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!

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clone_conspiracy_promo_poster_1This week, Marvel and Spider-Man writer Dan Slott announced that this fall’s Spider-Man event will be called The Clone Conspiracy, and will feature The Jackal and the clone of Gwen Stacy, possibly bringing a bunch of long dead Spider-Man characters back from the grave. We initially had a very negative reaction to this news, because any Spider-Man title that includes the word “clone” brings back memories of the 1990s Clone Saga… but then we realized that neither of us had actually read all that much of the original Gerry Conway clone stories from the 1970s, or the Clone Saga stories from the mid 90s.

So we ran out and purchased the trade of the original clone stories from 1975 through 1990, and one of the trades of the 90s Clone Saga, to see how we really felt about the clone stories in the face of the actual works. And we discussed, in the face of actual exposure to the clone stories, whether we wanted to see any more clone stories… and whether we did or not, if they could possibly overcome the reputation of the 90s Clone Saga.

We also discuss:

  • Civil War II #2, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by David Marquez,
  • Superman #1, written by Peter Tomasi with art by Patrick Gleason, and:
  • Batman #1, written by Tom King with art by David FInch!

And, the usual disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to learn the ending of who wound up with the mantle of Spider-Man at the end of The Clone Saga 21 years ago, you are a wise person with good taste in serialized graphic storytelling! But we’ll still ruin it for you.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. If you don’t think your mom wants to hear how there’s a big bit of Hal Jordan in Carol Danvers, then get some headphones.
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dc_rebirth_first_teaserIt’s been a couple of weeks since DC Comics Co-Publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee tweeted their first teasers toward something called “Rebirth,” and  since then, there has been, well, absolutely no concrete hard news whatsoever.

But what there are are rumors. Many, many rumors. From where did the rumors originate? Who knows? But rumors there be, about book cancellations, creative team changes, new books, new first issues, and partial to total reboots. So we talk about them, kick around which sound like good ideas, which seem like terrible mistakes, and wind up in a short-term, love-hate bromance with Dan DiDIo.

We also discuss:

  • Batman: Europa #4, written by Matteo Casali and Brian Azzarello, with art by Gerald Parel, and:
  • Spider-Man #1, written by Brian Michael Bendis, with art by Sara Pichelli!

And, the usual 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 finding a very valid, but… shall we say, alternative, use for your comics.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, be aware that you might find out that Batman talks like Phillip Marlowe, and why that’s maybe not a great idea.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. You want your boss to find out what “Gank the wingman” means? Then get some headphones.
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holy_f-cked_wolverine_coverA long time ago, when we barely had the equipment to record people who weren’t in the same room with us, we interviewed a couple of comic creators who were on the cusp of releasing their first print comic through a proper comic book publisher. It was also our first interview with comic creators, on new and untested equipment, and even though everyone involved was on untrod ground, it was one hell of a lot of fun.

Now, a year later, we have much better and more trusted equipment, and a lot more experience talking to people remotely. In addition, those two creators not only released their comic, but got the greenlight to publish a sequel, a bunch of good press around the book, and visited San Diego Comic-Con. And since they are now on the cusp of releasing the trade paperback of the sequel to their first comic, it seemed like a good time to check back in and see how the last year of relative success in comics affected them.

So in this episode, we talk with Holy F*ck and Holy F*cked creators Nick Marino and Daniel Arruda Massa, ostensibly to talk about the impending release of the trade paperback of Holy F*cked  but we also get into what it’s like to have some success in a local indie comics community, the pros and cons of variant covers for indie comics, how 90s comics affected Generation X vs. Generation Y, how San Diego Comic-Con arguably isn’t as big a deal for mid-level creators as it is for anyone else, and acting in reality TV. Oh, and we talk about how Crisis On Infinite Midlives might be the cause of one of the more graphic and talked-about panels in Holy F*cked.

Amanda and Rob also discuss:

  • Spider-Man / Deadpool #1, written by Joe Kelly with art by Ed McGuinness, and:
  • Swamp Thing #1, written by Len Wein with art by Kelley Jones!

And now, the disclaimers:

  • We record this show live to tape, with minimal editing (although we edited a tangent out of our interview that made no sense if you weren’t on the live video feed at the time). While this might mean a looser comics podcast than you are used to, it also means that anything can happen. Like not just a discussion about man-nipples, but a year-long continuation of a discussion about man-nipples.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to yell out warnings ahead of time, just assume you will learn which son of a god will be crucified in Holy F*cked (helpful hint: the answer will totally surprise you!).
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. You want to explain to your boss the particular Facts of Life that lead to a baby named “Rad Christ”? Then buy headphones.
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heroes-rebornWe’re a couple of weeks out of San Diego Comic-Con, and, even though we can hardly believe it, it turns out that one of the panels we’ll be missing the most? The Heroes Reborn panel on Sunday in Hall H.

