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!

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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!

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captain_america_1_cover_1941It was a weird week for comics and genre news. Having recorded this episode one day before the announcement of the official title of the new Star Wars movie (spoiler alert: the spoiler is that the title is Star Wars: The Last Jedi), the only comics related news was whether it was still kosher, so to speak, to sucker-punch a Nazi, Captain America style.

(Editor’s Note: we discuss the Nazi-punching issue very, very briefly, only to come to the conclusion that, to paraphrase a famous American: if Jake Blues does it, it cannot be illegal.)

So this week, we skip most of the news, and go straight to the comics. We discuss:

  • Batman #15, written by Tom King with art by Mitch Gerads,
  • The Amazing Spider-Man: The Clone Conspiracy #4, written by Dan Slott with art by Jim Cheung,
  • The Ray: Rebirth #1, written by Steve Orlando with art by Stephen Byrne,
  • Angel: Season 11 #1, written by Corinna Bechko with art by Geraldo Borges, and:
  • Curse Words #1, written by Charles Soule with art by Ryan Browne!

And, as always, the disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to find out why, thanks to Catwoman, Batman is no longer the M Night Shaymalan, turn back now.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. If you don’t want your significant other to learn what happens when you mix juniper and romilar, get some of those Airpods or something.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

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spider_man_homecoming_poster

“That’s what I love about these [Spider-Men], man… I get older, they stay the same age.” -Michael Keaton (unconfirmed) (probably made up) (I totally made this up)

So we’re on our third person playing Spider-Man since the last time we had a Glutton Bowl, which seems not only unfair, but kinda wasteful. However, this time we have a Spider-Man working within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, played by an actual (almost) teenager, and who seems able to tell a joke better than, “Hi! I am Tobey Maguire, and I am seventeen years old! Why are you looking at me like that?”

And since the first trailers for Spider-Man: Homecoming were released last week, we spend a few minutes talking about some of the details, how some elements of Brian Michael Bendis’s Mile Morales seem to have been integrated into Peter Parker’s story, how cool it is to see Michael Keaton in a real superhero movie again, and how none of this gets around the truth about how hard it is to get excited about our third Peter Parker less than ten years.

But talking about a trailer does not a podcast make. So we also discuss:

  • Spider-Man: The Clone Conspiracy #3, written by Dan Slott with art by Jim Cheung,
  • Wonder Woman ’77 and The Bionic Woman, written by Andy Mangels with art by Judit Tondora,
  • Batman #12, written by Tom King with art by Mikel Janin, and:
  • Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #1, written by Kieron Gillen with art by Kev Walker and Salvador Larroca!

And, as always, the disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to know who The Jackal offers to resurrect for Spider-Man, then you’re clearly not thinking about The Clone Conspiracy even a little bit, but still: consider yourself warned.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. If you think your mom might be disturbed to hear what its like to “pull a trailer for Lyle Waggoner,” then get yourself some earbuds.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

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american_psycho_coverIt has been a weird couple of weeks here in the United States. Any week where the honest-to-God news in your local newspaper is more contentious, rancorous and secret identity-obsessed than your average comic book is one where talking about what comic creators are skipping what conventions in which American states, and which writers are retiring from what social networks feels redundant at best and depressing at worst.

But the good news is that, here at the Crisis On Infinite Midlives Home Office, we learned long ago that’s it’s an unwise decision to publicly discuss religion, politics, or inappropriate self-love over Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho. The bad news is that we forgot one of those truisms during this episode. The answer will (probably not) surprise you!

Either way, we decided this would be a good time to take the long view and just talk about this week’s comics. Well, about this week’s comics, about how very different stories can come from similar ideas, and about unreliable narrators. So we discuss:

  • Spider-Man #9, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by NIco Leon,
  • Batman #11, written by Tom King with art by Mikel Janin,
  • Demonic #4, written by Christopher Sebela with art by Niko Walter, and:
  • Kill or Be Killed #4, written by Ed Brubaker with art by Sean Phillips!

