Podcast

The Fantasticast Episode 2: Special Edition

The Fantasticast Episode 2: Special Edition

The Fantasticast Episode 2: Special Edition

Welcome to the special edition of episode 2 of The Fantasticast. This is the sonce in a series of re-releases of our early episodes, tidying up the editing and improving the audio quality as much as possible. In addition to this, we've restored the outtakes that have been missing for nearly five-and-a-half years and, at the end of the episode, Steve provides a Producer's Commentary on the episode, in which he looks at some of the unusual choices made early on in the life of The Fantasticast, and discusses the apparently-casual dismissal of in-comic sexism that took place in this episode.

Listen to the episode at http://www.thefantasticast.com/podcast/2016/1/25/the-fantasticast-episode-2-fantastic-four-2-and-3

The Fantasticast Episode 1: Special Edition

The Fantasticast Episode 1: Special Edition

The Fantasticast Episode 1: Special Edition

Welcome to the special edition of The Fantasticast Episode 1. This is the first in a series of re-releases of our early episodes, tidying up the editing and improving the audio quality as much as possible. In addition to this, we've discovered a couple of outtakes that never made it into the original episode and, at the end of the episode, Steve provides a Producer's Commentary on the episode, explaining why a special edition has been released, and giving an update on the current status of the podcast for new listeners.

You can find the update episode at http://www.thefantasticast.com/podcast/2016/1/25/the-fantasticast-episode-1-introductions-origins-and-fantastic-four-1 or on our podcast feed.

Strange Tales #125: Flamin' 'Eck 53

Strange Tales #125, page 8, panel 4

Strange Tales #125, page 8, panel 4

Strange Tales #125: Flamin' 'Eck 53

Written by Word-Slingin' Stan Lee

Drawn by Picture-Sketchin' Dick Ayers

Inked by Ink-Splatterin' Paul Reinman

Lettered by Pen-Pushin' S. Rosen

So, Johnny's flame powers are so weak that he cannot dry his uniform without assistance from the sun. At the same time, his flame is so strong that it can cause intense temperature change through dozens of feet of sea water, disintegrating the sea kelp that the Thing had been trapped within, and forcing Namor to retreat? 

I hate to say that this book has all the hallmarks of a rushed, space-filler, but it's clearly that nobody was paying a huge amount of attention to it before or after it hit the stands...

Check out our coverage of Strange Tales #125 on our thirty-fifth episode: House of the Fallen Storm

The Fantasticast @200: Your Questions Needed

We're a little over a week away from recording our 200th episode, and we need your contributions for our giant-size anniversary podcast.

We're giving you the chance to pose your questions to us for our 200th episode. We'll be answering your questions on almost any subject. Questions don't have to be Fantastic Four related - this is your opportunity to get into our heads, quizzing us on almost any aspect of our lives. If you want to know what comprises our pull lists, please ask. If you want to know what we get up to when we're not podcasting, quiz away. And if you want to know what we really think of each other... well, if you don't ask, you won't know!

Please send you questions to fantastic4podcast@gmail.com. You have until the end of Sunday September 25th to get them in.

The Fantasticast Patreon Campaign

Introducing The Fantasticast's Patreon Campaign!

Hi, we are Steve Lacey and Andy Leyland, and we are the hosts of The Fantasticast, a podcast guide to the Fantastic Four from the beginning of the Marvel Age of Comics. We aim to work our way through each issue of The Fantastic Four week by week, along with the various spin-off titles, guest appearances, cameos, and more.

We've been producing the show for the past four years, and over 150-odd episodes we've gone from 1961 to 1973, taking in every issue and annual of the Fantastic Four, every Human Torch story from Strange Tales, and a whole bunch of cameos and guest-appearances in titles including Marvel Team-Up, The Avengers and The Amazing Spider-Man. As we move into 2016, we'll be expanding our coverage to include Marvel Two-In-One, as well as continuing to chronicle every appearance of Marvel's first family across the mid-1970s.

The Fantasticast is free to listen to, and we have no intention of changing that. However, after four years, we've realised that we need some help to move the show on to the next level, and that's where we're hoping that you might come in.

We'd like your help to cover our immediate costs, namely hosting the show, before looking to fund upgrades for the show. We'd like to consolidate our podcast site with our blog into one website. We'd love to upgrade our equipment. We absolutely want to send some money in the direction of those who provide for the show out of generosity, especially our episode cover designer, Sam.

We're not asking for a lot, but if you can send something our way, we'd be very grateful. We're hoping to give you something in return - we have plans for special Patreon backer-only content that will enable you to feel superior to other podcast listeners - whilst making The Fantasticast better than ever. Please head on over to our Patreon site to see details of the pledge levels and reward tiers.

The Fantasticast: 2015 In Review - Part IV

With only a few hours to go until the end of 2015, we're taking a look back at 2015 in the life of The Fantasticast. On Monday, we covered January-March, on Tuesday we covered April-June, and yesterday we took a look at July-September. Today, we're focusing on October-December, which features a lot of Roy Thomas...

October

We started October, and Roy Thomas's tenure as Fantastic Four writer, looking back to the origins of the series, with Fantastic Four #126 - The Way It Began. This issue retold the origin of the team, with a few updates, to launch the next couple of issues worth of stories. To celebrate 100 episodes since he took over the podcast cover design, we invited Sam Savage back to help us look at this issue. We also had some fun playing an excerpt from the Power Records adaptation of this issue.

It didn't come as much of a surprise to us that, after recapping the origin, Roy Thomas chose to feature the Mole Man heavily in Fantastic Four #127 - Where The Sun Dares Not Shine. And not just the Mole Man - Tyrannus and Kala as well. Don't worry if you've not heard of Kala, she's obscure even by 1970s Marvel standards!

Fantastic Four #128 - Death In A Dark And Lonely Place was the subject of our landmark 150th episode. The cracks are beginning to show in the previously happy Richards marriage, thanks to Roy's insistence on writing Reed without any form of subtlety at all. There's also some underground shenanigans with more betrayal in one page than at a Stark wedding.

The furious Femizon from the future, Thundra, made her debut in Fantastic Four #129 - The Frightful Four Plus One, becoming the latest person to fill the fourth slot on the Frightful Four. Roy's mission to break the classic team apart continues, as marital strife becomes the first challenge the Fantastic Four can't overcome. Well, it's actually the next issue. Or the one after. It's become rather difficult to recall what happened in the issues we only read a couple of months ago...

Thundra and the Frightful Four battle their way to the heart of the FF in Fantastic Four #130 - Battleground: The Baxter Building. With the team seemingly broken apart and defeated, can the combined force of Franklin and Sue Richards save the day? What unthinkable consequences will their actions bring? And has Steve just nicked the copy text from the original post to beef up the word count for this episode?

November

Marvel Team-Up #6 - As Those Who Will Not See saw the Thing team up with Spider-Man to tackle both the Puppet Master and the Mad Thinker. Rather unexpectedly, this issue revealed the origin of the Puppet Master and how he came to be Alicia's stepmother, in a sympathetic and engrossing flashback. Shame about the rest of the issue... Our cover artist Michael Georgiou returned to the show to investigate this comic.

One plot line that's been bubbling away for a few issues is Johnny wanting to reunite with Crystal, going so far as to invade the Great Refuge to get back with her. Fantastic Four #131 - Revolt In Paradise, drawn by fill-in artist Ross Andru, revealed that Crystal has been shacking up with Quicksilver, and is a member of a hierarchy that created a slave race and systematically oppressed them for thousands of years. Hard to work out which is worse...

The confused story of slavery in the Great Refuge concludes in Fantastic Four #132 - Omega The Ultimate Enemy, as does Roy Thomas's first run as FF writer. Relationship statuses change, creative teams change, costumes change, this issue is all about change. And, in one very brief moment, this issue is also about Black Bolt's Coffee Shop, but you'll have to listen to the episode to find out why.

