Listen to Episode 194, “Groot Suit Riot (feat. Kenn Edwards)”

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Gobbledygeek episode 194, “Groot Suit Riot (feat. Kenn Edwards),” is available for listening or download right here. and on iTunes here.

Come and get your love, boys and girls: the Guardians of the Galaxy have arrived. Paul and AJ abduct the young, impressionable Kenn Edwards (So Let’s Get to the Pointhost/Smoke Gets in Your Ears co-host), leading him on a whirlwind tour of the universe, discussing the finer points of James Gunn’s sci-fi blockbuster. Among those points: whether or not, ten movies in, the film marks progress for Marvel Studios; the unlikely (or perhaps the most likely) breakout characters; and that bitchin’ soundtrack. Plus, AJ goes in for a sleep test and gets back up on his Spider-Ham soapbox.

Next: Joseph Lewis returns for another gathering of the Turtle…uh, Tribe? Is that a thing? Anyway, this time the gang’s discussing the new Michael Bay-produced Ninja Turtles movie.

(Show notes for “Groot Suit Riot.”)

Listen to Episode 183, “Spider-Man and His Amazing Roaming Woody Harrelsons (feat. Kenn Edwards)”

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Gobbledygeek episode 183, “Spider-Man and His Amazing Roaming Woody Harrelsons (feat. Kenn Edwards),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

Your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is swinging back into theaters with The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and we’re on hand to dissect it. There is just so much going on in this movie that Paul and AJ have recruited another villain for their burgeoning franchise: Kenn Edwards of So Let’s Get to the Point and Project Batman. The gang is sharply divided on just how good Marc Webb’s sequel is and just how much plot is too much plot, but the common ground is surprising. Namely, the film’s faithful portrayal of Spidey himself; the adorability of Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy; and the power of one particularly iconic moment. Plus, Paul shares some shocking casting news, and AJ and Kenn dig on Louie.

Next: K. Dale Koontz and Ensley F. Guffey join us to discuss their book Wanna Cook? The Complete, Unofficial Companion to Breaking Bad. Meth and/or egomania not required.

(Show notes for “Spider-Man and His Amazing Roaming Woody Harrelsons.”)

Listen to Episode 181, “Knights’ Tales”

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Gobbledygeek episode 181, “Knights’ Tales,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

Paul and AJ are, you know, they’re…I think the word is “geeks”? Geeks. Yes. And sometimes, they challenge each other. Lord knows they challenge each other. And sometimes such a challenge between geeks is bestowed the rank of Geek Challenge. For the first time in far too long, such a plague has befallen the podcast: AJ challenges Paul to watch the 1957 Ingmar Bergman classic The Seventh Seal; in return, Paul challenges AJ to John Boorman’s 1981 Arthurian epic Excalibur. There is much sadness and mythmaking and fast-and-loose historical accuracies as our knights ride off on a journey of the soul. Plus, Fargo makes for a pretty great TV show and The Superior Spider-Man has reached its blessed end.

Next week: the second installment of this year’s Four-Color Flashback, as the boys discuss the second volume of Neil Gaiman’s The SandmanThe Doll’s House.

(Show notes for “Knights’ Tales.”)

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 128, “What’s Your Heroic Damage”

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Gobbledygeek episode 128, “What’s Your Heroic Damage,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

What does it mean to be a hero? Does “escapism” have to be a derogatory term? Can good guys be as compelling as their supporting casts and villains? To explore these questions, Paul and AJ are joined by friend of the show/Broken Magic author Eric Sipple and TV writer/producer (of Angel, among other things) Mere Smith. There’s Angel talk, obviously, but also some Spider-Man and some Rurouni Kenshin, plus plenty of Eric-bashing.

Next: Rob Hunt and Joanna Gaskell from Standard Action return to tell us all about season 2!

(Show notes for “What’s Your Heroic Damage.”)

Listen to Episode 125, “The Bacon Waffle Betrayal”

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Gobbledygeek episode 125, “The Bacon Waffle Betrayal,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

It’s been a long, grueling month, but Paul and AJ have finally awoken from their slumber. Which, as it turns out, was not so slumber-y; there was much to survive, from bouts of the plague to the holidays to all this Superior Spider-Man nonsense. And if that’s not enough for you, the boys close things out by discussing truth and perception of same in the media. Ooh, intellectual! But fear not: the phrase “bacon waffle” is in the title.

Next: the boys are joined stuntwoman Clodagh Power.

(Show notes for “The Bacon Waffle Betrayal.”)

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 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 103, “Does Whatever a Reboot Can”

Gobbledygeek episode 103, “Does Whatever a Reboot Can,” is available for listening or download right here.

The year’s second big superhero movie, following The Avengers–which you may remember we discussed and AJ even wrote a review of–is The Amazing Spider-Man, rebooting the franchise that sputtered to an end but five years ago. Paul and AJ, both opinionated Spider-Man fans, are at odds over Marc Webb’s new film; Paul considers it the best big screen Spidey yet, AJ not so much. Is Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker a faithful representation of the one in the comics? Do Spider-Man’s jokes work? Is the Lizard a good starter villain for this new wall-crawler? Is Emma Stone completely adorable? (Spoiler: they agree on that last one, at least.) Plus, the boys geek out over the announcement of more Sandman and share their experiences of seeing Singin’ in the Rain on the big screen.

Next: We’re back, back in the Gotham groove. Paul and AJ rise up to discuss Christopher Nolan’s Bat swan song, The Dark Knight Rises.

(Show notes for “Does Whatever a Reboot Can.”)