Hey, everyone! Marvel knows some more mysterious single words! And so do I: “Overload!”

Marvel is back to releasing one-word teaser images to hype upcoming books in the Marvel Now initiative to release a ton of new first issues over the next several months (but it’s not a reboot! Marvel doesn’t reboot! A reboot is something that happens all at once! Whereas Marvel will boot you repeatedly over the course of weeks!), and this one is just as baffling as some of the other, more recent ones…

What. The. Hell.

Superman: Earth One, Volume One, when it was released in October, 2010, was a damn exciting development in Superman’s history, albeit alternative history. It was the first modern reimagining of Superman’s origin since John Byrne’s The Man of Steel in post-Crisis 1986, and it was the first version to posit Clark Kent as a somewhat modern 20-something – a modern 20-something circa about 1996, but still, better than a young man fresh out of college in a pristine blue suit, dress fedora and no stench of alcohol. Sure, it had some story issues – for example, if I could somehow finagle an interview for a job for which I was, on paper, grossly unqualified, and I then said I wanted to fuck around with their infrastructure, I would be less likely to be offered six figures than 60,000 volts from a stun gun – but I generally found it to be a refreshing take on Superman’s origin, especially considering that the alternate universe conceit allowed writer J. Michael Straczynski to be bold with things without needing to come up with some outlandish, what-if-Superman-landed-on-a-cocaine-farm Elseworlds scenario to tell it. It was a recognizable Superman story, non-beholden to continuity, and thus it felt fresh.

That, however, was two years ago. Superman: Earth One, Volume Two was released yesterday, and between the two volumes was a small event in the DC Universe called the New 52 Reboot. Which means that, for good or ill, Straczynski’s alternate universe early Superman stories are no longer going to be automatically compared to a miniseries written when newspapers were viable, homeland security involved a deadbolt and a shotgun, and “blog” was a regional reference to a particular consistency of bowel movement.

So the question here not only is whether or not Superman: Earth One, Volume Two is a good story and worth the 23-buck cover price, but how well it holds up now that it’s presenting itself as an alternative to an in-continuity Superman with an origin that’s more modern than the one presented in Volume One. And the answer? Well, like the first volume, it presents a pretty entertaining and generally emotionally engaging story, with a bunch of logical problems and character choices that seem to be made more based on convenience than realism… but it is definitely affected not only by comparison with the recent DC reboot of Superman, but with some older, near-classic comics that tackle similar themes.

However, Straczynski clearly knows that he is writing a comic for the Internet age, because there is also a cute kitty and underboob shots. So it’s got that going for it.

Today has been a strange day. First of all, it’s Halloween, which means I’ve spent a large part of the day resisting the urge to go door-to-door in a clown costume and pretend that the courts have ordered me to introduce myself as a sex offender, if only to make the exchange of candy all the more awkward and horrific. Second, with yesterday’s announcement of the Disney purchase of Lucasfilm and a new Star Wars movie in the works, it’s decidedly difficult to put aside the excitement and trepidation behind that announcement and focus on comics. And finally, it’s a couple of days after Hurricane Sandy hit the Boston area, and while we have our Internet service restored here at the Crisis On Infinite Midlives Home Office and are therefore, for all intents and purposes, back to pre-storm normal, the heart of the comics industry in New York is certainly not, which gives our personal triumph of speedy electronic pornography delivery a decidedly bittersweet tang.

But strange day or not, it is Wednesday. And even though the storm delayed the delivery of new comics until 2 p.m. today to my local comic store, where they know me by name and ask me to stop offering to show the paying customers my high-pressure microbursts, the new comics were delivered. Which means that this…

…means the end of our broadcast day.

But while it might be a weird day, it’s a good day for new comics. There’s Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson’s second issue of Happy, Mark Millar and John Romita Jr.’s new issue of Hit-Girl, a new Ultimate Spider-Man, the first issue of Marvel’s A+X, Ed Brubaker’s and Sean Phillips’s new Fatale, and perhaps most prominently, J. Michael Straczynski’s and Shane Davis’s original graphic novel Superman: Earth One, Volume Two.

But before we have time to write about them, we need time to read them. And we have the time, since being on the northern end of the brunt of Sandy, I only had to deal with the harsh reality of about 36 hours of being forced to jack off using only my imagination. A lot of people in New York and New Jersey are being forced to jack off to the memories of when their comic collections weren’t six feet under water, seven miles away. So if you have a minute and a few bucks, please consider texting the word “redcross” to 90999; it’ll show up as an extra ten bucks on your cell phone bill next month, which is when Grandma starts sending you your Christmas money anyway.

However, considering we already done done it, it means we can focus on the new books. So until we do…

…see you tomorrow, suckers!

Twenty four or so hours ago the news that Bryan Singer, the director of the first two X-Men movies that ushered in the modern age of generally excellent superhero movies made by A-List directors who give a shit about the characters as opposed to slumming and giving the thumbs-up to nipples and asscracks on the hero’s costume, had literally just signed to direct the fifth X-Men movie, Days of Future Past, would be the biggest geek movie news of the past six months. Particularly considering that the time travel nature of the story could allow Singer to liberally include cast members from later-set his X-Men movies, which appears to be a thing that is actually happening.

