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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secret_wars_teaser_alex_rossIt’s been three months since Marvel announced the Secret Wars crossover event, and since then, speculation has been flying about what it meant for the Marvel Universe: would it be a reboot, or just an event allowing Marvel characters from all their various universes to punch on each other for a few months?

Well, Marvel’s Senior Vice President and Executive Editor Tom Brevoort and Editor-In-Chief Axel Alonso did a press conference about Secret Wars this week, and it turns out the answer is: both!

So this week, we spend a lot of time poring over audio from that press conference, first trying to figure out if this reboot was planned before or after Alonso famously denied that Marvel was planning a reboot. We also discuss whether and what we’ll miss from the Ultimate Universe, what we want to see written out of Marvel continuity, and what we think is absolutely sacrosanct. Further, when it comes to Secret Wars itself, we talk about Battleworld, what battles we want to see between characters and universes, and ultimately, whether or not we’re excited by the idea of a Crisis On Infinite Earths-style reboot of Stan and Jack’s Marvel Universe.

We also discuss:

  • The Amazing Spider-Man #13, written by Dan Slott with art by Giuseppe Camuncoli, and:
  • Powers #1, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Michael Avon Oeming!

And now, the disclaimers:

  • We record this show live to tape. While this might mean this is a looser comics podcast than you might be used to, it also means that anything can happen. Like discussions over whether we want to start a Kickstarter to fund the purchase of a Crisis On Infinite Midlives Kill-Bot.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, just assume that we’ve ruined the end of Spider-Verse for you.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and therefore is not safe for work. Unless you want your employer finding out what body part we want to use to trigger the machines guns on our Kill-Bot, get some headphones.
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multiversity_pax_americana_1_coverThe world of comics is big, complex, and sometimes even literary… and we are not. So we open this show talking about the return of Underoos. Which might sound frivolous, but when you consider that those underwear packs were the only place we middle-aged geeks could get a decent superhero t-shirt in the late 70s, it means something to us.

In addition, we also talk about the radical change in Batgirl to appeal to younger readers, we talk about whether that re-imagining of the character was the right way to go, and what other efforts the Big Two publishers might use to attract readers who aren’t middle-aged white guys with massive disposable incomes. We cover reboots like Batgirl’s, new characters in old costumes like Ms. Marvel, and the good old days, when Avengers and Justice League were places where new and B-List characters could get a fair shake at building a fanbase that could maybe carry a solo title for them.

We also go over the recently announced week two books of DC’s Convergence event, speculate on which titles seem most likely to hold hints about the permanence of this event, and again despair why some creators are on books that don’t seem like the best possible fit (why is Keith Giffen not writing Justice League International, for the love of God?).

And finally, we talk about:

  • Multiversity: Pax Americana #1, written by Grant Morrison with art by Frank Quitely, and:
  • Spider-Verse #2, written by Dan Slott with art by Olivier Coipel!

And now the disclaimers:

  • This show is recorded live to tape (There is one edit in this week’s episode to cover when I nearly revealed my secret identity). While this might mean a looser show than other comics podcasts, it also means that anything can happen. Like mangling the name of a classic comic to make it sound like Green Arrow is a gentleman of leisure who favors baseball bats.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to yell out warnings ahead of time, be aware that they can come at any time.
  • We use adult, profane language, and therefore this show is not safe for work. Unless you, like Green Arrow, are a gentleman of leisure, consider wearing headphones.
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ConvergencePromo_1200Pre-registration for San Diego Comic-Con 2015, for people who attended SDCC in 2014, came and went yesterday, and it marked the first disappointment for would-be attendees who didn’t manage to snag passes… including us. So we spend some time talking about the process, how it differed from registration procedures over the past ten years, and whether there are any other fair options that can balance the need to allow as many people as possible to experience the con, against the horrors of being forced to impotently watch the Blue Ring of Disappointment.

In addition, DC announced their spring crossover event, Convergence, and it was interesting in that it could bring back some pre-Flashpoint characters, it might roll back some New 52 changes, and it sounds suspiciously similar to Marvel’s upcoming¬†Secret Wars event. So we talk about how these respective events might affect their greater continuities, for which publisher this might be a better and stronger move, and ultimately, which one we’re most looking forward to.

We also talk about:

  • Grayson #4, written by Tim Seeley with art by Mikel Janin, and:
  • Spider-Verse #1, written by Dan Slott with pencils by Olivier Coipel!

