civil_war_ii_7_cover_2016Last week was Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday where family members travel for hours and miles to share a table with family members and take a moment to express gratitude for the good things in their life. Then they follow that moment with hours of barely-suppressed acrimony, sarcasm-dipped references to long-buried grievances, and barbed rejoinders about the political beliefs of family. They then disperse to Black Friday sales around the map, taking their frustrations out on fellow shoppers and leading to those awesome fight clips on YouTube.

Rob and Amanda did not go to any Black Friday sales. They did, however, read Civil War II #7, and they do have a comics podcast.

Due to vagaries of comics publishing (and the fact that Civil War II has been late almost since it was solicited), this week we not only discovered the result of the battle between Captain Marvel and Iron Man, but we began to learn the price that certain characters will apparently pay for their roles in suspending the Constitution, ignoring the First, Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, contributing to the deaths of at least three Avengers and arguably sending the Marvel Universe on the road to literal apocalypse.

And we found that price to be wanting.

So we spend a lot of time complaining bitterly about:

  • Civil War II #7, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by David Marquez and Andrea Sorrentino,
  • Captain Marvel # 10, written by Ruth Fletcher Gage and Christos Gage with art by Thony Silas, and
  • The Ultimates 2 #1, written by Al Ewing with art by Travel Foreman.

But, since we can’t be negative about everything, we also discuss:

  • Deathstroke #7, written by Priest with art by Larry Hama and Carlo Pagulayan,
  • Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 11 #1, written by Christos Gage with art by Rebekah Issacs, and:
  • A. D.: After Death Book 1, written by Scott Snyder with art by Jeff Lemire!

And, the usual disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to know what happens in Civil War II, just try to forget some of your biggest disappointments before reading it.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. If you said to your mom what we say about Civil War Ii over the Thanksgiving table, you’d be disowned. So get yourself some headphones.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

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!

doctor_who_capaldiThis week was the much-heralded premiere of Doctor Who season 8, with Peter Capaldi’s first turn as The Doctor. Like most geeks, Amanda and I watched the show, with our special guests, long-time Crisis On Infinite Midlives contributors Trebuchet and Pixiestyx, and spent some time talking about the episode itself, and Doctor Who as a whole. Between us all, we have a wide range of experience and interest in Doctor Who, from one recent and casual fan to one who’s been watching since Tom Baker was broadcast of UHF PBS stations in the early 90s, so it made for a pretty interesting conversation, even with our crippling, debilitating hangovers!

We also discuss:

  • Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 10 #6, written by Christos Gage with art by Karl Moline, and
  • Multiversity #1, written by Grant Morrison with art by Ivan Reis (and considering Rob is the only hardcore superhero fan with a soft spot for Morrison, this gets a little contentious)!

And now the disclaimers:

  • This show was recorded live to tape. While this might mean it’s a little looser than some comics podcasts, it also means that anything can happen! Including the rank mockery of Matt Smith!
  • This show not only contains spoilers, but it is supersaturated with spoilers. So while we try to throw in warnings ahead of time, consider this a big, blanket, spoilery-woilery warning.
  • Everyone involved in this show uses explicit, adult language, so the show is not safe for work. Even the BBC, which allows full frontal nudity, would bleep this show. So get yourself some headphones.

Enjoy the show, suckers!


The annual goodbye party for the San Diego Comic-Con – a screening of Buffy The Vampire Slayer’s season six musical episode, Once More With Feeling – concluded about an hour and a half ago.

And, as last year, the proceedings started with Nicholas Brendan live on stage, singing his old, “Wicca good and I’ll be over here,” in shades and a douchebag Fedora, continued with repeated and rousing denunciations of Dawn as the ruiner of all things good and fun (and at least one loud “Fuck off!” after Dawn sang, “Does anybody even notice?” – you’re welcome, Fandom), and ended, as always, with a bittersweet run for the doors.

Comic-Con is now officially over, which is always a strange feeling. As Amanda and I say every year: we wish it would never end, but if it didn’t, we don’t think we could take anymore. We are exhausted, and we still have panels to write about and video and pictures to upload. Not to mention a cross-country flight to pack for.


But those things can wait. Because we have, after all, survived, and that requires a little celebration. Which means that this is the end of our broadcast day.

So while we do that celebrating (we are posting this from my phone at the Hyatt bar) and packing…

See you tomorrow, suckers!

In this Game Of Thrones fan trailer, posted by YouTube user zuziako, scenes from the show are set to the Buffy The Vampire Slayer theme by Nerf Herder. In the role of Buffy? Jon Snow. Because, as zuziako puts it in the comments, “Well, he battles the undead.”

He does indeed.

Best quote from the comment thread is by user Joe Coffey:

You know nothing, Buffy Summers.

