Welcome to the third part of our year in review, touching base with all the goings-on across 2013 for the Fantasticast. Today, we'll be covering the last four months of the year, as the show underwent the biggest changes since its inception. September
Sam Savage joined us for episode 48, bringing along a new cover design for the episodes with him. After some discussions, we decided that the new design would better show off the artwork from two masters of comics - Kirby and Georgiou. We finished up our coverage of the Frightful Four saga as published in Fantastic Four #43. Lo, There Shall Be An Episode.
Sam's arrival as a guest-host also heralded the change from fortnightly to weekly episode releases. We made the change to avoid having huge episodes featuring two full-length comics, along with extra history and Number One single segments. Episode 49 saw a massive change for the team, as we covered Fantastic Four Annual #3 in You Are Cordially Invited… It was a madcap story involving the wedding of Reed Richards and Susan Storm, and just about every villain introduced in the series so far. Except the Miracle Man. And, sadly, Zante...
September was a bit of a guest-host-a-palooza. Episode 50, titled The Gentleman's Name Is… Niemeyer, saw Charlie Niemeyer join us to kick off the run of stories that would introduce the Inhumans to the Marvel Universe. Fantastic Four #44 was where it all kicked off, featuring an assault from Gorgon.
Episode 51 was titled Agents of F.O.U.R, and it had nothing to do with any underwhelming TV series that may or may not have premiered around this time. Instead, Charlie Niemeyer returned to help us continue to explore the introduction of the Inhumans, leading up to the introduction of Black Bolt on the final pages of Fantastic Four #45.
Who Seeks The Seeker was the title of episode 52, as the Inhuman saga continued to develop. We covered Fantastic Four #46, and we also launched our first ever Listener Question Of The Month, where we asked out listeners to consider which Fantastic Four stories they felt were the most under-rated.
Episode 53 was the last episode to feature an esoteric episode title, Sue's Inappropriate Haircut, a reference to how the journey to the Forbidden City in Fantastic Four #47 might have been overshadowed by Sue deciding to change her hairstyle at the wrong moment.
The end of October brought the first episode covering three of the most important comics published by Marvel comics. Collectively known as the Galactus Saga, issues #48-50 are regarded as the pinnacle of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's creative collaboration. Episode 54 covered issue #48 - The Coming Of Galactus
And then it all went a little wrong. Unable to get the editing done for a weekly release, we decided to postpone the second part of the Galactus Saga and release a fill-in episode. Comprising of Steve's two explorations into the world of singing, episode 54.5 was A Brief Musical Interlude, and collected the fake Fatman on Batman opening, and the reworking of The Devil Went Down To Georgia.
Following the attempted alienation of our audience with the musical episode, we returned at the start of November to provide coverage of Fantastic Four #49 in episode 55 - If This Be Doomsday!
And then we took a brief break again. The cheekily-named episode 55.5 - We've Made A Huge Mistake featured the best outtakes and fake-openings from the first 10 episodes of the show.
Issue 50 of the Fantastic Four was celebrated on episode 56 - The Startling Saga Of The Silver Surfer. We wrapped up our coverage of the Galactus saga and enjoyed an extended epilogue that introduced new plot lines to be paid off in future issue. And Whitey Mullins, who wouldn't be paid off in future issues.
This Man, This Monster is regarded as the greatest of Lee and Kirby's standalone issues, and on episode 57, we took the classic issue 52 of the Fantastic Four as our subject.
We then took another brief break, this time caused by some unfortunate microphone settings that rendered Andy's side of the recording completely unusable. As the title We've Made A Terrible Mistake All Over Again suggested, episode 57.5 was another roundup of outtakes and fake introduction.
December became our biggest month so far on the Fantasticast. We kicked off with episode 58, Introducing The Sensational Black Panther. Covering issue 52 of the Fantastic Four, this episode saw the Black Panther's introduction to the Marvel universe, the first black superhero to appear in comics. We also launched our second Listener Question Of The Month, asking for your feel-good Fantastic Four reading experiences.
The Way It Began was our final coverage of Lee/Kirby Fantastic Four for 2013. Episode 59, covering Fantastic Four #53, gave the origin (but not the name) of the Black Panther, a gripping Shakespearian tale of murder, revenge, and giant red elephants.
We then kicked off our now-traditional end-of-year shows with our Podcaster's Choice for 2013. The rules were simple - we each got to choose an issue of the Fantastic Four and its spin-offs from outside the Lee/Kirby run to take a look at. Andy was up first, and episode 60 saw us cover Marvel Two-In-One #74, guest-starring the Puppet Master and Bova, the mutated cow midwife.
Steve's choice of issue to close out the year was Fred Hembeck's Fantastic Four Roast, a massive jam issue celebrating 20 years of publication of the Fantastic Four, masterminded by cartoonist Fred Hembeck.
And that just about wraps it up for 2013. In 2014, we aim to complete the Lee/Kirby Fantastic Four issues, assuming that we can keep up with the weekly schedule. We've got a couple of great guest hosts lined up for the first few months of the year, and a nice long list of prospective guest-hosts to dip into before the end of year.
Have a great new year, and we'll see you in 2014.