Sunday, 29 April 2012

BETWEEN PANELS: Avengers Assemble! (Part One)

Dru and Dave's excitement about The Avengers could not be contained in a single Between Panels bonus episode! In the first half of this epic, two-part Between Panels, D&D discuss their impressions of the  "Road to The Avengers" films and what they're hoping to get out of Joss Whedon's upcoming team-up film. Stay tuned for next week's exciting conclusion, in which we nurse a post-Avengers hangover.

THIS IS A BONUS EPISODE. If you're new to the show, we'd recommend starting elsewhere.

Send all feedback to Stay up to date with our blog at Follow Dave on Twitter @24panels and Dru @violetbooth. Like us on Facebook. And don't forget to subscribe (and review us) in iTunes!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012


Alright guys, we made it. Let's do a head count.

We're finally through with the surprisingly challenging MADE-FOR-TV AVENGERS series, but only once we reckon with 1998's Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD starring David Hasselhoff. Dru spends most of the episode trying to change the subject while David tries to veer us back on course. Both agree that Nick Fury has camp classic written all over it.

Episode breakdown:
0:00 - 22:05: Intro banter (The Dark Knight Rises runtime, The Three Stooges, miscellaneous bickering)
22:05 - 22:32: Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD trailer (likely fan-made)
22:32 - 1:19:00: Main discussion: Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD
1:19:00 - 1:26:54: Closing remarks

Send all feedback to Stay up to date with our blog at Follow Dave on Twitter @24panels and Dru @violetbooth. Like us on Facebook. And don't forget to subscribe (and review us) in iTunes!

Additional links:

Next time on 24 Panels: The Crow...

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Preview Post - NICK FURY: AGENT OF S.H.I.E.L.D.

Dru and David abandon superheroes this week to take a look at Marvel’s roughest and toughest hero, the super spy Nick Fury in the 1998 made-for-TV film Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.!

Nick Fury is the creation of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, though his initial appearance was a tad bit different than the super spy we know and love. Originally, Nick Fury first appeared in Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos in 1963, a World War II-set combat title following Nick Fury and his team as they battle the Nazis. 

A hit, it would only be a few months later that Nick Fury would pop up in the contemporary Marvel universe in The Fantastic Four #21 as a C.I.A. agent, this time with his iconic eye-patch. Fury would finally be associated with the S.H.I.E.L.D. organization a few months after that, acting as a top secret agent in the battle against the terrorist organization HYDRA. Originally, the S.H.I.E.L.D. acronym stood for “Supreme Headquarters, International Espionage, Law-Enforcement Division”, before more recently being altered to the “Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate”.

While the modern Fury’s stories were initially started by Lee and Kirby in Strange Tales #135, stories which established most of the major elements of S.H.I.E.L.D., from its mission to the technology they use, starting with issue 151 writer and illustrator Jim Steranko took over the creative duties on the book, launching what would become one of the most influential runs not only in terms of the character, but in terms of the medium itself. With his innovative art style and storytelling technique, Steranko has influenced an entire generation of readers and future comic creators with his work. The success of these stories would lead to the short lived Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. comic, which was eventually cancelled when Steranko left the title.

Both Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. would continue on in the Marvel Universe, playing major roles in dealing with Marvel’s superhero characters, as well as becoming active participants in most of Marvel’s major crossover events in the past decade. These days, however, Fury no longer acts as a member of S.H.I.E.L.D., but instead has gone underground, leading the Secret Warriors, a group made up of super powered individuals and ex-S.H.I.E.L.D. agents.

Perhaps the most famous recent event in the history of the character, however, was his reinvention as part of the Ultimate Marvel Universe, an alternative line of comics which follows a darker and (relatively) more grounded version of the Marvel universe designed to attract new readers by ditching years of continuity and starting from scratch. Instead of being Italian American, Ultimate Nick Fury is African American, with his look modeled after actor Samuel L. Jackson. A General in this universe, Fury still leads the secret organization S.H.I.E.L.D., which in addition to its regular security duties, takes a more active interest in the superhumans of this universe. This interest leads to the formation of the Ultimates, Ultimate Marvel’s version of the Avengers, a narrative thread which has become central to Marvel's cinematic universe in the lead up to The Avengers.

Prior to the 1990s, Fury did not appear outside of the comics. This changed with the various Marvel animated series which began to appear during the 1990s, with the character making appearances in Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, and Spider-Man: The Animated Series. In all three series, the character is voiced by the late Philip Abbott (and later on, Jack Angel) and based on the original version of Nick Fury.

The character would again appear in Spider-Man Unlimited in a brief cameo at the start of the series, voiced in this instance by Mark Gibbon:

The character would again reappear in the early 2000s animated series X-Men Evolution, voiced by Highlander: The Series star Jim Byrnes:

The character would make his next animated series appearance in the short lived but acclaimed Wolverine and the X-Men. The appearance of Fury in this version is a merging together of the original version of Fury and his Ultimate Marvel counterpart. A similar merging of the two versions of the character takes place in the recent animated series Avengers: Earths Mightiest Heroes. In both cases, he is voiced by Alex Désert, who co-starred on the 1990s Flash television series:

Versions of Nick Fury modeled entirely on the Ultimate Comics version of the character have appeared in two animated series, The Marvel Super Hero Squad Show and the upcoming Ultimate Spider-Man animated series, where he will be voiced by Chi McBride:

But without question, the most famous adaptation of the character is in the Marvel Studios films, where the character is played by Samuel L. Jackson, as God (or, in this case, Mark Millar) intended. The character will be appearing in the upcoming film The Avengers, bringing the major Marvel heroes together into one dysfunctional group:

Still, before there was Sam Jackson, there was a little 1998 TV movie starring the one, the only, David Hasselhoff. The film is written by David Goyer, the screenwriter who has perhaps written more comic book adaptations than anyone on this Earth, with credits including Blade, Blade II, Blade Trinity, The Crow: City of Angels, the upcoming Man of Steel, and a little film known as Batman Begins:

The film is directed by Ron Hardy, who has worked primarily in television, directing episodes of The X-Files, Dollhouse, and The Mentalist.

So join us on our next episode as we take a trip back to the 1990s with Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.! Below is the trailer, though to be honest, I cannot tell if this is an original trailer or a fan made one, given how it has been edited:

Monday, 23 April 2012


If nothing else, Dave and Dru’s discussion of Ang Lee’s Hulk reminded us of the squandered potential of the film’s final scene. (Their discussion did also remind us that it’s an excellent, ambitious, albeit slightly flawed film.) As you may recall, the last scene sets up a sequel that never came to fruition. In this scene, a bearded Bruce Banner has exiled himself in a nameless South American country, where we can only assume he fights injustice in the lawless jungle like some sort of Rambo figure. At least, that’s what we all hoped this scene set up.

Now, on behalf of Dru and Dave, I pitch that a sequel – tentatively titled H2LK: JUNGLE JUSTICE – has its chance to see the light of day. So Ang Lee, Eric Bana, Kevin Feige, Marvel, Disney, anyone contact us. We are sitting on a gold mine here, people!

EXT. South American jungle – Dusk


A torrential downpour has just lifted. The fading sunlight makes the fresh rain glisten on the deep -green leaves of the lush jungle foliage. A free-ranging camera slowly moves around surveying the utterly beautiful, ancient forest.

In the quiet I can think about my old life. As a scientist. With Betty. Normal. Those days are gone now. After an accidental overdose of gamma radiation, whenever I get angry or outraged, a startling change occurs. I become this... this Hulking creature driven by rage. Now, the world thinks I’m dead, and I must stay that way until I can find way to control the raging spirit that dwells within me.

I live here now, in the jungle. Exiled. Far away from the ones I love, where I cannot hurt them.  I use my ...abilities... to help those wronged – to fight ...injustice – as I search for a cure... for redemption.


A rumbling behind some bushes.  From beyond the bushes emanates the sound of a raging creature. The noises get louder, angrier, until an unceremonious “snap” brings the sounds to a halt. The camera pans around the bushes to reveal a mighty alligator feasting on an indigenous mammal. A shot is fired off-screen and the alligator scurries off leaving behind his prey. FOUR mercenaries appear, with large backpacks and other standard jungle attire. They are equipped with futuristic-looking "Bio-rifles." Two of the men - GOBBS and FRANCO share the work of carrying a large trunk, its contents unknown.

What the hell, Diego? Don’t draw attention to us.

Relax man, those are just rumours.

Rumours? What rumours?

Smitty here thinks that these jungles are haunted by some huge creature. What did you the stupid locals it?


Yeah man, I heard that too. But it can’t be true, right?

Shut up, all of you! I just wanna get through here and get these goods to General Amira.

What’s in here anyway? What does the General want from genetic research facility anyway?

I dunno, but the he’ll have our legs if we don’t get this back to him soon.

There’s a snap of a branch, the mercenaries freeze, and DIEGO fires a couple pulse blasts in the direction of the disturbance. From the bushes emerges a bearded BRUCE BANNER.

Easy, fellas. Easy.

Who the hell are you? Beat it, man!

Hold on, now. I’m... I’m just ...lost. My Jeep broke down off the road, and I need to get to the nearest town.

Back off man!