One of our favourite issues of the year closed out November, as we looked at Fantastic Four #133 - Thundra At Dawn. With phenomenal guest art from DC legend Ramona Fradon, this wonderful one-shot issue sees Thundra call out Ben Grimm for a punch-up on New Year's Eve. The artwork is superb, and have I mentioned the great art? A highly-recommended issue of the Fantastic Four, and the first for new writer Gerry Conway.

December

Our year of covering the Fantastic Four closed with a two-part story that featured the return of Gregory Gideon as the villain. Yes, the return of Gideon. You remember him, right? Anyway, he returned in Fantastic Four #134 - A Dragon Stalks The Skies. We invited Resurrections: An Adam Warlock And Thanos Podcast host Al Sedano onto the show for this episode, which turned out to be rather fortuitous, as we also had to look at Jim Starlin's first issue of Captain Marvel, which also featured an early Thanos appearance. On top of this, we also looked at Luke Cage, Hero For Hire #9, where Cage went after Doctor Doom for a $200 bill.

Fantastic Four #135 - The Eternity Machine was our final Fantastic Four issue of the year. It also featured Gregory Gideon, which immediately biased us against it. 

Finally, we closed out the year with Marvel Team-Up #10 - Time Bomb!, in which Spider-Man teamed up with the Human Torch to defeat time-travelling missiles launched by Kang The Conqueror and Zarrko The Tomorrow Man. Despite the run of Marvel Team-Up issues covered this year being rather low in quality, our enthusiasm for Marvel Two-In-One, arriving early in 2016, has not been dampened!

Well, that wraps up our look back at the year in podcasting. We'll be back tomorrow to launch 2016 with some huge news, and we can't wait for that!

The Fantasticast: 2015 In Review - Part III

As we trudge ever-closer to the end of 2015, we're taking a look back at this past year in the life of The Fantasticast. On Monday, we covered January-March, and yesterday we covered April-June. Today, we're focusing on July-September. We had two Fantastic Four movies to cover, did a whole bunch of Fan-Splaining, and started our regular Marvel Team-Up coverage...

July

 

July started with our first-ever fill-in issue, Fantastic Four #119 - Three Stood Together. Roy Thomas provided his first Fantastic Four script, a neat and effective tale of racism, intolerance, and a thinly-veiled apartheid-era South Africa analogue. The cover format had recently changed, but this was also the first appearance of the new Fantastic Four logo and, thanks to our designer Sam, our own new logo. Just in time for some special episodes...

After a few months away, Stan Lee returned to the FF with Fantastic Four #120 - The Horror That Walks On Air. Stan's final run on the FF isn't a high point, and this story gets underway with a limp retread of the first appearance of the Silver Surfer. And, with our special episodes just around the corner, our decision to start a four-part story just before taking a few weeks off shows that our ability to plan ahead is, as always, impeccable.

Despite the movie turning out to be terrible, we decided to celebrate its release with a series of special episodes, kicking off with Steve And Andy Fan-'Splain The FF Part 1. Taking more than a little inspiration from Rachel And Miles X-Plain The X-Men, we decided to run through the first 51 issues and 3 annuals of the Fantastic Four in just under an hour. It was something a bit different for us, and we hope that it was a lot of fun to listen to.

Our second special episode was Steve And Andy Fan-'Splain The FF Part 2, bringing our recap of every Fantastic Four issue covered on the show up to date. In just under an hour, we rattled through Fantastic Four #52-120, along with annuals #4-6. Huge thanks go to our designer Sam Savage for these wonderful covers, and to Michael Bailey of From Crisis To Crisis for counting slowly and clearly for us.

August

Our final special episode was our commentary on the unreleased 1994 Fantastic Four movie, produced by Roger Corman. It's not a great movie, but history is unlikely to judge this the worst Fantastic Four film. The film featured some phenomenal glove-acting, a terribly-animated Human Torch, and we added some more fun to the mix by turning Youtube's automatic subtitling feature.

After much anticipation, we finally got to start our coverage of Marvel's 1970s team-up comics with Marvel Team-Up #1 - Have Yourself A Sandman Little Christmas by Roy Thomas and Ross Andru. We also took this as the excuse to invite back onto the show Avengers Inspirations host Jon M. Wilson, as the show has taken so much inspiration from Jon's former show Amazing Spider-Man Classics.

It's at about this time that the Fantastic Four movie was released into cinemas, to some of the worst reviews seen since After Earth. Steve got to see the movie just before release, and managed to get his conflicted, angry thoughts in order to produce a midweek minisode, reviewing the film. After a very long time away from the core FF title, we returned for Fantastic Four #121 - The Mysterious Mind-Blowing Secret Of Gabriel. It's another Stan Lee runaround issue, frantically looking to fill time until the glorious final splash page by John Buscema. Sadly, at the end of everything, it turns out that the secret of Gabriel was neither that mysterious, nor particularly mind-blowing...

Fantastic Four #122 - Galactus Unleashed turned out to be one of most physical confrontations between the Fantastic Four and the World-Eater seen in comics. Making Galactus someone that the team can take on in combat may remove some of his mystique, but it lends itself to some great artwork from John Buscema. After two issues of very streamlined storytelling, Stan Lee remembers that he's Stan Lee and splits the team up to give greater story possibilities.

Our final episode in a very busy month looked at Marvel Team-Up #2 - And Spidey Makes Four. The Frightful Four are invading the Baxter Building, and only the Human Torch and the Amazing Spider-Man can do anything about it. Assuming, that is, that Spidey can shake off his brainwashing and stop fighting as part of the Frightful Four! We also brought along Cinematic Universe co-host James Hunt to take a look at this packed issue.

September

September was all about bidding farewell to Stan Lee as regular writer of the Fantastic Four. We kicked off with the conclusion to his latest Galactus story in Fantastic Four #123 - This World Enslaved, featuring a return of our favourite FF guest-star - Richard M. Nixon. We also had a brief peek at Captain America and Falcon #150, and a longer look at Incredible Hulk #152, the prelude to the Trial of the Incredible Hulk.

Fantastic Four #124 - The Return of the Monster was the start of Stan Lee's final story for the FF. It's fair to say that wasn't a huge clamour for the return of the Monster from the Lost Lagoon, which led (in this issue) to a lot of running around for no real reason at all. We also spent some time looking at Incredible Hulk #153, in which the Fantastic Four find themselves participating in the Trial of the Incredible Hulk, and Reed faces a moral quandry.

Morbius, The Living Vampire was the villain for Marvel Team-Up #3 - The Power To Purge, in which Spidey and the Torch teamed up, attended lectures, drank tea, and took on the not-quite-undead. Continuing our theme of teaming up with other podcasters, we invited Stacey Taylor of Stacey's Pop Culture Parlour onto the show to help make sense of this issue. Spoilers: We didn't. And we still don't really know what an enzyme vampire actually is...

This is it - Stan Lee's final issue of the Fantastic Four as regular writer. What a shame we couldn't get something a little better than Fantastic Four #127 - The Monster's Secret. With more running around and a rushed, nonsensical conclusion, this certainly isn't a good example of Stan's writing. Bidding farewell to our Fearless Leader, we also took a little bit of time to compare and contrast Stan's return to the book with his return of Amazing Spider-Man.

Well, we're nearly there. Check back tomorrow for the final episodes of 2015, and then come back on Friday for an exciting announcement about the future of the podcast.

The UK Podcast Awards - 5 Hours To Go

FF Banner New We want your help, and there's just a few hours left to give it!

The UK Podcast Directory is running the first UK Podcasters Awards, to be awarded at New Media Europe in September. We're up for nomination in the 'Games and Hobbies' category, and we would really like your help to get us nominated.

Simply head over the The Fantasticast's page at the UK Podcast Directory, and click the 'nominate' button. You'll need to provide an e-mail address, or verify yourself via Facebook or Google. As you can only nominate once per day between now and the end of July, there's only a few hours left to make a difference

We'd love the opportunity to stand amongst our peers, and who knows, we might even do well out of it! Please do head over and vote for us. There's only a few hours left...

The UK Podcast Awards - 3 Days To Go

FF Banner New We want your help, and there's just 3 days left to give it!

