Pick of the Week Podcast

Pick of the Week #537 – DC Rebirth #1

Show Notes

The summer of comics kicks off lots of ennui. Controversy and new starts highlight the week and Conor Kilpatrick, Josh Flanagan, and Ron Richards are ready to roll up their sleeves and work through the issues, clock be damned!

Running Time: 01:08:10

Pick of the Week:
00:01:54 – DC Rebirth #1

00:20:06 – Captain America: Steve Rogers #1
00:29:45 – Scooby Apocalypse #1
00:34:47 – Afterlife with Archie #9
00:37:33 – Captain Marvel #5
00:40:34 – Sex #28
00:41:49 – Extraordinary X-Men #10
00:43:01 – Ms. Marvel #7
00:44:40 – Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur #7
00:45:44 – The Omega Men #12

Star Wars Corner:
00:47:22 – Star Wars: Obi-Wan and Anakin #5

Audience Questions:
00:49:19 – Leo from Brooklyn, NY is curious about the fall of the X-Men, the rise of the Avengers and what’s next?
00:55:11 – Josh from Boys Ranch, TX wonders about when Star Wars won’t be popular?

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“The Dead Are Dumb”


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  1. Rebirth was pretty wonderful, Justice League 50 was like bad fan fict.
    I mean it was like two entirely different writers were handling the books. Kind of crazy.

    Game on for Watchmen?
    No no. There is a World- literally of difference between revisiting Watchmen and officially blending the universes.
    Mark the day- it’s not going to work.
    It does matter- b/c the more you dilute this self contained line the worse it gets.
    You know this. How good were the books in the second round- beyond the Darwyn stuff- tell me what happened in them?

    Whoa- did Ron pronounce Jesus Saiz as – Gee-zuss??
    What are the schools like on Long Island?

    Captain Hydra?
    It’s true we can understand all the conventions at work and still dislike this move.
    Especially since we have had so much deconstruction of this character for what now 5 years?
    How long will we have to wait for this to be fixed another year maybe two?
    7 or so years of ‘messing’ with Captain America. Aging him to the sidelines- putting him in dimension ‘Z’
    It’s gimmicky it’s manipulative and you can say that’s comics but more than anything it’s tiresome.
    For this kind of thing to work you have to have some baseline character time- and it’s been too long of Captain America just too off balance.

  2. If you had been reading Justice 3001 you might give those creators more credit for being able to be current.

    Shaggy was a hipster at the time- even if I don’t like it- he would probably look like that today.
    I think if you’re going to do a redesign you have to apply the equivalent treatment to all the characters.

  3. God I loved Rebirth. It was the first time in years that I could honestly say to myself, damn that was a super DC book. The feels that came from. I teared up at the Wally/Barry hug because it was almost like DC saying, I’m so sorry we fucked up and killed your love of our comics. Seeing the way Pandora was taken out also made me thing Geoff John’s was like, damn, our bad lol.

  4. HAHAHA Ron said “it was a fucking abomination” damn made me spit out a mouthful of water all over my keyboard 😛 That is EXACTLY what I thought when I saw the designs for Scooby Apocalypse.

  5. Re: DC Rebirth
    Too little, too late

    Everytime DC writes itself into a corner and runs out of ideas, the go back to the Crisis well. EVERY. SINGLE TIME.
    When sales start to wane, they go back to the Watchmen well (publish another new ABSOLUTE/ULTIMATE/ESSENTIAL/Trad paperback collection of the series)

    Now they’ve combined the two wells. DC Comics has OFFICIALLY declared creative bankruptcy

    Re: Steve Rogers, Captain America
    Not a hoax! Not an imaginary story!! Just another cheap stunt!!!

    The All New, All Different Marvel method: Kill the hero, change the hero’s race. Bring back the Hero. Make the hero a villa. Rinse, wash repeat. The House of ideas has completely collapsed


  6. Conor, admittedly, I don’t recall Superman’s death coming up in Justice League #50, but so far as reasons for his sickness go, DC were playing it as All of the Above – the first part of the Final Days of Superman, in Superman #51, when Superman was doing experiments on himself in the Fortress, said he was dying due to three things – the fire pits of Apokolips, his battle with Rao in Hitch’s Justice League, and sitting in the ARGUS Kryptonite chamber.

  7. For a minute there, I really thought Wally was going to die, and I had the thought “At least now we get a goodbye.” But then he lived! And just when I was starting to like New Wally … I guess I’m excited to go from zero Wally to two Wallies.

  8. Josh stuck the landing on this one. You guys are a good time, and comics are a good time. In a fictional world where Hitler has taken a supervillain alias of “Hatemonger”, and time travels back in time in a Hydra time machine in an attempt to kill baby Obama… you just gotta roll with it and take the awful with the awesome (oh, and that was awesome).

    It’s weird with the huge budgets and movies, and superheroes dominating summer flicks now, and with the social media, it has kind of taken away from the pulp nature of almost all of this. Like, there used to be so-called “serious fiction” and comics were taken as some hack, throw-away material for kids. Now comics are included as central cultural source material where we seriously debate morality and social justice issues in a weighty way. Not to say that material is off-limits, but it is weird that it’s turned out this way. The cultural and financial stakes are too high, and it kind of weighs on the thing in a way it used to not have to bear.

  9. I thoroughly enjoyed Rebirth. I think Gary Frank also needs to just stop it. I hope he gets a Graphic Ink collection soon.

    P.S. Would it have killed them to call it DC Rebar?

    • Forgot to mention: I haven’t been totally plugged into the Captain America controversy but I also haven’t read the book since halfway through Remender’s run (other than the anniversary issue from a few weeks ago where Steve was de-aged). I mostly know what I know from listening to POTW. Chris Evans’ movie portrayal is now my idea of the current Captain America. Thought it was worth mentioning that this is one instance where the MCU is working better than the comics (for me). A Waid and Samnee Cap would bring me back in a flash though.

  10. You guys were wondering what happened back in the 2000s that knocked the X-men down a couple notches?

    I remember a particular book by Bendis called ‘House of M’ that ended with the phrase ‘No More Mutants’. At the time I didn’t get it, but looking back at the trajectory of Marvel, I feel like they’d decided from that point on to tone down the X-Men while vigorously promoting the Avengers.

    Even moreso than that one event, in terms of sliding scale of the X-men, just take a look at the course correction DC has just taken by reintroducing fan favorite characters, and turning away from the New 52 experiment altogether… Imagine if rather than correcting course, DC had opted to not only double down on the New 52, but triple, quadruple or quintuple down on it. That’s what I feel has happened to the X-men since the 2000s:

    – Professor X is gone
    – Cyclops is no longer the moral center of the X-men.
    – They no longer stand as an allegory moral social cause in the Marvel Universe (House of M and the terrigen mists took care of that).

    Couple that with turning random characters into vampires, splintering the roster… no longer allowing X-Men related events to affect the Marvel Universe as a whole. Honestly it feels like there’s been a systematic effort to pretty much nullify everything that was great about my favorite team growing up.

    And as a huge fan of the 80s and 90s X-men, I’m pretty much resigned to the fact that there will never be a ‘Wally West returns’ moment for the mutant family. The X-men 92′ series was a bit of nostalgia, true… but it was still in the mold of the post 2000s X-men rather than carrying the spirit of the team from the 90s.

    Anyway, I’m ending my mini-rant. I miss the X-men… and no matter how hard Marvel tries the Inhumans will never replace my favorite team growing up. Even now I still prefer the X-men team that gained prominence under Claremont and Jim Lee compared to the modern Avengers… (Admittedly I will also point out that I am now a huge Avengers fan as well 🙂

    Some of us do miss the mutant era of Marvel however.

