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Mar 9

House to Astonish Presents: The Lightning Round Episode 13

Posted on Thursday, March 9, 2023 by Al in Podcast

It’s a whole new era for Marvel’s Most Wanted as our reread of Thunderbolts enters the Fabian Nicieza era, looking at issues 34-37. The team comes face to face with someone who’s either a new enemy or an old friend (or possibly both) as the tale of the new Beetle wraps up and the Scourge saga begins!

The podcast is here, 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 remember, a t-shirt isn’t just stylish, it’s just plain old common sense.


Bring on the comments

  1. Josie says:

    This run is such a wild ride.

    I think keeping Bagley on helped tremendously with the change in direction, but I much prefer the work Zircher and Batista were doing later in the run.

  2. Mark Coale says:

    Clay Brickford is The Incredible Sulk.

  3. Jeremy H says:

    I wonder if Legion was added to the covers of X-Men Legacy to tie into the TV show that was airing at the time.

  4. Matt Terl says:

    I preferred the Busiek stuff at the time, but on this readthrough I’m finding that Nicieza feels MUCH more readable. Cannot put my finger on why.

  5. Mark Coale says:

    I’m curious how the Zemo babyface turn will have aged.

  6. David Goldfarb says:

    Saying “boo-see-ek” instead of “byu-sick” was bad but mostly bearable; when Paul pronounces the Z in “Nicieza” as though it were a word in Castilian Spanish it causes me physical pain. Is it so hard to learn how the creator pronounces their own name, and use that?

  7. JD DeMotte says:

    I’m excited to see you guys reach the Nicieza era. I’ve read through the Busiek run a few times over the years, and while I did read some of the Nicieza stuff at the time it was coming out, it was intermittent and I had gaps in my collection and eventually, I stopped reading well before the Fightbolts era. So I’m excited that Lightning Round is giving me the excuse to revisit and, in some cases, read for the first time this run.

    I do recall, I think in an issue of Wizard, Nicieza at the time justified turning Abe black… kinda. Someone wrote in to complain saying that they did that in a run of Punisher and it sucked. Nicieza’s defense was “Yeah, but what if this doesn’t suck?” (Technically I think he said something to the effect of “If someone makes a bad baseball film, does that mean all films about baseball are bad?”). Obviously, there are a whole lot of issues that statement doesn’t really touch on. As I said, this is my first time revisiting this in 23 years and I honestly don’t remember where the story goes. I suspect it won’t quite stick the landing but I also don’t think it has the notorious rep that it could have.

    Anyways, thanks to Al and Paul for giving me an excuse to revisit these comics.

  8. Mark Coale says:

    For people that never read it, they also an issue of Lois Lane in the 1970s where Lois race-swapped. And if that wasn’t enough, it was called “I am curious (black)”, a play on the notorious “erotic” film I am Curious (yellow).

  9. Jim says:

    That Soul Man Punisher arc really was awful.

  10. Daibhid C says:

    Re: the “Denmark” thing — there was an issue of Hawk & Dove some time before this where Dawn Granger said “Most people still think I’m the first Dove after a trip to Sweden!” I guess the Kesels got the wrong Scandinavian country, or they were both bywords for gender reassignment at the time?

  11. Mark Coale says:

    I seem to recall both were said to be where people went for what was called at the time “a sex change.”

    Guess that in 70s and 80s, to some, one Scandinavian/Nordic country was just as good as another.

    Back to the comics, I wonder if Fabian/Tom chose the Hulk as the antagonist for Fabians first issue, since the Tbolts first appeared in an issue of the Hulk.

  12. Josie says:

    “I preferred the Busiek stuff at the time, but on this readthrough I’m finding that Nicieza feels MUCH more readable.”

    Right? I feel this way too, about Busiek in general. I think at the time Busiek rose to prominence, writers generally had this very adolescent tone to their narration and dialogue, and Busiek’s felt a lot more stately and authorial. But then not long after, we got guys like Kevin Smith and JMS who would just clutter up pages with endless faux literary exposition, and it made me long for writers with a bit more momentum to their pacing (but not just endless empty banter like Bendis).

    I’ve been rereading a bunch of Scott McCloud work lately, and it’s interesting to read his approach to storytelling while keeping in mind that Busiek shared many of his sensibilities. Busiek is a lot more like a combination of McCloud and Roy Thomas: a desire to clarify stories, concepts, and characters, while trying to tie decades of continuity together.

    Nicieza has almost always prioritized plot and momentum over continuity, though never at the expense of the latter. He’ll gladly overcomplicate every backstory if it allows him to tell a new story, and even his duds are at the least interesting to read.

  13. Mark Coale says:

    For those that don’t know, Busiek and McCloud were high school friends and make comics and zines (IIRC) growing up in Massachusetts.

    So, their having similar writing sensibilities is not surprising.

  14. Josie says:

    Not just that, McCloud gives Busiek “consulting” credits in early issues of Zot.

  15. Another Sam says:

    One of their zines was a recap of the entirety of Uncanny X-Men (at that point in time), no less! Somebody scanned it and sent it to Busiek on Twitter, it’s fun stuff.

  16. Matthew says:

    In fairness, Boulder and Denver are right next to each other, so whether something was “near” either of them would probably just depend on where you were coming from.

    Also, funny to hear you talk about Usenet, as I’ve recently been reading terrible old X-Factor comics from the late ’90s and searched Usenet to find and read Paul’s reviews of them from back then.
    usenet posts for x-factor
    floppy disks

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