Yup, just yesterday morning, the word that Singer might be taking over from Matthew Vaughn, director of X-Men: First Class, while keeping Vaughn on as a producer (which, on one level, is good news, since Vaughn did a damn good job directing First Class, so I’m glad he’ll be involved… although the role of producer in movies and TV can vary widely from an active, hands-on role in development to, “Yeah, yeah; put my name wherever you want in the credits, so long as it’s on the right place on my check.”) would be the biggest news in genre film, particularly considering the change in directors so far hasn’t had an effect on the projected July 18, 2014 release date.

Editor’s Note, 8:45 p.m.: Updated after the jump

We are still without Internet service here at the Crisis On Infinite Midlives Home Office, thanks to that bitch Sandy, so all we can handle today is a brief, quick hit update, sent via my dwindling 4G plan, using my smartphone as a hotspot, hopefully before my cell provider becomes hip to my grievous violation of the terms of service of my contract.

Thankfully, that quick hit is about one of the biggest that could possibly occur in the world of genre geeks.

To wit: reportedly, Disney has bought Lucasfilm from George Lucas for 4.05 billion dollars.

Oh yeah: and Disney has announced they will be releasing a new Star Wars film in 2015.

So what the hell’s going on, George?

A collection of deleted scenes from July’s The Amazing Spider-Man has found its way to the Internet via YouTube. If you’re longing for answers to unresolved questions about Peter Parker’s parent, well, tough titty. But, if you’d like to see unfinished special effects, never seen before glimpses of Curt Connor’s son, and an alternate version of poor Uncle Ben’s death then hit “play”, after the jump.

We’re still under threat of Hurricane Sandy here at the Crisis On Infinite Midlives Home Office. However, I’d like to take this opportunity to pass along a new page of preview art by light box hack penciller Greg Land from Iron Man #1.

Where on earth could Greg Land have received such stellar inspiration? After the jump!

Crisis On Infinite Midlives is a comics-based Website, and therefore we try to advance no political opinions nor particular ideological agendas.

However, even if we are unwilling to endorse any political positions, as genre geeks there are two things that we care about almost more than anything in the world: the opinion of Joss Whedon – creator of Buffy The Vampire Slayer and director of Avengers – and the impending and inevitable zombie apocalypse.

And, even though we would never think to tell you for whom to vote for in the impending United States Presidential election, nor would we tell you who we personally intend to vote for, when Joss and the zombie apocalypse collide in a single political endorsement video? Well, we feel we have a duty to present it to you.

So, without further ado, here is Joss Whedon, explaining the best of all possible reasons we have heard to date to vote for Mitt Romney.

Busy day here at the Crisis On Infinite Midlives Home Office, what with Frankenstorm preparation in full swing: running around, buying bottles of drinking water, emptying them and refilling them with beer.

So as we flail about, charging every piece of personal electronics we own so we can keep ourselves entertained and productive in the event of power failure (it’s hard to try and convince the neighbor kids to read Black Kiss 2 when they’re hiding from downed power lines), it’s important to remember that the summer storm season is almost over, to be followed by the holiday movie season. And that means we will soon be able to put aside our mortal world of shitty tropical storms in favor of Middle Earth, where the sun shines on the Shire, Elevensies includes ale, and it only storms when you get too close to Mordor.

So in that interest, let’s all stop boarding up our windows for a moment, and watch the latest TV spot for the first Hobbit movie, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which is out in American theaters on December 14th. A time of year when there are no hurricanes or tropical storms… only crippling blizzards. Because one does not simply walk into genre movies.

I don’t know a lot about magic beyond getting hammered and watching my Penn & Teller: Bullshit DVDs, but even with my limited background, I question whether or not Talon #1 writer James Tynion IV knows exactly what an escape artist actually does. If Harry Houdini could do the things that title character Calvin Rose is capable of, we would never have had a Second World War because the first time they drew the curtain on him in the Chinese Water Torture in New York, they would have reopened it three minutes later to discover Houdini in a dry tuxedo, standing outside a tank containing an adolescent Adolf Hitler, clawing frantically at the glass.

Seriously, if any magician could do what Talon does, they would not be performing for screeching children at rotten birthday parties except maybe as a front for their lucrative paid assassination careers. Penn and Teller would not be doing a residency at the Rio Casino in Vegas, as they would be too busy robbing its vault empty on a nightly fucking basis. This, however is not a bad thing, for a few reasons, the first being that a comic book about a guy tensing his wrists to provide slack to eventually escape handcuffs would be boring, particularly after he was shot in the face as soon as the handcuffs were locked. And second, because Tynion is using the escape artist / magician hook to show some action presented in a real clever way, and to present a protagonist who, at least so far, isn’t concerned with beating the bad guy, but beating the bad guy so he can get away.

So we’ve got a clearly unrealistic escape artist protagonist who fights only to escape, but still, one who acts in a kinda cool and interesting way, and has a tendency to mouth off and sometimes panic and run while he’s fighting. So does that make for a good and entertaining comic book?