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Jan 21

House to Astonish Episode 161

Posted on Sunday, January 21, 2018 by Al in Podcast

New year, new podcast, and Paul and I are back to discuss Marvel’s announcements of Kelly Thompson’s exclusive and Dan Slott’s move, the new Domino and Exiles series, the return of the original Wolverine, John Nee replacing Dan Buckley and the wedding of Kitty Pryde and Colossus, as well as the Eisner Hall of Fame nominees, Promethea’s appearance in Justice League and the stellar cast of creators on Action Comics 1000. We’ve also got reviews of Strangers In Paradise XXV and Avengers: No Surrender, and the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe is, like, so random. All this plus pants bants, Magnum T.A. and the X-Stonishing Ass-Men.

The podcast is here, or here on Mixcloud, or available via the embedded player below. Let us know what you think, in the comments below, on Twitter, by email or on or Facebook fan page. You can also get our great T-shirts at our Redbubble store, which come with a money back guarantee – at least one person will think you look amazing in it (that person will be me).

Bring on the comments

  1. Moo says:

    Re: Laura’s code name.

    According to Wikipedia, other names for “wolverine” include: “glutton”, “carcajou”, “skunk bear”, and “quickhatch”

    I’m kind of partial to Skunk Bear. In fact, Marvel could roll out a new “Wolverine Family” line with titles such as:

    Wolverine & the Carcajous
    Laura Kinney: Skunk Bear
    Old Man Glutton
    Jimmy Quickhatch

  2. Taibak says:

    Oh God… Marvel is FINALLY marrying Kitty and Colossus?

    Am I the only person who thinks this is a bad idea – and don’t even see what the attraction is in shipping the characters beyond nostalgia?

  3. mark coale says:

    1. If I had known thwere was a pod this week, I would have asked the guys discuss the Peter Wyngarde/Mastermind stuff from the 80s.

    2. Lots of wacky things to ask about kitty/Peter wedding. Will the famously atheist Colossus convert for Kitty? Who will be the best man? Kurt? Will Logan give her away?

    3. Seems like there have been a bunch of those “previously fogotten” characters besides Triumph and Sentry. Blue Marvel, Tomorrow Woman, the woman waid used last year in that Avengers mini.

  4. Martin Smith says:

    I only know Random from crowd scenes in stuff like Mike Carey’s X-Men and so I’ve never got the name before (not really known what his powers are). It’s always made me think of 00s teenage girls using it as a meaningless buzzword. “OMG, that’s so random! Which kinda fits with him being a teenager.

    I’m quite keen for Exiles coming back. I’ve always liked the concept and the original series was really good until Claremont took over (even Austen wasn’t too bad on it) and the abortive Jeff Parker version was great. I like what Ahmed’s been saying about how Lil Wolvie (also disappointed he’s not the Giarusso Mini Marvels version btw) will be used. The Valkyrie used is based on the MCU version but not too similar. She’s from a reality where Asgard has no Odin and Thor and she’s the main hero.

    Totally agree about the devaluation of brand names by Marvel. I honestly couldn’t even tell you what the current Avengers books are now, which is the “main” one and what the difference is between them. But that all started way back with New and Mighty under Bendis, frankly. I think the change from “anyone can be an Avenger” to “everyone is an Avenger” has been a poor one. The success of the films should really have increased the prestige of Avengers membership, instead of it being turned into a something given away in a box of cereals.

  5. Jerry Ray says:

    As a reader who was a bit younger than Kitty when she joined the team (which was exactly when I started reading), I never really found the Peter/Kitty relationship that creepy. She was a little mature for her age, Peter was a little naive, and the whole thing was basically chaste (despite Kitty’s efforts). And it’s not like there were any other potential boyfriends for her at the school, until the New Mutants showed up.

    I’m generally fine with they idea that they had a teenage crush thing going on, went their separate ways, and later found each other again developed a mature relationship. That’s hard to square with some of the hamfisted ways in which the relationship has been handled in the interim, of course.

