Afleveringen

  • In this episode:

    Mike and Ed discuss the decision of Gregory Gideon (the richest man in the world) to donate all of his assets and holdings to charity. In a “normal” world, we would expect his heirs to question the decision and ask if he was being manipulated or going senile. In this new world of superpowers that we live in, shouldn’t someone be asking if he is being mind-controlled? Also: Reed Richards was mistaken for a Skrull and the Matador is NOT Daredevil. Who can we trust? What is the truth? Who decides?

    In these issues:

    Fantastic Four #34

    Gregory Gideon, one of the richest man in the world, decides to take defeat the Fantastic Four, as he appears to be bored with every other challenge. He sets up complicated scheme to turn the Fantastic Four against each other. While his plan is in motion, we are introduced to his son Thomas, whom he appears to actually love. In any event, Gideon manipulates the team to the point that they knock each other out. His son Thomas overhears the rest of his father’s plan to destroy the Fantastic Four, causing him to race over to warn them of the final stroke of the plan. Thomas is caught in the crossfire, which causes Gideon to realize the error of his ways. In penance, he renounces his fortune, turning over all of his wealth over to charity.

    Daredevil #5 Part 2

    The criminal Matador embarks on a crime spree in New York City. Daredevil takes it upon himself to track down the criminal. They fight, and the Matador comes out on top. The public venerates the Matador over Daredevil, even though he is clearly a criminal. In an attempt to bring him down, Matt Murdock, who is secretly Daredevil, announces that he is in fact the Matador. This leads to the Matador tracking down Matt, and meeting up with Daredevil. They fight, and Daredevil comes out on top.

    Assumed before the next issues:

    The public is questioning the business decisions of corporate titans, wondering who may be pulling their strings.

    This episode takes place:

    After Gideon announces that he is donating all of his money to charity, and just before he meets the consequences of his monumental decision.

    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.superserious616.com

  • In this episode:

    Mike and Ed discuss Giant-Man’s exclusive interview with the Daily Bugle. What did the Bugle have to agree to in order to get the exclusive? Were there questions that were not asked? Or did Giant-Man choose to give the paper an exclusive because of their historically heavy superhero coverage? Also: What was the cause of the giant plant that almost destroyed the entire city? Is there going to be an investigation so that we can be assured it will not happen again? Or do we just count on Giant-Man to rip it out from the taproot each time it happens?

    Behind the comic:

    The Daily Bugle’s first appearance was in Marvel Mystery Comics #18 in 1941. In the Marvel Silver Age, the paper was first mentioned in Fantastic Four #2, but it quickly became central to the Spider-Man storylines. This issue was an uncommon example of the paper taking a more (somewhat) significant role in a non-Spider-Man issue, but mostly the paper is used as the generic “newspaper” anytime a paper or a reporter is needed in any New York-based story.

    In this issue:

    A criminal steals Giant-Man’s costume and technology and uses them to commit crimes. At the same time, Hank Pym has created a serum that is causing plans to grow out of control, creating a massive public safety issue. Fortunately, Giant-Man is able to steal his costume back and fix the plant problem.

    Assumed before the next issue:

    People are more wary of giant plants.

    This episode takes place:

    After Giant-Man has fixed the problem that he created.

    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.superserious616.com

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  • In this episode:

    Mike and Ed discuss what drives superheroes. Why is Daredevil, a man without any superpowers, out there risking his life every day? Does he have a psychological problem? Is the claim that Daredevil is also the Matador legitimate? Does it just means he wants to be famous by being flashy on either side of the law? And how does this all relate to Spider-Man’s return to popularity?

    Behind the issues:

    The Spider-Man issue wraps up the “Spider-Man is a coward” 3-issue thread. Meanwhile in Daredevil, the first four issues of the series were drawn by a mix of different artists. Daredevil #5 marks the beginning of the “permanent” art of Wallace Wood. Daredevil’s costume is superficially the same (still the yellow-and-black), but Wallace is not afraid to make some small changes (with no in-world explanation for those changes). Wallace will soon go on to make more substantial changes, including the famous red costume in issue #7, but this is the issue where he starts testing the waters to see what he can get away with.

