Listen to Episode 179, “On Your Left (feat. Eric Sipple)”

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Gobbledygeek episode 179, “On Your Left (feat. Eric Sipple),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

He’s pretty spry for an old guy: Steve Rogers charges back onto the big screen with Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and we’re here to tell you if it’s a worthy outing for the star-spangled boy scout. Joining Paul and AJ to discuss the film is friend/lover/ultimate Brony forever Eric Sipple (he also wrote a really cool book called Broken Magic, check it out). The gang talks about Winter Soldier‘s brutal hand-to-hand, whether or not the movie’s political commentary works, the merits of Scarlett Johansson’s badassery, and that Sundance Kid. Spoiler alert: this episode might contain the most agreement of any single episode of Gobbledygeek.

Next: Paul and AJ talk about Amazon’s acquirement of comiXology, among other assuredly fascinating subjects.

(Show notes for “On Your Left.”)

Listen to Episode 178, “Old Testament, Real Wrath of God Type Stuff”

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Gobbledygeek episode 178, “Old Testament, Real Wrath of God Type Stuff,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

A storm is coming. No, for real, a storm is coming and it’s gonna wipe me and you and everyone we know right offa this rock: Darren Aronofsky envisions the great flood of Genesis in mysterious ways with his new film Noah. As portrayed by Russell Crowe, Noah’s, uh, a little bleaker than you might remember from Sunday school, as he is forced to grapple with whether or not to allow humanity to persist. Add in some six-armed rock monsters, glowy fingers, and some insane Fountain-esque visuals…and it’s not what almost anyone would expect from a biblical epic. We’ll tell you if that’s a good thing or not. Plus, Paul and AJ watch the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles trailer and talk comics both mainstream (Silver Surfer) and not (Sex Criminals).

Next: though Captain America: The Winter Soldier is in theaters as you read this, because of the way we record, it is not this week’s episode. No matter what that idiot AJ said. So! Next week! Winter Soldier is coming and we are here to talk about it.

(Show notes for “Old Testament, Real Wrath of God Type Stuff.”)

Listen to Episode 177, “The Sandman: Vol. I – Preludes & Nocturnes (feat. Eric Sipple)”

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Art from ‘The Sandman’ #8 by Mike Dringenberg and Malcolm Jones III.

Gobbledygeek episode 177, “The Sandman: Vol. I – Preludes & Nocturnes (feat. Eric Sipple),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

You ever have that dream where Paul and AJ are discussing the greatest comic book of all time in ten spoiler-free monthly installments? Yeah, us too: beginning with this episode, the boys bring the Four-Color Flashback feature to the show, dissecting Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman through the rest of the year. Friend of the show (at this point, he’s more of a lover) Eric Sipple joins us for a discussion of The Sandman: Vol. I – Preludes & Nocturnes. The great tale of Morpheus, lord of dreams, gets its start in a fashion that’s not always representative of what it would become (DC superheroes), but the gang is on hand to point out all the ways in which it is uniquely Sandman (a horror story about stories). Plus, Amazon’s a little icky and Marvel has a prime opportunity for diversity with Iron Fist.

Next: despite the words that come tumbling out of AJ’s idiot mouth, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is not next week’s episode. We’ll force him to come up with something.

(Show notes for “The Sandman: Vol. I – Preludes & Nocturnes.”)

Listen to Episode 155, “Slott Bubbles and Pickled Ass”

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Gobbledygeek episode 155, “Slott Bubbles and Pickled Ass,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

Comics! They’re good for you! But wait, no! They’re also bad! This is an accurate description of the emotional roller-coaster Paul and AJ strap themselves into this week. First up, there’s X-Men: Battle of the Atom, an event the boys are surprised to enjoy chiefly because it’s one of the Big Two’s dreaded “events”; then there’s The Superior Spider-Man, about which there is much rage and sadness and talk of poop. There’s a lot of poop talk. Plus, Jurassic Park and Harry Potter are both going back to the well, and the boys pimp themselves and friends. They’re just a coupla classy guys.

Next: yet more Gobbledy-wonderment.

(Show notes for “Slott Bubbles and Pickled Ass.”)

Listen to Episode 149, “Wolverine Is the Bear”

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Gobbledygeek episode 149, “Wolverine Is the Bear,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

SNIKT! Logan, the samurai with the adamantium claws, returns for his first solo adventure in four years, since the unfortunate X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Good news is, The Wolverine is a better film. How much better? On that, the boys don’t necessarily see eye-to-eye, but they sing the praises of Hugh Jackman and his rippling physique, the surprisingly diverse cast, and the audacity to make an X-movie without a bajillion unnecessary cameos. Plus, Paul and AJ pimp good friends Eric Sipple and Mere Smith’s next venture.

Next: for the first time in a long time, we’ve got a non-Eric or -Greg guest in the form of Magdalena Burnham. Joined by her director, the two will discuss their forthcoming pilot Allies.

(Show notes for “Wolverine Is the Bear.”)

Paul & AJ’s Top 10 Comics of 2012

We’ve already listed our favorite TV shows and movies of last year, and we’ve got a couple more lists just before the new season begins. Here are our favorite comic books of 2012; check back tomorrow for our favorite albums (though, considering our extensively detailed history of not knowing how to talk about music, with YouTube clips instead of commentary).

PAUL: 10. THOR: GOD OF THUNDER (Marvel)

Thor in 'Thor: God of Thunder' #1. Art by Esad Ribic.

There was a period of time when Thor was my favorite character in comics. The golden Walt Simonson era was for me the height of otherworldly sword and sorcery super heroics. And while its been quite some time since the character has achieved anything close to that level of wonder, in recent years he’s enjoyed something of a renaissance. From his “death,” to his literal return to Earth under the guidance of J. Michael Straczynski, to his big screen debut, the petulant son of Asgard is kind of back in a big way.

Thor: God of Thunder is the newest incarnation of the title, with the unlikely writer Jason Aaron giving us a triptych of thunder gods, a tale of an alien butcher seeking to torture and destroy all deities told across three different periods of Thor’s life. We see young, arrogant Thor (pre-Mjolnir) and his first meeting with Gorr the God Butcher; modern-day Avenger Thor going full CSI trying to solve the mystery of who or what Gorr is; and far-future Thor, old and broken, sitting on the throne of an empty Asgard, the last surviving god, waiting for Gorr to finish him. It’s a brutal, bloody, and fascinating premise, though I do wish Gorr was slightly more imposing-looking rather than just being a Voldemort rip-off. Aaron creates a genuine mystery and sense of danger with real stakes for our hero, and the painterly art of Esad Ribic suits the romantic epic nature of the story. It’s not quite Simonson-level Mighty Thor (there’s thus far no Beta Ray Bill here), but Thor: God of Thunder is the best the character has been in a long time.

AJ: 10. ANGEL & FAITH (Dark Horse)

Angel, Willow, Connor, and Faith in 'Angel & Faith' #14. Art by Rebekah Isaacs.

I know Whedon fandom is crazy, but I might just be the biggest Buffy fan on the planet. That’s a huge claim, and while I haven’t tattooed James Marsters’ face on my ass or anything (yet), it really is difficult to describe how much Joss Whedon’s world means to me. Without Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I wouldn’t be here today. You wouldn’t be reading these words and I would have even less of an idea of what I want to do with my life. So it pains me greatly to say that the canonical Season 8 and Season 9 comics, though they have certainly had their moments, are largely disposable and occasionally worse. But then there’s Angel & Faith, which has done the impossible, making a monthly comic book series feel like the weekly television shows we fell in love with all those years ago. Christos Gage knows these characters inside and out, both their voices and their motivations. It’s never a question of if the comic will tie back into the shows’ stated mythology, but when and how spine-tingling those connections will be. These are the characters I have loved for a good deal of my life in a story that’s being brilliantly told by Gage and brought to life with wonderful clarity by artist Rebekah Isaacs. If you’re skeptical about Buffyverse comics, you have every right to be, but this one should be a priority.

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Paul & AJ’s Top 10 Films of 2012

Last week, we discussed our favorite TV series of the last year. This week, we turn to the big screen.

PAUL: 10. DJANGO UNCHAINED (dir. Quentin Tarantino)

Jamie Foxx in 'Django Unchained'

With Django Unchained, director Quentin Tarantino takes us once more back to a terrible moment in our history, and once again asks us to indulge him his little anachronisms and revisionist revenge fantasies. This time, instead of Nazis and baseball-bat-wielding Jews, we get slavers and bounty-hunting dentists. Set in the pre-Civil War Deep South, Unchained is Tarantino’s homage to the Spaghetti Westerns of Leone and Corbucci, which he prefers to call his Spaghetti Southern. I’ll say that the absence of editor Sally Menke is sharply felt here, though. If I, of all people, notice the nearly three-hour runtime, then there could’ve been some tightening. The cast is great across the board, including a list of hidden cameos longer than my arm (among others, original Django Franco Nero makes an appearance). Jamie Foxx is great in the title role, though I imagine what Will Smith could’ve done with the part, as was the original intent. Leo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson, and Walton Goggins all shine in their respective roles. Kerry Washington was reduced to little more than the damsel in distress, however, which is unusual for a Tarantino picture. But the standout here is Christoph Waltz. He is every bit as charmingly heroic and admirable this time as he was charmingly repulsive and hateful in Basterds.

AJ: 10. MOONRISE KINGDOM (dir. Wes Anderson)

Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman in 'Moonrise Kingdom'

Wes Anderson’s films often have a childlike quality about them, whether it be his colorful storybook compositions or the petulance of many of his characters. So it’s fitting that he’s finally made a film about children, one in which the kids are on the run from what’s expected of them and their adult guardians are forced to accept the roles they’ve played in their children’s abandonment of them. Newcomers Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward, both in their first screen acting roles, give perfectly awkward performances. Anderson regulars Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman are in their element here, while Frances McDormand and Tilda Swinton join the auteur’s troupe with ease. Perhaps most encouragingly, Moonrise Kingdom is the first sign of life in years from Bruce Willis–who, with a movie soon to appear on our lists, proved later in the year that he’s most definitely still kicking–and Edward Norton, two actors who really needed a movie like this.

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Listen to Episode 122, “Gobbledygeek Gift Guide 2012″

Art by Michael Cho.

Art by Michael Cho.

Gobbledygeek episode 122, “Gobbledygeek Gift Guide 2012,” is available for listening or download right here.

The season of giving is once more upon us. Ever helpful, Paul and AJ list a number of Christmas gift options for that special geek in your life: from movies (like In the Mood for Love on Criterion Collection Blu-ray) to TV (the complete series of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!), comics (Saga: Vol. 1) to books (Alan Sepinwall’s The Revolution Was Televised), toys (cute lil’ Funko Pop figures) to games (Dishonored), and more. Don’t forget to thank us for rescuing your Christmas.

Next: the holiday gets twisted with The Nightmare Before Christmas.

NOTE: Links to every single item we mention in the episode can be found in the show notes.

(Show notes for “Gobbledygeek Gift Guide 2012.”)

Listen to Episode 107, “@#$% You, Science!”

Gobbledygeek episode 107, “@#$% You, Science!,” is available for listening or download right here.

Paul and AJ had an idea for what they wanted this show to be about: science! Unfortunately, it didn’t really work out. Fortunately–we think–they managed to come up with a bunch of other things to talk about: Joss Whedon’s return to The Avengers, Jason Shayer’s blog about 1980s Marvel, the found-footage horror of V/H/S, how AJ pretty much bawled his eyes out at the new issue of Spider-Men, and, yes, science (Mars Curiosity for the win).

Next: Geek Challenge time once more! Paul will watch Grave of the Fireflies and AJ will watch Watership Down. That’s not gonna be depressing at all.

(Show notes for “@#$% You, Science!”)

Listen to Episode 106, “The Olympics of Gay Chicken, Superheroes, and Furbys”

Gobbledygeek episode 106, “The Olympics of Gay Chicken, Superheroes, and Furbys,” is available for listening or download right here.

The dog days of summer have arrived, and with them even less of a sense of purpose and direction than our hosts usually display. So they babble on about a variety of topics: Chick-fil-A’s rampant homophobia (which accounts for the annual violation of their “No Politics” rule!), Olympics spoilerphobia, the forthcoming Marvel NOW! relaunch, and the return of the Furby, among other things.

Next: again, who knows, Paul and AJ’s brains are fried.

(Show notes for “The Olympics of Gay Chicken, Superheroes, and Furbys.”)