A wise man once said, “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” I think it was Harvey Dent. Or maybe Billy Dee Williams. Either way, it’s a statement that certainly applied to last week in comics and comics-related entertainment.

In column A was the United States debut of Marvel Studios’s Guardians of The Galaxy, Vol. 2. We managed to sneak in a matinee last weekend of a movie that we greatly anticipated as either a new installment of a light action science-fantasy property, or an excuse to spread Baby Groot out over two and a quarter hours, or perhaps both.

We talk about the movie, how it is satisfyingly character driven, almost completely disconnected from the master Marvel Cinematic Universe storyline, heavily influenced by some of the best genre sequels out there, and what music cues we might expect now that Star-Lord has access to more modern tunes (here’s a hint: Sonny Crockett and Patrick Bateman would totally approve!

And then there’s column B, which comprised a few of the biggest comics* released last week:

  • Batman #22, written by Joshua Williamson and Tom King with art by Jason Fabok,
  • Secret Empire #1, written by Nick Spencer with art by Steve McNiven, and
  • Secret Empire; Free Comic Book Day edition, written by Nick Spencer with art by Andrea Sorrentino!

(*In the interests of ending on a positive note, we give a quick shout-out to Project Superheroes: Hero Killers #1, written by Ryan Brown with art by Pete Woods)

You wanted the disclaimers, you got the disclaimers!

  • This show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to know how Captain America and Hydra consolidate their power, well, it really doesn’t matter, since we have no idea, either. But either way: consider this a master spoiler warning.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. We have jokes about The Flash being unable to find The Button, and those jokes are about exactly what you think they’re about. So wear headphones.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

walking_dead_dead_insideIt’s been a packed week here at the Crisis On Infinite Midlives Home Office. We spent a lot of time watching, and rewatching, and re-rewatching the new trailer for Avengers: Age Of Ultron, and, like all good comic book enthusiasts, we spend a bunch of time dissecting what we saw, speculating on what we didn’t see, and ghostwriting what we’d like to see.

In addition, since we finally had our cable and Internet back online long enough for the Home Office TiVo to get the episodes of The Walking Dead that we missed, we binge-watched it and discussed what we liked, what we didn’t like, subtlety versus heavy-handedness, plot versus theme, and why it is more likely that AMC would kill Robert Kirkman this season than it is they would Daryl Dixon.

We also talk about:

  • All-New Hawkeye#1, written by Jeff Lemire with art by Ramon Perez, and:
  • Guardians Team Up #1, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Art Adams!

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 an argument over whether The Walking Dead is in dire need of a musical episode.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, be aware that we might ruin everything from the ending to last week’s The Walking Dead to the fact that Avengers: Age of Ultron is going to be rated PG-13.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. You want your Mom to hear what we think about “sweet biscuits”? Get some headphones.

Enjoy the show, suckers!

guardians_of_the_galaxy_movie_posterWe have safely returned from San Diego Comic-Con 2014, so Amanda and I do a final postmortem of the experience… as we prepare to turn right back around to attend and cover Boston Comic Con next weekend.

We also discuss:

  • The new Guardians of The Galaxy movie and how it is one of Marvel Studios best… while still not being perfect,
  • Guardians of The Galaxy #17, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Nick Bradshaw and Michael Avon Oeming, and
  • Fatale #24, written by Ed Brubaker with art by Sean Phillips!

And now, the legalese:

  • This podcast is recorded live to tape. This might mean more pauses and rough spots than you might be used to in a comics podcast, but it also means that anything can happen.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to warn before dropping them, be aware that they might come at any time.
  • Amanda and I use adult, profane language, and therefore this show is not safe for work. Dr. Dre didn’t spend 18 bucks on research and development for you to listen to podcasts on speakers.

As an aside, this episode is our first show as a member of the Comics Podcast Network. It’s a cool site that features nothing but podcasts about comics and comic culture. We’ve found a few killer shows there that we like listening to, and we’re excited to be joining their ranks. Check them out to find other viewpoints about our favorite hobby!

Enjoy the show, suckers!

guardians_of_the_galaxy_movie_posterYeah, I know that just yesterday I said that we couldn’t guarantee that we’d post every day… but it turns out that tonight was a little slow, and there was a cool thing that I wanted to take a minute to share with you.

Most of this summer’s comic book movies have come and gone, but there is one biggie still left in the pipe: Guardians of The Galaxy. Not just because it’s a Marvel Studios flick, and not further just because it’s the first wholly original Marvel Studios movie since Captain America: The First Avenger in July, 2011 (seriously: since then, it’s been all already-seen characters in Avengers, and a pile of sequels).

No, it’s because it’s directed by James Gunn. Gunn is a killer director of fun genre flicks (seriously: if you haven’t seen Slither and Super, you are robbing yourself of joy like a common vegetarian or teetotaler), and here at Crisis On Infinite Midlives, we are fans of genre flicks by auteur directors (hi, Edgar!).

Gunn is a dude who packs his movies with genuine tension and pathos, along with ripping dark humor. If he wasn’t doing Guardians of The Galaxy, we’d be waiting impatiently for whatever else he was doing.

Thankfully for we who are impatient, there is a new British trailer for Guardians of The Galaxy that features almost all unseen footage, along with dialogue from Bradley Cooper as Rocket Raccoon and Vin Diesel as Groot, that was just too awesome not to share. And you can check it out after the jump.

guardians_of_the_galaxy_3_coverI was originally gonna write another story about the trials and tribulations of the Ant-Man movie since Edgar Wright has abdicated on directing the film, but there’s still nothing but rumors.

One of those rumors is that, since Rawson Thurber and Adam McKay have passed on the project, Marvel Studios has approached Nicholas Stoller and Michael Dowse to take over the movie. Dowse we can kinda get behind, since he directed Goon which was actually pretty funny and featured one of the guys who played Sabretooth, so there’s a least a glimmer of hope that he can handle a superhero flick. Stoller, the director of the recent Seth Rogan movie Neighbors,  is also attached to a superhero movie… unfortunately, it is as the writer of Captain Underpants. I have less hope for that choice.

Regardless, every day that goes by makes Ant-Man look more and more The Island of Misfit Career Choices, so I don’t want to spend a lot of time wondering who is gonna direct the movie when the more pertinent question is who the hell will want to watch it.

Instead, here is a new TV spot for a Marvel Studios movie where they made an unorthodox directorial choice, stuck with it, and wound up with a movie that looks better than the unknown source material would lead one to believe. That movie is Guardians of The Galaxy, directed by Slither and Super director James Gunn, and you can check the latest TV spot for that movie, featuring actual dialogue from Rocket Raccoon, after the jump.

Enjoy it, while Marvel Studios tries to find someone to direct a movie about a character that exactly two people care about: departed director Edgar Wright, and Stan Lee, who stands to make a million bucks if he can get just one more person to give a fuck about Hank Pym.

RocketTugAs we mentioned the other day when the teasers rained down upon us from Marvel Marketing, today is the day that a brand new full length Guardians Of The Galaxy trailer would drop. And they are true to their word.

However, as cool as the new trailer is, I can’t help but wonder how much more impact it would have had if the teasers hadn’t been released. Although, they did keep some choice bits for the trailer proper, that screen shot to the left up there being one of them. Bradley Cooper’s animated raccoon is going to fight Chris Pratt for every laugh in this movie. I say, bring it on.

guardians_of_the_galaxy_3_coverBoy, I sure love it when we switch to Daylight Savings Time here in the United States! It sure is awesome to go to bed drunk on a Saturday night and then wake up on a Sunday morning with absolutely no concept about what time it really is! I mean, here it is after 8 p.m., and every sip of beer feels like I’m drinking with my Cheerios! And the Crisis On Infinite Midlives mascot, Parker the Kitten is really enjoying not knowing whether he should nap, eat dinner, or just continue clawing at my ankles like they’re two animal control guys with fists full of ketamine and eyes full of loneliness!

Long story short: it is a terrible kind of day to attempt anything remotely resembling complicated analysis or in-depth reflection. It is, however, a good day for a long-ish video with an interview with some jokes, some entertaining lines, and a few new details about a much-anticipated genre property.

Say no more: yesterday, Marvel Studios President of production Kevin Feige, director James Gunn and actor Chris Pratt sat down for a half-hour interview with AMC Theaters about Guardians of The Galaxy. And there’s not a ton of new information about the flick in the interview – everyone was sitting there with Kevin Feige after all, and I think we all know that the Disney board of directors has given him the authority to respond to the release of spoilers with extreme sanction – but there are a few tidbits. Such as the fact that Gunn still coming up with ideas for a possible post-credits scene (c’mon, Nova…), and based on a couple of sidelong glances, I wouldn’t be surprised to see an appearance by Cosmo somewhere in the flick.

And I know we post a lot of videos on this site, but seriously: this was one we threw up on the big screen to watch all the way through. The interviewer is, for a change for this kind of thing, at least generally familiar with the comics behind the movie, and Pratt and Gunn are just a lot of fun to watch. Check this one out, after the jump.

Rocket_Raccoon_1_CoverIt has been a ridiculously busy weekend here at the Crisis On Infinite Midlives Home Office. Yesterday, I thought I’d get tricky and get my car inspected the first day of the month after last year’s inspection expired, so I could go 13 months without having to worry about it. Well, I drive a performance car and – funny story – it turns out that the reason they replace tires so often in auto races is that performance tires wear out faster than normal all-weather radials you see on regular cars. Which means that my tires, which only have 18,500 miles on them, don’t have enough tread to pass the inspection. So not only do I have a big, arrest-me-yellow “REJECTED” sticker (literally – the cops are supposed to arrest you if they see you driving with that sticker), but – another funny story – it turns out that my car needs two different-sized tires, and neither are of the size or type that one finds in a local purveyor of automobile tires.

So I have been frantically trying to find someone who can put tires on this fucking car sometime tomorrow, because while I admit that I bought my car because it was fun to drive – there are perks to being middle aged without kids – it is also something I use to drive to the job that pays for the fucking thing. So it has been a busy day on the phone, not to mention the time required by yesterday’s “story conference” with contributors Trebuchet and PixieStyx, which basically consisted of heavy drinking and alternating shouts of, “No, you should write more stuff!”

So while we are late to the party on this one, it has been announced that Skottie Young will be writing and drawing a Rocket Raccoon comic to be released in July, just in time for the Guardians of The Galaxy movie release on July 31st. And not only that, but a few pages of the book’s art have been released, which you can check out after the jump.

As promised yesterday, here is the full length Guardians Of The Galaxy trailer:

Initial impressions? I really enjoyed it. It’s got a camp feel that reminds me of Galaxy Quest and teases just enough of Rocket Racoon that you come away curious rather than worried you’re going to see some kind of Space Jam animation overlay. Well played, Marvel!

Guardians Of The Galaxy opens in United States theaters on August 1, 2014.

Update – James Gunn takes viewers through the trailer and discusses some of its highlights over on Total Film:

There is no doubt that the cinematic pinnacle of my career is our cameras circling around a maniacal raccoon shooting a machine gun on the back of a living tree.