Welcome back to our run-down of the past year in the life of the Fantasticast. We're reliving all the comics, guest-hosts and more from May, June, July and August of 2013. Let's get to it! May
May brought us our first three-episode month of the year. Episode 38 saw the debut of Steve's singing, as his reworking of the Fatman on Batman theme gave rise to the episode title Two Not-That-Fat Men On Fantastic Four. We looked at the tyrannical businessman Gideon in Fantastic Four #34, got caught up in Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch's moral anguish in Strange Tales #128, and take a fleeting glimpse at Avengers #12.
Episode 39 was our first Fantastic Four-less episode, as an incredibly busy month for guest-appearances of the team meant we had to split the books into two episode. In Amazing Spider-Man Classic, we covered the Beetle's first battle against Spider-Man in Amazing Spider-Man #21, and took a look at how Count Nefaria managed to keep the Fantastic Four at bay whilst assaulting the Avengers in Avengers #13.
Episode 40 was when we actually got round to covering some issues of Fantastic Four and Strange Tales, in Love (And A Sodding Big Dragon) Is In The Air. As the title suggests, Fantastic Four #35 was the first appearance of the Dragon Man, and the second (and final) lead appearance from Diablo in the Silver Age. Unfortunately, Strange Tales #129 saw the return of the Terrible Trio in one of the least-satisfying issue of this spin-off title to date.
Andy's Amazingly Awesomely Authentic American Accent was a bit of a first for The Fantasticast. Not only did we encounter The Frightful Four for the first time in Fantastic Four #36, but the (surprisingly mute) appearance of The Beatles in Strange Tales #130 gave us an opportunity to revisit one of our previous guest-hosts. Joshua Lapin-Bertone is a huge Beatles fan, so it made sense to have him along for the ride, and when scheduling issues meant that Andy could be a part of the record, we got to have a little fun at his expense.
Happy Birthday Us was our traditional birthday episode, as Steve and Andy celebrate on consecutive days. But, as the episode image showed, things were changing. Artist Michael Georgiou had presented Steve with a cover image for the show, and listener Sam Savage started working to incorporate that into the episode cover images that Steve hated having to create. It would take a few weeks before we all hit on the final design, but having a stronger visual identity for the show was a big step forward. The Fantastic Four went up against the Skrull Empire in search for some good ol' fashioned revenge in Fantastic Four #37, and the Mad Thinker returned in Strange Tales #131.
From Rorshach To Father Jack was a favourite episode of Steve's, as a villain named Professor Jack wreaking havoc at NASA in Strange Tales #132 gave him an excuse to try and include phrase uttered by Father Jack from the TV series Father Ted into the show. The Frightful Four also returned, with perennial lose Paste Pot Pete renaming himself The Trapster to try and reverse his fortunes in Fantastic Four #38.
July was all about guest-host Christine Hanefalk of The Other Murdock Papers, who joined us for two episodes looking at Daredevil's guest-appearances. In Fantastic Four #39, he helps the temporarily powerless team against Doctor Doom, whilst the Puppet Master returns in Strange Tales #133. Our Forty-Fourth episode was The Other Other Murdock Papers Podcast Podcast.
Christine returned to help us out with The Final Strange Tales. After 134 issues (and an annual), the Human Torch solo strips wrapped up to make way for Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD. Unfortunately, the ended with The Watcher turning up to send Ben and Johnny back in time to Camelot to defeat Kang the Conqueror. More germane to our guest-host was Daredevil's continued support against Doctor Doom - or at least, until Stan and Jack forgot about him and he disappeared halfway through issue #40.
Episode 46, Change, My Dear, And Not A Moment Too Soon came with the shocking announcement that Steve and Andy were quitting the show. It was a joke about the live announcement of Peter Capaldi as The Doctor that didn't really work, but did fool a few listeners along the way. It was our first single-issue show in a very long time, as we continued our coverage of the Frightful Four saga in Fantastic Four #41.
Episode 47 was titled Because Just Once Isn't Enough, a reference to the fact that the original recording became our first lost episode. It's the episode that featured the truly epic sung saga of how we first came together to produce the show, and may have contained one or two embellishments. The Frightful Four gain Ben Grimm as an extra team-mate in Fantastic Four #42, and a brief look at X-Men #13 reveals Johnny's role in the first defeat of the Juggernaut.
Check back tomorrow for the final part of our year in review.