dc_rebirth_coverHere’s a warning about this week’s episode right out of the gate: details about DC Universe: Rebirth #1 have leaked to Reddit, including images from that issue. The user who leaked the pages has since deleted his or her account, but those images have been picked up and published by Bleeding Cool (Seriously: there are massive spoilers at that link, so beware), and have led to major spoilers about the book being published across the comics Internet. And those images and spoilers contain a revelation that is not only startling, but infuriating, if not downright rage-inciting, for fans of a particular classic comics property. Like, we sat down to plan this week’s show, found this news item, and chucked everything so we could fume about this move. It stands to possibly be bad, bad mojo for fans of DC who date back to the 1980s.

And we talk about that revelation. So if you want to avoid spoilers for DC Universe: Rebirth #1, you should avoid listening to this week’s episode until you pick up this week’s comics on Wednesday, May 25th. But if you’re not concerned about spoilers, and you care about the legacy of one of the great superhero comics works of the last thirty years, jump on in! We’ll never compromise! Not even in the face of Armageddon!

We also discuss:

  • Future Quest #1, written by Jeff Parker with art by Evan “Doc” Shaner and Steve Rude,
  • Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #5, written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa with art by Robert Hack, and:
  • Civil War II #0, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Olivier Coipel!

And, the usual disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. Like, terrible spoilers for DC Universe: Rebirth #1. So if you don’t want to have the terrible spoiler revealed, it’s up to you. I leave it entirely within your hands.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. If your version of The American Dream is to get fired for listening to bad language at work, it’ll come true. You’re looking at it.
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vision_7_cover_2016It has been a stone bummer of a week when it comes to comic news. From the tragic loss of Darwyn Cooke to DC Comics having to release a statement on sexual harassment in the face of protests over allegations about Superman Group Editor Eddie Berganza, there haven’t been a lot of smiles in comics this week. Hell, when the most welcome news is that Supergirl was renewed and only has to reduce their budget and expatriate to Canada, you’re not talking a barrel of laughs.

But these things all happened, so we talk about them. Particularly the DC Comics harassment issue, as one of us was once harassed in the manner and circumstances in which Berganza is accused of harassing someone back in 2012, and therefore we wanted to share our perspective on it.

But we hate dwelling on negatives in our favorite hobby, so we spend more time than usual talking about actual comics this week, discussing:

  • Southern Bastards #14, written by Jason Aaron with art by Jason Latour,
  • The Vision #7, written by Tom King with art by Michael Walsh,
  • Starfire #12, written by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti with art by Elsa Charretier, and
  • Powers #6, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Michael Avon Oeming!

And, the disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. We will ruin the ending of the latest Powers story line for you… but then again, since it’s been seven months since the last issue, you probably don’t remember how the story line started.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and therefore is not safe for work. Sure, the concept of a “kitten chaser” sounds benign, but do you want to risk your employment on it? Didn’t think so. Buy earphones.
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captain_america_civil_war_teaserIt feels like only yesterday that we were discussing why a movie about superheroes fighting each other was a painful, depressing and contrived experience, doesn’t it? Well, good news! We can put Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice out of our minds, because we’ve got another movie about superheroes trying to kick each other in the junk!

Captain America: Civil War opened in the United States last week, so in the interest of equal time with Batman V. Superman, we have brought back the same guests we discussed that movie with: comedians Ross Garmil and Benari Poulten!

In a much different discussion than we had about Civil War’s DC counterpart, we all talk about what worked with the movie, the few parts that didn’t, how 20 minutes of Spider-Man in this flick feels more true to the character that his preceding ten hours of film appearances, how the last person we saw as quickly and thoroughly defeated as one of Civil War’s heroes was Shelley Levine from Glengarry Glen Ross, and how Civil War is, figuratively and (somewhat) literally, Marvel’s The Empire Strikes Back.

And, as always, the disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. Like, we will ruin the entirety of Civil War for you. We’ll tell you who gets killed. We’ll tell you who gets crippled. We’ll tell you who teaches The Vision how to love with a floppy copy of Conficker and a tube of Astroglide. We’ll tell you which of the three preceding plot points is false.
  • The show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. Picture your mom hearing four adults cackling about the Astroglide thing. Yeah, buy some ear buds.
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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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