In This Episode
On this episode of X-Ray Vision, Jason Concepcion and Rosie Knight cuddle up for a covid comfort watch! That’s right, both Jason AND Rosie have the novel coronavirus covid-19 this week, but they powered through to give the people what they need. First in Previously On (6:13), Jason and Rosie dive deep (deeeeep) into the trailer for She-Hulk: Attorney-at-Law that sent gamma waves across the internet, offering comics lore, analysis on why She-Hulk will be a great addition to the MCU, and, of course, tons of theories for what could unfold. Then, (super) producer Chris joins to discuss the overall disappointing Halo finale, why it’s always worth splurging on the CGI budget, and Pablo Schreiber’s keister. In the Airlock (42:22), Jason, Rosie, and Chris are joined by other (super) producer Saul (who did indeed just refer to himself in third person as a super producer) to discuss some of their favorite comfort watches in times of illness. Stay safe & mask up all!
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She-Hulk by Dan Slott – written by Slott with illustrations by Paul Pelletier, Juan Bobillo, & Scott Kolins; collects She-Hulk 2004 1-12 & She-Hulk 2005 1-5. Individual issues are available on Marvel Unlimited or the omnibus is available various places online.
She-Hulk by Soule & Pulido – written by Charles Soule, illustrated by various including Javier Pulido with covers and illustrations by Kevin Wada, colors by Muntsa Vicente, & letters by Clayton Cowles. Available on Amazon/comixology & individual issues on Marvel Unlimited.
Patsy Walker aka Hellcat – Written by Kate Leth with art by Brittney Williams, colors by Megan Wilson and letters by Joe Sabino & Clayton Cowles. Available on Marvel Unlimited or online.
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Jason Concepcion: Warning. This podcast contains spoilers for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and the Halo series, including the finale. So if you haven’t caught up with those particular pieces of content, make sure to skip those sections of our podcast. That’s all. Thank you. Hello. My name is Jason Concepcion and I’m currently in the throes of the novel coronavirus COVID 19, which I tested positive for last weekend and had been suffering symptoms of throughout a day before I tested positive for it. All of which is to say. This is going to be a crazy episode because not only am I suffering from the novel coronavirus COVID 19, but my brilliant co-host, the best in the business folks, the number one comics writer, pop historian in the game today. Rosie Knight. Rosie, how are you?
Rosie Knight: I also have novel coronavirus, a.k.a. COVID 19, and somehow we didn’t get this at the same place. We legitimately have not seen each other in public for a long time in real life.
Jason Concepcion: Good point, Rosie, because here’s what I have to say.
Rosie Knight: Somehow, this happened.
Jason Concepcion: You can read the news. And the COVID is rampant right now. People wear your masks. I’ve been to numerous places over the last you know, the last week in the zone when I could have gotten it. And I was always one of, like, the 5% of people there wearing a mask.
Rosie Knight: Mm hmm.
Jason Concepcion: It ain’t gone away, folks. And this time it’s crazy. This is my second go around with COVID 19, the novel coronavirus. The first time, I basically just slept for, like, eight, 18 hours. And then, like, two days later, I felt fine. This time, like Terminator 2 or Aliens or Godfather 2. The sequel is much more potent than the original, and I feel like I got a fucking house dropped on me. How do you feel, Rosie?
Rosie Knight: I would concur. This is not my first time having COVID, seeing as we are living through a global pandemic in busy cities. But this is the worst time. I have been haunting my house like a fucking sickened ghost. I have a fever every day. It is like you said. It is. It’s truly like the James Cameron’s aliens to Ridley Scott’s alien. The first one was like a brain foggy, slow, lucid experience. This is like space Marines shooting you with a with a big space gun. It’s very bad.
Jason Concepcion: Folks. It’s gnarly. Don’t get it. And wear a mask, be safe and take care of yourselves.
Rosie Knight: And other people.
Jason Concepcion: And other people around you who, for reasons not having to do with ignorance, perhaps can’t get the numerous vaccines that are out there because of the previous medical conditions, the fact that they’re immunocompromised, etc.. Those people are living in a state of constant fear. And we can we can we can make their plight a little bit less stressful by hopefully getting vaccinated. If you’re not vaccinated by now, I’m not sure what happened, but also just wearing your mask because it’s out here, folks. It’s out here. I saw Paul McCartney at. I saw Paul McCartney at SoFi and again, one of like one of like 5% of the people there who was wearing a mask. So it’s it’s it’s it is here, folks. And also anecdotally, as this very podcast episode recording proves, I’ve even like when it was pre vaccines, when, when it was like really, really, really, really scary. I didn’t know this many people like that had it. So I know so many people that have it right now. Same, or had it last week or two weeks ago.
Rosie Knight: Yeah. It’s going around and and I don’t really go out many places or go and do big socializing things just to protect my own health. And I always wear a mask and I still got it. So just everybody’s getting it, it’s, it’s good to just take care. And it’s hard right now because the way that the numbers are being reported and the fact that a lot of people are testing at home means we won’t necessarily see those numbers in the same way we did in other waves. So it’s just really good to follow your gut and be thoughtful for your own sake and for other people’s. And because this is very gnarly, you don’t want to be sitting here sweating, like us. Sweating, talking about you know.
Jason Concepcion: Well great great transition because let’s do that. In today’s episode and the Previously On, we’re going to talk about a bunch of news from this week headlined by the The She-Hulk trailer drops, the delightful She-Hulk trailer drop. We will talk about the Halo finale and the fact that Master Chief popped his cherry. He he did it and people aren’t necessarily happy about it. We will talk about some other news and then we will go to the airlock where we will talk about when you’re sick and you’re sitting at home, what do you watch? What do you read? What do you do to just kind of comfort you through it? And that’s that’s in our airlock section, of course. As always, if you want to jump around, check out the timestamps in the show notes. First up, let’s go to the news. The She-Hulk trailer. She-Hulk, attorney at law. She’s barred folks. She’s a barred attorney at New York State. It’s Jennifer Walters, cousin of our good friend, Bruce Banner. The show starring Tatiana Maslany as Jennifer Walters. Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner. Hello, Tim Roth as Emil Blonsky, Benedict Wong as Wong and others. Let’s talk about this trailer, which is absolutely super, super fun.
