Sunday, January 11, 2009

Star Wars, X-Men, and The Uncanny X-Cast

Sometimes, I feel like I came into the world at just the right time.

Born at the tail-end of the Disco Era, I was lucky enough to witness the ground-breaking theatrical release of Star Wars back in '77. My 7-year-old mind was blown away by EVERY aspect of the film. Until then, the peak of sci-fi on the big screen was 2001, a film that, despite it's artistic merit, just couldn't hold a candle to the sheer escapist fun that was Star Wars.

I was also fortunate enough to discover Comic Books during Chris Claremont and John Byrne's run on The Uncanny X-Men. Dark Phoenix. The Shi'ar. The Brood. Kitty Pryde. This run was, in my opinion, the epitome of what good comics are all about.

Much like Star Wars did for sci-fi movies, the X-Men defined for me what comics should be-- captivating story lines, three dimensional characters, high adventure, danger, and just a splash of humor. And best of all, the protagonists were a band of misunderstood anti-heroes, feared and often hated by society at large. My pre-teen self strongly identified with them.

Since then, I've had a love/hate relationship with many different comic titles, but the one that has never let me down is the X-Men. Even during the weaker runs, the different X-books have stood tall above the competition. And when the creative team is on it's game, all I can say is WOW. Joss Whedon and John Cassaday's incredible run on Astonishing X-Men came dangerously close to forever spoiling all other comics for me.

I've discovered a podcast made by a couple of older fans who share my love of the X-Men.

The Uncanny X-Cast
is an intelligent yet down-to-earth review of both current and past X-Men titles. The hosts, Rob and Brian, have incredible chemistry; they come across like two old friends who genuinely love good X-Men comics. Their occasional, good natured trading of barbs adds to the humor of the show, without coming across as mean-spirited. Best of all, their discussions are devoid of the ol' Fanboy Blinders: They tell it like it is, and aren't afraid to call out writers or artists who drop the ball with their beloved Mutants.

If you have even a passing interest in the X-Men, and are looking for an entertaining podcast, you ought to check em out.

Link- Uncanny X-Cast Podcast

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