Pick of the Week Podcast

Pick of the Week #566 – Nova #2

Show Notes

It’s the first Pick of the Week of 2017 and it’s an extra special extended episode! We kick things off with an edition of “Old Men Read Marvel Comics” with a special focus on the “youngening” of Marvel Comics. If you ever want to hear 3 middle aged Jamokes wrestle with aging, then this the podcast for you! We also revisit one of our favorite comics thanks to the patrons.

Running Time: 01:17:24

Pick of the Week:
00:01:51 – Nova #2

00:12:03 – Batman #14
00:15:48 – The Unstoppable Wasp #1
00:22:42 – Unfollow #15
00:26:38 – Champions #4
00:32:39 – Green Lanterns #14
00:34:14 – Hawkeye #2
00:35:30 – Superman #14
00:37:28 – Black Science #27

00:41:45 – Justice League of America: The Atom: Rebirth #1

Patron’s Choice:
00:47:34 – Box Office Poison: Color Comics #1

Patron Thanks:
00:56:50 – Mackenzie Hamilton
00:57:53 – Ace Martens
00:59:45 – John Nunes
01:01:07 – Darren

Audience Questions:
01:02:10 – Lukas from Neulengbach, Austria writes in asking what we think of colorized comics, which is wonderful timing given the Patron’s choice.
01:07:26 – Sean from Long Island, NY sends in an audio question about going back and updating previous works like movies.

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“Another Day of Sun”
La La Land Cast


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Doing the podcast is fun and all, but let's be honest, listening to the 2 of us talk to each other can get repetitive, so we look to you, the iFanboy listeners to participate in the podcast! "How can I get in on the fun?" you may ask yourself, well here's how:

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Please don't forget to leave your name and where you're writing from and each week, we'll pick the best e-mails to include on the podcast!


  1. I’ll say this- Youngifying the Marvel U.

    I don’t care to read anymore about what it’s like to balance school and superheroing and acne.
    I just don’t.
    That’s me- that doesn’t mean that making Miles Morales the 10th iteration of HS Peter Parker doesn’t have it’s place.
    I am sure it does. Although I lament the loss of Ultimate U Miles.
    But it’s not an ‘older’ reader not ‘getting it’ by calling out mistakes being made with these books.
    I think any kind of creative independent thinker with an interest in the iteration of ongoing books and characters has an idea about when something is done organically and when it is a mandate or agenda creation.
    Marvel has been scrambling to address and appease and has been launching characters that have been focused grouped rather than developed and constructed for story.
    Some of it has worked- some of it has most decidely not. But no one shoould throw their hands up in abject acceptance
    and say anything like ‘Oh well I guess this just isn’t for me’
    Sometimes it isn’t for you- sometimes it’s just atrocious story telling.
    Too many examples really to list.
    With many of the Marvel writers, characters are being written to Sound like young characters, it sounds forced.
    Even a younger writer like Hopeless is coming across as super dated and trying way too hard with constant twitter and i.e. bruno mars esque references.

    The point is we can feel how thirsty marvel is with everything they are doing right now- sales are down- interest is down with both younger and older readers. It’s not working.
    I think you have to look to editorial.
    You don’t have to demonize and dismantle classic characters that work to make some room for new and interesting ones.
    DC learned this the hard way and in may ways is still learning how to make that work but in my opinion is falling on the better side of that than marvel right now.

    • Also-


      Harry’s should hire Ron to do some VO work. At least to say just that.

    • I totally agree. I still can’t believe that Marvel killed off Jean Grey only to make way for a new team with Storm and Thunderbird because they needed more female and minority characters, it’s disgusting…

      Obviously being sarcastic, but this is hardly a new phenomenon. And the “old man syndrome” may be that you and the guys have seen it just one too many times. Every team shakeup and new character has in some way always been “mandated” or “editorially driven”. But it is essential in mainstream superhero comics to continue to develop a roster of characters (if only just to kill them off in major events) and find new ways to diversify them for new stories.

      The most fun Marvel books of the past 5 years IMO have been their young “editorially driven minority” heroes dealing with acne and superpowers. Ms. Marvel. Young Avengers. Miles Morales Ultimate Spider-Man. Sam Alexander Nova.

      I would say that the New52’s biggest mistake was erasing its young heroes and their typically lighter, more fun books. Teen Titans has been terrible for 5 years. It’s a mistake I think DC has recognized and is fixing with Rebirth titles focusing on the various Robins and Superman’s son.

      I say bring on the new characters. If it works – great. If it doesn’t – they’ll revive an old hero to meet market needs.

    • If you want the young DC feel from ages past, really should check out Champions if you aren’t already. Both art and characterization, I get the feel similar to the 90’s Young Justice book with Tim, Bart and the rest. But it’s also a different spin on the idea of superheroism. Issue 3 was a great example of that. Go read this book!

    • DFW- I don’t think the killing of Jean Grey analogy really works?
      That X-Men expansion added to the fabric of the book JEan Greay was killed for a shcoking event to sell books adding diverse x-men just created cool new characters while expanding the team not replacing them.

      I too agree that some of the new characters Miles – Kamalah are awesome.

      The character assassinations and business reason for dismantling things like the X-Men FF Thor- Hulk Iron Man etc etc
      IS kind of at an all time high wouldn’t you agree?

      There is room for new and old characters. Without wholesaling legacy.
      Maybe b/c we have seen it before- we have some insight that you don’t have? I don’t know for sure obviously.
      As I said, if acne and super powers are enough for you then that’s great and it has value.

      But tell me- Are you really enjoying the current Miles book as much as Ultimate U Miles?

    • I guess I also want to is that I think you make some fair points regarding the cycle of mainstream superhero comics.
      I share some of those options and if cool new characters come out of ‘editorial decisions’ then Great.
      And yes those decisions have been happening in comics for a while now.
      But classic characters have endured for a reason.
      Create- new classic characters.
      Give them a spotlight.
      Let readers decide.

    • Hey John – I agree that the Jean Grey analogy isn’t the best example of character replacement. It was just the earliest example I could remember to make the point that characters have been killed off and replaced by “diverse” characters since the 70’s.

      I myself have been reading comics for 25 years. I’ve seen the cycle of characters die, getting replaced, and come back too life to many times to count. It’s a comic book trope. And it is typically the quickest way of introducing “new classic” characters like you asked for.

      I also don’t believe in the idea that Marvel or DC are purposefully trying to “assassinate” a character or devalue their brand. They are just publishing books (good and bad) to see if anything surprising sticks or sells. The clone saga is still worse than anything they are doing to Thor or the FF today.

      All that being said… you are right that there are plenty of bad books. But there are always plenty of bad books. I can only ever afford 8-10 books a month anyway so I try to cherry pick the best and avoid the worst. I agree with you that I have no interest in the current Captain America, X-Men or spider-man books. That Miles hasn’t been good since he was plucked from the ultimate universe. But I LOVE Mighty Thor, Ultimates, Nova, Iron-Man and I’m excited to try out Champions after BC1’s recommendation above.

  2. #FollicularReservoirs

    Also, just watched the Despecialized Editions last week. Thank goodness those things are around!

  3. High School Teacher here,

    The youngifying has it’s place for sure. My students love Miles Morales, and The new young Cyclops. They are huge on the CW shows. The ones that are big comic book readers are still into the traditional big time heroes. They don’t know much about Champions yet, what I will say though is it’s just as many girls as boys and people of color as there are white boys and I think more than anything that’s what this is all about. That said I absolutely love Nick Spencer and Sam Cap.

  4. My current pull list is a stack of Image and a few IDW and Dark Horse. I wish I could read X-men because I really love them, but I just can’t do the constant wash-rinse-repeat of Marvel anymore. Plus, it’s pretty obvious they stopped giving a crap about the mutants. My involvement with Marvel begins and ends at the Marvel Heroes game.

