hey_kids_comicsIt has been a hectic week at the Crisis On Infinite Midlives Home Office, and combining that with a dearth of substantial comics news we’d be interested in discussing, it means that we’re going old school this week.

That’s right: on this week’s episode of our comics podcast, we’re going to discuss a bunch of this week’s comics!

Here’s what we’ve got in the pipeline:

  • Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 10 #18, written by Christos Gage with art by Rebekah Issacs,
  • Secret Six #5, written by Gail Simone with art by Dale Eaglesham and Tom Derenick,
  • The Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #4, written by Dan Slott with art by Adam Kubert and Scott Hanna,
  • 1872, written by Gerry Duggan with art by Nik Virella, and:
  • Loki: Agent of Asgard #17, written by Al Ewing with art by Lee Garbett!

And, the usual disclaimers:

  • We record this show 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 a “grunt” is poor open house etiquette.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, just assume that you will learn whether or not Spider-Man actually renews his vows (Not yet. Sorry.).
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. Seriously, you don’t want your supervisor hearing that “grunt” thing. Get headphones.

Thanks for listening, suckers!


fly_outbreak_1_cover_2015It has been, bar none, the crappiest week in comics news in recent memory – when the high point of the week’s news is that Larry Wilmore hosted a nationally televised round table discussion on how comics aren’t diverse enough (bookended by nerds-in-basement gags), it’s probably best to just pretend the whole thing just didn’t happen.

So that’s what we pretend. Instead, we took the occasion of the release of IDW’s The Fly: Outbreak #1, written by Brandon Seifert with art by Menton3, as an excuse to revisit one of our favorite movie franchises. Sure, The Fly might seem like simple Cronenberg body horror, but if you take a few steps back, what you really have is, starting with the original short story, a series of classic tales of science gone wrong, with unintended circumstances that imbue someone with extraordinary abilities in the face of terrible tragedy. Sure, it’s presented as horror… but if Jack Kirby or Steve Ditko had drawn it, we’d be arguing over which actor should be playing Seth Brundle right now.

We also discuss:

  • The Amazing Spider-Man #16.1, written by Gerry Conway with art by Carlo Barberi, and:
  • Batgirl #40, written by Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher, with art by Babs Tarr!

And now the disclaimers:

  • We record this show live to tape. While this might mean a looser comics podcast than you’re used to, it also means that anything can happen. Like a discussion over why real superheroines know to avoid a stack overflow error (and why that isn’t a reference to a wardrobe malfunction).
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, be aware that we might ruin the ending of a 29-year-old horror movie (that’s based on a 57-year-old short story).
  • This show used adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. You want your boss to know how many Godzilla wangs worth of snow we got this winter? Didn’t think so. Get some headphones.

Enjoy the show, suckers!


secret_wars_teaser_alex_rossIt’s been three months since Marvel announced the Secret Wars crossover event, and since then, speculation has been flying about what it meant for the Marvel Universe: would it be a reboot, or just an event allowing Marvel characters from all their various universes to punch on each other for a few months?

Well, Marvel’s Senior Vice President and Executive Editor Tom Brevoort and Editor-In-Chief Axel Alonso did a press conference about Secret Wars this week, and it turns out the answer is: both!

So this week, we spend a lot of time poring over audio from that press conference, first trying to figure out if this reboot was planned before or after Alonso famously denied that Marvel was planning a reboot. We also discuss whether and what we’ll miss from the Ultimate Universe, what we want to see written out of Marvel continuity, and what we think is absolutely sacrosanct. Further, when it comes to Secret Wars itself, we talk about Battleworld, what battles we want to see between characters and universes, and ultimately, whether or not we’re excited by the idea of a Crisis On Infinite Earths-style reboot of Stan and Jack’s Marvel Universe.

We also discuss:

  • The Amazing Spider-Man #13, written by Dan Slott with art by Giuseppe Camuncoli, and:
  • Powers #1, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Michael Avon Oeming!

And now, the disclaimers:

  • We record this show live to tape. While this might mean this is a looser comics podcast than you might be used to, it also means that anything can happen. Like discussions over whether we want to start a Kickstarter to fund the purchase of a Crisis On Infinite Midlives Kill-Bot.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, just assume that we’ve ruined the end of Spider-Verse for you.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and therefore is not safe for work. Unless you want your employer finding out what body part we want to use to trigger the machines guns on our Kill-Bot, get some headphones.

Enjoy the show, suckers!


tmp_amazing_spider-man_1_cover_2014871384253We’re a little late to the party on this one, but Marvel is already starting to hype the first big event of the soon-to-be freshly Peter Parker-centric reboot of The Amazing Spider-Man… because God knows that you need to market the living shit out of a book where you completely blow up the status quo to, well, return to the status quo. Jesus, Marvel and writer Dan Slott threw a pudgy, nearsighted, vainglorious motormouth into the Spider-Man suit for the past 15 months and have set sales records; I doubt you need to set the world alight to get people to read a Spider-Man book featuring the original dude.

Frankly, just seeing Peter Parker back in the saddle is enough of an event to get me excited… and yet this one sounds ambitious and kinda interesting. It’s called Spider-Verse, it’s gonna be written by Dan Slott with art by Olivier Coipel, it’ll be coming out in November starting in The Amazing Spider-Man #9, and it’s gonna feature Spider-Man.

Whaddya mean, “which Spider-Man?” Spider-Man! You know… all of them. Ever.

Seriously: check it out:


tmp_amazing_spider-man_1_variant_cover_2014962603996Editor’s Note: Look, this entire article is loaded with spoilers about upcoming events related to Spider-Man and Marvel’s and Dan Slott’s plans for the character in the coming months. And while none of those events are particularly hard to guess, if you want to remain pure and unspoiled about things, you should probably move along. And try not to think about the most likely actions a corporation might take to maximize profit via cross-platform synergy. And if you don’t have to think about what “cross-platform synergy” means because it is a part of your job, you should move along before I call you something I can’t take back. 

I wrote not too long ago that, despite generally enjoying Dan Slott’s The Superior Spider-Man, that I was ready for the whole Doc Ock as Spider-Man storyline to start coming in for a landing. While it’s been an interesting storytelling experiment, in the sense that it explores a different and darker angle on the concept of “with great power comes great responsibility” that’s at the core of Spider-Man’s character, it’s grown a little long in the tooth for me, since I knew full Goddamned well that eventually, Peter Parker was gonna come back. When? Well, sometime before The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opens in theaters in May, at the very least… no matter what Dan Slott said about Peter Parker staying dead.

Well, Slott and Marvel have finally gone on record about their long-term plans for Peter Parker. And while the broad strokes might be pretty much what one would expect, they amount to pretty big spoilers, so if you want to know what’s up, you can find out after the jump.


nicolas_cage_supermanIt is New Year’s Day, and thanks to about fifteen glasses alternating between Milwaukee’s and Lynchburg, Tennessee’s finest products last night, it feels like my brain has been taken over and occupied by Doctor Octopus. Or at least part of Doctor Octopus. Part of Doctor Octopus after a meal of bad sushi and piss-warm Chango. And to add insult to injury, I flipped on the TV this morning to be subjected to Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, which, as comic book movies go, certainly is one (man, Stringer Bell and Sailor Ripley sure have let themselves go).

Chuck on top of that steaming mess that there are no new comics until tomorrow, and nothing whatsoever apparently going on in the world of comics, and what we have is a new year that, so far, is… disappointing. And with that feeling in mind, and 2012 at our backs, it seems like as good an opportunity as any to revisit the biggest disappointments in comics and geek culture that occurred in 2012.

And given that the memory is so fresh, we might as well start with (although this list is in no particular order):


batman_13_jokerHappy New Year! Well, almost.

This year in comics has been pretty uneven for the Big Two. Marvel finally dragged its ass across the finish line to end the pain and suffering that was Avengers Vs. X-Men, leading to a reboot relaunch of most of its major titles under the imprint of something called Marvel Now! Whatever its actual intentions (sales!), Marvel Now!’s primary functions have to have an excuse to bring Jean Grey back as a teenager (hot!) and kill off Peter Parker (cold!). The jury is out with me on the whole concept right now. Meanwhile, DC has killed off many of its New 52 titles before they even made it to middle school (oh, O.M.A.C., we barely knew ye!). On the other hand, Scott Snyder has emerged as an architect of some vision with his “Death Of The Family” concept, which is currently impacting the Bat Family of books. I’m digging this story almost enough to forgive him for taking a break from Vertigo’s American Vampire…and Vertigo’s got enough problems right now.

