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!

And lo, we return to you from lands afar, with the legendary tale of The Mighty Conquest of the Editing Robot with the Holy Union of the Irish and Columbia or: How We Killed Our Podcast Editing Computer with a Cup of Irish Coffee!

Seriously, we’re back after some serious technical difficulties, but ready to discuss the annual sale of passes to San Diego Comic-Con, and how we’ll be covering at least part of the event from on site. We’re excited to be returning for the first time since 2014… but we can still be irritated by having to suffer through the experience of the Blue Ring of Failure.

But it was a big week for comics, both good and bad, so we spend most of the episode discussing the high and lowlights, including:

  • Nick Fury #1, written by James Robinson with art by Aco,
  • Secret Empire #0, written by Nick Spencer with art by Daniel Acuna,
  • The Shaolin Cowboy: Who’ll Stop the Reign? #1, written and drawn by Geof Darrow, and:
  • Batman #21, written by Tom King with art by Jason Fabok!

And, as usual, the disclaimers:

  • We experienced a technical problem where a crackling sound becomes apparent during the last several minutes of the show. We ran it through a couple of filters to minimize it, but it’s obvious, and while the audio never becomes inaudible, it is irritating. We apologize, and we swear that our backup system to avoid this will totally work next time this happens, because we will totally remember to turn it on.
  • The show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to know what universe Batman comes close to this week, well, you must be a new listener! Nice to meet you!
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is not safe for work. If you don’t want your mom to hear about how Batman makes Reverse Flash see God, then get some headphones.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

Rob here. If you’ve listened to even a single episode of our show, you know that I enjoy the occasional fine adult beverage. Sometimes, however, said beverages make me infantile, in the sense that I deny that I should go to bed, even as I am nodding off while watching Guardians of The Galaxy at midnight. However, since I am not actually an infant, I have the ability to try to stave off bedtime by brewing up a pot of coffee. And since I enjoy adult beverages, I also have the ability to fortify said coffee with a heavy pour of Tennessee whiskey.

If you’ve ever enjoyed a fine adult beverage, you know that after enough of them, particularly when switching from beer to whiskey, they can have an adverse effect on your fine motor control. Sometimes this leads to dropping things. Things like coffee cups. And sometimes, those cups will spill in unfortunate ways. Ways like, I don’t know… directly into the power supply fan port of the computer you use to edit your podcast. You know, the machine that contains all the regular sound elements and the configured audio editor you need to actually complete an episode.

The machine died painlessly, but instantly, meaning I’ve had to replace it. This means ordering parts – friends don’t let friends buy computers at big box stores – and waiting for them to arrive. The main machine is here, but a couple of key components aren’t coming until this afternoon.

Even worse, it means reconstructing your data. Luckily, a certain amount was backed up to the cloud. Unluckily, all of that data was encrypted, meaning recovering the keys from an old cell phone. Which worked, and worked far more reliably than trying to get a seven-year-old internal hard drive (the drives, luckily, were on the other side of the machine, and mounted toward the top of the case) to connect to a shiny new machine via a USB connection. Oh, it can be done, but it requires command line tools and time. Like, six to eight hours per drive. Times three drives.

Long story short: as much data as possible is busily being recovered and copied to the new machine, and the remaining parts will be attached and running in the next couple of days. So there WILL be a new episode next week. Probably not about Ghost in the Shell, as that movie died to fast I think it’s on SyFy in the next few days, but barring unforeseen catastrophe, there WILL BE AN EPISODE.

So thanks to you listeners who reached out via email and Facebook to make sure we’re alive. We’re fine. I’m horribly embarrassed and several hundred bucks poorer, but fine nonetheless.

So, funny story: we fully intended to do this week’s episode on the new Scarlett Johansson live-action remake of Ghost in The Shell. We took early notes on this week’s comics to make sure we had time to absorb other Ghost in The Shell material. We got a copy of the original 1995 anime. We borrowed a copy of the manga to at least look at. We watched and read these items, all by Saturday, giving us plenty of time to catch the remake on the 2:10 p.m.Sunday matinee, tape Sunday night, and post the episode on Monday. Flawless plan, right?

Sure it is. Assuming the fancy movie scheduling app on your phone is pointed to the theater you’re actually going to. Which mine wasn’t. Meaning we were only 55 minutes late.

We then planned to catch the 7:10 p.m. Monday showing, throw some notes together, and tape the show tonight, but the people who give me money with which I use to live had other plans.

So, here we are. But here’s the good news: we have tickets in hand for tomorrow night after we pick up this week’s comics. So we will have an episode on Ghost in The Shell next week. And the good news is that it also will give you time to go see it! Because apparently, none of you did!

Sometimes, the best laid plans to watch thirteen episodes of Iron Fist on Netflix and talk about them on the Internet go wrong, particularly when one of your hosts is on call for work all weekend, and when neither of your hosts are particularly engaged by Kung-Fu stories.

However, this week gave us the releases of two comics-related movies: Justice League and Spider-Man: Homecoming, with two very different strategies. One sketched out the general plot of its movie so completely, you almost don’t need to see the movie, while the other spent three minutes trying to convince us that Aquaman is somehow more compelling as a mouthy drunk. So we talk briefly about the trailers, which worked better for us, and how we desperately hope that Zack Snyder has a win in him.

We also discuss:

  • Iron Fist #1, written by Ed Brisson with art by Mike Perkins,
  • Suicide Squad #14, written by Rob WIlliams with art by John Romita Jr. and Eddy Barrows, and:
  • Action Comics #976, written by Dan Jurgens with art by Mike Perkins!

And, the disclaimers:

  • Because of time constraints, this episode was recorded live to tape.
  • This show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to know how Action Comics #976 ends, congratulations! We both like the original Watchmen!
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. If you don’t want your mom to overhead why we think Mr. Mxyzptlk would ask Dr. Manhattan, “Why so blue?” get yourself some headphones.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

 

We apologize, but there won’t be a new episode this week. We had good intentions, but Rob met up with some old college buddies this weekend, and traveled to his old college town for an informal mini-reunion. Which is fine, and our original intention was to record a show after Rob got home… but for some reason, while surrounded by college friends in his college town, Rob decided to act like he was still in college. You know, those days almost a quarter century ago, when Rob could spend ten hours drinking, several hours in a car, and then do things like record a podcast, or anything more strenuous than sleeping and sometimes whimpering.

We will be back next week, probably with an episode about Marvel’s Iron Fist on Netflix. After all, it’s getting such good press!

Yes, we’re a day late again, but after a weekend of pulling, cleaning and replacing every connection on the board, at least, unlike last week, this episode doesn’t sound like we’re talking through a bowl of Rice Krispies.

This weekend, the first full trailer for DC Films’ Wonder Woman dropped, and as big DC Comics fans, we desperately want this one to be known forever as “The First Really Good DC Comics Flick.” So we spend a little time talking about the trailer and the movie. We specifically talk about how by using World War I they’re simultaneously covering historical ground that existed before even comic books, while also forcing comics fans to say, “Yeah: Captain America: The First Avenger, only older and crustier.” We also touch on the fact that the average American public school graduate would could only identify a major “bad guy” of WWI if spotted an hour, Google, and their family members as hostage in the event they failed.

We also discuss:

  • Man-Thing #1, written by R. L. Stine with art by German Peralta and Daniel Johnson,
  • Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys: The Big Lie #1, written by Anthony Del Col with art by Werther Dell’ Edera, and:
  • Action Comics #975, written by Dan Jurgens and Paul Dini with art by Doug Mahnke and Ian Churchill!

And, the usual disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to know Clark Kent’s secret identity (this actually is a trick question), then get consider yourself warned.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. You think your significant other wants to hear jokes about Squirrel Girl pulling nuts out of the Giant-Sized Man-Thing? Get some ear buds.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

Yes, we’re a day late, and for that, we’re sorry. But it’s a jam-packed show this week, so we wanted to take the time to get it right. That, and we had weird audio issues it took a while to resolved, but let’s focus on the positive.

First, we discuss some long-awaited and welcome comics news: Matt Wagner’s announcement at ECCC that Mage: The Hero Denied, which has been promised since the conclusion of the first Mage series in 1986 and the end of the second in 1999, will begin this July. Mage is rarely mentioned in the same breath with other 80s classic series like Watchmen, but it’s one of the first examples of urban fantasy out there, and one of our personal favorites.

And then there’s Logan. Which was Rob’s choice for most-anticipated genre movie of 2017 (a choice for which he took some static), and for once, it’s almost like Rob knew what he was talking about. We discuss Logan, how it’s less a superhero movie than it is a western (and, as a western, the Unforgiven of comic book movies), and, even with all those qualifications, one of the best comic book movies ever made.

We also discuss:

  • Batman #18, written by Tom King with art by David Finch, and:
  • Savage Things #1, written by Justin Jordan with art by Ibrahim Moustafa!

And, the usual warnings:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you haven’t seen Logan yet and don’t want to know whether or not we’re making up the fact that Jubilee saves Logan’s soul from Mephisto, consider yourself warned.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. Look at this episode’s title. Think about the discussion surrounding that title. Listen with headphones.

And, one last disclaimer: there is some unexplained static in the show’s recording, for about ten minutes, starting at about the one hour, five minute mark. We’ve run the audio through a couple of filters to minimize the crackling, but it’s still noticeable and the audio will sound somewhat processed during that time. A thousand apologies; we’ll send your refund to the usual address.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

As we move slowly into convention season, there is kind of a dearth of interesting comics news to work through some weeks. Oh sure, we could weigh in on Marvel’s comments at ComicsPRO that the reason their sales are down is because of DC shipping cheaper books, but that’s a little inside baseball even for us. And besides: we all know that the people at Marvel will say absolutely anything if it means Issac Perlmutter turns his Sauron doom-eye back toward Kevin Feige.

So this week, we stick with talking this weeks’ comics, including:

  • Justice League of America #1, written by Steve Orlando with art by Ivan Reis,
  • Darkness Visible #1, written by Mike Carey and Arvind Ethan David with art by Brendan Cahill,
  • The Old Guard #1, written by Greg Rucka with art by Leandro Fernandez
  • Hulk #3, written by Mariko Tamaki with art by Nico Leon, and:
  • The Amazing Spider-Man #24, written by Dan Slott and Christos Gage with art by Giuseppe Camuncoli!

However, the disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to know how many of this week’s comic books actually feature The Hulk (hint: it’s one fewer than you’d think!), then consider yourself forewarned.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. Let’s just say that Rob curses enough about The Clone Conspiracy this week to make the phrase “Ben Reilly” an obscenity by association. So consider using earbuds.

Thanks for listening, suckers!