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.
(Show notes for “Infancy War.”)
Welcome to Last Month’s Comics, in which I discuss, uh, last month’s comics. I get my comics in bi-monthly shipments from Discount Comic Book Service, and as such, I can be a little behind. So here we are. This feature started last month.
So, September 2011, what kind of havoc did you wreak? Let’s find out…
BEST RETURN TO FORM
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 9 #1
Writer: Joss Whedon
Art: Georges Jeanty (pencils), Dexter Vines (inks), Michelle Madsen (colors)
Publisher: Dark Horse
To say that I was pleased upon finishing the first issue of the new “season” of Buffy is an understatement. Season 8 started off very well, with Buffy leading an army of 500 Slayers and trying to unmask the mysterious foe Twilight. And to tell the truth, it was great for much of its run, with an occasional stumble (vampires being outed to the public wasn’t handled with much finesse). But the last story arc, with the reveal of Angel as Twilight, cosmic sex, and general batshit insanity, was so damaging that even someone who considers Buffy the Vampire Slayer to be the greatest piece of entertainment ever given us by man had come to the conclusion that it might be for the best if Ms. Summers was finally laid to rest. The final issue of Season 8, though, was a dramatic 180 from the pace and structure of the last few issues leading up to it, and the Season 9 premiere continues in that vein. With Giles gone and magic vanquished, Buffy is depressed and adrift, working as a waitress and getting blackout drunk. It’s all done with Whedon’s razor-sharp wit and keen sense of twenty-something angst. The final “shock twist” is so humdrum and everyday it’s hilarious. In many ways, the metaphorical “party” is over for our Scoobies; now what? I can’t wait to find out.
In our latest episode, Paul and I mentioned a number of comics recommendations for beginners in a variety of genres. However, we also mentioned that we had to pare down our lists significantly so that the topic would even approach being manageable. Here, as promised, are our other selections.
FANTASTIC FOUR #232-293 (John Byrne)
After his legendary Uncanny X-Men run, John Byrne took over Marvel’s first family, the Fantastic Four. Cinematic storytelling, emotional character shake-ups, shocking betrayals. And he grew up Sue Storm, taking her from the Invisible Girl to the Invisible Woman.
Catching up! In episode 17, Paul and I continued our countdown of the Top 100 Characters in Modern Pop Culture with #s 70-61. Be sure to listen to the show for our full run-downs, but here are some choice excerpts:
PAUL: Daniel “Oz” Osbourne (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a series filled to the gills with loquacious and snarky characters, but Oz was unique: he was taciturn and snarky!
AJ: Enid Coleslaw (Ghost World)
Enid is so cynical about everything, from her parents to her friends to the customers at the local diner. She can be hard to like at first, especially because she spends most of the book insulting anyone and everything, but eventually the walls she’s built up start to crumble.