The Incomparable

54: Put on this Mask and Strut for Mama

 

  [Music] [TS]

  the incomparable podcast number 54 [TS]

  August 2011 so we're back on the [TS]

  uncomfortable i'm jason l it is the [TS]

  comma club I convene this meeting of the [TS]

  comic book club joining me today in the [TS]

  studio to talk about comic related [TS]

  issues are jason reitman hi Jason [TS]

  hey everyone the price of comics is very [TS]

  high that's not what i mean by issues or [TS]

  or comic issues individual issues of [TS]

  comics what our individual issues of [TS]

  comics yes exactly and Lisa Schmeisser [TS]

  is also here hi Lisa I'm unloading all [TS]

  of my individual issues of comics all [TS]

  right anybody wants them [TS]

  well everybody needs to get rid of their [TS]

  issues and move on [TS]

  that's just how it is anyway our topic [TS]

  today is bryan cave on the writer of [TS]

  many different comics in very many [TS]

  different places he's also written some [TS]

  TV [TS]

  I think you wrote i think i counted five [TS]

  episodes of lost he's written [TS]

  screenplays he's done all sorts of other [TS]

  things but I think we're going to focus [TS]

  on three of his comics in particular [TS]

  Runaways what you did for Marvel which [TS]

  is in many ways the last creator kind of [TS]

  Creator created not you know for a [TS]

  corporate entity comic at Marvel and I [TS]

  at least the only one I can think of in [TS]

  a long time where a really strong piece [TS]

  of intellectual property was actually [TS]

  created out of nothing by a writer which [TS]

  is interesting because usually they just [TS]

  take it and build their own series of [TS]

  grounded and they own all the characters [TS]

  but he created that for Marvel and then [TS]

  just we can pick it up later into the [TS]

  series of that the two creator-owned [TS]

  Brian cable on series that we're going [TS]

  to talk about our y the last man and ex [TS]

  machina so we've got three bryan cave on [TS]

  topics to go on today and I just I was [TS]

  cramming this week I i read the rest of [TS]

  ex machina which I hadn't finished and i [TS]

  went back and re-read y the last man so [TS]

  I'm ready [TS]

  nice whose idea was it to do this [TS]

  podcast by the way Lisa's life was mine [TS]

  alright Lisa maybe you can get us [TS]

  started then which what would you like [TS]

  to tackle first [TS]

  that's a good question i was gonna ask [TS]

  what everyone thinks of the runaways [TS]

  because in many ways I feel like it's [TS]

  his Titus cleanest work and i would love [TS]

  to hear opinions on whether and I I find [TS]

  that interesting because it's a piece of [TS]

  work for marble which doesn't have a [TS]

  vested interest in making sure that [TS]

  comic books are tight and clean but [TS]

  rather has a vested interest in making [TS]

  sure they've got a narrative that can [TS]

  flogged for years and years and years of [TS]

  the time and get if you read the first [TS]

  step in someone different ways that he [TS]

  wrote it's it's an excellent standalone [TS]

  series you can walk away from it when it [TS]

  was done and never have to pick it up [TS]

  again and you have a very satisfying [TS]

  book I'm the beauty of creating new [TS]

  characters as you can start clean and [TS]

  tell a relatively clean story in a way [TS]

  you can if you have to go back over [TS]

  everything with the story is just really [TS]

  it hangs together beautifully [TS]

  I think we should just blow the spoiler [TS]

  alert for now so that we can continue [TS]

  this question let's talk about the [TS]

  fundamental premise of it before we blow [TS]

  this boiler Hornet because it doesn't [TS]

  really spoil it to say that the [TS]

  fundamental premise is what happens if [TS]

  you discover that your parents and all [TS]

  of their boring friends that they hang [TS]

  out with once a year are actually cabal [TS]

  of supervillains encompassing everything [TS]

  isn't great with the big concept is [TS]

  actually was going to say that I guess I [TS]

  think it's safe to say he's the best [TS]

  concept guy in the industry like I'd [TS]

  love to be in the pitch meetings because [TS]

  all of his books can do that one [TS]

  sentence pitch we just go that's a [TS]

  brilliant idea [TS]

  his pitches are basically tweets right [TS]

  yeah dimensions really has a best the [TS]

  best elevator pitch practice would be [TS]

  sadly I do think those are the best [TS]

  parts of his book haha the he's got the [TS]

  high-concept really well and then it [TS]

  starts to me breaking down on the this [TS]

  the character story and it i always [TS]

  enjoy the concepts more than I enjoy the [TS]

  stories so with that makes sense [TS]

  ok so with Runaways the the way it's [TS]

  played is is a is really interesting [TS]

  they the kids discover this about their [TS]

  parents and that initial arc is i think [TS]

  i think really amazing now it does [TS]

  continue on beyond that and that's I [TS]

  think where you get into this question [TS]

  of what is the premise here is there [TS]

  enough to sustain it when does it become [TS]

  just sort of an endless story of you [TS]

  know these characters having adventures [TS]

  for [TS]

  this is telling an arc where it the [TS]

  other two books do have an arc and they [TS]

  do have an ending Runaways is a marvel [TS]

  comic it's open-ended and they'd sort of [TS]

  solve the mystery of their parents and [TS]

  then they move on like a very get the [TS]

  story right [TS]

  really really good in that first arc [TS]

  talking about the characters do you [TS]

  remember any of their names his carolina [TS]

  who is the space alien yeah and a [TS]

  lesbian she's a lesbian there is alex [TS]

  who is the brainy guy who ultimately [TS]

  sells out the team there's Molly who's [TS]

  the mutant there's Gertrude who is [TS]

  bonded to the Tyrannosaurus Rex and [TS]

  she's basically the brains of the [TS]

  operation always the young one to write [TS]

  always the very young team care about [TS]

  any of these people i have to admit i [TS]

  have a fondness for Gertrude ID Act [TS]

  which you know so like I said just read [TS]

  that are because if you really like her [TS]

  teacher like what happens liquor [TS]

  um and what you actually kind of look a [TS]

  little bit like Richard again it's [TS]

  probably a typical process on the [TS]

  podcast with the glasses and the hair [TS]

  yeah glasses and the hair it's there to [TS]

  I'm and god help me i'm trying i'm [TS]

  blanking on the last to her the goth [TS]

  girl / / which Oh Nico and with the with [TS]

  the with the wanderer can only cast what [TS]

  the each spell one time you know which i [TS]

  think is a wonderful and interesting [TS]

  limitation and because it forces her to [TS]

  get creative and again be brilliant [TS]

  concept that's the one that I didn't [TS]

  really read for this podcast and I'm [TS]

  trying to remember the name of the kid [TS]

  who flies the ship and his girlfriend's [TS]

  boyfriend she's not coming to me that [TS]

  actually Carolina is the one that I that [TS]

  I remember [TS]

  yeah and I you know i love i love the [TS]

  whole premise of naturalistic hippie [TS]

  supervillain well well I i really like i [TS]

  really like and and this is a maybe this [TS]

  is why joss whedon was so attracted two [TS]

  Runaways too because one of the things I [TS]

  liked about Buffy especially is that [TS]

  whole game of taking these tropes from [TS]

  sci-fi and comics and fantasy and [TS]

  wrapping regular everyday growing up but [TS]

  you know adolescent heartbreak in those [TS]

  concepts and Runaways does that like [TS]

  Buffy did that and carolina is a great [TS]

  example of that because she's got all [TS]

  these [TS]

  powers but she discovers she's not [TS]

  really who she thought she was because [TS]

  she's an alien and then she discovers [TS]

  she's not who she thought she was [TS]

  because she's a lesbian and it's you [TS]

  know I I kind of love that kind of its [TS]

  like the rent in yeah she's kind of a [TS]

  willow analog in a lot of ways which but [TS]

  that said I don't think it's so much [TS]

  about the characters is it is about what [TS]

  a great concept is your you discover you [TS]

  know these are kids superheroes have to [TS]

  fight their parents they literally [TS]

  rebelling against their parents because [TS]

  their parents are evil and was really [TS]

  that was really sweet about the way that [TS]

  they wrap that up as their parents who [TS]

  admittedly you're evil and self-serving [TS]

  are also step up to the plate as parents [TS]

  the very last minute all right they are [TS]

  their parents and the parents love them [TS]

  yeah it's just happened as a weevil [TS]

  which which is you could have had the [TS]

  turn [TS]

  you know in a lesser story which would [TS]

  have been we didn't like you anyway use [TS]

  we're evil blah and it's no its day [TS]

  they're quite upset about this and try [TS]

  to explain you know why it is the way it [TS]

  is it in a more and it is taking more [TS]

  serious than something like always abyss [TS]

  is that the name of the comic words the [TS]

  the kid discovers that his dad is a [TS]

  supervillain it's a very similar kind of [TS]

  thing and there's a he controls a robot [TS]

  it'sit's another comic with a similar [TS]

  premise but it's played for laughs and [TS]

  one of the things I like about Runaways [TS]

  is that it feels more emotionally [TS]

  genuine if there's a Runaways issue and [TS]

  i can't remember if it's actually bryan [TS]

  cave on her Joss Whedon wrote later [TS]

  where you find out that Molly has been [TS]

  having a series of dreams or nightmares [TS]

  where she dreams that her parents are [TS]

  still alive and everything is the way it [TS]

  was before she knew what they were about [TS]

  because she misses her parents and is [TS]

  brian k yeah and it's a fantastic it's a [TS]

  fantastic issue because it reminds you [TS]

  that even though these kids had to grab [TS]

  with the fact that their parents are [TS]

  super villains who tried to sell the [TS]

  planet to a bunch of interdimensional [TS]

  aliens look first and foremost they were [TS]

  mom and dad and they love their mom and [TS]

  dad we miss them very much and i'm not [TS]

  going to solve them to the alien just [TS]

  going to come with them [TS]

  yeah right yeah and there was the whole [TS]

  well you were going to betray us see [TS]

  your kid could live in there like yes [TS]

  that's what you're going to do so before [TS]

  you get on your high horse about it you [TS]

  know [TS]

  mote in the eye but I like this story [TS]

  because it's fast-paced it is you have [TS]

  to move its boom boom and [TS]

