Super Mates Episode 50: JLA: The Nail with Rob Kelly and Ryan Daly!

It’s our 50th episode! Chris and Cindy celebrate by welcoming returning guests and Fire & Water Network pals Rob Kelly and Ryan Daly to discuss Alan Davis’ epic mini-series JLA: The Nail!


For want of a nail, the DC Universe is denied its greatest hero. How does the destiny of the JLA unfold without the Man of Steel to guide and safeguard them? The answers may shock you!


This podcast is a proud member of the FIRE AND WATER PODCAST NETWORK



Clip credits:

“The Nail” by George Herbert, read by Rob Kelly

“Wedding March” from Flash Gordon by Queen

Selected tracks from Superman: The Movie by John Williams

Selected tracks from Superman Batman: Public Enemies soundtrack by Christopher Drake

“Amish Paradise” by “Weird Al” Yankovic

27 responses to “Super Mates Episode 50: JLA: The Nail with Rob Kelly and Ryan Daly!

  1. HAHAHAHA!!!!

    I just scanned the image gallery post for this episode. The final image of Superman with the Amish beard and hat floored me! Well done, Chris!

  2. I should probably refrain from commenting on this episode since I’m on it, but…BEST SUPER MATES EVER!

    Only complaint? Needed more Cindy. I understand she had a long day at work, but that’s what sick days are for. She needed to rest for the main event at night–recording the podcast.

    1. Agreed. But she did bring the psychoanalysis at the end! So she let us boys ramble on and on, and just came in and told us how it really is…like women often do.


  3. As a fan of the Silver Age breed of GL, I’d gotten fed up of Kyle Rayner’s one horse town, and both Nail minis remedied that with their portrayals of the Corpsmen and Hal Jordan.

    If Neron gave me the talent to draw, but only in mimicry of one artist, I’d choose Alan Davis. As a kid I stumbled across his work on Batman: Year Two and and Uncanny X-Men 213, and as an adult I sought his work on back issues of Excalibur and was proud to have his cover art on my JSA issues.

    1. That’s a good point we failed to make: The GL Corps was GONE when this book was published! It’s hard to imagine now, with the proliferation of multi-colored Lantern armies, but DC had scrapped that tapestry for a more Marvel-like GL.

      Being able to draw like Davis? That might be soul-worthy! 🙂


  4. Great episode, you guys nailed it, with the highlight being Logic Lass’ takedown of Jimmy Olsen. I loved the Nail books and look forward to the sequel in episode 100. Speaking of numbers, happy anniversary.

    How about Generations for #75?

    1. I just saw where Gene Hendricks is doing Generations over at his Hammer Podcasts, with guest Michael Bailey. So that series is in very capable hands! Looking forward to listening to it very soon.


  5. Four of my favorite pod casters talking about my favorite Elseworlds. I even pulled out the books to read along. This series does an excellent job of “comics quick hand” to let you know what the history of this world was. I remember thinking this book gave the fans at the time what the was the dark version of what DC fans in the 90’s kept asking for… No Superman, Bary as Flash, Hal as G.L., Batman with no Robin. I loved the dark twist it put on those things.

  6. That was incredible. I loved it. The “how Jimmy turned out” discussion made look at that part in a new way. I can’t wait for you to cover the sequel…. In about 50 episodes.

    1. Thanks Bradely. As Martin pointed out, Cindy brought out “Logic Lass” to explain to the class what was really going on with Jimmy. 🙂

      We hereby call dibs on “Another Nail”. Super Mates Episode #100!


  7. I loved this mini; in the deepest, darkest morass that was the 90s, this was a nice throwback to comics that I loved, while presenting edgier storytelling. The 90s was a rough decade, for me and mainstream superhero comics and stuff like this pulled me back in. It paid homage to the past; but, it wasn’t mired in it.

    I’m a little hazy on where I first saw Alan Davis’ work. I think it was probably Captain Britain, from one of the British issues, in the first comic I shop I ever entered (in college). His Batman work followed closely. I love his work, as it is very much in that Adams/Aparo (also shares some stylistic touches with Joe Staton) crowd of the Bronze Age, which was my world. I tried Excalibur, because of him, though it was a little too out there for my tastes, at the time. His Marvelman/Miracleman stuff was amazing and it was a shame that things came to a halt and he was forced to move on. I would have loved to have seen him on the rest of Alan Moore’s run, even though I loved John Totleben’s work (though the less said about Chuck Beckum/Austen, the better). I was also greatly entertained by his later take on Killraven, which nicely matched the classic series of my youth.

    I was kind of like Rob, suffering from Elseworlds burnout. We’d had quite a few (mostly Batman) and far too many were bleak affairs. Not this one. In fact, I don’t think Davis is capable of bleak; dark, yes, but not bleak.

    1. I’ve only sampled the Marvelman/Miracleman stuff, I’m slightly embarrassed to say. I really need to read the entire run. The Killraven stuff does look amazing, so there’s another one I definitely need to check out!


      1. Definitely worth reading; Moore’s best material, for my tastes. Davis drew Book 2, The Red King Syndrome, that features more of Dr. Gargunza, the scientist at the heart of the experiments that created Miracleman, who reappears to make Mickey Moran’s life further hell. There’s some chilling stuff there. Unfortunately, the battle with Marvel (while the series was in Warrior magazine) came about and the series stopped, and Davis moved on to other things. Chucke Beckum/Austen did one issue that kind of finished the story, followed by one issue, with Rick Veitch, that features the birth of Miracleman’s daughter. After that, Book 3, Olympus, begins, with John Totleben.

  8. Such a fantastic episode! Loved it from beginning to end! Though I think you could have squeezed in a few more accolades for Alan Davis. Not sure if you really conveyed if you liked his stuff. 😉

    I remember buying this comic off the stands and loving it!! And yes, Alan Davis’ clean artwork contrasts with the gruesome acts in strange ways. It works, but makes the violence that much more unsettling.

    Congratulations on the anniversary episode!! Great job by everyone involved!

    1. Thanks for the heads up! I’d love to meet Davis and get my Detective issues, and The Nail signed. Went to Motor City con (as a “pro”, and I use that term VERY loosely) several times a few years back. It would be nice to go again, but it’s just not in the cards this year.

      If anyone reading this gets to meet Mr. Davis there, be sure to come back here and let us know!


  9. Just as an aside on Alan Davis’ artwork. I’ve been a fan of his for years. Living in New York City, I was lucky enough to have found his Captain Britain work where he drew AND wrote Cap’s adventures (this was after the stories written by Alan Moore), and they were refreshing and exciting. His Neal Adams influence was really evident, but without Adams’ sometimes awkward panel layout or figure poses. One thing I remember about Davis’ artwork on “The Nail” was how his Hal Jordan’s hair looked EXACTLY like Hal’s hair from the famous Neal Adams run; the brushwork was such an excellent match that it left me really surprised.

    One last thing. Alan Davis once did a Gen13 mini-series that I really, really enjoyed. It was during the time of J. Scott Campbell and his really unique style. Alan Davis drew the story that really made me think that maybe there was more to the Gen13 team than just some really stylized art. I was more of a fan of Gen13 after that. See, everything Alan Davis draws looks 1000% better after he draws it!

    1. You are right…Davis draws Adams Hal hair perfectly! I think his Hal is just flat iconic, just like Adams. He’s got some Gil Kane dynamism in there as well. So the two best classic Hal artists are well-represented.

      I’m definitely going to have to check out some of these other series Davis has worked on. Even Gen 13, which I honestly never had any interest. Okay, as Shag would say, Fairchild is hot, but that’s it.


  10. Great post, Sphinx. Look for me in the lettercols of those British UK Alan Davies comics (Daredevils/MWOM)!

    Alan Davis has the same birthday as me. Interestingly

    (Or not…)

    1. I love finding names of creators and fans I know of in old letter columns! Whenever I get an older comic, or am just thumbing through one in my collection, I look to see if a familiar name pops up.

      It’s always interesting when we share birthdays with people we like or admire!


  11. Finally found some time today, while running errands and doing some handyman stuff around the house, to listen to this monster episode.
    I love the work of Alan Davis, I love the Elseworlds line, so I loved both of the Nails, and I was interested to hear what you two and esteemed your guests thought about it. And I wasn’t disappointed: it was a great conversation and a fun episode to listen to – except for the apparent disses of Ragman. Anyway, I agree with others that it’s too bad Cindy was apparently tired that day, I would have enjoyed some more of her thoughts outside of the admittedly penetrating psychoanalysis near the end.
    And I agree that there’s this really interesting contrast between the bright art and the often dark turns the story took. It reminds me of another Elseworlds story, possibly my favorite – Generations by John Byrne. He draws it in his typically ‘happy’ superhero style, yet there are many dark parts in the story.
    In conclusion, I just have to say that if your 100th episode rolls around and it does *not* cover Another Nail, well, I’ll be sorely disappointed…

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