It’s a concept that is elegantly simple. A protagonist wanders into the unknown, be it deep into the jungle or outer space, and stumbles across something dangerous. Not just something dangerous, but something clever, well adapted for hunting humans and vicious. This was the great strength of both the original Alien and Predator films, one which their many sequels fail to capture.

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This fortnight, Nick and Alastair dive into the standard fantasy world of Matt Groening’s new satirical animation Disenchantment. Can the man who created The Simpsons and Futurama do it again?

But first, Nick’s watching The Leftovers, the post-rapture drama from one of the men behind Lost, which Alastair’s gone to see puppets shag in The Happytime Murders.

And then they launch into Disenchantment (9:15), to find out if it can rise above its obvious medieval magic-castle-knight-mocking roots to find some real funny.

Lastly, they ask: Are fantasy tropes beyond satire? (22:26) And as ever, the question might hint at our feelings about the item being reviewed.

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This fortnight, Nick and Alastair check in with long-time MFV favourite and Breaking Bad prequel Better Call Saul as they kick off their fourth season.

But first, time to look at such recent consumptions as Nick reading Giant Days (the comic and the novel) or Alastair seeing new Spike Lee joint BlackkKlansman.

And then they return to Better Call Saul (10:39) to see how Jimmy and the gang are bearing up after last year’s big finish, along with a few mild spoilers (and one major reveal of a Breaking Bad character cameo) covering the first three episode.

Lastly, it’s time to ask: what makes a good prequel? (33:09) Are there any easy answers? How long will it be until someone mentions those Star Wars movies?

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Don’t worry, the sixty-nine jokes are small but perfectly formed, and then it’s on to Ant-Man And The Wasp, this year’s final Marvel film.

But first, recent cultural acquisitions, such as Alastair watching the new Mission Impossible film and Nick reading The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami (and also mentioning the work of Daniel Ruiz Tizon).

And then Nick and Alastair launch into Ant-Man And The Wasp (7:42), this year’s last Marvel film and one interestingly working as a little superhero movie that could in the shadow of Black Panther, Infinity War and chums.

Of course, American audiences got the film around a month ago, which explains this fortnight’s related question: If you can’t release a film globally at the same time, is it still worth bothering? (24:15)

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This fortnight, after not one but two previous failed attempts, Nick and Alastair finally review Legion season 2!

But first, they talk about their recent consumption, such as Nick reading The Unwritten, a meta-fantasy-conspiracy comic by Mike Carey and Peter Gross, or Alastair watching Who Is America?, the new ambush-satire show starring Sacha Baron Cohen.

And then they finally get stuck into the Legion season two chat (9:18), including full and total spoilers for the whole thing and a content warning about one story point. Will it be worth the months-long wait?

Once that’s done, Nick and Alastair ask aquestion that… honestly has even wider relevance than Nick realised when he thought of it: How far can you twist your audience before they snap? (31:11)

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We’re just over halfway through the year, so Nick and Alastair have prepared a mid year review instead of a regular episodes. This is completely because we love taking stock and not because we have holidays.

First up, Alastair counts down his top 6 films he’s seen on the big screen so far this year (because it was too hard to choose 5) and then he offers some thoughts on what we have to look forward to for the rest of the year.

Then Nick and special guest Julianne Benford, discuss interesting development on the small screen. They talk over TV shows of 2018 that we haven’t covered so far on the podcast. Some good, some confusing and some that maybe should have ended a season ago or two ago.

You can find more information Julianne Benford here!

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Nick and Alastair return to the mean streets of the Netflix-Marvel Defenderverse this episode, as they stride into Luke Cage season 2.

But first, Nick’s talking about The Handmaid’s Tale season 2 moving beyond the Margaret Atwood novel, while Alastair cheats on his own pop culture podcast with Slate’s Decoder Ring.

And then it’s time to head back into Harlem, as Nick and Alastair tackle Luke Cage (8:50) for the first time, ready to find out if they’ve finally picked up the pace. No real spoilers for this season but some discussion of major events in Defenders and the previous run of Cage.

Our related question looks at the memorable sense of place in this show, with the eternal dilemma: Can you take Luke Cage out of Harlem? (26:35)

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This fortnight, it’s the comics podcast of Nick’s dreams, as MFV covers the latest Hulk and Superman relaunches from Marvel and DC respectively!

But first, other recent consumption includes Nick watching Marvel’s Runaways TV show (so yes, on-brand), and Alastair heading briefly out of comics-land to watch Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

And then they head into the world of fictional strong blokes, to read the unsettling The Immortal Hulk #1 (6:52) by Al Ewing and Joe Bennett, followed by the uplifting Man of Steel #1 (15:48) by Brian Michael Bendis and Ivan Reis and Jay Fabok, showing us two very different ways of reimagining guys with abs.

And after that, after the success of last episode’s Marvel/Star Wars debate, it’s time to ask what these two comics can tell us about the forever-ongoing Marvel vs DC rivalry. (25:15)

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This fortnight, one more swing into the big franchises with solo Star Wars move Solo: A Star Wars Story!

But before that, Nick and Alastair examine their recent consumption, including crime comic 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank and the esoteric music of Public Service Broadcasting.

That done, it’s time for the real business of the day as Nick and Alastair review Solo: A Star Wars Story (7:08), trying their best to stay focused on the contents of the film rather than just whether it needs to exist.

And then it’s on to this week’s related debate point, indulging the geekery a little more than usual: Marvel vs Star Wars! (21:02)

You may not be surprised which pod-host is representing each side.

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How is Deadpool like a business park in Slough? They’re both postmodern. If you just wanted to find out the answer to the click-bait headline, there it is. If you want to find out more then read on.

For a better answer to the question we need to ask: what is postmodernism? Well, it’s like pornography, in that it’s only acceptable to look at it in public as part of an art installation or at the sort of parties that I don’t get invited to. Also, like pornography, it’s difficult to define, but you know it when you see it.

You can find postmodernism in contemporary art galleries, usually in the room that just has a load of tyres piled up in the corner. You can find it on the reading lists for MAs in contemporary literature. You can find in in the architecture of post-industrial areas that were rebuilt in the 1990s, the places where the decaying factories and wharves were replaced with Italian restaurants and coffee shops that aspired to be just like Central Perk.

Postmodernism might be a movement in high brow, high class, high cost, impenetrable, elitist and confusing art forms, but it doesn’t have to be an exclusive idea. You can see postmodernism in the cinema and you don’t have to go to the ICA or even your local Picturehouse to see it.

There’s lots of postmodernism in Deadpool and Deadpool 2. Looking at what makes these films different from every other superhero film will help us answer the question of what postmodernism is.

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