  5. I am really happy that they used Rich Rider to convey this divide in the comic book audience. I feel like Rich is a good example of a character that older crowds would care about passionately and newer readers could care less about.

    Also post Annihilation Rich already was walking down this path of having an aged perspective on the events of the Marvel universe. This was highlighted the most in the post Annihilation story during Civil War where Rich just doesn’t understand why any of the Civil War stuff is important when he’s seen much worse in his travels. Annihilation was like Rich’s great war and after he came back it seemed like he had a hard time related to the other earth superheroes. Not to cheapen the experience of real veterans, but I always felt that there was a parallel there between Rich’s fictional experience and the experience of our real world soldiers.

    I hope they keep using the character in this way. As sort of an outside perspective of their own universe offering a counter point to the characters so wrapped up in the current “event” story lines. As a sort of voice of an older comic book reader based, who may value things that are not emphasized in the current landscape. This feels like a very rich vein to mine.

  6. My favorite version of Star Wars is the 1995 THX vhs. I like that the sound is remastered and technical glitches are fixed (e.g. TIE boxes) but no new “special edition” content has been added yet. For now I just watch the blu-rays and occasionally groan with frustration, but I hope we eventually get an HD version without distracting glitches and without ewoks that blink.

    I hope they do revisit the visual effects in Rogue One in about 10 years to make the legacy characters less uncanny.

    Ron- I’ve been loving your Damn Fine Podcast. I still have my taped-from-TV VHS tapes. They came in handy back in the day when you couldn’t get the pilot on DVD. Did you ever come across any of the “Wrapped in Plastic” fanzines? I’ve been curious about those for a long time, but didn’t know they existed back when I was a kid watching the show.

  7. Thanks for another fun show. As regards colouring comics that were originally black and white or vice versa, I think the original is generally preferable. If an artist is drawing for mono publication theyre going to have workarounds for where colour would have helped the storytelling. And how awkward is Silver Age Green Lantern in the black and white Showcase editions? But good luck to any reissues, artists gotta eat!

    Regarding the Box Office Poison review, there was a lot in there about your relationship to the original book, and the creator, but very little about the story. I don’t expect you to reduce a big, personal work to a single line, but a bit more context than ‘slice of life’ would have been useful. We later hear it’s set in New York and perhaps aimed at 24-year-olds, and is influenced by Cerebus…. is it a soap? Autobiographical? Who’s the main character or is it an ensemble? What’s that title about?

    Love the super power section as ever, I’d hate people to believe I was the most important person in the room, I’m no leader!

    ‘Strikezone’? The name alone may be enough for US sports fans but you, sirs, are international superstars, your foreign fans may need some handholding. OK, me.

    Anyway, lovely to have you back from the well-deserved break, all the best for 2017.

  8. Whenever a comic is in B&W and it gets colored, I don’t mind. Bone looks great in color. Same with Raina Telgemeier’s old Babysitter’s Club books, which got a similar treatment. But going back and RE-coloring books? Especially Silver Age stuff? I hate it. I hate it so much. Seeing Kirby with modern coloring looks wrong to me.

  9. I know you guys didn’t like the Hanna Barbara reboots but I kind of liked the Scooby Doo one. Until the latest issue showing emaciated and dead dogs trapped in cages and dying in the apocalypse. WTF DC? It’s Scobby Doo. It was almost on par with the Afterlife with Archie issue when his dog died except the new Scooby Doo comic doesn’t have a serious tone.

  10. You guys mention the industry getting new readers, I am a reader of 35yrs whom they have lost because the cost of comic books is of control. How can kids today afford comic books at almost $6 a piece? I would prefer a book printed on newsprint with a good story and decent art, that I could give to my kids or nephew and let them destroy out of use, without thinking of the cost. And the cost of digital comics…don'[;t get me started, thank goodness for Marvel Unlimited.

  11. Conor mentioned a series by Keith Griffin he considered “the best” (or something to that effect). Can someone tell me what it is? This seems to be a period where I wasn’t reading much from the big two. Thanks!

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