Done-in-One Wonders Episode #1: Testing the Rule

In this premiere episode, discover the origin of Professor Xum’s comic fandom as he reviews the first American comic book he had ever owned – which would be considered a done-in-one story if not for the last two panels. Little does Xum know that a bygone adversary wants to make sure this show will truly be a one-and-done! Plus: the introduction of the Done-In-One Wonders Electronic Mailroom (without mail).


Featuring: Justice League of America v1 #111


Images from this episode:

Music by Hoyt Curtin, Bob Sakuma, and the Manic Street Preachers.

With special thanks to Grey Griffin.

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Thank you for listening! Until the next one, we’re done.

28 responses to “Done-in-One Wonders Episode #1: Testing the Rule

  1. OK, you win this round perfesser, but time will tell if you can make all a yer episodes as good or gooder as this one. It tain’t easy to maintain this level of good on a reg’lar basis. Y’all are a reg’lar feller, aintcha?

  2. Nice opener Xum. I think you may win the award for coolest Uncle ever. Great story there. The rest of the show was a lot of fun, but that was my favorite part.

    This issue of JLA was one of the first 100 Page Spectaculars I bought at a comic shop. I managed to snag both parts, and boy I’m glad I did!


  3. Absolutely brilliant, Professor. It appears as though the network now has its own Dr Demento!

    Uncle Kenzo does sound like he was the coolest dude on the planet.

    Stories like yours do make me wonder how much the comics industry has lost by no longer being available where the random kid might see them. While I don’t have a First Contact story like you, I still felt that moment of frission where I spotted comics on sale while I was out with my parents–at the mall, a grocery store, a newsstand, etc. I feel bad that a lot of kids won’t ever get to experience that, because the medium is now walled up tight behind darkened windows and uninviting storefronts.

    So glad to have you on board!

  4. What a wonderful comic to be introduced to the world of comics with! I suspect you and I are the same age, Xum, because i have a similar memory of this book, and i think it was purchased off a spinner rack at an IGA supermarket in Taber, Alberta- a place not unlike your Texas town. It was the height of the Len Wein run, which to my juvenile mind (still is), was the nadir of the satellite JLA era. AND a super spectacular, with a Seven Soldiers of Victory reprint (yahoo, Vigilante!), and a Fox-Sekowsky era JLA reprint, featuring the mort villain, Brainstorm (who was no Firestorm). Thanks for a great show! This promises to be a podcast to look forward to.

  5. If there was a Top Five Best First Podcast Episode list this episode would be on it. A spectacular debut, Xum. I was impressed from beginning to end.

    There are many reasons for this. I liked the natural way you talked about the comic. I loved the Mercury Theater style bits that set this apart from the other shows on the network. I would never have thought of using Terra-Man as a co-host but it works.

    My favorite part was your origin story. Not only was it a vivid retelling that made me feel like I was there and connect to you as a listener but it was just so amazing. I never had a comic book mentor. I stumbled into this thing on my own and had to figure it out myself. I envy you having an uncle that noticed your reading a comic and then, much like Obi-Wan, ushered you in with your first step into a larger world. I was smiling through that entire segment. Your story was not only entertaining but it allowed us to get to know you a little better.

    I can’t add much more beyond another, “Well done, sir!” I am looking forward to the next episode.

  6. I got goosebumps when I ‘heard’ Uncle Kenzo tell you to put the duplicate issues into a separate box – guessing at what was going to follow next! FANTASTIC!

  7. Yep, I agree with everyone else. Great first episode, and I’m looking forward to future explorations of great done-in-one issues – which I always preferred in my initial years of comics reading when I was dependent on grocery and convenience store spinner racks (how I dreaded seeing that “Cont’d next issue!” blurb at the end of a book).
    However, I have to say my very favorite part of the episode was when you recounted your story of meeting your Uncle Kenzo and his comics collection. No argument from me: Kenzo is definitely the greatest uncle ever.

  8. Great show, but you have me trying to think of favorite done-in-one comics of the Bronze Age that are NOT team-ups…

    World’s Finest Comics #293 in which Superman and Batman face Null & Void is absolutely a favorite.
    My first JLA story (and Rob’s I believe) is the beloved JLofA 217, but 218 and 224 do in a pinch.
    “Kitty’s Fairy Tale” from Uncanny X-Men #153 is a comic I got during a summer in Texas (my own brand of “Mountain Comics” (Desert Comics?) and we read and read and read it, made plays of it for the younger kids, there was an audio cassette where I did all the voices… An important one for sure!
    And then there are latter-day What If? issues, from #44 on. Any issue of the series is a done-in-one, that just happens to be when I started picking it up, though I’ve collected it from comic book stores since.

    Of course, there are some excellent done in ones in the modern era, but they don’t live in my memory as well (issue numbers etc.)

  9. Great episode Xum. Love the personal story sharing. I hope my son and daughter and eventual grandkid see me as an Uncle Kenzo!

    Will this feedback be included in the show?

  10. Wow! What a glorious way to spend an hour. That was the best first episode of a podcast I’ve ever heard. I loved how Xum retold the story of reading his first comic. It was so well told, it brought back my own childhood memories. I don’t know Terra Man, but I really enjoyed the mail room segment. Lastly, the story about Xum and his uncle was so heartwarming. I can’t wait for the next episode!

  11. Great First Episode! Amazing production value there. You might be giving Ryan Daly a run for his money. I am envious of your Uncle, he sounds amazing. Thinking of Done-in One Issues, my mind always goes to Justice League of America #224 where the JLA fight Paragon. A Parasite like villain that steals the Leaguers powers and takes the team down using mostly Firestorm’s powers. Being a Firestorm fan, it always seemed like a great showcase of Firestorm’s powerset. Anyway,m way to go Xum! Looking forward to hearing more.

  12. Really enjoyed the anecdote about your car ride/uncle. It’s weird how many FW-related podcasters have passed through Texas for a spell, though Katy is a hell of a lot closer to me in Houston than Siskoid’s childhood dude ranch…

      1. My father grew up in Tennessee, so it’s not so hard to imagine. Kind of like a What If…? Especially those ’90s ones where everyone dies horribly.

  13. Xum, This was a wonderful first episode of your podcast. Listening to you is like listening to Rod Serling. A wonderfully smooth voice and a wonderfully wry sense of humor. Yet, I must say that the most wonderful thing about this first episode was the wonderful story of your uncle and it was wonderfully told by you! I look forward to future episodes! Darrin

  14. Another thumbs-up for your first episode, Xum. Well done, sir!

    I must admit, I want to address you as Professor Y, since that’s the first initial in your last name. Heh-heh.

    Looking forward to more wonders!

  15. A fantastic first episode, Professor! I really enjoyed revisiting this classic issue through your eyes, and your insightful analysis of how Wein and Dillin were able to fit in so many characters and so much action without it ever seeming crowded. The story about your Uncle Kenzo was wonderful. There’s nothing better than getting the chance to share your love of comics with someone else — which, of course, is exactly what you’re doing with the podcast!

    Looking forward to future episodes. Bronze Age DC in particular is full of great done-in-ones. A few random suggestions:
    Teen Titans #41 – Super-creepy story involving Civil War ghosts.
    Superman #274 – A very strange homage to Kurt Vonnegut, of all people.
    Flash #231 – One of my favorite Rogue’s Gallery stories.
    1st Issue Special #9 – Doctor Fate!

  16. Great, great, great! Loved hearing your story, loved hearing your analysis, loved hearing the “bits!” Your’re Solomon Grundy is almost as good as Chris Franklin’s! Uncle Kenzo rules! I had been wondering if your self-imposed rules about the format would limit choices to stories that done-in-one as the entire comic. I trust that, based on the initial foray into the concept, any stand-alone story is fair game for inclusion. There were so many delightful 8-page back-ups from DC in the 70s. I have a special fondness for “The Private Life of Clark Kent” and similar tales. There is certainly no shortage of material. So, XUm, you can just crank these out once a week, right? That would be great!

  17. Well nothing I can really add to those comments – the story of your first comic and then your uncle – WOW!

    It’s making me want to take MY first comic and pull it out and do something similar for my show. VERY entertaining!!! Thank you for sharing this great memory and story!

  18. Xum,

    I wanted to write a quick note and thank you for sharing that story of your first JLA issue and finding out about your uncle’s collection. As I sat and listened to both, I became aware that I had a big ol’ stupid smile on my face. Great story.

    I have fond recollections of that issue of JLA too. It’s on my short list of comics to fall back on IN TIMES OF GREAT STRESS.


    DC Dill
    Martinburg, WV

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