secret_empire_promoYes, we are late after a weird weekend, but we still have a good show for you! A show barely prepared for, fueled by caffeine and alcohol, but as far as shows go: this is one!

Anyway, for the past few years, DC Films seems to have gauged whether or not to proceed making live action films of some of their lesser-known comics properties by releasing direct-to-video animated versions of them to see if they’ll stick. They did it with Suicide Squad three years ago, and now they’re doing it with the cast of the proposed Dark Universe movie with Justice League Dark, which was released last week.

We are big John Constantine fans (and kinda fans of the New 52 Justice League Dark), so we watched the movie and discuss the return of Matt Ryan to the role, how Batman fits into a mostly magical cast, why Black Orchid is almost literally filler, and why seeing Green Lantern being lightly tazed is almost always worth nearly any price of admission.

In addition: this week gave us the first two issues of what will become Marvel’s next event, Secret Empire. We have been nothing if not vocal here about how much a bummer Civil War II was, and now that we’re staring down the barrel of a story about a literal Nazi taking over the United States, well, we have strong opinions. And we even try to have those strong opinions without talking too much about current American politics.

As a palate cleanser, we also discuss Deathstroke #11, written by Priest, with pencils by Denys Cowan and inks by Bill Sienkiewicz!

But here’s the disclosures:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to know why spending a few months with Nazi Captain America might be a depressing idea, you have been warned.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. If you don’t want to explain to your mom why “catharsis: isn’t the same as some form of “reaching around”, then listen in your car or something.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

robobunny_batman_capulloWe are back, after a week spent upgrading various parts of our online infrastructure! Which was exactly as exciting as it sounds! Provided you are Lex from Jurassic Park and know Unix! Unlike us!

And we came back just in time for an almost complete comics news drought. This happens ever year in the couple of weeks leading up to San Diego Comic-Con; the publishers save their big announcements for the show, while leaking only little things, like TV casting announcements.

So the news about comics winds up being news about comics at SDCC. So this week, we discuss a couple of announcements about the convention itself, including some of the… shall we say, odder… convention exclusives that some vendors are making available, to the announcement that Marvel Studios won’t be having a Hall H presence this year, while Star Wars and DC / Warner Bros. (probably) will be having a big one.

And we took the opportunity afforded by a relatively slow news week to talk about more of this week’s comics than usual, including:

  • Starve #1, written by Brian Wood with art by Daniel Zezelj,
  • Starfire #1, written by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti with art by Emanuela Lupacchino,
  • Constantine, The Hellblazer #1, written by Ming Doyle and James Tynion IV with art by Riley Rossmo, and
  • Batman #41, written by Scott Snyder with art by Greg Capullo!

And, as usual, 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 putting a cape on your office chair means Gotham City is doomed.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, please be aware that we might ruin stuff for you.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. Unless you want your employer to hear multiple references to a sketchy, ten-dollar party, get some headphones.

Enjoy the show, suckers!

holy_fck_1_coverPicture, if you will, a comic book about a world where old gods hide in the shadows. They have amassed monetary wealth and earthly power, and they plan to use it to force humanity to worship them again… by fomenting Armageddon on Earth, and then saving the last surviving dregs of humanity, who will worship the Old Ones while envying the dead. A world where the only one who can save us is a simple nun. Oh, yeah: and Jesus. Who rides a Harley. And carries a machine gun. And enjoys the use of stimulants and prostitutes. Oh, and I forgot: Satan’s there, too. And he and Jesus have a history. In the Sam and Diane, Ross and Rachel sense of the word.

Sound like a fun comic? Well, it actually exists, and this week, we’re excited to have as our special guests: Nick Marino and Daniel Arruda Massa, the co-creators of Action Lab’s Danger Zone imprint’s newest comic: Holy F*ck!

Nick and Daniel spent a little time with us to talk about the book, its origins, how they came to collaborate on the book, how it found a home at Action Lab, and what you can expect from this story of Jesus and Satan against the old gods (hint: there are no helicopters). We also extensively discuss the use of specialty hairpieces in the pursuit of comics work. It’s a damn fun interview.

In addition, Amanda and I talk about:

  • Dan DiDio’s ongoing series of Facebook posts recapping his 13-year history at DC Comics,
  • Star Wars #1, written by Jason Aaron with art by John Cassaday, and:
  • Constantine #21, written by Ray Fawkes with art by Jeremy Haun!

And the obligatory disclaimers:

  • We record this show live to tape (although we recorded our interview with Nick and Daniel separately, and then cut it into the remainder of the show). As such, it might be a little looser than other comics podcasts you are used to, but it also means that anything can happen. Like a detailed description of Zeus’s man-nipples.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout warnings ahead of time, just assume we’re going to ruin every ending you ever cared about.
  • This show contains adult, profane languange, and is therefore not safe for work. We interview guys who created a book called Holy F*ck, guys; unless you want your boss to hear a discussion about Jesus’s and Satan’s special relationship, get some headphones.

A few other things we want to point out:

Nick and Daniel did a few short comics about what Jesus has been up to between Good Friday and Holy F*ck, if you want to get a taste of the book:

The first two issues are available at Comixology, and:

While we were talking, Nick put together and sent us a drawing that is relevant to our discussion, the comic and the title of this show:


Enjoy the show, suckers!

doctor_who_capaldiThis week we’re joined by our longtime contributor Lance Manion, who, similarly to Amanda, has been watching Doctor Who since the 1970s. So, being most of the way through Peter Capaldi’s first season as The Doctor, we talk about the season so far, what we think works and what doesn’t, and what we individually want from a season of Doctor Who.

Conversely, Lance has very little background in the character of John Constantine. So we revisit the just-aired first episode of Constantine, discuss the key difference between the leaked pilot and the aired episode, and how the show works for fans of the character and people who only know him as the guy who was a jerk to Swamp Thing.

We also discuss:

  • Deathstroke #1, written and penciled by Tony S. Daniel, and:
  • Arkham Manor #1, written by Gerry Duggan with art by Shawn Crystal!

And now, the disclaimers:

  • Normally, we record this show live to tape. However, we had a technical issue this week, which required some sound post-processing and some editing. However, we kept it as close to live as possible to maintain the spontaneity.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to yell out warnings ahead of time, assume that we will spoil any surprises you might hold dear.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is not safe for work. Unless you want to explain to your boss what the “Tuscaloosa Armpit Gank” is, get some headphones.

Enjoy the show, suckers!

star_hunters_4_coverOver the past week, announcements have come down that TV versions of Teen Titans and Supergirl are being developed… mere weeks before the premieres of Gotham, Constantine, The Flash, and a new season of Arrow. And all this on top of DC’s efforts to build a Marvel Studios style cohesive universe with their own movies.

So Amanda and I discuss who they could possibly use in Titans, what with all these other disconnected properties being released (spoilers: if we see Jericho, there will be blood). We also talk about whether, with these series as well as Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.Agent Carter, and the four Netflix series, we could be driving the non-comics reading public into superhero burnout, and if DC is fouling their own nest by pulling possible movie characters out of play for basic cable TV shows.

We also talk about:

  • Batman: Futures’ End #1, written by Ray Fawkes with art by Aco, and
  • The Death of Wolverine #2, written by Charles Soule with art by Steve McNiven!

And now the disclaimers:

  • We record this show live to tape. While that might mean a slightly looser show than you are used to, it also means that anything can happen. Like talking about Matthew Perry wearing Leifeld leg pouches stuffed with Vicodin.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout a warning ahead of time, consider this the official one.
  • This show contains adult, explicit language, and is therefore not safe for work. If you don’t have headphones, find Jericho, clock him in the head and take his. He’s got it coming, and besides: he can’t cry for help anyway.

Enjoy the show, suckers!

walking_dead_dead_insideThis 4th of July weekend, we got sucked into the AMC marathon of The Walking Dead, and were surprised how binge-watching the whole thing from the beginning changed our opinion of the show. So we talked about that extensively, along with:

  • The NBC Constantine pilot leaked to the Internet this week. Amanda and I saw it, and have some fairly strong opinions as to what worked (Matt Ryan as John Constantine) and what didn’t (writing, pacing, too much exposition, not enough mystery, no local flavor, and some other stuff),
  • Original Sin #5, written by Jason Aaron with art by Mike Deodato, and:
  • Rocket Raccoon #1, written and drawn by Skottie Young!

And now, the legalese:

  • We record the show live to tape. That means a few stuttered words more than you’re used to in a comics / genre culture podcast, but it also means that anything can happen.
  • The show contains spoilers. Some weeks it’s a few, some it’s a lot. This is one of the latter. Be forewarned.
  • Amanda and I use explicit, adult language, so this podcast is not safe for work. Unless your boss likes phrases like, “Preemptive dribble of patriotism,” wear headphones.

Enjoy the show, suckers!

constantine_matt_ryanWith all the weird publicity surrounding Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man (including the recent comment by Michael Douglas, who’s playing Hank Pym, that he is “very disappointed” that Edgar Wright left the project), it’s easy to forget that there are other filmed adaptations that aren’t quite as… embattled? Struggling? Fucked?

Case in point: DC / Vertigo’s Constantine is still scheduled to start on October 24th on NBC, and a new trailer for the show has been released. It doesn’t show a ton of new stuff, but it features a couple of new visuals that DC and John Constantine fans are likely to enjoy, including John drinking beer (twice!), and the helmet of a certain doctor that might indicate the show’s relationship with the greater DC Universe… although since the show will be on NBC while Arrow and The Flash are on The WB and Gotham is on Fox, the chances of any kind of crossover seems minimal. With that said: Law And Order: Special Victims Unit is still on NBC, which means that John Constantine could, theoretically, meet John Munch, which would place Constantine in the same universe as Fox Mulder, thus causing the universe to explode.

