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Feb 15

House to Astonish Episode 171

Posted on Friday, February 15, 2019 by Al in Podcast

It’s a scattershot selection of news this time around, as we talk about DC’s layoffs, Image’s new retailer programmes and their announcements of Excellence and FairLady, Marvel’s upcoming Agents of Atlas and Savage Avengers series, the third Batman/TMNT mini, an interesting fill-in on Catwoman, Jughead’s Time Police, David F Walker’s Solid Comix and a quick round-up of comics festival news. We’ve also got reviews of Wonder Twins and Savage Sword of Conan, and the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe is up to its old tricks. All this plus Sword Trainee, the Miscellaneanaissance and the left hand not knowing what the Hand is doing.

The podcast is here, or here on Mixcloud, or available via the embedded player below. Let us know what you think, in the comments, via email, on Twitter or via our Facebook fan page. And hey, you’re never fully dressed without a smile, and you’re never fully FULLY dressed without a House to Astonish T-shirt!

Bring on the comments

  1. Joe says:

    The original REH conan stories take place some time before the dawn of recorded history. And while the prose is purple, it’s good fun if you’re in the right mood.

  2. Thomas Deja says:

    That sigh you guys exhibited once it was time to say THE SAVAGE AVENGERS is PRICELESS.

    The original Conan prose stuff are really good, pulpy fun–and REH had VERY detailed notes on the Hyborean Age (I’ve read them, and they were…something).

  3. mark coale says:


    surprised Al said Die was Gillen’s “other” book, forgetting about his new version of pete cannon: Thunderbolt. Which was, not surprisingly, very good and meta, with gags about the Charlton characters and the Architects of Fear.

    Despite being the prime target audience, have not really enjoyed any of these Mark Russell Hanna Barbera reboots. Dont know if it’s the tone or what, but they just dont work for me.

    Also, in a reference to the last pod, there is a Kickstarter for the new Section Zero book that just launched this week.

  4. Al says:

    I was meaning Gillen’s other series as in his other ongoing – not sure what the status is of the Cannon book (though yes, I agree that it’s very good).

  5. mark coale says:

    I thought it was an ongoing, but admittedly, I havent read much of the press on it, because I was working on an article about Pete Cannon and didnt want to read others’ commentary yet.

  6. Moo says:


    Yeah, I’m going to pass on this one. I’m really not interested in listening to a podcast recorded by Al and Paul’s teenaged duplicates.

  7. mark coale says:

    We are inching closer to HTA:TNG when the kids take over the podcast and get nostalgic over Lego Batman and the DC Super Hero Girls.

  8. JD says:

    Ron Garney did just have a relatively decent run on Daredevil, sticking with the book for 2+ years ; he drew 19 out of the 34 initial issues of Soule’s run. Plenty of fill-in artists along the way, of course, but then there’s also the factor of Marvel’s more-than-monthly scheduling.

  9. Voord 99 says:

    I feel moderately confident that the Conan stories are set some time after the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the gleaming cities, and before the years of the not-so-vaguely-racist rise of the Sons of Aryas.

  10. Thomas says:

    Yeah I agree there was something off with Russel’s writing on Wonder Twins. I originally thought he was parodying Bendis style but now I think the issue as a whole read like a robot chicken DC episode. If this is the tone long term I think it’s a miss

  11. Sol says:

    First, I’m 48 and I remember Wonder Twins from their original TV broadcasts perfectly well. I suspect most of my younger (say down to age 40) cousins do too.

    I cannot say I remember them fondly, though. (I mean the Wonder Twins, my cousins are great.)

    That said, as soon as you mentioned clueless JL interns, I started imagining what seems to me could be a pretty solid silly book in the Giffen/DeMattis mold. Imagine having your emergency dispatchers / apprentice heroes not know anything about the relative power levels of the villains. “Darkseid? Obviously a cheesy Star Wars rip-off, surely we can handle him ourselves!” “The Condiment King? That’s sounds like trouble, better call out the whole league!”

    I mean, not genius, but there’s a lot of humor potential there a good team could bring out.

  12. Sol says:

    (Of course, you need to reverse the order of those quotes. Send the entire League after someone who should be trivial, then need to deal with Darkseid with nothing but ignorance of his power and clever tricks on your side.)

  13. Voord 99 says:

    This raises a very important question. Why didn’t Super Friends air on British children’s television?

    Other Hanna-Barbera stuff crossed the Atlantic, and Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends was shown on British TV — so it’s presumably not because of the content.

    One problem I would have with the Wonder Twins is that “teen superhero” is not an underserved niche — as Sol suggests, “comedy Justice League interns” is quite a good idea, but you could perfectly well do it with, say, Beast Boy and Cassie Sandsmark, who have personalities and relationships and everything.

  14. mark coale says:

    I was not a Wonder Twins fan back then; definitely preferred Wendy and Marvin. And probably no surprise no Twins is one of the reasons Challenge was the best iteration of the Super Friends cartoon.

  15. doc says:

    Sometimes subversive creative people just want to play it straight sometimes.

  16. Daibhid Ceannaideach says:

    Hang on, I get the about-a-year-behind Marvel UK reprints (we’ve just started Avengers: No Surrender if that gives you an idea) and the War of Realms is an ongoing thing. Do I really have another entire year of it before culminating in a crossover to look forward to?

    The pointless hill I will die on is that the ending of Mostly Harmless is so arbitrary that it doesn’t detract that much from the rest of the book, which has fun things like Colin and the Sandwich Maker and the Domain of the King, whereas So Long and Thanks, which was also written when Adams was in a bad place (namely, being expected to write something), spends most of its time haranguing the reader for wanting it to actually be a Hitchhiker’s book, and then has an entire chapter about the death of Marvin.

    Anyway, they don’t really die, because Eoin Colfer said so.

    One of the weird things about being a comics geek is that I do know who the Wonder Twins are, but I don’t know how I know. Like everyone else in this country, I never saw Superfriends, but when I saw the Wonder Twins episode of Smallville, I got the joke, even down to the Gleep phone case. I think maybe I looked them up when the Thinly Disguised Original Superfriends appeared on the Justice League cartoon?

  17. mark coale says:

    I think I bought this up the last time the wonder twins came up, but I believe they were used in the 90s in justice league task force.

  18. Moo says:


    Actually they were used in Extreme Justice not JLTF

  19. mark coale says:

    My bad. I wasnt reading either book at the time, but knew they had appeared then.

  20. Terence Stewart says:

    Just popping in to say, I’m 54 this year, from the UK, and I do remember the Wonder Twins. I suspect the Superfriends episodes featuring them might only have played on Saturday morning teevee in London, but I did see a smattering of them. Also, the Superfriends comic by E N Bridwell was always a delight, and featured the Twins regularly from around #7 or so. It helps that my `golden age` was from `76 to `85, no doubt.
    I still don’t need to read a Wonder Twins comic in 2019, though.

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