Apr 24, 2019

Spider-Rama: Amazing Spider-Man #16

Welcome to Spider-Rama! Each Wednesday, Ben and Duy will look at a Spider-Man issue from the very beginning, in chronological order, and answer questions for various categories, inspired in large part by one of our favorite podcasts, The Rewatchables by The Ringer. Our goal is to make it to Amazing Spider-Man #200. Will we make it? Grab your Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus or crank up your tablet to Marvel Unlimited, and then tune in every Wednesday to find out!

by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko

Spider-Man and Daredevil team up for the first time, against the Circus of Crime.


BEN: First meeting of Daredevil and Spider-Man. I have sort of love/hate the Spidey and Daredevil relationship. I’ve always loved how Marvel crosses over, but DD is usually a pompous know-it-all toward Peter.

DUY: When I was a kid I thought they were best friends. I have absolutely no basis for that. Matt always comes off like he's the more mature and experienced one, but Peter's been in the game as long as he has. This is also the second and third and fourth time Spider-Man has swung from his web upside down, which makes me think Ditko liked the pose when he came up with it and that's why it eventually became iconic.


DUY: In today's social climate, Matt Murdock choosing not to go out on a social situation with his employee that he has feelings for, ages particularly well.


DUY: Daredevil pre-Miller, or at least pre-Colan, kinda ages pretty badly. He's fairly standard, except for his handicap, which isn't a handicap for him at all. Interesting to note that Daredevil will end up taking off once he takes a second-tier Spider-Man villain and turns him into a first-tier Daredevil villain.

BEN: Turns out that Daredevil is the early Marvel hero least suited for the storytelling style of the Stan Lee era. He needed to be tortured and depressed, not worrying about a love triangle with his only two friends. He seems like he’s having too much fun with all this, and that feels wrong.


BEN: As far as Foggy and Karen know, Matt is completely blind, so why in the hell would he want to go to the circus?

DUY: Karen remembers he's blind while already at the circus, but still, the whole thing is pretty stupid.

BEN: I can’t imagine the average blind person likes big crowds.

DUY: This feels like a whole advertisement for Daredevil. I much preferred the Hulk meeting two issues ago, where it was random and felt more organic.


BEN: Like you keep pointing out, such great motion.

DUY: I do love that motion.


BEN: Daredevil. This was a shameless cross-promotion coming very early in his existence.

DUY: It even feels more like a Daredevil comic than a Spider-Man comic.

BEN: What a strange time early Marvel was. Fantastic Four was the established hit, Spider-Man was the early smash success. The Hulk was cancelled after six comics. The X-Men and Daredevil probably did just well enough to keep going.

DUY: That's it for Spider-Rama this week.

BEN: Thank you, Stan Lee and Steve Ditko—

DUY: —for telling us we aren't the only ones.

Leave us a comment below or on our Facebook page. See you next week!

Apr 22, 2019

MCU Roundtable: Your Favorite MCU Moments

Avengers: Endgame comes out this week, and we are ready for it! You guys can catch up on all our Comics Cube Roundtable discussions per movie here, but right now we've got...

Your Top 3 Favorite MCU Moments

JEFF: The Iron Man end credit scene, where Fury shows up and mentions The Avengers just whetted my appetite for Marvel to build up to something awesome. Scott Lang going Giant-Man in Civil War was so cool visually, grabbing War Machine and just wreaking so much havoc for Tony's team. Some good laughs came from that sequence too. And finally, Steve calling on SHIELD's agents to fight with him against Hydra in Winter Soldier. It fit his character perfectly and brought to the screen a great example of the inspiration Cap invokes in others and when he said he'd go at it along if he had to you know he meant it and would find a way to prevail despite the odds.

BEN: My first favorite moment is when Tony convinces Pepper not to quit in the first Iron Man. It’s the only time, in hindsight, he ever admits that he really does care, and that the only thing that matters now is saving people. 

RICH: It's also one of the only times I ever connected with the onscreen character of Pepper, who has otherwise been pretty bland, in my opinion.

BEN: These next ones aren’t my favorites but they come to mind. Loki coming through the portal in Avengers, drenched in sweat and evil, a smirk on his face, and then annihilating everyone in the room. And at the beginning of Winter Soldier, Captain America and Black Widow infiltrating that ship and surgically subduing all the hijackers with brutal efficiency. You could feel every punch and broken bone.

