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Oct 24

House to Astonish Episode 93

Posted on Wednesday, October 24, 2012 by Al in Podcast

Another episode that’s a few days late, but there’s plenty in there, with a discussion of an enormous number of stories out of NYCC (really, we get through a lot. Like, about 30 or so). We’ve also got reviews of Uncanny Avengers, The Zaucer of Zilk and Cyber Force and the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe is rubbing a lucky rabbit’s foot. All this plus Avengers On Ice! On Fire!, gambling with a jetpack and an equal opportunities dingathon.

The podcast is here, or here on Mixcloud, or available via the embedded player below. We’re also available on or through their free iOS or Android apps. Let us know what you think, in the comments below, on Twitter, via email or on our Facebook fan page.

On top of that, next episode’s our four-year anniversary as a podcast – what do you want to hear us do? Q&A? Karaoke? More regionally-accented comics creators?

Bring on the comments

  1. Tdubs says:

    Carlton Cuse was a writer and maybe creator of Bruce Campbell’s Brisco County. A lot of similarity between the two and I like both so I’m hopeful.

  2. Ethan says:

    I share Paul’s apathy. If Kickstarter isn’t interested in enforcing this notion of “what Kickstarter is for” then I don’t see why anyone else should care.

  3. odessasteps says:

    I was coming to mention that carlton cuse co created brisco county and someone beat me to it.

  4. Zach Adams says:

    Howard Chaykin isn’t the most “Really?” Season One. The Ant-Man GN was by Tom DeFalco. (It was perfectly acceptable comics, but kind of disappointing nonetheless.)

  5. Zach Adams says:

    Also: I guess Matt Sturges is probably best known as a collaborator with Willingham; he did Jack of Fables etc.

  6. Mike says:

    Good lord, four years? This still seems “new” to me, the idea of Al and Paul doing a podcast.

  7. Joe S. Walker says:

    Re the Vegan Colossus, no mention of his devil-horns showing from under his 1964 rocker-style haircut? Or the scene where the Wasp fires a grapnel-type climbing wire into his nose?

  8. Flypaper says:

    /Pauses podcast halfway through.

    …Wasn’t Wanda officially the leader of Force Works? I don’t have those books anymore, but I seem to remember Iron Man promising that she was totally the leader, absolutely, and the fact that he was funding the whole thing and using it as his personal strike force should in no way be seen as undermining her authority.


  9. Ethan says:

    According to Wanda was also briefly leader of the West Coast Avengers. I’m not sure if this has been brought up, but is the fact that Havok is Scott’s brother possibly a direct reason for doing this? Perhaps they’re trying to emphasise that he’s no longer a leader of the mutant community by highlighting that even his brother is on board with the new status quo?

  10. Jacob says:

    I actually found myself saying to a friend that I could drop Marvel and DC and subsist happily on IDWs output at the moment.

    Yes, I realise that a lot of the properties they published appeal to me due to age range but what they are doing with Transformers at the moment is amazing.

    Locke and Key is great, pretty much the closest western comics have come to JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.

    James Stokoe’s Godzilla Half Century War is also amazing.

  11. Wanda was co-leader (pretty much) of the Avengers under Busiek for a while as well. But given Havok was leader of the government era X-Factor, would that not lend him credibility, in-universe at least, as a dependable leader in the eyes of the public?

    I had to Google some previews of that Cyberforce comic, because I couldn’t believe that Khoi Pham’s artwork was the highlight of it and seeing some pages I’m amazed at how good it looks. His work at Marvel over the past four or five years was terrible. I don’t think you can blame it on the schedules, because it was terrible on all the books he worked on, most of which kept to schedule (most of which tended to be ones I really liked as well, such as X-Factor and Incredible Hercules).

  12. AndyD says:

    Paul&Al, will you review Sean Howe’s Marvel book?

    I guess “competent” is the best adjective Cyberforce deserves. I just remember a generic “bad-ass” i.e. boring team which never could manage a schedule. Is there really a demand for that?

    Of course doing the Kickstarter thing for a book like Cyberforce seems to be a bit bizarre. I thought this was for properties which no publisher wants to touch because of market indifference? It TC that desperate?

    Havok as a leader for Thor, Captain America and Wolverine is just plain ridiculous.

  13. Having seen the first three Arrow episodes, I can officially put the adjective “competent” on it. Visually it’s okay and the action sequences are not bad, but the writing is so boring and cliché-ridden. For a justice-vigilante TV series with murky past flashbacks, I prefer Person of Interest, it is much more satisfying.

  14. alex says:

    I know years ago, Al said that the IDW Dr Who books weren’t available in the UK.

    If that’s not true anymore, I’d love to hear a review of the Dr Who/TNG IDW mini-series.

  15. kingderella says:

    my feeling about ‘arrow’ so far is that its decent enough to keep you watching, but after a while you realize that, hey, its actually not really that good, and why exactly am i watching this? and so you stop. see also: nikita, v, revenge, revolution

  16. Daibhid Ceannaideach says:

    If Eleven Doctors doesn’t feature Matt Smith excitedly informing Doctors 1, 2, 4, 5, and 7 how cool their hats are, I’ll be very disappointed. (Although if I even see it I’ll be pleasantly surprised enough to make up for it.)

    Mixed feelings about THUNDER Agents; never read the original series, thought the DC version was interesting, but suffered from self-fulfilling prophecy: “We assume that only serious THUNDER Agents fans are even picking this up, so let’s have the cliffhanger be the revelation of some guy from the sixties series whom we have never mentioned before!”

    Putting Bendis on minor titles to give them a boost seems like a good idea. I’m a little perturbed that he’s on a minor title about a team, suggesting Marvel are still under the impression that’s one of his strengths. After all, if he couldn’t write team books, why would they have assigned him so many? It wouldn’t make sense!

    Anyone who (like me) just learnt that Arrow premiered in the UK on Monday from Al might like to know it’s repeated on Sky Two on Saturday. (If you’re reading this after Saturday, well, I’ve done all I can.)

    I’m not sure about comparing Savile to Mr Rogers; surely it’s more like “imagine if [US children’s TV host who has always been regarded as a bit weird and somewhat creepy, at least by adults]…”

    I’ve not read Uncanny Avengers, but I checked the Red Skull’s marvel.wikia page to see why he wasn’t dead, and it says “A mental recording of the Red Skull from the end of World War Two was brought back in a new body”. So to be fair, as far as this version of the Skull is concerned, he’s just learnt mutants exist.

    Talking of marvel.wikia, the entry for Colossus (Vegan) gives him an intelligence rating of 2, which apparently means “normal”. Only for an Ant-Man villain, Colossus, only for an Ant-Man villain.

  17. Daibhid Ceannaideach says:

    @alex, my experience is that DW/TNG is available (or at least my comics shop got hold of it), and no other IDW Doctor Who titles are. No idea why.

  18. Chris McFeely says:

    @Daibhid Trickery on IDW’s part – by putting “Star Trek” on the left side of the “/” in the title, it’s officially listed as a Star Trek book rather than a Who one, and hence allowed to be sold in the UK.

  19. Jonny K says:

    Ooh, ooh, could you feature “Midlands-accented Kieron Gillen” as a guest?

  20. sam says:

    As far as what to do for a four year anniversary show, I don’t want you to have to do a lot of extra preparation, but I would be interested to know what each of you thinks is the best comics story of the last four years.

  21. ZZZ says:

    – I’m pretty sure Thor actually has led the Avengers at some point, but I’m also pretty sure that there was a time when the founding members took turns leading or something.

    – The Kickstarter thing reminds me of a guy I knew who got upset if anyone ordered a steak cooked any way other than rare. Because steak is SUPPOSED to be served rare, you see. It didn’t matter if you preferred a different level of cooking or even if you didn’t enjoy rare steak; your enjoyment of your food was inconsequential in the face of the fact that you were doing steak WRONG! Some men don’t want to make sense, some men just want to watch the world obey.

    -I would like to see the scene where the Vegan Colossus returns home and we find out that this was actually a textbook Vegan scouting mission.

    “Were you able to find a village to loom menacingly over, Colossus?”

    “Better than that, I was able to find a village under a CLIFF! I loomed the hell over that village!”

    “Outstanding! Of course, I assume you weren’t able to actually reach the village then, but it’s a small price to pay to loom that menacingly.”

    “Oh, worry not, sir: I was able to wave a stick at the village as I loomed.”

    “Then I assume the planet is all but ours. The invasion will commence immediately.”

    “Actually, that’s where things fell apart. I was attacked by one of the locals…”

    “They sent their mightiest warrior to face you?”

    “No, considering how thoroughly I trounced him, I assume he was just a random passerby driven to a frenzy by my menacing looming and stick waving. But as I mecilessly beat the senses from his body he … he … vanished!”

    “Good Vegan God! Were you damaged?”

    “I managed to escape unharmed – narrowly – but if even random passersby have the ability to vanish…”

    “We’ll call off the invasion immediately. You were wise to flee. Someone get this Colossus a medal!”

  22. Tom B says:

    On the Fables/Unwritten crossover. It does seem strange especially when Carey has talked about Unwritten running for 60 issues and this seemingly gimmicky run happening between 50-55 ish.

    Unless… unless they are going to go right out into Animal Man world and in the final arc uncover than fact that Unwritten is a Vertigo comic. If that’s the case then crossing over into another Vertigo comic in the preceding arc would make sense.


    On Sweet Tooth being cancelled – this was announced back in May and Lemire had said then that the series wasn’t being cancelled, it was coming to its natural conclusion.


    A while back you gave a fairly favourable review of Super Dinosaur and I just picked it up as it was on special. It is SO MUCH FUN! And that’s all – it’s just a heap of fun. I think there should be an annual contest for best new character design because Super Dinosaur has made me smile every time I see those little T-Rex arms and I love showing people how he looks.


    I sent you some chocolate – did it ever turn up?

  23. kelvingreen says:

    It’s the four-year anniversary next time, so will you be relaunching with a new #1 when you get to #100? House to Astonish NOW! perhaps?

    When I saw Bendis attached to Guardians of the Galaxy my heart sank. It’s like he’s going around ruining all my favourite characters. Sigh.

  24. Hmm says:

    Donates to charity.
    Lives alone.
    Bit weird.

    Bruce Wayne would be front page Daily Mail material currently.

    As uninteresting as some of the Marvel NOW! changes seem, at least they aren’t doing a DC style reboot. The new 52 has killed most of my interest in that universe.

  25. Marilyn Merlot says:

    Next podcast Al should speak solely as Frank Cho.

  26. Two Bed Two Bath says:

    kelvingreen: “When I saw Bendis attached to Guardians of the Galaxy my heart sank. It’s like he’s going around ruining all my favourite characters. Sigh.”

    With that last Moon Knight series, I sadly crossed the final entry — the Night Shift — off my list of ‘Marvel Characters I’m Kinda Fond Of That Bendis Has Yet To Dick Over.’

  27. Paul C says:

    I wait with dread to see how both Bendis & Loeb will make a balls of the stellar cosmic work that Abnett & Lanning had spent years crafting.

  28. Curtailing the DnA-led cosmic books – the strongest, separate alternative to Bendis’ Avengers books over the last 8 years – only to bring them back (due to fan demand!) just with Bendis and Loeb writing them, almost feels like deliberate trolling on Marvel’s part. Or a complete misunderstanding of why the books were popular.

  29. Martin, we can’t exactly judge whether or not they misunderstand the appeal of the books and the characters until, you know, we read their books.

    But I’m not hopeful either.

  30. Chris M. says:

    I’ve felt a bit blessed that Bendis has yet to ruin my two favorite Marvel characters (namely, Ghost Rider and the Punisher). Of course, both characters have now been touched by Daniel Way, so for every rose there’s a big bloody thorn waiting to gouge a hole in your finger.

    And Thor led the Avengers during Steve Englehart’s run in the 1970s, particularly during the “Celestial Madonna” storyline.

  31. Al says:

    AndyD: Probably won’t review Sean Howe’s book, ‘cos it’s not the kind of thing we normally do, but I’m looking forward to reading it very much.

    Jonny K: Not next time, but probably the time after, I’m sure.

    Tom B: It did! Thank you so much! I meant to email you back after it arrived. It was terrific.

    (For the record, I heartily endorse Whittaker’s chocolate)

  32. Bill Walko says:

    I dunno, I kinda see Al’s point in regards to Kickstarter. The idea (and it’s sort of in the name) is that the site was supposed to give worthy projects a much-needed kickstart through a sponsor system.

    Kickstarting a Cyberforce project may seem benign, but it does open the door for, say, Pepsi to kickstart new cola varieties or something. Seems like an odd swerve for the site’s intended purpose. There could be interesting consequences if companies see Kickstarter as a promo vehicle for potential new product launches.

    It’s sorta similar to how Hollywood has overshadowed comics at San Diego Comic-Con. You understand how and why it happened, but it seems somehow “wrong” that something that was once grassroots and gave lesser creators a chance to shine.. is now gobbled up by people with bigger pocket books.

    Of course, if Kickstarter isn’t policing such things, there isn’t much to do about it, is there?

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