At face value, there is nothing impressive or exciting about crossovers between DC Comics and Looney Tunes or Hanna Barbara. We didn’t pay a ton of attention to these books when they started dropping last year, until we finally picked a couple of them up out of a combination of seeking relief from the impending invasion of Watchmen characters into the DC Universe, and the kind of base rubbernecking instinct that makes people slow down to look at car wrecks, or non-Mission Impossible Tom Cruise starring vehicles.

Man, were we wrong, Almost to a one, these crossovers have been some of the most fun comics on the shelves when they appear. A pile of these crossovers came out this week, and a bunch of interesting and unexpected, yet entertaining, pairings happened! Along with the expected, somewhat disturbing, pairing between Batman and Catwoman!

So we’re talking a pile of books this week, including:

  • Batman #25, written by Tom King with art by Mikel Janin,
  • Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #1, written by Chip Zdarsky with art by Adam Kubert,
  • WMD: Weapons of Mutant Destruction #1, written by Greg Pak with art by Mahmud Asrar,
  • Wonder Woman / Tasmanian Devil #1, Written by Tony Bedard with art by Barry Kitson and Ben Caldwell,
  • Lobo / Road Runner #1, written by Bill Morrison with art by Morrison and Kelley Jones, and:
  • Nick Fury #3, written by James Robinson with art by Aco!

Alas, cartoon books or no, the disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to know whether or not the coyote gets the road runner, it’s because you’ve seen as many Saturday morning cartoons as we have and you know damn well what the answer is.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. We know the title says “Family Friendly.” Charles Manson also had a family. Listen with headphones.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

spider_man_homecoming_poster

“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!

american_psycho_coverIt has been a weird couple of weeks here in the United States. Any week where the honest-to-God news in your local newspaper is more contentious, rancorous and secret identity-obsessed than your average comic book is one where talking about what comic creators are skipping what conventions in which American states, and which writers are retiring from what social networks feels redundant at best and depressing at worst.

But the good news is that, here at the Crisis On Infinite Midlives Home Office, we learned long ago that’s it’s an unwise decision to publicly discuss religion, politics, or inappropriate self-love over Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho. The bad news is that we forgot one of those truisms during this episode. The answer will (probably not) surprise you!

Either way, we decided this would be a good time to take the long view and just talk about this week’s comics. Well, about this week’s comics, about how very different stories can come from similar ideas, and about unreliable narrators. So we discuss:

  • Spider-Man #9, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by NIco Leon,
  • Batman #11, written by Tom King with art by Mikel Janin,
  • Demonic #4, written by Christopher Sebela with art by Niko Walter, and:
  • Kill or Be Killed #4, written by Ed Brubaker with art by Sean Phillips!

And, the usual disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to know if Dylan from Kill or Be Killed kills or is killed, then skip this show (and next month’s Image Comics solicitations).
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. Do you think your mom wants to know what happens to a Daisy Buchanan when she’s bitten by a radioactive Gatsby (Spoilers: she gets greedy and whiny)? Then get some headphones.

And please note: from here on out, we will be publishing the podcast on Mondays, rather than Sundays. Thanks for sticking with us!

Thanks for listening, suckers!

dc_rebirth_charactersIt’s the first full week of DC Comics: Rebirth, and not a single Watchmen character appears in those issues, so we decided it would be a good opportunity to complain again about Watchmen characters appearing in the DC Universe.

Specifically, it was revealed this week that DC Comics didn’t contact Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons to ask him his opinion about adding Watchmen characters to Dc Universe: Rebirth. So we talk about whether that was a bush league move (protip: yeah), some of the history around DC leaving Watchmen alone, and whether DC Editorial really had any choice in asking for Gibbons or writer Alan Moore for even a half-hearted blessing in using their characters in Rebirth.

Then, since we were on a Rebirth roll, we discussed all this week’s titles from that event:

  • Superman: Rebirth #1, written by Peter Tomasi with art by Doug Mahnke,
  • Green Arrow: Rebirth #1, written by Benjamin Percy with art by Otto Schmidt,
  • Green Lanterns: Rebirth #1, written by Geoff Johns and Sam Humphries with art by Ethan Van Sciver and Ed Benes, and:
  • Batman: Rebirth #1, written by Scott Snyder and Tom King with art by Miken Janin.

And, just so Marvel doesn’t feel neglected, we close the show by talking about:

  • Civil War II #1, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by David Marquez!

And, as always, the disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you want to avoid knowing how the DC: Rebirth books end (spoiler alert: no matter what happens, it probably won’t matter next month), then consider yourself warned.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. You want your mom to know what “giddy bottom” means? Get some ear buds.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

legends_of_tomorrow_bannerIt’s been a week since Dan DiDio and Jim Lee hyped an upcoming project or event with a photo of some curtains and the word “Rebirth.” Last week, the comics Internet was abuzz with rumors that it meant a reboot or a return to pre-New 52 continuity or any number of other things. Well, it’s been a week, and in that time, we’ve learned… exactly nothing new whatsoever. But a few tidbits and Tweets have let us to come up with a new theory about the project, which, since we are, after all, part of that selfsame comics Internet, we are more than happy to discuss and kick around.

But one concrete new thing we can all address is the CW show DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. The pilot to the new show aired over the past couple of weeks, so we talk about what parts of the show work, which ones don’t, which characters are gonna need some attention, and why Hawkgirl is part of columns B and C.

