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Jun 22

House to Astonish Episode 175

Posted on Saturday, June 22, 2019 by Al in Podcast

We’re back, with discussion of DC shuttering Vertigo, Ink and Zoom; Brian Michael Bendis on Legion of Super-Heroes; the books spinning out of Heroes in Crisis; Gotham City Monsters; Harleen and Joker/Harley Quinn: Criminal Insanity; the cancellation of Doctor Strange; Black Panther and the Agents of Wakanda; King Thor; Marvel’s 80th anniversary oneshots; the debut of Strikeforce; JJ and Henry Abrams and Sara Pichelli’s Spider-Man; Matt Fraction and Elsa Charretier’s November; and the returns of Pretty Deadly and Battle Chasers. We’ve also got reviews of Superman: Year One and Usagi Yojimbo and the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe knows there’s a sucker born every minute. All this plus Naked Superman Variants, Web of Power Pack and an extremely unorthodox Legion line-up.

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, via email or on our Facebook fan page.

If you’re in the Glasgow area and fancy seeing SILENCE! To Astonish live, with panellists Al Ewing, Kelly Kanayama, Nick Roche and Chip Zdarsky, then pop along to Glasgow Comic-Con next Saturday (29 June) and witness comics’ most entertaining shambles in the flesh.

And why not pick up one of our very lovely t-shirts from our Redbubble store in the meantime? They’re just right for this lovely weather we’ve been having (if you live very near us).

Bring on the comments

  1. Martin Smith says:

    “That guy who doesn’t fulfil Kickstarter rewards” wouldn’t really narrow the field much.

    The Squid sounds like he could make a buck being an off-brand Inkling for kids’ birthday parties, while fighting legal action against Nintendo for copyright infringement (his argument being that he had the powers before the game was created, but of course didn’t obtain any legal protection over them). Every day he dodges process servers from Nintendo of America’s legal department trying to give him cease and desist notices, in increasingly convoluted ways.

  2. SanityOrMadness says:

    Bleeding Cool said today that the axing of Vertigo, Ink and Zoom is because… the person in charge doesn’t like imprints.

  3. Moo says:

    Putting “DC Kids” on a comic book cover is a sure-fire way to get kids to NOT buy it.

  4. Dave White says:

    I know you said the Squid was a Paul Jenkins character, but he’s actually a Howard Mackie character. Who was originally just a one-off in one of those pre-Identity Crisis stories that featured a ton of weird characters who looked like off-brand Spider-Man toys.

    As for Romita’s art, I agree he really wants a chunky inker like Klaus Janson, but the right inker can make it work with thin lines. Love Al Williamson’s inks on MAN WITHOUT FEAR, for instance.

  5. Constantine says:

    I get that the RIP Corner is not really an official part of the show’s structure and you’re nit really obligated to have it, and there was a whole lot of other news, so I see how it would not be on the top of your minds but still, kinda sad that Justin Ponsor ended up being the one you skipped.

  6. Al says:

    @Constantine – you’re absolutely right, and I can only apologise. I put together the news at the last minute and missed Ponsor entirely. It wasn’t by any means a deliberate omission – I had even tweeted about it at the time – but it had gone completely out of my mind at the point I was putting together the running order for the episode.

  7. Thomas says:

    Strikeforce is a mobile game tie-in like Ewing’s Contest of champions, that is why it isn’t called Dark Avengers lol.

    Also missed in the news was the return of JSA under Scott Snyder because this ties into the Bendis legion news. Two properties heavily hinted as being held for the end of Doomsday clock are both now full steam ahead without Johns, oh and the September solicit for Batman/Superman makes it seem like they have other plans for Shazam.. It makes me speculate we are probably months away from an announcement about John’s future with DC.

  8. Mark Coale says:

    Will the JJ Abrams book come out quicker than the Damon Lindelof book?

  9. Simon says:

    I don’t really get the comparison between Ashley Wood and Jae Lee. Maybe I’m not aware of some older work that was more derivative, but right now their styles seem so vastly different. And also, mentioning that Strikeforce cover in the same sentence as Ashley Wood almost amounts to heresy. 🙂

  10. Voord 99 says:

    Non-ironically, and the absolute truth: Strikeforce: Morituri really was the first thing that I thought of.

    It really was good at the time, he said plaintively.

  11. Al says:

    @Simon Yeah, I can see how that would have seemed a strange comparison. I wasn’t really talking about how their art looks now – in the late ‘90s/early 2000s though, pre-Automatic Kafka, Wood went through a period of aping Jae Lee quite strongly, before he started to develop his signature style.

  12. Simon says:

    @Al Thanks for elaborating. Now that I’ve looked at some of his art from that time period, I totally get what you mean. I kind of wish I could unsee it, though. 😀

  13. Mark Coale says:

    Stan Sakai posted pics this week of the new IDW artists edition of Grasscutter. That should be great.

  14. Diana K. says:

    The vibe was a bit weird on this one, lots of talking over each other (especially in the Superman review) – you two doing okay?

  15. Ryan says:

    Really enjoyed your Superman: Year One talk. One thing I kind of wonder about that I’m not hearing anyone discuss: could the military stuff be an intentional commentary on THIS Superman? Miller has said it takes place in the Dark Knight universe. It’s been a bit since I’ve read DKR and DKSA, but that Superman is essentially a government stooge, right, sort of like Dr. Manhattan in Vietnam? If that’s the guy Miller is writing an origin for, it seems reasonable that THAT Superman, while still a decent enough guy at the end, fetishises the military and takes a slightly dimmer view of humanity.

  16. Daniel says:

    Andrea Sorrentino is actually fantastic on Gideon Falls with Jeff Lemire and the book is highly recommended all around. He is not a good fit for superheroes but he works extremely well on horror.

  17. Si says:

    I say I say I say, why is the Squid getting his powers from his girlfriend’s mate like someone getting a tattoo in Ibiza?

    They’re both getting ink done, wakka wakka wakka!

  18. Col_Fury says:

    It’s a shame that Doctor Strange is getting cancelled; I’ve been enjoying it. But, you know, sales.

    Also, yes, I’m sure this is a Dark Knight Returns Superman Year One tale. I mean, come on (sure, 30 years later is strange, but the different banner + Frank Miller should be two BIG CLUES).

  19. Joseph S. says:

    Agreed with Daniel, Gideon Falls is good.

    Sorrentino is talented, IMO, not always suited for capes books, but honestly, if nothing else, plenty of artists have begun aping some of his panel designs, which are pretty visually interesting and innovative ways to work shifting time-scales into what is often otherwise a splash page.

  20. Daibhid Ceannaideach says:

    I’m a huge Wally West fan, but if it’s a choice between reading Lobdell’s take on a character with psychological issues, or just pretending he did die in Heroes in Crisis after all…

    (BTW, you say the whole thing got unhappened, and I’m not sure; it seemed to me that they just retrofaked Wally’s own death, not any of the others. It still doesn’t entirely make sense though.)

    I’m also a huge Legion fan, and I probably will cautiously check out the Bendis version, especially if he includes Gates.

    I’m not sure I share your belief that Superman: Year One has to get vaguely back on track eventually; I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to hear that later issues have Clark a) beginning his Superman career as the government lackey of DKR and b) being assigned to infiltrate the Liberal Media by getting a job with the Planet.

    I’m amazed that you not only did something interesting with the Squid, but managed to use his backstory, which at the time I thought “A comedy oneshot, intentionally clichéd ‘Yet Another Doc Ock Ripoff’ is suddenly given an Angsty Backstory and we’re supposed to care? Welp, Mackie gonna Mackie.” (Okay, I probably didn’t actually think “Mackie gonna Mackie” because that meme didn’t exist yet, but I thought something similar.) Anyway, kudos on that.

  21. Daniel, I agree about Andrea Sorrentino’s horror work. The horror/superhero blend I, Vampire that he did with Josh Fialkov (one of the Nu52 launch titles) was brilliant, and Gideon Falls is Lemire’s best book in years.

    As to Bendis: All this discussion made me remember his long succession of absolutely butt-awful Summer Events, which cumulatively lead to me avoiding pretty much every tentpole Marvel title for the better part of a decade. His recent Jessica Jones revival was enjoyable, if somewhat slight.

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