secret_wars_9_2016_coverSecret Wars #9 was released this week, marking the official end of the Marvel Universe as created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby (or by Kirby and Lee, depending on whose version you prefer) in the November, 1961 issue of Fantastic Four #1.

Purely by coincidence, this was also the week that our local comic store put used copies of the first two volumes of Marvel’s Essential Fantastic Four reprints on sale. And also purely by coincidence, this was the week we obtained a copy of last year’s Josh Trank-directed movie version of Fantastic Four, with the original plan being to watch it so we could, in good conscience, list it as our worst genre movie of 2015.

However, with both the beginning and the end of Stan and Jack’s Fantastic Four and Marvel Universe in our hands, as well as this wretched little celluloid deviation, we decided it was a perfect time to revisit the team, how much of the Marvel Universe just those first few issues laid down for decades to come, how the comic really was a product of its time (and how the movie was proof of that), and how Jonathan Hickman laid those characters, as they have been since 1961, to rest. And, ultimately, we discuss whether this team, that was born during the Space Race, when Kennedy was President and World War II was closer in history than the Y2K Bug is to us today, could have a future in 2016.

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 a discussion why Sue Storm makes Helen of Troy look like Willie Lumpkin.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, be aware that we will spoil the fact that the Fantastic Four movie just sucks.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and therefore is not safe for work. See that “Ring Job” in the title? Don’t let your boss hear about that. Get some earphones.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

boston_comic_con_banner517491478The ninth annual Boston Comic Con – and the first one where Saturday sold out by Friday evening – concluded just a few hours ago. And despite being arguably the biggest Boston Comic Con to date, it also was one of the smoothest, with issues surrounding getting into the venue and into panels, that plagued the convention in prior years, all mercifully absent and apparently solved.

But the one problem that no convention of any size has been able to solve is exhaustion – after three days on the floor, we are wiped out. So despite the fact that our door-to-door travel time was twenty minutes, we are weakly sipping drinks, surrounded by loot from the convention and God knows how many hours of raw, uncut panel recordings, racing against fatigue hysteria.

But we wanted to take a few minutes to hook up our mobile recording studio one more time to put together a quick show to discuss the convention, what parts of it worked, which parts need improvement, why smaller regional conventions can be better than the megacons… and one completely new experience. That experience being that, after ten years of attending conventions of all sizes, this was the first time that we stood in a paid autograph line. To meet Stan Lee. And how the experience was pretty much what we expected, and why we will probably never, ever do it again.

Note: We currently plan to have a more detailed convention report, including panel audio, by Thursday, August 6th.

And now the disclaimers:

  • This show was recorded live to tape. While this might mean a looser comics podcast than you are used to, it also means that anything can happen.
  • Due to limitations in our content delivery system, this show was recorded at a lower-than-normal bitrate. So you might notice minor differences in sound quality than other episodes.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. You want your employer to hear what kind of filthy animals who might buy Rob’s Stan Lee autograph? Trust us: you do not. Get some headphones.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

Free Comic Book Day is officially the first Saturday of May. This year, in an effort to promote the day, the organizers of the event have tapped the legendary Stan Lee to get the word out. Check it out below!

And he’s not the only one helping with the promotion. Brian Michael Bendis also has a promotional video. Last year, the event attracted the assistance of Hugh Jackman, Steven T. Seagle, and Joe Kelly, so perhaps we can expect to see other videos as we count down to the day. But even, if we don’t, damn – they got Stan The Man this year! How do you top that?

So, head on over to your local comic book store on May 3, 2014 and check out what they have to offer. Not sure where your LCS is? Log on to to search for stores near you. Perhaps you too can begin to develop the kind of relationship that Rob has now with our store, where they know him by name and continue to ask him to stop asking the other patrons if they’d like to check out what’s else is free in his pants. And it all begins with free merch! Yay!

Happy New Year, everyone! While I am still in the midst of composing my list of favorite, and least favorite, comics for 2013, I wanted to share with you the brand new trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 that was released last night while the rest of us were getting shitfaced celebrating. In this one, Stan Lee, possibly fresh from his 91st birthday, gives us True Believers a quick intro. Then, we get another shot of the Rhino’s armor and lots of looks at Jamie Foxx’s Electro, in various action poses. Also, we see Spidey do what he does best when up to his neck in danger from his enemies – sling quips (and webs!).

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will be released in the US on May 2, 2014.

sdcc_logoAnd finally, here is the last of it. The last panel we attended at San Diego Comic-Con on Sunday, July 21st, before the convention-closing screening of Buffy The Vampire Slayer‘s musical episode, Once More With Feeling: The Avengers, X-Men, Dr. Strange and Sgt. Fury 50th Anniversary panel, featuring classic Marvel writer Roy Thomas, current writer Brian Michael Bendis, and artist John Romita, Jr.

