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Issue 57: Spellbound



Jessika: [00:00:00] For once the news has brought me joy. It's amazing


Jessika: Hello. Welcome to Tencent Takes the podcast where we manifest our ideal reality one issue at a time. My name is Jessika Frazier and I'm joined by my co-host, the solitary spell binder, Mike Thompson.

Mike: I do not play well with others. It's true.

Jessika: You don't

Mike: Nope.

Jessika: Yet we are, talking to the public and being a duo.

Mike: I mean, it's like how I work in customer service, but I don't actually interact with customers. You know, we, we interact with the public, but I don't directly talk to them.

Jessika: yet.

Mike: Hm.

Jessika: Oh, [00:01:00] does anyone wanna see us live? Anyway, Mike's cringing. The purpose of this podcast is to celebrate comic books in ways that are both fun and informative. We wanna look at their coolest, weirdest, and silliest moments, as well as examine how they're woven into the larger fabric of pop culture and history.

If you are enjoying the show so far and wanna help us grow, it would be a huge help if you'd rate and or review us on Apple Podcasts, because that really helps with discoverability. In this episode, we are going to be discussing Marvel's eighties mini-series Spellbound. But before we get into our main topic, Mike, what is one cool thing that you've read or watched lately?

Mike: So I just read through the Neighbors, which came out from Boom this month. It is written by Jude Ellison s Doyle, illustrated by Leticia [00:02:00] Keni, colored by Alessandro Santoro, and lettered by Becca Carey. It's a new horror series from Boom, who have pretty much been knocking it out of the park with that subject.

Jessika: Yeah, they've been bringing some good stuff to the.

Mike: Yeah. so the issue starts off with a prologue that I don't wanna spoil and then. We meet a family that is moving into this kind of gothic mansion in the woods, where we are introduced to Janet and she finds her youngest daughter talking to slash possibly annoying and elderly neighbor. It turns out that Janet has just moved into this house with her family, including Oliver, who is a trans man of color.

Janet's older daughter. Casey is living with them for apparently the summer and is resentful of the whole situation because she has to live with her mom who left her other mom and her stepdad in the middle of nowhere. And in fact, like she's really snotty, like she makes a point of telling [00:03:00] Oliver she'll never call him dad before the family spends some time in town.

And then that night, Casey is sitting on the porch of their house and encounters some creepy dude named Tom Shuck who says he was asked to come work on the house by her mom. She basically runs into the house, tells him to scram through the window, and then after he leaves, she goes back outside to get her phone.

And then there's another person there who also says his name is Tom Shuck. And that Casey's mom asked him to come work on the house and that they're neighbors.

Jessika: That like looked different than that other person. Oh, weird. Okay. No.

Mike: Yeah. And so that's the thing is it's like the same dialogue. It's, my name is Tom Shuck.

I'm here to work on the house. Your mom asked me to. We're neighbors. And Casey, again, like, you know, understandably freaks out. And basically backpedals inside tries to slam the door shut, but she's not able to. And Tom like forces his way in. And it's really creepy because we never see this Tom's face.

[00:04:00] But what we do is we see the silhouette of him coming in through, you know, through the crack on the door. And we can see one of his eyes, it's really haunting. Oliver, wakes up to Casey screaming. He sees her being dragged into the woods and gives chase. He manages to find Casey in the darkness.

She tells him it's underneath us. And then the next thing that he knows is Oliver is waking up and he's stumbling into their main living room where a smiling Casey is there and greets him with Hi dad.

Jessika: Oh.

Mike: Yeah. So based on the visual and narrative clues, this seems like a story based on the legend of the Changeling child, where a kid is stolen by fairies and they leave an imposter in their place.

Jessika: Yeah.

Mike: It's really beautifully written. Santoro's artwork is lovely and it's haunting. It always feels very creepy though no matter what's going on. I also really appreciate the representation. Like when Oliver goes out to rescue Casey, he runs out without a shirt on and you can see he's had the top surgery because of the scars.

Jessika: Oh.

Mike: [00:05:00] Yeah, so the first issue came out in March. The second issue is, I think, due to hit at the end of this month on like the 26th. It's really, really good. it feels like the best kind of fairytale, which is that fairy tales were originally meant to be warnings.

They were creepy. And I really love that about this, is that it is a creepy fairy tale and it's also, you know, giving voice to a lot of minorities who you typically don't see in comics. So, I'm fully on board with it.

Jessika: Oh, that's, that sounds great. I love that.

Mike: Yeah. So actually a second issue should be dropping right around the time that this episode drops.

Jessika: Ooh, that's exciting.

Mike: yeah. So what about you?

Jessika: So I recently picked up Lore Olympus by Rachel Smith.

Mike: Oh yeah.

Jessika: published? Yeah, that was published in 2021. But I remember reading the web series online at least a [00:06:00] decade ago. I swear to goodness, like at least a decade.

Mike: We just picked up a couple of books in the series. when we went to the Barnes & Noble that was closing near us, cuz they had like a bunch of stuff discounted and so Sarah

picked up a couple of books.

Jessika: I actually got volumes one and two at Copperfields I recently went there with you and Sarah. So I really picked it up though because I remembered seeing this when it was a web comic and it turns out I've actually read most if not all of the series online back in the day. But it's been a really fun reread and I'm glad to have both of the volumes. And I've already read all the way through volume one and I'm about halfway through volume two at this point.

But it follows Persephone and how she navigates being new to Olympus and she ends up being tricked and put into the back of Hades car and ends up at his house because of this. After like a party where she's like kind of drugged and we get to see the start of her [00:07:00] romance with him. And it's just, it's, it's beautiful.

The comic is beautiful. It's thoughtful. The colors are gorgeous. The characters deal with some really deep issues and situations, and it's really interesting to see how thoughtful everything is written out. So I would absolutely recommend this to anyone looking for a soft romance with a side of Greek mythology.

Mike: Yeah, you know, Greek mythology is kind of having a bit of a, a resurgence in terms of pop culture because we've got this, there's a new Percy Jackson series coming back, uh, to Disney Plus. I think the game Hades is real popular, like my stepson has been playing a ton of that and he's been doing a lot of art based on that.

they just announced a sequel to that. Like it's, it's getting kind of a nice little, moment in the spotlight again, which I, I dig because I was sick for like a month when I was a kid and was basically housebound because of a really bad case of pneumonia [00:08:00] and Like, one of the things that I remember reading a lot was books of Greek mythology, including like the Dolores, or what is it?

Dolores books of Greek myths. Do you remember those? The big oversized ones with like the kind of pastel art. It was cool.

Jessika: That's cool. Yeah. So yeah, check it out everyone. It was fun.

Mike: Yeah. I'm very excited to read Sarah's copies when she's done with them.

Jessika: Indeed.

Mike: Should we, should we take a minute to acknowledge that we are drinking booze tonight,

Jessika: Oh yeah, no, this is like, okay, so everyone, we don't, I actually was just looking at my, at my beer and thinking that too. Cause I, this is my second beer. So we don't normally drink when we do these episodes. Like, not for any particular reason. It's just not something we do like, as a rule. And so, but tonight is kind of celebratory, I'm not gonna lie to you.

I mean, at least in, in a petty way. Um,

Mike: we are, [00:09:00] we are petty bitches. Let's be honest.

Jessika: so petty.

Mike: Sarah and I refer to our house as the house of spite, like we have, we have no illusions about like, you know, being bigger people and stuff like that.

Jessika: So today was the day that Trump was indicted.

Mike: pretty great.

Jessika: It's pretty great. So I've been watching that live. I watched that live when it was on earlier today. I don't have a job anymore, so I was able to do that.

Mike: They, they didn't release a mugshot, did they? Like I

Jessika: No, they,

Mike: I

think there's talk that they,

yeah, yeah. Which I mean like, Hmm. I, I'm of two minds about it. Like, I'm like, well that could be good for his marketing, but also I really want that vindication.

Jessika: Yeah. Well, and I think that it's a really awful thing that he's just been able to consistently play people like this. And I don't see any reason why we shouldn't treat him like any common criminal. Like he shouldn't have the [00:10:00] treatment of any fucking common criminal. Like he, he's not even setting a bail.

He's just able to go, I don't know if you

know that,

Mike: Yeah. on one hand, 34 felonies, holy shit. On the other hand, they're class E felonies where it's, I think you get, if you're found guilty of it, you'll find like a thousand dollars or you can spend a very minimal amount of time in jail. like when I was going to school in Arizona, marijuana possession was a Class E felony.

Jessika: good Lord. But what I do enjoy is this is just opening the door because this isn't even the biggest or the baddest thing that he is going to have to deal with. This is just the beginning, that this is an appetizer.

Mike: It feels like we are at that moment where you're watching an avalanche. Just start

Jessika: Oh

Mike: like there, there have been rumblings for a while. We've been seeing the snow shifting a little bit and now all of a sudden you have that initial kind of crack and you can see the snow start to go down.

I don't know if it's actually gonna work out that way because the justice system is set up [00:11:00] to basically serve those with near unlimited resources, which is

Jessika: Correct.

Mike: him.

Jessika: Correct.

Mike: but yeah, I have spent so long feeling, so just kind of like crushed watching this man and his cronies target people in our community and our friends and, and it's just, it's really vindicating to at least see the possibility of consequences for him.

Jessika: Yes. Yeah, I agree. So,

so yeah, that is, that is why we are celebrating. I'm definitely gonna be pulling out, I have Stormy Daniels' autograph book in a box in my, in my loft. And feeling, feeling really, really, like, I wanna pull that out and read it cause I've not read it yet.

Mike: Yeah. So what are you drinking?

Jessika: Uh, I am drinking a henhouse beer. It is a saison, [00:12:00] it's ale brood with black pepper and coriander.

Mike: Hmm.

Jessika: And you're having some sort of a jungle juice. What's, what's in your jungle? Juice?

Mike: well, I, I broke out my, my fin fang foam tiki mug that I bought from Mondo before they had been acquired by Funko and then subsequently gutted, the last week or two.

Jessika: Ugh.

Mike: but it makes me very happy when I drank from it. And I went out and I bought orange pineapple juice in honor of the orange man, you know, making the news in a way that I actually enjoyed.

I threw in some, some simple syrup and some vodka and a little bit of ginger beer, and it's a very nice tropical feeling drink. So I am feeling pretty good right now.

Jessika: And if you hear any rattling everyone, it's because he's actually put a pair of handcuffs around the bottom.

Mike: One of my favorite things was, what was it? Trump has only agreed to a mugshot if they put him in a Superman t-shirt and give him breakaway handcuffs. I was [00:13:00] like, Hmm. So that's pretty.

Jessika: Oh man,

Mike: But yeah. oh, and then also, right before we recorded, the news broke that Wisconsin elected a Democrat backed Supreme Court Justice. So the Wisconsin Supreme Court for the first time in decades is liberal, which means that it sounds like the Republican hold on Wisconsin just broke.

So it feels like a good night.

Jessika: Yeah.

Mike: I mean, who knows where things will be by the time that this episode airs, but for right now, it feels pretty good. It feels like it feels like a win for the good guys.

Jessika: Yeah. So for now, you guys are getting a Ten Cent Takes after dark episode.

Mike: Yeah, exactly.

Jessika: let's mosey on to today's topic. Today's main topic,

Mike: Yeah.

Jessika: which is spellbound.

[00:14:00]

Jessika: And today's main topic should be no to our regular listeners. As you know, I love me some obscure Marvel mini-series.

So we will be discussing Spellbound, which was created by Louise Simonson and Carl Potts. hitting the store shelves in January of 1988, this six issue mini-series was released every two weeks and featured a new brand of comic book magic.

Mike: Yeah.

Jessika: Yeah, so today we are going to be going through the plot of each of these issues. , we'll be discussing our thoughts on the comic overall, the art plot, character development, and more.

We'll also be discussing where else we can find the OG Spellbinder, as well as explore another chapter in the world of spellbinding.

Mike: Mm.

Jessika: let's get right into the plot for Spellbound. Now, issue number one was titled Power, and as I mentioned, was published January of [00:15:00] 1988, writing and plot by Louise Simonson, penciled by Terry Shoemaker, inking and plot by Carl Potts, lettered by Joe Rosen. Colorist was Christy Sheel, Managing editor, Bobby Chase, editor was Bob Harris. Editor-in-chief was Tommy DeFalco. So we start off the comic getting some of the backstory for the world. We're looking into, we learned the lore of a very powerful being called, are we calling him "Zax"?

Mike: Yeah, like, I think that's,

Jessika: I've been struggling guys. Yeah, it's spelled Z X A X Z.

Mike: Yeah, so it's, it's a pal andro with Zxaxz and A, and I think "Zax" is what we're gonna go with.

Jessika: Yeah. So that's what I've been kind of head cannon saying. Anyway, so Zxaxz is something called a spellbinder, which we're told is someone who has the power to manifest things at will.

Mike: Yeah, it's like, it's very much reality reshaping.[00:16:00]

Jessika: Yes, exactly. We're also shown Snugg , a small fairy like creature and Snaarl, who is a small ape-like creature that has just been labeled a thief for stealing Zxaxz's conversion rings, which will play into the drama later on.

Mike: And we should note Snugg is spelled with two Gs and Snaarl is with two A's.

Jessika: Yeah, I just, yeah. You, you reading this? I didn't follow that at all in my outline cuz

Mike: it so much. It just drives me

Jessika: Yeah. Hard same. Well, every time I had to write Zxaxz, that was a fucking headache.

How many times is it in here? Well, I had other things to copy and paste.

Mike: Oh, no. I created, I created a shortcut on my keyboard for it.

Jessika: Jesus Christ. Of course you

Mike: that's how irritated I got with this. I'm like, I'm not doing this every fucking time.

Jessika: me. I just, I just stayed mad. That's the difference between you and I, I just stay mad.[00:17:00]

So, Snaarls been labeled a thief for stealing Z's conversion rings. Uh, Snugg and Snaarl are both trying to take the rings from Zxaxz to minimize his power and to try to find a way to accomplish this. Uh, they manage to combine their forces and open a portal into another world, which is supposed to hold another spell binder.

Meanwhile, English professor Erica Fortune has been asked by another professor, Andrew King, who specializes in paranormal studies to do some tests on latent psychic abilities.

Mike: All right. I gotta put a pause on this for a second because. Andrew is like a paranormal study psychology professor, or parapsychology professor,

but it's also implied that like he is doing his research on the DL because he makes some comment about like how his boss can't find out what he's actually doing.

So he, I wanna know what he actually is a professor of. I'm like, what are you really doing? This is your, this is your

Jessika: Side hustle. Yeah, yeah. No, that's actually a great [00:18:00] point cuz he does something official. He has an actual lab

Mike: Yeah.

Jessika: he's supposed to be doing something official in and he uses it for a completely different purpose. That is correct. So Erica is proving to be a very skilled student picking up and pouring water out of a pitcher with her mind until they're interrupted by the frivolous and flippant Charlie, who clearly has a crush on Andrew, who clearly has a thing for Erica,

love triangle much,

Mike: Erica and Andrew are boyfriend and girlfriend. Like they, they make no qualms about it. It's like

Jessika: uh, they're not.

Mike: I thought they were,

Jessika: They're not, they're not a thing at all. They're not a thing. They're just like, they chat, and Charlie trying to get in on it. And they don't really like do anything with their actual relationship until like, it's, it's like forming throughout, but they're not actually going out.

Mike: hm.

Jessika: Yeah. It was weird. So Erica has this very, she's all, that moment when she takes off her glasses and [00:19:00] lets her hair down from, she goes from frumpy professor to like, you know, she looks like she's 12 when she's not in her like professor outfit.

Mike: she does, like, the other thing is her professor outfit is very eighties. It's like a ruffled shirt and then like kind of this prim and proper like pencil skirt suit.

Jessika: Yeah. Up to the neck, down to the ankle. It's, it's pretty extreme.

Mike: Oh yeah. And her hair's all done up and she's got glasses and stuff. It's, and also I want it noted that her English lesson that she's giving to a bunch of undergrads at like NYU, it's like fifth grade grammar lessons.

Jessika: It's so true. It's so true. She's teaching English 1 0 1.

Mike: Yeah. Okay.

Jessika: Exactly. So we go back to Snaarl and Snug, who have identified Earth 616 as their target with Erica's family in their sites. Erica, it turns out, is not only a college [00:20:00] professor, but is raising her younger brother and sister as their parents have died.

Orphan alert.

Mike: Yeah,

Jessika: So,

Mike: and they're, and they're both troubled in their own ways.

Jessika: Oh, absolutely. So her younger brother Roy, is shown to be like a delinquent quote unquote, and he's hanging out with a quote unquote gang and

break

Mike: a band. It's a

Jessika: It's not a gang, it's a band. He's in a band and he keeps calling it a gang.

Mike: everybody calls it a gang, and then they're like, he's so troubled, he's skipping school. And it's like, okay. They're also living in like a super shitty apartment.

Jessika: yeah, he's skipping school so he can like go to band practice

for like paid gigs.

Mike: it was one of those things where I was like, the eighties was like the last time that you could get away with this, that you could like not have a high school or college degree and be somewhat successful for the most part.

Jessika: Seriously. Oh my goodness gracious. anyway. Andrew is there to tell Erica that she got a [00:21:00] grant that she had applied for, but it would involve her moving to England for a summer. So Andrew like offers to send the kids to his family's ranch. Like yeah, sure, let me send these kids to this ranch with people I've never met.

Like what?

Mike: the eighties

Jessika: That was That while of different times for fucking sure. Oh my God. So just then something in the air, a portal, Snugg and Snaarl show up with the conversion rings crown and magical cloak and some book as well. But so does zx, the large reptile like villain pops his head through the portal and Snugg and Snaarl try to identify which of them are actually the spell binder out of the people that they've just kind of.

imposed themselves into, so they're yelling at the group that the spell binder needs to close the portal. Nobody knows what the fuck they're talking about. They initially think Roy was the one, but he clearly was not. Now Erica is able to make the [00:22:00] conversion rings work, meaning that she's the one apparently.

So after a tussle where Zxaxz grabs Sally, the younger sister, which I hadn't talked about her, but she's just like, can't read very well, she's, she has a learning disability. If it make it pretty clear that she's got a learning disability.

Mike: Yeah. like possibly dyslexic. Um,

Jessika: Mm-hmm.

Mike: it's one of those things where it's like she's picked on at school, she's called dumb by everybody. And Erica's like, you're not dumb. And then she's like, why do I struggle so much with reading? And it's like, because you have a learning disability, but at the same time, this was the eighties and that was nothing.

That was, it was just you were dumb. Like, I'm so glad that I was born in the eighties and then like, I was diagnosed with learning disability in the nineties, so I had resources available. They didn't have that back then.

Jessika: Lucky you. I'm from the lost generation of girls who we didn't have problems. Our hyper fixations were just normal things. They were like, oh, all girls are obsessed with things [00:23:00] like that. I'm like, why was I hyper fixated with like the Titanic? Then I don't. Tell me why.

Mike: Fair.

Jessika: So let's see. Back to my notes. Oh, okay.

Yeah. Zach's still has Sally in his hand. And then Erica throws the crown outta the window, like expecting him to drop Sally. But he like jumps out the window with her and he's holding something like a book in his other hand. And so he goes to drop Sally so he can like pick up the crown. And luckily Snugg has wings and like floats in and saves Sally, cuz she was gonna fucking die.

And Sally is about to die every scene by the way. I'm just gonna set that

up

Mike: yeah, like

Jessika: yeah,

Yeah, And so they think that they've effectively buried and killed Zxaxz incredibly short-lived. He's the villain. Don't get too cozy with that idea because he rises from the rubble only to have Erica yell at him to go away a [00:24:00] few times.

And explain that with her powers. She effectively willed him out of existence unless she were to like call him back, but like that's crazy. Who would do that? So we find out that the cloak is a magical flying cloak. She figures out that she can more or less Magic back together their apartment and anything else that's been destroyed by the chaos.

As long as she can picture it and they end with Snugg and Snaarl, clearly being around, still is. They cannot leave without producing another portal. So they go and get some No.

Mike: Yeah.

Jessika: Yeah, so issue number two was titled Nightmare was published in February of 1988. Louise Simonson was the writer again. Terry Shoemaker was penciler, Carl Pots was inker. Joe Rosen was letterer. Christie Shield was colorist. Bobby Chase was managing editor, and Bob Harris was editor. Tom DeFalco was again swooping in as editor-in-chief. We [00:25:00] start our next issue off with Erica, who's in a new costume, and she is flying above the city and she disintegrates a robber that she catches trying to escape after a burglary. she's then told she's under arrest for disintegrating him, and she's like, no, no, no. I could bring him back though. But Zxaxz comes back instead.

But that's all a dream.

Mike: and the other thing is that like during this dream, she's like, look, I'm getting the hang of my powers. And then it's like, oh, maybe I'm not.

Jessika: Right? Exactly. Exactly. So she hadn't brought him back after all she had, however, been flying in her sleep and the cloak was on her even though she doesn't remember putting it on. So we get to see her practice, her powers a bit more in reconstructing the house and her younger siblings tell her that she should use her powers to be a superhero like Spider-Man. I love all of the Easter eggs in this, by the way,

Mike: Yeah, it's good.

Jessika: and starts using her powers for things like fixing her sister's ratty jeans [00:26:00] and making them look brand new.

And Roy is again causing drama as it's clear he's going to be cutting school again. He is like not even gonna bring his books to like, We'll make it look like he's going.

Mike: Yeah. She also does some more like repairs around her apartment, I think. Right?

Jessika: yeah, yeah, yeah.

Yeah.

Exactly. And then we find out through Snugg and Snaarl conversing alone that Erica shouldn't keep using the rings as she could be driven mad. Which was what happened to Zxaxz. The power consumed him and it drove him mad.

Mike: Yeah, and they, well, they say like, it drives the me, it really just turns them into a sociopath where they're just like, I'm just doing everything that I want, and I don't care how many people I ruin or destroy or just straight up murder for it. It's all personal gratification.

Jessika: that's a good way to look at it. Absolutely.

Mike: But yeah, they keep on talking about power driving the mad, and it's like, mm, it's not quite it.

Jessika: yeah. So Snugg wants her to keep using them so [00:27:00] that she can eventually get them to get Zach's and like take him, she'll be there. She was like, oh, she'll be plenty powerful to like take care of him. And then we'll just like get a portal home and Snaarls like, bitch, you crazy.

Mike: I actually really like that, that like that, that the weird goblin looking creature is the one who's like the voice of reason and the fairy is just a walking case of bad life choices.

Jessika: Yes, exactly. Snugg ie immediately starts to encourage Erica to use the powers

Mike: Oh yeah. 100%

Jessika: immediately. And then Erica starts redecorating her sister's room as a treat. And meanwhile, Roy is getting jumped by another gang. Because he's like distracted and like walks through their territory, I guess.

Mike: I guess. Whatever.

Jessika: And Snaarl comes to his rescue telling him he needed to go home with Roy, insisting he needed to be taken to his gangs.

Like Lair, I don't, whatever.

Mike: Yeah. It's

a

Jessika: like, looks like an A. [00:28:00] It looks like an abandoned, like, I don't know, like warehouse or something.

Mike: Yeah. Or like an old theater or something like, I mean, it's, it's not a lair, like

Jessika: it's not a lair. I put a question mark next to Lair. So back at home, Erica's redoing her sister's room and she remakes an outfit for herself based on what she was wearing in her dream and this outfit. Do you wanna talk about this outfit, Mike?

Mike: Yeah. Because it's featured on the cover of the first issue. And I mean, I remember you holding up the series and I had, first of all, I had never seen the series before. Like, I was like, all right. But I was like, that's like Malibu, Barbie's. Dream sourcer Supreme. It's, it's basically a pink workout outfit with kind of like, ballet slippers and like the, the ribbons that you lace up around the knees.

Jessika: yeah,

Mike: and then she's got these kind of, it's like a butterfly wing style cloak or cape [00:29:00] where it's like, you know, it's coming outta the back and then it attaches to her wrists. it's very gosser looking. I mean, it's cute. It's actually it, for a superheroes outfit in the eighties, it does not show a lot of skin.

Jessika: Yeah.

Mike: you know, it's very pink and blue but I mean, like, it looks like Barbie as a superhero because of errors designed and it's, and that's not bad.

I actually rather enjoyed it. But yeah, it's a, it's a definite look.

Jessika: Yes, very much is. So Roy gets back to his gang where he like has a girlfriend and stuff, I guess,

Mike: Yeah.

Jessika: and introduces Snaarl and like their band. Weird. So

Mike: Oh, and he, he like straight up, like, tells them all about Snaarl. He is like, no, he's from another dimension. Like he's hanging out with my sister and she's like a superhero Now. You're like, what

Jessika: Yeah.

Mike: like,

Jessika: Bitches don't know how to keep their mouth shut, that's for

Mike: that, that, was one of my [00:30:00] notes.

Jessika: Yeah, I'm not shocked. I'm not shocked. Like, no, nobody, nobody can keep their mouth shut like whatsoever. It's not a good look sometimes. Like not everybody needs to know everything, that's the thing. So, hopping back to Erica, she has flown into Andrew's office and has turned back into her regular professor clothes.

Just in time for Charlie to show up. She embarrasses Charlie and she has this weird difference in her personality already showing as she makes the chair break underneath Charlie. So she like falls out of it

and

Andrew's like appalled.

Mike: it's like a profound lack of empathy.

Jessika: Yes. And Snaarl ends up telling Roy how the conversion rings will affect Erica and he grows. He goes to try to stop her with more of the power going to her head.

Mike: Mm-hmm.

Jessika: He tries to stop her from more of the power going to her head. She makes a kid's Thor comic disappear during [00:31:00] class one day.

Mike: Yeah. She has it like burn up or something in his lap, cuz there's another kid who says like, what are you reading? He says, oh, it's this new comic from Marvel.

It's super hot. And then it bursts into flames. And then I, I screenshotted that. I was like, alright.

Jessika: Yeah, exactly. It's like, okay. But also like, are you actually a college professor or are you a high school teacher?

Like you need to make up your mind.

Mike: It, Yeah.

It, it was like, college professors don't give a shit. Like, they're just like, whatever.

Jessika: No.

If somebody's reading a fucking comic in your class, you just say, go get the fuck outta my class if you're gonna do something else. Like, you're not, like, you know what I mean? And, and like also in college. In college,

like when you're paying to be there.

Mike: Yeah. That's the thing is like speaking of someone that spent 10 years in college, like I've, I've spent a lot of time in classrooms and they like, that was the thing was they were like, whatever, it's [00:32:00] your fucking money if you're gonna

Jessika: Right,

Mike: a shit.

Jessika: right. As someone who's about to go take classes again, I would never,

like, I'm there to learn,

Mike: Yeah.

Jessika: geez Louise. So Erica is actually using the Rings because Andrew's performing tests on her. And so the more she uses it, the more she wants to turn things into elephants. And Snugg convinces her to bring back Zach's and to turn him into an elephant. she conjures him back only to find that she's not quite strong enough to deal with him, and he gets away with all of this commotion destroying Andrew's lab.

She ends by saying basically that madness is her reality now and she has to deal with it. Good Lord. What away?

Mike: I'm just making faces at the camera at this point. I'm like, yep.

Jessika: Yep. That was it. So, Issue number three was titled, invasion of [00:33:00] Privacy was published in February of 1988. Louise Simonson was the writer. Terry Shoemaker was Penciler. Carl Pots was inker, Joe Rosen was letterer Christie Shield was colorist. Bobby Chase was managing editor. Bob Harris was editor, and Tom DeFalco, again was editor in chief. We learn on the first page of a weakness of Zach's. Sunlight is too bright for his eyes,

so he almost runs headlong into a helicopter during his getaway, and he shoots it down in the melee. Erica, meanwhile is being bombarded by the press who is trying to get a story about her, the Magic bracelets and the monster she had been fighting, getting overwhelmed, she magics an elephant out of nowhere and then makes it a prison for the reporters, which was horrifying and then flies off. while Roy and [00:34:00] Snaarl confront Snugg about tricking Erica. Now Zxaxz kills a dude and takes on his appearance for like five seconds. He's always doing this by the way.

Mike: Oh yeah. It's like a real common thing after this.

Jessika: He like takes on his appearance for like five seconds and then he like flies away again, like as himself.

Mike: Oh,

Jessika: Yeah. Settling on targeting Sally. Since family is Erica's weakness and Sally happens to be at school getting picked on for her new pants and even more so when she explains that her sister has Magic them to be nicer because she can make things manifest.

Mike: like the word of the day is discretion. You little shits like,

Jessika: Seriously. Like kid, shut the fuck up

Mike: like she's not dumb. She, she must know that like, my sister actually can do Magic and made me these pants out of thin air or out of my old pants. Like, that's gonna get you picked on more. Come on.

Jessika: Dude, seriously. Oh my [00:35:00] God. So Erica makes it home, but is bombarded by the press who sees her fly in and she starts getting phone calls immediately upon arrival. Andrew fights his way through the packs of ravenous reporters to get in saying he's a friend back at school. Sally is picked up and flown out of the fight with her classmate, by Snugg with a, see, I told you so kind of vibe and is dropped on the couch of her home where Andrew and Erica are cuddling up.

Things are heating up.

Mike: Yeah. see. This is why I think that she and Andrew were actually already an item. They just didn't really put a label on it. I don't,

Jessika: They weren't though, because if you, if you go back and look at it, it's really clear that like he wants, he's inviting her to like, so that he can spend more time with her.

Mike: Hmm. Okay.

Jessika: That's why he initially like invites her over like the very first issue [00:36:00] because he's like, oh, Erica, what? Don't, why don't you come and like do some experiments with me in my lab?

Mike: Yeah.

Jessika: So he's like trying to woo her and like

then he is

Mike: He's, he's Bill Murray in Ghostbusters

Jessika: oh yes, exactly. Roy has been asked to play a big gig, he turns it down, when he finds out that they haven't even heard his band, that they just know that there is an alien in the band and they want that fame because Snaarl is the drummer now.

So back at home, Sally finds her room that Erica has set up for her and the dress that Erica set out for the father daughter dance. And there was this weird thing where they don't have a dad. Right, of course. So like, they were like, she was like, oh, Andrew is gonna marry my sister. And so, but she was like making all the shit up.

That's why I know that they weren't actually dating was because like, the sister makes all [00:37:00] the shit up about how , Andrew was gonna marry the sister so he's gonna take her to the dance, but he hasn't even, like, she hasn't even run it by him before. He's just, she's just like saying it to like, say stuff at the freaking school.

Right. She's just talking a big game. so now Erica has made this dress for Sally and there's this whole thing where , because she has made clothes before and she understands how clothes are put together. She's able to manifest it, but like she's not able to like make a working clock, for example,

because she doesn't know how clock mechanism works.

Yeah, exactly.

Mike: Right. So basically it's kind of like you have to be like an engineer as well as imaginative.

Jessika: which, I'm sorry. Do you know how the inside of an elephant works? Enix

reel me. That riddle me that. Oh, so, so while at the dance, cuz Andrew's like, yeah, that's fine. I'll take you to the dance. , Zxaxz takes the shape of Erica's priest. Who was holding the dance in order to [00:38:00] try and kidnap her. He snags her during the dance while Andrew's like, oh, good.

Hang out with the priest for a second. I'm gonna call Erica from a payphone. And so Erica flies off. Roy also shows up at the dance to intervene. Zxaxz says that he will trade Sally for the bracelet she refuses. Reporters are clicking pictures and she manages to both save the crowd from falling debris and fight him off, only to have to try to fight off the reporters too.

And then the four of them head towards home, sort of. Issue four is titled Money Changes Everything. Guest Starring the New Mutants, published March, 1988. All of the creators were the same, same creative. Zxaxz is up to his old tricks again and uses a reporter for info taking on his appearance again.

And then he goes and he gains more info about Erica's whereabouts from his reporter counterparts before taking on his own shape again and flying off like five seconds later. Meanwhile, [00:39:00] we get to see Lila Cheney's New Mutants townhouse, and we get a little intro into each of those characters. And it's explained that Lila is the one who's been trying to book Roy's band Cataclysm

Mike: Yeah. And Lila, Lila is like a mutant with the ability for like interstellar teleportation, but she's also like a really famous rockstar. She was a big part of the, the eighties X-Men plot.

I feel like the new mutants maybe were like really, really big at this point in time because we had like a lot of crossovers that we've come across lately. Like they were also a huge part of Firestar, the mini-series that we read a couple of episodes ago

Jessika: Yes. Yeah, I agree. I was thinking that myself, back at Andrew's house where Erica is getting the news that she's been fired from her job at the college, high school, whatever, anyway, she hasn't worked there anymore, but she states how much she needs this income since she's the only breadwinner, and [00:40:00] you know, they're orphaned, et cetera.

Zxaxz shows up at the house and Erica creates a slide so her family can escape. When reporters try to follow them, she makes the slide disappear. She changes the appearance of Andrew's flashy car to be something a little less obvious and they speed off. However, Roy and Snaarl have stayed behind and it turns out that someone has actually said that they will play the gig.

So there are posters all over town and the band thinks they are assembling for it. The band gets to meet the New Mutants while backstage. Meanwhile, Eric and company are trying to get away, but Erica keeps messing with the car, making it the shape of a top, and then taking the clothes away from a cop in order to distract him from their changing car.

Sally is teaching Snugg to read by looking at signs. So at the venue cataclysm is playing and. It's a huge hit, but Zxaxz shows up and starts to wreak havoc, [00:41:00] however, gets blinded by the stage lights as they're directed on him as an attack.

Lila ends up teleporting Zxaxz away with the explanation that she can only send someone super far away.

So he's in kind of another dimension, basically on the road. Erica is getting a little wild with her changing of the car, and at one point the whole car breaks apart, sending her sister flying out of it with a possibility of her getting like really hurt or killed even though she really wasn't.

because, you know, heaven forbid she's not constantly in danger.

Mike: Yeah. It becomes like, like one of those kind of cartoony, like, it's like basically kind of like a sled with chairs.

I don't know how to describe it otherwise, but like,

Jessika: like all of the parts. Exactly. Started coming off of it and she was like, I'll just assemble it this way. But she like didn't assemble it all the way. She just like was taking parts off. Yeah, it was weird.

Mike: Yeah.

Jessika: Erica takes off the bracelet saying that she's afraid that, Andrew may not be able to keep them from her basically. And that's the end of that issue.[00:42:00] So issue number five is titled Dancing in the Dark and was published in March of 1988. So this was the same creative team as the first four and we start off this issue with Erica having another dream and finding out that she's been able to use her powers without the bracelets, but also they came to her even though they were locked up. So that's not cool. It's kind of weird.

Mike: it was weird.

Jessika: So meanwhile back with Roy and the band. Zxaxz is back and have found them and they race through subway cars for a few pages, Erica manages to completely recreate a book that she remembers front to back for Sally and Andrew pronounces his love for Erica. So they get a call from Roy that Zxaxz has found them, and Erica changes into her hero costume and gets the cloak and bracelets and heads back to the city. Erica and Zxaxz are distracted by battling and then enter a new player, though we will see next episode, next issue. So dumb.

Mike: [00:43:00] So dumb.

Jessika: So dumb. So yeah, we are gonna introduce somebody. The sixth and final issue, which by the way was a long boy,

Mike: Yeah.

So,

Jessika: how I forgot this one. Was long until the end.

Mike: yeah. But the other thing is that like this character, without going into too much, into spoilers, but this character was mentioned like once or twice earlier in the series. He's on. I'm assuming it's a, he only mentioned as The Other and like we never actually see him on a panel until the very end of issue five.

Jessika: Correct. Like the last page basically. And we're like, oh, who the fuck is this fucker? Who's this joker? Yeah. So issue number six was the one I wrote the least about, but it was the longest. So think about that.

Mike: Yeah. But like, honestly, like it's, it's a lot of big splashy action

Jessika: Yeah, it really is though. So this one , had had a little bit of [00:44:00] a different creative team. Louis Simonson was still writing. Terry Shoemaker was Penciler. Carl Pots and Al Milgram were Inkers. Joe Rosen was letter Christie. Sheel was colorist. Bobby Chase was managing editor.

Bob Harris was editor and Tom DeFalco was still editor in So Erica has given back the power rings and does not need them anymore to use her powers, so she and Zxaxz are battling destroying the surrounding city. We find out that there is another spell binder one that has been battling with Zach's, stating that Spellbinders couldn't stand the existence of each other.

The other Spellbinder shows up, gets involved and manifests a kaiju-sized monster to fight everyone. Erica's outfit gets shredded, so she's in like kind of a bikini situation at this point and Roy manages to get the bracelets and use them. Erica ends up getting Roy to help open a portal. She pulls all three of them through, including herself.

The portal closes leaving Andrew and the [00:45:00] kids chilling alone. There goes your other parent. Snugg and Snaarl are still there too, and we end it with a question mark. The end

Mike: Yeah, it's, it's very sudden.

like, it feels, it feels like the series got canceled before they had like completely wrapped up the story to, to be honest.

Jessika: Which is strange because it, I, based on the first issue, it was always supposed to be a six, a six part issue, like

Mike: Oh, I, I get that. It just, it's like the way that it ends, it feels very

incomplete.

Jessika: no, it does. I agree with you. I agree. not only was Erica Fortune in this mini series, she wasn't in much else, but she was in something else. Mike, do you wanna talk about that? Something else?

Mike: Not really, but I will,

Jessika: I, I agree with you. I also don't, but I feel like we owe our listeners, something.[00:46:00]

Mike: Yeah, so Erica's story continued in Marvel Comics Presents, which was the long running weekly anthology comic that ran from the late eighties to the mid nineties. Uh, from Marvel, we got a sequel story from Marvel Comics presents 1 38 to 1 42. Basically it's told in eight page installments across six issues.

Um, and these were being delivered I think weekly. So it was written by Bobby Chase and then penciled by Terry Shoemaker and Sergio Carillo, inked by Carl Potts and Scott Coli, lettered by Dave Sharpe and o Higgins, and colored by Carl Gabbard.

And basically the, the creative team kind of switches up. It feels like every other issue except for Bobby Chase providing the story. yeah, so the story begins with Erica now occupying the throne of Zxaxzs crystal Palace. And she looks like decidedly evil now. Like her outfit is much more ragged.

She's showing a [00:47:00] lot more skin. her hair is a lot more wild. It turns out that she's gone like full megalomaniac due to all of the corrupting influence from her powers. And she's a pretty brutal tyrant. There is a traitor who has brought spices and basically is asking her to honor a trading agreement, which pisses her off.

And she decides to turn his spaceship into a mirror for her palace, which, okay, and then she immediately is like, spell binding, makes me tired. I'm gonna take a nap with all of you around me. And just like conks out.

Jessika: Yeah,

Mike: it turns out the trader is Zxaxz in disguise and he wakes her up and they have a magical battle.

Zxaxz imprisons her in a crystal. And so it's really funny cuz it's like this, like handheld crystal and she's just like, you know, like pissed off and like hammering trying to get out of it. And then he's just like, I'm gonna go back to earth. Like, all right, so meanwhile back on earth, Roy is hanging out with his family and girlfriend Jen, and he suddenly collapses because [00:48:00] he senses that not only is Erica alive, but she's in danger.

And then Zxaxz arrives on the planet and murders slash steals the form of a local cab driver, which he uses as he makes his way to Andrew's house where everybody is living. And now that Roy is 18, he's the legal guardian for Sally. So Zxaxz's confronts Snugg when she opens the door and eventually teleports the entire group back to his home dimension and then imprisons them. Roy, because he has the bracelets or rings, they're bracelets. They're kind of like Wonder woman's bracelets, like, for lack of a better description.

Um, so Roy has them now and he manages to use their powers to break free of Zxaxz's restraints. He steals Zxaxz's crown gets everyone home. Just after Sally grabs the crystal containing Erica, and then at their home, they kind of accidentally break Erica out of the crystal prison, only, she's still like in full evil overlord mode and gets into a battle with her family.

She kills Andrew. [00:49:00] She like just straight up kills him. And then that temporarily brings her back to reality where she feels awful. But then Sally manifests her own spellbinder abilities. And attacks her sister with a lower powered blast. So that makes Erica like swing back to the evil monster side of the spectrum.

And she proclaims that there are too many spellbinders. And then she's like, but I'm gonna go now. And so she just teleports away and she tells her siblings that they need to like practice their abilities to fight her better. It's dumb. And then in the final issue, it appears that some times passed, like Sally has a nightmare where she kills Erica after a major magic battle.

Roy has a live show with his band and then Erica crashes the show after she kills the club's owner or the doorman. I don't know who he is. And she takes his form and then like attacks her siblings in the club. Roy goes after his older sister, but Erica tries to fly away while carrying Sally only for Snugg and Snaarl to end up blasting Erica with the club [00:50:00] spotlights and they rescue the youngest Fortune sibling. Roy then just imprisons Erica and an even stronger crystal prison and Snugg and Snaarl. Oh, like, oh, you're the new Spellbinder Supreme. And then he destroys the ring in the crown with their powers, and he declares these retiring from superhuman adventures.

Everyone in the audience cheers the light show that they just saw. And that's it. The end.

Jessika: Yeah, I was a little disappointed that they reused that whole light show

trope. I mean, it was, it was an exact replication. They might as well have just pulled the pages.

Mike: I have so many thoughts about this, but like this whole story just irked me.

Jessika: Yeah. Well, let's talk about our thoughts a little bit.

Mike: Yeah.

All right.

Jessika: thoughts about the story?

Mike: Mm. I didn't hate it. I think this is one of those stories that was more about the journey than the destination. Like, I actually liked [00:51:00] watching Erica learn how to use her powers. I wasn't, I don't really feel like the whole power corrupting angle was explored very well and, and it felt pretty unnecessary.

the destination didn't really work for me. It, it felt like very abrupt nonsense. Like the entire sixth issue I think could have been just chucked out the window and we could have been given something new and it would've worked much better.

Jessika: Yeah. No, I agree with that. I, I don't like how it feels like with so many of these female superheroes, we can't just have them be a superhero. They, there has to be some sort of,

Mike: Yeah.

