After a two-year absence–thanks, global pandemic!–the Marvel Cinematic Universe makes its return to the big screen with the long-awaited Black Widow. And we do mean long-awaited: it’s been 11 years since Scarlett Johansson made her debut as Natasha Romanoff, and only now, after we’ve seen Nat die in Avengers: Endgame, does Black Widow get a solo movie. Paul and Arlo are joined by pop culture fan and academic Tanya Cochran to discuss whether or not Cate Shortland’s film was worth the wait. There’s talk of trauma, family dramedy, falling debris, and how much Arlo absolutely loves David Harbour as Red Guardian.
NEXT: Sweet Tooth returns, again, in Sweet Tooth: The Return for our next Four-Color Flashback.
00:00:50 – Intro / Guest
00:05:50 – Black Widow
00:26:48 – SPOILERS
02:04:47 – Outro / Next
“Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Think Up Anger (feat. Malia J) (2015)
And now back to our regularly scheduled programming. After two long years in the Marvel Cinematic Universe desert, since Avengers: Endgame and its postscript Spider-Man: Far from Home, Marvel’s mightiest are back on the air. For the first MCU series on Disney Plus, we have WandaVision, a TV show that is very much about TV shows and what the medium means to us. The comfy-cozy sitcom rhythm of the show, as Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch and Paul Bettany’s Vision make-believe they’re on the sets of The Dick Van Dyke Show or Family Ties, is interrupted by unsettling reminders of where we left these characters. Wanda was grieving–because Vision was dead. What’s going on here? Don’t change that channel, because Paul, Arlo, and special guest Michael Holland–currently post-production supervisor on The Afterparty–discuss how showrunner Jac Schaeffer and director Matt Shakman channel grief, capture the nostalgic spirit of old TV, weaponize fan expectations, and more.
NEXT: we’ll be back, same Bat-time, same Bat-channel.
Gobbledygeek episode 383, “Salty Spiders,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
The Amazon is burning and all anyone cares about is Spider-Man. Yay! Welcome to another exciting episode of Gobbledygeek! After nixing a fash-bashing Geek Challenge because Paul absolutely could not sit through three hours of The Sound of Music, he and Arlo decide to freestyle it and, well, all is not well! The world’s on fire, the government is imploding, and Spider-Man might not get to be an Avenger anymore! As for that last one, the boys have deeply conflicted feelings about their love for the character and the Marvel movies with their disdain for Disney the Evil Empire. Plus, Arlo still won’t watch all the things Paul says he should watch, and Marc Maron chimes in.
Next: for even more lighthearted family fun, the boys have asked their The Deli Counter of Justice co-editor Eric Sipple to join them for a discussion of Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning, extremely depressing yet extremely essential, Maus: A Survivor’s Tale.
Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Karen Gillan, Rocket Raccoon, Paul Rudd, and Scarlett Johansson in ‘Avengers: Endgame.’
Gobbledygeek episode 372, “Avengers: Endgame – It’s Been a Long, Long Time (feat. Eric Sipple),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
All good things must come to an end. And while the Marvel Cinematic Universe is not one of those things–there’s another one of these bad boys coming out in a few months–Avengers: Endgame does represent the culmination of this first wave/cycle/saga of the MCU. Paul and Arlo are joined by their The Deli Counter of Justice co-creator Eric Sipple to discuss just how in the hell directors Anthony and Joe Russo, screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, and many many other talented filmmakers pulled off this marvelous feat. Because somehow, some way, Endgame is just about the most satisfying conclusion you could hope for.
Gobbledygeek episode 369, “Four-Color Flashback: Blankets,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Marks on paper, sheets of snow, first loves crowned with halos. These are some of the images that make up Craig Thompson’s 2003 illustrated novel Blankets, a modern classic if ever there was one. Paul and Arlo continue this year’s “nondenominational” Four-Color Flashback with a discussion of Thompson’s masterpiece, an autobiographical story of childhood, sexuality, first love, and the author’s struggle with faith. The boys discuss Thompson’s brave and uncomfortable truth, their experiences (or lack thereof) with organized religion, Craig’s idolatry of his beloved Raina, and Thompson’s stunning artwork. Plus, scraps of Marvel news that have no business being in this episode but which broke after we recorded the Captain Marvel one. Sorry. We’re professionals.
Next: after a week off, the boys are back and who knows what they’ll be talking about?
