Pick of the Week Podcast

Pick of the Week #500 – We Can Never Go Home #4

Show Notes

It’s the 500th episode of the Pick of the Week Podcast recorded on Jack Kirby’s birthday aaaand Josh Flanagan isn’t here. But Conor Kilpatrick and Ron Richards, both very tired, are here and there’s a lot of comic book talk to be had ahead of next week’s big episode!

Running Time: 00:58:17

Pick of the Week:
00:01:48 – We Can Never Go Home #4

Comics:We Can Never Go Home_4
00:10:18 – Hank Johnson: Agent of Hydra #1
00:13:18 – Superman #43
00:17:05 – S.H.I.E.L.D. #9
00:25:41 – We Are… Robin! #3
00:27:52 – Prez #3
00:33:47 – Grayson #11
00:34:36 – Star Wars: Lando #3
00:36:50 – Cyborg #2

Audience Questions:
00:39:38 – Vincent F. from Philadelphia, PA loves Silver Age comics and is curious about the Golden Age.
00:43:47 – Michael K. from Tennessee (and Andy B.) wants to talk about the recent rumors about DC’s financial troubles.

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  1. Yeah we’re seeing Marvel put out more Kirby stuff- which any is more technically than before and that’s great and all but–
    Marvel just listed the Top 10 Kirby creations and somehow… the X-Men were left off the list.
    Modok was on the list but not a single member of the X-Men.
    But Marvel isn’t boxing out the X-Men right? I mean Bendis- Alonso-Loeb all say that isn’t happening and yet…
    It sucks/
    I guess Modok is just a better character than Wolverine or Professor X or Jean Grey- Right?

  2. Also
    Wayne Industries really ought to be able to produce a reasonable prosthetic for Alfred.
    A hook?!
    Can he talk to fish now too?

  3. First, congratulations on #500 guys! That’s a damn big number and it is much appreciated by this listener. Thanks, and here’s to hoping for another 500. I’m looking forward to 501, I expect it will be a lot of fun.

    Now, speaking of golden age heroes, anybody read Ant-Man Last Days this week? It’s a great nod as it turns out the old lady that loaned the money to Scott for his security company is Mary Morgan/Miss Patriot and she runs a retirement community for super heroes and villains. Great little story here, plus we get to see Scott breaking Captain America’s “first and most important rule of becoming an Avenger” with a certain Superior Foes member as the world comes to an end. Great and funny issue that should lead into the coming relaunch.

  4. So glad you gave We Can Never Go Home some love. I re read the first 3 issues before reading the fourth. Boy, this is fun to see these creators develop. Ron is right the story is very lean. Reminds me of a Richard Stark or Elmore Leonard novel in all the best ways. I actually feel like I’m reading a crime novel that happens to include super powers (By the way, anyone else think the male lead may not actually have any powers? He says he does but sure depends on that handgun a lot).

    I love the art. It’s not totally there yet, but you can vibe a potential super star there. Reminds me of Travel Foreman, humans are a bit distorted, backgrounds and geometry is very precise. It’s weird. I don’t love Foreman’s art as much, but I like this a lot. It’s gritty, modern, and just a touch noir somehow.

    The regular covers are great. They drew me to the book. They are like the writing. Very lean, basic graphics. Tight.

    Marvel Zombies was the other fantastic read I had. Not a zombie fan, but it’s not really about the zombies. Spurrier is so damn good. One of Marvel’s best kept secret. The book is really a character piece about a saucy British gal with daddy issues. Great Elsa Bloodstone solo book in disguise. Kevin Walker is awesomely cartoony, loved his work on Thunderbilts and Avengers Arena. And, it’s been a long time since I have wondered about a continuing mystery in a monthly book and I find myself very interested in the identity of the kid Elsa is towing around the Deadlands.

    There is an interesting new Indy book called Gun that is being very independently published that I recommend. It’s about a super villian in a gritty crime noir setting. I can’t recall the writer’so name. He isn’t on Diamond but you could look up his website. Gun, Monday is for Fighting is the subtitle, I think. One issue out but it’s neat.

    Happy 500!!

    • Oops, Fighting is My Monday is the subtitle and the website is guncomic.com. Jack Foster is the writer/artist for those interested. Spencer’s Superior Foes might have a similar, but more humorous vibe.

  5. Congratulations on 500 episodes, guys! I’ve been listening since 2007ish and haven’t missed a week. Thank you for all the episodes!

  6. Happy 500th. You guys are great.

    Picked up We Can Never Go Home #1 and only thought it was ok, will re-read and maybe pick up another issue or two…definitely like supporting up and coming creators.

    Really really really loved Where Monsters Dwell #4. SO GOOD! Also am enjoying Old Man Logan #4. While I expect the Secret Wars to devolve into classic Hickman WTF at the end, I think if the result is some of these stories/characters make their way into the MU, along with the exciting slate of books I saw recently (DR STRANGE BY JASON AARON?!) this has been a great crossover event.

    I’m very sad how small my DC pulllist has dwindled to. Especially as the last WW Azz/Chiang Trade ends that spectacular run that was the best thing in the DCU the last year.

  7. 500!

  8. A quick note on the state of DC…
    In my view, the success of Watchmen starts with the creative work of Alan Moore first, not DC.
    If you want to know why there hasn’t been more examples of that success, I think the answer
    lies in that DC (and Marvel too), keep a tight editorial reign, and really are very conservative
    companies… less interested in doing something groundbreaking, as they are in confused
    cross-over story arcs, variant covers and the like.

  9. Early congratulations to #501. I’ve been listening to your podcast weekly since the first issue/POW podcast of GI Joe Cobra. It’s been glorious. Good to see the three of you back together again.

  10. Congratulations on 500 Episodes! I just wanted to give my response to Ron’s question asking if there have been any defining New52 storylines. I know Conor was put on the spot but I think there have been a couple of character-defining runs or arc’s that will go down as some of DC’s best work.

    -Batman by Scott Snyder and Greg Capulo has been an epic 4+ year run on that has introduced one of Batman’s best new villains in the Court of Owls and told two seminal Joker stories in Death of the Family and Endgame.
    -Wonder Woman by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang was the best run on Wonder Woman period. It’s redefined the character for the 21st century in a way that JMS’s run was supposed to in the late 2000’s.
    -Aquaman by Geoff Johns was one of the few standout Aquaman runs.
    -Green Lantern, and speaking of Geoff Johns he was able to finish up his massive Green Lantern opus even after the change. Granted, it was this kind of storytelling that muddled the New52 continuity but it ended strong and continued to be good after. Robert Vendetti has done a nice job building on what Johns did.
    -Green Arrow by Jeff Lemire has been a brilliant run, really breaking out of the DC style and “batgirling” before batgirl did it.

    There have been a lot of other mediocre/just fine comics with confusing continuity, but that was also true before the New52 and over at Marvel in the same timeframe. The characters that have unfortunately fared the worst seem to me to be the Teen Titans with Superboy and Red Robin. These should be the lighthearted highlights of their line and instead they’re the most bland and uninspired books they publish.

    • Green Arrow broke out of the DC style by mimicking the “Arrow” TV show, which was one of the few smart things that they’ve done. As for the other books, YMMV with Green Lantern, but no one’s talking about Aquaman anymore, and a lot of folks dropped off Wonder Woman when Azzarello and Chiang left. That leaves Batman – I’m sticking with it because I trust Snyder, but I’d bet a lot of folks are dropping. Even if those 5 or 6 books were still at peak performance, though, that’s still about 10% of the line. It can’t carry the other 90% on its back.

