Episode 26 – Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Power

In this episode, Curt and Kevin go nuts as they enroll at Empire State University, joined by their first-ever guest – Curt’s teenage daughter, Evelyn – to discuss Squirrel Power, collecting issues #1-4 of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, published by Marvel Comics!

She’s fought crime with the Great Lakes Avengers and even defeated the powerful space baddie Thanos. But now Doreen Green, alias the aforementioned Squirrel Girl, must conquer threats more terrifying than any she’s yet faced: College! A roommate! Boys! And if those weren’t intimidating enough, who went and Kraven the Hunter, Whiplash and Galactus to the curriculum???

With sassy sidekick Tippy-Toe in tow, can our body-positive Avenger somehow convince the Devourer of Worlds to adopt an Earth-free diet?  And can she make it into that exclusive series of trading cards known as … The Comics Canon?

 Things Discussed in This Episode: Continue reading

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Episode 25 – Hellblazer: Dangerous Habits

In this episode, Curt and Kevin don their finest trench coats, open up a fresh pack of Silk Cut and throw back a couple of pints of holy stout as they discuss the Dangerous Habits storyline from John Constantine: Hellblazer issues #41-46, published by DC Comics!

John Constantine has faced down more than his share of demons and other supernatural threats. But everyone’s favorite chain-smoking magician may have finally met his match when he’s diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. To make matters worse, he’s in for one Hell of an afterlife, having just made an enemy of the devil himself!

 

Can comics’ premier punk-rock prestidigitator con his way out of eternal torment? And can he somehow fast-talk his way into that sweet hereafter known as … The Comics Canon?

Things Discussed in This Episode:
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Episode 24 – Darth Vader

In this episode, Curt and Kevin travel to a galaxy far, far away to mark the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story with a discussion of Darth Vader #1-6, published by Marvel Comics!

Following the events of Episode IV: A New Hope, Darth Vader finds himself on the outs with Emperor Palpatine. Enlisting the aid of a “rogue archeologist” and a pair of murderous droids, the Dark Lord of the Sith begins pursuing his own agenda, building a private army and tracking down the hotshot Rebel pilot who brought about the destruction of the Death Star — a young man named Skywalker …

Will his new allies be enough to keep the Empire’s heavy-breathing hatchet man one step ahead of his master? And will his mastery of the dark side of the Force be enough to gain him entry into that mystic order known as … The Comics Canon?

Things Not Discussed in This Episode:

  • Carrie Fisher, who died after this episode was recorded

Things Discussed in This Episode:
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Comics Onscreen – 2016 Year in Review

Marvel Studios

In this last episode of 2016, Curt and Kevin look back on TV and movie adaptations of comic book stories from the second half of the year, pick their favorite small- or big-screen comics properties of the last 12 months, and ask “Just what makes a good comics adaptation, anyway?”

In this non-canonical extravaganza, we also tackle the disjointed mess that is Suicide Squad, check in on DC’s improving Legends of Tomorrow, discuss Season 3 of The Flash and Flashpoint, take aim at the fifth season of Arrow, unlock the first season of Luke Cage, and stumble through a punishing half-season of The Walking Dead.

We also touch on Preacher, Doctor Strange and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. before looking ahead to 2017, including the adaptations we’re most looking forward to. And finally, we switch gears with a look at the books that made it into The Comics Canon in 2016, and round things out with that most riveting of audio experiences: the unwrapping of presents!

Other Things Discussed in This Episode:
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Episode 23 – Dark Reign

darkavengers-altIn this episode, a morally challenged, mentally unstable captain of industry rises to a position of awesome power! That’s right—join Curt and Kevin as they shine a light on the Marvel Comics event Dark Reign with a discussion of the Secret Invasion: Dark Reign one-shot and Dark Avengers Vol. 1: Assemble!

After repelling a horde of alien invaders and their shapeshifting matriarch, Norman Osborn is appointed director of the law-enforcement agency S.H.I.E.L.D. and leader of the Avengers. In no time, he convenes a sinister shadow cabinet of supervillains, and stacks the world’s premier superteam with a rogues’ gallery of ruthless felons!

What alarming agenda will the former Green Goblin advance while wrapped in the American flag in the guise of the Iron Patriot? And will he cap his reign of terror with a seat at that Supreme Court of superhero comics known as … The Comics Canon?

Things Discussed in This Episode: Continue reading

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Episode 22 – The Night Gwen Stacy Died

gwen-stacyIn this episode, Curt and Kevin travel to the top of the George Washington Bridge (played by the Brooklyn Bridge) while discussing what may be the most iconic storyline in Spider-Man history (and one of the most influential moments in all of comics) as they take a swing at The Night Gwen Stacy Died, from Amazing Spider-Man #121-122!

