Pick of the Week Podcast

Pick of the Week #515 – The Ultimates #2

Show Notes

Josh Flanagan is gone again and Conor Kilpatrick and Ron Richards are still on death’s door. Will they even make it to the end of the year? Only Kyla Renfaire knows for sure!

Running Time: 01:02:45

Pick of the Week:
00:01:55 – The Ultimates #2

The Ultimates_2_CoverComics:
00:10:29 – Secret Wars #8
00:13:24 – Batman #47
00:16:20 – The Amazing Spider-Man #4
00:23:23 – Scarlet Witch #1
00:26:20 – New Romancer #1
00:28:06 – Starfire #7
00:29:46 – The Twilight Children #3

Star Wars Corner:
00:31:18 – Star Wars Annual #1

Audience Questions:
00:35:32 – Ray from Long Island, NY has a problem with the all-new Avengers line-up.
00:40:37 – Kyla from Chicago, IL has been away from DC Comics for a long time.

Best of 2015 – Books:
00:46:51 – Conor’s Top 5 Books
00:49:29 – Ron’s Top 5 Books
00:53:43 – Josh’s Top 5 Books

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“Mele Kalikimaka”
Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters


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  1. There’s still a few other good stuff at DC. Doctor Fate, Omega Men & Grayson to name a few.

  2. Anyone read Replica 1 by Paul Jenkins and Andy Clarke(I know it came out last week but I didn’t make it to my shop). Not sure where it’s going but it was a great issue: laugh-out-loud funny, well-paced, cool setting, great art and writing. Not sure where it’s headed but it was the best book in 2 week stack. It’s from a new company called Aftershock (I think). They got some new books from some well-known, well-respected creators and they made a good impact on me with this book.

  3. Fun show, guys. I am curious if any of you got back to re-reading Sandman: Overture now that it’s complete and what you think about it. I know you (or at least Josh) were pretty underwhelmed by it in quarterly installments, which is more than understandable, but as a whole, I do think it was one of the more experimental and intriguing books of the year. I don’t think it quite ranks among my favourite storylines of the series, but it’s a great addition to the Sandman saga and significantly better than both Endless Nights and the Dream Hunters. Plus, boy, that art… what else can be said about JH WIlliams III’s career-best art except that he’s working on a whole other level to anyone else in comics right now.

    As for my top 5, I’d go with Sex Criminals, Lazarus, Airboy, The Fade Out and Deadly Class, with the last bits of Sandman: Overture and Multiversity as honourable mentions. I’m also tempted to find place for Saga in there, but the last year has read so, so, so much better in a large chunk than in monthly installments that I can’t quite bring myself to bump any of those series off the list for it.

    • Nope. I completely fell off. When it came out, I just wasn’t excited to read it, and then I just stopped.

    • Like I say, I totally understand that as I could not imagine reading it over so long a period, as it is really very dense. It works great as a graphic novel, though, so even if it left you cold before, I do recommend giving it a shot now that t’s all finished. It even sheds some new light on the Sandman series proper by the end there.

      Though, yes, I don’t know why on earth they didn’t just release this as an OGN. It was clearly meant to be read that way.

    • I honestly forgot that book even existed.

    • I don’t think you’re alone on that, Conor. It’s a brand new Sandman story by Neil Gaiman and JH Williams III and yet, in terms of the mainstream comics press, it seems to have dropped off without a trace. Just further proof that releasing it the way they did was a colossal mistake.

    • @Ilash: Did you pick up the Deluxe Edition? The over-sized pages really allows the bizarre, impressionistic visual storytelling and panel-work to be even more mind-boggling. The only thing that dings Overture for me a little is that I was always wishing that someone smarter than me was around to explain things when I was confused or felt like I was missing something (which was fairly often). It’s an issue I have with Morrison as well. When reading Final Crisis or Multiversity, I was able to find resources online that annotated by panel or page; but I never found anything for Overture. I’ve read the original series fairly recently and picked up on some callbacks, but was still lost a good bit of the time.