  11. Here’s my problem with DC, moreso with Warner Bros. and Time Warner – they don’t know how to manage intellectual property. Example: whatever happened to Loony Toons? Or the Hanna Barbarra characters? They were a huge part of the culture up until the 2000’s, and then…poof. Their own cable system requires you to buy a higher tier package to get Boomerang, which is the only channel I know of nationally that shows anything related to them. The only one still getting any love is Scooby Doo. It’s happening with Sesame Street too – there was supposed to be some deal a while ago where WB would be putting out new projects, and yet the only thing I can see having happened is moving Sesame Street to premium cable – WTF?!* Disney, on the other hand, got a hold of Star Wars and immediately found everything it could to use that property to the fullest. So far, to excellent results (Star Wars: Rebels, new comics, Omnibi and Epics of the old comics, etc., etc. ad infinitum).

    The same thing’s happening with DC. You can get the Timm Justice League cartoon on Netflix, but why not Batman or Superman:TAS (I know they’re on Amazon, but why split it up like that)? Or, better yet, where’s the old school stuff like Superfriends and all those cartoons? Meanwhile, Disney has got their stuff over multiple TV channels and Netflix. They have stores that are moving Marvel merch among all their other properties. They keep everything in the public eye, whether it be by updating (the new Mickey Mouse cartoons) or finding new ways to remind people of what makes them great. Warners meanwhile is sitting on potential gold mines and has no idea what to do with them, other than praying that J.K. Rowling gets the Harry Potter gravy train to Hogwarts rolling again.

    *Digression: I’m still very sad Sesame Street and the Muppets are divorced from each other. How wonderful would it have been if Disney had nabbed that property. They certainly would have had a better idea of what to do with it, like, I don’t know, NOT PUTTING IT OUT OF THE REACH OF THE VERY PEOPLE IT WAS CREATED TO HELP. Digression over.

    • SESAME STREET won’t be out of reach of the people it was created to help. After an exclusive window of time has closed, the content licensed by HBO will then be shown on PBS. It’s a great deal, actually — they are going to be able to create MORE content than they were able to afford to before (both on television and on-line) and also The Children’s Television Workshop won’t go out of business, which was a real concern because they have been operating at a loss for a long time.

    • I agree, for the most part, on your other points–especially the LOONEY TUNES point. I used to watch that show every day and then they just disappeared. I wonder if there were concerns over the nature of some of the content in this ever more reactionary world that we have built.

      I will offer the devil’s advocate counterpoint that Disney’s IP management might be too far to the opposite extreme of Warner Bros’. It’s possible that they are going to over-expose some of these properties into oblivion.

    • re: Looney Toons

      Federal regulation plays a part in children’s programming also. Which may or may not be the case with these old cartoons. They may not have enough “learning moments” to meet current regulations for broadcast. Doesn’t really explain why today there’s no Tiny Toons teaching kids the Spanish for manatee in a submarine though.

      (side note thank President Reagan for deregulation allowing toy company’s to sell directly to kids via cartoons that gave us GI Joe and Transformers. Parent groups got worried over the content so they added in the “Now you Know moment” to cover themselves. I believe regulation has stiffened due in part to the excess of the commercialism in the 80’s; see Children’s Television Act circa 1990 for more details)

      re: Sesame Street

      You kinda are both right since, I believe, the PBS aired content will be edited/shortened versions of the content appearing on HBO. So PBS viewers will be getting older content and less of it. Technically the poor viewers are not “deprived” but certainly shuffled into the “you deserve the scraps we give you and like it” category, which differs in attitude from the programs creative genesis.

      and also 500!!!
      only 13,000 more to go to catch up to those Garfield strips.

    • @jokingofcourse: I’ve heard nothing about the shows being significantly altered between HBO and PBS. The shows themselves are going from 60 minutes to 30 minutes, but that’s true across both outlets. If you know more about the content being different, I’d be very interested to know about it.

  12. Sorry to be slow leaving a comment. I too appreciate the pastiche of Neal DeGrasse Tyson in Prez and Seveneves. But check out the current science advisor: John Holdren. With great respect to NDGT, John is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, has won two of the environmental “Nobel Prizes” (Volvo and Tyler), etc. The real deal.

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