    • Good call on House of M.

    • Yeah I do believe since the movies became a success there has been a coordinated effort to tone down the X-Men’s books in favor of properties they own. Though I agree it has felt like the Mutant books were in a decline well before then. I called it quits in the mid 90’s. I came back for The Morrison and Whedon runs and they were fun, but I didn’1 stay past there departures.

      So why did I give up on being a huge X-Men fan (and I was a huge fan through the 80s).

      I’d say the guys were correct in saying it was a lack of consistency. Love him or hate him Claremont gave the X books a singular voice. Also at the time (80s and early 90s) editorial just was stronger at keeping things internally consistent. When those pillar gave way I think that did a lot of damage to the brand. If characters are going to look and sound different every couple of issues how am I suppose to stay invested in these characters.

      I addition the collectors boom in the 90s did a great deal to destroy the brand. Missing a comic because there wasn’t enough of a collectable issue to fill my pull file was beyond aggravating. Being an X-Men fan was already an expensive prospect before the boom with approximately 4 or so series a month to pick up. Then the boom came and they just saturated the market with X books. Having to buy all the new #1 issues, spin off books and miniseries was just asking too much for my meager hobby income to support. Therefore I would give up on some of the more peripheral books. That became a sliding slope toward collecting less and less until I just stopped it all together since I wasn’t reading enough of the books to get a clear picture of what was going on with the characters.

      Lastly the “Events” killed it for me as well. Under Claremont we spent a great deal of time exploring the characters, their internalizations and there interactions with each other. That was the meat of the books. I liked all that stuff. The fights were the brief fun explosions of action to break it up. As the 90s pushed on we got event after event with tons of characters flying across the page doing incomprehensible things and it just felt messy because we didn’t touch base with the human element of these books enough to justify it.

  11. Surprised to see so much Rebirth and Hydracap hate in this thread.

    To address those, anything can be called a gimmick when you change the order of things, but there in CAN lie interesting story. It doesn’t work every time, some would argue it doesn’t even work most of the time, but the only thing that is constant is change. And the day Marvel and DC give up trying to change their world to create interesting stories, is the day i stop buying their books. And to those saying Image doesn’t do this, look only to their actual longform books, Invincible, Savage Dragon, etc, and you’ll see the same patterns.

    Game on Watchmen, Game on Hydra Cap.

    The only other thing I wanted to say was I actually really liked Scooby Doo. So maybe I’m the audience. I AM literally in the same age bracket of the meddling kids. I liked the joke that Fred thought everything was a monster, I liked that they gave a reason for Scooby to talk, and the story was interesting enough that Ill pick up the trade next fall.

    anyway, great ep as always.

  12. Ron, I am so right there with you in regards to Watchmen entering the DC continuity…I’m all in. I’ve read so much bitching about this online it’s unreal. As stated, the doors have been blown open, let’s sit back and enjoy the ride…and not worry so much about the sacred cow being slaughtered.

  13. I didn’t want to pick up the Cap issue because it seems like such a stunt. If it turns out people are digging the story maybe I’ll pick up the trade, but I don’t want to reward stunts like this just to find out what is going on because in my opinion they degrade the medium quite a bit. I don’t think I’ll make much of a dent considering the exposure this story is getting in the mainstream.

    I just don’t understand how Cap being a Hydra agent all along even works. Of course at the end of it they will undo it, but I also don’t understand why they keep dragging Steve through the mud. Especially now when his popularity has sky rocketed due to the movies. Are they so starved for idea?

    • Cap killed a hero to hide the fact that he’s (supposedly) a Hydra agent.

      Not sure how they’re going to take that one back. And as much as I kind of want them to take it back, sadly if they do it’ll only come off looking more like a gimmick.

    • Nothing about that sounds like something I’d want to read and it sounds incredibly damaging to the brand…. it is sad when the best I can hope for in this scenario is shameless gimmick.

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