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.

483

Light Mode Batman

Holy Nostalgia! Our tour of live-action Batman features comes to an end with 1966’s “Batman”, in which a rogues gallery of villains from the Batman TV series—Joker, Riddler, Penguin, and Catwoman—take on Batman and Robin. We praise the… acting stile of Adam West and why…. he… was perfect for this part. We ponder how influential the 1960s Batman was on public perception of superheroes and comic books for decades thereafter. And we finally answer the question you’ve all been asking: What weighs five ounces and is very dangerous? To the batcave!

Jason Snell with Jean MacDonald, Dr. Drang and David J. Loehr


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Previous Episodes

482

A Problematic Hen

Your voice is your passport, so prepare to be verified. We discuss 1992’s “Sneakers,” a spy/heist thriller in which a team of smart people solve puzzles while trying to navigate the NSA, Russian spies, and an angry genius who works for the mob and is trying to overthrow the world order. Yes, star Robert Redford rolled a very high Charisma score, but the rest of the cast is also amazing.

Jason Snell with Dan Moren, Erika Ensign, John Siracusa and Casey Liss


481

An All-Puppet Production

Grab a shard, climb up your orrery, and get ready for the conjunction—it’s time to watch 1982’s “The Dark Crystal”, directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz. This is a fantasy film featuring a prophecy, a young hero, a plucky animal sidekick, and villains so scary that it scarred several of our panelists’ young minds. And did we mention everyone’s a Muppet? Netflix has a new “Dark Crystal” prequel series, but we won’t spoil that—this is all about the original 1982 film.

Jason Snell with Antony Johnston, Shannon Sudderth, Kelly Guimont and Moisés Chiullan


480

The Whole McCoy

Jason’s commitment to drafting things as a lifestyle continues in this episode, in which he’s joined by six panelists to draft X-Men from across movies, TV, and comics. The goal is to form a four-person X-Team, complete with names. Along the way we learn a lot about childhood loves, softball, vampires, the basics of German, and how the coolest and worst X-Men can co-exist.

Jason Snell with Merlin Mann, Cicero Holmes, Moisés Chiullan, Monty Ashley, Quinn Rose and Dan Moren


479

Specifically Boo Berry

Pour a sugary bowl of cereal and sit down in front of the TV for a long morning of entertainment. It’s time for our Saturday Morning draft, in which nine people of various ages draft favorite their favorite kid programming from their childhood. Plus cereal. Did we mention cereal?

Jason Snell with Erika Ensign, David J. Loehr, Chip Sudderth, Allison Truj, Monty Ashley, Kelly Guimont, Kathy Campbell and Brian Hamilton


478

Death Snuggle Fort

Our survey of the films of Hayao Miyazaki turns to his most recent film, 2013’s “The Wind Rises.” In many ways, it’s his most adult film, the story of an aeronautical engineer who must pursue his dreams amid earthquakes, rising geopolitical tensions, and personal challenges. Is movie tuberculosis like real tuberculosis? Is Miyazaki’s approach to pre-war Japan (and its allies, Germany and Italy) delicate or problematic? Does the film sufficiently address whether creators are complicit in how their work is used? Is the wind still rising?

Jason Snell with John Siracusa, Steve Lutz and Aleen Simms


477

Klimt Versus Monet

Our season-by-season survey of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” goes to college, as we explore season four. UC Sunnydale is full of welcoming professors, friendly TAs, annoying roommates, and a collection of government commandos who are experimenting on the local demons and vampires. Spike returns as comic relief. We’re all about Willow and Tara. And then there’s that episode where nobody talks and that other one where they’re all dreaming. We break it all down like it’s 1999.

Jason Snell with Aleen Simms, Jean MacDonald, Quinn Rose, John McCoy and Steve Lutz


476

Lucky Crime Shirt

The Summer of Spider-Man concludes with 2007’s “Spider-Man 3”, a controversial sequel that’s packed full with villains (Sandman, Venom, and Extreme Sports Goblin) battling the increasingly unpleasant emo version of Peter Parker. Sandman’s daughter is very ill. Eddie Brock is an awfully unpleasant person. And at long last, the greatest character in the franchise—Bernard the Butler—gets his due. We watched it so you don’t have to!

Jason Snell with Steve Lutz, Jean MacDonald and Moisés Chiullan


475

Count the Coats

Our Summer of Spider-Man swings on with 2004’s “Spider-Man 2.” Flush with the success of the first film, this is a much more confident outing that’s also more clearly set in modern times, isn’t afraid to have a sense of humor, and makes great use of director Sam Raimi’s horror-movie resume. And at the center is perhaps the biggest reason for the film’s success: Alfred Molina as Dr. Otto Octavius, a Frankenstein who is his own monster, after having created a set of robotic limbs so intelligent that each pair needs its own jacket.

Count the Coats

Jason Snell with Steve Lutz, Moisés Chiullan and Joe Rosensteel


474

World Unity Day

We live in a world awash with superhero films today, but back at the beginning of this century it was a dark age. 2002’s “Spider-Man” finally brought one of the world’s most popular superheroes to the big screen, setting the stage for the genre’s elevation later in the decade. The Summer of Spider-Man is here, as we revisit Sam Raimi’s three Spidey films and judge how well they hold up to modern eyes. Up, up and away, web!

Jason Snell with Moisés Chiullan, Jean MacDonald and Guy English


473

Belarusian Chupacabra

Comrades, we come to discuss HBO’s excellent miniseries “Chernobyl.” It’s simultaneously a horror movie about radiation poisoning, a indictment of a system that suppressed the truth in order to avoid showing signs of weakness, a tragedy about a humanitarian disaster, and an exciting tale of scientists attempting to work the problem and avert a continent-wide catastrophe. The subject matter may be hard, but the result is some of the most compelling television we’ve seen in some time.

Jason Snell with Moisés Chiullan, Kathy Campbell and Brian Hamilton


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