Pick of the Week Podcast

Pick of the Week #410 – Superior Spider-Man Team-Up Special #1

Show Notes

The culmination of Mike Costa’s “Arms of Doctor Octopus” caper takes the gold in a typically oddball fifth week of comics. Josh Flanagan, Paul Montgomery, and Conor Kilpatrick wholeheartedly embrace that pick as well as November’s Book of the Month selection, The Fifth Beatle, about the Fab Four’s enigmatic manager Brian Epstein. All that and more on this week’s furry little show.

Total Running Time: 01:06:25

Pick of the Week:
00:02:00 – Superior Spider-Man Team-Up Special #1

00:12:11 – The Sandman: Overture #1
00:18:42 – The Fox #1
00:23:03 – Swamp Thing Annual #2
00:27:30 – X-Men: Battle of the Atom #2
00:36:37 – Saga #15
00:38:09 – Sex #8
00:41:47 – Damian: Son of Batman #1
00:44:25 – Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven and the Red Death

Book of the Month:
00:46:58 – The Fifth Beatle by Vivek J. Tiwary, Andrew C. Robinson and Kyle Baker

Pre-Order it now on Amazon.


Audience Question:
00:59:48 – Scott wants to know where DC’s hiding all the fun.

“Octopus’s Garden”
The Beatles


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    You have some reading to do tonight… 🙂

  2. Great episode guys!

    Totally agree on Battle of the Atom #2. Marvel dropped the ball when they were just a few steps form the goal. The art was simply off and served as a huge detriment to the comic (and thus the entire event). The epilogues were the best part but SPOILERS! Kitty’s switching teams doesn’t make sense. Why doesn’t she go off and make her own team with the O5? Why go to Cyclops – a man whom she has disagreed with ever since Schism? Sure Magick is a big pull for her (they’re good friends) but that wasn’t enough in the past. It really feels like Bendis just wanted to shove her over to the Xavier School as a means of monopolizing the character (since he writes Uncanny). This is probably for the best since he will be able to better integrate the two titles. Still, it feels a bit ham fisted.

    • I think my biggest problem with the ending was they “showed a lot of guns” in the earlier issues but never fired them. Young Jean saw a glimpse of whatever F̶u̶t̶u̶r̶e̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶n̶g̶ ̶j̶e̶a̶n̶ Xorn was ultimately trying to stop, we know that Magik is the cause of some kind of major disaster in the X-verse, and we still don’t really get a reason why the future brotherhood actually formed or why they came back.

      This reminds me of the trinity war on many levels. The ending is ultimately just more characters strewn across the universe, no questions answered only more to be asked. That being said the ride getting to this issue was phenomenal.

    • Maybe they are teasing us with future plot lines?

      That’s the only excuse I can come up with for how poor this final issue was and the lack of answers it provided.

    • I’m wondering if it has anything to do with what’s going on in Uncanny Avengers (the tachyon dam preventing time travel, the outcome of the Apocalypse Twins’ actions, etc.)

  3. As soon as I read it I had to think that this was a way of getting Kitty inside Cyclops’s group. It would make sense for Kitty or Rachel or Wolverine to want to have a way of keeping tabs on them. Otherwise it makes no sense why Kitty would run off.

    • Oh, good thinking, RobotZombie, that would make some sense. She probably has the mental blocks to shut out young Jean, but Emma, that could be a fun challenge.

      More likely, Brian Bendis and co are treating the unknown disaster as a maguffin, which seems unfair to me, given how much play it received – they really should have made SOMEthing up.

      I could live without time stragglers from the future staying behind, it’s such an X-Men cliche.

  4. I really enjoyed the “Arms of the Octopus” crossover/one shots, I had no expectations for it at all and really only picked up the first issue because Superior Spider-man was in it. All three issues were great, and it certainly deserved to have 2 out of the 3 issues get POTW. Anyone who hasn’t read them should definetly pick them up.

    As for Battle of the Atom, I too was a bit disappointed by the finale and you guys really nailed why. I understand why Kitty left and they did set it up, but I really don’t get why she would join up with Scott and his crew, unless it is going to be as a spy but I don’t get the feeling that is where this is going.

  5. I agree people should just leave their greasy mitts off Damian, but this is what we get. All of the Kuberts were products of a certain time. Joe was a product of the Golden Age and timeless and amazing, and Andy is a product of the 90’s and amazing for the 90’s.

    I think Tomasi was the only writer who had a nice handle on Damian aside from Morrison. He made him a little more immature but got some great moments out of it.

    • Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      Outside of Morrison’s take during the Dick as Batman period, my favorite Damian writer was Bryan Q. Miller. That said, he mostly wrote him as a comic foil for Batgirl.

    • True. There were some really nice moments with BQM’s version of Damian too. There was a sibling rivalry there. The father/son dynamic with Tomasi was something special though.

  6. I really miss the user reviews. You guys should have a “Twitter Review” section where people review their Picks of the Week in 140 characters or less!

