Time to rise, roar, and revolt as Paul and Arlo engage in some extreme piggybacking with S.S. Rajamouli’s RRR. This alt-history epic is the rare Indian film to make a splash in the Western world, and our boys approach it as only two ignorant white guys can: with almost no knowledge of Indian culture or film! Nevertheless, they are in love with the movie, which reimagines Indian revolutionary figures Komaram Bheem and Alluri Sitarama Raju as superheroes who can outrun tigers, shoot a British bastard from a mile away, and stop motorcycles with their bare hands. The boys praise stars N.T. Rama Rao Jr. and Ram Charan, admire Rajamouli’s craft, and weep in awe at the insane shit happening in every single scene. Plus, there’s a trailer for The Flash and Arlo has finally gone back to reading old Superman comics.
Gobbledygeek episode 492, “FCF: We Only Find Them When They’re Dead,” is available for listening or download right here, on Spotify, and on Apple Podcasts.
Got a hankerin’ for god meat? Well, pull out your giant lightsaber knife and feast on a new Four-Color Flashback! For the first FCF of 2023, Paul and Arlo set out at warp speed to seek enlightenment with Al Ewing and Simone Di Meo’s We Only Find Them When They’re Dead. The BOOM! Studios series, whose 15-issue run wrapped in December, is set hundreds of years from now, when the primary industry is extracting proteins, enzymes, and minerals from the corpses of massive deities. Evocative title and crazy premise aside, the book is chock full of theosophical enigmas that our boys try to solve. Beyond the elusive quest for concrete answers, though, this comic certainly makes them feel a whole lot. Dig in. Plus, some bellyaching about the new slate of DC movies.
NEXT: a discussion of S.S. Rajamouli’s action epic RRR, which presumably concerns reading, writing, and arithmetic.
00:00:30 – Intro / Banter
00:21:25 – We Only Find Them When They’re Dead
01:58:36 – Outro / Next
“For Whom the Bell Tolls” by Metallica, Ride the Lightning (1984)
“Mystery Jack” by King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Float Along – Fill Your Lungs (2013)
What happens when a child is born who will invent immortality? According to Ram V and Filipe Andrade’s The Many Deaths of Laila Starr, Death is fired from her job, is cast into a mortal body, and attempts to find and murder this child. Oh, she also dies a lot. On this month’s Four-Color Flashback, Paul & Arlo discuss the book’s unique approach to Indian mythology, Andrade’s beautifully distorted figures, V’s ability to be self-serious without being pretentious, and more. Plus, Paul gets into Severance, the boys aren’t feeling This Is Us‘ final season, and Arlo reads more Superman.
NEXT: it’s an MCU catch-up session. The boys will discuss the trifecta of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Eternals, and Spider-Man: No Way Home.
For Paul and Arlo, existential crises and comic books often go hand-in-hand. Such is the case for this week’s freestyle, wherein Paul’s rumination on the erosion of his teenage self-confidence leads into a discussion of superhero mags. Paul tells Goblin punks to fuck off as he rocks out to Cody Ziglar and Justin Mason’s Spider-Punk, goes undercover with Kelly Thompson and Elena Casagrande’s recently wrapped run on Black Widow, and cloaks himself in Jed MacKay and Alessandro Cappuccio’s Moon Knight. Meanwhile, Arlo rides on horseback through more goofy Silver Age Superman.
NEXT: we will continue to spiral.
“I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times” by The Beach Boys, Pet Sounds (1966)
“Running Water” by Daniel Johnston, Hi, How Are You (1983)
Weigh anchor and hoist the mizzen! Paul and Arlo set sail for a discussion of David Jenkins’ pirate rom-com Our Flag Means Death. The new HBO Max series, a very loose telling of the history between Stede “The Gentleman Pirate” Bonnet and Edward “Blackbeard” Teach, begins as a silly romp very much in the vein of executive producer/star Taika Waititi’s other work. And then…well, it becomes something very much more, depicting a number of queer romances in positive, affirming fashion. The boys discuss this shouldn’t-be-shocking-in-2022 level of representation, the chemistry between Rhys Darby and Waititi, how closely (or not) the show follows the historical record, the series’ moral of not accepting that the way things are is the way they have to be, and more. Plus, up in the sky! It’s a bird, it’s a plane, Arlo is reading old Superman comics!
Imagine a world where a global pandemic killed millions and changed society forever. Spooky stuff, huh? Well, take a break from reality with this month’s Four-Color Flashback: Sweet Tooth: The Deluxe Edition – Book One, comprising the first 12 issues of Jeff Lemire’s offbeat breakthrough about a little deer boy and the post-apocalyptic hell that awaits him in the wilds of Nebraska. Along the way, he meets a Frank Miller-style tough guy named Jepperd, who seems to be the grizzled protector to Gus’ naive innocent. It’s a little more complicated than that, of course. Paul and Arlo discuss Lemire’s weird, idiosyncratic artwork; the way he uses the faces and especially the eyes of his laconic characters to convey so much; and how the new Netflix adaptation is radically different.
