.

    • Bendis said on a podcast that he felt he needed to change the status quo and make an impression with his run. Superman #18 got 20,000 extra issues shipped, but that was just roughly 66,000 issues total shipped. Superman with the issues shipped is just back to where it was at the end of the Tomasi and Gleason run in the 40,000 to 45,000 range. Action Comics has really dropped and finally had under 30,000 issues shipped in January after being between 30,000 and 35,000. Depending on how much Bendis costs, it doesn’t seem like the best investment at this point. When Venom and The Immortal Hulk still out sell Superman, that’s a problem. The Immortal Hulk has taken a big decline though with consistently doing 80,000 issues shipped and is now above 40,000 so it is barely above Superman. It just doesn’t seem worth it for DC to have Bendis if his name doesn’t get that bump like DC was probably expecting. Action Comics getting that low is not good at all.

  2. Always nice to have Ryan Haupt on the show.

  3. As I’m sure others may have pointed out by now, D’Spayre is a back-catalog villain from the original Man-Thing series. He popped up again as a regular Cloak and Dagger villain as well as some scattered appearances here and there. Made for a great villain,here! Way to go Patrons on a great pick!

  4. I keep hearing the “They’re bad guys” refrain trotted out in regards to the X-Men books here which I feel is… wrong? Like, really wrong. Watch a long-oppressed minority rise up and extricate themselves from an endless cycle of violence and just labeling them bad guys feels… gross. There’s certainly discomfort to be had here, and a whole issue contemplating a mutant religion and depicting a ritualistic suicide and rebirth definitely gets that across, but just declaring “they’re bad guys” feels like it sucks away all the nuance that is being woven into these series right now.

    • Agreed. Something that was said on the podcast this past week stuck with me though. Can’t recall the exact phrasing, but centered on the idea of the X-Men as something that isn’t human. I’ve been thinking about how this new approach fully embraces that – they no longer live as humans, they don’t worship as humans do, or have relationships like humans. They don’t even live and die like humans. And they want to live their way of life. The old approach wasn’t coexistence. It was assimilation. This is a genuine attempt to coexist but as a new species rather than pretending to be the old one.

      But, most of the books are still falling flat for me. As usual with Hickman’s stuff, I love the idea but it’s not entertaining.

  5. Had I known before this podcast that John Constantine is bi, I’d have tried reading this Hellblazer (and other Hellsblazer) long ago! Way to bury the lede, JOSH! Whom I know was not even on this episode, fine, but still, we pay him to be our pointman on all things Constantine, and even though I’ve been listening to iFanboy since the Bush Administration, I am only now finding out crucial information which would’ve changed my buying habits

  6. Two things in regards to Action Comics. First, Tim was Robin. Tynion’s run retconned Tim’s origin back to the pre-Flashpoint one where he discovered who Batman was and became Robin before becoming Red Robin. Second, this isn’t the Superman from pre-52 anymore. In 2017 DC did an event called Superman Reborn where pre-52 Superman and New 52 Superman merged together. So this Superman is a weird mix of new 52 and old 52 memories and stories.

    None of this really makes the issue any better, but I just wanted to give some clarification.

    • And that merged Superman doesn’t know Tim Drake?

    • I did say it doesn’t make the issue better haha. Yeah, Superman definitely should hav recognized Tim.

    • On a mildly related note, I love how Bendis wrote the inhabitants of Gemworld as being really cranky that their entire reality kept changing over and over again all because of dumb Earth and its Crises LOL

      Superman Reborn really = Multiverse Reborn. Because if some shmuck Thanagarian happened to have met pre52 Superman or New52 Superman, then that means someone has to tweak that shmuck Thanagarian’s reality too, and anyone he may have talked about it with. Omg the community spread of this… the butterfly effect from someone as Multiversally influential as Superman being Reborn’ed must’ve been *a Crisis-level load of work* for whatever Monitor-type character was in charge at the time.

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