Murd's Time Bubble: The Twenty-Ninth Time Talkback

Return with Murd to those dark, portentous days of late 2001. Some spots to explore on our two-hour tour: the Fantastic Four (a la Grant Morrison), 'Our Worlds at War', the Mighty Thor, and more! (2:19:18)

Listen here.

Comments

  • Thanks for filling the "gap," Murd!

    I never got my complimentary blanket or hot cocoa though? And, to make matters worse, this was the response I got when I asked about it ...
    image
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,279
    @Adam_Murdough, Diego is one of Eduardo’s two children, both artists. Diego is mainly a penciler, and Andrea is mainly a colorist.
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,279
    I also really enjoyed Thor: Godstorm. Rude did a little run of miniseries for Marvel during that time, starting with X-Men: Children of the Atom with Joe Casey, then Spider-Man: Lifeline with Fabian Nicieza, then Thor, and finishing up with Captain America: What Price Glory? with Bruce Jones (and inked by longtime Kirby inker Mike Royer). Thor and Cap were my favorites of the bunch.

    As for Rude’s style, it’s three cups of Kirby, two cups of Alex Toth, a half-cup of Russ Manning, a half-cup of Alex Raymond, a heaping tablespoon of Paul Gulacy, a half-teaspoon of Gene Colan, and then seasoned to taste.
  • @Adam_Murdough I have to admit, despite your expressed distaste for both in this episode, I love A*P*E and Dino De Laurentiis' King Kong. I've never seen Mad Monster Party? but, as a fellow Rankin/Bass fan, I am adding it to my "Must Watch" list.
  • Thanks for clearing up the Barreto connection, Eric. Can you recommend something else Diego has worked on? I liked what I saw in that Flash/Chase eight-pager!

    As for Rude’s style, it’s three cups of Kirby, two cups of Alex Toth, a half-cup of Russ Manning, a half-cup of Alex Raymond, a heaping tablespoon of Paul Gulacy, a half-teaspoon of Gene Colan, and then seasoned to taste.

    As long as the "seasoning" includes a few generous pinches of Chuck Jones (plus some Ecstasy and Froot Loops), I'm perfectly satisfied with this recipe. :smile:

  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,279

    Thanks for clearing up the Barreto connection, Eric. Can you recommend something else Diego has worked on? I liked what I saw in that Flash/Chase eight-pager!

    I haven’t read either, so I can't exactly recommend them, but most recently he’s worked on Escape from New York and filled in on Mark Waid’s Irredeemable series.

    As long as the "seasoning" includes a few generous pinches of Chuck Jones (plus some Ecstasy and Froot Loops), I'm perfectly satisfied with this recipe. :smile:

    Steve is more of a Hanna-Barbera guy, but there might be some Chuck Jones in the seasoning. Who doesn’t like a good Chuck Jones cartoon?
  • @Adam_Murdough I have to admit, despite your expressed distaste for both in this episode, I love A*P*E and Dino De Laurentiis' King Kong. I've never seen Mad Monster Party? but, as a fellow Rankin/Bass fan, I am adding it to my "Must Watch" list.

    Ah, Jason--ever the champion of pop culture's downtrodden! I can find it in me to look with charity upon A*P*E, since it at least owns its shoddiness and its utterly shameless exploitation ("Ape-sploitation"?) of then-current cinematic trends--and really, how many movies offer the viewer a fight scene between a giant gorilla and a shark? However, King Kong '76 (much like King Kong '05, come to think of it) is just an ill-conceived, painfully unnecessary blight on the legacy of an all-time Hollywood classic. Perhaps it's unfair of me, but even if it were a better movie than it is, I couldn't forgive it for the mortal sin of simply having been made.

    By all means, give a golden-anniversary gander to Mad Monster Party?; you'll love it! Barring the "egg-crazy wraiths" sequence in Here Comes Peter Cottontail, it's the closest thing to a Rankin/Bass Halloween special the world will ever see.
  • i_am_scifii_am_scifi Posts: 523
    edited October 2017
    Mr. @Adam_Murdough, there are few words as sweet as, "Our Worlds At War is over!" Such a blatant attempt by DC to create a Galactus level threat, and such an overall rotten egg outside of Young Justice and Harley Quinn's one-shot.

    And yes indeed, Chase is a diamond in the rough. Easily one of my favorite titles of the late 1990's. And the story in the very title you mentioned, Murd, is available in the Chase TPB that DC published back in 2011! https://www.instocktrades.com/TP/DC/CHASE-TP/SEP110179

    I somehow lost my copy and had to buy a new one for my shelf a few years back, but happy to see it's still available.
  • chrislchrisl Posts: 45
    Cassette playing alarm clocks? I didn't know there were such gizmos.
    I always enjoy the Time Bubble episodes.
  • Yet another fun journey in the Time Bubble. Now I have to resist the urge to buy Chase until I'm more caught up on my own meager to-read pile.
  • I don't care how much trashtalk "Our Worlds At War" gets, there were many jewels of issues in that event - and listening to someone as insightful and entertaining as Murd discuss it at length (even if he's no fan of it, lol) only reminds me that quite often, turn-of-the-century crap still beats much of the expensive mediocrity thrown at us today. I had much more fun reading a sprawling summer event series 16 years ago than I do now.

    As for "Mad Monster Party," it is a beloved classic which dances across my TV every Halloween. Its orange dvd box is sitting on my coffee table as we speak (along with "Young Frankenstein") and I look forward to watching Phyllis Diller steal every scene she is in, yet again :)

    T'was another rollicking Time Bubble, Murd. Thanks for cheering up my month!
  • @Adam_Murdough! You put out the call, and I have answered!

    ...or will...

    In keeping with the time-displaced conceit of the Time Bubble, I rarely listen to the latest episode in a "timely" fashion, preferring to await a "time" when I will have a large block of "time" to listen. Thus, I arrive late---or, in a near future when others discover the "Bubble," it will all seem as "timely" as that "time" when Flash faced off against the Turtle, and "time" appeared to stand still.

    Anyway. One thing I love about these episodes is that they invariably launch me on a search into my longboxes. Your call for Grodd insights certainly prompted me to rush upstairs to my mancave and open up the Flash box.

    image

    I've pulled together Grodd appearances across both the "Barry" and "Wally" titles, from writers Cary Bates, Williams Messner-Loebs, Mark Waid, and Mr. Johns. Thanks, in part, to the terrible storms we just had up here in New England, I've managed to read through up to the point where you found yourself in the Bubble (Flash 178 & Secret Files #3). I plan on reading through those and the follow-up storyline featuring Grodd in Flash 192-194 and will check in, soon, with an analysis of Grodd and his characterization under Johns.

    Excelsior!
  • The longest uninterrupted run of any comic I have in my collection is Flash. That ended during Johns’ run as writer, in large part because of how he handled the Rogues.
  • @ChrisBeckett I loved looking at those covers! Ohmigrodd, that is one gaggle of glorious gorilla gold right there. Glad to see you got through the storms okay.

    @nweathington It's interesting that you seemed to have been turned off by Johns' handling of The Rogues when that's probably what he is most respected for doing at DC. What about that drove you away from the title?
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,279
    edited November 2017

    What about that drove you away from the title?

    It just got too grim-dark for my taste. Every villain had to be oh so serious, and oh so deadly. It just sucked all the fun and charm out of the book as far as I'm concerned. Plus, Flash was my then-young son’s favorite character, and it got to the point where I didn't feel comfortable letting him read it. So I dropped the book, and instead, once a month I would pick up a ’70s-era Flash from the back issue bin for the same price or less than I would have paid for the new issue, and gave it to him.

    Sidebar: As a result of this—and I think I've told this story here before—my wife talked to Carmine Infantino at a Pittsburgh Comicon (2001 or 2002, I don't remember which) and told him how much our son was enjoying the Flash comics he drew, and Carmine asked to meet him. We had left him behind with grandparents, though, but told our son about it and said he ought to write Carmine a letter, which he did. Carmine wrote back a very nice letter, complete with a small head sketch of the Flash, and our son took it in for Show-and-Tell at school (well, a xerox of the letter anyway—I wasn't going to let him get it messed up in his backpack). He has the letter framed on his wall.
  • @nweathington Great story about you guys and Infantino! As for The Rogues, yeah, I can see that. I think Johns was reshaping them into hardboiled, creepier versions of themselves to appeal to older readers (like himself), I definitely wouldn't like my young kid seeing Mirror Master snorting coke and making sex jokes lol
  • @nweathington Great story about you guys and Infantino! As for The Rogues, yeah, I can see that. I think Johns was reshaping them into hardboiled, creepier versions of themselves to appeal to older readers (like himself), I definitely wouldn't like my young kid seeing Mirror Master snorting coke and making sex jokes lol