So, where were the bright spots? Check out my picks, after the jump.


new_years_ballIt is New Year’s Eve of the first complete year of the existence of Crisis On Infinite Midlives. We have all the comics we’re going to get in 2012, so it is time to publish my list of the best comics of the year… mostly because with no new comics, there isn’t much to review, and the biggest comics news we’re likely to get between now and Wednesday is likely to be “Frank Miller Publicly Intoxicated, Yells At ‘Hippies.’ Must Be Tuesday.”

So here’s my list; Amanda’s will appear later today. It is in no particular order, it encompasses everything from single issues to multi-issue story arcs to series that started in 2011 and ended this year. And I know what you’re thinking: “Rob,” you’re thinking, “Why don’t you organize things a little more? And use some consistent criteria for your list?” Well, because fuck you, that’s why. Look: it’s New Year’s Eve, and I intend to be recklessly intoxicated within about 90 minutes from the time I press the “publish” button.

So without further (or any) ado: here’s my list!


Editor’s Note: Better Yet, with my unparalleled genius — and my boundless ambitions — I’ll be a better Spoiler-Man than you ever were.

I hated Star Trek: Generations. Yes, I know this is a review of The Amazing Spider-Man #700, but just bear with me for a second.

The climax of Generations featured the death of Captain Kirk. If I’m remembering correctly (and if I’m not, screw it; I’m not watching that pile of shit again), a bunch of scaffolding collapsed on Kirk, killing him slowly due to internal injuries. “It was… fun,” Kirk said. “Fuck this bullshit,” I said.

The problem wasn’t that Kirk died. The problem was the way that Kirk died. Sure, he went down fighting evil, and he did it even knowing that no one would ever know that he did what he did, and that’s fine… but there is no way on God’s Green Earth that James Tiberius Kirk dies due to shitty construction and a bad step. It is wrong, and it is anti-climactic.

You want to kill Jim Kirk? There is only one way he dies: he goes down with the ship.

With that let’s turn an eye to The Amazing Spider-Man #700.

There is a lot in this comic book that writer Dan Slott does reasonably well. He shows two mortal enemies locked in battle, and demonstrates that at least in terms of intelligence, they are pretty evenly matched. He clearly spent some time thinking about Internet gutter wits (Hey Mom! I’m on the Internet!) looking for plot holes and preemptively plugging them, and gives a reasonable explanation for how and why the combatant who survives will act in the way he must for the ongoing conceit to even remotely have legs. And he gave himself an out for the new status quo… which I think we all know isn’t really the new normal. After all, let’s remember that , in the past five or six years, Marvel has killed and resurrected Captain America and Thor twice each. Big name characters in the Marvel Universe get killed and rise from the grave so often they make Jesus look like D-Man.

And yes, someone does die here, however temporarily. And Slott does his best to make that death emotional and moving, and succeeds up to a point. Problem is, that death doesn’t feel earned… and it is the equivalent of dying in a Goddamned scaffolding collapse.

So who dies, and is it all worth it? Well, let’s talk about that after the jump, with one warning: after that jump, there will be spoilers.


So the comics reading world has been waiting on pins and needles to find out what happens in The Amazing Spider-Man #700, as it leads into The Superior Spider-Man: will Peter Parker be able to reclaim his body from Doctor Octopus? And if he can, will Ock have done something terrible to make it uncomfortable to be Peter Parker for a while, leading him to change up his costume? Or maybe will the fact that another soul has been in Peter’s body shake loose some after effects from Peter’s deal with Mephisto, reversing the effects of One More Day (a personal favorite theory)?

The anticipation is simply crippling; writer Dan Slott and Marvel Editorial have gone a long way to prevent spoilers of the issue reaching the street, so the idea of having to wait until December 26th for the issue to go on sale to see what happens at the end of the comic is just…

What’s that? The last few pages of the issue have leaked online? Along with a synopsis of the events of the last issue?