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Apr 17

House To Astonish Episode 36

Posted on Saturday, April 17, 2010 by Al in Podcast

We’ve got a particularly good episode for you this time round, as we talk about the C2E2 convention, Marvel’s deal with Hachette, the Eisner award nominations and Kick-Ass’s performance. We also review Brightest Day, Turf and Kill Shakespeare, and consider the life of a paranoiac with a tricked-out car in the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe. All this plus vampire voices, a plea to the Avengers and a gang of old people.

As we mention at the end of the podcast, we’re going to be joining our friends from The Thumbcast for a special show next week, based on the format of the BBC Five Live show Fighting Talk – we’ll keep you updated and let you know when that goes live.

The podcast is here – let us know what you think, by commenting here, on twitter, via email or on a pair of stone tablets handed down from on high.

Bring on the comments

  1. JD says:

    I’d understood that the idea with Brightest Day was that half of those resurrected characters would have their stories in other series (Maxwell Lord in the new JLI title, Hawk in Birds of Prey, Jade in Green Lantern Corps and JLA, the Flash villains on Flash, etc.), which would leave Brightest Day with a more reasonably-sized cast (Aquaman, Hawkman & Hawkgirl, Firestorm, and Deadman).

    (By the way, wasn’t the original Dove a dude ? So it’s certainly not a return to the original setup…)

  2. The biggest problem with Brightest Day is that, for the most part, the characters just go back to doing what they always do with very little regard for the fact that, er, they just came back to life and stuff.

    I mean, does life and death STILL mean so little to the DCU that Hawk just goes back out punching bad guys, that Captain Boomerang is just planning the next heist, that Jade is just hanging out with other green dudes again? Couldn’t we get, you know, some insight into how the characters actually feel about returning? Their thoughts on starting over? Instead it’s just, “Oh, J’onn wants to regrow life on Mars,” “Oh, Osiris wants to help his people again.”

    The weirdest part is that while Johns has written bad comics before, he hasn’t written comics that just . . . tried so little and had no heart to them.

  3. Stephen Fry should inherit the Taxi from Taxi Taylor. No! Wait! Robert Llewellyn!

    “Do you go South of the river?”

    “South, mate? I go under it.”

    Also: the Buddhist use of that symbol would imply that the Swastikians were probably Tibetan-ish, which makes Taxi Taylor The Tinker-Sailor’s behaviour a whole ‘nother dimension of weird.

    I liked the art in the Brightest Day preview. Very Bryan Hitch. Wouldn’t touch it with a barge. Pole, mind.

    Shades of Arthur Bostrom in the dramatic reading, there. You should get the boys to join you in a reading of Fantastic Four #1 on Tuesday. Someone’d have to be Sue, but.


  4. Reboot says:

    As JD notes, this is the 80s Dove (who herself was brought back from the dead by Johns some years back), not the original Steve Ditko 60s Dove who was killed in Crisis.

    And IDW now exist in a sort of limbo between the brokered publishers (Marvel, DC, Image, Dark Horse) and Everyone Else – they get the front-of-catalog slot, but not the other stuff.

  5. Wouldn’t Taxi Taylor be 90 now?

    And David Letterman’s show is on Diva.TV last I heard (I only know that because it’s owned by the people who run Hallmark Channel and they always overplay the same handful of adverts) which seems odd given that he’s a lecherous old coot and the channel is aimed at women.

  6. Taibak says:

    Actually, the swastika isn’t Tibetan. It’s probably either an Indo-European or an Indus Valley Culture symbol. And it predates Buddhism by several thousand years.

  7. D’Oh! That’s what I get for not Googling.

    In my defence, I was doing a lot of colouring-in.


  8. Re: Eisner nominations and Brave and the Bold.

    I actually enjoy Straczynski’s run. It’s the first time that I’m in contact with his writing and I think he is pretty good so far.

    That said, the Flash and Blackhawks issue was not only the weakest of the bunch, but also morally reprehensible in my opinion. The Flash (Barry Allen) gets stuck in WWII’s Europe, loses his power for a time and joins the army. He kills German, and feels that is okay because 1) it’s war, 2) he doesn’t wear the Flash uniform, 3) he is a soldier.

    Basically it’s an issue of propaganda crap that justify killing because you’re a soldier. And it taints Barry Allen’s character in my opinion.

    Sorry, I have to go. I’m going to watch the new Doctor Who, to see if it’s really that good.

  9. odessa steps magazine says:

    Also, the Ditko Hawk and Dove were brothers.

    I keep hoping for some WHO talk on the Podcast. Maybe there will be some on this other show that al and paul will be on.

  10. AaronForever says:

    loved the House To Astonish Players reading of the Turf dialogue. you really ought to make this a regular feature.

  11. Joe S.Walker says:

    That Taxi Taylor story also includes a scene where he’s doing emergency repairs underwater in a diving suit when a Swastikian diver comes down with an underwater acetylene torch and tries to burn through his suit:

    “With quick presence of mind, Taxi tears away the Swastikian’s life line… With his oxygen supply cut off, the Swastikian doesn’t last long.”

    (Next panel: Swastikian lying on ocean floor, Taxi walking away.)

    TAXI: “That’s the last bath you’ll ever take!”

  12. Paul says:

    “I keep hoping for some WHO talk on the Podcast. Maybe there will be some on this other show that al and paul will be on.”

    Well, it’s certainly in their remit.

  13. dmcd says:

    The reading was a great way to illustrate ‘too much dialogue’ — can’t believe that was 3 panels!

    And Al’s rant about how miserable everything is in Brightest Day was hilarious…

  14. Glen Newman says:

    John Romita Jr was definitely interviewed by both Total Film and Empire magazines. Total Film gave him quite a bit of coverage in fact, including publishing 2 pages of Kick Ass #1

  15. Daibhid Ceannaideach says:

    I can see your point about putting “the last nine issues of Uncanny X-Men” in bookshops, when they’re designed to be read as part of a wider story. On the other hand, the same could be said of, for example, The Shadow Isle by Katherine Kerr, which is book two of the fourth series of Devery novels, and doesn’t make a blind bit of sense unless you haven’t just read all the previous volumes, but taken notes while doing so.

    I suppose the difference is that the bookstore audience is more likely to get invested in a series of novels than in a series of graphic novels.

  16. Daibhid Ceannaideach says:

    Re “Brightest Day”: I think the point where Johns started to get even easy-going give-anything-a-chance me thinking “pure notalgia fanboy nonsense” was when it turned out the Hawkgirl who was resurrected wasn’t Kendra-with-Shiera’s-spirit, it was Shiera-with-Kendra’s-memories. Despite the face that it was Kendra who was killed.

    It seemed to be a particularly blatant “Let’s press the big reset button” moment.

  17. Daibhid Ceannaideach says:

    And if the chick getting killed is a Big Blatant Metaphor (and it is), then surely so is the bit where Deadman brings it back to life?

  18. Daibhid Ceannaideach says:

    “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern refusing to honour their part of the plot.”

    Fables meets LoEG meets Tom Stoppard?

  19. Chris says:

    “Taxi Taylor”?! ROTFL … my God, you guys had me cracked up there; it really made my day. Who could believe that Taxi Taylor could bring so much mirth to the life of one comics-fan. Thanks SO much for, erhm, shining a well-deserved spotlight on this truly unforgettable character :):)

    P.S. If even *Paul* likes Kick-Ass, then I guess I have to see what it’s all about …

  20. Thomas says:

    Does anyone even remember the difference between Kendra and Shiera? Don’t they look the same and act the same? I know I don’t!

    The funny thing about the resurrection of Osiris is that he is a character who was clearly only created in the first place, in 52, in order to die. His whole reason for existing was to die dramatically and motivate other characters! Why would anyone care what he would do know that he was back alive?

  21. Kendra: nineteen/twenty, pixie-cut hair, self-harm, suicide, fake boobs (I think that was a plot point; I’m not just being daft).

    Shiera: longer hair, a bit like Dale Arden, only if Dale Arden went from best gal to the hero. Too old to be called “Hawkgirl,” though.

    Personality? God knows.


  22. Taibak says:

    Actually, wouldn’t the name ‘Osiris’ imply that DC had a death-and-resurrection story planned for him? Life after death is kind of a big part of the mythological Osiris.

    Granted, this doesn’t preclude the potential story being crap.

  23. Martin Gray says:

    Kendra was kinda whiny, I’ll take Shiera – anyway, hadn’t Shiera’s spirit or memories or mammaries or something already been folded into Kendra?

    And while I don’t think the Brave and Bold Flash issue was the absolute best self-contained) single issue of the year (are there many to choose from?), not everyone’s ignored JMS’s run … OK, my comic review blog, Too Dangerous For a Girl, is not exactly massively well read, but it’s out there!

  24. Daibhid Ceannaideach says:

    Yeah, Kendra had Shiera’s soul, but the entire point of her story seemed to be that this didn’t make her the same person; as you point out, they have different personalities – Kendra had one.

    (Although in the best tradition of these retcons, it’s probably going to turn out that Shiera has whatever elements of Kendra’s personality Johns feels like writing…)

  25. Jeremy says:

    Daibhid, I think you’re wrong. I think they Kendra and Shiera are completely separate people, and before long they will both be running around at the same time. DC loves nothing more than adding roman numbers to the end of characters’ names.

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