Marvel Studios’s latest Netflix series, The Punisher, dropped all at once a couple of weeks ago, and it was, in a lot of ways, very different than the series that have been delivered up until now. Sure, the other series dealt with adult themes – Jessica Jones tackled being a survivor of abuse, Luke Cage dealt with racism, and Iron Fist took on the perils of being a boring rich white guy no one likes – but none of those series featured a protagonist who stabs people in the neck just to watch them die.

So we spend a chunk of the show talking about The Punisher, how it handles themes of PTSD and how war destroys not only soldiers, but also their families… and how those weighty issues map to a story that delivers the cheap thrill of watching Jersey mooks having their legs broken by a man sometimes known as “Shooty Batman.”

But the money of the week is the release of the first issue of Doomsday Clock #1, written by Geoff Johns with art by Gary Frank. This is the real beginning of DC Comics not only sequelizing Alan Moore’s and Dave Gibbons’s Watchmen, but putting characters from the DC Universe onto a collision course with that universe. While we’ve both been enjoying DC: Rebirth, Rob is a huge fan of the original Watchmen, and thus has been DREADING the release of this book. So we break it down, and come to a couple of surprising conclusions.

This episode was recorded live to tape, with minimal editing, so if you’re looking for a podcast where the hosts are pretty convinced they came up with the moniker, “Shooty Batman,” you’ve come to the right place!

Thanks for listening, suckers!

DC has been teasing the inclusion of elements of Watchmen into DC Rebirth for nearly a year and a half now, which has made us, Rob especially, very nervous. That inclusion has been kept down to a dull roar until this past weekend, when DC released an ashcan of the first six pages of Doomsday Clock, the 12-issue mini-series that will make good on their threat – I mean, their promise.

So we read those pages, and, to be honest, we read them cold, without noticing that the date in the first panel was 1992, not 1985. So our reaction is based on the misconception that the events of these pages was taking place three weeks after the end of Alan Moore’s Watchmen… not that knowing seven years have passed really change our opinion much. And what did we think? Listen to find out, and thank God that modern digital recording can modulate Rob’s shrieking!

We also discuss Blade Runner 2049, the sequel to one of Rob’s favorite movies, and a flick that he had no intention of seeing until decent reviews started to come out. But see it we did, and we discuss it from two opposing viewpoints: one rabid about Ridley Scott’s 1982 original, and one who went into the sequel almost cold about the first movie. Once again: digital modulation is your friend.

We also discuss:

  • Batman: White Knight #1, written and drawn by Sean Murphy, and
  • Batman #32, the conclusion of The War of Jokes and Riddles arc, written by Tom King with art by Mikel Janin!

This episode was recorded live to tape, meaning that “tossing Joi onto a hard drive” could have any one of many meanings!

Thanks for listening, suckers!

Look: we’re talking about Twin Peaks: The Return.

We know, this might not seem like the topic for a comics podcast, but hear us out. Twin Peaks is one of the main inspirations for The X-Files which is clearly turf for genre shows. It features a shared universe of different genre stories like any good comics universe. It has characters with super strength. But most importantly, Rob is a giant Twin Peaks fanboy, and he can’t pass up an opportunity to talk about the return of the first television program that showed him the promise of a shared genre universe the way that comic books did when he was 18 years old.

So we discuss what made the original Twin Peaks great, why there’s still excitement about it 27 years after it ended with little fanfare, and whether it was worth the wait to a person who owned every Twin Peaks property available between 1990 and 2016, or if it is even remotely compelling to someone like Amanda, who watched every episode of Twin Peaks that Rob rammed down her watchholes last week.

We also discuss:

  • The Flash #22, written by Joshua Williamson with art by Howard Porter, and:
  • Secret Empire #2, written by Nick Spencer with art by Andrea Sorrentino!

Ah, disclaimers:

  • This episode was recorded live to tape, meaning that there might be more than the usual number of pauses, verbal tics and weird inside jokes. But we figure if you’re willing to listen to a show about Twin Peaks, then pauses, verbal tics and inside jokes are maybe your jam.
  • This show contains spoilers. Laura Palmer’s killer was revealed on November 10, 1990. Rob found a way to find out who killed Laura Palmer despite not having hindsight, the Internet, or a working ABC television station in reasonable broadcast range on November 10, 1990. Rob has no pity for you when it comes to this subject.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. We talk about Secret Empire. That means there is cursing. You are forewarned.

Thanks for listening suckers!

A wise man once said, “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” I think it was Harvey Dent. Or maybe Billy Dee Williams. Either way, it’s a statement that certainly applied to last week in comics and comics-related entertainment.

In column A was the United States debut of Marvel Studios’s Guardians of The Galaxy, Vol. 2. We managed to sneak in a matinee last weekend of a movie that we greatly anticipated as either a new installment of a light action science-fantasy property, or an excuse to spread Baby Groot out over two and a quarter hours, or perhaps both.

We talk about the movie, how it is satisfyingly character driven, almost completely disconnected from the master Marvel Cinematic Universe storyline, heavily influenced by some of the best genre sequels out there, and what music cues we might expect now that Star-Lord has access to more modern tunes (here’s a hint: Sonny Crockett and Patrick Bateman would totally approve!

And then there’s column B, which comprised a few of the biggest comics* released last week:

  • Batman #22, written by Joshua Williamson and Tom King with art by Jason Fabok,
  • Secret Empire #1, written by Nick Spencer with art by Steve McNiven, and
  • Secret Empire; Free Comic Book Day edition, written by Nick Spencer with art by Andrea Sorrentino!

(*In the interests of ending on a positive note, we give a quick shout-out to Project Superheroes: Hero Killers #1, written by Ryan Brown with art by Pete Woods)

You wanted the disclaimers, you got the disclaimers!

  • This show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to know how Captain America and Hydra consolidate their power, well, it really doesn’t matter, since we have no idea, either. But either way: consider this a master spoiler warning.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. We have jokes about The Flash being unable to find The Button, and those jokes are about exactly what you think they’re about. So wear headphones.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

As we ease into convention season, the comics news starts to slow down so publishers have something to discuss in panels. You know, other than garbage news items about the dangers of trying to be funny in 140 characters or less.

So we briefly discuss the next step in the million-mile march toward San Diego Comic-Con: hotel sales, which happened last Wednesday. We also talk about a superhero movie that we missed in 2016: X-Men: Apocalypse, which didn’t really interest us at the time – seeing Oscar Issac painted blue is only a gimme draw if you’re in his fraternity – but which really impressed us now that it’s on cable.

We also talk about some of this week’s books:

  • The Flash #21, written by Joshua Williamson with art by Howard Porter,
  • Action Comics #978, written by Dan Jurgens with art by Carlo Barberi,
  • Ben Reilly: The Scarlet Spider #1, written by Peter David with art by Mark Bagley, and:
  • Detective Comics #955, written by James Tynion IV with art by Marcio Takara!

What’s that? You want disclaimers?

  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to give warnings ahead of time, if you don’t want to find out why Angel is a terrible character in X-Men: Apocalypse, I don’t know why you’re listening, since you’ve clearly never read a comic book before.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. During this episode, Amanda says, “Touch the fishy.” Your boss won’t want to know why. So get some headphones.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

And lo, we return to you from lands afar, with the legendary tale of The Mighty Conquest of the Editing Robot with the Holy Union of the Irish and Columbia or: How We Killed Our Podcast Editing Computer with a Cup of Irish Coffee!

Seriously, we’re back after some serious technical difficulties, but ready to discuss the annual sale of passes to San Diego Comic-Con, and how we’ll be covering at least part of the event from on site. We’re excited to be returning for the first time since 2014… but we can still be irritated by having to suffer through the experience of the Blue Ring of Failure.

But it was a big week for comics, both good and bad, so we spend most of the episode discussing the high and lowlights, including:

  • Nick Fury #1, written by James Robinson with art by Aco,
  • Secret Empire #0, written by Nick Spencer with art by Daniel Acuna,
  • The Shaolin Cowboy: Who’ll Stop the Reign? #1, written and drawn by Geof Darrow, and:
  • Batman #21, written by Tom King with art by Jason Fabok!

And, as usual, the disclaimers:

  • We experienced a technical problem where a crackling sound becomes apparent during the last several minutes of the show. We ran it through a couple of filters to minimize it, but it’s obvious, and while the audio never becomes inaudible, it is irritating. We apologize, and we swear that our backup system to avoid this will totally work next time this happens, because we will totally remember to turn it on.
  • The show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to know what universe Batman comes close to this week, well, you must be a new listener! Nice to meet you!
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is not safe for work. If you don’t want your mom to hear about how Batman makes Reverse Flash see God, then get some headphones.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

outcast_cinemax_posterThis week, The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman had an interview published in Rolling Stone where he chided George R. R. Martin for revealing the ending to A Song of Ice And Fire to the producers of HBO’s Game of Thrones. And it caused the predictable Internet uproar, but it also got us to thinking: we had six out of seven Fear The Walking Dead episodes unwatched on our TiVo. We’d been complaining for years that The Walking Dead comic’s pacing had been untenably slow. We’d been getting Kirkman’s Outcast in our pulls since it started, but we actually hadn’t been reading it, so we had no intention of checking out the comic’s new adaptation on Cinemax.

