BCC2015LogoLongWe conclude our coverage of Boston Comic Con 2015 first by bemoaning the nearly literal biblical weather and plagues that prevented us from releasing it on Thursday as we originally planned.

Once we get that out of our system, we discuss the panels that we were able to attend at this year’s Boston Comic Con: Spider-Verse, Marvel Universe, IDW Comics, and the DC Comics panel. And not only do we talk about them, but we share a load of audio we recorded at those panels, from creators like Brian Azzarello, Scott Snyder, Jimmy Palmiotti, Jason Latour, Ming Doyle, Annie Wu, Sara Richard, Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodriguez, and a bunch of others!

We also talk about the differences between the panel delivery styles of each publisher, why you seem to get more hard information from DC Comics than you do Marvel, and why the IDW panel gave us the best explanations of why publishers pursue licensed comics, and why colorists are more important than most of us think, than we’ve heard in 40 years of reading comics.

And, as always, the disclaimers:

  • We record this show live to tape, with minimal editing. While this might make this a looser comics podcast than you are used to, it also means that anything can happen. Like learning why Rob’s childhood memories include armpits bleeding goo.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. Convention panelists try to keep things clean. They are better people than we are. Get some headphones.
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MarvelAllNewAllDifferentIt’s the final day of a long holiday weekend in the United States. We celebrated Independence Day in the ways of our forefathers: by getting drunk, listening to stuff blow up, and spending hours and hours playing Batman: Arkham Knight on our brand new XBox One. So we spend a little time talking about the new game, the new game system, our relationship to gaming, and how, no matter which next generation console you choose, you are now doomed to live with that company’s games until they, or you, die.

But this is a comics show, and there was big comics news this week: Marvel announced a huge chunk of the books that they will be releasing in October to follow the universe-rebooting Secret Wars. It’s up to 45 books, which means we don’t have time to talk about all of them, but we spend a little time with Amazing Spider-Man, The Ultimates, Captain Marvel, Karnak, Old Man Logan, and Doctor Strange. We discuss how we think they’ll work, how Amazing Spider-Man could be the answer to the prayers of both fans and haters of One More Day, and how the creative team behind Doctor Strange has Rob as excited about a comic book as he’s been in years.

We also discuss:

  • Secret Wars #4, written by Jonathan Hickman with art by Esad Ribic,
  • We Stand On Guard #1, written by Brian K. Vaughan with art by Steve Skroce,
  • Groot #2, written by Jeff Loveness with art by Brian Kesinger, and:
  • Little AvX Marvel #2, written and drawn by Skottie Young!

And now the disclaimers:

  • We record this show live to tape, with minimal editing. While this might mean a looser comics podcast than you’re used to, it also means that anything can happen. Like learning about Immaculately Manscaped Galactus.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, be aware that you will learn which X-Man takes balls to the face in Little AvX Marvel.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. You want your boss to know the etymology of the word “crotchal”? Then get some headphones.
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avengers_age_of_ultron_movie_logo_1301720927We are at peak Avengers: Age of Ultron backlash. The flick hasn’t been reviewed with nearly the nerd boner that the first Avengers movie got… and on some level, I agree. The first Avengers was better. That doesn’t automatically make AoU bad, but I can see how it would disappoint some people. You know, people who didn’t live through a time when, across a three-year span of time, the only comic book movie we got was Howard the Duck.

But the backlash has strengthened, for some, into legitimate anger. Consider this 4,200 word complaint that AoU is a failure on almost every level that one would want in a “popcorn movie.” Sady Doyle, the author, says she likes popcorn movies – big ‘splosions, giant robots, “pure, overwhelming spectacle.” She says she likes ’em big and dumb, kids. So then we’ll be on her side as she tears the flick apart, piece by piece, as useless.

She’s wrong, of course. Let’s figure out why! And I got my own 4,000 words to do it, so buckle up!

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secret_wars_teaser_alex_rossIt is Mother’s Day today, which means a somewhat shorter and truncated show this week. Because when you’re a son or a daughter, you need to honor your mother on Mother’s Day. And it turns out that you need to do that whether you remember she’s visiting that day, or whether they need blind telephone technical support for several hours. Because she’s the woman who gave birth to you, and saying, “But we have a podcast to record!” isn’t a good excuse. Particularly when you don’t want Mom to know that you have a podcast.

