Most of the staff of Crisis On Infinite Midlives is traveling today, and disturbed to find ourselves in a place with a drought of Internets.

I am posting this from my phone, in the very, very sketchy 1G sticks of northern New England wireless connectivity. If you can call it that.

We will be back in service tomorrow with photographs of our adventure, and will then resume our regularly scheduled programming.

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I know that we have posted fresh comic reviews on Wednesday nights for the past couple of weeks, but things are a little different this week. First off, I have spent a large part of my week’s free time dealing with my insurance company and my auto upholsterer, trying to coordinate when I can get my recently-vandalized convertible roof repaired. I have done this all while staring down the barrel of our long awaited semiannual pilgrimage to the American Classic Arcade Museum at Funspot in Laconia, NH to play Tron until I make my inner 12-year-old look like a bitch by making it through the third rack as a 42-year-old. Further, this is the first time this regular trip requires us to interview and employ a catsitter to care for Crisis On Infinite Midlives Home Office Mascot Parker The Kitten.

Overall, it means that this has been a busier-than-usual week for us. Which further means that we decided to celebrate a week’s worth of new comics with a pile of beers at the bar next to our local comic store, where they know me by name and ask me to stop talking about our new pussy unless we have high definition photographs of it to share.

This combination of events means that we are not operating at our full capacity. But it still means that we have new comics. Which means that this…

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…means the end of our broadcast day.

But there are some good books in that pile. We’ve got the final issue of Robert Kirkman’s All Out War storyline in The Walking Dead (where, if there is a story God, Negan will finally suck the pipe), the first issue of Marvel’s Original Sin, Flash #30 (which supposedly features the long-awaited return of Wally West to the New 52 universe), Batman: Eternal #3 (which allegedly does the same for Stephanie Brown), an issue of Guardians of The Galaxy written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by 80s Justice League artist Kevin Maguire, and a bunch of other cool-looking stuff!

But you know how this works: before we can talk about any of them, we need time to talk to insurance companies, get the cat used to being fed by a stranger, and then to read the books. So until that time…

…see you tomorrow, suckers!

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Famous last words:

But before we can talk about any of them (and with God as my witness, we will try to talk about some of them), we need time to read them…

Yeah, that didn’t work, Make no mistake, there were some damn good comic books in the take last week – seeing the apparent return of Peter Parker in The Superior Spider-Man #30 was one of the more thrilling moments I’ve seen in a comic recently, so a high-five to writers Dan Slott and Christos Gage, and to Guiiseppe Camuncoli for that closing splash page – but good planning thwarted by an unexpected extended stay in a hospital emergency room put the skids on our ability to review any comics for the umpteenth week in a row.

Which is not a thing that we are proud of, and yet this week may not be any better. We already have scheduled a check-in visit with the person we spent last Saturday waiting on in the ER, and there’s the small matter of finding time to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier sometime before the weekend concludes. Plus, we’re still working on the capital improvements to the Home Office we recently mentioned that have been delayed by watching the incontinent gobble Jell-O, and as we speak our mascot, Parker The Kitten, is distracting my co-Editor Amanda by demanding she allow him to chase around a toy mouse on a wire, under the implied threat that otherwise he’ll chew all our electrical wires, leading to the discovery of a dead cat in a burning house.

But still, we promise to try. Because it is Wednesday, which means a clean slate. Unfortunately, it also means that this…

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…means the end of our broadcast day.

And even though it is a somewhat light take this week, there are some winners in there. There’s the 200th overall issue of Ultimate Spider-Man, written by Brian Michael Bendis with at least some art by Mark Bagley just like in the old days, a new issue of Action Comics (which has become actually really good since Greg Pak took over writing duties, the first issues of Inhuman and Aquaman And The Others (for some reason), and a bunch of other cool-looking stuff.

But before we can even think about talking about any of them, we need to calm this Goddamned cat down and eventually read them. So while we try to accomplish that…

…see you tomorrow, suckers!

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Due to an unforseen emergency, we are currently at a hospital, awaiting a family member’s discharge. So no new content today, unfortunately.

We should return to our regular broadcast schedule tomorrow.

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Wait – it’s been how long since we posted a comic book review? Jesus, we suck.

Well, we do suck, but there are a few reasons for that… none of which we are ready to tell you about at this time. All we are prepared to discuss is that our plans require a certain amount of capital improvements to the Crisis On Infinite Midlives Home Office, which recently has been taking about eight hours a week in just raw animal labor, not counting planning and researching for when that raw animal labor is finally done in a few weeks. And when you combine that effort and planning with a couple of 40 hour a week day jobs, plus care and feeding of Home Office Mascot Parker the Kitten, it makes it hard to sit down for the two to three hours it normally takes us to spit out the 1,000 words it usually takes us to say, “That was terrible!”

But with all that said, we are not prepared to announce, make, or intimate anything different about the Web site at this time. And this is one of those weeks where there is a metric assload of new comics, so I swear to you: we will try like hell to review at least one or two of them.

But the big takeaway of that statement is that there are new comics. Because it is, after all, Wednesday, which means that this…

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…means the end of our broadcast day.

But there are some really killer books in this week’s take. There is the obvious second issue of Neil Gaiman’s and J. H. Williams III’s The Sandman Overture (only about four months late!), the fifth issue of Brian Michael Bendis’s and Mark Bagley’s Brilliant (only about so late I can’t remember when the last issue came out!), a one-shot about Amanda Waller by Skullkickers writer Jim Zub, the fourth reprint issue of Miracleman, and a bunch of other cool stuff!

But before we can talk about any of them (and with God as my witness, we will try to talk about some of them), we need time to read them. So until that time…

…see you tomorrow, suckers!

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We have received our tax refunds here at the Crisis On Infinite Midlives Home Office – when you have the kind of comic book habits that we have and you can write off your comics as a legitimate operating expense, you tend to get a big old refund – which means that we are starting some capital and equipment upgrades here. The first being the spiffy new laptop upon which I am trying to write this.

On one hand, it’s pretty cool – the machine is an Asus, replacing the Asus Transformer tablet I’ve been using for 90 percent of my writing for the past two years, and Asus chicklet keyboards are pretty spry and responsive to type on – but on the other hand, unlike the Transformer, it is a computer rather than a tablet… and in this year of our Lord 2014, that means Windows 8. Which is a truly hateful and counterintuitive operating system for someone who’s been using Microsoft operating systems since the first Batman movie was just a beautiful dream.

I mean seriously: for the past 19 years, the Start button has opened a Start menu with a hierarchical list of available programs, and now it suddenly defaults to a page of a bunch of fucking animated tiles? This is a computer, not a Goddamned iPod! Where’s the command shell? How can I group similar programs so I can find them? Sure, this thing is optimized for a touch screen, but if I can’t find and modify the list of running services in about three minutes, it had better be ready to become a fucking kick screen.

But this is neither here nor there; it is new equipment that must be learned, with a lot of new stuff coming in the near future, and none of it is showing us dudes in spandex getting kicked in the face. That’s what comics are for, and being Wednesday, that means that this…

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…means the end of our broadcast day.

But there’s some good stuff there to distract us some of us from the fact that there is something on my start page promising me “Sensational Sandwiches” for some reason. We’ve got the first issue of the new Mark Waid and Chris Samnee’s Daredevil, the final issue of Jeff Lemire’s Animal Man, a new issue of Amanda Conner’s and Jimmy Palmiotti’s Harley Quinn, the first issue of Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 10, and a bunch of other cool stuff!

But you know how it is: before we can even think about talking about any of them, we need time to read them, and to figure out what the hell an “Asus USB Charging Service” is, and why it’s taking 25 percent of my available RAM. So until then…

…see you tomorrow, suckers!

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We are performing a whole bunch of long overdue site maintenance today. So if you see strange happenings and weird effects from time to time this afternoon, please forgive us.

We will be back to our regularly scheduled programming this evening or tomorrow at the latest.

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Okay, I might be ready to check out of the whole Marvel Now initiative. Because this Web site is about two and a half years old, and I believe that this week’s Secret Avengers #1 is the third Goddamned Secret Avengers #1 in that amount of time. Plus, there’s yet another first issue of a comic book with the word “Avengers” in the title, the 14th or 15th third issue of a Wolverine book since last year’s SDCC, and I think the (literally) tenth version of a Captain Marvel #1.

Look, I get that Marvel made the conscious decision, in the face of the initial success of DC’s New 52 reboot in 2011, to do their own rolling “reboot” where the characters stay in continuity but they can renumber to a first issue whenever they need to temporarily bump circulation back up to the point where Ike Perlmutter will give the creative team the key to the men’s room toilet paper dispenser.

I remember being a kid with a 75-cent a week allowance and becoming giddy with excitement whenever I found a new first issue. I am now 42 years old, with an income large enough that I could easily buy any of those 70s first issues, and, having seen my second first issue of Wolverine in less than a year, I now feel a certain amount of comfort in seeing triple-digit issue numbers from Robert Kirkman comics.

But that’s the cool thing about comics: even though I am a little tired of being spoon-fed first issues, at least they mean new creative teams. Combine that with a couple of new high-numbered issues to remind me that this is, after all, long-term episodic storytelling, and it means that this…

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…means the end of our broadcast day.

So yeah, we have a few new first issues, but we also have a new issue of the Mighty Avengers (which is my current bar-none favorite Avengers title), a new Hawkeye, a new Batman, the final issue of Frank Miller’s and Steven Grant’s Robocop: Last Stand (featuring the real 1987 Robocop), and a bunch of other cool stuff!

And even though I’m a little tired of these forced series renumberings, new comics equals good. And whether it’s an issue #1 or issue #500, before we can talk about any of them, we need time to read them. So while that happens…

…see you tomorrow, suckers!

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Can we be honest here, you and me? No matter what anyone at Marvel says, be they editorial or creative, no one really gives a shit about Moon Knight.

Sure, the character looks cool, and a lot of people like drawing him, but nobody really knows what the hell to do with him. Over the years, he’s been a mercenary turned crimefighter, the reincarnation of some Egyptian god of vengeance, and a stone-crazy lunatic who hallucinates a close and personal relationship with Spider-Man and Wolverine like any common 11-year-old.

For a character who was designed to be the Marvel version of Batman, it seems like the character instead can be all things to all people… which can, sometimes, be good news. For example, a couple of years ago, Brian Michael Bendis did a really fun Moon Knight title a couple of years ago by examining the batshit crazy version of the character… and now we have a new version by Crisis On Infinite Midlives favorite writer Warren Ellis. Will Ellis have an insane Marc Spector? A hallucinating Steven Grant? A drunken Jake Lockley? My guess is that the answer is: yes.

But a new Moon Knight means new comics, and that means that this…

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…means the end of our broadcast day.

But beyond Ellis’s new comic, there’s a reasonable amount of cool-looking books here. There’s the first issue of Cullen Bunn’s Magneto, the fourth issue of Afterlife With Archie, the first issue of Mark Millar’s Starlight, and a bunch of other cool stuff!

But things are the way things are, which means that before we can talk about them, we need time to read them. So until then…

..see you tomorrow, suckers!

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tmp_beware_the_batman_5_cover_2014-596223868My co-Editor Amanda and I have a routine that we follow when we go to our local comic store, where they know me by name and ask me to remember that the Missionary Position might indeed be “routine,” but less so if it happens next to the spinner rack of new trade paperbacks.

The routine is that, after we get our pulls and make small talk with the owner and the other Wednesday regulars, we step off to the side and show each other the week’s take of subscribed books. This might sound redundant, since one would think that we’re aware of what subscriptions we have and what new titles are coming out. However, our local comic store owner has a, shall we say, broad definition of what our subscriptions actually are. For example, I told him that I was interested in Pete Milligan’s and Mike Allred’s X-Force back in the early 2000s (before it became X-Statix), and to this day, more than a decade later, I still get any comic with the letter “X” and the word “Force” in the title.

So there is always a surprise or two when I go through my pulls, and this week I found myself saying, “Holy shit! Look at this!”

“What?” Amanda said, “It’s Beware The Batman. You told the guy you wanted Batman pulled for you back in 2001. You’re lucky he’s not tossing in shitty copies of 90s Detective Comics in with your pulls.”

“No, this is really surprising!”

“What is? The fact that there’s a comic version of a cartoon that Cartoon Network cancelled months ago? Remember that DC Comics is the company that is still dumping out Batman: Arkham City comics three years after the game came out. And when are you gonna tell him that you’re sick of getting those comics?”

“It’s not the title, it’s the writer. Mike W. Barr wrote this!”

“…I know that name.”

“Damn right you do! He’s the guy who wrote the Son of The Demon graphic novel that introduced Damian Wayne back in the 80s. He wrote Batman And The Outsiders, which was the first new Batman title in years when it debuted. He wrote Batman: Year Two!”

Batman: Year Two? I don’t remember that one.”

“DC Comics doesn’t want you to,” I said. “The point is that this guy was huge back when we were in high school! I haven’t seen his name on a DC comic in years! God help me, this makes we want to read an adaptation of a cancelled children’s cartoon that was snuck into my pulls to dump otherwise unsellable inventory!”

All of this is a long way to go to explain that it is Wednesday, and that there are many new comics, which means that this…

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…means the end of our broadcast day.

But there are plenty of other good comics in there beyond a new Mike W. Barr Batman (or at least Batman-ish) comic. We’ve got the first issue of James Robinson’s Fantastic Four, the latest Miracleman reprint, the second issue of Serenity: Leaves on The Wind, a new issue of The Walking Dead (prediction: Negan will say “fuck” and fail to die), and a bunch of other cool stuff!

But you know how these things work; before we can talk about any of them, we need time to read them. So while we do that (and dig through longboxes for my Batman: Year Two issues so Amanda knows that I’m not hallucinating)…

…see you tomorrow, suckers!

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