Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Karen Gillan, Rocket Raccoon, Paul Rudd, and Scarlett Johansson in ‘Avengers: Endgame.’
Gobbledygeek episode 372, “Avengers: Endgame – It’s Been a Long, Long Time (feat. Eric Sipple),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
All good things must come to an end. And while the Marvel Cinematic Universe is not one of those things–there’s another one of these bad boys coming out in a few months–Avengers: Endgame does represent the culmination of this first wave/cycle/saga of the MCU. Paul and Arlo are joined by their The Deli Counter of Justice co-creator Eric Sipple to discuss just how in the hell directors Anthony and Joe Russo, screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, and many many other talented filmmakers pulled off this marvelous feat. Because somehow, some way, Endgame is just about the most satisfying conclusion you could hope for.
Gobbledygeek episode 369, “Four-Color Flashback: Blankets,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Marks on paper, sheets of snow, first loves crowned with halos. These are some of the images that make up Craig Thompson’s 2003 illustrated novel Blankets, a modern classic if ever there was one. Paul and Arlo continue this year’s “nondenominational” Four-Color Flashback with a discussion of Thompson’s masterpiece, an autobiographical story of childhood, sexuality, first love, and the author’s struggle with faith. The boys discuss Thompson’s brave and uncomfortable truth, their experiences (or lack thereof) with organized religion, Craig’s idolatry of his beloved Raina, and Thompson’s stunning artwork. Plus, scraps of Marvel news that have no business being in this episode but which broke after we recorded the Captain Marvel one. Sorry. We’re professionals.
Next: after a week off, the boys are back and who knows what they’ll be talking about?
Gobbledygeek episode 368, “Captain Marvel: Hello Flerken,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
It only took ‘em 21 movies, but the Marvel Cinematic Universe has finally debuted a solo female superhero with Captain Marvel. Acclaimed indie filmmakers Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck take to the stars for the story of Carol Danvers, ace pilot turned intergalactic warrior. Drenched in ‘90s nostalgia, the film finds buddy comedy with the spirited Brie Larson/Samuel L. Jackson dynamic; it finds Memento-lite storytelling gymnastics with Carol’s fractured memories. Paul and Arlo debate this approach’s effectiveness; think back to whether or not they loved the ‘90s; consider what the film’s cosmic shenanigans mean for the future of the MCU; and attempt (with varying degrees of success) to check their privilege while analyzing a tale of female empowerment.
Next: the boys crash land back on Earth for another Four-Color Flashback installment, this one discussing Craig Thompson’s modern classic Blankets.
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.
Art from ‘Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters’ by Mike Grell.
Gobbledygeek episode 359, “Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Ollie, draw back your bow and let your arrow go straight to that killer’s heart. For the penultimate Four-Color Flashback of the year, and the final DC installment of our Age of Heroes project, Paul and Arlo head to the asphalt jungle of Seattle as Oliver Queen stalks his street punk prey in Mike Grell’s 1987 miniseries Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters. As was common practice in the ‘80s, Grell reimagined the character of Green Arrow as grimmer, grittier, and existing in a real world full of boobs and blood. The boys discuss why Grell, by and large, does not really pull this off; the two really interesting moments of subversion he does manage; his stellar, sketchy, detailed artwork; and Dinah Lance’s near-fridging. Plus, the boys honor Stan Lee; Arlo cooks up some groovy spaghetti with the new White Album set; Paul needs a Bodyguard; and things get horrifying with The Immortal Hulk and Outer Darkness.
Next: happy Thanksgiving! Paul and Arlo return next month to close out the Age of Heroes with Tom King and Gabriel Hernandez Walta’s The Vision, joined by their pal Jed Waters Keith.
Art from ‘Daredevil: Born Again’ by David Mazzucchelli & Christie Scheele.
Gobbledygeek episode 354, “Daredevil: Born Again (feat. Chance Mazzia),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Sight-impaired Jesus freak Matt Murdock finds himself in the crosshairs of rotund businessman Wilson Fisk in that most celebrated of Daredevil stories, Born Again. Paul and Arlo’s pal Chance Mazzia joins them for another superheroic Four-Color Flashback installment to discuss the Frank Miller/David Mazzucchelli classic. The gang discusses the tale’s obvious religious symbolism; Mazzucchelli’s fluid, detailed art; Miller’s Murdock-style descent into belligerent paranoia; and how Miller’s triple threat of Born Again, The Dark Knight Returns, and Batman: Year One changed superhero comics for better and worse. Plus, Cary Joji Fukanaga goes cuckoo with Netflix’s Maniac, and the gang pays their respects to late Batman artist Norm Breyfogle.
Next: at long last, Gobbledyween returns. The festival of terror kicks off with Robert Eggers’ new cult classic, 2015’s The Witch.
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.