The first official day of San Diego Comic-Con 2017 was yesterday, and we are doing shows live (to tape) from the belly of the beast.

Being our first day back to SDCC in three years, we discuss what’s changed in the intervening time, including a brand new requirement to bend the knee and pledge fealty to Rick Grimes. We also discuss some of our strategies for working the floor, some interesting observations about the state of the convention, and some protips on how to ask a question at a panel (The protip being to ask a question, and remember that your life story is not a question).

We also discuss some observations and news tidbits from the Karen Berger / Paul Levitz panel, and the DC Meet the Publishers panel!

And a few points to remember:

  • We encoded this episode at a slightly lower bitrate than usual. We did this to try to save bandwidth and to ensure we’d have enough space to deliver episodes from San Diego Comic-Con. So we apologize if the sound isn’t quite as clean as it usually is. Luckily, you don’t need a lot of bits to record drunken profanity.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work.
  • While we will be uploading podcasts periodically throughout the convention, you should follow us on Facebook for uploads of photos and other media we grab during SDCC.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

We’re a little late to the party when it comes to Spider-Man: Homecoming, which opened a week and a half ago to the tune of 200 million dollars and 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. But late or no, there’s a lot to unpack in the movie, given that it’s the third reboot of the cinematic Spider-Man, which is a lot for a franchise that’s barely as old as its fifteen-year-old protagonist.

So we invited special guests – comedians Ross Garmil and Benari Poulten – to talk with us about it. And we dig into how Tom Holland stacks up against earlier actors, both as Peter Parker and as Spider-Man, whether there’s a place in classic Spider-Man for a costume that speaks with the voice of Jenny from The Rocketeer, how Michael Keaton stacks up against Marvel’s other (admittedly normally poor) cinematic villains, whether Spider-Man joked enough, and whether Tony Stark had any reasonable place in this movie that wouldn’t possibly hurt the plot.

Ah, the disclaimers:

  • We encoded this episode at a slightly lower bitrate than usual. We did this to try to save bandwidth and to ensure we’d have enough space to deliver episodes from San Diego Comic-Con later this week. So we apologize if the sound isn’t quite as clean as it usually is. Luckily, you don’t need a lot of bits to record drunken profanity.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, just assume that we will be ruining the entirety of Spider-Man: Homecoming, plus Guardians of The Galaxy 2 and maybe Batman V. Superman just for giggles.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. At one point, we talk about Nickelback. If you think the swearing doesn’t come out there, you’re delusional. Listen with headphones.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

We are mere days away from San Diego Comic-Con 2017, which will be the first we’ve attended and covered in the past three years. To say we’re excited would be a massive understatement, and we’re putting together our plans to cover the show and record and release short episodes directly from the con.

But figuring out what to cover means knowing what’s there. The convention released the complete programming schedule last week, and we spent some time poring over it, finding not only the panels we’re hoping to cover for some comics news, but some ones that are just plain cool-looking… plus a few that clearly exist only to give someone’s nephew’s best friend who’s also an agent a bone in exchange for getting someone you actually heard of to show up.

And, as always, the disclaimers:

  • We encoded this episode at a slightly lower bitrate than usual. We did this to try to save bandwidth and to ensure we’d have enough space to deliver episodes from the convention. So we apologize if the sound isn’t quite as clean as it usually is. Luckily, you don’t need a lot of bits to record drunken profanity. Speaking of which:
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. Rob places over-under odds on many aspects of Comic-Con in this episode. Some of those odds might relate to bodily fluids and / or distance. If you’re going to be around anyone civilized, get some headphones.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

At face value, there is nothing impressive or exciting about crossovers between DC Comics and Looney Tunes or Hanna Barbara. We didn’t pay a ton of attention to these books when they started dropping last year, until we finally picked a couple of them up out of a combination of seeking relief from the impending invasion of Watchmen characters into the DC Universe, and the kind of base rubbernecking instinct that makes people slow down to look at car wrecks, or non-Mission Impossible Tom Cruise starring vehicles.

Man, were we wrong, Almost to a one, these crossovers have been some of the most fun comics on the shelves when they appear. A pile of these crossovers came out this week, and a bunch of interesting and unexpected, yet entertaining, pairings happened! Along with the expected, somewhat disturbing, pairing between Batman and Catwoman!

So we’re talking a pile of books this week, including:

  • Batman #25, written by Tom King with art by Mikel Janin,
  • Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #1, written by Chip Zdarsky with art by Adam Kubert,
  • WMD: Weapons of Mutant Destruction #1, written by Greg Pak with art by Mahmud Asrar,
  • Wonder Woman / Tasmanian Devil #1, Written by Tony Bedard with art by Barry Kitson and Ben Caldwell,
  • Lobo / Road Runner #1, written by Bill Morrison with art by Morrison and Kelley Jones, and:
  • Nick Fury #3, written by James Robinson with art by Aco!

Alas, cartoon books or no, the disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to know whether or not the coyote gets the road runner, it’s because you’ve seen as many Saturday morning cartoons as we have and you know damn well what the answer is.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. We know the title says “Family Friendly.” Charles Manson also had a family. Listen with headphones.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

Some weeks, you don’t record a podcast when you’re ready. You record when you’re awake.

Rob had a long weekend of late nights being on call for his day gig, leading to a slim, two-hour window where he’d had enough coffee to be able to say something longer than his own name, yet not enough liquor to actively slur those things. And this strange state put him in a mood to rant. About the golden days of Marvel after the bankruptcy and before Civil War, when they were willing to take chances. About acceptable Mark Millar stories. About how Batman’s most driving personality trait might be hoarding. And, God help us, how there might be redeeming qualities to Secret Empire.

So strap in: this is a weird one, and we talk about all of those things, plus:

  • Old Man Logan #25, written by Ed Brisson with art by Mike Deodato, Jr.,
  • Secret Empire #4, written by Nick Spencer with art by Leinil Francis Yu,
  • Dark Days: The Forge #1, written by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV, with art by Jim Lee, Andy Kubert and John Romita Jr., and:
  • The Defenders #1, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by David Marquez!

Ah, we have disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to know Captain America’s political affiliation on Secret Empire, well, you’re not alone, but you have also been warned.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. We talk about Batman being a Howard Hughes style hoarder. That involves Mason Jars. You want your mom to know what’s in those jars? Then get some earbuds.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

We are in a genre entertainment lull. A week after Wonder Woman debuted in theaters, three weeks before Spider-Man: Homecoming opens, and with all the geek TV shows on summer hiatus, there’s not a lot to talk about except the comic books.

So we stick with comics this week, and we are thankful that we don’t have to deal with a week of DC Comics trying to shoehorn classic comics from the 80s into modern continuity. Instead, we weep that we have to deal with DC Comics trying to shoehorn classic comics from the 80s into some weird Elseworlds continuity they probably hope they can sell to people who remember Frank Miller without thinking of Holy Terror.

So we discuss:

  • DK III: The Master Race #9, written by Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello, with art by Andy Kubert and Klaus Janson,
  • Wonder Woman Steve Trevor Special #1, written by Tim Seeley with art by Christian Duce,
  • Batman #24, written by Tom King with art by David Finch, and:
  • The Walking Dead #168, written by Robert Kirkman with art by Charlie Adlard!

And, the normal disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to know who Steve Trevor is sleeping with, you are clearly not thinking things through. But don’t pretend we didn’t warn you.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. We don’t talk about Batman’s dance belt because of his waistline. Listen with some headphones.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

While Patty Jenkins’s Wonder Woman was certainly the big comics movie of the week, we start off talking about, of all things, M. Night Shyamalan’s five month old movie Split. We talk about it because, well, we weren’t expecting it to be a comic book style story, and were extremely surprised to find it so. Mostly we were surprised because we spend a lot more time paying attention to comic book news Web sites than we do movie Web sites.

But we do spend an extended period of time discussing Wonder Woman, a movie that only had to pass the bar of, “Please God, don’t be terrible” to satisfy us, and wound up being one hell of a lot better than that. We talk about Gal Godot’s performance, why the World War I setting worked out far better than its probable “Let’s not be too close to Captain America” origins, whether or not Ares really had a place in the movie, and Rebel Wilson. For some reason.

We also discuss:

  • Secret Empire #3, written by Nick Spencer with art by Andrea Sorrentino (No, we can’t seem to stop talking about Secret Empire), and:
  • Redneck #2, written by Donny Cates with art by Lisandro Estherren!

And, as usual, the disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to know the big secret behind Split, then skip to about 20 minutes in, and for the love of God, don’t click that link about five paragraphs up. You know, the one you probably already clicked.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. We talk about Lex Luthor’s method acting in this episode. Sounds benign, doesn’t it? You, and your employer, would be very surprised. Listen with headphones.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

Look: we’re talking about Twin Peaks: The Return.

