Hey Kids, Comics #284 - Family Reunions: Along Came a Spider

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Due to unforeseen entanglements (pun intended) this issue of HKC! ran late, but has arrived "just in time".  Fans of Ol' Web-Head's early animated appearances will get the joke.  But it is no joke that Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston have returned to usher in the next-to-the-last issue of the "Family Reunions" story arc, this time exploring the Spider-Man family!

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Perhaps the most unique family dynamic of the arc thus far, Peter Parker and his alter-ego share a lot in common with other characters profiled in the family dynamic.  With a minimum of blood relatives and ever-growing circle of friends and associates (as well as alternate reality incarnations), Spidey's got quite a family thing going!

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The advent of the Spider-Verse simply adds to the diverse mix of "Spider-Folks" that have come to populate the life and work of Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man as you will discover in this overview of a family that grows like a well-woven spider's web!

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The Rantcor Pit #77 - Something Wicket This Way Comes

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The Rantcor Pit goes small this outing with a look at the fascinating career of a Star Wars icon since 1983, Warwick Davis!

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Proving that short help is better than no help at all, a twist of fate on location in Redwood National Park landed a pre-teen Davis the role of Wicket (the full name will not be spelled out here), the plucky Ewok who befriends Princess Leia.  A role he would reprise twice on television before adding another cinematic icon to his resume, Willow Ufgood!

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The title creature in Leprechaun, varied roles in the Harry Potter series, The Chronicles of Narnia, and additional Star Wars roles would follow, as well as the brilliantly hilarious television series Life's Too Short.  From Star Wars' own teddy bears to an unexpected career spanning decades, Warwick Davis proves an amazing topic for Your Favorite Star Wars Guys, Cole Houston and Eddie Medina.

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Hey Kids, Comics! #283 - Family Reunions: Last Son and Then Some

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The boys got a bit of a late start last week due to many a difficulty, but that just means that there will be two issues in the "Family Reunions" arc in fairly short order.  This week Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston explore the real first family of comics, the Superman family!

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Krypton may have been obliterated, but one child escaped to become the sole survivor of a culture light years from Earth.  Or so he thought.  As the ultimate orphan, Kal-El aka Clark Kent aka Superman created his own family dynamic wherever he could find it on his adopted world, in his past, present, and even future.

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Join your hosts in exploring just what kind of family do you wind up with when you have two sets of parents, lots of girlfriends, plenty of hometown and big city pals, and even blood relatives you thought met the same fate as countless Kryptonians!  

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The Rantcor Pit #76 - The Spirit of '76

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Once upon a time there was no Star Wars.  But that would not be a condition for long!  Back in 1976, what was then known as The Star Wars was in pre-production and ultimately production...and the world had no clue what was about to happen!

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Juxtaposing the state of film, television, toys, and more in 1976 against what true fans of that Galaxy Far, Far Away have known for decades, your hosts Cole Houston and Eddie Medina discuss the year before Star Wars came out and a cultural phenomenon began.

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Joining them for this pop-culture exploration is Revenge of the Fifth's own Vic Medina.  All children during the American Bicentennial year, three lifelong Star Wars fans reminisce about their own experiences with the best that 1976 had to offer.

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Just over a year before its theatrical release, Star Wars began principle photography in Tunisia, a quiet beginning to a little movie that had few allies at 20th Century Fox and was poised to fail at the box office...as far as anyone knew in 1976.  Enjoy this look back at the year before the year that Star Wars took over the world!

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Hey Kids, Comics! #282 - Family Reunions: First Family Ties

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"Family Reunions" continues with a look at comics' First Family, the Fantastic Four.  And as that which defines family is truly diverse, so are the facets of this family dynamic.

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When a brilliant scientist and inventor persuades his old college buddy to pilot an experimental rocketship with him and his girlfriend...and her brother, no less, you have a recipe for a super-hero family.  That family in turn grows larger and larger over the years as allies and friends become part of a group that goes from quartet to symphony orchestra! 

