Pick of the Week Podcast

Pick of the Week #548 – All-Star Batman #1

Show Notes

With Conor Kilpatrick still in search of the one-armed man, Ron Richards calls in from an undisclosed location to join Josh Flanagan for a discussion of the nuances of “I got this” along with talking about a selection of comics from the week. Plus Josh conflates the names of comic book creators, poorly. We don’t mention the ambient temperatures right at the end.

Running Time: 01:04:10

Pick of the Week:
00:01:48 – All-Star Batman #1

Comics:B019 - All_Star_BM_JRJR_Promo_56fdc9fc6656b5.67483734
00:11:02 – Deathstroke: Rebirth #1
00:16:05 – Wonder Woman #4
00:20:22 – Empress #5
00:23:23 – The Flintstones #2
00:28:01 – Civil War II: The Accused #1
00:33:48 – The Vision #10
00:35:15 – New Super-Man #2
00:37:34 – Superwoman #1
00:37:04 – Scarlet Witch #9
00:42:26 – Star Wars: Darth Vader #24

Patron’s Choice:
00:44:46 – The Black Monday Murders #1

Audience Questions:
00:51:21 – Nate from West Covina, CA asks what artists we’d put in a college course about comic book art.

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  1. PymSlap (@alaska_nebraska) says:

    I admire the design detail of stamping the word ‘PRIVATE’ onto a shut door in the diner in All-Star Batman. The people that dwell there have secrets.

  2. The story in All Star Batman reminded me a lot of the Clint Eastwood film, “The Gauntlet”. Looking forward to seeing what Snyder does with this.

  3. I liked ALL-STAR BATMAN well enough, but when a story’s narrative throws consecutive backward time-jumps at me, it often bugs me, and did here too. Also, I feel like John Romita Jr. makes all his men look like Lee Pace. And the story reminded me of “The Dark Knight” – with Joker also courting mayhem by attempting to use the baser instincts of people against themselves/Batman (in TDK’s ferry bombs scenario). But lastly and mostly: are we really supposed to accept that Alfred tried to kill Bruce to protect some grave secret Alfred’s hiding?!

  4. Surprised the Patreon vote was Black Monday Murders. I specifically didn’t vote for it as I knew there was no way you guys wouldn’t talk about a new Image #1 by Jonathan Hickman.

    Interestingly, I’m kind of with Josh, though, that I’m just not a Hickman guy (which is why I didn’t bother with Black Monday Murders). Hickman’s clearly very talented but I find it all but impossible to get emotionally involved with his work. Even East of West, which I do quite like, still doesn’t engage me so much as have me interested in the world he’s created.

  5. I had the exact same reaction Josh did to the Flinstones. Now I want to know more.

  6. P.S. I have been rewatching some classic “Happy Days” eps, and many are forever ruined now, because every time Ralph Malph says “I still got it!” my kneejerk thought is “crap, is that where ‘I got this’ was born..?”

  7. The only thing more frustrating than listening to two people on a podcast try to remember the name of something is when one of them finally comes up with the correct answer the other person doesn’t immediately recognize it as being correct. ; )

  8. I am calling that Alfred tried to shoot Brunce down to 1. Take him down in a non lethal way to protect him from everyone after him. 2. Possibly to also hide something he idd against Bruce’s wishes in the past- again to protect him somehow.

    Any and all reasons will be some form of that- no big dark secret and not a betrayal.

  9. All Star Batman was great. A lot of fun. Otherwise I would have picked deathstroke. But then again I don’t read as many weekly as you guys do. Keep up the good work.

  10. I’m right with you on the assessment of Hickman’s work, Josh. I find myself wanting to like his stuff more than I actually do. It’s clear he is on top of his game at nearly all times. Plots are planned out almost clinically it seems. But my goodness I get tired out by it all. A complaint I’ve had about his writing for years now is I feel it is poorly suited to the monthly format of comics (when released on time that is). If I’m taking the plunge into Hickman-world, I imagine it should be tackled in trade form only. East of West being a great example for me of that.

    Having said all that, I really dug Black Monday Murders. I was devouring all of the little text additions along with the main story. Now, will I feel that way after 4, 5 more issues of it? Let’s see if my head remains above water.

    Also, what the hell happened to Manhattan Projects? Is that still a thing?

    • Don’t mistake an insane amount of detail for a plan.
      Hickman is famous for pitching marvel early on with thick bible like plots, he himself has said many times for many projects that he’s never really sure how his stories are going to end and I think that has proven to be true.
      In that he’s great at hooking you with a world building but seems to lose interest in the ending or just doesn’t finish at all.

    • I often wonder if this is more normal than we realize. Do you think writers often get a plot going without having any idea of how it will end? They just figure it will come to them as they go? That seems like poor writing to me…

    • That’s really interesting about Hickman. Lots of outside-the-box creative thinkers, in general, come up with incredible ideas and get wildly enthused for them only to lose interest and never finish them out. I think Leonardo da Vinci is the most famous example of that.

      On the topic of authors not knowing where their stories will end, a successful example of that is Stephen King – whose non-fiction book, *On Writing,* may be the best book on writing I’ve ever read. In it, he describes how he sets out to write fiction by first creating an unusual situation, then creating interesting characters to put in that situation… and then beginning to write right there, by letting the story develop from the actions he believes his characters would naturally provoke from beat to beat. He says that somewhere in the middle he begins to figure out what kind of endings would best cap the story which has grown.

    • Interesting response. I myself am a huge Stephen King fan, though I’ve yet to read On Writing. I have several friends who read quite extensively, and most seem to feel King rarely sticks the landing at the end. I don’t always agree with this, though I thought It, Under the Dome and Tommyknockers each had horribly executed endings…among some others.

      As far as Hickman is concerned, by no means am I saying he is a bad writer. It’s just his style really is cold and distant from the characters. This makes them hard to relate to as a reader. Sometimes I think this would be okay, but not constantly.

      Finally, BionicDave, your pic is awesome. Can’t tell if it looks more like Pitbull or Maynard James Keenan.

    • Thanks, Snts6678! That was a selfie taken in an Alaskan fjord. And hmmm.. I’ll take MJK over Pitbull? 🙂

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