Rosie Knight: Delightful.
Jason Concepcion: Here’s my first takeaway. Hulk’s arm is fine. Therefore, this is pre-Endgame. Therefore, we’re going to fill in this stuff clearly post snap. And that is Bruce Banner’s post Ragnarok Journey to Becoming Professor Hulk. We’re going to see some of that timeline filled in and that is super, super cool and awesome.
Rosie Knight: Yeah, I want to talk about that because like if you if you’re not like us and you don’t be pausing the trailer and everything, you might be like, What are you talking about? But this is it. In Endgame, we met Professor Hulk, who explained that he was a a new version of Banner in Hulk combined. He was not a third entity. He was who he is. He’s he’s an intelligent, a dreamer, pinned.
Jason Concepcion: With the braun and the brains together.
Rosie Knight: Exactly. And he’s looking hunky. And I’m sure some people on the Internet are calling him Daddy.
Jason Concepcion: Cheese. Sorry.
Rosie Knight: And then at the end of Shang Chi, we saw Bruce Banner in his human form with a sling on his arm. Because in Endgame, we saw him. We saw Hulk wield the Infinity Gantlet and do the snap, and it really messed up his arm. So in the modern continuity, we know that Bruce is back in his normal human body and he has the arm sling. In this trailer, as Jason so smartly noticed, he is Professor Hulk and his arms are looking fine. So it is very, very likely that this is going to be. In that period between Infinity War and Endgame, which is something we have yet to see.
Jason Concepcion: Another thing we’re going to see, I think we can deduce from this wonderful again trailer. There’s the part of the trailer in which, you know, one of the heads of the law firm that Jennifer works for says, hey, we want to start a superhero division, which is directly very much a comics thing, like Jennifer’s specialty is powered incidents, you know, cases involving or related to people with powers. Mm hmm. And. We remember from Shang Chi. Right. That that Emil Blonsky, The Abomination, in his comics accurate form, was doing fights for money against Wong. And we’re like, Holy shit. Wasn’t he, like, in jail? Wasn’t he in super people jail? And we see him in this trailer when, when the, the one of the law partners mentions, hey, we want to start a superhero super powered persons division. I think this is how he gets out. I think I think Jennifer and honestly, rightly so. I think he would make the argument that like, hey, we can’t hold this guy forever. Like, it’s actually yes, he’s theoretically a weapon of mass destruction. But there’s other powered people out there now who are also similarly powerful. And what what does it mean legally that we can just, like, hold this guy ad infinitum? And I think that’s how Emil Blonsky gets his freedom or whatever, whatever status he has by Shang-Chi where he’s able to come and go at will.
Rosie Knight: Yeah, I think you’re right. Also, I think that the cell that we see in this trailer, that that we see Jennifer in, when she’s testing her Hulk powers that looks very similar to where we see Abomination walk back into during Shang-Chi. So I think that I think that Bruce, whatever part of Bruce’s life this is, it’s going to be important and foundational to the notion of whatever’s going on in the current continuity. We know that S.W.O.R.D. was set up. You know, within this that was that was a really big time for S.W.O.R.D. after we found out about all the plans that they were making because of what would happened, because of the blip. So it wouldn’t surprise me if some of the things that we thought we were going to see or we thought we were seeing being established was Shang-Chi, Late, like Dark Avengers, etc. If those things might have already been in the works during this five years and we’re going to kind of retroactively learn about them and see how they could come into play in the wider MCU.
Jason Concepcion: What else do we see? Let’s talk about this. So we see in the opening shots, we see a car tumbling down the hill. Now, in the comics, Jennifer gets her powers because she needs a blood transfusion from… She has a particular blood type. And so they go to a relative. And of course, Bruce Banner is the relative. And the side effect of him donating blood to his cousin is that the gamma radiation in his blood also gets into Jen’s body, and she reacts in a very similar way to Bruce and becomes The Shield. Now, in the comics, it’s gangsters, shoot her because of her legal activities and she requires this blood transfusion. I think it’s going to be I think clearly it’s going to be an accident rather than gangsters, which anyway is like. I think Punisher like debuted like two years before that. So it’s like they just like reused the Punisher’s origin.
Rosie Knight: They were like everyone’s families being killed by gangsters. Family barbeques.
Jason Concepcion: Yeah.
Rosie Knight: No, I think you’re right. And something that super producer Saul was saying when we were prepping for this episode was like, Hawkeye did something really interesting where it tied Kate Bishop’s origin and her tragic backstory directly into events of the MCU. And that definitely feels like something we could see here. But from the tone of the show, which is like very eighties and funny and kind of like feels a bit more lighthearted than a lot of the other stuff we’ve gotten. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them play with that kind of fan favorite conversation about like collateral damage, which is like not something we’ve really seen very much. They touched on it in the Netflix stuff, but I wouldn’t be surprised if her accident was like something got thrown and hit a brick wall and then it fell on her during an Avengers fight.
Jason Concepcion: Or the Snap or something.
Rosie Knight: Exactly.It’s like the snap, an ice cream van, had a guy who was wasn’t driving and and I just think like this show seems to be going into that humor. And it’s if it’s going to be like the comics, she’s always been a very matter forth, rule breaking character. So to have a little bit of that conversation with the audience and say, well, this is kind of what it’s like for normal people who live in the MCU. You might not even end up being normal because your cousin’s got gamma blood.
