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.

367

Batman! Aaaaaa!

Rocket Surgery

So when Batman won our Summer Superhero Spectacular, we embarked on a quest to talk about all the Batman movies. Which leads us to the unfortunate spectacle of us watching both “Batman Forever” and “Batman & Robin.” This week, it’s the Val Kimer Era, so let’s go back to 1995 and marvel at Jim Carrey’s understated performance as the Riddler and Tommy Lee Jones’s equally subtle performance as Two-Face. We are so, so sorry.

(Part one of two.)

Rocket Surgery Jason Snell with Steve Lutz, Joe Rosensteel, Moisés Chiullan, David J. Loehr, Tony Sindelar and Monty Ashley


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366

Spoon!

Destiny has her hand on our backs, and she’s pushing! That’s why we’re talking about The Tick, Ben Edlund’s hilarious superhero satire, in all its forms. From the original comics to the groundbreaking animated series to the 2000s live-action series to the all-new series premiering on Amazon Prime Video this month, we’ll cover it all. The night is young and we have umbrellas in our drinks. Evildoers, eat our justice!

Jason Snell with Glenn Fleishman and Tony Sindelar


365

Humour With a U in It

We return to our first wave of inductees into The Incomparable’s Television Hall of Fame, as we enshrine 10 more series that our panelists consider among the greatest of all time. This second batch spans seven decades and includes sketch comedy, animation, sitcoms, dramas, and even a show that premiered less than a year ago.

[Part two of two.]

Jason Snell with Monty Ashley, Dan Moren, Dr. Drang, John Siracusa, Erika Ensign, Andy Ihnatko, Moisés Chiullan, David J. Loehr and Glenn Fleishman


364

The Show of Theseus

Using our authority as a podcast about popular culture, The Incomparable has established a new Television Hall of Fame. Enshrined within will be the greatest TV series of all time, as chosen by a panel of 10 Incomparable experts in draft format. New inductees include shows created across six decades, and in every conceivable genre.

[Part one of two.]

Jason Snell with Glenn Fleishman, David J. Loehr, Moisés Chiullan, Andy Ihnatko, Erika Ensign, John Siracusa, Dr. Drang, Dan Moren and Monty Ashley


363

From Cold City to Atomic Blonde

“Atomic Blonde,” a major motion picture opening this summer, started its life as a graphic novel written by Antony Johnston. In this special episode, Jason and Antony discuss the origin of the graphic novel “The Coldest City”, why some stories fit better as graphic novels rather than serialized comics, the value of taking some time to indulge passion projects, the process of having Hollywood option your story, and the choices made when adapting a story from one medium into another. (This episode contains no spoilers for “Atomic Blonde” or “The Coldest City”, so listen without fear.)

Jason Snell with Antony Johnston


362

An Old Man With Wings

Despite a lot of trepidation based on previous lackluster film efforts, our panel rushed out to their local cinemas to see “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and came away with a pleasant surprise! They made a good Spider-Man movie! But did Tony Stark save the day, or just get in the way? Does Michael Keaton give a better villain performance than he ever did as a superhero? Did Tom Holland wear the suit, or did the suit (which talks, by the way) wear him? Our very own sinister six take apart the highs and lows of this exciting new chapter in the cinematic life of our favorite wall-crawler.

Jason Snell with Chip Sudderth, Moisés Chiullan, Brianna Wu, David J. Loehr and Guy English


361

Things Inside Other Things

The latest season/series of “Doctor Who” is over, and there’s only one last Christmas special to go before Peter Capaldi leaves the role. In this episode, we take a look at the season as a whole, including analysis of the Doctor, Bill, Nardole, and Missy. We pick our favorite episodes and then throw our least-favorites on the bonfire, before turning our attention to idle speculation about where Capaldi’s final episode might take us.

Jason Snell with Alyssa Franke, Jean MacDonald, Glenn Fleishman and David J. Loehr


360

A Dwarf Named Elwood

Rocket Surgery

Settle back with a bagel or two and get ready for a film that fails to bring all the excitement and world-building of fantasy roleplaying to life! Our brave panelists watch 2000’s “Dungeons & Dragons”, which features dungeons, dragons, a horribly unbalanced party, an infuriating lack of connection to the game, a set of polar-opposite performances by Jeremy Irons and Thora Birch, a six-foot-tall “dwarf”, political theater even more boring than The Phantom Menace, generous garnishes of racism and sexism, and a villain who wears blue lipstick. Oh, and did we mention that TV’s Doctor Who is in it as an exposition elf? Join us as we watch until the end and finally say, “Ugh, WTF?”

Jason Snell with Erika Ensign, Monty Ashley, David J. Loehr, Tony Sindelar and Steve Lutz


359

I Tried to Quit This Book Twice

Book Club

Looking for a good science fiction or fantasy book to read? Have we got a list for you. Our intrepid panel read all the novels nominated for the Hugo and Nebula awards this year—eight in total—and has returned with the results. No spoilers, but we’ll share our feelings about all eight books. With any luck, you’ll come out with one, or four, or eight books to add to your reading list.

Jason Snell with Erika Ensign, Scott McNulty and Aleen Simms


358

I Kissed Them Both

Our video game club is back in session, having played “Life is Strange”, the story of two young women in a town on the Oregon coast who become enmeshed in the town’s surprisingly dark underbelly. Every choice you make and every fact you uncover could completely change the story… or more likely, change the details a little bit. Plus there’s school politics, young love (or not—you decide!), diner food, beached whales, evidence dungeons, and more than a little time travel. We had a hella good time playing, and you probably will, too!

Jason Snell with Quinn Rose, Tiffany Arment, James Thomson, Brian Hamilton and John Siracusa


357

It’s Above Average

“Wonder Woman”, the first female-led superhero movie in ages, has arrived! After praising director Patty Jenkins and star Gal Godot in a pre-spoiler segment, we discuss the necessity of the post-“Batman v. Superman” framing sequence, the choreography of the fight scenes, the innate humanity of Gal Godot’s Diana, how this compares to recent superhero fare, the World War I setting, and maybe even Chris Pine’s watch.

Erika Ensign with Shannon Sudderth, David J. Loehr, Alyssa Franke, Kelly Guimont and Steven Schapansky


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