flash_arrow_crossoverAfter a busy week of vacationing, video gaming, and day job hunting, we are back, just in time to deal with the latest comics vs. filmed adaptation battle!

If you are a fan of The CW’s The Flash, you know that the current storyline involves Zoom from Earth-2, and his relationship to Golden Age Flash Jay Garrick. There was quite a twist around that relationship in the show, and it’s one that infuriated long-time Flash comic book writer Mark Waid, who complained that it was a betrayal of Garrick’s comic book past.

And while this is unique given that it comes from a comic creator, it reminded us about years and years of comic fan outrage over differences between the comics we love and the adaptations that they beget… and yet it also reminded us that some movies and TV shows based on our favorite characters have made much bigger changes than have happened on The Flash, and yet no one seemed to mind.

So in between fan outrage over Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice and fan excitement over Captain America: Civil War, we talk about what makes we fans excited about some adaptations and nitpick over others, and why we’re okay when Superman kills Zod in Superman II but not in Man of Steel.

We also discuss:

  • Batman #51, written by Scott Snyder with art by Greg Capullo, and:
  • 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank #1 written by Matthew Rosenberg with art by Tyler Boss!

And, as usual, the disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to find out about plot points in The Flash, or who has the title of The One True Ringworm, tread lightly.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. You want your mom to know who or what “The DIck Flash” is? Then get some headphones.
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walking_dead_153_coverWe have been fans of The Walking Dead since the seventh issue of the comic book. That means that we have hung in with Rick Grimes and company, and their doomed world, for literally almost twelve years. We’ve stuck with them through prisons, and horrors performed in Woodbury, and the semi-friendly takeover of Alexandria, and All-Out War, and The Whisperers. For more than a quarter of our lives. Which meant we were surprised last week, after the conclusion of season six of The Walking Dead series, the opening of Fear The Walking Dead season two, and the release of the comic’s 153rd issue, when Rob said he might not have the wherewithal to watch these people take a beating anymore.

So this week, we examine the state of The Walking Dead. From the TV show’s introduction of Negan and the extended beating that probably means for Rick and company, to Fear The Walking Dead and how its prequel nature means that we will be spending 18 episodes with people we know are doomed to wind up in the world of The Walking Dead no matter what they try, to the comic and its reintroduction not only of Negan, but his “costume” and weapon. And we discuss whether the story, in all its incarnations, has finally become so bleak, depressing and hopeless to want to follow. And we talk about whether the comic book has been transformed from a story into a property, making it impossible to ever end in a satisfying manner.

We also discuss:

  • Moon Knight #1, written by Jeff Lemire with art by Greg Smallwood and Jordie Bellaire, and:
  • Jackpot! #1, written by Ray Fawkes with art by Marco Failla!

And, the disclaimers:

  • This show contains huge spoilers for the end of The Walking Dead season six, the opening of Fear The Walking Dead season 2, and big ol’ chunks of the Walking Dead comic. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, be aware the we will ruin the fact that the world of The Walking Dead is a stone cold bummer.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. You want your boss to learn about “The Thighs of Death”? Then get some Headphones of Continued Employment.
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fix_1_coverConvention season has been underway for a few weeks now, but what with Image Expo happening this past Wednesday in Seattle, followed almost immediately by Emerald City Comicon happening only days later in the same city, this is one of the bigger weeks for comics news we’ve had in quite a while.

So while we tried to distract ourselves from our disappointment that we were unable to finagle a trip across the country to see these conventions in person with a viewing of The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened?, we still found ourselves following the comics news about the announcements coming from each event.

And there was a ton of announcements, from new crime comics from the creators of 100 Bullets, to a bunch of maps and financial documents surrounded by a comic book by Jonathan Hickman, to a story about the Six Million Dollar Man written by a man with experience writing about someone who wants to become a real boy.

We also discuss:

  • Black Panther #1, written by Ta-Nehisi Coates, with art by Brian Stelfreeze, and:
  • The Fix #1, written by Nick Spencer, with art by Steve Lieber!

And, the normal disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to hear why The Black Monday Murders by Jonathan Hickman will be the comic most likely to give you maps and sadness, tread lightly.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. You want your boss to hear about why it’s awesome to consume Incompetence Porn? Then get some headphones.
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batman_v_superman_punch_posterIf you’ve listened to this show for any length of time, you know that Rob has long been a defender of Man of Steel as potentially an excellent Superman movie, provided that we would eventually discover in subsequent sequels that Superman learned from the events of that movie to become more of the hero that we all know from the comics.

Well, the first sequel, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, was released last week, finally answering the question as to whether Rob’s faith in Man of Steel was justified. And I think we all know the answer to that question.

