It’s hard out here for a pimp member of the walking dead. You just want to eat brains and the damn prey just wants to scream and run away, or so the cast of “The Walking Dead – The Musical” would like us to believe. Just before they spontaneously burst into an extended session of tap dancing. Terrifying, terrifying tap dancing.

Dig the song? You can download it here.

via The Mary Sue

The other day we linked to the at-the-time breaking story that a Federal Judge in California had ruled that, in a nutshell, DC Comics does not owe any ownership of the character Superman to the estate of the character’s co-creator Joe Shuster, who before the decision looked to be able to claim half the character’s copyright in October, 2013, giving DC and parent company Warner Bros. the right to exploit the character in any way they see fit (cue synth-heavy porno music).

The short version of the story is that, between DC’s1975 lump-sum and pension payments to Shuster and co-creator Jerry Siegel, combined with a separate 1992 settlement DC made with Shuster’s sister for another lump sum and a $25,000 annual pension (EDITOR’S NOTE: between issues, trades and convention travel, I about that much per year on my comic book habit), the judge ruled that the creators’ estates have gotten all that they are owed from DC Comics. Proving once again that, the next time you have what you think is a million-dollar idea, you should find a lawyer who thinks you should hold out for something closer to that million before you sign anything… and if you’ve already signed, you should listen very carefully to the other guys’ lawyer to hear if they say anything along the lines of “fuck off money.”

Shuster’s estate will probably appeal – it’s not like there’s a lucrative future in throwing up their hands and going after that sweet, sweet Funnyman cash – but this ruling has a couple of immediate circumstances, even beyond the effect of making Diane Nelson cackle with relief…

The first being that it greases the skids for Warner Bros. to start serious work on a Justice League movie. Which is now expected in the summer of 2015.

I am not going to recommend that you read The Walking Dead #103 as an individual issue for two reasons. The first being that this issue is all setup for seeing the gang’s nemesis, Negan, eventually take his rotten barbed wire-wrapped baseball bat, Lucille, somewhere south of Tainthattan (and that is, by the way, my official prediction as to what happens to the greasy bastard).

The second reason is that, since this is all setup for that inevitable, yet eventual, beatdown, it is an issue designed to make us hate Negan even more than we already did for killing Glenn. Which means that we spend 22 pages here watching Negan be a colossal asshole and get away with it. Which will make Negan’s inevitable defeat all the sweeter, but seen on its own, as an individual issue?

God damn, what a bummer.

We apologize for a dearth of content today, but here at the Crisis On Infinite Midlives Home Office, we have spent the day recovering from an evening of whiskey and observation of the finest that the American political engine has to offer… meaning we got hammered and watched the second Presidential debate. Or more accurately, we asked the immortal American question best articulated by the imminent thinker, poet and prophet, Dr. Peter Venkman: “You know, I’m a voter… aren’t you supposed to lie to me and kiss my butt?”

Either way, that shit’s over until next week (and besides: it’s not like anything newsworthy happened in the world of comics today, right?) Because today is Wednesday, and that means new comics, which means that this…

…means the end of our broadcast day.

Now, last week was an interesting week, in that there were a couple of A-List debuts in Batman #13’s start to the Death of The Family event, and the first Marvel Now title, Uncanny Avengers #1. This week is looking a little less eventful, but there’s still some damn good stuff. Like a new The Walking Dead, the second issue of Avengers Vs. X-Men: Consequences (which at face value is a rotten post-event money sucker, but having flipped through the first half, might turn out to be our sleeper of the week), one of the final issues of Brian Michael Bendis’s New Avengers, the new Mark Waid Daredevil, and a pile of other interesting looking stuff.

But before we can review them, we need to find the wherewithal to set aside our binders full of women and actually read them. So until you can tell us whether or not the President of The United States actually said the word “terrorism” on a particular day at a particular time…

…see you tomorrow, suckers!

Brian Michael Bendis is soon leaving the Avengers titles after extended runs writing them going back around eight years. That’s a lot of story, including an immeasurable amount of character development, plot twists, and universe building. Most of it good and compelling, some of it not, but no matter what you think of the years of storytelling, you have to admit that it’s had an impact.

Or at least you have to admit that it had an impact. Because regardless of tenure or reach, Bendis does not own the Avengers. And now that he is moving on to Marvel’s X-Men titles, it is now apparently time to take some of the most impactful events of his time at the wheel… and roll them back to the 2003 status quo, just in time for the next guy to take over, do some stuff, and inevitably roll that back when a new person wants to play with the old toys.

