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

Posted in Episodes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Episodes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Episodes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Movie Reviews | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Episodes | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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!

Posted in One Shot | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Episode 19 – Groot and … Jimmy Olsen?

tta13In this monsterrific episode, Curt and Kevin embark on their most spine-tingling, bone-chilling installment yet, as they investigate not one but two monster tales from comicdom’s king of creepy-crawly creatures, Jack Kirby!

First, it’s a trip to Anytown, USA, where a mild-mannered biologist must match wits with an interplanetary tyrant of the trees (and future Guardian of the Galaxy) in “I Challenged … Groot! The Monster From Planet X!” from Tales to Astonish #13, published by Marvel Comics!

Then it’s off to the mysterious Wild Area, as the Man of Steel and his best buddy go toe-to-toe with a Four-Armed Terror and a very familiar-looking green giant in Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen, #133-138, published by DC Comics!

Will this lord of lumber and a pair of irradiated uglies find themselves treat-less on destiny’s doorstep? Or by some terrible trick, can they fright their way into that howl of fang-tastic tales known as … The Comics Canon?

Things Discussed in This Episode: Continue reading

Posted in Episodes | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Episode 18 – The Luke Cage Episode

money-honeyIn this episode, Curt and Kevin travel from war-torn Latveria to Civil War-torn Manhattan as they tackle not one but two stories starring Marvel Comics’ invulnerable sentinel of the streets, Luke Cage, in anticipation of the Netflix series of the same name!

First, it’s a fantastic voyage to the swingin’ 70s, as the hot-headed hero of Harlem jets halfway across the globe to collect a debt from a stingy supervillain in Luke Cage: Hero for Hire #8-9!

Then we move ahead to the 2000s for a moving confrontation between Cage and his wife Jessica Jones in New Avengers #38!

Will domestic drama and a penny-pinching Doctor Doom leave our indestructible do-gooder destitute? Or can our harried hero for hire earn his way into that executive suite known as … The Comics Canon?

Things Discussed in This Episode: Continue reading

Posted in Episodes | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Episode 17 – Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet, Book 1

black-pantherIn this episode, Curt and Kevin must brave a foreign world of influence, intrigue and insurrection as they discuss Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet, collecting the first four issues of the new Marvel Comics title by MacArthur Genius Grant recipient Ta-Nehisi Coates and Brian Stelfreeze.

The once-invincible African nation of Wakanda has fallen on hard times, and so has its superhero king, T’Challa, the Black Panther. A rebel group led by a mysterious duo has fueled a violent uprising, taking many Wakandan lives. And to make matters worse, two of T’Challa’s elite bodyguards have launched a rebellion of their own!

Will our melancholy monarch watch helplessly as his beloved country falls to the forces of terrorism and political unrest? Or can this plagued and pestered panther persevere against his opponents and ascend to that hallowed throne of comic book stories known as … The Comics Canon?

Things Discussed in This Episode:

Join us in two weeks as we get ready for Netflix’s Luke Cage series with a discussion of Luke Cage, Hero for Hire #8-9 and New Avengers #38!

Until then, please rate us on iTunes, send us an email, or hit us up on Twitter or Facebook, and we may read your comments in an upcoming episode. And as always, thanks for listening!

 

Posted in Episodes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Episode 16 – Saga Vol. 1

Saga vol 1In this episode, Curt and Kevin set off in search of the Rocketship Forest, tiptoe past the gunpowder fields and try to evade the withering gaze of Lying Cat as they discuss Saga, Vol. 1, collecting the first six issues of the hit Image Comics title by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples.

Newlyweds Alana and Marko are on the run, desperate to escape an ongoing interstellar war and raise their newborn baby girl in peace. But their respective homeworlds have other ideas, dispatching a lovesick bounty hunter and an aristocratic robot to the planet Cleave find the happy couple—and terminate them with extreme prejudice!

Is the chronicle of these star-crossed lovebirds doomed to end before it even has a chance to begin? Or can these crazy kids and their new ghostly babysitter escape this wretched mudball and ensure that their narrative lives on in that fabled tome of immortal epics known as … The Comics Canon?

Things Discussed in This Episode:

Join us in two weeks as we venture to the troubled land of Wakanda to discuss Ta-Nehisi Coates’ comics debut, Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet!

Until then, please rate us on iTunes, send us an email, or hit us up on Twitter or Facebook, and we may read your comments in an upcoming episode. And as always, thanks for listening!

Posted in Episodes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment