Podcast - Episode 50: Our Secret Origin/Book Club Launch!

Hey! It's our 50th episode! Wow!

First of all, I apologize for the weird sound. I don't know why, but Dave and I both sound like we're recording via Skype, when in fact both of us were in the same room using my very nice microphones and mixing board. I did my best trying to fix it in post, but it's still not great.

But anyway, 50th episode!!!!

To celebrate, we decided to share our secret origin stories (how we got into comics and super heroes). And we also announce the launch of the Living Between Wednesdays Summer Book Club!

We encourage you to read along with us for the next ten episodes! Here is the schedule, starting with next week's episode:

June 29th: Kingdom Come by Mark Waid and Alex Ross

July 6th: Spider-Man: The Original Clone Saga by Gerry Conway and Ross Andru

July 13th: Wilson by Daniel Clowes

July 20th: Batman: Hush by Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee

July 27th: Doctor Strange: The Oath by Brian K Vaughan and Marcos Martin

August 3rd: Cosmic Odyssey by Jim Starlin and Mike Mignola

August 9th: Copra: Round One by Michele Fiffe

August 17th: Batgirl: Year One/Robin: Year One by Chuck Dixon, Scott Beatty, Marcos Martin and Javier Pulido

August 24th: Captain America: Man Without a Country by Mark Waid and Ron Garney

August 31st: DC: The New Frontier by Darwyn Cooke

Please join us as we talk about some awesome comics all summer!

I'll leave you now with some of the crazy things Dave and I listed as influences on this week's podcast:

The 1980s 'I am Astar, a Robot' War Amputations of Canada PSA

CBC Halifax's Switchback

Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue

Archies: Return to Riverdale


I could not find any evidence of a Little Lulu live action television movie. I assume it was a fever dream Dave had. Prove me wrong, internet!

You Got the Right Stuff, Richie.

In this crappy economic climate, I find it soothing to think back to a more fruitful era, like the 1980s. It seemed possible that we could all someday sleep on a pile of money, since even children like Richie Rich were ridiculously wealthy. Computers were going to solve all of our problems. Soon a pill would be developed to provide us with all our dietary needs. And we could be sure that a certain pop group's star would never stop rising.

Yes, I'm talking about the New Kids on the Block.

But, like a Hypercolor t-shirt, NKOTB did not age so well.

Except Jon. Lookin' fine, Jon. Lookin' eerily similar, in fact.

Anyway, at one point in this magical era, the New Kids on the Block, who were pretty wealthy themselves, met the richest kid around, Richie Rich.


Both Richie and the Kids have pretty sweet lives, so this was the crisis for the issue. The New Kids on the Block are lost in Richie's giant, luxorious mansion. What's next? A harrowing issue where Richie has too much ice cream and the New Kids have to help him eat it?


Anyway, the gist of the story is that it's Richie's birthday and he wants to go see the New Kids in concert. (Me too, Richie. But the reunion tour isn't coming to Halifax.)  Richie's Dad decides to play a trick on him, and tell him the tickets were sold old, but surprise Richie with having the New Kids play at his party.

It's a "party to end all parties," which is a bit of a tragic title in retrospect, since some of the members of NKOTB almost snorted their way to the big party in the sky.

But at this point, the New Kids are just down to earth Boston boys. They arrive at Richie's place for the birthday party and lose their shit over the size of Richie's mansion. And I have to stress again, that these guys are not doing bad for themselves either. Richie is RICH!

The New Kids are a little slow, which is probably realistic, and can't figure out how to get in.

I'm going to assume that all the punning is also realistic.

From here, they just keep running into crazy crap all over the Rich residence. It's run-of-the-mill rich people's stuff—the Elephant Man's bones and whatnot—until they find one room that holds a fully functioning circus, made entirely of robots.

Weird. Why would the Rich family have these? Secret military weapons? Do they run a nightmare factory? The look on that clown's face is truly terrifying.

