This week on the Major Spoilers Podcast, Historical Fiction, EGOs #2, Undertow #1, Mystique vs. Martian Manhunter, and much more!

Thanks to Shades of Vengeance for sponsoring this episode, check out their Era: The Consortium Kickstarter Tabletop RPG campaign.

NEWS
Black Widow getting standalone movie
LINK

REVIEWS
STEPHEN
UNDERTOW #1
Writer: Steve Orlando
Artist: Artyom Trakhanov
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
Atlantis is the world superpower, and Redum Anshargal is its worst enemy. If you want to break free of the system, he can offer you a place at his side, exploring the wild surface world in his watertight city barge The Deliverer. He and his hostage-protege Ukinnu Alal hunt the Amphibian, a legend that could be the key to an air-breathing life on land. But as they become the hunted, can Anshargal’s team survive long enough to turn the tables on the godlike beast they set out for?

A brand new pulp monster adventure with Ray Harryhausen at its heart and a look at Atlantis like never before from the up-and-coming team of writer STEVE ORLANDO (Mystery in Space) and artist ARTYOM TRAKHANOV.

Rating: ★★★★☆

MATTHEW
EGOs #2
Writer: Stuart Moore
Artist: Gus Storms
Publisher: image Comics
The hero-epic of the far future continues as Deuce, the EGOs’ leader, flies off to battle with his army of [CENSORED]s. Meanwhile, his estranged wife Pixel must deal with an army of new team applicants. Featuring: Costumes! Battles! Masse, the Living Galaxy! Blood and gore! Uncomfortable emotions!

Rating: ★★★☆☆

RODRIGO
VANDROID #1
Writers: Tommy Lee Edwards, Noah Smith
Artists: Dan McDaid
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
When Palm Springs Entertainment studios burned to the ground in 1984, the most definitive motion picture of a generation was lost before its time. Thirty years later, the extraordinary talents of Tommy Lee Edwards, Noah Smith, and Dan McDaid unite to resurrect this lost epic.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Major Spoilers Poll of the Week
Who’s the best shapeshifter?
This week, we dive back into the mailbag to see what kind of Poll of the Week suggestions we’ve received. One of our favorite Spoilerites, Silvergray wanted to pitt Martian Manhunter against Mystique, which is a really good pairing, but instead of having them fight to the death, we present a different take on the match up.


Pick Our Next Trade Paperback Review (Comment)

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Major Spoilers Poll of the Week: Who’s the best shapeshifter?

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The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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16 Comments

  1. February 19, 2014 at 3:40 am — Reply

    A great (silly) one-shot Martian Manhunter story is Martain Manhunter vol 2 #20 – Where he addicted to Oreos and he goes on a rampage when he can’t get any more because Booster Gold and the Blue Beetle buy up the entire supply. I think you guys should read that one haha.

    I mean, just look at this panel. It is amazing:

    http://imgur.com/t1MhGZu

  2. February 19, 2014 at 5:24 am — Reply

    Hey, hey, hey. Lego friends er fully compatible with regular Legos. They are a bit taller and slimmer than the regular minifigs, but my girls lego friends figures are wearing clonetrooperhelmets and blasters.
    And kicking A :)

    • February 19, 2014 at 11:28 am — Reply

      That’s good to know from the figure perspective, but it still makes me wonder why the figures have to be so different than a regular Minifig. My oldest just finished playing the LEGO Marvel Avengers game (completed it all by himself – age 7) and loved playing Black Widow – a female Minifig that doesn’t have to look like the LEGO Friend line. On the plus side – the LEGO Friend line does have all the purple and pink bricks you could want that are hard to find in the other Lego aisle at the store. I believe my greater point is – why can’t all the LEGO sets be in one aisle? Why the separation? Heck, if our local store hadn’t rearranged their toys, I would never have discovered a LEGO series that is targeted at the 4-7 group that features superheroes and use the traditional minifigs.

  3. Perry Taliaferro
    February 19, 2014 at 8:50 am — Reply

    Stephen, let me get this straight, you were/are mad that Disney lists 3 or 4 items that are always found in the boys aisle at any and every store in the country and claim they will dominate those very aisle that contain those toys? They are not in anyway slamming, by omission, the girl products (or girls), but these items are always in the boy aisle. I am sure if they had a product in that list that would be placed in the “girl” aisles, they would have aid different.

    Now yes, you can be mad that toys are separated in the manner in which they are, but your ire is really misdirected here.

    • February 19, 2014 at 11:23 am — Reply

      You may be right that I may have misdirected anger, but as a parent of a kid who is going through that stage of what the peer group says is cool and not and the definite age where the demarkation of “girl toys” and “boy toys” is quite apparent, the gender issue – unintentional or not, does get higher on my radar than perhaps other people. My youngest goes to daycare and all of the children, regardless of gender, have a lot of fun playing “dress-up” running around with trucks and playing with toy kitchen items, etc. and none of the children have a problem with that. In the last year, my oldest has suddenly started qualifying play activities as “girl” and “boy” – with comments (on the record) from toy companies where they state they won’t create or market products because they are “girl” oriented and won’t appeal to boys, it bothers me, and the press release from Disney talking about the domination of the Boy Toy Aisle and nothing about the Girl Toy Aisle seemed very off to me.

      Hope that clarifies my perspective, everyone is going to have a different take on this – take a look around the Internet and you’ll find a plethora of sites that are more agitated over these kinds of things than I am.

      Thanks again for your comment Perry! I see you have only recently started commenting on the site. I hope you continue to share your comments and thoughts with the rest of us.

  4. February 19, 2014 at 5:39 pm — Reply

    loved this weeks podcast! the king in yellow has ever been a favorite set of stories of mine, and i love introducing people to it (especially lovecraft fans) because of the tremendous influence it has had on pretty much all weird fiction writings that have come since it was published. one of my favorites is the Necronomicon, which is one that people will swear up and down is real, but which was made up by Lovecraft for his own use, and which has now been absorbed into the akashic aether… the idea of “everybody who reads this play goes mad” is such a fun idea, and the bits and pieces of the play that Chambers puts in his stories are so intriguing, it’s like “i want to read that play, but i don’t want to read that play, but i need to read that play” it’s so cool… as a writer, world building and making things feel (not real, but authentic) is not only very very important to me, but extremely fun. cannot wait to hear the Lovecraft-cast, cannot wait to hear next weeks podcast, and that’s enough fanboying from me lol cheers!

  5. Jay
    February 20, 2014 at 6:31 am — Reply

    Stephen, I think you may be a little over sensitive on the Marvel marketing campaign which targets a specific demographic. You often speak of demographics, consumer tendancies and structuring content to meet market demand. They are pushing an emerging product and actively engaging the group of people most likely to buy it. I would speculate that Marvel has access to the data that supports this reasoning.

    You don’t develop podcasts or the MS site to reach everyone. There is a target audience and if it bleeds over into other sectors then so much the better. You can’t rail at a company for practicing the same savvy and diligence as you do.

    It was actually funny listening to your rant about Marvel “Mastering the Boy’s toy isle”. Then, for the rest of the topic, the podcast crew continued identifying toys as being in the boy or girl aisle.

    Aisles are not segregated by sex. There is no sign which states, “only boys shall pass”. Rather, figures of a like genre are grouped together. You, me and society identifies them by sex.

    • February 20, 2014 at 6:45 am — Reply

      Aisles are not segregated by sex. There is no sign which states, “only boys shall pass”. Rather, figures of a like genre are grouped together. You, me and society identifies them by sex.

      I completely disagree. As the parent of a girl child, she is completely aware of which toys aren’t “for her”, and I have had first-hand experience with the disappointing realization that something she wanted is a “boy’s toy.” Children are conditioned by social mores, by the other kids, and by the overwhelming waves of advertising to know which things are for boys and which are for girls, and it *is* an issue that needs addressing.