And, the usual disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to know if Dylan from Kill or Be Killed kills or is killed, then skip this show (and next month’s Image Comics solicitations).
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. Do you think your mom wants to know what happens to a Daisy Buchanan when she’s bitten by a radioactive Gatsby (Spoilers: she gets greedy and whiny)? Then get some headphones.

And please note: from here on out, we will be publishing the podcast on Mondays, rather than Sundays. Thanks for sticking with us!

Thanks for listening, suckers!

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clone_conspiracy_promo_poster_1This week, Marvel and Spider-Man writer Dan Slott announced that this fall’s Spider-Man event will be called The Clone Conspiracy, and will feature The Jackal and the clone of Gwen Stacy, possibly bringing a bunch of long dead Spider-Man characters back from the grave. We initially had a very negative reaction to this news, because any Spider-Man title that includes the word “clone” brings back memories of the 1990s Clone Saga… but then we realized that neither of us had actually read all that much of the original Gerry Conway clone stories from the 1970s, or the Clone Saga stories from the mid 90s.

So we ran out and purchased the trade of the original clone stories from 1975 through 1990, and one of the trades of the 90s Clone Saga, to see how we really felt about the clone stories in the face of the actual works. And we discussed, in the face of actual exposure to the clone stories, whether we wanted to see any more clone stories… and whether we did or not, if they could possibly overcome the reputation of the 90s Clone Saga.

We also discuss:

  • Civil War II #2, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by David Marquez,
  • Superman #1, written by Peter Tomasi with art by Patrick Gleason, and:
  • Batman #1, written by Tom King with art by David FInch!

And, the usual disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to learn the ending of who wound up with the mantle of Spider-Man at the end of The Clone Saga 21 years ago, you are a wise person with good taste in serialized graphic storytelling! But we’ll still ruin it for you.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. If you don’t think your mom wants to hear how there’s a big bit of Hal Jordan in Carol Danvers, then get some headphones.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

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dc_rebirth_charactersIt’s the first full week of DC Comics: Rebirth, and not a single Watchmen character appears in those issues, so we decided it would be a good opportunity to complain again about Watchmen characters appearing in the DC Universe.

Specifically, it was revealed this week that DC Comics didn’t contact Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons to ask him his opinion about adding Watchmen characters to Dc Universe: Rebirth. So we talk about whether that was a bush league move (protip: yeah), some of the history around DC leaving Watchmen alone, and whether DC Editorial really had any choice in asking for Gibbons or writer Alan Moore for even a half-hearted blessing in using their characters in Rebirth.

Then, since we were on a Rebirth roll, we discussed all this week’s titles from that event:

  • Superman: Rebirth #1, written by Peter Tomasi with art by Doug Mahnke,
  • Green Arrow: Rebirth #1, written by Benjamin Percy with art by Otto Schmidt,
  • Green Lanterns: Rebirth #1, written by Geoff Johns and Sam Humphries with art by Ethan Van Sciver and Ed Benes, and:
  • Batman: Rebirth #1, written by Scott Snyder and Tom King with art by Miken Janin.

And, just so Marvel doesn’t feel neglected, we close the show by talking about:

  • Civil War II #1, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by David Marquez!

And, as always, the disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you want to avoid knowing how the DC: Rebirth books end (spoiler alert: no matter what happens, it probably won’t matter next month), then consider yourself warned.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. You want your mom to know what “giddy bottom” means? Get some ear buds.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

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flash_arrow_crossoverAfter a busy week of vacationing, video gaming, and day job hunting, we are back, just in time to deal with the latest comics vs. filmed adaptation battle!

If you are a fan of The CW’s The Flash, you know that the current storyline involves Zoom from Earth-2, and his relationship to Golden Age Flash Jay Garrick. There was quite a twist around that relationship in the show, and it’s one that infuriated long-time Flash comic book writer Mark Waid, who complained that it was a betrayal of Garrick’s comic book past.

And while this is unique given that it comes from a comic creator, it reminded us about years and years of comic fan outrage over differences between the comics we love and the adaptations that they beget… and yet it also reminded us that some movies and TV shows based on our favorite characters have made much bigger changes than have happened on The Flash, and yet no one seemed to mind.

So in between fan outrage over Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice and fan excitement over Captain America: Civil War, we talk about what makes we fans excited about some adaptations and nitpick over others, and why we’re okay when Superman kills Zod in Superman II but not in Man of Steel.

We also discuss:

  • Batman #51, written by Scott Snyder with art by Greg Capullo, and:
  • 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank #1 written by Matthew Rosenberg with art by Tyler Boss!

And, as usual, the disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to find out about plot points in The Flash, or who has the title of The One True Ringworm, tread lightly.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. You want your mom to know who or what “The DIck Flash” is? Then get some headphones.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

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batman_the_killing_joke_first_print_coverLast week, in Batgirl #49 – a comic with an apparent target demographic of Millennials – writer Cameron Stewart and artist Babs Tarr told a story that could be seen as retconning the events of Alan Moore’s and Brian Bolland’s 1988 one-shot, Batman: The Killing Joke.In the wake of that story, Stewart argued that his story could be seen as a retconning of The Killing Joke, or not, depending on how you interpret the story… as if the plot of a story that is intertwined in almost 30 years of DC history and countless dozens of titles and stories could be considered subjective to “your own personal truth.”

During that same week, another comics podcast – one hosted by Millennials – that we greatly respect did an episode calling The Killing Joke problematic due to its treatment of Barbara Gordon, and arguably overrated and unnecessary.

These attitudes toward The Killing Joke are somewhat understandable, given the concept of “women in refrigerators” that arose in comics fandom in 1999, and the fact that Moore chose to have Joker sexually assault Barbara Gordon in the story. Because of these elements, it’s easy to dismiss the story as dated and problematic… especially if you weren’t alive and actively reading comics in 1988.

Which we were. Which means that we remember that Barbara Gordon wasn’t Batgirl at the time of The Killing Joke. And that The Joker wasn’t really defined as a character at all after Crisis On Infinite Earths until The Killing Joke. And that comics fandom was, at the time, strongly against even Robin, let alone any character from the 1966 Batman television show.

So we decided to, at least up to a point, defend The Killing Joke. Not just from a historical standpoint, but from one of story, questioning whether Barbara was, in fact, fridged in the classic sense… while still agreeing that the sexual assault aspect of the story is completely unnecessary, and asking once question we’ve never seen asked: why didn’t Moore just have Joker kill Barbara?

We also discuss:

  • Escape From New York #15, written by Christopher Sebela with art by Maxim Simic, and
  • Doctor Strange #6, written by Jason Aaron with art by Chris Bachalo!

And, the disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warning ahead of time, be aware that we’re going to ruin the ending of a story written 28 years ago that has been referenced in literally hundreds of comic books since then.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. If you don’t want your significant other to learn why Alan Moore could have sold a million photocopies of his butt in 1988, get some headphones.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

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deadpool_movie_posterThe cold snap in Boston broke enough for us to not only enter our studio without dying of hypothermia or being drowned out by the roar of our furnace, but to head out into the countryside to our local movie theater to see Deadpool.

Deadpool is a movie that shouldn’t exist. It’s based on a character with a lower Q Score than Irving Forbush, who debuted in arguably the worst superhero movie not starring Dolph Lundgren and Louis Gossett, Jr, starring a man who normally spells the end of comic book franchises. It’s a movie produced and rated for adults, featuring at least three decapitations, two unfortunate prolapses, and one naked Morena Baccarin. And yet: 150 million American dollars in one weekend can’t be wrong, so we break the movie down from the comic fan’s perspective: what worked, what didn’t, why Deadpool doesn’t need an origin story, and why Rob desperately wants DC Films to put Ambush Bug on their schedule.

We also discuss:

  • Public Relations #5, written by Matthew Sturges and Dave Justus, with art by David Hahn and Jose Marzan, and:
  • Batman #49, written by Scott Snyder with art by Yanick Paquette!

And, some disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, be aware that you might discover that Deadpool is a knockoff of Deathstroke The Terminator.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. You think your boss would be more impressed with your performance if he heard about Amanda’s first exposure to George Michael’s I Want Your Sex? Then get some headphones.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

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