Art from ‘The Vision’ by Gabriel Hernandez Walta and Jordie Bellaire.
Gobbledygeek episode 360, “Four-Color Flashback: The Vision (feat. Jed Waters Keith),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
This year’s superheroic Four-Color Flashback comes to a close as the Visions of Virginia move into their house at 616 Hickory Branch Lane, Arlington, VA, 21301. In Tom King and Gabriel Hernandez Walta’s The Vision, the synthezoid Avenger creates his own family in an effort to achieve normalcy–and watches as his efforts fail, early and often. Joining Paul and Arlo to discuss one of the decade’s best comics is FreakSugar contributing editor Jed Waters Keith. The gang discusses the foreboding on every page; King’s watchmaker precision; Walta’s subtle emotional modulations; and how by denying his emotions and refusing to learn from his mistakes, the Vision is as human as any of us. Plus, Arlo still hasn’t gone on a poop cruise; and Paul wants to Die while reading Winter Soldier.
Next month: this bizarre roller coaster ride of a season ends with a discussion of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
What if Superman was one of us? Just a slob like one of us? Just a stranger baling hay, trying to till his own farm? That’s part of the appeal of Alex Ross and Mark Waid’s Kingdom Come, the subject of our latest superheroic Four-Color Flashback–Ross’ painted artwork brings DC’s pantheon to vivid life. Of course, Superman isn’t one of us. He makes this clear when, after a decade in exile, he descends upon Metropolis to mete out cold hard justice to a new, irresponsible generation of heroes and villains. Kingdom Come was intended as a statement on the Xtreme anti-heroes of the ‘90s, and as its human protagonist Norman McKay witnesses the fantastic devastation around him, the book explores issues of faith and fascism. Paul and Arlo discuss how Ross and Waid’s tale holds up more than 20 years later, how it reconciles the heroes’ godlike power with fragile human will, why it may be Ross’ best work, and its nigh definitive portrait of DC’s Trinity. Plus, Arlo finishes his Disney marathon while catching Pokémon, and we tease a future discussion of Spider-Man PS4.
Next: we switch religions from DC to Marvel as our pal Chance Mazzia joins us to talk Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli’s Daredevil: Born Again.
Gobbledygeek episode 347, “Incredibles 2: Infancy War,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
After 14 long years, the Incredibles are back. The superhero film landscape has changed drastically in that time–but, blissfully, Brad Bird and his retro supers have not, as they teleport and babysit their way through another round of domestic struggles. Paul and Arlo discuss how Incredibles 2 inverts and deepens the themes of the first, why this is some of the finest superhero action ever committed to film, how Jack-Jack avoids Minion-ization, and why Bird and his films are not Randian. Plus, Paul plays a game of Tag, Arlo takes in a service at First Reformed, Paul keeps getting mistaken for Thanos, Arlo is obsessed with Guillermo del Toro, and Paul goes all Cloak & Dagger.
Next: this year’s superheroic Four-Color Flashback continues as Jed Waters Keith joins us to discuss Spider-Man: Origin of the Hobgoblin.
Gobbledygeek episode 346, “Mary Poppins / The Lure: Cartoon Penguins Eat Polish Mermaids, Don’t They?”, is available for listening or download right hereand on iTunes here.
Even with a spoonful of sugar, Paul finds this week’s Geek Challenge hard to stomach. You see, he has invited Arlo to watch Robert Stevenson’s delightful 1964 classic Mary Poppins, in which a magical Julie Andrews and an accented Dick Van Dyke dance their hearts out while unlocking the joy hidden within a stuffy banker. In return, Arlo has forced Paul to endure Agnieszka Smoczynska’s 2015 goth music video The Lure, in which there is little magic but plenty of pain, blood, and desperation as two virginal maneating mermaids come of age. They’re both musicals, they’re both about women, and…that’s about where the similarities end. Some men just like to watch the world burn, and Arlo appears to be one of them. Plus, lots of great trailers; Sense8, Legion, and Westworld broaden sci-fi TV’s horizons; Brian Michael Bendis’ time with Spider-Man comes to an end; and Arlo finally watched Guillermo del Toro’s debut feature Cronos.
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 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.
Gobbledygeek episode 338, “Ready Player One: Break a Few Easter Eggs,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Nostalgia, some say, means pain from an old wound. This week, Paul is nursing pain from a fresh wound: his immense disappointment at the way Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One has turned out. Spielberg’s big-screen reworking of the tale of a young boy immersed in a virtual reality game called the OASIS, using pop culture as currency to find freedom, is loud and overwhelming. For someone like Paul, that doesn’t sit well; Arlo, on the other hand, finds himself in the unusual position of defending one of these big dumb movies. The boys discuss crucial changes the film makes that change the story’s intention; whether or not Spielberg’s CG rendering of the OASIS is impressive; the ethical and metatextual implications of certain scenes; and why the book is unfairly derided. Plus, Arlo continues his journey through Disney animation.
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.