convergence_supermanDC’s Convergence event is almost upon us, so news about the soft reboot is coming fast and furious. And this week, that news included pictures of new costumes destined to be worn by Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman. And there’s just something about a costume redesign that drives comics fans into screeching frenzies of either hate or excitement, isn’t there?

So we discuss not only the new costumes (and speculate on the circumstances that make them necessary), but superhero costume changes in general, including when they have and haven’t worked, and which ones have spun us up the most in our 40 years of reading comics (hi, Fall From Grace armored Daredevil!)

We also discuss:

  • Howard The Duck #1, written by Chip Zdarsky with art by Joe Quinones, and:
  • Southern Cross #1, written by Becky Cloonan and drawn by Andy Belanger!

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 learning the definition of “Batman’s Old Fashioned Texas Love Tubes.”
  • This show has a lot of spoilers. While we make an effort to shout out warnings ahead of time, be aware that we could ruin certain plot points. Like whether or not Howard is, in fact, a duck.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. You want your employer to hear speculation about where Wi-Fi Barbie keeps her antenna? of course not. Get some headphones.

Enjoy the show, suckers!


all_new_captain_america_1_cover_variantThis week we added and installed a ton of new studio equipment for the show… and then used it to spend a few minutes laying in movie sound clips like middle-market Morning Zoo jocks.

Once we got that out of our system (and it is out of our system, we swear), we spent some time discussing the Doctor Who season finale, Death in Heaven. We talk about how the finale resembled a big comic book crossover event, whether the season theme of The Doctor-as-aristocrat really held water, the missed opportunity of Clara insisting that she was The Doctor, and why the English put so much stock in Christmas specials.

This week also brought us the solicitations for the first week of DC’s Convergence event on April 8th, so we go through each of the books and talk about what looks good, what looks great, and what it would take for us to even remotely care about some of the returning pre-New 52 characters (hi, Damian Wayne!).

On the comics front, we discuss:

  • Captain America and The Mighty Avengers, written by Al Ewing with art by Luke Ross,
  • Captain America #1, written by Rick Remender with pencils y Stuart Immonen, and
  • Superior Iron Man #1, written by Tom Taylor with art by Yildiray Cinar!

And now the warnings:

  • This show is recorded live to tape. While that might mean that this is a looser comics podcast than you are normally accustomed to, it also means that anything can happen.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, just assume that the spoilers you fear most will be uttered as the punchline to a dirty joke.
  • Speaking of dirty jokes, this show contains adult, profane language, and is not safe for work. Having just bought a crate of recording studio gear, I can state with some authority that headphones are cheap. Get some.

Enjoy the show, suckers!


batman_89_one_sheetIt’s the 25th anniversary of the release of Batman in theaters, so this week, Amanda and I talk about what it was like being a geek in the years and months leading up to the flick… and whether it holds up now (Hint: in 1989, Batman was a terrible, terrible pervert).

We also talk about:

  • The pilot for The Flash that leaked to the Internet this week,
  • Superman #32, written by Geoff Johns with art by John Romita Jr., and,
  • New Avengers #20, written by Jonathan Hickman with art by Valerio Schiti!

And, the usual disclaimers:

  • This show is recorded live to tape. It means some more pauses and repeated thoughts than you might be used to, but it also means that anything can happen.
  • This show contains spoilers. We try to warn ahead of time, but if you haven’t seen Batman yet, I’m not sure what you want us to tell you.
  • This show contains adult, explicit language, and is not safe for work. It’s 2014; check behind your couch cushions. You’ll find ear buds.

Enjoy the show, suckers!


superman_vs_captain_marvel_JLA_137_coverWe don’t have a lot of time this evening – we are preparing to, for the first time, take the podcast out of the studio and on the road to have a couple of guest hosts, which requires the testing of a bunch of new portable equipment and packing it up – but this seemed like a thing we should mention, even if it turns out to be a rumor.

Apparently Hollywood gossip reporter Niki Finke is claiming to have obtained the release schedule for the next several years of DC live action superhero movies, including and beyond Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. This schedule was reportedly meant to be announced at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con in about five weeks – and we might hear something different from DC / Warner Bros. then – but supposedly, here is the schedule of DC Universe movies coming out between now and 2018… and there are one hell of a lot of them.


superman_comics_logoLook, I’m not gonna blow sunshine up your ass: it’s St. Patrick’s Day, we live in Boston, and I am Irish. I have my second pint of Guinness sitting in front of me, and we are foregoing the traditional corned beef and cabbage gut bomb in favor of a light salmon supper. These circumstances, when combined, mean that my command of the written English language has about 45 minutes to live.