So this week, we take advantage of the fact that Convergence is half over to discuss the previews of post-Convergence books, both new and old, that DC has released this week. The books run the gamut from humor to sci-fi to action to apparent political horror, so we talk about Doomed, Red Hood and Arsenal, Starfire, Midnighter, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Omega Men, Detective Comics, Section Eight, and Prez.

But the big deal in this week’s comics was the first issue of Marvel’s Secret Wars, where Jonathan Hickman spits on his hands and takes Marvel the whole Crisis route. However, Secret Wars #1 isn’t Crisis. So we talk about how Hickman has put Marvel through it’s own Kobayashi Maru test, and given us a superhero story where nobody acts like a superhero, everyone seems to act in their own self-interest, and heroes act like they never have before in order to make sure everyone’s in the right place to service the plot. Ultimately, we talk about how this is a story that is very consistent with Hickman’s general style… and how that might not be the best thing for some of these characters.

And now, 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 speculation about the musky flavor profile of Dead Guy Whiskey.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, just assume that you are going to learn exactly why Reed Richards is a d**k.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. Unless you want your employer to learn our new cocktails based on Dead Guy Whiskey, get some headphones.
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c2e2_logoWe are back in Boston after attending day two of C2E2 2015, and let me tell you: Saturday at that convention is a very different experience than Friday. The crowds are much, much bigger, the cosplayers are everywhere (you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a Deadpool… note to self: try to sell Deadpool’s Pet: Dead Cat idea to Marvel), and the drunken rubberneckers began to rear their ugly heads.

But there were also cool creators to meet, awesome purchases to make (unless the purchase you want to make is, completely by accident, related to a major Hollywood announcement, in which case you were all out of luck), and some solid panels to attend. So we talk a little bit about the C2E2 Saturday experience in general, the Secret Wars: Last Days and Batman panels specifically, and why a certain Chicago restaurant will never be visited again in unfortunate detail.

Again, this is just another brief recap show. We will publish a detailed recap of the convention, including a lot of panel audio, tomorrow or Tuesday.

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secret_wars_teaser_alex_rossIt’s been three months since Marvel announced the Secret Wars crossover event, and since then, speculation has been flying about what it meant for the Marvel Universe: would it be a reboot, or just an event allowing Marvel characters from all their various universes to punch on each other for a few months?

Well, Marvel’s Senior Vice President and Executive Editor Tom Brevoort and Editor-In-Chief Axel Alonso did a press conference about Secret Wars this week, and it turns out the answer is: both!

So this week, we spend a lot of time poring over audio from that press conference, first trying to figure out if this reboot was planned before or after Alonso famously denied that Marvel was planning a reboot. We also discuss whether and what we’ll miss from the Ultimate Universe, what we want to see written out of Marvel continuity, and what we think is absolutely sacrosanct. Further, when it comes to Secret Wars itself, we talk about Battleworld, what battles we want to see between characters and universes, and ultimately, whether or not we’re excited by the idea of a Crisis On Infinite Earths-style reboot of Stan and Jack’s Marvel Universe.

We also discuss:

  • The Amazing Spider-Man #13, written by Dan Slott with art by Giuseppe Camuncoli, and:
  • Powers #1, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Michael Avon Oeming!

And now, the disclaimers:

  • We record this show live to tape. While this might mean this is a looser comics podcast than you might be used to, it also means that anything can happen. Like discussions over whether we want to start a Kickstarter to fund the purchase of a Crisis On Infinite Midlives Kill-Bot.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, just assume that we’ve ruined the end of Spider-Verse for you.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and therefore is not safe for work. Unless you want your employer finding out what body part we want to use to trigger the machines guns on our Kill-Bot, get some headphones.
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all_winners_4_coverIt was a big week for Marvel’s Cinematic Universe this week, as the first two episodes of the limited series Agent Carter debuted on Tuesday. So we spend some time talking about that episode, its themes of sexism, how its mid-40s setting is a blessing and an opportunity, and how an obscure comic from 1942 might hold some secrets about the series.

