ant-man_one_sheetMarvel Studios’s Ant-Man opened in the United States this weekend, marking the first Marvel movie in years where non-geeks said, “Who?”

So we decided to mark the occasion by bringing in comedians Tim McIntire and Benari Poulten (who guested on our Avengers: Age of Ultron episode), as well as comedian Ross Garmil, to talk about the movie. Spoiler alert: we liked it because of the characters, and in spite of the fact that Edgar Wright didn’t direct it, and that it had more holes than a Guadalupe Yambiter ant hill.

But being geeks, the conversation meandered a bit, to also include some Batman V Superman and Star Wars: The Force Awakens talk. With a few unexpected detours and interruptions. This is a wild one, but a fun one, kids…

And now, the disclaimers:

  • While we normally record this show live to tape, this week our guests called in remote from their homes, where two of them also store children. This means that we had to do more editing than usual, but nothing was added or moved.
  • This show contains spoilers. If you were hoping to learn that Ant-Man’s power involves ants at the theater, maybe save this episode for later.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. If you think your boss would be creeped out by Rob asking a child to check a video feed for possible infections, it means that your boss is a well-adjusted human being, and that you should listen with headphones.
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django_unchained_1_coverIn this week’s episode, Amanda and I discuss:

  • DC Entertainment’s / Warner Bros.’s rumored slate of movie released, from Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016 to a rumored new Batman movie in 2019, whether DC is overextending, which ones we’re most looking forward to, how Sandman could work as a movie, and who should play Shazam,
  • The recently announced Quentin Tarantino / Matt Wagner crossover of Django Unchained and Zorro, why we’re not as excited as we might have been 15 years ago, and what Django crossovers we’d rather see,
  • Sex Criminals #6, written by Matt Fraction with art by Chip Zdarsky,
  • Thunderbolts #27, written by Ben Acker and Ben Blacker, with art by Carlo Barberi, and:
  • How World Cup soccer is enough to put an American – even a baseball-loving American – right to sleep.

But some disclaimers:

  • This show is recorded live to tape, like a live radio show. While this might mean some dead air and dead ends, it also means that anything can happen.
  • This show contains spoilers. We try to drop a warning ahead of time, but tread lightly.
  • This show contains profanity and adult language, and is not safe for work. If it was translated into sign language, it would be only a middle finger. Wear headphones.
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batman_v_superman_dawn_of_justice_promoWe’re a little late to the party with this one, what with our day jobs and commitments and congenital drinking problems, but Batman Vs. Superman has an official title and promo image. The promo image is at the top left. The title is Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.

And then the Internet blew up.

Seriously: people I have known for years and respect have taken to Twitter to complain about almost every aspect of the title. One guy complained that Superman didn’t have top billing. Another guy bitched that they were using a “v” instead of a “vs.” or a full-on “versus.” I’ve seen gags revolving around “Tony Orlando of Justice.” Chris Hardwick’s Comedy Central show @Midnight started a hashtag, #BetterBatmanSuperman, implying that Joe Blow from Falmouth could come up with a better title.

And maybe they could. Because honestly, it’s not that great a title. But it’s not the worst title in the world, either.

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gal_gadotWith Gal Gadot on board to play Wonder Woman in the new Man Of Steel sequel, it hasn’t taken long for the rumor mill to crank up about what that role may entail. Someone named Jett from a site called Batman On Film is speculating that Wonder Woman may get a new origin story:

With all that said, I’d bet a year’s pay – in MONOPOLY money, of course – that the “Amazons” of this cinematic DCU will be descendants of those “ancient Kryptonians” who attempted to set up Kryptonian outposts throughout spacedom thousands and thousands of years ago. Furthermore, I say that Wonder Woman will be powered-down, if you will, relative to Superman because these Amazons have evolved and adapted to living on Earth for hundreds of centuries. And since Kryptonians are produced without any “He’n and She’n” – Jor El and Lara excluded – couldn’t this original Kryptonian on Earth have used this reproductive science to create an all-female race? I say yes!

That statement was in response to answering mailbag questions on the site:

Responses to reader’s questions are based on inside information, industry scuttlebutt, and my opinion. Nothing should be taken as confirmed news unless explicitly stated as such.

Well, I’m hoping that Jett’s speculation turns out to be a nonstarter. Given that so far WB has managed to stick, more or less, to canon with the Batman franchises and much (though certainly not all) of the Arrow TV show, there is no reason for a script to toss out Wonder Woman’s origin story beyond complete and total ass-hatted laziness. I’m not interested in a “powered down” Wonder Woman, evolved from Kryptonians. Frankly, I didn’t like the Asguardians as more evolved alien race when Marvel did that for the Thor movies. It’s a cop out.

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ben_affleck_as_superman-404786088Christ, you go out to dinner late on a single, solitary Thursday evening, and what do you miss

Ending weeks of speculation, Ben Affleck has been set to star as Batman, a.k.a. Bruce Wayne. Affleck and filmmaker Zack Snyder will create an entirely new incarnation of the character in Snyder’s as-yet-untitled project—bringing Batman and Superman together for the first time on the big screen and continuing the director’s vision of their universe, which he established in “Man of Steel.” The announcement was made today by Greg Silverman, President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production, and Sue Kroll, President, Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

The studio has slated the film to open worldwide on July 17, 2015.

Okay, let’s all get our, “Oh Jesus, Affleck was in Gigli / Saving Christmas / Sum of All Fears / Jennifer Lopez!” panic out of our system. Feel better? Now settle down, huddle up, fetch your old Uncle Rob some more bourbon, and listen up: this is not bad news.

