Pick of the Week Podcast

Pick of the Week #742 – DC Cybernetic Summer #1

Show Notes

This week Conor Kilpatrick is haunted by static on his line and a distant guitar, while Josh Flanagan’s big business idea involves dropping a monkey in everything. And stay to the end for an impromptu discussion on recurring nightmares.

Running Time: 00:58:17

Pick of the Week:
00:02:17 – DC Cybernetic Summer #1

00:09:44 – The Amazing Spider-Man #45
00:13:58 – Wonder Woman #759
00:16:30 – X-Factor #1
00:18:46 – X-Men #10
00:25:53 – That Texas Blood #2
00:28:19 – Batman/Superman #10
00:29:35 – Batman: The Adventures Continue #9

Patron Pick:
00:31:18 – Hedra

Patron Thanks:
00:37:41 – Super Gavin
00:40:39 – David Bottazzi

Audience Questions:
00:44:39 – Stew W. wonders why superheroes don’t dominate prose books like they do most other media.

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  1. I am saying this before I listen to the show where I was genuinely surprised that DC Cybernetic Summer #1 was the Pick of the Week when that was announced. I thought it was going to be Sandman Universe Presents John Constantine: Hellblazer #8 and am also very surprised that issue is not in the run down. Then I get not discussing Empyre #3 after the reaction to it last week. I would recommend The Suicide Squad by Tom Taylor right now where #7 just came out and 6 is an easy jump on point.

  2. Probably been told this ten times over at this point (apologies), but not the first time he’s been called “Max Lord”.

    See Justice League: Generation Lost #20 cover. First series that came to mind oddly enough. Was one of those last runs pre New52 that I really enjoyed, and focused quite heavily on Max Lord.

    • First time, actually.

    • In Generation Lost? Huh, there you go. Weird.

    • Oh, just realized you meant first time someone mentioned the Max Lord thing. Whoops. Long day.

    • Yeah, I’m completely confused. Maybe it’s the Mandela effect or sleepiness or lockdown fever but Maxwell Lord was always called “Max” in JLI, wasn’t he? Or did Conor mean, only when using his full name? I haven’t read the issue so maybe I’m misunderstanding.

      Also, did Conor just say Max is Wonder Woman’s Joker? I mean, aside for the fact that I still hate the retcon they did to the character in the Countdown special, I barely even think of him as a Wonder Woman villain, let alone her arch nemesis.

  3. Just in case you were wondering, Sway and Petra, the two girls who were “partying” with Vulcan were part of the lost team introduced in X-Men Deadly Genesis, the same series that introduced Vulcan and the team Charles sent to save the original X-Men before he gathered the classic “Giant Size X-Men” team. Considering both girls died on Krakoa, it’s not entirely surprising that they may prefer to drink at the Summer’s moon house rather than hang out with the rest of the mutants living on their killer.

    • Thanks for this. I was wondering about all of those characters. I didn’t even know who Vulcan was. I only really read the Jim Lee X-Men run and some of the classic stories. God Loves, Man Kills, Days of Future Past, etc., so I’m rightfully a little confused by this Hickman run. I am liking it though.

  4. (spoilers) Guys or listeners please help. Amazing Spider-Man #45 on the page BEFORE Overdrive takes a bullet, what is happening to Spider-Man there? Did he get shot? Does the bullet pass through him? I re-read those panels numerous times and I am confused. Given I never read the original Sin Eater story so I’m not completely sure about his powers. Maybe bullets from his gun only hit his intended target? The panels were set up a little weird too. Spider-Man is first to the side of sin eaters gun, then behind the barrel , then in front of the shot… I have no idea what’s going on on that page…

  5. Fun show, as ever. I’m not sure a GI Joe show is the best way to get to the next stretch goal, you already talks lots about GI Joe for free! Are they even as popular generally as they are with you fine fellas?

  6. Fun show but you guys’ point about the current X-Men run has been irking me for a little bit. They are definitely not being written like traditional superheroes, which if that is your thing then I get why you wouldn’t like the run. But in kayfabe, how long should the X-Men keep taking overt abuse and bigotry without doing something about it?

    • I don’t know. If one character heel turns then that’s fine they can find redemption or not. It’s a character choice. This seems like a shift in the central philosophy of the book. The X-Men were always the ones who tried to find the most positive coarse of action even if they weren’t always successful. To me the core of the X-Men story is Charles’ dream. The dream that Erik mocks. The fairy tale that seems always outside of their grasp, but they keep chasing it. When it’s not about that I feel it’s lost it’s way a bit. You can stripe away all the characters and even Charles and Erik, but the philosophy always kind held it together. Without it these can be books about mutants but it’s not really the X-Men anymore to me. I feel like this might be why I haven’t really connected to many of the modern runs on the book. I might not like the message.

      It’s a brave direction to take the books, but it sort of feels how Damian Wayne changed Batman to me. How do you go back to a traditional x-men narrative after this run and make it feel like a believable continuity. Maybe they have no interest in going back.

    • You don’t come back from this. That’s what’s so awesome about it. Hickman took a set of characters that had been aimless and uninteresting for far too long (likely because of reasons outside comics) and blew them up big time. But it’s also Hickman being Hickman. You can see a lot of themes from Transhuman and Pax Romana in here. That’s a brave choice on Marvel’s part. Any attempt to hand wave this story away will ruin it, and I hope they don’t do that.

    • It’s also really the logical next step for them to go considering we’ve been on a long slide to X-Men as antagonists for a while with stories like AvX, XMen versus Inhumans, Cyclops’ turn and bringing alot of the old villains into the fold. While I appreciate that and I’m glad the books are finding momentum again I don’t really wanna read it. Though they lost me already in the uninteresting and aimless era you describe so I was already a lost reader. I just wasn’t won back by this move. I’m not sure anything short of some sort of X-Men reboot would get me back though so I’m a lost cause and probably not worth courting.

      That said even in the gap between the height of my fandom and now I usually found some book that I could latch onto and enjoy (even if I wasn’t invested in the greater mutant story). If there are characters in these books that feel like they are holding onto the old morals then let me know and I’ll check that out. It just felt like it wasn’t for me anymore, but if a title comes out of this as a reaction to Transhuman and Pax Romana themes but emphasizes the old morals then that’s not a bad way of shucking alot of the old continuity and effectively soft rebooting the idea of the X-Men. I might have a hard time seeing childhood heroes on the other side of the philosophical debate but at least then I’ll feel like I’m reading a heroic book.

      I think there is a tenancy to see that the world is crappy and feel the heroes need to reflect the crappy world we live in today. I’d argue that is exactly the wrong stance. When the world is crappy we need our heroes to give us a moral center even more than when things are going well. Was Hydra-Cap an interesting metaphor for the state of the world? Yes. Did I feel inspired by the Hydra-Cap story line to be a positive influence in the world? It was certainly a way to spur introspection, but I don’t think it achieved the same sort of goal.

    • I can see your point, and this run will be polarizing in the same way Morrison’s was. I also think this will be a utopian tragedy (the perfect society brought down by a fatal flaw), which will be all the more heartbreaking for all the world-building Hickman is doing. But “polarizing” means people actually care, which I haven’t seen with X-Men since the early days of the Gold and Blue series. And those were a blatant attempt at catering to the old-school fans with the Claremont/Lee nomenclatures. But even that didn’t stick. This is getting eyes on the X-Verse again. And with the direction Empyre’s going, I can see the X-Men playing a role in the climax – for a price (“Yes, T’Challa, we can probably take out the Cotati plant-gates. But before we do, why don’t we talk about opening up Wakanda to our pharmaceutical markets…”).

  7. I think I have only read one superhero novel: Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson. It is a YA book, but like all of Sanderson’s books it is a great read.

  8. This is kinda fun because the super heroes prose thing just came up for me this weekend. I was look at announcements from Aconyte Books and they are launching a line of Marvel prose books. I thought to myself, “who is this for?” Their first two announced were a Heimdall book and a Domino book. Interesting picks.

  9. Did you toss “One Soul” by Ray Fawkes in the trash?

    Well, at least the seagulls and rats will have something good to read as they drift off to sleep after a long day of trash combing.

    Sweet dreams lil rodent. You earned it.

    • That’s the one. It was a galley copy, and it was fine, but I’m never going to read it again, and I can’t give it to the library.

    • I was just giving you the business. I’d love to feign outrage, since I love comics that evolve or play with the formal art form of comics, but I’ve only read it once and looked through it another time, so I’m not a good one to judge…


      You did recycle though right?

      Dear god tell me you recycled.

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