208 episodes

What if... the Marvel Universe was real?

In 1961 the Fantastic Four revealed themselves to the world and everything changed. Mike and Ed discuss the in-universe implications of super powers, aliens, monsters and more. From how Avenger Insurance will pay for Thor's property damage to why Spider-man needs a new PR agency, its comic books discussions in a whole new way.

Every issue covered in the Marvel Universe from the very beginning.

Full backstory on every episode with transcripts at www.SuperSerious616.com

www.superserious616.com

What If Marvel was Real‪?‬ www.SuperSerious616.com

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    • 4.4 • 10 Ratings

What if... the Marvel Universe was real?

In 1961 the Fantastic Four revealed themselves to the world and everything changed. Mike and Ed discuss the in-universe implications of super powers, aliens, monsters and more. From how Avenger Insurance will pay for Thor's property damage to why Spider-man needs a new PR agency, its comic books discussions in a whole new way.

Every issue covered in the Marvel Universe from the very beginning.

Full backstory on every episode with transcripts at www.SuperSerious616.com

www.superserious616.com

    E207: Superheroes are the new machine guns (Journey Into Mystery #116) -- June 1965

    E207: Superheroes are the new machine guns (Journey Into Mystery #116) -- June 1965

    In this episode:
    Mike and Ed continue their discussions on what the original Avengers are doing in their post-Avengers lives. For instance, Thor now seems to be working for the American military in Vietnam. Was he drafted? Or did he consider deserting to move back to Asgard? Will super-powered individuals become the next weapon of war? Will heroes sell their services to the highest bidding country? Is there a way to stop the escalation, or is this just the new way of the world?
    Behind the issue:
    Stan had Thor appear in Vietnam, but never had him coordinating with the US military. Comic books in the 1940s were practically US-propaganda, and the heroes were expected to be fighting against Hitler. But in the 1960s, the writers mostly kept the heroes out of real-world conflicts. It wasn’t until the modern era that writers considered the possibility of heroes fighting in Vietnam.
    In this issue:
    Thor is spotted in Vietnam and shot by a hunter. The hunter then comes across an ancient temple and, through the machinations of Loki, the hunger takes over the Destroyer armour with his mind. The hunter pilots the Destroyer in a fight with Thor. Meanwhile on Asgard, Loki is imprisoned.
    This episode takes place:
    While people are still adjusting to “Cap’s Kooky Quartet” - and missing their “old” Avengers.
    Assumed before the next episode:
    People are wondering what Thor was doing in Southeast Asia.
    Full transcript:
    Edward: All right, Mike. Continuing our, where are they now? Series. We now know where Thor has been for the last couple of months.
    Michael: Yeah. He's decided to take his retirement to Vietnam.
    Edward: Vietnam, you'd think with his hair like that, he would've been a conscientious objector, but no Siri, don't stereotype Thor. He is right there with the military. Right in the thick of things.
    Michael: All kidding aside, it's pretty wild that this man, or this being Thor, who's associated with, the American military and the military industrial complex has gone to Vietnam, clearly on behalf of the Americans, and intervened in international affairs. Clearly as an agent of America, or at least on America's interest. Yeah, for sure. Doesn't that make it a little more complicated over there? Is that what we wanna,
    Edward: I think it makes it less complicated. ANCO was clear before that the Avengers were an American superhero organization that had American interest at heart. Their leader was Captain America. It's pretty clear that they were into America and hey, they were supported and run by, stark Corp, who are like basically a big American company. They're an American team now, Thor leaves the American team that he leaves the Avengers.
    What does he do next? He doesn't go back up to Asgard. He goes and works for American interests in a non Avengers way.
    Michael: It seems a little, isn't it? I don't know. I find it uncomfortable that we would entrust, international diplomacy to, well, it's costume adventures.
    Edward: Well, it's not diplomacy. He's not negotiating peace treaties. He's swinging his hammer and like on a hitting North Vietcong.
    Michael: But this. But there's consequences to that though. Like aren't you worried that that's gonna lead to say, other Superpowered beings that might be drafted in by the Vietcong to fight American soldiers overseas in,
    Edward: do the Viet Cong have a superhero?
    Michael: Not yet. Well, there you go. Not yet, but there you go. But you don't think the Chinese might have an interest in this. Have a say in it.
    Edward: That's, that, that is true. We know the Chinese do have their own superheroes. Radioactive man. Radioactive man. So, you're saying it's an escalation of the conflict. And maybe this means China sends in radioactive man, but China is not like US is directly involved in that war. China is only indirectly involved, right? They have plausible deniability. If they send in radioactive man, there goes their plausible deniability.
    Michael: Well first of all, there hasn't been a militar

    • 10 min
    E206: When they tell you what they are, believe them (Amazing Spider-Man #26) -- June 1965

    E206: When they tell you what they are, believe them (Amazing Spider-Man #26) -- June 1965

    In this episode:
    Mike and Ed discuss how the Goblin and the Crime Master may be the same person. Also, the Green Goblin is now clearly a villain. His early work attacking crime families seems to just have been so he can consolidate organized crime under his own leadership. Ed admits his earlier errors and Mike helps Ed understand that goblins are, historically, not known for their altruism. What does it say about Mr. Fantastic?
    Behind the issue:
    This is the first appearance of the Crime Master (he dies in the next issue, and unlike most dead villains is never resurrected - at least as of this writing in 2023). In the issue Stan leads the reader (and Spider-man) to believe that Fredrick Foswell (formerly the Big Man, now “reformed”) is secretly The Crime Master. When it turns out that Foswell was actually on the side of good and the Crime Master’s secret identity was someone who had never been mentioned before, Spider-man says something about how “sometimes it’s just a random guy”. In the future Stan will write another reverse and Foswell will go back to being a villain, but for now he is one of the heroes of the story.
    In this issue:
    The Green Goblin meets up with the Crime-Master to see if he will join forces with him to take over the criminal underworld of New York City. But the Crime-Master declines. A crime cold war begins anew.
    It turns out that the Crime-Master is actually Frederick Foswell, the allegedly reformed Big Man who has returned after his stint in prison to work as a newspaper reporter again for the Daily Bugle.
    Anyway, Spider-Man gets caught up in the middle of this crime cold war, and the Goblin captures him. The Goblin takes an unconscious Spider-Man to a crime meeting that the Crime-Master had set up to announce that he was the leader of NYC’s criminals - but the Goblin has other plans.
    This episode takes place:
    Around the time of a crime cold war in New York City.
    Assumed before the next episode:
    People are wondering what Thor was doing in Southeast Asia - and also why costumed criminals are making a splashy play for power in New York.
    Full transcript:
    Edward: Uh, Mike, the green goblin, I stand corrected. Green Goblin is not a hero. He is not a good guy. He,
    Michael: shocker Ed. Just a but the shocker,
    Edward: so Mike, I admit when I'm wrong. I admit that even though he was doing a heroic thing, trying to take down crime families, he was not doing it for a good reason.
    Michael: He wasn't altruistic.
    He wasn't just like, you know what? I wanna, you know what I do? My spare time is just take down, and weaken crime families and just let them just see what happens afterwards. It turns out he was trying to take them over.
    Edward: So, there's a difference whether it's the meaning behind the action that's important or the effect that's important. And if the effect was to eliminate crime, may, maybe he was, maybe he was a good guy even in spite of himself. Uh, okay. It's, it's a stretch.
    Michael: That's a bit of a stretch, Eddie. Like, I mean, look, what I think is that, the last time we spoke about this, you were saying, Hey, it looks like the green goblin is a hero.
    And you can't read too much into it, I guess. But if I was. Talking to you. I said, ed, going forward, I want you to refer to me as the ogre. You'd be like, you'd say Mike, like, what's going on with you? I'd say, I don't know. I just want you to, I want you to call me an ogre.
    You know, believe me then there might be a problem and I might view myself negatively. And so if someone says, I'm the green goblin, you're basically saying, I am scary. I am someone to fear I'm not a hero.
    Edward: En vain, probably vain or, no. Envious. Envious. Isn't it? Green with envy. Agree with envy, an envious,
    Michael: there's no goblin, there no goblin in history. You're like, you know, like, I like that guy. I think, you know, I'd like to maybe hire him as a babysitter. It's a goblin. They eat children. This is what goblins are like. They have ridd

