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 339, “The X-Files: Season 8 (feat. Wesley Mead),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
This week, Wesley “Wezzo” Mead stops by for more abuse. He joins Paul and Arlo to once again discuss Chris Carter’s seminal sci-fi series The X-Files; this time, the gang talks season 8, the last pre-revival season to feature David Duchovny as a (semi-)regular. They discuss how frustrating it is the show can’t let go of Duchovny when it clearly needs to; why the introduction of Robert Patrick as John Doggett is so strong; how, despite some real stinkers, this is the most consistent the show has been in years; and how Carter & Co. continue to put Scully in boxes that conform to gender stereotypes. Plus, Wezzo has more obscure Netflix recommendations, Paul is obsessed with the forthcoming Spider-Man game for PS4, and–guess what–Arlo ropes Wezzo into discussing politics again.
Next: this year’s Four-Color Flashback gets off to a belated start as Kenn Edwards drops by to discuss Batman: A Death in the Family.
Gobbledygeek episode 315, “The Assassination of Jesse James: Don’t That Podcast Look Dusty?”, is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
135 years ago, Robert Ford put a bullet in the back of Jesse James’ head. 34 years ago, Ron Hansen put pen to paper for a literary retelling of this slaying, calling it The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. 10 years ago, Australian writer-director Andrew Dominik put to film his version of this novel. What gets lost over time and through multiple translations? What aspects of the legend become amplified, and what diminished? These are appropriately heady questions, as Dominik’s film tackles the very concepts of celebrity, idolatry, memory, and myth. The movie, met with decent reviews and zero fanfare upon release, seems like a classic in 2017. Paul and Arlo rave about the film, including Roger Deakins’ once-in-a-lifetime stellar cinematography, the spellbinding score by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, and the haunting performances from Casey Affleck and Brad Pitt. They also discuss who’s the real coward, who really killed whom, and what the film has to say about masculinity and the Old West. Plus, that new Spider-Man game for the PS4 looks baller.
Next: the boys’ year-long Four-Color Flashback exploration of Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s Y: The Last Man continues with Vol. 6: Girl on Girl.