DigestCast #4.5 – The Avengers

It’s another special “digest-sized” episode of DIGESTCAST! Shag and Rob talk about the recently released MARVEL COMICS DIGEST #2: THE AVENGERS, the second installment in Marvel’s new line of digests, on sale now!

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13 responses to “DigestCast #4.5 – The Avengers

  1. Good episode, fellas. While I had previously read the Lee/Kirby stories, the rest of the book was new to me, so I had some interesting reading up to do. For reasons unrelated to this show (honest!), I went back to the store where I purchased this issue and they no longer had a space on the rack for the comic digests!?!?!? So I missed the first issue, and don’t know where I’ll be able to find the third issue! Naturally I went home and added issue #4 to my mail order list, as apparently the corporate might of Disney, Marvel, and Wal-Mart are unable to provide me with consistent access to this series!

    Anyhoo, I look forward to episode 5, and if you’d like a pinch-hitter I’m always down to talk about old Justice League comics.

  2. Another good episode, gentlemen. Thanks for the updates on these books I don’t think I’ll ever manage to get. Like the earlier Spider-man digest, your description of the contents for this one really makes me want it all the more – and not just because it’s a digest. However, I think whoever put this together should have included that one-shot from the late ’90s, Avengers 1.5 (by Stern and Timm), in between the first and second issues here – I currently don’t have any books in which those two are reprinted, but I think it would be amusing to read those three issues in that order.
    And speaking of Roger Stern, I have to say I’m a bit miffed at the description of him as a “journeyman writer.” Sorry, man, Stern stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the best super-hero comics writers of the last 3 or so decades…

    1. Edo – Thanks for listening and your comments! Regarding Roger Stern as a “journeyman”, that’s really on me. I was paraphrasing the excellent discussion Rob had with Michel Fiffe on FW PRESENTS – MOUNTAIN COMICS. My quick comment doesn’t do their discussion justice. Give it a listen and I think you’ll see how flattering they are towards Stern. Thanks again for listening!!

      1. Edo-

        While “Journeyman” can sound like an insult, neither I, Shag, or (on the MC episode) Michel Fiffe meant it as such.

        When I call someone that, especially a writer, I think of someone who doesn’t necessarily bring a “superstar” rep or creative persona to the work. People like John Byrne and Frank Miller were creators who brought a sort of pre-sold style to their work, similar to movie directors of today like Tim Burton or Christopher Nolan.

        But guys like Stern, Bill Mantlo, David Michelinie, Cary Bates, etc. didn’t, in my mind, have that immediately-identifiable style. They tended to morph their work to the subject matter (again with the movie director comparisons) like Richard Donner or Iva Reitman. It’s not a knock against either approach, just an observation to what I perceive as a difference in approach, creatively.

        1. Aw, geez. I’d hoped that my use of the word ‘miffed’ would indicate that I’m not really all that upset by whatever way you may have characterized Stern’s writing. Maybe I should have said you raised my dander? I apologize if I came across as an irate fanboy.
          Rob, yes, I see your point, and honestly, I think you could probably add guys like Thomas, Wein (RIP), Wolfman, Barr, Moench or even Englehart to that list as well. In fact, unlike writer-artists like Simonson, Miller, Byrne, Grell or Starlin, there’s not many writers I can think of from that pre-1990 period that have an immediately identifiable style. Alan Moore, Steve Gerber and Claremont come to mind, and possibly also Don McGregor. And Stan Lee, of course. Anyway, my point about Stern, and the reason why I put him on such a pedestal, is that he always brought his A-game to anything he wrote. Much as I generally love, say, Claremont, Michelinie (who wrote the best single run of Iron Man stories ever) or Mantlo (esp. in Micronauts, Rom and the Hulk), they occasionally turned in some sub-par work. I can’t think of an instance where you can say that about Stern. He always produced well-plotted and well-scripted books with a consistent quality.
          O.k., end of rant. I’m off to find some time to listen to that episode of FW Presents – there’s too many shows on this network! I just don’t have the time…

  3. I’m not really surprised that there are no Walt Simonson stories in the upcoming Thor digest. You’d either have to pick only stories of his, or not include any of them. There are very few stand alone issues in his run, so they might confuse people more than anything.

  4. I am one of those who has yet to find a local source for the new Marvel digests. So, I especially appreciate these .5 episodes that you put together.

    While I’ve never followed the Avengers title on a regular basis, except for a brief stint after the Heroes Reborn storyline, this team does hold a special place in my heart. The barber shop where I used to get my hair cut as a kid had one or two issues of Avengers in the magazine rack, which were the first actual comic books I ever recall reading. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the issue numbers, but do remember the Black Knight making an appearance. Of course, I now feel the need to look through images of old issue covers to see if any jump out at me.

  5. I can see a Fire & Water: Civil War crossover with Shag’s daughter versus my own. Dani is very much Team Cap (like her Daddy), and kinda sorta hates Iron Man now. She loved that Lego Batman’s password is “Iron Man sucks”.

    Dani loves Cap so much, she ASKS to watch the Reb Brown Cap movies. No foolin’.

    Fun episode guys. And I wonder why we aren’t getting a Black Panther digest up next? It’s out in January, right?


  6. I WILL look for the Avengers Digest.
    I WILL look for the Avengers Digest.
    I WILL look for the Avengers Digest.

    Odd. Wonder why I’m thinking that?

    Sounds like I’ll enjoy this one a lot. I haven’t read the All Ages issues, but own the Stern ones (Love!) and read 1-2 on the Marvel Unlimited App just this year. Great stuff.

    This may be heresy, but Kirby’s Hulk was wigging me out in issue 2. On the first page, it looks like he has 3 toes. What? To make matters worse, on later pages, he has 4 toes! What the what? I just… I can’t… what????

    Great podcast, Shag & Rob! Digging the digests!

  7. UPDATE! I am now the proud owner of this and the preceding (Spider-man) digest. A series of fortuitous events worked in my favor: I told my sister and brother-in-law (who live in Oregon) to snatch me up a copy if they happened to see one in a grocery store or whatever, and they indeed found them both – the Spider-man one was still on sale. (Otherwise, my brother-in-law told me that he saw these in a Barnes and Noble as well, as I think you mentioned in this or the previous episode.) Then, one of my cousins happened to be traveling to Croatia this month, and we just met this morning and she handed them over. I’m so stupidly happy about having these – it’s so cool to see Marvel digests (and yet again makes me wonder, why didn’t Marvel do these back in the ’70s and ’80s when DC was pumping them out like hotcakes?).

      1. That’s a great point about DC and b/w magazines; a few years ago, the now – sadly – defunct Bronze Age Babies blog had a post on that very topic, where all of us commenters just threw out our suggestions for what could have been DC b&w magazines.

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