Marvel Studios’s latest Netflix series, The Punisher, dropped all at once a couple of weeks ago, and it was, in a lot of ways, very different than the series that have been delivered up until now. Sure, the other series dealt with adult themes – Jessica Jones tackled being a survivor of abuse, Luke Cage dealt with racism, and Iron Fist took on the perils of being a boring rich white guy no one likes – but none of those series featured a protagonist who stabs people in the neck just to watch them die.

So we spend a chunk of the show talking about The Punisher, how it handles themes of PTSD and how war destroys not only soldiers, but also their families… and how those weighty issues map to a story that delivers the cheap thrill of watching Jersey mooks having their legs broken by a man sometimes known as “Shooty Batman.”

But the money of the week is the release of the first issue of Doomsday Clock #1, written by Geoff Johns with art by Gary Frank. This is the real beginning of DC Comics not only sequelizing Alan Moore’s and Dave Gibbons’s Watchmen, but putting characters from the DC Universe onto a collision course with that universe. While we’ve both been enjoying DC: Rebirth, Rob is a huge fan of the original Watchmen, and thus has been DREADING the release of this book. So we break it down, and come to a couple of surprising conclusions.

This episode was recorded live to tape, with minimal editing, so if you’re looking for a podcast where the hosts are pretty convinced they came up with the moniker, “Shooty Batman,” you’ve come to the right place!

Thanks for listening, suckers!

Justice League was released to theaters in the United States last weekend, and, to put it mildly, it underperformed. In the same way that the Atlanta Falcons underperformed in last year’s Super Bowl.

Sure, there was a lot of weird buzz about reshoots and rewrites and new directors surrounding the movie, but none of that answers the question: was it any good? And did it deserve to underperform as compared to, say, Batman Vs. Superman, or Suicide Squad?

So we discuss the movie: what worked, what didn’t, what could have been improved, and why we think it didn’t do nearly as well as Suicide Squad, let alone The Avengers. We also talk about ways forward for a cinematic universe that includes starts with Superman killing a guy, and ends, for now, with redacted, under cover of darkness, robbing a damn grave.

This episode was recorded live to tape, so if you want to find out why Amanda think Aquaman went to Bowdoin, you’ve come to the right place!

Thanks for listening, suckers!

There’s a new Thor movie out. If history were a guide, this would excite us not at all. While we have been, and still generally are, fully in the tank for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we have not seen any of the Thor movies in an actual movie theater, and that’s saying something considering we did see The Incredible Hulk in our local theater.

Thor: Ragnarok, however, promised to combine Thor with the most important elements of Greg Pak’s Planet Hulk, which we did like. So we made our way to the theaters this weekend, and we spend a good chunk of the episode talking about the flick. Did we like it? Was there more to it than just the thrill of seeing Hulk in full gladiator dress with his Warbound? Is there anything there to make us care about Asgard? Does the movie make the living envy the Doug? Tune in and find out!

We also discuss:

  • The Jetsons #1, written by Jimmy Palmiotti with art by XXXXX, and:
  • Captain America #1, written by Mark Waid, with art by Chris Samnee!

This episode was recorded live to tape, so if you want to know why Rob has the completely wrong idea about what it means to get romantic with a guitar, you’re in luck!

Thanks for listening, suckers!

We are now fully into Marvel’s Legacy initiative to step back from years of event overload and senseless character deaths, and to reintroduce simpler, more classic versions of the character back into the monthly issues. And as we glory in the reintroduction of series’ original numbering, and the inclusion of classic Stan Lee / Funky Flashman-esque Mighty Marvel Marching Society hype into each issue, we also wonder: where the hell are the simpler, classic versions of the characters?

In that vein, we talk about:

  • Invincible Iron Man #593, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Stefano Caselli and Alex Maleev, and
  • The Mighty Thor #700, written by Jason Aaron with art by almost everyone.

But Marvel is not the only one reintroducing older characters, so we also discuss:

  • The WildStorm #8, written by Warren Ellis with art by Jon Davis-Hunt, and
  • Mage: The Hero Denied #3, written and drawn by Matt Wagner!

This episode was recorded live to tape, meaning that you will learn the reasons why we would treat Marvel Legacy: Starfox in the way we would 80s VHS porn!

Thanks for listening, suckers!

DC has been teasing the inclusion of elements of Watchmen into DC Rebirth for nearly a year and a half now, which has made us, Rob especially, very nervous. That inclusion has been kept down to a dull roar until this past weekend, when DC released an ashcan of the first six pages of Doomsday Clock, the 12-issue mini-series that will make good on their threat – I mean, their promise.

So we read those pages, and, to be honest, we read them cold, without noticing that the date in the first panel was 1992, not 1985. So our reaction is based on the misconception that the events of these pages was taking place three weeks after the end of Alan Moore’s Watchmen… not that knowing seven years have passed really change our opinion much. And what did we think? Listen to find out, and thank God that modern digital recording can modulate Rob’s shrieking!

We also discuss Blade Runner 2049, the sequel to one of Rob’s favorite movies, and a flick that he had no intention of seeing until decent reviews started to come out. But see it we did, and we discuss it from two opposing viewpoints: one rabid about Ridley Scott’s 1982 original, and one who went into the sequel almost cold about the first movie. Once again: digital modulation is your friend.

We also discuss:

  • Batman: White Knight #1, written and drawn by Sean Murphy, and
  • Batman #32, the conclusion of The War of Jokes and Riddles arc, written by Tom King with art by Mikel Janin!

This episode was recorded live to tape, meaning that “tossing Joi onto a hard drive” could have any one of many meanings!

Thanks for listening, suckers!

With everything that’s been going on at the Crisis On Infinite Midlives Home Office (goodbye flood, hello nine-foot curtain hanging!), we’ve been a little late to the party on Marvel’s latest Netflix series, The Defenders. Again, this is purely because of unrelated life events, and is in no way related to the fact that the final count for Rob falling asleep through Iron Fist, Marvel’s last Netflix series, stands at six. And that’s not a final count, because it includes the final episode. But we digress.

This past weekend, we finally caught Marvel’s second attempt at putting together a filmed superhero team, and we discuss the effort. Including what worked, what was fun and interesting and surprising, why Netflix can’t seem to create a superhero series of ANY length that doesn’t feel like it’s dragging in the middle, and why Iron Fist is the Poochie of filmed superhero drama.

We also discuss:

  • Action Comics #987, written by Dan Jurgens, with art by Viktor Bogdanovic, and
  • Mr. Miracle #2, written by Tom King with art by Mitch Gerads!

This show was recorded live to tape. Which is why you will learn the etymology of the phrase “Kneel before Zuck!”

Thanks for listening, suckers!

It was yet another berserk week at the Crisis On Infinite Midlives Home Office, with more workmen in the house, the building of massive shelving that, Tardis-like, is somehow bigger on the inside, and family members evacuating South Florida to escape Hurricane Irma… before turning around to drive right back into Hurricane Irma. Let’s just say there might be a genetic component to why Rob never seems to think things through.

As such, this week hasn’t been conducive to a well prepared episode. For which we apologize, but we saw a few things we wanted to talk about. We finally saw the first season of Alan Tudyk’s Con Men as it premiered on the SyFy Channel, as discussed how it reflects and makes fun of actual convention culture.

We also caught the first episode of Seth MacFarlane’s The Orville, which is a weird show by the creator of Family Guy in that it’s a riff on Star Trek that will make Star Trek fans crazy with rage, and that will make Family Guy fans baffled and confused.

We also discuss Spider-Man #20, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Nico Leon, and Venomverse #1, written by Cullen Bunn with art by Iban Coello!

This episode was recorded live to tape. So if you ever wanted to know why Star Trek conversations with Rob and Amanda quickly turn to Romulan Ale, here’s your answer!

Thanks for listening, suckers!

We are back, after a lengthier-than-expected parental visit, an unexpected recording studio flood, extended remediation of water damage, and a certain amount of recording equipment replacement and testing. So please: be gentle.

While the ratings were abysmal (meaning you may well not have watched it), this week gave us the first planned ending to Twin Peaks ever, after 27 years. And, since Rob is a huge fan, and maintains with a straight face and a certain vehemence that Twin Peaks has a lot in common with comic book storytelling (this week’s finale alone gave us time travel, dimensional teleportation, evil twins, and a dude defeating evil by punching it to death with a green Hulk fist), we discuss the series as a whole. We talk about what worked for fans and non-fans (hi, Amanda!), whether the visual beauty was worth the sometimes terrible pacing, if the wait for the return of Special Agent Dale Cooper was worth it, and whether the ending was yet another unsatisfying cliffhanger, or just enough to tell us what we really need to know.

This is, however, a comics podcast, so we also dive into another ending: Secret Empire #10, written by Nick Spencer with art by Steve McNiven, Rod Reis, David Marquez, Paco Medina, and anyone else needed to keep this mess on schedule. Like Twin Peaks, this is a story where we’ve waited literally years for the return of its hero, where the theme requires buying into weird metaphysics with rules that are seemingly made up as they go along, and where the ending can dictate whether it was worth the infuriating journey or just a waste of time.

This episode was recorded live to tape. So if you ever wanted to know why no one in college would watch Twin Peaks with Rob, here’s your chance to find our why!

Thanks for listening, suckers!

Good news, everyone! Serv-Pro is out of the Crisis On Infinite Midlives Home Office recording studio, and after significant dehumidifying, it turns out the structural damage wound up being minimal, and we have had it alleviated. We are still waiting for replacement storage solutions for the stuff we moved out of the leakage from the water heater, so until that arrives, the studio looks like your back yard shed took a dump in it, but that can wait until a later date.

It turns out we did lose a couple of minor pieces of actual recording studio equipment in the flood, but those have been replaced, tested, and seem to be okay. All in all, we got off very lucky, all things considered.

So the good news is, we will be recording and releasing a live-to-tape episode tomorrow about last week’s conclusions of Twin Peaks: The Return, and of Secret Empire.

We sincerely apologize for being dark as long as we have. Thanks for sticking with us through a mildly trying time!

Okay: we are not dead. We also will likely not have a show for a week or so. Let us explain.

After we came back from San Diego Comic-Con, Rob had a long-standing visit with his parents scheduled. Which is fine, except Rob forgot that his parents weren’t rocking the common decency to leave under cover of darkness on a Saturday night, leaving enough time for us to record a weekend podcast. Rob assumed leaving at off hours was normal, but then again, Rob has not given his Christian name to a hotel since 1994 for a reason. But we digress.

So Rob’s parents left Monday morning. Monday night, Rob and Amanda went into the Home Office Basement Recording Studio to tape a show. Which is normal, if late… except the puddle we walked into was not.

Long story short: our hot water heater blew out at some point between Sunday and Monday night, dumping dozens of gallons of (formerly) hot water onto the recording studio floor.

Luckily, none of the water reached the recording studio area, so our equipment is intact. Unluckily, dozens of gallons of water never goes anywhere you want to (protip: you don’t want that water to go ANYWHERE except the hot water tank).

So our recording studio is working. It is, however, currently filled with no less than nine industrial fans and two Big Iron dehumidifiers of the type that would make Kevin Costner’s Waterworld obsolete in a month. We have a humidity detector in the studio, and it says that it is currently Arrakis in there. Problem is, it needs to be Arrakis for another several days before anyone can be certain that it won’t change from Dune into Tremors in there.

Therefore, we will likely be dark through this week. If things go well and we don’t have to have the recording studio walls sawed apart, put back together and painted, we should be back next week.

We’re sorry for the delay, but we are, after all, regular people with sub-regular water heating equipment. We’ll be back as soon as we can.