  I like that it's a peek into the marvel [TS]

  vs where people tend to regard folks [TS]

  like Captain America and or the mutants [TS]

  not as you know torture protagonist and [TS]

  interesting characters but is a didactic [TS]

  pains in the rear end and there was no [TS]

  costumes [TS]

  yes no crimes really they tried the code [TS]

  names they realize how silly they were [TS]

  and that's what i liked about it was it [TS]

  subverts all of those conventions so it [TS]

  sort of has all the things that I that I [TS]

  liked about the new mutants yeah when [TS]

  they started except without the [TS]

  superhero x-men tractions they're just [TS]

  Custer on their own and then that's the [TS]

  whole point of what waterways premises [TS]

  really there the anti x-men there the [TS]

  x-men without a professor x they're just [TS]

  on their own [TS]

  that's all the guy do like that Marvel's [TS]

  kept the premise where the runaways were [TS]

  like you know we're not really planning [TS]

  on hanging out with anybody we're pretty [TS]

  happy with just of the bunch of us even [TS]

  when later they had the robot and in the [TS]

  hope that there was a couple of Runaways [TS]

  x-men chromosomal crossover yeah yeah [TS]

  and apparently Molly beats up Wolverine [TS]

  and in one of them from what i can [TS]

  remember which is very funny because [TS]

  he's like a world full of depowered [TS]

  mutants that girl has to keep our but [TS]

  yeah [TS]

  womp womp right kind of harkens back to [TS]

  and Wolverine powerpack used to buy a [TS]

  classic yeah but everybody loves the [TS]

  powerpack I think it just you know a [TS]

  little girl kicking Wolverines ask never [TS]

  gets never sold a powerpack I really [TS]

  that explains a little girl tonight so [TS]

  powerpack was you know book about little [TS]

  kids for four little kids is how I [TS]

  always read that and I just fairly or [TS]

  not that's how I always readily read it [TS]

  now Runaways is not okay read it now [TS]

  because the that's my impression I was a [TS]

  kid and I just recently gonna ride this [TS]

  baby scour book right I was the x-men [TS]

  the it's written for comic fans who have [TS]

  kids [TS]

  uh-huh and if you have kids and you read [TS]

  it into a whole different experience [TS]

  let's go up and is the first 25 issues [TS]

  are some of the most enjoyable comic i [TS]

  did not think we would be endorsing [TS]

  power pack during this is Right slight [TS]

  tangent there [TS]

  Wow no that's okay that does bring up a [TS]

  really interesting podcast the future [TS]

  which is one of the comics you plan on [TS]

  reading with or to your kids that's a [TS]

  great one as parents here for all [TS]

  no experience no and Jill Thompson has a [TS]

  series called Trixie the magic girl and [TS]

  I thought hey I have a daughter named [TS]

  Trixie you can be darn sure i'm going to [TS]

  be a stocking up on those books for her [TS]

  for when she's older [TS]

  yeah absolutely yes I'm doing that with [TS]

  my daughter [TS]

  slowly i went i won't found her asleep [TS]

  with the Marvel encyclopedia open on her [TS]

  chest the other you're raising right [TS]

  yeah my son who's just turned to can [TS]

  pick out spider-man which is good and [TS]

  the agency's win my son and I had to [TS]

  have a talk about spider-man and Batman [TS]

  because he has lots of Batman stuff and [TS]

  I had to explain how spider-man is [TS]

  absolutely better than that man not and [TS]

  and that he was wrong in thinking Batman [TS]

  was so great but we we came to an [TS]

  agreement broke up a deal brokered by my [TS]

  wife where we explain that [TS]

  that man's got cooler stuff and so of [TS]

  course kids are gonna love the batman [TS]

  toys because Batman does have cooler [TS]

  stuff there's no double spider-man's [TS]

  just got himself but that man's got [TS]

  every gadget imaginable in the toy line [TS]

  you can get like a spider mobile and a [TS]

  spider playing well and all that that [TS]

  was what my spider-sense spider-man [TS]

  totally has a car and a jet and a [TS]

  motorcycle make wow that hurts you know [TS]

  I wonder kids gravitate to DC more than [TS]

  marble though because my nephew's are [TS]

  both really big into DC decent is the [TS]

  coolest superhero also did he's always [TS]

  done the the day [TS]

  cartoons yeah really wanted growing up [TS]

  for us was to justice league game so [TS]

  we're totally on a tangent here there's [TS]

  just there's a book series called DC [TS]

  Super Pets which is the pets of the [TS]

  superhero like Rex the wonder dog is [TS]

  fantastic and that my son absolutely [TS]

  adores wow so he's in he's now thrilling [TS]

  to the adventures of Krypto the Superdog [TS]

  and his pals who are all they all are [TS]

  analogues there the Mets of each one of [TS]

  them is as their their person is a super [TS]

  I have to read this isn't dying to find [TS]

  out right now Julien may loan you some [TS]

  of his compensate for Colin's nicely [TS]

  says that it is we're in this little kid [TS]

  let's jump it up to [TS]

  y the last man ok the incredible totally [TS]

  adult because y the last man premise [TS]

  which everyone should know is every [TS]

  person with the y-chromosome animal or [TS]

  human dies immediately one second doll [TS]

  dead drop dead except for one guy [TS]

  and instead monkey who is also mail he [TS]

  was also mail and so I mean and that's [TS]

  how many of us i haven't had those [TS]

  dreams of being the last guy on the [TS]

  planet and what that would entail right [TS]

  and the answer is that it's actually [TS]

  kind of kind of stuff like that yeah [TS]

  that's the beauty of it is is that it's [TS]

  an apocalypse story with this with this [TS]

  really great twist which is ok if it's [TS]

  just women on the planet [TS]

  what happens then and although [TS]

  interesting that it's written by a man I [TS]

  always found that little bit strange [TS]

  that all the characters women except for [TS]

  except for Yorick and the monkey & % [TS]

  greatest name for a month whatever yes I [TS]

  always thought that was a little strange [TS]

  that they this world of women is [TS]

  conceived of by a man by male writers [TS]

  always thought that was a little odd [TS]

  just me now but I was going to say about [TS]

  it is one of the things I've actually [TS]

  grappled with our reading that book is [TS]

  you have a plethora of strong well [TS]

  written characters and I thought to [TS]

  myself [TS]

  absolutely none of these people these [TS]

  women would ever be included or make it [TS]

  in a book that was supposed to be mixed [TS]

  gender and the only way that you have so [TS]

  many strong female characters is by [TS]

  absolutely eliminating every other man [TS]

  on the planet or in or in this [TS]

  traditional fictitious universe and I [TS]

  think it says something about the state [TS]

  of comics in general that in order for [TS]

  readers to accept a universe full of [TS]

  flawed well-rounded strong resourceful [TS]

  evil plot in calculating in other words [TS]

  fully dimensional female characters the [TS]

  only way that people could apparently [TS]

  swallow that was by okay of course these [TS]

  people stepped into the room now there [TS]

  are no man on the planet [TS]

  um it's it's kind of sad away there's a [TS]

  funny moment where they where they [TS]

  mentioned actually in the last issue [TS]

  that I mean that Iran has the has the [TS]

  bomb [TS]

  they've built a nuclear bomb and it's [TS]

  aii that really struck me because it is [TS]

  he's saying you know we could take all [TS]

  the men out of the equation but people [TS]

  are people even integers but it is [TS]

  alright then very slowly i'll get back [TS]

  to human nature as the story goes on and [TS]

  the natives start getting back to the [TS]

  nation's and the tribes and yeah yeah [TS]

  well what's interesting is how much of [TS]

  the first third of the book you have [TS]

  some people who take a look at this [TS]

  planetary event is [TS]

  it's radically change society I mean [TS]

  that's the whole point to the daughters [TS]

  of the Amazon and then you have some [TS]

  people who are doing everything they can [TS]

  to try to maintain this this society [TS]

  that were like the ones at the sons of [TS]

  America or the sons of Arizona Arizona [TS]

  yeah yeah where you know ocean and the [TS]

  government right the US government is [TS]

  trying to do that to the Secretary of [TS]

  Agriculture isn't have a branded United [TS]

  States and its pretty I think it's true [TS]

  to life in a way that you know if you [TS]

  put if you were to lose an entire gender [TS]

  you're not gonna say who now is the [TS]

  exciting opportunity for us to rethink [TS]

  gender constructed and move on you first [TS]

  met orders is survival and to do that [TS]

  you may want to stick with the societal [TS]

  patterns and philosophies that you know [TS]

  work for you already [TS]

  but you know it does over time [TS]

  gender become so much less relevant I [TS]

  think that that's what makes the last [TS]

  issue so powerful is so much is made of [TS]

  york being the only man four so much and [TS]

  then by the last issue you just see how [TS]

  completely irrelevant he's become [TS]

  because there is no longer a man kind of [TS]

  womankind there's just humankind there's [TS]

  a default doesn't include man and and [TS]

  wish you know gender is a role as more [TS]

  or less obsolete or gender is a [TS]

  construct I mean that the cloned matter [TS]

  seen more as oddities and they are as a [TS]

  as a standard standard human beings i [TS]

  think because while you're reading it [TS]

  you're really thinking that there they [TS]

  gotta preserve humanity why bye little [TS]

  man and and and let's get a breeding [TS]

  stock together and eventually will get [TS]

  back to normal menu flash forward to [TS]

  when your kids 18 you see that most [TS]

  unlike actually pretty comfortable [TS]

  clothing we're happy with it in fact [TS]

  effective particle and it's hard to [TS]

  climb n so we don't do it very often but [TS]

  when clone women really easily grasped [TS]

  yeah before it got to the point there's [TS]

  a really nice sort of scene in the book [TS]

  where they were talking about the [TS]

  animals that have gone extinct have a [TS]

  sense that that the the rodents that one [TS]

  because of the 18-month gestational [TS]

  cycle right a fly's went extinct within [TS]

  a half an hour after it and then yeah [TS]

  but that's right they they say they're [TS]

  no rats because the rats would have gone [TS]

  extinct except in there are rats because [TS]

  nature finds away and the rats in the [TS]

  trashcan the sharks could do that [TS]

  matches [TS]

  yes so I why not anyone else a lot of a [TS]

  lot [TS]

  fish and a lot of reptiles do it now [TS]

  what i thought was interesting was the [TS]

  last one remember you find out that [TS]

  there's they're working to support the [TS]

  poachers against the lions and I thought [TS]

  that was nice to rupted to point out [TS]

  that you were still going to have these [TS]

  terrible phenomenon where people are [TS]

  hunting and killing their animals [TS]

  because they can [TS]

  there was some editing job of showing [TS]

  how women weren't all sugar and spice [TS]

  and everything nice and the in the book [TS]

  and they also showed how people are kind [TS]

  of blinker by cultural assumptions [TS]

  because to go back to it again like the [TS]

  women in the Dreamtime and they point [TS]

  out that women on the African savannah [TS]

  we're hardly affected because their [TS]

  lives had been so sharply segregated [TS]

  anyway that you know if a man dies so [TS]

  what we're still hunters gatherers we've [TS]

  always been we always will be friends in [TS]

  DC everything falls apart and they point [TS]

  out that you know that there are so many [TS]

  professions that were so predominantly [TS]

  male in order to return to level of [TS]

  technological competence you'd have to [TS]

  search far and wide and how do you build [TS]

  up that knowledge base again and what [TS]

  nations have advantages for example [TS]

  australia has a huge advantage because [TS]

  it had women who could operate [TS]

  submarines and that's something the u.s. [TS]

  didn't have I mean in real life women [TS]

  are only now beginning to get training [TS]

  in the u.s. Navy for submarines see this [TS]

  one of those things that that not to get [TS]

  all you know postmodern here but I was a [TS]

  comm major so it is why the last man [TS]

  feminist is it anti-feminist is it [TS]

  something in between because I can go [TS]

  both ways right on one level what you [TS]

  said about how you know one of the [TS]

  stories is look women can be just as bad [TS]

  as men right i mean that is one of the [TS]

  things that happens in this which to me [TS]

  is not necessarily a positive message [TS]

  it's sort of saying look if we take many [TS]

  of the equation you'll see the women are [TS]

  just as capable of all the terrible [TS]

  things that men are but at the same time [TS]

  it also makes lots of comments about how [TS]

  women are given opportunities in our [TS]

  world that they that they finally get [TS]

  only after this ridiculous catastrophe [TS]

  happens and then there's you know in [TS]

  between that this a lot of time spent on [TS]

  on gender not mattering so you know i'm [TS]

  not quite sure what I think it's it [TS]

  there's a lot here obviously and it's [TS]

  probably a little bit of all those [TS]

  things but but I I'm kind of ambivalent [TS]

  about I can [TS]

  say this is a you know it's a feminist [TS]

  work that is about why women you know [TS]

  have all these things that are never [TS]

  allowed to do except maybe on the metal [TS]

  level of commentary that usually you [TS]

  don't see it took a couple semesters of [TS]

  feminist theory in college and grad [TS]

  school and I'm sorry you know i mean i [TS]

  was a comm major so ya know what i was [TS]

  going to say is is you I that's kind of [TS]

  a loaded question as just because [TS]

  there's so many different definitions of [TS]

  feminism is true what you can do is you [TS]

  can argue that y the last man maybe [TS]

  feminist from a classical feminist [TS]

  perspective where the gold classical [TS]

  feminism is to make sure that there's [TS]

  equal access and opportunity for all [TS]

  genders but you can also argue that y [TS]

  the last man is not feminist if you look [TS]

  at feminism as being defined by gender [TS]

  essentialism or if you look at feminism [TS]

  is being defined by again like [TS]

  postmodernist feminists who would say [TS]

  that it's all just a societal construct [TS]

  and and on and on it goes so I don't [TS]

  think you can say definitively it's [TS]

  feminists are not feminist I think what [TS]

  you can say is it's just a look at what [TS]

  happens when you take an entire gender [TS]

  and it's societal constructions out of [TS]

  the picture what happens to people rush [TS]

  to fill that void with something that [TS]

  feels familiar do they try to rewrite [TS]

  the definitions of gender or does gender [TS]

  become completely irrelevant of the [TS]

  rushing to fill the void it was [TS]

  interesting they focus on this a couple [TS]

  times in the book the women who dress up [TS]

  as men and act as prostitutes [TS]

  oh yeah you're probably talking about [TS]

  the transsexuals you know that the the [TS]

  female-to-male transsexuals were [TS]

  tremendously popular that they mentioned [TS]

  that a couple times in the series 2 [TS]

  because these were women who were [TS]

  essentially going to put men to feel the [TS]

  a filling the rolls [TS]

  yeah everybody comes down to if if you [TS]

  lose half of your planet maybe you're [TS]

  like oh my god when we do now and [TS]

  instead of thinking all blank slate with [TS]

  recast society or like let's try to fill [TS]

  in the blanks because this is how we [TS]

  know how to function [TS]

  you know it's like putting a spare tire [TS]

  on a car rather than saying let's find [TS]

  an exciting new automotive paradigm [TS]

  where we have a cloud of air we float on [TS]

  now [TS]

  yeah I I i can't help thinking though [TS]

  that it comes back to the fact that this [TS]

  is a he knows he knows that there are [TS]

  all sorts of different things going on [TS]

  here [TS]

  and he tries to address that he's got [TS]

  the supermodel who is collecting dead [TS]

  bodies which is kind of an interesting [TS]

  commentary he's he's extremely aware of [TS]

  all the gender issues that are going on [TS]

  in what he's writing that this isn't [TS]

  just a story about the protagonist is a [TS]

  man 2 let's just say that [TS]

  yorick is the protagonist so it's a man [TS]

  riding the man is the main character [TS]

  even in a world where all the other men [TS]

  are dead they still managed to have one [TS]

  guy who is the protagonist let him into [TS]

  the day with damsel-in-distress he's [TS]

  totally in your desktop like oh yeah the [TS]

  only characters not the only got like [TS]

  five is like a slacker loser there was a [TS]

  real magician brainstorming nothing [TS]

  redeemable about him as a character [TS]

  yeah he doesn't even have any [TS]

  outstanding personal qualities no he [TS]

  wasn't that interesting so again you [TS]

  know it's it's there's his perspective [TS]

  and yet he's the last and he's he's [TS]

  messed up he's not he's kind of a [TS]

  slacker right um so all all that's going [TS]

  on and yet you know again my my my comm [TS]

  major speaking here is at the same time [TS]

  the male rider to male-dominated comic [TS]

  industry more more i think even now we [TS]

  could say more comics readers are men [TS]

  then women right although it's I think [TS]

  that composition is changing and that [TS]

  you can't you can't just assume [TS]

  commentators are men like you could in [TS]

  the past me it was not true then it's [TS]

  really not true now and I've been seen [TS]

  at comic-con and other places totally [TS]

  not true but i have to say that and I [TS]

  also have to say male rider and all this [TS]

  the while it's logical that you would [TS]

  have lots of lesbianism in a post mail [TS]

  world because people are still sexual [TS]

  creatures and they you know and there [TS]

  are no man anymore and so it doesn't [TS]

  matter what your preferences you got no [TS]

  choice here [TS]

  there were times when I thought that the [TS]

  you know it's hard for me to watch [TS]

  scenes of lesbian lesbianism in popular [TS]

  culture especially written by a man and [TS]

  not think of who the audience's dear [TS]

  penthouse you never thought it would [TS]

  happen that one day one day i'm inclined [TS]

  and then and then and right down to the [TS]

  last issue the last issue [TS]

  yeah we're in flesh squishing you have [TS]

  here on Beth get together and exactly [TS]

  they don't skimp on the details which is [TS]

  probably not unrealistic [TS]

  again but at the same time I don't know [TS]

  I'm kind of conflicted because it's also [TS]

  a guy riding probably for more men than [TS]

  women scenes with lesbians kissing and [TS]

  having sex and it's like yes I think [TS]

  extrapolation wise it's right in that [TS]

  same time on like how much of this is [TS]

  serious [TS]