  7. On the DC “lack-of-fun,” there’s a definite trend in their non-comics media for a darker mood, and it shouldn’t be surprising that it’s infecting the comics. Look at Nolan’s “Batman” movies, look at “Man of Steel,” even look at “Arrow.” All of these have a dark, gritty, serious overtone, and Green Arrow is moving towards being like the show, so more of the same shouldn’t be surprising. I almost feel like DC is moving toward old-school Marvel feel and Marvel is going to old-school DC feel.

  8. Was Villains Month actually really successful? I haven’t been following sales news and I couldn’t tell whether that was sarcasm.

    In any case, I’m glad you guys highlighted the Arms of the Octopus crossover. I accidentally picked up the first issue b/c I thought it was part of Bendis’s All New X-Men and would have discarded it without reading it if it hadn’t been the pick. And then I still would have missed the second issue if you all hadn’t talked it up. This was one of the most fun minis (?) I’ve read in a while, and it’s absolutely classic Marvel, but it seems they had no idea how to sell or market it. I hope you’re right that it’s a tryout for Costa. As a superhero debut (?) it’s very promising. Loved all the artists too.

    • Mostly because of the “3D” covers, Villain’s Month was hugely successful for DC, financially.


    • Interestingly, Diamond split the standard and the 3-D covers into two separate entries, which drastically changed the how the Top 10 was organized. If you combine them, then DC did an amazing job. The Joker #1 sold more (combined) issues than the month’s best selling comic Forever Evil #1 (by over nearly eight thousand comics).

      So the real Top 10 looked like this (rounded to the nearest thousand):

      1. Joker #1 – 147,000
      2. Forever Evil #1 – 139,000
      3. Riddler #1 – 136,000
      4. Infinity #2 – 126,000
      5. Infinity #3 – 123,000
      6. Bane #1 – 121,000
      7. Penguin #1 – 117,000
      8. X-Men Battle of Atom #1 – 114,000
      9. Darkseid #1 – 108,000
      10. Mighty Avengers #1 – 102,000

      The biggest boon for DC was simply how they a) sold up to three extra issues of the same comic and b) how the 3-D covers boosted weaker selling titles’ sales.

    • Of course DC made the non-3D issues 100% returnable, so who knows how many of those sales are coming back…

    • Oh, I had not heard that! Fascinating! My local shop has a TON of left over 2-D covers… So my guess would be quite a bit will be returned. Not that it really matters for DC. The only thing that matters for them is that first big news headline. Everything else can be handled quietly down the road.

    • Does anyone know a good place to get comic sales data (publisher, title, issue #) over time AND by state, or preferably, county? I’d like to start exploring what publishers and/or titles are more popular in geographic regions and how that has changed over time. Ideally the data would be in some easily readable format ( a .csv file). I assume Diamond has this data but it seems the only way to register with them is to be a retailer. I’m not looking to do any market research here just some fun explorations and teaching examples for a basic stats class. Any leads are appreciated.

    • @fd: I don’t believe I’ve ever seen any sales data that specific anywhere. As it is the data we do see isn’t even the real sales data, it’s just sales estimates that certain outlets come up with.

    • The data I used comes from http://www.comichron.com but it only deals with Diamond’s (and thus North America’s) numbers. Comics publishers usually go through other distributors when dealing with foreign markets. Those companies are usually much more tight lipped about their numbers as compared to Diamond.

    • @Scarlet-Batman: Most of the numbers that Comichron uses are estimates and not actual sales numbers.

    • Definitely still estimates but they aren’t just pulled out of thin air. There’s a complex formula they use to achieve those estimates, which have a high degree of accuracy. Here’s how ICv2 explains it:

      “These estimates are based on ICv2 estimates of comic sales by Diamond North America during August 2013. We are estimating actual sales by Diamond U.S. (primarily to North American comic stores), using Diamond’s published sales indexes and publisher sales data to estimate a sales number for Batman (the anchor title Diamond uses in its calculations) and using that number and the indexes to estimate Diamond’s sales on the remaining titles. We can check the accuracy of our numbers by comparing the Batman number that we calculate using multiple data points; our numbers for Batman withhin 1/10 of 1% of each other, ensuring a high degree of accuracy. They do not include sales made by Diamond UK, orders on these titles placed after the end of or copies purchased by Diamond but held in inventory at the end of August. This information may not be reproduced in any format without also crediting Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc.”

      These estimates should not be taken as entirely accurate but they are the best numbers we can get outside of Diamond actually just telling us their numbers directly. 🙂

    • @Scarlet-Batman: Yeah, I know the formula they use to get their numbers. But I also know that sometimes the estimates are close and sometimes they are WAY off.

    • That’s a fair criticism that I cannot counter. I honestly wish Diamond would just release the actual numbers. It’d be interesting to see which titles are truly selling well and which are not. Also, the inclusion of the UK numbers would be fascinating as I am very curious to see if their buying habits and interests are similar to the North American market. How deeply do American Super Hero comics penetrate into that country, when there is such a lively and thriving homegrown industry that we, across the pond, rarely get the opportunity to see and enjoy.

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