Reviews: The Archies One Shot, I Am Groot #1, Samaritan Veritas #1, Archer S8 finale, Arrow S5 finale, The Flash S3 finale, Lucifer S2 finale
Jon Hoche returns after a week away to the rotating co-host chair! Jimmy talks about a possible 1:1 interview with a Gotham star or 2. News includes: DC Comics will do some Metal midnight launches, Battle Angel Alita is now on Comixology, Dynamite Entertainment is publishing new Turok and Sheena comics, Neil Gaiman will read The Cheesecake Factory menu if $500k is raised for charity, an Animaniacs reboot may be in development and more! Leave your iTunes comments! 5 stars and nothing but love! Also, get a hold of us!
Nick was underwhelmed by the end of the series, Hank was highly confused by it, and Jason absolutely loves it (he may have even cried a little bit).
After the end theme, Hank makes a jarring announcement. Due to improprieties and severe mismanagement (certainly in large part related to the inappropriate content covered in this podcast series) the Auditing Committee has decided the future of the Allegheny Teen Center Reading Program and it’s not good.
Our last episode. The one you’ve been waiting for… ATCRP #27!
We analyze the plot of the story and study its thematic elements. How does the end of this volume hold up to other climactic moments in the series? And have we been paying enough attention to Kishiro’s depictions of female characters?
After the end theme, Hank announces a new Teen Center fundraiser… where the funds are words and math problems!
Next Episode: Rebecca Cohen returns to help Hank and Nick analyze the world’s most infamous cartoon fat cat, Garfield.
Ido also confronts fellow Tipharean scientist, Desty Nova, who happens to be a few shades crazier and far more volatile.
We discuss the themes at play, with an emphasis Kishiro’s use of brains and how you can basically plug shit into them. We also do our best to get Hank up to speed, considering he spent the past week at the bottom of a slowly-filling grain silo.
Speaking of which, after the end theme Hank and Nick recount the story of how they got Hank out of that deadly grain silo and extracted Cecily from the brainwashing bakery cult. Plus, now that Hank’s safely back in the Alleghenies, he’s got a Teen Center announcement!
We’ll be back in two weeks to talk about Battle Angel Alita v5 chapters 4-7.
The tussle between Jashugan and Alita has been percolating for two volumes and it becomes reality in chapter five. Kishiro works a clever flashback sequence into the fight, mixing some tantalizing plot teases into the awesome action.
We marvel at the silent sequences in these chapters and gush about the interesting interactions that occur both on and off the Motor Ball track.
After he end theme, we’ve got some good news and some bad news. The good news is that Hank 300 is alive and still working to help out Cecily, the troubled Teen Center member who recently traveled to Walla Walla, WA to find her birth mother. The bad news is that Cecily has been brainwashed by a bakery cult and Hank needs Nick’s help to extricate her from this surprisingly violent organization.
As Nick travels to Walla Walla to aid Hank and Cecily, be back here on Tues, Dec 31st to hear a pre-recorded conversation between Rebecca Cohen and Nick as they discuss Solomon Mars‘s incredible Myth of Eustro digital comics!
Alita valiantly dispenses with her contenders until she reaches Crimson Wind, the enigmatic and mysterious motor baller who’s hungry for a good fight.
Our hero is more than willing to throwdown and thus an epic tussle ensues! We discuss our favorite parts of these action-packed two chapters, gushing about Kishiro’s kickass art and fantastic storytelling.
Other than the awkward and gratuitous (albeit well drawn) Shumira shower scene, everything in this section of the manga goes off without a hitch. There are even some delightfully corny surprises, like Tiegel’s upset victory.
After the end theme, we drop a quick Hank 300 update. If anyone has information regarding the whereabouts of Hank 300 and Cecily, please call the AudioShocker tip line at 412-567-7606.
We solemnly discuss Battle Angela Alita v4 chapters 3-5 as we eagerly wait to hear from Hank 300.
Nick is smitten with chapter 4, which features an action-packed and emotional arm wrestling competition between Alita and Ido’s new ally, Jashugan.
Jason waxes poetic about the story, creating metaphorical parallels between plot developments, dialogue, and Alita’s personality. As a teen, v3 was his first encounter with Battle Angel Alita and he has a lot of love for this manga.
After the end theme, we give an update on the status of Hank 300, who hasn’t been heard from since he went cross-country to Walla Walla, WA to find missing Allegheny Teen Center member Cecily.
As the volume opens, the status quo has been shattered. Ido’s living on the streets searching for Alita, who disappeared after the demise of Hugo.
A violent cyborg game called Motor Ball is the setting of this gorgeous manga tale. Alita has become entrenched in this sport and she’s surrounded by a new crew of misfits, including an enigmatic furball named Kinji.
Ido has befriended Shumira, a perky teen whose older brother just happens to be the greatest player in the history of Motor Ball. But with his health wavering and Alita on the rise, is his legacy in danger?
Alita gets closer than ever to the floating city… but Tiphares doesn’t want her or Hugo to step on its mysterious surface. Plus, Ido reveals that he was kicked out of the enigmatic floating city and warns Alita that it’s not a place she wants to visit.
We also chat a bit about the first episode of the Battle Angel Alita OVA anime, which sorta spoils a few things about the direction of the ongoing story but mostly just feels like it changes things for the sake of changing them.
NEXT: We take a one week break from Alita’s adventures to discuss Hyperbole and a Half and continue our chat about the uncurated wild west of webcomics.
First released in 1990 in Japan as Gunnm and later reprinted by VIZ for English-speaking audiences, Battle Angel Alita is a post-apocalyptic hi-tech lo-fi adventure story about a bounty hunter / scientist who rescues a dormant cyborg from a trash heap. (Unfortunately, VIZ hasn’t taken any steps to make BAA available digitally, which means that it’s readily available on scanlation sites.)
Hank and Nick discuss the themes at work in BAA’s introductory chapters, from “you gotta kill the head!” to Alita’s discovery of identity. Nick finds similarities between Kishiro’s art and that of his North America contemporaries who formed Image Comics. Here are a few notable moments we single out during our discussion.
And, as always, Hank ends things with some important announcements from the Allegheny Teen Center.
NEXT: We cover the final three chapters of Battle Angel Alita v1 and take a look at the Battle Angel Alita OVA anime.
Lil Fat Mikey makes another return to the Danger Room to show Sidekickcast hosts Dan (Marshall Law) and Gavin (the Boneman) just how much he’s fallen down the comic book rabbit hole. We take a look at some comic book animation in the form of Ghost in the Shell, Battle Angel Alita and Iron Man: Armored Adventures.
In the Stack Attack reviews we cover Batman and Robin #5, Daredevil #501, Uncanny X-Men #516, Haunt #1, Chronicles of Wormwood: The Last Battle #1, Invincible Iron Man #19, North 40 #3  and Crossed #7.
It’s time to crap or get off the pot in Secrets and Lies; the comic book news quiz with Gavin so far in the lead with a score of 9-5. Can all the revision Lil Fat Mikey has done this week bring Dan back from the brink? In Knowing Me, Knowing You, Dan has Mike Carey’s The Torch #2 to contend with, can we convince to pick it up for another week? We get a Dig That! recommendation from our favourite comic book dealer Kristian AKA the Comic Guru in the form of Salem Brownstone: All Along the Watchtowers. Don’t forget to listen past the outro music for some ridiculously funny out-takes.