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!

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!

sdcc_logoIt has been another apocalyptic week at the Crisis On Infinite Midlives Home Office. Continued terrible weather in Boston has led to water pouring into our walls, eliminating our Internet connectivity and therefore our access to any kind of comics news. In fact, this episode is being published thanks to the free Wi-Fi at our local bar, which is the only reason we are here. Yup. No uncontrollable drinking problem here! You don’t know us! You think you’re better than us?


So without much in the way of comics news, we spend this episode talking about what we know. And this week, what we know is trying to register for San Diego Comic-Con 2015. So we discuss the process, what we like, what we don’t, and how it has evolved over the years.

And here’s a little appeal: since it looks like we might not be able to attend SDCC in July, we’re looking for another regional convention we might take a crack at covering. So if you have a favorite convention that takes place over the summer that you think we should cover, let us know at crisisoninfinitemidlives at gmail dot com!

We also discuss:

  • Moon Knight #12, written by Brian Wood with art by Greg Smallwood, and:
  • Justice League #39, written by Geoff Johns with art by Jason Fabok!

And now, the legalese:

  • We record this show live to tape. While this might mean it’s a looser comics podcast than you might be used to, it also means that anything can happen. Like a discussion about how Amazo would lose to Captain Underpants.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout warnings ahead of time, be aware that we might ruin plot point or two.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. You want your boss to hear about the frustrations about a swirling blue hole? Didn’t think so. Get some headphones.

Enjoy the show, suckers!

batman_37_variant_coverIt’s the week before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring… including anyone who might generate much in the way of comics news.

However! DC sneaked a bunch of cancellations into their March solicitations, including a few books that have been around since the start of the New 52. And since it is a slow news week, and since March is the last month before the Convergence event brings all of DC’s eras into the spotlight, and since we are comic geeks who like to speculate, we take the opportunity to review the cancellations and talk about what DC might have in mind post-Convergence.

And since Christmas is right around the corner, we take the opportunity to reminisce about the geek and genre-related toys that we were given as children back in the 70s and the 80s. We hit some of the biggies, like Maskatron, the Millennium Falcon playset, Energized Spider-Man, Magnetic Batman and Robin… and in Amanda’s case, everything a child might need for a life on the Hobo Trail.

And finally, we discuss:

  • Justice League #37, written by Geoff Johns with art by Jason Fabok, and:
  • Batman #37, written by Scott Snyder with art by Greg Capullo!

And the disclaimers:

  • We record this show live to tape. While that mean a looser show than you are used to from other comics podcasts, it also means that anything can happen. Like an unexpected reminiscence about a shattered childhood.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout a warning ahead of time, proceed with caution.
  • This show contains adult, explicit language, and is therefore not safe for work. However, there’s every chance you’re on vacation for Christmas this week, and if not, maybe Santa will bring you a new set of headphones.

Enjoy the show, suckers!

Oh, and here’s that sweet, sweet Rob Liefeld jeans ad from the early 90s:

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!

detective_comics_23_cover_2013-230126755When it comes to Batman continuity in the post New 25 / Grant Morrison world, DC Comics really needs to get its shit together. Because for an editorial division that seems, based on constant hirings and firings and reports of last-minute story changes, to want to keep their hands on their creators’ throttles (assuming “throttles” is what we’re calling them now), they really don’t seem to know what’s happening in their own books at any given time.

Just last week, Morrison completed his story arc on Batman Incorporated. That series, as you might be able to tell somewhat by its title, is ostensibly about Bruce Wayne’s public financing of not only Batman, but an army of regional Batman around the world. The events of Batman Incorporated are, at least in part, considered canon throughout the DC Universe, given the sheer number of recent issues I’ve read about Batman moping over the death of Damian. The introduction to this series was a scene, written by one of DC’s most popular creators, where Bruce Wayne calls a press conference to announce that he is the man who finances Batman.

Welcome to Detective Comics #23, an issue where a significant plot point hinges on the idea that Bruce Wayne’s financing of Batman’s arsenal isn’t common knowledge. But the good news is that giant continuity flaw is almost enough to mask the other gaping plot holes in the issue.

EDITOR’S NOTEOne spoiler! One spoiler!

I’ve got mixed feelings about Justice League International Annual #1 which is the final chapter of the book and which depicts the dissolution of the team. It has a lot going for it, including the return of writer Geoff Johns to the character of Booster Gold for the first time since 2008, and Dan DiDio’s return to writing O.M.A.C., which was one of the most underrated and unfairly cancelled books of the New 52 relaunch. It ends the story of the team decisively and fairly satisfyingly, if suddenly, and spins Booster, Blue Beetle and O.M.A.C. into new directions that could prove interestingly in the future… or in the case of Booster, in his past.

The problem is, the issue does it, in several cases, by introducing sudden and drastic changes in a couple of characters’ motivations and personalities, at least in relation to how they were depicted in recent issues of Justice League International. Which makes a certain amount of sense – you switch writers, you get new interpretations… or in the case of Booster, old interpretations. There is a sense in this issue of Johns and DiDio sweeping in to conclude the book and reclaim their characters, all while muttering, “No, no, no… Goddammit Dan Jurgens, you’re doing it wrong!”