Some weeks, you don’t record a podcast when you’re ready. You record when you’re awake.

Rob had a long weekend of late nights being on call for his day gig, leading to a slim, two-hour window where he’d had enough coffee to be able to say something longer than his own name, yet not enough liquor to actively slur those things. And this strange state put him in a mood to rant. About the golden days of Marvel after the bankruptcy and before Civil War, when they were willing to take chances. About acceptable Mark Millar stories. About how Batman’s most driving personality trait might be hoarding. And, God help us, how there might be redeeming qualities to Secret Empire.

So strap in: this is a weird one, and we talk about all of those things, plus:

  • Old Man Logan #25, written by Ed Brisson with art by Mike Deodato, Jr.,
  • Secret Empire #4, written by Nick Spencer with art by Leinil Francis Yu,
  • Dark Days: The Forge #1, written by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV, with art by Jim Lee, Andy Kubert and John Romita Jr., and:
  • The Defenders #1, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by David Marquez!

Ah, we have disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to know Captain America’s political affiliation on Secret Empire, well, you’re not alone, but you have also been warned.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. We talk about Batman being a Howard Hughes style hoarder. That involves Mason Jars. You want your mom to know what’s in those jars? Then get some earbuds.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

As we ease into convention season, the comics news starts to slow down so publishers have something to discuss in panels. You know, other than garbage news items about the dangers of trying to be funny in 140 characters or less.

So we briefly discuss the next step in the million-mile march toward San Diego Comic-Con: hotel sales, which happened last Wednesday. We also talk about a superhero movie that we missed in 2016: X-Men: Apocalypse, which didn’t really interest us at the time – seeing Oscar Issac painted blue is only a gimme draw if you’re in his fraternity – but which really impressed us now that it’s on cable.

We also talk about some of this week’s books:

  • The Flash #21, written by Joshua Williamson with art by Howard Porter,
  • Action Comics #978, written by Dan Jurgens with art by Carlo Barberi,
  • Ben Reilly: The Scarlet Spider #1, written by Peter David with art by Mark Bagley, and:
  • Detective Comics #955, written by James Tynion IV with art by Marcio Takara!

What’s that? You want disclaimers?

  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to give warnings ahead of time, if you don’t want to find out why Angel is a terrible character in X-Men: Apocalypse, I don’t know why you’re listening, since you’ve clearly never read a comic book before.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. During this episode, Amanda says, “Touch the fishy.” Your boss won’t want to know why. So get some headphones.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

hadrians_wall_1_coverAfter yet another cripplingly busy week at the Crisis On Infinite Midlives Home Office (and, to be honest, after about a quart of single malt scotch and a few belts of mescal), we only had the time to discuss a few of the comics of the week. But that turns out to have been a good decision; since we didn’t have time to fully discuss and coordinate our choices, we wound up with a couple of polarizing choices upon which we didn’t really agree.

This led to a conversation that ranged from deciding where on the Kubler-Ross scale of grief we are with regards to Watchmen characters still appearing in DC: Rebirth books (Rob is at “Bargaining”, Amanda is “amused at Rob’s Bargaining”), how James Tynion IV made Rob care about Spoiler for the first time, whether there’s enough nostalgia in the world to make innovative visual storytelling enough to bring Steve Austin into the 21st Century, and how Amanda’s battle against scotch last night went (picture Amanda as Rocky and scotch as Apollo Creed).

So what comics do we talk about?

  • Detective Comics #940, written by James Tynion IV with art by Eddy Barrows,
  • Lady Killer Volume 2 #2, written and drawn by Joelle Jones,
  • The Six Million Dollar Man: Fall of Man #3, written by Van Jensen with art by Ron Salas, and:
  • Hadrian’s Wall #1, written by Kyle Higgins and Alec Siegel, with art by Rod Reis!

And, as usual, the disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to find out who dies in this week’s Detective Comics (hint: it’s not Batman), then consider yourself forewarned.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. See that title? It’s because we talk about Lee Majors and a plaster cast. You want your boss asking about that? Then get some earphones.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

tick_amazonWe’re not gonna apologize here: we love The Tick. During the 1980s Rob was a regular customer of the Brockton, MA New England Comics retail store where The Tick was born, Amanda was a fan of the 1990s Fox cartoon that brought the character to national prominence, and we both enjoyed the Patrick Warburton live action show from back in the day when your live action TV superhero choices were The Tick, Smallville or (God help us) Black Scorpion.