We know, this might not seem like the topic for a comics podcast, but hear us out. Twin Peaks is one of the main inspirations for The X-Files which is clearly turf for genre shows. It features a shared universe of different genre stories like any good comics universe. It has characters with super strength. But most importantly, Rob is a giant Twin Peaks fanboy, and he can’t pass up an opportunity to talk about the return of the first television program that showed him the promise of a shared genre universe the way that comic books did when he was 18 years old.

So we discuss what made the original Twin Peaks great, why there’s still excitement about it 27 years after it ended with little fanfare, and whether it was worth the wait to a person who owned every Twin Peaks property available between 1990 and 2016, or if it is even remotely compelling to someone like Amanda, who watched every episode of Twin Peaks that Rob rammed down her watchholes last week.

We also discuss:

  • The Flash #22, written by Joshua Williamson with art by Howard Porter, and:
  • Secret Empire #2, written by Nick Spencer with art by Andrea Sorrentino!

Ah, disclaimers:

  • This episode was recorded live to tape, meaning that there might be more than the usual number of pauses, verbal tics and weird inside jokes. But we figure if you’re willing to listen to a show about Twin Peaks, then pauses, verbal tics and inside jokes are maybe your jam.
  • This show contains spoilers. Laura Palmer’s killer was revealed on November 10, 1990. Rob found a way to find out who killed Laura Palmer despite not having hindsight, the Internet, or a working ABC television station in reasonable broadcast range on November 10, 1990. Rob has no pity for you when it comes to this subject.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. We talk about Secret Empire. That means there is cursing. You are forewarned.

Thanks for listening suckers!

A wise man once said, “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” I think it was Harvey Dent. Or maybe Billy Dee Williams. Either way, it’s a statement that certainly applied to last week in comics and comics-related entertainment.

In column A was the United States debut of Marvel Studios’s Guardians of The Galaxy, Vol. 2. We managed to sneak in a matinee last weekend of a movie that we greatly anticipated as either a new installment of a light action science-fantasy property, or an excuse to spread Baby Groot out over two and a quarter hours, or perhaps both.

We talk about the movie, how it is satisfyingly character driven, almost completely disconnected from the master Marvel Cinematic Universe storyline, heavily influenced by some of the best genre sequels out there, and what music cues we might expect now that Star-Lord has access to more modern tunes (here’s a hint: Sonny Crockett and Patrick Bateman would totally approve!

And then there’s column B, which comprised a few of the biggest comics* released last week:

  • Batman #22, written by Joshua Williamson and Tom King with art by Jason Fabok,
  • Secret Empire #1, written by Nick Spencer with art by Steve McNiven, and
  • Secret Empire; Free Comic Book Day edition, written by Nick Spencer with art by Andrea Sorrentino!

(*In the interests of ending on a positive note, we give a quick shout-out to Project Superheroes: Hero Killers #1, written by Ryan Brown with art by Pete Woods)

You wanted the disclaimers, you got the disclaimers!

  • This show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to know how Captain America and Hydra consolidate their power, well, it really doesn’t matter, since we have no idea, either. But either way: consider this a master spoiler warning.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. We have jokes about The Flash being unable to find The Button, and those jokes are about exactly what you think they’re about. So wear headphones.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

As we ease into convention season, the comics news starts to slow down so publishers have something to discuss in panels. You know, other than garbage news items about the dangers of trying to be funny in 140 characters or less.

So we briefly discuss the next step in the million-mile march toward San Diego Comic-Con: hotel sales, which happened last Wednesday. We also talk about a superhero movie that we missed in 2016: X-Men: Apocalypse, which didn’t really interest us at the time – seeing Oscar Issac painted blue is only a gimme draw if you’re in his fraternity – but which really impressed us now that it’s on cable.

We also talk about some of this week’s books:

  • The Flash #21, written by Joshua Williamson with art by Howard Porter,
  • Action Comics #978, written by Dan Jurgens with art by Carlo Barberi,
  • Ben Reilly: The Scarlet Spider #1, written by Peter David with art by Mark Bagley, and:
  • Detective Comics #955, written by James Tynion IV with art by Marcio Takara!

What’s that? You want disclaimers?

  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to give warnings ahead of time, if you don’t want to find out why Angel is a terrible character in X-Men: Apocalypse, I don’t know why you’re listening, since you’ve clearly never read a comic book before.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. During this episode, Amanda says, “Touch the fishy.” Your boss won’t want to know why. So get some headphones.

Thanks for listening, suckers!