Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 344, “Wonder Woman by George Pérez: Vol. 1 (feat. Heather Wiley)”

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.”)

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Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 342, “Captain America and the Falcon: Secret Empire (feat. Ensley F. Guffey)”

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.”)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 337, “A Wrinkle in Time: The Gift of Your Faults”

Gobbledygeek episode 337, “A Wrinkle in Time: The Gift of Your Faults,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

Time, she has been wrinkled. Tesser on over as Paul and Arlo discuss Ava DuVernay’s big screen adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s beloved science-fantasy classic A Wrinkle in Time. The boys discuss how the film differs from the novel, for both better and worse; what a strong find Storm Reid is in the lead role; how the film is admirable for willing to be absolutely ridiculous; why it’s so important DuVernay is in the director’s chair; and whether or not the film actually manages to be as inspiring as it wants to be. Plus, the boys pay tribute to Stephen Hawking and discuss the current state of Stan Lee; Paul reads comics; and Arlo continues his Disney journey.

Next: it’s that time again. Wesley “Wezzo” Mead stops by to once again discuss Chris Carter’s seminal sci-fi series The X-Files. This time, the gang will discuss season 8, the last pre-revival season to feature David Duchovny as a (semi-)regular.

(Show notes for “The Gift of Your Faults.”)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 333, “Y: The Last Man – Vol. 10: Whys and Wherefores (feat. Kenn Edwards)”

Art from ‘Y: The Last Man – Vol. 10: Whys and Wherefores” by Pia Guerra, José Marzan Jr., and Zylonol.

Gobbledygeek episode 333, “Y: The Last Man – Vol. 10: Whys and Wherefores (feat. Kenn Edwards),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

Alas, poor Yorick! We knew him, a fellow of infinite wisecracks, of most ridiculous immaturity. We hath borne Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s Y: The Last Man on our podcast ten times, and now, how abhorred (and a little relieved) in our imagination it is! Our mics rise at it. Here laid those narrative devices about which we kvetched we know not how oft. Where be Guerra’s glorious artwork now? Vaughan’s pithy dialogue? Their penchant for emotional devastation? Their flashes of genius (let’s be honest–they were more than flashes) that here culminate in a tremendous feat of sequential art? We are not ones now to complain after all they’ve accomplished. Quite the opposite. Now get you to iTunes and listen, let us ramble for hours, to this conclusion we must come. Hopefully we will make you laugh, at that. Prithee, Kenn Edwards, let us get to the point.

Next: less Shakespearean speech, more Shakespearean drama. We travel to Wakanda for Black Panther.

(Show notes for “Y: The Last Man – Vol. 10: Whys and Wherefores.”)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 328, “Y: The Last Man – Vol. 9: Motherland”

Art from ‘Y: The Last Man – Vol. 9: Motherland’ by Pia Guerra, José Marzán, Jr., and Zylonol.

Gobbledygeek episode 328, “Y: The Last Man – Vol. 9: Motherland,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

Yorick’s gang (there’s gotta be a snappier name, right?) inch closer to destiny in Y: The Last Man – Vol. 9: Motherland, as Paul and Arlo near the end of their Four-Color Flashback discussion of Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s beloved comics series. The boys once again rehash their frustrations with putting this series under the occasional monthly microscope, leading Arlo to posit that maybe different books are different kinds of great. Then Paul hashes out the most plausible explanations Vaughan has presented for the manpocalypse, and whether any of them catch the boys’ fancy. Plus, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is more fun than it has any right to be, and it looks like Red Sparrow may be the Black Widow movie Marvel has denied us.

Next: the boys go through the looking glass with season 4 of Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror, joined by first-time guest Sarah Kosheff.

(Show notes for “Y: The Last Man – Vol. 9: Motherland.”)

Listen to ‘The Avatar Returns’ Episode 48

Art from ‘The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars, Part One’ by Irene Koh and Vivian Ng.

The Avatar Returns episode 48 is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

We’re back for a brand new year with a brand new comics series! Following on the successful heels of their Avatar: The Last Airbender graphic novels Dark Horse Comics introduces the official Legend of Korra continuation series. The first story arc is called “Turf Wars” and it’s written by original series co-creator Michael Dante DiMartino with art by Irene Koh. To go along with all the new we here at The Avatar Returns are trying a slightly new format in that we’ll be reviewing these books as they are initially released rather than waiting for the hardcover Library Edition collections. So in this episode we tackle Part One (of Three), and I confess that we struggle just a little bit. Picking up immediately where the animated series left off we follow Korra and Asami on their getaway into the spirit world, and while it’s wonderful to see these characters again the return isn’t quite as smooth as we may have hoped. Paul and Arlo are worried about a seeming return to Book One hotheaded impetuous Korra; Koh’s art is a significant change from Gurihiru in the ATLA books; there’s talk of the Dumbledoring of Kya; and Eric will not condone a course of action that will lead us to Turf War. (That’s a joke, he actually loves this book.)

(Show notes for The Avatar Returns episode 48.)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 326, “The Rocketeer / Pleasantville: Flying Colors”

Gobbledygeek episode 326, “The Rocketeer / Pleasantville: Flying Colors,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

That venerated institution, the Geek Challenge, takes to the bright blue sky with a pair of retro ‘90s flicks. First up, Paul challenges Arlo to Joe Johnston’s 1991 Billy Campbell-starring adventure The Rocketeer, a proto-First Avenger that mixes pulp fiction with ‘30s Hollywood. Then, Arlo challenges Paul to Gary Ross’ 1998 directorial debut Pleasantville, which finds Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon zapped inside the black-and-white world of a hunky dory ‘50s sitcom. These films look backward to say something about the present, and while one admittedly has a lot more on its mind than the other, the boys find both to be unsettlingly timely. From populist demagoguery to villains that no longer feel like an historical artifact, Paul and Arlo mine a lot from these goofy, decades-old movies. Plus, Arlo remembers that comics exist.

Next: after a week off, the boys return to discuss experimental arthouse feature Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi, which will be of interest to only the most devout cineaste.

(Show notes for “Flying Colors.”)