star_wars_1_jaxxon_variantEven though a big night out last night turned us into shattered wrecks only resembling human beings, we still had a lot to talk about this episode… starting with Marvel’s Star Wars #1, which reportedly will be selling more than 1,000,000 copies… even though Dark Horse’s very similar 2013-2014 Star Wars comic never sold even 50,000 copies in a month. So we try to figure out just where all these comic books are going. You know, besides the quarter bin.

We also talk about the information gleaned from the Sony Pictures leak that Sony has been in talks with Marvel Studios about bring Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We discuss where Marvel might fit Spidey in quickly, where he just wouldn’t work, what storylines they might use in a standalone Spider-Man movie, and who should play him (hint: with the Russo Brothers from Community possibly directing Avengers: Infinity War, it can only be… Chevy Chase! Wait, what?).

We also review:

  • Bitch Planet #1, written by Kelly Sue DeConnick with art by Valentine DeLandro, and:
  • Afterlife With Archie #7, written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa with art by Francesco Francavilla!

And, as usual, 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 a discussion about the fine line between a Disney toy and a marital aid.
  • We use a lot of spoilers in this show. While we try to shout out a heads-up ahead of time, consider yourself warned.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. Unless you want to explain to your employers who Sgt. Douchenozzle is, get yourself some headphones.

Enjoy the show, suckers!

avengers_x-men_axis_promoWe are just a couple of weeks out of San Diego Comic-Con, and that means that there is next to no comic news to discuss this week. However, it also means that we are heading into the Big Two’s fall event schedule, so we discuss Marvel’s upcoming  Avengers & X-Men: AXIS crossover, as well as events in general, and event fatigue specifically.

And by specifically, we discuss events we liked over the years, events we hated, how it rarely feels like there’s any stakes to what comes out of them, and how sometimes they can lead to unintended consequences that can require years and a reboot to repair (Hi, Infinite Crisis and Justice League: Cry For Justice!).

We also talk about:

  • Captain Marvel #6, written by Kelly Sue DeConnick with art by David Lopez, and,
  • Batman #34, story by Scott Snyder and Gerry Duggan, script by Gerry Duggan with art by Matteo Scalera, and:
  • How Rob wound up drinking one of the first 12 Zimas on the planet (really)!

And now the disclaimers:

  • We record this show live to tape. While that can sometimes mean things are looser than you might find in other comics podcasts, it also means that anything can happen. Like stories about Zima.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out a warning ahead of time, they can happen almost anytime.
  • This show contains adult language, and is not safe for work. Unless your job is being the guy who created Zima, in which case, you’ve had all these obscenities shouted at you before.

Enjoy the show, suckers!

captain_marvel_9_cover_2013I generally read superhero comics for a momentary escape from the horrific tedium of work and errands and appointments and the horror – the absolute savage and crippling fucking horror – of having to talk to people. After a day of interacting with humans in unpleasant scenarios, there’s nothing more fun than watching people with otherworldly powers stomp the living shit out of super villains, giant monsters, and during summer crossover event season, each other.

I’ve always found it relaxing and empowering, after a long day, to turn off the phone, turn off the brain with some strong drink, and imagine that I could be one of those people in costume, flying around and kicking ass – no one else wishes this of me, due to how my bloated, middle-aged ass would look in one of those costumes, but to hell with them – because generally those superheroes don’t have to slog through the same repetitive, boring shit that the rest of us do.

Unless you’re Captain Marvel. Who spends a surprising amount of Captain Marvel #9 having to put up with exactly the kind of rotten, irritating, day-to-day shit that we do, only with some distractions thrown in… provided you consider an unexpected dinosaur attack to be distracting. I probably wouldn’t, thanks to my previously-mentioned propensity for strong drink, but that’s not the point. The point is that we spend a lot of Captain Marvel #9 watching Carol Danvers keeping appointments… and yet it is actually a fairly compelling and entertaining book to read.

Not to look at, but we’ll get to that.

Editor’s Note: But you’re not fooling me, ’cause I can see, the way you shake and spoiler.

I have never read Ghost before – when it debuted in the 90s, I was busy being a snob, snorting at every comic with a twin set of boobs and guns as a rotten Image knockoff, and buying only Preacher, Shade: The Changing Man and Transmetropolitan – so it turns out that I was at a distinct disadvantage when I opened the first issue of the Ghost miniseries, written by Kelly Sue DeConnick and drawn by Phil Noto. Who would’ve known that being dropped into the middle of an ongoing story – even though it’s labelled with a “#1” on the cover – would make it difficult to know who’s who and what the hell is going on?