MATT: The first is Cap directing the action in the battle of New York leading to the swell of the Avengers theme. Second, the cops not believing cap when he directs them until he beats up a Chitauri. And third, Cap's talk with Erskine before his procedure. "Whatever happens tomorrow, you must promise me one thing. You will stay who you are, not a perfect soldier, but a good man." There are so many more, but those are the ones I come back to.

BEN: Cap directing the action is a great one because I didn’t expect they’d do it.

DUY: Yeah, I went into Avengers prepared for it to be the Iron Man and Friends show. Every other studio in the world would have made it the Iron Man and Friends show.

RICH: Interestingly, that was exactly how I perceived it the first time I saw it, as I hadn't yet seen any of the prior films other than Iron Man. So I didn't enjoy the movie. Then I marathoned all of the MCU and realized how wrong I'd been.

JEFF: Having Iron Man tell Cap to call the play was surprising too but perfect for establishing Cap's leadership.

MIGUEL:  First, Spider-Man's debut at the airport scene in Civil War. Second, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Starlord, and company  fighting Thanos in Infinity War. Third, the Iron Spider debut in Infiinity War.

JD: There are literally thousands of moments to pick from and each choice is just as valid as the next. The MCU has been around for so long now. But mine are the Guardians of the Galaxy singing The Rubber Man in Avengers Infinity War. This exchange from Age of Ultron:
TONY: How were you guys planning on beating that?
STEVE: Together.
TONY: We’ll lose.
STEVE: Then we’ll do that together, too.
And that first moment in Avengers when Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor are finally standing together in the flesh. I just realized I pulled from each Avengers movie. And it's in order. 

KATHERINE: This is a very difficult question and there are too many moments that I truly love. But I feel like these are three choices that I feel good about and can literally watch over and over again:  The Avengers working all together in one long continuous tracking shot through the streets and skies of New York. Thor arriving on a bolt of lightning to fight Hela’s undead army with "Immigrant Song" blasting behind him. And tiny little brave Steve Rogers going into the machine and transforming into Captain America.

JD: That tracking shot. Yeah. Its a five-page foldout on a movie screen.

KATHERINE:  I realized looking at my picks that the last one sounds like a shallow answer, but it’s not!! The reason that moment is so great is because up to that point, the movie had done such an incredible job of making me fall in love with Skinny Steve and his beautiful little heart, that once we got to this moment, I had somehow kind of forgotten what Chris Evans actually looks like. So the first time I watched it, when he steps out it was like they had pulled off a jaw-dropping magic trick. So I always remember that feeling of shock and awe from the first time I saw it. Plus, all the other characters’ reactions are just gold.

MATT: Haley touching Chris’s chest was unscripted

RICH: All great moments, definitely  Mine, in no particular order: Hulk smashing Loki and then punching Thor. Baby Groot dancing to Electric Light Orchestra cracks me the hell up. And the Captain America montage of his work with the USO.

DUY:  That first one, yeah. I'm never going to take for granted, too, the first moment Thor blocked the Hulk's punch. my theater went "WHOA!" and that's when I knew Thor had arrived for the general audience. And yeah, mine are Thor getting the hammer back, proving himself worthy. Thor, God of Thunder, blasting Hela back and fighting all her army with his lightning hands. And rocking out to Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song." And third, Thor landing in Wakanda, the perfect last-minute rescue. I have a favorite Avenger.

JEFF: You don't have Thor opening the forge on your list?

DUY: It's within the same 10-minute span as arriving in Wakanda, so I cheat and count it as one moment.

MICHAEL: "I am Iron Man." The circle pan around the Avengers assembling together in the Battle for New York. The Snappening.

SAMANTHA: Infinity War's Lady Power moment when Okoye and Black Widow jump in to assist Scarlet Witch against Proxima Midnight. The callback to Cap's "I can do this all day." moment in Civil War. Bucky trying to literally yank the arc reactor out of Tony in Civil War. But there's more. There's so much more.

KATHERINE:  "She’s not alone."  It was so satisfying to hear my entire theater erupt in cheers and screams at that moment.

JD: It's pretty amazing how many moments we are choosing that are fairly recent moments. I think that’s a great example of the standard of quality these films have kept up.

MATT: I still laugh at 
"Have you met my friend, Tree."
"I am Groot."
"I am Steve Rogers."