      Anyway, I enjoyed Overture enough in issues to buy the Deluxe Edition. The are some extras like a 4-page fold-out spread that wasn’t in the floppy, and some art process stuff from Jim. I agree with you that J3 rocked it and that it’s a worthy addition to Gaiman’s Sandman saga.

    • @Master Destructo: I did indeed. I skipped the monthlies because I figured they’d put out a deluxe edition and that JHW3’s art would look best that way. I was not wrong. I wish they didn’t use glue to bind it, but otherwise it’s a hell of a collection.

      As for being confused, I did find some of it a bit difficult to get my head around but a) I got the broad strokes and b) the general trippiness and warped logic was a perfect fit for the story being told. Plus, Overture was exactly the sort of thing that really could only be told in comic book form and it was especially nice to see that Gaiman has such a full appreciation for the artform when most of his work over the past decade has been prose or screenplays. Regardless of how much the story connects with you, I think it’s worth checking out even as a formal exercise if you’re a fan of comics as a very particular storytelling medium.

      Finally, the Grant Morrison comparison is very apt here. It’s funny, while the early Sandman issues had a strong Alan Moore vibe (specifically his Swamp Thing), there are surprisingly major echoes of Morrison all over Overture. In particular, Morrison’s obsession with storytelling and the way they shape reality is the major theme in the climax of Overture and the general trippiness of the series definitely brings to mind Morrison, as well as Peter Milligan/ Brendon McCarthy’s mad collaborations (though significantly less unhinged and more elegant).

      This isn’t for everyone but I enjoyed the hell out of it and I’m even more looking forward to going back and reading it again and then starting over with Preludes and Nocturnes for what would I think be my fourth or fifth read through of the series.

  4. To Ron’s comments about Al Ewing – if you enjoyed Ultimates (which you obviously did), you should go back and read his Mighty Avengers runs on Marvel Unlimited. This series is essentially a continuation of Mighty Avengers and Captain America and the Mighty Avengers. Also, his Loki: Agent of Asgard run is a lot of fun.

  5. I thought up this list in less than twelve parsecs, so I very well may change my mind by tomorrow:
    The Fade Out, Velvet, Saga, Southern Bastards, Walking Dead.

    Other strong contenders: Lazarus, Batman, and Paper Girls.

    Re: Kyla Renfairs’s question, the only DC books I read are Batman, Gotham Academy, and Gotham by Midnight. All three are really strong.

  6. For Kayla I would suggest DC’s Digital offferings, especially adventures of Superman, Wonder Woman, and the DC Bombshell series has been great. Also the new Landis Supes book

  7. Hey guys, I’ve been meaning to mention this for awhile. A couple of weeks ago I listened to another comic book podcast (I’ll leave it unnamed). It made me appreciate the iFanboy podcast all the more. Your format is much tighter, your comments and thoughts on the books are so interesting and insightful, and the overall level of quality is much higher than anything else I tried to listen to. I’ve been listening for several years now, and I know all the inside jokes and love all the tangents. But, your podcast is really new listener friendly — other podcasts I’ve tried listening to gets way too weighted down with that kind of stuff. I remember listening to one particular other podcast where I got so frustrated after listening for about 10 or 15 minutes and not having heard a damn thing about comics!

    Long and short, your show is hands-down the best out there. It’s where I got my “comics education,” and it continues to be the one I recommend.

    Feliz Navidad!

    • Thanks so much!

    • Can I echo your sentiments. I just started listening to the show earlier this year and now I can’t make my drive to work in on Monday without it. It made my summer job so much more bearable. I downloaded a different comic pod cast to fill the gap between sundays and I literally wanted to throw my phone. You guys are great together, great on the radio and have a ton of knowledge. I feel like I’m at my local comicbook store (I don’t have a very good one) and bantering with everyone for an hour every week and it has totally reinvigorated my love of the art form. Thanks for being awesome

    • Just want to second what koryrosh says as well.