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baker_mass_murder_of_steel-1945283383Kyle Baker is a cartoonist, possibly best known to the run-of-the-mill superhero comic geek as the guy who worked on The Shadow with Andy Helfer back in the 80s, and who did the pre-New 52 Plastic Man series back in 2005. But he is also an animator, who has worked on Phineas And Ferb… and who apparently likes to work in Flash animation.

I say this because, in just the ten or so days since Man of Steel opened in American theaters, Baker has put together a little Flash animation game called Mass Murder of Steel.

The mechanics of the game are simple: you click on Superman and General Zod, who are tumbling together in an embrace appropriate for either mortal combat or gay porn, and when you do, they bounce around the screen, and, well, the people of Metropolis get a good look at the battle. Just before they Believe A Man Can Fly… So Long As The Ground Is Never There To Hit.

Make no mistake: Mass Effect 4 it ain’t, but as a nifty little dig at the sheer scope of destruction in Man of Steel, and an examination as to whether that destruction was just eye candy without much of story justification, it’s pretty cool. And you can play it here.

(via Comics Alliance)

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man_of_steel_poster_1Editor’s Note: I was born in spoilers, Colonel; you can’t get more ruinous than that.

Man of Steel is a pretty decent superhero movie, if not necessarily the best Superman movie if you’re a purist about the character… but if you are, you’re probably off in a dark room somewhere writing hate messages to Dan DiDio about the New 52 reboot and scoffing at the sheep running to movie theaters when there’s a perfectly good Superman DVD with Christopher Reeve’s picture on it on your shelf, and you don’t give a fuck what I think about Man of Steel anyway.

Which is a shame (not that you don’t care what I think; hell, before I’ve had at least three beers, even I think I’m an idiot), because in most of the ways that matter, director Zack Snyder gets the character right. Snyder’s Superman is a man of two worlds who has made the conscious decision to favor and protect humanity over anything else. He’s generally humble and patient and wants only to be trusted to help us. And Man of Steel screenwriter David S. Goyer, probably remembering the shitstorm he himself created in Action Comics #900 when he implied Superman would be renouncing his United States citizenship, makes it abundantly clear that the Superman of Man of Steel is all about The American Way.

But Snyder and Goyer chuck a certain amount of what your average guy on the street would consider to be Superman canon. Superman never really is the Last Son of Krypton here, and the whole secret identity conceit is kinda thrown out in all the ways that most people would consider to really matter to the character. And it’s a little odd that our first introduction to Superman is at gunpoint in the desert so that he can turn himself in to American authorities; I’ll tell you this: Batman wouldn’t put up with that kind of happy horseshit.

So when it comes to reviewing Man of Steel, I’m gonna pretty much leave it at: yeah, it was pretty good. Because I’ve only seen the movie once, and by the time I’m finishing this article up It’s been three days since I saw it, so some of the details aren’t going to be as clear as they could be in my mind. But I am going to make some observations about some things about the movie that I noticed, and a couple of things that have driven some people who saw the movie apeshit, but which instead make a lot of sense to me having had a few days to give them some thought.

The first of those observations being: the greatest accomplishment that Man of Steel makes is that it puts on the big screen the first relatively true adaptation of Miracleman #15.

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Yesterday, much of the Crisis On Infinite Midlives staff attended a 10:30 AM matinee for Man Of Steel. Our group’s consensus was generally favorable, some giant plot holes around the inability of the citizens of Krypton to realize that the Phantom Zone could be used to save people from their planet that weren’t genocidal war lords aside. Rob tells me he’s going to have a review up eventually; today he’s mostly been asleep on the couch. Being functional for a 10:30 morning movie takes a lot out of a guy. That, and the Michigan whiskey Trebuchet and Pixiestyx brought back for him from their recent travels to deepest, darkest Flint. Cheers, guys!

In the meantime, enjoy this trailer for the recently released porn parody, Man Of Steel XXX. It looks to be as much a loving fan homage to the Justice League as much as it also appears to be an excuse for Supes to give Wonder Woman his Kryptonian meat. Enjoy!

Via The Mary Sue

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man_of_steel_poster_1We are in a strange form of angry detente today at the Crisis On Infinite Midlives Home Office, based on the fact that I have read George R. R. Martin’s Song of Ice And Fire. Because of this, I knew the term “Red Wedding,” and all its ramifications for certain characters on last night’s episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones adaptation of that series… while my co-Editor Amanda, who has not read any of the books, did not. Therefore, things have been tense here, beginning with the moment when Amanda asked, “Why is Roose Bolton wearing chain mail?” moving through cries of, “You could have warned me, you insensitive douche!” and continuing through this evening’s, “Here’s a surprise for you: you’re getting your own Goddamned beer.”

So after almost 24 hours of being face-to-face with bleak nihilism in a world where honor fails, justice is dead and the most fortunate member of an idealistic  family is the one who watched both her parents die in front of her, the only cure is some good, old-fashioned, American superheroics, free of senseless murders, gratuitous dismemberments, and where the phrase, “Winter is coming” only means that we’re in a break from big summer event crossovers.

And to get that pure experience, that means Superman. And thankfully, Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel opens in just a couple of weeks, which means that we can distract ourselves from the fall of the House of Stark with some solid studio hype over the rise of the House of El.

And in that spirit: a ten-plus minute featurettte about the making of Man of Steel, including some new stills and video footage from the flick. So if you’re still reeling from seeing Ma Stark get a Westeros Necktie, you can check out Pa Kent tell the last survivor of House El how he’ll always be his dad after the jump.

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