Jason Concepcion: Let’s talk about one of the real surprises in this trailer, which is the very, very brief shot of Frog-Man.
Rosie Knight: Frog-Man. I did not know this was going to happen. I cannot believe this happened. I am in shock.
Jason Concepcion: I cannot believe it. Tell us you tell us about Frog-Man from that very, very minor character that I maintain was at least in some form, a like esthetic influence on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I Yeah, yeah. Claim that I have no evidence for that, but I claim that.
Rosie Knight: The truth is that all those, I mean, TMNT is like one of my favorite topics and all of those comics, the original black and white stuff, which is very dark and very funny, was an absolute response to Marvel and DC and big superhero comics. So that would make a lot of sense, especially when you think about the fact that like in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, for example, the bad group is called, it’s called the Foot Clan instead of the Hand, you know, and stuff like that. So it’s very it was like a self-publish kind of shit post comic. And I love that it became this this like kids powerhouse. But yeah, Frog-man. It is with a hyphen like Spider-Man, so don’t spell it wrong, or else the comic fans might get upset with you. Created by J.M. DeMatteis and Kerry Gammill from a Marvel Team-Up issue. Marvel Team-Up 121, June 1982, which I believe.
Jason Concepcion: Those were fun, man.
Rosie Knight: Yeah, and that puts it between that. I think that puts it before the first yeah. Two years before the first Ninja Turtles comics.
Jason Concepcion: That’s why I’m saying and also like Eugene, the Frog-Man’s secret identity. Eugene is like 15. This is why I claim that Frog-Man is an influence on Tia. But like, again, I have no I’m saying this.
Rosie Knight: Kevin Eastman on to talk about this local legend.
Jason Concepcion: Yeah.
Rosie Knight: So, yes, his mother is called Rosie. Shout out to me. Yeah. And he basically makes like he’s like a kid who wants to be a villain and is, like, really weird and strange. And he could definitely one of those weird characters from the seventies and eighties where you’re just like, How did this get in there?
Jason Concepcion: Yeah, like like Paste-Pot Pete. Like any kind of level character.
Rosie Knight: I’d have to say this, actually. And basically he is like. He’s one of those characters who’s so out there and weird. If you’re a comic book writer occasionally, if you’re like, if, like me and Jason got to write a comic, we would be pulling these weird characters that we love. So he pops up like he’s in Secret Invasion, you know, as a Skrull, he’s he’s like, you see these different.
Jason Concepcion: What a fucking crazy, by the way, hilarious pull in The Secret Invasion that Frog-Man was a Skrull.
Rosie Knight: And then, like, I mean, he’s definitely I think there’s there’s character there’s creatives now who remember him fondly because he pops up a lot. And to see him here, they they do a really good job kind of recontextualizing the costume, which in the comics is like very cartoony in in the trailers, we see it, it looks kind of like a Super Sentai costume, like a like a Power Rangers costume meets vigilante from the recently released Peacemaker Show that we talked a lot about. So I’m very interested to see. My gut says he will be someone that she represents. That seems to be the only way to easily build him into the show unless he’s actually secretly the villain and Titania is like going to be our ally instead.
Jason Concepcion: I’m glad you mentioned Titania played by Jameela Jamil. She is, we assume, going to be the big bad of the series and is a frequent foil for She-Hulk over the years. Now, Titania, in the comics gets her powers from Dr. Doom. Dun dun, dun, dun, duh. It will be. Absolutely. I will be fascinated to know where she gets her powers this time. Yeah. Also in the comics. One more connection with the. Well, first of all, She-Hulk was a member of the Fantastic Four, so there’s that. And then also She-Hulk represented Dr. Doom’s son in a in his attempt to basically flee Latveria and become an American citizen. So there are a lot of really cool Dr. Doom connections and it just feels like and yet once again, we’re inching, inching, inching towards a Fantastic Four Canonical debut. The fact that we saw John Krasinski as Reed Richards, notwithstanding.
Rosie Knight: Yeah, no, I totally agree. I think it’s a really interesting pull. Obviously, she is like a really famous She-Hulk villain and it makes sense because they’re obviously going kind of like an Ally McBeal vibe, so it makes sense to give her like a female antagonist. But I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw some kind of implication of like a power broker sort, like, where did she get this power from?
Jason Concepcion: That’s great. Yeah.
Rosie Knight: How could she get it? Also in the comics, like even though it’s kind of a a wacky origin during the Secret Wars stuff, the Secret Wars 3, where she’s introduced it is actually like bad. She does get tested on and has this kind of what could definitely be out be written as like a tragic backstory or a reason to be pissed off at people or or reason to kind of want to become a villain. So I think there’s interesting stuff to dig into there, and I think it’s really interesting that in this, the first trailer for the show, it’s just this kind of like glimpse of a fight. So I’m really interested to see where they go because I feel like. The MCU is definitely blurring the lines between like good guys and bad guys and kind of that gray area between ally and antagonist. And I think that relationship could be prime for that. And the fact that Wong is going to be in this show and we know that he is connected to Abomination, he’s connected to whatever this secret team he’s kind of trying to put together. He’s like the new face for Nick Fury, which I love.
Jason Concepcion: That at some point we should discuss the fact that comics-Wong currently is great. Movie-Wong is orders of magnitude the best Wong. Like it’s not even close to how cool how much cooler he is in the movies than in.
Rosie Knight: And I think you can absolutely, 1) Benedict Wong shout out that’s like all you. Great. Like you’re killing it. And I think that you can’t understate his impact on why the comic book Wong is better because like these movies and comics are so intertwined. And when you have such a brilliant in that like thoughtful, funny, silly, strong, brilliant character and I know that some people would definitely also like becoming like thirsty forWong after Doctor Strange 2. I’ve seen internet. I know the feeling like he had a new outfit he was looking good and like I just yeah, I love it and I love that it’s up the game. I mean, honestly, they’ve done a really great job recontextualizing that Orientalist aspect. Yes. It’s so key to like the older Doctor Strange stuff.
