Superhero Podcast Review: Cinematic Universe
It’s time yet again for another round of Superhero Podcast Review where I take a closer look at a podcast that focuses on superhero and comic book movies. I’ve gone through most of my regular listens and have a couple more that I’ve listened to before but don’t listen to for every episode which actually has me adjusting my Subscribe/Unsubscribe rating ever so slightly which you can read more about when I get to it. Next week I’ll be back to a podcast that I’ve listened to most of the episodes but is currently on extended hiatus, and after that I’ll be switching to a bi-weekly review schedule. But first, let’s take a look at this week’s podcast.
Episode count (as of 6/18/16): 35 + 35 minisodes & a few bonuses
Episodes listened to: 8
Episodes recommended to me by the podcast: #25 Amazing Spider-Man and #13 Spider-Man
Release schedule: Weekly, alternating between a regular episode & a mini-sode
Episode Length: Regular episodes – 2:00+, Mini-sodes – 0:25 – 0:45
Audio Quality: Clear
Language rating: PG-13 with some swearing
Production format: Regular episodes – A single discussion broken into roughly four segments: comics news, breakdown of a comic book trope, the discussion on the film of the episode, followed by comic book recommendations and “The Pitch”.
Mini-sodes – Usually a solo podcast where one of the hosts covers comic book news of the week and reviews the comic books recommended to him in the previous episode.
There are three regular hosts: Joe Cunningham, Seb Patrick, and James Hunt who have a discussion about a specific comic book movie with some comics news thrown in for good measure. Joe is someone much like myself who has seen a lot of superhero media, but hadn’t read many comic books. By contrast Seb and James are both very well versed in comics and use this podcast in part to help educate Joe. They do this a couple different ways, one is that each episode Joe brings them a question that specifically relates to comic books, such as certain continuities, the concept of character resurrections, etc. The other is that both of the experts give Joe reading assignments based on the movie at hand which he then discusses a week later in his own mini-sode. I also quite enjoy the mini contest at the end of each episode called “The Pitch” where Joe comes up with the seed of an idea for a film project and Seb and James both come up with an outline that fits the seed to pitch to Joe and he chooses which one is better.
Comics vs Movies vs News
Since two of the three hosts are very well versed in comic books and part of the concept of the show is to help bring Joe further into the world of comics, the discussions tend to bring in comics references very often. Whether it’s the differences between how a character was written in the comic vs the movie or the visual differences, there tends to be quite a bit of comics talk. There is also plenty of talk about the movie, and much of it is well-researched with behind the scenes and production information that’s not just three guys watching the film and talking about it. There’s also plenty of news that mix between comics and comic book movies plus the strictly comic book reviews within the mini-sodes. The actual movie talk of the episode takes up roughly half to one-third of the entire episode which is still a significant amount of time. What tends to be less relevant for me personally is the large section of news at the beginning of the episode, there are interesting tidbits here and there, but it does detract a bit when looking back at an older episode when you have to sit through outdated news, especially since the movies covered aren’t strictly new releases.
As I mentioned in the beginning, this podcast made me realize that the podcasts that I listen to don’t exactly have a pass/fail system, there’s actually a third category. There’s shows that I don’t listen to, there’s shows that I listen to every episode as they come out, and there’s shows that I listen to every once in a while depending on whether or not the episode catches my interest, based on the movie they’re covering or some other reason when it’s not strictly a movie podcast. This podcast falls squarely in that third category for a few reasons. For one, 2 hours is a big time commitment for a podcast. I could fit two one hour podcasts in that time frame, I know I could technically skip past the news section since that’s the least relevant to my personal tastes but I’m admittedly lazy and prefer to just hit play and listen during the early hours of my day job before our store opens. I did also listen to at least one mini-sode on Excel Saga since I’m a fan of the anime and was curious how it translated (or technically vice-versa, but you get the picture). And while it’s still generally early in their run, they haven’t ventured too far off the mainstream just yet aside from a couple episodes like Ghost World and Ghost in the Shell, not a major mark against, but again this verdict section is more about my personal taste in superhero podcasts.