Hey... I’m just trying to get back to town. No need to be hostile.
What are you guys transporting there? Hey, did you hear there was a robbery and murder at the research centre in the city?

What do you care, pal? Huh?

Nothing. Like I said, I just wanna get back to town.
 You got any food in there? I’m starving.

I said, back off man.

DIEGO steps in front of the two men carrying the trunk, and pushes BRUCE back.

Hey guy, I’m just trying to have a friendly conversation. No need to get pushy.

You’re asking too many questions! I say we waste this mané! He must be a cop or something!

DIEGO hits him in the stomach with the butt of the Bio-rifle. BRUCE drops to his knees, then rises slowly.

What’re you doing, friendo? I wish you didn’t hit me. I was all nice and calm.

DIEGO hits BRUCE in the face. He recoils briefly and furrows his brow. His eyes begin to turn green.

BRUCE (con’t)
Oh, okay. That’s how this is going to be done. Then, go ahead. Make me angry.


BRUCE’s eyes being to glow green... 


There's a loud growl! The CREDITS fade in, in glowing, fiery green...


Thursday, 19 April 2012

Episode Archive

If any of these direct download links don't work, please let us know. We're currently hosting these files through Dropbox. If you have some online real estate that you'd like to donate to the 24 Panels cause, please let us know about that, too.

1997: The Year That (Almost) Killed the Comic Book Film
Episode 1: Steel
Episode 2: Spawn
Episode 3: Batman & Robin

Films You Didn't Know Were Based on Comics
Episode 4: A History of Violence
Episode 5: Timecop
Episode 6: Tamara Drewe
Episode 7: Which comics do we want to see made into films?

Retro Heroes
Episode 8: Dick Tracy
Between Panels: A 24 Panels Bonus Episode
Episode 9: The Rocketeer
Episode 10: The Phantom

Marvellous Halloween
Episode 11: Blade
Episode 12: Man-Thing
Episode 13: Ghost Rider

Let It Snow
Episode 14: Batman Returns
Episode 15: 30 Days of Night
Episode 16: Whiteout
Between Panels: A Very 24 Panels Christmas

Happy New Year! 2012: Post-Apocalyptic Comic Book Movies
Episode 17: Tank Girl
Episode 18: Judge Dredd
Episode 19: Barb Wire
Between Panels: Does the comic book film need to die?

Angry Green Men
Episode 20: The Mask
Episode 21: Hulk
Episode 22: Green Lantern

The Made-for-TV Avengers
Episode 23: Captain America (1978)/Captain America II: Death Too Soon
Episode 24: The Incredible Hulk Returns
Episode 25: Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD
Between Panels: Avengers Assemble! (Part One)
Between Panels: Avengers Assemble! (Part Two)

Dark Avengers
Episode 26: The Crow
Episode 27: Daredevil
Episode 28: The Dark Knight

Preparing for 2012's Sequels, Reboots, and Finales
Episode 29: Men in Black/Men in Black II
Episode 30: Spider-Man
Episode 31: Batman Begins

Indie Comic Book Movies
Episode 32: Ghost World
Episode 33: American Splendor
Episode 34: Persepolis

The Value of Superman
Episode 35: Superman: Doomsday
Episode 36: All-Star Superman
Episode 37: Superman vs. the Elite

Superheroes Go To Washington
Episode 38: X-Men: The Last Stand
Episode 39: Watchmen
Episode 40: Iron Man 2
Between Panels: Hot Toddy Talk (2012 Christmas Special)

24 Panels Goes to Hell
Episode 41: G-Men From Hell
One Shots: Bullet to the Head
Episode 42: From Hell
Episode 43: Hellboy

Manga Double-Features
Episode 44: Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance/Baby Cart at the River Styx
One Shots: Iron Man 3
Episode 45: Death Note/Death Note: The Last Name
One Shots: Man of Steel
Episode 46: Gantz/Gantz: Perfect Answer

Episode 47: Danger Diabolik
One Shots: R.I.P.D.
One Shots: RED 2
Episode 48: Barbarella
One Shots: The Wolverine
Episode 49: Flash Gordon
One Shots: 2 Guns
One Shots: Kick-Ass 2

Have a suggestion for a future series? Want to see a particular film covered on the podcast? Please write to us and let us know!

Friday, 13 April 2012


This week, Dru and David are back with the second instalment of the MADE-FOR-TV AVENGERS series with The Incredible Hulk Returns, the classic team-up between the Hulk and Thor. The film was originally intended as a backdoor pilot for a proposed ongoing Thor television series, but like Dru's proposed spinoff from 24 Panels - Hot Toddy Talk - it sadly never came to be. By Odin's beard!