    In these issues:

    Amazing Spider-Man #19

    The Daily Bugle says that Spider-Man is washed up, but he’s not. He’s out fighting crime in dynamic fashion. Meanwhile, the Human Torch is overwhelmed by Sandman and the Enforcers. Spider-Man then battles this gang of thugs but their fight is broken up when the police arrive. Eventually, Spider-Man tracks down the criminals and fights them again, freeing the Human Torch and defeating the gang.

    Daredevil #5

    The criminal Matador embarks on a crime spree in New York City. Daredevil takes it upon himself to track down the criminal. They fight, and the matador comes out on top. The public venerates the Matador over Daredevil even though he is clearly a criminal. In an attempt to bring him down, Matt Murdock, who is secretly Daredevil, announces that he is in fact the Matador. This leads to the Matador tracking down Matt, and meeting up with Daredevil. They fight, and Daredevil comes out on top.

    Assumed before the next issues:

    The public is wondering if there were wrong about Spider-Man and Daredevil and should in fact grateful to the two heroes.

    This episode takes place:

    After public sentiment seems to have turned in favor of Spider-Man and Daredevil. Before Daredevil’s battle with the Matador.

    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.superserious616.com

  • In this episode:

    Mike and Ed discuss the police decision to declare Tony Stark missing and Iron Man as a suspect. Did Iron Man kill Tony Stark? Why is Iron Man still in charge of StarkCorp. while he is under investigation? Why hasn’t the board of directors already acted, and how will they respond when they do? Is this the most exciting story since the founding of the Fantastic Four? Also: Pepper Potts, Tony Stark’s secretary, has been kidnapped by a masked villain using a bow and specialty explosive arrows. Is it all related as part of a conspiracy? Or is it just a distraction from the bigger issue of Mr. Stark’s disappearance?

    Behind the comic:

    Most Marvel comics at this time were monthly, in theory (X-Men was bi-monthly). But in practice the comics came out whenever the artists completed their work. This meant that Spider-Man comics were often delayed (Ditko started delivering in a more timely manner in 1965), it also meant that some of the storylines got a little mixed up. There WERE a number of issues released between Tales of Suspense #59 and #60 (Tales to Astonish #61, Fantastic Four #33, Journey Into Mystery #11, and Strange Tales #127) but, coincidentally, none of those issues had any publicly visible events. So from a Super Serious perspective it means Part 2 of this Iron Man drama follows immediately after Part 1. In the real world Part 3 does not come out until January 1965, but from a comic book continuity perspective it happens BEFORE Avengers #11 (which was on newsstands the same day as this issue), so we will cover in our next episode.

    In this issue:

    Tony Stark is frustrated because he feels he needs to wear his armour all the time, lest his fragile heart stop. This means as well that he has to remain Iron Man at all times and tell his closest friends that Tony Stark is away on a secret business matter. His friends call the police, who interrogate Iron Man, who draws suspicion and flees under a hail of bullets from the cops. Meanwhile, Hawkeye is convinced by the Black Widow to raid StarkCorp.‘s factory to steal plans for its newest weapons. Hawkeye kidnaps Tony Starks’s assistant Pepper Potts. This draws Iron Man back to rescue Pepper, whereupon he battles Hawkeye, chasing him off.

    Assumed before the next episode:

    StarkCorp.’s share price keeps going up and down on the uncertainties involving its founder and Iron Man.

    This episode takes place:

    After Pepper Potts has been rescued.

    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.superserious616.com

  • In This Episode:

    Mike and Ed discuss Tony Stark’s donation of his giant Upper East Side Mansion to the Avengers. Was the mansion donated directly from his personal wealth, or was it done through StarkCorp? What was Tony’s motivation? Is it related to his recent decision to turn StarkCorp temporarily over to Iron Man? Is is suspicious that Iron Man has taken control of Stark Corp within days of also taking possession of one of the most valuable pieces of real estate in New York? Also: Why did the mafia choose this moment to attempt an Avengers Mansion home invasion?

