The Thrilling Adventure Hour (originally "The Thrilling Adventure and Supernatural Suspense Hour") is a live audio theater production in the style of old time radio and was created by writers Ben Acker and Ben Blacker. After starting as a stage show in 2005, past episodes started being released as a podcast in 2011. In addition to that and a concert movie DVD, Acker and Blacker have also turned The Thrilling Adventure Hour into a number of comic books. The first, published by Archaia Entertainment in 2013, was an anthology of stories based on the podcast's segments that came about as the result of a Kickstarter drive in 2012. Since then, there's been limited series of "Sparks Nevada: Marshal on Mars" and "Beyond Belief" published by Image Comics. While the artists of the comics have varied from story to story, Acker and Blacker have been the writers on every TAH comic published to date.
Sparks Nevada: Marshal on MarsSparks Nevada, Croach and the Red Plains Rider go after a gang of robot outlaws.
- Badass Longcoat: The Red Plains Rider wears one.
- Captured on Purpose: Robart, Mechcoy and Wired Bill get themselves caught by Sparks, Croach and Red Plains Rider so their leader, John Steelhands, and their dug-up comrade Binary Kid can break them out of jail and rejoin them.
- Combining Mecha: John Steelhands and his gang form into one, with Steelhands himself forming the head.
- Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: When Croach helps Sparks by reactivating the gravity in the beginning, Sparks complains that he wasn't in need of his help.
- Cyborg: Sparks' horse, Mercury, is drawn as a horse with a cybernetic rear and hind legs.
- Fantastic Racism: Robart of the gang dislikes Martians for "reasons" and refers to them as "blueskins".
- Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: The story opens as Sparks is about to fall upwards due to the local Artificial Gravity being disabled.
- Fiery Redhead: The Red Plains Rider is drawn as a redhead.
- Scared of What's Behind You: After Sparks robo-punches Robart, Mechcoy and Wired Bill surrender and Sparks thinks it's because of him. It then turns out that The Red Plains Rider was standing behind Sparks with a rifle aimed at them.
Cactoid Jim: King of the Martian FrontierRiding the plains of Mars, Cactoid Jim comes across a church being attacked by MurderMen.
- Guns Akimbo: While fighting off the MurderMen, Cactoid Jim carries a pistol in one hand and a rifle in the other.
Beyond BeliefAn Irish vampire gets Frank and Sadie involved in an underground gang war between vampires and mummies.
- Adaptational Villainy: Mythological zashiki-warashi are more commonly harmless pranksters and not terrifying monsters like in the comic.
- Evil Is Not a Toy: To gain the upper hand against the mummies, the vampires tried to sick a Zashiki-Warashi on them, but it wound up turning on them instead.
- Improvised Weapon: Frank kills a mummy by stabbing him in the neck with a little cocktail sword.
- Interspecies Romance: A young female vampire is revealed to be in love with a mummy.
- Monster Mash: The story involves vampires fighting mummies and a zashiki-warashi, a kind of Japanese ghost.
- No-Sell: When the zashiki-warashi tries to attack one of the mummies with its sword, it just bounces off of its chest, since the bandages are designed to keep spirits out as well as in.
- Secret Relationship: See Interspecies Romance above.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Turns out that the mummies are seriously vulnerable to being pricked even a little bit by something sharp. The vampires never thought to try this because they are bloodless and they had no reason to.
Captain LaserbeamCaptain Laserbeam looks into a series of number-related crimes, leading to a confrontation with the villain Sudoku.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Sudoku's henchmen refuse to fight the Adventurekateers because they are children. Also, Captain Laserbeam is loose, and they know they don't stand a chance against him.
- Shout Out:
- Negative Nancy's design is clearly based on the title character of the Nancy comic strip.
- Other villain Birthday Boy's design is based on Robin.
- Strictly Formula: The comic follows the segment's episodic formula established in the podcast.
- You Are Number 6: Sudoku's henchmen are all referred to by numbers.
Phillip Fathom: The Deep Sea DetectivePhillip Fathom attends his surprise birthday party, but discovers that something's not right with the guests.
