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!

frank_miller_boston_comic_con-2016It’s been a week since the conclusion of Boston Comic Con 2016, and we’re still coming to terms with the fact that we saw Frank Miller speak live.

We have a complicated relationship with Frank Miller here at Crisis On Infinite MIdlives. We will always love him for what he did with Daredevil and Batman in the 1980s, helping to bring comics into adulthood at the same time we were moving through our own adolescence. We will always respect him for doing cool stuff like Give Me Liberty and Robocop Vs. Terminator in the mid-1990s. And we will always be concerned about him due to his public statements about Islam, and there will never be a force on Earth that will make us really like Holy Terror.

But no matter what, the man is a legend in comics, and we were not only there to see him, but to record him. So we’re psyched to be able to bring you panel audio of Miller himself, talking about his Dark Knight trilogy, Sin City, Daredevil and what it was like to be at the forefront of comics during the 1980s.

We also discuss:

  • Civil War II: The Fallen #1, written by Greg Pak with art by Mark Bagley, and:
  • Demonic #1, written by Christopher Sebela with art by Niko Walter!

And, as always, the disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you’re not aware which Gamma-irradiated founding Avenger was shot in the brain by Hawkeye, well, then you’re not reading Marvel Comics anyway, and you won’t care.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. One of our possible titles involved Amanda using the convolutedly-spelled word “sidebewb”. You should probably use headphones.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

dc_rebirth_second_teaserOpen registration for San Diego Comic-Con 2016 came to us on Saturday… and it left us in less than an hour. As has become the norm, the convention completely sold out in less than an hour, and, like many of you, we were frozen out. So we spend a few minutes talking about how SDCC attendance has basically become a lottery system over which we attendees have no control, and discuss various options for making the con more available, from moving it to another city, to expanding San Diego’s facilities, to engaging in a mutually assured destruction nuclear showdown with the United States Navy.

Otherwise, the big comics news of the week was that DC Comics finally shared some details about their long-teased Rebirth event. And while story details are still scarce, we talk about how DC swears this isn’t a reboot (Even as all but two of their titles are being renumbered to #1), why DC needs to do something like this, what titles we can look forward to starting in June, speculate about what creative teams we’d like to see on those books, and complain that none of those books are Ambush Bug.

We also discuss:

  • American Monster #2, written by Brian Azzarello with art by Juan Doe, and:
  • Standoff: Welcome to Pleasant Hill #1, written by Nick Spencer with art by Mark Bagley!

And, the disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, be aware that you will hear more theories than you would like about the unholy nature of PuppyMonkeyBaby.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and this therefore not safe for work. You want your employer to hear about our devious plan that includes a Deadpool costume, Deely Bobbers and pointed questions about the toilet reading habits of particular members of DC Editorial? Then get some good headphones.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

supergirlLast week, we talked about how the future of the DC television shows, particularly the upcoming Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl, and how they might fit into the continuity created in Arrow and The Flash on The CW. And we mentioned over and over again that it’s hard to figure out the direction of the upcoming shows based only on trailers and not even a complete episode.

Well, clearly someone trusted with access to intellectual property at CBS or Berlanti Productions was listening, because the complete, hi-def pilot to Supergirl leaked to the Internet on Friday afternoon. And while normally one needs a little technical knowledge to find pirated videos online, this one leaked in a way where anyone with a mind to can watch it (although I’d use that link quickly, as CBS’s lawyers will be back from the Memorial Day holiday weekend bright and early Tuesday morning).

So we talk about the pilot, including how it uses the Superman mythos as shorthand to build Supergirl’s back story quickly (in ways both good and bad), how it’s potentially laying the groundwork for some continuity from the comics, possibly introducing an entirely new version of Lex Luthor, and creating questionable relationships between Superman and the government. We also talk about how the pilot wears its “girl power” themes on its sleeve, and whether that’s something that’s desirable or sustainable in the long run.

We also discuss:

  • Planet Hulk #1, written by Sam Humphries and Greg Pak, with art by Marc Laming and Takeshi Miyazawa,
  • Ultimate End #1, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Mark Bagley, and:
  • Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars #1, written by Cullen Bunn with art by Matteo Lolli and Jacopo Camagni!

And now 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 the origin story of Trucker Klingon, a.k.a. Steroid Loki.
  • This show contains spoilers. Like, we spoil the entire pilot of Supergirl. Consider yourself warned.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. You want your boss to learn the filthy double meaning behind Deadpool’s 80s-style costume logo? Of course not; nobody needs a visit to human resources on a short holiday week. Get yourself some headphones.