But it’s still a question worth probing. So this week, we’re joined by longtime friends of the show, comedians Ross Garmil and Benari Poulten, not to praise Batman V Superman, but to bury it. And while we all agree that there were some positive aspects to the movie (hi, Wonder Woman!), it is far outweighed by plot problems, a Lex Luthor who wants to be The Joker when he grows up, and a Superman who will do anything to defend Justice provided “Justice” is Lois Lane’s stripper name. If nothing else, it made us nostalgic for Christopher Reeve’s version of Superman, or at least Joe Kelly’s version in What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice and The American Way?

And, as usual, the disclaimers:

  • Benari was unexpectedly trapped in an area with terrible Internet access, requiring him to join us by telephone. While the call quality was clear and never drops out in the episode, it will sound like one of us is, well, calling in on the phone.
  • This show contains huge spoilers. So if you don’t want to find out why we suspect that the ship Superman rode to Earth was called the USS Joe Chill, see the movie before listening.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. If you don’t want your employer to learn the terms, “Bat Christ” or “Batman: The Gay Blade,” get yourself some headphones.
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dc_rebirth_coverThere were two big comics-related items in the news this week: the premiere of Zack Snyder’s Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and the reveal of the creative teams attached to DC’s semi-kinda reboot, Rebirth. And while the Internet is abuzz with opinions about the movie, since work and family holiday commitments meant that we had to schedule our regular movie-related guests, comedians Benari Poulten and Ross Garmil, for next weekend, well, that means we’re talking Rebirth.

DC Entertainment live-streamed the Wondercon Panel where they announced the creative teams and gave up some teases as to the directions of some of the upcoming books, and while I certainly encourage you to watch it for yourself, it’s an hour and a half long and you have stuff to do. So we watched it for you, so we could discuss the books, the creative teams, and bring you some of the key audio from the panel!

Due to limited time this week, we don’t talk about any specific comics from this week. However, that doesn’t change the fact that this show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. You want your employer to learn about the origin of Microcephalic Superman? Then get some headphones.

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batman_the_killing_joke_first_print_coverLast week, in Batgirl #49 – a comic with an apparent target demographic of Millennials – writer Cameron Stewart and artist Babs Tarr told a story that could be seen as retconning the events of Alan Moore’s and Brian Bolland’s 1988 one-shot, Batman: The Killing Joke.In the wake of that story, Stewart argued that his story could be seen as a retconning of The Killing Joke, or not, depending on how you interpret the story… as if the plot of a story that is intertwined in almost 30 years of DC history and countless dozens of titles and stories could be considered subjective to “your own personal truth.”

During that same week, another comics podcast – one hosted by Millennials – that we greatly respect did an episode calling The Killing Joke problematic due to its treatment of Barbara Gordon, and arguably overrated and unnecessary.

These attitudes toward The Killing Joke are somewhat understandable, given the concept of “women in refrigerators” that arose in comics fandom in 1999, and the fact that Moore chose to have Joker sexually assault Barbara Gordon in the story. Because of these elements, it’s easy to dismiss the story as dated and problematic… especially if you weren’t alive and actively reading comics in 1988.

Which we were. Which means that we remember that Barbara Gordon wasn’t Batgirl at the time of The Killing Joke. And that The Joker wasn’t really defined as a character at all after Crisis On Infinite Earths until The Killing Joke. And that comics fandom was, at the time, strongly against even Robin, let alone any character from the 1966 Batman television show.

So we decided to, at least up to a point, defend The Killing Joke. Not just from a historical standpoint, but from one of story, questioning whether Barbara was, in fact, fridged in the classic sense… while still agreeing that the sexual assault aspect of the story is completely unnecessary, and asking once question we’ve never seen asked: why didn’t Moore just have Joker kill Barbara?

We also discuss:

  • Escape From New York #15, written by Christopher Sebela with art by Maxim Simic, and
  • Doctor Strange #6, written by Jason Aaron with art by Chris Bachalo!

And, the disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warning ahead of time, be aware that we’re going to ruin the ending of a story written 28 years ago that has been referenced in literally hundreds of comic books since then.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. If you don’t want your significant other to learn why Alan Moore could have sold a million photocopies of his butt in 1988, get some headphones.
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x-files_season_10Sorry for last week’s unexpected absence, but something unexpected made its way into our home and made us feel terrible. And on a completely unrelated note…

A couple of weeks ago brought us the conclusion of the much-anticipated return of The X-Files. Presented as six episode miniseries meant to function as an official tenth season of the original series (down to the original, shot-on-video opening credits), the event was intended to satisfy both long time fans and newer viewers alike. Meaning that we were the entire target audience – Amanda watched the show from the first episode, whereas Rob has only seen the first couple of seasons on DVD and the movies.

