MarvelAllNewAllDifferentIt’s the final day of a long holiday weekend in the United States. We celebrated Independence Day in the ways of our forefathers: by getting drunk, listening to stuff blow up, and spending hours and hours playing Batman: Arkham Knight on our brand new XBox One. So we spend a little time talking about the new game, the new game system, our relationship to gaming, and how, no matter which next generation console you choose, you are now doomed to live with that company’s games until they, or you, die.

But this is a comics show, and there was big comics news this week: Marvel announced a huge chunk of the books that they will be releasing in October to follow the universe-rebooting Secret Wars. It’s up to 45 books, which means we don’t have time to talk about all of them, but we spend a little time with Amazing Spider-Man, The Ultimates, Captain Marvel, Karnak, Old Man Logan, and Doctor Strange. We discuss how we think they’ll work, how Amazing Spider-Man could be the answer to the prayers of both fans and haters of One More Day, and how the creative team behind Doctor Strange has Rob as excited about a comic book as he’s been in years.

We also discuss:

  • Secret Wars #4, written by Jonathan Hickman with art by Esad Ribic,
  • We Stand On Guard #1, written by Brian K. Vaughan with art by Steve Skroce,
  • Groot #2, written by Jeff Loveness with art by Brian Kesinger, and:
  • Little AvX Marvel #2, written and drawn by Skottie Young!

And now the disclaimers:

  • We record this show live to tape, with minimal editing. While this might mean a looser comics podcast than you’re used to, it also means that anything can happen. Like learning about Immaculately Manscaped Galactus.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, be aware that you will learn which X-Man takes balls to the face in Little AvX Marvel.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. You want your boss to know the etymology of the word “crotchal”? Then get some headphones.
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heroes-rebornWe’re a couple of weeks out of San Diego Comic-Con, and, even though we can hardly believe it, it turns out that one of the panels we’ll be missing the most? The Heroes Reborn panel on Sunday in Hall H.

I think we can all agree that Heroes kinda went sideways in its later seasons, but we’ve always had a soft spot for the show, ever since seeing the pilot at our very first San Diego Comic-Con. And all these years later, it’s easy to forget just how exciting the show was in its first season. So we discuss what was so exciting about the show in its first season, what went wrong as time went on, what we know about Heroes Reborn, and what we want to see from this miniseries.

We also discuss the Miles Morales-starringĀ Spider-Man book announced by Marvel last week, including what this might mean for Peter Parker, why it was a foregone conclusion that Miles would not only get his own post-Secret Wars book, but keep the name Spider-Man, and what the timing of this announcement might have to do with recent Marvel Studios activity.

We also discuss:

  • We Are Robin #1, written by Lee Bermejo with art by Jorge Corona, and:
  • Gotham by Midnight #6, written by Ray Fawkes with art by Juan Ferreyra!

And, the usual legalese:

  • We record this show live to tape, with minimal editing. While this might mean a looser comics podcast than you are used to, it also means that anything can happen. Like learning why D-Man is to beautiful and ephemeral a character to ever be put on film.
  • This show has a lot of spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, if you want to find out for yourself if they ever Saved The Cheerleader? Be forewarned.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. You want your employer to learn the finer points of performing a Spider-Mohinder? Get yourself some headphones.
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game_of_thrones_logoWe have a special guest this week: John Keating, a former Boston comedian who now lives in Los Angeles, working as an actor, who has a couple of geek-related projects in the works. He plays a primary character in the independent movie The Concessionaires Must Die!, a film about a bunch of genre geeks who work at a movie theater that’s about to close down, and which features a cameo by Stan Lee (playing someone other than Stan Lee for a change!). John’s also voice acting in a cartoon called Gen Zed, about a group of videogamers living together in a house, starring the first transgender voice actress in a lead role. So we spend some time talking about indie film production, the unique way that the directors and producers of The Concessionaires Must Die! got some early buzz and interest in the flick, and some of the basic ins and outs of voice acting in an animated show!

But John isn’t just an actor, he’s a longtime fellow geek with a huge interest in Game of Thrones. So we spend a lot of time talking about the fifth season of the HBO show, including our favorite and least favorite moments and storylines (hi, Sand Snakes!), some of the greater themes put forth in the season (like the effects of blind faith, and the perils of governing when you misunderstand your subjects), and whether the levels of violence and terror in some parts of the season were justified by the story and characters. And you know which parts we’re talking about.

We also discuss:

  • Mad Max Fury Road: Furiosa #1, written by George Miller, Nico Lathouris and Mark Sexton, with art by Sexton, Tristan Jones and Szymon Kudranski, and:
  • Thors #1, written by Jason Aaron with art by Chris Sprouse!

And now, the disclaimers:

  • We record this show live to tape, with minimal editing (although a couple of parts were cut to eliminate old inside jokes you wouldn’t understand, and to protect our secret identity). While this might mean a looser comics podcast than you are used to, it also means that anything can happen. Like learning the perils of Al Goldstein’s film festival.
  • This show contains spoilers. If you haven’t seen Game of Thrones fifth season, be forewarned.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. Unless you want your employer to hear the name of Al Goldstein’s film festival, get yourself some headphones.

And to get a sense of John’s current projects, here are the trailers for The Concessionaires Must Die!, and Gen Zed!

Thanks for listening, suckers!

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robobunny_batman_capulloWe are back, after a week spent upgrading various parts of our online infrastructure! Which was exactly as exciting as it sounds! Provided you are Lex from Jurassic Park and know Unix! Unlike us!

And we came back just in time for an almost complete comics news drought. This happens ever year in the couple of weeks leading up to San Diego Comic-Con; the publishers save their big announcements for the show, while leaking only little things, like TV casting announcements.

So the news about comics winds up being news about comics at SDCC. So this week, we discuss a couple of announcements about the convention itself, including some of the… shall we say, odder… convention exclusives that some vendors are making available, to the announcement that Marvel Studios won’t be having a Hall H presence this year, while Star Wars and DC / Warner Bros. (probably) will be having a big one.

And we took the opportunity afforded by a relatively slow news week to talk about more of this week’s comics than usual, including:

  • Starve #1, written by Brian Wood with art by Daniel Zezelj,
  • Starfire #1, written by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti with art by Emanuela Lupacchino,
  • Constantine, The Hellblazer #1, written by Ming Doyle and James Tynion IV with art by Riley Rossmo, and
  • Batman #41, written by Scott Snyder with art by Greg Capullo!

And, as usual, the disclaimers:

  • We record this show live to tape, with minimal editing. While this might mean a looser comics podcast than you are used to, it also means that anything can happen. Like learning why putting a cape on your office chair means Gotham City is doomed.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, please be aware that we might ruin stuff for you.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. Unless you want your employer to hear multiple references to a sketchy, ten-dollar party, get some headphones.

Enjoy the show, suckers!

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As we announced on the show for the last couple of weeks, there won’t be a new podcast today. We’ve spent almost the entire weekend upgrading not only the engine that drives our Web site, but that handles creating the feeds for the podcast itself. Should this task have taken nearly 48 hours? Probably not. But the Crisis On Infinite Midlives Director of Information Technology is a known drunkard who spends most of his (increasingly rare) sober time reading comic books.

We will return to our regularly scheduled programming next Sunday at 10:30 p.m. Eastern time, but there are one or two technical changes here I wanted to let you know about.

The biggest change is that of our podcast feed. In short, it has moved. We have taken as much care as possible to make and test the necessary modifications and redirections under the hood to prevent this change from affecting anyone, but if you have an issue finding new shows, you can subscribe directly to our new feed here. If you do run into trouble, please use our contact form to let us know and we’ll try to figure it out.

Second, we’ve added one or two new ways to subscribe to the show. You might notice a new More Subscribe Options link under the audio player for each show. You can use that to find the latest and greatest ways to make sure you get the show as quickly and reliably as humanly possible.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to close the damn HTTP editor, open ten beers, and see if Secret Wars #3 is just as much of a bummer as the first two.

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dc_twix_adWhile it might not be the biggest comics-related news of the week, it was an item that particularly infuriated us: the confirmation that DC Comics would be running half-page ads on two comic pages in their June comics.

While the news isn’t as dire as the original rumor made things out to be, putting advertising on comic pages even for just a month is potentially a slippery slope. So we talk about not just being enraged by more and more intrusive advertising, but the effect that accepting half-page ads could have on comic storytelling, story length, creator compensation, the secondary comics art market, and worst of all: people thinking that Twix is an acceptable candy choice.

This week also brought us the end of DC’s Convergence event. Which, as promised, seems to have opened up the entirety of DC’s history to modern storytellers… but at what cost? We talk about Brainiac’s passive characterization at the end of the story, and more importantly, DC’s seeming off-camera utter nullification of one of the biggest and arguably most important comic stories of all time.

We also talk about:

  • Fight Club 2 #1, written by Chuck Palahniuk with art by Cameron Stewart,
  • Grindhouse #5: Lady Danger: Agent of B.O.O.T.I, written by Alex De Campi with art by Mulele Jarvis, and:
  • Where Monsters Dwell #1, written by Garth Ennis with art by Russ Braun!

And now the standard disclaimers:

  • We record this show live to tape, with minimal editing. While this might mean a looser comics podcast than you are used to, it also means that anything can happen. Like Rob’s discussion with beloved and abused parts of his anatomy.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, just assume that we are not following the first rule of Fight Club.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. You want your boss to hear about some slightly shadier (and made up) Twix products? Trust me, you do not. Get some headphones.
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supergirlLast week, we talked about how the future of the DC television shows, particularly the upcoming Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl, and how they might fit into the continuity created in Arrow and The Flash on The CW. And we mentioned over and over again that it’s hard to figure out the direction of the upcoming shows based only on trailers and not even a complete episode.

Well, clearly someone trusted with access to intellectual property at CBS or Berlanti Productions was listening, because the complete, hi-def pilot to Supergirl leaked to the Internet on Friday afternoon. And while normally one needs a little technical knowledge to find pirated videos online, this one leaked in a way where anyone with a mind to can watch it (although I’d use that link quickly, as CBS’s lawyers will be back from the Memorial Day holiday weekend bright and early Tuesday morning).

So we talk about the pilot, including how it uses the Superman mythos as shorthand to build Supergirl’s back story quickly (in ways both good and bad), how it’s potentially laying the groundwork for some continuity from the comics, possibly introducing an entirely new version of Lex Luthor, and creating questionable relationships between Superman and the government. We also talk about how the pilot wears its “girl power” themes on its sleeve, and whether that’s something that’s desirable or sustainable in the long run.

We also discuss:

  • Planet Hulk #1, written by Sam Humphries and Greg Pak, with art by Marc Laming and Takeshi Miyazawa,
  • Ultimate End #1, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Mark Bagley, and:
  • Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars #1, written by Cullen Bunn with art by Matteo Lolli and Jacopo Camagni!

And now the disclaimers:

  • We record this show live to tape with minimal editing. While this might mean a looser comics podcast than you are used to, it also means that anything can happen. Like learning the origin story of Trucker Klingon, a.k.a. Steroid Loki.
  • This show contains spoilers. Like, we spoil the entire pilot of Supergirl. Consider yourself warned.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. You want your boss to learn the filthy double meaning behind Deadpool’s 80s-style costume logo? Of course not; nobody needs a visit to human resources on a short holiday week. Get yourself some headphones.
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flash_arrow_crossoverThis was a big week for the DC Television Universe (or, based on the television network most of it is on, The DCW). We saw crossovers between Arrow and The Flash, with new trailers released for the upcoming Legends of Tomorrow superteam show with characters from both shows, and Supergirl, which might or might not be part of the same continuity. And as we watched it all, we wondered how DC and Warner Bros. managed to create a continuity-consistent version of the Justice League, under our noses and on television, seemingly without our noticing.

So we discuss what DC has built, how what’s coming can only expand upon it, and how, in its own way, it’s at least as exciting as what Marvel has accomplished with their Cinematic Universe… and how it’s possibly more exciting than what DC is trying to do with their characters in major motion pictures.

We also briefly discuss the previews for DC’s upcoming Bizarro, Doctor Fate and Gotham At Midnight, before diving into:

  • Secret Wars #2, written by Jonathan Hickman with art by Esad Ribic, and:
  • Captain America And The Mighty Avengers, written by Al Ewing with art by Luke Ross!

And, as always, the disclaimers:

  • We record this show live to tape, with minimal editing. While this might mean a looser comics podcast than you are used to, it also means that anything can happen! So listen to find out what 90’s television show is our own personal Vietnam!
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, assume that we will ruin everything for you.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. Unless you want your employer to hear about Doctor Strange and his “little finger,” you’ll want to find some headphones.
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avengers_age_of_ultron_movie_logo_1301720927We are at peak Avengers: Age of Ultron backlash. The flick hasn’t been reviewed with nearly the nerd boner that the first Avengers movie got… and on some level, I agree. The first Avengers was better. That doesn’t automatically make AoU bad, but I can see how it would disappoint some people. You know, people who didn’t live through a time when, across a three-year span of time, the only comic book movie we got was Howard the Duck.

But the backlash has strengthened, for some, into legitimate anger. Consider this 4,200 word complaint that AoU is a failure on almost every level that one would want in a “popcorn movie.” Sady Doyle, the author, says she likes popcorn movies – big ‘splosions, giant robots, “pure, overwhelming spectacle.” She says she likes ’em big and dumb, kids. So then we’ll be on her side as she tears the flick apart, piece by piece, as useless.

She’s wrong, of course. Let’s figure out why! And I got my own 4,000 words to do it, so buckle up!

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secret_wars_teaser_alex_rossIt is Mother’s Day today, which means a somewhat shorter and truncated show this week. Because when you’re a son or a daughter, you need to honor your mother on Mother’s Day. And it turns out that you need to do that whether you remember she’s visiting that day, or whether they need blind telephone technical support for several hours. Because she’s the woman who gave birth to you, and saying, “But we have a podcast to record!” isn’t a good excuse. Particularly when you don’t want Mom to know that you have a podcast.

So this week, we take advantage of the fact that Convergence is half over to discuss the previews of post-Convergence books, both new and old, that DC has released this week. The books run the gamut from humor to sci-fi to action to apparent political horror, so we talk about Doomed, Red Hood and Arsenal, Starfire, Midnighter, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Omega Men, Detective Comics, Section Eight, and Prez.

But the big deal in this week’s comics was the first issue of Marvel’s Secret Wars, where Jonathan Hickman spits on his hands and takes Marvel the whole Crisis route. However, Secret Wars #1 isn’t Crisis. So we talk about how Hickman has put Marvel through it’s own Kobayashi Maru test, and given us a superhero story where nobody acts like a superhero, everyone seems to act in their own self-interest, and heroes act like they never have before in order to make sure everyone’s in the right place to service the plot. Ultimately, we talk about how this is a story that is very consistent with Hickman’s general style… and how that might not be the best thing for some of these characters.

And now, the disclaimers:

  • We record this show live to tape. While this might mean a looser comics podcast than you are used to, it also means that anything can happen. Like speculation about the musky flavor profile of Dead Guy Whiskey.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, just assume that you are going to learn exactly why Reed Richards is a d**k.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. Unless you want your employer to learn our new cocktails based on Dead Guy Whiskey, get some headphones.
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