And now the legalese:

  • This show is recorded live to tape. While this might mean a looser comics podcast than you’re used to, it also means that anything can happen. Like the observation that, if people bitten by radioactive spiders throw off irresistible pheromones, then Spider-Verse will become a very sticky place for reasons other than webbing.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, just assume that we might ruin everything you love.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. Your boss doesn’t have Spyral’s nano-bugs, so all you’ll need is some headphones.

Oh, and here’s that Marvel Secret Wars video we talked about:

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tmp_sin_city_a_dame_to_kill_for_teaser_poster_1_2013-1733579567It is the middle of Labor Day weekend, which means that things are slow in the world of comics news, and fast in the world of drinking whiskey to forget you still have a job to go to on Tuesday.

So Amanda and I use this lull to idly speculate who might be a good casting choice for Doctor Strange in the upcoming Phase 3 Marvel movie. And not only that, but we got ourselves out to see the currently-in-theaters Sin City: A Dame To Kill For adaptation of Frank Miller’s hard boiled crime comics… and we had remarkably different reactions to the flick. Specifically regarding Eva Green’s casting as Ava Lord, Eva Green’s ability to portray Ava Lord, and Eva Green’s qualifications as an actress beyond the ability of some of her bodily appendages to defy constant gravitational forces. We also talk about the other parts of the movie.

We also discuss:

  • All-Star Western #34, written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, with art by Darwyn Cooke, and
  • Silver Surfer #5, written by Dan Slott with pencils by Mike Allred!

And now the disclaimers:

  • We record this show live to tape. While this might mean a somewhat looser comics podcast than you are used to, it also means anything can happen. Like discussions about new supervillain Whistle Pig.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings before spilling secrets, be on notice that spoilers can happen at any time.
  • Amanda and I use explicit, adult language, and therefore this show is not safe for work. Before listening without headphones, please see the earlier note about the discussion vis a vis Eva Green’s bodily appendages. Get some headphones.
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superior_spider-man_31_cover_2014Editor’s Note: Yeah. That sounds just spoilery enough to be right. Let’s go.

It’s been about 16 months since Doc Ock took over as Spider-Man, which has been just enough time to forget that Spider-Man is supposed to be fun, dammit.

Spider-Man’s supposed to be a wisecrack and an acrobatic move and a triumphant battle against insurmountable odds, while simultaneously Peter Parker’s a self-defeating complaint, an overdue bill he can’t afford to pay and a ruinous relationship that disintegrates against, well, predictable odds. Is it a formula? Sure. Is it soap operatic? Hell, yeah. But it’s a thing that works, and which has been working for 52 years. And it seems like a simple enough formula that we’ve seen so often over the years that we wouldn’t miss it if it was gone for a while… but I did, dammit.

Doc Ock as Spider-Man has been an interesting thought experiment to help reinforce that it’s the character of Peter Parker that makes the comic and not just a power set and a red and blue leotard, but nobody falls in love with a thought experiment unless it’s the Milgram Experiment, and even then it’s only if the enthralled already had a closet full of jackboots. So while it’s been a kinda cool distraction to watch a darker, more obsessed version of Spider-Man, I was ready for it to be over since I already have Batman.

So not only is it just plain good to see Peter back in the saddle in The Superior Spider-Man #31, writer Dan Slott clearly knows it. Because throughout this issue, characters react to Peter being back in costume (despite ostensibly not really knowing that he¬†ever wasn’t the guy in the costume) with a general sense of relief and a sense of return to normal.

And so did I.

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tmp_amazing_spider-man_1_cover_2014871384253We’re a little late to the party on this one, but Marvel is already starting to hype the first big event of the soon-to-be freshly Peter Parker-centric reboot of The Amazing Spider-Man… because God knows that you need to market the living shit out of a book where you completely blow up the status quo to, well, return to the status quo. Jesus, Marvel and writer Dan Slott threw a pudgy, nearsighted, vainglorious motormouth into the Spider-Man suit for the past 15 months and have set sales records; I doubt you need to set the world alight to get people to read a Spider-Man book featuring the original dude.

Frankly, just seeing Peter Parker back in the saddle is enough of an event to get me excited… and yet this one sounds ambitious and kinda interesting. It’s called Spider-Verse, it’s gonna be written by Dan Slott with art by Olivier Coipel, it’ll be coming out in November starting in The Amazing Spider-Man #9, and it’s gonna feature Spider-Man.

Whaddya mean, “which Spider-Man?” Spider-Man! You know… all of them. Ever.

