Episode 45 – The Mighty Thor: Ragnarok and Roll

In this episode, Curt and Kevin bring the mighty month of #Ragnaroktober to a thunderous conclusion, wrapping up their preparation for Thor: Ragnarok with a discussion of Ragnarok and Roll, the cataclysmic climax to Walt Simonson’s Surtur Saga from The Mighty Thor #349-354, published by Marvel Comics!

As a winter storm sweeps across the planet, the giant fire demon Surtur marches toward Earth with the hordes of Muspelheim in tow! His goal? To storm the gates of Asgard, ignite his sword of Doom with the Flame of Destruction, and set the nine realms ablaze!

Can the God of Thunder, alongside Odin the All-Father, the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, Beta Ray Bill, the lady Sif, the Warriors Three and the assembled armies of Asgard, prevent this severe case of global warming? And can this host of heroes ascend into that Valhalla of extraordinary epics known as … The Comics Canon?

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Bonus Episode – The Ballad of Beta Ray Bill

In this special episode, #Ragnaroktober rolls on as Curt and Kevin travel back two years before the release of the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok – all the way to the halcyon days of November 2015! Yes, it’s the oft-mentioned, never-before-unveiled Comics Canon “beta” episode, a discussion of Walt Simonson’s The Ballad of Beta Ray Bill (The Mighty Thor #337-340), published by Marvel Comics!

While confronting a menacing spacecraft, the mighty Thor comes into conflict with the noble alien warrior Beta Ray Bill! Imagine the son of Odin’s shock and dismay when this extraordinary extraterrestrial grabs hold of his hammer … and is granted the power of Thor, God of Thunder!

Can Thor and Beta Ray Bill sort out this intergalactic identity crisis in time to repel the horde of gruesome space demons that threaten Bill’s defenseless people? And can they overcome a host of Herculean hurdles to hasten into that hall of heroic histories known as  … The Comics Canon?

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Episode 44 – Planet Hulk

In this episode, Curt and Kevin prepare for the Nov. 2 release of Thor: Ragnarok with the first of three action-packed installments! The month of #Ragnaroktober kicks off with a spirited discussion of Greg Pak’s swords, sandals and sci-fi epic Planet Hulk … specifically, The Incredible Hulk # 92-95 and 103-105, published by Marvel Comics!

Exiled into space by the brain trust known as the Illuminati, the Hulk ends up on war-torn Sakaar, forced to fight in the arena of the tyrannical Red King! Is he, as some suspect, the storied savior known as the Sakaarson … or could he be the whispered weapon of mass destruction known as the Worldbreaker?

Can the green-skinned gladiator and his warbound allies survive against wildebots, spikes and the Silver Savage and overthrow this deranged despot? And can they fight their way into the winner’s circle of that cosmic Colosseum known as … the Comics Canon?

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Episode 43 – My Friend Dahmer

In this episode, Curt and Kevin take a break from superhuman battles of good and evil to discuss a harrowing look at a very human form of evil, and one young man’s unsuccessful struggle against the darkness within: Derf Backderf’s graphic novel memoir My Friend Dahmer, published by Abrams ComicArts.

In recounting his experiences and relationship with Jeffrey Dahmer through high school in the 1970s, Backderf sketches a chilling portrait of a troubled loner, neglected at home and largely ignored at school. Could his murders have been avoided if even one adult had recognized the warning signs in his increasingly erratic behavior?

Working from his own recollections, research and interviews with teachers and fellow classmates, Backderf shows us the demons that tormented Jeffrey Dahmer, setting him on a seemingly inevitable path to infamy as one of history’s more notorious serial killers.

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Episode 42 – New Avengers: Illuminati

 

In this episode, Curt and Kevin convene in secret to decide the fate of that clandestine conclave of Marvel Universe movers and shakers known as the Illuminati, as seen in New Avengers: Illuminati: Road to Civil War and New Avengers: Illuminati #1-5, published by Marvel Comics!

Iron Man! Reed Richards! Professor X! Black Bolt! Prince Namor! Doctor Strange! Together, they’re one of the most powerful superteams ever assembled! Trouble is, they’ve assembled behind closed doors to make decisions that affect the entire world – and those decisions tend to keep coming back to haunt them, endangering the lives of millions!

Can this secret society of superheroes end the threats of the Incredible Hulk, the Beyonder and the shape-changing Skrull Empire once and for all? (Spoiler alert: No.) And can they stop fighting amongst themselves long enough to be inducted into that covert coffee klatsch known as … The Comics Canon?