    • 5 min
    E205: They Don't Make Villains Like They Used to (Daredevil #8) -- June 1965

    E205: They Don't Make Villains Like They Used to (Daredevil #8) -- June 1965

    Thank you for staying with us as we missed another week last week. Edward is traveling with his family this summer, making recording difficult. We still have a half dozen episodes recorded and we will trickle them out over the summer months, but there may be a few weeks this summer without an episode. But we have some fun ones coming! This one made me laugh while I was editing it… Enjoy!
    In this episode:
    Mike and Ed discuss Daredevil’s recent loss to Stilt-Man. Does Daredevil even have any super powers? If not, is he just a crazy man who swings from building to building with a grapple hook? And what’s up with Stilt-Man? Did he choose his own name? Why doesn’t he have extendable arms as well? Is this all a joke? And if so, how did the “joke” defeat Daredevil?
    Behind the issue:
    This is the first appearance of Stilt-Man, who goes on to try out names like “Stilty” and “Daddy Long Legs”. By the end of the issue, Stilt-Man is defeated and shrunk into nothingness. That does not stop him, though, as he comes back to be active in the Marvel Universe through to the present day (he is killed by the Punisher at one point, but his clone continues to use his stilts for villainy).
    In this issue:
    A new villain appears on the scene - Stilt-Man - and he starts his career of villainy by robbing a helicopter mid-flight. Seems complicated for a heist, but there you have it. In any event, Daredevil tries to take Stilt-Man down after the heist, but does not succeed. Back in his civilian guise as Matt Murdock, Daredevil takes on a new client, Wilbur Day, who hires Matt to sue his boss Mr. Kaxton, who has stolen his patent. As the case goes on, Stilt Man continues his crime spree. It is eventually revealed that Wilbur is Stilt-Man. He goes on the run from Daredevil, and eventually, he is hoisted on his own petard when he accidentally turns his shrinking ray on himself, shrinking him to apparent nothingness.
    This episode takes place:
    After the short reign of Stilt-Man comes to an end.
    Assumed before the next episode:
    People did not really think much about Stilt-Man.
    Full transcript:
    Edward: Mike Daredevil is not dead, but he has been pretty badly injured, and I think this is what you get when you have someone who's just a vigilante with no real powers trying to take on super villains.
    Michael: Well, wait a minute. I don't know if he's spoken about this before, but is he a normal guy?
    Just in a funny costume, like he seems fine. He define seems similar.
    Edward: Well, define normal. You say normal to what does normal mean?
    Michael: Okay, so Spider-Man isn't normal, right? We know Spider-Man. Spiderman isn't normal. Climb balls and he's swinging from building to building. But what do we know about Daredevil? He fights on rooftops and kind of swings down from rooftops. Like, I could not,
    Edward: but he swings on a grappling hook. You could swing at a grappling hook.
    Michael: No, there's, there's a, there's a zero chance, even in the best shape of my life, would I use a grappling hook to swing from one building to another without a net?
    Edward: I'm not saying is something, I'm not saying it's a smart thing to do, but I'm saying you could do it. I think if push came to shove, I have faith in you, Mike. I think you could swing from a building to building. It's in a rope. You could, all you have to is hold onto the rope. Just hold onto the rope.
    Michael: Ed, have you ever gone to a cottage on a lake in the summer we're gonna a swimming hole and there's a rope? Yeah. And the rope it's tied to a branch overhanging in the water Sure. And the rope. And you grab the rope and you swing out. Yeah.
    That is still scary. Cause if you don't let go in time and you go back to shore and you let go, then you land on the rocks. Yeah. That's bad. As opposed to the water. So would I swing like that without the water? No,
    Edward: well, I'm not saying you would do it because you, cuz you have more sense than Daredevil does. Are you saying Daredevil's supe