So let’s all give thanks that the good folks at CorridorDigital have access to a Superman suit, some actors, a green screen, and a jacked-up camera drone. Because they have combined those circumstances to create a three-minute video of what it might look like if Superman strapped a Go-Pro camera to his head and flew around saving people and stomping bad guys.

It’s actually a really cool first-person view of what it might be like to be Superman flying around the landscape, and I am going to post it now. Because if I wait about an hour to post and view it, it is good enough that I will become motion sick, and dark ale will erupt from places that it should not. At least not before closing time. And you can check it out after the jump.


superman_comics_logoWe have no comic news for you today, just a video of something truly remarkable: people openly smoking cigarettes around children without a single look of scorn from some health nut passer-by.

Just kidding (although that totally happens and it makes me sad that I live in the 21st Century); this is actually a home movie from the very first public appearance of Superman. Not the real Superman, because that video would be shown on media other than independent comic book Web sites on a hung over Saturday afternoon.

Instead, this is the first appearance of an actor pretending to be Superman, at the 1940 World’s Fair, a little more than two years after the character debuted in Action Comics #1. And watching it, a few things struck me, the first being how surprising it was that so many kids managed to get their hands on Superman t-shirts despite the lack of a Graphitti Designs or (in 1940) a remotely functioning economy. The second thing was: whatever happened to the Superman dress for Young Misses? Had such a thing existed when I was a Young Mister, I could have saved a lot of time knowing which girls I could have spoken to in order to avoid as many scrotal injuries.

But the biggest thing that struck me was that clearly, 1940 was a simpler time for kids. Because there they were, seeing literally the first physical embodiment of Superman – hell, any comic book hero… and not a single one of them was complaining that the trunks rode too high, or that his spitcurl was wrong, or that you could totally see the safety wire holding him up. If this occured in 2013, there would be drunken malcontents shrieking about these things on the Internet. Drunken malcontents like me, because all of those things were totall wrong.

But still: it’s actually kinda cool to see the first real crossover of comic superheroes into some kind of multimedia. And it’s doubly impressive, because in 1940, the world was only about ten years out from “multimedia” being just “medium.” And you can check it out for yourself after the jump.


superman_wonder_woman_1_promo_cover_2013106444322Jesus Yammering Christ, is this what were reduced to now? Not just chasing that screeching tween Twilight dollar, but doing it hamfistedly and just fucking wrong?

All right, hold on; let me explain.

The Toronto Fan Expo was held this weekend. We did not attend this convention because we are still paying off our visits to the San Diego and Boston comic conventions (and are getting ready to pay our deposit for our emergency backup room for next year’s SDCC which, yes, we have already made reservations for), and because the nation of Canada has, based on a 1991 visit I made to Montreal, decided that my presence is so detrimental to their culture that even my American dollars don’t make up for it.

However, DC Comics was there, and as they do in most bigger conventions, they held a DC All Access panel to discuss upcoming books, such as Superman / Wonder Woman, written by Charles Soule with art by Tony Daniel and scheduled for a first issue release on October 9th. And Daniel was on that panel, and he addressed the impetus behind building a title around these two characters, who are two-thirds of a trinity of legendary characters created by DC.

And yeah: it turns out that that impetus wasn’t to tell legendary action stories. It apparently was to attract 11-year-old screechy girls and their sweet, sweet fistfuls of daddy’s cash.


ben_affleck_as_superman-404786088Christ, you go out to dinner late on a single, solitary Thursday evening, and what do you miss

Ending weeks of speculation, Ben Affleck has been set to star as Batman, a.k.a. Bruce Wayne. Affleck and filmmaker Zack Snyder will create an entirely new incarnation of the character in Snyder’s as-yet-untitled project—bringing Batman and Superman together for the first time on the big screen and continuing the director’s vision of their universe, which he established in “Man of Steel.” The announcement was made today by Greg Silverman, President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production, and Sue Kroll, President, Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

The studio has slated the film to open worldwide on July 17, 2015.