    Behind the Issue:

    This issue marks the first modern stand-alone Captain America story. Going forward Tales of Suspense is splitting its storytelling between Iron Man and Captain America (just as Tales to Astonish has split between Giant Man/Wasp and the Hulk). At this point in Marvel’s history every Avenger has their own stand-alone (or shared stand-alone) title.

    In This Comic

    Coming Soon! Check out the post online.

    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.superserious616.com

  • In this episode:

    Mike and Ed discuss the revelation that Tony Stark has put Iron Man in (temporary) charge of StarkCorp. Can someone with a secret identity be a corporate officer of a publicly traded corporation? (No.) Can a CEO unilaterally declare a temporary new temporary CEO without first speaking to his board of directors? (No.) Is Tony Stark doing both of those things anyway? (Yes.) Super Serious is here to explain the rules of corporate governance and why Tony Stark believes rules do not apply to him.

    Behind the comic:

    This may be the first three-part story told by Marvel Comics. It starts here and continues into Tales of Suspense 60 and 61. The idea of Iron Man becoming the CEO of StarkCorp because Tony is not able to remove the armor and living is a great premise that Stan Lee milks for all it is worth (and raises the stakes! Just wait until next issue!)

    In This Issue:

    The Black Knight’s flying horse helps free him from prison. Meanwhile, Tony Stark suffers from a medical emergency. His armour is the only thing that can save him, and so he puts it on. He then battles the Black Knight as Iron Man. After the battle, Tony is worried that he will not survive if he takes his armor off. He decides to stay in his armor and, as Iron Man, tells his two most trusted employees that “Mr. Stark” will be out of town for a while and has left “him”, Iron Man, in charge of the company.

    Assumed before the next episode:

    StarkCorp stock likely drops.

    This episode takes place:

    After Iron Man starts his sort of take over of StarkCorp.

    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.superserious616.com

  • In this episode:

    Mike and Ed discuss the claim that Spider-Man is a coward. The hero clearly ran from at least two fights (with the Green Goblin and later with Sandman). Does that make him a coward, or just concerned for his own safety? What makes someone a coward? Even if Spider-Man is not a coward, if he is now afraid to engage with supervillains, is he just in the wrong line of work? If you are afraid of driving fast, that is okay, but maybe do not chose to become a race car driver …

    Behind the comic:

    Most of the issues in this time period - across all the titles - are standalone. The hero ends each issue in a very similar place to where he started. This issue is different. In Spider-Man #17, Peter ran away from the Green Goblin because he had to help his aunt. This issue builds on those events. Peter is now worried that he should not be Spider-Man because if something happens to him, his aunt will have no one to care for her. These dilemmas that Stan thrusts on Peter are what make the early Spider-Man titles stand apart from so many of the other titles at the time. Peter’s issues continue into Spider-Man #19.

    In this issue:

    The Daily Bugle publishes a story on how Spider-Man is a coward, and the world at large appears to believe it. J. Jonah Jameson is really playing up the story, and Spider-Man’s reputation is really quite damaged. Peter struggles with what he should do, staying on the sidelines while his aunt is ill. She eventually recovers, and Peter decides that he can return to his duties as Spider-Man.

    Assumed before the next episode:

    People are wondering if they are being a little hard on Spider-Man. I hope.

    This episode takes place:

    While Spider-Man is considered to be a coward.

    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.superserious616.com

  • In this episode:

    Mike and Ed discuss an ad that has been appearing in the back of comics and magazines that promises to provide customers with superpowers. Are we finally seeing mass-produced superpowers? Is this organization being run by the government? Will getting powers be dangerous? Or is it all a scam or a prank?

    Behind the comic:

    This is the first appearance of Immortus. Immortus is later retconned into being a future version of Kang the Conqueror, but in this appearance he is a standalone character with no connection to Kang.

    In this issue:

    Rick Jones responds to an ad which promises to give him superpowers. It is a ruse by Immortus, who is working with Baron Zemo and the Masters of Evil, to bait the Avengers into a fight. The Avengers oblige, and Immortus, as a master of time, bring various historical figures to the present to fight the Avengers. Ultimately, the Avengers prove their mettle and defeat Immortus and his motley crew drawn from the far reaches of time. This issue also includes a classic “heroes fighting due to a misunderstanding”, and demonstrates the might of Captain America.

