Episode 204 – The Gift of Thrillpower f/Arthur Wyatt

Underbelly

On this week’s show, we’re gazing into the fist of Dredd with Dredd: Underbelly writer Arthur Wyatt! We’re talking a whole lot about the many writers who have penned stories for 2000 AD, how Dredd is an outsider’s look at America, moving to the U.S. from the U.K., the decision process for making a comics sequel to Dredd, and much more! Plus, a new set of entries into our Every Story Ever list!

The Rundown

Comics Talked About:

  • Batman Eterman #4
  • Southern Bastards #1
  • CMYK #1

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6 thoughts on “Episode 204 – The Gift of Thrillpower f/Arthur Wyatt”

  1. Here’s Pat Mills on the origins of Dredd and the American underground stip that was one of it’s inspirations:

    We were both impressed by a one page American underground strip called Mannix that was reprinted in Comix: A History of Comic Books in America, by Les Daniels. It featured a ruthless cop who shoots a fleeing criminal in the back and was obviously satirising dirty cops some years before the Clint Eastwood films appeared. We were also impressed by a story in American magazine Weird and Eerie where a science fiction cop pursues a criminal through a futuristic city and executes him. We then discover the perp’s crime – he was carrying a copy of a sick and seditious magazine, Weird and Eerie!

  2. The Watcher seems to speak based on whether or not speaking would constitute “interference”. Sometimes he doesn’t speak because he doesn’t regard the person well. But he’ll also speak for no good reason save politeness: He chats with Eric Masterson while Mjolnir records telemetry on Earth from the Moon back in Infinity War. Nothing important, just sort of a “Hey, you’re here, you can watch from my porch if you want. Wait for it… something cool is about to happen.” And of course, being penned by Stan Lee at the start means he’s going to talk. Stan is famed for his abundant dialogue. During the Dark Phoenix Saga, he makes it clear that he has little regard for Wolverine, but tells him so verbally. He doesn’t speak with Quasar in issue 6 of that series, but does when the fallout from that makes him turn to Quasar for aid.

    So, yeah. The Watcher speaks. For big reasons, small reasons, personal reasons, whatever.

  3. It seems the majority of time the Watcher speaks in in “What If” stories. I haven’t read a ton of stuff (recently) with the Watcher in it so if him not speaking needs to be true for this story, I’m placing my faith in the hands of Waid & Aaron.

  4. Mark Waid knows the Watcher speaks. I have to admit remembering this, but Onslaught: Marvel Universe, co-written by Waid, has an opening and closing monologue by the Watcher, and some dialogue between him and Apocalypse.

  5. Also, One More Day is so bad that literally everyone who talks about it fails to remember what actually happened; Peter didn’t make the deal. MJ did.

    I’m not defending it – the story is throughout horrible nonsense – nor am I saying people actually haven’t read it. I know all of us at the time did, but it was so awful that we all just erased as much as we could from our memories right after (much like the characters in the story).

  6. Another couple of ESE comments:

    * House of M was narrative garbage and came during a period where it seemed like you couldn’t swing a dead Watcher without Marvel shifting into an alternate timeline with all-new, all-boring versions of the characters. And it totally wrecked David Hine’s excellent District X series, which was basically Gotham Central in Mutanttown, a mutant-rich neighborhood of New York City. Also, the winnowing of the mutant population lead to the depowering of a lot of non-white, female, and/or queer mutants, leaving the X-verse with a lot more Harveys and a lot fewer Renees. Despite that, the mutant extinction fueled a lot of narrative energy between House of M and, say, Generation Hope, making that five-year run overall one of the very best periods for the X-titles as a whole. So, like One More Day, it was a crap comic that lead to better comics in its wake.

    * Emerald Twilight is the direct antecedent of Identity Crisis. In the years immediately preceding Emerald Twilight, DC had done several ill-considered event stories designed to “shock” the readership, of varying quality–the Manhunter betrayals in Millennium, “A Death in the Family”, even the “Five Years Later” jump in Legion. But Emerald Twilight was the first DC event explicitly marketed as “THIS will piss off the fans and they’ll buy it anyway”. DC had certainly overexposed the Lanterns–there was absolutely no justification for 40 Green Lantern issues in a single year* and needed to trim down. But burning the whole franchise down to introduce a new character–well, that’s annoyingly typical, but it’s the one that still offends me 20 years later. That the new title was literally the origin of the “Girls in Refrigerators” eponym is just the green icing on the turdcake.

    (Yes, 40: Three monthlies–Green Lantern, Mosaic, Guy Gardner–and Green Lantern Corps Quarterly.)

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