  I'm telling a story and this is what [TS]

  would happen how much of it is sort of [TS]

  titillation right and i think it did it [TS]

  varied because they were sometimes what [TS]

  happened that it did move the story [TS]

  along and it was there is like here for [TS]

  development and other times it did feel [TS]

  more others got a little safe world plot [TS]

  safeword plotline were your account ASAP [TS]

  I'm experience because it's supposed to [TS]

  exercises 454 guilty for being the last [TS]

  man on the planet and I was weird [TS]

  really really this is where you're gonna [TS]

  go with this so early in the series but [TS]

  yea to return I think the whole what i [TS]

  thought was interesting about brian [TS]

  bondus he basically wrote a whole series [TS]

  where I feel like your kids kind of the [TS]

  shaggy dog in the story because use the [TS]

  MacGuffin well because you're lucky [TS]

  about how much energy agent 355 and [TS]

  allison man and everybody else two votes [TS]

  to keeping him alive for the propagation [TS]

  of the species only at the end to figure [TS]

  out that their aims and their goals were [TS]

  completely obsolete and so is York and [TS]

  that's what unfolds over the whole [TS]

  series is the idea that focusing on the [TS]

  last managed to completely misplaced [TS]

  focus because obviously he's just a [TS]

  leftover he's not necessary to the [TS]

  propagation of the species not even [TS]

  necessary to to the women his live-in in [TS]

  his life and um in cerritos one of the [TS]

  things that the the it [TS]

  the ending was a little unsatisfying for [TS]

  me because so much was invested in him [TS]

  in the journey the adventure the finding [TS]

  the solution that kind of bit and it is [TS]

  the end he doesn't matter because you [TS]

  don't like that doesn't matter you feel [TS]

  like but I get the journey was the point [TS]

  or maybe it was maybe just maybe shift [TS]

  in the society or maybe it does matter [TS]

  I mean right because because it's not as [TS]

  if at the end it's just him and a bunch [TS]

  of women at the end he is boiler horn [TS]

  at the end there is a clone of him and [TS]

  there are 13 other clones of 79 or 17 [TS]

  and he had a baby right yeah well he had [TS]

  a baby with Beth which was Beth to right [TS]

  there are three characters in better [TS]

  than this [TS]

  yeah but by the way i like to call her [TS]

  the night it's very confusing and I [TS]

  don't like original bet there's the [TS]

  Russian that is the mean and there's the [TS]

  Russian baby who is a boy [TS]

  yeah right well we're not because it was [TS]

  will about his brilliant a reveal as [TS]

  I've seen in any comic where they [TS]

  discovered that the astronauts up but at [TS]

  the Russian space station are still [TS]

  alive because they weren't on earth yeah [TS]

  that was that was a pretty great missing [TS]

  her a man and a woman and then die if i [TS]

  were those men i would be like I'm never [TS]

  leaving this notation up while they were [TS]

  there because they run out of oxygen [TS]

  have to come back say I was gonna 212 so [TS]

  it's like a year into the serious [TS]

  suddenly there's two more men in the [TS]

  cosmos right well Brian Vaughn great at [TS]

  the at the long reveal because he did [TS]

  that in X market which we'll get to in a [TS]

  second I wanted to I wanted to say [TS]

  anyway my point about the last issue is [TS]

  that because there the clones there [TS]

  there is this question like well maybe [TS]

  now there is a role for men in this [TS]

  world because there are these clone [TS]

  York's going around but it's not it's [TS]

  not the we have to save society by [TS]

  having men which is the original premise [TS]

  is you you are meant to read it as this [TS]

  standard he's the last man we got to [TS]

  keep him alive because it's the only [TS]

  hope for the human race and i love how [TS]

  he pulls that away and says now it's not [TS]

  all the whole premise you thought was [TS]

  true it's not true and then again at the [TS]

  end he goes but doesn't mean that it [TS]

  didn't matter [TS]

  maybe in the long run he has a place [TS]

  it's just not he's not the solution to [TS]

  the the Savior he's not the savior of [TS]

  the human race York Brown is not going [TS]

  to sadies Irish floats are as useless as [TS]

  he was [TS]

  yes this is also dream maybe this is [TS]

  actually another to get back to home at [TS]

  a commentary question and especially [TS]

  Brian Vaughn is writing a story you know [TS]

  a man is writing a story and for a [TS]

  male-dominated medium for a [TS]

  male-dominated audience and so instead [TS]

  of writing a term paper on that one but [TS]

  what I'm saying is by the last episode [TS]

  but he's basically saying our men in [TS]

  this world have become what women in the [TS]

  comics book narrative often are which is [TS]

  the throw home which is the present [TS]

  which is present the present [TS]

  it there occasionally useful and or [TS]

  amusing but you're not going to put them [TS]

  front and center as protagonist they're [TS]

  not going to be useful I don't let me [TS]

  just terrified that was it doesn't make [TS]

  you feel dirty [TS]

  yeah it was really your clone okay [TS]

  pretty boy come yeah yeah put on this [TS]

  task instructor mama but the issue 61 [TS]

  yes interesting though the to the your [TS]

  character kind of a slacker useless guy [TS]

  that as you're reading you want him to [TS]

  do more you want him to be more and more [TS]

  but I had the same thing reading x [TS]

  makina with Marilyn hunt mirror hundred [TS]

  hundred hundred before we get to sx [TS]

  market because I know you're trying to [TS]

  make a transition have one more thing to [TS]

  talk about about why the last man which [TS]

  is brian capons most noted work i want [TS]

  to talk about why i want to talk about [TS]

  why the plague happened because i think [TS]

  we talked about the ending a little bit [TS]

  and i like that there was an ending but [TS]

  but the people often look for answers to [TS]

  questions posed in works of fiction [TS]

  I've discovered this and and sometimes [TS]

  the answers aren't as important as the [TS]

  journey that the story takes the process [TS]

  of discovery yeah and so in and i'm [TS]

  actually going to quote this from in [TS]

  issue 57 y the last man there's a scene [TS]

  after York and death finally get [TS]

  together for a brief moment before it [TS]

  all falls apart that is so romantically [TS]

  phrase compared to what actually happens [TS]

  perfect yeah yeah they're basically see [TS]

  each other they have sex and then the [TS]

  break up yeah and and admit that that [TS]

  there were other people in between so [TS]

  but there's this great moment when [TS]

  because the the in the central mystery [TS]

  to this series is why did this happen [TS]

  right and it's it's so not about that i [TS]

  mean it's the driver but it's not what [TS]

  the series is about the series is about [TS]

  this world and what would happen and the [TS]

  journey that they take and I think this [TS]

  is is really great that he addresses it [TS]

  directly in issue 57 worry York says [TS]

  turns out the crap that saved me is [TS]

  connected to what cost to gendercide [TS]

  monkeys and clones and some kind of more [TS]

  thing as far as answers go it was [TS]

  vaguely unsatisfying and Beth says after [TS]

  everything we've been through [TS]

  is there any explanation that would have [TS]

  been satisfactory [TS]

  and for a guy who also was on the [TS]

  writing staff of lost i think that's [TS]

  really interesting is it's the same [TS]

  philosophy and saying look I know you [TS]

  want to answer questions but you know [TS]

  that's not the point and and bryan cave [TS]

  on is on the record as saying the answer [TS]

  to what caused the gendercide in why is [TS]

  in it somewhere but i want readers to [TS]

  find out which one may they find most [TS]

  acceptable right there lots of theories [TS]

  in the books one of them is right he's [TS]

  not going to say which one in which you [TS]

  know what i think is genius [TS]

  I kind of don't care right I think I [TS]

  kind of love that we don't know we have [TS]

  a lot of ideas because you know life is [TS]

  kinda like that it is messy and [TS]

  sometimes you just don't know what [TS]

  really the answer if you had a definite [TS]

  answer by saying oh well you know [TS]

  clearly it was caused by the elder dr. [TS]

  man or clearly was caused by XYZ you [TS]

  have a billion internet fans jumping on [TS]

  board and I can't be [TS]

  that's wrong and here's the science and [TS]

  here's the breakdown here's why and [TS]

  instead you have all these fans who are [TS]

  debating with the possible causes and it [TS]

  still allows them to retain their [TS]

  delight in the story as opposed to [TS]

  saying well this could have been a great [TS]

  series accept the premise for why people [TS]

  died off is totally flawed and once you [TS]

  move past that I guess it's ok you can [TS]

  believe what you want to believe because [TS]