    Assumed before the next episode:

    The Avengers are wondering how to protect themselves against someone who can travel through time.

    This episode takes place:

    After the Avengers have defeated Immortus.

    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.superserious616.com

  • In this episode:

    Mike and Ed discuss the recent attack on “The Beast” of the X-Men. Beast was attacked not for what he was doing, but for who he is: a mutant. Why are people anti-mutant? How are mutants different from other people with superpowers? What is driving this hysteria? Is there any logic to the prejudice? How should the broader super-human community respond?

    Behind the comic:

    Until X-Men #8, the X-Men were not very different from the Avengers. They were younger and in school, but both teams worked for the government and fought bad guys and monsters. The X-Men’s villains were more likely to be mutants, but that was just the use of a different rogues gallery. That all changed with X-Men #8, when Stan Lee started with the idea that mutants themselves were “hated and feared”. This idea gains steam over the coming months (Sentinels are introduced in X-Men #14), but this was where it all started!

    In this issue:

    Hank “the Beast” McCoy rescues a child in front of panicked onlookers, following which the crowd attacks him. They identify him as a mutant, whom they apparently hate. Hank is obviously upset, and wonders in anger whether Magneto isn’t right. He leaves the team and becomes a professional wrestler, where he meets a fellow mutant, Unus the Untouchable. After the match, Unus meets with Mastermind to see if Magneto will let him join the Brotherhood, but he gives him another test, which is to defeat a member of the X-Men in combat. And so Unus joins in on a bank robbery, hoping this will lead to a battle with the X-Men. Which it does, although the results are inconclusive, and Unus gets away. When they meet again, Hank shoots him with an energy gun which augments his power, creating a King Midas type scenario, Unus being unable to touch anything. Hank thereafter powers Unus down, having promised him to quit trying to join Magneto and his Brotherhood, and to stop acting supervillainy.

    Assumed before the next episode:

    People are becoming more intolerant towards mutants, which is sad.

    This episode takes place:

    After Unus has been defeated… for now.

    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.superserious616.com

  • In this episode:

    Mike and Ed discuss Cobra and Mr. Hyde being released on their own recognizance due to an anonymous individual posting their $500,000.00 bail. Should super-criminals be released on bail of ANY amount? What is the responsibility of the bail poster now that both suspects have immediately returned to a life of crime by kidnapping a woman and getting into a confrontation with Thor? Also: Mike explains to Ed how bounty hunters work.

    Behind the comic:

    Long before Superman turned back time in his feature film, Stan Lee was arbitrarily adding powers to his superheroes whenever he needed to. In this issue (and the next), Thor gains the power to stop time by creating a swirling whirlwind vortex. That time-stoppage allows Jane Foster to stay alive in a state of suspended animation while Thor battles Hyde and Cobra. His effort in defeating those villains creates the goodwill that inspires Odin to give Jane the magical antidote to her poisoning. Eventually the power sets of these heroes become more defined and writers work around those limitations, but in this early stage of the Marvel Universe, all of that is still being figured out.

    In this issue:

    Loki disguises himself as a well dressed man, and posts bail for the supervillains Cobra and Mr. Hyde. Once out of jail, Loki explains to this dastardly duo that he is Loki, an Asgardian god, and that he wants them to kidnap Jane Foster. He powers them up and sends them on their way. They kidnap Jane, and Thor is made to look like a coward in front of his father Odin, who banishes him from Asgard as a result (all a part of Loki’s plan). Thor battles through Asgard to meet with his father Odin to beg his forgiveness, which Odin does not really give, and then returns to Earth to battle Cobra and Hyde. Jane is injured during the fight, and Thor saves her life by suspending time around her.

    Assumed before the next episode:

    Thor is working out his father issues, I think.

    This episode takes place:

    While time is suspended around an injured Jane.

    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.superserious616.com

  • In this episode:

    Mike and Ed discuss the true identity of the Invincible Man. Behind his mask, he was apparently Franklin Richards, father of Sue and Johnny Storm. But that identity was also fake, and behind the second mask he was the Super Skrull (which explains his duplicated Fantastic Four powers). The bigger topic of discussion is how Reed Richards obtained the ability to wipe out the entire Skrull race. He did not commit genocide, but he could have, and he threatened to do so. Does this ability make us safer, or less safe? Does it matter that it is in the hands of a private citizen instead of the Presidents of Russia and America? Was Dr. Strangelove a documentary!?!

    Behind the comic:

    The potential genocide we dive into in the episode is almost an aside in this issue, and as far as we are aware the capabilities are addressed in the comics again. Instead, this issue is important in Marvel continuity for providing background on the parents of Sue and Johnny. Their father was just introduced, but he dies here a “hero” - sacrificing himself to prevent a Skrull sneak attack.

    In this issue:

    An alien arrives on earth and assumes the form of Franklin Storm, thereafter sending Dr. Storm to another galaxy. “Dr. Storm” escapes prison as the Invincible Man, using the same powers of the Fantastic Four. He thereafter threatens the world while dressed in a bizarre costume and calling himself the Invincible Man. The Fantastic Four battle him to a standstill. The world turns on the Four, assuming they took it easy on the villain. On their second battle, Reed reveals that he knows the truth and, once he is confronted, the Invincible Man reveals his true identity, the Super Skrull. Reed threatens the Skrull home world with nuclear genocide if the real Dr. Storm is not returned to Earth. The Skrulls agree to this condition, and return Dr. Storm, although he is boobytrapped with a bomb that kills him upon his return to Earth. Dr. Storm dies a hero, or at least not as a villain.

    Assumed before the next episode:

    People are wondering why the Skrulls’ plan was so complicated.

    This episode takes place:

    After the Fantastic Four have defeated the Skrulls.

    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.superserious616.com

  • Programing Note:

    Both hosts will be traveling this summer and we realized we may not be able to record new episodes for a period of two months. In order to keep a regular cadence, we are going to pre-record as much as we can in May, and then drip them to you at a rate of one per week. We hope to pick up the pace again sometime in August or September. In the meantime we hope you will be able to “savor” the episodes on this slower cadence. We have also invested in improved post-production editing. Maybe you noticed a difference in the last half dozen episodes?

    In This Episode:

    Mike and Ed discuss the Purple Man, a villain who admits to having the ability to compel people to follow his every verbal command. What is the difference between persuasion and compulsion? Are they different in kind, like running vs flying, or just degree, like running vs running super fast? If someone is persuaded to do something illegal they are criminally responsible for the act, but what if they are compelled? If someone can resist being compelled, are those who fail to resist liable? Where does one draw the line? Can a line be drawn at all? Also: Is the US military secretly experimenting on mind control chemicals? Have I persuaded you to listen to this episode yet?

    Behind the Comic:

    This is the first appearance of the Purple Man, who in modern comics becomes a very dangerous, disturbing villain. He is most famous for taking Jessica Jones hostage and under his control for months. The after-effects of that mind-kidnapping were explored both in the comics (Alias #24) and the first season of Jessica Jones (originally on Netflix, now available on Disney+)

    In This Issue:

    (Not ready at time of publication. Will be updated soon!)

    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.superserious616.com

  • In this episode:

    Mike and Ed discuss Giant-Man’s covert operation in East Berlin. He rescued a suspected American spy and busted through the Berlin Wall. Now that it is clear he is working directly for the CIA, how does that affect how the Avengers will work with foreign governments? If they get in disputes, will they be treated as spies? Will this make defending the Earth more difficult? Also: Why did Giant-Man threaten violence to his fan club?

    Behind the issue:

    Since Stan Lee was writing every series at this point, he began having the Avengers guest-star in more and more of the non-Avengers titles. The perception is that the five Avengers basically spend all their time on Avenger’s business. In this case, the Avengers were asked to save the American spy, and Giant-Man was the individual who was sent on the mission. At the time, new issues came out as the artists completed the work, which sometimes made it difficult for Stan to keep the different storylines coherent (something similar is happening with the Marvel Cinematic Universe right now. Spider-Man: No Way Home was meant to come out AFTER Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The multiverse elements of Spider-Man were supposed to follow what was kicked off in the Dr. Strange movie. When the release dates were switched, the storylines needed to be changed to make sense. This may be why Stan changed the Avengers line-up in Avengers #16. Coming soon!)

    In this issue:

    Giant-Man breaks up his own fan club meeting. He’s in a bad mood because he is stressed about his friend Lee Kearns, who has been captured in East Berlin. He decides to fly to Europe and liberate his friend. He sneaks into East Berlin, breaks his friend out of his cell, and fights a bunch of hyper-intelligent gorillas that the Soviets have at the prison. He ends up busting down part of the Berlin Wall, ferrying his friend to freedom.

    Assumed before the next episode:

    People are worried that an Avenger may have started WWIII.

    This episode takes place:

    After Giant-Man has broken his friend out of East Berlin.

    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.superserious616.com

  • In this episode:

    Mike and Ed discuss Kraven and the Chameleon sneaking back into America. How porous are our borders? Iron Man captured Kraven, but was then tricked by the Chameleon. Given that the two criminals are known associates, shouldn’t the capture of Kraven have led the superhero community to be on the lookout for impersonators? Why wasn’t Iron Man suspicious when “Captain America” started acting strangely? And shouldn’t the Avengers have files on every known super-criminal? There are not that many of them!

    Behind the issue:

    This issue guest stars Captain America. It seems it was a “test run”, as starting in issue #59 the book gets split into two shorter stories, one continuing Iron Man’s adventures and the other featuring Captain America. Within a few months, every Marvel hero is going to have their own title, or split a title with another hero (Tales to Astonish featuring Giant-Man and the Wasp will add a Hulk feature. Amazing Tales starring the Human Torch will add the Thing, with an additional regular feature with Dr. Strange).

    In this issue:

    Kraven the Hunter and the Chameleon are smuggled back into the U.S. Almost immediately, Kraven is captured by Iron Man, as the entry point for them was a Stark Corp. factory. What terrible luck for Kraven. Thereafter, Captain America tells Iron Man about his battle with the Chameleon and how he barely escaped. But it turns out it was the Chameleon disguised as Captain America. Iron Man was fooled, and he goes after the real Cap and fights him. They eventually figure out the truth, while the Chameleon is captured by Giant-Man and the Wasp.

    Assumed before the next episode:

    The Avengers likely start seriously thinking about their security set up - and whether they should learn each others’ secret identities.

    This episode takes place:

    After the Chameleon has been captured.

    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.superserious616.com

  • In this episode:

    Mike and Ed discuss the creation, and dissolution, of the Spider-Man fan club. What types of risks are teenagers taking on by joining a superhero fan club? How often will these fan clubs be targeted by supervillains? Does the hero showing up at a meeting protect the club from attacks, or act as a magnet that makes the attacks happen to begin with? Also: Is the Human Torch a fan of Spider-Man, or did he just show up to protect the club members because he knew that Spider-Man wouldn’t? And why is Spider-Man so afraid of the Green Goblin?

    Behind the comic:

    This issue ends with Spider-Man running away from the Green Goblin so that he can save his Aunt May. Since no one else knows the reason, this makes the public think that Spider-Man is a coward. Most of the issues at this time “reset” things by the end of the issue so that things go back to the status quo the next issue. But in this case, Stan Lee carries over the “people think Spider-Man is a coward” bit into issue #18. It is another example of Peter Parker not getting any breaks.

    In this issue:

    Flash Thompson has started a Spider-Man fan club. Ironically, Flash is rude to Spider-Man when he is in his secret identity, Peter Parker. In any event, Spider-Man interrupts a movie shoot, thinking that he was stopping a crime, which does not win him any fans. Other than in his new fan club, which Spider-Man attends in an effort to dazzle and impress. The Green Goblin shows up at the fan club and attacks Spider-Man, putting everyone at risk. The Human Torch joins the fray. Mid-fight, Spider-Man overhears that his Aunt May is in the hospital after a heart attack, which causes him to race away, leaving the Human Torch to fight the Green Goblin on his own. Everyone but Flash Thompson thinks that Spider-Man is a coward.