I think we can all agree that Heroes kinda went sideways in its later seasons, but we’ve always had a soft spot for the show, ever since seeing the pilot at our very first San Diego Comic-Con. And all these years later, it’s easy to forget just how exciting the show was in its first season. So we discuss what was so exciting about the show in its first season, what went wrong as time went on, what we know about Heroes Reborn, and what we want to see from this miniseries.

We also discuss the Miles Morales-starring Spider-Man book announced by Marvel last week, including what this might mean for Peter Parker, why it was a foregone conclusion that Miles would not only get his own post-Secret Wars book, but keep the name Spider-Man, and what the timing of this announcement might have to do with recent Marvel Studios activity.

We also discuss:

  • We Are Robin #1, written by Lee Bermejo with art by Jorge Corona, and:
  • Gotham by Midnight #6, written by Ray Fawkes with art by Juan Ferreyra!

And, the usual legalese:

  • 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 why D-Man is to beautiful and ephemeral a character to ever be put on film.
  • This show has a lot of spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, if you want to find out for yourself if they ever Saved The Cheerleader? Be forewarned.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. You want your employer to learn the finer points of performing a Spider-Mohinder? Get yourself some headphones.
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fly_outbreak_1_cover_2015It has been, bar none, the crappiest week in comics news in recent memory – when the high point of the week’s news is that Larry Wilmore hosted a nationally televised round table discussion on how comics aren’t diverse enough (bookended by nerds-in-basement gags), it’s probably best to just pretend the whole thing just didn’t happen.

So that’s what we pretend. Instead, we took the occasion of the release of IDW’s The Fly: Outbreak #1, written by Brandon Seifert with art by Menton3, as an excuse to revisit one of our favorite movie franchises. Sure, The Fly might seem like simple Cronenberg body horror, but if you take a few steps back, what you really have is, starting with the original short story, a series of classic tales of science gone wrong, with unintended circumstances that imbue someone with extraordinary abilities in the face of terrible tragedy. Sure, it’s presented as horror… but if Jack Kirby or Steve Ditko had drawn it, we’d be arguing over which actor should be playing Seth Brundle right now.

We also discuss:

  • The Amazing Spider-Man #16.1, written by Gerry Conway with art by Carlo Barberi, and:
  • Batgirl #40, written by Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher, with art by Babs Tarr!

And now the disclaimers:

  • We record this show live to tape. While this might mean a looser comics podcast than you’re used to, it also means that anything can happen. Like a discussion over why real superheroines know to avoid a stack overflow error (and why that isn’t a reference to a wardrobe malfunction).
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, be aware that we might ruin the ending of a 29-year-old horror movie (that’s based on a 57-year-old short story).
  • This show used adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. You want your boss to know how many Godzilla wangs worth of snow we got this winter? Didn’t think so. Get some headphones.
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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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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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star_wars_logoThe first Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens teaser trailer dropped on Friday. It’s 88 seconds long, it features less than half of that in new footage, it gives us almost no story context… and it’s enough to get the geek world shrieking like teenagers at a One Direction concert.

So we talk about the trailer: why it was so effective, the smart choices director J. J. Abrams made to turn Generation X’ers all giddy like, well, teenagers at a One Direction concert, and how 88 seconds was all it took to change our opinions about the upcoming movie from ambivalence to legitimate anticipation.

We also discuss the solicits for week three of DC’s Convergence event. This round, which drops on April 22nd, seems to feature versions of DC heroes from before Crisis On Infinite Earths, with antagonists from the Tangent Universe. So sit back, relax, and hear about a week designed to somehow simultaneously appeal to 50-year-olds and Millennials!

We also talk about:

  • Gotham By Midnight #1, written by Ray Fawkes with art by Ben Templesmith, and:
  • Spider-Man 2099 #6, written by Peter David with art by Will Sliney!

And now the disclaimers:

  • We record this show live to tape. While this might mean a looser comics than you might be used to, it also means anything can happen. Like comparing Teen Titan Jericho to a specific form of intestinal distress.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout warnings ahead of time, consider this your master caution alarm.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. Don’t be a filthy Jericho; 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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