Crisis On Infinite Midlives Show Episode 146: Kenny Powers of The Sea

Sometimes, the best laid plans to watch thirteen episodes of Iron Fist on Netflix and talk about them on the Internet go wrong, particularly when one of your hosts is on call for work all weekend, and when neither of your hosts are particularly engaged by Kung-Fu stories.

However, this week gave us the releases of two comics-related movies: Justice League and Spider-Man: Homecoming, with two very different strategies. One sketched out the general plot of its movie so completely, you almost don’t need to see the movie, while the other spent three minutes trying to convince us that Aquaman is somehow more compelling as a mouthy drunk. So we talk briefly about the trailers, which worked better for us, and how we desperately hope that Zack Snyder has a win in him.

We also discuss:

  • Iron Fist #1, written by Ed Brisson with art by Mike Perkins,
  • Suicide Squad #14, written by Rob WIlliams with art by John Romita Jr. and Eddy Barrows, and:
  • Action Comics #976, written by Dan Jurgens with art by Mike Perkins!

And, the disclaimers:

  • Because of time constraints, this episode was recorded live to tape.
  • This show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to know how Action Comics #976 ends, congratulations! We both like the original Watchmen!
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. If you don’t want your mom to overhead why we think Mr. Mxyzptlk would ask Dr. Manhattan, “Why so blue?” get yourself some headphones.

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Crisis On Infinite Midlives Show Episode 145: Stick Figures With Boobs

Yes, we’re a day late again, but after a weekend of pulling, cleaning and replacing every connection on the board, at least, unlike last week, this episode doesn’t sound like we’re talking through a bowl of Rice Krispies.

This weekend, the first full trailer for DC Films’ Wonder Woman dropped, and as big DC Comics fans, we desperately want this one to be known forever as “The First Really Good DC Comics Flick.” So we spend a little time talking about the trailer and the movie. We specifically talk about how by using World War I they’re simultaneously covering historical ground that existed before even comic books, while also forcing comics fans to say, “Yeah: Captain America: The First Avenger, only older and crustier.” We also touch on the fact that the average American public school graduate would could only identify a major “bad guy” of WWI if spotted an hour, Google, and their family members as hostage in the event they failed.

We also discuss:

  • Man-Thing #1, written by R. L. Stine with art by German Peralta and Daniel Johnson,
  • Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys: The Big Lie #1, written by Anthony Del Col with art by Werther Dell’ Edera, and:
  • Action Comics #975, written by Dan Jurgens and Paul Dini with art by Doug Mahnke and Ian Churchill!

And, the usual disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to know Clark Kent’s secret identity (this actually is a trick question), then get consider yourself warned.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. You think your significant other wants to hear jokes about Squirrel Girl pulling nuts out of the Giant-Sized Man-Thing? Get some ear buds.

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Crisis On Infinite Midlives Show Episode 144: Feline Tertiary Syphilis

Yes, we’re a day late, and for that, we’re sorry. But it’s a jam-packed show this week, so we wanted to take the time to get it right. That, and we had weird audio issues it took a while to resolved, but let’s focus on the positive.

First, we discuss some long-awaited and welcome comics news: Matt Wagner’s announcement at ECCC that Mage: The Hero Denied, which has been promised since the conclusion of the first Mage series in 1986 and the end of the second in 1999, will begin this July. Mage is rarely mentioned in the same breath with other 80s classic series like Watchmen, but it’s one of the first examples of urban fantasy out there, and one of our personal favorites.

And then there’s Logan. Which was Rob’s choice for most-anticipated genre movie of 2017 (a choice for which he took some static), and for once, it’s almost like Rob knew what he was talking about. We discuss Logan, how it’s less a superhero movie than it is a western (and, as a western, the Unforgiven of comic book movies), and, even with all those qualifications, one of the best comic book movies ever made.

We also discuss:

  • Batman #18, written by Tom King with art by David Finch, and:
  • Savage Things #1, written by Justin Jordan with art by Ibrahim Moustafa!

And, the usual warnings:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you haven’t seen Logan yet and don’t want to know whether or not we’re making up the fact that Jubilee saves Logan’s soul from Mephisto, consider yourself warned.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. Look at this episode’s title. Think about the discussion surrounding that title. Listen with headphones.

And, one last disclaimer: there is some unexplained static in the show’s recording, for about ten minutes, starting at about the one hour, five minute mark. We’ve run the audio through a couple of filters to minimize the crackling, but it’s still noticeable and the audio will sound somewhat processed during that time. A thousand apologies; we’ll send your refund to the usual address.

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Crisis On Infinite Midlives Show Episode 143: Purple Monkey Slashfic

As we move slowly into convention season, there is kind of a dearth of interesting comics news to work through some weeks. Oh sure, we could weigh in on Marvel’s comments at ComicsPRO that the reason their sales are down is because of DC shipping cheaper books, but that’s a little inside baseball even for us. And besides: we all know that the people at Marvel will say absolutely anything if it means Issac Perlmutter turns his Sauron doom-eye back toward Kevin Feige.

So this week, we stick with talking this weeks’ comics, including:

  • Justice League of America #1, written by Steve Orlando with art by Ivan Reis,
  • Darkness Visible #1, written by Mike Carey and Arvind Ethan David with art by Brendan Cahill,
  • The Old Guard #1, written by Greg Rucka with art by Leandro Fernandez
  • Hulk #3, written by Mariko Tamaki with art by Nico Leon, and:
  • The Amazing Spider-Man #24, written by Dan Slott and Christos Gage with art by Giuseppe Camuncoli!

However, the disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to know how many of this week’s comic books actually feature The Hulk (hint: it’s one fewer than you’d think!), then consider yourself forewarned.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. Let’s just say that Rob curses enough about The Clone Conspiracy this week to make the phrase “Ben Reilly” an obscenity by association. So consider using earbuds.

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Crisis On Infinite Midlives Show Episode 142: Polonium Whiskey

We are living in an age where we are spoiled for choice, when it comes to comics-related television shows. From The Flash to Supergirl to The Walking Dead to Cinemax’s Outcast to the (possibly) upcoming Scalped on WGN America, there’s something for everyone… which is why we weren’t particularly excited for FX’s Legion, based on a mid-90’s New Mutant and set in the oldest and arguably stalest of the modern comics cinematic universes. We only decided to watch it because we have a comics podcast, which means that you need something to talk about.

But watch it we did, thinking we were taking one for the team, but finding one of the smarter and more intriguing comic book television shows – if not filmed genre properties, period – we’ve seen in recent memory. It’s a show based on a funnybook that made us unironically namecheck David Cronenberg and use the word “Kubrickian.” That doesn’t happen every day.

(Oh: and we completely confuse the character Legion with Proteus in this episode. In our defense, these characters appeared in prominent mid-90s X-Men stories, making them, by their very nature, very, very forgettable.)

We also discuss:

  • Amazing Spider-Man: The Clone Conspiracy #5, written by Dan Slott with art by Jim Cheung, and:
  • The Wild Storm #1, written by Warren Ellis with art by Jon Davis-Hunt!

And now, as usual, the disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to know the greater plot of the Legion pilot, well, listening to this show won’t help you. But still: consider yourself warned.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. If you don’t want your Mom to know which comics property we believe should have been called “The Brown Note,” get some headphones.

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Crisis On Infinite Midlives Show Episode 141: Exposition and Necrophilia

Yes, we are late after a weird weekend, but we still have a good show for you! A show barely prepared for, fueled by caffeine and alcohol, but as far as shows go: this is one!

Anyway, for the past few years, DC Films seems to have gauged whether or not to proceed making live action films of some of their lesser-known comics properties by releasing direct-to-video animated versions of them to see if they’ll stick. They did it with Suicide Squad three years ago, and now they’re doing it with the cast of the proposed Dark Universe movie with Justice League Dark, which was released last week.

We are big John Constantine fans (and kinda fans of the New 52 Justice League Dark), so we watched the movie and discuss the return of Matt Ryan to the role, how Batman fits into a mostly magical cast, why Black Orchid is almost literally filler, and why seeing Green Lantern being lightly tazed is almost always worth nearly any price of admission.

In addition: this week gave us the first two issues of what will become Marvel’s next event, Secret Empire. We have been nothing if not vocal here about how much a bummer Civil War II was, and now that we’re staring down the barrel of a story about a literal Nazi taking over the United States, well, we have strong opinions. And we even try to have those strong opinions without talking too much about current American politics.

As a palate cleanser, we also discuss Deathstroke #11, written by Priest, with pencils by Denys Cowan and inks by Bill Sienkiewicz!

But here’s the disclosures:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to know why spending a few months with Nazi Captain America might be a depressing idea, you have been warned.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. If you don’t want to explain to your mom why “catharsis: isn’t the same as some form of “reaching around”, then listen in your car or something.