    Assumed before the next episode:

    People think that Spider-Man is a no good coward. We know they could not be more wrong, but what can you do?

    This episode takes place:

    After the Human Torch has chased the Green Goblin away.

    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.superserious616.com

  • In this episode:

    Mike and Ed discuss the death of Wonder Man. He joined the Avengers and died before his joining was even announced. It is hard to mourn someone you never knew, but his death leads to many questions about how things are handled for superheroes with secret identities. Is the government involved in creating a cover story for a civilian identity? Is StarkCorp? Who is told about the identity before death? What processes kick into place when the death happens? Have these things been planned for, or are the Avengers operating off the seat of their pants? Will they be better prepared when the next hero dies?

    Behind the comic:

    This is the first appearance of Wonder Man. He is introduced as a villain, but dies a hero. It is later revealed that his brain waves were saved and he is brought back to life (multiple times) in different artificial bodies, eventually becoming a hero and member of the West Coast Avengers in the 1980s. He may also be the only hero whose opposite sex version is owned by a different company. All the Bat-heroes are DC. All the Spider-heroes are Marvel. But the Wonder-heroes are split between the two companies. Wonder Man and Wonder Woman may never meet…

    In this issue:

    Simon Williams is arrested for embezzlement - and blames Tony Stark. Seemingly for this sole reason, the Masters of Evil decide that Simon will make for the perfect pawn in their fight against the Avengers. They experiment on him, granting him amazing powers. He is named Wonder Man and dispatched to integrate into the Avengers, which he does by joining a staged fight with the Masters of Evil. Wonder Man is admitted to the Avengers, and they treat him as one of their own. The team then fights the Masters of Evil again, and Wonder Man shows his true colours by fighting the Avengers. He eventually flips back and joins the Avengers, helping save them from the Masters of Evil, although he is killed in the process.

    Assumed before the next episode:

    People are wondering how rigorous the Avengers admission process truly is.

    This episode takes place:

    After Wonder Man develops his strange powers, joins the Avengers, betrays the Avengers, rejoins the Avengers, and dies.

    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.superserious616.com

  • In This Episode:

    Mike and Ed discuss the new super villainous team the Sinister Six. How did Spider-man manage to defeat six arch-nemesises at the same time? First heroes joined together for mutual protection, now more and more villains are doing the same. Do the heroes need to step up their game to be one step ahead? Why are is the Fantastic Four still communicating through sky writing? And why does anyone need to take an ad out in a newspaper to get in touch with a super hero?

    Behind the Comic

    This was the first giant-sized annual for Spider-man and Lee decided to go all out. It was the first appearance of the Sinister Six, but the issue also had cameos from Dr Strange, the Avengers, the Fantastic Four and the X-men - along with plugs for their respective titles. It was superhero tale as blatant cross-promotion. The end of the issue was filler art - pin ups of Spider-man, how his powers worked, and a page each to every villain he fought in his history - starting with “Burglar”.

    In This Issue

    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.superserious616.com

  • In this episode:

    Mike and Ed discuss the World Fair. Yes, it had an exhibit on superheroes, but why wasn’t there an exhibit on alien races? Or undersea civilizations? Or underground civilizations? Or other dimensions? Why weren’t there demonstrations of the FantasticCar or Iron Man-type armor? It seems like a missed opportunity. Also: Why was Daredevil in the superhero exhibit? Can anyone get a statue as long as they put on a mask and punch people?

    Behind the comic:

    The World Fair was a big deal in 1964, and Stan Lee used it as the backdrop in a number of issues around this time. The main plot line of this issue (which is not discussed in the episode) was the battle between Thor and Magneto. It is interesting that while every hero has their own rogues gallery of villains, Lee does not hesitate to, every once and a while, cross villains. Dr. Doom (FF villain) fought Spider-Man. Loki (Thor) battled Dr. Strange. And Electro (Spider-Man) battled Daredevil. Magneto is a little different, in that his rivalry with the X-Men was almost absolute. There are only a handful of the early issues where he does not appear. He barely has time to do battle with anyone else. This is the first time he does (and even here, the entire X-Men team make a guest appearance).

