dc_rebirth_charactersIt’s the first full week of DC Comics: Rebirth, and not a single Watchmen character appears in those issues, so we decided it would be a good opportunity to complain again about Watchmen characters appearing in the DC Universe.

Specifically, it was revealed this week that DC Comics didn’t contact Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons to ask him his opinion about adding Watchmen characters to Dc Universe: Rebirth. So we talk about whether that was a bush league move (protip: yeah), some of the history around DC leaving Watchmen alone, and whether DC Editorial really had any choice in asking for Gibbons or writer Alan Moore for even a half-hearted blessing in using their characters in Rebirth.

Then, since we were on a Rebirth roll, we discussed all this week’s titles from that event:

  • Superman: Rebirth #1, written by Peter Tomasi with art by Doug Mahnke,
  • Green Arrow: Rebirth #1, written by Benjamin Percy with art by Otto Schmidt,
  • Green Lanterns: Rebirth #1, written by Geoff Johns and Sam Humphries with art by Ethan Van Sciver and Ed Benes, and:
  • Batman: Rebirth #1, written by Scott Snyder and Tom King with art by Miken Janin.

And, just so Marvel doesn’t feel neglected, we close the show by talking about:

  • Civil War II #1, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by David Marquez!

And, as always, the disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you want to avoid knowing how the DC: Rebirth books end (spoiler alert: no matter what happens, it probably won’t matter next month), then consider yourself warned.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. You want your mom to know what “giddy bottom” means? Get some ear buds.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

secret_wars_teaser_alex_rossIt is Mother’s Day today, which means a somewhat shorter and truncated show this week. Because when you’re a son or a daughter, you need to honor your mother on Mother’s Day. And it turns out that you need to do that whether you remember she’s visiting that day, or whether they need blind telephone technical support for several hours. Because she’s the woman who gave birth to you, and saying, “But we have a podcast to record!” isn’t a good excuse. Particularly when you don’t want Mom to know that you have a podcast.

So this week, we take advantage of the fact that Convergence is half over to discuss the previews of post-Convergence books, both new and old, that DC has released this week. The books run the gamut from humor to sci-fi to action to apparent political horror, so we talk about Doomed, Red Hood and Arsenal, Starfire, Midnighter, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Omega Men, Detective Comics, Section Eight, and Prez.

But the big deal in this week’s comics was the first issue of Marvel’s Secret Wars, where Jonathan Hickman spits on his hands and takes Marvel the whole Crisis route. However, Secret Wars #1 isn’t Crisis. So we talk about how Hickman has put Marvel through it’s own Kobayashi Maru test, and given us a superhero story where nobody acts like a superhero, everyone seems to act in their own self-interest, and heroes act like they never have before in order to make sure everyone’s in the right place to service the plot. Ultimately, we talk about how this is a story that is very consistent with Hickman’s general style… and how that might not be the best thing for some of these characters.

And now, the disclaimers:

  • We record this show live to tape. While this might mean a looser comics podcast than you are used to, it also means that anything can happen. Like speculation about the musky flavor profile of Dead Guy Whiskey.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, just assume that you are going to learn exactly why Reed Richards is a d**k.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. Unless you want your employer to learn our new cocktails based on Dead Guy Whiskey, get some headphones.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

batman_21_cover_2013DC Comics just wrapped up an event called the DC Retailer Roadshow in New York, which is not an event to which I was invited, due to the fact that I am not a comics retailer, and thanks to ugly rumors spread by the owner of my local comic store, where they know me by name and ask me to stop including the word “taser” in sentences that also include the phrase, “If I ever get face-to-face with Dan DiDio.”

A gentleman named Roderick Ruth, however, was there, and filed a report on the proceedings. Which included the normal stuff you would expect from a meeting with retailers – hype about the upcoming Trinity War event, addressing concerns that DC isn’t giving retailers enough information to appropriately order high-demand books like the one where Robin died, what have you – but it also included an interesting tidbit about Scott Snyder’s Batman origin story Zero Year, which just started last week.

That tidbit being that there will be crossover stories with Zero Year appearing not only in some of the Bat titles, but also in Action Comics, Flash, Green Arrow and Green Lantern Corps.

Wait, what?

There is a convention going on in Toronto this weekend called Fan Expo Canada, which we were not able to attend since we are still paying off our attendance at San Diego Comic-Con, I have no valid passport, and because of that 1991 incident where the Montreal Police were forced to declare that particular location of Peel’s Pub “Unfit for human habitation” after five pitchers of Labatts and a plate of their poutine like it’s my fault that there was already a dude locked in the bathroom when the gravy and beer did what it does.

Anyhoo, there was a convention this weekend, and members of the DC Comics staff were there, and there was a pretty big announcement: writer Geoff Johns and current Batman: The Dark Knight artist David Finch will be collaborating on a new book: Justice League of America.

So Preview Night is past us now, and while I know it’s not even theoretically possible that it was busier than last year – after all, Preview Night passes have been selling out since about 2009 – it sure feels like it was. A few years ago it was possible on preview night for someone to, say, get ripped to the tits on Stone Arrogant Bastard IPA for four hours before he doors opened and then cruise around the floor, staging stupid and adolescent photographs with the Jabba The Hutt prop at the Hasbro booth. If you tried that now, you would inevitably stumble into someone waiting in a truly horrific line for an exclusive S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier playset, be unable to convince said line-waiter that you weren’t claim jumping, and wind up instigating a pathetic slapfight.

There is very little convention programming that occurs on Preview Night, so the action is centered on the main convention floor. The night’s original and intended purpose is to allow people who are attending the con to obtain exclusives, or who are looking for some particular, special item, piece of art or back issue, to have access to the vendors early and get the purchase out of the way so they can enjoy the rest of the convention. As such, any actual comic news is few and far between on Preview Night… but there is certainly some, and if there isn’t? There is spectacle.

Green Arrow 4 CoverWhen it comes to creative teams, DC’s New 52 is turning into Thunderdome: 52 teams enter… one team leaves… and if recent DC history’s any guide, that team will be Grant Morrison, an A-list artist to be named later, and a terrifyingly large pile of mescaline.

Last week it was John Rozum walking away from Static Shock, which was a shame because I had some hope for it; sure, the first issue didn’t grab either Amanda or I enough to review it, but Rozum’s responsible for writing 2002’s terrific and woefully underrated Midnight, Mass. from Vertigo, so I was hoping things would improve.

Instead, he chose to leave the title, absolving pretty much all parties involved of any blame by name, then saying with one breath that he was looking forward to doing more books with DC Comics and with the NEXT saying, “…if you are in the position to give me work, please let me know.” Which only tells me that if you want to know what REALLY happened there, you should attend next month’s New York ComicCon and fill that man with bourbon. And then send us an email. And then fill US with bourbon. But I digress.

Yesterday afternoon brought us another man down: Green Arrow writer J. T. Krul announced that he was leaving the book after the third issue: