At face value, there is nothing impressive or exciting about crossovers between DC Comics and Looney Tunes or Hanna Barbara. We didn’t pay a ton of attention to these books when they started dropping last year, until we finally picked a couple of them up out of a combination of seeking relief from the impending invasion of Watchmen characters into the DC Universe, and the kind of base rubbernecking instinct that makes people slow down to look at car wrecks, or non-Mission Impossible Tom Cruise starring vehicles.

Man, were we wrong, Almost to a one, these crossovers have been some of the most fun comics on the shelves when they appear. A pile of these crossovers came out this week, and a bunch of interesting and unexpected, yet entertaining, pairings happened! Along with the expected, somewhat disturbing, pairing between Batman and Catwoman!

So we’re talking a pile of books this week, including:

  • Batman #25, written by Tom King with art by Mikel Janin,
  • Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #1, written by Chip Zdarsky with art by Adam Kubert,
  • WMD: Weapons of Mutant Destruction #1, written by Greg Pak with art by Mahmud Asrar,
  • Wonder Woman / Tasmanian Devil #1, Written by Tony Bedard with art by Barry Kitson and Ben Caldwell,
  • Lobo / Road Runner #1, written by Bill Morrison with art by Morrison and Kelley Jones, and:
  • Nick Fury #3, written by James Robinson with art by Aco!

Alas, cartoon books or no, the disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to know whether or not the coyote gets the road runner, it’s because you’ve seen as many Saturday morning cartoons as we have and you know damn well what the answer is.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. We know the title says “Family Friendly.” Charles Manson also had a family. Listen with headphones.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

totally_awesome_hulk_7_cover_2016It has been a busy week here at the Crisis On Infinite Midlives Home Office. Between the delivery of new cooking apparatus that can also conveniently act as an incendiary bomb, to unexpected day job responsibilities, to nearly getting caught up in an unexpected session of Cornhole, it was hard to keep up on a week that was comics news-light to begin with.

So we decided to keep things short and simple this week, and just talk about some comics. And while we have some general discussions about how it was a standard off week for Marvel’s Civil War II event (by standard, we mean that every Marvel comic had “Civil War II” on the cover, without advancing the main story a whit), and how DC’s Rebirth continues to be a pretty solid soft reboot that’s unfortunately wrapped in the wretched trappings of Watchmen characters, we pretty much focused on a few books:

  • The Totally Awesome Hulk #7, written by Greg Pak with art by Alan Davis,
  • Justice League #52, written by Dan Jurgens with pencils by Tom Grummett, and:
  • Teen Titans #21, written by Tony Bedard with art by Miguel Mendonca!

And, as usual, the disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. So if you want to remain unspoiled on whether or not Lex Luthor will be a villain in DC Rebirth (The answer won’t surprise you!), consider yourself warned.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. You think your boss wants to hear details about Boston Cornhole (The answer actually will surprise you! But good luck convincing HR of that!)? Then get some headphones.
  • As a reminder: We will not have a new show on the week of July 3, 2016. We’ll be back the following Sunday.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

deathstroke_20_cover_2013-153518301Editor’s Note: And one last look at last week’s comics before the comic stores open late today… and it contains spoilers. But they are spoilers on a book that has been cancelled and lives no more. So do you really give a fuck? Thought not.

“So the final issue of Deathstroke was in this week’s take. You gonna review it?” I said.

“Fuck that,” my co-Editor Amanda said, “As far as I’m concerned, that book’s been over since Rob Leifeld took over from Kyle Higgins last year. DC editorial took a perfectly good book about a professional dealing with the perils of entering middle age and turned it into a book about some badly-proportioned, footless steroid head beating on space douchebags.”

“But Justin Jordan’s been writing the book for the past few months. Do you think it’s improved at all since then?”

“I haven’t been reading it.”

“Why not? Jordan writes Luther Strode, and you like that.”

