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Mar 1

House to Astonish Episode 129

Posted on Sunday, March 1, 2015 by Al in Podcast

Well, we did say we’d be back.

After eight months away, Paul and I have returned to the House, to resolve our cliffhanger. We’re also here to give you our thoughts on Convergence and Secret Wars, a few of the books out of the Image Expo, Marvel and DC’s upcoming movie slates and the Marvel/Kirby Settlement. We’ve also got reviews of Curb Stomp and Thor Annual, and the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe is so low. All this plus a falling tide that lifts one ship, Mad Dave’s Power Armour Sale and Cornelius Meredith Punk.

The podcast is here, or here on Mixcloud, or available via the player below. Let us know what you think, either in the comments below, by email, on Twitter, or on our Facebook fan page.

Remember, we’ve also got a Redbubble store, where you can help put our kids through baby college and look amazing to boot.


Bring on the comments

  1. Another Paul says:

    It’s back!

  2. Weblaus says:

    But for how long?

  3. The Prowler says:

    Whoa, unexpected but very pleasant surprise! Going to listen to you guys now, very glad that you’re back!

  4. robniles says:

    Yay! At this point I just figured “Well, maybe they’ll wait until Lana’s fully a year, then reassess.”

  5. Bruce Baugh says:

    Woo hoo! Happy to hear from you guys.

  6. Michael says:

    Hi guys
    really happy your back! I most especially missed your news discussions!
    Please keep going as long as you can!

  7. Tdubs says:

    Thanks guys this was a great surprise. glad to have this no matter how infrequent it is. Here is to hoping that maybe you’ll be able to stay quarterly.

  8. Daibhid Ceannaideach says:

    Great to hear from you again!

    As a reader of Marvel UK reprint titles, I will be very interested to see what they do in a year or so, when Battleworld is on the horizon. Because they haven’t been running Hickman’s Avengers. At all. The Avengers Universe title has Uncanny, Young Avengers, and sometimes whatever Luke Cage’s team is called at this point, because running Hickman’s books would just slow the line down so much.

    You’re right about the creators of Big Hero 6, of course, but confusing things further is that Man of Action didn’t create the characters Wasabi and Fredzilla replaced either, who were Silver Samurai (Steve Gerber and Bob Brown) and Sunfire (Roy Thomas and Don Heck). I wonder if whatever’s going on behind the scenes is why Waterstones isn’t flooded with trade paperbacks, the way it is for, for example, Guardians of the Galaxy. (Did your kids love the film with the talking raccoon and the tree? Then they might be vaguely interested in a telekinetic who wants to be Captain America and a woman with flames coming out of her head!)

    Looked up Munchkin out of morbid curiosity following your anti-recommendation, noted that Kovalic was not one of the names above the title but the cover artist was doing a tribute act, decided that was all I needed to know.

  9. Al says:

    The thing that surprises me most about the Munchkin comic is that it’s written in part by Tom Siddell, writer and artist of the sometimes very good webcomic Gunnerkrigg Court (which is absolutely nothing at all like Munchkin).

  10. BringTheNoise says:

    Just as I’m listening to the final episode of The Doctor Who Podcast, this pops up in my feed. Circle of life and all that… Anyway, great to have you back!

  11. jpw says:

    Great to have you back! Surprised you are relaunching with a new #1

  12. Joseph says:

    Just want to concur with Al that Hickman’s Avengers has been quite good. Spencer’s Avengers World was mostly a failure, at least after the first few issues, but the main story in Avengers and New Avengers has been excellent, so much so that I’ve just downloaded Secret Warriors (Hickman’s earlier series in which he introduced Eden/Manifest, which featured Nick Fury, Daisy Johnson and others) to prepare for this final act.

    As for your discussion of terrorism, I think this is not so much a story stumbling block as a reflection of the real-world limits of the term terrorist. It doesn’t make sense in the story, but doesn’t make any more sense in actual policy. Why declare a ‘war on terror’ and not treat such acts merely as criminal acts? Clearly there’s a political-historical reason, as you’ve alluded to, why the category of the ‘terrorist’ needed to be formulated in the 1960s (likely relating to, or circumventing, the 1949 Geneva convention), and obviously picked up the the second Bush admin to disastrous effect.

  13. TransAtlantic Matt says:

    good to see you back fellas

  14. Billy says:

    Joe Madureira announces that he is resuming Battle Chasers. Days later, Paul and Al resume House to Astonish. Coincidence or not?

  15. Living Tribunal says:

    Great to have you guys back!

  16. What a weekend to be offline sick! Welcome back, boys!


  17. jason says:


  18. Sol says:

    So glad to have you back!

  19. Mika says:

    This was a lovely surprise – great to have you back.

  20. Brian says:

    Hooray, WARS TO CONVERGEANCE is back…I mean…

    As for the question of books ending/skipping/changing during SECRET WARS, I’m getting the sense from the interviews and solicitations that the ‘Last Days’ banner is being used for those books that they want to keep running through the event (due presumably to the style of books in question) versus those other headliner-style books that are being ended to inevitably relaunch on the other side of the story.

    Of course, I wish that they’d be a bit clearer on the banners, per the issue that you guys brought up in the talk on the DC ‘relaunch’: the ‘Warzone’ books seem to be all the weird self-contained series, while the ‘Battleworld’ books look to “matter” more in the classic crossover/event fashion in terms of reflecting the status quo of their being Secret Wars going on between these areas and presumably tying in in some fashion to the main miniseries. But, they need to keep up the illusion of NOTHING! WILL! EVER! BE! THE! SAME!

  21. Re: the Kirby settlement, Mark Evanier stated outright that it was a settlement that made the family very happy. Disney *really* did not want the “work for hire” case to get reopened, because that could have been catastrophic for every film made before 1977.

  22. Dave says:

    “The Avengers Universe title has Uncanny, Young Avengers, and sometimes whatever Luke Cage’s team is called at this point, because running Hickman’s books would just slow the line down so much.”

    I’m surprised they didn’t launch an Avengers/X-Men book to put Uncanny Avengers in, as Essential X-Men has also been short on space to do anything in addition to Bendis’ titles. Then Avengers Universe could have covered Hickman. It probably would have been the best way to read those two, as well.

  23. Jamie says:

    Nobody cares about the Carol Danvers Captain Marvel. The one in the eventual film will be, essentially, a completely new character.

  24. Good to have you back! That opening was a work of art.

  25. Brandon says:

    Even at once every eight months, the podcast would have a tighter schedule than Ultimate Wolverine vs Hulk.

    that opening was simply classic. Well done fellows.

  26. I thought Kurt Busiek did fairly well by Carol Danvers. The fall into useless drunk was followed by redemption and becoming an integral part of the team (and gave her a better name). It just got ignored afterwards.

  27. Somebody says:

    Daibhid Ceannaideach> As a reader of Marvel UK reprint titles, I will be very interested to see what they do in a year or so, when Battleworld is on the horizon. Because they haven’t been running Hickman’s Avengers. At all. The Avengers Universe title has Uncanny, Young Avengers, and sometimes whatever Luke Cage’s team is called at this point, because running Hickman’s books would just slow the line down so much.

    Pretty much all they can do is run a big whoops recap feature and jump on with “Time Runs Out” at the point the other books catch up with it, surely? If you choose to ignore the “main” Avengers books running a univ- multiverse-shaking story at a point where Marvel will pretty much turn anything into a linewide crossover (see: Sixis), you can’t say you’ve been blindsided when it turns out to take a wrecking ball to the line.

  28. Jer says:

    Glad to have you guys back, even if it can’t be fortnightly. I’ve missed the commentary quite a lot. (Even if I think that Paul is dead wrong about whether spinning the X-men off into their own universe would be a good idea or not – I think after the wheel-spinning that Bendis and Co. have done for the past year, splitting them into a separate continuity would kill the X-books at this point.)

  29. Julia says:

    I’m happy to have the podcast back! Thanks for doing an episode, and I loved the opening gag.

    Re: Danvers, I think the real resurgence in the character came with House of M. In that mini-series, she was the A-list hero of Marvel universe, and Marvel capitalized on that role to spin her as the major standalone (non-Black Widow) heroine and gave her an ongoing with a sense of purpose. The passionate Carol Corps notwithstanding, I don’t think it’s been a huge success, but she’s a more distinct and consistent character now than she’s ever been.

  30. Between Claremont’s development of her in the 80s, Busiek in the 90s, and the aforementioned development post-House of M, Carol Danvers is probably one of the most fleshed-out female Avengers–not that it’s a particularly high bar.

  31. Taibak says:

    Person of Con: Well, now I’m kind of curious. I’ve never really followed them, but looking at the Avengers from the outside, it seems like Carol Danvers, Wasp, Black Widow, She-Hulk, and the Scarlet Witch are reasonably well developed. Would you disagree? And, if so, how does that compare to the male Avengers? With the pre-Bendis cast, it seems like a lower percentage of the male characters wound up as well-realized characters.

  32. […] you want to be prepped for our next ep!), and politely insist everyone to check out the revivified House to Astonish!  [link:  ] and then it’s on to our closing comments! Against The Tote Bag! Places to look for […]

  33. BobH says:

    Welcome back.

    From a quick trademark search ( it looks like BIG HERO 6 is still owned by Marvel. I see my local library has a few of the recent books so maybe I’ll check them out to see what the listed trademarks and creator credits are. I think they just deliberately downplayed the Marvel involvement because Disney Animation has a far better track record of making something like that into a moneymaking brand than Marvel does.

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