Jason Concepcion: There might be some of our listeners out there like, Oh, I love the trailer. I’m getting in the comics. What can I read? It’s super, super easy. Read Dan Slott’s She-Hulk The Complete Collection. This is a story by Dan Slott , Audie Grudnoff on cover art, also Paul Peltier and Scott Collins on art. It kind of like set the modern tone for She-Hulk as a character in the in the in the early 2000s as this kind of like one time shy lawyer who has become this very like, super confident, hard charging work, hard play, hard character who’s like who is. In a lot of ways, like a focus point for the female superhero community. Like she has so many friends across the female superhero community, which is part of what makes that, that collection so fun is just like, yeah, I’ve said this many times, I’m a big fan of like superheroes, just hang out stories. And there’s so many scenes in that collection where it’s just like Jen just hanging out with her friends. Jen is just hanging out.
Rosie Knight: Good at that. Also, because she’s one of the few, she’s one of the few heroes aside from like the Fantastic Four. So she’s going to be one of the first MCU heroes who has like a full time job. She’s not just like bumming around, like, you know, not getting paid for being an Avenger. She has like a full time job. So that leads to a lot of funny kind of slice of life sitting around stuff. And I mean, in that that Dan Slott collection, Titania is like a major antagonist. So you’re looking for that. You have the new poster that they just released is almost certainly based on one of Greg Horn’s covers, which is actually the back of the collection, which is her kind of striding up these stairs, you know, and and the the visualization that they’ve gone for, as Tatiana, as She-Hulk is very much that Greg Horn kind of vibe. She’s she’s big, but she’s like shapely and she’s kind of athletic. And so it’s very interesting to see that.
Jason Concepcion: So there’s that. So there’s the She-Hulk Collection by Dan Slott complete collection. This collects like She-Hulk 1 to 12 and I think a couple of maybe an annual or something like that. And then She-Hulk, the complete collection, the more recent, a more recent collection by Charles Soule, Javier Pulido and Munsta Vicente. And that one is just super, super funny. Charles Sewell was a lawyer, so he’s got all the lingo down and. It’s that’s another one where it’s like Jen hanging out with Hellcat, you know, like, like Jen.
Rosie Knight: Her friendship with Patsy is so great. And I do. I’m worried that it’s going to be something that plays in.
Jason Concepcion: That’s okay. So I have a prediction. I’m going to, you know, our listeners know how much we love to make predictions and we don’t care if they’re wrong. We just love to do it.
Rosie Knight: Yeah, it’s just fun.
Jason Concepcion: Here’s. So much of like the texture of Jennifer Walters stories is about the role she plays in the broader superhero community and her friendship and bonds with various figures throughout the female superhero community. I think we’re going to see more than Frog-Man debut. I think we might see others. I think we might because like if you think about it. Superhero division, I get that there’s a lot of like, you know, property damage and loss of life from the various superhero incidents around the world. Who could forget Hulk? Fucking up Harlem. And everyplace he goes, you know? But there’s when you talk about the community, it’s not like there’s that many, you know, like there’s not that many folks that she could represent. She could represent, you know, Bruce Banner in the various lawsuits that are probably lodged against him for destroying, you know, Betty’s College, Harlem, etc.. There’s.
Rosie Knight: Mass murderer Hawkeye.
Jason Concepcion: Yeah, but there’s not that many. She actually could get Ant-Man like these charges dropped, etc., but there’s not like. No, that many. There’s really not that many superheroes yet. So I do wonder if we might not if the Frog-man drop isn’t a signal that, hey, all those like really, really fun rarely used. Minor, minor or minor more characters. We might see some of them pop up here.
Rosie Knight: Yeah, I think you’re right. And I also think this is going to continue the Hawkeye tradition, not just in tone, but in re branding and reshaping the Netflix Marvel shows as something for the main MCU. It’s quite likely we might see Matt Murdock here. He too is a lawyer, and him and Jennifer worked alongside each other. And something else that you just made me realize when we’re talking about this. It could work as though it could work in the same way the Netflix shows worked, which is when you actually watch those shows. They introduced so many comic book characters because they needed like a living community. Like Luke Cage. So many characters and no MCU show has really done that. Hawkeye used names of characters, but it wasn’t actually they didn’t become those characters as we knew them. Shield could be a way of introducing a new character. I mean, if they wanted to do it like a procedural, you could have a new character that she’s looking.
Jason Concepcion: I love that.
Rosie Knight: After every week, you know, and it would be a way to build out that community. It would be very funny. It was kind of super, super funny. And some of them, you know, you have a defending a hero, you have a defending a villain. You have a kind of building that moral compass and like that the Charles Soule that you also run that you were talking about. With Javier’s amazing art. Like that’s the one where she defends the son of Dr. Doom and she and Captain America. Yes. You know, so there’s all different kinds of ways that you can explore that. And I think that looking to those two, this one has her face down with Matt Murdock like Deadpool is in this and there’s a holiday party. So you get that fun space. I just think. This could be a launch pad for building out those weird, smaller superhero roles.
Jason Concepcion: Yeah. And again, I wonder if we. It’d be cool to get a Hellcat drop in this. Hellcat, one of the oldest Marvel characters going back to the forties like this is like a.
Rosie Knight: That’s from the days when like.
Jason Concepcion: Comics era, like fuckin Marvel character.
Rosie Knight: Fashion comics. Really incredible times. People forget those old days when women were seen as a as a truly large part half of the market. So they had romance comics. They had fashion comics. And that’s where Patsy Walker, who became Patsy Walker Hellcat, came from. And she was in the Jessica Jones show in a in a kind of reimagined version. But this version of She-Hulk seems like a better place to. To bring in a different version of that was a chic hat. There was a Hellcat comic with Incredible Art by Brittney Williams a few years ago, and that was very much like She-Hulk’s having a party at the office and like, look at all these different characters who are here and oh no, who are you going to have to defend is going to be like, That’s my favorite thing.