Enjoy the show, suckers!

tmp_cataclysm_ultimates_last_stand_1_cover_2013-1118780580Yesterday I complained that DC’s Forever Evil crossover wasn’t working for me because we’ve spent a whole bunch of weeks watching familiar villains in a new version of the universe run around unopposed, doing blatently evil shit for unclear reasons. And while it’s been all Earth-threateney and what-not, it hasn’t been all that compelling, because we all know that once the heroes reappear, there’s gonna be hell to pay. And to get that vaguely dissatisfied feeling has only taken a few months.

Enter Marvel’s Cataclysm, where a villain appears in a new universe and starts doing truly horrific things that endanger the planet without saying a word as to his motives. It’s Galactus, and unlike his prior appearances (and very much unlike Forever Evil), there is no herald and there are no grandiose declarations of superiority or inevitability. There is just hunger and mass destruction… and in one issue, it’s already ten times more compelling and tense than Forever Evil has been so far.

fantastic_four_9_cover_2013-1513315151Editor’s Note: Stretch, I’m tellin’ ya… I messed with spoilers I didn’t understand, and it all blew up in that jerk’s face. Literally.

Considering he’s one of the premier villains of the Marvel Universe, Doctor Doom’s origin has always been kinda crap.

I mean, think about it: the dude is a brilliant scientist and a master magician who, upon having an experiment blow up in his face, uses that wealth of head-earned knowledge to alleviate his condition by covering it with an iron mask that looks like it was forged and riveted by a seventh grade industrial arts student. And on a basic level, we’ve spent years being told that, if it weren’t for the one, single incident of his horrible disfigurement, Doctor Doom would never have become a tyrannical despot with a lust for immortality and ultimate power despite being born the heir to the throne of a third world Eastern European toilet (an area historically known for its great record on human rights) and having the positive family name of “Von Doom.” Which is, of course, the Germanic term for fucking “of doom.”

So I have never completely bought into the simplistic background of Doctor Doom… and clearly neither has Fantastic Four writer Matt Fraction. Because in Fantastic Four #9, he gives us a firsthand view of Doom’s originating accident, but from a completely different angle then we’ve seen before. And while it doesn’t make Doom’s motivations any more complicated – it actually simplifies them by a pretty significant level – it does make Doom and his personality a lot more believable, if not any more relatable. He doesn’t make Doom, who has always felt a little like a guy who only wears an iron mask to stop himself from twirling his moustache and cackling, “Moo-hah-ha-ha!”, any more complex… but he does make him a two-and-a-half dimensional megalomaniac that I find more believable.

And it is very, very good.

Editor’s Note: There was an idea to bring together a group of remarkable people, so when we needed them, they could spoil the comics that we never could.

Put as mildly as a foul-mouthed, cynical, long-time drunken comic reader can put it, comic publishers almost never handle the release of a movie based on one of their properties well. Put less mildly and more baldly accurately, they generally seem to take the opportunity such a cross-media exposure provides for attracting new, enthusiastic readers to their comic books to grimly set their jaws, strap on their cleats, and stomp hard on their own dicks.

It happens over and over, so predictably that it might was well be a Cylon plot. The Dark Knight is poised to become the biggest movie of 2008, you say? What a perfect time for DC to kill Batman and put a new guy in the suit! Thor looking to open large? Awesome! Kill him! Iron Man breaking bigger than anyone thought in 2008? Sweet, let’s make him a government bureaucrat! It’s like the front offices of the Big Two, prior to the release of a comic book movie, go days without sleep, subsisting on amphetamines, trying to figure out how to convey to potential new readers, who wander into a comic store to learn more about the character they just fell in love with, that it would be in their best interests to fuck off and just keep right on walking.

So imagine my surprise when Marvel, not five days after the release of Avengers in American theaters, put out an issue of a comic book written and drawn by one of their A-list talent teams that looks like the movie, has the same characters as the movie, that is not only action-packed and imminently accessible to anyone who saw the movie, but also goes about answering one of the key unanswered questions from the movie that I have been asked repeatedly since last Friday: “So, that guy in the scene in the credits… who was that guy, exactly?”

Like some kind of demonic Energizer Bunny, Fear Itself continues to chug along, now in the guise of The Fearless. Sure, The Serpent is gone, Thor is dead and Odin has fucked off for points elsewhere, but Sin, the daughter of the Red Skull, still has daddy issues and she wants them addressed right friggin’ NOW! Damn it, people! Some jerk took her special magically evil hammer that daddy surrogate, The Serpent, gave her and she wants it back. That is her toy and she sure as hell isn’t going to let Valkyrie or anybody else play with it. Nope, not when she can throw a tantrum and have a bevvy of bad guys go do her bidding to go get the hammer back for her.

Hair pulling, slap fights and spoilers, after the jump.