Self-proclaimed geek, Dave Clements explores the pop culture we love and love to hate, including comics, film, and television. All with minimal nerd rage.
A Decade of Geek This! A Penultimate Goodbye
It's time to make that episode. The one where we lay the show to rest. It's not the final goodbye, just because we really want both Dave and David to say goodbye together. In this episode, Dave gives shares why Geek This! had to end and what could be on the horizon.
Brief (?) Words About New Video Game Consoles
It's been a week since I got my Xbox Series S and I thought I'd talk about it. This one's rambly, like always, but in the near future I'm hoping to have some friends - new and old - join me in a discussion about all three of the new generation of consoles!
Pulling Back The Curtain: Thoughts on the Future of Geek This!
Some may consider this a pipe dream, but we're hoping to start things up again once our schedules line back up.
Minimal Nerd Rage & Creative Control
I had some things on my mind that I felt the need to share regarding the way we, as pop culture fans, handle changes to franchises and characters we love. I hope you enjoy this impromptu rant. I'd love to know what you think, too! Let me know on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mrdaveclements
Thanks for listening.
The Golden Age: Action Comics #1 & Marvel Comics #1
Two companies stand at the forefront of comics book publishing. While this is common knowledge, a good majority of readers may not have experienced the seminal issues that laid so much of the groundwork for what would come in the 80+ years that were to follow.
This time on The Cape Gauntlet we'll be going back to the late 1930's. We'll be taking a look at Action Comics #1 from National Allied Publications and Marvel Comics #1 from Timely Comics. While Action Comics debuted Superman, Marvel Comics debuted the concept of the Human Torch and the Sub-Mariner; both of which would become staples in each company's future.
Action Comics #1
The cover of Superman's first appearance in Action Comics #1.
As we touched on in the last episode of The Cape Gauntlet, National Allied Publications released Action Comics #1 in 1938. It tells the story most of us know, about a baby being rocketed from his dying planet to Earth, where he is adopted, becomes Clark Kent and Superman, and saves the day. While the story is familiar to many of us, there are some differences that are the basis of what the character would become as more writers and artists got involved in fleshing him out.
For instance, Superman's power set isn't as wide-ranging as more recent iterations. We see that he can leap 1/8 of a mile, hurdle 20-story buildings, "raise tremendous weights", outrun a train, and "that nothing less than a bursting shell could penetrate his skin". We also don't see any mention of kryptonite. We do, however, see the first appearance of Lois Lane, who would become the love interest for Clark Kent and Superman as more stories were published.
One interesting fact is that Action Comics wasn't just about Superman, as most readers might think, given the current run, in which he is the main focus. No, in 1938, the book was an anthology and Superman by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster was just the first story. While most of the other stories never grew to be much more than a strip in this series of comics, a closer look shows the roots of another character: Zatara, the father of current DC Comics magic-user Zatanna, who would become an ally of Batman, a hero we'll touch on in a future episode.
Marvel Comics #1
Human Torch debuts on the cover of Timely Comics' Marvel Comics #1.
Timely Publications released their first book, Marvel Comics #1 in 1939. In it, they debuted the Human Torch. He was created by Carl Burgos, but he wasn't the smart-Alec kid brother, Johnny Storm, when he made his first appearance. In fact, he wasn't human at all; he was a "synthetic man" built by Professor Horton, who is worried he's created a monster. Once a couple of press members see the android burst into flames after being exposed to oxygen, they demand the professor destroy it or face "the power of the press".
After receiving a second opinion from the Scientists' Guild, Horton realizes he has no control over the Human Torch and decides to "entomb him in a concrete block". This is supposed to buy him more time so he can find a way to fix the Torch and not destroy his creation. As time passes, however, the concrete block explodes caused by an ever-so-slight leak that gave the Torch oxygen.
As the Torch runs through the town, we see that he is much more human than the professor first let on, as he asks himself, "Why must everything I touch turn into flame?" Firefighters attempt to extinguish him, but to no avail. The Torch runs off to put himself out in a nearby pool which happens to belong to Sardo, a bad guy who decides to use the android's ability to commit insurance fraud. The Human Torch misunderstands Sardo's intentions and, after being set free, goes after the crook. During the fight, a canister of nitrogen extinguishes the flames and proves the android is invincible after he's shot in the head and the bullet melts upon contact. Sardo,
Ocean’s Eleven (2001) – Heistmas
As we enter the Christmas season, it was only fitting to review some of my favorite heist movies. It is the biggest time of year for consumerism, so why not celebrate like this!? For my first installment of Heistmas, I'm talking about Ocean's Eleven, which will always hold a special place in my thief-movie-loving heart.
The original Ocean's Eleven starred The Rat Pack - Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis, Jr - and was released in 1960. That, however, is not the movie I’m talking about today. I’m referring to the 2001 Steven Soderberg-directed film starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, Bernie Mac, Eliott Gould, Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Don Cheadle, Shaobo Qin, and Carl Reiner. What a cast!
If you’ve somehow missed Ocean's Eleven, the plot is simple: Danny Ocean (played by George Clooney) is released from prison after serving 4 of his 5-year sentence for felony fraud. Within 24 hours, he and his old partner, Rusty (Brad Pitt), put together a plan to rob three big-time Las Vegas casinos simultaneously.
I know there are better heist movies out there but this movie holds its place of my favorite in the heist genre because the reveal at the end was something I had never seen before. In addition to that, the complexity of weaving the storylines of each character into the overall plan Danny and Rusty have required a lot of planning on writer, Ted Griffin’s part, as well as Soderberg’s as the director.
The casting for Ocean's Eleven is spot-on and I can’t think of any other people who would have been better in any of the roles, aside from possibly Andy Garcia. I would have rather seen Al Pacino in that role, but we do get him in the second sequel, Ocean's Thirteen, so I guess it’s better than not getting him at all.
Music tends to play a big part in my enjoyment of movies. Luckily the music here fits the mood of the entire film and rings back to the original from 1960. The one song that always pops into my head when thinking of Ocean's is “A Little Less Conversation” by Elvis Presley.
While it’s easy to get stuck on well-known songs like that, David Holmes’ original music has the right energy and truly sets the tone for this particular heist. It’s cool, energetic, and keeps your attention during the montages where the crew is setting up or pulling off the job. The only problem I have from a music standpoint is that I can’t listen to the music without some of the lines from the movie when I pull it up on a streaming platform like Spotify. Nevertheless, I still love the feel it adds to the movie and, in a way, is a character itself.
What are your thoughts on Steven Soderberg’s Ocean's Eleven?
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Coming to you this week from the Friendlies + Co Studio in Logansport, Indiana.
The best podcast in the universe. I'm not biased or anything
A fun podcast covering some stuff that other podcasts wouldn’t touch (Batman serials from the 40s?! CATWOMAN?!?!?!). Dave and David are cool hosts with easy-going attitudes as well.
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