Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Thursday, December 22, 2011
This episode, the Fanholes discuss the comic Uncanny X-Force, the Buffy/Angel-verse, their favorite fighting games, and their favorite music albums!
Fanholes Episode # 34: Magic Corner Monkey Punch
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
The Crab With the Golden Claws begins with a simple investigation concerning fake coins, a slip of paper and a tin of crab meat. Eventually Tintin discovers the crab tins actually contain opium. It is in this story Tintin meets reoccurring ally, Captain Haddock. Tintin, Snowy, and Haddock eventually bring down the opium smuggling gang, but not before Haddock burns down their lifeboat...while on the ocean. The adventurers also cross a desert, battle bandits, and Haddock spends some time fighting Tintin as he struggles to quit drinking.
Despite the opium smuggling angle this is a fairly light adventure with quite a bit of humor. Tintin, Snowy and Haddock bonk each other on the head enough times to qualify for a Three Stooges act. This is one of the stories written during WWII and was often delayed due to paper shortage. The Crab with the Golden Claws has been adapted several times. As stop motion film in 1947, though it was only screened for the public once, and it has been animated two times. First in 1957 and again in 1991.
The Secret of the Unicorn and Red Rackham's Treasure is a two part tale where Tintin and friends search for the treasure of the Unicorn. The adventure begins innocently enough when Tintin purchases a model ship. He is immediately met with several men who wish to buy the ship, but refuses to sell as he plans to give it to Captain Haddock. From there the story involves multiple models of the Unicorn, pickpockets, secret parchment and Haddock’s tale of an ancestor being directly involved with the sinking of the real Unicorn.
If you are new to Tintin and are looking for a good place to start then I suggest these two tales. They are considered two of the best Tintin adventures by many. They are especially relevant as material from these stories will be adapted for the upcoming feature film. Or, if you prefer, you could pick up the recently released season one dvd of the 1991 animated series. Both stories are adapted as two part episodes and are not only highly regarded, but are pretty faithful to the source material.
Sunday, December 18, 2011
As I mentioned in a previous Side Story, Belgium gave us The Smurfs and The Adventures of Tintin. Tintin may not be as well known as the Smurfs though. Some 80s and 90s kids, myself included, remember Tintin from his animated series that ran on HBO. If you are not familiar with the property, or undecided about watching the upcoming feature film, then perhaps this blog can help you make a decision.
Tintin was created by Georges Prosper Remi, better known under the pen name Hergé. The first Tintin comic debuted in 1929, a serialized story called Tintin in the Land of the Soviets. When I first encountered Tintin I thought of him as Jimmy Olsen with a dog, Snowy, for a sidekick. Tintin is an investigative reporter and typically gets drawn into various adventures. You may be wondering if Tintin is a first name or last name. Well the truth is no one knows. Tintin is seemingly a man without a past, or a family. No mention is ever made of his family and he simply states ‘at home they call me Tintin.’ Many fans theorize Tintin is a pseudonym and that he visits his family between adventures.
It's interesting to note that during WWII several stories, Tintin in America and The Black Island were banned by the Nazis. Later, Hergé would continue to publish stories though a German newspaper and we be accused of being a collaborator. Many artist and writers who fled from the Nazis often looked down on those who stayed behind.
As you are aware of by now, there is a forthcoming film called The Adventures of Tintin, directed by Stephen Spielberg with Peter Jackson serving as one of the producers. This film will combine elements from several different stories. Primarily, The Crab with the Golden Claws, The Secret of the Unicorn, and Red Rackham's Treasure. Spielberg has been a fan of Tintin for quite some time now, becoming aware of the property when a reviewer compared Raiders of the Lost Ark to Tintin. Also of note, Steven Moffat, the current show runner of Doctor Who, worked on the script of this film.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
This episode, it's an all-Ghostbusters discussion! From the movies, to the cartoons, to the comics, to the toys, to anything else!
Fanholes Episode # 33: There Is No Fanholes, Only Zuul!
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
give commentary on the episode of Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm titled "Old Friends Never Die"
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Fanholes Tony (Chainclaw), Mike (Thunderwing), Justin (Grimlock) and Derek (derekwc)
discuss (with spoilers) the following current comic books:
Incredible Hulk #1, Fear Itself #7.1, Mark Waid's Daredevil, Stephanie Brown Batgirl series, Red Robin,Magog,
Teen Titans, Justice League #2, Legion of Super-Heroes/Star Trek #1, New Teen Titans: Games, Avengers 1959 #1-2,
Invincible #80-84, Angel and Faith #1-3, Invincible Iron Man #505-509, and Iron Man 2.0
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
In this latest Sidecast Fanholes regulars Tony (chainclaw) and Justin (Grimlock) are joined by Dextra as they watch the JLU episode 'This Little Piggy'.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
This episode, the Fanholes discuss the comic Avengers Academy, then participate in a roundtable discussing toys that they've always wanted but were never made, followed by discussion on the currently-airing cartoon Iron Man: Armored Adventures, and finally go into the FUTE-CHA to talk about the Amazing Spider-Man trailer.
