JLI Podcast – Meanwhile… in Mister Miracle and Doctor Fate

This episode we look at a couple JLI spin-off books written by J.M. DeMatteis! The Irredeemable Shag welcomes guest host Tim Price to discuss Mister Miracle #6-8, and then guest host Mike Harlow to chat about Dr Fate #14-15! Plus YOUR listener feedback!

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32 responses to “JLI Podcast – Meanwhile… in Mister Miracle and Doctor Fate

  1. Great show as always!

    Being afraid of my dorm is very appropriate as it was building 13 on our campus. Even more frightening, was the fact that our campus was next door to the old state mental hospital and our dorm was actually once the children’s ward! (Yikes!) The great part was that it created all sorts of material for spooky midnight stories over Tostitos and Coffee!

    Now I never really read the Mister Miracle series. I bought it years ago and it’s sitting in my “Vault” (The attic above my garage) After hearing today’s episode though I am way more invested in checking it out.

    One of the things that stuck out at me was when you guys mentioned Barda trying to fit in to regular life and doing things like grocery shopping. The reason that stuck out at me was that, while I was reading the New52 Aquaman series, Mera does very much the same thing. Of course, poor Mera goes shopping in her skin-tight costume which makes her stand out way more than she does already!

    Dr. Fate, on the other hand, I read very recently and the entire series was AMAZING!!! Iparticularly liked the scenes at the embassy. Fire’s comment to Beetle about his grabbing her in the “Catch Petey!” Exchange was hilarious and (since I didn’t read this UNTIL just recently) made me recall Fire’s comments to Ralph Dibny on her less than pleasant experiences with Wally West in the Formerly Known as the Justice League series.

    Being an artist myself (I draw an autobiographical cartoon for my friends and family on facebook) I noticed a few details here and there. First was in the splash page with the Justice League in Dr. Fate 14. Ice’s shoulder’s are bare and it seems as if her skinny bodysuit terminates somewhere under her mini tank top. (Better be careful around Guy with THAT costume Tora!)

    The other (more innocent) thing I noticed was during the conference room scene. The Justice League table shows not just the Leaguer’s shadows but is actually a somewhat reflective surface because you can see J’onn, Guy and Beetle’s colors on the surface. (You can also see part of Ice’s but because of the angle the scene is “shot” from, you’d only catch the underside of where her arm is resting on the table. I like that Shawn and Lovern paid attention to little details like that. Martian Manhunter invoking Batman to make Guy behave is hysterical. (Definite Bwah Ha Ha Award Material!)

    The strange thing about this particular pair of issues, is that the Smile isn’t as present as it usually is and the only person who really shows it is Nab…KENT! J’onn’s smile is more of a smug na, na, boo boo! Dig at Guy. Wotan, unlike everyone else who has beheld the Smile, does not come out smiling himself but is instead, reduced to tears and draws real sympathy.

    It’s unfortunate that this series never got any collected editions. Although, to be fair, JLI as a franchise only really got two trades in the old days and they haven’t gone beyond volume six in the current series. The upside is that the series IS completely available digitally. (And honestly, as I get older it does help to be able to zoom in on panels in guided view.)

    Well, that’s all for now!
    See you next time!

    1. I look forward to hearing what you think of the Mister Miracle series. But I agree, Doctor Fate was phenomenal. (Dih-dee-di-dee-dee! Phenomenal! Dee-di-di-dee!)

        1. Yes he was. I half-wondered if that was a long-term plan for Maxi-Man, but having heard that Giffen was big on “making things up along the way”, probably not, which is just as fun.

  2. Great episode, though a long episode is no surprise with your first guest. That’s the real price of Tim!

    Anyone remember that Lobo’s Greatest Hits trade reprinted some Mr Miracle content from issues 13 & 14? Anyone still angry about that Lobo slipcase?

    Dr Fate was a great series. Mike was correct, the ickiness is not icky in the reading.

  3. Still listening, and really enjoying the conversation with Tim (loved the “Mother Box would throw out my comics” line!). Just a quick note, Joe Phillips may have been a BIT ahead of the curve, but so was Bat-Mania. Batman merchandise (including those mandatory T-shirts) was out well ahead of the film by spring of 89. Somehow, the hype just continued to build, and when the movie was finally released it was a huge success, so it all worked out. Many films followed this pattern in the next few years to less successful results, like Dick Tracy the following year.

    Batman ’89 kind of created the “pre-buzz” marketing of films in a lot of ways. Sometimes it works…sometimes people get tired of the IP before the film even hits because of overexposure.


    1. I agree with your thoughts about Batman ’89. I did buy the “album inspired by the movie”, which could have backfired. A Prince album about Batman? Bat-dance? To a degree, it made no sense, and that may have been its appeal, defying expectations.

      Glad you enjoyed it, Chris!

  4. Great episode, gentlemen. A couple thoughts on Wotan loosing his eye and going blind.

    1. Wotan is the Old German form of the name of the Norse god Odin. Odin is famous for gouging out his right eye to gain wisdom.

    2. The Biblical story of which this Wotan story most reminds me is that of Saul’s Damascus road conversion experience. Saul was traveling to Damascus to persecute the Christians living in that city. On the way there, he had a vision, was struck blind, repented of his evil ways, had his sight restored, changed his name to Paul, and is largely credited with helping Christianity to grow from a small Jewish sect into a world religion in its own right.

    I think the whole loosing your physical sight to gain greater spiritual awareness is a common theme across many different cultures and religious traditions. Regardless, I loved your discussion of these issues, and look forward to the next episode.

  5. Great episode! I collected and read both titles for a bit, but Mister Miracle just kind of lost my interest at some point. With Dr. Fate, I acknowledged even then that it was exceptionally well-written and drawn…but it wasn’t the Dr. Fate series I wanted. I subscribed thinking they would jettison the Eric/Linda thing I had read about in Who’s Who, and go back to Kent as Fate with Inza grumbling the whole time. Of course it was wrong of me to expect that. They never did, and I let my subscription lapse. I did get the poster, though!

    Tim and Mike were great guests! And Shag was okay, I guess.


  6. Hurrah, Time Priest is on! Two guests covering a half-dozen or so comics, whew. I wonder who Shag got to do the editing of this monster? They did a good job!
    Re: the comics in question: I’ve never read them. Nevertheless I enjoyed the discussion. Your praise of the Dr.Fate series intrigues me, which is something that the ads and subsequent mentions over the years never did, but I had never heard anyone encapsulate the series as one story. If you like the art of Shaun McManus, read the issues of Omega Men that he did. This is not a joke. Todd Klein was the writer and it is a very under-appreciated run.
    Whenever Shag ends the podcast with the tease of not announcing the next guest, I wonder if it’s going to be me. Then I get anxiety, because I am not prepared! Oh, but then that might solve the problem of the show running too long!

  7. Impressive pod cast. Most Impressive. Mr. Miracles comic sounds cool. I had his Super Powers toy as a kid. Barda has been awesome since the 70 all the way there the 90s. Even cool in BOP. Sounds like this was a funny comic. Ah Dr. Fate. An awesome comic Demattes is a great writer. I don’t remember the Strausses as Dr. Fate. Save the JLI issue and one issue I bought ware the Lord of Chaos was losing his er…stuff. I liked the idea of her. I may have to pick up more back issues of her as Fate. Wasn’t a fan of Jared Stevens as Fate, but Hector Hall was great as Dr. Fate. these comics sounded pretty cool.

    Though I’m not sure of reincarnation. Tis book seemed to sound like it presented it well. Glad DeMatteis brought in God in it. I know he also did this in a few Man-Thing stories. Which was cool. If Vetigo was a thing. This comic could have done well there. Can’t wait to hear the next pod cast.

    1. I just finished reading the original Kirby run of Mister Miracle, and Barda really hasn’t changed from his original take. And she doesn’t need to. Barda is too awesome.

  8. Another great episode!
    However, with Shaggg vehemently defending Linda Strauss seducing her 10 year old step-son in Dr. Fate, I never want to hear him talk junk about that Hal and Arisa thing again.

  9. Thanks for a great double episode, fab material, excellent guests. And thank you, Shag, and Tim, for being able to share some difficult times… someone who feels alone will be helped by got stories.

    McKone’s human-style Gnort is horrifying. Like Pennywise in a furry mask.