- Darker and Edgier: Not entirely unfitting considering the character he is based on, Fathom's segment has a notably darker tone than the other segments.
- Expy: The comic makes it clear that Fathom's villain Tom Foolery is meant to be one of The Joker since both are supervillains, wear brightly colored clothing and laugh maniacally.
- Grave-Marking Scene: In the end of the story, Fathom leaves flowers at his parents' headstone. Of course, since they died at sea, said headstone is actually a floating buoy.
- Mind Control: Tom Foolery mind controls the heroes into attacking Fathom.
Tales of the USSAThe crew makes contact with a planet run by Spider People to get them to join the USSA.
- Blue Is Heroic: The Captain wears a blue jacket as part of his uniform.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Lewis' calling out the Captain for forcing his crew to keep their emotions to themselves inspires the Dipterrans to rebel and overthrow the Arachniforms, destroying the society they ruled and plunging the planet into anarchy.
- Off with His Head!: The... climax to the Arachniform's mating dance. Poor Manlius...
- One-Gender Race: The Dipterrans all seem to be male and the Arachniforms all seem to be female. Makes sense, when you consider how they mate.
- Spider People: The Arachniforms have the multiple legs and eight limbs of spiders. And, sadly for Manlius, their mating habits.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: The Dipterran's overthrowing of the Arachniforms.
- Trial by Combat: As a symbolic show of strength, the Captain has to fight a giant monster.
- Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Rather than fight the giant monster in battle, the Captain just pulls out his blaster gun and disintigrates it.
Down in Moonshine HollerBanjo and Gummy help a hobo duchess find her stolen rock, but discover that the citizens have deadly intentions.
An adaptation of the podcast episode "The Lottery".
- Lottery of Doom: The town residents draw lots to decide who to sacrifice for a good harvest.
The Cross-Time Adventures of Colonel Tick-TockTime has gone all screwy again, and Colonel Tick-Tock traces the cause to caveman times.
- Richard Nixon the Used Car Salesman: The story opens with a picture of President John Wilkes Booth being assassinated by Abraham Lincoln.
Amelia Earhart: Fearless FlyerAmelia Earhart traces a time anomaly to the West Indies in 1713, where she teams up with a crew of pirates to stop the Nazis from establishng a Reich early.
- Amazon Chaser: Upstairs John takes quite a liking to Amelia after she knocks out the Captain and assumes command.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: After Amelia clocks the pirate ship captain, she takes over as captain without any complaint from the crew.
- Brain in a Jar: Otto Drangt, one of the Nazi villains.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Frau Grausamkeit, which translates as "Miss Cruelty".
- Paper-Thin Disguise: "Manly George", really Georgina, is able to disguise herself with only a fake beard.
- Quirky Miniboss Squad: Otto Drangt, Der Schneeman and Frau Grausamkeit.
- Villains Out Shopping: Amelia sees the Nazis chilling on the beach in front of their HQ. Der Schneeman has even barbequed burgers.
Jefferson Reid: Ace AmericanJefferson Reid and a select few with the necessary security clearance performs the burial of his previous sidekick when the other graves at the cemetery open up and zombies attack them.
- Artistic License History: As is to be expected from the segment.
- According to Moxy's backstory, she joined the war effort after her parents' fishing trawler was sunk by a Nazi u-boat. In Louisiana.
- Apparently America once fought a secret war undercover as Scotland.
- Book-Ends: The segment begins and ends with Jefferson presiding the funeral of Chip Alger; the first time after he died in the field and the second time after he was killed as a zombie.
- Latex Perfection: How Morbach disguised himself as Agent Harrington.
- Little Miss Badass: Moxy Boyd, Jefferson's latest Kid Sidekick.
- Patriotic Fervor: Prominent throughout the comic and its podcast segment but in particular when Jefferson Reid pacifies the herd of undead American soldiers by appealing to their patriotism.
- Taking the Bullet: Moxy does this when Morbach tries to shoot Jefferson. However, Chip apparently beat her to it.
- Zombie Apocalypse