    That said, marrying them off seems like a terrible idea. It ages Kitty even more (I really don’t want to see her as the team mom), and after the inevitable divorce, I dread all the bitter sulking around when they have to be on the same team that will follow. How about NOT ruining the characters, instead?

  6. mark coale says:

    I always liked the Avengers had a series of discrete line-ups, as opposed to “once in, always in” model of the Justice League.

    I figured Waid’s book is the main book now.

  7. Si says:

    Sunspot in New Mutants had a few main character hooks:
    He had a hero complex, and often got angry when he was stuck in the second tier or not given the respect he thought he deserved.
    His dad was a bad man, not evil, just bad, and there were fears he’d follow in his father’s footsteps.
    He was a bit of a spoiled rich kid, with access to immense wealth.

    Later they kind of forgot about a lot of these traits of course. But they were there in whole or in part all along.

    Now in Al Ewing’s books, he’s in a position of great respect and renown, and he’s loving being where he always thought he should be. Just like when he went to Asgard that time. He plays superheroics like a supervillain, which explains why Xavier et al where concerned about him. And he pretends to be a spoilt rich kid to catch people off-guard, while actually using his obscene wealth to buy cool weapons and bases and stuff. It really is a direct, though not entirely obvious, lineage. The only added bit seems to be that he’s suddenly a master manipulator. But I don’t know, maybe he always had that skill, but never used it because he wasn’t the boss. I can’t remember enough about when he was/wasn’t Reignfire, but maybe there’s precedent? I think a future version of him ran the world or something too, right?

    As for OHOTHOTMU, I love the idea of a character called Random who’s entire job these days is to be random background.

  8. mark coale says:

    I reread the New Mutants OGN recently and had forgotten Sunspot was on the way to being a futbol player when his mutant powers activated during a match.

  9. Jim says:

    Always nice but unexpected to hear mentions of Urusei Yatsura and BMX Bandits.
    Yatsura aren’t really still together btw, they just have one member with a Twitter.

  10. Thom H. says:

    One of my favorite things about the Avengers was that they would take an entire issue to redefine their membership.

    Those stories were usually framed along the lines of, “There are too many Avengers! We’re cutting the team down to 7 people, and that’s it!”

    Explicitly excluding people made Avengers membership seem special, even though we all knew it was just the writer setting up new storylines behind the scenes.

    These days, it’s like, “Oh, Storm’s here? I guess she’s an Avenger now for two issues.”

  11. SanityOrMadness says:

    Wasn’t PAD’s intention for Random that he was actually teenage GIRL? And that being vetoed was one of the reasons he left the book?

    (I also vaguely remember that the Dark Beast thing was played as him being blackmailed because he needed DB’s help to maintain a solid form.)

  12. jpw says:

    Kitty/Piotr marrying seems like an immensely terrible idea. As does bringing back real Wolverine. He was replaced by like six different versions, FFS. Thor’s return really worked because the character was completely out of circulation for a while (albeit somewhat unintentionally). Wolverine’s death was followed by…three new Wolverine series…

    Being an Avenger is meaningless now. In the MU, You can basically get an Avengers membership by signing up for a credit card in the refreshments area at an NBA game.

  13. Dave White says:

    For some reason Voyager’s costume scheme also reminds me of the old Defenders foe Nebulon. But that’s probably just me.

  14. Voord 99 says:

    When Bendis originally did the New/Mighty Avengers split, it wasn’t a *terrible* idea. After Civil War, you have an “official” Stark-sponsored Avengers and a renegade anti-Stark Avengers, each denying that the other is the “real” Avengers.

    It wasn’t all that well done, but the basic idea works, because — as our host Paul O’Brien once argued — the Avengers aren’t actually about anything interesting, but they can be made to have some resonance in stories by making those stories about the history of the Avengers themselves. So having a fight over who gets to control the name “Avengers” and its legacy is something that makes sense. And then, of course, the next logical step is Dark Avengers.