Jason Concepcion: That’s what I love about She-Hulk stories, and that’s why I hope and that’s why I said because it is really such an important part of the texture and fueled Jennifer Walters stories. And so, you know, selfishly, I just hope we see a lot of.
Rosie Knight: I think the tone of the trailer…
Jason Concepcion: Superheroes pop up.
Rosie Knight: It hints at that. It hints like her and Bruce in the bar. Is like a comedy and she obviously a climate just like in the comic she acclimates very well to being in a She-Hulk form because that’s how she chooses to be. Yeah. And it looks like from the trailer that’s going to be the case for most of the show.
Jason Concepcion: Well, we can’t wait for this one. Up next, let’s welcome in our super producer Chris. To talk about the Halo series and the the finale of the Halo series, which recently aired on Paramount Plus. Chris, tell us about Halo.
Chris Lord: Hey there. I have to say, overall, it was a little bit disappointing. I know we were all pretty optimistic after the first episode, like, okay, the Covenant are here, they’re teasing, like the conflicts with the colonies, the U.S.C. are kind of the bad guys. Like there is potential. And I have to say that in the whole series, about 20 minutes of like really good Halo stuff in there. But those 20 minutes, I have to say, are really good.
Jason Concepcion: I here is my take away. I haven’t watched the finale yet, but I’ve watched like the first five episodes. My take away is that. Very, very clearly. 80% of the budget went to the went to the pilot and then yeah. Immediately thereafter, yeah. It fucking falls off in terms of like scope in terms of what there and and the storytelling kind of takes a hit after that. So when you say not a lot of quote unquote halo stuff, what do you what do you what do you mean?
Chris Lord: Like, you know, I think there’s there’s a question of why even adapt. Like, what more can you really gain out of doing a film when the games are pretty cinematic? I think the one big thing you can do is you can show just what incredible soldiers and fighters and like combatants everyone is, all these Spartans are. That’s more than just a first person POV holding a gun. You know, like these fights should look, you know, crazy, you know? I mean, like, maybe not quite the raid, which is like, you know, we talk about like action movies like maybe like.
Jason Concepcion: Yeah.
Rosie Knight: TV show tried to look like the raid. That would make me very happy.
Chris Lord: Yeah. Just like, let’s see. Like, let’s really see. Like, great fight choreography. And the first episode, you get a bit of that as you do in five than the finale. Like finale you finally get the silver team, the four Spartans going up against this like massive wave of Covenant. It almost feels like like the firefight situation on like ODST.
Jason Concepcion: You know, like horde mode.
Chris Lord: Horde mode. But exactly. Yeah. Like and it’s also like the fights really good. And they finally bring in a little bit of the Halo theme, which I think is just like one of the coolest themes. I absolutely love it so much and it’s, it’s really, really fun and yeah. Jason, to your point, you feel like, oh, this is where they spent all the budget was like on these like three really big epic fight sequences. You know, in episode five we see I think it’s John, we see one of the Spartans like jump on top of a banshee, right? It’s like, okay, like this is pulling stuff from the game. This is really fun, exciting. You know, for those that have read those books, you know, the Eric Nylund novels, which you talked about, there’s a lot of really great lore in there and they just kind of jettisoned all of that. Like, I really wanted to see the Spartans as a kind of family. Yeah, like one of the tragedies of reading those books is whenever they lose one of their soldiers, like, you know, they’re kind of programed to be emotionally unaffected. You can tell it hurts them when they lose one of their own. And they didn’t really go there either. Like, that could have been really great heart of the story, and I feel like they kind of skirted around that for just a lot of really generic in room conversations.
Jason Concepcion: Something else that is kind of not Halo-y is Master Chief got his dick wet. Master Chief, the cherry got popped. He got out of his armor and got into something a lot more comfortable. And the reason that fans are upset like hardcore, you know, the fans who have read the books and are on the lore is part of the Spartan. The Spartan training program is fucking brutal. Like when you read the Nylund books, you’re like, Holy shit, this is horrifying. It’s terrible what they did to these kids to train them to be these super soldiers. And part of that is. They injected them with various steroids and drugs. And part of that medical regimen was that their sex drive was, you know, medicinally depressed. It was like basically like lowered to nothing because they didn’t want Spartans having any kind of like emotional and or physical connection to anyone. They just wanted them to be, like, killing machines and. And then guess what? Master Chief had sex on the show. How was it? Did you. Did you. Were you. Were you upset by it as a Halo fan? And how was, you know, what did we see? What happened there?
Chris Lord: I mean, I it felt a little bit out of character, but I wasn’t upset about it. I’m like, okay, I get they’re doing, you know, it’s like, okay, I get why they’re trying to do here. They’re trying to give them a romance with this other character, Makee. You know, I’m never going to complain about Pablo Schreiber being naked, which he is a few times in this series.
Rosie Knight: Congratulations.
Chris Lord: Looking great. Looking absolutely great.
Rosie Knight: The Internet was happy to see his body.
Jason Concepcion: Yeah.
Chris Lord: As was I. Like there’s nothing gratuitous about those butt shots, they’re fantastic. So from that perspective like, okay, I’m on board with this, it definitely didn’t make me upset. It just felt a little bit, I don’t know, kind of unnecessary. It doesn’t feel a little bit out of character. And it’s like it’s like it make me angry that they change things. Like this part of the adaptation, you got to change things. But I don’t think it necessarily added a lot to the story.
Rosie Knight: It sounds like it’s actually a bit of a missed opportunity because that’s such a tragic and kind of brutal bit of law that they could have done this scene where it’s like an intimacy scene that isn’t to do with fucking. And that could have been like a really interesting emotive way to explore like that side of the past and so that that.