NEXT: dust off that mail robot, it’s time for The Americans season 2 with British secret agent Wesley “Wezzo” Mead.
00:00:47 – Intro / Banter
00:19:38 – Sweet Tooth: The Deluxe Edition – Book One
First comes a podcast, then comes 423 more podcasts, then comes a baby who is doomed to think having a podcast host for a dad is normal. On the Gobbledygeek season 12 premiere, Arlo is revealed to be a babydaddy–and the kid isn’t Paul’s! Scandal! Arlo discusses life as the father of a newborn, which involves a good deal of poop. Paul has also had to deal with a good deal of poop, even though his isn’t issuing forth from a screaming, squealing bundle of joy. In between all the poop talk, the boys squeeze out some pop culture talk: Arlo catches up with the new seasons of Ramy and PEN15; Paul gets TikTok’d; Arlo watches (and reads) You; and the boys commiserate about the bizarre, disappointing Wonder Woman 1984.
NEXT: ‘tis the damn season. A/V writer-director Joseph Lewis returns to the show for another round of Swiftie analysis with a deep-dive into Evermore.
00:01:07 – Intro
01:24:30 – Spoilers for Netflix’s You (and the novels it’s based on)
01:29:20 – End spoilers
01:55:05 – Outro / Next
“Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder, Songs in the Key of Life (1976)
Gobbledygeek episode 422, “Sandman Mystery Theatre – Book One (feat. Vickie Willis Navarra)”, is available for listening or download right here and on Apple Podcasts here.
For the penultimate Gobbledygeek of the year, Paul and Arlo return to an institution they dropped like a bad habit at the start of the pandemic: the Four-Color Flashback! Vickie Willis Navarra, board member of the Comics and Popular Arts Conference at DragonCon, joins the boys to discuss Sandman Mystery Theatre: Book One. Matt Wagner’s resurrection of DC’s Golden Age hero Wesley Dodds, with art by Guy Davis, John Watkiss, R.G. Taylor, and David Hornung, explores the dark dreams of 1938 New York. The gang discusses the art’s sketchy, shadowy noir qualities; Vickie interrupts her praise of Dian Belmont long enough to wonder if Dian falls into the “exceptional female” trope; Paul and Arlo ponder the series’ connection to Neil Gaiman’s Sandman; and more.
NEXT: season 11 comes to a close with a Geek Challenge featuring Thunderheart and Dead Man.
Gobbledygeek episode 395, “Four-Color Flashback: Watchmen (feat. Greg Sahadachny).” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
After a year of pointedly discussing no superhero stories, Paul and Arlo revive Four-Color Flashback for a new decade with the big kahuna of all superhero stories: Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ 1986-87 maxi-series Watchmen. Aided by emotional sherpa Greg Sahadachny, once and future host of The Debatable Podcast, the boys openly admit there is no new light to shed on perhaps the most analyzed comic book of all time–then get to shedding. What’s it like reading Watchmen in 2020? In the wake of Damon Lindelof’s TV sequel? The gang finds that, like all great art, Watchmen has not changed in the 33 years since its run wrapped, but we have. In a world where fascism seems much more tangible, where superhero fiction reigns supreme, Moore and Gibbons’ work has taken on a renewed sense of meaning. The gang discusses the book’s formalist genius; our heroes’ utter contempt for those they claim to save; why, for a certain type of reader, Rorschach is a morally just idol; and plenty more.
Next: we continue watching the Watchmen with a discussion of Lindelof’s HBO show.
Total Run Time: 01:50:43
00:00:21 – Intro
00:04:00 – Watchmen
01:47:43 – Outro / Next
“Desolation Row” by Bob Dylan, Highway 61 Revisited (1965)
“Cosmic Charlie” by The Grateful Dead, Aoxomoxoa (1969)
Gobbledygeek episode 375, “300ccs of Thorazine,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
How does one go from lamenting the untimely demise of Tom King’s Batman to discussing the power structures that dictate what one finds culturally acceptable in any given generation? There’s only one way to find out: by listening to this week’s Gobbledygeek! Paul and Arlo blather about superheroic drama, including Superman: The Animated Series; opinions that have evolved with time, whether they’re on The Downward Spiral or She-Ra: Princess of Power; and why the hell Pete Venkman was carrying 300ccs of Thorazine.
Next: Johny Ho joins Paul and Arlo to discuss Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese in the latest Four-Color Flashback.