The Search for Schlock: Year Three

June 23rd, 2015

Let's take a look at clichéed superhero story titles

April 1st, 2015

Listeners to the podcast might recall that I'm currently reading every Avengers comic. I'm currently mired in the early-90s, which is both the era when I started reading comics and, coincidentally, the nadir of their quality.

Looking ahead, I noticed the cover of Avengers #401, and it occurred to me that I've read more than my share of stories titled "Sins of the Father." That got me thinking: what are the most repeatedly-used comic book story titles? To find out, I grabbed a whole mess of data from the Grand Comics Database and a copy of Tableau Public and got to work. I limited the dataset to just non-reprint superhero stories published by Marvel and DC. I also removed any leading "The"s, trailing exclamation points, and trailing ellipses. Here are the results.

Some interesting takeaways:
* "Homecoming" is far and away the leader at both Marvel and DC with over 40 usages, including two different issues of Green Lantern Corps (#3 and #26).
* Dan Jurgens wrote four stories called "Home," including three -- Adventures of Superman #461, Superman #12 and Superman #93 -- that star Superman.
* There are twelve stories titled "Sins of the Father", 6 from Marvel and 6 from DC; plus an additional six, also evenly split, called "Sins of the Fathers."
* DC published seven stories called "The Beginning of the End", and an additional six called "The End of the Beginning."
* There are a staggering 14 stories suggestively titled "With Friends Like These...", but only six stories matter-of-factly called "With Friends Like These".

For a fun bonus, I've included all the stories that have titles like "Wh* [Verb]s the [Noun]", and a handy indicator of whether or not they were written by Stan Lee.

Play around with it a little, and tell me if you come up with any interesting takeaways!

Marvels Comics Group and the Fifth-Week Events of Yesteryear

July 22nd, 2014

So, in Captain America, which we just saw, there was this ridiculous scene where Red Skull has Captain America strapped to a missile, about to be launched at the White House. This is a pretty goofy premise in the first place, but then Captain America grabs Red Skull's wrist -- and it's too late to stop the launch! So Red Skull does what anyone would do, and chops off his own hand.

This raises some obvious questions about Red Skull's judgment, and as we pondered those questions, I was reminded of a comic book from the turn of the that nobody else seems to remember, actually (at least not in the multiple stores I visited seeking out this particular back-issue). It was called Marvels Comics Presents: Captain America, and it was part of one of Marvel's fun, weird fifth-week events.

Full story »

The Search for Schlock: Year Two

June 20th, 2014

How Did I Get To This Part Of YouTube, Part II

August 15th, 2013

We're recording a future webipod tonight that has me thinking about movies that never delivered on their promise of a sequel. That's a list that would be incomplete without Mac and Me, with ends with the horrible creature family's chilling promise that "We'll be back!"

The original trailer is arguable creepier, at least where Ronald McDonald is concerned. That's a truly sinister cackle.