We also discuss:

  • Grayson #16, written by Tim Seeley and Tom King, with art by Mikel Janin, and:
  • Old Man Logan #1, written by Jeff Lemire with art by Andrea Sorrentino!

And, as usual, some 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 a discussion why Rip Hunter’s time ship should be called “The Re-TARDIS.”
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, be aware that we will spoil why Old Man Logan spoils Frank Miller’s and Chris Claremont’s Wolverine.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. You want your boss to find out what happens when a podcast host eats about a million chocolate-covered coffee beans and stares at Batman’s utility belt area? Then get some earbuds.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

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:

Enjoy the show, suckers!

BatgirlNewCostumeThere has been another creative team change on Batgirl, by all reports due to editorial edict. So Amanda and I talk not only about the proposed new direction for the character, but we about the increasing influence over story and tone that editorial seems to have been gaining over creative teams as opposed to the early 2000s, when comics were doomed and writers and artists could seemingly do any damn thing they wanted if the sales numbers this month were higher than the ones from last month.

We are also just over a week away from San Diego Comic-Con 2014, so we talk about some of the scheduled panels, and how the wealth of content can make it infuriating, if not impossible, see everything you want at the show.

Finally, we discuss and review The Walking Dead #129, and Grayson #1!

And now the usual legalese:

  • We record this show live to tape. While that might mean some parts are a little rough around the edges compared to your regular comics podcast, it also means that anything can happen.
  • This show contains spoilers. We try to give a shout-out ahead of time, but we drink while recording. So tread lightly.
  • This podcast contains adult, explicit language, and is not safe for work. If you don’t want your boss hearing us talk about how superhero costumes contain compartments for each boob, wear headphones.

Enjoy the show, suckers!

justice_league_dark_23_cover_2013Comic crossover events are built on a tight timeline. Because of all the various comic titles that are involved in any big event, everything needs to go off like clockwork. Because when it doesn’t, it throws all the other titles involved into a scheduling nightmare, and that could really fuck up their ability to tell a coherent story… not to mention fuck up their ability to get their shit together in time for the next event story that is inevitably hammering down the pike.

So sometimes an issue needs to move a lot of plot and characters around quickly, to make sure everything is in place for the next issue in the story pipeline. And Justice League Dark #23, the penultimate chapter of DC’s Trinity War crossover, is one of those books. Writer Jeff Lemire and artist Mikel Janin have just 24 pages to get characters from the House of Mystery, Washington D. C., New York City and other parts unknown all together to deal with Pandora’s Box and face down whoever the dapper gentleman running the Secret Society happens to be, all so the players and pieces are in place for the finale in next week’s Justice League.

The good news is that they do it with a fair amount of action, pitting heavy hitters against lower-level heroes, with everyone in sight being affected by the corrupting influence of Pandora’s Box. The bad news is that they make a lot of these moves based on forced coincidences, characters popping up from out of nowhere at just the right time, and a serious over-reliance on Zatanna and her backwards Pig Latin magic.

The result is an exciting story, but as befitting a story with magic at its core, one where you can see The Man Behind The Curtain. Characters don’t move in this comic. They are pushed.

justice_league_dark_15_cover_2013Editor’s Note: What is it with you people? Do I have some kind of sign on me back, “Walking Spoiler Bank – Withdrawals Welcome”? Is that it?

What with the news about Guillermo del Toro having a movie in early pre-production about basically every character from DC’s Dark line, it seems like as good a time as any to check back in with Justice League Dark, which features just about all the characters del Toro want to work with.

Frankly, my enthusiasm for the title has waned in the face of Vertigo’s cancellation of Hellblazer (sure, John Constantine’s in Justice League Dark, but that ain’t Hellblazer), despite the title being taken over by Jeff Lemire, who is a damn good writer of weird shit, and who seemed to understand that if you’re going to see people a team book, it’s probably a good idea to have them be a fucking team. But the fact of the matter is that there’s nothing like knowing a movie is coming out about a comic to ramp up your excitement about a book. And God knows, Justice League Dark #15 will remind you that, yup, there’s a comic book movie coming out.

Unfortunately, that movie is X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Editor’s Note: won nigeb sreliops!

Before I say anything else about Justice League Dark #9, the first issue written by Jeff Lemire, I feel I must protest and state, with the authority of a seventeen-year two pack a day smoker who quit two years ago, that the only way John Constantine would be able to make it up the steps of the ziggurat we see mid-issue – a ziggurat in Peru, meaning a minimum of 5,000 feet above sea level – would be if Superman miracled his ass up there.

Other than that misstep, this re-reboot of Justice League Dark is generally effective, given that Lemire has the unenviable task of having to introduce a new status quo, including a new cast of characters, team raison d’etre, and mission, all in 20 pages. That is a lot of expositionally heavy work to have to do, and it does show in several places; for example, you can clearly see the man behind the curtain saying, at one point, “Oh shit; Andrew Bennett could wrap this conflict up in ten seconds. I have, let’s see… 20 words in which I can resolve that.” However, it is a generally promising beginning… with a few obvious problems.

The most major one being that, intentionally or not, the guts of the plot to this story is so close to that of the Avengers movie that one of them has to be getting an unintentional boner.