With only a few days to go until the end of the year, and with our podcaster's choice episode released to wrap up our second year of the show, I thought it would be a good moment to take a breather and look back at where we've been in 2013. At the start of the year, we were still covering our favourite spin-off series, Strange Tales, with all of the contrived plotting and rushed artwork that entailed. The Hulk had just completed his throw down with the Fantastic Four and the Avengers, and we'd just finished our first bout of weekly episodes with Michael Bailey.
Horny Namor was the appropriate title for our 30th episode, as the permanently-aroused Atlantean monarch decided to kidnap Sue Storm in Fantastic Four #30. The Plant Man made an unheralded return in Strange Tales #121. George Roussos left the main title, and we covered our first issue of Daredevil as the team engage Matt Murdock's services in Daredevil #2.
Shawn Engel, host of Just One Of The Guys was our first guest-host of the year in our 31st episode, Just Three Of The Guys. We covered the first guest-appearance of the X-Men in the Fantastic Four title, inside the covers of issue #28, which also featured the first inking from Chic Stone. Meanwhile, Doctor Doom's trio of uninteresting super-villains returned to menace The Human Torch in Strange Tales #122.
Now With Genuine People Personalities was the Hitchhiker's Guide-referencing title to episode 32. The astonishing cover to Fantastic Four #29 gave no hint of the Red Ghost's return during the story. One of the perennial B-list villains of the Marvel Universe, The Beetle, debuted in Strange Tales #123, and we briefly checked in with the final Tales Of The Watcher back-up strip in Tales of Suspense #55.
A futile attempt to be topical with regards to the horse meat scandal was the reasoning behind titling episode 33 Bad Horse, Bad Horse. Dave Walker, host of Flash Legacies, joined us to discuss the first appearance of Diablo in Fantastic Four #30 (and give a dramatic reading of Baron Hugo's classic line 'Stop! You must not enter the castle of Diablo!'). Meanwhile, Strange Tales #124 saw the return of Paste Pot Pete.
The Doomcast was our 34th episode, and featured our coverage of the 1964 annuals. We scored a bit of a coup, grabbing Professor Alan Middleton to join us on the show many months before the launch of the Relatively Geeky Network. We examined Doctor Doom's origin in Fantastic Four Annual #2, and took a brief look at the back-matter in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1.
Cryptically titled House Of The Fallen Storm, episode 35 saw the return of the Mole Man in Fantastic Four # 31, and a completely pointless punch-up between Ben, Johnny, and Namor in Strange Tales #125. Finally, we started our extended coverage of Amazing Spider-Man when Johnny got mixed up with the plans of the Green Goblin in issue #17.
Episode 36 revealed the shocking reason why John Byrne Quit Comics. The Invincible Man arrived and involved Sue and Johnny's father in his schemes in Fantastic Four #32. There's a big surprise regarding his identity, but for the life of me, I can't remember what it is… The Thinker and The Puppet Master team up in Strange Tales #126, and Johnny turns up in Amazing Spider-Man #18.
Meanwhile, episode 37 was titled Yes, Mr Lister Sir, which can only mean that Andy attempted several American accents during the show. We covered one of the strongest issues of Fantastic Four to date, issue #33, featuring a secret assault on Atlantis to protect Namor's monarchy without his knowledge. Strange Tales #127 surprised us all by not being completely awful, and we took another detour into the world of Peter Parker with Amazing Spider-Man #19.
Check back tomorrow for the second part of our year in review.