      Your podcast is excellent in no small part because the show has structure and you all are disciplined enough to not let it get sidetracked. And while you (and we!) enjoy the humor about yourselves, you never seem to confuse yourselves with the content. I always figure Conor somehow wields the stick on keeping everyone in line, but am sure it probably a 3-way agreement since you 3-media-communications-savvy guys undoubtedly insist on creating a pro podcast you yourselves would want to listen to…

      I contrast that with a soccer podcast I try to listen to where they spend way too much acting like all the in-jokes / etc are super interesting when I really want to hear about my team and its players. Like Koryrosh, I get really frustrated listening to it…I want to send them a email saying, “you guys should listen to IFanboy…”

    • Couldn’t agree more. Terrific, hilarious chemistry between the three of you. Disciplined running time and a tight structure. Balanced, newbie-friendly discussion that stays on the smart, funny side of geeky. It’s not for nothing that you guys are easily my favourite comics podcast.

  8. For Kayla, I’d argue that, for DC, Hitch’s “JLA” started strong (and hopefully will get at least 1 solid story arc….) and that the current “Darkseid War” storyline going on has been fun in a classic, “epic” DC sense (and I personally love jason fabok’s art in the main “Justice League” title). Aside from that, I’m still trying to give “Constantine : The Hellblazer” the benefit of the doubt (though it’s certainly rough at points) and I enjoyed the first DKIII book as well (I get and fully understand Conor’s distaste for it, and his reasoning is entirely valid : Side question : Much like Josh, I enjoyed “Dark Knight Strikes Again” more than the average reader, so I’m curious as to if he’s reading DKIII and, if so, his thoughts)

  9. Top 5, and I am going to cheat a little because one series I am reading in full this year and will have it done early next, but it has been a pleasure to read it so I’m gong with it.

    Fables (said book), Southern Bastards, The Fade Out, Rebels, Star Wars (or can we just say anything Jason Aaron puts his name on at this point).

    So guys, thanks for taking my question about the renaissance a couple of weeks ago in episode 512. I was glad it sparked the conversation it did and even leaked into 513, which was the point. For Conor, I’m a dude, but a bit of a back story to that is in the 80s I found out there were three other people in the US with my name, but they were all girls and spelled it with a ‘c’ instead of a ‘k’. At least that is what I was told. It also wasn’t til about 1990 or 1991 when someone told me the connection to Wakanda.

    Thanks again, enjoy the week, and can’t wait to hear the numbers on the year.

  10. For Kyla, I don’t remember when the run stopped but I really liked Red Lanterns for a while. I thought it was pretty readable and easy to jump in. DC is really incongruous. They almost need to just break it into 5 different non interconnected worlds to make it at all interesting. And wow have they destroyed Flash, Aquaman, and Green Arrow. 3 books that when I was in high school were daily reads. I am super not looking forward to those movies at all (Maybe Suicide Squad a little bit) Any of the Gotham Universe books though are decent imo, Grayson, Bat Girl, Robins, and Snyder Capullo batman are all books I read or will read in trades.

    Marvel you have a few decent star Wars books, obviously Ms. marvel. I think give Hickman’s Avengers another chance, I loved Waids run on Daredevil, Everything Aaron, And get the trade for Aja and Fraction’s Hawkeye imo it was the best “Hero” Comic all year.

  11. I’m not going to pick a 5 but I think Jason Aaron, Brian K Vaughn, Matt Fraction, Ed Brubaker, and Keiran Gillan deserve big hugs and huge props for everything amazing they brought to the world this year. I pick everything all 5 wrote for the year.

  12. My top 5 books of the year (in no particular order):

    Ms. Marvel; Wicked + Divine; The Tithe; Prez; Tokyo Ghost.

    There’s a whole bunch of stuff that just started in the last month or two that I’m super excited about but don’t have enough yet to make it a top 5 book of the year. I debated about Tokyo Ghost for a bit, but what put it over the edge is Sean Murphy’s art. I’ve always enjoyed his art, but for a while I felt like lot of it looked too much the same (particularly with faces). This really marked a point where I can see how much he’s developed as an artist since Joe the Barbarian.

  13. Ultimate End #5 — So the whole point and the only off for the the Ultimate Universe was to create Miles Morales.
    Miles is great but Bendis?

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