flash_arrow_crossoverIt’s a jam-packed episode this week! We start off by briefly discussing the recent Internet kerfuffles over (some) creators vs. cosplayers at comic conventions, and the complaints that Marc Andreyko’s current storyline in Batwoman depicts the practical rape of protagonist Kathy Kane.

But then we move on to lighter topics. Specifically, this week’s crossover between The Flash and Arrow on their respective television shows. We talk about what worked, what was fun (God help us, that includes the Man Who Will Be Vibe), and what didn’t (Hi, Iris West!).

Then we move to week four of DC’s Convergence storyline, comprising mostly pre-Crisis On Infinite Earths alternate universe characters and teams. Meaning that these are stories that will appeal mostly to elderly readers. And Geoff Johns!

And finally, we discuss:

  • Crossed One Hundred #1, written by Alan Moore with art by Gabriel Andrade, and:
  • Escape From New York #1, written by Christopher Sebela with art by Diego Barreto!

And now the legalese:

  • We record this show live to tape. While this might mean a looser comics podcast than you are normally accustomed to, it also means that anything can happen. Like the classification of Iris West as a common “cape climber.”
  • This show contains spoilers.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. So unless you want your boss to know that you’re listening to programming about a “Disco Epilepsy Ray,” get some headphones.

Enjoy the show, suckers!

superman_hostess_elevatorBetween the new female Thor, Falcon taking over as Captain America, and this week’s rumors that X-23 will take over as Wolverine (after Sabretooth takes over as Wolverine), Amanda and I talk about succession in superhero comics in general. We start with the idea that DC is all about succession while Marvel never has been, the kinds of stories that could work as new people put on the old costumes, what probably couldn’t work, and what ulterior motives Marvel could have for such recent character churn.

We also discuss:

  • Batwoman: Futures’ End One Shot, written by Marc Andreyko with art by Jason Masters, and:
  • Edge of Spider-Verse: Gwen Stacy, Spider-Woman, written by Jason LaTour with art by Robbi Rodriguez!

And now the legalese:

  • We record this show live to tape. Which might mean a looser show that you are used to from other comics podcasts, but it also means anything can happen. Like ruminations over the flat affect of people rescued by Superman in 1970s Hostess Fruit Pie ads.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out a warning ahead of time, consider this a master, blanket warning.
  • This show contains adult, explicit language, and is not safe for work. You no longer need to sell Grit subscriptions to get headphones, so go out and do so.

Enjoy the show, suckers!


batwoman_14_coverJesus, of all the weeks to skip a comic convention…

Last week, J. H. Williams III announced that he and co-creator W. Haden Blackman were leaving Batwoman as of issue #26 due to last minute editorial interference. Part of that interference was that DC Editorial reportedly pulled the plug on Williams’s and Blackman’s long-standing plans to have Kate Kane marry Maggie Sawyer. And we didn’t report on it at the time because, well, I figured the implied homophobia angle that some outlets were latching onto was a non-starter – you can say what you want about DC Editorial (God knows that we do), but nobody’s dumb enough to make that issue the hill they want to die on in the age of the Internet. And both Williams and DC Comics have confirmed that Batwoman’s sexual orientation wasn’t an issue here.

So absent that, this was, at the time, just another story about creators quitting a DC book over editorial interference at the last minute, and that is a story that we have told before, recently and repeatedly. So unless something or someone changes in the upper echelons of DC Editorial, it’s a story that we’ll probably hear again. So was it news? Undoubtedly. Was it news compelling enough to put down my bourbon? Not at the time, it wasn’t. It would’ve taken pictures of Dan DiDio donkey-punching k. d. lang to get my mitts off of that sweet, sweet dose of Vitamin J. D.

Anyway, that was Thursday. The Baltimore Comic Con started yesterday – a convention we considered attending, but then we watched The Wire on HBO GO – and DC Comics held a panel where DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan DiDio reaffirmed that the issue with Batwoman wasn’t the fact that she was going to enter into a gay marriage, but that she was going to enter into any marriage at all. DiDio, in fact, said that real heroes would never get married, as their first duty would always be the superhero stuff, so they don’t have time be married. And, to ward off some of the most obvious questions, DiDio went on to say that Aquaman and Mera – you know, the King and Queen of Atlantis – are not married.

Wait, what?

Despite the fact that the book has been on my pull list at my local comic store, where they know me by name and threaten to ban me if I even remotely try to imply that some douchebags might use “Batwoman” as a verb, I came into Batwoman #14 nearly blind, since I rarely actually read the book anymore.

Oh sure, I always look at the book, at least when J. H. Williams III draws it, because it is one of the most beautifully drawn and laid-out monthly books you can find on the shelves these days. Williams has a unique panel layout, ways of tying panels together, and often uses small panels for storytelling that, when you rack focus backwards, hides truly gorgeous backgrounds hiding in the bleed, that you’ll just not see elsewhere. It’s an awesome looking book… problem is, I just don’t find Williams to be all that compelling a writer. His opening arc from last September was actually the long-solicited and often-delayed Batwoman mini-series that was originally solicited for February, 2011, which meant that by the time it actually debuted, it was set in the pre-New 52 universe, and just didn’t quite fit.

Further, the stories just didn’t grab me; a Bat-family hero working almost completely separately from the main Bat titles, with stories weighted heavily toward the supernatural, simply didn’t hook me in. You might notice that we’ve never reviewed an issue of Batwoman here, mostly because none of them were good – or bad – enough to really whip any of us up enough to sit down and write several hundred words about them. In general, they looked great, with stories that didn’t stick to the brain, and while there was almost always a visual in each issue to make you stop and go, “Wow!”, those visuals weren’t enough to make the stories any more memorable.

However, I decided to make an extra effort to get into Batwoman #14, mostly because of that cover, which, to someone only initiated enough into the series to know that the protagonist often battles with the supernatural, implied the promise that perhaps Batwoman and guest-star Wonder Woman might be dealing with, or perhaps fighting, Jonah Hex.

Yeah, that’s not what happened. Not that there isn’t some good stuff here, but the cover writes a promise that the story doesn’t cash.

Editor’s Note: I acknowledge that these pictures suck. We’ll upgrade our cameras once we receive your subscription check. Oh, you don’t pay for this? Then fuck you and enjoy the pictures you got.

Last year we kind of wandered into the panel for Scott Snyder’s American Vampire, mostly to make sure we’d have a seat for the DC New 52 panel that followed directly afterwards. Don’t get me wrong, we were following American Vampire in kind of a general way, but I had fallen away; the initial hype around one of the early stories being written by Stephen King hadn’t been enough to keep me in the book except in a “flip through when I happened to see it on the shelf” way. The point is that last year, we were able to walk right into Snyder’s panel without having to wait around in a line.

That was 2011. This year, Snyder’s writing Batman, which has consistently been one of the best books of DC’s New 52 and the source of the first post-reboot DC crossover event. So this time around, for the Batman panel yesterday? Yeah, we waited in line.

The Batman panel covered all the Batman family books, from Batman to Red Hood And The Outlaws… meaning walking in Amanda and I steeled ourselves for exciting news running the gamut from Batman’s post-Owls Joker encounter to Starfire’s post-Red Hood stranger’s penis encounter. However, weird former Teen Titan sex revelations or no, Snyder started the panel off with a laugh: “Avengers Vs. X-Men, who wins? Batman.” I hate it when my comic writers are funnier than I am. But I digress.

Man, what a busy week. It’s the end of the busiest season for Amanda and me at our respective day jobs, which sadly are not in the comics industry… but then again, that should be obvious considering that we still have jobs.

But as kicked as our respective asses are, we can finally relax for a single evening, because it is Wednesday, which means that this…

…is the end of our (admittedly meager) broadcast day.

But it’s only an evening of rest, because there’s just too much good shit in there to try to review this week: check out that new story about the unkillable, walking dead: Carnage USA! We also have a zombie story to read!

There’s also a new Battle Scars, a J. H. Williams’ Batwoman, the latest New Avengers, and Palmiotti’s and Gray’s The Ray #1!

All of which means that this is gonna be a busy week trying to review it all… but first we need to read some of it. So see you tomorrow, suckers!

Just in time for GirlGeekCon in Seattle this weekend and New York Comic Con in, well, New York City, next weekend, we have a batch of ambitious cosplayers who are ready to embrace the design changes of the relaunched DCnU. Behold the winners of the most recent Gamma Squad cosplay costume contest:

What? No G'nort?