captain_america_1_cover_1941It was a weird week for comics and genre news. Having recorded this episode one day before the announcement of the official title of the new Star Wars movie (spoiler alert: the spoiler is that the title is Star Wars: The Last Jedi), the only comics related news was whether it was still kosher, so to speak, to sucker-punch a Nazi, Captain America style.

(Editor’s Note: we discuss the Nazi-punching issue very, very briefly, only to come to the conclusion that, to paraphrase a famous American: if Jake Blues does it, it cannot be illegal.)

So this week, we skip most of the news, and go straight to the comics. We discuss:

  • Batman #15, written by Tom King with art by Mitch Gerads,
  • The Amazing Spider-Man: The Clone Conspiracy #4, written by Dan Slott with art by Jim Cheung,
  • The Ray: Rebirth #1, written by Steve Orlando with art by Stephen Byrne,
  • Angel: Season 11 #1, written by Corinna Bechko with art by Geraldo Borges, and:
  • Curse Words #1, written by Charles Soule with art by Ryan Browne!

And, as always, the disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to find out why, thanks to Catwoman, Batman is no longer the M Night Shaymalan, turn back now.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. If you don’t want your significant other to learn what happens when you mix juniper and romilar, get some of those Airpods or something.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

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“That’s what I love about these [Spider-Men], man… I get older, they stay the same age.” -Michael Keaton (unconfirmed) (probably made up) (I totally made this up)

So we’re on our third person playing Spider-Man since the last time we had a Glutton Bowl, which seems not only unfair, but kinda wasteful. However, this time we have a Spider-Man working within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, played by an actual (almost) teenager, and who seems able to tell a joke better than, “Hi! I am Tobey Maguire, and I am seventeen years old! Why are you looking at me like that?”

And since the first trailers for Spider-Man: Homecoming were released last week, we spend a few minutes talking about some of the details, how some elements of Brian Michael Bendis’s Mile Morales seem to have been integrated into Peter Parker’s story, how cool it is to see Michael Keaton in a real superhero movie again, and how none of this gets around the truth about how hard it is to get excited about our third Peter Parker less than ten years.

But talking about a trailer does not a podcast make. So we also discuss:

  • Spider-Man: The Clone Conspiracy #3, written by Dan Slott with art by Jim Cheung,
  • Wonder Woman ’77 and The Bionic Woman, written by Andy Mangels with art by Judit Tondora,
  • Batman #12, written by Tom King with art by Mikel Janin, and:
  • Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #1, written by Kieron Gillen with art by Kev Walker and Salvador Larroca!

And, as always, the disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to know who The Jackal offers to resurrect for Spider-Man, then you’re clearly not thinking about The Clone Conspiracy even a little bit, but still: consider yourself warned.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. If you think your mom might be disturbed to hear what its like to “pull a trailer for Lyle Waggoner,” then get yourself some earbuds.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

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infinity_1_cover_2013300439282For years, whenever Marvel kicked off a big event comic, they made a point of swearing before God and everybody that the story could be read on its own, without needing to track down a bunch of other comics to understand what’s going on. It was all bullshit, of course; be it Civil War or Secret Invasion or Avengers Vs. X-Men, the second the event kicked off, it crossed into every title Marvel published. Sure, you didn’t need to read those other comics to understand the whole story, provided you were okay with taking certain things you saw on faith. Things like just assuming that, somewhere in the gutters of the main title, D-Man obtained the Infinity Gauntlet while Batroc The Leaper’s big toes were turned to Mrs. Dash Onion Seasoning.

That, however, was the past. Welcome to Infinity, a book not only with a final page consisting of a diagram telling you what other comic books you should be following to get the whole story, but one which, if you haven’t been reading both Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers and New Avengers since launch day, will be difficult to follow from the first page. Which is fine for people like me who have been getting those books all along, but which isn’t exactly welcoming to any poor schmuck who wanders into a comic store after, say, seeing The Wolverine, and saying to himself, “Ooh! That comic has the dude from the credits of The Avengers movie!”

And that wouldn’t be a bad thing if Infinity #1 was character-driven, and gave you compelling people to follow through this unfamiliar scenario. Unfortunately, this book is all about plot and putting pieces into place to eventually blow some shit up. And the characters are simply pushed through this clockwork, normally almost indistinguishable from each other except for the colors of their costumes.

Hell, one of the main heroes of the story is featured in a four-page sequence where he is asleep, for Christ’s sake.

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According to various Twitter feeds, the winter Marvel Editorial Retreat is starting today in New York. So, possibly to fend off questions from the outside world like, “So if Cable’s a time traveler with less than 24 hours to live due to a crippling and debilitating illness, and he wants to take out The Avengers, why is setting up a boat with a bunch a deathtraps a better plan than whacking Captain America’s mom in 1920? It probably wouldn’t be hard; Steve Rogers didn’t need the Super Soldier serum because he came from hearty stock,” and, “What Marvel character will Matt Fraction be killing next? And is Matt aware of what ‘dead’ actually means?” they’ve released Jim Cheung’s cover to the upcoming first issue of Avengers Vs. X-Men for us to drool over.

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