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Crisis On Infinite Midlives Show Episode 140: The Soft Emo Belly of Batman

It was a weird week for comics and genre news. Having recorded this episode one day before the announcement of the official title of the new Star Wars movie (spoiler alert: the spoiler is that the title is Star Wars: The Last Jedi), the only comics related news was whether it was still kosher, so to speak, to sucker-punch a Nazi, Captain America style.

(Editor’s Note: we discuss the Nazi-punching issue very, very briefly, only to come to the conclusion that, to paraphrase a famous American: if Jake Blues does it, it cannot be illegal.)

So this week, we skip most of the news, and go straight to the comics. We discuss:

  • Batman #15, written by Tom King with art by Mitch Gerads,
  • The Amazing Spider-Man: The Clone Conspiracy #4, written by Dan Slott with art by Jim Cheung,
  • The Ray: Rebirth #1, written by Steve Orlando with art by Stephen Byrne,
  • Angel: Season 11 #1, written by Corinna Bechko with art by Geraldo Borges, and:
  • Curse Words #1, written by Charles Soule with art by Ryan Browne!

And, as always, the disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to find out why, thanks to Catwoman, Batman is no longer the M Night Shaymalan, turn back now.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. If you don’t want your significant other to learn what happens when you mix juniper and romilar, get some of those Airpods or something.

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Crisis On Infinite Midlives Show Episode 139: This Time It’s Personal: The 2016 Crises Awards

It’s awards season, and you know what that means: networks will cynically use the concept of an awards show to fill time by looking back at old entertainment rather than looking forward and creating something new. By which we mean: welcome to the third annual Crisis On Infinite Midlives Crises awards!

2016 was a weird year for comics and genre entertainment: there was some spectacular work from areas that no one would have guessed even a year ago, and some real garbage fires from people and organizations who one would think we could count on. And we go back and sift through all of it, one last time, before we move onward and upward into an uncertain year where Wolverine will retire, Spider-Man will come home, Warren Ellis will regain his authority, and we choose to believe that General Leia Organa will, to coin a phrase, just fade away.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Best and worst comic series / miniseries
  • Best and worst comic event
  • Best single issue
  • Best and worst genre movie
  • Best and worst genre TV
  • Biggest surprise and disappointment of 2016, and:
  • Most and least anticipated entertainments of 2017!

And, the disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. That said: this show contains discussions about all comics and genre entertainment of 2016. You’ve had a lot of time to get up to speed here. Still and all: consider yourself warned.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. We talk about Civil War II and Spider-Clones here, which means we’ll use language that will get you fired. Get some headphones.

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Crisis On Infinite Midlives Show Episode 138: Doctor Superman: The Quest For Plot

CrisisOnInfinideMidlivesPodcastLogo_300x300It is the holiday season, and while that means things like delayed flights, family political battles and regifting, it also means the annual Doctor Who Christmas Special. And this year’s, The Return of Doctor Mysterio, was a double whammy: not only was it the first Doctor Who story in almost a year, but it was about an American superhero.

So we discuss the story, both on a Doctor Who and a superhero story level. And while we don’t want to spoil anything, we learn that there’s a reason why it’s maybe not a good idea for a British television writer to tackle an American superhero story. We’re guessing it’s the same reason it wouldn’t be a good idea for the guy who created The Cape to write an episode of Doctor Who.

We also discuss:

  • Civil War II #8 written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by David Marquez, and:
  • DK III: The Master Race #7, written by Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello, with art by Adam Kubert, Klaus Janson and Frank Miller!

And, the usual disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. So if you don’t want to know who loses at the end of Civil War II, you should avoid this show. And probably mirrors.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and this therefore not safe for work. Unless you think your mom wants to know what Marti Noxon might do with Naked Batman, maybe use your holiday Airpods.

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Crisis On Infinite Midlives Show Episode 137: Alderaan Truthers, or: Swipe Right on Lobot

CrisisOnInfinideMidlivesPodcastLogo_300x300Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opened this past weekend, and, if you’re any kind of regular listener to the show, you know that we’re from Generation X, and therefore addicted to Star Wars. And not only that, but everyone we know is from Generation X and feels the same way. And luckily, most of the people we know are professional stand-up comedians.

So this week, we’re joined not only by frequent guest, New York comedian Benari Poulten, but a long time friend, Boston comedian and original member of the Star Wars Fan Club Greg Boggis. And while we’re Star Wars fans all, we all had differing levels of enthusiasm for this movie, differing levels of advance knowledge about the flick, and certainly differences of opinion about what we wanted from the first live-action Star Wars movie that didn’t follow the main plot.

