We’re joined by Ask an Atheist‘s Sam Mulvey, who politely tolerates listening to Mike and Casey talk about Captain America: Civil War. And evidently, both of us take different sides.
And we ask the question, what are conspiracy theorists like in the Marvel and DC Universes? When you live in a world where the president can be — and has been — replaced by an alien duplicate, are there any ideas that left that can make you look like a crackpot?
We wax poetic about the 2004 Denzel Washington vigilante movie, Man on Fire, and how for many years, it was Mike’s Punisher movie.
And Mike says goodbye to legendary comic book creator Darwyn Cooke.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download
In an effort to be helpful to those who may not know all these things, let’s define our terms….
But really, if you bring up Yes, you need to mention Al Stewart, too.
Ah, the Yes universe (Yesiverse?) as envisioned by Roger Dean. It’s too bad nobody ever did a comic book about it…
Great conversation as usual, everyone, and nice tribute to Cooke. Interesting that the word joy came up so many times in your comments, Mike. That’s a word I found myself coming back to whenever thinking about his super-hero stories.
As to Civil War, I have to say I find myself agreeing with Casey, in that I think Cap was more in the wrong in this one, which surprised me after watching it, because going into it I was convinced I would be so totally team Cap. However, that’s not to say that I don’t think Iron Man was totally right, either. All in all, I thought the way the two sides were presented was surprisingly nuanced, all the way to that ambiguous ways things left off at the end.
And Mike, it’s nice to know there’s someone else out there who liked “Shoot ‘Em Up.” I was beginning to think there was something seriously wrong with me for finding such a ridiculously violent movie entertaining.
It’s not surprising that Darwyn Cooke’s material looked like Batman TAS; he did storyboards and designed the title sequence for Batman Beyond. To me, he seemed a mix of Alex Toth, Dan Spiegel, Milton Caniff, with some Will Eisner and Mike Parobeck around the edges. New Frontier was just amazing to look at. he captures that fantastic world of the Silver Age DC, with test pilots becoming intergalactic cops and forensic scientists becoming super-fast. At the same time, he mixed in real history and social upheaval, real paranoia and our dark moments into one of the best essays on the nature of heroism. He pays tribute to real heroes, like when young Hal sneeks out to Pancho Barnes’ Fly-Inn, to meet Chuck Yeager and show him the model of the X-1, that Hal has built. It shows how Hal idolized Yeager and his father, and these daring pilots, who risked, and often lost their lives trying to advance aviation. We see Hal become a pilot; but be thrust into combat and desperately not want to take a life. We get a Wonder Woman who is her own person and tells off Superman when he can’t understand why there was so much killing, while liberating a village in Vietnam. We see Iris hand Barry his costume, telling him she knows he is this hero and he must go help save the world and kiss him goodbye. We see Aquaman emerge from the ocean, with an injured Superman and say that he is asking for someone named Lois and then see everyone erupt in cheers and Lois embrace Superman with a joy that is moving. Cooke captured humanity, at its best and at its worst in that series.
I just got the Parker stuff and have flipped through it, but haven’t started reading yet. He handles crime fiction so well; which isn’t surprising, as he handled the Spirit well and the Spirit inhabited those worlds (in a lighter vein). I wish he had been with us longer and maybe see him tackle Donald Westlake’s (aka Richard Stark) Dortmunder books, about a hapless thief. Those are much lighter caper stories, with things going wrong left and right, whcih can best be seen in the 1970s adaptation, Hot Rock, with Robert Redford and George Segal. Cooke would have gone to town on those stories.
The clip at the end is so on the money. DC and Marvel (though more DC) seem to be clueless about how to reach an audience. Publishing is their last consideration and they are not embracing new avenues of technology well. It’s a hot mess of a company that’s answer to declining sales is hit the reboot button again. That’ll get them a bump for maybe 6 months and then things will level off and start declining again, when the audience grows bored with the same old thing. They aren’t willing to take real chances, which is what dragged them out of the doldrums of the 70s and gave them new life in the 80s. Marvel just seems to think you just keep raising prices and add variant covers to make up for lost revenue. They at least have been better about having something to go along with the movies, though a lot of stuff is being thrown out the window to bring thing in line with the movies, for good or bad. They also do weird things because another studio owns film rights to certain characters, which hamstrings their stories.
The Iron Giant is such an amazing movie. It blows Disney completely out of the water. I wish Brad Bird would have continued making animated features (though I understand the battles), instead of generic schlock like Mission Impossible. Incredibles is the Fantastic Four movie (with a bit of Jonny Quest) that we have wanted for years. I’d have loved to see him do an animated Spirit film. Heck, I would have preferred he had tackled the live film, instead of Frank Miller’s abomination. He had tributes in both Iron Giant and Incredibles.
Meanwhile, is Wakanda an absolute monarchy? I seem to recall some form of representative council, in some stories (at least, I think in the Don McGregor years). I don’t know if Cap would object, if the people enjoyed real freedoms and rights, which they do in Wakanda. He never seemed to upset about other monarchies (which to be fair, were constitutional), as long as they provided democratic freedoms. Then again, the US didn’t exactly place any terms about free elections in Kuwait as part of the UN resolution to dislodge the Iraqis.
I did end up on Team Cap for the movie.
Tony Stark is absolutely right in any real world scenario. Just like my feelings about “real life superhero” Phoenix Jones, it’s insane to ever allow an anonymous masked person to go around and beat up bad guys and create international incidents without oversight or consequences.
Especially when those people are as powerful as the Avengers.
But that’s in the real world.
In the movie, I sided with Steve Rogers — most of the time — because he is that rare individual who can absolutely trusted with that sort of power and responsibility.
The government in this movie IS fairly willing to simply murder people who they go after — either Cap or Bucky — and seem to gloss over particulars, like the fact that Bucky is a brainwashed victim, even if he WAS guilty of killing King T’Chaka. The government doesn’t care, and that forced Captain America’s hand. Otherwise, I think he would have retired and been sad about it. He initially goes in to arrest Bucky and bring him safely into custody. He wants to save him from getting simply gunned down by the government.
What makes Tony ALSO right was that the oversight was coming whether they wanted it or not. And they could have a hand in shaping and changing it, or just have it imposed on them. And really, Tony volunteering to go after Cap is him making exactly the same decision that Cap made about Bucky. He’s trying to save Cap’s life, because he knows that the government wants HIM gunned down, too.
That’s what makes the movie so much better than the comic. In the movie, Tony Stark is still a hero and is trying to prevent violence and act as a check on the government’s apparent bloodlust. In the comic, Tony is the ARCHITECT of the oversight, which includes trans-dimensional gulags and a lot of other really shady supervillain stuff.
I honestly came out of the movie feeling torn. I think they’re both right and both wrong, in the context of the universe and putting faith in the integrity of fictional Steve Rogers — which is something I could never do for a real person.
But in actual real life? I’d be Team Stark all the way.
Tony knows that the government will try to
HAS NO ONE ANYTHING TO SAY ABOUT FAITH NO MORE’S RECENT ALBUM?!?