A couple of times a year, I'm invited on Nerds Without Pants, a podcast hosted by my old friend Julian Titus for the video game website PixlBit. Most of the time, the conversation centers around gaming (with some great points made by all about the hot button topic of "Gamergate"), and while this episode (titled "You, Me, and the ESRB") is no exception, there's enough talk about how we satisfied our geekdoms in high school without a lot of access to the things we were interested in, as well as a long tangent about Aquaman and the differences between DC and Marvel superheroes that makes the show of interest to this site.
Why do I love Captain Marvel aka Shazam so much (and what's the deal with that name anyway)? All that and more on this week's Giant Size as I make the hard sell to Moises Chiullan on the charm of the character and the 90's series The Power of Shazam and Kingdom Come. Forgive me, but not mentioned in this episode are three Shazam-related books that definitely deserve mentioning -- Shazam: Power of Hope by Alex Ross and Paul Dini, Superman/Shazam: First Thunder (a gorgeous book that reinvents the first meeting between those two heroes), and Shazam: The Greatest Stories Ever Told. We also talk to the minds behind Dark Horse's Buzzkill, writers Donny Cates and Mark Reznicek (of Toadies fame). It's about a superhero who doesn't get his powers from a magic word but a bottle of hooch.
Okay, "Bronze Age" fans, this one is a must. Artist Val Mayerik, co-creator of Howard the Duck and whose name is the very last one you see in the final credits for the movie Guardians of the Galaxy, sat across the table from me and Moises Chiullan to talk about his career, his peers, his relationship with comics, and a certain cigar-smoking water fowl. It's not your typical episode of Giant Size and we couldn't be happier about that.
This is the second half of our Spider-Man discussion with artist Todd Nauck (Nightcrawler, Young Justice, and, yes, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man) where we get into the darker flavors of Spidey and storylines that use death to frame Spider-Man's heroism. Also in this show (we've teased it in the past) but we're finally proud to present the full audio for Moises Chiullan's Dallas Comic-Con panel and first-time meeting between Spider-Man co-creator Stan Lee and current Amazing Spider-Man writer Dan Slott.
What better way to talk about all things Spider-Man than with Todd Nauck, a guy who just happens to have drawn one of the best-selling modern Spider-Man comics of all-time (Amazing Spider-Man #583, for those keeping score)? Nauck joins Moises and myself to go over our personal introductions to the character and our favorite moments from the wall-crawler's long history. Later, former Spider-Man editor and writer Howard Mackie joins the show to talk about the controversial "Clone Saga" and we're treated to audio from the first meeting between Spider-Man co-creator Stan Lee and current Spider-Man shepherd Dan Slott!
Tonight 17 minutes of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy was screened to eager IMAX audiences, and afterward -- lo and behold -- a new trailer popped up on Fandango. This one has an extended comedy moment used in earlier ads and we get to hear Ronan the Accuser speak for the very first time. Nice use of "Cherry Bomb" as well.
I'm very interested in the film, but that interest is accompanied by my long fanboy sighs of wishing the comic was better. I really liked Abnett and Lanning's relaunch, but I kind of feel like Bendis's revival stalled out quickly. Marvel's working hard to make sure the Guardians in the books match the Guardians on the screen, and I get it -- it's good for business. But I just read a bunch of old Starlord stories this weekend, and those sure are a different beast than what they're serving up here. No matter. I still want to see the damned thing, so it's working.