lucifer_foxWhat with the search for a new Home Office thanks to continual incursions by vermin (It’s like Secret Wars, only with ants!), we’re a little scatterbrained and fried this week, but we don’t let that get in the way of putting together a great show for you! Or at least a show of roughly professional-ish quality!

Disney’s D23 Expo was this weekend, and since Marvel Studios was bough by Chairman Mouse, that means that the first real footage from Captain America: Civil War has been shown. Not released, and not leaked in any fashion we’ve been able to locate, but descriptions abound, so we discuss what we’ve heard, what was announced about Doctor Strange, and whether we will be allowed to openly carry liquor and firearms at the Mos Eisley Cantina Disney will be building at Disneyland.

And while we weren’t able to see the Civil War trailer, we have been able to see the pilot to Fox’s upcoming adaptation of Vertigo Comics’s Lucifer. We are big fans of Mike Carey’s Lucifer series (and Neil Gaiman’s Sandman that introduced the character in that form), so we have strong opinions as to how the original comic series, about a fallen angel exploring what it means to have free will through the creation of literal universes, jibes with this new series about a Devil who solves crimes with a former actress cop.

We also discuss:

  • The Walking Dead #135, written by Robert Kirkman with art by Charlie Adlard, and:
  • Starfire #3, written by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, with art by Emanuela Lupacchino!

And now the disclaimers:

  • We record this show live to tape, with minimal editing. While this might mean a looser comics podcast than you are used to, it also means that anything can happen. Like a sudden tangent over which character in The Strain we want to kill with a pipe wrench (it’s totally Zach).
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, be forewarned that we will reveal that people talk a lot in The Walking Dead.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. Unless you think your employer is interested in the continuity ramifications of perverse Wookie sex, get yourself some headphones.
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robobunny_batman_capulloWe are back, after a week spent upgrading various parts of our online infrastructure! Which was exactly as exciting as it sounds! Provided you are Lex from Jurassic Park and know Unix! Unlike us!

And we came back just in time for an almost complete comics news drought. This happens ever year in the couple of weeks leading up to San Diego Comic-Con; the publishers save their big announcements for the show, while leaking only little things, like TV casting announcements.

So the news about comics winds up being news about comics at SDCC. So this week, we discuss a couple of announcements about the convention itself, including some of the… shall we say, odder… convention exclusives that some vendors are making available, to the announcement that Marvel Studios won’t be having a Hall H presence this year, while Star Wars and DC / Warner Bros. (probably) will be having a big one.

And we took the opportunity afforded by a relatively slow news week to talk about more of this week’s comics than usual, including:

  • Starve #1, written by Brian Wood with art by Daniel Zezelj,
  • Starfire #1, written by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti with art by Emanuela Lupacchino,
  • Constantine, The Hellblazer #1, written by Ming Doyle and James Tynion IV with art by Riley Rossmo, and
  • Batman #41, written by Scott Snyder with art by Greg Capullo!

And, as usual, the disclaimers:

  • We record this show live to tape, with minimal editing. While this might mean a looser comics podcast than you are used to, it also means that anything can happen. Like learning why putting a cape on your office chair means Gotham City is doomed.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, please be aware that we might ruin stuff for you.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. Unless you want your employer to hear multiple references to a sketchy, ten-dollar party, get some headphones.

Enjoy the show, suckers!

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c2e2_logoWe’re a bit later than we originally intended, but proud to present the first part of our C2E2 2015 panel recaps. But these aren’t your normal panel rundowns; these are chock full of audio from the panels, including quotes direct from Dan Slott, Brian Azzarello, Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner, Charles Soule, and a bunch of other creators!

We start by going through the Secret Wars: Last Days panel from Marvel, where the panel talks about the Last Days miniseries leading to Secret Wars for characters like Ms. Marvel, Black Widow, Silver Surfer, Punisher, Ant-Man and the Inhumans. While there’s not a lot in the way of revelations in this panel, there are one or two really interesting new tidbits… as well as the name a of supervillain that, by the end of the episode, will haunt your nightmares.

We then recap the New DC Universe panel, where the post-Convergence storylines of books including Harley Quinn, Starfire, Bizarro and Catwoman, as well as some details about the upcoming We Are Robin, are laid out. This was the panel where Dark Knight 3: The Master Race was made, and we have that audio (and our opinions) as well.

We plan to tape and release our recap episode about the Batman panel (where Scott Snyder talks openly about the Bat-Bunny) tomorrow or Friday, so stay tuned!

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gotham_donal_logue_harvey_bullockGotham premiered on NBC this past week, so Amanda and I talk about the first episode. We discuss what we thought worked, what didn’t, why we don’t want to see all the fan service super villains we got in this first episode… and frankly, why we don’t want to see much more of Bruce Wayne, either. We also compare the show to Ed Brubaker’s and Greg Rucka’s Gotham Central comic series, sometimes favorably, others… not so.

We also talk briefly about the second season premiere of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and how we like that we got an honest-to-God supervillain, an early direction, and an Agent Ward who might not be long for this Earth!

And when it comes to comics, we discuss:

  • Secret Avengers #8, written by Ales Kot with art by Michael Walsh, and:
  • Harley Quinn: Futures’ End one shot, written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner, with art by Chad Hardin!

And now the disclaimers:

  • We record this show live to tape. While this might mean it’s a looser show than you are used to from other comics podcasts, it also means that anything can happen. Like discussing the mechanics of M.O.D.O.K. sex.
  • This show has a lot of spoilers. We try to warn you ahead of time, but consider this our blanket heads-up.
  • Amanda and I use adult, profane language, and therefore this show is not safe for work. Did you not see the warning that we talk about M.O.D.O.K. sex? Get some headphones.
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sdcc_2010_pimp_fettSince we are less than 36 hours away from leaving for San Diego Comic-Con 2014, and therefore are fully engaged in preparing for the trip, we are a little fried today. So this is a shorter than usual episode (not the end of the world, considering we plan to podcast direct from the convention at least a couple of times), but a full one, where Amanda and I discuss:

  • The changes of Thor to a woman and Captain America to Sam Wilson that were announced on TV this week (if only there were a major convention to make these kinds of announcements!),
  • Since Amanda and I have attended nine straight San Diego Comic-Cons, we share a few tips on how to survive the whole experience (and avoid an extinction level digestive event), and:
  • Harley Quinn Invades Comic-Con International / San Diego #1, by Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti and a bunch of guest artists!

And now the legally-required disclaimers:

  • This show is recorded live to tape. This means there might be a few more pregnant pauses than you are used to in a comics podcast, but it also means that anything can happen.
  • There are spoilers in this show. We try to warn you ahead of time, but if you don’t know the kind of treatment you’ll get at a place called “Dick’s Last Resort,” you might deserve what you get.
  • This show contains adult, explicit language, and is not safe for work. I bought earbuds at a gas station for $12 today. What’s your excuse?
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Enjoy the show, suckers! And don’t forget to tune in for episodes live(ish) from SDCC later this week!

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boston_comic_con_2013_tim_sale-2019551443This year’s Boston Comic Con was a hell of a surprise, going from a little con with mostly local talent, held in a hotel basement, in 2009 or so, to selling out two days at the Seaport World Trade Center – one of Boston’s bigger convention halls – with programming and a double handful of A-List talent on the floor to boot. Sure, the convention showed a few growing pains – if you weren’t in line by a certain time it took forever to get into the hall, and for the love of God, they need to stop clearing the programming rooms between each panel – but it was damned impressive nonetheless.

My biggest fear was that it was an anomaly. This year’s convention was supposed to take place in a smaller hall in April and was displaced until August and the Seaport World Trade Center thanks to the Boston Marathon Bombing, which meant a few more high-profile guests signed on either to show support to the city or just because the timing was better. And initially, the word was that the convention was going to move back to April, but instead the organizers announced that they were not only sticking with August, but adding a day, going from Friday, August 8th to Sunday, August 10th, 2014.

Which was a good start… but a better sign is that the convention has already announced their first slate of special guests. And let me tell you: last year’s A-List talent was no one-off fluke.

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lee_didio_meet_publishers_sdcc_2013616921976We are coming up on the final bits and pieces of coverage we took from this year’s San Diego Comic-Con – yes, I know the convention ended eight days ago, but it turns out we had a lot of video to sort through, and a significant percentage of that video needed extensive processing on an actual computer in order to make it into something that YouTube would recognize as a video file, as opposed to some form of data wad, or perhaps a Word file detailing our manifesto and list of demands.

But the computer has done its work and dinged like a toaster oven (as we all know computers do), so we are finally proud to present a series of videos from DC Comics’s Meet The Publishers panel, held on Sunday, July 21st and featuring Co-Publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio. And you can say what you want about, say, DiDio (God knows we do, repeatedly), but there is no denying that the guy runs an entertaining panel with an infectious enthusiasm, which even Lee gets caught up in.

This was a fun panel, and we’re happy to bring you, a day late and a buck short, a small piece of it, along with some art that was shown to crowd at the panel. You can check them out after the jump.

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Simply put, and without question: Silk Spectre #2 is the best issue of Before Watchmen so far.

It does everything you’d expect from a Watchmen prequel book, particularly one that isn’t endorsed by the original creators: it follows the original book’s visual, nine-panel format, it pays homage to Moore’s original writing style of having the words directly reflect the visuals in the panel, and it expands the Watchmen universe by exploring niche, side subjects that it would never occur to me to wonder about until I saw those explorations here. By mining the original work’s edges while paying tribute to its written and drawn style, it does what a prequel should do: build upon the original without superceding it. It is the first Before Watchmen book that I plainly and simply liked.

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I expected things to be a little more contentious than they wound up being at DC Comics’s Before Watchmen panel yesterday.

After all, this is Comic-Con. It is packed to the gills with rabid fanboys and fangirls, many of whom were swirlied in junior high school (Hi, Paul Jameson! I make a comfortable living in the software industry now! How’s that A in woodshop treating you, fucker?) and now that they have strength in numbers, are itching for a fight. This convention has fundraisers for Jack Kirby, panels dedicated to pointing out the injustice of Bill Finger not getting enough credit for co-creating Batman, and a panel called The Most Dangerous Women in Comics. It is a place where a lone nut in a Batgirl suit can change the course of an entire comics company, and come back the next year bearing gifts for the creators and none for the thousand or so paying customers whose convention experience she fucked with last year in order to further a personal agenda. In short: this is Angry Fanboy Central, and if there was a place for them to show their colors, it was this panel.

But that didn’t happen. Sure, the panel started a little bit late, and the whole Quentin Tarantino announcement smack in the middle sucked up some question time, so maybe the slavering, angry, “You fucked Alan Moore!” guy just didn’t get his turn at the microphone. The people who did get a turn were generally really enthusiastic about the whole Before Watchmen project; one fan flat-out said that he was one of those “keyboard commandos” who ranted against the whole project, but wound up really getting sucked into it. Hell, the entire Alan Moore elephant in the room was only addressed once by anyone in the crowd… and it was a guy who was hoping that DC could get Moore to work on a Watchmen sequel.

How’d that turn out? Well, let’s watch!

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I will say this about Silk Spectre #1, written by Darwyn Cooke with art by Amanda Conner: these are two artists who are bringing their A Game to the very possibly losing proposition of Before Watchmen.

This is a book that, at least generally, looks like Watchmen, reads more like Watchmen than Cooke’s Minutemen (which reads more like a standard DC superhero comic, only with Hooded Justice as Batman and Nite Owl as Batman and Captain Metropolis as Batman), and embraces the character-over-action ethos of Watchmen, and what action is here is visceral and real-feeling, as it generally did in its parent book.

The book features a relatable and believable sixteen year old female protagonist, and a believable character in her mother, provided you believe that any WASPy community middle-1960s suburban community would accept a Polish former softcore porn star and her Jewish husband… but it also portrays that community being intolerant of the “family” in a way that feels realistic… for 1966. If it took place anytime after 1988, Sally Jupiter’s house would be surrounded by teenaged boys with copies of She Devils In Silk whimpering for an autograph and praying she understood that “autograph” was shorthand for “handjob.” But I digress.

My point is that, God help me, Silk Spectre #1 is a good comic book. However, it is a good comic book that takes place in the Watchmen universe, and I’m not sure my prejudices in favor of the original will ever allow me to rank one of these Before Watchmen books as great.

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