    In this issue:

    the World Fair is on, and they have an exhibit displaying a good number of American superheroes. Meanwhile, Magneto sends his minions to find the X-Men while he decides to test his mettle on New York City. Thor leaps into action after witnessing the mayhem created by Magneto using his powers to lift cars in the air, among other things. Thor battles Magneto, who fails to turn him to his cause, and yet Magneto is able to get away.

    Assumed before the next episode:

    People are wondering why the World Fair does not have exhibits on aliens, gods, or monsters.

    This episode takes place:

    After Thor defeats Magneto.

    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.superserious616.com

  • In this episode:

    Mike and Ed discuss the return of the Mole Man. Reed Richards was NOT lying to us, but he WAS a little incompetent, trying to seal the underground-man underground… Didn’t work so well now did it, Reed? During the encounter, the Avengers and the Fantastic Four got in a dispute that led to a physical confrontation. Mike and Ed discuss both the legal and moral implications of heroes settling their disputes with fisticuffs. Also: Should we negotiate with super-terrorists?

    Behind the comic:

    Sue is taken hostage… again… It is a trope now that when heroes first meet, they fight before they settle their differences and team up. But back in the early 60s the tropes did not yet exist - Lee and Kirby were making things up as they went along. Any kid who read superhero comics wants to know things like, “who is stronger, the Thing or the Hulk?” and “Who would win in a fight, Spider-Man or Superman?” These comics set things up to help answer those questions. It had been done before and it will happen again, but the mass audience does not seem to be tired of it (it was repeated again in the first Avengers film).

    In this issue:

    Earthquakes plague New York City, and the Fantastic Four are drawn to investigate. They discover that their original nemesis, the Mole Man, is back, and he is the cause of the earthquakes. The Mole Man kidnaps entire city blocks, and ensnares Sue “Invisible Girl” Storm. The remaining members of the team attempt to rescue Sue, but are defeated. The Mole Man informs them that if they try to attack again, Sue will pay the price. The three return to the surface, and the Avengers then arrive. The Avengers refuse to listen to Reed Richards and head off to fight the Mole Man. The remaining members of the Fantastic Four are forced to fight the Avengers to prevent them from antagonizing the Mole Man, for fear he will kill Sue. Calmer heads prevail, and Reed then has time to cobble together devices that they will need to fight the Mole Man, which they do. Unfortunately, Sue sustains a head injury in the fight, and the only person who can save her is her disgraced surgeon father, who recently escaped from prison. He performs the operation and saves his daughter, but at the cost of his freedom.

    Assumed before the next episode:

    People are wondering if now is the time to leave New York City, rather than stick around and see if their city block will be dragged below the surface of the Earth.

    This episode takes place:

    After the Mole Man has been defeated.

    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.superserious616.com

  • In this episode:

    Mike and Ed discuss the detonation of a nuclear bomb on American soil. The bomb was meant to be used against the Hulk. Is that an acceptable use? Will this lower the taboo on the use of nuclear weapons? Is the Hulk more of a threat than a nuclear winter? What about other existential threats? Also: What type of jail could hold the Hulk? And why is the answer inter-dimensional?

    Behind the comic:

    At this point in Marvel history, Stan Lee is using the Hulk increasingly as a supporting character. The Hulk’s own title failed, but he is becoming a draw when paired with other heroes. In a few months, Lee will add the Hulk as a regular second feature in Tales to Astonish. This issue was (we think) a trial run.

    In this issue:

    Davy “The Human Top” Cannon conspires to take his nemesis Giant-Man down. Meanwhile, Giant-Man and the Wasp head to New Mexico in an effort to track and take down the Hulk. The Human Top tracks the Hulk down first and warns him that Giant-Man is on the way. The Hulk and Giant-Man then meet up and fight. The Army launches an atomic missile at the Hulk. The Wasp warns Giant-Man of the incoming missile, who informs the Hulk about it. The Hulk heroically intercepts the missile.

    Assumed before the next episode:

    People are wondering whether the Hulk survived an atomic weapon, and what that could mean.

    This episode takes place:

    After Giant-Man’s battle with the Hulk.

    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.superserious616.com