Episode breakdown:
0:00 - 13:37: Intro banter (Sin City 2 and Sabrina the Teenage Witch announced, Avengers buzz, #hoganfacts)
13:37 - 14:07: The Incredible Hulk Returns trailer
14:07 - 1:23:09: Main discussion: The Incredible Hulk Returns
1:23:09 - 1:26:28: Closing remarks

Send all feedback to Stay up to date with our blog at Follow Dave on Twitter @24panels and Dru @violetbooth. Like us on Facebook. And don't forget to subscribe (and review us) in iTunes!

Next time on 24 Panels: Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D....

Tuesday, 10 April 2012


With but a cry of the name of Odin, Dru and Dave return this week to do battle with not one, but two of Marvel’s core heroes in the 1988 television movie The Incredible Hulk Returns!

We already took a look at the history of Marvel’s green goliath, the Hulk, in our “Angry Green Men” series of episodes, so I’ll just guide you towards that preview page for most of the character’s history. What is immediately relevant is the fact that The Incredible Hulk Returns is a follow up to the hit television series which ran from 1978-1982, and was intended to be used as a back door pilot for a series based on the Marvel Comics character Thor.

Drawing from Norse mythology, Marvel’s Thor first appeared in Journey Into Mystery #83 in 1962. The creation of Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Larry Lieber, the story of Thor is one of a god needing to learn humility. Wiping his son of his memories, Odin binds Thor to a medical doctor named Donald Blake. During a trip to Norway, Blake stumbles across a cave possessing Mjolnir, the hammer of Thor after he witnesses the landing of a hostile alien scouting party. The hammer transforms Blake into Thor and, after successfully defeating the alien threat, the duo continued to share an existence for quite some time afterwards. The pair are eventually split apart, but have been bound together again in recent years.

Unlike many of Marvel’s characters, Thor’s appearances in other media are rather limited until about the past ten years. Like most of Marvel’s other characters though, Thor made his animated debut in the 1966 series The Marvel Super Heroes. While the series provided Captain America, Iron Man and the Hulk with catchy theme songs most still remember, Thor ended up with this less-than-stellar number:

It would not be until the 1980s that Thor would again appear outside of comics. Outside of The Incredible Hulk Returns, Thor mainly made guest appearances in other animated series, such as Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends:

Thor continued to fill the role of guest star in the shows of other heroes well into the 1990s, including appearing in The Fantastic Four and The Incredible Hulk, where the character is voiced by John Rhys-Davies (Raiders of the Lost Ark, Lord of the Rings):

In 2009, Thor and the Hulk would yet again appear with one another in Hulk Vs. Thor, the second animated short film which comprise the Hulk Vs. DTV release...

...while a young version of Thor appears in the 2011 animated DTV release Thor: Tales of Asgard

…but most people are probably more familiar with the live action 2011 film Thor, directed by Kenneth Branagh and featuring Chris Hemsworth in the title role:

Hemsworth is reprising the role in the 2012 film The Avengers, to be released May 4th of this year:

Still, the first live action appearance of Thor is in The Incredible Hulk Returns, featuring Eric Kramer as Thor and Steve Levitt as Donald Blake. The film is written and directed by the late Nicholas Corea, a producer and director on the original Incredible Hulk television series. After The Incredible Hulk, Corea worked on various television programs as both writer and director, including the most legendary program of all, Walker: Texas Ranger:

Unlike Captain America star Reb Brown, Eric Kramer did manage to score a number of roles in high profile Hollywood films, including the role of Little John in Mel Brooks’ underrated Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993):

But do Kramer’s comedic chops work in his favour in The Incredible Hulk Returns? Tune into our next episode and find out!

Friday, 6 April 2012


24 Panels Per Second is back from their month off with a double-feature of Captain America and Captain America II: Death Too Soon, both made-for-TV movies from 1979 starring Reb Brown and (scene-stealer?) Len Birman. It's the first instalment in our MADE-FOR-TV AVENGERS series, leading up to the release of Joss Whedon's big-budget Avengers movie next month. It can't possibly be worse than these.

Episode breakdown:
0:00 - 22:18: Intro banter (the Ninja Turtles controversy)
22:18 - 22:51: Captain America trailer
22:51 - 1:13:22: Discussion: Captain America
1:13:22 - 1:14:01: Captain America II: Death Too Soon trailer
1:14:01 - 1:30:57: Discussion: Captain America II: Death Too Soon
1:30:57 - 1:34:15: Closing remarks

Send all feedback to Stay up to date with our blog at Follow Dave on Twitter @24panels and Dru @violetbooth. Like us on Facebook. And don't forget to subscribe (and review us) in iTunes!

Next time on 24 Panels Per Second: The Incredible Hulk Returns (and he brings Thor along for the ride!)...