Jason Concepcion: I love that actually. That’s actually…That’s actually a really great and tragic. A plot device where it’s like, you know, he he can’t like, yeah, he can’t do that.
Rosie Knight: You find other ways of being intimate like that. I think that’s a shame that kind of like it’s I really like the first couple of episodes. I felt like it’s like really ambitious, weird sci fi storytelling. But I just think it’s a shame because I think like if you can’t keep that going for those little moments when you could do something that’s really like emotionally powerful like that, then it, you know, doesn’t hit basically, like you said, you left you you watched it and you’re like, nice to see it just but like.
Chris Lord: Yeah, it just felt generic, you know? And I think that was the big disappointment this the series is that for me, Halo’s never felt generic. It’s always been kind of special. And like the Master Chief, just by being kind of like kind of a blank canvas has always felt special too. And this was just like, Yeah.
Rosie Knight: Yeah. Is there anything that you would want to see them do in like a second season that would redeem it or like that you’re interested in exploring?
Chris Lord: I’m not like totally writing it off. You know, like every series takes a little bit time to get its footing. And if they are going to push it more towards like those sort of battle sequences like we saw here, maybe future episodes, bigger scope and scale, more fight with the covenant, which requires more budget than I actually think there is some potential here. It’s like there is just enough here for me to want to keep going and be a little bit disappointed. But I would say like, you know, I can’t say it’s any better than any other Halo thing. I can’t be like, hey, dedicate 9 hours this thing instead of reading one of the books or playing one of the games. But I think in a second season with a bit more money, we can see more of like that big scale commit because the covenant are barely in it unfortunately. And I was hoping that the villains wouldn’t.
Jason Concepcion: CGI too expensive baby.
Chris Lord: Maybe it’s too expensive and it looks good. Like, honestly, the yeah, the Covenant look good when they bring them in there, you know, and then they bring in little mods the game like you know, we see them like initially stuff. We take a bunch of grunts by hitting them the head like, okay, we’ve all done this, we, you’re going. So I think maybe a little bit more of that and I could be on board, so.
Jason Concepcion: Well, I, I’m actually looking forward to catching up on this. Maybe that’s one of the things I do in the throes of COVID 19, the novel coronavirus. Up next. The airlock where we’ll tell you about what we what we do when we’re sick.
Jason Concepcion: Welcome to the Airlock. Stay on the other side of it, folks. Because because your hosts today, Rosie and I have been stricken with the novel coronavirus, COVID 19. And so you’re going to want to stay on the other side of that Airlock so that you don’t catch it. And today in the Airlock, we’re going to talk about the things that we as a as a team super producers, Chris and Saul Rosie and I do when we’re sick, what do we watch? What do we do? What do we read? What are the things that comfort us and get us through this, this really horrific feeling that we’re feeling right now? Rosie, let’s start with you. What are you doing in the tent? By the way? Let me start with this. I texted on Monday, like, hey, I have COVID, like, let’s cancel the prepper meeting, yadda, yadda, yadda. And you’re like, I’m glad that you it’s funny you should text right now because I too have COVID. And yes, let’s definitely push the meeting back. So when did you when you start feeling it and what have you been doing since then?
Rosie Knight: Like Thursday ish. And then Friday was really the the day, but it’s just it’s only gotten worse baby. It’s only gotten worse. So I’m I have been I luckily I had actually just incidentally kind of like taken some time off too. Like I was like, I’m going to do some writing. I’m going to like do some stuff. I had my mom visit and and then lo and behold, it just ended up working out because it meant I could just not I could just lay around and rest. And one of the things I did that was very comforting that we haven’t talked about yet. Somehow that is easily up there with like my favorite shows of the year was I finished off Life Means Death.
Chris Lord: Oh, it’s a great show.
Rosie Knight: Yeah, I’d been saving like the last two episodes because I didn’t want it to be finished.
Jason Concepcion: Don’t spoil the finale because there are some really great. The finale has some great stuff.
Rosie Knight: I’m just I’m just going to I’m not even going to really spoil anything. I’m just going to tell you why it’s good and you should watch it. So it’s it’s the much lauded Taika Waititi produced starring pirate show. And it is just like along with Abbott Elementary. Another one of my favorite shows of the year is like the funniest, kindest, sweetest, weirdest show. And the cast is incredible and the writing is funny and it’s just like one of those half hour comedies where you’re just like, Damn, I wish I had made this because it is like so great, so surprising, but it’s also very cozy. It has like I was sending around everyone who is like saying that they enjoyed it. I was like, there’s this old English tradition of like weird musical kids shows. And one of them was called Maid Marian and Her Merry Men, and it was done by the guys who made Blackadder. And when I was a kid, like, I always think about that in the opening of the first show, is this guy singing like a reggae song about like God and how how terrible it is to be a peasant and like bread and and this show has that same like weird British musical kids show energy like it has some is for adults like it’s got some violence but but generally just like this is like a really funny kids show but made for people my age. Yeah.
Chris Lord: It’s surprisingly wholesome.
Rosie Knight: Oh, it’s so wholesome.
Chris Lord: For being pirates. Yeah. Like, oh, this is actually, like, really nice.
Jason Concepcion: Saul what are you. What do you. What do you watch? What is your go to when you’re sick?
Saul Rubin: It’s a good question. I think my go to when I’m sick is probably like I want something really comforting and comfortable, nothing like complicated. I want to minimize complexity and I want I mean, like the familiar is hard to beat. Like I want something relatively familiar so often I rewatch. I got to say when I was a kid and this is actually still true, my mom would take me to work with her when I was really sick and I would just sit in her office and and watch on her like other computer watch movies. The Ocean’s trilogy would be something I would watch over and over again. Cause it’s just like… Oh, yeah.
