Episode 431: The Zipcodes in the Marvel Netflix World

On the Overhtinking It Podcast, we talk about how Marvel’s Luke Cage will fit into the Marvel Netflix Universe, and why the shows are a Saga while the movies are an Epic.

Peter Fenzel, Mark Lee, and Matthew Wrather discuss their favorite Sagas, what makes Epic and Saga different, and why understanding Saga may hold the key to understanding Expanded Universe storytelling.

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7 Comments on “Episode 431: The Zipcodes in the Marvel Netflix World”

  1. yellojkt Member #

    While the core Overthinkers are much younger than I am and better versed in the established literary canon, I am more familiar with the profanity-laced literary works of the 1970s such as the collected works of Jacqueline Susann and the novels of Harold Robbins, you know, the Giants.

    That era had a lot of long sprawling novels. In fact, the most commonly used adjective attached to “epic” on jacket blurbs was “generation spanning”. Perhaps the most iconographic of these was “The Thorn Birds” which was about a defrocked priest in Australia. I would call this a saga as it traces a family across a series of struggles. Similarly, the loosely connected novels of Jackie Collins fit the saga paradigm.

    More epic are the works of James Michener which often begin literally at the dawn of time and detail the entire history of a region. Less chronologically sweeping than Michener but more detailed are the cultural appropriations of James Clavell about how white men impact the history of East Asia.

    In all these cases, a broad theme is spread across generations giving a narrative unity to a broader story.


    • Peter Fenzel OTI Staff #

      Oh, I know exactly what you’re talking about – I remember my Dad’s copy of _Shogun_ – a tiny book so thick it was practically square (this was in the pre-trade paperback days) on his nightstand, with brilliant shining gold print bubbled up on the front cover.

      And I don’t know if we’ve ever mentioned this on the podcast, but at a place we used to go vacation together there used to be only one book – an old hardcover edition of _Pillars of the Earth_. This was way before the Oprah Book Club selection, and I remember a photo of Ken Follett on the back with a delightfully 80s haircut that looked like how I look when the barber is halfway done. We used to do dramatic readings of excerpts of it to each other.

      And yeah, what “epic” means in the context of this stuff is different – although in my mind you have to then look back at the “epic” historical Hollywood spectacles, like Lawrence of Arabia and even Gone with the Wind – and then you also have to engage more with the novel as a form than we did in this podcast, framing it a bit more in the context of poetry and performing arts.

      You bring up an interesting point – that moment of “historical epic” that happened in the late 1970s around The Thorn Birds and Roots is, upon reflection, under-investigated – especially when you consider that The Thorn Birds the book and Roots on TV both came out the same year as Star Wars, and everybody loves everything else that has to do with Star Wars.


  2. clayschuldt #

    Nicholas Cage is a huge comic book fan and chose his stage name based on the character Luke Cage. He would probably be delighted with mistaken use of his name in this podcast.


    • Cimmerius #

      I was going to well, actually with this same information. This is what I get for not listening to the podcast right away.


  3. Coughin Ed #

    what about that wack movie “chronicle” as an example of a mumblecore superhero joint?

    been a while since i seen it but it’s got that indie-realist vibe


    • clayschuldt #

      There is still time to figure out how Johnny Cage fits into all of this


      • Coughin Ed #

        *silence for roughly 41/2 minutes*


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