So you should be aware coming into Ghost #1 that if you haven’t read any Ghost stories (ha!) before, you’re likely to be somewhat confused. I’m sure there are a ton of comic readers who know who Ghost is, and why she doesn’t seem to know who she is after 19 years of publishing history, and who these two dingbats she’s traveling with are and what this box they’re talking about is, why Ghost seems to be shoveling donuts down her maw every few minutes, who the spaz with the taste for needles and ball gags is, and whether or not the Mayor Bobby guy we meet mid-issue is the same guy with, shall we say, a skin problem, at the end of the issue.

I, however, am not one of them, so I was forced to dive in and swim. So the question about this book, for me, was: would I be able to overcome my ignorance about these characters and their backstory, and figure out just what the hell was going on?

Well, kinda.

There was one minor, eensy, tiny problem with Marvel Comics’s Amazing Spider-Man panel Sunday. The panel wasn’t really about Spider-Man.

Oh sure, the panel opened with news about the Amazing Spider-Man and Avenging Spider-Man comic books, but those updates took about seven or ten minutes of an hour long panel. After that, we got updates on Carnage, Venom and Scarlet Spider, which are at least Spider-Man related… but we also got status reports on Captain Marvel, Punisher War Zone, Space Punisher, and last but not least, Daredevil, whose status report was, in effect, “Yeah, we have no idea what’s going on with that triple-Eisner Award winning book! But Eisner Awards are cool! And Daredevil won three of them! So who doesn’t love Daredevil?”

Which actually brings to mind another minor problem with the Spider-Man panel, and with every other Marvel panel we went to: Moderator Arune Singh, who is Director of Communications for Marvel Comics and possibly the most irritating and repetitive public speaker on the planet. Here are some of my notes from the panel, verbatim from my notebook:

  • If I hear Arune Singh say, “How many of you are loving X” again, I will shit.
  • At least 4 “How many of you love…” so far. Fuck.
  • Fifth. Fucking. “How many of you LOVE…”

This is in no way at all inspired by Rosie The Riveter...or Frank Quitely.

Yesterday at Wondercon in Anaheim, California, Marvel announced that starting this July, the character currently known as Carol Danvers, aka Ms. Marvel, will move into the role of Captain Marvel – complete with a haircut and costume change. Character concept designs were developed by Jamie McKelvie. Cover art will be handled by Ed McGuinness on issues 1 and 2, with Dexter Soy on interior art. Writing the new series will be Kelly Sue DeConnick (Osborn: Evil Incarcerated, Castle: Deadly Storm w/ Brian Michael Bendis). Says DeConnick:

My pitch was called ‘Pilot’ and the take can pretty much be summed up with ‘Carol Danvers as Chuck Yeager,’” says DeConnick. “Carol’s the virtual definition of a Type A personality. She’s a competitor and a control freak. At the start of our series, we see Carol pre-Captain Marvel, pre-NASA even, back when she was a fiercely competitive pilot. We’ll see her meeting one of her aviation heroes and we’ll see her youthful bravado, her swagger. Then over the course of the first arc we’re going to watch her find her way back to that hungry place. She’ll have to figure out how to be both Captain Marvel and Chuck Yeager—to marry the responsibility of that legacy with the sheer joy being nearly invulnerable and flying really [expletive] fast.

Huh. Chuck Yeager? That sounds a bit similar to the pitch her husband, Matt Fraction, gave when he announced his plans for Invincible Iron Man back in February 2008:

Tony Stark is equal parts James Bond and Chuck Yeager–a pioneer, a test pilot, an engineer, an adrenaline junkie visionary.

Well, Chuck Yeager is pretty cool. I suppose it’s entirely possibly that DeConnick just picked up a Chuck Yeager comparison through some kind of idea osmosis from being in such close proximity to Fraction for so long. Heck, now that Rob lives with me he can tell you exactly how and why you need to temper eggs before adding them to a custard. And he’ll only whimper a little bit when you ask him. I don’t see why he gets upset. Those brain cells were just going to be killed by whiskey anyway.

But is there anything else going on with this relaunch that calls to mind similarities with other creative properties?

Marvel Comics' Castle: Richard Castle's Deadly Storm by Brian Michael Bendis, Kelly Sue DcConnickSo now the both of us have caught this wretched head ebola, which means that posting may slow while we lie around looking for mindless entertainment to feed our middle brains while we slowly undergo the process of turning cold medicine into snot… but don’t worry about us, we have a tool for dealing with this. It’s called a screwdriver.

And a likely candidate for tonight’s distraction from our various aches, pains and uncomfortable viscous bubblings is Castle, starring Nathan Fillion, on ABC at 10 p.m. eastern time. It’s not a regular view for us, but ABC is owned by Disney, as is Marvel, and since, purely by coincidence, Marvel’s releasing a Castle graphic novel Wednesday, it seems that tonight’s episode has a distinctly Marvel Comics feel to it, which you can see in the preview after the jump: