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Apr 17

House to Astonish Episode 202

Posted on Monday, April 17, 2023 by Al in Podcast

Somehow it’s taken us four months to put out a regular format episode of House to Astonish, but we’re here now, and we’re remembering Al Jaffee and Rachel Pollack, talking about all the upcoming Fall of X and Knight Terrors books, enjoying Mark Waid’s mini-renaissance at DC and dissecting the digital drops of DSTLRY. We’re also reviewing The Great British Bump-Off and Guardians of the Galaxy and the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog. All this plus Slovakia’s Finest Punctuation Marks, Woolverine and a mincemeat omelette.

You can get the podcast here, or 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. And hey! You! You over there, without a t-shirt! You know what would solve your problem about not having a t-shirt? A t-shirt!

Bring on the comments

  1. I have no idea what the current state of DC continuity is, but if you’re doing a big crossover about a villain with nightmare powers, isn’t there a DC character who can resolve that with a snap of his fingers? Someone who’s just had a high profile streaming series?

  2. Josie says:


  3. Ryan T says:

    Obviously, they call it… Puppy Love

  4. Mark Coale says:

    Hey, I know a pod that recently (ish) had Mark Waid on it. And it’s one that Al and Paul have both been on, too. 🙂

  5. ylu says:


    The great thing about concepts like the Endless — in a shared world setting — is you have the out that what’s happening is too small potatoes to concern them, to explain their absence from any event.

  6. Omar Karindu says:

    ylu said: The great thing about concepts like the Endless — in a shared world setting — is you have the out that what’s happening is too small potatoes to concern them, to explain their absence from any event.

    In the case of the Endless, Neil Gaiman also rather firmly established that most of them don’t necessarily share conventional human concepts of morality.

    It’s not as if Dream hasn’t unleashed plenty of nightmares in the world. Even Daniel recreated the Corinthian.

  7. Omar Karindu says:

    Coreection: Daniel didn’t recreate the Corinthian — that was Morpheus, the previous Dream — but he does keep it around.

  8. Voord 99 says:

    ”Please, please, please let it be Caledonia!” But it wasn’t, alas.

  9. Martin Smith says:

    The Dust Lorry (if they want their company name interpreted properly, they should use some damn vowels. This isn’t ancient Egypt) stuff is equal parts hilarious and infuriating.

    Artificial scarcity of digital singles is MAD. Not only does it stink of NFTs, however much they say it doesn’t use the blockchain (and this is one of those rare instances where the blockchain might actually be the better option for this stupid an idea – otherwise you’re going to have to do some kind of authentication through Dust Lorry’s own servers to read a digital single you own, which is far from future-proofed), it’s a stupid barrier to newcomers getting into your titles late, just so a couple of people can brag about having a PDF with the provenance of having previously been “owned” by a creator or whatever.

    “Hey, have you heard about that new series from Dust Lorry?”
    “No, is it any good?”
    “Yeah, it’s great.”
    “Ok, cool, I’ll buy the first issue digitally.”
    “Oh, you can’t, it sold out, unless you find someone selling it second-hand on their closed market.”

    I barely saw any creators on Twitter showing any kind of scepticism about the endeavour for a couple of days, until John Allison spoke out about the anti-consumer aspect. Everyone else was just fawning over their mates having a new endeavour. One creator involved was directly asked whether it was NFT-based and if not, how its done and basically couldn’t answer. “I’m assured it’s not NFTs, but I don’t know how it works”. Apparently knowing how the gimmicky collectable element of this new company actually works wasn’t something they needed to know before lending their name and credibility to it and taking equity.

  10. That’s a fair point, maybe Dream/Dream’s Replacement doesn’t give a fig that there’s a nightmare villain messing up the DCU. It does sort of feel like he *should* care if it’s at the scale of a line wide summer event but yes, it’s an acceptable out.

  11. Mark Coale says:

    I had no idea how to pronounce it when I looked at the pod preview. At first, I thought it was going to be another grim n gritty reboot of Dick Dastardly.

  12. Rhett says:

    I’d like to propose another candidate for Puppy’s mother: one of Thori’s female litter mates. Alternately, you could have Thori’s mother, Garm, be the mother, even though Garm is more of a wolf, but she’s had children that were dogs before!

  13. psychoandy says:

    Boy, that DSTLRY news sure did go from “Oh hey, a new publisher! I’ll check that out!” to “Holy shit, I’m staying away from THAT company” in the span of one news story.

    -Former comic store owner

  14. Mark Coale says:

    The other alternative for Puppy/Lockjaw is to go with the John Byrne version and Lockjaw is actually the result of the Terrigan Mists and not an actual dog.

  15. ylu says:

    Has anyone ever done a retrospective interview with Claremont on his Fantastic Four? There are genuinely so many questions to ask about what was going on in that odd run.

  16. Psychoandy says:

    “The other alternative for Puppy/Lockjaw is to go with the John Byrne version and Lockjaw is actually the result of the Terrigan Mists and not an actual dog.”

    I had this thought while they were talking about Lockjaw’s potential mate. It could be any female Inhuman, not just one of their dogs…. But that opens up a whole other discussion about interspecies relations that nobody wants to have.

  17. Shadavid says:

    You did me a mischief with Blaze The Wonder Collie. You need a health warning- do not listen on the stairs!
    Hard agree on everything you said about The Great British Bump-Off. However a person could have listened to you and not know that Shauna Wickle was on the same mystery-solving team as Charlotte Grote for years and years. It’s possible there are people in your audience who don’t know about Esther De Groot’s schooldays before she went to uni or even the amazing fate that befell her rival. John Allison’s continuity porn is perhaps the least sung of his many virtues as a storyteller. The Allisonverse is a stunning place.

  18. Adam says:

    I bought THE GREAT BRITISH BUMP OFF this past Wednesday and the joke about Paul’s co-host definitely went over this American’s head. Cheers for the explanation.

  19. Daibhid C says:

    DSTLRY makes me think of some guy staggering onto a bus in the rural Highlands, and explaining to everyone “‘ve bn onna dstlry trl. ‘ve hdda lotta gd whsky…” And that’s just how they came up with the reselling idea!

    The Betsyverse version of Caledonia should be named Betty Bannock, but that’s probably too clever.

    Sorry, but the cover of Blaze the Wonder Dog #2 says “Blaze, Son of Fury!” It’s surprising for a blatant Lassie cash-in, but there you go.

    Even funnier on the Blaze the Wonder Dog renaming front, Blaze’s last appearance was in the lead story of the last issue of Your Famous Western Star Rex Hart before it became Whip Wilson. The third strip is about a mountain lion named Nimo. There’s no information on Marvel Wiki about the middle strip, but I dearly hope it also starred a Heroic Animal, and Rex Hart doesn’t appear in the book at all.

  20. ferris says:

    The first appearance of Blaze The Wonder Collie being in Blaze The Wonder Collie #2 made my day, logical explanation aside.

    I wish they had let Hickman finish his story, but since they didn’t I’d prefer they didn’t just blow up the Krakoa/Arakko setting and reset everything. Even post-Hickman, this is still the most interested and invested I’ve been in the X-books in 20 years, so personally I hope once they wrap up the Moira/Orchis/Sinister storylines they can get Gillen or Ewing or someone to come up with a new direction building on Krakoa, not go back to superhero/villain basics.

  21. Luis Dantas says:


    There is precedent. Two-Gun Kid’s first appearance was in Two-Gun Kid #60. Yeah.

  22. Chris V says:

    That’s not totally accurate. A different character nicknamed The Two-Gun Kid debuted in Two-Gun Kid #1. The character lasted for ten issues before the comic was retitled. The character we know as The Two-Gun Kid was then introduced in the once-again retitled Two-Gun Kid comic with issue #60. In that story, there was a ret-con that the original Two-Gun Kid was a fictional character who was the inspiration for the real Two-Gun Kid.

    It was often traditional in pre-Silver Age comics for older series to be retitled mid-run to feature another character. Part of the reason was that it was expected that new series didn’t sell as well as long-running books. Tell that to today’s comic market which wishes that every issue could be a new #1.

  23. Luis Dantas says:

    Thanks for clearing that up, Chris V.

    Come to think of it, that happened very often with Charlton books, did it not?

  24. Omar Karindu says:

    In addition to the idea of the time that long-running books sold better, Marvel was also under a strange distribution deal that left them dependent on their rival, National Comics (which we know as DC).

    National Comics, naturally, weren’t keen on Marvel expanding its line too much, so they only allowed Marvel a set number of books.

    For that reason, Marvel tended to launch a new book by either continuing an older one’s numbering or by canceling one book to free up a slot for a new one.

    Under that system, retooling the existing Two-Gun Kid title would have been much easier to do than trying to launch a new or additional Western title.

  25. Karl_H says:

    Lockjaw-romance-through-time series title: “New Tricks”.

  26. Matthew says:

    Moon Girl was actually from EC Comics, but you didn’t include the full Moon Girl chronology.

    Moon Girl and the Prince #1
    Moon Girl #2-6
    Moon Girl Fights Crime #7-8
    A Moon, a Girl…Romance #9-12 (Moon Girl doesn’t show up in #10-12)
    Weird Fantasy #13-17
    Weird Fantasy #6-22 (yes, they went backwards in numbering)
    Weird Science-Fantasy #23-29 (merged with Weird Fantasy)
    Incredible Science Fiction #30-33

    Clearly Marvel could learn something from them.

  27. Shamose says:

    I really liked the part about Magneto’s name being just an Australian nickname haha

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