And lo, we return to you from lands afar, with the legendary tale of The Mighty Conquest of the Editing Robot with the Holy Union of the Irish and Columbia or: How We Killed Our Podcast Editing Computer with a Cup of Irish Coffee!

Seriously, we’re back after some serious technical difficulties, but ready to discuss the annual sale of passes to San Diego Comic-Con, and how we’ll be covering at least part of the event from on site. We’re excited to be returning for the first time since 2014… but we can still be irritated by having to suffer through the experience of the Blue Ring of Failure.

But it was a big week for comics, both good and bad, so we spend most of the episode discussing the high and lowlights, including:

  • Nick Fury #1, written by James Robinson with art by Aco,
  • Secret Empire #0, written by Nick Spencer with art by Daniel Acuna,
  • The Shaolin Cowboy: Who’ll Stop the Reign? #1, written and drawn by Geof Darrow, and:
  • Batman #21, written by Tom King with art by Jason Fabok!

And, as usual, the disclaimers:

  • We experienced a technical problem where a crackling sound becomes apparent during the last several minutes of the show. We ran it through a couple of filters to minimize it, but it’s obvious, and while the audio never becomes inaudible, it is irritating. We apologize, and we swear that our backup system to avoid this will totally work next time this happens, because we will totally remember to turn it on.
  • The show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to know what universe Batman comes close to this week, well, you must be a new listener! Nice to meet you!
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is not safe for work. If you don’t want your mom to hear about how Batman makes Reverse Flash see God, then get some headphones.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

EDITOR’S NOTE: And there came a day, a day unlike any other, when Crisis On Infinite Midlives douchiest editors found themselves united against a common threat. Spoilers Assemble!

I am perhaps not the best person to review Avengers #24 objectively, since I have gone on record as not being the biggest proponent of the whole Dark Reign 2 / Return of Norman Osborn / Dark Avengers Redux storyline. Based on particular individual issues in this crossover, I had somewhat softened my original opinion about the story arc, but considering my original prejudices, I perhaps cannot be trusted to be impartial in my opinions about this semi-ending to the story.

However, considering that you have made it this far after being spoiler and prejudice-warned on a Web site where the tagline on every page proclaims me to be a grumpy drunkard, I now feel safe in telling you that the ending of this story is so Goddamned wretchedly and horrifyingly bad it cheapens the entire arc, which I didn’t hold in particularly high value in the first place. In terms of excitement, this ending ranks with “And then I woke up.” In terms of a climax, this is on par with “I’m sorry; this has never happened to me before.” And in terms of pacing, it can only feel like writer Brian Michael Bendis said, “Avengers Vs. X-Men starts when? Oh shit.

In addition, this story, as did the first Dark Reign storyline a couple years back, violates what should be an obvious and cardinal rule of resolving a Norman Osborn Ascendant story that should be Goddamned obvious on its face… but I’ll get to that in a minute.