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 351, “The X-Files: Seasons 10 & 11 (feat. Wesley Mead),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Unleash your bees, fire up your oil rigs, and prepare to get injected with the alien plague one last time–Wesley “Wezzo” Mead joins Paul and Arlo for their final episode discussing Chris Carter’s seminal sci-fi series The X-Files. The gang discusses the 2008 film I Want to Believe, which finds the FBI dragging Mulder and Scully out of retirement to deal with a psychic pedophile priest played by Billy Connolly; season 10, which fails to justify reviving the series; and season 11, which at least shows there’s a bit of a spark left. Godawful mythology mumbo-jumbo, horrendous mistreatment of Dana Katherine Scully, and Darin Morgan brilliance…sounds about right. Plus, Paul admires works of both stage and screen; Wezzo falls for Gravity Falls; and Arlo is vengeance, he is the night, he is watching Batman: The Animated Series.
Next: Matthew Jackson joins us for another installment of this year’s superheroic Four-Color Flashback series. This time we’re talking Thor Visionaries: Walter Simonson – Vol. 1.
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 336, “The Young Girls of Rochefort / The Pirate Movie: Killer Booboos and Cartoon Octopi,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Ahoy and salut! Kicking off a series of occasional musical episodes–as in episodes about musicals; nobody wants to hear our boys sing–inspired by Paul’s love of The Greatest Showman, he and Arlo gear up for a tuneful Geek Challenge. They are both intensely on brand: Arlo challenges Paul to Jacques Demy’s deceptively candy-colored 1967 classic The Young Girls of Rochefort, while Paul forces Arlo to endure Ken Annakin’s inexplicable 1982 swashbuckler The Pirate Movie. They’re surprised to discover that these incredibly different films, besides both being musicals, have some connective tissue: the use of fantasy to escape cruel reality, metatextual references to themselves and other movies, and…well, okay, after that, they’re almost completely different, but come on! Wouldn’t it be cool if Catherine Deneuve danced with a cartoon octopus? Plus, Paul has thoughts on the Star Wars Rebels finale and Arlo has been taking a trip through classic Disney.
Next: Kronos must have forgotten to fold his sheets, because there is now A Wrinkle in Time. I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry.
Gobbledygeek episode 332, “The Greatest Showman: The Noblest Art (feat. Nate Curtiss),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Come one, come all to The Greatest Showman, Michael Gracey’s musical retelling (or is that reshaping?) of the life of circus impresario P.T. Barnum. Paul and Arlo are joined by first-time guest Nate Curtiss, whose obsession with the film rivals Paul’s well-documented mania. The gang discusses the film’s message of tolerance and inclusion, why it’s a better musical than La La Land, and if it’s a problem that the filmmakers have refashioned Barnum as a beacon of progressivism. Plus, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back (did they ever leave?), which is making some fans unhappy (aren’t they always?); and The Cloverfield Paradox was a surprise post-Super Bowl release on Netflix.
Next: last year’s Four-Color Flashback finally comes to a close, as Kenn Edwards joins us to discuss Y: The Last Man – Vol. 10: Whys and Wherefores.