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So join your hosts Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston as they explore the family dynamic of the Fantastic Four from brother and sisters to husbands, wives, girlfriends, and close family friends...and frenmies.

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Hey Kids, Comics! #281 - Family Reunions: Off the Bat

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Blood does not always make family.  Sometimes there is the family that you choose, or that chooses you.  Welcome to a brand new story arc for HKC!, Family Reunions.  This being a five-issue exploration of some of the comic book families that are comprised more of colleagues and allies than of actual relatives.

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To kick things off, Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston discuss one of the largest, oddest, and most loyal families of this kind that can be found, the so-called "Batman Family".

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You don't have to be a Wayne to be a part of this family, or, more often than not, to get an invite down to the Bat-Cave!   From Robin the Boy Wonder(s) to a certain deformed handyman, the oft dysfunctional (no surprise there) Batman Family proves as challenging as it is fascinating to explore.

They are the night!

Hey Kids, Comics! #280 - V for Versus

Fight!  That is the theme, in a sense, for this week's issue of the show.  More specifically, the kind of comic book smack down that began in about 1990.

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Dark Horse Comics' ever-popular "Aliens vs. Predator" would prove such a piece of comic book history as it set off an avalanche of "vs." scenarios that perpetuate to this very day. The cross-company or cross-license comic was by no means new, but it did enjoy a Golden Age that was sparked by the meshing of two movie licenses that seemed made for one another.

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Concentrating on such cross-company or cross license standoffs, your hosts Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston do battle for an hour with some of the most fascinating (and most eyebrow raising) "Blank vs. Blank" comics ever seen.

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Hey Kids, Comics! #279 - No Fly Zone or: (Hard-Selling Heroes)

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Welcome to a unique new issue of HKC! in which your hosts Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston explore the nature of long-running comic characters and storylines that simply would not fly today.

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Many are the stories and characters that would be hard to sell in this day and age, some of which might surprise you.  One hour is scarcely sufficient to cover such a topic, so this is likely not the last time your hosts will delve into the problematic denizens of comics.

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At intervals the publishers have corrected their errors of judgement, but for the most part the awkward ones still stand.  Part of the show looks into a few examples while shining a stark spotlight on characters that perhaps should never have graced the pages of our favorite comics.

Enjoy all of this and a few attempts at pitching such characters to a contemporary editor!

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The Rantcor Pit #75 - Better Than Drinkin' Alone

Note:  When originally recorded, this episode was mistakenly referred to as #72.

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The Force of July concludes here!  And not a moment too soon!  And while this is officially the 75th episode of the show, "Your Favorite Star Wars Guys" got thrown off on their numbering and refer to this as #74 and look forward to a milestone they did not know they hit!

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So welcome Star Wars fans to another Rantcor milestone!  This outing Cole "JediCole" Houston and Eddie Medina talk extensively and at length about one of their mutual favorite aspects of the Saga, Mos Eisley Cantina!

Chock full of iconic aliens, it was this scene that instantly peopled the Star Wars universe and captured the imagination of audiences for decades.  Sharing behind-the-scenes history, personal thoughts and observations, and some on-screen insights, Cole and Eddie just can't say enough about the patrons of the bar that set the stage for a species-rich Galaxy Far, Far Away.

So join two Star Wars fans who love them some Cantina denizens and can't seem to keep track of the numbering of their show as they order up a spiked blue milk and settle in to "people watch" at the best watering hole on Tattooine.

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Hey Kids, Comics! #278 - Summer Fun 2018: The Diet Coke of Evil

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While "Hey Kids, Comics!" may not have an Annual, well, annually, there are a few things that this show does manage every year like clockwork (ish).  The annual Summer Fun issue is certainly one of those thing and that thing is here now for your fun during the summer!

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Comic books, well, super-hero comic books, are chock-a-block full of the most insidious of evil and dangerous villains.  And then there are those that, as Dr. Evil would say, are the "Diet Coke of Evil".  One little calorie.  Not evil enough.  Try though they may, some folks are just not cut out for the bad guy biz. 

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So it is that this week your hosts Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston pull no punches when it comes to exposing, exploring, and poking fun at the worst of the worst, literally, that comics over the years have had to offer.  While all super-villains have high ambitions, not all will be the next Doctor Doom!

 The many uniforms of Sportsmaster!

The many uniforms of Sportsmaster!

Enjoy an hour of those who just can't and won't make the grade!  (E+ for Evil)

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With sincere apologies to both Arnim Zola and Doughboy, we simply did not manage to get either into the mix this summer!

The Rantcor Pit #74 - Off the Wall

Note:  When originally recorded this episode was mistakenly referred to as #73.

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Posters.  The paper heralds of so many wonderful things, not the least of which is Star Wars.  Often the movie poster, or one-sheet, was the first glimpse into what was "coming soon" for the Saga.  

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Welcome at last to the third (of four) July episodes of The Rantcor Pit as part of the annual Force of July celebration!  This outing Cole Houston and Eddie Medina take a look at some of their favorite posters of and for Star Wars over the years.  

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From theatrical one-sheets from around the world to promotional posters and fast-food giveaways, your hosts delve into their all time favorites from decades of the medium.  Enjoy this theater of the mind audio exploration of Star Wars posters!

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Hey Kids, Comics! Annual #3 - The Collection Assassin Returns

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After far too many years without one, Hey Kids, Comics! now has an Annual for 2018!  And what better way to bring back this staple of comics than with the annual rant about San Diego Comic Con exclusives!

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For years now SDCC exclusives have been a bone of contention for Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston.  With few exceptions there are the offerings that are only available there that whet their appetite for collectibles while offering no relief.  This year featured a bumper crop of the unobtainable, so they are joined by friend of the show Michael Fraley at the empty banquet table.

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So without further delay, the JCU brings you the annual HKC! rant as an Annual!

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Hey Kids, Comics! #277 - HKC! Team-Up #10: The New Mutants

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It's team-up time again, folks!  Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston have a great one for you this time, The New Mutants!

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Premiering in 1982's Marvel Graphic Novel #4, The New Mutants were the next generation of X-Men in training.  The one-shot story would prove to be an ideal springboard for an ongoing series that ran 100 issues before becoming X-Force!

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Your hosts are joined this week by friend of the show and long-time fan of the X-Men franchise, Steve McCauley!  With a personal history with this and other X-titles, he brings a wealth of buried memories to the fore.

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So prepare yourself for a look at a title that generated a wealth of, well, new mutants both good and evil as it explored the life of some of Xavier's newest gifted youngsters!

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The Rantcor Pit #73 - Star Wars For the Holidays Part 2: That Time of Year

Note:  When originally recorded, this episode was mistakenly referred to as #72.

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"The Force of July" continues with a well-timed episode that looks at the holidays between, well, July and December and associated Star Wars merchandise!

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Cole "JediCole" Houston and Eddie Medina pick up where they left off half way through the year exploring July 4, Halloween, and Christmas most predominantly.  With two heavy hitters at the tail end of the year, from the standpoint of collectibles and merchandise, this episode runs a little long out of necessity!

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Join the fun as your hosts discuss and discover the myriad ways that Star Wars licensees have churned out holiday products over the last 40 years or more.  Expects some old favorites, a few surprises, and a whole lot of holiday cheer in this second of four (to five) episodes in July.  This show is going to catch up with "The Rantcor Pit Live eventually!

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Hey Kids, Comics! #276 - Size Matters Not

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Hey kids!  The show is back at last! 

This issue of the show Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston mimic Steve Martin in the 70s and "get small"!  But then one kind of has to when approaching the subject of Ant-Man on the big screen!  

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You are now entering Spoiler Territory!  

The Rantcor Pit Live's intern and the JCU's resident movie buff Stephen Fett joins a lively discussion on what all three feel is one of the best movies in the ten year history of Marvel Studios.  Holding nothing back, they talk about a lot of aspects of the film that you might want to see for yourself before hearing their words.