So we discuss the movie, how it fit into our own personal Star Wars canon, whether or not we’re sick of lightsabers, how to deal with Cutscene Tarkin and Realdoll Leia, and the hazards of living in a world of Stormtroopers in a stop and frisk world where walking while blue is a crime.

And, as always, the disclaimers:

  • This show contains massive spoilers about Rogue One almost from the first minute, So if you don’t want to be spoiled about any plot points, well, clearly you accidentally Googled “comics podcasts” instead of “comics pornography.” Retry your search.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. No one ever got promoted when their boss heard a few northeastern comedians screaming about False Flag Rex Trailer. So, for your career’s sake, get some headphones.

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Crisis On Infinite Midlives Show Episode 136: I Am The One Who Yubs

CrisisOnInfinideMidlivesPodcastLogo_300x300“That’s what I love about these [Spider-Men], man… I get older, they stay the same age.” -Michael Keaton (unconfirmed) (probably made up) (I totally made this up)

So we’re on our third person playing Spider-Man since the last time we had a Glutton Bowl, which seems not only unfair, but kinda wasteful. However, this time we have a Spider-Man working within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, played by an actual (almost) teenager, and who seems able to tell a joke better than, “Hi! I am Tobey Maguire, and I am seventeen years old! Why are you looking at me like that?”

And since the first trailers for Spider-Man: Homecoming were released last week, we spend a few minutes talking about some of the details, how some elements of Brian Michael Bendis’s Mile Morales seem to have been integrated into Peter Parker’s story, how cool it is to see Michael Keaton in a real superhero movie again, and how none of this gets around the truth about how hard it is to get excited about our third Peter Parker less than ten years.

But talking about a trailer does not a podcast make. So we also discuss:

  • Spider-Man: The Clone Conspiracy #3, written by Dan Slott with art by Jim Cheung,
  • Wonder Woman ’77 and The Bionic Woman, written by Andy Mangels with art by Judit Tondora,
  • Batman #12, written by Tom King with art by Mikel Janin, and:
  • Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #1, written by Kieron Gillen with art by Kev Walker and Salvador Larroca!

And, as always, the disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to know who The Jackal offers to resurrect for Spider-Man, then you’re clearly not thinking about The Clone Conspiracy even a little bit, but still: consider yourself warned.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. If you think your mom might be disturbed to hear what its like to “pull a trailer for Lyle Waggoner,” then get yourself some earbuds.

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Crisis On Infinite Midlives Show Episode 135: I Like To Light Things On Fire

CrisisOnInfinideMidlivesPodcastLogo_300x300After a year of superheroes beating on each other in comic books and in not one, but two different cinematic universes, sometimes you just need a good, old-fashioned superhero team-up. You know, where the good guys fight each other at first because of a misunderstanding or mind control or something, then they come together to fight seemingly insurmountable odds, and finally defeat the bad guys.

Some comic publishers seem light on their ability to publish such stories recently (hi, Marvel!), but thankfully, the people in charge of the DC Arrowverse shows on The CW network have us covered. The Invasion! crossover between Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow took place this week, and gave us heroes from four shows and two Earths coming together to battle aliens, the government, and the after effects of time travel. Not to be confused with the after effects of physical travel; you might suffer Montezuma’s Revenge as a result of either, but only one involves a stone axe and your face.

So we discuss the crossover: what worked and what didn’t, what plot points were genius and which were purely for storytelling expediency, which characters and actors shared excellent chemistry, and who should be given more to do considering he once played Superman, for God’s sake.

We also discuss:

  • The Totally Awesome Hulk #12, written by Greg Pak with art by Mahmud Asrar, and:
  • Inhumans Vs. X-Men #0, written by Charles Soule with art by Kenneth Rocafort!

Alas, the disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to learn why the greatest weapon against an alien invasion might be just one damn pocket? Watch Invasion! before listening and consider yourself duly warned.
  • We use adult, profane language, so therefore this show is not safe for work. You want your mom to hear us talk about the emotional resonance behind an X-Man trying to get themselves hard as fast as they can? Then get some headphones.

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Crisis On Infinite Midlives Show Episode 134: Ragegiving

CrisisOnInfinideMidlivesPodcastLogo_300x300Last week was Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday where family members travel for hours and miles to share a table with family members and take a moment to express gratitude for the good things in their life. Then they follow that moment with hours of barely-suppressed acrimony, sarcasm-dipped references to long-buried grievances, and barbed rejoinders about the political beliefs of family. They then disperse to Black Friday sales around the map, taking their frustrations out on fellow shoppers and leading to those awesome fight clips on YouTube.