Seriously: check it out:

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tmp_superior_spider-man_25_cover_20141062414147Editor’s Note: Ah, but my dear Spider-Woman… I so want to spoil you. And I can no longer think of a reason not to.

Now we’re getting somewhere.

I’ve been pretty vocal recently that, while I’m generally enjoying Dan Slott’s tale of Doc Ock as Spider-Man in The Superior Spider-Man, it’s felt like it’s been dragging along for a while to me. With the foregone conclusion that Peter Parker would eventually be returning as Spider-Man – a foregone conclusion that has been bourne out by recent news (spoilers at that link, by the way) – I had passed the point where I was fully engaged in seeing how Doc Ock would operate as Spider-Man and had reached the point where I wanted to see how things turned out to put Peter back into the suit. Picture it like sex: foreplay is fun and all, but as a wise man once said, eventually you gotta go into the trenches and bump uglies. So to speak.

Well, we are now on the 25th issue of The Superior Spider-Man – an impressive feat, considering the first issue was only a year ago – and now we’ve got some solid rising action moving toward a denouement of this whole Otto situation. Writers Dan Slott and Christos Gage take a solid step in this issue toward yanking the rug out from under Otto, showing cracks in his public image, suspicion from Spider-Man’s allies, and some real opposition from someone who can actually get to the bottom of this whole Ock / Spider-Man situation.

After months of foreplay, characters are finally starting to bump Editor’s Note: Rob, this metaphor is a dicey pile of shit. Move along. -Amanda

Ahem. Anyway.

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tmp_amazing_spider-man_1_variant_cover_2014962603996Editor’s Note: Look, this entire article is loaded with spoilers about upcoming events related to Spider-Man and Marvel’s and Dan Slott’s plans for the character in the coming months. And while none of those events are particularly hard to guess, if you want to remain pure and unspoiled about things, you should probably move along. And try not to think about the most likely actions a corporation might take to maximize profit via cross-platform synergy. And if you don’t have to think about what “cross-platform synergy” means because it is a part of your job, you should move along before I call you something I can’t take back.¬†

I wrote not too long ago that, despite generally enjoying Dan Slott’s The Superior Spider-Man, that I was ready for the whole Doc Ock as Spider-Man storyline to start coming in for a landing. While it’s been an interesting storytelling experiment, in the sense that it explores a different and darker angle on the concept of “with great power comes great responsibility” that’s at the core of Spider-Man’s character, it’s grown a little long in the tooth for me, since I knew full Goddamned well that eventually, Peter Parker was gonna come back. When? Well, sometime before The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opens in theaters in May, at the very least… no matter what Dan Slott said about Peter Parker staying dead.

Well, Slott and Marvel have finally gone on record about their long-term plans for Peter Parker. And while the broad strokes might be pretty much what one would expect, they amount to pretty big spoilers, so if you want to know what’s up, you can find out after the jump.

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tmp_superior_spider-man_22_cover_20131746222442I haven’t written about The Superior Spider-Man in a while, even though I am still reading it and still generally enjoying it, because it is beginning to succumb to The Walking Dead disease.

Here’s what I mean: we all know full well how The Superior Spider-Man is going to end. No matter what writer Dan Slott says on Twitter and at conventions, we all know that Peter Parker will return as Spider-Man at some point before the Amazing Spider-Man 2 movie opens on May 2nd next year. And even if you choose to believe that Marvel’s overlords at Disney will be willing to allow that corporate synergy and mindshare (Christ, I feel dirty just typing that) to pass since the movie’s owned by Sony and Columbia, the signs are all here that Peter Parker will return and Otto Octavius will suffer a fall. Otto’s showing hubris, he’s arrogant, and his sense of superiority is rubbing damn near everyone the wrong way.

All the signs point to Otto falling from grace and Peter returning, and the problem is that every reader knows this. Because we read comic books, and we know full well that dead only means dead in comics if the dead guy is Uncle Ben, Thomas Wayne or Martha Wayne. So we all know that the broad-stroke ending of Otto falls / Peter returns is coming (the same way we’ve known that Negan falls / Rick triumphs is the likely ending of the Walking Dead arc that’s been going on since 2012)… but it seems it has been going on forever.

And the events of The Superior Spider-Man #22 continues with the long, slow arc of Otto blindly heading toward a bad end, with yet another instance of Otto interacting badly with someone who would expect Peter to know and be friendly with him. And it’s certainly enjoyable enough, particularly in seeing J. Jonah Jameson’s reaction to some of the events of the issue… but it is also still more of the same interminable setup for a story for which I’m becoming damned impatient to see the punchline.

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