But one thing missing from this trailer, same as all the other trailers? A fucking cigarette. The character caused a child’s soul to be ripped into hell, but the problem is that he likes cigarettes? Let the evil prick have a Silk Cut, for God’s sake! Because it’s all fun and games until some kid with pristine, pink lungs gets picked up for sacrificing some orphan to Ba’al.

Ah, well. You can check the newest trailer out after the jump.

constantine_matt_ryanWe talked a bunch about the upcoming Constantine TV show during this week’s podcast, but at the time we didn’t have a lot of information about the show, like what day it would be on and when it might debut.

Well, since we taped the show, site contributor Trebuchet brought to our attention that NBC has released a trailer for the show that answers a couple of questions about the show. Such as the fact that it looks like it will be debuting in the fall, and it will be airing on Fridays with Grimm (probably taking the place of Dracula).

Further, it seems that John’s first botched misadventure in Newcastle where he damned Astra’s soul to hell and got himself committed to Ravenscar will be part of continuity. However, it also seems that a big chunk of the show will be spent dealing with Americans, which were always the weakest issues of the comic book.

I have one or two other observations, but I’ll reserve them until you watch the trailer, which you can find right after the jump.

homer_superman_shirtMy God, it’s a miracle: we’re actually releasing a new podcast on our regularly-scheduled Sunday! Sure, we had to tape it on Saturday to get it done, and during a time when we were forced by circumstance to remain sober while we did it, but what the hell; it’s a small price to pay for being able to rant about comics and pop culture on a predictable schedule.

In this week’s episode, we discuss:

  • Television! Particularly, the announcements this week that Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was renewed (and whether or not that is a good thing), and the announcements that various networks have picked up season orders of Agent Carter, Gotham, iZombie, Constantine, and Flash, and which shows we think might be good or horrible, depending on their direction
  • Moon Knight #3, written by Warren Ellis with art by Declan Shalvey
  • Miles Morales, The Ultimate Spider-Man #1, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by David Marquez, and
  • Why you should never allow a kitten into a recording studio when you are, you know, recording.

And, a few notes (and please let us know in the comments if we mentioned something obscure and forgot to include it here):

  • The “Maurissa” whose name we were trying to remember was Maurissa Tancharoen, one of the showrunners for Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • When we talk about Beacon Hill and Dorchester, you might not know that Beacon Hill is a Boston neighborhood populated almost exclusively by people who use the word “summer” as a verb, and Dorchester is a place where you go to witness or participate in a knife fight (it is the home neighborhood of Mark Wahlberg, so you know almost nothing good has come from there)

Finally, the nitty gritty pseudo-legalese:

  • This show may contains spoilers, and it may spoil something with no warning whatsoever (although we make an effort to chuck a “spoiler alert!” in now and again)
  • This show was recorded live to tape and is unedited, so there may be more “ums”, pregnant pauses, and vile, ill-advised humor than you are used to from your everyday comics / pop culture podcast
  • This show includes the use of explicit and profane language, and is most decidedly not safe for work. Unless you have the kind of job that requires you to know what a “Tunguska Reacharound” is, in which case, listen away and feel free to tell your pimp that we think you deserve a larger cut of the take.

Enjoy the show, suckers!

John ContantineWe didn’t write about the announced Constantine TV pilot that’s been announced as in production by Executive Producer of The Mentalist and The Dark Knight Rises writer David S. Goyer for a few reasons, the first being a sinking feeling – after all, we remember the Americanized Constantine movie with Keanu Reeves despite the liberal application of strong alcohol to try and dull those memories. But honestly, the second reason was that, if we were going to pay attention to a story about a treacherous liar playing with forces he doesn’t fully understand while throwing all his friends under a bus to save his own skin, well, until last night, we were pretty well covered.

But now that that distraction is completed (at least until the complete series Blu-Ray set drops in November), well, there’s still not a whole hell of a lot to say. No one has seen the script or the story bible yet and no one has been cast, so this thing could be anything from a well-produced and well-financed series about John Constantine wandering the world, taking on mysteries of the week while moving toward a larger, over-arcing Big Bad… or it could star Ted McGinley as a disgraced former cop-on-the-edge, tackling vampires mostly made of face putty in whatever city they want Toronto to double for this time around.

So we can’t yet talk about whether this show, assuming it ever actually gets made and shown, will be a good idea or the most modern iteration of, well, every genre TV show launched (and then scuttled) between the debut of Lost and the debut of Heroes (and we all saw how well that one turned out). But since this is a comic book property in the age of the Internet, the one question that we can ask is: will anyone involved with the creation of John Constantine – i.e. Alan Moore, Steve Bissette and John Totleben – gonna make any bank from this show?

Sure! They’ll be making exactly as much as Jack Kirby’s family made from The Avengers movies and Bill Finger’s kids made from The Dark Knight Rises: exactly fuck-all!