Art from ‘Wonder Woman by George Pérez: Vol. 1″ by George Pérez, Bruce D. Patterson, and Tatjana Wood.
Gobbledygeek episode 344, “Wonder Woman by George Pérez: Vol. 1 (feat. Heather Wiley),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
In the winding, physics-defying halls of Mount Olympus, the idea for the noble Amazon race was hatched among the gods. In the presumably plain, ordinary offices of DC Comics circa 1987, the idea to reboot one of their most iconic heroes was hashed out by George Pérez, Greg Potter, Len Wein, Karen Berger, and more. And on this typically long, rambling podcast, Paul and Arlo continue this year’s superheroic Four-Color Flashback by discussing Wonder Woman by George Pérez: Vol. 1, collecting the first 14 issues of Diana’s post-Crisis series. Heather Wiley joins them to discuss how Pérez revitalized the character by leaning hard into her mythological aspects; why it’s important that the series touches on uncomfortable subject matter; the minute details that make Pérez such a terrific artist; and why this run hasn’t lodged its place in the public consciousness alongside The Dark Knight Returns and Man of Steel. Plus, Heather fails to keep quiet about Hush, and Paul reads comics.
Next: we inch closer to oblivion with Wesley Mead, who joins us once more to discuss Chris Carter’s seminal sci-fi series The X-Files. This time? It’s season 9, the original final season. So. Yeah.
(Show notes for “Wonder Woman by George Pérez: Vol. 1.”)
Gobbledygeek episode 342, “Captain America and the Falcon: Secret Empire (feat. Ensley F. Guffey),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
An American feels betrayed by his government, which has revealed itself to be nothing but a bureaucratic system designed to conceal criminal activity. Sounds familiar, right? It’s also the basis for the superhero classic Captain America and the Falcon: Secret Empire. Steve Englehart, Mike Friedrich, and Sal Buscema’s Nixon-era tale finds Cap on the run from a populace that no longer trusts him. Joining Paul and Arlo for this Four-Color Flashback installment is Wanna Cook? author and Cap superfan Ensley F. Guffey. The gang discusses why a story like this couldn’t be told today, how it’s difficult to understand Watergate’s importance given today’s political climate, the uncomfortable jive-talkin’ racial stereotypes, and why the outrageous cornball of old superhero comics doesn’t dilute its power. Plus, Arlo makes an apology and the gang shares what comics they’ve been reading.
Next: it’s all been leading to this. Avengers: Infinity War.
(Show notes for “Captain America and the Falcon: Secret Empire.”)
Gobbledygeek episode 340, “Batman: A Death in the Family (feat. Kenn Edwards),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
For the (belated) inaugural installment of Four-Color Flashback 2018, wherein Paul and Arlo will be discussing a different classic superhero story each month, they’ve recruited their old pal Kenn Edwards to help them discuss Batman: A Death in the Family by writer Jim Starlin and artist Jim Aparo. Kenn knows a thing or two about the Caped Crusader, having been part of the Batman Immortal fan film project. However, he’s never read this particular story, in which the Joker savagely beats Robin to death. That puts him on equal footing with our hosts: it’s one of Arlo’s blind spots and Paul hasn’t read it since it was published in 1988. They’re all a little shocked by how anachronistic its goofy plotting and dialogue seem given its release in a post-Dark Knight Returns landscape. Superhero comics were starting to mature, and this one feels like it may have gotten left behind. The gang discusses the impact of Robin’s death; whether Bruce’s hypocrisy is a bug or a feature; the ludicrous political implications of the Joker’s scheme; and why the follow-up story A Lonely Place of Dying is much better. Plus, Arlo is still watching Disney cartoons.
Next: be vewwy, vewwy quiet. The boys and their pal Nate Curtiss are hunting Krasinskis for a discussion of A Quiet Place.
(Show notes for “Batman: A Death in the Family.”)
Gobbledygeek episode 334, “Black Panther: Hail to the King, Baby! (feat. Phaicia McBride),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
First-time guest Phaicia “Fe” McBride joins Paul and Arlo as they take a direct flight to the African utopia of Wakanda, courtesy of Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther. King T’Challa’s first feature film marks the 18th entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe; it also marks a long overdue watershed moment for mainstream black culture. The gang discusses why Black Panther is so important and exciting; how the film takes the MCU in exciting new directions, particularly with its nuanced villain; how rare and wonderful it is to see so many female characters with agency, skill, and personality; why Ludwig Goransson’s score (and Kendrick Lamar’s soundtrack, at least according to Arlo) is a true sonic statement; and how some of the fight sequences bring to mind Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man. Plus, Arlo’s obsessed with a bizarre lo-fi mobile game called InstLife; and Paul goes full steampunk ahead with Batman: Gotham by Gaslight.
Next: despite what they say at the end of the episode, Paul and Arlo are actually getting ready for Annihilation.
(Show notes for “Hail to the King, Baby!”)
Gobbledygeek episode 301, “The X-Files: Season 4 (feat. Wesley Mead),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Just in time for everyone’s distrust in government to be at an all-time high, Wesley “Wezzo” Mead joins Paul and Arlo once again to discuss Chris Carter’s seminal sci-fi series The X-Files. This time, the gang sets their sights on season 4, and opinion seems to be divided on just how well the season holds together. Is this where the mythology stuff starts to really go off the rails? Does Scully’s cancer make for a compelling dramatic throughline? And most importantly of all, is there an obvious heir to Darin Morgan’s throne (a couple suggestions are thrown out)? Plus, Wezzo laments the progression of Brexit, while Paul and Arlo sift through the Trump Administration’s mounting atrocities; and on a happier, sillier note, the gang has a blast with The Lego Batman Movie.
Next: this year’s Four-Color Flashback exploration of Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s Y: The Last Man continues. Jeff Bridges poet Donora Rihn joins Paul and Arlo to discuss Vol. 2: Cycles.
(Show notes for “The X-Files: Season 4.”)
Gobbledygeek episode 288, “Stay Evil, Dollface (feat. Scott Stamper),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Suicide is painless, so they say. But is Suicide Squad? That’s up to Paul and Arlo to decide, as they slather on clown makeup and hide their fuzzy pink unicorns to discuss the third film in the DC Extended Universe. Joining these Mostly Marvel Men is DC fan and opinionated tweeter Scott Stamper, known to the common folk as @DerfelMarek. Does the movie live up to its hype? Does it point to a bold new direction for the DCEU following the disappointments of Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice? As usual, there is disagreement. Whod’a thunk it. Plus, Paul and Scott dive into the 2015 animated film Justice League: Gods and Monsters while Arlo listens.
Next: original Gobbler and proud member of the Three Heathens, Joseph Lewis stops by to talk about his feature directorial debut A/V.
(Show notes for “Stay Evil, Dollface.”)
The Avatar Returns episode 33 is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
This week on The Avatar Returns we read the immortal classic Through the Looking-Glass, and What Korra Found There, also known as The Avatar’s Adventures in Wonderland. In chapter 209, “The Guide” Korra and Tenzin are finally reunited, we meet Bum-Ju, and bid a fond(ish) farewell to animation Studio Pierrot. Then chapter 210 ushers in “A New Spiritual Age” as we follow the white dragonfly-bunny to Uncle Iroh’s spirit tea party, see some genuinely creepy crawly things, and endure the return of the Dick Owl. And lastly chapter 211, “Night of a Thousand Stars” proves to be one of our favorites episodes of the entire season as Bolin becomes the real life Nuktuk we always knew he could be. But what’s that? Unalaq really does have a doomsday device? Nuk-nooo!
Also we nominate the new Batman: The Killing Joke animated film for the Unsexiest Flash Animation Circa 2002 Award.
Next: say goodbye to Book Two as we close out the season with chapters 212-214, “Harmonic Convergence,” “Darkness Falls,” and “Light in the Dark.”
(Show notes for The Avatar Returns episode 33.)