KATHERINE: It's such a funny moment, while also being so pure and perfect for Steve. No weird looks, no judgment, just basically "Well hello Tree, welcome to the team, I am Steve." Additionally, on the subject of Steve, I was just thinking that there are obviously so many amazing action sequences and awe-inspiring VFX spectacles (two of them I named as my favorite moments haha), but I think possibly my favorite fight scene is the chase and attack in Winter Soldier. From Agent Sitwell getting suddenly yanked out of a moving vehicle through “Who the hell is Bucky?” that whole section is so badass and the fight choreography is just beautiful and super visceral. The Winter Soldier is full blown Michael Meyers in Halloween serial killer scary, everyone’s showing the best of their fighting skill sets, and it all just feels really grounded and real. I kind of wish that I hadn’t known it was Sebastian Stan, because I can imagine if the Winter Soldier’s identity had been a true surprise to me, my mind would’ve been blown. But the acting from both of them in that reveal moment still pulled at my heart strings.

Apr 21, 2019

A Letter from 10 Years After

A Letter from 10 Years After
by Migs Acabado

I am a big fan of Japanese pop culture but I don’t usually read or buy Manga. I am more of a Western comic book fan. But recently, I bought the whole run of a manga that was heavily recommended to me by a friend from work. And guess what? She was right. It's very good.

Orange is written and drawn by Ichigo Takano, and is about a girl named Naho and her group of friends. The story started when Naho received a letter ten years from the future. The letter told her that her class will be joined by a transfer student named Kakeru. They will become friends and she will fall in love with him. The letter also informed her that Kakeru won’t be around in ten years’ time because he will die. It’s up to Naho and her friends to save him.

What I love in this manga is that it is not just a love story about Naho and Kakeru. This book is also about life, friendship and family. The characters are also pretty relatable. They are the ones who you encounter every day. Naho has interesting set of friends. We the mysterious Kakeru, the cool guy Suwa, the cheerful Azu, the geeky Hagita, and the serious but friendly Takako. You can’t help but see yourself in one of these characters. For me, I see myself in Suwa because he is a very loyal friend and is willing to give up his feelings for Naho in order to save Kakeru. In real life, I also gave up my feelings to the girl I like a few years ago because my good friend likes her as well. Also, I am always playing the role of a third wheel! I met my high school/childhood friends recently and Orange reminded me of those days when we were together every day. It made me miss those times.

I am also a big fan of stories from parallel universe. Orange makes us believe that a parallel universe can exist. Your regrets and what ifs can happen in a different universe. Our life can be different in another universe. This makes me think if another me does exist, what is his life in that universe? Is he more successful? Does he have a wife and kids? Does he love comics up until now? I guess no one can tell. If there is one thing that I learned from the manga, it is to live life without regrets. Do what you love and be with the people that you value the most as much as you can.

Apr 17, 2019

Spider-Rama: Amazing Spider-Man #15

Welcome to Spider-Rama! Each Wednesday, Ben and Duy will look at a Spider-Man issue from the very beginning, in chronological order, and answer questions for various categories, inspired in large part by one of our favorite podcasts, The Rewatchables by The Ringer. Our goal is to make it to Amazing Spider-Man #200. Will we make it? Grab your Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus or crank up your tablet to Marvel Unlimited, and then tune in every Wednesday to find out!

by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko

Kraven is the world’s greatest hunter, and Spider-Man is the ultimate prey.


BEN: First appearance of Kraven the Hunter and the second appearance of the Chameleon. So our villain appearance count is :
  • The Vulture: 2
  • The Chameleon: 2
  • Doctor Octopus: 3
BEN: It's also the first mention of Mary Jane Watson. Is this the first cameo appearance of Anna Watson?

DUY: I think it is, since we had those other neighbors earlier on, just five issues ago. And is this the first time Spider-Man has hung upside-down?


BEN: Stan and Steve must have really started feeling confident in the book, because they started planting seeds for the future. Last issue they introduced the Green Goblin with a mystery identity, and now they’re teasing MJ.

DUY: Like I said above, this is the first time he's shown upside-down, and that would become a staple. This feels like a "Hit their stride" issue. One of the landmarks, even for little stuff.


BEN: A man in leopard print tights that hunts for sport. Although, one of the cartoons made him a reality show star, which immediately makes all that’s ridiculous about him more understandable.

DUY: Do the villains being Russian age badly, or age well? I can't tell.

BEN: Two years ago I would have said yes, but evil Russians are unfortunately back in style.


DUY: They really weren't playing off the origin yet, because not only is there no mention of Uncle Ben and the fact that Peter could have saved him, there's also a burglar like this just showing up. When they start repeating the origin, you can't just use that combination of clothes arbitrarily.

DUY: It's interesting how certain things take on a significance. You can't just dress anyone up like that anymore. You can't use the Brooklyn Bridge in a Spider-Man story anymore.  They mean something. And also, either this sentiment doesn't age well, or it ages perfectly because it's coming from Aunt May. And we know she's going to be completely wrong about Mrs. Watson's niece.

DUY: Similarly, I don't know if this ages bad or well, but it sure is timeless.

BEN: I completely forgot how much Liz was flirting with Peter in these early stories.


BEN: Jameson calling Peter “useless” made me laugh.

DUY: Right before yours. I love how Jameson is there for this high school drama that he clearly has no patience for.


DUY: This city sweeper. "You're blockin' progress!"

BEN: That's it for Spider-Rama this week.

DUY: Thank you, Stan Lee and Steve Ditko—

BEN: —for telling us we aren't the only ones.

Leave us a comment below or on our Facebook page. See you next week!

Apr 15, 2019

Roundtable: Shazam!

Shazam came out a few weeks ago and opened to $53 million. As of this writing it has made $94.9 million domestic and $221 million international. What did the Cube think? Read on to find out.


DUY: Shazam is a franchise that means so much to me; it's literally brought me closer to my nephew and my niece. I will be unable to judge it fairly in any way. Every year I treat my whole family to one movie. This is it this year. Just by virtue of spending that much money, I feel like if even one of us doesn't enjoy it, it'll have failed.  Other franchises that mean so much to me and my family that will make it impossible for me to ever judge them objectively on my own level of enjoyment: Donald Duck, Bone, and Mouse Guard. As much as I love the new Ducktales (and I do), I doubt I would be interested in it if my niece hated it.

JD: Ugh. I hate that I just gave Warner Brothers some of my superhero dollars. I feel dirty.

TANYA: I really enjoyed the movie. Had my attention from the beginning to the end. I would definitely go back and watch it again.

JD: I thought the movie was okay. Some things I loved. Some things I hated.

PAUL: It's probably the most "Geoff Johns" film DC has done, so I think that's going to be a big factor in how much it works for people here at The Cube. For me it means yes, it does work. It has all the strengths of a Johns-penned comics/ It conveys everything it needs to about the story and the characters elegantly, it's got a really strong and consistent central theme that hooked me straight away, and fanboy-pleasing moments are present but used to enhance the story rather than just being there for the sake of it.

TANYA: That's what I thought when I first watched this. I'm wondering if it's because of Johns' involvement that the DC films are getting better.

DUY: So. I really liked it. It was fun. Billy Shazam and Freddy had a great chemistry going. And it was legitimately funny. My entire theater did not stop cracking up, including me.

PAUL:  I found the humour worked, I laughed a lot. The relationship between Billy and Freddy, and Shazam and Freddy is soooo good. Levi and the kid playing Freddie are a great double act. Also, I cried during certain bits but that might be more to do with my delicate emotional state at the moment than the film.

DUY: My only real complaints are that Sivana was generic and the Seven Deadly Sins are kinda lame. Other than that, I... don't have much to say. My niece really liked it, and that was all I really wanted.

PAUL: Yeah, the Sins were okay, but just sort of generic CGI monsters. I wish they'd done them a bit more like Gary Frank's designs. It would have potentially felt quite "Ghostbusters" and contributed to the 80s movie vibe.

DUY: That's what it is, it felt like a solid 80s movie. My friend said Spielberg, specifically ET, but that's not quite right. I think I felt for it like how people remember Ghostbusters (not how Ghostbusters actually was, because it sucked.)

KATHERINE: I don’t think I would go so far as to compare it to ET. ET makes me bawl because it’s so earnest in its emotion, and this one is much more cheeky in its sense of humor and character relationships. But it definitely reminds me of the sensibilities of Ghostbusters and The Goonies crossed with Big. And I thought the movie was great! I’ve always really liked Zachary Levi and loved him in this role. He was funny and goofy while also being charismatic and likable, even when he was temporarily acting douchey. Definitely gave off a young Tom Hanks in Big vibe, where he really did feel like a kid in an adult body. Like Momoa, he’s just fun to watch and you want to spend more time with him.