So we talk about the things about the season that worked, the things that unexpectedly delighted us, the elements that were more distracting than anything else… and the things that were simply, truly, irrevocably awful. And while we didn’t agree on everything, there is one thing in which we are lockstep: of all the things that work in The X-Files, Chris Carter should be George Lucas’ed into the cornfield, Disney style.

We also discuss:

  • The Walking Dead #152, written by Robert Kirkman wih art by Charlie Adlard,
  • Green Lantern #50, written by Robert Venditti with art by Billy Tan and Vicente Cifuentes, and
  • Black Widow #1, written by Mark Waid with art by Chris Samnee!

And, the disclaimers:

  • As we said: we were sick last week. So you’re going to hear more coughing and sniffling than normal. We apologize.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to yell out warnings ahead of time, be aware that we will ruin the ending of The X-Files more thoroughly for you than Chris Carter did. Actually, that’s not possible.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. Do you want your employer to learn how to violate millions of television viewers with a move I like to call the Sudden Stem Cell Trespass? Then get some headphones.
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dc_rebirth_second_teaserOpen registration for San Diego Comic-Con 2016 came to us on Saturday… and it left us in less than an hour. As has become the norm, the convention completely sold out in less than an hour, and, like many of you, we were frozen out. So we spend a few minutes talking about how SDCC attendance has basically become a lottery system over which we attendees have no control, and discuss various options for making the con more available, from moving it to another city, to expanding San Diego’s facilities, to engaging in a mutually assured destruction nuclear showdown with the United States Navy.

Otherwise, the big comics news of the week was that DC Comics finally shared some details about their long-teased Rebirth event. And while story details are still scarce, we talk about how DC swears this isn’t a reboot (Even as all but two of their titles are being renumbered to #1), why DC needs to do something like this, what titles we can look forward to starting in June, speculate about what creative teams we’d like to see on those books, and complain that none of those books are Ambush Bug.

We also discuss:

  • American Monster #2, written by Brian Azzarello with art by Juan Doe, and:
  • Standoff: Welcome to Pleasant Hill #1, written by Nick Spencer with art by Mark Bagley!

And, the disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, be aware that you will hear more theories than you would like about the unholy nature of PuppyMonkeyBaby.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and this therefore not safe for work. You want your employer to hear about our devious plan that includes a Deadpool costume, Deely Bobbers and pointed questions about the toilet reading habits of particular members of DC Editorial? Then get some good headphones.
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deadpool_movie_posterThe cold snap in Boston broke enough for us to not only enter our studio without dying of hypothermia or being drowned out by the roar of our furnace, but to head out into the countryside to our local movie theater to see Deadpool.

Deadpool is a movie that shouldn’t exist. It’s based on a character with a lower Q Score than Irving Forbush, who debuted in arguably the worst superhero movie not starring Dolph Lundgren and Louis Gossett, Jr, starring a man who normally spells the end of comic book franchises. It’s a movie produced and rated for adults, featuring at least three decapitations, two unfortunate prolapses, and one naked Morena Baccarin. And yet: 150 million American dollars in one weekend can’t be wrong, so we break the movie down from the comic fan’s perspective: what worked, what didn’t, why Deadpool doesn’t need an origin story, and why Rob desperately wants DC Films to put Ambush Bug on their schedule.

We also discuss:

  • Public Relations #5, written by Matthew Sturges and Dave Justus, with art by David Hahn and Jose Marzan, and:
  • Batman #49, written by Scott Snyder with art by Yanick Paquette!

And, some disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, be aware that you might discover that Deadpool is a knockoff of Deathstroke The Terminator.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. You think your boss would be more impressed with your performance if he heard about Amanda’s first exposure to George Michael’s I Want Your Sex? Then get some headphones.
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dc_rebirth_first_teaserIt’s been a couple of weeks since DC Comics Co-Publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee tweeted their first teasers toward something called “Rebirth,” and  since then, there has been, well, absolutely no concrete hard news whatsoever.

But what there are are rumors. Many, many rumors. From where did the rumors originate? Who knows? But rumors there be, about book cancellations, creative team changes, new books, new first issues, and partial to total reboots. So we talk about them, kick around which sound like good ideas, which seem like terrible mistakes, and wind up in a short-term, love-hate bromance with Dan DiDIo.

We also discuss:

  • Batman: Europa #4, written by Matteo Casali and Brian Azzarello, with art by Gerald Parel, and:
  • Spider-Man #1, written by Brian Michael Bendis, with art by Sara Pichelli!

And, the usual 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 finding a very valid, but… shall we say, alternative, use for your comics.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, be aware that you might find out that Batman talks like Phillip Marlowe, and why that’s maybe not a great idea.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. You want your boss to find out what “Gank the wingman” means? Then get some headphones.
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