dc_rebirth_second_teaserOpen registration for San Diego Comic-Con 2016 came to us on Saturday… and it left us in less than an hour. As has become the norm, the convention completely sold out in less than an hour, and, like many of you, we were frozen out. So we spend a few minutes talking about how SDCC attendance has basically become a lottery system over which we attendees have no control, and discuss various options for making the con more available, from moving it to another city, to expanding San Diego’s facilities, to engaging in a mutually assured destruction nuclear showdown with the United States Navy.

Otherwise, the big comics news of the week was that DC Comics finally shared some details about their long-teased Rebirth event. And while story details are still scarce, we talk about how DC swears this isn’t a reboot (Even as all but two of their titles are being renumbered to #1), why DC needs to do something like this, what titles we can look forward to starting in June, speculate about what creative teams we’d like to see on those books, and complain that none of those books are Ambush Bug.

We also discuss:

  • American Monster #2, written by Brian Azzarello with art by Juan Doe, and:
  • Standoff: Welcome to Pleasant Hill #1, written by Nick Spencer with art by Mark Bagley!

And, the disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, be aware that you will hear more theories than you would like about the unholy nature of PuppyMonkeyBaby.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and this therefore not safe for work. You want your employer to hear about our devious plan that includes a Deadpool costume, Deely Bobbers and pointed questions about the toilet reading habits of particular members of DC Editorial? Then get some good headphones.
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dc_rebirth_first_teaserIt’s been a couple of weeks since DC Comics Co-Publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee tweeted their first teasers toward something called “Rebirth,” and  since then, there has been, well, absolutely no concrete hard news whatsoever.

But what there are are rumors. Many, many rumors. From where did the rumors originate? Who knows? But rumors there be, about book cancellations, creative team changes, new books, new first issues, and partial to total reboots. So we talk about them, kick around which sound like good ideas, which seem like terrible mistakes, and wind up in a short-term, love-hate bromance with Dan DiDIo.

We also discuss:

  • Batman: Europa #4, written by Matteo Casali and Brian Azzarello, with art by Gerald Parel, and:
  • Spider-Man #1, written by Brian Michael Bendis, with art by Sara Pichelli!

And, the usual 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 finding a very valid, but… shall we say, alternative, use for your comics.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, be aware that you might find out that Batman talks like Phillip Marlowe, and why that’s maybe not a great idea.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. You want your boss to find out what “Gank the wingman” means? Then get some headphones.
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doctor_who_christmas_special_2015While we originally planned to list our 2015 Crises awards for the best and worst of the year this week, we were stymied by a combination of holiday travel for Rob, and a crippling cold (and cold medicine high) by Amanda.

So after spending some time talking about what we got for Christmas, and best Christmas memories from childhood (spoiler: none of Amanda’s childhood memories are anything but heartbreaking and hilarious), we talk about the Doctor Who Christmas special, The Husbands of River Song. We talk about the episode’s weird mix of farce and heartstring plucking, how it might mean some solid writing on showrunner Steven Moffat’s part to tie River’s character closely to her first appearance, and how it paints the Doctor as a remorseless and opportunistic genocidal monster. Really.

We also discuss:

  • DK III #2, written by Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello, with pencils by Andy Kubert and inks by Klaus Janson,
  • Teen Titans #15, written by Scott Lobdell and Will Pfeifer with art by Ian Churchill and Miguel Mendonca, and:
  • Darth Vader #14, written by Kieron Gillen with art by Salvador Larroca!

And, the usual 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 the tragic tale of a girl, pseudoephedrine and a busted Etch-A-Sketch.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, just assume that we will explain, in detail, why The Doctor is history’s greatest monster.
  • This show contains adult, profane language and is therefore not safe for work. You want your employer to know what it means when things go “testacularly”? Then get some headphones.
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captain_america_civil_war_teaserWhile we are still in the throes of The Neverending Move, and therefore somewhat distractible (Hi, Fallout 4! Let me spend hours up in you, trying to find our new Home Office!), it would take more than a month living out of boxes to keep us from noticing the first trailer for Captain America: Civil War, or as we like to call it, Avengers 2.5.

We spent a good chunk of time watching, and rewatching, and rewatching the trailer, and spend some time discussing how it not only already looks better than the comic from which it came, by dint of the fact that Tony Stark isn’t suddenly acting like an amoral fascist just to advance a plot (Hi, Mark  Millar!), but how it seems like a weird time to mess up the MCU superhero status quo given that their next Earth-level superhero flick is more than a year after Civil War. We also speculate which side everyone will land on, and discuss why, if the Russo Brothers don’t use Mike Colter’s Luke Cage the way Brian Michael Bendis used Cage in Civil War, they are Goddamned fools.

We also discuss:

  • DK III #1, written by Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello, with pencils by Andy Kubert and inks by Klaus Janson,
  • Jacked #1, written by Eric Kripke with art by John Higgins, and:
  • Who would win in a drinking contest: Demon In A Bottle Tony Stark, or Alias‘s Jessica Jones (Yes, this was a weird show)!

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 learning why Starfox could outdrink Rocket Raccoon (It’s not why you think! It’s filthy!)
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, just be aware you will learn the secret origin of Phil Coulson’s Vanity Vehicle.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. Seriously: the whole Starfox / Rocket Raccoon thing is just awful. Get some headphones.
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CrisisOnInfiniteMidlivesPodcastLogoWe are aware that this week’s episode is late… and short… and poorly planned. And for that, we apologize. What started as an idle effort to possibly locate a new Crisis On Infinite Midlives Home Office became, somewhere along the way, an all-encompassing time suck of physical labor, self-doubt, emotional blackmail, and begging for money.

And while the worst of the distractions are over (for now), we only have a short show this week, with an update on some of the details behind the delay, and a short discussion about Batman #44, written by Scott Snyder and Bryan Azzarello with art by Jock.

We should be back to our regularly-scheduled programming this Sunday. Thanks for hanging in with us during the interruption!

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BCC2015LogoLongWe conclude our coverage of Boston Comic Con 2015 first by bemoaning the nearly literal biblical weather and plagues that prevented us from releasing it on Thursday as we originally planned.

Once we get that out of our system, we discuss the panels that we were able to attend at this year’s Boston Comic Con: Spider-Verse, Marvel Universe, IDW Comics, and the DC Comics panel. And not only do we talk about them, but we share a load of audio we recorded at those panels, from creators like Brian Azzarello, Scott Snyder, Jimmy Palmiotti, Jason Latour, Ming Doyle, Annie Wu, Sara Richard, Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodriguez, and a bunch of others!

We also talk about the differences between the panel delivery styles of each publisher, why you seem to get more hard information from DC Comics than you do Marvel, and why the IDW panel gave us the best explanations of why publishers pursue licensed comics, and why colorists are more important than most of us think, than we’ve heard in 40 years of reading comics.

And, as always, the disclaimers:

  • We record this show live to tape, with minimal editing. While this might make this a looser comics podcast than you are used to, it also means that anything can happen. Like learning why Rob’s childhood memories include armpits bleeding goo.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. Convention panelists try to keep things clean. They are better people than we are. Get some headphones.
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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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c2e2_logoWe are in Chicago, attending and reporting from C2E2 after years of having San Diego Comic-Con be our main convention. The first day is concluded, and it is a very different experience from SDCC… starting with the fact that I’ve never eaten anything in San Diego that made me spend several hours shivering and vomiting on a marble bathroom floor.

As such, we don’t have as much day one news as we’d like, but we spend some time discussing how Friday at C2E2 is a day where you can actually walk the floor without having to stutter walk around people like you’re trying to avoid calling a sandworm. You can actually meet and interact with creators without having to elbow crowds out of the way (with some exceptions – hi, Scott Snyder and the 500 people waiting to meet you!), and still get some big comic news.

This is just a quick recap show covering the first day; we’ll have a second quick show to briefly cover Saturday going up on Sunday night, with a complete recap show, including panel audio, coming on Monday or Tuesday.

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comedian_5_cover_2013Editor’s Note: And one last review of the comics of 2/13/2013 before the comic stores open with the new books…

I had sworn to myself that I was gonna stop reviewing Comedian by writer Brian Azzarello and artist J. G. Jones, because after just two issues I knew it wasn’t working for me, and even that damnation with faint disappointment was only possible when the book wasn’t actively pissing me off.

From the beginning, Azzarello has made Comedian a story where Watchmen continuity is optional on a good day, where consistency of character with any prior depiction of Edward Blake was problematic, and where Azzarello seemed less interested in telling a story about The Comedian than he did in telling a story about shit that happened in the 1960s where The Comedian happened to be. Sure, The Comedian was an active part of the story, but it wasn’t so much about him; imagine Mad Men if Don Draper was selling anti-Kennedy ads to Donald Segretti, or if he was running a pro-segregation focus group with James Earl Ray as a member: all of Mad Men‘s elements are there, but it ain’t really a story about a conflicted advertising executive anymore, is it?

That tendency continues in Comedian #5, which, as per this book’s norm, is less a story about The Comedian than it is a story about Vietnam and My Lai, where The Comedian just happens to be. Which, again, I’ve learned to expect from this comic book, and which is something that I didn’t think needed further reviewing. However, Azzarello added one thing to this books that boiled my blood. It’s not much – just two words – but to my mind, it put a stamp on the book stating Azzarello’s intentions toward the book, and it’s a check that the series just doesn’t cash. And while there’s a possibility that I’m wrong, and that those two words might just be a simple Easter Egg to observant readers or maybe a nod to placing Comedian into a Wold Newton-style shared universe, it blew me out of the book as effectively as would have seeing Blake throwing the meat to Trudy Campbell. Or even Pete Campbell.

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Considering how I felt about Brian Azzarello’s take on my favorite Watchmen character, The Comedian, I opened Rorschach #1 with my knife already out and sharpened. Considering how many plot and character liberties Azzarello has been taking with The Comedian, I opened this comic book fully expecting to see something like Rorschach battling Blofeld from SPECTRE in Munich while jockeying a rocketpack and firing his laser watch at the angry flying sharks. All while Rorschach weeps moronically while reciting Nietzsche to lolcats.

Turns out it’s not like that. Instead, Azzarello has made the connection that the Keene Act that stopped costumed adventuring in the Watchmen universe was passed in 1977, and New York City, where Rorschach was operating as a street-level crimefighter, was a terrible, terrible place in 1977. It was the New York of Taxi Driver and Son of Sam and a Times Square where a tourist could get fistfucked by a transvestite hooker instead of the retail markup at the Disney Store. It was a New York of grindhouse theaters, and Azzarello has given Rorschach a grindhouse story in which he can star. And God help me, it’s really pretty damn good.

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