  I sort of like that the the why it [TS]

  happened kind of became a non-issue [TS]

  because obviously when a crisis happens [TS]

  why is an interesting academic kind of [TS]

  discussion to have the affiliate doesn't [TS]

  matter i suppose that the the question [TS]

  embedded in the title of the story right [TS]

  y the last man right yeah and the answer [TS]

  is why not [TS]

  yeah exactly what did you think of the [TS]

  ending I before we move on I want to I [TS]

  want to go back to that because my [TS]

  impression is that it was kind of [TS]

  controversial the last issue is set 60 [TS]

  years in the future [TS]

  although there are some flashbacks to [TS]

  the intervening time and I'm you know [TS]

  people endings are hard and and people [TS]

  don't we do we talked about that before [TS]

  and people often find them unsatisfying [TS]

  although honestly you know usually I [TS]

  rarely remember the ending of books i [TS]

  remember all the great things that i [TS]

  liked about the books and I don't get [TS]

  all angry about the ending but I think [TS]

  with cereal stuff like TV shows and [TS]

  comics you invest all that time and then [TS]

  you're like oh I wanted to be a good [TS]

  ending [TS]

  it's not like the ending is what at [TS]

  least from my perspective makes [TS]

  the story like all the great stories [TS]

  it's because they have a great ending [TS]

  alright it ties together when you think [TS]

  about yeah why you like something the [TS]

  end of such a key part if not the reason [TS]

  and for this it really felt like the [TS]

  ideas petered out and maybe it was sort [TS]

  of like as time marches on these [TS]

  questions became less important in [TS]

  society we did itself and i was moving [TS]

  into a new golden age blah blah whatever [TS]

  it to me kind of sell it felt like it [TS]

  was petering out and it especially when [TS]

  they spoil alert you know killed agent [TS]

  three months ago and it seems so [TS]

  arbitrary and almost randomly right why [TS]

  so there's two things happening here [TS]

  there's the penultimate storyline and [TS]

  then there's the final issue so the [TS]

  penalty Australian i agree with you know [TS]

  they wrapped it up way too fast and it [TS]

  was just this like do [TS]

  yeah we talked about this with planetary [TS]

  and actually very similar where I really [TS]

  liked loved the last issue as in kota [TS]

  yeah but when they had to wrap up all [TS]

  the plotlines before that seems awfully [TS]

  sudden yeah and Israeli terror these [TS]

  really militia squad is here and she's [TS]

  got this year's and we killed characters [TS]

  off and you know it was like we had to [TS]

  end it seemed awfully abrupt ya too [TS]

  because we wanted to use it is this is [TS]

  why I liked Runaways is because the [TS]

  ending on that actually seems like a [TS]

  really natural stopping point and the [TS]

  pace makes sense whereas my the last man [TS]

  in annex market which we'll get to later [TS]

  and y the last man it feels like he gets [TS]

  to see what 60 issues for y the last man [TS]

  he gets like issue 53 and was like crap [TS]

  I've gotta wrap this up right and right [TS]

  so you live here at last that last that [TS]

  last whys and wherefores story arc which [TS]

  is the I need to I need to wrap this up [TS]

  and four issues and and it is you know [TS]

  it is not it's certainly exciting but [TS]

  and it and it has some impact [TS]

  emotionally to have that the death of of [TS]

  agent 355 and and also the emotional [TS]

  impact that she finally finishes her [TS]

  scarf and gives it to your a after [TS]

  needing it for the entire that's the [TS]

  thing [TS]

  my wife is a knitter she loves that [TS]

  there's this kick-ass secret agent [TS]

  Ritter that was all fine but when you [TS]

  step back and you like wait a second [TS]

  what just [TS]

  happened it kinda doesn't work [TS]

  no well there's some you if you look at [TS]

  the art for me okay Benson Sandman now [TS]

  the art is kind of all over the map and [TS]

  very very striking in that it's such a [TS]

  relic of when it was produced but one of [TS]

  the things I've always really loved [TS]

  about that series is that it's very [TS]

  obviously deliberately plotted out to [TS]

  where the ending makes sense and they do [TS]

  have like a 45 issued a new mom we're [TS]

  all the loose ends get wrapped up and [TS]

  you as a reader are left with a sense [TS]

  that my time paying attention this has [TS]

  been well spent [TS]

  whereas with bryan cave on it's just [TS]

  weird because he does spend a lot of [TS]

  time carefully building this world and [TS]

  laying down these themes or or laying [TS]

  down the storytelling elements and then [TS]

  it's just so fast the end I don't know [TS]

  it's a pacing problem or if it's a [TS]

  member i don't like it's like you got [TS]

  canceled and there was not only for [TS]

  issues he chose his ending day baby [TS]

  that's why we like his the runaways [TS]

  better as in that the corporate comic [TS]

  thing there is no ending yeah right so [TS]

  things just go on a serial nature [TS]

  because again endings are not all [TS]

  writers are good at end is neil gaiman [TS]

  happens to be good attending yeah [TS]

  garthe's good endings but the funny [TS]

  thing is the V the ending in issue 60 of [TS]

  y which is about the big picture is not [TS]

  about the overarching plot it's a it's [TS]

  about where the characters end up and [TS]

  what happens to the society to your [TS]

  point about Brian Vaughn being good at [TS]

  the big concept it's the conclusion of [TS]

  the big concept i thought that was [TS]

  beautiful and I actually really liked [TS]

  how x mark and i ended [TS]

  similarly because on the biggest does a [TS]

  great job collateral [TS]

  oh my god very strong it's just that his [TS]

  plot resolution which was in the [TS]

  previous stuff and you're like that was [TS]

  not as good but but I i left i love both [TS]

  of those feeling good about having read [TS]

  them mostly because the last issue did [TS]

  work for me even if the the plot [TS]

  resolution was messy [TS]

  I don't know for what it's worth no best [TS]

  last panels i would say because I [TS]

  remember after i finished issue 16 y the [TS]

  last man I just SAT and stared the last [TS]

  page for a while those last three or [TS]

  four pages with no dialogue or are [TS]

  beautiful and then with x mark and i did [TS]

  the same thing when I just looked at the [TS]

  this page for a while and was just like [TS]

  oh my god what just happened so that [TS]

  will move on now to ex machina which is [TS]

  a 50 issue series that was also [TS]

  relatively recently concluded about [TS]

  Mitchell hundred is that it is who is [TS]

  the mayor of New York for one term for [TS]

  one term and and this universe is only [TS]

  superhero [TS]

  yeah yes and said what's interesting is [TS]

  when we meet him we see that he's the [TS]

  mayor of New York and that he lives it [TS]

  and it's revealed I believe that that [TS]

  he's in new york post 9-11 where there's [TS]

  one tower of the world trade such as it [TS]

  conceals her here a career he stopped [TS]

  the second tower right but we don't know [TS]

  details they all come out in flashback [TS]

  we discover that he was a sort of [TS]

  superhero with a jetpack and then we [TS]

  discovered that great machine the great [TS]

  machine which is great and it's a cool [TS]

  outfit and we discovered that the [TS]

  jetpack is not why he was a superhero he [TS]

  a strange series of events lead him to [TS]

  have the ability to talk to machines but [TS]

  he's also the mayor of New York in the [TS]

  present so it's got this West Wing kind [TS]

  of politics angle plus flashbacks to his [TS]

  superhero past and then he warn't it's [TS]

  not going to end well [TS]

  yeah towards you pretty early on and [TS]

  socially first issue with the first arc [TS]

  he's like this is gonna be a tragedy and [TS]

  this is in and you see anything shots of [TS]

  mitchell in the future [TS]

  yeah in his like wife beater shirt [TS]

  looking kind of unhappy and broken [TS]

  yeah yeah so it's um again great concept [TS]

  right great concept and of the flashback [TS]

  idea it's a concept we haven't really [TS]

  thought of before [TS]

  essentially what it what if the mayor of [TS]

  New York was a superhero who's who got [TS]

  elected because he's stayed one of the [TS]

  more integrated builders right yeah [TS]

  parasites electoral politics is the way [TS]

  i want to go i actually thought was a [TS]

  really elegant send up a lot of the post [TS]

  9-11 fantasies some people may have had [TS]

  we're all of only this had happened [TS]

  fully that had happened and basically [TS]

  what he's saying is look even if you [TS]

  have a Superman to save a tower or 22 to [TS]

  alter the scope of the tragedy that [TS]

  doesn't eliminate the day-to-day [TS]

  problems that are much more that have a [TS]

  much more significant impact on people's [TS]

  daily lives you know and as and I think [TS]

  as a new yorker this was kind of him [TS]

  rebutting a lot of the national dialogue [TS]

  and rhetoric about 911 and what it means [TS]

  and so on and so forth and say no no [TS]

  look you know let's let's not forget [TS]

  that you're kind of a lot going on even [TS]

  before this so so the one of things I [TS]

  didn't like about it is a concept really [TS]

  awesome everybody said it's like the [TS]

  west wing of comics and then stuff the [TS]

  every time they went into the kind of [TS]

  policy sort of stories or focus more on [TS]

  policies it didn't ring true to me i [TS]

  like the marijuana plum like marijuana [TS]

  as an example and also the the art which [TS]

  is beautiful it's a very photo reference [TS]

  Tony Harris believe ya [TS]

  overall really beautiful stranger defect [TS]

  great faces but I kisses what was the [TS]

  places the basis i want to stop you [TS]

  right there and say one of the things [TS]

  unlike so many comics ex machina on any [TS]

  panel you I know what Mitchell hundreds [TS]

  face looks like it because his face is [TS]

  his face and in every panel [TS]

  he's a person with a face and you can [TS]

  you know so many comics you from panel [TS]

  to panel ready to issue each other [TS]

  the direction is is is varied and with [TS]

  them that's a guy wasn't happy with the [TS]

  face is like a great land hate side of [TS]

  years ago where somebody was just [TS]

  ranting and raving about how much they [TS]

  dislike Greg land and they were going [TS]

  off about a thing ultimate Fantastic [TS]

  Four and house to store basically [TS]

  changes from panel to panel and that was [TS]

  never ever problem with no anyway her [TS]

  beautiful just as you said faces and [TS]

  security where the art fell down so [TS]

  that's what was really strong written [TS]

  down for me was getting this kind of [TS]

  policy things that so he's the mayor of [TS]