So we were excited when Amazon Prime video announced that part of their 2016 comedy pilot season would be a new, live action version of The Tick. And as fans of the character from the days he was a Daredevil parody through his more silly Saturday morning cartoon adventures, we were excited to see the character back in live action… but we really weren’t expecting what we got from the show. It’s a much darker, more psychological take on the character than we’ve seen maybe since the first few Ben Edlund issues of the comic book, and yet still pretty funny. And we had a lot of fun talking about it, on its own merits and in comparison with earlier versions of the character.

What’s that? You don’t have an Amazon Prime membership and you want to see the episode we’re talking about? Well, you can see it for free on your computer, and even find a link to a survey where you can give Amazon your feedback on the show.

We also discuss:

  • Kingsway West #1, written by Greg Pak with art by Mirko Colak,
  • Civil War II: Ulysses #1, written by Al Ewing with art by Karl Kesel, and:
  • Detective Comics #939, written by James Tynion IV with art by Eddy Barrows and Eber Ferreira!

And, as usual, the disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to know whether Warren Ellis fan Al Ewing spends more time developing the character of Warren Ellis’s Karnak or Brian Michael Bendis’s Ulysses, consider yourself officially warned. You don’t need to be warned, but you are.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. Let’s just say that, “Spoon!” is not the strongest word we shout during the show. Consider ear buds.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

doctor_who_guitarAfter weeks of renovations here at the All-New, All-Different Crisis On Infinite Midlives Home Office, we had a relatively quiet few days for a change. So we took the opportunity to catch up on Doctor Who season 9, the second with Peter Capaldi as The Doctor and the last with Jenna Coleman as Clara, although unlike when other Companions have made their curtain calls, I suspect we’ll be seeing Clara again. Soon.

So we spend a good chunk of the episode talking about the season, including its two-episode story structure, the circumstances of Clara leaving The Doctor, why putting a gun in The Doctor’s hand is lazy writing, why Maisie Williams would make an excellent Doctor, and how showrunner Steven Moffat apparently thinks there’s a Jackrabbit Slims on every street corner in America. Most importantly, we lay out why penultimate episode Heaven Sent is a an unholy plot-holed mess in The Girl Who Waited clothing.

We also discuss:

  • Scarlet Witch #1, written by James Robinson with art by Vanesa Del Ray, and:
  • Constantine The Hellblazer #7, written by James Tynion IV and Ming Doyle, with art by Brian Level and Riley Rossmo!

And now, the usual 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 discussing whether Maisie Williams’s character had an unfortunate encounter with stripper glitter, a Bedazzler or a nose piercing.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, be aware that there are reasons we discuss who would be the best actress to portray a female Doctor.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. You want your employer to hear what is aggressively pouring out of John Constantine’s drain? You do not. Get some headphones.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

heroes-rebornYes, we are back, after yet another long week of trials and tribulations in the hunt for a new Crisis On Infinite Midlives Home Office forced us to miss another episode, for which we humbly apologize. We believe our Long National Nightmare has ended, and that we will have no further service interruptions… at least until November 1, when we will be in the new Home Office, but likely with no Internet service. But that is a problem for the future.

As for today’s problems, well, how do you solve a problem like Heroes Reborn? The sequel to the 2006 – 2010 series that captivated the world before reminding it why many kids abandoned comics once they reached the age of reason (“How about evil carnies? Just write it! I’m taking a long lunch! Did I say ‘long?’ I meant ‘liquid!'”) debuted on NBC last week. We are huge fans of Heroes, going back to when we saw the pilot at SDCC 2006, and had high hopes for this return to the world of Peter Petrelli, Hiro Nakamura and visions of the future via Tim Sale. So we spend some time talking about what works, what doesn’t, and whether you should tune into this show if you aren’t already fans of the Enemies of Sylar (short answer: probably not)!

We also discuss:

  • Batman Annual #4, written by James Tynion IV with art by Roge Antonio, and:
  • Gotham By Midnight #9, written by Ray Fawkes with art by Juan Ferreyra!

And, the usual 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 a conversation about how Heroes‘s Noah Bennet is a (terrible) role model to America’s youth via his never giving a woman his real name.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, just assume that we reveal Hiro Nakamura’s message from the future.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. Unless you want your co-workers to hear the tale of Drunken Mexican Batman, consider using headphones.

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!

c2e2_logoWe conclude our coverage of C2E2 2015 with a recap of the Caped Crusaders, Dynamic Duos and Darkest Knight panel (or just the Batman panel when it’s at home), featuring Batman writer Scott Snyder as moderator, with Batman Eternal writer James Tynion IV, Detective Comics writer Brian Buccallato, Gotham by Midnight writer Ray Fawkes, and the upcoming Robin: Son of Batman writer / artist Patrick Gleason.

So in this episode, we bring you a ton of audio clips of these guys (well, mostly Scott Snyder) talking about upcoming storylines in Detective Comics, Gotham by Midnight and Robin: Son of Batman… but at the time of this panel, we were only four days away from the conclusion of Batman: Endgame in the core Batman title, and only a week away from the debut of the new “RoboBunny” Batman in DC’s Free Comic Book Day offering, Divergence. So we feature a bunch of clips of Snyder and company talking about the new Batman, the process in creating him, the reasoning behind the new direction, and a few new tidbits about him that you might not have heard elsewhere, all from the mouths of the creators!

And, since Batman #40 has been released since this panel, we not only feature several clips of Snyder talking about what Batman: Endgame means to him, but we review and discuss the issue!

Thanks for listening to our C2E2 coverage. We return to our normal weekly schedule on Sunday, May 3rd, with an episode about Avengers: Age of Ultron, featuring a couple of very cool guests!

Thanks for listening, suckers!

comxiologyYeah, I know that we mentioned the other day that we had subjects that we wanted to talk about in a podcast, but I also know that you didn’t even remotely think that we’d actually, you know, do one.

Well, the joke’s on you, because here’s Episode 11: The Golden Shakeoff Caper! In which we discuss:

  • The ComiXology buyout by Amazon (in which I reference a piece I wrote about ComiXology’s licensing and lack of ability to back up your comics)
  • The San Diego Comic-Con hotel registration process, and the anxiety-provoking processes around attending SDCC in general
  • Deadpool #27
  • DC’s new weekly comic, Batman: Eternal #1

And here is our usual disclaimer: this episode was recorded live to tape, meaning that other than adding the intro and outro music, it is presented exactly as we discussed it, with every, “um,” “uh,” cough and burp. Further, this podcast is not safe for work. Be advised that we liberally use explicit and vulgar language, although if you weren’t tipped off by the fact that our title this week includes the phrase, “golden shake-off,” you need more help than a friendly warning. Either way, use some headphones.

Enjoy the show, suckers!

batman_21_cover_2013I bought Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One, back when it was just Batman #404 through #407, from the spinner rack at my local supermarket for 75 cents a piece.

That story was a stone classic from the word go, right from the first issue, which opened with James Gordon telling us what a hell on Earth Gotham City was, and ending with Bruce Wayne not only bleeding out, but willing to bleed out unless he found some inspiration to make his war on crime more sustainable and effective than just trying to stomp out local goons. You know the images; we all know the images: the giant bat crashing violently through the window, the smile on Bruce’s face, and the bloody hand on the bell to call Alfred, with the caption, “Yes, Father… I shall become a bat…”

I can spin that sequence of panels off from memory because Batman: Year One is Frank Miller, in 88 tight pages, telling one of the greatest Batman stories ever told (on the tails of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, which is the greatest Batman story ever told, and I’ll fight any man what says different), and cementing his position as one of the greatest comic storytellers ever, regardless of any future paranoid writings or rantings.

That was in 1987. It is now 2013, and we have the first issue of Zero Year, written by Scott Snyder, on the tails of Death of The Family, one of the best Batman / Joker stories in recent memory. Just based on the title, Zero Year is meant to elicit in us memories of Year One. And based on the events of this first issue of Zero Year, it covers some, if not all, of the same period of Batman’s career that Year One did.

Look, don’t get your hopes up here. Zero Year #1 / Batman #21 isn’t on the same level as Batman: Year One #1 / Batman #404, and I think we all knew that it wasn’t gonna be. After all, there is only one first love of your life, and when it comes to Batman stories, Frank Miller and Batman: Year One got to anyone old enough to buy comic books with their own money long before Scott Snyder ever put a word in Batman’s mouth. So I could sit here all day and compare the new book – or pretty much any other modern comic book – negatively to the old one, but that really doesn’t matter.

What matters is: does Zero Year #1 hold up on its own as a good Batman story?