hadrians_wall_1_coverAfter yet another cripplingly busy week at the Crisis On Infinite Midlives Home Office (and, to be honest, after about a quart of single malt scotch and a few belts of mescal), we only had the time to discuss a few of the comics of the week. But that turns out to have been a good decision; since we didn’t have time to fully discuss and coordinate our choices, we wound up with a couple of polarizing choices upon which we didn’t really agree.

This led to a conversation that ranged from deciding where on the Kubler-Ross scale of grief we are with regards to Watchmen characters still appearing in DC: Rebirth books (Rob is at “Bargaining”, Amanda is “amused at Rob’s Bargaining”), how James Tynion IV made Rob care about Spoiler for the first time, whether there’s enough nostalgia in the world to make innovative visual storytelling enough to bring Steve Austin into the 21st Century, and how Amanda’s battle against scotch last night went (picture Amanda as Rocky and scotch as Apollo Creed).

So what comics do we talk about?

  • Detective Comics #940, written by James Tynion IV with art by Eddy Barrows,
  • Lady Killer Volume 2 #2, written and drawn by Joelle Jones,
  • The Six Million Dollar Man: Fall of Man #3, written by Van Jensen with art by Ron Salas, and:
  • Hadrian’s Wall #1, written by Kyle Higgins and Alec Siegel, with art by Rod Reis!

And, as usual, the disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to find out who dies in this week’s Detective Comics (hint: it’s not Batman), then consider yourself forewarned.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. See that title? It’s because we talk about Lee Majors and a plaster cast. You want your boss asking about that? Then get some earphones.
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…Sorry, but life and work just got in the way of producing a show this weekend. 

We apologize, and will be back strong next weekend. 

Strong? Sorry, I meant drunk.

Either way, we’ll be back next weekend. Promise.

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anniversaryIt is the Labor Day long weekend here in the United States, and considering there was little comics news this week, we strongly considered taking a pass on a show this week. However! A quick peek at our Web site archives reminded us that today, September 4th, is the fifth anniversary of Crisis On Infinite Midlives on the Internet.

And we couldn’t let the occasion pass by unmarked. So we did a very brief show (at least a brief show for us) to reminisce about where and how we started, and how we wound up where we are.

And since that story isn’t a long and involved epic tale that will ring down through the ages to eventually become a three-hour Charlton Heston movie, we also talk a little bit about some Spider-Man: Homecoming casting news, The Attack of The Mushroom People (for some reason), and some of this week’s comics:

  • Suicide Squad Special: War Crimes, written by John Ostrander with art by Gus Vasquez,
  • Thunderbolts #4, written by Jim Zub with art by Jon Malin, and:
  • Uncanny Avengers #13, written by Gerry Duggan with art by Ryan Stegman!

Oh, by the way: that Jeph Loeb / Ed McGuinness Avengers title Rob was looking for was Avengers: X-Sanction from back in 2012.

And, as always, the disclaimers:

  • This is a shorter-than-usual episode, and it’s a little bit loose. We assure you: we’ll be back to spending two hours acting as if in love with the sounds of our own voices next week.
  • This show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to know that John Ostrander’s Suicide Squad is about a black-ops team of supervillains… well, you’re already screwed. But you are also warned.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. Your boss is already upset that the next long weekend is three months away; don’t go making them angrier by listening to this without headphones.
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Thanks for listening (and reading) for the past five years, suckers!

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tick_amazonWe’re not gonna apologize here: we love The Tick. During the 1980s Rob was a regular customer of the Brockton, MA New England Comics retail store where The Tick was born, Amanda was a fan of the 1990s Fox cartoon that brought the character to national prominence, and we both enjoyed the Patrick Warburton live action show from back in the day when your live action TV superhero choices were The Tick, Smallville or (God help us) Black Scorpion.

So we were excited when Amazon Prime video announced that part of their 2016 comedy pilot season would be a new, live action version of The Tick. And as fans of the character from the days he was a Daredevil parody through his more silly Saturday morning cartoon adventures, we were excited to see the character back in live action… but we really weren’t expecting what we got from the show. It’s a much darker, more psychological take on the character than we’ve seen maybe since the first few Ben Edlund issues of the comic book, and yet still pretty funny. And we had a lot of fun talking about it, on its own merits and in comparison with earlier versions of the character.

What’s that? You don’t have an Amazon Prime membership and you want to see the episode we’re talking about? Well, you can see it for free on your computer, and even find a link to a survey where you can give Amazon your feedback on the show.

We also discuss:

  • Kingsway West #1, written by Greg Pak with art by Mirko Colak,
  • Civil War II: Ulysses #1, written by Al Ewing with art by Karl Kesel, and:
  • Detective Comics #939, written by James Tynion IV with art by Eddy Barrows and Eber Ferreira!

And, as usual, the disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to know whether Warren Ellis fan Al Ewing spends more time developing the character of Warren Ellis’s Karnak or Brian Michael Bendis’s Ulysses, consider yourself officially warned. You don’t need to be warned, but you are.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. Let’s just say that, “Spoon!” is not the strongest word we shout during the show. Consider ear buds.
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frank_miller_boston_comic_con-2016It’s been a week since the conclusion of Boston Comic Con 2016, and we’re still coming to terms with the fact that we saw Frank Miller speak live.

We have a complicated relationship with Frank Miller here at Crisis On Infinite MIdlives. We will always love him for what he did with Daredevil and Batman in the 1980s, helping to bring comics into adulthood at the same time we were moving through our own adolescence. We will always respect him for doing cool stuff like Give Me Liberty and Robocop Vs. Terminator in the mid-1990s. And we will always be concerned about him due to his public statements about Islam, and there will never be a force on Earth that will make us really like Holy Terror.

But no matter what, the man is a legend in comics, and we were not only there to see him, but to record him. So we’re psyched to be able to bring you panel audio of Miller himself, talking about his Dark Knight trilogy, Sin City, Daredevil and what it was like to be at the forefront of comics during the 1980s.

We also discuss:

  • Civil War II: The Fallen #1, written by Greg Pak with art by Mark Bagley, and:
  • Demonic #1, written by Christopher Sebela with art by Niko Walter!

And, as always, the disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you’re not aware which Gamma-irradiated founding Avenger was shot in the brain by Hawkeye, well, then you’re not reading Marvel Comics anyway, and you won’t care.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. One of our possible titles involved Amanda using the convolutedly-spelled word “sidebewb”. You should probably use headphones.
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boston_comic_con_banner517491478Boston Comic Con, our local convention, was this weekend, and we went after it with both hands, hammer and tong… until we realized that we’d hit all the comics news panels by the end of the first day, collected all our commissions and desired books by midday on the second, and had one working hip between the two of us by the beginning of the third.

But our infirmities didn’t stop us from seeing the whole floor and attending some excellent comics panels. So we talk about this year’s show in general, some of the creators we met and the loot we scored, and then we talk the DC Universe Panel.

Held Friday, hosted by DC Co-Publisher Dan DiDio with panelists Aaron Lopresti, Phil Jimenez, Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, the panel stayed away from DC: Rebirth news (other than providing some of the reasoning behind making the move), and focused more on the creators, their motivations, their inspirations, and how they managed to get some of their most high-profile gigs. And we not only talk about the panel, but we present audio direct from the show! It’s like you’re there! If you were there with two drunks able to stop the panel at will to interject with mouthy sarcasm!

And, before you ask: yes, we did attend the Frank Miller spotlight panel, and yes: we have audio. And we will present and discuss that panel during next week’s show.