PAUL: The cast were mostly brilliant. All the kids are really likable, as are the foster parents. This is important as their likeableness stops the sentimental bits from being too mawkish. I knew the family getting powers was coming because of the comic so I'd be interested to hear how much of a surprise it was to people who hadn't read the comic. Was it a surprise or was it really obvious?

KATHERINE: I did not know what to expect with the family getting powers and didn’t see it coming right up until he remembered what the old wizard said about having many thrones to fill. I kind of gasped like OH are they really gonna do that?? Because if they do, that would be awesome. Then it actually happened and our audience genuinely fully cheered. Hands down my favorite part, I absolutely loved that! Plus, Adam Brody as hero Freddie was completely spot-on perfect casting!

PETER: Same thing happened in our theater. There were legit cheers and oohs when the foster kids transformed too. I don't read the comics so this was a very cool surprise to me too.

PAUL: I'm really glad that bit was a surprise! Even knowing it was coming, it was a great moment.

DUY: Yeah, it's such a recent development in the comics that it would take older fans by surprise too.

DUY: The kids all getting the powers is such a great moment.

JD: Seeing a version of the Shazam family was by far the best part of the movie. “Say my name.” “BILLY!!” was my favorite moment.

TANYA: I really liked that he had a mixed race foster family. I particularly liked Adam Brody and Megan Good as the adult versions of their characters. I loved how everything came back around again when Billy was at the family table and embracing them as his family. As someone who knows absolutely nothing about the comics I wondered how they were going to feel those empty thrones and I'm glad it is his foster family.

DUY: So, I didn't like how Mary Shazam didn't do anything in the final fight, especially since in the comics Mary is the most important other member of the Family next to Billy.

TANYA: I'm glad there was no romance between Mary and Shazam. At first I thought they were going there and they didn't. I also wished Mary did more. Darla did a lot and I do like the actress who played here both the kid and adult version.

DUY: Mary and Billy would've been super-weird considering they're supposed to be biological siblings. Though I guess they're not siblings in this universe.

JD: I didnt think they were going to go full-on Shazam family. I thought there would just be a Mary Marvel tease and that Darla would be the "Mary Marvel." I thought they were dropping lots of hints with her "I'm a good sister!" line. So glad I was wrong.

There were legit cheers and oohs when the foster kids transformed too. -Peter

PAUL: I was disappointed in Mark Strong. He was pretty generic. There wasn't much that distinguished Sivana from his bad guy character in Sherlock Holmes. I wonder if it was a deliberate choice not to make Sivana too charismatic so as not to steal the attention away from Billy and Freddie? But still, they could have made him more interesting than he was.

DUY: I'm disappointed it wasn't more classic Sivana, but classic Sivana probably would've been too much.

PAUL: I liked how the film's "real life" bits seemed fairly grounded and they resisted the temptation to set it in a comic-booky world. This made the fantastic bits even more fantastic. But it also has the flaws of a Johns comic — the gruesome bits are so gruesome they seem at odds with the tone of the rest of the story. The slaughter of the Sivana execs is quite upsetting, not because it's particularly graphic but because it lingers on the fear and distress of the execs a lot before they're killed. It just about, kinda works because it contributes to the whole 80s film vibe that's going on but it was my least favourite aspect of the film.

JD: Two kids almost kill a disabled boy with a pickup truck, then assault him, in front of a hundred people, fifty feet from the front door of a school and no adult came to confront them. They’d be arrested. Took me right out of it for a minute. Then Djimon Hounsou won me back. I thought he was perfect as The Wizard. Y'know. Maybe I liked this more than I thought.

TANYA: The level of violence in the beginning surprised me. I could not imagine that PG 13 films now throw people out windows and eat their heads. I guess if Venom can get away with it so can Shazam.

DUY: It didn't really bug me, specifically because it was a comedy. When you have a lighthearted tone, you can get away with more stuff. Brave and the Bold was a Batman cartoon that was unbelievably silly, comedic, and lighthearted, and it had a whole episode where Joker kills Batman over and over in various ways. I get that the tone is confusing. But that's par for the course in the Golden Age... you'd sometimes have whimsical storylines with the Marvel Family and then BAM, out of nowhere, a skeleton because someone died there.