Rob and Amanda did not go to any Black Friday sales. They did, however, read Civil War II #7, and they do have a comics podcast.

Due to vagaries of comics publishing (and the fact that Civil War II has been late almost since it was solicited), this week we not only discovered the result of the battle between Captain Marvel and Iron Man, but we began to learn the price that certain characters will apparently pay for their roles in suspending the Constitution, ignoring the First, Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, contributing to the deaths of at least three Avengers and arguably sending the Marvel Universe on the road to literal apocalypse.

And we found that price to be wanting.

So we spend a lot of time complaining bitterly about:

  • Civil War II #7, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by David Marquez and Andrea Sorrentino,
  • Captain Marvel # 10, written by Ruth Fletcher Gage and Christos Gage with art by Thony Silas, and
  • The Ultimates 2 #1, written by Al Ewing with art by Travel Foreman.

But, since we can’t be negative about everything, we also discuss:

  • Deathstroke #7, written by Priest with art by Larry Hama and Carlo Pagulayan,
  • Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 11 #1, written by Christos Gage with art by Rebekah Issacs, and:
  • A. D.: After Death Book 1, written by Scott Snyder with art by Jeff Lemire!

And, the usual disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to know what happens in Civil War II, just try to forget some of your biggest disappointments before reading it.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. If you said to your mom what we say about Civil War Ii over the Thanksgiving table, you’d be disowned. So get yourself some headphones.

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Crisis On Infinite Midlives Show Episode 133: The Dirty Batusi

CrisisOnInfinideMidlivesPodcastLogo_300x300It has been a weird couple of weeks here in the United States. Any week where the honest-to-God news in your local newspaper is more contentious, rancorous and secret identity-obsessed than your average comic book is one where talking about what comic creators are skipping what conventions in which American states, and which writers are retiring from what social networks feels redundant at best and depressing at worst.

But the good news is that, here at the Crisis On Infinite Midlives Home Office, we learned long ago that’s it’s an unwise decision to publicly discuss religion, politics, or inappropriate self-love over Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho. The bad news is that we forgot one of those truisms during this episode. The answer will (probably not) surprise you!

Either way, we decided this would be a good time to take the long view and just talk about this week’s comics. Well, about this week’s comics, about how very different stories can come from similar ideas, and about unreliable narrators. So we discuss:

  • Spider-Man #9, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by NIco Leon,
  • Batman #11, written by Tom King with art by Mikel Janin,
  • Demonic #4, written by Christopher Sebela with art by Niko Walter, and:
  • Kill or Be Killed #4, written by Ed Brubaker with art by Sean Phillips!

And, the usual disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to know if Dylan from Kill or Be Killed kills or is killed, then skip this show (and next month’s Image Comics solicitations).
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. Do you think your mom wants to know what happens to a Daisy Buchanan when she’s bitten by a radioactive Gatsby (Spoilers: she gets greedy and whiny)? Then get some headphones.

And please note: from here on out, we will be publishing the podcast on Mondays, rather than Sundays. Thanks for sticking with us!

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Crisis On Infinite Midlives Show Episode 132: Coke : Pepsi :: Constantine : Doctor Strange

CrisisOnInfinideMidlivesPodcastLogo_300x300Sorry this week’s episode is late, but we had this thing, and we are late because of it. However! This past weekend, Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange opened in theaters, marking not only the latest film in Phase Three, but the first to have an opening credit production logo featuring almost no comic books.

So we discuss the movie, its similarities to Iron Man, how Benedict Cumberbatch’s American accent is the enemy of suspension of disbelief, whether Doctor Strange is actually history’s greatest villain, how to pronounce The Ancient One’s last name, whitewashing and cultural appropriation, and, of course, spotted dick.

We also discuss:

  • Avengers #1, written by Mark Waid with art by Mike Del Mundo, and:
  • Superman #1, written by Peter Tomasi with art by Patrick Gleason!

And, as always, the disclaimers:

  • Due to strange circumstances, this episode was recorded live to tape with no editing. So while it might mean a looser show from us than you are used to, it also means that it should suffice as a legal request for political asylum (Happy Election Day, everyone!).
  • This show contains spoilers. So if you don’t want to know how to pronounce “Chiwetel Ejiofor,” well… actually, you won’t learn how to pronounce that here.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. Trust me: you don’t want your mom to hear the way Rob tries to pronounce “Chiwetel Ejiofor.” Get some headphones.

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