I think this is the kind of dark shit that lead to Donnie Wahlberg's role in the Sixth Sense. Remember?


Luckily, just when things are getting dire, Donnie locates a room-finding computer. Good on ya, Donnie. You'll survive when the rest of the Kids perish. 

But the computer can't decipher their thick Bostonian accents and their rap-influenced dialect. Remember, computers were very literal in the 80s. You were like, "What up, computer?" and they were like, "2.65 meters above me is the ceiling, human."

So the computer sends them to the weather room!

Richie eventually finds the Kids by taking off the removable roof to the mansion and air-lifting them out by helicopter. Clearly using resources where they're needed. So, NKOTB make it to the party.

Well, sure. It's easy to say friendship is more important than money when you're crazy rich. That's the NKOTB manager, Maurice Starr, providing that little platitude by the way.

This moral is slightly cheapened by the ad on the next page.

I hope NKOTB's friendship costs less than $2.99 per minute these days. I'm not sure I can afford that.

Perverted Tales of the Teen Titans

Man, the Teen Titans creep me out. Like, every other page I come across a panel that makes me feel like a dirty voyeur. I don't need to know this much about the Titans and their kinky sexual escapades.

Cyborg builds a hologram projector, and this is the first thing he thinks of to do with it:

Then Dick adds to the mood:

Cyborg is just hanging in the back, waiting for the magic to start happening. Dick is not denying, or confirming, Donna's statement.

Changeling's sexual deviancies are even more disturbing:


Titans Tower sees more action than the Playboy Mansion.

And Now The Moondancers!

I've been known to complain about the current Superman/Batman series, because it is so crappy. But sometimes you just gotta pull out an old issue of World's Finest to remind yourself that it wasn't all solid gold either.

This issue is many things, but mainly:

a) Melodramatic
b) Ridiculous
c) Romantic

It takes place during that angst-ridden time when Batman and Superman broke up and Batman formed the Outsiders with his new loser friends ("I don't need you, Superman! I've got...Geo-Force! And Halo!").

Alright, so in fair Cape Canaveral, where we lay we scene, our star-crossed lovers are sad:

Superman is thinking that, though he isn't too fond of Batman of late, he doesn't really want him to die. It's really beautiful:

And why is Batman dying? Cause of these bitches:

Who wants to be the Moondancers for Halloween with me?! I call Harvest Moon! (And, for the record, the lone black Moondancer is called 'New Moon,' but her powers are ice-based because she represents the dark side of the moon. For real).

These ladies spray Batman with some weird moon virus.

And help they (Nasa scientists/the army) get, in the form of Batman's ex-best friend, Superman. Awk-ward.

But Superman sees Batman's lifeless body and rises above their petty differences with this bit of angst-ridden soul-searching:
God, I could look at that panel of them having coffee together all day.

Anyway, in the few hours or so that Batman is sick, Gotham City goes to hell. Even more so.

Wow. That...that's a real mess you got there, Gotham. This is what Bruce Wayne would see if he ever did the It's A Wonderful Life thing with his guardian angel.

So, as you can imagine, Commissioner Gordon is also missing Batman, and hoping for his speedy recovery. It's touching:

This is why Gotham is a hopeless mess. It's police officers get distracted by shooting stars. "And look down there, Commissioner! A tank is busting through a bank wall and over some police cruisers!"

Meanwhile, Superman is flying around space looking for a cure for Batman's alien virus. He finds one in a comet somehow. It's not important. He rushes back to Earth with it, and then whips together this little contraption:

What does it do? I don't know. But get ready for a fantastic panel of Superman watching...and waiting!

"Come on...come on! Go, respiration, go!"

Guess what? It works. And it makes for an uncomfortable, and adorable, reunion:

Superman flies off to do stuff so Batman can sleep. But he leaves him unattended, and guess who strolls in:

You suck, Superman.