The UK Podcast Directory is running the first UK Podcasters Awards, to be awarded at New Media Europe in September. We're up for nomination in the 'Games and Hobbies' category, and we would really like your help to get us nominated.

Simply head over the The Fantasticast's page at the UK Podcast Directory, and click the 'nominate' button. You'll need to provide an e-mail address, or verify yourself via Facebook or Google. The really cool thing is that you can nominate once per day between now and the closing date, which is the end of July.

We'd love the opportunity to stand amongst our peers, and who knows, we might even do well out of it! Please do head over and vote for us. Then come back tomorrow and vote again. And again on Friday!

The UK Podcasters Awards - 5 Days To Go

FF Banner New We want your help, and there's just 5 days left to give it!

The UK Podcast Directory is running the first UK Podcasters Awards, to be awarded at New Media Europe in September. We're up for nomination in the 'Games and Hobbies' category, and we would really like your help to get us nominated.

Simply head over the The Fantasticast's page at the UK Podcast Directory, and click the 'nominate' button. You'll need to provide an e-mail address, or verify yourself via Facebook or Google. The really cool thing is that you can nominate once per day between now and the closing date, which is the end of July.

We'd love the opportunity to stand amongst our peers, and who knows, we might even do well out of it! Please do head over and vote for us. Then come back tomorrow and vote again. And again. And again!

The UK Podcasters Awards

FF Banner New We want your help!

The UK Podcast Directory is running the first UK Podcasters Awards, to be awarded at New Media Europe in September. We're up for nomination in the 'Games and Hobbies' category, and we would really like your help to get us nominated.

Simply head over the The Fantasticast's page at the UK Podcast Directory, and click the 'nominate' button. You'll need to provide an e-mail address, or verify yourself via Facebook or Google. The really cool thing is that you can nominate once per day between now and the closing date, which is the end of July.

We'd love the opportunity to stand amongst our peers, and who knows, we might even do well out of it! Please do head over and vote for us. Then come back tomorrow and vote again. And again. And again!

The UK Podcasters Awards

FF Banner New We want your help!

The UK Podcast Directory is running the first UK Podcasters Awards, to be awarded at New Media Europe in September. We're up for nomination in the 'Games and Hobbies' category, and we would really like your help to get us nominated.

Simply head over the The Fantasticast's page at the UK Podcast Directory, and click the 'nominate' button. You'll need to provide an e-mail address, or verify yourself via Facebook or Google. The really cool thing is that you can nominate once per day between now and the closing date, which is the end of July.

We'd love the opportunity to stand amongst our peers, and who knows, we might even do well out of it! Please do head over and vote for us. Then come back tomorrow and vote again. And again. And again!

The Fantasticast: The End Of Lee/Kirby

The King Hey folks, we need your help.

We're fast approaching the end of Jack Kirby's 102-issue run as penciller for The Fantastic Four, and we're planning something a little special to commemorate the conclusion of his tenure on the book. We'll be producing a special episode, immediately after our coverage of Fantastic Four #102. We'll be taking a look at Fantastic Four: The Lost Adventure, and taking a look at the Lee/Kirby era as a whole.

And this is where you come in.

As well as our musings and ramblings, we'd like to hear from you. We'd like to know your thoughts and opinions on the Lee/Kirby era, your highlights, lowlights, surprises and favourite moments.

Please e-mail these to fantastic4podcast@gmail.com. If you're feeling brave, you could record an mp3 of your feedback for us. Due to time constraints, please keep your feedback to a couple of paragraphs or about 90 seconds of audio, to ensure that we can include as much as possible.

We're planning to record on February 3rd at 19:00 GMT, so please get your feedback in before then.

Steve and Andy.

A Request For Help...

Hi folks, It's Steve from The Fantasticast here, as always. In lieu of a panel chosen from an old Fantastic Four or Strange Tales comic today, I'm taking a few moments to ask you, our readers and listeners, to help us out.

Don't worry - I don't want money!

Andy and I put a lot of time and effort into the show to make sure it comes out every week. As well as the 3 hours (or so) recording time we spend every couple of weeks, there's the time spent reading the comics and writing our synopses. I then sit down and write the notes of history and the Marvel Universe for each episode, as well as summarising the Bullpen Bulletins and letters pages, a task which can sometimes take a lot longer than you might think. Following the recording, I then spend 4-5 hours per episode (8-10 hours per record) editing the show into shape, tidying up our stammerings and editing out more libellous content than you could imagine.

It's a big job, and it's a pleasure to do. Your e-mails and other feedback tells us that you enjoy what we do, which makes us want to do it even more.

So, where do you come in?

Again, don't worry - I don't want money!

What I'd love for you to do is to spend a couple of minutes talking about the show. You could tweet about the show (with a link), you could share one of our posts on Facebook, you could tell your friends at your local comic shop. And more than anything else, we'd love for you to go to iTunes, and leave a rating and a review.

With 80 episodes covering over 2/3 of the Stan Lee and Jack Kirby collaboration on The Fantastic Four, we'd love to become known to more fans of the team and fans of comics. We'd love for you guys to lend us a hand in growing the show. Please do take a moment to help spread the news about our show and how much you enjoy it.

Thank you!

LQotM: What Are Your Favourite Under-Rated Fantastic Four Stories?

On our latest episode, we launched our first Listener Question of the Month. We rightly laud certain runs on the title - Lee/Kirby, Byrne, Waid/Wieringo, Hickman. But there are plenty of creators, stories and mini-series that don't necessarily get the attention that they deserve.

So, this month, we're asking you to give us your favourite FF stories that you think may have not got the attention that they deserve. You might be a fan of Len Wein and George Perez. You may think that there's something rarely seen in Tom DeFalco and Paul Ryan's time on the book. You might be a fan of Heroes Reborn, or feel that Paul Cornell's Fantastic Four: True Story mini-series somehow escaped attention.

Whatever your favourites are, do let us know. On one of our November episodes, we'll run down what's been nominated and the reasons why, and see if we can't put a bit of focus onto these stories.

E-mail the show at fantastic4podcast@gmail.com, leave your comments over at our facebook page, or in the comments below.

The Fantasticast - Now Weekly!

FF Banner New As you'll have heard on our latest episode, we have now moved to a weekly release schedule.

With the conclusion of Strange Tales, we found ourselves with a bit of a dilemma. We wanted to keep covering four issues a month, but we were worried that two full-length issues, with context, letters pages, British number ones, and all the other things that we like to throw into the show, would make for too long an episode. But we didn't want to drop the number of issues we planned to cover.

So, we've decided to change the format of the show. From Episode Forty-Eight onwards, we'll be covering one Fantastic Four issue every episode, but dropping a new episode every week. With this release schedule in mind, we should be wrapping up the first sequence of stories featuring the Black Panther by the end of year.

So, our plans for the near-future look like this - Inhuman, Galactus, Black Panther.

We can't wait!

 

the-fantasticast-episode-45-300  

Hello and welcome to the 45th episode of the show. This time around, Steve and Andy are once again joined by Christine Hanefalk of The Other Murdock Papers to examine the guest appearances of Daredevil in the Fantastic Four. Well, half a guest-appearance at least. In Fantastic Four #40, the team, along with the Man Without Fear, take part in the Battle of the Baxter Building against none other than Doctor Doom. Then in Strange Tales #134, everybody's favourite non-interferer turns up to interfere. That's right, The Watcher is back.

This is our final episode covering Strange Tales as a core Fantastic Four title, and instead of leaving on what you might assume to be a down note (come on, there is a small chance that the story might be pretty good), we decided to produce a list each of five things that weren't terrible about Strange Tales.

Check out The Other Murdock Papers here, and follow @Chris_TOMP on twitter here.

Feedback can be sent to fantastic4podcast@gmail.com (please do send us an e-mail - we're doing a feedback show next week). It can also be left in the comments below, or over at ffcast.libsyn.com

Listen to the episode below, or click this link to go to the libsyn page for the episode.

[audio FF_Episode_45.mp3]

We are now available on Stitcher, both through Stitcher.com and through their app.