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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EDITOR’S NOTE: Whatever happened to The American Dream? Spoiler alert!

So The Comedian started the Vietnam War. Must be Tuesday.

The Comedian #2 is better than the first issue, but then again, it almost had to be. Seeing writer Brian Azzarello having Eddie Blake simpering around the Kennedys and doing things that blithely and utterly flew in the face of some of Alan Moore’s existing story canon were almost more than this old school Comedian fan could bear. This issue improves on the ruins of the first, by getting The Comedian the fuck away from politicians and into the jungle of pre-Gulf of Tonkin Vietnam, allowing the character to show a little more of the savagery and moral ambiguity that we’d come to expect from the original Watchmen.

Of course, it also include’s Azzarello’s apparent burning compulsion to put The Comedian at the center of every major event in American history that has occurred since 1939.  In the first issue, it was the death of Marilyn Monroe, and here it’s the Ali-Liston fight and the literal beginning of the Vietnam War. If The Comedian hadn’t been killed in the original Watchmen, I’d be afraid that Azzarello would end issue 6 with Blake at the discovery of the Higgs Boson snarling, “You’re turning into a flake, Doc.” Actually, that’s probably a hasty argument; after that first issue, I’m not yet convinced that Azzarello won’t decide that the murder of The Comedian isn’t really Watchmen canon. But I digress.

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What I am about to write is not going to be objective, because The Comedian from Watchmen is just about my favorite comic character.

How much my favorite? Well, I not only have the movie action figure, but I also have the Comedian badge pin – you know, one of the ones that DC sold for a buck a whack in 1987 or so and which made Alan Moore lose his shit and then tell then-publisher Jeanette Kahn that he thought “DC” stood for “dook corporation.”

But that’s not all…

…I also rock the man’s badge on the front bumper of my car. And I can already hear you: “But Rob,” you’re saying, “The bloodstain is on the wrong side!” To which I can only say: not if you see me in your rearview mirror when I’m rumbling up behind you, motherfucker.

My point is that The Comedian and me? We’re close. We’ve been close since I was sixteen years old. I know The Comedian, Mr. Azzarello. And this?

This is not The Comedian.

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Once upon a time, in 1941, the character of Wonder Woman was created by a Harvard educated psychologist (and apparent bondage enthusiast) named William Moulton Marston. Wonder Woman is/was an Amazon princess, sent to the world of man as an ambassador of peace. Marston created Wonder Woman to be the embodiment of a type of liberated woman who was atypical in that period of history. Indeed Marston wrote, “Wonder Woman is psychological propaganda for the new type of woman who should, I believe, rule the world.” (Wow. Auspicious.) However, “psychological propaganda” origins aside, the character has been popular with men and women for decades. In fact, in 2011, IGN named Wonder Woman fifth from the top on a list of the Top 100 Comic Book Characters Of All Time.

Meanwhile, in 1993, the character of Glory was created by comic book illustrator (and foot extraction hobbyist) Rob Liefeld. Glory was created for Liefeld’s Extreme Studios at Image Comics. Glory is a half Amazonian/half demon offspring, who leaves the Amazonians to enter the world of man and kick a lot of ass. Liefeld created Glory to have a Wonder Woman type character to run around in his Extreme universe and give him an excuse to draw cheesecake.

Since DC’s reboot this past fall has served to drag 90s comic book culture back kicking screaming to the profitable fore, it is not surprising that Image has decided to relaunch some of Liefeld’s past creations, such as Supreme, Youngblood, and Glory. What might be surprising is that Glory is a better Wonder Woman comic than the one being written currently at DC by Brian Azzarello.

Why?

Read on for spoiler laden comparisons, Scooby Gangs, and basement dwelling emo gods.

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A hair late on this news, but DC Comics has announced the release dates for the first four issues of Before Watchmen. Minutemen by Darwyn Cooke, Silk Spectre by Cooke and Amanda Connor, Comedian by Brian Azzarello and J. G. Jones, and Nite Owl by J. Michael Straczynski, Joe Kubert and Andy Kubert will all drop on June 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th respectively… although if DC really wanted to announce that kind of decisive action, they should have gotten Dan DiDio to stand in front of a bank of flat-screens and say, “I released them thirty-five minutes ago.”

The books will be $3.99 a pop, or $4.99 for the digital combo pack if you want your childhood… shall we say affected… on your tablet, phone or computer. You can see the covers to these first four issues after the jump.

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Well, it’s official: DC’s putting aside the wishes of Alan Moore and their own long-time policy, and they’re putting out a prequel to Watchmen sometime this summer… either because they want to give some high-toned creators a chance to play in a legendary playground… or possibly because it would be unseemly to send Dan DiDio to stand outside the DC offices jingling change in a styrofoam coffee cup.

The story, called Before Watchmen as a whole, is gonna be released in seven different titles on a weekly basis, by some of the bigger names in comics today, and all with a backup pirate comics story called Curse of The Crimson Corsair, written by original series editor Len Wein and original series colorist John Higgins… which ties this new series to the original on a creator basis, but in a way similar to casting Die Hard 5 starring Reginald VelJohnson and that weasel who played Ellis.

So what are the books, and who’s doing them? Glad you asked:

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