Agent Carter also featured the debut of the first teaser trailer for Marvel’s Ant-Man movie. We’ve made no secret that we’re looking far less forward to this movie now that Edgar Wright is no longer directing, so we talk about whether this trailer changes our mind at all. Short answer: watch the trailer with no audio, and see if it doesn’t look like a prison flick with Paul Rudd as a convicted child predator and Michael Douglas as his lovesick warden.

We also discuss:

  • Ant-Man #1, written by Nick Spencer with art by Ramon Rosanas, and:
  • The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1, written by Ryan North with art by Erica Henderson!

And now the legalese:

  • We record this show live to tape. While this might mean a looser show than you are used to from most comics podcasts, it also means that anything can happen. Like the definition of “Cream of Swede.” It’s not what you think! It’s far more disgusting!
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout warnings ahead of time, just assume that we will ruin everything you care about.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. I refer you again to the phrase “Cream of Swede.” You’re gonna want some headphones.
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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.
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multiversity_pax_americana_1_coverThe world of comics is big, complex, and sometimes even literary… and we are not. So we open this show talking about the return of Underoos. Which might sound frivolous, but when you consider that those underwear packs were the only place we middle-aged geeks could get a decent superhero t-shirt in the late 70s, it means something to us.

In addition, we also talk about the radical change in Batgirl to appeal to younger readers, we talk about whether that re-imagining of the character was the right way to go, and what other efforts the Big Two publishers might use to attract readers who aren’t middle-aged white guys with massive disposable incomes. We cover reboots like Batgirl’s, new characters in old costumes like Ms. Marvel, and the good old days, when Avengers and Justice League were places where new and B-List characters could get a fair shake at building a fanbase that could maybe carry a solo title for them.

We also go over the recently announced week two books of DC’s Convergence event, speculate on which titles seem most likely to hold hints about the permanence of this event, and again despair why some creators are on books that don’t seem like the best possible fit (why is Keith Giffen not writing Justice League International, for the love of God?).

And finally, we talk about:

  • Multiversity: Pax Americana #1, written by Grant Morrison with art by Frank Quitely, and:
  • Spider-Verse #2, written by Dan Slott with art by Olivier Coipel!

And now the disclaimers:

  • This show is recorded live to tape (There is one edit in this week’s episode to cover when I nearly revealed my secret identity). While this might mean a looser show than other comics podcasts, it also means that anything can happen. Like mangling the name of a classic comic to make it sound like Green Arrow is a gentleman of leisure who favors baseball bats.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to yell out warnings ahead of time, be aware that they can come at any time.
  • We use adult, profane language, and therefore this show is not safe for work. Unless you, like Green Arrow, are a gentleman of leisure, consider wearing headphones.
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ConvergencePromo_1200Pre-registration for San Diego Comic-Con 2015, for people who attended SDCC in 2014, came and went yesterday, and it marked the first disappointment for would-be attendees who didn’t manage to snag passes… including us. So we spend some time talking about the process, how it differed from registration procedures over the past ten years, and whether there are any other fair options that can balance the need to allow as many people as possible to experience the con, against the horrors of being forced to impotently watch the Blue Ring of Disappointment.

In addition, DC announced their spring crossover event, Convergence, and it was interesting in that it could bring back some pre-Flashpoint characters, it might roll back some New 52 changes, and it sounds suspiciously similar to Marvel’s upcoming Secret Wars event. So we talk about how these respective events might affect their greater continuities, for which publisher this might be a better and stronger move, and ultimately, which one we’re most looking forward to.

We also talk about:

  • Grayson #4, written by Tim Seeley with art by Mikel Janin, and:
  • Spider-Verse #1, written by Dan Slott with pencils by Olivier Coipel!

And now the legalese:

  • This show is recorded live to tape. While this might mean a looser comics podcast than you’re used to, it also means that anything can happen. Like the observation that, if people bitten by radioactive spiders throw off irresistible pheromones, then Spider-Verse will become a very sticky place for reasons other than webbing.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, just assume that we might ruin everything you love.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. Your boss doesn’t have Spyral’s nano-bugs, so all you’ll need is some headphones.

Oh, and here’s that Marvel Secret Wars video we talked about:

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