Superman's living it up in Gotham, putting the fear of God back into the hearts of criminals. One thing he does is disconnect the fuse of a bomb some crooks are using to blow up a bank vault. It's awesome:

And then he chills with Gordon for a second, who still doesn't seem to be doing much about the whole explosion of crime that is tearing his city apart:

I think he may just have said to hell with it and hit the bottle. "Thanks, shooting star! I'll keep the faith!"

Alright, so Superman decides to maybe check in on his sick pal, who happens to have been knocked unconscious by the Moondancers.

"We've got to find them, and fast! But first I have to go back and get my gloves!"

As it turns out, the Moondancers are anti-nuclear activists who feel that their means justifies their end. But who really cares? Let's watch Superman and Batman kick their asses:

Er, well. Just Batman, then.

That's about all you need to see of that story. Except maybe these panels of Batman climbing and straddling a giant phallus:


The Moondancers made a final appearance in Grant Morrison's Animal Man #25 in that comic book limbo place for forgotten characters:

Good riddance.

Rating the Super Hunks #5: Ted Kord

Due to popular demand, I have decided to make Ted Kord the celebrated hunk of the week. We'll see how he stacks up next to his pal, Booster Gold.

So, let's check out another fallen super hunk,

Ted Kord, aka The Blue Beetle

Costume/Appearance: This is a great costume. There are two things I really like about it: the blue-on-blue colour combination, and the goggles. The suit is very clean, very simple, and has great design. Unlike the current Blue Beetle, Ted's suit did not resemble a giant beetle, and I appreciate that. Because beetles are gross.

The dark bands at the ends of the gloves, the bottoms of the shorts and the tops of the boots are fabulous-looking. The belt is great. The wrap-around beetle logo is very well-executed, and shows creativity in logo-placement. The shorts also have more of a boxer-brief cut than a Speedo cut, which I always like. The boots have a slight heel. Very stylish. Ted looks like a billionaire, even in costume. And it's very flattering.

Like I said, I love the goggles, but it's hard to consider them sexy. They distract a little from the awesome design work on the rest of the suit. Plus, we can't see his wavy hair. I'll subtract one point. Other than that, a very hot costume.


Alter-Ego: Ted Kord is a billionaire and a genius. We're already off to a good start here. He is also a nice guy with a good attitude and a great sense of humour. It's no wonder female readers love Ted. Hal Jordan represents the guy that you fall for that you know is bad for you. Ted represents the nerd who asked you to the prom that you turned down, then you realize ten years later that he's the guy should should have gone for. Smart, successful, imaginative, brave, and a total sweetheart.

Ted doesn't get sexy too often in the comics. He was, however, nailing one of his employees.

Yowza! Plus, his flirting with Oracle was always cute. Especially online. Oh, I love that nerd.

As much as I hate to speak ill of the dead, it is possible to find fault with poor Ted. He's reasonably attractive, but he's not a smoking babe. Still, those big baby blues and messy auburn hair aren't bad. He has had his share of health problems. He doesn't always do the best job running that company of his and has frequent money troubles. And...he's a terrible dresser. Really. The costume is the least garish article of clothing he owns.

I'll forgive the clothes a little because it was the eighties, but...seriously. He dresses like a children's performer.

Still, though...


Day Job: Billionaire inventor.


Sexiness of Powers: Ted doesn't have powers. But he does have a whole lot of cool gadgets and weapons, all of which he invented. He's a genius and a great athlete. He provided the primary mode of transportation for the Giffen-era Justice League. He's got a gun that blinds people.

Having no powers and still being a member of the Justice League is sexy.


Cons: Like I mentioned before, Ted has had his share of health and money problems. It should be noted that he has always bounced back.

Er, at least, he probably would have bounced back from his latest money troubles if he hadn't been shot in the head. His death was heroic, and he proved to be the only one able to figure out what was going on when the shit started hitting the fan, OMAC-wise. And his last words were excellent:

You tell him, Teddy!

I'll knock a couple of points off for his tendency to let things slide. Like his business or his weight.


Final Score: 34/40

Nice one, Ted! Rest in Peace. You were taken from us too soon.