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Sep 14

House to Astonish Presents: The Lightning Round Episode 5

Posted on Tuesday, September 14, 2021 by Al in Podcast

Lightning is striking again! That’s five times now! This is surely statistically improbable! We’re now up to the finale of the first year of Thunderbolts, and covering issues 10-12. This is where is all starts going off, as secrets are uncovered, plans are revealed and the whole house of cards comes down.

The podcast is here, or here on Mixcloud, or available via the player below. Let us know what you think, in the comments, on Twitter, via email or on our Facebook fan page. And let us know what you really think by buying one of our lovely t-shirts from our Redbubble store. Yeah, that’ll show us!


Bring on the comments

  1. Mark Coale says:

    Come for the comics chat,

    Stay for the modem impressions.

  2. Mark Coale says:

    Come for the comics chat,

    Stay for the modem impressions.

  3. Si says:

    Nice to hear my name on the wireless.

    I’m still quite confused about Heroes Reborn though. Was it always meant to be a one year long event, or was it intended to go for longer? Or was it a wait and see if it deserves another year kind of thing?

  4. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    It was really the prototype Ultimate universe.

    I assume it would have continued indefinitely if it had sold well, but I have nothing to back that up.

  5. Mark Coale says:

    At least to the public, HR was meant to be permanent. Whether it was secretly meant to be some kind of New Coke scheme, ive never heard that.

    I recall the FF book initially being the best of the four. Although thats faint praise, going against Nazi Eagle Cap and the like.

  6. Voord 99 says:

    One wonders, cynically, if thinking in terms of long-term intentions and plans for Marvel at that particular point in its history is a category error. 🙂

  7. Luis Dantas says:

    As I recall it, they left it open-ended.

    At the time Marvel itself was so fragile, literally bankrupt, that it really could have gone either way.

    But it took only a few months for people to realize that there was no future for the Heroes Reborn line and Marvel would better discontinue them sooner rather than later if it expected to remain in business in some capacity.

    It was not just because the quality was so weak. I’m blanking on the exact reasons, but HR Avengers, specifically, ended up needing help from Walt Simonson and a bit of self-deprecation to remain credible and published to its end.

    Still, if nothing else Heroes Reborn brought much wanted attention back to the main Marvel characters. It also created what to this day I feel to be desirable as a lasting status quo: an environment where the X-Men existed separately from the Avengers and FF.

  8. Chris V says:

    It also allowed time for Marvel to gets its act together during that year.
    FF has been subpar for years. Avengers has just finished the unreadable Crossing, which no one could figure out the plot. Iron Man had Teen Tony, which were some of the worst comics I ever read.

    Coming out of Heroes Reborn, the books felt fresh again. They got Busiek on Avengers and Iron Man. I think that Busiek run on IM is still the last time I truly enjoyed the Iron Man comic.
    FF, we’ll, it started off pretty promising…
    Eventually, Mark Waid took over the title, but that was a number of years in the future.

    On the other hand, I liked the Thor comic more from before the relaunch than after.

  9. Daibhid C says:

    Your comment that the initial premise couldn’t have continued after Heroes Return because it strains credibility that none of the returning heroes would figure it out reminds me of the Thunderbolts storyline in the Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes cartoon, which makes the interesting decision to make Earth’s Mightiest Heroes complete morons.

    First it establishes that the current line-up of the Masters of Evil is precisely these guys, and the Avengers know it. Then — while the Avengers are actively searching for the Masters of Evil — the Thunderbolts make their debut. And nobody thinks “Hang on…”

  10. Daibhid C says:

    Sorry, the Avengers Assemble cartoon. EMH was the previous one.

  11. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    Don’t you besmirch Earth’s Mightiest Heroes!

    I wish the movies were half as fun as that series.

  12. Adam says:

    One thing HR made worse: I seem to recall from Sean Howe’s book that editorial morale was understandably wounded by the decision to farm out many of the company’s biggest characters (at least in rep, if no longer in sales—which was of course the point).

    I agree that it seemed to give the House of Ideas the time it needed to get itself together, though. I remember being interested again by the relaunches from Jurgens and Busiek as a kid, when I was certainly not beforehand.

  13. Martin Smith says:

    I read some of the Teen Tony run as part of the trade for the Avengers First Sign crossover (which was rough) and actually, I thought it was an interesting premise. A young genius pulled forward through time and forced to get to grips with his own future self’s technology, let alone the state of his life – his girlfriend now being the lecturer on his college course for instance – and a world heavily dhaped by his future actions. I think if it had been given more time it could have been something pretty good. There’s mileage in contrasting how a teenage Tony Stark sees the world compared to how his older self did. Just a bit unfortunate that it came out in the 90s: after the era of bedroom programmer/entrepreneurs and before the hacktivist trope, when college students were just supposed to be cynical and depressed.

  14. Matk Coale says:

    HR did at least fix some of the really stupid stuff from that era, horrible cosumes and things like Jan being turned into a Waspwoman. I dont think Waid had a change to fix that in his brief 3 issues (i could be wrong).

    The bad thing is that i think the Waid/Garney Cap book was better before HR than after, IIRC.

  15. Omar Karindu says:

    Teen Tony also had the handicap of being written by Terry Kavanagh, whose track record at 90s Marvel was…not good.

    The story also had some other problems; Kavanagh wrote the old girlfriend character, Meredith McCall, as if she hadn’t seen Tony in years and had lived a life affected by his disappearance as a teen. An evil ex-husband was introduced with generic cold powers to menace her.

    In fact, the previous writer, Len Kaminski, had already brought her back and shipped her off with new superpowers as part of a crew of demon hunters, which she took on after her husband — not an ex — was murdered by a demon.

    Kavanagh also reintroduced Morgan Stark, a cousin of Tony from some 1960s stories who was originally portrayed as an inept coward in debt to the Mob, now as some kind of cyborg criminal mastermind sending a crew of super-thugs to destroy Stark Enterprises.

    Whatever potential there was in the idea of “young Tony Stark grapples with older Tony’s legacy” turned into generic early 90s plotting mishmash almost instantly.

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