    • 7 min
    E204: Recruiting for Strength (Avengers #17) -- June 1965

    E204: Recruiting for Strength (Avengers #17) -- June 1965

    In this episode:
    Mike and Ed discuss the Avengers’ public search for a fifth member: the Hulk. What are they thinking? Is strength the only requirement for membership? How bad is “rampaging” before you decide not to let someone on the team? Should someone take Captain America’s license away?
    Behind the issue:
    Stan Lee is leaning into the idea that the team is under-powered after losing the original Avengers. The team feels the same way until they discover that when they work together as a team they can defeat powerful villains — maybe they don’t need the Hulk after all?
    In this issue:
    The new Avengers meet for the first time. Rick Jones - teenage sidekick with no discernible powers or abilities - is jealous that the three new members - Scarlet Witch, who can warp reality; Quicksilver, who can run at the speed of thought; and Hawkeye, who has an uncanny martial abilities - are members and he is not. Anyways, Captain AAmerica announces to the fledgling team that their first mission is to find the Hulk to see if he will join their team. They then go to train, and a giant robot sent by the Mole Man breaks in and attacks them while informing them that they can find the Hulk in the desert. It’s a trap, obviously, but the Avengers still set out for the desert and battle the Mole Man’s Minotaur underground. Meanwhile, the Hulk chases down his foe, the Leader. The issue ends with the Avengers realizing that they are quite formidable on their own and do not really need the Hulk.
    Assumed before the next episode:
    People are still wondering what the deal is with this odd team of Avengers.
    This episode takes place:
    While the public considers whether the Hulk would be a good addition to the Avengers or not.
    Full transcript:
    Edward: All right, Mike, we know who the fifth member of the Avengers is or not. Is, is going to be, is going to be
    Michael: wild man. It's actually crazy. It's actually crazy. How do we get here?
    Edward: You thought given the fact that The Thing is leaving the fantastic f. For, they'd bring him in. Mm-hmm. As the big strong man. And they said, no, no, no. That's not crazy enough, Mike. That's not crazy enough. We're no, we're gonna go back to our roots and find the most powerful man in the world and bring him onto the Avengers cuz the Avengers are not the second best mark. They're not the second strongest person in the world. They're going for the strongest.
    Michael: Yeah so they're out there trying to find the Hulk because the Hulk is the strongest one there is. And it's like, hold on a second. He's caused a lot of damage. He's fought you guys.
    Edward: Of course, of course. He's caused damage. He's the strongest man in the world. How can the strongest person in the world not cause damage?
    Michael: He, he, He's a, well, I dunno if he's a man, he's a monster.
    Edward: They're, they're calling, they're, they're calling him a man. They're calling him, man.
    Michael: Okay. And I shouldn't be, so I don't want to be negative towards him. I don't wanna use pejorative terms.
    Edward: You're like monstrous. Is that a word?
    Michael: But he has acted monstrously, you know what I mean? Like, so he, he has,
    Edward: he's a person who acts like a monster. He's not a monster himself.
    Michael: Well, yeah, sure. That's right. And he's out there causing terror and mayhem and. Battling the Avengers.
    Edward: Fair enough. And so then, not just Avengers, he's fought the Avengers, he's fought the fantastic F, he's f the Avengers more. I think he's fought the Avengers more than he's been on the Avengers in terms of like Right. Which side he's been on. He's been anti Avenger more times than he's been Avenger.
    Michael: So, I should say, gee whiz, you know, I'd like to get married. I'm gonna marry my, the worst girlfriend I've ever had because, you know, Because she's been my girlfriend in the past and she was a great girlfriend for like a week and then a terrible girlfriend for like a month. And so,
    Edward: yeah. But Mike is this g