Okay, let’s all get our, “Oh Jesus, Affleck was in Gigli / Saving Christmas / Sum of All Fears / Jennifer Lopez!” panic out of our system. Feel better? Now settle down, huddle up, fetch your old Uncle Rob some more bourbon, and listen up: this is not bad news.


man_of_steel_poster_1Editor’s Note: I was born in spoilers, Colonel; you can’t get more ruinous than that.

Man of Steel is a pretty decent superhero movie, if not necessarily the best Superman movie if you’re a purist about the character… but if you are, you’re probably off in a dark room somewhere writing hate messages to Dan DiDio about the New 52 reboot and scoffing at the sheep running to movie theaters when there’s a perfectly good Superman DVD with Christopher Reeve’s picture on it on your shelf, and you don’t give a fuck what I think about Man of Steel anyway.

Which is a shame (not that you don’t care what I think; hell, before I’ve had at least three beers, even I think I’m an idiot), because in most of the ways that matter, director Zack Snyder gets the character right. Snyder’s Superman is a man of two worlds who has made the conscious decision to favor and protect humanity over anything else. He’s generally humble and patient and wants only to be trusted to help us. And Man of Steel screenwriter David S. Goyer, probably remembering the shitstorm he himself created in Action Comics #900 when he implied Superman would be renouncing his United States citizenship, makes it abundantly clear that the Superman of Man of Steel is all about The American Way.

But Snyder and Goyer chuck a certain amount of what your average guy on the street would consider to be Superman canon. Superman never really is the Last Son of Krypton here, and the whole secret identity conceit is kinda thrown out in all the ways that most people would consider to really matter to the character. And it’s a little odd that our first introduction to Superman is at gunpoint in the desert so that he can turn himself in to American authorities; I’ll tell you this: Batman wouldn’t put up with that kind of happy horseshit.

So when it comes to reviewing Man of Steel, I’m gonna pretty much leave it at: yeah, it was pretty good. Because I’ve only seen the movie once, and by the time I’m finishing this article up It’s been three days since I saw it, so some of the details aren’t going to be as clear as they could be in my mind. But I am going to make some observations about some things about the movie that I noticed, and a couple of things that have driven some people who saw the movie apeshit, but which instead make a lot of sense to me having had a few days to give them some thought.

The first of those observations being: the greatest accomplishment that Man of Steel makes is that it puts on the big screen the first relatively true adaptation of Miracleman #15.


superman_unchained_1_cover_2013I’ve had some issues with Superman ever since his New 52 reboot. Because frankly, through the eyes of hindsight, Superman’s reboot was kind of a schizo mess.

On one hand, we had Grant Morrison on Action Comics, showing Superman as a kid in a t-shirt with a reduced powerset punching out millionaires. At the same time, Superman was going full blast in his own title, separated from Lois Lane and having big adventures, all while the original writer was screeching about editorial interference and jumping off midstream, leaving the title in the capable hands of the man who rebooted Starfire to be an amnesiac cockmonger. In the meantime, Morrison made Superman’s invulnerability partially contingent on some weird Kryptonian battle armor, and then Geoff Johns had Superman start chucking the meat to Wonder Woman. And that’s all if you ignore what’s happening in the out-of-continuity, video game tie-in title Injustice: Gods Among Us, where Superman is following “The American Way,” if by that you mean, “Ruthlessly enforcing order through the use of constant pervasive surveillance.”

That’s all gone on in just 21 months, and while it might be all well and good for your average rabid comics fan, there’s not much that screams, “It’s Superman!” to Joe Blow on the street… and that is a problem when DC’s last, best hope for creating a Marvel-style movie empire is Man of Steel – a Superman movie opening, well, tomorrow. And imagine that one-in-a-thousand moviegoer who is lucky enough to live in a neighborhood like mine, where there is a movie theater a block away from a comic store, and who leaves Man of Steel, wanders to that comic store and buys everything he sees with Superman on the cover… only to find a dude in armor making out with Wonder Woman when he isn’t incinerating banana republics for disobeying his orders.

Enter Scott Snyder, Jim Lee and Superman Unchained: a Superman story that uses the new costume and Superman’s New 52 status quo, but is still identifiably an old-school Superman story with an identifiable Big Blue Boy Scout, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and everything else that that mythical Some Dude Walking Into A Comic Store After Man of Steel might expect. And it should act as a pretty solid entry point for any non-comic readers that Man of Steel might attract…

…except for that fucking poster, which is an abominable choice.