Jessika: A justification for them to being a superhero or a trade off. Like it's like they can't just be powerful on their own. They can't just be Superman who has just these amazing powers.

There has to be some sort of a catch if you're a woman, and it bugs the shit out of me every time.

Mike: I [00:52:00] like, it kind of irritated me, but also like I kind of enjoyed it. Eric is actually very successful. She's a college professor, like in, in an era where, where women were not often college professors, like

she was,

Jessika: be a high school teacher.

Mike: well, you know, they said college, so we'll see.

Jessika: They did say college, but I don't know.

Mike: Yeah, I mean, like, you know, she, she was, she was successful.

She was also single-handedly raising her siblings. Like, like I, I did appreciate that they established that she is capable in her own way and she is a good person and. That said, I didn't really enjoy how she was a little bit of an airhead in the way that they presented her.

Jessika: Yeah, I

agree. She was supposed to be really smart.

Mike: yeah, it, I don't know. It was just, it was kind of like a little bit all over the place in terms of the narrative. And I, I feel like there were a lot of great details. [00:53:00] I feel like the way that they were showing her learning how to use her powers, doing things like taking her sister's old ratty jeans and making new ones that were exactly what she wanted were really cool.

Jessika: yeah,

Mike: but like the whole final issue was just such a mess. Narratively,

and

then, and then the follow up. Like the less I say about it, the better in public.

Jessika: I agree with you.

Mike: Yeah. Like,

Jessika: I had similar thoughts about it. I just, I don't feel like a lot of it made sense or worked

for who they told us that character should be. You know, to your point,

Mike: Yeah, and it also did not feel like it was really part of the Marvel Universe for the most part. Like, yeah, we have that issue where Lila and the New Mutants are there, but at the same time, I don't know, it just that that felt

Jessika: I feel like

Mike: Hmm.

Jessika: shoehorned in it felt shoehorned in, I feel, I feel like they were trying to make us aware that, that that existed by [00:54:00] putting like Spider-Man in the newspaper and having, you know, a copy of Thor be present. But I don't think it was enough to really make it a part of that world.

Mike: I think it would've made way more sense for Dr. Strange to just show up on our front doorstep and be like, yo, I monitor all the Magic users at this place, and

Jessika: Yeah,

Mike: the hell are you?

Jessika: who are you? Yeah, no, I think that would've made a lot of sense.

Mike: Yeah.

Jessika: what did you think about the art?

Mike: I mean, like in the original series, I really dug it actually. It feels very eighties, but like in a nice way. Like I say that with, with nothing but, um, fondness, shoemaker's pencils remind me a lot of Walt Simonson's artwork, who is Louis Simonson's husband. And, and that is meant as nothing but praise.

Like he, he was doing a really acclaimed run on Thor at this time, he had this really dynamic style and it felt like that style was carried over into this book. I really [00:55:00] liked the, uh, the character and Magic designs that they put into it too.

I thought it was really neat. Like Zach's is a very unusual looking. Kind of cosmic sci-fi villain.

And like I also, I noticed halfway through the series that Erica and Zach's actually had similar setups in the way that their costumes were put together. Like Zxaxz sort of had a similar kind of like bodysuit style, like, you know, with, with more exposed legs.

Because, you know, Zxaxz isn't a woman and so he can show leg, but they have like the same capes in the way that they sprout out the back and attached to their wrists. I thought that was kind of cool too.

Jessika: it is the same cloak That's The

Mike: Yeah,

Jessika: The magical flying cloak.

Mike: but I just, I dug it. I liked how it all looked,

Jessika: Yeah.

Mike: was that Symmetry,

Jessika: Yeah. No, I agree. I agree. I really like that she had, you know, a really, she gave herself a really, really girly [00:56:00] superhero outfit, and I think that that's what a lot of us probably would do. You know, if we're, if we're really high femme, you know, I'd probably gravitate to wanting something pink or purple or,

you know, something that, that expresses that part of me.

So I, I really liked that look too. And I thought with all the colors and everything, I mean, it just really popped the action scene. There was, there was enough differing of color of all of the different characters that, regardless of the action, you could still, you could tell, still tell what was happen.

Mike: Mm-hmm.

Jessika: Which was great. Yeah. Well, did you have a favorite part of the story or an event that really stood out to you?

Mike: Yeah, I actually, I really enjoyed the whole accidental celebrity angle. Like the idea that the reporters would just go into the feeding frenzy when they discovered the identity of a new superhero in the Marvel universe was kind of refreshing, like, cuz normally you don't see that.

Jessika: Yeah,

Mike: I actually think that could have been a great opportunity to like, have Jay Jonah Jameson get [00:57:00] involved and the Daily Bugle and have Spider-Man kind of be there as a photographer.

I liked how she and her boyfriend and siblings were all also really kind of terrible at keeping her secret. I thought that was really kind of funny, even though it irked me in certain ways. But it was still pretty funny.

Jessika: Gosh, my gosh. That bugged the crap outta me. That whole time I

Mike: Yeah.

Jessika: y'all need to shut the fuck up.

Mike: Yeah. It's like, dude, like, come

Jessika: oh my God.

Mike: get stitches.

Jessika: Dude, seriously? Yeah. I, I don't know what it was, but every time that she brought up elephants and like turning things into elephants, which by the way was like a few times every issue,

Mike: Yeah.

Jessika: I don't know what it was, but I was cracking up like, and horrified because guys, when I tell you that they made like a legit like prison out of an elephant.

Like think the elephant's body, instead of there being skin now that has turned into like skin [00:58:00] bars

with a bunch of reporters inside of it, Horrifying.

Mike: it looks like it's turning almost into like a spider. Like in certain ways it's

Jessika: Yeah. Oh yeah. Very unsettling. Yeah. So I, I really liked any of those parts where she was turning things into elephants. What other Marvel character would you like to see paired as a crossover?

Mike: Um, I mean, the obvious answer would actually be, I think Dr. Strange.

Jessika: Yeah.

Mike: I think you need someone who's kind of considered a B lister, like not, not a Captain America or an Iron Man. I think you need someone who's a little more street-level for the Marvel Universe, but someone who's been around for a while and then can provide some perspective about like, you know, how, how being a superhero at first is tough and you're gonna screw up.

Spider-Man would be an obvious choice. I, I think Jessika Jones or Mockingbird, who's know, Hawkeye's ex-wife would be good. Kate Bishop wouldn't be bad either. [00:59:00] Like, I think all of this could be really fun. I, I think Jessika Jones actually, now that I think about it, would be really kind of the best choice because she's got a kid and while she's not like a single mom, she could relate to Erica and how she like, you know, is struggling to raise a kid while balancing it with being a superhero and having a day job.

I think it could be pretty good.

Jessika: Yeah,

Mike: I

dunno. What about you?

Jessika: I was thinking of, um,

Luella.

Mike: Mm-hmm.

Jessika: yeah, yeah, yeah. I Think she'd be good with Moon Girl and I think the way you could wrap her into that is having her be a classmate of Sally's

Mike: Oh, that'd be so good.

Jessika: and then it'd be so good and like interact with her in that way. Like, see her at that dance or like meet her in another way and

then,

you know, come to

Mike: Have her, tutor, Sally, because Sally needs extra

help.

Jessika: yes. [01:00:00] Yeah.

Mike: good. And then

Jessika: way to go.

Mike: can you imagine that it'd be like, it'd be like they kinda like open up to each other like, well, I've got a dinosaur. Well, my sister is the spell binder. Like, you

Jessika: Yeah. Right. It'd be fun. I think they'd be, and, and you know, I feel like Sally is already such an isolated character and so is Luella.

Mike: Yeah.

Jessika: So, you know, having that

team up would be really sweet.

Mike: Yeah, I actually really liked how like, I, I didn't care about Snug. I actually got really irritated with her as time went on. But

I liked, I actually really liked how Sally was developed as a character where she ended up teaching Snugg things like math and how

to read. I thought that was actually really, that was really quite sweet.

Jessika: Yeah. I.

Mike: like it reminded me a little bit of my stepdaughter who really struggled with reading for a while. And we actually, we, we introduced her to comic books and now she reads [01:01:00] voraciously,

Jessika: Aw, I love that. Comics are so good for that. Well, do you think the series would make a good show or movie? And who would you cast as the lead role as Erica Fortune?

Mike: Hmm. Like, maybe, I don't know. There's, there would need to be a lot of rewrites. Like there's too many annoying supporting characters. Um, like I think Andrew couldn't be portrayed as he is in the comic book. I think Snugg and Snaarl would need to be completely rewritten and redesigned visually.

I think Erica's siblings would be okay, but yeah, like, I think you would need to, to tighten it up a lot and also figure out what is the core mission of Erica and,

you know, and figure out the core purpose of her character. So my problem is, I don't know a lot of the younger actresses these days because I'm old and, and I watch, I watch a lot of old people shows now, like I've been watching a lot of, oh, that's so bad.

I've been watching a lot of medical dramas [01:02:00] on, uh, on TV while I'm working.

Jessika: Man,

Mike: Uh, I feel it.

Jessika: this is middle-aged friends.

Mike: yeah, uh, I, I think Erica could possibly be played by Sophie Turner. Like, I think she did a really nice job portraying, you know, she did a good job with Santa Stark, like portraying her, and showing her evolution from like this overwhelmed girl into like this very capable, ruthless woman via Game of Thrones.

Jessika: Yeah.

Mike: I don't know. I'm. I'm kind of like on the fence of like, would I want to see more of this like in the M C U and I'm not sure that I would to be on like, as it is. I think, I think that there's a ton of potential here. I think you could actually turn it into something that's really good. especially with like portrayals of, how tough it is to be a woman who is the sole breadwinner for her family.

and you know, and with siblings who are in different ways, special needs.

Jessika: Yeah,

Mike: I think the final answer is I don't think I would wanna see an adaptation of [01:03:00] this comic. I

wouldn't mind seeing an adaptation of the

core.

Jessika: Marvel presents shit on,

Mike: Oh, Jesus Christ. No, absolutely not. No, I think, I think like the core ideas, I think like if you, if you distill it down to like, kind of like the basic, the fundamental concept here of like a woman who is smart and driven and successful in her own way, but is struggling because of familial obligations and, and having very sympathetic siblings who, love their sister but are also holding her back professionally.

I think that could actually make for a really great story. it's just not quite what we got within the comic.

Jessika: Yeah, no, I'd agree with that. I, I don't wanna see this,

Mike: Okay. Like, I'm actually kind of glad that we're, we're sort of on the same

Jessika: like, I don't, yeah, I don't really wanna see it. Like, if I was gonna cast anyone, I'd probably cast one of the Fanning Sisters, like, [01:04:00]

Elle or Dakota.

They'd probably good be good choices, but I, I don't care enough. Like, ultimately I didn't care enough to like take this anywhere or to wanna see it any further than this.

Like, it

was fine,

Mike: yeah,

Jessika: but I also don't feel like. they gave Erica, to your point, enough credit.

Mike: yeah.

Jessika: Well, how did you feel about the twist of the bigger, bad or boss? Do you think it helped or hindered the story?

Mike: I mean that's just, yeah, I, no, it, so The Other was added too late to the story. His appearance is way too vague. It's

Jessika: Yeah.

Mike: like it's just a billowing cloak. And then, you know, the dark spot in the hood with A wide white gash where the mouth is. his name is the other, like, I just, I couldn't be bothered to care.

it was just very mid and it felt [01:05:00] like, oh, we need to create this bigger batter threat because we don't know what else we're doing. It just reeked of like, we don't know what to do for this final issue, so let's just make a big battle.

Jessika: And make it extra fucking long.

Yeah.

That's how I felt about it. No notes. I agree.

Mike: Yeah.

Jessika: Yikes. Yeah. Well, you've kind of already told me your answer to this, but what did you think of the additional issues featuring spellbound that were in Marvel presents? Do you think they added to the storyline?

Mike: No, I didn't like them at all. Like, I thought they did Erica dirty. I, there wasn't any redemption arc for her, and I really wasn't a fan of that. It felt. Absolutely pointless. they're setting Roy up to be the next Spellbinder Supreme or whatever. But then it's implied that like, he's not gonna be it anymore.

I don't know, it just, it felt,

Jessika: Why show us this?

Mike: you know, it's interesting because Marvel Comics presents was oftentimes kind of like a pilot comic. They would sit there because they're [01:06:00] putting these out, and so you could buy it. And then some, like, Wolverine was the constant in these Comics. Okay. Like, they always told Wolverine stories after a certain point because that

became a big deal. but at this point in time, they were using Marvel Comics presents to debut new characters a lot of time. Like they debuted a bunch of the 2099 characters about a year earlier. And Marvel Comics presents, , there was another thing called Clan clandestine that was sort of a big thing, that had their first debut and Marvel Comics Presents as well.

I feel like they were trying to drum up a little interest in the story, and then it just fell flat, and so they just kind of left it there because, I couldn't find any other appearances of Eric or her family. Um,

I know you couldn't, like,

Jessika: Yeah,

Mike: So normally, you know, we let each other do research for our own deep dives, and Jessika was sitting there and saying like, I'm having a real tough time finding anything.

And I was trying not to step on any toes, but I was like, do you want me to look? Because , I [01:07:00] often have luck finding like really obscure shit and I couldn't find anything.

Like

Jessika: Yeah.

Mike: it was, just

Jessika: I like have 50, I have like 25 tabs open and they all pretty much say the same fucking thing about

this. It's like there really isn't much out there. So,

but you know, it's uh, interesting to take a look at this little time capsule. I mean, just with everything. It was such an eighties time capsule.

Mike: Yeah, it was, I mean,

I

didn't hate it. I,

Jessika: dancing and like everything.

Mike: I'm sorry. Can we talk about the fact that Roy has this like insane outfit? Like it where it's like a sh

Jessika: Please

Mike: Okay. I don't wanna, I don't wanna, I don't wanna reopen it, but like, I'm gonna just describe it for memory. So he is got like a mullet. He's blonde, he has like a t-shirt underneath a sweater with cutoff sleeves, and then he is wearing suspenders over the sweater it's like red pants or something like that.

It is a vibe. It [01:08:00] is, it is a look with a capital L.

Jessika: He's the goofiest motherfucker. He's got So he's wear, yeah, it's like a cutoff. You know how people used to cut off like the sleeves? He has like cutoff sleeves and like cutoff, like it's like a midriff top. But then he's got another top underneath it and he has one glove on and he has Red Sox and his top and his, his bottom are matching and his fucking shirt says Roy on it.

Mike: No notes. I love all of this. Like thi this is like the eighties weirdness of fashion that I adore. I wish that I had the body type to pull that off because it's so fun and so strange.

Jessika: It's so layered. I think you could probably be any body type. My guy, like just layer a bunch of shit on there.

Mike: Yeah.

Jessika: fine.

Mike: But yeah, that's, uh, I think that's my final thought on the series is I [01:09:00] liked Roy's outfits. Oh, I will say in the Marvel Comics presents also in the final bit, like after his battle with Erica, like his jeans get shredded and he's wearing basically daisy dukes, and I was like, I'm okay with this.

Jessika: that Roy's 18, we're okay with it.

Mike: I mean, he, he also put on a lot of muscle in between those issues. It was really funny.

Like

he is

Jessika: 17 and 18.

He like, he was, he turned into a man.

Mike: no, like between the final two issues of that Marvel

Comics presents. It's really funny. I was like, okay. He, at this point in time, I think he's a 20 something. I think it, I think it feels a little less sketchy

Jessika: Yeah.

Oh

Mike: we had an undefined time jump in between , those last two issues.

Jessika: yes, we did. Who knows? Who knows? Sally may not even be in school anymore. She may also be a full ass adult.

Mike: Who knows?

Jessika: Still getting kidnapped.[01:10:00]

Mike: You know, when you're petite you have a body type that makes you tempting for kidnappers.

Jessika: Oh, good lord. And it was the eighties, so everybody wanted to kidnap us, of course.

Or at least our parents told us that.

Mike: Yeah,

Jessika: Well, what do you say? We mosey onto our brain wrinkles.

Mike: I mean, I'm at the end of my cocktail, so I think we better get outta here soon.

Jessika: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. I know I may have another beer after this celebratory.

Mike: Yeah.

Jessika: Well, we have reached brain wrinkles, which is that one thing, Comics or Comics adjacent that has been wriggling around in our noggins since our last conversation. Mike, you wanna start us off since I've been rattling through?

Mike: Yeah. so today for some reason on Twitter, Burn Notice was actually trending

and

Jessika: Oh,

Mike: Yeah. Um, like you remember that TV show from Usa

Jessika: I do. Yeah.

Mike: Yeah. It [01:11:00] was fun. And I was sitting there and I was like, I really liked that when I was in college and watching it. And then I realized, I was like, that show was on for seven seasons.

