anniversaryIt is the Labor Day long weekend here in the United States, and considering there was little comics news this week, we strongly considered taking a pass on a show this week. However! A quick peek at our Web site archives reminded us that today, September 4th, is the fifth anniversary of Crisis On Infinite Midlives on the Internet.

And we couldn’t let the occasion pass by unmarked. So we did a very brief show (at least a brief show for us) to reminisce about where and how we started, and how we wound up where we are.

And since that story isn’t a long and involved epic tale that will ring down through the ages to eventually become a three-hour Charlton Heston movie, we also talk a little bit about some Spider-Man: Homecoming casting news, The Attack of The Mushroom People (for some reason), and some of this week’s comics:

  • Suicide Squad Special: War Crimes, written by John Ostrander with art by Gus Vasquez,
  • Thunderbolts #4, written by Jim Zub with art by Jon Malin, and:
  • Uncanny Avengers #13, written by Gerry Duggan with art by Ryan Stegman!

Oh, by the way: that Jeph Loeb / Ed McGuinness Avengers title Rob was looking for was Avengers: X-Sanction from back in 2012.

And, as always, the disclaimers:

  • This is a shorter-than-usual episode, and it’s a little bit loose. We assure you: we’ll be back to spending two hours acting as if in love with the sounds of our own voices next week.
  • This show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to know that John Ostrander’s Suicide Squad is about a black-ops team of supervillains… well, you’re already screwed. But you are also warned.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. Your boss is already upset that the next long weekend is three months away; don’t go making them angrier by listening to this without headphones.

Thanks for listening (and reading) for the past five years, suckers!

avengers_age_of_ultron_movie_logo_1301720927In case you didn’t notice, this week was all about Marvel Studios. They released the extended trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron on Monday, and Tuesday they announced their Phase Three slate of movies to be released between 2016 and 2019, including Black Panther, Captain Marvel, and Avengers: Infinity War.

So we talk about those things, along with a brief rundown of some of the news coming out of this weekend’s Rhode Island Comic Con (That news being that it was impossible to get in… less in the “I can’t get tickets!” way than in the “I have VIP passes and you’re telling me I can’t enter the building?” way), and an analysis of the greatest living threat to your comic collection: unsupervised little brothers.

And on the actual printed comics front, we talk about:

  • Death of Wolverine: The Logan Legacy #3, written by Kyle Higgins with pencils by Jonathan Marks,
  • Death of Wolverine: Deadpool and Captain America #1, written by Gerry Duggan with pencils by Scott Kolins, and:
  • Thunderbolts #32, written by Ben Acker and Ben Blacker with art by Kim Jacinto!

And here be disclaimers:

  • This show is recorded live to tape. While it might lead to a looser comics podcast than you are normally accustomed to, it also means that anything can happen. Like trying to cast Benedict Cumberbatch as Squirrel Girl.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, be aware of it before going in.
  • Amanda and I use adult, profane language, and therefore this show is not safe for work. You want your boss to hear a conversation about whether the final shot of an adult video is better shot in 24 frames per second or 60 frames per second any why? Didn’t think so. Get some headphones.

Enjoy the show, suckers!

django_unchained_1_coverIn this week’s episode, Amanda and I discuss:

  • DC Entertainment’s / Warner Bros.’s rumored slate of movie released, from Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016 to a rumored new Batman movie in 2019, whether DC is overextending, which ones we’re most looking forward to, how Sandman could work as a movie, and who should play Shazam,
  • The recently announced Quentin Tarantino / Matt Wagner crossover of Django Unchained and Zorro, why we’re not as excited as we might have been 15 years ago, and what Django crossovers we’d rather see,
  • Sex Criminals #6, written by Matt Fraction with art by Chip Zdarsky,
  • Thunderbolts #27, written by Ben Acker and Ben Blacker, with art by Carlo Barberi, and:
  • How World Cup soccer is enough to put an American – even a baseball-loving American – right to sleep.

But some disclaimers:

  • This show is recorded live to tape, like a live radio show. While this might mean some dead air and dead ends, it also means that anything can happen.
  • This show contains spoilers. We try to drop a warning ahead of time, but tread lightly.
  • This show contains profanity and adult language, and is not safe for work. If it was translated into sign language, it would be only a middle finger. Wear headphones.

Enjoy the show, suckers!

tmp_thunderbolts_15_cover_2013-1528769377I have clearly not been responding well to Marvel’s Infinity crossover, and I’m beginning to understand why that is, beyond a general orneriness that comes from covering something like five major crossover events in two years, with one of those events being Fear Itself.

Infinity is about a lot of things: interstellar war, tactics and strategy on a large scale, betrayal, and the lineage of kings and tyrants, with mass extinctions of a variety of races and alien species hanging in the balance… but i’s not so much about people. Sure, we have Captain America acting all inspiring and Captain America-ey, and we’ve got Namor acting all stoic in the face of apparently giving up to Thanos’s goons, and pretty soon we’ll have Doctor Strange being all bummed and guilty for leading the bad guys to Thanos’s son… but otherwise it’s all Skrull generals talking about the glory of battle and Krees calling humans upright apes and Builders talking like hippie douchebags with Classical Lit degrees and a suicide pact.

