The Avatar Returns episode 34 is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
The Legend of Korra Book Two: Spirits finally meanders to it’s somewhat muddled but more-or-less satisfying status quo-shattering conclusion with the final three chapters; 212, “Harmonic Convergence,” 213, “Darkness Falls,” and 214, “Light in the Dark.” We discuss the season highlights (Tenzin, Nuktuk, Varrick) and lowlights (the Water Tribe civil war, the dumbing down of Lin Beifong), and which characters were best or underserved. How does Unalaq stack up against other villains? (Spoiler: he’s the boringest!) Azula evolves into her ultimate form as the Spirit Mushroom. Arlo gets Seed of Wondered by the Tree of Time. And the whole shebang wraps up with Korra’s Krazy Kosmic Kaiju battle!
Also, this episode is late and it’s Arlo’s fault, and we whine about our first world podcast problems.
Next: a break between books of Korra means another book of the Dark Horse Comics graphic novel continuation of Avatar: The Last Airbender. So next week we look at Gene Luen Yang and Gurihiru’s third installment, Volume 3: The Rift. So join us for that…we’ll leave the spirit portal open for ya.
(Show notes for The Avatar Returns episode 34.)
Gobbledygeek episode 287, “Time of the Preacher,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Willie Nelson, John Wayne, preachers, bloodsuckers, angels, and arsefaces. Welcome to the world of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s classic Vertigo comic book Preacher, which has now been adapted into a television series on AMC courtesy of Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and Breaking Bad‘s Sam Catlin. Paul and Arlo previously analyzed the comic book on the blog back in 2012 and now set their sights on the show’s recently wrapped first season. The show takes an interesting route in exploring this tale of a small-town preacher cursed with the Word of God; namely, the ten hours that aired this year feel like a prologue to the series proper. The boys discuss the effectiveness of that approach; the spot-on casting of Dominic Cooper, Joseph Gilgun, and Ruth Negga as the unholy triumvirate of Jesse, Cassidy, and Tulip; how the series stays true to the spirit of Ennis and Dillon’s work, even without being able to drop an F-bomb; and what they hope they’ll see in the second season. Plus, Paul travels No Man’s Sky and Arlo becomes a beach bum.
Next: film buff Scott Stamper makes a pact with Paul and Arlo to discuss Suicide Squad.
(Show notes for “Time of the Preacher.”)
The Avatar Returns episode 33 is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
This week on The Avatar Returns we read the immortal classic Through the Looking-Glass, and What Korra Found There, also known as The Avatar’s Adventures in Wonderland. In chapter 209, “The Guide” Korra and Tenzin are finally reunited, we meet Bum-Ju, and bid a fond(ish) farewell to animation Studio Pierrot. Then chapter 210 ushers in “A New Spiritual Age” as we follow the white dragonfly-bunny to Uncle Iroh’s spirit tea party, see some genuinely creepy crawly things, and endure the return of the Dick Owl. And lastly chapter 211, “Night of a Thousand Stars” proves to be one of our favorites episodes of the entire season as Bolin becomes the real life Nuktuk we always knew he could be. But what’s that? Unalaq really does have a doomsday device? Nuk-nooo!
Also we nominate the new Batman: The Killing Joke animated film for the Unsexiest Flash Animation Circa 2002 Award.
Next: say goodbye to Book Two as we close out the season with chapters 212-214, “Harmonic Convergence,” “Darkness Falls,” and “Light in the Dark.”
(Show notes for The Avatar Returns episode 33.)
Gobbledygeek episode 285, “I Ain’t Afraid of No Girls,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Can you dislike Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters reboot without being a woman-hating, frothing-at-the-mouth MRA cave troll? Well, Paul and Arlo sure hope so. While championing the concept of a female-led Ghostbusters movie and praising the comic abilities of the girls in gray–Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones–the boys deconstruct the problems not just with this film but modern mainstream comedies in general. They also dig into how this film’s story breaks the mold set by the original movies, its attempts at social commentary, and its action- and CGI-stuffed climax. Plus, Paul delves into Stranger Things and reminds us he used to train Pokémon.
Next: it’s Grendel time again, which means it’s time for us to badger you–or anyone!–to read along with us. Our Four-Color Flashback exploration of Matt Wagner’s epic tale continues with “The Incubation Years,” collected in Grendel Omnibus: Vol. 3 – Orion’s Reign, pp. 10-112.
(Show notes for “I Ain’t Afraid of No Girls.”)
The Avatar Returns episode 31 is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
As The Avatar Returns continues its exploration of The Legend of Korra Book Two, Eric thinks Unalaq’s boringness continues to bore, Paul thinks Korra’s temperamental teenager act continues to grate, and Arlo thinks Paul has gone from face to heel. [Ed. note: he’s wrong, Paul has always been an evil bastard.] Fortunately for Eric, chapter 205, “Peacekeepers” features very little Unalaq. Paul is given a mostly Korra-free episode with chapter 206, “The Sting.” And Arlo can forgive (or at least ignore) Paul’s horribleness because Varrick’s heel turn is just so amazing. And everyone comes together in their love for Nuktuk, The Hero of the South!
Next: Studio Mir makes their triumphant return to animation duties with chapter 207, “Beginnings, Part 1” and 208, “Beginnings, Part 2.”
(Show notes for The Avatar Returns episode 31.)
The Avatar Returns episode 30 is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Six months later…we rejoin our regularly scheduled Avatar universe, already in progress.
The Legend of Korra Book Two kicks off with a gurgle as angry squid spirits drag unsuspecting sailors to their watery graves, Korra has finally “mastered” airbending, and Mako does his best Horatio Caine impression. Chapters 201 and 202 introduce us to Korra’s uncle Unalaq, who is boring but apparently important, and Varrick, who’s just plain smarmy fun. Oh, and there’s a whole spirit portal thing the Avatar has to deal with, but really we just like Varrick. Then in chapters 203 and 204, it’s civil war all over again as boring-but-bad Unalaq leads the Northern Water Tribe in a bid to “save” their Southern Water Tribe cousins. We learn more about Tenzin’s family, including his hippie chick sister Kya, and his wild and crazy older brother Bumi. The hosts agree, Bumi 2.0 is a big improvement over King Bumi.
Also, Arlo reveals he’s had an Eska or two in his past, and Battle Athletes Victory wins the prize for most obscure anime reference on the podcast yet. Congratulations!
Next: Book Two continues with chapters 205, “Peacekeepers,” and 206, “The Sting.” Starring Robert Redford and Paul Newman.
(Show notes for The Avatar Returns episode 30.)
Gobbledygeek episode 282, “The X-Files: Season 2 (feat. Wesley Mead),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Proving their first X-Files episode with renowned British person Wesley “Wezzo” Mead was no fluke, man, Paul and Arlo continue their sporadic discussion of Chris Carter’s ’90s phenom with a look at season 2. The gang casts their ominous flashlight beams on the season’s highs and lows, Scully’s abduction, the coming of Darin Morgan, and whether or not the mythology already shows signs of wear. Also, first-time viewer Arlo trusts no one’s opinion. Plus, as usual, a conversation with Wezzo about the UK’s dire political climate.
Next: our year-long Four-Color Flashback exploration of Matt Wagner’s Grendel continues with “The Devil Inside” and “Devil Tales,” collected in Grendel Omnibus: Vol. 2, pp. 371-542.
(Show notes for “The X-Files: Season 2.)