And I was like, and it had like novels. It had some tie-in media, like, I don't think I'd ever any comic books. And so I, I made a, a little throwaway to tweet about that. I'm like, oh, that's a shame. And the author of the tie-in novels, Todd Goldberg actually replied and he was like, well, you know, the novels were so great, they didn't need any other media.

But then he was like, actually there was a comic DC Comics put it out. But it was an online graphic novel. It was never printed anywhere. And I was like, fuck. And it, you can't, you can't actually like stream it anymore. It's not available for like,

you know, for, for broad consumption. But they have one on archive.org.

And so I was looking at that. It was really interesting. I thought it was really cool because first of all, I love learning about stuff that I didn't know about. I do not mind being called out what I'm wrong, but I was just like, man, this always makes me a little bit sad when it [01:12:00] turns out that there was a comic book produced for online audiences and then it went away for whatever reason.

And it's, you know, it's not printed anywhere. It's not collected, it's not easily accessible because that is a lot of work for a creative team to put together.

Jessika: Yeah.

Mike: And now it's just gone. And I don't have, you know, a real main point about this other than just, it's kind of sad. And I wish that, more companies would actually take digital Comics that are put out and produce physical copies just for posterity.

Jessika: Yeah. I agree.

Mike: Yeah, so that's my wrinkle. How about yours?

Jessika: So I just finished my, we just had a two year long campaign for d and d that we

just wrapped up.

Mike: Oh, nice. Okay.

Jessika: Yeah. Which, that, and that was the first campaign that I'd ever been a part of. I got really attached to my character.

I mean, it was, I, it's two years, you know, I was playing a bard and I was [01:13:00] beasting out, like Eldridge blast for days, you know. but We are transitioning into a new game. And it is just, it's interesting to kind of shift gears like that and have to kind of rethink a character. And I'm gonna be a totally different class and I'm gonna be a totally different race.

I'm gonna be a gnome this time. And so it's just a lot of different things to think about. And we're playing it within a different kind of timeframe too. So we're gonna be in like the Victorian era.

Mike: Nice.

Jessika: So I'm like an artificer with like clockwork abilities and like, so it's gonna be kind of more that vibe, which will be super fun.

But I don't know, there's, there's something really sad about leaving those other characters behind. I didn't realize it was going to like feel like this.

Mike: Yeah, I can absolutely relate to this because I was in a multi-year campaign for Raven Loft and,

Jessika: Mm.

Mike: and I played a character that was very outside my norm. I played a, Paladin who was just [01:14:00] like, he was a Paladin and service to, the death goddess the Raven Queen. And so he wasn't actually a, a good guy.

He was just a hammer and a world full of nails. And uh, and he was really fun to play. And, I think I was a game that I was in for about a year and a half. Um, because I joined halfway through the campaign. I replaced someone who left.

Jessika: Mm.

Mike: And, and yeah, like, it was actually really surprising because the, the Ravenloft campaign has a definite endpoint.

You know, you defeat Strahd or you get defeated by him. And when, when that happened, it was real sudden and it was just like, holy shit. Like I don't get to be this character anymore. And, you know, it's been kind of fun because we brought him into the campaign that my friend and I are co DMing as he's kind of like, you know, a Bosley to the party's angels.

it always makes me a little bit wistful when we have an excuse to bring him in. Cause I'm like, oh, he's just, you know, he's there. He's still there, but, Hmm.

Jessika: Yeah.

Mike: Did you see the

Jessika: yeah. No, it's,

Mike: way?

Jessika: I have [01:15:00] not seen it

yet. No.

Mike: really fun.

Jessika: Is it? Yeah, I, I do need to go see it. I'll probably hit it up, uh, in the middle of the day. One of these days says, says it'll work right Now.

Mike: Do it

Jessika: I say that like, I don't actually have a job. I host trivia guys. I actually do work.

Like, don't worry,

I'm, I am

not like

just floating free here.

Mike: Enjoy that time while you have it, man. like I took time off between my last job and this one, and it was so, so necessary to just decompress. Like, I think the first week that I had off, it was Thanksgiving week, which it was busy in its own way, but it was just, it was so nice to like not have that knot in my stomach about this toxic place that I had to go into

Jessika: yeah. Yeah. That's just it. I know I've been sleeping in until nine 30 every day, and Carl and I wake up and, you know, he gets to snuggle a little bit with me when normally he'd kind of just be sleeping until I, you know, left the house and sent him into his uncles. And, you know, I've had energy to take him for a walk, [01:16:00] and I've been able to get myself out and exercise and, you know, it's, it's just been, it's been good to focus on something different,

Mike: Yeah. yeah, I didn't get to sleep in a lot because we had kids that were going to school, but,

Jessika: Yeah. Couldn't be me.

Mike: uh,

Jessika: Couldn't be me.

Mike: yeah. No, but, but I did go back to bed afterwards. I was like, all right. I'm like,

Jessika: Oh,

Mike: taking a

Jessika: good. At least. Oh, no naps or naps or, what's up? I took a nap today.

Mike: Yeah. I think, I think Sarah got a little bit mad, to be honest. She was just like, whatever. She was like, I get it. You need this downtime. It's fine, but like, yeah, it was, oh God.

Jessika: Oh my goodness.

Mike: Yeah. You, you had to, you had to listen to me vent about that job a lot for a while, so,

Jessika: Hey, we got you through it, man.

Again, man. I can't believe we've been here for over two years. That's, that's cool. We've

Mike: It's wild. Right?

Jessika: of stuff.

Mike: Yeah, well, you know, and like, for my current job, like I was [01:17:00] down in San Diego last week and I got to hang out with Lance from Comic Book Keepers and I,

Jessika: That's so cool. He just added me on Facebook. I'm super jealous. You got to see him.

Mike: yeah, we're, you know, it's, it's at the point where we're Facebook official, all of us.

Jessika: Yeah, we are.

Mike: yeah. But like, you know, like I got, I got to hang out with him. He showed me his graphic novel collection, which I'm super jealous of. Like, we, we had, we had Comics for each other. It turns out it was the week after WonderCon and Lance had been sharing a room with Brad from comic book couples counseling.

And

apparently, apparently, like they were going through boxes at WonderCon, and Brad would pull out stuff and be like, oh, that's a Mike book. Oh, that's a Mike book. And I was like,

man,

Jessika: they're so sweet.

Mike: I love how this show has led to, so many great friendships with people that we haven't met in person, but it was really cool to meet Lance and eat delicious Mexican food with him and his wife, and also hang out with his baby, who is very cute.

Jessika: Oh, babies. All right. Well, I think that's about it for our [01:18:00] show this week,

Mike: Yeah.

Jessika: but I'll tell you guys what. If you come back next week, we'll hit you with another dollar bin discovery, and then, and then the week after that, we're gonna get another full episode for you. Who knows what it's about, but it's gonna be cool.

Mike: Oh, we, we know what it's gonna

Jessika: We do actually know it's gonna be,

Mike: it's

actually,

Jessika: We do.

Mike: it's actually going to be sort of tied to this one

Jessika: Yeah,

slightly. So

Mike: kind, of

sort. It's like, you'll understand why, but, but it's funny because I saw this series when I was in San Diego at the comic store, and then I saw the other series that we're gonna be talking about for our next deep dive there as well.

And I took a picture and I sent it to Jessika. Cause I was like, oh, we might want to talk about this and

yeah.

Jessika: so you'll, you'll get more from this world, from us. But you know what, until then, [01:19:00] we will see you in the stacks.

Mike: Thanks for listening to Ten Cent Takes. Accessibility is important to us, so text transcriptions of each of our published episodes can be found on our website.

Jessika: This episode was hosted by Jessika Frazier and Mike Thompson, written by Jessika Frazier and edited by Mike Thompson. Our intro theme was written and performed by Jared Emerson Johnson of Bay Area Sound. Our credits and transition music is Pursuit of Life by Evan McDonald and was purchased with a standard license from Premium Beat.

banner graphics were designed by Sarah Frank, who's at Look Mom draws dot com.

Mike: If you'd like to get in touch with us, ask us questions, or tell us about how we got something wrong, please head over to Tencent takes.com or shoot an email to Tencent takes gmail.com. You can also find us on Twitter. For now, the official podcast account is Tencenttakes all one word. Jessika is Jessikawitha, and Jessika is spelled with a K, and Mike is Vansau V A N S A U.

You can also find us on Instagram, Facebook, Macedon, and [01:20:00] Hive. A full list of our socials will be listed in the show notes.

Jessika: If you'd like to support us, be sure to download, rate and review wherever you listen

Mike: Stay safe out there.

Jessika: and support your local comic shop.

Mike: Boom.

Jessika: Boom, boom, boom.

Mike: All right.

Jessika: Alright.

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