There wasn’t anything revealed that you could particularly call “news” at this panel. Hell, there wasn’t even a hell of a lot of information about the creations of The Avengers, The X-Men, or any of the rest (although we did learn that Thomas made The Vision an android because hey! Stan Lee says stuff sometimes!). But what we did get were some cool and inspirational stories of what it was like to be at Marvel right around the time when Fantastic Four was breaking, what it was like to grow up around one of the premier Spider-Man artists of the late 60s, early 70s, and what it was like to grow up in Brian Michael Bendis’s broken home! Well, I guess some stories are inspirational only in their aftermath.

But even if the panel didn’t have anything new to say about the modern world of comics, I can think of worse ways to close out the convention than to hear about what the world of comics was like when legends were being created every month, when characters who would literally change some of our lives were being spitballed to meet a deadline on a Sunday afternoon, and when a man could get a gig writing some of the most legendary books in Marvel history by filling out a workbook on his lunch break.

And even if you weren’t there, you can check some of it out right here. We have a few videos of some of the cooler stories – not the best videos we’ve ever shot, but you can see who’s talking and get the whole stories – right here after the jump.

Things did not proceed smoothly here at the Crisis On Infinite Midlives home office this morning. Blasted awake at the Crack of Ungodly by well meaning employees of our condo association in the midst of the annual community-wide fire alarm check, Rob and I have been staggering through the remainder of the day in a haze that copious amounts of caffeine and sugar can’t quite seem to cut. We are moments away from breaking out the Jack Daniels, calling the day a wash, and drinking ourselves back to sleep. However, as bad a day as we think we might be having, it’s not as bad as the one Batman is having in this episode of Bad Days, a show that is featured on the YouTube channel for Stan Lee’s World Of Heroes.

I always knew Robin was more trouble than he was worth.

Sayonara, kids. I’m going to crack open this whiskey, settle in for a few Cocktails With Stan, and go back to bed.

Via Geeks Are Sexy

Good news, everyone! Stan Lee is feeling better – so much so that he’s teamed up with the crew at How It Should Have Ended to let us all know how some of the most popular movies should have actually ended. Check out his take on Inception, Batman Begins, Star Wars, and its prequels, explained to us as only Stan can. Welcome back, man!

Via The Mary Sue

SL-1The Amazing Arizona Comic Convention has sadly announced the following:

We here at Amazing Arizona Comic Con regret to announce that we have been informed by Mr. Stan Lee’s representatives that he is physically unable to travel and appear for this weekend’s events due to illness. Fortunately, we have a full weekend of great programming, over hundred of comic creators coming to the convention, and nearly 300 exhibitors on the main floor. Further headline guest Jim Lee, the Best Selling comic artist of all time, will be on hand at the event to meet with attendees, sign FREE autographs, and share in the spirit of comics and pop culture. Amazing Arizona Comic Con apologizes for the inconvenience and wishes Mr. Stan Lee a speedy recovery.

For those attendees who purchased Stan Lee Photo Ops or Stan Lee Packages, you may contact to inquire about refund eligibility. Please contact us no later than Friday, January 25, 2013 for more information. Amazing Arizona Comic Con reserves the right to process and issue refunds for eligible and qualified attendees, which will be dispersed from February 18 through 28.

Oh no! Stan!

Stan, get lots of bed rest and clear liquids! We here at the Crisis On Infinite Midlives Home Office also wish you a speedy recovery. We are confident that your mutant power is immortality and that you will be up and around the convention circuit in no time. If all else fails, we hear that gamma radiation is good for toughening a guy up. Get well soon, sir.

Via Bleeding Cool.

We noted with enthusiasm the observance of Stan Lee’s birthday shortly before the start of the new year. In honor of this momentous occasion, the folks over at I Heart Chaos found a video by YouTube user rogerio16juni1998 that is a montage of all Stan’s appearances in Marvel movies since 1989’s The Trial of the Incredible Hulk. My favorite moment in the video is probably at 2:39, where Stan arrives as himself at the wedding of Reed Richards and Susan Storm…and finds he’s not on the guest list.

Here’s to more Stan Lee cameos this year in Iron Man 3 and Thor 2, as well as next year’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Excelsior!

Hey ladies!  Check out my Hulk!

Hey ladies! Check out my Hulk!

It has been an eventful week for Marvel Comics. First, they killed Peter Parker. Then, they made Doctor Octopus take over as Spider-Man.

And today, Marvel’s Chairman Emeritus, Stan Lee, has turned 90 years old.

Now, if I were 90 years old, I would either be spending my days farting into my La-Z-Boy while simultaneously watching The Price Is Right and screeching at that bitch of a hospice nurse to ladle some Jack Daniels into my IV, or else busily being dead having found a situation I couldn’t shoot my way out of. But Stan is still going strong; he was recently here in Massachusetts for the Supermegafest, and I haven’t been to a San Diego Comic-Con where the guy wasn’t running around like he’d just done his last bump of Merry Marvel Marching Powder and was hunting down his next score.

And the dude is still going strong… at least strong enough to give Dan Slott shit over his most recent Spider-Man stories: