Monday, June 4, 2012

A Fantastic (4) Cast

This entry was cross-posted to the Book Guys blog.

love the idea that blogs and podcasters (and sometimes even academics) can dig into older comics and offer review, commentary and analysis from a modern perspective. Of course these books were considered disposable items when they were produced, and were never intended to be investigated as closely as they can be now. One of my favorite venues for this type of analysis is the Fantasticast, where a pair a veteran podcasters from Britain are reviewing early Fantastic Four comics. New episodes of the podcast appear every fortnight (as the Brits say).

Steven Lacey (host of the 20 Minute Longbox podcast) and Andrew Leyland (co-host of the Hey Kids! Comics podcast) join forces to try to figure out exactly what Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were trying to pull off in creating and presenting the FF stories from the early 1960s. Their most recent episode covered issue #14, and many key aspects of the storyline have already appeared in these early stories — the “soap opera” nature of the family drama is a centerpiece, and Doctor Doom, the Puppet Master, and Namor have all showed up to battle Marvel’s first family.

The podcast hosts bring a love for the material, and have a great sense of humor. They realize how inherently silly some of these stories and characterizations are, and are not shy about sharing the silly parts with their listeners. The inconsistencies in these early stories is an endless source of delight to the hosts. They also cover the Human Torch adventures from the Strange Tales comics, which are even crazier than the stories from the FF comic.

There are many comic podcasts out there, and lots of them are very good. But the Fantasticast is one of my favorites.

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