Miss Buffy? Then check out this never before released footage from behind the scenes of the series over at The Mary Sue. It’ll help keep you going until you can dig out your old BTVS DVDs, or until winter comes back around again.

Via The Mary Sue.

ComicBookGuy2012 is firmly at our backs. Congratulations, everyone. We made it.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but we had some real time encounters with abject, stinking failure in 2012 that make me all the more grateful to move on and away from it. From the weird decision to fire and then almost immediately rehire Gail Simone, to the baffling continued employment of Greg Land, to the need for some high profile comics creators to make odd and unnecessary comments about Batman’s sexuality because they can’t seem to stop giving Playboy interviews while in the thrall of a mescaline bender, there was plenty to color the comics enjoyment experience last year. And, after all the dust settled from the complaints of former employees about creator rights and other assorted Twitter bitching, sometimes, just sometimes, there were the comics themselves that were the problem.

Here are my picks for the top five comic book disappointments of 2012, 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):

Editor’s Note: If I ever want to hear your spoilers Spike… come to think of it, I’ll never want to hear your spoilers.

Well, I certainly didn’t see that coming. I probably should have, given how similarly weighty events have recently played out in Buffy The Vampire Slayer, but what the hell. We’ll get to that in a minute.

We’ve spent sixteen issues watching Angel and Faith off in England, trying to work out how to bring Giles back from the dead. And during that time we’ve met some interesting new characters and we’ve come across some old familiar ones, and some weird shit has gone down, but that first statement has been our core mission: Angel and Faith are trying to resurrect Giles. And that has made Angel and Faith, to me, more compelling than the core Buffy Season Nine title, because of what that mission entails: doing some dark shit, shit that the Buffy TV show, in Season Six, showed us was difficult on a good day, impossible on a bad one, and dangerous, ill-advised and rife with bad, bad unintended circumstances on every day. And this story has worked for me because if anyone knows the dangers behind raising the dead, it’s members of Buffy’s Scooby Gang, and yet they were doing it anyway. And the promise has been that we will eventually see them on the precipice of darkness, with Giles’s body and some magical McGuffins, and having to make the conscious decision as to whether to proceed or not, and face those consequences.

Well, that’s over now. While the conclusion of Angel & Faith #16 delivers one hell of a twist and teases a possible big bad for Faith and Angel that I didn’t really see coming and which could well wind up with an emotional and affecting climax. However, by taking that course, writer Christos Gage has let the air out of the story so far. He trades the weird, sick momentum of the story so far for a twist and an “oh shit!” moment. And while that moment has some promise, it doesn’t trade even in my ledger.

Here’s how you start a quickie, unfounded Nerd Rage in a comic / genre geek when he reads just the headline of a story before he’s had coffee like a civilized person, or at least like a person who needs coffee to keep from dying: you have him spend fifteen or so years knowing the following quote by heart:

Into every generation a slayer is born: one girl in all the world, a chosen one. She alone will wield the strength and skill to fight the vampires, demons, and the forces of darkness; to stop the spread of their evil and the swell of their number. She is the Slayer.

…and then you show him this headline, completely without context:

EXCLUSIVE: Buffyverse Gets It First Gay Male Slayer

Dark Horse Comics announces the introduction of Billy in Buffy Season 9 #14

First, you feel the Continuity Hate: “But… but… the slayers have to be female! That’s been how it is not just since the series, but since Donald Sutherland was teaching Kristy Swanson how to shank Pee Wee Herman twenty fucking years ago!” Then, you feel the Pandering Seeth: “Wait a second… are you telling me that somebody expects us to believe that the forces of magic can’t tell the difference between a girl, and a gay guy? Are you honestly expecting me to believe that I’ve been buying into stories about female empowerment and overcoming gender expectations for twenty years, only to find out that all that matters is what you choose to put in your mouth in the privacy of your own home? Are you telling me that gay men might as well just be women? Does this means that we can expect Willow to get the nod as the starting center for the Oakland Raiders? You condescending bastards!”

And then you actually, you know, drink your coffee and read the fucking story and discover that the whole thing actually makes a lot of sense, given the circumstances and the long-term themes of the Buffyverse.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Into every generation a spoiler is born: one in all the world, a chosen one. 

The kid in me says: “You’ve been willing to accept the concept of a robot Buffy since at least season five. when the Buffybot was introduced. And then, you accepted that a Buffybot was built well enough to fool even close friends, and anatomically correct enough to satisfy Spike’s carnal desires, despite the inevitable sheet metal barbs always found in home robot construction. Why is it so unbelievable, should Buffy’s consciousness be placed into a Buffybot, that she wouldn’t notice the difference between the robot and her body?”

But then the grown-up in me says: “Even if I were unaware that my consciousness had been transferred into a robot, as a human being older than seven, I would notice if I hadn’t taken a dump for several weeks.”