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Ant-Man and the Wasp provides all of the elements of an ideal super-hero film with action, over the top characters, a sprinkling of humor, plenty of things for comic fans to hang their hat on, and, in the end, a story about family.  So join the HKC! family as they look at the tiny details of a really big movie!

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Hey Kids, Comics! #275 - I Don't Know Much About Archie, But I Know What I Like

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There are, from time to time, those topics that Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston set themselves to task to tackle for this show that leave them wondering if anyone would know the difference if they never did a show on such subjects at all.  The Archie Comics-based television show "Riverdale" is one such subject.  Yet they persevered and used it as a springboard for anther HKC! milestone.

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With a history that spans decades, retooling Archie Andrews and company for modern audiences had to have been a challenge, one accepted and met by the producers of Riverdale.  Turning everything you ever knew or heard about "America's Favorite Teenager" (and technical septuagenarian) on its ear, this show explores the hidden corners of otherwise idyllic small town life.

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Definitely not the life with Archie that so many Americans grew up with, Riverdale presents the iconic gang in a vastly different light that hits its notes with near perfection and avoids the all too common pitfalls of "teen angst" shows of the past.  Enjoy your hosts exploring and coming to grips with a program that invokes a comic book with which they have the most minimal of personal history.

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The Rantcor Pit #72 - Star Wars For the Holidays Part One: Midway Through the Year

Note:  When originally recorded, this episode was mistakenly referred to as #71.

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The Force of July is kicking in with the first of four weekly episodes of The Rantcor Pit!  To start off the month-long celebration of "The Star Wars", Cole Houston and Eddie Medina take a look at Saga merchandise for the holidays.  Those that fall between January and June, in the U.S., anyway.

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From New Year's Day in January to Father's Day in June, there is (and has been over the last 40 years) a wealth of Star Wars merchandise to be discussed and remembered.  So much that what began as one episode was split into two!  Stay tuned for the July through December episode coming soon!

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Hey Kids, Comics! #274 - Minority Report

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Welcome to an issue of the show over 200 issues in the making.  And one of the most challenging.  This week your hosts Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston set their sights on ethnicity in comics. 

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Ethnic minorities have been more marginalized than celebrated in over 100 years of comics, at least until more recently.  The range of good, bad, and especially stereotypical portrayals of characters is a weighty subject to tackle, but Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston set out to do so with a frank approach that looks back at an often awkward history.

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From inflammatory, often racist images to the rise of ethnically diverse characters, the evolution of race portrayal in comics proves a fascinating journey for your hosts as they come to grips with how the medium has failed or succeeded in developing minority characters in mainstream comics.

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Hey Kids, Comics! #273 - Nocked Up

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JediCole loves a good turn of phrase!  And in the case of the latest issue of Hey Kids, Comics!, the subject matter lent itself beautifully to one such that made this one of the top titles for the series in over 250 episodes for Andrew Farmer!  What better way to launch a discussion of the various archers in comic books?

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From obvious long-time favorites to some of the more obscure masters of bow and arrows, this week's issue hits bulls-eye after bulls-eye as your hosts draw on decades of archery enthusiasts from various publishers. 

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So fill your quiver and string your bow, it's time to hit the virtual range and "nock out" a lively discussion of the history of archery in comics and indeed the world!

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Hey Kids, Comics! #272 - Reynolds Rap

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While it's been up on Podbean for a few days, this issue of the show was a bit slow arriving to The JediCole Universe due in large part to unforeseen headwinds.  Little wonder since it is the show in which Andrew "Sugar Bear" Farmer and Cole "Pretend Super-Powers" Houston talk about Ryan Reynolds and Deadpool!

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This week your hosts are joined by Wonder Twin Powers Activate Show co-host Aaron Prado!  With three comic and film aficionados on board, you can certainly anticipate some in-depth coverage of Reynolds' journey from the dreadful rendition in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" to the Deadpool of your dreams in two hit solo films.

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To call this issue "Spoiler Rich" would be an understatement, so if you haven't seen Deadpool 2 (or Deadpool for that matter), go see this movie (these movies) then return for the show!  Screening the first movie to feature Deadpool is not really a requirement of course.

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