Gobbledygeek episode 343, “Avengers: Infinity War – Oh Snap!,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
A feat even more miraculous than Paul and Arlo agreeing on the same movie? Successfully juggling a cast of dozens in an interplanetary epic that shakes up the world’s most popular film series. That’s exactly what Joe & Anthony Russo have done with Avengers: Infinity War, a daring space opera that acts as a culmination of a decade’s worth of superheroic blockbusters while taking the Marvel Cinematic Universe in new directions. The boys discuss how (nearly) each character gets their due, why Josh Brolin’s Thanos more than lives up to the hype, and where the MCU goes from here. Plus, Arlo binges the Disney Renaissance and MoviePass takes an unsurprising heel turn.
Next: this year’s Four-Color Flashback continues as Heather Wiley joins Paul and Arlo to discuss Wonder Woman by George Perez: Vol. 1.
Art from ‘Y: The Last Man – Vol. 8: Kimono Dragons’ by Pia Guerra, Jose Marzan Jr., Zylonol, and Clem Robins.
Gobbledygeek episode 325, “Y: The Last Man – Vol. 8: Kimono Dragons (feat. Chance Mazzia),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
This week, Paul and Arlo return to their Four-Color Flashback exploration of Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s Y: The Last Man with Vol. 8: Kimono Dragons. Joining them for the first time in a while is once and future 90 700 Club host Chance Mazzia. Frustrated by some of the detours this Japanese misadventure takes, the gang gets around to asking the question that’s hung over this entire FCF series: nearly a decade removed from publication, is Y: The Last Man still as great as they thought it was? To find the answer, they discuss Vaughan’s writing style, how each volume reads compared to the whole, and what if anything Y contributed to the evolution of the comics medium. Plus, Justice League arrives in theaters (leading to a breakthrough in Paul and Arlo’s relationship), the Avengers assemble for the Infinity War trailer, and Arlo is delighted by The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
Next: the Geek Challenge rides again, with a retro kick. Paul will force Arlo to watch Joe Johnston’s 1991 superhero cult classic The Rocketeer, and Arlo will force Paul to watch Gary Ross’ colorful 1998 film Pleasantville.
Gobbledygeek episode 228, “The ‘Man Was Not Meant to Meddle’ Medley,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.
Killer robots. Mind-controlling witches. Suits of armor from space. Dudes with frosted tips. All of this and so! much! more! is contained within Avengers: Age of Ultron, the highly anticipated sequel to Joss Whedon’s 2012 extravaganza. The reception has been decidedly less rapturous than that which accompanied the first film, so Paul and AJ dig into what works about the movie, what doesn’t, whether or not Whedon goofed up Black Widow, and just how much creative control a filmmaker can have over one of these things. Plus, AJ makes a case for a much smaller film, Seymour: An Introduction.
Gobbledygeek episode 220, “Bone: Vol. I – Out from Boneville,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.
After spending 2014 weaving their way through the many different stories of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, Paul and AJ have settled on something which appears much simpler for this year’s Four-Color Flashback: Jeff Smith’s Bone. Appearances can be deceiving, though. The boys have heard tell that Smith’s cartoony magnum opus, taking obvious inspiration from Walt Kelly and Carl Barks’ comic strips, grows into a complex, sprawling epic. And even in Vol. I: Out from Boneville, wherein Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, and Smiley Bone find themselves in a strange new land, there are inklings of the high fantasy to come. Plus, the boys discuss friend of the show Kenn Edwards’ short film The Joke, attempt to break down Tina Fey and Robert Carlock’s new Netflix show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and prepare to enter the Age of Ultron with a new trailer.
Next: Eric Sipple stops by to chat. This won’t end well.
Gobbledygeek episode 205, “I Have Obligations to My Employer! (feat. Kenn Edwards & Joseph Lewis),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.
Smoke Gets in Your Ears: A Mad Men Podcast co-hosts Kenn Edwards and Joseph Lewis check in to Gobbledyween 2014 to talk The Shining with Paul and AJ. A large part of the conversation revolves around a question you may not have asked about Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 Stephen King adaptation: is it supposed to be funny? AJ’s not sure and has mixed feelings on the overbearing synth score and lack of subtlety, while Joe argues it’s really a darkly hilarious domestic comedy. Other points of discussion include how supernatural the film is or isn’t, how to read the ending, and the insane fan theory documentary Room 237. Plus, the gang offers thoughts on The Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer and raves about the podcast Serial.
Next: Gobbledyween comes to a close for another year as Greg Sahadachny of The Debatable Podcast stops by to discuss Killer Klowns from Outer Space.