Doug Frye from the Schlock Treatment podcast signs on as the fourth member of an elite commando unit with Jeeg, Pax, and CT.  Our mission is to determine if the 1980s G.I. Joe cartoon still holds up. Listen to find out if the Joes can defeat the most lethal foe of all, Father Time. In our Nerd To-Dos we hear about Keifer Sutherland's debut in the D&D universe, the Solomon Kane movie (again), novel writing, and the arrival of some nerd progeny.

rr_cola_smallListeners of our podcast will know that back in episode 19 we talked about soda/pop with Shawn Robare from Branded in the 80s. After taping the show, Shawn sent each of us a care package of several sodas including a bottle of the Red Rock Cola he mentioned in the episode.


Given Shawn’s praise, I went for the bottle of Red Rock immediately and I was not disappointed. It really does bridge the gap between Coke and Pepsi. Some of the bite and more complex notes are in there, but it tastes sweeter and smoother than Coca-Cola. Right down to the retro labeling and glass bottle, it’s a great combination.


I could easily see Red Rock making it into my rotation of favorites alongside Mountain Dew, Dr. Pepper, and stalwart old Coke… if I could find it. Sources have told this reporter that the formulation rights for Red Rock are held by a food technology company in Indianapolis with manufacturing done a by a few distributors around the country. I have yet to find a source for Red Rock in my part of Chicagoland, but the hunt will continue. If nothing else, I’ll have to plan a side excursion to Homer Soda Company during my next visit back to Central Illinois and load up the trunk of my car.

Perhaps the Internet's leading expert on TV crossovers and the founder of, Thom Holbrook, joins us for a great episode this week. We discuss what makes a crossover great, run down some of our favorites, and then propose some crossovers we wish would happen.  Our conversation is a roll call of great TV from Bob Newhart to The Bionic Woman to The Drew Carey Show to Mork and Mindy.  OK, maybe great isn't the best description.  In this week's Nerd To-Dos, we get our first genealogy related to-do, a re-commitment to comic book reading, and more Avengers items (it might take us awhile to get over that one, folks).

Shawn Robare rides his stunt motorcycle over from Branded in the 80s to join us for a discussion of the original trilogy of Muppet films: The Muppet Movie, The Great Muppet Caper, and The Muppets Take Manhattan.  We start with our personal histories with the Muppets and where they fit into our nerdom. Then we step through each movie taking a look at the playhouse style setup, plots, music, puppetry/effects, and favorite scenes.  In addition to some pre-Avengers talk brought to you through the magic of Internet time travel (check out episode 36, people); this week’s Nerd To-Dos feature a box of magic surprises for CT, more soda can collecting, and one nerd’s quest for movie novelizations.

Join us for a very special episode of Nerd Lunch all about the blockbuster that is Marvel’s The Avengers. In a double barreled conversation, CT and Pax chat after hitting the theater in Florida while Jeeg and original Nerd Luncher PLee offer their post-screening assessment from Illinois. Is it the best of the Marvel movies? Is it the best superhero/comic book movie ever? Is it the greatest achievement in the history of mankind? Remove your Asgardian helmet with the giant horns, pop in those earbuds, and find out.

Continuing our Countdown to Avengers, I thought it would be worth taking a look at the two Agent Coulson shorts that appear on the Thor and Captain America Blu-rays. I do not believe they are on the DVDs, but I could be mistaken about that.

Each of these are about 3-4 minutes long and serve to "fill in the gaps." Well, at least that's been the claim. That's certainly the case for the first one, but more on the second one in a bit.

Way back when Iron Man and Incredible Hulk first came out, the producers of the movie were sort of shooting in the dark and trying to use the post-credits scenes to get the ball rolling on a shared universe. Iron Man introduced the idea of the Avengers Initiative and introduced us to Nick Fury. In Incredible Hulk, the final scene (what I believe was originally intended for a post-credits scene) shows Tony Stark meeting General Ross in a bar and beginning a dialogue. What went on in-between Iron Man and Hulk was somewhat of a mystery. In fact, based on the Hulk scene, it seemed as though Tony agreed to join the initiative and was already out doing stuff for Fury.

Iron Man 2 comes along and Director John Favreau decides to pick up Tony's story before the scene in the bar. In fact Tony has turned down Fury's request and it takes a whole chunk of the movie to convince Tony to give these guys the time of day. And even at the end of the movie, things are still a little unclear as to what Tony's relationship with S.H.I.E.L.D. actually is. So why Tony would show up in a bar and talk to Ross made little sense.

So in the first of the Coulson shorts, entitled "The Consultant," Coulson meets another agent at a diner to discuss current Avengers roster issues. The World Security Council has requested that Blonsky (Abomination) be put on the team but SHIELD does not want him. However, in order to make good with the WSC, they have to at least ask General Ross for him. So they come up with the idea of sending Stark to go ask, someone so pompous and off-putting that Ross would never say yes to the request.

The four minute short is about 2.5 minutes of two guys sitting in a diner, half a minute of clips from Hulk, and almost a full minute of credits. But, it does answer the Hulk end scene and release it from needing to be a part of The Avengers movie.

The second Coulson short takes place between Iron Man 2 and Coulson's arrival on the scene in Thor. The plot of this short is that Coulson is in a gas station when it is suddenly held up. Coulson quickly and easily dispatches the would-be robbers, buys some Little Debbie donuts, finishes filling up his car with Roxxon gas, and leaves. This four minute short is actually about 2 minutes 40 seconds once you factor out credits and other than introducing us to Roxxon, seemingly does little to advance the Avengers storyline. My supposition is that the point of this short is to set the stage for some good Coulson action in the Avengers movie.

I like Coulson and it seems I'm not alone in that. However, Coulson cannot carry his own movie and will likely only ever be a supporting character to advance the plot. I doubt his role in Avengers will be all that large. That said, I think Whedon loves him and has spoken highly of the actor. My guess is that if any hero dies in the movie, it will be Coulson...but I have no idea if that's truly going to be the case. That's not a spoiler, just a guess.

Previous Countdown to Avengers articles:
Review of Iron Man (Nerd Lunch)
Review of The Incredible Hulk (To The Escape Hatch)
Review of Iron Man 2 (Nerd Lunch)
Review of Thor (Cavalcade of Awesome)
Review of Captain America (To The Escape Hatch)
A Look at the Avengers Collectible Soda Cans (Cavalcade of Awesome)

Pax and Jeeg welcome CT back from his sojourn in the wilderness and guest Robert Zerbe from To The Escape Hatch for a discussion of real life issues that can dampen one's enjoyment of nerdy things. Celebrity meltdowns, marketing oversaturation, obnoxious product placement, annoying theater patrons, and more make our lists. This week's Nerd To-Dos features a lot of Avengers talk, e-readers, Doritos, and the last (?) of CT's Young Justice updates.