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Episode 41 – The Batman Adventures: Mad Love

In this episode, Curt and Kevin analyze the most violent mental health professional this side of Hannibal Lecter! We’re talking, of course, about psychologist turned psycho Harley Quinn — and more specifically, her origin story in the Eisner Award-winning one-shot The Batman Adventures: Mad Love, published by DC Comics!

Poor Harley Quinn! She just wants to settle down with her psychopathic paramour, the Joker. But the Clown Prince of Crime is interested in someone else — Batman! As Harley plots to get rid of the Caped Crusader once and for all, we learn who she is, and how she came to be.

Can the lovelorn jester of injustice accomplish what her boyfriend never could, and kill the Dark Knight Detective once and for all? Can she finally shake free of Gotham’s most criminally codependent couple? And can she get herself admitted into that funny farm known as … The Comics Canon?

(Note: This episode was recorded before the passing of Jerry Lewis and news of a new Joker and Harley Quinn movie in development.)

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Episode 40 – The Death and Resurrection of Elektra

In this episode, Curt and Kevin prepare for the Netflix debut of Marvel’s The Defenders by … not discussing a Defenders comic! Instead, they book a return trip to Hell’s Kitchen as they discuss the death and resurrection of Elektra, as seen in Daredevil #181 and #187-191, published by Marvel Comics!

Elektra Natchios is a deadly assassin in the employ of the Kingpin of Crime — and she’s also Daredevil’s long lost college girlfriend! Throw in an ancient order of evil ninjas and the cold-blooded killer known as Bullseye, and you’ve got one of the most memorable deaths in comics history!

If it please the court, we ask: Shouldn’t Elektra play a more prominent role in her own death and resurrection? What exactly is up with the Black Widow? And can ol’ Hornhead impress our jury of two and gain entry into the judges’ chambers known as … The Comics Canon?

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Episode 39 – The Uncle Scrooge Episode (With Alonso Duralde)

In this episode, Curt and Kevin welcome special guest Alonso Duralde of the Linoleum Knife podcast, The Wrap and What the Flick?! to discuss three stories — The Seven Cities of Cibola, The Lemming With the Locket, and Tralla La — by classic Uncle Scrooge creator, writer and artist Carl Barks!

The world’s wealthiest mallard, joined by his nephews Donald Duck and Junior Woodchucks Huey, Dewey and Louie, sets out in search of seven legendary golden cities, an ancient civilization hidden in the Himalayas, and far-flung Herringtail, Norway, and runs afoul of the dastardly Beagle Boys — and one very elusive lemming!

Can a poor umptillion-fabulatillionaire prevail against those who would seek to relieve him of his wealth?  And can he attain that prize greater than any gold, more rewarding than a swim in any money bin — entry into that billionaire boys’ club known as … The Comics Canon?

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Episode 38 – The Eltingville Club

In this episode, Curt and Kevin temporarily put aside their “clean” rating for a bracing look at the dark side of nerd culture (just in time for Comic-Con) with a longer-than-usual discussion of Evan Dorkin’s The Eltingville Club, published by Dark Horse Comics!

Bill, Josh, Pete and Jerry are four nerd culture-obsessed teens who’ll go to any lengths to score that ultra-rare collectible—and assert their dominance over each other in the process—in this collection of smartly drawn stories, three of which (“Bring Me the Head of Boba Fett,” “The Marathon Men,” and “The Intervention”) are Eisner Award-winners!

Can this not-so-fantastic foursome put aside their petty bickering and embrace the positive aspects of the culture that brings them together? (Spoiler: Don’t hold your breath.) And can they collect enough proofs of purchase to gain admittance to that exclusive club of action figures known as … The Comics Canon?

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Comics Onscreen – Marvel Media Adaptations (and Wonder Woman)

Sony Pictures

In this episode, Curt and Kevin welcome comics creator and Creative Loafing Atlanta editor in chief Carlton Hargro for a wide-ranging look at the year in movie and TV adaptations of Marvel Comics properties … plus a little-known indie film you may have heard of by the name of Wonder Woman.

Spoilers abound in this non-canonical spectacular as we review the swinging Spider-Man: Homecoming, the high-flying Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the leaden Iron Fist, Marvel’s Agents of The M.A.T.R.I.X., the head trip that is FX’s Legion and Hugh Jackman’s swan song as Wolverine in Logan.

But that’s not all! We also briefly mention upcoming projects including the promising Thor: Ragnarok, the not-so-promising Inhumans, Netflix’s street-level super-team The Defenders and The Punisher. Then we wrap it all up with a talk about things we hope to see in future Marvel projects (and speaking of Marvel, Kevin plugs his recent essay on Secret Empire).

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