      Stephen wasn’t lamenting the existence of boy’s and girl’s aisles in the chain stores (which *DO* exist and are identified as such, both overtly and implicitly), rather he was angry about a company that once again marginalizes an entire gender using ancient runes passed down from beyond that girls aren’t a desirable target market. Given the state of our shared hobby, it’s an absolutely justified complaint, whether one agrees with Stephen or not.

      • February 20, 2014 at 8:04 am — Reply

        There you go.

      • Jay
        February 20, 2014 at 10:34 am — Reply

        Thanks for the reply Matthew. I also have a daughter and a son.

        Marvel is doing what companies typically do, finding the most efficient way to sell product. We can debate if a company has any moral obligation to change the social dynamic of toy distribution. Likely they don’t care. They want to increase shareholder value by moving as much product, and making as much money, as possible. Rodrigo’s comment was great. Perhaps Marvel is lagging in the boy demographic ages 5 – 10. What better way to bolster that segment than to figure out what those kids play with, for whatever reason, make those toys and market directly to young boys.

        My daughter is two and plays with her older brother’s Superman action figure. Eventually she drops it for a teddy bear and comes back for a Batman later. She enoys action figures and has a lot of exposure to them. My house seems similar to yours. There are no boy toys or girl toys. There are just toys purchased for kids. However, when I turn her lose in a toy store she never grabs a batman off the shelf. The opportunity cost of taking the Flash and leaving Princess Sophia on the shelf is just too high for her.

        You are right, there has been some influence that pushed her in the Princess Sophia direction. It could be marketing, it could be a genetic pre-disposition that drives her away from action heroes that punch people in the face. I have no idea. The fact is companies are going to use these trends to their advantage.

        To change this we should not be angry at companies for being companies. I would not be mad at a tree for being a tree. Rather the change starts with us as consumers and parents. The big box store or multi-media conglomerate does not want to deviate from established social norms. There is too much predictable money to be had. We are the ones, a single kid at a time, that will do it.

        Note : When my daughter is Superman she never punches Lizard Man. Superman helps Lizardman off the ground and asks him if he wants to play.

  6. February 21, 2014 at 12:02 pm — Reply

    Shortly before listening to this and the previous review of Batman: Odyssey, I heard Neal Adams himself on Fatman on Batman. In the final episode of a three part interview, Adams talked about Odyssey in great detail. I got the impression, and this is totally one person’s opinion, that Neal Adams is extremely full of himself. He is a phenomenal artist and has done many great things both with the medium and for comic artists, but he had the attitude that he SAVED the industry at many turns. I found this off putting to say the least.

    When it came to Odyssey, Adams talked as though he was a misunderstood genius. He had made a work of high complex art that no one got. He truly believes the book will be his big comeback…Is it better to burn out, then to fade away…

    This brings me to another point. I don’t know how many of you listen to Fatman regularly. I do. I enjoy the history bits and the interviews some. I’m always open to multiple perspectives on comics, which is why I love Major Spoilers so much. However, I find that when Kevin Smith has guests the show devolves into hero worship rather quickly. Smith laps up an artist’s explanation for their work like my dog when I drop food on the floor. Now, I get that he isn’t there for a hard hitting interview or to challenge these people, but he just seems to buy everything a creator says as though his own opinions are suddenly invalid. He did the same thing with Grant Morrison, another creator with a high opinion of himself.

    Anyway, thanks for making a great and thought provoking show guys and giving me a place to spill my thoughts.

    • February 21, 2014 at 10:02 pm — Reply

      Keep in mind he was talking about Batman: Odyssey, and not Batman: Odyssey 2 that we reviewed. I don’t have the first volume, so I have no idea if that book is good or not.

      • February 22, 2014 at 12:01 pm — Reply

        It’s very similar…

        • February 25, 2014 at 8:58 am — Reply

          Ah, I just assumed they were talking about the complete story, not the individual volumes. I can’t imagine the quality between the two is vastly different.

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