The Incomparable is a weekly dive into geeky media we love, including movies, books, TV, comics, and more, featuring a rotating panel of guests and hosted by Jason Snell.

574

Time Cop, Not a Time Cop

Grab a TemPad and step through a Time Door, because we’re discussing “Loki”, Marvel’s Disney+ series about how the god of Mischief met his match and learned to love himself. Along the way we talk about the “Doctor Who” references, the deep-cut comics references, the mighty Richard E. Grant, and the spectacular look and sounds of this outstanding series.

Jason Snell with Aleen Simms, Moisés Chiullan, Kathy Campbell and Nathan Alderman


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573

Evil Helicarrier

Put on your catsuit and your tactical vest, because we’re about to talk about Marvel’s “Black Widow,” which some of us saw in theaters. (And some of us didn’t.) This is a movie delayed from pre-COVID times, it’s the first Marvel movie in the Disney+ era, and it’s set during 2016’s “Captain America: Civil War”—conveniently before the main character dies. With all that, it’s also a film that puts its title heroine at the center of a “Mission: Impossible” style story that’s also, strangely, about a couple of particularly messed-up families.

Jason Snell with Chip Sudderth, Dan Moren, Kelly Guimont and James Thomson


572

Selfie in the Weed Room

Get out your ice skates, baseball bats, kitchen knives, and samurai swords—pretty much any weapon at hand, because we’re watching 2011’s “Attack the Block”! While not officially part of the Cornetto Trilogy, this British alien-invasion film shares a lot of DNA with those movies, and it’s about as close an analog to “Shaun of the Dead” as you’ll find—but with the comedy dial turned down a bit. It features career-making performances by John Boyega and Jodie Whittaker, who went on to become the faces of famous sci-fi franchises. And after the last 10 years, some of the social commentary in this film hits home more than ever. Allow it!

Jason Snell with Antony Johnston, Lisa Schmeiser and James Thomson


571

You Paint Mushrooms Beautifully

Book Club

Some people read with their eyeballs, and still others talk to their books—we do both! In part two of our three-part survey of novels shortlisted for 2021’s top SF and Fantasy awards, we’re discussing the magic and romance of “The Midnight Bargain” by C.L. Polk, the spooky “Mexican Gothic” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, and the murderbotiness of “Network Effect” by Martha Wells. Plus, what else are we reading?

Jason Snell with Erika Ensign, Scott McNulty and Aleen Simms


570

Why Can’t All Movies Be Muppet Movies?

Look, we love the Muppets. But the franchise has been very quiet lately. It’s time to get Muppet movies back on the big screen! And so in this episode, all our panelists pitch new Muppet movies we’d like to see. And along the way they do a bunch of Muppet voices, too, because of course they do.

Jason Snell with Philip Michaels, Stephen Hackett, Quinn Rose, Moisés Chiullan, Nathan Alderman, David J. Loehr, Monty Ashley and Kelly Guimont


569

The Worst Way to Write a Book, Ever

Book Club

Back in 2014, we read Helene Wecker’s novel “The Golem and the Jinni,” and we liked it! Little did we know that she was listening to us… and that she would end up as an Incomparable panelist! Now a sequel, “The Hidden Palace: A Novel of the Golem and the Jinni” has arrived! In this special episode, Jason and Helene discuss the first novel, how real life can intrude on a publishing schedule, the value and temptation of research, and how “The Hidden Palace” ultimately came together.

Jason Snell with Helene Wecker


568

Collateral Damage

Put on your capes because we’re flying into superhero action with season one of Prime Video’s “Invincible,” based on Robert Kirkman’s long-running comic. Before the Spoiler Horn, we’ll tell you why this show is worth watching—and warn you about how it mixes its love of brightly colored superhero imagery and storylines with logical but unrestrained violence and gore. Then we break down some of this adaptation’s interesting story choices and ponder where it might be headed in season two and three.

Jason Snell with Glenn Fleishman, Moisés Chiullan and James Thomson


567

Summer of Man-Thing

We know there are a lot of superhero movies out there. Sometimes it seems like there are so many, it’s as if a random-number generator just assigned pieces of intellectual property to film directors. But where some might despair at this situation, we looked at it as an opportunity to harness the terrible power of the random-number generator and use our own creativity to assign the right directors to the right comic-book film projects. Now listen to our choices and try to tell us that any currently in-production films are any less ridiculous.

Jason Snell with Nathan Alderman, Monty Ashley, Lisa Schmeiser, Philip Michaels, Moisés Chiullan and David J. Loehr


566

Everyone Loves Metroman

Olo! It’s time to discuss an underappreciated superhero movie that’s only become more relevant after a decade full of superhero movies. It’s 2010’s “Megamind,” which transcends being an extrusion from the Dreamworks animation factory (well, except for its pop-music soundtrack) to become something greater. With an all-star cast led by Will Ferrell and Tina Fey, this is a great riff on the Superman mythos and the true meaning of destiny and heroism. Code: It’s great.

Jason Snell with Chip Sudderth, Annette Wierstra, David J. Loehr and Moisés Chiullan


565

The Avengers of Cities

Book Club

Our Book Club returns with a new way to approach this year’s SF novel shortlist: we’re reading all the Hugo and Nebula novels in three batches. First up: “Black Sun,” “The City We Became,” and “Piranesi.” Plus: What are we reading?

Jason Snell with Erika Ensign, Scott McNulty and Aleen Simms


564

The Millennial Falcon

Don your winged jetpack and strap on your cybernetic arm, because it’s time to fight over a shield. Marvel’s second Disney+ series, “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” picks up the story of two of Captain America’s pals as they confront serious societal issues, the representation of America in the modern age, and a gaggle of super-powered foes. It’s a show that takes some big swings, even if it does get a bit muddled, and we discuss its ambitions, what it gets right, and where it misses the mark.

Dan Moren with Kelly Guimont, Lisa Schmeiser, James Thomson and Nathan Alderman


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