    It’s the sort of thing that makes me feel that while I think Civil War was a pretty terrible story, the stuff that followed it (the Initiative, etc.). really was pretty good. But that story came to its logical end with Siege, and at that point, the artistically satisfying thing is for the divisions to cease and there to be one unified Avengers team.

    But by that point the Avengers had displaced the X-Men as Marvel’s biggest brand, and we know what Marvel will do with their biggest brand…

  15. Moo says:

    Avengers squabbling over the name is fine for a story here and there, but not as an ongoing premise. Avengers isn’t really supposed to be about anything other than superheroes protecting the earth. Nothing wrong with that, and plenty of writers in the past have turned in decent, interesting stories just staying within that framework. I have zero interest in seeing Avengers become some legacy crap the heroes are constantly fighting over. It just makes them seem obnoxious and incapable of getting their act together

  16. Zachary Adams says:

    Didn’t PAD explicitly say that he resented being asked to keep bringing Random back after he was done? I know the old racmx FAQ cited it, and I THOUGHT there was a link to an actual post David had made to the newsgroup, but I could be mis-remembering conjecture as fact because it was in an authoritative-looking document when I first found Usenet in 1995.

  17. PersonofCon says:

    Wasn’t Kitty engaged to another guy named Peter just a year ago or so?

    I’d be up for that as a running gag. Next year, Pete Wisdom shows up looking hopeful. Peter Parker after that. Peter Corbeau, of course. And if they ever run out, the Trapster waits in the wings.

  18. mark coale says:

    Didn’t Ultimate Kitty date Peter Parker?

  19. Moo says:

    Has she met Paste-Pot Pete?

    Actually, that might be a better story for Kitty Pryde’s X-Stonishing Ass-Men counterpart, Pussy Wyde.

  20. Jonny K says:

    I am amazed you didn’t use the phrase “Giant-Size Superman-Thing”.

  21. Daibhid Ceannaideach says:

    My usual random thoughts (some of the funnier ones I deleted because you said them while I was typing):

    “Kid Arachnid” is also Miles’s name in the last two animated series. I’m fine with Laura staying as Wolverine — it worked for Kate Bishop. (Not being called Wolverine, obviously. That wouldn’t work for Kate Bishop at all.)

    Tesskyrie not being from the actual MCU is a shame because a funny idea I thought of is if she seemed familiar with some of the Avengers concepts, but was the only member of the team with absolutely no idea who Wolverine was, and just got more confused when people tried to explain. (“Well, you know the X-Men?” “No.”)

    Strictly speaking, I think DC doesn’t own Peter Cannon, which is why he doesn’t appear in Multiversity: Pax Americana (which I guess is kind of what Al was saying about using the Charlton characters to critique Watchmen).

    I’m surprised Marvel are directly riffing on Triumph, who DC basically forgot about for years until Grant Morrison made him a villain and then promptly forgot about again. But I think Mark Waid co-created the character, so that does make sense.

  22. Si says:

    “Kid Arachnid” actually sounds okay if you say it out loud, because it rhymes and has a nice rhythm. It looks stupid written down though.

  23. Brian says:

    I still think that Laura should stay Wolverine while Logan is simply…Logan. He’s got the logo from the film already and is recognizable in his minimally-accessorized non-costumed self. Why can’t he go by that name for a bit and let Laura carry the trademark?

  24. mark coale says:

    Kid Arachnid sounds like a Silver Age Legionnaire.

  25. Moo says:

    I don’t understand why “Kid Arachnid” should seem any sillier than names like “Doctor Octopus” or “Mister Sinister.” It just takes getting used to. I burst out laughing the first time I read the name “Mister Sinister” in an issue of Marvel Age back when Marvel was promoting the then upcoming Mutant Massacre storyline. But now, years later, the name is….