    You say reshaping, I say overcompensating. So I called the whole thing off. ;)
  • @ChrisBeckett, you are a GRODDsend! I look forward to reading your thoroughly historicized evaluation of Johns' monkeyshines.
  • I return, head bowed a little, with the realization that I have little to add to the discussion, except to reaffirm some of what has been said, and written, previously.

    @Adam_Murdough, your assessment of the issue in question, and the characterization of Grodd, in this episode of the Time Bubble is spot on. This is not the Grodd we have seen before (or, at least, not the Grodd seen in stories from Cary Bates, William Messner-Loebs, and Mark Waid, going back to issue 294 of the Barry Allen series). Johns definitely amps up the animalistic side of Grodd, to the point where it is plainly the focus and almost completely overwhelms the super-simian's personality. Grodd's psychic powers--his "force-of-mind" powers--are almost an afterthought and could almost be missed by new readers to this title.

    Unlike previous encounters, there is no indication that Grodd is even a thinking animal, let alone an ape from a civilization as advanced as those of Gorilla City. Grodd has always been intimidating, due to his size and viciousness coupled with his mind powers. This is what has made him stand out as a villain. Grodd has always utilized his super-intellect and force-of-mind powers to get the upper hand on the Flash and Solovar and anyone else in his way by not just pummelling their minds with his overwhelming psyche, but by also changing his form to that of a human (to trick the other apes into letting him out of his cell) or by taking control of the pets of Keystone City to form an army living within everyone's homes. He uses his super-intellect to outsmart and overwhelm his adversaries, and, like so many comic villains, is often outdone by his own arrogance and self-importance (thx, thesaurus.com). We get none of that in #178 from Geoff Johns.

    I hoped that maybe it could be explained away by the drugs used to subdue the super-simian. Maybe this was a one-off, a look at the savagery hiding beneath the intellect, revealed by the drugs. But . . . that was not the case. In the "Run Riot" storyline, a little over a year later, Gorilla Grodd's characterization is exactly the same. All that has changed is that he no longer has blood dripping from his lips. It was, I have to say, a disappointment, especially after reading those earlier stories (which all entertained to one degree or another).

    And now, I wonder if my positive thoughts about Geoff Johns's run on Flash (of which I only have a scattering of issues leading up to #200, at which point I jumped back on the Flash train) and his handling of the rogues might be wrong--or, more to the point, not what I'm looking for now. Judging by this experience, and @nweathington's thoughts above, I think I need to go read some of the other issues I have of his run and take an assessment as to whether I want to fill those gaps, or just continue filling in my Barry Allen run. We'll see.

    All that said, thank you, Adam, for launching back into the world of the Flash. I've dropped in on the nu52 and Rebirth titles, but they haven't done it for me. Thankfully, I have the CW series to get my fix (though with the latest season, #3, I only watched the first half dozen or so episodes, skipped the middle, then watched the final "storyline," so we'll see about that, too), and I have my longboxes. Maybe it's time to rummage around through there for some more Flashy goodness.

    -chris
  • alienalalienal Posts: 467
    I always both love and dread @Adam_Murdough 's Time Bubble because 1) I love to hear Murd's opinion on old comics 2) I like going through my long boxes to see if I have the comics he talks about and 3) the dread is that I usually feel obligated to re-read the comics if I have them! This time I DO have 3 of the comics (or sets of comics) that Murd talked about: the FF1234, Batman 595, and Thor: Godstorm. By the way, Thor: Godstorm was THREE issues, not just two. I was actually quite surprised to find a 3rd issue when I went through my longbox, but also quite happy because I got to peruse still another issue of that Steve Rude artwork! I did enjoy the FF1234: like Murd said it was quite moody. I think I liked the Batman 595 more than Murd did, but then I really like Scott McDaniel's artwork. I was kind of surprised that I didn't have those Flash issues. Maybe like @nweathington, I had dropped the title by then. Anyway, thanks for the look back in time, Murd!
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