What happens when a child is born who will invent immortality? According to Ram V and Filipe Andrade’s The Many Deaths of Laila Starr, Death is fired from her job, is cast into a mortal body, and attempts to find and murder this child. Oh, she also dies a lot. On this month’s Four-Color Flashback, Paul & Arlo discuss the book’s unique approach to Indian mythology, Andrade’s beautifully distorted figures, V’s ability to be self-serious without being pretentious, and more. Plus, Paul gets into Severance, the boys aren’t feeling This Is Us‘ final season, and Arlo reads more Superman.
NEXT: it’s an MCU catch-up session. The boys will discuss the trifecta of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Eternals, and Spider-Man: No Way Home.
For Paul and Arlo, existential crises and comic books often go hand-in-hand. Such is the case for this week’s freestyle, wherein Paul’s rumination on the erosion of his teenage self-confidence leads into a discussion of superhero mags. Paul tells Goblin punks to fuck off as he rocks out to Cody Ziglar and Justin Mason’s Spider-Punk, goes undercover with Kelly Thompson and Elena Casagrande’s recently wrapped run on Black Widow, and cloaks himself in Jed MacKay and Alessandro Cappuccio’s Moon Knight. Meanwhile, Arlo rides on horseback through more goofy Silver Age Superman.
NEXT: we will continue to spiral.
“I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times” by The Beach Boys, Pet Sounds (1966)
“Running Water” by Daniel Johnston, Hi, How Are You (1983)
Weigh anchor and hoist the mizzen! Paul and Arlo set sail for a discussion of David Jenkins’ pirate rom-com Our Flag Means Death. The new HBO Max series, a very loose telling of the history between Stede “The Gentleman Pirate” Bonnet and Edward “Blackbeard” Teach, begins as a silly romp very much in the vein of executive producer/star Taika Waititi’s other work. And then…well, it becomes something very much more, depicting a number of queer romances in positive, affirming fashion. The boys discuss this shouldn’t-be-shocking-in-2022 level of representation, the chemistry between Rhys Darby and Waititi, how closely (or not) the show follows the historical record, the series’ moral of not accepting that the way things are is the way they have to be, and more. Plus, up in the sky! It’s a bird, it’s a plane, Arlo is reading old Superman comics!
Jennifer Garner in Gary Winick’s ’13 Going on 30′ (2004). Her face upon realizing she has boobs has become humanity’s face upon awakening each morning.
Gobbledygeek episode 399, “Disclaimer: Not a Criminal Act,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
FIRST THING’S FIRST: Paul obliquely confesses a past sin during this episode, it’s kind of a super tense moment, but Arlo has cleared off-mic that it was not a criminal act! So…do with that what you will! Elsewhere, the world is fucking ending, so you might as well watch The End of the Fucking World. Paul and Arlo muse on the collapse of civilization, discuss proper social distancing etiquette, and recommend things to watch and read as society dissolves. Some of those recommendations: The Hunt, now available on VOD since movie theaters have shuttered; comfy junk food movies like Yes Man and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past; Netflix’s I Am Not Okay with This; Hawkeye: Freefall by Matthew Rosenberg and Otto Schmidt; Matt Fraction and Steve Lieber’s uproarious Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen; and, of course, perennial classic Good Burger.
Next: Ten years. 400 episodes. It’s all led to this. It’s a shame we’re all dying.
Total Run Time: 02:08:53
00:00:46 – Random thoughts on the end of the world
00:59:30 – Paul interrupts the flow to obliquely confess a past sin
01:13:00 – What to watch / read as we slowly go mad and die alone
02:02:26 – Outro / Next
“Doom Days” by Bastille, Doom Days (2019)
“Make Art Not Friends” by Sturgill Simpson, SOUND & FURY (2019)
Gobbledygeek episode 375, “300ccs of Thorazine,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
How does one go from lamenting the untimely demise of Tom King’s Batman to discussing the power structures that dictate what one finds culturally acceptable in any given generation? There’s only one way to find out: by listening to this week’s Gobbledygeek! Paul and Arlo blather about superheroic drama, including Superman: The Animated Series; opinions that have evolved with time, whether they’re on The Downward Spiral or She-Ra: Princess of Power; and why the hell Pete Venkman was carrying 300ccs of Thorazine.
Next: Johny Ho joins Paul and Arlo to discuss Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese in the latest Four-Color Flashback.
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 350, “DC: The New Frontier (feat. Eric Sipple),” is available for listening or download right hereand 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.
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.
Gobbledygeek episode 288, “Stay Evil, Dollface (feat. Scott Stamper),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Suicide is painless, so they say. But is Suicide Squad? That’s up to Paul and Arlo to decide, as they slather on clown makeup and hide their fuzzy pink unicorns to discuss the third film in the DC Extended Universe. Joining these Mostly Marvel Men is DC fan and opinionated tweeter Scott Stamper, known to the common folk as @DerfelMarek. Does the movie live up to its hype? Does it point to a bold new direction for the DCEU following the disappointments of Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice? As usual, there is disagreement. Whod’a thunk it. Plus, Paul and Scott dive into the 2015 animated film Justice League: Gods and Monsters while Arlo listens.
Next: original Gobbler and proud member of the Three Heathens, Joseph Lewis stops by to talk about his feature directorial debut A/V.
Gobbledygeek episode 271, “Paul v Arlo: Kenn of Justice (feat. Kenn Edwards),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
In this corner: striking terror into the hearts of cowardly and superstitious criminals, a creature of the night, black, terrible, it’s the Dark Knight of Gotham City…Batman! And in this corner: faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, unable to get his own sequel not stuffed with a thousand other characters, it’s the Last Son of Krypton…Superman! With Zack Snyder’s hands in the toybox, they must now v each other in preparation for the dawn of next year’s Justice League. Kenn Edwards, host of So Let’s Get to the Point, joins Paul and Arlo to discuss the superheroic epic Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Is Snyder’s Superman a Randian superman? How does Ben Affleck fare as the Caped Crusader? Is the film as much of a mess as you may have heard? The boys get to the bottom of all this, not to mention another of Kenn’s metatextual monologues. Plus, Arlo’s had a name change, and Paul saw Hamilton on Broadway.
Next: poet Donora Hillard joins us to discuss her new book Jeff Bridges. Plus a discussion of Starman!