    Actually, no, “Mister Sinister” still sounds really stupid to my ears. I haven’t gotten used to it. Forget I said anything.

  26. Voord 99 says:

    – Mister Sinister was originally meant to be a child’s idea of a scary supervillain, and Claremont came up with the name to suit that. This is one of those cases where the original plan sounds (at least for me) so much better than what ended up being done.

    – I think that some of the problem with “Kid Arachnid” is the combination of a colloquial everyday word, “kid,” with a formal scientific (if familiar) word, “arachnid.” It jars in a way that “Kid Spider” wouldn’t (which is not to say that “Kid Spider” would be a good name – it wouldn’t).

    (And I’m afraid that I don’t agree with Si about it sounding OK out loud. My ear can only bring out the rhyme by stressing “arachnid” weirdly: “Kid ArachNID.”)

    As mark coale says, it would work in the LSH (cf. Kid Quantum), because of the deliberately camp, deliberately childish tone and massive amounts of Silver Age nostalgia that LSH stories can have.

    Not that I have anything better.

    – I think that the Kate Bishop solution is less easy to transfer to Laura and Miles than it appears. Clint is not as high-profile as Peter Parker or Logan. In particular, there’s a much less prominent history of him carrying his own title, and the most prominent time that he did, he shared it with Kate.

    I’m not fond of the whole “the real X is the X that I grew up with” thing. But it definitely exists and impacts characters’ ability to succeed in the marketplace, and I think it’s a much bigger problem when calling a character “Spider-Man” or “Wolverine” than it is when calling a character “Hawkeye.”

    With Wolverine, I think you *might* be able to get away with just calling the original “Logan,” a name which is almost as iconic, and has an Oscar-nominated movie and everything.

  27. jpw says:

    The problem with calling him Logan, though, is that we also have Old Man Logan.

  28. Voord 99 says:

    I don’t think we’ll have that problem for too much longer…

  29. Chris V says:

    DC definitely does not own the rights to Peter Cannon. At least not anymore.
    Dynamite Comics published a Peter Cannon mini-series in 2012.

  30. Omar Karindu says:

    “Doctor Octopus” or “Mister Sinister.” It just takes getting used to. I burst out laughing the first time I read the name “Mister Sinister” in an issue of Marvel Age back when Marvel was promoting the then upcoming Mutant Massacre storyline. But now, years later, the name is….

    Not to mention names like “Doctor Doom” and “Green Goblin.”

    But pretty much everything has this kind of thing: think of sports mascots and team names, for instance. There are more than few goofy ones out there; ditto rock bands.

  31. The original Matt says:

    I’m pretty sure I heard or read a rumour or something that Miles’ code name would be Spi-D.

    Granted I just skimmed the comments, but I didn’t notice anyone else mention it (if you did, I’m sorry) and now I’m hoping it was just a bad dream I had.

  32. Tim says:

    I would buy a “Skunk Bear” comic in an instant.

    Lego has been really successful at turning themselves into the official kids’ version of every licensed property. My 9-year-old pretty much exclusively plays the Lego versions of everything.

    It seems to me DCs reasoning with Promethea is similar to Marvel’s reasoning a few years back with Angela, and similarly flawed. Just because a creator has a following doesn’t mean every character they’ve created does too.

    I would hope that Al’s theory about Geoff Johns trying to spite Alan Moore isn’t true, but I think it’s worth noting that Moore’s claims about Blackest Night being substantially based on his work really don’t hold up. I think Johns is kind of a hack, but fair is fair, the core concept of Blackest Night is the rainbow of lantern corps, and that has nothing to do with Moore’s Ysmault stuff.

  33. Kelvin Green says:

    The “post-credits” scene thing reminds me of Death’s Head in High Noon Tex. Once again, Death’s Head leads and others follow.

    It doesn’t look like you do have a Google+ page, not as House to Astonish, anyway.

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