Ships and strategy and explosions are fun, but without the human element, a lot of Infinity has felt like watching dudes playing a tabletop game of Starfleet Battles: kinda interesting, but not the kind of spectator entertainment likely to convince me to turn off the Red Sox game. Which is probably why I’ve responded better to the extraneous crossover books that have dealt with the invasion on Earth. Sure, it’s hard to call an alien invasion of Earth a “small” story, but particularly with the way Jonathan Hickman has pulled all the heavy hitters off the planet, leaving only lower-powered heroes to deal with everything, crossovers like last week’s Mighty Avengers #1 feel more personal.

As does this week’s Thunderbolts #15. Which starts as a story about The Punisher dragging the team on a personal mission to wipe out one of New York’s crime families, only to be interrupted by the violent invasion of New York by the forces of Thanos.

And, as with Mighty Avengers last week, it’s one of the more relatable and entertaining chapters of Infinity so far.

batman_13_jokerHappy New Year! Well, almost.

This year in comics has been pretty uneven for the Big Two. Marvel finally dragged its ass across the finish line to end the pain and suffering that was Avengers Vs. X-Men, leading to a reboot relaunch of most of its major titles under the imprint of something called Marvel Now! Whatever its actual intentions (sales!), Marvel Now!’s primary functions have to have an excuse to bring Jean Grey back as a teenager (hot!) and kill off Peter Parker (cold!). The jury is out with me on the whole concept right now. Meanwhile, DC has killed off many of its New 52 titles before they even made it to middle school (oh, O.M.A.C., we barely knew ye!). On the other hand, Scott Snyder has emerged as an architect of some vision with his “Death Of The Family” concept, which is currently impacting the Bat Family of books. I’m digging this story almost enough to forgive him for taking a break from Vertigo’s American Vampire…and Vertigo’s got enough problems right now.

So, where were the bright spots? Check out my picks, after the jump.

Editor’s Note: One last review of the comics of 12/5/2012 before the comic stores open…

Let’s get the preliminaries out of the way: the chick with the purple hair who doesn’t speak and is the only apparent member who isn’t asked to volunteer in Thunderbolts #1? That’s Mercy. She debuted back in Peter David’s and Todd McFarlane’s run on The Incredible Hulk – issue 338 to be exact, a couple of issues before the arc collected in the Ground Zero paperback. If I recall correctly, she shanks people who she thinks are down on their luck… and she thinks everyone is down on their luck. You’re welcome.

Thunderbolts #1 is yet another Marvel Now book that is, despite Marvel’s protestations, a complete reboot (but, but, Marvel doesn’t reboot! Which is why The Punisher is still a superpowered avenging angel! And he’s still a black guy!). We’ve gone from the team being the standardized government-sponsored team staffed by former supervillains hoping for redemption that it’s been for years (but don’t let it make you bitter; if you miss that idea, DC’s still publishing Suicide Squad), to apparently just General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, former Hulkbuster and current Red Hulk, out on his own, building a team out of the darker, more edge heroes of the Marvel Universe. You know, like DC’s Team 7.

So now our Thunderbolts are apparently Red Hulk, Punisher, Deadpool, Elektra, Venom and Mercy, which is a lineup, except for Mercy, that should be familiar to anyone who has seen twelve-year-olds playing Heroclix (although you probably heard them referred to as “The Asskickers,” or perhaps “Team Awesome”). However, this lineup is being written by recent Deadpool writer Daniel Way instead of a runny-nosed punk jacked up on Red Bull and his first boner over imagining Elektra naked, so we can expect a little more from this team, right?

Truth be told, I can’t quite tell yet.

With the Baltimore Comic-Con coming up this weekend (which we will not be attending, as even a one-in-a-million chance of being shotgunned by Omar Little is too damn much), apparently Marvel’s trying to amp up the excitement leading into it with another batch of Marvel Now one word teaser images, as they did just before San Diego Comic-Con.

Two of the teasers have been released so far this week. And what are Marvel’s words of the week? You know, other than “send” and “money,” “buy” and “Hawkeye,” or “retrieve” and “Brubaker?”

Find out after the jump!

I have this theory that if I, now firmly knocking on the door of my 40s, met myself anytime before I turned at least 30…I would hate myself. Not the “damn, I shouldn’t have gone back and messed with the past” kind of hate myself, but the “wow, I can’t believe I was ever like that. How did people ever stand to be around me?” hate myself. I call the period right after I got out of college the “terrible 22s”; I had big plans and no experience, but that’s ok, because I was convinced I knew everything. I’m convinced my mom started to charge me rent when I moved home after college less because she needed the money and more because she was trying to get me to move out. I don’t blame her.

What does this have to do with Thunderbolts #173, written by Jeff Parker with art from Declan Shalvey? Well, the Thunderbolts team has been bouncing around through time for the past several issues. As they get closer and closer to the present, it was inevitable that they’d run into a younger version of themselves eventually. I mean, they’re a super team comprised of super villains; they get around.

So, what do you do when you are a narcissistic megalomaniac and you’ve run into a much younger you? And, enough about me, what do the Thunderbolts do?

Failed dreams, shattered ambitions and spoilers, after the jump.