    The Eric and Linda romance is nice, but if that’s not ‘skeevy’ why does Hal Jordan not get a pass for Arisia? She was also artificially aged, and she was as mature as him In terms of her race. I think the reason DC doesn’t reprint Dr Fate is the religious aspect – look at how a bunch of faith-weak US Christians stopped Second Coming, the new Vertigo book from Mark Russell and Richard Pace. I bet that if Dr Fate appeared in a DC film this would be collected in a flash.

    1. The thing about Eric and Linda is. when Eric’s still a kid Linda admits to herself that her feelings for him are inappropriate. she knows this isn’t something she should be pursuing. Even when he’s physically aged they really don’t do any more than hold hands. (any time they get close to kissing Eric gets all shy and stammers and runs away.)
      Conversely, Hal has no interest in Arisia UNTIL she makes her power ring age her up to nineteen or twenty. and despite the fact that she’s still a teenager and it’s still woefully inappropriate, Hal has no problem having fun with the now “adult” Arisia.

      1. Oh I know, I read both series as they appeared. Isn’t it as commendable that Hal wasn’t interested in physically younger Arisia as it was that Linda tried to behave? I’m not actually fussed about age difference romances, so long as everyone is of age and there’s no taking advantage of a disparity in age, intelligence or social status. Americans seem to get much more antsy about this kind of thing than we filthy Europeans. My own chap is nine months younger than me!

    2. I’m glad you enjoyed the episode, Martin, and thank you for the kind words about Shag’s and my stories. If they help someone else, then glad I shared. (and you all patiently put up with it.)

  10. Another connection between Shagg and Tim is that they sound almost identical. Whenever I’ve heard Tim on other shows, I’ve thought “Shagg?!”. You can eventually tell them apart on personality.

    Anyway, good show, both halves. I too was a big fan of Mister Miracle and Dr. Fate in those days, though I think the latter holds up better (despite the touchy content). DeMatteis would return to those themes in other works, especially non-superhero ones, but this was bolder BECAUSE it was part of a superhero narrative.

    1. I’m so glad you said that, Siskoid, because I’ve never noticed that before, but listening to this episode, I found myself going “I don’t remember saying that. OH THAT’S SHAGG!” It was very jarring to say the least.

      But maybe I have a new career from this: Shagg Impersonator! Let me practice. A-hem! “She’s hat!” Aw dang it!

  11. It was great to hear Mike, again! Couldn’t be happier to share the episode with him.

    You didn’t think I wouldn’t have comments to post, did you? Hey, I got a little to say about Dr Fate, so there! But I’ll keep it brief. Apologies to Shagg’s daughter, I’m sure your dad can get you to sleep talking about blank slate Firestorm or something.

    I’m overdue for a re-read, but loved this series at the time. Even though it made my head hurt on most occasions.

    I thought Petey’s accent was Swedish myself, and Joachim pronounced like Hwa-kim similar to Joaquin (Hwa-keen). But YouTube showed me wrong, and it’s more Yo-a-kim. Live and learn.

    By the end of the story, it doesn’t really matter when Eric’s age was anymore, but it does take a while to get there.

    Now for an annoying secret question based on Hal/Arisia discussion. Kilowog. In the exact same series, Kilowog also admitted to falling in love with Arisia, and ‘Wog is an adult of his species. If he and Arisia had gotten together, would ‘Wog be getting the same flak that Hal gets?

    The Meanwhiles have been great fun, and I am super-excited for next months’ JLI 25 and … JLE 1! Woot!

    Thanks again for having me on the show, Shagg! *A-hem* She’s hoop! Oh come on!

    1. One of the reasons I posted the long-winded rant I did, Tim, was because I felt you couldn’t be expected to provide a rant of your own on an episode you actually took part in!

      1. This makes me very happy. And you did great with both the “rant” and “rave” parts. My feedback has to have both. Well done!

  12. I love those issues because league members appear on them. I always use the beetle and booster visiting mister miracle to illustrate how jli was not useless (they defeated the villain who destroyed the last league) and I love it like in the doctor fate edition (in brazil he is mister fate because “fate” and ” doom “have the same translation) they simply show the outside of the tower and you simply understand what happened, this is a well built script.

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