But first, they pay a quick visit to the (web-)swingin’ 60s for a look at the cataclysmic confrontation that sets the stage for that fateful event, as the Green Goblin weaves a sinister trap for the wall-crawler in Amazing Spider-Man #39-40!

Wracked with grief, will ol’ web-head end up squashed by his emerald enemy? Or can your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man triumph over his avocado-colored adversary and win admittance into that swingers’ club known as … The Comics Canon?

Things Discussed in This Episode: Continue reading

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Episode 21 – Flashpoint

flashpointIn this episode, Curt and Kevin lace up their running shoes for a mad dash through a mad, mad world as they careen headlong into Flashpoint, the five-issue miniseries by Geoff Johns and Andy Kubert—the storyline that paved the way for DC Comics’ New 52!

Barry Allen, a.k.a. the Flash, wakes up one day to a drastically different reality: His late mother is alive, he’s lost his super-speed, and the Justice League never existed. And as a war between Aquaman and Wonder Woman threatens to tear this world apart, Barry begins to lose his memories of the world he knew!

Will Flash’s arch-nemesis Professor Zoom have the last laugh, leaving Barry marooned in this darkest timeline? Or can the fastest man alive avert Armageddon, set history back on its proper course, and race across the finish line into that winner’s circle known as … The Comics Canon?

Things Discussed in This Episode: Continue reading

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Doctor Strange conjures a magical vision of familiar Marvel superheroics

Review by Curt Holman

Marvel's DOCTOR STRANGE..Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch)..Photo Credit: Film Frame ..©2016 Marvel. All Rights Reserved.

Marvel Studios

The movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe follow the same narrative patterns so faithfully, they resemble paint-by-numbers kits. Fortunately for Doctor Strange, the series’ 14th entry, it’s as if the painter were a mad genius in psychedelic colors, tricks of perspective and black light effects. As an introduction to Marvel’s master of the mystic arts, Doctor Strange falls back on some familiar character tropes but delivers a dazzling vision of a magical multiverse, taking the images of the original Stan Lee/Steve Ditko comics books and running with them. Continue reading

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Episode 20 – The Doctor Strange Episode

strange-115In this magical episode, Curt and Kevin trek to the furthest reaches of India en route to the dreaded Dark Dimension as they prepare for the upcoming Doctor Strange movie with not one, not two, but three sizzling tales of ’60s sorcery featuring Marvel Comics’ Master of Mystic Arts!

First, we revisit the origin of comicdom’s Sorcerer Supreme, as arrogant surgeon Stephen Strange meets his mentor-to-be, The Ancient One, and his nemesis-in-waiting, the malicious Baron Mordo, in Strange Tales #115! Then it’s off to an otherdimensional netherworld as Strange battles to protect the Earth from the menace of the dread Dormammu, in Strange Tales #126-127! Finally, it’s trouble times two as Mordo and Dormammu team up against the good doctor for a three-part mini-epic in Strange Tales #139-141!

Will the devious dean of the Dark Dimension and his contemptuous colleague banish our dashing doctor to the domain of doom? Or can Marvel’s fearless physician save the day and levitate to that hoary host of heroic stories known as … The Comics Canon?

Things Discussed in This Episode: Continue reading

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One Shot – YUGE! 30 Years of Doonesbury on Trump

yugeIn this HUGE mini-episode, Curt and Kevin take a break from passing judgment on comic book stories and turn their attention to the upcoming presidential election with a QUALITY discussion of YUGE! 30 Years of Doonesbury on Trump, a collection of Doonesbury comic strips by Garry Trudeau.

Things Discussed in This Episode: The difficulty of the Doonesbury elevator pitch; Trump’s changing appearance in the strip over the decades; and Curt’s plea for Trudeau to return to daily strips.

(Things not discussed in this episode include the now-infamous Donald Trump/Billy Bush video, which was released after this episode was recorded. SAD!).

You know what’s not sad? The Comics Canon returns in one short week! We prepare ourselves for the upcoming release of Doctor Strange with a look at the Sorcerer Supreme’s early days via Strange Tales #115, 126-127, and 139-141.

Until then, we want to hear from YOU, dear listeners! Review us on iTunes! Send us an email! Or hit us up on Twitter or Facebook! We’ll read your comments in a future episode, and you may even win a prize from the Comics Canon Prize Vault! And as always, thanks for listening!

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