“Yeah, but so what? It’s damaged goods. Taking over Deathstroke after Liefeld had his grubby mitts all over it is like watching a buddy get married to a whore. He might be totally in love and committed to making it work, but here ain’t a force on Earth that can make people look at her and not picture when she had three dicks in her mouth. Let Deathstroke go under and lie fallow for a while. I’ll try it again when it feels a little less… dirty. You review the last issue.”

Okay I will. Despite not having kept up on Deathstroke since Higgins left the book any more than Amanda did. Which means that I have no idea what the hell led into the events of this issue, which includes all the Usual Suspects you’d expect from a big Deathstroke story. We’ve got Terra, Rose (Slade’s daughter who became Ravager before the New 52), Grant (Slade’s son who became Ravager back in the 80s – c’mon, at least try to keep up), Jericho (Slade’s other son, who was a good guy in the 80s before becoming a bad guy in… ah, fuck it) and, well, Majestic (for some reason), locked in a epic battle to the death that requires some ugly choices, brutal methods, and one deus ex machina on Slade’s part.

Which is fine, but what matters is: is it any good? And more importantly: does it work as a final story? You know, with “final” in subtextual quotes, since ain’t no one really gonna kill a character that appears on The CW’s Arrow?

Blue Beetle #6 is a weird book. Good, but weird.

First off, I still maintain that, of all DC’s first round of New 52 books, Blue Beetle is one of the best at accomplishing its supposed mandate: making the hero generally relatable and understandable to not just new readers to the title, but to new comics readers in general. This is a series in general where you don’t need to know almost anything about the DC Universe at all to enjoy it. And this particular issue, while still part of the overall origin arc, functions as a pretty decent one-and-done that tells you everything you need to know to enjoy just this issue if you want a place to jump on.

Unfortunately, some people are going to have trouble enjoying this issue because, frankly, it includes some action that’s likely to disturb and upset some readers, no matter how good and self contained the issue is in general. This book includes scenes of the hero smacking around a teenaged girl and threatening a mother and her child at gunpoint. Now, if your reaction to that description is immediate and context-free outrage, just hold on and I’ll get to that. If your reaction is to mutter “Awesome!” or to find a discreet place to masturbate, fuck off and find a different comics site, okay? Or better yet: find a different hobby; no superhero’s power is a donkey punch, you spastic.

This is the story of Jaime Reyes, a normal teenager living in suburban New Mexico with his best friends Paco – a gangbanger with a sense of humor and a heart of gold – and Brenda – a redhead who happens to be the niece of La Dama – a female crime lord with a stable of superpowered minions. Jaime finds himself fused with the Scarab – a piece of alien technology from something called The Reach – that bestows upon him a suit of powered armor that he doesn’t know how to use and might be operating under its own agenda.

Sound interesting? It should: it’s the plot of Blue Beetle. Written by Keith Giffen and John Rogers. In 2006.

It’s ALSO the plot of Blue Beetle #1, written by Tony Bedard and penciled by Ig Guara, released last Wednesday. And that’s the problem.

Don’t get me wrong: Blue Beetle is a well-executed and entertaining origin issue. It lays out where the Scarab comes from, it introduces all the main players, gets the Scarab on Jaime, all in 20 pages. Of all the New 52 books from DC, it probably meets the stated goal of the reboot, to create an entry point for new, non-comic readers, most effectively. Sure, there’s still a writing-for-the-trade feel since Jaime doesn’t become Blue Beetle until the last page, but Bedard tells us what we need to know without requiring any knowledge of continuity. It’s somewhat refreshing… or it would be if Bedard DIDN’T require a fluency in a second Goddamned language.

There are at least ten or eleven panels in this book that include Spanish or Spanglish – to the point where Bedard puts the ol’ footnote asterix next to the phrase “La casa de Amparo Cardenas” to tell us in caption that it is “Translated from the Spanglish”… except he NEVER FUCKING TRANSLATES IT. He might as well have wasted panel real estate with “Translated into Spanglish from Klingon by way of Helen Keller’s homemade tappity language.” For all I know, Jaime spend half the book saying, “You, reader, are a racist, provincial dingus.”