Episode 157: Silver and Bronze Age Origins Part 2
Andrew Leyland, former guest on this show and co-host of Hey Kids Comics (with his son Micheal) and the Fantasticast (with Stephen Lacey) is still with me this time out as we live up to the “Bronze” portion of the episode title. After looking at a briefer take on the Man of Steel’s back story we dive right in to Action Comics #500. This issue is covered from top to bottom as we discuss not only the story but how this version fits in with the time period it was published in. There some fun digressions, a lot of good conversation, some bad accents and even references to where being attracted to an underage Lana Lang will get you and how the Parasite is a magnificent male specimen. All in a little under two hours, which is pretty good for Andy and I as we tend to talk and talk and talk.
Speaking of Andy I would like to thank him once again for coming on to the show.
Next time: The Superman III commentary!
Episode 156: Silver and Bronze Origins Part 1
Superman at 75: The Celebration of a Legend continues this time out with the first of a two part look at the origin of Superman! One of the more enduring elements of the Man of Steel’s legend is his back story…who he is and how he came to be. That story has changed and evolved over the years and I thought it might be fun to take a look at the various iterations. For the next two episodes I’ll be examining that origin from the perspective of the Silver and Bronze Age and seeing what elements shaped the Man of Steel in those eras. Joining me on this journey is Andrew Leyland, former guest on this show and co-host of Hey Kids Comics (with his son Micheal) and the Fantasticast (with Stephen Lacey). In this first installment we look at Andy’s favorite take on this version of the origin in the form of Superman (Vol. 1) #146 before traveling into the future to discuss how Jeph Loeb and the other Superman creators circa 2001 tried to take the origin back to the Pre-Crisis era. Along the way we get into a number of discussions and surprisingly most of them involve Superman.
I just want to thank Andy for coming on the show and as always he is welcome back any time. Speaking of that…
Next time: The second part of this discussion where we look at how Superman’s origin was presented in the seventies.
Episode 155: The SUPERMAN II Commentary
Superman at 75: The Celebration of a Legend continues this time out with my commentary for Superman II: The Adventure Continues! For some the decision about which version of the film to talk about might take some serious thought but to me the answer was always clear. As much as I like parts of the Donner Cut my heart will always belong to the original, theatrical version directed by Richard Lester. I go into the reasons for this during the commentary as well as trying to make what I think are decent and well thought out points before getting distracted by the movie. The commentary begins right at the beginning of the episode so like the Superman: The Movie commentary the episode starts when the film starts. I don’t know how well it will synch up but hopefully I’m not horribly off the mark.
Next time: Andy Leyland stops by again for the first installment of a two part episode focusing on Superman’s origin in the Silver and Bronze Age!
Episode 154: It’s The Justice League!
This time out I am joined by writer, artist, blogger and podcaster extraordinaire Rob Kelly. Rob is the editor-in-chief of the Aquaman Shrine, co-host of the Fire and Water Podcast (with a certain semi-regular co-host of this show), writer of the Ace Kilroy web comic and all around nice guy. Our topic? Why it’s the Justice League of America. The title of the episode kind of gives that away. Rob and I cover the Justice League from top to bottom starting with the early years going all the way up to today’s version of the team. Along the way Rob tells us his comic book origin story, we learn more about Ace Kilroy and how Rob and I both discovered the League. There are some tangents too. Some of them involve Aquaman. Given who the guest host is this shouldn’t be surprising.
Be sure to check out Rob’s blogs and podcasts and especially Ace Kilroy. Also check out the Ace Kilroy Etsy Store where you can buy some AC swag to support Rob and Dan O’Conner (the artist on Ace Kilroy). Dan is a resident of the Lehigh Valley and considering that’s my hometown I feel like I need to support this strip on general principle.
Next time: If everything works out there will be a short episode coming down the pike about Superman’s 50th Anniversary. Should that fail to happen the next episode will be released at the regular time with a former guest of the show coming back to discuss Action Comics #500!
Episode 153: The SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE Commentary
Superman at 75: The Celebration of a Legend continues this time out with something I have been wanting to do for quite some time. It is fair to say that I have seen Superman: The Movie more times than I can count. I love that film on a deep and personal level. Because of those two facts I thought that it would be fun to talk about his first big budget, four alarm movie. Instead of simply talking about the movie from top to bottom I thought a proper commentary would be in order. So that’s what I did. I tried to frame this so you don’t necessarily have to watch the film to enjoy the commentary. However, if you are trying to match it up with the film I was watching the Special Edition of Superman: The Movie and the episode begins right as the film begins. It probably won’t match up perfectly but it should be close enough. I sincerely hope you enjoy this commentary and if everything works out I will be doing more in the months to come.
Next time: No clue…but it will involve Superman.
Episode 152: And Who Disguised As…
Superman at 75: The Celebration of a Legend continues this time out with a spotlight episode devoted to Superman’s other half. No, I’m not talking about Lois Lane or even Wonder Woman. I’m talking about Clark Kent. I am a big fan of Clark as a character and I thought it would be fun to explore why that is. While this isn’t a straight up history lesson I do cover Clark’s place in the Superman mythos and cover the various comic book, television and even a little bit of the movie versions of the character.. I also address the infamous Kill Bill monologue and reveal where I stand in regards to the “Who is the real guy; Superman or Clark Kent?” debate. All in just over an hour, which is pretty good for me.
At the beginning of the episode I make a retraction of sorts regarding the Phantom Stranger. During that retraction I mention a few blogs and podcasts that are run or co-hosted by Rob Kelly. Those are the Aquaman Shrine, The Phantom Stranger, The Fire and Water Podcast and The Who’s Who: The Definitive Podcast of the DC Universe. Give all of those sites and shows a look and a listen because I think you will like what you find. I also give a shout out to my friend Thomas Deja and one of his podcasts DJ’s Comics Cavalcade. Again, give it a try. Thomas is a good friend, a great guy and a fantastic podcaster and you won’t be disappointed.
Next time: If all goes well you’ll be getting a commentary for Superman: The Movie in a couple of days. If not I’ll figure out something for next time.
Episode 151: The Greatest Superman Stories Ever Told
Superman at 75: The Celebration of a Legend continues this time out as I once again welcome J. David Weter to the show. You know him, right? Host of Superman Forever Radio and co-host of PAD Smash: An Incredible Hulk Podcast, Green Lantern’s Light and The New 52 Adventures of Superman? Yeah, him. David is back to discuss the Man of Steel, specifically the 1987 collected edition that went by the name The Greatest Superman Stories Ever Told. Well, I type 1987 but there is some controversy to that as apparently David remembers it coming out later. Whatever the release date we cover this book from top to bottom including the introductions and the back matter of the book. Between the text pieces we discuss/pick apart/gush over/poke fun at some of the best Superman stories ever committed to paper and even go off on some tangents along the way. It was a really fun time and I appreciate David coming by to chat about the books with me.
Below is the back cover to the hardback edition as well as the front and back of the softcover since we talk about them during the course of the show.
Next time: The Superman fun doesn’t end as I take a long look at what I consider one of the most important aspects of the Man of Steel namely his alter ego Clark Kent.
Episode 150: 7 Ways Mike Defends Superman
Superman at 75: The Celebration of a Legend begins here!
In 2013 my favorite character of all time is turning the big 7-5 and became of that I am devoting a good number (almost all really) of this year’s episodes to commemorate this. The party starts here in an episode that started out to be kind of wistfully nostalgic and, to be honest, a tad self-indulgent. That changed as I was prepping the notes and soon I realized I was starting off my Superman celebration by sticking up for the character. See, back in July of 2012 Cracked (a site I normally like quite a bit because it makes me laugh) ran an article called 7 Ways Batman is Objectively Better Than Superman. Now I love me some Batman but I disagreed with just about everything the writer had to say about Superman. It made me a little…mad. I swore at the time that I would present a counter-argument but that never quite worked out.
After a quick introduction I present a theory I have about how the world looks at fans of Superman and then dive into the article and defend the Man of Steel point by point. Why is it somewhat ironic that Superman fans can be considered underdogs? Why does Superman benefit from a shared universe? Why should we even care about Superman? What makes the character tick? Why is that article so wrong? All of that and more is covered as I finally step up and take a stand for a character that has been fandom’s punching bag for too long.
At the top of the episode I mention that one of the sponsors for this episode is Charlie Niemeyer. Charlie has two podcasts to his name the first being Superman in the Bronze Age which covers…Superman in the Bronze Age. He also has a brand new show called Charlie’s Geekcast where he will talk about whatever he wants to in regards to the stuff he’s geeky about. Check out both shows. You won’t be disappointed.
Next time: The celebration continues as J. David Weter drops by to talk about The Greatest Superman Stories Ever Told!
Episode 149: Mike and Andy Flashback to…THE FLASH
Welcome to the last episode of 2012! To be honest I was going to release this episode later in 2013 but when I saw that the last episode was numbered 148 and that I was going to be starting my Superman at 75: The Celebration of a Legend series at the start of the year I thought it would be keen to kick the Superman stuff off with Episode 150. So instead of cranking out a year in review type of episode I thought it would be fun to edit the Flash episode I did with Andrew Leyland (he of Hey Kids Comics and the Fantasticast) and release it to the world.
And here we are!
This is an episode over a year in the making, really. Andy and I have been talking about doing something involving this show for some time now and so early one Saturday morning in December Andy and I climbed on Skype and spent a couple of hours talking about the 1990-91 television series The Flash! We start out with our own stories of how we discovered the show and then launch into the development, the pilot and the series proper. Andy and I go over the cast, the effects, the music and the tone of the series and make some comparisons to comic adaptations that would follow. All in all a fun two hours worth of conversation on a show that died all too soon.
As always I want to thank Andy for stopping by and let him know once again he is welcome any time.
Next time: Superman at 75: The Celebration of a Legend begins with…well, it started out as something kind of light and self-indulgent and turned into me taking on a certain article that Cracked published earlier in 2012.
Episode 148: The Views 2011/2012 Christmas Special
So last year Scott Gardner (he normally of Two True Freaks) and the Irredeemable Shag (semi-regular co-host here in addition to the Firestorm Fan blog and the Fire and Water Podcast) sat down (so to speak) with me to talk some Christmas and I…didn’t air it. Life just got away from me as it tends to do…all of the time. Anyway I saved the audio because I don’t like to throw such things away and I figured it would make for a good holiday themed episode this year. Our conversation is pretty light and in addition to going over some Christmas themed comics we talk about traditions we hold dear during the holidays. There are also some very dated references (keep an ear our for a Mayan joke right there at the beginning) but the episode holds up. I hope you all enjoy this as you are doing…whatever it is you do around the holidays.
From all of us (Rachel, me, Boo and Mayday) to all of you…HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
Next time: Andy Leyland (of Hey Kids Comics and The Fantasticast) comes by again to talk The Flash!