  New York City [TS]

  yeah which has got like the fifth [TS]

  largest economy in the country of if you [TS]

  include all the states and everything [TS]

  out the it all she saw was him his [TS]

  deputy mayor his secretary and an intern [TS]

  whenever he was like those with for some [TS]

  problems with the Commissioner of Police [TS]

  and that was it like its own all the [TS]

  scenes that were the policy things are [TS]

  when they're in the west wing as well [TS]

  that realistic to the west wing you [TS]

  always see people walking there like [TS]

  staffers around doing things there's the [TS]

  motion why are the whole so empty right [TS]

  every hall was empty every room was [TS]

  empty i was like no anytime that Mary's [TS]

  out there would be at least 15 people [TS]

  write in fact is they're saying [TS]

  like there's a scene where there's a I [TS]

  think it's a blackout that the [TS]

  somebody's caught in an elevator the [TS]

  deputy mayor's cotton elevator and there [TS]

  is actually seen which is like oh geez [TS]

  there's nobody here to run the city [TS]

  really right it's a big city it's [TS]

  something that's more than a small [TS]

  government is great baby concerning his [TS]

  face is right about it would take too [TS]

  long to have drawn all of the season the [TS]

  book still wouldn't have been released [TS]

  but it fell down for me there because it [TS]

  was trying to be kind of real yeah I so [TS]

  didn't ring true something we talked [TS]

  about with with the way that the mystery [TS]

  plays out in in [TS]

  y the last man I want to come back to [TS]

  here which is bryan cave on has a really [TS]

  good skill of of holding back [TS]

  information and very slowly letting you [TS]

  in on what's going on that I appreciate [TS]

  because I think there's a tendency for a [TS]

  writer to say okay here's what the [TS]

  backstory is and I've got it all planned [TS]

  out and i'm going to play it all out in [TS]

  the first 12 issues you know or the [TS]

  first season of the of the TV show and [TS]

  then they're out that they've done they [TS]

  played it out they have nothing more to [TS]

  hold back and he their stuff i mean it's [TS]

  a the exponents 50 issue series their [TS]

  stuff that he's dropping an issue 38 [TS]

  issue 40 key pieces of information that [TS]

  have obviously been known since issue [TS]

  one but he just refuses to show you i [TS]

  mean how long is it before you see him [TS]

  at the World Trade Center on 911 and [TS]

  then and towing the airplane to land it [TS]

  somewhere haha that's like 30 issues in [TS]

  yeah I mean it's so i was really [TS]

  impressed and of course the backstory of [TS]

  what how he got his powers and what the [TS]

  element really late development ultimate [TS]

  enemy is going to be yeah but there [TS]

  there's some stuff which is dreams about [TS]

  brains and pran es the multi-dimensional [TS]

  kind of brains and and that his powers [TS]

  came from somewhere and they're out [TS]

  there and they're really bad and you're [TS]

  supposed to stop them early on and but [TS]

  it doesn't really get resolved until [TS]

  lead there in the forties of the issues [TS]

  which i love that it felt set up with [TS]

  how much of it he made up on the on the [TS]

  spot i don't know but in the notice [TS]

  those dreams consists in the finale is [TS]

  that the one character with the beatles [TS]

  song didn't exist [TS]

  oh right way which is totally tied into [TS]

  the whole parallel universe that is this [TS]

  idea which I always thought I always [TS]

  think of that too that's what he hit one [TS]

  of my favorite concepts about parallel [TS]

  universes and I love to see it in there [TS]

  which is you know it Stephen King wrote [TS]

  a story like this to which is and that [TS]

  if we have the pot parallel universes [TS]

  there are works by people who died young [TS]

  there they've got their albums from [TS]

  later it's the beatles albums from the [TS]

  seventies or john lennon albums from the [TS]

  from the the eighties and nineties or [TS]

  you know that the fifth Nirvana album or [TS]

  all these things that don't actually [TS]

  exist or books that were not written or [TS]

  were written differently and and that [TS]

  all plays out when there's the this [TS]

  beetle song that doesn't exist that is [TS]

  playing on a radio isn't playing on the [TS]

  radio that here's an authorized an ipod [TS]

  or something yeah yeah that's your first [TS]

  hint that this is not a parallel [TS]

  universe or that they're parallel [TS]

  universes at play here that this is not [TS]

  you know it's not just the one universe [TS]

  which is what the story [TS]

  alternately is this is sort of about ya [TS]

  know it's also the parallel universes [TS]

  thing I think is another one of his [TS]

  medical standards because the whole [TS]

  series about ultimately the decisions [TS]

  that Mitchell hundred makes and where he [TS]

  lands because those decisions and it's [TS]

  not kind of the premise behind every [TS]

  parallel universes story as well choices [TS]

  in every universe shape the outcome of [TS]

  that universe and if you take a look at [TS]

  the last at the last issue which i found [TS]

  it a very surprising issued a lot of [TS]

  ways but also very logical it's the [TS]

  culmination of all his choices [TS]

  everything you find all those decision [TS]

  points and where he decided to turn in [TS]

  each one of them and you see the [TS]

  branches kinda getting locked off each [TS]

  time it is the series does take a an [TS]

  interesting turn when he goes to the [TS]

  Vatican and comes back saying i'm going [TS]

  to be the president of the united states [TS]

  it's like wow okay which I I I thought [TS]

  that was sort of strange but it it made [TS]

  him it made his decisions a little more [TS]

  understandable in that way that he and [TS]

  the pope basically says you have a demon [TS]

  inside you and I'm gonna going to [TS]

  perform an exorcism which is very [TS]

  strange but in the end it also sort of [TS]

  is consistent with what the story is [TS]

  that the fact that he goes from being [TS]

  kind of this accidental [TS]

  air to being a very ambitious guy in the [TS]

  span of a couple of issues you know [TS]

  that's why it sort of worked but it was [TS]

  a big a big turn to leave him down this [TS]

  path that he was like I suppose [TS]

  inevitably going down but it made it [TS]

  feel a little more realistic than it [TS]

  would have otherwise you do watch him [TS]

  kind of losing his soul for his idealism [TS]

  is that work with the course of the 50 [TS]

  issues yeah right and that's when he was [TS]

  just a super hero who saved the world [TS]

  trade center and he was running for [TS]

  mayor because he wanted to do something [TS]

  that wasn't be a superhero and more but [TS]

  that's not what got him elected we got [TS]

  him elected was being a superhero [TS]

  yeah but he was like a third-string kind [TS]

  of bureaucrat not very present he was an [TS]

  engineer after he was an engineer at the [TS]

  brooklyn bridge so he was just a civil [TS]

  engineer just a guy [TS]

  yeah much like York right and that's the [TS]

  thing is like the parallels and a lot of [TS]

  careful more successful than your in [TS]

  sort of the order if you're getting [TS]

  brighter than York you know like she's [TS]

  going to get to know that policy stuff [TS]

  he was kind of dumb what I want to do [TS]

  for an interesting that all of Brian [TS]

  capons books and this was actually [TS]

  pretty striking between y and X machina [TS]

  is the female characters almost always [TS]

  have a really troubled relationship with [TS]

  their parents especially their mother [TS]

  again this is why he went and rode for [TS]

  lost [TS]

  yes just so much in common and they also [TS]

  have really troubling relationships with [TS]

  women in their life who they are not [TS]

  sexually involved with because you're [TS]

  always had a really hard time with hero [TS]

  right um well actually regardless of the [TS]

  many baths and y the last man you gots [TS]

  York a lot of women with whom he had [TS]

  relationships that were never ever going [TS]

  to be romantic and he he did have [TS]

  difficulty relating to these women are [TS]

  trying to understand what made them tick [TS]

  and vice versa and i found that to also [TS]

  be the case in X market now where you've [TS]

  got Mitchell has a really hard [TS]

  relationship with his mother right and [TS]

  then there's you know that his [TS]

  relationship with the sisters journal in [TS]

  january and his chief of staff [TS]

  it was his chief of staff a woman she's [TS]

  the one who's got a family and his [TS]

  relationship with her you know it's it's [TS]

  it's by the smoothest thing he has an [TS]

  energy for police [TS]

  yeah yeah but you know he does I i find [TS]

  it striking this is a theme that comes [TS]

  up in both of his adult as opposed to [TS]

  team works is that you've got these [TS]

  protagonists [TS]

  we're basically average men who have who [TS]

  have not dysfunctional but troubled [TS]

  family relationships and influenced an [TS]

  extraordinary service place the [TS]

  extraordinary circumstances and they [TS]

  have difficulty relating actually we [TS]

  never seen someone the last man but [TS]

  Mitchell hundred also has difficulty [TS]

  relating to other men to he's a very [TS]

  lonely guy he's a very lonely guy you [TS]

  know and at by the last episode you see [TS]

  that he just doesn't have any friends [TS]

