Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 350, “DC: The New Frontier (feat. Eric Sipple)”

Art from ‘DC: The New Frontier’ by Darwyn Cooke.

Gobbledygeek episode 350, “DC: The New Frontier (feat. Eric Sipple),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

For this month’s superheroic Four-Color Flashback installment, Paul and Arlo set out for lands unknown with the late, great Darwyn Cooke’s DC: The New Frontier. Cooke’s ambitious 2004 limited series bridges the gap between comics’ Golden Age and Silver Age, paying nostalgic tribute to the fictional heroes of that time while using the era’s form and style to comment on the day’s social and political ills. They’re joined on their voyage by The Avatar Returns co-host and The Deli Counter of Justice co-creator Eric Sipple. The gang discusses Cooke’s artwork, striking and cinematic in ways few others comics have achieved; how Cooke wisely keeps Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman in the background to focus on new heroes like Green Lantern and the Flash; how the story of J’onn J’onzz, the Martian Manhunter, compares to that of African-American freedom fighter John Henry; the pretty good animated adaptation; and more. Plus, Eric has some personal news; SDCC happened, including a slew of trailers for the likes of Shazam, Aquaman, and more; and Nathan Fillion gets his Nathan Drake on in the Uncharted fan film.

Next: the end is out there. Wesley “Wezzo” Mead joins Paul and Arlo to talk The X-Files one last time, as the gang discusses the big screen continuation I Want to Believe and both revival seasons.

(Show notes for “DC: The New Frontier.”)

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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.”)

Listen to Episode 110, “#12”

Gobbledygeek episode 110, “#12,” is available for listening or download right here.

It’s been one year–and exactly half the show ago–since DC rebooted their entire line, dubbing this bold creative decision/shameless marketing ploy the “New 52.” Paul and AJ check back in on the New 52, pointing out what’s working (Animal Man, Swamp Thing) and what’s not (Justice LeagueDetective Comics). Has this whole thing been worth it? Has it made a difference for the company? And what are we to make of the editorial troubles that have been messily dragged out into the public? We can’t promise any good answers, but we sure try! Plus, AJ talks about the best birthday present he received and Paul has exciting adventures at the zoo.

Next: celebrate Gobbledygeek’s eleventy-first episode as the boys discuss the 1977 Rankin/Bass animated musical television special The Hobbit. BYOPW (bring your own pipe-weed).

(Show notes for “#12.”)

Last Month’s Comics: DC Reboots and ‘Spider-Island’ Breaks Out

Welcome to Last Month’s Comics, in which I will discuss, uh, last month’s comics. The past couple episodes, we’ve pimped Direct Comic Book Service, which I’ve recently started using as a way to return to regular comics reading. The only downside is that I only get bi-weekly shipments (the weekly option is there, it’s just more expensive), so I won’t wind up reading all of my comics from one month until the beginning or the middle of the next. So I figured it’d be nice to sum up my thoughts, frustrations, and surprises about each month’s comics in a single column. It should be noted that, of course, I’m only reading comics that strike my fancy, there are some books I won’t get started on until a couple months from now, and that I also skipped out on all of DC’s books this month…with one exception.

Let’s get started with August 2011…

BEST #1
Angel & Faith #1
Writer: Christos Gage
Art: Rebekah Isaacs (pencils/inks), Dan Jackson (colors)
Executive Producer: Joss Whedon
Publisher: Dark Horse

Last year, Gobbledygeek called Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Eight the Worst Comic Book of 2010. It was more a symbolic award than anything: there were worse comics, but none that were more disappointing. Season Eight had a very strong first two-thirds, but in the last third, things went awry more than they went a-right (please forgive me). It all culminated in the bizarre, confusing, contrived “Twilight’s Last Gleaming” arc. However, the final issue was a stellar return to form, and Joss Whedon has promised that Season Nine will be smaller, more character-driven, less prone to jump-the-shark-ness. Judging from Angel & Faith #1, the first piece of Season Nine, I’d say he’s kept that promise. Though I still don’t fully understand what Angel was up to last season–“Your whole Twilight phase makes about as much sense as a David Lynch movie,” so says Faith–watching him again struggling with remorse over his actions and back in help-the-helpless mode is refreshing. Where once Angel was Faith’s mentor, the roles have reversed. Faith is now there to help Angel deal with his grief, though based on the last-page shocker, she’s got a lot of work to do. Christos Gage has all of the characters’ voices down pat, and Rebekah Isaacs’ art might be the best to ever grace any Whedon comic. Can she draw Buffy too?

(Paul and I reviewed Angel & Faith #1 in “Talking Turkey.”)

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Four-Color Flashback: Chris Claremont & John Byrne’s ‘Uncanny X-Men’ #122-128

Welcome to week 3 of 5 in our analysis of Chris Claremont and John Byrne’s run on Uncanny X-Men. Weeks 1 and 2 can be found here and here.

From #122, “Cry for the Children!,” to #128, “The Action of the Tiger!,” almost every X-Man experiences considerable developments. Since I spilled a boatload of digital ink in the first two columns by going through each issue chronologically, I figured I’d take a different tack this week. I’ll discuss each X-Man individually, then offer some overall thoughts after the fact.

First up:

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Listen to Episode 55, “#1”

Gobbledygeek episode 55, “#1,” is available for listening or download right here.

You may have heard that DC Comics is relaunching/rebooting/re-whatevering its entire line. We certainly have, and rejoined by Nathan, we’re here to discuss all 52 titles, from the Batmen to the WildC.A.T.S. to the…questionable decisions made by just about everyone involved. But hey! It’s not us to be cynical, right? Right? Is this thing on? Plus: news and Formspring questions!

Next: nostalgia and Super 8.

(Show notes for “#1.”)

On DVD & Blu-Ray, 6/7/11: ‘Breaking Bad,’ ‘True Grit,’ More

BREAKING BAD: The Complete Third Season (DVD/Blu-ray)

Breaking Bad‘s terrific second season was tightly plotted ahead of time, with ample foreshadowing throughout. For the show’s third season, however, creator Vince Gilligan and his writers turned into expert jazz players, improvising every note, changing rhythm, and exploring all sorts of new grooves. Gilligan and Co. repeatedly force science-teacher-turned-methmaker Walt and his junkie partner Jesse into corners there’s seemingly no way they’ll get out of; and the creative team had no idea if they could either, until they started writing the next episode. An approach like this could easily have been disastrous, but instead makes for one of the all-time great seasons of television. The jagged, frayed chemistry between Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul makes for the best duo on TV, both giving fierce performances. Stand-out episodes in a stand-out season include “One Minute,” with an intense set piece for the ages; “Fly,” which takes place entirely in the lab, examining Walt and Jesse’s relationship; and “Full Measure,” the epic season finale. Extras include commentaries by Gilligan and the cast; and a number of featurettes. 

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