In short, welcome to Avengers #31, the first part of the End Times storyline, and what appears to be the final retcon of a couple of the remaining epic events of Bendis’s Avengers story. He appears to be taking this final opportunity to glue the heads back on the last couple of action figures he mangled while he had custody of the toy box… and while it is giving me a temporary feeling of, “Goddammit, again?”, it is probably a wise long-term choice for Marvel… and one that could wind up being satisfying if executed well, if yet another example of showing that, in the comics world, Thomas Wayne, Martha Wayne and Uncle Ben are the unluckiest sons of bitches in the world.

DC’s January, 2013 solicitations have been released, and there is some good news in there, particularly if you’re a crossover fan, because it seems like every damn book in DC’s slate is involved in some kind of event in January, from Rise of The Third Army across all six Green Lantern books coming out in January (we’ve got the standard books, along with annuals for New Guardians and Green Lantern Corps), to Rotworld across Animal Man, Swamp Thing and most of the DC Dark titles, Death of The Family across the Batman books, and the H’el On Earth event going through most of the Superman titles. Hell, even Justice League is continuing its self-contained Throne of Atlantis story, with a solicitaiton promising “More on the Superman/Wonder Woman alliance,” which means either that I have a very misconstrued definition of the word “alliance,” or that between the United States and England, one of us must like to cuddle.

There’s even an event going across the seemingly unrelated titles Blue Beetle, Legion Lost, Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E. and Grifter. That event being cancellation.

It is a crappy fall day here at the Crisis On Infinite Midlives Home Office in Boston, the kind of day where you just want to stay close to home and light the first fire of autumn… and once the neighbors across the street with their stupid, stupid yap dog that barks every damn night are well and truly burnt out and homeless, you just want to hang out on the couch with some cold whiskey and a comic book, bemoaning your decision to be too broke to attend the New York Comic-Con.

And if you’re stuck in the same situation, you’re in luck… kinda. Because thanks to the New York Comic-Con, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced that today is Spider-Man day in the city, and to mark the occasion, Marvel has made the first issue of Ultimate Spider-Man’s Infinite Comic available for free via ComiXology, today only.

The New York Comic-Con is under full swing, and news is trickling out fast and furious. We reported yesterday about the announcement that Marvel will be releasing The Superior Spider-Man after The Amazing Spider-Man closes up show with issue 700, and how writer Dan Slott is playing things close to the vest as to what will happen to Peter Parker in Amazing Spider-Man #700, who will be under the mask in Superior Spider-Man, and what makes this version of Spider-Man darker than Peter Parker currently is. And in the course of our reporting, I spun out a couple of theories of what is going to happen and who might be behind the mask and why.

Well, that was Thursday’s big story. Yesterday afternoon, at the NYCC Marvel Now panel, Marvel Editor in Chief Axel Alonso revealed the cover to The Superior Spider-Man #2.

So yeah – turns out they were talking about Spider-Man.

Yesterday was the retailer’s breakfast at New York Comic Con where The Amazing Spider-Man writer Dan Slott announced what the hell “Superior” stood for, and apparently he then turned right around and told USA Today that, following the sooper seekrit events of the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man #700 – which will mark the end of that title, at least until someone at Marvel realizes there’s money to be made in releasing a book with the words “Spider-Man” and “800” on the cover – he will be writing a book titled The Superior Spider-Man about… some guy in a Spider-Man suit.

A guy who might, or might not, be Peter Parker.

“I’ve always been the omniscient hand that’s been protecting Peter Parker and Spider-Man, and not letting anything too bad happen to him,” [Slott said]. “And now I’ve become this cruel god. There’s something exciting about that, about going, ‘Mwah-ha-ha-ha-ha, here is what’s going to happen to you, Spider-Man!’ And it’s drastic and it’s big and it’s exciting and it’s never been done before.”

So here’s what we know: Slott says that in The Amazing Spider-Man #700, Doctor Octopus has only one day to live, and he knows that Peter Parker is Spider-Man, and he is going to do something unfriendly to Pete. And whatever that thing is, it is going to lead to a somewhat darker Spider-Man.

So what do you have in mind, Dan?

A little busy here watching a couple of white guys argue over being second in command, all while sorting through the early news coming from New York Comic-Con (Turns out “Superior” actually stands for Superior Spider-Man, and Scott Snyder and Jim Lee are gonna be doing a Man of Steel book, but we’ll address those in the next couple of days.

In the meantime, how about video of a real leader? One who inherited a society in crisis and implemented some old fashioned law and order? I mean, of course: The Batman.

Batman from the upcoming second act of the animated adaptation of Frank Miller’s Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, and this video has the good stuff: Batman versus Superman. Batman doing… actually, who gives a shit? It has some Batman versus Superman. You’ve wanted to see it in motion since 1986. And it beats the living shit out of watching two rich guys call each other scoundrels.