  I mean he just can't he lacks whatever [TS]

  interpersonal emotional skills are in [TS]

  the toolbox that let people reach out [TS]

  and connect once that shows in a really [TS]

  graphic way twice in the last exchange [TS]

  faithful friend is Bradbury his his [TS]

  former army buddy who is a bodyguard for [TS]

  him and he takes the fall for him saving [TS]

  the world which I i like that thing that [TS]

  it's like the spider-man [TS]

  oh you're a menace kind of cracked up to [TS]

  a hundred which is he saves the world [TS]

  and the Chief of Police says I'm gonna [TS]

  arrest you and and his buddy takes the [TS]

  fall [TS]

  yeah and goes to prison for two years or [TS]

  something like that three years and [TS]

  that's that was his last friend and by [TS]

  the time that by the time he comes back [TS]

  in the last issue that relationship is [TS]

  completely destroyed two that's it sort [TS]

  of that metaphorical his best friends [TS]

  are machines [TS]

  yeah right he talks a machine that's he [TS]

  can communicate with ya [TS]

  and yet the most the thing that that [TS]

  that stuck with me is reporting as the [TS]

  showdown outside his mom's trailer and [TS]

  the gun lies to him and then the last [TS]

  issue the gun does something that is [TS]

  perfect there's him a gun and it doesn't [TS]

  it somewhat surprising and it's also [TS]

  reminder that even though his best [TS]

  friends are machines the machines can be [TS]

  fickle when when you give them a mind of [TS]

  their own or machines reflect their [TS]

  owners which means that they're not [TS]

  always predictable so I do think I [TS]

  hadn't actually thought about that but [TS]

  yeah he's an engineer at his best [TS]

  friends are machines and it's just a [TS]

  profoundly lonely guy [TS]

  yeah yeah chat i think a fascinating [TS]

  character [TS]

  mhm yeah when you talk about bryan cave [TS]

  on and and the concepts maybe being more [TS]

  than the characters hundred to me is a [TS]

  really interesting character with a lot [TS]

  of contradictions and a lot of a very [TS]

  modern character strange questions about [TS]

  him I mean those [TS]

  some i was reading somebody was saying [TS]

  how you know there's a lot of questions [TS]

  about his sexuality because he basically [TS]

  have no relationships and and there [TS]

  isn't i thought that maybe he's gay but [TS]

  we never seen with anybody I i actually [TS]

  don't believe that's the case because it [TS]

  turns out in the end that his friend has [TS]

  these feelings for him and that he [TS]

  rejects them but but there's also a [TS]

  flashback where he's talking to the [TS]

  reporter who ends up being possessed by [TS]

  the same thing that gave me his powers [TS]

  and she turns she tries to destroy the [TS]

  world is thrown into a parallel universe [TS]

  and that's how the story ends but [TS]

  there's a flashback there where they [TS]

  have a kind charged conversation where [TS]

  he says maybe when I'm not the mayor [TS]

  anymore we can talk and we can take this [TS]

  further but the fact that there are all [TS]

  these questions about hundred and who is [TS]

  he and does he love anybody in [TS]

  developmental of women to be loved just [TS]

  the machines what's going on you know I [TS]

  find that fascinating because he is an [TS]

  interesting character he's not a blank [TS]

  with this blankness around him he's a [TS]

  guy with some empty spots of his life is [TS]

  fascinating i also wonder if the [TS]

  speculation about mitchells sexuality is [TS]

  meant to reflect the speculation that [TS]

  has actually surrounded other mayors of [TS]

  New York too [TS]

  I mean at koch never married while in [TS]

  office and still hasn't and there are [TS]

  people who are the my grandmother's ago [TS]

  he just never found the right woman and [TS]

  there are other people who are like ski [TS]

  because the right woman would have to [TS]

  have a block and tackle this so hard to [TS]

  find those they haven't y the last man [TS]

  well they would have died particularly [TS]

  yeah i mean the crying game we've had a [TS]

  whole different ending if it had the [TS]

  fact that it's not married either [TS]

  no but she divorced yeah i was your head [TS]

  is being this is like the adventures of [TS]

  Mike Bloomberg superhero [TS]

  yeah one level even though Bloomberg is [TS]

  mentioned in the in the comic as well as [TS]

  running and hundred comes in is this [TS]

  independent candidate and assessment but [TS]

  i always thought about that it's like [TS]

  basically what if Bloomberg was a was a [TS]

  super hero instead of a you know media [TS]

  manual [TS]

  yeah naturally so much of a hero people [TS]

  work for us as the as as we record this [TS]

  a hurricane is is bearing down on the [TS]

  city of New York and as we walked into [TS]

  the studio I think we [TS]

  we said what would a hundred do evacuate [TS]

  ya know he fled get his jetpack on he'd [TS]

  fly into that hurricane her do something [TS]

  yeah or not know but what can you do [TS]

  against are you do it's a force against [TS]

  drunk guy [TS]

  what can you do against an alien race [TS]

  that's gonna come over from another [TS]

  parallel universe and eat all of [TS]

  humanity [TS]

  yeah again again yeah I can you do I [TS]

  don't like the alien X Mark and I can [TS]

  see I just well they're not really [TS]

  aliens though they're just like the [TS]

  worst the worst people from the worst [TS]

  parallel universe or something like that [TS]

  happens in well there's 19 / parallel to [TS]

  find satisfied I i ended sad for [TS]

  Mitchell and I think in a way that was [TS]

  kind of satisfying because he's the vice [TS]

  president of the United States huh yeah [TS]

  better him than palin you know I mean [TS]

  that that's what made the difference [TS]

  right that here at least john mccain is [TS]

  the president Mitchell hundreds device [TS]

  press identity and so bullet dodged [TS]

  but this is where we get angry tweets [TS]

  and emails from people who are you [TS]

  well I wanted to listen to politics [TS]

  that's right well well I a comic about [TS]

  it's a comment about the attics and so [TS]

  so he's positive here that this is this [TS]

  is one of the things that changes is the [TS]

  John McCain is elected president [TS]

  Mitchell hundreds of the vice president [TS]

  and I think it's still lingering out [TS]

  there this idea that he's gonna be it's [TS]

  not that he might be the president is [TS]

  that the Pope you know leaves him with [TS]

  this feeling that he will be the [TS]

  president of the united states i do [TS]

  everything still not great help nasal ya [TS]

  know I actually do wonder if it's a [TS]

  commentary on the the way we pick our [TS]

  our national level leaders is we have to [TS]

  have to have an easy backstory that we [TS]

  can relate to or that we can aspire to I [TS]

  mean our president is somebody where if [TS]

  you are pro Obama you're like look this [TS]

  is the son of a single mother who used a [TS]

  meritocracy and here he is now and if [TS]

  you are not a probe on the person you're [TS]

  like oh people like him from his hope [TS]

  you changing stuff and and well and it [TS]

  makes them feel good to elect and their [TS]

  cynicism here to write because because [TS]

  it's it's a hundred who is an [TS]

  interesting figure it but you [TS]

  we know all about him right so we know [TS]

  that Mitchell hundred he has no friends [TS]

  he will decide when we know but his [TS]

  media package is going to be this is the [TS]

  man who saved the world see that the [TS]

  world the world trade center at the [TS]

  world happened on trades on what's [TS]

  better than save [TS]

  not that we know of him as a pot-smoking [TS]

  that's most friendliest friendly alien [TS]

  invested weirdo and we're super powers [TS]

  who who broke the law repeatedly as a [TS]

  vigilante and doing something that was [TS]

  not particularly responsible and [TS]

  actually quite reckless because he [TS]

  almost dies a lot of times who [TS]

  potentially killed one of his best [TS]

  friends but you know he's gonna get [TS]

  recasting the national narrative that's [TS]

  exactly the surviving son of a single [TS]

  mother who you know through hard work [TS]

  and diligence became the became a hero [TS]

  and then and then decided to put [TS]

  underneath your left on his own accord [TS]

  is his office so it's just tremendous [TS]

  leaping ability yeah i mean the same way [TS]

  if you if you are for sarah palin what [TS]

  you say is here is somebody who proves [TS]

  that you don't have to be part of an Ivy [TS]

  League elite to you know to make a [TS]

  difference and to govern and this is [TS]

  somebody who's in touch with populist [TS]

  rhetoric and if your auntie Sarah Palin [TS]

  it's not really terrified it's not about [TS]

  who want their individual politics is [TS]

  it's about the creation of a story about [TS]

  a kid but that's always missing in this [TS]

  and we having this around politics and [TS]

  we have miss around superheroes right so [TS]

  here we got Brian came on sand look at [TS]

  the myth-making is always the same you [TS]

  know and there's their stuff underneath [TS]

  the myth that is the real story here and [TS]

  the question is who's gonna be able to [TS]

  see the story and the end of the day [TS]

  it's only us the opposition to reader [TS]

  thanks to the omniscient narrator is he [TS]

  a good guy worry about the initial yeah [TS]

  you know just just as just as y the last [TS]

  man is is like it all comes down to [TS]

  human nature i mean that the whole point [TS]

  to mitchell is that alien infestation of [TS]

  Technology aside he's ultimately human i [TS]

  mean some stuff he does is good and some [TS]

  stuff he does is bad and at the end of [TS]

  the day what he simply is I think the [TS]

  balance in the balance he what he does [TS]

  is good and but in the last issue he [TS]

  does something quite you know quite [TS]

  horrible do you want to do this part [TS]

  will do will do another spoiler horn [TS]

  here [TS]

  that's always fun to do but he so he and [TS]

  his buddy Kremlin who helped him when he [TS]

  was the great machine and is now [TS]

  actually tried to get him to not be [TS]

  mayor anymore because he thinks he's [TS]

  destined for greater things than that [TS]

  you think politics are terrible no he [TS]

  doesn't want to be a politician he wants [TS]

  him to go back to being a superhero [TS]

  he is sort of the end of Israel Kremlin [TS]

  is and he's got a gun to his head and [TS]

  he's threatening to kill himself and and [TS]

  and at some point hundreds talking [TS]

  trying to talk him out of it [TS]

  this guy so i gotta say really [TS]

  frustrating character I sort of felt [TS]

  like cheese at some point just let him [TS]

  kill himself because he's nothing he's [TS]

  no good for you [TS]

  100 does however is talk to the gun and [TS]

  say bang and the guidelines blows his [TS]

  brains out or did hundred tell the gun [TS]

  to blow his brains out whatever and for [TS]

  me that was that moment like oh you know [TS]

  I don't know what I think of this [TS]

  character now even though on one level I [TS]

  totally understand his frustration at [TS]

  that moment with this character who [TS]

  tried to ruin his mayorship and once to [TS]

  get him to go back to the way it was [TS]

  which they can't ever do [TS]

  it's like that really annoying high [TS]

  school friend on Facebook who's always [TS]

  like yeah the past [TS]

  yeah yeah exactly and yuri and you know [TS]

  you're like a ignore but I have a little [TS]

  baby now know that I i actually wonder [TS]

  if that was a subconscious manifestation [TS]

  if hundred deliberately said bang or if [TS]

  it was just something where he's got the [TS]

  connection with the machines and his [TS]

  conscious mind would have been horrified [TS]

  but a subconscious like do this just [TS]

  makes things easier bang he wants to do [TS]

  it anyway I mean I get anything for this [TS]

  equation you can put the gun to his head [TS]

  the question of does the technology [TS]

  reflect the world theater because again [TS]

  remember many many issues back 100 is [TS]

  talking to the gun outside his mom's [TS]

  trailer and he's like to have any bolts [TS]

  on the guns like no and then up surprise [TS]

  turns out the gun lied and hundred is [TS]

  really surprised that the gun lies and [TS]

  his moms like look what do you expect [TS]

  you know two Liars gun yet people yes [TS]

  people can lie this gun belonged to a [TS]

  liar [TS]

  maybe technology reflections owners so [TS]

  maybe the gun had picked up on Kremlin's [TS]

  death wish and on Mitchell's desire to [TS]

  just have this over with [TS]

  I mean I like there's a bit of ambiguity [TS]

  in there i think the thing that [TS]

  horrified me about the last issue is how [TS]

  he responds to [TS]

  friends confession of love and and just [TS]

  that the total rigid the total revulsion [TS]

  and rejection of that I thought were [TS]

  were much more shocking to me than [TS]

  Kremlin stuff and to me I agree with you [TS]

  to me it seemed less about sex and [TS]

  attraction and more about how he was an [TS]

  inconvenient person in his life [TS]

  I mean it actually sort of like that [TS]

  like I thought this was over [TS]

  why are you here you're kind of a mess [TS]

  now I can't really be around you because [TS]

  you're a mess [TS]

  you're a mess [TS]

  and because he starts with that and I [TS]

  think that's also code for us please [TS]

  don't lay the emotional demands on me [TS]

  because i cannot ever handle that with [TS]

  anybody remember capable of feeling [TS]

  exactly you know if maybe this goes back [TS]

  to if he does have this this profoundly [TS]

  troubled childhood [TS]

  maybe he did grow up thinking okay [TS]

  feelings are too much trouble or maybe [TS]

  he never learned the emotional [TS]

  vocabulary that he needed to be a [TS]

  functional adult and so when somebody [TS]

  was adult comes and confesses messily [TS]

  and awkwardly and drunkenly that I have [TS]

  loved you for years like he has no tools [TS]

  to deal with this and so his first [TS]

  responses it's just inconvenient for me [TS]

  right [TS]

  I can't I can't which is not to say that [TS]

  hundred and professors love for bribery [TS]

  earlier right there he says I love you [TS]

  Bradbury right i mean earlier it [TS]

  happened so it's not as if somebody says [TS]

  that but I was one of these it yes you [TS]

  know when it comes down to you know if [TS]

  you actually love somebody it's it's the [TS]

  hard moments where were you where you [TS]

  have to step up and he can't no reason [TS]

  he's unable to me he blows it [TS]

  yeah yep so one of the things that I [TS]

  really like about Brian capons work is [TS]

  that it does lend itself to this kind of [TS]

  discussion [TS]

  I gotta give him full credit for that I [TS]

  do enjoy reading his stuff i think is I [TS]

  love that he has endings for his story I [TS]

  don't you over the head with ideas like [TS]

  he lets the ideas just kind of sneak up [TS]

  and develop more calculations right with [TS]

  laying out some of his his premise and [TS]

  and there's stuff there to talk about [TS]

  and we don't end up having to say well [TS]

  why the last man you know over the [TS]

  course of 20 years he did a hundred [TS]

  issues and it really that made the [TS]

  middle the middle 40 weren't very look [TS]

  at the warrantless you know that's why I [TS]

  like that he said no I'm gonna end this [TS]

  story now and that there's something to [TS]

  be said for that even if you have issues [TS]

  with the ending i think i think it's [TS]

  it's got some depth and if you haven't [TS]

  read it and you've listened this far [TS]

  we'll just say it again the stuff is [TS]

  worth reading and because it's got a [TS]

  beginning and an end especially you and [TS]

  Runaways comes in a couple volumes so [TS]

  it's got some clear and increased volume [TS]

  several ways you're set yeah say yeah so [TS]

  it is a story is like reading a novel or [TS]

  a good season or two of a TV series [TS]

  oh I should also point out that you know [TS]

  we've talked about the art in X market [TS]

  of the art while last man is also very [TS]

  very pleasing [TS]

  yes it's and he stuck with the same [TS]

  pencils Pia group via kwara here [TS]

  cartoony yes but really works with [TS]

  there and there's that and there's the [TS]

  there's the woman in whi the last man is [TS]

  not the writer but it's the artist yeah [TS]

  and every cover has the Y motif in their [TS]

  step brothers are beautiful cover art is [TS]

  beautiful the xmax covers are really [TS]

  pretty [TS]

  yeah yeah yeah yeah so it's not just [TS]

  about bryan cave on it's about the [TS]

  artists work now and he works very well [TS]

  with artists to which is which is also [TS]

  pretty evident the fact that his work [TS]

  translate so well with so many different [TS]

  pencils i think is is a strength of this [TS]

  is a writer [TS]

  what is he doing now I can't think of [TS]

  anything that he's working on in comics [TS]

  really don't know wouldn't surprise me [TS]

  if he's doing some like Hollywood [TS]

  something-or-other you know screenplay [TS]

  or something like that because you did I [TS]

  need moved to LA and he did work for [TS]

  lost and and I don't know what he's [TS]

  doing what did I row [TS]

  oh it was the grant morrison universe i [TS]

  read recently where he actually said [TS]

  that most comic he he was talking about [TS]

  the end of comics this is in Rolling [TS]

  Stone the grant morrison interview and [TS]

  what he said was as far as he's [TS]

  concerned most of comics create [TS]

  narratives are moving to the screen and [TS]

  he thinks it's a pretty natural [TS]

  progression that they want to a while [TS]

  last man movie [TS]

  yeah they had shia labeouf lined up for [TS]

  it for a while which would have just [TS]

  been horrible [TS]

  yeah it sounds like the sticking point [TS]

  is that channel doesn't want to do it [TS]

  while they want to do the transformer [TS]

  character they want to do three the [TS]

  director who is attached to want to do [TS]

  it is like two or three movies that it's [TS]

  not enough story for a single movie [TS]

  watching a great-niece HBO series [TS]

  well that's I think that's exactly all [TS]

  of these all of these bryan cave on [TS]

  one's feel like TV shows to me no movies [TS]

  because you need to play it out that [TS]

  like Germany it is not now right if you [TS]

  like the journey across north america [TS]

  around like that last man could be a TV [TS]

  show like walking dead yeah exactly and [TS]

  maybe we're looking at you into that out [TS]

  maybe not because they just got the [TS]

  budget problems know somebody else you [TS]

  may like the next talking did ya stars [TS]

  now stars HBO maybe FF good effects [TS]

  would do well with them with ex machina [TS]

  because FX and this forgive me for [TS]

  dressing the TV but this is something [TS]

  that I also hang out with a lot F X [TS]

  tends to excel at doing dramas which are [TS]

  essentially workplace brought dramas but [TS]

  actually more about human condition and [TS]

  it's also kinda DX macana yeah and it's [TS]

  also kind of dude skid which ex machina [TS]

  is as a necessary imagine ex machina [TS]

  written [TS]

  by west wing guy is working [TS]

  Aaron Sorkin writing ex machina would [TS]

  make me very happy [TS]

  sure it stitch then it literally is the [TS]

  west wing with a guy with a jet there's [TS]

  a lot of yeah i think they would [TS]

  exercise in bartlett yeah sure on [TS]

  driving it I'm not against Sorkin fan [TS]

  but i think that what it as long as you [TS]

  had bryan cave on doing the plot because [TS]

  I think circuit is really weak on [TS]

  long-term planning and execution but his [TS]

  dialogues yummy treats yeah that [TS]

  dialogue is great [TS]

  yeah although to be fair to von he he's [TS]

  not afraid to have long stretches of [TS]

  dialogue that are sometimes quite [TS]

  enjoyable to read they're not aaron [TS]

  sorkin maybe but that he's not afraid to [TS]

  have and sometimes clunky times [TS]

  yeah it's true so that brings us to the [TS]

  end of this edition of the comic book [TS]

  club we will discuss more comic related [TS]

  things the future podcast look at the [TS]

  tradition will announce on the twitters [TS]

  yes exactly right [TS]

  I'd like to thank my guests in the comic [TS]

  book club jason reitman thank you for [TS]

  being here again great to be here as [TS]

  always and Lisa Schmeisser thank you for [TS]

  joining us [TS]

  always my pleasure until next time I'm [TS]

  Jason smell for the comparable to listen [TS]

  [Music] [TS]