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JC Carter, J.M. Bell, Bob Easton, Bob Defendi, and Thom Floyd

They've Found The G-Spot In Your Unworthy Ear Holes

A Fond Farewell to the Fantastic Four

Posted by on May 19, 2015 in Bob's Bloviating, HOLD322 | 1 comment

Hello, fanboys and fangirls, my given name’s Robert, but to all those dozens of loyal Hold 322 listeners I’m better known as Ultimate Bob. As our show’s “staff of writer” it is my obligation to bring to you a weekly blog containing my ideas and opinions concerning comic books and all other things nerdy / geek. This week’s blog will be about the supposed end of the Fantastic Four comic book series, and my thoughts on the state of Marvel’s first family in general.

Fantastic Four_The End

1st issue from 1961... wish they could still be ten cents.

1st issue from 1961… wish they could still be ten cents.

This month a fairly significant event in comicdom occurred, but like most people you may not have even noticed, or even more disheartening—at least to my point of view—you might not have even cared. The event I speak of was issue #645 of the Fantastic Four (written by James Robinson, drawn by Leonard Kirk), which gave us not only the conclusion of the iconic team’s most recent—and possibly one of their darkest—storylines, but also what Marvel’s editorial and marketing departments are steadfastly claiming to be the fabled franchise’s final issue ever. I doubt it will actually be the last new issue of the FF ever published, but it’s safe to say it will be the last one we’re going to get anytime soon.

Fantastic Four old film cast

I may be the only person who liked those first two films….

Why, you may ask, has Marvel decided now was the right time to pull the plug (at least temporarily) on the self proclaimed “World’s Great Comic Magazine”? (A claim I strongly agree with and very much endorse.) Was it because of low sales? Well, In part, but not really. Recent sales of Fantastic Four comics are not as high as they should or could be—certainly not like they were in Marvel’s silver-age-hey-days of the early 1960’s when they were not only the company’s bestselling book (made back then by Stan “the man” Lee and Jack “King” Kirby), but were also revolutionizing the way super-hero stories were told and perceived—but what really has compelled Marvel to cancel the series is their longstanding pissing contest with Twentieth Century Fox over the film rights to the fifty plus year old comic book franchise.

Fantastic Four new film cast

The young new cast for the upcoming reboot

As you may be aware, a reboot Fantastic Four film will be released later this summer, and it will once again be produced by Fox, not Marvel Studios, and that fact has Marvel and their parent company Disney so upset that, in protest, they are willing to end actively publishing the comic book that started it all for the House of Ideas. They clearly don’t want a new issue of the monthly Fantastic Four comic on the shelves the same month that the Fox produced film is released, because they want to make it clear that they are not endorsing or promoting the film in any way what-so-ever. They want the film to fail because they want Fox to finally drop the property so they can have it back.

Defeated LoganFox also owns and refuses to relinquish control of the X-Men films, but Marvel has not, nor will not announce plans to cancel all their monthly X-books—though they did kill off Logan (Wolverine) a few months back. You see, unlike Fantastic Four, the X-Men books are usually high selling enough that Marvel comics would sorely miss them, so, much to the chagrin of diehard FF fans like me, they get sacrificed while the mutants don’t.

Fantastic Four 645 Sue and Val embrace

I can’t blame Marvel for wanting the property back, but I am disappointed that it has to all go down this way. I started collecting monthly comic books back in 2011—after a break from doing so that had lasted almost 16 years—and the Fantastic Four has been a part of that ever since issue 600. Many other books have ebbed and flowed in their quality during these past four years, but for my money at least, the adventures of Marvel’s first family have never failed to disappoint me over that period of time. The Fantastic Four was the one book I always looked forward to reading each and every time it was in my hold box. I guess it will be nice to save an extra $3.99 at the comic book store every month, but I’ll miss the series greatly while it’s gone.

Sue Storm Richards in the ruins of the Baxter BuildingIn the meantime, I can read and reread all the FF stories of the past; happily indulging in the team’s high concept and farfetched adventures from over five decades of storytelling given to us from dozens of different creative teams, and furthermore, as a cockeyed young-but-not-so-young optimist who still dreams of one day writing comic books for a living, I can also spend that time fantasizing and even preparing myself for not only the return of the series, but the meager chance I could be given the opportunity to write it. Crazy thought, I know, but a fella can dream, right?

Ben Grim clears debris after final battle

“What a revoltin’ development…” Ben grumbles as he clears debris after the battle to once again save NYC.

Well, I think that concludes this week’s blog. For more on the Fantastic Four—including JC Carter, Bob Defendi, and Jeff Bell’s insightful thoughts on the series and its cancellation, be sure to listen to this week’s episode of Hold 322, available, of course, elsewhere on this website. Remember also to subscribe to this here blog so you can join us for next week’s awesome bloviation from yours truly. Be sure also to listen to each and every episode of Hold 322, available every Tuesday from iTunes, Stitcher and Hold322.com; and if you wanna be just as cool as all the other cool kids are, you can follow me on the Twitter for all my insightful and zany tweets @Robert_A_Easton. Thanks for reading, friends.

Fantastic Four 645 final panel of main story

Ultimate Bob
Alons-y!

Ben Grimm discouraged

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168 Hold 322 – Don’t friendzone the Hulk!

Posted by on May 19, 2015 in HOLD322 | 0 comments

Secret_WarsThis week on the World’s Greatest Comic Book Podcast… We answer some criticisms of Avengers: Age of Ultron and add some of our own. A casting notice reveals that Gambit and Wolverine are in X-Men: Age of Apocalypse. Jem and the Holograms get a movie, don’t give up on an Agents of SHIELD spin-off. and Harry Shearer has left the Simpsons. In comic book news, Dark Horse has an awesome He-Man book coming, Archie is looking good in his reboot and we attempt to explain Secret Wars. Bob asks: ” “?

All this, and Leeroy Jenkins! Face front, true believers! It’s Hold 322!

268 Hold 322 Podcast.

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167 Hold 322 – All Comics Considered

Posted by on May 12, 2015 in HOLD322 | 0 comments

SPECIAL BEST OF ISSUE! The very first episode of (what would become) The World’s Greatest Comicbook Podcast.  At the dawn of The New 52 – two men tried to have a conversation about sequential art stories … well, one of them did.

167 Hold 322 Podcast – BEST OF 

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THE HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS

Welcome to the astonishing first issue of Hold 322! The podcast that’s about the comic books that are in my hold and on the shelves of my local comic book store each week.

This week: Marvel continues its countdown to the inevitable changes that will come as a result of Fear Itself, X-Men Schism and Spider Island; and Hawkeye gets some love.

Jeff and I discuss the All New Ultimate Spider-Man

DC’s 52 first issues continue (and remind Jon why Wednesdays are so important in comic books) and get naughty!

 

Links for Naughty DC

Catwoman is a baaad kitty!

Starfire propositions Arsenal 

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Natasha’s Got Next

Posted by on May 5, 2015 in Bob's Bloviating, HOLD322 | 0 comments

Hello, fanboys and fangirls, my given name’s Robert, but to all those dozens of loyal Hold 322 listeners I’m better known as Ultimate Bob. As our show’s “staff of writer” it is my obligation to bring to you a weekly blog containing my ideas and opinions concerning comic books and all other things nerdy / geek. This week’s blog will be about how I feel it’s high time that Marvel Studios finally gives the green light for a solo Black Widow movie—one she won’t have to share with any of the other Avengers.

Avengers__Age of Ultron_posterI saw the Avengers: Age of Ultron twice this past week—first on Thursday night with the Radioactive Professor (JC Carter) and his non-radioactive son, and again on Saturday (Free Comic Day) with several good friends of and from both Hold 322 and the Left Show—and you better believe I loved every second of both viewings, true believers. The film had everything: spectacular action sequences, an abundance of humor, and the right emotional chords were struck as our beloved characters had great moments of further development through well acted interactions with one another. In particular, I enjoyed the growth in the relationship between Dr. Bruce Banner (the Hulk) and Natasha Romanov (Black Widow).

SPOILER ALERT! (Sorta)

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Fictional Clown Causes Real Nerd Rage

Posted by on Apr 28, 2015 in Bob's Bloviating, HOLD322 | 1 comment

Hello, fanboys and fangirls, my given name’s Robert, but to those dozens of loyal Hold 322 listeners I’m better known as Ultimate Bob. As our show’s “staff of writer” it is my obligation to bring to you a weekly blog containing my ideas and opinions concerning comic books and all other things nerdy / geek. This week’s blog will be all about how on the internet this past week, a fictional clown’s fake tattoos created a tsunami of ridiculously real nerd rage.
Here is the photo of Jared Leto as the Joker from the forthcoming Suicide Squad film that caused so many fanboys and fangirls to lose their collective minds.

 

"Oh no!" exclaims the Joker. "I forgot to DVR the Grey's Anatomy where McDreamy dies!"

“Oh no!” exclaims the Joker. “I forgot to DVR the Grey’s Anatomy where McDreamy dies!”

I’m not sure if they were all mad because he wasn’t wearing a shirt, and the resulting powdery glare blinded them, or because his not wearing a shirt revealed that Mr. J had gotten himself all tatted up, but I guess it was the latter. I stumbled across this photo on Facebook several times this past weekend, and each time the person who posted it was all upset by the image—swearing various blood oaths against Warner Bros. and the filmmakers for ruining their much beloved, mass murdering, clown-themed psychopath by putting ink on his ghostly white skin—and each time I would scroll down to the bottom of all the other likewise-angry-comments that the post had inspired, and write one of my own that would say: “And don’t forget that the real Aquaman has blonde hair!”

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