Rosie Knight: That’s the ultimate comfort watch.
Jason Concepcion: It’s a great one.
Saul Rubin: Yeah, watching Brad Pitt and especially Brad Pitt. I love Brad Pitt, but watching Brad Pitt and Clooney just like, sort of like stylishly solve problems and like, do it with no issues at all. It’s just, like, very pleasing. I’m like, this is, it’s, it’s complicated, but it’s so not complicated. They make it too easy. That’s what I want life to be like.
Rosie Knight: The stakes are high but low if you watch it and you’re like, Yeah, stealing a lot. But this is not stressful. This is relaxing. I’m glad to be involved in this.
Saul Rubin: Yeah, I’m like, This is good. $100 million. I want that. This is great. If only I if only this could be so easy.
Jason Concepcion: Chris, what is your go to sick content?
Chris Lord: I think if I’m sick, probably the first movie I put on is probably the movie I’ve seen the most my entire life, which is the Great Mouse Detective. Like the kind of forgotten Disney.
Rosie Knight: Respect to Basil. That’s the one.
Chris Lord: I mean. Yeah, you know, and Vincent Price as Ratigan, is like one of the all time great camp villains. And I watched the movie probably three or four times a year, whoever. Just like, feel like a little bit like hung over or sick or whatever. I’m throwing that on. And when I actually I had COVID back in October of 2020, you know, pre- vaccine when I was like, you can’t go anywhere, do anything. You don’t know how long you’re going to be sick. I basically quarantined for three weeks, more or less, and I caught up in a lot of Batman comics. I reread the Cataclysm in No Man’s Land Arc, but I went and tracked down like all the side issues that were included in like the the trade collected versions that I had in the nineties, you know, thank you for was it DC Infinity or whatever. That was fantastic. I agree.
Rosie Knight: Yeah.
Chris Lord: Believe. Yeah. No, it was really excellent. I cut up on a lot of comics and then the other thing I did was I got back into building custom Lego sets I hadn’t done in probably like a decade or so, and I just had a bunch of pieces lying around. And so for the first time in a long time, I got built like a little custom Batmobile on a little tumbler, and I was like, Oh, I’m actually really proud of how these came out. It was pretty great. Yeah, I just, like, set my apartment for three weeks and built Legos and read comics. And it was sounds, honestly. It was fantastic. It was part of me. Part of me kind of misses out at this point.
Rosie Knight: Not that that era of like weird Disney movies from like what they were seeing was like a flop era. They definitely come to me, like one of my ultimate ones is the Black Cauldron. I watched that movie like a lot.
Jason Concepcion: Cauldron was great.
Rosie Knight: And and it’s so scary and weird and, like, just off key, but it’s so comforting and not definitely like that. Basil Mouse detective like Disney Plus in that way has kind of been a blessing and a curse because they have they have all those a lot of those vaulted movies, but they also used to just be free to rent from the library services because like nobody wanted them, Right. But it’s easier to find them on Disney plus yeah no that’s that’s a great cool.
Chris Lord They were dark too. Like
Rosie Knight: Like, Oh, Black Cauldron is like legitimately terrifying yeah.
Chris Lord Yeah. Freaked me out like it still to this day, like there’s a part of my brain, like, shivers a little bit whenever fidget busted a window. Like, I should still be scared by this all these years later. Yeah. They’re like, they’re dark and cool. I really like that era, actually.
Saul Rubin: The one for me like that was Page Masters.
Rosie Knight: Oh, my God.
Saul Rubin: Yes.
Chris Lord Yes, yes.
Saul Rubin: So scary. The Mr. Hyde was so scary to me. Like just like the I know all of it was freaky, but, like, you just kind of like, want more of it. It feels like a version of a fever a little bit. Like, let me just try to, like, get get the bad stuff.
Rosie Knight: Dude, Joe Johnson. He’s a pretty legit comfort watches director, actually, because he directed Rocketeer, another really colorful Rocketeer.
Chris Lord Amazing.
Jason Concepcion: Shouts to The Rocketeer, right? And just shouts to Jennifer Connelly, My always first wife is fantastic in The Rocketeer, a movie that should have been like a hit but wasn’t a hit. Mm. Fun movie. Yeah, really fun.
Chris Lord Super fun.
Rosie Knight: There’s no way Captain America exists. The First Avenger directed by him if that movie didn’t exist.
Chris Lord Oh, right. Yeah, he’s got the tones right there.
Jason Concepcion: Yeah, completely. I’ve been rewatching it like I rewatched the Succession season two episode Turn Haven today. Like, I’m kind of like watching like, bad television and I’ve been reading a lot, but I think that I’ve been like catching up on a lot of TV. And one of the shows that I’m really enjoying right now is Killing It on Peacock.
Rosie Knight: Oh, yeah. The Craig Robinson Show.
Jason Concepcion: Oh, it stars Craig Robinson created by LukeDel Tredici and Dan Goor. And it is Craig Robinson is a down on his luck dude who enters a like a boa constrictor hatching contest in the Everglades. Now because like the setup here is that I’m sure we’ve all read these stories where like people who couldn’t handle their snakes in the in the Everglades region, they would just like let them go into like the swamps and shit. And now they’re like a threat to the environment. And so they have to be caught. And so there’s like this $20,000 contest for whoever catches the most snakes in the swamps and. Of course, like that is the exact amount of money that Craig Robinson’s character needs to get out of the jam he’s in. And it’s like a first of all, the cast is great. But Craig Robinson as as Craig he’s Craig Robinson just reached the Tony Danza. All my characters are named in my name-level of, like, TV acting.
Saul Rubin: The Pizza Hut money.
Jason Concepcion: Yeah. Claudia O’Deherty as Gillian who I just, From Our Flag Means Death, and from love and from others. She’s just, like, fantastic and so funny. Lilly Sullivan from the Righteous Gemstones in season one of I Think You Should Leave. Tim Heidecker as like, as, as like Tom Cruise’s character from Magnolia. Like, it’s so the casting is really great. And first of all, I was not aware on Peacock that you could curse and shit. So there’s like a lot, it’s like adult. But it also deals with, like. It’s a show about people on the lowest rungs of the socioeconomic ladder who’ve been left behind by capitalism and who are just, like, trying to get by and. Part of the way part of the journey of the show is, you know, along with all the snake catching and all of like hilarity and wild stuff that happens is like they all kind of like, bond together into this community as a way to get by. And it’s just a really, really funny show. It’s really fun. I’m enjoying it. It’s not like anything else that’s out there in the same way that Abbott and and our flag means death feel really singular and unique. Killing It feels like that really fun show.
Chris Lord I love that. That’s what streaming has given us now is you can go super niche like that and just produce like a short ten episode series is like for a very specific audience that discover and love it and it can just exist and be awesome and not have to be 22 episodes and appeal to everybody all the time.
Rosie Knight: Yeah, and I really like that. Like these found family stories of becoming, like, such a trope now. And I think it’s because, like, people our age grew up with, like some of the ultimate found families, you know, like backs man and stuff like that. And I, I just it makes me really happy to see shows that are being made a prestige TV level where that discovery of community, for whatever reason, whether it’s socioeconomic or sexuality or just living like on the outside of society, that’s become such a core part of of TV now. And that’s definitely like one of my comfort tropes. So yeah, it’s really nice to see.
Saul Rubin: Guardians of the Galaxy. I watch that movie all the time. Another Ultimate Found family movie.
Jason Concepcion: That’s a great one. I will go on Disney Plus and just watch scenes from Marvel movies way too much. Like even when I’m not sick, I do that all the time. Yeah, I really do that all the time. And it’s it’s sad and I don’t like to talk about it, but I do what I do that constantly.
Rosie Knight: I you no shame. Captain America picking up Thor’s hammer. That’s, like, amazing. Like, once a week. Probably not.
Jason Concepcion: Yeah. Oh, like one of the greatest scenes in the entire MCU is the before, as Ultron is, like, needing his consciousness together. And they’re all. And the rest of the Avengers are just like partying at Stark Tower, the Halloween house. Yeah, I love superheroes, just, like, hanging out. And that is, like, so fun. That is such a fun scene. Everybody drinking like Thor’s thousand year old frog, you know, seeing who can pick up Thor’s hammer, roasting Rhodey for being, like, a K-Mart superhero. Like, that’s something. So, yeah, that’s the good stuff.
Chris Lord You know, I love Black Widow’s response, like, oh, that’s not a question I need answered. It’s like, Oh, yeah, that’s that’s perfect for her character.
Rosie Knight: It’s like, no thanks. I don’t want to know.
Chris Lord Well, listen, hopefully this will be over soon. Rosie.
Rosie Knight: I believe in us.
Chris Lord You’ve you’ve been dealing with it since Thursday. I’ve been dealing it with since Saturday, although, as I told my primary care doctor, because I’m lucky enough to have health insurance. And I think that’s the thing that everybody in this country should just have.
Rosie Knight: Yes.
Saul Rubin: Definitely.
Jason Concepcion: There wasn’t like a 3 to 2, three, maybe four day period where it was like, oh, man, my allergies are bad. So, you know, like, it’s hard to know. It’s hard to say.
Chris Lord It’s hard to know.
Jason Concepcion: But I’m going to say Saturday and so hopefully this is over soon. I know that there I know that there’s probably some people yelling at their speakers right now, get that antiviral Paxlovid or whatever it’s called. I tried let me tell you, folks, I tried. I did. I was like, hey, what about that antiviral I’ve been hearing about? And they didn’t want to give it to me because I guess my symptoms are bad enough and I. I respect it. There’s probably people who really, really require it. They are giving that out for anybody in New York. I believe that’s free. If you get that prescribed, you can get that for free. I guess they just have a lot of it over. That’s amazing in New York. Nice. But hopefully this will be over soon. And we’ll be back with you by our next episode. Fully whole and well and certainly finished with our journey to full recovery. Up next. The Outro.
Jason Concepcion: It’s a big thank you to Rosie Knight, Chris Lord and Saul Rubin, our super producers, for joining us and helping us carry through the episode on X Ray Vision as Rosie and I are dealing with reduced lung capacity. Rosie, what do you have to plug?
Rosie Knight: Well, depending on how I’m feeling this weekend, I may or may not be there. But do remember that there is an amazing Transformers Day event at Pulp Fiction in Long Beach, which is my local comic shop. It’s going to be a ton of cool artists there. You can get some Rad Transformers comics on sale. Even if I’m not there, I’ll make sure some of my zines and stuff are there that you can pick up and it will just be a really good time. I dream that I will be well, but it feels like I will never be well. So I’m not promising anything.
Jason Concepcion: We’re going to get there. We’re going to do it. We can do it. We can do it. Folks. Don’t forget to check out our videos on Uncultured YouTube channel in the show notes for the Listener’s Guide to X-ray Vision, where we provide more details about the stuff we talk about on each episode, including this one. Our next episode will be on May 27th, by which time we hope to be fully whole and well. And are our bodies free of the novel coronavirus COVID 19. Don’t forget, rate and review us with the five stars wherever you get your podcasts, we want those five stars. We need them. We got to have them. Our lives will not be complete unless you drop the five star ratings on the podcast platform of your choice. X-ray Vision is a Crooked Media production. The show is produced by Chris Lord and Saul Rubin. The show is executive produced by myself and Sandy Girard. Our editing and sound design is by Vasilis Fotopoulos. Delon Villanueva and Matt DeGroot provide video production support and Alex Reliford handle social media. Thank you, Brian Vasquez for a theme music. See ya next time.