So we asked ourselves: have we reached peak Robert Kirkman? Has his work lost its mojo, at least for us? And we decided to test the question by burning through the remainder of Fear The Walking Dead season 2, re-reading the first issue of Outcast, and checking out the first two episodes of the adaptation. And having spent the weekend binging on Kirkman (eww!), the answer might surprise you!

We also discuss:

  • Wonder Woman: Rebirth #1, written by Greg Rucka with art by Matthew Clark, Liam Sharp and Sean Parsons,
  • The Flash: Rebirth #1, written by Joshua Williamson with art by Carmine Di Giandomencio, and:
  • Daredevil #8, written by Charles Soule with art by Goran Sudzuka!

And, the disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you listen, you will learn how many Fear The Walking Dead characters Rob wants to hit with a chair (Hint: It’s a non-zero value).
  • The show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. We talk about Superman’s dickie. Get some headphones.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

dc_rebirth_charactersIt’s the first full week of DC Comics: Rebirth, and not a single Watchmen character appears in those issues, so we decided it would be a good opportunity to complain again about Watchmen characters appearing in the DC Universe.

Specifically, it was revealed this week that DC Comics didn’t contact Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons to ask him his opinion about adding Watchmen characters to Dc Universe: Rebirth. So we talk about whether that was a bush league move (protip: yeah), some of the history around DC leaving Watchmen alone, and whether DC Editorial really had any choice in asking for Gibbons or writer Alan Moore for even a half-hearted blessing in using their characters in Rebirth.

Then, since we were on a Rebirth roll, we discussed all this week’s titles from that event:

  • Superman: Rebirth #1, written by Peter Tomasi with art by Doug Mahnke,
  • Green Arrow: Rebirth #1, written by Benjamin Percy with art by Otto Schmidt,
  • Green Lanterns: Rebirth #1, written by Geoff Johns and Sam Humphries with art by Ethan Van Sciver and Ed Benes, and:
  • Batman: Rebirth #1, written by Scott Snyder and Tom King with art by Miken Janin.

And, just so Marvel doesn’t feel neglected, we close the show by talking about:

  • Civil War II #1, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by David Marquez!

And, as always, the disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you want to avoid knowing how the DC: Rebirth books end (spoiler alert: no matter what happens, it probably won’t matter next month), then consider yourself warned.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. You want your mom to know what “giddy bottom” means? Get some ear buds.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

amc_preacher_jesse_posterIt’s the end of the week of May 25th, 2016: the Wednesday the Big Two drooled on themselves, shrieked “Excelsior!” into the Black Void, and keeled over. At least if you believe the Internet comments.

But before we talk about that, there was one major positive for comics fans this week: AMC debuted the pilot episode of their adaptation of Garth Ennis’s and Steve Dillon’s Preacher this past Sunday. We’re big fans of the comic, which really meant something to us… back when we were in our twenties, same as the characters back in the original 1990s comic. Both we and the comic are older now, with different lifestyles and priorities, so the question is not only whether or not Preacher is a worthy adaptation of the classic Vertigo comic, but can it have the same effect as it did when we were in our twenties?

That’s the good news. The bad news is that we also discuss:

  • Steve Rogers: Captain America #1, written by Nick Spencer with art by Jesus Saiz, and:
  • DC Universe: Rebirth #1, written by Geoff Johns with art by, well, many, many people!

And, as always, the disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. So be aware: if you haven’t been spoiled on the events of either Steve Rogers: Captain America #1 or DC Universe: Rebirth #1, then you clearly haven’t had any access to the Internet and therefore can’t read this warning anyway. But rest assured: we’ll be spoiling them.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. We recite Preacher’s recipe for making a homemade bazooka in this episode. You don’t want your boss to hear that any more than we want this episode entered into evidence in a Felony Menacing trial. So get some headphones.

Thanks for listening, suckers!