    • 5 min
    E203: Post-Avengers (Tales to Astonish #68) -- June 1965

    E203: Post-Avengers (Tales to Astonish #68) -- June 1965

    In this episode:
    Mike and Ed discuss life after being an Avenger. What are the responsibilities? What are the privileges? Do they get top secret briefings? Are they like ex-Presidents? Or like ex-FBI? Who pays for the damage they cause when Giant-Man decides to grow to 35-feet in the middle of the city and starts knocking down buildings? These are unprecedented times, but someone has to figure this out quickly!
    Behind the comic:
    This is the first adventure of Giant-Man and the Wasp post-Avengers. The story continues into the next issue, but at that point they “retire” and the title converts to dual stories of Namor and the Hulk. It turns out Giant-Man just wasn’t that popular. It didn’t help that Tales to Astonish had consistently been one of the weaker titles for the previous few years. Something needed to change. Also in this issue, the Human Top, who was originally introduced as a “normal human” who just happened to be able to spin quickly, has now developed the ability to fly…
    In this issue:
    Giant-Man and the Wasp are practicing just outside the city. A plane intentionally flies into Giant-Man, and the pilot, the Human Top, considers killing him but does not have time before Giant-Man wakes up. The Top splits, and Giant-Man returns home. Giant-Man practices his growing ability in downtown Manhattan. The Human Top then returns and battles Giant-Man and the Wasp, and Giant-Man is enraged when the Top leaves with a captured Wasp.
    In the Hulk story, the Hulk saves Major Talbot from dying during the Leader’s attack. Then, when the Hulk has turned back into Bruce Banner, General Ross places him under arrest for treason. The leader sends his humanoid minions to the base where Banner is being held, and while they attack Banner, he turns back into the Hulk and battles them but is knocked out as they steal an invention of Banner’s for the Leader’s use.
    Assumed before the next episode:
    People are fed up with Giant-Man leaning on their buildings, carelessly causing damage.
    This episode takes place:
    After Giant-Man has leaned on one too many buildings.
    Full transcript:
    Edward: Mike, what do you do when you retire from the Avengers? What's next? What's next on your plate?
    Michael: I don't know. It's hard to go higher in the superhero community, but it's also harder to get a better job in even the military or that kind of like super diplomacy community
    Edward: and super diplomats.
    Michael: Well, that's what they are, right? Like they're like, I don't know, like Warrior Kings in a way. Right?
    Edward: Thank you for your service, giant man. I'd not like you to be the diplomat in charge of Poland. Over there with the wasp. You can help us deal with geopolitical situations in the Eastern Republics.
    Michael: But that's what they've been doing though. They've been acting as
    Edward: the last time giant man went into the Eastern Europe, he was crashing through the Berlin wall. It's not diplomatic, it's not known for diplomacy.
    Michael: No, but his actions, whether they're clumsy or not, were actually affecting international relations. So that's what I mean, like the general sense of whatever they are.
    Edward: Yeah. So causing diplomatic relations is not the same as being a diplomat, just cuz they both have the word diplo in them.
    Michael: No, no, no. I'm not saying that they're, I'm not saying that that's the job. It's just that what have the Avengers been? They've saved the world. They've battled villains. They have taken upon their self to go to other countries, to act in America's interests.
    And then at times we've found that they've acted secretively to the same extent, further in the interest and theory of America. So I don't know what you want to call them, but they're not regular. And so you're, they're not regular. And, and your question at the start was like, well, what do you like, what do you do when you retire?
    Well, it's not unprecedented, but it's unusual. And so it's a good question.
    Edward: And so what's unu

    • 11 min
    E202: The Fantastic Three? Four?? Five??? (Fantastic Four #39 and #40) -- June/July 1965

    E202: The Fantastic Three? Four?? Five??? (Fantastic Four #39 and #40) -- June/July 1965

    Apologizes for the delay on this episode. Edward has been traveling more than usual for business making it difficult to record. But we are back, and we should have a few more episodes recorded in time to be back on schedule next week. Stay tuned true believers!
    In this episode:
    Mike and Ed skip over the tornado that Dr. Doom used to terrorize the city, the capture of the Baxter Building, and the use of Reed Richards’ technology against himself, and jump right to the shocking news that the Thing, Ben Grimm, is leaving the Fantastic Four! Why is he leaving? Is it too hard to keep egos like this together for more than a few years? What is he going to do next? Is it a coincidence that the Avengers recently lost their four strongest members? And does this mean the Fantastic Four need to go into recruiting mode now too? The “Fantastic Three” does not have the same ring to it!
    Behind the Issues
    A lot happens in these issues: The after effects of the nuclear bomb in issue #38 cause the FF to lose their powers. Then Dr Doom attacks the team while they are helpless and they need to defeat their arch-nemesis without the benefit of powers. But all of that is secret. The FF manage to hide the fact their powers are missing while they get help from Daredevil. By the end of issue #40 they have their powers back, and Ben Grim is back to being the Thing. But in the course of the battle Ben felt un-appreciated and uses it as an excuse to leave the organization. This continuing storyline with every issue ending on a cliffhanger is Stan’s new style and we are seeing it in almost every title now, but none as connected as the Fantastic Four.
    In these issues:
    Fantastic Four #39:
    The Fantastic Four are rescued at sea, and they have lost their powers. Reed uses his technology to replace their powers, and they keep this information from the world. Meanwhile, Dr. Doom, who had been hypnotized by Reed previously, has this spell lifted by a local hypnotist. Doom, now in a rage at being tricked, heads back to New York City and battles the Fantastic Four, who have Daredevil on their side. They have a wild battle, with Daredevil doing a lot of the heavy lifting, leading into the next issue.
    Fantastic Four #40:
    Daredevil continues to pull the Fantastic Four’s bacon out of the fire. Meanwhile, the Four head to their headquarters, where Doom is holed up, with the local police sectioning off the city around the Four’s headquarters to allow these superpowered enemies do battle. At just the right time, the Four’s powers return, due to the ingenuity of Reed Richards, and they are able to best Dr. Doom and reclaim their headquarters. The Thing pushes them over the finish line, and they let Doom escape. And at the very end of the issue, the Thing decides that he has had it, and quits the team.
    Assumed before the next episode:
    People are wondering if the team should be called the Fantastic Five.
    This episode takes place:
    After the Fantastic Four/Five have defeated Dr. Doom and reclaimed the Baxter Building.
    Full Transcript
    Edward: Mike, there is a lot to talk about.
    Michael: No kidding.
    Edward: We could talk about the fact there's a tornado rampaging through the city destroying buildings. We can talk about Dr. Doom using Reed Richards technology against him and against all of us. We could talk about Doom. Taking over the Baxter, Building again, and threatening the Fantastic Four.
     These are all things we can talk about, but we're not gonna talk about any of those things.
    Michael: No man. We're talking about teams. We're talking about teams. Eddie, this is exciting news.
    Edward: Yeah. Not just teams. We're talking about The Thing. After all this stuff happening. The Thing announcement that he is leaving the Fantastic four.
    The Fantastic four have always had a challenge with their brand name in that they needed four people. Now they have to deal with that problem in a real way because the Fantastic Three doesn't have the same ring to it.
    Michael: No. S

    • 6 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
10 Ratings

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surbet11 ,

Review

Tons of fun for any marvel fan. If you enjoyed something like Marvels or that kinda on the ground viewpoint of the marvel universe, you’ll probably love this.

john loui ,

It okay but I don’t like this podcast

It fine but not my favorite podcast and the laugh is annoying

allkindsofnogood ,

Super Awesome Idea!

As a long time Marvel Comics fan, my hat goes off to this podcast for basically reviewing classic issues from some of the greatest characters in that line: Fantastic Four, Thor, Avengers etc. and doing it the style of a news radio broadcast! This terrific twist coupled with shorter episode lengths makes for an easy convenient listen that leaves you wanting more!

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