And, the disclaimers:

  • Due to limited time (the convention ended today, for God’s sake), we were unable to clean up the panel audio as much as we would have liked. It should still be perfectly audible and understandable, but we apologize if it’s a little muddy.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. One of our audio tracks is named “Scratch ‘N Sniff Beaver.” You are forewarned.
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suicide_squad_movie_wallpaperDC Films’s Suicide Squad opened this week, to impressive box office numbers, if not so impressive reviews. But here at Crisis On Infinite Midlives, Rob in particular is a fan of John Ostrander’s and Kim Yale’s 1980s original DC comic, so we went out of our way to see the flick, excited to spend Sunday preparing to talk about it, in depth, during this week’s show.

Then Rob’s day job called him on on Saturday night and worked him like a dog until 5:45 a.m. Sunday morning.

But we refused to let that stop us! So we spent our few waking hours today rereading dozens of issues of Ostrander’s Suicide Squad (and a few more modern issues, and even a few issues of Michael Fiffe’s Copra for some flavor), hashing out problems with the movie, discussing the differences between Ostrander’s nihilist Deadshot versus Will Smith’s devoted dad, arguing about whether the movie’s Harley Quinn was insanely devoted to Joker or ready to accept herself as a massively anti-social person, speculating about whether the rumored studio edits and deleted scenes would have made a better or worse flick, and bickering over whether three naps in a single 14 hour span is healthy.

So you’re in for a unique show: we taped this late, didn’t have time to really edit it at all, and recorded it in a state of profound fatigue hysteria. And we still somehow found the wherewithal to discuss DC Rebirth Suicide Squad #1, written by Rob Williams with art by Phillip Tan!

And, as always, some disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you haven’t seen Suicide Squad, and want to avoid being told whether or not Captain Boomerang consummates his forbidden love with a fluffy pink unicorn, you are hereby forewarned. (NOTE: This is not a sleep deprived hallucination. It is an actual and valid question introduced in this multi-million dollar studio-backed major motion picture).
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. Hello!? Aussie Unicorn Rogering! Get some headphones.
  • We repeatedly misidentify this episode as number 113 during the show. We are very ,very tired.
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terminator_cyborgWhen we published last week’s episode on Sunday night, we had lofty ambitions to go through a week’s worth of San Diego Comic-Con panel streams, pulling audio and dissecting some of the biggest news items of the con, and maybe having a guest to talk about the experience of being at the this year’s convention. Then all of our belongings staged a bloody insurrection against us.

Not eight hours later, on Monday morning, we awoke to the gentle aroma of burning insulation permeating the Home Office kitchen. Luckily, this smell only occurred intermittently, Unluckily, that interim was whenever the refrigerator compressor turned on. This required us to shut down the unit, run around like spastics to order a new fridge and purchase a bunch of coolers and ice, and pack every ounce of food we’ve ever purchased but not gotten around to eating into them. Note that this process didn’t include the beer.

Wednesday, we had high hopes to get back on track, but those plans were derailed by a nice lady, distracted by a bad day, who didn’t realize that the pretty red lights Amanda was showing her were actually being lit because Amanda was applying the brakes in her car. Amanda is fine (unlike her car), but by the time the cops and insurance company were gone, we just didn’t have the energy to match say, Geoff Johns’s enthusiasm about the return of Aqualad.

Luckily, the new fridge was delivered Thursday. Unluckily, it was delivered by gentlemen who didn’t seem to understand why it’s generally considered desirable to avoid slamming the front of a fridge into your plate glass storm door. I can understand why they didn’t consider this a big deal; considering the preexisting and extensive scratching on the front door that may or may not have intentionally resembled a gang sign, what’s a couple more dings? This meant a couple of more days without a fridge and with warm beer, and suddenly trying to hunt down Brian Michael Bendis’s explanations about why he’s turned Captain Marvel into a fascist for Civil War II kinda lost its luster.

Yesterday, we finally got the fridge and the ability to chill up some fine Berkshire Brewing Company Steel Rail Pale Ale… but our Web provider began warning us that we were so far behind on upgrades and capital improvements that we were in danger of being hacked by Rush. No, not “Russians”, the band Rush, who thinks Unix are how you get angelic voices on backing tracks. So cue a long Sunday of data backup and running upgrades, and boom!. Suddenly it’s 6 p.m. and we’re completely unprepared to produce a new episode for the week.

So unfortunately, we need to call a mulligan for this week’s show. We’ll be back next week to discuss DC FIlms’s Suicide Squad, which opens this weekend here in the United States.

At least, that’s the plan. With the luck we’ve had with machinery this week, the movie theater’s IMAX projector will mutate into a device that only warms Rob’s beer (a D.O.W.R.B! It’s a Kirby-esque villain that made Captain Marvel into a douche! I own that idea, Marvel! You hear me?) and we will be forced to review Sharknado IV.

Thanks for your patience. Talk to you next week,

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star_trek_beyond_posterIt is the final day of San Diego Comic-Con… which we were not able to attend. So, to make up for the fact that we were unable to report from the biggest comics event of the year, we distracted ourselves by catching up on some of the bigger recent announcements from the convention, and by seeing Star Trek Beyond, which is the third movie in the Bad Robot-produced reboot of the series, and not that fanfic movie that Universal Studios is suing like Rob thought it was until about three weeks ago.

It feels like the Star Trek franchise has lost some attention since J. J. Abrams left to direct a little indie film, and certainly our personal enthusiasms have been at different levels, as our relationships with the property have waxed and / or waned since our childhoods. And that differing excitement comes across as we discuss the movie: one of us finds it to be a fun popcorn flick with solid themes of making your own family, while the other thinks it has the crappiest Star Trek villain in 25 years and the worst film photography outside of an amusement park virtual reality attraction.

We also discuss:

  • Justice League #1, written by Bryan Hitch with art by Tony S. Daniel, and:
  • The Hellblazer #1, written by Simon Oliver with art by Moritat!

And the usual disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. Numerically not as many spoilers as the actual Star Trek Beyond trailer, but if you want to avoid knowing plot points smaller than the destruction of the U.S.S. REDACTED, consider yourself warned.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. We speak extensively about the sexual connotations of a clown suit on a mannequin. If you don’t want those connotations read back to you during your annual performance review, get some earphones.

Note: During the show, we speculate that Star Trek Beyond director Justin Lin was scheduled to direct The Flash. That was incorrect. We were thinking of James Wan, who also directed one of the Fast and Furious movies. And who, it turns out, won’t be directing The Flash.

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The new Ghostbusters movie opened this week, after a long production period marked by a non-stop screeching hate frenzy from Bill Murray fans, enthusiasts of old-school J. Michael Straczynski Saturday morning cartoons, and people who think that comedy has been redundant since Rick Moranis donned a track suit to dry hump the windows at Tavern on The Green.

We here at Crisis On Infinite Midlives have long and storied histories with the original Ghostbusters, from Amanda’s devotion to its scientific approach to the paranormal that led to her being interested in applying to Duke University’s Parapsychology Laboratory, to Rob’s appreciation of the flick as an teen-safe entryway to early Saturday Night Live and the National Lampoon. And even with that long and beloved history, we have long been looking forward to the more modern interpretation of the franchise.

So we discuss our feelings about the franchise at large, how we liked (and didn’t like) the new movie, what we’re hoping for from any possible sequel, and Amanda’s theory about how this movie not only doesn’t turn its back on the original movie, but actually makes the concept that it’s a sequel as likely as not.

Regardless, we have no sympathy for those who say that the new Ghostbusters has destroyed their childhood. And we’re not alone.

We also discuss:

  • Nightwing: Rebirth #1, written by Tim Seeley with art by Yanick Paquette,
  • Wonder Woman #2, written by Greg Rucka with art by Nicola Scott, and:
  • Civil War II #3, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by David Marquez!

And, the usual disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you want to avoid knowing whether every molecule in Melissa McCarthy’s body explodes at the speed of light in a total protonic reversal, consider yourself forewarned and forearmed.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. You want your boss to learn a whole new definition of “hard but fair”? Then buy some earbuds.
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