The Fantasticast
Stephen Lacey and Andrew Leyland
One of the advantages of digital comics is that issues that were once collectors items are easily available for modern readers.  Wether through reprinted omnibuses, black and white ‘essential editions,’ DVD editions, or online stores, there are more ways to read comics than ever before.  Which in turn means that issues that might have been lost to time can be reexamined, enjoyed, and picked apart.  Which is just what the Fantasticast does.
A team-up of two veteran comics podcasters, Steve Lacey of “Twenty Minute Long Box,” and Andrew Leyland of “Hey Kids, Comics!” The Fantasticast sets out to summarize, celebrate, and take the piss out of every issue and appearance of “The Fantastic Four,” in order.  With well over six-hundred issues and innumerable guest appearances, this is no small task.  After 100-and-something episodes, they’ve just gone from their original appearance in 1961 to the early seventies.
I’ve been listening along issue-by-issue using the Marvel Unlimited app, and it is great fun.  Andrew and Steve have a great rapport, and it is interesting to hear the perspective of British fans to so American a medium as silver-age Marvel comics.  The show is a lot of fun, and balances humor, reverence for the subject matter, and intelligent perspective quite well.  Their synopses are entertaining and complete, and listeners don’t need a long box handy to follow along.
The Fantasticast is certainly a by-fans-for-fans presentation, and I don’t know if it would hold much interest for listeners who aren’t interested in the origins of the Marvel universe, or the Fantastic Four in particular, but it is well done and worth a listen for the comics geek who wants a bit of light perspective along with their heroism.

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