Gobbledygeek episode 461, “FCF: Black Panther – The Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda,” is available for listening or download right here, on Spotify, and on Apple Podcasts.
Panthers…IN SPAAAAACE! For their first Four-Color Flashback of 2022, Paul and Arlo look to the stars, where they find Black Panther: The Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda. The second half of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Black Panther run, these 25 issues–with art by Daniel Acuña, Kev Walker, and Ryan Bodenheim, among others–concern T’Challa’s rise from slave to legend in an alien empire that bears his kingdom’s name. The boys discuss Coates’ bold new direction, the question of expansion vs. imperialism at the heart of the book, Acuña’s photorealistic interstellar action compared to Walker’s more abstract emphasis on character, and that goddamn symbiote. Plus, an acknowledgement of how surreal it is to be reading a comic book depiction of war at this particular moment, Amazon’s evisceration of comiXology, and more.
NEXT: let’s party like it’s 1999-2003. For the first of a two-part exploration of the Wachowskis’ Matrix series, writer Tilly Bridges jacks in to discuss the original trilogy. Whoa.
00:00:23 – Intro / Banter
00:08:21 – Paul’s Unhinged ComiXology Rant
00:34:43 – Main Topic
01:56:36 – Outro / Next
“Intergalactic” by Beastie Boys, Hello Nasty (1998)
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.
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.
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.
Gobbledygeek episode 276, “Friendly Fire (feat. Guffey und Koontz),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Are these the men with which I am to defend Captain America? Well yes, but ladies first: K. Dale Koontz and her husband/Wanna Cook? co-author Ensley F. Guffey, colloquially known as Guffey und Koontz, are here to talk Captain America: Civil War with Paul and Arlo. The 13th entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe trades world annihilation for an ideological spat, as Cap and Iron Man disagree about how best to flex the Avengers’ supermuscle. The gang discusses this change of pace, whether the premise works, how it differs from the infamous comics event, and the franchise’s new players (Black Panther! Spider-Man!). Plus, if that wasn’t patriotic enough for you, The Americans continues to be one of the best shows on television.
Next: pop culture writer Matthew Jackson stops by to gush about Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical phenomenon Hamilton, including its new behind-the-scenes book, Hamilton: The Revolution.
Gobbledygeek episode 122, “Gobbledygeek Gift Guide 2012,” is available for listening or download right here.
The season of giving is once more upon us. Ever helpful, Paul and AJ list a number of Christmas gift options for that special geek in your life: from movies (like In the Mood for Love on Criterion Collection Blu-ray) to TV (the complete series of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!), comics (Saga: Vol. 1) to books (Alan Sepinwall’s The Revolution Was Televised), toys (cute lil’ Funko Pop figures) to games (Dishonored), and more. Don’t forget to thank us for rescuing your Christmas.
Next: the holiday gets twisted with The Nightmare Before Christmas.
NOTE: Links to every single item we mention in the episode can be found in the show notes.
I love the first Men in Black. Really, truly, sincerely love it; to me, it’s the Ghostbusters of the ’90s. If you know me, that’s high praise. I was seven years old in 1997, so there’s always going to be some nostalgia attached to my memories of the movie, but I was surprised by how well (read: completely) it held up when I watched it again a couple years ago. I so adored the first film that when the sequel came out in 2002, there I was on opening day dressed all in black, wearing sunglasses and an MiB: Alien Attack hat I’d gotten at Universal Studios earlier that year. It’s fair to say I was excited. Even at 12, though, I felt something missing from the sequel. Like Ghostbusters II, it lacked the freshness of the original, content to rest on its laurels and half-heartedly copy what made the first so enjoyable.
That said, it’s a pleasure to see Agents J (Will Smith) and K (Tommy Lee Jones) still knocking E.T.s around in Men in Black III, and perhaps more so to see that their partnership has been developing off-screen over the last ten years. J is still the wisecracking hothead of the pair, and K the no-nonsense straight man. But they’ve grown complacent in their roles. When J wants his partner to actually open up for once, K can’t. Still, they’re partners, so when K disappears and no one but J can remember him, J resolves to get to the bottom of things. It turns out that there’s been a fracture in the time stream; K was killed in 1969 by a nasty piece of work called Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement). Time travel was made illegal long ago, but J doesn’t seem to have much trouble tracking down an undercover time travel service. He jumps (literally) back to the day before K was murdered; hijinks ensue.