JD: Did anyone else think Asher Angel’s serious Billy was a bit too contrasting from Levy’s slap sticky Shazam?

JAY: This was my thought as well but you said it better.

DUY: I actually did feel a disconnect between the two. He's too "cool" as Billy and too frazzled as Shazam. It's understandable, and easily explainable, but it did take me out of it.

Did anyone else think Asher Angel’s serious Billy was a bit too contrasting from Levy’s slap sticky Shazam? -JD

TANYA: What did you all think about the mid-credits sequence? I read initially Black Adam was suppose to be the villain, but they want to do a stand-alone film with him first.

DUY: I'd just introduced Zha to Mr. Mind the day before, and when she saw the midcredits, she went "OH MY GOD, I CAN'T BELIEVE THEY'RE GOING WITH THE WORM!" I spotted Mr. Mind in the opening sequence and thought that was it. No way they'd go with him. BUT THEY ARE AND I'M SO HAPPY.

JD: I AB-SO-LUTE-LY loved Mr Mind. I would have liked to see them lean more in to the ultra-quirky Captain Marvel stuff. The Mr. Mind scene reminded me of the sorcerer fight in A Sword in the Stone. Intentional or not that was my favorite reference.

DUY: We saw the crocodile men really quickly. I hope we see more of them. Maybe we will with Mr. Mind.

TANYA: Much has been made about having superheroes who enjoy being superheroes. How important is that to you?

JD: I've never thought about it. My instinct is that it should be important.

DUY: I think there is a time and a place for it — and Shazam should absolutely be one of those heroes. If you're a kid and you have the ultimate wish fulfillment fantasy, turning it grim and gritty... well, it gives you the critically acclaimed series called Miracleman, but that only really works in contrast to what it's supposed to be.

TANYA: Another thing that surprised me was Billy's relationship with his biological mom was not neatly resolved. When she said she intentially let him go because she thought another family could better provide him was like a punch to the gut. I expected a happy reunion like Aquaman and his mom. That's one of the things that is being pointed out as the difference between MCU and DCEU is MCU focusing on fathers and DCEU on mothers.

DUY: I did think that was neatly resolved. That was the resolution.

Let’s leave them on the floor and let the fresh blood play for a little while. -Katherine

PAUL: Imagine if at the end Superman had sat down and you saw this face... They missed a golden opportunity to make the 'stache canon!!!

PAUL: Regarding Cavill, just to clarify, I'm joking (any excuse to share that picture). I think the Supes cameo was just right. It paid off the joke nicely and made for a perfect ending. If we'd actually seen Cavill it wouldn't have worked.

TANYA: I read that he was suppose to be part of it, but because of a commitment to another film he wasn't able to do the cameo.

KATHERINE: Not sure if I’m reading too much into what might’ve just been a cute little self referential joke, but I thought it was great when the little kid was playing with his Superman and Batman toys and dropped them both when he saw Billy and Sivana battling outside his window. And I kinda hope it was emblematic of what Warner Bros is planning to do with those two characters for now. Let’s leave them on the floor and let the fresh blood play for a little while.

JD: Had a funny conversation at drinks after the show. In this world, who owns the licenses for all those Batman and Superman backpacks/shirts/posters? And where is all the Wonder Woman merch? No young ladies at his school had WW merch. I think that's sad.

DUY: Freddy wouldn't own Wonder Woman merch. She has cooties.

JD: I said Lex Luthor owns the licenses some how and WW wouldnt sell out like that.

KATHERINE: I like that explanation. Plus, if Lex owns the licenses, maybe he's just a misogynist asshole who didn't make WW toys because he didn't believe there was a market for a female superhero. "Look, I'm not a sexist okay, I'm just saying, look at the research. Nobody is asking for this!!" Especially believable when it's Jesse Eisenberg Lex.

PETER: We just realized now that one of the grown up superpowered foster kids is Reggie from Riverdale!

DUY: Yeah, the first Reggie.

PETER: Also, It wasn't obvious to me because I hadn't seen the film it was referencing, but my wife told me that the stepping on the piano keys scene was from Big.

DUY: Favorite moment? I think mine is the Shazam off the rooftop, followed by when all the kids get their powers.

KATHERINE: Without a doubt, all the kids getting their powers. People were cheering but I think I actually said "AWWWW I LOVE THAT" out loud.

DUY: And who's everyone's Val-Kilmer-in-Tombstone winner?

ZHA: Santa Claus! Stealing the show every chance he gets!

DUY: He's mine too.

JD: Faithe Herman (Darla Dudley) or Djimon Hounsou (The Wizard).

DUY: Having said all that, I do think Jack Dylan Grazer (Freddy) was the MVP of the movie.

JD: He was definitely the glue. A good guide to introduce us to this world.

PAUL: Overall, I loved the movie just as much as I wanted to.

DUY: For comic recommendations, I'm gonna have to go with the Convergence series by Jeff Parker and Evan Shaner. However, this movie is very specifically drawing from Geoff Johns and Gary Frank's Curse of Shazam, so that needs to be mentioned as well.

Apr 10, 2019

Spider-Rama: Amazing Spider-Man #14

Welcome to Spider-Rama! Each Wednesday, Ben and Duy will look at a Spider-Man issue from the very beginning, in chronological order, and answer questions for various categories, inspired in large part by one of our favorite podcasts, The Rewatchables by The Ringer. Our goal is to make it to Amazing Spider-Man #200. Will we make it? Grab your Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus or crank up your tablet to Marvel Unlimited, and then tune in every Wednesday to find out!

by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko

The Green Goblin tricks Spider-Man into a confrontation with himself and the Enforcers, but they’re all surprised when the Hulk appears. Plus, who is the Green Goblin?


BEN: First appearance of the Green Goblin. Second time they use a mystery villain, only this time they don’t reveal his identity at the end. And this classic Goblin trope was there from panel one:

DUY: I think this is also the first mention of the "proportionate strength of a spider."


BEN:  I think they probably realized the wasted potential of revealing the Big Man so soon, and so keeping the Goblin’s identity a secret was a great plan. The way Peter thought his way out of the fight with the Hulk, step by step, was a real highlight.

DUY: Spider-Man just saying, eff it, and just tossing the Enforcers away from him is also a highlight. The idea that he has so much strength and he just holds it back makes for great moments. And hey, how about that random Hulk appearance?  I think this was definitely something Marvel had over DC at the time, just this sheer small world feel of their universe. It really feels like a shared universe.

BEN: It’s never an intended meeting either. They’re always running into each other by happenstance, which helps make it feel even more natural and real.


BEN: This is a really unnecessarily convoluted scheme by the Goblin.

DUY: Thank God he gets the glider soon after, because that broomstick is dumb.

BEN: Goblin glider rolls off the tongue better.


DUY: How does his Spider-sense not go off around the Enforcers? Or the Goblin for that matter?

BEN: His spider sense has always been a bit inconsistent.


BEN: This one, for me.

DUY: Jameson hears you. Jameson don't care.

BEN: Jameson is the cranky old man with a big heart buried deep underneath. Wait, JJJ is Uncle Scrooge, no wonder you like him so much. Wait, is that why you like me?

DUY: Who said I like you?


DUY: JJJ, for being a giant troll.


DUY:  Okay, so let's talk about the Goblin for a second. Right away, they build him up as a mystery. By the very rule of mystery-writing, that's got to be someone we know. They've already done this once, where they introduce the character and reveal him to be the villain in the same story. It's impossible, I think, for the Goblin to just be anyone. The very laws of narrative writing makes it feel impossible.

BEN: But they broke that rule anyway.

DUY: With Crimemaster, or the fact that we technically didn't know Norman?

BEN: That Norman hasn’t been introduced. Hell, Harry hasn’t even been introduced.

DUY: True, but I think they just have to introduce the person before the reveal. Technically speaking within the context of the one issue, wasn't Foswell introduced after The Big Man?

BEN: If this myth was actually true, then I have to side with Stan on this one.

DUY:  I don't think it's true, but yeah.

BEN: Do you think they ever planned on him being Jonah?

DUY: Was that an actual rumor?

BEN: I don't think so. I'm just speculating.

DUY:  It's hard to say, because on the one hand, Stan is the "illusion of change" guy. But when did that actually start? They have him graduate high school.

BEN: At this point in the series, he’d be the only suspect, and like you said, they weren’t exactly planning on this series lasting forever. But, I also believe they already knew that Jameson was pure gold as he is.

DUY: That's it for Spider-Rama this week.

BEN: Thank you, Stan Lee and Steve Ditko—

DUY: —for telling us we aren't the only ones.

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