Fanholes Episode # 32: Teen Tony?! WHAAAAAT...
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Fanholes Episode # 31: It's The Great Pumpkin Fanholes!
A very spook-tacular Halloween extravaganza!
The gang discuss their favorite episodes of Rod Serling's classic Twilight Zone television series. This is followed by reflection on the currently airing television series on AMC, The Walking Dead. Then the guys continue with sharing some of their favorite horror-themed video games and finally in the For The Fute-Cha segment they talk about the trailer for the upcoming Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance film.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
In anticipation of the Batman: Year One DTV adaptation, the gang discusses the original source material from the comics and the adaptations that could possibly follow. Frank Miller's "Batman Year One" and John Byrne's "Man of Steel" are juxtaposed with Miller's "The Dark Knight Returns" and Alan Moore's "Whatever Happened to The Man of Tomorrow?"
Fanholes Episode # 30: I Shall Become A Most Excellent Super-Bat!
Monday, October 17, 2011
The Annihilators were formed in the aftermath of the Thanos Imperative. A team comprised of Silver Surfer, Beta Ray Bill, Gladiator, Quasar and Ronan...five of the most powerful heroes in the Marvel Universe. This isn’t the first time Silver Surfer, Beta Ray Bill and Quasar have been on the same team. Remember the Star Masters? Yeah, I bet you didn’t.
So, as the team assembles they are met by an intruder, Ikon, who systematically begins to take out each member. Not only showing us that she is a force to be reckoned with, she is telling us the Annihilators will fail as a team because they are too powerful. They are forced to hold back their awesome power for fear of hurting others.
Before the discussion can conclude, Cosmo detects strange energy readings near the Dark Nebula. This is of concern because the Dire Wraiths are connected and if unleashed, would devastate the galaxy. The team arrives to face Doctor Dredd, who is so powerful he can actually cut the Silver Surfer. Doctor Dredd has manipulated energy or magic or some such explanation and unleashes the Dark Sun, which gives the Dire Wraiths their strength.
Issue two opens with the Annihilators battling the Dire Wraiths. Beta Ray Bill and Quasar manage to block the Dark Star energies. Silver Surfer suspects that Doctor Dredd did not act alone and confronts the queen of Ikon’s people. Consumed with the grief of loosing her husband she has been manipulated into restoring the Dire Wraiths, hoping that such an event would bring her husband back. The Wraith Queen shows up and begins her assault against the Annihilators.
The team battles the Wraith Queen, but is taken aback when she manages to pierce the Silver Surfer and link into his mind. Through this connection the Surfer learns that the battle is not over, even when the queen is knocked out. He proposes they journey to Wraith World to stop the Black Star from merging with the Galadorian sun. Once on Wraith World the Queen tries to inspire her people to rise against the Annihilators but they stone her. They blame her for the current state they are in; a once fearsome warrior race reduced to starvation. Suddenly, Tempus and the army of Immortus appear and attacks. Meanwhile, we see Doctor Dredd, among others, are reveled to be...
It turns out that Dredd is a Skrull who was imprisoned long ago for devoting his time and research to magic instead of science. During the Annihilation War his prison planet was destroyed and he was set free. He found the Dire Wraiths, offshoots of the Skrulls and learned from them.
Quasar tries to talk Immortus into calling off his attack...which he does. He states that Quasar is important to the future and must survive. After this a large structure arises and the Skrulls begin to magically empower the Dire Wraiths and attack. While the team battles the Wraiths again the Wraith Queen attacks the Skrull Dredd and both are lost. Its not over though, as they must deal with the two suns that were fusing. Without the magic they will go supernova. Quasar, Ronan and the Surfer combine their powers and fuse the suns into one, linking the Galadorians and Wraiths forever. The crisis is over and our series ends with this...
Coming off the engaging Thanos Imperative event, I had high hopes for the Annihilators. A team made up of some of the most powerful cosmic players seemed like a safe bet. Personally, I still miss the Guardians of the Galaxy series. Sure, it didn’t have the most powerful people on its roster but it was full of adventure and was a fun and humorous book. Annihilators is good...but I think the problem is its just not as good as Guardians was. There is some humor in this mini. There are a few reoccurring jokes, like all the members being listed as Alpha Plus threats and Ronan only being Alpha. Quasar has a few quips, but that’s it.
On one hand, I think the team suffers because only Quasar and Surfer have any development. But then again, having read Marvel Comics since I was a kid I already know each of these characters extremely well. In the end I wouldn’t say Annihilators is a bad comic, just not as good as some of the cosmic stuff that came before it. Perhaps the current Annihilators: Earthfall mini series will be better.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Fanholes regulars Tony (Chainclaw), Mike (Thunderwing), Derek (derekwc)
and Justin (Grimlock) give commentary the G1 Transformers episode
titled "Arise Atlantis!"
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Fanholes Episode # 29: Anakin, I'M YOOOU!
The All-Star Wars episode of Fanholes! The Fanholes discuss the original and prequel trilogies, Comics, Novels and various Clone Wars cartoon series!
Thursday, September 22, 2011
The gang welcomes back Professor Smooth in this all-wrestling episode. The Fanholes name their favorite wrestlers of all time, their "dream matches", and talk international wrestling as well. Finally, they discuss the craziest/most memorable wrestling tie-ins and side projects.
Fanholes Episode # 28: Fill The Spaceship With The Slim Jims
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Issue 90 is the beginning of a new storyline that introduced the character of Artemis. Previously, Wonder Woman’s home of Themyscira had been destroyed by Circe...or so she thought. In reality, Circe placed Themyscira in another dimension and let a rogue group of Amazons invade. Later, Circe betrayed the rogues and beset the island with wave after wave of demons. The two groups of Amazons pulled together and eventually overcame the demons and made peace.
As Wonder Woman returns her mother tells her that she has lost her way. That she should not get involved with the petty lives of mortals. That she should be doing great things, not wasting her time as she has been. Later, Wonder Woman meets Artemis and the two shoot arrows to see who is the better. At the end of issue 90 it is announced that there will be a new contest to determine who will be the new Wonder Woman.
The contest begins in issue 91. Queen Hippolyta has forbidden the rogue Amazons from entering the contest but after Diana gives a speech they are allowed to compete. Diana and her friends advance to the next stage. They work together with Artemis and defeat their opponents. They advance to the final round where they must win a race across the entire island.
After overcoming a whirlpool, harpies and medusa the race comes down, of course, to Diana and Artemis. Diana is about to catch up when she falls...Artemis wins. Next issue Diana gets in a argument with her mother and leaves the island. Artemis becomes Wonder Woman, now wearing the costume, and begins her super hero career by stopping some bad guys in Boston. Soon Diana also joins the battle in her new costume. Artemis goes on tv saying she will be a different, better Wonder Woman and the issue ends with Diana setting up a detective agency.
Next time we see Artemis she is at a shelter for battered woman. She tells a woman that she’d be better off dead than letting a man hit her, that she shouldn't be a coward. Just then the Chauvinist breaks in and attacks Artemis. After a lengthy battle she manages to defeat him, but a bystander who believes the hate the Chauvinist was spouting pulls a gun and takes aim at Artemis. He pulls the trigger, but the battered woman from earlier takes the bullet for her. Her dying words are that she didn’t want Wonder Woman to think her a coward.
Once Artemis becomes Wonder Woman she fights a steady flow of...well, some very 90s looking bad guys. You know what I mean. All extreme and hoped up on roids. Lots of guns, chains and shoulder pads. As it turns out all the people Artemis has been fighting were actors hired to make her look good. Diana finds out but is attacked by Artemis. After a brief battle, Diana decides she’s fighting the wrong person and heads to Paradise Island.
Finally, Diana learns the truth from her mother. Hippolyta had a vision where Wonder Woman was killed in a great battle. So, she staged a new contest in order to keep her daughter from dying. Artemis fights the demon but it is a loosing battle. Diana comes in and fights an insane Cheetah as Artemis fights for her life. Eventually Artemis lays defeated and asks Diana to take the Gauntlet of Atlas from her, which will increase her strength ten times. Diana takes it and manages to defeat the demon, but Artemis dies in her arms. She tells her to take back the costume, that she is the true Wonder Woman.
The introduction of Artemis and her assumption of the Wonder Woman mantle was another in a long line of shakeups DC introduced in the 90s. We had the Death of Superman, Bane breaking Batman’s back and the introduction of Azrael. Finally came Hal Jordon’s insanity and evolution into a villain.
What drew me to Wonder Woman was Mike Deodato Jr's artwork. At the time I was reading Avengers month to month and, while some of the stories from that era may not hold up, the artwork is still great. I discovered Wonder Woman through him and read most of his run. After he left, so did I. I’ll admit, I’ve never been especially interested in Wonder Woman. I grew up with reruns of Super Friends and the live action show. I enjoyed both but for some reason, never sought out her comics.
I seem to have this habit of falling for ‘lesser’ versions of characters. I really enjoyed Bucky Barnes time as Captain America. I thought Skaar Son of Hulk was a good comic. I liked Dick Grayson’s time as Batman. And yes, I stuck with Spider-Man through the Clone Saga. I even thought Ben Riley was a good Spider-Man.
I would have liked it if Artemis fought some classic Wonder Woman villains instead of these extreme 90s guys. Her time as Wonder Woman seemed rather short. Even though she held the Wonder Woman mantle, the book still focused on Diana. This is one storyline I feel could have been extended a bit. We could have had Diana run around playing detective while Artemis struggles with being a hero. If you want to check out some good Wonder Woman comics I recommend checking out these issues. It's much better than the recent JMS stuff.
Monday, September 19, 2011
A short Sidecast where Derek discuss his quick thoughts on the first two weeks of DC's New 52 with fellow Fanholes Mike Priest and Justin Barber.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Fanholes Episode # 27: Longest Podcast Evar!
This week the Fanholes talk forever! Feel free to create your own intermission!
The gang talks their favorite What If? stories from Marvel Comics for the first
hour or so, then it's on to Disney Afternoons and the cartoons they liked the best,
next up discussion on the currently airing Marvel animated series Super Hero
Squad Show and finally in a For The Fute-Cha segment they discuss the trailer
for the upcoming Muppet movie!
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
We have Hope complaining that Scott never lets her do anything, while in the background the X-Club work on a limbo bridge. Namor bursts in demanding a piece of equipment be returned. Then, the whole thing goes crazy and Cyclops, Hope, Namor and Dr. Nemesis get whisked away to the Negative Zone .
The four break off into separate teams, looking for food and water. Namor ends up fighting giant monsters while Dr. Nemesis watches and makes smart remarks. Not a wise thing to do given the fits of rage Namor is prone to. Cyclops and Hope bicker about...well everything. Hope tells him that she’s not a baby, that she lived with Cable, who taught her everything and she can handle herself. She shows just how well she can handle things by immediately getting them captured by Blastaar's forces.
Back on earth, Emma Frost and Pixie go to New York looking for the Avengers. They see a broadcast by Blastarr, showing the captured Cyclops. Blastarr demands Reed Richards come through the portal or they risk war with the Kree Empire. A little backstory...Blastarr has been an on again off again ally of the Kree since 'War of Kings'.
Anyway, Emma and Pixie meet up with Steve Rogers who goes in Reed’s place. Reed’s just never around when you need him. Scott and Hope manage to escape confinement and eventually meet up with Steve, but not before Scott is forced to admit to Hope...
They are about to fight their way through Blastarr’s forces when an enraged Namor breaks in and in a fit of rage seriously wounds Hope. He then easily defeats Blastarr. As a Namor fan boy I have to smile. Its always fun when one of your favorite character beats a really powerful cosmic guy. (unless of course its Black Panther beating Silver Surfer)
Blastarr recovers and goes all out with Namor. Meanwhile, Dr. Nemesis finds an alien facility and makes them create a new bridge to Earth. Steve takes the injured Hope and makes a run for the center of 42, the old prison created in the Civil War crossover. There is another bridge there, but Namor and Blastarr destroy it in the battle. Cyclops tries to reason with Namor...and fails. Finally, he is forced to unleash everything he has.
It only stuns Namor. Steve and Hope share some time together, where in his usual boy scout way, manages to lecture and inspire Hope in the same breath. Basically, he tells her not to be so hard on Cyclops and that, in combat people die, but you have to keep fighting so their sacrifice means something.
Dr. Nemesis shows up with the device and leads a monster back with him. Blastarr fights the monster, Hope uses her powers to take on Namor and they all manage to make it back home.
There are some nice moments in this crossover. The humor is the best part, as each installment is full of genuinely funny moments and snaky dialogue from Hope and Dr. Nemesis. We see Hope’s character evolve from kind of bratty, to a more mature adult. When Hope and Cyclops escape, he is without his visor and must rely on Hope to help him along. Also, while crawling though the duct vents of 42, Hope says that a good looking man just arrived...who turns out to be Steve Rogers. All in all, it’s a fun crossover, which is saying something because sometimes these annual crossovers are bland at best.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Fanholes regulars Tony (Chainclaw) and Justin (Grimlock) give commentary on an episode of Ghost Hunters that features the Collinwood mansion. As fans of the series Dark Shadows, they bring their own insights and wit to the episode.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Fanholes Episode # 26: Who Let The Cats Out?
This week is an all-Thundercats episode for the Fanholes.
The discussion includes the original cartoon all the way to the
brand new show on Cartoon Network. The Fanholes also take the
time out to reminisce about the LJN toyline and Wildstorm comic books
dealing with the feline adventurers.
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Fanholes Episode # 25: Canucklehead Overdrive
This week the Fanholes talk their favorite games from the Nintendo Entertainment
System, some great TV series that still fell prey to "Jumping The Shark", the wild
and crazy trope of Alternate Universes in popular fiction, and discuss the current
feature film, Captain America: The First Avenger.
Saturday, August 27, 2011
'Ripper’s Curse' is a three part story that runs through issue #2-4 of IDW’s ongoing Doctor Who series. Our story begins with the Tardis landing in London, 1888. The Doctor ventures out and quickly finds that things are not as they seem. After detecting radiation that should not be present in Victorian era London he leaves Amy and Rory, his current companions, to investigate on their own. Amy finally puts things together and realizes they are in the middle of the Jack The Ripper murders. Furthermore, she figures out that they have arrived on the night of the double murders and takes off in an attempt to save the second victim.
The Doctor tracks the source of the radiation, which is actually a person using a shimmer suit, a kind of camouflage that allows him to look human. Amy arrives too late though, as the second victim has been killed. She finds a lizard like alien standing over the body and is hit with a paralyzing dart. The Doctor arrives and is discovered standing over the body of Amy by the police, who arrest him for being Jack The Ripper.
As issue three begins Rory and Detective Abberline arrive and have the Doctor set free. The Doctor is surprised to see that Abberline is not taken in by the psychic paper. Psychic Paper is something the Doctor frequently uses to go anywhere and investigate. It projects whatever credentials he needs for any situation. The alien is, the Doctor suspects, a Ju’Wes Hunter. Anyone who knows the details of the Ripper case will see this as a clever way to tie directly into the facts of actual history. Which, pays off when we see...
Later, the Tardis crew discuss saving the Ripper’s final victim. The Doctor is very much against saving her, something that Amy and Rory don’t understand. This is a nice discussion of how the Doctor can seemingly alter time, yet on the same hand adhere to not changing fixed moments in time. As we've seen in the series, anytime a fixed moment in time is altered it usually has dire consequences.
Amy disregards everything the Doctor says and tries to warn Mary, the final victim, that she will be killed by the Ripper. Mary simply laughs it off, thinking herself an unlikely victim. The Doctor then travels a few weeks into the future when Mary will be killed, only to find that the wrong Mary has been murdered. Amy did change time and now anything can happen. Issue three ends with Amy being captured by the Ripper.
Issue four opens in the present day as the Doctor and Rory attend a tour of one of the Ripper murder sites. The tour guide tells them that Amelia Marple, the fake name Amy gave to the police, was killed after Mary. They immediately hop back in the Tardis to stop Amy's death. Back in 1888 Amy wakes up in the basement of a house, a captive of the Ripper. The other Mary is there, the one that should have died but didn’t. Eventually Amy and Mary are able to escape from the house and The Ripper faces his hunter. The hunter is also an alien who has been tracking the Ripper. The Ripper is an alien war criminal and is doing these murders in order to blame them on the Ju’Wes. He sees them as monsters who committed atrocities against his people.
Eventually, both aliens are pulled into a rift and blown into space. In the end the Tardis crew travel to present day London. Time has changed, as Amy is no longer listed as a Ripper victim and the Mary that should have died lived on borrowed time, having died a year later. Time, the Doctor tells us, has set things right.
These three issues are fairly simple, yet fun. Having always been fascinated by the Ripper case myself, I can appreciate what the writer was trying to do here. We get references to 'From Hell', not only the film but the graphic novel as well. Amy and Rory identify themselves as Inspector Clouseau and Miss Marple of CSI. I do wish the idea of the Doctor being mistaken for Jack The Ripper had been exploited a bit more.
An interesting side note is that a recent episode of Doctor Who, 'A Good Man Goes To War', actually made a reference to the Ripper murders. This reference actually negates the comic story. Doctor Who cannon is somewhat tricky. You have audio stories and comics and novels that often conflict with one another. Though sometimes the show will reference these stories. Unlike Star Trek, where none of the comics or novels are cannon.
The only negative thing I have to say about these comics is the art. It is simple and does suit a Ripper tale...but I’m not sure it suits a Doctor Who comic. It reminds me of artwork from the Topps X-Files comics. Those comics were somewhat notorious for bad artwork. Though here, the Doctor, Amy and Rory at least like they should.