willard_scottAll right, it’s our one hundredth episode. Let’s not make a thing out of it. Seriously: we don’t. Sure, we spend a few minutes reflecting on where we are and where we came from, and maybe have a little too much Liquid Celebration to commemorate making it this far, but honestly? There was too much comics and genre news this week to spend too much time naval gazing.

We start off by discussing this week’s announcement that Star Wars: Episode VIII has been delayed from May to December, 2017. We talk about how the rumor is that the screenwriters want to rework the story to focus more on Finn and Poe, and how the move is a slap in the face to the fortieth anniversary of the debut of Star Wars… but mostly we talk about how waiting for a Star Wars movie is different when you stop being half a decade away from being just a glint in your dad’s eye and start being half a decade away from being a card-carrying member of AARP.

We move on to the news that Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat is leaving the show in favor of writer and longtime fan Chris Chibnall… eventually. You know, after 2016, when there will only be a Christmas special. And after Moffat’s farewell season sometime in 2017. Chibnall really should read The Late Shift, that’s all we’re saying.

But that’s not all! Being that kind of week, it was also when Bleeding Cool ran some stories about DC Comics maybe rebooting the DC Universe, maybe returning it to its post-Crisis, pre-New 52 state… or maybe about them doing not very much at all. So we discuss the rumors versus the actual concrete knowledge, and wind up bemoaning the idea of comics that slavishly follow their movie and television counterparts.

And on the comic book front, we discuss:

  • Batman #48, written by Scott Snyder with art by Greg Capullo,
  • Titans Hunt #4, written by Dan Abnett with art by Stephen Segovia, and:
  • I Hate Fairyland #4, written and drawn by Skottie Young!

And, even after 100 episodes, 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 that, on some level, the only difference between Star Wars and Barney Miller is finger counting.
  • This show contains spoilers. We try to give you warnings ahead of time, but go into this assuming that we are going to screw up your ability to think of Star Wars without contemplating the sweet release of death.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. Do you think your employer’s life will be enriched by learning the origin of the phrase, “The Wet Thunk”? Then get yourself some headphones.

Thanks for listening for 100 episodes, suckers!

harrison_ford_signIn this week’s podcast, Amanda and I are joined by longtime Crisis On Infinite Midlives contributors Trebuchet and Pixiestyx! Trebuchet read comics as a kid and came back to them as an adult, and Pixiestyx didn’t read any comics until adulthood. Which make them the perfect guests with whom to discuss:

  • Star Wars: Episode VII! And more specifically, why we aren’t feeling all that excited about it,
  • Considering the comics industry is dying (almost literally) to bring in new and lapsed readers, what factors, books, and events brought Trebuchet and Pixiestyx to comics in the 21st Century,
  • Uber #14, written by Keiron Gillen with art by Gabriel Andrade,
  • The Walking Dead #128. written by Robert Kirkman with art by Charlie Adlard, and
  • The United States of Murder Inc. #2, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Michael Avon Oeming!

But first, a few disclaimers:

  • This show is recorded live to tape, and may contain more pauses, “um’s”, and references to tube steaks, lips and Kobe assholes than your average comic book podcast,
  • There are spoilers here. We try to warn ahead of time, but proceed at your own risk, and
  • This show features adult, profane language, and is not safe for work. We all found headphones with which to record the show, so you can damn well hunt some up to listen to it.

Enjoy the show, suckers!

dc_comics_logo_2013It’s been a little more than two years since DC launched their New 52 reboot, and while DC still puts a big, “The New 52!” bullet on almost every cover of every book each month, there sure as hell aren’t 52 of those original release titles from September, 2011 still kicking around.

And now there will be two fewer. DC and book creators Jeff Lemire and Gregg Hurwitz have announced the cancellation of two original New 52 books, one surprising, one not (and yet still disappointing).

To wit: Animal Man and Batman: The Dark Knight will be concluding their runs in a few months, each with issue #29.

lee_didio_meet_publishers_sdcc_2013616921976We are coming up on the final bits and pieces of coverage we took from this year’s San Diego Comic-Con – yes, I know the convention ended eight days ago, but it turns out we had a lot of video to sort through, and a significant percentage of that video needed extensive processing on an actual computer in order to make it into something that YouTube would recognize as a video file, as opposed to some form of data wad, or perhaps a Word file detailing our manifesto and list of demands.

But the computer has done its work and dinged like a toaster oven (as we all know computers do), so we are finally proud to present a series of videos from DC Comics’s Meet The Publishers panel, held on Sunday, July 21st and featuring Co-Publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio. And you can say what you want about, say, DiDio (God knows we do, repeatedly), but there is no denying that the guy runs an entertaining panel with an infectious enthusiasm, which even Lee gets caught up in.

This was a fun panel, and we’re happy to bring you, a day late and a buck short, a small piece of it, along with some art that was shown to crowd at the panel. You can check them out after the jump.

batman_21_cover_2013DC Comics just wrapped up an event called the DC Retailer Roadshow in New York, which is not an event to which I was invited, due to the fact that I am not a comics retailer, and thanks to ugly rumors spread by the owner of my local comic store, where they know me by name and ask me to stop including the word “taser” in sentences that also include the phrase, “If I ever get face-to-face with Dan DiDio.”

A gentleman named Roderick Ruth, however, was there, and filed a report on the proceedings. Which included the normal stuff you would expect from a meeting with retailers – hype about the upcoming Trinity War event, addressing concerns that DC isn’t giving retailers enough information to appropriately order high-demand books like the one where Robin died, what have you – but it also included an interesting tidbit about Scott Snyder’s Batman origin story Zero Year, which just started last week.

That tidbit being that there will be crossover stories with Zero Year appearing not only in some of the Bat titles, but also in Action Comics, Flash, Green Arrow and Green Lantern Corps.

Wait, what?

legion_of_super_heroes_23_promo_cover_201396548742DC’s August solicitations are starting to be released and, as one will when a comic pubisher spends most of 2011 extolling their new group of 52 comics, I perused them to see which of those 52 new and exciting books are getting the ick.

And the short answer is: four of them, with two coming from the original New 52 from September, 2001. Those books being Dial H, Threshold, Demon Knights and Legion of Super Heroes, with the latter two being two of those original relaunched titles.

I have long since stopped keeping count of how many of the original New 52 titles are still sucking breath (although it’s clearly more than ten percent… because at least seven of them are Batman Family titles that will only be cancelled if some dingbat hires Joel Schumacher to reboot the Batman movie series. And by “reboot,” I obviously mean “add nipples to Batman’s boots”), but none of these cancellations are particularly a surprise to me. Dial H was clearly a Vertigo title marooned in the DC Universe; a book initially edited by former Vertigo chief Karen Berger, and given the upheaval in DC’s Editorial division, this book probably only had a matter of time unless someone changed the title to Dial B. With Gotham City’s Area Code Before The “B.” And Then Dial “Atman.”

Earlier this evening, an monumentous event happened in the comics world that can only be adequately described by the chroniclers of the two extremes of human morality and mortality: King James and Dante:

Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.

– King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)

Try not to suck any dick on your way across the parking lot!

– Dante, Clerks

In short: Rob Liefeld has left DC Comics, in a fashion in which we all wish we could leave our employers: by apparently screeching, “Fuck you, I quit!” and telling the world the boss sucks on Twitter.

EDITORS’ NOTE: Trebuchet has been a regular commenter here (“Regular” being a relative term) since we started in September, sticking with us as we spun off into writing about odd tangents with which he was unfamiliar: namely, comic books. However, Trebuchet has been sending us interesting private emails asking about what books we recommended and then commenting on them after he read them. He had the idea of picking up longer recent story arcs and reviewing the entire thing in one shot, which sounded cool. This is his first submission, and well: damn

So Crisis On Infinite Midlives is proud to introduce our latest contributor: Trebuchet! Please tell him it doesn’t suck so he’ll write some more!

Thanks Rob, now get off my lawn.

I was a casual comics collector back in the late 80s and early 90s, until other interests gradually overshadowed my weekly pilgrimages to the local comics shop. Since then, I’ve picked up a few things here and there at Rob’s suggestion, but generally speaking, I’ve been out of the game for almost 20 years.  I missed the advent of “event” stories, massive crossovers and “point one releases”.  I’ve missed the tragic deaths and resurrections of countless heroes and the births of others, so at the moment, I have no idea what the hell is going on in any of the superhero universes.

The New 52 seemed like a great opportunity to jump back on the train and start fresh. So shortly after the launch, I was perusing the shelves of my local comic store, where they have no idea who the hell I am and keep telling me that the Bingo hall is across the street, and anyhoo, the cover of Voodoo issue 4 jumped off the shelf at me, so I decided to take a chance on something I didn’t recognize.

It’s important to mention this because, I had absolutely no idea that Voodoo was an existing property, or that it was recently folded into DC from an Image / Wildstorm universe.  Hell, McFarlane and Liefeld were still working for scale when I got out of the game.  So yeah, I never heard of “Wild C.A.T.S.” (Lawn; off now!)

So it’s 56 years after Dr. Fredric Wertham dumped Seduction of the Innocent on us, driving EC Comics all but out of business and forcing the Comic Code Authority on us, guaranteeing that I would reach adolescence without having to see an awesome zombie eat some whiny teenager’s face, and now we have this shit:

Most people think of comic books for kids, but many of today’s comics are anything but that. Turn the pages of DC Comics now and you will find plenty of blood, sex and violence.

Ah, from Fox! The network that brought us Married With Children, 24 and Temptation Island! What else do you have for us, Washington DC Fox Washington DC affiliate WTTG General Assignment Reporter reporter Sherri Ly?

“It’s sort of like a fictionalized Playboy for kids at its worst,” said Neil Bernstein, Ph.D., a child psychologist and author of “How to Keep Your Teenager Out of Trouble.”

Critics worry the once family friendly genre has gone too far. Psychologists point out the overexposure to sex and violence for young children can encourage aggression.

“I think too many kids would be put in harm’s way or at risk,” Bernstein said.

Ah, where to begin… since I’m a dick, how’s about that first sentence (And I won’t even spend too much time pointing out the vile structure of that compound sentence, since I am one classy motherfucker)? “Most people,” huh? What’s your source? Some study? A survey? Your mom? No, I’m guessing your editor, and considering he let that first sentence through, I wouldn’t trust his judgment. Seriously, if you tried to submit that sentence to my journalism professors, they’d recommend you switch to a psych major just to save the red ink.

Well, we knew it was coming – the DC brass all but told us it was – but DC’s New 52 is now the New 46.

DC has announced that they are canceling Men of War, Blackhawks, O.M.A.C., Mister Terrific, Static Shock, and, in the interest of at least some justice, Rob Leifeld’s Hawk & Dove, after their respective eighth issues.

But since DC’s multiverse includes 52 worlds, and because the only words that rhymes with “46” are “ticks,” “dicks,” and “pricks,” they will be releasing six new regular books in May, including: